Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Life on my end is as good as ever!

 This last week was awesome.
Although, the weather is as bipolar as ever. On last Monday, it was
sunny and like 70 degrees. The next two days, it was snowing like
crazy. One of the areas in the zone actually got stuck in a white out.
Then it got sunny again. And now, it's 70 again. Yep. It's awesome.
But it's supposed to stay this way, and I'm really excited for it to
be summer again. I love the green.

On Tuesday, we held a little missionary activity for the youth in the
ward. We had them read "Our Commission to Teach" In ch. 1 of Preach my
Gospel, then gave them a mock investigator to prepare a lesson plan
for, then we real played teaching the lesson. It went really well. We
also went on two exchanges with other elders- both times I stayed in
Brewer, so it wasn't that exciting. We went to Dover-Foxcroft (the
northern-most area in the mission) for district meeting, where I
totally dominated in a game of PMG jeapordy. It was quite similar to
the scripture mastery bowl, so it brought back some fond memories.
Then, on Friday, we had a big lasagna bake-off. There were like 20
lasagnas made, and tons of non-members came. Two of them- Joe and
Susie, came and loved it. They then came to church the next day!
They're awesome, and totally getting baptized as soon as they get
married. We're really excited for them.

So yeah. That's this week I guess. Elder Jones goes home tomorrow, so
I'll be getting a new companion, which is a bummer. I've loved serving
with him- he's probably my favorite companion. But I'm sure my new
comp and I will get along well. I'll be training a new zone leader I
guess, so that'll be interesting. So here's something exciting-
tomorrow, to get down to transfer meeting down in Manchester, New
Hampshire, I'm going to be driving a car ALL BY MYSELF! Yep. Alone for
4 hours in a car. I can't wait. It's going to be the awesome. But
that's really all that I know of. This week will mainly be  a
transition we are getting ready for the new transfer. We'll see what
comes up.

In other news, an investigator in Waterville that I taught is getting
baptized on Friday! It's Diane. I'm so excited for her and her husband
(an active member). I wish I could be there, but I don't think it'll
happen. Oh well. It's just awesome knowing she's made it.

Ok, well I better run. We're having a district P-day with the Newport
Sisters and the Bangor Elders. I think we're going candlestick
bowling, which I'm super excited for. Have a great week! Love you all!


Elder KC Esplin

This week =Awesome

 Seriously. I'm probably more on fire right now for the work than I have been in a while. On Wednesday, we had a great lesson with an investigator named Aslynn. She's had a really hard life, and she's looking for a way to be happy and put herself on a better path, and she feels this is it. We had great lesson on the restoration. I looked her in the eyes and told her the first vision and bore testimony that it was real and it was true, and the Spirit was so strong. She set a baptismal date at the end of the lesson for the end of April! We were really excited about that. On Thursday and Friday, we had zone interviews. Thursday was down in Waterville, and it was super weird being back in that chapel again seeing everybody. Tammy and Sister Lang even came up to see me, which was really fun. She's still doing awesome, she now holds a calling as the visiting teaching coordinator. It's so cool to see her happy and having changed so much since when I first met her. The gospel really does change lives! At the interviews, we were in charge of giving an hour training to every companionship. It was on setting goals. To start it off, I did a little object lesson that I learned reading the 7 habits of highly effective people (best book ever! besides the Book of Mormon that is haha). I took a pole and set it about two inches off the ground. I then asked whoever in the group who could jump the highest to jump over it. In every situation, they just stepped over it. I then asked, " You know you could jump higher- why didn't you?" The conversation then moved into how our goals dictate how high we jump and if we don't have goals set high, we'll never jump as high as we could. We then related that to setting baptismal dates with investigators, reaching standards of excellence for the mission, keeping visuals updated, planning effectively, working with less-actives, and working with the ward. I had a lot of fun giving the training, and it was cool getting to know the other members of the zone a little better!

On Friday, we had the interviews in Bangor. At the end of the day, I had my time with President Wilkey. It was centered on the restoration. He had me look at a picture of the first vision ( the really common one that's out there) and explained what I saw. We then did a real play of a situation in which I could bear testimony of the first vision to someone I love who doesn't have the gospel. I chose Malachi from Belfast. I found out he fell off the deep end after I left...I felt the Spirit so strongly as I told him the first vision in Joseph Smith's own words, and bore testimony of what it meant to me. He bore his testimony of it, and read a scripture in the D&C about how angels record our testimonies, and how he felt among those angels were my future kids. That was a cheap shot in my opinion, I was already teary eyed, and then he had to bring my future family into it haha. Needless to say, it was one of the spiritual highlights of my life. And now, more than ever, I want to be the man of God that has a testimony of the gospel so I can lay that foundation for my future family. That's what I want more than anything else now.

Ok, enough about that. So last night, we were taking reports from the zone, and we saw some amazing stuff. Our zone is kicking some serious tail- we're leading the mission in most areas with the key indicators. There were some amazing miracles going on. Among them, I learned that Pete and Rose in Belfast now have a baptismal date, and Diane and Phil in Waterville have baptismal dates as well!!!!! When I learned Pete and Rose had set a date, I started whooping and hollering. I was SO excited. I love them so much. It's seriously the best feeling in the world when you see somebody you love accept the gospel into their lives. Man. Have I said how much I love being a missionary??

So a little preview of this week. We'll have two exchanges to go on - one with the Bangor elders, one with the elders in Dover-Foxcroft. It's also Elder Jones's last week in the mission field, so I'll have fun tormenting him about that haha. But other than that, it's just going to be a week of hard work trying to share this fire that we're feeling right now! Life is super good on my end. I'm loving it!

Ok, I better run. We have TONS to do today. But I love you all, and hope you have a great week! Take care!


Elder KC Esplin

This past week was WILD!

So, this last week was WILD! Probably one of the fastest and weirdest
weeks of my mission. On Monday, we drove to Lewiston to spend the
night in preparation for Zone Leaders Council. Elder Jones and I swung
by Belfast on the way since we both served there. It was SO weird
being back. I still knew the area like the back of my hand, and we
were able to make a few stops to talk to less-actives and members we
worked with. That was surreal. Then Tuesday was Zone Leader Council
from 9-5 in Manchester, which  is about 4 hours away from Bangor in
case you're wondering. It was held in the mission home, which was fun.
 A lot of my former companions were there, including Elder Brown,
Hess, and Nicholes. It was a lot of fun seeing them again. In the
meeting, we discussed and set mission standards for the key
indicators. It was cool to be part of such a big change in the mission
culture. Then, we were treated to a fun surprise. The mission bought a
truck for the Halifax, Canada mission, and needed it transported to
our area so they could come down and pick it up. So, I drove the van,
and Elder Jones drove the truck back to Bangor. Alone. Yes, that's
right. I got to drive alone in a car. It was SO weird!! I haven't been
alone for a year now haha. That was a fun experience most missionaries
don't get to have.

On Wednesday, I went to Waterville's district meeting, which was also
super weird. The district was exactly the same as when I left it,
except that my replacement was there instead of me, and a different
elder was the district leader. But it was fun to see Elder Jenkins
again, and I got to call a few of my converts to encourage them, which
was cool. After, we went on exchange in Farmington. It got cut short
though when I heard there was supposed to be a blizzard the next
morning, so we called and arranged to switch back early. Sure enough,
on the drive home to Bangor, we got a call saying the cars were all
going to be grounded the next day. Looks like it was a good call! So
Thursday was a lot of nothing. We did weekly planning, cleaned the
apartment, had lessons fall through, the usual thing. But we spent all
night shoveling people's driveways, which I really enjoyed. It felt
good to just dedicate an entire night to giving service to strangers.
That's the kind of thing I'll miss when I get home.

Friday, we had district meeting, which went well. We tried to have a
big waffle lunch after, but it failed epically. But whatever. We had a
lesson on setting baptismal dates, and Elder Jones and I got pumped.
That night, we had a lesson with two investigators- Joe and Susie- who
have been kind of struggling to be progressing, and we got to set a
baptismal date with them! It's not until October because that's when
they'll be getting married, but it helped them be committed to the
gospel a little more. They even came to church on Sunday, which we
were pumped for.

So yeah. That's my week in a nut shell haha.

One quick miracle for ya. On Friday morning, in companionship study,
we read out of Preach my Gospel chapter 9 about finding people to
teach. In it, we studied about 'going about doing good' and giving
service. In that section, it said to "pray for opportunities to give
service and come across people to share the gospel with." So, we said
a prayer as we left. Later that day, as we went to visit a
less-active, we saw an old lady pushing her husband in a wheelchair
towards a car. He had a big bag of garbage on his lap. We ran over and
offered to throw the garbage away. She thanked us, and told us how bad
it was that they hadn't shoveled out her car (it was surrounded by
snow.) So, I whipped out my shovel and started clearing her out while
my companion talked to her. In short, she agreed to let us come back
and share the gospel with her. Apparently, she has family that are
members of the church, and she has a friend who is part of the ward.
So...yeah. Heavenly Father really does hear and answer the prayer of
faith. I know He does.

Ok, time to get going. Love you all, hope you have a great week, and
I'll talk to you next Monday!


Elder KC Esplin