Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy May!!

Man, I cannot believe it's already May. It honestly freaks me out
how fast time is flying. It's exciting, but scary! Especially since
we're so busy, time flies extra fast. But, we're loving it up!

Ok. Now for the exciting stuff. Mothers Day is this weekend!! Mom,
Happy Early Mother's Day!! I'm super excited to talk to you all! I
can't believe it's already been 5 months since I called home last...it
just feels like it was a couple of weeks ago haha. But I'm super glad
I get to do it again! So, I think we figured out the best time will be
at 5 PM your time. Hopefully that will work out ok. We had an
interesting time figuring out 3 phone calls haha. But yeah. I'll look
forward to talking to you then!

Sounds like there's some fun stuff going on back home! I'm really
excited to see the back yard once it's done. it sounds like it's going
to look great. That's so crazy that Kelsey got married!! Wow. Send her
my congratulations. I hope she found a good guy! And that's also
wicked cool Chad's getting married too! I bet Kirk's excited about
that. Dad, good luck with the round-up. I hope it all goes well, and
everyone will be safe and whatnot. How's grandpa doing? Hopefully I'll
get to talk to him soon, but I'd like a little update if possible. And
it sounds like Jared is loving up the french horn. He'll be awesome!
Get that kid in some sports. It sounds like he's got the body for it
now!

So. Once again. My letter didn't send like it was supposed to. Fail.
I'll forward it to that second email Dad. You may be right about not
being able to send when you're on it. Baja isn't exactly state of the
art (no offense or anything haha).  But good idea with the second
email. Hopefully that'll work this week. So look for two e-mails- one
for this last week, and then this one right here!

Last week was another crazy one. Wicked crazy one. On Tuesday, we had
to drive down to Auburn to pick up our third companion! His name is
Elder Niebergall from Roosevelt, Utah. So I'm now in my fourth trio on
my mission. So far, it's been awesome. He's a hilarious elder, and we
all get along really well. And it's really helping the work too.
Because of the trio, we're going to go on exchange with every area in
the zone (all 12!), plus we've already gone on two splits with
members, so we're teaching up a storm too. On top of the, like, 7
hours of planning we had to do for the transfer so far, we also got in
16 lessons, plus an exchange. So...yeah. Life is definitially in the
fast lane like never before!

We had some really crazy things happen this week. I faced  a lot of
things I've never had to deal with before. During a lesson with a
couple, a big fight exploded. They were yelling at eachother, swearing
and insulting, and it ended up with the man leaving the house to cool
down. I've never really had to experience that kind of thing to that
extent before. But once things calmed down a bit, we sat them down and
had a lesson on Charity, and sung "Our Savior's Love." The atmosphere
in the house completely changed, and the next day, things were better.
Although it was scary to face initally, the Spirit brought the
Savior's love into the house, and mended broken hearts. Once again, I
see the transformative and saving power the gospel can have in our
lives if we will only apply it!

Another hard pill to swallow happened on Saturday. There's the
sweetest less-active lady we work with who I've grown really attached
to. The only problem is, she's really emotionally insecure. She has
schizophrenia. One day, we'll go over and she'll be happy as can be.
The other, she'll be inable to function because of extreme depression.
On Saturday, we didn't have anything to do for an hour, so we were on
the far side of Bangor going to contact an investigator. As we got
out, we saw a woman on the side of the road, and desided to go talk to
her. It ended up being this less-active woman. She was at least 4
miles away from home, and it was getting dark quick. We stopped her
and talked to her, and then she just broke down saying she felt Satan
had a hold on her and she had just given up. She had no plans on going
home and didn't know where she was going to end up. We talked to her
about the Savior's love, said a prayer for her, and talked her into
letting us get her a ride home. We sat watching the sunset and talked
about things we were grateful for. It's a memory I know I'll never
forget.

So yeah. Those were two of the spiritual highlights of my week. And
like I said, we've been running around like crazy doing lots of other
things. A few other highlights included having a FHE with two
investigator families with our ward mission leader, wrestling Joe, the
300 pound ex-con (I actually held my own fairly well! His wife stopped
it, so we never found out who would have won...) He said he was going
to put in on Facebook and Youtube...i'll keep you updated if he does
haha. And that's about it! This next week, we'll have an exchange to
go on the first half of the week, a lot of planning to get done, and a
whole bunch of people to teach the gospel to! Life is good!! It gets
overwhelming at times with everything going on, but I know I've been
prepared by the Lord for this, and I know He's helping me. I honestly
feel at times that everything that has happened in the past has been
solely to prepare me for this time in my life, and I'm SO grateful for
my past and what's contributed to making me who I am. Thank you for
all the sacrifices you've made to make that happen. I'll be eternally
grateful for them.

Well, I better get going. Love you all! I'll look forward a ton to
talking to you on Sunday at 5PM! Have a great week!!

-Faithfully,

Elder KC Esplin

What Happened to your E-mail

What the heck! Dumb email...I totally DID write you! It just didn't
send. It's lame too because it was a long one...oh well. I guess
that's just how the cookie crumbles! I forwarded it to you, so
hopefully you get it this time! Hopefully this one won't have any
problems.

Mom, I'm glad to hear you had a great trip to Mexico. Did anything fun
happen? And Dad, congrats on the blue ribbon pig! That's a bummer J
wasn't feeling so good. Hopefully it all worked out well. Haha that's
funny you saw all my pictures of the rib incident with the Wilcox's
haha. They're really kind to us. So anything else going on this next
week? How's the back yard doing? Any update on Trixie's leg either?

So...yeah. Life continues to be insane. But I'm loving it! So this
last Saturday was transfer calls. Elder Carr and I were fairly
confident that we'd both be staying together, so we were entertaining
ourselves calling other areas and tormenting them and finding out what
was going on. As we were doing so, suddenly our phone rang. It was
President Wilkey. My stomach fell through the floor. He started off by
saying, "Elders! Are you surprised to get a call from me?" The answer
was yes haha. He then told us "Well, you may be even more surprised
with what I have to tell you!" By this point, I was super nervous. he
then told us," But don't worry- you're both staying!" We both let out
a sigh of relief. He then said "But, you'll be receiving a third
companion for the next transfer!" We were both a little shocked to
hear that though! He didn't say much after that- just to be ready to
be a trio for the next 6 weeks. So...yeah. That's the biggest piece of
news on my end of thighs! So tomorrow, I'll have to drive down to
Auburn to pick him up, then come back to Bangor. I hope it's somebody
fun!

So last Monday, we had zone leader's council. it was really intense.
Apparently, the church is about to release a massive "countering anti"
campaign for us to do. it'll be interesting. We also did preparations
for zone conference in a few weeks. Then on Tuesday, we spent the
night in Belfast, had district meeting, then drove to Ellsworth, where
I spent the day on exchange. I swear, that part of Coastal Eastern
Maine is some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen in my life.
SO gorgeous. I'd consider retiring there. Not sure if I'd live there
before that, but maybe one day haha. After the exchange, we headed
back to Bangor and got to work. On Friday, while giving service at the
habitat for humanity, we found two SUPER nice desks for $45, and
couldn't resist buying them. It worked out nicely when we realized we
were getting a third companion and would have needed to get another
desk anyways. We also tracked down another dresser and a bed, and are
working on installing them into the apartment. So overall, we've been
doing some home making-over of our own. It's been fun, and the
apartment is looking super nice.

I've been able to do a ton with music this last week. On Thursday, a
less-active we spend a lot of time with booked me a gig at his rest
home. So I went over and gave them a little 30 minute program of
music. I got up and cracked jokes in between and whatnot, and told
them about what I do as a missionary, and ended with a spiritual hymn
arrangement. It went pretty well. They seemed to enjoy it at least.
And it got the less-active to come to church with her neighbor, so
that was awesome!! Another cool thing I got to do with music was
yesterday. I got the chance to play a hymn arrangement of "Be Still My
Soul" in sacrament! It went pretty well. Then that night, we went over
to the Bishop's house for dinner, and it turns out he has a really
musical family. He played some guitar and we sang, and his son brought
out his saxophone and played a bit, and of course I had to play a
little bit myself. So yeah. It's been really fun getting to do a
little more music, and be able to use it to do missionary work.
Hopefully I'll get to do more in the future!

So yeah. That's basically been life lately. It's been SO busy. We
hardly have time to eat meals anymore haha. Between keeping the area
going and taking care of zone stuff, it's hard to do much of anything
else. Because of that though, time is flying like crazy. I can't
believe it's already May! AHH!! With all the craziness has come stress
of course. And there's been some other curve balls thrown at us too.
But I'm learning more than ever that the only way we can accomplish
all we need to do is to rely on the Lord and trust in Him to give us
strength. I'm still loving life and giving it all I've got though!
It'll be an exciting week adjusting to having a third companion and
doing transfer plans. I'll be sure to give an update this next week!

Ok, I better go. Love you all! Is there anything I can do for you? Any
spiritual thought on something needed? Want another treat from New
England? Haha mom, do you want anything special for mother's day? I'm
excited to talk to you soon too! I always look forward to those days I
get to call home. Anyways, I better run. Love you all! Have a great
week!

-Faithfully,

Elder KC Esplin

Busy Busy Busy

......man alive. This week was probably the craziest week of my
mission, if not my life. Seriously, it put any week of stress, whether
it be putting on Men's week, or going through state 4-H ambassador
interviews, or competing in Denver, any of it, to shame. It was just
insane. No other words for it. Here's the break down.

Monday night, I left to head down to Belfast, which I was totally
stoked for. It was pretty uneventful- we worked at the soup kitchen,
worked at a member's goat farm, and....that's about it haha. But I
spent a ton of time on the phone calling people setting them up to
meet with the missionaries again, and putting together a huge list of
names of people I used to visit that the current elders could go see.
Their area has been a little slow, and I hoped this would spur on
progress a bit. So that was fun going back. I enjoyed myself.

Tuesday night, I got back into Brewer just in time to go to dinner
with the Cadet family. They prepared a meal from the south (they are
both from down there). They served us grits, collard greens (or
however you spell it), and fish in a cajun "Jamaica jerk" sauce. It
was really good. They also threw down a piece of "pork" and told us to
split it. So we started eating it, and it was delicious. I asked what
part of the pig it was, and they said they didn't know. I got a closer
look and realized we were munching on a pig's foot. Yep. So i now know
that pig's ankles are quite delicious haha.

That night, we met with the Bishop. We've been trying really hard to
better unify with the ward, so we decided to talk to the Bishop about
it. We discussed names he had given us in the past that we've
contacted, got more names, asked what assignments he'd have us do, and
presented a plan we had created to get priests out teaching with us
weekly. So that was a great meeting. It sure does make me feel old
having meetings with the bishop talking about business like that!

Wednesday, we decided we'd dedicate to preparing for the Specialized
Zone Training we had the next day. So we spent all morning preparing
trainings and making arrangements and whatnot. At around 4, we left to
meet up with a member who was going to help us figure out and prepare
lunch with us. We knocked at his door. No answer. We called his phone.
No answer. We knocked on his neighbor's door, who is an investigator,
and she said he had left town for the next few days. Apparently he
forgot about us. That left us with about 3 hours to prepare a full
lunch for 30 people. With no real plan, assistance, or guidance, we
took off to Wal-mart to figure it out. We spent about 2 hours there
buying the food and preparing it, and even threw in a lesson with a
part-member family. I even made a good 'contact' with a young lady who
sliced my meat behind the deli counter. She was going to university of
Maine and worked as a DJ at a local radio station. It was fun to talk
to. Anyways. Moving on. We ended up staying up a little late getting
the final preparations together.

The next morning, we grabbed two other sets of elders and drove down
to Waterville. There, we scrambled to set up lunch and tables and
whatnot, and took our seats at the front with the Wilkey's and the
assistants as all the missionaries in the zone gathered. I conducted
the meeting, and we had a lot of fun. We gave two trainings- one on
our zone goal of "Get Real!", and another on effective planning. The
lunch ended up going off really well, and I think everybody got a lot
out of the trainings. Then we hurried and cleaned up, rushed back to
Bangor to get dinner, then we went to teach Joe and Susie. Then
President and Sister Wilkey suprised us- they wanted to come teaching
with us. So we had a lesson on charity with the Wilkey's there. It was
incredible. We even finished it by singing "Brightly Beams our
Father's Mercy." So that day all together was just insane.

The next morning, one of our investigators, Brock, was supposed to
have a baptismal interview with President Wilkey, and as we prepped
for that, we found a new investigator that was a member's friend-
Randi. We had a great lesson on the Restoration. We rushed to the
church for the interview, but he didn't show up. We instead ended up
on the phone trying to calm down a man we met last week as he was
having a severe panic attack. Then President called and said he was in
the hospital sick...After a few hours and everything got figured out,
I went and bought myself ice cream to reward myself for the craziness
haha. We then worked at the habitat for humanity, helped a lady clean
out her garage, had a lesson, then had dinner, at which a less-active
family came and we started teaching them too. So yeah. there's Friday.

Saturday, we ran around teaching all day. In the evening, we had
coordination with the stake high-councilor regarding the zone's efforts
with missionary work, along with the efforts of the stake. And guess
who it was? My old bishop from Waterville, Bishop Jackson. Apparently,
he was released not too long ago. He is as wise as ever, and taught me
a new principle of leadership- "A good leader leaves you feeling
nourished, not burdened." That was a good one to think about. After
coordination, we rushed to get a signature from Bishop, then on to
another lesson.

Sunday, things got really crazy. It was stake conference, and
everybody came here to Bangor. So, I basically got to see every member
I've met on my mission thus far because I've only served in the Bangor
Stake haha. It was fun seeing people I taught- Pete and Rose, Tammy,
Phil, a bunch of less-actives, all them, plus all the active members
of Belfast and Waterville. All the missionaries even got conned into
singing, so I was on the stand singing again, just like I was 6 months
ago. A general authority- Elder Stanley G. Ellis- was there, so it was
cool getting to hear from him. After the meeting, we participated in
the ordinations of the Melchizedek (spelling off, but no time to
correct haha) for two people we had worked with, and gave a tour of
the church building. I then practiced the piano because I'm playing in
sacrament next week. We then had an hour to plan for next week, then
off to the 2nd councilor for a missionary coordination( I got another
great quote there- "A group can rise no higher than their leader." I
shared that with all the district leaders during call-ins), then to
the Wilcox home for a lesson, then back home to take reports and talk
to district leaders and give them inspiration.

Also during this week, I got to spend time convincing a missionary not
to leave his mission and go home early, counciled  a recent convert as
he got $1,000 stolen from him, dealt with companionship problems in
the zone, and dealt with drama within our ward itself.

I did mention earlier that this week was insane, right???

So yeah. There ya go. There's my life this last week hahaha. It's been
wild, but I've enjoyed it. I truly feel that I'm giving it everything
I've got, and that's a really good feeling. I feel that the Lord has
prepared me my entire life for this opportunity, and I'm loving being
able to devote my life to furthering His cause.

This week will be crazy too, but hopefully not like this last week. I
have Zone Leader's Council down in New Hampshire tomorrow, the an
exchange to Ellsworth, ME on Wednesday, and then transfer calls on
Saturday. I sure hope I'm not going anywhere- things are just starting
to pick up! Stay tuned- I'll update you next week.

Well, I better get running- there's tons to do today. But I love you
all so much! Thanks for all you do for me! I'll look forward to
hearing from you all next week. Until then, that's all I've got! Know
that all is well over here in New England.

-Faithfully,

Elder KC Esplin
Another delicious  Lobster  dinner
Put together last minute lunch for zone
Lunch for zone-Showing my artistic talent!

An Egg is just an egg
Paul Bunion