Monday, May 14, 2012

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

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