Monday, June 18, 2012

Adjusting to new routine

So, as expected, this week can be summarized into two words- "in" and "sane." You can conserve and make them into one word if you'd like. But seriously, it's been nuts. I feel like

I've been thrown into a massive drying machine with stuff spinning all around me. But, I'm loving it! Tuesday morning, I drove down to Manchester and had transfer meeting, where it was announced that I'd be the new assistant, and that my companion would be Elder Sommerfeldt from Mapleton, UT. It was then announced that his former companion, Elder Adams, would be made a traveling assistant, and that until he left the following week, he'd remain in Manchester. So, yeah. For those of you keeping score at home, that means I've been in ANOTHER trio this week. I'm starting to get the feeling President is just wanting two witnesses to everything I do to make sure I don't get myself into too much trouble haha. But it's been fun. From the second we left the chapel, it's been go go go. Between teaching lessons, getting familiarized with the area, and learning all the new responsibilities I have as an assistant, I have hardly had time to eat or sleep. Literally, we don't really plan that into our schedule haha. but overall, I'm LOVING it. I feel I'm going to be able to do a lot more good in this calling, especially by way of helping other missionaries. I'm also really excited to get to work with President Wilkey more. I've already learned a lot from him in the last week. One juicy tidbit I got from him this morning in a meeting was, "Never let others define who you are." I thought that was pretty cool.




So my new assistant schedule looks something like that. On Mondays, we compose the weekly reports, have staff meeting, have a little while for e-mails, and then 2 hours of P-day recreation time (usually to play basketball at the church apparently). So, my P-days are basically gone, so to all those who write, I will indeed be slowed down in replying, but I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can! And just so you know, I"ll be doing emails any time between 9 AM to 3 PM (7 AM-1 PM your time). So it may be best to write yours Sunday night.




Tuesdays, we typically have a training of one kind or another. This week, it''ll be a trainers/new missionary's meeting. But this one will vary every week. The weeks we don't train, we'll be most likely doing exchanges with zone leaders. Wednesdays, we go to other district meetings across the mission, typically the ones nearby (New Hampshire and Massachusetts). Thursday, we'll have our district meetings in Manchester (my district leader is my MTC companion- Elder Rodriguez! I'm SO excited for that!). Then Friday or Saturday is mission planning with President Wilkey, where we just plan with him about anything and everything. This last one went for 6 hours. It'll be a fun meeting. Then the day we don't have that planning, we'll do weekly planning for the area. Then in the mix of everything else, we get to throw in dealing with missionary concerns, producing reports, creating agendas, setting up trainings, all that sort of stuff. Then, on all that, we get to keep the area running! Yeah!




The area is awesome though. it's VERY culturally diverse. We're working with people from Nepal, Sudan, Dominican Republic, and more. We mainly just walk on the streets and contact people in our spare time. The advantage though is that people not from here are typically a lot more open and willing to talk and listen, so that's nice. We found 5 new people just talking on the streets, 2 from Mexico, 2 from Nepal, and one from New Hampshire. I'm loving the area and the ward. So yeah. Things are going quite awesomely on my end!




I better get running- we got a lot to do today- and none of it P-day related!! But know that I love you all, and that I know that this church is Christ's church, once again on the Earth. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that the Plan of Salvation is called the Plan of Happiness for a reason. Take care!! Love you!!




-Faithfully,




Elder KC Esplin

Monday, June 11, 2012

Assistant to the President

So. You ready for some crazy stuff?? This last weekend, as you know,
was transfer call night. President Wilkey has been telling us for a
while now that one of us would be leaving, so we were expecting a
call. The night kept going longer and longer, until it was 10:30- time
for bed. i was beginning to wonder if the call would ever come!
Finally, an assistant called, and as I started to talk to him,
President Wilkey called. We quickly switched over to him, eager to see
what the verdict was. Elder Niebergall was called up to bat first, and
even though he had only been here for one transfer, was told he was
going to be leaving to be a zone leader elsewhere. Elder Carr was
next, and he was told he would be staying in Bangor to train a new
zone leader. Then the phone came to me. President Wilkey said
(paraphrasing a bit) "i've been praying and fasting a lot about
transfers this week, and it's been revealed to me from the past few
transfers and from exchanges that the Lord has a calling for you. So,
in behalf of the Savior, and I mean that, I'm extending a call to
you....to be my assistant."

So.....yeah. Looks  like I'm going to be an assistant now!!

So, here's what the plan is now. I'm going to be leaving Bangor
tomorrow morning at 5:15 to drive down to transfer meeting in
Manchester, New Hampshire. Then, I stay in Manchester and take my
place in the Bedford 1 area. I'm unsure about which one of the two
assistants will be my new companion, but both of them are awesome, so
it'll be good either way. I have absolutely no idea what new
responsibilities I'll have, or what the area is like, or what to
expect at all basically...but what I DO know is what my new address
is! It'll be the mission office address, which is where most of the
stuff is sent to anyways. But here it is just in case you don't have
it.

Elder KC Esplin (The "KC" will be needed now because there's another
Elder Esplin out here...)

2 Bedford Farms Dr. #208
Bedford, NH 03110

So yeah. There ya go. I'll be sure to give you an update on my new
life next week. So stay tuned.

Unfortunately, I don't have time to write more- I have to pack and do
all that jazz. I'd write more on the week, but not much happened haha.
We taught 26 lessons, which is a mission high for me, susie and james
came to church, and james should have a baptismal date this next week.
But overall, the main craziness is from the whole assistant-calling
thing. I have really mixed emotions about it- I'm excited for the new
adventure and about the new experiences and whatnot, but I'm nervous
for the new load of work and stress to deal with, along with the new
expectations to be perfect. I honestly don't feel qualified for this
calling. But, I know the Lord will help me out. He's got a plan for
me, as he does for everyone else, and I guess this is a part of mine.
So let's get excited to see what happens!!

On a side note, I don't know what's going to happen to my abilities to
e-mail and write letters. I know letter-writing is going to become
nearly impossible, seeing as assistants don't get a P-day...so to all
those who still write, please be patient with me, I'll do my very
best! But please keep writing- the letters are always a good boost. I
appreciate them very much. But yeah, my letter-writing will soon be
slower than ever. So just a heads up. I also don't know what day we'll
write emails either. We'll have to play all that by ear. So if you
don't hear from me on Monday, just keep an eye out- it'll get to you
eventually. I just don't know what to expect haha.


I love you all, and I"ll be excited to hopefully fill you in a little
more once I get to test out the waters a bit! Talk to you all soon!!

-Faithfully,

Elder KC Esplin

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hi Everyone

This week was one of the most chill weeks I've had in a while. It was nice. Only one exchange, and it was to Belfast (my old area)! It felt like going home a bit. We had a great exchange too. I was with Elder Gardner from Denver, Colorado. It was really fun. I got to see some old people I knew, like Serena and Pete & Rose, and I also got to talk to Roger on the phone. He got anti-ed the week of his baptism and fell off the face of the earth. Nobody has seen or heard from him since. I finally got him on the phone, and we talked about it quite a bit, and he should be coming up to Bangor today so we can finish off his doubts and get him back on track. I'm really excited for it!



I had a really special experience in the evening on exchange. We went to Pete and Rose's for dinner! I was stoked for it in the first place- They're amazing cooks. She made us homemade pizza in an Italian fire oven, which was amazing. Then we went in for a lesson. Just as a reminder, they've been taking lessons from missionaries for like 7 years, but haven't been baptized yet. They come to church and read and whatnot, but just don't want to commit. I knew this could be my last time teaching them, so I went all out. I talked to them about their beliefs and their hold-ups, and about the blessings of baptism. It got pretty intense half way, and they really came out with some deeper reasons why they're hesitant to join the church. I ended up bearing testimony to them at the end and, in tears, told them about the impact they had made in my life, and about how I wanted them to have the gospel so they could have the joy and peace I feel. I then extended a baptismal date for October, and they accepted!! It was so exciting,I left feeling like I was flying. So yeah. That was a great lesson.



The rest of the week was chill- we taught a ton- 24 lessons total. We also found 7 new investigators, which is a mission high for me. 4 of those were teenager kids who were all living in the same house with nowhere really to go or do. The gospel would work wonders in their lives. One of them was a black jazz singer, and we talked jazz for a while and I showed him 2 Ne. 4 and how it could be a sweet gospel song. He agreed and is working on it now haha. Church went well, we had an investigator- James- there, so that was awesome. But for the most part, it was a pretty mellow week!



This week will be especially mellow as well. We have no exchanges to go on, so that'll be really nice. We're just going to work hard all week together. Transfer calls will be this Saturday though!! I'm really nervous- President Wilkey told us straight up that at least one of us will be leaving. I'm pretty sure I'll be taking off. But we'll see what happens! Stay tuned- I'll update you on Monday!



I better get going- we're having district P-day today and have lots to do. Love you all! Have a great week! I'll look forward to hearing from you soon!



-Faithfully,



Elder KC Esplin

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Photo's



Happy Memorial Day



I had a great week!! Monday, we drove down to Auburn and spent the night with the Augusta zone leaders, then it was down to Manchester, New Hampshire on Tuesday for zone leaders council. It was really good. I got to put on a lunch time activity with one of the leadership things I learned in 4-H. I keep realizing just how valuable the things I learned there are going to be for me. After zone leader council, I ended up staying in Manchester for the next 3 days on exchange with one of the assistants- Elder Sommerfeldt. It was a blast. On Wednesday, we drove to the middle of New Hampshire to Lebanon for a district meeting, where I got to see some missionaries I got pretty close with. We also checked out a sweet Chinese buffet...but that's besides the point haha. We had some great lessons too. I entertained the son of a less-active with magic tricks and we ended up taking a bottle of wine from her fridge at the end. We also got approached by a lady who seemed a little out there, but we ended up going back the next day, and she had gathered a whole group of people to listen, so we taught them all about what the Book of Mormon was. That was cool. We also gave advice to a lady whos husband just went to prison for beating her, and we brought with us a member who was an ex-tattoo artist, and he looks the part too. That was really cool. But one of the coolest was a lesson with an investigator who had gotten into looking up anti on the internet. He read some pretty weird stuff, and was thinking of dropping the missionaries. We went in and addressed his concerns, and I then told him about my testimony, and about how when I was younger, my testimony got messed up because of anti I encountered (I gotta take a minute here to send out a warning- avoid anti. It's poison, and is a tool of Satan). But I told him about the only way we can have a real testimony is if we ready the Book of Mormon and pray about it and find out from the source of all truth whether it's true or not. I then bore testimony about how I had done that, and the results that have happened since. It was really powerful for me, and we both felt it resolved their concerns. The gospel really is simple- we just have to embrace it and go forth with faith!

 Thursday, we had district meeting in Manchester, and it was cool because the district leader was my MTC companion- Elder Rodriguez. Then we had the long 4 hour car ride back up to Bangor, where I got right back into the swing of things. We saw some AWESOME miracles the next few days. Sunday especially. We had 4 investigators to church, along with 6 less-actives!! After church, we had 2 hours to work before a member meal and a lesson with a less-active. We realized we were only 1 new investigator and 1 baptismal date from meeting our area's standards of excellence. So we set out now knowing how we would, but striving to meet them. After several stop-bys, we ended up at a former referral's house, who after talking to her, we learned her 16-yr-old son had just died in an automobile accident. We told her about the plan of salvation, and we got a return appt! So she became a new investigator! That was cool. We then had 20 minutes to go. I kind of gave up on the idea of a baptismal date because i didn't know of anybody we could, so we just went to an investigators house who wasn't really progressing. During the lesson, he just straight up said," You know, I have a feeling this church is true, and I might want to be baptized one day." We all got super excited, extended a baptismal date, and he accepted!! it was definitely a miracle. So awesome! The Lord really does know our desires and will help us reach them!!

 This next week will be fun- I'm going on exchange again down to Belfast on Thursday. Other than that, I'm going to be pounding it out in the area. I'm excited to be in the area for almost an entire week- we're going to get a lot done!


Love you all! I'll look forward to hearing from you next week!!


-Faithfully,



Elder KC Esplin

Sorry I'm a little late writing

 This morning got a little crazy. Both
my companions went to the dentist, so I stayed with the Bangor Elders
to play games and get doughnuts. I also found a new backpack at
marshals! Now on to emails, then wal-mart, then packing out of town.
Should be a great day.

Man, it sounds like you've all been hard at work this week! I'm super
excited to see how the yard works when it's all finished. You'll have
to send me pictures! Speaking of pictures, I got my glamor shots back
a few days ago! I'll do my best to attach them in an email. Keep an
eye out for them! But I hope everybody is keeping their energy levels
high and things keep moving forward. I'm sure the backyard will get
finished quickly, especially with the two little helpers! Also, be
sure to chastise Jared from me- he didn't keep his commitment to
write me that little punk haha. I'll have to beat him up when I get
back. Dad, say hi to Fran from me sometime! I'll be excited to see her
when I get back!

This last week involved a TON of traveling. I was only in my area for
3 days. Monday- Tuesday, I was up in Lincoln with the elders up there
on exchange. We walked for 5 miles handing out family proclamations to
people on the streets, talked to a ton of old people, and ate at a
really good Chinese buffet. yep. That's about it haha. While on
exchange, I talked to President on the phone about if I was going to
be emergency transferred to another area because a missionary in our
zone went home. He said I'd probably be leaving. That night, as I way
planning out my good-byes to different people in the area, I got a
phone call from the assistants saying that I was staying! So I dodged
that bullet haha. So I'll be here for probably 3 more weeks, then be
getting transferred. That's my prediction at least.

Wednesday, we spent the day running around teaching as much as
possible, along with prepping for zone conference trainings and
whatnot. We got dinner with the coolest Asian guy ever- Ricky Lao (We
call him Ricky Bobby). He's from China, and we take him teaching with
us once a week. He's awesome. Then Thursday, we were off to Augusta
with a full van load of elders for zone conference. It was awesome! It
centered around the Spirit and how we can better receive personal
revelation. And you might find this interesting. We had a whole
training on how to prep our investigators for anti, and about how
right now, our church is in the news a TON and how to use it most
effectively. We got opened up to go onto Mormon.org and LDS.org once a
week for an hour to find pages we can refer people to when they get
anti-ed or that they can look at to find interest in the church. So, in
short, our church is totally on the ball for the technology age.
Nothing else needs to be said!

I had two other cool highlights from zone conference as well. I
finally got to meet the other Elder Esplin who just got to the mission
from Orderville. Because of that, I had to get new name tags and stuff.
From here on out, I'll be "Elder K. Esplin." Exciting. I know. The
other cool thing. Remember Malachi from my first area? Remember how he
disappeared off the face of the earth once I left Belfast? Well guess
what??? Two elders from the other side of Maine came up to me and
said," Hey, do you know a guy named Malachi?" I got super excited and
said yes! They replied "He was riding his bike the other day and saw
us, so he came over, stopped us, and asked if he could start taking
the lessons again." I almost couldn't control my excitement when they
told me! I grabbed the elder by his shoulders and ask him where he
was, how he was, what he was up to, all of it. Turns out he's doing
awesome, and mentioned me to them and how he was almost baptized and
wants to get back into it. I got to write him a little letter that I
gave to the elders to give him. I couldn't stop smiling the rest of
the conference. You better believe all be praying and fasting like
crazy that things work out for him. If he joins the church, I'll feel
SO fulfilled. Let's hope he does!

So that takes us to Friday. After weekly planning, I took off to go
down to Waterville for exchange! I'm sure you can imagine my
excitement there. I felt like I was going home! It was especially fun
because I got to see a lot of people I knew- including the Gresgotts
and Tammy. The Gresgotts have a renewed desire to go to the temple,
which is AWESOME! Tammy on the other hand isn't doing so hot...but I
committed her to write me a letter telling me about it, so hopefully
we'll work it out. It was a great exchange. I got back to my area
Saturday afternoon, and we had a day of great work. We had a lesson
with a less-active who was about to leave the church because of some
anti his friend told him. We read the intro to the book of Mormon and
talked about how cool it was that all the witnesses to the book never
denied their testimonies, even after becoming enemies to Joseph Smith,
and when on their death beds. Pretty convincing, isn't it? Then that
night, we had a lesson with Joe and Susie about how to study the
scriptures to help us learn about things we need. It went amazingly.
Church went well too- we didn't have as many people as we'd hope, but
we had a potential investigator come, as well as a less-active who
hadn't been to church for 10 years. So yeah. Great things are
happening!

This week will be just as crazy as the last. I'll only be in the area
for 4 days. I'll be going to Auburn tonight, then on to Manchester
tomorrow for zone leader council, and I'll be staying in Manchester
until Thursday for an exchange with the assistants. The weekend will
be full of hard work, I'm sure! So that's the battle plan for this
next week. It'll be a good one!

Love you all, hope you have a great week, and I'll look forward to
hearing from you soon! Take care!!

-Faithfully,

Elder KC Esplin

Hey!



It was SO great talking to you all last night. It always makes me so
happy getting to talk to you, and it also fires me up to work even
harder. I'm really excited to get down and dirty the rest of my time
out here! So I'll probably keep this a little shorter because I'm
short on time, and I know you've heard most of my shpeal yesterday,
but I'll do it one more time!

By the way, thank you SO much for your emails everyone. Dad, it was so
great getting to learn more about your mission, and Mom, I loved
hearing about your faith and what you've been through. I printed them
both off and will be keeping them with me the rest of my mission.
Thanks!

We ran super hard all week long. We ended up teaching 24 lessons and
finding 4 new investigators! That's definitely the most I've had
since I've been here, and the most we've had in this area in a long
time from the numbers I've seen. The trio is working out amazingly.
Because there's three of us, we only need one more person to go on
splits, so we did that several times so we could cover multiple
lessons. We taught 8 lessons in one day, which is the most I've EVER
taught in a day. That was wicked cool. So the work is doing great!

Well, turns out I have zero time haha. So I'll just stop for now. This
week will be awesome. Exchange tomorrow until Wednesday, then zone
conference on Thursday. Just a heads up, there may be an emergency
move on our part this week....stay tune next week. There may be some
changes...

In other news, we have a professional photographer in our ward who
offered to take some pictures of us this morning. We just got done,
and they are NICE! I'll send some home ASAP. Get excited. They're
awesome.

I love you all SO much, and pray you'll have a great week! Know that I
know the church is true! Take care!!

-Faithfully,

Elder K. Esplin