Monday, July 2, 2012

Got to see Vermont

This last week has been awesome on my end. The week started great with a little road trip up to Sharon, Vermont, where we got to see the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial. It was an amazing experience. The Spirit there was SO strong. They also had a movie about the purpose of families based from the family proclamation, which I think is only shown in a few places. It was incredible as well. I then got a few minutes to just sit alone on a bench right next to the old back step to the house where Joseph Smith was born, and I was able to pray a little bit for more another confirmation that he really was a prophet. And it came. I really do know that he was a prophet and that this is Jesus Christ's church. Overall, it was an amazing trip.

The next day (Tuesday) was zone leaders council. I was put in charge of conducting it, and things got really exciting when President Wilkey got called out of the meeting for an emergency, leaving Elder Sommerfeldt and I to lead a training and discussion that he was going to head. It definitally made me stretch, and I felt very under qualified to do it, but we pulled it off and it went well. I left right after up to Auburn, Maine, where I went on exchange with an Elder Tanner from Groose Creek, Utah. He actually ended up knowing Courtney Packer (now Erickson) so that was kind of fun. We had quite an interesting conversation with a VERY devout Roman Catholic, which went very interestingly. She was bashing on us for this and that, we just bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and left it at that. She referred us to her neighbors though, so we went there and placed a copy of the Book of Mormon, and he seemed pretty interested. Hopefully he goes somewhere. Speaking of Catholics, we had a fun encounter with two Catholic missionaries in Manchester ( I didn't know there were Catholic missionaries either). They attacked us pretty intensely, and pretty much told me straight up I was going to hell. We just smiled, bore testimony of the restoration, and left it at that. I thought it was pretty stinking hilarious. It made me glad to be a missionary in the way our church has us go out, that we aren't to teach by fear or compulsion or argumentation, but simply by the Spirit. I think that's the way the Savior would have us do it to be honest.

The day after I got back from exchange (Thursday), we drove up to Lebanon, New Hampshire for zone interviews. I got to drive a 15 passenger van up. That was a new experience for me. I even had to take a test just to drive the van. "Moose" we call it. The interview with President Wilkey was amazing as always. It was also fun to see some missionaries there that I knew pretty well, including a member of my district in Watervile, and a companion I served in a trio with for a week.  Then that night was was just typical proselyting. Nothing too fancy.

We had some great progress made with a few investigators this last week. One of them is Flora. She's an older lady from South Sudan. She speaks with a very think African accent and always has people over to her house wearing tradition African attire, which I think is pretty cool. We had a great lesson on the Plan of Salvation with her, and we prepped her to be baptized on August 3rd. She said the closing prayer at the end of the lesson, and it was one of the most sincere and heartfelt prayers I've ever had an investigator give in a lesson. I was truly touched. She then came to church that Sunday and i sat with her through gospel principles. She has the sweetest spirit, and I'm so excited for her to be baptized.

I'm still loving life in this new area, including all the new responsibilities. I really love doing the administrative aspect of the work (numbers, reports, concerns, all that stuff). The area is still awesome too. All in all, I'm a pretty happy camper! The only down side, is that I'm always exhausted. I'm having to take quite a few power naps, and I always end up fighting falling asleep in lessons a few times a week. But besides all that, life is great!

We have a really empty week this next week. Nothing really major going on. We're going on exchange with the zone leaders living in Concord, New Hampshire, but I'll be staying in Manchester. The elder I'll be with loves tennis though, so we're going to play for exercise, which I'm really excited for. I haven't played since I've left! Other than that, this should be a pretty ordinary week. We'll have to see how it all goes!!

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

Elder KC Esplin

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