Sorry I'm not going to be able to send out individual emails this week. We're in a terrible rush. My companion is getting transferred and still needs to pack his things, and we're picking up the new missionaries from the airport in two hours! We've already had to do reports, staff meeting, and make a trip to our old apartment to move some things over to the new place. The craziness continues as always!
This last week was a good one. It was fairly low key. Well, comparably that is haha. We had zone leaders council in Bedford on Tuesday where we had a pretty intense discussion on real growth and what more we can be doing to improve the growth of the church in New England. The church is needing some real growth up here. With the economical problems going on, lots of the members are moving west, and the wards are slowly shrinking. So we were discussing what more we could do to help that situation. The next three days, we got to just focus in on the area and work our tails off. Included in there was a great lesson on repentance with our drug abuser friend, an intense discussion on Joseph Smith with an investigator requiring "logical conversion," a woman dealing with an abusive relationship, a member woman fighting to keep her family growing in righteousness despite having a less-active husband and "roudy" children, a less-active woman trying to decide if she wants religion back in her life, the 19-yr-old whose father just passed away and is interested in getting back to church, and a former investigator who has been taking lessons for 10 years and as a result of our last lesson, feels for the first time that the Book of Mormon might be the word of God. So yeah, things have been going pretty good!! On Friday, we had a marathon mission planning session to chart out a swarm of training meetings coming up in the next month or so. I honestly have no idea how the Wilkeys do it!! I'm up to my ears in things to do, and I'm only assisting them in the load they bear!! It's crazy. Anyways, that planning meeting took about 4 hours, then it was off to Matt and Kristina. I know I've probably talked about them before. They're doing AWESOME!! Kristina is super eager and ready to be baptized. Her husband isn't as enthusiastic as her unfortunately. He told us this last week about how he doesn't want to be baptized until he can say with conviction," I know the Book of Mormon is true" just like he can say about the Bible. It's a great thing he wants that, but we feel he's ignoring a plethera of signs that have already been given him from Heavenly Father. But they came to church, and we feel it's really helping them along. No matter what, Kristina will be baptized on August 3rd, and we're super excited about it!!
Saturday was quite the day. President Wilkey finished making his decisions about transfers, so we went in on Saturday morning to figure out travel plans to get all the missionaries to their new areas. It gets pretty exciting when missionaries live 6 hours away from their new areas haha. We worked on that until about 11:00, and then we took off to a ward party for a little bit. We grabbed a bite to eat and played a quick game of ultimate with the ward. It was a pretty warm day, and all that running in a shirt and tie did a number on me haha. But we had a load of fun, and it was a good break from the 10 hours we spent in the office preparing the travel plans haha. At the end of the night, we got to sit down with President Wilkey, do a little counciling together, then took our load to make the transfer calls. I had a lot of fun with that. You could tell the missionaries on the other end of the line were just on the brink of breaking down from anxiety, so I couldn't help but to draw out the process as much as possible hahaha. But it was fun getting to interact with a lot of different missionaries I have come to known. We didn't get back to the apartment until a little later than usual, so I was pretty tired Sunday morning. But we got right to work. We had 2 hours before church started to work, and we had a goal to find 3 new investigators, so we jumped on it. The Lord shone miracles upon us, and sure enough, we found 3 new people in about an hours time!! One of them was even a contact in spanish. My companion speaks it fairly well, and I was able to follow the entire conversation and throw in my two cents every now and then. It was pretty cool. After church, we had a member meal where I got to talk to another member of our ward who is a chiropractor, and had two great lessons, one of which were with our drug addict friend again. She's changing SO much, it's such a miracle to see the atonement healing her as she reads the Book of Mormon and prays daily.
So...yeah. There's my week for ya! This next week will be a busy one. Here in about an hour, we'll be going to pick up the new missionaries (4 of them this transfer), and we'll take them out teachig with us for an hour which should be pretty fun. We'll then eat dinner with them @ the mission home and get them orientated with different stuff. Then Tuesday will be transfer meeting. As I said before, my companion Elder Sommerfeldt is getting transferred, which I'm pretty bummed about. We worked really really well together, and did a lot of good this last transfer. I won't lie, I'm kind of jealous of his new calling too. He's training a new missionary in Waterville- the exact way i've dreamed of finishing my mission haha. but I'm hooking him up with all the people I know who have potential so he can hit the ground running. He'll just have to finish up all my unfinished business!! I already know who my new companion will be. I'm really excited to serve with him. His name is Elder Baker. He's a convert of about 3 years now. He was raised catholic and has an awesome testimony. We went on exchange this last week and had a good time, so I'm looking forward to serving with him. Anyways, like I said, Tuesday will be transfer meeting. We'll work the area the rest of the day. Wednesday, we'll be presenting a training to all the new missionaries and trainers, so that'll be interesting. The rest of the week we'll just be working the area, but also throwing in there some extensive preperation time for specialized zone trainings that'll be coming up, along with an article to go out in the mission news letter and finishing up moving out and cleaning up the old apartment. This whole next transfer is going to be INSANE. 5 specialized zone trainings in every zone in the mission (we'll get to do a lot of traveling. I'm really excited), 2 zone conferences, one or two zone leader councils, and district meetings and exchanges throughout. All in all, I'm buckling up for a rollercoaster ride of a 6 weeks!!
Alright, it's time for me to get running. I sure do love you all and miss you! I really look forward to mondays when i get to hear from you all. It's one of the highlights of my week. I hope all stays well and everybody is happy and healthy. Have a great week!! Love you!!
Elder KC Esplin