Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Welp, it was, yet again, another crazy week! I'm starting to get used to it by now haha. But we did have some exciting things happen! On Monday, we worked in secret with Sister Wilkey to arrange to have President Wilkey's golf clubs brought to the mission office. Then, when he went to the bathroom, we snuck them in and set up his clubs and golfing clothes in his office. We then basically kidnapped him to take a break to go hit a bucket of balls. President was a big golfer back home, but never takes P-days so he hasn't touched his clubs since he got here. We've been going through lots of stress as a staff with a bunch of elders going home for health or not wanting to be out here. We thought it'd be a good break for everyone to go golfing together. So we got out! It was a lot of fun. That night, we worked till 9, and called it a day! Tuesday, not much happened out of the ordinary. Elder Baker had to get his authorization to drive our 12 passenger van, so I worked on a jeopardy game we would play with the new missionaries. It should be fun. That night, we taught 2 less-actives and Kristina (the one recently baptized). To one of the less-actives, we had a lesson on the importance of developing Christ-like attributes. We read from the first page of Ch. 6 of PMG about how Christ's invitation to "Come Follow Me" isn't just an invitation to follow him physically- it's an invitation to learn and become as He is. It was a really powerful lesson.

The next day, we drove up to Saco, ME (which is near Portland) to a district meeting. When we got there, we received the exciting news that the power was out. So we crawled around in the rafters looking for the power breakers. That was a good adventure! After, we went to Pizza hut buffet. One of the elders who I'm buddies with left his wallet, so I offered to pay for him in exchange that he'd let me crash at his house one night (he lives in southern California). So I got myself rooming for a vacation to California now! haha that should be good. Anyways, we drove back after the meeting and met up with President Wilkey for several hours to discuss the upcoming transfer. The rest of the night, we taught lessons and did random drop offs of goodies (I made some rolo cookies, we bought 2 liters of soda, etc) to give to people we knew who were going through hard times. That was a lot of fun.

The next day was our own district meeting. It was pretty awesome. Afterwords, we went in to the office to work on the interview schedules for President Wilkey. That took a while. As soon as we could, we took off to get to work. We had dinner at a members house with a lesson after about the importance of sharing the gospel through Mormon.org and how to use pass along cards to do so effectively. Mormon.org is one of the church's biggest pushes right now. Especially with Romney getting so much attention, it's proving to be a great resource in getting people interested. Also, with all the anti that is sure to come in the near future, it's the best way to help those who hear things that are false to get the real story from an official church website. So, if you aren't familiar with it, you should be! The church wants us to share the gospel using it!!

Friday was a breath of fresh air. We taught back to back lessons all morning. My favorite was with an investigator, Tammy. We had a powerful lesson on Plan of Salvation, and we really emphasized the Atonement as the centerpiece to it all. It created a great foundation for future lessons on faith in Christ. We had mission planning for a few hours that afternoon, then we hit the streets again to teach a few more lessons, along with another member meal.

Saturday morning, we started it off with a super intense lesson with Marshall and Nadja, a couple who live in Bedford. He is a retired general officer in the Air Force, and is good friends with Elder Carlson of the 70. He's an extremely logical guy, and has spent much time reflecting on the things of philosophy. Anyways, we had a lesson on the Plan of Salvation, and it got pretty deep. Luckily, I think very similarly to him, so I did my best to keep up with him. He was debating that if our Plan of Salvation were to be entirely correct, we'd need a path connecting the Spirit World back to Earth life so we could be reincarnated so we can properly develop to become like God. His argument was that "your current Plan of Salvation is like saying to a 4-yr-old 'I will judge you for the rest of your life from what you do today from 1 PM to 2 PM.' Then, when he breaks a vase, condemning him to live in a dark hole for eternity. Where is the justice in that?" My rebuttal was this: "I love to perform on the piano. Growing up, I played in recitals. Some of my piano performances were in front of 100+ people. One of my favorite songs to play, the Pathetic Sonata, takes 6 minutes to play. Yet, despite the short duration of the piece, I've spent dozens, if not hundreds, of hours practicing for just those 6 minutes in front of the audience. Once I'm on that stage, there's no turning back. No extra time for practice. I play the piece, and at the end, I'm judged on my performance. I can't go back and redo the song. I can practice and play another performance, but I can never go back and have that exact opportunity again. Our time now is the time to perform, not to intentionally mess up and look forward to the next performance." He took the point and accepted to mediate upon it. He also accepted to read the Book of Mormon in Alma 40-42 and agreed to have us back to talk more about Christ and the demands of Justice and Mercy. Man, I sure do love those logical discussions! After that lesson was over, we went to the office and worked on the plans for all the transfers. That took about, oh, 10 hours. Then we made the transfer calls, and hit the hay! Pretty exciting day if you ask me!

Sunday, we had two investigators at church! Matt came, and Flora came. After church, we had dinner with a member family, then had a lesson with Matt and Kristina, then another mission planning session until the end of the day. I heard this quote in church and I really liked it. "Working hands are holier than praying lips." -Nepali Proverb. I liked that one a lot.

So yeah! There ya go. Quite the week. As you can tell, there's been a lot of administrative things going on with transfers and preparation for this next transfer. But, we won't have any zone conferences or zone meetings (that we know of) to go to, so we'll hopefully have more time in our area. This was just a ridiculously packed transfer. Hopefully things can slow down and we can put more attention into our area! By the way, a fun little fact for you, this last month, we drove our mini-van for a total of over 2,500 miles. Pretty crazy, right?

Instead of giving the preview for next week, I think I'll just lay it all out next Monday. If I have to sit at a computer screen any longer today, I'm gonna lose all my hair.

But I sure love you all! I'll be excited to hear from you all soon. Know that I know the church is true, that Joseph Smith is the Prophet, and that Jesus Christ is the only path that leads to real happiness. Have a great week!!


Elder KC Esplin

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