Man, I can't believe October is already almost over....time keeps moving faster and faster!!
Thanks for your emails. Sounds like you got that letter about my return date haha. I actually read that exact letter before it got sent. I was talking to the mission secretary as she was preparing it. I wanted to write a note on it but she didn't think president would appreciate that very much haha. but yeah, I've know that is my return date my entire mission. It's on my ministering certificate. But, I choose to ignore it haha. People keep coming up to me and asking how long I have left and always make those comments of "oh, you're almost done!" Or "oh man, you're an old missionary!" It's weird though, because it doesn't seem like any of those comments make an impression at all. they just kind of bounce off. I still feel like a new missionary and that this is my entire life and I'll never go home!! that'll probably change come new years, but for now, I'm quite content living in ignorance!
Speaking of that matter of finding work when I get back, can you keep your ear to the ground for me? I'd like to get working and busy as quickly as possible to avoid any idle time. Especially if you could find something that would provide work experience for the medical/dental field. I hear a lot of dentists hire a dental assistant for basic things for low wage....maybe you might know a dentist who could use one in a few months? anyways, keep an ear out for me please. I'd appreciate it!
So, I guess I'll start with the big question most people probably have right now- "Elder Esplin, are you getting blown away in a torrential hurricane right now??" The answer is.....sadly, no haha. Right now, it's just a little windy and we're getting sprinkled on. The storm is supposed to hit our mission, and it probably will pick up a bit more than it is right now, but it isn't expected to be bad. Our mission president and his staff are following the storm very closely. It'll supposedly pick up in intensity later today and tomorrow, so President Wilkey has asked all of us to be in and safe at 2 today and take extra precautions like having gas in the car, keeping the phones charged, having extra water, etc., but isn't expecting a very big hit. So we're erring on the side of safety. So never fear, my beloved kindred. I will weather this storm!
Other than the fear of being sprinkled to death, my week has been great!! It sure was a blur though. It feels like last Monday was AT LEAST a month ago. It's so crazy how much of a time warp I'm experiencing...anyways, Monday we left the office early to head up to Yarmouth, ME to pick up 8 missionaries for a meeting. On the way, we stopped by a sandwich shop just outside of Portland and I got a lobster roll (basically a lobster sandwich). It definitely wasn't worth what I paid for it, but it felt good to be eating lobster on the coast again! Tuesday, we hosted the New Missionary/Trainers meeting again. I did a training on planning and using planners and on the importance of updating the area book. Nothing too crazy. We then received the news that a missionary was returning home for medical reasons, so we hung around to wait for his arrival, took him teaching for a bit. We contacted a former investigator and got into his home. He explained how he was a born-again Christian, but didn't go to church anymore and wanted to come back. As we talked, I was listening carefully to try and find a natural and normal way to segue into our message. We heard star wars music in the other room, and my companion asked what he was watching. He said he was playing a star wars game and how he loved anything to do with star wars. I took that as my Que. I proceeded with, "You know, the main message we share as missionaries is a lot like star wars." He perked up a bit and asked, "Oh? How so?" I explained, "Well, as you know, in the beginning of star wars, there's a bunch of Jedi who are defending and establishing peace. But eventually, an evil one came fourth, executed an order to destroy the Jedi's, and there was a period of time when darkness was on the earth and evil reigned. But one day, a new Jedi was called. He was trained by a master and went forth, defeated the evil one, and brought peace back to the Galaxy." He agreed emphatically. I continued,"well, that's exactly what we're teaching about. Centuries ago, Christ set up his church and things were good. But eventually, a force of evil resulted in the death of Christ and his Apostles. Darkness reigned on the earth for a period of time, until Christ called another prophet named Joseph Smith. He was trained in how Christ's church was set up, and he went forth to set it up again, ending the period of darkness." We then went in about how the Book of Mormon was evidence of it, and that by reading it, it would rekindle his faith in Christ. He became a new investigator and we'll be going back to see him soon! So yeah, there ya go. I thought that was a pretty fun experience. Isn't it cool how our church just makes sense??? I'm a fan of it personally.
The next morning, we spent a while proselyting, then we had to drive a bit to get the returning missionary to where he needed to be. We got back just in time to participate in the ward trunk or treat. That was a ton of fun. We bought a ton of candy, and handed each piece out with a pass-along card. We sat in the back of our van and blasted Mormon Tabernacle Choir too. The kids totally ate it up! They kept coming back again and again. We gave out probably over 100 pass along cards haha. I'm sure some parents will wonder why the heck their kids all had pictures of Jesus in their Halloween candy, but hey, at least they'll have an excuse to share the gospel now!
Then came Friday. We spent all morning and afternoon with the Wilkeys doing mission planning. We have SO much going on this transfer that it was a real marathon session. But that evening made it all worth it. Because.....MATT GOT BAPTIZED!!! WAHOO!!!! man, it was SO cool seeing him finally take that step. I've been working with him for 5 months now, and it's been so special to see him learn and grow and finally make that decision. Him and his family are so awesome, they'll be kingdom builders for sure. He asked me to give the talk at the service, so I spoke about an analogy to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I talked about how (figuratively), the world is lost at sea- in the sea of sin. Christ died and paid to build a life boat for all of us so we can get to paradise. But, since he's the captain, he has some rules on his ship- that we don't bring any 'water' on board, that we listen to the commands of the captain (or his first hands), and that we stay busy and work. We first have to decide we want to get on the boat (faith), climb up a ladder on the side to get on the boat, which is pulling ourselves out of the water and towards Christ (repentance), and how the captain is waiting at the top with a towel (baptism) and a blanket (Gift of the HG) so we can dry ourselves of all remaining "water" and feel a warm confirmation giving us a fore taste of the warmth we'll experience in paradise. But, just because you're on the boat, you're not safe yet. Heaven forbid, you could still jump off and go overboard for some ridiculous reason. Maybe somebody else on the boat is annoying you, or maybe you want to keep hanging out with your buddies in the water, or maybe you just get bored or tired from working. but if you jump off, you're right back in the water, no closer to the paradise you worked so hard to get on the boat to reach. So, we have to 'endure to the end' of the ride in order to get to paradise. It didn't go as well as I had hoped (I got a little flustered once I got up there), but I think they got the point! Anyways, overall, it was a really special evening for me. A lot of joy was felt!
I think I'll end my epistle there because nothing else really noteworthy happened the rest of the week. Just work in the area and lots of assistant ship work. I sure am enjoying my time here in Bedford! I"m starting to get super close to the ward, and the work is moving forward. So, to summarize it all in two words, I'd say, "LIFE'S GOOD!"
This next week should be another good one. I'll keep you updated! Love you all! Have a great week, and I'll look forward to hearing from you next week!!
Elder KC Esplin
P.S.- To anybody who reads this blog and has written me in the last few months and I haven't written back yet- I'm sorry!!! I've hardly had any time to write (none at all the last two weeks). But I'm writing every Monday that I"m given time to, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience with me!!
And to all you who read this blog and haven't written in a while...all i can say is this- Alma 60:6.
I invite you to repent!!