Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween!!

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!!
 
-Faithfully,
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!!


Happy Thursday!!

So, first off, sorry again for the delay for me to write. This week has been insane. It's the only way to describe it. This last Monday ended up being the busiest Monday of my entire mission. We were running around like crazy trying to get all the reports ready and getting emails sent off for Sister Wilkey, and preparing for the drive up to Yarmouth, ME...we didn't get time to do anything! And then we were planning on taking our P-day yesterday, but then a missionary got sent home for medical reasons, so we got to do quite a bit of driving instead. but luckily, today, we found an hour or so we could sneak in and write an email!

OK!! So. I know I'm writing mid-week, but I think I'll save all the info from this week for Monday. There's a lot of juicy info, so I'll save it for all at once. Let's chat about this last week, shall we? So Monday, we got all the cute little new missionaries in. There were 12 total- one of the biggest transfers yet. They're saying more like this will be coming often in the future with the new influx of missionaries joining the ranks due to the announcement at conference. It was fun getting to work with them and hopefully have an influence on them before they set out to work. Whether it was a good influence or a bad, we'll just have to wait and see! We tried something new this transfer where the assistants both take turns with the new missionaries 1-on-1 to share a scripture and insights. I decided to do D&C 4:3. I talked about how each of these missionaries were 'embarking in the service of God' and talked about each element of that scripture and about what it meant to serve with each of the aspects- heart, might, mind, and strength. I then made the point that 'standing blameless before God at the last day' will be more of an internal judgement- being able to say "i did all I could to serve" with no guilt of consciousness. I think all of us will have to give an accounting of our missionary efforts in that way. It's kind of a humbling thought, isn't it?
 
The next day was transfer meeting. it was a really good one. The transfer was HUGE because of all the missionaries coming in, so it was quite populated. Elder Baker bore a great testimony, along with Elder Sommerfeldt and Elder Niebergall. All three went home this transfer, and I served with all three. It's a really weird feeling driving that many of your former companions to the airport....anyways, as i said last week, I received Elder Grayden Gaykowski from Salt Lake as my new companion. We've clicked super well so far. We teach really powerfully together, and have a really good time. i can already tell he's going to end up being one of my favorite companions. He goes home in a month though, so it'll be a short run. It'll be interesting being an assistant for at least 1 1/2 more transfers. I'm really enjoying it though, so I should be ok. Exhaustion seems to be not pressing too hard. 
 
The rest of the week, we basically just worked a lot! We taught 6 investigator lessons with members present, and several less-actives. We spent a lot of time preparing for upcoming events too. This transfer is making out to be a really really busy one. We have a training to prepare for EVERY WEEK- last week: new missionary and trainers meeting, this week: zone meetings, the week after that: zone leader's council, the week after that: zone conference with Elder Nash (that's going to be a HUGE project for us), then the next week will be transfers all over again! So. Life has been crazy, but it sure has been awesome!!
Ok, I think that's pretty much all of the updates I have this week. On Monday, I'll have a lot to talk about, so stay tuned. it'll be a packed email. Love you all! Have a great week!!
 
-Faithfully,
Elder KC Esplin

Howdy!!!



So, I won't lie, this week was fairly unremarkable. Just lots of work on transfers. We served as President's advisor for a lot of it, giving him insights about the missionaries across the mission to help him make decisions. We also did the usual chore of making all the travel plans for transfers tomorrow. The rest of the week, we were busy busy busy working! We found 3 new investigators, which was pretty exciting. We also got to drive up to Labanon, NH for a District Meeting. And....yeah. Honestly, not too much crazy happened haha. Either that, or I'm just really tired right now and can't think haha. i've been running like crazy all morning getting things ready for transfers tomorrow (hence why I'm writing this at 3 PM instead of the usual 11 AM). And we still have a ton to do before we pick up the 12 new missionaries at the airport in 40 minutes....yikes, I didn't realize how little time I have. I better pick up the pace!
Just a little heads up for my new situation. Elder Baker, my current companion, is going home on Wednesday. So, I'll be receiving a new companion tomorrow. His name is Elder Gaykowski, from Utah. I've been on exchange with him a few times, and I'm excited to serve with him. But get this. He goes home at the end of this transfer. We don't know why yet, but I guess President felt impressed to call him to be an assistant for just 6 weeks. but what that means for me, is that I'm garenteed to be here for another 2 transfers. So, I'll be here until at least january. Pretty crazy eh?? 7 1/2 months as an assistant. I'm super excited for it, but it'll be pretty exhausting. I'm really excited to be in the Bedford ward for that long though. I'm really getting close with a lot of the members, which is cool because I'll be here for Thanksgiving and for Christmas. So, I'm pretty pumped!! Also, just as an update, Matt didn't end up getting baptized this last Friday. He had some things come up that prevented it. But, he's on track now to be baptized on October 26th, so now we're shooting for that! Other than that, there's not too much else to report! I'm just excited for this next transfer.
This last weekend at conference, did you notice the speaker Elder Marcus B. Nash of the 70? He's the general authority coming this next transfer to the mission. Aparently we're going to get to work with him quite a bit. I'm pretty excited!! Although, I am slightly nervous- he seems like a pretty intense elder. But I'm sure Elder Gaykowski and I will be able to pull it together.
A few other tidbits you might find interesting:
  • I FINALLY LEARNED HOW TO WISTLE!!! Yes, that's right. I've finally figured it out! I've been trying for a few months out here trying to do it good, but to no avail. but then, one morning as I was getting ready for the day, it finally came out, and I've been whistling since!! So, I thought you'd find that interesting! haha. Now you can't make fun of me for it!!
  • The other morning, I played 2-on-2 basketball with two youth from the ward, both of whom play basketball in highschool. My companion is pretty good too, and it's known that in the past I haven't really...excelled in basketball. Well, me and my companion totally won, and I actually scored about half the points. Looks like I might actually be able to play hoops after all!
  • It's starting to get pretty cold now. It's starting to drop down below freezing at night...the colored leaves are still holding in there though, and they're still very beautiful. But anyways, I've started wearing the long sleeved shirts again, and this morning, as I was putting on a shirt that was well sized for me, has grown a little short (not around the waist either). Does it mean that I've grown out here?? I sure hope so!
Welp, we have to leave in 15 minutes to pick up the new missionaries and I still have to write my letter to the president, so i better go. Love you all!! have a great week, and I'll talk to you next week!!
-Faithfully,
Elder KC Esplin

Holy cow! I'm an Uncle!!

 Haha that sure was unexpected to hear that Ashton was born! I wasn't expecting that one at all. That's troubling to hear he has some health problems though. Although, i guess that isn't anything really foreign to our family haha. I sure hope he's doing better! I'll keep him and everyone else in my prayers. Man it's exciting.
 
 
I sure did have a good week this last one! How about that announcement in general conference about missionary ages dropping!! I was freaking out when he said it. It's going to change things SO much! it's weird to think that if he had done that just two years earlier, I'd probably be home from my mission. It'll be interesting to see if I get to see first hand an increase of younger missionaries in our mission. I know one thing for sure- there's going to be a HUGE influx of sister missionaries around the world. In fact, I'm quite confident that many if not most of my female friends back home will be on their missions or have their calls by the time I get home. Plus, I'm sure that most of Utah will soon be purged of many 19/20 yr-old girls. It's going to be an interesting transition when I get home! But I'm excited to see the signs of the times and the Lord hastens His work. I don't think this move and all the attention the church has been getting are coincidental. Not at all.
 
As I said before, this week was awesome. On Monday, we drove up to Vermont in our 12 passenger van and filled it up with elders to bring down to Manchester. We were able to leave early enough to go to the Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory in the Montpelier area. I even talked the tour guide into letting me have 3 ice cream samples haha. That was a fun trip. Then Tuesday, we had our leadership training for all the district and zone leaders in the mission. We had a lot of responsibility, including facilitating several discussions and giving trainings. Probably my favorite one to prepare for was a training on being an example. I posed the question, "Imagine that you were cloned 120 times and that you were in every position in the mission. Where would the mission be at?" I then made the point that since as leaders, we are setting the example of what all missionaries should become, so to a degree, that's exactly what is happening. I think that principle could apply to everyone in any organization, especially in the church. Just some food for thought.
After the training (which was very enjoyable), I hopped into the Brewer van and returned to my old stomping grounds up in Bangor, ME! I went on exchange with Elder Levie, who I came out with in the same MTC group. I had a blast being back up there. We went to see Joe and Susie, the Wilcox's, and the Hendersons, along with many others. I sure did enjoy myself, and we got a lot of work done. It was over way too soon! Before I knew it, I was making the 4 hour drive back down to Manchester. of course, we had to stop at Big G's in Waterville on the way to grab a sandwhich. We even met up with Elder Sommerfeldt and his companion, who also had with them a member couple I got pretty close to when i was serving there, so that was a lot of fun. 
 
Friday, we worked in the morning and taught some good lessons, including a lesson with a less-active on how to quit smoking. We then spent 6 hours planning and preparing reports for President Wilkey. Then we moved in to Saturday, where we watched conference, helped with two moves, and did a baptismal interview. Sunday was equal in craziness. Boy did we enjoy conference though! President Uchtdorf's talk on Saturday was probably my favorite. But yeah, overall, this was probably one of my favorite weeks of my mission. We worked hard, were spiritually fed, and I got to touch back with a lot of people I got close to. It was a great week!!
 
This next week should be good too. It's Elder Baker's last week of his mission, so I'm sure we'll be working really hard. We have no trainings or planning meetings during the week, so hopefully we'll just get to work work work! We do have this exciting news- Matt should be getting baptized this Friday!!! We're really excited for that. He made the final decision to go ahead on Tuesday night. He'll be interviewed tonight and should be good for Friday.Stay tuned next week to hear more about that!!
Ok, well I better get going. We've got tons to do today, and we're hoping to get done as early as possible so we can go on a hike through the woods to really enjoy the fall foliage. It's at it's peak right now, and all I can say is this- I've never experienced anything so beautiful. I'm going to miss the trees so much. I've learned to love them. Anyways, I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and I'll see if there'll be any worth sharing next week! Love you all! Have a great week!!
 
-Faithfully,
Elder K. Esplin

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Already!!!!

Welp, once again, it's Monday already. I know I've said it before, but I CAN'T BELIEVE how fast the weeks are going by. It just feels like every day is Monday now. Crazy. Anyways, my week was great, but pretty uneventful. Well, comparatively at least haha. We had two main tasks that we were constantly working on- preparing for a leadership training we're putting on tomorrow, and unifying with the members. We've been putting a lot of focus on the members and helping them do their missionary work, as well as hopefully building their trust in us. Last week, we made oreo truffles (balls of grounded oreos and cream cheese, coated in white chocolate. They were wicked good) and we took them around to members who do a lot for the missionary efforts in the ward. It was fun getting to surprise them with goodies and (as an even bigger surprise) not follow up with an assignment of some kind. We've also been hard at work getting ready for this Wednesday. We worked with our ward mission leader and the local public affairs representative to put on a local event where people in Beford can come learn about the values and faith of members of the LDS church and ask questions, in a non-evangelical setting. We spent several hours going to members homes asking them to pray for us as we went and gave flyers to all of their neighbors. It also got into the newspaper, and is all over face book. It should be a pretty good event! We're excited about it. So between those two things trying to unify with the members, we were making preparations for workshops for tomorrow's leadership training. All the District Leaders and Zone Leaders in the mission are coming down tonight or tomorrow morning, so we had to make the travel plans to get everyone down using as few mission miles as possible. That was quite a chore. We also got to throw in time to get the tires changed out in our car (we placed a Mormon.org card and a family proclamation in the auto shop though!), and move couches down and back up 3 flights of stairs, and practicing piano for another special musical number. Sounds like fun, right??
Amid all that good stuff, we had some really great lessons. We had a great lesson with one ouf our investigators- Tammy. She's been struggling to progress and keep her commitments to read the scriptures and pray, and hasn't been to church yet, even though she's committed several times to come. We didn't feel she really understood why our message was so important, so we retaught her the restoration. After we watched a movie about the first vision, she had an "a-ha" moment where she realized why what we were doing was so important. We then helped her understand that this was the reason why we invited her to pray and read the scriptures and come to church- to find out if we are really Christ's church back on the earth! We have high hopes that her attitude towards our visits will be different now. We also had a great lesson with Matt and Kristina about how a family can be eternal. We brought with us a member who recently was sealed to a little girl who he had just adopted. It was a very tender lesson. Matt is still on track to be baptized next weekend! We did receive news that they're planning on moving up to northern Maine at the end of the month...we're a little bummed about that, as is the ward, but I guess it's just how life goes! We had another great lesson with Flora, the older Sudanese woman who is getting baptized next weekend. We taught her the Word of Wisdom. It's a very big part of her culture to drink coffee and tea, but upon hearing she wasn't supposed to, her resolve to quit was immediate. She said she would have to keep serving it to her family, but she would be willing to not drink it because God didn't want her to. I hope one day to have faith like Flora.
Those are the highlights of the last week! Very busy, and finally with work for our own area, and it's proving to lead to some great changes! This next week will be epic- I'm super excited for it. Today, I'll be driving the huge 12 passenger van up to Vermont to pick up 8 district leaders/zone leaders, then we'll have the training tomorrow (which is going to be AWESOME). Then, after the training, I'll be getting into the Brewer van and going back to my old area up in Bangor for exchange! I'm super excited to see everybody up there again. I also got word that they scheduled a meal for me at one of my favorite members home, so that'll be fun. Then we have general conference this weekend!! WAHOO!! Haha everything combined, this next week will be incredible. I can't wait!!
Love you all!! It was great hearing from you. I'll look forward to hearing from you next week!!
-Faithfully,
Elder KC Esplin

September Mornings

Monday, we drove up to Lewiston, ME and spent the night with the zone leaders. We exchanged and drove back the next morning. I was in Manchester with an Elder Smith from Washington. We had a great exchange- we taught 5 lessons, found a new investigator, and got in contact with a few investigators who had fallen off the face of the earth. We had a really cool lesson with one of our investigators- George. He had been having a really busy and stressful week, so he hadn't been reading the Book of Mormon or praying. We talked to him about how his life had improved during the past when he was doing those things, and he pointed out that he felt he received small blesings every time he prayed. We read the scripture in Alma 37:6-7 about small and simple things, and he just sat there for a second and said, "You know, I've been really busy lately, but I need to make time for God. He's what really should be most important. I'm going to start taking a half hour aside every night to read the Book of Mormon and pray. I need those blessings." We were stunned- when we first met him, he didn't seem horribly interested in listening to us at all, but now, he's willing to devote a half hour every night to reading! And we weren't even trying to motivate him to do that- it was all the Spirit. We though that was pretty nifty. There really is power in doing those small and simple things that the Lord has revealed to receive the big blessings!
The next morning (Wednesday), we drove back up to Maine, ate at an incredible Chinese Buffet, and drove back with two stops in Cornish, ME and Sanford, ME. Overall, I spent 8 hours driving that day. Wahoo. Haha but we ended the day with a great member meal and then had a lesson with Matt and Kristina. That was a great lesson too. We took a member with us, who is a very successful and wealthy business-man, and he bore his testimony and told his conversion story. At the end, we set a goal with Matt to be baptized on October 12! We're pretty stoked about that. But it gets better. The next morning, Kristina texted us and said that she was wanting to recommitt herself to reading and praying and teaching her kids lessons like she used to. She recognized that she wanted to reconnect with God and find greater happiness. It was another tender mercy of the Lord. He sure does know how to work miracles!
The rest of the week was just work in the area. We re-established contact with a few investigators we haven't had time to catch up with recently, which was really nice. We also dropped a few investigators who weren't really progressing, and even found a few new prospects! We also made sure to find time to decorate the mission home for President Wilkey's birthday, and we decorated the office for one of the office staff sisters who works here. We also got to spend several hours helping a member move. Unfortunately, he was hardly packed and only one other member of the elders quorum showed up so...that was an exciting afternoon! But it lead to us getting approached by an Obama campaigner, and we talked to him for several minutes about the church and gave him Mormon.org to use in his campaign about what the church REALLY believes. That was pretty exciting. But, all in all, it was a week of just mellow work, and boy was it nice!!
This next week will be another crazy one though. Tomorrow, we'll be putting on a new missionary/trainers meeting. Then right after, we'll be going on exchange with the New Hampshire zone leaders. Friday we'll be driving up to mid-New Hampshire for zone interviews too, and we'll be making preparations for doing early transfer plans. Sounds exciting, right?? I'll give you more updates at the end of the week.
That's all I got for now! I sure love you all! Have a great week, and remember- "...Man are, that they might have JOY!"
-Faithfully,
Elder KC Esplin

At last a "Mellow" week

We had a pretty mellow week our here. And boy was it nice! On Tuesday, we had a training for new missionaries/trainers. We gave two trainings on planning and record keeping. Nothing too crazy. The best part (as it usally is) was getting to see my buddies from around the mission. That night, we drove up to Concord, NH and exchanged with the zone leaders there, then whipped back to Manchester to go to a funeral. There was a sister in our ward who passed away at ate 92. We met her a few weeks ago, and were really touched by her spirit. She was a convert to the church, and her and her husband sure did love the missionaries. They would have them over to dinner all the time, and had a wall in their home dedicated to missionaries who had served in their area or missionaries who were serving from their ward. We thought we would go and give respects from all missionaries who she had helped. We also gave some pamphlets to her familiy who had driven up from Kentucky. It was a little surreal for me to see someone pass so quickly- we saw her about a month ago and she was still as fiery as always, but then a few weeks later was in a rest home and was fighting to be conscious. We visited her there as well. I haven't dealt with death much in my life, so anytime I encounter it, it puts me in check a little bit. I'm grateful that my testimony of the plan of salvation has been strengthened on my mission. I know now that death is NOT the end.
The next morning, we drove to Sommersworth, NH for a district meeting, then worked all night. We had a pretty intense with a 7th day adventist who was from Dominican Republic (I think?). He was arguing very intensely that the Book of Mormon was not needed, that the Bilbe testified of Christ and that's all we needed. I came back by pointing out that what he was saying was the same as saying, "I have the book of Matthew. It tells me of Christ. I don't need your books of Luke, John, Acts, or any others. All I need is Matthew." We did our best to show how the Book of Mormon, just like the other gospels, doesn't take away from what he already treasures- it enhances it. We then talked about how the Book of Mormon is esesential to understand the Bible, because obviously one can't rely solely upon the Bible to know the way (if it was perfectly clear, there wouldn't be hundreds of religions based off of it!). Then we ended by having him look at a picture of Christ in the Americas blessing the children and asked him if he though Christ's love could extend to those here in America. It was a tender moment. We committed him to read 3 Ne. 11 and pray about it, which he said he would. Overall, it was a great lesson!
Thursday, we went on another roadtrip up to Concord, NH for a district meeting, then worked all night. Nothing too exciting there. Friday, we drove up to Hanover, NH for zone interviews! I sure do love my interviews with President Wilkey. We also received trainings on goal setting, 1 Ne. 8, and finding for real growth. The best part of the day- we didn't have to do anything!!! We were just participants, and boy was it nice haha. That night, we had dinner with a family. In the lesson, we focused on getting the kids excited for the upcoming primary program and how it was an opportunity for them to be a missionary- they could invite their friends to listen, and they could bear their testimony through their lines and songs. I made them little origami shirts and ties that said "future missionary" on it, and they were so excited by the end. it was a lot of fun!
Saturday, we had 5 hours of planning, 1 1/2 with the ward mission leader, and 4 with the Wilkeys. Sounds like fun, right?? But after the planning, we had a lesson with matt and kristina at the mission home. We were bringing in the big guns to help Matt meet his baptismal goal in October. We discussed the restoration and his feelings about Joseph Smith, and ended the lesson by singing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer." It was a very powerful lesson, and we think he'll make it in October!!
That's about it for this week! There's a ton of exciting things coming up in the next few weeks. One of which we're very excited about is we're having a "mormons next door" night for the Bedford Commiunity next week. We thought that due to all the attention the church is getting, it'd be a good move to have non-threatening night to teach about the church a bit. We're going to be spreading the word about that a ton this next week. We've also started going out once a week with ward/stake leaders to contact every less-active on our rolls. It's a big project, but we're planning on using it to not only reactivate less-actives, but to receive referrals to bring them to church too! We've also started working really hard to get all the members out teaching with us, and not just the ones we usually take. The atmosphere about missionary work is slowly changing, and I've been super pumped about it!!
That's all I got time for today. Love you all! Have a great week, and keep letting me know how everything is going!
-Faithfully,
Elder KC Esplin