Monday, October 29, 2012

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!!
Elder K. Esplin

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