Sunday, November 25, 2012

No P-Day again...sorry I'm late

So, as you may be able to guess, I didn't get to have a P-day today haha. We got asked last minute to make a trek up to northern Vermont for a zone meeting, so we've been doing that all day. We'll probably get some time on Thursday or Friday to email....sorry it's so late. We have zone leaders council tomorrow and will be driving back to Vermont after, then have an exchange on Wednesday, then driving back up to Vermont and back on Thursday morning. Yep. That'll be 3 treks up and down basically the entire state of Vermont in 4 days. Approximately 800 miles and 13 hours in the car. Wahoo.....but anyways, I'll get back to you ASAP!! Love you all!! -EKCE (p.s.- the election has been crazy up here. Mitt Romney is actually in Manchester tonight throwing his final brawl. We drove by just a few minutes ago to see if we could sneak in to the stadium, but there was a line several blocks long...but, I guess I can say that Mitt Romney was in the city I was serving in the night before the election!! It sure will be exciting to see what happens on Tuesday. It sure has been a big deal, especially among the members!) Hello! So, I finally finagled my way into having time to hop onto a computer. Sorry for the delay! But, once you hear about the week I've had, you'll understand haha. So, since I'm a week behind (again), I'll update you on last week instead of this week. Sound good? OK. Cool. The adventures of last week started up with the thrill of Hurricane Sandy. Shortly after sending the e-mail to you about how it was only a drizzle, it picked up a bit more. It ended up being really windy and rain was coming down pretty hard. It wasn't anything really crazy though, like what it sounds like New York or New Jersey got. But it was enough of a concern to the President to ground all the missionaries to their apartments for the day. He had us stay in the office to be the sort of "control base" or something like that. So, we sat in the office for a grand total of about 13 hours. It was pretty intense. We got a lot of work done though. I've been working a lot on excel making programs and work sheets for mission-wide key indicators and things like that, so I made best use of proselyting time to work on mission-related things. The next morning, we were up early making calls around the mission to make sure everybody was in and safe and to see if it was safe to have the missionaries go out and work, which it was. So life went back to normal! We taught several lessons that afternoon. One of which was pretty spontaneous. We had a less-active member who used to serve as a cop call us up saying she had a friend who really needed a bible study. So, we ran over there and had a lesson. You could tell this lady was going through a really hard time. She was homeless, friendless, and directionless. We read the chapter in the bible about the adulterous woman and about how the Savior is willing to forgive us so long as we keep his commission to strive and sin no more. It was a really good lesson. One thing I love most about my current companion is that we teach REALLY well together. We have a similar teaching style, and tend to feed off each other. Elder Gaykowski is becoming one of my more favorite companions. Anyways, the next day was Halloween! Guess what we did?? We went to meetings! Wahoo!! Haha but it was actually really cool. We drove up to Laconia, NH for a zone meeting all about working more effectively with members. It was really well done, and we got a lot of insights to how we could better work with the members of the Bedford ward. That night, all the missionaries were grounded again from 5 till the end of the night to keep us off the streets on Halloween. Probably a wise move- I'd hate to have another 5th grader beat me up and steal my candy...instead, we deep cleaned the apartment and cooked a really good dinner- a member taught us how to make a potato dish that's really easy and resembles dutch oven potatoes, so we made that and mixed it with egg and made breakfast burritos. They weren't too bad if you ask me! The next day, we had ANOTHER zone meeting, this time in Exeter, NH. We had to go because they needed a pianist, and I wanted to hold a practice for a special musical number we were doing in Zone Conference. Not too much else happened that night. That brought us to Friday. That morning, we had probably one of the most spiritual lessons of my mission. It was with a less-active, Donald. We have been working with Donald for a while now teaching him all the lessons, and he's been coming to church regularly. This particular lesson was on baptism. Since he had already been baptized when he was 11, we mainly focused on the covenants aspect of it all and taught about the importance of covenants in God's plan. At the end of the lesson, he asked if he could be re-baptized because he couldn't remember what his baptism was like. We explained that he didn't need to because the covenant he entered into was still valid, even if he didn't remember it. But then, I had a sudden inspiration that I had to share with him. I said, "You know Donald, you're basically doing through the same process an investigator would go through. You're being taught the lessons, being extended the same commitments, all of that good stuff. Most have the end goal of baptism to work towards, but you can't really do that. Instead, what if we set a new goal for you- getting to the temple. There, you can do baptisms for the dead. It can be your goal to make the necessary changes to get there, and not only will you be able to be baptized for someone else, but you'd also be able to show God that you've accepted his Gospel once more and have gotten to the point he'd have you be." The Spirit rushed into the room like a tidal wave. I asked him what he was feeling right then, and he started to cry. I told him how I was feeling the Spirit and asked him to describe what was happening. He explained the feelings of peace and love he was feeling, and said it was probably the most spiritual moment of his life. I know this probably doesn't sound very dramatic or crazy from the sounds of it, but if only you could have felt what was in that room. It was SO powerful. The power of the Spirit never ceases to amaze me. OK I better pick up the pace a bit. Saturday, we spent almost all day moving Matt and Kristina. Yep, they're moving out of the ward. They moved into the ward on the other side of the river. That means I can't work with them anymore...it was pretty depressing to see them go for me. I've given that family everything I have. But, they're not happily embedded in the gospel, and we did all we could to give them a jump start. Now we just hope and pray they'll apply what they've been taught and stay active and faithful the rest of their life. I'll be excited to hang with them in the Celestial Kingdom if we can all make it! Alright, that's pretty much the weeks' highlights. Pretty crazy eh? Well, just wait until you get to hear about the week I"m having right now....phew!! it's been nuts. And next week will be even worse- General Authority Zone Conference yikes. Speaking of that, the first Zone Conference is going to be held on Monday, so I won't be able to email again...but I should be able to on Tuesday. But in case we get called on by Elder Nash or President Wilkey, we may not make it....but we'll do our very best, and if we can't make it, I'll get on first chance I can!! Ok, it's time for me to do my mid-week reports. The first zone leader will be calling any second. Love you all!! Have a great week, and I"ll look forward to hearing from you in a few days!! -Faithfully, Elder KC Esplin

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