Sunday, December 9, 2012

This weeks recap

So, one big questions I need to ask- can you please set up a dental appointment for me when I get home? I probably need to get the wisdom teeth out. My jaw has been giving me quite a bit of grief again. Luckily, all the wisdom teeth are completely erupted, so it won't be too much of a procedure. I might not even need to go under anesthesia. The problem is, one of the teeth has grown in too far, so it's throwing off my bite, which is why my jaw is messed up (at least, that's what the last dentist I saw said). So if you could please schedule me an appointment right when I get home, that'd be great. Thanks!! Alright, now on to the weekly recap. As I said last week, it was transfers on Tuesday, so I spent all day Monday working with the cute little new missionaries. Then on Tuesday, we had the good ol' transfer meeting. I received my new companion- Elder Smith from Washington state. He's a goof ball. We're having a really fun time together. We also had the new addition of having sister missionaries added to our area! Sister Caffall from Arizona, and Sister Buxton from Pleasant Grove (she actually knows a bunch of my PG friends, and she knew some of my USU friends because she went there. Small world!). So we got to deal with splitting the area between us and the sisters, and we had to pass over a bunch of our investigators, which was definitely kind of a bitter-sweet experience. I was getting pretty close to some of them, and now I won't be able to work with them anymore. But it's OK! The sisters who came in are awesome, and I think the ones we have passed over will be well taken care of. So that's been an interesting part of the week- getting the boundaries drawn, passing referrals back and forth, meeting and explaining the situation to investigators, all that jazz. But I think we've got most of it figured out! The rest of the week was basically just pure proselyting, and it was very much enjoyed!! One highlight is we had the annual "creche, carols, and cookies" event. They bring in dozens of nativity scenes from all over the world and set them up in a display, bring in performing groups from the community to do Christmas songs, and have a ton of cookies. We've been passing out invitations for several weeks now, and probably passed out about 500 total. We even went to a Christmas parade on Saturday and went up and down the streets handing out invites. The event actually had a really good turn out! Probably about 200 people came though, and we talked to a lot of non-members and found a few potentials. Overall, it was just a lot of fun too. I got my Christmas fix in! I had a really cool experience in a lesson this week. It was with Flora- remember her? She's the 50-yr-old lady from Sudan who was supposed to be baptized on October. She has kind of fallen off the map for a little while now, because she's been living in some extreme fear. She feels that there's groups of men following her everywhere she goes trying to hurt her. I think it's probably post-traumatic stress because she left Sudan in the middle of the war and has seen some pretty crazy stuff. Anyways, we haven't been able to meet with her for a few weeks, and she had stopped coming to church. But this last week, we finally got in and could have a lesson. We went in with the plan to read the Book of Mormon with her, but as we sat down and talked, I got the distinct impression that we needed to tell the story of Daniel and the lion's den. I thought to myself, "What the heck, Daniel and the lions den?? I've never even shared that story on my mission, nor hardly any other old testament story!" But, the impression was still there, so I decided to ride it out. We all got out our Bibles, and we turned to the book of Daniel, gave her the back ground info, and started to read. As we went, we asked her questions, like, "How do think Daniel felt when he was told he couldn't pray? Do you think he was nervous to pray?" Also, "How do you think he was feeling right before he was thrown into the den? How about while he was in there?" She gave the answer that he felt fear. Honestly, i think she's right. I think he was confident that the Lord would help him, but I'm sure he'd feel some degree of fear regarding the situation. But we then talked about how Daniel trusted the Lord, and his trust was greater than his fear, and because he did as God commanded him, and believed God would protect him, he was kept safe. I then brought out a picture of story in my gospel art book and let her look at it for a moment. She began cry. She pointed at Daniel and said, "He is like how I am now. I feel fear like he did." We then told her, "It's ok to feel fear sometimes. But if you trust God and do as he wants you to do, he'll keep you safe in your own lion's den." She looked at us, smiled, and simply said, "Thank you." She came to church this Sunday for the first time in a few months, and said she felt safe the entire trip over. I know that if we trust God in our moments of fear, and be willing to do what is right, we also will be helped and come out safely from our own lions' den.
Alrighty, I better scram for today. Love you all! Hope you have a great week, and I'll be excited to hear from you soon! I'm also excited for Christmas to come up so we can talk!! -Faithfully, Elder K. Esplin

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