Thursday, January 10, 2013

Merry Christmas

Man...I CANNOT believe that Christmas is already here. I know that's horribly cliche to say, but I honestly can't haha. it's been a great Christmas season to enjoy though. We've been going around for the last few weeks just sharing a message about the true meaning of Christmas. The big thing I've been pushing is this- For many people who focus on the gifts and commercialism of Christmas, the joy and excitement of Christmas will end on December 25. But for those who focus on the the Spirit of Christ rather than the Spirit of Christmas, they can experience that joy all year round. So, we all should work on dropping the last syllable of Christmas and worship in the Spirit of Christ! Alright, now for the final word about the phone call tomorrow. Some things have come up, and we're going to actually call at 4 PM our time now, so that'll be 2 PM your time. I sure hope that works for you! We had to move it to 4 our time because we received an invitation to sing with the sister missionaries at a rest home in our area. It should be fun. But yeah you should expect my call around 2! I've been looking forward to it for a while, and I'm sure excited for it!! Mom, I sure hope you get feeling better soon! you need to stop getting sick on the holidays! goodness haha. Dad, don't party too hard haha. I liked that tidbit about not taking counsel from our fears. Now, we just need to learn how to not take counsel from laziness- a lot of our investigators and less-actives really need some help with that one! Hey, you should put a flame under Jared to read the 7 habits book during break. I am too. That book would change his life, and he committed to read it during break. So, let's get him to do it! I hope the fondue goes well! We had a Christmas party at the Earnshaws (ward mission leaders home) a few weeks ago, and it had a ton of finger foods similar to what we have at our fondue. it made me think about what we usually did tonight. I know I'll be excited to participate in it next year!! Welp, I don't want to write too much because a lot we could talk about tomorrow! In fact, I'd prefer to just save it all for tomorrow. But maybe I"ll just write about a few highlights for the blog, and so we can talk more tomorrow about other things. Yeah, I guess we'll go for that! I had a really cool week this week. On Monday, we got to go candle-pin bowling. What, you've never heard of candle-pin bowling before? Well, that's no big surprise, because it's an exclusively New England sport haha. It's basically regular bowling, but the pins are very narrow, and are just straight sticks. Plus, the ball is about the size of a soft ball. You also get 3 throws to knock down the pins, and they don't clean the ally of the pins you knocked down between throws, so you can use the ones you already knocked down to knock down other ones. It's a lot of fun. Anyways, we played that as a district on Monday, then went to the ward mission leader's house to play some ping pong. After that, we went to the Bishop's home to share a Christmas family home evening with them. Nothing too exciting happened on Tuesday, which takes us to Wednesday. I had a once in a lifetime opportunity on Wednesday. We had plans to travel up to Hanover, NH to go their district meeting, but miscalculated how long it'd take to get up there and we ended up having an extra 30 minutes. We had heard rumors that Dartmouth college had an original copy of the Book of Mormon, so we decided to take a little road trip over there. It took a few minutes to find the library, but once we did, they indeed did have an original copy and agreed to let us hold it. It was a really sacred experience for me. The Book of Mormon has become such an important thing to me on my mission, and to hold one of the original copies, one that very well could have been handled by Joseph Smith himself, was a very spiritual moment. I got a bunch of pictures with it, as well as some copies of the original pages, so I have some cool keepsakes from the experience Anyways, I thought I'd share that. It was a very memorable thing for me. After the district meeting, we drove to Laconia to exchange with the zone leaders. While we were doing so, my companion (who was driving) got us into my first fender bender! Wahoo! haha it wasn't anything serious. We were moving at like 3 MPH trying to merge onto a highway, and the car in front of us could have gone, but didn't move for whatever reason, and my companion was busy checking the highway for coming traffic and ended up gently bumping into him. It didn't do him any hard since we only hit his truck's hitch, but it put a pretty good dent in our bumper. So we get to deal with that now. Pretty anti-climatic for my first car accident, I know, but it was another adventure of the week! Wednesday and Thursday, I was on exchange in Laconia, NH with Elder Jardine, whom I was in the same district as last year at this time. We taught a few really good lessons, and went caroling with a member family in the ward. They are a 4-H family, so we hit it off right off the bat. Thursday night, we traveled back to Manchester, and went caroling with our elder's quorum to some shut-ins in the ward. Friday was supposed to be the end of the world. Was everybody else as disappointing as I was?? The rest of the week, we did a lot of Christmas work. We have been teaching our Christmas message to a lot of members and seeking referrals after asking who else would like a Christmas message. It's been really successful, and we've been super busy trying to contact them all. One of those contacts this week was golden. We knocked on the door, and as soon as we saw movement, we started caroling. A man opened the door, and soon the family gathered. They thanked us for the carol and were about to send us away, but I said we were there to share a message on the true meaning of Christmas, and the wife let us in. We ended up going in, sitting down, and talking for an hour and a half about the plan of salvation. They had a TON of questions for us. The father ended up being a neurosurgeon, and he had a very logical and scientific mind, so we clicked really well and discussed a lot of gospel topics from a logical standpoint. We talked about how our purpose is to let people perform their own experiments learn the variables, come up with a hypothesis, and see what the results are. They really liked that, and said they'd love to have us back to teach the lessons and even feed us dinner! So, we've now found a very solid family to start teaching!! We were pretty stoked about that. Their names are Tony and Lois. Stay tuned about them- i have a really good feeling! Alrighty, that's most of this week's highlights. I'm sure I'll have more by the end of the week! Love you all, have a great week and a Merry Christmas!! -Faithfully, Elder KC Esplin p.s.- I'm sure excited to talk to you tomorrow!!

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