Sunday, February 24, 2013

Elder Esplin Speaks in Church

Today we went to St. George to listen to the other Elder Esplin speak in church.  His name was K.C. Esplin and he served with Jacob until last week.  It was so fun listening to  him talk about his mission.  He was with Jacob less than a week ago.  He spoke about the family they were working with just as he was leaving.  The father was just baptized last Sunday and Jacob was confirming him today.  It makes me so excited to think of these young men changing peoples lives for the better.   I love that they give up two years of their life to help others.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Jacob Update

So Jacob was companions with an Elder Esplin from St. George.  As of January 14 to this Wednesday.   I really want to go down to St. George and meet this young man.  He flies into St. George Wednesday night.  I think he is talking in church next Sunday.  They made a great team though.   The Elder Esplin that was not Jacob was AP until his last transfer and he wanted to go back to his favorite town he had served in before.  He went back to Waterville and ended up with Jacob.  The two Elder Esplins have been working really hard.  He had a baptism the end of January and another one on February 17th.  Both were young men. He loves where he is now.  I think the members there just got to know him.  Here is a bit of news that shocked me.  Any how, things you might want to know: last Sunday, as in yesterday, I sang in the choir and I have been singing in a choir since I came out.  I must not be too bad.  No one has kicked me out yet.  It has been wicked cold for the past week.   I will come home saying wicked.  Every one up here does.  This last week is the first time on my mission that we taught 20 lessons in one week.  That is about it. 

The Big Winter Storm

Jacob was affected by the big storm the smashed New England.  This video is is from Hartford Connecticut, which is a bit south of Jacob and got more snow.
He was fine though.
Here is his email from after the storm.
I was in fact affected by that storm.  We were snowed in all day on Saturday and then there was a break yesterday for church and now it is back at it.  There was 2 feet the first day and it has not stopped snowing the whole day.  We just had a district p day. I love my district.  There are a set of elders and a set of sisters and both sets have a member of my MTC district in them.  It is so fun.  Any how, the work is going so good.  We have a baptism this Sunday.  This guy is the real deal.  He is so committed to the church, it is awe inspiring.   I love you all so much.  As for the CDs, just send me anything. If it is from you I will love it.  I like hymns sung in cool arrangement's so just do your best and I will love it.  LOVE E. J. Esplin 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Update from the Mission Home.

This is a letter to parents from the President Wilkey

DATE:    October 29, 2012
TO:         NHMM Missionary Parents
FROM: President Wilkey, New Hampshire Manchester Mission
RE:          Hurricane Sandy
As you are likely aware, we are on the cusp of Hurricane Sandy.  The hurricane is on a collision course with a winter storm and a cold front, and high tides from a full moon make it a rare hybrid storm. 
  We have been tracking this storm for several days now and it appears our mission will not be as affected as others.   However, we will not under-judge this storm and will err on the side of safety for your missionary.   We have consulted with local members and officials, the National Weather Service and media outlets.  Irene looks to produce some high winds up to 70 miles per hour and potentially some rain, but nothing like last year’s Hurricane Irene.  With the vast size of Northern New England the impact will vary, of course, by location.  There is a likelihood of power outages, a routine phenomenon in these parts.     
Embedded within our emergency plan is a calling tree wherein each companionship communicates with district leaders who in turn communicate with zone leaders to my assistants and then to me.  I will receive those “All-in-safe” reports for the next two days.  We continuously monitor any new developments and will update you in the event of any significant change in conditions.  Yesterday I instructed the entire mission to stock up on non-perishable food, water, flashlights & extra batteries etc. according to emergency guidelines in our published plan at each apartment.
At this moment, your missionary is preparing for 2:00 pm today.  That is when I have grounded the car fleet and ordered all missionaries in their apartments for the duration of the day and through tomorrow (Tuesday).  In some parts of the mission this will be “overkill” but we do this to err on the side of safety.     
At this point I am confident our missionaries are prepared well .  The only thing that will prepare them further is your faith, your prayers and your confidence in these great Latter-day warriors!  Thank you for preparing them in all ways for just such moments as this.  I feel much as did Helaman with his stripling warriors, “...they were firm and undaunted.  Yea, and they obey ...with exactness; yea and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them (Alma 57:20-21).”  With that backdrop to our present situation I am confident in their obedience and in what they were taught at home.   Therefore, they will “ preserved by his marvelous power.”  (Alma 57:26).  

Some Pictures from Jacob

Here are some pictures Jacob sent.

Him and Elder Barfuss on the beach at Pday. This was in August.

He also sent me pictures of the coast and the trees and when they visited an old building on the coast.  I don't know if it is a light house or just what it is.

These are the pictures I sent to him.

Then there is a picture of Jacob in his apartment.  I think his companion just caught him unaware.  

Jacob Updates ...... Finally

So, I have not updated this for ages.  Jacob is doing great.  He is an awesome missionary.  He has not been out for six months.  He has spent his whole mission in Kittery Maine so far.  He has had two companions.  His current companion is Elder Barfuss from Tremont, Utah.  He has been awesome for Jacob.  They have similar upbringings and can actually speak the same language.  Jacob said his first companion taught him how to be a good missionary.  Elder Barfuss taught him how to be a good missionary and love it.  He is having fun now.  When we get letters from him Rebekah calls them "love letters," because he loves us, he loves the gospel, he loves the people of Maine, he loves the gospel.  They really are love letters.  Here are some of his emails. I took the names out because it is a public blog.  I just left their initials.  
September 25, 2012
Hey family, I am so glad that Elder Barfuss is my companion.  He is such a great missionary. I learned how to be my self and a missionary, which had to happen some time because I would not have made it two years if I had to do what I was doing before I would not have made it. But now I am having so much fun and success I could do this for a long time with no problems. ( not longer than two years if I am to be honest.) But for right now I am pumped up and ready to go. There are so many good things happening in Portsmouth we have been having tons of new members and less active lessons.  It is so cool.  We take a new member P M (He was Jacob's first baptism) to a lesson with an investigator and then go have his lesson at some other members house the Lunds. It is such a spiritually powerful two hours.   I love it when we can pull it off. The other good thing is that R, who has had trouble with smoking for ever, started to go to AR classes down in Exeter but we cant get him to come to church.  It is maddening, that dang agency. Another tough case is K.  He is such a good guy he loves the Bible and has read it enough to uncover the plane and precious things that have been taken out, but he wont read the Book Of Mormon.  He has all the right questions, but because of so much anti from his father, he the calls the BoM spooky and wont read it.  But he is coming along. He cannot believe that such good people could be so wrong, so he will come to the truth sooner or later. I love being a missionary and myself. Love Elder J Esplin 

PS. Hey, I got a package in the mail.  It had APPLES and a rope and a sweet pencil in it.   I love you guys so much.  Thank you and you say there is another one on the way.  Awesome!! Have a great week!

October 2, 2012  Jacob just sent us the letter he sends to his mission president.  He does that often but he usually writes one to us too.  This week he did not write anything else.  
Hey President Wilkey,
 I can't believe it is October.  It is crazy the way time works for a missionary. The harder you work the faster the time goes and the better you feel. The less you worry about your self the more the you are taken care of by others the more you teach the Gospel the more you love it. I am  always learning and growing because the better representative of Jesus Christ I can be, the more people might take hold of the eternal truths I am telling them. I have come to the realization that the best thing I can do for every one is preach the Gospel the best for my brothers and sisters in New England and for my family back home. It reminds me of the quote "lift where you stand."   I need to lift those around me - every one around me. This in turn mean, I can only lift as high as I can reach. I don't know were I am going with this, but just to say,  I need to be better so I can help others be better. Speaking of others being better. Ki  has told us she wants to be baptized.  All that is holding her back is that one of the people that first introduced her to the Church is off to BYU ID so she is going to wait until she gets back. That will be some time in Dec. Before Christmas, so I  guess I will just have to stay here for a while. I need some more time to work on K he is a stubborn New Englander, but I will get him my secret weapon is Brother M.  He is the best thing that ever happened on my mission.  He has such a strong testimony.  Sunday he bore it in testimony meeting and he is terrified of public speaking (umm me too).  But he stood up there and bore his heart out and he is the one we take over to Keven's.  He is in the Navy.  K was in the Navy.  They both love the Bible.  The lesson we had last time was so awesome and spiritual. M is still doing great.  She has such a hard life she needs our prayers. R is a frustrating a ever. He wants to quit smoking so bad but will not come to church or read his scriptures.  Oh man, agency. The cool thing that happened is that we actually had a lesson with Ra.  He is so cool.  He has been through a lot of religious upheaval and is scared of change, but we explained that the book of Mormon is another witness of the same Jesus of the New Testament.  Hey family, Umm, do you want to send me another rope so my comp can rope too.  Maybe a hard one because he is a beginner.   Love Elder Esplin
October 9, 2012
I am so exited about the change of age for missionaries.   I wish I could have gone when I was 18.  That year after I graduated was rough.   I think that there will be a lot more sister missionaries so I am pumped.  What is Logan going to do?  Hey Dad,  I have eaten so pretty good sea food.  Some members cooked me up some lobster.  It was so good but other than that I have only eat regular stuff and oh man have the leaves started to change.  It is so beautiful but E. Barfuss told me it is not even half way started I will try to get some good Pict's.Love Elder Esplin
Hey President Wilkey Wow conference was amazing. That announcement about 18 year old missionary's really surprised my family.  My little brother is kinda scrambling  with his finances.  He thought he had another year to work.   I am glad that I am already out and don't need to make that choice. I am so happy to be here at this time. I know that the Lord wanted me here. At first I wished that I could have left when I was 18, then I thought of the wonderful people I have met and particularly Elder Barfuss.  I am so blessed to have crossed his path. I love being his companion.  It has changed my whole out look on my mission.  I saw it as a trial that had to be endured, but now it is a sacred opportunity with eternal blessings like what President Uchtdorf discussed.  I am now hearing the beautiful music of my mission instead of waiting for the quiet of my homecoming. The people places and experiences I would not trade for anything. Ki is  going to be such a good member I can't wait for her baptism.  I hope I am still here and last night we had dinner with a wonderful family, the Bomgardners. I love them. They are such wonderful disciples of Jesus Christ. It shined in there faces. Who else K is so stubborn.  He loves his Baptist church and I don't blame him.  It sounds fun.  He does not know what he is missing - the truth and way to everlasting life, but I will keep trying as long as I can.  He is such a good person.  I see him a he can become not as he is. I love this area.  I finally feel like I could really do some good. I would be so Happy staying here, but I know enough to say not my will but Thine be done. That is the way to true happiness and progression. I don't know, I am just happy to be a servant of the Lord in the best mission in the world.  Love Elder J Espli
October 16, 2012
Well, false alarm. I am staying in the same place for 6 more weeks with my buddy E Barfuss. Man life is good.  I am having tons of fun being a missionary but you know what would make it a little more fun - a package.  That would be cool.  I love the apples.  I might send home some pictures and then you can send me some new ones. Oh man Logan.  What a Boss! Going out right after High School.  Way to be!!  My mission pres kinda sounds like Cami, but it is up to you.   It will be fine whenever you go.  It is the best thing you can ever do.   I wish I would have gone a little sooner and if most your class goes later than you can come back and have free choice of the girls.  Think on that for a bit you will make the right choice, if you pray about it. I love my family - every one of you.  The church is true.  Missions are great and I will be home before you know it, cracking jokes like before. Love Elder Jacob Esplin
 I can't wait to get married too yaahh
This is from President Wilkey
Be sure your brother knows that 18 yr olds don't HAVE to go, it is just another OPTION. It is perfectly fine if it is best for him to have another year to prepare finances. He will know!

Glad you love your area.....I was thinking "move him" but then i FELT "leave him." So, carry on my precious young friend!!

Sister W says, "4H forever." I say, marriage to her forever!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Latest From Jacob

Here are a couple of his emails.  He does not email much so I also transcribe his letters.  He is doing great. 

June 20
Hi guys, I love you. I am super exited about the box I will get I will write about every thing in it I just sent you all a box so you all can write me a letter about every thing in it.  The thing on top is for Dad for Fathers Day.  Well, I hope Zachary is feeling better.  He is such a cool kid.   I know he wont stay mad for long. It is so hot today.  It is 98* and this is the bad part 75% humidity.  It is killer you sweat and it just stays there - no evaporation.  It is like being in a green house all the time, but at least I don't have to ride a bike.   I just have to walk around then drive then walk around then drive.  It is not too bad.  

June 26
Hi dad. I love the jerky you all made.  It is a little piece of Orderville that I can eat.   I hope you are not having too hard a time at the ranch this summer.  I know it is always crazy in the summer. Keep your head up.  You are such a good example to all your kids.  You are best.  I miss you but I can wait if you can.  It will make when I come home that much better.

Letter mailed June 25
Hey Family,
How's it going?  I hope everyone is doing super this summer.   All of you need to have extra fun. Because I can't be there I am committing you all to have one of the best summers of your life.  I want to hear about the fun things you do and once a month I would like a family picture of you all having fun.  That would be amazing. I love each one of you more now than I ever thought I could.  Anyhow, I was asked to write and tell you how I liked my package and one thing about each thing I got.  So to start with I got some jerky which is so good it almost and me cry for happiness but I also cried for sadness because some of it had already gone bad with mold but the rest is still good.  Next was a portable ironing board which would be so nice if I had an iron and washing machine.  I am sure to use it some time just not right now.  Next, was the glasses case with some of the coolest glasses I have ever seen. I am wearing them right now.  I love them,  Next were some amazing letters from my dad and cousins with some super cool drawings of horses.  Last was my whip.l  I might have to send it home but not yet.  I have not been able to use it yet.  Thank you so much for everything.  I don't want to sound whiny, but I could use some more short sleeve shirts.  It is nice to wear those in the 90* heat, especially when it is 94% humidity. You can send me some if you want.  Love Elder Esplin
PS Thanks again for the jerky

Letters mailed July 2
Hey Family,
I love you all more and more the longer I am away from you.  An awesome thing happened last Sunday on July 1st.  There was a visitor at church that looked so familiar.  I swore I had seen him somewhere before. His last name was Slater. Anyway, I was talking to him at Elder's Quorum and he asked where I was from.  I told him southern Utah and he asked, "Like St. George?" I said no I am like 30 minutes away from Zion.  Then the cool thing happened.  He got all excited and says"you're not from Orderville are you?"  Then I say who do you know because no one just knows about Otown.  So his wife is the Palmer's granddaughter.  They are the ones that always bring the jeeps down for the 4th of July.  She was so sad that she was not going to make it this year, so the Lord took a piece of Orderville to her.  She almost started crying when we talked about the V and Red Hollow and all the wonderful places in Orderville.  That made me get a little choked up missing home and all.  It was truly and act of God for both of us.  He loves us so much more than we can even think about.  So, enjoy Orderville for the both of us, that cant be there.  Her name is Crystal Chamberlain/Slater because she is married.  
Anyhow, that was super cool but do you know what is not super cool - running out of miles.  It is so not fun.  We had to walk like 12 miles in two days in 95* and 87% humidity.  Needless to say, I was grateful for my short sleeve shirt.  I would really appreciate a few more of those.  If it is at all possible to get them longer I would love that.  I am still losing weight.  It is awesome.  My suit pants don't fit me any more.  They slide right off without my belt.  Should I just buy my shirts here or do you get a good deal back home.  Just let me know what you want me to do.  I am sad to say some of the jerky was moldy but wasn't was so good.  I love it.  I also forgot to write about my new favorite thing.  MY SCRIPTURE CASE.  It is so cool.  My whole district is jealous of it.  It is so nice.  Especially when I was walking.  I did not have to carry a back pack. Thank you so much for that.  I also just got the letter with the picture of the tannerite in it.  I love that so much.  I also got the sweet post card from Christopher.  I hope he had fun enough to make up for his trip home.  Having a job at a gun counter could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how much self control Chris has. I love you all so much.  Have a fun 4th of July.  Love Elder Esplin
PS. That deal I made with Zachary now applies to Isaac.  For a whole month he can treat whatever is mine as his own.  I will draw an official certificate up closer to his birthday.  But he can use my guns now so get shootin' Isaac.  Take them to work with you, especially the 9 shot.  I want you to shoot a crow out of the air too.  I love you little Bro.  How tall are you now, like 6 feet 9 inches.  I wish all my brother's would write to me so I could know what is up with them, but it is up to them.  I will just save every letter and whoever has the most gets one of my guns when I get back.  Yes.  I just said that whoever writes me the most letters gets one of my guns when I get home, but they have to be good letters, not just blank pieces of paper.  I think dad is winning so far.  I will come out with a count next letter.  I love all of you. Even if I did not get another letter the rest of my mission I would love you all the same, but I think this will be fun.  I wont see you soon, but I will pray for you always.  Isaac enjoy my stuff.  Have fun all of you.  Love Elder Esplin