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

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Letter From Jacob June 7, 201

Jacob must be getting into the swing of things.  Ever since he has been out he has written at least two or sometimes three letters a week.  This week we only got one.  He writes to us on Monday and emails on Tuesday.  We try to send him only one letter a week but that is from Dad and Mom so sometimes he get two and sometimes we write for Family Home Evening and he gets 10.  I am switching to postcards for a little while just cause they are fun.  Here is his letter that came today.

Hi family,
Thanks you so much for all the horses and the gun and the five dollars.(Isaac gave him $5 just for fun.)  I loved all of them.  I just used the five to do my laundry.  It is crazy. Every time I have needed money you would have already sent me some.  It is truly amazing how much the Lord watches over his missionaries through their families. 

By the time you read this I will have already have driven the car., which I am kinda worried about because people drive all kinds of crazy up here. But I will just trust in the Lord and take what ever comes my way because Luke 1:37.  

Anyhow. How is everyone doing?  Does Zachary like being a teenager now?  How are Mom and Dad doing now that their youngest son is a teenager? 

Well I have some bad news.  Robert did not come to church twice now.  His nephew cam up and is living with him and I think he might be a bad influence.  So I will pray for him and try to tell him how important the church is.  I sometimes wish I could just let people feel the love I feel from the God Head, then I know that they would do anything to feel that love all the time.  I know God is real.  That his Son suffered for all our sins and that Joseph Smith did see them both and they called him to open this dispensation and gave him all the tools necessary to do so - including the priesthood. Which is the power and authority to act in Gods name on Earth.  I know that I have that same priesthood and my family is led by that priesthood as well.  I love my family.  I love everything about all of you an d you are the way you are because of the church.  That is what I am doing out here.  Helping to make families like our's.  Sharing that light with everyone I meet in hopes that a family will walk out of the darkness into the light.  The hard part is that they have to walk that path on their own.  I am there to tell them the way and it makes my heart hurt when they start walking and things get hard so they turn around and walk the other way.  But that's agency.  Everyone has a choice to make and make every day.  You are either coming closer to eternal life or farther away.  So think, "Is this thing I am doing bringing me closer or not!  

Love, Elder Esplin

PS Yes or No on the whip and could you send me some new CDs.  The music policy here is super hard core.  They wont even let me listen to Treck or the Missionary CD so could you all burn me a CD with all the same songs but put a hmn or two in between it has to be 75% hymns.  I would love that so much.  Love Elder Esplin

He sounds like he is doing good.  It is so fun getting his letters. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Some Letters From After Mothers Day

These are some of Jacob's letter.  He does not email much but he does write actual letters which are so fun to get in the mail.  I waited so long that I cant remember their order.  I do know they were all written after our Mother's Day phone call.

Hi Family,
How is it going? I just got your jerky package.  Thank you very much.  I was feeling all lost and forgotten because I had not heard from you for a couple of days, then this P day I get a letter and a box.  I was so happy.  My comp is a little bit wishing he wrote his family letters instead of just email, but he will be fine. Man!! I miss you guys. I miss Utah and the mountains, but most of all I miss my family.  I thought it would slowly fade away but no.  I miss you just as much as in the MTC, but I have learned to deal with it.  IF I stay working it is not so bad so I try to work a lot.  Speaking of work.  How in the world does that battery charger work. I will probably email about it so this is just in case.  
Anyway, I really hope I and Z can do good this last bit of school. I will pray for them because that is about all I can do for them, maybe say, "Hey. Behave!!"  Do your best and really try hard. This stuff matters, and pray by yourselves often.  Well that is it for preachin'.  I know all of you try hard and do your best. That is why I love you so much. It is sad that it takes not having my family to show me how amazing all of you really are.  Never forget how much I love you and also how much our Father in Heaven love you.  That is what excites me most about this work.  All the amazing truths I get to tell people.  Things that I take for granted like that our family will be together for time and all eternity.  I will always be Mom and Dad's son and you guys will always be my brothers and sisters forever and ever.  That makes two years not seem very long at all.  It is just a blink of an eye.  I need to remember that and you should too.  It is not so bad.  Only a short time really.  I would ask that as a family you would read D&C 31 the whole section.  Then pray as a family about what you have read.  Then I would ask that you pray each time before you study the scriptures.  I know that it will help all of you in every thing you do.  So please do for me then write me a letter about it so I can get some feed back and see how it went.  I love you all I don't think I can write that enough. You are the best family ever
Love Elder Esplin
PS. Could you send me my whip. I know it will be hard so when ever you feel like it it is fine.  
PPS I am sending back my big red/brown blanket
PPPS I love you so much!!!

This is Palk( Like chicken pock without the chicken) He is a good mountain horse and has hard hooves. Take good care of  him.
Hi Dad,
I love you so much I love your letters.  When I read them I can hear your voice and feel your love like a big hug when I was little and you would pick me up and hold me.  I feel that every time I get one of your letters they keep me going and remind me why I am our here.  So that people can return to their Heavenly Father so that every one can feel that kind of love.  The unending  pure-without exception-father's love.  I will be goine for a time but I will forever and all eternity be your son-after your image. Trying to live up to the amazing example that you have always been for me.  You told me who I am and what I could become then you showed me how to work and invited me to join you side by side we accomplished many things but the best thing we ever made together are all memories.  Those are are priceless and I can have them where ever I am.  So it might sound a little corny by thank you for teaching me how to work and thanks for the memories.  Please keep writing.  Your letters are worth more than anything right now.   I love you Dad.
Love Elder Esplin
PS This is one ugly horse but it is yours if you want him.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mother's Day

         It was so wonderful to talk to Jacob for Mother's Day.  Unlike Kaber and Christopher, he only had exactly one hour.  He was great.  Every one got to talk to him for a minute but we never got past that- intense it is so great to hear you voice stage- to really just talking.  He was so conscientious about the time he was winding up with 4 minutes left and I told him I get all 60 minutes, not 56.  He does live right on the coast.  He said that the New Englanders don't really want to hear the gospel but his is in an area that has lots of navy folks from all over so they have some success.  His area has a population of about 50,000 people but their branch/ward only has 150 people.  He stressed over and over that it is so different from Orderville and he was so glad he was raised in the gospel and in a small town.  Before he got off the phone we got to have family prayer together.  It was great.  I got to talk to him for the longest.  I had about 30 minutes and the rest of the family shared the other 30 minutes. It was the best Mother's Day present.  I was a little sad that his president is against Skype or Facetime.  He sounded great though.  I can't wait until Christmas.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First Letter From Maine

I finally got a letter from Jacob in Maine.  He sounds good but a little homesick.  It sounds like his mission president is wonderful.  Here is his letter.

Hi Family, 
Everything is ok. I am in a good place on the border of Maine and New Hampshire, in a town called Kittery.  I am sorry I cant write as much as my trainer is really particular about that one rule.  He is a good man though.  His brother died of cancer and he just stayed out here.  I am learning to like it here.  I am right on the coast.  We have to drive across a big bridge to get to town.  I will try to send you some pics but I don't know how that will work.  Just because I can only write to you once a week doesn't mean I love you any less or that you cant write to me every day. Please continue to send me letters about anything and everything.  Your letters are what keep me going.  They are my foundation of all that I am trying to share.  It helps to get reminded of how great the church is for families.  I love you so much.  I just got your package.  It is wonderful how much all of you love me.  My first couple of hours here were super sad.  I missed you so bad I needed some help.  Then I had my interview with President Wilkey.  He knows Mr. Wood and Ferril Heaton.  It was so weird.  He knows all about Orderville so that helped already.  But then he had me pray and I almost started bawling.  So President Wilkey is a great man. He said that by the way I prayed it said a lot about me.  He then had me turn to D&C 31.  He said change the name to Jacob and read it.  I have done that lots of times but this time it hit me so hard I gasped out loud.  My Saviour Jesus Christ was speaking to me right them.  President Wilkey promised me that my family will be blessed because of my service.  Going on a mission is the best thing I could do for you.  He said that promise was from the Savior as if he was in the room talking to me himself.  When he said those words I say Jesus Christ our Lord. He testified of the truth of President Wilkey's words.  St I know all my family will be ok.  Now I can tell you with conviction that I know that my Redeemer lives and cares about each and every one of us.  All I need to do is tell everyone that and I will have a good mission.  
Love Elder Esplin. 

Man, when I read this letter I was crying myself before I got finished.  He sounds like he is doing good.  Now I am just waiting for him to phone.  He will call on Mother's Day at 5:00 pm.  I can't waitl  

MTC Letters

Jacob wrote so many letters from the MTC,  He was so very home sick but he got over it very quickly.  I got the most wonderful letters from two missionaries that were in his MTC district. I included some pictures of his letters because I don't want to transcribe them.  He is so funny.  I know he will get over the homesickness soon.  I sure love getting his letters though. 

One thing he did write was:  "Tell Heidi that I probably cant write very much because I am have so much work to do. Tell her I love her and her letters.  The same with Aunt Julie and Jeanette.   Tell them how much their letters help me through the day." 
Thank you for writing to him.  He loves it and love you.   

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kittery, Maine

Jacob's first area is Kittery, Maine.  He flew out on April 30.  He was able to call us from the air port. He called at about 7:00 am.  We were in the midst of morning chaos.   He was using quarters and did not have enough so I almost did not get to talk to him at all but then he borrowed a quarter from his companion so I was able to talk to him for 1 minute.  He talked to Dad for about 5 minutes then about 30 seconds to 2 minutes for Christopher, Isaac, Zachary, Rebekah and Kaitlyn.  When it was finally  my turn I talked for one minute and it hung up.  When I was done I burst into tears.  I had to wait a while before I could finish putting on my make up.

I called his mission office on Tuesday morning because I wanted to mail some letters to him.  The office secretary was so nice.  She told me what a wonderful son I had and gave me his address and told me it was a great area.  I can't wait to hear from him directly.  I did find out what Amy had told me.  There is another Elder Esplin in the Manchester, New Hampshire mission.  He is from southern Utah too.  I am sure they are related.

It is only a week and a half until he can call for Mother's Day.  That is going to be my day.  I will get to talk to him first and the longest.  I can hardly wait.
Here is the nice letter that the mission sent me.


2 Bedford Farms Drive Suite #208
Bedford, New Hampshire 03110-6525
Office Phone: (603) 471-3285

May 2, 2012

Richard and Susan Esplin
360 West State Street
Orderville, UT 84758

Dear Brother and Sister Esplin,

It is a pleasure to report that your missionary son, Elder Jacob Scott Esplin, has arrived safely in the New
Hampshire Manchester Mission. Although he was tired due to a full day of travel, he is in fine spirits. I
have interviewed him and found him ready and willing to serve the Lord.

We have prayerfully selected a companion to serve as a trainer for your son. Only the finest young men
are selected for this vital assignment. His apartment address and companion are listed below:

His Trainer and companion:
Elder Devin Matthew Hatc

Apartment address:
Elder Jacob Scott Esplin
5 A Commercial Street
Kittery, ME 03904

We know you join with us in desiring that Elder Esplin be a successful and devoted missionary. Your
weekly letters of encouragement and love are essential elements in his development. You may write
directly to his personal address or you may send letters to the mission office address that is printed
above, and they will be forwarded. Please write his first as well as his last name on the envelope
especially since we have two Elder Esplins in the mission. You may also communicate with your
missionary through the church e-mail service only. Our missionaries are allowed to send and receive e-
mails to and from immediate family only on Mondays, their preparation day.

If you wish to send packages, please be advised that the best way to handle those that you are mailing
to the mission office is First Class, Priority, or Express Mail through the US Postal Service. UPS, &
Fed-X, or other carriers will not forward packages without additional postage. In case of an emergency,
your missionary can be reached by telephone through the Mission Office or the Mission Home. Sister
Wilkey and I take seriously our responsibility to watch over and take care of our missionaries.

We thank you for the opportunity to share this marvelous time with your son. We rejoice in the great
blessings that will come to many wonderful people here in northern New England because of Elder
Esplin’s devotion to the work of the Lord.

With Best Regards,

David L. Wilkey
President, New Hampshire Manchester Mission

Friday, April 13, 2012

First Letter

We got  Jacob's first letter.  The one they take you in and have you write that first day so moms don't come and get their boys.  It was great.  He sounds better already.  I am going to transcribe it and I hope he wont mind.  (Knowing Jacob. he will be mad. Oh well.)
Ok family,
I am doing fine. I miss you so bad my teeth hurt but I am going to do it.  It helps to think of Christ.  He left his home above which, believe it or not, is bigger than our family, and he did not just go for two years. He went for 30 long years and he did not get to fly home. He atoned for all our sins and then was crucified. So it is not so bad when you look at it that way.  But if I look at it from my end I start to cry. So I will forget myself and go to work.  I love you all more now than I ever have before. I miss all of you so much, even all your snoring and I just love all of you so that I can't even breathe.
PS. Will you send me some hangers for the closet. I forgot them. I miss you too much.
Love Jacob or Elder Esplin
PPS Tell Lawrence I met and old friend of his Junichi Maeda. He will know who it is

I bet that first week is hard and lonely.  I just want to keep it so Logan, Isaac, and Zachary will know what to expect.  I also want Jacob to have it to show his sons when they go on missions. .  

Shouldn't This Be Easier

On April 11, 2012 we took Jacob to the MTC.  Unloaded his luggage and drove away and left him.  He did give me a monster bear hug as only Jacob can, before we left.  That will have to last two years.  At least I do know it goes by and they do come home better than ever.

We went up on Tuesday and I was going to stop at Janett's or Heidi's but Jacob did not want to.  He just wanted to be with his family and not have to be "sociable."  He was so nervous and was just so quiet when he wasn't talking to his brothers.  We did stop and do a tour of Cove Fort and meet up with Kaber.  That worked out good.  It is quite the journey traveling with all ten of us.

At the MTC we got there way early and took a ton of pictures.  One with Jacob and each sibling to use as a growth measurement.  It is amazing how much each of my boys grow in two years.  Logan freaked out Kaber when he came back and Christopher was amazed by how much Isaac grew.  Who knows, perhaps Zachary will grow to surprise Jacob.

At the MTC Zachary and I were the ones shedding tears.  Then you just drive him to the curb, get him out and his luggage and drive way.  It is so hard to just leave your boy for two years.  It is amazing the growth they have, though.

What was just crazy was that we forgot to get his other suit out of the car.  After we ate lunch and were rearranging things in the back, Zachary said, "Isn't that Jacob's" So we had to take it to the MTC and leave it with someone that said they would get it to Jacob.  They did not even let us in the building.  They met us in the parking lot.  It was an adventure.  I hope he got it.

I am going to try to keep up with this blog because I love the books we made for Kaber and Christopher. It is a great way for them to remember stuff.  Feel free to share this address with anyone that you want.  I am leaving it public as a missionary tool.  Who knows, perhaps someone whose son is going to the same mission may want to read it.