Saturday, November 26, 2011

He Came Home!!

I just had to post some pictures from the airport and such.  I sure love this young man!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Less Than Six Weeks Left

I cant believe Christopher comes home so soon.  He will fly into the St. George Airport on September 8th at 4:28 pm.  I am so excited.  We received the official travel papers from the mission office.
Here is his latest email:

Mom, thanks for the email.  It was great.  I am starting the last transfer of my mission.  It is crazy!  I just filled out the last planner of my mission, (putting the date and regular scheduled meetings and stuff), so I am kind of freaking out.  But it is OK.  I get to "die" in Sheridan and it is nice.  There are mountains and some of my favorite missionaries.    I am getting along so much better with my companion.  I learned something that really helped.  It is:   "silence isn't golden - tact is."  So I just have to "want" to get along and we get along.  I can either be happy or be right and I choose happy.  So things are going great.  We have two people on date now and we are just cooking along.  Well I will send this in hopes that you will send back.  Got to go.  Love Elder Esplin

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Christopher Update

Christopher has been have a hard time with his companion as per his usual pattern.  He really has had some doozies but this one is really testing his patience.  Hopefully they resolve something soon so the missionary work can be first priority.  Anyway these are the posts since July 1.  I did not know if I wanted to post them  but I guess that is just part of being a missionary.  Finally I got a much better email so I am posting all of them.  He is such a great young man.  Only seven more weeks and he will be home.  

I got this one the day after I mailed his package.  

June 27
Mom, I got  the address wrong it is:

247 w Brundage # 3
Sheridan WY

I love it here.  I got here on Wednesday and as we where driving in the mountain still has some snow on it.  At first I thought it was a cloud, but as we got closer I asked the missionary driving me what it was and he said it was a mountain.  I was so excited!  He just laughed at me.  He is also from Grand Junction Colorado.  His name is Elder Gardner.   He is way cool.  He is not my companion but we live very close (we actually live in their area) so we hang out all the time.  He is going to make a coat company to sell to missionaries.  He is one of my favorite missionaries I have met so far well.  I love you and hope you have a good week.

July 5

Hey, I am doing good.  The library was closed for the fourth so I am emailing today.  Everything is going good.  I am serving with Elder Dahl and he is good.  He seems to likes to work.  We live outside of our area and we have to ride up a big hill to get to our area which kinda stinks.  We don't have a car and the last missionaries kinda killed the area.  So there is a lot of work to do.  I am doing good and I like my area.  So thanks for everything.  For the fourth of July we got to shoot a cannon.  It was a revolutionary war four pound smooth bore and it was super fun.  We shot tennis balls out of it.  I got the garments except the order form says 7 tops and 7 bottoms and I only got 6 bottoms so I don't know what happened to the other one.  (I called and they sent him one more bottom.)  Other than that, I love it here and I am enjoying the last of my mission.  Tara sent me a letter.  Is she in your young womens?  You said they were difficult.(Tara is not difficult but she is leaving to go to college)   If there anything that I can do to help, I will.  If you dont have a lesson plan you can have them all write me letters or my district there are Elders Gardner, Holmes, Dahl, Lund, and Bemis.  Then some sisters but I dont think they would be as excited to get letters as the elders would  be.   That is just a suggestion.  Have a good week. love elder esplin
Then to his dad he wrote:
Hi.  How is it going?   I am good.  I am kinda having a hard time with my comp.  It seems like everything he does just aggravates me.  Then there are times when he just does really stupid things like throwing away a postcard from grandma because it has Indians on it.  Then today we got in an argument talking about our "movie in heaven."  He said that it was just stupid and that movies are all man made and I told him that all things were created spiritually before they where made physically.  He said to just shut up and I said that the wicked take the truth to be hard and he threw some water out of his cup on me.  I didnt think we were really arguing but he got all mad.  I want to be friends with him but like I said he just makes me mad.   But I didn't really react because we were at Arby's  and I just don't know what to do so please email me back. 

Mom don't freak out.

July 11

Hi mom.  I am doing great.  That sounds like fun to have Clan around.  She was always one of my favorites.  There is a missionary here that really wants Jessica to write him and he is one of my favorites.  So if you would have her write him it would be great.  He is from Colorado and his name is Elder Gardner  his address is 
Elder Gardner
29 east 1st street 
Sheridan WY 82801

So if you will get her to write him it would be great.  She probably already has a boyfriend but I think Gardner could take him. 

Well my bike is breaking.  It is the bearings in the crank shaft that is hooked to the pedals that are going bad.  I need to get it worked on.  I have already spent $300 on that stupid bike, so I am thinking I will just not worry about it.  I only have two months left and I dont want to pour any more money into it than I have to.  If my bike is clear broke I will just walk

There is a greenie that came out whose dad is reading my blog the greenie's name is Elder Stoker so this is for Elder Stokers dad - I think I am going to get a 30-06 but I dont know a 270 might be what I get.  The other day when we went shooting that cannon i saw a 45 long colt with a break action.  It was way cool it is a top break.  I think they arent making them any more, though.  But it was way heavy. 

I got to go.  Have a good week love, Elder Esplin

July 18

Well, good luck with everything.  Not really much news my comp is being a baby and when I try to help out or criticizes he gets really offended, but other than that I am doing good. I am glad that my mission will be over soon there is just so much drama.  I thought missionaries  would at least act like 19 to 21 year olds but instead they act like a bunch of seventh graders that have very fragile egos and anger issues so yep I am pretty much sick of whiny missionaries. I try to be humble and stuff but then he talks to members and I overhear him talking to other missionaries and he says I am teaching him long suffering and patience.  But his last five companions have sucked and he always compares me to them and I am sick of it.  I think I might just call him out and tell him if he has a problem to do something about it.  But then he will just pout for a couple of days.  The other day  we were out doing work and tracting just wasnt working out.  There were some people out in there yard and it was his turn for the door approach. He walks up to the girl and says ''whats your name '' and then he just had the most awkward conversation and she turned us down.  As we were walking away I said it would have been better if he had said his name first or something and he got all mad and was like ''you are awkward too '' and went on and just insulted me for a while.  Finally I said  ''your being a baby '' and he got all mad and so that ended tracting.  He just sat down and I was like what are we going to do?  He waited for me to do something.  I have been here for a month and no one will talk to us so I dont know anyone to go see.  So I apologize to him and sooth his battered ego and baby him back into acting like a grown up and cajole him back to work.  But I am just sick of walking on egg shells and hoping I dont offend him.  I think if he has a freakout again I might just go ballistic on him.  Life is to short to put up with all this crap.  So please let me know what to do and thanks for letting me vent.  It is super hard because we hang out with other missionaries a lot and they have seen him freak out and no one wants to say anything because it might offend him.  I dont know what to do because I have never had a problem with any of my companions before like this.  I am afraid he might be with me till the end of my mission.  I dont know. 

have a good week love Elder Esplin

Finally he wrote this one  and it gave me hope for him so I could post all these others.  

July 25th

Things are working out with my comp.  I just realized that he is different than me and we still fight and stuff but I pick my battles and we sit and wait for him to think.  He tries quoting pmg(Preach My Gospel) at me so I quote it back and make him look at it my way, but we will get along.  He has some crazy messed up ideas and he is wrong a lot.  He told me not to call him out and I told him that he should stop being wrong.  But I always apologize when we get into fights.  Life is to short to get mad at people and stay mad.  We had a priesthood lesson about avoiding bad thoughts and it was the one with "leave it alone John.  Just leave it alone," so when I think about fighting with my comp I "just leave it alone" and then there is no problem.  When you are humble things always work out. 

So, Macie is there.  Is she Tom's daughter, the one that liked to ride horses?  I thought she was cool.  You should see if she likes writing missionaries.  I know Tara is already writing me, but she can also.  Ask her if she knows someone named Elder Cooper.  He is a missionary serving here in the mission, not in Sheridan.  But he is from Vegas, or if she knows a Travis Davis he is also from Vegas. 

Kab said you all got in a fight about lambs and stuff.  Well I hope you keep them.  I want animals when I get home.  I am still planning on working for about a year then going to school.  

It sounds like you had fun on the 24th.  We did also but we didn't do much. 

Just remember the church is true.   Joseph Smith did see God and Jesus.  And compared to that nothing else really matters much at all.

Have a good week.  Love Elder Esplin.

Then I wrote back to him and he was online so we could chat.  This is what I wrote to him.  
Hey reading that makes me so happy.  You are a great missionary.  You have learned so much in your life about getting along with people and what really matters.  It makes me happy.  

Our lambs are so small that they all  did not make weight.  We are not having any for the fair this year.  It is a bad year.  Next year who knows.  We don't have to worry about it.  Logan's biggest best lamb got sick and died and the others were kind of sick for a minute but now they are just too small. 
I will try to have Macie write.  She is the one that loves to ride horses.  She has often come into town to ride with Logan. 

That is too bad about the sheep but I will help butcher them.How old is Macie?

Macie has gone to one year of college.  She is a year younger than you.  She is not going back to Vegas and should be here when you come home.  Her parents want her to go to college so it may change.  
I want to sell all the lambs.
Well keep one so I can eat it.
And that is cool that Macie is planning on staying but she should remember that your parents are almost always right. 
 (I did not even have to pay him to say that.)
Got to go love you bye.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Christopher is being transfered back to Wyoming.  He loved it when he was in Casper but now he is going to Sheridan WY.  He left Brandon, South Dakota on Wednesday, I think and should be in Wyoming by now.  He seems excited about it.  I know he loves whatever part of his mission he is in but I think he likes Wyoming best because it is close to home.  
His new address:

Elder Christopher Esplin
247 W. Brandage St.  
Sheridan WY 82801 

I was taking Richard to the foot doctor on Monday but all my boys were home so they spent some time chatting with him online on Kaber's account so I don't have very much email from him but he is funny.   I will post the older emails I have first so it will kind of be in order.  

May 31

Well, how is everyone?  I am doing good.  I sent a box full of books home for you guys.  They have a ton of garage sales here and I spent under 2$ on about 80$ worth of books.  It was great.  I read the backs of the books and the cover of the hard bound one but I didnt read any of the books themselves, so maybe mom will have to read them first to see if they are ok.  I think the paper backs will be ok but the big hardcover Once an Eagle is fiction so I am kinda worried about it.
Mom, I have some good news for you.  I am coming home on the 8th instead of the 15th because Pres.  Layton had to rearrange his schedule so I will be able to be there for dad's birthday.
About Tara and the pictures - she sent me pictures in her letter so if you send me pictures and letters I will send you some.  I did last week so you owe me.  Are the pictures of the pants better than the ones I sent earlier.
Well I will send this so you can reply.
love elder esplin

May 31 to Richard -  Richard had to tell him we did not draw out for the deer hunt this year.  He was not at all happy to hear that.
What do you mean we didnt draw out!!  I think I drew out and I am going to go hunting this year.  I need to kill something.   I think I might buy a cow and turn it loose on the ranch and hunt it with my muzzle loader.  I think when I get home I will go shooting.  I want to shoot every gun in our house except maybe the 38S&W but the rest I plan on shooting.  Well I will get home on the 8th of September.  I just found that out on Friday and it is good because I will be home for your birthday.  Well, I got to go.  Love Elder Esplin

June 6th  
Richard just told him we have two bee hives and they seem to be doing good.  

What bees??  I didnt know we had bees.  It is good that they are doing good.  I am also doing good.  I like it here in Brandon.  Mom, you should have seen the books by now.  I sent them through the mail.  It is a different box than the one I sent Kab.   Hey mom, did you send the pants pictures to the missionary mall?

Well I had a good week.  We had a strange experience though.  We were trying to talk to less actives and and we went to one door and the lady seemed nice enough.  Then, all the sudden, she exploded and got all mad at me and Elder Davis because some of the members didnt keep their promises.  And she hadnt seen anyone for more than five months and then we showed up.  So we let her run herself out of steam and asked if there was anything we could do for her.  We ended up taking the garbage out for her.  It was kinda awkward.  But other than that we had a good week.  I hope you did also.   love elder esplin

June 13th 

Hi mom.  I had a good week.  We did service Saturday.  We helped paint a house.  It was fun.  As far a missonary work goes, this week made me kind of mad.  Our district leader has only been out for 6 months, but he is a good kid, but I dislike my zone leaders - one of them anyway.  I dont know the other.  So, that said.

A guy named John just walked into church 5 weeks ago and we finally got an appointment to teach him last week.  He has come to church for the last five weeks, so I was very excited.  But we found out, when we got his address, that he doesn't live in our area.  So we told our district leader and he said that we could teach him, but we had to let him know that there  is a church closer to where he lives.  We were planning on doing exchanges with our district leader after the lesson.  So we made a lesson plan and were extra special obedient so we could have the spirit.  Then we got a call from the zone leader and he said that the district leader had to go to teach John and Elder Davis was the one that was going to stay in Brandon area on this exchange.  So he went to teach him and I didnt get to go.  It made me mad.  But during the lesson John said that he wants to keep going to Brandon Branch, so it was all ok after that.  I just get so frustrated at these 20 year old kids that get made district or zone leader and think that they have to 'show ' there authority or "flex there zl muscles" and they have no real authority.  I think they should just step in when a problem arises.  Some of them think they need to be involved in every little thing.  It is like they dont trust us at all.  It just makes me angry, but i dont really have to deal with them that much.  So, no worries.  So if you could pray for me to have more patience and for John to keep taking the lessons it would be great.  I will send this in hopes of a reply.  Love elder esplin

June 20
That is great that Jacob and Zach got ordained.  I found something I want.  It is the Screwtape Letters on audio book by Ralph Coshman.  I also want the ones that have Screwtape makes a Toast.  I think they are really good.   I lost my cd. The Profile of a Prophet and I would like that one.  Also another great one is ''Of Lions. Dragons and Turkish Delight.''  It is a great talk.  That is all the stuff I want as a missionary.   Have a good day and week love elder esplin.

I am doing good.  I am getting transfered to Sheridan Wyoming it is up by Montana.  

The next day I got this email.  

Mom, I have to email you today because I need some new G's.  I was helping someone paint and there was some paint on the ladder and I leaned on it.  I need some new ones.  I just need the tops because I dont have enough to go a whole week without washing them so could you please get me some by the end of the week.  My address in Sheridan is
237 w Brandage
Sheridan WY 82801 
If you could get me some I would be eternally grateful.   
PS. tell Tara she should write faster.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

News from South Dakota

Christopher wrote a great email and I am sorry it took so long to get it posted.  

Hi guys! Guess what I got in the mail today!  It  is my trunky papers.  It is crazy!  I need to know what airport to fly into.  I am just going put St. George and I am going to send dad's email address to the mission.  

Here are those pictures and some others I took.  

A returned missionary talked at church today.  He talked about how missions are this cycle of exhaustion.  How you do good and are just exhausted the whole time and then you get lazy and then you feel bad and then you work hard and get realy tired.  It was a very good talk.  That is how it is though, but the less time you spend in the lazy, guilt part of the cycle the more you can endure the good tired part.  It is like the scripture in Proverbs 4:18 
18But the apath of the bjust is as the shining clight, that dshineth more and more unto the perfect day.
That says how the better we do the more is expected of us and it gets more intense until we reach perfection.  Elder Holland talked about it in last general conference said: 
"In the most famous sermon ever given, Jesus began by pronouncing wonderfully gentle blessings which every one of us want to claim—blessings promised to the poor in spirit, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the meek.  How edifying those Beatitudes are and how soothing they are to the soul. They are true. But in that same sermon the Savior went on, showing how increasingly strait the way of the peacemaker and the pure in heart would need to be. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill,” He observed. “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother … shall be in danger of the judgment.”  And likewise,
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Obviously as the path of discipleship ascends, that trail gets ever more narrow until we come to that knee-buckling pinnacle of the sermon of which Elder Christofferson just spoke: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”What was gentle in the lowlands of initial loyalty becomes deeply strenuous and very demanding at the summit of true discipleship. Clearly anyone who thinks Jesus taught no-fault theology did not read the fine print in the contract! No, in matters of discipleship the Church is not a fast-food outlet; we can’t always have it “our way.” Some day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ and that salvation can only come His way."
So, when you are getting tired and dont think you can move on - just keep going and the Lord will bless you with great strength.  You will be able to endure everything.  I know this is true and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Well, I got to go love Elder Esplin

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Phone Call

Christopher called today and it was wonderful talking to him.  We talked for about an hour before church and about and hour and a half after church.  While we went to church Jacob stayed home because he has been throwing up and he talked to him by himself for two and a half hours.  All the kids got to talk and Richard and I talked.  This is our last phone call from him.  He only has a little more than 4 months left.

He loves the branch he is in right now.  He also loves his companion.  I can't remember his name but he is from Las Vegas and likes hard work.  Hurray!  Yesterday he roofed his branch president's house.  He was also very excited about finding some boots at a yardsale for $5.00.  He teased Kaber for having a 9mm pistol. His quote was,"There is a place for 9mms in the world.   I think it is in someone's purse."  It was very funny.  He also shared another quote with us it was by N. Eldon Tanner .  "The greatest blessing one can enjoy in life is to go to bed at night with a clear conscience, knowing that he has lived that day in harmony with the teachings of the Savior and has accomplished the work assigned to him to do." He did not know where it was from or who said it so I Googled it for him.  It was from 1975 January New Era.  I love the internet.  It is such a great quote.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Getting Ready for Mother's Day

I cant believe that I get to talk to Christopher in only two weeks.  I am so excited.  He will be home in September.  I can't believe it is has been about 20 months since he left.   Before he calls I want to get all caught up on his emails.  He is so funny and he loves missionary work.  He has been a great missionary.   The first emails we asked him about  how he liked conference.  I told him Kaber felt like he "had been beat with the 'get married now' stick."

April 4th 
Yes it was great.  Tell Rebekah happy birthday and everything.  I too feel like I have been beat with a stick.  It was the "don't worry about it stick" (I do think I will just go to school because I don't really want to find a wife in the oilfields of North Dakota.)  I am on my mission so I cant get married so I don't think the stick that hit Kab can reach me.  I am too far away.  It was kinda strange knowing I would never see another General Conference as a missionary.  It is just strange.  Mother's Day will be the last call home of my mission.  I am kinda freakin' out. I guess I thought my mission would never end, but in five days I have five months left.  That is only 4 Fast Sundays! 4!  Isn't that crazy?  Well, I will send this and see if you can reply.   Love Elder Esplin

Hey dad!  Did you get the answer you needed? (from General Conference) I got mine.  Although it came in a different way than I thought it would.  The answer was not get an education or get a job in the oil fields.  It was get married and start a family.  Isn't that so weird that I could have a kid within two years or less and Kaber would have one, too!   I really liked that talk in the Sunday afternoon session.  It made me think of what I want to be and the number one answer is a dad like you.  That is what I want most to be and to do that I need to get married and I think the best way to do that is to go to school.  I think that is the answer to my question.  Well, I've got to go.  Love Elder Esplin

April 11th
First off, I really need my line of authority from Dad.  Second, that sounds horrible for Logan (Logan had to have a root canal.)  I know how three hours of dentist work feels.  It is not fun.  Was that before or after their dates?  That is pretty cool that Jacob went on a date.  I didn't think he had it in him.  I hope they had fun. 
Did you guys get the box I sent to you with all the stuff I got from that kid's house.  I tore some of my pants the other day.  So  I am sending you the pictures for you to send to missionary mall and a picture of my new companion. (The pictures were terribly out of focus.)  He is great.  I think I already told you about him.  But he is from Las Vegas and he is a hard worker.

April 18th
That sounds like fun.  I want to do a lot of hiking when I get home, so look up on Google Earth and see if you can find a couple of good trails.  We were tracting the other day and I found a Vulcan Motorcycle for $4900.  I think that is a good deal.  I wanted to talk to the guy about it, but he wasn't home, so I guess I will try later.  It was a 07 so I think there might be something wrong with it.  What do you think of Kaber's plan to buy a house in Saint George.  I like it, but mostly because I could live with him while going to school.  I wonder if he has one picked out.  Well, I will send this and see if you can email back.  Love Elder Esplin
Hi, how are you doing? I am doing good.  I got your box and it was great.  I got the letter from Tara and she sounds fun.  I dont know what she looks like, though.  I am having a good week.  The members here are a lot nicer.  I think they did not like Elder Burnett so much.  But he is gone and my new companion is great.  He is a real hard worker.  It is funny.  I think I am on presidents "clean up crew" because he sends me into the dead areas with a crappy companion and then he gives me a great companion because it is easy for me to love people.  He knows that I dont believe that there are any "dead" areas and the truth is there are no bad areas just bad missionaries.   Because that is how it has been in my last 3 areas, Winner, Newtown and now Brandon.  I think it is great because I know at least half of my companions will be great and they are.  But I love all of my companions.   It is just that some were less than hard workers, but that is how it is.  And I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I  just love being a missionary.  Especially when I get letters because that is the best.  I want you to keep the airgun in Orderville because there is less chance of it being misused there because there is just less to misuse it on.  Remember that it was a gun not much more powerful than that that killed president Lincoln.  So be careful with it.  Well, I will send this in case you want to reply.
Love Elder Esplin

P.S. Name the dog Chester or something.  Give him a normal name.  Well, I got to go now.  Have a good week. Thanks for the box.  love elder esplin

Christopher emailed a day late this week.  I don't know why. 

April 25th 
Mom, how are you?  Thanks for all you have done for me.  I am doing great and I had a good Easter.  It is crazy to think it is almost May.   I will call you on the 8th.  Then I will have been out 20 months.  If it has gone by as fast for you, as it has for me it is ridiculous, is it not?  Thanks for being such a good mom.  There is a lady that we visit and she is not that great of a mom.  You know how in Newtown I was thinking about working in social services.  I told her about that and she asked if I would take her kids away.   When I first met her the answer was no but now I think I would take her kids away.  Her son has started smoking and he is only 14 and he has gotten two girls pregnant.  He is just ridiculous because he has no consequences.  He got mad and cussed her out and went in his room and was smoking.   I said take his TV and she said it was easier to just let him do it instead of having him throw a tantrum.  I thought back to all the times i freaked out and threw a tantrum and how hard it must have been for you and dad to take all of it and keep hoping that i would turn out right.  So I just want to thank you for not letting me have my way.  Thank you love elder esplin