Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bedbugs Again!!!


HELLO! Hello Again!!!! 

It is little me, back in ARKANSAS!!! YES. But also, NO! I love serving in Arkansas, but I also absolutely adore serving in the Memphis area. :/ So I am serving in the Little Rock Stake (I have now served in EVERY STAKE IN THE MISSION!), in the branch/area of Arkadelphia! It is so awesome! (For those who have been counting, which I am sure is ALL of you 😉, this is my SIXTH area). The branch is actually pretty big! I am absolutely loving it here already. It is so cool because my whole mission I have really wanted to serve around a college and now I am serving right next to TWO universities! We live literally 5 minutes away from Henderson state University and also a Baptist university, Ouchita baptist University. I am so happy to be here, and there have just been so many cute, sweet little tender mercies and coincidences that have happened. First of all, my companion Sister Black is AMAZING! She just really wants to work and teach and she is very organized and she is great. Also, WE HAVE THE EXACT SAME BIRTHDAY!! WHAT?! So crazy. :) Also, we are fifth cousins, once removed. (Through the Esplin/Webster line for those of my awesome relatives that love family history). Also, there is a member that I was talking to on Sunday and she was talking about how her daughter just left to attend BYU and she is a freshman who wants to go into nursing and she lives at Heritage Halls and it turns out that she lives on the same floor (or at least building) as my AWESOME sister Megan. SMALL WORLD! I just love this place though. There are so many good, crazy people that I am definitely going to have some amazing stories to tell y'all someday. 

Believe it or not, I have Bedbugs...again. AAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!. Done. So done with those little buggers. Basically, I came to Arkadelphia just super pumped to work and on Wednesday we went to this trailer for an appointment and we sat down on the lady's couch and as we were sitting there I saw some bugs crawling across the floor. I thought to myself, is that what I think it is? Then I looked at my arms and PEOPLE!!! THERE WERE BEDBUGS ALL OVER MY ARM!!! Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but there were like 3 on my arm and, as far as I am concerned, that is three too many. So at that point, my mind started to check out of the lesson and started to mentally scroll through the bedbug checklist I have utilized far more than I would l care to admit. As we left the lesson, I turned to sister Black and said, "there were bedbugs all over and our schedule for the day has now changed". We immediately tried to contact the mission bedbug specialist, but he didn’t answer, so we called the mission office and they told us a bit of what to do.  When we got home, I did everything I knew we were supposed to do. After we showered, we checked the bedroom, and as we began stripping Sister Black’s bed, we discovered a bedbug!!! NO! We didn’t see any on mine, but it doesn’t matter. If you find ONE bedbug, it is game over.  Eventually, the bedbug specialist called and do you know what he told my companion? That I was the bedbug expert in the mission! ARGH. I don’t want to be known as that. I just keep thinking that maybe I get into these situations so that I can prevent further bedbug calamities from coming to the area. That is what I keep telling myself. Sadly, the last several days have been spent doing SO MUCH LAUNDRY!! Washing and double drying everything I own. Also spraying a ton of permethrin all over the apartment and my suitcases. We have only seen one bedbug so hopefully that means there is not an infestation. We are crossing our fingers 🤞 and saying our prayers that we don’t have to deal with bedbugs in the coming weeks! I really want to work hard and I don’t want this distraction, especially since my remaining time out in the field is so brief!!  

Anywho, this week was really a good week other than that. We were able to talk a lot about our goals for this transfer and we honestly believe that Satan knows that we have a tons of work to do and that we are going to do so much good and this is the only way to stop us from doing the work we desperately desire to accomplish. On Tuesday, we were able to have some awesome lessons with some investigators and one of them, Karl, has a baptismal date. He picked the date out himself, last transfer. He wants to get baptized on December 27th. Heh. Happy anniversary to my parents on that date! 😂 When I first heard it, I thought that he said September, but nope, it is December. Crazy. We were able to talk to him about prayer and we invited him to read Enos! He said yes, so we will see how his reading goes this upcoming week.

We also got to help a blind lady scrapbook which is great, I am realizing that I am not the best at scrapbooking other people’s pictures. :) We also got to visit a Sister McKim, who is great, she even came to church on Sunday! Oh! And some members, the Johnstuns invited us over on Tuesday night for cake and they made me a welcome cake!!! It was so so so so sweet! In multiple ways ;) I am absolutely loving it here in Arkadelphia, other than the bedbug issue, of course. 

This upcoming week is pretty exciting. We are going to the temple today! President Hansen worked it out with the temple president for every missionary to go to the temple before the temple closes for renovation in October, and so our zone is going today, which is super exciting! Also, we have zone conference this week and we are GETTING OUR SMARTPHONES!!!! Also, president Hansen is doing a magic show of the ages because we got 3500 ARAs as a mission two weeks ago! Exciting things in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission (ARLRM! Exciting things!


I am so sorry, but since most of my P-Day has been devoted to traveling to/from and attending the Memphis temple,  my challenge to you is to attend the temple!  If you aren’t in a position to do so, learn more about the temple and the blessings that the temple can bring into your personal life. I don’t have the opportunity to attend the temple on a regular basis, so when I do, it feels like such a spiritual privilege. I am so grateful for the spiritual blessings that can come to all who attend the temple and I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has made it possible for temples to dot the earth and provide this blessing all who choose to enter the doors of the temple and receive spiritual peace and refuge.  

Love y'all lots and lots and lots!!! HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!!!! Stay safe and have a blessed day. :) 


Love, 

Sister Esplin



 Bedbugs… Again!! 


The cake I got from the Johnstuns welcoming me to Arkadelphia 


Working with Sister Black in Arkadelphia

Monday, September 11, 2017

Justin Timberlake is from Millington, Tennessee?!!

Heeeeyyyyy y'all!!!!!! 

Do you want to know a truth that I learned this week? God has a sense of humor. Yes he does. Do you want to know why? BECAUSE I'M BEING TRANSFERRED!!...AGAIN. Oh my goodness. I this is the fourth transfer in a row that I have been transferred. I am now going to my 6th (and hopefully last) area. I am going to the Arkansas side-didn't I say that I only transfer to different states?- and I am going to be serving in the Little Rock stake in an area called Arkadelphia. It is a branch, and I have heard nothing but good things about it. My new companion is Sister Black and I haven't really met her yet but she sounds awesome! Everyone tells me she is funny and she is a workhorse! YEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!! I. Am. So. Pumped. I am so ready to just work my heart out! I told Sister Anderson, when we were coming back from exchanges on Saturday night and she was asking for goals, that I wanted to leave fire on the ground because I worked so hard and fast…SKID MARKS! This transfer is going to be amazing. I just feel it. It was so crazy, I woke up that morning and I just didn’t feel stressed at ALL! I just felt peace, I knew that everything was going to be great. I talked to Sister Anderson when we were coming home from exchanges and I just turned to her and I said, "I dont know what is happening with this transfer but I know this for sure, I am staying in Millington. 100% sure." Hahaha. Ten minutes later I found out I was being transferred. Guys. God has a sense of humor. 

This week was so amazing. I had exchanges with Sister Anderson again and she is AMAZING!!!!!!!!! THE BEST PERSON EVER!!!!! I went to Bartlett with her and we were able to find lots of awesome people. We even got bashed. All we could do was testify and share what we know. People can be funny. But I was able to also receive a big confirmation from the spirit of how true the Book of Mormon really is. I truly love when you teach and all of a sudden you start to learn things. That is when you know the spirit is teaching. 

We also had a lesson this week with this awesome lady named Minnie! She ordered a Book of Mormon and she was so so so excited to hear about the gospel. I just loved being able to testify of Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith! After we taught the restoration she was just in awe. She loved it. Then she told us how her husband is a minister, her father is a deacon and she had 5 or 6 cousins that are deacons. HA. So that will be fun! We can teach a whole congregation! Hahaha!

Okay, I am so sorry that this email is so lame, the day of transfers are always crazy! I studied so much this week! I read an amazing talk this week by Marvin K. Ashton called “Adversity and You”, He taught, "In football or in life, the adversaries, the ones with whom we compete, the ones we oppose or resist--our opponents, our foes, our enemies, or our problems--are often the determining factors in our ultimate strength and achievement." He continued, "From Harry Emerson Fosdick we read, “The most extraordinary thing about the oyster is this. Irritations get into his shell. He does not like them. But when he cannot get rid of them, he uses the irritation to do the loveliest thing an oyster ever has a chance to do. If there are irritations in our lives today, there is only one prescription: make a pearl. It may have to be a pearl of patience, but, anyhow, make a pearl. And it takes faith and love to do it.” (In The Treasure Chest, ed. Charles L. Wallis, New York: Harper & Row).

Those who yield to adversity become weaker. To the valiant, adversity becomes a stepping-stone to increased power. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and God-fearing people worldwide will not pray for freedom from trials. They will not surrender or panic. They will strive to put themselves in condition to meet and master troublesome trials." I know that adversity comes into every one of our lives, but I know that through Christ and through the gospel we can overcome all. We can be who our Heavenly Father wants and knows we can be. 
I know that Heavenly Father knows and loves each and every one of you. I know that Jesus Christ has died for us and that he has also lived for us and I know that he lives! I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of god and that we can come closer to christ by reading it. I love you all so so so much!!! Have a WONDERFUL WEEK!!!
I love yall!

Love,
Sister Esplin

Ashley
Someone going to her 6th area
Sad to leave Millington
Pumped to go ham!
Proud Arkansas missionary
Student of patience during adversity, believer in Christ 

ALSO, Justin Timberlake is no joke from Millington, Tennessee! Man, I could have tried to find his house! That is probably why the Lord let me know right before I got transferred…ha! "Can't stop the SPIRIT!"




  Millington district!!








 Final goodbyes with Sister Christensen



The Jacks


 Exchanges with Sister Anderson. We got to clean the Memphis temple!!






 Spreading the word with Sister Peterson



Goodbye, Millington!

Monday, August 7, 2017

What a week!

HELLOOOOOOOOOOO!

This email is going to be a little bit shorter than usual. (I know, y'all are shouting for joy for not having to read my boring novels 😉) but believe me, you ain't missing much :)

This week was kind of hard, mostly because my body completely shut down from stress, fatigue and a virus and I was throwing up a ton this week so we didn’t leave our apartment for 4 days. Also, we didn’t have a car until Saturday, which was super fun since we were completely new to the area and didn’t know where anything was. OHHHHHH, SWEET IS THE WORK!!! 


Well, some really good work that we did this week, we did while we were in Bartlett with the Sister Training Leaders. I found about 3 new investigators!!! For Bartlett… This didn’t really help our numbers in Millington, but you know what? We are all on the same team!!! TRUTH. 

On Monday I went tracting with one of the STLs and it was amazing to see how the spirit can work through us. Also, I developed a stronger testimony of role playing in companion study or at zone conferences. Last week we went to a mission leadership conference (MLC) and did a role play with some elders where we knocked on the door and the situation was that their mother had just passed away. I honestly didn’t know what to say. All of a sudden, I heard the words come out of my mouth, “How have you gotten through that?" Right after I said it, I thought to myself, “Why would I say a stupid thing like that?!” Well afterwards, we evaluated the role play, and they said that that question was what helped them open up and feel the spirit. Wow!  Well this past Monday, we encountered a lady whose mother had just passed away. Once again, the question fell out of my mouth. She immediately broke down and she was so happy to listen to the message of the Savior and His triumph over death and how much He loves her. I feel so strongly that Heavenly Father truly prepares us for moments like that. I just love testifying of the love our Heavenly Father has for us and for the knowledge that we have that Jesus Christ is always by us and helping us each and every day. 

Another cool moment occurred this week as I was struggling and feeling so bad about myself and thinking, “Wow, Esplin, way to go! You just HAD to get sick! If you were stronger, you would be able to get through this and not be sick and work really hard here..etc. etc." All things that the adversary puts into our minds. It's not true, but at that moment, I just felt so alone and so bad about myself, that I knelt down and said a prayer out loud. I asked Heavenly Father for comfort and strength and that I would be able to feel like I am not alone. At that moment, I felt so comforted. I KNEW that Heavenly Father had sent angels to help me and strengthen me. I literally FELT like angels were surrounding me and, as I sobbed, I felt that people that knew me and loved me were around me and wanted to comfort me. I was able to get up and feel so much better about myself and the great job that I have to do here. 

I want to share a little from my studies this week. I read an amazing talk from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf from last general conference, called "Perfect love casteth out fear". He said: "The more I come to know my Heavenly Father, the more I see how He inspires and leads His children. He is not angry, vengeful, or retaliatory. His very purpose--His work and His glory--is to mentor us, exalt us, and lead us to His fulness. God described Himself to Moses as “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” Our Father in Heaven’s love for us, His children, surpasses by far our ability to comprehend. Does this mean that God condones or overlooks behaviors that run contrary to His commands? No, definitely not! But He wants to change more than just our behaviors. He wants to change our very natures. He wants to change our hearts. He wants us to reach out and take firm hold of the iron rod, confront our fears, and bravely step forward and upward along the strait and narrow path. He wants this for us because He loves us and because this is the way to happiness.
So, how does God motivate His children to follow Him in our day?
He sent His Son!
God sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to show us the right way.
God motivates through persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned. God is on our side. He loves us, and when we stumble, He wants us to rise up, try again, and become stronger.
He is our mentor.
He is our great and cherished hope.
He desires to stimulate us with faith.
He trusts us to learn from our missteps and make correct choices.
This is the better way!"

I know that Heavenly Father loves us all so much and I love that He wants us to change. He doesn't want us to become something completely new. He wants to mold us and help us along the way so that we can be able to become more like Him. I love the fact that He wants to change our our natures and our hearts. Something that I have come to hold onto and cherish is the fact that I am never alone and that I have a perfect person, who has felt EVERYTHING that I have felt, to rely on. He is there, and He wants us to turn to Him. I hope that we can each look inside of ourselves and see things that we can change to become more like the Savior and more like our Father in Heaven. 

As a zone, we are doing a 30 day consecration where we fasted yesterday and last night prayed for what Heavenly Father wanted us to put on the alter to give our whole selves to Him. We had a pen and paper near so we could write it down. The great thing is, we aren't asked to do multiple things at a time, just one thing at a time, until the Lord tells us that we have mastered that and we can move on to something else. I invite y'all to do that as well. I know that He will guide and inspire youth ways that you can change, because He sure has told me. 


I love y'all so so so so so so so much!!!!! I hope that you have a good week. Thank you so much for your prayers and your emails and letters. I sure love hearing from you!! Love you lots and lots!!! I know the church is true and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Pass it on!


Love, 
Ash
Sister Esplin
Believer of miracles
Recovered from a virus

Crazy person



First week in Millington, TN
Our bishop seems awesome!!

On the road again…getting transferred to Millington, TN!

This was our area book when we arrived in Millington  last week…COMPLETELY EMPTY!!😳😧


Our cute STLs 

Frozen custard…Oh man!!!


Stake Women’s Conference in the North Memphis Stake
RM Sister Jensen and her family came back to visit the mission and made a surprise visit to the conference that day! 



That moment when your companion tells you that someone stole your catchphrase. Made my day!! ☺️

When you are sick all week so your companion finishes TWO puzzles. 😝 Also, rocking some crazy “Ted-head”. 







Thursday, August 3, 2017

Baseball bats and pepper spray

Hello my lovely family and wonderful friends!!! 

I say hello with a grateful heart and touched spirit. This week was quite a week and I don't know how much I should tell y'all about now and how much I will tell y'all after my mission. I have been praying about whether or not I should share with y'all what happened this week, but since I am no longer in Lonoke, (SURPRISE! I'm transferred! 😢) I felt that it should be okay to tell y'all. Also, partially because this took up pretty much the WHOLE week. Please forgive me if I share too much. I pray I can follow the spirit in what I share with y'all. 

Okay, last Monday we started our exchange with our sister training leaders. Sister Peterson went with sister Dayley to Conway and I remained in Lonoke with Sister Gray. I am so grateful for the members in Lonoke!!! Sister Shelton was such a sweet heart and she drove us all the way to Conway to drop of Sister Peterson and then bring Sister Gray back to Lonoke. Her cute daughters were such good sports about driving a bunch and they had so much fun in the backseat with Sister Gray. They were totally hamming it up, which totally reminded me of Katelyn and Parker and how they would be with new people...or really, any people. 

Tuesday we had our second walk day of our walk week. It was fantastic!!! We had our district meeting that morning which was interesting. We then had several skype meetings at the church. Yay for meetings!!!! I love being so spiritually fed. We actually decided to study three of the  citations of Jesus Christ as listed in the topical guide, like President Russell M Nelson challenged everyone to do during the last General Conference that we had. Sister Peterson picked the three topics and we studied them all together over skype!!! Yes! Huzzah! It was so spiritual and it really opened my heart, spirit, and mind. I love the scriptures and I love Jesus Christ. 

We also were able to go finding and we were able to find someone super awesome named Sydney!! She is so cool! She came outside in the humidity and she had AMAZING makeup and I was just freaking out. She was so amazing though. She was so sweet and she accepted a Book of Mormon and we were able to testify that we know that Heavenly Father loves her and knows her. I love the gospel!!!

On Tuesday night everything kind of blew up.  Sister Gray and I were sitting in our living room/dining room at about 10 at night with all of our lights on just busting a gut.  All of a sudden, we heard a noise and we just stopped. We have a super heavy glass and steel screen door and someone was very very slowly opening it. In a crazy out of body experience, I rushed to the door and flipped the deadbolt. After that, someone tried to open our door then they slowly shut our screen door. We immediately freaked out and grabbed our stuff and hid and said a prayer. We asked that if we were in no danger that he would give us peace. Immediately we felt an increase of panic so we called our district leader who prayed and then called us back and asked if we ever felt like we should call the police. We answered in the affirmative and immediately one of the assistants to the president called us and told us to get out of there. We agreed. But we didn't quite feel comfortable going outside to our car, out through the door that someone just tried to break into. So we called the cops and he gave us an escort out. Yay!!! Plus, I gave him a Book of Mormon and he was so so grateful! Sharing the gospel even at 11 o'clock at night! Our AP called us “The Midnight Missionaries”. We renamed ourselves “The Sisters Revere”, 😂 driving into the night to stay in Sherwood. The next day we returned with bats and pepper spray, as per President Hansen’s instructions, and returned to our apartment in Carlisle. but neither one of us felt safe there.  This week I learned a lot about discerning the spirit. For the remaining week we have been on the run staying with different people. I have probably had 15 hours of sleep this week. I joked and said that I was being driven from our home by persecution like the early saints (not really)! Now, both Sister Peterson and I are being transferred to Millington, TN where we are opening the area. Woot woot! 


Oh my goodness we also got asked to go to missionary leadership council which was so cool!!! I learned so much and felt the spirit so strong. Something so cool that President said was that rationalization is knocking on the doors of hell. 😧He is seriously so cool. He just loves us and wants us to be so spiritually led. I love that he said that because I think that we do that a lot where we rationalize what we are doing and it eventually leads to much bigger things. I just feel so blessed to be on a mission. Seriously, this week the spirit has been so strong and I have truly felt angels around me protecting me and helping me along the way. I know that Heavenly Father knows me and loves me. I am so grateful to be a missionary and to be able to serve others and to say that I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I hope that I can strive to live up to that title and truly serve each day. I love y'all so so so much! Thank you for all of your love and support. Y'all are wonderful! Have a great day!!

Love,
Sister Esplin
Lover of knocking on doors
Armed with a bat and pepper spray

New missionary in Millington





 In Conway with the STLs  Sister Dayley and Sister Gray


 Making a pit stop at Sam’s Club with the Sheltons


 Armed with pepper spray and a baseball bat


Beautiful sky!!!


 With Sister Alston


 Saying goodbye to the Sheltons 


 The Cabot sisters!!!


The signed shirt


Getting a much needed hug from Sister Pierson

Monday, July 24, 2017

Pioneers every day!

HELLO FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!!! Happy Pioneer Day! I hope that y'all have had a wonderful week this last week! This week was a little bit hard.  My companion was having a rough time, so we have been working on that, but she is doing so much better and I am so so proud of her!! :) Long story very very short, we didn’t get to do as much as I would have normally liked to do. But you know what? This week really gave me an opportunity to try and fulfill my baptismal covenants. We also had the chance to walk in the lovely humidity several times this week and truly appreciate summer in the South. Seriously, I walk outside and immediately I am COVERED in sweat. I know, it is a super lovely visual. 😊  In spite of the  heat, I have really been trying to lose myself in the service of others and as I have been doing that, I have felt the presence on the spirit more strongly in my life and I have also felt more of My Heavenly Father's love for me AND for those people that we serve. I don't know if I have mentioned this before (every day is seriously blending together and I am most likely losing my mind), but we get to volunteer at a food pantry on Monday nights at a Baptist church in Carlisle and on Tuesdays and Thursdays we volunteer at a food pantry at a Methodist church in Lonoke. Yay!!! It is so cool to get to help in the community and to e able to work with people of other faiths. It has really helped me to stop having the mentality of ‘Ugh, Baptists. They are so rude! ‘ Because really they are so sweet!!! They take such good care of us and they even give us extra food. YAY!!!

We were able to have another lesson with the Rowes and we were able to clarify what the priesthood is and then invite them to pray about a baptismal date. They really want to be baptized and I am so excited for them.

Anyhoo, as it is Pioneer Day today I have really been reflecting on pioneers, both past and present, and their impact on my life.  This week as I have been walking, there have been moments when I have thought to myself, “I don't think I can tolerate  ONE MORE MINUTE in this humidity and heat!” But then I would ponder about the pioneers that crossed the trails. They didn’t have a choice and they had such faith that God would direct them and eventually bring them to safety and bless them. They couldn't see an end in sight. They were so strong. I am so grateful for the great examples of our pioneer ancestors. Likewise,  I am so grateful for the pioneers in my life right NOW. For those modern-day pioneers who courageously joined the church and accepted the gospel, in spite of so much opposition. I am so grateful to be serving here in Lonoke right now, where I am able to see beautiful members who are truly pioneers in our time. Their strength and courage is so amazing and so inspiring. I love being able to serve with them and to try to emulate them! They are such a tiny little group and there is so much being fired against them, but they serve with all that they have and they have so much joy. I am so proud to be serving here. I truly hope that I can serve here for a very long time:) 


My spiritual thought this week is from an article that I read this week from Neal a. Maxwell:
“True believers are settled in their views of Christ. Despite their weaknesses, their spirituality is centered on the Savior, so their views of everything else are put in that precious perspective.
“ True believers gladly perform their duties in the kingdom. These duties are usually measurable and straightforward. They include partaking worthily of the sacrament, rendering Christian service, studying the scriptures, praying, fasting, receiving ordinances, attending to family duties, paying tithes and offerings. …
“ True believers are humble. They are ‘meek and lowly of heart’ [ Moroni 7:43 ]. … They are not easily offended. They do not resist counsel. …
“ True believers are willing to do what Christ wants. … Are we willing to let the Lord lead us into further developmental experiences? Or do we shrink back? The things which enlarge the soul inevitably involve stretching.
“ True believers have a balanced contentment. They strike a balance between being too content and wishing for a more important role. …
“ True believers truly pray. Their prayers are sincere. … The true believer’s prayers, at least some of the time, are inspired.
“ True believers have both right conduct and right reasons for that conduct. They are so secure in their relationship with the Lord that their goodness would continue even if nobody were watching. …
“ True believers rejoice in the success of others. … They don’t regard colleagues as competitors.
“ True believers remember that forgetting is part of forgiving. They follow the Lord’s example: ‘I [will] remember [their sins] no more’ ( D&C 58:42 ). …
“ True believers are innocent as to sin, but not naive. They are kind, but candid. They love their fellowmen. …
“ True believers are happy. Instead of a ‘woeful countenance,’ true believers in Christ have a disciplined enthusiasm to work righteousness. They are serious about how they live life, but are also of good cheer” ( “True Believers,” New Era, Apr., 1994, 20–24 ).


I hope that we can truly strive to be true believers every day. I love y'all so so much and I hope that you have a great week!!!! Thanks for all that you do to love and support me!!! Also, this week is walk week and we are doing a 4 day exchange! Whoah!

Love,
Sister Esplin
Ashley
Privileged to see modern day pioneers
Boss at bagging food

Lover of Lonoke and the state of Arkansas


 The primary class we got to teach yesterday!!! They are such cuties!


 We are currently teaching a family that already had a Book of Mormon…that was printed in 1923!!!


 Sweet is the work with Sister Peterson :)


 That moment when bedbugs appear in your life again. NOOOOO!!! 


 I burned my arm. Ouch!


 I made fried chicken!!


This week I had the chance to do family history and while I was doing research on Ancestry, I discovered this gem.  I just realized that my paternal grandma, Jeanette Tew, and my maternal grandma’s sister, Nancy Sycamore, graduated from Utah State at the same time. What a small world!!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Some like it hot. 🔥 I am not included in that statement.

HELLO EVERYONE!!!!!
I hope that y'all have had a wonderful week this week and that you have been able to see the hand of the Lord in your lives. I know that sometimes it is hard to see, but when you look closer you realize how much He really is involved in the details of our lives. :) 

Well everyone, It is getting HOT here in Arkansas!! My face melts off my face, but everyone says that southerners look so young because of the humidity, so I expect to look fantastic when I am 60 because of my service here. ;) This week was great, but it sure involved being out of the area a lot. I had an appointment in West Memphis, Arkansas which took 6 hours for a 15 minute appointment. Ahhh. And then we were stuck in Little Rock all day on Saturday for an appointment for Sister Peterson. Fortunately, a member was so sweet and drove us to the appointment and back to our area and, to top things off, she took us to lunch at a cute little restaurant in Little Rock and before driving us home. :) I love branches!!! I often think that I want to end my mission here. The people here are AMAZING!! They are so sweet and giving and kind and generous and service-oriented and Christlike and ALL the other wonderful things that you can say about people. :) 

This week we went on exchanges  and I went to Conway with Sister Dayley! We came out together and she is so sweet! It is so funny, when I was in Sherwood I always wanted to go on an exchange to Conway but I never had the opportunity to. It is funny that I had to be transferred to a completely different zone/stake to go on an exchange with them.  😂  The exchange was so good!  I learned so much and we were able to see miracles. We went to one street, called Utah Trail (oh me sweet homeland, where the mountains call me name and the heat be dry). I thought, there's got to be someone here who is ready to hear the gospel. This is Utah trail. UTAH. Yessssss. Well, we went and talked to everyone and some people were more receptive than others but it was so great to still be sharing the gospel! We got to one house though, and the man opened the door and said, “You are with the Mormons?” We answered YES and he said, “Oh yeah, I totally believe what y'all believe…when can I come to church? Is there one around here?” We totally freaked out on the inside. WHAT!!! So cool! The missionaries are going to see him this week:) We also were able to have a lesson with the Rowes ( a part member family) and talk to them about the restoration. We taught them about how much Heavenly Father loves them and that He will answer their prayers as they study the scriptures and earnestly seek for answers in prayer. Then they came to church the next day! And what was our Sunday school lesson on? Oh you know, just the Holy Ghost and how Heavenly Father answers our prayers. INSPIRED!!!! 

Here is my spiritual thought this week! As y'all know, I have been working like crazy to understand and better know my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been reading everything that I can get my hands on. The Book of Mormon, The New Testament, Jesus the Christ, and General Conference Talks. As I read in Preach My gospel about the Atonement, something really stood out to me. It says, “Though He suffered beyond comprehension-so much so that he bled from every pore and asked whether it were possible that this burden be lifted from Him-He submitted to the Father's will in a supreme expression of love for His father and for us. I LOVE THAT!! I love that He loves us so so so much that He suffered for us ALL. I think that is where all great service comes from, it stems from love. As I am trying to be like Jesus (cue the primary song 😊), I realized that I needed to cultivate more love for those around me and for my Savior and Heavenly Father. Not that I don't love people around me, but I recently remembered that mom my taught us that it wasn’t enough just to tell people that you love them. You need to work at SHOWING them your love through your actions.  So I have a new commitment this week to SHOW LOVE. To serve more and give my heart to these people. Sometimes it can be easy to love people but not give my everything to them. I will give them all that I have. 

I hope that y'all have a wonderful week!! Thank you so so much for all of your love and support. I love y'all so much!! I know the church is
true, I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he restored Christ's church. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and that He knows me perfectly and that He will answer my prayers, because He answered a young boy's prayer in 1820. 

I love y'all!!!
Love, ❤️
Sister Esplin
Ash
Someone who says on the daily, “I may be red in the face, but its not out of anger.”
Someone who  is trying to be like Jesus

Mission traveler. (I went to 4 different zones this week! Four different stakes).

 THE Lakeland, Arkansas district (+our Zone Leaders)



EXCHANGES!!!! In Conway with Sister Dayley:)

 Left to Right: Me, Sister Peterson, Sister Dayley, and Sister Gray

 Sweet Sister Shelton took us to get gelatos when we were in Little Rock for an appointment. 



 We went to England!!!…Arkansas ;)



 Chalk Plan of Salvation…So proud of my work!!



 Ash Street