Hello Family and Friends!!
This week has been a crazy week and district 37E has been HIT. Last Thursday night one of our elders went home for medical reasons and it was so hard for everyone to see such a great missionary go home. Then this last Sunday, our District Leader went home. It was so hard to see everyone struggle and only be able to give them a short handshake. You just want to hug 'em! They may be elders but they are like temporary brothers. I'll start this email off on a bit of an Ashley note and end it with a Sister Esplin tone.
So, it turns out when you are a missionary, you still get sick! Also, when one person gets sick, everyone does. I got pretty sick on July 8th and I went to the doctor's office to get it figured out before it got worse. He basically just told me to not cough on people and that I was contagious and then he sent my companion and me to the student health center down the road to get a prescription. Yay for field trips! Also, I was really excited to try the Chicken Cordon Bleu at the MTC because Uncle Nathan said it was really good! Well, I finally ate it last Sunday for lunch and what happens? I got food poisoning. But it was totally worth it. It was amazing!! But I was the only one who got sick from it! Some kind of sick joke, right? Did you get the joke? teehee. On Sunday I really found out that I am my mother's daughter. My mom always gets the worst cough attacks at the worst times ever and on Sunday that happened to me in Sacrament Meeting...twice. Really fantastic. Not embarrassing at all. Especially since it had just been announced that Sister Van Orman and I were the new Sister Training Leaders (basically Zone Leaders for the Sisters). Oh yeah, I'm a Sister Training Leader. I don't know what the Branch Presidency was thinking. The thought that kept running through my mind when they asked me to do it was the scene in Tangled when Rapunzel tells Flynn Rider that she has decided to trust him and he just says "that's a terrible idea, really". That's how I feel. Unqualified but so happy to serve and love the sisters in Branch 37. I also get a cell phone so that I can call the front desk or so they can call me, and let me tell you, I HATE IT. I have to answer the phone during class and go get sisters and I also always get a call during TRCs (fake investigators) and I miss calls all.the. time. Ugh. I never thought that I would say that I dislike phones, but in the MTC cell phones are the worst thing ever.
Okay....Sister Esplin Time. Because I was really sick, I needed a blessing. I have always had trust in blessings and I have never hesitated to ask for one from my dad, but I was sort of hesitant about a bunch of elders just giving me a blessing. I asked my district leader to do it before he left, and oh my goodness, the spirit was so strong. He didn't have fanciful words and it wasn't long, but what he said really spoke to my spirit. One thing that really stuck out to me was he said, "I bless you to be able to take one step after the next and when you no longer can, that He can take the next one". RIGHT TO THE SPIRIT. I needed to hear that. It was so neat to have my whole district around me. I felt so much love and so much unity. We haven't been the strongest, tightest knit district, but at that moment we knew that we were all there for the same reason. It was also so amazing for me to realize that the Priesthood is the same, whether it be a newly ordained Elder, or a High Priest. I love the gospel and the truth it brings.
During our TRCs this week, we have had a really difficult investigator that just asks super hard questions and doesn't even believe God is alive. I was so upset on Wednesday and I just broke down. I didn't know what we would teach her and I almost wasn't even caring because she didn't want to be baptized at all. I prayed with my companion and prayed so hard by myself and I felt like we should show her the Because He lives video. Well, we got in the lesson and I showed the wrong one. I showed the Because of Him video. That was even better. The spirit was so strong and Sister Van Orman and I were on the same page and Kristen believed that Christ is her Savior! I was saying things that were definitely from the spirit, Sister Van Orman was doing the same thing. WE FINALLY HAD A LESSON LED BY THE SPIRIT!!!! We went in with broken hearts because we honestly only knew that we were going to show her the video and we had nothing else planned because the last lesson had left us heartbroken. Heavenly Father definitely knows who we are and He wants to help us. We just have to ask Him. He is there. I am reminded of the song, "A Child's Prayer", where it says, "Pray, He is there. Speak He is listening. You are His Child, His love now surrounds you." How true that is.
I love the mission field. I love that it breaks me. I love that I am given the opportunity to love and serve wonderful sisters in my branch. I love that the mission makes me lie down in bed wanting to sleep for five years and makes me cry out to my Heavenly Father because I can't do things alone. He wants to help us. He wants to see us grow into who He knows we can be. I love my savior. I can't believe that He loves me so much that He died for me, but I am so grateful for that. I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!!!
I love you all so so so so so much. I am doing GREAT!
Much much much much much love,