Thursday, July 7, 2016

One Week Down...

Wow. Everyone said that a mission was going to be hard, I had no idea how fast that was going to become true. Seriously, I was fine the first day or two, but then, BOOM! All of a sudden, homesickness. No offense but I really thought that I wasn't going to get homesick until a little bit later in the maybe halfway through. But dang was it a hard couple of nights. I cried myself to sleep one night just thinking about all of you and that it is going to be eighteen months until I see you again! That is 548 days. I was so worried about not being able to handle fast Sunday, but it was seriously the BEST SUNDAY EVER. It was mission conference and I just felt so much peace and love from my Heavenly Father, I was almost sad to end my fast. Crazy, huh?  (Although Uncle Nathan, the MTC did NOT serve Chicken Cordon Bleu for dinner on Fast Sunday...I was so disappointed!).  It has been so much fun getting all of your letters! I seriously feel so loved when I get a letter in the mail *hint hint hint hint* *cough more mail* *send pictures*. 

The MTC is so weird, it is so crazy to have literally NO TIME! Everything is planned out and I feel like I am rushing from one thing to another and remembering to breathe when I sit down. My companion is great! Her name is Sister Van Orman and she is from Mapleton, Utah. Every sister in my room is from Utah and we are all going to Little Rock, Arkansas! YEEHAW! I don't know why I said that. We are very very very different. She is quieter and reserved....I'm not. She is tall and skinny....see aforementioned answer. She likes to plan things out to every detail for a lesson, whereas I would so much rather follow a loose outline with some scriptures so that the Spirit has some room to breathe. But we get along really well. I tried really hard to hide from everyone that I am not your normal gal, but that lasted until Sunday. Now they know that I do voices and know really weird Disney songs.

One of my teachers is British. GUYS. It is crazy. She sounds just like Kiera Knightly. Marlin K. Jensen spoke to us on Tuesday about faith and it was so amazing, one of my favorite things he said was "to believe deeply enough in Christ to repent is a remarkable stage". Mom & Dad-I feel like I have heard that name before, does it hold any significance? (NOTE FROM MOM & DAD...Ummm YES....He MARRIED US!!!)  On Saturday we had a Celebration of Freedom devotional before we went to the parking lot to watch the Stadium of Fire Fireworks. Well, we were sitting in the front, center, floor section and guess what I learned about myself? I'm claustrophobic. Like the the point of a panic attack claustrophobic. It was so scary, My heart was beating so fast and I was hot and I could barely pay attention. I seriously just had to take deep breaths and take a sip of water. I really have never felt so alone and scared. I was just praying so hard for some peace. Sister Jolene Swenson and Brother Joe Swenson spoke at the devotional, and I took notes for Sister Swenson's talk, but the only thing that I wrote down for Brother Swenson's talk was "Now it's your time, your history". That brought so much peace to me. It's  interesting, sometimes amazing talks aren't what can help a person, but rather a comment or one line of your talk. 

I have to tell you, now that I have said that I was super sad and also had a panic attack that I am now fine! Other than having a cough and also getting cold sores on both sides of the back of my mouth (Stress anyone?!!), I am doing WONDERFUL!!!!! I love the mission now. I watched the Character of Christ by David A. Bednar and oh my goodness, it is literally the best thing in the whole wide world. If you can find the talk online I would invite you to read it because the video is only available at the MTC. He talked about how Christ turns out when we would turn in. We need to turn out in love, service and compassion when instead we would want to turn in and ask for how the Lord can help us, what God can do for us, what he can give to us. I personally experienced that on Monday night when I was having a lot of anxiety about going out into the mission field, thinking that I can't be away from you all and that it was such a long time and that I was inadequate. So I went to the bathroom with my companion and I cried and prayed to Heavenly Father to give me peace to help me so that I can do the work that I was called to do. In my patriarchal blessing it says that I will have challenges and trials but that I will be able to endure them and learn from them to help others. This was the time. I was so ready. Just as I was starting to study for one of the investigators (one of my teachers), I was searching in the scriptures for scriptures on comfort for her. Let me tell you. I was overcome with a feeling of peace and love that I cannot adequately describe. I looked in 2 Corinthians 13:11 and I felt so much love. But then my companion said to look in 2 Corinthians 1:2-4. Oh my goodness. Verse 4 totally applied to me. I needed to feel comfort from Heavenly Father so that I could help others feel comfort!! THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!!!!

I love you all so much!!! 

Sister Esplin

P.S. I seem to be having problems getting the computer to attach pictures. will try to send pictures next week! XOXO

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