Monday, August 22, 2016

They're Baaaaaaaack!!!

They're baaaaaack! The bedbugs apparently love the sweet nectar that my blood seems to give them. Why? I don't know… Apparently Satan knows that there is something that we need to do and it is important, so he is sending these evil little blood suckers to make our work hard to do. What a stinker! I have bite marks all over my legs and apparently I am scratching in my sleep. But seriously, sweet is the work!! I hate talking about bedbugs. I really do. They suck the life out of the fun! It sounds like they are going to be my eighteen month companions, so I probably won't bring anything home when I do go home in a year and a half. Yay!

Here is the funniest thing that happened this week. We did weekly planning on Friday and that takes a couple of hours, so right after that we had lunch. Well, we were just getting comfortable for lunch when knock knock knock, someone came to the door. Well, who could be there but some missionaries. Were they those darn Mormons? Nope! Some Baptist missionaries. They immediately told us that we were going to hell and that our future held eternal damnation. So nice. They just started spouting out bible scripture after bible scripture and telling us that we were wrong about everything. We were just like, bro, chill!!  Seriously, I was so shocked that people could behave like that. I think that Arkansas had realized that I had been there too long without getting a good old fashioned southern bible bash so it brought one right to our door. This guy was seriously so off about everything that I had to try really hard to not laugh. For example, he told us that we are going to rule all the planets when we die! Wow! He also said that he had read some parts of the Book of Mormon and he knew Joseph Smith was not a prophet and that the Book of Mormon was not true. What was so crazy was that every time he said something against us, the spirit sweetly testified to me that it was totally and completely true. I had been struggling to really gain a deeper testimony of Joseph Smith so this week I read a wonderful talk by James E. Faust from the October 2003 conference called "Lord, I believe; Help thou my unbelief". It was so wonderful. He said,  "For those of you who, like the biblical father, say, “I believe; help thou mine unbelief,” you can have a confirmation by following the direction of the Book of Mormon, which challenges us to ask “God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ,” regarding the truth that can only come by faith in Christ and by revelation. However, there are two indispensable elements. One must “ask with a sincere heart, with real intent,” and then God “will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”" So I did that. I prayed and asked. And several times this week the truth was revealed to me. That was one of those moments. Another was when an investigator who we had to drop told us that she just didn't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet. She felt he was just some crazy guy and couldn't get beyond her doubts.  I just love that by adversity and opposition we can come to know the truth. By their fruits you may know them, right? Joseph smith is not who we worship, he was not a perfect person, but he was a prophet of God and he restored Christ's church to the earth! How grateful I am for that wonderful morning in 1820. It takes a lot of effort and faith to ask our Father in Heaven to reveal truth to us. Sometimes it is out of fear that we don't ask what He wants us to do. I don't believe that Joseph Smith went into the sacred grove thinking that he would see God and Jesus Christ. He didn't foresee that he would be called as a prophet of God. But, I am so glad that he had great faith and that he was worthy enough to sincerely ask such critical questions in faith. Do we live our lives in a way that we can do the things that our Heavenly Father wants us to do? Are we living so that we can follow promptings? Does He know that you will follow them? 

This week has been really great. Donna is getting baptized this Saturday!!! I am so excited for her. She received a blessing this week from the elders and it was wonderful. I love priesthood blessings! She also said to us, “I just wish that everyone would live the things taught in the Book of Mormon. The world would be a much better place”.  Oh Donna! I love her so much! The work progresses here, but it goes so much faster with the help of members! 

The Gustafsons fed us dinner this week! It was so fun to finally meet sister Gustafson. She worked for my Grandpa when she and her husband lived in Utah years ago. She was trying to get her kids to remember my Grandpa and she told them that he was the one that gave them the giant container of jelly beans. Oh man, that brought back some great memories!  I couldn’t help but laugh to myself.

I am sorry I have to run and keep things brief this week, but know that I love you all!

Sister Esplin

Bedbug cage fighter

North Little Rock Zone Conference

 Sunsets in Arkansas are AMAZING!
 Zone conference with Sister Peterson
(We share the same cousins—just different sides of the family)

 Sweet is the work with these cute companions!
Creeper picture of me sleeping-courtesy of my companions

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