Monday, September 12, 2016

Healing on the Sabbath

Hello my lovely family and friends!

I hope that everyone's week has been a good one filled with beautiful weather and happy people. Forgive me, but the fall just brings out a sentimental, nostalgic side of me. I just love the trees changing colors and the calm that is present in the air as everyone is in school and getting into their schedules. It is simply the best. I also really love Halloween, and even though I don't get to celebrate it,  I sure do love all of the cute decorations! Speaking of the fall and my love for it, here is a pretty funny story that happened yesterday.  Sister Beckstrand and I were driving in the car going to an appointment and as I saw all of the trees that were just so beautiful,  I commented, "I just love the fall!!”. To which sister Beckstrand said, "Dafall? Who's Dafall?”… "No, the fall!”… "Dafall?”… "AUTUMN! I LOVE AUTUMN!". Since we have encountered so many people with crazy names, she thought I was talking about someone! It doesn't help that one of the people she met in her last area was named Duvall. I was laughing so hard though.

This week was great.  WE ARE IN A NEW APARTMENT!!! Or condo, I guess. I really love the new apartment though! It is so nice! And we get to stay there and not move! We are both SO happy!!! There seem to be no bed bugs that have followed us and we are thrilled to finally just focus on missionary work....once we finish unpacking everything (and I mean everything). I have moved 5 times in the 2 months that I have been in Arkansas, which I think is a record even for missionaries.  It is so nice to just be in one place and know that we get to stay put. This week was crazy though. Earlier this week we decided that we were going to devote more time to visit less active families and recent converts and so we went down to North Little Rock to see someone and when we knocked on the door it wasn't the family we were looking for, but they said that we could come back on Friday to share a message about Jesus Christ, so on Friday that is exactly what we did! Unfortunately, as we pulled up to the duplex, she was outside with her mom and they both gave us crusty looks, so we just crossed our fingers that we wouldn't get yelled at to leave. We got out of the car and started to talk with them, but the conversation was stained. Shanice, the lady that we initially met, was kind of ignoring us, her mom was sort of listening, but thankfully,  Shanice’s daughter, Kimonie really wanted to talk to us and get some pamphlets and Book of Mormons. Great! The only problem is that Kimonie is 3... Just then, I remembered that when our sister training leaders had come earlier that week they had shared that they had tried praying for their companion while the other one was teaching, so I decided to do that. I started praying that Sister Beckstrand would have guidance and be able to teach. And she did! She used Kimonie to help teach her mom and grandma! It was so cute. Kimonie was acting like a little sister missionary. Her mom and grandma started getting really interested and they shared interest to read the Book of Mormon! Then, Shanice's sister came out with her baby and she asked for a Book of Mormon, as well! We didn't have any more in our hands, so I ran back to the car and got a Book of Mormon for her! It was such a great lesson, and Yolanda (the grandma) said that we could come back next Friday night! The lesson totally started out rough, but I truly believe that praying for Sister Beckstrand really helped.   I am so grateful for the power of the spirit!

Another really cool thing that happened this week was that we went to Dana’s house and we taught her. She has been taught for a really long time but she has really progressed these last several months! It is crazy, because she kept missing appointments and not calling us, we decided to put her on the back burner for a little while, and since we did that she has called us to set up appointments!! She asks us to come over! Also, she is reading the Book of Mormon and she loves it! She will call us and tell us about an experience that she had while reading it! It is so cool to see her progressing so much! She just needs to move out so she doesn't have a male roommate and then she can get baptized! Also, I had an impression to ask Dana if there was anyone that she knew that might be interested in the gospel and she recommended a neighbor down the street and he was really interested! We went and talked to him and he was great, although when we were explaining the concept of prophets he kept telling us, "you is prophets because you help me get closer to God. Don't say that yous isn't a prophet. That you are just a servant. You is a prophet!". We tried explaining to him that there actually is a prophet that is over everyone, but he really seems to struggle to understand the significance of that!! He has a return appointment and Dana is going to come with us to teach him!! 

We also had stake conference this week, and the craziest thing happened! We called Donna that morning to remind her about church and she didn't answer. So we sat down for stake conference and we saw that we missed a call from her so we went to the hall and called her back. We asked if she was doing okay and she said, "no, I'm not feeling great. I fell down last night and I have been on the floor since 10:30 last night". We ran to the car and drove over to her house (she is really close to the church). We went inside and helped her up into her bed and then we ran back to the church. I felt so guilty. I thought that President Wakolo would be mad at us because we left stake conference (plus he knew where we were sitting because we sat next to his 13 year old daughter jasmine), but then I was reminded  that we were doing something that the Savior would do. I remembered the story in the Bible where the people were getting mad at Jesus for healing on the sabbath and I thought, "that was something that Jesus would have done. She needed that help".  And fortunately, President Wakolo didn't get mad! It was fine, but it was a great experience for me to realize that sometimes you have to change things a little bit.

There are so many things I could share with you today, but I have such limited time, so I'll just end with this thought from the October 2000 General Conference address given by Dallin H. Oaks. He said, "the pure love of Christ” (Moro. 7:47), is not an act but a condition or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion. Charity is something one becomes." How can we make charity who we become? What do we need to change in our lives to help so that we can have charity be something that we are instead of something that we do? That is what I have been thinking about for a while.

I love y'all! I hope that you have a wonderful week! I love all of the emails, pictures, and cards! Thank you for your love and support!


Sister Esplin

Healer on the sabbath
Expert mover

Lover of the autumn

Moving day!!!

Young adult broadcast with Lindsey (Elder Cheney is in the background)

Exchanges with Sister Decker

Back with mi companion! Sister Decker on the bottom left and Sister Hirschi on the bottom right.

Taken a while ago (before Sister Evans left).

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