Monday, September 19, 2016

The Week of the Ankle

Well hello there my lovely family and friends!

This week-as every week out in the mission field has been proving to be-has been a weird, spiritually charged, growth inducing, week. Every week is filled with disappointments, joys beyond compare, and an overall well-rounded range of emotions. This week seemed to be chock full of moments that brought me to my knees in gratitude and in despair. Maybe despair isn't the right word, but I can't seem to find the right one. One thing you can be sure of—a mission definitely doesn't provide a shortage of chances to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Alrighty, let's start out with last Monday, for that is where the saga of the ankle begins. On Monday we had a dinner planned with a sister in the ward. We went over to her house and we saw that she had her nonmember friend over (side note-her friend wants to feed us next week!! YAY) and we had dinner with them both! We got to do a member present lesson, which is always so great, but in this case it was not just a member present, but a FRIEND who is a member that was present. So after we had dinner and shared our lesson, we walked outside and it was SUPER dark! Well, a couple of weeks ago, I sprained or did something to my ankle but it got better. Apparently, I need to learn from my mistakes, because when we were walking on this little board walk by her house to get to the car I stepped on a rock and rolled my ankle again. This time it did not recover as quickly. Dun dun dun!!!

The next day (Tuesday), we had specialized training! It was so great to be with the zone and to receive instruction from President and Sister Wakolo and also from our zone leaders. Leaders sure are great! Well,  before the training started, we got flu shots and since the mission nurse was around,  Sister Beckstrand insisted that I talk to the mission nurse about my ankle. I reluctantly agreed because it was really hurting, but after the mission nurse told me I had to get a x-Ray, I had second thoughts because I did not want to go to the doctor. (Don’t worry, I did schedule an appointment)   Anywhooooo, back to the training. We talked a lot about clearly teaching repentance. During the entire training, I felt as thought the spirit was telling me that I needed to talk to one of the returning less active members that we have been growing really close to about how she needs to live the law of chastity. I have been feeling so stressed about that and pushing it aside for a couple of weeks because she has a little girl and I didn't want her to not want to meet with us. But the spirit just slapped me in the face and the thing that I heard was (maybe not quite like this, but it sure felt like it) “You big dummy! If she really is repenting and wanting to come closer to Christ, she is going to WANT to follow that law. So stop being a big baby about it." I left the meeting feeling like I really needed to teach that to her. Oh man!  President Wakolo also talked about teaching family history to people who have slammed doors in our faces. He challenged us to talk about family history at a door that wants to close. AND IT WORKED!! We went to lots of people this week and handed out cards and pamphlets on family history and they were much more happy to talk to us!  So cool. After our training, we blitzed Conway and I was with Sister Duffin for an hour while we did that, which is so awesome. Sister Duffin came out a transfer before me and she just started training and she is simply the best. That afternoon, I felt so alive knocking on doors! For some reason,I felt like I was able to act like the missionary I really wanted to be, the missionary that had been dying to come out! It was awesome! I absolutely loved it. It was really cool, as well, because our ride to the meeting left early so President Wakolo drove us home! 

On Wednesday, we  had a really cool lesson scheduled with Lindsey in our less active member’s house (the one previously mentioned), but she did not answer her phone, our texts, or the door when we went to remind her and she didn't show up to the lesson. So we decided to just continue onward with what we were going to teach, the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, the spirit decided to change the plans. And THANK HEAVENS FOR THAT! We started talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ and she blurted out, "I want to live the law of chastity. I feel like this life I am living is just holding back my progression". We just sat there in awe. Sister Beckstrand and I just looked at each other and then dove right in and taught the law of chastity lesson. She really wants to get married and to get to the temple. But she said that she would get to the temple with or without him. She is the best. She is really interested in the temple. Actually, she kept asking us if garments felt weird. We were laughing pretty hard about how excited she. The one thing she really wants though is to be sealed to her daughter, which she needs a husband to we will see if we can teach her boyfriend soon. We have our fingers crossed!

This weekend was a little rough. By Friday, I had pain. Pain ALL over. On Saturday, we received a Pork butt from a member and we had to go to the church to get it. By this point, I was in so much pain and Sister Beckstrand kept telling me that I really needed to get a blessing, but I just felt awkward asking for one since we aren't very close to the Elders in our district (so sad, because I tell great jokes and they will never get to hear them. JK). By the time we reached the chapel to get our pork butt, I knew that I should get a blessing. Since our church building holds the mission office, the office elders were there, so Sister Beckstrand asked the elders to give me a blessing, and in pain, while I just flopped in a chair and commented that I truly didn’t care who did what, but that I really NEEDED a blessing. I don't remember what was specifically was said, but I know I felt great comfort and peace.  Well, today I went to the doctor and I got an X-Ray and I also got a new brace. The diagnosis was a bad sprained ankle and, let me tell you, I am so glad!!!  All week long, I was SO nervous that I would have to go home to have surgery, and I DIDN’T want to do that. Nope. Not at all. I said I would defy doctor’s orders and continue on if that was the prognosis. It's my ankle, not my heart. It could survive 16 more months. Fortunately, I was told that I would just need physical therapy 2-3 times a week for the next few weeks, so let's hope I don't get called to train because that poor greenie would be spending her first few weeks in a doctor’s office. Actually, I’m pretty sure I'm not going to train. I truly can’t imagine myself training. I am a BABY.  A BABY MISSIONARY! I am still in my diaper name tag, but if that is God’s will for me, then I will go and do. Kudos to everyone who trains after 12 weeks. You are amazing!!  Any whoo..  I feel so blessed to be a member of the church that has the authority from God. I am so grateful for the priesthood. I seriously love it! Even though I don't hold it, I feel the blessings of it every single day!

I love this gospel. I love this state. I love this area. I love y'all.
Keep up the good work back at home. Love ya!

Sister Esplin
Survivor of sprained ankles

Someone with trainer phobia

Blitzing Conway!

We totally were matching the other day and didn't mean to. Ha!

Love this! Reminds me of my favorite fella!  This is for you,  Parkman!

There are days I still can’t believe that I’m a missionary! With a tag and everything! YES!!!


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