Monday, October 10, 2016

Sherwood! Take 3…

It has been a crazy couple of days filled with miracles, disappointments, joys, and a clearer understanding of God's love for me....and, well, everyone. I have said this a lot the past few weeks: it has been so hard to find people to teach! No one has been wanting to listen to us, and to top it off, the people that have listened to us have not been keeping appointments or commitments. It has been a struggle.  Be careful what you pray for…I I prayed for humility, and well, HE ANSWERS YOUR PRAYERS!!!😉 Nevertheless, I am so grateful for the fact that He has helped me to have humility, because it has made the new success and joy that we have been finding the last few days THAT MUCH SWEETER!!!! 

Well, transfer orders came. ATTEN HUT!!! I am staying in Sherwood!  Crazy. I was totally convinced that I would be leaving, and I was fine with that. In fact, I had accepted it. But, Sister Beckstrand got a text from the Southaven ASL sisters saying,  “Congratulations on going to Millington!”  She is leaving me and I will miss her so much :(   On a positive note, Sister Forsyth is RE-OPENING MAUMELLE!!!!  I am so excited for her! Quick tidbit, Sister Beckstrand and I had Sister Forsyth as a companion for about 5 days. She was a sister training leader in the Pinnacle Mountain Ward,  but she was released because she was called to train, so she stayed with us for a short time.  I am so pumped that I get to keep her with me in some way. She has been so amazing to me and I consider this such a wonderful blessing from Heavenly Father. She will be in the same ward and in the same district! What what! Over the last several days/weeks, I have had experiences, that at the time, seemed like interesting situations, but now I can see that the Lord had a hand in the details of my life. Last week,  Sister Jensen had some appointments in Conway, so she left her Lakeland, Tennessee Ward and was our companion for a couple of hours for two days.  At the time, I didn’t think much of it, but now thinking back, I can see that that this was a blessing to prepare me for a new transition in my mission.  Today, I found out that my new companion is Sister Jensen!! She knows some people already and has already served around here! What a blessing it is to get to know before she gets slammed with me😊 Also, I am so grateful that Sister Forsyth has already been here, has met the ward mission leader and the relief society president, has a feel for the area, plus she knows a bunch of people that she wants to teach that live in Maumelle. What a tender mercy that she gets to have a foot in the door now that she is reopening Maumelle. It is so exciting to see that  Sherwood is finally picking up with some legit investigators. Seriously, sister Hirschi and I went and found some amazing people while Sister Beckstrand and Sister Decker went to appointments. That day, Sister Hirschi and I were definitely led to people that legitimately want to know. Plus, we finally met Lavetta, a bible referral. She wants to know about the church! She said we were the best thing to happen to her. She shared a story about someone who was acting like he had authority to bless her, but she knew he didn't, the spirit told her to go away. It was so cool. She seems like someone who really has a prepared heart. We also found someone else through a less active member. She seems nice, but I was so frazzled that I asked her TWICE if she had heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The first time she looked at me and said “No, Ma’am”.  Then, a short time later,  I asked her again and she just paused, looked at me funny, and said “……No, Ma’am....I haven't....". Awkward. Oh well, we are going to teach her today. Hopefully, I don't remain awkward.

Sister Forsyth and  Sister Beckstrand have decided that I am a hole magnet. Every time we go somewhere I somehow manage to find a hole and trip and/or twist my ankle again. What a dork! Have I mentioned my gratitude for the fact that I was not named “Grace”? Mom and Dad, thank you for not giving irony a good ol’ laugh. I have really been reflecting the last several weeks about how Heavenly Father answers our prayers. I feel as though we are a people who seek instant gratification. We often want our prayers answered and we want them answered fast and the way we want them to be answered. I know I have wanted that in my life. The trick is aligning our attitude, desire and timeline with our Heavenly Father's. I have seen a lot of people that get angry when God doesn't give them exactly what they want when they want it, and I have seen people that are still patiently waiting for answers and are just walking forward in faith. I hope that I can have an attitude of gratitude or an attitude of patience. These past few weeks,  it has been really interesting to see how Heavenly Father has answered our prayers. I love that He answered them at ther perfect time that He knew would help us the best. It was amazing because it felt like Heavenly Father really truly waited to shower blessings and show us the way to prepared hearts. He was waiting for us to truly rely on him and humble ourselves to the point of knowing that He would provide the way for us. I just love this gospel!!! I love my Heavenly Father and all the knowledge He has of what we need at certain times. I love that He trusts me enough to share the gospel here and that He loves me enough to help and support me, when really, I am here to support Him.  I enjoy the scriptures!!! I love them, my heart delighteth in the scriptures. I love my Heavenly Father, I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I love y'all. Stay strong, stay focused, stay true. I love Mosiah 24:15 and I really think that it truly has applied these last few weeks. God loves and blesses us all.  If you are going through something hard, just try and think why Heavenly Father is giving that trial to you. He wants you to have joy in this life, but He also wants you to become like Him. So what does He want you to learn? It may take more than a day, a week, or a year to figure it out.

I love y'all.

Stay safe!!

Sister Esplin
Hole magnet
Awkward door approach missionary

Lover of the gospel

Sister Beckstrand, Dana, and Sister Forsyth

Seeing Sister Anderson again… spiritual sister from the MTC :)

Donna! She just has the most beautiful smile ;) I love that she is always so happy to see us.

Sharing a moment with Sister Forsyth, Sister Beckstrand, and the ward mission leader, Brother Whelan.  

Sister Forsyth, Sister Beckstrand, and me!

Sister training leaders came again and we went to Hobo Joe’s Snow Cones!

Look ma…One foot! (Of course, I promptly fell on the floor after this).

Four generation photo. Sister Beckstrand is my mom (Mom's are trainers), Sister Hirschi is my grandma (Sister Training Leader), and Sister Wood is my great grandma.  Do you see the resemblance? Tee hee. 

Awkward “Family Photo”

Chelsea and Sister Beckstrand. Chelsea sure cracks me up! 

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