HOLA MI AMIGOS AND MI FAMILIA!!!
No, I haven't been reassigned Spanish speaking, but I totally should...right? Just kidding. Teaching in my native language can being trying enough. Plus, I am learning to be fluent in the language of the spirit. True story. Chapter seven of preach my gospel is one of the chapters that our mission is studying right now. Yay! I seriously love our personal study time. It is truly my appointment with the Lord. That is my time when I can pray to my Father in Heaven and ask Him what He needs me to learn and know. What really amazes me is that every time, without fail-if I'm humble enough- He will instruct me through the scriptures, through modern day prophets and through my patriarchal blessing. I would suggest to anyone who wants more answers or who is needing more guidance to set a specific time that you are going to do personal scripture/gospel study and make sure that you place that window of time as a priority in your life. Make sure you treat it like your appointment with Heavenly Father. Don't let things get in the way. Make sure you set aside time for Him, so He can have more time for you. He loves us and will really truly bless us and our lives. In fact, He does every day. He wants to tell us things, to give us instruction, but are we always looking or searching for it? Are we listening? I have even set aside some study time to truly ponder on the miracles that are around me or try to feel his love. Well, that's not even my spiritual thought! I wasn't planning on that, but apparently this is something I felt I needed to share today.
Okay, here we go!!!!!!!!!!! Sister Esplin's week👏🙌🎉🎬🚗🚌
This week we didn't get to see many investigators because we had a ton of meetings and poor Sister Fogg was sick for several days. On the bright side, we did get to see EDDIE!!! HE IS SO EXCITED FOR HIS BAPTISM! He chose who he wants to baptize him and who he would like to confirm him, which was so sweet. He is getting baptized on February 11th so keep him in your prayers. He is such a sweet person. He doesn't have to be baptized because he is a very special son of God, but he genuinely wants to and his sister is so excited for him. Sister Fogg has been working with him from the beginning and she says that he has changed so much. Yay for the spirit!
This week we had the missionary broadcast which was wonderful. I took tons of amazing notes, but truly the greatest highlight of my week was Elder Anderson's visit to our mission!!!
Here are some highlights that I absolutely loved:
-we need to be experiencing repentance everyday so that we will be able to teach repentance. (Side note, we often think of repentance asa hard, difficult, pain inflicting thing. That should not be our mentality. In reality, repentance is such a gift that we are given. We GET to repent. Yes, there will be some suffering, but that is the price of sin. I often think of Alma 36:21. Use repentance daily. If you think you don't need to, re-examine your life. You do. We all do. The only one who doesn't need to is Jesus).
-as people change we can see the countenance of the Savior.
-as we teach the commandments, our investigators will feel the love of God.
-The Holy Ghost is the senior companion and the teacher. We need to live our lives in a way that will invite the spirit into our lesson so that the spirit can touch our investigators and help them to receive guidance and revelation from God.
There is so much more that I could share. In a nutshell, our mission conference with Bishop Waddell, Elder Klebingat, Elder Beheshti, and Elder Anderson was SO AMAZING!!!
OKAY so NOW for our trip to ARKANSAS! Yes, my birthplace (in real life and mission life 😃). The ride to Little Rock was about two and a half hours, maybe three. It was crazy fun though. Imagine over 55 missionaries in a big bus. It was crazy. I sat next to Sister King, aka my favorite person ever, and in front of Sister Duffin, another one of my favorite people. Yes! We got to Arkansas and we immediately started getting ready to take our picture with Elder Anderson. That took a long time to get 187 missionaries situated for one picture. Phew!! But we did it. It was so neat to see Elder Anderson. When he walked into the room you could just feel the authority and power that he held. He is truly a disciple of Jesus Christ. We were all standing there very quietly and he said that we were so reverent! Squeal.
Our first speaker was Elder Klebingat. The night before he asked President Wakolo to send out a mass text to all the missionaries to read Acts 5:1-12, which tells the story of Ananias and Sapphira, his wife, who both died because they withheld a portion and didn’t lay everything at the apostles feet that was asked of them. That day, Elder Klebingat talked about what we aren't giving up. He shared how in verse 2 we learn that they kept part of the price of their sold possessions, Ananias's wife being privy to it. In essence, they had secret combinations. He then asked us, do you and your companion have secret combinations that get in the way of the work and consecrating yourselves to the work? What are you holding back? What are you not sacrificing? Here are some other amazing things that he shared: Let me tell you, Elder Klebingat basically threw down!!
-A member becomes a saint when they are willing to give up all their little sins
-It is a privilege to serve and it is a privilege we must earn.
-We never approach the throne of God with conditions.
-we are representatives when we open our mouths.
-Our parents need to be strengthened and nourished by our spiritual experiences and testimony
-We should bear testimony as frequently as possible to our family and loved ones
Elder Anderson later said that he was there to soften the blow of Elder Klebingat. Haha!! Here are some things that Elder Anderson shared:
-They want us to be disciples our whole life
-Set our feet on a course we can stay on moving onto eternal life (both of these were conserving the new schedule changes. How they will
help us our whole lives. Namely our studies . *insert eyebrow raise here*).
-We need to not only be converted to the church, but converted to the Lord.
-We should find ways to make our mission work for us and plant our feet firmly in the gospel.
-We should strive to have the pages of the Book of Mormon come into our hearts like fire!
-I should promise myself that I have decades to fill in the gaps of my knowledge. That I am never going to be just a material-oriented being. That throughout my mortal life I will always deal in things that are unseen.
-If a person hasn't suffered then he hasn't repented. In a way, we are bringing our investigators suffering, but it is the best kind for it yields eternal blessings :)
-Testimony is to know, conversion is to become.
I truly loved everything. I have such a testimony of this gospel. I truly believe and know that this is Christ's church restored to the earth again. I know that he loves us and suffered for us. I know that there are prophets and apostles on the earth today, that the priesthood is restored. I love all of you. You are amazing. Keep upthe work you do each day and know that God loves and recognizes your work and effort. You are sons and daughters of God. I know that. I love y’all!
P.S. They said President Wakolo is the best mission president serving right now. I truly agree. :) Full heartedly.
The bus to Arkansas. It was a blast!
This hand shook an apostle’s hand!
Drinking immunity smoothies which Stella, Dallin and I made.
Woot! Woot! They’re SOOO good!
Every week we visit Rosie (a member) and her brother,
Eddie (who is preparing for baptism). This is a pic with
Rosie’s granddaughter, Mia!