Monday, February 6, 2017

Patience is a (hard-earned) virtue

Hello Family and friends!  

This week has that has been sufficiently confusing, hard, and full of blessings. This might be a bit short today partly because I am stressed out of my eye balls and cannot think straight. But ces't la vie. LIfe goes on. 

This week I was sick. Again.  Because I hurt all over my body and had a lot of sharp pains by my heart and stomach, I didn’t get out very much, which was so frustrating.  As a result, a lot of this email will take about how I saw God’s hand in my life this week, because I really truly have.

This week we had a situation, so our Sister Training Leaders (STLs) came over and helped us. They are seriously the best! They came over and they left us a really cool challenge to work on in Preach My Gospel. They told us to do the Christlike Attribute Activity where you take a quiz and rate yourself on how well you are doing with certain things. Well, the attributes I found out I needed to work on were not what I thought they would be. But one thing I did pray for was patience- mostly with myself. I feel like it is so hard to be patient with yourself and to just understand that you are doing your best. So Sister King and Sister Decker told Sister Fogg and me to pray together after we did this activity. Well, we both found that we needed work on patience. OH. NO. That is a scary thing to pray for, since the Lord will truly give you opportunities to be patient. And, holy cow, He provided. 

Have you ever played Mario Cart? Well, in Mario Cart there is a little blue tortoise shell that has wings that comes from behind you and hits you so that you blow up and lose all control. That happened this week. YAY PATIENCE!

Since I was sick this week, I was told by our mission nurse to get a blessing so I got one from our ward mission leader. The coolest thing happened. I just felt Heavenly Father's love for me. It was amazing because all of the christlike attributes that I had prayed about with Sister Fogg were mentioned in the blessing. ALL OF THEM. And a couple of weeks ago, President Wakolo had challenged me to study for my investigators and that was mentioned in the blessing, as well. There were things in the blessing that I know our ward mission leader did not know about…but Heavenly Father knew. 

On Saturday came the real test of my patience. We were told that Sister Fogg was going to go spent some time with our STLs and that I would go to Millington with Sister Ellis and Sister Ostler. That was the blue tortoise shell. We both have been out of our area since Saturday night. We will come back this upcoming Friday night. STRESS! We had a baptism scheduled this upcoming Saturday and, of course, everything goes wrong. Since neither of us are in our area, we are not in a position to have daily contact with our investigator, Eddie, and we will have to postpone the baptism, which makes me so sad.  Before I left for Millington, Sister Decker told me to close my eyes and to imagine that I have a box in my hand. Then she asked me to put all of my stress and fears and inadequacies and frustrations into the box. Then, in my mind, I was to walk through a gate where Christ stood. She told me to imagine that He is asking for the box, but that I won’t give it to Him. Finally, she told me to visualize giving Him the box. As I imagined all of this, I was overcome with emotion.  Jesus Christ wants to take all the pain, frustrations, inadequacies, fears, and hurt from me, but sometimes I won’t give it to Him. I realized the only thing I could do was hand everything over to the Lord, but that is such a hard and difficult thing to do. 

On Sunday,  in testimony meeting in Millington, almost every single testimony talked about turning your trials over to the Lord and letting Him bear your burdens with you. Heavenly Father definitely hears and knows me. I just love my Father in Heaven and my Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Sorry y’all for the rough email. Here is the spiritual thought: 

I was reading in 2 Nephi 26:24 and I tweaked it a little bit for me:
It says: “He doeth not anything save it be fore the benefit of Sister Esplin; for He loveth Sister Esplin, even that He layeth down His own life that He may draw Sister Esplin unto Him. Wherefore, He commands none that they shall not partake of high salvation." I love that so much.

Know that I love y’all so much. Thank you for the letters, the emails, and the pictures. I am so grateful for this chance to serve. I love my Savior, I love the gospel. I know this is the true church on the earth today. I know that families can be together and that the priesthood of God has been restored.

Sister Esplin

 Working with Sister Ellis and Sister Ostler

 Valentine’s package from home

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