Monday, March 27, 2017

A Restful Sleep Did Rest Upon Her For a Time


HOLLA!! I am so so so so so grateful to be able to serve in this area again with Sister VanOrman. She is literally the best. This area is the best. I am so excited because I think that I am getting better! Fingers crossed. 🤞I feel like I am getting better, although my abdomen and back have been giving me a lot of pain the last week. So I didn't get to really go out much. Grrrrr. It is pretty frustrating to be a lump on my bed, in pain and not doing what I want to do and what I have been called of God to do, but I have faith that I will be healed and that this has all been for a reason. There have been times though that some people have told me that I should go home, or others just talk about how I should go home amongst themselves, only to have one of them tell me about it-rude. So I have been praying and praying and praying and praying. There isn't much else you can do actually when you are in this state. I have just been praying so hard to know if I need to be preparing myself to go home, which I DO NOT want to do. Sorry family :) . But I knew that if it was God's will, I would do it. But I just kept feeling peace that I had work here that I still needed to do, and that I needed to just weather this storm and rely on Him. That was awesome. But then more people kept questioning my missionary ability-don't need help on that, thanks-so Sister Van Orman told me that I should text President Wakolo and see if he could give me a call. So I did and that night he called me. I told him all of my concerns and the fact that a lot of missionaries were giving their opinion (by many I really just mean 3 or 4. But sometimes you know that you are being judged, you just know it) about me staying on the mission. So I just asked him, "President, I don't want to do this, and I have prayed about it and felt that it isn't time, but if you feel that I need to be prepare myself mentally for the  chance of going home please tell me. Am I supposed to go home right now?" To which his comforting Fijian voice told me strongly and kind of surprisingly, "No! Sister Esplin, take those thoughts out of your mind. They are from the Dark one trying to frustrate you. Do not even think the words of going home. You are staying here. Don't listen to other people. Listen to the Lord and listen to me. And I am telling you to take care of Sister Esplin. Get better so you can be better. We all have something to learn from you". To which I thanked him and sat on the floor crying for 30 minutes just feeling love and validation. I know for a fact that I was sent to this specific mission at this specific time for so many reasons. I know that President Wakolo was supposed to be my mission president. He hates sending missionaries home and he will do everything in his power to help them so they can stay, which is such a blessing, since I am a sister missionary who promised herself that she would serve a full mission. President Wakolo is the most amazing mission president. I know he truly listens to the spirit and loves us all. I will be so sad when he leaves this summer. :(

We had a lot of people blitzing our area this week. Three sets of sisters in one area. Sister Jensen ( love that girl!) and her companion came, along with our Sister Training Leaders. So we, or they, went out and did some awesome work. I slept. But it was amazing. I just have not been able to get very good sleep at all for the last six weeks because I am seriously wracked with guilt-for napping, even though my mission president told me to- and stress, and just general frustration. Well, Sister Decker stayed with me the first day of the blitz and I fell asleep and I had the most restful sleep that I have had in such a long time. Sister Decker said I didn’t move at all. Usually I move when anybody moves or makes a sound. She said that she had been praying for me the whole time that I was asleep. I seriously felt so good. But also then I felt bad shortly after. Dang it.  But seriously, it was amazing. I also got a new prescription to help me sleep- I didn’t think I needed that, since the problem was staying AWAKE- and it has been helping a lot. Apparently, I have had super bad sleep for like the past nine months. But now I am sleeping a lot deeper which is great. 

 When the sister training leaders came on Friday we went to go drop off Sister Decker and Sister VanOrman and then we were going to wait to see if the appointment they were going to go to showed up and if they weren't there, we would have taken them with us and all gone to get my prescription. Well their appointment wasn't there. But as I was sitting in the car, I saw a lady at her mailbox-I hadn't talked to anyone but members basically all week- so I grabbed my sticks (scriptures) and told Sister Guthrie to put the car in park and  I ran towards the lady. Well, she was not as excited to see me as I was to see her. She is a Jehovah's Witness. We tried to talk to her, and she asked us if we knew that God has a personal name. We kind of paused, because we knew he did but that wasn't something you share with everyone on the street. She then told me to turn to psalms 83:18. I heard psalms 83:10, which reads:" which perished at en-dor: they became as dung for the earth". I just looked at this woman so confused. Was she calling God dung? Was she calling us dung? I just stared at her, kind of dazed. She then corrected me and told me to read 18. “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth". I felt really bad, but I couldn't even get through the verse because I was laughing so hard at the situation. Obviously I had been away from people for too long, because I lost control. I could not stop laughing. I apologized and finally got it under control. But she then told us confusing things about the Father and the Son and that God's name was Jehovah.  WE finally just bore our testimony and told her to have a blessed day. Not exactly what I was hoping to happen on the only contact of the week, but it was exactly what Heavenly Father knew I needed. Moral of the story. Either listen better or know your scriptures. 

Well this week has been amazing. I love y’all so much! Thank you so much for all that you do, I hope that you have a wonderful conference this week! I love General Conference so much. It seriously makes me feel like I could do a backflip off of a mountain, I feel so spiritually uplifted. From Elder Ballard's 1987 talk, Keeping Life's demands in the balance, he said :“It is good, on occasion, for everyone to face adversity, especially if it causes introspection that enables us to openly and honestly assess our lives...Sometimes we need a personal crisis to reinforce in our minds what we really value and cherish. The scriptures are filled with examples of people facing crises before learning how to better serve God and others...All of us must come to an honest, open self-examination, an awareness within as to who and what we want to be."  I really liked that a lot! Often when I go through trials, I think of what my parents have told me, which is to try and understand what the Lord wants you to learn and DO IT. I have been thinking about it a lot because I kept thinking, "What would the Lord what me to learn from being tired all the time and in pain? I probably wouldn't even be awake enough to hear anything.". But when I read that talk, I just paused. I really did do a self-examination and realized that there are a lot of things that I would LIKE to change and then there are things that would be GOOD for me to change and are IMPORTANT to change. I also really loved in the Book of Mormon how in Mosiah 26:13 Alma turned to the Lord because he "feared that he should do wrong in the sight of God". I want to do better at turning to my Father in Heaven more often. 

I love y’all. Have a good week!!!
Love ash :)
Sister Esplin

Someone who is going to listen more closely to verses

Recovering with Sister Ostler, who is also from Farmington!
Love seeing my Farmington homies!

Sister Ostler and me. Dying.

The Memphis temple!!!! 
Saying goodbye to Sister King. I love that girl. She will be missed. 
Literally my one sadness is that we were never real companions. 

 Cute trees! I love Tennessee. Legit best place. :)

With Rosie this week

Our band cover :)  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Last Week of the Transfer…Dun Dun Dun!!!

Hey y'all!

How is everyone doing? I hope things are going well:) Life has been pretty crazy over here in Lakeland the past week. But I will get to that in a moment:)

Last week we had our PDay with the Seamans! Woot woot! It was so much fun, we went into Memphiswent to the Peabody Hotel where they have ducks that swim in the lobby and we went to Beale street which is apparently a famous street for music. We also went to the Bass Pro Shop at the pyramid which is a really cool store! I just love the Seaman family. They are the best. :)

This has honestly been a really crazy week. On Monday night we got a call from some elders in ANOTHER ZONE, telling us that they were teaching a lady named Hollie and that she was going to be baptized in the Lakeland ward on the 24th. WHAT?!!  Stinkin zone leaders. Just kidding. I don't hate them. They are just being a little difficult at the moment. :) Anywhooo, they told us that she was going to be baptized and that they were going to keep teaching her until after she was baptized. Then we would teach her. Turns out, she actually lives 5 streets away from us. But it's fine, we don't need to teach her, it would just be easier for her to get to know members in her own ward that she will be going to. Sorry rant over. But it was pretty cool that they are teaching her. I guess she came up to a coworker of hers who is a member and she asked to meet with missionaries because she wants to get baptized. That never happens! So she's pretty great. Hollie will actually get baptized on April 7th. WAHOO!!! The ward is seriously so pumped, although a little confused about everything-join the club. They all swarmed her after sacrament meeting wanting to get to know her. And because we knew she was coming to church we had texted a lot of people so that there would be more people in our gospel principles class and a lot of people came which was super awesome. 

Another awesome thing that happened this week was that we have a super awesome new investigator named Luciana. She is actually from São Paulo, Brazil! She grew up living right next to the temple and she had taken discussions when she was eighteen. She had seen missionaries while she as at the grocery story a couple of weeks back and she said that she wanted to meet with them because she wanted to have some happiness and direction in her life. So we met with her and she had so many questions. She is amazing. Seriously she just is so excited to learn she kept asking questions that were totally answered by the restoration ( I love when that happens. When I can actually answer questions easily). She also was really interested in what we do and what we believe. When we talked about the first vision she just turned to us and asked us why more christians don't believe us! She also was wondering how all the people in Memphis know that their church is true because there are so many churches around here. Fo real! Why don't more people ask these questions. She truly is amazing. When we left she's made sure that we would come back. She was so worried that we wouldn't come back. Then she gave us some chocolate from Brazil. Mom! It was so awesome. I just felt like I was working with you in teaching those people from Brazil. Go us! 

Anywhoooo, so sorry that this is a short letter! I love y’all. I seriously am so so so so so grateful to be serving a mission. There is no place that I would rather be at this moment. This work is so amazing and beautiful and I am so grateful to be a part of it. It is seriously so amazing.  I love this ward and area that I am serving in. It is amazing. I love these people. I love the Book of Mormon. I love reading it each day and talking with others about it. 

The other day I was reading in the Book of Mormon and I really love Mosiah 24. I love what Mosiah 24:14-15 says. " And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. And now it came to pass that the burdens which are laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.”  I love what Richard G. Scott said in a commentary from the institute manual about it. He shared, “The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not. When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you"

I know that trials are difficult. They aren't fun. BUT I am learning that God gives them to us for a reason. I know that He loves me and every one of you and I know that He will help us through any trial we have. He will not leave us a one. I know that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me and for you. I know that this work that I am a part of is special and important. I know that we cannot do it alone. I know that every one of us has a mission to fill and a duty to share the gospel. If you are thinking about serving a mission, pray to your Heavenly Father and if He tells you yes, GO! It is the best thing to happen in my life and it has forever changed me for the better. I will never doubt the gospel and I will never question it. I love it in all that it is. I love that it can help us all get back to our Father in Heaven. When we are struggling and everything feels overwhelming, my advice would be to focus on the fundamentals. Faith, repentance, sacrament (ordinances), having the Holy Ghost with us, and enduring to the end. Don't get too caught up in everything else. Focus on the gospel and you can grow to be even more than you think that you can be. I love y’all so much. You are all so special and important to me. Thank you for all that you do!


Sister Esplin

 Sister Farr came back to the mission to visit. 
It was so good to see her but it’s strange to now call her “Julie”!

 Memphis. Home of the blues. Birthplace of rock n' roll!!
Famous Memphis sign on Beale street!!

 We went to the Peabody Hotel!

With Gretchen 

The ducks at the Peabody Hotel

Overlooking some of Memphis. Can you see the Mississippi River? :) 

 Y'all. Elvis ain't dead. 

 Bass Pro Shop
 Stella, Gretchen, Amelia, Sister Van Orman 
(Dallin is right behind Gretchen staring at the fish)

Mama Seaman! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

White on Saturday AND Sunday

White on Saturday AND Sunday

Hello family and friends. I hope y'all had a great week. This week has been really good. My health has been pretty good.i feel that it is improving thank you for all of your prayers and support. I sure am grateful for y'all.

This week has been pretty good. This Saturday Eddie followed the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ,  and was baptized. It was such a special day. He was so happy. Seriously, you couldn't wipe the smile off his face. Another great thing was that a lot of members showed up to support him. Funny story though…  I think the only thing that compared to my happiness of seeing him in the white jumpsuit was the happiness of seeing him in the Orange suit that he brought for afterwards! XD But seriously he was so excited to be baptized. He has been talking about this for months. I really loved what the Bishop said afterwards in the welcome to the ward part. He said that in the Book of Mormon there is a prophet that talked about the coming of Christ and how he would be baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He didn't need to be baptized, he was perfect, but he set the example for us and he was baptized because we all need to be baptized. Just like that, Eddie didn’t need to be baptized because of how special a son of God he is, but he wanted to be baptized to be obedient and to receive blessings from God. I was so proud of him. He was seriously doing fist pumps all before the baptism. When he got confirmed the next day, he still had a smile as big and bright as the sun. The Lakeland ward then welcomed him as the newest member of the ward and of the church!!

Some other highs this week is that we went to go see Vennice, a less active in the YSA branch and we decided to go visit another less active. Well, we knocked on the door and we were super surprised because he answered the door. Everyone said he doesn't answer the door, so we didn't expect him to, so when he did, we both just kind of stood there for a second. Then we realized that we were just standing there and we started talking. Luckily, we were able to set a return appointment for him this Tuesday. Later that week, we had dinner with the YSA Branch President’s family and the branch president told us that no one has been able to see him and that we had more than earned our dinner just by getting in to visit with Vennice. WOOT WOOT! Sister VanOrman deserves all of the praise because she suggested it. Yes!
This week we went to see Rosie and Eddie the day before the baptism and it was so cool. Rosie totally helped me remember why I decided to serve a mission. I just wanted everyone to feel of our Father in Heaven's love for us. I wanted everyone to receive the blessings of obedience and to be able to feel the spirit and truly use the atonement. I remembered the scripture, Alma 29:1-2
1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

Oh that I could be an angel! I loved that I was reminded of that. Honestly, there are times that are discouraging, and after being on bed rest for a week I felt inadequate and scared. I was behind. I hadn't fulfilled my purpose while trying to take care of myself. I just wondered why things were happening to me. But at that moment, Rosie looked me in the eye and told me to try and remember why I had come out and the prayer I had said when I opened my call ( she thinks she can see the past. I’m not so sure about that, but  she is really good at guessing :) ). I did say a prayer right before I opened my mission call and I just asked for help and strength. Just saying that I would do everything in my power to declare unto every soul repentance and the plan of redemption. I prayed that even if I just found one person, I would be happy. I would work hard. 

On my mission I feel that I haven't been someone who has found lots and lots and lots of people to baptize. I haven't been someone who just has a flock of people they teach all the time. But I have realized that I have found the one. In both of my areas I have truly met the people that are the one who have gone astray. The one who needs help and love and strength. I haven't been the one who has helped them, but I am so lucky to have been the one to have the spirit work through me to say the things the Lord would have me say. This last week there have been so many times where I will say something and honestly, internally I am just surprised. Did I say that? I have never thought of that before. I know that the Lord can work through me, because I am taught things sometimes when I speak. What a blessing. Because, I will tell y'all, I need the gift of tongues just to speak English. I just mess up what I want to say so often. Because I want to say it. Not Him. ME. But I know I can be an instrument in God's hands. 

I know this is Christ's church on the earth today. I know the priesthood has been restored. I know the atonement of Jesus Christ is a very real and very beautiful thing. I have felt it’s power in my life often and I am so so grateful for it. I know that through Christ we can be so much more than we can even imagine. I know that God has a beautiful, perfect plan for each of us and he just wants us to turn to him so that he can help us along the path of righteousness. He doesn't expect us to do things perfectly, or to even be super strong as we go through life's trials. He wants us to turn to Him and rely on Him. He wants us to trust Him. I love the gospel and the joy it brings me and others around me. I am so so so grateful to be a missionary and to have this time to dedicate to my Savior, Jesus Christ, and to the people in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission. I am so grateful for the love I feel from all of you and from my Father in Heaven. I love y'all and I hope y’all have a good week!

Sending y’all love from Lakeland, Tennessee!
Sister Esplin
A recovering mono patient
A sister missionary
Someone who inwardly giggled at her convert baptism because he wore a giant orange suit

PS. Today we are going to downtown Memphis with the Seamans for our long awaited “Sisters and Seamans PDay” (the p stands for fun, with a ph. Phun) pictures will come next week :)

Oh and it snowed on Saturday night and I seriously lost my mind. I was so happy. It was really a white day;) 

 Eddie's baptism! With Eddie and his awesome sister, Rosie. She was so happy for this day. 

 Bartlett District
Our district leader got us doughnuts!

 Sister VanOrman and I with Amelia and Gretchen in the snow. 

 Lakeland yo!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

They say there ain't no rest for the wicked, so I guess that means I'm righteous? 

This week has definitely been a week of humility-I guess that is something that Heavenly Father really wants me to cultivate. Darn. If you told me in high school that I needed to be on bed rest for a week, I probably would have cried from happiness and jumped over the moon with that cow 🐮 🌙.  Well, it is an entirely different story on a mission. Having mono has been such a humbling experience.  It has been SO HARD to remain on bedrest this week. That isn't my purpose here. I'm not here to convert my pillow to the gospel of Jesus Christ! I am here to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel! Needless to say, I wasn't a completely obedient bed rest patient. Luckily, my companion made sure-for the most part- that I followed doctor's orders. I would stay with members and she would go out and preach the gospel to the people of Lakeland! I was really happy that our area wasn't abandoned this week, but goodness gracious, it was SO hard to not be with my companion. Anywhoooo, the reason I share this is because this week was definitely filled with miracles but Sister Van Orman and I had very different weeks. My miracles occurred more from within, where my Heavenly Father worked on me. Since I was not allowed to get out much, this will be a shorter email this week. Oh well. I am sorry. 

Eddie is getting BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!!! WOOT WOOT!!! He was so excited to have passed his interview, that when he saw us he did a fist pump and told me that I was making banana pudding. Darn. I don't know how to make that. Apparently, one of the last sisters that served here made banana pudding for them, so I guess that is a missionary skill that we all are supposed to have. No banana pudding making skills over here. Uhhhhh. Snap. Still, Eddie is SO EXCITED TO BE BAPTIZED! 

On Thursday we had zone meeting, but when I woke up I was seriously struggling and almost passed out several times. Because I REALLY wanted to go to zone meeting, I dug deep and we went, but oh man, I really struggled…but I DID IT!!!! At the end of the meeting, I walked up to our district leader and begged for a blessing, which I then received. HALLELUJAH!!! I can’t adequately express my gratitude for priesthood blessings.  Being on a mission has only heightened my desire to one day marry someone who is a worthy priesthood holder. To have the priesthood in your home is such a blessing…a blessing I didn’t appreciate enough growing up. The blessing brought me a lot of comfort and I would like to believe that I feel a little bit better:) In the blessing, I was told that I would be able to persevere to the end of this illness and that as I keep fighting and exercising faith, Heavenly Father will give me strength and that Heavenly Father loves and appreciates me. So there, Satan! YOU CANT MAKE ME QUIT!!!!!! I AM SISTER ASHLEY ESPLIN AND THOUGH I FEEL LIKE DYING RIGHT NOW, I WILL KICK THIS ILLNESS IN THE TUSH BECAUSE  I AM STAAAAAYYYYYYIIIINNNNNGGGGG ON MY MISSION!!! *insert wild banshee yell here* 

So yeah, I'm ready and pumped to get out there this week. I will take it slow, but it will be good.  I read a really good article on this week and it really helped me. I have felt miserable and like a horrible missionary just lying in bed and not helping anyone so, yeah, Satan has definitely been working on me, but I read an article called “The Perfect Lie”, which talks about how Satan wants us to think that, in our efforts to be like Christ, we should live by this math equation: me + more = christlike . In reality, Christ wants us to follow this pattern: me + Christ = more. In doing so, we can come to Christ, and in turn, He will help us be equal to all things placed before us. We can be so much more WITH christ. I have spent a lot of time on my knees and the feelings I receive every time are the feelings of love and understanding. I ask for answers, and do you know what? I haven't gotten a huge answer that sounds like someone is talking to me. No , I just have felt that Heavenly Father truly loves me and that I can’t do this alone. It is only through Christ. Heavenly Father doesn't want me to feel bad. He wants me to understand that He has a great plan for me and learn the things He wants me to learn. I can become so much more with Christ than I can imagine. 

I love this gospel. I love this work. I am so grateful to be a part of it and to have the spirit so present in my life. I know this is Christ's church on the earth today and that the priesthood has been restored. I know that President Monson is a prophet of God and that he leads and and guides us on the earth today. I know that the Book of Mormon is truly another testament of Jesus Christ. I love all of you and I am so grateful for you. Thank you so so so much for everything you do. Stay strong and keep believing and hoping. 

Sister Esplin

Ashley :)

 Zone Conference

 Memphis North Zone Conference!!

Rosie's great grandkids: Mia (far left), Money  (middle), and Cam (far right)

Amelia made us a baby pound cake! So sweet. 
Watch out my dear siblings. You could get replaced. Just kidding.....


How I really spent my eight month mark. In bed. 

 (Almost) aways sunny in Tennessee! 

I realized that it was close to the end of the week and we had not taken any pictures. 
Since this was the only day I had makeup on and went out of the house, 
I told sister Van Orman we had to take a picture. 
This basically sums our relationship!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

In spite of mono, my week has been great!


This week was fantastic! Seriously. Filled with Little miracles. 

Thank you so much for your prayers and concern regarding my health. I am so sorry for unloading last week.  I later realized that I probably didn’t need to go on a rant about my time at the doctor. But, lets face it…I am trying to keep things real and and would so much rather let y’all know what is going on. Just know that I am not sad or discouraged with missionary work. Life is good, the work is amazing, its just my health that isn't. But hey, I do not want my health to get in the way of working hard and remaining positive.  POSITIVITY!!!  I AM DOING IT! My lab results came back. I have mono.  Here are two things that are not fun when you have mono: 1. You are exhausted, fatigued, and in pain almost all the time. 2. Everyone makes jokes about you kissing people, which isn’t too hip when you are a full-time missionary.  

Let me get on with my week—HIGHLIGHT REEL:
On Tuesday our district made a VGPA plan (Vision-Goal-Plan-Accountability), which is basically a plan to make the area most effective.  As a district, we really want to see some great success during this transfer, so as a district and we needed to set a goal for how many baptisms we were going to contribute to our zone goal for baptisms and we couldn't decide between two or three. After much discussion,  we finally decided to all kneel down and pray together as a district and ask our Father in Heaven what He wanted for our goal. We knelt down and I really wanted a goal of three because I wanted all of us to be led to people and to push ourselves. But you know what? God is amazing. He tells us things we don't want to hear sometimes and, in that moment, He let me know through the spirit that we needed to have a goal of two. Man that was hard to listen to, but I followed the answer and we all agreed. But what was amazing was after I humbled myself enough to understand Heavenly Father’s will,  He opened my mouth and my mind and helped me to contribute to the plan (the p of the VGPA ) of how we would achieve that goal of two. I recently had read a talk that immediately came to my mind and I was able to share that we should try to contact ten people outside of our set appointments every day and leave something for them to read. It has been working well within the district. YAY!

On Wednesday we went out with Kaylin, our ward missionary, and we had an amazing day. We found three families to teach. We went to a potential investigator's house and they didn’t answer so I suggested that we should knock on three doors before we move on to the next person we had planned to see.  Immediately, Sister Van Orman pointed at a house and said the one with the maroon van. We went over and met a lovely older gentleman chewing his tobacco and he proceeded to tell us that he was happy with his church. Kaylin asked him right as he was closing the door if he knew anybody who had recently had a baby and he pointed to a house- a house that when we had walked past it I had thought to myself that I wanted to knock on their door because I saw a little boy at the door and we wanted to teach more families. So we knocked on the door and the lady, Shannon, told us that she had met with sisters about 2 years ago and would love to meet with us again. YAY! We went to her house later in the day and talked about how the gospel can bless her family and her life and she told us how she hadn't been to church in a really long time and she thought it would be a good idea for her to come with her three young boys. She was really interested and told us to come by whenever we wanted. YES!

On Thursday we went over to see Eddie and Rosie. It was amazing. We talked to them and Eddie told us that he was "ready to be baptized". It was awesome. Then Rosie told us how she has nicknames for us all and that my name is “Quick”…..that's ironic. I kind of laughed and told her that I am anything but that. She looked me dead in the soul and told me that I am “Quick” because I am quick to get into people’s hearts and that I make sure that the adversary doesn't get in there. That I am like a hockey player who shoots my puck into the goal before satan can and then doesn't let him get in. She was so sweet. I honestly adore her. 

On Friday we had a lesson with Eddie and Rosise about the sabbath day and we showed the video “That They Do Always Remember Him”.  We asked Eddie what his favorite part was or what stood out to him and he told us the parts where Jesus was whipped and on the cross. He turned to us and he said with his smile, "He did it all for me". That honestly made my heart so happy. I love that I can be an instrument in God's hands to help others to understand His love and the love of our Savior. 

On Saturday we saw Eddie and Rosie again and reviewed the baptismal interview questions and Eddie was so great at answering them! Towards the end of our visit, I felt that we should do a mini testimony meeting and show Eddie that the questions in the baptismal interview are intended to help him share not only his worthiness, but also his testimony and what he believes. Eddie shared his testimony and it was so sweet. What was great was that Sister Van Orman, Rosie and I also bore our testimonies, and while they were all different, they all were about God's love for us.

Okay, spiritual thought.
I have been reading the book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon and I love Mosiah 2:24, which teaches: "And behold, all that He requires of you is to keep His commandments; and He has promised you that if ye would keep His commandments ye should prosper in the land; and He never doth vary from that which He hath said; therefore, if ye do keep His commandments He doth bless you and prosper you." What I love is that it says that He doesn't vary in what He says. He will always keep His end of the bargain. He will bless us. He just wants us to keep the commandments. He loves us. He isn't a mean, vengeful God. He is our Father who loves us perfectly. When I was growing up and was disobedient,  my parents would be hurt and would often tell me that, in being disobedient, I wasn’t showing them love and respect.  When we don't keep Heavenly Father’s commandments, it hurts Him. But when we strive to show our love and respect by trying our very best to be obedient disciples of Christ, our Father is quick to bless us in abundance. When we remember that Heavenly Father recognizes all of our efforts, even if they are not perfect, we can also more fully feel His love for us. Even kneeling down at night and just telling him, “I’m sorry, I know I could have done more and I didn't live up to my potential. Help me to be better tomorrow.”, strengthens our relationship with Him and allows us to grow through humility.  

Well, I hope you have a wonderful week. You are all amazing sons and daughters of God. I love y’all!

Sister Esplin


Mono life…Trying to weekly plan while dying

Rosie and Eddie

Summer in February

We both ended up wearing polka dots without meaning to. 
Apparently, we have such great companionship unity. Ha!! 

Beautiful Tennessee rainbow

I LOVE the Memphis, Tennesse Temple!!!