Monday, July 24, 2017

Pioneers every day!

HELLO FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!!! Happy Pioneer Day! I hope that y'all have had a wonderful week this last week! This week was a little bit hard.  My companion was having a rough time, so we have been working on that, but she is doing so much better and I am so so proud of her!! :) Long story very very short, we didn’t get to do as much as I would have normally liked to do. But you know what? This week really gave me an opportunity to try and fulfill my baptismal covenants. We also had the chance to walk in the lovely humidity several times this week and truly appreciate summer in the South. Seriously, I walk outside and immediately I am COVERED in sweat. I know, it is a super lovely visual. 😊  In spite of the  heat, I have really been trying to lose myself in the service of others and as I have been doing that, I have felt the presence on the spirit more strongly in my life and I have also felt more of My Heavenly Father's love for me AND for those people that we serve. I don't know if I have mentioned this before (every day is seriously blending together and I am most likely losing my mind), but we get to volunteer at a food pantry on Monday nights at a Baptist church in Carlisle and on Tuesdays and Thursdays we volunteer at a food pantry at a Methodist church in Lonoke. Yay!!! It is so cool to get to help in the community and to e able to work with people of other faiths. It has really helped me to stop having the mentality of ‘Ugh, Baptists. They are so rude! ‘ Because really they are so sweet!!! They take such good care of us and they even give us extra food. YAY!!!

We were able to have another lesson with the Rowes and we were able to clarify what the priesthood is and then invite them to pray about a baptismal date. They really want to be baptized and I am so excited for them.

Anyhoo, as it is Pioneer Day today I have really been reflecting on pioneers, both past and present, and their impact on my life.  This week as I have been walking, there have been moments when I have thought to myself, “I don't think I can tolerate  ONE MORE MINUTE in this humidity and heat!” But then I would ponder about the pioneers that crossed the trails. They didn’t have a choice and they had such faith that God would direct them and eventually bring them to safety and bless them. They couldn't see an end in sight. They were so strong. I am so grateful for the great examples of our pioneer ancestors. Likewise,  I am so grateful for the pioneers in my life right NOW. For those modern-day pioneers who courageously joined the church and accepted the gospel, in spite of so much opposition. I am so grateful to be serving here in Lonoke right now, where I am able to see beautiful members who are truly pioneers in our time. Their strength and courage is so amazing and so inspiring. I love being able to serve with them and to try to emulate them! They are such a tiny little group and there is so much being fired against them, but they serve with all that they have and they have so much joy. I am so proud to be serving here. I truly hope that I can serve here for a very long time:) 

My spiritual thought this week is from an article that I read this week from Neal a. Maxwell:
“True believers are settled in their views of Christ. Despite their weaknesses, their spirituality is centered on the Savior, so their views of everything else are put in that precious perspective.
“ True believers gladly perform their duties in the kingdom. These duties are usually measurable and straightforward. They include partaking worthily of the sacrament, rendering Christian service, studying the scriptures, praying, fasting, receiving ordinances, attending to family duties, paying tithes and offerings. …
“ True believers are humble. They are ‘meek and lowly of heart’ [ Moroni 7:43 ]. … They are not easily offended. They do not resist counsel. …
“ True believers are willing to do what Christ wants. … Are we willing to let the Lord lead us into further developmental experiences? Or do we shrink back? The things which enlarge the soul inevitably involve stretching.
“ True believers have a balanced contentment. They strike a balance between being too content and wishing for a more important role. …
“ True believers truly pray. Their prayers are sincere. … The true believer’s prayers, at least some of the time, are inspired.
“ True believers have both right conduct and right reasons for that conduct. They are so secure in their relationship with the Lord that their goodness would continue even if nobody were watching. …
“ True believers rejoice in the success of others. … They don’t regard colleagues as competitors.
“ True believers remember that forgetting is part of forgiving. They follow the Lord’s example: ‘I [will] remember [their sins] no more’ ( D&C 58:42 ). …
“ True believers are innocent as to sin, but not naive. They are kind, but candid. They love their fellowmen. …
“ True believers are happy. Instead of a ‘woeful countenance,’ true believers in Christ have a disciplined enthusiasm to work righteousness. They are serious about how they live life, but are also of good cheer” ( “True Believers,” New Era, Apr., 1994, 20–24 ).

I hope that we can truly strive to be true believers every day. I love y'all so so much and I hope that you have a great week!!!! Thanks for all that you do to love and support me!!! Also, this week is walk week and we are doing a 4 day exchange! Whoah!

Sister Esplin
Privileged to see modern day pioneers
Boss at bagging food

Lover of Lonoke and the state of Arkansas

 The primary class we got to teach yesterday!!! They are such cuties!

 We are currently teaching a family that already had a Book of Mormon…that was printed in 1923!!!

 Sweet is the work with Sister Peterson :)

 That moment when bedbugs appear in your life again. NOOOOO!!! 

 I burned my arm. Ouch!

 I made fried chicken!!

This week I had the chance to do family history and while I was doing research on Ancestry, I discovered this gem.  I just realized that my paternal grandma, Jeanette Tew, and my maternal grandma’s sister, Nancy Sycamore, graduated from Utah State at the same time. What a small world!!!

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