Monday, August 28, 2017

"Sister Esplin, Even the Spirit Likes to Dance!!”- (Quote from Sister Peterson this week)

Hello hello!!!! It's me, Sister Esplin!!! 

Are you sick of me yet? I sure hope not. Because you have, a solid 4 more months of this. Eek! 😬 Sister Anderson (one of my favorite people ever! Plus we were in the MTC together) told someone at a doorstep this week that we had been on our missions for fourteen months. That only made my eyes pop out of my head and my heart start racing from panic. Not yet-I whispered to myself as I simultaneously screamed inside my head. BUT! Enough about that. 

This week was AWESOME!! 🙌 It was (drum roll pleeeeaaase!)...WALK WEEK!!!! Huzzah. I love walk week, because literally, walk week always brings miracles; and as much as it brings me great joy to have a car again at the end of the week, I recognize the great blessings and miracles that come from walking all of the time. Anywho… On with the show!!!

This week I really saw so many miracles as well as had some fantastic awkward moments! Yay! It really is true that you cannot know what sweet is until you taste something bitter. Truth. So since we were walking we were able to talk to as many people as we could. It was actually kind of funny though, because at one point I told Sister Anderson-on our exchange- that I really hadn't had TOO many doors slammed on me, more people have just blatantly ignored me. She just kind of looked at me and smiled. I'm sure what was going through her head was, 'Bless your heart, you just cursed yourself'. Don't complain about the lot you have in life. So at one point we knocked on a door that Sister Anderson really wanted to knock on. We got to the door step and there was a little door hanging that had all of the kids' names on it. It had Gideon, Simon, and Naomi. All good Bible names. So we were talking to each other about how awesome these people might be and the lady opens the door and points at Sister Anderson and just says, “No”, and-you guessed it- slammed the door right in our faces! In my head I thought, maybe she needs to read those Bible stories a little bit more. But of course, like he always does, the spirit rebuked me and I felt bad for being frustrated at her. 

On Tuesday we had a super sweet member, Sister Christensen help us out and take us to a neighborhood that was close to our dinner appointment and so we were gonna be there for about 3 hours. We just started knocking on doors like crazy!!! Nobody really answered, but a few did and they were AWESOME!!! We knocked on one door and this 13 year old boy answered the door and told us that he was going to get his mom. She came to the door and invited us inside (we were VERY happy, because it was CRAZY hot and humid). We talked with her a little while and she was so amazing. She told us that she is really open to learning more and she would love to come to church with us. We told her about how we do emails with little videos for people and she told us, ABSOLUTELY! She really wants us to come back and talk with her husband as well. So we are pretty excited for that. 

We also met a man named Mike! He was working on a cool old car that for the life of me I cant remember what model, or brand or year it is. I probably asked him 3 times and I cant remember. Anywho we just quickly taught him the restoration and then told him that we know that there is a prophet on the earth today and that he leads and guides us and that he has called us to be here at this time to talk to him. He asked us who the prophet was and we told him. He told us about how he has a hard time believing that God is a loving God because of how every summer there are little babies that die in hot cars and how could a loving god let them die painfully like that. He continued to tell us that he had a bit of a hard time with his faith and that people think that he is evil for saying that. He has so many questions but a lot of religions do not accept questions and in fact condemn them. We told him that we love questions and that it is okay to have a hard time with our faith sometimes, that is how we grow. And the church was RESTORED because of a question! We gave him a Book of Mormon and we talked to him about Alma and Amulek in Alma chapter 14 where all of the people are being burned. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and we asked if we could come back and he said yes!!!!! It was so amazing. The spirit was so strong there! 

OH MY GOSH. LAST ONE! While I was on exchanges with Sister Anderson, we went to an investigator's house and the lady, Laquetta, was not there. But, her daughter, Latonya was there! She talked to us and she was so so sweet. She was just telling us about her life and she just started crying. She just felt like she hadn't been forgiven and she kept saying that she wanted God to forgive her because she was trying to make changes in her life. We told her that as she truly repents she is forgiven. She just bawled. We testified of God's love for her and how truly special she is. Oh my goodness, the spirit was so so so strong. I feel like there were definitely angels there. We shared with her Alma 7:11 and we told her about how the gospel can really bless her family and if she wants to know if God really loves her, the fact that we were at her porch at one of her lowest moments truly testifies of his love for her. She just cried. She told us she felt speechless. She felt so much happiness. Oh my goodness. She felt the spirit so strongly. She had been looking for purpose and direction and we told her, God is ready for her to come back and it was not a coincidence that we were there. She nodded and told us that she knows. We said a prayer with her and she just hugged us. Sister Anderson and I both walked away from that and just looked at each other and did a little happy dance and talked about how we had never met such a prepared person in our missions. And we've been out for 14 months! 

Y'all. Life is so good. I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of you. If you doubt that, ask him. I PROMISE that as you ask him, he will tell you. I know that Jesus Christ suffered and died for every one of us and that he knows us perfectly. He knows how to help us and he knows what we need. I know that he is so so so aware of us and he is seriously right by us. I always tell people that I imagine that He is standing right by us and He is just begging us to let Him help us and we just ignore Him and basically say that we know what is best and what will help us. And yet He still stays with us, just waiting for the opportunity to help us and strengthen us. I know that our Heavenly Father lives!! 

I want to share a little bit of my studies with y'all this week. I was in sacrament meeting yesterday and there was a speaker that was talking about service and he brought up a really good point that was in Preach My Gospel in chapter 3 lesson 5, under Service. It says "We are to become aware of others' physical and spiritual needs". I love that. I thought, how can we know that? How can we become aware of their needs? By being in tune with the spirit. We can literally be angels in other people's lives. As we live righteously and listen to and act on the promptings of the spirit, we can bless others lives and serve as the Savior would. 

I read a talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard (and y'all I cannot for the life of me remember if I have shared this talk during my mission, it has been a hot minute, so sorry if it is a repeat. I felt like I should share today). It is from October 2012 general conference and it is called, "Be anxiously Engaged". Some of my favorite things that he says is, "Only when our testimony transcends what is in our mind and burrows deep into our heart will our motivation to love and to serve become like unto the Savior’s. It is then, and only then, that we become deeply converted disciples of Christ empowered by the Spirit to reach the hearts of our fellowmen." I loved that especially with my goal to become a converted disciple of Jesus Christ! It was like a lightning bolt to the heart!

Another thing he said was, "I’m simply suggesting that we take the next logical step in our complete conversion to the gospel of Christ by assimilating its doctrines deep within our hearts and our souls so we will act and live consistently--and with integrity--what we profess to believe.
This integrity simplifies our lives and amplifies our sensitivities to the Spirit and to the needs of others. It brings joy into our lives and peace to our souls--the kind of joy and peace that comes to us as we repent of our sins and follow the Savior by keeping His commandments.
How do we make this change? How do we ingrain this love of Christ into our hearts? There is one simple daily practice that can make a difference for every member of the Church, including you boys and girls, you young men and you young women, you single adults, and you fathers and mothers.
That simple practice is: In your morning prayer each new day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of His precious children. Then go throughout the day with your heart full of faith and love, looking for someone to help. Stay focused, just like the honeybees focus on the flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen. If you do this, your spiritual sensitivities will be enlarged and you will discover opportunities to serve that you never before realized were possible." 

I invite all y'all to really pray and ask for opportunities to serve. I know that a lot of you are already doing that, and that is awesome! I just know I love being a missionary and serving and helping others. Someone posed the question, “ Why do you think that missionaries are always so happy?” I truly believe that it is because they are looking outside themselves and trying to serve others with all their heart. I really am trying every day to do that. I know that as we read our scriptures, pray, and serve, we can find eternal joy and happiness. 

I love y'all so so so much!!! You are amazing! I am so grateful to have y'all in my life. I hope that you have a wonderful week and that you can have spiritual experiences that can help you grow closer to the savior and our Heavenly Father! 
Sister Esplin
Someone who literally scares people into dropping everything and changing their plans for the day to avoid me.

Someone striving to serve.

 The Sisters in the Millington SIStrict!!!

 There are the elders…our district/zone leaders! The model district for the Millington Zone.

 Up close and personal.

 Those Tennessee skies just kill me! Sigh!

 Exchanges with Sister Anderson! I am not that short!

I found a 901 rock!! It’s a big deal here.
901 is the area code for around here and people are very proud. 
901 rocks are just scattered throughout the city.

 Walk Week!!

Little Library

Monday, August 21, 2017

Missing an Eclipse, Receiving Revelation, and Bugging People on their Phones

Hello from Millington, TN! 

I hope that y'all have had a splendid week and that your eyes are not burned out from the eclipse. I did not know about this because we don't watch the news, but seriously people have been talking about almost nothing else!! They are selling glasses all over the place! Members even bought ones for us...but to be honest, we don't get to see the eclipse because President Hansen told us not to because they could potentially hurt our eyes. So, I listened to him and didn't. :) But seriously y'all I hope that your eyes are intact. 😎

This week was a great mix of things! I definitely learned SO SO MUCH! We had zone conference with the Hansens which was FANTASTIC!! It is so crazy that you can receive so much inspiration and revelation from God as you go to meetings fasting, with questions in your heart. I learned so much! President Hansen is rolling out a bunch of AWESOME NEW PLANS!!!! So, first of all, I forgot to tell y'all a long time ago that when he came he started a new key indicator for our mission. It is called “Return Appointment Attempts”! So basically whenever we invite anyone to take the lessons it counts as a return appointment attempt. It doesn’t matter if they say yes or no but it does show us, even if our numbers are low, how hard we are working. If we are inviting tons of people to meet with us and hear the lessons then we are trying our hardest to share the restored gospel with everyone. It also holds us accountable and we can figure out what we are doing that isn’t working and what we are doing that is working! It is so awesome. Another thing that President Hansen has started is asking for emails from people. If we ask for their emails, then we can send them inspirational messages and videos! I was a little wary of this when I first heard it, and I thought, “Who is going to give us their email?” But then we did a role play with some other sisters and they asked for my email and I thought, “What the heck!” Of Old Navy has my email, then these good missionaries can have my email. Then when I had my interview with President Hansen the next day I told him that and he said, "and when you are in someone's house, who is going to say NO?  I don’t want you to track me down. You already know where they live, and you already know their phone number. That just doesn’t make sense!". I agree! I am so pumped. ANOTHER cool thing that he has rolled out is that we are all going to be doing visiting and home teaching!!! WHAT?! I know, it says in the white hand book not to do that, but President Hansen asked our Area Seventy for permission and Elder Beheshti said it was a phenomenal idea! All of the stake presidents in the mission thought the same thing! So we are going to be working with the bishop and relief society president (as sisters) (for elders it would be elders quorum presidents)  and they are going to give us 15-20 people that we will now be their visiting teachers! So cool! So we will be staying in areas longer with companions longer. Hehe. I don’t know how I feel about that to be honest.  But I am so excited to be the BEST VISITING TEACHER EVER!!! It is going to be so cool, the idea is to truly help the wards and stakes in the mission to grow, as there are SO MANY members that are not coming to church. Also, visiting teaching and home teaching numbers are at 30% and as we do this it should increase to 60%. So if those people are ABSOLUTELY being visited, what miracles could happen there?! YAY!!!!

I learned so so so so so much during zone conference with the Hansens and I felt so edified. I didn’t get all the answers I was wanting, but I definitely got some answers that i didn’t know I needed. I have once again recommitted myself and I am going to work myself to the BONE until they shove me on an ✈️. Even then, I hope I can share the gospel. :) 

We have just been so so blessed to have such a wonderful mission president and wife. :) Here is my funny story of the week. I kind of harassed someone this week. Hehe, not really, but kind of. Well, this week, I saw a lady outside sitting on a chair smoking and talking on the phone. I felt that we needed to talk to her so I ran up to her and asked if we could give her a card. She accepted. I was going to walk away but then the spirit nudged me and told me to get a return appointment. Inwardly I groaned, but I plastered a smile on my face and kept talking to her and asked if we could share a special message about Jesus Christ that we know can bless her life and her family, she hesitated and then said yes. I asked her when and I didn't leave until she told me. YAY! I don’t know if she will be there, but WE will. I was so excited. I felt like maybe I scared her though because I was trying to be polite so I was whispering but I was still talking to her so I sounded kind of like a witch. LOL!!

OH I studied a talk this week which was so awesome! I invite y'all to all read it:) It is from last conference from Elder Rasband entitled “Let the Holy Spirit guide”. It WAS AWESOME!!!! This is one of my favorite snippets! "First promptings are pure inspiration from heaven. When they confirm or testify to us, we need to recognize them for what they are and never let them slip past. So often, it is the Spirit inspiring us to reach out to someone in need, family and friends in particular. “Thus … the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things,” points us to opportunities to teach the gospel, to bear testimony of the Restoration and Jesus Christ, to offer support and concern, and to rescue one of God’s precious children."

May we all listen to our first promptings this week and act courageously on them. I know that doing so will bring miracles into your lives and hep you to truly be an instrument in the hands of God. I know the church is true. I KNOW THAT THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE!!! I Finished the Book of Mormon last week and I started it again! I was so excited. As I finished I didn't feel any big voice that said that the book was true but I did feel tremendous peace. I felt the spirit say to me that I cannot deny the truth in it. I couldn't. I didn’t have a big spiritual experience, but ALL of the amazing spiritual experiences that I had had while reading it over the last 8 months just all built upon each other and grew into a stronger testimony of the truthfulness of the book. I cannot deny it. I know that Jesus Christ Lives and loves each one of us and I love that! I know that repentance and faith are so intertwined and essential in really living the gospel. I love what Elder Anderson said to our mission when he visited in January. If we aren't repenting everyday, we need to be praying harder, because we ALL need to repent EVERYDAY. I truly believe that and know that to be true. I love y'all so much!!!! I am so grateful for you all and I hope that you have a wonderful week! Thanks so much for all that you do! I know the church is true! READ IT EVERY DAY AND REMEMBER TO PRAY!!!!!!! DO IT! Please. 😊 
I love you so much!
Sister Esplin
Sister Missionary
Someone who's Book of Mormon is TORN APART!

A sister who apparently has the voice of a witch…not an angel. 

My Book of Mormon is falling apart!

 Dying Sister Peterson’s hair!! 
She told me to do it even when I said I had never done it before.   
What if I mess up! 
She just told me, “You've got to start sometime!” 
I even got to pick the color!

Monday, August 14, 2017

“How is the Asian Sister Doing?”

HELLO my dear family and friends :) 

I hope that y'all have had a wonderful week. I know that this week has been awesome. It was so so so filled with service! It was awesome. As an explanation for my subject line, I called my former companion, Sister Vaitai,  this week to see how our recent convert, Sherron, was doing and she told me that she was doing well. She also told me that she asks her about me all the time saying, "How is the Asian sister doing?". The first time she asked, Sister Vaitai didn’t know who she was talking about, then she had to cover her mouth because she was laughing so hard. Sherron also lovingly refers to me as sister E-S-P-N. YAY! I just love how no one can remember my name. 

This week was awesome. We have really been trying to build up our teaching pool as well as contact the referrals that the elders sent us. It has been a great week! We have been praying so so so much and trying to listen to the spirit to understand what we need to do to be in the right places at the right times to be able to find Heavenly Father's elect. This week was pretty awesome, we actually went to a neighborhood that I had really wanted to go to and felt like we need to knock on some doors and I was with sister Anderson-one of my very favorite people!-and we knocked on some doors. When we got there I pointed at a house and I said, "that one. We need to talk to the people at that house", but then I felt like we should go to the house that Sister Anderson suggested. So we knocked on the door and a 19 year old guy came to the door and talked to us for a little bit. He told us that he was agnostic and that he wasn't interested but that his dad and his little sisters might be interested. When we walked back to the house I wanted to knock on, a car pulled into the driveway and we were able to talk to the man there, Jason. It was so cool! He said that he hadn't been able to go to church for a while and he had moved to the area about a year or so ago, but he always worked weekends. But recently, he started getting Sundays off. We told him that, perhaps it is a sign from God and He is trying to tell you something by us being here at this time. He nodded his head and said, maybe it is a sign. We nodded, but in my head I was like, “No Jason. It is a sign. Come to church.". He said he would come to church-spoiler, he didn't- but we will go try him this week. 

We were able to do service for lots of people this week and it was AMAZING!!! I love being able to serve those around me, for when are trying to be more like the Savior? I got to paint a room this week which was awesome. Family, it took me two days. Maybe 8 hours. I could have painted my room at home. I am-as the member told me- A MASTER PAINTER!!! Just call me Michael Angelo, because I'm ready to paint the world. Just kidding. I'm here to share the gospel. We also got to help a sister in the ward move a bunch of furniture-my weak baby bird strength arms are getting stronger! 
I am almost finished with the Book of Mormon!!! Oh my goodness, time flies! This will be my second time reading the Book of Mormon on my mission. I have absolutely loved it this time, because I have gone really in depth and tried to REALLY study the Book of Mormon to see how it can truly help us in this time. I read it along with the institute manual and it was so good. It definitely took longer to study it though. I should have been done on June 3rd. Oops. It's okay though. I am thoroughly pleased with it. Some things from my study this week:

I read some cool quotes from president Boyd k. Packer. He said:
"Ordinances and covenants become our credentials for admission into his presence. To worthily receive them is the quest of a lifetime; to keep them thereafter is the challenge of mortality". (General conference- April 1987)
"Good conduct without the ordinances of the gospel will neither redeem nor exalt mankind; covenants and the ordinances are essential". (General conference- October 1985). 
As I read Moroni 1:3 I thought to myself, I, Sister Esplin will NOT deny the Christ. So because of that I will declare the truth of the gospel to all that will hear and tell them the glad tidings of Christ's church being restored to the earth today.. I have learned this week that there are very few things that bring the spirit quicker than speaking about Christ. Also, I have loved going to doors and telling them, "WE are representatives of Jesus Christ and we have been called of God to be here to share a message of Christ with you". I have felt so much love for those people and I have been able to testify boldly of God's love for them and for the great plan that he has for them. I know that this work cannot be frustrated for I know that it is HIS work, and God cannot be stopped. 
I have a challenge for y'all this week. I want you to read an article from Elder Holland (one of my very favorites. I just love how he gets in your face and tells you doctrine! It's the best!!). It is from the September 1975 Ensign and it is titled, the Lengthening Shadow of Peter. I just loved it. I learned so much and I just suggest that y'all read it. 
Here is a great snippet of it: 

"Jesus prepared Peter as quickly as possible for the call that was to come.
“Launch out into the deep,” he counseled this fisherman one morning in Galilee, “and let down your nets for a draught.” (Luke 5:4.) After an unsuccessful night of effort, Peter’s expert judgment told him a final effort was useless. But this was a man of genuinely childlike faith, and he lowered the net. The number of fish taken in that single attempt strained the strings until they began to break and filled two boats until they began to sink. In that small ship Peter kneeled, stunned, at the feet of the Master. Jesus said lovingly, “Henceforth thou shalt catch men.” (Luke 5:10.)

Launch out into the deep! Peter could not have known the ever-widening circles that single command would make in the stream of his plain and simple life. He was launching out into the expanse of godliness, into the eternal possibilities of redeemed and celestial life. He would be learning the mysteries of the kingdom. He would be hearing unspeakable things. To launch out into that limitless sea of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Peter brought his craft to shore, turned his back on the most spectacular single catch ever taken from Galilee, “forsook all, and followed him.” (Luke 5:11.)
From that moment on Jesus taught and trained Peter at every opportunity."

I know that this church is true. I know that Joseph smith is a prophet of god. I know that Christ's church has been restored and that it is on the earth today!! I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it is the word of God. I know that through Christ all things are possible. I also know that He loves me and that he loves each and every one of you and he has suffered for everyone of you, even if you don’t want him to. He did it for you, because HE LOVES YOU. I love y'all so so so much! I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve here and I am so grateful for my parents and all that they do to help me and make it possible for me to be here. I know that I can be together forever with my family and that brings me so much peace. I hope that you have a wonderful and safe week! Love y'all!!!

Sister Esplin
The "Asian" sister
A representative of Jesus Christ
Someone who will speed walk towards people to talk to them


The Mississippi River :)

Painting Sister Jack’s house
We’re going to  Walley World!

 District meeting

Millington USA Baseball Stadium

Monday, August 7, 2017

What a week!


This email is going to be a little bit shorter than usual. (I know, y'all are shouting for joy for not having to read my boring novels 😉) but believe me, you ain't missing much :)

This week was kind of hard, mostly because my body completely shut down from stress, fatigue and a virus and I was throwing up a ton this week so we didn’t leave our apartment for 4 days. Also, we didn’t have a car until Saturday, which was super fun since we were completely new to the area and didn’t know where anything was. OHHHHHH, SWEET IS THE WORK!!! 

Well, some really good work that we did this week, we did while we were in Bartlett with the Sister Training Leaders. I found about 3 new investigators!!! For Bartlett… This didn’t really help our numbers in Millington, but you know what? We are all on the same team!!! TRUTH. 

On Monday I went tracting with one of the STLs and it was amazing to see how the spirit can work through us. Also, I developed a stronger testimony of role playing in companion study or at zone conferences. Last week we went to a mission leadership conference (MLC) and did a role play with some elders where we knocked on the door and the situation was that their mother had just passed away. I honestly didn’t know what to say. All of a sudden, I heard the words come out of my mouth, “How have you gotten through that?" Right after I said it, I thought to myself, “Why would I say a stupid thing like that?!” Well afterwards, we evaluated the role play, and they said that that question was what helped them open up and feel the spirit. Wow!  Well this past Monday, we encountered a lady whose mother had just passed away. Once again, the question fell out of my mouth. She immediately broke down and she was so happy to listen to the message of the Savior and His triumph over death and how much He loves her. I feel so strongly that Heavenly Father truly prepares us for moments like that. I just love testifying of the love our Heavenly Father has for us and for the knowledge that we have that Jesus Christ is always by us and helping us each and every day. 

Another cool moment occurred this week as I was struggling and feeling so bad about myself and thinking, “Wow, Esplin, way to go! You just HAD to get sick! If you were stronger, you would be able to get through this and not be sick and work really hard here..etc. etc." All things that the adversary puts into our minds. It's not true, but at that moment, I just felt so alone and so bad about myself, that I knelt down and said a prayer out loud. I asked Heavenly Father for comfort and strength and that I would be able to feel like I am not alone. At that moment, I felt so comforted. I KNEW that Heavenly Father had sent angels to help me and strengthen me. I literally FELT like angels were surrounding me and, as I sobbed, I felt that people that knew me and loved me were around me and wanted to comfort me. I was able to get up and feel so much better about myself and the great job that I have to do here. 

I want to share a little from my studies this week. I read an amazing talk from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf from last general conference, called "Perfect love casteth out fear". He said: "The more I come to know my Heavenly Father, the more I see how He inspires and leads His children. He is not angry, vengeful, or retaliatory. His very purpose--His work and His glory--is to mentor us, exalt us, and lead us to His fulness. God described Himself to Moses as “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” Our Father in Heaven’s love for us, His children, surpasses by far our ability to comprehend. Does this mean that God condones or overlooks behaviors that run contrary to His commands? No, definitely not! But He wants to change more than just our behaviors. He wants to change our very natures. He wants to change our hearts. He wants us to reach out and take firm hold of the iron rod, confront our fears, and bravely step forward and upward along the strait and narrow path. He wants this for us because He loves us and because this is the way to happiness.
So, how does God motivate His children to follow Him in our day?
He sent His Son!
God sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to show us the right way.
God motivates through persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned. God is on our side. He loves us, and when we stumble, He wants us to rise up, try again, and become stronger.
He is our mentor.
He is our great and cherished hope.
He desires to stimulate us with faith.
He trusts us to learn from our missteps and make correct choices.
This is the better way!"

I know that Heavenly Father loves us all so much and I love that He wants us to change. He doesn't want us to become something completely new. He wants to mold us and help us along the way so that we can be able to become more like Him. I love the fact that He wants to change our our natures and our hearts. Something that I have come to hold onto and cherish is the fact that I am never alone and that I have a perfect person, who has felt EVERYTHING that I have felt, to rely on. He is there, and He wants us to turn to Him. I hope that we can each look inside of ourselves and see things that we can change to become more like the Savior and more like our Father in Heaven. 

As a zone, we are doing a 30 day consecration where we fasted yesterday and last night prayed for what Heavenly Father wanted us to put on the alter to give our whole selves to Him. We had a pen and paper near so we could write it down. The great thing is, we aren't asked to do multiple things at a time, just one thing at a time, until the Lord tells us that we have mastered that and we can move on to something else. I invite y'all to do that as well. I know that He will guide and inspire youth ways that you can change, because He sure has told me. 

I love y'all so so so so so so so much!!!!! I hope that you have a good week. Thank you so much for your prayers and your emails and letters. I sure love hearing from you!! Love you lots and lots!!! I know the church is true and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Pass it on!

Sister Esplin
Believer of miracles
Recovered from a virus

Crazy person

First week in Millington, TN
Our bishop seems awesome!!

On the road again…getting transferred to Millington, TN!

This was our area book when we arrived in Millington  last week…COMPLETELY EMPTY!!😳😧

Our cute STLs 

Frozen custard…Oh man!!!

Stake Women’s Conference in the North Memphis Stake
RM Sister Jensen and her family came back to visit the mission and made a surprise visit to the conference that day! 

That moment when your companion tells you that someone stole your catchphrase. Made my day!! ☺️

When you are sick all week so your companion finishes TWO puzzles. 😝 Also, rocking some crazy “Ted-head”. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Baseball bats and pepper spray

Hello my lovely family and wonderful friends!!! 

I say hello with a grateful heart and touched spirit. This week was quite a week and I don't know how much I should tell y'all about now and how much I will tell y'all after my mission. I have been praying about whether or not I should share with y'all what happened this week, but since I am no longer in Lonoke, (SURPRISE! I'm transferred! 😢) I felt that it should be okay to tell y'all. Also, partially because this took up pretty much the WHOLE week. Please forgive me if I share too much. I pray I can follow the spirit in what I share with y'all. 

Okay, last Monday we started our exchange with our sister training leaders. Sister Peterson went with sister Dayley to Conway and I remained in Lonoke with Sister Gray. I am so grateful for the members in Lonoke!!! Sister Shelton was such a sweet heart and she drove us all the way to Conway to drop of Sister Peterson and then bring Sister Gray back to Lonoke. Her cute daughters were such good sports about driving a bunch and they had so much fun in the backseat with Sister Gray. They were totally hamming it up, which totally reminded me of Katelyn and Parker and how they would be with new people...or really, any people. 

Tuesday we had our second walk day of our walk week. It was fantastic!!! We had our district meeting that morning which was interesting. We then had several skype meetings at the church. Yay for meetings!!!! I love being so spiritually fed. We actually decided to study three of the  citations of Jesus Christ as listed in the topical guide, like President Russell M Nelson challenged everyone to do during the last General Conference that we had. Sister Peterson picked the three topics and we studied them all together over skype!!! Yes! Huzzah! It was so spiritual and it really opened my heart, spirit, and mind. I love the scriptures and I love Jesus Christ. 

We also were able to go finding and we were able to find someone super awesome named Sydney!! She is so cool! She came outside in the humidity and she had AMAZING makeup and I was just freaking out. She was so amazing though. She was so sweet and she accepted a Book of Mormon and we were able to testify that we know that Heavenly Father loves her and knows her. I love the gospel!!!

On Tuesday night everything kind of blew up.  Sister Gray and I were sitting in our living room/dining room at about 10 at night with all of our lights on just busting a gut.  All of a sudden, we heard a noise and we just stopped. We have a super heavy glass and steel screen door and someone was very very slowly opening it. In a crazy out of body experience, I rushed to the door and flipped the deadbolt. After that, someone tried to open our door then they slowly shut our screen door. We immediately freaked out and grabbed our stuff and hid and said a prayer. We asked that if we were in no danger that he would give us peace. Immediately we felt an increase of panic so we called our district leader who prayed and then called us back and asked if we ever felt like we should call the police. We answered in the affirmative and immediately one of the assistants to the president called us and told us to get out of there. We agreed. But we didn't quite feel comfortable going outside to our car, out through the door that someone just tried to break into. So we called the cops and he gave us an escort out. Yay!!! Plus, I gave him a Book of Mormon and he was so so grateful! Sharing the gospel even at 11 o'clock at night! Our AP called us “The Midnight Missionaries”. We renamed ourselves “The Sisters Revere”, 😂 driving into the night to stay in Sherwood. The next day we returned with bats and pepper spray, as per President Hansen’s instructions, and returned to our apartment in Carlisle. but neither one of us felt safe there.  This week I learned a lot about discerning the spirit. For the remaining week we have been on the run staying with different people. I have probably had 15 hours of sleep this week. I joked and said that I was being driven from our home by persecution like the early saints (not really)! Now, both Sister Peterson and I are being transferred to Millington, TN where we are opening the area. Woot woot! 

Oh my goodness we also got asked to go to missionary leadership council which was so cool!!! I learned so much and felt the spirit so strong. Something so cool that President said was that rationalization is knocking on the doors of hell. 😧He is seriously so cool. He just loves us and wants us to be so spiritually led. I love that he said that because I think that we do that a lot where we rationalize what we are doing and it eventually leads to much bigger things. I just feel so blessed to be on a mission. Seriously, this week the spirit has been so strong and I have truly felt angels around me protecting me and helping me along the way. I know that Heavenly Father knows me and loves me. I am so grateful to be a missionary and to be able to serve others and to say that I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I hope that I can strive to live up to that title and truly serve each day. I love y'all so so so much! Thank you for all of your love and support. Y'all are wonderful! Have a great day!!

Sister Esplin
Lover of knocking on doors
Armed with a bat and pepper spray

New missionary in Millington

 In Conway with the STLs  Sister Dayley and Sister Gray

 Making a pit stop at Sam’s Club with the Sheltons

 Armed with pepper spray and a baseball bat

Beautiful sky!!!

 With Sister Alston

 Saying goodbye to the Sheltons 

 The Cabot sisters!!!

The signed shirt

Getting a much needed hug from Sister Pierson