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

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