Hello My Dear Family!
Thanks for the wonderful email and update, Mom. Sounds like it was a crazy and fun-filled week. Great job on the "Mother of 12" things. You did awesome. I'm jealous of the meals. ;) And I know that you were an amazing chaperone. You're so much fun and you're such a great example. And a grill for Dad!? No way! I'm so excited and happy for you, Dad. You're amazing and you deserve it. I sang for you yesterday. Happy Father's Day! I'm so excited for some grilled yumminess in a year. Plan on it. I'll be there...and I'll be a lot less picky about what I eat, promise. I'm still not there quite yet with fish, but I've come a long way on a ton of other foods that I used to be picky about. Speaking of food, we found the Chick-fil-a! Oh wow, it is so close to the church that we do emails at each Monday. :) That's dangerous. I can't believe I didn't know it was here till now! What if I get transferred soon? Oh! Speaking of that, since this was only a 5 week transfer, this is my last week. Transfer meeting will be next Tuesday, so they'll call us with the transfer news and assignments in a week on Monday morning. I'll let you all know what's happening. Usually I feel like I can have a pretty good guess, but the truth is that I have no idea what's going to happen this time. Sister Moure and I have both been here for 2 transfers, so we could stay again, or one of us will probably get transferred. Who knows? We'll see.
So I felt all grown up this week. :) There was a recall on our car that we drive for some part and so we had to drive down to Westlake to get it checked. It was a lot of fun to be there with the other missionaries. Our car did not pass and so they provided a rental for us. They gave us the papers and sent us to Enterprise to rent a car. I felt grown up. It was fun. Since I'm the designated driver I had to sign the paperwork and stuff for it. Silly thing to get excited about I know, but hey! :)
So the work in this area is blooming! There is so much going on and it's so exciting. :) Just to mention a few of the people we're working with: Our investigator K., who has been preparing for baptism is doing really well. We tried to meet with her every day, (which is pretty fun. We love driving up to their house which is up in the hills behind Moorpark up near huge nurseries and citrus groves. We drive up a bumpy dirt road to get there) and we were able to teach her The Gospel of Jesus Christ, review over the Word of Wisdom, watch President Monson's talk on Love, and read Alma 32 and 1 Nephi 1. Her baptismal date is in about 3 weeks and she is motivated and excited to work towards that. Our new investigator this week, K., is amazing. I love her! A member who was selling pest-control met her and was able to bond with her and share a little bit about the gospel with her. She has lost loved ones in the past and was intrigued with the idea of families being eternal. The member was very persistent in helping us to be able to meet with her. We had a lesson with K. and the member this week that went amazing. She opened us to us so much and is sincerely looking into what we had to share. We taught the restoration with the member and K. loved what we shared. She has a lot of good questions and is so excited to learn more, come to church, and to read from the Book of Mormon. We talked with her on the phone this weekend and she told us that she was excited to read the Book of Mormon yesterday as she recovered from sickness. We're meeting with her again soon. She is so excited about eternal families. A., the woman who walked into church on her own a few weeks ago came to church yesterday and especially enjoyed the gospel essentials class on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We taught her the Plan of Salvation after church and she is reading from the Book of Mormon and praying to know if all of this is true. We haven't been able to see the L. and M. for a lesson, but there have been a lot of small opportunities for us to serve them and it's helping them to open up to us a lot more. Also, S. is doing well. She had her baby girl this week! :) We also had a really amazing lesson with a part member family this week that touched my heart a lot. One of the daughters has been pretty hard to touch or help, but we felt strongly impressed that we should watch the Testaments with them and we saw a huge change in her. She cried and was touched by the Spirit. It was such a big testimony builder of how powerful the Spirit is in softening hearts. And how much change can come over a person when the Spirit is there.
This week will be an exciting and fun one. Today we're going on a District Hike to Paradise Falls again. (And Sister Moure and I are going to get Chick-fil-a.) And then on Wednesday we have a special Zone Conference which is probably going to be a Farewell for the Castros. And then on Friday, the Thousand Oaks stake is having a huge missionary focused youth conference and we are playing a big part in it. The Castros are coming and we're going to be doing EDPEPs with the youth and help them out a ton. I'm so excited for it. And then transfer news and phone calls are always exciting! So it will be a fun week.
I have grown to love being on a mission so much. Thank you so much for all of your love and support and for helping me so much. You're ALL my favorite. :)
Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)
P.S.- The Conference talks are amazing. :) Everyone should read a few this week. I'd love to hear what your favorites are. I feel like I've been memorizing it with how much I've been reading them and using them in lessons. Thank you so much for the book, it's been so helpful and fun to use. I carry it with me always and use it so often. I treasure it. :) Have a fantastic week
Pictures from me:
~The rental car that I am driving. :)
~Sister Moure, Hermana Winn, and Hermana Newman had fun with my hair.
~We found the Chick-fil-a! :D And I found some $1 Frozen socks at Target.