Good morning, my dear family!
Guess what? There were a lot of clouds on and off throughout this week! And the temperatures were a tiny bit cooler. :) We've been sitting in the 80s or low 90s this week, so that's been wonderful. Also, we had two days where it actually looked kind of stormy! On Saturday, it rained for like 30 seconds!!! And it was cool enough that I was able to wear a cardigan. :) Happy day. And here was a beautiful and fun moment from this week: On Monday, our district went to a nearby park after emails that had a sand volleyball pit. We had so much fun in the sand and playing volleyball and having fun together. And it was the first day where there were a lot of clouds in the sky, and they looked darker and stormier! The breezes felt like an oncoming storm and we felt 2 or 3 sprinkles. It was a very happy and fun moment. :)
Concerning the work, this week has been much better. We're working hard and we've been able to teach more lessons and even find a couple of new investigators. And we have a lot more lessons and appointments set up for the next couple of days. :) I won't lie, I am struggling a bit to stay energetic and motivated all the time, especially on days when it feels like we aren't having much success. But I know that the Lord is teaching and helping me through this whole experience though, and I can see that there are many lessons that I'm meant to learn. I am focusing on having a good attitude in every circumstance and I am also focusing on working hard with diligence all the time, no matter what. I am learning and growing. I know that every trial we have is an opportunity to learn and grow and to become more like the Savior. However, I would still love any advice from past missionaries or others on things that helped them. Dad, your words and advice in your email helped a lot. Thank you so much, Daddy. I love you.
Our investigators are doing well. K. is reading and praying and is so excited to be baptized and to continue to learn more about the church. And A. has been coming to church every week and loving it. She loves what the gospel principles class teaches. We are working to find more fellowship for both of them in the ward to continue to strengthen them. Speaking of church, yesterday was amazing! I loved every hour. Selfishly, I feel like all the talks and lessons were for me, showing me that Heavenly Father loves me and knows exactly what I need, and is more than willing to give it to me. :) But I know that it also helped many more members, missionaries, and investigators.
Yesterday was my 8 month mark! Crazy stuff. I really enjoyed pulling my journal out the night of the 19th, and reading what I had written concerning my setting apart blessing exactly 8 months ago. I hadn't read that since I was in the MTC. I was blown away as I read some things that President Top said concerning my mission that gave me additional guidance and happiness as I saw things that he spoke of that have been happening. I am now more committed than ever to continue writing in my journal frequently, especially about spiritual experiences. I love looking back through my journal at things I've learned, seen, done, and felt throughout my mission. Are you all keeping your journals? ;) I promise it's worth it. (2 Nephi 29:11)
It's always so good to hear about what's been going on with all of you this week. You all sound wonderful. Thanks for being such a great family. I'm so proud of all of you and I'm proud to be a member of this family. I know that I am well supported and loved by you all, and that helps me so much to be able to do my best on my mission. And I will be so happy and excited to return to all of you again in 10 months. Thank you so much for the package this week, Mom! I loved it so much! It made my day. How did you know that I've been craving Welsh Cakes? And Emma, I loved the letter, you funny goose. I'm replying to that today, but good luck with everything. Haha...I wish I could be there for your first date, but have fun and let me know how it all goes. Do as I would do. Have fun! You're cute. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dear! You're amazing. I'll be thinking about you and I hope you have an amazing day.
Concerning the Family Council: I think that that is an amazing idea! Do I get to be a part of it?! (The Nauvoo Pageant) Funny thing, I've been thinking about the Nauvoo Pageant for the last several weeks. I've had two different dreams about it, and I actually caught myself singing the one song that I remembered from years ago while I was doing the dishes a few days ago. I'm all in, and I think that that would be an amazing experience. I'd love to do it with you again. :) You have my full support in the idea. I say yes.
Well, the time has come for me to sign off. I'm looking forward to this week. I'm really excited. And hey, guess what? Tonight, I get to go to Simi Valley for Exchanges tomorrow! It's always so fun to get to go to a different area for exchanges. I'll be there tomorrow. Everyone, have a fantastic week! Love you all!
Melanie (Sister Hardman)
~8 Month Mission Birthday! (And thanks for sending the skirt!)
~Hermana Winn and I having fun doing make-up together.