Hello Family! :)
I loved the email. Thanks Mom! I love you all so much and love hearing from you and about what's going on and how you're doing. Good luck with everything this week. You're in my thoughts and prayers. You're an amazing family that is very loved by this missionary. :)
This week has gone really well. We're having fun, learning lots, and working hard. We have been having a hard time finding people to teach lately, but we are working hard. We have been diligently knocking and we also organized all of the former investigators in our area this week so that we can go and contact more of them. Last night, our District Leader reminded us of something that President Felix had told all of us. "The miracles happen in the 2nd mile." When we run the 1st mile, we need to keep going. Just keep working and the miracles will happen. We know that if we continue working hard and being obedient and diligent, we will be led to those that are being prepared for the gospel. We had an experience with that actually earlier this week. We had a full day of knocking and it was quite hot, with no clouds to be seen. But we worked hard. We focused on faithful, diligent efforts, and just kept going. We were able to talk with a lot of people that day, but no one that was that interested or willing to listen. Near the end of the day, at around 8:30 we knocked on a door and found a really sweet young woman who was very interested to hear our message. She grabbed a blanket and we sat down on her porch and were able to teach her the full Restoration lesson. It felt so good to teach! :) We were so happy. She's YSA age, going to the college here, so we referred her to the Zone Leaders who cover the YSA ward, so we won't be able to teach her more, but she was excited to learn more! We were so excited. We had been led to the right house at the right time. Go the 2nd mile!
Funny story of the week, one of my friends, also on a mission, told me in his letter about him and his companion trying to get people to stop to talk to them when they were riding by on bikes. He said that usually if you just hold out a pass-along card they'll take it. So we were street-contacting the other night and a biker was coming up. We decided to try it. I held out the card and he grabbed it and shouted, "Thank you!" It was so funny for some reason! :) In that same hour I was able to practice my Spanish declaring skills a few times too. I am now able to say, in Spanish, "Hi, I only speak a tiny bit of Spanish, we're the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We share a message about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you take a look at this website?" At which point I hand them a Spanish Mormon.org card. It's a work in progress, but it's fun. :)
Training is going well, I think. I'm feeling bad at times when it doesn't feel like we're having much success because it feels like it's my fault and that I'm not being as good of a missionary as what I need to be. But I know that I'm working to do my best. My mission is teaching me so much about relying on the Lord in all we do. I know that I am so imperfect, but that he will help me do all that he has asked of me. I trust him. And when I'm able to remember these things, I find so much strength and happiness in the work. The key is just getting past those little moments when you give into the doubts or fears. There is no reason to fear in this work. When we are obedient, faithful, and we follow the spirit, everything falls into place beautifully. I think I learn a new life lesson on my mission every day. :) Thanks mission! I really do love how much I learn here and serving others has brought me so much happiness. Plus, I love teaching the Gospel. :) It's the best.
We had a Zone Meeting this week, and Sister Evans and I were asked to give the EDPEP to the whole zone. It made us a little nervous at first, but we prepared well and practiced hard, and had a great time giving it. It was a lot of fun! The Zone Leaders asked us to give it on Lesson 5: The Laws and Ordinances and why it's important to study and know them and to be able to teach them on demand. It was a lot of fun to put together the EDPEP and practice it with all of our Zone. They then announced that there has been a change in world-wide mission work. As of now, we will be teaching the Laws and Ordinances, not just after converts are baptized, but before they are baptized as well. We're so excited! I love teaching them and answering questions about them. When they announced that, it just felt so right. I know that this will help those we teach to prepare not only for baptism, but for enduring to the end and for eternity.
Well I love you all SOOO much and I miss you Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries. Thanks for being so amazing. Your missionary loves you!
Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)
This is me and Karen with a horse. :)
And this week I made Marshmallow Fluff for Weekly Planning! Yes!