Monday, August 25, 2014

Hey Family!
   Guess what? The other night, a family in the ward brought us to this fancy restaurant and I had a Chicken Tortilla soup that tasted just like the one at Zupas! Basically...I was excited :) Will someone please go to Zupas for me this week. Enjoy! Alright, that was my random comment for the day to start off this letter. I'm doing really well. This week was great and I'm feeling really good. Thank you for all of your emails, letters, packages, love, prayers, and support. You are all such great missionaries! Thanks. :)
   We had a wonderful miracle moment this week. We were driving to contact a potential investigator when I suddenly got the strong impression that we needed to stop and knock the street we were on. It was a clear prompting from the Spirit. Obediently, we pulled to the side of the road and started knocking. We declared to several people and then knocked on the door of someone named Saul who was very interested and willing to invite us in to share our message with him and his Mom. He's a senior in high school. We taught him the full Restoration and scheduled a time to come back next week. He committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We're excited to continue teaching him. As soon as we left his house I could feel that he was the one we were supposed to find on that street. The feeling felt like a "pat on the back" from Heavenly Father. It is an amazing feeling to be able to receive promptings from the Spirit and to be able to be an instrument in this great work. I love doing my part as a missionary, and I am doing my best to be worthy of receiving guidance from the Holy Ghost at all times.
   A. is doing really well, but sadly she has had to move to Thousand Oaks. :( We had a last lesson with her at the beginning of the week and said good bye. But she will be meeting with the Elders over in the ward over there, and we'll stay in contact. She's amazing. We had a few lessons with J. this week, sitting on his front porch on beautiful California afternoons with the ocean breeze that comes up through Camarillo. I love swaying palm trees, and I love reading with Jose from the Book of Mormon. His dog Ruby loves us quite a bit too...a little too much. :)
   We had the wonderful experience of visiting with two less-active members of the church this week who then came to church yesterday. I love helping those who have forgotten to come back and to remember the covenants that they made when they were baptized, and to remember how much their families, friends, and ward family love them and miss them. We also did service for an inactive sister and were really able to bond with her and work to strengthen her. The Spirit was strong as we shared a message after packing boxes and we know that us coming by each week to serve her has been helping her and softening her heart. She told us that we are evidence to her of God's love for her. In our Zone Meeting this week we talked a lot about service. Mosiah 2:17 states, "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." Matthew 25:40 says a very similar thing. I know that Heavenly Father can use us to lift our brothers and sisters around us. I know that serving others in large or in simple ways brings us closer to each other and lifts hearts. I love opportunities to serve. :)
   We have a real, full Zone Conference again this week! We haven't had one since March. We are really excited and we've heard that there are a lot of changes coming soon. ;) We're all making educated guesses, and we hope we're right. That will be all day Thursday in Thousand Oaks. We'll be combined with the Simi Valley Zone. It will be a wonderful day.I'm excited for this week. Also, today we're basically having a district party over at the car shop while all of us get our cars checked and oil changed. Fun stuff. Well, you are all the best.
   I hope you all have a wonderful day and a fantastic week! I love you!
   Melanie (Sister Hardman)

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