Monday, September 15, 2014

Dear Family,
  Well this week was a great learning and growing experience. I wasn't doing well for the first few days, with a major headache. (I guess it makes sense with the triple-digit temperatures, but I was kind of sick for a few days). But thanks to a lot of help and counsel from my leaders and guidance from the Lord, it all ended up okay. The headache is gone, I'm doing much better, and I am grateful for the hard things of this week because it gave me the opportunity to learn a few lessons I needed. When we focus on what the Lord is trying to teach us, it brings us a great amount of patience, understanding, peace, and strength when we are going through hard things.
   The timing of exchanges was perfect. Sister Arndt's experiences and encouragement were exactly what I needed on that day. Even though I was still in pain, we were able to work hard that day and the Lord provided the places and the people and the circumstances. The morning of exchanges Sister Arndt and I had just gotten off the phone with the mission medical coordinator and I had to make a choice. Go out and work. Or stay in and rest. After much prayer, I felt prompted that there was a lesson I was supposed to learn that day. I felt that I needed to learn to trust that Heavenly Father will take care of our needs if we do His work. Diligently, we got up and went out to work. That was a hard choice to make, and it brings me a great sense of strength and happiness to know that I made the right choice. How often is the easy choice the right one? But I made the right choice and I am so glad that I did. I was blown away at all of the things that were put right into place that day. Random inside service opportunities that got us in out of the sun, people that were prepared and willing to have us share more with them, experiences that Sister Arndt has had that were exactly what I needed to hear, and my head even stopped bothering me so much. I'm grateful for all that I have learned this week and how I am growing closer to Heavenly Father. A huge focus that I have had recently is doing my best to strengthen my testimony of God's love for me. I know that it can be a hard lesson for us to learn sometimes, but it can be even harder to maintain that knowledge and remember it even when things are hard. But he does love all of us. So much! All we have to do is look around and we can see evidences of his love for us. All we have to do is listen...He will tell us. :) I know this is true. It makes me smile so big! I know that our Father in Heaven loves us.
   The rest of the week went really well. We worked hard and are doing our best to help those around us in any way we can. We met a woman this week named J. who has been inactive for over a year. We were able to go and serve her and help her out a bit. Then on Saturday night she called us to tell us that she wanted to come to church the next day! She was able to make it to church and in relief society so many of the members reached out to her and she's excited to be back. It was a service miracle. She has some health issues and we simply helped her clean up her apartment to get ready for the apartment check. Never underestimate the power of cleaning out a fridge. (Side note, it's strange how much I have come to love cleaning. :/ Odd.)
   Sister Evans and I had our last day of the 12 week training program together yesterday. (Since we had a 7 week transfer last transfer, we finished her first 12 weeks last night.) She is an amazing missionary and is a powerful teacher. We had a very powerful experience as we roll-played inviting one of our investigators to be baptized and addressed his concerns. Sister Evans loves the people she serves and is a very hard and disciplined worker. I have learned so much from her and am grateful for the opportunity that I was given to train her. I needed it.
   We're looking forward to a surprise Zone Conference this week! They announced this week that a member of the 70 is coming this week. Elder Malm will be attending a meeting that we will have on this Saturday! It will be our Thousand Oaks Zone, the Newbury Park Zone, and the Simi Valley Zone. We're excited. :)
   This week is the last week of the transfer! So transfer calls will be coming next Monday morning. Ah! What do you all think? Maybe I'll stay in Moorpark for a 5th transfer? Maybe I'll go somewhere new? Any guesses? Happy Birthday next week, Momma!!! I'm sending you a card today. And I'll be able to wish you a happy birthday next Monday, but I wanted to do it today too. I love you! Your package came on the day when I was the most sick and it meant so much to me. It made me so happy! Thank you!
   Thank you for your amazing email today, Dad. You are an amazing father and I am so grateful to be a member of this family.
   Everyone have an amazing week! I love you!
Love, Melanie
(Sister Hardman)

My Temple Birthday and Exchanges with Sister Arnt

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