Monday, September 22, 2014

Good morning, wonderful family! 
   Well, I have a ton to tell you all about today! Let's get started. :)
   First: Transfer News- I am being transferred to Pismo Beach!!! I am so excited and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I've heard a lot of great and exciting things about that area. It was only recently opened for sisters. I will still be senior companion, and I'll be serving with Sister Hiapo. I've never met her, but I'm excited to. I believe Pismo Beach is up near the Santa Maria area? I'll have to wait and see. I'll spend most of today packing, writing in Shout-Out Journals, and saying good bye to a bunch of loved ones. Then tomorrow we'll have the Transfer Meeting in Ventura. Exciting stuff. I'm excited to see new things and to do my best to assist in the work up in Pismo Beach.
   Next: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I love you so much and I'm so grateful for all that you have done and all that you do for me. You're the best Mom, ever. I mean it. :) I hope you have a fantastic day and that you feel of my love and prayers for you. I'm so glad you got my card and that you liked it. I meant every word. Love you!
   Guess who passed their 10 month mark this week? It was amazing day, full of surprises. :) So it was the day of our special Zone Conference with Elder Malm. Oh wow, that conference was amazing! Elder and Sister Malm and President and Sister Felix all taught us so much. Elder Malm is amazing. He addressed so many things and the Spirit was so strong all day. The Spirit is an amazing teacher...he teaches things to us very personally, exactly what WE need. The conference lasted for most of the day, full of talks, videos, a delicious lunch, testimonies from different missionaries, a lot of amazing counsel from Elder Malm (in his fantastic Swedish accent), and our Thousand Oaks zone had the opportunity this week to prepare and perform a special choir number about being a Zion-like people. It went really well. At the close of the conference they asked that the assistants, the sister training leaders, the district and zone leaders, and the trainers all stay for a special meeting with Elder and Sister Malm and President and Sister Felix. I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that group. Our small meeting was special and we talked a lot about how we can take the lead in leading out the changes and refining of the California Ventura mission, how we can be those examples and leaders. After the meeting, Elder Malm shook everyone's hand. After he had already passed us President Felix came up to me and told me that Elder Malm had asked to meet with me! I was surprised, excited, and nervous all at the same time. Elder Malm had chosen a couple of Elders and a couple of Sisters to interview privately, and I was one of them! I waited my turn while talking with sweet Sister Malm. (I really did love their accent. The way it turns up on the end of sentences.) Then it was my turn. He invited me in and we sat down. He smiled and read my name tag and said, "Sister Hardman...with the soft heart." (Perhaps he had seen my tears during an earlier part of the conference while we were listening to a talk by Elder Holland.) He then when on to ask me (in his accent), "Is that true?" The interview with him was an amazing experience. He asked me a lot about myself, my home, my family. He was in PG last week to re-organize the PG West Stake presidency I believe. He is so nice. He was so sincere and genuine as we talked. We talked a lot about how things in the conference had affected me and what my thoughts and feelings were. He expounded on a lot of things and asked me if I had any questions for him. I paused for a moment and then asked him something that had been on my mind all day. His answer and counsel was so powerful. The things he said and showed me (he said he wanted to draw me this little diagram, maybe I'll show it to you all someday) were amazing and helped me so much. I feel great! I feel loved. I feel answered. I feel trusted. :) I felt very lucky to be one of the ones that got to talk to him one on one. It meant a lot to me, and I know that it was a loving and supportive gift from Heavenly Father. It was a good 10 month birthday present. :)
   So yeah, I feel great! I'm feeling completely healthy and happy. :) I'm excited for the adventures that are about to come. I do love Moorpark so much and I will miss a lot of people here, but I'm excited for the friendships that I have gained here and those that I will continue to hear from and see again in the future. I felt an abundance of love from this ward this week. (Everyone pretty much was guessing I might be transferred. I've been here for a while.) I love them all very much, and I'm so grateful for the time that I've had here. Yesterday was the Primary Program. So sweet! So big! 
   Oh, another piece of news for this week: Our lesson with J. on Wednesday went so well. We came prepared to share one thing...and then the Spirit took over and we taught something completely different. We just felt prompted to read 2 Nephi 31 with him and then really talk with and listen to him concerning baptism. It was powerful and the Spirit led the way. We addressed a lot of concerns, and he has committed to work towards being baptized in November! We were able to set him with a date! :) He's amazing. The Spirit is amazing. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this great work.
   Hey guess what? It's Fall this week! Yay! There are beautiful fall-ish leaves around Moorpark that are starting to show up. Also, I really enjoy that it's starting to get cooler and darker faster in the evenings, and that it stays darker a little bit longer in the mornings. I enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate this morning at 6:15 because it was still dark and cool. :) Love it. Any guesses for how the weather will be in Pismo Beach?
   Thank you for the wonderful update and email Mom and Dad. You're both fantastic and I love you lots! I'll come on your awesome trips with you someday. I liked the lesson you explained to me from the hike. I definitely can apply that one more. Haha...Elder Malm gave some cool insights to me about that one as well. Thanks for everything. Mom, I'll watch the General Women's Broadcast with you this week. ;) I am SO excited for General Conference. Does everyone have their "3 Questions" ready? Emma, you looked beautiful by the way! You're too pretty. :) Let me know how Homecoming was. James was talking about me at the cabin, Dad? Do tell. :) Enjoy the wonderful birthday dinner tonight.
   I love you!
Love, Melanie
(Sister Hardman)

A special 10 month mission birthday full of surprises. :)

This is Kiki, a member in the ward that I love! We went over and cleaned their family's house this week.

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