Monday, September 29, 2014

Hey family!
   It was so good to get your email today, Dad. Thanks for the update on everyone and the events back home. It's so fun to hear about all of you. I love you all more than the moon...and that's a lot. ;)  So, I am here in a new area and a completely new world. I've been so excited to tell you all about it. Here we go:
  I really do love Pismo Beach. We've already seen so many small miracles and I'm so grateful for each opportunity that I've had to talk with and teach and serve the people here. I'm so happy, excited, and grateful to be here. So as I mentioned last week, Pismo was only recently opened up for sister missionaries. Sister Hiapo told me that I was technically the 4th sister missionary that this area has had in about 35 years. Something exciting though, this transfer President Felix was inspired to split the area, meaning that Sister Hiapo and I would be joined by two other sisters also coming to serve in this ward. So the four of us had to prayerfully decide how to split the ward area this week. It was hard. We all had different impressions and thoughts at first and it was hard to decipher between what was right, what we personally wanted, and what was more logical. But we did our best to follow the Spirit and it has worked out. The Pismo Beach ward covers parts of 4 small cities: Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Shell Beach, and Arroyo Grande. Sister Hiapo and I will be covering Pismo Beach and part of Arroyo Grande. The other two sisters will be covering Grover Beach and Shell Beach. We all feel good about how it has been split and the miracles that we have each seen in our areas have been amazing. I feel a connection to Pismo Beach and I am excited to do my best to labor here in this part of the Lord's vineyard. I am so grateful that I was sent here. :) It makes me smile.
   I love Sister Hiapo. She is such a hard worker, and she is so much fun. She keeps a sense of humor while we are working hard and helps everyone around her to know that she is a focused and obedient missionary. This is her 3rd transfer here. We've had a great week and I know that I will learn so much from her. She is from Arizona and loves volleyball. Most of her family is from Hawaii. She's awesome.
   I loved the General Women's Broadcast. All of the talks were amazing, the Spirit was so strong, and most important, the promptings and the lessons that I learned for myself were many. One sister spoke of how she came to really understand her need of a Redeemer with her weakness. I don't want to have weakness, none of us do, and when mine happen I sometimes get frustrated and down on myself. But with the Savior we can be complete. He will make up the difference as we do our best, are obedient, and repent for our mistakes. That is the great message of hope that we carry to the world. It's so important for us to learn it and know it for ourselves too.
   We've had several opportunities to serve this last week. It's amazing how while you are serving people will show their interest and desire to know through simple questions and observations. Service is an amazing tool that Heavenly Father uses to bless and lift His children and to help them have the courage to seek and to find the truth. Oh! Guess what I got to do this week? I got to paint a white picket fence on a beach house! It was so cool! :)
   The area here is exciting. We went street contacting in downtown Pismo Beach, walking right near the ocean in the shops and passing surfers and fun people. When we tract in most of Pismo Beach it is full of beautiful beach houses, beautiful views up on the hill overlooking the ocean, and very nice people. Arroyo Grande is like the country! It's spread out between hills and small areas of houses. When we walk there I feel like a missionary in a different country. It's definitely an adventure here. I love it.
   The district here is fun. 2 sets of Elders, 2 sets of Hermanas, and 2 sets of Sisters. A few people I know from past districts! Elder Fagan from Thousand Oaks is the district leader.
   I'm out of time, but I hope this gives you a good glimpse. To answer your questions Dad, we all drive to Ventura for a meeting with everyone who is being transferred or getting a new companion. We then ride to our new areas. Members usually drive us. The drive up the coast here was fun, with all the other sisters and hermanas. We are teaching and finding many good people here. I love the people here in Pismo Beach and I'm excited to be here. I'm so excited for General Conference. I'll watch it with all of you. Have an amazing week!
Love, Melanie
(Sister Hardman)

~This is my new companion Sister Hiapo. We were riding to the General Women's Broadcast with the other sisters.

~And this is what it looks like when we're in upper Pismo Beach. I wasn't able to get any other pictures this week, but today she's taking me to see a few beautiful spots, so I'll send more next week. :) Isn't Pismo Beach beautiful?

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