Monday, October 20, 2014

Hello Dear Family!
   I hope you're all having a wonderful morning. (Those that are traveling home, I hope you're having fun and driving safe.) It was so fun to hear all about your adventures here in beautiful California this week. Thanks for the fun report. You're all so great.
   Okay, a few "updates and reminders" (that's what our zone leaders call it when they give us information from the president). So transfers are coming up in 2 weeks. We actually get transfer calls on the morning of my birthday, November 3rd, and transfer meeting will be on the 4th, so concerning packages...if by anyone is planning on sending me anything for my birthday ;) ... if you send it to the mission office address it will be held there until transfers so I'd get it on the 4th. You can send things directly to my address here in Grover Beach and as long as it gets to me before the end of next week we should be good. :) Just in case. Oh! Speaking of birthdays, it's my 11 month mission birthday today!
   So we had a really fun opportunity given us this week. President Felix gave us the special permission to go on exchanges or splits with the other Pismo Beach sisters we live with. So on Saturday I got to work with Sister Reneer all day. It was so fun and we had an amazing day full of miracles in both sides of the ward. We always have an "Exchange goal" that we are working on throughout the day when on exchanges. My personal goal was actually to focus completely on how I could help, lift, or strengthen my companion (or the missionary that I was with). I've been studying a lot about Christlike Charity and Love for others. I want to love others and Jesus Christ does. I'm working to have a sincere concern for the welfare and happiness of others. In my studies I found a simple list of how to truly help others by honoring the covenant that we make at baptism to bear the burdens of others. It's simple, but they were principles that have helped me in my efforts to lift others. 1.Share the burden. 2.Show empathy and comfort. 3.Testify of God's Love. This last one is definitely the one that stood out to me the most. As it states in 1 Nephi 11:17 we don't need to know everything, but I know that if we focus on the knowledge that Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ love us we will have the strength, the peace, and the understanding to continue to move forward. Everything will be alright. We just have to do our best, be obedient, and keep the commandments. I know that our Father in Heaven loves each of us so much. He will help us, and it is often through the actions of another. I want to be that instrument in his hands. I want to be that person that he can count on and send to lift and help those around me.
   Concerning the work in this area, things are still going really well. We're working hard, teaching more and more lessons each week, finding more people, talking to a lot of unique tourists with accents, doing yard work and service, working with other missionaries and the ward, and a lot of other wonderful stuff. I love this work.
   I hope you all have an amazing week. You are so loved by your missionary. Promise. :)
Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)
P.S.-Mom, on Saturday we met a woman in her garage that had a huge quilting station set up. When I mentioned that I had a Mom who quilts she invited us in and talked with us for a while. Thanks for an in. Also, sorry everyone that I'm a bit behind in my hand written letters to you all. I'm still catching up and getting settled and organized after being transferred. I'm working on it. Love you!

My companions here in Pismo Beach. :)

 And yes, it is my 11 month mark! Crazy crazy.

Here's another one. I took this from our parked car when we were about to go to a lesson. These are the types of streets I'm working in. Pacific Coast Highway! Right next to the ocean if you look at the end of the street. This is fun.

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