Monday, October 27, 2014

Hey Family!
   We had a great week here in the Pismo Beach ward. 
   Thank you Mom and Sam for the letters this week. I love you! And Thank you Lisa and Alan, I loved the package. Thank you so much! You brightened up our apartment and brought me a lot of joy.  (We colored in the coloring book you sent us a few days ago. Sister Karatassos wasn't feeling well, so we did splits that day so that we could still cover the appointments in both areas. I got to stay at home with her. We had a fun, good day...we ate too much candy probably. Ha.) Thank you for your wonderful email too, Dad. It meant a lot to me this morning. :) Thank you all so much for loving and encouraging your missionary. She really appreciates it and it makes all the difference.
   So President Felix told us this morning that we're getting transfer calls on this Saturday instead of on Monday morning. Crazy! We're excited though, it will be really nice to know what's happening for transfers a few days before. So we'll find out on Saturday and then we'll have transfer meeting still on Tuesday. I think I'll probably be staying here. I just got to Pismo Beach. Sister Hiapo has been here for a few transfers so we'll see what happens. I'll let you know in a week.
   Our area is doing well. This week we had pretty consistent appointments, a lot of service opportunities, and a lot of cool and powerful experiences. We're doing our best. I love those moments in lessons or in the work when you have a flash of seeing how amazing and important this work is and you recognize all of the help that you have. I love being a missionary and having the opportunity to be the Lord's hands in helping all of our brothers and sisters come unto Him. I love moments when you realize, "Hey, that lesson went really, really well. They're seeing the truth of the gospel. They want this! That definitely isn't because of my teaching skills." ;) I know that this work is greater than us. This is the Lord's work. He's in control. We are so lucky to be a part of it. I love our area and all of the people and opportunities that we are given wherever we are in our mission. By the way, Jim is doing really, really well. He's working towards being baptized at the end of November. He's being very fellowshipped by the ward, he's receiving guidance and recognizing it as he reads the scriptures and comes to church, and he's getting excited. It makes me smile. :)
   Coming up this week: Today we are carving pumpkins as a District! Yay! :D And then tonight we are going to Bishop Silva's for family night. We're watching the Testaments! And Bishop Silva told us last night that they're making exciting kinds of popcorn. I'm so excited. I love all of the FHE lessons that we've been able to give and have with the Silva family. They're wonderful, and the kids in that family have amazing testimonies that strengthen mine every time. Last week we played Book of Mormon charades with our favorite stories in the Book of Mormon. Yes! I will be thinking of all of you at FHE as I'm in FHE. :)  Also coming up this week, we have the ward Halloween party on Tuesday night. A few of our investigators are coming. :) Then on Halloween we will be in by 7...missionaries don't get to go trick-or-treating. ;)
   You're having the missionaries over?! Yes! Tell me all about it! What is their mission like? What do they share? Who are they and where are they from? Tell them that the missionaries in the Great California Mission support them and are cheering them all. This is a great work, and we really are so lucky to be a part of it. Tell them thank you for me for being with my family this week.
   I'm so excited for the birthday stuff that is to come. :) Thanks! I will dutifully wait to open the obviously wrapped ones till my birthday. You're all so fantastic! Have a wonderful week and a happy Halloween!
Love, Mel (Sister Hardman)

~Sister Karatassos at our fun zone activity last Monday.

~And a picture of what the activity looked like. We had to make it across the gym a paper at a time, as a District, without stepping on the "Alligators." It was a fun, symbolic activity.

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