Monday, November 17, 2014

Hey Family!
   How are you all doing? Sorry to hear about some sickness this week. Lame stuff. I hope you feel better soon and are able to have a wonderful week still, perhaps warm soup by the fire with a Jane Austen movie playing? That will help you to feel better I am sure. :) Dad, I hope you're having a fantastic time in Hawaii! :)
   This has been a good week. Our companionship is doing well and our area is doing well. We're having a lot of fun and working hard...that's what missionaries do, right? :) I'm really enjoying this ward. The talks given during Sacrament Meeting yesterday and the lesson in Relief Society by Sister E. were wonderful and meant a lot to me. The members here are really kind. And fun. There are a lot of dentists in our ward. Haha one of the families this week gave us a box of nice, new toothbrushes. 12 of them! We loved it! We had a couple of lessons this week with one of our investigators, L. She's very sweet and loves our message. We re-taught the Restoration this week to her and it was powerful. She believes in Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and is even willing to be baptized. However, she has a really hard time keeping commitments and taking steps forward because she gets anxiety about her health and about other things. We're doing all we can to help her progress and keep commitments. When we talk about the gospel it calms her down and she has a desire to do these things like come to church and be baptized. We've even been able to help her by simply singing a hymn or two to her. This week I really loved the zone meeting that we had in Lompoc. Sister Moure and Elder Wickern and a few other missionaries I know from past districts our in our zone over in Lompoc.  We talked a lot about ways to re-teach the Restoration to those who have already heard it once, or twice, or perhaps many times over several years! Our practices were powerful and we've been able to use a lot that we learned and felt throughout this week. I love the power of teaching the Restoration. When you're able to teach with the Spirit and both teacher and hearer are edified...there's no way to describe it. It's just wonderful!
   We had several good community service opportunities this week. We were able to help iron, cut batting, and quilt with a group of women from the Lutheran church. They were very sweet and enjoyed working with us too. Our companionship and the Solvang Hermanas were all there, and at the end while we were all sitting and talking over dessert, our zone leaders came so that they could switch cars with the Hermanas. The group of us 6 missionaries were able to sing I Know That My Redeemer Lives to the women. The Spirit was strong. :)
   We're all excited for a zone conference that we're having this Wednesday in Ventura. Zone conferences are always so wonderful, and I'm excited to be able to go to Ventura for this one! I think we're combined with our zone the Lompoc zone, the Santa Barbara zone, and the Ventura zone.
   Also coming up this week, on Thursday. I will have been on my mission for a year! Can you believe it? I keep going back and reading journal entries from exactly a year ago. It's so exciting and fun and happy. :) I'm so grateful for all that has happened and all that I've been able to do and work on becoming in the last year. I'm excited to see what the last 6 months of my mission bring! I love my mission. :)
   Alright, and one last bit of really exciting news. I got a letter from Sister Evans this week, who is still in Moorpark. (Like trainer like trainee right? 4 transfers is a charm in Moorpark.) She told me that S.S. has been baptized and confirmed!!! I'm so excited about it! I'm so happy and grateful. Sister Evans told me that after being baptized S.S. said, "I'm so excited!" :) I've been thinking a lot about C., S., and S.S. I'm so grateful for the people that I've been able to meet and love and teach on my mission. This work is amazing. :) I'm so lucky.
   Thank you all for everything you do. I'm excited for this week and excited to see how things go. I think you're all pretty amazing and I love you so much. "You biggest fan." ;)
Love, Mel
(Sister Hardman) 
P.S.- Mom, my strange food phase this week has been re-heated, day-old spaghetti with melted cheese. Haha. I thought of you. Thanks!

~A member gave us a box of 12 nice toothbrushes this week! Yay! :)

~This is our District. Sister Cox and I are the only English companionship. Everyone else is doing Spanish work.

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