I hope you're having a wonderful day. It's a beautiful, clear day in Solvang. Temperatures are cool and breezes are nice. It is quite pretty and pleasant. But...we all know I love the snow and cold best. ;) Are you still getting snow in Utah? How were your New Year's celebrations?! I always have an interesting experience with New Year's Eve. I am surprised by all the clear and memorable moments that are in mind memory of different New Year's Eves. It is one of the days that I can remember very clearly in several different years. It's kind of fun. A lot of good and exciting times. And a lot to look forward to as well. I laughed when I opened my journal up to last New Year's Eve and saw that I had written the same thing about having so many memories coming back. I guess it's just a memorable day. I like it. :) And I've been able to add my mission New Year's Eve memories to it as well. This week we watched the Testaments and ate our usual great New Year's Eve treats and snacks. We also practiced throwing pomegranite seeds across the room into each other's mouths. Haha.
Welcome to 2015! Wow! When did that happen? Isn't it exciting? It's always fun to start a New Year. I am very excited for this year and all that it will contain. The New Year is a great time for reflecting, and it has brought a lot of resolutions, goals, and desires to do my best. I am very excited to see what this year of 2015 brings. I am doing my best. As I mentioned, I've made a few really good resolutions for this year and for the rest of my mission in general. I have studied about setting goals and accountability a lot this week and I prayerfully set my goals and have been accounting to the Lord each day on how I am doing. I know that He has great plans for me and great things in store if I continue to do my best and if I continue to always strive to be worthy. I love Him and I trust Him. I'm doing my best to do His will. Concerning my resolutions, something a lot of missionaries do here every week while setting goals is that we set personal goals in 3 specific categories: Spiritual Goal, Health Goal, and Fun/Other Goal. I have set my 3 goals and I am excited. I wish you all success in your goals and resolutions! You've got this!
Our area is doing alright. Our companionship is doing really well, especially this weekend. With weekly planning we had a really good discussion that helped us a lot. We are both struggling with different things, but we're doing better at helping each other more and doing our best every day. We are definitely improving every day and this weekend was great! We worked really hard and were really unified. Things are going well. I think Sister Cox is great and I can see how much she is striving to do her best. I love her. This week Sister Cox was really sick for several days and we were unable to go out to work very much. But this weekend went really well. We were able to go out and talk to everyone we could find. (I did part of the puzzle Mom while listening to the new CD. I love them both!) Tracting is fun. It's kind of exciting and it holds exciting moments, sad moments, scary moments, confusing moments, powerful moments, funny moments, and joyful moments all within a small amount of time or a small space. I don't know if you ever get over all of the fear of it, but it does make you feel like a real missionary though. I have come to appreciate it a lot this transfer because we haven't actually had a ton of time to just go knocking. L. is having a lot of bad health problems right now and is on bed rest. She hasn't been able to come to church again, but we have been able to help her a lot with reading the Book of Mormon and finding peace in the Gospel. We're glad we are able to go see her so often. She needs a lot of encouragement and reminders to turn to the Gospel and the Lord for help in hard situations. I guess we all need reminders sometimes. I know I do. But the more we fill our lives with the scriptures, sincere prayer, and with keeping the commandments the more we will remember to turn to Him when things get hard. I know that that is true. I've seen it work as I've been on my mission. My ability to be deal with trials and my ability to stay optimistic and hopeful have increased greatly over the last year. I am so much happier! And it's way more consistent. It's easier to get back to that now. Learning more about and studying the scriptures and words of the prophets is powerful!
Alright, you want a funny image from the week? Imagine two sister missionaries carrying a very prickly and dry pine tree out of their apartment, down the stairs and across the road, dropping pine needles everywhere. Then the missionaries proceed to attempt to stuff the whole tree into the back seat of their car. Haha. I bet we looked ridiculous! The members who gave us the tree needed the stand back that was nailed to the bottom, so we somehow had to get the whole tree over to Santa Ynez on the other side of our ward. We did get the tree in (did I mention that his name was Tree-ancum?) and we drove to drop it off with boughs over our shoulders. I told Sister Cox that story of the Catalpa tree and the spider coming to get me. :) Do you remember that Mom? She enjoyed the story and I enjoyed the fact that it did not happen again. :)
I love you all very much and I hope that you have a very happy, fun, and uplifting week. You're in my thoughts and prayers.
Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)
~The Testaments on New Year's Eve. :)