Monday, January 26, 2015

Hey Family!
   Here's the news: I am going to Ventura!!! :) Yes! I am SO excited. I've always really wanted to go serve down in Ventura. I feel very blessed to have gone to 3 of my dream areas in a row! Pismo Beach, Solvang, and Ventura. I feel very blessed. Hooray, and I'm looking forward to the adventures and experiences that I will have in Ventura. I will be with a Sister Rasmussen. I've never met her and I don't know how long she's been in the mission, but I'm really excited to meet her. I hear she's sweet. Plus, I'm pretty excited to be the driver again. It's been a long 3 months. ;)  So guess where Sister Cox is going? She's going to my ward in Moorpark! I'm so excited for her and I've been telling her about all of the amazing people there. Yep, we're being white-washed here in Solvang with two new missionaries, but get this...remember Pismo Beach? Yep, we're getting replaced by Elders again! Maybe that's my specialty, preparing an area for Elders. We've left a lot of good notes and things for them. We're excited for all that is going on in our mission with this new transfer. We will drive down to Ventura for transfer meeting tomorrow. Exciting stuff to come!
   A quick recap on the work that happened this week:  The English class has been fun and is going well. We have some really weird words in our language. Haha. We had a lot of good lessons this week with D., A., and several others. The Solvang ward is doing well. We really enjoyed our lessons with A. in Hans Christian Andersen Park on a picnic table. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week. Both went really well. We invited him to be baptized and he is working towards the date of March 7th. He is so sweet and sincere and he'll do well. We also were invited to teach the Activity Days this week. That was fun as we shared our experiences with deciding to serve a mission and preparing. We even did a few role-play games with them. It was sweet. And it made me feel old. :P Luckily I'm not really that old. I still think I'm 17. We also did service for P. and R. this week. We got R. to join us. (He's the returned missionary that I mentioned a few weeks ago that we take to a lot of lessons and work with a lot.) We've gotten pretty close to him and his Mom P. I'm grateful for those friendships. On his birthday we helped them cut up a dead tree in their back yard (I felt like you Alan as I cut down a tree!) and then they took us out to dinner at a pizza place. That night we had a church history movie night with them and R.'s friend who's investigating the church. It was a fun way to spend a Friday as a missionary.
   I am so grateful for all of the friendships and experiences that I've gained here. It's hard to leave areas and people behind, but it's also so exciting and wonderful to meet and see more people. The mission is awesome. It's perfectly packed with wonderful experiences, wonderful people, and wonderful opportunities to serve and to love everyone. I love it.
   On Tuesday I hit my 14 months being a missionary. How exciting is that? :) I'm seen and done so much and I still have several more months to love and to do my best! Thanks for the itineraries for our trips Mom. I'm super excited and that all sounds perfect! Also, thank you so much for all of the meal ideas. I will definitely put those to use.
   Dear Family, I just want you all to know that I love you very much. I really do pray for each of you specifically each night. I hope you are all doing well. Thank you for all of the support and love that you give to me. It means more than you know. You are all such a big part of my mission experience too. I'm grateful for that. And of course I am excited to see you all again when I get home. Keep doing your best and being your awesome selves. You are my favorite! Have an amazing week, enjoy delicious food, enjoy each other, and know that I love you.
   Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)

~14 Month Mission Birthday :)

~Cutting up a tree with Robert

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