Monday, January 26, 2015

Hey Family!
   I hope you are all having a wonderful day. Lots of love coming your way from California. I love you a lot. :)
   Alright, here's the report for the week: Our area is doing alright. We are still struggling a bit to find people to teach, but this weekend a couple of miracles happened. A young woman in our ward has a friend who wants to meet with us and learn more. We are having dinner and a lesson with her family and her friend this week on Wednesday night. We are excited, especially to be teaching in a member's home. Yesterday at church a man named A. who met the missionaries down in LA came to church on his own. He's living up here with his family for at least a couple of weeks and is anxious to continue learning about the gospel. He stayed for all 3 hours of church and is already being fellowshipped. He participated in our Gospel Principles class which Sister Cox and I was teaching and even voluteered to say the closing prayer. We're excited to go teach him this week. L. is still sick, but is feeling a bit better and said that we can probably start coming over again this week. We met with the bishop yesterday and things are going well in this ward.
   Don't you love those random little tender mercies that Heavenly Father sends our way? On Sunday morning as I was getting ready for church I was thinking about the song "I Am A Child Of God" and thinking about how much I love that truth and how happy that song makes me. I made a small wish that we could sing that song. I got a nice warm hug from a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of everything that we think and feel. :) Our intermediate hymn was "I Am A Child Of God." It was something so small and simple but it meant a lot to me. He is aware. He loves all of us.
   The rest of church was wonderful too. We had great lessons and talks and the Spirit was able to teach us much. Fun random thing for the week. 2 of the speakers in Sacrament Meeting are players on the BYU football team. Scott Arellano and Kevin O'Mary gave wonderful talks. Scott Arellano's family lives in our ward so that's why they're here. So that was fun. The football stories were cool. :)
   We also had exchanges with the sister training leaders on Saturday. Sister Cox went up to San Luis Obispo and I stayed here with Sister Collings. I am SO grateful for Sister Collings. She helped me so much and we had a wonderful day full of miracles in the work, learning and sharing with each other, and a lot of fun. It was fantastic and she gave me so much support and encouragement. I feel like I can face the rest of this transfer with a lot of hope and courage. I'm doing well. Plus, it was sprinkling almost all day, so that made the day very happy and fun. Yay for random rain! We'll take all we can get.
   I learned a lot this week. Here is my spiritual thought for the day: Can I just say that it is amazing how the Lord teaches us certain things? He knows our full potential and He knows how we need to grow and what we need to learn. He orchestrates our lives in the perfect way so that we are continually becoming more like Him if we do our part. This weekend I was thinking a lot about the scripture 2 Nephi 28:30 "...I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more..." Line upon line. I think that sometimes it is hard for us to understand why we are going through something tough. Sometimes it isn't until we get through it and we recognize what we learned and how we grew that we understand and appreciate it. It is a really exciting moment when you recognize what you've been learning. I had a couple of moments this week where I was I able to see a little bit more clearly and I could see what the Lord has been teaching me. I have been learning and growing a lot these last two transfers. It's been cool in the last week or so to look back and realize the things that I have learned about leadership, patience, example, repentance, faith, strength, and endurance in the last two transfers. I am so grateful for how Heavenly Father teaches me so much. I recognize that it is "line upon line" and that He knows me and what I am ready for and what I am preparing for. The gospel is amazing. His plan for us is amazing. :) He's been teaching me. I'm so grateful for these lessons. Even though it can be really hard. He knows what we need. It's also cool to see how I've changed throughout my mission. I think I handle hard situations a little bit better now than I did a year ago. :) Well...We're all on a journey. After thinking about the "line upon line" thing. I was reading a talk from the General Women's Broadcast by Sister Stevens. In it she invited us to remember and think back to our Baptism and remember the significance of that first covenant that we made. She stated, "Each covenant is made one by one. Every mighty change of heart matters to the Lord. And yours will make all the difference to you." After I read that I thought back on my life and I wrote down about a dozen very significant spiritual events that have happened on my life. All of those experiences were very special to me and helped me grow closer to Heavenly Father. Now, looking down at this list that I have I can see the "line upon line". I am amazed at how the Lord knows us, prepares us, teaches us, and leads us through life. He loves us and His plan for us is perfect. I know it.
   Well, I hope that you all have a fantastic week. Have fun! I hope you had a very Happy Birthday James! Mom and Dad, thank you SO much for your emails and letters and the package this week. They meant so much to me. They were perfect.
I love you all.
~Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)

~The oil rigs at sunset.

~You may not be able to see it, but it was raining. :)

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