Coming to you from another beautiful day in Ventura, California. You said the weather has been nice and Spring-like in Utah? Here too. The big blossoms on all of the trees keep confusing me and I keep getting excited for General Conference because it looks like April. It is beautiful here, and we even got a nice rainy day on Saturday.
This week went really well. Our schedule is packed every day with great things. One things that we did this week that really touched my heart was our service at the Memory Care ward at the assisted living home that we serve so much at. There are about 7 or so individuals who we go and spend time with every Thursday and Friday afternoon for an hour. We go on walks together, we play games, sing song, eat treats, and laugh at all of their head nurses jokes. He is hilarious. Anyway, I love being there and I love seeing the smiles on their faces. All of them have been through a lot and it brings so much joy to watch them laugh and smile and get involved.
Thank you so much for the wonderful letters from Dad, Mike, and Em this week. I loved them all and they made my day. I've really enjoyed reading your mission stories, Dad. Haha, sometimes the way you wrote reminds me of the way I feel about certain things. You are my Dad for sure. I'm halfway done making you all these cheesy little missionary Valentine's. I'll send those to you today, so look for that later this week. I hope you all have a very Happy Valentine's Day! I love you!
Happy Birthday Owen! I think you're awesome and I'll be thinking about you this week. :) Susan, I hope you had a very Happy Birthday too! Did you get my card?
I know you like to know what I'm doing on holidays, so here's what I'll be doing on Saturday. We have 2 baptisms that we will be attending. At noon we have a special things going on. President made it possible for the father of one of the missionaries in my district to come over here to California so that he can be baptized by his son who is serving here. We're all pretty excited for them. It will be special and they've given each of us a part in the program. At 2 we will be attending the baptism of a young girl in our ward who just turned 8. Her parents had asked us to teach her the lessons before her baptism, so we've been seeing her. That night we are having dinner at the Young Women's fundraiser 50's themed Valentine's Day dinner and "sock hop" dance. We will not be staying for the dance. ;)
Alright, in honor of Valentine's Day this week, here are a few of my thoughts on "Love." Preach My Gospel states that "Charity [or love] is a gift from God." It's a precious gift that all of us desire to strengthen. I'm grateful for how clear the scriptures are in telling us one of the greatest things that we can do to obtain this gift. We pray and ask Heavenly Father to bless us with it. In the Book of Mormon in Moroni 7:47-48 it says, "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen." I know with all my heart that this is true. I've seen it happen in my life, especially while I've been on my mission. I have realized that one of the greatest successes is learning to love everyone. My mission has taught me how to love people, from different backgrounds, situations, and circumstances. We are all brothers and sisters. We need each other. We can have such an influence on everyone around us. As we pray for more charity and love for others, Heavenly Father blesses us with that gift. He wants us to have it. All of us need love. All of us can help others to feel loved. President Monson said, "Every day of our lives we are given opportunities to show love and kindness to those around us." and "Love is expressed in many recognizable way: a smile, a wave, a kind comment, a compliment. Other expressions may be more subtle, such as showing interest in another's activities, teaching a principle with kindness and patience, visiting one who is ill or homebound. These words and actions and many others can communicate love." It is my hope that all of us can focus on loving others, especially this week. :) I hope you all know that I love you very much. You're in my thoughts and prayers every single day, and I am very excited to see you all again in a few months.
Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)
~A kind member sent us home with frozen yogurt! Yum.
~Monster Bird of Paradise!!!