Monday, February 16, 2015

Hello Everyone!
   I hope you're all doing great today. I want to say thank you so much for the loving Valentine's packages that I received this week! Thank you everyone. I got one on Monday, one on Wednesday, and one on Friday. I felt pretty special, so thank you. I love everything in them. You're all the best. Was your Valentine's Day wonderful? I hope you all had fun and are feeling loved too. Emma, I hope you had a great time at the dance.
   Here, I'll tell you all about my Valentine's Day. It was a wonderful day. In the morning we went to Elder Gardner's father's baptism. President and Sister Felix, Elder and Sister Miles, and a bunch of other missionaries were there. The Spirit was so strong and it was a special thing to witness. I know that it meant a lot to Elder Gardner and his dad that this was able to happen. Elder Gardner had asked me to come up and start off the testimony meeting that we had while they were drying off and getting dressed after the ordinance. I was grateful for that opportunity and we were all touched as we listened to each others testimonies of the blessings and of the truthfulness of the Gospel. We all were thinking back to our own baptisms and to the baptisms of our loved ones and how much more significant those are to us now. President Felix's closing remarks were powerful too. I love President and Sister Felix. So after the service we didn't have time before the next baptism to run all the way back to our apartment for lunch, so we just went down the street to Arby's...yum. Mom, do you remember that day in California over a year ago when we went to Arby's together? Our lunch reminded me of that. Then we went to the baptism of 8 year old P. in our ward. It was also a very sweet service. P.'s doing awesome. We also spent a lot of time that day dropping our "Valentine's" off around the ward. Earlier in the week we had decided to "Heart Attack" a bunch of the members and families here. We cut out a ton of hearts and I looked up a bunch of scriptures about love (like the ones I used on your Valentine's) and we wrote those on the hearts. We put them all in bags and dropped them off at 20 houses. The funnest one was trying to sneakily drop one off at President and Sister Felix's at the mission home. They had company and so we had to be sneaky and quiet. It was fun. Everyone seemed to enjoy them, and it was a good way to reach out to people and make them feel thought of. That night we went to the ward Valentine's Day "Sock Hop" Dinner and Dance. We left as the dancing started. :)  The dinner was so fun and we got to know a bunch of members and their nonmember friends that came. The decorations were so cute and the young women did a great job of being the 50's waitresses. They were so cute.
   Other things about this week: The work is going well. We are teaching K. and D. and their cute kids. They want to be baptized and are working towards that. They're going through a lot of hard times right now and trying to figure things out, but the messages of the Gospel are helping them. I'll keep you updated. Our service at Memory Care this week was sweet. As we left the building on Friday, I said to Sister Rasmussen, "I think our service today was really for the workers." She agreed. We were in there coloring and doing puzzles with those in the memory care and after a while they're two main nurses came in and asked if they could color with us. They wanted to sit and talk too. I think their day had been stressful. It was sweet to be there with them and to give them a little bit of a break too. One of our investigators decided that he doesn't want to meet with us anymore this week. It was really sad. We can tell that he still is interested, but after his family made it clear they weren't he just went along with that. We'll check in on him again in a week or two. That's part of the work happens. I have hope for him though. We don't know what's down the road. On a happy note, I heard from a Sister who served in Los Robles in Newbury Park a few months after I was there. She told me of a man that they had taught and who was baptized and is doing amazing. It turns out that I was one of the missionaries that found him originally. Sister Cusick and I had knocked on his door and talked with him for a while. He wasn't extremely interested at that time, but we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and we wrote his name down for future missionaries to try. A few months later he was ready. :) We really have no idea what will happen and the wonderful things that are in store. That lifted my spirits a lot. I wonder how often we see or talk to people and we never find out how much it impacted their lives.
   On Thursday this week we will be having a Zone Conference in Goleta. I'm so excited for it. It's going to be about The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles. Sister Rasmussen and I have been working really, really hard over the last few weeks to memorize the whole thing. We did it! This morning we were able to recite it both together and individually. It fills me with the Spirit as I really think about those words. I know that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior. I'll let you know all about the Zone Conference.
   I love you all. Have a fantastic week! Enjoy all of the blessings we have been given. Enjoy the little successes and tender moments of every day. Smile as much as you can. Help others smile. You make me smile. :)
Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)
P.S.-Tell all of the Fettys that I said hi and that I love them. I'll be thinking about you all this week.

~Thank you for the wonderful Valentine's Day packages! <3

~The Valentine's Day "Sock Hop" Dinner and Dance

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