Monday, March 9, 2015

Hey Everyone,
   Good morning/afternoon. I hope you're all having a wonderful day so far and that it will continue to be wonderful. It was wonderful to read your email this morning Mom, and to see all of the pictures that you sent Dad. Thanks!
   Sadly time is short today but I wanted to tell you about a couple of things from this week. Sorry if it feels a bit short.
   First of all: Transfer News~ I will be staying here in the Ventura 2nd ward. Sister Rasmussen is headed up to Santa Barbara. I will be serving with Sister Wilson. She was trained by my MTC companion Sister Nicholas and she was later companions with both Sister Hiapo and Sister Moure. So I'm excited to be with her. I'll let you know how it all goes. I'm excited and happy about this upcoming transfer. I think I'm going to cry tomorrow during Transfer Meeting while the departing missionaries are giving their testimonies. Um...this has been weird. Lately as I've been coming a bit closer to me finishing my mission I've gotten a bit more emotional about such things. Strange right? I'm super excited about the time I have left and all that I'll be able to do and learn. And I'm SUPER excited to come home and see all of you and be with you! But I've also come to realize that it is going to be a bit of an adjustment. Haha I never thought I would be an awkward adjusting returned missionary. But I just might be. ;) We'll see. It will probably be really entertaining for you all to watch. In answer to your question Mom, I don't think it will be hard to adjust to being in our family again. I think that'll click. I just might need help with adjusting to everything else. Mom, your story that you shared made me tear up. :) It will be an amazing moment! I'm excited for that. I have 12 weeks left. There's a "12 Week training program" that they use to help us adjust to being missionaries. I think we all agree that there should be an "RM 12 week program." Haha. Just kidding, I'm fine and I'm super excited. It's just weird that it's already so close. Let's make this a great 12 weeks! Here I go! :)
   Exciting events from this week:
-We did this awesome service for a woman that we met last week. She lives on this huge hill overlooking Ventura. The steep slope behind her house is so overgrown. We and a couple of companionships of Elders in our District went and basically were repelling down the slope while we were pruning the hill and pulling out bushes. We had ropes around our waists and everything! It was so fun and it was a beautiful clear view of the ocean while we pruned. Fun stuff.
-K., D., and their family are doing really well. We've been teaching them for a while and they are grasping onto the gospel so much. They love this and want this for their family. Last night they fed us dinner and we were able to talk with them about their love for the church and excitement for baptism and for the Temple eventually. They're great. There's something so special about teaching a family. There always has been. Ke. will probably be baptized in the next couple of weeks and then D. and one of their daughters M. will follow shortly afterwards.
-We had an amazing lesson in Relief Society this week on Repentance. It was one of those days where you just feel the Spirit so strong and you feel so in tune. Isn't it wonderful that we have the opportunity to change and become better every day. The better we understand Repentance and the Atonement the more hope and confidence and happiness and peace we can have. It brings so much happiness.
   Well this will be an exciting week. It feels very nice and moist outside today. The humidity and cool temps came back after being gone for a couple of hot days. I love the feeling of Ventura moisture. Ah... :)  Although I'm staying here, my companionship and the other Ventura 2nd sisters Sister Nicholas and Sister Kemp are being moved into a different district. We're now with the 1st ward Elders Elder Fagan and Elder Stout! I've been with them in a district 3 times now! :) I'm excited it will be a wonderful transfer. I'll do a little better with my email next week. Promise. Sorry time is short. I hope you all have a great week full of miracles and happy, fun moments.
   Here's a quick quote for your day: "God knows of your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them. He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens - even when you are struggling with your own. He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly - He knows you as you really are. And He loves you - today and always!" ~President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Love you more than anything! <3
   Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)
P.S.-Good luck on the Book of Mormon read-a-thon Emma! You're awesome. Send me that letter that's sitting on your bed. ;)

~It was really special to memorize the Living Christ together this transfer. We had to record it over 10 times, but we finally were able to record ourselves reciting it together perfectly. :) Worth it.

~K., D., and their wonderful family that we are teaching.

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