Monday, April 6, 2015

Dear Family,
   Happy Easter everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Conference and Easter weekend like I did. What a wonderful General Conference. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn, listen, feel, and grow that comes with each General Conference. We are so blessed to live in this day and age aren't we? I love our dear prophet, President Monson, his counselors, the 12 Apostles, and all of the other leaders of our church. This church is true and we are blessed to be a part of it. :) Yeah, basically I just love General Conference so much. Every time I watch it, I gain answers to my questions and guidance for my life. Comfort, peace, joy, etc all come with Conference. I hope you all received the same. :) Any chance I can get a Conference book soon? I'm so excited to read them again.;
   I loved the email today! I loved hearing from all of you. You're all the best thing since Zupas' Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich or Costa Vida's Sweet Pork Nachos. (And trust me, I miss those two things a lot. Haha.) I'm excited to see you all soon. I'm sure these last two months will be awesome.
   Thank you for the wonderful Easter package! I loved it. It made me feel like I had you all with me for Easter. :) Guess what we did during the Priesthood session? Sister Wilson and I didn't have a dinner appointment and neither did Sister Kemp or Sister Nicholas. So...they picked up pizza, came to our apartment and we had a girl's night for dinner. We ate pizza and dyed Easter Eggs. It was so fun. Oh! And guess what we got to do on Sunday for lunch. Saturday we got a text from Sister Felix and they wanted to have the missionaries who are serving here in the several Ventura wards come over to the mission home in between sessions on Easter for waffles! How awesome is that?! It was so fun and so special to spend a bit of their Easter with them. They're so sweet. It was 4 sisters, 2 hermanas, and probably a dozen elders. We enjoyed eating waffles on the back porch looking out over their avacodo and lemon trees. It was fun to visit with all of them.
   Concerning the work, things are going awesomely here in Ventura. Remember M. that I told you about last week? He's still doing great. We taught him the Plan of Salvation this week. He was excited to say the opening prayer! He's been practicing at the Nielsen's home when he's with them for meals and stuff (which is almost every day). I am amazed at the difference in his countenance this week. Just since he's started praying each day he looks and seems more confident and happy and at peace. It's awesome! I took a moment to think and look at my own life and how prayer affects me every day. This week, surrounding my questions and pleadings for answers and guidance with General Conference, I felt like my prayers became even more personal. I feel closer to Heavenly Father and I know that he's listening and guiding me. This brings me so much strength and peace and hope and excitement. This is a wonderful feeling, and I want to do my best to have all of my prayers be more meaningful and close to him. He's our father, he loves us, and he is there for us. I know this is true. I have no doubt about it. Anyway, back to M., he also went to the Priesthood session and it sounds like he really enjoyed it and is enjoying being fellowshipped by everyone. I also had exchanges this week with Sister Nicholas. We had a lot of fun remembering back to our MTC days and talking about things we've learned and down and gained on our missions. She's awesome.
   Back to General Conference, I was really trying this morning to figure out which talk was my favorite so I could share that with you. But honestly, I had so many favorites, I could only narrow it down a bit. Three of them that really stood out to me and meant a lot to me were: Elder Bednar's talk about dispelling fear, Elder Renlund's talk about being Latter-day "Saints" with the whole "Twas I, but tis not I" quote, and Elder Ringwood's talk basically about Heavenly Father's approval. All three of them stood out to me a lot and answered some of my questions along with giving me added guidance that I didn't quite realize I was in need of until I received it. But the whole conference was wonderful and as I said I'm super excited to read all of them again. What were some of your favorites?
   Well, I hope all of you have a beautiful Spring week. Welcome to April! I love you all!
Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)

~On Exchange with Sister Nicholas and I got your wonderful Easter package!
~Girl's Night on Priesthood night with the other sisters. We had pizza and dyed Easter Eggs! So fun!

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