Well...as you can tell by the title of today's email, this was an amazing week! A ton of really awesome things happened this week. So here we go:
To start off, Transfer news! I'm being transferred for my last 6 weeks. I'm going to Camarillo. I'm super excited. I'm hearing amazing things about that area and ward, and hey, I get 6 areas on my mission. (I don't know the address yet since we're moving into and taking over an Elder's apartment down there. So you can call the mission office for the new address.) But guess what, here's the super fun and unique situation with transfers. Sister Wilson and I are being transferred together! We'll still be companions. That never happens! :) And we'll now be in a three-some, tri-pan, whatever you want to call it. Sister Olsen, who I knew back in Moorpark is joining us. Should be a lot of fun this transfer. I'm excited.
Next, we went to the Los Angeles Temple this week with Sister Colvin. It was wonderful. I had a very special time there and I learned some things and got some answers and peace for myself. It was a really cool day in the Temple. I'm grateful that I was given that opportunity. I love the Spirit in the Temple and I love the clarity that I feel there. Things just make sense you know? Perspective is a lot easier there and you just feel so full of peace, happiness, and love. I'm excited to go with you all again in the future.
Here's another awesome part of this week: Remember how I mentioned that there was some big mission-wide meeting last night that they kept super secret? Well, after we were all seated and we stood as President and Sister Felix and our wonderful area 70s entered the chapel, who walks in with them? Brother David Archuleta! :) Yeah, I know! We were all super excited. He had contacted President Felix and wanted to know if he could hold a special devotional where he could speak to the missionaries. Brother Archuleta is awesome. He loves missionary work and he beams as he talks about his mission. He got home just over a year ago. He shared a lot of stories with us, things about his life, American Idol, stories from his mission, the story behind his recording of the song "Glorious," several of his favorite scriptures, and his testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and of the enabling power of the Atonement. In addition to all of that, he sang many hymns for us. They were beautiful. Our zone was on the first row and it was so cool to be there. At the end of the devotional he sang "Glorious" for us. I love that song so much. I heard a version of it more than a year ago and fell in love with the message. It's always been a special song to me on my mission. Then when Meet the Mormons came out and they used David Archuleta's version, I loved it even more. Did you know that the church had him record that song while he was still on his mission, set-apart as a full-time missionary. He choked up as he told us about that. No wonder that song is so powerful for so many of us. The spirit is in it. That song will always remind me of my mission and of me being a missionary. And I'm so grateful for the opportunity to hear it sung by him in person, accompanied by his testimony and encouragement to us as missionaries. You can see how much his mission meant to him. We were pretty blessed to have that experience last night.
Let's see, other things that happened this week...well we dug a 6 foot wide 3 feet deep hole and dug up and replanted a pomegranate tree. Some pretty great blisters from that one. We also taught a lot of different people this week. M. is doing great. He was at church yesterday and is still praying about a baptismal date. Our area's being combined with the other Ventura 2nd sister's, so Sister Nicholas and now Sister Hiapo will work with him. I'm excited for them. In other news...you know how missionaries are called to proclaim the gospel? Yeah...haha it's pretty comical and a bit frustrating when you don't have your voice. I got a pretty bad cold a few days ago and although I'm feeling much better now, I've barely been able to talk for the last 3 days. Oh well. I made Sister Wilson laugh as I attempted to sing her "Happy Birthday" this morning. Lots of cracking, up and downs, and random silences. I'm sure my voice will come back at some point. Oh, I also, as you can see from the picture tried one of those corn things M. I've thought about it when we've passed them throughout my mission. There are a lot of them in this part of California. I finally got one, through my broken Spanish. Tasty...but messy! And spicy. :) I had to take a picture like yours Mike, of you on your mission eating one.
I got the Conference book this week. Thank you so much! I love reading through those. I hope all things go well this week back on the home front. Your missionary loves you very much. I'm super excited for these next 6 weeks. My whole heart is in it and I'm going to do my very best to make them the very best! Here I go. Have a fantastic day everyone. Love you!
Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)
~The Los Angeles Temple with Sister Colvin
~Mike! Check this out! Through our broken Spanish we were able to buy these the other day while walking around a neighborhood. Thought of that picture of you Mike. :)
Picture taken by Sister Burridge of us yesterday. Three of us are leaving the ward. :) I love these sisters so much and it's been great serving with them.