Monday, May 4, 2015

Dear Wonderful Family,
   Yeah, that quote keeps popping into my mind this week. I love Camarillo. :)
   Holy guacamole! It's already Monday. I'm not sure how it feels over there, but here the time is flying by faster than light-speed! Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th be with you. ;) Also, Happy Cinco de Mayo. We're going to an early party for that tonight for dinner with a couple of members in our ward. Should be way fun. Seriously though, the days are flying by and we're working super hard, enjoying every second, seeing many miracles, and feeling very close to the Spirit. We're tired...just saying. In the best way possible. Missionary work is exhausting, but I love it. Haha the other night after we planned for the next day I got up to go brush my teeth and I came back and my companions had never quite made it up off the floor. Passed out. I had to kindly wake them up so that they could actually make it to their prayers and their beds. Fun times. :) I love them both.
   I'm super excited and grateful for the opportunity to call and talk with you next week! I haven't heard back from you yet, so I'll plan on calling (Dad's cell as usual if that's best)on Sunday at 5:00pm your time (4:00pm my time.) I've got 40 minutes. I love you all and I can't wait to hear your voices, and to wish you a very Happy Mother's Day Momma! <3 I love you. You're right though, it's pretty nice that I'll get to see you only a couple of weeks later. :) That helps.
   A couple of updates on the work in this ward this week: We taught a Family Home Evening lesson to our investigator H. and her two children. They loved it and are excited to continue to work to become members of the church. They want to have FHE every week in their family now. They're doing awesome. She still has to wait for a while to get baptized because of some complications, but she bore her testimony to us and her children that she feels that this church and the Book of Mormon are true. Our investigator M. is doing okay. (Oh, by the way, just like your letter last week Mom, we are teaching and working with a ton of M.'s here too! We have two investigators named M. here and an awesome strong young recent convert named M. Confusing right? Love you brother Mike!) Anyway, He came to church yesterday and enjoyed the lesson on Tithing. He wants to be more involved with the church. Our lesson on the Gospel went well and he is continuing to try his best. We did service for a nonmember elderly neighbor of a member and she loved having us there and praying with us after we worked. She glowed. And invited us to come back and help her with her yard next week! She's lonely and her husband is very sick. We were able to help her a lot. We're working super hard and we're doing our best to follow the spirit as we find and teach. We had many times this week in which we were able to follow promptings and catch people at just the right time. One miracle with that this week was when we only had a few minutes to spare before our dinner appointment, but we felt prompted to try a member referral that hasn't answered the door yet before going to dinner. We did and H. has become a new investigator. She opened the door and was so excited to see us and invite us in. She's met with missionaries many times in the past, here and in Japan. Right time, right place. It was the Spirit. 
   Other fun, random things from this week: I made a cake. :) You know that delicious chocolate kind with the caramel, sweetened-condensed milk, and cool whip? Yeah, I did my best to remember how to do that. It tasted pretty good and we enjoyed it thoroughly. I also got to be the pianist again at our district meeting. It's been a while since I've been the only one that could play any piano. It was fun and it felt good. I'm pretty excited to play instruments more again soon. M. played a song for us that he wrote on his guitar and made me jealous. I'm excited to hold an instrument again. Sorry, that wasn't supposed to sound un-focused. The thought of me being almost done with my mission has been getting a lot harder lately. I'm super excited, but it's also kind of sad and when we leave an amazing lesson or see some cool miracle, afterwards I have this bittersweet feeling because my time as a full-time missionary is almost over. :( Man I'm sick of people asking us all how much time we have left. It hurts a bit. But Heavenly Father's been sending me little reminders of things I miss back home lately and things I'm super excited for, so that's helping a lot. Music, holding and playing with kids, food I love, my cat, and of course my wonderful family! I miss you all so much and I can't wait to see you! I love being a missionary. And I know that when the time comes in a month, I'll be ready to be my missionary in normal life. I'm excited for that. Do you realize the power that we have as normal member missionaries? You can do basically all the same things, just without boundaries and a you have a lot more resources! I'm excited to try it. :)
   I love the conference talks. I can't read all of them at once like I want to! But each day when I've had questions I've prayed about it and found the answers in this last conference. It's awesome. I love it and I'm so excited to continue studying them. Here's a highlight from this morning: In Sister Wixom's talk she quoted Archbishop Perier, who said, "God guides are not so much in the dark as you think. The path to be followed may not always be clear at once. Pray for light; do not decide too quickly, listen to what others have to say, consider their reasons. You will always find something to help you...Guided by faith, by prayer, and by reason with a right intention, you have enough." Interesting how much I thought this lines up with Moroni 10 in the Book of Mormon where we are invited to read, ponder, and pray with real intent. Here he advised to listen, consider, and pray with real intent. Pretty cool huh? God loves us and will answer our prayer and give us guidance. We are not alone. We are not in the dark. He loves us and will guide us back. Keep enjoying general conference!
   Thanks for everything, I hope everything goes well this week with all your plans. Your missionary loves you and can hardly wait to talk with you next Sunday. :) Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you all so much!
   Melanie (Sister Hardman)

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