Monday, May 11, 2015

Good Morning Family! :)
   How are all of you on this fine Spring day? Is it clear or cloudy up there. Today it is very pleasant here in Camarillo. Clear blue skies but not too hot with some nice ocean breezes.Things are going really well here in Camarillo 5th ward. As I've said before, we are working super hard and loving every second. There are so many miracles and surprises and exciting opportunities every day. I love being a missionary and Heavenly Father is blessing me with a lot of great missionary times here.
   Here's a sweet little miracle of following the Spirit for the week. We felt inspired to offer service to a new investigator that hasn't been able to meet in a while this week. We came and helped him sort through a lot of junk in his garage for an hour. It was hard work and after the fact he pulled out a Restoration pamphlet, told us he's read it at least 3 times, and wanted to try praying. He did and it was powerful. He told us he's really interested, wants to learn more, likes what he's read and felt, and wants to come to church and read the Book of Mormon. The Spirit led us to being there at the right time and place and prepared his heart.
   I love both Sister Wilson and Sister Olsen. Honestly, they're the best companions I could ask to have here in my last transfer. I feel very blessed to be with them. Especially since Sister Wilson and I have become such good friends. During each other's phone calls yesterday it was special to be able to sit there on the couch with my panda and talk with each of them individually. I love them both. I had some very good conversations with both of them this week in which we were able to share certain lessons we've learned and testimonies that we've gained. I think that the Lord really blessed me and answered my prayers this transfer. I wanted to come to understand the power of charity more. He gave it to me. I've been given a strong and powerful love for my companions that almost surprised me. I've been able to see how easy it is to give of yourself and to strengthen, love, and serve when you are filled with charity and love for an individual. Serving a mission has given me a lot of good lessons about loving and working with others. Having companions has taught me so much. I'm excited to work to apply these things throughout my life.
   I loved talking with all of you yesterday! You all make me smile. Thanks for your support. Thanks for being great examples to me. Thanks for encouraging me. You sure know how to be a perfect missionary family. :) It's okay, although you can tell I love being a missionary and it's a bit bitter-sweet to be finishing my mission, I can tell honestly that I'm also pretty excited to be back with you soon. I love my family! I'm so grateful for all of you. <3
   Let's moments to share from this week...well we were teaching a young 7 year old boy who's preparing for baptism soon and during his closing prayer he said, "...Thank you for the wonderful sister missionaries...for these beautiful missionaries!..." Haha, it was so funny. Little charmer. He wanted to treat us to ice cream afterwards while we talked with his grandmother in our Spanglish. We also had a really fun dinner and lesson with the G. family this week. She made delicious enchiladas and albondigas (spelling?) soup. It was a fun dinner.
   I love the Book of Mormon. It doesn't ever get old and I'm so grateful for the lessons that I learn every time I put my effort into reading it and pondering on what I've read. This morning I read the simple but powerful scripture from one of my Book of Mormon heroes. 1 Nephi 4:6 says, "And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." I was thinking about preparation. Sometimes we can be completely prepared with a plan and action items, but there are also many times when we have to go forward with courage and trust that things are going to work out. How do we prepare for those situations? We make sure that we are worthy to have the Spirit with us. In this specific scriptural example Nephi couldn't know all of the plan at first. But he was worthy of the Spirit and he was listening closely to impressions and promptings. It all worked out. When we do the things in our life to enable us to feel and follow the Spirit, we will be prepared for whatever is in store. So reading the scriptures, praying, and other things that will invite the Spirit into our lives prepares us for all that we will face. Those basics are so simple. They are so important every day. :)
   I love you all! Have a beautiful week full of fun, happy, and exciting moments. See you soon!
Love, Melanie (Sister Hardman)

~Talking with all of you. :)

~Celebrating random occasions in the car. Love these sisters. :)

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