Sister Emily DeFord

Called to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Colorado Fort Collins mission.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

8/28/13: First Email from Longmont, CO

We got to fly to Denver, which means I got up at 2:40am on Monday and spent the next hour running around because the check out information we had received was a tad inaccurate, given that it is meant for people checking out at Main Campus :) Oh well, I'm starting to get used to all the running around. Our Farmington Elders happened to be flying out at the same time so we got to ride to the airport with them and hang out at the airport before we all said goodbye again (for about the 5th time, because they kept popping up wherever we went).  President and Sister Brown met us at the Denver airport and drove us back to the mission office for some training and lunch before we went to meet our new companions.  It was a little bit odd for them because the date confusion left us arriving in Fort Collins the week after the regular transfer cycle.  Everyone in the office is great though, and because we missed P-day (which is Monday here) by just getting here, and our trainers missed it by coming to pick us up, we get to email today!  We only have half an hour on the computers at the library (at the MTC we got an hour) so I would love to get real letters and respond to them :) All of my mail/packages should be sent to the Mission Office and they will forward it to me, but they can only forward packages that are sent USPS priority mail, or else I have to wait until someone happens to be able to bring the package to my area.
Speaking of which, I am in the Longmont Ute Creek ward with Sister Zvirzdin as my companion (her name is from Lithuania!) she is from New York and has 7 brothers.  We also get to work with Sister England and Sister Martinez a little bit (who live next door which is way fun) because they are doing Spanish teaching and they just decided to split the ward into Spanish and English so Sister Z and I are technically in a new area, sort of.  She was in Mountain View ward before, which shares a border with Ute Creek so she knows the area a little bit, but in some ways both of us are new!  Sister Z has been out for 8 months, but is trying not to think about it.  We don't have any investigators right now which is a bummer, but we are going around and meeting the ward and some of the less actives so that is good.  We do have a car which is way nice, but I get to be the backer upper ;) Also yesterday we got to start out with some service at Our Center which is a food bank type thing and that was way fun, but now my hands are covered in sharpie :) 5 companionships in the district were there so I'm starting to recognize people a little bit.  Our first district meeting is today!
I love you all so much, It's great to be out here and learning more and meeting people.  Sister Z said she might even take me tracting today ;) only if our other plans fall through.  Have a great weeek!  I will check back on Monday :)
love, Sister Emily DeFord

8/26/13: First Letter from the Mission Field

August 26, 2013

Dear Fambly,

Yay! Now I am in Colorado for real! The flight was good and I'm excited to get going on the real work, even though that means no more BYU chocolate milk. Good luck starting school and work and all that fun stuff. I love you! All letters/packages can go to the mission office address, could you let people know that? Our district came up with a great saying in the MTC, that we are going to go out and give them heaven!

Love, Sister Emily DeFord

Emily with President and Sister Brown
To send letters or packages, address them to:
Sister Emily DeFord
Colorado Fort Collins Mission
5285 McWhinney Boulevard, Suite 100
Loveland, Colorado 80538-8707

8/26/13:Facebook Message from a Family in Longmont, CO

{Editor's Note: I received this message on facebook on Monday, 8/26. It was so sweet of this family to look for us and let us know how Emily is doing!}

Hello Brother and Sister DeFord!

We just had your lovely daughter Sister DeFord over to our home in Longmont, Colorado tonight for "Fresh Greenie" salad (BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad), rolls, and cookie sandwich sundaes! We can't tell you how delightful it was to be the first to introduce her to our area! It was a wonderful visit, and we can sure tell what a great missionary she is going to be! She has a stellar companion, Sister Zvirzdin (don't ask us how to pronounce that, yet) who is very enthusiastic about the gospel! Both have had what they said was a tiresome day, and they are looking forward to resting tonight. But, that is a good thing when it comes to missions.

For your information, your daughter will be in the Longmont, Ute Creek Ward. We have been here 4 years, and love it! Many missionaries we have had in our home have written back that this was their favorite area! So, we know they will love it here. These fine sisters are the second set of sisters to join us (the first are Spanish speaking sisters) , and we are delighted now to have all 4 of them! This particular ward serves all the Spanish members for the Stake as well as all the English speaking members in the boundaries. We told them they will definitely notice a lot of translating in all the meetings, as the bishopric is really trying hard to help these members feel welcome.

Anyway, we thought we would hunt you down, if we could, and let you know she looks great and her spirits are up!

Monday, August 26, 2013

First Letter dated 8/14/13

{Editors note (aka Mom) This is a snail mail letter we received last week. I decided to add it to the blog because it tells how her first day went. So, while it's out of order and I'm not smart enough to figure out how to put it in the appropriate place, it's still fun to read. Michael and I drove to Utah with Emily on Tuesday, August 13. We stayed with Tricia and Gary Ransom (THANK YOU AGAIN). Wednesday morning we drove to BYU and wandered around the Museum of Art. Then we went to Brick Oven (one of Emily's favorite places) where Michael ate his fill (kind of amazing for a teenage boy) and Emily couldn't eat anything at all. From there we TRIED to find our way to the MTC, however, there is some much construction work going on that it was more problematic then I thought. We drove through the gates, got a pink sticky note on our windshield because we were dropping off a sister missionary, and drove around a loop trying to find a free spot next to the sidewalk. There were tons of people helping show where to go and keeping the traffic moving. We parked and got her luggage out. By then there was a sister missionary ready to take her away so we got some quick hugs and off she went! I'm so excited for these new adventures in her life.}

Dear Fambly,

So, as far as anyone can tell us, yes we are "those sisters who are only here for 5 days." What! I am feeling pretty good about that now though, no more freaking out. Apparently they had too many people coming in at once and needed to move us out! Also, one of the sisters in my district said the groundbreaking for the Fort Collins temple is next week! So by leaving here on Monday we will be there for it which is pretty cool.

Speaking of not much space, I am assigned to West Campus. That means I'm living in an apartment at Wyview and my classes are in an apartment at Raintree. They just built us a cafeteria over here too and they do have chocolate milk. My companion is Sister Astle (she and the other sisters in my district/apartment are also going to Fort Collons on the 19th, our Elders are going to Colorado Springs on the 26th). She has food allergies which made our first dinner kind of an adventure as she tried to find the right people to talk to about that. She's pretty stressed out about the pace of things but we are doing okay. Tomorrow starts earlier so it's longer but I think it will actually be better.

I'm the only newbie on West Campus who memorized the Purpose before coming to the MTC, so President Nally had me recite it at our welcome/orientation tonight. Also, one of my teachers looks like young Harrison Ford.

It sounds like my P-day will be Saturday for this week so I will email then.

My toe is good but super nasty looking {she had a wart removed Tuesday morning on our way out of town!} 

Looking forward to mail!

Love, Sister DeFord

p.s. Brother Crandall said this morning (8/15) that he thinks the 5 days is just a paperwork problem, so I guess we still don't know if it will be 5 or 12.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

MTC Pictures

Sister Koller in front, Sister Clark in blue, my companion, Sister Astle, in the back.
Our District
Elder Turney, Elder Gurr, Elder Muhlstein, Elder Holyoak (creeping in the back),
Me (maintaining proper separation between Elders and Sisters :), Sister Clark, Sister Astle, Sister Koller

It's really hard to get a good picture of everyone when there are 12 cameras going off :)
We took pictures for the District F Elders (in our zone, came at the same time as our District, going to Farmington, New Mexico) and I was clicking away with a camera in each hand
Haha I hope some of those turned out for them!

August 24, 2013

So this has been a great week, Sister Astle and I have been doing two discussions a day with our practice investigators and they have gotten SO much better.  Some days have been frustrating as we teach a lesson in the morning and then find out in class in the afternoon how we SHOULD have taught it, but we apply those things to our next lesson and just keep going :) And a few times we have learned things in class that we have already started practicing through experience and learning by the Spirit and that has been SUPER cool :)


So I don't see a ton of people I know because there aren't as many of us over at West Campus (btw yes the Dear Elders have gotten to me, I really appreciate them! Also, they said pretty soon West Campus will actually have MORE people than the main campus, crazy!) but Elder Cameron Price from BYU is here, Elder Nelson from home is in my zone, I ran into Sister Dahlke's grandson, saw Sister Marissa Miller at choir for the devotional (which was way way cool, they said there were somewhere between 1400-1600 missionaries in the choir! We sang Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer and I loved it!) and I love all of the Elders and Sisters in our zone!  Our teachers are super awesome, Brother Holmquist looks like Harrison Ford and Brother Crandall who does our zone teaching always makes that an incredible experience!


We get to go to the temple today and I am so excited because I have missed it since being at the MTC and it's nice to have a P-day (which stands for naP-day :) since that means our schedule won't get messed up since we don't have planned activities for most of the day.  As they still are trying to get things set up and figured out over here at West Campus our schedule gets changed all the time and our District often ends up confused and late to everything!  But we get there :) 


It's been weird the few times we have gone up to Cougar Chapel, which is right by the Stadium, or up to the Marriott center to be at school but not.  It's so good though.  Also, they have built us a cafeteria over here (chocolate milk three times a day! Yay!) but they are just starting construction on a gym so currently we play basketball in the parking lot every day.  Yesterday it rained during our gym time and that was actually the most fun day!  Also, Sister Clark is a basketball beast so some days she and I just shoot instead of playing a game with the Elders (we usually switch companions for gym time because our companions aren't so excited about running around for an hour) and I have actually managed to make some shots outside the 3-point line!


I'm happy, I love you.  Katie's minions are awesome!  Good luck to her and Heather for getting jobs.  Katie Slinn, I got your Dear Elder and I will write soon :) I will try and keep up with letters, it sounds like you are all doing well though and I am so glad :) (Michael this is a nudge to write me a letter, and draw me an octopus so I can put it up in my room in Colorado) I'll be out there in two days!
Love, Sister Emily DeFord
Katie is Daryl's wife (Emily's sister-in-law)
She designed and crocheted these minions. Aren't they cute?


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Joining the Ranks

Sister DeFord?  No, that isn't me.  I'm sure you want my mom.  Or my grandma.  Or my aunt.  Any one of them would be sure to be able to help you.  They are incredible women.  They have made the name DeFord better by joining the family.  They have served in big and little ways for years and years.  They are very talented.  There are many people who can attest to that, including me.  I'm one of the little DeFords, brought into the family by birth, not marriage, and raised by one of the great Sister DeFords.

Soon though, in just a few days, I will be leaving my family to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  There are many amazing missionaries who are out serving, and others who are now preparing to be the best missionaries they can.  On Sunday I will be set apart as one of them, but I will also be joining the ranks of an equally powerful force, as the newest Sister DeFord.