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.


Monday, October 14, 2013

10/14/13: Festiva Sighting

(Editor's Note: Emily sent home her sd card this week.  I told her that we loved all the pictures, but it would be nice to know the stories that went with them, and I hoped she would remember them when she got home)
I wish I could tell you about all the pictures and people, but I am sure you guys can make up stories that are just as fun :) It is a little freezy off and on, but nothing too serious yet, mostly just days when in the sunshine is perfect but the shade is NOT.
I have had a few cranky days, or minutes, or times.  It isn't really fair to say all day because SO MUCH happens in a day.  We learn a lot, but there is always so much more.  Study time is tough in the morning because there are a crazy number of things that I want to go over/learn more about/become better at/look up scriptures for.  But one step at a time right?  Even though I get distracted, I am really trying to focus on the lessons for now, and just looking up other things when I have a specific question or situation in mind.  But I want to know it all!  Sister C's birthday is today so Sister Z and I are going to get/make a cake for her and the zone, so I will eat cake for Dad ;) (Editor's Note: Emily's Dad's birthday was yesterday)
I am learning a lot about the preparation that needs to go into an area, and into people, before those connections do happen and things start moving forward.  It is tough because our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come to Christ and help them recieve the Gospel, and I love eternal families and I love eternal life and I want people to know.  I want to adopt all of them and bring them all in and show them.  It is difficult to be on the outside of their lives and see how the Gospel makes so much sense and would be so good for them and bring so many blessings and have the patience to wait until they are ready to see those differences and needs for themselves.  That is why the ward is so important.  We can put names and information down in the area book (and don't get me wrong, I love the area book) but unless we leave a person behind who knows those people and will be able to stick around and love them until they are ready to learn more and care enough to go in and help when they are ready, people get forgotten and lost.  So preparing people is tough, but that is what needs to happen.  Everyone prays to find those who are prepared to receive the gospel, so I guess I can handle a little frustration in order to answer some other people's prayers ;) And I do get to see quite a few brother of Jared type miracles (Ether 3:5) and miracles going on around me in the district and zone that I get to be a part of as we all work together :)
Some of our little miracles?  Well addresses are not always recorded very well in the area book, so one night we went to look for a potential investigator who we only had an intersection for an address.  We found him at the first house, and though he is okay with where he is at and not interested in discussions right now, he did have one question about the plan of salvation that we were able to answer for him, and expand his understanding a little bit more.
The next day we got to answer a question which a man had kind of wondered for 60 years.
While on a tracting blitz on Saturday with Sister D we happened to skip a house which Sister Z and I went back to later because he is a member of the ward but less active, so we were able to visit him knowing his name and have him not be forgotten :)
Speaking of which, we did an exchange Friday to Saturday because I am companions with an STL (Sister Training Leader), and Sister D is companions with the other STL so we got to be companions for the day.  If that makes sense.  I got to drive :) The day really gave me more appreciation and understanding of Sister Z, since we were in my area for the day so I had to drive/know where we were going and what was going on.  Plus, as a district we were all committed to 'finding' for 3 hours on Saturday morning, which for us was going to be tracting, and Sister D had never tracted before!  So that was an adventure being the experienced one in something :) But we did some good and she was awesome and it was a good experience for all of us I think.  Sister D and I will actually be companions every week for the next three weeks as well as our companions conduct other exchanges.  Should be fun!
I love you all and have an awesome week!

love, Sister Emily DeFord
We found a Festiva while tracting!  It would have been a great lead in to conversation, but the family wasn't home.  Maybe next time!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Care Package...It's a...

Sister Emily's sister is expecting a baby. She sent Emily a package with a lot of balloons to blow up and pop in order to find out if she's having a boy or a girl. And mustaches are always fun :-)

Colorado Flooding and Service

The view from the G. Home
Longmont Main St

Waiting on the Elders, They're LATE
With the Stake President, President R

The Crew at Ted's House (he does not have a yellow vest)

Make it fun, It will get done

We found a crawdad! (and a snake, and a frog, and a fish, and some spiders....)  Also, I promise I don't wear the same shirt EVERYday, just in all of the pictures apparently.  And we do laundry more than on p-day due to extreme circumstances :)

Companions finally done for the day!

1st Zone Conference

10/ 2/13 First P-Day (Road Trip to Estes Park)

Sister M, Sister E, Me, Sister Z at Estes Park

Road Trip! to Estes Park

Back Seat Drivers :-)

More MTC Pictures

My MTC Zone with Brother H who looks like a young Harrison Ford

Where we Play at MTC West

My classroom is the basement apartment on the right

At the Provo Temple

At the Provo Temple

9/30/13: Staying in Ute Creek

We haven't had any MORE flooding thank goodness, the excitement for this week was one of the Spanish Sisters, Sister M, went to the hospital and ended up having her gallbladder taken out.  Yikes!  Oh, and transfers are on Tuesday so on Saturday we found out what is happening and Sister Z and I are staying together in Ute Creek English!  Sister M was supposed to go up to Cheyenne and train a greenie, but for now we get to keep both of them and we will have 6 sisters in the Ute Creek Ward :) Because she was in the hospital though, I spent the morning with her so her companion could leave for a while and email and take care of things, so my email time is a bit short today, but I will be sending my SD card, with my pictures for the transfer and pictures I got from other missionaries, this week so hopefully that will make up for the short emails! 

I can't believe you replaced me again!  (Editor's Note: We had a kitten show up in the bushes underneath our kitchen window. We looked for his family and couldn't find it. She has moved right into our hearts and home)

Sounds like a cute kitten though :) Maybe I will forgive Angel, as long as he doesn't chew my shoes like Dolly did ;)  We got to go to mutual this week with the Mia Maids to help with Missionary Olympics :) it was great to get to know more of the youth in the ward!

We are hearing through the grapevine that we will get to start doing church tours also!  I hope that comes soon!  (Sooner than our long-rumored but yet to arrive iPads.  Sidenote: at zone conference President B was talking about iPads, and made a comment which I don't remember if it was his or from one of the other mission presidents who was in the MTC with them about how are we going to trust these missionaries with iPads?  I kind of wondered that too, but the response was that they are going to have to trust us with all of these technologies and influences when we go home from our missions, and then we will have no white handbook or mission president to go by.  President B tells us he doesn't just want to help us and prepare us on our missions, but he wants to be our mission president for our lives.  To be able to go home and be good people and good members and still good missionaries!  I think that is pretty cool).  Also, transfers came out and I am staying in Ute Creek with Sister Z!  Sister C, who came out with me, will be training a greenie!  Ah!  Good luck to her :) But she will be awesome, she is a great missionary and well prepared.

I came up with the perfect visual to illustrate what the neighborhoods look like where we have been emptying everyone's basements.  You know that episode of Monk where the garbage men go on strike and he kind of has a breakdown and then the chief takes him to the clean room?  Well the flooded neighborhoods look a bit like that :)

We went to the post office and should have fixed the letter problem, I got letters from Grandpa and Hollaye and Nick so I am not sure why yours are still getting returned :( Sister Z and I tried to bring a cat home with us the other day didn't work out ;)

We are doing our best to stay safe with the mold and all the junk, I did get my first flood wound!  But it was just a nail in my finger, not too deep, but I did check when my tetanus shot was ;) good thing we updated it before I came out!

Sorry this is so short, but ttfn!

I love you a lot and everyone at home, and I pray for you.

Take lots of deep breaths in the middle of all the craziness.

And read your scriptures.

One last note even though I am already late, but when I was sitting with Sister M and she was in pain, and then on meds for it we were talking about the gospel and hearing her strong testimony and love of the scriptures, even in the middle of what she is dealing with was awesome.  Incredible experience for me, even if she doesn't remember it.

Okay, love you, bye-bye!

Love, Sister Emily DeFord

9/23/13: Lots of Work to Do

Thanks for all of the updates :) I will attach a few pictures and probably send my sd card home at the end of the transfer.  We find out our marching orders for transfers on Friday.  I am really hoping that we stay put.  You are right about there being a lot of work to be done!  And apparently the rain hasn't stopped yet, even though some areas already got a years worth of precipitation in 3 days!  The cranky old man on Friday is where I spent almost ALL day.  He had 8 to 12 inches of mud in his fully furnished walk-up basement.  Yikes!  I just heard that Sarah is training for her second transfer starting out next week!

I think us missionaries are popping up on quite a few facebook pages, but I couldn't tell you who most of the people are who are posting them :) that's one way to spread the gospel though!  You will have to start attaching pictures too so I can still recognize everyone when I get back ;) I am probably ready for the winter stuff, if we can get this post office thing figured out, the seasons seem to change quickly here!

(Editor's note: I received a phone call on Saturday night from the stake president's wife in Colorado. She talked about what wonderful work the missionaries were doing and how hard they were working! She said that her husband had gone out to canvas the damage in a neighborhood of elderly people. He went door to door to see who needed help, etc.

At one home, a man came out of the house just mad at everyone and everything, yelling and swearing, etc. The stake president talked to him about needs and went on to the next home. Thursday morning he woke early and felt a strong impression that this man needed help and needed it before the Saturday work project that was being set up. He arranged for 10-ish missionaries to show up at his home on Friday morning. The man was still rude and angry, but the missionaries got to work in the basement--bringing up furniture, mud carpet, etc. The stake president stopped by at lunchtime to check on things and the man asked if he would go for a walk with him. The man had a completely different demeanor and talked about the missionaries working so hard and singing. They had a good discussion and the man was so grateful for the help.)

Outside the G. Home

Longmont Main Street


9/18/13: Bishop Facebook Message

(Editor's note: Can I just say that I LOVE facebook? It makes Emily seem so much closer when people reach out to me and share messages (and pictures) about her. I definitely need to do a better job about that with the missionaries I come in contact with!)

Just wanted to leave a quick note. Your daughter has been a joy. My 4 little daughter really love Sister DeFord. She is an outstanding example of what the Lord needs Sister Missionaries to do in the field. She works hard and is always smiling. She's also very organized. You should be very pleased with your missionary. 

She has been working hard in our relief effort. One minute l saw our sisters in dresses teaching, and an hour later they're wearing muddy clothes hauling wet carpet out of a flooded basement.
Your hard work as parents is benefiting my Ward area, thank you. She has influenced a lot of people for good.

Bishop M

9/16/13: Happy One Month Anniversary to Me

Our transfers are coming up soon too (happy one month anniversary to me on Michael's birthday!) I think my chances of staying put are good, especially since Sister Z and I both just got to the area.  Plus it sounds like there aren't too many new sisters coming in the next transfer.  I want to be able to help out with all of the clean up too!  It has been so good the past few days to be involved in the work of mudding and cleaning.  I feel like that is really all I have to tell about, but the pictures would be so much better!  (No sd slot on this computer again).  We have been helping out at the evacuation shelters set up in Longmont, plus working on cleaning up a street (read river of mud) clearing out basements and trying to save what we can for people.  Yesterday we only had Sacrament meeting and then went back out.  We ended up taking out the drywall and insulation in a family's basement to get it down to just the studs so they can start over.  I have officially punched a hole in a wall!  Then cleaning up for our evening appointments, it's quite the adventure!  Hopefully things will get better in the next several days too as things become more organized and we can work more in conjunction with the city.

I did leave my rain boots home!  Ah how silly!  Who knew though?  I wouldn't mind a few more t-shirts and probably a sweatshirt, but the stake here is going to get the missionaries set up with boots, work gloves and masks so we should be good.  For some reason they think our tennis shoes soaked in mud might not be good enough...and frown on bare feet also.  Sounds like there are mosre adventures to come though!

The music guidelines are in the missionary white handbook which says basically, music should invite the Spirit and should NOT distract you, be merely entertaining, be romantic or dull spiritual sensitivity by tempo, beat, lyrics, or intensity.  So it is pretty open :)

Have a good week, I will try for more stories next time :) (and pictures!) But I am safe and they are being very specific about us staying that way.  No water over ankle deep, though I wonder how that counts when walking outside is basically like stepping into a swimming pool?  They are taking good care of us though and we are helping out as much as we can.  I just got a helping hands vest today which I am so excited about!  I always wanted to get to use one of them ;)

love, Sister Emily DeFord

9/9/13: I got the package :-)

I got the package!  it was like Christmas!  I particularly like the fruit snack package stuffing :) The cookies are good, a bit crumbly but delicious :) Things are going well here.  We are trying to use our area book to contact former investigators and potentials because we didn't really start out with much for investigators, and tracting is always fun ;) A cool thing happened the other day actually where we were out at about 8:40 or so, tired and really ready to be done, but we decided to try one more person.  Out came the area book.  There was a former investigator named M____ who caught our eye and lived not too far away so we decided to try her.  We went to her house, met a man outside who told us she was home just go knock on the door.  We did and told her who we were.  She actually smiled when we said we were missionaries (a lot of the less actives and potentials who we manage to catch at home are somewhat less than excited to see us) and told us she was glad we stopped by and wants to talk with us!  What!  It wasn't a good time then since she had kids in the bath and putting them to bed, but we are going to talk to her today!  Ah so excited!
On Friday I actually got to drive for the first time, since Sister Z is one of the sister training leaders along with Sister T (who is Sister C's trainer) and they had a meeting so Sister C and I were companions for most of the day!  Since they took Sister T's car, I got the keys for ours for the day ;) By the way, our car is one of the nicest ones I have ever been in.  It is a 2013 blue Chevy Cruze.  The hermanas think Sister C and I cheated because we didn't teach any lessons together as greenies, but we have exchanges again this Friday and I don't think we will be able to manage that again!  We had our study time together and then basically did service all day.  We started out with the Inn Between remodel for two hours, had lunch, and then went to the YMCA to shovel manure into piles for two more hours!  We heard in the morning about a nonmember who needed help moving into Sister C's area, so after YMCA we went over to her house to unload the moving truck until our companions got back.  We did talk to her about the gospel (it was a QGC, ask Dad) so I think we weren't really cheating :)
I am really really grateful for the ward we are in and how involved the members are willing to be.  We have called people up a couple of times last minute to see if they could go to discussions with us, and we always find someone who can make a little time for us.  It has been way fun to have dinners with some of the Spanish members this week (all four of us sisters are going to dinner appointments together, did I say that already?)  Sister M is in heaven on those nights because it is the food she grew up with and she loves talking Spanish to the members.  She loves telling about her first night in the field when she was given a sloppy joe and had no idea what it was or what to do with it!  Sister M is from LA, but her dad is from El Salvador and her mom is Guatemalan.  Sister Z and I mostly smile and nod for those dinner appointments, but we catch on to a little bit of what is going on :)
Have you posted my mission address on facebook?  I love the return address stickers dad made for me!  The giraffe ones are super cute :) but the temple ones are good too for when I want to give the impression that I am a grown up ;)
So Sister Z and I made a goal to give out 3 copies of the Book of Mormon a week (besides to the hermanas and ZLs who keep taking ours).  We made that goal last Wednesday and gave out 2!  This week we will get all 3 :)
I love you, and pray for you, and think about you, but I'm staying focused and working as much as I can :)
Have a great week!  Let me know what things are happening, even the small stuff :)
love, Sister Emily DeFord