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, December 22, 2014

Week 71: 12/22/14

December 22, 2014
Longmont, CO

So...spent lots of time on other things today and I get to talk to my family in 3 DAYS!!!

So this is a picture email today, which means it will be in a couple of parts (good luck family on the posting)
Selina (Seyfi) Morse and her husband left today to go back to Utah, we will miss them, it has been so super fun to get to know them

Grinch faces (pic1) from this way cool yard (pic 2).  None of the lights were on IN the house or we would have told the people how much we liked their yard and given them a He is the Gift card!

picture 2

Sister Waite and I found this open car, and a giant cane, so we took a picture, and lots of others ;)

We went to lunch with the STLs and the hermanas because we didn't get to do exchanges.  It was delicious.  We went after zone meeting, and as we were leaving Chipotle who should be walking in but a bunch of Elders haha.  They sat at the same table we had.

Sister Swain and I took a picture with our matching bags that we have both had our whole missions ;) Also, she has the same coat, but wasn't wearing it that day.

What did my companion say when we saw these Christmas decorations? "That's a big Pooh!" I hesitated for a second, but had to laugh ;)

Also, we have officially taken a car picture since we got a car!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Week 70: 12/15/14

December 15, 2014
Longmont, CO

10 days until Christmas!

This has been a long-short week and I don't even know how there could possibly be anything to say which I haven't told you about since I must have emailed only a day or two ago....yet it's true, another week has gone.

We had our Christmas devotional this week, and my good friend Sister Clark was kind enough to remind me just before it started that this would be our last zone conference and so we would be giving our 'departing testimonies'.  Sheesh!  Since when did we get so old?

I talked about how at the beginning of my mission the flood happened, and some of the 'older' and 'wiser' missionaries told me it was a bummer that happened at the beginning of my mission, because the rest of it wouldn't be able to live up to the beginning.  Then I told them that I had learned for myself that it was completely not true.  In Jacob chapter 5 there is the allegory of the olive tree, and at the end of it, after the last time of care and gathering, the Lord of the vineyard blesses those who have worked with him and promises that they will have joy with him in the fruit of his vineyard.  That joy has made the rest of my mission every bit as amazing as the first part.

Also, our zone leaders got us Christmas presents!  Can you guess what they are?

We had an interesting week in that all of our investigators rescheduled our appointments with them at least once, so it didn't go quite as planned, but we still has some amazing things happen!  Such as our lesson with F____, where we taught about the Plan of Salvation up through the atonement of Jesus Christ.  It was so fun as we read scriptures to see him so excited to read along and read them again after we talked about it.  When we invited him to be baptized and suggested a day he said, "That's far away!  What's today?  That's like a month!"  He was so happy to accept and knows that is what he wants to do.

Also, we learned that he walked, with A____ in a stroller, over a mile to the Christmas party last week!  As soon as we learned that, we told him F____, we are getting you a ride for church!  Seriously!  I am so amazed that he was so willing to do that though!

So he did come to church this Sunday.  He sat with a family and we ended up on the other side of the chapel, but he loved the whole thing and almost cried during Sacrament meeting, and it was just all amazing.  Even though we really didn't get to spend any time with him during church because we were teaching sunday school, the ward is amazing and F____ is amazing and I am so grateful to be a part of this work and this gospel!

Backtracking to Saturday night, was the Longmont Parade of Lights!  And we went, but I was actually distracted from this super cool parade (I love parades!) because the thing I was even more excited about was to give out the cards for He is the Gift!  We handed out so many and it was so happy to see people be excited about a video and movement to share the real reason and spirit of Christmas!  If you haven't seen it yet, do it!

Ah, just asked Sister Allen if there was anything else that I should talk about for this week (what would I do without a companion?) and she reminded me of a couple of things!  One, Nikki returned from her mission on Wednesday, and we happened to be at the stake center when she came in to be released which was one of the sweetest saddest happiest things that I have seen on my mission.  She came in and saw us and just said, "Sisters!" and ran over and gave us hugs.  She came with us on Friday night and got to talk to a couple of awesome potential investigators and set appointments with them for the coming week that will be so great!

Guess which part is me!  We took some crazy pictures with The Seyfis last night, and I have officially met all of them now :)

TMFWD: Christmas again!

love, Sister Emily DeFord

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 69: 12/8/14

December 8, 2014
Longmont, CO

Wowza what a week!

Did I tell you that, last week, we had no investigators?

Well, sort of one and a half, but not really.

That is not the case at this point.  Last week we got to teach a man we had met just the night before.  He has met all sorts of people in his life who have been members of the Church, and even wrote a research paper on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in high school, but none of the people he has met have really been able to answer his questions.  "They must not have been paying attention" he said.  So he is excited to read the Book of Mormon he already has a strong belief that a person needs to know things for themselves.  And we are so grateful for the wonderful Suzanne who came to our rescue several times that evening, including being our member present so we could even meet with him.  Plus, her comments were wonderful.

The Elders did leave a couple of potential investigators for us to contact, including one named F____ who is one of the sweetest guys I have met recently!  He also has known some Mormons throughout his life, and really wants to raise his little son (18 months of adorableness who kissed my companion during the lesson!) in a Church.  He already had a Book of Mormon :) and he came to the ward Christmas party we had on Saturday!  Where he got to meet lots of people, and get over that first hurdle of going into the church building.

The Hermanas tracted into and taught the first lesson to a wonderful English-speaking sister.  Who then dropped them because she 'found another church'.  They went to attend a baptism in another ward and discovered their lost investigator there, who's sister was being baptized!  They established that it was the same church and got to meet with her again :) So they invited us to hand her off to the English speakers.  She has quite a varied background in religion, but is very sincere and puts a lot of emphasis on the fact that having faith in Jesus Christ should change your life, so she is ready to go!

Also, had an interesting lesson with a woman who the Bishop met and referred to the missionaries.  The first part of it we got to know her better, the second part of it she seemed to be testing us for some reason, the third part of it we got to teach about the plan of salvation and it was wonderful!

Plus, after some area book overhauling and ward list updating and so many other tender mercies that I can't even count them, we had a phenomenal week!  We have gotten our exercise walking and getting rides when we needed them (J____did let us come visit him!)  We jumped a fence once or twice for shortcuts and the weather has been beautiful.  We have met so many people simply by not walking past them that there is no denying that Heavenly Father is putting them in our path and us in their path.

Did I tell you about the last week when the guy drove slowly next to us while asking questions about the church?  Yep!  Then he finally stopped so we could give him a pamphlet and some other information.  Totally fulfilled one of my mission bucket list items of wanting to talk to someone through an open car window :)

Now I have enjoyed some reminiscing this morning, and wanted to share a quote from last year at this time:
"A funny thing about missionaries.  They hate getting sick.  They will deny being sick.  And when someone finally forces them to stay home because they ARE sick they are very grumpy about it.  No, I'm not sick, but you hear these things about missionaries.  The cool part is really about the daughter of one of the Spanish investigators.  This girl is seven and she loves to go to church!  You may remember being around that age and even a little cold was just too much to consider going to church sometimes.  No.  She cries and begs and wants to go to church, sick or not.  I want to be like her."

Last year, I actually had been sick that weekend.  This year my poor Sister Allen got sick!  But she at least got to go to Sacrament meeting, then took a much needed nap :)
"Picture 6: Ward pajama party!  I mean, Christmas party... :) the theme was Christmas morning so we had breakfast for dinner and lots of fun!  Though our plans for matchmaking were disrupted, it was definitely a great ward party!"

Well our theme for the party this year was The Polar Express, and adults were encouraged to wear ugly sweaters for a contest.  Brother Seyfi won the contest, but I heard there was some bias in the judges ;) We mustn't let on that I know though ;) I don't remember what our matchmaking was last year, but we had breakfast again and two families that we invited came!  So that was super duper exciting.  Plus we took pictures, below ;)

Oh, plus exchanges con las hermanas de Boulder were super wonderful and we all happened to be coordinating!

TMFWD: Christmas!

love, Sister Emily DeFord

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 68: 12/1/14

December 1, 2014
Longmont, CO

Michael is the winner!  Though Longmont popped up on a couple of other people's guesses, it was his first and only guess.  Prize to be mailed shortly :)

I am back in the good old Ute Creek ward!  It is a happy place to be for the holidays and I really love my companion so even though it was a crazy whirlwind first week I think it will be super good here.  That promise about the Holy Ghost bringing all things to our remembrance is one that I am super excited about and grateful for because I have remembered most of the streets and such and we haven't gotten lost yet!

The ward shrunk since the last time I was here, there was a boundary change where the northern part was cut off so it is even smaller than before (which I didn't realize until going up to Cheyenne how small the ward down here was, geography-wise).  So there are a few faces missing, but a few new ones have moved in and that is happy!  The size is also nice because my companion and I are without a car for the time being.  If any of you email me about not wanting me to be out walking after dark I will not be amused, the entire ward has been telling us about it and we had a very hard time having a lesson with J____ last night (still going to church!  Yes!) because he is also concerned about it.  Actually, when we tried to set up a weekly appointment with him he said, "Not until you have a car." We got him to come around because we promised we would get rides ;) Being swept in has been much easier since I have been here before, and I know where not to walk after dark so I promise we will be safe, and if we go to Jesse's house we will get a ride.

Already being up in Cheyenne feels like so long ago, but I really hope those Elders are taking good care of the ward up there!  Saying goodbye was tough, but it's not forever so that is okay :)

Do you want to hear about my transfer day adventures?  Here we go!

Finished packing, picked up Sister Grammer's new phone and apartment key.

Moved her stuff into the apartment, which didn't stink like boy, but definitely smelled like boy

Dropped me off at the stake center to get on the transfer van

Rode the transfer van to Laramie

Waited a really long time because someone who was supposed to get on the van wasn't there

Rode the van down to Loveland

Met Sister Allen!

Put some of our stuff in another set of Sisters' car who would be driving us down to Longmont, they didn't have space for all of it so we had to leave some in the Ute Creek Hermana's car for the next day

Drove down to Longmont to the Seyfi's house!

Turns out we wouldn't be living at the Seyfi's house until Friday.  Also unknown where our phone and house key to the Roper's house was and unknown if we had a car or not.

Finally figure all stuff out, get phone and area book and key.

Stay at Seyfi's house that night anyway :)

Move to Roper's house Wednesday morning.

Do a lot of walking and meet some great people!  Re-meet some people from before.

It was a crazy time :) It really has been great though and I cannot express how amazing the Seyfi's in particular and the ward in general has been in helping us out and just being welcoming!

Plus, all the walking has helped me sleep really, really well :)

I love you all a lot and am happy to be in December!  24 days until Christmas!

TMFWD: think pink!

love, Sister Emily DeFord


Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 67: 11/24/14

November 24, 2014
Cheyenne, WY

Well, I have told several of you individually that I am being transferred, but unless I messed up, I didn't tell any of you where I am going ;) You will have to guess, you have until next week when it is revealed on the Weekly Report!  The first person to email me a correct guess before I email next week will get a prize!

I will tell you, Sister Grammer and I are being swept our of Corner Stone ward, and Elders are sweeping in.  They aren't going to have Elders and Sisters share wards anymore, so Sister Grammer will be ward hopping to accommodate that with her new STL companion.  I am being released as a STL and will go back to training with a sister who has been out for one transfer already.  We are being swept in to our new ward and I am super excited about it.  Probably going to die in my next area according to what President Brown told me. (Editor's Note: "Die" means be done with your mission and go home, she only has this transfer and one more before that exciting day!)
So that is all you get ;)

Saying goodbye to this ward so far has been tough.  There are so many amazing people here!  It really is a close family, because the only people who come to church are ones who work really hard to be there, and they all lift and bless and help each other.  Facebook friends and visiting after the mission for sure!

I will really miss living with the Russells as well.  Best missionary set up ever!  Plus, we get to talk to Carter basically every morning.  Even Brutus will be missed, as slobbery and smelly as he is :) Haha Brutus loves to sniff us down after we get home from the animal shelter.  It is funny, because he is almost always outside in the front yard when we get home.  So he sees us, barks a lot, then runs up to the front door and asks to be let in so he can meet us at the back door and sniff our shins while we try to get downstairs.  This week, we decided to race him, and we won!  (To picture Brutus, imagine Charles from Space Jam)  Made it to the apartment just before he got down the stairs :)
We probably smelled especially delicious that day because we got to play with ferrets at the animal shelter!  So much fun!  Wouldn't want to have one for a pet, but they were pretty entertaining for an hour.

Also, we broke the car this week, but then we fixed it.  Elder Holley doesn't even know.  We parked the car at the car wash last p-day so we could vacuum it, and the wind took the door from my hand and bounced it open.  So hard that a spring popped out of the door and moved a different piece out of place.  Sister Grammer managed to find the spring, and we studied the other door to see how it fit in the door.  Managed to get the spring in the door, but couldn't move the other piece back in place.  Luckily, we were at the car wash, where they have things like crowbars that the nice person behind the desk will let you borrow.  So we got it fixed and froze our fingers off because a very COLD wind was blowing, and without the spring, we couldn't close the door.  It is all okay though, we thawed out again and went on with out day :)

Well, we have a lunch appointment that we will be late to if I don't sign off, but I will add a couple of pictures for you!

Happy Thanksgiving and happy guessing!

love, Sister Emily DeFord

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Week 66: 11/17/14

November 17, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Forgot to tell you my favorite line from the Primary Program last week!  Carter, a 5 year old little boy, got up to the microphone and said loud and clear, "Jesus Christ was crucified and I will be too!"  Oh my!  Who knew that was part of the deal?  After the gasps of his primary teachers he corrected himself, "Jesus Christ was resurrected and I will be too!"  Phew!  That was a close one ;)
We got to stop by and visit a family in the ward who we haven't met before and they are instant favorites!  They have two little kids, Walter and Alice, who are almost 4 and almost 2, respectively.  Walter is a little sweetheart.  His mom asked him, what you do at the castle (temple) and he responded enthusiastically, "You take your princess there!"  then he turned and looked at me and said, "You're a princess!"  Oh the cuteness ;) He knows he is a prince too ;)
You know, as missionaries we normally only tell the really good stories, but we had a lesson this week that went horribly.  About 10 minutes into it I just wanted to leave.  The Spirit wasn't really there, he just wanted to contend every point that we brought up, nicely of course, but there was so much confusion going on that it almost hurt.  There was no way we were going to have another appointment with him.  After praying desperately for something to say, there was one little pinprick of inspiration, "What are you hoping to get out of reading the Book of Mormon?" (he is reading it, almost through the first two books of it actually).  Well he wants to know if it aligns with the Bible, though if it does then he sees no purpose for it, and if it doesn't then why should he trust it?  These are things we have heard before.  But then there was another little spot of light.  He said, "If it is the same, I would be very curious as to why our churches are so different."  There it was.  That one inspired question allowed the Spirit back in to chase away the darkness in the room and illuminate the tiny change of heart which is taking place.  It is small for now, but he is beginning to have real intent to know for himself.  We will go back again and do what we can to help that tiny seed of faith to grow.
See?  Missionaries only tell the good stories, I only told you about it because it ended up being a really good one!  But it was hard.  Not only that day, but in previous days there has been a lot of things going in to that tiny little ray of sunshine.  We tell the cool stories, but there is always such a long preface that hardly ever do we bother to read it ;)
Lots of driving this week.  We had MLC down in Fort Collins at the Trilby building which is right across from the temple!  So great!  Another one of those times when I am glad traffic wasn't bad, because when I saw the spire appear over the houses I was so excited that it was kind of distracting ;) We had dinner before the meeting, since it was in the evening this time, and Elder Baxter sat right next to me!  You know, he and his wife are really wonderful people, with fun accents, but they are also very normal.  I like that about them.  We received phenomenal training on Christlike leadership, from each other, President Brown, and Elder Baxter.  Another cool thing, Elder Baxter isn't worried about having other people pipe in or learning even from 20ish year old Elders and Sisters.  He said the closing prayer and that was an experience to remember.
The next day, we have a mission tour conference with Elder Baxter up here in Cheyenne.  Before the meeting began he asked to shake hands with everyone, and asked that we all tell him our name, where we are from, and how long we have been out.  None of this sill 'a little over/under a year' stuff he said.  I have been using that, so I actually had to count months ;) Turns out, that was the day of my 15 month mark!  Good reminder though, that means it is time to write to Sister Clark again, seems like I just did that....
Directly after the conference we began an exchange with the Wheatland sisters (last one of the transfer, yay!).  I went up there with Sister Cardon and we had a really wonderful evening.  Actually, I got to meet the mom of a sister in our ward who (the mom) has recently started taking the lessons!  The next morning someone told us that the freeway down to Cheyenne was closed....luckily it opened again by the afternoon when we exchanged back!  Apparently they sometimes have to close the freeway for wind.  Yeah, crazy.
Because of exchanges, I missed the lesson with P____, but he didn't miss it!  Sounds like it went super duper well.  He told the sisters that the night we met him, he and his friends had just been talking about religion and God and stuff, and then up walk these two Mormon missionaries out of the dark :) Gotta love that!
Have a superb week, and some blue TMFWD
love, Sister Emily DeFord
p.s. Our Christmas devotional will be December 9,10, or 11 and we will be able to get packages there which have been received at the office before then, or they will forward things on as quickly as they can.  Note: only USPS packages can be forwarded.  Also, mom remember transfers are this coming week and I may be moving, and mail seems to take longer than expected sometimes.

Week 65: 11/10/14

November 10, 2014
Winter Wonderland
Dear DeFrods,
Not infrequently as I type just enough of the email to send this to I mix up our name and we get defrauded every week ;)
So on the last Monday, previous to this Monday, as in the Monday when the email last received from me was sent, after the sending of said email, we had a crazy p-day.  Just busy and crazy where you get to the end actually relieved for p-day to be over so you can stop trying to get done all sorts of things that just aren't going to all happen on the same day.  Sometimes I like those p-days because then I appreciate the rest of the week more ;)
Anywho, that evening things were not working out exactly as planned (which happens every day.  In fact, there was one day on my mission that things actually did go as planned and that was so surprising and noteworthy that it was the only thing I wrote in my journal that day. "Today, surprisingly, everything went as planned.  Weird.") and we thought, hey, let's randomly text that guy who we randomly met on the street two months ago and randomly texted us three weeks ago.  Yeah, let's text him and see if we can set up an appointment!
So we did.
And he texted us back.
So we set up an appointment!  Really phenomenal*, super excited and then he didn't show up :( Turns out, he slept right through it, he just started working nights and isn't used to it yet, but that is okay, we are rescheduling!
Got to have exchanges with Sister Jarvis and we had quite a bit of fun.  When we went out to contact a potential investigator we ended up standing by the street, talking to a man who had been loading things in his car.  Then some random guy drives up and stops next to us and starts telling us how he just bought his car and he loves it so much because he is old school and he had a newer car, but then saw this one in the lot and just had to have it.  Neither we, nor the man we were talking to, knew this guy.  He was sure happy about his car though!  That is when you know you've made a good purchase, when you just get happier about it the more you think about it, and finally you are so happy that you have to tell the first people who you see or else you might burst.  I think that is what happened ;)
My companion is a really happy person.  Seriously, she enjoys every aspect of life, especially sleeping apparently ;) Speaking of being so happy that you might burst, sometimes you just have to laugh to relieve the pressure of all the happiness right?  I was woken up one morning this week by my Sister Grammer laughing so hard that she eventually woke herself up as well.  Yep, she is so happy that she was laughing in her sleep!  Her thoughts on the situation, "I think there have been very few times in my life when I have woken up so jovial!"
We had a really fun "Fabulous Friday" Relief Society activity this week.  Lots of people came, we did crafts, I learned how to make jalapeno jelly, and it was overall a lot of good happy things!
Apparently the idea of making the jalapeno jelly came because Sister Aguirre isn't super crafty, but had to come up with a craft to do at Fabulous Friday.  She is really good in the kitchen though.  And she started making it because then she uses it for homemade montecristo (sp?) sandwiches which she made for us on Sunday and they were delicious!  Then we helped her bake three different kinds of cake that she was going to take to work today, and tell everyone that the missionaries helped her make them ;)
Have a happy week!  TMFWD: black
love, Sister Emily DeFord
*Phenomenal.  A word used by a couple we had dinner with so much that it was ridiculous ;) I have decided to use this word now in place of awesome, which I say too much.  So I am going to use the word phenomenal too much, but at least it isn't the same overused word as everyone else overuses ;) Except the Aitkens.
Baking with Sister Aguirre!

Feasting on the scriptures ;)

Looks just like home!  Driving out to dinner in the country
Sister Jarvis and I went to Sonic with Sister Atchley to celebrate Sister Jarvis' 11 month mark :)

Taco salad!  Yum, trough night style

We are kind of strange :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 64: 11/3/14

November 3, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Did I write one of these last week?  It seems so long and short ago that I am just not sure.  Some important things did happen this week though!
We had a back-to-back exchange adventure where I got to be with Sister Kertamus in her ward, and Sister Thatcher (greenie visa waiter for Bulgaria!) in my own area.  I love getting to know the other sisters and hearing about the things that are going on in their lives and in their areas.  The work is definitely going forward in Cheyenne!
During our exchange on Wednesday evening we concluded our one week experiment with the R_____/L___/A_____ household.  We didn't get to read quite every night, but it was pretty close.  We read from Alma 36 and had a really good discussion about it.  Then we were able to ask about how the last week had gone, and L___ in particular identified some really good things in his life.  So, they decided that they did want to continue meeting (phew!  Part of the point of this experiment was to see if they really had a desire on their own, or were just too nice to tell us no).  L___ is seriously the best (not)investigator ever!  He really listens and is good at understanding the scriptural language and even applying it to himself.  This last Saturday actually, he used the word 'investigate' in relation to himself :) I have no idea where he came up with it, but I don't even care.  He wants to find out answers for himself!  Also, one of my favorite moments with them was a night when R_____ was there (sometimes he is gone working).  R_____ has been LA for a long time and only recently got back in contact with the Church.  He tends to say some off the wall things sometimes, but every once in a while there is a gem like, "Read that book, pray about it."  That's all there is to it ;)
We also went back to contact a potential investigator named J____ this week, who we had a long conversation with quite a while ago.  Based on how our conversation went, even though it was friendly, we were really surprised when he accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon.  This week we showed up at his door again and asked if he had read any of it.  Yes!  He invited us in, but we didn't have another woman with us so we couldn't, so we pulled some chairs outside and had a discussion on the porch :) It went really well!  And we have a return appointment!
To maintain the balance of the universe however, that great lesson with J____ was followed up by learning that V______ moved out of the ward.  Just to the other side of the highway though, and there are amazing sisters there who will take good care of them for sure, so really, all of these are positive things from the right perspective ;)
Took some pictures this week that I will send :)
TMFWD: white!
love, Sister Emily DeFord
The Merrifields!  This is the family that I think best represents Heather and Doug and Eden in my ward :)
Sister Grammer being boss at the game at the Halloween party

Sister Russell (who we live with) and Carter :) She is Little Miss Muffet and he is her spider ;)

Love our Elders!  They brought us popcorn again this week

Sister DeFord not doing so hot at the game at the Halloween party ;)

making faces at the Halloween party :) Can you tell what I was dressed up as? 

The cookie we decorated, with a beard, in honor of Levi's beard which he shaved this week 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 63: 10/27/14

October 27, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
We began an experiment this week with a household, that we are really excited about and are hoping to try with another family in the coming week.  Sometimes people have a really hard time getting in to reading the scriptures/praying regularly, and without those it is really hard to progress.  So Sister Grammer and I decided spur of the moment like to go to the A_____/R_____/L___ house and simply tell them that we were going to come over every day for a week and read a chapter in the scriptures with them.  Our visits would be short and that would be the whole point.  (The idea of this being that by implementing just one aspect of the gospel daily they will begin to see a change from it and have a desire for more.)  So far it has been going pretty well!
Actually on one day we had a pretty long visit because we helped A_____ and L___ make dog cookies for A_____'s work!  That was really fun and gave us a chance to talk about a lot of things, as well as read our chapter.  L___ just moved in with R_____ and A_____ a month or so ago, and has just sat in whenever we come over, it was really impressive when we asked him for a recap on the chapter, how much he actually paid attention and followed what was going on.
And yes, we did try a little bit of the dog cookie dough, just to see if it was any good ;)
Speaking of brief lessons, that also allowed us to have a new investigator this week!  V_______ is someone who I have just started to love since we met her last transfer on exchanges.  She is also someone you can just see is ready for the gospel.  It is hard to schedule things with her, but since we stopped by one morning with a plan for a short visit she let us in and we got to set another appointment!  She really wants to change her life and make it better for her and her son.
Plus, members are amazing!  It finally worked out to have Sister C_____ come with us to D____' lesson and it went so well!  They live in the same apartment complex so had some common ground there (literally;) ) but also discovered some other similarities.  Sister C_____ is also a convert to the Church so she was able to address some of D____' thoughts in a different way than we could have!
At Church on Sunday our WML talked to the sisters briefly about missionary work, and invited them to come out with us on some evening in the week.  We got a great response from it and I am excited to see what happens next :)
Sister Grammer and I played a fun game this morning that we heard about from an RM.  He called it 'contact', and it is a great way to test your knowledge of the scriptures ;) Our modified for two players version goes like this:  One companion opens the scriptures to a random page and simply begins to read.  The other companion has to find where in the scriptures she is reading from, and says 'contact!' when she gets there :) We had a lot of fun with it!
I didn't take many pictures this week, but did have an exchange with Sister Hebertson and she forgot her toothbrush so was using a finger ;)
Plus, Sister Grammer and I live in the bat cave ;) The scripture reference makes it legit!  (Hmm, my head is kind of in the way, but the reference is Ether 13:13)
TMFWD: how's about some pink for the week?
love, Sister Emily DeFord
The Bat Cave

Dental Hygiene

Week 62: 10/20/14

October 20, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
"You can still be weird, and clean" Sister Grammer :) Wise words of wisdom there.
Missionaries: "What is the strait and narrow path?"
9 year old who shall remain nameless: "It's like, the sprinkles on a brownie!"
.....what?  Good save by the older sister who made that analogy work ;)
So last Monday we had a really fun time making pancakes and defrosting the freezer, Sister Grammer did the first while I attempted the second.  I used my blowdrying skills which I learned in the dorms, and then also added the new element of simultaneously chopping at the ice with a knife.  Do not try this at home ;) I don't know if I can email GIFs, but I will try to send that one!  It did work though, and now we have much more room in our fridge without all of the ice buildup in there!
I have also begun reading Preach My Gospel from the beginning as we were challenged to do as a mission this transfer.  I increased the difficulty level though, because as I read I am also marking all of the scripture references in my quad in Green pen, so I am doing PMGreen ;) It has been really fun so far and I have found some super awesome scriptures that I didn't look at before so it's worth it!
Want to hear about a rather uncomfortable experience I had at the animal shelter this week?  Well, Sister Grammer and I were just out doing our thing, walking the dogs, when my dog decided he needed to leave me a present.  No problem, I brought a poop bag, so we are all good.  But then, as he is walking away from doing his business he gets a little cactus stuck in his foot.  So I am trying to keep him still so I can get the cactus out, while not letting him wander away so I loose track of where the poop pile is.  He ends up shaking the cactus off so we're good, I go back to picking up his mess.  Little did I know that he had actually pooped on a little cactus family so I reached my hand down and got a cactus in my thumb for the trouble.  Now the poop bag is pinned to my thumb and I can't pull it out because I am holding a dog leash with the other hand so Sister Grammer has to come rescue me, but our dogs don't really get along.  Her trying to grab on to a not pointy part of the cactus to pull it out of my thumb was kind of like shooting a blow dart at a moving target while tubing on the river.
It's okay though.  There were no casualties.
We worked hard and laughed a lot this week.  You know, laugh when you are tired, laugh when you are sad, laugh when your companion does strange things, laugh when the family you live with is home and the boys are playing outside your room while you study ("So apparently, you want to be a hot dog."), laugh when people don't answer the door and you are imagining all of the reasons why, laugh at how awkward you make things sometimes, laugh because the extreme awkwardness actually turned out to be a good thing (we failed to talk to someone who walked past us while we were contacting a potential investigator in an apartment complex.  We felt really bad about it, so we went back and knocked on the door that he went into, even though he told us that he didn't live there.  Actually ended up giving a Book of Mormon to his girlfriend's mom, it was a really good conversation!), laugh when you do strange things, laugh when planning takes way too long, laugh when Elders are strange, laugh when Elders are really good missionaries and good to work with, laugh when you are trying to remember the name of Batman's butler, but you can't think of it no matter how hard you try, so eventually someone has to google it for you (Alfred!  How could we forget!), laugh when you wear the same outfit two days in a row because you did service most of the first day so you only wore it for like two hours and you aren't going to see any of the same people anyone so who will know? (but, I just told you) and laugh when you just need to be happy :)
I hope you laugh a lot this week!
TMFWD shall be green, I am starting to be partial to that color ;) purple is still my favorite though

love, Sister Emily DeFord

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week 61:10/13/14

October 13, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Happy Birthday Dad!
Contrary to worries, the library is not closed for Columbus day even though there is no school.  The no school is for hunting season or something...because I live in Cheyenne, WY, so we do stuff like that ;)
And...(drumroll please)...I will still be living in Cheyenne, WY for the next 6 weeks!  Plus I am not switching companions!  Sister Grammer and I are quite amused however that every sister companionship in these two zones will be in the midst of training, except us, but we are the sister training leaders so we still fit in ;)
Besides that, I am going to put some long-promised pictures in here and tell you about something that Sister Grammer and I discussed at the beginning of our companionship.  We said we were going to work really really super hard.  In saying that, we also recognized that meant the transfer would probably not be easy.  All transfer long we have struggled to talk with people, teach lessons, and have people keep appointments.
There have been really incredible and amazing and wonderful miracles as well, but it has been hard.  We have been trying to build up and strengthen the work going on here.  Starting just about this last week, we can finally feel some momentum gathering and are so happy and excited for the upcoming transfer.  It still isn't going to be easy, as Elder Holland would say, because salvation never was a cheap experience, but that's okay, the price is already paid.
Love you all!  Remember which way you face ;)
TMFWD shall be BROWN :)
love, Sister Emily DeFord
I have a super cool camera which allows me to chalk graffiti in three places at once! 

AAAAAAHHHHH I am falling!

Awkward District Picture

Sister Grammar in Stealth Mode

Emily in Stealth Mode

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 60: 10/6/14

October 6, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
So I remembered a little bit late, and was reminded, that I did not explain the quote which headed my last week's email.  It did not appear on Google because I am the one who said it ;) Sister Grammer and I were walking down the street doing and talking about missionary things when I thought about how strange some of the things we do are.  Both as a missionary and in life sometimes it feels awkward to do something because we experience the 'spotlight effect' thinking that someone is watching all that we are doing.  While it is basically true that someone is always watching, it isn't continuously the same someone so really these things shouldn't be awkward because in fact "nobody knows the strangeness from beginning to end".
This transfer has been one of meetings.  In the first week we had a mission conference with Elder Cook.  In the second week we had a Mission Leadership Council which was put off to then due to the mission conference.  In the third week we had Zone Conferences.  In the fourth week we had Zone meetings, which normally follow the week after MLC but was put off due to Zone Conference.  In the fifth week we came again to another MLC.  I think that is in part why the time has flown so quickly!
Happy to report however, that even with all of the much driving due to various meetings and transfers, we only went 4 miles over the limit on our car in the month of September.  Hopefully October will be less of a nailbiting month in that respect, even if it does have 31 days!
This week Sister Grammer and I had to squeeze in two exchanges (it was almost three!) and we tried something very daring.  For the first exchange, Sister Grammer was in our area, we saw each other for a couple hours to get some important things done at the end of the exchange and then began another one, with me in our area.  Luckily Sister Grammer keeps really good track of everyone who we even try to visit, so I was able to know what had been done the day before and not double contact people ;)
It was very fun to serve with Sister Hay again.  For both of us this is our fourth transfer in Cheyenne so this was our third exchange together, but the first time in her area.  For unknown reasons, on exchange days it seems impossible to not have most everything fall through, but we did get to meet one of their investigators who they had been really worried about since she is an older lady who had been MIA for several days.  Sister Hay is lots of fun and has a really super good heart.
With Sister Budge here in Corner Stone ward we had some interesting experiences.  In the evening we had someone almost call the police on us because he thought we were going through people's mailboxes.  Actually, we were looking for an address :) He turned out to be a very nice guy and even tried to help us figure out where the house was that we were looking for!  The next morning we decided to try and talk to him in the daytime, and instead were approached by and preached to for an hour and a half by an interesting fellow who was concerned for our souls.  He even said himself, "Well, we've had a nice talk.  Actually, you guys have had a nice listen." Which very accurately sums up the experience.
Last but not least for notable events of the week, it was General Conference!  Even though the people who were going to watch with us at the Merrifield's and Miller's homes fell through, we contained our sadness enough to really really enjoy the whole thing.  Then we were kind of happy when a family brought dinner to us instead of going to their house so we could just sit for a while and continue absorbing all the amazing things we learned.
It is incredible because every time I come with questions, they are answered.  In some way, shape or form, they always are.
A less notable, but very enjoyable experience was doing some chalking in a pedestrian tunnel, with some questions of the soul and scriptures.  Plus, since my mom is really cool, we took some pictures of our work, made possible by my new camera!  More pictures will be coming now :)
TMFWD should it be orange because October has begun? Yes!
love, Sister Emily DeFord
omparing the size of my femur with that of a dinosaur in the Wyoming State Museum :)

This is me, Sister Grammer, Sister Waite, and I can't spell the last sister's name, even phonetically, so Sister T at Zone conference.

What a beautiful bike riding day :) The helmet didn't even mess up my curly hair!

Sister Grammer and I in front of the capital building here in Cheyenne

Capital Building again