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, June 23, 2014

Week 45: 6/23/14

June 23, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
"Why does it have to be follow the spiders?  Why can't it be follow the butterflies!"
So we live in a basement apartment.  Some of you will know that there is a room in my parent's house which I can count on one hand the number of times I have entered it.  Basement bathroom.  Well, Brother Russell mowed the lawn on Saturday, which apparently caused some disruption in the wildlife.  Namely, we battled giant spiders on Saturday night instead of going to bed early like we had planned on.
The first of the battles was the longest and hardest fought.  The spider was hanging out under a heater so we could neither catch him (my idea) or smoosh him (Sister Christensen's idea).  The rest of the heater happens to extend along the whole of my bed, so as he ran away from our lights shining on him we pulled the bed away from the wall.  What came to mind that might solve our spider problem?  Well, maybe if we spray him with hairspray or febreze he will die somehow.  So I kept an eye on the spider while Sister Christensen collected our weapons.  The sprays did serve to make things slippery so he couldn't crawl out of sight and we eventually took care of the problem.  I am a murderer :(
So yeah, three battles later we were tired, still a bit anxious, but our windows and walls were bug killer sprayed and I slept on my bed as an island in the middle of the room.  Just in case.
In other battles.  We had an epic light saber battle with the Russell boys on Monday.  They made light sabers from pool noodles and duct tape and we had a grand every man for himself war :)
We had zone conference in Laramie this week where I saw my mission mama (Sister Zvirzdin) for the last time as she goes home at the end of this transfer!  Holy cow!

How does that happen?  I knew most of the missionaries giving their departing testimonies which made me sad and happy.  Sad to see them leaving, but happy to know that they have worked hard and been "good and faithful servant[s]"
Strangely enough, much of the training by President and Sister Brown at the conference was on marriage and family.  We tend to get lots of marriage advice from all over the place as missionaries (funny, since we aren't looking) but I much prefer that which comes from my leaders, the prophets, and the scriptures!  One thing they mentioned which I know is completely true is that as we go about our missionary business we are, knowingly or unknowingly, making two lists.  One of my lists is what I want my home to be like, the other is what I want in my husband.  I didn't think about the fact that I was doing that, but I definitely have been!
Marriage is on the brain as my dear brother Peter is marrying Sarah Dallas this coming weekend and I am very excited for them!  It is a big decision to make, thank goodness Heavenly Father is willing to help us with those kinds of things ;)
On an exchange this week with Hermana Smith (not to be confused with Sister Smith) we were in an appointment (which went very well, Sister L____ is going to be starting to read the Book of Mormon again) and when we came out to the car there was "something there that wasn't there before!"  Someone smeared Vaseline all over the windshield and under my door handle!

I realized later that the person couldn't have done it on purpose to the missionaries, otherwise there would have been Vaseline under BOTH handles, since we come in twos ;)
We had some of the most amazing member present lessons this week!  On of them with E____ who is the aunt of a ward member who asked us to teach her and she came to church for the first time this week after our first lesson with her on Tuesday. It is awesome too that the ward member who made the referral was at the appointment and had already invited her to church and offered to pick her up. I love that kind of missionary work! 
As well, things continue wonderfully with S___.  I love her so much!  This week we brought a sister from the ward who has been a member only a little longer than I have been a missionary and S___ was so excited to meet "a fellow heathen!"  She refers to herself that way not infrequently, in a cute way ;) It was really good for both of them though, because they have been in similar situations where my understanding of things is limited, having been brought up in an active LDS home.  We also got to watch Elder Bednar's videos on "Patterns of Light", which explain a little more about how we receive revelation/inspiration, with S___ and the R______ family.
We met some new people and are keeping our forks as Charlotte's grandmother would tell her because "the best is yet to come!"
love, Sister Emily DeFord

Week 44: 6/16/14

June 16, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
New transfer, new companion, new house!
So some stories of the week.  Last Monday we went to meet S___ and her girls at the mall to go to the pet store where you can pet the puppies!  We went to Chick-fil-a (however you spell that) for lunch and had a great time!  We texted the Moores to confirm dinner plans, and they had forgotten them, but invited us to meet them at Chick-fil-a for dinner.  Haha as we were walking up I was just saying to Sister Linsenmann how awkward funny it would be if the same people were working as had been there earlier...well, they were!  Luckily no one called us out on it ;)
Later that night we were walking up to the L_____'s house and they saw us coming, ran up and slammed the door and closed the blinds!  Never had that happen before.  However, the L_____ are an active, friendly family and just did it to make us laugh ;)
Tuesday we finished packing and started moving!  Switched Sister Linsenmann for Sister Christensen (they really just traded wards) at the stake center and got going touring the ward for Sister Christensen.  That night we had dinner with the R_______ and L_______ and we had a picnic/Sneetch style roast (but everyone was invited, no matter the number of stars) and a great lesson about the plan of salvation.  With that, forget stars, moon, and sun for comparison, how about order of the menu, one time buffet, all you can eat buffet?  We just ate so that shouldn't have been quite so appealing, but seems like an apt comparison ;)
My mom would know that I thrive on talking something out and getting feedback and working it out.  I may be super excited about the fact that Sister Christensen does that too!  We are excited to go out and work and plan well so even though we will have exchanges going on at least once a week things will still keep pressing forward!
Awesome ward correlation meeting on Thursday which will hopefully bring great things in actual coordination with the ward.  We sometimes get off topic which led to my favorite quote of the day by out ward mission leader "Repentance is a great thing.  If we apply it in our lives we have joy.  If not--you're screwed."
At MLC on Friday the assistants to the president were doing a role play which was taking place in a car.  President Brown paused them to ask them to please not actually have this conversation while driving as it would be distracting.  If they were going to do it in the car, please leave it in park.  He told them to be safe and immediately both reached over their shoulders to fasten imaginary seatbelts!  That is companion unity and exact obedience if I have ever seen it!
It has been a good week, I love you all and I have a few pictures for you!
love, Sister Emily DeFord


Friday, June 13, 2014

Week 43: 6/9/14

June 9, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Sorry about the not very good email last week!  I have learned to type faster but just not fast enough!  Plus maybe I was distracted because I wanted to talk to (email with) my mom and look at cute baby happens :)
Well then, for the big news: I am staying in the Corner Stone ward in Cheyenne for another transfer!  My companion however, is going over to the Cheyenne East stake, so close and yet so far.  My new companion will be Sister Christensen who I have spent a couple of hour long car rides with so she isn't completely unknown to me.  Funny thing about being a missionary though, just because you aren't being transferred, doesn't mean you don't have to move.  So I am packing again!  New start with a new companion right?
Well for the past week we have done lots of things.  Generally I resort to using both my planner (things that actually happened) and my journal (how I felt about things that happened) in order to report on said happenings.  However, having transitioned to a new planner, we shall have to rely on journal and memory, so mostly how I felt about the week.
First off, I was very sad that my black pen with which I usually write in my journal inexplicably quit working.  However, I have switched over to blue gel pen and am quite happy with that!  Also, it is amazing how activities tend to occur at the same time and for some reason, though I keep trying to disprove this, there is a limit to how many things we can do/events we can be at/people we can see within a certain space of time.  However, we did get to go to one of B____ and S_____'s baseball games this week, which they have been inviting us to for weeks and seems to always be the thing which doesn't fit in the time we have.
As we found the baseball fields, we really had no idea which one they were on.  I told Sister Linsenmann I was hoping that B____ and S_____'s mom would see the two strange people who were wearing skirts to a baseball game and come find us.  Sure enough, as soon as we called her she told us she could see us and we got to watch the first two innings!
As a missionary I have come to really enjoy both praying myself, even in groups, and hearing other people pray!  It is an amazing thing :) My favorite is when someone talks to Heavenly Father honestly, instead of with their 'prayer mode' on like sometimes happens when we pray in groups.  To some extent that is understandable, because there is a difference in what we would share in a personal, private prayer than with other people, but we should still be honest and thoughtful even when we pray aloud with others.
We had a great Relief Society activity this week.  The kind where we could do the project and sit and visit at the same time and some great fellowshipping went on!
One of my favorite parts of this week, it is a little long.  One of our investigators was going to watch a baptism on Friday, but she ended up not being able to go so instead we went contacting some of the people we don't know in the ward.  We met N____ and S____ (mom and Daughter) who are two less active members.  N____ at first said it was due to health problems.  S____ then mentioned that they may be looking into other churches.  They have been studying the Bible and watching some televangelists I guess.  I had the opportunity to teach about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in five minutes (something which we have been encouraged to practice and learn how to do, we have been trying and it worked in beautifully!)  N____ was nodding right along agreeing to everything and I hesitated only a moment before the actual restoration part, and she nodded with that too!  They have not been reading the Book of Mormon, and S____ made a big deal about looking for God's word and God's word only.  I affirmed my testimony that the Book of Mormon is also the word of God.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God.  The Bible is the word of God.  There is no competition between them, and no conflict because they support each other as they both testify of Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world.  That is the important point, not the book, but that Jesus is the Christ.  He is.
They both asked for Book of Mormons to be able to read it again and try it out.  It happened to be pouring buckets outside, and we only had one Book of Mormon, so we ran to the car through the rain and got soaked, but it was totally worth it :)
Don't forget TMFWD!  This week it shall be.....gray!
love, Sister Emily DeFord
Sister Linsenmann and I!  Did I send that already?
Black for last week's TMFWD
The Wheatland sisters made Elder Baddley a grave cake (he dies tomorrow), complete with scary baby head and hands that Hermana Cropper and I have found at the thrift store while doing service
Sister Linsenmann and I both gots curly hair!  Her all the time, me because we were out in the rain
And crazy faces! 
Sister Linsenmann, you are being transferred, but you will still be in Cheyenne for Frontier Days!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Week 42: 6/2/14

June 2, 2014
Cheyenne, WY (and Wheatland and Chugwater)
Funny thing about getting behind.  I have spent most of my time on the computer this week in catching up and writing a lengthy email to my mission president to report on exchanges over the past two weeks because I didn't get to write to him last week either due to above mentioned exchanges.  As well as talking to my mom which makes me happy.  (Editor's note to anyone concerned that Emily might be breaking the rules:-0  we were not "talking", we were emailing back and forth) And writing a good length email to Elder Oldham who had nothing to respond to from last week!  Plus I was lucky enough to get emails from both of my older brothers in the past two weeks and lots of baby pictures and dad emails, so now, finally, I am letting the rest of you know that I am still alive!  I know you were wondering.  My companion is also still alive, though we had an ER visit last week because of some allergy issues which ended my first ever exchange early, but everyone is okay from.  My second exchange was on Tuesday and the complicated switcheroo-ing of exchanges got me out of both email and district meeting for the week.  Everyone else was able to have at least one of each of those however, so I am happy to be the one to miss. 
Fun facts about Wheatland and Chugwater from exchanges there:
Wheatland is in the Guiness book of world records for having the most churches per capita.  It also has the most bard per capita.
Chugwater (a town of 200 people) got its name from the sound a buffalo makes when it falls off a cliff into a river.  The Indians who used to live there apparently didn't have things to hunt the buffaloes with, so they would chase them off a cliff.  Or so I hear.
Fun facts about doing exchanges with the Capital Hill sisters: it is absolutely impossible, despite my best efforts, to have an exchange actually last for 24 hours.  We did get close on our last one though.  At least I know the Lord blesses us as we strive to be obedient!
I am really going to have to do some pictures and stuff soon!  But speaking of striving for obedience, I have to send this and be off to not go over my computer time!
I love you and have a good week and TMFWD is going to be black!
love, Sister Emily DeFord