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.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Week 50: 7/28/14

July 28, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Could forgetfulness be a godly quality?
Seriously, I am thinking about writing it in my Preach My Gospel in the Christlike attributes chapter, with D&C 58:42 next to it for the scripture reference. 
"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more." (italics added)
So if God can forget things, as this verse implies, and one of the roles of the Holy Ghost is to bring all things to our remembrance, could he not also do the opposite, a "stupor of thought" if you will, to suppress our remembrance?
Remember our miraculous morning last week when we placed 4 copies of the Book of Mormon and had a couple of lessons?  Well, there was one woman who was not so happy about us knocking on her door that day.  In fact, as we told her about how the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to bless our families and asked if she was interested in that she said, "I am interested in that, but not from any Mormons!"  So we moved on from that one.
Flash forward to this week (in just a minute you will see how this all connects).  We go back to contact the potential investigators from last week, but no one is available at the time, so we think why not tract one of the buildings we skipped last week in the bit of time we about that one?  We know we have talked to someone in this building at a different time (lives where a member used to live) so we decide to simply do the doors on either end of the building.  First door, no answer, second door, answered! the same woman who flatly rejected us last week.  I had lost my voice that day, but was speechless anyway and preparing to get yelled at.  She said, "Are you those same Mormon ladies from a few days ago?  You were just here!  Here now I'll take your book.  I'll see what it is.  There must be some reason about it for you to be coming around again."  She did take the Book of Mormon I was carrying, I have no idea what we said, she closed the door and we walked away dumbfounded.
Want to know another crazy part about it?  We had the same conversation last week about tracting the end doors of the building to skip the person we had talked to in the middle.  That is how we met her the first time.  How could we not remember having that same conversation?
"But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget" (D&C 9:9 italics added).
The Lord knows His servants.  We would NOT have gone back to her house on purpose.  He also knows all His children and apparently she needed a second chance to accept the Book of Mormon.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it, forgetting can be inspired.
Finished off with Frontier Days this week, yay!  Back to normal life :)
I've got to say though Ariel, I'm not sure no voice was worth it for the legs. (Editor's Note: She has been sick and had lost her voice for several days. She's feeling better and her voice is coming back )
Love you and hope all is going well and continues to do so!
love, Sister Emily DeFord
p.s. TMFWD will be....purple!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week 49: 7/21/14

July 21, 2014
Cheyenne, WY for another 6 weeks!
Yep, staying in Cheyenne :) And keeping my companion!  So life is good.  President Brown told us recently that if we were exactly the same as our companion, then he made a mistake.  Sister Christensen and I are not exactly the same, but we work well together and balance each other out in several aspects :) If we were the same then we could only get half as much done!
Did you know: an investigator standing you up can turn into a miracle?  Soon you will!  We had an appointment scheduled with R_____ on Monday night, but she wasn't there and no one answered the phone.  Somewhat disappointed, we decided to walk and see who we could meet, since our next set appointment was just down the street, but not for another hour.  We did walk and talked to several people, but not much luck, then we ended up back at Rachel's neighbor's house just in time to catch her family there.  They had just gotten back from a meeting to help at Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) and we only knew they were home because they happened to be outside still!  Perfect timing!  But wait, it gets better...
In the middle of the lesson with R_____, neighbor V____ walks in.  R_____'s parents say V____ doesn't want to stay in the living room with us, we are talking deep religion and stuff, but V____ does decide to stay!  So we quick review the first part of the lesson, and she is there in time for the Restoration!  V____ thinks her husband M___ would be pretty interested in this stuff, but she only got to hear about it because R_____ was late and we didn't leave the area!  See?  Miracles :)
Last exchange, for the last week of the transfer, with Sister Nolin!  Now we are done, but now it is a new transfer so we can start over... :) Upon re-entering Platte County (the whole county is her area) Sister Nolin says "Everything the light touches is our area"  "But what about that shadowy place"  "That's Cheyenne, we never go there"  Haha we had a great exchange and laughed a lot :)
At district meeting this week, Elder Young shared a story about a time when he and Elder Marble placed 5 Books of Mormon in 35 minutes, not tracting, but being led to exactly where those books needed to go. Inspired by that, Sister Christensen and I were daily planning and had an open hour and a half in which we planned to place 5 Books of Mormon and teach 2 other lessons. Step by step one or the other of us was inspired with exactly where we needed to go and we did in fact meet the people who needed those Books of Mormon and we did have 2 other lessons! It was an incredible experience and when our time was up my heart was filled with gratitude for being able to be part of something like that!
Now let's make this whole next transfer be that way :)
Flashbacks to high school and marching band this week as we parked cars for CFD and walked in a parade!  The whole pancake breakfast thing is really something that we should adopt at home.  Also met a Rabbi and a Mormon Jew this week, so it has been fun :)
Oh and D____ came to the fireside last night!  And was not completely overwhelmed by the Mormon jokes and references!  Definitely need to teach the plan of salvation this week though, there was a lot referred to about that.  Oh and R_____ came to church!  He hasn't been in oh about 28 years, Yes!  :)
So it has been a happy week, I hope yours has been as well :)
love, Sister Emily DeFord
p.s. TMFWD is green!
p.p.s. Gotta love the APs and their responses to our miracle finding day! (attached texts)

Cheyenne Frontier Days Parade

Cheyenne Frontier Days


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week 48: 7/14/14

July 14, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Adam's Birthday!
I had all of these notes written in my planner of things that I wanted to say and do while I was on the computer, and then I left my planner at home!  The best laid plans of mice and men...often go astray.  That is probably a good theme for this week :) Going astray or changing the plans isn't necessarily a bad thing though!
First of all, due to various situations mostly outside of our control, my companion and I were only actually with each other for about half of the week!  This began with an exchange on Tuesday morning when Sister Hay came over to work with me in the good ole' Corner Stone ward.  We were able to get some good work done and find some new potential investigators!  One of them we actually had a lesson with, and Sister Hay volunteered that we could help M____ learn English!
Wait a second.  We do not speak Spanish.
Sister Christensen isn't sure she believes that I am not seeking out Spanish people, we have met three of them in the last week or so and there really aren't that many in Cheyenne.  Plus we don't have any Spanish missionaries to refer them too :( However, since I served with the Hermanas before, I was able to say a closing prayer in Spanish which reinvolved M____ in the lesson so she could feel the Spirit, because her husband speaks more English and had moved the conversation beyond her level of understanding.  So that was one miracle!
Wednesday and Thursday Sister Christensen and I got to be together and we had one of those days when literally everything falls through.  At those times I have to wonder: is there something we really should be doing instead of whatever we planned but we aren't getting the message so Heavenly Father is trying to make it very clear?  I am not sure :) However I feel like I have been improving in my ability to recognize and heed and have the courage to follow promptings from the Spirit.
That is huge, because in the world we live in, who really does know what is going on?  I would rather be in a habit of heeding promptings from an omniscient Being who wants the best for me, before things get any crazier out there.
I also gave two trainings at two different zone meetings this week, and the most memorable thing I said in the meeting apparently wasn't even in my training ;) Which also didn't go really how I planned it, it was much better! 
Exchange number two with Sister Jarvis!  And because we had planned on doing quite a bit of walking that day, of course it rained all afternoon :) We did meet an awesome new potential investigator, M____, who was on the phone but invited us to come back on Saturday at noon.  Sister Jarvis is a great sister, she is very bold but not judgmental in any way.  Which is good, because otherwise the fact that we broke into a house would be very awkward.
Luckily, it was the house that Sister Jarvis actually lives in, because she broke her shoe and needed some new ones but we didn't have a key.  So...we pushed up the window from the outside, popped open the screen and I climbed in and went around to unlock the front door.  Just like we were pros ;)
The next morning we met back up at the church, Sister Christensen and I took a few deep breaths as we waited there for half an hour and then, exchange number three!  With Sister Plenert, headed back over to M____'s house where she talked about her and her husband looking for a church and right now just looking to learn more about Jesus Christ.  It just so happens that is what we are here to help with!  She seems really open to learning and wants to do it as a family which is perfect!  It is awesome too, because we met her looking for a different potential investigator who used to live there, who I hadn't planned on visiting with Sister Jarvis until it popped in my head and we went :) Yay for Heavenly Father knowing where we should be!
On Sunday, we finally exchanged back for reals just before ward council and church.  Both of us very tired, but feeling like we accomplished a lot.  Then, in Relief Society we had to all gather in the hallways of the church building because the tornado sirens were going.  If one is going to happen, I think the church is the safest place to be!
Sunday was also Elder Oldham's birthday and he is now 20!
So this has been a long week, a good week, and I am excited for an even better week!
TMFWD: white :)
love, Sister Emily DeFord
Birthday Countdown


More Exchanges

Hail from the Tornado

All Happy, Safe and Sound

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Week 47: 7/7/14

July 7, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Funny story.  Sister Christensen and I had dinner with a family last Monday who have two little boys and a little girl.  We were just talking before dinner, when a small arm goes around my waist and Lucas says, "I want to sit by this one!" and looks up making eyes at me.  I look over at my companion who is sitting 3 feet away to see if she is seeing what is happening, just in time to see Bowen (who is 3) lean around and kiss Sister Christensen!  My shoulders were shaking so hard from trying not to laugh out loud :) As soon as we left the house and started driving I had to pull over almost immediately because I was laughing too hard to drive!  Just an hour in the life of a missionary, you never know what to expect!
This week I had some interesting self-reflective conversations with myself (who else) and am learning more all the time about what I am doing well and where I can still work on!  Just today we got an email from President Brown telling us we will be having a mission conference with Elder Cook in September which we have two months to prepare for.  I am sure going to be preparing!  I would much rather receive further guidance about how we can elevate the mission more, than be chastised for not doing things we have already been told.  The Colorado Fort Collins Mission has been improving as a whole though.  That was something we saw at zone conference and discussed at our last MLC Mission Leader Conference?).  As Sister Carbno would say though, we can't get comfortable!
Speaking of MLC, the drive down to Loveland was rather uneventful.  On the drive back up we detoured to find a less active who lives half an hour or so outside of Cheyenne, but in our ward boundaries.  We did not find the person, but we did see some interesting wildlife.  (Though no bears in the part that said Bear Crossing-bummer!) There was a vulture sitting on a fence post.  Then there was a hawk flying over the road.  We both looked up to see what he was carrying in his claws when all of a sudden he dropped a prairie dog right in front of us!  Every time this comes up (surprising how often that happens) I can still see the poor prairie dog's little feet running through the air as he fell.
Our investigators keep moving/going out of town, but we did have two cool experiences for giving people copies of the Book of Mormon this week!  One of them went to Eddy, who just happened to be at the home of a less active member we were visiting.  He is a truck driver and from California so probably we won't get to see him again, but that is okay!  He did offer that if I was ever feeling brave that I could call him up to ride across the country in his truck...probably won't happen, but it was a nice offer!  He mentioned that one bummer about his work is that he meets all these great people who he probably won't ever see again, and I completely know how he feels.
Some of the people we meet we will get to see again however, like Doris!  We almost walked past her sitting outside, but then we asked about her flowers and she told us that she loves to watch General Conference!  She has been friends with some LDS people over the years, and been to church a few times with them but something has held her back from joining.  We found out that she has never gotten a Book of Mormon!  Well that was quickly fixed and we will see what happens!
Oh yes, and it was the 4th of July this week!  We watched other people set off fireworks and I studied 1 Nephi 13 which is a prophecy of the discovery and colonization of America, built on a foundation of freedom, particularly religious freedom, which prepared the way for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ!  How super cool!
TMFWD this week is black!
love, Sister Emily DeFord
Pictures:  A taste of our tour of the boots!  Plus a train and actually cooking!


Friday, July 4, 2014

Week 46:6/30/14

 June 30, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
First of all, congratulations to Peter and Dallas!  This week all kinds of people got to hear that you were getting married :) That is a HUGE event and I'm proud of you for making a big decision like that :) Happy honeymooning!
While all that was going on I was: cleaning the church; helping someone move; texting everyone in the ward because the Elders (who were supposed to help us do the move) were sick; eating pizza because where we finished the move was conveniently near Little Caesars; doing weekly planning; talking to all kinds of people about all kinds of things and following up!  And trying to figure out at which point of the day I could say that my brother is officially married ;)
In other news.  We experienced battle with the bugs part 2:

Ew.  Look at that guy.  Apparently he is called either a wind scorpion or a sun spider.  Apparently he is a great bug eater.  He freaked me out by crawling in the bathroom window and whatever else he is he is very gross.
This morning we took a detour on the way to email in order to finally see the Corner Stone after which our ward is named!  Oh look!  There it is!

What?  It is just a little rock?  Oh well, mission accomplished.
Let's see, what else?  We attended two zone meetings this week (Sister Christensen and I are the Sister Training Leaders for both zones in Cheyenne so we gave trainings at both meetings) and missed seeing the funnel clouds on the North side of Cheyenne just before we went the north side of work outside ;) No worries, we were fine.  And there was a giant teepee which I'm sure would have been good shelter!  [See pictures at the end for service]
Got dropped (very cheerfully in fact) by some investigators which just motivates me to go find new investigators, and did more following up ;) Actually, we drove past this one alley of trailers the other day while we were looking for something else, and I decided that I wanted to tract it.  We planned to do that Thursday before ward correlation because it wasn't too far from where our meeting is held at.  We start down the alley and aren't really getting to talk to anyone.  Then a man named J___ opens the door.  We talk with him a bit and testify and offer him a Book of Mormon.  He sees the book and says, "Oh!  I have read some of this before!"  Apparently he used to live in Minnesota and somehow acquired the book there, but not everything made it to Wyoming when he moved, especially his books.  So we have an appointment to teach him on Tuesday!  Plus, we managed to be on time to ward correlation :) Which was a nice since we have a hard time with that... :)
All in all it has been a good week and I am looking forward to another good one!  Since I filled the role of backup speaker for Sacrament meeting this week, I should be safe for a few more weeks right?  Hopefully you are too :)
love, Sister Emily DeFord
TMFWD!  I have been so bad at this recently, and my apologies!  How about stripes tomorrow?