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, September 30, 2014

Week 59: 9/29/14

September 29, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
"...Nobody knows the strangeness from beginning to end"
Would it be bad to only write about things from yesterday because they are the easiest to remember and really cool things happened?  Well, I guess that is what we will start with and maybe bounce around :) (I admire all of you wonderful people who can give me a rundown of the week from Monday to the end, someday maybe I will be like you)
Mostly I am just REALLY excited about what happened on Sunday (yesterday).  We had set up a lesson with L___ who has been what I like to call, a progressing potential investigator ;) We were going to meet at Brother Jones' house which was a crazy idea that Sister Grammer had and we decided to run with.  First of all, he actually came!  We were not stood up, which I never really think is going to happen, but often try to prepare myself emotionally for.
As we all sat down, I realized a slight problem.  We had gathered 5 people in that room, the missionaries, Brother J____, Sister L____ (they are siblings), and L___.  2 of the most longwinded people I know, and 2 of the most opinionated people I know.  Needless to say, the person (you can guess at who) who fits both categories talked the most, the missionaries talked very little.  Still, some very excellent things came out in that meeting, and L___ is still willing to meet with us again so I'm thinking it was a success ;)
One of my favorite parts was when Sister L____ shared her testimony so simply and straightforwardly.  She spent a long time looking for the truth, didn't find it until a few years ago and she is in her 70s now.  Now that she has finally got it, there is nothing which can dissuade her from it.  She knows her Heavenly Father and His love for her.
Other uber cool experience from yesterday.  We went to try to meet the family of a man, N__, who we met and gave a Book of Mormon to a few weeks ago.  It was evening time and there were only lights on upstairs in their apartment, so we weren't sure if they would answer but we went for it anyway.  N__ answered almost immediately after we knocked and invited us in!  We were able to sit and talk with them about God and the gospel and why we have the Book of Mormon.  N__'s wife doesn't speak English, but we promised to get a Spanish copy and they both are looking forward to reading it.  They are a sweet little family with two and a half kids (isn't that what Brother Hales always talked about the average family size being, or was it 3 and a half?) who have only been involved with church and things like that in the past couple of years, and so are eager to learn.  We discussed also how the only way they can really know about the things which we say are to pray and ask God.  That is the way to discern truth in a world where every is more than happy to tell you their own opinion.  One of my favorite things about them is that they had questions, especially P_______.  She sure isn't going into anything blind, and I am so grateful for her thoughts and to be able to see the things which she has pondered and already learned from the scriptures and had confirmed through the Spirit.
Okay, I can't only talk about Sunday, because Saturday night was the General Women's Broadcast and that was AMAZING!  As well as the sweet missionary experience we were able to have with Sister Webber at Subway which I am sure was for her more than for us, but once again I am grateful to have participated :)
It is very nice to sit and hear inspired messages, and also know that my family is hearing the same messages.  (okay, not the brothers and the dad, because this was a women's meeting, but you know what I mean:) )
This week also I went to the dentist and had the nicest hygienist ever.  Then I went and ate popcorn (good thing I didn't need fluoride!) and watched "Meet the Mormons"!  It was a fun movie and has convinced me that I want to move to Costa Rica ;) Here in Cheyenne it will be coming out in the theater October 10th and sticking around for a week.  Is it going to Tri-Cities at all?  (Side note: N__ used to work in Hermiston and sometimes in Kennewick!  Woah, we probably passed each other on the street in the pre-mission life or something;) ) The beginning was super funny and the rest was pretty enjoyable.  If you like I'm a Mormon videos then you will like the movie ;)
The new Mormon Message about the to do list is really good as well and I think one that most moms (nudge, mom) (nudge Heather;) ) should watch, repeatedly.  Of course, most moms are so full of doing what the Lord needs them to get done that internet videos don't always fit in.
Love you all!  TMFWD should be pink this week ;)
love, Sister Emily DeFord

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 58: 9/22/14

September 22, 2014
Cheyenne, WY

Today is one of those days when my fingers have just forgotten how to type, so hopefully this all comes out in good English, but if not, ask Heather what it says ;)

Have I mentioned how much I love riding a bike to get somewhere?  Seriously, love it love it and not that I don't love my wards I have served in, but why was I not put in a biking area?  I should be careful what I wish for though, winter is coming up ;)

We had some excellent riding and teaching and testifying and talking and learning and listening and loving this week.  There are two stories in particular which I would like to share though.

On Wednesday we were on exchanges with the Eastridge sisters.  Sister Kertamus came here with me, and we talked about how she is struggling with, but trying to improve on, talking with everyone who we come across, wherever we are.  So throughout the afternoon we worked on that and as we walked past someone we wouldn't just walk past, but tried to talk with them.  It was a good experience, but I think it really prepared us for the opportunity which we were given in the evening.

As we were driving to a certain home we came up behind a car which stopped at a green light.  That was strange, but it turned out his car had died.  We looked for jumping cables in our car but didn't have any and neither did he.  So we decided we would pull off of the road and then come back and push his car out of the way at least, then he could call someone to pick him up.  As we parked our car, he was able to actually let his roll backwards down the slight hill, and turn it off of the road.  So we really did nothing to help him at all, but he was so grateful!  And then we were able to talk with him about being missionaries, and it turns out that he knew some missionaries growing up, but at the time was not really able to learn about what they had to say because his family was against it.  However, now as an adult he has a chance to consider it again and make his own decision!  I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows His children so well and never loses track of them but will bring them to exactly the right place that they need to be, even with a broken down car.

Next story.  On Saturday we went to contact K____.  She happens to live in one of those houses where there is always someone new.  She wasn't feeling well that day, but instead we met C_____ and gave him a Book of Mormon.  Since we have been working on what to share after giving someone a Book of Mormon, so they can really understand what it is about and what it means for them, we were able to follow that up with sharing with him the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, how it has been taught through all ages to all people, and has been restored in its fullness today.  I'm not sure that he followed all of the things that we shared, but he definitely felt the Spirit.

Actually, we were talking about prophets like Noah, and we asked C_____, how do you think you would have recognized Noah as a prophet.  He said he would have to go meet him and talk with him and the Spirit would come from Noah to himself, letting him know that this was a prophet of God and his message was true.

So as C_____ had felt the Spirit so strong while we talked, he wanted his brother to feel it also, so he invited us to come back the next day and he would have his brother there to talk with us.

On Sunday we shared with J____ what we had shared with C_____, and were able to testify to them that exactly what C_____ had thought about recognizing a prophet was true!  Here was the Book of Mormon, the fruits of the prophet Joseph Smith, and by reading, and praying, about this book a person can feel the Spirit and know that it is of God and that God does call prophets today, that there is one on Earth today named Thomas Monson.  They both agreed to take that action, and as they do so and it proves true, to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God.

This is truth and it does enliven and enrich our lives!  I just wanted to share those stories because these people are amazing, and they are loved children of God who I have been blessed to meet at this time and share this beautiful truth with.  There is really nothing better :)

love, Sister Emily DeFord

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Week 57: 9/15/14

September 15, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Happy Birthday Michael!! (Yesterday) Is 17!  And Happy Birthday Heather!  Who turned 24 last year, contrary to my original calculations, and is now 25!!  Ha I will spoil all of the age secrets ;) Next up comes papa who will be a full half century old!
This week was great great great.  We talked to gangsters, and bought bikes, and rode bikes, and had snow, and shared the Restoration via hymns, and ran into the Elders (actually, they ran into us) and looked for sloths, and met neighbors! and amazing lessons and nailpolish from the Elders and breakfast and football and much much more.  But I will try to elaborate on some of these ;)
One 8:30 at night (really, can be the best time or a very inconvenient time, but we have found that as we plan and then work diligently though our 8 o'clock plans often fall through, our time is not wasted) we left someone's house and saw some people outside on the opposite corner.  They were going inside and out of the house, switching in and out of a car, the way they were talking and acting they totally appeared to be gangsters.  So we talked about it, decided neither of us was getting a "no, run away!" feeling, so we had better go and talk to them.  When we got over there, the car had left and two guys were left outside.  One of them waved us off, telling us he wasn't interested, but we asked if he knew anyone who might be and the other guy said we could come over and talk to him for a minute!  It was awesome, Phil is actually looking into churches right now so we gave him a pamphlet and the church address and our number.  Always talk to the gangsters!
So, I mentioned I was thinking about buying a bike.  Great way to contact someone right?  Well it was!  Different than the one we thought of before, we were driving down the street and saw these two nice bikes out just calling to us.  So we stopped and talked to D__.  He actually isn't interested, but we got to have a great conversation in the midst of buying the bikes :) So it wasn't quite on a whim, because I was thinking about it already, right?
Then it snowed the next day!  And was very cold!  And we had to learn how to work the thermostat.  Then it melted the next day and has been very nice, so it is all good :)
So then riding the bikes was super my favorite thing ever because we get to talk to people all along the way and I just love it a lot!  Plus, we can put the bikes on our bike rack to take them more to the middle of our area so we never have to ride up the big hill to our house which I would not like to do.  I am a wimp on big hills.  Luckily, we don't have too many of those ;)
We sang a hymn for every principle in the restoration lesson while cleaning windows at a less active's house ;)
These new Elders in the ward really are getting out and working!  Only trouble is, when they show up at a house at which we are having a lesson...we will get it all worked out!  Then the Torrington Elders for some reason had nailpolish in their commissary box so they distributed it among the sisters at district meeting.  One thing I never thought to hear and Elder say, "Hey, we have some nailpolish for you!"
We were able to teach and preach and work this week with A_____, who came to the church for a tour!  And we read the Book of Mormon with :) and with V______ who is continuing to progress and best of all, they are progressing as a family which is the best that I could even hope for!  As well that we finally were able to have an appointment with J____ and E_______ (the man who looked at Sister Christensen and I across the parking lot and said that we glowed).  He could still feel that same Spirit as we talked, now to help him understand that he can have that with him all of the time!  It is called the gift of the Holy Ghost ;) or the baptism of fire which follows the baptism of water, both administered by proper authority.
So I am going to keep floating (or riding;)  ) through this week by the traction of the load I choose!  Hopefully the week is good for everyone at home who I "knew in the pre-mission life" as well ;)
TMFWD stripes!
love, Sister Emily DeFord
p.s. I forgot that I have a totally awesome FHE idea for you.  You should watch the Mormon Message "A Book of Mormon Story" :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 56: 9/8/14

September 8, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Even though I emailed on Wednesday, it seems like two weeks worth of things have happened since then.  Maybe because being a missionary works this funny magic on you.  The masterful ability I had to not feel guilty while doing absolutely nothing previous to my mission has been wiped out.  Amazingly, when you don't spend time doing nothing but instead are always doing something then two weeks worth of nothing doings (and then some) can happen in 5 days!
Wednesday we had an awkward experience.  Ha!  Who am I kidding?  We have an awkward experience every day!  Hmm.  President Brown has asked us to email him about how we ourselves are doing, something about a progressing investigator (or progress in the area) and a miracle every week.  Maybe I should start including an awkward moment for the week as well :)
Okay, here I will tell you about my awkward week :)
Back to Wednesday.  We had tried to reschedule and appointment with T____ from Tuesday to Wednesday, but she hadn't replied to our suggestion to do it at 4.  So, around 3 we sent her another text, as if she had responded, and said great we will see you at 4!  Aren't we clever? ;) As we were driving to our 4 o'clock 'appointment' who do we see but T____, walking her girls home from school!  They are still a good ways from home, ah!  What do we do?
Pulling up next to them we asked if we could still meet that afternoon and she said yes, we will meet you at the house!  Woohoo!  Also, it was nice because sitting outside their house was the first time we actually got to take a deep breath and go over what we would be doing for the rest of the week.  We just hadn't stopped since Sister Grammer arrived so that was nice.  We aren't planning to stop either!  This is going to be a transfer of miracles!
We did have a great lesson with T____ though, and she downloaded the gospel library app on her phone which even has the scripture stories that she remembers from when she was a kid!  Excellent!  She downloaded the same thing on her daughters' tablet so they can have it too :)
We also tried to have district meeting on our own on Wednesday, because no one told us it had been bumped to Thursday for the week so we showed up and no one was there, but that was okay since otherwise we weren't going to have lunch time that day.
More awkward!  On our way home from district meeting (on Thursday) we got a message from someone who just told us he was a member of the LDS church and asked us to call him back, so we did!  And he told us his daughter needed some help in Cheyenne.  Which began a merry chase of trying to find out who the transient Bishop is and how to get ahold of him.  What did we get for asking 3 different people?  Three different answers!  Eventually it was all straightened out though and correct contact was made :)
We helped some people with packing and moving and did some teaching and finding and discussing and learning the gospel.  Really, if I haven't said it enough already I am so excited for this work!  I am so blessed this transfer to have a companion who is just as excited as me for the same things.  We both know that it is still going to be a lot of difficult work, but I can take that because I also know that the Lord's promises are sure.  This is for real and the more people I meet and talk to, the more time I spend in the scriptures, the more certain I become of the light and truth of the message that we share.
Heavenly Father really does love us and have a plan for us as His children.  He wants us to become like Him and to be happy which is why we are here on earth, to learn those things.  Our return to Him would never be possible without the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  We have been blessed with commandments and laws to keep and covenants to make (to learn, while here, some of the laws of heaven) but those would be useless if the Atonement had not been accomplished.  That is the good news, the gospel, that Jesus did live and accomplish that victory over sin and death and that he does live.
The rest of the story is that, since those principles and ordinances of the gospel now have meaning due to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the authority to enact those covenants and ordinances truly in the name of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth once more by a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to return to Him.  Full circle.
What has added more to this week of awesome awkwardness (this is more on the awesome side) was being able to attend a mission conference on Saturday which was presided over by Elder Quentin L. Cook, a modern day member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  There were a lot of great things shared in that meeting.  One thing that Elder Cook reiterated was that "you are successful when you invite, regardless of the outcome" and he said we could quote him as saying that ;) Something I thought was very neat though, was when he reminded us that we are exactly where we need to be.  He, along with other members of that Quorum, assign missionaries to their missions by revelation.  He said that often though, one of the most important parts of assigning a missionary, along with what mission they serve in, is to assign them to a specific mission president and his wife.  That is something which I find to be true, and I am grateful to be serving in the Colorado Fort Collins Mission with President and Sister Brown.  For now, there is no better place to be.
TMFWD (how did ThMFWD go?) shall be white this week!
love, Sister Emily DeFord

Week 55: 9/3/2014

September 3, 2014
Cheyenne, WY
Hey, September started!  I'm emailing, but today isn't Monday.  Holidays, what can you do?  Good news for Monday, the L_______ came back in town!  Just in time to say goodbye to Sister Christensen because...this isn't Tuesday either!  That was transfer day.  We drove down to Loveland and I got to see some of my favorite sisters in the whole world!  Sister Carbno is awesome and just leaving Longmont for Fort Collins, Sister Smith, Hermana Snow, Hermana England!  Sister Cardon, Sister Swain, I could go on but basically these are amazing sisters and I am so inspired by them!  (I am inspired by other favorite sister too, but Heather wasn't around on Tuesday)  Maybe would have taken pictures, but my camera had an unfortunate accident so stay tuned on that.  Anywho, Sister Christensen was transferred down to Boulder, and I picked up Sister Grammer to come back up to Cheyenne with me!  Then we had a crazy afternoon because we had appointments scheduled who didn't cancel so we drove all around town with her stuff in the car and bike on the back until 6ish when we finally did have one cancel so we could finally take Sister Grammer grocery shopping and drop stuff off at home.
Phew, so that is why I am emailing on Wednesday.
Going back in time before all the transfer craziness.....holy cow that was a long time ago!  We had an interesting experience meeting a man named E_.  We were prompted to tract his street.  Apparently it was the first day off he had in two weeks and the only time we could have caught him at home, he also told us he had prayed for someone to talk to a few days before that.  So we were prayed to his house!  Yet he didn't want to listen to what we had to say.  I am still puzzled about that, but glad we followed the prompting anyway.
We are helping a less active sister get ready to move, we did some weeding on Tuesday and she gave us a homework assignment to find some newspaper for packing breakables on Thursday.  We gave her a homework assignment to read 3 Nephi 11 ;)
In going to another less active's house, we got there while her daughter was there who isn't a member and got to hear M_____ (who is less active) testify to her daughter about the church.  Way cool experience!  Funny thing is, last time we went to her house her son's family was there and we got to talk to them as well.  M_____ is also the grandma of V______, who is going to be baptized this month!
V______ and her mom are doing wonderfully!  We got to have dinner and a show, I mean, lesson with them this week ;) She really enjoyed coming to church and Primary and we are so excited to see what continues to happen in their family :)
The show part came in when there were a ton of ants which came into the house with one of the girls and V______ ended up with ants in her pants and there was great fun had by E____ (6) and K____ (2) in smashing the ants with shoes.  Quote mom, "It's just a tiny ant, careful, you are going to hurt the shoe!"
We found the cutest little kittens outside on their own and had to take them to the animal shelter.  Then the next day when we went back for service at the animal shelter we found them and played with them some more :) I wish we could have kept them!
We were supposed to have a lesson with another less active family and I am not sure if she forgot, but they were in the middle of housecleaning when we got there so we helped them with that instead.  We set another appointment with them which T____ actually remembered about and I am glad we were able to serve first so that we could show them that we really do care about them, not just rallying them up into the church.  Why is that important?  Because we really do care about them!  And Heavenly Father cares about them!  And the reason we invite them to church is because we want the best for them and that comes in a gospel-centered gospel living family. 
So it has been a good week.  As Sister Plenert and Hermana Vargha would say, I think we fulfilled our purpose :) Ready or not for this new transfer, here it comes!  "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear" doesn't necessarily mean that what you are prepared for will happen, but "come what may and love it" is also a good quote.
I love you and hope you have a good week!  How about ThMFWD instead this week?  Green tomorrow?
love, Sister Emily DeFord