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, 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