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