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, February 16, 2015

Week 79: 2/16/15 Final Weekly Report

February 16, 2015
Longmont, CO

Over this past week I have hugged and said goodbye to more people than I did when I left for my mission one and a half years ago.  On Sunday I was given the privilege to speak for a few minutes in Sacrament meeting, and I looked out on a ward which I know far better than my own.  They have invited me into their homes, shared their stories of how they met and where they're from and how they have applied the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives, and I love them more than I thought that I could.

A lot of people have asked over the past week, "what was the best part of your mission?" and "what was the most difficult?" so I thought I would answer those questions for you.

One highlight is almost impossible to identify, but I do believe in perfect moments.  There have been many perfect 'glowy' moments here in Colorado, and in those wonderful 6 months I spent in Wyoming, particularly to see someone that I love and care about so much feel the Spirit of the Lord and recognize his personal love for them as an individual.  There really is nothing more beautiful than that.

As for the most difficult, I know there have been personally trying days, but most of those I don't remember.  The tender mercies of the Lord truly are over all those whom he has chosen and I didn't go through a single slump that he did not lift me out of in a wonderful way which was appreciated in contrast to the difficulty, but also made the troublesome things seem to fade into nothing.  What I do remember are the times when one of those people who has recognized the peace and the hope and real change of the gospel in their life, turns away from it.  For one reason or another, the adversary intrudes and they decide to give up the fight.  However, because of Jesus Christ there is always hope for all of us, so I don't regret a single thing.

Once, towards the beginning of my mission I had a crazy dream (did I tell you about it?) I dreamed that I was in a giant auditorium, with many people that I knew from home and from the ward I was serving in, when a man came up to me and told me that I was going to be sent away because I didn't have a testimony.  I was so embarrassed for him to say that in front of all of those people!  But I also knew it wasn't true.  I told him then, and I am a witness now that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father live.  They are real.  They have a love for me which I cannot comprehend, it is so all-encompassing that every moment of my life is important to them.  My salvation and eternal progression are of utmost importance to them and that is why Adam fell, that is why Jesus led a made a sacrifice of himself, for me.  I love them and I know that whatever it takes to be with them and to be like them is worth it, regardless of what else must be sacrificed.  He gave everything for me and offers me everything if I want it, and I do.  That same promise is extended to everyone, through his grace.

Even though tomorrow I will be taking off the nametag and not having a companion (actually, today even I will be riding in a car with only two Elders...awkward...) the work is not finished until the great Jehovah says the work is done!

This seriously has been the best week!  I couldn't have asked for a better one to finish out on, but I'll tell you all the stories tomorrow ;) If hear you anything about the crazy missionary carrying a plant in her purse at the airport....that's probably me!

love, Sister Emily DeFord


Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 78: 2/9/15

February 9, 2015
Longmont, CO

There are certain experiences which most missionaries have, but every mission is different, so you really never know what might happen.  Apparently one of the experiences which I need to have, just barely got it snuck in here, is to be in a trio!  Welcome to Longmont Sister Jensen!

That is the pretend sign that we might have thought about making, but as happens with such surprise transfers, it was a surprise ;) We found out yesterday afternoon that someone was coming (just after we found out that we are also moving this week) and when she arrived a few hours later we discovered who it was!  Super excited though, Sister Jensen was trained in the Capital Hill ward in Cheyenne while I was in Corner Stone so I know she is great, the only trouble is......

I don't know who to look at during companion study!

But if that is our only problem (and it probably will be) then everything will be dandy :)

Backing up to the pre-crisis mode, still-pretending-there-is-all-the-time-in-the-world part of the week:

We saw Z___!  Seriously plans A-W fell through, so what did we do?  Go with the one more thing that came to mind.  And what happened?  We got to talk to our investigator who has been MIA!  He was going to be wrapping up some legal stuff last week, after which his schedule should open up a lot so we get to talk to him today and I am so excited!

Interesting that just last week in a Sunday School class there was a discussion about how God doesn't do 'plan B'.  It is always 'plan A' for him, regardless of whether it is what we think should have been 'plan A'.  So I find that comforting as well when we have times that I think we are on 'plan W', He has known what to do all the time and it was all part of the plan.

Some sad news on the teenage investigator front, when you are still in high school it is possible to be grounded for forever so then meeting with the missionaries isn't an option either....but, B______ got to come to mutual several times first, so now she knows the kids from the ward who go to her school, and she has a Book of Mormon, so that is hopeful!

Happy news on the teenage investigator front, J____ has been reading in the Book of Mormon and wants to come to church!  There is a young man from the ward who is in his class at school and so his family is going to bring J_____ to church.  In fact, they went over and met him all on their own, which I think is super cool.

As per usual, we laughed a ton this week!  Particularly at the YMCA while painting with Miles when he called my companion evil (jokingly), reaffirmed that I am a redhead (we have been trying to convince him for weeks that I am not) and told us "Deception is cool".  Really excited about that too because we are going over to his house to see his wedding video and Sister Allen hasn't been able to meet Rosa (his wife) yet.  Should be great :)

To end with, some great quotes on agency and our natural rebellion against restriction of our agency:

"You're 'moving me'?  What, am I a piano?" -Sister Moore

"You can tell me what to do but not how or when to do it.  You only get one of the three." -Sister Griffin, quoting her husband

This week is going to be a blast!

love, Sister Emily DeFord
Sister Allen and I made each other Valentines ;)

Sister Allen, Sister DeFord, Sister Jensen

Random snowman we found (no we didn't build it, yes it made us think of the song from Frozen which I know almost all of the words to thanks to Sister Allen)

Sister Allen had a dream after we went here that our whole zone went to Menchies and President Brown was there and got up on the counter to say that all the frozen yogurt was gluten and dairy free!  Haha if only

Sister DeFord at FroYo

This sweet little girl is being baptized on Saturday with her family in Utah.  Her family is active and everything, but they wanted her to take the missionary lessons so she could be sure this is something that she personally wants to do.  It has been so fun to spend time with their family over the past couple of months!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Week 77: 2/2/15

February 2, 2015
Longmont, CO

It's the final countdown!  Just saying, since I know my mom's countdown calendar of "Fast Sundays until Emily Comes Home" ticked down to 0 yesterday.  Also, it seems crazy that this is almost the end, but I'm feeling ready for it, which I never thought that I would.  I love this work and being here and the people and the calling and I am sure there will be many a day that I will want to go back to the 'simpler' life of being on a mission, but there is a peace that comes from having done what was required of you I think.  And then you go on.

For now though, I've got two more weeks!  Woohoo!

To start off with, some excellently funny quotes from Brother Schroeder yesterday.  (Background for those who may not know: In the restored gospel of Jesus Christ we have a practice of setting apart one Sunday in the month, generally the first Sunday, as a day of fasting.  Along with this, testimonies are shared in our regular Sacrament meeting and donations are made of the money which would have been spent on those skipped meals in order to provide for people who are in want, as is proscribed in Isaiah 58 in the Old Testament, see also

So, back to Brother Schroeder:

"When I went to Church for the first time 19 years ago it was a Fast and Testimony meeting and I thought it was the strangest thing; but it's wonderful.  It's a wonderful kind of strange"

and "It's kind of freaky processing your fast offerings, because it's like, who is this person?  And we never know your first names, but now I do!"

In other news, last p-day after emailing I got my hair cut, well only some of them, but I now have straight across bangs!  So that is fun.  Also, none of our investigators came to Church even though we were pretty sure about a couple of them, but several of the Less Active members who we are working with did!  All of the meetings were so good!  I love Sundays and I love going to Church!  The recharge, the power, the Spirit, the Sacrament.  It is all so beautiful, and the same wherever you go so it is always like home :)

This week we had interviews with President Brown, which meant this was my departing interview.  Maybe that is part of why I am feeling a little more ready for the end.  From what we talked about, I was thinking about how there are a lot of cliff-hangers in the stories of missionaries.  We don't know the end of someone's story.  But Heavenly Father does!  And he is involved in every aspect, much more than the short span of us.  Like Esther though, we may be put in a position or in someone's path for just such a time as this, and get to make an impact on their life which can change it's course forever.  Someday we will get to know those stories ;)

We had a neat experience this week when we went to contact one potential investigator named D__, he wasn't home, but we saw these two girls who we had seen a couple of weeks before but hadn't talked to.  So we talked to them this time!  As we were having a conversation together and gave them each a Book of Mormon (good thing we both had one!  It is harder to carry a lot of stuff when we are walking) D__ actually came home.  He came over to tell us he was pretty busy that day and wouldn't be able to talk, but also told the girls that they should listen to us because our message is good!  That was a sweet thing, especially for someone who has been so newly introduced to the gospel.

There is not restriction on who the Spirit can touch or who or when though.  We had a first lesson with a boy named J_____ this week.  He expressed some of the fears that he has of the 'dark side' let's say, and how he wants to know God better.  We talked about what the Spirit feels like and how it brings peace.  He wasn't sure that he had felt that before.  As we continued talking though he paused and said, "you know that warm feeling you were talking about earlier?  I'm feeling some of that right now"  It was beautiful, because he had confirmed to him to know that he has a Heavenly Father who loves him.  God knows about his struggles and wants to help him and welcome him home.  He wants the same for each one of us.

One last funny note, we were walking home one night and saw a guy walking his two pitbulls the other direction on the other side of the street.  As they got closer the dogs started pulling towards us and their owner said, "My dogs find you attractive!" .....Awkward pause, what is the proper response to such a statement?...."And so do I by the way!" Haha since it was pretty dark and he could probably only really see our shoes it was silly, but also flattering.

I love you and hope you have a marvelously fantastical week!

love, Sister Emily DeFord

p.s. pictures.  New hair and what it looks like towards the end of a week of walking when we get home at night ;)