Oh my giddy aunt guess what? "It SNOWED today!" First time for the season!
Hey Fambam, how are you all? Thanks for another week of great emails, pictures and letters. I really do appreciate them. But c'mon Rawiri! I really think he wants a grand entrance and is going to be a showstopper like his big sister. Hopefully, next week I'll hear the good news!
Firstly, I have scheduled an appointment with the Optometrist for next Tuesday, so dad, he will give me an updated American prescription for my contact lenses. I don't know if you want to just hold off ordering me some until then because I heard its cheaper through this optometrist, so I will let you know. My friend said she got a semesters worth of contacts for $60.00 so if it saves you money then wait.
Before I forget, Mum I met a Fleur Williams/ Munroe during Conference weekend and she knows you and just kept hugging me because she said we are rellies and she went to College with you and dad. She said her dad is brothers with Nanny Bella Christy. So cool! Her son is going on a mission to Melbourne in December so I told him to look out for Elder Stebbings.
This week has been so good and the zoo was so much fun. It was really weird in some ways, because at the zoo every person kept saying, "Hi Sisters!" or, "Is that sister Sisters?" or "It is the Sisters, what are you doing here at the zoo?" One person was like, "What are you doing here?" "Are you assigned here to proselyte?" We would calmly inform them that we are at the zoo because it is our P-Day! It was almost as though we were treated like celebrities because of all the attention we were given. Quite the contrast to when we are on the Square where people avoid eye-contact - haha - good times. After the zoo we headed back to our friends apartment because I'd organized a little birthday party for my companion and some of our friends made a cake and soup and we played the chocolate game thanks to my twin Sister Vaivai. The sisters went nuts over the cookies and cream chocolate and many of them had never played the game before in their life. So fun!
Oh, I forgot to tell you about the Sacrament meeting we had a couple of Sunday's ago. It was so good and my talk was entitled, "When we are baptized we make a covenant to preach the gospel to all the world." Pretty scary topic because I don't remember making that covenant when I was baptized, but nonetheless I did so it was a good missionary themed sacrament meeting and we sang, "Have I Done any Good in the World Today!". We found a beautiful rendition of the song and sang it and we were also asked to sing it again in our own Sacrament meeting this past Sunday. Mum, remember we don't have Wards or Stakes as part of our mission. We are just a whole mission = one ward. The senior couples pass the sacrament. Quite different but fun.
This week in companionship inventory, my companion and I decided to work on the attributes, "Patience and Communication." It has made such a huge difference to how we approach our tours and we feel they are sooooooo much better. I love companionship inventory.
Well, this past Sunday we made changes for our announcing assignments and instead of having the Sister's on the podium we brought them down around the circle (compass) thats on the floor and had a microphone for them to use as they moved around. We felt the need to change how we announced because people would signal to the person announcing that they wanted to talk to them in their native language but the Sister had to stay on the podium until the end of her presentation before she could come down and talk to whomever. This week we had a miracle largely because of the change. One sister said that she had taken a French family on a tour the day before and they didn't want to be referred to the local missionaries but the Sister said they had such an amazing tour that they should've referred the family. The Sister missionary invited them to music and the spoken word and when she was announcing (in Italian) she saw the family and the spirit said to her, "Go and talk to them!" She wasn't sure what to do because every other time she had been told not to leave the podium while announcing but because we had changed the rules, she remembered and she could leave, so she followed the spirit and left the podium and talked the family and then she organized for the French announcer to go and talk to them. The family went on another tour around Temple Square and at the end of the tour the whole family referred for local missionaries. What a miracle! Just think what could've happened if she had been on the podium and chose not to go down. I'm so grateful for the spirit and how it works, sometimes without us even realizing it. We have had the most tours this week due to the change, then we have in the previous two weeks after music and the spoken word events. So, something's working. YAY!
Speaking of my twin - Sister Vaivai - seriously everyone thinks we are twins! I am going to have to write down every single time someone has mistaken me for her and vice versa. So, on Sunday I'm just standing around waiting while the sisters are announcing after music and the spoken word and this old man comes up to me and says, "Hello" and acts like we're best friends. He's not shifty or anything but I'm like, "Hi, good to see you ....smile…. then this lady comes up to me and says, " Hi!" like we're best friends and said, "We're trying to find your Mongolian companion. In my mind I'm thinking, "My mongolian companion? Do I know you?" Then light bulb moment, she thinks I'm Sister Vaivai. Sister Vaivai is in a trio with Sister Sukhbaatar and Sister Rakotovao from Madagascar and they think I'm her. So, I'm like, "Ahhhh yeah, she should be around here somewhere." Now to fill you in, the previous night when we were about to head home we see this group with tear stained faces and they had just witnessed a miracle. Sister Sukhbaatar felt a strong prompting to share a scripture and had singled out one of the ladies from the group of 4 people. She said to the one lady, "I don't know about these people here, but this scripture is for you!" The lady read the scripture and the spirit was so strong she started to cry, which triggered the missionaries, the other ladies and her husband to start crying too. Pretty much they were all crying. It was amazing because Sister Sukhbaatar had no idea why she should share that scripture to that lady. Fast forward again to me, the lady who was looking for my, "Mongolian companion" said she wanted to let her know that she was so inspired to share that scripture and that they wanted to thank her. Apparently, of the four ladies in the group, this particular lady was the only non-member. Her husband is a member but she is not. They had just watched the movie, "Prophet Joseph Smith the Restoration" and she felt the spirit and then Sister Sukhbaatar approaches her and shares a scripture with her which was a second witness of the spirit. I was shocked that this had happened and that neither sister Vaivai or Sister Sukhbaatar were anywhere to be found. The group said they would wait a little longer but ended up leaving before she came. I saw that they were about to leave so ran up to them and the non-member lady gave me the biggest hug (because I'm still playing along that I'm Sister Vaivai) and she said, "Thank you so much. I wish I could've told your companion thank you" and then they left. Eventually the others turned up and I told them what had happened and they couldn't believe it. Honestly, people, if you receive a prompting follow the Spirit because you never know why or who needs you. So incredible! Sister Vaivai was grateful that I just played along or else they probably wouldn't have shared with me what they did. The old man in the beginning was the husband to the non-member lady and had so much gratitude in his eyes - so grateful!!!!
We have had an incredible week, one filled with challenges, blessings and everything but I wouldn't have it any other way. We have been invited to a baptism this Sunday for Sandra and Mackenzie - mother and daughter and they were one of the investigator lesson's that we took around Temple Square and they have asked me to speak on, "The Holy Ghost." I can't wait and it's going to be so good.
We got to go to the Temple this morning with most of our Zone and it was so special. I love the Temple and I'm so grateful for the opportunity and privilege we have to be worthy to go to it. It snowed this morning and it was so weird. New experience for me for sure but I'm going to hide indoors because its flippin freezing but the snow is fun. My Alaskan companion couldn't be happier and she still wears her jandals and t-shirt around outside (crazy) but I love her.
Well, family we have a zone activity that we are helping to set up for today. It's a halloween party where we will be carving pumpkins, eating food and having fun! Can't wait!
Thanks for all you do, love you so much. Sorry I don't have time to email you all but I will next week when we have more time. Hina, good luck with the delivery and I pray for you every night and I put everyone's name on the prayer roll. Keep the faith, study the scriptures and have joy!
Be safe. Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. firstname.lastname@example.org
Love Sister Chadderton the second.
Picture 1: Sitting on a seal at the Zoo
Picture 2: Happy birthday companion, with my twin, Sister Vaivai
Picture 3: On the way home in the snow
Picture 4: My Narnia picture in the snow
Pictures 5-9: Announcing photo's