Boy where to begin.....
Thank you for all your emails and I can't believe my little nephew is still cooking in the oven. I told his mum he wants to see, "Taken 2" as well. Glad to hear you are all doing well and are safe.
Let me tell you about my Conference weekend!
So, Friday morning we had what is called, "A General Conference pump up meeting" and it was so good. Lots of people shared their General Conference miracles and it was very uplifting and inspiring. It made me feel a lot more comfortable about the onslaught of Conference because of all the training. So, that night we all go home and prepare for conference. Of course we trash our room completely, because being girls we still hadn't decided what to wear. I wasn't bothered too much.
Anyway, Saturday morning - 1st day of Conference - we had to be on Temple Square at 7:00 a.m. for a meeting and then we had breakfast (all our meals for Conference weekend were kindly provided by our Mission Presidency and neighboring Stakes in Salt Lake City). After breakfast we hit the Square and there were huge lines of people at 8:00 a.m. waiting to see if they could get into the Conference Centre. We were scheduled to contact people from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon and then have lunch. It was so much better than I thought it would be, because we really were meeting people and getting to know them, (something I realized I enjoy doing) and then sharing a scripture and asking if they knew anyone that we could share the gospel with. Our contacting lasted about 5-7 minutes and then we would move along to the next person that we felt inspired to talk to. There are so many people everywhere and cameras too. But, it was a really good and positive experience and then it was lunch time. We had a quick lunch before going to watch the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference. We only get to watch one session, so that was the one I got to go to - pretty amazing. Oh, during the first session when President Monson dropped the bombshell about the optional missionary ages, my companion and I were standing outside of the Tabernacle building listening to it because it is played on the loud speakers and it was so funny to see everyone's reactions after the session. We had so many 18 and 19 year old girls coming up to us and asking us why we served a mission, what we had to give up to serve a mission etc. We basically encouraged them to pray about what they should do and then to go on a mission. Honestly, so many tears because many of them were trying to sort out their future so that they could serve a mission at 21 but now they can leave straight away if they want to. It was a little scary for some of them but they all felt like this was the sign they needed. I am so excited to have more sister missionaries coming out on their missions and it is highly possible that I'm going to have the opportunity to train a young 19 year old in the not too distant future. Weird though because when I get home everyone might be on a mission. But thats awesome because I so want to work at the MTC when I get home if it's at all possible. So that'll be fun, fun, fun!
Anyway, so that was pretty much Saturday. After the conference session we had Beehive House and stayed there until we went home at 9:45 p.m. I pretty much had to pry my boots off my legs because they had become one and then I collapsed into bed.
Sunday morning was rather the same, Square at 7:00 a.m. and contacting people at 8:00 a.m. but at 10:00 a.m. we had Beehive House until 2:00 p.m. and then we had lunch. We were on the Square for the rest of the night until 7:00 p.m. It was so cool seeing people I knew and it made me so happy when they helped my missionary work by referring friends. I even saw both of my MTC teachers and my 1st Counsellor from my Relief Society Presidency at BYU Hawaii 20th Ward - HIllary!!! So cool and Emily Cunha and the Laulu's - like everyone! So amazing - Tim AhChong, Dave Young, the Howard's, the Linehan's and the Bovee's from Sister J's Mission in Idaho. It was a fun day.
At 7:00 p.m. we had a Hi-5 meeting in the Tabernacle to end our General Conference weekend because pretty much at the end of Conference everyone had gone from the Square and we now had to calculate all the referrals we received as a mission and it was almost 3000 names. Incredible! My companion and I have about 20 members who referred friends but didn't have their phone numbers so we couldn't calculate them in this total as yet. At the end of the calculations they had all the sisters that were leaving stand on the stage and they shared what they had learnt on their mission. We found out who the new AP's were and Sister Syndi Mei Kealamakia is still the AP with Sister Lane and then we had transfer conference so we found out our new assignments/companions/zones etc. Honestly, it is so nerve racking and I'm pleased to say that my companion and I are still together!!!! But, we are in a new zone so no more Beehive House. So, yup its gonna be harder/easier to find me. But sad days for the companion's who didn't want to change but had to because there are some going outbound - exciting times. We get to stay in the same room and Sister Vaivai is still in my zone - YAY! And Sister Anderson who was in my MTC district is in my new district. Our District Leader is from Mongolia and her companion is Fijian so we are going to have a fun district again. Our assignment is announcing co-ordinators so we are brainstorming how to make it more effective instead of having 14 girls announce in their native languages and people just take pictures and leave. So, its going to be great! After the meeting we had gelato and then went home. SOoooooo exhausted but happy.
Monday and Tuesday we were given permission to sleep in until 9:00 a.m. and then had Beehive House at 10:00 a.m. But honestly, I was so out of it on Monday, but I felt sorry for my companion who was so tired too. We were all worn out from the craze of conference weekend, but got through it somehow, and at 4:30 p.m. the Mission Presidency arranged a celebration dinner for us for our hardwork over the weekend. In 2 days my companion and I contacted 206 members and taught them. So, we were grateful for the food. Tuesday we were allowed to sleep-in for as long as we wanted but had to be on the Square by 12:00 noon. Our District wanted to have lunch together for the last time before it changed so they came over and we had bacon, eggs, muffins, pasta salad, bananas and caramel. It was so good and fun to do this together before things change.
Wednesday, a sad day with 27 amazing sisters going home, 17 going outbound but exciting with 26 new sister missionaries coming in. My companion was asked to drive some to the airport and we dropped the 3 Australian Sisters off - Sister's Kaberry, Cool and Mata'utia - three fantastic missionaries! I'm going to miss them so much. Sister Mata'utia was funny because she said she's going to pray that the plane she was to go home on would crash because she didn't want to go home. I thought, "Wow only 16 more months and I might be feeling the same way." I love you family, but I'm not ready yet, hopefully in 16 months, if not be patient with me.
Well, it has been a bag of mixed emotions seeing new companionships and new leaders around but I'll get used to it. Glad to be with Sister Calderwood still (she might not be so happy) but I am. Haha! It's her birthday next Thursday so we might try and go to the Zoo. Aunty Mona and Uncle Jason, thank you so much for the package! I got it today and you are amazing and thank you Uncle Steve & Aunty Kathy Stebbings for the card and donation!!!! Thanks Aunty Dale and Uncle Dan for the card. Talk about feeling the love. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone. And thanks especially for the prayers on my behalf because there is no way I could've made it through this past week without them. It's been more emotionally and mentally draining then physically.
I can't wait to hear about little baby Rawiri's arrival next week (October 18th is my guess!). My new P-Day is Thursday so you might get this email a day late and that is why.
Love to you all,
Keep being amazing and make sure you write those questions down for Conference. Thank you for the real chocolates too mum and dad and the t/shirt is so cool. I've been wearing it everynight. Jenna, you might not get your chocolate - just saying...but I think that will benefit your no dairy problems aye?!?! Pics of me and my companion and our District's last time together at the Beehive House!!! Oh and with my new zone we have lots of Square time so we have investigator lessons this week and are going to a real Ward for Sacrament and we are speaking, the 4 of us and doing a musical item so thats exciting and fun for this week already!
Thought I'd just put that in too. Love you.
Aloha, Sister Chadderton II