How are you all doing?
Well, where to begin? I was thinking last night about what to write and I got kinda stumped. We do so many different things every day so it's hard to know what to share exactly.
So, I thought I'd give you a run down of a typical day in the life of a Temple Square missionary. As you know, we are a white handbook mission so its very similar to what the fellow missionary siblings are doing but with a few vast differences. We wake up around 6:30 a.m. say our prayers and then exercise for 30 minutes. At 8:00 a.m. we have personal study time and at 9:00 a.m. is companionship studies. Following companionship studies we pack up and head to the Square. Depending on our schedule, we might have Square time or Teaching Centre time. We get an hour for lunch and dinner (now that things at the Square have slowed down after General Conference), but during Christmas our lunch and dinner times will probably drop back to 30 minutes again and we will stay on the Square until 9:45 p.m. before returning home. But, during Square time have a variety of duties which include contacting or calling the guests who have recently visited, we take tours and we teach, teach, teach the whole time. In the Teaching Centre we call our investigators - some we have met on the Square and have referred for local missionaries or some who want a copy of the Book of Mormon or people that we teach after they have called in via the Church's website mormon.org. We have such amazing resources available and our challenge is to try not to overload people with too much information at once because there is so much to share. Teaching Centre time has it's challenges because you can be in front of a computer screen for up to five hours. We have received a lot of training on contacting referrals, especially those from Conference time. One day my companion and I called and left 22 messages because no one was answering their phones. It can be quite nerve racking calling referrals because a). You have never met the person before b). You don't know what they're thinking and c). You really are reliant upon the spirit as to what to share from Preach My Gospel and d). You pray fervently that something you have nervously shared touches their heart and they want to learn more. I know it happens because miracles happen all the time.
Yesterday our Zone had Teaching Centre time for 2 hours and we wanted to pump up our efforts so we had a goal to contact two people and refer them to local missionaries to teach. Well, I left twelve messages because no one answered their phone, but in my Zone18 people accepted the invitation to have local missionaries go and teach them. Miracles!
One of our investigators (I won't mention his name for privacy reasons) but let's call him Peter. Well, he was an inbound call we received and he had some really serious problems with morality. He was a Pastor for his church but stepped down because he felt guilty for contradicting what he was teaching. We had been teaching him for a few months but this past week we hadn't been able to reach him. He lives in a rural area and he said the folks where he lives gossip alot and he didn't want to meet with local missionaries incase his mother got upset about it. Well, he called us to say that he had talked to one of the Senior missionaries serving in his area who taught him about the Priesthood. Oh and ever since we have been teaching Peter he accepted to live the Law of Chastity! But he called and said he had been reading the Book of Mormon for hours this morning and feels like he's addicted. We asked him if he know's if it is true and he said yes and is willing to declare it from the rooftops. He wants to receive the priesthood but is really scared about baptism. We shared a scripture with him found in 2 Nephi 31 where it talks about Jesus Christ and his baptism and asked him to pray. And to think that we had come so close to dropping him from our list because he was not progressing. We fasted as a Zone this past Sunday for different ones and then we get a call from Peter to say the church is true. I know the Lord works miracles and the Book of Mormon is the convincing evidence that this is truly God's church. I know that the Church has been restored once again through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Sister J sent me some amazing talks this week and the one that really stood out was a talk by Brad Wilcox on, "Grace." If we really understood what grace is then we would understand that the Lord does not require us to be perfect but to be clean. He needs us to keep his commandments and when we fall, we need to pick ourselves up and keep trying. The Lord said the spirit cannot dwell in unholy temples so if we can feel the spirit then our temples are holy. How cool is that? I often feel like I am unworthy or inadequate to teach people about repentance when I am not perfect but I know that because of Grace I am made perfect in him. I love that I have this opportunity to really study the Book of Mormon with my whole mission. It is really strengthening us. I know how important it is to use the tools the Lord has given us now or else we won't receive anything else. Why would he give us more to read when we are not even cherishing the words of God he has already given to us that were prepared over thousands of years ago. Yup, sorry for sounding a little preachy but it's so true, we don't appreciate what we already have and yet, the church is so true!
I really love Square time and you have to discern through the Spirit the people who you need to talk to and when they feel the spirit and refer to learn more its so worth it. To give you an idea of numbers on how many people we contact, we did a survey recently on how many investigators we had taught in the past two weeks and just so you know, a teaching is counted as having taught 2 or more principles and inviting them to do something. In my companionship we had taught over 70 lessons and about 50 members. That's in two weeks! So, if people think that Temple Square missionaries are just standing around looking, "Pretty" they are so wrong. I believe that at times, we work twice as hard and have to be so obedient in what we do because we are surrounded by people who see us as the Ambassadors of the Church for our countries. What a privilege and a blessing it has been for me to have that trust given to me from the Lord. He really trusts us with his work and it is so important that we give it our all.
The Square is getting prepared for Christmas now and I can't wait for the day after Thanksgiving because then, Temple Square will be alight and it's so exciting!!! The Nativity Scene is already on display and there are lights on almost every tree. I wish you were all here to see it. It's magnificent, but I will send you pictures. There is a big snow storm forecast for this weekend so it will turn Salt Lake into a Winter Wonderland and be more beautiful. Yay! Oh and I got to go to another baptism this past week because my companion was the driver and thats the only reason we went. We took two other companionship's with us because they had taught the investigator so six Temple Square missionaries arrive at this baptism and there are four local sister missionaries and it looked a little comical because the person being baptized felt special that everyone had come. So good. Oh and I had my first Zone Conference and it was held at the Pioneer Heritage Museum. It was so cool and there were lots of things to see! The training was so good and very inspired. I love having Sister Kealamakia as our AP. Love it and love her!
We have been practicing lots of Christmas songs because we have a Temple Square missionary choir that will sing in the Visitor's Centre and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in the upcoming weeks and I love singing the Christmas carols.
My companion and I have two more weeks together before transfers and it's so sad knowing that the end is coming, but we bought matching T/shirts and we have a bucket list of things we want to do before this transfer is over. Can you believe I am almost in my third transfer? Crazy! And then when Sister J gets home, I will have 12 months left!
So happy to know you are all well, healthy and safe family. My prayers are being answered and make sure you are looking for the positives in everything. Write down two things each night that happened during that day that were evidence of God's love for you or that were answers to your prayers. It's good to count your blessings!
I love you all and hope you are all getting excited for Christmas like I am.
Sister Chadderton xoxoxo