Well, what a week I have to share with you. I apologize if this email is a little choppy because there is so much that has happened since my last email and I only have 30 minutes left to get it down.
My companion Sister Fialho is incredible and we have had so much fun and have really worked hard. When we have our companionship inventory we have no problems or issues to discuss and it is so lovely. The day after inventory we received a phone call and it was from our Mission President asking if we can go and see him… like now! So, as we walk over to his office, I'm starting to freak out a little because usually you meet with President if something tragic has happened at home and yup anyway. So, he tells us to both come into his office and sit down and tells us that a Sister that had just gone outbound a week and a half ago wasn't doing so well dealing with her phobias so she is coming back to Temple Square. President was wondering how my companion and I felt about becoming a trio. "Whew! That's it?" I was genuinely excited because I know my twin Sister Vaivai was in a trio so I would be following in her footsteps being in a trio. I was really excited and the sister was coming back the next day. That night we rushed home to move things around in our room to fit another bed some where and to get it ready for our new companion.
The next day (Saturday) we meet up with our new companion - Sister Chen - and it was really good to talk to her. I hadn't really talked to her much before and she is in her 5th transfer. She is from Taiwan and went outbound to Salt Lake City and had a really hard time. I think it wasn't what she expected and felt she was wasting her time because she said some days they would only teach one person the whole day and the rest of the time they were either biking or knocking on doors. Okay, so it was then that I realized how much we really are spoilt here on Temple Square. We teach almost all day and we don't have to knock on doors or ride a bike with our laundry hanging off it. We are definitely blessed. Don't get me wrong we have our unique challenges here but after her experiences, I appreciated my mission more. It did not deter my enthusiasm for going outbound because I want those struggles. They will be hard but thats life and if every other missionary can do it then I know with the Lord's help, I can do it too.
Sunday morning we had a really nice Fast and testimony meeting and President Gillette announced that we will now be having Relief Society classes on a Thursday morning. I was so, so, so, excited because I have really missed it. We aren't able to have Sunday School or Relief Society on Sunday's due to Music and the Spoken Word finishing at 10:00 a.m. and other assignments that we have to cover. But, the mission department really wants us to have it so we are trialling Relief Society on Thursdays. President also announced that we had been invited to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional and that a Student Ward was coming to Temple Square from Provo to cover us while we attended the Devotional. Again more excitement!!! We were a little bit too excited after that announcement and President had to remind us that we were still in Sacrament! "Whoops!" Such great blessings of serving on Temple Square. The day passed quickly in anticipation for the Devotional and it was just amazing. I hope you all get a chance to watch it because the personal experiences that were shared about Christmas are truly inspiring.
Oh, before I forget I got my Christmas package YAY!!! So funny though, yesterday Sister Smith got her Christmas package from home too and we decided to swap packages and open each others to check to see if the presents were individually wrapped or not. We did it back to back so all I heard while my companion was looking through my package was, "WOW! WOW! Ohhhh, your family really loves you!" The box is deceiving because it makes it look like its got a lot less then what was inside. I did see that there was a stocking and Sister Smith stuffed some unwrapped stuff in there so I am excited for Christmas. Thank you family for sharing your love with me. For many sisters here on Temple Square this will be their first Christmas in a different country as some of them know that in their home countries they do not celebrate it. It's so cool helping them to have such a great first experience.
We also found out like Elder Chadderton that our ending transfer dates will be changing but mine will be coming forward one week so its about a year exactly after Sister Chadderton the first gets home that you will be seeing me. Strange how fast time goes.
Today for P-Day we went shopping and I printed off some Christmas cards and they will be in the post tomorrow. My sad attempt at being cheesy but know that I love you and gave up my nap so that I could send you photos. Mum I might see if Sister J can bring the Christmas presents home if they cost too much to post when I go to the Post Office.
Michel and Gem congratulations! Michel, you looked so beautiful and congratulations to Steven John and Jas on baby number 2. How exciting and lucky Uncle Jared as he will be home soon and won't know what's hit him with all the babies every where...so cool.
Choir last night was fun, I sang a few times throughout the night with different groups. The Polynesian sisters (13 of us I think) we sing, "Little Drummer Boy" and I stand next to my twin in almost every song. Funny story - We were contacting these 2 bus drivers the other night and they weren't really interested in learning about the gospel, but then last night one of them walks up to Sister Vaivai and said, "Hey its good to see you again." Well, she's like umm....yeah its good to see you again...uh sorry when did we meet? Lol Glad to know its not just happening to me.
On Saturday we were assigned to take a group of Young Women around Temple Square and amongst them were non members and less actives. It was the most powerful teaching experience I've ever had. It was the first time our trio taught together. The Lord helped us to teach with unity and it was so good. The spirit was so strong and I know those young women were able to feel the spirit. We shared our individual stories about how we each came to serve a mission and how we prepared and I loved looking back on my life and seeing how the Lord has led me to this point in my life so that I could really be a missionary for him today. So great.
This week I saw one of my friends - Dave Young - and he's almost on his way home to Sydney after he stops off at Disneyland for me and my MTC teacher Sister Lim. She is so great and I loved seeing her.
Well, some of our sisters are getting hit with lots of illnesses this week - the flu has been taking out a lot of them - and because we don't get a chance to sleep it off, it stays around longer and I currently have a sore throat. I went to the pharmacy to get some medicine to help fight it off before it gets worse and I bought some E-mergen C that Sister Chadderton recommended I get for Winter.
This morning we went to the Temple because I kept having promptings that I needed to go to the Temple today and it was wonderful. I have carried that peace that comes from being in the Temple throughout the whole day. I love the Temple and was able to receive some answers to questions I had. It's hard sometimes to be in a trio because we have to respect 3 opinions instead of 2 and when we teach, we teach shorter but powerful statements and the spirit helps.
Please tell Hillary I said hi mum and I'm so happy she is home and I know she will adjust fine. I miss her though and look forward to seeing her when I return one day.
Crazy how fast Sister Chadderton finishes but I can't wait to spend time with her and I am meeting with my Mission President to talk about what we can or can't do during her layover.
Oh and guess what? I get to call home for 5 minutes tomorrow to set up a time to call around Christmas. Unfortunately, family I'm sorry in advance because we don't have Skype so it's just a phone call from me but President has allowed us to call for 1 hour instead of 45 minutes, so blessings!
Love you all heaps,
Please keep doing your missionary work because you are withholding blessings from the Lord when you don't.
Love Sister N Chadderton
Picture 1 - At Christmas Devotional
Picture 2 - Our trio