Wow! What a week it has been! I hope you've enjoyed your Easter weekend because it was so good to be here for it. The trip to Goshen really helped jump start the Easter spirit for me and we also had Zone Conference where we went over the contacting model that we will use as missionaries. We were split into our districts and then we went to four different places on Temple Square to be trained on the different areas of the contacting model which are:
1. Initial contact/Build a relationship of trust
2. Create an environment to teach
3. Teach and testify
There is a lot more material that we covered within these four groups and it was so cool. This is all in preparation for our Summer season on Temple Square. During this time we also have to eat lunch on the Square in the kitchen and cannot go across the road to the Mall (foodcourt) because we are needed to take people around the Square. Summer season is the busiest season on Temple Square and already we have over 250 bus tours booked to do, "Motor coach tours." This is where you are like a tour guide with a microphone and flag and can have over 50 people in the bus and take them around the Square. We just need to be sure there are enough Sister Missionaries to go around. Well, depending on whether I go outbound or not during the Summer season, I will be sad if I miss out on the fun during that time. Anywho, whatever the Lord wants!
We also went to a baptism on Saturday morning. The baptism was for an investigator that we had the opportunity to teach a lesson to a few weeks ago. Shaun and his family came to the Square for a lesson with the Elders who are in the Salt Lake City mission and we helped teach as a team and committed him to be baptized. It was so neat to attend his baptism and his wife and two children are already members. He has attended church every week for quite some time now and has read the Book of Mormon with his children but just hadn't been baptized. So, he finally decided that it was the right time. Such a miracle because he has taken the lessons several times. I love going to baptisms - they are the best and it makes up for those times when our investigators who live half-way around the world get baptized but we aren't able to attend.
Haha! Okay, I just remembered something that happened this week that I wanted to share. So, we were meant to share a lesson with another set of Elder's investigators. While we are waiting for the investigators to arrive we are planning out the lesson with the Elders. I learn that one of the Elders is from Hawaii and the other from Texas. Anyway, the Hawaiian Elder has been out on his mission for one month and the Texan Elder has been out for seven months. The Hawaiian Elder says to me, "So, we sing for our investigators at the beginning of a lesson and at the end - its how we bring the spirit." I then said, "Thats cool Elder, yep it definitely invites the Spirit." We continue to talk some more and we find out that during this companionship, the Texan Elder had heard the Hawaiian Elder humming one time and said to him, "Elder, do you sing?" Ever since then the Texan Elder makes the Hawaiian Elder sing all the time because the story goes that the Texan Elder (apparently) almost had an opportunity with his, "Boy band" to go big before his mission, but he came out before they could meet with the producer. By this time 30 minutes has past and their investigators still haven't shown up so they decide that maybe it's time to leave and as they are about to leave, the Hawaiian Elder says, "Would you like us to sing for you?" In my mind I'm thinking, "Um, is this guy serious?" (We are sitting in a public area next to the Map of Jerusalem in the North Visitors Center). So I said,"Sure! Why not, but just make sure you don't sing too loud or else security might come!" Anyway, the Texan Elder wasn't listening and says, "What's happening?" I said, "Your companion want's to sing to us!" He says, "Oh, okay!" They pull our their mini hymnals from their coat pockets and turn to the hymn, "Did You Think to Pray" (apparently its one of their favourites) and they break out into this beautiful, harmonized singing for just my companion and I. My companion couldn't look at them because she's about to bust out laughing not because they sound bad but it just seemed a little awkward, and I didn't know what to do so I'm smiling and trying to stay focused. It was so beautiful and the song was great and I loved it. Never in my life have I been serenaded by Elders in public (or in private) as a missionary. Haha! Classic moment and a memory I'll never forget!
Well, Saturday was the General Young Women's meeting and my companion's health was co-operating with us due to her getting a blessing and it was a miracle that we stayed out as long as we did on Saturday. It was really neat to see all the 21,000 young women and their leaders file out of the Conference Center and while they were inside we talked to their Bishop's, Dad's and husband's. I love the young women so much because they love talking to the missionaries. Every time they see us they point and wave and say, "Hi! It's the missionaries!" This is a huge contrast to last year during the Relief Society meeting where I felt a lot of the sisters would look at you and then pretend they hadn't seen you and walk faster. The young women are great and all of the ones I talked to said that President Uchtdorf's talk was their favorite. So, be sure to watch it and let me know. I'm waiting for it to be published so I can read it too.
Easter Sunday started extremely early for us because our Mission Choir was singing the opening hymn for Sacrament and our Choir Director, Sister Palmer (Senior missionary) wanted us to practice before church. We arrived at church around 6:45 a.m. to warm up our voices and practice. Sunday is probably the longest day of the week for us but now it was extra long. But because it was Easter Sunday it didn't matter and the medley we sang included, "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus" and "Love one Another." It was really beautiful and in honour of it being Easter we went to the Easter special of, "Music and the Spoken Word" and it was the best! We even saw Sister Elaine Dalton of the General Young Women's Presidency. After that we went and took an incredible tour with a lovely group - a couple from Utah and their son, and a couple from South Africa. I love the South African people because when you say, "I'm from NZ" they say, "Oh, you're the opposition!" (Rugby talk!). They were the sweetest couples and we had the best tour with them. The spirit was so strong and the love we felt for them was amazing. At the end of the tour as we were saying goodbye the wife of the South African couple tried to give us this wad of cash to say thank you and we were like, "No, no, you don't have to pay us we're volunteers!" She looked like she was hurt and said, "But I want to support you in what your doing!" I gave her a big hug and said, "You are already supporting us by coming here and taking the tour." She put her money away and gave us a few more hugs, said thank you and then left. It's actually incredible after an experience like that as to how much love you can feel for a complete stranger. I often get hugs from people that I've only met for 30-45 minutes max. The Church is so true and the love of God is exquisite as mentioned in the Tree of Life. It is the most desirable thing ever and this is why we are missionaries because we want to share the love of God with everyone!
Yesterday, my companion wasn't feeling well and there was another Sister who was sick too, so I went on exchanges with one of the Zone Leaders because she had to go to a district meeting and it turns out it was with Sister Vaivai's district. It was so cool to see her in action and also to hear the instruction she gave to her sisters. She talked about a scripture found in Jeremiah 16:16 and how she didn't want the sisters to be fishers because fisherman have to wait for the fish to come to them and if we wait as missionaries for the people to come to us then we might be waiting our whole missions. She encouraged the sisters to be hunters instead because they go to their prey and find them in the mountains and valleys. It was a really good motivational speech as a build up to General Conference this weekend. Sometimes, I wish I could be like Moroni and Ether and hide in the cavity of a rock while all the thousands of people are moving around you, but at the same time there are soooooo many people who need strengthening and need support in the form of a special message from the missionaries so thats what we'll be doing this weekend. One week from now I'll be able to breath again even though I still might have sore feet, but my heart will be full for another six months.
Well, family this email is ginormous and I hope you are all getting prepared for General Conference. Remember to write those lists of questions down for things your seeking revelation for so the Lord can answer them through his servants. I can't wait to attend our one session of conference this weekend. Please write me next week of your favourite speaker and one thing you learnt so I can learn about who else spoke because we have to wait for the May Ensign to read them all.
Love you heaps and heaps! God be with you 'til next week!
P.s Mum and Dad are coming. YAY!!!
Sister Chadderton xoxo