Wow! I didn't think seeing the pictures of Buddy's home coming would make me feel so emotional. Honestly, I don't recognize that person that got off the airplane. He definitely is not the same little brother of mine that left two years ago. I hope I look that good after 18 months in the field. Thank you so much for all the pictures, especially the one of all the family together, you all look so beautiful!
Well, it has been another roller coaster week and yes, the Sister Missionaries were blessed to attend Sister Monson's funeral. Temple Square was not the same during that time because there were security check points at every gate and you needed a ticket to enter and it seemed so strange. Definitely, not the Square I'm used to but it made sense. There were ALOT of General Authorities, so security was very tight. We sat on the left hand side of the balcony right next to the camera man which faced the door where they brought Sister Monson's coffin into the Conference Centre closely followed by President Monson. It was heart breaking to see President so sad and he looked like he'd aged quite a bit. He needs our prayers right now family because it's not easy for him. Most of the Apostles were in attendance and it was awesome to see how they interacted with each other. For example, Elder Nelson and Elder Oaks look like the best of friends and Elder Bednar was holding Elder Hale's arm as Elder Hale's he looked so frail. Elder Uchtdorf gave an awesome talk and in his talk he said, "When you die you open a beautiful door to a more beautiful room." The service was amazing and the MOTAB sang beautifully and then the procession left for the Salt Lake Cemetary. If any of you wish to view the service you can go online at lds.org to watch it. It was really beautiful. After the funeral it was back to work despite the difficulty of having to now pick ourselves up out of a mournful state to being the face on the Square. The Lord helped after we prayed and we called one of our investigators who has been praying about a baptism date. She has decided to get baptized on June 30th and we are so happy for her. I wish we had a deal with Delta Airlines that allowed us free tickets to fly to our investigators baptism in Louisiana. I know I will soon be outbound and hopefully get to experience a real baptism at least once on my mission.
We have witnessed so many miracles and the Lord has helped us to recognize them. I find during transfers the Sister's testimonies and faith are strengthened. We met this one lady this week and we were able to apply some of our role plays as a companionship, into a real life situation where we extend the commitment challenge. I said to my companion after our role playing practices, "Okay, today your goal will be to extend commitments to whomever we meet!" I said, "Keep the commitments simple and clear!" So, during the day, we meet this one lady and take her on a tour. She's from Ohio and is a Buddhist and we show her the video, "God's Plan!" After the video she was crying and we knew she could feel the Spirit and then I looked at my companion and she asks the lady, "Would you like to learn more?" Pause….Power... Pause… She said, "Yes I would like to learn more about the basic beliefs of your church!" I was so grateful for the Spirit's role in helping her to feel the way she was feeling and I know that we are instruments in inviting people to know more and as we remain worthy the miracles happen.
On Friday (I think it was) we had three investigator lessons scheduled with the Elders. Three lesson's in one day is not very common but I'm trying to fill our day with opportunities to teach so that my companion can gain more confidence in opening her mouth and sharing the gospel. All of our lessons today were with teenagers and our first lesson was with a fourteen year old boy and we taught him about the Priesthood. That was awesome. Our second lesson was with McKayla, a seventeen year old girl who we taught about Baptisms for the dead and Patriarchal blessings. McKayla had attended the lesson with three of her friends. We will attend McKayla's baptism and will try and do missionary work with her family and friends while we are there. Our third lesson was with Aubrey-anna, a fourteen year old girl who we taught about, "Modern Day Prophets and Eternal Families." All three investigator's come from part-member families and they are pretty amazing individuals. It was so comforting to see their local missionaries doing such a good job in helping the rising generation to strengthen their testimonies. All three are getting baptized on Saturday June 1st, but we can only go to one of the baptisms so we've chosen to attend McKayla's.
We have a zone activity today so it'll be nice to be out in the sun and we're going to play water volleyball and eat ice-cream. Thank you for your prayers family and the sacrifices you make for me. I read President Monson's talk that he gave in the Priesthood session of General Conference entitled, "Come, all ye sons of God" and he said:
"I hope you appreciate the sacrifices which your parents so willingly make in order for you to serve. Their labors will sustain you, their faith encourage you, their prayers uphold you. A mission is a family affair. Though the expanse of continents or oceans may separate, hearts are as one." So true! I love you family and friends and thank you for all you do. I bought some inserts for my shoes because my legs and knee joints have been achey. I've walked my whole mission and haven't been this bad before so I figured they would help and they have. I also bought some vitamins from the chemist so I think that's helping too. Thanks to Brother and Sister Bunting for my new camera!!!! You are both so kind and it's always great to see you each time you visit.
Have a great week and enjoy the time with Buddy because I don't expect him to be single for long!!!
Love Sister Chadderton xoxo