Wow! What a crazy, hectic, life changing week this past week has been!
First things first, I definitely know I'm not in Utah anymore and today we only have an hour and a quarter to email, so sorry if I don't write as detailed as I normally would like to!
Monday we had an awesome transfer conference activity where we had T.C. Christensen visit and talk to us. He played some clips from some of the films he has helped produce/direct. It was awesome and bittersweet - awesome because we were all together and bittersweet because I knew it would be the last time I would be with the whole mission. Tuesday was good as I received my travel itinerary so spent some of my P-Day packing and then Sister Bowden and I had fun doing "last" things together on Temple Square. Just a bit about my itinerary to South Carolina, the Travel Department were trying to book our flights after the pioneer parade but the office was a little congested because there were so many missionaries to book travel for, so they ended up just booking us on the earliest flights possible. So, we said our goodbyes and Wednesday morning my sweet little Sister Pipe drove us to the airport. Sister Nilsson and I were both going to South Carolina and it was great to have a flying buddy and I was so grateful we were sitting together the whole way. We flew to Detroit Michigan first and that was almost a four hour flight and I managed to catch up on some sleep because I didn't sleep too well the night before. The Detroit airport is awesome! I loved it! They have this cool tunnel thingy that you walk through to get to the other terminal and it had all these lights and music was playing -reminded me of an ice skating rink - so funny. Anyway, we hopped on our next flight and flew to South Carolina Columbia airport. Their were two sisters waiting for us when we arrived - Sister Lundberg and Sister Gale - who are the co-ordinating Sisters and so sweet. They drove us to the Mission home and told us that the departing missionaries were at the Temple and when they finished we would all have dinner together. Sister Ibarra was a T2 missionary serving here and we were so excited to see her. It was a bit intimidating meeting up with seventeen Elders (remember, we don't have Elder's on Temple Square) and having them each introduce themselves to us, along with meeting the Mission President and his wife and the Senior couples. Our mission President is President Holm and he and his wife are so kind. I found out that my new companion was Sister Ibarra's trainee and my new title with my new companion is that we are now, "Sister Training leaders" (I had no idea what that meant) and our area is Pelion. You have to google Pelion!
So, when everyone arrived back from the Temple, we ate a yummy meal and for us newbies we were invited to share our testimonies, (I don't ever remember being so nervous to share my testimony) and then we went to the house of one of the Senior couples with Sister Ibarra and stayed the night. We spent a lot of time talking about what our mission would be like. We learnt that Sister Nilsson has been assigned to the Charleston area so we probably won't see each other until we go back to T2 which is sad. Our mission boundaries are pretty much the whole State of South Carolina, so we are two hours away from each other. It was so hard for me to wake up the next morning because of the two hour time difference but I got up and we went for a run around the pond and it was such a nice feeling to be in a different environment to Salt Lake City. South Carolina reminds me a lot of NZ - the greenery - and a bit of Samoa - its really humid and there are a lot of bugs - but it's really beautiful.
My new companion's name is Sister Hopper from California and you wouldn't believe it but she knows my good friend Julie Cunha. They met at a girls camp that they both attended! Small world!!! We have a lot of fun together so its awesome. Sister Hopper is 20 years of age, very hilarious, plays the flute (and did I mention hilarious). She did a little concert for me the other night and it was so fun. Our area is called Pelion but we call it, "The Boonies" because its pretty much in the outbacks of South Carolina. I remember the first time we went tracting I was so scared because while we live in a mobile home (they call them trailers here) almost everyone else lives in trailers too (believe me, it's nothing like the North Shore at home) and I found this so weird. But, the people in the South are very Christian and very religious and even if they are not interested in hearing our message, they thank us for dropping by, express their appreciation for what we are doing and wish us well. It's the weirdest thing to be in a community where there is so much hospitality, "Southern hospitality" which I thought was a lost art. Apparently not! We have had so many people offer us a ride when we are out tracting because they think we need help, but we have a car. Thank goodness for that because I think I really would die out here if we didn't have one. Our area is huge and it is very HOT here and I've darkened up even more and my tan is golden. I bought some sandals when I got here because we are allowed to wear them. My goal is to get rid of my white toes! Haha! So, mum I won't need anymore shoes as I only have five more months left and I'll just wear out what I have.
The work is very different and I'm learning to love knocking on people's doors and working with members. The members are great and there are two sets of missionaries assigned to our Ward. The Elders have to bike everywhere and because they are in contact with more members they have more dinner appointments but a lot of the members give us food so we always have enough for our needs. We've already had a meal at one of the members home whose names are the Buntings! Mum, you'll have to tell Sister Bunting in Pleasant Grove that I have found another family here who are also Buntings! I missed seeing them before I left. Sister Bunting is the best cook! We have one investigator on date (scheduled) to be baptized but she wants her fiancee to baptize her and he doesn't have the priesthood yet so thats a goal for them both. They will be married next week and following that we will work on having him receive the priesthood.
I love the work here even though it's different from being on the Square and I don't remember ever being this tired before, but I love it! The Lord is helping us in the work and I know all your prayers are helping us too and we appreciate them so much. Pray that we will be safe because we are out in the boonies.
Have a great week.
Love Sister Chadderton
Picture: The three Temple Square sisters in South Carolina Columbia Mission - Sister Nilsson, Sister Ibarra & Sister Chadderton (me!)