Thank you for all your prayers and emails. This week has definitely been a better week for sure. I don't have a lot of time to email everyone individually so I apologize in advance. Just know that I love you all heaps.
It's been raining most days this past week which puts a damper on things and makes the work a little harder. However, on a more positive note this week was our, "Big Lift" challenge. I went on exchanges with the Sister missionaries in the Newberry area - Sister Van Ry and Sister Wheelock. We had a great time visiting less actives and then we went out tracting and found two new investigators and had a great lesson with them. At the end of the lesson we invited them to be baptized. Newberry is more city then country so the next morning we got up and went for a run on paved sidewalks! Oh the small pleasures of life running on level, paved sidewalks. Haha! It felt so good to run again mainly because my companion hurt her ankle before her mission and running is a, "no-can do" for her. But, when you're on exchanges its all good! It felt really good to run without the altitude problems I encounter in Utah due to the hills that we run up.
Well, the biggest miracle happened where we were about ready to finish up tracting and leave to go home. But, I felt inspired to knock on one more door and a lady answered the door and I'm not quite sure what I said but she was surprised at my accent and quickly asked where I was from. I told her I was from New Zealand. She invited us to sit on her porch with her and she told me how obsessed she was with my country. She has even planned her honeymoon in NZ and still wants to go. She explained that we couldn't go inside her home because she has a medically sick child. We said a prayer with her and continued to visit and learnt that she had a 6th grade Math Teacher who was LDS and is currently the Relief Society President in the Newberry Ward. That night the Relief Society were having an activity so we invited this lady to come along. After our visit she wanted us to now meet her medically sick child so we went inside. He is so adorable! Sadly, half of his face never formed properly but he is so beautiful and he's only ten months old. I was so grateful for this experience to meet this amazing mum and her precious child. Who knew (besides the Lord) that I would meet someone who was obssessed with NZ with a beautiful little boy! I love miracles!
"Diligence" has definitely been the focus of the week and every night we recite our promises to the Lord and one of them is, "I pray with all the energy of my heart for charity, I love the people, I love tough things, I'm the first to do tough things, I do tough things first, I am a finisher." It's a South Carolina Columbia Mission thingy that they do here and while its different I'm doing what I'm asked to do and I'm trying to do my best.
Did I tell you I have been having some stomach issues? They haven't gone away yet and when we are out tracting I'd get these sharp shooting pains. I'm not completely sure what it is but the pain comes and goes. For now, I'm focusing on the work and ignoring the pain as it's not a lot of pain, but it seems similar to what Jenna had on her mission. I know I've been eating too much gluten products so I'm going to have a gluten free week to see if that helps.
The members here are great and they spoil us like no others! We went to a less actives home for dinner and their neighbours are less active too so we visited with them after dinner and they invited us to eat more food. Because of my stomach problems I couldn't do it.
I'm so grateful for the letters from the Young Women in our Ward and also the letter from Sister Magaoay! Thank you so much to those who write me. We have our big Fireside tomorrow followed by interviews with President Holme so I'm hoping I get my package then!
I love you all and thanks again for your prayers. I know the Lord is blessing me! Funny story, one of the families gave me a stick which they sanded down so that when we go out tracting it will protect us from the dogs. I know the Lord is already protecting us from the dogs but it eliminates some of my fears. I will leave it in the apartment for the sisters who may come after me. I love my companion and I love the people, have a great week and try and find someone for your missionaries to visit because they need their daily schedules filled so help them out please!
Love Sister Chadderton xoxo