Seriously, I love the way the people speak here and I think I'm going to leave this mission saying phrases like, "Yes Ma'am" and "Yes Sir" and "I'm fixin to go!" Haha! I love their accent.
We have had a great, but very busy week. We had Mission Leadership Training last Tuesday and as part of that training we went to the Temple because our Mission President wanted to baptize us. It was the coolest experience and there were about 40 missionaries doing baptisms and I think he baptized each of us five times. I'm positive his arm must've been sore at the end of it all, but the Spirit was so strong and it was cool. For all those who don't know what temple baptisms are, we believe that in the Temples of the Church we can help those who were unable to receive the gospel and be baptized in this life, have the opportunity to make that choice in the next life. Therefore, by being baptized for and in behalf of them in this life, we act as a proxy for the name/s of the deceased person/s whose names have been submitted to the temple by their living family members. It really is special.
On Thursday we had our Zone Meeting and that was fun but it did seemed quite long - more then two hours. My companion and I were asked to do some training at this zone meeting and it was about, "Setting appointments by offering investigator's options!" We've found that people like options and will usually choose one or the other. We had put our training scenario to the test the day before and we managed to secure five new appointments. We know that giving people options definitely works! Our zone is cool and it was nice getting to know some of the other missionaries. We rarely see each other so it's nice when we do come together.
During the week we went out tracting and it was so hot and humid and rain was threatening, so there wasn't a lot of people interested in hearing about our message. I was a little frustrated because I kept getting burnt by these bugs - fire ants - and I was feeling sweaty and gross. Around that time our Zone leaders had called to ask us a question and at that very moment when they called we were walking past a house and three dogs came bolting towards us and one of them had squeezed through a gate causing my companion to scream because it seemed like we were about to be attacked. Fortunately, we had received some, "Dog training advice" from a less active just last Saturday where they taught us how to talk to the dogs if we felt we were going to be attacked. So, remembering what the less active had said, I used some of the advice on the dog that was coming at us and while it kept barking it didn't jump at us and went back through the gate. I hyperventilated a little after that experience because despite my small ounce of bravery, I was really freaking out. Through it all our Zone leaders are still on the phone and have been listening to us and they're chuckling away to themselves. I think they especially liked the part when my companion yelled out, "Hit him with the umbrella!" because I was holding an umbrella at the time! Well, just minutes after this fiasco with the dogs, we found a bouquet of red roses that had been tossed outside of someones window and they still looked pretty fresh. I said to my companion, "Lets pick 'em up and take them home!" So I did! We headed home for dinner and I put the flowers in a vase and looked at them and realized that the Lord had sent us some flowers because He knew we were having a bit of a tough day! Well, I liked to think that they were from Him. On Sunday I bore my testimony in Sacrament about how much the Lord knows and loves us and, hopefully during my outbound experience I will grow to love tracting.
We went on exchanges for our leadership training this week. I went with a Sister Walker who is 19 years of age and she is an incredible missionary and I was so impressed with her. She is a very powerful missionary and it really is amazing for me to see these younger sisters rise to the occasion when given the opportunity to serve a mission at a younger age. So awesome!
We have an investigator who is progressing towards baptism and she is looking at getting married in two weeks so hopefully her fiancee who is a less active member will be ready within himself to baptize her. They are so wonderful and we have a lesson with them tonight and another sweet couple from our Ward are coming with us.
My companion is AMAZING. I don't know what the Lord was thinking putting two nutty Sisters like us together but we have soooooo much fun and we get a long with each other so well. Sometimes we sing really loud and out of tune but its good fun and very therapeutic.
The people here continue to amaze me at how religious they are! I'll have to write about an experience I had because I have run out of time.
I love you all family. Time is going by swiftly. Thank you for your prayers and emails of love. Don't forget to write me because we are lonely sisters in the country. We love getting letters so I thought I'd just put a gentle reminder in there of how much I would love more mail. Here's my postal address: Sister N Chadderton, South Carolina Colombia Mission, 1345 Garner Lane Suite 307, Columbia, SC 29210-8362.
Love Sister Chadderton
Pictures - 1 & 2 - Sister Hopper & I in front of the Temple and then out the front of our trailer/mobile home.
Picture 3 - The bunch of roses that I rescued.
Picture 4 - Our trailer/mobile home
Picture 5 - Our mission car
Picture 6 - Me with my Mission President and his wife in front
of the Temple.