Monday, September 23, 2013

24 September 2013

Hey Family!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes. I have had a great week in the life of a missionary -  busy but really great!

So, as you know, yesterday was my birthday and it was also our Primary Sacrament Presentation at church which is probably my most favourite Sunday of the year.  The children were so cute and there were so many people in attendance.  It was awesome!  The Relief Society President knew it was my birthday and she did something really sweet in that she had her children write little, "Happy Birthday notes" and gave me a big packet of Starbursts - so cute!  We were invited to the Young Women's President's home for dinner and she had cooked a massive turkey!  This thing was huge and very delicious.  That same day we tracted a few less active people that we found on our Ward directory and that was awesome too.  

A few weeks back when I was on exchanges with Sister Howton we had helped a family move boxes from the house into the removal truck.  It was a random act of service  because we just happened to see a removal truck outside this home and asked if they needed help.   The mother wasn't moving but her son was and it was his stuff going into the truck.  I felt inspired to go back and visit the mother because she was so lovely.  So, last night we went and visited her and she had her neighbor visiting too and we had a great conversation with both ladies.  They have such a strong testimony of our Saviour Jesus Christ - remember, this is the South and most people do.  However, I felt inspired to share one of my favorite Mormon Messages entitled, "Mountains to Climb!"  We played it for them and afterwards the mother was quite blown away and said, "I didn't know you believed all of that!"  All she knew about our faith was that somehow there was an affliation with polygamy.  It was good to clear up her understanding and she and her neighbor accepted  a copy of the Book of Mormon.  That was such an awesome experience and we will go back again soon.   Anyway, before we left we had a piece of toast with a glass of water.  So kind!

We had another  great lesson with a couple of our investigators who are preparing to be baptized and it was really cool to go back and see a change in their countenance.  One of the two brothers is progressing rapidly due to his decision to decrease his alcohol consumption.  Miracle!  Hopefully, they will continue to stay committed so that they can be baptized.

I really love how the Spirit works and it's something I think I'm going to miss the most as a missionary.  I love how the spirit has the ability to guide us and lead us to those people who are prepared to hear the gospel.  I have felt those huge impressions to turn towards a specific street or to contact a specific persons name etc.  Missionary work is hard work but there's a quote I like that goes,  "There is no growth in comfort, and no comfort in growth!"  This is so true!   This morning I studied the topic of, "Trials" and I learnt something so cool.  Did you know that if you are experiencing a trial that it's a good thing?  The scriptures teach us that, "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth!"  So, if any of you are experiencing trials or feeling chastened, that means you are really loved by God and he wants bigger and better things for you.  Cool aye!

I love you all and I am so grateful for the many times I get to reflect on my trials and weaknesses because I know I can take them to the Lord and He will help me.  I feel it everyday!  He doesn't take them away but he makes them easier just like the people of Alma.

Zone Conference was amazing and uplifting.  The church has produced a new booklet about adjusting to mission life and its filled with good information that I have enjoyed reading. It doesn't matter if you are a new missionary to the field or a seasoned missionary, this booklet helps us to recognize that  we still have room for improvement.

Well, family, I hope you enjoy going to, "Wicked!"  You will love it like I did when I saw it in Melbourne a few years back.  To anyone planning to serve a mission, just know that missions aren't meant to be easy, but you will be so grateful to the Lord for helping you to get out there.  I know I am grateful for the decision to serve now and not wait until later.  I have really come to know who my Saviour is and I know that He knows me better than I know myself.  I know that with God all things are possible even though in my minds eye so much seems impossible.  This is the greatest work that anyone can be doing, and all the glory is to our Heavenly Father and we should try every day to help our brothers and sisters come to know of the blessings of eternal life.

Have a great week family and thank you for all your prayers and support.

Have a blessed day - Sister Chadderton xoxo 

Monday, September 16, 2013

17 September 2013

Hey family,

What a great week I have had!  Sure we've had a few trials and challenges but in the grand scheme of things they are pretty insignificant.  Thank you for your emails because I love hearing from everyone even if I don't always get a chance to reply. Well, today it's a month until I go back to Temple Square and I can't believe how quickly the time is passing.

Last Monday for P-Day we went to Charleston and it was incredible!  Charleston is such a beautiful place and it was so nice to be in the city.  One of our members - who deserves a gold medal - picked all six of us missionary sisters up and drove us to the city.  Another awesome experience is that we moved into our new apartment last Wednesday which was so cool because we don't have a line up for the toilet in the morning anymore!  Haha.

On Thursday we had exchanges with the Sisters in the West Ashley area and we were uncertain as to how to get there because our map didn't have their area on it.  We don't have a GPS but the lady that works at the complex where we live gave us some general directions.  Her directions coupled with the spirit pretty much led us to the area.  It is way cool when we follow the spirit because we are so blessed and it happens a lot to Sister Walker and I.  Well,  I left my companion Sister Walker in West Ashley and returned to Summerville with Sister Howton and we went to work looking for less actives.  We found this one family and set up a time to return to visit them and then decided to knock on a few more doors around the area.  The next door we knocked on we met this tiny Filipino lady who invited us into her home.  She was ready to go somewhere but allowed us to share a message with her.  I wanted to share a scripture from the Book of Mormon and asked her if she had ever heard of, "The Book of Mormon"  before and she said, "Yes, I think I was baptized in your church!"  This was a huge surprise to us so I asked her again and she said, "Yes, my ex-husband was a Mormon and his brother baptized me about eight years ago."   What a blessing to meet this sister!  We have set up a time to return and teach her and strengthen her family.  She is engaged and has a 10 year old son.  It was such a cool experience to find her and we were grateful that we were in the right place at the right time. The Lord knows his sheep!  Great exchange.  Another story, "I had set a goal that while on exchanges we would teach the First Vision and invite someone to be baptized.  Well, the night before, I felt strongly that we should tract on this one particular street and we were running out of time when a guy opens his door and we start talking to him.  He's in his 20's and knows nothing about the church and we end up sharing the First Vision with him and after our message he asked, "Where can I get one of those books from?"  It was so cool that he asked about the Book of Mormon and we had one to give to him as well as inviting him to be baptized.  We are going back this Friday to teach another message as it is his only day off work."  Again, the Lord led us to that area and it just so happened that we were standing in front of his house and he came out and introduced himself.  Blessings!!!!  Well, this area definitely has been prepared for us and we have had plenty of challenges and awkward moments but the work is here for us to do.  The other night a guy came out from his house with something tucked away in his jacket because we were tracting until 9:00 p.m. and he was worried that we might be dangerous and we could see he was hiding something and my companion said, "What are you hiding in your jacket?"  He said, "You just never know who you will meet" and she said, "I hope we don't look dangerous!" It was super awkward.  I'll have to write you more about that story later.  But we are safe and loving the work and just trying to work super hard!

This week we have Zone Conference and have been asked to do some training based on 2 Nephi 31:20.  Maybe you can all study that scripture this week and let me know what you think.  We pulled it apart and dissected every word and it was way cool.  I'm excited for Zone Conference and we are doing another musical item too.  

The members in our Ward are awesome and we always receive a warm welcome from them. The people are so down to earth and they remind me so much of home.  I met the Buntings yesterday so please let Elizabeth know that it was such a cool experience for me.  We actually solicited some help from them to pick up our investigators for the Book of Mormon class on Wednesday night.   Another awesome experience to share, "Last night, we met a less active family that had moved here from Hawaii about six months ago. They were having a BBQ  when we arrived and were really excited to see another polynesian face.  Anyway, we met the daughter's husband who is not a member of the church and his brother was their too and he isn't a member either.  After visiting for a while we set up an appointment to return (which was last night).  We had an awesome lesson and the brothers are aged around the 40's and  we taught them the first lesson and then had them kneel with us and we prayed.  They have both committed to be baptized on October 12th.  The one brother - J - whose wife is a member said it was time for him to be baptized.   We learnt that he's had the discussions several times and now feels it's the right time to be baptized."  

I love this gospel and have seen the Lord's hand in the work this past week.  While I don't see myself as a perfect missionary  I am striving to do my best and I know that the Lord is helping me to be a better person and that this is His plan for each of us.  I love you all and thanks for your prayers!  I am so excited for General Conference and its a little surreal that it's my birthday on Sunday and I will turn 23!  I have to chuckle because my companion isn't even 20 yet! 

Be safe, reach out to those around you, go find His lost sheep and I promise you that your life will improve and you will see God's hand in your lives. 

Love Sister Chadderton xoxo 

Pics - Six missionary sisters in our apartment.  Fish and chips yum!  My companion Sister Walker and I next to the pineapple waterfall.  Me with the awesome member and her daughter Molly who is awaiting her mission call.   

Monday, September 9, 2013

10 September 2013

Kia ora te whanau!!!

What a week!  I only have an hour to email so sorry if this is short.  I know when I get back to the Square I will have more emailing time.

Anywho, to update you on transfers, I have been transferred to the Charleston South Zone and my area is in the boundary of Summerville 2nd Ward.  My companion is Sister Walker from Utah and at our last transfer I was her Sister Training Leader and we went on exchanges together and had a blast.  I was really excited for her to be my companion.  She is such a powerful missionary and is only 19-years of age and has been on her mission for about 5-6 months.  It's always a little rough at first opening a new area because there is no one to bring you up to speed about the area and we had to navigate our new area with a map which is time consuming.  Things are getting better and being organized really helps!  We haven't moved into our new apartment as yet because it isn't quite ready so it looks like we could be moving in by Wednesday.  So, we are living with two other companionships and they are all awesome sisters and each day is a fun day.  It's almost like living back on the Square. Today one of the Relief Society sisters is picking us all up for P-Day and we are driving down to Charleston - which is about an hour away - to explore some of the sights.  I can't wait to see more of the Charleston area.

We've had some great training this week.  We had Mission Leadership Conference on Friday and we (the six sisters) were asked the day before the conference to sing a musical item.  We pretty much practiced singing our song in the car the next day during our two hour drive to Irmo.  At the commencement of the conference President Holm announced that Elder Giddon of the Seventy will be presenting the second half of the training and then he said, "To begin our meeting we will start with a musical number."  No pressure!  It was fine as long as no one  finds out that we did all our practicing in the car that morning.  Elder Giddon's  is a great speaker and this past weekend at Stake Conference we learnt more great things from him.

The members in our Ward are awesome and they, "Love" feeding the missionaries.  You know all that weight I lost, yeah not good because I feel like I've put it all back on.  We are going out to buy groceries later to make fruit smoothies.  Oh mum, you have to tell Sister Bunting that I have moved into the area where you relatives attend.  I looked at the Ward roster and it said, "Zach and Jenny Bunting!"  They live in our area!  What are the odds?  So, I'm having a lot of fun finding the whole Bunting family. I can't wait to meet them soon.

It was so good to get out and work yesterday. The area is not like Pelion because the streets are very busy and most of our members live around the golf course. We live close to the air force and navy base and their are a lot of members in the air force.  It's pretty cool and our Ward is quite a transient Ward in that we have a lot of families that move in and out regularly.

Well,  family I'm trying to keep this short.  I am doing great, perserving and looking for miracles each and every day.   My outbound mission experience is awesome, and I motivate myself each day to get out and do this great work.  I am so grateful for the blessings I receive daily that help me to press forward. This life is really short and yet it determines eternity so we need to make the most of it!

I love you all, and I'll leave you with this quote:  "When it feels like you are drowning, remember your life saver walked on water!"

Sister Chadderton

P.s. Two weeks to my 23rd birthday! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

3 September 2013

Hey everyone,

What a great week this has been! To start off with, let me just say my health is almost back to normal and I am no longer in pain.  I bought some acid-reflux pills which have helped with my digestion and I've been eating normal again.  YAY!

Okay, so before I tell you about my awesome week I wanted to let you know that we had transfers on Saturday and President Holm  has asked me to open a new area and to still be a Sister Training Leader.  I was shocked!  I thought for sure I would be staying in Pelion because my companion has been in this area for three transfers.  However, President said that he has fasted and prayed about my transfer, so I will be leaving Pelion on Wednesday.  A few days before transfers are announced, the office holds on to the mail so I haven't received any mail for a week so I'll be excited on Wednesday to retrieve all my mission mail!

I was saddened to learn of Brother Dennis McCann's passing.  My condolences go out to the lovely McCann family.  I love you all so much and it was really sad to hear about Dennis but I know he will be saving so many souls beyond the veil.  He has so much knowledge about the gospel and I know he will be having fun catching up with all his loved ones.  I'm so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and the peace it brings.  I love you McCann family!!!

This week we had President and Sister Holm visit us at our trailer home and they blessed and dedicated our home.  President gave my companion and I a blessing and in my blessing he blessed me with the spirit of peace and I have really felt of that peace.  He also said he felt impressed to tell us that there are people waiting for us that live in unobvious places.  That has been my theme now, especially when I am on exchanges with other sisters.  Sister Van Ry from Nevada - who is actually best friends with my old companion Sister Whaley - came to Pelion with me and we went out tracting for a few hours and our goal was to find people in unobvious places.  Well, we found four new investigators and their is this one family that I really want to tell you about.  I believe it was a miracle.  We had ten minutes before going to our dinner appointment and I saw a long driveway and thought, "We should go follow that drive way and see where it ends!"   So we did!  When we reached the end of the drive way it forked into four different drive ways so I told my companion that we should always choose the right.  As we walked up to the house their was a little Chihuahua  barking like crazy and a lady comes out and screams because she was surprised to see me standing there!  She then laughs and then says, "Hey y'all, do you wanna come in and get away from these gnats?" I was like, "YES!"  This is the first time this has happened to me in Pelion. So, we go inside and we visit with there family which consists of two children and the husband.   We learn that they are new to the area and don't know anyone and they used to have Jehovah Witness missionaries visit every week in their old area.  We teach them a brief lesson, and leave them a Book of Mormon and before saying a prayer we ask if we can come back and visit with them.  It was amazing and the Spirit was so strong.  A few days later we visited them again and taught the whole of Lesson 1 which is about The Restoration.  It was great. The wife has attended different churches and has been searching for one which is not Sunday worship only. We invited them to attend church and will hopefully attend with Sister Hopper next Sunday.  We have scheduled another lesson with them for this week. I was so happy we found a family to teach and I know that that is what missionary work is all about!

A few weeks ago we tracted into a home where the family asked us to come back and visit.  My companion visited them while I was on exchange and she taught the wife as the husband wasn't home.  We went and saw them on Saturday and they were both home and they had a lot of questions.  My companion felt like we should show them the Restoration DVD so we did and the husband said all his questions were answered by watching the DVD.  We invited them both to be baptized and they accepted and are preparing for September 28th!  Miracle moments!!!  So happy! They weren't able to attend church yesterday but are coming next week for sure.

Yesterday was Church and we had Caitlin our amazing investigator attend.  She is getting baptized in two weeks and came to church with her husband and father in-law who are both less active.  We were so happy.  We also had another investigator who is 9 years of age attend church with his less active family. Tender mercies this week!  Our companionship goal for the week was to expect miracles and find the elect.  We were being obedient and the Lord blessed us so much.  But, just when the work picks up I get transferred!  I'm grateful for these experiences that have helped strengthen my testimony of such a loving Heavenly Father.

I love you all!  Keep the faith as I don't want to see any empty chairs in Heaven!

Be safe,

Sister Chadderton xoxoxo

P.s HAPPY BELATED FATHERS DAY DAD!  I LOVE YOU!!!!  We helped give service this week by picking corn for a few hours.  It was great fun and you can see from the picture that I'm sitting in the empty trailer and then we filled it with corn.  I loved the little puppy dog.