Monday, December 30, 2013

31 December 2013

FAMILY!!!!!! Guess who's coming home next week???? I may be a tiny bit over-excited to see you all.

I seriously can't believe it and I even said to one of the Sisters in my class yesterday that I think I need to have a good cry just to make it feel real!  It still doesn't feel real.

Christmas for us was amazing, especially when I got to call home.  That was so awesome!  It seemed strange finishing off the conversations after an hour by saying, "See you in two weeks!"  Weird!   Christmas Eve was so much fun where we had dinner together as a mission to kick off the celebrations and then we watched the movie,  "The Nativity" with Keisha Castle-Hughes acting as Mary.  It was a little more graphic than I remembered but still good. Then we did our Pasada where the Sisters were put into zones and then walked to different stations on Temple Square and experienced a roving Nativity spectacular.  My companion and I were based in the Assembly Hall balcony and we depicted the, "Angels" who came around the time of Christ's birth to announce the good tidings of great joy.  It was really sweet and the Spirit was super strong. I had a whole new perspective on how those poor shepherds must've felt when the angels visited them.  I'm positive for them it was an awesome experience.  Well, as we continued with the Christmas theme we sang the song, "Angels we Have Heard on High" before the sisters headed off to their next station. Special times. That was a great way to start off Christmas.  My companion and I had a neat experience prior to the Nativity.  While inside the Assembly Hall we met a family who were in Salt Lake City because their three year old son was in the hospital.  They had three other children and had brought them to the Square to see the Temple lights.  This family was really incredible and had an awesome understanding about God's will and that if it was time for their sickly son to go then there was nothing they could do about, but if it wasn't his time then the Lord would take care of everything.  They said there is no point worrying about something you have no control over.  I loved their attitude, especially at a time when we are all reflecting on the birth of our Saviour and knowing what he went through.  I gained an even greater appreciation for our Heavenly Father in following through with His great Plan of Happiness for us.  For me, it was a very special and sacred experience to meet this family and then soon after go and be the angels who announced the Savior's birth. 

Well, Christmas morning was awesome where we got to sleep in until 7:30 a.m. and then we all pitched in to make breakfast.  I had bought some croissants so I filled each one with cheese, ham and tomatoes and put them in the oven to warm up just like I was told to by my sister.  Our roommates had made french toast and Sister Magaoay and her companion made scrambled eggs.  We had a feast and then we went down to the Square so my companion could call home to her family.  After her phone call we went back home and chilled a little before returning to the Square.  This Winter there hasn't been as much snow  and  there no snow fell on Christmas day so we had tons of people come to the Square wanting to take the tours.  It was awesome!  At 5:00 p.m. we closed the gates on the Square and headed off to have Christmas dinner with the rest of our Mission then we watched an LDS film, "Christmas for a Dollar!"  It was really cute.  After the film Santa came and spoiled us with more gifts and seriously, this year I could not believe what we got in our stockings!  I will send you a picture but I am so grateful and humbled by all the kindness from those people who contributed.  Oh and to my loving Porter family, "Thank you so much for the BYU hoodie, it is so awesome and I wore it to our Christmas party!  It was so nice and warm!"  I know I have been so blessed for serving a mission and I am so happy I chose to serve.  I know that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the World and that we don't have to wait for a national holiday to celebrate his birth. I'm grateful we can celebrate it everyday in our hearts! 

I am so happy that I have served in the best mission in the world.  No one will ever be able to understand what an awesome mission this mission is unless you serve here but for those who have followed my blog I hope you have been able to recognize how true that statement is for me.  This is a very unique mission but I'm so grateful for all the hardworking examples I've had during my mission.  I'm also very thankful that I got to serve in the South Carolina Columbia Mission. That was the icing on the cake for my mission experiences.  Nothing like a piece of humble pie when you experience being swarmed by gnats and chased by dogs.  But truly, despite the gnats and the dogs I had so many tender mercy experiences like Kaitlyn and Brian getting baptized and more to come soon!

I love this Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Saviour will come and reign again soon and I'm excited to continue to spread His word no matter where I am. 

I love you all heaps,

Be seeing you soon!

Sister Chadderton

P.s. Pray for me, because this week is going to be crazy busy and I need my health and strength!  Our musical number at church yesterday was really beautiful and we had class photos at the flag pole this morning. This is my class clinging to the pole protesting that we do not want to leave the Square.  So crack up!  I'm gonna miss these sisters terribly!  Picture of me and then a picture of my presents in my stocking.  Another picture of Sister Back and I with President and Sister Gillette.  Oh and guess who found me this week?  "Nat & Kevin Martin!"  So awesome!!! Love you Nat xo

Monday, December 23, 2013

24 December 2013

Hi family!!!!

Merry Christmas everyone! I will try and keep this brief because guess what? I can call you tomorrow!!!!  So crazy! Just to clarify, I will be calling home at 2:00 p.m. my time which should will be 10:00 a.m. your time.  YAY!

I can't believe we have reached the Christmas week already!  I know time goes by so quickly but it feels like this month has flown by.  The past week has been busy as usual and it's been a little tricky to get a hold of some of our investigators and recent converts.  I talked to Mattie this week which was a tender mercy.   Mattie is a recent convert that was baptized when I was training Sister Pipe. I called her and learnt that she has been called as a teacher in her Relief Society class and she taught her first lesson last Sunday about Joseph Smith.  Isn't that awesome?  I love hearing from our recent converts and finding out that they are still strong. Sister Walker from the South Carolina Columbia Mission emailed me and said Brian is getting the priesthood this week!  I am so happy for him.  My heart is overflowing with joy as the Lord's blessings continue to flow in the lives of our recent converts.

My companion and I have been working on a project which is a document that records the amount of motor coaches we've had visit Temple Square throughout the year.  The document is broken down into weeks and into motor coaches that have Mandarin speaking people on them and then other languages.  It was very time consuming but awesome to see how many people from China visit the Square when they come here for a holiday.  It's incredible because from May-October we've had 2000 Mandarin speaking people come through Temple Square.  Our Mandarin speaking sister missionaries are the bomb and I believe that is how China will get the gospel. 

On Thursday we had our Relief Society class in the Relief Society Building on Temple Square and whether it was a coincident or not, but guess who came to speak for my last Relief Society? Well, no it wasn't the Prophet,  but it was Sister Linda K. Burton who is the President of the General Relief Society.  Despite the snowy day the spirit was strong in our meeting.  She talked about woman who have influenced our lives and shared stories about some of the heroes who are past Relief Society General Presidents and whose pictures hang on the wall in this huge building.  She then invited us to share about women who have influenced our lives.  Mum of course I thought about you and also Nan and Nanny Ma and so many others.  Mum, I loved reflecting upon and thinking about what you have taught me throughout my life - like putting others first even when its not convenient or comfortable for you and giving things away without even thinking about it (even when it's a new IPod Touch).  I really admire that about you mum and this week I had the opportunity to apply what I learned because a sister missionary who is here from the islands didn't have a pair of boots and she asked me if I had any spare boots. Well, I did have a spare pair and I was going to bring the brown pair home but I know they will be put to better use here.  It was a great feeling to be able to give them to this sister - just like my mum would've - and of course our Savior is the greatest example of giving and that for me is the true meaning of Christmas.  Thanks for teaching me that mum!

I wasn't feeling too good on Thursday and so I went to stay with my Zone leader who was sick too.  I slept for 3-hours straight and then we found out that because it was snowing so hard Temple Square was closed early so Sister Magaoay came over with Sister Loisotto to pick me up and take me back to our apartment complex.  I was so grateful.  It was nice to rest as I have been going hard out and my body just told me, "That's enough!"  That night we had dinner with he Schultz family.  It was so nice and the food was delicious!  We shared some of our fun Christmas traditions and they shared some fun ones too.  We played a guessing game where there were three tupperware containers and the first one was filled with goldfish (crackers), the second with Kisses and the third with M&M's.  You had to guess how many crackers, or kisses or M&M's were in each container and the person who guessed the amount closest to what was in the container was the winner.  Well, turns out that my companion and I are terrible at guessing because we didn't win a prize.  The next day Sister Schultz  turned up to the Square with another tupperware container filled with Kisses and M&M's for us.  That was so sweet and we appreciated her so much.

Friday!  You'll never believe who we had dinner with that night?  Sister Garisau that is here is from Raglan in New Zealand and her Uncles are the, "Moleni Brothers!"  Turns out that they wanted to have her over for a Christmas feed and asked if we could go too.  So,  Fisi Moleni came and picked Sister Garisau and her companion up along with Sister Vaivai and I and we went to dinner with them.  It was at a Chapel and their were lots of family members there and they had put on a mean feed.  So awesome!  They remembered the Solomon boys but more especially Uncle Rana.  They called them, "The Temple View Defenders!"  It was so nice of them to spoil us and we ate Maori bread, pulled pork, chicken, lasagna, pizza, salad, veggies, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake, ice-cream - pretty much everything!  It was just like being at home.  We rolled home after that massive feast!   The next morning Amanda found me and gave me my Christmas package. Thanks again Amanda for bringing all that home and thanks family for spoiling me so, so, so, much!  I am so grateful and I'm excited to give many of these presents to my friends. 

Well, I will call you tomorrow and talk more.  We close the Square at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow and on Christmas day so that we can have our Christmas celebrations. Tuesday will be more spiritual as we are doing a pasada and me and my companion will be the angels and the sisters will be going around in groups to meet different people from the Nativity and we will have a spiritual experience and watch Keisha Castle Hughes' version of the Nativity after. Then Wednesday we have Santa coming.  I haven't started packing and next week will be my last full week. It's so crazy!  I have my departing interview and blessing this Thursday and while it may seem a little early it's because our class is pretty big so I guess we've got to start somewhere.

I love you all and I'm really looking forward to calling home tomorrow.  Merry Christmas everyone and see you in two weeks!

Sister Chadderton

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

18 December 2013

Hi Family,

Thank you for all the emails and trying hard not to remind me of how little time I have left in the mission field.  It really is strange to think that the end is so near.  Crazy!!!

First things first, we get a five minute phone call home today so if anyone is home I will call around your 2:15 p.m.  So excited that Christmas is next week!

We had an awesome week in that our mission was blessed with a visit by Elder Don R. Clark who did a 3-day tour of our Mission.  My companion and I attended day two of his tour and I loved his inspirational talks.  He talked a lot about how a mission brings about a mighty change and he gave a lot of good advice for those missionaries returning home.  Mum, you'll like this part where he said, "More important than your mission is who you will marry!"  He asked the missionaries who are returning home to stand and then invited each of us to set high goals and to go on two dates a week.  Haha!  I had to laugh because I was thinking, "Aren't we meant to be learning things about missionary work here, what's going on?"  But it was perfect advice because experience has shown that those who return from their missions always have a little bit of anxiety during their transition from the mission field to going on dates.  So, his words of wisdom helped a few of us to feel more at peace about life after the mission field. This week I have really felt more at peace about finishing my full-time mission.  I really feel like I can come home with no regrets.  What a beautiful way to end my mission by celebrating our Lord and Savior's birth.  We have some fun things planned for Christmas as we focus more and more on our Savior Jesus Christ.

Volunteers from our Mission President's stake are having the missionaries from my mission over for dinner in their homes.  The missionaries will have an opportunity to share their Christmas traditions with the assigned families - similar to what we did last year.  Our District will go on Thursday night and I'm so excited about going because  I miss being in the homes of the members and sharing spiritual thoughts with them so it's going to be fun!

I bumped into a lot of familiar faces this week.  I saw Irene's little sister who was here for a YSA activity.  During this activity I met a sister who served in Jenna's mission - Boise, Idaho.  She had called me awhile back to give me a referral - her niece and the nieces husband.  It was so cool to see this sister and she kept saying how much I reminded her of Jen!  I asked what happened to her nieces husband and she said, "He ended up getting baptized!"  Isn't that awesome?  She didn't have his phone number so I was never able to follow up with them so it was a tender mercy that I got to hear it from her first hand. So cool!

We were in the West Gate booth the other night and I saw a family walk by so I smiled and waved to the little boy.  The family turned around and came back to the window and guess who it was? Jessica Millard!  So awesome!  She was with her family!  It was awesome to see them because the last time I saw them all was probably when I was aged 12 or 13.  It has been over 10 years since we saw each other so I was glad she recognized me!  She is expecting again.

My companion and I have been busy organizing covers for assignments while the Sisters go to the members houses for dinner and we had staff meeting yesterday and are looking at ways to simplify the numbers we keep track of for the New Year. That will keep us busy this week!  My departing class is also singing in sacrament meeting on December 29th and we have started practicing for that.  We have some very talented people in our class and I'm confident we will do a good job.  

I'm so grateful for my mission and what the Lord has done for me. I am constantly amazed at all He does for each of us.  He knows each of us individually.   We had a meeting yesterday entitled, "Finish Strong" which happens when you're half way through your last transfer.  It was awesome and my goal to finish this transfer strong is to think of others!  Really, I want to forget about myself and look at how I can help the sisters more before I leave.  My companions goal is to continue to help me to be so exhausted that I will want to go home to rest! Hahaha!  I love her!

Well, I hope you enjoy finishing your Christmas preparations for next week and I will talk to you all real soon.

Merry Christmas,

Love Sister Chadderton

James 5:11 "Behold, we count them happy which endure..."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

10 December 2013

Happy Christmas everybody!

This week my email is  entitled, "Good Tidings of Great Joy" because its the season to be jolly and boy, am I jolly!  I have witnessed so many miracles and received so many blessings this past week and I am very grateful for the continued love of my Heavenly Father. 

I am going to share a few of the miracles with you all:

Monday night we finished our P-Day and went to work and we kept meeting up with so many adorable children.  They would see our badges and point and say, "Wow, those are missionaries!"  I had a little girl come up to me and say, "One day I want to be a missionary. How can I be a missionary now?" So cute!  We got lots of hugs from the children and it was the sweetest thing ever.  I felt soooo loved. That night we ran into the parents of one my companion's from the South Carolina Columbia Mission - Sister Walker.  Her parents and younger sister Lexi were looking for one of the Thai Sister missionaries because they wanted to give her a warm coat.  They'd found the sister missionary and when we were talking to them they invited my companion and I to have lunch with them the next day.

So, on Tuesday, after receiving permission from President Gillette we went to lunch with the Walker's at the Blue Lemon Restaurant which was awesome. I love Sister Walker because she has such a bubbly personality just like her daughter and it was cool to be at lunch with them. She even brought me the biggest bag of Peanut M&M's that I have ever seen!  We shared it with our fellow sister missionaries and still have lots left.

Wednesday we were in the office when a man by the name of Brother Westergaard - he drives people from the airport to bring them for a tour on Temple Square - came and handed me an envelope with my name on it.  He just gave it to me and left.  I had met him a week before and he'd asked me if I had a copy of the Articles of Faith in Maori.  I learnt during that visit that he had served his mission in New Zealand.  Well, I told him that I didn't have a copy of the articles of faith in Maori so inside the envelope today was, "The Articles of Faith in Maori" along with a sweet experience that he had written about from his mission days.  In his experience he shared a story about how when he was on his mission he was to be transferred but had no money for transportation.  A humble Maori member of the church gave him $11.00  because this member felt lthat this missionary needed it.  Well, inside this envelope Brother Westergaard had also enclosed a ten dollar bill and a magnet with a NZ Tiki on it.  Wow!  If I didn't already feel so loved I certainly felt it now.  I was so humbled by his kindness and kept wondering, "What have I done to deserve all these blessings?"

Thursday I was surprised to see a package addressed to me sitting on our Mail table.  It was from Kellyville 1st Ward!  So excited!  I laughed so hard when I opened the package because there was a  huge photo of me inside the box.  I have to take a picture of it and send it to you.  I was so grateful to everyone that contributed to my package.  Thank you so much for making my day Kellyville family!!!   Bishop Leota had written about all the missionary work that is happening back home in Kellyville 1st Ward and it made me so happy to hear of how everyone is working together to hasten the work and they have also witnessed baptisms! That is awesome!!!! Thanks so much everyone.

Friday night my companion went to the Latino Concert and I was on exchanges with Sister Magaoay - my little MTC companion.  We found a man on the Square who had been attending church and contemplating baptism.  He wants to be baptized for the right reasons so we told him we would be happy to phone him so he gave us his contact details.  I had the chance to call one of my other investigators in South Carolina whom I hadn't been able to get a hold of for a few weeks and she was the one who we gave the large print copy of the Book of Mormon too.  We'd also shared the Mormon Message about, "Mountains to Climb" and was surprised by everything that she had learnt.  She said she had still been reading the Book of Mormon and even downloaded it onto her kindle to read.  She asked why the missionaries hadn't come back to visit her?  I'd talked to Sister Walker who said that they went to visit her and she believes the Book of Mormon is true but that she wasn't able to make it to church but will make it soon.

I am excited to share my biggest miracle of the week which happened on Saturday.  You may remember my investigator  Brian back in the South Carolina Columbia Mission.  I had called Brian a week ago and he said he wasn't going to get baptized because he wanted to be able to quit smoking and drinking for two consecutive weeks before he was baptized.  In doing so, this meant that he could be baptized on December 7th.  I called him around his 4:00 p.m. and we were making small talk and then I said, "So Brian, when are you getting baptized?"  He then said to me, " You mean, "When am I getting confirmed?" OHHHHHHH, I was soooooo happy!  He had been baptized that morning and that was the biggest tender mercy of my life!  He was so happy and sounded like a whole new man because thats exactly what he is.  The first time I met Brian he wasn't very sober and  also smoking and now he is sober and clean every whit.  I love this gospel.  I love how it can change people's lives for the better and all they have to do is be obedient to God's commandments.  I'm so proud of him!

Sunday we continued to receive more blessings.  "Guess who came to our early morning sacrament meeting?" " Elder Quentin. L. Cook!"  He met President Gillette in the elevator after church last week and asked if he wouldn't mind if he joined us so he could partake of the Sacrament and then go and attend all of his other meetings in the day.  It was so cool to have an apostle sitting with us in our Sunday meetings.  It was a wonderful sacrament meeting.  The day was filled with lots of wonderful experiences - we went to Music and the Spoken Word Christmas special which was fun, had our staff meeting after where I was asked to give the spiritual thought.  Later on in the day the whole mission was to attend the Christmas devotional and because of this a BYU YSA Ward was invited to cover the Square for us while we went.  Guess who was asked to train up the YSA? Yup!  My companion and I were asked to do the training and we had almost 200 YSA volunteers turn up with about 6-8 returned Temple Square missionaries who had also come to help out.  It was really awesome to have the RM's back on the Square to help.  They were  Sister Jardine, Sister McKay, Sister Hinton, Sister Yazzie, Sister Aranda, Sister Ibarra, Sister Palmer, Sister Christensen and Sister Fredrickson. It was more like a fun mini reunion with many of these sisters having been my leaders at the start of my mission.   We got through the training and knew that the Square was going to be in safe hands for an hour!

Well, I've had a wonderful week and my companion and I are certainly feeling strengthened beyond doubt as we've witnessed the Lord's hand where in carrying us during those times where we've almost had no energy left to continue on.  We slept well last night and attended the temple this morning.  It has been such a wonderful week. I am definitely feeling the Christmas spirit and recognize the Lord's hand in everything. 

I love you all and pray that you may continue to recognize the miracles in your life and have good tidings and experience great joy just like I have this past week.  

Love Sister Chadderton

Saturday, December 7, 2013

8 Decembeer 2013

Aloha everyone!

This truly has been one of the busiest weeks of my mission!  Transfers happened, we completed all of the Christmas schedules for all of the sister missionaries - including the Christmas assignments.  We had a few hiccups but overall everything worked out nicely. The weeks are going by way too fast.

 Last Wednesday I said goodbye to my companion Sister Vach.  Thursday we had Thanksgiving at Noah's Ark and I didn't think it was possible, but I thought this years Thanksgiving celebration was even better than last years!!!!  We all came together and performed a thanksgiving skit, sang karaoke, had a HUGE feast, made Christmas ornaments - with our pictures and flags - while we watched the movie, "Monsters University!"  That movie was hilarious!!!  I was so happy we got to watch it because I think I laughed the whole time.  It was so good.  Mum, I hope you have that movie at home because I so want to watch it again.  We also did some line dancing and played Wallyball with President Seppi.  It is one of his favorite games at Noah's Ark so I texted a few of the keen players to bring either a black or white shirt and the players in a white shirt were part of, "Team Seppi's"  group.  Heaps of fun!  On the roof top of Noah's is an ice-skating rink where we all hung out and enjoyed ourselves too.  So, it was pretty much the best thanksgiving/mission activity EVER.  So much fun!  I was so exhausted the next day but we had much to do because the Christmas lights were due to be switched on that night.  We are the, "behind the scenes crew" on Temple Square so we had to find a mission microphone, fix a movie that had stopped working, teach the sisters how to effectively control the mobs at the Christus Statue (located in the North Visitor's Centre) which kept us busy for the entire night.  

Friday morning was awesome because I got to take Uncle TC, Aunty Cerian, Caleb and Lauren Chadderton on a tour.  It was so sweet catching up with everyone and Lauren said to me that she could only remember meeting me like twice in her life.  It was an awesome tour and it made me so grateful for the things I learnt from the parental's - like gaining a testimony for ourselves when we were little.  I loved seeing Uncle & Aunty and the cousins again.  Thanks for coming!  

Well, the Lord has been helping us with our assignments especially with that missing microphone.  We went to the North Visitor's Centre where the Christus Statue is located to try and find the microphone and the AV guy that is in charge of all the Visitor Center equipment was taking photos of his children.  Yay!  I was like, "Hey thats the guy we need to talk to!" So crazy!  He told us which microphone we needed but that we could also use a wired microphone as well, so we went and found one of those.  I am so grateful for the Lord's help otherwise nothing would've worked out for us.  Saturday was another hectic day but we are doing good at balancing our missionary work and office work.  

Our investigators are still progressing even if we aren't able to talk to them as often as we'd like to. I called Brian a few times and he is still working on quitting his addictions, he's almost there!

We had a cool experience with a Korean guy this week just after we had opened Temple Square.  We asked him if he needed help and then talked about some of the research he had done about the Church, showed him the model of the Salt Lake City Temple in the South Visitor's Centre, gave him a Book of Mormon and then referred him to have the local missionaries teach him in Korea when he goes home!  So incredible and this all happened in less than 15 minutes.  Miracles!  I love it.  Heavenly Father is great!  On Saturday the Sisters in their last transfer - like me - and those in there first and second transfer had the opportunity to attend the, "Celebration of the Christ Interfaith Concert" as there weren't enough tickets for the whole mission to attend.  It meant that I missed the Tabernacle Choir's Christmas concert but I wasn't too upset. The interfaith concert was amazing! Jenny Oaks Baker, BYU Vocal Point, Kevin - a beat-boxing cellist from Pentatonic - and some Baptist and Catholic Church Choirs performed.  I loved the Baptist Church's choir number! They were from Georgia so I was missing my people in the South.  BYU Vocal Point was definitely one of my favourites. Did you know that Jenny Oaks Baker is Elder Dallin H. Oaks' daughter? She is a very talented lady and Elder Oak's and his wife were at the concert.  So cool!

We still have a few trainings left to do this week but it won't be as demanding as the previous week.  We have to work until 10:00 p.m. two nights a week during the Christmas season and we can sleep in and be up and ready to study by 8:00 a.m.  We got to sleep in today and I was so grateful for that because it made a huge difference to my day and I feel ready to work late tonight!  My companion's goal is to drag me off the Square at night and take me home as I just love being on the Square talking to the thousands of people that visit.  It just makes me so happy to be here and that I still have a few more weeks left as a missionary.  We are having a mission tour by Elder Clark next week so that should be heaps of fun.

Thanks for all your prayers and love.  I fasted for strength to make it through this transfer and the Lord is answering my prayers!

Love you all, Sister Chadderton xoxo