1.14.2013….It’s a New Year!!

The picture is of my companions and some elders from our zone. They decided to have Burger King for Christmas Dinner πŸ™‚ After that we went to the assisted living center and sang carols and then we went on the back of a trailer and drove around singing carols to families that we were working with. It was super funΒ πŸ™‚

Love,

Sister HaddenIMG_0133[1].JPG

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12.31.2013…Happy New Year!

The new year presents the opportunity to look forward to the future with faith in Jesus Christ with hope that we may change for the better and look up, towards our Father in Heaven. I am grateful for that opportunity to change and I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to help others change. I love you all and wish you the best during this season!

Love,
Sister HaddenIMG_0121[1].JPG

3 December 2013 – Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello Everybody!

I don’t have a lot of time this week so I hope I can summarize the important things πŸ™‚
One of our investigators has a baptism date for the second week of December. We are so excited for him and it is so inspiring to see him grow closer and closer towards Christ. The one thing that I love about the mission is teaching, its the best part!
We went to the temple as a zone last Tuesday, it was great πŸ™‚ My companion suggested that I do a session with a specific question in mind and really try to ponder the question while in the temple. No, I did not have some grandiose revelation which I guess it is easy to think that is going to happen you are expecting to receive and answer. But I have really started to notice Heavenly Father answering my prayer especially this week. I cannot get enough of this experience, I keep thinking, how can it get better than this? I guess we will have to wait and see.
My companion and I received permission to go the Mickelson’s for thanksgiving!!! It was so much fun πŸ™‚ and we were so happy to be welcomed into their wonderful home. We spent the day listening to Christmas music and helping with Christmas decorations. The food was wonderful and the company was perfect. Kathryn even helped us out the next day with a few of our appointments, it was fantastic :).
My companion has been assigned as my trainer and as such she gave me the opportunity to be Senior Companion for the day. It wasn’t so bad, I forgot to write down some of the addresses and forgot to initiate some prayers, but at least I didn’t kill anyone, right? hahaha It was a good reminder that I still have a lot to learn and it is hard to be on top of things all of the time! I am grateful for my companion and all that she does for me πŸ™‚
We received a new companion yesterday! Her name is Sister King and she is from Hong Kong, well she was born in Minnesota, but she spent the last eight years in Hong Kong. She is waiting for her visa and until then she has been reassigned to the Utah Ogden Mission πŸ™‚ When her visa does come she will be headed out to Taiwan speaking Mandarin. They might put our companionship over the Mandarin branch in Logan now and one of our investigators is Chinese so that will give her great practice!
We got together as a zone today because we are having a christmas talent show so we practiced a dance that we are going to perform as a zone for the rest of the mission. It was really fun, hard to get everyone focused, but still fun.
One thing that I have been pondering that I am grateful for is the chance to improve. The entire plan that Heavenly Father has set out for us is dependent on growth and improvement. We are all children of God and he has given the ultimate chance to become like him. He has even given us the guidelines on how we are to live our lives and has given us a fail proof plan for when we don’t follow those guidelines. I am grateful for this design and the ability that it gives us to get a little bit better day by day.
What are you grateful for?
Also if you feel comfortable sharing, how does the spirit talk to you? I am trying to get some other ideas about how to tell investigators that we receive spiritual confirmations in a variety of ways.
Love,
Sister Hadden

19 November 2013 – In the Field, Destination: Logan, Utah!

Hello Everybody!

Last week, I finished up at the MTC and took the train up to Ogden. It all went by so fast! We had about 20 new missionaries enter the Utah Ogden Mission increasing our sisters to about 70 and our elders to about 200. We spent the next 24 hours with our Mission Presidency and the Assistant to the Presidents. President Hiers and his wife are amazing! They are so kind and loving, yet they also know how to keep those elders under control! πŸ™‚ But really, it was fantastic. We did some training with them and then they put us straight on the street doing some contacting and street approaches (I was only able to talk to a member, go figure πŸ˜‰ ) It was still fun and overall a good experience. The rest of the day we spent in the mission office learning about our mission and the many people we get to work with.
President Hiers took us out individually to have interviews with us to get to know us better and receive revelation for what area we were supposed to go into and who our next companion is going to be. During my interview he asked me why I am out serving a mission, I always struggle giving a clear answer to this question. Heavenly Father gave me the choice and I said yes, that’s who I want to be and that is what I want to do. I am not sure why, but I do know that I chose to serve and through that choice I will grow immensely closer to God and Jesus Christ. President Hiers then asked if there was anything that I felt he should know about me. This is when I told him that he has probably heard a lot about me because I was the girl that lived in the mission before I received my call there. πŸ™‚ He then asked where I lived I told him Ogden and Logan, so he wrote down on his notes Brigham City and I thought that I would probably stay there in that city for my entire mission hahaha. I was so nervous that he wouldn’t send me anywhere, so I said, “But don’t let that stop you from sending me where the Lord needs me. I want to be the missionary that the Lord needs me to be and just because I have a lot of connections in an area doesn’t mean that I am going to slack off.” πŸ˜‰ hahaha
Then we had training to learn how to use our iPads….what??? Every missionary in the Utah Ogden Mission receives an iPad to help hasten the work. We now have access to all of the Bible videos, Mormon Messages, Scriptures, Manuals, Pamphlets, and Handbooks at all times. There is also an Area Book App (this keeps track of everyone you teach and have taught in the area since the beginning of time), our planner is also accessible from this app. It is crazy! I am still adjusting to the iPad so I carry around my own scriptures and pamphlets still. The videos make sharing spiritual messages so much easier, there is something about those videos that really brings the spirit into a room. It’s amazing. Finally it was bedtime, we were all so tired because we had to wake up at three in order to catch the train earlier that morning. Then we spent our last evening with our MTC companion. I am really going to miss Sister Gietz, but I am sure that I will see her around over the next eighteen months.
The next morning we had a celebration. All of the older missionaries were gathered in the cultural hall waiting for us to arrive. When we walked in they cheered and cheered and whistled and hollered. It was quite the welcoming πŸ™‚ I knew at that moment that this was much more than just missionary work, but it is through the work that you find the fun. We then were assigned to our trainers. My first companion in the field is Sister Katie Wagner. She is from Simi Valley, California, so we are both California Girls! Also she attended three years at BYU-Idaho, but we had never met! She has been out for 17 months and we are excited to make her last transfer the best ever ;). She told me that our area was on Utah State University Campus! What?!? President Hiers didn’t confine me to Brigham City??? hahaha I was so happy and so excited to go to something familiar πŸ™‚ We cover 2 YSA stakes, yes 2 stakes. That is 16 wards in total. 16 Young Single Adult wards. Needless to say this past week I have met so many people I feel as if I will never remember anyone’s name….
Our first day together, we picked up 2 new investigators. They are both so sweet and know that God has his hand in their lives. I love teaching them and getting to know them. We have a baptismal date for both of them on December 7th. Crazy! I am so excited for them and I hope that nothing distracts them from the goal that they have made. We also have an investigator that has been progressing for a while and she really wants to get baptized, but she is Chinese and her grandmother is the matriarch of the family and she is not ready for Rae to get baptized. We keep her and her grandmother in our prayers so that her heart may be softened and she will come to know that this is something that Rae really wants in her life.
The rest of the week we have been working with ward members. We are trying to have 4 member visits from each ward to help the ward understand what they can do to help hasten the work. My companion explained the word hasten very well the other day. When we say that we are hastening the work, we mean that the work between members and missionaries is becoming more and more integrated. I love that! Working with the members is best way! During our member visits we get to know them a little bit, share a spiritual message, and then ask them to pray for anyone that they think that they need to reach out to. Inviting them to pray for the missionary moments in their own life. I love this and I love getting others excited about missionary work.
Along with the many member visits that we do, we also had a lot of Less Active or Recent Convert lessons. There are a few less active members that we work with that I just adore. Their testimony is getting stronger and you can see the desire in their heart. This truly is a wonderful work and I cannot get enough of it. I actually didn’t even notice how much I am in love with the work until this very moment… haha. Heavenly Father has touched me and I in return get to help others receive their own connection with their Father.
PS one of the many insights that I loved from the past week is this: You do not serve a mission to see what happens, you serve a mission to MAKE things happen! I feel like this can apply to anyone of our lives so go out and make things happen! Go act rather than to be acted upon!
I love you all!
Sister Cassidy Hadden

06 November 2013 – First Week!!

Hello World!

Disclaimer: This is just my general email for everyone, if you know of anyone else that would like to receive emails from me just let me know and send me their email address or you can forward the emails to them. Also this email is probably all over the place, we aren’t given much time and I didn’t really know what to write about so my formatting is awful. Please respond individually I would love to answer any questions that you have and I would love to hear what is going on in your life!! Have a great day!

It seems weird to me not really knowing what has been going on in the real world, but at the same time it seems kind of normal. I am doing great! The MTC food isn’t actually all that bad, like everyone warns you about (sorry that’s the first thing on my mind because I just finished lunch) I am not really sure what everyone wants to know about, but you should know that I am alive! and well! and having fun! The first couple days at the MTC were crazy! They just grab you from the sidewalk drop off (Thank you Mickelson’s for taking me!!!) and take you through a ton of unfamiliar places and give you some new stuff that you will need at your time here at the MTC. I felt like I was constantly being pushed and pulled to go here and there and do this and don’t do this. At the end of that first day I didn’t want to do anything but go straight to bed! After you finish all of orientation items they take you directly to your classroom and you begin learning right then and there. It was cray-cray. I was not expecting the rush of things, but in hindsight I guess I should have considering that they only give us 12 days to prepare ourselves to get in the field. I met my companion in my classroom, her name is Sister Gietz and she is from Gilbert, Arizona. We get along really well and we allow ourselves to get crazy sometimes and we love it! However we have struggled to become united in our teaching tactics our first couple of lessons. Luckily we were able to overcome our differences and helped each other to truly feel the spirit when we teach. Anyway I have loved getting to know her and I am so glad that we are companions, we compliment each other rather well. She is openly loving and friendly and I am ….. well not so much. So it is good to have her around when everyone else thinks I don’t like them because I don’t talk to them. We would always get lost if she were to lead us around πŸ™‚ So at least I am directional, I have that going for me πŸ™‚ I am working on not being so guarded because I know that if I open my heart and refrain from skepticism I will be able to love as Christ would. That is actually how I was able to feel the Holy Ghost so strong lately, by opening up my heart to Heavenly Father and letting Him in to change me. My companion, Sister Gietz has helped me to learn this.

The second day at the MTC was a little bit overwhelming too. We didn’t really know where we were going and we didn’t know what we needed to study and they gave us tons of personal study time (I involuntarily fell asleep during this study time) many of you know that it is quite typical of me to fall asleep in all settings. Anyway that evening we met with our Branch Presidency, our ecclesiastical leaders, the three couples live in the area and you could just tell that they loved us from the moment that we met them. That night my companion and I were chosen to be Sister Trainer Leaders, kind of like Zone leaders, but specifically for the Sister missionaries. I was not expecting that, and I hope that I may be able to help the sisters out in the best ways that I can, another great reason to work opening up and showing my love for others.
Friday we had gym time! I was so happy to get out and get some exercise, it is hard to sit in a classroom for more than 8 hours a day and it was so relaxing to relieve some anxiety by going to the gym. My companion and I also had our first teaching experience that day! It is set up through our instructors….I just realized I haven’t said anything about my instructors yet! They are Returned Missionaries that live in the area….heads up to Kody, you don’t have to go to BYU! I asked and they said that some of the teachers attend UVU too, but I don’t know if you have to be a student at either school, I think you just have to apply and live in the area which makes sense because we spend probably more than 12 hours a week with them in the classroom so they definitely would have to live close by. My teachers are awesome! They know how to keep me on task and to change my teaching tactics to invite the spirit and to trust and follow promptings that I may receive while in the moment. We have a lot of instruction time throughout the day, but we need it! I have also found that I don’t seem to have enough study time to thoroughly go through each preparatory lesson plan so I can feel prepared before going into each lesson. I expressed this concern to my teacher and she said that it is normal for me to feel overwhelmed, we will not have enough time to get everything perfect so we just need to recognize that, do our best, and let the rest go. That seems to be an underlying concept in the MTC, don’t try to be perfect, do your best and the Lord will fill in the rest. Its probably a good concept for life too. Oh, back to my first teaching experience, it was a roleplay through our instructor. He acts as an investigator, but the biography of his character is true, it is actually someone that he taught when he was on his mission. My companion and I did not know what to expect going into our first lesson, and it was a little bit discouraging. However it was only our third day in the MTC! Why should we feel failure? Didn’t we know that this was going to be hard? Like I said earlier, you shouldn’t expect perfection (especially just after three days) just learn from it and move on, become better than what you were.
As a missionary, you have no downtime, we are constantly memorizing, searching, praying, learning, and teaching. There is barely enough time to think about anything else! But, I love it. There aren’t really any other words to say about that, I just love it. So far we have taught two different investigators and their reasons for meeting with missionaries is completely different which is challenging for us as a companionship, but I know that if we do our best everything else will fall into place. I am running out of time, but if you have any specific questions just send me an email and I would love to answer you!
PS- Mom, why haven’t I heard from you yet? Also has Chase received his call yet???? I would like to know!!
Love Always,
Β  Β  Β  Β Sister Hadden
PPS- I would attach pictures, but the MTC computers are so restrictive that it is not working! But my next P-day I will be in the field (so I should be able to send something)!!! We travel to Ogden on the frontrunner at 6:20am (so early!) next Tuesday! So excited to meet my Mission President!

So I have decided to keep a blog…..

I wanted to start this blog first of all to reflect on the experiences and opportunities that God has placed in my life to help me to learn and to grow. I have just returned home to California after serving full time in the Utah Ogden Mission for 18 months and that is what I would like publish on my blog first, all of the emails that I sent home. Then I will be post those growing experiences that I am currently going through or reflections on ones that may have happened in my past. I hope you all enjoy and I don’t mind feedback if you have any thoughts on how I can improve this blog. Thanks! God bless!