Monday, July 23, 2012

An Update From Eric

We were so happy to hear from Eric this Sunday night (which is actually Monday night for him) to hear how he is doing on his mission. Above is the map of Guam. Eric is assigned to the villages of Talofofo and Yona and rides a bike for transportation. Below is his latest letter:

Dearest Mom;   (<-- building brownie points)

Email is great, just as letters. But I cant respond to anyone's emails unless they are family. So I prefer the family to email, and the rest of all those AWESOME PEOPLE OUT THERE who want to write me, to do so in a written letter. I got a letter From Sister Ashlee Nicoll from England!! Oh, and Sister Britney Morgan also wrote me :) so I'll have to respond to those next week.

I got your package in the mail, thank you so very much, I felt so loved :) Today I sent the pictures. So I sent them around 1:00PM 7/23/2012 Guam time. So we will see how long it takes to get there.

I am so so sorry to here about you in your Chemo pursuits*. I love you very much, and I pray for you and the family every single night. It makes me very uneasy knowing that both you and Dad are so ill. But I know that the Lord is watching over you. I love you all so very much. You mean the world to me (haha, remember all the singers on American Idol?). Except I truly mean it. I hope you recover soon, I will have a special prayer for you.

I am sooo happy that Max had a good birthday party!! Did you let him know I would of been BOWSER!! haha. I miss him so much. I'm glad he had a good time with his friends.

TELL BRYANNA to write me... yo, I'm your homie bro! either email me or write me a letter, fool. Oh and I love ya :)

One of the best feelings that I have ever had in my life happened yesterday! Elder Kata and I had 8 investigators show up to sacrament!! I felt so happy to see them. I periodically looked at them during church, and they were all paying attention, and listening to what was happening. OH and get this. It was the Sunday that they talked about the Young Women's camp in Sacrament, so the young women and the leaders got up to talk, and all 8 of our investigators are in the young women age!! It was a tender mercy of the Lord. A great blessing for those investigators, looking for that thing that they are missing in their lives. I am loving it so much here. Beautiful and full of service. I am losing weight too. I weighed today, and I weigh 210, with all my proselyting clothes on. So not the best, but hey, it's going down :) Well I love you all, and please keep writing and emailing me :)


Elder Hadder 

* Michelle was hospitalized three days this week for complications from Round Three of A/C chemotherapy.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Learning Chuukees

We were so happy to get this email from Eric. His P-day is Monday, but we receive his letters Sunday night because of the time zone difference. They are a day ahead of us.

Hey Mom (and family):          

That was way nice of Richard Milenkovich to come down, he is such a good friend!! Please thank him for me! Also ask him how his family is doing.

Bryanna got her license!!!! OMG I'm soooo glad I'm on this island and away from the potential disaster that awaits all those poor and unsuspecting drivers in Arizona :P I love ya Bry :) Just please be careful, I wouldn't want to come back there and "teach you a lesson" if you were to get into a crash... oh and yeah, BE HOME ON TIME!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAX!!  Dude you are so lucky that Mom, Dad, and Bry are having a super cool Mario Birthday Party. LUCKY! That sounds like so much fun. If I was there, I think I would Be BOWSER. MWAHAHAHA. And then I would take all your presents (stars) and you would have to play games against me to earn them all back.  haha. I love you very much, and thank you for taking care of Mom for me. You are the best Bro ever :)

I'm happy to hear that you are doing well Mom with the Chemo. I know that it is hard, and that there are some times when you just think... What’s the point. But I know that you WILL beat this. And that you will have such an enriched testimony on the power of blessings and faith. I am so extremely proud of you and Dad, for all that you have been through and for the positive examples that you have been in both my life, and the lives of those around you. I love you very much, and please keep me updated :)

IT is so B...E...A...utiful here. Not only is the weather amazing, but the trees, and ocean and just general atmosphere. I have learned so much about life, having a native companion, as well as being able to teach and learn from all the diverse types of people here on Guam. We are teaching this guy (I’m not going to say his name) and I have been able to see him experience the Atonement work in his life, and it has been such an amazing and spiritual experience. I can’t even describe it.

The bikes are a bit hard, because we have to bike 5 miles to get to the village where most of our current investigators are, and it is about 80% of the time uphill :( but it’s all good, because on the way home, it’s a breeze :) I have never been so wet in my life, between the constant rains, and the crazy amounts of sweat. haha ( sounds really gross to type it).

I have learned a bit of Chuukees. This is my testimony (it will be spelled wrong, most likely):

Uwa sinei pwe ei mwuchifen mi ennet, me pwe Joseph Smith emon sofoson Kot.
Uwa sinei pwe Ewe Puken Mormon mi pwan eu pwarata usun Jesus Christ.
Uwa kinisou ren mirit me kinomwe non maniouen, me ei tufich en angang fan iten Semach won Nang. Uwa apasa ekkei mettoch non iten Jesus Christ, Amen.

In English:

I know that this Church is true, and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I know that The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for knowledge and peace in my life, and this opportunity to serve in the name of our Heavenly Father. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all, and thanks for all the support of everybody.


Elder Hadder 

Monday, July 9, 2012

And the First Assignment Is...

We got the very anticipated letter from Eric below telling us about his first assignment and his new Companion:

HEY... Its me, Elder Hadder
Ok so now my P-days are on Mondays. I can't send a letter home today, because we had a zone p-day and that took allllll day. It is already 4:30 :(    So that stinks a lot, but whatever, I was able to learn everyone's name. So... I got assigned to the Talofofo and Yona area here on Guam. I am very very lucky, because my companion and trainer is Elder Kata, and he is from Chuuk. That's right I got so lucky that my companion is a native of Micronesia. He and I think one other Elder is from Micronesia.

Elder Kata called to train Eric in Talofofo

I have been assigned to learn Chuukese. (
note: this was the language Eric was hoping to learn). So having a native from Chuuk as my companion is super amazing. I get to be with Elder Kata for two (2) transfers (which is twelve [12] weeks). So my goal is to learn Chuuk super well after my two transfers. Oh and get this.... Elder Adams* trained Elder Kata, so that makes Elder Adams my grandpa!! haha. I have been taking so many pictures of everything. So I'll send it all next week for sure. So to send me packages or letters just send it to the mission office in Guam, and we pick it up every P-day. Next week I'll send a letter as well as the video card :)

So I have been sick for like a week now... I dont have like half of my voice. But that's ok, I'll get it back eventually. Elder Kata and I get our new apartment later today, so I'm excited for that. Oh and get this, I think Elder Kata and I are the only Elders on Guam who get bikes, everyone else gets cars, haha. So I'll be getting skinny 


Thank you so much Max for looking after mom. You are the best brother ever, I love and miss you so much. I think about you every single day. You make me so happy, and I will be sending pictures home for you. I love you, and you are the best. Love you Max.

Alrighty, well I have to go, I love everyone. I will be sending pictures next week. 

Elder Hadder  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

MTC Pictures

Thanks to Sister Heather Obray, below are pictures from the MTC of Eric, her son, Elder Nick Obray, and the rest of the Micronesia Guam District. These pictures were taken right before the Missionaries left for Guam.

The Micronesia Guam (and one Fiji Elder) District

In the MTC Classroom

A little P-day volleyball

Our cute Elders

Eric and those long fingers that help him play the piano so well!

Safely Arrived at Guam

So those of you who know me well know I play Rock Band pretty much every chance I get. It is so fun for me - such a stress reliever - -  and I play with awesome people like Aaron Allen (Double A) and Alex Danayan, our very talented friend from Canada that is the best RB guitarist I have ever seen, bar none. So we were playing (and destroying the records, I must say with gold starts and double digit rankings on the PS3 leaderboard) when my cell phone rang. I yelled at Darrell to grab the phone, but he he didn't recognize the number at all. I have learned this may be a good thing, so I yelled "give me the phone" between singing. And answered it to hear a wonderful voice on the line: "This is President Meacham from the Micronesia Guam Mission letting you know your son arrived here safely. He will be meeting his Companion in a few minutes and tomorrow he will be given his assignment. He will email you on Monday with news." Well I couldn't thank the man enough for his kind phone call. I was so touched that he would take the time to call each parent of the Missionaries entrusted to his care. I was thrilled to speak to the man I have never met before to whom I trust to take care of my precious son. This time it didn't make me sad (because it was about Eric, but not Eric himself), and I played the rest of the night randomly blurting out "Oh my gosh, Eric's Mission President just called". Which about the fifteenth time was met with laughter from everyone. I just couldn't get over it.

Thanks Double A and Sephimour 777 (Alex Danayan) for making Mamma Hadder happy and playing Rock Band with me. Eric's friends have been very wonderful to me while he has been gone (and always) and I just love them.

Unexpected Phone Call

On Tuesday, July2, 2012, I received a call on my cell phone while at work from a number I didn't recognize. I don't usually take calls at work, but I have been waiting for a medical appointment, so I took the call. It was the sweetest voice on the other line..."This is Eric". It took me a couple seconds to recognize it was MY Eric - then I was estatic. He had called me from a pay phone in a McDonalds at LAX while traveling to Guam. We had a chance to chat, catch up on everyone's health (both Dad and I are doing fine) and a little information on each family member. Eric sounded so happy and positive and just wonderful. It was so exciting. I told my boss Eric had called all happy....then I started crying. And couldn't stop. I cried at my desk, hid in the ladies' room and cried there to see if I could pull myself together, and finally just returned to my desk and let the tears flow while I worked. Hearing his voice just brought to reality that he isn't just on an extended road trip with friends, he is gone for two years. And I just miss him so much. He left a huge hole in our family.

I called Verizon to have his smartphone fixed to give to Bryanna while he is on his mission. When the tech asked me to power it up to make sure it was still covered under the warranty (it was) his cute face in his ASU shirt smiled at me from his cell phone and I burst out crying. The poor Verizon tech was like "Ma'am, ma'am, are you OK?" After some blubbering on my part the guy just probably chalked me up to crazy and walked me through the steps needed to return the phone. 

I guess when I am at home and immersed in the details of everyday living, plus my chemo and always worrying about Darrell's health, I can put the fact that Eric is gone on a mental shelf and leave it there. But unexpectedly hearing from him or seeing his smiling face pop up just melts my defenses. Having said that, I wouldn't have him give up this experience for ANYTHING. He has my full support. He is just growing and maturing and moving forward with his life and I am so proud. What an amazing turning point in his life. An opportunity to put self aside for two years and just serve those around you. I wish I had been a Member of the Church when I was struggling to find myself in my late teens/early adulthood. I would have made different choices for sure. 

All my love, Elder Hadder, you are an awesome representative of the family name. We love you so much.

Star Studded Devotional

Hey Mom:

OK so as I promised, I will tell you about the special devotional yesterday, but before that...

I got your package, and it awesome. I shared, and the steak strips were gone in like 5 minutes, ha ha. Thanks for the almonds as well. I really like them. So I have received a letter/Dear Elder from Jacob Reed, Aaron Allen (btw I need his email, because I want to write him) Brother Seggie, Ashlee Nicholl, my beautiful Mom, my amazing Dad, and an extremely nice letter from Jennie Sherfey. It was so unexpected and so very kind of her. It really made me happy - she is a great Aunt. I have grown so much more spiritually in just one week, it is so crazy. This week (meaning from 6/12 to 6/28) they had the annual new mission president conference here at the MTC. So 1/3 of the missions got a new president (about 120 or so). So the schedule is all out of whack and weird at the moment. So this Saturday all the missionaries meet their new mission president, but all the other missionaries who don't have a new mission president (including me) went to the the massive gym here (M19) and watched a movie. And yes you guessed it, we all watched "The Other Side of Heaven". It was so amazing to be able to watch that movie and give us a small glimpse of how our mission in Micronesia could possibly be. It definitely was a huge morale boost. So now on to Tuesday. Because of the new mission presidents, a lot of the General Authorities were here. So Elder L. Tom Perry gave the talk of Tuesday. On the stand were the following: L. Tom Perry, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, M. Russell Ballard, David A. Bednar, Quinton L. Cook, D. Todd Christopherson, Neil L. Anderson, Richard G. Scott, Jeffrey R. Holland, as well as most of the first presidency of the First Quorum of the 70. We all stood when the General Authorities were walking in and the room had such a strong spirit. It hit us all so strong. The talk was pretty powerful. It was a lot of statistics on how a religious family benefits both the family and the individual so much. It was a great experience.

Well I leave the MTC in six days (7/2/2012). This is the travel itinerary:

LAX to Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Japan to Guam

Please don't share the airline or flight numbers, but you can post the rest of the information.
Love all of you,

Elder Hadder

A Letter to Bryanna

Best Friends

Eric wrote Bryanna:

BREEEEEEEEEEEEE (what up homie):  Bryanna Hadder, where to begin... Well I will start with the fact that I love you. I miss you so so much it's not even funny. So I hear you are seriously planning on going to BYU.That is so awesome :0)  You will love the weather here. It's beautiful. Also, you signed up for seminary, well that's awesome. Promise me that you will read what they ask you to read, and pray about it. I pray about you every single night. I love you with all of my heart. You are for real my best friend. I want your life to be blessed with the gospel. Sounds lame, but I promise you will have such a better life. And you know I don't B.S. you. Bree, please give Mom, Dad, & especially Max a big hug for me. You are the oldest now, so you have the responsibility of love now. Everyone messes up ( a lot) you just have to love them and want to help them. Well I am running out of time (laundry room). I love you Bryanna, and I know that God loves you very much as well. You're beautiful and don't forget it. 

Love your best friend, 

Elder Hadder