So much has happened this week, and most of the truly incredible experiences were very personal, and only my journal is privy to that kind of sensitive information. Every day is so long, it's hard to keep track, but I'll try to hit the highlights.
President Packer's funeral was beautiful. The Spirit was so strong, and there was just SO much love in the room. Of course, "Where there is love, there is sadness at parting," but there was also so much hope, and peace, and joy to be felt. I loved that Elder Ballard thanked Sister Packer for encouraging Elder Packer not to call the other Quorum members before 5am... reminded me of some very early morning phone calls I've received from my own father... *cough cough* 5 is too early *cough cough* But seriously though, such a beautiful tribute to an amazing and faithful disciple of Christ.
So, the rumors are true. Once a year the Temple Square sisters get to go to the Brighton Girls Camp where we do purpose driven activities (like ropes course type things) and do processing and evaluating afterwards. It wasn't all just fun and games. It felt weird being on the receiving end of it. But it was nice to have a couple hours to be in the mountains. I did have the opportunity to repel... like 20 feet haha but for a pansy like me who is still overcoming her fear of heights, it was plenty challenging.
This week has been a little different for me, in that I got to be a part of a Russian tour, and an Italian tour (with an American companion, we typically stick to English... it's the only language we're both fluent in). It was fun! The sister who actually speaks the language translates a ton, and I just got to bear testimony about why temples are important, or why I chose to serve a mission, or why reading the Book of Mormon is so important, and why I am so grateful for my Savior.
Sister Lytle spoke in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. She was awesome, as expected. She shared a "silly" story about Archie and the Apple Tree (she called it "just a silly little story" like 7 or 8 times before she would actually tell the story), and basically everyone and their dog wanted a copy of it afterwards. They didn't even know there were such fun pictures to go with it! It was all about faith and patience. So good. Very few dry eyes in the room when she sat down. There must have been something in the air, like tear gas or something... Jokes jokes only jokes, she invited the spirit with her personal story of patience, and it was so beautiful.
Ah okay! So there is this AMAZING man who has been working as a volunteer at the Humanitarian Center for the last 6 years. He is 87, and just has the sharpest mind. He shared this BEAUTIFUL poem, from memory, with Sister Lytle and me, about how we are not the houses (bodies) we live in. It's basically about growing old, but I am so in love with the idea that we are more than our bodies. And he is such a good man.
Okay. So a little follow up to the iPad miracle of last week. Elder Moore, one of our full-time senior missionaries, shared with us Matthew 14 after we told him about finding the iPad. He focused on verses 24 and 25, and told us we have a "fourth watch God." A God who always comes, but in the fourth watch... So Sister Lytle and I talked about that a lot this week, and in sharing some of our personal stories, it's just been cool to see how everyone's "fourth watch" is different. For me, it was after five years of being "tossed with waves." Anyways. Just some food for thought.
We've met some really incredible people this week. Some who have just been so obviously prepared to receive the Gospel of Christ. It is such an exhilarating experience to feel the Spirit teaching people as you speak with them. Ah and I'm just so excited that we get to continue teaching them and watch them progress in the Gospel!
God is so so good. Make good and choose happiness ya hooligans!
Love, Sister Chamberlin
P.S. To those of you who did NOT write to me about 1) why you went on a mission and 2) why you stayed, I am very disappointed in you. Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance, and help a sista out with her project- write it out and send it. It will be good for you to remember it for yourself. Okay thanks.