Sunday, August 30, 2015

Yoo Hoo Family! - August 26, 2015 Home Field Advantage

This week has been LONG, and I am so tried, but it has been glorious. 

Two things, the Church's Welfare program, and also Church Security, and SO BEYOND AMAZING and I just love them. For the record, I'm serving in by far the safest mission in the world. Yay me!

I'm glad to hear Sammy is still alive, and doing well. What a little cutie pie, I miss that baby boy. So proud of the work that he is doing. Also, CONGRATULATIONS to Dre and Bents! Way to go, getting all married and stuff. The pictures are beautiful and I love you both!

So, I serve in the Beehive House, one of Brigham Young's homes here in Salt Lake City. It's been interesting, learning more about the Lion of the Lord. He was such a good, good man. I try to make jokes on the tours... some people laugh, others pity laugh, and occasionally I get the silent treatment. Those ones are fun. Lighten up people. My favorite is where there's a line up of photos of Brigham in chronological order- The Brigham Young to Brigham Old joke is fantastic, a CLASSIC, and deserves a chuckle. But it's a neat opportunity to talk about his life, and the early members of the church, and their sacrifices and hard work. And I'm just learning so much!

A quick word about my new companion. This girl. Wow. She's got Christlike attributes DOWN. She is one of the most Christlike people I've ever met. So humble, and patient, and charitable, and slow to anger, and just good, you know? You're gonna love her. She was born and raised in Idaho, and her parents are from Tonga. It has been fun getting to know her this week, and teaching with her.

Mama, thank you for the precious video of Luke quoting Luke 1:37- I've been using that scripture this week on the Square, it's golden. 

Ah there have just been too many little miracles this week, it's hard to focus my brain on one long enough to write about it. 
Sacrament meeting on Sunday was PHENOMENAL. Elder and Sister Clarke spoke, and Elder Clarke shared with us 5 ways to endure to the end, essentially. 1) Have a Christ centered life. When people enter your home, or apartment, or whatever, they should immediately know who the center of your universe it. 2) Have a testimony of Joseph Smith- that he is called of God as a prophet to restore Christ's church and authority. 3) Love the Book of Mormon. Read from it EVERY day. 4) Recognize that the Family is the most important organization in time and all eternity- make it a priority. 5) Go to the Temple. As often as possible.

One of the biggest things I've learned this week (or I guess that has been brought to my attention) is that God is so aware of all of his children. And when we strive to do His will, and follow the promptings of the Spirit, He will lead us to where we need to be. Nothing is "just coincidence." I've seen too many miracles for that to be the case.

My goodness, we just teach some of the neatest people. It is CRAZY to see the changes people experience, all part of repenting, to come unto Christ. I LOVE it. The Atonement is so real, and it is for EVERYONE. And it's amazing to be here on Temple Square. There's a special spirit here (home field advantage, you know?) and we get the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD IN OUR BOUNDARIES. It's so cool. I never thought I'd enjoy teaching over the phone, but it's really fun :)

oh! I met a sweet kid from (drumroll please) VIENNA! It was so fun to talk with him about the city and happy Austrian things. After a little persuasion (and sharing Joseph Smith's story of course), he agreed to read 5 pages of the Book of Mormon with me every day, and we'll be emailing about it. We shall see what comes of it. 

I can't remember if I already told you, but they've been putting up Christmas lights for the last month, and it is getting me so excited for Christmas!!! (and boots, and scarves, and coats, and hot chocolate, and happiness!) But seriously, I'm way pumped about Christmas on Temple Square. It's crazy busy, and we don't really get meal time haha but I've just heard the greatest things about it. Yay! But I guess all things in order, now that summer time is winding down, the next big thing is General Conference! again, yay!!

Whelp. My dears. God has a plan for each of us, individually. His love is infinite. Jesus Christ lives. Keep doing the little things, that is how we keep a strong foundation on Christ: attend church, read the scriptures, pray always. God is so good.

Make good, choose happiness. Love you little nuggets!
Sister Chamberlin

P.S. to each of my nieces and nephews, I love you so much! hugs and kisses from aunt Beks!
Saying Goodbye to Sis Lytle

My New District

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cry me a River August 19, 2015

Build me a bridge, and get over it, right? Wrong. Tears are good. They water the seeds of Faith. And salt water is the cure for everything anyway, right? Tears, sweat, the ocean... Yes, yes I'm trying to validate my unusual (or maybe not so unusual) sensitivity that has been this week, and more especially this day.

This morning I bid farewell to my dear trainer- which means I FINALLY got to meet the Lytle Fam this week, in real life, you know? I won't get into the ooey gooey details, but that little nugget is one of my very best friends, and I'm going to miss spending all day every day with her, sharing the good news that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Priesthood authority have been restored to the earth. I know she'll be back to visit before I've finished my own missionary service, but I look forward to the day when we get to meet again, and experience some of the joy that Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah felt when they were reunited (although, their missions were significantly longer... like more than 12 years longer)... but still. It will be a glorious reunion.

I was on exchanges a lot this week, as Sister Lytle had a lot of "departing" things she was involved in (like special temple trips and meetings and the like). It's fun to go out with other sisters, and learn from them, but it's hard because we're not used to teaching together and the jive is just missing, you know?

So. My preparation day has shifted to Wednesday. It will probably be changing every 6 weeks, but I'll try to give you some forewarning. My new companion is Sister Vasi. So, Sister Lytle was a little all American Barbie doll... Sister Vasi is the Tongan Barbie doll. She is BEAUTIFUL. She was born and raised in Idaho, so I've got myself another American companion :) She just came back from her outbound mission in San Diego- so she got to experience this nice little heat wave you've been having. Today was our first day together, and I'm excited to get to know her better as we learn more about each other and teach together... you know, develop that companionship unity... that jive.

My assignment this transfer is the Beehive House. I'm excited, as I've only served there a couple times, and now I get to be there almost every day for a good block of time. I'm looking forward to learning more about the Lion of the Lord that was Brigham Young (if you weren't aware, the Beehive House is where my buddy Brigham lived, and we give tours there). There's a lot of history that I don't know... yet. 

I've moved to a new apartment. It's gonna need some TLC... mostly just in the cleanliness department. But it's nice.

I'll be completely honest, I don't remember much of this week because I'm a little emotional monster right now. I feel like such a girl and I think it's a result of being surrounded by 200 women all day every day forever and ever. And I can't just rub some dirt in it because they need the dirt for the pretty flowers.
Hey! That reminds me, they started putting up lights in the trees for Christmas these past couple weeks (I know I know, it's August. Does this give you a little more appreciation for the magic that is Temple Square at Christmas time?) I'm just hoping we get a lot more snow this winter. Let's be real here, we need the moisture, AND the snow is what makes the lights magical.

It sounds like Baby Boy is doing okay? All the missionaries in Thailand are safe and accounted for? In case you were wondering, the families and friends of my little Thai sisters (Sister Chansiramee and Sister Sanputhorn) are safe as well. Those have a special place in my heart, by virtue of the fact that Sammy is in Bangkok haha, but they're sweet girls. 

And also it sounds like some of my siblings aren't doing a very good job of sharing important information with me, so if you're one of my siblings and you're reading this, and a thought pops into your head of something you probably should have shared with me by now... please do. :)

Oh my goodness, for as bummed as I am that I missed out on the Stake Youth Trek this summer, I'm not gonna lie, I'm not bummed I missed out on that heat. However, it sounds like it was INCREDIBLE. All you little humans are just so good, and so inspiring. Big Papa, thank you for your letter. You're such a good dude. And I am just so impressed with the youth and leaders of our Stake. It's neat, when people get to have a little taste of what the pioneers experienced- a glimpse through a window of their trials and sacrifices. We get the opportunity to talk about our pioneer ancestry ALL THE TIME, and knowing what these heroes endured for their Faith... it can change people. I love watching people's attitudes change, and their hearts soften, as they learn about the early saints. I'm glad the Mission Viejo Stake got to experience some of their very own miracles. So special. 

I love you all. Make good. Choose Happiness.
Sister Chamberlin

PS I promise a better letter next week, when I have my control over my brain back :)
Oh also also, Sarah (and Scotty) you two are angelic and I love you.
Sister Vasi returning from Outbound with President 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hugs and Kisses Sister Lytle! Bye Bye Bye

"The blood is on my hands!"

I'm killing my trainer this week. She goes home in less than 5 days. (This next sentence is to be read In Scar's voice... you know, to the tune of "Be Prepared") The end of this era is tiptoeing nearer, and now it's my feature, cause I've listened to teacher.
Just kidding. I've obviously seen the Lion King too many times. Didn't think that was possible. I'm a big loser.
In all seriousness, I'm pretty sad. In such short time, she has become one of my dearest friends. So when she comes to visit, please please please make her feel right at home. Okay, thanks.

I can't believe it's been a week since last P-day. We've been very busy (we always are, let's be real). 

Oh oh oh! A thing! I met a girl on the Square this week who served in the Irvine Mission, in the Mission Viejo Stake nonetheless! Sister Cottle. She is very kind, and very beautiful, and it was just fun to make that connection. So, that's a thing. And and and! She was here with a boy that Sister Lytle had taught like a year ago! Small world.

One of my favorite miracles of the week. Prepare yourselves. I was on exchanges, with my favorite Russian, Sister Bryuzgina. And SHE felt prompted to approach this man that was just kind of chilling on a bench. So we did. We got talking with him, we asked about his job, if he was a member, where he served his mission, etc. Then Sister Bryuzgina asked him what he felt was the biggest miracle on his mission. So he shared this story about how early on during his mission he didn't feel like he was being led by the Spirit, and this one time while he was following his senior companion on a bike, his companion had him take the lead, and said to just go where the Spirit directed. And they were cruising and he didn't feel like he was being led, but he got the idea to go down this road they were coming up on. He ignored the idea, but when they got to the road he said it felt like someone was pushing his handlebars to steer him onto that street. And there was no one on that street, except one man. They talked to him, and found out he'd just lost everything. He'd lost his job, his wife picked up and left him, taking their daughter, and if I remember correctly, he had just become homeless that night. So they did what they could to console him and whatnot, and set up a time to meet with him again. Well, that time came, and guess who didn't show up. That man. So this guy we're talking to said he felt so confused, at why the Spirit would guide him to that man, when nothing came of it. And then, several months later, our friend (let's call him Peter, just cause I like that name) was with a new companion. And he prayed specifically to find that man he had met earlier on his mission. And they were proselyting in a different part of the city that day, but guess who they met. Did you guess it was the man? Good, because I haven't talked about anyone else in this story. So a similar thing happened. They set up another appointment and he never showed. But Peter then shared with us how maybe that man just needed comfort, and to know that God was looking out for him. And maybe more than that, Peter needed to learn that he could receive personal revelation, and that God was aware of HIM. So anyways, then he gets all teary eyes and emotional, and opened up with us about how "ironic" it was, that God had sent him and his companion, these two little missionaries, to go comfort that man in his time of need, and now God had sent two little sister missionaries to him, on the day that he had just been fired, and was dealing with some church discipline, and he was feeling pretty hopeless. Anyways, the point of this whole long story is that I felt so much like God was using us to remind this young husband and father that God loves him, so very much. And it was neat because he felt that, and shared it with us. It was a beautiful experience.

We started teaching a man this week who is mostly interested because the girl he is dating is a member. But shortly after we started teaching him, it looked like things may not be going so well between the two of them. (However, when he first told us about her, it was SO CUTE! He was telling us all about her, and said, and I quote, "Kissing her is, like... WOW!" hahaha sooooo precious!) Anyways, it looked like maybe things weren't going to work out, so we got real blunt with him, and asked if he still wanted to continue learning, and come to know for himself if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's Kingdom on Earth, whether or not things worked out with this girl. Aaaaaand he said yes. So we're excited to continue teaching him. He has been SO good about keeping his commitments, which we just love.

I got to finally meet the Gregorious family! And they are all DARLING! Again, my faith was strengthened that when God wants people to meet, He provides a way. Because for as small as Temple Square may seem, when you're looking for someone, all of a sudden it grows, exponentially. I hope I get the opportunity to take them around on a tour :)

I had the opportunity this week to reflect a bit on the last several years of my life, and I am just so grateful to my Heavenly Father for always sending me little angels. Sister Lytle and I read the story "You Are Special" by Max Lucado today- if you haven't read it yet, go read it. Anyways, I will be forever grateful for my little angels that have been there all along, reminding me of who I am, and who my Father is.

I know that I am a daughter of God. I had forgotten that, for a while. But if there is one thing I wish everyone in the world could know, it's that they are children of God. I firmly believe it is THE most important thing we can come to know in this life.

I love you all. Hugs and kisses all around. 
Make good, choose happiness. God is everywhere, just open your eyes! :)
Love always, Sister Chamberlin

P.S. I finally get to meet THE Shaun Lytle this weekend. Prepare yourselves, world. One of the greatest friendships is about to be forged. Shauny daddy, I'm waiting for you. 

August 6, 2015

Heeeey family! 

So what is this madness, the first year I don't come to Lake Powell and all of a sudden the canines are allowed? 
I hope you humans (and animals) are being safe and enjoying paradise. I'm sorry to hear about some of the malfunctions of the trip- but it wouldn't be Lake Powell without those right? Just remember how lucky you all are to be there!!

I don't really have any time today (sorry mom, I had to choose between writing and washing laundry... I was out of clean clothes), but I'm happy, healthy, and have everything I need. We see miracles every day, and this week was no exception. God is so real, but so is the adversary (2 Nephi 2:11 right?). I can't even describe how grateful I am to have a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I love you all. Make good. Choose happiness. 
Love always, Sister Chamberlin 

July 30, 2015

Hello family!

This week. Where to even begin. Some of the most spiritual moments of my entire life, with very few exceptions. 

We celebrated Pioneer Day- we got to attend the Parade, because Salt Lake City pretty much shuts down for it. It was just a neat opportunity to share with visitors this week about our heritage. We already do that a lot- using the inspired history of Temple Square to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but Pioneer Day gave it that extra umph of "Well why would so many people sacrifice so much to come to this little desert?" 

We met some AMAZING families this week who were just such an example to me for how I want to parent my children (don't get your pantyhose in a bunch, I know I have great examples in all of you). One father in particular, after I bore testimony about eternal families and the Savior in the Beehive house (Brigham Young's home- we take tours through it), there was a moment of silence and then he asked his children, "Do you feel that? Notice how you feel right now. That's the Spirit." And I just thought it was neat that he took the time to teach his children that, so that they can grow up learning to recognize what the spirit feels like. This family had two deaf children, and were just so Christlike. (yep, got to take my first ASL tour, thank you exchanges) And there were families like that ALL DAY. Which was unusual. 

Okay. An insanely spiritual experience for me this week, that you probably have to have been directly involved in, but I'm gonna try to share. Ah I can't really go into too great of detail, but I'm gonna do my best to convey what went down. No, that's too hard. Basically, I was led to this man and was just kinda talking with him, found out he's a member, so I asked him how the gospel has blessed his life. He talked about it being a solid foundation. So we read Helaman 5:12 together, and I felt prompted to ask him if he'd experienced any whirlwinds or storms lately. At that point, there was just a change in the environment, if that even makes sense. And after a couple minutes he opened up about some of his struggles in recent years, how he'd lost his wife, and is dealing with the loneliness. We both got pretty emotional, there was a tender spirit, and I shared Matthew 27:46 with him (don't even worry, I read the scriptures, and I make everyone else read them with me) and OH WOW IT WAS AMAZING I was just COMPLETELY OVERCOME with love for this man, that was not my own. I have NO doubt about how much Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father love this man, and it was the most spectacular thing for me to be able to feel that. 

Sister Lytle and I got to take a HUGE group of young Christians from Fullerton on a tour- they were so good. They had so many questions and were so attentive. (you gotta understand, USUALLY when young non-LDS people come to the Square, it's to harass us). The conversation pretty much stuck around the Restoration, and it was just a good experience. Gotta love my locals :) A couple of the boys reminded me of ma boy Blake, so obviously I took an immediate liking to them.

I got to see the Smiths (love you Mama Shells!) last week, Miss Kenzie looks fabulous. As does Annie. I can't even believe they're both already home and I'm just on the up and up haha. Both those girls just radiate the Light of Christ, and I LOVE IT. 

Blah blah blah there are so many neat experiences I want to share but it's too long and I just don't have time, so tough. BUT I did meet this couple who were celebrating their 71st anniversary together (new life goal?). They married in 1944, she was 18, he was 20, right before he was shipped of to fight in the Battle of the Bulge!! He told me a bit about that experience- losing so many brothers- and just about their lives in general. This couple is INCREDIBLE. I asked them what their secret was (as we like to ask most married couples- we get some good answers from time to time). He said to be faithful. Be faithful to God, be faithful to your spouse. Ah I just relished the opportunity to shake hands with one of our heroes, you know? And his sweet wife. They are just so good.

We had Zone Conference yesterday- SO good. President talked a lot about Daniel 2- King Nebuchadnezzar's dream? With the idol made of gold and silver and brass and iron, with feet of iron mixed with clay? He talked about how the clay made the iron weak, and how we need to get rid of our clay, which is achieved through the refiner's fire. And how obedience is the price we pay to get rid of the clay. Ah that's my attempt at putting his whole presentation into just a few words, but hopefully you can get an idea of the concept. It was beautiful. He also talked about good character, and quoted Hyrum W Smith (not Joseph's brother), "Character is the ability to carry out a decision long after the emotion of making the decision has passed." So good, right? Sister Lytle and I were part of the training at the conference- I was a huge grump all leading up to it, but we prepared well, and God blessed us, and everything went smoothly. 

Life is good, because God is good. Momma, I'm happy, I'm healthy, and I think I have everything I need.
I love you so much. God's love for His children is SO REAL. I just wish EVERYONE would turn to Christ, and feel it for themselves. It is by far the most incredible thing I've ever experienced. 

Make good and choose happiness! 
Love always, Sister Chamberlin

PS have fun at Lake Powell! Be so safe, and know that I'm thinking of you! (and that sweet paradise).