Transfer day, yo! I'm sad to be separated from my Polynesian Princess Sister Vasi, we had a good time, but I'm excited about my new companion, Sister Lai. She is from Australia, and speaks English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese. What up y'all, I'll be doing the Ni Hao tours. Just today we've already taken a ton. And it was a half day. It's so cool being on temple Square. We just get to contact and teach all day every day. I'm so excited for this change of pace with the added component of language tours :) So Benny boy, I'll be teaching your people ;) but really though. Ni Hao! :)
This week has been BUSY and it's only going to get busier this weekend, with the continuation of Conference. Last week I did not get to attend the Women's session, as I had to work the Square... and I actually will not be attending any sessions this weekend because the mission is short tickets, but I am excited nonetheless.
I got to attend Elder Scott's funeral on Monday. It was beautiful. He was such a good man. And his love for his sweetheart... I want that. One day. :) It's such a neat experience to be in the presence of so many prophets and apostles of Christ. I can't even believe I am so lucky. Not lucky, blessed. And I have loved that, although we've lost three of our beloved apostles this summer, none of the funerals were... sad? Drawing on something said at Elder Packer's funeral, where there's love, there is sadness at separation, of course. But just because everyone there has this greater, eternal perspective, funerals feel more like graduation ceremonies. And it's cool. And knowing that Elder Scott gets to be reunited with the love of his life- what a love story.
Sister Vasi and I, along with another companionship, have been extra busy this week making a Conference prep video for the Sisters. It's funny, or at least, I think it is, and we're excited to finally be done with it and show it to the mission tomorrow. Conference is a big deal here, as I'm sure you can imagine (but really, I don't think you can imagine, because you've never experienced it.) We only get to go off the square for 20 minutes of lunch and 20 minutes of dinner. Other than that, we're out working nonstop. Good thing my boots rock and are comfortable. I'm just excited for this huge influx of members, all pumped about hearing from our leaders.
Speaking of Conference, if you little nuggets haven't yet written down questions you want answers to this weekend, get on it. The Spirit can teach you all kinds of things as we listen to the words of our prophets. Elder Oaks taught that "a message given by a General Authority at a general conference--a message prepared under the influence of the Spirit to further the work of the Lord--is not given to be enjoyed. It is given to inspire, to edify, to challenge, or to correct. It is given to be heard under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord, with the intended result that the listener learns from the talk and from the Spirit what he or she should DO about it." So. Prepare yourselves, my friends.
Side note, did you all see that blood moon this week? SO BEAUTIFUL. We had a picture perfect view of the eclipse as we walked home from the Square, from the reflection pool, looking East. Seriously, that moon though.
HEY HEY HEY the Church History Museum is open to the public now, so go. It's SO GOOD. Especially the First Vision Theater. Go go go go go.
Um whaaat? Does Sammy think he's a model? hahaha I love his pictures this week. So presh.
family, it sounds like you all are doing such good things, and that pleases me. I love you all so much. Also, Danny, I hear you're quite the craftsman? What is this I'm hearing about?
Oh! And also it sounds like Luke has memorized some more scriptureS? I mean, you don't HAVE to, but I love having the videos of those little people reciting scripture, so if the little humans' parents, or grandparents, wanted to send me something like that, I wouldn't reject them. In fact, I can guarantee they'd be shared with my investigators. Because it's so darn cute. From the mouths of babes.
I love you all. Make sure you tune in to conference this weekend. It's like listening to a modern day Moses. Why wouldn't you want to hear what they have to say?
Make good and choose happiness, y'all. God lives, and speaks to us today through His prophets. How exciting is that???
Love, Sister Chamberlin
P.S. If you're in Salt Lake for conference, cruise through Temple Square and say hi! :)
The smell of Pumpkin Spice is in the air, and the mornings are getting crisper, and more and more frequently a crunchy leaf can be found on the ground to step on. Yay for Autumn! Another good week. Very busy, as always, and it will only get busier, with Women's Conference, Elder Scott's funeral, and then Conference Weekend. Oh boy!
Our apartment is now celestially clean, as we did a mission wide deep clean. It's so nice. I wish we did this more often. (More than just the everyday clean, you know? I'm talking DEEP, CELESTIAL clean).
Momma, so that you kind of have an idea of what a typical day looks like at Temple Square- it actually varies greatly. But we get up in the morning and run, get ready, have studies (sometimes that goes down at night, just depending on your schedule that day/transfer) and get to the square. Then we have assigned times to either be contacting on the square/taking scheduled tours and motor coaches (or assigned to specific desks), or being in the teaching center (which is basically a computer lab where we teach via phone/email, take inbound calls and chats from mormon.org... it's a good time. Don't ever troll on mormon.org chat. Bearing false witness is a sin). This transfer I have the Beehive House, so usually we have about a 3 hour shift giving tours at the Beehive House every day, so that's fun. And we get 45 minutes for lunch, and 45 minutes for dinner (both usually on the square, food we brought from home. we've got fridges and microwaves on the Square, we make it work). My day, at least once a week, usually includes a really awkward interaction with my amazing mission Preisident... I'm sure he thinks I'm just the strangest cookie. Depending on the day we might have district meeting, or a zone training meeting. On Sundays and Thursdays we have 7:30am church or Relief Society. And now that it gets dark before 9:15pm (which is about when we head home, this transfer) we have to walk home in groups haha aaaah the flock of sister missionaries walking to and from the Square every day is so funny.
Before I forget, oh my goodness the church recently came out with these amazing addiction recovery videos. There's a video and a story for each of the 12 steps, and they are all SO GOOD! Although be advised, not all are super appropriate for children... so.. there's that. But wow. I highly recommend them.
Sister Vasi and I had some neat experiences this week, where we followed promptings from the Spirit, contrary to our better judgement, or what we wanted to do, and we always walked away wide eyed, and thinking, "Whaaaaat?? Heavenly Father just straight used us!" It was cool. And we've just met a ton of incredible people because of it. I'm so grateful for those experiences- no doubt in my mind that God was leading us in those moments, especially to remind His other children of His love for them. SO SICK.
This morning we had the opportunity to go check out the newly renovated Church History Museum, and IT IS AMAZING! Next time you're in Salt Lake, go. I could have stayed there all week. So many cool interactive things (there's a video of the First Vision, and it feels like you're in the grove. PHENOMENAL), and a ton of art upstairs, and fun things to play with and whatnot. There's a whole section kind of dedicated to children- like a play place? Yeah, that was fun. Cool camels. And just so much information EVERYWHERE about the beginnings of the church, and what these early saints had to endure. Joseph Smith, man, that guy. I do not believe that 14 year old boy had any idea what he was getting himself into when he knelt down in that grove to offer up his humble prayer, but OH WOW am I so grateful for his obedience and diligence. That guy.
I love you all. I hope you're all getting psyched for Conference, because it's gonna be great. I'm a little bummed, because as a Temple Square sister, I only get to see one session, and other than that we work. So I'll have to catch up on all the good stuff in following weeks/months. So friends and family, I'd appreciate it if you took some really nice notes, and filled me in on the things that touched you the most. I don't want to be too behind the times, you know what I'm saying?
Also, shout out to Mason for taking scissors to his perfect locks... HAHAHAAHAHA I love that little doobie. Let's be real, I love all those little nuggets. Hey! They would love the Church History Museum. Just... throwing that out there. Give all those little humans my love.
Make good, and choose happiness.
Love, SIster Chamberlin
P.S. Cutie pie Mommy and Sarah Bear, thanks for the package of love. Hahahaha everyone asked if it was a wedding dress. I think my winter coat is better.
The last couple of days we've had INCREDIBLE thunder storms, and much needed life-giving rain. I'm hoping the moisture will continue through winter, and we can have snow to bring magic to Temple Square for Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, we've already begun our celebrations. My companion set up a baby tree, decorated with lights and ornaments, and we've been listening to Christmas music (my favorite). See, in the Philippines (yeah yeah, I know neither of us are Filipino, but so many of our sisters are) Christmas begins in the "Ber" months... and it's September. So. The holiday has begun. Oh and also, I met Santa this week, he even gave me an autographed picture. Fun fact, Santa is Mormon.
Last Friday we had the special opportunity to have President Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, come speak to the sisters here on Temple Square. Sister Vasi and I were late (in our defense, we had no idea what this secret meeting was for) and ended up running from the entrance doors, down the stairs, to the meeting room trying to beat the elevator we had just seen President Nelson get on. We made it, because we're fast like that. It was a neat experience. He talked a lot about the Abrahamic covenant, and the scattering/gathering of Israel. And about how God seems to like to be the underdog, with the ratio of 500 to 1. You can read about it in Judges 7. Anyways, he told us that the Book of Mormon is THE instrument for the gathering of Israel, so it's kind of cool that as missionaries, we get to invite everyone to read it. Oh, and also, he said the Book of Mormon is all about the gathering of Israel, and the Old Testament is all about the house of Israel, it's like the family history book for Israel, so you can't understand the Book of Mormon without reading the Old Testament, which I thought was cool. He was such a little jokester, and it was such a pleasure to get to shake his hand, and look into his eyes. I am so grateful for the men that God has called to lead and guide His church. Oh, and my favorite thing- when asked what was the most important thing he taught his children, President Nelson said to love their mother, and talked about how she loves God and keeps His commandments. There was just so much love in his voice when talking about his wife.
Yeah that was definitely the highlight of this week.
I've learned so much this week. We meet so many people every day, and having the home field advantage, we get to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ all day. It's fun, and definitely allows me the opportunity to learn more, and understand better. And the chats. Oh my goodness the chats on mormon.org. Some are amazing miracles, and some are just straight funny. It's probably not super ethical for me to share them, but just know that there are some funny little trolls out there, and Jesus loves them, too.
A tender moment. We met a boy yesterday, who probably already reported today to the MTC to serve in the Philippines. He is his parents' only missionary (my heart goes out to his momma), and was also with his childhood friend who is going to Poland next month. So the tender moment was when Sister Azucena walked by (she was my roommate my first transfer- she is incredible) and she is from the mission this young Elder was heading to. So she asked him to seek out her family, and teach her mom. And it just got so real so fast, and there were so many emotions. But I know it was no accident that that little family came to Temple Square his last day before reporting, and it was no accident that they got to speak with my sweet sister. And God is just so sneaky and good. I know my story telling is a big fail sometimes, and maybe you had to have been there to understand what a cool experience it was. But it was cool, okay?
Sister Vasi and I... and some of the rest of our district, have taken some opportunities to explore a bit more in the Beehive House. Lots of staircases and rooms and the like. That house is huge. I still learn new things about Brigham Young there every time. And I still think he was an amazing man.
I loved Sammy's letter this week. That boy, he is so good. I love you, family. Keep making good, and choosing happiness :)
I've had some really neat experiences this week. Maybe some day I'll share them haha, but today is not that day. We had a TON of Michigan fans on the Square all last week for the game against Utah. Some sisters even took the team on a short tour, which I think is cool. It was WAY easy to start conversations with people, since we already had the common ground of wanting a win for Michigan (how does it go? I'm for anyone who's against Utah?). Not that it's not easy to start conversations with people on the Square, I think it was just nice to have a different opener than "Hi! How are you? What brings you to Salt Lake City?" Instead, football :)
Also, I guess DoTerra is having some huge convention here this week, so we've been getting loads of essential oils people here too haha, they're fun. mom, I'm surprised you're not here for this ;) jokes jokes, only jokes, dad.
I did have a nice little "aha" moment for myself, as I've started the Book of Mormon over again and have been reading about Lehi's family and their journeyings. Long story short, I was hardcore relating to Laman and Lemuel, thinking about how often we're just living it up in Jerusalem, thinking all is well, when out of nowhere God is like, "Hey, get out of Jerusalem, and leave all these things behind that you think you love, and go travel in the wilderness and suffer all kinds of afflictions for some extended period of time, okay?" and it's so easy to think, "no no, God, that's not what i want to do," but then God is like, "Actually yes, it is what you want to do, not only because I said so, but because I've prepared this land of promise for you that is far better than anything you could have dreamed of." I guess what I'm getting at is "how merciful the Lord [is] in warning us that we should flee out of Jerusalem." He's got greater plans for us.
A thing! Totally off topic, but I wanted to share something a man on the Square told us this week. He said, "We make decisions not because of what was said and what was done, but because of what we felt about it." So profound, right? That's all I had to say about that. I just liked it, and thought you might as well.
Well, the mission goes. I have an incredible district, I truly love each of the sisters. Since Sister Vasi is our District Leader, I get the opportunity to go on exchanges with all the sisters as well, and it has been fun getting to know them, and hear their own INCREDIBLE stories, and learning from them.
God has been so good to us. It's so neat when people randomly walk up to us requesting a Book of Mormon, or wanting to learn more about various points of doctrine. It just feels like God is saying, "Here, you got this." It's just a nice switch up from the guests who put their hands up and say, "No no no," while backing away when we say hello.
We've had some fun adventures exploring in the Beehive House. If you don't know what an amazing man Brigham Young was, you should research it. He was a good guy. Lion of the Lord. (insert lion roar here)
Well family. I love hearing from you from time to time. It sounds like for the most part everyone is doing well, and I'm pleased about that. Sidenote, Rise and Shout? I may or may not have seen the replay of the Hail Mary from last week (thanks to a 12 year old boy at the Beehive House). Go Cougs.
I cannot believe it's already September. This Summer flew by! The crowds have lessened just a bit on the Square. Significantly less Mandarin motor coaches (don't worry, I'm still working on my Mandarin. My vocabulary is slowly expanding)
We had a sweet opportunity this week to have Elder and Sister Cook, of the 12, (remember him, Big Papa?) at our 7:30am Sacrament meeting (for the record, I will NEVER complain about early church again. You can hold me to that. I don't even think 7:30 is hard anymore). He basically told us how great we are :) But seriously, he talked to us about the process of calling missionaries, and it is just incredible. The Spirit could be felt SO STRONG in the room. And he had all of us in tears (not as easy as you would probably think it would be, in a room of 200 sisters). It was a special experience for me, because the last time I'd seen Elder Cook (outside of General Conference), I was in a WAY different place, spiritually. And here I was, a little missionary at Temple Square. Haha, God has been moving mountains in me.
Okay, so a really cool thing! Or at least, I think it's really cool. If you disagree, you're wrong and you can leave. So, at the Beehive house last night this couple came in, and two of the wife's some number of greats grandmothers were Brigham Young's sisters, and the husband is a 5th generation descendant of Jacob Whitmer. As in, one of the 8 witnesses, Jacob Whitmer. And he is the first in his family (to his knowledge) to join the church. Ah I wish I could relate to you how COOL it was to talk with this man (who was fun to verbally spar with) and hear about his family, and how they feel about "the Mormons" and I don't know it was just neat. Like, instead of reading text about what happened, he told me stories of his family that happened. In his great great grandmother's home! And he, himself, is the fulfillment of prophecy, regarding his family and the church. It was just cool.
While teaching over the phone this week, our investigator made the comment that "if it's supposed to happen, it will happen," regarding his baptism. And all I could think were the words I'd heard in General Conference before, that Decision Determine Destiny. Things don't just happen. We make them happen. If we want to have faith, God doesn't just give it to us, and we don't just accidentally happen upon it. We work for it. Helloooooo? That's what our agency is foooooor. Anyways. My point is this. If you want live the good life, choose it. Attend church, pray daily, study the scriptures. CPR right? church, pray, read? Or something like that. Man was made to act, not be acted upon.
Okay, getting off my soap box now.
I cannot even describe how incredible it is to have God constantly be teaching me, showing me the answers to my questions, and giving me peace in knowing that He's got my back, as a I strive to turn to Him and study the scriptures. God is SO good. I cannot say it enough. Learning to trust that whatever He is making of me is better than anything I could make of myself is not the easiest thing, but it is so glorious, the more I come to accept it. In the Beehive house there is a room with BEAUTIFUL walls. It looks like wall paper, but it's been hand stenciled. Sometimes with guests, we will relate it to our lives- how we are hand stenciling the moments, and sometimes we mess up. But it's okay, because the Master Painter can come in a paint over it, fix it, erase the mistakes. And after a while, you can look back and see this beautiful, intricate, and PERFECT life. Because of Jesus Christ. Ah, God is SO SO SO good.
Every day is so very busy, and so full of little miracles. I love Utah skies. The sunrise over the mountains is breathtaking, every morning, especially from the Capitol. Not to mention the sunsets, or when the moon is out and the first stars appear at dusk. I always feel like it's God's little gift to me every day, a little reminder every morning and night of how blessed I am to be here.
We teach some of the most amazing people, and we meet even more people, from ALL over the world, it is ridiculous. I just love it. And there is a special sisterhood here, among all 200+ sisters, it's the neatest experience for me. And being in the shadow of the Temple, all day, every day... no where else in the world is the Spirit so tangible.
My companion is rock solid. Spiritually and temporally, which is cool. Like, legitimately, probably stronger than my brothers (no offense my dear brothers, but unless you've been lifting weights lately...) She has been so good to me, and is taking care of me all the time :)
I love you all, you little nuggets. Make good, choose happiness. Allow God to make a masterpiece out of you <3