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 :)
Love, Sister Chamberlin