Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's getting chilly, and the leaves are still crunchy :)

Hi Family!

Love you all!
This week has been amazing, of course. Although admittedly, the Square is a lot more quiet this time of year. But it is still so fun, and there are still many people to share the restored gospel with. And the Beehive House has been pretty slow, but it's allowed for my district to bond and prank security (not like, stupid false alarm pranks, more like using the element of surprise when they lock up) and it's been fun.

I want to tell you all the things but there's just not enough time.

I got to catch up with a few conference talks this week, and I absolutely LOVED what Elder Renlund and Elder Andersen had to say. Both hit me pretty hard, and I would recommend their talks to everyone. 

This morning we had the special opportunity to hear from Elder Larry Wilson- who is the brother of Mary Moorhead?? So, that's cool. Anyways, he's way cool, and talked to us about how incredible the Book of Mormon is (that's kind of our theme in our mission this transfer... it's actually called the keystone transfer... and if you're thinking "wow, Sister Chamberlin is obsessed with the Book of Mormon," well, I am). So, Elder Wilson was told us about how when the Book of Mormon plays the role it is supposed to in a member's conversion, they are less likely to fall away. Aaaaand I was reminded of my own experience in the Spring of 2014 (oh, that Spring...) and my sweet Elders who were so patient, and persistent, who would ALWAYS commit me to read the Book of Mormon. And I usually did. But when I stopped, I had a good friend who came and read it with me. And that was the month God let me feel His love, and my life changed. And the Book of Mormon played a vital role in that. And I am SO THANKFUL ALWAYS AND FOREVER for those little humans who not only invited me to read the book, but came and read it WITH me. And that was kind of the message Elder Wilson had for us this morning- to read the Book of Mormon WITH our little nuggets, so they can learn to understand it and how to apply what they're reading to their lives. He straight up threw down Sesame Street on us, with a word and number of the day- the word being WITH, and the number being 17- because I guess some university study found that people have to hear or learn something 17 times before they understand it... or something like that... it was about the importance of repetition. And then he cruised us through 1 Nephi 1 (a chapter I am coming to love more and more every day) and showed us how it straight teaches all 8 principles in the Restoration lesson, from "God is our loving Heavenly Father" to "Pray to know the truth through the Holy Ghost." Repetition. It reminded me of some of my child development courses at BYU. 

Okay. So real thing. Having an eternal perspective is so hard, but so important. I've been reading in Alma, where the Anti-Nephi-Lehis are being straight slaughtered by the Lamanites. And I can't help thinking "whoa there, God, why aren't you protecting these people that just buried their weapons of rebellion?? what kind of God are you, to let this happen??" and then of course I continue reading and Alma talks about how more of the Lamanites are converted than got butchered (sorry for the violent language, but read it, that's what happened) and then it says "and thus we see that the Lord worketh in many ways to the salvation of his people" and I think "ooookay. of course. from my perspective, God is letting this terrible thing happen, but ULTIMATELY, more of His children are repenting and turning to Him, and they will all have their reward. Because this life is just a moment." It actually reminds me of that Carrie Underwood song, So Small. Good song. Not totally related, but in my head it is. And this is my email, so that's just how it goes. Knowing that our lives did not begin at birth, and will not end at death- what an incredible shift in understanding of the experiences we have here in this life.

Aaaah okay. I feel so much love for the little humans we're teaching. They've all got their own mountains to climb, but the faith they have is inspiring. AND I found out, this little nugget that I didn't think had a Book of Mormon not only had it but has been reading it!!! Such a sly little goober. That's all I have to say about that for now. 

I'm super out of time, but I just wanted to briefly share the sweetest things one of our investigators said this week. We were talking to him about the law of tithing, and this guy is just barely getting by living on his social security. Like, legit can barely afford his bills. And he is just the cutest and asked if he could mow the church's lawn as part of his tithing because he's afraid he won't be able to afford it with the money he's living on. soooooo precious. He is the cutest old man. 

We taught the NICEST Ni Hao, just today. I felt so much love for this man. We can't stay in touch with him since we're not yet allowed to proselyte in mainland China, but he'll be baptized one day. One thing I loved about teaching him today was that he told us that he feels like there's something, some kind of higher power, but he didn't want to yet label it as "God." So of course, we talked to him about three great ways to receive revelation- go to church, read the scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon), and pray. And it was one of those moments where God put a thought in my head that I knew was not my own, and I told him, of course, going to church and reading the scriptures can feel like someone else is telling you who or what God is, but that's not the same as knowing or believing it for yourself, that's still kind of just taking someone's word for it. And God told me to focus on prayer with this man, and about how when something is good and true, God will tell us in our mind and in our heart (Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-3), so it will make sense logically, and we will FEEL it. Anyways, he seemed pretty excited about reading the Book of Mormon, and starting his own journey to know God. And it felt cool to feel like God was using me. Ah that is my favorite thing I've ever experienced, when God just straight uses me.

Anyways. Love you all. So much more than you know. I am so grateful for each of you, and the influence you've had in my life. Mama and Big Papa, thank you for everything. Legit, everything. 

Make good. Choose happiness. That's the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ is happiness. Live it, and be happy.
Xoxo, Sister Chamberlin

Friday, October 23, 2015

Happy Crunchy Leaf Week

It took a while, but there are finally lots of leaves on the ground for crunching. Yay fall!

sister Lai, and my little nugget sister Bon

This week! I don't know where to begin. Too much. Highlights.

So this week the Parliament of World Religions (or something like that) was going on here in Salt Lake City. There were over 9,000 people here representing over 50 religions from over 80 countries. So, we've been pretty busy taking some interesting and important people around the Square, and sharing the basic doctrine of the LDS church. Most of the people were very kind...

Elder Holland came and spoke to us this morning- he's an incredible man. We all got to shake his hand, and he looked into each of our eyes with his piercing stare that could just see straight into our souls. Straight into MY soul. I felt so vulnerable. He said all kinds of good things and I learned a TON, but the biggest takeaway for me was a reiteration of the importance of the role of the Book of Mormon. Of course, we already knew it's important, but he pointed out some things I'd never connected before, and it was just cool, and too much to type in this letter. Aaaand that's all I'll share about that experience. It was special. :)

I finally got to hear President Uchtdorf's talk from Women's Conference... about Great Aunt Rose? Yeah, SO GOOD. If you haven't heard it yet, go listen to it or read it or whatever. No, listen to it. It's funny to hear president Uchtdorf talk about the "creepy" "stalker" cat ahah.

My zone rocks. Legit, they're the greatest. I feel so much love for the sisters here. However, some sisters in my district thought it'd be funny to scare me while we were at the Beehive house. I'll admit, they got me good. That house has the potential to be a bit eerie at night time... 

Miracle of the week came in the form of finally getting in touch with a man we'd taken on a tour of Temple Square back in September. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from the phone call, but he asked if I was sitting down, because what he was gonna tell me was going to FLOOR me. And it did. This guy. He had come to the Square with an LDS friend (who has his own incredible conversion story) and they had actually come here by taking a wrong turn. They never intended to be at Temple Square that day. But that weekend, after we met them, the two of them attended church in Page, AZ. The NAVAJO WARD! WE GO THERE! :) Anyways, that's not what floored me. This guy informs me that the NEXT week, when he was back home, he decided to check out the local church we'd sent him the address for. He scouted it out the day before, and got there 10 minutes early Sunday morning... and no one ever showed up. Because it was Conference weekend. Whaaaat? But he wasn't discouraged. Instead he called his member friend, and he filled him in on Conference and invited him to watch (which he did Sunday afternoon... also, his friend was also pleasantly surprised). And THEN he called the phone number we gave him for the local missionaries (trying to get a hold of me haha... he was like "is Sister Chamberlin there?" and the Elder was like, "Nooo, this is Elder So-and-so, we don't know a Sister Chamberlin... " haha) and he ended up meeting with them since then! Which is awesome. Anyways. I was in fact floored. He still has lots to learn and whatnot, but he's been to church 3 times, and is LOVING the Book of Mormon.

Our other investigators are cool, too, and we've taken some fun tours this week (especially the Ni Haos- I'll tell ya, when China opens up, it's gonna just BOOM. Or blossom? No, boom. It's gonna be huge) but none were AS exciting as that one. One of the ladies we teach, I just adore. She is soaking up the gospel. HER WORDS- "The more I learn, the more I want to know!" AAhh she is just awesome. 

Well, that's at least a glimpse into what's going on here. A very small glimpse, but you know, that's all I've got time for. I love you all so very much. This gospel is true. God lives, and loves us. And the Book of Mormon is SO GOOD. SO GOOD. Read it. Pray about it. FEAST on it. 

Make good, choose happiness. It is, in fact, a choice. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tender mercy on Temple Square

Happy Birthday to my Gingerlove!!

Hi Family!! I love you all so very much. Happy birthday to my little gingerlove Leo :) Cover that kid in kisses for me, will ya? 

Another amazing week at Temple Square, full of miracles and tender mercies from the Lord. He is just the sneakiest, and I love it. We've met a lot of incredible people, and some we have the blessing of keeping in touch with, which is fun. Especially when we get to be a part of their progression in the gospel. 

We're teaching a woman right now who is just incredible. Everything is happening kind of fast, but she says there's something about those Mormons that she's drawn to. We're very excited for her, as she has begun meeting with the local missionaries. Her daughter has started calling her her "Mor'mom'" haha, presh. 

I have had some special moments this week where I got to see some of the fruits of the work that is done here at Temple Square. We don't often get to see that, because most of our interactions with people are "one touch," and we don't usually get to see how or if we make any difference in anyone's lives. So it's been a good week :)

Lots of exchanges this week, so I've had the opportunity to meet and love so many of my sisters here at Temple Square. Each of the sisters here has an incredible story, and each one has a very real understanding of the Atonement, and it is just so cool to get to serve with them. 

What a tender mercy. I was on exchanges with a Sister Marroquin from Guatemala, and we got a call to take a Spanish tour at the conference center. We had to get a cover for our desk assignment in the south visitors center because the conference center tours are usually an hour or more, and then we headed over. By the time we got there, one of the senior missionaries there that spoke Spanish had taken the tour. Feeling a bit unhappy, and irritated at the poor communication at temple square between buildings and sisters, we headed back to the south vc to do our desk assignment. I was a little bummed because I wanted to go through the conference center. But little did I know, not getting to take that tour was a tender mercy from my Heavenly Father.  So there I was, at the desk in the South Visitors Center, about 10 minutes before I was to go to the teaching center and disappear from square for 2 hours. All of a sudden I see my brother Danny just cruising through, and we make eye contact, and my heart just skips a beat in disbelief. And it was so glorious to get to hug him, and Sarah and Scott. And that wouldn't have happened if I'd been in a Spanish tour at the conference center, which was where I thought I wanted to be. 
I just think it's funny how God knows us so much better than we know ourselves, and as long as we are striving to do His will, He will lead us to where we need to be. I just love that He finds those little opportunities to show me that He cares about my happiness, just as much if not more than I do. I needed that boost from my family that day, and God knew that long before I did. 

Fun little thing God taught me this week- so for some reason, I've had an increase in the number of antis I come across this last week. And quite frankly, the negativity takes its toll on my soul. It is SO easy to get sucked into arguing, or defensiveness, or doubts or whatever. But in my personal studies, I just so happen to have read Alma 1 this week, which very directly addresses how the people of God are to respond to persecution from antis. Remember Nehor? And Gideon? Gideon was a good dude. But verse 25 stuck out to me as I read... I am to stand fast in my faith, be steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and bear with patience the persecution. I'm telling you, God is so good. So sneaky, and so good. He just KNOWS, you know?

I don't really have much time today, sorry. I love you all. Thank you for the love and support, it really means a lot to me. 
Make good, choose happiness. We can do all things through Christ. :)
Love always, Sister Chamberlin

Monday, October 12, 2015

Tian fu ai ni! - 10/7/15

Look at me, learning :) haha but seriously, the Ni Hoas eat it up and it's so fun. I think this is what it feels like to be a celebrity. It's a whole different kind of busy, taking Mandarin tours all day. We are slowly but surely getting copies of the Book of Mormon into mainland China. When they open up to missionaries there, it's gonna be glorious.

How amazing was Conference?? I had the privilege of attending the Saturday morning general session- SO GOOD! I loved All of it, of course. Elder Uchtdorf has always held a special place on my heart, and I loved what he said about starting where we are, and living the gospel simply to experience that mighty change of heart. He didn't say to K.I.S.S. it, but that's what I think of when I think of his talk- Keep It Simple Silly :)
And I loved Sister Marriott's talk- it will all work out. She talked about how the healing of our hearts begins when we submit to God's will... It reminded me that "broken things can mend," a lesson I've been learning and relearning for a while now :)
Long story short, even from that one session, and the few snippets I was able to catch from the other sessions, there are several specific things I'm going to be doing a bit differently to get my life closer to where God wants me to be. I hope each of you have your own goals to change and be better because of what the a Spirit taught you this weekend. :)

This week was glorious. SO many miracles. God is so sneaky, I love it. 

First of all, it was so fun to see you Mama Bear, a Big Papa, Scott and Sarah! I love you all so very much. I wasn't expecting that. I actually ran into a TON of people I know, and wasn't expecting to see, and it was quite the experience for me. So, here's a little shout out to all you little nuggets, you know who you are.

There were SO many members here to listen to the words of the prophets. I really enjoyed talking with many of them, getting to know their stories, and hearing their testimonies. It's such a special thing to walk through the Square during a session, when it is just littered with people sitting outside and listening as the conference talks are being projected over a loud speaker. Tender moments, to be sure. 

I'm so grateful for members who truly understand the importance of the gospel, and share it with everyone they can. I ran into Matt Smith on the Square, and that kid reminds me so much of Ben. He might be home from his mission, but that doesn't keep him from sharing the gospel. I love it. That's the kind of member I'm gonna be when I get home. On my honor, you can take that to the bank. 

One of my favorite miracles of the week wasn't even General Conference specific, but came in the form of a letter someone brought to the Square and gave to some sisters for me. It was from a young man I'd spoken with well over a month ago (honestly probably back in August) who was just struggling with his testimony, and was making some unsavory life decisions. Long story short, it was a thank you letter, and he is on the road of repentance and is now preparing for a mission! And I'm so proud of him, and excited that he's choosing the "happy path" because let's be real, God's way is the happy path. It was just cool to hear from him, totally out of the blue. And it came on a day that quite frankly I felt like I wasn't really fulfilling my missionary purpose. It was a much needed pick me up from Heavenly Father. God is so sneaky. 

So, as Temple Square sisters, during Conference weekend, some AMAZING members provide our lunch and dinner, and we get about 20 minutes for each. (Those people are incredible and I'm so grateful for them). Oh oh Danny! I met your old mission companion Elder Frampton? Luke. His name is Luke. He told me you were an incredible missionary- that you understood your purpose and you worked hard, and he felt that you were his trainer (although he'd had 2 companions prior to you) so... thanks for your great example, bro :)
Other than that, we spend all our time out on the Square talking with members about conference and their missionary work, lifting those who need comfort, helping people recognize God's answers to their questions, and explaining the chaos to tourists who have no idea what's going on. We are on the Square from 7:30am until sometime after 9pm. So much fun, so spiritually uplifting, and just so good.

On Sunday night, some Temple Square RMs came to cover Square for a couple hours so we could have a musical devotional by none other than Jon Schmidt! So cool! (If you don't know who he is, look him up, he's with the piano guys. Such a straight gifted musician). Anyways, he played for us, and all 5 of his children are also ridiculously talented musicians. They all sang, one of his sons played guitar, and they just filled the room with glorious music. My soul was filled with straight joy. It made me miss music time at Scott and Sarah's home. And listening to Sammy boy. Mmmm. Glorious. I wouldn't mind it if that little family visited us every week :)

Most embarrassing moment of the week award, outside of the normal embarrassment that just comes naturally to missionaries, goes to last Friday morning. Sister Lai and I did our personal and companion study on the Square, in one of the video rooms for privacy. We were probably like halfway through companion study (we had already sung a hymn, prayed, and discussed all the good things we'd learned from personal study) when some sisters come in and inform us that our entire time in that room had been on the intercom in the whole south visitors center. Whoever had put the little microphone thing away did it such that when the door thing closed, it pushed and held down the button to work the intercom.  Which meant everyone, guests, sisters, and President alike, heard us sing and talk about all kinds of Book of Mormon related things. Apparently sisters in the kitchen downstairs were just hoping we wouldn't have companionship inventory. So. That was an uncomfortable situation, but it's cool. I DO know my Father lives, and I'm glad everyone and their dog got to hear us sing it. :) no shame. I'm practically Ni Hao. 

There was so much goodness this week that I just don't have time to share it all. I love you all so very much. Jesus Christ is so good. Everything is possible because of him. If you missed Elder Holland's talk (I think from the Saturday afternoon session) go online and watch it. at this link:

Make good, and choose happiness. There is so much to be thankful for. 
Love from temple Square, Sister Chamberlin

PS give Leo extra kisses from me this week before he hits his 1 year mark on Earth... and same for Holland next month... and also extras for River James before his blessing :) Thank you for being such good moms, you sisters of mine.