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