Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy December...Tomorrow!

Hi Family!
I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgivings, and are SO PUMPED FOR CHRISTMAS! YAY CHRISTMAS!!
Side note (not actually a side note, this is 100% related and relevant) make sure you all check out christmas.mormon.org because it's bomb. It sounds like a lot of you already know about the "A Savior is Born" initiative... and now that it's finally officially up and running, you can all watch the little videos. I'm partial to the animated one, I'll be honest. 

Okay, so this week was crazy and fun! So much of both things. On Thanksgiving the Square (or at least the buildings) were closed for a few hours so the sisters could scatter to different members' homes for a home cooked meal. Sister Timoteo and I got to enjoy a couple hours with the Davis family- they are incredible. The food was delicious- my favorite was for sure the candied yams.SO DELICIOUS. And we got to help them decorated their Christmas tree!! With TINSEL!! WHY DON'T WE USE TINSEL MOM?? THAT STUFF IS AMAZING!! It was Sister Timoteo's first time ever decorating a Christmas tree... if you're wondering if she lived under a rock her whole life, she did. Okay, not exactly, but she lived ON a rock... a big rock... a mountain actually, in American Samoa, but it's cool. There's a first time for everything. :) Anyways, this couple has THE most solid testimony of the gospel. I asked Brother Davis how he and his sweet wife (the cutest Filippina woman) met, and he went into the funniest story. They basically me through online dating before the internet- I didn't know this was a thing, but it was like snail mail/pen pal dating. It was SO FUNNY listening about all the other people they'd been writing and meeting. But Sister Davis, although she's had numerous proposals, refused to marry someone who was not a worthy priesthood holder and could not take her to the temple. Haha they were just hilarious. And Brother Davis shared with us Moses 6:59- which basically sums up the entire Plan of Salvation, in one verse. So beautiful, this little gem that I was unaware of until now. 

And the next night, Christmas came. OH WOW the lights are so beautiful. Of course, I've seen them before, but there's something special about being a Temple Square missionary, and that first night when the lights first turn on- it almost felt like counting down for the New Year. And there were just MASSES of people. It was fun. Still is. Lots of missionary work to be done, lots of spirits to uplift, lots of souls to invite to Christ. Assignments are a little different on the Square this month- we get assigned to specific spots at various times, like theaters or the Christus, or to sing outside and freeze for as hour. I'm so thankful for warm socks and boots, gloves, and my big fluffy white coat. Hahahaha Sister Timoteo and I both have big white coats, and we look pretty funny walking around together.

This last week at Welfare Square was incredible. We were there ALL day. Even after taking the sisters home from our normal shift, we had to go back for what was supposed to be an evening tour, which just turned into all of us serving in the Bishop's Storehouse. There were tons of people who came in preparation for Thanksgiving (this was last Wednesday) and there was just a lot to do and people to serve. There was a special spirit there, and I'm certain that day will remain in the top ten of my favorite experiences on my mission. One thing that was made painfully evident was how much the gospel of Jesus Christ can bless lives, and how much harder we make life for ourselves when we choose to do things our way instead of God's way. There was such a variety of people that came through the storehouse- some very humble, some not so much, some very diligent in keeping their covenants, some not so much, some very kind, some not so much, and ALL needing a helping hand (as we all do, let's be real here. That's why we have a Savior, none of us can do this alone). It was just very humbling to serve there, and to straight feel God's love for all of His children, in whatever circumstance, in whatever phase of rebellion or whatnot, He LOVES us, and only wants for us to accept His Love.

Anyways. I love you all so much. And so does Heavenly Father. He's so good. How blessed our we, not only to have a Savior, but to know about Him, and to know why? God's plan is perfect. Enjoy this first week of Christmas- family, I hope some of you are continuing our family traditions. 
Make good, choose happiness. 
All my love from Temple Square,
<3 Sister Chamberlin

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hello on November 23, 2015

Not much time today, so sorry.

Happy Thanksgiving! I love you all very much, and I'm so grateful for each of you. 

Things are very exciting here at Temple Square. The lights go on this Friday at 5, and the Christmas season will have officially begun for us, and it will be crazy until after the New Year. 

I feel like there was so much I wanted to tell you, but I can't remember, and I didn't bring my journal. 

Oh I remember a thing! If any of you get the chance, go see the "Savior of the World" production at the Conference Center. We got to see it last week and it is SO GOOD! I don't know how I've lived in Utah as long as I have without ever seeing it. To give fair warning, it is a huge tear fest, so bring tissues.

I am so grateful for my Savior, and the sacrifice he made for all of us, for me. This season is such a good opportunity for us to reflect on what He has done for us. He is everything. 

Keep doing the good things that invite the Spirit. And oh my goodness enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, y'all. I'll miss those rolls. But I'm not even sad about it, I'll be well taken care of. 

Make good. Choose happiness. This life is only temporary, so enjoy it while you can. We've got eternity ahead :) yay!
All the love from Temple Square,
<3 Sister Chamberlin




Monday, November 16, 2015

November is halfway gone...what?

Hey Family!
Happy Birthday to my sweet little Holland! (I know, belated, I didn't know I wouldn't be writing for 2 weeks). And just in case, Happy Birthday Nana and Julie!! 

Transfers were last week. I have a new companion, Sister Timoteo. She was born and raised in American Samoa, aaand is also from Washington state. She's a powerhouse, and very purpose focused, which is awesome. This is her last transfer, so we will be working very hard. Like we would any other transfer, of course. But I feel like missionaries feel an extra sense of urgency when the end starts drawing near. She has a beautiful voice, and I quite enjoy just listening to her sing. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot (jk, I never forget, because I see her literally all day long) she is a complete Barbie doll. Like, legit, Miss American Samoa. Okay, well, she could have been, at least. Because she's gorgeous. 
New Preparation day... Monday... at least, for the next month. Christmas is getting set up all over the place, it's so much fun. Just today one of the nativity scenes, over by the reflection pool went up. Yay for the Christmas season! (Christmas a comin and the geese are getting fat, please put a penny in the old man's hat... Muppets? Anyone?).

So, this last week or so has been interesting, to say the least, here at Church Headquarters. Many of you, I'm sure, are aware of the recent changes (additions, really) to Handbook 1 regarding church discipline and the baptism of children being raised in homes of people in a homosexual relationship. There have been quite a few gatherings, or protests, if you will, around the Square (though not ON it... private property, yo). And it has been a big ball of mixed emotions. I've gotta say, misunderstanding has got to be the biggest reason for so many problems in the world. And it has been heartbreaking to meet members of the church (even some returned missionaries) asking about how they could have their names removed from the records. Either 1)they never understood the doctrine correctly or 2)they don't understand the new policy. And now they're making a HUGE decision, that will affect their eternal salvation, and it just breaks my heart. For those of you who aren't aware of this policy, just go to LDS.org, it's all over the main page.
I am so grateful that we have living, modern prophets and apostles through whom Christ directs His church. These men just have so much love, for EVERYONE in the world, it is incredible. I just wish people could see, that if everyone were living the gospel of Christ, we could all live in peace and prosperity. It's taught in the Book of Mormon, like in Alma 50. Yet people keep trying to do things their own way. It's so frustrating, but I know it's all part of God's great plan- men are free to choose liberty and eternal life, or captivity and death. The choice is ours. And how blessed we are to have leaders chosen by God to help us in our choosing :)

Last week we had the special opportunity to skype one of our investigator's baptism! Not my favorite way to view a baptismal service, but it was cool. The local missionaries were very kind to allow us to participate :) And we are so excited for our boy, Cliff. Well, man. He's a man, haha. It has been such a joy teaching him over the phone, and getting to be involved as he progressed towards baptism, and now of course to the temple! 

Oh, I'm not at the Beehive House anymore. So, once a week I'll be serving at Welfare Square. I'm excited- lots to learn about it, but it is just incredible, the work that members of the church do to help and serve their fellowmen. The 3 principles at Welfare Square are the same as at the Humanitarian Center... help the poor and needy, foster self reliance, and encourage service to others. So... that's cool. 

Keep reading the Book of Mormon. I often hear Ben's voice in my head... "If you know the Book of Mormon is true, what do you know?" Through that book, we can anchor our testimonies in Christ. And like it says in Helaman 5:12, if we build on the rock of our redeemer, no storm can tear us down (yeah yeah, not a direct quote. go read it for yourself). Our testimony of the gospel MUST be based in Christ, or will so easily to caught up in the winds of the times.

I love you all so very much. Keep doing the things that draw you closer to your Savior. He is the Light, the Life, and the Way.
Make good, and choose happiness. God is so good. What a blessing we've been given, to have our eyes open to it.
All the Love from Temple Square,
Sister Chamberlin
Sister Lai and I
Brrr Cold in the Calling Center



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November 4, 2015

My MTC Companions
My companion Sister Lai and me
Fire Alarm Frolic
Burnt Toast Night

Hiiiii - Sister Shenanigan Halloween Video

Hello Familyyyy

First of all, I just want everyone to know how incredible my mission president and his wife are. These two are straight up celestial. I am so grateful for them. And WOW let me tell you, any ounce of pride I thought I had left has just been kicked while down, and received quite the beating. God sure does have His ways for humbling His people. And I am so grateful for that. Because that's when we turn to Him. And I mean, Ether 12:27, right? 

So, Halloween is cool at Temple Square, because we close the Square early (we don't need little hooligans doing mischievous shenanigans) so as a mission, we got to attend the Temple on Saturday night. It was cool, to be with all 200+ sisters in the Temple together. 

Oh my goodness there was this precious little teenage troller that called in the other day, complaining about a call he'd received from a sister, and a "spy" that randomly joined in the conversation, and how she left without saying bye, and he was just being SO dramatic. So I leveled with him, said I'd be real with him if he'd be real with me, and called him out for being dramatic. He agreed, that he wasn't ACTUALLY offended, and we actually ended up reading the Book of Mormon introduction and Alma 32 with him, haha. Not entirely sure what will come of it, but he was such a saucy little adolescent. And you probably had to be there for it to be funny, but it was fun to spar with him (with love of course, sass for sass).

Goodness, so much has happened this week. I guess that is always the case. 

We got to listen to Elder Bednar's conference talk this week, and something he said really stuck out to me. I believe he was quoting Elder Hales, but he said, "When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most." Ponder that. You're welcome. 

Okay. A cool thing. We were talking with one of our investigators (one who has been incredibly faithful while awaiting his baptism) and we were challenging him to reread the Book of Mormon (he's a pretty fast reader, and has gone through it twice this last year). But THEN God put these thoughts in my head, that I know were not my own, because it sounded a lot like homework, and I don't like that stuff. We asked him to keep a study journal as he reads (he was already doing that) and in the journal make 3 columns, and after each chapter write 1- the story line, what is actually happening, 2- the gospel principle that is being taught (Mormon was inspired to include these specific records, chosen from a great selection... there's a reason for it), and 3- why it matters for him, what is he going to do differently because of it... a little self application. And then of course Sister Lai and I said we would do it as well. That is a greater witness that this didn't come from me, because I would never give myself homework. Anyways, we've only been doing this for a few days, but it has been INCREDIBLE, and if you're looking for a way to get more out of your Book of Mormon reading, I would recommend trying out the columns.

God is so good. I no longer have any question about why I was called to Temple Square. This is a very special place, and I needed to be here, at the very least for myself. And I am so grateful to be here.

Side note, I'm pretty sure this is the ONLY mission is the world where we can spend the morning teaching a man from Columbia about how his family can be together forever, and literally 2 minutes after saying goodbye, be teaching a young man from Japan about Jesus Christ being the Savior of the World. The gospel is going forth to all nations, kindreds, and tongues, and this is such a special place to actually get to SEE that happening. 

Make Good. Choose Happiness. 
video
Xoxo, Sister Chamberlin