Friday, December 18, 2015

Yoo-hoo! Big Summa Blowout!

Hi Family!

Surprise! I now have Friday pday. So, you lucky dawgs get two letters
this week.

Sister Butler is my new companion. I'm still getting to know her, but
what I do know, I like. She's from North Carolina. That's right folks,
another American companion. You know, even the one companion I had
that doesn't wear an American flag... Born in Hawaii. That's America.
Anyways. Sister Butler is way chill, and this will be good transfer.
She's one of ELEVEN CHILDREN. ELEVEN. I'm back in guest services, so
not on the Square as much as I'd like to be, but it's all good.

As usual, this week has been super busy at night for the lights. All
the sisters are sleep deprived, and looking forward to getting back on
a more regular schedule. But it is magical here, just like I'd hoped
it would be.

Earlier this week I got a nice sharp little chastisement from God.
He's so sneaky, and always keeps me in check. I was on a desk
assignment, and this woman came in seeking information that we just
don't have. She got a little short with me, and I returned the
kindness. Anyways, after being a little irritated and getting things
sorted out, she stuck around and just started shooting the breeze.
Still irritated, I did my best to slap a smile on (I'm getting better
at this, but I admit, more often than I'd like, I wear my heart on my
sleeve) and we got to talking. She shared some of her story with me,
and she is AMAZING. She lived in east Berlin growing up, and her life
was hard. She told me how she'd been baptized when she was 16, and
talked about some crazy things she's dealt with, and is still dealing
with. I asked how she was able to keep her testimony, and remain
faithful in light of all of these awful things, and she jumped into
this story about how her family joined the church. She shared how her
grandfather was raised Catholic (his parents died when he was young,
and he was raised by priests or something?). Anyways, supposedly he
was pretty handsome, and got used for publicity and fundraising and
things, and being within the system, he saw a lot of things he didn't
like, so when he got the chance, he left and joined the Lutheran
church. But he still felt like the Lutheran church wasn't right
(although better than what he'd been raised in) and told his daughter
to find something better.. I think he said "there must be something
more (or better?)... Find it" or so,etching like that. So when the
missionaries found her (this is the mother of the woman I met) they
had been prepared, and they got baptized, and have since done the work
for grandpa, who knew there was something better. Anyways, in
conclusion, she stayed faithful because she knows this gospel is true,
so there is nothing that could shake her testimony. So. I went from
being irritated to just adoring this woman, who has endured so much,
with SO much faith and diligence. I don't want her trials, but I want
to be the kind of woman that responds to adversity like she does. And
also not so easily irritated.

Well. I was not planning on telling that story, but congratulations,
you got it anyway.

Lots of good things this week. Except sleep, which is a good thing,
but was MIA amongst all the other good things. Learning SO MUCH, and
just loving so many precious little humans. It really is so cool to
see the gospel change people.

Hey! I met one of Danny's professors the other night... So that was
cool. Everyone I meet that knows him always has the nicest things to
say- I'm a proud sister.

I can't remember if I've told you already, but there's this 9ft
Steinway just chillin in the Assembly Hall for the concerts almost
every night, and sometimes we are assigned to the AH and there is
literally no one on the Square at 9am. So I take that opportunity to
play it. And compared to the little out of tune standup that I had
last year... Wow. It reminded me of driving our old Chevy suburban,
hen getting to take Dad's car out.

One of our sweet miracles this week- a woman we teach finally got a
hold of her local missionaries. She has been so prepared, God is so
good. Anyways, she and her kids are way into learning about the
gospel, but at first her husband wasn't... But he came for their
lesson, and he LIKED it. Because it's true. We're excited for this
little family. I have no doubt they will all be baptized soon, and get
to enjoy all the blessings of the gospel together as a family.

I hope you all enjoy this week leading up to Christmas! Go see the
lights in Nelly Gail Ranch for me. Temple Square is a nice
replacement, but it's not the same. I love you all so very much.
Make good. Choose happiness.
<3 Sister Chamberlin

Monday, December 14, 2015

It was Colonel Mustard, in the greenhouse, with the gun...

Find the Sheep

Feed my Sheep

Winter Wonderland

Snow on the Temple

Snow on the Gates

Let it Snow

Let it Snow

Let it Snow!

Jk, it was me, at Temple Square, with the call letter that only
allowed her to stay 19 months. Wow, I haven't even been out a year,
and I've killed two companions. When does it become "serial" status?

I will greatly miss Sister Timoteo. She has been an INCREDIBLE
companion. She truly understands her purpose as a missionary, and it
has been a privilege to serve alongside such a spiritual giant.

We had the opportunity to attend Music and the Spoken Word
yesterday... It was probably my favorite one I've ever been to. The
choir, orchestra, and bells were all there. Sarah, I gotta tell ya,
our bells don't light a candle to these people. They've got some bells
three or four times the size of my head. If it's possible, you should
all check out yesterday's broadcast. I mean, their Carol of the Bells
wasn't quite the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but it was beautiful.

The skies opened up last night, and we've had snow nonstop for nearly
24 hours. It is SO beautiful outside, and I am very excited to see the
lights being reflected by this blanket of white both in the sky and on
the ground. Again, I'm reminded of how very grateful I am for warm
socks, boots, and a coat.

This was my last week serving at Welfare Square, for now. It has been
an incredible experience, and I just love and adore our service
missionaries there. I know I've said it before, but serving there has
really emphasized to me the difference that living the gospel of Jesus
Christ can make in anyone's life, regardless of the hardships we face.
The Atonement is so real, and you can see in people's eyes, when
they've allowed the Spirit of God to fill their souls.

So, with the craziness of the season, we meet all kinds of people here
on the Square. The good, the bad, the bad pretending to be good, the
good pretending to be bad, plus those who just don't have a clue. But
I became exceptionally grateful this week for all the young men's and
young women's leaders I grew up with who were always outstanding
examples of a disciple of Christ. I know that's not always the easiest
thing to do, and definitely requires a bit of Christlike humility. So
thank you, you all know who you are.

For some reason, we've taught an exceptionally large number of Muslims
this week. People who just do not understand or believe that Jesus
Christ is the Son of God, and that it is ONLY through Him that any of
us will be saved- live again and cleansed from all sin.

Lots of good things are happening. There are many precious little
humans learning and living the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we've seen
some incredible miracles this week- prayers being answered in
unexpected and glorious ways, people being in the right place at the
right time, little munchkins keeping their commitments... It has been
a good week indeed.

Make good and choose happiness ya hooligans. Go be God's hands this
week, follow the promptings of the Spirit and He will use you to
answer someone's prayer.
All the Love from the winter wonderland of Temple Square,
<3 Sister Chamberlin

PS thank you my sweet celestial Sarah and Scott, you've provided "the
best Christmas ever!" for some little nuggets here.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Temple Square at Christmas

Tis the Season...

...that Temple Square is way too busy, so this will be short.

The lights are amazing (of course) and there are just people everywhere always, from 5pm on. It's all kinds of crazy. 

One thing I've learned this week (among many, come on)- a lot of parents aren't paying attention to what their children are being exposed to. FOR EXAMPLE. Our dear friends, the regular antis (like the ones who are here every week when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearses) like to come hang out outside the Square dressed up as Santa or Buddy the Elf or whatever, and pose for pictures with people. Harmless, on the surface. And they hand out these bills, that look like money, to children. And on the back? Anti material. And most of these parents have no idea what is being handed to their kid. It just makes me sad. And then these families come on the Square and the kids are all excited about these bills they've been given... it just hurts my soul. Devious little antis. But we still love them, because they, too, are God's children. 

I feel like so much happened this week, but my poor little brain can't remember, and I forgot my journal (not that I really use that when I write, but it's helpful to jog the memory, you know?) 

Oh! Um, Happy Birthday to all the little birthday humans. There are so many of you. Know that I love each of you so very much. And please give those December boys a big kiss from their Aunt Bekah. I cannot believe how fast all those little munchkins are growing... and multiplying...

So, sounds like there have been a lot of really awful things happening all over the world. And in light of Pearl Harbor day, I just pray that we all can remember that, yes, people make these horrible choices that end lives prematurely, and be devastating, BUT that is why we have a Savior. Because of Jesus Christ, death is not the end. We will ALL live again. Not only will we live again, but we have the opportunity to be made clean, and live in the presence of our Heavenly Father, who knows us and loves us, perfectly. I am eternally grateful for the sacrifice of my Redeemer, for His love, for the hope He offers. Through Him, and only through Him, we can be healed from all wounds, forgiven of all mistakes, and brought back home. 

I want to thank all the little humans I got to run into on the Square this last week- CRAZY! It's been fun. I hope you all continue to do good, and share the message of the restored gospel, because so many people are seeking for truth- and like the Eggo commercial, they're lookin' for love in all the wrong places. Help your brothers and sisters to find it. Because we have it. This gospel is it. You want to be happy? Learn and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no other way.

Make good, y'all. And choose happiness. 
<3 Sister Chamberlin