Tuesday, February 23, 2016

All the Things

Big Papa, you will appreciate that today we ventured a little further from the Square than usual, to this cute little Japanese Market on State Street, where we ate some delicious food I'm sure you would have loved- real Japanese Ramen and dumplings... no curry, they were out. But I used chopsticks like a grown up. My hand may or may not have cramped. Anyways, I feel like you would love this little market, especially around New Year :)

A cool thing! This morning I had the opportunity to explore the big Organ in the tabernacle. This guy (I can't remember his name, but he's the assistant to the Tabernacle organist...) told us all the cool things about the Tabernacle and Organ and showed us all the behind the scenes pipe work and I didn't even get in trouble for touching everything! And after a moment of persuasion he took us through the tunnels (which we actually use fairly often) to where there were BABY ORGANS!! And so many Steinways because the church ("appreciates good sound". AND the coolest part is that on top of all the pianos and pipes that I touched, this other guy that was also showing us all these things was showing me one of the little organs underneath the Assembly Hall, and was teaching me how it worked, and then he worked the hand bellows or whatever they're called (this organ had to manually have air pushed through) while Sister Sommerfeldt (one of my MTC comps) and I played on it AND IT WAS SO COOL and he was the nicest. And that's probably the most exciting non-missionary thing I've done on my mission. 

Other than that, things have been pretty much the same around here. The weather has been beautiful, and that moon, I'll tell you what. We went running this morning (finally) and this giant full moon was setting behind the temple, in this beautifully sunrise colored sky... God always blesses me with the most beautiful skies. 

Lots of visitors last week, thanks to President's Day weekend. However, it's slowed down quite a bit, and the majority of the people on the Square are sister missionaries... So pretty much anyone that wanders in the gates gets talked to by at least 6 sets of sisters before they can get out another gate. But it's cool I guess. Days like that feel pretty long, because it's not like we can just go somewhere else to find people to teach. However, there have been many new investigators from chats and inbound calls, so, there's that. Like this one GOLDEN guy from chat. He's a preacher in his church, but is having a little trial of his faith right now, so we talked with him, and taught him, and before we could even offer the local missionaries, HE ASKED FOR THEM. Of course, not in those words, but it was just one of those ridiculous chats where all you can think is, "wow, thank you God" but also it stresses you out a little bit because they are SO golden that you don't want to mess it up, you know? Anyways, he was probably the highlight of these last few days. It's becoming more and more rare for sincere people to come on chat. I think I've told you this before, but I tend to attract the angry atheists and the bible bashing Christians (like one yesterday who told us his purpose on coming on was to show us the ONE TRUE religion... which he said was all other Christian churches besides ours... and then proceeded to fall into name-calling. Not the best way to convince someone you love them, or care about their salvation, by the way). So it's cool when we come across sincere truth seekers. 

Ah a thing! So earlier this week, we had a day that was just super unstable weather. It was bright and sunny, then it got suuuper windy out of nowhere, then it hailed these awful little ice balls that hurt my face, and then it snowed, and then it was windy again... and the next day was sunny. #utahweather But the thing! During the first crazy period of windiness, we were making our way to the South Visitor's Center, and before we walked in we looked to the left where 4 sisters had just passed each other, and this huge flying tree branch just came at them and had it come just a moment earlier it would have destroyed them aaah it was funny but also scary and I was pretty sure Sharknado: Salt Lake City was about to start. 

So, I'm cruising through Mosiah right now (Yeah, the Book of Mormon is still my favorite thing) and reading about Abinidi and I'll tell you what, that guy was legit. I think many of us understand that when we choose to follow Christ, that means we choose to "stand alone" sometimes... of course, always with God by our side, but you know what I mean. But Abinidi, he literally stood alone in front of this city of people who hated him, and ended up killing him, because he proclaimed the true gospel of Christ, and called them all out on their sinfulness. Anyways. Sometimes I feel like Abinidi is ma boy, because he never got to see the results of his dedication to God's work, and often times here on Temple Square it's a similar story. Not nearly that extreme of course. But I think we can relate. 

Keep doing the good things, family. Study the words of the prophets. Pray to God. Partake of the Sacrament to renew your covenants. Be a little better every day. God is real and He loves you. I know that's hard to believe sometimes (because I didn't believe it, for a long time), but it's true. And as you learn and live Christ's gospel, you will not only come to know it, but you will feel it. Because God is good like that. 

Make good, choose happiness.
<3 Sister Chamberlin

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Spring is Here!

Not really, it's just teasing us. But it's been so warm the last couple of days!! Yay!!!

I'm so happy to hear Grandma's on the up and up. So tenacious. <3

So many incidents have occurred this week, and my brain doesn't want to remember them all to tell you about them, sorry. 

But, I do remember that we had Zone Conference last week, and it was a spiritual feast, so, naturally, as I always do after any kind of feasting, I wanted to take a nap. But alas, that was not a thing that could happen. But a cool thing. President Risenmay shared this story from his youthful mission (I'm not really sure what to call it... his first mission?) and there were a lot of funny little details and I can't do the story justice, not even a little bit. BUT he ended up finding this gentleman who was one of five men who survived Auschwitz... I think. And after they'd shared the story of the Restoration, this guy got up and basically threw down on these young boys about coming in there and telling him about God, and how he'd slept with the dead, and there is no God, etc. As you can imagine, that would be a highly uncomfortable situation to be in. How do you explain the horrors that man had experienced? So anyways, a young P. Risenmay was just praying in his heart, and ended up bearing simple pure testimony about how he did not know why God had allowed such a horrific thing to occur, but he DID know that God lives, and that He loves us, and that the fullness of the gospel of Christ had been restored. The man ended up sending them away, but kept and read the Book of Mormon, and was eventually baptized and became this incredible leader in the church. And the point P Risenmay was teaching us all day was that it is our obligation, responsibility, duty, whatever, to share the restoration with everyone who will listen, and bear our own testimony of it, so that the Spirit can testify, and if people will open their hearts, they can be changed. 

We've met some really cool people this week, some who are working really hard to put off the natural man and let God change them. It's not an easy thing to do, once we've been bound by the chains of hell. But it is possible, through Jesus Christ. How blessed are we? So blessed. That's how blessed. 

I love you all. I know God lives. He loves all His children. He know each of us, perfectly- every strength, every weakness, every flaw- and loves us anyways. That's how I hope to love people. Straight up unconditionally. Which I suppose is a lot easier to do when we are acutely aware of our own imperfections, and understand that God can still love us, so of course we can love our brothers and sisters.

This church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints IS God's kingdom on earth. This is it. And these principles and ordinances are necessary for us to become who God wants us to be. He wants so much more for us than just to be saved. He knows our potential, and He is preparing us for that. 

Make good, and choose happiness, ya hooligans. Reach out to those around you- I think Sammy boy mentioned how today's greatest epidemic is loneliness. He's right, and that's messed up. Let's cure it, okay? Grinning face with smiling eyes

All my love from Temple Square,
<3 Sister Chamberlin

P.S. one of my favorite chapters from personal study this week was Jacob 4... so powerful. Read it.