Monday, November 29, 2010

Waaay Too Much Food!


We keep on truckin' along here in Loja. This week wasn't quite as amazing as last week but still pretty good. Luis Enrique is so excited for his baptism that it's insane. He just has to come to church one more time and he'll be set to jet for the 11th of December. Familia Ushca is doing sooooo good too-HNA Sandra and Orlandito are really excited, HNO Angel has been out of town all week (he's military) so we have no idea how he is. But I think he'll be okay too, I've got a good feeling. Monica is still waiting on her divorce and Kela and Eduardo FINALLY got his divorce to go through so they should be getting married soon. Basically we're having a blasty blast down here and working really hard. It's awesome.

So I'm guessing that everyone wants to hear about the census, right?? We couldn't leave the house allllllllll day. You know what time the high school kid came to take our information?? 7:30 in the morning. Hableme en serio. And even though she came super early, we still had to stay in the house allllllllllll day until 5. What did we do?? We made cheese empanadas, wrote to our converts, decided we were hungry again and made pancakes, and then our landlords called up and invited us to come eat tamales with them. Keep in mind that when they called up, I had just eaten like 3 pancakes and earlier that day I had eaten a ridiculous amount of empanadas. But we both really like tamales, so down we went!!! We had both eaten one cheese tamale and HNA Cecilia was like, do you want to try the chicken ones?? Before we could say anything more than uhhhhhhh, she had gotten up and was heating them up in the microwave. Uh oh. I was already feeling like I was going to explode but the first rule of being a missionary is-we eat all the food. So I muscled my way through two tamales, a piece of cake and a lot of horchata (a type of herbal tea. Sidenote: I have never drunk so much herbal tea in my entire life as I've drunk here.) By the time we left I was seriously dying. I'm not sure how I made it through choir practice and teaching Luis Enrique without throwing up, but somehow I managed. That night I was lying in bed in severe stomach pain, cursing Ecuador and its good food, and the people who think it's necessary to feed us so much in one sitting. But today I feel fine. Pretty much.

Anyway, this morning we decided that we were going to help out HNA Monica with her restaurant. She's been wanting to paint it for awhile and we thought it would be a good way to show her boyfriend that the Church really is a good thing and that he should be listening to us too because it's going to help him. Anyway, the zone leaders wanted to come too, so Elder Garcia asked me where the restaurant was. I'm 99% positive that I told him on the way to Zamora Huayco, but he apparently heard only Zamora Huayco. Today we went to the chapel to wait for them, but only the elders from Catamayo showed up, so we told them where to find us and left. After about 2 hours, the zone leaders and the other elders all showed up and Elder Garcia said, we just spent an HOUR looking for this place in Zamora Huayco!!!! This led to a small discussion about what I said the night before and what I didn't say and who's hearing was challenged, but in the end they all stayed to help and I still say that I told him on the WAY to Zamora Huayco. But whatevs.

Anyway, there's not a whole lot else to say. I'm really excited for these next two weeks because we're going to have baptisms, plus my zone is cool and apparently next week we're gonna go to Vilcabamba and ride bikes (sidenote:do I even remember how to ride a bike??) Hopefully we don't have to go to Guayaquil again, because I really want to go to Vilcabamba and I HATE the bus ride to and from Guayaquil. It's seriously the worst thing EVER. But I also want to be legal here in Ecuador, so I guess we'll see what happens. I'm hoping we go the next week . . . . .


Hermana Chamberlain

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fasting Works!


This week was AMAZING!!!! I have gained an incredibly strong testimony of the power of fasting. It works!!! And it's amazing!!!! And I'm gonna tell you all about it. Here we gooooooo . .. . . . So last week we were having a lot of issues with well, pretty much everyone, and this week was going more or less the same way. Monica Remache's boyfriend got out of jail and came back and didn't have a huge spiritual awakening while he was in the big house like we were hoping, plus a lot of other frustrating things were happening. I was getting super frustrated and thinking about what we should do when a thought came into my mind-we need to fast. DUUUUUUHHHHH. Why didn't we think of that before??? I asked HNA Bravo how she felt about it and she agreed that we should give it a try.

So the next day after lunch we went to the chapel and knelt down and poured out our hearts to Heavenly Father. We told him that we needed a lot of blessings and that we were going to fast so that we could have them. We asked him to bless the Flia. Chisaguano, Flia. Ushca, Flia. Remache, Luis Enrique and Kela and all the people that we were teaching, that they could work out their issues and be baptized. We also asked him to bless us so that we could find people who would be baptized, that were prepared to hear the gospel. We closed the prayer, got up and went back out to work.The day of the fast was kind of lame too. We passed by the Flia. Chisaguano and HNA Silvia is having a ton of problems with her husband. She and her daughter Melany really want to be baptized, but HNO Cesar told her that if she gets baptized he'll kick her out of the house (although he did say that when he was drunk, so I doubt he'd actually do it). But she was really upset and we just told her that everything would be okay and that when we keep going on and do what we know the Lord wants us to do, He blesses us. We left her feeling much better and went off to visit some other people, then came back to the chapel to see if the zone leaders wanted to come with us to visit the Chisaguanos. Elder Garcia was dying to go but they had to do some baptismal interviews and the elders hadn't shown up with their investigators yet. So we went off to the appointment alone, but as it turned out, HNA Silvia and HNO Cesar weren't there-HNA Silvia's dad got worse and they went to Quito again. We left, went back to the chapel and told the zone leaders what had happened. They were very sympathetic, told us they were sorry and that everything would be okay. We went back out to visit someone else and on the way, we passed a little boy. I thought, we should talk to that kid, but then I was like, uhhh he's like 4 years old, what's he gonna tell us?? So we kept walking, and then I saw the same little boy run up behind us, pass us and keep going. I thought, that little boy is going to lead us to someone-which is when we saw his mom. We started talking to her, she said we could come visit her and we set an appointment for the next day. Then we went back to the chapel to teach Luis Enrique, the son of a recent convert. His problem was that he could never come to church because he worked and went to school on Sundays (they have school on Sunday here, kind of weird) but when we got there he said HNAs I need to talk you. I can work my schedule out so that I can come from 9-10 on Sundays. In other words, he can come for Sacrament Meeting. We were like . . . . . AWESOME!!!! DO IT!!!!! We left happy, knowing that we were already seeing the blessings of our fast.The next day we ended our fast and went out to work again. I don't remember exactly what happened on Friday, but Saturday was incredible. We went to visit Marcia, the lady that we found, and her husband came out and was like oh she's not here. Just as we were asking him when we could come back, she came out, opened the door and said, come in!!!! It was the funniest thing I've ever seen-some people just don't know how to lie!!!!! Her sister and niece were also there, the three of them listened to us, agreed to come to church that Sunday and accepted baptismal dates!!! We left super happy. We visited Monica Remache and her son Richard with one of the members and they hit it off really well, and she told us she would come to church the next day too. Then we went to visit the Ushcas. We thought HNO Angel wasn't going to be there but he was, so we decided to read the intro to the Book of Mormon with them. Long story short, the Spirit was really strong and all three of them accepted baptismal dates, even HNO Angel. He now knows without doubt that the church is true, he just has to keep on going. We were so excited!!!So then, the big day. Sunday. The last Sunday of the month, because next week no one can leave the house for the census. We got ready, ran out the door and grabbed a taxi. First we went to get HNA Sandra Uscha and Orlando (and Erik, of course). They weren't quite ready when we got there but they got ready really quick and we booked it to the chapel. We left them there and took off for Monica and Richard, stopping at Marcia's house on the way to get her, but she said that she'd come later bc she was waiting for her sister and brother in law to come. We ran to Monica's house, where she and Richard were ready and waiting. We hopped in the cab, ran to the chapel and tried to contact the cab driver, but he said he was Catholic (how many times have I heard that here???) We jumped out and ran in just as the opening hymn was ending and joined Sandra and Orlandito in the back. Right after the sacrament I looked over my shoulder and saw Elder Garcia peeking through the door waving at me. I thought, what's he doing here?? He should be in his own branch!! Then I remembered that the elders from the Loja branch had a baptism and he had probably come to help them, but that still didn't explain why he was peeking through the chapel door waving at me. Then I saw him and Elder Spencer showing a family through the door. At first I didn't recognize them, but then I realized that it was Marcia, her sister Tania, and Tania's husband Lauro. I wanted to jump out of my seat and do a backflip, but we all know I can't do a backflip. What I did instead was frantically nudge my companion and whisper (loudly) LOOOOOOK!!!! She turned around, got really excited, and got up and went to sit with them. As I was watching her go I noticed that Luis Enrique had somehow snuck in with his mom without us noticing. I then started counting the amount of investigators we had in church that day. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, EIGHT. The most people that I've ever managed to bring to church in one Sunday in my entire mission. In Loja, the most difficult area of the mission to baptize. And out of these eight people, 7 of them had a baptismal date. I turned around, focused my attention on the little kids in front (it was the primary presentation, my favorite!!!) and thought, I LOVE being a missionary!!!!!

Prayer works. Fasting works faster. If you want a blessing, and you're not getting it, maybe you're not sacrificing enough. That's what I learned this week. Later we went to choir practice and the zone leaders asked us how many people had come to church with us that day. When we told them, Elder Garcia's eyes about popped out of his head, it was so funny. They then asked us what we had done and we replied simply, we prayed and we fasted and we worked really hard. Because that's all we did, really. The Lord told us that we needed to fast and we followed His counsel. That's the key to success in missionary work-ask the Lord for help and do what He says!!!I love you all sooooo much. Thank you all for praying for me, for my compy and for our investigators. I hope that from this email you can see that your prayers are being answered. Keep it up. I know that what I'm doing is right. I know that the Lord answers my prayers. I know He loves me and that He loves everyone. And I know that this is His church.La vida es hermosa . . . . .


Hermana Chamberlain

Monday, November 15, 2010

Satan--The Father of All Lies


Well this week was interesting, we taught a lot of lessons, the familia Chisaguano FINALLY came back but it looks like they took off for Quito again, we found out that one of our investigators went to jail, you know, just another week down here in the mountains of Ecuador.
I guess I`ll start at the beginning. The Flia Chisaguano finally got back from Quito on Tuesday or Wednesday and we went over on Thursday, but it was really depressing. They were all really sad because HNA Glanzer had left, like bawling their heads off about it sad, which of course made us sad and then they were like, ohhh we don't know about baptism, we have to pray about it and think about it. Sighhhh . . . . okay. HNA Bravo was really upset about it, obviously, because she'd worked with them for so much more time than me, but I also felt really depressed because they're a great family and everyone had worked so hard with them. We decided to give them a couple days before going back, and when we returned we watched the Emma Smith movie and it turned out to be AMAZING. Emma Smith passed through some really tough stuff, just like the Flia Chisaguano, so they were really affected by it. By the end of the night they were all smiling and saying see you in church tomorrow!!! But the next day they got a call from their family in Quito and apparently HNA Silvia's dad got worse (he'd already been sick) and so they didn't go to church and when we passed by afterwards there was no one there and worse, the phone was turned off. Soooo . . . . we're not sure what's going on. But we will find them. If it takes the rest of my mission and kills me, we will find this family and baptize them.

The Flia Ushca is doing really well, but they're afraid to be baptized. Bueno, HNA Sandra says that she was already baptized but that she's going to pray to know if she should be baptized again, and HNO Angel says that he's afraid to be baptized because what if he fails God afterwards?? We were really frustrated afterwards, but what do you do when all else fails?? Call in additional reinforcements!!! Tonight we're going to go with the zone leaders to have a family home evening and we're going to teach the Restoration with emphasis on the apostacy and how the authority of the priesthood was lost and then restored. Then the zone leaders are going to put a baptismal date on them. It's gonna be awesome, I just know it. Yesterday they didn't come to church, and when we went over afterwards they apologized for not coming!!! That's never happened to me before!!! It gives me animos to keep on truckin' with them.

So then, in the third family that we're working with, HNA Monica and her son Richard are pretty much ready to be baptized, the only problem is that Monica's not married, she just lives with HNO Ramiro and he doesn't want anything to do with us, although he is friendly. Plus they're having a lot of problems and I don't think she even wants to marry him (I understand, I probably wouldn't either, but it is necessary so that she can get baptized so we're working on the whole chastity issue.) Anyway, this Sunday Monica and Richard came to church with us and we asked her about HNO Ramiro. She was like, oh he's in (insert name of random city two hours away from Loja, don't remember the name but it's long and hard to say.) Oh, cool. Well afterwards we went to teach her a lesson and she started telling us about all the issues she was having with him, that he gets jealous and sometimes hits her and all kinds of stuff, and then she was like, uhhhh I lied when I told you he was out of town, he's actually in jail. Apparently debtor's prison still exists in this country, who knew?? But we felt really bad for her, because she's so awesome and comes to church every Sunday with us and reads the BOM and prays and she's got all this lame stuff happening in her life and now her lamesauce boyfriend's in jail and can't get out until she pays the money. I thought about telling her to just leave him in there but decided that wouldn't be hugely tactful (although if I was in this situation, it's possibly what I would do. Not important to the story.) But she is living the law of chastity now, so I guess we'll see what happens, haha!!!

So this week was pretty difficult for us. We worked incredibly hard but had some ridiculously difficult challenges to face with all our investigators. Last night I was thinking about why were having all these issues, why the opposition was working so incredibly hard against us. I've never felt so clearly that Satan has put a picture of me and my companion on his dartboard in all my mission. Then it came to me: We're working with three families, three really awesome families. Think about what's in a family: the priesthood, something that Satan will never have, a marriage, something else that Satan will never have, children, something ELSE that Satan will never have, members of the Relief Society, Young Men's and Women's, Primary-something that Satan will never be a part of. Love, charity, respect, happiness, and the hope of being an eternal family, living together with the people we love most of all for all time: and with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. All these things are made possible when a family gets baptized together-and it ticks Satan off. A LOT. As I sat there thinking last night, I realized that this was why it was so incredibly difficult, why the devil was working so hard against us and why we were feeling it. BUT-that the powers of evil will never defeat the power of God (another thing that ticks Satan off!!!!) One time I was listening to a John Bytheway talk and someone had asked him, if Satan knows he's going to lose eventually, why does he still try so hard??? John Bytheway said that it was because he wanted to take as many of us with him as possible when he lost. Or something like that-I don't remember exactly.

But my point is this-don't EVER let Satan drag you down to where he is. He may tell you that everyone's doing it, that the commandments are out of date, that no one will know, that no one will get hurt. He may tell you that the church isn't true, that Joseph Smith was crazy, that he made everything up. He may tell you that God doesn't exist, and that if He does, He definitely doesn't love you. He may tell you that you're not worthy or able to pray, or that if you've messed up you'll never be able to fix it. NONE OF THAT IS TRUE: Satan is the father of ALL LIES. If you let him drag you down, people will get hurt, and not just you but everyone who loves you. Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. He restored the true gospel on the earth. The priesthood of God resides in it, and the people chosen by God to lead us also. You are worthy to pray, and if you've messed up, there is always a way back through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through Him we have joy and peace. Though Satan, all we have is misery.

Heavenly Father loves you. You are His child and He wants nothing more than for you to come back into His presence-together with your family. Work as hard as you can to get there-it's the reason we're here on the earth. And be thankful that you already have the gospel in your life, because you have no idea how hard Satan works to make sure that Heavenly Father's children who don't already have it don't receive it. But I know that every single one of these families will be baptized-it might kill us, but they will be able to receive the blessings of the gospel.

Les amo muchisimo. Oren por mi y por mi compy, por favor. Estamos trabajando durisimo pero necesitamos toda la ayuda de los cielos que podamos tener!!!

Hermana Chamberlain

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Am His Daughter


This is the song that I mentioned a few months ago that I said I would post the words but I never did. If you want you can put it on the blog, but I thought you would like to know that the words have comforted me and helped me a lot in the mission.

I Am His Daughter

The photos in the magazine
Don't dictate who I'm supposed to be
The world can't recognize all that I am inside
But I know in His eyes I am a part of the bigger picture
There's so much more to me
He helps me see that I have so much to offer
I am His Daughter
He loves me the way I am
He's my strength when I stand
He is my King and my Father, I am His Daughter
The people on the TV screen
The leaders, rulers and queens
I watch them shape the world, and though I'm just a girl
I still know for sure I am a part of the bigger picture
There's so much more to me
He helps me see that I have so much to offer
I am His Daughter
He loves me the way I am
He's my strength when I stand
He is my King and my Father, I am His Daughter
And when I'm feeling small
And wondering if I'll ever
Find courage to stand tall
Through His love I remember
There's so much more to me
He helps me see that I have so much to offer
I am His Daughter
He loves me the way I am
He's my strength when I stand
He is my King and my Father
I am His Daughter

We Have the Best Family Evaaaaah!

Ellen sent the following email in response to something her sister Abby said. First is the excerpt from Abby's email (sorry Ab, Ellen said to put it up), then Ellen's response.

Grandma and Grandpa Chamberlain were in town, so we all ( Grandma, Grandpa, Hillary, David, Sarah, me, Peter, Amy, and Christopher) went out to dinner on Saturday night, and then we also had dinner at Peter and Amy's on Sunday. It was fun, and when we were driving home on Sunday (belting Christmas songs at the top of our lungs), I realized how GLAD I am that we belong to the Chamberlain family and not some other family. I decided that there are two main criterion to being a member of the Chamberlain family:

1. Quirkiness

2. An appreciation for GOOD FOOD!

Keep those in mind when you get married, please. We don't want anyone throwing off our groove (wouldn't it be so sad to belong to a family that didn't have an equal number of desserts and people at Thanksgiving Dinner??). Anyway. I love being a Chamberlain. We have the best family evaaaaah!

We really do have the best family evaaaaah. I realized that when I read this email. I miss you all but not enough to get trunky (yet, haha chendo). But although it kills me to think about coming home, a part of me is really excited for the next Thanksgiving dinner and 16 different desserts. Our family is, without question, really awesome.

Love youuuuuuu


This Home Is Catholic, Thank You For Respecting Our Faith


You guys are lucky, the zone leaders almost told us that we had to wait till next week to write but we managed to convince them that we should be able to write today, haha. Anyway, hopefully nobody was too scared by my last email, because I do feel a lot better now. I still miss Cuenca a lot but I`m beginning to develop a love for the people here in Loja too. We`re working with a lot of cool people and especially families!!! My favorite!! So I am doing better, and despite what everyone might think, I`m not going to throw myself off a bridge or even sneak on the next bus to Cuenca. I`m good.

So yesterday we finally got back from Guayaquil at 10 at night. We had to go to renew my visa and in 3 weeks we have to come back to renew my censo. Why couldn`t we just do it all at once??? Elder Guerrero and I would really like to know that too. Ecuador is a red tape country for sure. But to make a long story short, the bus ride from Loja to Guayaquil and back is generally 9-10 hours long, although sometimes you can make it in 7 and sometimes it takes 12. I'm really hoping I never experience the 12 hour ride, that would be horrible. Sunday night we went all night long and got to Guayaquil at 4:30 in the morning. Uhhh . . . . Now what do we do?? We ended up hanging out in the terminal for a few hours and then went to the office, waited another 2 hours even though we got there on time and FINALLY went off to renew the visa, except we also waited there forever. But I did see my first district leader in the mission, Elder Cruz, so that was fun. He's going home in the middle of December, isn't that crazy??? Time flies when you're serving the Lord (Jacob 7:26). Then we had about 45 minutes to shoot off the quick email to our families, go back to the office to pick something up and fly back to the terminal. We thought when we got on the bus that we had just barely made it, but we ended up sitting on the bus for 15 minutes. Hableme en serio. We totally could have gone to McDonalds like we wanted. And THEN, when we were an hour outside of Loja there was a traffic jam and we sat there for another 45 minutes. I was just like you've got to be kidding me!!! Finally we got home and threw ourselves into bed and died for about 7 hours. It was really terrible and the worst part is knowing that I have to do it again in 3 weeks!!!

Anyway, enough Debbie Downer. Loja is very pretty and there are a lot of cool people here. We are working with 3 families and having a lot of fun. My companion is really funny-she loves to take pictures and videos and we just have a blast with it. One time we came to a door for an appointment, rang the doorbell and no one answered. We rang a bunch but still nothing. So we decided that we were going to have some fun. We now have a video of me ringing the doorbell obnoxiously and banging on the gate, then noticing the sticker on the door that says, this home is catholic, thank you for respecting our faith. Not to be deterred, I kept ringing and knocking, and finally HNA Bravo says, it looks like they're not here, and I said, it looks like they're catholic!!! It's a hugely hilarious video, not gonna lie. And we have many more. So I am having a great time with my companion, and also with getting to know the people here. The Flia Chisaguano is still AWOL although we heard that they're coming back soon from Quito and I just know that they'll be baptized this month, I don't know how but I know it. We're also working with the Flia. Ushca, who reminds me a lot of Flia. Criollo except they're a little bit more tranquilo. But the HNO Angel and the HNA Sandra are both really smart-they pretty much teach themselves and they have an 11 year old son named Orlandito, and a 1 year old named Erick. This past week they were going to go to Riobamba and not be able to go to church, so we prayed all week that they wouldn't go and that they'd come to church instead. On Friday we went to their house for an appointment and HNA Sandra said, ahh, I have to go, Orlandito's in the hospital!!! We of course offered to go with her and called someone to give him a priesthood blessing, shared a scripture with them and everything. When we left I looked at HNA Bravo and said, guess they're not going to Riobamba!!!! Haha, oops!! On Sunday Orlandito was still in the hospital but much better, and his parents were like I dunno if we're gonna be able to go but we'll try. We went to the hospital to pick them up and only found Orlandito, who said that his parents had gone home. By this time we had 10 minutes before church started. HNA Bravo was like, if we run we can get to the house and call them . . . . are you willing to run??? Of COURSE!!!! We booked it to the house and called, they said that they'd be late but they'd make it. All through sacrament meeting I was praying that they'd make it, and imagine the happiness that we felt went we saw them peeking through the door and waving-both of them!!!!! It was the best feeling ever.

Prayer works. It works in mysterious ways but it works. PS: Orlandito is all better now, he got out of the hospital yesterday on his birthday.

Anyway, I'm doing good. I'm getting used to my new place. I'm having fun with my companion and the other people in my district and zone. Elder Garcia is my zone leader and Elder Caro is here in the other district-sometimes after district meeting we reminisce about the good times in the office but we're all super happy that we're not there anymore, hahaha. And I have a couple of new favorite scriptures from Doctrine and Covenants (sidenote: I wish I had more time to study D&C, it's AWESOME). D&C 9: 6, and D&C 63:57-58. I'm learning what it means to really align your will with the Lord, and that if you do, He'll show you all the things that you should do-and bless you incredibly.

Les amo muchisimo. Amigos-ESCRIBANME POR FAVOR

Yo sé que vive mi Señor
Consuelo es poder saber
Que vive aunque muerto fue
Y siempre Su amor tendré

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Quickie From Guayaquil


Well this is gonna be really short because we're in Guayaquil and we have to hop a bus in half an hour to go back to Loja. Just wanted to let you all know that I'm still alive and I even feel better than I did last week, so you can all breathe a sigh of relief. I´ll be writing more tomorrow so don´t worry, but right now we have to run back to the office and then book it to the terminal, or we´ll be pulling another all nighter on the bus and we don´t want that!!!

Mucho amor, les amo todos y gracias por sus palabras de amor y apoyo.

Hermana Chamberlain

Friday, November 5, 2010

She Sent PICTURES!!!!!

Finally, we got some pictures via snail mail. They are posted on the Photos page. Sorry they aren't in chronological order. Blogspot is a bit of a pain when it comes to posting pictures so I didn't mess with it too much. Let's hope the internet is faster at the cafes in Loja! Here's the note that came with the photos.

Hola Familia!

So I accidentally printed doubles of all my pictures, and I was like, what the heck am I gonna do with all these pictures? And then I thought hey, I'll send them to my family, they are ALWAYS asking for pictures! So here's some pics of Cuenca, one picture in Loja and some other random stuff. I know this is relatively unconventional (wow, I can't believe I even remember what that word means) but the internet is so slow here that I'd rather eat glass than send photos by email. You'll have to do a little more work to get them on the blog, but at least I sent them! love you lots. I wrote descriptions on the backs. I'll keep looking for the magic internet cafe--fasting and prayers would be appreciated!

Les amo mucho!

Hermana Chamberlain

Monday, November 1, 2010

Missing Cuenca

Hola . . . . .

This is going to be an audience participation email-we're going to use our imaginations. Imagine that you're in a beautiful place, and working in the best job that you've ever had in your life. You love your coworkers, you love the clients, and you love the place that you live in. And you're especially happy because a lot of your clients are about to make the best deal of their lives, one that will bring them a lot of happiness and allow them to progress a lot in their lives. You've worked hard, put in a lot of effort, and even cried over some of these people, but seeing them make these decisions that will bring them so much joy makes it all worth it. You are the happiest that you've ever been in your life.

Then one day, your boss calls you into the office. He thanks you for the work that you've done with these people, and then tells you that he needs you to go to another branch of the company, in a place that's still pretty but not as pretty as the place you're in now. You'll have new coworkers, you won't know the area or any of the clients, and you won't even know if you have clients. And . . . . . you won't be able to come back and visit this place that you love, and the people that you've come to love like your own family. You won't be there to see the results of all your work.

How would you feel at this point?? Like your heart was breaking??

If you answered yes to that question, then you know exactly how I felt last night at around 9:30 PM.

Last night the district leader called and told me that I was being transferred. At first I thought he was joking, in fact I was waiting for him to say HAHA, just kidding Hermana Chamberlain!!!! But even though I asked him about 6 times if he was joking, it wasn't a joke. At first they told me that I was going back to Guayaquil. I absolutely couldn't believe it-why on earth would I be going back there?? Elder Forero could hear how upset I was and said all the consolation things, don't worry everything's going to be fine you'll have a lot of success blah blah blah. All I said was uh huh, uh huh, yeah okay chao. I hung up the phone, buried my face in my pillow and began to cry. Hard. For a really long time. HNA Castillo started crying too-we had worked SO HARD for these people and we wanted to be there together when they all got baptized. Then the zone leaders called. I picked up the phone and said, I hope you're calling to tell me that the transfer call was a joke. Elder Johnson said that unfortunately it wasn't but that he was calling with more details about the transfers. Then he told me that I wasn't going to Guayaquil at all . . . . I was going to Loja. And that they were going to divide Alamos into two sectors-Hermana Glanzer was coming to be in one part and was going to train, and Hermana Castillo was going to take the other part and also train. All the people that we have that were going to be baptized in this change, that we had worked so hard and given up hours of time and energy to be able to go visit them . . . . I wasn't going to see them be baptized. It was too much for me to handle and I started crying again, and Hermana Castillo was bawling her head off right along with me. We sat there crying for so long that I didn't even start packing my bags until 10:30. I managed to quit crying while I was packing but when I got into bed I started crying and even though HNA Castillo gave me her Pooh Bear to hold and told me not to cry and that everything would be okay, I couldn't stop. I don't even know when I fell asleep-all I remember is crying and crying and feeling like my heart was breaking. I know that that sounds cliche but my heart literally was hurting. And it wasn't just for the baptisms-I really love the people in Cuenca, the investigators, the converts, the members, all of them. There were so many that I didn`t get to say goodbye to, and I felt like my time there was too short. If it sounds like I'm complaining or murmuring, that's not my intention at all. But I think that there have been very few times in my life when I've felt such profound sadness. In fact, I have tears in my eyes right now as I'm typing this. I know that everything is going to be okay-I know that I'm here in Loja for a reason, because when we got to the terminal, Elder Forero said that President wanted me to go to Loja to help lift up the sector that I would be in. But the thing is, I don't really do anything different-I just work hard and try to do what Heavenly Father wants. I don't know what President thinks I can do but I'm going to try and figure it out and do the best I can. Hopefully the heartache that I feel goes away soon.

Anyway, I'm in Loja now, in the sector called Jipiro. My companion's name is Hermana Bravo, she's from Nicauragua and is really sweet. I know we'll get along just fine. I'm excited because we are working with two families that have a date to be baptized, although I'm sad because I've been reading HNA Glanzer's blog and she worked so hard with the family that's getting baptized this Saturday, and now she won't be able to see their baptism. I feel like she deserves to be there more than me. But although I haven't met them yet, I already love them and I'm excited to get to know them and help them progress in the gospel. I know that everything will be okay, and it's not that I feel like I shouldn't be here or that I'm angry or anything . . . . I'm just very very sad and I miss Cuenca and all the incredible people that I left there. But the people here are great too and I know that I will be okay and that I will figure out what the Lord wants me to do here and that the heartache will go away. I know that the reason I feel this way is because I did what missionaries are supposed to do-develop a pure love and desire for the salvation of all the people in Cuenca.

I love you all so much. Thank you for all your love and prayers for me. Sorry this email was such a downer and that I didn't tell any funny stories or incredible spiritual experiences. Next week should be better. And despite everything, I love the Lord and I know He loves me, and that he will help me here in His great work.

Les amo muchisimo,

Hermana Chamberlain