Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 55: "Have yourself a Merry little Christmas!"

Monday, Dec 19th 2016

Oh my heck! First off less than a week till Christmas!! Are you excited? Because I am so excited!! Get to talk to my family and I am pretty stoked about that! Heavens to Betsy, I miss them to pieces!

Okay so this week was transfers. The relief society in the 3rd ward made all the missionaries in the zone an amazing breakfast! It was so good and we felt so loved! 

We headed home to wait for Sister S....n from Redding 5th(😍) to pick up Sister C.....r! It was really good to see her!

We got Sister C.....n all settled then headed out to make some visits! We were trying to see Janice but she wasn't home, but her son was cleaning his car on the driveway. We talked to him for a bit and showed him the new Christmas video. He really liked it and we could tell he felt the spirit. He used to meet with missionaries up in Redding but then they just stopped coming. But we are excited to 
see the plans the Lord has in store for Charles.

That evening we went to mutual to get to know some of the youth better! They were doing a white elephant and brought extra gifts so we got to participate! Sister C......n ended up with a painting and I got a snowman mug

Wednesday we had district meeting and talked about the importance of listening, asking inspired questions and following the spirit. So good! Listening to the spirit and to people sometimes takes a lot of effort. It's so easy to let my thoughts wander off to what I'm going to have for dinner that night or what I'm missing at home. But when we listen with love, our thoughts stay on track. I've been really focusing on being a better listener. I've noticed that when you listen, to them and the spirit, you don't have worry about what to say. It really is given to us if we pray and open our mouths with faith. So many times I've come out of lessons, learning something new or saying something I had never thought of. It's just amazing how the spirit will work with us.

The 3rd ward Sisters are moving houses, so we helped load and unload their stuff before going over to meet with Brother E....s. He's such a good WML! He's driven, missionary minded and loves the administrative side of the church! I'm learning so much!

Later that day we were able to meet Corey, who is a referral from a sister in the ward. We shared the Christmas video with him and he loved it! We were able to invite him to participate and he said that he and his wife will check it out and will give us a call. Often times that's a nice way of saying no, but Sister Cowden and I both have a really good feeling about him!

That night we saw the W. family. They are doing well. Crystal was telling us that she hasn't stepped into a church for 20 years so just having us over is a big deal for her. Her daughter Makala is really interested in coming to church and mutual. So we invited them to the ward Christmas party and said they would definitely be there!!

Our Thursday morning was a little slow at first but it picked up after in the evening. We had a really good doorstep lesson with Jerry. He really enjoys us coming over and encouraging his family. We asked him a couple questions that really opened him up of some of his most spiritual experiences. He had the opportunity to baptize someone when he was 16. He said that is what keeps his testimony going. He really wants to come back to church as a family and help bring his wife into the gospel. He asked that when we come back, we can sit down and share some of our favorite experiences. We are so excited for the J. family! Please keep them in your prayers.

After, we had an awesome lesson with Paul Jr. We decided to do a scripture study with them. A couple of the young men and the bishop came! We all turned to the index under Holy Ghost and found a scripture we liked. Then we went around the room read our scripture and talked about why we liked it. It was neat to hear what stood out to each of them. It was good to talk about all the things that the Holy Ghost helps us with. He brings us comfort, he helps us remember things, he brings us peace and helps us to feel loved by our Father in Heaven. 

Friday was our car fast day and it was a BLAST! We had some bike problems at first, but some wonderful members let us borrow one to use. We biked to our lesson with Logan and taught him the first half of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I did my paper and water cup visual aid and he loved it! He was so grateful to know that the Atonement helps us to be completely clean a pure when we repent. 

During the lesson Doug W. came over to give something to Linda, Logan's Grandma. He told us to stop by on the way home. We biked over and he gave us fudge, homemade wooden pens and Sister C....n a backpack to use when she is on bike! We were able to share the #LIGHTtheWORLD video with him and asked him some questions about how he came to join to church. He said it was because of how important family is to the church. I know that families can be together forever. This week, a year ago, my Grandma Gore passed away. I am so grateful to have a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, that we are sealed in the Temple and that I will see her again.

Saturday was our Ward Christmas party! The theme was "A Night in Bethlehem." We were asked to dress up as if we lived in Jerusalem in the time of Christ. I was a little hesitant about how people would respond, but it was a hit! Everyone who went loved it. It was magical! My favorite part was that there was zero commercialism. No Santa, no snowmen, no jingle bells, no presents, nothing but Jesus Christ!! It really helped me take a step back and really reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. It's not about the presents, the carols or the cookies, although those things are nice and add to the excitement of the season. It is about the birth of the Savior of the world!! Oh and 5 of our investigators came!! With members! It was awesome!!

I love Liberty Ward! I love Sister C....n! I love being a Missionary! I love my Savior! 

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!! Love you lots!

Sister Emily Gore

Week 54: Learning and Lighting

Monday, Dec 12th 2016

Okay I'm trying to make these shorter, but I'm not sure how successful I will be! But here ya go!

Tuesday we passed Rafael over to the Spanish sisters. I don't know Spanish really, but it was honestly one of the most spiritual experiences I've had in Gridley! We shared the Christmas video and they introduced the Book of Mormon to one of Rafael's friends. We found out later that as he read Moroni 10 he was telling Hermana B... how powerful it was and that he wanted to keep reading! The Book of Mormon is amazing. It has literally improved my relationship with my Heavenly Father. It really is the word of God and it is true!

We had a really good lesson with Linda R. She has been struggling to read the Book of Mormon, so we decided to do a topic study on prayer. We went to the index and each picked out a scripture about prayer, read it and talked about it. I picked Moroni 8:26 "And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God."

Prayer is direct communication with God, our loving Heavenly Father. It is through prayer that we can repent and ask for forgiveness. It is a way that we show our love for God and He shows our love for us. When we pray we are filled with the spirit and can receive revelation. Prayer isn't always easy but it is oh so important! I know that God loves us each and hears our prayers. He answers them in His own time and in a way that we need even if it isn't what we want. 

Saturday was a really good day! Roark in Auburn was baptized!! Roark was a self referral and I was there to teach him the first lesson with Sister D...! He remembered me, but I didn't ask to go down because had a lot going on! But I'm so happy for him!! 

We went Caroling that night and sang to a sweet man named Bill who is an investigator in the Gridley first ward. We sang a couple songs to hymn and as we were saying Merry Christmas, he put his hand on his heart and started to cry as he thanked us. It felt so good to bring light and joy into his life just by spontaneously singing! The spirit was definitely felt by all of us!

We got transfer news and  Sister C....r is going to Redding 5th!! My greenie area!! I was so happy I screamed when I found out!! She is going to love it there and do so well! I'm so glad she is going! And Sister C.....n is coming here!!! We lived together in Redding and she has such a sweet and happy spirit! She has a light in her eyes and a deep love for the Savior and the gospel! The ward is going to adore her!!

I am so excited for this next transfer!! Transfers are always bittersweet. I will really miss Sister C....r. I have learned so much from her these past 6 weeks. She is diligent and bold and so loving. She sees potential and wants to uplift and knows that the gospel can truly improve a persons life, if they allow it too. I will miss her dearly!

I know that God loves us! 

I love y'all!
Sister Emily Gore


Monday, Dec 5th 2016

Well folks it's December which means it is officially Christmastime! It really is my favorite time of the year and the absolute best time to be a missionary!!

This week was full of service! On Tuesday mornings we normally go to Julia's to help her with some yard work. We got there and she was in the car leaving for a doctors appointment. So we decided to do some random acts of kindness! We had borrowed some rakes and wanted to put them to good use. So we found a house with lots of leaves and started raking. We knocked on the door but no one answered so we figured it was fine and kept cleaning up the yard. We were about halfway done when a woman came outside. She was so happy and grateful for our help! We asked if we could come back and share the Christmas video with her and she said yes!! We are really excited about her!

We decided to go caroling at the nursing home!! They LOVED it! And we loved it too! We had a mix of popular hits and hymns. You could definitely feel the spirit as we testified of Christ through music! We will probably do it a few more times before Christmas comes.

Wednesday we took some time to have a little photo shoot so that we could have pictures for Christmas cards! We went to an abandoned rice factory with these old super cool silos! It was a blast!

Thursday was MLC and of course it was spiritually exhausting but also very needed! We talked about light and what light is and how we can be a light to others! We discussed goals and how we are going to accomplish them! I love the Christmas initiative. I know that Jesus Christ is the light and life of the world. I know that when we follow His example, we bring more light in to our lives. I LOVE in Helaman 14:3-5 in the Book of Mormon it takes about the sign that is given in the Americas of the Savior. The sign was no darkness for an entire day-like 24 hours with nothing but light! A new star also arose. Jesus Christ, truly did bring light to the world, and if we let Him, He will bring it into our individual lives.
East coast missionaries

Friday we did service for Mary, which is usually helping her bake things and watering plants- at least those were my jobs! Then we went to "downtown" Biggs and set up Christmas town! They are in the process of turning an abandoned hotel into shops and a venue for weddings and parties!! Northern California is chalk full of abandoned things!! Oh my heck I just love it!

Saturday was so good! I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Sister B...! We didn't have a full day but we had a blast. We went to my area to help me prepare to take over. We got to see a lot of people, have some lessons, eat really good cheeseburgers and talk about goals! I love goals!! I learned so much from her! Sister B... is a Spanish sister in our area. She radiates love!! She loves the Savior and is always prepared to testify of Him. I so grateful to know her!

Overall we had a really good week! I am really coming to love it here. I've said I loved it before, but I realized that maybe I'm not over my past area. I really loved Auburn and was not ready to leave. But the longer I'm here the more I love it!

Be the light and share your light!
Love you all!!

Sister Emily Gore

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Week 52: #LIGHTtheWORLD

Monday, Nov 28th 2016
Hello, hello, hello!!! Wow what a week! Let me tell ya about it!!

Tuesday we saw the M Family, a very sweet family! Pat, showed us his American Indian fossil collection (remnants of the tools they used and such) and Terry said we can help her decorate for Christmas! Apparently she goes ALL out, so I am STOKED!

Wednesday we met (well I met, Sister C... already met her once or twice) a woman named Sylvia. She recently had for surgery so she physically can't do much. We initially offered to do service but ended up talking to her for a good 45 minutes. We got to know her and she shared with us some of the she feels for past mistakes she had made. We introduced her to the Book of Mormon and gave her Enos to read! I love the Book of Enos I love his description of his wrestle with God and the peace and guilt that was swept away as her prayed to Heavenly Father for forgiveness. I know that the Atonement is real and  that it works. As we change and strive to continue to better ourselves, as we pray and ask God to forgive us, as we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, I know that peace and joy will be found!

Thursday was thanksgiving! It was much different than lasts years, which is something I am grateful for. 
We got up bright and early and headed to the church to play soccer with our district and the zone leaders! It was so fun!! Then we got ready and headed to McD Family for breakfast! It's a tradition they have each year to invite friends, family & missionaries to breakfast! It was delicious and a good start to a food filled day!

We then headed over to the River Valley care facility to do some service. They got confused and thought we were going to do like a church service like a sermon. Haha so after we cleared that up, we divided and conquered. Half the group stayed with the Alzheimer's patients while we went around and visited rooms and caroled! It was sooo fun! The spirit was strong and they were so happy and clapped and sang along! Old people are great!

We then started making visits! A lot of families wanted to feed so instead we offered to come over and share a thanksgiving message after they were done eating. We did this for 3 or 4 families. Some of them even had less actives or non members there, so we ended up having lessons, which we did not expect! 

Our Thanksgiving dinner was with the M Family! Oh my gosh they are a hoot and I love them! Okay, so I was really looking forward to green bean casserole this year, that's all I really cared about. At first I didn't see any out and I was a little (very) sad about it, after we prayed and got in line guess what I saw!? Green bean casserole with  French cut green beans (because lets be honest those are the best kind)! I was sooo happy! And it was so good! 

After dinner we shared our thanksgiving message with them! Luke 17:12-19 about the 10 lepers, I think I mentioned it last week. It's pretty much been our theme for the past week and a half! Then we went around and shared what we were grateful for! Many happy tears were shed! 

Mariah just returned from her mission about a year ago and she was so happy we could be with them on Thanksgiving. Will tears streaming down her cheeks she expressed her love for us and how we have special spirit with us and to cherish it. It really made me see that my mission won't last forever and that the spirit I have with me won't last forever either, so now is the time to cherish it and use it!

Friday was our car fast day due to Zone conference last week! It was also the day the initiative came out! If you haven't seen it, watch it now!

It's the best thing in the world!! It shows some of the miracles Christ performed on the earth, how He was the light. It also shows us how we can still do those things Christ did and how we can be the light to those around us! Miracles happen everyday! Look for them and thank Heavenly Father for them!

Saturday was just a fun day! It rained our lady we scheduled to do service for wasn't home so we went finding! Like the real finding! We went through formers and potentials and tried to contact them! Most of my mission has been finding and it get exhausting. So Gridley has been a breath of fresh air with so much teaching. But it made me feel right at home to do finding. It's hard for me to explain, but it just made me happy!

We met a young girl named Courtney who was busy at the time but said we could come back on Sunday at 2! So we go and she goes and gets her dad who proceeds to tell us that he is an American Indian and follows the ways of past so they aren't interested. It was an interesting rejection, never heard that one before! 

We spent some of our Saturday baking cookies for some of the people we teach! While they were baking we cleaned our house and it feels so good in there now! A clean house is a happy and spirit filled house!! 

I am so excited to be getting into the Christmas season! It's the greatest time to be a missionary and share the gospel! 

I invite you to look for opportunities each day to be a light to those around you! Look outside of yourself and look to Christ! Sister B... has a quote in her room that says "Where you look, you will go." Look to Christ and follow Him! 

Love y'all!

Sister Emily Gore

Week 51: Give Thanks!

Monday, Nov 21st 2016

I feel like I have been in Gridley much longer than I actually have been! Weird how time just flies!

Another really good week here in the Liberty ward! 

Tuesday I went on exchanges  with Sister T... in her area! We had a blast together and did a lot of good work! I learned a lot from her. She is still in her training so she had a lot of questions about what to do in certain situations, I was grateful that I was able to help her and she was able to help me as well! She is honestly one of the most kind and loving people I have ever met so I am grateful to serve around her!
Sister T & Sister Gore 
One of the highlights of my Wednesday was our dinner! We ate with the H... family, who are the parents of C....a who just married C...y H... in my last area in Auburn! Who also happens to be Bishop's wife's brother. You confused, welcome to my life. Anyways, it was so fun and Sister H... showed us the photos and decorations from her daughters wedding and oh my goodness I was in heaven!! I love weddings! We joked that she would be my wedding planner and that all I needed was the groom!! 

Thursday we had ZONE CONFERENCE! It was amazing as usual! Sister Marston was out of town due to family matters, so it went over much longer than usual. But I learned so much! We talked all about light and how if we have any "pindarts of darkness" we need to fill them with light! We do this by using the Atonement and repenting! We also watched the new Christmas initiative "LIGHTtheWORLD and talked about how we can share it!! I AM SO EXCITED I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF!! I also learned the importance of keeping my thoughts and actions focused on Christ and sharing the gospel! It's so important to be thinking of Him always so that we can have His spirit with us, to lead and guide us! 

We had a really good lesson with L...n, who is Linda R's son.

We were going to teach the Plan of Salvation, but he had a lot of questions about feeling God's love and how He answers our prayers! We testified that He loves us and knows us personally and sometimes He answers us in unexpected ways! He was happy to know that God had been looking out for him all along!

Saturday was just the best because ELIZABETH WAS BAPTIZED!! She has been reborn and entered into a beautiful convent with our loving Heavenly Father! It was beautiful day!

That night we had a really good lesson with C...a! She is progressing and I wants a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She wants to be baptized but her parents are against it. She in tied her parents to come learn but they said no. But she's being a missionary and she's not even a member yet! How cool is she?! So it might be a few years because she's only 15, but with lots of prayer, we hope her fathers heart will soften!

Oh yeah! So there were 5 baptism in the district Saturday and since the Spanish branch and the Liberty Ward were combining Sacrament meeting for the Primary program, we had 4 confirmations at church! It was fantastic! It was a full house! 

And this was the 3rd Primary program I've seen on my mission, which will make up for all the ones I will miss while I'm at school! 
They never get old, I love all the children and their sweet powerful testimonies! 

That night we went to an early Thanksgiving dinner at the L Family's  home! They are one awesome family! They are foster parents and have a few adopted children, some of which have special needs! They are so loving and kind and see people as children of God! We just had a blast there and shared Luke 17:12-19 with them. It's the story of the 10 lepers. They are all physically cleansed by Christ, but only one returns to give thanks, therefore he is "made whole" because of his faith. He was spitballs healed as well. It's amazing what gratitude can do for us. It's also just like the Atonement, Christ overcame physical death so that one day we will all be resurrected. But in order to be spitballs healed, we have to CHOOSE to follow Christ. Agency is such a beautiful gift that God has given us! Choose Christ!

They also happen to be obsessed with Lularoe and so they gave us each a pair of leggings! It was so sweet of them and just made 
me happy! 

I hope y'all have ((had) because I'm lame and I'm writing this a week late 🙈) a wonderful thanksgiving!

Remember Christ and follow Him!

Love y'all 

Sister Emily Gore

Week 50 - 525,600 Minutes

Monday, Nov 14th 2016
Hello there! I think it's been a while since I've started an email with an actually greeting! So I hope everyone is doing fantastic!

I have had a wonderful week we are busy busy busy and I love it love it love it!

Monday night we had a lesson with a recent convert little girl named R...! And oh my she is the cutest, most enthusiastic about the gospel, little girl I have ever met! She was beaming with excitement the entire lesson as we read from the Children's Book of Mormon with her! People in Gridley love those things, we were giving them out like none other! 

After that we met the coolest family the L Family! Their daughter K... is planning to go on a mission in a couple years (she's still in high school). They foster parent and adopt children, some with special needs or or other difficulties. They are some of the most loving people I have ever met!! 

Tuesday we had a miracle...well many miracles but a less active Jerry was home and we were able to talk to him and give him....A Children's Book of Mormon!! He was so excited to get it so he can read it to his kids at bedtime! We are hoping that it will also have a positive influence on his non member wife that we are going to start teaching soon!

Something I noticed very soon is that EVERYONE is related! Everyone. And half our ward (I'm obviously exaggerating but a good portion) has streets named after them but they don't actually live on that street. For example, the L... family lives on Block street and the lives on Little street. Do you see how it can get confusing?!

Alright moving on. We had zone Meeting Oroville and talked about how to have a productive, effective study! We divided up as companionships and read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon and came back and shard what we learned. 

Sister C... and I both decided to set some goals about having more faith and having better studies! 

After we got super good Chinese food and I received a phone call from the S... Family from up in Redding! They said they would be down in Gridley on Friday for a reunion and would love to take us out for Ice Burgies!! It was a tender mercy!!

Thursday we saw the Morrisons which is a part-member-less-active family in the ward. They are awesome!! We talked about tender mercies and seeing the Lords hand in our lives. I love to write the miracles I see during the day, it helps me to recognize Gods hand more and be more grateful for the many blessings I receive!

Friday was as Sister W would say, "THE BEST DAY EVER!" I got to see the S Family from my first area!! We met up at Ice Burgies! They bought us lunch and we were able to catch up and talk about some of our favorite memories!! So grateful for them! 

We then headed over to the church for weekly planning. Sister C... was acting really strange but I didn't know why. She said she had to go to the bathroom and asked if I'd come with her, I had to go to I said sure. But instead of heading to the restroom we went into a classroom where my district had decorated and surprised me for my one year mark!! I was definitely surprised! I felt sooo loved!! This year has gone by so incredibly fast and I am so excited to see what these last 6 months have in store for me!

Sunday was just so good! Sister C... and I team taught gospel principles on obedience! It was quite a learning experience for us. We really focused on how Jesus Christ was the perfect example of obedience. He did everything the Father asked of him. I am so grateful for His loving example.

It was a great day of diligence, we were able to see a potential named Haley who texted us when I first got to the area saying that she was truly interested but that due to a concussion she wouldn't be able to meet with us for a while. We decided to stop by her house and see how she was doing. She told us that physical therapy really helped and that she would love to meet with us next week!! I literally shouted for joy when I got to the car! "YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!"

I love it here! I'm trying to learn the people and the area as fast as possible so I can be more helpful! Slowly but surely I'm getting there!

Love y'all 

Sister Emily Gore