Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Week 59: Let us all press on

 Monday, January 16, 2017
Lots of rain 

      Well folks another week has come and gone! Boy oh boy was it an exciting one!

      I hit my 14 month mark, not sure where time went but I officially feel old in the mission. I'm holding on to every second!!

      I'll start with Tuesday because that's where the real fun starts! We went on exchanges and I went with Hermana Cragun to spend the day working with the beautiful Spanish people of Gridley! It was so much fun! We were so diligent and even though I couldn't really communicate with them, I really felt the Spirit that day. We started off with a miracle! Our service canceled so we decided to try some potentials. We tried to see L. but found out from H. that he doesn't live there anymore. H. only spoke Spanish and the only thing he said in English was "left side." Sister Cragun couldn't quite get what he said so we headed over to the trailer next door. She didn't feel like it was right so we turned to see H. in his back window pointing and giving us directions to try to find his house. We never found it but we did meet Lupe! We shared a message with her and got a return appointment! God works in mysterious ways and nothing is ever a coincidence.

        We went over to M.'s house to read the Book of Mormon with her. This lady knows no English and I know very little Spanish so Sister Cragun would translate everything. Well M. wanted me to participate so I read with them from  El Libro de Mormon. It was pretty fun, I struggled by Sister a Cragun helped me out haha and M. even said I had a good accent and should be a Spanish missionary! Haha

       Wednesday was a day of interviews and diligence. President Marston recently announced that he is to hold interviews every transfer so he's had to cut the time down to 15 minutes per interview. It's quite the adjustment because I'm used so spending at least 30 with him. So not everything gets discussed but it definitely makes you prioritize. We discussed revelation and how it's a flow and when we aren't obedient, we are slowly brought out of the flow of revelation. So it's important to be obedient and keep ourselves worthy of revelation for God.
Sister Cowden, Sister Gore & Pres. Marston

   Oh he also told me that I, staying another 6 weeks in Gridley!! And I believe him this time haha I am SO excited to stay and to continue to be companions with Sister Cowden! She is such a joy to work with!

       The rest of the day was filled with finding, with little success. But we were able to help M. get a raise to mutual and she absolutely loved it. We stopped by and found all the youth in the gym playing Crab soccer and M. was right there laughing and having fun! She is really growing and her light is just continuing the shine.

       Thursday was our Zone meeting in Oroville. Sister Cowden did a focus on companionship unity! We had each companionship talk together and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. I've had many companions, some have become best friends while others it is a bit tougher to work with. I have loved each one of them and have learned something from them. My current companion and I work in such good unity, our teaching is balanced and we are both driven. She truly is such a blessing and an answer to prayer. I'm grateful for the Lords pattern of preaching the gospel two by two.

         Friday we had an amazing Mexican dinner with  L. and J. They are a young couple with a little baby. She fed us dinner and we shared the video "New Years: Look not behind thee." We've been sharing it a lot and I just it. I love the message of letting go of our past and moving forward. It's all possible because of our Savior Jesus Christ. So grateful for Him. I'm especially grateful for the opportunity to partake of the Sacrament each week and get a clean slate. Christ just loves us so much! It's refreshing!

       Saturday we had a lesson with A. and his dad J. The Spanish Elders came with us and we taught the Restoration. This is probably my favorite lesson to teach. It what makes the gospel and the church unique from others. I am so grateful for a modern day Prophet and for revelation. Grateful to know God loves us so much and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

       Sunday was fantastic but a little tough. We had a couple set lessons that fell through and we don't have too many people in Gridley that we are working with currently, a lot of people on hold. But we had 4 investigators at church so that was a miracle!!

         Oh funny moment! We were in gospel principles class and Brother Wilkins called on Sister Cowden to say the closing prayer. So she stands up and asks me what the teachers name is. Right as she is about to start we here Freona saying the prayer. So Sister Cowden slowly sits down and we do our very best not to bust out laughing. But we lost it once she said "Amen." She said afterwords, "I don't know if I was supposed to pray but I heard Freona so I said it." Not sure how she got Freona from Sister Cowden but okay 😂

       Since we have church during our morning studies, we have started coming in early and studying at night and boy is it needed. President Marston calls studies our tithing for the day. My Sunday night studies have become some of my favorite. I am so grateful for the time set apart just to study the word of God and spitballs fill my cup! It is so incredibly needed and I pray that when I go home I can make the time to continue to study each day. 

         Yesterday I read the talk "Press On" by Jospeh B Wirlthlin from the October 2004 General Conference. He talked about the importance of enduring to the end and that it's not just suffering through our trials but that it is a process of coming into to Christ. Lately I have been thinking a lot about consistency and that is not something I am very good at. Elder Wirthlin says "Enduring to the end means that we have planted our lives firmly on gospel soil, staying in the mainstream of the Church, humbly serving our fellow men, living Christlike lives, and keeping our covenants. Those who endure are balanced, consistent, humble, constantly improving, and without guile. Their testimony is not based on worldly reasons--it is based on truth, knowledge, experience, and the Spirit." It clicked for me, it's all a process and reading this strengthened my desire to continue to endure and to further come unto Christ each day.

Love y'all so much! Like I always say, I love the Lord and I love being a missionary!

Open your mouth this week and share the good news of the Gospel and let me know how it goes! And, if you don't know about the gospel, open your ears and heart and listen!

Love y'all

Sister Emily Gore

Week 58: Life's a climb, but the view is great.

 Monday, January 9, 2017

Yep that did come from the Hannah Montana movie haha This week has just been INSANE! So good but lots of ups and downs! 

It's started off with Tuesday! We had 6 lessons that day! We saw J. in the morning but didn't do any service because it was raining and she doesn't like us being outside when it's cold. So we go over just to see if we can visit for a bit and share a little message with her. The first two Tuesday's of the transfer we were doing transfer moves and then in Antelope picking up the car, so we haven't been able to see her. Well long story short she did not like us just coming for a short visit. She got very upset and told us not to bother coming anymore. We ironed out the wrinkles and she said we can come back. I learned a valuable lesson about love and the importance of taking the time to get to know people and going to their level instead of trying to bring them to where I want them to be. 

J. has been hard for me to love, she is difficult but sensitive and I can't figure out how to work with her. I'm not sure what her desire or motives are. I know that she is beautiful daughter of God. So I am really working on my charity because I want to love and help her. 

We had an awesome lesson with L. on Tuesday. He mentioned to us that he wants to quit smoking so we taught him the Word of Wisdom. It went so well! He totally understand the importance of taking care of our bodies and loves all the blessings, spiritual and physical that come from keeping the Word of Wisdom. Although, he did tell us that he just bought two cartons so he wants to get his money's worth before he quits haha. So Brother Eccles told us to tell him he will buy them from him! Love it! We are excited to see him progress!

We had our first lesson with a C. this week, the referral from Yuba. He is solid! We went over the first half of the Restoration pamphlet and he loves it. He said it totally makes sense to him! He plans on coming to Church this Sunday and praying about what we taught so far!

That night we saw the W. family! We went through the Restoration pamphlet with them and they loved it! M. totally got it and just loved it! She wants to come to mutual so we are trying to help her get rides there. We can see C.'s heart changing as well. She used to be really against the Sisters coming over and now she warmly welcomes us in. 

Wednesday we had district meeting and our district leader wants more unity so each week a companionship is in charge of coming up with a game or activity to do together afterwards. This week the Hermanas were in charge and so of course we played Bean-Boozled! Haha it was so gross yet hilarious! It's always fun to see someone's face when they eat a sour milk or dead fish jelly bean.

That night we went to Young Women's to get to know them better and there topic was individual worth! We talked about how much God truly loves us and that he does not judge us or loves us based on our outward appearance, but loves us no matter what. We also discussed what it is that makes us love others. We never have a best friend because they have the cutest shoes of the best hair, but because they are kind to us and see us as important and of worth. It is so important to treat others kindly and with love. We all have our struggles and self-esteem issues so please be kind to others.

Thursday we had MLC! It was different with lots of new people there. We talked about Companionship unity and the importance of maintaining a loving companionship. The AP's had us talk as companions what our strengths are and what some of our goals are and then share them. Sister Cowden and I both feel like it is the first time either of us have taught so well with our companion. Literally we are in the most unity I have ever had! We just work so well together. We are positive and happy, diligent and obedient, we have good communication and we have fun! One of the goals that we have is to pray out loud for each other and our investigators during our comp prayer.

We also discussed the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus. President said that every single time he hears the message of the Restoration, especially Joseph Smiths account of the first vision, Heavenly Father confirms to him that it's true. I realized then that He does the same for me. There is a special warmth that comes into my heart each time I hear it or teach it. 

I know that it is true. That Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know that God loves us and still speaks to us today. I know that Jospeh Smith was a prophet and that there is a prophet on the earth today and his name is Thomas S. Monson. He leads and guides the church as directed by God. How grateful I am for the knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father and a living prophet.

Surprise inspections-

Friday we had house inspections. Thursday was a rough day for us for many reasons, we pulled our mattresses into the living room to have a sleepover. The Paulsons told us they'd come to our house between 8:30 AM and 10 AM and we figured they'd be there closer to 10, so we were still in the living room in our Pjs talking at about 8:15.(we are easily distracted) Hermana Orton moves her mattress back into her room and I start doing mine when all of I sudden Hermana Orton yells "They're here!!" It was a mad dash haha we pull our mattress back on our beds and quickly change into pros. We had about 30 seconds to do that. We hadn't showered or put on any make up haha but on the bright side we passed inspections haha In our defense they were early

Saturday we went on exchanges and Sister Thomas came with me in Liberty Ward! We had a great day! We were able to see L. B. and her non-member husband! He had a lot of interesting questions for us, mostly about why we pay tithing. It was great to be able to testify to him my experience with tithing and the blessing it has been in my life. We invited him to church and he said that he didn't really see the point and but probably would come. But it was great to see L.'s testimony show. She talked to him about what faith is and that we have to rely on some things that we can't see.

Sunday was just so good! We had 4 investigators come to church!! C. and J. B. were there! Along with B. and L.!! Such a good day! We had  another great lesson with C. and finished teaching the Restoration. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited him to read from it and pray about it. He's totally in! We are so excited for him!!

Thank you for your prayers, love and support. 

Remember that life is hard, man it can be tough. But we are given challenges so that we can learn and grow! "Life is to enjoyed, not just endured." -President Gordon B. Hinkley

Love y'all 

Sister Emily Gore

Week 57: Happy New Year!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

            This year we have been knocking a ton of doors! Very few opened and invited us in. But we were obedient and diligent. We were able to contact some who did say we could come back after the holidays, so hopefully we will have some more people to teach pretty soon!

We had dinner with the M's this week and she made this amazing spaghetti casserole! She even gave us leftovers! For our dinner thought we showed them the video, "The red bicycle". At the end it shares the scripture Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool".

I love this scripture because it shows the power of Christ's Atonement and His love for us. I know that this is true, I know that when we repent, when we truly wish to change that is when we can be completely clean of our sins and wrongdoings. How grateful I am for my Savior Jesus Christ and His Atoning sacrifice for each and every single one of us.

We had a really good lesson with L! She's been praying and doing a lot better with smoking! We are going to start the stop smoking packet with her to help! Sister Cowden and I can both see the light that she has growing brighter and brighter! 

Oh Happy New Year!! Can't believe it is 2017 already! This year has flown by! I'm grateful to have spent all of 2016 as a missionary and as a representative of my Savior. I wouldn't trade my experiences of this past year for anything. But this is the year I come home which is crazy to think about, bittersweet but let's not talk about it.

On Sunday Sister Cowden and I taught Relief Society and guess what our topic was?! MISSIONARY WORK!! We based it off a talk called "The Summer of the Lambs" from 1989 October General Conference. She talks about the importance of nurturing others into the fold of the Gospel. It is so important that we don't force and that we work together in unity and love.

Sunday night we had a miracle happen! After a long week of knocking doors, we received a referral from the Yuba Elders for man named C! He is so solid and has such a bright light within him. He is excited and so ready to learn! We were able to share the Christmas video with him and set up a return appointment. He texted us later thanking us for coming by and that he is looking forward to Tuesday. Miracles like him make hard weeks so worth it.

I am loving Gridley and I am so so so happy! Thank you for your prayers, love and support!

Trust God and believe in good things to come!

Love y'all!

Sister Emily Gore

Week 56: For God so loved YOU!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Hello my wonderful friends, family and others who may read this! I had a fantastic week because it was CHRISTMAS!!

Okay so we decided to do a white elephant gift exchange with the Zone! I ended up with a hobbit doll haha but everyone brought really good gifts and it was a great start to our week of Christmas celebrations!
white elephant gift exchange

Tuesday was insanity! We drove down to Antelope to drop off our 2014 Chevy Cruz and pick up our 2017 Chevy Malibu. There were about 7 other companionships getting new cars so we carpooled down to Sacramento (Rancho Cordova) to pick up the cars! It was pretty exciting and probably the only time in my life I will drive a brand new car off the lot. It only had 9 miles on it! Plus tiki isn't installed yet #wootwoot We had to drive back to the mission office, pick up food then went to the Stake center to eat with some other missionaries because we didn't want to eat in the car. Nicole was home so we stopped by her house to say hi! It was probably the last time I will see her on my mission! It's been such a blessing to serve in the mission one of my best friends lives in!
Brand New Car!!!

Emily & Nicole

We headed back up and went straight to dinner! I don't remember what else happened that day because I was exhausted from literally being in a car the majority of the day! But I really can't complain because we have a beautiful car that will really help us be more effective. We are so so grateful!! Truly blessed!

Wednesday we did our best to be diligent in the morning and we had a miracle! We met E! We were coming back to our car after trying to see an investigator who wasn't home! He called out to us and said Hi, Sister Cowden and I both looked at each other than headed across the street to where he was. We shared the Christmas video with him and he loved it! He even said we could come back anytime! 

That afternoon we had our half mission Christmas conference! It was just so good! We talked all about the Light of Christ and what Christmas is really about! Sister Marston spoke about why everyone loves Christmas so much. She said that it is partially because it's on old familiar story, one that we heard before we were even born. And it's so true! When we lived with Heavenly Father before we came to earth, He presented His plan and Christ being born was a big part of it. He was born of bible circumstances, but what made His birth so special is what he did much later in life. When he performed the Atonement for each of us. I loved in the Christmas video last year, one of the kids said, "He was born, so that we can be born again." He gave His life, so that we can repent, change and have new life through Him. How grateful I am so my Savior Jesus Christ, for His love and care for me. I know that when we follow Him we really can change and be better.

Thursday we had a miracle! We had plans to see J. who is a former investigator. We knocked on the door and Jen answered. We introduced ourselves and she says "That's funny your here, I'm a less active member and I've been meaning to contact you. I want to come back to church". WHAT THE WHAT?! So stoked! So she invited us in and we share the Christmas video with her. She cried and told us she wants to change her life. We testified of Jesus Christ and that because of Him we can change, we can be forgiven and we can be clean. She is going to come to church this week and we are meeting with her on Wednesday. Please keep her in your prayers! 

We got into the car and celebrated because we saw how perfectly it was timed. We saw the Lords hand so clearly. We both cried as we prayed to thank Heavenly Father for the miracle.

Friday was crazy we had lots of set lessons which was so nice but got no weekly planning done which stressed us out a bit. But we were able to see B. and it's been a few weeks so we were grateful we followed the prompting to go. He's doing well, still dealing with cancer so please keep him in your prayers.

That night we went over to L's with the Hermanas to make s'mores and cookies! I just love L. she is just so wonderful and has such a desire to follow Christ! She is super fun too and helps us feel normal! I love watching her grow in the gospel!

Saturday we had our usual meeting with Brother Eccles then went to the care home for caroling! The old people loved us!! Some sang along and clapped! We then caravanned to the Stake center for Zone brunch. Really it was lunch but we all brought different food to make breakfast. We had eggs, bacons, pancakes, cinnamon-sugar bread, fruit and juice. It was so good!! I love my Zone!

That night we made a fire in the fireplace and roasted marshmallows and made s'mores! I am so grateful to be in a four Sister again for Christmas. It makes being away from home for Christmas just a little bit easier when you are surrounded by good friends!

Sunday was CHRISTMAS!! We got up and opened presents! Thank you so much for all the gifts! They were perfect and made me feel so loved! 

Skyping was honestly the highlight of the day. I miss my family so much and honestly this Christmas was harder than last. I cried a lot and laughed a lot. So grateful for them and their endless love, support and prayers.

We had dinner with the H's! We got to participate in their annual marshmallow snowball fight! It was a blast! It probably lasted a good 30 minutes. We made a few more visits and headed home. We had another fire and drank S'mores flavored hot cocoa! So good!

I am very excited for this coming week and to ring in the new year!!

Love y'all!

Sister Emily Gore