Monday, April 28, 2014

HAPPY DAY all is well!

HELLOOO from cold and rainy New Brunswick.......   :)

Hope everyone had a good week and hope that you are all happy and healthy - I AM!!

  This week was hard but good like most weeks. We had the BYU Idaho Sinfonietta come to our church (they are travelling around the maritimes) and it was an amazing concert. Most of the people who attended were either non-members or less actives so it was WONDERFUL! We were able to talk to a lot of people and the music was fantastic. 
  We found one new investigator - her name is Tara and she is friends with one of the young women in the ward. She is 16 years old and asked a lot of great questions during our lesson. She was very thoughtful and thankful for the answers we were able to give her. I love questions because this Gospel really answers all of them. She is a baptist and feels like she is on a spiritual journey (visiting many churches to find out which one is true) but hopefully she will soon realize that her journey has ended and that she has found the truth!! 
  Fredericton is a challenging place, these people don't want to change, so many of them tell us, "I'm good, thanks though" ... and we are like "...uh, no sir you are not GOOD." Sometimes I even feel like saying "Ok good luck - with your life." But I don't. Mostly I just feel sorry for them and wish there was more I could say to help them realize the significance of the message we share. 
  This week we had our first official door slammed in our faces. He literally slammed it shut, all we said was "HI" ..then stood there for a minute, we were actually kind of excited about the experience (sadly). 
  AND our shower is broken so instead of enduring cold showers...we have scalding HOT ones..the cold water faucet is broken so we have been using buckets from the sink because otherwise the water would literally burn our skin off...
  BUT, despite the weird weather, the long hours of tracting, the few investigators, the scalding hot showers, the hard people - I can't be sad or frustrated or discouraged because the Lord is on our side. The words to one of my favorite hymns are - Let us all press on in the work of the Lord, that when life is o'er we may gain a reward...FEAR NOT though the enemy deride, COURAGE for the Lord is on our side. We will heed not what the wicked may say but the Lord, alone we will obey!! That inspires me and help me stay strong. I have so much to be grateful for. So many reasons to live and love and smile. 

This week I also studied faith and in my spare time (during lunch and dinner) I read "Our Heritage" which is a brief history of our church. It tells of the faith and determination of the early saints. I am so thankful that when we put our faith in Jesus Christ - we can overcome any trial or hard day. We can have hope in the future. We can rise up and stand tall. I am so thankful that as we exercise our faith it only grows and deepens. I am so thankful for the example of the early Saints who gave everything, endured unrelenting persecutions for this "glorious cause of truth" and I am thankful that I can be out here today - sacrificing and experiencing just a little part of what they went through, what the missionaries in the Book of Mormon went through and what our Jesus Christ, himself went through. 

Take heart. Fight a good fight. I want to live like Jesus did. After all, my voice is His voice and my acts are his acts. I must do what he wants done and say what he wants said. 

I remind myself of this often - LOSE YOURSELF IN THE SERVICE OF OTHERS. IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. I'm so thankful to be a missionary.

Love you all with my whole heart. Have the best week of your lives!

Love, Sister G

Monday, April 21, 2014


This week I have been thinking a lot about who I want to become. What I want to make of my mission. When I step off the plane 14 1/2 months from now - who will I be?

In zone training this week President told us that we must 
"leave it all on the field. 
And hold nothing back." 
He said, "your family should have to pick you up in an ambulance because you have worked so hard you are going to die" hahaha he is the best and he very well might end up in an ambulance by the time he is done...

I love that thought and recommitted myself to it - working so hard that I nearly die.  
I must return with no regrets. It is never too late to be who you want to be. It is never too late to be the greatest missionary you can be. SO then my question was HOW?? How do I work that hard? What do I need to change? What more can I do? 

The answer is quite simple - ASK GOD. That's exactly what we need to do if ever we have a question. Ask God - he has all the answers. 
And so I did - I learned 
I must be faithful because that is our only hope. I must put my faith in Jesus Christ.
I must be obedient. There is no other option.
I must be consecrated. Give my heart to the Lord and let him make of me more than I could ever become on my own.
I must be committed, committed to change my nature.
I must have a positive attitude. Then everything will work out, and I know that is true.

I was then lead to a talk called, The Fourth Missionary - it is unbelievable. If possible - all you future missionaries PLEASE find it and read it. It talks about the need to change in order to gain something from your service. We must be the fourth missionary. The missionary who does the hard parts not because he is forced to because he loves it but because he knows that it is the will of our Father and it is "the only logical thing to do". The fourth missionary is overcome with his desire to serve the Lord. The fourth missionary has charity. The fourth missionary's nature is changed and he benefits greatly from his service. As he loses himself in the service of God - he finds himself. His purpose is clearer and greater than ever. I loved it and I know NOW who I need to be and what I need to do to get there. 

I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart. I started reading it again and was so touched by Nephi's willingness to be obedient. He followed every single commandment that the Lord gave him. Even the hard ones and the ones that he probably wasn't that excited to do (like returning to Jerusalem 2 different times with his brothers who wanted to hurt him...) He simply knew his duty was to God and that through obedience he would be blessed. He is an example to me. I also love that he "frankly forgave" his brothers though they sought to take away his life. He is a hero. He had faith, he was obedient, and he worked hard. 

Things in good old Fredericton. The river finally thawed and it is gorgeous!! Easter was beautiful. The sun was shining and we handed out Easter eggs with chocolate and scriptures (john 11:25) in them. 

It was fun and a little awkward - some people were frightened. One lady this week told us she was soooo glad that we could get married even though we are "sisters". Another man answered his door with no pants on .. seriously... and yesterday a man asked, "can i like give you a hug" (he had a lot of interesting questions and thought it was cool and admirable what we were doing) - I told him no but that he could shake our hands..hahah so he did and we left. SO many interesting people and experiences. I love it all!

Most importantly I was thankful for the opportunity we had to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior. I am so thankful for Him. I know that He lives and leads His church today. And that through Him we can return and live with our Heavenly Father again.

I love being a missionary. And I love all of you
Sister Gochnour

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fearless Heart

Hope all is well. Tell abby that I am so so sorry about her loss. That breaks my heart but I am glad that they are supported by such amazing people. Send my love. And if i had money I would send that too. 

I felt spoiled this week, I received letters from papa and nana, emma, sara (adelide), michelle madsen and two from my amazing DAD!! Thank you for all of your love and support. It truly helps me and inspires me. I love you all. 

This week has been TIRING!!! Sister Broadhead came and visited us (which is really an honor, she went home on friday but she spent her last days in the field with US) she was an AMAZING missionary - we called her the SAP .. "sister assistant to President".. she taught us so much. I literally felt like the weird missionary who followed right behind her all day writing her every word in my planner...

The weather was a bit warmer this week - I was able to wear my orange jacket..I put puffy away for a day (but i'm wearing her again's rainy, the coat is like my skin...I have worn it so much) but SPRING is coming so that is happy.

After our mission wide fast on Monday President wrote telling us about a miracle. He decided that he would be exactly obedient that day so that there would be nothing to prevent him from getting better. The next morning he woke and the shakes were gone, his fever was gone, he felt completely healed. It is amazing. I have gained a strong testimony of fasting on my mission. I know that we are rewarded when we sacrifice something as small as two meals - I have felt so much closer to my Savior. 

We talked to 300 people this week which is a record for me. Though we still did not teach many lessons we did our part which is simply to 

Invite ALL to come unto Christ

It is not easy to talk to strangers all day when many of them don't want to listen..and it takes a lot of energy but I know that I have the message that all of those strangers NEED. 

I will not slow down or give up. I will preach until all know. I am thankful that we are supported in our trials. That through our Savior we can feel so much happiness and so many blessings simply from opening our mouths and bearing sweet sincere testimonies to our brothers and sisters. BUT we were able to teach a few lessons. Summer and Tanya have been coming to young women's and were finally able to meet for a lesson. We taught simply because their knowledge of the Gospel and even Christ is limited but they listened intently and understanding comes over time. We also taught three sweet men from the Congo. We handed them over to the elders but we were able to teach them the first lesson which went well. They are humble and prepared. They love that we don't smoke or drink and they said they knew our message was different because we opened the lesson with a prayer - that helped Sister Turner and I increase our faith because something we learned from Sister Broadhead and Papa's letter was that we MUST pray as soon as we get into a home. The Spirit NEEDS to be there. And it was :)

The title of this letter comes from something dad said to me. He talked about being fearless. That is a characteristic I want to develop. I don't want to just be brave - I want to be fearless. We must be fearless as we share what we know and as we live our beliefs. We can't worry about what the outcome might be - 

we must chose to be fearless...

And then HEART, 
I finished reading the Book of Mormon and in Moroni 7:47-48 we read, 

"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his son, Jesus Christ, that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen." 

SO that is what I have been praying for - with all my heart. That i can LOVE the people. The places and the work - every aspect of it. Dad said "pray to love them and pray that they will feel your love" thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement dad - you really do always know what to say. 

I believe this goes along perfectly with the words of our sweet Prophet who said that "love is the essence of the gospel." Our Savior - he is LOVE. The perfect example of all things. I must show that I love him by loving others. I am so thankful for his life, light and love. Especially with Easter approaching I am thankful for the chance to study and ponder on the life of Christ. Mom you said it best - 

"think of all that Christ had to face - and how lonely he was - in the end - but yet he never gave up - and i am so sorry that we so often turn from him when we really should alway be reaching for him - i think of how he could let all those things happen to him - even though he at any moment in the process could have stopped it- the trials, the torture, the turning of his friends from him, and the garden when he asked his friends to stay up and watch and they were so tired and kept falling asleep and then he would come find them asleep and plead with them to stay awake - he never gave up - he never got angry or frustrated - wow how weak am i to do all of those things but also how awesome that we have Christ as our example of one who did it - and one who is hoping with all of his heart that we can make it through this life and return home to him!!"  

He loves us - that is why he is patient. That is why he pleads for us to come unto him and be perfected in him. I hope you all have a HAPPY EASTER. And never forget that our Savior loves you. 

Love, Sister Gochnour

saying goodbye to Elder Hunt but we got some great new missionaries this week too!!
splashed with MUD as cars drive by
there is a lot of SNOW!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Road Less Traveled

 So, I am staying here in Fredericton with Sister Turner for another transfer!! We are so excited. We have so much to do and are ready to work hard, to give this work EVERYTHING that we have. We no longer have any investigators but that will not stop us or slow us down. 
Good things are coming - i'm sure of it.
We went running this week - we found an indoor track that is free. And I have never been so excited to wake up at 5:45 in the moring to run! I literally jumped out of bed, washed my face, put on my shoes and excitedly ran out the door. We are going to start running every day -  I CAN'T WAIT!! We also got a flat tire on tuesdaynight.. the roads are terrible, covered in HUGE potholes because of the constant freezing and thawing..? So yeah accidently hit one and we had to change our tire, it was dark and wet and the elders were in Halifax for a leadership conference. Sister Turner and I pulled out the car manual and opened the trunk ready to figure it out - we couldn' lucky a ward member didn't live too far away and he kindly came to the rescue. We watched and learned. It's cool because I am not only learning spiritual things but TONS of practical things that will help me for the rest of my life - I LOVE IT.
We had lunch with Sister Kadish on Friday, she is a cute little old lady in our ward. She is from Austria and sounds like Gru (from Despicable Me) - I love listening to her talk. She lives on a small farm outside the city. Each week she comes in to deliver her homemade bread that she sells for a living. And she always leaves a loaf for the missionaries. Her husband passed away, so she is sad and very lonely but she is also strong and independent. Their story is like UP in reverse. She and her husband bought the house unfinished and they worked hard every summer to fix it up. Then he died but she promised that she wouldn't leave until it was finished. She is working on a bathroom right now but it takes her a long time because she has to save up enough money for the next material or part that she needs but she says it is coming. Sister Kadish has 43 chickens and a little dog named penny. She has a lovely garden (when there is not 8 ft. of snow outside) and she is an incredible member missionary. I love her and will remember her example forever.
Conference was sooo amazing!! I hardly slept the night before because I was so excited. We watched it at the church with the elders and 5 other members. I had so many favorite talks and answered prayers. I love knowing that I have much to work on and improve - because then I can do it. We must change and then we can change the world :) During Elder Holland's talk i thought about the poem I memorized in elementary. By Robert Frost. It has stuck with me ever since that day I had to recite it..though I don't remember the exact words, the message is clear. "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference." I love that poem. As disciples of Jesus Christ we must walk the road less traveled. We must defend our faith until the end. We must stand up for truth and righteousness even if we have to stand alone.. After conference we went out knocking and my heart was full. I felt so blessed to be a missionary - overcoming my fears and living my faith. I love this church and I know it is true with every fiber of my being. I hold this knowledge so near and dear to my heart. I am so thankful to have the truth, to know that I can live happily ever after with my family!! I am eternally grateful for all that I am learning and experiencing because it is making me better. Preparing me for my future. I love the Lord. In him my soul delights.
Love, Me

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.