SO happy to hear that you all survived another week. Thank you for your support and love and hard work. It is truly inspiring. And I'm glad all the parties and wedding and stuff went well. Dad - i missed you yesterday but I'm so thankful for you. The way you taught me to love my life and to laugh at myself. I miss hearing you sing and hearing you call us LOUDLY to scripture study every morning..I'm sorry we all came in looking like zombies but I really loved it. And i miss it. And jake - you are so grown up which is happy and sad. I hope you had a good day. I hope that you know I love you and am thankful for the example you set for me. You are a hard worker and you have a heart of gold. I miss your hugs. I sent you all a package this week so hopefully it gets there soon.
I also sent a letter to grandma and am sending one to nana soon. And i got a letter from papa and sara and dad this week :) they make me SO happy. I have the best role models in my life. They keep me going. They teach me and encourage me. Their testimonies bring me comfort and strength. THANK YOU
Today it's misting..not exactly rain but in the same category. I like it.
I thought I would start off by telling you a little bit about my life as a missionary..
- I wake up every morning at .
- I roll out of my bed and onto my knees to pray.
- I head into the "workout" room and do my 5BX and the three pull ups I can now do.
- I eat breakfast (usually toast and an egg) - then I get ready for the day.
- At 8 we start personal study
- At 9 we study as a companionship.
- At10 we get an extra hour to study - because Sister Drew is in training so we do the 12 week program..lots of role plays and great things.
- At 11 we walk downtown from our apartment to street contact. It's funny because there is a man who we see almost everyday walking towards us and day after day he sees us, stops in his tracks, turns around and quickly heads back the way he came. We have to laugh. After an hour of "excuse me's?" and several interesting conversations
- we walk home for lunch. The afternoon is spent hunting down less actives, trying to find the homes of potential and former investigators and of course some knocking. Then we eat dinner and head out to work again.
- At 9 we pull into our apartment, pray, plan for the next day, write in our journals (Sister Drew films videos of herself..) pray again
- And then we go to bed at . Day after the day that is basically our schedule. And each day I learn something completely new and different, my testimony increases and we always laugh a lot.
This week was particularly sweet. We drove with the other Sisters to Dartmouth for Zone Conference. This zone conference was with a General Authority, Elder Snow the church historian so we were especially excited (plus I got to see Sister Turner and the Hendrickson's!!!!)
night I got a call from the assistants telling me that I had been randomly selected to have a personal interview with Elder Snow - I was a little nervous but mostly grateful. I was one of only three missionaries in the whole mission who were selected!!! SO we arrived around in the morning and drove into the parking lot to see the BEAUTIFUL, tiny Halifax temple. I almost screamed I was so excited about it.
Then I went in and was interviewed which was a wonderful experience. Elder Snow asked me simple questions and I just felt so happy to be in his presence. He asked me to pray which was of course a powerful spiritual moment and then he sent me on my way. The zone conference was inspiring. Elder Snow reminded us simply that the key to success is hard work and obedience. There is NOTHING that can stop the work from progressing so never give up. Never lose the faith. Make a vision - and follow your heart. You can achieve greatness. Sister Turner is doing so great and I was soooo happy to see her and Sister Strarkie..LOVE THEM. And Sister Hendrickson of course freaked out when she saw me :) she had brought me a giant bag of skinny pop from Coscto - I LOVE her too much. It was a good day to say the least.
We also had the most incredible experience earlier this week. One day i will tell you the full story but for now I think it is enough for you to know that
MIRACLES come from listening to the Spirit and acting in faith.
We were knocking and three people were outside on their back porch so we were about to pass by and avoid an awkward situation. The Spirit reminded us "TALK TO EVERYONE" so we went back and started up a lovely conversation. The people were nice and interested in us and what we do. I explained what a blessing this Gospel has been in my life and how it has brought my family and I so much joy.
Debbie (the mom) started asking questions. We found out that her mom, who was an extremely good person had terminal cancer and Debbie was angry at God. She wanted to now why bad things happen to good people. And she wanted a PERFECT answer. She was a strong Catholic but her beliefs were not helping her so I think at first she wanted to test us..Sister Drew and I bore testimony.
I talked about Sophie and the Atonement. I talked about God's purpose and plan for each of us and I told her that there may never be a perfect answer as to why this is happening to her and her family but I know that Heavenly Father is aware of her and that she can receive strength enough to endure with faith in our Savior. She thanked us and said that she respected us and our faith but her heart was still on the harder side...then the Spirit strongly prompted me to pull out my Book of Mormon. I thought of the story of Alma and Amulek watching the innocent people burn in the flames. I did not know exactly where the scripture was but I had faith that Heavenly Father would lead me there and He did. Alma 14:8-11. I read it, Debbie was crying. It was the PERFECT answer. She gave us both about 7 hugs. We gave them our phone number, they thanked us over and over again and we walked back to the car. When we arrived the Book of Mormon was still in my hands (I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I WAS THINKING) so we drove back down and gave her the Book. She was overjoyed and quickly marked the page of that perfect passage.
Debbie and her husband are not new investigators but they are so much more to me. I witnessed the Book of Mormon soften someone's heart entirely. I felt the Spirit working through me and I will be forever grateful. We couldn't stop smiling the whole way home. It was an unforgettable experience.
I love waking up every morning KNOWING that I am exactly where Heavenly Father wants me to be and doing exactly what he wants me to be doing.
I love you all and hope you have the best week.
Love, Sister Gochnour