Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tap Dancing With Lyla...

Sister G and Sister Drew

Beautiful day, hey? I'm starting to talk like a Canadian (or trying to) so that's fun.


Sounds like things are absolutely insane back at home - that kind of stresses ME out just hearing about it but good luck!! Keep on keepin' on! (That's what people tell us when they want us to get off their doorstep but I think it works in this context as well..)

This week was fun and awesome and I love being a missionary MORE than ever. I'm glad that your fast Sunday was good - I have truly grown to love fasting and though it's not easy to put on a big smile and talk to people when your breath smells bad and you haven't eaten in hours but WHAT A BLESSING. I love that we get to fast simply so that WE can have more faith. So that WE can be humble and closer to God. 

Things are coming along one step at a time. Today we went running, that was hard..but good. 

We had a Canada wide stake conference this weekend and we got to hear from Sister Burton, President Eyring and Elder Holland .. what an inspiring and empowering meeting.
We (the 4 sisters here) sang a musical number at the beginning, Nearer My God to Thee, it was beautiful and the spirit was strong in our tiny branch. We were reminded by Sister Burton to REMEMBER WHO WE ARE. Through the Atonement we can be healed. The Lord hears and answers our prayers - keep the faith. Elder Holland reminded us that through our faith in Jesus Christ we can have access to His unfailing help. All we have to do is COME UNTO HIM - Matthew 11:28-30. Live with greater faith. Believe more. Repent and trust in the Lord. He wants you to feel safe and secure in His hands. He wants to protect and empower us. When we are on sturdy ground we must help others. We must be a healer and a helper - to lift their burdens and to make everything around us BETTER. Have the faith to COME and be HEALED. And President Eyring talked of eternal families. Of the joy that comes from a knowledge that we can spend forever with our BEST FRIENDS! He told us that we need to rescue those in our family who have fallen off the path. We must serve and teach our children the principles of the gospel. He said that little children are fearless. They don't care what other people think, they are not afraid to be missionaries, we have got to be more like that!! 
Fearless and full of faith. HUMBLE. AND HAPPY.

I have been thinking a lot lately about spiritual gifts, another message we heard on Saturday night was about seeking first the Kingdom of God. Earnestly developing the gifts and talents that Heavenly Father is waiting to grant us. Seek and ask for the gifts that will make us perfect. THE ATONEMENT ENDOWS US WITH POWER BEYOND OUR OWN!!! SO this week I will pray and ponder and study about the gifts that Heavenly Father has given me. Then I will work on them and use them to bless the lives of others. I want to be more bold. More thoughtful and more knowledgeable. I want to trust completely in my Savior because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I want to lose my life in His service - 
because that is the only way to find MYSELF! MY PATH. MY LIFE.

What a beautiful message. This week was full of laughs. One night we knocked into Lyla - she is 90 years old and was wearing bright pink running shoes. I knew we would be fast friends. She let us in and started talking and talking and talking...we soon realized that her memory and mind were going...but it was ok because she still remembered how to tap dance. She and her twin sister, Willa, used to tap dance all over Pictou County...so we asked her to show us. She did :) and then taught us some moves..we were holding her hands in the middle of her tiny living room. Both Sister Drew and I struggled .. she asked Sister Drew if she knew how to count to 5..hahaha and it was a lovely experience. She even had her Christmas decorations still up and showed us her light up tree!! 

We also had this conversation with a man, 
Me: "...do you believe in God?" 
Him: "Oh yes but I'm an alcoholic, I have a beer right here in my pocket (crooked smile)" Me: "That's ok, do you want to get over your addiction?" 
Him: "No I like it.." 
Us: "Ok.." 
Then he walked away.. 

We also taught two lessons!! One to a lady from Scotland who talked like Merida on Brave - we left her with the Book of Mormon and she told us that everything made sense - and that she really likes her other church..but she will give ours a chance. The other to Tommy and His girlfriend..he believes that he has had visions in the past and after hearing about the Restoration and Joseph Smith's vision he said he felt a "good presence". We explained that he was feeling the Holy Ghost - then his friend Joe barged in and started preaching at us..he was a little crazy so the end of the lesson was a little scattered and difficult. Then Tommy asked if we could take a picture with him and wanted to give us a hug on our way out. We quickly shook his hand and left. SOOO.. 

The work is progressing. Nothing can stop it. We just have to work harder and smarter and with more faith than ever before. I know there is someone here just waiting for us to find them..I wish they would come out already but we'll keep looking.

Can't believe it's been 5 months - feels like yesterday I was in the backseat of our cute car with you and lucy..holding your hands SO frightened but excited about what was ahead. I love reflecting on the lessons I've learned and the fact that I could not experience these things any other way - only on a mission. I love it here. But I love you more than you will ever know. I'm so grateful that I get to spend eternity with the most amazing people on the planet. 
YOUS GUYS ARE THE BEST!! (as the maritimers would say..)

Tell ella good luck and that I love her and that she will be a bright light and inspiration to all those she meets. Tell her to embrace the hard days and awkward moments. Sometimes it hurts to grow but with Christ on our side it is always worth it. WE DO OUR BEST AND JESUS DOES THE REST. LOVE YOU. BYE!!

Love, Sister Gochnour

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