Monday, September 29, 2014

You May Rescue, You May Save...

It sure is beautiful here, we walk along the boardwalk everyday to talk to people and not even 15 feet away is the ocean. 

There are lighthouses all along the shore and off in the distance. 

The weather welcomed me warmly. 

It has been the most perfect past few days but I think winter is approaching quickly - today is cold. 

Leaving New Glasgow was sad and happy and crazy and stressful and busy. 

LUCKILY the vacuum bags allowed me to fit everything in my suitcases YAY!! Thursday morning we got up at 5 and left an hour later to be in Truro an hour after that. There, I said goodbye to my old district and Sister Christensen and hopped on the transfer van. We drove another 2 1/2 hours to Moncton, New Brunswick where we met at the church with lots of other missionaries. 
            Some coming - wide eyes and ready, 
            Some going home - entirely anxious and unsure .. 
            It's wonderful to see the change that occurs after the time we spend here. It's fascinating to recognize the Spiritual strength and knowledge that we can gain as we give our hearts to God entirely for 18 or 24 months of our lives. I am thankful that I still have 9 more months to learn!!!! 

After saying goodbye to some incredible people I got in a car with a new missionary (going to serve with SISTER LEWIS - yes I got to see her, I was so happy I could have exploded!!!!!!) and we drove another 1 1/2 hours to Charlottetown. 

On the way we crossed one of the longest bridges in the world - it took us 15 minutes - 
SO COOL!!! After I dropped off the new missionary, Sister Dougherty and I drove our last hour back to Summerside. SOO that was a long and exhausting day but I made it and am sooo happy to be here. 

We immediately went out to work. 

We went knocking and met some friendly people and some intoxicated ones. 

We had sports night with the branch and played capture the flag - I AM OUT OF SHAPE!! It was hard to run..but I loved it. 

Later we taught a lesson to a less active member who has been through so much in her life but has such a strong desire to attend the temple. The sisters had just started the stop smoking program with her and she was working so hard and doing so well. Debbie is willing to do whatever it takes to make it to the temple. She doesn't understand fully why but she is certain that she needs to be there - and she is right. Everything that she has been through will all be worth it to step into that beautiful building and feel the blessings of Heaven and God's love so close, so real.

Yesterday I got to meet the branch. It is even smaller then New Glasgow but the Spirit is just the same. I was able to bear my testimony and I told about Moroni 9:6 where Mormon is telling Moroni that despite the faithlessness of their brethren and their wickedness - Moroni must be diligent because the Lord had a work for him to do and he might not see the impact he would have then but the Lord sees and knows all things. Verse 6 says 

"And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; 
for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; 
for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, 
that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, 
and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." 

I think that is so applicable to us. Now is the time for us to labor diligently. To thrust in our sickle with our might despite the people of the world who may try and drag us down because we have the truth and we have to diligently do all that we can to help Heavenly Father in this work - the work of salvation. To love others. And help them and ourselves make it back HOME to Him. 

My favorite hymn is "Brightly Beams Our Father Mercy" I love the lines - 
"But to us He gives the keeping, 
of the lights along the shore." 
"You may rescue, you may save." 
God has given us charge over our brothers and sisters here on the earth. 
We must be lighthouses to them. 
We must shine in the darkness of their trials and their mistakes. 
We must walk with them and invite them and strengthen them. 
Because truly every soul is great in the sight if God. He trusts us to keep them and help them.. I always love to refer back to the poem I received from my cute MA ad PA on trek. 

Make A Difference 
 "Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. as he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out " Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are going?" The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean". "I must ask then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in they will die." Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!" At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said. "I made a difference to that one!"

We can make a difference. We really can and we must. 
Stand strong. 
Be a light. 
Be kind and remember that no matter how small or insignificant you may feel. 
God loves you and needs you. 
You can be the difference in the lives of many - believe that and act upon it.

I love all of you so so much. I am thankful for your examples. You strengthen me and help me every day. 
Love you. And miss you. 

Love, Sister G, still closer to the sea :)

PS: Thank you soo much grandma and grandpa for the generous and beautiful birthday card. I love you both. 
PPS: Sorry I don't have time to send pictures but I will send a ton of cute ones next week......;) xoxo

Monday, September 22, 2014

the importance of asking God...

hi everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tell adelide that I love her sooo much when you see her. Katie you are so incredible. Your smile will change the world - you are in my prayers this week. And Jaren, good luck - hope it's a happy day. 


This week has been very very windy - a few hot days and a few cold ones. The leaves are bright red and green and yellow..I love all of the feelings, the scent and the memories that come with the seasons. This part of the world sure is beautiful in the fall and now I get to go and experience it on PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND!!! I am being transferred to Summerside, PEI this week as a sister training leader....I get to work with all of the other sisters in my zone and learn from them and I can't wait. It will be yet another incredible learning experience. 

This week we spent a day in Pictou - it's a great place to be....mostly because people haven't seen missionaries around as much so they seem to be warmer..more friendly and we had several uplifting conversations. 

We also seem to work with a lot of older people but I love it. They are all so sweet and kind - they just love us and think we are so incredible. Most of them have faced such hard trials in their lives but they still smile big and love to tell us about their families and all the places they've been. They are teaching me a lot about life - living in the moment and loving it. Loving yourself and whatever circumstance you find yourself in. 

They teach me to be kind and that your smile really can make a difference in someone's life - FOREVER. I told one of the sweet ladies who loves to listen to us sing in the nursing home that I was leaving to go to Summerside this week and she almost started to cry - she said, "I suppose I'll never see you again, but I'll never forget you!" I told her that the amazing thing about this life is that death is not the end. That I will see her again someday. "I really hope so, dear" she said with a smile. 

I'll miss this little branch. They are so loving and so faithful. 

I will miss the train tracks that run through the middle of the town and the walking path that is entirely covered in trees and so beautiful. 

I'll miss the stinky river and the old, delicate buildings. 

I'll miss the people and the millions of cats but luckily some things don't change throughout the maritimes - for the most part the people and the cats are constant so that's good. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about what is possible - what can I actually achieve? One morning I prayed before studies that Heavenly Father would guide me and help me know. I was finishing Mormon and read the verse in chapter 9, 21 "Behold I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him, and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth." Isn't that incredible? SO many times throughout the scriptures we hear Christ pleading with us to ASK Him for things. HE wants to bless us but some things He can't grant us until we ask - in faith - doubting nothing. Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." 

As I began Ether I read about the Brother of Jared who never hesitated to ask the Lord for things he wanted. He didn't want the language of his people to be confounded and it wasn't. He wanted to take some family and friends with him to the promised land and he was permitted to. He wanted the Lord to touch the stones so that they could have light as they crossed the deep water and the stones were lit. He was able to talk face to face with the Lord. All of these blessings were given him because he asked. That was a beautiful example to me of faith. Of hope. And of trust in God and His promises. 

We must ask God in faith for the righteous desires of our hearts. 

So in answer to my question - 
what is really possible? What can I achieve?
ANYTHING is possible. 
You can achieve greatness if you simple BELIEVE - 
doubting nothing!! 
AND ask God - always ASK. 
I am thankful for prayer. That God allows us and commands us to pray to Him so that He can guide and direct and comfort us in our lives. 

I'm thankful that He hears and answers our prayers. 

I am thankful that I get to be a missionary. 

I am thankful for change and for new experiences that help us grow. 

I'm thankful for the amazing people I am surrounded by and all that they teach me. 

I'm thankful for you and your testimonies.

I'm thankful for Octobers and for conference 
(SOOOOOO excited). 


Hope you all have the best week - it will be another crazy one for me. Which I LOVE!!

Miss you! TTYL
XOXO, Sister G by the Sea

Friday, September 19, 2014

We Can Do HARD Things

HI all you people!!!! 
Things are moving a very fast pace and I am so happy here in Canada. 

We started volunteering at the hospital, 

we knocked on several doors and had several interesting conversations, 

we sang for the nursing home, 

we put on a Fireside for the members about love and how the most simple and perfect way of sharing the Gospel is by loving the people..all around us, 

we are working hard to help our investigators progress, 

we went to Truro for district meeting and ate at a darling diner and I have never seen so many cats in my life - EVERYONE HERE HAS AT LEAST more than hair is still hard for me to get over.

I think that sometimes the hardest part of being a missionary is living up to our own expectations. 

I was having sort of a hard day because I didn't feel like I was accomplishing much. I don't have any crazy stories to tell all of you - every day is good and exciting for me but I wouldn't say that crazy miracles happen every single day and so I was thinking about what I need to do to really make a difference. To fully recognize God's hand in my life. To overcome the natural man and be made "perfect" through Christ..

I think that it is the most challenging thing I have faced - wanting so badly to change and knowing so strongly who I can become and then having my flesh..the natural man step in and make it so much harder. SO that is how I was feeling on Sunday and then we (Sister Christensen and I) had the opportunity to teach the Gospel principles class. 

This week was the chapter on the Holy Ghost. We talked about mankind's need for the Holy Ghost from the beginning. Because the Holy Ghost teaches us truth, right from wrong and helps comfort our hearts and guides us through this mortal journey - we would be utterly lost without it. At the end of the chapter was this discussion starter - 

Share with each other a time when you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost - we sat there in silence for a while. I tried hard to think of a time when I knew that I had felt the Spirit. I thought about several moments that were small, simple manifestations of the Spirit - nothing grand. And then at that moment I realized - those are the most important times. The times each day when you feel peace or comfort or joy..that is the Spirit and that is even more important than the big miraculous times because it helps us realize God is ALWAYS there. He cares about every aspect of our lives. I was able to share the experience of my first weekend in the MTC, another time when I had also felt inadequate and weak. I was silently crying myself to sleep that night because I didn't want my companions to hear. Then I had the thought that I should get out of bed and pray. I rolled out and onto my knees. I didn't say much..simply "Dear Heavenly Father" and then I though in my mind that I wanted to feel my Savior's arms around me - so that I could know that He loves me and that I was going to be ok. I didn't say it, I just thought it. At that moment I felt someone near me holding me tightly and silently crying with me. It was my Savior - I then was certain that God loved me and was proud of me. I knew that I was going to make it and that His love is infinite and unchanging. I will be forever grateful for that answered prayer and that sweet moment with my Savior. 

That experience brought me comfort this week. Realizing that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Each day that I go out and strive to forget myself in the service of God - is a chance for me to overcome the natural man. And help others all around me to do the same. No effort is wasted. So yes, it was a good week. A miraculous week.

I am thankful for the quiet simple manifestations of the Spirit and of God's love every day - they keep me going.

I love all of you and am so thankful to have you in my life. 
Love, Sister G


Monday, September 8, 2014


 Thank you for the letters and packages - they make a missionary SO SO SO happy :0

Because I had so many emails to read I am almost out of time but thank you!! 

My birthday was one I will never forget. 

The weather was perfect, it felt like fall. 

I woke up and got ready and opened my cute package from mom..then I hurried and changed my clothes before studies ;) after we studied Sister Drew called to wish me a happy birthday - that made me so happy. It was so good to hear her voice - she is doing great in Fredericton!! 

Then we walked to church because we had been asked to do a car fast (don`t drive the car for a day) and Sunday was the only time we could do it. 

It was also fast Sunday..DOUBLE FAST- and I was very thankful for that. 

We left our apartment and found that the other sisters had decorated the truck with hearts and birthday wishes, it was darling!! 

When we arrived at church Brother Hodder (the cutest old man on the planet) and Brother Smith sang me a quick happy birthday. 

Then I was able to bear my testimony during sacrament meeting. I talked about how much I love the Book of Mormon - how so many prayers can be answered through it and how it has changed my life. Later we walked home and visited Sister Wilson who lives in a nursing home. After that we got to knock and then walked to the McKinnon`s for supper - they are an amazing family in the branch. Sister McKinnon put 20 candles on a birthday cake which I struggled to blow out and we had a lovely time. Later we did some more knocking and lots of walking. 

We returned home EXHAUSTED AND HAPPY!! It was an amazing day. 

This week went fast - like all of the other weeks. We found two new investigators. Glennis, a sweet old lady from England who we met street contacting. She invited us to her house immediately when we told her about the Plan of Salvation. She has lost several loved ones recently and needs to know that she will see them again. We had a great lesson and she sent us home with fresh, ripe peaches!! Joe is our other new investigator. he is excited to learn about the Book of Mormon and how it can bless his young family. He had two kids and is very humble and willing to learn. 

I have been thinking a lot about how life is full of joy and sorrow, pain and frustration, happiness and learning opportunities. 
Some people lose themselves in the business of the world around us. 
Or they can`t find their way out of the darkness they are surrounded by due to sins and mistakes. 
Or they go through hard things and they turn away from God rather than toward Him. 
OF COURSE life is not easy - if there was no opposition there would be no purpose for fact we would NOT exist but lucky for us, we GET TO!!! 
SO whatever happens good or bad - it`s up to us to decide how it affects us. 

If you want to be happy, you will be. 
 If you want to be sad, you will be.

God wants us to be happy. He weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right. Because of Jesus Christ we can always make it through, we can walk the higher road WITH Him. Choose today to serve Him and love Him and trust in Him and be HAPPY.

I love you and l am so thankful for you. Thank you for inspiring me and helping me become the person that I am. 

Have the greatest week. XOXO BYE


Monday, September 1, 2014


Me and Sister Christensen
Hi family! I can't believe it is the start of September already...the best month of the year though so I won't complain ... :) it's rainy today but not too cold. 

Sounds like everyone is doing well. GOOD GOOD - I am glad that swiss days went well and I'm also glad that it is over, you are such a hard worker and I want you to know that I am soooo proud of you. I love showing everyone my gourds and telling them about my awesomely talented painter mom. Tell duke I LOVE HIM and I love everyone else too..

Happy Anniversary to Nana and Papa this week - love you! Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY JORDY!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be thinking of you this week. You are no longer a teen..sadd but happy!!! Blow out the candles for me too ;) love you forever friend.

We have had a lovely week. Just talking to tons of random strangers and wondering why none of them will accept eternal life....people are funny

some are not as nice, 

others are very friendly until they find out who we are, 

some are looking for the truth but they don't know where to find it and so those are the people we have been called to find and sometimes the task is not as simple as it sounds. But we are doing our best and that is all that Heavenly Father asks of us. 

This week we taught Brother Edwards the word of wisdom - he said that he is excited before every lesson which surprises him but we are happy that he is starting to recognize the feelings of the Spirit. He knows that living the word of wisdom is important and he wants to quit smoking but he knows it is not going to be easy. Lucky for him, he can pray and put his trust in God to pull him through. Alyssia also talked to her dad after we told her that we could not continue teaching her if her dad did not approve and she told him how she felt. She texted us later that day and said that he has allowed her to continue meeting with us and that she can come to church. She is so happy and excited. It is inspiring to see that the Lord will always help us through if we put our faith entirely in Him. 

A wise and incredible missionary who served here sent me an email and her thoughts on charity struck me especially because I am striving diligently to develop the Christlike attribute of charity into my own character. She said... 

"I want to tell you 2 things that I learned on my mission regarding charity and loving our fellow man. Some of you may already know these two things. 
The first thing is: in order to truly love someone we must understand them. 
The second thing is everyone has a story. 
There's always a reason for behavior and it's important for us to recognize that." 

I thought that though simple those two lessons are incredibly profound. You can't love someone until your understand them and recognize that we all have a story to tell. 
I am thankful that as a missionary we have countless opportunities with countless different people to develop such characteristics and that our Heavenly Father is patient with us and blesses us with many opportunities to practice :)  

I also wanted to share with you one of the lessons I learned from my Book of Mormon reading this week. I am reading in Alma where Alma is talking to his son Heleman and giving him some AMAZING fatherly advise. He is teaching about the scriptures and how the "words of Christ" will lead us to eternal life - all we have to do is "follow their course" yet people often lose their way because of the easiness of the task..Alma 37:45-47 (I'm not going to write it all out because I don't have enough time but READ IT PLEASE) and I love in verse 46 where he says, 

"O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way...The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever." 

I love the scriptures. I know they will teach us "all things what ye should do" and that they truly do lead us to eternal life. I hope that I never forget to study them and ponder on their truthfulness because they make me soooo happy!!!

LAST THOUGHT - This week I read an incredible talk in the ensign about, 
"BECOMING CHILDREN OF LIGHT" by Elder Christensen (I would encourage you to read it if you get a chance) He talks about us as members of the church being children of light, children of the day not of darkness <1 Thessalonians 5:5-8> He poses a question that is good for us to ask ourselves in any situation - 
"Do you see any light in that?" 
We must only involve ourselves in things that will bring us more light in our lives, more of the Spirit, closer to our Savior who is "the light and life of the world." There is a quote in it by Elder John A Widstoe that says, 
"We cannot walk as other men, or talk as other men, or do as other men, for we have a different destiny, obligation, and responsibility placed upon us, and we must fit ourselves to it." 
I love that. We must stand apart from the world and follow the true light of the world - who is our Savior. And lucy reminded me of the powerful Spirit and LIGHT our individual testimonies can bring to the lives of those around us. We must let our lights shine. We have testimonies so that we can share them - so that others can see the light and desire to brighten their own. I want to end with my testimony. 
I know that this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness. I know God lives and loves us. I know that only because of the infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ can we be made whole, freed from the burden of our sins. I know that The Book of Mormon is a special witness of the Savior, that those people did live and that as we read we will receive strength to continue on the path to eternal life - living forever with God - our ultimate goal. I know that nothing can stop this work from progressing. 
I know that I am meant to be here and 
I am forever grateful for this opportunity to serve.

I love you all with my whole heart. Hope you have the best week. Eat a birthday cake for me. LOVE YOU!!
Love, Sister G