Monday, November 10, 2014

God Loves You, Even If You Are Weak And Simple...

HI - hope everyone is working hard and having fun!! 

Happy Birthday to Sara this week - I love you and am so thankful for your love and example. Hope you have the best day!! Also Happy Birthday to Sandi yesterday, I am so grateful for you and your unfailing support. LOVE YOU BOTH!

There week was sort of a blur..they just keep going faster and faster i can hardly keep up. Luckily I have become quite the packer so it wasn't too difficult to get everything packed and ready to leave Summerside. The day before we left we had some major breakthroughs. It was an unforgettable day. We taught a new investigator and as we taught her about God's love, about the Restoration if the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the potential for each of us to obtain eternal happiness, the Spirit was so strong. I sort of felt like God was speaking to me through ME. It was an amazing feeling. Those are the lessons when you KNOW the Spirit is there, when your testimony grows 10x stronger. I left in awe that Heavenly Father allows us - the weak and the simple and the imperfect - to be part of the greatest work in the world. 

To testify to people every day about what I know and see their countenances light up as they feel the Spirit, or to see the tears flow from their eyes. It is incredible. There have been so many experiences when I feel like Ammon who meets up with Alma after his mission among the Lamanites and is so happy that "his joy exhausts his strength" - HE LITERALLY WAS SO HAPPY THAT HE FAINTED. That joy is only found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it is the best feeling in the world.

We also were able to help our struggling less active see that she does have a testimony. I love that family home evening idea you told me about mom - that was so profound. It goes along perfectly with the talk "Lord, I Believe" by Elder Holland. Simply desiring to believe is enough. There are things we DO know and as we live the Gospel and pray and study and strive to become more like our Savior - our knowledge grows..brighter and brighter until the perfect day. We must hold fast to the faith WE DO HAVE. She has had a hard life, she so badly wants to believe in the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith but she kept saying that she wasn't sure - we bore testimony that God loves her and is proud of her for simply desiring to believe. That is what life is about - enduring - we are never going to know everything and we are always going to face trials but as we are patient and diligent, we receive blessings and our testimonies become unshaken, sure foundations of faith. 

On Wednesday we spent the night in Charlottetown because we had to get up early to drive to transfers. So I
Sister Lewis and GG (taken earlier this year)
got to spend the last night of her mission with Sister Lewis. We talked about the incredible memories we have made and all we have learned on our missions. It was the kind of conversation that you never forget, the kind you want to have with everyone. We talked about the most important things we can do - loving people and striving full heartedly to become more like our perfect Savior. I love her and miss her already.

After a bit of driving and several goodbyes, Sister Coleman and I arrived in Amherst. It is a beautiful place, the architecture is amazing. The people live in the old, huge, Victorian style homes. It is another small area, there were 17 people at church but I am sure it is where I am meant to be. As soon as I arrived we came up with a vision of what we want to do as a companionship and how we can help the sisters. Then we ate a quick lunch and went to donate blood!! We were able to talk to a lot of people and it was a great service opportunity. 

On Sunday, though there were few of us, it was one of the most Spirit filled testimony meetings I have ever attended. One man who said he hadn't born his testimony in years told how grateful he was to be here in this little branch because each member chooses and sacrifices to be there. They don't just follow the crowd and 'go to church', they make a special effort to be there every week. It was a sweet testimony. I bore my testimony about conversion - something I have been thinking about a lot lately as I have read the chapters in Alma when Ammon and his brothers are teaching the Lamanites. It says (of the people of Ammon) "those who were converted, NEVER DID FALL AWAY" no matter how hard their lives became following their conversion. Despite the fact that their brethren tried to destroy them, they gloried in God, they never lost faith, they NEVER FELL AWAY because they were converted. They had the truth and they would not deny it. That is the same with each of us. Life is hard, even after we are baptised we face trials and we are tested but if we are truly converted. Our faith in Christ will allow us to have the strength we need to overcome and we won't ever fall away. I am thankful for my mission and the opportunities I have to bear my testimony every day - because each day is a chance to be more converted.

Thank you for your love and examples. Remember that God lives and loves us. That he works through the weak and the simple because all of us need to feel the joy that comes from sharing the Gospel. Don't forget that simply desiring to believe is the best place to start. LIVE THE GOSPEL AND NEVER GIVE UP.

Love you - hope it is not as cold there as it is here...
Love, Sister Gochnour

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