|saying "goodbye to Sister Coleman"|
Hello, I'm happy to be writing to you despite the winter weather that has finally made it's way to Eastern Canada...and we are expecting another 40-50 centimeters (about 20 inches) tonight. It was -20c degrees when we got in the car this morning - we could definitely see our breath. It was one crazy, amazing week. I hope I don't forget anything!!
the first big storm came and we were asked to not take our cars out on the road, therefore we spent an ENTIRE day inside. Calling random strangers out of the phone book and doing area book work until my hand hurt so bad I couldn't write another word :) I was standing on my chair eating an apple and doing headstands by the time the day was ending...However, President Leavitt's motto is "we cannot be stopped" so we still had our mission leadership council meeting - it was just over the phone. As well as our end of transfer sister training leader skype call. It's a good motto. It inspires us to never give up, no matter what. Where there is a will there is a way! Another thing President always says is "necessity is the mother of invention" SO TRUE.
was the day before Sister Coleman left and there was much to be done. It seemed like everyone wanted to feed us, which is so nice but a sister missionary can only handle so much food! We did make it everywhere we needed to be and we were able to teach Melinda's friend Walter so he is a new investigator - I'll explain more about that in the next section.
- my valentines package came early in the morning!! It was amazing mom - thank you so much. That was the cutest banner, cards, etc and I of course almost died that there was such a thing as "diet candy" until I opened the bag and saw a large amount of almonds...YUM!! Then we experienced our FIRST incident getting stuck..we were on our way to Moncton but we hadn't even made it out of the driveway when our wheels started spinning. Lucky for us, as sister Coleman was out trying to push, a neighbor who lives a few doors down saw us struggling and ran to help. We made it safely and I said goodbye to Sister Coleman. We had a great companionship -she taught me a lot, especially about being a good communicator and I was forever be grateful for the experiences we had together. Then I picked up Sister Renda and we headed home!! Sister Renda is from Herriman Utah, she did go to Utah State for 3 years studying food science. She is an incredible violinist and i know we are going to have an amazing time together. She makes me want to be better, she has a strong spirit, she is thoughtful and kind. As soon as we made it back to Amherst we had another lesson with Walter. He explained how he knew he needed to meet with us because the night before he had taken a sleeping pill and didn't wake up until (our appointment was at 3) and he had a lot to get done before the lesson so he said a prayer and asked for help to stay calm and get get everything done that needed to be done. He told us that everything fell into place perfectly after that. He got his haircut, called Halifax for an appointment, ran some errands and at sharp he met us at Melinda's door. It was such a miracle for him, he couldn't believe it. Later, we had a powerful lesson with Crystal, we read 2 Nephi 31 and talked about Baptism and enduring to the end. She explained to Sister Renda how much Sister Coleman and I had helped her find hope and a desire to live. Though it wasn't us at all, but God using us as his instruments - I'm grateful that I got to be a part of it.
we needed to take out car into the Canadian tire because of our tire pressure that refused to stay full no matter how many times we filled it up. Turns out we needed a new tire so as we sat in the waiting room we started up a conversation with the only other person in there. It started as small talk - what happened to your car? where are you from? where do you work? what's your family like? Then we started asking more profound questions like "are you religious?" He told us that he wasn't used to talking about things like that and that we were asking hard questions that made him think (that's a good thing - we like when people think!!) He was friendly but reserved. He told us that he had a lot of unanswered questions and our small talk turned into a fantastic missionary moment, He began opening up and we were able to bear testimony about life after death and why we decided to serve missions. In the end he still wasn't interested in meeting with us but we saw the light in his eyes and we know that we did what God expected of us. We gave him a card with our phone number in case he ever changes his mind. Before he left he asked us again where we are were both from - we told him Utah and he said "that's so strange because you both look so familiar. I feel like I have seen you before.." We had never met Peter before but we told him that it wasn't a coincidence, we were meant to meet him. It was a sweet experience for me . That is what missionary work is like - you don't have to wear a name tag to have an experience like that. And oh what joy those moments bring!
- it had snowed all night and it snowed all day. We left at 10 and again got stuck in the same place we had just days before - you'd think that i had learned..After an hour of digging, rocking, pushing and doing everything we could possibly think of to get unstuck we knelt down on the side of the road and prayed for a miracle. After that the car budged a little bit more but wouldn't move. So we went and got our neighbor - he is such a friendly man who is always teasing us. He of course was able to help us out - an answer to our prayers (that came after hard work and thought and humility recognizing we were powerless on our own) We made him biscuits while we were stuck inside again and he brought us homemade soup for dinner that night. I am so grateful for him. we also did a LOT of shoveling. My whole body is sore but it is such blessing to be able to serve and help our those who need it.
- there were only 9 people at church again but the Spirit was just as strong in our testimony meeting - it even lasted the full hour again. Sister Renda has been reading talks to me as we drive - they bring a wonderful spirit into our companionship. Later in the day we were discussing what we feel has been the hardest part of our missions so far. These are some things that have been hard for me. 1. Knowing God's will and doing it. 2. Developing unshaken faith - to fight discouragement an the powers of Satan. 3. Being out of my comfort zone all the time.
As we discussed these things I came to this conclusion - I remember when i played soccer there were games that Chris would yell at me a lot and I felt that i kept making mistakes and wasn't doing anything right. But I didn't give up - I tried my best and fought hard. After those games mom would always say - Chris yells because he knows your potential. HE EXPECTS A LOT OF YOU - because he knows that you are a great player and that is why he is hard on you sometimes. She was right. At the end of the game Chris would always grab my head, look me in the eyes and say "Good game grace. Awesome." I knew that he meant it. I knew that he loved me and I knew that he was proud when i tried my best. That was the best feeling in the world. And i believe it is the same in our lives, God expects a lot of us because He sees our divine potential. He knows how great we can be. So He expects much but only because He loves us. I am grateful that I have this chance to prove myself - to struggle so that i can grow - and improve - and strive to live up to His expectations.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!
Love, Sister Gochnour
|valentine's package to gg|
PS - sorry this was so long..