Monday, March 9, 2015

Walking through Walls

I DON'T KNOW HOW IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE WEEKS TO KEEP GETTING BETTER BUT THEY DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are staying in Amherst!!!!!!!!!!!! And we reached the silver standard this week!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Sister Renda and I are going to be getting another companion, Sister Curtis (my MTC comp) and two elders are coming to Amherst as well. One will be the 2nd councillor in the branch presidency and the other, branch clerk. It will be nice to have them - yesterday I was the organist for sacrament meeting - yes ME (don't worry it is an electric piano, I just had to press the buttons..) And Sister Renda and I, at the last minute were asked to conduct relief society and teach young womens! If only we could be in two places at all worked out! It's going to be an incredible transfer and yes mom we have been running EVERY morning (except Sunday of course). I can't believe it! We are hoping Sister Curtis likes to run..and yes daylight savings as a missionary :/ I'm not sure if it is easier or harder. When our alarm went off at 6:10 yesterday morning I literally thought that we had just laid our heads on our pillows. It was so strange but luckily our schedule makes adjusting pretty easy. 

Last week we fasted as a zone that we would be able to find new investigators. The Sunday after the fast (not yesterday but the Sunday before) Sister Renda and I were knocking. NO ONE wanted to talk. We hardly said our names before they shut the door in our faces. I wondered in my mind if we were supposed to be there. Two doors later we knocked into Jeremy. He told us that his faith was lacking. That he had a lot of questions about the purpose of life and couldn't understand why bad things have to happen. We had previously invited a member to write her testimony in a Book of Mormon, which we gave to him and invited him to read Alma 34. The next day we called to FOLLOW UP and he told us that he had read the whole chapter plus 30 pages of first Nephi and he loved it. We taught him on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - Friday and Saturday and Sunday  and we are teaching him TODAY!

 At the first few lessons he was pretty skeptical. We answered his questions but the answers didn't even satisfy him because he didn't understand who God was. After the second lesson, I was a little bit frustrated. We hadn't really been able to teach much because of all of his questions. He had told us that he was at rock bottom and I so badly wanted him to realize what we were offering him. We had committed him to do a simple thing "ask God if he loves you. Don't say ANYTHING else. Just ask that simple question. We promise that you will receive a specific answer." When we returned on Wednesday his entire countenance had changed!! He actually looked happy. We told him that we were not going to answer any questions until we taught the full restoration and he listened intently. The spirit was so strong. Finally he shared his experience and how he had received an answer, He knows that God loves him!!! Keep in mind that he hadn't prayed for years so that was an act of faith. He told us that he had never slept better in his life, that he had an incredible dream and that he woke up smiling. It has been the most amazing week teaching him - he is so anxious to learn. He loves the Book of Mormon and wants to be baptized on April 18th. This experience confirmed several profound things that I've learned about God. I do know that the power of His love can transform us. It can change our nature!! I am so happy.

Walter is still seeing good things in his life and he is happy. He came to church and when we taught him the word of wisdom this week we learned that coffee was his only setback. He had given up smoking on January 1st and the smell of it now made him sick and he gave up drinking a year ago and was never going to do it again. Then he mentioned that coffee had started giving him heart burn so he was planning to quit anyway!! Again, God's love can change our nature. He is so amazing!! Walter talks about how faith in Jesus Christ can almost make us invincible - so that we can "walk through walls." He used to be a heavy weight lifting champion and it is funny when he tells us about his younger years when he thought he could do anything..he got into a lot of trouble. Now he sees that only keeping the commandment and having faith can give us that power. 

I am so thankful to be here. It amazes me how much Heavenly Father wants to bless us. No wonder sharing the gospel is a commandment - Heavenly Father wants us to be happy!!! I hope all of you realize how blessed we are to be surrounded by people who love us and encourage us to be our best, We are so blessed to have the truthfulness of the Gospel in our lives. We are so blessed to know that our Savior lives and is leading our church today. 

Tell Emma Hi - she looks darling, and thank you Natalie for your email and thank you to Dad, and Nana & Papa for their letters ! They make me so happy. Wow and so happy for Jordyn and Taylor - engaged!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RALPH!! I hope you have the best day. Thanks for being such an incredible example. I love you big brother!!

Love you so much. Have a happy week. 
Love, Sister Gochnour

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