Monday, March 12, 2018

After 12 weeks in Aiken I have been asked to fulfill a new assignment. Today I was transferred to my new area: Pooler, Georgia. My new companion is Sister R from Lehi, Utah and she has been out for 10 months. We served around each other when I was in Perry and are both just so excited to be companions and to work hard. Pooler is right outside of Savannah, GA. There are also Spanish Elders in the Pooler Ward.We continue to serve as a Sister Training Leader companionship covering all the sister missionaries in the Savannah GA Stake. Currently, that includes companionships in Savannah, GA; Hilton Head, SC; and Statesboro, GA.

Leaving Aiken is perhaps the hardest thing I have done on my mission. I fell in love with the area and with the people almost instantly. Sister F and I have been so unified, we have seen incredible miracles in the work here, and we are teaching faithful  individuals whom the Lord has prepared to hear His word.
That being said, it was a wonderful last week!

On Friday, we travelled to Macon for missionary leadership council to set up our smartphones! We are now officially a technology mission. This means that we are back on our Facebook accounts to use them as a means of better communicating with our investigators. We can use our phones to have Skype lessons with investigators who can't meet in person, to stay in better contact with people we're teaching, and to access media resources for our teaching. Honestly, we haven't even began to realize the potential of these tools to further the work of the Lord but we are so excited to experiment and learn.

Saturday night was transfer calls. We were very sure that we would stay together another transfer. And yet, my name was called. That was so shocking. And I found myself wanting to feel excited and hopeful and anxious to be obedient. Instead I just felt sad to leave such a special place so very soon.

Goodbye is still hard. But I have a sure knowledge that God, who is all-knowing, directs this work. I know that He knows where Sister Gore needs to be and that He is preparing others that He needs me to find.

I have a testimony of the restored gospel. I know that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God. He did see God the Father and Jesus Christ. Under their instruction, Christ's church has been returned to the earth. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and I know that because it has changed me. Though I am still weak and imperfect, the Book of Mormon has been a tool through which I have, in part,become a "new creature in Christ". I know that God is merciful and that He desires for each of us to return to Him after this life. Jesus Christ lives. His grace is available to us, no matter how far or for how long we have strayed. I love the Lord. I love each of you.

Continue to "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men."

Sister Emma Gore

Goodbye to Akin  <3

Dear everyone,

Great news: On March 2 we will receive smartphones at mission leadership conference and we could not be more excited!! Missionary work has gotten harder in a really hilarious way since learning we will receive this technology because we are realizing all these new ways that we will be able to do the Lord's work and help His children to learn of Him. We have all these ideas and anticipation and we'll get to begin to act on that in 3 days!

This week went by so fast and now it's week 6 so transfers are next week. Sister F and I have been together for 12 weeks and I'm so grateful. She's taught me so much about so many things. God knew I needed her. And still do, honestly.

I went to North Augusta, SC on exchanges this week with Sister W who is such a powerhouse missionary. She finds so much joy in living and sharing the gospel and I really believe that that has affected the lives of her investigators. We met a lady on exchanges and gave her a Book of Mormon. After explaining what it is she said "This is the most awesomest thing I ever heard". We think so, too.

I know that God is a loving Father in Heaven. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior. I know that true and lasting peace that can withstand the tests of life can only be found in Christ. I am grateful for the scriptures which invite us to live the gospel and become true disciples.

I love you. Thank for you being such great examples to me. Thanks for your prayers.

Keep on keeping on.

-Sister Emma Gore

Akin ward luau

Dear all,

This week I turned 20 and it was actually the best birthday I've ever had. It was so full of little tender mercies. Here's a few:

1. My incredible companion somehow got a ton of people from the ward to write on these index cards she had and then managed to tape them up all over the apartment so I woke up on my birthday to find them. Like over 50 of them.
2. We were having dinner witha family whom we love to death. On Sunday, She had asked me what I wanted for dinner on my birthday and I didn't know so I said I'd text her.  And then I didn't because.. I really didn't know. On Thursady I said to Sister Fielding, "Okay, what I really want is like a good homemade cheeseburger, and then we moved on. And showed up at their house. And ate homemade cheeseburgers for dinner. 
3. Saturday night was also stake conference for the congregations in the area so I got to see Sister O whom I love dearly and she brought me cake and then like 30 missionaries sang to me how fun is that?
4. As we drove home from stake conference we saw FIREWORKS. I love fireworks. 
It was just an awesome day and I felt that Heavenly Father was aware of me. 

I really don't believe that there are coincidences in this life. I do believe that God knows and loves His children and wants them to recognize His hand in all things. Elder Rasband said that what we might call 'coincidences' are actually part of God's 'divine design'.

Ronald A. Rasband taught, "When we are righteous, willing, and able, when we are striving to be worthy and qualified, we progress to places we never imagined and become part of Heavenly Father’s “divine design.” Each of us has divinity within us. When we see God working through us and with us, may we be encouraged, even grateful for that guidance...The Lord’s hand is guiding you. By “divine design,” He is in the small details of your life as well as the major milestones. As it says in Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; … and he shall direct thy paths.” I testify that He will bless you, sustain you, and bring you peace."

I really cannot express the gratitude and happiness that I feel. I am so blessed to be able to serve the Lord. I am thankful for my mission and for the incredible experiences I have had and people I have met. I am thankful for the really hard times and dry patches and also for the times when I just feel on top of the world. 

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He did come to this Earth. He will come again. Learn of Him. Find true peace in Christ when the world offers none.

I love you! Please have a great week and laugh at yourself when you need to and do something kind. :)

-Sister Gore

Happy Birthday Sister Gore

Hey hey!

This email will be short because I have a lot of replying to do FYI. :)

On Saturday of this week we ate with a family who has been in the area forever. Very Southern. Such good people that just love missionaries. I was so privileged as to finally have low country boil for dinner!! Basically.. Low country boil is crab legs, shrimp, potatoes, sausage, and corn on the cob all boiled together. You season it however you like and it's basically killer. Typically, low country boil is poured onto a tablecloth or newspaper when it's ready and everyone just eats it with their hands.This family ate it out a wheelbarrow once. Our meal was a little more civilized. We used plates and were served from a big pan, not the table. But we did use bench pliers to break our crab legs and it was messy and so good and then we finished it off with banana pudding, another Southern favorite. 

On Monday we went biking! In 11 months I have yet to bike on my mission but here we are! Oh it was so fun. We got to be outside basically all day except for in our lessons which was great and the air felt incredible and we had opportunities to talk to so many people that we otherwise wouldn't be able to talk to! I love talking to people. I love meeting people and being able to invite everyone to come closer to Jesus Christ and to hear our message. We have been praying that God would put people in our path that are ready to receive the gospel and as we have talked with everyone, weather or not they are ready or desire to learn, I feel great peace and know that I am doing what God wants me to do. It's not always an easy thing to initiate that conversation. Sometimes you know it's gonna be awkward. But I've never once regretted talking to someone. I just pray that they can be touched by our interaction and feel of God's love for them.

I have been pondering this week about our life before Earth. Pre-Earth life! That was the main topic of sacrament meeting on Sunday. One of the speakers said, "When we truly understand who we are and where we come from, that changes our actions and trajectory in this life." Where did we come from? Who are we, then? I love Jeremiah 1:5 which teaches us that we God knew us before we came to Earth. He is the father of our Spirits. God created you. He knows you completely. He understands your mannerisms and strengths and weaknesses. God is a loving Father.Desiring to give us all the blessings that He enjoys, including a physical body, God presented a plan by which we could come to an Earth and experience mortality in bodies and in families and learn and grow to be more like Him and Jesus Christ. We each accepted this plan and have come to Earth at this specific time for a purpose. 

How precious a truth. My invitation to you this week is to ponder and pray about who you are and what your relationship with God is. Allow God to teach you about your divine nature. 

Have a great week. :)

-Sister Gore

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hey hey.

This week was crazy. We had Wednesday to proselyte, then spent Thursday planning for the coming week, drove up to Macon for Mission leadership council all day Friday, stayed the night in Perry, then drove back to Macon on Saturday morning for a 2 hour mission-wide conference with Elder Costa of the Seventy and then had lunch and another mission leadership council for 2 hours with Elder Costa. So.. we're totally exhausted. I am so tired. I can't remember the last time I was this tired. But it's a good tired. At least, that's what I tell myself.  

J is still doing well. She says that she feels like she's in a "limbo" - not quite able to prepare for baptism but just waiting. In our lesson this week she said something to the effect of, "I'm starting to realize that I'm not one of the lost sheep anymore but I'm being brought into the fold." What a tender understanding she has. Jesus Christ, as the good shepherd, has commissioned each of us to be his under-shepherd's in rescuing those who have wandered and are not joined with the body of Christ. I am thankful for this, and that the Savior is our example in all things.

Friday's MLC was insane because we literally spent the whole 6 hours watching and discussing technology training videos from Elder Bednar. I am SO EXCITED to have technology. They will seriously expand our ability to find or be found by those who are prepared to hear the gospel. Elder Bednar repeatedly shared this message with us in those videos: The Lord trusts you and you have the capacity to live worthy of that trust. How true! For each of us! 

Along those same lines, I have thought often this week about the word "steward". I usually don't think about many things too deeply. I touch on lots and lots of things but it's more rare that I pin something down and focus on it. I have been learning to "ponder" my whole mission. This week the word "steward" kept resurfacing in my mind. In other words, the Spirit continually pulled this idea to the front of my mind. Put in my own terms, and simply, a steward is someone who is responsible for something and accountable for it. The Lord has blessed each of us with much. He has allowed us an opportunity to be stewards in this life over our families, finances, time, technology, so on and so forth. God needs those who are accountable, responsible, wise, and faithful with the things they have been given. As we show God our gratitude by being wise stewards, He will bless us with MORE and we can continuously be tools in His hands for the salvation of souls and furthering of His work. Especially as technology is being introduced to the mission, I have pondered about how I can responsibly use this new tool and also about what other things I can be more accountable to the Lord about. I would challenge you this week to think about the things that you have stewardship over and to consider how you can magnify your responsibilities and do more good of your own free will. Perhaps it is a relationship with a loved one, perhaps it is something at work, maybe someone whom you know is sick or in need. Reach out. Do good. Be faithful. 

Mission conference Saturday was so uplifting. It's a rare thing in a mission as big, geographically, as the GMM to have everyone together but we got everyone together!! It was awesome. Elder Costa is powerful and good. He LOVES missionaries and missionary work. I left my notes at home, shame on me, but...I'll try and send you some awesome one-liners next week?

Also on Friday in Perry I got to see A and C!! I sat on their couch with my current companion and with my MTC companion and taught her about prophets, actually she taught us. But I got to see them and they're doing so good!! They both read form the Book of Mormon every day. I asked them what they biggest difference is since they were baptized and received the Holy Ghost. They said that they are so much happier. They have true joy and peace and they recognize the Holy Ghost. A, who is reading in 3 Nephi 20, said that the Book of Mormon is teaching her so much about having faith and enduring even when things are hard. That was such a tender mercy for me to go there. God is good.

I love you!

Also, please remember:  "You are in His hands.  Very good hands.  Loving hands. Caring hands.And nothing anyone ever says about you can change that. Their words are meaningless compared to what God has said about you.  You are His precious child.   He loves you.  Even when you stumble, even when you turn away from Him, God loves you. If you are feeling lost, abandoned, or forgotten—fear not. The Good Shepherd will find you. He will lift you upon His shoulders. And He will carry you home."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Have an awesome week, please!

-Sister Emma Gore

Sister Shakespear, Sister Gore and Elder Hellander - all in the MTC together - at all mission conference

Back in Perry, GA with A and C - so happy!!

Dear all, 

Thanks so much to everyone who sent Sister Fielding a birthday card! That was so fun. I appreciate you. :)

This week was way good! Two new Elders came to our district which is good. Change is fun.

J is awesome. She hasn't smoked a cigarette since January 3! We love her. She loves God. 

B , whom I believe I talked about earlier, came out of nowhere this week. Oh, we had incredible experiences with her. She comprehends things slowly and gets easily overhwhelmed. So we teach slowly. Usually we teach a princple in one lesson and then review it and commit her to act on it in the next lesson. So on Wednesday we went and saw her with a member of the ward and taught her the 2nd half of the restoration of the gospel. Nearing the end of the lesson, she just sort of picked up her pamphlet and ignored us to read it. Which.. you know, is fine. And then she stopped and pointed to a word and said, "So how does someone get baptized? What would they have to do? Would they just need to meet with you guys for a while?" So we explained how an individual prepares to be baptizes and she said, "Well that's something I would like to do." B, who had prefaced our meetings with her with "I don't want change" is now desiring to be baptized. The Spirit has touched her as we have met even in these few short weeks. On one occasion, we went over and  put all her books up in the bookshelf we built for her and rearranged and unpacked a good deal of her living room. She said, "When you left last time after I prayed I just felt so good that I wanted to clean everything." And now she's starting puting on a dress when we come over. She reads the Book of Mormon often and prays fervently. And she came to church this week!! And loved it! And is going to come back! 

Mission news: This Saturday, February 3, Elder Joaquin E. Costa will be visiting the mission! We didn't find out until Sunday night so.. But it's happening! So this week Sister F and I go to Macon for Mission Leader Council and then stay the night in PERRY, GA before heading back to Macon on Saturday for a mission-wide conference and then a second session of MLC with Elder Costa. We are beyond excited. Also I'm going back to PERRY. We get to do some proselyting that evening so... We'll see what happens. I'm pumped. Your first area is always special. Perry is special.

As I've been studying about repentance I have also been led to think about forgiveness. Forgiveness that comes from God, freely as we sincerely seek it, and also the forgiveness we are commanded to extend to others. The Lord has taught us, " I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.". I have known firsthand the incredible joy and peace that comes as we forgive others. It can be hard. But it is right and good.

My invitation to you this week is to forgive someone.
Pray for the love to do so.

Have an incredible week. 

Awake and Arise!

-Sister Gore

Happy Birthday Sister fielding!!

a special thank you to everyone who sent birthday cards!  

Dear everyone,

Sister Fielding turns 20 on Monday!! If you feel inclined to do so, you're more than welcome to send her a birthday card. You can address that to:

Thanks to everyone who already has! I appreciate that so much. 

Sister Fielding and I came to the close of our first 6 weeks together and are beginning our second transfer together this week! Missionary time is so bizarre. I feel like I've been in Aiken 2 weeks with 6 months' worth of experiences. I can't put into words the incredible volume of the things I have learned in so short a time. I feel so humbled to be the Lord's servant and to be trusted by him to serve here. 

J is doing awesome. She hasn't had a cigarette in 21 days!! We are so very proud of her. On Saturday her tire went totally flat in ​​the parking lot at work so we went over with the Elders to change the tire for her. She asked for a Book of Mormon and some of the pamphlets missionaries use to teach to give to a coworker of hers who has been asking questions about what she is learning with us. AMAZING. Look at that missionary work! 

My studies this week were so cool. I read in the Topical Guide to the Scriptures about commitment. 
Here are some of my favorites:
...with thine whole heart have I sought thee... Psalms 119:10 (Old Testament)
...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples... John 8:31(New Testament)
...come unto him, and offer your whole souls... Omni 1:26 (Book of Mormon)
So many of the scriptures from each book of scripture referenced the heart and that we serve God will all that we have, continuing to follow the example of Jesus Christ. This study caused me to ponder. I'll pose some of the same questions I asked myself to you: Am I really committed to whole-hardheartedly living the gospel of Jesus Christ? What am I doing to show the Savior that I truly am His disciple? What more can I sacrifice and give to God? 
Discipleship takes discipline. It is not a simple task. It is not for the faint of heart. But it is a sure way to find peace as the Spirit bears witness that we are on the strait and narrow path home to a loving Father in Heaven. 

Last thing, the Georgia Macon Mission has officially been authorized for technology and we will begin to use smartphones in our proselyting efforts in the next 4-6 weeks. I am so excited for this!! Our effectiveness is just going to increase so much. It will be amazing to have all our records in a phone. Currently, we lug around 3 separate 3" binders! What a blessing this new technology will be in furthering the Lord's work.

I love each of you. Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. His church and His priesthood power have been restored to the Earth by the prophet Joseph Smith. Families can be together forever when bound together by this priesthood power in temples of God. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It teaches plainly and powerfully of Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice and invites each of us to "come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him."

Have a wonderful week! 

Do good. 

Also do yourself a favor and watch this video: ​​

-Sister Emma Gore

Serving the Lord in Akin South Carolina - part 1

And part 2-  ha ha 

Looks like there are fields of cotton in
Georgia   :)