Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2nd Transfer, 2nd Companion

Hi! It was such an awesome and challenging week. I am full of joy. 

My new companion is Sister H. She is from Idaho and this is her very last transfer! She will go home on June 26 and I will get my 3rd companion in my 3rd transfer which is crazy. She is little in stature but such a spiritual giant! She knows her scriptures so well and is an incredible teacher. I am already learning so much from her. And we are good friends - we share a lot of views and opinions and get along super well.

Because Sister V is gone, I am in charge of the area. That means that I drive everywhere which I enjoy and it also means that I have been pushed to know the area and the ward super thoroughly. An Elder in our zone gave us his GPS so that has been really helpful. I am thankful for this challenge that the Lord has blessed me with. 

We met with S. She had requested a Bible and a Book of Mormon from and that is how we found her. We delivered her materials and talked about the apostasy/restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She perfectly recognized the apostasy as manifest in the massive number of different churches and interpretations of the Bible. We committed her to read from the Book of Mormon and pray to know that it is the word of God.

We also met A this week. On Saturday, Sister H and I spent a good chunk of the day visiting all those individuals whom we had invited to church on Sunday - to remind them of the meeting and help and encourage them to attend. We stopped in to see a couple who used to take the lessons but weren't really interested. However, they had recently bought a car so we wanted to invite them. Tender mercy - their neighbor was over! As soon as we explained who we were and that our purpose was to help others come unto Christ she asked us to pray for her right then and there. We prayed that she would be strengthened in all her trials and that she would feel God's love for her and know His will. A explained to us that she has been really struggling to have peace in her life and that her kids are really angry and bothered. She feels like everything is falling down around her, and knows that if she can just focus on making Jesus Christ her focus in life that she will be protected and taken care of. We shared with her Heleman 5:12 and a few other scriptures from the Book of Mormon. Ultimately, we spent about 45 minutes with her, talking about Jesus Christ and His perfect Atonement, and how living the gospel of Jesus Christ will bring her and her children happiness and security. We have an appointment with her on Friday and we're so excited!!

Sunday night was super fun - a family in our ward drove us up to Warner Robbins/Centerville Area for dinner at their neighbors Methodist church. They were having a huge dinner with bouncy castles and hot dogs and cotton candy and music and water slides and it was packed. So many people. We got to meet their friends and they are such good people! Then we spent probably an hour talking to the community members there and we met so many interesting people - some who actually live in our area and said they would come to church with us! (We weren't doing this in like a malicious way, of course, but just leaving our pass along cards with the church address on it and saying they were welcome to come anytime and then people accepted.) We also talked to the minister at the church - he is so awesome and his whole drive is about getting new, young energy into what had become an "older" church. He didn't really want to talk to us, particularly, and I don't blame him.

I had super powerful studies this week which has been really exciting. I have been reading at least part of a general conference address each morning. In one color I mark invitations, in another color I mark warnings, in a third color I mark promised blessings, and then in black or blue ink I take notes on the page or underline or whatever else. I was really struck by something Elder Rasband said in his address. Referring to promptings from the Holy Ghost he said, "If we let the Lord know in oumorning prayers that we are ready, He will call on us to respond. If we respond, He will call on us time and time agaiand we will find ourselves owhat President Monson calls “the Lord’s errand."" I have started doing this every morning - telling God that I am ready to receive and act upon impressions from the Holy Ghost. I ask for them to come to me throughout the day, that I can know God's will and do only things that are pleasing to Him. As I have prayed this way each morning I have become more aware of the Holy Ghost constant presence and influence. I listen more carefully for His promptings and am getting better and better at recognizing them. It has been such an incredible blessing. I invite you to study the conference addresses. It does not matter what was said, unless we carry it with us outside of the conference. 


-Sister Gore
Sister V on transfer day

Sister H - emmas new companion

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hi, y'all!

This week was hard. Missionaries plan meticulously. Missionaries plan carefully for hours in weekly planning on Friday, and then for a half hour each morning before heading out for the day. About 60% of the planned appointments we had set with investigators and members fell through this week. Which left us lots and lots of empty time. So much. And we plan back ups, of course, but even those can only take you so far. I would say that that was discouraging, but discouragement weakens faith. It wasn't discouraging. It was hard. But it gave Sister V and I so many opportunities to rely on the Spirit! Countless times this week we would pull over wherever we could and pray. We counseled with God constantly to know where He would have us be, whom He would have us see. What He needed us to do right then and there. We were able to follow the Spirit with desperation every minute of this week and it was so awesome. We saw miracles!! Here's one of them:

On Thursday morning we  were planning to go and help out at a.. I'm not quite sure what to call it, actually. Food bank?  We go and volunteer there when we can and count food donations and make bags and then take those bags out to the cars of those who are receiving. Anyways this was the plan and Sister V and I just didn't feel good about it. Instead, we felt we needed to drive 45 minutes to Butler, GA. There is nothing in Butler. We don't have a teaching pool, we didn't have any referrals to go and see, nothing. M is in Butler, but she had already told us we couldn't come and see her that day. Nevertheless, we got in the car and headed to  Butler, feeling a lot like Nephi who went forth not knowing beforehand the things that he should do. We got all the way there and still weren't sure why. We pulled over and looked at our list of potential investigators for the area. We made some phone calls. We prayed. We pondered. We listened. And then M called!! She is sort of in between houses right now and is in an awful sort of limbo between landlords that stresses her out a ton. She called us because she really just needed to talk to someone. But we were in Butler! So the Lord had led us to Butler for her. We went to see her and let her talk and cry. We asked M if we could pray. We knelt in her living room and she offered to God one of the most earnest and sincere prayers I have ever heard. She concluded and we remained kneeling on the carpet, her grief was evident however a profound peace that surpasses all understanding had come into her home and into each of our hearts.  She recognized in that moment that God was aware of her and loved her and told us that she knew that everything she was going through would be for her good - it would help her to become better. 

I read about prayer in the Bible Dictionary this week: 
As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.

When I pray, I first remind myself that I am a daughter of God and that He loves me and already knows my thoughts and desires. I pray honestly and openly, without reserve. I think that in the past there had perhaps been times where I had to put on my happiest or most righteous face before I prayed. In reality, I can and should go to God in the most raw and honest way possible. These two attitudes have changed my prayers completely - they are more conversational, more open, more trusting in my Heavenly Father. I have been better able to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost when I pray, and am more aware of God's love for me. It has strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father greatly. I invite you to go and read all of the Bible Dictionary enterance under Prayer. Ponder about how you can make your prayers more meaningful and personal. Prayer is such a powerful principle - gift - from our Heavenly Father. Your Supreme Creator wants to hear from You - always. I could talk about this for probably forever, but instead please go and study about it for yourselves. I want to hear what you learn. :)

Jr. is getting baptized on Saturday, May 13 and we are so excited! Keep him and his family in your prayers, please. 

 Sister V is super nervous about dogs so anytime she sees one she zips up her bag in case she has to throw it and it always makes me laugh. Also we really wanted smores this week but were too tired to like.. go use the grills at our apartment complex so we just used the stove top. #missionarylife 10/10 recommend, though.

Oh! I do have a funny story. Last night we went to see S with the young women's president in the Perry Ward. At the end of our lesson she offered us a prayer and we all stood up and held hands in a circle. Just a little ways in, about 10 kids ran up because they realized what was going on and soon our circle was super big because all these little kids had joined hands with us to pray. And that was the most energetic "Amen!" I have ever heard. So fun.

I realized last night that I am almost at my 2 months and also only at my 2 months. But I found myself praying that maybe God could just slow down time for a little bit. I basically want to be a missionary forever and am just so humbled and in awe at this sacred opportunity I have. It fills me with real Joy. 

Sister Gore :)


Sunday, May 7, 2017

It got real hot and real humid real quick this week.

And everyone keeps saying this is only the beginning. An increase of prayers is requested. ;)

But actually, everything is wonderful and good!! 

I went on exchanges with Sister E in Cochran, GA this week. She hit her 18 month mark on the 28th and is a literal light. She is so happy and calm and her trust in God is so evident in everything she does. Cochran is great, too. We both set goals on our exchange to follow the Spirit better and respond to promptings immediately. Doing so led us to 2 new investigators for the Cochran sisters. (For someone to be a new investigator you have to share a principle with them, commit them to do something, and set up a return appointment). Anyways. It was a super awesome day and I am thankful for sweet Sister Training Leaders.

We had a super awesome experience with an investigator named this week. We have been meeting with her for about 2 weeks and have been working on helping her to feel comfortable praying. We left with her a pamphlet about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On one of the last pages there is a "How Can I Know" section. It talks about the role of the Holy Ghost in helping us to recognize truth, and then teaches very simply how to pray - how to address God, speak whatever is in your heart, and close in the name of Jesus Christ. We were at her house this week and were fortunate enough to find her 2 boys at home , too. At the end of the lesson we asked her son if he would be willing to pray for us. He hesitated and immediately mom jumped up from the couch and ran to her room to get her pamphlet. Then she taught her son to pray from the book and he said such an honest and sincere prayer in front of all of us! It was so cool to see her so eager to teach her son what she had learned. The gospel of Jesus Christ really does bless families. Home is the best place for us to learn correct principles, practice living them, and prepare ourselves for the temptations and fiery darts of the adversary. I know this because I was so fortunate as to grow up in a home where goodly parents taught me what was right - it was such a blessing to see her teaching her family and striving to bring the gospel into their lives.

As we were leaving C's house, we met his next door neighbor as she was walking back to her house from the car. She is a girl of about 15  and she is so awesome! She is super mature and plays trumpet (!!!) in Perry High's marching band. (their band has about 250 people and they always get superiors, btw). Anyways. she shared with us some of her story - her family literally had nothing and was struggling to get by. At God's hand, they have all found jobs and a place to live and peace and comfort. She talked to us about how she has learned to trust God for all she does in this life. She relies on Him for everything and has incredible faith! She prays always and prayed with us before we left. We testified to her about the restoration of Christ's church to the Earth and she invited us to come back and teach her more! She seems incredibly sincere and honest. What a miracle to find someone so prepared for the gospel right as we were acknowledging that another family was not prepared! God put her in our path that day. 

This week I have been studying repentance in the Book of Mormon. I love what we read in 2 Nephi 2:21 - "For [God] gave commandment that all men must repent." God recognizes that we are weak and imperfect and will fall short of keeping commandments x, y, and z. So he commands us to repent of those things and try again! We are commanded to return to God - to grow closer to Him - to become better - to find peace as we repent - to become more like Jesus Christ - to draw on the power of the Atonement and experience a mighty change in our hearts - to come to the "knowledge of the Lord their God, and...rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer"(Alma 37:9). And it gets even better - "As oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven"(Moroni 6:8). God is so merciful and full of love for us. I was so blown away this week by the incredible hope and joy that I have because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I can always repent and return to God. He commands it. How beautiful is that? God is 100% for us, and all we have to do is turn to Him with willing hearts to see miracles and to be happy. We already know who wins. Choose the winning team. Choose Jesus Christ. Choose eternal life. Choose to repent and return to God.

Thank you for your prayers and your letters. 
Keep being good.

Sister Gore

15 and in the Perry marching band.  Plays the trumpet  <3

Peach cobbler and Ice cream.  Best ever!!

Hi Dear Family & Friends. Lots of love for you. Thank you for your emails. <3

This Thursday we went out to Butler, GA to visit some families. We visited a few people who had ordered a Bible or Book of Mormon and then went to see a lady.  Sister V had already met M once and given her a Bible and Book of Mormon so this was a return appointment to see if she had been reading and praying and that sort of thing. Honestly, I have never seen a happier lady in my whole life. She lit up when we came into her home and opened up to us immediately. She volunteers almost all of her time at a care center in town, reading and doing activities with the people who live there. She works all the rest of the time to support herself and her daughter. She is so full of charity! She is always tired and always working hard and wants desperately to please God and to do what's right. As we talked she began to cry and expressed to us her desire to be baptized. Even though her mama had taken her to church all her life while growing up, she had never been baptized and knew that she needed to be to return to Heavenly Father. She wants to do right and had set her mind on going from church to church until she found the truth and found good people and God's doctrine. We were so stunned and overjoyed by her righteous desires. We talked to her about the Preisthood authority of God that was restored to Joseph Smith and is necessary for baptism. And then Sister T invited M to be baptized and she accepted! It was so cool and we were so excited for Sister T to have that sweet experience with M, whom she loves. We are going back on Thursday of this week to teach her and her daughter. The Spirit was so strong in that home as we met with her. I could feel God's love for her and desires to bless her. She is a daughter of God and I just was so sure of it and that He was proud of her. Seriously an amazing lesson. 

Peaches and Jr and Boom are doing great. Happy and fun little family. Will definitely send a picture but I don't know when because EXCHANGES ARE THIS WEEK. So I won't get to go to Fort Valley because I'll be in Cochran with Sister... E.  I'm so excited. 

Sunday was awesome, too! It was a missionary focus Sacrament meeting so Sister Vuki and I spoke and Bro H spoke and Bishop spoke. The Spirit was so strong the whole meeting and it was super evident that all the messages had been prepared by the Spirit because already members have reached out to us with questions or with a desire to come out with us or have us come to them and it's amazing. Missionary work is such a satisfying and joyous thing and it's so cool to watch the Perry Ward develop a love and enthusiasm for it. In my talk I shared this sweet quote from President Grant:  “We as people have one supreme thing to do, and that is tcall upon the world to repenof sin, to come to God. And it is our duty above all otherto go forth and proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the restoration again to the earth of the plan of life and salvation. … We have in verdeed the pearl of great price. We have that which is of more value than all the wealth and the scientific information which the world possesses. We have the plan of life and salvation. … The best way in the world to show our love for our neighbor is to go forth and proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, of which he has given us an absolute knowledge concerning its divinity”
Isn't that so powerful? In Doctrine and Covenants 84:109-110 we learn that all  parts of the body are necessary for the system to be perfect, and that the feet should not say they have no need of the head and vice versa. Members and missionaries need each other. Both parts are necessary for the gospel to go forth to all the world! As a full-time missionary and a representative of Jesus Christ, my purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Might I suggest that as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who have covenanted with God to obey His commandments and take upon yourselves the name of Christ, it is YOUR purpose to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Our roles are different but our purpose is the same and we must be united in it to bring truth to all God's children. I invite you to prayerfully consider what your role is, wherever you are in your life right now. There is work to be done that only you can do. Counsel with God and discover what it is and then act in faith. 

It rained yesterday and it was so beautiful. It's not too hot yet so the humidity is really great and is working wonders on my hair. Also, I have had grits only once and they were so good. They were full of cheese and then we broke up egg and sausage in them and had breakfast grits. Mucho yummy. 

This week I fell even more in love with Perry. It has taken time to be comfortable here and to love it but now I finally do and know that this is where God needs me and I am excited to work in this area. 

I have a testimony of the reality and divinity of Jesus Christ. He lives! and loves each of you and wants nothing more than to help and strengthen you. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God's kingdom on the Earth. I know it. And I am thankful for an organized God who works through a church built upon prophets and apostles and revelation. There is power in the scriptures. They are quick and powerful and can lead you to Christ. (Heleman 3:29-30). Cling to them. With both hands. Please please study your Book of Mormon every day. As an individual and as a family. Create time to feel the Spirit and allow it to teach you and change you. 

You're the lights of my life! Keep being good. 
Sister Gore