I found the snow we were looking for in December! – Bethlehem #9

Hello friends and family!

This week was crazy. Sooo many of our appointments fell through! We
literally had three lessons in one day that were cancelled. 😦 but it
was still a great week!

We had interviews with President and Sister Anderson on Tuesday!
Interviews are ALWAYS the best:) on Wednesday we had district meeting
and right after that we had a worldwide missionary broadcast that was
SO good! They talked about repentance and baptism. I really loved one
part, someone had said, “Don’t jump from faith to baptism and skip
repentance.” I could not agree with this statement more. How important
is someone’s baptism if they haven’t repented? Another thing from the
broadcast that I loved was a scripture that was mentioned in 2 Nephi
33:1. I feel like this scripture was kind of a theme for Sister Larsen
and I back in Susquehanna because we always knew we were inviting the
spirit, especially at such a sacred place like the Priesthood
Restoration Site. But people were only going to feel the same
excitement we felt if they allowed the Spirit in. The same applies to
us everywhere. We need to invite the Spirit in, and we also need to do
do all we can to allow the spirit to be with us.

On Tuesday we went to see a man we had found in the area book as a
former investigator. The only reason why he was a former was because
the missionaries a while back had lost contact with him. So we went to
meet him and at first when he answered he told us he wasn’t
interested. We kept talking and asked him why he didn’t want to meet
with us anymore and he thought for a second then said, “Actually, you
can come back and teach me more, I would like that.” We testified that
the gospel would bless him so much and give him peace in his life. He
told us he would really like that and was looking forward to our
lesson!

We went back on Friday for our lesson and he accepted a baptismal
date! He told us that he thinks the Book of Mormon is true and he even
wrote down his baptismal date on a piece of paper so he can remember
it! It was so great and I’m so grateful for the spirit that helps us
ask inspired questions and teaches others the truth!

Right after that lesson we were late to a lesson with Brother
H…. So we get in the car to call him and tell him we’re on our
way and the member who was supposed to come with us had cancelled!! So
we frantically scrambled around and then we realized that a member
lived super close to where we were. So we drove to her house and she
was so excited to see us (she’s the cutest), we explained the
situation and without another word she’s all, “Let me get my coat and
let’s go!” Wow. She is Heaven-sent. While at the lesson with Brother
H… we called the bishop so he could tell Brother H… the
big news: he’s getting the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday!!!!!!
Whoot!!!!!! After that we went straight to a dinner appointment. After
that we went to our correlation meeting with our new ward mission
leader!! Best day ever!!!! Our new ward mission leader is a convert!
He’s been a member for about 8 years now and he is so ready to fulfill
his calling! It is so exciting to see the Spirit working throughout so
many different people’s lives in so many different ways!

We changed our weekly planning day to Saturday this week because of
the crazy snow storm!! We got around 2 and a half feet of snow! We had
so many people making sure we were okay; our neighbor kept calling us
and checking up on us, then finally one of the times he called us he
said, “You know, I should’ve thought this through. You two already
know what you’re doing in this weather because you’re both from Utah!
You must feel right at home.” Finally someone gets it! Needless to
say, there is snow everywhere!! They don’t really know what to do with
the snow that they plowed off of the roads…there are just huge piles
of snow EVERYWHERE! We went out and shoveled basically all weekend! We
had to get our car out from under a massive pile and we got all of our
neighbor’s cars out too. Seriously, so much shoveling! We couldn’t
drive at all on Saturday and half of Sunday. Church was cancelled and
We just wanted to cry because B… and R… were both going to come
this week! 😦 The roads are driveable now, but we still can’t really
drive anywhere to go proselyting because there’s nowhere to park! It’s
always an adventure here!

To end, something funny that happened this week! Brother H…
called us to set up a time to have a lesson this week and to tell us
that the south side sisters had taught about the Ten Commandments at
the dinner appointment he had with them, which he was surprised about
because we had briefly went over the Ten Commandments in our last
lesson and he wanted to know if we had told them to teach that, which
we hadn’t (thank you areabook and amazing Sisters Ashcraft and Agado
who thought to look there and help us out!). While during this same
phone call Brother H… accidentally takes the Lord’s name in
vain (Old habit he has almost gotten rid of), and Sister Brunsdale
says, “Brother H…! What’s the third commandment?” Brother
H… thinks for a second then says, “Oh yeah. I always break that
one.” Then moves right on to the next thing he was saying. Too funny.
He also wants to have a word with our mission president to talk about
all of these “rules” we have as missionaries. Haha!

Wow. Another thing… A year ago this past week I went into the mtc!!!
I can’t believe it’s been that long!!!! I still sometimes want to tell
people I’ve only been on my mission for six months. Sometimes because
I forget how long it’s been, sometimes because that’s how long it
feels like it’s been, and sometimes because that’s how long I wish it
has been. I’ve been thinking a lot about all of the things I’ve
learned the past year (I don’t know why I always talk about how ‘I’ve
been thinking a lot about’); and all of the things I have yet to learn
in the next six months. I pray that I will be able to glorify my
Heavenly Father and to do His will continually. I see people making
Him proud every single day, but I also see people doing things that I
know are breaking His heart every single day. I want to be like Alma
and Amulek and share the gospel with everyone. I want to bring joy to
others that I know they can only receive through the gospel of Jesus
Christ. Six months is such a small amount of time, but luckily after
this, even though I won’t be wearing a name tag, I can still share the
gospel with everyone I meet! I know this is the only way to eternal,
everlasting happiness! I’m so grateful to be here sharing it with
others!

I hope you have an amazing week!
I love you to the moon and back!

Love,
Sister Gomm

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Hello! – Bethlehem #8

Hello friends and family!

This week we went to go find a woman who had investigated the church a
few years back. She immediately let us in and talked our ears off! She
wants to take the missionary lessons again and raise her kids to
believe in God. Her and her husband had been discussing church with
each other and what they wanted to do with their kids and raising them
going to church or not. We’ve seen so many miracles this week, I’m so
grateful for all of the opportunities that are arising for us!

We had a former investigator (who I’ve never met) text us this week
and say she wanted to meet with us! So we went over, and after she got
over the surprise that she didn’t know either of us, she told us about
how she really, really wants to be baptized and she likes our church
and the Book of Mormon a lot. I’m excited to see where things go with
her!

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about real intent. We have so many
people who have sincere hearts, they really mean well. But how many of
them are actually following through with their desire to change? Do
you say you’re going to do something because you actually want to do
it? Because you’re actually planning on doing it? Because you’re
actually doing it? Are we still going to do something after the
feeling we had when we said we would do it is gone?

We’ve been teaching a lot of people about the sabbath day during
lessons, dinner appointments, while tracting, everywhere. In one
specific appointment we had, at the beginning of the lesson we sang As
Now We Take the Sacrament. The spirit was there immediately as we sang
and pondered the words in the hymn. My appreciation for the Savior and
His Atonement grew as we shared how we all keep the sabbath day holy
and why we go to church. The woman we were teaching shared how much of
a difference it has made in her life since she’s kept the sabbath day
holy and how much more she loves our Savior because He atoned for us
and because she can renew the covenants she has made with Heavenly
Father every week. The sacrament is so important and keeping the
sabbath day holy is a commandment from God. So many people have told
us stories of how their lives were blessed when they took that
seriously and kept the sabbath day holy. And how they couldn’t make it
without the sacrament.

I hope you have a wonderful week! I love you to the moon and back!

Love,
Sister Gomm

Born in Bethlehem! – Bethlehem #7

Friends and family!!

Hello! What a crazy week! (As always!) on Tuesday Sister Torres and I
went down to Broomall and she got her new companion and headed out to
her new area! I spent the day in Philadelphia with Sister Foster! We
talked about Downingtown because we both served there and we just went
finding in her area waiting for our goldens to get here the next day!

Wednesday was full of meetings! My new companion is Sister Brunsdale!!
She’s from Utah too! Whoot! She’s so lucky to start her mission here
so she can say she was born in Bethlehem! We have had SO many miracles
this week! I love being with goldens! They always bring miracles!! We
also did a lot of finding this week. One particularly funny thing that
happened was at one door we knocked on. This man answers and after we
introduce ourselves he’s all, “I’m Catholic and I only talk to other
people who are Catholic.” Then he reaches out to pinch my nose!! I was
so caught off guard, but luckily I dodged it! I didn’t really know
what to do after that, Sister Brunsdale was standing next to me trying
not to laugh and I came up with the smartest response possible and
said, “Oookay….. Bye!” We turned and walked away trying not to laugh
too loud.

On Saturday we had an AMAZING lesson with our investigator, B…! We
taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit was SO strong!!
Heavenly Father is really preparing B…! He told us times that he’s
had to have faith in Jesus Christ and then mentioned that he’s
repented a lot, but only about three of those times have been with
real intent. After that we talked about baptism and receiving the gift
of the Holy Ghost. The spirit was seriously so strong and we were
literally just waiting for B… to finish his sentence so we could
invite him to be baptized! He now has a baptismal date for March 12!
There’s a lot we still need to help him understand, but he is so
prepared. I can’t wait to see where the Lord takes him.

Unfortunately he didn’t come to church yesterday. 😦 after church we
went to his house to see what had happened, but he wasn’t there. We
decided to go finding around his house and we met this lady who let us
in, so we showed her the video Because He Lives. She had two of her
daughters watch it with us and both of them loved it! The woman was in
tears at the end of the video and then she says, “Someone gave me a
Book of Mormon awhile ago.” And she walks over to the book shelf and
pulls it out. We have a return appointment with her this Wednesday!
I’m so so so excited to share more with her!

Also on Sunday, we had a lesson with Brother H…. He had met
with the bishop at church and is getting ready to receive the Aaronic
Priesthood!! So much joy filled the room when he started talking about
it and he shared a little bit of his testimony! Wow, I just love the
gospel and I’m so happy Brother H… has found so much joy in
coming closer to Christ. He always talks about how he wishes he could
do his baptism over again because he didn’t know anything about the
gospel then, but it’s such a blessing to see the spirit work in him
and change that desire towards realizing all he can do because he’s
already a member. He is doing so well and I’m so excited for him! Is
knowledge of the gospel is expanding and he may or may not have told
us that he thinks people who go to the Telestial Kingdom only get to
eat fruitcake (don’t worry, he was kidding).

I forgot to mention another weird thing that happened while we were
finding on Saturday! We knock on this man’s door and literally all
we’ve said is, “Hi, we’re missionaries,” and he steps out of his house
onto the porch and folds his arms and starts praying. In his prayer he
says, “Father, please bless these two ladies, for they believe things
that contradict what I believe. Please bless that whichever one of us
is wrong will be brought to the light.” Needless to say, when we asked
him if he had any neighbor’s he thought could use an uplifting
message, his response was, “No. And if I did, I would refer them to
myself.” Bethlehem is such a strange place sometimes!

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about Heavenly Father’s will for
all of His children. Specifically what He wants me to do here, right
now. It’s really put things into perspective for me, and helped me to
talk to everyone and testify of Jesus Christ. At the meeting we had on
Wednesday after we all got our companions, President Anderson had me
and Sister Francis (fellow VC sister who’s also training!) share our
testimonies of the Book of Mormon. I stood up and very simply stated
what I know to be true. I testified of the Book of Mormon, and that
it’s through the Priesthood that we have this book today. I surprised
myself with what I said, not because I was surprised that I know the
Book of Mormon is true, but because everything all ties in and I
didn’t expect myself to talk about that. But it all does tie in,
because it’s all part of Christ’s gospel. Christ has always done the
will of the Father and we too are to do the will of the Father. That
is made possible through Christ, and we can know this because we have
the Book of Mormon. And since we have the Book of Mormon, we also have
the Priesthood, which enables us to do the will of the Father. Sister
Francis also stood up and shared a very, very powerful testimony of
the Book of Mormon. After that President mentioned something about how
we served at the Priesthood Restoration Site and I was again reminded
of how lucky we are to have the Priesthood on the earth today. Not
surprisingly, the Priesthood has been a theme throughout my mission.
Specifically the Aaronic Priesthood because it holds the keys of the
ministering of angels. There are people all around us who are here to
help us. Heavenly messengers who help us and others. I’m eternally
grateful for Jesus Christ and his Atoning sacrifice for me, so that I
can be with God again. And that we all have the Priesthood on the
earth to help us do the will of the Father. The gospel is true,
whether people are accepting it or not. I’m just grateful I get to
help them know it is true.

I hope you all have a wonderful week, I love you to the moon and back!

Love,
Sister Gomm

Not today, Satan. Not today. – Bethlehem #6

Wow. I think this has been one of, if not THE craziest week of my
entire mission! Sorry for the novel!

So Tuesday. We went finding all day and in the evening we had planned
stop by a potential investigator that the sisters before us had talked
to a bit, but never really taught her. She seemed very promising so we
decided to go over. We knock and a woman answers. Before we can even
say hello she’s all, “Hello Sisters!! Please, come in!” Sister Torres
and I look at each other and I’m just thinking, okay this never
happens, something good has got to come out of this! So we go in and
get to know her better. She was making dinner and offered us some
food. We decline a little at first because we had a dinner appointment
in 2 hours. She’s all, “No, I want you to have this food!” So she
starts pulling food out of the fridge and dishing it onto plates for
us. Then she pours us some of the green smoothie she had just made.
After a few minutes her daughter comes down and starts talking to us.
It’s fine at first and they’re telling us about themselves and asking
us questions about the church and everything. Then the daughter is
all, “My mom has some crazy stories. If they wrote a bible today,
she’s be one of the prophets to write in it.” Meanwhile we’re eating
and suddenly I realize that neither of them are eating anything. So
her mom starts telling us this story about this man she used to date.
It was crazy, one minute were sitting there and everything is fine.
Then suddenly the spirit is gone and I’m trying to make a game plan to
get out of there. Now, I will be the first to admit that I get scared
easily, so I’m basically freaking out while she’s telling us this
story about her boyfriend who was involved in some satanic stuff.
Luckily she didn’t go into detail about this and I’m thinking we’re
getting to a stopping point where I can intercept the conversation and
we can get out of there! So I start thanking them for having us over
and feeding us when the daughter interrupts me and tells us her mom
has this other crazy story. So I’m thinking okay, if it’s anything
like the first story we’ll just get through it quick and get out of
there. The mom proceeds into the next story and wow. If the spirit
wasn’t there before, it definitely, definitely, definitely wasn’t
there now. I’m literally about to make a beeline for the door as this
woman begins to tell us this crazy story from the job she used to have
and these people she met who were into voodoo stuff and I’m literally
about to cry because of how terrible all of this is and I’m just
praying she won’t start doing voodoo stuff to us. This whole time I’ve
been looking at my watch and it’s been about an hour and a half since
we first got there, if we don’t leave now we’re going to be late to
our dinner appointment. So again, we try to wrap things up, but she’s
not done telling us her story, so she keeps going for another
forty-five minutes! Sister Torres and I keep making eye contact and
finally, finally she’s done telling her story and before anyone can
jump into another story we tell them we have to leave and we get out
of there as fast as we can! We call the people we’re going to dinner
with and apologize for being late but tell them we’re on our way!
Luckily the members we had dinner with are so amazing and we just
talked about the Book of Mormon the whole dinner appointment.

The next day we went out finding in the morning and ran into some
Jehovah Witnesses. We had just finished talking to someone they were
going to talk to so they were waiting for us on the sidewalk until we
were done talking to the person they were supposed to see. So once
we’re done one of them waves and says, “Hello Sisters!” So we go over
and start talking to them. Then one of them who is new to the mission
field (or whatever they call it.) starts telling us that everything we
believe is wrong and just goes on and on so we can’t say anything
(this happens to us WAY too often). He’s basically trying to throw our
beliefs to the gutter, but we just smiled and thanked him for sharing
his testimony with us. Then of course, I can’t help it and I’m all,
“Can we take a picture with you?” Haha so whoot, selfie with the
J-Dubs.

That same day we had a lesson with our investigator we’ve been working
with and we had planned on teaching the second half of the plan of
salvation because we hadn’t finished it during the last lesson. So it
starts off pretty good, he tells us about what he read in the Book of
Mormon since the last time we saw him. He asks us a few questions
about the plan of salvation then he’s all, “I don’t have any problems
with any of this, I just have one problem…” He then starts talking
about all of the problems he has with temples. He read and saw some
anti material and went into way too much detail. The same feeling we
had had yesterday while at the other lady’s house is back and the
spirit is gone. He just goes on and on and on without letting anyone
say anything (we had two members with us). I literally have tears
falling down my face by now and Sister Torres so beautifully explains
the difference between secret and sacred but he was just not having
it. Needless to say, we didn’t finish teaching the plan of salvation
but luckily, we ended with the spirit there.

Literally right after that lesson we go straight to another lesson
with Brother H…. We taught him the plan of salvation and we ran
out of time before we could finish, so we stop and set up a return
appointment to finish the lesson and Brother H… is all, “Sister
Gomm, if you died today do you think you’d go to the Celestial
Kingdom?” I was so taken off guard by his question, but I just told
him it isn’t for me to decide. But he would not take that as an
answer. He kept asking me and by this point I’m just laughing at
everything that has happened all in one day.

Thursday we had district meeting then went to lunch with the south
side sisters. Later we had a dinner appointment with our neighbor and
in the evening we went to a members house until 10 because we were
given permission to stay out late if we were with a member!

Friday we had transfer calls and found out that I will be staying and
Sister Torres will be leaving. Saturday Brother H… called us
five minutes into personal study and asked us what was happening with
both of us. He was so upset Sister Torres is getting transferred and
he talked to us for 45 minutes!! It would have been longer but our
mission president started calling us so we just cut him off finally
and told him we had to go. President was calling us because I’m going
to be training again!!!!! Yay!! Sister Torres will get her new
companion on Tuesday, we’re driving down to Broomall in the morning.
Sister Foster and I will then spend the rest of Tuesday together (She
was my sister training leader when I was in Downingtown), and we’ll
get our goldens on Wednesday!!! Whoo!!!!

Later in the day on Saturday we had a lesson with the investigator who
had looked at the anti material. I was so nervous for the lesson and I
was scared it would turn out just like the last one had. When we got
there though he was listening so intently and the lesson was so
wonderful. At the end, he pointed out how he could feel the spirit so
strongly and so far everything he’s learned he thinks has been good!
I’m so grateful the spirit worked with him and helped us to know what
to say and do to help him.

For the rest of Saturday we went finding and we went to this one
specific area that we weren’t having any luck in. We knocked on this
door and a boy answered and went and got his dad. Sister Torres asked
him if he believes in God. He told us he didn’t and we asked what led
him to that conclusion. He then went into a full on rant about the
priesthood, Joseph Smith, the Hill Cumorah, literally anything and
everything. After about ten minutes of him yelling at us Sister Torres
interrupts and says, “You’re obviously not interested in what we have
to say, have a great day.” We turn and start walking away and he keeps
yelling at us about how there’s nothing in the Hill Cumorah and we
don’t have evidence. For a solid minute he keeps yelling at us and we
start laughing because of how ridiculous this all is. I mean, he’s
right. There’s nothing in the Hill Cumorah now. But the Book of Mormon
is the evidence that Christ’s gospel is here on the earth. I’m not
here to convince people of this, I’m just here to present the
information to them and they do the rest. It just made me so sad for
that man. I’m not saying he has to believe what I believe, but why
would anyone think that God would be proud of you for yelling at
someone and being so rude to people you just met? No matter your
beliefs.

To finish the week church was cancelled on Sunday because we didn’t
have heat in our building. Luckily we went to the Nazareth building
for the Easton ward’s services and Brother H… came! Some others
from our ward were there too and it was actually the perfect end to a
crazy week! Plus it was my birthday so Brother H… had dinner
and a cake for us! The cutest couple came with us and Brother
H… shared his testimony and talked about the priesthood and how
he wants to get it as soon as he understands more about the gospel!

The number one thing that has stood out to me the most this week is
that the Book of Mormon is true. It answers questions of the soul and
helps us understand God’s plan for us. Satan is tempting people so
much because he knows great things are about to happen. He’s working
so hard, but as we live the commandments, we will have peace and
surety in our lives and we will be able to withstand satan’s
temptations.

I hope you have a wonderful week, I love you to the moon and back!
Sister Gomm