These Were Days Never to be Forgotten

image1 (9)Hello friends and family!

What an eventful week we had here at the PRS! We had so many people
come in and we all gave so many tours! We also put on a concert for
the stake, we got transfer calls, we played with the fireflies, and I
took some of the CUTEST families on tours!

Our concert was on Saturday night and it was focused towards the young
women. All of the sisters at the vc briefly talked about why they
serve missions in between songs and after the concert we had a Q&A
with the young women. There was one song in particular that we sang
that is not really anyone’s favorite. It’s actually the song we sang
for President Nelson last fall. I personally, was confused about why
we were singing it again. I thought it was just because Elder Walker
really likes the song (and that may have been why it was chosen
initially). After the concert though, one of the young women said that
she has been thinking about going on a mission, but she hasn’t had a
definite answer, but while we were singing this song-that wasn’t any
of the sisters favorite-the Spirit told her that she needs to go on a
mission. As she told us this and tears filled her eyes I couldn’t help
but remember that Heavenly Father is aware of all of us. He uses one
thing, or person, or event to answer so many people’s prayers and to
touch so many people’s hearts. Even if that was the only thing that
comes of this concert, it was worth it.

After the concert President Anderson came up to me and confirmed what
I already knew, but told me that I will be getting transferred. There
are only a few changes happening at the vc, but I will be spending the
next transfer somewhere else! ūüė¶

Although I am so sad to be leaving here, I can’t believe how blessed I
have been to be here. I’ve spent 9 months of my mission in the
Susquehanna branch, and I have made friendships that will last a
lifetime. At church yesterday a member of the branch presidency asked
if I would share my testimony. As I looked out into the audience I saw
so many of the people I have come to love on my mission: branch
members, missionaries, and even people who were there to take a tour
after church. I can’t imagine leaving these wonderful people, but I
know that the Lord will bless them and me. After church the branch
mission leader and his family told me that they love me and they look
forward to seeing me again, a branch member who has become such a good
friend, Alyssa, said that she can’t wait until she goes to byu Idaho
because we will be so much closer to each other then, one of the older
ladies in the branch drew me the cutest picture with a little note on
the back, and a little girl in the branch ran up to me and gave me the
biggest hug, one of the women in the branch told me she couldn’t even
look at me because she is so sad to see me go. As everyone kept
expressing their love I thought about how much the Savior loves us. I
can’t imagine Him loving everyone here more than I do, but I know that
He does. I know I don’t deserve the love that the people here give me,
but I’m so grateful that I get to represent my Savior and feel just a
little of the love that He feels for these people.

All of this being said, I feel like I’m leaving home. But not just
home, a place where so many amazing things have happened. A place
where I have been able to be humbled, a place where I’ve been able to
laugh and smile. A place where I’ve learned so much, like what my role
is with the priesthood, why we need a prophet today, and why the
little facts matter. A place where I’ve experienced so much heartache
but also so much joy. The Priesthood Restoration Site has been a place
for me to sing, testify, pray, and to come closer to my Savior. It’s
hard to believe that after today, I won’t be back here as a full time
missionary. I’m so grateful though, that I have learned so much about
the Prophet, Joseph Smith. I haven’t even met him, yet I feel as
though he is a close friend. I feel as though I understand Emma Smith
and Oliver Cowdery. I know that they had so much faith in the Savior,
and that they found so much happiness and peace while they were here.

Being here has taught me that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
It was translated by His power, and there’s no other way this could
have happened. I’ve never confused so many people with talking about
things like the seer stone, but I’ve never had my testimony
strengthened so much of the translation process than I have here. I’ve
learned that standing in holy places doesn’t have to be the original
home that some significant, amazing thing happened, it doesn’t even
have to be somewhere where anything has happened yet, but we can make
the places that we are standing in holy because of the experiences we
have in those places and the Spirit we feel while there. I’ve learned
that the Lord speaks to us through things like revelation. He wants us
to succeed and He gives us all we need to do so.

Being here though, I’ve learned that the priesthood is the authority
from God. I have access to it and I receive so many blessings from it.
I have learned that I have a very significant role in with the
priesthood and we all need it to receive eternal salvation. I have
learned that holding the priesthood is such a selfless thing, it is
used to bless others. I have learned that the authority that Christ
used to create the earth is the same authority that was restored here
where I’ve been serving. The men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood
will never receive a higher priesthood than what they already have.

I think the most important thing that I’ve learned here is that my
Redeemer lives. Jesus Christ has saved me. It’s not a matter of if or
when, but it’s already done. My sins will always be forgiven when I do
my part. I will always have the gospel of my Savior to help me. His
mercy is extended throughout all of time and land. Although the fight
may be long, because we have a Savior, Satan cannot harm us. I don’t
need to fear death because my Savior has died for me. Jesus Christ has
given me hope and helped me feel loved. The most important thing that
I could have learned serving here is that Jesus Christ is my Redeemer.
What a beautiful truth I get to continue to share with the world!

Every week I try to make sure I don’t write a novel, and every week I
write a novel and a half…I’m just so grateful to be here, to be
serving Heavenly Father and to be representing my Savior. I love being
a missionary, and I know there are so many miracles waiting to happen
here.

I love you to the moon and back!

Love,
Sister Gomm

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The Lord has Perfect Timing

This week was so good! We took a couple who had just finished their
mission in Florida on a tour. They were so cute! They didn’t have a
lot of time so we just took them through the homes. I love when people
are open to feeling the Spirit, it makes their experiences here that
much more memorable. On our walk back up to the visitors’ center with
this couple the man asked if we had seen any miracles here at the
site. I smiled as I thought about what to share. I shared an
experience that had happened last fall:

One afternoon Sister Larsen and I had an appointment that we had to go
to in the middle of our day at the visitors’ center. We got permission
from Elder Walker to leave and headed to our appointment. When we
showed up to our appointment they weren’t home. Annoyed that we had
used time and miles to get there, we headed back to the truck to go
back to the visitors’ center. On the way back we felt prompted to try
someone else. They weren’t home, but we felt prompted to try another
person; they weren’t home either! Even more annoyed I prayed and told
Heavenly Father that I was just trying to do the right thing and if
there was someone I needed to see specifically, to have Him help me
know that. We headed back to the visitors’ center and within 2 minutes
of being there a recent convert from our branch walked in with her
family. They were so happy that we were taking them on a tour because
they knew us. At the end of the tour we gave a bunch of them copies of
the Book of Mormon and had cleared up a lot of questions. After that
the recent convert’s father was more kind to us and came to church
that Sunday! Because of that tour we gave we were able to start
teaching the recent convert’s mother!
I was transferred before we really got to teach her, but she is now
going to be baptized in May!

As I told this couple this miracle story the Spirit came rushing over
us. With tears I testified of the Lord’s timing and how perfect it is
and how more often than not we don’t understand His timing until
later, but the important thing is to remember His timing is perfect.
The couple was so touched by this story and they thanked us over and
over for showing them around. Tender mercies like this help me to know
that the Lord is aware of each of us. Especially since He helped me to
be more aware of the miracles that are happening here at the site
every day.

On Saturday we had tons of people come to the site in the morning. In
the evening Bishop Gerald Causs√© came to the site (he’s the presiding
bishop for the church). He came to have a meeting about some of the
property the church owns here and we were planning on singing for him,
but we were worried the timing wasn’t going to work out with other
tours going on at the same time. When he showed up though, no one else
was at the site. We invited him in and him, Brother Kent Hinckley,
Brother Ramos, Elder Porter, and Brother Andy Kirby (sorry can’t
remember everyone’s first names!) came in and we sang The Lord is My
Shepherd for them. At the end of the song Bishop Caussé commented on
how he could feel the Spirit so strongly and that is what made the
song so beautiful. He asked us to sing another song so we sang Abide
With Me. The experience I had with Bishop Caussé here was similar to
the experience I had when President Nelson was here. Shaking their
hands the Spirit confirmed to me without a shadow of a doubt that
these men are called by God and they have the authority to act in His
name.

After they had left Elder Walker told us that during their meeting
Bishop Caussé told Elder Walker that he felt very strongly that each
of the sisters here at the site are supposed to be here. As Elder
Walker relayed this story to us I felt the Spirit so strongly that
this was true. I know I’m supposed to be here, despite how hard it is
and how much I miss proselyting, I know this is where the Lord needs
me to be right now. Gratitude for the Savior washed over me and I
thought again, of His perfect timing in everything.

Yesterday we took an uncle and two nieces on a tour. They live in
Scranton and the uncle is a member and the nieces just went to church
for the first time a few days ago. They were so cool! They just met
the missionaries and the elders had told them to come up here, so they
decided they would! J… and B… (the two nieces) were so open
to feeling the Spirit. They had so many questions and really wanted to
understand everything. About half way through the tour, we were
walking from the Hale home to the Smith home and out of nowhere I
blurted, “So are you two going to be baptized?” They both laughed and
said they weren’t sure yet. Right after that we stepped into the Smith
home. The Spirit enveloped the room as Sister Martinez and I testified
of the Book of Mormon and its truth and explained what it was. We told
them that they don’t need to know everything before they’re baptized,
and we gave them both copies of the Book of Mormon. Afterwards they
both said they felt really good about coming here and they’re excited
to learn more.

I know the Lord is helping me in all that I do. I’m so grateful for
the experiences I’ve had here that have helped me trust Him and in
turn, helped me to gain His trust. I’m so grateful for the Book of
Mormon and that I get to help people understand that it testifies of
Jesus Christ. I’m grateful that the Lord has perfect timing and He
doesn’t forget any of us. He hasn’t even forgotten me, a missionary at
a visitors’ center. He loves each of us and I’m so grateful for that
love. I love being a missionary!

I hope you have a great week! Love you to the moon and back!

Love,
Sister Gomm

"Bishop Caussé's visit"

“Bishop Causs√©’s visit”

I love being a missionary! – Bethlehem #15

Hello friends and family!

We had an amazing week! We had multiple lessons with B…, our
“phone call miracle” investigator. All of which were such spiritual
experiences for her and us! She is so golden. She came to church
yesterday and LOVED it! She was participating so much, she even
suggested everyone introduce themselves in gospel principles (which
was perfect because half of them were there for the first time!), when
she introduced herself she said, “Hi, I’m B…, and I want to be
baptized.” I couldn’t help but laugh and ask myself for the 100th time
if I was dreaming.

On Wednesday we went on exchanges with the south side sisters!! Sister
Ashcraft came here to north side with me and Sister Brunsdale went to
south side with Sister Jensen. Wow. Sister Ashcraft and I were a
companionship made in heaven, but not really because we were only
companions for one day. We had SO much fun! We are basically the same
person. She is the cutest. We had dinner with a family of members
which was both of our first times going there for dinner, I don’t
think they even realized that we were on exchanges, but we taught them
the restoration and it was amazing! The Spirit was SO strong!

On Thursday we had zone training that was all about the Book of
Mormon! Yay! One of my favorite things!! It was SO good! I know I need
to use the Book of Mormon more effectively as a missionary and this
was just what I needed to hear! They had us read the talk Safety for
the Soul by Elder Holland before zone training, then hey referenced
back to the talk throughout the meeting. I thought about the district
video where they have part of this talk at the end of one of the
videos. Elder Holland speaks with such boldness. He isn’t afraid to
proclaim to the world that he knows the Book of Mormon is true. I love
the last part of his talk:

      I ask that my testimony of the Book of Mormon and all that it
implies, given today under my own oath and office, be recorded by men
on earth and angels in heaven. I hope I have a few years left in my
‚Äúlast days,‚ÄĚ but whether I do or do not, I want it absolutely clear
when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the
world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the
Book of Mormon is true, that it came forth the way Joseph said it came
forth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the
travail of the latter days.
      My witness echoes that of Nephi, who wrote part of the book in
his ‚Äúlast days‚ÄĚ:
      “Hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye
believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe
in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of
Christ, … and they teach all men that they should do good.
¬† ¬† ¬† ‚ÄúAnd if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye–for Christ
will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his
words, at the last day.‚ÄĚ
      Brothers and sisters, God always provides safety for the soul,
and with the Book of Mormon, He has again done that in our time.
Remember this declaration by Jesus Himself: “Whoso treasureth up my
word, shall not be deceived‚ÄĚ–and in the last days neither your heart
nor your faith will fail you. Of this I earnestly testify in the name
of Jesus Christ, amen.

I think of all of the prophets who wrote in the Book of Mormon, all
that they went through to make sure we got this. I think of this
dispensation, all that Joseph Smith went through to make sure we got
the Book of Mormon. All that my parents went through to make sure that
I got this Book. Something a missionary had said to me about a year
ago has always stuck with me, “Would Moroni be proud of the testimony
you gave of this marvelous Book? Would he feel that you did it
justice? After your life here on earth, would he say that you had done
enough?” Each time I think of that I think of how thankful I am to
have many opportunities every day to testify that the Book of Mormon
is true. I think of our beloved Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson.
He has used his life to testify to all that the Book of Mormon is
true. That it testifies of Jesus Christ and answers questions of the
soul. It teaches us how to be with our loving Father in Heaven again.
How blessed are we to have such a wonderful servant of the Lord to
direct us and guide us!

Yesterday in sacrament meeting during fast and testimony meeting, a
Brother in the ward bore his testimony on the plan of salvation.
Earlier that week we had taught the plan of salvation to him, his wife
and his daughter at a dinner appointment. While sharing his testimony
in sacrament meeting he mentioned this and talked about how touched he
was that we were teaching his daughter wonderful truths. He got pretty
emotional because the Spirit was so strong. What he forgot to mention
though, was after we taught the whole plan of salvation to his family,
we showed a video about Christ. The Spirit was so strong because their
home was already a Christ-centered place. Their daughter already knew
who Jesus Christ was, and at just three years old had enough knowledge
of our Savior to invite the Spirit to testify of all that He did for
us.

One of our many miracles this week was having three investigators at
church! A few days before Sunday we were pretty stressed out because
we had told our district leader that we were going to be accountable
to 3 at church! We had been inviting everyone, but despite our
efforts, we didn’t think we were going to have three people there.
Saturday night in prayer, I told Heavenly Father I had done all I
could and if it was His will, I would love to have three people at
church, two of which could be people we could begin teaching. The next
morning at church B… walked in and then two people that a member
brought came as well! They all stayed for all three hours and we are
going to start teaching the two that were brought by the member! They
participated so much in class and all have such a great desire to
learn! In gospel principles B… asked us what the topic was
(Sister Brunsdale and I taught because the ward mission leader wasn’t
there). When we told her the topic was obedience she looked kind of
sad and said, “We’re not going to talk about the Book of Mormon?” Wow.
That’s the best thing I’ve ever heard! Luckily we were talking a lot
about Nephi and how obedient and willing he was! I love that B…
loves the Book of Mormon. It’s how we all should be.

I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know the priesthood is on the
earth today. And I know that Jesus is the Christ. I wouldn’t be on a
mission if any of these things weren’t true! I love seeing the gospel
change people, there is no greater work to be a part of! I love being
a missionary!

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

Love,
Sister Gomm

Susquehanna #10

Hello friends and family!

Wow. What a crazy week. Almost every single appointment that we had fell through! It was so sad! We did have a lesson with the D… family this week though and it went SO well!! We taught the word of wisdom as part of their reteaching, and wow. I just love the D… family SO much!! They are the best!!

We are trying to build our teaching pool so we’ve been doing A LOT of finding! I think we’re going to knock on every single door in this area by the time I leave here!! It’s so fun though, everyone here is so amazing!!

This upcoming week the rest of the visitors center missionaries are supposed to be coming up here. They’ve had them in trios throughout the mission and they’re bringing them all up here so we can start our training for the visitors center next week! It’s going to be exciting! Really no one knows what’s going on still and all of our branch members keep asking us what’s going to happen but none of us know! I’m excited to find out though!

Last Monday we had family home evening at our branch mission leaders house with a less active member that the great bend sisters are actually teaching, but it was SO fun!! They have the funniest traditions for fhe! It was the best!

This week Sister Brown and I were looking over our notes that we had taken from the mtc. It was so cool to re-read all of those things that I had written down then. I have learned so much from them, it’s crazy! One thing that was clearly talked about a lot was that we need to talk to everyone. And that is the truth! It’s so important to talk to everyone because you never know who is ready to hear about the gospel!! Sister Brown and I are really working on that this week!!

I’m sorry this is so short, but just know that I know that this church is true! I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t. I love this gospel so much, it’s so important to live it in every part of our lives. I truly am so grateful for it. The Book of Mormon is true. It’s such an amazing book. If you haven’t read it, READ IT!!! Seriously. It will change your life for the better. I promise.

I love you to the moon and back!!

Love,

Sister Gomm (:

Susquehanna #5

Hello friends and family! I don’t have a lot of time this week because we had to go help set up things at the church and we went to a member’s house to make chocolate chip cookies! But this week flew by!!

We went to golden retraining this week and it was so amazing!! It’s always the best to be uplifted by our leaders at those meetings! It was so fun to see other missionaries, the only downside was that it was 3 hours away in Nazareth!! Luckily we had the couple missionaries in Montrose drive us so they saved us SO many miles!!

We had so many of our appointments cancel this week which was really sad! But we got to find a bunch of new people to teach because of it! I’m so excited for this upcoming week and to be able to teach so many amazing people!!!!

M… is really gaining a testimony of the gospel! She shares her testimony every time we go over to teach her and it’s so amazing, she’s basically already living everything we’ve taught her!! She is so prepared and I just love her so so so much!! She is the best! (:

We had a lesson with the D… family this week! I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about them before, but they are investigating the church and have been for awhile. They have a son who’s been out on a mission for almost a year. They are an amazing family!! They haven’t been keeping their commitments though, and we felt as though every time we go over we talk about the same thing. So we asked them what they are expecting out of us coming over and what we can do to help change things. S…, the mom, talked about how since reading her sons email from this past week she’s really had a desire to learn more and try and figure out if this is for her. That was a miracle in and of itself!! D…, the son, had a friend over, M…, and he participated in the lesson with us. Towards the end of the lesson I felt like we should show the music video Come unto Christ. Afterwards the spirit was so strong and we all shared our thoughts and feelings about the video and about Christ. Sister Simmons asked V…, the dad, what he thought of the video, but M… thought she had asked him so he responded with, “I don’t really know..” I could tell that he was really feeling the spirit and that he was thinking hard about what we had said. M… never did get the chance to answer the question because V… started talking right after, but I know that he felt the spirit testifying of truth to him! I gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon afterwards, and I am just praying that he will read it and we will be able to meet with him again soon! The D… (and M…) are all going out of town this week so we won’t be able to meet with them, but I can’t wait until we do meet with them again!

I’m sorry this is so short, but I’m about out of time! One thing that I’ve been doing since I got to Susquehanna is studying about Joseph Smith. My testimony of the Priesthood and of the Restoration has grown so much. Joseph Smith is becoming a close friend of mine, and I know that if I had been living on the earth when he was here that I would have stood by him in defending this church and the Book of Mormon. I remember one year for youth conference we went on trek as a ward and afterwards I just kept thinking that if the prophet were to ask me to do something like move across the country I really would do it. But as time went on I didn’t really think about it any more, and I don’t know if I still thought that same thing. But I know that from reading the Book of Mormon and testifying of it and of living prophets and of the Priesthood and this restored gospel, that I will do what the prophet asks of me. I’m so grateful for the Book of Mormon, I know that it is evidence that the gospel has been restored and that Joseph Smith really was a prophet. I know that everyone can come to know this for themselves as well, just by reading it.

I hope you have a great week!

I love you to the moon and back!

Love,

Sister Sammy Gomm (:

Downingtown #13

Hello friends and family!!
I’m sorry I start all my emails the same way…… But…with that
being said, wow! What a crazy week!!
On Tuesday Sister Ipson and I decided to park our car and walk
everywhere because we had like zero miles left for the month! We had
an area that we wanted to get to to stop by a less active member, so
off we went. We talked to everyone! Crossing streets just because
someone was on the other side, stopping at bus stops and showing
Because He Lives (because those people aren’t going anywhere until the
bus comes) to the people there. It was such a crazy day full of
meeting TONS of people. It’s so crazy all of the people you meet and
the stories you hear and the lives you learn about if you just start a
conversation!

On Wednesday we had members drive us everywhere, which was such a
blessing because having members come is always a plus! And we didn’t
use any miles all day!! Plus we met with a few less active members
that we haven’t seen in a long time! (Or ever before).

On Thursday we somehow had TWO dinner appointments!! It was so rough,
but at one of the houses we had fruit for dessert! Seriously, that was
the highlight of the day! (Okay, maybe not, but it’s pretty up
there!;)

On Friday we had dinner with N…, my favorite person!! (: he is
seriously the coolest! We gave him oil and a vial to use when he gives
blessings (thanks mom for sending those!) since he just got the
Melchizedek Priesthood (I’m pretty sure I talk about him and the fact
that he just got the priesthood every week…), but he loved it and
gave us the sweetest card ever! He’s so awesome!!

On Saturday we were on our way to our correlation meeting and Sister
Ipson and I were talking about how we didn’t want sugar again for a
LONG time! So what did we do after our meeting..? Went and got Rita’s
of course… Hahaha. No joke, it happened.

Later in the evening we were walking through our apartment complex on
our way to find this former investigator and we passed by this man who
was working on a truck, so we ask if he needs any help and he’s like,
“yeah, sure!!” So we start helping him (he was replacing the bumper)
and his three friends show up. Needless to say they thought it was
hilarious that we were helping them and even more hilarious when we
started telling them what to do because they had no idea what they
were doing! (Neither did we really, but we knew better than they did
apparently! Haha)

Now, I wish I could say that all of the people that we invited to
church came! But….. No one did. But we sat by N… and E… (the
Elder’s recent convert) and N… just joked with me the whole time and
kept commenting on everyone’s testimonies and how great they were(:
after church we had a lesson with P… (recent convert) and talked
about what needs to be done for her to go to the temple this month!!
I’m so excited for her!! She’s so great, we had her tell us her
conversion story since she was baptized before either of us got there
and neither of us really knew how she gained a testimony of the
church. It was so great to see her light up while talking about how
she came to know the Book of Mormon is true!! I just love being a
missionary!! (:

It got me thinking about the Book of Mormon and the fact that it truly
is another testament of Jesus Christ. And the only way for you to know
that, is to read it and ask God if it is. No amount of others telling
you that will convince you. But I promise you, that if you ask
Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true, if it is in fact
another testament of Jesus Christ, and you have a true desire to know
it is, that He will answer you through the Holy Ghost. So that is my
commitment to you all this week, I don’t care how many times you’ve
asked Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true, ask again this
week!! I know Heavenly Father will bless you this week if you do ask
again(: and I know that you will come to know its true as you read it
more and more!! I know this for myself, and the Book of Mormon has
brought such great comfort to me, I promise you, it will do the same
for you!!

I hope you all have a great week!
I love you to the moon and back!!
Love,
Sister Sammy Gomm (: