Home Sweet Home

Susquehanna feels like home to me!

This has been one of the best weeks of my entire life!

Tuesday was a day full of driving! We had to drive down to Broomall
then right back up to Susquehanna with my new companion, Sister
Martinez! We are both full time at the visitors’ center! Sister
Martinez is from Soledad, California and she has been on her mission
for 9 months! It’s so funny because we didn’t need to do the typical
‘get to know you’ questions because we were both up here in August,
and now we’re back, so we’ve known each other for basically forever;)

On Wednesday I gave my first tour back at the site! The Spirit was so
strong! We gave a family from Honesdale a tour (who I’ve already given
a tour back in the fall). It was so great to watch the video again,
and to get back into the swing of things! Wow, I love this place.

On Thursday we had a whole day of training! Elder and Sister Walker
talked all about things that are different now and what we are going
to expect the next few months for the summer. The whole time Sister
Eckman, Sister Francis, and I just kept saying how excited we were to
be here (We were the only three who were gone for the whole winter).

The biggest difference here is that Sister Simmons isn’t here đŸ˜¦ (I
miss you!) and Sister Robison isn’t here anymore either. There’s a
golden and they pulled up Sister Cheret to take their places.
President just said the Spirit kept telling him that Sister Robison
needed to be in Philadelphia to help prepare for the temple open
house.

There was one tour we gave that was so tender. It was a father, and
two of his kids. They were so accepting of the Spirit and sincerely
wanted to know what happened here and what it means for them. While in
the parlor of the Hale home, the 14 year old boy, Hyrum, answered our
question, I don’t even remember what the question was but I just
remember him getting teary-eyed as he told us that he has a younger
sister who is a missionary in the spirit world. As he said this the
Spirit filled the room and I could feel Heavenly Father’s love for
this family and especially this sweet young boy. The father then
proceeded to make another comment that also answered the question. I
looked at Hyrum and watched as he wiped tears from his face and
watched his father with so much love. I could tell this boy’s father
has made such a difference in his life. As we walked to the next room
I realized that Hyrum was as old as Joseph Smith was when he saw
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I felt as though I could tell what
type of boy Joseph Smith was from the type of boy Hyrum is. So full of
faith and such a great desire to do good. In the dining room of the
Hale home we talked about family history. The Spirit of Elijah was so
strong and I could again feel of Heavenly Father’s love for this
family.

 Yesterday we gave a tour to this cute newly wed couple. They had both
served missions and were in New York visiting his brother and decided
to go to multiple church history sites. They loved the things that
they learned here and mostly just loved Sister Martinez and I because
it reminded them of their missions. I love when the Lord allows people
to come into our lives so that we can see the good in the world.

Sunday was the best! All of the branch members were so excited to see
everyone, and the Spirit was so strong! One of the best parts was when
Brother Hall came and shook my hand and said, “Welcome home.” I love
all of these people way too much. I felt as though my heart was going
to burst from feeling so much love. Susquehanna is such a special
place.

I’m grateful for the gospel and for the Priesthood and the Book of
Mormon. I’m grateful for people who listen to the Spirit, both in the
1800’s and now. I love Susquehanna and I love being a missionary!

I love you to the moon and back!

Love,
Sister Gomm

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"Road to Damascus ... Welcome to Susquehanna! Love this place:)"

“Welcome to Susquehanna! Love this place:)”

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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. đŸ˜¦ 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

Look unto me in every thought; – Susquehanna #13

Friends and family!!

Wow. This week started out rough… but ended so great!!!!

Just about every one of our appointments cancelled this week! Which I know happens a lot, but it’s hard when you’re only proselyting half the time AND all of your appointments fall through! One appointment that did hold was still heartbreaking, it was with M… and K…, the people we had invited to be baptized last week, so we go to our appointment and we’re eating pizza and talking and the whole time Sister Larsen and I could tell that something was off. So once we asked them if they had read the chapter from the Book of Mormon that we had given them to read they both told us that they had prayed about it and God answered them, and they felt like this isn’t something they should pursue anymore. They told us they didn’t want to talk about it but that they were happy we came over and told us if we are ever in the area that we can stop by and talk, but there is no way they are changing anything. It was so sad because last week they were so open and willing to learn!

The D… family also cancelled on us a bunch of times this week. They’ve been having a lot going on but we did get to see them! We rescheduled their temple trip and it is now set for September 26!!! I am so so so excited for them! But I actually can’t go to the temple with them anymore. It’s a bittersweet situation because N…, from my last area is going to the temple for endowments and President Anderson told me that I could go with him because Sister Johnstone’s companion at the time that N… was baptized is home now, so she needed someone to go with her! Since Sister Johnstone and I are both closest to the Palmyra temple, N… is going to come up here and go to that temple!! (: since I’m going to the temple with N… I can’t go with the D…’ but I know they will still have such a great time and Sister Larsen will be able to go and I think Sister Brown will go with her! I just really really want the D…’ to get to the temple! They need it! (:

The week did end very very well though!! On Sunday after our meetings and right before sacrament meeting started A… comes up to us and tells us that she saw us from the other side of the room and had to come and say hello! (I just love her!!) and she had brought her friend with her and wanted to introduce her to us!! So we introduce ourselves to her friend J…, who I actually met my first night in Susquehanna at our branch mission leaders house! Wow. J… is so cool! Sacrament meeting was AMAZING!! M… bore her testimony which was huge because she does not like talking in front of a lot of people, and we had over 80 people in sacrament meeting!! (Lots of visitors because of the Priesthood Restoration Site and the long weekend). AND A… also shared her testimony!! It was hers and M…’s first times!! It was seriously so good!! So Sister Larsen and I taught gospel principles and the only people there were A…, J…, three others, and Brother S… who is in the branch presidency. It was so great because we could really help J… understand what we were teaching and she was participating and asking questions, it was so great!!

At 4 on Sunday we went to the visitors center and A… and J… showed up!!! We gave them a tour and when we got to the Smith house we sat on my favorite benches and shared a scripture with both of them. J… told us that A… had given her a copy of the Book of Mormon a few days earlier and that they were going to start reading it together!! So awesome!! So we talked about the Book of Mormon and I just kept feeling prompted to ask her if we could meet with her. So we asked and she said she would love that! A… even suggested that we have the lessons at her house!! I am so excited!!!!! We took them both to the chapel and showed the Because He Lives video in there on the big screen and afterwards the spirit was so strong! J… talked about how she really liked church and she is excited to start meeting with us!!

On Monday (yesterday), we had exchanges! I went with Sister Francis all day!! I took her out finding with me and we went to a dinner appointment at the S….!! It was SO fun!! I love Sister Francis!!

This week I’ve studied a lot about diligence. Being diligent is so important! I love what it says in Preach My Gospel under diligence: “Diligence is steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic effort in doing the Lord’s work. The Lord expects you to work diligently–persistently and with great effort and care.” I’m trying to make this place better than I found it. Also in Preach My Gospel it states: “You are assigned to do the Lord’s work in a specific area. He wants you to watch over your area with love and great care. Your purpose is to help others come unto Him through baptism and confirmation. Do all you can to leave your area stronger than you found it. Meaningful goals and careful planning will help you accomplish what the Lord requires of you.” Doing all we can to help others shows the Lord our commitment to Him. I’m so grateful for everything I’m learning here!! I love God’s counsel to Oliver Cowdery in Doctrine and Covenants 6, specifically verse 23 and 36, “Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?…. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” Oliver had prayed to know that all of this was true, he wanted to know that everything Joseph Smith was claiming to have had happened, really did happen. Later, when he came to Susquehanna County, a while after being a scribe, he questioned it all because he could not see the golden plates. When Joseph asked God to bring peace to Oliver’s mind God asks him this. Oliver had already received his answer that all of this was true, he had just lost sight of that or forgotten, God reminded him that he already knew this was all the work of the Lord. I think it’s so important to remember that. “A marvelous work is about to come forth,” it is coming forth now! I’m so grateful that I get to testify of truth to everyone I meet! It’s such a blessing to be here, my testimony is growing every day! I love this gospel, I love this work, I’m so grateful for my Savior and Brother, Jesus Christ. This is His work, and I’m so grateful I have this time to serve Him.

I love you to the moon and back!!

Love,

Sister Sammy Gomm (:

Craziest Week!! – Susquehanna #11

Hello friends and family!!

Wow. This week has been the craziest week! I know I say that every week, but I really mean it this time!! SO many of our appointments fell through, it was so sad!! But on Wednesday we went on exchanges with our sister training leaders!! Sister Johnstone and I went to Tunkhannock and Sister Brown stayed in Susquehanna with Sister Nielson! I LOVE Sister Johnstone!!! It was just like old times, my first transfer in the ppm (: it was seriously so fun to go on exchanges with my trainer!! We literally didn’t have a quiet moment. I just love her so much!!

This week was super stressful and everyone kept asking us things about the visitors center and about everything that’s going to be happening up here and we didn’t have any answers so I was super stressed out! Our district leader had been in Montrose for the afternoon so we called him to ask if he was still in Montrose and if he was if he could give me a blessing. So we call him and he’s all, “I’m actually in Great Bend right now, where can I meet you?” Ah I was seriously so grateful that he was so much closer and it wasn’t out of his way to come here! So we’re trying to think of somewhere he can meet us and Sister Brown is all, “Meet us at the Susquehanna river.” So we drive down to the river and Elder Moriera gave me a blessing at the river in the pouring rain. I love the priesthood. I love it so much, and I’m so grateful for it! I felt so peaceful after that and despite the fact that we still had no idea what was going on I knew that Heavenly Father had it all under control and I didn’t need to worry about it! (:

On Friday morning we went and did service at the restoration site and pulled weeds. It was actually so much fun to get to talk with everyone there (Sisters Simmons, Francis, and Elder and Sister Lingman (senior couple) were all there), We barely had any time to do our weekly planning because we had so many people to see! It was crazy.

On Sunday we went to church and during Sunday School we went to the Branch President’s office with the D…s’ and the Richardson’s (other senior couple) and worked on their family history for names to take to the temple for baptisms! Then during the third hour the D…s’ had their temple recommend interview and throughout all of relief society I am wondering about the D…s’ and how it’s going for them. Then finally, K… walks in and sits on the opposite end of the room from me so I mouth to her, “How did it go??” And in response she holds up her temple recommend!! I seriously almost started crying tears of joy!! I am SO excited for them!!!!!! We are still trying to figure the details out with the temple, because we were supposed to go this Saturday, but another surprise! The visitor’s center actually opens this Saturday!! So we don’t know if we can go to the temple with them or not…. We’re figuring out the details with the visitor’s center director. Needless to say, either way I am SO happy they got their temple recommends!! It has been a long time coming, and I cannot wait for them to go to the temple to do baptisms!!

So after church Sister Brown and I went to our appointments, and one of them fell through, so we were just going to do finding up in the area we were in.. But right after the appointment fell through the Assistants called us and asked us if we would be at our apartment at 3:30 because they had all of the other visitor center sisters with them. We look at the time and it’s already 3:10 and we were a half hour away so we get home at about 3:40 and wait for them all to show up. We sat on our landlord’s porch and talked to her as we waited… and waited… and waited! So 4:10 rolls around and we call the assistants and ask them where they are!! And they say, “Sisters, we are so sorry! We’ve been at the restoration site for the past 40 minutes, we’ll be to your apartment soon!” So we go back in our house to go to the bathroom and as we’re getting ready to go back out President Anderson calls us and tells us that I’m going to be moving out of the house I’m in and Sister Brown will be staying there with three other sisters who have been in the mission for about 5 weeks. And I am going to be training one of the GOLDENS who just got here from the mtc on Saturday!!!! YAY!! So about 15 minutes later, Sister Anderson, President, the Assistants, and 8 sister missionaries show up!!! We all go into our tiny house and drop off luggage and President comes up to me and says, “Sister Gomm, this is Sister Larsen, she just got here yesterday, and she is your new companion.” Oh my goodness. I LOVE Sister Larsen!!! She is the BEST!!!!!!!! She really is golden!! So we are part time visitor’s center missionaries and the rest of the time we will be proselyting!

So we all walk over to the Biesinger’s (senior couple) house and had dinner with all 12 visitor center sisters, 10 senior missionaries, President and Sister Anderson and the Assistants. Can you say too many missionaries in one house?? It was insane.

So we still don’t know what’s going on really, we just know that we are starting visitor’s center training tonight!!!!!!! I am so excited and I love being a missionary! I’m sorry this is so long and everywhere, but I hope you all have an amazing week!! I love you to the moon and back!!

Love,

Sister Gomm (:

I want a truck!! – Susquehanna #7

Hello!!!

What a CRAZY week it’s been!!!! Wow! They split our area, so now
Sister Brown and I are together in Susquehanna and Sister Simmons and
her new companion, Sister Francis, are in Great Bend! It’s crazy to
have two sets of missionaries in our tiny little branch, but it is SO
fun!! Sister Simmons and Sister Francis haven’t gotten their new house
yet, so there are four of us staying in our house right now!! It is SO
fun!!

Sister Francis, Sister Simmons, Sister Gomm & Sister Brown

As for our area, how we have it split right now is pretty rough. Great
bend has everyone that we were teaching besides 2 investigators, 2
recent converts and 1 less active member. Basically it’s going to take
A LOT to reach the goals we have set for this week! But I know that
Heavenly Father will help us! We’re also going to fix how the area is
split to make it better for us!! But until then we’re doing a lot of
finding!! (: it’s seriously so fun! This area is amazing!!

One of the best parts is that I’m now driving the truck!! And wow! I
LOVE it!!! It’s very essential for this area too, because there are so
many hills, dirt roads, and pot holes!! Seriously, they’re
everywhere!!!!!

truck

We had interviews with our Mission President this week! They are
always the best! President gave me some WONDERFUL advice on how to
help the people in this area, and I’m so excited to put things into
action! It’s going to be an amazing transfer in Susquehanna!! I can
feel it!! (:

Since we’ve been doing mostly finding I’ve really come to love talking
to people! It still scares me most of the time, but I love getting to
know others and being able to help them feel the spirit and help them
understand that God loves them. We met this woman named F… this
past week. She is so sweet!! She lives a few streets up from us and we
knocked on her door and the conversation was just rolling from then
on!! She is searching for truth and is really interested in reading
the Book of Mormon! We are meeting with her tomorrow and I am SO
excited!!

I’m sorry I don’t have a lot of time this week! But something I’ve
really learned this week is that you truly can’t judge anyone. You
can’t assume that someone you pass by won’t accept what you are going
to share with them, you can’t judge that no one is home because all of
the lights are off in the house. We need to let everyone have the
opportunity to hear the gospel! It just brings so much happiness and
joy, it really is for everyone!!

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

Love,
Sister Sammy Gomm (: