Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013

Howdy ya’ll!

Well another week gone bye. This last week was a roller coaster; lots of ups and downs.

Many of people who have been investigating the church have been avoiding us or getting new jobs so we can never see them. Oh well, on the up side of the week, we have seen a lot of less active members and we had a few come back to church so that was pretty cool.

This week I just have been really happy, I mean just full of joy, almost to where I want to shout Merry Christmas or something! It’s just nice to have the Holy Ghost with you and it makes me happy even when times get rough.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty fun. Saturday we tried a new street contacting idea using genealogy that Elder Call and I got out of Preach My Gospel. We go around and ask people what they know about their genealogy and ask where they came from. We were doing this on Main Street near the courthouse. Main Street kind of reminds me of Placerville
The courthouse reminds me a little of the courthouse in the movie Back to the Future

Later that day we helped the bishop move a less active member’s trailer. That turned out to be pretty interesting. We went out into the countryside; there are some real hillbillies out there, good backwoods folks (they even call themselves hillbillies). Well, we got the trailer all hooked up to bishop’s huge Ford pickup named "Ed" and we were trying to get it pulled out of a little space. After many attempts we were stuck! Suddenly a guy walks over and says, "Hey that looks pretty tight." I said, “Yeah it is.” and he said "Wooohoooo!!! That’s how it should be, let me giv'er a whirl!” This guys name was Mike and he talked and acted exactly like Gomer Pyle and Ernest T. Bass combined. He owns a garage in his barn so he knows trucks. This guy was a true redneck (and proud of it). It was awesome!!! He pulled that trailer out of that spot like it was nothing, laughing and whooping the whole time like Ernest T. Bass. It was pretty amazing. I just loved every minute of it.

That’s pretty much it for this week.

Elder Gomm

PS: We now have sisters missionaries in this area with us. One has been out for 5 weeks that is how long my trainee has been out!!!!!!! The other a few days!!! So, the 5 week sister is training the new missionary. I get phone calls and questions on how to do things every once and a while because both are so new. I feel like I am in a way training 3 missionaries, but it’s FUN!

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

Dear Family & Friends–

I am doing well. I am NOT getting transferred and Elder Call and I are getting along great. He has been the best companion since my trainer. He is a true missionary and a hard worker with great desire. He listens to me and we learn and grow from each other.

This week’s adventures and miracles deal with knowledge. I have received many small revelations and promptings from the Holy Ghost to see different people and help less active and new members progress. It is so important to listen to the small promptings of The Spirit. We must pray and seek for the gifts of the spirit as well as live worthy of its companionship. (Preach My Gospel 89-93) In addition to asking and knocking we must seek. This week I have sought, learned, and developed the Christ-like attribute of knowledge. In many instances of Christ life and ministry he combated the Scribes and Pharisees with scripture. Jesus Christ was very well versed in the scriptures and the words of the prophets. This week I have been zealously searching the scriptures. My highlighters and pens have been diminishing day-by-day because of my newfound love for the scriptures. I have never been much of a bookworm or a reader; I was always usually outside exploring or watching the TV. Hahaha! But now the 3 hours of study that we as missionaries have is my favorite part of the day.

I have started my study and search of who Jesus Christ is. I have started with the New Testament looking at every footnote and cross-reference. I am also reading the inspired book Jesus the Christ written by the Apostle James E. Talmage. I challenge all to read it! If you want to know in deep simplicity who your Savior is, the scriptures and Jesus the Christ will help you draw closer to Him.

This week we will be starting some workshops with Family History work and I was wondering where is the word GOMM from???? People always ask me. This week we also may be teaching some seminary classes.

Tuesday we get the new sister missionaries. We helped the ward clean and prepare their apartment. But it didn’t get rid of the creepy feeling in that place. Everyone says it is haunted and Elder Call and I believe it. Hopefully no one tells the sisters so they don’t get scared. Haha!

The work is going ok. All of our investigators are getting sick. Satan is really fighting us hard at the moment but we have faith that things will turn around shortly.

Thanks for the letters and packages!!! Mom the package you sent was pretty much the best package ever. I loved the pictures and the letters!

That’s it for this week ya’ll!

Elder Gomm

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

February 25, 2013

Dear Family & Friends-

Well I have been out 7 months, today. Weird…I feel like I just got here, but then I feel like I have been out for a year and a half because of the crazy experiences that I have been through. Hahaha! But then it also feels like I have been out 7 months and that I still have quite an exciting mission ahead of me.

Moses held the keys to the Gathering of Israel. The 12 Tribes of Israel were scattered throughout history. Before Jesus Christ comes again, the whole House of Israel will be gathered together. It was prophesied of in the Bible that those gathering keys would be restored.

Kirtland Temple
After the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Priesthood was restored which is the authorized power to act in God’s name. Joseph Smith, the prophet, was commanded by God to build tabernacles—temples—once again. In Kirtland, Ohio, the Saints of the latter-days once again established the Lord's holy house again for the world. Many heavenly messengers appeared in that holy temple including Moses. Moses conferred the keys to the gathering of Israel in the last days as prophesied centuries earlier. Missionaries then were called to spread the gospel throughout the world.

Those keys have passed down from prophet to prophet. Last October during the General Conference to the World, President Thomas S. Monson—the prophet and president of the church—turned the key to the Gathering of by lowering the age of missionary service. Because of that prophetic declaration, missionary service has spiked worldwide. Church News Release on New Age Requirements

This next transfer 40 new missionaries are arriving in my mission. Worldwide 58 new missions are being created, which will affect the boundaries of my mission here in Charlotte, North Carolina. Changes will be effective in June and we are excited to hear the details. The influx of missionaries affects my mission term as well. Because of the 1/3 shortening of the stay at the MTC I will be coming home 1 week earlier that expected. I was kind of upset about that. This means the next transfer will be on the 6th of March here. I will most likely be staying because I am training a new missionary.

It is amazing to watch the literal gathering taking place and it is just one more reason to shout that this is the ONLY true Church of Jesus Christ himself, because no other way is this literal gathering taking flight. I testify that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet and holds those sacred keys and power.

Dad you will be pleased to know that I have started to read the New Testament. I am marking and cross-referencing everything and it is tedious but truly amazing. I have a great zeal toward learning and obtaining knowledge.

There were a lot of great spiritual experiences this week but too little time to share. Basically Elder Call and I felt like we should go visit a recently baptized family, and teach them about temples. It turns out that we called them in the middle of an argument but they let us come over. We brought The Spirit into their house and they both felt it as we walked in and shared a message about temples and families. It was pretty neat. We left and their conflicts were gone. We both had no idea until the next day when they told us about what was going on. It was pretty cool.

Well, that’s pretty much it for me here in the South.

Congrats to Maggie on your mission call!!! Texas is awesome and it is still a part of the South! Oh yeah!!! But you need to write me!!!!!!!! My mailbox is kinda empty lately and Elder Call keeps getting tons of mail. Hahah! I remember those days.

Love ya'll!!!!

Elder Gomm

February 18, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, this week was pretty good. I just got over a cold so that was a nice trial this week. We have been having lots and lots of meetings lately. Thursday I went to a trainer/trainee meeting. That was pretty neat. We have been having some pretty good success lately. And the ward really loves us! We have been getting fed so well!
Ernest T. Bass
So Mom, you asked about any Ernest T. Bass (from the Andy Griffith Show) experiences. Well, in this area, like I have said before, there are quite rustic folk. I love them! Some members said they were going to feed us raccoon Wednesday. I got pretty excited. We came to their cabin in the backwoods, but they fed us biscuits and gravy and some really good grits. Then suddenly in the middle of dinner, their cousin, who lives right close to the family, came over. Everyone is related to each other here in this ward. So he came in and he had a rifle in hand and a raccoon in a cage. They told me they are going to skin it and give it to me! Hahahaha oh man! I love rustic backwoodsmen! So Mom, you might be getting a raccoon in the mail. Hahaha! I love the that family! Liver mush is another food we get a lot, and of course LOTS of biscuits and fried chicken!

So I have been working really hard to be the best I can be so I can have the Holy Ghost with me always. Before a lesson yesterday, I decided to get down on my knees and pray. I had much of the same experience as Joseph Smith in JS-H 1:29 but instead of seeing a heavenly messenger, I felt a very warm feeling come over me. I prayed to know what to teach. The answer rang in my head to read from the Introduction of the Book of Mormon. We went to dinner and the family we taught is the best family ever! The family is very active in the church but the husband is not a member and missionaries have tried for many years to get him to join the church. So after a great meal we went to the living room to have a lesson. I was very nervous about this tender situation, and so I prayed mightily in my heart to be endowed with power and have help in softening his heart. We began to teach and began to talk about the Book of Mormon. We each read a paragraph and explained and internalized it together. All the time I was speaking to the family rather than just him. I believe that all men must read the Book of Mormon and test to know if it is true or not, even if we have read it 7 times before. We continued to the last two paragraphs that tell us what we must do to find an answer. We must read it, ponder it in our heart, and then ask God in the name of Christ if it is true. We can know and gain a testimony of its truthfulness by the power of the Holy Ghost. When we know that the Book of Mormon is true, we then know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his authorized servant and Prophet in these days, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom on the earth.

The Holy Ghost prompted me and these words came out, "Myself and Elder Call ask you, standing as witnesses and with God as a witness, will you read from the Book of Mormon every day?" I was overwhelmed and almost in tears seeing the eyes of those in the room. Each of them committed and we committed to read as well. It was a very sacred and humbling experience to be a worthy conduit of the converting power of the Holy Ghost.

The Spirit then directed me to leave the Savior’s peace and blessing with the family. The Spirit was so strong the room felt like it was on fire. It is such a feeling that can’t be explained. But I bear my solemn testimony that I know the Book of Mormon is true! That the Holy Ghost does testify of its truthfulness and that Jesus is the Christ! In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Gomm

February 11, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been quite exciting. Many of the people we are teaching are very “golden” in their search and it is amazing to watch the Spirit of the Lord change their hearts and minds. It is amazing to just watch it happen and see how merciful the Lord is to his children on the Earth. This week has been a little bit slower with finding new people to teach; I think God is teaching Elder Call and I some patience because at the moment no one is letting us in. But that’s ok because "we must endure well."

The absolute highlight of the week was when we got the opportunity to meet, and be instructed but an Apostle of God on Saturday, in Charlotte. What an amazing experience!!!

Elder Russel M. Nelson
We sat in the chapel silently studying and praying, after a glorious reunion with fellow missionaries and dear friends. In this reverent room with over 150 missionaries, we sat and waited to be in the presence of an Apostle, a special witness and minister of Jesus Christ. Suddenly we all stood, I glanced to my right and watched as an older gentleman walked down the isle and a powerful feeling entered in the room. We were directed to sit down and one-by-one got to meet Elder Russell M. Nelson.  Finally, it was my turn to shake his hand. He shook my hand and peered into my eyes and said...."Elder......Ggg...(Looking at my name tag) i finished it for him and he asked me where I was from…it was really, really neat. He thanked me for my service and I moved on to great my mission president. What an overwhelming feeling it was to look into an Apostles eyes and see the awesome power and purity in him. I sat down and he spoke to us. We learned so many things! He spoke many things to us, some of which are too sacred to write. We then got to do a question and answer session.  The Holy Ghost was so strong that it felt like I was in an oven because of the warmth in my heart from pure love that I was feeling. He then closed his remarks and we sang and prayed, and got back to work. What a terrific privilege that was!

Current 12 Apostles
I testify that Jesus Christ called twelve ordained men to run His church even authorized prophets, seers and revelators as in ancient times. I know that those men held the Power of God to serve mankind. But that power was lost when those authorized men died and truth was changed. But I testify with every fiber of my soul that God loves His children. He reached out in love and called another prophet in these last days. (Learn about the Great Apostasy & Restoration) I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he called twelve men to be apostles. And because of that we still have apostles today. They lead and guide Christ's ONLY church. I have seen one, I shook his hand, I have learned from him, and I have felt that power of God radiate from his being. (Learn about the Current 12 Apostles) I testify that as the Lord lives....that Elder Russell M. Nelson is an Apostle and a special witness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Christ! This is the testimony that is in me and I pray that in the name of Christ, that the Spirit of God will carry this truth through my words to you that you too can know it. Amen.

Elder Christopher M. Gomm