Thursday, May 23, 2013

First Week Home

While home waiting for knee surgery Elder Gomm has been out with the local missionaries helping with the work here in California. He also got home just in time to see the first of five young ladies from our ward depart on her mission. Saturday we attended the temple with all five of these soon-to-be Sister Missionaries.

The Sister Missionaries and the Future Sister Missionaries "Heart Attracted" our house the day before surgery.

Back Home For Just A Little While

May 16, 2013

Elder Gomm arrived in California late this afternoon. He will be home for knee surgery. He will return to North Carolina to complete his mission as soon as his knee is rehabilitated. Paul and Dena joined us at the airport to welcome him home. Then of course we stopped at In-N-Out for burgers.

Welcome  Home Wounded Warrior. All along carrying a Book of Mormon to share with someone along the way.

Don't worry, we helped him with his bags.

We stopped by the Temple on the way home.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Heading Home For Knee Surgery

Elder Gomm will be coming home this Thursday, May 16th. He has re-torn the meniscus in his right knee.

It was about 3-1/2 years ago that he tore the same meniscus during club volleyball practice. This time it was a simple jump to catch a Frisbee. Today he was seen by the leading orthopedist in North Carolina. It was determined that Elder Gomm must come home ASAP for surgery to repair the tear. He is scheduled to see a doctor here in California on Friday with the hope that surgery can be scheduled for sometime next week. The recovery time ranges from 6 weeks to 3 months.

Upon return to California, Elder Gomm will be temporarily released as a Full Time Missionary. When his recovery is complete he will once again be set apart as a Full Time Missionary. He will return to the North Carolina Charlotte Mission and pick up right where he left off. His mission will not be shortened. He will still serve a total of  two years; therefore he will return home sometime in the Fall of 2014 rather than July 2014.

In our Skype conversation on Mother's Day Elder Gomm said he is at peace. He knows that there is something to be learned from this experience.

We are so grateful for all the love, support and prayers that have been offered in Elder Gomm's behalf. Please pray for his speedy recovery and return to the mission field.

Thank You,
Elder Gomm's Mom & Dad

Mother's Day 2013

On Mother's Day Elder Gomm was able to Skype with Mom & Dad
Missionaries only call home on Mother's Day and Christmas.
All other correspondence with family and friends
is done once a week via email and US Mail.

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Well a ton has happened this week that will change my future. There have been 58 new missions created in the world because of the wave of new missionaries. Because of this many missions will be affected, including the North Carolina Charlotte Mission. 

Effective July 1, 2013, The Ashville Stake of Zion will become a part of the Tennessee Knoxville Mission. This means that all vehicles, missionaries and assets will become part of that mission. The funny thing is.... that I am currently in the Ashville Stake or Ashville Zone as we call it. So, I may end up in Tennessee Knoxville Mission in July. This is both exciting and sad. I love adventure and exploring the unknown, but I hate change.

This is a large vine not a tree
Anyways, life continues on in Blairsville. Monday we got to hike on the Appalachian Trail. Boy is it beautiful! I may want to hike part of it after my mission. The trail goes through 14 states from Georgia in the south to Maine in the north; nearly 2,200 miles. 

It was truly wonderful to see the beauty that Heavenly Father created for us.

I met a return missionary that was hiking that same day. As it turns out he served in the California Sacramento Mission and served in Placerville, near my hometown. Small world!

Life is good here in the South. I tried boiled peanuts, a true southern treat, and I really like them especially boiled with a little bacon. 

This week Lee is getting baptized!! We have been working with him for only a month and he loves the Church. He is so excited for his baptism this Saturday. So keep him in your prayers.

The Lord truly loves us!! I have seen His hand in my life this last week. He helps us in our trials and blesses us openly because He loves us so much! All He asks is that we recognize Him in all we do.

Please keep me in your prayers everyone. I am really going to need them more than ever as the changes come to our mission. I love you all. 

Elder Gomm

PS Oh, and up here in the mountains everyone says yun’s rather than ya’ll. I love it!!! hahaha

More pictures from our Preparation Day (P-day) hike on the Appalachian Trail (pronounced around here Appalatchan). My companion and I hiked with the two senior missionary couples serving in our district.

Largest Poplar tree east of the Mississippi River
Trillium Flower
Outdoor Chapel along the Appalachian Trail
The white mark on the tree tells you it's the Appalachian Trail

April 22, 2013

Hey ya’ll!!!!

I have been exiled...... like John the revelator on the island of Patmos. Except I am in heaven here in the mountains!!!!! I say I am exiled because I am in the area that is the furthest away from the mission home. It took us 6 hours to get here a trip that had to be done in two days. There are no others missionaries around us just 2 sets of wonderful senior couples that are in our district. I kind of feel like I am in another world here in Blairsville, Georgia because everyone is so friendly in this small town surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. I don’t know if I can express how excited I am to be here!!!!

 There are so few members here that the congregation makes up a branch of about 30 people. That is so foreign to me, I guess, because I grew up in that huge Rescue Ward that had to get split because it went half way back into the cultural hall. They had to make up callings for the members. Well, here in our little happy branch, most of the members are above the age of 55 and half of them are new members of about 2 years. It is so awesome.

This is where our Branch meets

I have already been having marvelous adventures with my new companion Elder Gosselin. On my first day there was a huge thunderstorm with rain the size of large grapes. Yeah, I found out that rain can actually hurt when it hits you. Lightning and hail were showering down on us while we tried to teach a lesson. A tree was struck by lightening not more than a hundred feet from us. I was then driving home and found that there was a small river going across the road. They should have given us a Jeep rather than a white Corolla because I have already gone on some driveways that would be deemed as a 4 wheel drive trail in Moab!!! Let’s just say that I love it here!

The people are so wonderful here! Already we went tracking and found a few people who are so excited to get baptized!!!! They recognize us as Christ’s representatives and feel the Holy Ghost as we teach them. I don’t know if a mission could get any better!!! I am so grateful for our Heavenly Father and his wonderful mercy!!!! My joy is full!!!! 

Elder Gomm

County Courthouse in the center of town

April 15, 2013

Hey Ya’ll!!!

I AM GETTING TRANSFERRED. OK, I hope that broke the suspense. So, DON'T WRITE any letters until you get my new address. I will be in my new area Tuesday and will send some letters with my new address. Good Bye Lincolnton.

This is a bitter sweet transfer. I really love the people here in Lincolnton. Yesterday at church was a hard day with many tears. I was humbled to realize how many lives I have touched here and how many hearts I had the opportunity to help change. For awhile I felt like a failure because I didn't baptize anyone, even though I knew I tried my best. But I found that success isn't about how many baptisms you have its how many souls you help bring closer to Christ. I got to see that yesterday and my joy is full as was Ammon’s. 

I am excited to go to my new area. I know where I am going and am really excited!! You will have to wait till Tuesday for my mom to post where I officially am. Just like Paul or Aaron, the Spirit of the Lord is calling me elsewhere; my work is done here. Elder Call is going to see great success. Something big is about to happen in Lincolnton. I am really excited for him and the diligent Sisters in this ward to reap the harvest of so much sowing. I am really going to miss Elder Call, he and I are best buds! Please pray for him and his success that he and his new companion will work miracles here. And I give a shout out to all of the people of Lincolnton, God be with you till we meet again. I love you all!

Farewell Elder Call
Now for some words of wisdom that I learned this week. We were blessed to have the opportunity to attend Stake Conference. The stake president gave a great talk on how we all can "catch the wave".

To you members of the Church, there are 3 things we can do to simply do our missionary work, and they are:

1. Know the names of the full-time missionaries in your ward. If you haven’t done so introduce yourself and invite them over for dinner. It’s beneficial for both parties. The missionaries don’t have to eat Top-Ramen or peanut butter as much. ;) And the members get to be edified by the missionaries and have authorized representatives of Jesus Christ in your home.

2. Know the names of each of there investigators (people learning and investigating the church with the missionaries). This isn’t too hard to do. Pray for the missionaries, pray for their investigators by name, and pray for your own missionary opportunities.

3. Invite! Invite people into your home. Invite the missionaries’ investigators into your home. Be a friend to them. They are often making new and difficult changes in their lives, and they could use someone to help lift them up. This is so simple. You have dinner as a family every night, I hope? How hard would it be to have someone over into your home to sup with them and have the missionaries teach them in the comfort of your home? As members of the church our homes should be the most sacred place next to the temple of God. There is a wonderful spirit in member’s homes; they have all the blessings of the restored gospel. When an acquaintance comes into your home, they feel the warmth, the peace, and the love that is there and they then are no longer acquaintances. They become our friends, our brothers and sisters. We have what they need. I see it every day! So invite! Invite people, to church, to meet the missionaries, to come eat with you and your family, invite to Family Home Evening, and invite them to learn the message of the restored gospel. Trust in the Lord; imagine the trust he has in you. If we open our mouths he will fill them.

 Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that the field is awhite already to harvest; wherefore, thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind, and strength.
 aOpen your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as bNephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.
 Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with asheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.
 10 Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying:aRepent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the bkingdom of heaven is at hand;
 11 Yea, arepent and be baptized, every one of you, for abremission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.

Brothers and sisters if we can do these three simple things, I promise that we will see miracles!!! The heavens will open and blessings will be poured out upon us. Let us rejoice with our brethren, in the fullness of the Gospel! Jesus is the Christ and he has restored his gospel!!!!

Elder Gomm

April 8, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I first off; I want to thank you all for the prayers in my behalf. The last few months have been pretty rough because of the lack of success we have been having. Last week I got pretty discouraged. I share this experience with you because we all have times of darkness and sadness where it looks like there is no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel and that we might as well give up. This is a lie! The advisory wants us to swim in our misery, telling us that there is no shore and no dry ground. I told myself this over and over.

My dear friends, there is a light at the end of the tunnel; there is a shore where we can rest! The Savior provided us with His perfect sacrifice! In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma declared his testimony of the divinity of the Savior and his Atonement. He teaches us that not only did He suffer for our sins so we don’t have to, but He suffered for our every feeling. He suffered for our loneliness, what it feels like to lose a loved one or even a child. He knows what it feels like for someone to feel like they have nothing left. He knows what it is like to feel depressed or unloved. He felt and suffered it all so we don’t have to. All we must do is turn our trust and faith to Him and lay our burdens at his pierced feet, and He promises that He will give us rest.

This last weekend we had General Conference, where the living prophet and apostles speak to us and give us guidance. I came to Conference with a question. There, the prophets spoke to my soul and my heart. I know that my Heavenly Father does love me and He just wants to bless us. My prayers and questions were answered as peace and love came over me, I felt my Saviors love surround me. We do have a purpose in this life. Do not stand in darkness when there is light near by. We can be filled with the warmth of His light and His love. All we need to do is take a step toward it. 

This is just on of many wonderful talks given at April 2013 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I thank you all so much for your prayers. Like President Gordon B. Hinckley, who was one of my favorite prophets, I have found the turning point. We are all human and so we all must go through struggles and be tested. That is part of the glorious plan of our Heavenly Father. While Elder Hinckley was on his mission he became very discouraged at one point ready to give up and return home. In his own way he found what he needed to do and stepped into the light. He lost himself in the work. He became known the rest of his life for his optimism and hope for the future.

"It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. ... If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers" Gordon B. Hinckley

I know that this life is truly wonderful! Just think of God’s glorious creations and how we are His greatest creation! He loves us. I do not write this for everyone to feel bad for me, because I am fine! Believe me life is good, real good!!!! I am just so happy to feel the sun on my face and to feel every door slammed in it as well . . . hahaha . . . its awesome!!!! I love it because the next door will be the one!!! I wrote this and shared this for anyone who ever has been, ever is, and ever will be discouraged! There is a light at the end of the tunnel!! It will all work out! Laugh and enjoy it. How grateful I am for Jesus Christ and all He has done for me!!! My life has never been better!!! And I know it is because of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and all of the marvelous and infinite blessings that are just waiting to be poured on us!!! God does indeed love us, I am a witness of that. Jesus is the Christ, He lives and so will we. Be hopeful and excited for what the morning brings because the darkness of the night always brings a bright new dawn!

Elder Gomm
Whoooooohoooo!!!! :D

April 1, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Last week was a little rough. I will leave it at this, that is was just a hard week. I want to keep positive about everything, but know I really could use some prayers.

In other news, my companion and I are teaching a great young man. He introduced us to his brother and his cousin who are very golden! We are pretty excited. We taught one of the best lessons ever! The restoration of the Priesthood authority made prefect sense and they were very excited to read the Book of Mormon.

Easter was awesome!!!! And my message is this: "He is Risen!" I read the account of Christ’s resurrection from the tomb in the scriptures and studied in depth about the Atonement.
It was an amazing morning. I am so grateful for my Savior and His wonderful sacrifice! We taught Gospel Doctrine class at church and had to wing the whole thing but it went great! 

We then had dinner with two families from the ward. We ate some really good food and then someone threw cake at someone which started a water fight, which started a soda fight, which started a mud fight, which ended with people wrestling in the mud. I tried so hard to not join in, ya’ll know me and water fights and mud fights. 

I ended up with a few splatters on me but it came out in the wash. They said that this happens every year, sounds like a good tradition.

Well, I love ya'll! 
Elder Gomm

PS I could really use some mail; I have been in a pretty big drought here this last month. This is what my mailbox looks like everyday after we stalk the mailman.

Contact my mom for my latest address. Thanks for your prayers and letters.

March 25, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

The work has been really slow lately and I have been on my knees almost all the time wondering what I am supposed to do here.

Last week my companion and I and the Sister missionaries in this ward met with our bishop. Our bishop is a great man and I love him to death! He is just as concerned about the work as we are and wants to do everything in his power to get the work moving from the trickle that we have at the moment. 

Elder Gomm

PS Thank you for your prayers; I have really needed them.

March 18, 2013

Hey Ya’ll,

Well, to be honest this week was a little rough. But that’s OK. The work is really slow right now and I have been doing a lot of praying and studying on what we can do differently. I got the stomach flu, it’s going around town at the moment but I am better now.

At baptism we make solemn covenants with God that we will:
  • Keep the commandments of God
  • Always remember Jesus Christ
  • Take the holy name of Jesus Christ upon ourselves
When we do this we are set apart from the word and we have a sacred obligation to bear the name of Christ and share the Gospel. We know we must be a light unto the world; that we must be an example to the unbelievers, we must be an example of a disciple of Christ to our friends, family and people we come in contact with. This is vitally important and is a big responsibility, and God will bless you for your efforts. We must open our mouths.  In Doctrine and Covenants 33, the Lord promises that if we open our mouth, He will fill it. We need not be worried of what to say or what the reaction will be. All we need to do is-- Act.

Things we can do to act are:
·         Pray for missionary opportunities. Have faith and be prepared to share your testimony
·         Fast for missionary work to happen
·         Give someone a Book of Mormon, or direct them to
·         Invite them into your home where they can learn about the Restored Gospel from the missionaries

The work moves best when we can help the members do their missionary work and we simply teach. It is the duty of every member to be a missionary. So please, we need your help, and the Lord needs your help. Do all you can to become that true disciple of Christ.

Elder Gomm