Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Travel Plans Have Arrived

Wow. This week has been a huge roller coaster of emotion. All good for me to learn though, so don't worry. 
So towards the beginning of the week I got my visa and travel schedule for March 7th! My whole district and I are traveling all the way to Cabo Verde together!!!! I feel so blessed and I am so grateful :) I even get to leave at 2:30 AM! Wahoo! Mom and Dad, I get to call you from the airport. Ill give you more details on that next Tuesday :)
So one of our investigators Silvio, is one of the most wiling investigators I have met. We asked him to be baptized and he said yes, he quite drinking all by himself, and the only thing we need to work on is his smoking problem. On Saturday we were trying to teach him about the Atonement to help explain a little more about baptism, etc. But I just could not get myself to speak. My mind kept blanking on Portuguese and in thoughts.  It was pretty bad. Then that led to frustration which isn't good because the spirit cant be there with me when I am upset, and it all went down hill from there. I left the lesson feeling awful and felt like we just waisted the investigators time. I was trying to talk to my companion on what we could do to improve, but we couldn't think of a solution right then. I was upset that the lesson had gone so badly that I started to think I would be the one responsible for loosing a child of God. I was so worried about getting into the field, having a bad lesson and then the investigator would never invite us back therefore I was at fault for loosing that child of God. It really started weighing on me.  Finally I talked to my Professor and he helped explain that as long as we do our very best, He will be happy with us. Later I read in PMG that it is the investigators decision to accept or deny the message of the restored gospel. Its part of their agency. As long as we have done all that we can, prepared, and had faith in our Lord, the rest of it is between the Lord and the investigator.
I know that the Lord answers prayers through the people around you.  I know that the Lord is ALWAYS super patient, loving, and watches over us all the time.  I love this gospel so much! I know as soon as I get out into the field I'm going to have some really tough times, but all I have to do is keep faith, hope, and love in my heart and mind. I promise any of you if you have these three things you can get through any trial and grow from the experience. 
I love and miss you all more than you know. I pray for the safety of family, friends, and missionaries, so you are basically all in my prayers everyday. 
SIster Goss

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Week 4 Two more weeks!

What the heck?!!!! It seemed like days were going by sooooo slow the first couple of weeks and now weeks go by like minutes. It is way too crazy. Well the Portuguese is coming a little faster and I'm getting a little more nervous, but no matter what I know that the language will come when it should and the nerves will go away once I really start working out in the field.

Guess what? Elder Holland, his wife, and his son came and spoke to us!!!!! How blessed am I?!!! There is a very special spirit around the apostles.  It was really cool! 

This week has been a real testimony builder for me. I had a lot of sweet moments with the District and my companion. And the Lord has shown me that I need to improve on a lot of things. But the biggest lesson I learned was love. Love everyone. Love the work. Love yourself (in a good way). Love strangers. And most of all love the Lord and love his will. Nothing changes people more that the love they feel or have felt or will feel. I have a love for this gospel and for my Savior. I love being here, even though it is hard at times. I love the opportunity I have to give myself to the Lord, and I love all of you. I hope you all know that :)

We got one of our investigators to commit to baptism! Yay! His name is Silvio and he too amazing. Love the guy!  On Sunday I gave a lesson on the Book of Mormon, gave a talk in Sacrament, and got released as the Sister Training Leader. I love this church, and I love teaching and learning!

Well that's pretty much all. I love you and miss you so much. I will have more to say once I get out to the field... I hope :) Have a wonderful week!

Sister Goss

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Week 2 When in Doubt, Testify

Dear Family, 
Can I just say the Lord is amazing. I have had so many wonderful devotionals that have kept me happy and upbeat. The Spirit is better than ever, doing all the work as usual but I am so amazed at how different I already am. Two weeks feels like two years in learning and understanding, I feel so blessed. 
Well I just got called to be the Sister Training Leader in our zone and I am so excited! We get a new district tomorrow and it's four sisters!!!!! Crazy fun! RIght now my companion and I are the only sisters in the district. I am so excited to show the new sisters around and show them how amazing this place is! 
We now have two investigators that we have to teach daily in portuguese and it is getting a little difficult but nothing the lord cant help me with. I miss all of you so much! 
Ok now for the spiritual experience. So my companion and I have had a hard time really nailing what the investigator needs. We started to get a little frustrated and so our teacher finally said, "if you dont know what to say or what to teach, just bear your testimony." So we tried it out on a 15 min lesson and I have never felt the Spirit so strong. When in doubt bear a testimony from the heart. Works every time ;) The spirit was there and made all three of us tear up a little. Testimonies and the Spirit are what touch people. 
This work is difficult and I promise you can't do it alone. You have to be humble and ask the Lord constantly for help. I love you all so so much! Family and Friends. 
Sister Goss

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Letter

This is not a letter from Taylor but it is about the last letter she sent.  It is a copy of a post on her cousin Abigail's medical blog.  Abigail is Taylor's cousin.  She battled cancer from the age of 18 months until  just past her fourth birthday.  She passed away this last summer.  After reading this post I just thought how intricately the Lord is involved in our lives and the lives of others.  He is aware of each one of us and often will bless us through the words and deeds of another.  Especially in the case of a missionary.  Their sole purpose is to bless the lives of others.  I just assumed that Sister Goss would bless the people of Cape Verde.  How tender that her first act of blessing another as a missionary came to someone so close to her heart and home.
Sister Goss was on a church history tour when she was notified that Abigail's passing was eminent .  More specifically a testimony meeting at Adam-ondi-Ahman.  The above collage is one she made depicting that day.  She said that receiving the news at that time and in that location really brought home the purpose of Christ's Atonement, especially His resurrection.  She was deeply moved by the convergence of events and the hope that He affords each of us in this life.
Sister Goss took a floral design class her Senior year. We stayed up all night to make this arrangement for Abigail's funeral service.  We tried to include some of her favorite things.  We hope she liked it!  Now onto the post from Abigail's mom…..

The Letter

Posted 16 hours ago
The past few days have been really, really nice. Not necessarily outside weather-wise, but inside. I have had some really beautiful days in my heart. I have felt so much love for the blessing of being able to home-school my children and spend time with them; something I was not able to do very well during Abigail's cancer journey.
And then yesterday got even better. I got a letter from Abigail. Let me explain.
For those who don't know, I'm a Mormon. A lot of my family is, too. One of my nieces just recently started her "mission," a period of 18 months where she will teach others about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They begin their training in a central location called the Missionary Training Center, or MTC. Missionaries can write and receive letters and emails, but they only phone call or skype twice a year with their parents, so there can be a sense of homesickness at times.
Through modern-day revelation, I know that Abigail is a missionary, too. Perhaps in the Spirit World version of an MTC. She is teaching about faith, repentance, and other necessary ordinances. She is also learning; although what, I couldn't say, because she's perfect in my eyes. :)
My niece's name is Taylor, but while on a mission you refer to her as Sister Goss. Funny, that would be Abigail's missionary name too. Sister Goss. Has a nice ring to it.
Taylor wrote a letter to her mom, which she then shared online. (I have permission to share it with you.) As I read it, I could hear Abigail saying it to me. It was a letter to me. I never expected to get a letter from Abigail, and I know I won't get any phone calls or see her in 18 months, but I believe Abigail must have been whispering some words for Taylor to include in her letter. It brought tears to my eyes. This is a portion of what she wrote:
"Mom!!!!! The MTC is so amazing! Please don't worry about about me mom, I am so happy and I feel wonderful...I haven't felt homesick much at all. I have really tried to forget myself and focus on the Lord and his work and it has blessed me so so much! MY testimony has grown so much already, I feel like a different person. I seriously love it here and I hope you know how much I love this gospel...

Love, Sister Goss"
Thank you, Taylor. Thank you, Abigail. What a sweet, tender mercy from the Lord.
During hospice when I rocked and rocked and rocked Abigail, I had felt to write a short note on my cell phone from Abigail's perspective to me and Aaron. The crazy thing is, somehow I put a lock on that particular memo, and I can't remember the password so all I can see now is "Dear Mommy and Daddy." But I clearly remember one line I felt impressed to write.
"I am so glad you failed in your attempt to keep me here."
Now I'm crying. But I know Abigail is where she's supposed to be. I am so happy for her and I know she is happy. Beyond happy, really.
A beautiful day in my heart.