Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A New Town a New Companion and a New Ward...I mean Branch!

I’m now in Yucaipa. I live in Banning and cover all of Banning and Cherry Valley, which is really big for an area for me, at least compared to Coachella. But it’s fun. We are on bikes - ok that’s not entirely true. We are supposed to be on bikes but my companion, Elder R, who by the way is hilarious, had an accident 3 months ago and broke his elbow.  It hasn't fully healed :/ So after 2 days of struggling through riding his bike we got told by the mission nurse that he can’t ride until after his doctor’s appointment this Wednesday. So the last 2 days we have been walking and man is that difficult. We were all white-washed in so we have no idea what is going on and who we can call. So on Friday since we didn't have dinner we walked to Little Caesars and then walked up to a family’s home who lived pretty far and it took us an hour to do the walk and then we got driven home and it took 3 minutes >.< Meeeeeh.  

Saturday was fun, too. We had one lesson with a family and spent 5.5 hours of the day walking and covered about 14 miles. That was awful. Though we had an adventure, the picture of the ditch with the Book of Mormon at the bottom was behind a shopping center and in between the center and the train tracks. We had a plan to try and cross the tracks and the freeway but there is a fence along the freeway so we just kept walking by the tracks. But we found this hole and we went around and we found the Book of Mormon and we thought about taking it but maybe whoever lived there was reading it so we didn't want to steal it from them.  My feet hurt and I have some blisters now. But it’s worth it. Doing the Lords work is always worth it!!

Church was interesting on Sunday because well, there are more than enough members to have a ward. It’s just not enough of them are active. And we want to help this branch be a ward. So that’s a big focus in this area. It was strange because we are in a stake center and only like 8 of the rows were filled. Maybe 50 or 60 people were actually there on time and then the other 30 showed up like 5 minutes before the sacrament. They had us introduce ourselves and everything. It was kind of nerve wracking. But everyone in the ward that goes to church loves the missionaries and is super excited to have elders in the branch.

We are super excited to work out here and help this branch grow.
I don’t have time to say anymore. And well nothing huge has happened. But I hope you will all pray for missionary experiences this week and I know if you do Heavenly Father will give them to you.
I hope you have a great week.
-Elder Gore

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Transfers - Going to a differernt part of the desert!

So this week has been awesome!! Not because we had tons of lessons. But just because of the Spirit and the progress I have seen in myself. Over the last week I have been companions with Elder Barrus. He is the bomb! We have been working down in Mecca. Which is kind of like Mexico. We were asking around and we figured out that there are basically 5 white people there. 3 of them part of a family that we haven't found yet and the other 2 are Elder Barrus and I. It’s pretty sweet. We have been spending a lot of time working down there and have been having great success. But for the main things about the week. My confidence has increased greatly. I feel more comfortable talking to people and teaching. I don't know a lot but I can say the important simple truths and because I speak slow people have to pay attention more. Elder Barrus says because of that I am a more powerful teacher then he is but I don't believe him!

One of the coolest things I think I've ever experienced was this last Saturday and Sunday. We had Stake Conference1 and the missionaries went to 2 sessions of it. In the Saturday night session our stake president stressed the importance of missionary work. As part of that he told us that he had been fasting and praying for the stake to find a name during the last week or next or during the conference that they could share the gospel with. It’s interesting because I had a revelation during my personal study that morning about a family member that I needed to help and try to share the gospel with. He then asked that everyone write down that name and then during the next week look for the opportunity to share the gospel with them. He asked that everyone pray to have the hearts of their people softened and then he made a promise to the stake. He promised that if they participated whole heartedly in the work of sharing the gospel. to do temple work for the dead, work to bring someone to the gospel, just do whatever we were able to do. He promised that in return that any problem that is vexing you will be solved. The Lord would solve it no matter what it was.

That blew our minds. The Spirit was so strong during that meeting. and I realized that I might be the only person who could help this family member and it’s only because I'm on a mission right now.

Then Sunday we had a big session and we had a broadcast from Salt Lake and the General Relief Society President spoke and a member of the Seventy2 and Elder Anderson3 and President Eyring4. President Erying's talk is the one that hit me the hardest. In it he talked of his grandfather teaching him about his responsibility to help his family come to the gospel and how basically that was the last thing his grandfather ever told him before he passed away. And basically his whole entire talk was based around that one principle. We are responsible for our family. We are expected, by our Heavenly Father, to do all we can to help our family receive the restored gospel. Whether it’s actually helping family join the church in life or doing the work for our ancestors who are gone. It is the same responsibility.

Then that night we had a super cool experience with the B______ family. We went in and we just hung out for a while because there were a couple people we didn't recognize and so we decided to just talk for a bit and have some fun with them and get to know them better. I picked up the uke they had at their house and I played some tunes for them.  Then the older son, because we found out that these new people were the oldest children in this family.  I guess they were a little less active and had some doubts and questions. But they asked about where in the Bible it talks about God and Jesus being seen and having bodies of flesh and bone. Elder Barrus started flipping through and I sat for a second and then Steven popped into my head. Steven who joined the church and then was stoned. He saw a vision as he died and he saw God the Father and at his right hand stood Jesus Christ. So I flipped to the story in Acts. (Chapter 6 I think verses 54-55) It’s in acts 6 so look it up. But it is Biblical proof that God and Christ have bodies like ours. Only they are perfect and ours aren't and when I read it to him he was just like wow. That's perfect. That's exactly what I needed and I'm just like Yes!!!! way to go Spiritual Promptings. After that the father of the family bore to us his testimony of the power of prayer and of the scriptures. Basically if you have a question. Ask for help from Heavenly Father and then turn to scripture and God will guide you to your answer. And basically it was one of the most Spirit led lessons I've ever been in and It was amazing!! We found out just before we left that the family wasn't usually home all together and we caught them at the perfect time. It was just an amazing witness to me of the Lord using us and Guiding us to do His work.

So the day has finally come! I'm being transferred to a new area. I'm leaving the south and going about 30 mins north to Yucaipa. So I’ll still be in the desert but I'm going to have a new native companion. His name is Elder Renovato. ren-o-va-to. "ren" like 'pen'. "va" like 'ha' when you laugh and "to" like 'toe'. He speaks English but he prefers Spanish so I'm going to be learning a lot of Spanish really, really fast.  It’s also super exciting cause my MTC companion. Elder Moore. Is being transferred into the same ward and we are going to be in the same apartment!!! I'm sooooo excited! It’s going to be awesome!! Even though it will be sad. I'm really going to miss this ward and the members and my companions. :/ huh. Oh well. It'll all be good in the end and we have a mission conference coming up and an apostle and a member of the seventy are going to come talk to us. so I'll be able to see everyone then :)

And that's my week people of the world!

I know this Church is True! I know this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith saw God, Our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, our Savior, and that he was called by them to Restore the Gospel and Christ's Church to the Earth. I know that by the Power and Authority of God Joseph Smith Translated the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ from a historical and religious record written by Prophets who lived on the American continent. And I know that the Book of Mormon has Power. And that those who read it will receive a confirmation from God through the Holy Spirit that it is a True book. It is My FAVORITE Book. I read it ever day. I feel the power of it in my life and I challenge all who have not read it to get a copy. and read it and ponder it and ask in Prayer if it is not of God. I know You Will receive an answer if you Sincerely want to know the Truth. I love this Church and Gospel. I love being a Missionary. and I know that the things I have said are True.

I hope everyone has a terrific week and Is able to share and help others!

I love you all and miss you all,

Elder Zachary Gore!

1 - Stake conference - Stakes are five or more congregations.  A conference is held twice a year for all members of that stake.  There is a Saturday evening meeting for all adults and a Sunday morning meeting for everyone.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Change is in the air...

Guess what!?!   
Elder B. is my companion for at least until transfers, next Tuesday.  The Zone Leaders (Elder B. and Elder M.) got a call from the mission president on Saturday and were told that Elder M. was going to be an office elder (he’s going to work in the mission office) for a week and then become an AP (Assistant to the President).  Elder B. was given the choice if he wanted me or Elder C. with him. So now I'm companions with the Zone Leader, Elder B.  Elder C. has a new companion, his name is Elder Ma.
I already know this week is going to be awesome!
Elder Gore

Friday, January 10, 2014

5 months out!

It’s hard to believe I got on an airplane to Mexico 5 months ago today!

This is why I am here...It doesn't get any better than this!

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