Here are a few pictures from the SD card that we received from Sister Gummow last week! These are from when she was serving on the East coast.
Sister Gummow is doing really well and shares with us some valuable lessons she has learned:
Family :) :)
So it always brightens my week to hear from my wonderful family! I really have learned the power of prayer since being on a mission... I am always praying and I have never once regretted stopping for a moment (even when we are late) to say a prayer. I have found that this small act really allows the Lord to make up for our time. I also love INVITING the spirit to be with me. I am so grateful for his constant companionship. Sometimes we aren't aware until he leaves us (thank you for that reminder), but I have many times where it is manifest again that he is guiding me.
This week we had a neat experience... on Wednesday night at planning we were looking at where to go at 11 and so I just suggested the first place that popped into my mind. The next day we went there and at first not much was happening. We saw a lady sitting down at a park bench and decided just to go talk to her. As she started talking to us we found out that she has been going through some hard things. She was divorced a few years ago, is now living with her daughter, but was just recently diagnosed with a disease that makes her slowly lose her eyesight and her face is partially paralyzed. She didn't have much going on in her life. I was immediately reminded of my prayer that morning that I could be an instrument to lift up the heavy hands and help those who have little hope. As we told her about our Savior and His perfect love for her I know that she didn't quite believe, but she hoped that what we were saying was true. She was nervous to promise us a time, but we just said that we would be back in that area the same time on Friday. So on Friday we showed up their in faith that she would come. We waited and didn't see her so decided to say a prayer to decide what to do next. As we finished the prayer we looked up and there she was walking up to us. When we called her name she had such a happy smile on her face. I know that the spirit was working on her to help her feel the hope of our message. We will do the same thing next Tuesday, so we pray that it will be the same result. Luckily, we do have her number so I don't worry that there won't be a next time.
I know that this was a direct answer to my prayers. It is easy to think sometimes that our efforts are not enough or why are we doing these things, but then the lord lets us see little miracles. I am so grateful to be an instrument in His hands. It may not always be in line with my expectations, but just like a hammer and a saw are different tools - so are we. The Lord has different roles that He wants us to play. Each are very important. Our job is just to be the very best tool that we can and to always be willing to do what He would have us do.
I have also learned a lot about companionship unity while on a mission. I have been with all of my companions for 2 transfers and I have seen the same patterns with all of them. Here are a few of the lessons I have learned #1. remember we are all imperfect people. #2. service helps overcome any problems #3. the atonement can heal any wounds #4. having the same vision/goal is essential. #5. no matter how great people are you will never get along 100% of the time.
I absolutely love being with Sister -, but a lot of it is because of things that I have learned earlier in my mission about how to be a better companion myself. I have realized that no matter how great a person is, they are still not you so they will not have the same thoughts as you... we can really hope, but communication is essential. If they don't know how you feel, you can't have things improve. It is also important to remember though that we all have weaknesses and sometimes it is more important to forgive, forget and take the next step forward.
I love the talk Elise quoted ("The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar) because the looking outward is essential. If you are always focused on your needs and they are always focused on their needs - neither of you are taking care of each other. We all have bad days sometimes and your companion should be the first one to lend a helping hand. It is exhausting feeling like everything rests on your shoulders, but knowing that you will have a companion to get your back is the best feeling in the world!
The most important thing for me to learn was how much the Savior's atonement can heal any wound. No matter how many times we make the same mistakes the Savior always forgives us. I learned this lesson in a really hard way a few transfers ago. I woke up being a bit frustrated with my companion. It seemed like no matter what we did, she always fell into the same pattern and I was mad because I didn't want to deal with it anymore. As I was starting personal study I said a long heartfelt prayer and the Lord rebuked me. He reminded me of all the mistakes I have made as a missionary and before my mission over and over and over. Every time I made the different mistakes, I would promise not to do it again and every time I would make the same mistake, but the Savior never got frustrated with me. No matter how many times I fell into the same old bad habit, He would look at me with hope that maybe this next time I would really change. I realized that if I wanted to be like Christ I needed His atonement to help me have this hope that not only could I change, but that others can too and that whether change came or not to apply the forgiving power of the atonement. One of my favorite scriptures talks about how the power of the Word healed their spirits. I know that this is true because every time I have been tempted to be frustrated with my companions, I have turned to the scriptures and immediately the lord has helped me overcome and see the situation a little more like He would.
I read a story in the August 2013 Liahona called "Grace for mother duck" https://www.lds.org/ensign/2013/08/grace-for-mother-duck-and-me?lang=eng
I feel like I am so often like this, but I am grateful for the Lords forgiveness and His help for all my many little mistakes.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn a bit more about my best friend, my Savior, Jesus Christ and I know that this Christmas time we can all set a few more goals of how we can set aside our own selfish desires and become more like Him. Our Heavenly Father gave us the best gift He possibly could. I invite you all to think of a Christmas gift that you can give Him this year.
Mom I also want you to know that my prayers are all joined with you and I am glad you all decided to have a "White Friday". The temple is truly the best place to be. It is christ that will be that solid foundation in a world of shifting values. I do not get elizabeths emails so you could send those to me :) I also loved the recipes thank you!!! I will pass them on to xxxx for sure!
I will be praying for the family!!! I will finish my application stuff today if I can too. Thank you for all your help!!
Sister Sara Gummow