Hi Jase. Glad to have you on-board as a Goldie.
It takes about 24 hours for an upgrade to kick in, so I'm really sorry you missed out on entering the Challenge, but we're up and running again with Experiment. So jump on in.
And yes, the Private Messenger is included with your Gold membership. Login to your FaithWriters' account, and you'll see a big box that says something like "Private Messages - Stay Connected." Directly under that it will say if you have any messages waiting for you. If you do, click on that link and it will take you to them.