Thursday, March 27, 2014

The biggest heart...a converted heart!

MOM I'M SORRY I COULDN'T WRITE LAST WEEK. WE HAD TO GO TO GUADALAJARA TO PICK UP MY KID. AND THEN HE DIDN'T HAVE THE EMAIL OF HIS PARENTS SO I COULDN'T WRITE MUCH AND JUST LEAVE HIM SITTING THERE. I WILL TRY TO WRITE RRRREEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAALLLLLLLYYYYY GOOD TODAY!  (Had to include this little message to me from Lincoln because he always makes me laugh and I know he has the biggest heart- always thinking of others.  You did good Lincoln! haha)

Dear Familia.

This week has been pretty great! You have been asking about my comp, so I will answer those questions!
He is from Mexico!  His name is Elder Enriquez, from Puebla.  The best way to explain it is that, basically Puebla is the Utah of Mexico! hahahaha!  It is going good!  He is growing, working hard, and willing to follow.  Sometimes he gets tired but he is too good to say anything.  He just gets home and sacks out hard.  But I am now too....hahaha!  I feel old!  Not all the energy I had before.  But of course, we will be kicking butt in the fight against Satan!
These last weeks we have been really focusing on finding those investigators who are ready to hear the Gospel, and we have been talking to many. We have been progressing with Israel,  Ramona,  Jesus, and Amelia.  They all feel a little bad with Elder Enriquez because he has so little time on the mission(this is his 3rd week) and he doesn't know how to answer their questions or doubts yet...but we are getting there.  It is going well and we are working hard. 
Amelia is a little bummed right now...she hasn't gotten an answer from the Lord, and we tell her it is all in his time! We are hoping that it all works out and that she just keeps trying.  I know once she has a testimony, she will really be converted and it will be worth it.  Just like any of our other baptisms. 
Oscar, our most recent convert, is really doing well.  He has had much work in the afternoons, so he accompanies us and loves doing the missionary work when he can.  He wants to study Preach My Gospel, and has been super happy that he can say that he is Mormon.  He is making a mormon profile and everything.  It is great!  And he makes me smile when we talk about trying to share the gospel with the whole world, including the lady in Walmart. hahahahaha! He is a great example to our other members!
We have a new investigator who is doing really well.  Her name is Rose.  She has gone to church and she is also preparing for baptism.  It has been great to the see the changes in her life.  He husband is a member, and they are working to get married(that is rough) but it is really good to keep working with them!!!
My favorite moment? I think it was all of Wednesday.  What happened is that Monday we got home, planned for the next day, and went to bed.  Tuesday we passed by a LOT of people... I mean a lot!  My companion was super excited to teach. We must have visited at least 50 houses, trying to teach the investigators and to remember their appointments.  Well... they all fell through.  After walking that much, my comp was a little sad.  We had gotten doors slammed a couple times that day and he was feeling a little bad.  We got home, he was missing home, and I was telling him, "I promise this doesn't happen EVERY day."  It was a little rough.  Of course, that night I was praying with "all energy of heart" for my companion.  That next day, we started visiting and nobody answered again.  It was looking like a day he was going to cry.  But, we figured it out.  We had a break.  We talked about faith and bam...started going at it with a mindset of salvation!  Not like the movies of course, it went even worse!  The last 4 hours of proselyting went really really well!  We broke the wall and we found 5 new investigators.  We taught with the spirit and had some good success with people answering their doors.  I realized many things that day that maybe the Lord was trying to teach me.  First, that it wasn't my work.  My plans may be ok with Him, but that doesn't mean it will be a great day.  And also, that the Lord knows all the people around me better than I do, including my companion.  If that is so, my companion, or even my investigators, shouldn't be my focal point.  It is the Lord.  Of course I knew that, but it was just a way the Lord said "Hey... First, of course I will answer your prayers, but remember you are my servant.  Be proud of that and just keep going. Don't worry." It was something that helped my companion also!  So yeah...that might be personal or weird, but it was amazing for me.
Well, that is about it. We are working hard out here.  We hope to have everyone prepare for General Confrence and that every one of our investigators can attend.  A goal that can be accomplished!!!!  I am super stoked!   I hope you guys are preparing.  Also, I REALLY MISS THE EASTER PAGEANT. Take pics. 
As always... Thanks for the writing of everyone, and I love you sooooooooooooooo much. Don't ever forget that. Thanks for everything!
Elder Goodman!

Just a note...

This week was just a quick note, Lincoln was picking up his companion in Guadalajara.  All is good though, because I got a picture and I love seeing his cute face!! :)

This week was super great! We found a bunch of people!!  We have been working super hard and progressing and the area is great!  We are preparing many people to make covenants with the Lord and I love every minute of my mission!  Can't write much this week, but really it has been great.  We see so many miracles, and I love it out here.  I hope everyone is well.  I am so grateful for the Gospel in my life!  Thanks for everything!  I love you tons! Stay safe.  I hope all is well!
Elder Goodman

Elder Goodman and Elder Enriquez...Lincoln is a trainer :)

Busy and loving it!!

I also wanted to let you know that one of the people you knew, Oscar, got baptized this week! He has been preparing, and is working super hard! He is so awesome and his baptism was a wonderful expeirience as we saw him make that covenant and recieve the companionship of the Holy Ghost!
This week, we have been working really hard to find new people! We are contacting many, but more in contacting to teach. We ask everyone for refererences, including our contacts, and have been trying to find those chosen and prepared by the Lord.  Our work has been progressing well, and we have many investigators who are working towards Salvation! 
Just something quick as part of finding new people... sometimes all of our 5 back up plans fall through and we have to find people to teach.  This week, we had some special experiences with that...having plans fall through.   I had heard of a story in the MTC about a missionary who prayed at every corner to ask where he should go next, and how he was really succesful.  It was a lesson of how the Lord guides us every day.  I told my companion that we should try it out, so we do it at times and it has been really great.  As we work hard, relax, and pray on who we should contact, we recieve direct answers.  Without fail, we have found people really important.  One of those people is a woman, Norma.  We found her in front of her house and we have been teaching her and she is so ready to accept the Gospel.  We have become friends, and as we have prayed with her, the Spirit comes so strongly, testifying that the Lord loves her and that we have something different.  It has been great. 
Every day we see miracles.  People who need the Gospel.  People who gain testimonies.   And that prayers are always answered. It has been so important to have the Spirit there all the time and to be perfectly obedient in order to teach by that Spirit. The Lord has answered so many prayers in that way and this week has been a really great week of progress!!!!!!
Anyway, that is about all. I have no idea what else you would like.  But I love it here.  I feel like a 'greenie' when I say that, but I do love teaching and serving the Lord!  I hope you have been able to find those people who need help right now. The Lord answers those prayers.  I know He does!  He has people who if you don't talk to, no one ever will!!!
Thanks for everything!  Love you all!

Elder Goodman!

I wanted to send a pic of baptism this week! Oscar got baptized! It was awesome!!

I party hard after baptisms. called "regetonero"
(He is a goof!!)

 The less actives started throwing away our we wrote on their cars...don't think it is bad right?
(Not a marker...this is what happens when you don't wash your car!! Gotta love it!)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Spoken from a heart that understands loving the people...

Fam bam. 
What up.  Another chill week here in Mexico, teaching Salvation, being the Lord's servant. 
I have only played soccer 5 times in the last 5 months.  It is fun.  The Mexicans like how I play, and always think it is a challenge.  And they never have delt with power kicks, so it is different for them...haha! Sometimes they get really shocked...  straight up megged a couple and they get all suprised! hahahaha! 
Anyway, this wake has been super sick!  Lots of progression, lots of things happening.  We went on divisions (my comp goes to a different area with one missionary, and the other companion comes to our area with me) this week.  We are walking down the streets, and  everyone says, "Hi elders!" and "where is the tall skinny elder?" and "Elder Goodman! We will have the new oranges in this Wednesday!" hahahaha! So as we are walking around to our visits, everyone saying comments like these, my companion (the one from a different area) says, "Ok Elder Goodman,  you know way to many people by their first name... It is creepy." hahahahahahaha! 
We contact many every day, and we are running out of people! But it is all good.  Just thought it was funny.  Also, we are teaching quite a bit.  Sorry I can't update on everyone, but really, we do work hard.  And we have been trying to spread the Gospel here the best we can!!!
Our families are progressing really well.  The biggest problem here is people getting married. They don't have the money or the desire or just worried they will divorce after (which is more money), so it is a little hard.  But we are still working.  Rafael and Sara are two people really special.  Sara can't read but we have been teaching her and pass by her house quite a few times.  Her and her husband have a boy named Israel, who is 10 years old.  He also helps teach his mom how to read.  He told us this week, "Elder Goodman, can I get baptized like all the pictures you show me?" And of course we said yes. They have all been preparing, and are going to church.  They are working so hard to be a better family.  Both of his parents are drinkers and live in a one room house.  I don't tell you that to say they are poor but to say that really, the Gospel is for them too.  We love seeing all kinds of different people here.  It is a beautiful thing to see that it all starts with the first thing we teach, which is that God is our Heavenly Father.
We were learning more of that this week.  We taught a girl we found in the park named Daniela.  She was alone and I felt the prompting to go contact her.  We felt the spirit and as we explained not only our message but who we were, she started to have tears in her eyes.  As we explained who God was... God: The person that created the sun; that created all living thing; created the human body; the heart,the brain, how they work; the solar systems;  the planets, the stars-- And then saying, you are His child.  You are on His priority list and He loves you with all of His heart, more that any creation or beautiful thing on this planet.  That is special to explain.  She started crying and said, "Wow, I never thought of it that way."  I think that is something so important.  We are here to teach them things like that, who our Heavenly Father is, and I am so happy to do it!
Well....those are some of the good things going on. Saul's mom is preparing to get baptized this week, and also Oscar.   We will be sending pictures :) ahhahaha! But really, it is great... The growth here is amazing!
I gained a stronger testimony this week, of my faith,  and of what it takes to recieve an answer.  At times, we just have to ask with a desire.  With a glimpse of faith to just see it happen and then, the miracles come.  It was amazing to see our investiagators continue to progress, to go to church and be converted to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.  So many things happen every day, and they are all so special to me.  The Lord helps!  We have the power to speak exactly what the Lord needs us to speak,  and I will always be grateful for that. I am so excited about the Gilbert Temple! It sounds amazing!  Hope all is well. I really hope you guys can find someone, as a family maybe.  Find another family who needs the gospel.  We are always looking and I never thought to look before my mission.  But remember the missionary work.  Pray for missionary expieriences!  I love you all so much! Hope all is well! 
Elder Goodman!!!

Zone Conference...taken from the Mission blog :)  Nice tip-toes Elder Goodman!!

Best 'Area Book' competition!  (Again, taken from the mission blog, but I will take them!!)

He is happy!!

Some more Q&A with Elder Goodman :)  At least he tries to answer all my questions! haha

Mom! And fam!
Hey! Thanks for everything! I loved the long letter. I have learned to type at like 398 words a minute, so I will be killing it right now to answer ALL your questions:) I hope all is well! And really, thank you so much!
Ok, so HOW ARE YOU??(mom)
Did you have a good week?(mom)
I sure did! I hope you guys did too!! It sounds like you were super busy!   
I know I asked you last time, but no I will try again...where are you living? (mom)
When did you ask this?! I am living in a house Mom :) hahahaha! I haven't changed areas.  I am still in Puerto Vallarta, San Vicente 4 (area. consists of Jarretaderas, Valle Dorado, Y Nuevo Vallarta.  Also Mescalitos, San Clamente, y Costa Coral.)  
What is it like?(mom)
Parts are super super rich... like 40 minutes away. But they are locked up, so we can't ever go there.  The other parts are Mexico! Good ol' stuff!  I love it! Do you want more pics of streets? hahahaha! I don't really know how to describe it.....
Is it still hot/warm there? (mom)
Yes! But not too bad,  I think like 90 or less! But it is super chill! We use fans somtimes at night if it is hot. If not, we are all good!!! We live in a room in the second story of an apartment, so it is a little cooler!
What was your favorite moment of the week?(mom)
When the Dad of Saul came to church. I know...more about Saul- but it is was a miracle.  I don't know if I told you, but he didn't like the church and said he would never go again.  We have been praying that he can progress and have a softer heart! He wouldn't listen to us or talk much to us all week.  Then on Sunday, he just showed up with his family there.  It was crazy and AMAZING how the Lord answers our prayers.
 When did you feel the spirit the strongest?(mom)
We were with a less active family. The dad hates the missionaries and the mom loves when we pass by.  We had about 15 minutes before we had to go home, and we both felt we had to visit them that night.  We showed them the mormon message by Elder Holland about being patient in Adversity.  The wife started crying, saying it was exactly what she needed.  And after the mormon message, the husband got mad.  He asked us who had sent us. Well.....we were a little stern with him, and I responded, "uh..... The Lord sent us.  That is ok with you right?  It wasn't anger...but more of a way to get it to his soul.  That no one had sent us, but that we were really messengers of the Lord.  He realized the truth and he said it must have been the Lord....we really needed that today.  It was really wonderful to strengthen the family.  That no matter who we are with, we are always teaching and lifting up- 24/7 ...thinking about and teaching salvation. It is such a blessing!!!   And...why haven't you told us of the rest of the investigators/teaching moments? 
Too many!
Too little time? 
Oscar is doing ok.  Jesus and Monica had their baby and he is getting baptized in a week.  We also have a sister named Ramona.  She reads the Book of Mormon every day, twice a day. The same thing, so she can remember and answer our questions when we come:)  We also found a new family that I wanted to share! They are Rafael, Sara, and Israel.  We have been teaching them and they are super excited!  They are neighbors of Ramona. The sister can't read and Ramona volunteered to read with her every day! And also, that Israel (he is 10yrs. old) will help her!  It was super crazy.  They have been having problems with the Word of Wisdom and have now stopped, and they are working hard to be good parents.  They are progressing really well.  Our area is progressing really well in all areas!  After 6 months I would think we would run out of people! haha But really, they have started listening a lot more! We know many by name and have to really look for new people to contact because we know a lot of the people here....haha! I love it. The mission is a blessing and so great!  I love you all sooooooooooooooooo much! and I am sending pics!
Elder Goodman!!!

 Also...found ice pops!

 I found a new companion. He is cute.

  This is were we play soccer! All day baby!

We tried contacting an aztec.