Tuesday, April 29, 2014

He teaches and loves the truth!

I can't write everyone with this week. Not enough time in the world (Lincoln had transfers this week).  I wanted to say thank you for all those people who wrote! Seriously! I love reading and letters are en route.

This week was crazy. We went freaking crazy as all get out finding people and working for the Lord! 
First, I want to explain about Daniela and Alejandro (I talked about Daniela). They are a less active family that is preparing and trying to go to the temple.  It will take a lot of time..more than six months, but they are really working and we plan to see it through!  When people go to the temple it means soooooooooo much to them. They have to save up the money, take days off from work, and do it for their whole family, but it really is a blessing to see how it changes them, and I miss it a ton!!!!!!  They (Daniela and Alejandro) have really been showing us how the Church changes their lives.  They are working and they can see the change happening within their family and in each of their lives.
Also, the Lord reminded us many times what it meant to be a servant of Him this week.  As we have been contacting people this week, we found two people who really needed the Gospel.  One was Marina and the other was Juan.  As we testified and the Spirit touched their hearts, you could see the hope they had through the tears in their eyes.  Juan told us he needed those things at that time, and we visited him again that same week.  Marina who told us of how stressful work was, and that nobody understood also said how much she needed our message.  There are 100s of people we came in contact with every day and it was really a blessing, in these two instances specifically, to see them and how the GOSPEL APPLIES TO EVERYONE.  It isn't convincing people.  It isn't just sharing a message about God.  It is changing people for the better through the Gospel only we have.  I know it is so true and meant for everyone! And I know that we talk to everyone because everyone needs it.  
Last, I know, short letter this week, we found a less active, Berenice.  She got baptized 10 years ago and moved to a little chiquita town like El Golfo, where there aren't missionaries.  After a year here, she finally found Elder Enriquez and I.  She had looked everywhere close for a church, and nobody could help her, but when she prayed, we came walking down the street.  The Lord is soooooo aware of everything passing by.  It isn't like an ipod game, but more like He sees us, and says, "Hey, go help that person. I promise it will be worth it."  And one by one, service by service, smile by smile, and lesson by lesson, the people understand.  Berenice woke up at 5:00am that Sunday with her 4 little kids to go to church, and they all loved it. 
I know the Gospel, more than ever will help ANYONE in ANY circumstance.  I love it soooooo much.  I wanted to share these experiences specifically because they are things the Lord teaches me! 
I am sorry it isn't long this week, but I am grateful.  I hope these words are worth reading for you guys! I am thankful for my Savior. I know that He lives.  It isn't just something people say.  I know it!  And I have experimented with it, finding out for myself, without a doubt.
Love you all and enjoy your week!
Elder Goodman!


 Streets of Mexico. Sea in the background!

 we had transfers! So our Elders left - Elder Olsen and Elder Hernandez.  This is Elder Olsen.
...Elder Hernandez

Interviews  with the Mission President :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

He knows how to speak to my heart...

Mom! Family! 
I LOVE YOU TONS!!!! I love hearing from all of you and the wonderful week you guys have had! It is always the best part of Mondays! I really hope you all enjoyed Easter and saw the mormon message: Because of Him! It is super amazing and I loved it! I hope you all really enjoyed the Easter Pageant and everything happening this week!
Also, tell Clay CONGRATS! I AM SO STOKED FOR HIM. THAT WILL BE SUPER CRAZY. (Lincoln's cousin, Clay has been called to the Washington State mission, Spanish speaking.)

Well, here in Mexico, the celebrations have been a little bit different.  We don't have Easter, for those of you that don't know!  Here there is the "Holy Week" which is a Catholic tradition.  They do different things throughout the week!  Some of those include having parades with a huge cross and getting a little angry at the Mormon missionaries walking by and doing some choice things with choice objects and sometimes it gets a little interesting....but it is ok:)  We had lots of success!  And we had a lot of help with people coming to church.  But it is definteley a little different, the celebrations here.  The church here (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) doesn't do much, and it is really a personal thing if you want to focus on the Savior that day or not.  But it really was good to study, to work, and think more of the hope we have because of this past week, and how we were able to share it with everyone who would listen.  It really helped the people, and they understood a little bit more of how Christ really is CENTRAL to our religion! 
Well, this week we had some great things happen.   First, one of our investigators has been able to stop smoking after his 15 year addiction!  It has been amazing!  His name is Isaiahs, and he has been working really hard.  What happened is, my 1st week here, when I could hardly speak Spanish, we taught him about the word of wisdom, and a little about our church.  Six months later, we find him again!  He says, "Elder Goodman, remember me?!" We started talking and he said we can visit more, and we have been.  We have been able to explain more about everything.  He has understood and really had the desire to stop smoking.  He has, up until now, been succeeding and it is wonderful.  Something I have realized is how Isaiahs does it!  It is because he always reads, and goes to church... it is the same for us.  Maybe not with only addictions, but with growth.  If we want to do something better, we have to say we want to do it, and then do all the Lord asks so that we can recieve His help.  As Isaiahs reads, or goes to church, he stays strong.  When he stops, we find him weakening or losing the will.  And the same is with us.  The Gospel, Christ, is the bread of life... really!  Remember that one thing.  What we feel like after fasting a day and imagine fasting 40 days.  If you miss scriptures, it is a freaking day of fasting spiritually!  Don't put yourself through that! POR FAVOR!  haha...that is all!
This week we also have had great progress with an investigator named Karina.  She is one who was really hesitant to go to church.  We have been searching for a way to help her, and we found it!  One of our less active members, Daniela, told us that she wanted to help.  And as she came to church, she told Karina how the Church really blessed her life.  She explained that maybe she had been less active before, but that she knew how important the church was for her and her kids, and testified strongly of the influence the church had in her family. Karina said she still wouldn't go.  But on Sunday, at 8:00 in the morning, she showed up to sacrament meeting!  Karina said she liked it and Daniela was so happy and really helped her the entire time.  It was a blessing for us to see... first Daniela strengthen her testimony, and after, for her to help another child of God.  It was an amazing experience, and when you have sufficient faith, even the miracles that don't look like miracles happen:)  I have seen a lot of things on my mission, but I really think that was one of the happiest moments I saw Maybe not one of the "wow!" But one of the ones God sends to say, "Elder Goodman, you are trying, relax, just have a little trust in me."  I loved it all. This week was full of a lot of other things, but really the biggest was the love of the Savior.  From the contacts in the street, to the people we taught, we had a week to share with everyone that there was hope.  That there was a Savior and that He loves everyone.  It was great.   I was so happy to be a Servant of the Lord this week!!! 
I really hope all is well with you guys. I love getting letters and reading every week, and I really hope my letters suffice. I know it wasn't much this week, but pictures take like 100 billion years to load. HELP THOSE WHO DON'T UNDERSTAND ABOUT THERE SAVIOR, TO UNDERSTAND.  Pray for help.  I know you guys can kick some butt this week:)  Love you all tons.  I am stoked for May to tell the truth... and hope you all enjoy everything you pass through every day.:)
Love you tons!
Elder Goodman!

 One of our less actives gave us this liquid that is inside that container....we call it the elixir of eternal youth....and I think it is against the word of wisdom...so we don't drink it anymore...

 I found a part of home!!!

 One of the kids was having fun with the camera...

 Making tortillas!

 ...more tortillas!

This is how we shop for fruit...we just pick it off the tree...but they are a little high!

Making cake... there aren't ovens here, so it was nice to finally find someone who can do cakes!!!!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

An Easter theme, share the message..#becauseofhim

What is going on up in AZ?!  I hope all is well of course.  Mom... You are going to kill me.  No pictures this week...please don't kill me.   We went to a zone activity out in the middle of no where and I don't have my cord to send pictures. But I promise I will send them. I have like 10! So I will send them next week without fail.  You have my promise.  I really am sorry.
Well, I really do hope you guys are looking forward to this week, because I am stoked! It is super intense to try and teach the week of Easter, but we are going to go crazy teaching the message we have of Christ!!!!!  I hope you guys share that message with others too, and really enjoy the week!  If you haven't seen it yet, look at mormon.org/becauseofhim
Ok, well sorry, I didn't realize I said something about when one of our contacts hit me with his guitar....but that is what happened.  Don't worry, it is ok.   And I will leave the story at that....haha! No worries....
This week was super awesome!!! We have been working super hard, and Elder Enriquez is getting more and more excited every day!  We have been having a lot of success and we are working hard and it has been a blessing to see how the Lord uses  that in HIS plan for us! First, we are with Oscar and he is still on fire.  It is crazy how, after baptism and trying to do more things right...more trials come.  And as they face Oscar, he keeps taking them head on and continuing to work hard.  We have been teaching his cousin and his mom, who came down to suprise him, and it was a blessing.  They accepted a little bit more of what he was doing.   They believed we really were different then what they thought and they will be going to church in these next few weeks! (they are only here for vacations)  Also, we have been working hard with the Flores Family, which have been less active.  They were baptized and never went back to church, so we have been explaining to them why the gospel is so important for them and they are finally coming back to church.  But something I have really loved, is that they UNDERSTAND why it is so important.  They remember the testimony they had, and like a child, it has began to grow.  As they grow the Lord really helps with everything they need. The thing that changes everything, is their testimony.  They can go just to church because Elder Goodman and Elder Enriquez are super cool, but it won't change anything if they don't know why they go and they don't have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ!  So that is what we have been working on and it has helped them, I believe, a lot!  Our invesigator Ramona kicked her husband out so she can get baptized.  And it will be so great to see her take the same steps her children have in baptism! She has been so excited, and we are just waiting a little longer and hope you guys can see her soon in a picture of white.  Because she really is so ready and doing everything she can to be clean of her sins.  She is trying to get to know her Savior, and to read the Book of Mormon! Something I have really seen in all of our investigators, is what I believe is the most important, their testimony in Jesus Christ.  Who He is... Why He is so important, and what He did for all of us.  It is a magnificent message with so many things I don't always understand perfectly, but yet the ONLY way we have to live with God again. 
We are also working with Israel a lot!  His parents said he can get baptized if he reads completely the Book of Mormon.  We start and read with him as much as we can and he reads (a little slower) when we aren't there...haha! It has been great to see him do something that almost half of our active members haven't ever done, in reading the whole Book of Mormon.   It has been a blessing in his life!
And  this week, one part of my favorites, is that we found a family that has been really excited.  We found them as a reference from one of our investigators and they are great! There is the Mom, Frida, and her three kids.  But two of them are deaf.  I am thankful to the letters that Dailynd taught me like 6 years ago from his preschool class, and the things I learned from primary and also from my friend Tiffany (I don't know if you remember her from high school, that was my friend who was deaf.)  I remember some things and we can communicate....well...at least good enough for them to understand and with reading and other things, we actually talk with them better than their mom.  It has been a blessing to see them and see how excited they get when the missionaries come!  They are so happy and we hope to have a lot of progress with the whole family, but we will keep you updated! haha! 
And lastly, we have been doing really well, Elder Enriquez and I.   We are super stoked about this next week.  We will see how it goes!  But really, I hope this week is great, and I hope you are all doing wonderful.  Please remember the Savior.  And remember what he did for each and every one of us.  If we understand that, there is so much more reason to share the gospel with everyone.  It is a message of joy, of Christ, of our Savior.  We can do so much more if we just understand a little more of that everyday! 
I hope all is well. I really do!  I hope to hear the good!  Love you tons!  Enjoy the week! 
Elder Goodman!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

I love the enthusiasm this boy has to teach as he believes!!


After General Confrence, I am taking the challenge to heart! I want my family to read Preach My Gospel and teach me from it every week:)  Planning on hearing about it! Of course, you have your agency, but only a challenge I have for you!
Well, this week was super great! With General Confrence, we went to all parts of our area going crazy and inviting everyone.  All other missionaries of other religions got a little mad when they saw their members with our flyers, but it is all good and we will continue fighting 110%... YOU KNOW IT! 
We have been really working hard, and Oscar has been helping a lot.  Israel wants to get baptized but his parents are stopping him right now.  We are teaching Amelia with a new vigor and a new spirit to help her understand the importance of the Church and the difference it can make.  It will be wonderful when she gets baptized. We are so excited for their family!
Oscar has been working well and really trying to share the Gospel with everyone.  He is going through some rough things, but when we taught him of the example of Jesus Christ, he has really been trying to focus on others and not just on himself, which has guided me to think of those same things.  When I received answers or was more converted in the past and how I need to feel like that ALL THE TIME...that happy, that level of revelation, but also that level of happiness to share it with others.  With that in my mind this week, we have been KICKING BUTT. hahaha!  We have found a new investigator named Rose, who is progressing really well.  Her husband is a less active and they have been to church and are really progressing.  They went to conference and felt really good.   We will be following up with them this next week!!!! We are really excited for them!
And, also we have been working on helping the people understand a little bit more of what the Gospel really is about.  How it really is Salvation.  It is not just a beautiful message or that they should listen because we are nice.  That it is different. That the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth, and that it will change their lives forever if they just try it!  It has been a real blessing to share that and to testify of the changes it has and will continue to make in my life!
General confrence was amazing. As I said, we shared it with everyone and we had a good turn out who came to watch.   We plan on showing other parts to those who weren't able to go (apparently we didn't explain that it was a prophet with the power of God well enough for them to cancel other plans.) But we love them and will therefore bring it to their homes!  Technology really is a blessing with all of that!
Also, I hope all is well with you guys!  We also have another investigator Karina, who is progressing really well.  We are teaching her family and plan to see them prepare for those covenants with the Lord that they need, to be baptized! Really, I know I always say this, but the Gospel, literally, from the first 5 minutes you share it with someone, can change their life.  And sometimes, 5 minutes is all you get.  But when you can share that part in short of time, the light of Christ automatically helps them to recognize something and change their lives for the better.  I love it and no matter how many people hit me with their guitar...(another story) I know it is worth it for others to listen to the Gospel. I said it to dad, but planting seeds every day...I love it!  It is my job!  Sea Feliz. Sea Mormon:) (Be Happy, Be Mormon) Love you all tons!
Elder Goodman!!

Stories of Mexico and my companion:
This week, we drank fermented fruit juice. I think it was against the Word of Wisdom...not sure, but it was from a member and they said it was ok? Then me and my companion got sick... and we believe it was a sign. haha
Uh....I am teaching my companion English...so we will see how it goes.  He just goes to all the missionaries and says two things, "How you doing bay-by?! (kiss kiss)" and "Wanna fight me?" hahahahahaha! Poor kid. Why does he have me to teach him Enlish?!  But it is all good!!
And that is about it....sorry I can't send pictures this week. (I know mom. I lied. I AM SO SORRY.) But next week for sure! Love you guys tons!!!

Elder Lincoln Ellis Goodman

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Continually Amazed...

Fam Bam!!!!
Well, just remember, first, I love you all, and hope all is well at home!  Thanks for ALL OF YOUR HELP! REALLY!
This week was super good! We have been working a lot with everyone.  Less actives, investigators, and new investigators, and active members... EVERYONE.  And we are BOTH tired. hahahahahahha!  We have been working really hard, and I know that maybe sometimes we don't see the full effect of our work, but the Lord has showed us His love in blessings every day!!!!!!!  This week we have been really excited with Oscar!  He recieved the Priesthood and was able to bless the sacrament this last Sunday. HOW COOL is that?  It really is great to see the people progressing.  All of our recent converts are working on taking names to the temple and are trying their best to work on their family history!  Really, it has been a blessing to see the Gospel continue to bless their lives!!!
Also, we have been working with the investigators a lot! Amelia is having doubts and Satan really is working hard with her, but we are fighting just as hard, if not harder:)  We hope to see her be able to take the first step these next weeks!  I know her trials are helping her become converted to the Lord.  Once she takes that first step, she won't leave and the Lord knows that, but right now it is a little hard!  She will make it through though, we know she will :)
Ramona is one that is an old investigator that we have been working hard with these last couple of weeks.  She loves it and was studying the scriptures really hard.  She read about  Lehi's dream the other day.  It was great to help her understand that she could partake of  that fruit and how she could take the next steps.  It was really great to see her get so excited again!!
Israel is really working hard.  He is the boy investigator we have.  He is the only one who can read in his family and reads to his mom every day from the Book of Mormon.  He is trying to remember everything we teach! hahahahaha!  I have loved being able to teach the gospel in a simpler way, with simpler words, and he really is enjoying it. He is excited about General Confrence and is inviting everyone in his little neighborhood in the middle of nowhere...haha!  We are excited for him:)
And of course... we are going crazy with others also, trying to teach as many as we can.  One is Sonia, and Karina, and many others who are progressing really well.   But I don't have time to explain all the people we teach in a week, only some! Sorry!
We have been teaching some less actives that we were super excited about!  Two families that we found in the street (they don't do well passing membership records here in Mexico so sometimes we just find people that say, "Hey elders! I used to be mormon like 20 years ago.  Did you know that?" )hahahaha!  So these 2 families and many other less actives were able to go to church this week.  We were stoked!   There is so much progression with them and we are hoping the church can help as we are growing so much.  One day, to put a church a little closer in these next coming years!  We will see:)  It is great to see the changes these last months, the growth, something great about the church!
And of course, finding new people!  We found 2 great families and some other individuals to teach, it has been big this week!  They are preparing and have the desire to be baptized!  We will see how it goes!  And we are excited that there are so many people!  After so much time in an area, people think I have "squeezed the sponge until it doesn't have any more water"... But we continue to find new growth and it has been really amazing!!!!
Well there is a lot more... I feel like I can only tell you like 1/20 of everything, but it is really detailed if I shared more...hahaha! But we are going crazy teaching everyone we can!!!!!
My companion is enjoying it.  He is a little too excited to baptize at times and sometimes the people get a little scared.  But he is slowly learning to love the people and how that really makes you the best kind of best missionary.  I still am working on it, but we will keep progressing together!  There are great days, and those are more when I am focused on the love of Christ and the joy of teaching...not the numbers, plans, or how fast we have to go! Work hard.  But the quality of teaching and the way the Lord wants it, right pops?;)  We will keep working hard and I am stoked for this next week.  Sorry if I am always so crazy... Everyone says I have "enthusiasm" for the work from home...I just love what I am doing.   Sorry if my letters don't share everything, but out here is great.  It is an amazing thing to be the Lord's servant.  We are hoping everything continues going well, and wish my 'son' (Elder Enriquez) good luck having a 'dad'(trainer) like me....hahaha!  You guys are awesome!  I really love you all tons!  Go crazy inviting people to General Confrence! And I know the missionaries might be different, but help them out! Have them do a family home evening or something with you guys.  They are servants of the Lord and there is a reason they are there. Maybe it is because one of your friends needs to listen to them!!! Love you tons! The Lord is hastening His work.  Let him do it through you! 
With all the Love in the world!!

Elder Lincoln Ellis Goodman!!!