Thursday, July 24, 2014

Like a Child...

Hey! How are you guys?! How are vacations!? I am so happy to see all of you in pictures:)  I love you all tons!  Hope you know that!!!!!!!  Seriously!
This week was great...and full of the Spirit:)  We are sooooooooo happy.
This week started out great!  We found 2 great investigators.  Ramon and his son Edward. They were a reference from a recently activated family!  They were so happy and had been going to church a few times before we were able to visit them.  When we saw them, the child, Edward, said "Dad! Now I think I can get baptized!"  Ramon was flabbergasted and asked, "What is baptism?"... But going to primary had already taught Edward what baptism was and why it was important.   We were happy to explain to Ramon at that point.  We talked about why we should get baptized, and what it is so important.  Ramon realized that the Spirit had touched his son's heart, and it was great:)  We are now visiting them, and hope to give you an update this next week on what is going on with them.:)
Also, we found a friend at the baptism of Valentina the other week.  Her name is Lupita and she is 15 years old.  She wanted to feel the love of God, and it was perfect timing.   Last week was FSY, or EFY (Especially For Youth).   And guess what?! SHE WENT EVERY DAY--  THE WHOLE WEEK!  She was so happy and excited to see and feel the love and hope of the gospel:)
And lastly, we are teaching a new family that was also recently activated.  They told us to come to their house, so we went, only to find another family there!  They said "Hey, we want you to help this family like you helped us."  The other family freaked out, saying it was a trap and a whole bunch of stuff....hahaha!  But it was a great experience to see:)  We eventually convinced them we were regular people and taught them a message, and they are going to go to church this next week:)
I think the best thing is this. The whole week was influenced by children.... hahahaha!  Crazy but true.  Reminds of a  scripture in Mosiah 3.19 "...For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a childsubmissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." -- Acting in the way God would have us act.  I have noticed as we teach, that the people want to be more like Christ, more like children, as they immerse themselves more fully in the Gospel.  It is a thing I love.  And I saw this week. We are all children of our Heavenly Father, so we should therefore, be humble and meek like children.  We don't know anything compared to what He knows.  We have no power, like He has.  But He is our Father.  He helps us and He wants us to help His other sons and daughters.  My mind of course went to the way she is ALWAYS happy, she is always sharing the gospel, and she is always trying to make others happy.  She is always trying to get to know others, and she listens to whatever you tell her...(at least when I left) . So that is what I hope we can do.  We look to make others happy and we ask our Father in Heaven, "What do you want me to do today?"  I love that!  I hope that doesn't seem preachy or something, just the things I learned this week.  I have to be more like a child.  I have to find more ways to be better.  I have to be more humble.  And when I do that, I can become a child of God, the child God wants me to be:)  The work is hastening!  The field is white, already to harvest!  And I love it!!  I love the Gospel.  I know it is true!  I am so happy I can bring my brothers and sisters to see the same things in their lives!!!  Love you all:)  Hope you are great!  All in my prayers!
Elder Goodman!!
 ...Since he mentioned her--to be "like Lizzie".  This little girl sure loves AND adores her big brother...I think the feeling is mutual :)

 We had a crazy took out all the trees in our area...haha!! Now there is no more shade!

 Elder Zarate was finishing his I made a little ceremony of giving him a CTR ring, how cute, right? :)

This is Jennifer, one of our converts here!!....I still think girls have cooties if you can't tell by the pics! haha!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The ability to change....

(This is the first email I got from Lincoln....He always says he "will do better next week!!".....)

Sorry...don't have time to write today. Next week! later!
Elder Goodman:)
(Then came this email about 20min later....He THINKS he is soooo funny!! :))

haha... jokes... you all thought I was serious. I am soooooo funny via internet.
Well! Happy summer! Our investigators finally left and are now on vacations!  It is wierd to think you guys have been on vacation for months...hahahaha!  I hope it is great!  I hope you are enjoying every minute!
This week was great.  Every week is great.  All days on the mission are great.  I hope you all know that.
First, is the story of Gerardo.  He is great.  Gerardo, the spouse of a recently activated sister named hermana Garcia.  She is wonderful and they have a child named Emmanuel.  He is 11yrs. old (in the picture behind his dad), and he is autistic!  Well, we met Gerardo and we have been talking to him.  He is amazing and he has had a great change.  He went from drinking, being angry and depressed, to happy, loving, and looking for more happiness in this life.  He has gained a strong testimony of his Savior.  Gerardo wasn't baptized because he had some problems...forgiving others.  And, figuring out the difference between the Gospel, Church of Jesus Christ and the people. But it was great to see the difference as he uses the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and has had a change of heart. It has been amazing.  He is so stoked to keep going, to be a witness of Christ at all times, and in all places! 
 Also, we as a zone, have been working on many things.  As you saw in the picture, we were teaching how to plan better for the zone, and it was great.  We are so stoked for the work and how it is progressing.  This zone is hastening the work and doing so well in that way! 
We also had the baptism of a sister named Valentina.  She has changed her family at the age of 9 years old.  It has been a wonderful thing.  We met her family my first week here in Colima.  They were less actives members.  Her family was at a point were they forgot the whole point of the Gospel. Well....Valentina told us she wanted to be baptized like her sisters, and that she was old enough to decide. hahahaha!  Perfect!   We prepared her, and she showed her family through her example how to change.  She stopped using bad words (she is a little fiesty...haha!). And her family wondered why. After awhile, she said, "I am going to church."  Her family said that they were too tired to take her, so she said she would walk.  THE GIRL IS A FIREHOUSE!  She was ready to walk like 5 miles to the church. hahahaha!  Then she said she wanted to truly be baptized like Jesus Christ.  She was hoping she could be baptized in the river next to her house, but she finally said it was ok if we baptized her in the baptismal font.  She is great.  Of course, with an example like that, she reactivated her family.   They are now working to go to the temple so that they can be together forever, with that firey little beautiful girl Valentina.  I respect her a ton, and I wanted to let you know how great she was! 
Really, I think the thing I saw the most this week...was CHANGE.  I think that is one of the best parts of the whole gospel.  Is that we CHANGE.  We aren't the same person.  We shouldn't be the same person.  We have to be better:)  This week I was able to see, in  the life of Gerardo, the ability to forgive, do the Lord's will, and grow spiritually.  The zone... getting better every week, to help the work and get people to understand  and come to Christ!  And finally, Valentina, changing her family one Sunday at a time.  I loved it.  I love the gospel for this reason, for the reason that we can change. Always at the pace of the Lord, in His time. Somepeople seem to progress much faster, or slower, but it doesn't matter.  If they are changing,  I think that is the point.  It has been great.  I love it here.  I love being able to change.  I think sometimes we see ourselves and we have a lot of faults. But to work them one one by one, eventually, we change.  We become different than who we were, and more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I don't mean to preach to you guys...sorry.  It was just something I saw, something I have a testimony about.
I love the atonement.  It is there to use, and we use it EVERY DAY.  There shouldn't be a day that goes by that we forget.:)  I love my savior!  I am so stoked to help others understand that principle, to change!!! I love you all!  I miss you.  I can't wait for that day when I give you alll huge hugs.  But understand I love it here and I love seeing miracles and the blessings the Gospel brings to the lives of all.  The Chruch is true.  Jesus Christ is my Savior!  The Lord is my Light!!!!!
Love forever,
Elder Goodman!!
 THIS IS GERARDO! HE IS THE BOMB! And he got baptized by the Hermano Guadalupe!

My new backpack... 

 I still haven't found out completely how to really use a broom...

And uh...This is Elder Poblete....he isn't my companion...never was...but he is my friend and is super cool!!!!  We were both in Vallarta for the same amount of time..this is when I left for Colima..but he is still there!  Love to all Elders!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The message that changes lives....

Hey! Just a few things. Faye! Your hair is so long! You are crazy!
Ash, don't break a leg.
Dailynd... I love you tons bud! And you look so muscular shirtless;)
Liz... You are beautiful. I love you so much and I miss your hugs.
And thanks for all your patience with me.  Sorry I stink at writing, but I am working on it...process of repentance. No worries, little by little, grace by grace.  Puts a whole new meaning to "line upon line".....hahaha;)
WEATHER FORCAST FOR COLIMA MEXICO: Good Afternoon. I hope you are all sooooooo well.  This week has been great.  We are loving life here in the mission. T he skies are cloudy.  Thunder struck our house the other night and I went deaf. hahahaha!  Rains indicate that there is nobody to contact outside their houses, and we also see that there are many dangers here in Mexico with live wires, open electrical boxes, and rivers in the streets.
BUT NO WORRIES. We are protected by the Lord...and our sound Logic....:) right.....
Anyway, to tell the truth, it has been raining and we have been going crazy, but it has also been a wonderful week.  We have taught, found golden investigators, and seen miracles!  It is wonderful!
This week, we visited a man named Cesar. I have to tell you about Cesar!  He is a man made for the Gospel!  He sells juices.  Juices that are super tasty!!!!!!  And he is a great man.  Cesar, we found through a member, who invited him to church.  She said there were young men that were really great...and she wanted him to become like them.  He said ok, and he came.  We met him and it was a great experience!  We have been teaching him the lessons. The thing is this... the Lord is the worker here.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and we told him we would visit in a few days. T he next day he called.  He had read the Book of Mormon and he said it sounded great.  He felt great. And he figured out that the missionaries don't convert.  The Lord speaks for His church.  We believe in PERSONAL REVELATION.  The Lord will tell you, you just have to ask with faith and a sincere heart. And that is what Cesar did.  Now Cesar is learning and on his way to have a better relationship with his Father in Heaven. I am so stoked for him!!!!
Also, we have some other investigators that are working hard.  One is Teresa.  She is the older lady that had a hard time coming to church.  Well...she twisted her ankle badly and couldn't walk.  She decided to let us know she wouldn't be able to make it to church, and was worried she wouldn't feel good all week because she hadn't gone to church.  It was a testimony I loved to hear!  If she, not being a member,  worried or felt that way, how much more did my less actives, or actives members, for that matter, feel the same way?!  I love that part.  The Lord speaks to us.  It isn't the mouths of humans that share the message of the Restoration.  It is by angels and the power of God.  And it has been amazing to see that happen these last weeks.  The Lord has blessed us over and over in this area this last week.  We have loved every minute, and we are seeing progress in the area.  This next week, an investigator named Gerardo, will finally be baptized!  He and his wife recently got reactivated and are using the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
This week, I think, was just full of gratefullness.  I know that maybe none of these stories make sense, or have a lesson, but I was just pure happy--to see people changing their lives--to see them use the message we have. We see it every day, morning and night.   And we see how the LORD works in their lives, not us, but the message and the Gospel as it touches their hearts.  I love this Gospel.  And I love my Savior Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for what I have, and the testimony and knowledge I have!  I hope that makes sense. hahahahaha! Thanks for everything. I LOVE YOU ALL TONS. 
SORRY FOR MY SHORTCOMINGS of writing letters.
Elder Goodman:)
 Training for zone leaders :)
Elder Goodman teaching other Elders with a baseball analogy :))

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our time....

How is the fam-bam?! Sounds like summer is going great! I am so happy:) I hope you are all enjoying swimming! And enjoy the beach this week there in California! Serioulsy! I hope you enjoy it!
This week, has been something difficult.  Better, a week to learn:) hahahahaha!  We are working in the work of the Lord!  I AM SO GRATEFUL TO DO ITTTTTTTT!
This week, we had a few little miracles I have loved seeing this last week.  One was with an investigator of ours, her name is Teresa!  She and her husband "hit a wall" in the Gospel. They decided they were too old to change or to even go to church.  Her and her husband have some health problems,  but we of course, with the Spirit, convinced them to come this last week.  They said "Yeah...we will see you there..." if you dont know, that is the best rejection you will ever hear.  It your dreams I'm going to church!  But, we continued with faith.
That sunday, they showed up, sick, and looking a little fragile.  Her husband, Rodolfo, had been throwing up, but he said he wanted to go so they went.
And the Lord answered our prayers, that meeting was powerful.  We as missionaries, gave talks about missionary work. 
But that is when the miracle came.  Teresa and Rodolfo, after the sacrament meeting, LOOKED better.  After the meeting, Teresa told us, "I never want to miss another Sunday for the rest of my life.  We will give EVERYTHING to come every week."
It was AWESOME!  Seriously!  The thing is, for me, I realized what Sunday really was.  Why I am ALWAYS looking forward to it.  It is because no matter who you are, this day is a day between you and the Lord.  We are healed that day from all the spiritual, and emotional hurts of the world.  It is so important!
Anyway, the other miracle that I loved, is about our other investigator, Maio (my-0).  She is a reference from a new convert, and said she would never be baptized and never go to church.  That was great.  Then....she got sick, and low and behold, the Lord works in mysterious ways.  Her sister (the recent convert) told her about blessings and that of course, it depended on her faith.  She said it was ok, and she asked for a blessing.  As we gave it, we felt calm and with a sure knowledge that she would do great (the Spirit has a way of testifying!)  And three days later, she called her sister.  She said that she knew we did have the power of God, and that she wanted to know more. And.... SHE CAME TO CHURCH! Great things!  
The Lord puts people in our way, but the thing that was most interesting was that our sister reference, had said that her sister wasn't ready... "that is wasn't her time."  But as we found out, it might well be her time.  There is 2 different times in this world.  Our time and the Lord's time.   We have no idea what the Lord's time is.  He knows ours perfectly. So if there is someone who isn't ready, you are judging the Lord's time without even knowing what is His will.  We contact, because as 'Preach My Gospel'  says, "Usually you do not know who these people are.  They may not immediately recognize that you are the Lord’s servants. They may not understand that greater peace, direction, and purpose in life will come through the restored gospel than from anything else. They often do not realize that they are looking for the restored gospel until they have found it. For example, one convert said, “When I heard the gospel, it filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t know was there.” Another said, “I have finished the search I didn’t know I was on.”" And as members, you have the same challenge, and promise, to " Have faith that you will know what to teach and what to do to find those who will receive you."  Maybe it is friends, or family, but I want you to know. Salvation is worth a rejection.  There is no reason to hold back our message.  And after seeing the joy the church has brought to Teresa, or to Maio, I can't help but try to contact anybody who might be ready to recieve the Gospel.  I love you all tons. I know this Church is true with every fiber of my being.  And I know that the knowledge I have, that I can be with my family forever, is all I could ever ask for.
Love you all tons! Look forward to hearing about Ash and  hope she doesn't break an arm:)
Elder Goodman!!!!