Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hump day email....we are halfway!!

Mom! and Family.
This week.,, full of progress and the gospel of Jesus Christ:)
We started with Zone Confrence, which was wonderful.  Let me tell you, the field really is all white and ready to harvest.  With so many missionaries and so much conviction/testimony that those wonderful Elders and Sisters have to share, the Spirit was beautiful.  There is no way after feeling the power of the Spirit in that setting that you can say the Church isn't true. The Spirit manifests the truth of all things, to anybody that asks, and as missionaries, we each have a testimony of that.  And the best part was after the zone conference!!!  To see all the Elders and Sisters so excited to keep going, to try some new things, and go out to work again!!!  We are having a wonderful time, and it is a time I will never forget:)
I love it, but more, I know our Father in Heaven loves it!:)
When we got back from zone conference, we have been looking to find many people this week, and we were able to find another wonderful child of God.  Her name is N... She was a reference from C.., and she is seriously awesome!!!!  She said she would get baptized if God told her too....good thing that is our message:)  Seriously, she has been looking for something, about who she is, and is now super excited with the message we share about Jesus Christ.  But even better, WE FOUND LOST SHEEP (those people who have stopped coming to church for one reason or another).  One being Z... mom, who was a member before, but went inactive and isn't currently on any of the lists!!!  The other is her sister, who just wants to listen to us too, and hear our message :)  The Mom flipped when we 'found' her.  She said it was a sign from the Lord and is going to be going to church these next weeks:)  We hope to see her there!  I love being the Lord's servant!!!!
Also,  a great day, R... recieved the Aaronic Preisthood yesterday, and it was great!  Really, he is a great man!  We are so excited for him!  His son, E... and also the rest of the family, has said they see such a great change in R....  That he is more loving, more patient, and reads the scriptures with his family.  Really, a testimony that the Gospel changes lives.  R... has been and continues to change by the Spirit, and it has seriously been a wonderful experience, one of the best moments of the week:)
And last, it has been crazy to think I have finally completed a year.  I have seen sooooo many changes, and it is crazy!!!!  I love it soo much:)   I love being able to teach!  I was freaking out a little! I want to be here for more 3 more years..haha!  But we will see what happens...:)  I just want you to know that I love and miss you, but more importantly, I would never give up the things I have seen or done here, not for anything.  I know I am not a perfect servant of the Lord, or even close, but He makes up for it and I have such a strong testimony of that.  The Lord, really has been, and will continue to be my light!  And that is all that matters:)  I hope you guys are doing wonderful, and that school, sports, and everything else is going well:)  
Remember that I love you all sooooooo much:) 
Love,Elder Goodman!!!!

 Companionship award :)

His Zone...He is in the middle :D

Friday, August 22, 2014

To forgive...

Seriously, a great week of work.  We were all over,  many different miracles and also many hectic experiences, but all in the spirit of the work of salvation:)  It was great!!!!
This week we had the baptism of R... and his son E.... Two great children of God!  They are a dad and his son, and they were so excited for this week.  Just the story...what happened is we had a less-active member who was reactivated in our ward.   Well...she brought her friend R..., who had just suffered the death of his mom.  And that particular day they talked about the plan God has for us and why we can make it through those sad times.  R... loved it!   R... then brought his son to church, who also loved it.  The next week, his son said,  "I want to be baptized so I can be clean of my sins and my grandma can be pround of me."  It was a special time!  And of course, that baptism is what followed.  R... and E... continued going to church and learning but also having some trials.  They made it through with help from members of the ward and the gospel!   Last fast Sunday, R... gave his testimony, as an investigator.  He testified that he knew the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes families happy and that the Lord never gives up on anybody.  It was seriously awesome... to see the change, to see the joy the Gospel brought R... and E...! Really amazing!
Also, we were happy to see something special in sacrament meeting this week.  Sometimes, as always, people in the church make mistakes, and that is ok.  But people get offended and their misunderstanding of the Gospel leads them to make unwise decisions.  We talked about that in Sacrament meeting and classes this last Sunday.  It is something I have seen many times this week, because as missionaries we also make many mistakes.  We talked about what really is the principle here, forgiveness.   I loved it because for me, it is an action we have to learn to become more like God.  The Lord forgives us weekly. He forgives us every day.   We hurt Him, make Him sad, or make bad choices multiples times a week and He forgives it all when we repent. With that, it is hard to say as members, that we AREN'T going to forgive somebody just because we don't want to or don't think it is possible.  It is a different perspective and I really do love it.  We say it is hard to forgive at times, but I think it is harder for God to forgive His sons and daughters, who took the life of their own older brother and his beloved son, Jesus Christ.  That is what I have seen and that is what we explained in the classes.  None of us are perfect or even close, and as Jeffrey R. Holland says, "Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with.  That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it."  Imagine the practice. He forgives billions of times a day, billions of His children.  So how can I not forgive 1 of MY brothers or sisters for the 1 sin or mistake they made?  It is incomparable, and I love it that way.  I love the chance the Lord gives ME to be clean.  I really do love it and I can feel it weekly.  I promise and testify of that cleansing power of the Atonement.  Through Jesus Christ, we can forgive and be forgiven, for the sins or stains we make in our life every day.  I love that, and that is what I want anybody I talk to to understand.  As a missionary that is my purpose, to invite others to be clean.  And who wouldn't want that?  That includes to have that burden of dislike or hate lifted from your shoulders.  I love it!  I love my Savior who made that sacrifice for me, so I could be clean again. 
Hope that makes mind is really stuck in Spanish these last weeks...we don't have many English-speaking missionaries in our zone, so I can't practice talking English very much:/  But I do love you all!  And I hope what I learned, can help somebody this next week!!!
Love you all.
Prayers your way!
Elder Goodman!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blessing of the Plan...

This week was wonderful...again.  We had a wonderful time teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, calling people to repentance, and giving all of our heart, might, mind and strength to help the Lord in his work:)
First things first, some of our investigators have been passing through some troubled times. This week has been crazy teaching the same things, but in different ways that apply so well to every person.  For example...the Plan of Salvation.  The plan God has for us as His children.  Started with T.... She is one of our investigators with her husband, R....  But recently, R... passed away.  It was hard for us to see because he really had the desire to get baptized and it was something, of course, that you don't want others to pass through.  But when we went to her after the funeral and she said she wasn't in the mood to talk about the Gospel.  So we said a prayer.  A prayer just to help.  That prayer touched her heart and she invited us to teach more, especially of what we think about "after this life."  We loved the opportunity we had to explain to her the importance of part of God's plan for His children. 
Then, with J... and J.... who are recent converts and who want to go to the temple.  Teaching them again all the blessings they can have as a family, and that families can be together for eternity, they got so excited!  They have 2 children, and they are so excited to be able to be together forever. 
Next we taught the young men and women in class on Sunday. Teenagers, who didn't understand how important they are and how big of a blessing the Gospel is to each of us. 
And then, finally, me as a missionary, preaching the same thing to different people and having to learn by the Spirit myself.
All of the four cases ended the lesson happy. hahhahahaha!  All are working and growing in the Gospel.  And all were blessed by the message.  I love the Gospel for that reason!!!!
The Gospel is applicable to any person, at any time in their life, and that is why I love teaching it. 
This week, we were able to have the baptism of E..., a wonderful friend of mine who also has a testimony of who he is, part of something bigger.  He is only 11, but he knows he is a child of God, and for that he asked his mom to go to church.  He helped her realize her potential, and be able to be active in the church as well as understanding the gospel himself.  The Lord has His instruments!  He knows when and how to use them!!!  I love that!  I saw it many times this week, as many of the people we saw, taught ME a little bit more about the divine blessing of the Gospel in our lives.   That is why I wanted to share it:)
I love you soooooo very much.  Here in Mexico, everything is so wonderful.  I love being able to share a message that has blessed every single day of my life!!!!
You are all amazing, and thank you for YOUR examples:)
Especially you Mom.
Love you tons!!!
Elder Goodman:)

 Eating out after a baptism...

We saw this wonderful wheelchair in the back of a man's car. HELP FROM THE CHURCH ALL AROUND THE WORLD.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Live like you believe!!

As suggested by many in and out of the mission, I have decided to use only the first initial of the names of individuals Elder Goodman mentions in his letters to protect their privacy...Thanks!

HEY! I LOVE YOU... WITH ALL MY HEART.  If you didn't know that:)
First, Mom and Dad, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!! I am so grateful to be part of the family you have raised and love:) Thanks for everything!!!!!

This week was great.  What week isn't great right?!  I love it here!  haha!
This week, we were so excited to see the baptism of Cesar, a wonderful son of God with a lot of potential ahead of him:)
Just a little bit more about C..., he really was an investigator who was ready for the gospel.  One of those that understands, teaching, seeking and  converting himself.  I am almost sure that we had nothing to do with it.  That is wonderful.  The conversion process was between him and the Lord!
Well, C...was a refrence from a less active member we were trying to get back to church.  C... had some problems with things in life (like all of us to at some point), and one day he had an accident that served as a wake-up call of sorts.  That day, he wanted to find where he needed to be.  His friend invited him to church.  He went.  Then he went again, and again, and again.  As we taught him, he got more and more excited about the Gospel...  a way to be clean. A way he could be closer to his Heavenly Father.  It was wonderful to see.  He changed his life-- 180 degrees.  We were and are so excited for him and the future ahead:)
 Also inn one of the pics, is a member named A.... He was able to baptize C... and we were soooooo excited for him!!!  A... is one of our recent converts also, and it was his first baptism.  It was a spiritual high for us as missionaries because we saw both A... and C... grow.  A... was super nervous all week, and is also trying to overcome some problems right now.  But after awhile, he practiced for the baptism and did perfect!!!:)  After the baptism, when he was waiting for C..., he was smiling ear to ear and was so happy!  We saw a change in him too!  And now, A... is even more excited to go on a mission:)  It was great to see him "catch the wave" on missionary work!!!
D... and G..., you have heard a little about them, are also struggling right now!  The more they investigate the church, the more trials they face.  They know it is true, but they are working on getting married and fighting those temptations to stop trying, to not go to church, to go back to the life they had.  It has been something special to see in everyone though, is that they never want to go back to the life they had before the gospel.  Our message is a message of JOY, of happiness, of eternal substance.  That is what we want!  Every person we find usually loves that part:)  We hope to help them fight in that part, and we know the Lord will provide a way for them to get married!!!!
Also, just wanted to say sorry to family and friends, if at one time in my letters I get/got preachy or weird!  I don't mean to, and I hope I never bother anyone with my letters or make them feel uncomfortable.  But I do love this work. I do love it out here!  The thing I have seen, is no matter who you are, if you want to teach a message well, you have to live it, and have a testimony of it!  And my personal testimony grows every day.  Every week without fail.  I love that part!  I LOVE THE MESSAGE OF THE RESTORED GOSPEL!!!!
Really, that is all.
I will send pics.
Let liz know I love her, and miss her:)
Ash, good luck... fresh meat!
Faye, protect your sister and enjoy this year!!!!
Love you all! And I always will!!!
I hope you have a wonderful week!!!!
Elder Goodman!!!:)
 I found Lizzie on a Coke bottle!!

 The Subway of Mexico!! haha


Friday, August 1, 2014

Have the courage to ask.....

I thought I would include a little Q&A from Lincoln...since he is not very good at just answering questions, all at one time....he is a goof!!  Love this kid!

Hey! Family! I love you!
Mom...for not answering your questions the last few times, I have copied and pasted all your questions I could find and I will try to answer them well.
So, how was your week?(mom)  Super great! We are working hard and everything is soooooo good! Thanks for asking!  Where are you living?(mom)... in a house mom....not sure what kind of answer you would like to that a house... in the state Colima... in Mexico. hahahahaa! On a street....idk?  What is it like?(mom)  It is chill. We are in like "downtown" and it is rainy season here so there is always rain at night, and CRAZY THUNDERSTORMS.  YOU would love it:)   What do you eat?(mom) ... food......other question I'm not sure how you wanted me to answer....tortillas? Cereal? Chicken? Pancakes? Eggs? Milk? Carne asada? Sushi?  Whatever the members give me...haha:)
 My challenge to you, maybe just answer one of my questions....maybe??(mom) ... yes, I will answer all of them.  
 So maybe this week you could actually answer some of the questions I have asked you the last few weeks??(mom)... YES.  How is your companion?  He is chill.  That is the best word I can come up with! Poor kid has to put up with me every day.  WHO is your companion?(mom)  His name is Elder Tejada.  He is from Peru, and he is 26.   Do the members feed you?(mom)  Yes! They are great, and always try to help in that way!  What do you do on p-day?(mom)... clean, wash my clothes....write you food....the yooshe.  How was your week?(mom) FANTASTIC.

This week was super perfect and bomb.  I loved every minute.
We will start with R....  R... is an investigator we have.  We found R... through a less active member we were activating about a month ago! R... is her grandchild, and she is wonderful.  R... decided she wanted a second chance at life, and she had been asking.  She knew she had done some things in her life and, like every single one of us, she wanted to be clean.  So she asked the Lord for help.  At the same time, we (missionaries) asked to find somebody who needed the gospel, and we found her.  R... loved everything and really taught herself.  She was so happy and excited to be baptized, and she finally felt clean.  It was a joy to see:)  R..., I think was SO prepared, so strong in the things she knew, no challenge stopped her.  Even though she was worried, and Satan made her feel like really, there was no way to forget the past, the Spirit testified to her of our Heavenly Father's love for her.  She has a testimony of the Atonement!  It was great to see her growth.  Sorry I never explained about her...but she is great:)  A wonderful sister of mine.  She is going to go to the temple in 2 weeks!  We are soooooo excited for her!!!!
Also, C..., another investgator, is a powerhouse.  He is always working, he has like 3 different buisnesses....and when he isn't working..he is sleeping...haha!  But he always finds time to read the Book of Mormon and pray.  It has been great to see.  As we explained to him this point, that the scriptures were the way to recieve answers (he didn't read the first time...and we were really sad and I think he realized it....) He put reading the scriptures to the test.  He said, "If I had a message on my phone that I didn't look at for 3 days, a lot of problems could happen....I have to read that message from God, everyday!" hahahaha! I love it!! We love him, and he is so excited to be able to grow in the Gospel:)
D... and G..., are the other two we are working with.  They are looking for happiness, in a world where there seems to be nothing.  But we happened to find them, and they are so excited.  They also have been asking questions, and I think that is the best thing.  To help be an answer to someone's prayers.  It is a special priveledge the Lord has given to each of us. And I felt it this week. These 3 were all so excited,  it was a situation of "knock, and it shall be opened unto you." 
Each and everyone had simply ask.  We have asked, as missionaries... people ask, and we receive:)  I have seen it, and I am stoked to be a part of that promise from God! 
All of that, connected to our last investigator, Ro...  She accepted us because we are "good clean cut young men" as we would say in the States.  But, she said, "I never ever want to get baptized in your church, or in any other church."  Well, the principle, to ask, was important in changing her heart.  We started to teach. And as we taught about Joseph Smith, she was touched in a way... no young man (clean cut or not), or his words, can touch a person!  It was the Holy Ghost.  We saw the difference in her character, and we asked her again, if she would be baptized when the Lord said she should be baptized.  She of course, said yes.  But more important we said, "then ask."  The whole Gospel is central to that!  It is a great part! Personal answers from my personal Father in Heaven! And that is what I get to teach.  Don't believe me, don't worry about what anyone else says.  Ask the person who knows everything. Who loves you and who you can trust in, God.  I love that part.   I know the Lord loves us!  In a way I try, but will never comprehend that love.  Ask, that is the key:)  I love this gospel! And I love each one of you! :)
Elder Goodman!!!
 And Elder brother in FUTBOL! 


Our district....the sisters bite :)