Friday, October 24, 2014

How you finish...


2.  How is your new companion? He is chill!  I will be sending pics the following week!  But he is hard core, and we will see if he has enough patience with me....;)
3. What is his name and where is he from?  Elder Monzon (sounds like Monson)....imagine that in the church.  The prophet and hombre bueno in makes for a laugh.  He is from Guatamala. 
4. Is your appetite back or is it a work in progress?  Yeah... all is well.  Everything is good once again.  Sorry to worry you guys.  But really, nothing big, no worries:)
5. What do you need? nothing! 
6. What would you like in your Christmas package?  Yep, the time is already here and I usually send it off at the beginning of November, so you need to let me know.  YOU DON'T HAVE TO SEND A PACKAGE.  NO WORRIES.  BUT THANKS.  I STILL HAVE TO SEND YOU GUYS A PACKAGE...IT WILL GET THERE.  I PROMISE. (Don't worry, I will be sending a package anyway :))
 I can't believe the holidays are just around the corner (mom)-- I can't either.
 Good and bad....they come and go so fast :(  
7. How  was your week?
Ok cool... I will explain my week.
This week, was hard core...and great.  Seriously, no complaints.
Something I have seen is the way the Lord helps us out in whatever we are doing.  There might be harder days, or better days, but if you are doing the Lord's will, you can't end badly. 
This week, we worked hard.  My companion had to slowly get to know the investigators, the less active members, and also the members in our area and of our ward.  So we had a lot of working, and walking to do. <= good thing.
The thing is, no one was at home and many decided to leave on vacations, or they were just  out and about when we wanted to visit them. <= challenge.
SO WE WALKED MORE. <= solution.
Cool huh? hahahahahaha! No, but something really amazing that we had seen is how the Lord led us by the Spirit.  Maybe not everyone was in their home... like ever.  BUT, when we DID find them, the Spirit was so strong in the lessons and we could feel it testifying of every word we said.  We felt that we had been guided to the people we found, and if finding those souls and those people meant walking a ton,  it was worth it to help out one of my brothers or sisters in the end:)
Also, this taught me a special lesson that I had learned a long time ago.  I believe I learned it in the MTC.  It is a saying, "It doesn't matter how you start, what matters is how you finish." And that was awesome to see.  How we ended the days, how we ended lessons, showed where our hearts and desires were.  It was something I loved and it really fired us up  this week!
After that, we had some seriously cool experiences.
One... we couldn't find anybody in their houses so we had started contacting on the way to the next visit.  As we were doing so, a sister told us that she was a less active and that her whole family had been baptized.  She hadn't been found on any of our lists, so she told us directions to her house and everything and said she wanted us to visit.  It was a tender mercy to find her and her whole family.  If we hadn't been contacting, she would have continued letting the missionaries pass by her house without saying anything,  like she had for the past 2 years.
Second... J..., one of the investigators hit a hard point this week.  With his family and everyone fighting, life was little down, and his work was also.  He came to us one  night in the church and explained all that was going on.  He asked how it was possible that the more he looked into the Gospel, the worse things seemed to get.  We thought about it.  I will tell you the truth, there are like 100 different ways to answer that question for me and I didn't know which he needed.  But, then we went to the scriptures.  We talked about SALVATION. How salvation wasn't cheap, but was definitely worth it if he always had it in his mind.  That the rules, were not rules or restrictions, but more opprotunities for us to be blessed.  That if he wanted blessings, the point was to follow those specific commandments.  It was great to see him change his attitude and he ended saying, "Well, I want to SHOW the Lord I am serious, so if you have any more rules you guys want to tell me, tell me all of them right now!" hahahahaha!  It was great:)
And also...O... was a blessing.  We have had problems getting him to chruch and we were praying on how to help him.  Well, we went and visited him and he said he not might be able to go.  He had  some excuses so we told him, to do what the Lord wanted.  But, we were unsure when we left.  Saturday we passed by O... house, because we were in the neighborhood again, and he called to us from across the street.  He said he felt a NEED to go to church, and that he was sure he wouldn't miss... and he did come.  But something we saw, was that he had changed.  Not from us, but from the Lord, and it was wonderful to see him in conference.
Last... we had Stake Conference.  Me and my companion helped in the priesthood session to teach the members a little bit more about the work of Salvation, especially missionary work (we have a little experience in that part).  It was great to see the brothers and sisters receive revelation during our talk/lesson, and writing down things they wanted to do.  Although we hadn't had much time to prepare, the Spirit guided us, and helped them know what they needed to do in the next six months.
I think that was the best.  Looking at all that, the phrase comes back, "It isn't important how you start, it's how you finish."  It applies to so many things...the, and what God wants for me.  Maybe regarding the whole week, I could say it was rough or that it was great, but the thing I loved is how we finished.  It has been wonderful.  I love it out here,and the thing about life, is how you finish.  I love you guys so much.  Hope you have a great week, and enjoy everything:)
Elder Goodman!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Count the blessings

Sorry if this letter is short....we had changes this week, and we don't have a lot of time-o  But I want to let you guys know I love you and that I wrote you first!....haha:)
This week was full...Full of work... Full of learning... Full of Sickness...Full of Meditating... FULL OF BLESSINGS.
yeahhhhhhhhhh....  We were super busy this week to tell you the truth.  We have had Family Home Evenings almost every day (everyone gets excited about those....the Elder's are SO creative...;)) Also, we had council this last week and that was great.  With baptismal interviews and everything else, we have been a little busy.  But it is AWESOME.  That is how the work is!  And the problem is the weeks pass by SUPER FAST.
Second...full of Learning. 
The Lord has seemed to teach me, that I have never learned TOO much.  That it isn't possible.  That even after I have dissected a scripture, went super deep, and understood it on like 70 different levels, there is still something I might be missing.  And to tell you the truth, it is super crazy.....I think I will be sharing more of that next week...because it is hard to explain.
Third...full of Sickness. 
I don't really like sharing this part, but I did want to let you guys know that I have been sick. Yeah...poor kid, I know, but it has been a little rough.  We still went working but, in the end, my body couldn't run farther that was meant to, and I went down swinging. hahahahaha! I think the thing is, it was still spiritual for me.  To be sick, in bed, throwing up at any thought of thoughts were guided to many things.  To view and to meditate...and it was a major blessing.  The Lord allowed me to take a step back, to say, "Ok whoa, where am I REALLY in my life.  What do I want to do, and how am I going to do it,  so that I can become the best servant of the Lord I can in the time that he has left for me here in Mexico."  It was time to do the self-evaluation, and it was a major blessing. I was really sick and wouldn't mention it if I wasn't, but that is what happened...and that is how life goes. Woo hoo!
Full of Meditating...
(see last paragraph)
Full of Blessings....
This week--AMAZING.
J... is progressing super great.  He is the bomb, and seriously, he always puts a smile on my face when we see him for lessons in the church.  Whether it has been a bad day, or a good day, a day of rejection, or a day of major success, the Lord always gives us people like J... to lift us missionaries up.  He is super excited and happy to see all that is going on.  He loves learning.  I think the thing that makes him STAY so solid is that he reads.  HE ALWAYS READS, and it strengthens him in his temptations, and anything else he passes through.  Althought he does have his temptations and all, he is going hard like a champ. 
Now....J..., isn't the only person progressing, or who reads, or anything, to tell you the truth, but I wanted to tell you about him because he helps me.  His example of early conversion helps me in my times of conversion also. We are excited to see him in white.:)  One day, with his Father in Heaven when we can all be together!
Also, we have had a major miracles these last days with new investigtators.  The members have been getting excited about the missionary work, and that helps us!  One of our recent converts, A.., has been really excited to share the gospel and she looks for every ALWAYS looks.  One day, she  passed a street vender who was talking with a man about God and religion and everything.  She had the chance to listen and join in.  She shared her little bit (she had been practicing, because she was nervous) and she said she felt good.  But better yet, the man asked her to share more, so she took his address and gave it to us.  We visited him and his name is O.... He told us he wanted to know the truth and of course, we were more than happy to share it with him.  He said he was ready to do whatever was needed, but to tell you the truth, I was lacking a little faith.  Two days later, we passed by and O... had read the pamphlet we had given him.  He had started to read the Book of Mormon and he had started to pray.  In all the problems he has and things he is going through, he told us that was the only place he had felt peace, in the scriptures. It was important and a blessing for us, to be able to teach another one of my brothers the things he knew BEFORE:) tell you the truth....those are just little things.  I don't know how to explain to you guys everything that goes on here.  We do a lot of things.  The work of the Lord is the work of my life so it is hard to describe in a letter, but the experiences  that I share usually describe the whole week in a nutshell.  With all the rejection or the problems, crazy stories or temptations,  experiences or trials, or no matter how many times we get turned down, the thing I realize is it always leaves positive. The Lord makes sure of that:)  That we have hope and have the happiness in seeing His miracles.
I love this work and everything I can do for this work. This is the work of the Lord. I know it.  I testify of it.  And I am so happy I can participate in it!!!!
Hope you guys have a great week. Love you tons.
Elder Goodman
Found this gem on fb from one of Elder Goodman's friends in Mexico!! Thanks!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The little things...moments that matter :)

First....questions: MOM- I DID GET THE PACKAGE.  IT WAS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING.  I HAVE USED EVERYTHING THAT WAS IN THE PACKAGE AND IT WAS SERIOUSLY A GREAT BLESSING FOR ME.  My companion loved the blue Mountain was because he had never tried it and he wanted to know what it was like...(there is no mtn dew here....only in Sam's there is even less of other flavors)
Also....Conference was great...I will explain that a little bit later on....
This week, I learned and loved the little things.
We start with a Tuesday.  It was hot, the sun was shining, and we were sweating to death.  When, lo and behold, clouds come in from the East and a huge rain storms hits us from out of nowhere!  Well...we were left to run in the streets and take shelter under any little roof we could find.  That has happened a few times, but this time there was a blessing.  As we were waiting under a little shelter, a little woman opened her door and gestured us to run over to her house and enter... so we did.  It was with her little family,  everyone was there, and they just sat there like.."ok...we invited these crazy missionaries in....what should we say?"  Well we took the opprotunity of the rain to talk with them, in their house.  To teach about Jesus Christ and help them all feel His love.  As we finished up, the rain stopped, and we were able to leave.  But we were more happy they had accepted us into their home and we could work and help one more family get a little closer to Christ.
Later, our friend, J..., is progressing really great.  He has been touched by that fire of the Spirit and he is loving learning and recieving the lessons.  He loved conference and he loves the church.  It has been great to see those changes he has made over this last month or so.
Next...we come to lunch... we were eating in a restraunt of a sister and we heard some women talking.  One started to cry as she explained her distress about the death of her grandpa.  The Spirit told us to talk to her and to join them where they were sitting.  As we got to know them, and explained the plan that the Lord has for us, the lady slowly stopped crying.  She listened intently, asking questions and focusing on our message.  She then asked,  "Do you think this is all really true?"  It was like a movie, but the Lord let us do the easy part of testifying of truths and allowing the Spirit to testify to is always humbling to be the Lord's instruments.
And then....after lunch....we went to an older sister who has been having problems with her family and the various things they were going through.  We had a plan to teach them, but when we got in the home, the sister started talking, and explaining a lot of things she was going through.  And really...she talked for a long time.  I have listened to many people but this woman really did like to talk!   I was a little antsy after awhile of what we should do, because our lesson didn't really apply to the need she was expressing. In the end, we decided to ask her a question. (It had been like an hour by now without any word from either of us) When she finally looked at us, we said,  "Sister, is there anything we can do right now to help you?"  And her answer struck me hard... "You have already helped, just by listening."  Maybe we hadn't taught anything. Maybe, the Spirit didn't even prompt us to teach something, but we had listened, and that is what the Lord had wanted.  It had opened my eyes.  After a year of people expecting you to have an answer, or to help in some way, it was touching to see this sister.  She didn't want answers.  She didn't want solutions.  She wanted somebody to care and to listen. And that is something I love to do:)  It really helped us out, as missionaries and I loved the blessings the Lord gives me here, the experiences I get to have:)
And of course....conference.  Conference was super bomb!  To tell you the truth, it was perfect.  It was perfect for us.  It was perfect for our investigators.  It was perfect for our missionaries and for our members.  We had gone the whole week passing out little flyers glued to pass along cards to anyone and everyone who would accept them, and to my suprise, many had an intrest of what went on in the Chruch.  As a result, not only investigators came, but new people came and others with questions. It was serioulsy wonderful to see the conference bless so many people and answer many of the questions I had.  I didn't have a favorite talk, but I loved the parts about revelation.  Maybe it is just me, but it is something different about this church.  That you can recieve answers straight from the Almighty Himself.  It is a priviledge and a beauty.  I loved the parts were they explained the process of revelation, and it is something I love to see EVERY week... EVERY DAY!   It is understanding and recieving those little messages from the Lord. That is just a quick explanation because not much time, but I did love it. 
And I liked that the people talked in their native language. :)
Love you guys tons. You never leave my prayers. May you all be protected and have a great week!
Elder Goodman!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Questions from mom, FINALLY answered :)

Goal of the day, make a whole letter based off of the questions mom gave me this week....lets see how it goes:)
1.  How is the work?
Super, super bomb...there is no better word for it!  We are working super hard, us, our zone, and our missionaries.  When the Lord said "thrusteth in his sickle with his might" he wanted ALL our might, and that is what we are doing right now.  It is a blessing we are seeing! Maybe, we are never the best tell you the truth...I believe we have the best missionaries here ;) ...and they are working hard, and doing super well, we are excited to see the fruits of our labors in these coming weeks:)  The work is progressing well, and little by little, everything starts to click and work well.  It is the best:)
2. How are YOU?
I am personally doing great.  I love it out here...if you can't tell...and life is seriously wonderful.  I love LEARNING.  I love figuring out the plans the Lord has, and having just a little bit better of an idea of what the Lord wants, day by day, experience by experience, prayer by prayers, and study by study.  It is hard to understand, and maybe I won't ever be perfect at it, but I do know that the Lord and His plan for each of us is PERFECT.  I know this without a doubt, and that He works in ways much higher than our ways.  I love it, and I am happy to work in HIS work.  To be the person He wants me to be, at all times, in all things, and in all places.  It is something I have loved from before I was a missionary,   but I love it even more here:)  Life is great.  Work is great.  The great.:)  What more can you ask?
3. Are you feeling good? (you NEVER answer that question.)
Mom.... I am feeling great.  I love life and my health is ok...for right now:)  No worries! I know....I have recently completed the record of 1 year without going to the emergency room or urgent care, and I plan on going at least another year more. How cool is that?  Everything is good here:)   I have to actually start excercising harder to tell you the truth, because winter is coming on...and I am not sweating off everything I eat....I actually have to work....sad, no? hahahahahaha:)
4. How is your companion?
He is doing great.  He is a seriously a patient person, to put up with me for so long and really, we are working hard with the whole zone in everything we can.  It is something we have learned here.  The success of others, the completion of goals, and the excitement of our investigators, or less-actives, or even our missionaries, is much more important than our own happiness.  We feel better when they have success in the Lord's work than I ever thought we could.  He is working hard, and the Lord has helped us... and again, me, with my own weaknesses.  I KNOW that He is there with us, every step of the way.

ok....that is about all....all the questions you asked....Also this week, we have been focusing on how to work more EFFECTIVELY.  You bet all those lessons of managing your time, and planning that you guys have taught me came into play.  We have many investigators progressing wonderfully and the Lord is building His kingdom.  And really, He is kind enough to let us be part of it:)
Maybe there were no names, or specific experiences mentioned this week....sorry...but I wanted to see what would happen if I just answered the questions.  I love you all so much.... really.... a ton.
Love you with all my heart:)
Elder Lincoln Ellis Goodman!!
Mission President interviews....Love this smile!!

The Lord's time...different from our own.

I..., is an investigator, who two weeks ago was going to be baptized but didn't show up to the interview because her friend made her feel like she wasn't sure.  We honestly, were a little devastated.   We had thought she was ready and all was well, but obviously there were some hookups.  After 2 weeks, lots of work, and her own personal growth she got baptized! AND SERIOUSLY, IT WAS GREAT.  We saw her countance, her way of being change as she gained a strong, firm testimony of the Book of Mormon.  She battled against family and friends to be baptized, and fought many other temptations.  But she endured them a ll, and she came ready, sure of what she was doing.  She was convinced she would never fall again. It was wonderful to see and with the help of D&C 20:37, she knew she was ready to be baptized...but in the Lord's time:)
Second, A..., one of our recent converts who has been on fire, has had problems with his family since he got baptized.  They aren't members and they didn't understand why it was so important for him....we, as missionaries, have been working 4 months with the family, just to ACCEPT us in their home, and guess what?!  IT FINALLY HAPPENED.  This last Tuesday, the whole family came to a Family Home Evening (FHE)with the ward, and they stayed the WHOLE TIME.  A... himself said it was a wonderful miracle, and really, we are seeing a lot of progress with his family and everything they are doing:)
Also, another person who's heart was softened, was Ro....  He is brother of Re..., a recent convert.  He, also had slammed the door in our face, and was not very happy with us these last few weeks.  But this last week, when we went to visit Re..., he came out of his room just to listen to what we talked about.  We didn't say anything to him, but let him listen and feel the Spirit.  Yesterday, Ro... went to church all by himself, a personal decision:)  It was seriously great to see those changes...the work the Lord does while we aren't looking.
And last, we had a training meeting for all leaders this last week.  We recieved a lot of....revelation on how we can be better.  We learned to be humble and to remember, that it is the Lord's work, not mine:)
My conclusion: In the Lord's time.  We struggle in the Lord's time.  We are happy in the Lord's time, and we don't really understand the Lord's time.  He has a point of view, and a plan very different from ours....and it was something I saw.  As missionaries, we would rather push, or worry, or give up, a long time before the Lord wants us to.  So... just wait, and let the Lord do his work.  I loved it.  Humbling for me, and a major thing I needed this week. 
I love you all tons. The Lord loves you. I love you!
Enjoy the week.
Elder Lincoln Ellis Goodman