Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Something familiar...love

Ok...as you know, I had a great opportunity this week, a great blessing.  Elder Russell M. Nelson came to our mission to spend a little time with us and to teach us.  I will try with all the power of my vocabulary and writing to describe how it went this week.  Then I will think about it, and try on expound a little bit more next week.  But I wanted to tell you some parts that I loved. 
Elder Nelson shared with us SO MANY THINGS.  The thing I loved most was that sometimes, or better, many times, it wasn't by only his words but more by what I felt from the Spirit.  He touched many subjects and he left us a LOT of homework (for that I will be sending you more next week) but something definite, is that he loves everyone he sees.  You could feel it, and it was a familiar feeling to me, something I had felt before.  I loved it and I think it was a lesson he taught, in and of itself.  If you are a TRUE disciple of Jesus Christ, people feel it.  Many knew when he had entered the building, when he entered the room, because you felt a difference.  At times, that is how people feel with us, as members, or as missionaries.  They FEEL that difference.  It is a love, a feeling, only the Lord can give and people can feel the difference.  I loved it and it is a goal I have to have that feeling with me. 
After, Elder Nelson talked about many things, but one thing I loved was this-- it is something I have learned and shared with you a 100xs but I will share it again because I love the subject.  It is the Lord's way verses man's way.  The Lord showed me something important...man's way, at times, is still what I like to do.  The man's way to show love, is by showing it-- giving hugs, cleaning dishes, making beds, and other things.  It is something I have done all my life.  Then, the Lord's way....  Leave them.  Leave your family in the care of the Lord, leave those thoughts, those things behind, and work with all your heart might mind and soul for the Lord.  He will make your family so much happier.   I was a witness of that.  I hope you all know that I do love you with all my heart, but I will not say that I have got stuck thinking about you guys, or got unfocused.  Something I have seen, is that in whatever I do, it isn't as effective, isn't as powerful, as the way the Lord can do it, whether it is for you, or for anyone else.  I can teach someone with the best words, the best acts, and everything else, but the one who teaches is the Spirit.  When a person decides to take that step to go to a quite place, to pray fervently, and to receive personal revelation from the Lord, the Spirit steps in.  I can't cause that.  I can't make the Spirit come.  It comes when there is a desire and the Spirit can teach.  I hope that is something you guys can understand about my work here.  I try to contact everybody, or share the gift with everybody, not because I want them to know it came from ME.  I want them, for once, in a very long time, to feel a Spirit they were so familiar with before...that is what the point is.  Because I don't/ can't convert the people.  The Lord converts them, to HIS church.  And I love that part.  All He requires of you, and of me, is to try, to give 110%.  And I am happy that is the Lord's way. I could never help you the way the Lord has helped you.  I am grateful....SO SO GRATEFUL. for that.  Elder Nelson shared so much more.  He shared with us many parts of doctrine.  But I think the scripture that came to my mind, that I love, is 2 Nephi 32:2-3...
2  Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?
 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.  
To be taught all things I must do.  I know this doesn't explain everything, not even a 100th part.  But I will organize a little bit more of my thoughts, and let you know next week.  I LOVE YOU EACH SO MUCH.  But the Lord loves you more.  I want you guys, your friends, my friends, my investigators, and the members of Colima to understand that.  Hope you have  great week. And that this serves for soemthing.
Love you tons!
Elder Goodman!!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


LESSON OF THE WEEK: As you feel the joy that comes from understanding the gospel, you will want to apply what you learn.  Strive to live in harmony with your understanding.  Doing so will strengthen your faith, knowledge, and testimony.  Acting on what you have learned will bring added and enduring understanding (Preach My Gospel. Ch. 2)
This week, we have been working HARD CORE, helping the people understand the Gift. First, if you haven't seen the video, please watch it. Seriously.... "He is the Gift," it can change the way you look at Christmas.  Here on the mission, it has been a powerful tool to really let the people know WHO we really are.
First, for me, we got to see the video and get an official start to this week.  Seriously, just seeing it made me get excited.  IT IS CHRISTMAS SEASON.  THE BEST TIME TO SHARE THE GOSPEL FOR THE PEOPLE HERE AND WE ARE EXCITED TO SEE IT!
So this week, we went straight to work showing the video to anyone who would let us! Investigators, contacts, members,  EVERYONE, and it has been great. 
We had an investigator, C... he is A..'s brother and A... is a recient convert.  He had some questions about God, about if He really exists.   So we showed him the video.  At the end, he told us that he KNEW God loved him because He showed it by His actions.  C... changed, and he said, "Can I share this with someone else?"  We told him, "Of course!"  He posted it on facebook, and shared it with one of his friends, who then accepted the missionaries.
Then, we went to R.., other recent convert.  We showed him the video.  He said it was good, but he was thinking more beyond that.  The next day, he called us, "Elders! I showed it to my friend.  He is in my house right now!  Can you guys please come and teach him?!"  That was a little bit enthusiastic, so we went there after some visits and his friend was waiting.  He said he loved the feelings he got when he saw the video, and when we talked about Christ.  He decided to go to church this week!!!!! 
Last, was a sister in our ward, Sister M...  She had some problems trying to figure out how to share the Gospel with her friends and she was a little bit sad because of being rejected at times.  When we ate dinner with her, we showed her the video.  She  changed her attitude. "Everyone will like this!" she said, and she decided to share it with all her neighbors, friends, and family this last weekend. 
I know these are a bunch of experiences, not about me, sorry....the mission isn't about me. 
The thing is this....
These are people from all different backrounds with lots of history, but they can RELATE to this video.  They can remember WHY we have Christmas.  I love it!  Seriously, there are many more things I could share but I think the most important is the message of the video.  I have to understand and apply the Gift in my own life.  I would not be able to share it if I didn't undertstand it.  That has made all the difference.  If you can't tell in the letter, I AM SUPER EXCITED.  This is the time to share!   I am so happy it is my job to share it with everyone and anyone who will listen.  But, if I want to do it well, I have to live it.  I have to be obedient.  I have to strengthen my testimony every day.  I have to live what I preach.  It is the same for everyone of us:)  I hope you guys can share the Gift.  But first, discover it, and accept it.  Then, share it:)  I love you guys so much!  I want you to know one special thing... I know with every fiber of my being, that my Savior lives and I know I can be clean through Him.  It is a fact.  I have done it and continue to do it every week of my life.  I hope you know how important He is for me.  Because He is my gift.  Jesus Christ is the most precious thing I can share with anybody else.  I love you soooooo much!  You are amazing.
Elder Goodman!

Monday, December 15, 2014

By the Spirit...

We have been working to find anyone and everyone that will listen (like always, but a little bit smarter this week) and we have been focusing on families.
We wanted to "teach when we find, and find when we teach" and seriously, the Lord blesses us SO MUCH.  We have been finding families, and the thing I realized, is that it all had to do with the Spirit.
I have learned something super important, it is something little and I want to share it with you.  It is this... When I started the mission, I was excited, I talked with lots of people, and sometimes I thought my "young" mind wasted a little bit of time were I shouldn't have... decisions of "good, better, and best" right?  But now, we have been trying to find people and there are two ways to do it.  I can find people by my own work and what I think works best, or I can find them by the Spirit.  They are very different.  So I planned to find people by working by the Spirit and this is what I have found.
“When conversion takes place, it is through the power of the Spirit. In order to succeed in missionary work, these three things must occur:  We must feel what an investigator must feel in order to receive conversion. We must understand how missionary must feel in order to teach with the converting power of the Spirit. And then we must understand how member must feel to succeed in participating in the conversion experience” (mission presidents’conference, 3 Apr. 1985).
I, Elder Goodman, no matter who I am, or how great or bad I am, it doesn't help me or make it possible for ME to convert anyone.  I CAN'T DO IT.  The Spirit converts, and without the Spirit my time will be a waste of time.
I started the week trying to find a little by myself.  I know....sometimes I have a hard head....but I was trying and we were hitting some roadblocks.  Then, we changed our tactic. We had to do what we were doing by the Spirit.  We found, talked, and acted by the Spirit. Some of the best days of my life...being guided and teaching so strongly by that Spirit that really knows everything I should and can do. 
AND IT WAS SO EXCITING, WE SAW SO MANY MIRACLES-- people that NEEDED the Gospel in the time frame that we found them.  But it wasn't just 1 or 2 or 3 of them.....It was SO MANY MORE.   That was the blessing, to see how many things can happen if we trust in the Lord's time, working by the Spirit.   Seriously!  We ended up working hard this week, and we ended with many blessings.  It is hard to explain, but this much I can say.
When I am here and writing, I can't decribe it perfectly but I will try.  To be led by the Spirit is something I have had to work on, but it is something I have loved.  It makes you excited, it makes you have energy, and I love being able to feel that peace and help when I am teaching others. What happens is this... I think of all things and I have realized, it doesn't have to just be on the mission, but in ALL I DO forever --The Lord wants me to go a certain way, and if I focus on Him and have a good relationship with Him, I will understand His will so much more.  I will change my will to be in line with His will, and in turn, be more like Christ.  I love it.  And I hope everyone that I get to meet will understand that, that they have a chance.  It is through the Spirit that we know how to change, to become like the Master.  And that is what our Heavenly Father wants.  I love it. 
I hope you have a great week! Love you!!!!!
Elder Goodman!

Nice Ties!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

The value and significance of work

(A little Q&A to get started :D)
1. How are you doing?  MOM....you always ask that question....my answer is almost never going to change.  I am GREAT.  I LOVE IT HERE.  That is NOT a lie.  So don't you worry:) All smiles and love and the Gospel here in Mexico!!!
2. Are you well yet? ...from what?! Mom, I have been well for a long time:)  No worries. Thanks for your help in everything, DON'T WORRY. BE HAPPY. 
 3. What are your plans for Thanksgiving? uh.......teach people, and help them realize how grateful I am for this Gospel.:)  Cheesy, but true.

ok... this week... straight quote, “I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work!If missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the  Spirit, he will touch the heartsof the people and he will be happy.  There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry.  Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
–President Ezra Taft Benson
This week, we WORKED.  And we worked hard.  We have decided, that we were loosing a little bit of that vision of work, so we went to it.  To tell you the truth, the first few days....didn't go so well, and we learned something much more important.  It is the second part of that quote, to teach by the Spirit.  That is what we had to do, what we had to focus on. There was  a difference and you could see it, between following the Lord's will in the work, or trying to hasten it by myself.  That doesn't mean that the work wasn't good.  The promise is true.  But the thing was, there is a DIFFERENCE.  By those little difference, bring about great changes. 
Recently, we have had a new church building built in our zone, and IT HAS BEEN A GREAT BLESSING.  A really great mercy from the Lord, especially during this season.
So much of our success, was central to that, this new church.  With the new church, we had been inviting everyone and anyone to the "preopen house" and many people were excited. People from all over Colima came to see it, and many members were so proud to show and invite their friends to the new Chapel.  It was really a great blessing and that is what I loved to see.
J... continues to be on fire, inviting anyone he can to come unto Christ, because he REALIZES how important it really is for him.  It is amazing.  Really, he has been working hard and I love seeing that fire of ALL the recent converts in this area.  THEY REALIZE THE BLESSINGS, and they really want to share it with others. 
Lastly, we have been focusing on finding families, and we have been raising the bar in contacting any family that we can come in contact with (in any reasonable way, and when the Lord tells us, of course)  As part of that, we have many new families who are listening and want to understand and recieve the blessings of the message of the Restoration.  That has been a great blessing... to see first, that they ACCEPT us.  Second, that they listen and are willing to act of the things we give them.
I think I am not doing so great at of expressing this very well, but it is the best I can do in this moment.  I worked on this... the Lord will hasten His work, how He wants, when and where He wants.  My actions and my humility, demonstrate what kind of instrument I will be in His hands.  If I really work on being the best I can be, He makes up for it.  Maybe that has been my message like 50 hundred times during the mission, but I hope you and I finally understand it.  The Lord loves you and I for who we are, and He wants ALL of us to get back to Him.  So when he puts you or me in a situation to share the Gospel with someone else, we shouldn't be selfish and worry about sharing it, or trying new ways of doing it.  If the Lord says to do it, do it.  It is a lesson I have still been working on.  I love this Gospel.  I love being part of hastening the work, helping others, feeling what I feel, and getting to help others know their Reedemer in a way they never thought possible.  I love my Savior, and that is why I am out here. I don't want to miss the little opprotunites to work out here, whether it be one person, or a family, or a card, or a pamphlet.  I love you:) 
Elder Goodman!