Monday, September 28, 2015

Be "The Fourth Missionary"

Hi everyone!

This has been an awesome week!

This week I read the talk 'The Fourth Missionary'.  It's a great read- changed my life. The main idea is to consecrate yourself to the Lord. To follow the commandments and do everything you're supposed to- because you want to. Not because you have to. Once you learn to take joy in the work you'll be able to let the Lord work through you, and change you.

I took that to heart this week, and had some cool experiences. I started speaking Spanish as much as I could, I started interrupting my companion during the lessons, and I started talking to people on my own. Coincidentally this is also the first week that I've been able to a) understand almost everything being said, b) carry a conversation on my own. And c) get exactly what I ordered for lunch!

Before this week my companion would give the lessons, and I would bear my testimony. This week I started teaching and trying to converse with the investigators.

My companion hates contacting. Before this week if he didn't want to contact, we didn't contact. This week I started going up to people and just talking- I came up with a short elevator speech about the church. And I would just give it to everyone!  I also started knocking doors. They don't do that down here. My companion had never heard of people doing it down here. The rule is that we can't enter a house if there isn't a man at home. This week I realized that we can still talk to people on their doorstep though! I just started knocking doors and talking to people. We found a really positive family this week from door knocking!

I also remembered Dad's story about knocking on doors and looking for 'Maria del Carmen'.  I started doing that! I would knock on a door- or stop  someone in the street asking them if they knew Johanna.(Johanna is a contact I was looking for who lived close) none of them did. But that gave me a chance to say something about the gospel as well! I actually found a women named Maria del Carmen doing that!

In short:
This was the week that I decided I wanted to BE a missionary.
This was the week that I decided to take responsibility for my learning and teaching.
This was the week when I started to enjoy being a missionary.
This was the week that made all the difference.

I'm excited for the next two years!

I love you!
-Elder Goodman

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Week of Miracles

This week has truly been a week of miracles.
I´m teaching now. My companion will literally just stop talking. And look at me. And then it´s my turn to go and pick up where he left off. The first time was pretty scary, but I´m used to it now. And everyone we teach is really patient.  I have a strong testimony of the Gift of Tongues!

We are teaching a man named Benjamin. And this week everything just came crashing down- in the best way possible.  He got a new job that gives him Sunday´s off. We were really praying for that. He came to church and he loved it! (they don´t usually love church here). The lesson in Gospel Doctrine class was on tithing. He asked where the slips were, and how to pay tithing. He really wants to live the commandments!  He quit smoking, and he also is working on quiting coffee!

We are also teaching a man named Johnny. I really like him. He lived in the U.S. for a long time. He speaks English very well. His daughter is already a member, and she´s really pushing him to join. I really like teaching him because the lessons end up being 50-50 English and Spanish. I teach him in Spanish- but´s it´s really nice to be able to answer his questions in English. We taught him the Plan of Salvation last night, and he loved it! The Plan of Salvation is easily my favorite lesson. It´s always brand new to the investigator- but they always accept it.  We shared 2 Nefi chapter two with him and he was just blown away! He literally just sat there awestruck after we finished reading it, then he started talking really fast about how awesome/life-changing it was!  He also told us: ¨I don´t know what it is, but my life has gotten so much better after you´ve started teaching me. It´s like God is just pouring the blessings down right now.¨  That was pretty cool!

Have a great week!
-Elder Goodman

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Zona Ilopango

We discovered a blog of a missionary (Elder West) who is in the same zone as Zach.  I borrowed this photo from his blog.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Pollo Campero!

Hi everyone!

This week was really really hard. Probably the hardest week so far- but I had a lot of cool experiences as well! We are really working to strengthen the ward- last week we had a ward activity where we visited a ton of less actives.

Last week attendance - 84
This week attendance - 122

It was really cool walking into the chapel and seeing it full! We also brought a family to church for the first time- and they enjoyed it! That´s pretty uncommon down here. This family I really, really want to baptize. The family Rivas. Father and 8 year old son are named Hector. The mom´s name is Rosemary. The dad is very cool. He used to be in the Navy, so he values punctuality and cleanliness- also uncommon. They are accepting pretty much everything. They ask a lot of questions (uncommon) which makes it really fun to teach them. We taught them the Plan of Salvation, the Word of Wisdom and Sabbath Day all in one visit- because of all the questions they kept asking. And they accepted all of it! It was all brand new to them- but after every concept they´d nod and say "ah! that makes sense!"

Elders quorum this week was pretty awesome! After the lesson they told everyone to stay in the room, then they brought out tables to sit around. They started passing out plates of Pollo Campero (Latin KFC). We got chicken, French fries, coleslaw. It was awesome! Then they brought out cake and wrote out all the birthdays in June, July, and August on the board. Apparently they needed to use their budget for the quarter. So they blew it all on food for the Elders Quorum. I enjoyed it!

I think I said something about the average temperature here, but since then I´ve been actually keeping track. This is what I´ve found. The coldest it´s ever been was 74 degrees. That was at 2 in the morning when I woke up because it was too cold. In the mornings before study it´s about 80. Which is perfect. Very comfortable. By the time we finish studying it´s usually in the 90s. I don´t know how hot it gets in the afternoon, but when we get home at 9 it´s usually right around 98 degrees.

I really wanted to write more about what it´s like living in El Salvador. But I ran out of time. 1 hour isn´t enough. Maybe next week!

-Elder Goodman

p.s. Adriana didn´t get baptized. We´re hoping her grandma dies, then we´ll be able to baptize her. Don´t pray for that though!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day!

Hi everyone!

This was a pretty good week! Looking back it went by fast, but the days take forever. It was cloudy and rainy all week which was really nice! This week we focused a lot on less actives. We did splits with ward members to try and visit as many as possible. It was pretty crazy!

This week I´m starting to practice street contacting. That is really hard. I always thought it was easy to talk to people- but down here the culture is so different, and I can´t understand them anyway. It´s really stressful!

Funny story, we´re teaching a man named Mauricio. He loves his Bible- so we gave him a Book of Mormon! We came back and asked if he had read it and if he had any questions. He hadn´t read it. Because of the pictures in the front. They were ´graven images´. Which is against the 2nd commandment. It didn´t take very long to clear that up! It helped that he had pictures hanging on his wall.  First visit he told us about a dream he had where he saw a beautiful building. Big and white. But he couldn´t go in because his name wasn´t on the book they had at the front. We showed him a picture of the San Salvador temple and he said that was it! That´s why he originally started talking to us, so he could enter the temple.  It´s pretty cool how many people have similar dreams down here!

We´re teaching a girl named Adriana. All we need for her to be baptized is her Grandma´s permission. Problem is that her grandma is pretty crazy. She´ll give permission, then change her mind. We´re trying to have Adriana´s baptism planned for Saturday- but we still need the permission.

If you´re going to pray for investigators pray for her! Thanks!

I´m trying to send pictures- but it´s pretty hard here. Spanish computer + different setup + really slow internet. 

[Kanani asked Zach some questions.  These are his answers]

1.  Do they give you a card and add money to it each month to cover your expenses?  How much do you get? 
Yup I get card and we take out $200 each month. $80 goes to our cocinera.(our cook) $20 to the ward member that does our laundry. And the last 100 we use to pay for breakfasts and pday food. And buses and soap, water, etc.

2.  Do you have toilets?  Anna-Maria didn't in the part of Guatemala that she served in :(
We have toilets, that don´t flush. You just dump water in them and somehow that flushes it. First time I was really worried that my companion was pranking me and I´d make a really gross mess.

3.  What is your schedule for a typical day?
6.30 wake up. exercise, eat get dressed. 8-9 personal study. 9-11. Companionship study. 11-12 language study. 12.30 go to lunch. 1-8 proselyte. 8.30 come home go to dinner. 9 plan, take a shower, write in journal. Read.  10.30 bed

4.  What are fast Sundays like for you?
Fast Sundays are not that bad! We start our fast at lunch on Saturday.  Skip Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast. Church starts at 9.30 so after church we go straight to lunch. On Saturday we had a baptism and ward council meeting. It was set up so that we didn´t really have time to go far. Not very much walking!

Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman

At the temple.

At the air force museum.

 Where we play soccer.

My house.