Monday, October 26, 2015

We had 23 investigators promise to come to church

This week was awesome! This week was the most successful week so far. We taught a ton of lessons, and we found some pretty positive people as well. E. Wallace and I have been working really well together, and I can feel the difference when we teach. He´s been helping me a lot in our morning practices, and I´m starting to get the feel for how I want to teach certain topics. This week our zone also started doing weekly practices, and that has really helped as well.

We made a goal to testify of the Atonement in every visit - every lesson. And I can feel the difference. I`ve heard it said that the Atonement is the center of the gospel, and the goal has been to make it the center of our message as well. There are tons of churches down here, literally on every street, every corner, all types. And none of them teach the Atonement. Everyone believes in Christ here, every knows he is "El Salvador del Mundo", but no one knows what that means. Our goal has been to help them understand that. Understand that through the Atonement we can be made clean. Understand that they can repent. That they can be baptized. That they can take the sacrament.  We taught the sacrament a lot this week. And with it we were able to commit a lot of people to come to church. We had 23 investigators promise to come to church.

And on Sunday we had 3 show up. That was really depressing. Obviously 3 is better than none, but it wasn´t quite what we were expecting. Sunday was really hard. Our ward is not very strong, we have a pretty building, but we can´t fill it. (I took a picture, but the computer I'm using this week won't accept my camera). There is a lot of bad feelings in the ward too. A recent convert family that we visit has become inactive. This week we found out why. They wouldn`t tell us exactly what´s going on, but they are having problems with another family. Yeesh. Everyone has an excuse why they can´t come to church, but it´s interesting that the most common one is that they have problems with someone else. The second most common excuse is that they can´t wake up on time. Our church meets at 10:30.  Needless to say, Sunday was a hard day (that rhymed!)

E. Wallace and I started a new game. We are building our ward leadership dream team. This is what we´ve got so far

Pres Monson: Bishop
Helaman: YM pres
Noah: Ward Emergency Preparedness specialist
Herod: Nursery teacher
Amulek: Ward Mission leader

If anyone has suggestions send them to me!

This week we met two people who live in Provo and are here visiting family. That's pretty cool!
One man has a niece going to Mountain View right now.

Also, next week our pday will be on Tuesday. Next Sunday and Monday we will be working in the cemetary doing a Dia de los Muertos activity.
Don´t freak out when I don´t write.

-Elder Goodman

Kanani's questions:

1. Can you listen to music, do you have a cd player?
Yep! We can listen to MoTab and instrumental hymns. We have a cd player too.

2. Have you and your companion been able to stay pretty healthy stomach wise?
For the most part. There is a family that we eat with every Sunday and Friday. Their food isn't very clean. We usually have diarrhea and stomach pains for the rest of the day and the next when we eat there. However, we get as much food as we want when we eat there. And it´s free!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Senior Companion for the Day!

This was a pretty cool week.  The missionary in the picture is named Elder Togicala. He's a Samoan from Ogden. And he's brand new. He's got about two weeks on the mission. He and his companion had a baptism this week, and because my companion is the district leader he had to do the interview. This means that Elder Togicala and I did an interchange for all day on Thursday. That was a good experience for me! I was the Senior Companion for the day! We had a ton of fun! It was amazing how we could feel the Spirit in our lessons even though my Spanish is barely sufficient and his was awful. It was a great testimony to me of the power of the Holy Ghost, it made me realize how much we depend on the Spirit in our lessons. And in our lives.

I got your package! The one with the CTR rings! I gave one to a girl we were teaching named Meybeline. She got baptized on Saturday, and she asked me to do it! I like to think that my little bribe helped! Everyone in our district except one companionship baptized that day. President Vasquez knew one of the people getting baptized so he came too! That was a little stressful! I really wanted a picture with everyone baptizing, and getting baptized, and him. But we didn't end up doing it. He took this picture for us though! He also spoke- he has a really cool conversion story.

Benjamin and Noosly are getting married this week! I'm really excited - they have two little girls and it's really cool to think that the two girls will get to grow up in the church! Last night during our prayer I asked for Benjamin and Noosly to get  married, and E. Wallace started laughing. Apparently I said Castigados instead of Casados. I actually asked for them to get punished. Whoop! Family Viscarra and Johnny are doing good too. Thought you'd like to know, but there's not really anything new to report.

-Elder Goodman

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Bunch of Guys Who Were Crazy

This was a pretty standard week,

I got your package! Thanks! We got it in an unusual way.  We got a call from the AP's during lunch on Friday, telling us to go to our bus stop and wait. The Hna's in our district are the Hna Leaders, and they had just gotten out of a meeting with the AP's. On the way home their bus passes through our area. They tossed us the package when the bus made the stop!  That was an awesome package! Thanks so much!

It sounds like you guys had a more exciting week than me! We played basketball as a district today. I was the star of my team! Also the tallest! Perks of serving in Central America!

We are in the rainy season so it rains pretty much every night. Super super hard. I've been carrying my umbrella around, but that got annoying. But the day I didn't bring it we got caught in the rain. Go figure. It's always a gamble to see if we'll make it home in time!

We had a pretty interesting lesson this week. A bunch of guys who were crazy. They had tons of crazy questions about the church. They also tried to get us to play some card game with them. They got me to touch a card, and they were really excited about it. Apparently it's a sin to touch face cards. Because the soldiers cast lots for Jesus' clothes.

They also had some great ideas on how we could help them get to the United States. The first idea was to marry their girlfriends, and take them back with us. Wait until the wife gets residence. Then get divorced. The girls then go back and marry their original boyfriends and bring them to the U.S. The second idea was for them to join the church. Get called to serve missions in the U.S. Then just wander off one day and live there. The lesson ended with my companion pulling out all the pamphlets and slapping them down one by one while explaining them. It was actually pretty funny.

I'll try to think of more stuff to write next week

-Elder Goodman

Monday, October 5, 2015

Grandma took his Book of Mormon

General Conference was awesome! We got to watch it in English! Except the Sunday Morning Session. We watched that one in Spanish- and I got a lot less out of it. However, when President Monson and the three new apostles spoke I felt the spirit very very strongly. I didn't know what they talked about- But I still received promptings that they are called of God!

I had my own little pie night on Saturday. They have things called Pan Dulce here. Sweet bread. But it applies to pretty much every kind of dessert. Brownies, cookies, pastries. And literal bread that's sweet. I found a pan dulce that was coated in sugar, and had a fruit filling. It had the taste and texture of pie! It was really good!

On the bus to General Conference on Saturday a man got up and started preaching. Usually I just zone those people out- but this guy said something that caught my attention. He said the word Nephi. Turns out he was preaching from the Book of Mormon! He was quoting the Book of Mormon as he spoke about the last days and stuff. Interesting.

General Conference was definetely the highlight of the week. I remember at home I was usually done by the last session. And I had a hard time paying attention usually. This time was such a spiritual experience! Missionaries enjoy conference much more than everyone else!  I could go for 2 more days!

The Familia Viscarra that we are teaching is golden! They are the ones that I found by knocking doors. Everytime we go into the house we find more people to teach! We started teaching the mom  yesterday!  This family is different than the others. You can tell that they take education seriously. It's really fun to teach them though, they actually read- and they have questions. And they think about what we teach, and apply it to their lives. Last night one of the sons couldn't find his Book of Mormon for the lesson. Halfway through the lesson the grandma walked into the house and handed him his Book of Mormon. She had taken it to read without him knowing! We gave her a copy as well! I'm really excited about this family. Pray for them!

Pray for Benjamin and Noosly as well. Benjamin is the man we are teaching who is ready. Con Todo! He came to priesthood session and loved it! All he needs is to get married. Pray for his wife! She's fine with getting married, but doesn't want to join the church.  Benjamin is really worried about her. He wants to go to the highest part of the Celestial Kingdom, but he knows that he needs her. What's amazing is that he understands that. We bought him a triple and he's been reading D&C like crazy.

On an unrelated note I spoke again last week. Turns out the missionaries speak every fourth Sunday in our ward. I spoke about the Army of Helaman, and the importance of obedience and mothers. I also played the Army of Helaman song you sent! The chapel doesn't have air conditioning. It has fans- and everyone opens the windows as well. I didn't realize it before, but there is a fan right above the piano, and a window right behind it. My sheet music was all over the place! Elder Wallace and Hno CastaƱelo (the first counselor) came through in the clutch! Elder Wallace was all over trying to keep the music in place- and Hno CastaƱelo ran around to close the window and turn of the fan. But the song turned out really well. Everyone loved it!

Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman