Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas

It was so good to see you all yesterday! I love you! I'm so grateful for the support, I always feel a lot more excited to work after we talk!

After the calls we went to an investigator family and we ate panes con pollo- the traditional Salvadoranian Christmas food. With Kolachampon- the traditional Salvadoranian drink.

The other elders in our ward didn't have any dinners planned. So we invited them over to our house and made them dinner. Tortillas with beans and BBQ sauce. Soup Maruchan with hot dogs. (normal food for our companionship) But we tried to make it special. We put on some nice soft music, and hung up the Christmas lights, and called it a candlelight dinner. We made a table out of boxes of Book of Mormons and we gave them each a glow stick bracelet ( like a ticket). And then we went turned off the lights and went to another room.

It was kind of funny though- because we had to return to our houses early yesterday. We knew it takes them about 10 minutes to get home, so about 15 minutes before the returm time we walked back in and turned on the lights and started taking everything down. Turned of the music and started clearing the places. It was kind of an abrupt way to finish the dinner, but I did give them some mints.

We cut our hair last night! I gave Elder Crespo a 1, and he gave me a 2. It's pretty darn short. I like it though- I think it makes me look stronger.

Man, not a whole lot to report from just 1 day. I love you a lot! Thanks so much for being so awesome and supportive- a lot of missionaries (or people I guess)  aren't blessed with great families and it's harder. Thanks so much!

-Elder Goodman









Monday, December 19, 2016

Zone Conference

This was a pretty good week! Pretty average though

Probably the most exciting announcement is that I have my own cell phone! We have a lot of calls to make at night, and we usually get to bed late. But now that my companion and I both have phones we get the calls done a lot faster now.

We had the primary presentation yesterday in Sacrament meeting. I played piano. It was way fun! The kids weren't used to singing along to music- so they sung the songs much faster than normal. My companion must have seen that I was getting nervous, because he sent me a ton of little motivational texts after every song. All the kids had little bow ties or hair bows that were red, yellow and blue. They even gave me a blue bow tie as well!

On Wednesday we had a zone conference. It was pretty fun! We did a pretty cool activity. We divided the zone into two teams. Each team had a scissors, scotch tape, a white poster board, Popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and jewel stickers and 25 minutes to build a temple.  It was pretty cool! I'll try to send pictures

On Saturday we went to San Vicente for a Christmas activity as a district (instead of stake). As a branch we put on a play. A Christmas Carol. I was Marley's Ghost- my comp was Scrooge. It was really, really fun!

I'm so excited for Christmas! We'll be calling on the 25th probably around 12 or 1. I'll try to send an email beforehand

I love you! Can't wait to see you Sunday!

Merry Christmas!

-Elder Goodman



Weekly Shopping

Monday, December 12, 2016

Erik the atheist guy

This was a pretty good week!

I had an epiphany/revelation this week.
I decided that my new goal as a missionary is to take it one day at a time. I've gotten used to thinking in big- but I've realized that I need to think about the little things as well. There have been some things that we do as missionaries that I have been slacking on lately. For example, planning. I decided that for the rest of my mission I am going to be a perfect planner. That's hard. But I can plan perfectly today. And tomorrow I can tell myself the same thing- that I can plan perfectly for today. I realize that if we take things one day at a time it's a lot easier to stay motivated.

On Thursday we went out to work and I felt that we should visit a less-active (future-active)  member that lives close to us. I had only visited the family twice before. We knocked on the door- and the lady let us in. We shared a lesson about the Book of Mormon that was pretty good. I asked her a question about how she felt when she first had gotten baptized and was reading the Book of Mormon consistently. She said she felt lots of comfort at that time. I asked her if she would like to feel that comfort now.  And she just opened up. She has been going through some trials lately- her son probably has autism, among others, and has been feeling pretty overwhelmed. We were able to testify that by reading the Book of Mormon she would be able to feel more comfort. We also gave the son a blessing. It was really, really nice. Out of the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses the word is declared. I declared it- my companion declared it- and she also declared it with her own experience. And the her cousin was also there in the house- and he´s not a member. The best part was something she told me when we were leaving. She told us that every time she is going through a hard trial and feels overwhelmed the missionaries show up at her door. It's happened 3 times now. (she got baptized 10 years ago and I found her about 2 months ago. I'm pretty sure the members don't know that she exists- we are the only connection with the church she has.

I decided that my goal is to feel the Spirit speak through me. To be worthy- and willing to be let the Lord use me as his servant.

We borrowed a guitar from an investigator and visited a ton of less actives before church yesterday with President Peña. We sang them a quick Christmas carol and invited them to church. It was really really fun.

I blessed the sacrament yesterday. It was amazing. I guess I've kind of been in the habit of not really paying attention to the prayers. But as I read the prayer yesterday I felt the spirit so so so so so so so strongly. It was amazing.

On Friday night we had an activity at the church. We went, but we couldn´t get any investigators to go with us. We stayed outside for about 20 mins before it started and just contacted everyone walking by on the street- to invite them to come. No one accepted. We found man who was atheist (the 3rd atheist I have found in the country) - and pretty contentious. I think we left a bad impression on him. But last night we where on the other side of the city giving a blessing to some members. We were walking home- and had a long walk ahead of us.  A car pulled up and the man inside offered us a ride. It was Erik! the atheist guy we thought hated us. He had a wife and 2 kids. They were super nice! Kind of cool.

Well - that's probably it for the week. 
Please pray for us. This is going to be a crazy week- and I really am going to need the prayers. I love you all!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Decorating the church

This was a pretty average week.

The highlight was probably the Christmas devotional- that was awesome! I set it up to watch in English- that was nice.

Sunday I helped a couple of recent converts set up family search accounts. That was pretty fun! Kind of hard when the people don't have email accounts, and the phone won't receive the text message verification. We made it work though.

On Saturday we had to go to Sensuntepeque and Ilobasco for a total of 5 hours on a bus. That was a hard day.

On Friday we went to San Salvador for a meeting with president! It was awesome! We also decorated the chapel for Christmas. I'm going to try to send pictures. It was awesome!

I bought some sweet Adidas sneakers today.

Elder Crespo brought a usb full of conference talks that I like to listen to.

Sorry- I can't really think of anything to write about. I love you all!
Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman

Questions from Kanani:

1. Are you still able to teach in the new Cedros you have investigators in?  Even after the run in with the gang?
Zach: Yeah, we still go out there a lot. I went there on interchanges this week and we saw one of the gangsters who had stopped us. He was alone, so he didn't say anything. Kind of funny how much braver people get when they are in groups.

2. Is the food in El Salvador very spicy? 
Zach: No- it's actually pretty bland. Except for the pupusas no one really likes the food.

3. Do you have FHEs with families very often? 
Zach: Not very many.




 








Monday, November 28, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

This was a pretty interesting week for us. It was pretty hard.  This week we had some interesting experiences. I got pretty down just looking around and seeing all the problems. I kept feeling that no matter what I did it wouldn't make a difference. I was feeling pretty discouraged.

President Vasquez came to our ward yesterday to re-arrange the branch presidency. He also did all of the interviews for the missionaries. It was really cool! Really good. My interview was pretty informal- normally President Vasquez has it very structured, he knows what he wants to do and talk about. But this time it felt like we were just hanging out. It was actually pretty cool. He is a really cool guy- I love him so much. He did a pretty good job of pumping me up! We left to work that afternoon really excited to talk to everyone!

Sorry, I can't really think of anything else to write about. I'm good! Love you! Happy thanksgiving!

-Elder Goodman

Questions from Kanani:

1.  We got a Facebook message Monday from Oswaldo Pena saying he'd had you over that night (is he the branch presidency member?) and then that led to Cejas Arevalo friending us and we saw a lot of the basketball pictures he took with you all.  We were wondering who they are?  Are they in your branch? Did we guess right that Oswaldo is in the branch presidency?
Zach: Yup! Pres Peña is the member!  Cejas is an investigator.

2.  We got an email about the earthquake that hit off the coast of El Salvador and that all the missionaries are fine!  Did you even feel it?  Are you too far in land?  Then they were a little worried about tsunamis, but you're a little higher up, right?  So, we were guessing you didn't have to worry about that...is that true?
Zach: 3. I was on a bus when it hit- and I was asleep. We didn't feel it. But other missionaries in our zone did. In San Salvador they felt it too. It didn't really do much damage.

3.  So, how long does it take you to get to Cedros?  Will you take the bus to get there?  Can you go there as often as you want, or just once a week?
Zach: 15-20 minutes in bus.  5 in a car.

4.  Has the Trump furor died down? Or are you still from Canada?
Zach: It's died down, it really depends on who is asking!

Monday, November 21, 2016

San Rafael Cedros

Hi everyone!

This week we baptized Mercy's son. Jhonson Estiveen  (That's Salvadoreñan for Johnson Stephen). He was pretty positive a while ago. But his aunt is super catholic. She started working on him super hard. Telling him stuff like his family would reject him, that no one would love him, if he got baptized. When I started teaching the family he wasn't positive at all. But his mom got baptized. She told him that if he didn't get baptized too he wouldn't be able to get into heaven to be with her. He changed his mind this week, and we scrambled to be able to get him baptized the same week. It was pretty fun. The baptismal pila was taking a long time to fill up. We had the service planned for the morning, before church- so we didn't have much time to wait for it to fill up. In the time before the service started I practiced with Jhonson over and over to get his form down so we could baptize him in the little water we had. (really lucky that he's a pretty skinny 9 year old kid).  It was a really cold morning (below 70 is freezing here) and the water was cold cold cold, but we did it! It was awesome! He was so happy!

My new companion is Elder Crespo. He's from puerto rico. He's really really cool, he was my friend before we were companions and I was pretty excited when I found out he'd be my new companion. He comes from Alta Vista in Ilopango. (I was in that ward a year ago). His last companion was Elder Hernandez (my son!)  He and Elder Palmer switched places. So now Elder Palmer is in Alta Vista with Elder Hernandez.  (Hope that all makes sense)

We had a really cool experience yesterday:
There is a part of our area named San Rafael Cedros. It's a completely different city kind of far away. I've never really been there- just passed through in bus. We found a family in a canton close to Cedros. (canton is village) (contact at the cemetery activity) that we've been teaching. There is one member that lives in Cedros and he's part of the branch presidency.

 Last week I called him and set it up so that he could pass by and take this family to church on Sunday.  Sunday came around, and not even the member came to church. I was ticked. In ward council we were talking about it, and it came up that the member has been struggling with depression.  I felt like such a jerk. I totally judged him without understanding the details. I don't know why (well, it was the Spirit) but I felt like I should visit him. All week I thought about him every day, and the desire to visit him just kept getting stronger and stronger.

 I don't know where he lives, so I made arreglos (I can't remember how to say that in English) with the EQ president to visit this guy (the member that lives in Cedros) on Sunday. This Sunday, yesterday, the member came to church. And because of that the EQ pres decided that we didn't need to visit him anymore. I was a little annoyed, but then I realized I could just talk to the member himself, he was the one we were going to visit anyway. (I hope this is all making sense). 

I talked to him and said we wanted to do a family home evening, I showed him my agenda so he could see what time he wanted us to come. Long story short he wanted to visit our investigators with us before we visited him in his house. He went out with us to visit the 2 families we are teaching in the village kind of close to Cedros. It was an amazing lesson. This member is a returned missionary- and he knew exactly what to say. I didn't have to worry about him going off and saying random things (like every other member I ever try to visit with).
Long story short- amazing lesson.

He took us back to the city and started to show us around town. He was so excited to work with us. And so excited to show us Cedros. He told us that we are the first missionaries to ever visit that city. He was so excited to show us all the landmarks so we can get around, and making sure we could find our way back to his house. He even stopped a woman in the street, a friend, and introduced us to her. He told her about a family home evening we were going to do and invited her. It was awesome! Perfect member to work with. 

We went to the house and had a great family home evening with them. His wife was so excited to see us. She told us we were the first members of the church to ever visit her in her house in the 8 years they've been together. She is from San Vicente, and He's from Santa Anna- so I'm starting to think that no missionary had ever set foot in San Rafael Cedros to proselyte. They were so so happy and excited for us to be there. We have a noche de hogar planned with them for tonight as well. They gave us a ride home and the atmosphere in the car was kind of hard to describe. Kind of like the night before Christmas and everyone is just giddy, and randomly bursts out singing songs. it was like that.  The family was excited because someone remembered them, and that the missionaries are going to be working in the city where they live. And we happy for the same reason, and for the discovery that we had found a city that had never been touched by missionaries, and a family who were super eager to help.

It all started because I've been trying to be more loving and understanding. I was just looking to help that man, because it seemed like he could use a pick me up. And it looks like the Lord was just waiting to bless us. It's all about helping the people and following the spirit.

Great end for the week.

Love you all!
Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman

Monday, November 14, 2016

I'm from Canada

This was a big week for me. On Wednesday morning we got a call saying that Trump had won the election. The people down here hate him. And missionaries have been having problems because we are white. On Wednesday they called us saying that from now on we couldn't say that we were from the U.S. We can say we are from Canada, or England, or anywhere else, except the States. So this week I've been telling everyone I'm from Canada. I also realized that I don't know anything about Canada... Luckily no one down here knows anything about Canada either.  Maybe in next weeks email if you could send me a fact sheet or something, I want some information that I can have on hand to tell people. How much snow, how many Mormons, how many provinces, etc.. Thanks!

For the month of October our zone was the highest baptizing zone of the mission! We bought the missionaries pizza to celebrate at our zone conference this week!

This week we baptized Mercy. The missionaries have been working on her for 4 years. I visited her, and got a little frustrated. I told her that she already knew everything- it all depended on her now. But that we as missionaries wouldn't be able to visit her if she didn't want to be baptized. We have too many people to visit who want to get baptized, and we can't waste our time on the people who don't.

Pretty harsh, I know. But in her Interview with President Vasquez she told him that that was the tipping point for her.  I feel like I was sent here for her, maybe that's why I'm here in Cojute.  Pretty awesome!

Love you lots! Thanks for everything!
-Elder Goodman




Monday, November 7, 2016

The Book of Mormon

This was kind of a hard week. I would describe myself this week as a less active missionary. I didn't have the normal pep in my step. I was having a hard time staying motivated. It was a hard week. On Saturday I was looking back trying to figure out what happened. And I realized it was my studies. On Wednesday we had the day of the dead activity in the cemetery. We got up early to get to the cemetery the earliest we could- so we didn't have time to study. On Friday we had consejo (advice) in President's house. We had to get up early to get down there in time.  I looked at what I had been studying. It was all good stuff. Preach my gospel- the pamphlets, Liahonas, Mormon messages, etc. I felt the spirit. But I realized that not once had I studied the Book of Mormon. I hadn't even opened it during my study time. That was the difference. (I remember this same thing happened to me a couple months ago- guess I didn't learn my lesson). On Sunday I started my studies at 7.30 instead of 8 and I hit the Book of Mormon hard. That was the secret. I'm back!
There is a part member family that we have been visiting. The dad is a member. Mother and kids aren't. Everyone hates the dad. We had the chance to visit them earlier when the dad wasn't home. And we finally got to hear the Mom's side of the story. Way, way sad.  Wednesday was the mom's birthday. They had told me a while ago. Wednesday I wanted to pass by and say hi to the mom on her birthday- maybe buy her a soda or something. They live pretty far away from where we were at, and my comp didn't want to- but we went down there anyway. We stopped at the closest store and I asked the man if he knew the mom. He did. I asked him what is her favorite pan dulce and drink. We bought it and went to the house. You should have seen the look on her face when we brought her our little gift. She looked like she wanted to cry. Obviously her husband had forgotten about her on her birthday. But the missionaries hadn't!  It was a really cool experience for us. The family has gotten a lot kinder with us as well! Sorry if that story didn't make much sense, I'm out of time so I couldn't proofread it.
I love you all!
 -Elder Goodman
Questions from Kanani
1. Did you have any Dia De Los Muertes activities this year?
Yeah, we went to the cemetery and contacted. It was pretty good!

2. Last year you told us that they don’t celebrate Halloween much there….in this area is it any different?
No- they don't celebrate Halloween at all here.

3. Fireworks sound exciting and dangerous!  Can they light them whenever they want?  I guess they don’t have to worry too much about starting fires in dry areas? But, I didn’t realize the houses had an open roof area….that’s probably not good with fireworks!
Yeah, fireworks are a year-round activity!











Monday, October 31, 2016

Fireworks

This week we finally baptized! My first baptism in Cojutepeque! Elder Palmer and I have really been trying to baptize together, of course we are always trying to baptize. But when you are really connected with your companion you want it a little more.

The family Melendez is awesome. We baptized the mom and two daughters. We found them earlier this month- and put a date with them for November. But they came to church ever since we started visiting them. They were drinking coffee, but we taught the word of wisdom and they stopped drinking it that same day. The mom went out and sold on Sundays, but we taught the Sabbath day and she stopped. It was amazing! We moved the date up to Oct 29 because they progressed so fast. It was definitely the fastest time a person has ever been baptized in for me. 4 weeks. Huge Blessing. Something interesting is that we found them the same week we really started focusing on the Holy Ghost. So they were one of the first investigators that we tried the new system on. Huge Blessing.

Kind of a crazy experience happened this week. Here the most common firework is called a cuete. It looks like a giant bottle rocket. It is a piece of wood about 5-6 feet tall. On the end of it is the firework part. Which is a big roll of newspaper with gunpowder inside. When you light it you keep your hand on the pole- and when it ignites the whole thing shoots into the air. It flies for about 10 seconds, getting about 40-50 feet in the air, before it blows up. There are 2 explosions about 2 seconds apart. (It took me about 4 months on the mission to be able to distinguish the firework sound from the gunshot sound. (It didn't help that the area where I started had about the same number of gunshots and firework explosions.)

This week we got home and were about to start planning when I started hearing fireworks. I could hear the fffffsssshhhhh sound that they make when they are flying up- so I knew it was pretty close.  I ran outside to the balcony to see where they were coming from, but I couldn't exactly tell where. But I could tell more or less were the guy shooting them was because all the people in the streets were looking at him.  The guy was on the street in front of our house, about 3 houses down. Elder Palmer could see him because he was on the front porch. The guy was dressed in a cowboy hat with an unbuttoned shirt, he was smoking a cigarette and using it to light the fireworks (real smart) and he looked like he was a little drunk. He lit one, and kind of threw it in the air as it went off, which made it go up crooked instead of straight, the firework started spinning around in the air and flying pretty low. It was about a meter above a house across the street when it exploded the first time. Then it did a loop d loop, and dived straight down into the house. (every house has an open part where there isn't a roof- it stays cooler that way.)  Then it exploded the second time. We could tell the rocket was in the house because it made a big echoing sound. Everyone in the street just froze waiting to see what would happen next. A guy came running out of the house straight to the drunk firework cowboy. He was ticked. We couldn't hear very well but it sounded like a little kid had gotten hit in the face. (we're pretty sure it was the stick that hit the kid, though, not the explosion) They wouldn't let the guy shoot off any more rockets. The cowboy was mad too because he still had around 10 fireworks left. About 15 minutes later we started hearing fireworks again. We looked outside and saw the guy on our same street, but now 3 houses above us (six houses away from where he started) shooting off his fireworks. Geez.

Well that's all the time I've got left. Love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman

Monday, October 24, 2016

Elder Oaks!

This was a pretty good week. The highlight of the week was definitely going to see Elder Oaks. Our branch rented three buses- and the two other branches from the zone, Ilobasco and Sensuntepeque also rented buses. We all met up outside of Cojutepeque and went down in a big caravan.  Our bus driver must have just finished watching Lightning Mcqueen or something- because he put the pedal to the metal. We flew. completely left the caravan behind. We beat everyone to the Gimnasio Nacional by at least 30 minutes. It was awesome! The only problem was that all of our investigators were on the other buses. We ended up waiting for them outside so we could sit together. While we were waiting the bus from my old ward in San Miguel showed up! I got to see a lot of people I knew! Keven and Ludwin where there too! And their sister(that I was never able to baptize) had gotten baptized that same morning! It was way cool! I got a mini taste of what it will be like when we get to the spirit world... (or what it will be like when I get home in 10 months!)

We didn't even sit in the main stadium, we went to a fieldhouse nearby where they had projectors set up. It was a lot cooler (temperature) where we were though.  There was 16,000 people there! The whole country! Elder Oaks said it was the 3rd biggest audience he had ever spoken too. After the Conference Center and the Marriot Center.

Couple other highlights from the week:

On Sunday we just had sacrament meeting so we could get to Elder Oaks on time. During one of the hymns something kind of funny happened. I was playing the piano- and we had just finished the 3rd verse- going on to the 4th and last verse. I looked up at the chorister, just in time to see the Branch President close his hymn book really loudly, like he was glad to finish singing. It made me laugh a little bit- and I completely forgot that I was supposed to be playing the piano- I kind of muffed up the first line of the song pretty bad. I got a couple of nice comments about that.

We had a zone conference this week. Our job as missionaries is actually really simple. We just need to talk to as many people as we can. And make as many of these people that we can feel the Spirit. When they feel the Spirit we need to help them recognize the Spirit. And help them understand that if they get baptized, and read, and pray, and keep the commandments, they can feel the Spirit whenever they want. It was pretty interesting. We did a cool practice, where we had 6 minutes to teach whatever we wanted, but we needed to invite the Spirit. And when we could feel it, we needed to stop everything to help the investigator recognize it. It was pretty cool!

Elder Palmer got sick on Saturday. We didn't work that day. Pretty boring. Around 6:00 we had the other missionaries bring us dinner- and we gave him a blessing. It was interesting. Immediately after the blessing his fever started to go down, and he started to improve. He woke up completely fine. Which was a huge blessing because we were able to go see Elder Oaks.  Around 6.00 I knocked him out with some Benadryl. He got a solid 12 hours of sleep that night :) (Shout out to Dad for teaching me that little trick ;)

We got a new fridge!  10 weeks ago when I got here we had a fridge, but that same change they split our area and put Hermana missionaries in Cojute too. After giving them all of our investigators, and members from our area, we also gave them our fridge. So I haven't had a fridge for the whole time I've been here. But on Saturday we got a new on! Brand new! We pulled it out of a box! It even came with an ice tray!

Last night we were visiting a family of menos activos. We wanted to share a video with them, but their DVD player didn't work. The little tray got jammed so it didn't come out. Luckily I had my trusty Leatherman. We pulled of the top cover of the machine, and using the screwdriver apparatus on my LM we took apart the drive. We put the disc in. Screwed it back up, and put the cover on. And it worked! Incredible! That's how we do things here in El Salvador!

I love you all! Have a great week!


-Elder Goodman



Monday, October 17, 2016

Multi-zone Conference

Hiya everyone!

This week was a little bit harder than normal. Elder Palmer and I are doing really great though. It's been awhile since I've had a companion that I've been able to be completely open with. We trust each other completely. Companionship study is the best part of the day- because we look at the problems going on, and we try to come up with ways to solve them.

We are getting to be very united in our teaching and we are having some powerful lessons. We know each others strengths and weaknesses, so in the lessons we are able to be more effective. For example- Elder Palmer knows the scriptures very well- he is very good at teaching in a very logical way with the scriptures. I am better at getting people excited to do something- and helping people see the big picture. Very powerful combination!

This week lots of people used their agency to reject the message. It was very frustrating. Especially because I feel like we are teaching better than ever, and having more lessons than ever- and more people reject us than ever. Interesting how that works huh?

We had a multi-zone with President and Sister Vasquez this week. (I love them). I was chosen to conduct it again. (I'm getting better at that!)  I had an interesting learning experience. President Vasquez brought the microphones with him (wireless kind that are a little more complicated to set up) During the first presentation another missionary and I were trying to set it up- but we realized we didn't have the xlr microphone cable to connect the microphone system to the building's sound system. We ran downstairs and luckily the OM guy was there- so we were able to track down a chord. We ran back up to plug it in- and it made an awful screeching sound. (Kind of interrupted the presentation).  I ran to the control panel and made a few adjustments, and we tried to plug it in again. Same result. I starting messing with the settings again to try again a third time, but the other missionary starting packing everything up. When I asked him why he told me that President Vasquez had made a signal to stop trying to get it to work.  I got a little frustrated, because I felt like we were close to getting it. But we ended up putting it all away anyway.  After sitting and thinking for a while I realized that that was a perfect example of obedience. Sometimes we don't understand why we have commandments- or we think that we can do it better on our own. The Lord knows. And the Lord doesn't need people to ask questions- The Lord doesn't need people to try and get things done another way. The Lord needs people who are exactly obedient. Who follow the commandments because he told them to. That reason is good enough for me!

I got the t-shirt Halloween package! Thanks! That was awesome! Everyone loves the Peanut Butter  M&M's!

I met a couple from American Fork at church yesterday! Apparently they live right by the cemetery- pretty close to the temple right?

The power went out in our house again. The electrician came again. It's like his 4th or 5th time. He's starting to tear out wires and change them out, instead of just messing with the fuse box. I really hope that works.

Yesterday for lunch I made fried burritos (chimichangas right?). I sautéed some chiles and onions, and then threw some beans in there too. Then I added a secret ingredient. Butter cheese.  On Saturday night we were buying pupusas for dinner, and I noticed that they tasted a little different. I started talking to the pupusera (the cook) and I guessed that it had butter in it. (They very rarely use butter here). She was pretty impressed that I was able to guess it. I started showing her all the ingredients I had bought to make lunch for the next day and she gave me some of the cheese!  (I love the people here- if you are nice to them it is very common for them to give you something. They are so generous!).  We don't have a fridge, so I got a bottle of water and put the cheese in it until lunch on Sunday. It kept it cold enough!

I also fried some of it too! Oil + cheese+ butter. = pretty good. It was a little greasy though... I took a picture, but the computer I'm using today won't recognize my camera.

I think that's about it. I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Goodman

Monday, October 10, 2016

I'll Be Brief

Hi! This was a pretty good week!

On Friday we had a meeting at President's house in San Salvador. It was awesome! He and his wife are so powerful! They are awesome! I love them! About half way through the meeting he got up to make a comment, he started with ''I'll be brief''- and then proceeded to speak to us for an hour and a half explaining a little bit of doctrine about repentance and the Light of Christ. It felt like 20 minutes. Amazing!

I got the breakfast package! Thanks! That was awesome! I really liked the cinnamon roll cream of wheat.

Victor is coming along great! He loved General Conference. Specifically the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He told us it was full of beautiful women! ''And all of them dressed so modestly too!''  A few months ago he was blind. But he recently had surgery to remove some cataracts, so now his vision is better than ever!  He told us that he's really been struggling with keeping his thoughts clean- so we've been leaving him things to keep him occupied. After we learned how much he loves the motab, we left him the Joy to the World DVD.  Hope it helps!

To be honest, things are going pretty well down here. Not much to report. I love you all and pray for you! And I feel your prayers from home, I have really felt the Lord helping me.

Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman

Monday, October 3, 2016

General Conference

We had a good week out here! General Conference was definitely the highlight. We had the privilege of setting up the chapel for the broadcast.I was pretty gratefully for everything that Brother Mallory taught me- because we had to get the satellite going, connect the projector and the building sound. The technology is a lot more high tech out here!  We also wanted to set up an English room. We decided to set it up in the branch president's office. One of the few rooms with air conditioning. We wanted to connect it to the satellite as well, for a more secure connection. But the branch president office doesn't have a connection to the satellite, and we didn't even have the right cables to connect the TV to the satellite. So Elder Palmer and I went out and found a sweet electronics store- they custom made us a cable- 10 yards for 6 bucks!  It was a huge blessing! We were able to watch all the sessions in English, and with air conditioning!  We also set up a room to watch it in sign language- we set that one up in the office using the internet. The deaf family were only there for one session, but the internet still went out halfway through and we had to run around during Pres Nelson´s talk to get that back going.  It was a way fun conference!

This week we were trying to help a family that was having a lot of really serious marriage problems. Obviously there wasn't a whole lot of advice that two single, 19 year old missionaries can give, but we gave the whole family blessings, which helped a lot I think.

That night during the phone calls I made every Elder promise me that he would always treat his wife like a queen- and never criticize or humble her in front of others. (I feel like that's not the best word choice- but I'm not sure how to say it in English:)

It killed me to see this couple fighting in front of the kids- and sharing all of the faults and problems in public. I am so grateful for my parents who I feel set me a great example of how to have a loving, caring marriage.

That's pretty much all, not a whole lot happened this week. We just got the call that Elder Palmer and I are staying together for another change! I'm so excited!

We got the electricity fixed for good this week!

One of my biggest weaknesses here is the music. If I here a catchy or familiar song on the street it robs my thoughts and the spirit instantly, because I let it. I really feel that this is one of the biggest things holding me back from being a more consecrated and successful missionary. On Sunday- after conference- I knelt down and promised to the Lord that I would focus on this one thing. I promised that I will make every effort to control better my thoughts. I've almost survived pday (which is always the hardest because we do things like eat in a restaurant and shop etc) but I've still got a lot more days to go. And it really takes a specific diligent effort. I would really appreciate your prayers for me to have more self control, and to have the spirit with me more:) Thanks in advance!

That's about all

LOL  (Love you lots!)

-Elder Goodman

Monday, September 26, 2016

Life Changing Revelation

Whoa! There's an elder in my district from Ogden! He was telling me about those tornadoes! That's nuts!

Man! This was probably the best week of my mission! This is the week that everything changed!
Elder Palmer and I set some goals for our area this week. And they were quite high. Among those was to contact 20 people every day, and to teach 40 lessons in a week, and to have 20 new investigators every week.  We've been really struggling in our area this change for lack of investigators, and for bad time management. But we both really felt the desire to change. We started the week fasting- and we went out to work! It's really interesting how setting goals can motivate us to work hard:) We worked so so hard this week- and we came home exhausted every night. We've also been waking up an hour early every day to play basketball in the mornings, so we've been pretty tired. But we did it! I feel like our job as missionaries is just to open our mouths- and talk to everyone. Our other job is to make sure they feel the Spirit when they talk to us- and we teach them how to feel the Spirit when we aren't there. If they decide that they don't want to get baptized that's fine, it's their choice, but I believe that if I talk to everyone I can- and if I am worthy enough that the Spirit can use me to teach- then I am doing my job as a missionary.    Life Changing Revelation.

Some highlights of the week:
-A man named Gerber, a less active, hurt his ankle playing Bball with us. I gave him some icy hot that I brought from home- and he used way to much.  poor guy.
-we fixed the power in the house! It went out again literally 5 minutes after the electrician left. So we still don't have power.

-I'm out of time, Love you all! Have a great week!
-Elder Goodman

Monday, September 19, 2016

15th of September - Independence Day!

Probably the highlight of this week was the 15 of September. Independence day!

We've been trying really hard to plan finding activities for this day. Here in Cojute we sponsored a 5 on 5 soccer tournament. It was amazing! We designed little flyers, and took a couple hours one day to go around and put those up. Everywhere! It was really fun to tape a flyer on a lamp post and watch all the people stop to look at it.  We had 16 teams show up! Plus 2 teams of women as well! The tournament took a lot longer than we thought it would  because we had so many games to do. It was way fun though! Before the championship game we had the two teams line up on the field and we played the national anthem on the speaker we brought. It was pretty fun! The activity was a great success!

This week I spoke in the grupo (the smaller half of the branch). They gave me 15 minutes! I spoke about personal revelation, prayer and the holy ghost. It was pretty good.

Last night we did a family home evening with a member of the branch presidency. When we asked him what theme he wanted us to do it on he told us he wanted us to focus on the law of chastity. He has three daughters ages 17, 15, 11, and a 8 year old son.  My companion was really nervous, really nervous, but we did a good job! I think!  My motto is 'it's only awkward if we make it awkward!'

That's about it for this week!

I love you!
-Elder Goodman

Questions from Kanani
1.  Do you like instant potatoes, noodles, muffin/cookie mixes or do you prefer candy?  or a mixture? When I hear that you are eating pb&j it makes me want to buy you food to make.  But, you can probably buy that there?  or is it too expensive?  Anyway...what do you like in your packages?  because this is the week :)
I prefer candy! We only have a hot plate and a microwave to cook on, so the mixes don't always turn out well! There's food we can buy and make as well. It's just that we never know when someone is going to have dinner for us- and we have so much to do at night that I really don't have time to do anything more that pb&J. plus- I really like those sandwhiches!  And american candy is really expensive and hard to find down here. To be honest, my favorite thing to get in packages is letters and pictures! We can buy pretty much anything we want down here, and I'm losing space in my suitcases from all the stuff I've been acquiring! That's why I like candy, because it doesn't take up any space. I guess what I'm saying is I like just candy, letters and pictures, and music!   I love the motab discs! Those are awesome! That was a great idea! Thanks!

2.  What is the biggest hurdle to joining the church for most of the people you teach?
Afraid of commitment. I think it's just a culture thing- but everyone is really afraid of commitment. That and just the fact that everyone, EVERYONE , has already been baptized. So convincing them that they need to get baptized again is really hard.

3.  Who plans what you do on p-days? Do you always meet as a zone?
We do one pday as a zone, the next as a district. a,b a,b. The zone and district leaders plan them.

4.  What do people do for a living in Cojutepeque?
Unless they work in a store here in town, they all go down to San Salvador and work down there. I'm pretty sure they have just normal jobs.



Monday, September 12, 2016

Alma 29:9-10

This week was a pretty normal week. I went to Sensuntepeque a couple days ago on interchanges. It was sweet! Ever since I shocked myself last September I promised myself that I would never take another hot water shower on my mission. I decided I was going to suffer - so that when I got home I would enjoy it more.  Well, in the house in Sensunte they had some sort of apparatus that hooked on to the showerhead, and heated the water! I decided that I deserved a halfway treat. I took probably the longest shower of my mission out there in Sensunte! That was definitely the highlight of my week!

This week for pday my companion and I went to a hardware store and bought about 6 metres of pvc pipe. Then we split it into sections of about 3 feet. And this week as a district we had nerf/blowgun wars in the church with the darts you sent me! It was sweet! It was way fun!
I'm getting along great with my companion. We both have pretty much the same mindset about how missionaries should be. We have been setting some pretty high goals- but we hope to see the fruits soon!  Alma 29:9-10 is our motto scripture right now.

We had our interviews with president and Hna Vasquez this week. Man, they are so powerful. He is my hero! And his wife too. I love them so much.  He really helped us work out a couple problems we are having in our area. He is just a very wise man. The cool thing about being in a district (instead of a stake) is that President Vasquez is in charge out here. I hope we will get to see him more often.

One problem we were having is just the geographical situation of our area. At the start of this change they split our area, and gave the other half to sister the missionaries. Our area had a lot of city parts, and a lot of villages. We gave the city parts, where it's safer, to the Hnas, and we kept the villages. The problem is that the villages are really far away, so we waste a lot of time, and it's hard to bring people to church.  President Vasquez helped us understood that it's best to work in the central areas, close to the church building. After we strengthen up the main city, then we can start going out into the villages - and try to make branches. He said that lots of missionaries want to be explorers, to go work where no one has ever worked before- but the problem is that it is much harder to baptize so far away from the main body of members. And the converts go inactive very easily because they don't have the member support they need.  Very interesting. I had never thought about it like that- but it makes perfect sense. We have been focusing our finding effort much more in the main part of our area where we live. And we are starting to find some good people.

Well, that's about all! Have a great week! I love you!

-Elder Goodman

Monday, September 5, 2016

Honking the bus horn

This was a pretty great week. We started it off by going to the temple- the whole mission went. It was amazing! It was really cool getting to see all my old companions! We also had a zone conference this week which was really fun! We have a lot of new missionaries in the zone (of the 8 companionships, 6 are training). It was focused a lot on contacting- we had a really great time! This week for pday we went up to Sensuntepeque, we played kickball- it was super fun! Then we broke out the water balloons (thanks mom!) and had a pretty crazy water balloon war. I got ambushed pretty good!

I decided a while ago that I would try to have more fun and be more creative on the mission, I've had a couple funny experiences trying to do things in different ways:

We visited a lady this week who is less active, she hasn't gone in over a month, but she gives us dinner on Saturday nights, so we know her pretty well. This Saturday she had a new toy, a light up key chain, that she liked a lot. As we were leaving the house I stole the toy without her noticing. Then that night I called her, and told her that if she ever wanted to see her toy alive again, we could meet up at the church at 9.00 for her to pay the ransom. She thought it was hilarious that I kidnapped her toy, and she came to church this week!

Yesterday as we were coming in from a canton (village), I started talking to the bus driver, and by the end of it he let me honk the bus horn! Buses in El Salvador use their horns a lot, so I got a lot of practice! That was probably the highlight of the week!

Half of our house doesn't have electricity. The power went out about three days before I got here. When I got here I checked the fuse box (which is a lot more than the average missionary can do) and I saw that the fuse for that half of the house was flipped. So I flipped it back, and sparks shot out of the area behind the fuses. I realized that I had done everything I knew how to do- and I remembered what happened the last time I played with electricity in Ilopango, so I just left it. We finally had someone come and look at it a couple days ago, and it's not the fuse that's the problem, it's the electrical system, the wiring. So it looks likes it's going to be a while before we will be able to fix that problem.

Alright, that's about all that I can write for this week! Thanks for keeping me updated about whats going on at home!
I love you!

-Elder Goodman

Questions from Kanani

1.  In this new area do you have access to good stores, like the Super Selectos?
Yeah- there's actually three in Cojute!

2.  Are you getting used to the cooler temperatures?  Are you able to sleep warmly? Or have access to long sleeves?
It's hard. Taking showers is the worst- the water is soooo cold. And if you get caught in the rain it's just miserable. In San Miguel it doesn't rain very much, and when it does it's a warm rain, that's just more refreshing. But here it gets windy, and the rain is freezing. I usually sleep well though. We found some blankets in the house!

3.  Which is the dangerous area for your branch? the one with the rented house or the one with the new church? How come the branch presidency members can cross over, and the missionaries but not the members?  Gangs?
I have no idea. To be honest it's really calm here. I haven't seen anything- but people get scared. All of the branch presidency has cars, I think that's why they can go back and forth so easily.

4.  How do meals work in this area?  Do the members feed you?  Do you have someone cook for you?  Does someone do your laundry?
We have a lady that makes us lunch- and she is the best! The food is suuuper good! The only thing is that she takes a long time getting it ready. She studied to be a chef- the presentacion is always beautiful as well! The members only give us dinner once a week- the rest of the week we eat in the house, or buy pupusas. I bought some bread and jam and peanut butter, which is getting me through the night. We just don't have any time to cook or anything at night, so it always has to be something really fast.

5.  Is your new area kind of like Panchimalco?
It's similar- but it's a lot more modern. It's a lot bigger, and it's not as touristy.

Me, Elder Wallace (my dad) and Elder Dunkle (my brother).

We only have one study table, so I divided it.

The zone.  My companion is the tallest one wearing glasses.

The view from our back porch.




Monday, August 29, 2016

Cojutepeque

Man, this was a crazy week. I finally had changes! I am now in the city of Cojutepeque. It is completely different than San Miguel. In San Miguel it is flat and hot. Here in Cojute it is cold and really, really hilly. Every day is leg day! To be honest, I miss San Miguel. It's too cold here! It's around 70 all day, foggy, rainy. I broke out my bed sheets again.

My new companion is Elder Palmer. Man, he is awesome. He's from Blanding Utah. He is my first gringo companion in 9 months! He was my district leader in San Miguel for a while, and he is awesome. We have pretty much the same outlook about everything. The only disagreements we've had are about cars. He thinks that the Toyota Tacoma is better than the Tundra. But, other than that we are basically the same. And he's about six inches taller than me. He loves basketball, so we've gone and played in the mornings a couple times with the other elders in our ward. Here on the mission I thought I was pretty good at basketball, because I've only been playing with Latinos- but now that I'm playing with americans again I realized that I'm not good at all.

This change they split our area in 2. We gave almost all of the supportive members, and almost all of our good investigators to the other area, so we are pretty much starting over from scratch. We've been super, super busy. Every night we are so exhausted when we get home. I think this is the busiest I've been on my mission. I just got to the area, so there isn't food in the house. So I don't eat breakfast.  We usually just buy some chips or bread on the way in for dinner. It's been nuts.

Here in Cojute it's a branch. Which is pretty interesting. There are two chapels. One official chapel that is really new and beautiful on one side of town, and a house they are renting on the other side. Apparently it's too dangerous to cross the line, but there aren't enough members/priesthood holders to split the branch. So half of the branch meets in the chapel, and the other half meets in the house. There are two sets of elders in the ward, so we do interchanges so we can be with all of our investigators. I will be going to the chapel, because there's a piano in the chapel and I'll be playing. And my companion will be going to the house. It's kind of and interesting concept, the branch presidency and the other leaders take turns going to the chapel and the house every Sunday- and It's only one branch.  The goal while I'm here will be to split the branch!

Thanks for writing me! I love you all!

-Elder Goodman

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Transferred!

We received a facebook message from a member in the ward where Zach is serving.   She told us that Zach had been transferred and was at her house having a last dinner with her family before leaving tomorrow.  Can't wait to see where he serves next!





Monday, August 22, 2016

Rain

This week was pretty good!  We were able to bring a family to church that we've been working on for awhile. I stayed with the dad, William, during priesthood. And it was amazing. The message really focused on families and being a good father. It hit him pretty hard. He felt the spirit pretty good!

I have a new companion. Elder Scheel! A missionary had to go home a week early for visa reasons, so he came with us. It was pretty fun! He's a great guy!

This week I did an interchange with Elder Durbin. It was pretty good! He's a great guy. It's starting to rain pretty frequently here. During one of the lessons it rained pretty hard. And turned the road into a river. We really didn't want to walk out and get our shoes and pants all wet, because we still had a couple other visits planned, but it seemed that we had no choice.  But then I had a great idea! The family had a couple of plastic crates so we used those as stepping stones to walk out. All the little kids helped us by running around in the river and moving the stepping stones around. It was pretty sweet!

I had an epiphany this week. Everyone needs to feel that they are needed. This week was a little hard because I felt that I wasn't really needed. Being in a trio can be a little tricky sometimes. But I think learning that lesson will really help me in the future.

Thanks for everything! I love you all a lot!
-Elder Goodman

Questions from Kanani:

1.  Who's bullet bike were you on?  That was a really cool photo.  It almost looked photo shopped with everything being black and white except the bike!
That was the bullet bike of one of my converts. There's a cool mode on my camera that let me change the colors a little!  She's actually been a member of the church forever, but the ward lost her baptismal record. So I didn't really have to do anything. She's on the ward council. So whenever we have meetings at the stake for the ward council I always point her out to the other missionaries- to show how powerful my converts are!

2.  When does school start for the kids down there?  Do they have to wear uniforms?
It starts in January and goes until October/November. Everyone has uniforms. White shirt or blouse and blue pants or skirt.

3.  Do the people like to wear jewelry, in general, more than here?
Chains are really popular with men, But to be honest I'd say it's about the same.

4.  Where do you buy your food?
A store called super selectos. Basically Maceys or Smiths

5.  What is your favorite store there?
Super Selectos- It's the most modern store. We have someone who gives us lunch, and the ward gives us dinner. So I only have to eat breakfast. I just buy a big Quaker oats box of 52 envelopes of oatmeal. It lasts me a couple weeks. The nice thing about being in a big city is that we have a pretty big Super Selectos.






 
 
 
 













Monday, August 15, 2016

Breakfast at McDonalds

Hi everyone! I'm doing pretty good here! I just got back from San Salvador. I had to go renew my visa. That was a fast year! Hands down the fastest, and best year of my life! We had to wake up at 3.30 today to catch a bus leaving San Miguel at 4.30 to be at the immigration office at 9. It's been a long day. I ate breakfast at McDonalds this morning. I spent $3.40 for a Mcmuffin, Orange Juice, and hash brown.  That felt really expensive! I could have bought 4 pupusas for a dollar instead. It was cold on the bus with a/c and in San Salvador.  I was actually uncomfortable. I felt much better when we got back into the heat of San Miguel.  Kind of weird the difference of 6 months makes.

We had a zone conference this week. President Vasquez came out and did a participation. Man, every time he speaks he just blows me away. It's like a roller coaster. When he finished I literally had to catch my breath, I had forgotten to breath. He is one powerful man. He doesn't just talk the talk. He walks the walk.

I got the other package! The giant candy one with the Joseph Smith cd! Thanks so much! It was awesome! I took the skittles bag and some twizzlers on the bus rides today. I think I went up a few points on the cool missionary scale!

Our investigator Gorge is awesome. I don't know if I have already written about him. But that man impresses me so much. He is completely changing his life. He is so humble and ready to learn, and I love teaching him. It's people like him that make the mission so incredible. Sorry, I don't have a lot of time. I love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman

Monday, August 8, 2016

Talking in my sleep

We had stake conference this week. It was pretty good. A seventy came and spoke to us. He used D&C 107:99-100. I really like that scripture. I kind of chewed myself out during his talk, I realized that I could work a little harder!  That scripture could be a great subject for a family home evening!

I got the gold bond / called to serve cd package! Thanks so much! It was awesome! I also got an envelope that had letters from the Robinson family! Thanks guys! You're the best!

I thought of something I want in the next package. Book of Mormon battles! The card game.

Sorry, I'm working on a little project right now. I bought an USB drive, and I'm putting Mormon messages on it to show my investigators. So I'm not paying as much attention to my letters.

Thanks for everything! I love you all! A lot!
Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman

Questions from Kanani
1.  Who are some of the people you are teaching right now?
Probably the most positive is a man named Jorge, and his son. The dad came to stake conference on his own! That was sweet! The Familia Aguilar. A family of the mom, 2 daughters, and 3 sons. The sons are triplets! We've baptized 2 of the sons, but we're really working hard on the mom. She has to support her whole family, and she doesn't trust in the Lord enough to not work on Sundays.

2. Have you seen the hot springs in Moncagua
I haven't. I've heard about them though!

3. Are you following the Olympics?
Not really. At Jorge's house I saw the last 40 seconds of USA Men's basketball vs China. That was sweet!

4.  Did you ever get your rice hot/cold bags filled and sewn up?
I sure did! We use them a lot! My comp sometimes has back problems, he uses hot mode. I usually use cold mode!

5.  What's your favorite thing to do on p-day?
Play soccer.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A dead frog in the house

Sounds like you had an awesome week up there in Utah! Pretty normal here.  We found a dead frog in the house, it had been stinking for 2 days before we finally found it. A family I baptized got super offended at something I said. Had to patch that all up.  (They haven't come to church in a month. I kind of chewed them out. They also received help from the church a couple times, and I felt that they were taking advantage of the welfare system.- Needless to say I did not have the spirit with me when I said those things...)

I did interchanges in Moncagua. We call it the tierra prometida!  (the promised land)  it's so beautiful. I am so so happy here. To be honest I wake up every morning just so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary.  El Salvador is such a beautiful country- the people here are amazing. There are lots and lots of sins here. But the people are so hardworking, and so faithful. I love my job! Nothing better than saving souls! I hate to say it, but I don't think I'm ever coming home!

Love you all!
Elder Goodman

Questions from Kanani
1. Is it rainy a lot?  When I look up your weather it looks cloudy and about the same temperatures as here, lately a little cooler. 
It rains a couple times a week here. The rainy season in San Miguel isn't very strong. In central it's crazy though!

2. How long is the winter season there?
I have no idea. A couple of months?

3. Do most people there own phones?  cars?
Almost everyone has phones. Only the upper class people have cars, or people that need a car for their work, like construction. From what people tell me average working wages are between 3-6k a year. And cars are the same price here as in the states.(an average house is about 13-18k) Lots of junky cars here.... A lot of companies make cheaper cars though. For example the only Toyota pickup is called the Hilux. It's a lot cheaper than a normal Toyota pickup.  They also have smartphones here. But different, cheaper, brands. Apple doesn't exist. Every once in awhile you'll see a Samsung. But they're expensive.

Monday, July 25, 2016

I'm a Grandpa!

Not a whole lot has happened this week. We had a sweet multi-zone conference with President Vasquez. Man, he is powerful.  They asked me to conduct the meeting. I forgot my belt that day. That was a little embarrassing.

There's a new guy in my district. His name is Elder Williams. He's from Hawaii!  He's from Aiea on Oahu.  He's awesome! He's one of my favorite people right now. He speaks Hawaiian, which is pretty cool.

The bishopric asked me to speak yesterday in church. After 5 months in the ward I guess they finally gained enough trust in me! It was the first time in my life that I have taken too much time on a talk. They were giving me the signal to come down! The stake president was there and I guess he wanted to say a few words.

I'm a grandpa! Elder Hernandez that I trained is training now!  I'm sorry, I'm having a really hard time coming up with things to write about. I found birthday cake flavored ice cream this week! It was delicious! I finished Jesus the Christ on Saturday. I read it in 15 days!

I love you! Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman


From Sis. Privado:
"Elder Goodman en el centro de estaca muchos saludos dise"









Saturday, July 23, 2016

Another surprise photo!

Zach eats dinner with a member, Sis. Privado every Tuesday.  She sent us another photo.  She said, "Su hijo y sus compañeros dando servicio".  Your son and his companions giving service.




Monday, July 18, 2016

Crazy corn on the cob

Happy Anniversary and birthday week! What a great week!

I have been really happy this week! We had changes again this week. I have a new companion. Elder Perez! He's awesome!  He has a lot of desires to work hard, and to be successful! It's awesome! He's only got a little more time than I do on the mission. We've know each other for a long time, he was in Ilopango when I came to the mission.  Needless to say I'm pretty exciting for the next 6 weeks.

They changed up the zones a little bit. We used to have to go to La Union all the time. But now we are part of zona San Miguel. It's awesome! The other areas in our district are Moncagua and  Chinameca. It's a lot like Panchimalco. It's awesome.

I am now on my 4th companion here. When we finish this change in August I will have 6 months in the area. I'm still not bored! I love it here! I'm not sure how I'll feel in a couple months, but I would love to stay here for a year. Or more.

The Sister Privada was super excited that you answered her on Facebook! In Spanish! Who was it that wrote that? She gives us dinner ever Tuesday night. She's awesome!

I tried one of those crazy corn on the cobs that Nacho Libre threw at esceleto.  It was alright- just corn on the cob with mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, black sauce (kind of like barbeque sauce), chile sauce and cheese.  It tastes pretty much how you can expect it to.

Part of being in the new zone, San Miguel is that we need to be in the house by 8.30 instead of 9. To help us not waste time they gave us motorcycles!

Last sunday we did a special participation in the primary- teaching about temples. That was hard! I was trying to teach the little kids as I teach  adults. It didn't work out too well. I learned my lesson!

-Elder Goodman




Friday, July 15, 2016

Surprise pictures!

A member in El Salvador sent us photos of Zach and wrote, "Su hijo está muy bien  trabajando  en la obra  del señor"

"Your son is working very well in the work of the Lord"





Monday, July 11, 2016

How merciful is our God

Hi everyone!

This week was pretty interesting. Several times this week the thought has come into my head  ¨Que misercordioso es nuestro Dios¨    ¨How merciful is our God¨.

I was able to see several miracles and tender mercies this week, that really helped strengthen my faith. One example: A man in La Union that I met once on interchanges has a fairly serious health problem. A little while ago he ruptured his appendix. Ever since he has had a bag connected to his stomach, kind of like a catheter. He is probably one of the most faithful and dedicated members I know. And he doesn't even have a year of being a member!  This week the Elders over there baptized this guys niece. The elders wanted this man to baptize her, but he couldn't because of his health. This week the elders there in La Union told me that this guy went in for a check up, and his stomach is completely healed, miraculously. The doctors are going to take out his bag and seal his intestine this week. My first thought when I heard that was of the man´s son. He has a cute little 6 or 7 year old son who is really excited to get baptized. My first thought was that this man will be able to baptize his son! My second thought was: ¨How merciful is our God¨.

This week we had a baptism! It was a great way to end the week! But as we were walking to the church I was feeling really down, felt like I was wasting my time, I wasn't doing any good here, etc. Then I realized that I was about to baptize someone! Baptisms are the best! Even on a day where I was baptizing, Satan was making me feel like I was a failure. Satan will never give up! We can't give up either!

Have a great week! I love you all!

-Elder Goodman

Monday, July 4, 2016

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!!!!!!!!!!


HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I wore my USA shirt to pday. I'm not sure what else I'm going to do to celebrate today, but I woke up pretty happy!

This was another pretty average week- not a whole lot is happening these days. Just normal missionary life. I've spent a lot of time thinking this week, about how I've progressed, how I'm improving, what I still need to do to improve , stuff like that. Lot's of self-reflection.

The talk 'what lack I yet' from general conference awhile ago has given me a lot of help in my mission. I've gotten into the habit of praying every once in a while asking that the Lord will help me know what it is that I need to improve. I started in maybe January, around there, asking what I could do to improve. I got the answer that I need to take more initiative. I worked on that for a couple months and felt that I got pretty good at taking the initiative. Around March I asked again, and I received the answer that I needed to have more love, for the people, my companion, etc. Well, last week while spending all this time thinking I asked again. ''What do I need to be a more effective missionary?''  And yesterday I received the answer that I need to be more diligent. So for these next couple of months, I'm going to try to be more diligent. Wish me luck!

There's a 5-year-old kid playing gta5 here. Here's screaming at the screen, kind of distracting.

 For anyone out there who has ever wondered what alcohol is like. Or for anyone reading this who wants to try alcohol, please don't try it. Please don't. Growing up I was never really exposed to alcohol, I never really knew much about it. But here I see a lot of alcohol. I talk to people every day who have ruined their lives because of alcohol. There is a saying here: ¨Los niños y los bolos nunca son mentirosos''.  Which translates to: ¨Children and drunks are never liars¨. And it's true, for the most part.  So many drunk people stop us on the street asking us to help them, they're drunk, which means they aren't very good at listening. But I look into their eyes, and it is so so sad. There are so many people who have lost everything, everything, because of alcohol. First, they lose their jobs, then they start losing their possessions, selling them for more alcohol. Gradually they lose their self-respect, families, friends, everything. I was on interchanges this week and the other missionary told me about a man he's teaching who sold his front door, for more alcohol. Selling the front door is never a good idea, but in this country, it's a very very bad idea. The people can't control it. They buy alcohol before they buy water, before they buy anything.  Can you see how sad that is? They are slaves to a chemical. Utterly wasting their existence.  The saying ¨well you can take my _______, but you can't take my dignity¨ doesn't apply here. Satan takes away their dignity too. He leaves them passed out in the street every night after a long, dirty day of begging for money. Not to buy food, or water, but to buy more alcohol. It's infinitely more difficult to quit, then to never start. So please, don't ever start.

Hate to end on such a sad note, but yesterday I talked to a lot of bolos. (drunks) and I've been thinking about that a lot. I am so grateful for Christ, and his atonement.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!
I love you! I'm happy here!

Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman

Monday, June 27, 2016

Working with members

Hi everyone!

This was a pretty good week! We spent a lot of time in La Union this week, so we didn't have a lot of time to work in our area, but it was good. Something cool we did in La Union was a job fair in the church building. The government runs the event, but the church lends the building. We set up a little booth outside the cultural hall to give away materials, and we actually got a lot of really good contacts. We also gave mini tours of the sacrament room. We put the electric piano on automatic prelude, and we turned up the ac full blast. When people entered the room they immediately felt the difference. And for many it was very spiritual.  One of the job booths was giving out coffee, the whole chapel stank of coffee, that was ironic....

I did interchanges with the zone leaders in La Union. Their house is super nice. The nicest I've seen on the mission. The Bedroom has a ceiling fan, and ac. And giant curtains covering the windows, so it stays really dark. I normally don't have a hard time waking up in the morning. But that day I did.

Today we stayed here in San Miguel with the other zones and went to the park. There are only 2 Americans in my zone, La Union, but here in San Miguel there are a ton. So we played Frisbee, and a little bit of football (the American kind). It was super fun!

For all of you who were wondering, I don't have to give my companion his butt-shots. We found someone in the ward who can do it. I'm pretty glad about that. After the first day he started urinating blood. I kind of freaked out a little bit, and I was really glad I wasn't the one who gave the botched injection. But we called the doctor and he said that it is normal.

The other elders in the ward had a baptism of a little kid, and the clothes were waaay too big. Using some safety pins I fixed it up a little bit. (see photo)

This week we've really been trying to focus on working with the members. All of our most positive investigators are references from members. It´s obviously the best way to go, but I have a hard time trusting in people enough. (a promise means nothing here)
If anyone has any ideas, or has experience from this, I'd love to here it!

The family reunion sounds awesome! Sounds like you had a great time! Shout out for Sam and Matt who enter the MTC this week! You're gonna be great! Pray for me and my companion. We´re having a hard time getting along.

I love you! Have a great week!

-Elder Goodman






Monday, June 20, 2016

Another hospital

This was a pretty good week. Not really anything new has happened. Elder Maldonado and I are getting along great! I'm learning a lot from him.

He's having some leg problems. We went to the hospital to figure out what's going on. Turns out I'm going to have to be giving him shots in the nalga. Yikes!

This hospital we went to was super nice. The hospital San Fransisco in San Miguel. It was awesome! Much different than the government hospital I went to a couple months ago.

Not really a whole lot going on, to be honest. I'm happy! Love you all! Have a great vacation!

-Elder Goodman

Monday, June 13, 2016

Prueba de fe

This was a pretty stressful week, to be honest. (Thanks for the yoga poses mom! They help!) I've heard it said that the hardest part of the mission is the first 3 months. Training. It's true. And that the second hardest part is right around when you complete a year. They call it the prueba de fe. Trial of faith. It's true.

I have spent a lot of time on my knees lately. A lot of people let me down this week. I am realizing now, more than ever than people aren't perfect. I am also realizing now that God will never, ever, let us down. And like every other relationship, the strength of our relationship that we have with him depends on how much time we are willing to spend with him. And how much trust we are willing to give him. When all the people that you usually go to for help get taken away, you have to learn to trust in God. It's harder, but I'm pretty sure it's better.

One of my heroes on the mission is Elder Vallecillo, he's from Costa Rica. He was an AP when I arrived, and he was my Zone leader my first change in San Miguel. He once said that he wanted his mission to be hard, because it is only through hard experiences that we are able to grow.  Well, being the enthusiastic greenie that I am, I started wishing for a hard mission. What a bad idea.  These last 2 changes have been reaaaallly hard. But I have learned a lot.

Thank you so much for your prayers. I have felt the power of prayer. There have been so many times when I have been on my knees, asking for strength. And then a picture, or a feeling, or a thought comes into my head. Of my family praying for me. And I feel like I just got a warm hug, and I feel the Spirit. Thank you so much. I love you.

I want you to know that my testimony is stronger than ever! I am so glad and grateful to be a missionary. For anyone doubting if they should go on a mission or not: Do it! Whatever reason to go on a mission is a good reason. And as a missionary, be the best missionary you can be. Just follow the rules, and work hard, and love the Lord and the people. Now, if you don't want to do those things you should probably go home- because you'll be wasting your time. But if you follow the rules, and work hard, and love the Lord and the people, it will be the best experience of your life.

-Elder Goodman