Monday, January 25, 2016

Jalapeño Pepper Spray

This was a pretty good week. Quentin L. Cook and Craig C. Christensen came and spoke to us at the temple. That was really powerful! Definitely the highlight of my week! All three missions from El Salvador were there, so I got to see a lot of people I knew from the MTC, that was pretty cool!

Last Monday I found a 10 pound bag of Krusteaz! So of course I had to buy it! This week we did three interchanges, and each night I had a pancake party! I'm kind of becoming famous for my pancake parties! I bought some apples and cinnamon, and we have been using that! Also I tried pancakes with brownie mix, It didn't turn out too well.

This Saturday we had a cooking activity with the Elder's Quorum of our ward. Elder Garcia, a missionary from the other area in our ward is from Mexico, so we made tacos! They were really good, but I almost died. I was in charge of cutting the jalapeños. And I got squirted in the eye. I think it was actually only water because it didn't really sting much. So I went to the bathroom to wash them out. And I washed my hands two times, because I had been handling the peppers. But it wasn't enough. I started to wash my face, and all heck broke loose. My hands still had the oil on them. And it got all over my face, in both eyes, my nose a little bit. It was awful. I don't think I need to go into much more detail, but it sufficeth me to say that I now know why pepper spray works so well.

A ward member has a portable keyboard (piano). He lent it to me this past week so I could practice for my musical number I'm going to do in Sacrament meeting. It's been really fun to have that around the house, I practiced the hymns too. (don't worry, only on pdays and at nights).

On Sunday my companion got really sick, he was half asleep in his bed moaning all day and night. I feel really bad. Needless to day we didn't go out to work yesterday. And I almost died of boredom. I've never needed to stay in because someone else is sick. And it's almost worse. Yesterday I was really glad to have that piano, I spent a lot of time practicing hymns!

Have a great week!
-Elder Goodman

The Garcia Family

10 lb bag of Krusteaz

Pancake party #1

Pancake party #2

Pancake party #3

New boots

Package from Knudsens

Street chocolate

Monday, January 18, 2016


We finally got a baptismal font for our building! It came in a giant package from -no joke- We are super excited to try it out this Saturday!

We had a really good zone conference. We did an activity where we all had to get over a tall stack of chairs without touching. It turned into two elders tossing everyone else over into the waiting arms of the people on the other side who had already crossed.  It was a pretty good metaphor for our work. We help our investigators take a leap of faith (baptism) and the ward members are those who catch them. The Garcia family came and were practice investigators for the missionaries. At the end they bore their testimonies about their conversion. They talked about the Book of Mormon and their testimony of that. The mom at the end thanked everyone for ''leaving your families for two years so that people like us can be with ours forever''.  I told her that the first time I met them!

I'm not sure if I've told you about the Garcia family before, but they are my golden family. We are baptizing them in two weeks. Yesterday, the 10 year old son told us about the first time he prayed about the Book of Mormon. The night after the missionaries first came to his house. He kneeled and prayed. And then he waited on his knees. And then he fell asleep. And then in a dream an Angel appeared and told him 'I am a messenger from God, he sent me to tell you that the Book of Mormon is true.''   Whoa! I thought it was really cool that you wrote about angels declaring glad tidings in your letter!

We played softball with this family last p-day. We had a blast. I got 2 home runs! My companion also got a home run. They play with the third pitch drop rule ( It doesn't really make sense considering that we were playing slow pitch softball). He ran for first after his third strike, and the catcher overthrew first base. Overthrew so bad in fact that my companion made it all the way home. Probably the highlight was when I broke the ball. (pretty much exactly like Benny in Sandlot.) I felt pretty cool after that! We also played frisbee.

This week on Sunday we did interchanges with the priests. That was really cool, I wish I could have done that. But I am really glad I did home teaching.

I've discovered the secret to being happy on the mission. Two things. 1. Obedience.  2. Work. The harder you work during the day the better you feel night. And the more excited you are to start the next day.

I want you to know that I am being obedient, and that I am working really hard.

Have a great week!

Elder Goodman

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ward Mission Activity

This was a pretty average week. Probably the coolest thing that happened actually happened last week, but I didn't have time to write about it. We had our ward mission activity. (The day I was trying to submit my poop). We thought the ward was planning something, but we found out about two hours before that they wanted us (the missionaries) to plan it.

I don't want to brag, but we came up with a really cool idea! We had a treasure hunt in the church. We hid sticky notes with numbers on them all over the church. But in carefully planned spots. To find the sticky notes the people playing read a scripture, and judging from what the scripture talked about they had to go find the notes. For example, A scripture about Helaman's army of stripling warriors. The investigators/members made the connection that it's talking about young men, so they go to the young men's room. Where the next sticky note is hidden that gives them a scripture that talks about tithing. So they run to the bishop's office where the tithing envelopes are. We had 3 teams going at the same time, in different order. Racing. And the last clue talks about the tree of life. Outside there is a tree with Christmas lights on it. The first one there wins. My team won!  Outside under the tree we had a mini devotional, and then lined everyone up in two lines facing each other. And they took turns bearing their testimonies to each other. It was a roaring success! Everyone loved it. I also came up with some benefits that came because of the activity.

1. The investigators are more familiar with the church building.
2. They got to bear their testimonies.
3. They heard other's testimonies.
4. They know have several friends in the ward (their teammates and their testimony partner.)
5. An investigator actually told me this one: She learned that if she studies the scriptures with a question in mind it will be more effective!

I also have really good news! I got the letters from the ward! And from Uncle Ike's family! Thank you! I also witnessed a miracle. I got the package from the Knudsen's! I don't know what happened to that thing, but it finally arrived. and it looked like they had to move it through a battle zone to get it to me. One of the bags of pizza flour broke inside, so when we opened it that stuff got everywhere. Everything inside was coated with it as well. And the Salt Water Taffy had melted over everything. But don't worry! I was able to clean it up pretty well. The only thing that couldn't be saved was the taffy.

A couple weeks ago some ward members gave us a bag of rice and lentils. I think it's designed for food storage. It's made by NuSkin. This week we tried it, and to be honest it was pretty gross. But... I was looking through the pantry and I found some curry. I added that and had some curried rice and lentils. It wasn't as good as your's mom, but it was alright!

This week I bought a kilogram of chocolate from a street vendor for a dollar. They just open up the cocoa pod and mix in some sugar. It's pretty rich stuff. I can't eat very much of it at a time. That's what the picture is. Street chocolate. There's also a different kind of street chocolate here that is even more common. It's made by the street dogs.... They just do their business anywhere they want. We always have to be on guard.

This computer won't let me send pictures, so I'll send more next week. Sorry!
-Elder Goodman

Questions from Kanani:

1. Is there anything you want/need?

I've been thinking that I want to try yoga.. Could you send me a really simple yoga book? I have a really hard time exercising in the mornings, so I'm looking for different things to change it up. 2. An elastic exercise band. 3. My leatherman- I'm not sure if you'll be able to send that, but several times I have been in situations where I wish I had it.

2. Do you have a parasite?  Or did you find out what your illness was?

Nope. I'm clean! We still have no idea what it was.

Monday, January 4, 2016

I baptized Guillermo!

Feliz año nuevo!

This week was actually a pretty good week, but I also got to see the worst of El Salvador when I went to the hospital.

1. I had to do a poop test- I'll let you imagine the details for yourself- Here they have private clinics that will do it for 2 bucks, really fast really easy. But my companion thought it would be faster to do it at the Hospital. It was not faster at the Hospital. It was a Government hospital- I had to prove I was legal, but I didn't have to prove insurance or anything. I'm not exactly sure what the situation is down here with healthcare, but I got the test done for free! It was also very poorly managed, and staffed. We had to run all over getting signatures, we needed one from the triage doctor in the emergency room. But when we got there he wasn't there. We didn't have much time, so we left for a meeting at the church across the street. When we returned he still wasn't there. And the nurse at the front desk was very unhelpful. We were very pressed for time all day, and it took all day to get it done. We were running in and out of the hospital so much that the guards started to question us telling us how suspicious we looked. It was a really frustrating day. Made worse by the fact that I had to carry around the  ... ahem ... sample the whole time.

2. New Years, the whole city was hung over the next day, so we didn't get a whole lot of work done. I did see two drunks fighting in the street though! That was a little frightening to be honest. Not as funny as you think it would be.

3. We had the Christmas gift exchange this week as a zone. It was pretty fun, we all treated it like a white elephant party, the most common gift was ties. The Hermana missionaries thought that the rule was to spend a minimum of 5 dollars (the real rule was 5 dollar max.) So they bought some really nice gifts, cologne, nice shirts, stuff like that. It was kind of awkward for everyone.

4. We did a lot of baptizing this week! This entire half of the mission baptized 14 people this week. And our area baptized 4. That was awesome! I baptized Guillermo!  And Alicia's mom came to the baptism! (I found out she's 61 by the way)

5. A funny experience that happened this week: We were visiting Guillermo's family, and when we came in they were watching music videos on their tv, music videos that were at least 30 years old. (I recognized one of the bands: Hall and Oats). My companion made the comment that I understood what they were saying in the songs, because I speak English. They got really excited and made me translate the songs for them. (Fun fact, the songs didn't really make much sense in English either.) They loved it though!

6. We locked ourselves out of the house this week. We found out that our house is not very secure, I climbed the porton (big metal sliding door) to get into the yard and then I was able to unlock the door through  the window.

A cat has also been visiting our house lately, I'm not sure exactly how it does it, but it is kind of interesting when we see a cat walking around our house while we are studying.

I just realized I didn't give you an update on my health, I'm doing fine! Although starting last Saturday I've started to feel really achy. who knows?

Love you! Elder Goodman

Baptism of Guillermo. He's the taller one in white

Baptism of Alicia. (Her mom is in yellow)

The Cat