Monday, February 22, 2016

Shower with leaf water

Hi everyone!

This week started out pretty bad. I got sick again. It's weird, I feel horrible for one day, and everyone tells me that I have some big awful disease, but then it goes away within one or two days. To be honest I think it's because of the priesthood blessings that my companions always give me, I'm just grateful that it never is anything serious. I got sick Monday.

I got up Tuesday and still felt pretty bad, but I felt like I could work. But my companion wouldn't let me, he told me to stay home and rest. The problem is that there wasn´t anyone who could stay home with me.  (we can only do divisions with priesthood holders) But there is a really old couple who live across the street from us, and the man is a member. So I stayed the day at that house. And it was awful!

The house is really really old, and really really hot. I spent the day sitting in a plastic lawn chair that they had reading the missionary library. It was actually kind of peacefull, just me and the old man. A cat kept coming into the house, and the old man kept trying to throw it out. He would grab the tail and lift it up, but he couldn't leave his chair, or do anything else, So the cat would just walk around on it's front two legs while the old man tried to get it to leave.  The whole time he kept muttering about how this cat thinks it owns the house, etc, etc.

After a couple times of this happening I realized that there was a bowl of cat food under a table, and the cat kept going under the table. Then the wife came home and confirmed my suspicions- the cat was their pet. It kept trying to come into the house because it lived in the house, the old man just never realized.

When the wife came home things got a little harder. She just talked and talked and talked. I realize that she probably just feels lonely, and normally I would love to talk to her, but it was hot, and I was sick, and I kept zoning out- to be honest I don't even know what she was talking about. At one point whe went outside and came back with a huge bundle of branches. She started gathering all the leaves up to cook. The idea was that she boil down all the leaves and make a leaf soup- and then I take a shower with the leaf water.  But I wouldn't take a shower in her house, so that kind of ruined her plan. She ended up giving me a big bucket of this leaf water to take home, and I promised her I would shower with her leaf water as soon as I got home.

This week Elder Popoca got his new companion, so that broke up the trio we had. We are all pretty bummed, we had a great time together. Every morning we have to exercise for 30 minutes, with Elder Popoca we both bought Nerf guns, and every morning for 30 minutes we would have Nerf battles. It was a ton of fun. I also figured out something really fun and cool you can do with Nerf guns.  We have the whistler bullets, with the hole in the front part. I found out that a match fits perfectly in that little hole. We would put matches there, and then hold the box next to the match. When you shoot it lights the match. That raised the fun level a little bit! We would spray big clouds of air freshner and deoderant and shoot the matches through it! Elder Vallecillo also has a machete, so we would try to block the darts with that thing baseball/jedi style!

With Elder Popoca gone we have an extra bed, so I took his mattress and stacked it on top of mine. It is really soft!

(You might have noticed that I'm running out of things to write)

I'm trying to think of a really cool experience I had. Or a really spiritual experience. But to be honest today was a pretty ordinary week. Nothing much to report.

I love you!
-Elder Goodman

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Three Nephites

Hi everyone! This has been a pretty good week!

This week one of the missionaries in Las Cañas (my old area) went home. His companion (Elder Popoca) has been with me and E. Vallecillo in a trio this week. Being in a trio is really different - but to be honest I kind of like it! We call ourselves the three nephites.

Elder Duncan came and visited us this week! We had a sweet multi-zone conference!  Remember how I wrote earlier about how I couldn't sit still and I would get really bored? I take it all back. That conference was several hours. But it was awesome! I never got bored! I was also part of the choir that sang for him!  I love when general authorities visit! My favorite part is always when they share their testimonies. So powerful!

This weekend we did a special activity in Santa Lucia. In the church building they hung up several huge banners that contain gospel principles. Missionaries dressed up as scripture people to explain the principles. It was a huge success! I think it's cool that you've been thinking a lot about Moroni, because I dressed up as Moroni! I explained Old Testament Geneology. At first I was pretty worried, because that can be a pretty boring subject (sorry dad!) but every one said I did a good job, and no one fell asleep! I ended up talking about the 12 tribes and the stick of Joseph and Judah.

Our cocinera/laundry lady (we call her mom) made me a sweet trumpet out of newspaper and spray paint. It was silver, and I got a lot of smart remarks about that.

Today we went to Walmart, and I bought a nerf gun! I've never been to walmart here before, it was pretty cool! I'm pretty sure the American brands are more expensive than in the United States. Or maybe I'm just getting used to El Salvador prices.

This week we had to break into our house. It was probably about a level 5 difficulty. (Cañas house: 10, gated community + all that stuff I wrote about earlier) (panchimalco house 2).   We borrowed a ladder from our neighbors to reach their roof. Then I jumped from the neighbor's roof to our balcony (our house has 2 floors) from the balcony I was able to stick my hand through a window and open it. I had to use a pole to open up the window though.

We baptized Nusly this week! She is really shy, so we did it during sacrament meeting, and confirmed her at the end of the sacrament meeting.

I love you!
-Elder Goodman

Monday, February 8, 2016

Back to Ilopongo

Hi everyone!

Yeah, the new way of doing transfer schedules kind of stinks. Monday night I got the phone call telling me that I had to be at the Stake Center in San Salvador at 10.00 the next morning. (Normally it's Wednesday morning).  Normally Tuesday is the day to take pictures and say goodbye to everyone and pack. This time I had to stay up late to pack. And I had to leave early the next morning. I wasn't able to visit anyone. We did call the family Garcia, they took Josue out of school to say goodbye right before I left.

Something different this time is that the Mission wasn't going to provide transportation. That means I had to take a bus (the really crowded morning ones) with all my bags. I really didn't want to do that. So out of desperation I called the one member in our area who has a car. He couldn't do it (he has a pretty demanding job with the government). So he sent his bodyguard to come pick us up. That was pretty cool!

My new area is Alta Vista 2.  Back in San Bartolo of Ilopango. Back to the world of garbage and gangsters and guns.  Same district. Same church building. It's like leaving the 6th ward and coming back to the 3rd ward.  I don't know if you remember when I wrote about Elder Vallecillos, but he's my new companion! I am pretty stoked. This area we have 2 different cocineras. 1 for breakfast. 1 for lunch. They both cook really good food! And this ward has a dinner calender! That is unheard of here!

This Sunday I was able to see everyone from Las Cañas during church. That was super cool!
In the time that I've been gone Benjamin was baptized. And Nusly is getting baptized this Saturday. We did her interview last week. That was super cool being able to visit them! Benjamin also wiped all the viruses off my camera! Super cool day!

A cool experience:
My companion is really intune with the Spirit.  Last night we were walking along the street looking for new investigators when he stopped by a house. The house of members. I didn't know them. But I recognized them from church a couple hours earlier. They are a really strong family. Or so we thought. The mom told us that the husband was in back, sick. We went back there, and he was packing some bags, crying. He was about to leave. We found out that their marriage wasn't doing so good.  Obviously as missionaries we can't give counsel or anything, but we did share some scriptures and sing some hymns and left the home a lot better than we found it.

I bought a recorder today. (The elementary school music class kind) I've already learned Come Come ye Saints!

Changes I've noticed in myself on the mission.:

I think I'm developing ADHD. At church I get really really bored. I have a hard time just sitting. (In my last area I fell asleep in Elders quorum. On two different sundays. No one noticed though ;)  I remember at home I could just sit on the couch for hours and read- I wouldn't be able to do that anymore. I'm so used to just go go go. When I started the mission the mindset was to 'fill the lessons with time'. But now its 'fill the time with lessons'. We never have enough time. When I write home I feel like my mind is already on the next thing that I want to write about. I have a hard time keeping track of my ideas.

It also takes me a lot more time to write my letters.

I never thought I would have so much confidence talking to complete strangers.

I think in Spanish. (Right now I'm the only American in my district- I don't even get to speak English on P-days anymore. Only when I write home.)

I dream about teaching lessons.

I never thought I would be able to have so much love for people I don't even know.

I am a lot more blunt. When I write in my journal too. I used to write a ton, lots of detail. I don't really do that anymore. Just the basics.

Fasting is a lot easier.

Prayers are a lot longer.

Testimony is a lot stronger.

Alright, times up. Thanks for everything! Love you!

-Elder Goodman

Monday, February 1, 2016

10:00 last night

Hi everyone!

This week was a pretty great week! Up until about 10.00 last night. That's when we got the phone call that I'll be leaving Panchimalco. I was pretty bummed. That's an understatement. I couldn't sleep last night, it took me forever to fall asleep. I woke up at 4.30, and couldn't go back to sleep. I got up at 5 and cleaned the whole house.

I don't know if you remember, but two weeks ago I bought a 10 pound bag of pancake mix. Well, I still have a lot.  So this morning I invited the whole district to my house and we had a big pancake party to start the day. That was actually pretty fun! I made some good progress on that bag.

 This morning we played softball with the familia Garcia. It was pretty fun. Josue cried when he found out that I was leaving. I'm definitely going to miss that family.  Speaking of the Familia Garcia, this Saturday we baptized Jesus (the dad) Maria (the mom) and Josue (the son)  Josue really wanted me to baptize him, that was pretty cool!  We had the service outside, it was really cool. I couldn't stop thinking of the story of the waters of mormon! We had a piñata afterward which was really fun! On the church property there is a tree with lots of vines (think Tarzan). While we were filling up the pila we goofed around swinging on the vines. I sent my favorite of the pictures.

Josue has a really hard time understanding the Book of Mormon, I bought him one of those Book of Mormon stories books, that we have at home. He was really excited! This Sunday a member of the Temple Presidency came to our ward, he talked a lot about the Sealing, and did a great job of getting the family Garcia excited about the temple! I also played that piano piece, They had me do it for the closing hymn, which was a little interesting, but it worked out!

I honestly can't really think of anything more that happened this week, I don't have much more to say. Except for this:  Choosing to serve a mission was the best decision I have ever made in my life. I was thinking a lot last night (while I couldn't sleep) and I realized that I have passed my 6 month mark. I only have 18 months left. And it kind of scared me a little bit, because I still am not the missionary, or the person that I want to be. I still have a long ways to go. It's kind of crazy how absorbed I get in my little bubble of Panchimalco, and all that matters is if we were able to visit this family, or that family. Or contact that guy, or share my testimony with that other guy. And do it all before 9.00 at night.

Sorry, I usually plan out beforehand what I want to write about. But I didn't do it this week.  I just have a lot of rambling thoughts that I tried to string together.

Have a great week! I love you! I pray for you!
-Elder Goodman

ps. A quote that has really been guiding my life these past couple days:

"Anyone can live heroically for one day, but those who find success are those who live heroically every day."