Monday, April 11, 2016

Cloud Nine

Hi everyone!

This week was a really really good week. This week Elder Hernandez and I decided we were going to buckle down and work really really hard to get good numbers. (number of lessons, fechas, new investigators, etc..)  Historically this area is a very weak area. It used to be two areas, but they closed the other one last year. Last year they didn't have hardly any baptisms, and every person that was baptised is now inactive. I came in with really high expectations. But they didn't have very many good investigators- and the good ones all have problems so they can't get baptized. Basically we've had to start from scratch. So our numbers have been really low.

But last week we had our interviews with president Vasquez. And he taught us a little bit about the minimum of faith. He showed us what our numbers would look like if we had the minimum of faith- and the majority were higher than ours currently were!

I am really blessed with my companion. He is the perfect companion for me, Elder Hernandez has a ton of desire to be a good missionary, and to have success- and he is already very good at teaching as well (he took the mission prep class from institute 4 times) He's also a convert, so he's good at connecting with the people, and he has a strong testimony. He had to fight against his dad, who is not a member, to even be on the mission. (His parents are very supportive now though.)   Basically what I am trying to say is that he is on the mission for all the right reasons, and he's willing to work!

This week we set our goals at the standards of excellence. And we were blessed, we pretty much doubled every number that we recorded last week. We overpassed the standards of excellence. By Friday. Saturday we just focused on getting everybody to church. And Sunday, Sunday was awesome. Normally we run around all Sunday trying to find more people, or trying to get more lessons so we can get our goals.  But this Sunday we didn't need to do any of that. It was a little weird actually! So we decided to call the bishop, and we asked him if there was anyone in the ward who could use a visit from the missionaries. And we spent the whole day looking up less active members who haven't been in church for a while. It was a really rewarding experience.

I heard a phrase once that I feel applies really well for working with church leaders and mission leaders. It goes like this. ´Never go to your leaders with problems, if you want to be succesful go to your leaders with solutions.´ Obviously that doesn't work in all situations, but I am really trying to make that my motto for working with ward leaders.  Most missionaries don't really like their Bishops, they only go to their bishop when they need help with something, or when something wrong happens. But when President Nelson came and visited, in September, he told us our best friends should be the bishop. I realized that you never go to your friends just to ask favors, you should also try to serve them. So in my mission I've really tried to make a point to be the missionary that the bishop can call when he needs help. Not just the missionary who calls for help. (hopefully that made sense). Anyway, that's why it felt so good on Sunday to be able to dedicate the whole day to making the ward stronger.

Spiritual experience:
This week we visited the family where the sister was really impressed with tithing. This week we taught baptisms for the dead, and they loved it! Except for the brother. He kept telling us how illogical this whole plan was. That God would just create us, just for the fun of it, put us through life. In live we have to somehow do enough to be saved. But if we don't have the chance we can still get baptized after this life. To go to Heaven. And what's so great about heaven anyway? Just sit around all day being happy.  I was a little shocked, I love the plan of salvation. And God. And I always trusted in the plan. But I felt like that wouldn't cut it with him. Suddenly I felt the Spirit telling me what to say (isn't it the best when that happens?) I flipped open to the Scripture Guide (doesn't exist in English scriptures) and read the entry to Exaltation. Focusing on one part in particular. Become as Heavenly Father.

 In probably one of the most spiritual moments on my mission I explained to him that God is our Father. Literally. And as every good father, he wants us to be successful, and gain what he has gained. So really Heaven, as believed earlier, isn't how it works. The goal is literally to become Gods, with numberless Children and worlds, just like our Father.

As I explained this I felt the spirit so strongly. I had the triplet clenched in my hand, and I was shaking it as I spoke to him. I usually have a pretty soft voice when I teach, but I was almost shouting, just talking very strongly. I finished and he just kind of sat there. And then he completely changed. 'you´re right, he said. That makes so much sense.'

Best. Lesson. Ever.

I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day. So grateful, and full of love for Heavenly Father and his plan. And the Holy Ghost.

Love You!
-Elder Goodman

At the beach today

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