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.