Monday, October 31, 2016


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