Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 24 Orlando - Conway East

I would have to say that it was a great week! Definitely an interesting one. Monday night we went over to a members home who somehow contacted my parents so that they could make my favorite food/dessert. It was the greatest thing ever because we had mashed
potatoes and gravy and lemon cake. There are a lot of great people in this ward.

I also got news that I am being transferred. It's kind of a weird situation though because I'm not getting transferred for about 10 days into the next transfer. We are picking up another elder tomorrow so we will have a trio until I leave in 10 days. There's a rumor that one of
the stakes is getting new boundaries at the first of the year for the wards in it so I think that I am going to be opening up an area there is my guess. I am going to miss this ward! I've met so many great people here. I'm excited to move also. The funny thing is that I didn't know that I was staying another 10 days until yesterday, and I was already packed up so now I have to unpack then repack again uhh.

Christmas Eve was awesome because our district went caroling. (It would be even better if we knew how to sing lol) we went to one house just as a lady was walking in. She told us to come in and sing to her whole family because it was their family party. After we sang to them we bore our testimonies to them and they said it was exactly what they needed because the song we sang was their grandmas favorite who had just passed away that summer. It's amazing what happens when the spirit is on your side. They kept calling us Jehovah witnesses though haha.

The highlight of the week of course was talking to my family on Christmas! I'm pretty sure that I have the best family ever. You don't realize how smart your parents really are until you leave them. Then you realize how much they really knew what they were talking about.
It's hard to believe how much can change in 6 months. Speaking of that, I get to burn a tie with his week for hitting my 6 month mark.

Our investigators are doing great! We met with Jennifer and Julian yesterday and Julian is so excited to get baptized! I love him. He said that he is getting baptized no matter what! It is so cool. I love that kid. All of our other investigators are doing really good.

Well I love you all!

Elder Goff

My homies (the Conway West Elders and us.) Elder Rowley, Garcia, me, Elder Gale

Everbody knows me by this famous icecream shop in downtown Orlando

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 23 Orlando - Conway East

I can't believe that it's already Christmas! MERRY CHRISTMAS everybody! So our mission President asked us a good question this week. He said, "What gift are you going to give to Christ this Christmas?" Christ has given us everything so the least we can do is give a portion of the things we have back. One thing that I have learned this Christmas is that it doesn't take presents or toys to make you happy. All it takes is a little bit of Christ in your eyes.

This week was a great week! We saw a lot of miracles. We set a baptism date with a couple of our investigators, Jennifer and Julian! It was such a spiritual lesson. Julian is the coolest kid ever. After our first lesson with him, he was so excited about feeling the spirit that he said a prayer with one of his friends so that he could feel the same feeling. It was the best experience ever. It was the same investigators that we tracked into 2 weeks ago. Also this week we got a referral for a bible. When we went to his house he let us right in and we sat down for a while. When we brought up the Book of Mormon he said that it is exactly what he has been looking for. He ordered a bible but what he really wanted was a Book of Mormon. We are planning to meet with him again tomorrow and I'm super pumped about it.

Recently for some random reason we have been running into a lot of Russian people. Yesterday we were contacting people on our bikes when we ran into a lady pushing her kid in a stroller. When we tried to talk to her she said, "I don't speak English, I speak Russian." Then out of nowhere Elder Gale started speaking Russian! We shared a video with her in Russian and gave her and the address to our church. It was so cool haha. Other than that it was a slow week. We have been a little bit sick but it's all good. Well I love you all and hope you have a merry Christmas!

Elder Goff

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 22 Orlando - Conway East

This week we great! We saw a lot of miracles. It seems like everyone is happier this time of year because of Christmas. Everyone's also super busy haha. So on Friday, Elder Gale and I were biking around in a neighborhood and accidentally took the wrong turn. We were about to turn around when we saw an open garage which usually means that they are home. We knocked on the door and a lady named Jennifer and her son Julian answered he door. They let us in right away and we taught them the Restoration. After the lesson we asked them to kneel with us and pray to ask if it was true. Julian said it and after we asked how they felt. He said, "I feel...funny. Kinda like I want to jump around and laugh and smile!" The spirit was so powerful! We were all in tears by the time we left! We are meeting with them tonight again so I am super excited to see how it will go.
 This week was also the ward Christmas party. It was super awesome! The Risley's came and the whole ward took them in. It was awesome to see them become part of the ward. We really hope to be able to set a baptism date with them this week. I would have to say the Risley's are one of my favorites. We've gotten pretty tight within the last few weeks.

So I hope you all are having a great time! People get into Christmas hard core here. One house even covered their whole lawn with fake snow. It was pretty sweet!

In Sacrament meeting yesterday our 1st counselor in the stake presidency, President Tait (who is actually from oderville originally) spoke on how we \an best celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. He said that we must take time to ponder and study the true meaning of Christmas, ponder the saviors influence in our lives today, look steadfastly on the savior's coming, and finally think back to the Christmas that we felt the spirit the most. our family tradition is to read of Christ's birth each year on Christmas eve. Everytime we would do that I felt the spirit super strong. I love the story of Christ's birth!

Well I love you all and hope the best and a Merry Christmas!

Elder Goff


Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 21 Orlando - Conway East

This week was great! We had a lot of success. It was bike week again but I would have to say that I still liked it because the hottest it got was 75. So we had a cool experience this week with a guy named Jose. Elder Hilton had passed by this guy a lot but weren't ever able to teach him because he couldn't speak English. Elder Gale and I contacted this guy and he was so prepared! We taught him the Restoration and he said that he believed all of it. After giving him a Book of Mormon we testified of how we know it is true... Mostly elder Gale. The spirit was so strong! I would have to say that one of my favorite part about my mission is lessons like that where the spirit is so strong that you can't deny anything! I love it.

The people we are teaching are Jason, the Rivieras, and the Risley's Jason is the coolest kid ever! Also this week We started teaching a guy who is a lot like me. His name is Ben. He goes up to Georgia and hunts whitetail deer all the time so I told him that I would take him spike elk hunting or deer hunting in Utah if he takes me hunting in Georgia. I would say that it's a fair trade. Also this week we went to the poiriers who are an amazing member family in our ward and decorated a tree with them! I love Christmas. Haha oh also Have you guys ever heard of watermelon juice!? I've always wondered why they never make it but it turns out that they do! And it is AMAZING! We were eating at a members house and he put some watermelon juice on the table. I seriously thought I was in a dream and had to pinch myself!

Yesterday during the Christmas devotional president Uchtdorf said something that really stuck out to me. He said,"Find a moment in the choir of our souls to acknowledge heartfelt gratitude to the Generous One." I look back on my life and realize how often I have had an amazing experience or blessing only to leave happy without considering to give thanks to God. The church came out with a video called, "what if we had no savior?" It sure is a good thing that we have a savior. We are able to be with our families forever because of him. It's crazy to think that because of a single birth, our eternal well being has been changed. "For God so loved the world that he gave His Only Begotten Son." What more do we need to be grateful for?

I love you all,
Elder Goff

A member gave us a Christmas tree!

Star Wars tie's :)
Exchanges - Elder Fairbanks (left) and Elder Bagshaw (right)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 20 Orlando - Conway East

This week was really interesting. For thanksgiving we actually had 2 dinners and then another member gave us left overs haha. It was awesome! Also we had a really cool experience on thanksgiving. We had a service project where we went to downtown Orlando and served lunch to the homeless. They said that about 30,000 people ate there that day! It was awesome to see how happy they were even. It goes to show that real happiness doesn't always come by having money.

So this week we were tracking (knocking doors) and came across his kid named Jose. We were able to teach him about the Restoration and we even committed him to be baptized on Jan 2 right there! It was such a cool experience. Unfortunately yesterday his mom called and chewed us out for talking to him! :( it's super frustrating because he was so excited and happy and knew it was true but can't be taught!

We also saw a huge alligator this week! We were biking down the road and I looked over and thought there was a dinosaur just chillin there.  We got some pretty good pictures. If I were to guess I would bet he was 7 -8 feet long. Coolest thing ever!

So this week I did a lot of studying about humility and being grateful. President Uchtdorf said, "We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?" Sometimes in life we are to busy waiting for the end when we miss the joy of the journey.  I know I'm guilty of this. I really am grateful for all of the trials in my life that have gotten me to where I am today. Ether 12:27 says it best.

Well I love you all!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 19 Orlando - Conway East

It's finally starting to cool down here in the promised land of Orlando Florida! I actually got a little cold while riding my bike through the rain yesterday haha. The high for today is suppose to be 65! I am so excited! So today for P-day we are going with a member to bass pro shop. It's going to be way fun. :) 
Anyways. So his week was great! I would say that the highlight of the week was taking the Risley's (some of our investigators) on a temple tour! It was so fun and I always love going to the temple. After they even took us to dinner at some crazy Chinese food place. It's called Kim Wu. On the menu they had an option for a whole duck! Like the head and all! I was really tempted to get it but is was like 40$ so I didn't. I ended up getting some noodles instead. Anyways, the Risley's are doing really well. We are hoping to get them baptized within the next few months.


I heard a quote of a former mission president who said that he would take a missionary who works hard over one who knows the scriptures well any day. I think his is very true. If you don't have any work ethic, you aren't going to accomplish anything. I think that I am finally starting to understand why my dad made me get off the couch and go dig holes with him or work on the truck. At the time it seemed pointless, but now I understand why he did it and I am really glad he did. If I could say one thing that I am grateful for that he taught me, it would be how to work. We have a quote in our apartment that says, "When a missionary works he will get the spirit. When a missionary gets the spirit he will teach by the spirit; and if he teaches by the spirit, he will touch the hearts of many and he will be happy." - Ezra Taft Benson. I'll be honest, coming out here was not easy. But when you work hard, it becomes easier and easier. I could say now that I am loving my mission and that I am having time of my life! After putting a little effort into it, we become so much more happy. I think that this can apply with anything.
So in sacrament meeting yesterday hey takes a lot about gratitude. Someone said the quote, "What if you woke up today with only the things you gave thanks for yesterday?" I would be in trouble. This quote made me reflect on what I take for granted. I never realized how lucky I was to have the knowledge I do of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are able to be with our families forever! How lucky are we!? I see people everyday who are confused, hurt, lonely. They lack purpose for their life yet they are too prideful to give up what they have so they can have so much more. We ran into a lady last week who was being evicted out of her house, sitting on the back of a broken down truck, smoking a cigarette, and laughing at us because "we don't know what we are doing and are confused." I felt terrible for her and I wanted to help her so bad. This experience made me reflect on how grateful I am for what I have and what I know. I have a family who I will be with forever. I have great friends who would do anything for me and I would do anything for them. I have a knowledge of the true plan of happiness. I have faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement. I have everything that I need and I am so grateful for that.
As Thanksgiving is coming up I hope you guys reflect on what you are grateful for. How lucky are we to be part of this gospel! I love you all and keep you in my prayers!

Elder Goff

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 18 Orlando - Conway East

It sounds like the Utah weather is good! What is snow? I've heard of it before but I can't remember what it is. I hear that there is snow all over the ground there but what do you mean by that? Here all you see is green. None of the leaves fall off the trees and it's still 80 degrees during the day! People still mow their lawns like crazy here. It seems like in Utah we do all we can to get stuff to grow and here its like people do all they can to stop stuff from growing.

So I saw a ton of miracles this week, but the biggest miracle was with a part member family we have been working with, the Pinilla's. They have been searching for an answer to their prayers to know if the Book of Mormon is true and they said that they finally found one! They read Jacob 3:1 just after their dog passed away, and they told us how comforting it was to them. We have prayed and fasted for a miracle like this to happen.  I have a very strong testimony of miracles. I have seen so many that have just left me in awe and wonder. I don't have a doubt in my mind that this is the true church and that Jesus Christ is at the head of it. I know that he still works through people today. I gave a training on how miracles are brought to pass by faith a few weeks ago. While studying I learned that when we have the faith to be completely obedient, diligent, and loving, we see miracles. I know that being obedient will bring miracles throughout my mission. I had a cool thought this week. As missionaries, we are called to find the canna's and wanna's. Those who are willing to sacrifice so much and change their lives for Christ. I think that it is the same way with God toward us. God is trying to find the canna's and wanna's in members. Those who are willing to be completely obedient to all of the rules and are faithful enough to see miracles. It is important that we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and keep all of his commandments even when sometimes we don't understand why they are there.
Missionary work is by far the best thing ever. I have come to love the people here in Conway! Transfers are Tuesday and luckly I'm staying here! I have made a lot of lifetime friends. Like Jason, I can tell we will be best buds forever. Jason is an investigator of ours who we have been working with for a few months. He wants to get baptized super bad, but unfortunately there are some issues so he won't be able to just yet. He is a stud.

Well I love you all and hope for the best!
Elder Goff

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 17 Orlando - Conway East

It was a very interesting week! Everything was good except for the weather. We got rained on again and it also hit record temperatures for this time of year. It was the hottest it's been since 1945... AND WE WERE ON BIKES!! D: So on my bike I have a mile tracker (it was like 20$ so I bought it) and guess how far I've bikes since I got it...450 miles!!! Plus about 50 or so from before I got it. Other than the insane heat and humidity and biking, it was a great week!

We met a kid named Isaac. He said he wants to get baptized and is such a stud! We played basketball  with him on Thursday and then gave him a tour of the church. I'll admit, Isaac beat me at basketball which made me excited because I can relate with him a lot. Also the tour of the church was so awesome! The spirit was so strong. Another cool experience we had this week was going to the temple with Jason on a tour. It is so cool to be able to see someone progress from running into him while biking to going on a temple tour with him. (A temple tour is when someone explains a little about the temple, then you walk around the outside but can't go in.) The temple was so awesome! I always love going because it is so peaceful and you always feel the spirit.

Also this week was Elder Gales 18 month mark so we burned a pair of pants out on the grass. It probably wasn't the smartest thing we've done but it definitely was one of the funnest :) I can honestly say that e time that I've spent on my mission has been some of the funnest in my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything

Elder Goff

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 16 Orlando - Conway East

Happy Birthday Elder Goff on November 1st.  Wish we could be there to celebrate with you!

This week was great! Halloween was way fun. We spent it at a members home and played board games until about 9:30. We got a permission to stay out a little bit later than normal. Melissa (the less active who is way awesome) came over with us too. It was a party! The best part is that Melissa loved it too. We're pretty sure she's going to church next week so that's going to be cool.

Also on Halloween Elder Gale and I were biking to a lesson and ran into a group of kids. They are ran up to us and we're like "Come trick or treating with us!" They were only about 6 so we got to go trick or treating with them to a few houses. It was so funny! I love little kids :)

Probably the biggest success that we saw this week was that we (elder Gale mostly) committed an investigator to baptism and he only speaks Spanish! I was able to understand a pretty good portion of the conversation but I still can't speak the language yet. The spirit was so strong! Unfortunately he's moving back to Cuba in a few weeks so we're not sure how we are going to get it all worked out but we will try to figure something out. So to say the least the Spanish work here in our area is working out pretty well.

Also I had a great birthday! The Silvas invited us over for cake in the evening so I had a mini family party which was pretty cool. It felt a little bit like home to me. I also got a couple of really sweet ties! So to say the least I had a great birthday!!!

Silva Family (Members in our ward)
We had a great testimony meeting in church yesterday. Our ward mission leader bore his testimony on the Book of Mormon. He said, if you are struggling at life, read the Book of Mormon. If you feel alone, read the Book of Mormon. If you are out of money and left on the streets, read the Book of Mormon, because the Book of Mormon will always bring us safely home. I thought this was super cool! I have come to have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon while on my mission.

Also someone talked about faith. This week I came across a scripture that really stuck out to me. It's Ether 12:12. Faith is not just belief alone, it is action and when we act great things will happen! When we exercise our faith we see miracles. I have come to find out that this is so true! I have seen so many miracles while out here on my mission and I know it is all because I have strengthened my faith.

Well I love you all and hope the best for all! Remember to always have faith and to always study the Book of Mormon!

Elder Goff

Interview with Elder Gale

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 15 Orlando - Conway East

Well this week was a good one...except for that it was bike week D: It still hasn't rained! It's been almost 3 weeks since we've had a good rain storm. Also the temperature is still dropping. It gets about 65 degrees at night which is so nice. It feels just like paradise. I'm starting to understand why everyone likes Florida now.

So even though my companion is a Spanish missionary, I still can't speak it haha. I can understand a basic conversation but that's about it. Most of the time when they say something to me I just nod my head and say, "si, si" haha it's pretty funny. I'm working on being able to say a Prayer in Spanish. And I want to learn to bare my testimony. Elder Gale usually just teaches the entire lesson and I just sit there and smile. But it's all good, I'll get the hang of it.

This week we had a trunk or treat ward social which was amazing! I was one of the judges for who made the best chile (someone cooked one with habeneros so I about burnt my face off). We also had a Halloween dance so I got to dance with a bunch of little kids. After the dance they had us 4 missionaries of the ward come up and have a hula hoop contest in front of everyone. I forgot how hard it is to hula hoop! There was a little kid who kicked my butt at it haha. To top off the whole ward social, we had a family bring a nonmember family, one of the youth brought 2 of his nonmember friends, and 2 less active families come to the social! I was soooo excited to see them come! And they all loved it.
Another highlight of the week is that a less active family that we have been working with FOREVER went to the temple to do baptisms for the 1st time since they were baptized! They said that they can't wait to go again and they have also committed to coming back to church. It was a miracle.

Well we don't have anyone on date for baptism right now but we have a lot of investigators and less actives that we are working with. The people here are so nice! I never really understood what people meant when they told me that you will come to love the people in your mission, but it is so true! I really do love everyone here. They are so unique and would do anything for us!

Yesterday in church they talked about faith. Having faith really is key to everything we do. When we have faith everything seems to fall into place. I really have seen absolute miracles come through faith. 
Ether 12:6 tells us that faith is things that are hoped for and not seen. I have really reflected on what I hope to see happen in my mission and in my life. I hope you all never lose faith even when that hope seems to be lost. Love you all and always remember to have faith!

Elder Goff

Pictures are of us at the trunk or treat party. We dressed up by all wearing bow ties. 
From left to right: Elder O'hare, Elder Gale, Elder Rowley and Me


Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 14 Orlando - Conway East

Another great week for Elder Goff :)  Sure do miss him!

This week was great! It didn't even rain at all! Haha that's probably why it's raining so much there. :) It sounds like the deer hunt has been good in Utah.  It reminds me of when Christ saw Peter fishing and asked him to leave his net and be fishers of men. Except for me I have been asked to leave my guns and be hunters of men :) it's cool to know that I am kind of like the prophets haha.

Anyways we had a very productive week! We found an investigator named Gage and committed him to baptism but unfortunately, yesterday we found out that he is moving Tuesday L so we will send the referral to the missionaries who are serving where he lives. Other than that there is not too much else new. Our area is doing really well especially with Elder Gale!

So something cool that happened this week was stake conference for the Orlando stake. It was really good because Elder Hymas, on of the area seventies for our area, came and talked with us. He talked a lot to the members about how everyone should be full-time missionaries. He started his talk by asking, "Would all of the full-time missionaries stand up?" All of the missionaries stood up. Then he said, "No I didn't mean the 24 month missionaries, they aren't here their whole lives. Would all of the FULL-TIME missionaries stand up?" Everyone in the congregation stood up. I thought this was really cool because we are all full-time missionaries and we should all be doing missionary work. President Hymas also quoted, "Gone are the days when we pray that the missionaries will find someone to teach." These are the days when we should, as members of the church, all pray for the opportunity to find people to teach. D&C18:15-17

He also talked a lot on keeping the Sabbath day holy. He said, "If we only knew the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy we would be to church 30 minutes early every Sunday!" This is so true. I remember a talk this last conference on "What Lack I Yet"? An example he gave was of a returned missionary who was overwhelmed with so many things that he just could not find peace. When he asked God, "what lack I yet?" He received the answer to keep the Sabbath day holy. This action brought him peace and comfort. I never realized the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy but when I look back at my life, I realize that my parents did recognize the importance of it and I am great fun for that because it brought me peace.

Elder Goff

Elder Gale and I with our new investigator :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 13 Orlando - Conway East

Another transfer down! Time is flying by! I can't believe that it's already almost time for the deer hunt back home! I feel like Peter, James, and John who gave up hunting deer to be hunters of men :) at least it goes something like that (fishing - hunting = same thing) haha

So there are a lot of things that changed his week! The biggest is ELDER GALE!!!! 
He is so awesome! The best part is that he is a Spanish missionary which is going to be an enormous help because there are so many Puerto Ricans here who only speak Spanish! I can't tell you how many times I haven't been able to share the gospel with them because I haven't been able to speak Spanish! It's super frustrating. So I guess now I have to learn Spanish... At least enough to teach a lesson. That's going to be fun. I feel like I can already understand a basic conversation in Spanish. But my goal is to be able to have a basic  conversation in Spanish with someone by the end of this transfer. I'm pretty nervous about that. I think that Elder Gale's going to have to do most of the talking.

So other than trying to learn Spanish, our first week together was amazing! We found 5 new  investigators! I'm so excited for these people to have a desire to put Christ first in their life. I remember one talk given by
Richard J. Maynes about living a Christ centered life. He talked about his experience with a potters wheel. When the clay is not completely centered on the wheel, it begins to wobble and it cannot be molded. In order for us to allow God to mold us, Christ must be at the center of our lives. I am finding every day that this is why I am on a mission, to not only center Christ in my life but to help others see how Christ must be the center of their lives.

So this week we had a cool experience. We were able to have a huge stake service project at primrose school for special needs. It was in bad shape and really needed a lot of work done. It was amazing to see the light in these special individual's eyes as they saw us fixing up their school. We really don't recognize what true happiness is until we decide to forget about ourselves and get lost in the service of our God. It was one of the highlights of my mission!

Also while doing this project I found this pineapple growing! I always thought they grew off of trees, but I guess not. It was a cool surprise. Well I love you all and hope the best!
Elder Goff

Picture is of Elder Gubler! We were on the same basketball team in 6th grade! He moved to hurricane just before high school. It's nice to see someone who knows people that I know. :)
We also got to go to the temple again this week. We went with the youth in our ward so we just stayed on the outside of the temple.
Elder Gubler


Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 12 Orlando - Conway East

I sent Cayson a voice recorder, it was the best investment I ever made.  Now I get to listen to him!!!
Well this week was great! It's Elder Hiltons last here in the Conway Ward because he is being transferred tomorrow! It's been a few great months with him and I have learned so much. It will be nice to be done training though! Elder Hilton only has 2 transfers left so he leaves at the end of December.

So we had one of the funniest hints happen to us this week! We were checking up on a member In our ward and it was at night so she told her kid to go get undressed and she would be in to help him get ready for bed in a minute. We continued to talk to the member for about 5 more minutes when her kid came running out in the living room butt naked screaming! It was super funny haha! Our members in our ward are so great! Haha

General Conference was great! There were a lot on keeping the Sabbath day holy, families and becoming Christlike. One of my favorite talks was given by Elder Holland on Mothers. He compared the love of a mother to the love of Christ. He said that there are 2 people who are willing to bare you up, Jesus Christ and our mothers. I am so blessed to have such a great mother! She has been here for me every step of the way, and without her help, who knows where I would be. Elder Holland quoted Moroni 7:45-47 but substituted the word "charity" for "a mothers love". My mother has a love similar to the pure love of Christ.  (Yep I'm crying now. He is such an amazing son, I am so very blessed!)

I also had a cool experience while doing some service. There was a snake hanging out in the bushes that I caught! It was all black so I'm pretty sure it was a Black Mamba ;) haha jk it's a gartner snake. But that's what the picture is. Life here is great!

Another Great talk was given right after on fathers by Bradley D. Foster. He told the fathers out there to teach here children not only to hear but to understand. He said speaking to the fathers, "Don't miss out on teaching truths to your children." I'm glad that I have a dad that taught me truths and set an example for me to follow. It is because of him that I am here serving a mission. He has taught me not only to hear, but to listen also and I am so very grateful for that.

Man this Conference was intense! 3 brand new apostles! Ronald A Rasband, Gary E Stevenson, and Dale G. Renlund. I loved their testimonies also.

Service Project - Fixing a Pipe with Elder Hilton

My District

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 11 Orlando - Conway East

Time is flying by so fast!  (Cayson says, it's not for me!) I can't believe that I have already been out 3 months! It's super crazy. I am loving every second of it though. This week we had a lot of success! It was bike week but crazy enough, we didn't even get rained on! Pretty great :) It is definitely starting to cool off! The morning runs are super nice! I hear that the winter here is like paradise! I can't wait for that because the summer here was probably the complete opposite of paradise haha.

So we had a great lesson in our gospel principles class. It was about how we can know if God is really there. Someone in the lesson brought up an old saying, "for those who know, no explanation is needed; for those who don't know, no explanation will suffice." We don't come to know that God is really there through an explanation. We come to know that he is there through a witness of the Holy Ghost. I have found out for myself, and, if there is one thing that I have learned on my mission, it would be that. God is really there and he watches over each and everyone of us. We just have to look for Him.
Jason is doing great! He came to church Sunday and he also brought his friend! It was great. He understands everything and is looking forward to his baptism! I am super excited for Him because he is about as good of a kid as you can find! We also have a referral that we got from a member. It is his son-in-law. We are yet to teach him any lessons but the member says that he is very interested so that will be good.

Transfers are coming up next week. I'm pretty sure that this is my last week with Elder Hilton :( He has been such a good trainer and example for me. I think that I will probably stay here in the Conway ward for at least one more transfer before I leave. Elder Hilton is ready to go though. He has been here for 6 transfers (almost 9 months)!!! He goes home at the end of December so he is old in the mission, haha.
So I found a scripture that describes my life here on the mission. It's 2 Nephi 29:3. It talks about how people are going to reject the word of God in the last days because they already have a bible. People here in the South are that exact way! Nobody wants to hear more of God's word which doesn't make any sense at all to me. But I guess that's how it is.

Well I love all you guys and hope the best!
Elder Goff

FHE with a family in our ward; played this awesome game
where you build up train tracks to win.
The object lesson of the Restoration we used to teach Von

I look like I'm sad but I'm really happy haha
Some dude's hulk Halloween costume that he is making.
We were riding past and had to take a picture.
I hope to see him on Halloween in it!

us waiting out a rainstorm in our apt

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 10 Orlando - Conway East

This week was a rough one for Elder Goff.

Elder Hilton has been battling a cold for half the week :( but I guess that doesn't stop the work from progressing. My testimony grew so much stronger this week. The Lord gives us trials such as this to strengthen us. In Ether 12:6, it tells us that a witness does not come after a trial of your faith. I feel that this trial of my faith has given me a witness of the truthfulness of his gospel! I know without a doubt that it is true and it is for this reason that I am out here.

So besides Elder Hilton getting sick, I had a lot of cool and new experiences this week. On Tuesday, I went on an exchange with Elder Creer. He is an awesome Elder from Spanish fork Utah, but the cool part about it was that I have been out on a mission longer than he has. This was the first time that I have been the senior companion! I felt a lot of pressure, but I also was super excited! We did great!
So unfortunately Anna is not going to make her date for baptism this week. Because we had the trial of being sick, we weren't able to visit as many people as we would have liked. She also has family over so we haven't met with her for about a week. :(  I still have faith that she will get baptized someday. Jason and Von are doing great though! I look forward to seeing them progress even more! Another person that we have been working with is an in active named Melissa. She is actually our neighbor and we had a great lesson with her Saturday! We hope to get her to church this coming Sunday :)

Overall I feel like this week was a big step for me. I was able to take the lead in a lot of things and I know that I am where I am suppose to be! Thank You for all of your prayers and support! Love you all!
Elder Goff

Some food that our Tongan ward mission leader made us! The chicken and roll was good but the other stuff was...... yeah haha. Kind of weird stuff. I think it is a mixture of tuna, spinach, and some other random stuff.

Caught some pictures of lightning this week. It's so much cooler in person though!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 9 Orlando - Conway East

Okay, Cayson has received permission to use the first name of his investigators.  That way when you say your prayers, please include those investigators.   Here is an update from this week:

I had a great week here in the promised land of Orlando Florida! We didn't teach as many lessons as we would have liked, but we still made a lot of progress! The weather has been so nice this week! We only got rained on once while riding our bikes! The rest of the days it has been sunny. Today is super nice! It's probably 78 degrees and sunny so its going to be a good day :) 

This week I had the opportunity to attend my first zone conference. Zone conference is where 3 zones get together and have an inspired meeting. We had a lot of amazing talks, but I think that the main theme of the conference was based off of a question President Berry asked us, "Do you want to be a good missionary or an exceptional one?" This question really struck me deep. He continued by saying, "We are not here to serve a 2 year mission; we are here to become missionaries. A mission lasts 2 years; a missionary lasts a lifetime." I am not on a mission to just be here, I am on a mission to change my life and become a missionary. I feel that I am doing just that.
Unfortunately we are not teaching Ben anymore :( but our other investigators are doing well. So our investigators that we are teaching now are Anna (found her while biking 2 weeks ago and committed her to baptism on Sept. 26th that same week), Neil (one of the members brother in laws who is on baptism date for Oct. 10 - may have to change that), Von (is excited to be baptized, but does not fully understand the concept of baptism), and Jason. Jason was the miracle of the week last week! His story is pretty cool. So Elder Hilton and I were biking along and out of the corner of my eye I noticed a man standing by his garage looking at us and it was like something pulled me over to him without a choice. We talked, gave him a Book of Mormon, and set up a return appointment not thinking too much of it. When we returned, Jason explained how he had been studying the Book of Mormon and knew it was true! We committed him to baptism on Oct. 17, but we may do it even sooner than that! I loved his response after inviting him to be baptized. He said, "What do I need to do to be ready?"!!!!!! I am so excited for him! Anyways so our investigators are doing great! We are also teaching a few less actives and recent converts.

This week I really worked on patience. I was able to study patience everyday and I now find myself more christ-like because of it. I am able to stop and think about the consequence/benefits of a decision. A cool scripture that I found is D&C 101:38. It made me think of what the blessings are of being patient. Well I love you all and hope the best! Remember to be patient in all things!
Love, Elder Goff

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 8 Orlando - Conway East

This weeks update from Cayson.  Please note that I have omitted the names of his investigators for their privacy, calling them by a letter. 
So the tropical rain storm that I was so excited about wasn't as good as I thought it would be. It was just like another rainstorm. But those are even pretty big themselves. Everyone here says that it has been raining a lot more than normal and there are puddles all over the place so I guess it only goes uphill from here! :)

Last week was so great! We picked up 5 new investigators and 2 new people who want to be baptized! It was a great week! “B” is still struggling. We are starting over with him and plan to set another date in a few weeks. Keep praying for him please! The other investigator, “A”, is doing great! She is pretty solid still! We plan on meeting with her tonight so we will see how that goes. The other 2 that are new on baptism date are “V” and “N”. We aren't too sure about them. We also have another investigator we plan on inviting to baptism this week. His name is “J” and we are super confidant about him.
We also got a third elder in our group! His name is Elder Stickers! He is actually from here and he is a huge tree frog! We read the Book of Mormon together and studied together! We even prayed together. Unfortunately, we had to depart our separate ways as he leapt from our third story balcony. Elder Stickers was a great companion for the short time we were together. Here is a picture of Elder Stickers. Other than that, our week was pretty normal. Well I love you all and hope you all are doing great!

Elder Goff
Attempted to make Grandmas cookies. They look like them but don't taste anything like them! It must be the Grandma magic!

Received the Glorious Package!!! (I love the ingredients of the honey)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 7 Orlando - Conway East

Update from Cayson, I love how he LOVES his mission!

Another week in paradise! So the weather this week was pretty crazy! We got rained on almost every day while biking. I love it! So I hear that there is a tropical storm headed our way. It's suppose to hit us tonight! Pretty excited about it :) 
Anyways we saw a lot of miracles this week. Probably the biggest miracle we saw was while we were finding. We ran into a lady named "A" (I have deleted the name for privacy). She said that she was waiting for us and that she knows God sent us to her. She called us "angels sent from God to help her find Christ again." It made me feel so good to know that I was doing what God wanted me to do. So anyways, "A" committed to a baptism date of September 26th and came to church on Sunday. This all happened in one week!!! It was such a blessing. "B" is improving a lot! He plans to be baptized in September so that is going to be great! I am super excited for both of these investigators!

I really enjoyed sacrament today. It was about being able to overcome your trials and prepare for the future. There was a quote that they used which said "doubt your doubts and not your faith." No matter how tough life seems, we should never doubt our faith in Christ. Also one of the talks they talked about how we will have angels round about us to bare us up. This is so true! A mission is not easy, but I have been able to feel those angels around me all of the time. I feel protected and at peace even in the hardest times. Always look to the future with faith and never doubt your faith! In Moroni 7:40-41 we learn that we must have hope in order to have faith. Always hope for the best and faith will follow. 
Well hope y'all are doing great! I'm already starting to talk with a southern accent ;) haha but love you all!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 6 Orlando - Conway East

Update from Cayson . . .

So this last week we saw a ton of tender mercies! The Lord really cares about each and everyone of us! Elder Hilton and I are really getting the work rolling here in Conway! We've focused a lot on the members and getting there help in our efforts to find new people to teach. Because of this effort we've picked up 3 new investigators. I'm pretty confident in the work we are doing! "B" changed his baptism date to September. He has improved more this week than the rest.
I finally got to play a guitar. It was so relaxing and made my whole mission better. It was great! Also our p days are great! We get to play basketball every week so I guess that life here isn't too much different than what it was before. One thing that was way awesome that happened his week was that we had a huge storm! The road looked just like a river! It was the coolest thing and the water was at least a foot deep! The Lightning here is also amazing! It stays up in the clouds most of the time and looks like a firework show! I love it haha. 
So yesterday in church we had a great meeting. A member in elders quorums talked about how we should hunger for the gospel. You don't realize how good it really tastes until everything you do is about the gospel. Talking about Lehi's vision of the tree of life and how we can make it to the end.  Elder Kevin W. Pearson said, "Unless we are “continually holding fast” to the word of God and living it, we will become spiritually blinded rather than spiritually minded. Search the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophets every day, every day, every day! It’s the key to spiritual survival and avoiding deception. Without it, we are spiritually lost." I feel like I have been taking my knowledge of the gospel for granted all of my life. Until I fully learned to love living the gospel all of the time, I did not realize the feast I was missing out on. "Don't miss out on your spiritual feast." 

Well this mission is great! Love you all.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 5 Orlando - Conway East

This weeks update from Cayson...

This week was a pretty good week! It was bike week so we had to ride
bikes all week. Also the weather didn't cooperate as well as we would
have liked. Haha we got rained on once again except this time we
really got drenched! I think we could have walked into the bathroom
and got in the shower with our clothes on and it wouldn't have made a
difference :)

Well Elder Hilton was a little sick again this week so we had to take some time off but the time that we used was great! We found a new investigator. Unfortunately she lives out of our area. We have been teaching her with her boyfriend who is a less active. She committed to meeting with the missionaries where she lives so now we just have to contact them. Our other 2 investigators are doing really well. It is so rewarding to see that light of Christ in their eyes and to be able to know that they are heading toward the path that leads to eternal life. There's not a feeling like it in the world!

This week I had the opportunity to focus a lot of my studies on charity. I have made a goal to work on one of the attributes of Christ every week. I hope to one day have that same character that Christ had. Charity really is the pure love of Christ. If we forget ourselves
and focus on loving others, that attribute of charity will take place in our hearts. Moroni 7:4-48 have charity!!!

Elder Goff
Elder Davis (Payson, UT) traded for a set of antlers, I'm Jealous

District P-Day last week which we cooked hotdogs over a fire

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 4 Orlando - Conway East

This week's update from Elder Goff.  To save the integrity of the investigators he is teaching, I am going to call them by letters, as shown below.

Well another week here in the promised land! I'm really starting to love this place. Everyone is super nice. We have a man in our ward, Brother Conner, who reminds me a lot of Si from Duck Dynasty. He is a way funny guy with one of those southern accents, but is probably the best member in our ward that I know. He had a rough past life but has changed a lot. This week he called us up asking for us to let him help us in any way possible, this was a huge blessing because we have been struggling to get the members help in our teaching. He jumped right in and worked with us. He is just one of the many great members here so I feel like I'm right at home. There are also a lot of crazy religious people here. I feel like 2 Nephi 29: 2-4 is the story of my life right now.

We saw a lot of miracles happen but probably the biggest one we saw happened yesterday when the woman we have been teaching, (I’ll call her “T”) COMMITTED TO BAPTISM!!!!! Her date is September 5th! It was so intense! That was the first baptismal commitment that I have given! The spirit was so strong! The best part about it though was that we were able to take Tino, a future missionary, with us. He has been debating whether or not to go on a mission but after we walked out of there he said that he's going without a doubt! This work is so great!  Another investigator (I’ll call him “B”) is improving slowly. We're not sure if he will make his baptism date on the 28th but we are sure going to try.

So I would have to say that this was one of my best weeks so far. My testimony has grown so much. I haven't ever felt the spirit so strong in my life as what I feel now on my mission. I honestly can say that I am glad I still have almost 2 years of this left because There's nowhere in the world or any other time that you can feel the feelings you get on a mission. Love you all!

Elder Goff

A member posted this on a Facebook Blog - It was great to see!
I made Crepes