Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 3 Lake Placid

This week was one of the fasted of my life! I swear it was just barely Monday and now here it is again. It got pretty cold this week. Saturday night it got about 32 degrees. I was in heaven but everybody else was freaking out. It is so much better in the winter here. We have a screened in patio in our backyard so Thursday night Elder Rowley and I took our beds out there and slept outside! I still can't figure out why we did it but it was fun. That night it got about 45 degrees was all.

We have met many people this week. One of which is named Nate. He is super prepared to hear the gospel. We went to his house looking for someone else and found him. He has had a rough past life but has a strong desire to change. He said that he had been praying that day to God asking Him what he should do because he feels like there is so much more and then that night we showed up (crazy how that works right?). Elder Rowley and I had a lesson with him last night. We taught the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. After baring our testimony to him, we were all in tears. He said that he wants to be baptized so hopefully we can set a date for that next time we go over. I feel like God is finally starting to bless Elder Rowley and I for all the work we've been doing. We taught a lot more lessons this week than we expected. I also met a cool member who is a less active we are working with, who said he would take us hunting hogs for free when I come back to visit. He has a bunch of property and shoots probably 3 hogs a week because they are such a pain.

We also had another crazy experience this week. We have another less active we have been working with. She said that she feels like there is something bothering her a lot. She can't focus on anything and is in a really bad situation financially. What she described to us was that she remembered a few months ago something entered into her body and since then she's been really depressed and gets all these negative thoughts. I'll be honest, at first I thought she was crazy. She asked me to give her a blessing and in the blessing I commanded whatever was in her to leave. As I said that it was like everything changed and was 10X more peaceful. After the blessing this lady was speechless. She acted like a whole new person! It's crazy how real and powerful Satan can be. It's also even more crazy how real and powerful the priesthood is! So I guess you could say that I cast out a devil this week.

On Wednesday we had the opportunity to watch a worldwide missionary training. They talked a lot about the importance of members, teaching repentance, and the importance of the Holy Ghost when teaching. Elder Bednar talked about how we have to be a vessel in which the spirit can work through. It is amazing to see this. A lot of times I get out of a lesson and look back wondering how I ever came up with the things I said. It's pretty cool. Elder Bednar said, "Be a worthy and obedient conduit in which the Holy Ghost can be a teacher." This is the key to missionary work. Whitewashing has been tough. The key to building up this Lake Placid branch is to be more obedient and diligent than ever. It is so cool and sometimes even frustrating how the Lord waits to bless us until we learn to simply obey.

This week was a big step in this area. Elder Rowley and I are finally starting to see some success after 3 weeks of coming into this area. We have become great friends with several of the members and are now
teaching a whole list of investigators!

I love you all! Elder Goff

Our District: elders Davis, Rowley, Amos, Olson, Harrison, and me

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 2 Lake Placid

I can't believe another week has already come and gone! Time flies. It  was a great week! I had a lot of spiritual experiences. On Wednesday  we had a member of the seventy, Elder Maynes, come and give a zone conference. He gave a great talk last General Conference. Anyways, it  was awesome! He talked about how we need to "have more faith than  fear." Looking back on my life I see a lot of times where I let my  fear overtake my faith. When we put our faith first we see miracles.  Elder Maynes also talked a lot on goals. There's a quote from an old  philosopher that says, "The greater danger for most of us lies not in  setting our goals to high and missing our mark, but in setting our  goals too low and lacking the work."

Yesterday on Sunday I also had the opportunity to watch an area  conference which was broadcasted to our chapel. They talked a lot on  what we need to do to endure to e end. Elder Clayton from the 70 said,  "Don't be tape measure Mormons (those who measure how wide the  straight and narrow path to see how far out they can go). Rather we  need to walk in the center of the path." Between these 2 conferences I  learned a lot!

Haha I had a really funny experience this week also. Elder Rowley and  I were doing some service for an elder lady. I was pulling vines out  of her trees. There was one vine that was stuck in there pretty good,  so I turned my head to prevent stuff from getting in my eyes and
yanked on it. It finally came but it wasn't alone. Something hairy nailed me right in my gut and knocked the wind out of me! When I  looked down to see what it was I saw a raccoon! A stupid raccoon  jumped out of the tree at me and knocked the wind out of me! Before I  could get my breath back and react, he was gone into the bushes! Haha  it was hilarious!

Well the weather this week was alright up until Sunday morning. At  about 3 in the morning a storm that had a bunch of tornado warnings  rolled in (I slept through most of it) but it was a freak wind/rain  storm. At 5:30am The wind started to pick up. Elder Rowley woke me up
and we looked outside to see branches flying everywhere and down  poring rain. It was the worst storm I have ever been in! The wind was  clocked to be over 70 mph! We called a member to make sure there  wasn't any tornados headed our way. Thankfully there wasn't. It was pretty cool though haha. I hear that the tornadoes here are pretty  week anyways so there's not a lot to worry about.

The best part of this week was the people we met. We finally got area book Wednesday which is the records the past missionaries have kept.  We have been working blind for about 1 1/2 weeks. So when we got this  we were able to pick up a few investigators. We met 3 different  families that are pretty interested. One's named John. He almost played football for the Washington Huskies but decided that family was more important. He is so prepared! Can't wait to see how it goes this week with him. I finally feel like we are starting to make some progress with this whitewashing.

Well I love you all! Something that I have been studying a lot of this week is hope. If we don't have hope then what do we have? I hope you all continue to hope for the best, then act on it and achieve the best.

Elder Goff

Christ Murals they found

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 1 Lake Placid

I finally got transferred and I am whitewashing (when an area gets 2 completely new missionaries and takes the last 2 out) a brand new area to the mission called lake placid branch. It's a tiny town where everyone knows everyone. It is super hard. The hardest part about it though is that this past week for some reason we haven't been able to access any information on the area! All we had when we got here was the number and address to our branch president (I'm serving in a branch btw) We literally had to start from scratch! About as white of whitewashing as there is! 😅 It's crazy stuff. We should be getting all of our info on the area today thank goodness. Last week mostly consisted of visiting members and getting to know the ward. Our mission President came down to visit us for our district meeting. He is a way awesome guy! It makes me feel good that he trusts me enough
to fill this role haha.
Lake Placid
Lake Placid

Anyways my new companion is Elder Rowley. It's kind of ironic because he has served in the same ward as me my whole mission so I already know him super well. We used to hang out every Monday for P-day. He's from Nampa Idaho and he has been out for 16 months. We get along pretty well because we both like the small town country life style. He even talked me into getting a belt buckle haha. I'm super excited about these next few transfers.

So a little background on this area. It is an orange farming town full of retired people. The average age here is probably right around 80! Everyone is so nice though and southern country kind of people. It reminds me of home because when we go to the stores, everyone knows everyone and talks to everyone. It's so cool. The majority of the oranges here go to make orange juice at the "Florida's Natural" orange juice plant not too far from us. We got to have some fresh oranges the day I got into the area. I haven't ever had an orange that even compares to these! We made some orange juice with them also. It doesn't taste anything like the store bought stuff. It's so much better! The other day Elder Rowley and I were out checking up on a less active and decided to knock on a door. Guess, who opened the door... Bessy. She is about as stereotypical as it gets when it comes to southern country "y'all" style. Her husbands name is Billy. The best part is that we gave her a Book of Mormon so now Bessy and Billy are potential investigators. They are the nicest people though.

I also had a unique experience yesterday. I have an Uncle that lives in Melborne that I have never met. We were in the area yesterday for a church meeting so I had the opportunity to stop by! It was so great to be able to talk about family and all of the great memories. That was definitely a tender mercy of the Lord.

Also yesterday at the church meeting we had the opportunity to listen to a few members of the 70. Elder Kapishka said an amazing quote. He said, "Enduring doesn't mean just sitting through it. It means making the most of it." Sometimes we are faced with trials that don't make sense. Rather than just sitting it out and baring it, make the most of it.

Well I love y'all!

Elder Goff

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 25 Orlando - Conway East

This week was one of the most eventful of my mission. First off, I am being transferred tomorrow morning. We are leaving first thing in the morning. I still don't know completely where I am going but I have a pretty good idea. Our mission is taking a big chunk out of the tampa and fort Lauderdale missions. We are getting a whole new stake and the rumor is that I am going down there to open up an area. I am super excited about it because it's suppose to be really rural. I will be serving somewhere around Lake Okeechobee to Sebastian which is suppose to be really good fishing. We are getting 8 missionaries from the fort Lauderdale mission as well. Should be a change from Conway anyways haha. I can't believe that I have spent 1/4 of my mission here in Conway. It's a great place but I'm ready to leave just to have a change. The people here are amazing though! I have definitely made some lifetime friends.

We had a lot of highlights this week. We got another Companion (we are now in a trio until tomorrow) His name is Elder Coley. He's from American Fork Utah and is a stud! I wish I could be companions with him longer. He came out the same time I did and will leave the same time as me and we are both going to be attending SUU (most likely anyways) 

Wednesday, we were biking around and ran into this guy named Hector. Aparently he has met with missionaries in the past for a whole year but never got baptized! We talked with him about baptism and he said that it is something that he really wants to do. I'm super excited for this area. haha figures I'm leaving when so many things start happening. 
So another highlight of the week was going on a temple tour with Jennifer and Julian! It was the coolest thing ever. Julian wants to get baptized so bad! There baptism is on the 23 of this month... after I leave haha. Man I almost wish I could stay. We had a great time at the temple and got a lot of cool pictures. Temple tours are the best! 

Also another cool thing we did this week happened New Year's Eve. It was my 6 month mark so what we do to celebrate it is burn a tie. It was so fun haha. It was also elder coley's 6 month mark. 
Well I love you all! 
Elder Goff

6 month mark - Burning the TIE!