Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 4 Clermont

This week was a crazy week! A few of our investigators decided they didn't want to listen to us anymore so all we really have close to baptism is Rabecca who will be baptized this Saturday. After that we have nobody too close to baptism so we decided we really needed to focus on finding this week. We do most of our finding through meeting with Less-Actives who have non-member family members or also  through the people who have been taught before that we check up on. We found a few people but we will see this week how solid they are.

Last Monday we went to another elders apartment in our district. We talked Elder Breeden into letting us give him a haircut and style his hair because all of his life he has never used gel or anything or ever even styled his hair so he's decided to give it a try. Anyway we got out the clippers and the razor and gave him a pretty good trimming. Elder Breeden was kneeling down on the grass while I was styling his hair and the 2 other elders we were with were trimming up the sides. We made Elder Breeden close his eyes too so he wouldn't see anything we were doing. It turned out way good to be honest! I think I might become a barber when I get home haha.

Another funny story from this week: apparently the 20th of April is some day that everyone celebrates smoking weed. I haven't heard of it until I came here. Anyways, we went to this less actives house at like 8:00 at night and him and his buddy were in his foyer (we call it his weed room). They were high as a kite! It was terrible!! They both were wearing bright green shirts and socks and hats that had weed decals all over them. We are pretty close with this less active so we got after him for it. The next day we went to check up on a potential investigator we have been trying to teach, when we got there he wasn't there but his nephew was. We taught him and it was a great lesson right up until the end when this potential investigator pulled up in his car (actually his friend was driving and he was in the passenger seat). The nephew was like, "You guys gotta leave because if he comes over here and starts talking you guys, you'll never get out of here because he doesn't stop talking when he's drunk." We didn't get out of there in time and this potential investigator got out of the car and was like, "heyyyyyyyyyy wuzzup my friends?" He then told us how he was high on some no bueno stuff. We just walked away and said we will come back another day when you're sober. It was a pretty crazy couple of days! Satan really does have a strong hold on the world and he definitely is out there.

So I receive some exciting news this week! We had interviews with President Berry and guess what he told me.... I'm going to be training next transfer! I'm so stoked! It's going to be sweet! In missionary terms that means that I'm going to be a dad. The transfer ends on the 10th. I can't wait!
Elder Hilton!!! I mean Daniel haha
On Thursday I was able to see an old friend. Guess who it was! Elder Hilton! ...I mean Daniel. He was "Dad" (my trainer) who finished his mission in December but came back to visit. We were able to meet up and actually go teach a lesson. Some background on this first, Elder Hilton served in Minneola which is the ward right next to ours that shares the same building.  It's cool how God knows us so well because the person we were going to teach has been investigating for a super long time, and he was actually first contacted by Elder Hilton while he was serving in Minneola! We showed up for the lesson and it was like they were already friends. I know that God watches out for us and has a purpose for everything.

This wasn't the only tender mercy that the Lord showed us this week. Like I said earlier we have been trying really hard to find people to teach. We were suppose to have a lesson with a less active but when we got there, he met us out front and told us he had lost his house key and was headed back to find it. We decided to go help. When we got to the store he had been at, we met an older couple who had found his keys. They gave them to him and we started to walk off when I felt something almost commanding me to turn around and go talk to them. As a missionary when you get that feeling you learn to not even hesitate. So I turned around and before I could even get a word out to speak to them, the wife was like, "Did y'all know that I used to be a member of your church?" We were like "What!?! Were you baptized?" They said no but that they were even married in our church building and used to meet with missionaries all the time until they moved. So now we are going to be teaching them. It's cool how God has a purpose for everything!

We also received some bad news last night. Nelson's surgery did not end well and he is now in a better place. It's really hard to see him leave but it is also very humbling to know that the Lord knows us personally enough to guide us through every situation. We didn't know last week that this was going to happen but we did know through the spirit that it was urgent that Nelson was baptized so we listened and now we understand why it was so urgent. God really does love each of his children. What a tender mercy to have been part of this.

Love you all and remember God has a purpose for everything. My favorite scripture says, "Trust in the Lord God with all thine heart. Lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6
Elder Goff

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 3 Clermont

This week was boring.... except for the fact that NESLON GOT BAPTIZED!!! It was such a surprise and such a miracle. We had been teaching him for a week and he mentioned some things about wanting to be baptized but he also said that he has a super risky surgery coming up next week. We went over to see him on Friday and asked him if he sincerely had a desire to be baptized. He said that he had prayed about it and had received an answer. He said he just feels so comfortable and peaceful about everything and he knows that he needs to get baptized. The spirit was so strong in that lesson! We called President Berry and got permission to baptize him on Sunday evening and he gave us the green light. We reviewed the interview questions with him Friday, got him interviewed Saturday, and Baptized him Sunday! It was so incredible. I know it was meant to be too because I kept praying about it asking if this is really what we should do and everytime I did I got the answer as yes. So we met him 1 1/2 weeks ago and baptized him yesterday. Pretty cool :) I know that there truly is
power in the Spirit. When the Spirit speaks to you, there is no denying it. Nelson is so solid though. He is the father of a recent convert which is how we met him. I just hope heat everything goes well with his surgery this week.

We also went on a temple tour with Rabecca this week. We got to see the temple at night. It is such an amazing place. I couldn't tell you enough how much I love the temple! And to be able to bring people who are learning about the church to the temple is even better because you get to share that great feeling with others. With the temple tour, we had a member couple take us. They also invited their friend Gabby. Gabby's looking for a church and when we shared with her the Restoration and gave her a tour of the temple grounds, she was so excited! She said she will be to church next week. Unfortunately she lives out of our area. But that's still okay because it's all the same team.

I also had a few funny experiences this week. The first one we were talking to people on the street and ran into this guy named Haden. He came from Australia so he had an awesome accent. We walked up to him and realized how funny the situation looked, this Australian guy, who was holding a baby in a backpack looking thing where the baby is strapped to his chest, had a baby binky in his mouth and was holding a hose spraying his lawn all while taking a selfie. It was at that exact moment that we decided to walk up and talk with him. It was so funny. It was probably the hardest I've ever laughed on the inside...if that's even a thing haha. Another story, we ran into some kids playing basketball. They started talking trash on us trying to get us to come play so I put my stuff down and went over there. At first I was a little humble with them just going slow. Then one of them wanted to play me one-on-one. I honestly felt like uncle drew even though I'm not even that old haha. Long story short, I beat him and then ended up teaching all of the kids a lesson on the Restoration and Jesus Christ. 
It was super funny because one of the little black kids was like, "Ooo you just got crossed up by Jesus!" Idk why everyone I play basketball with calls me Jesus. I mean if Jesus came down and played basketball with us, I'm sure he would beat all of us!

Clermont has been a little rough for me starting out but now I am starting to see the blessings from all the work that's been done here. It is such a privilege to be part in such an enormous change in someone's life. There is no greater joy that I will ever have than knowing that I have been worthy enough to have the spirit work through me and change someone's eternal journey! As the scriptures say, "great shall be your joy if you shall bring save it be one soul unto Christ." This is such a true statement!

Hope your weeks weren't as boring as mine. Because if they were then you are living a pretty good life. This was one of the most productive weeks of my mission and I would relive this week in a heartbeat if I could! Love you all and remember to be that change in someone else's life.

Elder Goff

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 2 Clermont

This week was a pretty normal week. Nothing too crazy happened this week. The weather this week was about as perfect as it could get. I guess I take it for granted haha. I'm really starting to take a liking for Clermont. This Ward is crazy about missionary work! I love it! I honestly haven't ever seen anything like it before. Everyone is involved in the work.

So on Monday I woke up and for some strange reason I couldn't hear out of my right ear. I thought it would just fix itself so I didn't worry much about it and went on with my day. Every Time someone would talk to me, it seemed like it would echo in my head. This went on throughout the whole day so I decided I would wait and see if it would get better by the next. The next day I woke up and it was the same thing so I called the doc, but they couldn't get me in until later in the day. By this time it had gotten super annoying. In all of the lessons I had to focus really hard and turn my head TJ the side just so that I could hear! That night I finally got to the doctors and it took them forever to clean it out! It was the weirdest thing but hey, I can hear now.

So on Saturday Quay, TJ, and Ashanti from my last area in Lake Placid got baptized!!! I was given permission from my mission president to face time them after. It was so exciting! They are so happy about it! I asked them what they thought of it and they said it was cold. What makes your whole entire mission and even your life worth it is helping someone recognize what is missing in their lives and helping them change. There is nothing that has ever made me happier in my life than to be a part of a change in others that helps them come unto Christ with a desire to one day live with him again. There is nothing that has ever made me happier than to be a part of changing this families eternity. It makes sacrificing 2 years worth every second of it!

So we are working with quite a few people right now. Rabecca is getting baptized on the 30th of this month.  She started reading the Book of Mormon about 2 weeks ago and she just finished on Friday! I wish I could read it that fast haha. She is super excited about baptism too. We are also working with Natalie Barnes who we set a baptism date with for May 7. She is the daughter of a Recently baptized member. She's pretty excited about her baptism as well and should be ready in plenty of time. We also set a baptism date with another guy we found this week. His name is James. We set his date for May 28th. He has a few things he needs to work on but should be able to make that date. He also has really taken a liking to the Book of Mormon. We are also working with Natalie's grandpa. He's pretty sick right now and has surgery in a few weeks so we aren't sure how we are going to get him baptized but we will see with time. He wants to be baptized. This area definitely has a lot of potential!

Something I've really been focusing on a lot this week is prayer. There is so much power in prayer! Because there was a prayer said 2,000 years ago in the garden of Gethsemane, we now can be forgiven of all our sins and can live with God and our families forever. Because a 14 year old boy said a prayer in the sacred grove, we now have Jesus Christ's church restored on the earth again which show's us the pathway back to heaven. I would have to say prayer is pretty important and there is a lot of power in prayer.

Love y'all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Goff

Met a solid member who hunts and farms! We're going to get along
great. He shot 2 whitetail over 200 inches!

Tasha's Family Baptism

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 1 Clermont

Changes are always a good thing right? I'm now here in Clermont with my new companion Elder Breeden. I'm so excited to be here! This place has so much potential and so many great people. They also have a full Ward which will be nice. It was super hard to leave Lake Placid but I can tell this place will be just as good.

Something cool about Clermont is that it has hills. Out of all the areas in the mission, this place is supposed to be the one with the most hills around. Honestly it's really weird to me because I haven't seen much other than flat ground in a long time! It's going to be super weird when I go back to see mountains! The people here seem really nice too. Elder Breeden has only been here for a few weeks so he's still learning the area just as I am. Elder Breeden is from Vancouver Washington and he came out on his mission about 2 months after I did. He is a really funny guy, and I can tell that we are going to get along pretty well. Our district on the other hand is a little bit crazy. We went to a meeting with the district and I don't think we even accomplished anything because all they want to do is mess around. It made me a little frustrated but hopefully it was just the first of the transfer that was making them excited.

We did get a little bit of work done this week despite the fact that we had transfers and General Conference to take away some of our work hours. Elder Breeden and his past companion have been teaching this lady named Rabecca. We taught her a lesson in the Plan of Salvation this week them started to talk about baptism. She was super excited about it and we were even able to set a date. Because she is so far along already and is willing to do whatever it takes to be baptized, we set the date for April 30th! I'm super excited for her! It's going to be great. Other than that, we do t have too many other investigators so we have been doing a lot of finding recently.

Of course the highlight of the week besides Rebecca was General Conference. I never valued conference before I came out here in a mission but now I've come to realize how great it is. It's amazing how the speakers give talks and it speaks to each of us in separate ways. President Monson gave a great talk on making the right choices. He said, "May we chose the harder right rather than the easier wrong. If we choose Christ, we will be choosing the right path." Or at least something close to that. It reminds me of something my friend Colby always says. He say, "Choose Joy." It's simple, if you want to be happy then choose to be happy by doing what it takes to be happy. Another great talk was by Marvyn B. Arnold. He said there is a cure for cancer. It's called faith in the ressurection of Jesus Christ. We will all be cured of those impurities or illnesses at ressurection. Another that I liked was Elder Holland's. When he gets up to speak everybody gets super excited. When your on a mission General Conference is just like going to the theaters on the opening day to watch a moving you've been waiting so long to see and then you see it for the first time. That how we feel about conference. Especially when Elder Holland talks haha. Anyways, he said, "The 1st great truth is that God loves us with all his heart, might, mind, and strength. That is the founding truth of eternity." What else do you need to know? God loves you.

Well I hope you guys had just as good of a week as I did! If you weren't able to watch conference, I would go watch because it has some great stuff even though it may seem like some of the speakers could put you to sleep. Love you all!

Elder Goff

Last night in lake placid with Tasha's family. They are getting baptized is Saturday in Lake placid. Cool thing is that I got permission to skype them right after their baptism since I won't be there!

Look!  Clermont has a hill!