Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 9 Clermont

This was a crazy week hear in the promised land! I had a lot of once in a lifetime experiences. First off as always, the weather has been nice his week. It's starting to get more humid which I'm getting used to. In all honesty I like all the humidity. Unfortunately it's also getting hot. This week it stayed in the 80's and next week it's suppose to rain a bunch so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will cool off a bit.

This week I was able to practice my español a bit. We had a member family sign up to feed us who don't even speak English! We both knew it would be super awkward but we just accepted it. When we got there they had us sit down and eat. I can understand a little spanish and they can understand a little English. We just didn't know how to speak it. It was actually really cool! We got to know them super well. Not sure how but we did. We were even able to share a spiritual message with them. I had a video on my iPad that was downloaded in Spanish so we shared that and it all worked out. When there is a will, there is a way.

We have been praying super hard this week for someone to teach that will be solid. Because after this week when Natalie is baptized, we won't have anyone on date for baptism. Wednesday night we stopped by a former investigator who seemed like they might be good. Missionaries hadn't been by here in over a year and a half. We knocked and this kid came to the door. He seemed like a nice kid. We started talking to him and he was actually super interested so we came back on Saturday and met the mom. We just simply talked to her about what she hopes to accomplish and a little on her family. It was one of the most spiritual lessons on the spot I have ever had even though it was just simple. We explained why we were there and asked if we could come back and she said yes with tears in her eyes! It was such an amazing experience. We are going back tomorrow. Also we were sitting in church yesterday when we got a text saying that we had a media referral. (When someone refers them self or someone else through It said he was golden and wanted to come to church. We stopped by that evening and talked with him. His name is Kelvin. We got talking and he said that he thinks he was baptized when he was young but doesn't remember. He also said that he knows that the lds church is the true church. He basically already has a testimony. So if he isn't already a member, he will be shortly haha. We are going to check and see if he has a record.

A fun experience I had is week was while I was on an exchange. So there are a few missionaries in our district who had to evacuate there apartment because it is infested with bed bugs! 😝 So now they are living with the other set of elders in the district. To say the least, exchanges were crazy with all 4 of us in the same apartment! Anyways, the mission office called them and said that we have a mission: "go into the infested apartment and trash all the beds, couches, and whatever else they could be hiding in because it is getting fumigated tomorrow." We got this news at 9 o'clock at night. We went in there and destroyed the place! By the time we were done the apartment was empty. It was disgusting! But now I can say, "I have fought a good a fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" -
2 Timothy 4:7.

Another funny experience happened during church. We were just about to start ward council. One of the members said a mighty prayer to start and right as he said amen, the fire alarm went off! Must have been a powerful prayer! We all sat there for a minute and had someone go check and see if there really was a fire. They came back with nothing but we left the building anyways. Not sure exactly what happened but the fire trucks pulled up sigh their sirens blaring and started running all over the church to check and see what was going on.

Within a few minutes they had figured out it was a false alarm. Still don't know what caused it to go off. But on the bright side, I got some cool pictures!

Well that's my week for you! I definitely saw the hand of the Lord in my week. He has been blessing us since I got here to Clermont with people to teach. In sacrament meeting, one of the youth gave a great talk. In it he said, "If you want to make a difference in this world, you must first be different from the world." If we work hard to be in the world but not of the world, we will find happiness and success.

Love all of you and hope you have a great week!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 8 Clermont

This week was an eventful one here in the promised land of Florida! We saw a lot of little tender mercies and also some little heart breakers. First off though, it's starting to warm up and get into rainy season. All the mosquitos are coming out so its crazy trying to have evening lessons outside. It's getting pretty humid too. We have to use out windshield wipers in the mornings because when you drive, all the humidity just hits the window like rain.

On Tuesday I went on an exchange with Elder Isaacson. It was awesome! He is such a great missionary. We found 4 new investigators in one day which is pretty stellar! Haha a funny story about the exchange though. We were parked at a stoplight on our way to an appointment when Elder Isaacson looks over and sees a tortoise in the median. For some crazy reason, this tortoise decided that it needed to cross the 3 lanes to get to the other side. The grass must have been greener over there or something haha. So he starts his way across and gets almost through the first lane when the light turns green for the cars on that side to go but ours stayed red! We started yelling cheering this little guy on! He would walk a little bit then a car would drive over top of him and he would duck in his shell. He kept getting super lucky. Pretty sure this was one of the most suspenseful and intense moments of my life! About 5 cars passed over top of him without hitting him when all of a sudden he decided he needed to make a break for the other side (which he still had 2 lanes of heavy traffic to get through) we were jumping all over anticipating it to get hit any second! ....and it did :( all of a sudden the tortoise blew up as a car hit him! At that exact moment our light turned green. It was a little bit of a heart breaker.  Intense though haha. Lesson learned: The adversary tempts us by showing us how great and harmless something looks when really he is just leading us into danger.

On a more happy note, we have a pet kitten living under our deck! We found him last Monday and couldn't find out whose it was so we just left him with some tuna and now we have a pet kitten living under our deck. I haven't heard him meowing in the last couple days though so maybe he moved but we leave tuna out and it always disappears. We named him Shearcon (Elder Breeden came up with it). We are moving out of this creepy old house in a few days and getting a new apartment so we'll have to leave him behind :)

Well we saw a lot of miracles this week! I went on exchanges with Elder Crismon, our Zone Leader, this week. We saw an awesome miracle from that. We had a planned lesson that fell through so Elder Crismon decided to go visit a member who he didn't know that was on the records. When we got there, the lady opened the door and was speechless. After an awkward silence she finally said, "Come on in. I know that God sent you guys because my husband is having surged in 2 hours and needs a blessing." She had cold chills as we walked in. The spirit was so Strong! I know that God sent us there because it was a random idea that turned out to be a heaven sent miracle. We gave him a blessing and were able to teach him a lesson. He is not a member of the church either so hopefully they will be able to teach him. It's tender Mercies like that, that make you realize there is no way there couldn't be a God.
Also this Friday as we were doing some planning, we got a call saying that Jessica and Natalie (Natalie is suppose to get baptized on the 4th of June) were moving this coming Monday to Kentucky. They said they couldn't pay for their bills and were basically forced to move. She wouldn't be able to come to church Sunday if they moved. Also we are teaching a man named Mike who was suppose to come to church but just wouldn't respond to any of our texts. It was looking like we weren't going to have anyone attend church this week. We were both confused because we had prayed super hard for help with that all week.  We knelt down and said another prayer asking for some help. The following day which was Saturday, Jessica texted us saying she would be able to stay until the end of June and that they got things all worked out! That means Natalie will still be baptized on the 4th! As well, Mike also texted us saying that he and his wife were coming to church this week! They also set up an appointment for us to meet. We ended up having 3 people come to church when it was beginning to look like 0. Never underestimate the power of prayer! #TenderMercie

The main people we are working with right now is Natalie (baptism date June 4th), Aveon (baptism date June 18th but might have to be pushed back a few weeks), Mike and his wife, and the Wilton's. We are also seeing a lot of success with helping Less-Actives around! We had 2 less-active members at church who have been in several years! It made me so happy to see them there!

Well I hope y'all had just as good of a week as mine and I hope this coming week will also be just as great as mine will be here in the promised land of Florida! Love you all!

Elder Goff

There's a random toilet on the top of a doorway in one of the Elder's apartments so I had to climb up on it and take a picture! :)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 7 Clermont

This week seemed to be a little bit longer than the rest. This whole district leader thing is a lot of work. The work was a little bit slow his week too unfortunately. Some good new is that we got 2 awesome new missionaries in our District! Elder Satchwell who I already know super well is serving in it! He was my MTC companion so we get along pretty well. He works super hard too so he'll be a huge help! We also got Elder Isaacson. He's been out for quite a while so he knows a lot of stuff. He is serving in the Spanish part of our ward so I get to see him quite a bit. He's also going to be a huge help. I'm way excited for how this next week looks. We have a lot of people we plan on seeing.

So if you remember from last week, we had to make a less active who I called John but that's not his real name throw away all of his weed. Well we back Wednesday to check up on him and he had dug it out of his garbage can and was using it again. It turns out that garbage day is in Friday and we threw it away in a Saturday last time. His bad friend was back. They were high so they didn't really know what was going on so we got pretty mad at them. John really felt bad about it. We went over the next day (Thursday) and he had got into an argument with his friend and they aren't going to be hanging out least that's the hope. He had thrown it all away and promised he would never think about it again. We went over Friday which was garbage day just to make sure it was still in here. Thankfully it was and now it's all gone. I pray that it stays that way.

So the people we are working with the most right now are Natalie, Aveon, the Wilton's, and Michael. Natalie is being baptized on the 28th of this month so we have her interview this week. She is Nelson's granddaughter. Aveon is getting baptized on the 18th of June. We are playing some basketball with him today and plan on having a lesson. He is such a cool kid! He goes to all the youth activities. There is a Priest in our ward who is boss at missionary work. He got Aveon and his friend Alex both to go on a youth camp out on Friday. It's so awesome! Anyways, the Wilton's have a date set for June 25th but we aren't sure how solid that is. They keep making excuses and never are able to meet or come to church. We weren't able to meet with them this week. Hopefully we can get the ball rolling this week with them. Michael is super prepared guy who we found last week. Basically he wants to be baptized but his wife is holding him back. She isn't as religious but Michael says that she's starting to warm up to it all.

Other than those people we really only have one other guy that we will determine if we are going to keep teaching or not this week. Earlier he had committed to being baptized but we met with him Thursday and he said that he thinks he will just stick to his old religion because that's what he knows and he doesn't want to have to learn anything more. He is huge into welding and has some big welding test this week that will determine if he gets a job with Disney or not so its a lot of pressure on him. We asked if he wants to learn all he can to prepare for the test and he said yes. We explained how it's the same hint with the gospel. We have a test coming up sooner or later in our life that we have to do all we can to prepare for. We testified of how the Book of Mormon is the answer sheet to that test. The spirit was so powerful! I love lessons like that! We promised that him that if he had the faith to read the Book of Mormon every day until his test that he would pass. So we'll see if he really does it.

While at a meeting this week our mission president said something really cool. He said that there are 4 things that all great, even hallmark missionaries have in common:

1. Being exactly obedient
2. Having a great attitude
3. Having a strong work ethic
4. Teaching the doctrines of Christ from the scriptures.

This is so true because obedience shows your faith and if you have a great attitude you will be more likely to feel the spirit. If you work hard the Lord will trust you enough to place someone in your path. I hunk these principles apply to everything that we do! Keep the commandments, be happy, work hard, and stick to he basic doctrines to the gospel and God will provide the rest.

I hope you all have a great week! Love ya! Elder Goff

Had to say bye to this kid.  He's gonna be a great Elder in Mesa Arizona!

Elder Satchwell and I

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 6 Clermont

What a crazy week!! We saw so many miracles, but first off we got news for transfers. I'm staying and it turns out that I'm actually not going to be training this transfer and Elder Breeden is staying too! It was a big surprise because President Berry said I would be training in the near future so it must be next  transfer. I also found out that my MTC companion, Elder Satchwell, is going to be serving in our district which I am super excited about! I haven't seen him in a long time so that will be nice.

This week we were able to find a lot of people who were prepared. The best was a man named Mike. Mike referred himself through He was Presbyterian but said that he didn't really like it much and now he is looking for a new religion. He really wanted a Book of Mormon. We shared e Restoration with him and he said that it just all made sense. He committed to be baptized if he could get his wife on board. His wife isn't really too religious though. Hopefully we can change that. It was so cool because this guy is a dentist and he offered to take us for a ride in his jet or go out boating with him. He also owns 2 cats that are allergy free cats. Their called Bengal cats and are half Bengal half house cat. It's a huge cat that is friendly but doesn't make you have allergies. Pretty awesome. Anyways, Mike texted and set up a time to feed us this Saturday so hopefully we can change his wife's mind then.

We are also teaching a kid named Aveon. We met him through a priest in the ward. They have been playing basketball with us on P-Days and I felt prompted last week to invite him to church. So last week he went to church and on Wednesday we were able to meet with him and commit him to be baptized on the 18 of June. He said he is super excited! We just need to get his family involved. Today we are going over to meet with his parents. We also met with the Wilton's again. They were suppose to come to church this week but never showed up so we will have to see what's up. They have a date set for the 25th of June. We are also meeting with. Guy named Jack (not his real name) who has a strong desire to be baptized but he is living with his girlfriend and about to have a kid. He is also on probation for 4 more years and you can't get baptized if you are on probation so this week we had to break the news to him. We showed up to the door and he met us outside with his Book of Mormon that he had been reading. He was super excited for the lesson. It broke my heart because I knew we had to tell him he news. We reviewed the Restoration and focused on the Book of Mormon because if anything will get him through these 4 years to Baptism it will be a testimony of the Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson we were straight up honest with him. He said he understood and was okay with it. He said he will just go to church regularly until he can get baptized. It was such a relief to see the faith he had. I just hope he can stay strong!

Another miracle we had this week was with a less active we have been teaching. I'll call him John (again, not his real name). He has a huge problem with smoking weed. Most of it is from a bad friend that he has. On Wednesday, Elder Breeden and I went over and shared our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and this church. We told him straight up, "If you and your friend don't stop smoking weed, you will never make it to the Celestial kingdom!" It was probably a little harsh but he needed it! The spirit was so powerful! Right after the lesson we got him to through everything that had anything to do with weed at all away. It was such a relief. He also told his friend that he couldn't hang out with him anymore which was by his own choice. The funny part about this is that he told us that he is engaged to a lady from Texas. He showed us a picture and she looked like a model. He said he met her over Facebook a few days ago but had never talked to her or seen her in person! Crazy right! I guess that's our next goal with him, figure out whether his fiancé is a real person or not!

So as you all may now, last Wednesday was national Star Wars day. "May the Fourth" and because Star Wars is now a Disney thing, it was practically a holiday here. Everyone had Star Wars stuff on which was amazing! I dressed up as a Sith Lord with my red light saber and my Darth Vader tie. 😎 I got compliments on my tie all day long. It was a really good finding tool haha.

Of course out of all these miracles, the one that takes the cake was being able to talk with my family on Mother's Day. I hate bragging but sometimes I just have to tell the truth, I have the best family on this planet! I have been so blessed to grow up in a family like the one I have with a mother who has been by my side all my life! I took it for granted in the moment but now that I'm away and see how crucial a strong family is, I recognize how blessed I am. I can't help but think of Lehi and his family. Because that family had righteous parents, they were spared and lived good lives. Nephi recognized how blessed he was while Laman and Lemuel took it for granted. I will be eternally grateful for my Father in heaven having so much love for me to place me in my family. I hope you all recognize the blessings of families!

Love you! Elder Goff


May the 4th, Star Wars Day!

Made a captain Moroni Title of Liberty flag out of bamboo and a pillow case

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Video - Clermont

I had a hard time getting this to work.  I ended up having to save it on YouTube.  If you want to watch his video from Mother's Day, use this link.



Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 5 Clermont

Well it's the last week of the transfer already! Time flies by so fast! We hear about transfers in Saturday and transfers are a week from tomorrow. I honestly feel like I've only been here a couple of days and it's already been 5 weeks. Ever since January, I've almost felt like it's all been a dream because the days go by so fast. So we had an amazing week!

Monday a bunch of missionaries came down here and played basketball with us. We also had a youth in the ward, Christian, bring a couple nonmember friends, Alex and Aveon. His was the second time they came and played so we already knew each other really well. By the time we were done playing, I was able to invite Aveon to church. He said he would be there and he was! It was awesome! Christian picked him up and brought him. During church we were sitting by him and somehow got on the topic of baptism and Aveon said, "I've been looking to get baptized." I was like, "You're speaking to the right guys!" It was awesome! They are coming to play basketball again today so we plan to set a date for him to be baptized today. It's gonna be awesome! He seems super excited about it. It's cool how the Lord prepares people in ways we would never think. Because I learned to play basketball, I was able to connect really well with Aveon and now he is about to make a big decision to come unto Christ. The best part of the whole thing is that he already has a great member friend who's solid in the gospel and planning on serving a mission in a year or so. Anyways, I'll keep you posted on that.

That wasn't the only miracle we saw this week. So we prayed and fasted
super hard so that we would be able to find people to teach. This week we found 10 new investigators! That's almost unheard of! When there is a will and some faith, there is a way. So last week I talked about a miracle that happened where we found a couple because we were helping a less active find his keys. They said that they had been married by our church. Anyways, we met with them this week! They are super solid! It is the Wilton Family. We taught the Restoration and when we brought up baptism, sister Wilton said that the family had been looking for a
place to get baptized. There is a mom, dad, and a daughter. It's going
to be awesome! Another miracle is that we set a baptism date with Natalie (Our RC, Nelson's, granddaughter) her mom is a recent convert and her grandpa is too but he just recently passed on. Anyways, she's planning on getting baptized on the 28th. Another person we have been teaching is a French speaking lady. It turns out that we have a recently returned French speaking missionary in our ward too so it works out pretty well. We just barely gave her a French Book of Mormon so we will see how that goes. I think it will take her a little bit more time.

All of these blessings weren't even the highlight of the week.
Saturday Rabecca got baptized!!! She was so prepared and ready for baptism! Rebecca is usually a non-emotional person but when she got baptized her smile was so big! She had a whole new glow about her! Everything just went perfect. We confirmed her on Sunday also. Baptism is such a sacred thing and a privilege to be a part of.

This week I got into a war with our house. We live in a dump house
that is just old and creepy. The sink has been clogged for several months and the bathroom has been disgusting. Anyways, I decided that I had finally had enough of it. First I tackled the sink. I dumped bleach down into there to kill all the worms and crap down there before I started the surgery. I needed to get the disposal to work. After the bleach I dig around in there with a knife for about an hour. The smell was terrible too. As a missionary you learn a bunch of tricks about stuff like this. Here is a reset button on the bottom of the disposal so I pressed that several times and smashed whatever was in there and maybe used a little priesthood power on it too but it eventually began to drain! I pushed the disposal button and witnessed a miracle! After several months of missionaries dumping crap down there it was finally free. It works good as new now. I also scrubbed the bathroom spotless which took forever too because....well you get the point. Thankfully we got word that we get a new apartment at the first of June.

Something I've been studying this week has been charity. Paul said
that charity is the greatest of all attributes. "If Ye have not charity, he are nothing." This is especially true as members of the church. As we let our light shine by being an example of charity, people will recognize us and want the same love that we have for them. Charity truly is the pure love of Christ.

Love you all and hope you all have a great week! Remember to have charity!

Elder Goff
Rebecca's Baptism!!!