Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 13 Clermont

It's been a pretty good start to the transfer with Elder White. He is super cool! He has been out on his mission about 6 months and is from Salem Oregon. It's going to be a great time here in Clermont with him. We also got a couple new Elders in the district so we had a pretty big change.

Our investigator Kasonn is awesome! He's come to church 2 weeks in a row! Last week he came and played basketball with us and says he is coming to play again this week. We had a service project we were going to do and he asked if he could come to it so we all did service last week with him. It was awesome because he is now calling the church "our church" so he feels like he's already a part of it. His baptism date is still set for July 30th. It's the coolest thing to see someone so passionate and so excited about this! I love this guy!

Church was crazy this week. We had 3 Less actives come, 2 of which I have never seen at church before, and 3 Investigators. It was crazy because we were running all over making sure they all knew where to go after sacrament. We've seen a lot of miracles his week as always.

I was studying the Book of Mormon this week and came across these two verses. They are prophesying of missionary work in here latter days. Our mission president said something to us in the last meeting we went to with him. He said that us full time missionaries are not just
making history, we are fulfilling prophecy.
This is 3 Nephi 28:29-31:
"29 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom that they shall minister unto all the scattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them.

30 And they are as the angels of God, and if they shall pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good.

31 Therefore, great and marvelous works shall be wrought by them, before the great and coming day when all people must surely stand before the judgment-seat of Christ;"

Well I hope you guys have a great week! Sorry for the boring email this week.

Elder Goff

The New District: L-R Elder Isaacson, Elder White (Elder White is in White), Elder Goddard,
Elder Lawson, Elder Satchwell, me

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 12 Clermont

I received this email from a member in my son’s ward, wow!  I always knew he would be an amazing missionary – very proud mom!

Dear Brother and Sister Goff,

I am in the ward that Elder Goff is now serving. In my various callings in the church I have worked closely with missionaries for nearly 20 years. In those twenty years I often come across good missionaries yet rarely come across great missionaries.  Elder Goff is a GREAT missionary. He is blessing and uplifting our ward. He has blessed and uplifted my family.  Elder Goff is a hard worker with a great and happy personality. His testimony and dedication are indicative of “Goodly Parents”.  I love Elder Goff. I do not look forward to the day he will be transferred.  Thank you for raising such a great missionary. You can be proud. With Love and Gratitude.

Now on to Elder Goff’s weekly update.  Sorry I am so bad at keeping this updated timely J.

This week was amazing! First off, transfer doctrine. Elder Breeden is leaving! :( I'm pretty sad about it because this last transfer has been awesome! We had a lot of success together so it's hard to see him go. He will be headed over by Melbourne on the beach so I'm excited for him. My new companion will be Elder White. He has been out for about 6 months but other than that I don't know a whole lot about him. I'm excited to see how it goes.

We saw a lot of miracles this past week. Probably the highlight of the week was going to do baptisms for the dead with our recent convert, Natalie. She got baptized a few weeks ago. It was AMAZING! Not sure if you guys remember Nelson or not, but he is the guy who we baptized in about a week and a week later he passed away. Well this week his granddaughter Natalie was baptized for Nelson's wife. I can't even begin to describe the feeling we all felt being able to witness it. I sat there for over an hour that night just processing everything I have witnessed on my mission. I don't have a doubt in my mind that this is the Lords work and it is such a privilege to be part of it. There is absolutely nothing that compares to these 2 years! I wouldn't trade them for anything.

So something funny that happened this week. I'm sure you all remember that crazy old German lady from last week who chewed us out for no reason at all. Well we went back this week to try to visit that less active who lives right next to her. It was just like we were on a mission to save this persons soul but we couldn't be seen by this lady. We went to park in front of the less  actives house when the German lady walked out! I stuck it in reverse and got out of there. We parked just around the corner and said a mighty prayer that we would be able to get past this lady without her seeing us. We had some cookies with us that we planned to give to the less active. We got out of the car and creeped up to the corner and saw the German lady out working in her yard. When she ducked her head to pull weeds, we would make a run for the next hiding place.  I felt like we were behind enemy lines! We got right next to the less actives house which was about 20 yards from this Crazy lady. We had a big open area we had to run through to get to the door. After taking a deep breath, Elder Breeden and I made a dash for it! She didn't see us! It was a miracle. We knocked on the less actives door but there was no answer
😐. We were just out of this crazy German ladies view who was next door. I turned to elder Breeden and was like, "Let's go give these cookies to the crazy lady's." After making him shake on it we walked right out in the open and straight up to the crazy German lady! When she turned around I thought she was going to blow up!! Before she got a word out we said we were sorry and wanted to bring cookies by to apologize. God must have been there with us because she accepted the apology (even though we had neighing to apologize for). She got super happy and we actually told her a little bit about what we do. She even gave us a sucker for the road. Who would have ever thought the crazy old German lady who chewed us out a week ago could soften her heart enough to give us a sucker. #tendermercies

We met a guy named Kasonn this week. He says his name like "case - on" really weird to say because mine is "case - in" haha anyways, this guy is one of the most solid people I have met in my life! He just came here from New Jersey. We met with him on Saturday with a member and his face lit up when the member offered to give him a ride to church! It was so awesome! He came to church yesterday and absolutely loved it! During priesthood he stood up and  introduced himself. He said, "this is my first time and I've really liked it so far. The people are all super nice and I'm planning on coming a lot more." Such a stud. After church we had a lesson with him and set a baptism date for July 30th! He is also coming to play some basketball with us today. Super excited for him. The rest of our investigators are doing good also. We met with the Wilton's again and they are solid still.

Well that's about my week. I hope you all have a great time! Remember to keep the people here in Orlando in your prayers. The shooting last week really rocked everyone here. It's super tough on everyone. We are teaching a guy who had 5 friends affected from it.

Love you all and thanks for all you do!

Baptism for Dead with the Barnes Family!

Elder Breeden

My District - I made Crepes!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 11 Clermont

Another great week in he promised land! I can't believe the way time flies. It's already the last week of my 2nd transfer (3 months) here in Clermont and it seems like I just got here. I have already almost been out for a year... O.o I guess when people say time flies when your having fun it's true.
Our main focus this week was to find someone ready to hear the gospel and prepare for baptism. Since Natalie got baptized we have had no body work with. We prayed and fasted super hard for people who we could help. We didn't find any new people but we still had a super awesome experience with a family we were working with but dropped a month or so ago. We dropped this family because we lost contact with them and they literally live clear out like 15 miles in the boonies. Well it just so happened that we were headed down in that direction this week. We had originally planned to leave them alone for a while but as we were heading back from our appointment, we felt prompted to make a detour to see them. It sure is a good thing we did because we met up with them and it turns out the husband of the family accidentally ran over the phone cable with his lawn mower so they didn't have any service! We sat down with a member there and had a super powerful lesson ending with a commitment for the Milton family to get baptized! They prayed and set their own date for August 30! (long ways out but they need to overcome some issues) In the past they were super flakey and couldn't keep an appointment or make it to church. This Sunday they were super sick but we're so committed that they came anyways!

We had a crazy instance with a guy named Kevin that we are teaching. This guy was a referral for himself a few weeks back. We thought he was a member but it turns out he is not. He is down for baptism but we are trying to decide if that is the right thing for him. His guy is literally the craziest guy I have ever met! He could talk for 5 hours straight on no specific topic of you didn't cut him off! He told me how he wants me to help him save the world by owning all the banks in the world. Doesn't even make sense but hey, we have to give him a chance I guess. It is just super difficult haha. Not sure if he has all the nuts and bolts screwed in all the way in his head.

We med another person this week who was super crazy too. So Elder Breeden and I had planned to go check up on a less active in this "non soliciting" neighborhood. We parked the car in front of her house and said a prayer doing the normal routine. After getting out of the car and heading for the house. I heard someone yell, "Are you kidding me!! You guys are back again!" I turned around and this old lady with hardly any clothes on was coming right at us! It was the less actives neighbor who I had never seen in my life. This lady had a German accent which made it even funnier. I could tell where this was going, and in all honestly I just started laughing. She rambled on for 5 minutes straight about how much she hates Mormons and us especially. She told us we need to go to Timbuktu and preach to all the people there
You would think I would be mad or frustrated but I couldn't stop laughing because it was just a hilarious situation. We finally just cut her off and told her we would just come back later. If I wasn't wearing a name tag with the name of Christ on it I might have went about the situation differently but we just brushed it off and kept going.

In church today we talked a lot on out the Holy Ghost and his role in our lives. If there is something I have come to learn on my mission, it is that you must rely on the Holy Ghost in everything you do. He directs us to find people to teach, he bares testimony of Christ and His Gospel in lessons, he protects us from all the crazy German ladies we meet, and above all, he is our constant friend. I could never ask for a greater gift than to have the gift of the Holy Ghost. That along side the atonement are the 2 greatest gifts we will ever be given!

Well I love you all and hope you have a great week and especially all the Fathers with Father's Day next Sunday!

Elder Goff

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 10 Clermont

This week was awesome as always. The heat and humidity got pretty bad this week. It was over 100 degrees a few times this week with humidity. Thankfully we have a car we drive around! Yesterday wasn't as bad though. It finally rained and now it won't stop raining. Apparently there is a tropical storm coming in tonight and going throughout tomorrow. Should be fun!! I've been told a few times that it's predicted to have a few hurricanes this year. Normally they don't see any storms like the one coming in tonight until later in the year. But hey I guess that means I get to do more service!

On Wednesday I went on exchanges with my old time friend Elder Satchwell. It was so cool to be back teaching with him again! We were companions in the MTC. We did a lot of good work that day too. Last week they had ran into a lady named Ruth. We went back to teach her a lesson. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I have had in a long time! We taught her the Restoration and her eyes just lit up because she knew it was true. We also had a perfect member there to be her friend. During the lesson she asked me if I had met her before. I said I didn't think so. She said that she felt like she knew me from somewhere. The chances of me meeting her before were very slim so I'm pretty sure we had to know each other in the life before this. After a great lesson and testifying I felt like I needed to ask her how she felt so I did. She hesitated and then just broke down in tears because she said she knew this was right and that it is what she needs to do.  We set a baptism date with her! Ruth is such a sweet lady. We were in Elder Satchwell's are so he'll take good care of her. Anyways, to say the least, Elder Satchwell is a stud and a great friend!

Another miracle we saw was NATALIE GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!! Brother Burgess, a member in the ward, baptized her and I confirmed her the next day. She was so prepared and so happy. We had a lesson before the baptism and asked her what it means to get baptized. She said that it means to take upon herself the name of Christ and strive to become like him. How often do we remember the covenant we have made to take upon ourselves the name of Christ and act as he would? This baptism was one of the most spiritual I have ever been to. Now the whole family has been baptized. It started back in November when some other missionaries baptized someone named Jennifer. Jennifer's sister Jessica got baptized the week before I got to this area in March. A few weeks later we met Jessica's dad, Nelson, and baptized him. Now we have baptized Jessica's daughter Natalie. They are planning to go to the temple to do baptisms for Nelson's wife! Unfortunately they are moving to Kentucky at the end of this month :/ It sure has been an honor to help out such a great family though.

Sunday we saw the coolest thing! We were driving to go make sure a recent convert was coming to church when up ahead of us we saw this big thing crossing the road. When we got up closer to it we saw it was a big turtle. I'll attach the pictures. This thing was crazy! He looked like he was made to scare people. Of course we had to get out and take some pictures and help it across the road. After taking some pictures, he wouldn't move so I tried to push this little sucker with my foot and the crazy thing jumped up and scratched in the air with its practically 2 in claws and snapped its mouth. I've never seen anything like it before! He reminds me of Bowser off of mario cart haha. If you look real close at its eyes he almost looks like a dragon with a shell. Some other random guy stopped and said he thinks it was an alligator turtle. I thought it was just a devilish snapping turtle!

The things you see in Florida....
Well that's basically all for the week. It was cool because everyone in our district had a baptism this week. In fast and testimony meeting it seemed like the main focus of everyone's testimonies was the covenant of baptism. It is the biggest decision most of us have ever made and also the biggest blessing any of us have. There is a scripture in Moroni 7:41 that talks about how we have to have hope through the atonement of Jesus Christ. When all else fails, we have the atonement of our savior Jesus Christ to fall back on. Along side our baptism covenant, we can have hope no matter what situation we may be in because no matter happens we will be okay because of what our savior did for us.

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