Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 22 Clermont

Another great week here in the promised land. It was another hot one too as always. Apparently, there is a big storm brewing off the gulf coast somewhere. We have a pretty crazy less active we teach who is guaranteeing that it will become a hurricane and come over and hit us. But I highly doubt that although there is a small portion of me that hopes it does just so that I can say that I was in a hurricane.

So an update on the Miltons, they are set for there date! Sister Milton is doing great at living the word of wisdom! She has completely quit smoking and is she is so excited about it! We had a BBQ at their house on Saturday with a lot of members of the ward. It was so cool! So something about the Miltons is that they absolutely love giving service so this was an opportunity for 1. Them to give service 2. Them to get to know the ward and 3. Us to get free food ;) We played some corn hole (bean bag toss as we know it). A member of the ward named brother burgess (We call him uncle John because he is like 65 and still plays basketball with us every p day. Kind of like Uncle drew if you know who that is) is super competitive at it so there was a lot of trash talking that went on. Anyways, it was a great experience for them and a great motivation. They texted us that night after and said that they had been reading the Book of Mormon for 2 hours straight as a family! They are dead set for their date on the 10th of September. Ray, the Miltons family friend who hasn't showed much progress towards his date at all, called us and asked what he needs to do to get baptized on the 10th with the rest of the Miltons because he feels like they are family. He said is willing to give up anything to get baptized. We told him the requirements which consist of quitting smoking and coffee and he said he would do anything necessary! I
honestly would be willing to sacrifice anything in the world to be able to be a part of such an amazing change in someone else's life. It's such a humbling experience to know that the lord is working through me even though I am just a small and simple person. I love this work!

On Tuesday night we went to one of our less actives named Armando. Armando isn't just any typical guy. He is he funniest most tender hearted being in the planet. He's a little mentally handicapped also. Anyways, Elder White and I felt like Armando needed a little bit of a pep talk. We read about the prophet Abinadi in the Book of Mormon and asked him if he had a desire to be like Abinadi. He said yes so we then asked him, "Armando, in order for you to be like Abinadi, you have to teach with power and authority just like Abinadi! Do you want to do that!?" He quietly said, "yeah" so we were like, that doesn't really sound like it. He then yelled, "YEAH!!!!" It was awesome! #LetsGo! Haha it would probably be funnier if you knew him but I thought it was exciting

Yesterday was a great day too. Bishop asked me to give a talk so I used that as a tool to get a lot of our investigators to church. We had 8 investigators and 3 less actives come who I have never seen at church in all the 6 months I've been in this area. It was great! They all loved it too so hopefully we can get them to come back. The Miltons also came. They were still super pumped up from the BBQ we had at their place so the came 30 minutes early! Church went really well. I talked for about 15 minutes on How enduring to the end and missionary work are the same thing. It turned out pretty well.

Well I hope you all have a great week! Always remember how blessed you are to be where you are today. Make the most of it because you can't take back the opportunities you miss. Love ya!

Elder Goff


Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 21 Clermont

I'm getting to the point in my mission where I feel like every week in my weekly I say the same thing. It's almost like déjà vu. First off as always, the weather has been normal. Which means it's been crazy. It rains every afternoon which is pretty nice because it cools it off a bit but then it makes the humidity stink.

So we were suppose to have a baptism coming up this Saturday with Ray and the Miltons but we got to their house to do the interviews and one of them had drank coffee that morning, another was smoking as we pulled up, and one of the, was at a friends house so we were only 1 for 4 and he wasn't going to get baptized without the rest of his family so we moved the date to September 10th. It was pretty frustrating but I mean they have come a long ways! Sister Milton used to smoke 3 packs a day when I first met her and now she hasn't smoked in 2 weeks! Coffee is a little harder for her though. She's almost there. They are still enthusiastic and determined to get baptized! Unfortunately they didn't come to church yesterday either. We went over right after church and Ray was sitting there but the rest of them were gone. Ray has had a lot of concerns and questions that we haven't been able to answer because we've always met with them all at the same time. Well yesterday we finally got to sit down and answer them. He said he is torn between our church and another church. After some discussion we figured out the problem was that he hasn't been praying. We taught him how to say a prayer. The spirit was so strong! After the prayer, Ray looked up with tears in his eyes and said, I feel something. I know he is here with us! Experiences like these make going on a mission worth every second of it!

I'm not sure if you guys remember Aveon or not but he is a 17 year old kids who is really good friends with a priest in our ward. We were teaching him before school got out and even had a baptism date set with him but then he had to leave to his mothers for the summer. I didn't think I would be able to see him again because I didn't think I would be in Clermont this long. Well I got word that he is back! We talked to his friend and they are planning to come play basketball with is today! I'm so excited!

Well we got some bad news last night. I had a pair of pants on my floor next to my bed so I picked them up to go put them away and I noticed something suspicious on it. It was.... man this is terrible!... A Bedbug!!! :( Last transfer we spent 2 weeks out of our house trying to get those suckers cleaned out! We even moved to a new apartment! It was so stressful. And now we are about to do it again!!!! Uhh one thing I have learned on my mission is that bed bugs are literally of the devil. They slow down the work and stress you out like mad. I deep cleaned all my clothes and our apartment this morning. Not sure what's going to happen yet because we haven't told anyone about them yet. Thankfully I have only been able to find one bedbug even though I searched out entire bedroom cleaning and looking for them. So if you could include in your prayers that bedbugs go extinct that would be fantastic.

Yesterday in church they talked a lot about the importance of families and how they are eternal. It made me reflect on my family. I have been so blessed to grow up in the family that I have. I've seen so many torn up families here in Florida and it breaks my heart. We really take for granted being able to have a roof over our heads with parents and siblings there for us. It truly is a blessing.

Well I love you all and hope you have a great week as always!

Elder Goff

The Miltons gave us some banana's from their tree. Not what you would expect them to look like.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 20 Clermont

Another week has come and gone. It's crazy how time flies. Honestly not a whole lot happened this week. It was just a smooth sailing week. The weather was nice too. It cooled off to about 75 which is about jacket weather to me! It felt so nice!

On Thursday we had to make a trip into Orlando to the mission office. On the way there you have to drive on a road called OBT (Orange Blossom Trail) which is the craziest road in Florida I'm pretty sure. I know people who purposely avoid OBT and won't even get near it. Anyways, so I was driving down OBT and got in the left turning lane to turn. After the light turned green, this crazy guy driving a big dump truck decided he needed to get into the turning lane also. The only problem was that I was in it and he didn't know that. He started to drift into the turning lane right into me! I swerved into he oncoming traffic lane (there weren't any cars coming because the oncoming light was red) and laid in the horn! It didn't even faze him! It was crazy! Anyways, so I get by this guy and make the turn and for some reason this oh her crazy guy decides to walk across the road right in front of me. I honked and hit my brakes. I felt like I was driving in New York! We made it safely though. Some Florida drivers just don't know how to drive.

Most of our investigators are doing pretty well. The Miltons have their interview coming up this week and are still set for their baptism on the 27th. We had a few really good lessons with them this week! Sister Milton also referred us to her mother-in-law. Unfortunately she lives outside of our boundaries. Still really cool! We have been working a lot with referrals recently.

Yesterday was stake conference and Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer came and spoke! He gave a talk in October conference of last year about how we need to let the Clerion Trumpet sound. He is a great speaker. This time her talked to us about how the Book of Mormon is true. He explained how here is no possible way that it isn't. Joseph Smith translated it in 90 days with a 4th grade education, and the Book of Mormon holds the secret to everything in life. It teaches us how to be better families. It teaches us how to feel the spirit more. It teaches us how we can have eternal life. Another thing he said that was really cool was, "Members of his church believe more in the bible than any other religion because the bible testifies of Christ and we have the Book of Mormon to solidify our testimonies in Christ. Therefore we should have a stronger faith in the Bible than any other religion." I have come to appreciate the Book of Mormon so much on my mission. I know without a doubt that it is true because there is no way it is not true! I just finished reading the Book of Mormon again and now these past couple weeks they have really focused on another challenge to us... Read the Book of Mormon again. It never gets old and you learn so much from it each time you read it.

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Goff

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 19 Clermont

Honestly not a whole lot of new things happened this week. It was a pretty normal week. The weather is its usual, hot sunny and then about an hour of down pour rain, then sunny again. However, this week seemed to be a lot more humid than normal. The other night I was outside and looked up at the moon on a clear night and the moon was all blurry because there was so much humidity. It takes a while to get used to it but I'm to the point where I love it.

I'll start off with a funny story. So yesterday was fast and testimony meeting which always is nerve racking as a missionary especially when you have your investigators there. There is this old guy who comes to our ward but isn't really in our ward. Every time he sees us he yells, "It's the mission mormonaries!!" Pretty crazy. So this guy hobbled up to the pulpit with some help from a few people in the congregation. It took him about 5 minutes to get up there. I was sweating because we had the Milton family with us. Anyways so this guy gets up there and in a deep voice starts to throw down on the congregation! He said, if you turn your back on Jesus, he will never love you and you'll go somewhere. Wait I know where you'll go. You'll go to He**!!!" He was yelling at us. Right as he said that here was a few gasps in the crowd and everyone went dead silent. Our investigators had some pretty crazy looks on their face but we reassured them that this guy was a little bit out there so don't listen. He bishop had a pretty worried look on his face also. After this old guy finished, he smiled and sat down on the stand as happy as could be. I'll admit, I was scared! It was intense!

An update on our investigators, the Miltons are doing amazing! All 3 of them are on fire! Sister Milton has quit smoking and drinking coffee. They even fasted yesterday. It's so cool. The deal is that they have to live the word of wisdom completely by this week if they are to be baptized on the 27th, and it's looking like they are going to make it. Ray, the guy who lives with the Miltons, came to church yesterday also. He is committed to being baptized with them but he is having a little bit of a harder time with the word of wisdom. So we have those 4 people set for the 27th and we have Efrain set for September 10th but that is looking like it may have to be moved. We weren't able to meet with him last week. And he was suppose to come to church but didn't show. I guess we'll see what happens.

We had a cool experience on Thursday. We went to one of our Recent Converts homes to visit and they had a friend over. Our Recent Convert is named Rhonda Buzzelli and her friends name is Rhonda so it is a little confusing. Well Rhonda is going through some hard times right now so she came to visit sister Buzzelli. And it just so happened that we showed up at the same time. We taught her the Restoration and she said she wants to be baptized. The only thing is that she lives in Melborne. However, she mentioned that she may be moving here to Clermont in about a month or so. It was a tender mercy of the Lord that we contacted her.

Well that's about it for the week. Not a whole lot happened this week. Elder White and I are seeing a lot of great work happen here in the Promised Land. I found a cool scripture if you want to look it up. It's Moroni 8:16. The last sentence of the verse is really cool! Anyways, I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Goff

We found some cool Marvel backpacks for cheap at Walmart so we took some pictures. 

(Christian Dewberry - Priest in the ward)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 18 Clermont

Not too much has changed this week. This week was transfers but me and the rest of our district are all staying. Good thing too because we have a lot coming up this transfer! It's looking to be a pretty good transfer here in Clermont with Elder White.

We saw a lot of miracles this week! On Tuesday I was on exchanges with Elder Goddard from another area in our district. We were working in my area. We had planned to stop by a less active member but when she wasn't home we decided to knock a few doors around her. After knocking on this one door, a man came around the side of the house and asked if he could help us. I wanted to say, yeah you could be baptized in our church! But I didn't haha. We told him we were going around saying prayers with people. He seemed a little surprised. It turns out he had just been diagnosed with cancer a few days before and was a little depressed. It's amazing how we can be an answer to someone's prayers when we listen to the spirit. The only issue he has about meeting with us is his wife may not want to so I guess we will see this week.

That same day we stopped by someone named Efrain. We found his cousin last week and then while on exchanges, Elder White met Efrain so I had never met him. Efrain moved here from New York a couple weeks ago. He quit drinking and smoking about a month ago (hallelujah) and is looking to start a new life. After hearing this I felt prompted to ask him if he had ever been baptized. I loved his responses! "A long time ago but I'm looking to get baptized again."  That's the best thing you can ever hear as a missionary. Long story short, we set a date to get baptized in September 10th.

We also met with the Wiltons again. They are doing awesome as normal. Sister Wilton has quit smoking and is working on quitting coffee. There are 3 of them but there are also a few other people living with them. One of which is named Ray. When we first met Ray, he thought he was going to bible bash with us but couldn't respond to our testimonies. This was the 3rd time we met with him. The Wiltons are being baptized August 27th and we felt like Ray would be able to make that date as well so we asked and he accepted! We have 4 baptisms planned for the 27th! It was so cool too because they all have a super hard time with coffee, but they all committed that they will do whatever they have to to get baptized.

A family that I came to know really well from exchanges and stuff got baptized this week. The Penedo's live in the Minneola ward which shares the same building as Clermont. It was so cool to see them get baptized! Brother Penedo asked me to confirm him so I did yesterday. It was such a powerful experience!

This week was also Elder White's Birthday. I've literally been telling every member we see that it was his birthday so now we have a crap ton of cake! His birthday was Thursday so we all got together early in the morning and I cooked up a bunch of crepes for everybody. It's kind of become a tradition to do it. It was a pretty fun day.
So I dont know if this happens a whole lot in any other missions but people always try to bible bash (prove our religion wrong) with us here in Florida. I usually just leave it alone because nothing good comes from it but Saturday I had had enough. A guy we ran into was telling us that his church was the only true church and that ours was false. He said that his church had been going on since Christ left the earth. It was hilarious because I put him in his place a little bit. He said that Peter had become the next prophet after Jesus Christ and referenced Matt. 16:18-19 which basically says that the authority was passed to Peter from Jesus Christ to be the prophet. Well we all know that Peter and the rest of the 12 disciples we rejected and killed. So I brought that up to him and he agreed. I then asked him, "if everyone rejected the prophets and killed them, who did Peter pass the authority to be the next prophet to?" After he couldn't answer that, I testified of the restoration. It was hilarious! Probably not good though because the spirit is never there when you bible bash.

In church yesterday they talked about how we need to not judge others. The story was told of a man who was walking down the sidewalk and saw a dandelion in someone's yard and was just disgusted by it. He couldn't believe that man would let a dandelion grow in his yard. When he got home he walked right passed his own yard which was filled with dandelions. I find myself doing this more than I would like. We must first correct our own problems before we try to correct others.

Anyways, I love you all and hope you have a good week!

Elder Goff

My Desk

(L-R) Elder's Satchwell, Goddard, me, White, Lawson, and Isaacson