Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 12 Sebring

Well it looks like this is it. I don't have a lot of time but I just want to share a few things I've learned from my mission. 
  1. The Book of Mormon is true. I know it is. It is as simple as that. There have been times where I doubted on my mission. I questioned why this is so hard. It's at those times that I fall to my knees and go back to the foundation of the gospel. I ask if the Book of Mormon is true and I receive and answer.
"33 And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.
34 And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing"
  1. Charity is the greatest of all gifts from God. We must view others in the perspective of Christ. "Walk with Christ" as President Eyring says it. I have come to love the people so much on my mission. They are not just random people, they are sons and daughters of God with the potential of becoming like Him! What a neat experience it has been to see this change in myself, a change of perspective.
"46...Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."
  1. I have learned that we must BECOME a disciple of Christ. We cannot just live the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the mindset that it is something we are suppose to do. We must seek to become rather than just seeking to do.
I am sad that I have to leave this great work. If any of you are deciding whether or not you should serve a mission, Go! It is worth every second of it. I wouldn't trade the experiences, the memories, or the miracles I have witnessed these past 2 years for anything in the world. 3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life." I look forward to seeing a lot of you again in a few days! I hope the best for all! 

With Love,  Elder Goff

Bowling with the District

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Week 11 Sebring

This week was an eventful one. We saw a lot of success with our investigators and I also got to go to the temple for my departing temple trip. It's always nice to be able to do that.

An update on our investigators. Gildardo is doing awesome! He has been reading a lot and was super close to committing to baptism. We read Mosiah 18:10 with him which says, "If this be the desire of your heart, then what have ye against being baptized?" The spirit was powerful and testified to my heart and I know he felt it but he didn't quite accept it :/ eventually he will have that desire in him. We had a good lesson with Michael too. He opened up a lot to us and said that his goal is to one day go inside the Salt Lake City Temple. We explained that he would have to be baptized in order to do that and he said he knew that. Gildardo and Michael are the reason I am here in Sebring. They have become some of my best friends.

A missionary once told me that you go on your mission to find your friends. I know that all the people I have met from Orlando to Lake Placid, Clermont to Daytona Beach, and now Sebring are all the friends that I was suppose to find. The pas two years have been the best of my life. If you are on a mission, value it. The time you have left is sacred so don't waste it. If you haven't gone in a mission yet, go! I haven't regretted a second of it. It has changed me forever. I know this church is the Lord's kingdom here on earth. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ to the fullest and don't ever take it for granted because many people don't have it in their lives but we do.

I had the opportunity to go to the temple this past week. What a special and sacred place! I can't wait to be able to go more often! While in there pondering on my mission, the spirit touched my heart so powerfully. I don't cry very often but I will admit, I did this time! What a great experience that I will never forget.

I hope you all have a great week! See you all in a couple weeks!

Elder Goff

Our Temple Trip

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 10 Sebring

Hey Everyone!

Time's winding down. It's crazy to think how fast time flies. It's a bitter sweet feeling. You can change a lot in 2 weeks though so I'm going o make the most of it!

We had a super good week once again. I did a little tour of the zone the first part of the week. I went to Vero Beach on exchanges Monday night then Tuesday night I went to Okeechobee and stayed there until Thursday morning at District Meeting. It was a good time. We saw a pretty sweet miracle Wednesday. Elder Haderlie and I were on exchanges and we drove past this guy walking down the road when I got a strong impression we needed to talk to him so we turned around and did so even though we were already late for a meeting at the church. He told us that his sister is a member of our church and that he would be down to meet with us and his sister for a lesson. We went to his sister's house and talked to her as she was walking out the door. It was the first time she had met with missionaries in about a year. She was stoked to see us! The Lord provides when we listen to the Spirit. We showed up late to our meeting but with a good excuse.

Saturday we had dinner with Gildardo and Lady. Lady is a member and Gil is an investigator we have been teaching for a while. They are so cool! We gave him a soccer ball and in turn he gave us a home grown sugar can and a papaya. He also sent a super cool text the following day telling how we are friends for life! What a cool family. Pray that we will be able to set a baptism date with him soon!

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Goff

P.S. Happy Father's Day to all the Fathers out there!

Lots of pictures this week:


Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 9 Sebring

This week was another great one! For me physically it was a little rough because I was a sick but spiritually it was as awesome as ever. Our investigators are doing well. The main people we are teaching right now is Bob (we found him at the start of last transfer and he has come to church every Sunday since), Michael R., Gildardo "Gil", Paul, Damian, Steven, and Zoe. The are all super prepared and will probably all get baptized sometime soon but we haven't been able to set a date with any of them yet so if you could help us out with some prayers for them!

We had a pretty sweet experience this week. We went into a super ghetto apartment complex to teach a less active named Marco. Marco was talking to a few of his friends so we approached them and asked if we could share a message with them. One of the guys there is what you call the go to guy or "the plug." He was all tattooed up, had a gold grill, and a chain necklace. He was a rough looking guy to say the least. As we testified of our savior and the Restoration of the gospel, I witnessed this rough looking man break down in tears. We read from Mosiah 3:5-12 which testifies and witnesses of Christ. "There is no sin or transgression, pain or sorrow, which is outside of the healing power of His Atonement." The spirit was so strong! We started out with 3 people we were teaching and as we taught people would walk over to see what we were talking about and by the end of the lesson there was a pretty good size group of people. Our invitation to them all was to repent. I felt like Alma or Ammon declaring repentance to the wicked Lamanites! It was a good time. There is so much power in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have been doing group chats with our investigators over Facebook Messenger with our investigators and members. It has been working miracles. Bob had a concern about some deep doctrine he came across so he voiced his concern over the group chat. Immediately the members reached out and helped him. At church yesterday Bob seemed to be weighed down with the concern so the same member in he group chat pulled him aside to a classroom and helped him have some peace. Later that night the Bishop who is also on the group chat asked Bob if he would like to sit down and meet with him and us. He did and it was a sweet lesson! I love this work and this Gospel!

I hope everyone has a great week! Never take this Gospel for granted because there are people who have been searching for it their entire lives. Love you guys.

Elder Goff

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 8 Sebring

This week was a complete turn around from last week! Last week was a bit of a struggle but everything seemed to be working out this week.

Elder Arnson and I have been working with Facebook and it is producing miracles! We don't use it to post things, we just use it for Facebook we have been doing is creating group chats between our investigators, us, and members. It's super nice because it fills in all the days where we aren't able to meet with them for lessons.

I also was blessed enough this week to be a part of a huge miracle! One of the coolest of my missions. I was in an exchange with Elder O'hare and we had decided to contact a bible referral (she ordered a bible so we deliver them). We contact this lady and she was polite but wasn't interested. We get back to the car and I got this very distinct prompting saying to turn around and do more work in this area. Obviously a promoting to my heart from the spirit. So we do so. It's about 8:30 at night and on top of that it was raining so everyone seemed to not want to listen. We were determined however. We decided that we would knock every door in this small complex that had a light on. The second to last door a man answered and he said, "Hey. You want to come in?" That's one of the best lines to hear as a missionary! Long story short, this guy is super Down! His name is Fritz and he has been living in Avon Park for about 4 months and hasn't had anyone come visit him. The cool part is that just before we knocked, he was talkinon the phone with one of his good friends from Miami who is actually a member of the church! She even had taken him to church with her before! We called her during the lesson and had her bare her testimony to him. He is like 26 and a straight up stud! "My beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, [Nope!!!]"

It breaks my heart that I only have a few weeks left out here. I have never come to love people so much. If you haven't served a mission or are thinking about going, don't hesitate! Do it!!

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Goff

Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 7 Sebring

We had a lot of ups and downs this week. So first off, Elder Arnson is a stud! He is from American Fork, Utah and he is a black belt. It's a win win. I get a new friend and a personal body guard for 6 weeks! What more could you ask for!

Unfortunately we had a bad turn with a few of our investigators. Judeler who was preparing to be baptized on June 10th suddenly moved to Kentucky for college without any notice. He was planning on just visiting for art but then I guess they asked him to stay so he did. Damian who also is preparing for baptism on June 10th had a bit of a hold up with some commandment issues. He has been avoiding us so if you could pray that we can get things worked out with him. We are just going to keep working hard. There are so many prepared people here in Sebring. We just need to find them! 

A cool miracle of the week was that one of our investigators that we have been trying to get to church forever finally came! Her name is Mirtha. She is a slightly crazy but super sweet old Spanish lady from Puerto Rico. We called her Sunday morning and she said she was coming then about 2 minutes before sacrament we felt prompted to call her again so we did. She was lost! Somehow she ended up 5 miles away in a retirement community looking for the right street number for our church. We finally were able to direct her to the church although we ended up being 10 minutes late to sacrament but hey Mirtha made it to church!

As I was pondering during sacrament meeting I asked Heavenly Father why this work is so hard. Why do the people we teach not just run to us asking us to baptize them? My answer came in the words of a scripture "...know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." - D&C 122:7 When life is tough or when we are faced with frustration or depression or sorrow, we can always learn from it and gain experience that shall be for our good. 

I love this work with all my heart and mind and soul! I never want to leave it!

Hope you all have a great week!   Elder Goff

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 6 Sebring

Got some transfer news this week. Looks like I'm sticking around Sebring for my last transfer! I love this place. There are so many good people here who are just friendly people. Everyone will wave at you which is not normal for Florida. Unfortunately, Elder McKee will be leaving me. He has been here for 6 months so he is ready to move on. Actually he will be transferred to my first area which is Conway East so that's pretty cool. My new companion is going to be Elder Arnson. I haven't met him yet but I've heard he is awesome.

Our investigators a doing well. Judeler is in Kentucky for an art competition so he was gone all week. We reset Damian's baptism date to June 10th which is the same as Judelers so we should have to baptisms that day. Judeler also has a few friends we are teaching too so we call them the Haitian crew because all 4 of them are Haitian. They all come to the church for a lesson on Thursday nights.
Some other news is that we will be getting Facebook to work with. Yup that's that. Should be interesting. Not sure what to expect.

Here is a cool miracle from the week:  Elder McKee and I were headed to a lesson when we saw a guy sitting outside in a wheel chair watering his lawn. We felt prompted to turn around and go talk to him even though we might be late to our lesson but we did it anyways. His name is Bill and as we talked with him I felt an immediate love for him. He seemed depressed. As we talked a bit more he opened up to us and said his wife just passed away and he was getting ready for her memorial service. We asked him, "What if we could show you how you and your family could be together forever even after we die?" His face lit up! We taught him about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the hope that He brings to our lives. He wanted to know more but was leaving town so we plan to follow up with him when he returns in a couple weeks. We missed our next appointment but it was definitely worth it. I was talking to a young man this week who wants to serve a mission. He is only 16 but was asking some questions about it. I explained how the Lord is preparing people right now for him to teach when he serves his mission. I know that Bill was one of those people that was being prepared for me to teach him when I was 16 because about 3 years ago he had a stroke which confined him to a wheel chair. Now his wife just passed away and his heart is softened. I love this Gospel! "My beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men." (Moroni 7:29)

Hope you all have a good week!


Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 5 Sebring

Another week down. It was a good one too! We are teaching a lot of great people! We got a new Ward Mission Leader. His name is Preston and he is only 20 years old and has only been a member of the church for 6 months! This past week he came teaching with us 3 times for the entire day each time! I have never seen someone so converted to the gospel. He came from a pretty rough life but now is working on his mission papers. It's pretty crazy!
Judeler is doing great. We moved his baptism date to June 10th to give him time to quit drinking coffee and when we met with him he hadn't drank it in over 4 days! We had a lesson with him on Thursday where he brought a bunch of friends. We set baptism dates with them too for June 24th. Their names are Djephsondy "Jeff" and Zoe (not sure what his real name is ha). We also found another part member family a couple weeks ago and challenged the nonmember husband to read the Book of Mormon. Well we taught him Wednesday and he is already to Mosiah so he is loving it. His name is Gildardo and his wife's name is Lady.
Of course the best part of the week was Sunday. I got to hear from my family! I'm so blessed to have the family I do. And especially the mother that I do. As the 2,000 young warriors of the Nephites were asked to face the Lamanites army they said the didn't fear because they had been taught by their mothers not to doubt. As they acted on the faith which their mothers helped them gain, they defeated the army of the Lamanites without a single one of them dying. I feel like a modern day stripling warrior being taught to have great faith by my Mother.
I hope you all have a great week!
Elder Goff
Fishing this morning

Exchanges with Elder Thomas

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 4 Sebring

Another week has come and gone here in the promised land. I honestly cannot believe how fast time has gone. We saw several miracles this week.

Sister Stichler and Bob, one of our investigators, opened up to us this week. They told us of their experience they had a couple weeks back. Sister Stichler has been less active for over a decade and Bob is a devote catholic. They were having some serious trials in their life. They both were praying for help the same day without telling each other. Well about 2 hours after Bob prayed for help, Elder McKee and I showed up not knowing them at all. We had a short lesson and felt prompted to offer them a priesthood blessing so we did. After the blessing Sister Stichler was crying but we didn't think too much of it at the moment until is past week when they told us of the experience. They have been to church the past 3 weeks in a row and Bob is starting to have a change of heart and accept the gospel! Its super hard to explain the feelings and details in words. This is the Lord's work and w are simply just his hands. There is a reason for everything whether we know it or not!

I taught a few lessons in Spanish this week. I used a lot of google translate and then just a few words that I knew. I'm getting to the point where I can understand a lot of Spanish I just can't speak any of it. One family we taught is Juan and Carol. They aren't married but Juan wants to get baptized before I leave so hopefully I can get something worked out. During one of the lessons we had with him this past week there was a knock at the door and it was Jehovah Witnesses. It got real awkward and I won't get into any details but the good news is that they came to church with us Sunday!

We have a bunch of other people we are working real closely with! The Lord sure is blessing us here in Sebring. The further into my mission that I get the greater appreciation I have for the gospel and the Book of Mormon. We would be lost without it. I'm just about to finish it again and then I'll be starting it over once again.

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Goff

The District

I Ain't Even Scared!


Golfing Today

Monday, May 1, 2017

Week 3 Sebring

Sorry this week will have to be super short!

I had a great week. Damion and Judeler are both solid for their baptism date on May 27th.  We committed Judelers friend Jeff to be baptized on June 10th this week too.

I went in another exchange to Lake Placid (one of my past areas) and we had dinner with Brother Short and the Bacevic Family which are 2 of my most favorite families in the world! It was pretty great!

Today we went fishing in Okeechobee which is where they have the big bass tournaments every year. I hooked a monster fish that I would guess to be about 10 lbs but as I was about to get him in he shook the hook off. I about cried! It was the biggest bass I have ever seen in my life! I caught a big catfish though so it's all good. Also we had an alligator that kept sneaking up on us but we were up in a bank so he didn't have any way to bite us haha. And he was just a little fella.

Well I had another amazing week! Sorry I can't write more. I'm out of time.

Elder Goff

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 2 Sebring

Hey everyone! Week 2 in Sebring was a great one. Honestly I feel like I say that every week but it's true everything about the mission is great!

So I had the opportunity to go on exchanges to Lake Placid this week. I got to see my recent converts from a year ago!!! It was super good to see them. I sure miss that place. We also taught a few of the investigators I had worked with. We picked up a few new investigators from it too. It was awesome to be back!

We also had ZTM this week. I thought I might be done giving trainings in Zone Meetings for the rest of my mission since I left Daytona but then I got asked to give another training at this meeting. It was good though. I talked about how we need to set the stage for the spirit to teach through us. I feel like that is one of the secrets to a mission. We don't even need to be good at speaking, if we are worthy of the spirit and prepare others to be taught, we don't even do anything in their conversion process. It's all the spirit!

Our investigators are doing good. We had a few new people come to church. There is a part member family we found this past week that came. The wife is less active and the husband is not a member. He is actually catholic but decided he wanted to try our church out. Judeler is doing well. Also Damion is too. They are both still good for their baptism date May 27th!

Well time is sure flying by! When I started my mission I felt like I had too much time on the mission and now I don't feel like I have enough. Time is sacred especially when you are serving the Lord! I was talking to an Elder while back and he said he just wanted to chill to the end of his mission. He said he just wants to listen to real music and do normal things until the end of his mission. As I pondered on that later I thought about our Savior and His mission here on earth. It's sure a good thing He didn't just chill to the end of his mission. Towards the end of His mission here on this earth he literally changed the world.

Love you all!

Elder Goff

TJ and Ashanti


Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 1 Sebring

This week was a great one as always. I'm loving Sebring! There are so many prepared people here. Elder McKee is awesome! He's been out about 9 months and is from Mesa Arizona. I'm super excited about this transfer.

We are teaching a few people who are great. Judeler is a Hatian kid we are teaching that is preparing to be baptized on May 27th. He loves this church. He even gave a Book of Mormon to one of his friends and is already considering a mission! I'm super excited for him. We set a Baptism date with a kid named Damion. He knows this gospel is true and loves it so much. He basically bore his testimony to us in how he knows it's all true. The only problem is that his family is Catholic and is completely against it but by the sound of it that isn't going to stop him. We set his date for May 27 also.

We had a pretty cool experience this week. We had about 30 minutes before our next lesson so we were looking through some records and saw a part member family that lived near by so we stopped by. Earlier that that we had prayed that we would be led to someone that day searching for the gospel. Well we met Maria. In the past she wasn't able to be baptized but she said her mom now will let her so when her Dad gets back in town next month he will be baptizing her! She said she already has been reading the Book of Mormon and knows it's true. The Lord sure answers prayers for those who are striving to be diligent!

Another miracle happened back in Daytona. Nick got baptized Saturday!!! I called President Clark and got permission to skype for it so it was as if I was there. It's a pretty long drive back so I wasn't able to go in person but I felt the spirit just the same. He is such a stud! I sure am going to miss him.

I took the time this week to study the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It's hard to even comprehend how difficult it must have been for him. The driving source behind His Atonement is charity. "Charity never faileth." The love Christ has for each of us is uncomprehendable. He is risen and now we have hope. We will overcome death and have the opportunity to one day live with God in complete joy for eternity. "O how great the Plan of our God!"

Love you all and hope you had a happy Easter!

Elder Goff