Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 3, 2018

Dear family and friends,
The past couple of weeks have been good. We had a baptism 2 weeks ago for a kid named Joshua, we found him through his grandmother who brings him every week. He is a great kid and sincerely wanted to learn about God and the church at a young age. It was a good baptismal service and a lot of people in his family attended who aren’t members. We also had the Campos family come to his baptismal service, they are a family that we have been teaching and they got baptized the following week. They are a family of 5, and 3 are of baptismal age. I had the privilege of baptizing one of them myself, and it was an awesome experience. I will always remember how happy I felt.

I feel really blessed to have been a part of their conversions. It’s very satisfying to see the changes that happen to people when they decide to focus their lives on Jesus Christ. It changes their very countenance. I know that God can profoundly influence our lives if we sincerely try to come closer to him. He will never force himself upon us, it is our job to exercise faith in him and let him in. Baptism is one of many ways that we can do that, being washed clean of our previous sins and starting a new life as a follower of Jesus Christ. And I know that following his example is the only way to truly attain lasting happiness in this life and in the next. 

John 3:5

-Elder Godwin

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 28, 2018

Dear Family and Friends,
So far my new area in San Jose is good, this will probably be my last area on my mission. It is a really good area and so I’m happy to be finishing here. It’s a lot different than my last area, I’m in the middle of the city now compared to being out in a more rural area. It’s nice to be surrounded by a lot more people, naturally there is a lot more to do and more people to talk to in the city. Last week we had 10 investigators come to church which is the most that I’ve had throughout my whole mission so far. The ward that I’m in is a pretty good size and we are hoping to have a few baptisms soon. It’s been good to have more teaching opportunities, it helps us stay focused and busy.

A few P days ago I got to go play paintball with all the Elders in my zone which was pretty fun. I got hit pretty good a couple of times but it was a fun P day activity to run around and shoot people for a few hours. It was entertaining but also super tiring because it was all outside in the sun. I hope that I can go play again before I go home, it’s a pretty good way to spend a p day.

This area of the city has a large population of Vietnamese people which is different. Whenever we go out to in the street or knock on doors, people are either Latino or Vietnamese. I’m pretty positive that we are the minority within about a 2 mile radius of where we live. There isn’t even an English ward that meets at our church building, just the Spanish ward and the Vietnamese branch. Last week I went on exchanges with the Viet Elders twice and it was pretty interesting to see their culture. 

It’s finally warming up here which is terrible. I miss the cold and rain but instead of being 70 and clear skies like it has been for the past few months it was like 86 today. I know that it sounds ridiculous, but I’m actually getting tired of nice weather all the time and want it to be cold and rainy. And whenever it actually does rain here, there aren’t ever any storms, it’s just light rain. I think I saw lighting once in the distance almost a year ago but that’s about all. So I guess that I really miss tornado weather and thunderstorms. 

I have about 3 months left before I go home, so the end is coming up quick. It feels like it goes both fast and slow at the same time, it’s pretty weird. I’m happy that I get to make the most out of the time that I have left though and know that it will go quick.

-Elder Godwin

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 26, 2017

Dear family and friends,
Things in Hollister are still going pretty well. We find a lot of new investigators and people are really nice here. We have been teaching a good amount of lessons too and keeping pretty busy. We have a couple of promising people and we are trying really hard to set a baptismal date soon. We had zone conference in Santa Cruz and that went well, zone conferences are usually 8 hours long but really uplifting and edifying. We usually spend a lot of time doing some training and discussing different gospel topics. It was a good meeting and I got a lot out of it. 

We went to Monterey today for our p day and it was a fun trip. We went to the aquarium and then to the beach for a few minutes but it was really cold and windy. We walked around a few shops for a little bit too and then we headed back. It was a fun little trip though and it felt good to do something fun for the day. Other than that nothing has really changed, just doing the same work everyday and continuing to work hard. I hope everyone back home is doing well, I miss all of you.

-Elder Godwin 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February 7, 2018

Dear family and friends,
This past week a family that I helped teach in my last area got baptized so I got to go back to see it. They have been investigating for a long time and so there were even a few returned missionaries who came back for it. 4 of my past companions were there too so it was cool to see everybody. Baptismal services are always really special experiences and I'm glad that I got to be there.

Hollister is good so far, everyone here is really nice. It's kind of out by itself and there isn't very much here so it feels a lot different than the city. I think that I've been busier in this area than in any other area on my mission though so it's been good. We found a family of 5 the other day that seem pretty promising so hopefully things go well with them, they all committed to baptism which was exciting. Transfer calls were just the other day and I'm staying here again with my same companion. We get along and work well together so I'm happy that we are both staying. 

I've been sick off and on for the past few weeks and I'm finally feeling a lot better so hopefully it doesn't come back. Being sick as a missionary is rough when you have a bunch of things to do, especially in a busy area. Sometimes we have to bike in this area too and biking is the worst when you are coughing or can't breathe very well. But I'm better now so things have been good. 

Anyways, not to many new things have happened lately, just a bunch of missionary work. My birthday was good and I want to thank everyone that sent me things, I appreciate it. It's weird to think that I'm 21 now, I still remember celebrating my last birthday while still in my first area like it was only a few weeks ago. A lot has happened since then and year 20 was one of the best I've ever had. 

-Elder Godwin

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January 8, 2018

Dear family and friends,
My new area in Hollister is going well, there is a lot of work to do here and we’ve been super busy. In one day we found 5 new investigators and taught 9 lessons which is pretty crazy. We have a couple of people close to baptism so we will be working with them a lot too. The branch here is pretty small and we just got a new branch president, this area has a lot of potential and hopefully we have a lot of success in the coming weeks. 

We had a baptism in our district last week. The English Elders taught him and when he was ready to be baptized he asked my companion to baptize him because he has taught him a few times and he’s the one who found him. I interviewed him since I’m the district leader and it was a great baptismal service. Baptismal interviews are always a unique experience, it’s a special step in the progress of a convert to be a part of. 

2017 was a great year, it’s crazy that I spent an entire year as a missionary. I’ve had some amazing experiences and it’s probably been the best year of my life. I’ve learned a ton about myself and a lot about God and I’ve come a lot closer to Christ as I’ve helped others do the same. It’s funny how turning outward and serving others can end up being the best thing that you can do for yourself. One of my favorite scriptures says “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” I’ve found that as I’ve devoted my life to the service of others, I’ve been incredibly blessed and it’s it’s been an awesome experience. I’m looking forward to what 2018 has in store and I’m glad that I get to make the most of the time that I have left.

-Elder Godwin

Monday, December 4, 2017

December 4, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,
Over the week of thanksgiving I made a list of things I’m grateful for. I tried to think of 3 things for each letter of the alphabet which made me have to think a lot harder about things which was fun. I don’t have a ton to say this week, I’ve been doing good and I like the area I’m serving in. I hope that everything is going well back home for everyone, I miss you guys a lot. Here is that list of things that I thought of:

Things that I am thankful for:

A: Alex, Adidas, Agency
B: Book of Mormon, Basketball, Beats
C: Christ, Companions, Communication
D: Dad, Dr. Pepper, Dollar store
E: Exercise, Energy, Eminem
F: Family, Freedom, Food
G: God, Grandparents, Golf
H: Hyrum, Health, Home
I: Intelligence, internet, iPad
J: Joseph Smith, Jobs, Jordans
K: Kenzie, Kit Kats, Kid Cudi
L: Love, Language, Leaders
M: Mom, Music, Mtn Dew
N: Nature, Naps, Nos
O: Opportunity, Oklahoma, Ocean
P: Prophet, Physics, People
Q: Quiet, Questions, Quality time
R: Repentance, Rest, Rap
S: Sammy, Science, Spanish
T: Testimonies, Technology, Trials 
U: Ukulele, Understanding, USA
V: Views, Vader, Vines
W: Work, Writing, Water
X: Xbox, experience, examples
Y: Yard, YouTube, Yeezy
Z: Zucchini bread, Zone Conference, Zippers

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017

Dear Family and Friends, 

This past week has been eventful, I got transferred up to Fremont which was surprising because I hadn't been in Salinas for that long. There are always mixed emotions about transfers, it is sad to leave the wards and investigators that I've been working with but it's also exciting to have a new area with new people. I'll definitely miss serving so close to Monterey, it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. General Conference was awesome as usual and I also got to go up to the Oakland Temple last weekend. That was a great experience and I love that we get the opportunity to go occasionally.

I'm training a new missionary this transfer and so far he's really awesome. I look forward to our time together and being with somebody new will be a new experience for me. I don't have a ton to say, I've just been busy with coming up to a new area and going to a couple of meetings. But I'm excited for this upcoming transfer and have heard a lot of good things about this area. I have 2 past companions that have served here and they have told me about it. So anyways, we'll see how it goes! I miss you all and hope everything is going well back home. 

-Elder Godwin