Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 18, 2017

Dear family and friends,
The past 2 weeks have been eventful. I got transferred down to Salinas from San Jose which is pretty far, it's down by Monterey though which is super pretty. It's been kind of nice to be out of the city actually but I'm still adjusting a little bit. My new companion has been good so far but I'll definitely miss my last one. 

So my last week in San Jose we went downtown for fireworks on the 4th of July which feels like it was forever ago but it wasn't. They do a show down there which was pretty good but there are so many firework restrictions here that just a few places do shows and that's about all. It was a good show, but being in Edmond and having everyone do fireworks everywhere you look is better. It made me miss home a little bit because the 4th of July was always one of my favorite days. And people in the Bay Area just aren't as patriotic in general which is kind of sad. But then again when you have so many immigrants from different places here they don't really understand our patriotism that well. 

It's always weird to change areas, I wasn't expecting to get transferred but then again I knew that it was a possibility. It's weird to leave people that you've been working with and helping too. I've always wanted to serve in Salinas though or somewhere in the southern part of the mission just to get a taste of it and get out of the city for a bit. So I'm glad that my little wish came true and I get to be down here for a while. 

So yesterday we went down to Carmel Beach for P day and it was awesome. It's so pretty down there and the weather was amazing. It was perfectly clear and like 70 degrees. It kind of stinks that we can't swim as missionaries when the water is right there but it's still really fun to just hang out on the beach. Like playing volleyball, throwing a football, digging in the sand, or just relaxing. I made a little chair spot out of sand to sit in with a little hole to keep my Mountain Dew in next to me and just watched the waves for a while which was really relaxing. 

But anyways, I think that's all for now. I miss you guys a lot but things out here are going well. My new mission President is great and things are all good overall. I'm still new to this area but this upcoming week should definitely help me get a better idea of it. It's crazy for me to think that I'm approaching my year mark, so far I've absolutely loved my mission and I know that there is a lot more in store. 

From,
Elder Godwin 









Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 3, 2017

Dear family and friends, 

The past few weeks have gone well. President and Sister Mella went home and I got to meet President and Sister Hunt earlier today. I'll really miss them, but I look forward to getting to know the Hunts. They seem really awesome so far. We had a goodbye devotional for the Mellas this past week and it was really good. They both have really strong testimonies and have had a big impact on me throughout my time here so far.

One of the Elders in my zone got a new bike and so he didn't need his old crappy one so he gave it to me for free since im one of the only people that doesn't have one. Which, I never really will because in the Spanish program our areas are a lot bigger so we always have cars. But, I took it because my companion has a bike and there is a bike trail behind our apartments that goes over to this park 2.5 miles away. So, in the mornings we have started riding there and back for our morning exercise which works out really well because its 5 miles and takes about 30 mins. And like it because its a lot more refreshing to go and be outside in the morning instead of the gym.  

There have been like 3 pretty big fires in the city this past week which was really random. All of the grass here is super dry and its been decently windy so I guess that makes it fire season here. 

This P day and last P day we went to the driving range in the morning which was pretty fun. Elder Mosher likes to try hitting the ball really far and I like to practice my swing. I haven't hit a ball since I've been back home though so it was weird to do it again haha. We can get a little over 100 balls for 10 bucks so split between the two of us its not a bad little p day activity to start the day off. It's not very far away either so I'm glad we discovered it.

We found an investigator on Friday and he came to church Sunday and accepted a baptismal date right away. He's super excited and we feel like he's really been prepared to join the church. It's crazy to see the ways that the Lord prepares people to receive the gospel. Also, we've been helping this member that we found who was completely inactive for 20 plus years come back and its been really cool to see him progress. He's an absolutely awesome guy and its just as exciting to bring him back and help him prepare to go to the temple for the first time as it is to find somebody to baptize. Things have been going well lately, we have really been trying to help strengthen the ward members too. 

I've been doing well lately though, and anytime things get hard I've found that the Lord is always there to help. I found a scripture the other day, Jacob 2:8, that uses a phrase that really stood out to me. It says "the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul." Which I thought was really powerful. Because the word of God and the scriptures to me are what can truly give you strength throughout trials. We have so many incredible books of scripture that are meant and were written to help and guide us in this day. They are inspired writings which bring us closer to our savior Jesus Christ. So anyways, I've been really grateful for the scriptures lately as I've read and studied them. I hope everyone back home is doing well, I love you all and hope to hear from you soon. 

-Elder Godwin






Sunday, June 25, 2017

June 19, 2017

Dear family and friends,
The past 2 weeks have been interesting, President Mella will be going home soon and we'll be getting a new president next month. So we had our last interviews with President Mella last week and Zone Conference also. Zone Conference was really good and was probably one of my favorite ones since I've been on my mission. They are always really uplifting and a good spiritual recharge. We get a lot of training and talk about what we can improve too so they are pretty productive. The only downside is that they go from like 10 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. 

Last P day we went and got some Stance socks at the outlet for pretty cheap. They are super nice and comfy socks with some pretty unique designs on them and they are really cool. I got some Warriors ones, a pair with Biggie Smalls on them, and a some that are based on the '92 dream team. So that was a fun little thing to buy. It's a long story, but we also found a foosball table that we put in our apartment to play at night before we go to sleep. So that has been an interesting addition. We have to set an alarm though to make sure we go still to bed on time. This P day we didn't really do much, just the usual grocery shopping. It's been nice to relax though because our past few P days have been pretty busy. This past week went really fast because of meetings and everything, we are just continuing to work with people. We have been able to find a lot of new people interested in listening to us, the biggest problem that we've had is that everyone is too busy to catch at a good time. People have to work a lot to get by in the Bay Area and especially in lower income areas. The Spanish community is really awesome though and they are all such friendly people. Our members always make sure that we are fed and make some pretty dang good food too. 

I feel like my testimony has grown a lot lately and I've also felt like my Spanish has really been coming along too. So things are going well personally and my companion is absolutely great. As missionaries, every Friday we do weekly planning where we plan out our entire upcoming week and it takes about 2 hours and sometimes 3. So, instead of just sitting in the apartment, we go to 7/11 to get drinks and then go drive up to the top of the mountain and do weekly planning up there to turn it into a fun part of the week instead of something long and boring sitting in the apartment. It's a great view from up there and its pretty relaxing. 

But anyways, things are going normally you could say. It hit 100 degrees this week though which I guess is record heat for the bay. We have a mission wide training meeting tomorrow morning for all the missionaries Spanish program tomorrow so that should be really good. The work is moving along and we have been working a lot on the ward members and in ward council. I've been able to learn a lot about how a ward functions as I've served which I'm sure will be of benefit in the future. There are so many things that you learn as a missionary that simply can't be learned from any college, school, institution, or company. My mission so far has taught me a lot about myself, others, the world, and the gospel. I'm really glad to be serving and there is nothing that I would rather be doing. There are things I miss of course, but I wouldn't trade any of it for serving a full time mission. I love the Lord and His hand becomes more evident every day. I hope everyone back home is doing well. Keep sending me emails, I love hearing from everyone. 

From, 
Elder Godwin










Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June 7, 2017

Dear family and friends,

The past few weeks has been good. I didn't have any time to email last week because we went down to Monterey to the aquarium. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't the best so we didn't go down onto the beach but we spent a lot of time at the Aquarium, which was really nice. A lot of members around the mission have season passes to it with free guest passes that they let the missionaries use, which is a nice hook up. When we went down there, we had to go pick up the passes from this members house that lives on pebble beach so that was super sweet. It's probably the most beautiful place that I've ever been. I was wondering how expensive some of those houses were that we were driving by because I'm sure it's insanely expensive. But it was a really cool experience to go down there and it would be a really great vacation spot for the future. 

Today for P day we hiked up Mission Peak which is a mountain in the southeast Bay Area close to where I am serving. I'm not a huge fan of hiking, but my companion and some other people wanted to go so we went. The view at the top was really awesome which I guess makes it worth it. We got up super early to go so it wouldn't be too hot and we wouldn't take up the whole day, so it wasn't too bad. 

So since we went to the aquarium, Elder Mosher and I were inspired to obtain a pet goldfish for our apartment. So we had interviews last week and asked president about it and he said that we could get one lol. So we went and got a little Goldfish and put it on the table between our desks which was a fun addition to the apartment. 

Overall, the work in this area has been moving along.  Unfortunately,




we had to push back the baptismal dates that we had because the family that we've been teaching isn't quite ready yet. They are an amazing family though and still really want to join the church and it's honestly been a miracle to work with them thus far. The people here in the Spanish community are awesome. Elder Mosher and I get along super well and have really enjoyed serving together in this area too. We are starting our 2nd transfer here and hopefully it goes well. Since we had to whitewash the area and start from scratch, it seems like the first transfer here we were setting up a bunch of dominos but now as this next transfer is starting a lot of things are falling into place and the ball is really getting rolling. So I'm excited and am looking forward to how things go, missionary work is a really cool experience and I love it.

Other than that I'm not sure what else to say, the Warriors are killing it though and it's really cool to be right here where all the madness is happening during the finals. Hopefully they win it all, I miss watching NBA playoffs a lot lol. But anyways, I love you guys and hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for the emails and letters, miss you guys.

From, 
Elder Godwin 

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017

Dear family and friends, 
It was a really good week and it went pretty fast. We've been teaching this family of 4 that we found and they committed to baptism just recently which is really exciting. They have 2 sons but one isn't old enough to get baptized yet, but we will still have 3 baptisms next month. Right now their dates are for the 4th and 11th of June because the father wants to get baptized and then get the priesthood so he can baptize his wife and oldest son the next week. So I'm really looking forward to that and they are an awesome family. It's been cool to work with them over the past month or so that I've been here in this area. We've been finding a lot of new people too and it seems to be a lot easier to find people on this side of San Jose than the other side. 

Yesterday night I actually went over to Los Altos in my old area for a fireside which was fun but it also felt kind of weird to go back to my old area. Every month in the mission there is a "Why I Believe" fireside in a different stake where they have a few people that were recently baptized speak and share their stories about their conversion. There are usually a few musical numbers too and President Mella speaks. So I went over there because my recent convert was speaking and I wanted to go hear her bear her testimony and tell her short story of finding the church. There were some other speakers with some really powerful testimonies and cool stories too so it was good experience. 

Earlier today we decided to drive up to this observatory up on Mount Hamilton and that was an interesting drive. The road winds a lot and you basically drive right on the edge of cliffs to get up so it's kind of trippy in a couple of places while you are driving. It's really pretty back in the mountains though and it was a fun to go up there because you can see it from almost any point in the city. I didn't realize how high above the city it was until we drove up the whole mountain, it's at 4,265 feet. And astronomy is one of my favorite things so it was cool to see a legit observatory for the first time. So it was a fun P-Day activity to go up there. Other than that, nothing else too noteworthy happened. We've just been working hard day to day. I've been pretty tired lately, but it's a good kind of tired. It's the kind of tired where you come home and feel satisfied with the day from finding and teaching people so it's been good. I hope everyone is doing well back home though, I miss you guys and hope to hear from you all soon!

From, 
Elder Godwin



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 2, 2017

Dear family and friends, 
This week was great, we've been finding a lot of new people and we also have an awesome family that we have been teaching that want to be baptized. The only thing is that they need to come to church but there are conflicts with work, people have to work a lot in order to get by in the Bay Area. But other than that I'm really excited because of how much potential they have. Elder Mosher and I are getting along really well so far and I'm glad that we have an opportunity to serve together. We've also been experiencing a lot of small miracles day to day. I think that we were both a little overwhelmed to some degree to whitewash and start from scratch in an area, but it's been amazing to see how involved the Lords hand has been in the work. 

I also got to go to the temple on Saturday which was great. The peace that you feel in the house of the Lord is really something that you can't find anywhere else. It was a good opportunity to go to a session and feel the spirit there. It was also a unique experience to go to a sealing of one of the families that Elder Mosher taught, it was a beautiful thing to see just how special it is to have an eternal family. It made me look forward to the day when I get to be sealed to my future wife and have my own eternal family. We went on a really clear day and the view was amazing too, you could see all of Oakland and the Bay Bridge to San Francisco and the Golden Gate. I made sure to get a couple of good pictures too. So that was a good experience to go up to the temple this week. 

Things are all going well out here though, I'm glad to hear that things are all fine back home. As of this week I'm at my 8 month mark, or 1/3 of the way done. It's weird to think about it that way and time is a strange thing. Happy birthday to Sammy too! I hope it will be a good week. But I miss you all and I'll keep you updated on how things are going out here. 

From, 
Elder Godwin 




Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 24, 2017

Hello, 
This week felt really long but not a ton happened. My new companion is Elder Mosher and we've been doing great thus far. But since we are white washing the area, we are just trying to get to know the area better. We've been getting to know a lot of the members this past week and visiting and getting familiar with our investigators too in order to find what their needs are. So we have been doing a lot of drop-bys and calling a lot of people to kind of figure things out. Saturday we did a lot of service and we helped set up and take down for the Lamb of God performance in downtown San Jose and got to sit and listen to it. They did it in this Cathedral which was really cool too. Other than that, nothing too exciting happened, we've just been running around trying to take care of the area the best we can so we can keep moving forward. This area is a lot different than my other one, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Just trying to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the ward and zone so we can adjust to what the needs are.

One thing that is a staple of missionary work is the invitations that we leave with people. It's the same basic things that even the primary kids learn and know, which is go to church, pray, and read the scriptures. We call it "CPR" for Church, Pray, and Read. So the idea is that just as CPR helps somebody stay physically alive, the "CPR" of Church, Prayer, and Reading is what keeps us spiritually alive. It seems so simple, but it's true. Those are the 3 most basic ways that we exercise our faith in Jesus Christ. And if we stop doing those things, our spiritual health slowly diminishes. But as we continue to do those things, our faith continues to grow and be strengthened. It's such a basic formula, but people see and experience miracles in their lives through those simple acts of faith as we invite them to follow the savior. But anyways, missionary work is awesome and things have been going pretty smoothly so far, hopefully we can have a lot of success here in the area as we keep working. 

From, 
Elder Godwin