Monday, December 12, 2016
Hello everyone, lots happened this week. First, there is this Baptist church in Santa Clara that turns their parking lot into a live nativity "Little Town of Bethlehem" with animals and towers and all this stuff. So we went over and helped them spread sand across their whole parking lot for service at the beginning of the week. It's a super cool set up. Then, I went to the Christmas Creche in Palo Alto 3 nights in a row. Once was with our recent convert, then the next two nights with 2 of our investigators. It was really awesome. And the Palo Alto church building has a pipe organ made by the same company as the conference center. They do concerts and things while the creche is going on, its really cool. I guess this guy in that ward tried out for the MOTAB organist and only got beat by the current one. So he was runner up and another elder and I talked with him for a little bit. Alex would have been better to converse with him about those things LOL.
we met with David A Bednar and that was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had. There are about 180 in our mission and we all met in the chapel. 180 sounds big but we didn't even fill it. It was so personalized and the spirit was so strong. We had an open dicussion with him and it was amazing. We talked about faith a lot. Elder Cook is also really cool. Elder Bednar is so funny and is such a cool guy haha. It was 4 hours and didn't even feel like it. I wish we could have just sat there to talk with him all day.
So me and my companion Elder Cabral were planning on attending the templemorning with a member who just got back from his mission, but then night he got a leadership role and had to go to a meeting F morning with some other people in our zone. So we went on this crazy exchange and I still went with our Philipino Elder, Elder Villanueva. And the guy we went with was from the Philipines too haha. So I ended up going to the temple with them and I might get to go again next week with the people who couldnt attend again. So I'm hoping for that LOL. We got there and it was super foggy, but it was beautiful. The fog barely cleared as we were leaving and the view is absolutely amazing. You can see all of Oakland to San Fransico, and see the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate in the distance. It's amazing! It was a great oportunity to go and feel the spirit there too.
Anyways, my trainer is getting transferred to a different area and I get a new trainer. So he will finish my training and I'll have to show him around the area. I guess that switching half way through training isnt very common. My companion that I've had has been really great and hopefully my new trainer is a good guy. I'll keep you posted, I look forward to the Christmas packages! Thank you to whoever sent me the Cubs shirt, it didnt say who it was from, but I love it. I also get my Ipad this week so I start using that. Love you guys
Monday, December 5, 2016
Hey everyone! this week has been good. It went by super quickly though. We have a really big week coming up so I'm excited. So we got news that we are having a mission wide meeting with Elder Bednar and one of the seventies on the 10th. Super Exciting! We are going to the Christmas Creche in Palo Alto with our recent convert Jorge and going with an investigator from Columbia. I hear it's one of the best things in the mission. They turn the entire Palo Alto church building into displays for nativity scenes from different cultures. We were also just informed by President Mella that we can attend a temple session this week! Usually we attend it the week after general conference, but the Oakland temple has been under construction, so nobody was able to go. So this week everybody gets to make it up since they missed it and I get to go. So it's an extra temple trip for me :). I'll make sure to get pictures of everything. This week will be great.
I'm excited to Skype everyone on Christmas, that will be really cool. I also look forward to getting everybody's Christmas packages to me haha. I appreciate all of the love. This last week I bought a few pies and cider. It's the best. The holidays are awesome, but it doesn't quite feel right when its always 50 degrees LOL. Anyways, I'm glad to hear that everything is going well and I miss you guys. Love you all.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
So this week was alright. Kind of weird because of the holidays though. Thanksgiving was awesome, but I wish I had more pie haha. I discovered that I only live about a half mile from Apple HQ so that was pretty cool. It's barely outside of my area. I had my first interview with President Mella and that went well, he's super awesome. We've been starting to share this years Christmas message with everyone and its been going really well. Its called "Light the World" and its a really good video. You can go on LDS.org to watch it, and there is also a calendar for 25 days of service throughout December that you can do as a family. It's really awesome and you guys should do it if you can. It will definitely help you come closer to Christ and is a good thing to do this time of year.
So my P-day (or half of one) yesterday was really good, we helped set up this thing they do each year at the church building in Palo Alto where they turn the whole building into nativity displays with different ones from a bunch of different cultures. I'll get to go to it when they open it up to the public. On the way there, there was a footlocker on the way so of course I stopped by and checked it out. I sat in there and talked to the guy about shoes for a few minutes and it reminded me of back home. Anybody who has ever been to Foot Locker with me would understand haha. It was this black guy, and I dont think that he expected this white guy in missionary attire to come in and start talking about Space Jam 11s LOL. So that was fun. Also on the way to the church we passed a McLaren dealership which was insane. I didn't even know they had those here. And when you drive around Mountain View during the day you pass by a bunch of the new Google self driving cars because they take them out for testing. Its kind of trippy LOL. Anyways, glad to hear everyone had a good thanksgiving. I miss you guys.
Monday, November 21, 2016
I didn't take any pictures this week, but I'm glad you saw the ones from Zone Conference. I thought it was going to be long and boring because it went from like 10 to 5 but it was actually awesome! It was really uplifting and didn't even feel that long. I got the package you guys sent when I went there, thanks for the little stuff you got me, it made me happy haha. Apparently in December, we are having a meeting where 2 general authorities will be there. So I'm super pumped for that. I'm having Thanksgiving at a members house, so that will be good. We had our ward Thanksgiving party on Saturday, which was good. They had all good Thanksgiving food with sprinkles of Mexican stuff like chips and salsa too which was cool. This past week I did some very stereotypical Spanish Elder service and helped this one person we know hang up a bunch of pinatas in her store LOL. It was a little different than our usual services LOL. Usually, we do service from about 10:30-12:30 and do different things depending on the day. We go to this farm and do things there on Thursdays, we go to this soup kitchen and feed homeless like twice a week, and we do some other stuff along those lines like donation centers and stuff too here and there. As far as Christmas ideas go, the only big thing I would want would be a pair of shoes but I'm not sure how we would coordinate that LOL. Tell Hyrum to tell me about new releases and I'll think about things some more. You can send me a package with whatever little stocking stuffer things and I'm pretty sure you said you are already doing that.
Anyways, this week was pretty good, it went fast and zone conference was awesome too. The holiday season will be great and I look forward to that and the opportunities that come along with it. I love you guys and it sounds like things are going well. Have a good Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 14, 2016
Hello Brother and Sister Godwin
I just wanted to say thank you for raising such a great missionary! I'm Elder Cabral I've been called to serve as Elder Godwin's Trainer for at least the next 6 weeks, even though sometimes it feels like he is training me haha. I have had the great pleasure of serving with and getting to know Elder Godwin, he is a wonderful missionary with a burning testimony, he is always striving to learn and teach as much as possible and the Lord has definitely blessed him for his diligence. He has picked up the language extremely quickly. You have done a great job raising an amazing missionary, and I am lucky to be able to serve with him.
So things here have been going well. The other day I went to Los Altos Hills which is a super nice area. I wondered how much some of the houses cost when I passed them. In the Spanish program, we get a bunch of good Mexican food, every family has one of those bowls with fresh tortillas in the middle of the kitchen table for each meal. Everyone in San Jose drives Teslas which are pretty nice cars. I see them as often as you see an F150 in Edmond lol. Not a ton of trucks out here though. Different cultures are funny. Our church building is really nice and half of it is basically outside. All the classrooms doors open up to this courtyard which is super cool. I'll try to get a picture of it this week. Also, at the end of church this lady in our ward (who I'm guessing owns a Panera or is a manager there) brings a bunch of the bread and stuff into the kitchen and every family takes home a couple things. So I copped a whole loaf of tomato basil, which I've been using for my sandwiches. I also ordered a shirt back at the MTC store that came to me this week. I'll send a picture of it. And I'll send one of my first shopping trip from last week haha.
It's really been a week of just getting adjusted, I've been doing training stuff and I'll be in training for 2 transfers. I've been trying to practice Spanish and this past week I went up during sacrament meeting to introduce myself and bear my testimony. It went pretty well. I have a lot of good members in my ward. I listened to a talk in the car while we were driving back from Los Altos Hills called "Profile of a Prophet" by Hugh B Brown and it was really powerful. One of my new favorites. Also, the member I'm staying with made Deseret News this past week and there is an article about him that I'll send you the link to. Anyways, I hope that everyone is doing well and I love hearing from you guys.
Monday, November 7, 2016
So the first week out here has been pretty cool. My mission president is awesome. My trainer is Elder Cabral. The first night I stayed with the APs in their apartment and then met my trainer the next day and moved in. We live with a member downstairs in his house and it's pretty nice. I took a few pictures but I forgot my cord to connect my camera to the computer so I can't send them. I get my Ipad after my first transfer which is 5 weeks from now. Once I get that, I'll be able to email and send pics/videos from there. Right now even to check my email I have to go to the church building to use a computer. Once I get my Ipad I'll be able to check it every night. It's awesome that the Cubs won tho, I was wondering who won and then I saw a guy in the street wearing full Cubs gear so that is how I knew LOL.
So Spanish speaking Elders here get stake boundaries for their area instead of wards like the English Elders. The ward I attend is the El Camino Ward and everyone is really cool. It's a Spanish ward but like 75% are bilingual. I cover Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View. Santa Clara is where the 49ers play, I live in Sunnyvale which is mostly residential, and Mountain View is really cool. The day I went over to Mountain View, I passed Google HQ, a big Microsoft building, and a giant NASA testing center. It was pretty awesome and dad would have really liked it. There are a lot of apartments in my area and the rent here is really high so people work all the time. I went grocery shopping at Target earlier which was nice. The Target in Sunnyvale is weird, you park underneath it and there are escalators that go up. And there's an escalator just for carts. And they make you pay for bags when you check out LOL. So there's that.
Anyways, it's nice here and I like it so far. Send packages and letters to:
Elder Brigham Godwin
3975 McLaughlin Ave Ste A
San Jose CA 95121-2631
San Jose CA 95121-2631
It's the mission office. Which is separate from the mission home. Oh and the music guidelines just go by the white handbook. So you guys should send me the Minecraft soundtrack LOL. I can listen to that. Anyways, I love you guys and I miss you and will keep you updated on everything. And I'll send pictures next time. Love you guys!
Friday, November 4, 2016
We are thrilled to report that Elder Godwin arrived safely in his mission day before yesterday here in San Jose, California. We picked him up at the airport, and he was able to do some missionary work right away. He ate dinner at the mission home, and had an interview with me. The next morning, after orientation at the mission office, all of the missionaries met their new companions and went back to their areas. Elder Godwin will be serving with Elder Cabral in the Los Altos area.
You should expect to hear from your missionary on his next Preparation day, which will be. Thank you for your prayers and support, and for sharing Elder Godwin with us here in the wonderful California San Jose Mission.
Also, I encourage you to join the "California San Jose Mission Moms" Facebook page, where we often post pictures and missionary updates.
Glen D. Mella
President, California San Jose Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
So I just got back from devotional and got to hear from Russell M Nelson. The Choir sang Praise to the Man which was his request and it was awesome. Can't think of a better way to close out my MTC experience than that. It was definitely a blessing that I got to stay an extra day here to go to that devotional. The primary thing that he talked about was becoming a living epistle of the Lord as we serve. It was amazing and I'll definitely remember that experience forever.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Hello everyone, I get to send an email today because I leave early tomorrow which is usually my P-day and I also don't know when my P-day will be when I get there. So this will be my weekly email and my last email at the MTC. It was a good experience to be here, but I'm still really happy to get out of here LOL. I'm really excited to get to California and see what it's like there. I had in-field training this last week, which was long and drawn out and full of a lot of very basic, common sense things. I did learn a couple of things but the majority of it was rather boring to be honest LOL. I am the last remaining Elder in my district today and have been on exchanges with people in my zone all day. The thing that I will miss the most here are the friends that I've made. It was sad to say goodbye to people that I became close to while I was here and some of them will be lifelong friends. It doesn't seem like that long of a time to be able to develop those kinds of friendships, but just imagine being with a specific person or group of people for literally 24 hours every day for a month straight LOL. But, luckily I got along with everyone really well and things have been great.
Nothing too new has happened since this was my last week here, so I just want to briefly share my testimony with whoever may be reading this. Since I've been here in the MTC, I've had the opportunity to feel the spirit consistently. It's really an amazing thing. I want to bear my testimony that I know that this gospel is true and was restored to the earth by a true prophet and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Every time I read out of it, it uplifts me and helps me come closer to Christ. I personally love 3 Nephi 11 when Christ came to the Americas and Moroni 10 when Moroni bears his testimony and challenges us to find out the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon for ourselves. Every time I read those passages of scripture, I'm pretty sure that it's impossible to not feel the spirit. I know that this work that I'm doing will bring happiness to a lot of people who are searching for it. I know that the Atonement has been the greatest gift given to mankind throughout all of eternity. I know that our Savior lives and that he loves and cares about each of us unconditionally. I look forward to the opportunity that I have to share the gospel, and I say those things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I love you all and also want to say thank you for all of the love and support that I've received. I hope that everyone is doing well and I look forward to hearing from you and knowing what's been going on back home. I'll be sure to tell you all about my first week in the field when I get the chance. I may get to send another email once I get there just to let everyone know, but I'm not sure how things will work out. So until then, I love you all and miss you guys.
- Elder Godwin
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
This week has gone fast, I got my travel plans on Friday and I'll be reporting to the travel office at 6:20 Wednesday morning. Flight leaves Salt Lake City at like 11:00 and lands at like 12:15. So a week from now I'll be in San Jose. Pretty exciting but it's also kind of overwhelming haha. Apparently I can send videos once in a while, which is pretty sick. So I recorded one and just sent it. I talked to my branch presidency and they said that we can send short videos every once in a while as long as they aren't super long on P-days.
But yeah, nothing too new this week, just learning Spanish all the time but there's only so much you can learn without talking to native speakers. Happy birthday to Hyrum, Thinking about how he's 17 is a little uncomfortable lol. He's still like 15 in my mind but I guess he gets older too haha. Thanks for all of the letters and mail from everyone, I appreciated it and love hearing from you all. Thanks a ton Andee and Chan for getting me new scriptures, I really needed some and I'll be able to use those through the whole mish. I'll let you guys know what my mission prez says about music standards and everything once I know, I've been missing music a ton lol.
Really nothing too new happening this week, but I will be leaving on my P-day in the morning next week and don't know when my P-day will be in the field so I do not know for sure when the next time I'll email you will be. I'll probably be able to email my family once I get to the mission home but I don’t know how it all works. But I'll have a ton more info and new once I get to the field. Everything is going well and I feel like I'm forgetting to say something but if I remember it then I'll send whatever that was. Or it may be nothing at all and I just had a regular old week, I'm not sure. But I love you all and miss you, hope everything is going well. The addition to the back patio looks sick and I'm quite jealous lol.
Love you all,
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
So I talked to the travel office and my departure date from the MTC is scheduled for November 2nd. I should be getting my flight plans on Friday which is exciting. Also overwhelming, but I know that it will be awesome. Spanish is going well, I'm still just learning more every day. I taught an investigator yesterday completely in Spanish which was awesome. I only didn't know a couple words but then I just turn to my one of my comps and ask if he knows the word and one of them usually does so we can keep going. It's like we all know words that the others don't so with our combined knowledge we rarely have to look up a word. And we all learn from each other at the same time which is cool.
This is a little random but our district was talking about which scripture we chose for our plaques at our church buildings and I don't know if the bishop got another one for me yet, or if he just used the same scripture I had before. If he did, that's fine, but if not and he's getting a new one I would want to change the scripture to Matthew 10:39. So there's that.
So I have a goal to lose weight / get in better shape but I've kind of given up on it here because there is too much food and candy everywhere lol. Every time someone gets a package full of stuff they share and so we have a surplus of junk food in all of our dorms. There are vending machines right by our rooms and we get a certain amount of money on our cards for every week for them, and we don't get to choose what we eat each meal so that's all kind of amounted to me postponing my beginning towards that goal haha. In the field I'll be able to shop and plan my meals out so I'm just waiting until then to start.
One thing that I was worried about when I got here was whether or not I would be with good people that I could be friends with and it turns out that my entire zone here is really cool for the most part. There are a ton of zones here and when I look at the other districts I'm glad I'm in the one that I am. There are just a lot of boys here but not a lot of young men if that makes sense. All of the more mature people are in my zone which is awesome. There are always a few exceptions, but I've been really blessed to be surrounded by the people that I am.
I've also discovered the beauty of laundry, It's like my favorite thing now. Sorry Mom for not discovering this sooner lol. I love feeling nice and clean and so it makes me happy to clean all of my clothes and feel fresh. Anyways, this week has been pretty good and I"ll let everyone know if anything new happens. I hope everyone is doing well, love you all.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
My week was pretty good, Sundays are super great and we get to go on a Temple walk for like an hour and a half before dinner which is awesome. My companions are awesome (I haven't gotten a good picture with them yet) but my district is really cool too. There's this other district in a class next to us that we hang out with a lot. Spanish is going really well and I've already caught up with my companions, but sometimes I'll accidentally use a Portuguese word in class and then my instructor is like "That's not a word" and the Elder Deniz from Brazil is like "Wait, that's not a word?" and then we both just kind of hang our heads and are like"..its a word" under our breaths lol. It's a really similar language and sometimes my instructors will pair me up with him to work on pronunciation and accents which is nice to have somebody to work with on that. But usually I work with my comps and learn a bunch of grammar the whole time which is really helpful too.
On Monday we had time after dinner so when we were waiting before our instructor got there we went on google maps street view just for fun to look at areas in our missions. It then occurred to me that Google maps updated and when I was working for A+ I once passed the google car at May and 30th by Taft stadium and so I went there and sure enough there I was driving my truck lol. So I took a picture of it and sent it to you. Cuz I'm on google maps and that makes me cool.
We have devotionals on Tuesday nights, and yesterday they had David A. Bednar speak to us. It was amazing, I was like 10 rows back. He talked about general conference and how to learn by the spirit as we continue to study and dig deeper into their messages. I took a ton of notes, and got a lot from it but I don't have them with me so I'll send some of my favorite things from what he said in a different email when I get those.
Anyways, I'm doing pretty well and I miss you all. I really look forward to getting to the field and telling you about it, I'm sure it will be awesome. I also don't like being stuck in a box most of the day lol. Thanks for all of the DearElder letters, I've gotten all of them as far as I know. Oh yeah, and thanks for the package of goodies but I got it after dinner on Saturday night right after I started my fast lol. So that was a struggle having Kit-Kats and things in my room until I finished fasting lol. But overall things have been going well and I'm happy to be here. Love you all.