Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27, 2017

Hello everybody,
So I just got up from a much needed 2 hour nap, but this week was
awesome. Our new investigator who was going to be baptized in May
talked to us and wants to move her date up to April 16th on Easter
which is really cool! That's also during this transfer so I'll still
be here and it will be my first baptism. She decided that she doesn't
want to wait that long, she is really awesome and super open to
learning about the gospel. Her name is Elva and she moved here to
California from Peru a while ago and I can tell that she is definitely
ready to have the gospel in her life. I'm sure that the Lord has
prepared her to hear it and she absolutely loves the church. I
actually went and watched a little bit of the women's session of
General Conference Saturday at the church for the first time in my
life because we met her there so she could watch it with the other
ward members. So that's what's going on with one of our investigators.

We had Zone Conference in Menlo Park all day Wednesday and that was
good too. We go over numbers, have some training, and also get to hear
a lot from President and Sister Mella. They always provide lunch for
us too half way through which is always really good. Traffic also
wasn't as bad as it was coming back this time so that was nice.

I'm also really looking forward to general conference this weekend, it
will be great. It's always a really good time to feel the spirit and
get a lot of personal revelation and answers to prayers. We are so
blessed to have a living prophet today and it's a great testimony that
the Lord is truly at the head of this church. It's been awesome to be
a part of the work up to this point, I'm at about my 6 month mark now
and it's gone pretty fast. A lot has happened and I've learned a lot
so far. We also get to go up to the temple in Oakland the week after
General Conference so I'm also really excited to go up there. So
there's a lot to look forward to over the next few weeks.

Things are going really well though and these next couple of weeks
should be great. These will probably be my last weeks in this area so
it will be a good way to close out I suppose. But everything is good
out here in Cali, the weather has cleared up a lot and it stays
lighter out for much longer which has been nice. We are just running
around and finding and teaching people as usual. I hope everyone back
home is doing good, I love you guys.

- Elder Godwin

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017

So this week was solid. We got a referral from the Elders in San Jose
and met her on Sunday and she has a baptismal date. It'll be in May
though, so until then we have a great investigator to teach. She is
from Peru and loves the church. This is probably my last 4 weeks in
this area though unless president has me stay here for longer for some
reason. But since I'll be teaching her this transfer, if she gets
baptized in May then I can come back to the area to be there for it.
Basically there is a rule that if you leave an area and somebody you
taught gets baptized that transfer when you leave, you are able to go
back for it because you taught them. So anyways, I look forward to
working with her and seeing her progress. Missionary work is awesome.
We also did some service for one of our members again and he made us
some more barbecue. It was really good and I had some grilled
jalapeƱos with it too.

We also had a special meeting in the mission office on Wednesday for
the Spanish program. We got some training that will help us find more
new investigators and teach them more effectively. The Spanish culture
here is really awesome and I'm glad that I've been able to learn the
language and get to know and love the people. Zone Conference is this
week in Menlo Park so that should be a good meeting too. Only last
time we had Zone Conference there it took like an hour and a half to
get home because of traffic. So hopefully that won't happen again.

Other than that, this week has been pretty normal and nothing too
crazy has happened. General Conference is coming up soon though and
I'll get to go to the temple in 2 weeks! I'm really looking forward to
that. But anyways, I love and miss you all and I'm happy to hear that
everyone is doing alright.

Elder Godwin

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6, 2017

So I'm staying in my same area in the Los Altos zone with Elder Larsen for another transfer which is exciting. I like this area a lot and the ward has been fun to serve in. On Saturday we did some service for one of our members and brought the Woodland Park Elders along with us and we did a bunch of yard work and then he did some Mexican Barbecue for us for lunch and it was amazing. We also each ate a grilled habanero and the English Elders basically died. It was still super hot and painful but I've started to build up somewhat of a tolerance for spicy things thus far. 

We also have temporarily moved in with the other Elders for about a week because we discovered bed bugs in the members house that we are staying with which is no bueno. President gave us permission to stay somewhere else until it gets taken care of because nobody wants to stay somewhere with those. But hopefully it all gets resolved by the end of this week so we can go back over there.

My companion and I gave 3 blessings this week which was random but also really awesome. All were in Spanish and it was a good opportunity to practice the language. It was a good confidence booster to see that they were each able to feel the spirit and hear the things that they needed to although I am not the perfect Spanish speaker. It was a really great experience to witness the gift of tongues in action. When Elder Bednar came and spoke to us, one of the first things that he talked about were spiritual gifts. He said that if you want to have a certain spiritual gift, you will never get it out of your own personal desire. Spiritual gifts are always used to bless others, and the Lord will help you develop that gift as you go and use it to serve. I've found that is definitely true, and improvement on my language study has always been more successful when I find that I am studying for somebody else instead of myself. For example, studying how to teach an investigator about The Plan of Salvation in Spanish has helped me remember vocabulary and phrases a lot better because I need to learn it in order to help whoever I'm teaching come closer to Christ. And the Lord will bless you in those moments and have the spirit bring those things to your remembrance (as He promises in D+C 100:5-6) because in that moment of teaching them or giving a blessing it's not your message to them, it's His. And it's been a really cool experience to witness that. 

Other than that, not a whole lot happened this week. We had a handful of lessons and are chugging along in the work. We have a fresh transfer in front of us and have a lot of goals of things to accomplish by the end of it. The end of next transfer will be my 6 month mark of being in the field which is crazy to think for me because it's been going by pretty fast. I've had a lot of good experiences and I'm sure that there's a lot more in store. I've also learned pretty quickly that you never get the time back and that you have to remember to make the most of it. But I miss and hope to hear from you all. I'm doing pretty good out here and hope that everything is going well from everyone else too. Love you guys! 

-Elder Godwin 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February 28, 2017

Hello everyone,
This week went pretty well. We picked up a couple of potential investigators playing basketball which was awesome. There was a group of young guys playing at the church and they saw us and invited us to come play so we said sure because our appointment at the time cancelled. So we played against them in our missionary attire and it was pretty fun. It was weird to play in a white shirt and tie but it wasn't too bad actually. One of them was a member and 6 were non members and we invited them to come to church and they said that they would like to sometime with their member friend. They were all either seniors in high school or in their first year of college and were all Spanish too. So we are going to see how interested any of them are about being taught and see how it goes. But it was probably the best finding activity that I've done for investigators so far and it was super random lol. 

We also got another new investigator that we've been teaching and helping who moved here from Mexico not long ago. She is very open and has been able to recognize the spirit really well when we've taught. It's a really awesome thing to be able to see somebody feel and recognize the spirit for the first time in their lives through the message that we share. It's a good testimony to me that what we share is true and that there is something really special about being called to serve as a full time missionary. The Lord really allows the spirit to work through us and touch people's hearts in ways that sometimes we aren't even aware of. 

Transfer calls are later this week and there is a possibility that I could move onto my second area. Usually in our mission, a missionary has a companion for 2 transfers and is in an area for 4. But I've been with my current companion for 2 transfers and have been in the area for 3 because I only had my first companion for a transfer. So there's a chance that I could leave but also a solid chance that I'll just stay for another. Leadership calls go out on Thursday night and transfer calls go out on Saturday night. So maybe I'll have some news this next week, maybe not. Transfer weeks are usually crazy and nobody actually knows where anybody will go and it's almost impossible to guess. 

Overall things are going really well, it's crazy that I've already been with Elder Larsen for 2 transfers. We get along really well though so things have been good. Time goes really fast and I've realized that you never get any of that time back. But I'm excited to see what happens this week and have a lot to look forward to as we keep working. 

-Elder Godwin