I am serving the Lord as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the Nevada Reno Mission. Follow my blog as I set out on the greatest adventure I could possibly experience at this time in my life!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas is Coming!

Hello family!
Wow, another week has gone by! It's getting closer to Christmas!! Yay!
This week we had I--'s baptism and confirmation. The spirit is so strong at baptisms, it helps me to know that I am doing what's right and and following my Savior. I am so grateful to have been able to help I-- along that path to enter the gate of baptism and be one step closer to returning to live with Heavenly Father, Christ, and her family forever!

On Sunday Sister G------ and I were late getting into class after sacrament meeting because we had some people we needed to talk to. Brother B--- (our ward mission leader) told us later that I-- asked to bear her testimony in class. She told everyone that she had been searching and going to other churches, but always felt like something was missing, but here after being baptized and confirmed she feels that she has found what she was looking for! I know that is because we have the GOSPEL restored and in its FULLNESS. We are a part of the same church that Christ organized when He was on the earth. Just think about that, how amazing is that to know that the priesthood power that Christ has to teach and to heal and to perform all the miracles he did, is the same priesthood power on the earth today!?! I've known that all my life, and yet the thought of it still amazes me and reminds me of how blessed I am!

I love you all! Have a great week!
Love,
Sister Goodwin

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Aren't People Just Amazing!

Hello family!

This week was great! We had our last couple of lessons with I--, she had her baptismal interview and is ready to go for the baptism on Saturday!! We are so excited for her and she is getting really excited. It is so great to see the change that has occurred in her life and in her brother's family- they are LDS and I-- is living with them right now. I am not sure how active her brother was before we came to Carson, but he is now and will be the one to baptize her!

We ran into an interesting lady this week while trying to find a less-active. The lady invited us into her apartment and told us about experiences that she's had of seeing visions, and how Christ is a big part of her life. She is also really caring about other people. She told us we could come back and visit with her again, so she is a potential right now. It's funny how you will see someone and picture them being a member of the church and how happy their lives can be. That is what I saw her when we were talking with her and I really hope she will be open about hearing the gospel, because it will make her life better than it is right now.

We also had a good visit with S-----, I can't remember what I've mentioned about her, she is less-active. We don't even have her records in the ward. But we went over yesterday and talked about hope, because part of her family won't talk to her or really have anything to do with her right now (her grown-up daughters) and her family means everything to her. It makes me so sad and I just want to be able to fix everything for her, but I can't. I think she is going through this right now so that she can re-grow her testimony in the gospel and not rely so much on it being centered around her family. She hasn't read the Book of Mormon for a couple years so we left a copy with her (hers is packed away somewhere still) and a chapter in Moroni to read. She said she would and I could just feel her willingness to learning about the gospel again. I really think she is ready to gain that testimony again. I'm not sure how long it will take but I am so excited to see her progress.

Aren't people just amazing! I am so privileged to be a part of these people's lives and the lives of others here in Carson. Here in Nevada! I know that the Lord is watching out for me each day and is giving me strength. I have to remind myself sometimes of how much I have felt the Lord's hand in my life these 4 months so far that I've been on my mission! I am so grateful and so honored to be a personal representative of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. I wear His name because I am doing His work. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of my Savior. I know that He lived and died for each and every one of us! And that is birth is the most important thing we should remember during the Christmas season and also throughout the year.
I love you all! Thanks for your support! Have a great week!!!

Love,
Sister Goodwin

Monday, December 3, 2012

Remember Christ Everyday


 Change the "his" to "her" and it's perfect for Lori
 Lori in the church parking lot...in the pouring rain
Decorating the Zone Leaders car as a prank on P-Day
 Ward Christmas Party

Hello family!!
Can you believe it is December already!! Crazy! We got a ton of rain this last weekend which is very abnormal for Nevada! The church parking lot looked like a swimming pool!
So this week I had a new experience- we went to visit a less active member, and well he wouldn't shake our hands, he cussed us out, and threw us off of his property. Yes, very welcoming as you can see. The rest of the week was better than that! We had 2 lessons with I---, we have taught her pretty much everything and are now preparing for her baptism on the 15th! Yay!

We should have had a lesson with G---- yesterday, but she was with her grandma and her parents didn't know when she would be back. So, we visited with her parents- they really like having missionaries over, but I don't think they would admit it to us. So we shared with them the Christmas story out of the Book of Mormon. If you didn't know it was in there, read 1 Nephi 11.
And we have a new investigator!! Yay! Her name is P----, she is a friend of one of the families in our ward. We went to her apartment and watched the Christmas devotional. We asked her what she thought of it and she mentioned a few things that stuck out to her- about being willing to not only give but to receive also and I can't remember at the moment what else she said. Then we talked about how we can be together with our families forever, and how baptism washes away all our sins, even at her age (in her 60s probably) and she just had a look of such relief on her face when we told her that. And she told us herself that she thinks she is ready to listen! GOLDEN!! I am so excited to get to know her better and teach her the gospel! I am just amazed, my testimony is strengthened as I share with others the things that I have known all my life, that I have taken for granted.

I know that the gospel that I have to share with others is THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! He is the center of everything that we teach, we would have no hope if it were not for his atoning sacrifice! I am so grateful for this Christmas season that we can remember the birth of our Savior even more and feel the "Christmas spirit." Remember the TRUE meaning of Christmas- remember Christ everyday, for the miracle He is for each and every one of us.
I love you all! Thank you for the support you are to me! Have a great week!
Love,
Sister Goodwin

Monday, November 26, 2012

What is Your Treasure?

Hello family! Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday. As missionaries we don't proselyte on Thanksgiving so the whole zone got together and played ultimate frisbee! SWEET! I had so much fun, but I was so sore afterwards. I haven't done much running in a while since my companion's foot is still healing. Since technically we aren't supposed to keep score we ended the game at a tie. It was Senior companions vs junior companions :)

With the new transfer we now have a total of 8 sister missionaries in our zone. And there were 6 of us at our Thanksgiving dinner. We ate with the some great families! I wasn't able to eat very much due to some stomach problems I've been having, but everyone else ate plenty :)

This week we did a lot of contacting less actives again, it breaks my heart every time we talk to another person who had the gospel and has turned away from it. They had the truth, but let other things get in the way of continuing on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life! "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" - Matt 6:21
I read this scripture this week and it reminded me that if God is our treasure, if Christ and His atonement are our treasure, then it doesn't matter if others offend us, if we don't get along with everyone who is at church. We will still feel the love that they have for us and for those around us and we will feel the need to be at church every Sunday, to partake of the sacrament to renew the covenants we have made. I hope that everyone who reads this will re-evaluate what it is YOUR treasure above all else. Putting our faith in Christ will set our hearts to where they should be and bring us the Joy and happiness in life that we all want.

I am so Thankful for the gospel in my life, that I have the knowledge that if I have faith in Christ and repent, and if my heart is turned to Him, I can and will always be happy. I know that is the same for each of us.
I love you all so much! Thank you for being the support that you are to me!

LOVE,
Sister Goodwin

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!



Hello family!

I hope everyone had a great week! All our snow has melted now, but it rained pretty hard on Saturday. We found out transfers as well, Sister G------and I are staying in Carson! There is still work here for us to do. I hope everyone is excited for Thanksgiving! Eat some turkey for me :)
This week our area had the opportunity to participate in a mini mission! Sister G------ and I each had a companion from Gardnerville. Both girls were 17 and seniors in high school. Boy did they see what missionary life is really like! We split up for part of the day, unfortunately the lesson Sister F------- and I had cancelled on us. But we did set up an appointment with a couple former investigators! We visited an inactive lady who gave us a million ideas on how to do a Christmas fireside! (Which we will be implementing for next month)

All four of us went to teach I---, and set her for baptism!! Sweet!!!! That will be happening the middle of December!


Most of the week prior we were doing a lot of finding/ attempting to find more people who are ready for the gospel. They are here, and we will find them! But, for now we are going through the trial of our faith. Proving to the Lord that He can trust us with the teaching of His children. It's hard work, but it is worth it! 



We went to a baptism of an 8 year old girl yesterday. The spirit was so strong, and it helped to strengthen my faith to see the decision she has made willingly. It is so important for each of us to strive to follow Christ in all that we do. Without Him there would be no purpose for our lives here on earth!

I love you all! Thanks for your support! Have a great week!

Love,
Sister Goodwin

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SNOW?

 It's getting COLD!  Lori cleaning snow off their car.
 A guy in Lori's ward made these Pinewood Derby Cars! Holy Cow!
Pinewood Derby Hot Dog Car

Hello family!! 
 
This week was great! We got a few inches of snow, which has made things a bit exciting :) On Saturday we went to clean the church in the morning and the roads were icy and the snow was coming down hard. Don't worry I drove slow and we got there safely.  
 
We hadn't been able to get a hold of M------- for a while, and we finally caught her at home. She has decided to go to a rehab facility for the next month because she really wants to stop drinking. So we encouraged her and shared scriptures about how Christ will help us through our struggles and trials. We helped her recognize the Holy Ghost's presence so that she will be able to continue to recognize his influence in her life! She told us she would come to church on Sunday and we set up a ride for her, but she wasn't feeling well and didn't end up coming, sadly. 
 
We had lunch one day with an inactive member, J----. She hasn't gone to church since she was about 8 and doesn't really know much about the church. So we talked about the Doctrine of Christ and the Book of Mormon. We invited her to start reading, and I am excited to see her faith grow! 
 
We met with S-----, who is a recent convert, she has some things she is struggling with right now. And, she just wants to know everything, there is so much to know about the gospel that I just take for granted having grown up in the church. So, we are working on getting the new member lessons going with her, so that she can grow in her knowledge. And, on Sunday she brought her husband and daughter with her! They are both non-members and the husband always leaves when we come over.  But, he says he will probably join one day. So we need to figure out what is stopping him from learning right now! But, maybe it just isn't his time quite yet. 
 
Ahh! I wish I could tell you all the wonderful experiences I've had this week. I have seen the Lord guide me to where I needed to be at the right time!
I love this gospel! I love seeing how it has blessed the lives of those around me, and for the opportunity I have to meet so many wonderful people here in Nevada! I know the Lord is watching over me and helping me to do His work!
Thank you for your support and prayers!
 
Love,
Sister Goodwin

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hello family!

Another week has gone by already! Can you believe it? This week was a bit slow for us. We don't have very many people to teach right now so our focus is on finding. It's really hard to talk to strangers.... We had Zone Conference this week. We had our cars inspected at 8 am and then we listened to President and Sister Hermansen and some of our other leaders. We also found out that the mission was supposed to be up to 190 by December and now they've changed it to 250 missionaries by February! That means there will be more that one set of missionaries for some of the wards! And that means the rest of us right now really need to kick it into gear! The focus of the conference was also on finding. The people are here... somewhere :)
This week we had another lesson with G-----. The biggest struggle is getting her to come to church, it's hard when her parents do other things on Sunday. So we're still working on that, but she is saying her prayers and reading the Book of Mormon, which I find very impressive for an 8 year old who doesn't really have the support of her parents.

We do have a few new investigators, D---- and K----- we met them out contacting in their apartment complex. K----- has studied with LDS missionaries before, so we will see how this goes. Also another lady, I--, she is living with her brother and sister-in-law who are in our ward. She has some interesting ideas about Christ and how Christ works in her life. But, she is open and willing to learn, and as far as we know she wants to join the church!
So we do have some potential here in Carson. We are still getting to know the ward as well, we've been giving out mormon.org cards and encouraging them to give them to their friends. Please help the missionaries in your areas by giving them referrals, that is the best way for missionaries to find people who are prepared to hear about the gospel!

Some people we've tried talking to on the streets want nothing to do with us, not even to listen at all, and that just breaks my heart, what we have to share is more important than anything they would be doing! I look at the examples of Alma and the sons of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon, the courage they had to proclaim the gospel without fear! That is my goal, to be able to talk to anyone and everyone about the significance of the restoration and how blessed we are for it! I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I know that Joseph Smith restored the same church that Christ established when He was on the earth! I know that each of us can come to that knowledge for ourselves through studying the Book of Mormon and sincerely praying to Heavenly Father to know for ourselves that it is true, and this is His restored church on the earth today! I have come to know that for myself and I can't deny it! I love this gospel!

Have a great week!
Love,
Sister Goodwin     

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hello family!

Happy almost Halloween!
And happy birthday to Kayla today! And Lily later this week!
This week has been a bit rough for me with appointments falling through and people not being home to contact! And it has been pretty cold this week! It's warming up now, but I decided that I like the cold weather better when I am not in a skirt 24/7! Oh well, life goes on :)

The highlight for the week is that we have a new investigator! Her name is M-----, and she has a drinking problem. The Spanish-speaking sisters met her and she wants to turn her life around so we are teaching her now! M----- was given a word of wisdom pamphlet to read and she just thought it was the most enlightening thing she has ever read. When we went by to visit her she has underlined the parts she liked in the pamphlet and had questions. So we went through Doctrine and Covenants 89 on the word of wisdom, what we should and should not take into our bodies. Also when we met with her she had been sober for a week! I think she is ready to learn and accept the gospel. She is also excited to have us as her "new friends" and I think that helping her get to know people in the ward with be a great benefit to her.
 P-Day Hike
 Great Jump Lori! Lori with other missionaries on their hike
 Lori and her companion. Aren't they cute?
Made it to the waterfall


A struggle this week was meeting with a lady who was once a member but isn't anymore, she joined the church because she was in a small town where the population was mostly LDS. And I felt so sad for her, to see that she was not truly converted to the gospel and has now turned away. She doesn't believe that there should be only one church. Even though we talked about Ephesians 4:5 where it tells us there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." God is a God of order- which means that He only teaches one doctrine and we should all be united under His teachings. When Christ came to the earth He established ONE church, through the power and authority of God, our Heavenly Father. That is why it makes sense that there is only one church with the authority of God on the earth today, with the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And that does not mean that we condemn all the other churches, no, they are filled with good people who want to come closer to Christ just as we do. They are just lacking the fullness of the gospel and the complete knowledge that God wants us to have so that we are prepared to be judged once our time on earth is finished. I know that this is true. I cannot deny it. And it breaks my heart to see people who are not open to this idea, the plan that God has for us. But, we all have our agency, we can choose what we want to believe. That is why I invite others to learn about this gospel. I cannot force it upon anyone, I can only tell them what I know and hope that they will have an open heart so that the Holy Ghost will witness to them of the truth.
Thank you for all your support and prayers for me! I love this work. I love Nevada. As crazy as the people are here :)

Have a great week everyone!
Love ya,

Sister Goodwin  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Carson City

Hello family!

I hope all is going well! I am having a great time here in Carson City! A lot of the work is still getting to know the members and less-actives, especially those with part member families! We have gotten a few referrals from the members that we will hopefully be meeting this week!

Our first "real" lesson was yesterday with an 8 year old girl named G----. She is super shy, and super sweet. We taught her about how God is our Heavenly Father and the importance of praying to Him. We also taught about prophets, and that prophets are important because they teach us what Heavenly Father wants us to know. We brought 2 girls from the ward with us (and their grandma). The girls are E---- and M----, they are 8 and 10. I was so impressed by them, E---- could have taught everything we prepared all on her own, she is really amazing. And M---- shared a scripture about Lehi following what the Lord told him to do. Which was a perfect way to bring up the Book of Mormon. I then gave G---- her own copy of the Book of Mormon, and she seemed excited that I gave it to her!
G----'s dad is an inactive member and her mom isn't  a member. And they only allow us to come over every other Sunday to teach. That worries me because we need to follow up on G----'s prayers and reading. And once every 2 weeks is a long time between lessons! So, we asked E---- and M---- to talk to her at school and see how she is doing. We gave the 2 girls pass along cards as well to share with their other friends as well! I think they both with be really good missionaries when they grow up.

The rest of the week, like I said, was visits to members. But, those have been great experiences as well. One lady was telling us about her experiences with dreams that warn her about health problems in her family. She is also very aware of others emotions, even when she is just in the same room with them and can give them advice they need, even if she doesn't know what they are going through specifically. So I felt prompted to share the scripture in the Doctrine & Covenants about the gifts God has given us. I told her that this is a gift she has been given, because she sees gifts as the talents we can all see- singing, playing piano, ect... and she felt like she didn't have any gifts. But when I told her that what she shared with us was a gift she asked me: "Do you really believe that?" I told her that I honestly believe it. She hadn't ever seen it as a gift and for the moment she started talking in that visit I could tell that was a gift she has. Oh, I just felt so happy when we left her home. The Lord is putting the thoughts in my mind, feelings in my heart, and words in my mouth that I can share with others, the things that they need! I am so grateful for this time I have to be here serving the Lord! I love being a missionary!
Thank you for all your support and prayers! I love you all!

Love,
Sister Goodwin

Monday, October 15, 2012

Christ is ALWAYS there for us

Hello family!!

So last week was transfers on Tuesday, Sister Gi----- and I are over the Carson River Ward here in Carson City! And I love it here! We live with Sister Gu-----, she has a cat and a dog- I'm not sure how I feel about living with animals... But there are some things I've noticed about Nevada. Here everyone likes their individualized license plates and animals (and supposedly guns, but I have yet to experience that first hand). I think just about everyone in the ward we've met so far has a cat or a dog or multiple! So that takes a bit of getting used to. I have really discovered that I am an outdoor animal person, not an indoor animal person...

Anyways, Sister Gi----- and I have been exploring our side of Carson City in a Corolla- I haven't run into anything yet and I hope I don't, luckily we have a GPS, cause Sister Gi----- hasn't really used maps before. I have also made more U-turns in my life than in all of my driving career!
Most of this week we visited with members and less active members, trying to get to know as many people in the ward as possible. Our next step is to do some more finding, almost all of the investigators the previous sisters were working with ended up getting baptized! Yay! But, it means more work for us :)
We visited with a less active lady, C-------, who was going through the finalization of her divorce. We just happened to pop over when she was having a hard time with everything and so we shared a scripture with her, 3 Nephi 9:14 about the Lord's arm being extended towards us! He is ALWAYS there for us, and even when we face trials that are hard and we don't know why we are going through them, there IS a reason, it is to help us LEARN. Yes, it is hard but the Lord knows how much we can handle and will not test us beyond what we are capable of. That is a lesson that I needed to learn as well. The Lord's work is not easy, but it is WORTH IT! And, I am so glad that we stopped by C-------'s when we did, because that was exactly what she needed to hear. We asked if there was anything we could do for her and she told us that we had already helped her and given her what she needed right then. AMAZING, the sister missionaries in this area before us said that they were never able to contact her and the first time Sister Gi------ and I went over, she was there and we saw a miracle that day. The Lord is watching over each and EVERY ONE of us!
Thank you for supporting me in this adventure! I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and I am doing His work!

Love,

Sister Goodwin

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hello Family!!
What a week! Can you believe the announcement in General Conference!! Oh, if only I was 19 again! haha! No, I wouldn't change any of the experiences I've had in the last few years to go on a mission earlier. I know that it was in God's plan for me to be here at this time serving Him. I LOVED Elder Bednar's talk on testimony and conversion! How it is important for us to have a testimony, but conversion is a process we should always be going through, adding a drop of oil here and there so that we will be prepared to meet the Savior as the 5 virgins were.
This week we had a sister's conference on Friday, with all the Sister Missionaries in our mission! It was good to meet the many other sisters I didn't know. It was fun to see Sister M------- again and Sister V------- who I haven't seen since the first day we arrived in Reno. Appearently she is going to brand cows for service this week! Holy cow! Haha! I think I'd like to get transferred to Elko sometime :) Speaking of transfers- I am being transferred to Carson City! Which means we are heading to Reno tomorrow. Usually I wouldn't know who my companion is going to be at this point but word spread during the Sister's conference. My new companion will be Sister G------. I don't know much about her yet, she just finished her 12 weeks training and will have to finish training me. It's very unusual to be transfered away from your trainer before your 12 weeks is done, but we have a new spanish speaking sister coming in that Sister F---- needs to train. So, I will no longer be in a spanish area. I'm kinda sad about that, but at the same time I've felt a little crippled, not being able to speak the language- I have been learning but not enough.
As for the work in Tahoe this week, we met with G---- and his girlfriend M------, we went through the first chapter of the Book of Mormon with them to help G---- understand how he should be reading it. As in, not like a history book... We helped him to see how the scriptures apply to him. The lesson was long but good. I hope he will apply what we taught him to his future reading. We also met with B---- and taught him the first half of the plan of salvation. I am amazed at how I am able to answer questions that this man in his 60's has. Oh, the gospel is great!!
Last night we had dinner with B----- and his family, and taught about the importance of temples. B----- and his mom were both able to do baptisms in the temple last week! Their family was hard to say bye to...I am humbled to see the love that the people here have for me. I don't know all of them very well and I won't be able to say bye to most of them. But, everyone has said that the time was too short that I've been here. I love them so much! I have felt more of the love that Heavenly Father has for each and every one of His children!
I love you all! Thank you for the support you are to me!
Love, 
Sister Goodwin

Sister's Conference!
These Sisters were in Lori's district at the MTC
Lori and B------
Lori and two families she is going to miss a lot.

Monday, October 1, 2012

THAT is why I am a Missionary

Hello Family!
 
This was a great week! We finished teaching B----- and he was baptized on Friday! His siblings came, he has an older brother who hasn't been baptized, but we can tell that he has felt the spirit and he just needs to not feel pressured into learning from us. The baptism was one of the best I've been to. B-----'s mom was recently re-activated and she spoke on the Holy Ghost. She was so nervous to stand up in front of everyone, but she was great! And, Bishop Lewis told us that B-----'s baptism had the largest attendance for any baptism in this ward. 
 
Sunday was fast and tesitmony meeting, B----- was confirmed a memeber and he also got up and shared his testimony. Oh, how my heart filled with love to hear what he knew because of what we were able to teach him. To see the change that took place in his life was great! I am so proud of him! I am so blessed to have been a part of his life for this experience. 
 
Back to Thursday, we had our first lesson with B---, his wife is a member and he's been coming to church for a while. Towards the end of the lesson we asked him what was keeping him from being baptized, he said nothing. GOLDEN! I was not expecting that response because he has been kind of "investigating" the church for YEARS! So we are planning on his baptism for Nov 3! When we told Bishop that we had a baptismal date for B----, he started to tear up. Bishop told us that he knew from the moment we got here that we would be the ones to touch B----'s heart. I almost started to tear up, I don't know how it all works, but the Lord knows where we need to be to touch the lives of others when they are ready to hear the gospel. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a part of this great and marvelous work. To bring others unto Christ. 
 
We invited B---- to come to B------'s baptism, and he did! I was so excited to see him there! I know he felt the spirit there and that this is the next step for him to take!
I love being a missionary! There is no other way I could be a part of these people's lives if I were not here right now. I am here to serve the Lord and to do all I can to bring others to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, his atoning sacrifice and that it is our choice to apply the atonement in our lives. That is how each and every one of us can become like Christ and can one day return to live with our Heavenly Father again. That is our purpose here on Earth, to do all that we can to prepare to live with God again. That it why I am a missionary. That is why I am called as a representative of Jesus Christ. I wear His name on my badge, and that is no small responsibility! 
 
I love you all, thank you for the support you give me! Please write me! I love hearing from you! 
Love, 
Sister Goodwin
 B------and his siblings on his baptism day
My companion an I with B------

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lori and her companion with Y-------- on her Baptism day
Lori and her companion with Y--------- and her parents

 Watch out for Bears!!!! Lori said she hasn't seen any yet



Monday, September 24, 2012

I am where I need to be

Hello family!!
 
So I haven't really told you details about the mission area itself. The "major cities" we cover are Incline Village, NV and Truckee, California. Most of My area is in California. I think I already mentioned that the Ward is about 500 square miles. Thus far, we haven't been doing any tracting. Everyone is pretty spread out so that isn't really effective. This week we spent alot of time attempting to find the people the Elders were teaching before we got here. One family we found, we are teaching tonight! We also spent a day over in Truckee going around to less active member's homes to get to know them. We are still just trying to get to know everyone in the Ward and work with them to find more people to teach. We have been teaching B----- alot this last week, he is 13 and is set for baptism on Friday! It has been interesting teaching him. He is definately a 13 year old. who has a hard time sitting still, so we've been a bit creative with him and the lesson we had with him last night was the best so far. He was paying attention to the things we were teaching and not as distracted.
I know that the changes we saw in B----- were because of the changes he's made in his life! He is reading the Book of Mormon everyday and praying everyday!Those 2 things really have an impact in our lives. I know that for myself, studying the Book of Mormon has helped me to focus on learning and has helped prepare me to teach!
And, I know that Heavenly Father is watching over us everyday! My companion and I were heading to a ward function the other day, both of us were carrying alot of stuff and kept dropping things as we headed to the truck. She was frusterated. I said that maybe Heavenly Father was preventing something bad from happening to us. She didn't really believe me. As we got into the truck, though, we heard sirens and as we left there was an accident on the road we usually take, it looked as if a car had hit a person who was maybe biking or something. If we had left just 3 min earlier we probably would have been a part of that. I am SO GLAD that Heavenly Father is protecting me, I know that he blessed me in that instance because I am here doing his work! And I am sure that there are many other instances that I am unaware of that He is watching over me and helping me right now.
Later that same day we taught Y-------'s family how to hold a family home evening. My companion helped me learn some phrases in Spanish so that I could start off the lesson, boy do I feel like I talk so slow when I am speaking Spanish! But, the spirit was so strong in that lesson! It felt so good to be teaching in Spanish, even though I can still mostly only read in spanish out loud for them to understand even if I can't understand it all!
I have never been so sure that I am where I need to be, that the Lord wants me to be at this place at this time, as I feel right now on my mission. I know that there is still so much for me to learn. And it isn't a piece of cake- but I know I am becoming someone who the Lord is proud of and can count on!
Thanks for your support and your prayers! I love you all!!
Love,
Sister Goodwin

Tuesday, September 18, 2012






Hello Family!

Thanks for the e-mails! It's great to hear from you!
This week was busy as always, we took Y------ on a lesson with us to a less active member's home. Because Yolanda is so shy it's hard to know what she is learning from the scriptures. But, in this lesson she shared with us how the Book of Mormon relates to her. She told us that before she decided to learn from the missionaries she felt like Laman and Lemuel because she wasn't listening to her parents. But, now she loves the gospel! Oh, how wonderful to know that we helped her along the way. I felt like my heart would burst, to know that she was reading and understanding the Book of Mormon! 

We've still been working on meeting all the members and visiting them. The ward is so small that if you are an active member then you are very likely to have a leadership calling or multiple callings.
We visited with a lady who is a member but her husband isn't. Did I tell you that a lot of the members are part-member families? Either just the husband or just the wife is a member, and that just breaks my heart. The lady that we visited encouraged us not to make the same decision that she did. I can't imagine not having the sealing power in my home. Family is so important to me that I don't want to take any chances, I want to be with my family forever, I know that the only way for that to happen is through being sealed in the temple. I hope that my companion and I will be able to have an impact on these part member families, to bring them together in the gospel so they may have the blessing of being together for time and all eternity. Some of the non-members are more open to the gospel and some are very against it. One of our goals is to unite at least one part member family while we are here! And, back to the lady we visited- she said that her husband didn't ever like or listen to the Elders who were here before us, but my companion and I just randomly showed up on their door and the husband answered it. He was a bit rough and I admit I felt intimidated, but we learned later that we made a good impression on him :) and we encouraged the lady to bring up the idea of praying together, we hope that will unite them and maybe her husband will be more open to listening to our message. 

Yesterday we were supposed to teach the restoration lesson in Spanish, to a new investigator but we think he was called into work. So, we visited with Y------ and her parents. Right now I'm having a hard time getting words in Spanish to stick in my brain, but I can generally follow where the conversation is going... it's kinda weird. But I'm still working on it, I can almost say an entire prayer in Spanish :)

I love you all!!
Sister Goodwin

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Adventures in Tahoe

Hello family!!
This week was a good one. Saturday night (Y-------) was baptized! She is such a special young lady, I am so proud of the decision she made. My companion  gave a talk on baptism and I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. Mine was in Spanish! Yikes! I wrote it in English and then My companion  translated it for me.  Earlier in the week we had a mission conference, President Hermansen talked about how important it is as missionaries that we are completely obedient. It is sometimes hard to be right on time, all the time but I'm definately working on it :)
We have a new investigator, he is probably in his 50s or 60s, I think. He investigated the church when he was younger but didn't feel like it was right for him. But, he did have a friend who needed some help and he sent the missionaries over to her. And the next thing he knew she was inviting him to her baptism. I am excited to teach him because he must see that there is something different about us, and I really want him to accept the gospel into his life. We stopped by his house Saturday because it was his birthday (we made him a cake) and we discovered that he has just started dating a nice lady who is meeting with the missionaries as well! She lives closer to Reno so she isn't in our area, but I was so surprised. If that wasn't divine intervention then I'm not sure what is! We are meeting with him tonight to teach the first lesson.
Yesterday was ward conference (and Y------- was confirmed, YAY!). During Sunday school the Stake Presidency spoke to us about... MISSIONARY WORK! And how important it is for members to be active in missionary work. It is the job of the members to be full time FINDERS and the missionaries job to be full time TEACHERS. We are sent on missions to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, but we need the members to help us find the people who are prepared to hear our message. And it is important for members to go with the missionaries to teach their friends because the testimony of a friend brings so much power and the spirit. So please, help the missionaries in your area, we may be devoting 18 months to serving the Lord, but each day is so short we never have enough time!
Yesterday Evening, My companion and I went around to meet some of the ward members, we dropped by their homes to set up times to meet with them and share a message with them. Many of the members here are married to non-members. We stopped by one home, the non-member's husband has been going to church with his wife, he's read the Book of Mormon. I think he knows that it is true he just needs to commit! I am so excited to get to know him and share with him my own testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel!
The people here are so great! Even the one man we met yesterday who heard that we were missionaries and didn't want anything to do with us. I know that he is a child of God, and I hope someday he will feel the need to truly follow the Savior.
I wish I had more time to tell you of my adventures here in Tahoe!
Please please write me letters! I want to hear from you!
Love,
Sister Goodwin

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hermana Goodwin

Hola mi familia!! 
 
I wrote a letter the first day I arrived in Nevada, but by your emails it doesn't sound like you got it. I left the MTC last Tuesday about 5:30am. The flight to Reno took about an hour, there were 24 missionaries heading to Reno, 4 of which were sister missionaries. President Hermansen and Sister Hermansen were there to meet us at the airport, long with the 3 assistants to the president, 2 of them are in their last transfer. Sister Hermansen LOVES to take pictures, I think they've already sent some. After that we went to the mission home for breakfast and then off to one of the church buildings for orientation.  Then President Hermansen interviewed each of the new missionaries to make sure the area and companions he had decided on were right. After that was through the Assistants announced one by one who our companion was and where we were going. My companion and I we were assigned to serve in LAKE TAHOE!!! I had to wait an extra day to meet her because she was in Elko, so I stayed with another set of sister missionaries that night.
The Lake Tahoe area is beautiful! Up in the mountains surrounded by pine trees (and we have a truck to drive! SWEET!!), we are living in Incline Village. Most of the work here is actually among the hispanics. So guess who gets to learn espanol?? I'm working on it... We have been teaching a young lady who already has a baptismal date for Sept 8. She, speaks English but here parents don't. I want to understand Spanish!!
Sunday we attended church along with at least a hundred visitors, due to labor day weekend. Since it was fast Sunday, Sister Frost and I got up to share our testimonies. Standing in front of all those strangers I have never felt so strongly of the things I shared with them, that I know Heavenly Father loves us and because He does, Jesus Christ was sent here to atone for our sins so that we can return to live with them again. I know that it is our choice to follow Him. I know that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet of God to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that we can learn how to follow Christ through reading the Book of Mormon, there is NO OTHER book that contains so much TRUTH. Please, I challenge each one of you who reads this, I want you personally to read and study the Book of Mormon, all of it, and to have it finished by the time I return home from this mission. Please, there is nothing else as important as reading this book, to know that it is true. God will reveal that it is true to you personally if you read it with an open heart, and sincerely search it to know for yourself that it is true. Please do that for me. And, if you already know it is true, read it again!
That wasn't quite what I shared in sacrament meeting, but I felt the spirit so strong that Sunday, I couldn't help but look around and wonder if others were feeling the same. After that meeting we went to the Espanol Evangelio doctrine class (there's my attempt to slip some panish in) I could only pick out a word here and there, but I tried to listen with all my heart. We were reading in Helaman, going around the room, each person read a verse. Even me, Hermana Frost only helped me pronounce about 3 words in the verse. My ability to speak Spanish is improving, but my understanding it is a bit slower...
After church we met with the Bishop to get to know him and the ward better. He is very excited about missionary work, he told us that he had been praying for sister missionaries to be sent to this area, he felt that this is what this area needs. HE told us that we are an answer to his prayers, how can you express how you feel when someone tells you that? My heart is full to bursting.
I love you all so much! Please continue to write me! I love hearing from you! 
 
Love,
Sister Goodwin

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dear Mom, Dad, and Kara,  (Written 8/28/2012)

I am currently surviving my first day of the mission field! I've been awake since 3 am(Mountain Time) and it is now 3 pm(Pacific Time).  We made it safely to Reno then went to President Hermansen's home in Sparks for pictures and breakfast.  Then we headed to the church for training: vehicle info, medical info, etc...It was great talking to you all this morning.  I think I'll be meeting my trainer/companion soon! There are 4 of us sisters as well as an Hermana we met today.  Supposedly 2 of us are going to Tahoe, one to Elko, and one is staying in Sparks.  Not sure yet which it will be, but I'm excited to begin!

Love you all!

Sister Goodwin

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RENO

 She's in RENO!!!  Doesn't she look like a missionary?
 Here she is with her group
 Here is Lori with her Mission President and President's Wife.  This is the email they sent to my mom.
 
 
Dear parents:

I am pleased to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely in the Nevada Reno Mission.   Sister Hermansen and I are so grateful to have them join the ranks of our committed and faithful missionaries. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Reno Here I Come!

Hello Family!!
 
This has been another great week at the MTC! And it just flew by! Before I get into details, I got my itinerary for the flight to Reno this coming TUESDAY, I can't believe it's coming up so soon. My flight leaves at 8:30am Tuesday morning, which means arriving in Reno just after 9 am- quick trip :) Anyways, we are allowed/required to call our family in the airport. So mom expect an early call that morning!! I'm not sure how it all works if I can make more than one call or not... Anyways, I am SUPER EXCITED to get out into the field. I'm not sure how ready I feel to teach real investigators, but as Elder Neil L Andersen quoted to us at our devotional last Tuesday: "Do your duty, that is best, leave unto the Lord the rest." Ready or not, here I go!
Have I told you that I really really like the MTC? :) I am starting to get better at speaking more when we are teaching 'investigators'. Yesterday at zone teaching we practiced teaching and each missionary could only speak for a minute and a half at most before letting the other missionary speak. That was probably the best teaching experience I have had so far. When I know that I have to talk it is so much easier to work with the other missionary and add to what they are teaching, and there is a great spirit of unity (for this I wasn't with my companion, we are paired up with other missionaries in our zone during these teaching experiences).
We taught our TRC investigator Barbara for the last time last night. We ended up only getting to talk to her for 5 min instead of 15, but it was a GREAT experience. The last time we taught her we tried to invite her to pray, but she was very uncomfortable with the idea. So we invited her to pray after we left and for her to continue reading the Book of Mormon. She read about Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life and told us she was really confused, but she had the impression to keep reading, keep reading (like finding nemo- just keep swimming) so she did and later Nephi receives the explanation for Lehi's vision, to her this was just what she needed because she came to realize that just because she didn't understand at one point in her reading doesn't mean she won't understand later on. In 1 Nephi 10 it also talks about how Nephi prayed to the Lord to receive the explanation for his father's vision. So, Barbara prayed with us. The spirit was so strong in that lesson. I felt so much joy and love for Barbara, I'm sad that we don't have the opportunity to teach her anymore.
 
Mom, you asked about my immunizations- I am going to turn it in today, I will find out then if they have everything they need. And about the temple, we get to go on our P-day (so today). we went last week with most of our district and did a session. I think that was the most comforting experience I have had in the temple. The familiarity and the peace. And the Provo temple is SO BIG! I can't imagine what Salt Lake must be like.
 
Kara- you should be proud of me, for gym we played sand volleyball a couple of times with our district, and I'm not the worst on the team! haha! Yes, I actually go for the ball and hit it. So I'm improving little by little :)
 
Jamie- tell Lily thank you for the pics she sent a while ago, I forgot to say that in the last e-mail. And I hope that your family is more accident free-this week than last week.
 
Thank you everyone for the letters! Please keep sending them. I wish I could message you all individually but time is running short! And I wish I had time to tell you more about the MTC! I have been eating more than I probably should and I try eating healthy and I actually like most of what they have here, but I don't have snacks during the day so I figure it all evens out in the end :)
 
Love you all!
 
Sister Goodwin

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Longest Week of My Life, and One of the Best!

Hello Family!!
 
This has been the longest week of my life, and one of the best! The first few days were quite stressful, figuring out how to live each day all scheduled out, but I feel like I get so much done every day. It's GREAT!! Yes, Sis Michaud (pronounced Mih-Show) is my companion, she is the one we met at the Sister Missionary Mall. There is one other sister missionary companionship in our district, Sister Mortensen- from Lehi, and Sister Verkist from Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. She is Jill Huntsman's niece. Small world! The elders in our district are pretty much all from Utah..
 
The first day here we all attended a teaching experience where the whole group of new missionaries taught an investigator. It was a bit rough- but I am learning that it is more effective to be thrown into teaching then to be taught how to do it correctly, because then I have first hand experience with doing it wrong and can apply the correct strategies better! But, boy is it hard! We teach our teachers as "investigators" every day. We started on the second day we were here! I can tell you that the teaching has gone far better since that first time. We have also taught an "investigator" and a "less-active" at the TRC. The first lesson with the investigator was rough, she wanted us to tell her where in the Bible it said that God had a body of flesh and bones... so the next lesson we had with her we taught her about faith first and then incorporated that God has a body into that. She needs to have faith in what we are teaching rather than teaching strictly by logic. She looked so happy at the end of the lesson, and I felt so much love for her. I always wondered how I could love the people I will meet on my mission, as I've always heard RMs talk about how they loved the people so much.  I am now beginning to understand, I can truly love the people I teach!
 
One of my teachers said this: When you love your investigators more than yourself, that is when you can really serve them.
 
On Sunday we watched a video of a fireside Elder Scott gave at the MTC. I don't know when, but he talked about prayer- and all the sisters in my district agreed that we really needed to hear that right then. I have said more prayers this week that I can count. One of the teachers also suggested to pray for our companion while they are talking when we teach an investigator. So, we tried that. AND IT WORKS!! I have seen it in our lessons, I may not be able to get the conversation going in the direction it needs to, but if I pray for my companion, sometimes she is the one that can get the conversation or message to the point that the person needs to hear. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it is SO AMAZING.
 
There have been some ups and downs each day, and I feel like I'm really struggling to learn at times, or even just to stay awake, but I know that this is all making me a better person and preparing me to serve the people in Nevada. There is an analogy here I have heard that really descirbes the MTC very well I think. The MTC is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant. You can try to drink the water but most of it will just get your face wet. There is just SO MUCH to learn (I have to admit I'm glad I don't have to learn a language on top of it all).  
 
One of our investigators made this analogy when we were teaching about faith: Faith is like a microwave. We can't see it cooking, but when you pull it out you know that it's done because it's hot. and you trust it will work each time you push the buttons.
 
Well, my time is running short, I wish I could share everything with you but I can't. I KNOW this GOSPEL is true!
I love you all,
SIster Lori Goodwin

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lori Enters the MTC

 I, Rachel (Goodwin) Hair, am now taking over the blog for Lori to record her experiences on her mission.  She went into the MTC (Missionary Training Center) Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 in Provo, Utah.  She will be there for 3 weeks preparing to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people she'll meet in Reno. Here she is saying her last goodbyes with my mom, dad, and Kara.  It's only letters and email from here on out for 18 months.  She does get to call home on Christmas and Mother's Day.
 Is she really old enough to be a missionary?! I can hardly believe it. I know she is going to do an amazing job.
 Jana and Lori
 Lori and Kara
 Jana, Lori, and Kara. Isn't it great we're all about the same height. Wish I could've been there!  Also, I love the hair color combo.

 Lori with Kate and Daylen.  She is setting a wonderful example for her nieces and nephews.
Mom, Lori, and Dad
Lori with her escorts.  BYE EVERYONE!!! SEE YOU IN 18 MONTHS!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Between now and then, 'till I see you again, I'll be loving you, love me

The thought of serving a mission had always seemed so far away, when I was growing up. I can hardly believe that the time has come. I am nervous and EXCITED to serve the Lord with all my HEART, MIGHT, MIND, and STRENGTH for these next 18 months! I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, he suffered for each and every one of us who lives, has lived, and will live on this earth. It is only through this atoning SACRIFICE that we are able REPENT and become clean again, in order to be worthy to live in our Heavenly Father's presence again.

May the Lord bless you! And as a song I love says: "Between now and then, 'till I see you again, I'll be loving you, love me"

Love,

Sister Lori Goodwin

Friday, August 3, 2012

Time is Love


Went to the temple with my parents and sisters!


Taking pictures in the wheat field the day before it was cut

Me and Kara

Me and Mom

"Time is Love" a country song by Josh Turner, is the best way I could describe this last week I spent with my family before I go into the MTC. I love my family so much, and am so grateful for their love and support. They have made me into the person I am today. I hope to well represent the Goodwin name in Nevada!