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!

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!!
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!
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! 
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