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, 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!

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!


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!
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! 
Sister Goodwin
 B------and his siblings on his baptism day
My companion an I with B------