Monday, 14 August 2017

Logistics, luggage and lots of change

Hey guys!

In answer to your inquiry, I don't really need much in the package. Maybe a little Canadian souvenir for my new companion. 

Heh heh, soooooo, yeah... this week was pretty crazy hectic (spell check please)! We had the hugest transfer call I’ve ever seen. Literally half our zone was white washed. (editors note: this is a term for when you take out a whole companionship and put in two completely new missionaries).  And all the missionaries were leaving last Friday. So all day Thursday, we were dropping everyones' stuff at the boat and picking people up to go to the airport. We haven’t recieved our new truck yet so we only have one Toyota Avanza on the island to get everything and everyone around. Elder Terry and I may have set a world record by fitting 9 large suit cases, 1 bike and a back pack in that little car all at the same time. We also dropped nine missionaries off at the airport and picked up 6. Just for Raiatea and Tahaa. 

So my new comp. is Elder Omorodion from France. Although he was born in Nigeria and stayed there until he was six years old. He’s a very cool dude! It’s nice to have a French companion because it helps me speak less Tahitian creole. He’s been on his mission for about 15 months now. So he’s still got a lot of time left. 

It was sad to see Elder Terry go. By tomorrow he will be with his family. It was kinda hard to serve with someone who is finishing… because he was thinking and talking a lot about school and home life. So it made me think of those things too for a while... but all is well now! 

Yes… I’ve now been on four of the five islands of Raromatai (the Leeward Island group). The only island in the group I haven’t visited is the island of Maupiti. I had a companion from there. It’s very small. Only 12 kilometres around. 

The district has changed a lot, so I will have to send an updated picture next week. The picture I sent is the old district before the transfer. 

The work went well this week, but since we are the only car on the island for the moment, we had lots of little errands that hugely distracted us from getting a lot of work done. Normally by friday we'll be good.

Thanks for the picture guys, you guys are lookin good!

Love you guys! have an awesome week!

Elder Goodwin 

A selfie in case you forgot what I look like
Raiatea District before the big transfer this week
The picture Mom and Dad sent me that I commented on...

Monday, 7 August 2017

Huahine adventures in missionary work...

La Lettre hebdo,

Hello! I am sending this early because I may not have very much if any time to email today. Because it is Elder Terry's last P-day on a mission we will be going fishing in the morning with our Branch Mission Leader, and visiting a motu with the district (motu = tiny island on the atoll surrounding the island). 

This week we didn’t really have very much proselyting time in our area. But we were still super busy. We watched our leadership council meeting over Skype for nearly seven hours. And then on Friday we took a plane to Huahine with Sister Basset---our Sister training leader.

We did a training with the Ward Mission Leader+ the Bishop + all the ward missionaries on the island. Then we did splits (trading companions) with our missionaries over there. (1 set of Sisters and 1 set of Elders) I got to work with a young missionary---we biked about 20 kilometres total that day—which was a pleasant change. 

Huahine is an insanely beautiful island. It has the water of Bora Bora in places and the island is open and beautiful like nothing I’ve ever seen. The people are extremely nice, the Polynesian attitude is still somewhat alive. And throughout the super-long time we spent biking, we crossed maybe about 15 cars. So the island is very very calm. It is probably my favourite island I’ve visited. 

Oh and while doing some contacting we ran into some people on the beach collecting and harvesting the meat from sea urchins. Long story short I got to eat some raw sea urchin! It’s very salty but I would imagine it tasting good if it was well prepared. We also fixed a lesson while doing so. 

Saturday night we flew back to Raiatea. So now we are back to normal at least until Elder Terry flies to Tahiti on Friday. I may have to cover three areas for three days waiting for my new companion to fly in the Monday after. In the mission there are 32 missionaries finishing (going home) and 34 starting. Six of those leaving are in our zone, which means a change in almost all areas... Fun times ahead!

I’m doing great out here. We've been busy as ever!

Have a great week! Love you guys!

Elder Goodwin 

Ps: I may need some hair stuff in the coming weeks… just to be able to make it to the end. 

Biking on Huahine

Huahine views

Add caption

The sleeping pregnant lady...

Monday, 31 July 2017

Boats and adventures

Hey guys hope you had a good week.

This week was honestly pretty tough. Lots of unplanned things falling out of the sky. Distracting us from missionary work and adding just the slightest touch of stress to life. This week has made me realize that the things that stress me out the most are just dealing with things that go out of the normal daily grind. If the job just meant taking care of our areas and teaching lessons, life wouldn’t be too hard.

First off we did a super great training with the First Ward plus two branches of Tahaa. We stayed at the house in Patio at the Cumorah chapel with Elder Stewart (Canada) and Elder Anderson (New Hampshire or somewhere around there). The boat ride of fun, you always meet really interesting people doing stuff like that.

When we got back we went straight to our district meeting and right after that we got a call that we needed to put our truck on the next boat that leaves the island. So we talked around and got it on the Havaikinui boat that afternoon. So we were told to take the sister’s car (the only other mission car on the island).  So for now, we are driving a Toyota Avanza. Elder Terry and I are still trying to get the girl smell out of it. It feels weird not to drive a diesel anymore.

Then we got home and the stake dude that takes care of all the chapels/our house (because it’s on church property) came to the house saying that he needs to repaint our house right away. So we packed up our stuff and emptied our house, which on the bright side allowed to clean in places that probably haven’t seen the light of day since the days of Adam.

So after that we had not a lot of time to do missionary work. When we got home all our stuff was piled up in the kitchen. So the next day they started painting so we helped a bit. But we had stuff to do so we didn’t stay. Long story short, they are still painting, so we are living out of our suit cases for a couple days now.

Not sure what kind of car we are going to get. Maybe another truck or a van. I hope it’s not a small car, because we have investigators that live in the jungle and we transport bikes all the time.

Normally today we are hiking or depending on the time I send this, hiked the Temehani, a famous mountain because its summit is the only place in the world where you can find the Tiare Apetahi. A very rare flower. Fun times ahead.

I got a text from the Mission office about my return flight. it looks like they are working out the flight home. You may receive the info for the flight way before I do. I'm not sure if the mission has your guyses new email address. It might be a good Idea to send a note about that to the mission office. 

The next Transfer is the 14th of August. So my Companion and 6 other missionaries are finishing that day. So we will have a lot of work to do getting that all sorted out. Since my comp is leaving I will surely get a new comp and have to train him to be Zone Leader. Then I will get transferred somewhere else for my last transfer. I hope my last area is on Tahiti, that way I can go and see the families I know well. Time will only tell my future fate. 

Love you guys!

Elder Goodwin.

Trip to Tahaa with Elder Terry
The view of Bora from the chapel at Patio on Tahaa 

TEMEHANI hike with the zone.ill send more pics next week. It was super awesome. Tons of great views.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Visits, travels and bunk beds, oh my

Hello parental units and friends, 

This week my companion was super duper sick, so I took the opportunity to write a bunch about what has been going on and stuff like that.

First of all on Tuesday---President Fox, his wife and the assistants arrived at 8:00 a.m.. We hurried them over to the Uturoa chapel for our zone conference that started at 8:30. It was a great yet simple meeting. It was more about meeting the missionaries than doing trainings… although there were some great discussions. My companion was already not doing so hot by this point. 

After that at 11:30 a.m. Elder Piazza (senior assistant to the President and he previously served in Tevaitoa my area) and I hopped on a private boat with President Fox and his wife and raced over to Tahaa, where we rented a Fiat Panda and did a tour of Tahaa. We inspected the missionary homes and visited the chapels (only two chapels and two homes). After that adventure we got back on another private boat to take us back to Raiatea for 2:00 p.m. We then hopped in our truck, leaving Elder Terry (my comp) with the other assistant to proselyte in our area. 

We did a tour of Raiatea stopping at six chapels, three missionary homes. Visiting with two Bishops and one Branch President (they were the only ones available for the visit.) Finishing our tour at 6:30 p.m. as we rolled up to our Branch Presidents parents’ house---who have only been members for a couple years---to eat. We got to share President and Soeur Fox's first meal with a local family, since their arrival. 

We then dropped them off at their little hotel for the night. Elder Piazza and I got home at 8:30p.m. and spent the night with four Elders in our little house. The next morning we picked them up and put all four of them on a plane to Huahine where they will continue their tour before stopping at Bora Bora.

Lovely experience, but a lot of driving. We calculated it. We must have driven just about 350 kms in one day. 

I really like President Fox. He is a very calm guy, yet he has a lot of drive to help things move forward in the right direction. It is very interesting seeing his style compared to Président Bize's style. You can tell that God calls a variety of people with a variety of talents and skills as to help as many people as possible. It's really cool seeing President Fox and Soeur Fox's efforts in learning Tahitian. Super cool. 

In other news, I’ve figured out how to carve small tikis whilst playing with our branch mission leaders tools. He said that any graven image I make, I can keep. I'll sent some pictures maybe. Me and him are doing a cool tiki thingy together. It'll be cool when it's done. 

We also got a welcome surprise this week was the arrival of a bunk bed. We got a new missionary couple in the office who are very effective at taking care of the needs in the mission. He asked us if we needed anything when we were at Tahiti. We said "beds would be nice." So on Thursday he said he dropped off our bunk bed on the boat. I set it up when my companion was unconscious Friday afternoon. Sooooo happy. It has been nine months since I’ve slept on a bed

Send my love to Kenny’s family. He gave me literally my last painting job right before I left. He really helped me pay for my mission and he gave me a lot of advice about life while I was over there talking to him. He was overall a really great guy. What a shock to hear he passed so quickly.

That’s pretty much it. I love you guys! Have a great week!

Elder Goodwin 
President and Soeur Fox on our way to Tahaa

Elder Piazza and I on our way to Tahaa

Notre Panda
En route à Tahaa    

A nice meal at the Mapuna's

Monday, 17 July 2017

Heiva, zone leader stuff and a wonderful baptism...

I love the pictures you send. It's really interesting for me to see the evolution of Dad’s beard over time. I feel like it suits you really well. You should be Santa Claus for the next Ward Christmas party. (editor’s note: not comfortable with that reference in any way)

When you made the Poisson Cru or "i'a ota" na roto te Reo Tahiti (in Tahitian)… did you do it with coconut milk? (yes, Elder Manari’i--a Tahitian Elder serving his last weeks in our Calgary Ward--squeezed it out of a freshly grated coconut). Where did you see how to make it? Did Elder Manari'i tell you how to do it. (yes). The couple times I’ve made it, it was pretty complicated. When I get home we will try it again. One thing I’ve noticed is that lemons here are totally different than back home. They taste way different. You guys have no idea what you are missing out on. That would probably make the poisson cru taste different.

Overall this week was really good. We had a Baptism on Wednesday. It went really well. Our little branch was there friendshipping every step of the way with this investigator. She's been waiting to be baptised for a really long time now, and now she finally took the step.

In other news this week we ended up going to a Heiva. It was the group of Vaiaau dancing and they apparently have won the Heiva in Ra’iatea for the last five years. Oh and we know literally half of the people in the group. Our branch president and a couple of other members play the To'ere (large wooden thing that you hit) and the drums and stuff for the group. And we know a large portion of the dancers because they are either members or because they take lessons with us. 

They all wanted us to come watch. so we did. IT WAS RIDICULOUSLY wonderful. I’ve never seen anything so cool in my life. I have a couple pictures, but I decided that no picture could do it justice because of the speed of the dancing and the massive coordination they had. I took a couple videos but it would take about six hours for it to load onto the computer, so you may have to wait four months to see the videos.

Tomorrow—good ol' Pres Fox (our new Mission President) is coming down to Ra’iatea for a little conference and a tour of the island. He will be hoping in the truck with us and we are going to show him all the sites, all six chapels on the island and the four bishops and two branch president and the 1st Councilor in the Stake Presidency (our stake president lives on Tahiti). It’s kind of crazy, and stressful organizing with all the Bishops for visits, but thankfully we have been doing our tour training tour of all the Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders in the Stake and have been able to work it out in person rather than over the phone with people that I’ve never met.

The training sessions are going really well. We did two this week. and we noticed that they received it very well. We were able to fix another training meeting for all the Ward Council for one of the Wards. The other Ward went really smoothly, hopefully it helps bring up motivation.

Oh and In our Ward is a guy who knows Elder Manari'i, His name is Yannik Vero. We will be eating at his house this week so I'll take some pictures with him and his wife.

Thanks for the email. love you guys!

Elder Goodwin

The big guy on the right is our Branch President. The others are the Branch Mission Leader and his wife.

Heiva. Same group for both pictures. They did a costume change.
Elder Manari'i (from Tahiti) and Elder Hagashi (Idaho) having poisson cru at the Goodwin's in Calgary.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Tahiti visit and lots of pleasant surprises

Dear important people,

The Leadership Conference (in Tahiti) was really great. It is very interesting to see the new style of President Fox compared to Pres Bize. It is very different, but I like it. Every President brings their own style / experiences. I am super excited to work more with him and his wife. President Fox served in Paris so he already speaks really good French. You can tell it is a bit rusty but he will pick it all back up super quick. He mainly talked to us in French. His wife actually knows a lot of French… and is obviously making efforts to learn Tahitian. She was throwing out and couple Tahitian words that she’s learned here and there. President Fox and his wife will be coming to Raiatea on the 18th and normally in the afternoon they will hop in the truck with us and we are going to take them on a tour of the island. While doing the tour of the island we will be visiting all the Bishops and Branch Presidents, so we have been working pretty hard on organizing all the visits for Fox. It'll be really fun to show Pres Fox around our island. 

Weeeeeeell. Tahiti was really fun, it was nice to get out and stretch our legs a little bit. But by the end of the visit I was pretty happy to come home. Tahiti has too many cars (which is still nothing compared to Calgary). It is just too busy and too many people. For the last 9 months I’ve been on islands were nobody drives more than 50 or 60 kilometers an hour. And if there are more than 4 cars on the road you start wondering if there was a funeral or something. In some parts of our area you could play at least 2 full periods of a street hockey game before a car drove by. Flying to Tahiti is fun too because you always meet cool people on airplanes. 

We are having a baptism this week for a really great investigator. She is a very simple lady, but she loves the Gospel and has seen some huge blessings in her life from it. She has been coming to church for about 6 months now and has been blocked from being baptized. But all of a sudden the doors have been opened and she will be starting her journey now. 

Our zone is doing really strong. We are in third place in the mission right now for baptisms. Where as this zone is normally far behind everyone else. Our relationships with the members has been greatly incresed over the last couple weeks because of the success and some greater efforts on our part on trying to serve them a little bit more. I find that if the members and the missionaries have a good realtionship together, the work just goes so much smoother. But if a Ward has struggles connecting with the missionaries… we find that the work is blocked from progressing. We are seing this right now with one of our Areas. 

Ohhhhh, I got a package from the Curtis family. I don’t have their email but I want to thank them for things they sent. It was actually a very timely package. It had a bunch of stuff in it that I happened to really need. Toiletries, home-made soap, gum, multi-vitamins, candy, deoderant, tooth brush, tooth paste and other such goodies! Tell them I say thank you and if you get the chance, send me their email so I can answer some of the questions they had. 

Overall this week was great. The trip to Tahiti for leader council was an exellent change of pace. It gave us a bit of a boost when we got back to Raiatea to go and work hard. 

Thanks for the love guys! Have a great week. Love you guys!

Elder Goodwin

P-day hike with the Elders from Tahaa (Island next door)

Obligatory pilgrimage to MacDo's 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Raromatai keeps moving forward...

Dear friends and family,

Looks like fun! (we sent pictures of Canada Day stuff). To be honest I pretty much forgot about Canada Day this year. I shall repent of this transgression!

Hey guys. This week was pretty great. Still haven’t met the new Mission Pres. (Steven R Fox) yet but we will meet him in person on Thursday when companion (Elder Terry) and I fly down to Tahiti for our meeting with him and his wife. 

The fun thing about being Zone Leader here is that we get to fly to Papeete every other month for leadership training meetings. We are also going to be training all the Ward mission leaders in Raromatai (the group of islands consisting of Bora Bora, Tahaa, Huahine, and Maupiti) this month. We have a huge tour planned out. It'll keep us crazy busy during July and the beginning of August we will fly down to Huahine for a meeting and some splits. 

My comp and I have been doing a lot of sports lately, for reasons that will remain un mentioned. We have been running 5k a day for a couple weeks now. 

In other news. The reality of my companions impending death (That is mission lingo for someone going home… Russell will “kill” his companion) has made me give a bit of thought on how I want my after mish life to go. This would involve some goal fixing and an establishment of a budget. I may need a laptop for school and life in general. Hows the car doing? Will my clothes be completely out of date? There are many more questions rolling around in my head. 

I’ve also been thinking of all the literal crap I have in my room that I will never need. I feel like we need to burn/ throw out/ give away pretty much everything I own and start fresh. These are things to ponder so that we may fix some goals and create some plans. 

Oh and my missionary account tells me that it is Elder Manari'i serving in the home Ward. (Elder Manari"i from Tahiti is serving in Calgary 2nd Ward—our home congregation). He’s from Arue, north of Papeete… I've never served there but I know some Elders that have probably eaten with his family. His name means "powerful king" or "king a power". Just to let you guys know. 

We might go do a hike with the district. Tahaa missionaries is normally ferrying down as well. All is well. Thanks for being the best! All in all life is great. The work keeps moving forward! Love you guys!

Elder Goodwin

Last p-day at Taputapuatea way in the South East side of the island.

Elder Terry and I wearing some Canada