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

Monday, 26 June 2017

Thankful for the work he gave me...

Family and friends,
It’s so sad to hear the news about Kenny Wong’s health. Send him my love. Tell him as well, I’m thankful for the work that he gave me when I was saving for my mission. That job really helped me a lot. Super solid guy. 

I feel like being with a master wood carver, like every other day, has inspired me a lot. We've been spending a bit of time every P-day, helping our Ward Mission Leader make the orders that he has. Then we play with his crazy tools and make cool stuff. Comp and I are about half-done something crazy. Normally next week we should be done. I hope you guys like the Hobbit.

The newbies (new green missionaries) are doing great. As a zone leader we just take a rapport of their training every week, but the trainers are all super solid missionaries. Not much to worry about yet. 

This week was great. We did a member’s integrator trainer fireside with our Ward last night. It went really well.  My companion and I did the training. And normally we are trying to plan with our 
Stake President to see if we can go and train all the Ward Mission Leaders on each island, so maybe next month we'll get to visit Tahaa and Huahine. 

Got to do another split with the Elders of Tahaa, i didn’t get to go over but I did take the new Elder from New Zealand with me. It was fun. It kind of reminded me of the beginning on the “mish" when everything was so new. It was weird because he took notes for everything I said. I guess that's kinda how it starts... 

We ended up fixing a baptism at the chapel yesterday. That was pleasant---should be good for the 12th of July. And the zone is doing fantastic this week. Over all a lot of blessings here in Raromatai (the Leeward Island group) right now. 

All is well on the flip side guys!

That's my week, love you guys!

Elder Goodwin.

Monday, 19 June 2017

5 new missionaries in my zone... busy week!

Iaorana, maita'i oe?

My companion has inspired me in a way to save time doing emails on Monday. I am currently in my p-jays typing up my email in a notes application on our phone. And tomorrow morning (or today if you are reading this) I will send it to you guys pre-typed. I will add my answers to your email as well. I will pop on again in the after noon to reply to any questions. 

Firstly, that’s sick the SAIT thing is going to work out and I have been accepted. I feel like the timing of it all is perfect as well. It'll give enough time to transition well. Yay… winter semester 2018!

Normally today we will be using our Ward mission leader's tools to make ourselves stuff out of wood. Terry and I have some cool ideas, but we will keep it a surprise.

This week was a little rough, but over all we made it through. We had three missionaries fly out on Wednesday and four that came in. Three of which are brand spanking new, fresh and green from the "fenua marite" (America)... well I lied. One of them is from New Zealand. So now in the zone we have 5 missionaries in training, so my patience with broken French has become a daily practice. 

The Elders of Haamene, Tahaa (the island next door) had a little issue with boats and had to spend the night at our place. It was a nice occasion to get to know the New Elder from New Zealand---Elder Coxhead. It was a fun night. New missionaries are always a bit shell-shocked at the beginning. 

In Uturoa we got an old friend replace one of the elders. I don't know if you guys remember Elder Mclelland from my first couple of  transfers. He is now in Uturoa and will be finishing his mission on "special assignment" training Elder Alfred as District leader. 

Thats all I can think of. I love you guys! Have a great week!

Peut-être il faut que je commence a parler en français. Comme ça, ça permet de pratiquer un peux. 

Eh, c'etait la fête des pères hier. En tout cas je veux juste dire merci pour tout les chose que tu a fait pour moi et pour m'aider a me préparer a partir en mission. Je suis carrément contant de voir que tu travail maintenant et que tu prends meilleur soin de ton corps, honnêtement je pense pas que je pourrais le faire si j'étais a ta place. 

Mauruuru maita'i! 
Merci beaucoup!

Tera noa! Nana!

Elder Goodwin

Monday, 12 June 2017

Crazy, busy, loving it!

Dear fam and friends,

In to answer your question, you read in Elder Jenkins blog (from the island of Tahaa next door) that he did splits with his zone leader…. yes that was me that he did splits with.  Yeah, I have been zone leader ever since I got here. That's also the reason we get to do splits with the district leaders on Tahaa and eventually Huahine.

That's crazy to hear that Tianna is married. It has been so long that we've seen each other. 

This week was really fun. We got to take the Assistants to the President with us for a day and do some really good work in the areas. We also got to pick up President Bize for the Zone Conference. It’s always fun when President comes to town. At the same time there was also a transfer being worked out, so we got to ask President about who will be transferred. Sadly we also had a sister get really sick and go to the hospital on Friday and we got the news that she has some sort of detached lung, and there is fluid in her body. We got her on a plane for Friday night with President Bize and the Assistants. Sad to see her go and stressfull to work out all the transportation... including getting the Elders of Tahaa on a boat heading home, all at the same time. 

Now that the big week is over we are in full force working in our areas. We fixed two missionary firesides, one in the Branch (small congregation) and one in the Ward. 

We will be a doing a training for "member integraters." At the same time we have a couple other activities being put into place. Our bishop in Tevaitoa was super awesome before, but since we invited him to a coordination meeting, it seems as though there had been a missionary-work fire ignited inside him and he has fixed a bunch of super cool plans to help missionary work in the Ward---such as devoting every other Ward Council meeting to missionary work, were it is the missionaries that lead the discussion. If we keep working in this direction the Ward will be a powerhouse. 

That’s all for this week I think. We were sooooo busy this week. I LOVE IT.


Elder Goodwin

If you look carefully you can see a houseboat and Bora Bora on the horizon.

A ukulele (Tahitian style) that our Ward Mission leader made for one of the Assistants that served in this area previously.

My companion and I (back) with the Assistants to the President.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Headed into Heiva season...

Hey guys. 

Yes I did get my birthday package. It was awesome! Thanks guys. I feel like you guys know me so well. 

The video of the Ward families acting out scripture stories was really cool. That must of been fun for them to film. My personal favourite was the Hornbergers'. 5 STARS!. 

Our last missionary conference we didn't get to fly back to Tahiti this time, but we will next month. We watched it over a video conference program called webex. Kinda sucked because they always serve really good food a Président’s house. (does jealousy here) but we were stuck here eating the beef jerky out of the package and some other snacks that we brought. But the conference was Enlightening. 

Talking about Good ol' Pres Bize. He will be coming down to Raiatea on Friday and we will have the Assistants to President staying with us for about two-ish days. It’s going to be really fun. I think its Président’s last visit to Raiatea, before he is released, so I’m sure he will take some good pictures. 

This week we have stayed really busy. We have been working with a lot of investigators.  We hope they will continue to progress. The work has been complicated a little bit with Heiva practices for July and politics like I’ve never seen in my life. 

Over all---life is doing great. I don’t really have the right to complain...
Sorry for the lame email. heh heh

Elder Goodwin