Monday, 29 August 2016

Quick email... catching the boat to Mo'orea

Short email this week, because I’m about to take a boat to Mo'orea. Long story short—I got the opportunity of a lifetime to go and spend P-day with a missionary who is finishing in two weeks. I hope to send pictures next week.

This week was average, we taught lessons and saw miracles. 

I attended the ground breaking for the largest chapel ever going to be built in French Polynesia. i'll catch up next week!

Love ya!
Elder Goodwin

Monday, 22 August 2016

Miracles and tender mercies...

Family and friends,

Interesting thing: I’ve actually had a couple new missionaries come up to me and say, "hey I hope this isn’t weird but I read your entire blog before coming on a mission.”

We are now down to a duo. Elder Eperania and I. Elder Thebaud got transferred to the Presqu'ile. Working as two is a little less complicated and we managed to improve on our numbers from last week. Each week gets better and better it seems. We continue to receive a bunch of referrals... which keeps us super busy. We actually had to do a split one day so that we could teach more than one lesson at a time.

Saturday we had the baptism of Mamie. She was super exited and invited her entire posterity.
We are going to start from the beginning.

My companion and I arrive at the chapel two hours early to start filling the baptisimal font. We open the tap and water only drips out slowly. We were very, very confused so we went over to the front of the chapel and a man stopped us and explained that a little kid broke one of the taps outside and water was spraying out of the tap, and that had caused the entire chapel to loose its water pressure. The man scrambled to try and fix the problem, but time was ticking away and we still didn’t have any water. No water, no baptism. 

We are now at one hour before the baptism, still no water. I was starting to get really concerned. What do I do? Do I cancel the baptism? What I did was lock myself in the bathroom and prayed, I said Heavenly Father, if it be Thy will, fill the baptisimal font. I came outside right as our bishop was pulling up. We spoke with him for a few minutes. We ended up finding a way to hook up a fire hose and run the hose through the chapel and fill the font. It filled that thing in like 40 minutes. MIRACLE NUMBER 1! 

Then we helped Mamie out of the car and got everything ready for the program. a bunch of family came and a bunch of members came to support the baptism. We then proceeded to the ordinance itself. We had spent weeks stressing about how we were going to baptise a 72 year old,130 kilo, half-paralysed and super-frail woman without killing her. We put four missionaries in the font, Elder Malca (The Baptiser) Elder Eperania, Elder Gilstrap and I in the font to hold Mamie and make sure she is well supported, because she is so weak. Four large Tahitian men carried Mamie and lifted her over the wall of the font, because the stairs were too dangerous. They passed her and Elder Eperania and I got Mamie and realized that she weighed nothing at all. I cannot count how many times my comp and I have gotten her out of a car and struggled to lift her, but now she weighed absolutely nothing. 

We lowered her so she was sitting in the water. the font surrounded by family, friends and ward members. We then started the ordinance itself and immersed her totally and brought her back up, she came out of the water with a huge smile and everyone around let out a big sigh of relief, some even shouting for joy. We then braced to lift her back up over the wall. I tensed up as if to do a big deadlift considering I was on my knees in the font, and now the 130 kilo Mamie was soaking wet, as my comp and I lifted her out and she basically weighed nothing. We passed her over the wall and they put her into the wheel chair. MIRACLE NUMBER 2! The most amazing baptism I’ve ever seen or participated in. Then the next day at the chapel I got to confirm her a member of the Church. Over all an amazing experience.

Amazing week. I’ve never seen so many miracles in my life.

I’m loving the work, I see the hand of God everyday. What more could you ask for?

Elder Goodwin

P.S. Oh and the beef jerky story. 
This week I got a couple calls from missionaries that I know in Papeete, they said that they saw a package for me in the mission office that says on it, 100 dollars worth of beef jerky. I was confused for half a second and then I realized that Stan Johns asked me a couple weeks ago if there is anything I miss, so I said beef jerky--- because that kinda stuff doesn’t really exist here. Next thing you know, I get a package with an unreasonable amount of beef jerky in it. Stan the man keep’in up the reputation of being probably the coolest person in the Ward.

Pure salty goodness! Thanks Stan!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Member referrals are the best...

It’s crazy to hear all the stuff going on at home sometimes. 

This week went really, really well. We taught a lot of really good quality lessons. In fact, the most lessons I’ve ever taught in this secteur. The work is progressing so much right now, and am really motivated. The trio thing is kinda tough overall, but we manage to work around it. The members are really starting to support us and we actually had a bunch of referrals lately. And thanks to those we have a person who desires baptism for next week. Its lady of 72 years old, and she can’t move on her left side. We three elders go and help her get out of car and into the wheel chair each Sunday. She can’t support herself at all on one leg, so she needs to be carried. This baptism will be logistically difficult, but this lady is so awesome. Super duper converted. She has 15 children, so filling out the baptismal papers was a really lengthy process. 

There aren't many huge revelations this week. Life is just kinda moving forward. Next week I will hit 10 months on a mission, that’s kinda scary. 

I got a call from one of my converts from Mataie'a  the other day, and he just asked, "where are you right now." He knew that I was in Paea, so I told him I was at one of the chapels waiting for an investigator to show up. He pulls up with his wife and hands me a big old box of doughnuts and a bottle of coconut water, because he knows how much I love that stuff. He then announces to me that he and his wife will be getting sealed (married)in the temple on Dec 10th. If I am on the main island or on Moorea at that time, I will be able to go with them to the sealing. That is super awesome. There is no greater feeling than hearing those words coming out of someones mouth. 

My Tahitian is coming along really well actually. I’ve been speaking a lot of Tahitian and I can now pray comfortably in Tahitian. I get to practice a lot with the lady we are teaching. She is super great. 

Well that’s my week this week. 
Ua here Vau ia outou. Faaitoito to'u utuafare. 

Orometua Faufaamaitai

We did a lesson sitting down looking out on the beach. Very cool.

The trio keepin' it real!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Adventures of the three amigos...

Friends and family,

This week was a very reasonable week in terms of missionary work accomplished. We managed to get a bunch of good lessons in, and managed to help a bunch of people progress. 

The trio is actually really fun, because the new Elder... Elder Eperania is super funny. He is smart and he works well and communicates well.  But he is just trusting enough that it is super easy to mess with him, so the group dynamic is fun. 

We were on foot this week, because Elder Eperania is waiting for his bags and bike to come in on a boat, considering his last secteur was on the island of Tahaa. So we will likely get his stuff this week.

We are starting to lean back into the hot season here, so I’m kinda scared for how the next couple months are going to go--weather wise. I will probably be completely black in a couple months. There is a super nice old lady in my Ward, who has connections with a luxury black pearl company, so I gave here about 13 of the pearls that I’ve collected and received (it’s a Tahiti thing), and she traded them for about six super nice crazy higher quality pearls and she is going to make two sets of ear rings and two pearl pendant necklaces for Mom and Claire. (you can thank me later). 

Not a whole lot interesting happened this week, just pretty much worked our butts off. We did get blindsided this week. This, fellow saw us on the side of the road and told us he wants to take lessons with us, so we fixed a lesson for the next day. When we walked through the front gate, there were a bunch of people of a certain denomination there and I knew exactly what we were in for. They were really mean in their approach, so I did what anyone would do and called them to repentance using scriptures and we got the heck out of there. Fun times this week. 

Well I love you guys, keep on keepin on.

Ua here vau ia outou, ia maita'i outou teie hepetoma.

Orometua FaufaaMaita'i  

The triumphant return of Elder Ruff... my trainer and first companion. He is in my zone now!

Elders Thebaud and Esperania... my companions.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Hope, faith and relying on the Spirit!

I’ve been learning a lot from training. I’ve also learned a lot about the principles of hope and faith the last couple weeks. I had an interview with President Bize this week, and we talked a lot about this. Training has really pushed me to try and be the best possible example I can be. It has really pushed me to rely on the Spirit and be obedient so that I can have the Spirit with me. I have learned lately that just being positive helps you so much… if you are convinced nothing is going to work, nothing will work. It has just really pushed me to learn more, and be able to always have the Spirit with me. 

This week ended with a rather interesting phone call from the AP's (Assistant's to President). Normally there is a transfer going on right now, but we knew already that none of us were going to move, so we were not expecting a call. But we got a call, and I answered with a rather confused tone. He explained to me that my comp and I will not be moving, but we will be getting a third companion. We are going to be in a trio. I am not quite sure what to think yet as I’ve never experienced what it is like to be in a trio before… not sure how this is going to work. Don’t know the Elder yet. He has been on a mission about four months now and is from the island of Rangiroa. We will see how this all plays out. Oh and my current comps English is improving a lot. No word on his U.S. visa.

Other than that, my Tahitian studying has tripled, and it has been improving so much. The members of the Ward are helping me a lot. They gave me a bunch of books in Tahitian and a super good Tahitian dictionary. We did a lesson with a old Tahitian Mamie and I managed to teach a fair bit of the first lesson in Tahitian. I was teaching very simply, but that is super cool to me. I understand most of what people say now. The goal of helping the Mamies and Papies (older folks) in the Ward is so that I can speak it fluently by the end of my time here in Papehue.

I have started a list of "things that are difficult but not impossible.” 

Well, thats my email this week, love you guys. i didnt really take many pictures this week, so enjoy Minouche (the cat).

La maitai oe tei mahana. 
Have a nice day. 
Elder Goodwin

Elder Porter "porting" moi

Me trying to "port" Elder Porter

Enjoy Minouche!

I've still got a little bit of Canada behind my watch