Monday, 18 September 2017

The hair is great... working hard on Raiatea

As for transfer news I know absolutely nothing for sure. But because of long-time experience dealing with transfer calls. It is 80% sure I will be transferred but as to where I will be going there is no possible way to predict. Transfers are the most illogical thing. There is no way to predict it. It's just pure revelation. 

My hair is doing well... as usual. (editor’s note: we sent some hair product to him at his request).

Basically this week was a super great week in the area. We managed to work a lot with the members (which had been our goal). We felt inspired to visit a guy in our in our Ward to engage him to find us an investigator. When we chatted with him he said "do you guys really want a reference" then he turned and led us to a house a little ways away and introduced us to his brother. We had a great discussion with him and it seemed that he really felt the spirit. We fixed another lesson for later this week. Now that's how missionary work should be. We literally engaged a member, visited a reference, taught a lesson all in about 30 minutes.

Next week we will be heading over to Tahaa for a training with Haamene Branch (a small congregation) and the Ward of Cumorah and the Branch of Hipu. (there are two branches and one ward on the island of Tahaa). We will also make the most of our two-night stay by doing a split with the 4 four Elders over there. 

Well that's basically all I’ve got for you guys. Today we will be working at our branch mission leaders place. We will be finishing up our little projects. Stay tuned!

Love you guys!

Elder Goodwin


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Teaching, traveling and Tiare Apetahi

Hey guys, 
I’m writing late because this morning the district united (got together) and climbed a mountain. It was great. I sent some pictures of the highlights. 

This week was a very good week. We taught lots of lessons and managed to find a new investigator through a reference from a member. Always awesome when that happens. It’s one of the member’s brothers who is going through kind of a rough patch in his life. He’s very receptive and motivated to find solutions through the gospel. Golden find.

Other than that... the week was very normal. We got to fly in to Tahiti for another leadership council. We had some good teachings from President and Sister Fox, as well as a great, and rather well needed training on leadership roles. It was also great to see some of the Elders I know. When you are separated from the rest of the mission by an ocean for over 10 months people start to forget you exist. 

Sadly we did not have time to stop by “Macdo" this time around... 

Overall a great week. It'll be interesting to see the changes in the North Stake Ward boundaries. It'll also allow you guys to meet some new people. Fun times! 

Thanks for the email. Oh and the package got here. You guys are the best.

Elder Goodwin 

The only two pictures I took of our trip to Tahiti for our leadership council. This is of Bora and the one below is Papeete. 

A cool multi Ward "mini heiva”
A member tried to photocopy their ipad. Made me laugh.
Hike pics. 

Meet Elder Ward (guy with crown thing) Elder Cottle (tall guy) and Mario (a cool member).
Picture of the Tiare Apetahi. Extremely rare flower. There are only two plants like this and they are only found on the Temehani mountain on Raiatea. And yes I did take that picture.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Hiking in the jungle

Family and friends,

Haven’t gotten the package yet. I may get it on Wednesday or Friday.

Long story short, fishing didn’t work out this morning and we just ended up wasting a lot of time...

I’ve actually lost a bunch of weight lately. I working on gaining some more muscle right now with some exercise.

Sorry for the lameness of my email. Not really a whole lot to report. Companion and I get along alright. My Tahitian is doing a lot better. I bore my testimony in Tahitian from the pulpit on Sunday.

See you guys in two months.

love Elder Goodwin
These pictures are from our split with the Elders quorum. We literally hiked through the jungle to go visit members.

And two planner covers I made...

Monday, 28 August 2017

Training, travel and a terrific family

Hey guys!

This week was suuuuuuuuuper busy, more like the last couple weeks have been super busy. We didn’t have a full day in our proselyting area until Sunday. We were just constantly at the boats, or at the airport picking up and dropping off missionaries. And we went to Tahaa for a training with a branch council and a ward council. Oh and four areas in the zone got “white washed” so we have been working on damage control with the transitions of the new missionaries.

The training went great. We really have a great relationship with the leaders over in the 1st ward plus two branches of Tahaa. They keep asking us to come back for Firesides and trainings. It has also help motivate them, and this has resulted in those areas starting have way more success. The missionaries of Tahaa, Cumorah Ward moved into a new house so we all got together and had dinner with them. It was really nice to get to know the new missionaries.

Funny story. We ate at a super awesome oldish member’s house the other day. And while we we were eating there was an old timey French movie playing in the room next to us. It seems that the movie was about slavery and stuff, so throughout the evening my companion and I had to try and not laugh at the insane amounts of racial slurs coming from the other room. Good thing my comp has a good humour about that kind of stuff.

Tahitian 101
Funny Tahitian language discovery while talking to a 92 year old lady. The common word for “weed” here is "Pakalolo" which is actually a Hawaiian word. So I asked the mamie how they say it in Tahitian. She said its "Papaateroro." "Papaa" means “to burn” (while cooking) and "te roro" means “the brain.” Hmmm… makes sense. Oh and computer in Tahitian is "Rorouira" which means “electric brain.”

This week we have a Zone Conference with President Fox and the assistants. It will be nice because the four missionaries of Huahine will fly down to Raeatea for this one normally. It'll give us a chance to meet the new missionaries. There are a lot of unique challenges when your zone is split over three islands.

We are teaching the coolest couple ever. They are 24 and 22 years old, and by some miracle they have already been married for four years and have two little daughters. (co-habitation is very common here). They have been progressing really well over the last couple months and we are helping them prepare to be baptized in September. And they both have a solid testimony of the Book of Mormon. They are probably my favorite Investigators.

Thanks for all you guys do! Love you!

Elder Goodwin
Boat to Tahaa

And the view from the patio (Cumorah) chapel.

More of the view of Bora from Tahaa, Cumorah Chapel

Little dinner with the 4 missionaries of tahaa. Prepared by the couple that came down to help with the move. 

Elder Omorodion and I on our way to Tahaa
Driving the boat!
My comp and I wearing Nigerian clothing

Monday, 21 August 2017

Yay... we got a truck but boy do we need it!


My companion (Elder Omorodion from Lyon, France) says a medium t-shirt could work but send a large maybe just to be sure. 

Its crazy to hear that Divine San Juan is already home from Hong Kong and her 18 months are done!. It just shows how fast time flies. 

Yes! We finally got the truck. And good thing because we picked up literally sooooooooooooo much stuff from the boat. Because of all the transfers lately and the fact that the mission office has sent us four beds, four mattresses, a dryer and many other things for the houses here… the first day with the truck we drove over 200 kilometres. It was one of those days where we were out running errands from 7 in the morning until 9:30 at night and didn’t think to eat. Normally we shouldn’t have another day like that for at least another week. That way we can actually do some proselyting, heh heh.

We had some great lessons this week. We taught a lady this week who has been investigating the Church for over 20 years. She and her husband recently made the decision to get married and for the wife to be baptised in early November. She broke down in tears when she told us. That’s when you see the true fruits of repentance---when people make a conscious decision to make changes in their life and therefore feel the spirit more strongly. 

Soooo. I’m almost done reading the standard works (the Scriptures) in French, so for the last two months of my mission I’m only going to study in Tahitian. Every personal, companionship and language study will be in Tahitian. IT’S GONNA BE SICK!

Elder Gary E. Stevenson arrives this week. We will be watching the Mission conference over webex this week. Kinda sad to be out in the islands sometimes. We get to miss out on some really cool opportunities. 

We’ve been spending most of our p-days hanging with our branch mission leader, wood carving at his place. It may be something I will get into wood carving as a hobby one day. It’s a very satisfying skill to have.

Well that all I’ve got for you guys this week. Keep staying classy!

Much love

Elder Goodwin 

We got a truck!

Elder Omorodion and I realized we hadn't taken a picture together yet. So we snapped this one real quick for you guys.

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