Monday, 27 February 2017

Well, I'm not going to die anytime soon...

Hello all,

Well. This week I got a blood test done and an ultrasound done of my neck. I’ve got about 4-5 swollen limph nodes in the right side of my neck. The doctor said that normally is is caused by and infection either in my mouth or on my skin. But I dont have any of those. So after the blood test I was told that I am positive for Toxoplasmosis. It is essentially harmless to a healthy person. I don’t even need any treatment. 

The lumps should go down in a couple weeks the doctor said. But he said they may come back every once and a while. Toxoplasmosis only really causes complications immune compromised people, in pregnant women or people with aids. So I just can’t go around becoming blood brothers with people, or get pregnant anytime soon. I can live without both of those things so I think we are good. Normally I would have gotten this parasite from improperly cooked food or from cats... which gives me a reason to stop playing with investigators cats during lessons. 

Yes, we ran into some tourists the other day. They were really nice and bought us all food. Actually on Bora we run into member tourists all the time.

So yeah I totally picked up the watch on Tuesday at the airport. And it works really well. The time wasn't right when I got it, but after about an hour... and a priesthood blessing we were able to figure out how to make it show the right time. If I remember correctly I think I asked for a simple watch. You guys literally sent me the “Bat-Watch." I mean I'm not complaining, its super cool. I’ve been timing literally everything since I’ve had this thing. THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH. This watch is actually pretty awesome.

TRANSFERS! I totally didn’t get transferred! yay! However, Elder Frazer did get transferred though. He is going to Makemo--a tiny little atoll island in the Taumotus archipelago. I will be receiving a French companion named Elder Sylvestre. He has been on his mission for about three months so I have never seen or met this guy. But I’ve heard that he is pretty chill. I actually really wanted a French companion to help keep my French nice and proper. (the island dialect is more informal at times). We will see how this goes.

So now I know pretty much for sure that I will be leaving in April. There are three elders leaving Bora, one in each area. so we will see how the dynamic changes. And they are all three newish missionaries coming. Two newbies and my three-month-old comp.

Mission life is going really well, the work this week was pretty great. One of our investigators fixed a baptism... which means we have three people that will be baptized on the 25th of March. AWESOME. I don’t really have many photos this week. Sorry guys. But next week I'll have a bunch. 

I love you guys! have a great week. 

Elder Goodwin

(P.S. Michele and Earl got this email and photo this week from a tourist in Bora Bora)

Dear Parents,
Last Sunday we had the opportunity of attending church in Bora Bora. It was quite the experience. While there we meet each of your sons. They are doing a wonderful job there on the island. The members love them and are helping them out in their work. We met them again in town on Monday and we took this picture. Sorry I'm late in sending it to you. We had very unreliable internet service. Thank you for raising such good sons that have a desire to serve the Lord on a mission. As a mother of 3 missionaries I always loved getting pictures of my missionaries. I hope this will make your day a little better. They love you, but are so happy in the work they are doing in Tahiti.

Barbara Jenson
We are kind of hoping Russell wasn't getting a tattoo that day... but they are a bargain at 40% off!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Lots of rain and a busy week

Family and friends,

Mom, BTW I got my hair cut about 20 minutes before I started emailing. It’s hard to find people with hair cutting machines. 

The weather has been pretty sucky. a lot of rain and wind. but I’ve actually heard that a couple Tuamoto islands got absolutely destroyed. It kinda comes with the season. There are usually big storms during this time. All is well over here, we just got really wet this week. 

Transfers are next week. That is the 27th of Feb. We will get the transfer calls Friday night. We bassically have no idea who is gonna get changed, at this point it could be anyone of us two. 

ohhhhh, and my package arrives on the plane (no idea why they sent it on the plane) today at 17:40. I will tell you about the watch and stuff next week probably. 

We went to the Motu again, that was really fun. and by some miracle, I didn’t get sunburnt at all. Overall a really great way to spend a p-day. We invited Pres Bize but he didn’t want to come... pas grave. 

Normally today we are going to eat at Bloody Mary's, and I will be going to the Doctor to get a thing on my neck checked out, as you can probably notice in some of the pictures, just under my ear on my right side. Sorry I didn’t bring this up a long time ago, but it probably isn’t a big deal. I might just have to get it removed some how... sorry again for not bringing this up like 3 weeks ago. I kinda thought it would go away after a while... sorry. In answer to your question… I’m told it doesn’t have a breathing hole. (good news I suppose). 

Well missionary work was really great this week. We found a couple new investigators this week and hope all goes well for them. Elder Frazer and I gave talks this week at church and it went super duper well. 

Well guys, that’s my life right now. Sorry That my emails are kinda lame, i’m just working hard and trying to not die. Stay cool. I’ll take a picture of whatever comes out of my neck.

love you guys,

Elder Goodwin 

Boat ride to Motu Tane Itu last P-day

Elder Frazer and I

Monday, 13 February 2017

3 shower-a-day hot here!

Hello all,

Good ol President and Sister Bize were on the island this week. They arrived on Saturday but we never ended up meeting up with them, we knew where they were staying because it is in our area. However, we spent all day Sunday with them. Pres. and Sister Bize did a little training meeting with us and brought a bunch of snacks because President knows us all too well.
The next transfer is on the 27th normally. So we will see in the next couple weeks if there will be any changes.
No crazy outrageous stories this week, we just worked hard. Saturday and Sunday were very very hot… like a 3 showers a day kind of hot.
We are going to the Motu (motu tane iti) with a couple of members this after noon so I may have some great pictures for you guys. Sorry that this week I dont' really have any cool photos to send.

Well I love you guys. Have a great week.
Elder Goodwin
Motu tane iti

Monday, 6 February 2017

Never judge a book...

Friends and family,

Regarding the package… I got a call from some missionaries in Papeete, they said that the package is already there. It will normally arrive here at Bora on the HavaikiNui boat on Wednesday. Talking about the HavaikiNui. I have had to pick up the stuff for Elder Dalton and Elder Rolls plus the sisters of Maupiti recently. In fact while I’ve been here I’ve picked up 4 bikes, 7 large suit cases, a couple large boxes a couple bags and a washing machine. Thats right. I now know all the workers on the boat by name.

Thats crazy, i'll talk to good ol Pres Bize about that when he gets here. normally he is coming to Bora for a reunion on the 11th. (Editors note: This is in response to our discovery that Russell’s mission President Bize’s was President Brent Thomas’s first companion when they were young missionaries in France… and they were again in the MTC together when they were training to be mission presidents. President Thomas was our former Stake President that served as Mission President in D. R. of Congo.)

Oh and the ukulele thing, I already know a lot of the cords and stuff, from just playing at member’s houses. And an Elder in my district has a big old sheet that I’m gonna photo copy that has a bunch of stuff on it. 

Alrighty, so this week we had a baptism. I'll tell you guys the story of this guy, because I think my side of the story is pretty sick.

Sooo. We’re gonna call this guy T. So T is really good friends with a couple members in the Ward, and is constantly at their house working out. They do bench press competitions and stuff. Since we would often eat at the members friends house, we would see T all the time, but we didn’t feel comfortable around him because he would always make fun of us in Tahitian. Even though we understood what he was saying… he thought we didnt understand so he kept up the teasing. 

T was a big drinker and loved to go and fight people at parties. He has had a couple run-ins with the police and almost went to jail. I personally really didn’t much like the guy, but the members would always joke with him and tell him that one day he’s going to take the lessons with us. Heh heh. So one day he was invited to assist a family home evening with the member family, and my companion and I taught a very simple lesson. I can’t remember what it was exactly, but apparently when T heard the message he couldn’t stop thinking about the stuff we said. 

He thought about it so much and he threw out all his alcohol at his house and stopped drinking. Then next week he came to the chapel with the member friends. He would still make loud jokes that were inappropriate, the members told me to teach him. Honestly, I really didn’t want to teach him, because he was too immature... so I prayed one day and asked God to help T so that he could received the gospel. Then a couple weeks later he came to the Ward Christmas party Motu trip. At the beginning of the trip he was still making loud annoying jokes, but about halfway through the activities he got really quiet, he was still smiling and stuff, but he stopped trying to be the center of attention. The next Sunday he came and we took him into our class and taught him a short lesson. He was quiet and listened carefully to the things we talked about and asked questions. We then taught him lessons over the last 4 weeks and he never missed a Sunday at church. 

Then last Thursday, after a very spiritual lesson he fixed his baptismal date for Saturday. We did the baptisimal interview on Friday and baptised him last Saturday at 5 o’clock. I gave him one of my ties. He came to church last Sunday in his new white shirt and the tie. He has completely changed. Just over a month ago he was making fun of mormons, laughing at his friends saying that one day he will take lessons. Now he has completely changed his life, and is continuing each day to be a better disciple to Christ.

Overall a super awesome week. Lots of work and lots of success. I’ve really been enjoying the work here. I really hope I don’t get transferred next transfer. 


Elder Goodwin
Elder Dalton and Elder Rolls
The best companion photo ever!

My companion after an unusually blistering hot day.
Baptism of "T"