Monday, February 24, 2014

Miracles Happen!!!!!!

Buenos tardes! Como estan? Esta semana fue muy bien! 

Probably one of the best weeks of my mission. We have had the coolest experiences and I have learned so much about trusting in the Lord to change plans and trusting in the Spirit during lessons because when you do it really does guide the lesson perfectly to what the investigator needs to hear. 

This week we were on bikes and it was beautiful weather! it started off quite eventful with a mattress flying off the back of a car right in front of us as we were driving down the busy street John Borrow. We jumped off our bikes, looked for cars of course, and ran out and grabbed it out of the street. We roughly have been biking about 10-15 miles a day so thats awesome! And lots of hills means lots of fun :) there are so many hills here... We met SO many new people this week and I think because this week was so nice everyone was out enjoying the weather and we were on bikes and so the Lord put a lot of people in our paths this week. My companion and I have been praying for that and for the ability to find more people to teach and God answers prayers! 

So coolest story ever! We were planning to go contact a referral that Elder Ludwig gave us. We were on bikes and we plugged the address into the GPS and wrote out the directions very clearly so we wouldnt get lost and went over them like 5 different times. We start biking there and get to a street where you either have to turn right or left and we didnt know which way. We called Elder Ludwig and he said to go right and 2 other people that were walking on the street told us to go left. So sister peterson decided that we were going to go left. We get to this first street and realize that we had gone too far so we decided to turn right onto another street. we then were heading up that way and I felt like we should turn right again. We drive... haha I mean bike... past this house and in my head I knew that house but I had never been there before. We kept biking and then I just said we have to turn around. We have to go see that house. I know that house. I think they are Spanish. as we were locking our bikes up I realized they werent spanish and that I had never been close to his house before but still knew that we had to go see them. This is really weird for me because my whole mission I have never felt like I knew exactly what house to go to talk to when we are spiritual harvesting (tracting). But I definately knew it this time. We knock and the door answers and they were definately not hispanic. They were African American. We prayed with them and starting talking to them about what we as missionaries do and suddenly I started talking about baptism and before I even know what I was saying I had asked them to be baptized. They all 3 said YES and were SO excited for it! They asked "when can we get baptized?" we set a date for the 15th with them and they cannot wait! they are all in their 20's and are the coolest people I have ever met! I love them :) I am so glad that I am learning how to recognize the Holy Ghost in my life and that through that God makes miracles happen. If we wouldnt have gotten lost, we wouldnt have found them. If I wouldnt have turned around, we wouldnt have met these people that are more than ready and willing to accept the gospel. After we were done teaching them we also were able to find exactly where we needed to go to get to our original plans. Sometimes our plans arent what God wants us to be doing at that time and I realized I need to remember that this is His work and I need to do it His way and when I do, miracles happen! We call these people the miracle 3! We went and saw them again last night and they told us they are still planning for the 15th and want us to come over everyday to teach them! 

This week was just full of miracles. We were biking and all of our appointments fell through and we didnt know what to do so we decided just to lock our bikes up and start walking somewhere. 2 African American girls pulled up and asked if we were girl scouts... that was funny! But then a member from the English ward pulled up and introduced himself and told us that he said there are no hispanics around there. We decided just to keep walking and went to turn down this street and there was a scary dog (yes ever since I almost got attacked I am deathly afraid of big barking dogs) so we turned around and I was praying to know what we shoudl do... and this hispanic lady out of nowhere comes walking straight towards us! we were able to talk with her about to Book of Mormon and she was really cool! She also had 2 star gold grills on her front teeth. 

We went to a baptism in Jacksonville this week (a 12 year old boy who was being taught my English Elders whose mom is hispanic) and met his cousin there, Mario, who is hispanic and is really cool and we are going to meet with him this week and I am really excited about it. I feel like this last week we were really able to find legit people who are ready to accept the gospel. 

The Robles family, whose dad is the 1st counselor in the Branch, have a son that has a girlfriend named Madelyn who has been coming to church on and off for the past 2 years with him and has been reading the Book of Mormon diligently and been taught by missionaries before. We decided to go and meet with her last night and were able to talk with her about her situation and baptism.  Her parents have told her before that they dont want her to get baptized but also that they would support her. We were able to teach a really great lesson and she decided to set a date for the 15th as well! She just has to clear it with her parents. So pray for her! She is so close!!! 

Well... if you havent gotten anything out of this email just know that I know that this Gospel is true and that it can change lives! I know it and I pray for all of you everyday to keep going forward and staying strong in the gospel. I love you and you all mean so much to me!!!!!!!!! 

Hermana Goudie


No distribution of literature... oops. We spend a lot of time here at the trailer park because
that is where all the hispanics life!

ASL Sisters that live with us!

Service! We raked all these leaves! :)

Some cool people that eat at Sister Culwells with us each week.

The Miracle 3!!!!!!!!!!

Pinnacle Mountain hike today that we did!


My eyes are closed. This hike was beautiful!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oscar Got Baptized!!!!

Hola familia! Como estan? 

This week we had transfers! So lots of changes but its all good :) I got a new companion :) Her name is Hermana Peterson. She is awesome! She came out with me but went to Provo for the MTC instead of Mexico. So I met her in November when I got to Arkansas when we slept over at the mission home. So we have the same amount of time out. Its a little bit weird because I still dont feel like I know Spanish very well at all and she doesnt either. But its alright. We are learning together! She has been in Russelville for these past two transfers and she was teaching more English and so her Spanish isnt super great but we are both hopefully going to rely on the Spirit to know what people are saying and to know how to respond...

So before transfers last week there may have been a few tears. I was so sad to say bye to Hermana Howton and felt like I didnt know what I was going to do without her because she knew so much about our investigators and the area and how to understand people that speak spanish. I am realizing now that I relied on her a lot. Oh and by the way I am the designated driver now. It is fun to drive. Looks like I havent forgotten how to drive in the past 4 months after all. Wow. That seems weird I have been out that long. It doesnt even feel long at all. All though I must admit some days my mission seems like it is never going to end but then some days like today I look back and realize that it has gone super fast. 

After the first transfer meeting we found out that we had to wait around to pick up the ASL sisters later that night (one was coming from Memphis so in this mission we have three different transfer meetings- one in N. Little Rock in the morning, one in Memphis in the afternoon, and then one again in N. Little Rock at night. Its a bit confusing.) Anyhow we had to chill up at N. Little Rock for the day while we waited for the transfer meeting at night. We went to lunch at Rosalinda and ate papusas with some of the Elders, went and visited some less actives, and went to dinner at Sis. Culwells. Then we had the meeting, picked up the ASL sisters, went home and got everything situated. I am going to have to get used to living with 4 sisters. My OCD might get to me... they are all just a little bit messy and it is hard to keep the apartment clean with 4 of us. But I told them all today that I had OCD and we had a cleaning session. so for now it is all good! But they have been teaching me some sign language which is fun :) We teach them spanish too! Or the spanish that I think I know ;) 

How was all your valentines day? We didnt do much to celebrate. We had weekly planning that went for way to long... we did get to go get free ice cream though at Burger King! Oh and guess what? We are on bikes this week... But it feels really really nice outside! It is like almost hot today. I love it! :) Sister Peterson and I ran to the Rodney Parham building today in shorts and short sleeved shorts to write emails and by the time we got here we were both very sweaty. And very out of breath. Man, I am so out of shape ;) 

So one of the most exciting things that happened this week was that OSCAR GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!! He is the 14 year old that we have been visiting and teaching for the past few weeks. His mom is a less active. We teach him in English because for some reason he doesnt like to speak Spanish. I love his family! His mom is crazy and I feel super close to her. She feels like my best friend. When I have to leave this area I will definately miss them so much! She has 2 other little boys who are adorable and she wants us to keep coming and start teaching her 7 year old so he can be baptized. Oscar is setting a great example for his younger brothers and his mom. His mom actually came to church this last Sunday! She said she is going to try to get work off so she can keep coming. But anyways the baptism. It was a bit stressful because I wasnt quite sure everything that I had to do before hand because I have never dealt with a baptism on my own and my comp. is new and the Fosters were out of town and the Elders were new and it was interesting. But we were able to get the Bowen family to give talks and I was able to figure out how to make a program and we were planning on doing the confirmation on Sunday but at the last second I was informed that Sunday was going to be branch council so we werent going to be able to do that (this was right after Oscar got baptized and we were waiting for him to come back in). So the branch president said we could do it right then and I asked his mom and she said that was fine and then the Elders came up and asked if I got the mission presidents permission and I didnt because I didnt know I had to do that so then I had to call President and he didnt answer so we called his wife and she was able to approve it for us just in time to get him confirmed after he came out. Long story not so short, he got baptized and confirmed and is a member of the church and I am so proud of him! He has been taught my multiple missionaries in the past and he finally decided to do it this time. After the baptism his mom came up to me and hugged me for a while and started crying and said "thank you so much! he finally did it." I know that sometimes conversion takes a while, like Oscar. He has had multiple missionaries who have planted that seed in his heart and sometimes it just takes time for that seed to develop. When the timing is right for them in the right circumstance, they can feel of the Spirit and know what they need to do and choose to act. Thats what Oscar did and I am so excited for him to continue forward in this gospel, to get the priesthood and someday go on a mission. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to know and meet him and see how the gospel can bless him and his families life. He is so cool! After the baptism we were able to go out to dinner with them and the guy that came from Tulsa Oklahoma (his godfather) to baptize him. This guy drove 4 hours to the baptism and 4 hours right after. Crazy! But it meant that much to him. This gospel is so true!

Well thats about it but I love you all and keep reading your scriptures and going to church or I will be so mad! Okay? LOVE YOU!

Hermana Goudie

Playing ping pong!

Last time with the P-Day group because of transfers.

Saying goodbye to the fosters. There may have been a few tears (I wasn't even
leaving! ;) haha).

Adios Hermana! She went to Monticello (2 hours away). But she is still in my zone so I will
 see her on Wednesday!

Mi Nueva Companera! Hermana Peterson!

Oscar got baptized!!!!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

This Week...

This week was awesomely crazy! There were some pretty great storms this week. One was when the trees and everything possible had icicles on them and everything looked beautiful! the second was there was actually a snow storm!!!!! It was awesome and a bit scary. So I will just tell you now. The night we had the snow storm sis. Howton and I were worried we weren't going to get up the hill to our apartment (it is very steep and the roads were already super slippery and our car is only 2 wheel drive) and on our way down the hill that night we were sliding all over the place. The snow picked up a lot while we were out that night and we didn't know what to do. We were at the Rodney Parham church building close to our house and the Elders stopped by and asked how we were getting home and we said we really dont think it is possible to make it up the hill and they told us to sleep at the church (it was almost time to be in). We had to call the zone leaders and ask permission to stay at the church and they said that they dont think that we could stay at the church but they didnt understand how scary this hill was. The elders that we were with insisted that we dont try to go up the hill because they knew it was going to be dangerous but they told us to pray about what we should do because we were thinking about walking home. We said a prayer and right when the prayer started I knew that we were going to have to stay at the church. I really was wanting to walk home because I didnt want to sleep without my retainer and I was a little upset but I knew that it was the Holy Ghost telling me this because it is something that I wouldnt think. So I told my comp. and she said that we should call President. President told us it wouldnt be possible for us to stay at the church and he said he was going to come pick us up and take us home. About 10 minutes later we got a call and president said that we were going to have to stay over at the church because the roads were so bad and there was so many wrecks that he wasnt going to be able to get to us. So... we had a sleepover at the church that night. It was a great adventure! We slept on the cushions from the couch. I actually slept without my retainer! or at least attempted to... it was a bit cold. Anyways the next morning president came and picked us up and took us up the hill and there were 3 cars on our hill that had gone off the road and one of the went all the way down the hill and hit straight on into a huge tree. It looked very scary. But we were able to stay safe at the church and I know that God answers prayers and the Holy Ghost can tell us all things that we should do and can keep us safe. 

Another crazy experience this week. We got a call from a random lady speaking spanish and she said that her brother's wife had a premature baby and just found out that he is really sick and needs surgery (the baby) and she was wondering if there was a place we could find for the parents and her to stay while the baby gets better because they live about 2 hours away. So we were able to find a place for them (thanks to the amazing sister Foster and Barrientos) and we went to the hospital to meet them and the Elders gave this baby a blessing. We were able to see the baby and it was the tiniest thing I have ever seen. His name is Samuel and he was born at 25 weeks and weighed 2 pounds. This family is awesome and the brother and his sister are members (the brother is less active) but his wife (the mom of the baby) is not a member. We were able to help them out and pray with them and we invited them to church on Sunday and they came! They are such a cool family and I really am hoping and praying that their little baby is going to be alright. 

So Sister Howton is going to be leaving me on Wednesday :( I am staying though so that is good. I am excited to have new experiences with a new companion and to be getting the two new sign language sisters in our apartment will be fun as well. I am super duper sad that Sis. Howton is leaving though because she is SO cool! But I know that she needs to be somewhere else and this is what is best. Well. That's about all the time I have but I wish I could just tell you about all the other crazy experiences this week. The gospel is true and missionary work is awesome! 

Love you all! 
Hermana Goudie

All the trees looked like this for a couple of days!

Sleepover at the Church!


La Familia Herreras!

El Hermano Alfredo! Recent Convert that is SO cool!

Some of our favorite investigators!

La Hermana Beatriz
When President Drove us home on Saturday he told us that Hermana Howton was getting transferred so we had a few days to get pics with everyone before she heads out.

The Old Mill! It was in a part of gone with the wind. It was so cute!

At the Capitol today! Sis. Foster took us out to the Old Mill and the Capitol this morning to take pics.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Un Ontro Semana!

Hola mi familia! Como estan? This week was just a little bit crazy. I think every week that it cant get any more crazy but some how it seems to. So... last Monday we were able to construct a Ping Pong table at the church (I dont know if I mentioned that in this email last time.) and it made me so happy! I miss playing ping pong so much! And I dont know if I have ever mentioned this before but my companion is hilarious! She always does the funniest/dumbest things and if anyone else did them it wouldnt be funny but it is Hermana Howton and everything she does cracks me up SO much! Last week as the Elders were leaving we walked out with them and they handed us our baskets to our bikes from inside the car and they had put one of the Elders case with a camera in it on accident. As they were driving away, I realized that the camera was in there and yelled to the Elders and asked if they needed it and one Elder said throw it and Hermana Howton grabbed it from me and chucked it at the car like a football (she didnt realize it was a camera) and the other 3 Elders screamed and then the camera hit the car and fell on the ground. It was really funny.She felt so bad all day. The camera ended up being fine. Just a few bruises Elder Johnson said.  I hope that made sense. 

After that day it was a bit chilly so I biked home with sweats under my dress. Monday night we went to the Bowens with Oscar (the 14 year old that is getting baptized in two weeks) and had dinner and a family home evening. It was really awesome. I know that when you get the members involved in getting to know your investigators it makes a huge difference. Oscar was able to meet the Bowen kids and they seemed to really get along. We played a fun game too that Hermana Howton and I made up. It was like a guess the word (gospel words) game. 

So also this week... WE MOVED!!!!!!!!! We got a call on Wednesday night from the office and they said "Hey has President told you that you are moving apartments on Friday morning?" And we hadnt heard anything. It was a big shock! We are still in the same apartment complex just a different building. This apartment has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It is because on Feb. 12th (transfers- man I really really really hope I dont get transferred but I have a feeling that I might and I will find out next Monday...) we are going to get ASL (American Sign Language) missionaries to come and live with us... I am excited but it is also going to be a little difficult to study while they are signing and we are speaking Spanish. So we spent some time this week packing everything up and then on Friday the Elders came over and helped us move everything out. It was a process and took awhile (especially because we are on the 3rd floor and the Elders had to take our beds, washer and dryer, and other furniture down. But we made it and after today we have everything put away again (except our dryer isnt working) The apartment is nice though-it smells a little bit like smoke because the apartment under us smokes. We also had to clean it up a bit. We walked in right before moving all the stuff in and the toilets had brown stains all over and there was a dead cockroach on the ground and leftover butter in the fridge and extra utenils (we were excited about that) but after a few days of cleaning it is starting to feel more like home! 

We got to watch a broadcast of Elder L. Tom Perry this week. It was broadcast from the Memphis stake center. It was awesome! It was about getting the members involved in this work. We also went on exchanges this week. So I went to Bryant with the English sister training leaders and it was really great! And then on top of all this craziness we had to teach the Gospel Principles class this week (Sunday school-in spanish) it was really scary. But we did it. With Gods help!

Besides that we just had a great week teaching people the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all! 

Hermana Goudie

Locked outside the church waiting in the cold.

After the Service Activity at the old folks home this week they had extra
balloons so we took some and decorated!