Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Semana de Traslados

Hey family! This week we have transfers. We got calls this morning. Sister Warner is leaving me :( I am so sad! But she has been here for a little over 8 months so I think it will be a good change for her. 

Some crazy happenings this week:
1. Got a dart thrown right above my head to pop a water balloon, good thing the aim was good.
2. There was a huge lightning thunderstorm that we had to stay inside for. we played some cards. 
3. Learned how to play the mission song
4. Had specialized training with President Wakolo
5. Got to see Sis. Hernandez again in Little Rock after specialized
6. Deep cleaned our apartment for an apartment inspection
7. Had the most delicious ribs at the Eastmans that I have ever eaten
8. Had a pioneer activity with the branch where we all dressed up, sang hymns, told pioneer stories, and danced. I learned this way fun dance! 
9. Sang a song in the English branch with Samantha Smith called "I am of Worth." Sis. washburn accompanied and I figured out some fun harmonies. It was a little bit scary but it sounded good! There was someone afterwards that came up and said, "That was the first time in a long time that I have cried in sacrament." It was sweet.

10. But the most exciting thing that happened: ARISSANDRA GOT BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED!!!!!!!!!! It was one of the smoothest baptisms I have had. She was so happy! She is such an example to me. Her faith is so strong. She knew that this was something she had to do because she had received that answer to her prayers that this church was true and has been restored through Joseph Smith. None of her family came to her baptism which I am sure was hard on her. It is also going to be hard going to Mexico to her super catholic grandma but I know that she will be blessed and everything will work out. I know this gospel will bless her life. Being able to raise her little boy in the gospel will make everything better! I am so grateful for the Elders and all their help teaching her before handing her off. Being able to teach her, my testimony of prayers was strengthened. I know that God answers our prayers if we pray with real intent. I also know that God has a specific plan and timing for everything. I love this gospel and love being a missionary :)

Well I love yall! Have a good week! 
Hasta ver!

Sister Goudie

Went to Stobys :) a cute little Arkansas restaurant.

Mulans :) a Chinese restaurant.

Looking smart with our glasses studying!

Lake Dardenelle

After specialized training!

Love this Senior couple!

Arissandra got baptized!!!!

Playing some pioneer games.

The branch at the activity.

Pioneer activity!

Playing the piano and singing hymns with the members.

Monday, July 21, 2014


I guess you get fed a lot when you have a companion that has been in the area for 8 months that everyone loves. But I didnt think that we would have 9 different people ask to feed us in 2 days... haha ;) I am so grateful though. Eating dinners at members homes makes me feel at home. The members here are amazing. And since we are doing both English and Spanish here we get double the members ;) which is awesome. 

So besides a lot of food this week, arissandra had her interview to get baptized. she decided in the interview that she wanted to wait until she got back from mexico at the end of august to get baptized. she is going to mexico to visit her abuela who is super catolico and she wants to enjoy her time there. she is worried if she goes there a member of the church that they wont accept her and they will just argue and what not. but she is so ready to be baptized and we didnt want her to wait because the spirit is working super strong on her right now and we are worried if she waits it will dim and then she might come back not wanting to be baptized. and we want her to be able to get the Holy Ghost sooner. We promised her that her family will accept her, and that was a promise that didnt come from us. We went over with a recent convert that was in a similar situation and we had a really good lesson with her. We then had her pray right there with us to know if she should get baptized before or after mexico. we couldnt tell her what to do, she needed to get her answer from Heavenly Father because he has a plan for her. After the prayer we all just sat in silence for probably a good 2 minutes. arissandra just had her eyes closed the whole time and she looked so peaceful and focused. The spirit was super strong. she then opened her eyes and told us that she didnt want to get baptized this next saturday but the following. This is a very difficult situation because she is so young and I can see her fear of  having her family not support her in this decision. But I know that it is the right thing for her and that God wants this for her even though it is hard. I love the quote, "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it." I know that God has a specific plan for each and every one of us. If we pray to him we will be able to get answers to what we should do if we listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I know God hears our prayers. Hard times come, but it is to make us stronger and help us grow. Es vale la pena. 

We had a really cool lesson with a kid named Brandon this week. He told us that he wants to find a job and get school stuff settled and we promised him that if he came to church and put God first in His life that everything else would work out. I realized in my life there were times when I didnt put God first, and thats when I struggled with other things in my life. As I was teaching brandon I realized something. Before my mission, I was terrified to play the piano in front of people. I would never play in seminary or hardly ever in church. I was super scared. It was during those times that I was putting wordly things first. I really did want to be able to get over my fear of playing in front of people but it was something I struggled with. Being out here on the mission, I am putting God first in my life. I am setting aside all wordly things and serving Him. One out of the many blessings that I have seen from being on the mission, is that I am not scared to play piano in front of people anymore. I am not any better than I was before, if anything I might be worse..., but God is blessing me with the talent he gave me to not be scared to play. Its so weird how at meetings I just walk up to whoever is in charge and ask they have someone to play, something I have never done before in my life. And I really am not even that good at all, but God is blessing me with that confidence to play and know if I mess up, its alright! As I was sharing this experience with Brandon I started crying... not sure why. I just really felt the Spirit and it was neat to see the blessings that have come into my life. He said he was really touched. Sometimes I think even if the investigators that we teach dont accept the gospel, us missionaries learn and grow and receive answers to prayers or recognize blessings in our lives. I am so grateful for all of the experiences I am having on my mission and that my testimony is growing. 

We went over to the Eastmans one night with the Smiths to celebrate Tims birthday, sis. warners  1 year mark, and my 9 month mark. we had some cake and played some uno. and I think samantha smith and I are going to sing in church next sunday

And we had a lesson with Cory this week. It went well. we brought sis. watts with us who really helped control the situation so it didnt turn into bible bashing... but I dont think we will be meeting with him anytime soon. He wants to keep  meeting us and ask his questions about what we believe and then proving us wrong in the bible. but we told him that its pointless to keep meeting with us because its not going to go anywhere if he isnt willing to pray about the book of mormon and joseph smith because that is the only way he is going to know that our message is true. When I think of times like these it reminds me of the talk "the cost and blessings of discipleship" by Jeffrey R. Holland. We will all be tried and tested just like the Savior, and none of us will suffer even close to what the Savior suffered but as His disciples hard times will come. But good times always come as well :)

And this week I also tried Chocolate gravy finally! A southern classic. Yall have to try it! 

Love you! 
Hermana Goudie

District picture with the ZL's and senior couple after district meeting.

Just took a quick stop to Lake Dardenelle

Got my first haircut on the mission! Hna. Sorta is so nice and cuts missionaries hair for free. I love her!

At the GVA's learning to balance my scriptures on my head.

Hna. Hernandez!!!! I love when she works here in Russellville and
takes us out to eat.

Huge Sandilla!

Every Saturday night we play soccer with the branch and investigators. It is super fun.
This is me and Denys waiting for our turn to play.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Half Way!!!!!

In the words of Elder Hernandez and with a spanish accent: "what the crap?" where did the last 9 months go. I am already half way? How can that be? sometimes it seems like I have been out here forever but then sometimes it seems like it hasnt been long at all. mission time is so warped. but I am half way done... crazy!

this week we went on exchanges with sister smith (my last comp) and richards (the new spanish sister training leaders). It was different though because they are serving in memphis and they dont have enough miles to take one of us back to their areas so they both stayed here in the area so sis. warner and I just had 2 different schedules. it was good though. I went with sister richards who just switched to spanish 3 weeks ago so her spanish isnt too great but pretty good. samantha and denys came out with us when we were on exchanges so we went on splits for a little while. so I went with denys, samantha went with sis. richards, and kerianne went with sis. warner and smith. so that was pretty cool! 

we were on bike week this week but because we have the most amazing members we didnt even have to bike that much at all. denys came out with us for a whole day once and then 2 more days after that and sis. leal. too. they are so awesome! pretty sure we have had a dinner appt. every night I have been here except for maybe 1 or 2 nights. they are so kind. i love this ward and branch! 

funny story. while we were on bike week this week it had just rained really hard while we were in melindas and when we went to leave it was kinda just sprinkling. we had an appointment to get to so we biked in it and it was fine but the gutters of the streets were all filled up like rivers. we were on the sidewalk on the busy street and this big huge long diesel drove by right next to me hitting the water in the gutter and sure enough splashed a whole wall of water on me that went all the way up to my head and it lasted for a good 4 seconds as the length of the truck drove by going pretty slow. it was hilarious. I was laughing my head off :) it looked like I had just jumped in a pool. it felt really nice though :) 

Arissandra is still planning on getting baptized on saturday so we will see if it pulls through. she didnt show up to church yesterday though :( we went over on exchanges and she was just worried to be baptized because she didnt have the support of her family. We shared a scripture (matt. 5:14-16) with her about how she can be the example to her family and she really felt the spirit and said she was still ready and excited to be baptized. 

Met this crazy flirt this last week with sis. warner. He just wanted to get our number... one of his quotes "I already know where I am going after this life. I am going to ghetto paradise!" gotta love the crazies you meet on the mission.

So my brakes on my bike have been acting up. the elders came and fixed them though. and they taped my basket on so it wont bounce anymore. that bike is getting beat up. 

Sister warner is amazing. I love her. We have so much fun but I have never worked so hard in my mission. When we text in each night to our DL we make up poems and they are pretty hilarious might I add. I just am having a great time but seeing miracles as we are working hard. 

Love yall! 
Hermana Goudie 

Enjoying some sandilla

Samantha Smith, Sis. Warner, and I in twinner shoes. Sister Warner and
I like to share clothes.

Con la Familia Sortas!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Melinda Got Baptized!!!!!!!

Where to start? well... as you all can read from the title, melinda got baptized! It was crazy how fast it all happened! so... we went over to her house like 3 times a day every day to make all the arrangements and make sure she was all ready for her interview. we originally were going to have her interview on Wednesday and have her get baptized on Saturday but we found out that there was a wedding on Saturday at the church and they were starting to set up for it on Thursday. We didn't want to wait another week before she could get baptized so we decided to do the baptism Wednesday night after her interview. Melinda was so excited. Every time we went over there she just kept saying, "I am more excited to get baptized than I was to get married." She was so ready! 

So miracles happen. God answers prayers. Visions are real. One of the days we went over she asked us, "did I ever tell you how I decided to be baptized?" we said no. she had only told us in the hospital that she had been praying and praying and knew she was putting baptism off and that she  had decided to get baptized as soon as possible. But after asking us this question she then told us why she decided to get baptized. she said something along the lines off, "when I was in the hospital (probably when she was way out of it) Jesus Christ appeared to me and said that I need to follow my people and be baptized as soon as possible. Not saying that I am going to die soon but I knew it was urgent." sister warner and I both started to tear up. she had been praying a lot and she recieved an answer through a vision. It is so crazy how she has had a complete 180 degree change. the first day I saw her when I got here in russellville I didnt think she was going to be baptized. She was still stuck on Joseph Smith. Sister warner read me some of her journal entries of the past times she has been over there and how melinda said she didnt want to be baptized and she doesnt belive in joseph smith or prophets. It just goes to show how much this gospel can change peoples lives if they really pray with real intent and how much it can bless peoples lives. Melinda is SO happy! She is such the sweetest little old lady now and cares about everyone and says so many nice things about people and cant stop smiling! She is a completely different person. she gave up smoking and even let us take her huge can full of coffee because she says she doesnt even have the desire to drink it anymore. She says she finally found what she is looking for and has found her family. the gospel changes and blesses lives, I know that to be true. Miracles still do exist today!

So she got her interview on wednesday and was super worried about it, but she passed! after that she kept calling us like every hour because she was so nervous. the baptism came and she arrived with a huge smile on her face. we wheeled her around in the wheelchair. we didnt want her passing out or rolling her ankle from her heels. she had to get dunked twice but she didnt mind at all. she said the second time was even better! after she was baptized she said she just needed a few minutes to put her eyelashes on because she didnt want anyone seeing her with out her eyelashes (sound like anyone else???) and then it ended up taking about 20 minutes because she finished her makeup while we dryed her hair. she looked so beautiful though :) 

And happy late 4th of July to everyone! We celebrated in style over here in Russellville. We had a breakfast with the English ward first and then we went to Melindas for a bit and then drove to Conway. We had a zone conference where we got to meet our new mission president from Fiji! His name is Pres. Wakolo and he is awesome. His son glen (17) and daughter jasmine (11) and wife of course are here with them. he has a pretty cool accent and sounds like Mufasa. His testimony is amazing and they raised 18 children (they arent theirs though) and converted all of them to the gospel. I am so excited to get to know him better. after the meeting we headed back to russellville and ate at a taco stand and taught the owner, went back to melindas and had some pizza that she ordered for us, and then went to old post park and met up with the smith family and their cousins who arent members. we were able to talk to them a bit. we then watched fireworks with them! It was such a great day! 

Saturday we had noche de deportes con la rama espanol. we played voleibol. and on sunday melinda got the holy ghost and was confirmed a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints!!!!!!!!!! she told us she hopes everyone some day can take their blinders off like she did and join the church. I love her so much! and my companion for never giving up on her. Melinda loves her a lot for always sticking by her side and helping her get through this roller coaster. I really believe that melinda was someone that sister warner came here for. it was just such a blessing to be here when it all finally happened.

Love yall! 
con amor, 
Hermana Goudita

Melinda at her baptism!!!! Look how happy she is!

Melinda after the baptism with the Spanish Missionaries.

At the breakfast with the Smiths on the 4th
Samantha Smith. Love her so much! She is starting to teach voice lessons
and does musicals.

Happy 4th from ARKANSAS!

This is President Wakolos daughter Jasmine. She is 11. It is so fun to
have them here!

At the park before fireworks! Teaching Sis. Warner hot to play the uke.

What happens when missionaries get a hold of coffee.

Melinda after she recieved the Holy Ghost! :)

Some cool thing. Not really sure what it is...

Had to get one with the Arkansas Hog!