Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Elder Zwick!

Very exciting things are happening over here in Arkansas :) 

So this week we had a meeting with Elder Zwick of the 70 and it was awesome. He talked a lot about how we should be teaching the members friends in their homes and it was such a testimony to me because that is exactly how we found, taught, and baptized Earl. If it werent for the Plumbs introducing us, being at every lesson, and inviting them into his home to be taught, we never wouldve found him and been able to baptize him. Members make all the difference and it was neat to have Elder Zwick pinpoint that as well and share that with the members who also were at the meeting. Hopefully we will be able to be teaching a lot more referrals in members homes. 

And there was some also exciting stuff that he announced. He told us that by December we will FOR SURE have IPADS!!!!!!!!!! I am so pumped! It is going to be so useful to be able to share videos with investigators, to have English and Spanish scriptures and pamphlets with me at all time, Preach my Gospel, the Area Book, everything will always be with me. It is super cool. We will also be able to email from it and Skype and take it home with us after our missions are over. So I am pretty excited. But the coolest thing is that God and the leaders of the church are trusting us enough to let us have these and use these because they know what great of a tool they are in missionary work. Technology is so cool and can be used for so much good if we use it in the right way. 

So because we had Elder Zwick all day long on Tuesday, last Monday a member drove us down and we were able to sleep over with the Little Rock Spanish sisters. I love being in my old area. It was so beautiful and brought back so many memories. Some other awesome/interesting experiences:

1. Earl need help shaving his sideburns, definately didnt think I would ever do that on my mission... 
2. The womens conference this last weekend :) IT WAS SO GOOD!!!!!!! I hope you all watched it. Mary was able to make it to that which was so exciting. She wore a wig (because her hair was grey) and it looked beautiful on her. We had soups and desserts before the broadcast. Jasmine also came. I loved the spirit there as we watched the conference. It just was a testimony to me that we really do have a prophet and that this is Christ restored church. I am so excited for general conference!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
3. Had exchanges with Morrilton sisters. I went with sis. Todd. she came here. 
4. Met some man that told us he baptized himself in the pool next to his house and he told us, "it worked too!" he said the only thing he wants in life is money. oh he was crazy.
5. got fed chocolate gravy again last night! And tried chile relleno :)

Well thats about it folks. Love yall! :)

Hermana Goudie

We tried contacting a referral way out in the middle of nowhere. This was not the house
but it was in the front yard and we thought it was cute.

Exchanges with Morrilton Sisters :)

After Womans Conference with the Hermanas. :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Faith Works!

So this week was pretty dang cool. We were on bike week and were both recovering from being sick so we were both a little bit slower than normal this week. But we did still see so many miracles and I learned so much this week. and adivina que (guess what)?????  XANDER AND KATIE GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!! :) It was so exciting :) 

So let me just tell you how awesome the Hovis family is. When I first got here in Russellville Sister Warner took me over to introduce them to me and then Sis. Hovis signed up on our food calender. She had just been coming back to the church after some years without going. When we were over we would teach them the lessons. Xander who is 11 had not been baptized yet and neither had Katie who is 8. Sis. Hovis wanted them to be baptized and really wanted Tristan her oldest to be able to baptize them. He was working with bishop on getting the priesthood. Well they told us last week that they were planning on moving to North Dakota at the end of September. We really wanted for Tristan to get the priesthood before he left and for Xander and Katie to get baptized before so they wouldnt have to start the lessons all over again when they moved to North Dakota. So, this week, it all got put into action! Saturday we helped sis. Hovis pack up some stuff for the move, got everything ready for the baptism. During Sacrament meeting Tristan got ordained and Leslie gave a wonderful talk on enduring to the end. After church, Xander and Katie were able to be baptized by Tristan and be confirmed members of the church and get the Holy Ghost. It was such a cool experience to be able to be apart of. After the baptism, sis. Hovis gave my companion and I a hug with tears in her eye and said, "Thank you," and it brought tears to my eyes. I know it wasnt me at all that helped this family, but it was the gospel that we shared with her. The gospel gives us so much hope, so much peace, direction, and purpose for our lives. Sis. Hovis testimony is so strong and she is such a great mom to her kids. I really feel like I learned more from going over and teaching than they learned from me. I really did learn that people can change and that none of us are perfect. That is why Christ came, so that we have a way back when we do make mistakes. I know this gospel is true and that it is what makes us happy in this life. 

Okay so just a few other cool experiences this week that really strengthened my faith. So this week, our zone decided to read the Book of Mormon in 30 days. So, we are on day 3 now. I was super scared to do it because I read super slow and I have never read more than like 7 pages a day during studies... yeah... I know you would think because I am a missionary I could read more ;) but reading in spanish takes awhile. but I really was worried that it was going to be super hard and I was also wanting to do it in English first and was upset because I am also trying to finish in Spanish by December. So I thought reading it in English would take up all my time and I wouldnt be able to finish my first goal of finishing in spanish by december, am a making any sense or am I just repeating myself? ;) Anyways. I decided I was going to stop being a butt about it and just read it in English for the 30 day challenge and put my spanish on pause. I prayed super hard that God would help me be able to read fast so that I would still be able to read in spanish during language study. I had faith and trusted, and the first day, I read the first 9 pages in 15 minutes. I wasnt able to read the rest of the 9 pages yesterday (you have to read 18 pages a day) so I read 27 pages today and it only took me like 40ish minutes (for those of you that read fast dont make fun ;)) But it was just a testimony to me that when we are asked to do hard things, God always provides a way (1 Nephi 3:7). And not only am I reading fast but I am actually understanding the stories and learning so much! It is super cool. For those of you that havent read the Book of Mormon in awhile: Do it in 30 days! I dare you ;) God will help you find the time and it will bless you so much! 

Okay one more. So the baptism was the exact same time as the Spanish branch and trying to be a part of both spanish and english sometimes there are conflicting times where you have to be 2 places at once. Well, the spanish branch was having a special musical number sometime during the baptism. Lovely. How can I play for the branches number and play for the baptism and watch the baptism all at the same time? I cant cut myself in half ;) But I knew somehow it would work out and I prayed that I would be able to do both and it worked out perfectly. It was a little bit stressful but it was perfect timing. I was able to play for the baptism, watch them get baptized and as they were getting dressed I got a text from Isabel in the spanish branch saying it was time for them to sing so I ran into the chapel with my comp. of course and played for them and then got back just in time to watch them get confirmed. Faith is so real! Seriously if you have faith that things will work out, and you do the best you can, God provides the rest and everything will be good :) Oh the joys of being zebra! 

Okay. sorry that was a bit long. I love yall! 
Con amor, 
Hermanita Goudita

We went fishing in Danville last weekend with the Elders (my cousin Elder Ludwig)
and Sisters and their recent convert Katie! Gotta love the South, playing a harmonica. :)

Oh I have missed my cousin!

The lovely Sister Thompson. She came out to fish with me. :)

Look how cool! They had 4 leaf clovers everywhere!

Just finished in Danville. We didn't catch anything though :( It was
a great time though and beautiful!

Katie was so excited to get baptized. Right before this she wrote "I love the
book of Mormon" and drew a picture of it.

The Hovis Family! :) Okay so some of them might be making serious faces, but
I promise they are happy. ;)

Xander (11) and Katie (8)

I had to get a picture with Lilly too! :) She is 6.

Monday, September 15, 2014

72 Degrees and Feeling Chilly!

Hello everyone! 

So it is starting to cool down finally. I really do like the warm so it is making me sad because that means winter is around the corner :( I walked out of the church this week and was cold and looked at the temperature in the car and it said 72... thats a lot cooler than the 100 degree weather we have had. We go on bike week this week though so the cool weather will be nice. 

This week we had a really neat experience. This whole last transfer with sis. millet we kept putting down in our plans to go see Mary (a former investigator of sis. warner) and we would try but she was never there or sick when we went. When I used to go with sis. warner she was so cute and let us in every time and give us ice cream and popsicles every time. She is about 60 years old. She is definately southern. she never could get over joseph smith and she wouldnt commit to baptism or coming to church. Well sis. millet finally got to meet her this week and we werent able to meet with her at all last transfer because she had had another skroke (thats how they say stroke here in Arkansas) and she had surgery on her eyes. But while we were in there, she asked us when we were going to be having another baptismal service because she promised God while she was in the hospital that she would get baptized. So it was super cool to see the change in her and we were able to set a date for her and commit her to church. The Lord really does prepare his people in their time. I know that to be true and I know that He softened her heart and it is so neat to be a missionary and see experiences and miracles like this. They really do exist everywhere if we have faith and open our eyes to them and expect them. 

We got to go and visit Little Rock this weekend because we had stake conference. The branch in Little Rock was having an activity that same night before stake conference started so I was able to see everyone again and it was so exciting! President Petersen would always say, "Love grows over time." And that is true. Being able to see them all again (including Luis-my first convert) was such a blessing and I felt like I loved them all even more. 

Thats about it from Russellville this week. Hope yall are doing well. I appreciate all of your examples to me! I have the greatest family members and friends. 

Love you!

Sister Goudie

Oh how I love and miss her. Can't believe she is about to have a baby!

Got to Spend the day in Little Rock with these Lovely Hermanas :)

Picini with these lovely ladies and their families after Stake Conference!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oh the Bugs!!!!

So one thing about Arkansas that I didnt realize I would have a problem with is the bugs! They are everywhere! So a few weeks ago we had maggots all over our apartment and we thought we swept them all up. But we have had a million flies in our apartment. The other day for the whole hour of lunch we were swatting flies. I think I killed like 30 flies. So I think the left over maggots turned into flies. We thought we would be able to go awhile without flies but no. The next day there were more! And... I had my second encounter with ticks!!!! So we went to eat with a member and were holding their cute little puppies in their back yard and just as we were about to go in the house we all had ticks crawling up our legs! I was freaking out. When we got home later that night I went into the bathroom and noticed something on my leg. A tick crawling! At the same time I saw it my companion who was using the bathroom downstairs screamed. She came running up the stairs and one had crawled into her leg. She put some nail polish on it (we are supposed to use nail polish remover but neither of us were thinking straight) and then I was able to pull it out for her. So that was a fun experience. 

A member gave us this banana bread this week that looked like it had bacon on top of it. Who knew when you slice bananas long ways and cook them they turn brown and look like bacon. Oh the things you learn on your mission! ;) It was really good bread though by the way.

Sorry this email is off the wall. But missionary work is just the norm now. Its just what we do. We found some cool new hispanic families this week. We set some baptismal dates with them which is super exciting. We are starting to teach more spanish now because we dont have any english investigators that are really progressing besides jasmine who has been to church like 5 times and we are working on getting her married. 

Being zebra is hard but I am learning a lot of spanish because I am the only one teaching in lessons. My companion is starting to speak some more this week and is able to understand where the lesson is going now so she can say things in English and I translate for her. But it is definitely a struggle that I needed to continue to trust in the Lord and continue studying spanish hard and how to teach better. I really feel like I am starting to be able to teach well in spanish and that the people here are understanding what I am saying and understanding the Restoration of the Gospel which is such a blessing. 

We had transfer calls today. We didnt get one though so Sister Millet and I are staying together here in Russellville which I am happy about. I know it is for a reason and that I will be able to continue studying hard and teaching Sister Millet spanish and finding people to baptize. It is our goal to baptize a hispanic family this transfer and we are teaching 3 pretty cool families. We are going to work our hardest. Sister Millet only has 2 more transfers, she leaves in December. I dont think she will end her mission here which means I have at least 2 more transfers in Russellville which I am so excited about! I love it here :) There is always so much to do and so many prepared people. 

This gospel is true. It has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is the evidence that God give us to know for sure! I love being a missionary and being able to help the people receive their own testimony of that. 

Love yall!

Hermana Goudie

We walked into Earls apartment this week and there was blood everywhere!
He had fallen down and made his elbows bleed everywhere. So we bandaged him up
and cleaned up the apartment from all the blood. Missionary nurses! ;)

Look how stinkin' cute this puppy is!

The district. We did some great things in this district. Everyone
is leaving though! :(

This senior couple is SO adorable! Love them. They are leaving in October. :(

I love the Hovis so much! They are leaving to North Dakota in a couple weeks :(

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Week of Service!

We were on bikes this week. And it was pretty stinking hot! But we also were able to serve a lot of the members this week! Some of the fun services we did this week included painting a members salon, moving a less active (we had to move her huge dog house into the uhaul and I swear it weighed like 600 pounds! It took all 6 of us missionaries to get it up and then getting it down was ever harder. It took forever but we learned team work :) and got to ride on the back of the uhaul a couple times), cleaning up Bona Dea Park for a member in the ward who is working on his Eagle Project (that park was super cool and we walked around the trail picking up garbage and swung on vines like tarzan and got to ride in a 4x4), cleaned a members car, and played the piano for the spanish branch for their mini concert. I really love the scripture in Mosiah 2:17 that says, "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are in the service of your God" o algo asi. I know that that is true and learned this week that when we serve others it makes us so happy! It really makes all your own worries and cares go away. That is something I have learned to love out here on the mission is serving others! And its a great way to get to know the members and then they want to help us out. 

We had ward conference this week and were able to listen to the stake leaders. It was awesome. Afterwards the spanish branch had food for the leaders which of course was delicious. I love spanish branches :) 

We had dinner with the Smiths last night and while we were waiting for the pizza to cook Samantha and my companion and I sang some songs. It reminded me of how us cousins used to sing songs and harmonize all the time. I am so excited to do that again! Music is just the best and really does bring the spirit. 

Other than that we had a good, safe bike week and were able to find some new people to teach. This gospel is true! Love yall!

Hermana Goudie

Haha! Last week when we had maggots all over our apartment. ;) It was a one
day things though! So weird!

Helping paint Hermana Sortas Salon

Reunited with Mi Primo! They went on exchanges so he helped paint.

Singing at the concert with the Branch! "Llamados al Servir"

We went and hiked mount Nebo today with Tim and Samantha!

Don't fall!

With the group at Mount Nebo.

Classic Jumping Photo

Don't worry, that is not sweat on our back. That is just water from being sprayed. ;)

Just chillin' with Sam!

Met some hispanics up there and they wanted a picture! Sometimes I think it's
still hard for me to believe that I know Spanish.