Monday, December 29, 2014

Feliz Navidad! :) Y Ano Nuevo!

I hope yall had a great Christmas :) Its always fun spending Christmas here as a missionary and sharing the good news of the gospel. The best part of it for me though is being able to Skype my family. Man can I just tell you that I have the best family in the world :) 

So we were at the Mcarthurs house one night eating dinner and at the end I shared the scripture at the end. I read 2 Nephi 26:24 talking about the love of Christ and how he gave His life for us and then I passed out the He is the gift pass along cards to them. They have 2 little kids and I was passing each of them a card and when I did so I said, "I have some He is the Gift cards for yall" and both the little kids at the same time go, "GIFT CARDS?????" haha it was hilarious :) I had to apologize that I didnt get them gift cards but it was good reminder to me about what we should celebrate at Christmas which is the birth of Jesus Christ and that he is the greatest gift. Even greater than gift cards ;)

We also met this super cool guy, ben, this last week. He had been coming to church because a member invited him and the Elders said they were teaching him but I guess someone had told them to hold off a bit on him. But bro. plumb was insistent on someone teaching him and we told him we thought the elders were. Well we saw ben and church and I just had to go up and talk to him and when I did he was standing right next to bro. plumb and so he was like well ben, have you met the missionaries yet? and he was like nope. and then bro. plumb said well here they are. they would love to teach the gospel to you. just like that ;) oops. sorry elders. but right there and then I told him what we do as missionaries and how we help others come closer to Christ and make promises with God through baptism and he said he was interested and so we set up a time for the next day to meet. we met the next day at the church with the member who had initially invited him and taught him the restoration and committed him to baptism. it was awesome! He is getting baptized on the 17th :) super cool! I love being a misisonary. we told him to read and pray about the book of mormon and joseph smith and we met with him again last night at the plumbs with one of his friends that he went to school with who is a recent convert of the spanish elders and had a bomb lesson. bryant, the recent convert, bore testimony of the restoration to him and it was so neat to hear how simple and strong his testimony was. Sometimes I forget that it is just bearing testimony of the simple principles of the gospel of jesus christ that brings the spirit the most. but ben said he got an answer to his prayers about joseph smith and is still set to go for the 17th. I love russellville and the members. they help us out so much! :) We wouldnt have so much success here if it werent for the awesome amazing members. 

Our district leader had us instruct at a district meeting this week about making the book of mormon personal. Well I figured to best way to do it was apply personal experiences so I used teaching gymnastics in the backyard with savanna to helping our investigators have personal experiences in the book of mormon. I promise it worked people. It might have been a far stretch but I think they got the point ;) So that was new and exciting ;) 

On christmas eve we got a call from the plumbs saying that they have 200 gallons of milk they needed to get rid of! so we got stuck with 25 gallons and were las lecheras de la iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias for a day ;) the members of the spanish branch were very grateful for it :) it was a great way to share the gospel too. there was even a scripture to go along with it- 2 nephi 9:50 "buy milk without money and price" look it up peeps. its totally applies! 

CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!! man that was just a great day! We went to sis. ashleys for breakfast and she got us the cutest pj's and cards, then we stopped by sis. collins who gave us yummy lotion and quiche (I almost spelled it keesh on her thank you card...), then we went to Earls for a minute and he gave us a little gift and we gave him a mug with hot chocolate and told him he cant use it for coffee ;) I love that old man ;) he is so silly. then we went to the smiths and skyped mi familia which was the best part of the day :), then we had a dinner at their house, then went to Laporsias and got a cute christmas letter from Laraneesia, then went to Bishops, then to pres. hernandez, and our lesson cancelled on us, but we were super busy the rest of the time! I cant believe how much the same my family is but how parker seems so old and how rosie is talking so much! it was so good to talk to everyone :)

and then after all the fun, it was back to working... and we had to go on BIKES :( but good thing Erika gave us lovely leg warmers and my family gave me a nice new jacket and gloves so we are staying nice and warm :) Something funny that sis. stevens pointed out to me this week is that it would probably be best to tell people that we live on Boston and F street instead of the the other way around. I guess it isnt very missionary approriate to respond to the question where do yall live with "Oh we live on F 'n boston." I thought that was pretty funny ;) 

Yesterday the Plumbs saved us from driving around in the cold. They had us over for lunch and a lesson with ben and bryant and then drove us around and introduced us to more of their friends who are ready to hear the gospel. I love that family :) We are pretty much going to be living at their place this week. They offered 3 different days with meals to teach investigators and recent converts in their home this week. So I am excited and forever grateful for their kindness and charity. 

Well... the gospel is true. Read the Book of Mormon. Go to church. Say your prayers. I love you all! 

Hermana Goudie

There was a live nativity on main street and they had CAMELS!

District Meeting! We did a white elephant. :)

Danielas eyes are closed but this little girl is stinkin adorable! These are some of our favorite investigators. This was at the Christmas Eve branch party.

Traditional Christmas PJ's from the family! Still have not seen the movie, but I loved these!

Presents on Christmas morning! Love you mom and dad!

Sister Collins :)

Skyping with the Family! Dad kinda looks Chinese in this pic. ;)

The SMITHS!!!! Love them to death! :)

Laporsia, Laranesia, Spartasia, Eldrick, and Tamanisia. Love them! And they have the coolest names.

In our PJs from Sis. Ashley!

Look who was at church!! DIANA!! Love this girl. :) Can't wait till she gets back for good. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Still Here in #Flippin, AR

Its a place folks. Flippin, Arkansas. Look it up. There is also a place called toad suck here in arkansas. But no. I am not in flippin. Still here in Russellville. And loving every minute :)

So this week was CRAZY!!!!!!!! We were in Little Rock for half the week. We went down on Tuesday for a girls night with all the sister missionaries on this side of the mission (that is one thing that is sad about this mission is we never get to see all the missionaries in the mission-only the ones on the AR side if we are in AR or the TN side if we are in TN) and we did nails, facials, massages, hair, and just had a great "time out" is what sis. wakolo (mission pres. wife) called it. It was lovely :) I love all the sisters here in this mission. They are just so great! 

We had our Christmas zone conference the next day so sis. stevens and I got to sleepover with sis. warner and ives which was SO FUN!!!!!!!!! We went and did work of course ;) I talked to a less active guy who I had met twice before when I was in Little Rock and he remembered me and he was like "conoce mas espanol verdad?" saying that I knew more spanish and I was like yeah! made me feel good :) because there are still days when I feel like I cant speak spanish very well. But he noticed improvement :) 

Wednesday we had zone conference! We started off with some instruction from our AP's (who lost my gps btw) and then we had a lovely homemade fancy lunch that the members provided, then we had a talent show that sis. deschaur and I sang in with the uke while the islanders from the mission and a few of the elders and other sisters danced a hula dance behind us. It was awesome!!!!!!!!! Then we watched SARATOV APPROACH!!!!!!!!!! It was a bit scary but didnt phase me too much ;) I love movies!!!!!

Thursday I went on exchanges with sis. Todd whom I love so much :) I went to Morrilton again and we had a great time! Sis. Plumb showed up at the salvation army while we were doing service. that was weird to see her there ;) but a pleasant surprise. We also got lots of frozen foods for our refrigerator which was awesome! One of sis. todds converts, Lola, fed us a delicious southern meal, #FRIEDCHICKEN! Then that night, one of Danvilles recent converts, Katie, called us up and took us out to Ihop for dinner. Man, recent converts are just the best :) They sure know how to make a sister missionary happy :)

Friday we had our investigator Rafael take us out to a Latino Market for dinner. Man, I feel like all this email is is about food. Haha ;) But Rafael is doing good! He stopped drinking coffee!!!!!!!!! yahoo!!!!!!!! Now we just need to get him to church. Speaking of church we met the coolest guy at church. His name is ben and he is ready to be baptized. A member invited him to church and he has been like 4 times already! His parents just recently joined in Oklahoma. Im telling ya, member work is the best way to find people to teach! That is where we find those that are ready to act! I am so grateful for all the members that have done missionary work here. I have seen so many miracles in this land that God has given me (Alma 26:12) and I am so grateful that I could help share the gospel with them and know that there are people still here that I can teach. I love Russellville and being a missionary :) One of the cool things about being a missionary is that you recieve so much powerful witness and revelation as you do so! 

And last night we had great time caroling with the other hermanas in the branch. Hna. sorto had the greatest idea to go caroling to our investigators houses and less actives houses. It was so fun! The Christmas spirit is just the best. I hope yall have a great Christmas and that you remember the greatest gift of all, our Savior Jesus Christ #heisthegift. Look up the video clip on if you havent. Its an awesome video! and share the gift this year by reaching out to those in need, and helping them feel of the christmas spirit. I love yall! 

Hermana Goudie

FROLF with the Elders last Pday!

E. Ludwig taken pics of me!

My favorite number!

At the Sisters "time out" giving each other massages. Love these sisters!

Sis. Deschaur has a beautiful voice. :) She invited me to sing with her during the talent show. I was honored. ;)

The islanders :) These sisters dances a hula dance behind us.

Some of my favorite sisters.

One of the best Christmas gifts I got this year was that I got to spend time with Sis. Warner. I love her so much!

My STL Sis. Todd. LOVE HER!

Sis. Randi Bowen fed us dinner on Tuesday night in little rock. It was so good to see her!

This was our lovely Xmas dinner that the members provided.

With President Wakolo and his wife. :) Merry Christmas Ya'll!

Monday, December 15, 2014

10 More Days! :)

Today it is like 65 degrees here. It feels lovely :) and Christmas is 10 days away and I cant wait to talk to yall. Well... here were some highlights of the week:

1. Played Frolf with the Elders last P-day
2. Got free pan at the panaderia when we went to visit our investigator. She said she wants to be baptized! But she is heading to Mexico for the holidays :( 
3. Our investigators Jaime and Daniela invited us over to cook dinner with them. It was delicious. We made chicken fettecini alfredo with MUSHROOMS :) in case yall were wondering mushroom in spanish is hongo. 
4. took a member out with us to visit Carolina at the panaderia and she said our car smelled like food and when she got out of our car she almost puked. it was pretty funny.
5. the elders in morrilton found raccoon as roadkill, took it home, and cooked it. and guess who tried it????????? I did! It was actually really good. It tasted like terriyaki chicken. e. petty and e. ford did a nice job cooking it. the pictures looked nasty though.
6. sis. Stevens accidentally said "en el nombre de jesucristo, amen" while hanging up after leaving a voicemail and then turned to me with her mouth wide open as we both realized what she just said and there was no way taking it back ;)
7. got to help Erika wrap presents for a family that wont be able to have Christmas this year :)
8. ashleys daughter freya during the middle of our lesson came up to us and said "will you scratch my toe?" love that kid! 
9. had a member ask us what we wanted for Christmas and asked what our favorite treat was. I think she was a bit surprised by our response. well... we thought about it for awhile and here was our reply: 
    1. naked mango juice
    2. avocados
    3. oranges
10. sang "O Holy Night" at the ward christmas show with samantha, tim, david and the elders and I played the uke. samantha and I also sang mary did you know and sis. washburn was so nice to accompany us. 
11. Got to go to Clarksville again (out of the mission-but we got permission) with the Sortos yesterday to visit the Morales. We caroled at their door :)
12. Jaime and Daniela told us that they finally have a marriage date! They are getting married February 21st :) I think and hope and pray I will still be here for that. It is at the end of next transfer so I think that I will be here because sis. stevens is going home this transfer. But I am so excited about it because then they will be able to get baptized. Sis. stevens had this crazy idea that they read the whole book of mormon by the end of the year. and they agreed :) they are the coolest people I have ever taught on my mission. I know they are going to be the strongest members and that a year from Feb. 21st they will go to the temple and you better bet that I will be back here to go to their sealing ;) 

Dont yall just love the Christmas spirit? I love it and being a missionary during Christmas time is so great! I am so grateful for all the members that are helping with the recent converts during this chrismas season and being so kind to us missionaries ;) 

Love yall! 

Hermana Goudie 

Playing Frolf with the Elders. 

TANK! I love this dog! :)

At the Christmas Party Talent show.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Ashleys Got Baptized!!!

Hey y'all! No, the Ashleys is not a last name. We had two different Ashleys get baptized this last week. Isn't that cool? They are not related either. And both their middle names are Anne. Super crazy. We found them within days of each other. Okay, well we actually got one of them as a referral from the Dville sisters. But they are awesome! 

So last Monday we had a full P-day again. It was lovely. We had some time to play chair soccer with the Elders which was a lot of fun :) The rest of the week was super busy trying to make daily contact with both Ashleys which was stressful but it all worked out. 

And GUESS WHAT??????????? So at transfer meeting this last week Pres. wanted everyone to come so he could announce what we achieved as a mission in November and what the goals for 2015 are. And in November we had 92 baptisms and 90 confirmations. Record high! The hard work payed off and the sacrifice of cutting P-days short was worth it. The highest this mission has baptized in a month was like 76 I think... so this was such a neat thing to see that when we sacrifice our time, talents, and efforts, the Lord blesses us. And the next cool thing that I found out at this meeting was that we are getting MORE SPANISH SISTERS!!!!!!!!!! I thought that when I went home in April that would be the end of the Spanish sisters. But nope :) We are getting 1 in Jan., 3 in February (which means that I might train because there will only be 4 Spanish sisters in the mission at that time), 1 in April, and 1 in May. So there will be more Spanish sisters I am so excited :) I had a dream once that my companion was a native and I thought that would never happen because we don't have native sisters but in February we are getting one native speaker! I would love to have a native speaker as a companion. She could help me so much with my Spanish. I will do lots of praying :) Also, our car share got changed since there were tons of missionaries that left so we are now in a 3/4 car share. I have been on a 2/3 my whole mission so this will be nice to have one more car week :) especially in the winter. 

We did some spraying for bed bugs this week. I don't think we have any but my companion thinks she might be getting some bites so better safe than sorry right? ;) I also almost caught myself on fire this last week. I was trying to cook something and accidentally turned on the front burner instead of the back and so when I went to put the pan on the back burner the sleeve of my robe starting smoking because it was touching the front burner and it burned a hole in it ;) haha it was kinda scary. next time I will roll my sleeves up ;) 

There was a Xmas parade here in Russellville this last week that I really wanted to go to but we had our mission pres. come up to interview Ashley at the same time so we couldn't go :( but good news is that both Ashleys passed the interview :) And I got to spend some time with Sis. Wakolo and her daughter jasmine which is always a pleasure. 

So Friday night we had the baptism. And of course something always has to go wrong no matter how much planning you do ;) The baptism was at 6 and at like 4:30 we got a call from Ashley and her son Corvid had dropped her car keys and house keys down a hole in her wall and the keys fell down under her house! So we called the Elders and they came over and tried to get them out but the hole was tiny! So then this mountain man came and knocked the bricks out and got the keys! it was hilarious. So she was able to make it to her baptism! There also may have been a fist fight in the middle of the baptism. Freya and Luna started fighting over their moms phone and screaming and hitting. Haha love those kids :) thank goodness for awesome members who helped a lot to keep them under control ;) I love those kids though. They are super cute! That night I decided to run home once we got to our street and Sis. Stevens followed me in the car. It felt so nice! It was like 63 degrees! I miss running. 

On Saturday our investigator Rafael took us out to eat at Mulans which was awesome. We had a good lesson with him at the restaurant. We talked about the Word of Wisdom and hopefully he will live it because he is ready to be baptized. We had the baby shower of a LA that day and played basketball that night with the members. I really love Russellville. Its just the greatest :) And i love seeing all the miracles taking place and how the gospel changes peoples lives. 

Sunday was awesome! Both Ashleys got confirmed. It was fast and testimony meeting and both Ashleys got up and bore their testimony :) And Sis. Stevens wrote down what Luna wanted to say and she bore hers too. It was so cute! I love being able to bear my testimony twice on Sunday in English and Spanish. I wont have many more fast Sundays to do so :( That is something I will miss. 

I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish for the first time and it was awesome! I am now reading the new testament which is so fun to read during the Christmas season. The words of one of my favorite songs from Power in His Touch kept coming into my head yesterday. "This is God's plan, to learn His love by following this man. Come find Him, and feel the Power of His Touch." That is my challenge to y'all. Strengthen your relationship with Christ. I know that by reading the Book of Mormon you can grow your testimony of him. I know that Christ is my Savior, that he gave His life for us (2 Nephi 26:24) and that He lives. I am so grateful for this time to be a representative of Him and learn how to be more like Him. I love being a missionary :) 

I hope y'all watched the Christmasmas devotional last night. It was awesome! Love y'all :) 

Sister Goudie

Helping paint one of Sis. Ashley's home

Ashley and the family :)

The other Ashley (the purple dye got everywhere by the way... dont worry... we got it out)

Helping set up the Plumbs Christmas tree :)

Dinner with Isabel and Oswaldo. Love them :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Happy Late Thanksgiving! :)

So last week started off crazy! We were going about our normal end of P-day lessons and at 6:30 we got a text from our ZL's that said that Pres. said that we all had to be in our apartments by 7:30 that night and that there were no exceptions. Well, we had lessons scheduled for after that so we had to cancel them and we were so confused why but then once we got in we found out that it was because of the Missouri riots. what is our world coming to???? We also had to be in at 7 the next night. It really is a pain having to go in as a missionary... escpecially when you have people to see and places to go! But we stayed safe and got some quiet time so that was nice. 

Tuesday we got the car back. And the Elders were so nice and actually cleaned it out for us... I guess if you keep getting on the case for handing the car up dirty eventually they will clean it ;) Funny story... sis. stevens back the car into a mailbox that night... yes I was backing but was at the side of the car telling her to stop but she didnt see me... guess thats why I should be at the back of the car. we were worried we would have to the car into the shop after our first day of having it but the damage wasnt bad at all and the owner was very nice. But it was all cool because E. Dyorich gave me some of his delicious homemade bread and I got the recipe. 

I hope yall had a great thanksgiving! :) I sure did :) I want to say thank you to all of yall for being such great examples, for your prayers, and for all the support you give me. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. God has blessed me with amazing family and friends. So for our Thanksgiving we went to the Plumbs for a brunch with the major of Salvation Army (Cheryls boss) so that was cool. Then we went over to Jim and Vicki Stokes who had a party at their place. It was super fun to have everyone there and enjoy everyones company. It was the next best place I could be on Thanksgiving, first best would be to be with my own family. But it sure helps to have amazing members here who are so good to you and make you feel at home. Then we went to Earls and then to Daniela and then to the Gallardos and then to Veronicas and then we had a lesson with Ashley who is getting baptized on Friday :) So it was a super busy Thanksgiving with visiting lots of super cool people! One of my favorite thanksgiving scriptures is Alma 34:38. He is the greatest gift and we should always be grateful for what He did for us! 

Friday, I found a vericose vein on my leg... I am getting old! And I have a ton more grey hairs. Saturday our investigators fed us an El salvadoreanian lunch which was delicious :) and then we found out late at night that we will be speaking in the spanish branch... lovely ;)

Sunday, was super crazy!!!!!! but an awesome day! we sang "My kindess shall not depart from thee" which is a beautiful song by the way with the Elders and Samantha, sydney, and Tim Smith and Blake Stokes. It was awesome! I love that song :) especially when you are feeling down. Its good to remember that God is always there right with us during those hardest times in our lives and it also reminds me of the poem of the footsteps in the sand where when his life got tough there were only one set of footsteps and thats because he carried him during that time. He never leaves us. Also since we are on the subject of songs, I found the song on my USB and its the one that goes like "I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above, they come to you and me, in our darkest hours, to teach us how to live, to show us how to give, to guide us with the light of love." I love that song and it is so true :) Okay sorry that was super random... We had 4 investigators to church which was awesome! Both Ashleys came (who are both getting baptized on Friday by the way) and then Rafael and Carolina (one of the members friends that we have taught a couple times) came! super cool right? Then we gave talks in the Spanish branch. I gave mine on Russell M. Nelsons talk Sustaining the Prophet. It went pretty good. Isnt that weird that I can speak in Spanish? Sometimes I forget that ;) 

Okay but that is not all... guess what else we did on Sunday? We went out of mission boundaries to Lamar which is by Clarksville! Dont worry we got permission from President to do so. There is an active familia that hasnt come for a month and I just kept wondering what was up and felt like we needed to go see them. Somehow we had no plans for sunday which is weird because we have been super busy every single day with no spare time and it is also because we got in late Saturday night and had to prepare our talks. And we also ended up with 100 extra miles... So I was like, we should go visit the Morales. So we called Pres. and he said yes and it was perfect. We got there and Hno. Morales said that his mom had been super sick and that his car stopped working so he didnt have a way to get to church and that he was so glad that we stopped by to visit because no one from the church had called or texted to see if everything was alright. Its moments like these that show that Gods hand is guiding us to where we need to go! 

Okay just bear with me... I know this email is long... but this morning I didnt get a call so I am staying in Russellville for atleast one more transfer. yay :) I am so excited to be here for Xmas with the members but more excited that I will be here for the 2 Ashleys baptism. Okay... lets just take a minute and think about how its kinda weird that we are teaching 2 different Ashleys and that they are getting baptized on the same day. Pretty cool huh? And also I will get to continue to teach Daniela and Jaimie who will get baptized because they are going to the temple! Okay, so I am behind on my journal and thats probably why this email is so long ;) Well I love yall! 

Hermana Goudie

Our crazy district!

Daniela y Jaime, some of our investigators (I thought this would be the last time I would see them because I thought I was getting transferred)

THE STOKES! :) Love them! This was on Thanksgiving. :)

This the Morales family who live in Lamar. So dang sweet. Ana wasn't there though. :(
Yes I did. I held his dead duck. We walked in to our lesson and this guy was de-feather this duck. It was nasty! ;)

More stokes. :)