The Elders LOVE Comments!

Both of the Elders have asked me to send them the comments people leave on this blog after reading their e-mails and looking at their pictures... One problem... No one comments! Leave the Elders some comments each week after you read their e-mails and check out their pictures! They'll love hearing from ALL of you! Thanks!

Monday, August 30, 2010

From Elder A. Goff - "Hello Again"

Brother Wilcock and I in Worland

Hey everyone.

This week was really good. On Tuesday we had District Meeting which is always good, and helps me do better. The neat part about Tuesday though was I got a call from Brother Wilcock from Helena. Just a great guy and I love his family. He called and was coming through town from Denver and wanted to take Elder Hinton and me out to eat so he came and took us to Pizza Hut. I got to ask about all the people in Helena and how they are doing. It was really nice to hear about everyone. I got a picture with him. He has dropped like 50 pounds too. I was way surprised. He looked good though. He is still going to try to drop 30 more or something. I don't remember. Pretty Neat though.

On Thursday we were on team ups with Elder Wells and Elder Herber here in Worland. It went well. Elder Hinton and Herber found 4 new investigators. While Elder Wells and I spent most of the day contacting a HUGE list of less active families. It went well. We found a few people who wanted us to come back and visit. So we added to our teaching pool on team ups that day.

Then on Sunday Brother Paris told us about a lady who used to be taught by the Elders so we went after church to find her. We found her and she let us right in. She had 2 daughters with her as well and we got to teach them too. So that's 3 more new investigators. Now we just need to see if they are going to progress at all. Which is when we can actually be excited about it. It doesn't mean much until they are progressing.

Ann Martinsen is doing well. This week when we went over there we watched Joseph Smith-The prophet of the Restoration. She really liked it. It's the one they play at temple square in Salt Lake. She still says she isn't ready to set a date to be baptized, but hopefully she will soon.

Another person we are teaching is Jeremy Crippin. His wife and kids are members, but he has never joined and they decided to start taking the lessons about a month before I got here. He is doing well and he wants to be baptized. He just has a couple of habits he has got to break first. So we will see what happens. Elder Hinton would really like to see Jeremy get baptized before he goes home. I guess we will see what the Lord has planned for him.

I'm not feeling so hot today. Which isn't very fun. The last couple of days in a row I have been getting these pounding headaches. Then this morning I woke up feeling like poo and with a fever.

Elder Hinton and I are headed down to Lander tomorrow to do team ups with Elder Catron and Elder Wilkins. Then Wednesday with Elder Searle and Houston. Then we will go to Riverton on Thursday and be on team ups with Elder Magelson and Merrell. Then Friday we will be with the other Riverton set. Elder Hepworth and Lewis. Then we will come back to Worland and Saturday we will drive to Burlington to do a baptismal interview. Sunday we will drive to Ten Sleep for church. Another ward we cover that Elder Hinton has only been to once. So I talked him into going on Sunday. His excuse was that there is no work out there. So I said well there won’t be any work until missionaries start going out there and doing something. So that's what our week is looking like. It should go by like a flash of light. I'm sure it will.

Elder Hinton is pretty dang trunkie. He is ready to be out of here, but he still works so that is a huge plus. I love it here. I hope all is well back home. Thanks for another pretty tie Tiff. I got a lot of compliments on it when we were at church yesterday. I love you all.
Love, Elder Austin Gene Goff

Ken and I.  This "interesting" guy we visit.

Current Area: Worland, Wyoming
Current Companion: Elder Hinton

From Elder S. Goff - "Hey Family and Friends"

Well today was change day but nothing happened to me and my comp. I will now be district leader and ill end up having 6 months here in this area just like my 1st one. I was kind of hoping to have a change but there is a reason that I'll be here for another one so it’s ok. There is someone out there that is still waiting for me to talk to them and ill do whatever it takes to find them. This area is tough that’s for sure we spent 2 day this week knocking doors and still didn’t come out with any new investigators. The thing I like the most about this area is the family that we live with. They are way awesome and I get along with all of them great. The dad tells me that they are going to go to Vegas when I’m done and ill have to show them around.

So this week for the first time I ate grass hopers. It’s like a snack here where they like freeze them and then just eat them. They weren’t too bad. It reminded me of like sunflower seeds but just soft. They were really salty but it was cool to give it a try.

We were out contacting and we found this really old man like 2000 years old or so he said he was here when Jesus came and I believe him. He was out side his house in a chair just hanging out so we went over to bother him and he let us talk to him and it went ok but he wanted to teach us. He kept calling my Johnny he said that all people from gringo landia names are Johnny so that’s what he called me the whole time. I started calling him José when we were talking to him but his name was something I cant remember but I did that and he corrected me a couple times and then I was like well if my name is Johnny then yours is Jesus or José and well we are already talking about one Jesus so your name has got to be José. He thought it was funny. The lesson went well but took a bit of time because he just wanted to teach us about how we evolved from changes. He is a good guy and every time we walk by and he is outside I call him José but I don’t think he remembers us.

We went looking for Estela a ton this week but she never has time to talk to us. She is the one that had a date for her baptism. She seemed that she really wanted it and I hope she still does. Well keep going by and see whats going on.

Jessica and Alfonso the other family that we have been working with weren’t able to make it to church with us this week but we had a member go with us to teach a lesson and passed over the plan of salvations again. It went well but alfonso told us that he isn’t going to go to church till he sees a change in his wife and kids then he will come again. He is a cool guy. He calls me brother white and I call him brother dark. (Hno. guero y hno. Moreno). They are great people and I really hope they keep listening. And I really hope we can be able to find more people who really want to listen to us.

Well I cut my hair and now I've got about as much as pops. No offence :) well I did it and I think the top of my head got sun burned because it’s been itching but oh well.

Everything is going great here time is flying by though. I hit 13 months yesterday and I can’t believe it. I love you all and thanks for everything.

Current Area: Down Town Tampico, Mexico - Unidad
Current Companion: Elder Salazar

Monday, August 23, 2010

From Elder A. Goff - "First Week in Worland"

"3 Generations"

Hey there Everyone,

It's me Elda G, Still in Wy-OM-ING! So, last P-day Elder Hinton and I went and played some ball with a couple of high school kids and kicked their trash. Alright, So we lost 2 and Won 3. Which isn't anything to get boastful about. I think Ammon's words were fitting when he said, "I do not Boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can beat Freshman at basketball." Now school is started though so no kids will be at the community center on Monday afternoons anymore. Bummer though, Elder Hinton and I will work on our skills and only play left handed for the rest of the transfer. ;)

Worland is great; We have a lot of stuff going on and a few great people who are progressing towards baptism. Which is awesome to see. A lot happened this week, but I'm going to talk about some of the funniest things. Starting with a phone call from the assistants. So picture this, We were walking up to a less active member's door at 3:00PM on Thursday, August 19, 2010 when the phone rang. “Assistants Mobile one", the phone called out in the brisk afternoon. Elder Hinton answered and they said to him, “How long does it take you to get to Billings?" About 4 hours I Think Elder Hinton said. They said you better get in the car and drive then. One of the People Elder Hinton taught was getting baptized at 7 Pm that night and President wanted Elder Hinton to be there. So we drove home and by 3:16 we were packed and back in the car. Yes, I really did pack that fast. I assured Elder Hinton I would not be speeding. I explained the time I was arrested for Criminal Speeding, my time in jail and so forth. He got a good laugh out of that. It ended up only taking about 3 hours and 20 minutes. Without speeding, and one restroom break that lasted approximately 3 minutes. We made it to the baptism. I wasn't expecting to see many other Elders I knew, but transfers were just last week. Elder Newman, the Second Elder I trained was there. Plus Elder Newman is now training a new Elder. So I have a Grandson. :D That was pretty neat to find out. I got to see Elder Vroom, One of the Elders I was in the MTC with. And a couple of other Elders I have served around in the past. It was really good to see them all. :)

The next day, Friday, Elder Hinton and I were asked to go on team ups with the assistants since we were there anyways and we wouldn't need to make another trip to Billings. The Assistants had a busy morning so we asked President the night before if we could go to the temple. He said we could, so Elder Hinton and I woke up Friday morning and got to go to the Billings temple. It was great and well needed. After that we went on team ups. I went with Elder Fischer, and Elder Hinton went with Elder Unga.

Now for the most interesting person I have ever run into while tracting. We went to try a potential investigator, they weren't interested so we tracted the houses until we got back to the car. The first few weren't home, and then we knocked on a door waited, knocked again and turned to walk away after waiting for the second time. As we went down the steps we heard the door open and turned around to see a woman standing in a sun dress? I think that's what it was. I don't know. haha Anyways, We started talking to her and as I was standing there I was like, “Wow, This lady really looks like a Dude!" We asked if she had any religious background and she said why yes I am Peagan. So we started asking what she believed after she dies. She said well We go back to our mother of course and pointed under Elder Fischer's feet. Elder Fischer jumped out of the way of where she pointed and she said oh, you know, Mother Earth. So we said you think that we die and that's it? She said no, I believe we will come back in another life. She said I personally have had many lives. I'm sure you boy's have too. They are really very easy to think about too. You can remember memories from your last lives. So we asked her how she could do it and she said you just need to concentrate on your energy and there they will be. haha Sounds easy right?! then we asked what sound of her past lifes were and she said, well in two of my last lifes I was a Samari Soldier. I once died when I was 18 in battle then again in a later life when I was 25. haha I just about lost it when she said that. Then she said that she also spent time in what we would refer to as the Holy land. She knew Jesus and he Wasn't the Son of God. We talked a little more and right at the end we asked what her name was and she paused....ViVON. hahahaha She really was a dude! He was a man in a dress with breasts, and YUCK!!! But man we learned a lot from that experience, Like Don't smoke Crack. It's a much better story when It's not typed. Elder Fischer and I had a good time talking about it. That dude will be very surprised when he dies.

After team ups we went to Red Robin and got dinner. Then we called Sister Smith who was in the MTC with me and just got transferred to Billings and went to say hi. I haven't seen her since we were out about 2 months. And we just hit our 16 month mark yesterday. It was good to see and talk to her and find out what's been going on. She goes home in 2 transfers. Crazy the Sisters we came out with will be heading home soon.

Team ups were great though. We had a ball and taught some great lessons. Next week Elder Hinton and I will be in Lander and Riverton on team ups with the other Elders down there. So I will get to go to my old stomping grounds which will be great. There are a few people I didn't get to get pictures with. That's about all for this week. Joli, thanks for the pictures of girls camp and the E-mail. I'm glad you are playing soccer. You will love it and Terry Ogden is the man. Tell him I say hi ok Sis? Pops thanks for writing too. I love you all. Love you Tiff and Jason, and Mom and Glen and Garrett and Joli and anyone else I didn’t type. I hope all is well. LOVE YOU!!!!!

Love, Elder Austin Gene Goff

"Elder Hinton and I"

"Elder Vroom and I"

"I'M TIRED!!!!!"

"Sister Smith and I"

Current Area: Worland, Wyoming
Current Companion: Elder Hinton

From Elder S. Goff - "Hello Everyone"

Hello Everyone,

well this week has been a pretty good week. to start out with the good we put a date for someone to get baptized but the bad thing is she didn’t come to church so it’s not going to happen just yet. she really wants it but she needs to come to church too is the thing. she had the date for the 28th of this month moms birthday so I was stocked for that I thought that would be a great day but it didn’t work out that way so maybe one more week. the ladies name is Estela; she is like 55 years old and knows 6 languages. she was born in Italia then moved here with her parents but then left back to Europe and lived in Greece for awhile then came back here once again. she knows Italian, Spanish, French, English, Greek, and Japanese. this lady is amazing and is so smart she first talked to missionaries last November and has read the book of Mormon 3 times already and knows she need to get baptized and that’s all that she wants right now. I know it will happen I'm just not sure when. we went to teach her the 1st lesson the restauracion and she ended up teaching it to us. she was trying to quiz us lol. she asked one to my comp about what José smith’s dad did for a living and my com didn’t know the answer but I said he worked as a farmer and she was like good job and just went on quizzing my comp the whole time. she told him after that she knows he has a good heart and that she knows he wants to teach well but told him to keep working. Estela has 2 sons and 1 daughter. one of here sons studied at Harvard and invented java something for bettles in the computers I know I have heard about it well it was her son who made that. she has got a ton of great stories and has been around the world and she knows a ton so it’s awesome talking to her. she told us that she knows that the book of Mormon it true and that this truly is the church of Christ restored threw José smith and she just wants to be part of this great work she is an amazing lady. we gave here a blessing one day we visited her cause her shoulder was really hurting her. we did it and after she started balling and I wasn’t to sure why but said that it didn’t hurt anymore she started moving it around in all directions and was just so happy. it was a great experience and a great thing was that there was a guy named ladis from our ward with us. he is 22 and has been thinking about going on a mission and he was part of the blessing we gave to her he stood in and now he has been telling everyone that he is going on a mission. he was with us for 3 whole days this passed week and I was praying so hard for something to happen so he would have a stronger desire to serve and it happened it was great.

ladis turned his papers in before and he isn’t sure why but the bishop never sent them in so ladis decided that he just wasn’t going to go then but now he is thinking about it again and we told him we will help him get his papers done and everything so he can be on his way. he is a way cool guy and I had fun being with him this week and we want to go with us more this coming week. we got a new bishop yesterday as well so I think that will help him to have the desire to go for it again. he even took us to a few of his friend’s houses so we could talk to them about the message and everything so it’s been great.

there is this family that we are working with right now that all came with us to church this week as well. there names are Alfonso, Jessica, and there 2 kids Juan José and Jesus Alfonzo. Juan José is way excited about the church and loves it all he is almost 10 and has been reading the bom and everything so it’s great. the dad Alfonzo is a little tougher he is a great guy but is really catholic like everyone else here but he did go with us yesterday so that was good. he only went to the 1st hour in which they were sustaining the new bishop brick and Alfonzo thought it was just super boring. hopefully we can get him to go again and feel the spirit and be happy with it because Jessica liked is and the 2 kids did as well. we will keep working with them and I hope it all goes well but the thing is before we put them in the water then need to get married. that is kind of a problem but we can do it.

well this week was great and on Saturday we find out transfers I don’t think anything will happen I think I will end up having 6 months here just like my 1st area but ill let yall know I love you guy and ill see ya soon.

love yall,

Sawyer Garrett

Oh and here are some pics of me and the family we live with I found a sweet trucker hat last night when I was helping them clean and they said I could have it and I decided I wanted to take some fun pics with them. there is one of me and ladis and one of me playing in the jungle as well love ya

Hey I was wondering if you could send me a couple recipes just in case I ever see an oven or real stove in the mission.  One of how to make brownies, tater tot casserole, and how to make like alfredo sauce cause I don’t think it'd be too hard. love you thanks.  And, ask moms and pops if they still get free rooms and the casinos.

love ya

Current Area: Down Town Tampico, Mexico - Unidad
Current Companion: Elder Salazar

Monday, August 16, 2010

From Elder A. Goff - "Worland, Wyoming"

Elder Ika and I parting ways

Hey Family,

It's true; I have been shipped from Lander Wyoming. I have gone "clear" to Worland, Wyoming. Which is actually in the same zone as Lander. So I just went north 3 hours. Not bad at all. Elder Ika got transferred as well. He is still on his way to Lewistown, MT as I type. I had a hard time saying bye to a lot of people in Lander. I really enjoyed my time there. I had a lot of great experiences there that I will never forget. I'll tell you about a couple of things that happened when I was saying goodbye.

The first I'll tell you about is Jay Parker. The old southern Baptist. :) Elder Ika and I loved going there. I loved going there before and after Elder Ika and me as well. So I feel like we are really close. Jay is a coin collector. He loves collecting and it's something we had conversations about regularly. When Elder Ika and I went to say bye, he Walked by and stuck something in my front pocket and in Elder Ika's. He got us each a Silver Eagle. A Silver Dollar. Just a beautiful coin. With an ounce of silver. He put them in protective cases and told us he gave us a 2010 coin because that's the year we touched his heart. He told us each year we come back and visit he will have that year for us. It was a great gift. I will pass it down for years and years. I hope my descendants will see this and know how much that coin means to me.

The next one I wanted to tell you about is Keith and Desirae Price. Keith is a member and Des is not. President Gardner taught Keith seminary years and years ago in Lander. President called us one day and asked Elder Kuck and I to go see him. So we did and I have loved every minute with them. Des always teased me about making her cry. I would always tell her it wasn't me. It was the spirit that did it. Keith is Brother Alexander's nephew. The guy we lived with. Keith grew up part of his life in Lander than Vegas where his parents still live. He grew up in the church and hasn't been in a long time. Elder Ika and I found out why. It basically came down to not wanting any responsibilities he doesn't choose. So we continued to visit. Des would always want to feed us. And we would always have a lesson with them. We had dinner with them on Saturday. Elder Searle and I had nothing planned out to teach so I was praying the whole time for something to share with them. Then as I was going through my thoughts they went to Enos. And I knew that's what I needed to share. So I did and talked about how Enos went out to hunt and the words which his father taught him came to his mind. Then read about the story of how he prayed all day and night and was forgiven of his sins. I bore testimony of the truths our parents teach us and how they will always be there. Those truths will always be truths whether we follow them or not. With tears in his eyes Keith stood up and walked from the room. He came back with tears rolling down him eyes and handed me a set of scriptures and said, “I want you to have these. They were given to me and now I would like to give them to you." I asked who gave them to him. He said his parents. And I started to cry as well. It was so humbling to be given such a gift. He said it didn't seem right that I was leaving. He told me to tell President Gardner that he transferred me one transfer too soon. He said I was almost ready to come back to church with you. So I told him that shouldn't stop him from going just because I'm going away. He said we will see. It was a moment I will never forget as long as I live. Des said see now you made him cry too. Nope, that was the spirit. (She was crying too) ha-ha It was really hard to leave that house.

Everyone was hard to say bye to. Those are just a couple that have been on my mind the last couple of days.

I got to Worland at about 5 last night. I have been here a few times on team ups and stuff with the Zone Leaders so I kind of know my way around. I can at least find their house and the church and a couple people they teach so it shouldn't be too hard to learn. My new companion is Elder Hinton. He only has one transfer left. He goes home with Elder Searle on September 30. So I will be here for at least 3 months. He is from Gilbert, AZ. He is a fun guy and likes to play ball so we will get along just fine. We are going to play with some investigators later today. I played with them once on team ups before so it should be good.

I guess I should tell you now because I'm sure President Gardner will send a letter, but I was asked to be Zone Leader. Not a lot changes really. Take Numbers, Go on Team ups, Set the example, and Give training. That's about it.

That's crazy Dahlen is home now. A lot of my friends my age are getting home already. They will be off to college and married by the time I get home. That should be interesting. Crazy to think how fast it goes by. I wonder what is more scary, leaving home to serve or going home after. I'll find out someday I'm sure.

My new Address is:
1241 Lane 14
Worland, Wyoming 82520

We live with the Stake President and his wife. Great people. I had already met them on team ups once before.

I hope everything is going well. I pray for you all individually every single day. I love you and hope to hear from you all soon.

Love, Austin

P.S.  I forgot to say, I learned how to cross stitch too. Sister Holden taught the 4 Lander Elders how to do it. So we all have a pillow case with a tractor on it. :D

Elder Austin Gene Goff

Care and Share Food Bank Crew

Ika, Searle, Catron and Goff

Jamison Thatch and I. She is holding a picture she drew of me.

Jay and Shirley Parker. Sister Parker just went through the temple a few months ago.

Keith and Des Price

My cross-stitching skills

The District



Current Area: Worland, Wyoming
Current Companion: Elder Hinton

From Elder S. Goff - "Hey Fam"

Nagtuvi and me at his last zone conference

I always have good experiences but this week I had one that I really thought was great. so we were out knocking on doors for a really long time and couldn’t find anyone that wanted to listen. we had an appointment that we went to but it fell threw so we were walking to another persons house to see if they were home. Well, on our way we passed by this house where a guy was outside getting ready to paint the house. Well, we walked by and I said good afternoon like I do to everyone and just kept walking. I had a feeling to go back but I told myself no he will just say no like everyone else has today and I kept walking. then I felt like I needed to again and I was like I really don’t want to go back to him just so he can say that he is busy and that god blesses us. then I felt it again and I stopped in the street and I was like we gotta go back. my comp was kind of confused but we went back and I started talking to the guy and I wasn’t too excited cause I thought it was just my head telling us to go. well I just asked him if he would like to hear a message that we share and he was like yeah I would love to hear it. it really surprised me but it was great. we taught the 1st lesson then we asked if we could stop by another time he told us he didn’t live there but he gave us his direction and it was in the area of elder heppler so I really hope he progresses. I was happy that I did finally go back and talk to him. I really thought it was just myself thinking but I know it wasn’t now.

we have been teaching a family now that is coming along great. they were going to come to church with us yesterday but they ended up not waking up till we stopped by to pick them up. we have church at nine so its tough for some people but the mom of the family didn’t want to go because she couldn’t get ready fast enough but the 2 kids said that they still wanted to go and got changed really fast. the kids loved church. well it seemed like it and said they want to go again next week. it’s a great family and I hope they keep progressing.

hna. angelica a inactive lady in the ward that has 2 kids we are teaching told me this week that she is my Mexican mom. she told me to make sure I told my family, I now have a family here as well. she is a great lady and she came to church with us this week too, with her 2 kids. they all seemed to love it and we will try to put some baptism dates this week with the kids.

this next Sunday we should be getting a new bishop here as well. our bishop moved and we didn’t have one this week. I'm pretty sure I know who it is going to be but I guess we’ll see.

well I love you all and everything is going good here we are finding great people and staying busy :)

With love ME

Me and Elder Roca- the kid of Elder Teahan

Fenton, Heppler, Larsen, Teahan, and Goff

Goff, Fenton, and Teahan- my buddies from the mtc

Current Area: Down Town Tampico, Mexico - Unidad
Current Companion: Elder Salazar

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pics from Elder A.G.G. in Wyoming

"Farmer's tan...EEK! after mowing lawn"

"Farmer's tan after rocky ridge hike"

"Goff on Trail"

"I'm a Cowboy BABAY!"

"Missionary Village at 6th crossing"

"Missionary Village at 6th crossing"

"Mormon and Oregon trail"

"Rock Creek Hollow memorial"

"Top of Rocky Ridge"

Current Area: Lander, Wyoming
Current Companion: Elder Searle

Monday, August 9, 2010

From Elder A. Goff - "Farmer's Tan"

Hey Family,

This week went really well. We were on team ups with 2 more sets of Elders. Elder Ika and Catron and Elder Magelson and Merrell. They were good team ups. We got a lot of things done and had some good experiences. It's amazing what you can learn from other missionaries in just one day with them. We have some great Elders in our District. They are all great teachers and always are working except for one companionship, but I talked to them last night. So, hopefully they will pick it up this week. Elder Searle said when he was in Riverton on team ups they stopped to use the bathroom at the other elder's place in the afternoon and they hadn't even left the apartment yet. They ended the week with only 8 lessons, and last week it was 9. I challenged them to stay out all day and promised them if they did they would end the next week with 20+ lessons. So, hopefully they kick it into gear. It's the last week of the transfer, and I've found a lot of Elders like to slack on the last week of the transfer. I hope it motivates them.

So, we find out transfers on Friday. I don't know what will happen. I am such a worry wart when transfers come around. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, "The worst part about being a missionary is being transferred." You get to know all these names and faces and really get things rolling then you get transferred and get to try it all over again. I always get a confirmation soon after I arrive in an area that that's where I need to be so that helps a lot. I have been in Lander for 6 months at the end of this week. 6 months in Helena and 4 1/2 Months in Hardin. You do the math. Time is flying by. I got an e-mail from Preston today. He only has 7 months left. He will get home pretty much a month before I do.

I got a wicked sweet farmer's tan this week. On Saturday Elder Searle and I mowed a lawn for a member on the res. Boy was it BIG and TALL!!!! We got out there at 10 AM and we finished and got home at 4PM. I had a pretty sweet line on my neck and arms. Then today we went with the Patriarch, Brother Kitchen to some of the pioneer sites that I will talk about more, but I got an even cooler line this time. I'll send pics. I probably look like you guys after sand hallow.

Alright now about the pioneer sites. I told you all a couple e-mails ago about Rock Creek Hallow. Well Brother Kitchen was a member of the Stake Presidency during the Second Rescue where they found names of those who had died to do their temple work. So, a few weeks ago we set it up for him to take us out and tell us stories of the pioneers and stories from the second rescue as well. Well today was the day. We left Lander at 7AM and went first to Sixth Crossing. There was a Senior Missionary there named Elder Webster. He talked to us for a little bit and showed us around the visitor’s center, or whatever you want to call it. He told us a story that I have heard many times since I came to Lander about a Pioneer named Bodil Mortenson. Her family didn't have a lot of money to go to the Salt Lake valley so they were sending their children one by one. Her sister had gone the year before. Bodil was assigned to be with a family to cross the plains, and to take care of a five year old, I don't remember his name. Bodil was only 9. This company left as many of you know, late in the season. When they got to this point in their journey they were hit by a blizzard and walked 15 miles and it took 27 hours. She got the young boy to the camp safely and was completely exhausted. She tried to sit down with the boy, but was asked to find something to burn. She walked around and gathered sage brush then when she came back to camp she leaned up against the wheel of a hand cart and froze. They found her the following morning.
He then told us a story about a boy named James Kirkwood who was only 11. His mother was pulling one of his brother's in the hand cart because he was crippled. And James' little brother was walking bare foot as many children were. So when His brother couldn't walk anymore James carried him on his back or in his arms 15 miles and 27 hours. Occasionally trying to get him to walk, but he just couldn't do it so James carried him the entire way to Rock Creek. When he got there he let his Brother down by the fire where his family was. They had a fire going already because James and his little brother had fallen so far behind. After James put his brother down he laid near the fire and died from exhaustion. How incredible. 11 year old boy gave his life for his little brother. Who did survive because of what James did for him. Bodil and James are both buried in the same grave with 11 other people to pass before the rescue parties arrived.

After Elder Webster told us these stories he showed us a video of Bodil Mortensen that was made recently. It was so powerful. It didn't take long for me to start crying. The spirit filled the room we were in. After the video Elder Webster came and talked to us about it and also was moved upon by the spirit to tell us a few things. He told us that the Lord wants us to know that our efforts are acceptable. That even if we don't have a baptism for months on end that he is pleased and also wanted us to know that we were ordained to come to the Lander Valley and to experience the things we have. We were all very humbled by what was said. There wasn't a dry face in the room. 5 Elders and a Patriarch. :) It was incredible. I'm really glad I was able to see and hear the things we were able to today. I haven't even been able to explain a fraction of what I felt today, but I want you all to know that it was one of the most spiritual days of my entire life. We only walked about 6 miles of the trail today and I have a deep reverence for those who made the trek west in such conditions. I'm convinced God knew I wouldn't have lasted back then so he let me come to earth when Cars were already here.

The Gospel is true you know. I know it is. No doubt in my small jumbled brain. I'm grateful for those sacrifices those pioneers made so I could have what I have today and enjoy the blessings of the gospel that come from God. Dang I'm a lucky Dog. I got to teach Sunday school yesterday on The Post Mortal Spirit World. It went really well. I really liked being able to teach in that setting. It's always neat to feel the spirit teach through you. He sure helps me a lot. If I could have I would have given him a high five after Sunday school yesterday.

I hope you all are well. This time next week I could be in a new area. I guess we will see. Sorry I didn't write more about the work.

Love, Elder Austin

Current Area: Lander, Wyoming
Current Companion: Elder Searle

From Elder S. Goff - "Unidad"

Well, my buddy Dahlen will be back in Bunkerville this week and I really can’t believe that it has already been 2 years since that guy took off time really does fly. I'm working on 13 months now and I was talking to elder Teahan and it really doesn’t seems like its been that’s long cause a year ago we were in the MTC together and it seems like it was last week we were there.

So about my new comp his name is elder Salazar he has 5 months in the mission and he is from Puebla, Puebla. He was the only member of his family till his brother was baptized last year. He is a really great guy.

Elder Salazar was pretty disappointed this first week in this new area here. There was one day that we didn’t have anything at all so we went to contact. We did that for over 7 hours that day and had one lesson. he told me that he is dying and I feel bad cause his other areas were really easy he says and everyone had time to listen to them but here they all have money and really don’t care. I don’t think he likes this area to much but we are trying our best to find the people that we are here to find.

We were out contacting one day and we found this lady out washing her porch and we stopped to talk to her. she really opened up to us about this that are going on in her family and asked if we could help we told her yes and taught her the first lesson and she was really into it but he found out that the house she was at wasn’t hers she was just working but her house was in the area of elder Teahan so I was happy with that. I passed here address to him and her was planning on going by this coming week but at church there was a lady in his ward that told Teahan and his comp to go to her house after church cause she had a neighbor that wanted to talk to them so they went with the sister from their ward to this other lady and when they got there it was the same address as I gave him and Teahan asked if she knew me and she did. It was the same lady. Teahan said that she is golden and was just really awesome to teach because she was interested. I’m just happy I helped out in someway with it I know it’s not in my area but we helped her out in someway I think.

So in church yesterday I learned something new about president Hinckley. I knew he had a tough mission but I never knew his numbers from his mission or anything and I found out that president Hinckley only had 2 baptism in his mission 1 the first year and 1 the second. I get down on myself cause I know I haven’t had to much success but I decided that that really doesn’t matter if I do all I can for the time I here the lord will be happy with me. I just thought that my mission was going to be so easy cause I thought Mexico all the people are like jumping in the water down there but nope not really its really tough here and I this area its really tough no one wants us but we have some more ideas of what to do and we are going to trying so new things to see what works best.

We do have a couple people progressing well and we hope to commit a few this weeks to baptism. I’m really excited and really hope it turns out well. I love you all and thanks for everything.


P.S. 9 months in Mexico today!!!!

Current Area: Down Town Tampico, Mexico - Unidad
Current Companion: Elder Salazar

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

From Elder S. Goff - "Hello"

Sorry I didn’t get t write yesterday it was a very crazy day but I'm here now. my comp elder alderete is no longer with me he took off on Wednesday afternoon and I went with elder adan my buddy from moreloes MX and my new buddy elder young from pleasant grove Utah who has a week here in Mexico now. I went with them till yesterday when I received a new comp. his name is elder Salazar and he is a way good guy and has a really amazing story about him self that he told me last night.
well so last week when I was still with alderete we went and visited a family, a mom and he two kids and there cousin showed up as well the mom is a less active and has been for 15 years. Her son José has 14 years of age and her daughter Julia has 12 years of age. There cousins name is Omar and he is 15. We went over there to have breakfast with then cause there mom invited us over here name is anjelica I’m not sure if I've talked about them before or not but I will now. We ate with then and then shared the 1st lesson with them. the 1st time we went we were talking about José smith and the BOM and the kids had no idea what we were talking about and we had already taken up a lot of there time so we set up an appointment to talk about the first lesson but I gave them each a pamphlet of the 1st lesson so they could read it and then we could talk about it the next time. When we went back José the 14 year old told me that he read it and I was like great and what did you learn? He told me well now I know who José smith was. I was like great who was he and José told me that he was a prophet called by god to restore the church after it was last after the death of Christ. I was like wow that’s great. I then asked him if he knew what the BOM was and he told me well its scripture from god. It’s like the biblia pero it was wrote by profetas here in the Americas but in an old language and José smith translated it with the help of god. I was so happy he read and understood everything and it just made me so happy. The whole lesson went great and he had another appointment with them on Saturday but the mom called and said that they had other things to do. We will visit them again on Thursday and see how they have been doing and I hope its all going great.

Hey pop guess what so I met a guy who served in the Knoxville mission from here. oh and momma Wolfe I asked if he served in signal mountain but he said ne he said he never made it to Chattanooga IKD how it spell but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. He is the ward mission leader of a ward I was in the past week with some other elders and he is a way cool guy.

I have seen the difference in having the spirit with you while you teach and search for people and when you don’t. This week Adan, Young and I were in 2 areas back and forth and we were still able to get a lot done. It was a lot of fun being with those 2 guys and I was hoping to finish out the change with them but that didn’t happen. It’s ok though.

So yesterday adan young and me washed in the morning and cleaned their house and then went to the offices to do stuff for elder young’s visa then we went shopping and back to the house. When I got back to the house I got a call from the assistant saying that I would be getting a comp and I needed to go back to the offices. Why they didn’t tell me when I was there I have no idea but it’s all good. Me comp has 5 months in the mission and is in his 3rd area now. Pretty crazy cause I ended up being in my 1st area for 6 months. He is a convert of 5 year and he and 1 of his little brothers are the only members besides some aunts and uncles he has. He is ready to go to work and we have big things planned for this area so well see how it all goes. I love you all and thanks for everything.

lotta love GOFF

Current Area: Down Town Tampico, Mexico - Unidad
Current Companion: Elder Salazar

From Elder A. Goff - "Hey Family"

"Elder G riding a giant jackalope in DuBois, Wyoming"

Hey there everyone,

Sorry I'm e-mailing today, yesterday when we came to e-mail we didn't have much time and the stinking website wasn't working. So we are all e-mailing today in Lander. This week was good. As District Leader I have to go on team ups with each companionship in the district. We went with one companionship from Riverton last Tuesday. Then on Thursday Elder Searle and I went to Worland for team ups with the Zone Leaders. Today we are on team ups with Elder Catron and Ika. Then Thursday we will be on team ups with the other Riverton Elders. It's gone pretty good. We have stayed busy really well this time around.

Last p-day was pretty lame. We didn't do a whole lot. Yesterday for p-day we had a ball. Elder Catron and Elder Ika were in DuBois and told us to find a ride up for P-Day. So we called Brother Anderson who took us to Cody for our specialized training. He told us he would take us early Monday morning. So we got a ride and went up there. Andrew Myers, the Son of the branch mission leader took us to a couple of sweet places. The first place was some Secret caves. There aren't very many people who know about them. So we went in these caves and explored for a while and crawled through some tiny holes. Haha It was a good time. We also went to what is called the natural bridge. It was way cool too. Elder Catron and I went with Andrew down inside the natural bridge. The other two didn't want to come because going down was pretty steep. It was a good time though. I'll send a bunch of pictures with this e-mail.

I have a neat story from team ups last Tuesday. Elder Hepworth was with me, and we went to see Jay Parker. He is originally from Tennessee, and is southern Baptist. Just a great great guy. His wife was reactivated 2 years ago and went through the temple a couple of months ago. We have taught him a lot and he hasn't really progressed much. So Elder Hepworth and I used some of the new training we learned to find out what was going on in his head. What was holding him up. We ended up asking a lot of questions and just letting him spill his heart. He told us he has never read anything in The Book of Mormon he doesn't agree with. He said he does however have a problem with Joseph Smith. He went into a little more detail about how he was taught growing up. So we basically told him that all of those doubts and concerns can be resolved by reading and praying about The Book of Mormon. We went to Matthew 7. Talked about how a false prophet cannot write a true book. So if The Book of Mormon is true than his concerns about Joseph Smith would have no foundation. He said it really does make sense. So we asked him if he had ever really Read and Prayed about The Book of Mormon or not. He said he has never specifically asked to know if The Book of Mormon was true. So we committed him to do it and he said he would. So hopefully he will ask. He will get his answer if he does.

I keep having the feeling I'm going to get transferred out of Lander after this transfer is over. I'll be sad to leave if it happens, but I have learned already that there is a reason for everything. I have told you guys a little about Sister Dena Deking before, her husband passed away a while back and she has a daughter Joli's age still in the house. Elder Ika and I visited her every week and really enjoyed being in her home. We taught her a lot and she started coming back to church. We counted her as reactivated after she came for 2 months or so. Then she was called as a relief society teacher. She has taught once a month for 3 months now and she started going to the temple prep class 2 weeks ago!!!! AHHH!!! It makes me so happy. I have really enjoyed seeing it all. So I hope it continues. :D I think she was a big reason why I have been here. She told me last time we went over that she was grateful God sent me to her. She assured me she needed me here when I got here. So, that made me feel really really good.

Not a whole lot else has happened this week. I hope you all are doing well. I have a bunch of letters I need to write back to. I am going to be sad when I'm not getting mail and it's going to be my own fault. You gotta write letters to get letters.

Sister Larsen in Riverton called and talked to me after she talked to Pops. She is a sweet lady. She is always trying to make sure we have the things we need. A set of Elders live with her so we see her all the time. She is making a cook book with all the Elders that come to her house. So she called to find some different recipes I asked for. :) I guess Pops and I both have that "Melodious Radio Voice". I am glad you had a good time on Cedar Mountain Tiff and Jason. I can’t wait to be able to go dink around on a 4 wheeler sometime. I love you all.

Love, Elder Austin Gene Goff

"Entrance to the secret caves"

"Huge cavern, Elder Ika and Catron"


"Leroy my snake friend again"

"Looking Down"

"Part of the natural bridge"

"salagtites and stalagmites"

"Scary hole I crawled through"


"The Natural Bridge"
"Where Elder Catron and I went in"

Current Area: Lander, Wyoming
Current Companion: Elder Searle