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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!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

From Elder S. Goff - "I love you all"

  Well this week went well I went to training down in Tampico with all the leaders of the mish and it went really great. The mission has changed so much since I first got here. I had a lot of fun down there and learned a lot. The week went well and we have been super busy a lot of the time we have to run to our appointment because we have so many and so little time. This is the last week of this change and I'm pretty sure ill be getting out of here. I was in my 1st two areas 4 changes 6 months and that’s what I have here now so I think I'll out but who knows where ill be going next. The members always mess with me and tell me that I’m not getting moved and that I just need to start building my house cause ill be here awhile longer. Well see what happens.
  My buddy elder hruska goes home and he is getting really nervous. He can’t sleep at night and calls me to tell me what’s going threw his mind. It was always really tough having the comps that were going home but elder hruska is still working with all kinds of ganas so I’m happy for that he is a great guy. I can’t believe that I’m getting so close to hitting 20 months time sure does fly by.
  my and vela have got some things we are going to get done this week cause I want to leave this area with some good stuff going down so I hope I can make it happen.
  me and my comp bought a little turtle today and I’m pretty happy with the little guy but I think we will be giving him away in the next couple days but we will see how he goes :)
  there has been some things that have happened in the church and we have some INV that don’t want to come back again for the way a few of the members were I’m not to happy with that and I have tried to talk to them and help them out but pride is a really tough thing to let go. a recent convert doesn’t want to come to church ever again cause of something a guy in the ward said to her nephew and it makes me really upset and we have tried to explain to them that things happen but the things important are taking part in the sacrament but she said he doesn’t feel the spirit with the other guy there as well. So we have some things to fix but we are hoping that the ward will help out a little more.
I love you all ELDER GOFF

Current Area: Victoria City, Mexico
Current Companion: Elder Vela

From Elder A. Goff - "SURE DO LOVE YA!"

Elder Goff, Daina Littlenest, and Elder Heywood

Hey There Loved Ones,
   So it’s about 11:15 P.M. Sunday night, March 20th.   Which is pretty early for an assistant in our mission to be home on a Sunday night.  Elder Heywood and I had some late nights in the Mission Office.  Sunday night is when we take all the Key indicators for the entire mission.  Zone Leaders call in and we take down the numbers for each companionship.  After we take them all down we put them on the computer on an excel spread sheet with each companionship.  It has each week of the transfer on it.  So six all together, and then when we get it all done and printed out we each have a copy, (President Gardner, Elder Adams and I)  and we meet in President’s office and talk about each and every companionship and the things that they did during the week, and in some cases what they didn’t do.  It’s always great to go ever it with President.  It’s awesome to be able to see the successes around the mission and to be able to call and talk to anyone in the mission about their area. 
   I can’t believe I’m in the last transfer of my mission.  This morning as I woke up was the first time I have really broken it down and thought about how much time I have and how quickly this last bit of time will go by.  This week we have leadership meeting on the West side and the East side of the mission and the rest of our week will be filled with Team ups with Zone Leaders on the West side of the mission.  Then the next 3 weeks after that we will be doing a lot of traveling.  So week one is done, week two in leadership and team ups, week 3, 4, and 5 traveling, then it will be week six and transfers again.  I can’t believe it.  I’m having a hard time thinking about it, so I’ll try not to.  I have so much to be excited about, and yet I have so much I will hate to leave behind.  I can’t believe I ever thought about not going on a mission.  It sounds so silly and cliché at times, but this time has truly changed me for good.  I am finishing up the Book of Mormon again and I just finished the actual “Book of Mormon” if that makes any sense.  The entire Nephite Civilization is destroyed, and Mormon says in regards to his people who have just been slain, “O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you!  Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen.  But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss.  O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen!  But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return.”  I think of this in terms of the people I have taught throughout my time as a missionary.  The times I have felt true sorrow for someone I have loved not accepting the gospel.  Or someone fallen away that I have taught.  Just as Mormon said, “My sorrows cannot bring your return.”  No matter how badly I feel about their decisions I can’t change it.  I also think of the pain Mormon felt and I pray I will never make anyone I love feel that pain.  I don’t want to ever forget the things I have learned on my mission.  Or my testimony of Jesus Christ.  I don’t want to be “a fallen people” someone who has had a testimony, and forgets for one reason or another.  Or in many cases many reasons and choices.  Anyway…Enough of the sappy and testimonial part of the e-mail. 
    Daina Elisia Littlenest was baptized last week. Elder Austin Gene Goff was able to perform the ordinance.  I was such a neat experience.  After the baptism I was asked how it felt and I said that I felt like Alma at the waters of Mormon.  That feeling I had had to have been the way Alma felt too.  Proclaiming by the words that you speak that you are commissioned of Jesus Christ.  SO COOL!!!  I didn’t baptize thousands, but I am positive I felt the way Alma felt.  Daina and the Newby’s gave Elder Heywood and I some cool scrapbook type pages to remember it all.  I sure love that family.
   I also have some more exciting news that you will all like to hear.  Karla Pierce sent in her letter to the First Presidency for permission to be baptized a few weeks back.  Since she is on Probation for 10 years she had to receive approval to be baptized.  And this last week President Gardner got a letter from the first presidency which basically said, “We have no objection to the baptism of Karla Pierce.”  We went to her house and had an opening prayer as usual and asked her if she could read something for us out loud and she said sure.  So we sat the letter in front of her and she read aloud the words which gave her permission to be baptized.  She was pretty…no…VERY shocked, and yet excited. The first word she spoke after reading it was, “Holy Crap.” Haha Very Karla.  She will be baptized on Saturday. J  An old missionary will be baptizing her, and she asked Elder Adams to confirm her.  It should be a great baptism.
   Now it is 7 A.M. Monday morning and I’m waiting for Elder Adams to get out of the shower and get ready so we can head off to the mission office to get to work.  I have all ready showered and dressed.  The sooner we get to the mission office and finish the things we need to do the better chance we have of actually having a little bit of a p-day.  Last P-day was a lot of fun.  It was warm outside so pretty much all of the missionaries in Billings met at a park and played Folf, (Frisbee golf) and Ultimate Frisbee.  It was a lot of fun to be outside and run around.  It makes me miss football a lot though.  Any time I run outside on grass I always think of football and how much I miss it. 
   I will be sending a couple of boxes home in the next couple of weeks so I don’t have to carry it all when I come home.  I’ll try to get rid of all of my useless stuff I have too that I have collected over the course of the 2 years.  It’s amazing what you can fit in 2 suit cases.
   So as far as school goes.  I am leaning toward BYU-I right now.  When I found out I was accepted I just felt good.  I don’t know if it was just because I got it, but I really do feel good about that school.  A lot of Elders from our mission go there so that will be good for me too.  Elder House and Elder Vroom are both going there.  So that should be a lot of fun.  Plus, I’m sure there are a lot of cute girls…  I mean I do have to keep my priorities straight. ;) Haha.
   Today we will prepare for our Leadership meeting that will happen tomorrow and Wednesday.  Plus go over key indicators and anything else we need to go over.  I wish you could follow us around for a transfer and see all the stuff we do.  There is always a lot more to it than I can even begin to explain.  This last week I have been plum exhausted.  I had such a rough time at church yesterday trying to stay awake. Haha I just wish once a week we could sleep in.  Or take a nice nap.  I’ll keep dreamin.
   I think I have figured out what I’ll do for work when I get home.  Preston is going to work for Vitamix, and he invited me to do so too.  Which means I’ll be selling nice blenders at coscos or something.  I mean, selling blenders can’t be that attractive to girls, but It’s gotta be more attractive than not having a job, or car.  I doubt many girls actually find it cute when a guy picks them up on a bicycle with pegs on the back.  J  It might be funny for me though.  So I’ll just work all summer and buy a car before I go to school.  At least that’s my plan.  Hopefully I’ll make enough to pay for 2 semesters too.  I don’t know.  I don’t want to take out loans unless I have to.  So I’ll do my darndest to make enough to not worry about it.  Just because I am a returned missionary I don’t want pitty because I’m broke haha  I’ll work my bottom off and make things work.
   I sure do love you all.  I hope this e-mail is sufficient.  See you soon.

Love, Elder Austin Gene Goff

Now I am in the office and I am getting this sent out while I have a second.  Sorry about last week.  I hope you all enjoy this one.  Love you.

Current Area: Billings, Montana
Current Companion: Elder Adams

Thursday, March 17, 2011

From Elder S. Goff - "Hello Everyone"

   Well I have decided that I'm really not to cut out for this whole e mail thing. Seeing what others write home every week and mine are just super little and well I’m sorry for that but I try to write the important things down the things that really matter.
  I wanted to share a well known story from the scriptures with ya'll today but in the way I understand it. It makes me think about the way I go about doing missionary work. Or something like that. I like to get to know the people a little bit and build their confidence with me and well I think a great example for that would be the way the ammon went about doing the work as well. He left to go and preach to another town and when he got there he told the king that he was there to serve him and be his servant and said that he was even thinking about staying there till he would die. well the king was like what’s up with this vato he has gotta be crazy so Mr. king was like well how bout you take one of drop dead gorgeous daughters to be your wife well ammon was thinking in his head yeah right your daughters are ugly but ammon being a very fin educated man turned down the offer and said he would rather work for you king. so the king sent him out go work by letting him be the head man in change of protecting his sheep what a honor right? Well the other servants told ammon that there were a few dirty rotten no good thieves that were killing off the sheep. well they went down to the water hole and the bad dudes or in other words the followers of Jafar (if your up to date in your Disney trivia you’ll know what I’m talking about) well they were there waiting and scared all the sheep and well the other servants of king Lamoni were like great now the boss is going to kiss us like he did with the last sheep keepers cause his sheep ran away. Well ammon got excited and called the team to a huddle. He called the play just like my buddy Aaron Rogers did and they went for it. the bad lamonitas were like hey we aren’t going to let this little white boy ruin our fun and well they got there clubs of wood and went over to fight him. they had no idea that ammon had been meeting up in an under ground fight club for some time before that preparing himself and as well had the power of god and was protected by him. Well in no time he had dropped 6 of them to the ground and was going for more. After all the dust had settled they gave some water to them sheep and took them back up to the kings place to chill a little bit. well a couple of the servants liked chismear and went to tell lamoni what went down and the boss was like wow this dude has gotta be the great spirit when the king ask where ammon was and the servants said feeding the horses the kind was ever more surprised. he said not ever had he had a player on his team so devote to really go that extra mile and he told them to bring ammon to the king and when they did the king was speechless for an hour then ammon read his thoughts and told him that the lord had blessed him with the strength to do so and that open the door for ammon the start teaching him the lessons so he could be baptized. And later the king even told everyone to listen to ammon and even gave him the MVP.
  Well I know that this story is a little advanced for some of those readers but all in all the moral of the story is that we have to build confidence with the people threw our words and our actions. The example that we give to other can be great or can be very gacho it just depends.
  This week went great got a ton done and well tomorrow I’m going down to Tampico for a training with the leaders of the mish and ill leave here tomorrow at 5 in the morning and ill get back late Thursday night so well see how it goes. I’m stoked to see some people that I haven't seen in a long time.
  Today was fun we went to the zoo to hang out and had a blast I snuck in some bananas to give to the monkeys and boy did they go crazy them monkeys. We even gave an apple to the buffalo. I mean in Austin’s mish he sees that kind of stuff everyday but here in not normal they even have deer in the zoo here ha-ha. It’s been awhile since I had seen one of those. It was great. I have a bunch of great friends with me here in my zone and I love just hanging out with them we always have a great time.
Well I gotta go but I love you all hope ya’ll are doing great and that your saying your prayers.

Love you guys

P.S. Tiff I love you. Smile. I really hope you get feeling better soon. I know you miss me but you don’t have to get sick for that... I mean... only like 4 months and ill be home. I love you.

Current Area: Victoria City, Mexico
Current Companion: Elder Vela

Saturday, March 12, 2011

From Elder A. Goff - "Hey there Family...GOOD NEWS!"

Hey everyone,
   It's me Elder Austin.  So last week I gave some bad news about Jeanna's Baptism not going through.  So now I am reporting that Daina Newby is getting baptized on Thursday.  We knew she would be getting baptized.  On Tuesday as we were driving to District meeting we got a call fro Sister Newby and she asked us both to write out our testimonies.  Then she said they had talked about who she wanted to baptize her and to give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  Then sister Newby said Daina wanted me to baptize her!! haha.  So I'm pretty excited.  I'm going to baptize Daina on Thursday.  :)  So that's pretty exciting.  Elder Heywood and I will have a baptism together after all.  Daina had her baptismal interview on Saturday and is good to go.
   We taught a part member family this week who recently moved from the Phoenix valley for work.  The Chieg's...Pronounced..CHEE. EGG.  He is From the Island of YAP in the Pacific Islands.  Just a great guy, you wouldn't know that he's not a member when he comes to church.  Wearing a suit and Tie and dress shoes.  Anyway, He has had some different things holding him back from being baptized from when he lived in AZ.  Since he has moved here he has given up his habits and is doing really well.  We weren't really sure why he hadn't been baptized yet.  So when we went to their house we asked him some questions trying to get to know him, and figure out what's been going on.  We talked to him about some habits from his culture.  He then told us that he is ready to be baptized.  He used to work for the Arizona Cardinals and Deuce Latui who plays on their offensive line is going to come baptize him in April or May.  It will be pretty cool. :)  I doubt I'll be here still, but it's pretty cool. 
   Elder Heywood only has about 10 days left on his mission.  Pretty crazy.  Preston is flying home today.  I'll be home in 2 months :) haha 
  I'm sorry to hear that Tiff has been hurting so bad.  Elder House hasn't been doing too hot either.  All last week his stomach has been killing him.  He is coming in to billings form Glendive to get checked out again.  He refuses to go home.  I can't blame him.  He only has about 2 months left.  He will make it.  You will too Tiff. :)  Love you girl.  :)
  I hope everything is going well.  I feel like my e-mails are getting more and more lame every week.  I am sorry about that.  I love you all!  See you soon.

Love Elder Austin Gene Goff

Current Area: Billings, Montana
Current Companion: Elder Heywood

From Elder S. Goff - "Family"

Well, this week went really well. Me and my comp had one baptism and it went well and the ward next to us had another one. 2 great stories. 1st one about the guy that was baptized in the ward next to us. His name is Juan. One night when I was still with elder Tec we were waiting for the bus on the boulevard and s we were waiting a man came up and started to talk to us. He was a really nice guy. He said he lived just across the river and I was like well great. Well then our bus showed up so I was like hey bud well we got to go but take it easy and we left on the bus. As soon as I sat down I felt so bad because I passed up an opportunity to talk to someone about the gospel more and I just sat there in my seat feeling like crap for that. I could have waited for the next bus and been a little late for where we were going but I didn’t. well I was super worried that I was never going to find him again and well one day when I was with elder olvera last change the man Juan showed up to a funeral that was going on at the church and we just so happened to be there setting things up and I knew it was him and I was like hey Juan how have you been doing and he was surprised I remembered him but I started talking to him trying to find out when we could visit him and where he lives. He told us when and where and we ended up going the next day. the lesson went great but he lived one street outside of our area and I was like nah we'll be alright he is ours lol but he came to church the first Sunday and when he was there he loved it we went and visited him again and when we did I explained to him how we have our areas and that he lives just outside of our so other elders would have to teach him instead of us. Well the other elders have been working with him since and he got to take a dip in the water the other day.  He got baptized and I was so happy that he did it was a great experience.

The other baptism we had was of hna lupita Villanueva. The lady I have been working with ever since I got here to this area. It went really good as well all the members got there half an hour late so I wasn’t happy about that but oh well. Me, my comp, the bishop and hna lupita were the only ones there on time. she was getting nervous thinking that no one was going to show up but after waiting half an hour extra people started walking in the church. It really embarrassed me to see them all get there that late but it’s a weekly thing no one ever gets to church on time. so this week we had a ward leadership meeting and I told them all straight out that they need to be better with it and when I said that the bishop was like I 100 percent agree with elder Goff. The bishop really wants to help the ward out and so do we so I hope we can get some things changed in the rest of the time ill be here.

Well today went well we went and talked to the people this week that own the bowling ally here in Victoria to see if they would open up early so we could go and they did only 6 elders went but it was super funny and my comp got the best scores my comp first place with 127 and me second with 125. It was a ton of fun and well next week we are changing our p day so I'll write you peeps on Tuesday in place of Monday. We are going to go to the zoo :) I'm stoked!!! We are working out butts off and trying to have a good time and I feel like its going well I love you all be safe and say your prayers.

Love Elder Sawyer Goff

Current Area: Victoria City, Mexico
Current Companion: Elder Vela

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

From Elder A. Goff - "16th transfer, 4th week"

Hey Family.
   What a week?  (I wonder how many of my e-mails have started out that way?)  Things have been good up here in my neck of the woods.  Temperatures dropped to below zero again.  The weather here is crazy.  It can never decide what to do.  50 degrees or -10.  GAH!!! Haha drives me crazy sometimes. 
   Tuesday we had Zone Conference in Billings for the Billings zone, Billings East zone and Glendive Zone.  It was a really good meeting.  These Zone conferences have been so different.  We have zone conference every other transfer now, so since this is my last zone conference I had to bare my testimony in Zone conference, not to mention I go to all of the zone conferences, so I had to give my "departing" testimony 4 times.  The first 2 times on the west side of the mission wasn't bad at all.  It was a total different story with the Billings Zone Conference.  And I think I know why.  A lot of the missionaries I have been closest with were at this zone conference.  So it was a lot tougher to say a sense.  I'll still be around a while but it was still not easy.  At the end of Zone conference President Gardner reads off the names of the new missionaries who are present and lets them bare their testimonies.  Then he reads off the names of those who are departing.  He read through the names.  He read Elder House, Elder Goff...and so on.  I looked at Elder House as his name was read aloud and tears flowed quickly.  My name was called and had the same effect.  Elder House bore his testimony before me and talked about the trials he has endured on his mission...which he truly has.  He talked of friends, teaching the gospel, his testimony of our Savior, and so on.  It was very touching.  I had a hard time during his.  Then I got up and scanned the room, looking at all of the face I have come to know and love.  Elder Ika was present, Elder House, Elder Heywood.  And many more.  I thought of our time spent together.  A missionary going home once said that his stake president said he would find his best friends on his mission.  The missionary thought he had best friends and that there was no way he would find his best friends on his mission.  As he gave his departing testimony he told us all that his stake president was right.  I second that.  I have found some of my best friends on my mission.  Elder Ika gave me a bad time after because I made him cry. ;)  It was rough though.  Wyoming was tough too.  I have a lot of wonderful memories down there.  Elder Child was at the Wyoming Zone conference.  So that was tough too. Good times though.  A time never to be forgotten.
  Jeanna Butterfield did not get baptized this week.  I got a message on facebook on about Thursday saying she wanted to postpone her baptism.  Her husband had to work on Sunday and she wants him to be there.  She is also switching jobs and is very stressed out and felt like she wasn't in the right frame of mind to be baptized.  She said she still wants to be baptized.  Doesn't know when yet.  So hopefully I'll still get to be a part of it.  There's a reason for it.  I just don't know what it is.  I have wanted that my whole mission.  Maybe it's not meant to be. Or maybe it is meant to be and won’t happen until I am about t o go home.  Who knows but God?
   On a much happier note.  Daina Newby will be baptized on March 10th.  A week before Elder Heywood flies home.  So that is really exciting.  We have spent a lot of time teaching her and trying to help her understand more fully.  She is ready.  :)  We are teaching her about 3 times this week to make sure she is ready before her baptismal interview.  She is a sweet girl.  The gospel is going to bless her life so much.  It's hard leaving a reservation like she has done and forget all the things she has seen.  And I doubt she will forget, I also hope she never forgets that it's the gospel that can make her happy and bring her the fullness of joy she seeks. 
   Elder Vroom has all of the P-90-X videos on a flash drive and we got them from him and did Ab-Ripper-X, so that explains the pictures we have. Haha Thought you might enjoy them.  I love you all. 
   I think it's great that Joli got her patriarchal blessing.  I have been bragging about her all week to President and the office staff at the mission home.  I'll be happy to read it when I get home.  It sounds like hers is similar to mine. :) well a couple things. I don't think a dude will take me to the temple and I won’t be a mom. ;)  Your turn Glen!  Time to get yours and find out what you are supposed to do.
   Sawyer seems to be doing awesome too.  Training for the 4th time?  I thought 3 was a lot.  I'm not surprised though. He is quite the missionary.  I wish I could go on team ups with him and learn a thing or three.
   I love you all.  You are in my prayers.  LOVES.  2 months from today I will be flying home.

Love, Elder Austin Gene Goff

Oh shoot, I almost forgot.  Ok so a while back I found out that the Rebers live in our mission in a little town in the Cody Wyoming stake.  Anywho.  I have wanted to go visit them for a while and we got a chance to stop in and stay hello.  It was pretty funny.  Sue answered the door and said, "Well look here, Austin Goff from Bunkerville is getting as tall and handsome as his Dad.  I better go get Gordon....HEY GORDON AUSTIN GOFF IS HERE!"  "WHO?"  "AUSTIN GOFF FROM BUNKERVILLE!!"  "OH BOY"  :) haha I got a picture with them.  It was odd being in their home as a missionary.  But it as good to see them.. They looked good.  It's been 6 years since they moved!!!

Current Area: Billings, Montana
Current Companion: Elder Heywood

From Elder S. Goff - "HNA Lupita"

F ather
A nd
M other
L ove
Y ou

  So the other day I found this on a piece of paper that had family going down like that and I thought it was pretty cool so I thought I would share it with yall today.
  This week went good. The weather has been nuts, it got over 100 yesterday and we are only in Feb. still. It wasn’t too great cause me and my comp were knocking on doors when it was like that but we were able to find a couple new people and we will see how they progress.
  Something awesome happened this week. there is this lady named hna Lupita and well I have been teaching her since I got here and well we have tried and tried to get her in the water and its been really tough. My last comp wanted to just drop her. She even told us last change to stop going by her house cause we were causing problems in her family but when my new comp Elder Vela got here, I decided that we would go once again to visit her and we had gone a few times and she had also came to church with us and well one morning we went over to her house for an appointment and she asked us if there was an activity in the church this next coming Saturday and I said I don’t think so hna idk for sure but I can check if you want and asked if she had heard that there was going to be something she was like no elder it’s just that next Saturday I want to be baptized!!!!!! I was so excited I could not believe she said it but after 5 months of just continuous work she will be getting wet. Me and my comp and super stoked because this is someone I truly care about. I love this lady and have never cared so much about anyone in the mish like I care about her. Me and my comp I believe have a better spirit with us than I did with my last comp and I think that helps a lot. I truly believe that my mission president receives divine revelation because I think me and my comp were put together for a reason. We get along super good and he is going through something that I am and was going threw and its awesome to have him here cause we help each other out with everything. He used to be emo and cut his wrists and stuff. He even has scars but its awesome how good we get along. Things are going great. I also think I was here in this area another change to keep working with hna Lupita. Things are great and life is going good
  Joli I'm glad to hear that you were able to get your PB this week. Sounds like it had some pretty great things in it. I love mine, it helps me out a lot sometimes. Mine is super short but I know it’s got like some hidden messages in it that I just gotta find.
  I love you guys have a great week ill see yall soon. Today I hit 19 months!!! Dang I’m getting old.
Love Sawyer Goff

Current Area: Victoria City, Mexico
Current Companion: Elder Vela