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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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

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