Monday, August 25, 2014

Peru is the best

The beginning of this week and the end of this week are complete opposites!
But before I get into that I want to tell you something a little more funny. Haha, I was going to say this last week but I forgot. Anyways, the kids, most of the Latinos can't get over how big I am haha. One of the little Kids of the family we're visiting called me the incredible Hulk. Last week one of the Hermanas in the Primary presidency, I guess, though I was one of the guys in the Olympics that throws the big bars above their head, I heard that one indirectly, haha. I don't say that to make my self sound huge, its just what the Peruvians think of me, I am not saying I am as strong as an Olympian or as the Hulk, haha.

But as for this week, It was amazing. At the beginning of the week all our lessons were falling through and no one would let us in. Then at the end of the week, we have two investigators with a baptismal date!!!! I didn't talk about all the people last week, so I'll try and tell you about most of them this week. Anyways, the two with the Baptismal date are brother and Sister; their names are Kiara (the sister) and Estefano (the brother). Kiarra is 13 and Estafano is 9, I believe. They have a grandma that is a member and they have been going to church for a long time but they finally have permission from their parents to be baptised. Me and my companion were so excited, we've only had one lesson with them but they both accepted the invitation to be baptized. It's going to be really hard for them so pray for them and the support of their dad. My companion told me the area that I'm in, Los Incas in the zone Chiclay Peru, hasn't had a baptism since June. That's before my mission even started, so It's really exciting that two people committed to baptism. Also one of the investigators we recently found is named Christina. She came to church last week since she was invited by one of her friends and we have been trying to get a hold of her all week but she wasn't answering at all.
Finally on Saturday in the morning when we passed by we randomly knocked on the door, fully not expecting her to answer, and all of sudden she opened and invited us in! We talked with her a little bit about the church and we asked her to say the closing prayer. She started crying during her prayer and I couldn't help but smile, her prayer was so sweet. My companion told me when we left (haha, since I still don't really understand anyone yet)  that she told us after her closing prayer that she had said a prayer that morning for a way to come closer to God, and then a little latter me and my companion came and knocked on her door! Holy cow, Heavenly Father definitely uses us as tools in his hands if we follow the spirit! She came to church again and was really happy. That's basically all my time I have to tell you about my investigators.

Thanks for all your support and prayers, I am praying for all of you. Love you

Elder Goff

PS I dont have my camera with me so I'll send pictures next week.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Finally in the Field (sent August 18, 2014)

My email page was full of new letters since I have two weeks worth. The letter might have to be a little shorter since I took so long reading the letters. Luckily my new companion is really nice and patient! But it's so great to hear from all of you.
The last week of the MTC was crazy, but I honestly don't remember all of what I wanted to write about it since now it full of so many new thoughts from coming to Chiclayo. So I guess, I'll just start with the Airport. It was my first time getting of a plane onto the Tarmack (or what ever you call it) since the airport in Chiclayo is really small. The Mission President was there to pick us up which was really cool. That day we went to the beach and he gave a speech about a Spaniard that conquered Mexico and showed up in boats. When he got there he told everyone to burn the boats since they wouldn't need them anymore since they were going to conquer Mexico. That the simplified version of the story, but we made our own paper boats, origami style, and our president talked about how the boats represented our life before, and we've got to leave it behind and give all we have to the Lord for our mission. Then we got to burn the boats, haha, I will try and send a picture of it.
Any ways, my Companion is Elder Watkins, he's really awesome and we've been getting a long great. His Birthday is September 3rd so he's super close to Adam's age, and he's been out 13 months, close to how long Adam has been out. He kind of reminds me of you Adam, and the best part is he knows who Olan Rogers is, haha! Double fistapumps. (Sorry for those who don't know what that means, that was mostly for Adam, haha). He is from Morgan Utah, so it's been nice to have someone speak English and Spanish.
Speaking of Spanish, I don't know what anyone is saying down here! Haha, I've come to understand the questions I keep getting asked like "How old are you" and "How many siblings do you have". I also can pick out most gospel words, but most of the times during lessons with investigators I feel really lost, I just bare my testimony when my companion turns over to me and tells me what I can bare my testimony on (so it applies more or less to the lesson). One real cool experience was though, in the morning for personal study I came across Jacob 4:8 which talks about how we can't know everything about the mysteries of God, but we can pray and receive revelation. Then later in that same day, I was actually able to follow the lesson and found the perfect opportunity to share that scripture. The investigator was confused when we (and by we, I mostly mean my companion) were explaining the kingdoms of Glory in 1st Corinthians (thats right, its in the bible, so he was able to follow along with his own scriptures; the after life isn't just "Mormon" doctrine, Prophets in the bible testify of it too) and I shared that scripture with him. It wasn't planned or any thing and I was able to bare my testimony about it in Spanish. I know personal study can be inspired when you study with the spirit.
Also this last Sunday I was able to bare my testimony at the beginning of Sacrament meeting. The gift of tongues is real. Haha, my companion in I also got to be in the primary. You know I don't know Spanish very well when I can't even understand the kids that speak very simple Spanish. Oh well, I guess I'll just keep praying to understand these people. Maybe you all can pray for me too;)
I love you all thanks for all of your support.
Elder Ryan Goff

Elder Whitlock and I in the MTC

Burning the boat, and yes, of course its yellow

Me and my companion Elder Watkins

Thursday, August 7, 2014

One more week and I am in the field (sent August 6, 2014)

Well its almost time for me to fly to Chiclayo. I'm going to try to call while I'm at the airport but I don't have my flight plans til Monday, I will beg someone to send an email of what time I will be at the airport so that I don't call when no one is home or something. I fly out Tuesday and I have heard that its usually pretty early, like 3 am or something crazy. Sorry I don't have a lot of info, they're probably not going to let me email again before I leave, but I will try.

Anyways this week was awesome, sorry for the early P-day last week I felt bad that I wasn't able to warn anyone. This week there was a group of member from Ariquepa (I don't know how to spell that) there's been groups of members come in before, and we have talked to them before, in Spanish of course (not very well, but still communicating), but with this group our teacher had us teach the law of tithing and the word of wisdom. It was our first time teaching those lessons, we have mostly only worked on the restoration, plan of salvation, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was quite the learning experience, but me and my companion felt we did pretty well. We were really excited too since we could understand them (for the most part). But we also told them we were going to Chiclayo, and the smiled and said that they talk a lot faster up there, haha, great cant wait! I am really amazed at what the gift of tongues can do, its such a blessing, but I still have a long way to go. Nathan Whitlock came in this week, I shared my testimony with him in Spanish, haha since that really all I can do in Spanish, and he was so jealous.

The temple was closed, since its being cleaned, so I wasn't able to go today. But I did get a nice case for my Spanish scriptures, they are leather and have a hand made picture of either Nephi or Mormon (or any of the other prophets, but I am pretty sure its one of those two, probably Mormon) with the gold plates. Its really cool.

Yesterday we had a devotional by one of the general authorities! It was so cool, and for once the Latinos need head phones for the talk to be translated, and not me! His name was Elder (Christopher) Wadell. He talked a lot about missionary work and it was really awesome. He talked about a change that was recently made to missionary work and that is after baptism the missionary needs to follow up with the convert up to a year. This will help people have true conversion. It was really cool, I laughed a little since I had read a little about this from Zaks letter since he was in the Provo MTC and had already heard about that. One of the things that Elder Wadell said though that stuck out to me was that if a missionaries focus is on baptizing the investigator, they have completely missed the point. Baptism is only the first step for the investigator. We, as missionaries are trying to get people to the temple so they can receive the blessings of eternity. I had never really thought about that and I thought that was really awesome. Another thing he said was when he was talking about Ammon in Alma chapter 17(?, I cant remember the chapter or verse) when he says he rejoiced when the the servants were frightened because the flocks were scattered so that he could show his power OR the power that is in him. He pointed out that Ammon had to say that it was the power that was in him because Ammon would not have been able to do that with out the power of the spirit. He then said that us, as missionaries, would not be able to do this work with our power alone, we will need the power of the spirit. There's a quote in Preach my Gospel ( and I don't have the exact quote) that says something like, we would not have success in our mission if we did not really on the spirit.

I am so grateful to be called here to serve the Lord, and I know this Church is true.

I am out of time, I don't know all the details of my flight times but I will try my hardest to find out.

Elder Goff

I forgot to say, I don't know when I will be able to email you again so I don't know when my P-day will be next week so don't freak out if I'm not able to email next Wednesday.


Caral last week

the bus on P-days, they get really crowded

Heres one of the houses on the mountain, I dont know how they build them but its incredible. I took it from the bus so its not very good but you can see the houses in the back round

4th or 5th week?! (sent July 29, 2014)

Hey family!

Thanks for all your letters I read them off my camera! Its so great to hear from all of you.
OK so its Peru's independence day (well actually I don't know if it is the 28th or 29th but they celebrate it both days) and the CCM (MTC) President and his wife decided to give all the missionaries a trip today. Which also meant that everyone's P-Day was today, and I only have 30 minutes to write you again. I cant wait to be in the field and not have a time limit, I hope I will at least have more than an hour, Its just not enough time! Anyways the trip was amazing! We went to the some ruins in Peru called Caral. They are so cool and over 5,000 years old (3,000 years before Christ). I guess its one of the first civilizations in ancient America. I will send you some pictures, it was so cool.

I cant believe I am already 4 weeks in, this is going by so fast. The first two weeks were really slow, but its going a lot faster now. I am amazed at what the gift of tongues can do. I'm now where near to completely understanding or completely being able to speak Spanish, but we went proselyting again last Saturday, and I was actually able to have real conversations with real Peruvian people! What a blessing it is to have a MTC here in Peru, all the teachers are native Peruvians that have served missions, so we have been learning the same Spanish that we will need in the field, and going out proselyting is being able to talk to the same people (more or less, a different area, but still) that we will be teaching. The first guy we went to was a less active member who hasn't been going to church because he works on Sundays. He was talking about his son and how he isn't able to move his legs because he had a broken back (or something that happened, I didn't catch exactly what happened). But I bore my testimony to him that we have the atonement to repent of our sins and also for all of our pains and sicknesses. I definitely felt the spirit so I hope he did too. Anyways, he said at the end of the lesson that he would go to church the next day. I don't know if he actually did, but I think he did. I also made a few contacts on the street. I went up to one of the lady's that made soup on the side of the road and basically just told her I represented the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints and I gave her a pamphlet of our church and asked if she wanted to read it. She was genuinely happy and I was glad I gave her the pamphlet, her friend also wanted one and so I gave her one. It made me so excited to get out into the field to spread the joy of this gospel to the people of Peru.

Oh also, I forgot to say last week that I met Sister Pace's sister in the Peru MTC, Hermana Minner. It was so cool to meet someone related to some one in our ward. She just left today for her mission (I cant remember where she went to).

Anyways I am out of time but I love you all! I will try to send pictures but if they don't send in time I will send them next week (or when I can).


Elder Ryan Goff

Week three (sent July 23, 2014)

The internet went down today so we only have thirty minutes to write. I found a loop hole in the not being able to print out letters! If I just take a picture of the letter then I can just read it from my camera later. Haha, since I only have thirty minutes this week I am only going to use it to write, and I will take pictures of all the letters and read them through out the week. I got to hear a lot of talks by Elder Holland this week! It does't matter what Elder Holland is talking about, his talk is amazing. Some of the points of his talk was when he was talking about Preach my gospel and the reason they made it. He said President Hinckley said that If a Missionary could fall away after preaching the gospel for two years, then there is something wrong with the missionary program. (In effect). They created Preach my Gospel so that the missionary could be converted before he went and tried to convert investigators.

One really cool thing that happened to me this week was that I got my money back that I lost last week! I don't know how they figured it out, and how they knew I didn't get back the right amount of money. But I do know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers! Haha, It honestly felt like it wasn't even from the store, it felt like Heavenly Father was just saying, "Thanks for going to the Temple, Here is your money back". Haha that sounds super cheesy, but I was so Happy!

Another thing that Elder Holland said in one of his talks was "Tell me how your obedience is and I`ll tell you how your mission will be". I thought that was really cool and it shows me that I need to be obedient to be a good missionary. I wish I had more time to write about what Elder Holland said, since his talks were so good.

Also, I thought Nathan said he was leaving July 15th which would have been last Tuesday but, I just found out he will probably be here next week.

Dang, well an hours definitely not enough, but a half an hour definitely worse, I'm already out of time. I love you all, thanks for all the prayers, I can honestly feel them!

Elder Ryan Goff

PS Do I have a blog that my letters are going on?

2nd week (sent July 16, 2014)

AHH! I spent a lot of time reading letters since I had zero time to last p day. I really regretted it so I read a lot this week. There's a lot of dumb rules in the MTC, one of them being that I can't print of letter and read them through out the week so I just have to balance my time of reading and writing. Also I was trying to send pictures as fast as I could last week when I was being kicked off by the next group so I don't think they ever went through. I'll send those pics and some from this week today.

Since I don't have a ton of time left to write I'm going to try and compress all the stories, last week I wasn't even able to write everything I wanted! haha but I don't have my folder with me so I don't remember what they were, oh well they weren't that important, I sent all the important stories!

Anyway, I went to immigration again this week, this time it was for actual paper work. Then I went to Interpol the next day. It was super great to get out of the MTC a lot. I love the MTC but its a relief to have a breather. You'll never guess what happened while we were there, We saw our new mission President of Chiclayo! I didn't have my camera with me or I would have taken a picture with him. When I'm actually in the field I take a picture with them.

I got to go to the temple again; this definitely makes P-day the highlight of the week (the temple, that wasn't very clear in the sentence). I understood so much more! last week I only knew what was going on but this week I actually understood some of it. Nowhere close to all of it but I knew bits and parts. Last week I got a set of nice leather scriptures, but they weren't the ones with tabs. I brought them again this week to exchange them. Boy I'm never returning things again, I couldn't talk to the person in Spanish so I didn't get the right amount of money back! I'm out like 50 soles (which is like 10-20 US dollars), it was so confusing. Oh well, if I can work on my Spanish enough by next week I'll try and explain what happened, its the distribution center on church property so hopefully they'll help me out. That's not the full story, but the full story is a lot more stressful so I'll just tell you this one so I don't get stressed! haha. I will say that me and my companion

had to chase the bus (only a few yards but we still had to chase it) and yell so it didn't drive away with the group going back to the MTC. We got on but it was intense.

Also, last Saturday we went proselyting (I don't know if that is how you spell it but oh well) It was amazing. I feel like I forgot Spanish for three hours, since I had no idea what anyone was saying. Luckily we had one of th MTC teachers with us so he did most of the teaching. At one point in one of the lessons, this lady (who was apparently a less active member, but we found out she basically joined another church) started singing. I was thinking to my self, what led up in the lesson to get to this point! haha. Everyone that we taught were mostly just less active members except for when they weren't home or when someone said "they weren't home".

Well I don't know if the timer at the top of the screen actually kicks me out when it reaches zero but i don't want to take any chances. I'm going to send my letter now and keep going if I don't get kicked out ill keep writing and send you pictures! I've heard it both ways so we'll see!

-Love Elder Goff

Good news! I was struggling with the last few seconds and it didn't kick me out! haha thank goodness or you guess probably wouldn't have gotten a letter!

Anyways those are the highlights of this week. I pretty sure Nathan Whitlock is here so when I actually see him I'll take a picture with him. I haven't had a chance yet.

well ill send you pictures now real quick since I'm out of time

-Love Elder Goff (for real this time, haha)

PS I don't know if my letter makes sense since I didn't read over, since I'm out of time! just pretend it does. haha, also I don't think I brought the list of emails with me so can someone send a picture of if it to me; I'll email them next week but for this week (and last week if you didn't already) can you forward it to the usual list.

First Week (sent July 9, 2014)

This week has been so awesome! First of I take back everything I said about the food! Haha, I was just late to breakfast that day so all they had was a slice of ham, a roll, some yougurt, and this nasty drink. I was thinking I was going to starve, then lunch came and I compleatly changed my mind, haha the meat and rice is amazing. I don't see my self getting tired of it.

In the CCM (Spanish verision of MTC) theres about 80 elders and 40 hermanas (sisters). That's a really rough estimate; so no a lot. It's been so much fun though. When Nathan whitlock comes next week I'll probably see him a lot since theres not a lot of people, we'll see each other a lot especialy at meal times. But I leave the day before Tanner, Garrett and Tyler (Randall) will come in. I'm a little sad about that, but I honestly can't wait to get out in the mission feild. So the first ( or second, I can't remember, all the days merge together in my mind) day, I was called as the district leader (my district has like 8 elders and two hermanas). It's a lot of pressure especially since I've never had a leadership position, but I'll do what the Lord wants me to do. It's taught me a lot. After watching some video's on the second day, I had my first opporutunity to kind of lead our district in a discusion about the videos. I never really hezited on what to say, I know the Lord was helping with that. I just can't wait till I speak spanish and he will do that! Any ways, district leader was a little scary at first, but it hasn't been too bad.

Just one random story. The first day I had my rubics cube out on my desk when they were talking about how we would be learning spanish. One of the teachers that was standing by and asked me if he could see it for a little bit, I smiled and nodded. It was funny since as he was playing with it a few other of the naitive teacher went over and watched him try and solve it. Haha, they're amazed when I can actually solve it.

There's Latino's here in the MTC that share our Dorm rooms. They are the funniest people you will ever meet. They only speak spanish so it super hard to comunicate with them sometimes. In our room, the Latino's are really nice, they teach us spanish phrases some times; things like exuse me most of the time, but most of the time they're just making jokes. We teach them english, just random words, their always asking how to say spanish words in english. As the week went on, we were able to comunicate better and better.
Sorry my thoughts are super scattered, but are the thoughts in my note book I used to write down points to tell you guys. The second day they told us that they invited investigators in for us to talk to. They were naitives and they spoke english. I was super nervous since I didn't know that we would be talking to investigators so early into the mission. Their names were Carlos and Jessica, they walked into the room full of missionaries. We all took turns talking about how god loves and how he answer our prayers. They were really confuse so I finaly raised my hand and explained that God can answer our prayers through revelation, I stood up and took the spanish Book of Mormon at the front of the room, that they told us we would be able to give them, and handed it them. I bore my testimony that God would answer our prayers if we pray sincerly and look for guidence when reading the Book of Mormon. My heart was pounding so hard and the spirt was so strong, after giving them the book, I went and sat down. Everyone was congradgulating me after and that I placed my first Book of Mormon in Peru. I was pretty excited about it, and I was telling some of the elders that have been here for a while that I didn't know they let us talk to investigators so early in the mission. They kind of laughed and asked if it was Carlos and Jessica, I was confused but told them yes. They said that they do that to all the new missionaries, but they are actually members. I was so disapointed, they were such great actors it felt so real. At least the spirit was real and it was a great expirence but I was still disapointed that I didn't actually give my first Book of Mormon in Peru. And sure enough, the next day "Carlos" was one of our District's teachers.

I've loved being in the MTC, they keep it super clean and every one is really nice. After awhile though everyone was itching to go out side the walls of the MTC. On monday I need to go to the immigration place along with a few other elders. They told us we need to fix something on our visas. I was super worried and was praying really hard that everything would be alright. I found out when we got there that the only thing wrong was that the paper that goes with the passport had two letter scribbled out. They had boxes for the last name first so when I started writing my name, I relized they wanted the last name instead so I scribled out the first two letters (even putting my initails next to it so they would know it was me that scribbled it out). It was anoying to have to go all they there to fix such a little thing. They gave us some new ones (Since we all had that problem, or simmilar problem) and we filled them out the right way. There was a lot of waiting but it wasnt too bad. It took like three hours for that simple mistake, but at least we were able to get out of the MTC and actually see Lima. I can't take pictures except on  P-Day, so I don't have any pictures of it but it was still fun.

We also got to go to the temple today! It was awesome, I just went through without the translator head phones since I've heard it so much in english. I understood what was going on but I had a hard time translating the spanish in my head, since I didn't know most of it. It was awesome, I got more garments, a mini spanish preach my gospel, leather bound scriptures, and an awesome peru tie.
I'm out of time so I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Ryan Goff

PS:  My pday is always on wednesday