West Virginia Charleston Mission

West Virginia Charleston Mission

Monday, August 7, 2017

“Small congregations have definitely grown on me”

Well this last week flew by! I can never seem to remember everything that happens throughout the week, so this will probably be lacking in details.

Wednesday was Zone Conference again, it was a good time, the Lindhardts are really awesome. We talked a lot about our purpose as missionaries and how to find people to teach. Oh, at Zone Conferences they've started giving gift cards to people with the cleanest cars. Elder Webb told me we would have won, but we won last time! Oh well, can't win them all I guess 😋

We were able to see Tim. He's doing well but hasn't been reading in the Book of Mormon :( He's been staying busy just hanging out with some of his buddies and hasn't really made it too much of a priority to come to church sadly. We're definitely still trying to work with him though, so hopefully things get better!

So over this last week we were going to have a few appointments with some new people, but I, being myself, lost my planner from last transfer and so we couldn't call any of them. So we did a lot of re-meeting people and re-getting phone numbers haha. But this next week we've got some appointments already planned. We're going to see a new lady named Kim tomorrow with Brother Franklin. She's really nice and actually has some family members that are members of the church, just recently moved to Ripley. Then we're going back to see Susan and Silas on Thursday. Should be a good week!

We were able to see Frank again yesterday! He's been super busy handing out money again (he pays people to use their land for projects). But we had a good discussion with him about prayer and the Atonement of Christ.

The branch had the first Family Home Evening activity last Wednesday. It was cool to see how much everyone liked it at church on Sunday.  Things are going pretty well overall for the branch. Still only a small handful of people every week, but it's great. Small congregations have definitely grown on me:)

So my spiritual thought this week has to do with prayer. Elder Bailey has done something similar and I've started copying what he does somewhat. I've noticed it helps me to pray if I ponder beforehand and write down things to pray about. I've noticed as I have done this, it's really helped me focus my thoughts more and feel the Spirit of what I am praying about. It's always good to be reminded that prayer is supposed to be a strong spiritual experience, not just a list of pleases and thank-you's.

We also got caught in a large rainstorm this last week. Good times! Also got a picture of a super tiny church we found in the middle of no-where. OH!! We also eat some good food this week! A member here gave us money to eat something so we bought the pizza of all pizzas. That's right ladies and gentlemen, in the Ripley corner, weighing in at a whopping 3 pounds, the Sasquatch Pizza. Literally though, it's 3 lbs.  I also made a random attempt at the chicken-broccoli braid my mom made back home at my request and it turned out pretty good actually.

Take Luck!

Elder Goold

Monday, July 31, 2017

Remember Things

First things first: I will ask everyone who reads this to scoot a couple inches over in their chair. Please and thank you! You know what they say, a good writer always moves their audience! (Ba dum tiss!) Yes, I know that pun probably gave you an awful headache, but I stole it from Brother Franklin, shout out to him!

These past few days have been good! We've been working more on the roster here to clean it up. Lots of PO Box addresses are hard to deal with, but it's moving forward! I think the best two addresses so far are 1. "She works next to the beauty shop" and 2. "Moved away".  We're focusing a lot on the less active members as a branch, so it's going well so far! We also had a new member move into the branch, Brother Faria. He just moved from Texas and he's originally from New York, so he's got an awesome New Yorker accent.

We were able to start teaching some new investigators yesterday, Susan and Silas (sigh-las). They are really cool! We met them a week ago trying to find some members who had moved. They've been through a lot and Susan has some health problems, but they're super optimistic people and are really open. Silas is her son and he's just about to start middle school. He's a super funny and smart kid. We had him read something from a pamphlet and he remembered what he read better than most people do😂. We're going back to see them later this week! They also have the most adorable puppy, I couldn't resist petting it.

Elder Bailey and I both spoke again this past sacrament meeting. Good times, I enjoy speaking. We didn't plan anything to coordinate but we both ended up talking about continuing on the path of eternal life. He talked about how to endure to the end and I spoke about how repentance is and should be a way of life, not a punishment.

Something I've been thinking a lot about how important it is to remember things, what ever that thing is. For example, it's pretty important to remember to drain the water from the pasta when you make spaghetti, other wise you get a watery mess (not speaking from experience....). Or it's important to remember to remove the gas hose once you fill up your car with gas, so the hose doesn't break and hit the car (again, totally not speaking from experience..). But the most important thing I have learned there is that you can remember is found in this very short verse of scripture from Mosiah chapter 12:

"I am the Lord thy God, who hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

The Lord has brought each one of us out of the metaphorical "Egypts" of our lives at one time or another. But the question is, do we remember it? Do we reflect often on the Lord's hand in our lives and pray with gratitude for it? If you do that, it really does make a difference. We can humbly turn to the Lord in our trials sooner and can be strengthened through them, I know that to be true!

Hope y'all have a great week!!

Take Luck,

Elder Goold

I went in a corn field the other day, but sadly, I did not meet Akbar.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

“One More Transfer”

First thing is first: Elder Bailey and I will be here in Ripley one more 6-week transfer together! Elder Scott and Elder Webb are also staying in Spencer for another transfer, so we've had the same district now for 3 transfers! That may be a record or something. 

So this week we did a lot of work on the booth again. It took a lot more time than we ever thought, but it turned out really well. So we did it Saturday morning and had some members there with us. We handed out a lot of pass along cards for the most part. It was great exposure! Our set up however would definitely be more ideal at a festival or such, so we're going to pass it around the mission with that purpose! It was fun to put together, but I'm glad it done! 

We also got to do our family history class last week at the church. It definitely worked much better there than at the library. Frank made it again! We did the class on indexing so it was fun since I was learning just as much as Frank, haha. 

Um, we saw John again for a short visit since he didn't make it to church. He said he didn't come in to church because he got there late! Silly John. We barely missed Tim again, he's been out of town recently. 

We were able to meet a new less active family the Archers!  We found them on Sunday night as a part of our R.C.P. (roster cleanup project).  They are a super nice couple, who know a lot of the members, so we are excited to work with them to help them back to church! We also found some interesting things in the middle of no-where, most notably a random pony running down the street. No kidding, just prancing along. 

We've met some pretty cool people this last week we are hoping to teach soon, and a random clan of people from the Philippines in a random hollow. It was pretty cool. 

To say a little more about the Book of Mormon reading I've been doing, it has helped me strengthen my testimony of that great book even more. It's crazy to think that something as simple as reading a book can make such a difference, but it really does. Not because the book is magic or anything, but because it testifies of eternal truths and those truths invite the Spirit into our hearts. Best of all, it testifies endlessly that Jesus is the Christ and how much He loves us. There are so many things in the scriptures and in our lives that testify of that love and care, but we have to seek it out!

Sorry it's a little short, we're short on time today! Have a good 4 days!

Take Luck!

Elder Goold

Monday, July 17, 2017

Welcome President and Sister Lindhardt to the WVCM - Charleston Zone Conference

This last week has been another slower week for us here. We did a TON of work on our booth, it has been a lot more prep than we anticipated, but it's going to be "totally wicked!". Well, not actually wicked. But you get the point. We did a lot of typing, printing and painting getting things ready for this Saturday!!

So we weren't able to see David since he's been sick all week. Poor guy!😖 We saw Tim again, just shortly because he was headed to the doctors (everyone's sick right now). We did get to see the Evans, but it was a sad visit, they apparently started going to some other church with their family so they weren't really interested anymore. 

We were able to see John Barnes again and that went fairly well. He's been reading more in the Book of Mormon and he's really good at remembering it and understanding the things taught in it. He's been praying more recently, he told us, to better know his purpose in life. We also ate some real good cheddar cheese broccoli soup. We invited him to church and he said he would be there, but for some reason he didn't make it!!😥  I guess if we could make them come to church, it would be too easy!

We were also able to see Frank! It was a short visit because he was crammed with work again but he talked with his wife and she said she would be totally open to learning about the church! So we showed him where the church was in his town and got him the number of the missionaries and such! So they were hopefully at church there yesterday! 

Then we got some sad news on Wednesday. We stopped in to visit the Martins and found out they were moving!! Sis. Martin apparently just found out she had cancer and so they are moving back to Welch WV to be close to family. So we volunteered and helped them with packing up everything, (they bought a house in Welch and moved with in a week) and cleaned out their apartment. So now they're down in Welch! Sad day (again), but on the bright side, her cousin who is a member of the church lives there, so they'll have a better time learning about the church and getting friend-shipped in the branch. But Elder Bailey and I did some good work moving stuff! It was quite the miracle to get everything in that Uhaul!

We had mission tour on Friday and finally got to meet the Lindhardts! They are awesome! Haha not going to lie, Sis. Lindhardt kinda reminded me of Aunt Patty (Shout out)! It was pretty cool, they are super nice and we had a great time getting to meet them and learn from them. And it was fun to sticky-note their car! :)

So something I liked that we talked about at the mission tour was "introspection". I just really like the word because it sounds fancy and it's really really important to understand. Introspection mean to look in with examination. This principle is something that we, if we wish to grow and be happy in life, must master. Sometimes it's not easy to look inward and admit what our weakness are, but as we do so, there is an increase of the Spirit in our life and a power from God to help us change. It helps us be humble and teachable before God. 

Hope you all had a great week and are enjoying the heat! It's been nice and hot here the last week or so, despite all the random rainstorms. Peace out!

Take Luck,
Elder Goold

Charleston Zone Conference to Meet President & Sister Lindhardt!

Fun at Zone Conference with Elder Jolley (front), Elder Main and Elder Bailey (back)

Fun time covering the Lindhardt's car in Sticky Notes!

I got a package from home full of phishes

Perfecting our painting skillz for our upcoming booth

Monday, July 10, 2017

“Helping with the 4th of July”

So it has been a slower week, missionary work wise, but a lot of stuff happened! Things are going well in the branch and a lot of the members are getting pumped up for a lot of the things going on, but on our side of finding and teaching it's been slower. But no matter what happens, the Lord is with us! It's His work after all!

Monday evening and all Tuesday was filled with helping with the 4th of July. We helped some city volunteer people set up for the parade Monday night.  Tuesday we went and helped organize more stuff downtown before the parade, watched the parade and then spent, literally, the rest of the entire day cleaning up trash with two city volunteer people, Andrew and Gage. We estimate about 8 miles of walking all over town picking up trash, it was pretty fun though! Got to talk to a lot of  people and many people saw us helping out the community and greatly appreciated it, so that was definitely a good thing! Also, there was a cool Elvis Presley impersonator and I bought some deep fried brownie bites. 10/10! Got a lot of pictures!

I promise the brownie bites were better than my expression shows, the sun was just bright

Wednesday we worked a lot on our WalMart booth and planned a lot for it. Then we had dinner with the Thompson's and went out to Ravenswood for a little bit. Didn't get to see any of the people planned. So nothing super exciting happened.

Thursday we were on exchanges in Spencer. Elder Webb and I got to visit with this one less active sister and had a good lesson. Then we had another lesson with an investigator family and we watched the Restoration video with them. Then we had another lesson with a less active family who's been going through some major trials, but they're coming back to church! It was a pretty good day over all, talked to some cool people and then there was a good rain storm out of now where that rained like CRAZY for about 5 mins, but then disappeared.

Friday we were at the food pantry like normal. We got to see Tim again! That was good. He's been doing some detox for a medicine he was taking, but some weird side effect is making him real sick, so he's been down and out for a while. Then we saw John again for a little bit and set up an appointment with him for next week. There was another DOWNPOUR on the drive home. It was bad, roads were flooding and we could barely see. So of course we took a video of it to remember the epicness.

Saturday we did a lot of planning since we didn't have that Thursday and then more work on the booth. We were able to see the Mullins Saturday night. They've been doing good. They've still be praying together.  We also tried to see David, but he got some bacterial infection near his mouth, so he can't talk at all (his neighbor told us this), which is really too bad.

Sunday we had a really great church service. Sis. Christner talked about service and sharing the gospel and then a visitor Bro. Floyd spoke. They did a good job, and then we had a great Sunday school lesson talking all about pride and humility. Sadly nobody made it out to church, but they missed out! We did have about 27 people there this week though! We had a family visiting who used to live here so it was much more full than normal, which was cool. Then the rest of the day we were trying to find some less actives who lived pretty far out and had quite the off-roading adventure.

For a spiritual thought I wanted to challange everyone to try something out. In Preach My Gospel chapter 4 under the section "Pray with Faith" there is a personal study activity. It gives you a lot of different ways to evaluate your prayers. We did this for district meeting this last week and it really was awesome. Prayer is such a simple thing we often underestimate it's power and what it really is. I would recommend that all of you check out that activity and do the study!

Hope y'all have a great week! We'll have the mission tour this next Friday so we will get to meet President and Sister Lindhardt! It will be a good week!

Take Luck,
Elder Goold

Careful,  tight squeeze ahead!

Awesome bluegrass float!

Lots of people for the 4th

Elvis came to town!