West Virginia Charleston Mission

West Virginia Charleston Mission

Friday, September 8, 2017

Home Sweet Home

On Thursday we made our way to Charleston.  Elder Bailey picked up his new companion to train and I stayed in Charleston.  We had interviews and dinner with President and Sister Lindhardt.  I stayed the night at the apartment of the assistants and then Friday morning we went to the Charleston airport to catch our connection to Atlanta.

One last picture in the mission field with President and Sister Lindhardt and the group of missionaries going home.

From Left to Right:
Back Row: Elder Goold, Elder Johns, Elder Kruger, Elder Clark, Elder Little, Elder Holyoak, Elder Webb
Front Row: Elder Whiting, Elder Jolley, Sister and President Lindhardt, Sister Rogers and Sister Tippetts

Sister Rogers is from Fair Oaks, so she flew home on the same plane to Sacramento.

After getting dinner at Smashburger, we met with President Trythall for Elder Goold's official release as a full-time missionary.

Ruby was quick to recognize her pal 💕

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

“Wouldn't trade it for the world”

Well, a lot of great things happened this last week and a half! We were able to teach some new people! Ben was someone I taught while on exchanges with Elder Scott. Elder Scott and I have been around each other quite a bit, all three transfers (6-week periods) in Huntington, plus I was around him and on exchanges with him while he served in Martin. Then four transfers here in the same district! Elder Scott is an awesome missionary and I'll miss the guy!

Last Tuesday we had dinner with the Franklins! Picture below

Last Friday & this Monday we were also able to see and teach Sydney and her mom Jamie. Sydney is a less active girl here in the branch. Noble Adkins (90 year old LEGENDARY man in the branch) married Sydney's grandmother back about 10-15 years ago. Sydney and her gma both were baptized into the church, but Sydney eventually moved out and fell out of the church. Her mom, Jamie, never learned about the church or anything, but now the two of them are together and we started teaching them with Bro. Adkins. They are super awesome and are very receptive to the Gospel. 

Elder Webb and Bailey got to teach the Wotrings with Brother Franklin . It went really well and they accepted to be baptized! They're preparing to be baptized in October, so keep praying for them! They are great people. They were out of town this weekend for Labor Day, but hopefully they are able to make it to the meeting with Elder Cook this weekend!

We saw Frank for a little bit on Sunday and invited him to the FHE at the church tonight and he gave us some tee shirts for his band (yeah, he's famous 😎). 

We're going to see Tim Moore later tonight, so that will be good! He's been super busy lately, but it will be good to visit with him again. 

Sadly, nobody made it out to church this week. Including the branch presidency! xD All of them were out of town, so Bro. Angus was put in charge of conducting! Testimony meeting was really good though, sad to leave this awesome branch, even if it is only 20 people. 

Exciting news, Elder Webb and I are being reincarnated (not really, but you'll get what I mean). Since we are leaving, we are considered "dying" missionaries, but both Elder Bailey and Elder Scott are training so we are being replaced with brand new missionaries! So it's like we are being born into the new missionaries replacing us. Totally backwards district now, pretty excited for them! 

To all who ever read my emails, I want to briefly share my testimony. I know personally that God is real and He lives. He loves us and knows us by name! He loves us so much, He was willing to give His son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice on behalf of our mistakes. I testify that Jesus really is the Savior of the world, and no matter the circumstances, because of Him, we can be forgiven and receive peace. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true; it is the best book anyone could ever read. Within its pages are light and truth that can and will guide you in the right path and it testifies of Christ. All of these things I know, independent of anything or anyone else, simply because I have felt the unmistakable impressions of the Spirit of God teach me the truth of these things. And the best part is, that anyone in the world can receive this same testimony, as long as they humbly seek the truth for themselves. As taught by Jesus Himself, "the truth shall make you free". 

Thanks all of you for all of the support and love over the last 2 years! I have absolutely loved the experiences I have had here and wouldn't trade it for the world. Hope y'all have a great week and stay safe!!! Peace, love yins!!! Team Jesus all the way!!!!!

Take Luck,

Elder Goold

Brother Noble Adkins and I

Sister Brown and I

Dinner at the Franklin's
It rained a lot this last week, so we got very muddy, as evidenced by my shoes.  

Monday, August 28, 2017

“Double exchange madness week of awesomeness!”

This past week was pretty great! A lot of fun things happened! I'll try and summarize, since we won't be at the library for long, we're going to Spencer for Frisbee golf again. 

Last Monday was normal, nothing too crazy. Tuesday we drove to Spencer and then to Charleston for interviews with President Lindhardt. It was a good time, especially since I had to reach out the back window of the truck to hold down our Plan of Salvation booth (we were bringing it to the mission office). Interviews were good and then we drove back up to Spencer to do exchanges. We did some knocking doors and talked to some pretty cool people. 

Wednesday we were still in Spencer for a while and we worked at the food pantry with Pedro (hilarious Catholic Filipino guy). We had district meeting and then on our way home we got to see the Wotrings! They were both feelings sick, but we still visited with them for just a few minutes. They were still both really interested in the plan of salvation, so we get to go back tomorrow with Brother Franklin and teach them more. Later we had an appointment, but had to scrap it because we couldn't find any members to come with us. 

Thursday was a strange day. We did some planning for the next week and then headed over to the library. So for this last transfer I've been doing what is called “MyPlan”, which is an online tool for missionaries going home soon, to set goals and be productive. But for some strange reason, one of the example answers to the question I was asked.... was in LATIN!!! Seriously, it was in Latin - weird. 

Then after that, some random guy came and started talking to us about the Book of Mormon. So we gave him a copy and talked for a while, but the conversation quickly devolved into him questioning me on the details of what a colonoscopy is, what they are like and how you prep for one.... very VERY strange. Easily one of the strangest conversations I've had on my mission. But luckily later that night we got to teach D.J. again and it went pretty well. He understood what a prophet is and why they are important but got very fascinated on the book of Leviticus for some reason. 

Friday we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders! Super fun day, Elder Bailey was with Elder Watkins and I got to go with Elder Baggett again!!! (Elder Goold and Elder Baggett served together in Martin, Kentucky some time ago) It was great. Elder Baggett and I went exploring to find some less active members and did some finding. We also bottomed out the Corolla on accident, so that was fun. We need a more off-road style car for sure! Nothing terribly exciting except for a couple cool potential people we found. OH! And we were walking around Ripley right before we came inside for dinner and we walked past Ripley High School, which was in the middle of a football game. And all of a sudden, guess who pulls over to talk... Chase Fisher (all of you BYU basketball fans probably know this guy). He's from Ripley and was on the BYU basketball team and he just graduated this last spring. Super nice guy and while we were talking, Kyle Collinsworth (another recent BYU basketball player) called him on the phone and so we got to talk with him as well. Pretty cool!!!
Oh and Elder Bailey and Elder Watkins got to teach a new lady named Misty over in Ravenswood, so that was pretty great!

Saturday Elder Baggett and I went and did some tracting down in Fairplain and talked to a lot of really nice, open people! Poor JW's, they would've gotten wrecked here. Everyone thought we were the Jehovah's witnesses and when we said that we weren't they would let us right in 😂. Pretty funny and so we've got some people from that to see this next week! Elder Bailey and I then went back up to Ravenswood to do some work for the rest of the day and then came home. 

Sunday was AWESOME. So first, no one made it out to church sadly, but we had some speakers from the stake there. They just sent their son to the Sacramento mission and he's flying into Sac-town today! His name is Elder Brown and he's speaking Spanish on a bike, just FYI :). Then, we worked around Ravenswood for a while. Then, after dinner, we went back to Fairplain and worked more of the apartments Elder Baggett and I were at. At first we were a little weary because we thought the property management was there and they might tell us to leave, but we went for it anyways and we met Chris!!!!!! 

Chris is awesome. He sat down right away wanting us to talk with him. At first it was kind of strange because he asked us about Revelation chapter 12, but it was perfect, because the first part of the chapter is all about Christ coming to the earth and then the apostasy (the women (who represents the church) fleeing into the wilderness for a long time). So we taught him all about the Restoration and it went super well. He said everything about the Book of Mormon made perfect sense and was even talking through his own way to argue with other people that it was right 😂. It was awesome and he's got a little family! We're going back this weekend to see them again. 

But then it gets better! We had a little bit left before we came in for the night, and we could have gone in, but we decided to walk and try one more person, just to set up an appointment. But on the way, we were randomly stopped by some guy who wanted to talk. He turned out to be a less active member we were looking for who lived SUPER far away. It would've been really hard to get out there and visit him, but he apparently moved right down the street and we happen to walk by right at the right time to meet him! He's a super nice guy, just got out of jail, but he's really wanting to turn his life around. Blessings for working to the end! 

In conclusion, I just want to share one of my all time favorite scriptures that has guided me in my life.  Alma chapter 5 verse 19 says:
 "...I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?"

This has really helped to guide me in my life, because who know you better than yourself? I have often read this scripture throughout my life and my mission and I have felt it be a counsel and a chastening to me. I know it can do the same for you! Ponder about what things you can do to be more like the Savior. And even though I haven't been perfect, by any means, later in the same chapter is one of the most overarching promises extended by Christ: 

"Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you. Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely;"

I know that this is true. Sometimes it's hard to have faith that this promise really can impact our individual lives, but I testify that it can! Jesus Christ loves us and simply asks us to turn to Him and receive His miraculous blessings. 

Hope y'all have a great next week and stay safe!! Next Wednesday is our prep day, so I'll write again then. Peace out!

Take Luck,

Elder Goold

Elder Watkins and I

Reunited with Elder Baggett (and Bruce too of course!)

Fixer Upper??

Monday, August 21, 2017

“Lots of cake”

This has been a good and SUPER fast week here in Ripley! 1. Happy Birthday to my companion Elder Bailey!!!!! It was a pretty fun week overall, lots of cool people and lots of cake. Probably too much cake, if that is possible. 

Last Monday, I can't remember what happened. Oh whale ! 🐋 Tuesday we had some appointments set up that sadly fell through. We did some service helping out a less active, Sam, clean out a room at the property he lives. It was a room a hoarder used to live in and it was pretty nasty. Lots of bugs and other things, but I'll spare the details. 

Wednesday we had our exchange with Spencer here in Ripley (cue cake #1). I was with Elder Scott this time. We split up leaving Elders Webb and Bailey to tract some in Silverton while we went to a trailer park hunting for some less actives and did some door knockin' ourselves. Elder Scott and I talked with some pretty cool people in the trailer park who hadn't ever heard of us before (which is pretty rare around here) since the trailer park was in a pretty obscure place. Elders Bailey and Webb talked to some cool people too, but I'll come back to that. 

Sadly, no one made it to our Family History class this time, but it was fun to plan for and we spent the time planning how to get more people there next time. Then we tried to find some more people to teach in Ravenswood before we came back and had cake and dinner (potentially in that order). 

Thursday we had district meeting and went separate ways to try and find some less actives. After that, Elder Bailey and I did weekly planning. I was feeling pretty sick for some reason and slept for a little bit and then we went to see the Mullins! They've been doing well, especially with their family prayer! We talked with Sister Mullins more about reading in the Book of Mormon before they pray and she said that they would. Not sure if I mentioned it before, but they might have the chance to move to Pittsburgh for his work later this year, but they haven't heard yet. It was Elder bailey's birthday Thursday so we made cake :) (cake #2). 

Friday we did service at the food pantry like normal. We got to set up with a potential family we talked to last week for this upcoming week, so that was good! We went and tried to see some of the people up in the trailer park Elder Scott and I worked in, but didn't find anyone home. 

Saturday was a good day! We were able to teach a new investigator, Hunter! He was someone Elders Bailey and Webb talked to earlier in the week and he was really open. He's in high school, but definitely is a smart kid. He also has some family that might actually be less active members. He even invited us back for this Friday, so that was pretty cool. We had another appointment that fell through, but we worked around the neighborhood and found some new potentials that we'll get to see later this week. 

Sunday was good, we didn't have anyone at church though, so that was sad. I counted 19 total people, so smaller than the last few weeks, but definitely not the least. We got some good and bad news at church; Good news is that Elder Cook from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles is coming to Charleston and Huntington stakes and our mission will get to meet him later next month.  Bad news is I won't be there, but it's pretty cool! Then we had a potluck after church, hence cake #3 and #4. And brownies. It's okay, we exercise :)

Later Sunday night we were out in Evans trying to see some people and we felt like trying an old potential investigator we hadn't seen in months. He wasn't home, but his son, who is moving back to Washington state soonish, was there and was really interested in talking to us! So we got to teach him about the Restoration of the Gospel! He was super into the Book of Mormon and really wanted to read it after we taught him what is was. He personally really likes reading the Old Testament and isn't a part of one church. We're going to see him again Thursday this week.  

This past week I was thinking about a talk by Elder David A. Bednar about believing in and believing Christ. I really like what he said about how in our lives we need to have more faith that the Lord's promised blessings can really apply to our lives. I think for myself, I have faith in Christ and his power, but I have a harder time feeling that those blessings can apply to my life. Something that has helped me with this, and something that can help you with it as well, is simply praying for the gift of Faith. The talk is called "If Ye Had Known Me" - October 2016 General Conference. 

Hope y'all had a great week! We've got interviews this week down in Charleston and exchanges with both Spencer and the Zone leaders (ELDER BAGGETT 😀). Peace out!

Take Luck,

Elder Goold

One last picture with my friend Zeke before he goes back to school in Morgantown.

Solar Eclipse Picture

Some delicious food (twice baked potatoes?)