West Virginia Charleston Mission

West Virginia Charleston Mission

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!

Monday, July 3, 2017

“Things are going good for the branch”

I really couldn't think of any way to describe this last week. There was a lot of cool stuff that happened!  I also have lots of pictures from Zone Conference.

So yeah, Tuesday we had Zone Conference with the Salisburys. It was really sad to see them go, but they've done amazing things here! President Salisbury talked about finances a good bit (that’s his line of work) and we read through and discussed 2 Nephi chapters 31 and 32. The Spirit was really strong the whole time and I definitely learned a lot. Also got to see Elder Baggett, so that's always a great time. We also watched a pretty funny and very cheesy safety video.

So the “M” family is doing well. They had family come in for the 4th and so they had to reschedule, but they found out their daughter can hear - so that's really awesome!! Sister M was out of town this weekend, but Brother M made it to sacrament meeting yesterday!!! It was pretty awesome! He didn't stay the whole time since he came straight from work, but it was a great testimony meeting.

Friday we went on an adventure after the food pantry. We went out into some of the pretty far reaches of our area out in Ohio.  We did some tracting and ended up accidentally/successfully finding the “H” family. Sister H is a member and her husband is not. They are an AWESOME family,  super duper nice. Brother H actually knows a lot about the church and we were able to give him his own Book of Mormon to read. So that was pretty fun!

We were able to see David this last week!!! So not sure if I mentioned it before, but his mom wasn't super happy when she heard he went to the mormon church, because ya know, we're a cult and all (more on that later, haha). So all last week he was staying with his family so they'd calm down, but he's still interested and enjoys the teachings of the church and Book of Mormon, so please keep praying for him!

We got to see Frank again (I can't remember if I've mentioned him or not haha). He's the catholic guy who made it out to our family history class the other week. We talked with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our goal was to see if he would talk to his wife about meeting missionaries and learning about the church up in Pennsylvania (where he lives, he works down here for the week). We were pretty excited when he said yes, mostly because his wife is a pretty devoted Catholic. He was actually really excited about it since he agrees with a lot of the things we've taught him so far.

Things are going good for the branch. We've been getting things going for a branch “Family Home Evening” which will be starting up next month. Family history class is getting more support (as much support as a branch of 15-20 can give - haha) and we've got a lot of stuff ready for our booth at Walmart in a few weeks.

So UPDATE: I was talking with Zeke (from Morgantown) after church and he gave me some updates. Jesha (whom I taught and was baptized after I left Morgantown) and Cody just got married a week or two ago! And even crazier, Natalia (the student from Brazil whom I taught and she also got baptized after I left Morgantown) just got married in the temple!!!!!!! Zeke told me she was able to get first presidency approval to be married in the temple before a year of membership because of something with her visa and such. So yeah, that was pretty legit to hear about. Then this kid named Tripp (not sure if I ever mentioned him before) who I met the day before I left Mo-town just got baptized in his hometown!

So funny story from yesterday: Doing some good ole' door knockin' and this one guy was pretty unhappy to see us!😂 He said, and I quote, "No. Heck No! Y'all are a cult and don't know crap about Jesus !" and then slammed the door! News flash dear brother, ALL churches are a cult. My dictionary reads that a cult is "a group of individuals who share a religious or philosophical beliefs". I just think it's funny nobody actually knows what a cult is. Oh well, it was pretty funny. Good times!

2 Nephi 32 verse 1 says:
1 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But, behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?
Here Nephi is teaching about the doctrine of Christ, specifically about enduring to the end. After and entire chapter of teaching the necessity for baptism (entering in by the way) and then receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost he explains what it really means to "endure to the end". The people are pondering how they are supposed to endure to the end, hence Nephi says "why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?". Verse 5 later says: 

For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
That is the great key to enduring to the end! Enduring to the end isn't just some mindless test of endurance, but it means to live worthily and follow the Spirits guidance for you and your life. The Holy Ghost, if you are living worthily, simply whispers to you what you need to do. This is how your life becomes a life of humble service to the Lord.

Hope y'all had a good week! Tomorrow is the 4th will be plently entertaining. Ripley claims the "Largest Small Town Independence day" celebration. 10,000 people here in a tiny town! Should be fun! President and Sister Lindhardt have arrived safely in WV and we'll get to meet them next Friday, the 14th. 

Take Luck,

Elder Goold

Last Zone Conference with President and Sister Salisbury

Seeing Elder Baggett - always a good time

Monday, June 26, 2017

“June is almost gone!!!”

Hello everyone!! This week has gone by fast!! It was a good week! It's crazy June is almost over! This next week will be pretty crazy! President and Sister Salisbury leave on Friday and President and Sister Lindhardt arrive the same day. It's crazy that they are leaving so soon, time flies!! 

So this last week was pretty good! 

Tuesday we were able to see Tim again! We talked with him in his backyard and taught him more about prayer. That was something he hadn't been doing consistently and so we taught him more about it. He admitted he forgot that he could pray anytime and say anything, so he actually prayed at the end of our lesson! It went pretty well! We didn't get to see him anymore the rest of the week because Friday he got caught out of town during the crazy rainstorm that came through. 

Wednesday we were able to start teaching someone new who is pretty awesome! His name is Dan. He is the NICEST guy. He had been taught by missionaries in the past, Elder Vai actually, and we stopped by to try and meet him. He ended up in a divorce last year and so that's why he stopped meeting, he just got busy and things were crazy. But we went by and he let us right in and he was really happy to see us. He's been going through some rough times and he said it himself, he thinks God sent us back to him! He wants to come to church really bad as well! He would have come yesterday but something about the paper work with the divorce he wasn't allowed to bring his kids yet. But he said he would be there next week! We are going to go and see him again this evening. 

We haven't been able to see David this last week. He's been pretty busy with doctor appointments recently. I think his family may be a little apposed to the church as well, so that's probably making it hard for him. Keep him in your prayers!!! 

We got to have dinner with John out in Ravenswood on Friday. He's been reading a lot of the Book of Mormon, it's awesome. Elder Scott and I were on exchanges and we taught him and his wife more about the restoration. She was more interested this time and so that was cool, she was asking us a lot of questions. 

Our Family History class in Ravenswood went really well this last week! We had 4 people, other than us, come! It was great! We had a good time helping everyone get started learning about how to use the website, the family tree tool and how to find their ancestors! The only downside was the library’s wifi was pretty slow and so that made it harder. Next time our plan is to change it to the church building.

We also saw Joanne on Thursday with Brother Angus. It went pretty well, she still just asks a lot of questions about the Plan of Salvation. She's definitely heard a lot of crazy teachings from all sorts of different religions haha, but it was pretty good. She was pretty happy to learn about proxy baptisms for the dead and she actually asked us to do the baptism for her daughter if she isn't able to! 

Elder Bailey and I went on a hike this morning over at cedar lakes! It was a good time, super pretty! There were tons of spider webs everywhere!! Half of the hike was a game of dodge the spiderwebs, but it was a good time. Pics below! 

Something I really liked from this last week was from sacrament meeting. We had one of the Stake Presidency members come and speak. Something he said really made an impression on me. In Doctrine and Covenants we read: "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven,  and I, the Lord, remember them no more."

His message focused on how we can receive strength as well as forgiveness through and because of Jesus Christ. Repentance is to confess our mistakes and shortcomings and then forsake them. The Lord in His goodness promises to forgive all of our sins as we meet these conditions! So, on the other hand, if we meet these conditions, we ARE forgiven! No tricks about it. One of the tools of Satan is he tries to convince us we haven't been forgiven, but if we believe that, we are denying ourselves the power of Christ in our lives. We can be forgiven, I testify of that!!

Hope y'all have a great upcoming week! We've got our last Zone Conference with President Salisbury tomorrow!! 

Take luck!!!

Elder Goold

Our living room and kitchen

Our church building in Ravenswood, WV

Pretty backwoods of WV

Monday, June 19, 2017

“It's been a good last few days”

Hey y'all! Hope you're all doing well! It's been a good last few days. Things are going well and are going by real fast!! Not a whole lot has actually happened these last few days though. Here's a recap:

Wednesday we got to see the “M” family! They are doing well. We were able to teach them about the Plan of Salvation and it went really well. They got some sad news about their baby, it turns out that as of now, she has no hearing. 😥 It's super sad, but there is a chance she can regain it since it's caused by her premature birth. Please keep praying for them!! They weren't able to make it to church, but we are hoping to see them on a weekly basis because they're schedule is better now. So we are excited for them!

We were also able to see Tim again! We taught him more about the Plan of Salvation. It went really well as we discussed more about the Fall and baptism with him. We were able to commit him to baptism in July! We also made a plan for him to read from the Book of Mormon everyday and he was really committed to it.

We were also able to have a lesson with the Mullins family! Not sure how much I've talked about them before, but they are a less active family here in Ripley. We talked with them about their conversion story and a lot about prayer. They committed to pray everyday together and on their own. Brother Mullins and their son Kyle also came to church yesterday! It was cool to have them there! We are really excited for them and are praying that they are able to start coming back to church regularly!

We didn't get to see David any more, but we are seeing him again this week and he is doing well. We also haven't been able to see the Earl and Justine recently, but we're still trying. It's hard when they don't have a phone for us to call, but it's okay. We also had to reschedule with Sister Meadows too this week because everyone and their dog was at a family reunion in Charleston and we couldn't have anyone with us. We're hoping to have a good upcoming week and an awesome transfer.

I've got a lot of pictures this week because last week I didn't get to send all the ones I wanted to. We also went up to Spencer last week and played frisbee golf again. It was super fun and way better with actual disks instead of lame Walmart frisbees.

Something I wanted to share something from my Book of Mormon reading I started back in March, just about 3 months ago. I decided to highlight the promised blessings of the Lord that are conditioned on our repentance and faith in Him. As I have done so, I have been able to feel the Spirit testify to me of the Lords desire to bless us. He asks so simple of commandments yet rewards us so fully. I know for myself, that the Lord loves us. I testify that His promised blessings are readily available to ALL!! There is nothing that holds you back from God's blessings, but you. So make the choice to learn about Him and see the blessings that come from it.

Hope all of you are doing well and I want to encourage each of you to be good and do good!!

Take Luck,

Elder Goold