Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day was Great!

I got a Friend request today from Guillermo.  I accepted it and sent him back a message in English.  I also got a message today from Soley.  Hers was in Spanish, so I used a translator to see what she had written.  Then I wrote her a message and translated it to Spanish and then sent it back in Spanish.  I hope it made sense.  I think they will both understand Thank You for watching out for our missionary son, Elder Goode.

I was actually there for lunch with Camila and Guillermo when they added you. I am hoping that they will start sending a lot of the photos that they have taken over the past 4 months visiting with them. I told them that they should send them to you. I haven´t been very good about pictures here. I need to focus more on it honestly, but I will go through everything that I have and see what I can add to send home. This is an overlook from someone´s apartment we visited with and most everything that you can see is part of my sector there. The buildings almost in the background are just outside of the limits.

You also asked for my zone picture again. Here it is and this was last change so a few people have changed. I should have another one this next Wednesday.

How did your doctor appointment go today?

That is neat.  I sent a message back late last night.  I haven’t checked to see if he has replied back.  That is a lot of city.  I bet it has been a fun experience to be in a big city for a while.  Much different than what you grew up with.  Even Salt Lake is nothing like that.  I suppose San Francisco is a little bit and some of the areas we saw on our Oregon vacation and you saw some city stuff when you went to Disneyland, but it would be different to live in and amongst it day after day.

It is very different but it isn´t too large either honestly. I do get sick of the city though. I don´t like that everything takes so long and that it is usually more expensive. I haven´t taken many photos and forgot to get a good picture for you of me and I went through the pictures that I have and there aren´t really many that you haven´t seen or that are interesting so I need to make a mental note to take more pictures.... I will do my best this week to get a few more good ones here before the changes and I will get back to you about what happens with all of the changes. It was really nice to see everyone and see how everything is going. I really liked the pictures of the yard. It helps me to be able to see a lot better the details of everything at home. Thanks for that.

Here is a photo of Kelsey that she sent today.  It sounds like she is doing great.

I had seen it.  She has been sending them to me as well. I get her emails and everything. Thanks for the concern though.

Okay.  I didn’t know if she had added you to her list.  It was really fun yesterday to see all the missionary Skype photos on Facebook.  Everyone seems to be doing well.  I think Makoa may be going back out.  He was released from his calling in church yesterday and I didn’t see him with his family.  I haven’t talked to his mom for months.  I think she has been struggling with having him home and worrying about what people are saying about him and their family.  That is too bad because we should all just love each other and be grateful for the good things and help when we can with the bad things. I hope he will be successful this time.

I know what you mean. I worry about Kelton and those that go home because people judge so much and don´t have the whole picture. I have seen many people´s situations that are much more complicated than they seem and they are inactive for those reasons but they do not want to be judged by everyone for it.

It is one of the toughest things they can face and Satan uses it against them.  He makes it miserable no matter what reason they are home.  As Saints, we are not always very saintly and we ask stupid questions and say things we are sorry about later and things that offend even though we never meant them to.  I think it is hard on mothers because they always feel like people judge them based on what their children do.  I keep hoping that Kaden Christiansen will decide to go back out.  I haven’t checked on him lately to see what he is doing.  He seems like such a great kid.  I hope you are able to contact him and keep in touch after your mission.  Kelton seems to be okay and seems happy and positive.  I hope he is not hurting too badly underneath all that.
Don’t you and the other missionaries take photos at each reunion and at your Zone and District meetings?  Don’t you ever take time to be silly?  Try to take some photos this week with each of the families you visit for lunches and for lessons.  You will want to remember them.   Take some photos of your apartment also and the laundry area and the front of your building.  Have your companion take photos with you and the people in them.

I am glad we have downsized the garden.  I hope it will be easier for Dad to care for.  I want to get a sprinkling system put in some time to make watering easier for him, but every time we talk about it, we put it off because we don’t know if we are going to do a patio or deck.  I don’t want to borrow money to pay for it and we don’t really have enough to pay for it up front.  We will just have to see what happens.  Last summer, he hardly watered at all because we got a lot of rain and this summer so far it has rained every time it needs watered.  It needs mowed right now.  The riding mower quit working, so Paul Johnson’s dad came and picked it up last week.  He hasn’t called to tell us what is wrong yet.  Clain will have to use the push mower this week if it dries out enough.

That seems a little frustrating but it has happened before. I am glad that things are improving I will work on all the pictures. Thanks for the ideas and I will see what I can do about having pictures soon. We don´t really get a lot of down time or silly time. I will look into trying to be more, but things have gotten a whole lot more strict as a mission. Sometimes I feel like the army would be less strict.... I just do my best to enjoy and serve.

It is just a lawn mower.  And Heavenly Father will bless us with what we need.  Hopefully it will be something simple.  I am trusting in the Lord to bless us.  We got enough money back from taxes to pay for part of the new mattress and then we just got a refund from the Layton Hospital for an overpayment on Clain’s surgery because we had met our deductible.  Any medical costs for the rest of the year will be no charge including our prescriptions so that will be a neat blessing in a way.  The money from the refund with the tax refund was enough to pay cash for the mattress.  I think that is a wonderful Missionary Blessing.  We have needed a new mattress to help Dad and I both with back pain.  I am looking forward to sleeping on it and getting more restful sleep.  We also will have a bonus on our next check that will be about $450 each and I overpaid on the Car Lease so they will be returning $550 dollars.  That money could go towards a patio.  I want to build up our food storage in a few places we are low and update our 72 hour emergency kits. Those are all Missionary Blessings and I am grateful to you for serving and providing them.  I used your money to pay for the first six months of your mission and I have used our money to pay for the next six months of your mission.  I am not sure what I will do for the next six months.  If we have the money, I will probably use ours first and then see where we are later in the year.

You make me laugh!  You are in an army.  God’s Army!  I know it is tough when there is no down time or play time or relax time.  Just lots of hard, hard work.  You have a good attitude, just enjoy and serve and know that you are making a great difference in the lives of the people.  If you did not teach or baptize another person while you were there, you can still know that you have made a difference for Carlos and Soley and for Camila and Guillermo.  Think about their children and the impact you have made on their eternal families.  There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord sent you there to meet those specific families at that specific time.  What are the chances of you meeting Carlos and Soley who came from Curtis’s mission in Ecuador?  That is by God’s Grand Design, not by chance or luck.  I know you have been nurturing them and helping them build their testimonies and along the way you have planted some seeds in the hearts of many others.  You won’t get to see them produce fruit, but you still made a difference to them.

Please update me on your toe.

Yes I know. I just wish I had found more. Sometimes I end up wondering if I missed somebody..... It frustrates me because I want to complete everything the best I can, but I still lack in many areas. I just feel more stressed because simple things like Rubic´s cubes aren´t even allowed now. I end up bored in the mornings and evenings sometimes. It is rather frustrating. I know we need to be focused but sometimes it isn´t easy to be that way without down time.

Tell Grandma Goode that I hope that she had an amazing Mother´s Day and that I really appreciate hearing that she is able to read my blog and I really hope that if she needs anything she will ask for help. I know there are many people that love her a lot and are always ready to help and remind her that the families are always willing to come and help. 

Tell Grandma Parkinson that I hope she gets feeling better and that she enjoyed her Mother´s Day. I really have enjoyed the letters that she has sent letting me know how things are going. It really makes it nice, because I get a glimpse of how everything is going and I really am going to enjoy seeing them in another year. Make sure that they enjoy every moment with family. I have come to enjoy those times since they come a lot less often now.

I know you are going to email in a moment and say you are out of time for today.  It was so good to talk to you on Saturday.  It made me happy and a bit sad.  You look good and sound good and I know you are good, but it reminded me just how much I miss you and your funny laugh and smile and fabulous personality.  I know you are doing a great work, so I will not feel sorry for myself and I will keep praying each day for your success and safety.  Work hard and make us proud and make yourself and the Lord proud, for that is what matters most.  You are amazing and I love you so much.

I will tell them both.  They love you so much, too.  Even Grandpa Goode wants to know how you are doing, so you have a place in his heart and mind that he can still recall.  Take care.  Please send one more quick email and tell me how your toe is after your checkup today.

Love always and forever and ever,

It is doing really well. I had it checked at 10 this morning. It has stayed dry which is really good. She switched out the wrapping and cleaned it again and wrapped it the same way so I still have to keep it dry and go back on Friday to have it checked again and then I should be good. I am really glad that I got it taken care of.  I was really stressed last week over it and now I am feeling a whole lot better. It doesn´t hurt like it was before. Sadly I am out of time and I appreciate everything and thank you for writing. It makes a great start to each week. Thanks you for that.

You can only harvest the ones that the Lord has prepared for you to find.  It is all according to His timetable.  If we could see the whole grand scheme of things, life would be easier.  We have to trust and let him guide us.  I trust each day that He is watching over you and keeping you safe and I know He is using the angels to protect and guide you.  If your spiritual eyes could be opened, you would see angels round about you all the time.   I know and trust that they are there.  I need them to be there so that I can relax and let you serve so far away from home.  I know the Holy Ghost will guide and direct you.  Just keep seeking to have Him close to you and follow the promptings that come to you.  You will find those who are prepared.  I know there are still many more great experiences and people to come into your life in the second year of your mission.  Be diligent and obedient and work hard.  Be Goode!

Thanks. I love you and I´ll talk to you next week.

I am glad the toe is good.  Pain always makes life harder.  I see that in Dad’s life.  I wish I could take away more of his pain.  I love to start my week off with emails from you, too.  I love you and thanks for the photos and for writing so much today.  Have an awesome week.  Enjoy your last week in the City.  Try to visit a few new places you haven’t been to before as you do your work.  I love you Braxton!

I will thanks!

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