Saturday, April 23, 2011

To be? Or not to be?

  I think a lot about the choices I have made throughout my life, I think we all do.  More recently I have due to the end of this phase of my life, and the beginning of another.  I haven't always been who I am today.  I have become who I am through the choices I have made.  I am realizing more and more that I still have so much to work on.  I wont be done progressing just because I have fulfilled my mission and returned honorable.  Life is not a "to do list".  We should always think of our lives as a "to be list".  "To be or not to be that is surely a good question." (What manner of men ought ye to be? LYNN G. ROBBINS April 2011 General conference) 
   Since my mission is coming to an end, and I have so much I want to become I decided to make my own "To Be" list for my last mission newsletter article.  In the same talk Elder Robbins said, "Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s. I can take my wife out for a lovely evening this Friday, which is a to do. But being a good husband is not an event; it needs to be part of my nature—my character, or who I am."  So this is my plan, to make these things part of my nature.
  My To Be List
Be the kind of man who honors his covenants.  Be who I am, but even better tomorrow.  Be a missionary.  Be someone who sets goals to accomplish them.  Be the man who isn't afraid of things that are tough.  Be humble, yet confident.  Be a prayerful man.  Be a man who feasts upon the scriptures daily.  Be a man who overcomes, and achieves.  Be a man who never forgets the things he's been taught.  Be an honorable priesthood holder.  Be a good man.  Be happy.  Be the kind of husband and father you know you should be.  Be energetic.  Be the man who remembers his roots.  Be the man who loves his family, no matter the decisions they make.  Be kind.  Be a man who does not judge.  Be a servant.  Be a man who works hard.  Be strong.  Be the man who remembers with fondness his mission.  Be a man who is in the world, but not of the world.  Be a man who gives what he can to help.  Be a man who keeps the sabbath day holy.  Be a man who goes to the temple regularly.  Be a man who is an example to the youth.  Be the man who always shares his testimony with others. Be Patient.  Be Diligent.  Be like Captain Moroni, and shake the very powers of hell.  Be like Ammon and glory in the Lord.  Be like the Brother of Jared and have great faith.  Be like Nephi and never question the commandments, but go and do.  Be like King Benjamin and serve to the end.  Be like Abinadi and never deny your testimony.  Be like Jesus Christ and be perfect.  To Be?  Or Not to Be?  That is surely a good question.  This is the kind of person I want to BE.
Hear, Remember, Understand, Apply and BECOME.

I hope I will be able to make these things part of my nature and less of a to do list.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Leaving home to get home.

I am going home soon, and it is all very exciting.  However, I feel like I have to leave home to get home.  Montana and Wyoming have become home to me, and yet Bunkerville, NV will always be home.  I was taught by my trainer to stand in Fast and Testimony meeting in a new area and to introduce myself and also let the people know that I do have a testimony.  So that's what I have done. I stand and say, "I am Elder Goff, I am from Bunkerville, NV.
   Now as I go back to Bunkerville and stand before them to give a report on my mission;
 I will say,
" I am Elder Goff, I'm from Hardin, MT.
I'm Elder Goff, I'm from East Helena, MT.
I'm Elder Goff, I'm from Lander, WY.
I'm Elder Goff, I'm from Worland, WY.
I'm Elder Goff, I'm from Billings, Mt.

These Places have become home."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"My Thoughts are Racing"

My thoughts are racing,
cause time has too.
Its hard for me,
to express to you.

The things I've learned,
and the things I've seen.
And the things I've felt,
because of these.
-Elder Austin Gene Goff

   I have felt so many feelings in the last couple three weeks.  I'm finding myself more and more trying to put into words the things I am feeling.  To me its as an old companion expressed before he left to go home, "In the last transfer of your mission you feel every emotion possible."  I have come to find out that is completely true.  I have felt so many things that I have such a hard time expressing to the people around me, or even to my family at home through my weekly e-mails. 
   I feel like Moroni in the Book of Ether from the Book of Mormon when he says, "Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words.
   And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness."
   This verse of scripture fits the way I feel.  When I speak by the spirit as a missionary I feel powerful and great.  That I am going to miss.  The feelings I feel now are powerful and great, things that I cannot express.  That's why I am struggling to put my feelings that I feel into words that can truly express my thoughts and feelings.  I am convinced there are not words which could do such a thing.  It's impossible to come up with words or vocabulary that would help someone understand what a missionary feels at the end of their service.  So my humble poem will have to suffice.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It wasn't convenient for Chirst, Why should it be convenient for us?

When Christ had fasted for 40 days Satan came to him tempting him.  I'd like to focus on the first temptation.  Turning the stone into bread.  I will use parts of a talk given by Elder Jeffery R. Holland.

“If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
"Whatever else Satan may do, he will certainly appeal to our appetites. Far better to play on natural, acknowledged needs than struggle to plant in us artificial ones. Here Jesus experiences the real and very understandable hunger for food by which he must sustain his mortal life. We would not deny anyone this relief, certainly we would not deny the Son of Man. Israel had its manna in the wilderness. This is Israel’s God. He has fasted for forty days and forty nights. Why not eat? He seems ready to break his fast, or surely must soon. Why not simply turn the stones to bread and eat?
The temptation is not in the eating. He has eaten before, he will soon eat again, he must eat for the rest of his mortal life. The temptation, at least the part I wish to focus on, is to do it this way, to get his bread—his physical satisfaction, relief for his human appetite—the easy way, by abuse of power and without a willingness to wait for the right time and the right way. It is the temptation to be the convenient Messiah. Why do things the hard way? Why walk to the shop—or bakery? Why travel all the way home? Why deny yourself satisfaction when with ever such a slight compromise you might enjoy this much-needed nourishment? But Christ will not ask selfishly for unearned bread. He will postpone gratification, indefinitely if necessary, rather than appease appetite—even ravenous appetite—with what is not his."
"A disciple of Christ must be willing to say, “Yes, but not this way.
  There are many things in this world to be tempted by, and yet if we do our best to follow Jesus Christ we will find ourselves saying, "yes, but not this way."  By following Jesus Christ the best we can the temptations which do so easily beset us become something much easier.  I know that if we live within the bounds the Lord has set we will be able to be truly happy.  Not happiness for a second or for a day or two, but forever.  The bread that Satan offers is "BOGUS BREAD".  It's fake, it's lame, it's garbage, it's a load of bologna.  Jesus Christ offers the real deal, and he offers it the way it's supposed.  He offers freshly baked bread that is never ending.  It will always be fresh, warm and constantly, and consistently coming out of the oven. 
   Sometimes as a missionary at the end of the day I am so tired and beat that we plan, fill out the area book, get ready for bed, and while waiting for my companion I lie on my bed.  We have companion prayer and I lie down again...then I realize that I never said my personal prayer.  I think about praying as I lie down..I have even started praying at times and thanking him for the day...Then I always get a voice saying...PROVE IT!  Prove that you are thankful for the day by kneeling in prayer.  It may be easier to not kneel because I am so tired.  However, I get out of bed and kneel in prayer.  I don't make it a short prayer so I can go to sleep.  I do by best to talk to God.  To thank him for all the thing he has given me. 
   The talk I pulled this from is called "The Inconvenient Messiah"  It talks a lot about how life for Christ was not convenient, so why should it be convenient for us?  It's not convenient for me to get out of bed when I am dead tired to pray, but I know that I am indebted to God forever.  So why not make life inconvenient and Follow Jesus Christ.  It may be inconvenient at times, but it's much less inconvenient than the consequences of sin.   So follow Christ and be happy.  That's my blog for the day.  Loves.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Online Missionary work.

Prophecy about the Future of Missionary Work
In 1974, President Spencer W. Kimball issued an amazing prophecy about the technology driving the gospel message.
Technology will help spread the gospel. We need to enlarge our field of operation.… The Lord will lay in our hand inventions which we can scarcely conceive whereby we will be able to bring the gospel to the peoples of the world…. I have faith that the Lord will open doors when we have done everything in our power. I believe that the Lord is anxious to put into our hands inventions of which we laymen have hardly had a glimpse….We shall use the inventions the Lord has given us to awaken interest and acquaint people of the world with the truths, to ease their prejudices and give them a general knowledge. We shall need to answer specific questions, and perhaps that can be done by two-way radio and TV perfected to a point beyond our present imagination. It is conceivable that such a program greatly perfected could be multiplied ten thousand times in ten thousand tongues and dialects in ten thousand places far and near…. Tens of thousands of young missionaries endowed with the power from on high will follow up the proselyting."

It's amazing to me that I get to be a part of this Prophecy.  I'm glad to be able to do it and Hope that we can get more members involved.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mission Newsletter Article

O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.
   For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God. (Helaman 12:7-8)
   In recent times I have thought a lot about things I have heard at church, in the temple, and read during studies.  Why are we less than the dust of the earth?  Why was Adam made from the dust of the earth?  This scripture makes me think that maybe we were made from the dust of the earth so we could maybe see it symbolically.  The dust of the earth is more obedient than we are.  Maybe God truly does want us to be like that dust in a sense.  He wants us to obey without question.  God commands and it moves hither and thither.  Perfect and exact obedience.
   What can we do to be more obedient like the dust of the earth?  I could go through all of the regular, and often over quoted things for different missionary meetings, but I think they have been mentioned so many times that it’s about time we fix those things.  Step up and BECOME. We have heard it hundreds of times.  We have remembered it apparently because they are still brought up.  We understand what it can do for us as missionaries or we wouldn’t continue to bring it up in every meeting we have.  So what’s keeping us from making the next steps?  Ourselves right?  We are the ones who keep ourselves from progressing.  We must apply those things we mention so often.  Then we will become. Elder Richard G. Scott stated in our last general conference, “We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.”  We will reach the potential God knows we can.  I know we can do better. 
   I love being able to look at the transfer board with President and Elder Heywood.  I love talking about each of you, and talking about your spiritual gifts.  There are many in our mission, and  it’s time to use them all and prove trustworthy.  Love you all.