Weekly Mission Report – Aug. 24th

Hello Everyone,

I am now serving in Cordele, Georgia. Still in the ghetto but loving it. My new companion is awesome. He is Polynesian and is going home after this next transfer. This area is new for both of us.  I’ve had to white wash twice now in a row.  White wash means that both missionaries are placed into a new area at the same time and have no experience with that area.  It’s all good though and we have plans to change this area around.  This has been a dead area for awhile and we want to change that.  There are roughly 20-25ish members in Cordele. Only 10-15 are active and they meet as a group. There is not even a branch here, just a group.  I didn’t even know that was a thing.  This coming Sunday we basically will run church.  We have two boxes at our apartment with all the church supplies.  We meet in a building that we rent once a week.  We would have ran the show this past Sunday but we had stake conference in Columbus, Georgia.  It’s pretty crazy here and really sketchy.  At night people give you the look like, what the heck are you doing here and if you don’t get out of here in the next two seconds I’ll put a bullet in you.  That’s the kind of vibe that comes from here.  It’s just fantastic and I love it!!
After being here a week, it is very true that it is hard to teach here.  People just aren’t with the program here if you know what I mean.  Having a spiritual lesson is hard.  On the other hand, I met two amazing people this week who have helped me change my perspective on how the gospel can help us.  First one is Terrence. This guy is jacked (having well developed muscles) and could break me.  When he was 17 or 18 he was charged with 16 felonies along with 3 other guys he committed them with.  Some of those were aggravated assault, armed robbery, and many others.  He showed us the court papers and they were crazy.  The people he did all this to were illegally here from South America.  They got deported and never could testify against him which he believes helped his case.  He was sent to prison and was supposed to be in for life.  He got out a year and 4 months later.  He said while he was prison, he completely turned around and realized he needed to get his life in check.  He prayed to God everyday asking for help.  After he was out, the missionaries knocked on his sisters door and she rejected them.  He ran out and gave them his information asking if they would come talk to him.  He knew it was an answer from God and that the gospel was true.  He was baptized and now has one of the strongest testimonies I know.  He still struggles with things but he says he has been trying hard to turn things around and that he has left his old “hood” life.  It was amazing to hear his story in person.
The other guy is Brother Alexander.  He had been praying to God for help and right after he got up he saw the missionaries outside about to get on their bikes and ride away. He felt he needed to go talk to them. He did so and took the discussions. He read the whole Doctrine and Covenants in a week and said he cried every time.  He could not deny his feelings.  He said the missionaries would literally glow when they came over and that it sometimes made it hard to focus.  He was baptized and has a strong testimony.
These were amazing examples to me of how the Lord loves everybody and will help anyone.  No matter how low you go in life.  Terrence almost committed murder while holding people at gun point.  He was a felon in prison but the Lord still out stretched his hand for him.  All Terrence had to do was act.  And that’s what he did.
I’ve noticed that I am finding more and more of these kinds of stories down here.  These people who go through so much but still come to know Christ and his gospel.  These people have strong testimonies.  You can feel it when they tell you their stories.  It’s truly amazing.
Switching gears here.  Before I left Thomson, I got to go talk to Becky whose husband passed away recently.  She was sad I was leaving already but we were able to have a really good talk about the recent events.  I was able to bear my testimony of the plan of salvation and the spirit was strong.  I was able to tell her that JD’s death and funeral service greatly strengthen my testimony of the plan of salvation.  It was the first time I had lost someone I had become close with.  It was very comforting to know that he is happy and that it will not be long before I shake his hand and thank him for the support he gave me.
I love these experiences and I’m glad I get to share them. I love how merciful God
​is and how he will help us no matter what we have done. Thank y’all for the support!
Elder Goodsell

4 thoughts on “Weekly Mission Report – Aug. 24th

  1. I’m loving you’re letters! I’m glad that you could help that lady who’s husband passed away. Also it’s good to realize that a lot of the people you are sent to help won’t look like the perfect investigator. Just like that jacked guy and the other one who ran after the missionaries, there will be people who don’t have the appearance of being ready, but their hearts are. It’s good you aren’t afraid of the ghetto, so don’t be afraid to talk to anyone, no matter what they look like. Keep listening to the Spirit. Love you man!


  2. The experiences you’ve already had in Cordele are strengthening for many of us, Austin! And your strong testimony comes shining through in all you say. You’re an inspiration to me, and I can only imagine the positive and lasting impact you’re going to make over the next couple of years. You’re in my prayers always. Love, Aunt Carol P.S. And you’re darn handsome, too!!!!! 🙂


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