Monday, August 17, 2015

July 20, 2015- Feeling really grateful....


This week was an interesting one. There are a lot of delays in the progress of our investigators, and for now at least, no one is progressing. Gastón´s got caught in some kind of rut that he can´t figure out. He knows he should be baptized, he wants to be baptized, he has permission to be baptized, he knows that Heavenly Father wants him to be baptized, but he just couldn´t take the leap of faith. I love that kid, and I´m praying my heart out for him. But I´m trying to keep the bigger perspective and remember the need to work in the area until the end. The work in Derqui 1´s not going to end just because I do, so I´m not going to stop working until I´m forced to.

I can´t get a hold of the Bravo Family to know if they have an appointment for their sealing, and I can´t even get a hold of the missionaries in Liniers. The offices told me that if I can´t get a hold of them today, I´ll have to come home on the 30th. Neither one is answering. I think the fight to extend the mission is over. See you all on July 30th. :´)

President called me on the phone this morning to talk about some stuff with the zone and paused at the end of the call. He said. ¨Wow. Elder, are you really at this point?¨ I quietly muttered ¨yeah.¨ ¨I can´t believe it,¨ he replied. I can´t believe it either, President. I´ve been denying it for a long time. But it´s sinking in now, and it´s as bitter-sweet as a WarHead.

I have to tell you all that your emails and support have been an incredible blessing. I´m going to be straight up and just say that I don´t want to end. Everyone in the mission knows that. But you guys, Heavenly Father, and even me- deep down- all know that I have to come home and start the next part of the Lord´s work. The miracles that I´ve seen on the mission are too many to count, but the miracles that I´ve read in your letters remind me that God is the same God back in Highland, Utah as He is here in la Gran Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte. He´ll still love Brother Goff as much as He does ÉlderGoff. And both of us will be forever grateful for this incredible opportunity to serve the God of Israel. ¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff

P.S. Pictures

0343 and 0345-  Even at this point in my mission, the humility of these people astounds me. We were teaching a lesson with a really humble family in what they call the kitchen (lean-to shack, lacking a wall, with a tarp as a roof with a campfire in the middle of the floor, no refrigerator, no pantry, and a small, little stove.) At the end of the lesson, the mom stood up and shyly told us that she wanted to share a dinner that she made for us, and gave us a deliciously bland guiso. I will never forget the meekness on her face, and Elder Cunningham and I couldn´t stop telling her how good her plain food was.

0348- I´ve been pretty much the only fan of San Lorenzo my whole mission. Today we showed up to play soccer with the zone, and what do you know? Three San Lorenzo fans! Woohoo!

July 18, 2015- Paseo por Buenos Aires


Here I am in Capital, after a great day of President-approved sight-seeing and souvenior shopping. This is gonna be a quick one, because I´ve only got about 15 minutes before the train here leaves back to Derqui.

This was a pretty great week. That stud Alexis was confirmed this Sunday. His whole family was going to go and support him, but then at the last minute decided to stay home- even those who have been taking him to Church in the past. He woke up by himself two hours early, went to his neighbors who are members to be taken to Church. After he recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost, he gave a big handshake to everyone in the circle, and a big hug to Elder Cunningham and I. When we sat back down, I asked him how he felt. He gave me a faint smile, and said simply enough, ¨¡Feliz!¨ I love that. That´s how the Holy Ghost feels for me too.

AHH!! The train left! Sorry the letter´s so short, but I can´t be on the computer anymore (It´s technically not P-day anymore). I didn´t even I have time to read your letters. I love you all!

I´m going to talk again to the mission office about the time I´m coming home. August 7th is the most probable right now.


206- Walking on the newly paved roads in Derqui. Pretty soon it won´t be Barrolandia anymore! :O

251- Remember Kid History? ¨BUT! If you want TWO completos, it´s only two dollars. BUT! If you want THREE completos, it´s only three dollars!¨Well this is what they´re talking about. Thanks to the chilean hermana in our ward.

254- The classic Buenos Aires Obelisk.

262- Capital in all its craziness. Lemme tell you, I´m no city slicker.

269- We ate lunch in the Villa 1114! Finally I´ve been to all three of the big three villas in Buenos Aires. Elder Cunningham and I agree. After the mission, we´re moving back to Buenos Aires for a year.

282- The San Lorenzo Stadium! This little kid is adorable. I don´t even know him, but he took a picture with us anyway. :)

July 6, 2015- Awesome week


I´m running out of creative subject lines. But this was a really good week. We were able to go to the Temple as a zone, and I´m amazed at how profoundly deep the Spirit is in there. It´s been way too long since we´ve been able to go, and I´m so grateful for the House of the Lord!

To get there from Derqui, we gotta take two busses, a train, and another bus. We REALLY underestimated how long it would take us to get there, and the train was going slower than 15 year-old me with a driver´s permit in the Excursion and Mom in the passenger´s seat saying ¨Go faster, or I´m gonna get out and push!¨ I said a prayer that we could somehow make it to the Temple for our scheduled session, even though it was a longshot. I had barely said Amén, when the train doors opened, and 10,000 people entered. I was about two inches away from Elder Guy´s face, and pinned from the shoulders down. I heard someone say that the train wasn´t going to stop for 8 stations until Liniers (our stop). We walked into the Temple, got changed, and sat down with the rest of our zone right in time for the session to start. It was a little strange, but I´m so grateful that the Lord provided a miraculous way for me to go back to my favorite place on earth!

There´s been a lot of opposition against our investigators on their path to baptism, but despite it all, Alexis, was able to make his first eternal covenant on Sunday. I love that kid. His aunt is now in a similar situation as Maxi, and we´re going to keep working with his uncle.

President Ayre has challenged us as a mission to read the entire Book of Mormon in 24 days, ending on Pioneer Day. In Spanish, that´s about 26 pages everyday. Phew, it´s rough with all the extra assignments that Elder Cunningham and I have, but I love what it´s doing to my testimony. The Book of Mormon is the most incredible book on Earth. I´m so grateful to the Lord for it´s miraculous coming about.

This last Sunday, at lunch, the Casco family surprised us, and their other lunch appointment (a group of old friends) by scheduling both of our lunches at the same time. The friends tried to act nice, but weren´t interested in us at all and kept to themselves for the most part. So Hermana Casco, thinking fast, but on Meet the Mormons probably knowing that eventually they´ll soften up and start asking questions. I went to the bathroom right before the Missionary Mom, and when I came out, everyone was fixed on the TV, and the Spirit hit me so strong. We had a sweet little lesson as the friends faintly smiled, and we all bore testimonies about the purpose of missionary work. High five, Hermana Casco!

I love you all so much! Thanks for all that you´re doing! ¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff

P.S. Pictures

48- Service. I don´t know why, but lately a lot of people have been asking us to rip out trees. We´re getting pretty good at it, and it gives us a good excuse to play with machetes. :)

67- Zona Austral at the Temple. (Except two Elders who were deathly ill. They´re better now. :) )

99- Alexis´ baptism

June 29, 2015- It´s rainy season again.

You know how many people came to Church on Sunday? 33. In a ward that normally has 100 or so attendance, you could look at that synically like ¨What, do the members think that after baptism, they should never get wet at Church again?¨ or like Elder Guy said, ¨Wow, what a miracle that 33 faithful members came to renew their covenants in such terrible weather.¨ I´ll try to look at things as positively as that from now on. Also I made a promise that I will never make an excuse to renew my covenants on Sunday, even if it means walking in puddles to Church knee deep, wondering if the leaky roof back home is going to collapse and flood the house. (´Cuz that´s what I thought on Sunday.)

It´s been wet. But we saw miracles anyway. We have three investigators progressing well towards baptism: Gastón, Alexis, and Tamara. They are awesome, and in their prayers always ask that ¨the missionaries can come and teach us more.¨ I feel so loved. :´) We sometimes play a game to see who will say the prayer that goes like this: We go around in a circle naming bodies of water (ocean, river, waterfall, etc.) the idea is to go until one of the investigators who is usually too shy to pray says lago (the word for lake, but also a pun for la hago, or ¨I´ll say it¨ [the prayer]). When that happens, Elder Cunningham, and I say ¨oh, okay, great!¨ And bow our heads while all the kids snicker. Well we were playing that, and I thought Elder Cunningham said ¨Seattle¨ as if it were a body of water. Remembering how rainy it was when we lived there, I about died laughing. Hahaha

Maxi´s parents haven´t budged in their stubborness, and when we tried to talk to them, they refused and left us out in the rain. I sincerely pray for Maxi, but there´s not anything we can do at this time to help him get baptized. We´re still going to give him a CD with the Book of Mormon in Audio, and hope that time will soften his parents´ hearts.

Heavenly Father loves us. He really does. I testify to you all the most sincerely that I can through this lifeless, digital, text that our Father in Heaven, and His glorified Son Jesus Christ, are anxiously awaiting for us to apply the Atonement and come unto them. I know that this Church is true. It´s the greatest honor I´ve ever had to be a representative of it, and invite people to enjoy the fullness of the restored Gospel. I love you all. Hasta la próxima semana. ¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff


0099- Damaris (she was confirmed a few weeks ago, and is one of the super faithful members who came soaking wet to Church) made us a pie that was delicious.

0100- Luz, the girl who also recently got confirmed. We´re helping her learn how to read, and she has successfully read the front cover, and two short verses! What a stud.

 0102- Omygosh! Sister Ayre, President´s Wife, brought some medicine for my companion the other day. Do you know what else she brought? Sunshine and happiness wrapped in chocolate: REESE´S! FROM AMERICA! :)

0109- Elder Gutierrez (from Chile) with his ¨cake¨ made out of Chilean Ding-dongs

0111- La familia Casco. They give us dinner every Sunday. They´re getting sealed in a couple of weeks. They´re awesome!

June 22, 2015- May we rejoice in the great cause of our Redeemer and our God


I don´t like being negative in my letters home, but I have to get something off my chest: I hate Argentine winters. What´s the point of it being cold if there´s no snow? My nose is running a marathon. Hahaha, alright, it´s all smiles, sunshine, and lollipops from this point of the letter, on.

Tita was baptized and confirmed this weekend, and there was great support by her family and the ward. She came out very happy. If I were her, I´d want to go home and get warm, but she stayed after to make homemade alfajores with the Relief Society, wet hair and all. She amazes me with the sincerity and simplicity of her testimony, and her willingness to participate in all the Church activities. I pray that Tita is here to stay.

You know whose sense of humor I admire more than anyone´s? Maxi´s. Not only does he have the world´s greatest one liner jokes, but he really knows how to look past, and even enjoy his disability. After Church the other day, he came up to us laughing his head off, saying, ¨Elder, do you know how I got this mark on my head? I just ran into a wall!¨ I felt so bad, but his laugh was contagious. When life gets dark, and we can´t see the obstacles, we can either scream in pain, wonder why we can´t have the same privilages as everyone else, or we can just laugh it off. Maxi is incredible. We haven´t been able to teach him for a while because his Mom decided to stop supporting his decision to be baptized, but he still comes to Church, and even to Tita´s baptism! Before we filled the font, he wanted to just stand inside and imagine there being water in it. Thinking about his sincere desire to be baptized makes me choke up a little. I wanna fight for this kid. Continue to pray that his Mom´s heart will be softened.

Last week I had the opportunity to give a surprise talk in Sacrament Meeting. I fumbled through my scriptures as I remembered that the Bishop warned me a few weeks ago that something like this might happen, and that if it did, he´d like me to speak about not becoming offended. I shared a few thoughts about how if someone offends us in Church, we shouldn´t take it out on our Father in Heaven. A great Book of Mormon example of looking past offensive remarks in order to focuse on a more important cause is that of Pahoran. Captain Moroni in the chapter before accused him of treason, neglect, and a ton of other stuff he didn´t do. But here´s Pahoran´s response (Alma 61:9):
¨And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart. I, Pahoran, do not seek for power, save only to retain my judgment-seat that I may preserve the rights and the liberty of my people. My soul standeth fast in that liberty in the which God hath made us free.¨
I love that. I hope I can always keep a perspective like Pahoran. We´re fighting for a great cause, and we don´t have time to cause smaller contentions amongst ourselves because our pride was hurt. I love you all so much. If I´ve ever offended you because of a careless word or action, and ask your forgiveness so that we can focus on our main cause: ¨Let us resist evil... that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God.¨ (Alma 61:14)

Love you guys. Hasta la próxima semana. ¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff

P.S. Pictures

0076- Tita´s baptism

0082- Elder Cunningham and I with two studs. I have my arm around Maxi, and Maxi has Lucas (his member best friend. in a headlock. Did you know that blind people can wrestle really well? Maxi never ceases to amaze me.

0090- The Derqui Elders with the newly set apart Ward Mission Leader

0091- Elder Gutierrez with Marco, the Bishop´s son. We couldn´t help but have a quick Nerf war after lunch on Sunday.

June 16, 2015- Six more weeks in Derqui


Transfers came. I get six more weeks in Derqui! Elder Bassett left, and Elder Gutierrez from Chile is the newbie in the pension; it will be good to get this English-speaking apostasy out of there. I´ve realized that my accent evolves depending on who I´m around most often, and I´ve been around good old Yankees for too long. I can´t really play the whole ¨guess where I´m from¨ game anymore. Poor old Elder Gutierrez though. My prankster natural man convinced us to ambush him as he arrived to the apartment with Aerosol Artificial Snow that they sell here for Carnaval. (I took a video, but it´s too big to send.) Luckily he was a good sport, and we helped him soak his companion.

Elder Cunningham and I were analyzing the last transfer: 0 baptisms, and 6 confirmations. How does that happen? We couldn´t help but laugh. Satan worked hard to postpone the baptisms, so we found the people who were baptized, but didn´t have the gift of the Holy Ghost, and confirmed them. Basically we slapped Satan in the side of the head while he wasn´t looking and ran off with some of the people he thought he´d lured off. As far as we know, the baptized-but-not-confirmed crisis in Derqui has been taken care of. Heavenly Father has been good to us.

This last week was slowish. We´ve met some good people, and are in the proccess of filtering through those who God gave to us to plant a seed, and those who are truely prepared to accept the Gospel. Nothing breaks my heart more than dropping an investigator, but I know that Heavenly Father constantly has all of His children in mind, and if we act faithfully and follow the Spirit, we will do His will and find those He needs us to. Luckily Maxi, Tita, and a few others who are stuck in a rut on their way to baptism are still coming to Church, reading the scriptures, and praying. I´m praying hard for this transfer to be their time.

I´m starting to come to terms with it, and I think I´ll admit it. Yes, this is my final transfer. (Plus the little few day extension bonus for the Bravo family sealing.) But just because I´m admitting it now, please no count-downs. I´m still fragile. :) Last night I made the renewed resolve to be 100% obedient. I´ve never been what you might call ¨disobedient¨, but this time I´m throwing all the possible excuses away, and exact obedience is going to be my number one priority. (Okay, Moroni says it should be number 2. Moroni 7:46) But I want this last transfer to be a gift to my Beloved Father in Heaven to show Him my infinite gratitude for my favorite two years of the life He´s given me.

I love you all so much. Thanks for your love, support, and patience with my spiritual growth. I hope this week is spectaular for all of you. ¡Hurra por Israel!

P.S. I got a new Camera! It´s a Kodak, so I hope it´s built to last.

0051- All the food people gave me from the Despedida. I´m really grateful, but this is getting ridiculous.

0032- Rodrigo, one of the kids we helped get confirmed. He´s crazy, but worthy.

0033- Alfredo, a stud I taught in the Villa 31. He´s since been baptized, recieved the Priesthood, and continues to be active. I love this guy.

0036- Mini reunion with Elder Ortega, and Máxima and Selena from Virreyes.

0037- Consuelo wanted to take a picture with me and President.

0039- Elder Zollinger ends today. :/ I´ve shared a ward with this guy for half the mission. He goes back to West Point right before I get home, so I probably won´t be seeing him again. Good luck, buddy.

0048- Elder Sanderson and I were buddies in High School. He ends today too, poor guy. (Someone called me right as we were taking the picture.)

June 8, 2015- Maxi: ¿Cómo le llama un vaquero a su hija? ¡Hiii-jaaa!


This week was even awesomer than the last! So awesome, that it makes me forget the little English grammar that I remember! The less awesomer part of it all was that we traveled a LOT. Derqui´s a little out-of-the-way, so we have to wake up early when we want to go anywhere. But on one of these occasions, after a Zone Conference, President Ayre pulled Elder Cunningham and I aside. We asked him what was up, and he simply said. ¨Nothing, I just wanted to know if I could come to your area for the day.¨ The first thing I thought was ¨oh no. Did I make my bed this morning?¨ Joking, I always make my bed. *Ahem*. President was so hilarious, but at the same time, incredibly focused on the work. I was impressed how while we were talking, several times he could answer a phone call, solve a problem with a missionary in a matter of minutes, hang up, and pick up the conversation immediately without even asking what we were talking about. President Ayre is the most incredible multi-tasker ever, but he also knows how to hone in on each person he talks, and make them feel like the center of the universe. More than anything, I learned from his humility. The members acted as if he was the greatest celebrety of all time, and by the end of the night, he looked at us and meekly said ¨it makes you feel really small when people treat you so big.¨ He always throws out little golden one-liners like that.

All of the bus drivers in Córdoba went on strike, and left poor Tita stranded. So her baptism has been postponed a week. Pray that the stress won´t make the temptation to smoke any greater. Maxi´s Mom needs a little clarification on the doctrine of baptism, because she suddenly changed her mind about him getting baptized. Please also pray with me that her heart will soften and be receptive. Maxi wants to be baptized so bad.

Quick funny story about Maxi: We were teaching him the 10 commandments, right? We have hand signals that make them easier to remember, but that wouldn´t really help at all in this situation, since he´s blind. But Maxi´s member best friend didn´t make that connection, and said ¨show him the hand signals!¨ Thanks for the awkward moment, Fede. :P Luckily Maxi´s the greatest sport I´ve ever met, and shook it off.

One of those people that were stuck in between baptism and confirmation was baptized this last week. Luz struggles a little bit because she can´t read at all, and is often teased about it. Once I had a strange prompting to teach her the basic sounds of each letter for about an hour with the Book of Mormon, but when we ended she was so excited that she read the front cover, and a couple of practice words, including the long word ¨extremadamente¨. She´s a great example of perserverance.

I wish I could explain how happy I am out here, but even with 1 1/2 languages, I still can´t find the words. You´re all amazing. I love you so much. ¡Hasta la próxima semana! ¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff

P.S. Today´s the day. I´m getting a new camera, or resurrecting the old one. I promise.

June 1, 2015- Children of God are amazing.


This week was humbling. We had some good success, but I was amazed by the kind of people we met. The other day we met the deaf brother of the first counselor in the Bishopric, Matias. He´s a humble guy, and hilarious. He was patient with our pathetic attempts at communicating with our uncoordinated hand movements, and helped us say in Spanish Sign Language ¨We are from the Church of Jesus Christ. Will you come to Church with us?¨ He doesn´t live in our area, but he was pumped about the pamphlet we gave him. He might be one of the few people who won´t take it for granted.

We have another incredible investigator named Maxi. We met him infront of the house of his member-friend while they were writing a song for their favorite soccer team, Boca Juniors. Maxi was playing on the guitar-- blind. This kid has the most positive attitude that I´ve ever met, and immediately won us over with his countless and hilarious bad jokes. (My favorite one only works in Spanish, so this is for you Cole and Ry-Guy: ¨¿Qué se pone Superman desques de que se bañe? Superfume.¨) He´s teaching me how to read and write Braille, and so far I can read both the lower case AND upper case of the letters A, B, C, and D. Impressive, eh? Four whole letters. Hahaha it´s a work in progress. But it´s so fun to watch him read. (We looked into the Book of Mormon in Braille. It´s gigantic. Like six feet high in eight boxes. For now, an audio disc seems to make more sense.) Yet the most incredible thing about Maxi is his love for learning the Gospel. He remembers key points of the lesson that lots of people have trouble comprehending, he remembers the names of missionaries and members who present themselves to him just by hearing their voices, and he´s the most focused person in Sacrament Meeting. He told his friend the other day that after saying the closing prayer to our lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he felt warm, peaceful, and secure. He told him that he wants to get baptized more than anything. Please pray with us that his family will continue supporting him.

The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most magnificent teaching, healing, and unifying force that I´ve ever seen. I´m so grateful to be directly involved in the preaching of it to ¨every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.¨ What a sacred calling it is to be a full-time participant of this uncomparably noble work.

What a blessing you all are, family. I love you so much and for your great examples, and service in your own ways. Despite the struggles and trials, I love you all each so much. I pray for charity and understanding, but I know that everything will work out if each of us just does our part. Glory to God, and ¡Hurra por Israel! Los amo con toda mi vida.

-Élder Goff

P.S. No news on the camera. I don´t have any money to fix it. :P

May 26, 2015- La Gran Misión Buenos Aires Norte


Really quick Bike update: I got a new chain, but now the seat comes off entirely. Pfffft! At least I can get around. And the kids get a good laugh when I make it look like it´s talking by moving the seat up and down. Note to self: you can use anything around you to make a good contact- including rusty, muddy, broken down mission bikes.

I don´t know what it is about this area, but there´s a bad reputation for people not getting confirmed after they get baptized, even if they still come to Church. There´s a ton of ´em in Derqui 1, and we´ve asked President Ayre for direction in what actions we should take. Most of the problems come from poor coordination and inexperienced leaders. But this Sunday three were confirmed, and we´re working on the others. I wish every member could understand the importance of the confirmation. That Priesthood Ordinance is not just a formality; as I learned in my Personal Study, every other Gospel principle or ordinance is in preparation for, maitenance of, or has the purpose of increasing the power of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. There is absolutely no way to have a personal relationship with God without the active involvement of our incredible Spirit Brother, the Holy Ghost- who voluntairily gave up, atleast for now, the oportunity to obtain a body so that we could get to know our Heavenly Father even when not in His phyiscal presence. His constant companionship is essential to our salvation, and one of the first steps we make towards our Exhaltation. Elders, I like to baptize too, but stop drawing baptism signs all over the apartment furniture, and confirm your investigators. (Sorry for the indirect ¨dropping of the cane¨. I don´t really talk like that, I just had to rant for a sec.) :)

This Monday, we had an awesome mission activity for the 25th of May (a major Argentine Holiday). We played a mission-wide soccer tournament, zone against zone. (15 zones, but a particularly big zone split in two to make it work.) Our zone has some great soccer players, but due to a lucky shot and short amount of time, we lost in the first round. Dang it. So we played Ultimate the rest of the time. Thank you Mom for sending me those frisbees!!! Elder Ortega´s zone ended up taking first. I taught him everything he knows. :P Then we saw Meet The Mormons in Spanish. Lemme just say that the Candy Bomber is my hero. But my favorite part of the whole activity was when we as a whole mission stood up and sang the cheezy Mission Hymn together. President Ayre came up and put his arm around me, and I got a really sentimental feeling. The mission means everything to me. How dare time go by so fast. I´m going to put so much more effort into my Missionary Work, and instead of getting annoyed everytime someone makes a joke about how close I am to finishing, I´ll just smile, brush it off, and talk to the guy standing next to me about the Restored Gospel.  La Gran Misión Buenos Aires Norte, te extrañaréeee-eee. 

Hasta la próxima semana. Los amo a todos ustedes. ¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff

P.S. Camera´s still dead. I´m trying to find time to fix it. :P

May 18, 2015- 146 Temples and Counting


You gotta love Internet Cafe´s in Provincia. But it´s one of those
¨tough-love¨ kinda things. Tobacco smoke in the air, sounds police
sirens from video games like Grand Theft Auto and Need for Speed,
terrible Reggaeton music, and stray dogs stroking your legs and
barking at you. Five stars!

Anyways, Derqui´s still the bomb. Except the bikes. The bike seat
twists backwards to a 120 degree angle, the handlebars come loose
sometimes, and the bike chain comes off every five blocks. Oh how I
wish that was an exaggeration. It´s so bad that when the older Elders
of the area left it unattended, a theif stole the helmet and the
chain, but didn´t even bother with that old piece of rusted aluminum.
I´ll have to send you a picture once I get my camera fixed (that´s
right. It´s back in a coma.).

But Tita is doing awesome. She´s really opened up to us, and still
accepts everything we teach her. She´s excited to be baptized and
confirmed a member of the Church. She came to the Córdoba Temple
Dedication Cultural Event with her friend. Thanks for praying for her.

The Córdoba Temple Dedication was so incredible. I admit that I wanted
to cry so hard watching the excitement and rejoicing of those faithful
saints of my second favorite country in the world, but I manned up and
held those tears back. I felt the Spirit so strongly, and I prayed
intensely that my Heavenly Father would forgive me of my faults so
that I could live worthily to participate in this glorious work for
all of eternity. One of my favorite parts was when President Uctdorf
called for the children to come forward and help seal the cornerstone.
Two little boys ran through the gardens, ducked underneath the
guiderail, and popped up right next to President Uctdorf, while all
the others took the long way around on the sidewalk. President Uctdorf
laughed and sayed ¨Well it looks like these two found a shortcut!¨ I
hope I´m always that eager to follow the call of all my Priesthood
Leaders. It doesn´t matter how simple our calling, it´s all part of
the Lord´s work. What a couple of little studs.

I love you all so much. A lot of you asked me to pray for various
reasons. Believe me that I will. I have faith that all will be well.
Please continue to pray for me, that the work of Salvation will
increase and the success will be more rapid. Time´s running out, and
our brothers and sisters need our help. May our Heavenly Father bless
you all.

¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff

P.S. No pictures. Sorry. Stupid cameras. :P #NeverBuyIndustriaArgentina

May 11, 2015- Derqui is the bomb


Derqui is the bomb. Elder Cunningham is the bomb. The Gospel is the bomb. I wish I had more time to tell you guys why, but I don´t. :( But here are a few reasons.

Reason number one: We have bikes. Well we had bikes. Mine fell apart from underneath me several times this week, and right now is in the shop until tomorrow. Two: The members are awesome. I´ve already made a ton of new friends, and they bring their friends to Church without us asking. Three: There is mud everywhere. It´s a five year-old me´s dream. But the bad thing is we have white shirts. I guess that´s what P-day´s for.

We have an awesome investigator named Tita. She has been prepared to a degree that I can´t believe to accept the Gospel. She´s very kind, actively does missionary work, accepts, and keeps her commitments, and really wants to change. We got nervous when she offered coffee to us, but when we taught her the Word of Wisdom, she described how about a year ago she felt guilty for some reason drinking so much coffee, and decided to drop it for good. Other than maté cocido, no hot drinks for Tita. She´s incredible.

I´ve been in Provincia before in the mission, but Derqui has reminded me about how humble people in Argentina live. Even the villas that I´ve served in are better living conditions then some sectors of our proselyting area. To beautify the area here, people get creative with old tires, and try to make a humble attempt at a garden fence. It´s better than a mess of mud in front of their lean-to shelter, but it still shocks me. It really makes me grateful for what I have, and helps me stay focused on what´s really important.

I love you all! Have a great week! ¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff


2145 We played soccer with another zone next to us, and I asked one of the Elders to take some cool soccer pictures of me. The thing is, for him to do that, that would require me to actually be good at soccer. Oh well. Next time I´ll just photoshop my face onto Messi.

2133 The Elders of Zona Austral. (Missing two other Elders, due to a family emergency. :/ )

May 5, 2015- Cinco de Mayo y el verdadero Día de la Madre


If you would have told me before the mission that I was going to be in South America during Cinco de Mayo, I would have pictured burritos, piñatas, maracas, and muscaches. Hahaha what a little racist, Elder Goff. This day isn´t anything special outside of Mexico and Mexican restaraunts in the U.S.

Transfers just ended, and a lot changed really fast. Yesterday afternoon, we were teaching a lesson when I got a call from President. I was in the middle of the 12 week training program with Elder Rios, so we weren´t expecting anything to change this time around. President told me that he knew we were in the middle of training, but he recieved an impression to extend a new assignment as a Zone Leader in the Austral zone. I´m not really sure how to be one of those, but luckily my studly new companion, Elder Cunningham is happy to teach me how to do everything, including finances, zone meetings, and riding a bike. (I finally have a bike! If that´s what you want to call it. It might fall apart from underneath me.) Please pray for me, but pray even more for Elder Rios, he was pretty sad about the sudden change. But he´ll do great with his new companion. I love you Virreyes!

My new area is called Derqui, (or affectionately called ¨Barrolandia¨ (Mud-land) by the missionaries who have served there.) Elder Cunningham is from Seattle Washington, and is incredible. I look up to him as if I was five years old again. I´m excited to work in this ward. Judging by the few members I´ve already met, it´s going to be an awesome transfer. There´s a lot of work, but a lot of excitement and willpower amongst the missionaries and the members. As both the First Presidency and President Ayre say, that´s the golden combination. I love the work of Salvation.

I want to echo the words of my brother Elder Goff about the importance of change. Leaving an area as beloved as Virreyes is rough. I´ve come to love the investigators and members of that ward as if they had become my own family members, but I know that God has a plan for us. We never go through something that is so hard that it is impossible to overcome. Change is good because as Ry-guy said, it helps us change the bad in ourselves and become more Christlike. There´s something I gotta do in Derqui to help certain people come unto Christ, and there´s something I´ve got to change about myself that I´ll only be able to do in Derqui. So I´m thankful for the inspiration President Ayre received to send me here. And I know the changes you guys are going through will eventually make us better people. See you on Mother´s Day.

Love you! ¡Hurra por Israel!

P.S. Pictures:

2108 and 2109- The first of May is the Argentine Labor Day, so the ward made a traditional Argentine stew called Locro. It takes over six hours to cook, and two or three hours of preparation. It has everything from beans, to pigs feet, to cow guts in it. And it´s delicious.

2115- I couldn´t go to the Despedida this time, but here´s me eating the food that the Bravo family gave me, slightly sad that I couldn´t see them this time. They´re so awesome.

2125- Some of the most incredible members from Virreyes, and my Argentine Grandma.

2131- The Elders of Derqui: Elder Guy from every state in the U.S., Elder Bassett from South Africa, Elder Cunningham from Seattle Washington, and Me from boring old Utah. :) I love Utah.

April 27, 2015- And suddenly, it was Monday again.

Huh? Oh! ¡FAMILIA!

But, didn´t I just talk to you guys like, yesterday? It was a fast week. ¨See that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength,¨ because missions go by dang fast, and you can´t do anything to slow them down.

It was a fast week, but a rough one. Like a speed bump when you´re riding in the back of a bus going way too fast. And it seems like it was pretty rough for you guys too. But I still love you all so much! You´re an incedible inspiration to me! Especially my dear mother, who forwarded me the inspired advice from Elder Kent W. Pearson of the Seventy (or one of the ¨mini-apostles¨ as I explain to my investigators): ¨Prayer is less about changing our circumstances and more about changing us.¨

Ayelen, the young woman who has been ready for baptism since the day we met her, was so close this week. We passed by her house before Church to make sure that everything was all good to go, and were greeted by her older brothers who all night had basically been thouroughly studying the Word of Wisdom just to know how to break it even further. Needless to say, it was useless trying to get them to call her sister, and after a good 15 minutes or so, we had to leave or we would miss the Sacrament, so we left, not really knowing what happened to Ayelen. After Church was over, she came to church with her only sober brother, sorry because she had overslept and we couldn´t get her brothers to wake her up, so we set up a new date for the following Sunday.

I know that Jesus Christ lived, died, and lived again so that all of our pains and suffering- whether it comes from our own sins, the sins of others, or out of the clear blue sky without any explanation- will come to an end. Christ suffered, so that we can stop suffering. I know that´s true, and that not only relief from suffering, but exhaltation comes from obedience and fidelity to the Priesthood ordinances and sacred covenants made in Christ´s Church today. I love you all. Read your scriptures, pray, and go to Church like good primary kids.

¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff

P.S. Pictures

2104 New Members show their faith and conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by their good works. What better good works are there than cooking Apple Cobbler for the missionaries? Máxima and Selena, you guys are awesome. :)

2103 ¨Boca Juniors¨ is a huge Soccer club down here, that has a ton of fan support. This player looks exactly like the Bishop of Virreyes.

April 20, 2015- More tears than the first time I watched ¨Charlie¨


This week was insane. I don´t know if this P-day will do more good for my feet or my tear ducts. I´m gonna man up and confess that I cried a lot this week. Because of joy, because I felt the Spirit, and sometimes in a terrible pain for the suffering of others.

We´ll get the worst out of the way. There is an incredible couple in this ward that has been working for months to get married so they can get baptized, but are getting slammed with paperwork, deferrals, and frustration. But in the meantime, they´ve stayed positive, and active in the Church. They are beloved by the ward members, and regularly give us lunch. At the beginning of last week, we left their house stuffed, and happy, giving their three adorable kids high fives. A few days later, we were told that the three year-old, Bastian, had died after being run over and dragged by a motorcycle. We sang the hymn ¨O My Father¨ through the phone to the sobbing mother. I felt the Spirit so powerfully as we sang the fourth verse:

When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I've completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.

Rest in Peace, Bastian. D&C 137:10
Also, please give my condolences to Sister Prince. I loved Brother Prince as my own grandfather. I pray that he will rest well in Spirit Paradise and prepare for his eternal marriage with Sister Prince in the Celestial Kingdom.

Mom, you also made me cry a lot. Your letter to Noemí (with back pain) was incredible. When we brought the translated copy to her, the whole atmosphere of the house felt wrong. There was more smoke than oxygen, the girls were crying, and Noemí had eyes redder than I have ever seen. She told us that she didn´t want to see us, and she didn´t want her daughter to investigate anymore, so I started babbling something about how much we loved her, and awkwardly gave her the note. There was silence for several minutes. She must have read it ten times. She faintly smiled and humbly thanked us. When we left, her eyes were as clear as someone who hadn´t smoked in years.

The next day we came back, Noemí told us of a dream that she had. Mom, you were standing next to her in bed, free of pain, encouraging Noemí to endure the pain. I showed her a picture of our family that I always carry with me, and she pointed directly to you, and said ¨That´s her. I never thought in my whole life that someone would love me enough to send a letter from a country so far away. I need that letter in English. I know I won´t be able to understand it, but I need that letter before my surgery.¨ I promised her that I would bring a copy of the original, and told her through tears how happy my Mom would be that she could help someone even though she herself was confined to a bed.

This work is incredible. The Plan of Salvation still blows my mind. How great is the mercy of our Heavenly Father. I know that God´s work is to bring about the greatest happiness to every human family for all eternity. I´m so grateful to be a minister of the very Gospel that will make that possible.
I love you all so much. Hasta la próxima semana. ¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff

P.S. Pictures:

2093- Probably the only time that I´ll ever have everyone in the District at a District Meeting at once.

2094- I have no idea where this frame came from. But it made for a cute little family picture. :P

April 13, 2015- Who´s training who?


This was such a good week. Just like always, filled to the brim, with challenges, laughing, and blessings a ful. I feel so blessed, it´s hard to describe the mission avoiding all the cliché sayings. But here we go... these are the best two years of my life.

Did I tell you that my Stake President here in the Argentina Buenos Aires Litoral Stake was called as a General Authority? Elder Jose M. Batalla. I may have left out that important detail from my thoughts on General Conferece. Also Elder Juan C. Avila, who was recently released, was an area 70 in my ward in Liniers.

Let´s start out the week with my interview with President. I have had incredibly loving Church Leaders nearly all my life. I will be forever grateful for the way that they have helped me become who I am today, and for their unconditional love. But President Ayre is an outstandingly inspired man, and I feel as if he were my second father. All he did was thank me for what I was doing, then sit in silence looking at me through tears. I´m amazed that he can transmit so much love in such a short interview.

The most obvious highlight from the week would be Máxima and Selena´s baptisms this Sunday. This mother and daughter are special people. Máxima is a single mom struggling with her handicapped son, and her oldest son who got mixed up in some bad Umbanda (don´t look that up. Just imagine the bad guy on Disney´s The Princess and the Frog) and suffers from mental and emotional side-effects. We´ve had extremely spiritual experiences with her as we´ve talked about Priesthood authority, given Priesthood blessings, etc. Both have a strong testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only Church that has the authority of God to directly bless their family. May God bless them on their journey to endure to the end, and may He bless me in helping them do so.

Elder Rios continues to teach me a lot. This Sunday, while going to bring our investigators to Church, I was getting frustrated with how many people who had committed to come to Church fell through. I was visibly annoyed as I was thinking of everyone who had rejected us, and the stupid dog that bit me the night before. >:( Then I called Máxima and Selena, to make sure everything was all clear so that they could make it to Church before sacrament meeting, and they were already on their way. Elder Rios literally jumped in the streets with a fist pump that reached above my head and shouted ¨Victory is ours!¨ I couldn´t help but bust up laughing, realizing that I was getting too caught up in what I told him we shouldn´t get caught up. We just invite everyone to come unto Christ. Their agency is their own, but we should never let frustration over how many people don´t choose the right overshadow our joy over those who do come unto Christ. Who´s training who? I ask myself that sometimes.

I love you all so much. Have a great week. ¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff

P.S. Pictures:

2070- Elder Rios´ first Arrozchaufa (classic Peruvian food with rice, meat, soy sauce, and other good stuff). Now he always wants to go eat Peruvian food. As we say in Spanish ¨De tal palo, tal astilla.¨ (A chip off the old block)

2075- Máxima and Selena on their baptism day. Elder Bonilla likes to take pictures ¨up close and personal¨, but it´s all good. These two are really special.

2081- Elder Rios after his first baptism. What a champion.

2090- Sunset on the edge of Virreyes. They tell me that on the far ends of Provincia, Buenos Aires starts to get really pretty. This might be as close as I´ll get.

April 6, 2015- The Most Sacred Birthday of All


First and foremost, I´d like to recognize the most sacred birthday of all, that of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, exactly 2015 years ago. (D&C 20:1, D&C 21:3, Jesus The Christ chapter 3). I´m so grateful for everything that He´s done, and though normally during this time, we acknowledge His unmatchably remarkable Resurrection from the dead, I too want to recognize His birth on the actual day that it happened. Also, the Church turned 185 years old today. :)

What a week, huh? I wish I could tell you everything that has happened, but not even a World Wide Web has enough space to describe how happy I feel on the mission.

First of all, you all know how incredible General Conference was. As for my favorite talks, I couldn´t choose just one. I received precious revelation from my Father in Heaven everytime a prophet, apostle, or one of the inspired general authorities opened their mouth. But let´s be honest, everyone back home is probably talking about Elder Holland´s talk. I´ve never sweat so hard while listening to a Conference talk. How grateful I am for both my younger brother who would save me from certain death (international shoutout, bro), and for my Older Brother who really did, in a much more miraculous and sacred way. I thank my God for prophets and apostles in these latter-days.

A highlight from the proselyting week was the Pereira family. The oldest daughter has been incredibly receptive, and hasn´t taken off her young woman´s necklace since the day they gave it to her on her first Mutual activity. She´s attended seminary more faithfully than Utah high school students, and was practically dressed in white for her baptism since the day we met her. The mother was progressing well also, until she received some private, tragic news about her son that made her want to close off all commitment with the world. We tried to show as much love as possible to shake her out of her depression, but we finally decided to give her her space.

Then one night, we felt impressed that we should stop by our recent convert Alisia to see how she was doing. When we arrived, we saw this mother in pain, clinging her back. She was sweating heavily, and complained about her waist. We called the ambulance just as the pain made her pass out. I don´t need to explain again about the atrociously slow ambulances here, but let´s just say that this is the second time that it took it 45 minutes to arrive when we had an investigator blacking out and having convulsions. She´s in the hospital now, recovering well, and I´m recovering steadily from my frustration with the local emergency services. She sent us a few humble texts expressing her gratitude, and we expressed more love and offered our literal or spiritual help whenever it was needed. Pray for the Pereiras.

You are incredible each one of you. Thanks for all that you´re doing and your spiritual experiences. I pray for all of you, that your trials will be lightened, and that you will come out of them better people. May we all remember what our Dear Redeemer did for us last week, nearly 2000 years ago. Because of that great sacrificial affliction, we can overcome all of our much smaller ones. I testify that Jesus Christ lives, and that He will come again to commence His next great mission of resurrecting each one of us so that the faithful can share of His and His Father´s glory, in His sacred name, Amen.

¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff


Speaking of Resurrection, my blasted camera finally was resurrected. Here´s a few pictures of our lame April Fool´s prank on Elder Bonilla and Elder Roberts. Later I told Elder Rios that we had to begin a fast, but because of the heat, we weren´t allowed to fast the normal way without food and water, so we would be giving up sleep. He was so sad, poor little guy. At 10:28 I told him it was a joke and that he had 2 minutes to get into bed. Hahaha! Luckily he´s a good sport. Maybe I couldn´t get you guys this year, but I got the three that I´m living with down here. :)

March 30, 2015- Because He lives, we will also all live again.


I´ll be honest, I was planning on pulling another April Fool´s Joke, but reading your letters, I´m not really in the mood anymore. I´m still happy in the mission, but I´m pretty sad to hear that Brother Ott passed away this past Friday. He was one of my greatest heroes, and I looked forward to home teaching him every month. I will never forget that even after over 60 years of marriage, he and Sister Ott still loved each other enough to awkwardly flirt in front of their uncomfortable 14 year-old home teacher. I love you Brother and Sister Ott. See you soon in the Celestial Kingdom. :´)

This week was awesome. Elder Rios, is a stud. I can´t believe how lucky I am to train three superstars in a row. Elder Rios is from El Paso, Texas. Born 100% ´Murican, but with pure Mexican blood in his ancestory. He´s the epitome of a Spanglish speaking Tex-Mex, and I love him to death. Sometimes I look at him standing there at 5 feet tall, and I just have to hug him for no reason other than he´s just so dang studly. We´ve been working hard, and bless his heart, he´s a bit surprised by Missionary Life. During one lunch that we practically ran to, he had a distant look on his sweating face. Suddenly he looked at me, and said in his adorable chicano accent ¨Oh, wow, Elder. This is going to be like a two year workout.¨ That it will be, Elder. And you better enjoy every second of it, because it goes by way too fast.

This weekend Alisia was confirmed a member of the only true Church of Jesus Christ. I have had a lot of fun teaching Alisia, because she is so humble, and sits reverently listening to us with a faint smile. Every now and then we stop talking and ask if she´s understanding, to which she basically tells us, ¨not a word, but I feel really good.¨ Both ordinances of her baptism and confirmation were beautiful, and now that she has the gift of the Holy Ghost, He will be able to add understanding of the Gospel to her great Faith in Jesus Christ.

I love the mission so much. I really do. I feel so distant sometimes from you guys back home, but I´m so grateful to be here serving in the Lord´s great work of Salvation. I know that everything will be okay back home, and I´m praying with all of my heart that our dear Savior will be with you in every moment. During the good, the bad, and the in between. #BecauseHeLives. I give my humble testimony that He lives, and the divine power of His Atonement will overcome every trial that His faithful disciples have when they call upon Him.

Happy Easter. Tell the ¨Jesus-bunny¨ I say thank you for the easter eggs, or I might cry as bitterly as 4 year-old Ry-guy a decade-and-a-half ago. ¡Hurra por Israel!

-Élder Goff

Pictures: The only one I have, because my camera is still in Physical Therapy. It´s kind of a Drama Queen, but the guy at the camera shop said it should get over itself by Monday.

Elder Rios and Me on his first day.

March 24, 2015- Your Third Grandson...


How are you all! Today is another holiday in Argentina, so that means no Internet Cafes. But we found a way to talk. So its all good.

CAMBIOS! Guess what happened to my good buddy Elder Ortega. He is off to be a Zone Leader. President wanted to talk to me to ask me what I thought, and I happily recommended him. President was incredibly kind and told me about all the trust he had in me. Thats why he called me to what he considers the most important leadership position in the mission. Im gonna be a Dad again! WOOOO!!! I cant tell you how excited I am to train for the third time.

This last week with Elder Ortega was incredible. Im so grateful to have been his companion. He has taught me so much, and we saw so many miracles together. This last week, Alisia was baptized, and Joel and Sofia were confirmed. It was great to see them taking these important steps toward their Savior. Joel is especially progressing well, as he is faithfully trying to follow the promptings of the Spirit that he has been receiving. He has officially stopped attending his old Church, and recieved the Aaronic Priesthood. He is going to be an awesome leader in the Church.

I got your package! Thank you so much! You are the best. I have been playing frisbee in the morning, and I cant tell you how happý it has been making me.

I just want to let you guys know how much I love you. Thanks for all that you are doing. I wish I could talk more about the amazing things that are happening in the mission. Keep praying for me, and I will keep praying for you guys. ¡Hurra por Israel!


0002- Alisias baptism


4388- I about cried when I saw these babies in the bag.

4391- :) The package you guys sent me.

4440- My two older brothers are leaving the mission. :/ RIP Elder Critchlow and Elder Bobadilla.

4451- The Bravo and Capararo Family brought me a RIDICULOUS amount of food at the Despedida.


4455 and 4456- The Tigre Zone T-shirts. La Gran Misión Buenos AYREs Norte. :)