Monday, September 26, 2016

Miracles sur Miracles (update #9)

Note from Soeur Goold's mom:   Soeur Goold's P-days in France are even busier than when she was in the MTC,  so don't be offended if you've written her and she hasn't written back.   I know your emails mean the world to her, even if she doesn't reply.      Today her and her companion went out exploring the Lyon area with some of the other missionaries in her area and just got to send this email out at the very end of the day (just when I'd given up hope that we'd hear from her at all this week).    No pictures for now.  I'm sure I'll get some later, after which I'll add them to the blog.   (PICS ARE ADDED!)    


Bonjour tout le monde!!!
This week has been INCREDIBLE. So many miracles, big and small.
This week Soeur Kelley and I have really been working on how we can
turn conversations into lessons. Which basically just means testifying
and sharing scriptures with everyone who will listen, even when they
say they aren't interested. At first it felt a little pushy, but a
quote Soeur Kelley told me is: "the only difference between bold and
overbearing is LOVE."
The message of Jesus Christ is literally the
single most important message we could possibly share with anyone. And
if we love them while we share it, it isn't an inconvenience to them
at all. The 60 seconds we talk to them about the Savior are some of
the most important moments of their life because we are sharing Christ
with them. So I'm working on being a lovingly bold missionary.
Definitely have a lot to learn, but excited to be starting!
A tag picture overlooking Lyon taken from the beautiful Notre Dame de Fourviere.
Fun side note: the blog header picture was taken from this same location, while we were on our vacation there this summer.  
Along with the above statement that Christ is the single most
important message we can share, I found this scripture during personal
study this week that I LOVE:
"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the
Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he has also become my

Can't really add much to that except to say that Christ is the reason
I am here. I will trust in him that he will help me be a better
missionary and learn French. I will not be afraid to talk to anyone.
My calling is to bring the joyous news of the atonement to people's
doorsteps. The only way to do that is to be bold and loving.
Zone training.   Love hanging with the other missionaries! 

This week Soeur Kelley and I worked really hard to reach our goal of
20 lessons which meant tons of porting! (Door to door). We ended the
week with over 200 conversations which meant lots of talking to
Our joy after teaching 20 lessons this week!
Here are 2 of my favorite porting experiences this week:

Sweet: atheist couple who invited us in for orange juice (only the
second time we've ever been invited in). They didn't share our beliefs
but they were so kind and happy to listen to us talk about Christ.
Turns out the guy is a free mason (francmaison). Took me a while to
figure out what he was saying in French, but he ended up inviting us
to speak at his free mason convention hahah. Definitely won't be doing
that, but it was pretty funny. Also, cool because their house was the
very last house at the top of a huuuuge hill. Soeur Kelley didn't want
to go but I just had a good feeling about it and it ended up being
such a cool experience. Just to give you a little mental image of this
guy, he drove a Porsche and had really cool original paintings all
over his house and told us "sure I believe in God, I believe that I am
God." Okay...

Sour: one guy started yelling at us (in English): "listen to me. I
know you are from America. I know how it is there. I speak very good
English. But in France we don't just knock on people's doors to talk
about Jesus. We just don't do it. If we want to go to church we go to
the church just there. Please stop. This is for you that I'm telling
you this." We just smiled and said "merci, Bonne journée" Thanks
dude... Don't worry, we proceeded to knock on every other door on his
street :)

Highlight of the week: sacrament meeting was one of the coolest
experiences of my life. The talks were so powerful. I definitely still
didn't understand even close to everything, but I understood enough to
feel the spirit that was there. If you read my email last week then
you know what a MIRACLE it was to really feel the spirit at church, IN
FRENCH. So grateful.

Lowlight of the week: not a real lowlight but when we saw this
massive spider a couple inches from Soeur Kelleys face it was pretty
interesting... Also lowlights could include the many many times Soeur
Kelley and I start talking to someone and they respond "sorry I don't
speak English..." Well actually we're speaking French, but that's
okay. Hahaha so anyway, that's good. French will come, it'll come.
That's what I keep telling myself.

Sending you all my love from France!!
Soeur Cami Goold
We keep seeing these cute cars around town

The trash in the street after a marchet.   I thought it looked beautiful. 

Soeur K and I have been working on a meal plan and trying to eat healthier
This is my mom's BBQ chicken salad recipe

Monday, September 19, 2016


Bonjour tout le monde!!
So France is absolutely AMAZING!! The days since we arrived have been CRAZY. I'll just try and give the most important details but let's just say it's been an adventure.

So on Tuesday we arrived and on Wednesday we were assigned our first area and our trainer. I GOT VAL DE SAONE, RIGHT OUTSIDE OF LYON AND SOEUR KELLEY IS MY TRAINER. Soeur Kelley is incredible, so easy going, so good at French, and such a good teacher. It's going to be an amazing transfer.
Language update: I still speak terrible French. I knew when I left the MTC that I was in no way ready to actually converse with French people. In fact, I think I actually know more than I thought I did. Sadly, my mental preparation to be terrible at French in no way makes it any easier right now to be trying SO HARD to communicate with the people and understand them and just getting nothing.
The good news is that I can bear my testimony in French. So every lesson, every time we port, in all of our contacting I can bear my testimony. And I think that's all God needs me to do right now (until I learn how to actually speak French).

Sunday at church was the hardest. I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting and I think it went reasonably well (as in they at least understood what I was saying). And I tried to just speak from my heart because I refuse to become the person who just reads from a paper, even if I don't say anything right) Church is usually one of my favorite times of the week, especially in family wards, but it was SO HARD to understand anything.

I picked up more than I thought I would and we had a Vietnamese amie there, Ha, who spoke more English than French so I actually translated a tiny bit. But it was proabbly the single most draining experience of my life. By the end in Relief Society I was just sitting there smiling as big as I could and nodding my head and literally not comprehending a single mot {"mot" is French for "word"}. 

When we went home after church I officially had my first meltdown of my mission.   It was bound to happen eventually and I'm honestly a little surprised I made it this far. Logically I know I will learn French and that God is helping me, but in that moment I felt so weak and alone and just like I can't possibly make a difference in anyone's life when they won't listen to me, and even if they would listen, I don't speak French.


I'm grateful for these moments of paralyzing weakness
because I think it's in these moments that I grow and learn the most.
I was just sitting on our porch crying and I offered one of the most sincere prayers of my life. I just told God that I knew He was there and He was with me, but in that moment I
needed to feel it. I am so weak and flawed and bad at French and don't
know how to be the best teacher, but this is all that I am. This is
all that I have to offer God right now. I felt such a peace and calm
wash over me. I am enough for Him. He will help me become what I need
to be. All the promises God has made me are starting to move from my
head into my heart. He is walking this path with me. I have such a
strong testimony of the healing and enabling power of my savior Jesus
Christ. With him I can become so much more than I am, little by
little, day by day. I know that he will help me learn French. And I
know that he wants me to find JOY in this work. This is, after all,
the message of ultimate joy and happiness. Something I am going to
work on, now and for my whole mission, is trying to find joy in every
single moment, in the good times and the hard times.

  "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy."

Sometimes I get so caught up in being my best self right now that I forget that it's okay and GOOD that I have so much room to grow. God doesn't need me to speak perfect French or to be perfectly selfless or to be the best right now. Because if I was perfect right now, what would be the point of this life? So today I'm deciding to be grateful for my many many weaknesses because it means I get to grow. And all that God needs is for me to try my best, to progress a little bit every day, and to trust that He will help me.

Also, this morning (p-day) I took a nap and I think it was the single best nap I've ever taken in my life. Feeling much more mentally sane now hahah.

We went to visit a less active who has been MIA for the last transfer. One day we accidentally wander into her neighborhood while contacting. We go up and by some miracle she's home!! Sadly, she's on her way out the door so we hop in the elevator with her and ride down. THEN the elevator gets STUCK. Tiny european elevator, three people, totally trapped between floors. We were in there for an hour and a half. SUCH A MIRACLE! In that time we really got her talking about why she hasn't been coming to church and the struggles she's been facing. I shared a scripture and my testimony and Soeur Kelly said lots of beutiful things and actually understood what was going on. The next day we had another metting with Lucia (the less active) and I really think she's going to start coming to church again. #miracles 

Who knew that getting stuck  in an elevator could be a little miracle?

Still haven't had time to unpack... hopefully by next p-day hahah
Thank you for all your love and prayers! Je vous aime beaucoup!!
Soeur Cami Goold

Trying out a real deal French baguette sandwich

Quaint little streets

Some escargot at a member's house!  She liked it! 
A tag picture!  
Le Chateau de Belmont--
I looked it up to see if I could find out more details about it, but I couldn't find anything called that that's in her area.  

What a beautiful area she is living/working in! 

Here's another random picture of her MTC district before they took off

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Arriving to France (Update #7)

This is an update from Soeur Goold's mom, since we won't hear from her this week.


Bright and early on Monday, September 12, Soeur Goold and a group of 14 other missionaries made their way from the MTC to the SLC airport.    We had the chance to talk to her while she was at the airport.    We didn't get to talk long, but it was wonderful to hear her voice and hear how truly happy and excited she was to be embarking on the next part of her missionary journey.

This picture was texted to me the day before she left the MTC! 

We received an email from the mission secretary on Tuesday that their group of 24 missionaries (14 sisters and 10 elders, some coming from the Spain MTC) had all arrived safely to the mission home in Lyon.

On Wednesday we got an email saying that her first companion and trainer is Soeur Kelley and she will be serving just outside of Lyon in the Val de Saône area.    
SG and her first companion, SK

We typed in her address on google earth and enjoyed looking at the street view of the neighborhood where her apartment is.

Later I found this Facebook post from a sister serving in the mission office to my friend here in the area:

It made me smile ear to ear!   After a whole year without a kitchen while she lived in the dorms at BYU, she will be thrilled to put her baking skills to use for sharing the gospel!   

We are excited and a bit nervous now that she's out of the safety net of the MTC, but know that she will do much good serving and teaching the people in France.  

Thank you for your prayers and love for Cami!    We are grateful for you!  


Called to serve Him, heav'nly King of glory,
Chosen e'er to witness for His name,
Far and wide we tell the Father's story,
Far and wide his love proclaim.
Onward, ever onward, as we glory in His name;
Forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing.
God our strength will be; press forward ever,
Called to serve our King.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Trust, Choose, and Love (Letter #6)

Note from Soeur Goold's Mom:   Soeur Goold is flying to France this Monday, so we will likely not hear anything from her until the following Monday, September 19th.  As far as I know, her P-day will be on Mondays for the remainder of her mission.  Use her address in France (you can find it on the side bar of the blog) for letters.  Her email address will remain the same (   Thanks for your love, prayers, and support of Cami!   

AHHHH BONJOUR tout le monde et au revoir Les Etats Unis!!

Words cannot express how I'm feeling as the day quickly arrives to go to France. I AM SO EXCITED!! I think that my 18 month mission in France has been hiding behind the facade of the MTC this whole time and now that we're leaving on MONDAY it's getting really real. I've loved every second (good and bad) at the MTC, but now it's time to meet and love real people.

The quote from Les Mis: "One day more, another day another destiny on this never-ending road to calvary" (or something to that effect) keeps playing in my head. We actually have three days more... but ton pis...

#Mishspiration (what's currently inspiring me as a missionary)

My head is swimming with all the many lessons I've learned in the MTC and all the ways I've felt my heart change. I wish I had eloquent words (in English or French) to express that, but at the end of this crazy 6 week adventure all I have to say is that God is literally our Heavenly Father, that He knows me by name, and that He has a plan for each of His children that is so much grander than any ofus could ever comprehend.

It's funny because in our first lesson literally all I knew by heart in French was "Dieu vous aime" (God loves you). Soeur Jones and I repeated that phrase over and over again because we literally couldn't say anything else. Six weeks later I like to think I know a little more French and I know that my testimony of this gospel has grown so much, and yet that simple phrase is still my foundation. That is the reason I'm here. That is the message of every single lesson we teach.

This week I've been making a list of what my attitude goals are going to France to try and help me remember everything I've been learning at the MTC:

- TRUST that there WILL be miracles
- CHOOSE to be happy in whatever area I get assigned to from the very beginning
- LOVE the people with all my heart (especially the ones that will be rude to me)
- CHOOSE to love my companion (hopefully they'll be as easy to love as Soeur Jones...though I think that's just about impossible)
- Bring the fire!! Go at it with all my energy, all my might, mind and strength.
- Wear my testimony and heart on my sleeve and "let people take donkey punches at it all day long" (back to being vulnerable and being confident enough in Christ that it doesn't make a difference how people react to my testimony, it just matters that I get to share it.)
- Increase my faith and change for the better every single day

Updates this week are not nearly as eventful as last week, however Soeur Jones and I did do about 5 weeks worth of laundry today. I'd say that's definitely worth documenting. Please note the huge bag of dirty clothes and the 8 washing machines we used between the two of us.

We had our final French lessons with Frere Kellett.
So insane that our official French instruction is over. Now it's just us, the little that we know, and the people in France who are somehow going to listen to us.
Cami's MTC district (all going to Lyon, except two Elders going to Toronto and the instructor)

Back row:  Elders Pistole, Amison, Perry, Frere Kellet (French instructor), 
Jacobson, Thompson  (Toronto), and Sorenson (Toronto)
Front row:  Soeurs Jones, Goold, Allen, Huntsman

This week I've tried really hard to stop stressing about the language and just accept that I know what I know and that isn't going to be enough, but if I come to God with my very best, He will make the difference. It's going to be a fun adventure trying to talk to people in France (and by fun I mean terrifying and hard), but I'm excited to just get going and start messing up so I can get better. "to learn how to speak a language you must first make 30,000 mistakes. It's up to you how long that takes." I think I've already made 30,000 mistakes in the MTC alone but lets see how fast I can make 30,000 more...
A little pre-fasting snack

Elder Christofferson came to speak to us on Tuesday!! So cool. He's such a calming spirit, just a wise old man who makes you feel better about yourself and want to be better all in the same breath.
The focus of his message was repentance and how it changes our lives and the lives of those we teach. My concept of the idea of repentance has changed so much in the last year. I used to think of repentance as in relation to sin. Now I like to think of it as changing your heart and turning towards the Savior. When we physically turn towards him through our actions our hearts our changes. It's something that's difficult to explain but so easy to see in my life and the lives of others. In the words of Elder Christofferson: "When you testify of repentance, you testify of the Savior" and when you testify of the Savior you testify of joy and hope and love.

I have loved the MTC but I am so ready to leave and get to France. I already love the people there so much... can't wait to actually meet them!!

Next time I write I will probably have a new companion so I just want to take a minute to express how much I love Soeur Jones!!! They say that companions are assigned randomly by computer, but that must have been one inspired computer. Soeur Abby Jones is the perfect combination of hard work, obedience, calm confidence, strong spirit and genuine love for everyone around her. Her perspective on life has taught me so much and I love that she chooses to be happy and hold to what she knows is true rather than focusing on the hard times and doubts that we all inevitably have. Soeur Jones has been an angel in my life at the MTC and she is going to change lives in France.
You probably won't hear from me during the week and a half until I have a p-day in France. I love you and God loves you!

Merci pour toutes vos amour et lettres et prieres lorsque j'ai été au MTC. Je peux ressentir la puissance de votre soutien. Je vous aime beaucoup!!

Soeur Cami Goold

SG and SJ with Soeur Cochain, a missionary FROM France who is going to Temple Square on her mission

A combination of some of the packages SG and SJ have received

The Elders from Cami's district in matching ties
(Pistole, Thompson, Sorenson, Amison, Jacobson, Perry)

A P-day party courtesy of Elder Pistole's mom 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Bats, Pink Eye, and France (Letter #5)

Bonjour tout le monde!
This week has been CRAZY from the beginning.

But first:

This week I've been reading in the Bible a lot during personal study and I'm completely falling in love with the story of Jesus Christ's life. For some reason I've always turned to the Book of Mormon to learn about Christ (which is incredible as well), but it's been so cool to read about his life as written by his disciples. Something that has stuck out to me is how often the Savior says DON'T FEAR and HAVE FAITH. Through all his teachings it seems like every single time the message comes back to these two simple truths.

At one point a man is asking the Savior to come and heal his daughter. Suddenly a group of people comes to tell the man "Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the master any further?"

But, "As soon as Jesus heard(this), he said: Be not afraid, only believe" (Mark 5:35-36)

He proceeds to go to the house of the man and raise his daughter from the dead. I love this story so much because it is such a stark example of how with Christ we can literally overcome everything. Whether it be rejection, chemistry tests, sadness, or even death; with Christ we can overcome (surmonter) our trials and find peace and happiness. There will always be that voice (whether from ourselves or others) saying: "Why do you bother the Master? You are beyond hope, give up." But the words of the Savior ring true: "Be not afraid. ONLY believe."

Going to France in 10 days when I have yet to successfully converse with a French person in their language is scary. But I have faith that the message I am going to share is one of Hope and Joy,and one that the people in France need to hear. I have faith that He will somehow make my words mean something. I have Faith that is stronger than my fear.

I love the words of the primary song: "You do need to have  great courage, faith to conquer fear."

Now onto the very exciting events of the week:

Last Saturday I woke up and my eye was crusted shut and really pink. For some weird reason I'm really paranoid about going blind, so when it didn't go away by that evening Soeur Jones and I went to the MTC clinic to get it checked out. Turns out the doctor had already left for the day so next thing we know SJ and I are in a car leaving the MTC to go to the BYU health clinic. It's just down the road and I've passed it a million times but it was so SURREAL going into the real world. Crazy to think that in just 10 days we'll be leaving the MTC for good and getting on a plane to fly to FRANCE.

After the doc looked at it he wrote a prescription and we got to go to Rite Aid to pick it up. So weird being out and about in Provo because it's such a familiar place, but suddenly I'm here as a missionary!! We randomly met a woman in line who was from France and told us to think of her when we land in Lyon (aka a week from TUESDAY)! We again attempted to speak French with her and it did not go super well lol. I think I picked up one word she said. I guess I'll just have to have Faith to conquer Fear and to conquer French hahah.

Then Sunday on our temple walk,  who is there?! ASHLEY BOURNE and Janessa and Karly and MK and Sister Caroline Drasbek (also in the MTC). It was like a mini Oakton Stake reunion. So fun, so glad they happened to be there at the same time as me! (Literally we had no clue we would see each other).

Impromptu Oakton Stake party at the Provo temple 

Between leaving the MTC on Saturday and seeing high school friends on Sunday, all my worlds (MTC, High School and BYU) were feeling incredibly mixed. Gave me a new perspective on exactly how different mission life is, but also how much my experiences in High School and at BYU are the reason I am who I am today. Sometimes being a missionary feels like a completely different life, but I need to remember it's just one chapter in my same life. And I'm so grateful this chapter is starting now!


On Thursday they had an emergency meeting with all the Sisters to inform us that the bat infestation in our building (remember the single bat from a couple weeks ago?) was out of control and we were being emergency transferred to a different building. We went and packed up all our things....
Saying goodbye to the room

and the Elders in our district kindly helped us drag them to the opposite end of the MTC.  Kind of a fun change of scenery and now we get to live in the outskirts of the MTC. Rest assured I remembered to move the picture of Jesus so he can continue to watch over me while I sleep.  ;)

Moving rooms

We received our official travel plans today!! We leave at 6:30am a week from Monday to fly to Lyon!! So excited to start this new chapter (and never eat BYU dining food again).

Je vous aime!

Soeur Cami Goold

Homemade bread and fresh peach jam from home!    

Ay! Ay!   Pirate Cami is ready to take over France!  

SG and SJ at the temple 

 Apparently they're quite the rule breakers there at the MTC. 

SJ's dad sends vitamins for the whole district.  Cam says that he works for a company that  sells them.    

{Who knows?   Maybe Cami's dad can get them all hooked with weather and water level monitoring devices for their next package.   Haha!}   

Getting in Touch with Soeur Goold in France

Soeur Goold has received her official travel plans and will be  heading to France on September 12!!!  

Since Cami will no longer be in the MTC starting in a week-and-a-half,  you should start using this new snail mail address for the remainder of her mission.  

Sister Camille Rose Goold
Mission Francaise de Lyon
Lyon Business Center
59 Rue de L'Abondance
69003 Lyon

For letters, you will need to use an international postage stamp ($1.15) or 3 regular postage stamps (but that will mean that you are overpaying):   

Fun Fact #1:   For the last several years, they have made US international postage stamps round to distinguish them from other stamps.  They release a new international stamp every year.   The Moon is the 2016 version, my favorite are the earth stamps from 2013.

Fun Fact #2:   I am somewhat of a postage stamp/postcard/mail aficionado and at any given time have quite a collection of unique stamps, postcards, and cards.      

Her email address will stay the same, however please note that she will still only have limited time to check it and respond (only on Mondays, once she is in France) :

Also, please note that mission office has let us know that Christmas mail needs to be received no later than November 7 in order to ensure that she receives  it before Christmas.  

As always, please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions.  

Thank you for your love, prayers,  and support of Cami.  It means the world to us!