Monday, November 29, 2010


This is Jaime's baptism!

Where to start???!! This past week has been CRAZY! Wow! On Wednesday I got transfered down to Hawthorne. It is just south of Inglewood. I really like it a lot down here! I'm probably a 15 minute drive from my old area, but it is pretty different down here! I'm still on a bike. We have part of the LA International Airport in our area, and another, smaller airport as well. There are so many airplanes!! I'm going to fly airplanes when I grow up. We cover two wards! One of them is Centinela 1st ward, which is the English ward. And the other is Centinela 2nd ward, WHICH IS A TONGAN WARD!!!! It is really awesome! We have tons of Polynesians in our area! It is awesome! The Tongan ward is really awesome! They have an interpreter that sits in the front of the chapel, and she speaks into a headset, and we put on headphones and listen to the service in English, while the speakers speak Tongan. The Tongans are really good at singing too! The sing the hymns so loud! Most of the people speak English too, so it makes it easy for the missionaries. So each Sunday we go to the English ward, then the Tongan ward right after that. Also, Tongans feed us really well! I've eaten so much food since Wednesday! I've had octopus, raw fish, and all kinds of other stuff! I don't remember what country I'm in anymore!
My new companion is a whole other story! He is Asian! He is a refugee from the country Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). He speaks Burmese, Karen, and a little bit of Thai. He came to Utah as a refugee because Myanmar is so dangerous. He came to Utah about 3 years ago, and he was baptized there about a year and a half ago. He has an "American Family" that helps take care of him, and they are the ones that are paying for his mission. He is really awesome! He's a pretty funny guy, and a really hard worker. His name is Elder Doh. He has been on the news in Utah because he has an amazing story! His name is Hser Doh, but he went by Chapter Doh in Utah. Look him up on the Deseret News, or just search his name on the internet, and he says you will find something about him. His language is crazy. I think he said that only 8 million people speak Karen, which is his first language. He doesn't have contact with his family in Myanmar because it is so bad over there. But he stays in contact with his American Family. This is only his second transfer in the field, so I'm "greeny breaking" him.
My new district is really fun, and multi-cultural. We have 3 white boys from Utah, 2 Polynesians, 1 Latino, 1 Brasilian, 2 Japanese, and 1 from Myanmar (my companion).
As you read in my president's letter, this area is really dry right now. We hardly have any investigators. It won't be easy, but we will find some people to bring unto Christ. We are teaching a lot of less-actives. But I really want to find some new investigators. We have a really awesome family we are teaching. We just taught the Restoration last night, but their mom is really skeptical about our religion. Please pray for them. We are also teaching a really nice black woman. She tells us lots of neat things, but she is really hard to keep focused. She goes off on crazy tangents for 15 minutes, and it's hard to stop her. But she is good, and we are hoping to bring her to the church for a Relief Society activity this Wednesday.
I'm kind of sad about the English switch, but I get to speak Spanish every once in a while as we do door contacts and things. I'll keep studying too, and maybe I'll be a Spanish Elder again someday. But for now, I will "Lift where I stand", which is good enough for me.
Oh, and we will be doing e-mails on Mondays in this area.
Mom, I got the Thanksgiving package! Thank you! It is really yummy! And thanks for the e-mail Tania! When is Alesha graduating? I'll be she's really excited!
I love you all, and thank you for your support! The Lord's work is going forth. Maybe in a different way now, but it is still the same work. I know this church is true with all my heart. Jesus is the Christ. He is our Savior and redeemer. The gospel has been Restored to the earth in it's fullness. God is our Father, and I love him. I love you all. Stay strong and keep doing the right thing, because it is way worth it!
Love, Elder R. Watkins

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


So the baptisms were really awesome this past sunday! I had the pleasure of baptizing . We had to commit him a few times before he was serious about it. I've seen him change a lot! We have been teaching him since I was with Elder Hopoate I think! But now their family seems so awesome! The have two little boys who will be awesome missionaries some day! It is really awesome to help families come together. And now they will have a strong family in the gospel, because three of their daughters are preparing for baptism, one in this area, and two in Mexico! There were actually a couple times where the missionaries were teaching their daughters in Mexico at the exact same time we were visiting Lilia here with her husband!
Hey mom, thanks for Cory's address! Thanks for the packages too! YUM! I made some really good smores! I got a package from G-ma and G-pa! Lots of candy and goodies! Thank you a whole bunch!
Ahora, tengo malas/buenas noticias. Now, I have good/bad news. Transfers are tomorrow, and I'm about to see a lot of change. I have to leave Jefferson Park! NOOOO! The Lord is sending me down to Hawthorn. I don't know much about Hawthorn, but it's south of Inglewood. And I will be breaking, which means I'm getting an elder who was just barely trained. I will be the senior companion, and I think I'm staying on bike. But, here's the worst part.........THEY ARE SENDING ME TO AN ENGLISH WARD!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not too excited about that. I have been working so hard to speak Spanish, and now I'm going to be an English Elder. I do take comfort in knowing that it is what the Lord wants, though. But, I'm sure it will all turn out just fine. I felt like Spanish was really clicking lately. The Lord has blessed me a lot. During Priesthood this past sunday, they had me stand up and explain the gift of tongues, and I was able to explain, and share a short experience about learning Spanish, in the Spanish language. Hopefully they will put me in a Spanish area sometime in the future. But for now, I will do the best that I can in English.
Hey, I knew Elder Lakip! We talked about Chris a little bit. That is really nice of him to mention me to Chris!
Mom, you wanted to know the difference between Latino, Hispanic, and Chicano. Latino and Hispanic are the same thing. A Chicano is a person who was born in the USA, from parents who are Latino. My companion is kinda, partly Chicano, because his mom was born in Texas, but her parents are Mexicans. There are billions of Chicanos here. Basically all the kids our ward are Chicanos.
Happy Birthday mom! It sounds like you had a really good one! Oh yeah, I haven't received the Thanksgiving package yet, but I got the one before it just last week. I think we're a little behind on mail. Hey, I would like some international and regular stamps for Christmas. Boring, I know. Thanks for everything mom.
Emily, that is awesome that you are doing baptisms every tuesday! Keep doing that, and the Lord will bless you. That is awesome that Tyler is training! Lindsey, I'm sorry to hear about b-ball, but you will be the best manager that team has ever seen! Oh yeah, and brush your teeth so you don't get dentures some day! hahaha! I wish I could help cut down the tree this week, but I'll be busy doing the Lord's Work! Dad, sounds like the baptism was awesome. Can't wait to hear that story some day! Alesha, you are awesome!
Sorry, I don't have any time left! This church is true! Keep going forward!
Love, Elder Ross Watkins

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Last week of transfer #5

WOOO! Hey, I really liked the e-mail from Tania! But I have some good news for her! We are allowed to anybody in our family now! The old rule is gone! So Tania, feel free to send me e-mails, and I will respond! That includes the rest of the family too!
So we have this new thing we are doing in our mission. We are now supposed to write our letters to President through e-mail from now on. Sooo, since we don't get eternities on the computer, I will, from now on, give my report to president in my e-mails home, and I will just copy and paste it to his e-mail. That way I can let you all know at the same time. But, don't fret, I will write you all more than just my president's report. Sooooo, here goes the president's report:

I can't believe G-ma and G-pa are going on another mission! Maybe I didn't get that letter yet mom? I don't know. But that is pretty awesome! They can come work in the geneology center next to the temple here! That would be awesome! That would be sad if they left before I came home. But I'll go visit them wherever they are anyway!
Hey dad. Guess what. I've been doing 200 push-ups every morning! I'm going to be the toughest guy ever when I come home! I can almost feel my muscles breaking through my skin because they are growing so fast. You won't have a chance in an arm wrestle by the time I get back.
Happy Birthday mom! Is there anything I can send you? I think we are going to have a baptism on your birthday! So that will be awesome! Hey, mom, what is Cory's address? I haven't heard from him since he was in the MTC. How old are you going to be mom? You asked if Latinos celebrate Thanksgiving. Apparently they do. We are having a big Thanksgiving dinner this Friday night, and we are allowed to go if we bring investigators. Otherwise we can't. I miss your cooking mom. The food here is great, but nothing is like home.
Alesha is about to gradatate isn't she? I wonder if she learned anything in college. probably yes probably no.
Hey, for Christmas I get to talk on the phone for an hour, I think. That would be good to give me G-pas phone # so I can call you in Missouri. Hey mom, for Christmas I need some socks. I'm starting to wear holes in all of mine. Maybe a couple ties.
On Sunday we got back from church, and we tried to go visit some people, but nobody was home. So we ended up tracting for about 4 hours, with almost no success. People really didn't want to listen. But, in the last half hour, we found two people that accepted return appointments! The new problem we are running into, is trying to find Spanish speakers. We've tracted a lot of the Latino areas to death! But we are still trying. Last night we talked with a couple really drunk guys. They stopped us and wanted us to come over and teach them sometime. They were nice guys, just a little out of it.
Yesterday we had a big combined-zone activity behind the visitor's center. There is a big field back there, and we had the "Turkey Bowl". It was fun to be around a bunch of missionaries and play some good American football.
Family, the church is true. And it always will be! The Lord's work is going forth at a fast pace. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior. Testifying of Christ brings the Spirit. I love you all. Keep working hard, and the Lord will bless you for your efforts. Cuidense!
Con amor,
Elder Ross Watkins

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Me and a lizard!
Me above the Hollywood sign. Buildings to the left are downtown L.A. and the hill to the right on the horizon is the south end of my mission. So this picture is my entire mission!
Elder Karnes, me, Efrain Juarez, and Elder Cruz at Efrain's baptism!

It has been another great week here in Jefferson Park. Efrain Juarez got baptized on Sunday! It was pretty awesome! The baptism was nice. His sister and his kids were there for it too. are hoping that his sister will get baptized this Saturday! She is the one that is visiting from Oaxaca, Mexico, and she wants to get baptized while she is up here. So we will be working hard with her. Elder Cruz came up for the baptism. It is good to see him again.

We just got back from Zone Conference. It was long. Our mission is going through a lot of changes lately because of our new president, President Baker. He is taking out many of the old, specific, "law of Moses" type of rules, and we will be following the rules in a different way. We focused a lot on the white handbook and following the Spirit. It will be a lot better than the old rule book we used to follow. Many of the same rules will stay, but we will be expected to follow them out of a desire to have the Spirit, instead of getting lost in a pool of rules like the people in Moses's time. Zone Conference was from 8 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon! I had a pretty big headache when we were done, but a learned a wnole lot. Also, starting on friday, texting will be activated on all of our phones so we can use it for missionary purposes. We are going HIGH TECH haha! President is asking the whole mission to read the Book of Mormon all the way through before the end of the year. We all got our own copies of the paperback Book of Mormon, and he wants us to mark every time we read Jesus's name. Sounds fun! Hopefully I can read fast enough to finish it! Elder Haslem was at our Zone Conference. He seems like he's doing really well! It is really neat to serve with a friend from high school!

The work is going well in our area. We are working hard and finding people. There is definitely no substitute for hard work. Some missionaries try to get around it. But hard work, with the Spirit, is the best way to do missionary work. I'm starting to find more and more joy serving a mission. At times it is really easy to get discouraged and sad, but that is not the way it is meant to be. Hard work with the Spirit tends to fix that. The other day I got sick! I woke up in the morning, and I didn't want to do anything. I just wanted to sleep in and "rest" so I could work better the rest of the day. But instead, I just went to work. I got up, got ready, studied, and went out to work. My nose was really really runny, and it dripped all the way to appointments as we rode our bikes. But it was well worth it! It ended up being a pretty fun day! Satan has cute little ways of trying to distract us, but we know better than he does. The best medicine for a sick Elder, is to go out and work (unless it's fatal, then a doctor would be a fancy choice). Elder Karnes and I have been busy fixing plenty of flat tires. Our area is covered in thorns, broken glass, and all kinds of other stuff, so we're experts with flat tires now.

On Sunday we were missing a few of our investigators at church. That was a bummer. Hopefully they will make it this next week, because it is hard to progress when they don't come to church.

Hey, guess what Grandpa Watkins!? I saw Catalina Island yesterday! In fact, I saw just about our entire mission, all at once (plus a few other missions)! Yesterday was a strangely clear day in Los Angeles! It rained early in the morning, and we hiked to the Hollywood sign again for p-day. There was almost no smog! It was a miracle! And that was when I realized how small our mission is. We looked out over Los Angeles, and we could see all the way down to the ocean, and Catalina Island, and some large ships! The Hollywood sign is just about the very northern tip of our mission, and we could see the very southern tip, and further! We could see the tall buildings down in Long Beach! It was pretty neat! And it was nice to get some fresh air! I caught a lizard too! I'll bet all the little cousin boys will think that is pretty neat!

Well, this church is still true! I'm really grateful for this opportunity I have to be out here! No matter where we are, the work still goes forth. We are working with lots of people, trying to help them recieve what God wants to give them. It is an adventure, and I've learned a lot so far. But there is still a whole lot more to do! There are people out there who are waiting for the greatest thing ever, but they don't know where to get it. We are a really blessed people. And God expects a lot from us.

Thanks for all of the support from everybody! Hey dad, that picture of our house is awesome! There are so many trees! I can't wait to see it! Thanks for the letters too! I pray for you all the time family! Keep working hard and being happy! I love you!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


This is at a ward activity, we had a El Dia de Espandid (Hispanic Day), it was a big ward party with losts of tables set up representing the different countries in our ward (Peru, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala,Hondouras) We set up a table for the missionaries with a bunch of missionary and church materials. Missionaries don't usually get to go to these things but we were there for a missionary purpose, and we could stay if we had people there. This is were I met Lilia, Julio's wife, and she is getting baptized this month!

A dinner appointment with Julio and Lilia.

Me, with a chapoline in my mouth.

These are chapolines (grasshoppers), they are really tasty!

HELLO! Hi! It's me again! haha! We've had a super week again! WOOO I don't even know where to start. First off, I finally feel like Spanish is really clicking in my brain! About time eh? Haha! We have been working hard and speaking lots of Spanish, so that helps a lot!
We have been working hard with him for the past couple months. He was supposed to be baptized this past Sunday, but he couldn't get work off, so we will be holding the service this next Sunday! He is a super guy with really strong faith. He has had TONS of BIG trials in his life, but now the Lord has guided him to the correct path of eternal happiness! Awesome! wife is in the USA for a little while to visit. It turns out that she has been meeting with the missionaries down in Mexico! She will be here for a while, and she wants us to baptize her!!!!!!! WOW! She seems like a really awesome lady with really strong faith. She accepted to be baptized on the 21st of this month! We were att their house last night, and his wife made us a really good soup, and then they brought out a plate of CHAPOLINES!!!!! Remember when I was telling you about the grasshopper things they eat in Mexico?? Well, the brought a whole plate of them, and I ate many! mmmmm! Apparently they are more healthy than fish. But that's not found in the scriptures anywhere, so I'm not sure if it's true. But they are pretty tasty! You can eat their legs and everything! I'll try to attach pictures of them so you can see how delictable they look. Julio and she gave us a bag of them to take home as a special treat!
Well, today was another great temple p-day! It's super nice to be able to attend the temple! It is definitely the most peaceful place on earth. The L.A. temple Celestial Room is really really nice! It's like you walk into a dream! We are really blessed in this mission to be able to do work for the living and the dead. That is why I'm e-mailing on wednesday, because we postponed p-day for today for the temple. Hey mom, thanks for sending Elder Larsen's e-mails to me! It sure is good to hear from him! Also, I think Elder Seitz fell of the face of the earth. I haven't heard from him in eons. Hey mom, can you find out what Cody Walker's mission address is? Maybe the Larsens know???
It's really exciting to hear about the house! I can't wait to see it some day! (you should send pictures) We have been blessed a lot as a family! I really like seeing how our faith as a family has blessed us so much!
I'm really starting to love the Latino people. They are so awesome! For the most part, they are really nice, and willing to help other people out. I really want to go study abroad in a Spanish speaking country sometime after my mission. But that is too far away to talk about for now.
I saw Elder Jordan Haslem today at the temple! He has a companion from Chile, and he's really awesome! Elder Haslem has been in the same area for more than the whole time I've been here! He told me he spoke in his Spanish ward this past Sunday! It sounds like he's doing pretty well!
We have this investigator . We have been working really hard with her! The other day we had the most intense lesson I've had on my whole mission with her! She has gone to other churches, and was baptized in another church, and she has some really really deep questions. But the best way to answer deep questions is with simple answers. We are hoping she will recieve a testimony of this church by her prayers. Please pray for her so she can progress! She could be an awesome member someday! She has had lots of trials in her life, but we know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can fix anything.
It is really awesome to think of how the Lord's work is going forth across the whole world! I love thinking about my friends in their missions all over the world, and we're all doing the same thing, inviting others to come unto Christ. I know this church is true with all my heart. Alesha, your testimony in your e-mail helped to strengthen my testimony as well. We are preparing the way of the Lord, and nothing can stop this work from going forth! I'M ENLISTED IN THE MOST POWERFUL ARMY ON EARTH! What a blessing! I'm so grateful for this opportunity the Lord has given me! I love you all and pray for you!
Elder R. Watkins