Monday, December 20, 2010




Another good week. The weather has really slowed us down, but we are still try hard to visit people. Elder Deleon is a good missionary. He is excited to do the work and has a good knowledge of the Gospel. He and Elder Doh are pretty quiet during lessons, but they are getting better. We are doing role plays during companionship study so they get more comfortable teaching. Elder Deleon loves this mission, and we are trying hard to train him well so he can be a great missionary when he goes to Brazil. He and Elder Doh will be speaking in Sacrament meeting next week. Our area is doing well. We have quite a few progressing investigators, but none of them came to church this week. It was disappointing, but we will keep trying. hard to get them to church. The family has quite a few Word of Wisdom problems, so we are going to push their baptismal date back a few weeks. We won't end up having any baptisms this month, but they will be happening in the near future. All is well in Zion (Hawthorne). We have been finding some good success in getting some less actives from the Tongan ward back to church. Our area is full of less active members, so we have spent a good deal of time trying to get them to come back to church. One of the families we are working with is a part member family, and there is always a nonmember who sits in and listens, so we are hoping to start teaching the non-members and invite them the best we can.


I have never seen weather like this in my life! It has been raining for 4 days straight! It rains all day long! We are soaked everywhere we go because we are on bikes. Aparently this is pretty crazy weather for Los Angeles! I can't believe how much it has rained! We haven't even seen the sun since last thursday! But the work keeps on going. We are working hard and trying to do our best.

Yesterday wasn't a very good day at chruch. Nobody came again. But they are doing fairly well in other aspects. An investigator seems to be gaining a stronger testimony. We went over to his house last week and he was pretty drunk. We tried teaching him, but it didn't do much good. So we came back another couple of times so we could teach him while he could think straight. He has a lot of doubts, and he says he doesn't want to live a few of the commandments, but he is gaining a testimony. A few weeks ago we left him with the Restoration DVD, and he told us he watched it 26 times since then! He really likes it, and he shares it with his family! But we have a few kinks to work out before he can get baptized. And we found out that he is only on probation until February! So we will work on that. He is probably about 27 years old, and he lives at home, and he is an Americanized Latino. Pray for him so that he will come to church. A really cool black lady, didn't come to church this week either. She had a pretty good excuse with a 10 minute story to go along with it though. Then We found out about some Word of Wisdom problems that we will have to work out before they can get baptized. Plus one is on probation until this summer, so he will have to wait for that to finish up before he can get baptized.

Hey mom, I had a small accident on my bike and I ripped a hole in my slacks, so I sewed them up this morning!

Elder Deleon is a neat guy. He is my new trainee! He is from Atlanta Georgia. He is waiting on his visa to go to Brazil, so he could leave within a few days, or it could be a few months. We are just waiting for the phone call. He is a good hard worker. He is pretty quiet, but he will break out of it soon.

Thank you for the packages! I got a lot of letters and packages this past week! Mom! I really like the Christmas tree! It put all of the pictures up! And I will work on the tinsel and snow later. Thanks for the package from the Merrell Grandparents! I really really like it! Those socks will be a really good addition to all my socks with holes! The food is all good too! And I really liked the pictures you sent. I have to admit, I got a little emotional when I saw all the pictures of family and everything. I'm really excited to call home this week! One of my companions will probably call Friday night and set up a time to call for Saturday. I will call Grandpa's phone first, and if that doesn't work I will call dad's! I can't wait to hear everybody's voices again! I sound more like a man now. Hey mom, I haven't opened the presents yet. That's some good self-control that I didn't have before! Remember when I used to always find the presents way before Christmas? Not this year.

I love going to peoples' homes and sharing our Christmas message. Christmas time is the best time of year. My companion, Elder Doh, is from Burma. In his country most of the people a Buddists,and don't believe in Christ, but they still celebrate Christmas. Everybody recoginizes this Holiday. Some don't know why they celebrate it, but we do. This is a great time to remember Christ. A time when we can mention His name everywhere we go. And everybody can talk about Him, and it's "politically correct". We shout out "Merry Christmas" in all our acts as missionaries. We talk about Him, testify of Him, and invite others to come unto Him. Merry Christmas to everybody. I hope it is a good one.

I love you all!,

Elder Ross Watkins

Monday, December 13, 2010

Greetings From Sunny California!


This week went really well in our area. Out of our six people with baptismal dates, five of them came to church! And one of them brought a friend! It was a really rewarding Sunday. I was happy to be able to speak in Sacrament while they were there as well. We have one investigator who has been progressing pretty well, but we found out he is on probation for the next three years. It is kind of a let-down, but we will try to get him active in church, so when the three years are up he can get baptized. We also found out about some Word of Wisdom and other problems we will have to work out with the family before they can get baptized. This family has been through a lot of trials in their lives, and on top of that, the mother is a single mother. So it really helps to have a member there to help keep things in order during the lessons, because the family is more attentive with a member present.

I'm really excited about the call to train a visa waiter. Being in a trio will be good, and we will all work hard together. Sorry I can't help him out with his Portuguese, but maybe I can taint his mind with some Spanish. We are working hard and the Lord is blessing us for our efforts.

Elder Watkins

So there's my report to president that I send to him.

Things have been going great. Our investigators are progressing! We have a few things to work out before they can get baptized, but at least they are on their way there! I'm happy to hear dad will be teaching the teens in church! That will be good. I got my package from G-ma and G-pa in Missouri! It is full of really really good food! Grandma made a big tin full of a tasty treat thing, and it's really addictive! I haven't received the package from home yet, but I should get it by this friday I think.

President called me last night and asked me if I would train an Elder who is waiting for a visa to go to Brazil! The MTC sends lots of visa waiters to this mission! So I will find out who he is tomorrow when I go up to the mission home, and we will be in a trio for the rest of the transfer! We will have a full house! This will be my third trio!

Today I went to a choir practice for our mission-wide Christmas devotional. The whole mission will be getting together on Christmas morning, and we will have a whole bunch of musical performances. I think we will be doing a service project as a zone on Christmas, but we don't know for sure right now.

The weather is HOT here. Yesterday was a really warm day! Wow! There are lots of Christmas lights and decorations all over the place too! I love telling people that we go up in the mountains every Thanksgiving and we cut down a pine tree, and drag it back to the truck in the snow. They all think that is pretty awesome. A lot of people here have real trees, but they are all store-bought.

Yesterday the ward choir sang in the Tongan ward. WOW! I've never heard such a beautiful ward choir! It was like half of the congregation was up on the stand, and they sang an amazing song, and it sounded like the Mo-tab! Of course, I didn't understand a single word they sang, but it was really loud and pretty! Tongans are really awesome people. They are really powerful in the gospel. The bishop of the English ward is a Tongan too. My talk in Sacrament Meeting went pretty well. I used the example of my first job, when we would dig the holes and pack the dirt for the foundations of houses. I remember when mom said that would be a good example to use in a talk, so I did it! Remember that mom?

I'm really excited to call home (or wherever I'll be calling)! I need grandpa's phone number! I hope this turns out to be an awesome Christmas for everybody! It's really nice being on a mission and not worrying about getting presents or anything, and just serving others. It helps me to focus on what is really important. Jesus Christ is our Savior, and this is His time of year. I love the Savior, and I am really grateful for God's plan for us. Let me know if there is anything I can do for anybody at home. Keep strong in the gospel, and everything will work out. I like to tell the people that we teach that the gospel is really simple-- we can keep the commandments and be happy, or we can break the commandments and be sad. It really is as simple as that. Those who keep the commandments are "blessed both spiritually and temporally" according to Mosiah 2:41. I love you all and I wish the best for you.

Love, your son, friend, brother, relative, napkin(alesha), and fellow servant of the Lord,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Best and Worst Week

As you can tell, this past week was awesome/terrible! I couldn't believe that none of our investigators came to church! They all backed out! On Saturday 6 of our 8 appointments backed out or weren't home. Then yesterday after church we had appointments from 3pm to 6pm, but none of them were home! Then we had our dinner appointment, and our appointment after that wasn't home! It is really frustrating when we ride our bikes to people's homes, and they aren't there when we have an appointment with them. And on top of that, it was raining last night. I was way excited to set seven baptismal dates this past week! But it was devestating that none of them came to church. We will try as hard as we can to get them to church this next week. Yesterday an investigator called me and said that he had been reading his Book of Mormon a lot! I was really happy to hear that. His is on 1 Nephi 7 now! He said that his family was trying to get him to drink alcohol with them, but he said he remembered reading about temptation in the Book of Mormon, so he had the strength to resist! The Book of Mormon has POWER!
Guess what!? I ate HORSE MEAT last night! We ate with a Tongan family and they made really good horse meat for us! It reminded me of elk meat. It was kind of tough and gamey tasting, but it was pretty good. Apparently it was a horse from Utah! The Tongans get their horse meat from Utah!
This is the most trunky time of year! I really like the picture of you all in the mountains in the snow! I wish I could be there, but I have a work to do. The weather is really nice here. It is still warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt during the daytime. It gets kind of cool at night, but not enough to wear a winter coat.
My new zone is really awesome. We played dodgeball today for a p-day activity. Our zone is really successful right now, and we are finding lots of people to baptize.
I am making a big map of our area right now. You know how I love maps! I'm a map guy. And I'm planning on marking where all the members, less-active members, investigators, and potential investigators live. Maybe I'll send a picture after I'm finished.
I hope December is going really well for everybody! It sounds like you are going to have a ton of fun in Missouri. (Hey, while you are there, you should think about reserving a part of grandma and grandpa's backyard so we can build our house there when the saints are called to gather in Missouri). FIRE IN THE HOLE! Send me pictures! And Marty and Christy's family will be there too! Tell Sam and Jake Hi! Or maybe I'll just tell them hi when I call on Christmas! Send me grandpa's phone number. We will probably be calling in the evening, because we have free minutes after six I think. But I will find out.
Mom, Dad, I am working really hard! We are trying so hard to do this work, but it has been really really hard lately. We are having a hard time finding people at home and having set appointments. But we won't give up. Because I know that God has a work for me to do, and I will do it, no matter how hard it is at times. I know that Jesus is the Christ. God's plan is perfect. Hey guess what? I'm speaking about temples in Sacrament meeting next week. I'm excited. I really hope our investigators can be there next week.
I love you all. It was really good to hear from Emily and Lindsey this past week! Lindsey always has really funny letters! And that is awesome that Emily is so consistent in going to the Temple. She will be blessed a ton for that. It is really great to hear for dad too. I CAN'T BELIEVE AMANDA IS GETTING MARRIED! I got a wedding announcement from them. That is crazy! She will have a kid by the time I get home! She is too young. Oh well. That's life. I'm really glad she's getting married in the temple! That will be really awesome! Are you planning on going to that? I would. I'm glad to hear that the whole family is doing so well! I love you all. Keep working hard and doing the Lord's will, because it is so worth it! I had an experience with the Holy Ghost that I want to share! This past week we got a phone call to go give a blessing. So I grabbed my oil, and got ready to ride of on our bikes, but then I felt like I should grab my backpack. I didn't want to, so I ignored the feeling. Then Elder Doh, said that I should grab my backpack. But I ignored him. Then I felt impressed a third time to grab my backpack. So I went inside and put my backpack on, then left. We got to their house, and I got my oil out of my pocket to give the blesssing, and it was empty! Thankfully, I had an extra vile of oil in my backpack! It was awesome! I love you all! Bye!
Love, Elder Ross Watkins