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.
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,
ELDER ROSS WATKINS