Monday, February 28, 2011


ONE YEAR! Crazy how fast time goes by! This has been the fastest year of my life. Lots of ups and downs, and plenty of hard work. I don't really know how to summarize the past year. I can barely even remember what happened. I'll make an inventory: I'm in my fourth area. I started south of Korea town, in an area called Arlington Heights, and I was there for 1 transfer. While I was there I covered the Wilshire ward in English as well as the Sexto ward in Spanish. My trainer and I were flushed down to an area just south of my first area, and that was when the mission went through the language switch, so I only covered a Spanish ward, which was still the Sexto ward. I stayed there (Jefferson Park) for 4 transfers, during which time I had two more companions. My last transfer there I was made a senior companion. While in the Sexto ward we had a lot of success, and it was an exciting/busy time of my mission. For my 6th transfer I was sent down south of Iglewood in an area called Hawthorne. While there I covered the Centinella 1st and 2nd wards, which were English and Tongan respectively. I was the breaker for a fairly new missionary, and in our 3rd week we got another companion who was waiting for a visa to go to Brasil. I was only there for 1 transfer, then I was kicked out to the border of the mission, nearby Compton and Watts, in an area called North Lynwood. I'm in my second transfer in this area, and we cover the South Gate 2nd ward, which is a Spanish ward. Sadly, I haven't seen any baptisms since I was in Jefferson Park, but we continue to work very hard. It totals up to 6 companions, 5 wards (in 3 different languages), and 4 areas, and millions of blessings! What a year!

Welp, I hope that didn't bore you to death! It has been a busy year. Now let's get to the nitty gritty: North Lynwood has seen a ton of blessings lately! We set 2 baptismal dates!!!! We met with 2 people, who have been going to the Inglewood 2nd ward for awhile, but then the guy that took them over there decided to come to his proper ward, and that is where we met They live right in the middle of our area. They are from El Salvador, and they are really humble people. They have one daughter who is 6 years old, and they have been prepared to receive the gospel! We had a nice lesson with them on Saturday, and we set a baptismal date for the 13th of March. They weren't able to come to church yesterday because Jose and their daughter got sick, so we might push the baptismal date back. They really want to know the truth, so please pray for them!

Guess what? I got sick again! I don't know where it is coming from. I've never been such a sick person before. It makes the work a little harder to do, but it doesn't stop it! Hey mom, you should send that motab cd! It is allowed if it is "consistent with the sacred spirit of (my) calling". That's what the white handbook says. Guess what! We have an elder from Spain in our district now! He has a funny accent. Guess what else! I get to be on my mission for 2 years and 5 days. I will come home a year from tomorrow! crazy! I hear that the second year goes by even faster than the first.

I want you to know that I am working really hard, and that I love you a lot! It's a hand to hand combat with satan here in Los Angeles, but with the Lord on our side, anything is possible. Hey mom, if you have any more pages of grandpa Ross's mission journal, I think I would like that in the package if that is possible. I love you all a whole bunch and I'm really grateful for all the blessings God gives us. Good luck to grandma and grandpa on the other side of the U.S.! I know this is God's work, and I could never deny it.


Elder Ross Watkins

Monday, February 21, 2011


Making mexican sausage from cow cheeks and lymph nodes, the yellow is the fat.

Me eating Elote! Elote! which is roasted corn on the cob with butter, cheese and chili powder. I bought it at a street vendor cart. Delish!

This past week has been a HUGE ROLLERCOASTER!
To start off, last Tuesday, Elder Cottrell and I did missionary work the ol' fashion way: WE WALKED! We decided we would do a "finding day", and just walk everywhere and talk to everybody. It was pretty awesome. We talked to tons of people, taught lessons on the sidewalk, and went to our regular appointments. It was a nice change from riding bikes everywhere.
Then, on Wednesday we had transfers! Nothing changed for us. We are both staying here in North Lynwood. But they added a chunk to our area, so now we have a huge bike area! They probably noticed how manly I was so they figured I could handle riding really far.
. Then, on Friday, I got really sick! We went to District meeting, then came back home and I felt too bad to be able to work. I wanted to go out, but I felt too weak. Then I got some pretty nasty effects from the sickness. So we had to stay home the whole day. Then, Elder Cottrell got the same thing as me that night, so we couldn't go out until about 2pm on Saturday. It felt really weird to stay home and do nothing.
And here I am on Monday. We've been going through the purifying fire lately. The work is hard here, but we are too tough to give up. I'm just as happy as ever! It is amazing how we can be in the middle of everything worldly, but still hang on by our faith, and that keeps me happy. Elder Cottrell is a fun guy to be around, and we are working really hard together.
Hey WOO! I really liked the pictures that dad sent me! I put them In a little photo album I have. It's really nice to see the faces of my family! You're not that far away, but I still can't see you, no matter how hard I look to the northeast haha! Probably because the smog is too thick!!! haha! And thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Watkins for the great package! The cookies are really good! And thanks Grandma and Grandpa Merrell for their gift as well, it has already come in handy!
I love you all very much! I'm glad to hear things are so well at home! God blesses us when we follow His guidelines. I know that this church is true! I know that we have the direct authority of God. Have a super week!
Elder R. Watkins

Monday, February 14, 2011


Jennifer made this cake for me!
On my birthday a member Jennifer gave me a party!

I'm 20, and a MAN! I feel 100% man now. A complete MAN! And it's great! A full grown man.

My birthday was good. We did missionary work! A friend made me a good dinner and a cake! It was nice. We couldn't stay long though. They wanted to have a party, but we aren't allowed to haha. We could only stay an hour for dinner. We had district meeting on my birthday, so I made some cookies to take and eat with my district. Next week I will be a year old in the mission. Crazy! It has been a realy fast year!

Yesterday we had a really good day at church! We had 5 investigators show up for Sacrament meeting! That is a record for this transfer. By the way, the is the longest transfer ever, literally! It is a 7 week transfer! I feel like I've been here forever! The transfer in Hawthorne was only 5 weeks, and it went by super fast. I have no idea what transfer calls will say. I'm guessing that Elder Cottrell and I will stay together for next transfer. But I've found that guessing isn't very accurate on the mission. I'm almost always wrong haha! Things are getting really really hot out here! I'll bet we hit 80 the other day! The weather here is so perfect that there is no way of telling what season it is! I can't complain though, because I haven't spent any time pushing snow while I've been here! But seriously, the weather is perfect. But anyway, it was really awesome to have so many people at church! We have a lady named Rafaela who was a referral from the sister missionaries. She is way ready for the gospel. She is really old and sick, but she enjoyed church, and we are hoping to set a baptismal date with her this week. We have a new investigator ! She is awesome! She has been going to church over at the Inglewood stake center, and some Elders over there have been teaching her. But she actually lives in our area! She came to church at our building and now she will be meeting with us! We don't know her very well yet, but we are meeting with her this week. The work here in North Lynwood was really slow 7 weeks ago, but now it is really busy all the time! And I'm really grateful for all the blessings God has given us here. He has helped us a lot in finding people to teach. I was bummed when I first got here and I saw that we didn't have any progressing investigators. It makes me glad to know that God hears my prayers and he always provides a way to do what He wants us to do.

This past transfer I've experienced a lot of different challenges. Satan knows when we are doing well, and he does all he can to keep us from being happy. He has a lot of different tricks up his sleeve. But he has absolutely no power over the faithful follower of Christ. Elder Cottrell and I have been approached a couple times by other religions who try to persuade us that we are wrong. This particular occassion this man rode up to us on his bike, and started telling us what he believed. He wasn't nice about it at all. He just wanted to preach to us and tell us that we were wrong. I told him that we were there to preach the gospel and not be preached to. I was so angry that I decided just to walk off instead of fight with him. Contention is of the devil. So I started riding off, and my companion followed, while the man was swearing at us. It was one of the most intense experiences of opposition of my whole mission, but we played it like Joseph of old, and fled the scene. Thanks to the Spirit, and a righteous choice, we were able to have the Spirit with us. And there have been plenty of other things like that this transfer. I know that God provides a way for us to excape the pull of Satan. It is almost never easy, but it is ALWAYS worth it. I testify that God knows and loves us. He knows and understands our situations.

I love you very much, and I know that God loves you too. Thanks for all your support for me on this mission for the Lord. It isn't easy, but I sure am trying hard. Los Angeles can be a rough place, but there are plenty of people here who are ready to hear the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Gospel is the only thing that can bring lasting happiness. I love Mosiah 2:41. I says that "those who keep the commandments of God are blessed in all things, both temporal, and spiritual". I know this is true. I hope you have a super week! I'll let you know how transfers go when I email next week! Love,

Elder Ross Watkins

Monday, February 7, 2011

Almost a Man

We came across this sign while tracking yesterday. A Salt Lake Avenue in Los Angeles!
In front of the mission home. It is being demolished.
Well, guess what? I WILL BE A MAN ON FRIDAY! I will be a 20 year old MAN! I can already see the transformation in myself, because I'm starting to look more and more like dad, with less and less hair on my scalp haha! Thank you for the package! I really like it. There is nothing like new garments. That is the first time I've had new garments in a whole year! And mom, I'm really excited for the jams! I had the apple cinnamon one on some toast this morning, and it was really good! I will try to make the cake this week if I can. I also got a letter from cousin Sam! It sounds like he is doing really well, and he will be an awesome missionary some day. I also got a package from the Horton family, and from Tammy and Peter. It was a good week for mail!

So church turned out to be pretty successful yesterday! We invited a man to come to church, and he came with his girlfriend, and they really liked the testimony meeting. I'm always nervous bringing new investigators to testimony meeting for their first time at church. But it was a really nice, spiritual meeting, so we have a return appointment with them this week, and they agreed to come to church this upcoming Sunday!

Funny experience this past week. I did some serious sleep talking a few days ago: It was nighttime, and I was sitting crosslegged on my bed, and I said "my purpose as a missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ". I wasn't awake, but I could tell I was talking. Elder Cottrell woke up and said, "Elder Watkins, what did you just say?". I replied, "I said, my purpose as a missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ." He responded, "Elder Watkins, are you awake?" And I said "yeah, of course I'm awake. What time is it?" I looked at the clock and it was 1 in the morning. I then realized that I had just been sleeptalking, and got kind of embarrassed! HAHA! It was really weird, but really funny when we talked about it when we woke up. It was really weird because I felt like I was awake, but I was sleeptalking! I guess I know my missionary purpose pretty well if I'm reciting it in my sleep!

The work is going well. We have a few people that are really really hard to contact. A lot of people in this area work tough, long hours, so it makes it hard to meet with people. But we are working hard and the Lord is putting people in our path.

Hey guess what, my trainer, Elder Hopoate, got married this past week! He will be moving back to Tonga this month too!

Well, another good week as a missionary. Missionary work is awesome. I will do it for life. There is no way I will finish with this mission. There will be many more after this one. We have the best news in the world, and there are people waiting to hear it. I know Jesus is the Christ. Joseph Smith restored His church, and gift of the Holy Ghost is really powerful. I love you a whole bunch, and thanks for your support. I'm sorry to hear about Bon qui qui. She was a good looking car. Maybe Emily can drive the skid steer to school, that way she can have the coolest diesel in the high shool. I'm happy to hear about your temple opportunity Emily. That will be a serious blessing. Take care, and let me know if you need anything.


Elder Ross Watkins