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