Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Conversions and an Ambulance

WOW WHAT A WEEK! Three of our investigators got confirmed in sacrament meeting yesterday, along with 4 other recent converts. The missionary work in South Gate 2nd ward is really taking a jump! It is exciting to see the fruits of our labors! One woman was sick, but she still came for all 3 hours of church, and she ended up going to the hospital after church. She isn't doing very well physically, but man doesn't live "by bread alone". She is much stronger spiritually now. I can't believe Jessica is getting married! That is really crazy! That is awesome that grandma and grandpa got permission to go to the wedding! Maybe they'll give me permission too....JUST KIDDING! That wouldn't happen in a million years! haha! I have a really crazy story to tell everybody: Yesterday we had a lesson with two people. We have taught both of them a few times, and this time we invited a Sister to come to the lesson with us after church. The lesson was at 3. She showed up, along with the two other members, and her son. So we sat in the lesson, a total of 9 of us in a tiny little apartment, and we started the lesson. Before we went to the lesson, Elder Cottrell told me that he wasn't feeling very well, but he decided to go to the lesson anyway. The lesson started getting a little contentious with the members. About 30 minutes into the lesson, Elder Cottrell turned to me and said "I think I'm going to pass out", so I told him I would try to wrap up the lesson as fast as I could. As she was talking, Elder Cottrell started turning really white, and his head started bobbing. Then shegot up to grab him, AND HE FAINTED! He completely lost consciousness and his head went back. The Sister grabbed him to hold him up in the chair, and she started doing something that looked a lot like the Heimlich Maneuver! Hahah! The room went frantic! As procedure goes, I called Sister Baker to get advice. Meanwhile, our investigator, was calling the ambulance! Hahah! Oh no! Then I asked Elder Cottrell if he wanted a blessing, and he gave me an unconscious "yes", which he doesn't remember saying. So I put my hands on his head, and started giving him a blessing. Then they layed him down on the ground while I spoke with the mission doctor, Elder Lymon. Elder Lymon told me to tell the ambulance to not take Elder Cottrell to the hospital, because it is really expensive, then he told me to wait 30 minutes while he drove over to where we were. Then the ambulance showed up and did their thing, and I told them that we had a doctor coming over, and we didn't give them permission to take Elder Cottrell to the hospital, and they had a release form we signed saying that if he dies it's our fault and not theirs. Then the members and investigators started feeding Elder Cottrell and they tood really good care of him while we waited for the doctor to show up. The doctor came and said that he would be alright, but that he just needed to eat. So we stayed there for a little while, the we were going to walk our bikes home, but the members didn't want Elder Cottrell to have to exert and energy, so a Sister (who is in her 60's) and (sisters son) rode our bikes home while we got a ride home from a Brother ! I got a picture of Sister Flores and Bryan riding our bikes, it was hilarious!! Then we got home and a sister went and bought us some food. Later on that night they all brought us groceries! It was really nice! But the best part about it: While we were waiting in our investigators' house, our investigator, , were talking, and when we were leaving, said she wanted to get baptized and she wanted Elder Cottrell to do to ordinance!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a day!!!!!!!! So, that was our day! We went back to the apartment and Elder Cottrell rested for the rest of the day. He has a recurring stomach issue that has taken him to the hospital before. His stomach was hurting him again, and he didn't eat very much yesterday, so he just lost it during the lesson. Looking back on it, it is really funny. But it was a little scary to see my companion faint during a lesson. This past week was full of lots of lessons. We taught about 21 lessons this past week. It was busy, but really fun and worth it! We even taught a lesson in a man's car! We are seeing a lot of activity in our area right now. Thanks be to God for his guidance in this work, or it wouldn't be possible. He has blessed us with a lot of people to teach. We went to teach a member of the church who hadn't been to church in years, and her boyfriend was there. We sat down and taught both of them, and he seems pretty interested! . Please pray for him! He didn't come to church, but his girlfriend came! I love this work. It is really hard, and really fun! And really worth it. I wouldn't rather be doing anything else right now. I don't have very much time right now, so I'll try to send pictures next week. I love you all. Thank you very much for your e-mails! I got a letter from Lisa Labrum and C-Bass Seitz this week. He is doing really well! Thanks for your support. May God be with you till we meet again. P.s. Transfers this week. Love, Elder ross WAtkins

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nos mojamos otra vez

This is Elder Chambers from Kansas, He knows the Brundiges!

This is a picture of 1/3 of my mission.

Chili Relleno, one of my favorite dishes to eat.

This past week was a dandy one. We taught a family of 6 yesterday!!! They are new investigators. They are a referral from a sister in our ward. We met the sister there to have a lesson with her and the family, and it turned out going pretty well. The parents only speak spanish, but the kids speak both languages. We had a nice lesson with them about the Restoration of the Gospel. Then at the end of the lesson we all kneeled down, and the dad offered the closing prayer. It was great! But bad news, it rained all day yesterday! Nos mojamos otra vez! But it's all good. We ate with our ward mission leader last night. He is a really busy man. He works with 10 missionaries in this ward! That is crazy!
Today we played soccer for a p-day activity again! It was really fun. Soccer p-days are always the best. We played in the gym in the church because it was raining. We have a really fun district.
Last night we went to a fireside with a man. He is still living in his truck. We invited him to come see a baptism next Sunday after church. We are hoping he will come.
The district leader came to my area to go on splits with my companion this week, so I got to go over to Watts to go on splits with the district leader's companion. Watts is really ghetto. Maybe you have heard of South Central before? Anyway, it is pretty much the most ghetto part of the whole mission. Have you ever heard of the Watts Towers before? I saw those down there. It was GOOOOOODDD. When I came back from splits, my companion said he heard gunshot in our area while I was gone! CRAZY! But don't worry, we are safe and happy. Nobody ever messes with the missionaries.
We went and did service at the senior center again. They had a St. Patrick's party. One of the ladies asked us to help grab the decoration, and an old lady said "don't rub your religion on my decorations!" haha! it was soooo funny!
We had interviews with President Baker this week. It went really nice. He is a super smart guy, and he gave me some good insites. He said to focus more on the blessings and miracles we see around us. So I've spent a lot of time thinking about how much God has given me. Everything I can think of is a blessing. Some blessings are trials, some are gifts, and some are just day to day things. I'm really grateful to be part of this great work. I'm especially grateful for the opportunity I have to have a knowledge of the fulness of the Gospel. I'm grateful that we have a prophet today. Because without prophets, we don't have the church of God. I'm grateful for prayer. I'm grateful for the scriptures, that so many people died for, and did all they could to preserve them. This church is true. I couldn't ever deny it. I'm really grateful for the family God has given me. They are definitely the best. I hope you all have a really great week! Love, Elder Watkins

Monday, March 14, 2011

Three baptisms yesterday!
Another pic of the 5 of us.
Playing soccer as a district on P-day, I love soccer!

WE HAD A SUPER SUNDAY!!!!! Three of our investigators were baptized yesterday!!!!! It was really awesome! We combined our baptismal service with some other Elders in our ward, and a total of 5 were baptized yesterday, and TONS of people showed up! There were so many people in the primary that there was standing room only! I baptized 2, and Elder Cottrell baptized 1. After the ordinance we had a really nice musical number with a Chinese Elder playing the violin, a Spaniard Elder played the piano, and four of us Gringos sang. It turned out really nice. Last night, after the baptism, we dropped by their house, and they are all doing really well! I don't remember if I told you, but they have been in a really hard financial situation, but she found a job! Sadly, she will have to work on Sundays though....But she will try to get them off when she can. Tonight we are having a giant FHE with the ward, and our new converts are going to be there. It will be a good time for them to get to meet more people in the ward. It was way awesome to have the ward's support at the baptism. SOUTH GATE IS AWESOME!

We taught a lesson in the park to a man named Pablo Diaz. He played minor league baseball in Mexico! He had been investigating different churches, and he decided he wanted to talk to us. He is the one that drove up to us on the street and asked for the church address. He came once, but he didn't make it yesterday. But we had a nice lesson with him in the park, and we set a baptismal date with him! We will be meeting with him again on Saturday, so pray for him please!!!!

Guess what we did for p-day today?? MORE SOCCER! We set up some garbage cans in the park and played as a district. I'll attach a picture of us at the park.

We have been working with a family from Hondouras. . They went inactive for a while, and we started meeting with them and they came back! Yesterday in church one of their sons recieved the Aaronic Priesthood! It is really awesome to see people change.

On Sunday we are going to have Stake Conference, which means that Sexto, my old Spanish ward, will be there! I'm really hoping to see Adriana and Jaime there! I wrote some of the people we baptized in Sexto a little while ago, so I'm hoping to hear from them!

Grandpa and Grandma, your mission sounds a LOT like mine! Traffic, people, lots of streets to get lost on, tons of converts, and tons of not-white people! It is awesome! We rarely see any white people in our area, only a couple times a day we'll see 1 or 2. And lots of Spanish speakers! We see some out-of-the-norm things happen in church as well. Haha we just get used to it I guess.

Guess what? We went and provided service at a Senior Center the other day! It was really funny. Have you ever heard of the Regal Red Hatters? They had a big fiesta at this senior center, and Elder Cottrell got to help out. We got to see a lot of old people dance haha. And we got to eat Gumbo! It was really good! We went around to a few different places this past week asking if we could provide service, and the Senior Center said they would have lots of service opportunities for us! So we might be going back on St. Patrick's day to help out with an event they are having.

Welp, that's all for this week. Of course, a lot of other things happened, but I don't have time, and nobody likes reading e-mails that never end. I love you all and pray for you. I know this is the work of the Lord!


Elder Ross Watkins

Monday, March 7, 2011

By Golly, I'm in my second year!

Me and my companion.

SUMMERTIME IS HERE!!!!! The weather is SO nice here! I'm really excited for summer again! I hope they keep me on bike this summer. It is always really nice riding home in the cool night weather after a long day of work. The work has been going well! We are working hard! Guess what! I got extra sick this past week, and I had to stay in again! I can't believe it! That is twice this transfer, and I've never had to do that before! It feels really weird having to stay in and do nothing. But now I'm feeling lots better, and we're out riding our bikes everywhere! The other day we had extra nice weather, and there were TONS of yardsales! I've never seen so many yardsales in my whole life! In just a few hours of riding our bikes between appointments, I counted 78 yardsales, 50 of which were on a single stretch of road!!! Latinos love yardsales, and it turns into a giant swapmeet!

I really like the e-mails from Grandma and Grandpa. It sounds like they had a nice journey to the other side of the USA. I'm glad to know that they will be returing just a few months after me. We'll have to go see them in the meantime. We'll have to come back here in the meantime as well. This place is awesome! Today for p-day our district went up to a big park in our area, and we had lunch and played SOCCER! Soccer p-days are always my favorite. It feels really good to play soccer again.

Dad, I like your journal entry. That is really neat! You'll have to keep sending those. Guess what? My companion said that I sleep-whistled other night!

The work has been great lately. 3 are ready to be baptized! It is crazy how we spend hours tracting and talking to people, and then people like Norma just fall into our hands when they show up at church! All three of them were able to come to church yesterday. They had been going a little to the Inglewood 2nd ward, and they met a few times with the missionaries over there. They have been prepared really well for the gospel. We are going to have their baptismal interviews this week, and we will be holding a joint-baptism with some other Elders in our ward next Sunday at 4. So there will be 5 people total added to the Kingdom of God on earth next Sunday! I'm really excited. South Gate hasn't had a baptism since December, and this is the highest baptizing ward in the whole mission! We have 5 companionships that work just in this ward! So now we are starting to see the fruits of our labors!

Hey Emily, have you ever heard of "shuffling"? It's a type of dancing, and all the kids here think it's really cool. But maybe that's ahead of Utah time. Dad says you will be driving a truck in the barn! That sounds awesome! You will have to share in a year! Thanks for the letter, that was really nice!

Hey Lindsey! Thanks for the letter! I'm excited to hear how soccer season goes for you this year! You asked me what you can do to get better. I think one of the best things you can do is lots of juggling. Juggling helped my foot control a lot. My legs were too long for me, so it was hard to control the ball. So juggling can help a lot, and running with the ball too. I'm happy to hear you wanted to invite somebody to church! Sometimes it is nice to invite people who are your age to come to Mutual. Then they can get some friends and they won't be too scared to come to church.

I'm gald to hear that things are going well at home. That is a blessing. The longer I'm out here, the more I realize how much God has given me. And He continues to give. His plan is perfect, and I will be eternally indebted to Him. I'm really grateful for such an awesome family to give me support. I love you all very much and pray for you each day!


Elder Ross Watkins