Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Great Week!

Ross took a picture of these signs, he says there are many crazy, confusing parking signs all over L.A.

Hello!!!! We had an awesome week! Lots of good things happened! I have three of my companions sitting by me right now! Elder Doh, Elder Gonzalez, and Elder Reichman are all doing e-mail here at the family history center at the visitors' center. It's like a reunion!
I'm happy to hear about Rachael's wedding. I got a wedding announcement from them. Did you say they are our neighbors?? That is pretty awesome! How far do they live from us?

Welp, we have some sad news. Our main investigator didn't make it to church. He's not very interested anymore. But the good news is that we had tons of recent converts at church, and a few investigators! Woo! It was a good Sunday. We found a new family to teach, and the mom and her kids came to the classes, but they missed sacrament meeting. It is pretty neat because the mom is from El Salvador, and the father is from Hondouras, and he is black! So the kids are black and they speak spanish! It is really weird to see black people that speak spanish, but really neat.
We had a neat experience last night with prayer! We were on the streets at about 7:30, and we couldn't figure out what to do next, and we were all out of ideas. So I suggested that we say a prayer. So when there weren't any cars we said a prayer on the corner of 36th street and 7th avenue, then we waited to feel an answer. We thought for a second, then one of our investigators came to mind. Her name is G, from El Salvador. Her husband is a member, and she has been investigating the church for a couple years, but hasn't been able to get baptized due to some legal issues. So we went over, and they told us that it was really good that we showed up because they were having a hard time. So we sat down and read a little out of Mosiah 18 and talked about baptism. Then we set a baptismal date for the end of March!! I won't be here to see the baptism, but it was really good to set that goal with them!
Guess what? We are going to have a Family Home Evening with two of our members and Bishop's family tonight! Awesome!!! I love it when the ward works with us!!! Hey mom and dad, you should invite somebody over for a family home evening sometime (preferably somebody that isn't active or that isn't a member, or that is a part-member family). We are trying to have the members host FHEs for investigators and recent converts. eet ees beddy goot (say that with a Chinese accent and it sounds really funny).
We had a good experience with a man and his wife this past week! He got baptized last year when I was in this area, and a little while after he got baptized he got a good job on Sundays, and quickly went less-active. But then we got him to come back to church this year, and he got the Priesthood and everything, and his wife finally came back to church this past week! So we went over on Tuesday and talked to both of them, and they have been going through a really hard time. Then they told us about how they were going through a super hard time earlier this year, and they were thinking about divorce, but then they recieved a letter I had written to them while I was in Lynwood, and she said that helped them out a lot and helped keep them together! It was amazing to hear that a little letter went such a long way!
Guess what?! I'm SUPER EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! General Conference is the capitan of all church meetings. It is like Christmas for missionaries! This will be my last General Conference as a missionary. Maybe they will predict the earthquake in California. I know exactly where my 72 our kit is, just in case.
Thanks for the CD! I listen to it every day in the car! It is a really nice one. Very missionary-appropriate.
Welp, I love you all! I hope you have an awesome week! I know this church is true!
Love, Elder Watkins

Monday, September 19, 2011

Training a New Companion

My new companion, Elder Reichman from Broomfield, Colorado.

So, mom and dad, you got to know about transfers before I could tell you. Another new companion! It was a CRAZY week! We have been running all over the place dropping of and picking up missionaries, trainings, meetings, stake conference, and best of all MISSIONARY WORK!!!!!!!!! We didn't get very much time in our area last week because we were so busy. But the time that we did get was a huge blessing! We found some awesome people! Elder Reichman's first door contact we found a new investigator!!! We set a goal during weekly planning to talk to at least 10 other people evey day. So we had a little bit of extra time yesterday, so we left our car and started contacting. We had contacted about 7 people when a lady talked to us from her porch and asked us what we do. We explained to her what missionaries do and she started getting really interested. She told us that she needed a church in her life, and that she would like to talk to us another time. So we will be going back this next week. We set a baptismal date with a guy, But then he didn't go to church. Bummer. We are having a really hard time getting people to go to church. Dad, will you buy us a bus so we can have somebody from the ward come and pick all these people up???? For some reason, coming to church is always the hardest commitment. The P family didn't make it either. They are really hard to contact, but they have soooo much potential!!!
W went and did baptisms for the dead too!!! That was really awesome! She just got baptized 2 months ago, and now she is already going to the temple! We are going to have an FHE with her and her whole family tonight. Pray for her husband. We really want him to come to church with her.
My district changed a whole bunch! My whole district is made up of english speaking missionaries except for my companion and I, which makes splits a lot harder, because I have a Spanish area, and their areas are English areas. So either my poor companion who is learning spanish will be abandoned in the area with a non-spanish-speaker companion, or I will attempt to train other missionaries in a language they don't understand if I bring them to the area with me. I'll figure it out somehow.
Thank you for sending me my friends' e-mails! It's always good to hear from them. Tyler and David are almost done! Will they be back before Christmas?
I'm really upset about the whole Utah, BYU thing. I don't want to talk about it. I haven't heard anything about it here. Most latino people aren't into college football (actually nobody is into it).
Yesterday we had stake conference. This was my 3rd stake conference in this stake. You know what I realized today? I have been in this stake my whole mission except for the 1 transfer when I was in Hawthorne. It is an all-spanish stake. I want to go to our spanish branch when I go home and work with the missionaries there. Do you think that would be a good idea?
Welp, I want you to know that we are working super hard and doing our best at being super obedient. Missions are awesome. I'm really grateful that God has given me a chance to do this great work. The blessings are amazing. I know the church is true and God has a perfect plan for us! Love you!
Elder Watkins

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunny California

This is my district!
This is a banana tree in front of our apartment.

Hello! It is a beautiful sunny day here in southern California. The other day it was cloudy for about half the day, but that's just about the biggest change in the weather we've had in the past 4 or 5 months. It is really nice, but I do miss rain, snow, clouds, and seasons in general. But it sure does make missionary work nice. We spend a lot of time walking and contacting on the streets and knocking on doors. Our area is sooo small, and for some reason they give us 1,000 miles each month to use on our car. We've never even got close to that. I would much rather spend time on the sidewalk.
Guess what?! We had been having a really rough week trying to teach people, but we continued working really hard, and we got a couple miracles from our hard work! Two random investigators just showed up at church yesterday!!! They were people we've never even met before! One of them is from Oaxaca, Mexico! We set up an appointment with her. A member brought her to church! Yay members!!! The other one came with some family that were visiting from Arizona. But both of them live in our area! Yay!!! Woohoo! An investigator also came to church. Her baptismal process is going to take a few months, but she is doing really well, and has a strong testimony.
We are planning on having some of our recent converts go to baptisms for the dead this week with the ward!!! That should be really awesome!
We are going to have a couple FHEs tonight with recent converts!!! Woooo. Being a missionary is awesome!
Transfers will be this Wednesday. This past transfer went by uber fast. Elder Gonzalez is a really great missionary! We are working super hard, and finding some great success.
The most delicious thing I ate this past week was actually a plate of rice, beans, and eggs. Seriously, it was delicious! The Salvadorians have this really good cream that they put on beans and rice. It's like a mix between sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream. I love it. I hope I can find it in Vernal. You would like it. All the Latin people think it's really weird that I like beans so much. They don't think white people like rice and beans. I tell them that my mother makes it too. The Latin people think that us white people only eat hotdogs and hambugers and sandwiches. Then I tell them about the delicious food that my mother makes. They have like a zillion different ways of making rice, beans, and chicken. But not much variety other than that. I really like Chile Relleno. I had a new vegetable called "Chayote". It is like a mix between a potato and a squash. It's really good. I like all vegetables now mom. I won't complain anymore when you make things with peppers, onions, and tomatoes. I even like squash. I think my tastebuds have matured. But now I like really spicy foods. So that weak sauce I used to eat at home (the green and red bottles) isn't going to cut it hahaha.
Something happened that made me miss Utah this past week... We were at the church building (which is just across the street from UCS), and I started seeing all these people wearing UofU apparel. The scouts were selling parking spots for all the cars that were going to the big football game! I got to talk to a few people from Utah. I met a man from Heber too. We were at the church because we were going to meet an investigator there, but the investigator never came. One man from Utah offered to buy us tickets to the game haha, but we kindly denied the offer. But it felt really weird to be around all of that! Utah is such a great place!
Welp, that's all for now. I love you all. Thanks for everything! The church is definetly true. Nothing else makes sense. The authority of God has been restored, and so has the other testament of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon. It's true. That's for sure! I love the scriptures. And most of all, I'm really grateful for the Savior. Have an awesome week!
Love, Elder Watkins

Monday, September 5, 2011

Slow computers but a great week!

All trying to e-mail home on really slow computers!

Hello family! I'm on a really slow computer this week. I think it
was made before the church was restored. There couldn't have been any
revelation on the earth when this computer was made, because it is
much too slow and behind the rest of the world. So my e-mail won't be
very long, but I'm trying to attach pictures.
We had an awesome week. Our lessons with President went well. I
think he's been going out with all of the district leaders to a few
lessons, just to see how they work in when they teach. We had a really
spiritual lesson with a couple new investigators, but they aren't
ready to accept the gospel for the moment.
An investigator and his mom came to sacrament meeting yesterday!!! They
loved it!!! The spirit was really strong, and the testimonies seemed
to be directed towards them. There was one 20 year old man that got up
and talked about coming to church for his first time when he was 13
years old, and now he is getting ready to go on a mission. Our investigator is 13
years old as well! He and his mom sat on the front row, and they
looked like they loved it. I really hope they can get baptized this
month. We had an awesome lesson with him the other day. He felt the
spirit really strong, and he wants to be baptized!!! We hope to set a
baptismal date with them this week. Saddly, our other investigator didn't make it to
church. We took a member to his house last night for our lesson, but
he was sleeping, so it didn't work out. Please pray for him ! But
other than that, we are working really hard and finding tons of people
to teach!!! We have been focused on trying to teach more lessons each
week and finding new people to teach, and the Lord has been blessing
How is everything at home?? Mom said we are going to build a rock
wall! Cool! That sounds awesome. The weather has been cooling down a
little here. It's really nice. We are still waiting for rain
though...we might have to wait until December for that though.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDSEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are becoming so
ripe! I will eat you up when I get home. Dad says you are a good
driver. Better than me?????????????????????? We will race hot-wheels
when I get home to see who is the better driver. I love you! Mom said
you made your first goal too!!! That is way cool!! You should e-mail
me and tell me about it!
Oh yeah, my companion and I taught the Book of Mormon class this
past Wednesday. It went really well.
Welp, I hope you all have an awesome week! I love you all! I know
that the church is true, and that Jesus Christ is our Saviour. The
Book of Mormon is true and really awesome!!! Bye!
Love, Elder Watkins