Monday, September 29, 2014

Last Email

I am a disciple of Christ, and I love my name, Sister Watkins. I have served a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and man have I loved it!!!!! These passed 18 months have been full of sorrow, illness, awkwardness, anger, complete joy, love, and happiness. I have sat in the refinery of life and allowed my Savior to sculpt me and help me become a true daughter of God and disciple. It's been hard, but 100% worth it. I will never forget the memories I have made, the people I have met, and the feelings I have felt. I know that this is the true church and how grateful I am to have this knowledge and to share it with all mankind. I'm not sure how my feelings are about coming home... denial, but I know that my time has come and I have a new mission to embark on.

This week was a really great week!! We met a lot of new people who God has truly prepared to accept the gospel. One of the girls name is Breanna and she is just soaking up the gospel. She loves it!!! She has a date for the 26th of October. The first day we taught her I was on exchanges in my area with Sister Campbell. When we taught the restoration you could just see the joy and truth enter into this 19 year old girl. I love her already and I'm excited to hear what happens with her.

NASA was AMAZING!!! There are a lot of members that work there, and now I know why. You would have to have the truth in your life, or at least know that God lives and is the creator of all things. The work they do truly is from God. We toured through the museum and then got a tour of the actual facilities where astronauts train and we got to see the mission control room :) Right when we left the museum it started to down pour and we were completely soaked before we got to our car... haha it just happens to be that we had a lesson right afterwards at one of our members home with our investigator Larry. It was a SUPER good lesson .The spirit was definitely felt. Larry is a really strong Catholic and is having a hard time in the concept of baptizing, and why we don't baptize children. We have tried everything to try and teach this, but nothing seems to work. We were praying A TON and really feel prompted to just focus on his family history, and get him a login account for We will be meeting him at the library this week to do that.

Speaking of family history, we are allowed to do 2 hours of our own family history a week. This past week Sister Elliott and I both found 5 names :) This Thursday we will be doing baptisms for the dead, confirmations, and intiatories, with one of our members. Then on Friday I have the missionary departure temple trip and I will do the endowment for the name mom found me :) I am SO EXCITED!!!

Our investigator Ernest is really changing. He wasn't very accepting of the Book of Mormon when we first started teaching him, but now he wants to come to church and live the word of wisdom :) I love seeing the changes that can be made in some ones life as they live the gospel. Sadly he wasn't able to come to church this past weekend, but hopefully for conference this week.

For all the women, wasn't women's conference AMAZING!! Wow! Our stake had over 300 women show up for the conference, and we had a big service project that we did and dinner before the conference started. I just heard that my stake was in the October New Era. It's the Friendswood Stake. It is an incredible stake. I will have to tell you all the amazing things they are doing when I get home.

Yesterday was a harder day. We were trying a lot of people, but know was home or they told us to come another day. But the very last house we tried let us come in.  His name is Lupe and his friend was there as well and her name is Denise. Guess what... their HISPANIC!! :) We had an amazing lesson on the Restoration, and guess what? They really really really want to know if it is true. Denise actually took the discussions from elders when she was little with her family, and her brother almost got baptized. They are super cool, and I'm super bummed I wont be here to keep teaching them. They are both planning on coming to conference with us this week :)

I love this work and it really has changed me. I'm not sure I am truly ready to come home, but I am excited to see y'all. I love you all with all my heart. 
Con mucho amor,

Hermana Watkins 

Monday, September 22, 2014


 I am only going to write like a paragraph. Today we are going to NASA!!!! Wha whoooooooo :) The car elders in my district got in a bad accident and lost their car privileges... so we got the rest of their miles for the month, so we have a lot of miles that we're not going to use this month and we decided to use them wisely and go to NASA!!! 
August 2014 pictures.  Emily is on the second row to the right wearing a blue dress and white cardigan
This week was WET! It rained almost everyday all day, and we had a couple times where we had to stay in a couple hours because the roads were flooded, but all in all it was a very successful week. We received quite a bit of news and we are really excited to go back and to teach them more. We are still working a lot with the members and having a lot of service opportunities.  I also got to go back to my old church building while my companion was meeting with a doctor. It was amazing how so many memories just flooded my mind when I pulled into the parking lot. Yesterday and saturday we had stake conference, more like, General conference. It was amazing!!! I really felt like I was listening to the prophet and apostles speak. I will have to share with you some other time all the amazing things I learned. 

Well I hate to do this, but this is all I will be sending home this week.Just know I love you very much, and I loved hearing from all of you today. Have a wonderful week!!


Hermana Watkins

Monday, September 15, 2014

Charity For All

"Because I have been given much I too must give" - Jacob 2:17. This was the quote and scripture we put on the back of the Pay It Forward cards we gave to all of our members with a plate of cookies. Right now our main focus is Charity. We have committed to love everyone, and to help others spread that love. Last Tuesday Sister Elliott and I made over 6 dozen chocolate chip cookies and put them on individual plates for the member families in our area. We had a short lesson with each of them about how amazing missionary work is and how awesome you feel when you do it. We shared Jacob 2:17 with them and we all discussed the many blessings or 'substances' that we have been given, by being members of the restored gospel. The list goes on and on with all the amazing blessings we truly have been given. The spirit was so strong in all the lessons and my heart grew fuller and fuller of love, especially to share these blessings with those around me. That is exactly what we invited/ challenged our members to do. We invited them to pay it forward to their neighbors, someone at school, or some stranger on the road; either with a plate of goodies, card, or even helping someone with their yard work, and the key part was that they had to explain that because they have been given much from their Savior, and the restored gospel, that they wanted to share that with them. We gave all of them a week before we follow up with them, and so far one of or members did it the next day and they texted us and told us it was amazing experience! And now they have new friends because of it. What goes around comes around. :) All of the lessons were amazing, and it was fun listening to the members discuss how they were going to do it, and who they were going to do it for. We were also blessed with a lot of the members making us yummy meals :) One of them Brother Holt made us some smokes ribs, potatoes, and salad :) It was SOO good!! 

This weekend was Sister Holts baby shower, and Sister Sampert called us over to help her make cupcakes for the shower. We made 24 tres leche cupcakes... YUMMY, and 24 lava cupcakes for her sons birthday party the next day. We had a lot of fun spending time with the members this week and creating fun memories, and stronger relationships. Her son turned 8 on Friday, and we have been preparing a lesson for her to prepare for his baptism in a couple weeks. They invited us to come over Sunday night to give the lesson. We taught him about Mosiah 18 and the covenant we make with our Heavenly Father when we are baptized. We got a cardboard box and cut out a hole, and we made little characters on popsicle sticks and we created a little puppet show like thing to tell the story. After telling it we then had the boys act it out, and they definitely acted it out better than we did. haha I love kids!!! 

That is basically what happened this week. I'm excited for this week. It's always something new here in Sunnyside Texas. But I'm so grateful for the lessons that I have learned here. 

I love you all!!!!
Con amor, 

Hermana Watkins  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mosquitos and service

Well this past week was....  one of the hardest weeks of my mission, but I learned so much!!! Last Tuesday after I emailed home I took my companion to the doctor. After the doctor examined her, they took some blood tests and then sent her to get a Cat scan STAT! The doctor was super worried about her liver and wanted it to get checked out. After waiting 7 hours at the hospital we were finally able to leave. Sister Elliott and I had some really good gospel conversations and talked a lot about our area. I also got to talk to a lady from Persia. Her auntie was getting a ultra sound and only speaks persian, so she was there to help translate. I started talking to her about the gospel and turns out she is meeting with the missionaries and loves learning about our church. I love when people say that. 

The next day we had zone meeting and I'm pretty sure the zone leaders training's were both for me and my companion. The spirit taught me so many things I needed to know and some other things the spirit has slowly been teaching me throughout my mission.  President has asked us to really stop thinking about the numbers and go out and serve everyone. He said that all our area needs is Charity right now. That was a HUGE lesson that I feel like God has really been teaching me throughout the mission. Charity never faileth, even if you teach no one the whole week and baptize no one the whole mission, you can not fail if you go out and LOVE. And that's what my area needs, more love! 

 We're only able to teach one investigator all week, and had a couple lessons with some less actives and active members. We went out and tried our very hardest to love everyone that we met, and we're wanting to teach. Sadly the rain kept us from finding more people. We had a couple instances were we had to pull off the side of the road until the water went down. Also, people kept telling us to go home and dry off, and come back another day when we're not wet.. haha. We also have killer mosquito's they're EVERYWHERE!! My poor companion looks like she has chicken pox on her legs. 
mosquito bites!

I mentioned last week that in our Stake our mission President has allowed the missionaries to do Family History with the members for two hours, he also announced that we are allowed to take 2 hours out of the week to do out own personal Family History. Friday as a district we went to the Clayton Genealogy Library and had a specialist teach us all about the family search web site the church has. This library is the 6th largest genealogy libraries in America. I was so fascinated with the work. The lady told me I should really look into being a genealogist.. Maybe. I also found a lot of family members that need their work done. I am so excited to come home and go to the temple with y'all and do this work!!!!!!! 

Saturday we helped the Houston Police with a health fair they were putting on. The elders got to dress up in 911 costumes and walk around talking to people. We of course were put in the kitchen to help with the food. They had a DJ there that would always talk about Sister Watkins and her cooking... haha I wish you could here how the blacks say Watkins :) It makes me and my companions day. haha 

We had 3 part member families move into our area this weekend, and we are so excited to meet all of them. We met one last night. His name is Antonio, but he goes my butters haha he is 20 and is a super cool kid. I'm excited for what this week brings and can't wait to go out and have charity for everyone!! 
Love you all, 

Hermana Watkins

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

More miracles

This past week has been a pretty good week. We received blessings and miracles that we didn't even ask for. The mission finished the month off with 93 baptisms!! That is a HUGE miracle and a record for the mission. I love hearing all the miracles that are happening and the faith everyone is putting forth. I know that our Heavenly Father is truly hastening the work.

We are still doing a lot of family history with Larry. We ended up teaching him the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation and he really enjoyed both of them, but he still doesn't understand why he would need to change his religion when a lot of our beliefs are the same, but we'll keep working with him. We also have a new  investigator named Bertha. She is really interested in family history as well. She has binders full of families names and I am super stoked to start putting them online and helping her and her family understand the importance of temple work.

Two Hermanas I have not seen in a long time.  It was a tender mercy to catch up with both of them this week!

We are still in the process of finding more people. We decided to try out the bus system, and at first I was a little scared, because it is so different from the north Houston bus system. God really blessed us and protected us by putting people on the bus that were more than willing to help us. A huge miracle happened while on the bus. Do y'all remember Patrisha, well we ran into her on the bus!!!!!!! She is doing super. She is still reading in the Book of Mormon with her daughters. She is still currently outside our boundaries, but we got her information so we can send other missionaries over :) happy day!

We have a new family that we are teaching. Olivia is the little girls name, and she is 9. And were teaching her dad Willy too. Her mother was murdered 3 months ago and they are both in desperate need of help. Olivia has some learning disabilities and it's been a little struggle for us to figure out how we are going to teach her so she can understand more clearly. I love her so much!! I am really excited to teach her more and really feel the love that her Heavenly Father has for her and her family.
This is a copy cat of a picture Ross took on his mission.  Emily's planners vs her companions planners.

We had another miracle of finally meeting one of our less actives. She is super sweet and little. She is going through a lot right now with her husband being on Dialysis and her house is literally falling off the foundation. We are going to help her pack up her house and move her to her daughters place.

Yesterday Craig was to be baptized. We had some really awesome lessons with him this past week. He got to know a lot of the members and he told all of them that he was preparing to got to the temple. Well, sadly he gave into a temptation that kept him from taking the that step into the font, but hopefully this Sunday he will be ready and stronger than Satan's temptations.

The missionaries are now allowed to have 2 hours a day to help members do family history work, and their own if they want. Yesterday I helped one of our members Raven find 4 people on her family history. I was SUPER excited. Our stake has set a goal to have 10,000 ordinances done in the temple this next coming year. WOW!!! I think that is awesome :)

Everything is going well in the mission. I love it!! Sister Elliott is currently sick and we are going to have her checked out by the doctor today. She is having severe pains in her liver and head. Hopefully all will be well and we'll be able to go out and work like crazy!!
Love you,

Hermana Watkins

Monday, August 25, 2014

42 Baptisms!

This week was probably the slowest week of this transfer, but was filled with blessings and an amazing miracle. Yesterday Craig came to church!!!! YAY, happy day!! He will be getting baptized this Sunday and we are so excited for him. I'm going to share a couple stories about him this week. His son was killed while being chased by cops this passed week. Craig lost contact with his son for awhile, but got the news that he's been living out in the streets and got into some trouble with the cops, and ended up getting killed. Craig being the positive person told us that it's really hard to hear, but he is so happy that he has the knowledge of God's plan and trusts that his son is in a better place. He is also really excited to do his sons work in the temple in a year. We will probably be going with Craig to the funeral this week to give him some support. Another story is his ex-girlfriend came over to see how Craig was doing after she heard bout his son. I guess she is really pretty and still has a thing for Craig and she asked if they could get back together. Craig then told her that he has changed his Religion and in his new religion he has chosen to abide by the law of Chastity. He then taught her what it is and how the only way he would get with her is if they got married, and that was not going to happen.When he showed up to church he was in this sweet old pin stripe suit and looked very nice. He started to cry in Sacrament and told us that he was never felt so happy in his life. He also got to stay and watch 6 people be baptized. This past week the mission baptized 42!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The most the mission has ever had in history. It's because God really blessed the 40 missionaries that are going home this week. 

Yesterday at church we got a new Branch Presidency. I am really excited to work with the new Presidency and there takes on missionary work. Brother Holt is the first counselor and is an amazing member and missionary. 

We were blessed to do a lot of service this week. We helped the Houston Police with a luncheon they were giving for one of the cops that is retiring. There was so much food! They filled our plates full of BBQ and one of the City counselors Dwight Boykins wants us missionaries to come and get specially awarded for all the service that we give the community! That's a great in for the church. He is a super tall and awesome guy, I will send pictures of him. We also got to wash some of our members cars :) We had to wake up super early so we wouldn't be dying in the heat. And this week one of our members is allowing me to cut their lawn!!! Happy Day! I love yard work. :) 
                                                        Serving food at a police retirement party
 City Council Member

We had our last district meeting with Elder Evertsen. It's hard seeing all these amazing missionaries go home. Elder and Sister Hansen cooked a yummy breakfast for us today before we said goodbyes. Everyone keeps reminding me that this will be me in 6 weeks. I still don't believe them. 

We had a huge miracle with getting a lesson in with our Less active Heather and her son Seth. They are from the Caribbeans and are awesome. She really wants her three sons to be baptized and learn more about God. This Friday we will be teaching hopefully all of them and extending dates. :) She also took us to Olive Garden for lunch and we had a really good time talking about the Gospel, and we got to bless our waitress day by giving her a pass along card. That is another story that I will have to wait to tell you when I get home. :) 
 As you know this week is transfers, and no I will not be leaving. :) I am officially dying in Sunnyside. :) I am so excited for these next couple weeks. I can feel it in my bones the blessings that God has in store for our area. I am so excited to go out and work like crazy! 

I love you all. Have a wonderful week!!! 

Hermana Watkins

Monday, August 18, 2014

Spirit of Elijah and Everything is Bigger in Texas

Hey fam!! 
I feel like this week was filled with AMAZING miracles and blessings, but I'm not sure I can share all of them with y'all this week, but something I do want to share is Family History, and the Spirit of Elijah. 

Sister Elliott and I have decided to share something different with those that we come in contact with, either on the streets, or in the different places that we go to. Now when we first meet someone we start talking about their families and how much they love them, and then ask them about where they came from or if they know anything about their ancestors. This always brings the spirit into our conversations. We then share our testimonies about how important families are to us and to our Heavenly Father, and how he wants us to all be unified and know one another. This is when we ask them if we can teach them how to do their family history or if there is another day that we can come by and share more with them. We have only had a couple instances where they didn't, but we have seen the promise given in Malachi; that the hearts of the children will be turned to their fathers. 
Sister Elliot and Emily

This week we went over to Brandon's and taught him all about family history work. One of my favorite things that the spirit has taught me to do in these lessons is to invite the investigators to think of their loved ones that have passed away, and every time you can feel the presence of that ancestor in the room with us. And it happened in this lesson with Brandon. His dad was murdered when he was 14 and really wants to go to the temple and do his work for him. I think this is one of the my favorite feelings of the spirit. Before my mission I didn't believe that people would have so much desire and interest in learning about their ancestors, but they do!! Scriptures are true!! 
Art in the park, Texas size

Giant Spider
One of their investigators is preparing for the zombie apocalypse and had them try on gas masks. :) 

Something else that we did this week was not the smartest thing in the world. We were sacrificing our car all day Friday. We rode ALL the way down to the south part of our area which is 7 miles. We did it in 103 degrees with 100% humidity........ When we finally reached the bottom we realized we only brought 2 water bottles that were basically gone, and NO one would answer their door..... we thought we were going to die. So when in doubt we went in the shade and prayed. I had a feeling we should go try our less active  Heather that is NEVER home during the day. Well, sure enough she was home and actually had forgotten something when she left and had to come home and get it. She let us in and gave us 4 water bottles, chocolate cupcakes, and some fruit. HUGE MIRACLE!!! Especially because after that we rode around to a couple other neighborhoods and no one was home. After a long HOT bike ride we made it home for dinner and we ended up taking showers and drinking tons of liquids. My testimony of prayer grew even more after that experience. 
Texas size potato

I love the church so much!! There is a video on Mormon Channel called, the church at a glance, I think. And it is a perfect video to share with non-member friends and family to help them better understand what our church is all about. We shared it yesterday with one of our members sisters who is not a member. The spirit was so powerful and she really enjoyed it and had a lot of questions answered. I know that this is the true church! I live and love it everyday of my life. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, and all that he has done for me. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week at school and work!!


Hermana Watkins