Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas

AHHHHHH I am freaking out right now!! Tomorrow I get to talk to you, and see all of your beautiful faces!!!! Holy Moly I am totally stoked for this. We will be Skyping you from the Rojas families computer. :) He is in our Stake Presidency and is LEGIT!! They also said we can use their house phone just in case the skype is slow. :) I will be calling you around 12 p.m. here so it will be 11 a.m.there :) right.... I don't you can figure that out. I am superly duperly stoked. It really doesn't feel real... but it is!!!! YAY!!
 
So back to the mission. Yesterday we had a bomb Christmas party. The party went from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. :) It went a  little longer then it was supposed to, but it was totally worth it. We all met down in Lexington which is basically Sugarland. We started off with an awesome/ super spiritual conference. We had a patriach come and talk to us about the Abrahamic Covenant and a lot of really cool things that I don't have time to type. But I was super overwhelmed with the spirit of Elijah and I received an email today from Grandma and Grandpa Merrell that you guys have 14 family names to take to the temple!! You are all amazing! I can't wait to come home and do family history work. I can't wait to get to know all of my ancestors. I can feel them working with me and helping me out every single day. I love it!! We then had President and his wife speak and one of the Houston Stake presidents. We also had a really cool demostration on learning American Sign Language, because the ASL missiounaries in Houston cover all of Texas!! After the Conference we had movie time and I watch Ephraims Rescue.. have ya'll seen it?? I heard it is a new movie this year. If you haven't seen it, WATCH IT! It was super good. I was crying throught he whole thing. The movie also made me want to know my ancestors better. WATHC IT!!  After the movie we had some good o'le Texas BBQ :) and then we played some games, took lots of pictures, and then we had a big slide show that was put together of this whole year. I love my mission!!
 
You probably all want to know about my new companion. Well her name is Hermana Hubbard, and we have been in the same zone our whole mission. I LOVE HER!! And I have no doubt that God loves us. Hermana Hubbard, Shill, and I are like BFFL and I've now been companions with them both :) She is a lot like my dear best friend Hailey Sprouse. They do a lot of the same things and it kind of wierds me out a lot!! We are really excited to work together and to build this area up. We have already seen miracles after miracles. We have started putting together our vision for this area and we really want to work with out members and less actives right now to gain better relationships with them. :) We have like 5-6 lessons a day right now and it feels amazing :) I love working with Less Actives. Speaking of which my favorite less active from my first area, Marcos. HE CAME TO CHURCH SUDAY!!!!!!! It was the first time he has come in 15 YEARS!!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS to me and God!!!!! And he brought 3 of his friends with him and he told me that he felt amazing at church and wants to come back :) And then Fransico had an interview with President on Sunday and President then met with me to get some more information about him, and President told me that he said that Fransico is one of the strongest investigators he has ever met!!! He also told me that he is going to write his letter to the First Presidency this week and he said that Fransico can probably be baptized in the next month!!!! :) This is probably the greatest Christmas of my life. It would be 1,000 times better if my family was here. But right now I have my Texas family that needs my help and the Lords help, and I am so grateful for this opportunity. And I get to talk to you all tomorrow!!! :) AHHHHHHHHHHH I love Christmas... But when I looked at the temperature in our car today I really feel like we are celebrating Christmas in June. It was 70 degrees this morning!! :) How's the snow??? haha
 
This past week has been amazing! I love seeing God's hand in this work. It is such a personal plan and is so beautiful. Like I said before we have been working with the members and less actives this week and we watched the movie Joy to the World with all of them and the spirit in that movie is so beautiful and I cry everytime. I love this message that we have to share. The 'Good News' we have a Savior. We are not perfect, but through him we can be, and will be if we allow it. When we allow something to happen we have an action. This is something I learned a lot about on my mission. With faith comes action. Everyone here likes to tell us they have faith in Christ, but then they don't do anything he asks us to do. We need to action part in ourlives to move forward.
 
I Know that God lives and that this is his plan. We are his literal spirit children, and he loves us very much. Hermana Hubbard and I are like on the same level of Spanish and teaching and we have truly witnessed over and over again that God really does exist and that when we are doing what he wants us to do he gives us help. The spirit has been so powerful in all of lessons. Our spanish isn't amazing, but the spirit is. The spirit is what changes hearts. Everyone that we ask referrals from tells us that their friends aren't ready or their hearts are to hard. Well, if God can do anything can't he change someones heart. I am simply here to be the instrument or the mouth piece, but it is the spirit of God that changes the hardest of hearts to become people like Fransico that could some day be Bishops or a missionary or just an awesome member. I love this gospel and I tesify that it is true. We have a Savior who lives!
 
Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad!!
Hermana Watkins
 
P.s. So tomorrow I will probably call first from the members home and give you all of their skype information and then I will wait to hang up until the skype connects, and if skype is slow I will just have you call their house phone back so the phone bill goes to you and not them.
 
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you all soooooooooooooooooooooo much. I don't want to stop emailing because I am so excited to see you all tomorrow. :) YAY!!! No crying... haha who am I kidding!! Les Quiero!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Transfers!

Today has been super sad. I dropped off  my  friend/ companion off at the mission home this morning. It's so crazy to think that tomorrow she will be in Utah with her family. This transfer flew by. They just keep getting faster and faster, and I can't keep up with them... whew. We received the transfer call this morning and I will be staying in good o'le Houston 1 NE. I don't think I'm ever leaving this ward. :)

Dear family I am SOOOOO grateful for the 12 days of Christmas package. My companion doesn't sleep at night so the last couple nights I would stay up late with her and talk until midnight and then I would open my present and go to bed. I have decorated my apartment really cute. I forgot to send you pictures of the Christmas tree that we made last week. I didn't know that you were going to send one... so I made one :) It's pretty TEXAN!! haha I LOVED the tree you sent me though. The Cowboy decorations are awesome!! Thank you for all the hard work you did to put it all together. Trust me it was worth it!! It makes my day, everyday!!
Emily's homemade Christmas tree from an ironing board.
The Texas tree we sent her.

Tuesday we had an amazing Zone meeting and we practiced teaching the Restoration over, and over again. I and my companion were privileged to teach or zone leader Elder Levitt and then our Assistant Elder Case..... He scares me because he is so AWESOME!! But both of the lessons went really well. The spirit was super strong and really testified to me how true this message is.

After Zone meeting I was super pumped to go out and teach. We went right over to B's apartment. Now B is super legit and has really progressed a lot this past month. While we were at her apartment she had a friend come over and we invited her to listen to the message we had. Her friend then decided she was going to take over the lesson and teach her beliefs.... After she left B looks at us and says, " I know that this church is true, and my friend is crazy!!" Haha she's awesome! She really does have a strong testimony. She has been a little nervous about getting baptized so we had her pray with us to see if this truly is God's will that she gets baptized this year. The spirit was SO extremely strong and after the prayer she looks at us and says," I feel great, you're right I need to get baptized this week!" She truly is amazing and knows without a doubt that this Gospel is true. Well the next day we go to start feeling out her paper work to get her prepared for her interview, and we feel out all of it. Then at the bottom it asks about the persons spouse and when they were married and everything. She gives us all the information about him, and then we find out... they're not married! Both of them have told us numerous of times that they are.... I was super sad, but the spirit prepared me before we even went in. I just hope we can help her understand the Law of Chastity better and receive a testimony of it. Even though she wasn't able to get baptized this year. She was able to feel the spirit and understand how God speaks to her. I am so grateful for that and all the blessings we have received with her.

Other than that I've gone on lots of exchanges with Hermana Wilzbach and Lister because Hermana Washburn had the temple departing trip and other things going on. And the next two days I get to be companions with Hna's Lister and Washburn and serve in both areas.

Yesterday our stake put on a beautiful Christmas Devotional. It was all music and it was actually really good. We have some very talented singers in this stake and musicians. I love Christmas time. It really doesn't feel like Christmas here. The leaves are just starting to change and fall, and there's no snow.. but this morning we had frost on our roof. And who knows it might snow here if it snowed in Jerusalem. Super crazy!

I love you all very much. I can't wait to Skype you all next week. Enjoy the snow for me. :)
Les Quiero
Hermana Watkins

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Buenas Tardes!

Buenas Tardes!!!  
Como estan mi familia?? Saben que no puedo hablar in Ingles.. lo siento. Ojala google search puede traducir este correo :) jajaj

So crazy news!! I can't talk in English... only in my email home to family. Last week on Tuesday I was discussing my Spanish to President about my Spanish and then he gave me a commandment that I can't talk in English until the end of the transfer. So when we go to restaurants my companion has to order for me and has to translate every time we are with people that speak English.... It's been an adventure!! I have 9 days left and I'm pretty confident I can do it. It's almost like I have something in my mouth that is stopping me from talking in English.  I'm excited to finish this fast and see the improvement. I have improved a lot already, and I'm truly grateful for this commandment. Even though I have a headache like 24/7. Vale la pena!! President also announced it to everyone else in the mission that I can only speak Spanish... haha que divertido.. This is really hard writing in English my brain doesn't work in either language right now. 

Okay so this week spanishlishish... haha palabra nueava :) I got to go on two exchanges. I feel like I'm a sister training leader right now going on all these exchanges, but I really like them. I got to go back to my first area with Hermana Lister (my sister) :) We had some super powerful lessons with some of my favorite investigators and less actives. The lesson we had with out Less active was amazing! I met him my seecond week here and every lesson with him just gets more and more powerful. He wants to change his life to much. We we first met him he really didn't want to do anything with us, but the last lesson we had with him he broke down crying saying how grateful he was for us and the spirit and light we have brought in to his life. He is the one that was in a gang and almost died 3 times and has some crazy life stories. He has yet come to church, but I know that once he does things will change very fast. I LOVE HIM!! 

Our investigator Blance told us this week and she really wants to get baptized and she decided that she will get baptized 15 of December!! I'm super excited for her and this step that she knows is something that she needs to do. 

Yesterday my investigator Margarita who was in my last area with Hermana Groves and Carlson who got married a couple weeks ago... well she got baptized yesterday. :) YAY!! Her husband received the priesthood yesterday morning and he baptized her. It was so beautiful and spiritual. They had to baptize her 4 times because he couldn't say it right, but she is now a member and is so happy!! Two of our investigators went to the baptism, Hector and Lupe. They are both part of part member families. Hector is super interested and comes to church every week and didn't want to except a baptismal date until he saw an actual baptism. So hopefully this week he will except one. :) 

The other exchange I had was with Hermana Wilzbach and she came to my area. :) The whole exchange was AWESOME!! We finally got to see some of investigators that we haven't seen in weeks. Yeah miracles all around, but the one thing I want to tell you about is the experience we had with the Guerra family. They are the Jewish family and we stopped by their house Saturday night to see if we could teach them. Well they just happened to be ending their Sabbath Day and they invited us to do it. We started off with wine glasses. Us and the kids had grape juice, (Hopefully) ha and the parents had wine. And the dad would read out of the tora really fast in Spanish and Hebrew. Then we all drank the our drinks and he said more stuff, and then they turned off all the lights in the house and they had this candle that was blue and white chain that symbolized families and the light of God. After they read more stuff they distinguished the candle in some wine. And then they past around this goblet looking this that they shake and read something and it blesses their food for the whole week, and they passed it around and they would all shake it and sniff if.... Once it came around the table we just passed it along. And the 4 year old girl got really mad at Hermana Wilzbach for not doing it. haha At the end they all went around the table and they all had this memorized in Hebrew that they would all say. Even the little 4 year old girl had it memorized in HEBREW!!! It was super cool, but really different. I love all the different experiences that I've had on the mission though. :) After they ended their Sabbath we decided to teach them about Prophets. :) It was a really good lesson. I wanted to teach about the Sabbath, but the spirit said other wise. ha 

Well I believe that is all. I love you all so much! Thank you for all of the support and love that you give me. It really means so much to missionaries. :) 
Don't forget to share the wonderful message that we have about our Savior, Jesus Christ. Especially during this season. God is preparing people for each and everyone of us. Pray to see who they are. 

Les Quiero MUCHO!!

Hermana Watkins

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas is in the air

Christmas is in the air... not really it's just the nasty cold humidity, but when I spray our apple cinnamon Christmas spray in our apartment, then Christmas is in the air. But even when I do that our neighbors weed over powers it so it smells like Christmas weed.... Not my favorite smell. It's weird that it's December and it's warm outside, well kind of warm. It depends on the day. If it rains then it's FREEZING, but the last couple days have been pretty warm. I can't believe I am saying this, but I really do miss the snow. Ahhh something is wrong with me!! It just doesn't feel like Christmas. :( Everyone here is super festive. It's crazy how the Hispanics can use so many decorations in so little of space. They have skills!!

This past week we had to stay in all week. Hermana Washburn and I just got the flu... yeah!! I'm feeling super good now, but her body is still trying to recover. Everyday I got to spend  8-9 hours in the scriptures and learn about my Savior. I read all of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I started John yesterday and I absolutely love the New Testament. I also love the Old Testament I just don't understand all of it yet... I think if anyone wants to learn how to become a better person or they want to change something in their life, they should really read The Gospels and learn about their Savior, Jesus Christ. I have come to love him more and more and I hope and pray I can learn to teach like him. With all of the time that I had I also broke down my Patriarchal Blessing and did a giant study where I broke up a lot of my gifts that I've been given and then looked up each word and found scriptures of how I can either improve that gift or how I can better learn to use it. I LOVED doing this and if anyone is ever stuck in bed or bored at home or wants to just be awesome and sacrifice the things of the world of the things of the Lord than take time to do this study. You wont regret it!! I have learned so much about myself and have really learned my purpose here on Earth and why God gave me that specific blessing and gifts. He loves us SO much. He desires that we all come back to him, but he has given us our agency. And we get to be the ones that decide if we want to return back to him or not. Even though I have misused my agency and have made mistakes, I am so grateful for it. God trust us enough to make our own decisions. He knows that we will make mistakes and that we are not perfect. That is why he sent his son Jesus Christ. To be our Savior! We have the decision everyday to either be saved or lost. I pray that we all want to be saved. I testify that they both live and love us very much. They give us SO man blessings everyday.

I want to let all my cousins know that each and everyone of you is VERY important. God has a very specific plan for each of you. And you may not see it now, but we have all been SUPER blessed to be in born into this family. We have amazing grandparents that go to church each day and love this Gospel. We have also been given parents that do the same. The rules and guidance they give us is for our protection, not to hurt us. They love us very much and care for us. They are like our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father does the same for each of us children here on Earth. He's given us commandments to protect. He knows the plan. Our parents have lived through the teen years. They know the things that you need to avoid. Listen to the counsel they give you. Have family prayer and scriptures daily!! Satan is really attacking the family. That is why years ago President Gordon B. Hinckley came out with the The Family Proclamation. He was preparing us for the things that are to come. And here they are. Cousins please, please, please listen to your parents. They are AMAZING!! I could write emails and emails about all the horrible family situations that I have seen out here. You have been blessed!!!! Enjoy your blessings. I love you all, and I am super lucky to have amazing cousins like you. Thank you for your examples and your letters. I love them!!

Well this week like I said was slow. The only story I can really think of was Thanksgiving Day. Hermana and I didn't want to cancel our dinner appointments, because we had to awesome families. They have just happened to be a hour apart from each other.... So the first dinner was awesome! It actually tasted like American food. She made one normal turkey and then one with chile on it. The chile one was SUPER good!! We had an awesome gratitude lesson with them and got to teach her husband who is less active and we haven't met him before. The second dinner we were terrified for our lives because we were already super stuffed and it was the first real food we ate all week long. We get to their apartment and they invited all of their friends to come over to eat and listen to a message, which was SUPER awesome. They are a less active family and they invited to couples over with their kids. The food was....... different. I think I had a couple tears roll down my face trying to have a pocker face, but I felt so sick. I really felt like a couple times I was just going to puke all over Thanksgiving. Thankfully my Heavenly Father helped me out. Oh sometimes I love getting fed, but it's really hard when the Hispanics expect you to eat five servings.... But I'm fat and happy and life is good. :) Haha mission stories.. got to love them.

I love you all so very much. The holidays are super hard without everyone, but I've been blessed with my mission family. I pray for you all everyday. Stay strong. Remember God hears your prayers. How awesome is it that we have the opportunity to talk to our God!! Pretty awesome stuff! Have a wonderfully cold Utah week. :)

Les Quiero Mucho

Hermana Watkins

Thanksgiving Week

Hello family,
Thank you, thank you all so very much for the Thanksgving letters from everyone. I got the package this morning at choir and I LOVED reading all the letters. I don't think you all know how much it means to me to recieve HAND WRITTEN letters from everyone. Even if it's just a couple simple words, it means the WORLD to me!!!! THANK YOU!! It's fun just see the changes in everyone just through the words that they say :) I miss and love all of you so much. Thank you for being such an AWESOME family. I am so blessed.

Speaking of blessed. This week is Thanksgiving and EVERYONE want's to feed us. We have two dinners on Thanksgiving within two hours from each other,and they are both families that want you to basically eat all their food and look the dish for them..... I might die!! Saturday we had our ward Thanksgiving party and I don't think Hispanics should try and make American food... haha I tried some really interesting dishes... haha I love my ward though. They had a DJ at the party and it was so hard not to get up and dance. All the missionaries were just dying, because we're not allowed to dance.... ahhhh!!! I was half tempted to go behind the curtain and just dance back there. :) :)

This week Hermana Washburn and I have been super sick, well the whole mission has been super sick. This nasty bug is going around and I felt like my body fights it off and then it comes back again.... probably because everyone we come in contact with is sick. It is FREZZING cold here. I and all the Utahns have agreed that the freezing cold rain in the humidity is A LOT colder than Utah snow. You are all lucky!!! You can never get warm in the humidity.

Since we were sick we only had 10 lessons and it was a super slow week. I didn't want to eat at all, but I like every lesson we had they would feed us. Lucky me.

Mom you had a lot of questions about the work, and I'm going to try and remember them and answer, becaue I know how much you hated how you would ask Ross lots of questions and he would never answer. So the work is only done now through members and referrals from them and people we teach. The work is a lot harder in this area. We have a lot of Hispanics, but we also have TONS of million/billionaires. Weren't not supposed to tract any more. We have yet started the electronic stuff... who knows when that will finally happen. The only family I can really think of that I would like you to pray for is Mary and Laila. ummm and now I can't remember all your questions.. sorry. I tried.

I can't believe I almost forgot to tell you. BLANCA came to church yesterday. Which means she could basically be baptized next week if she feels ready. I love her so much. She is from Honduras and has lived here for 15 years in the same apartment. Her brother is actually a member in San Antonio and really liked what her brother told her so she started taking the lessons the beginning of this year, but then the missionaries dropped her and Hermana Shill and Baer picked her back up right before I got here. :) I love her!!!


Well, I love you all so much. I am so grateful for you and for the testimonies that you all have. This Gospel means so much to me and I don't know what I would do without it. I don't think you all know how much your daily example already plants a seed of the Gospel in someones heart. People outside the church really do see something different about us. That it's self is a testimonly of how true this church really is!! I love you all.

Les Quiero

Hermana Watkins

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hello

Hello friends and family,

Okay so this week was really slow. Hermana Washburn and I kind of took turns being sick. I'm fine, just the same stomach pains... So I've been living off herbal tea and I love it!! I hated herbal tea before my mission, but my companion has converted me. :) She also converted me to all the essential oils. Got to love all those weird hippie things people do now days. You should see some of the stuff she eats... haha.

Some really cool news that I forgot to tell you last week is that Franisco (my best friend) finished the BOM, and he saved the last chapter until he got to church so he could read it with me and Hermana Wilzbach. I love him so much and he received assignment from the ward and he goes out with missionaries and the ward mission leaders all the time now. He is so LEGIT!! I have been so blessed to have him be part of my life and mission. I have really learned a lot from him.

This week I went on two exchanges. The first one Hermana Wilzbach came to my area and it was really fun being back together and talking about all the investigators from my first area. My second exchange was with Hermana Groves (my baby) and I got to go to her area, or my last area, and we went to Margarita and Serio's wedding. I was so happy to see them finally get married. The pictures I got have really bad lighting,but the family looked so beautiful and happy... until their daughter threw up all over the restaurant.. reminds me of Alesha and Andrews wedding reception where either Matt or Mackay threw up.. haha good times.

This week I probably had one of the most spiritual/ hardest lessons of my life. We are teaching a mom and her daughter who is eleven. The mom prefers to go to church in Spanish, but her daughter only speaks English. Our initial plan was to have a really good lesson with them and then give them over, but the spirit told us other wise. I can't explain how powerful the spirit was. Hermana Washburn and I were both really prompted to ask certain/random questions from the spirit and the little girl then started to cry and she then told us that her father has been abusing her mom every night, and she says she can see a demon in the eyes of her father. This is the little girl that I talked about before that is just really in tuned with the spirit and is super ready to be baptized. The little girl said she knows its a commandment to forgive, but she just doesn't think she can forgive her dad. Her mom on the other hand just told us that her daughter doesn't understand that this is life and these things happen to everyone. I am so grateful for the spirit and the direction that it gave me. All I wanted to do was take them out of that home and show that what a good life is. As missionaries we're not allowed to counsel, and my heart is  broken. The spirit also testified to me how truly blessed I am. I don't have a perfect knowledge of why these things happen to people, but they do and I am happy that I can be here to show them that they can have something even better, and something that will change their life.

Well time is up... :( other news is we found out that Elder Russel M. Nelson is coming to speak in our Stake and talk to all the missionaries in January. YAY!!!! I'm super excited. Oh and I forgot to tell you, but I'm allowed to skype for Christmas.... :)
Happy Birthday Mom. A year ago on your birthday I submitted my mission papers. I can't believe how fast time has gone by .
I love you all soooooo much. Thank you for your prayers.
Les Quiero
Hermana Watkins

ps. I don't have time to send pictures any more so next week you will have tons :) 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Area and New Hair

MOM!!!
You are going to be the best Stake Relief Society President in the WORLD!!! I love working with them here on my mission. You will probably get a lot of fun opportunities to go out and work with the missionaries... well I don't actually know how missionary work works in Utah, but here in Texas the leaders are the people that you want to work with and become great friends with :)

Man on man this week has been crazy/exhausting/fun/ spiritual. As you all know we had transfers last week and I stayed in my new area of Houston 1 NE. Transfer meeting was really long, and sad. I loved being companions with Hermana Shill and we were having a lot of fun together, but it's what the Lord wants. And again I've been blessed with an AMAZING companion. Her name is Hermana Washburn. She is from Orem, UT she has been on her mission 17 months and goes home the end of this transfer... sad :(Hermana Washburn has had probably one of the hardest missions I have ever heard of and I really look up to her. She started her mission feeling great and loving being a missionary. She went to a school that starting in 1st grade up to 9th grade you only speak Spanish. So she's fluent!! :) YAY I have a native. Well she had two transfers of a great mission and then she became really sick. And had to live with President and his family,the Sister Mortenson (finance lady) and Sister Martinez ( Mission nurse) She took turns going from house to house. She then became a service missionary and her and her companion would go and help less actives in there ward. She was on Chemo pills for a while and any other treatment/ medicine you can think of. She was also switched over to English after her 2nd transfer. I can't remember what she finally got diagnosed with, but President told her that if she stays for the whole 18 months she will become healthy. So now it's her very last transfer in the mission and she healthy again. :) I love miracles! She's also on this crazy healthy diet, and everything she eats is organic. She made me some really yummy tilipia the other day and we have Herbal tea together every morning. :)  I love her so much. She also went to hair school and guess what................... I cut my hair and dyed it brown..... that's not a joke. :) It was super dead and needed help so we had some fun with it. 

Hermana Shill sadly didn't stay in the zone, but I got to talk to her at a devotional on Sunday and yesterday and Zone Conference and she's having fun being in a new area. My area is doing great! Were really just going around right now trying to get to know all the members in our area and all the less actives. I love all the people in this area and I'm so grateful to be serving here and doing the work. Yesterday after a wonderful Zone conference.
This week I have really come to understand myself better and what I need to do to change my vision for the mission. I have been very blessed here and in my home life, and I haven't been as grateful as I should be. Everything that I've been studying the scriptures is exactly what President Ashton and the Assistants talked about in Zone Conference.

This transfer is going to be amazing. The work is hastening on, and I've really love having the Holy Ghost directing each and everyday..

This week we really didn't get to see a whole lot of investigators so hopefully we can this week and I can tell you all about the amazing lessons that we receive.

I love you all SOOOOOOOOOOO much!! I don't have pictures of me and my companion yet.. so you wont be able to see my hair and her till next week... sorry.

I would like to think it is warm here, but I'm freezing. My companion  and I wake up freezing cold every night... but all is well. I really thought Texas would be warmer than it is in the winter. I think the humidity has a lot to do with it. It gets deep down into your bones and you can never warm up.

Yesterday we had Zone Conference and President announced about whats going on in the Philippines. I am glad to hear that Hailey is okay. President told us that since the water is really warm in the ocean we need to prepare here too. So we got all new 72 hour kits.

Les Quiero

Hermana Watkins

Monday, November 4, 2013

Transfers

Dear Family and Friends,
My dear companion  is getting transferred, and we only had three weeks together. Only 4 people are getting transferred from our zone this transfer, but we all thought that almost all the zone would change.I am super sad right now that she is leaving though. We got the call this morning and I of course I started crying. I kind of felt it coming, especially after the things that happened this week. Not only am I sad, but I am terrified for my life, because I will now be taking over the biggest city areas in the whole mission..... I have no idea how I'm going to do this. Thank goodness for the help from God. This is going to be fun!!!!.................. Hopefully. And I really wonder who my new companion will be. I have gone through 4 companions in the last transfer, counting Hermana Wilzbach, and three different areas. My poor baby Hermana Groves is getting a new trainer too. Hermana Carlson is getting transferred as well. So many crazy changes that no one in the world expected.
This week was pretty slow with the work, but went by fast at the same time. In this area now EVERYONE feeds us. :) Super good news!! Everyone likes me because I like spicy food. One of the best cooks in this area.. or Houston asked us to come over to have Thanksgiving dinner with her. Hermana Shill is super upset that she's missing it, but I will still be here to pig out!!! My food source has turned into beans and tortillas nearly everyday... hahah Yummy!! 
Our ward had an awesome Halloween activity on Tuesday and the missionaries were in charge of an activity.  I decided to do hanging donuts from a string and all the Hispanics LOVED it!! I think I loved it even more watching kids from age 4 up to parents doing it.. haha I love my ward. I also took some super cute pictures of Ivan who was the super cute Chub from my last area with HNA Carlson and Groves.
This past week I had an exchange on Halloween day and we had planning all day and then we exchanged at 4 and then I received my blessing that I emailed Mom and Dad and then we had to be in by 7 because of Creepy people on Halloween, so we didn't get any work done. But I did receive my package from Mom on Halloween and it totally made my day, and everyone that was with me :) Thank you.

Yesterday we had an amazing Fast Sunday. :) J G is the guy who's baptism I spoke at and then I ended up moving in to this area a week later, he got confirmed yesterday :) and then he went up and bore his super strong testimony and the Spirit was there very strongly. I love him!! We then had two super awesome lessons. One was with the Jewish family and we taught a brother the Restoration. He had a lot of super interesting questions that I definitely need to study up on before I got back and teach again. He also pulled out his Torah and read in Hebrew to us. They are a super legit family and I really like teaching them, but it's going to be hard. If you have any ideas on how to teach a Jewish family let me know... Ross... :) We also had a really spiritual/ freezing cold lesson out side with our amazing recent convert  who is now a ward missionary leader, and his roommate accepted a baptismal date. I was shivering the whole lesson, but the spirit was soooo strong and beautiful. He's really excited to receive an answer if this church is true, and he already has a lot of faith that it is. :)
Well other than that this has probably been the worlds fastest transfer in the world/ craziest transfer in the world. I think my mind might blow up with all the amazing things/ people/ companions that I have learned and met this transfer. I have been truly blessed and I'm excited to see the things that are to come. I know this is the plan that God has for me and I have a very strong testimony of this church. I know it is true!
Thank you for all your prayers and patience with me. I love you all. Have a wonderful week, and share the Gospel with all that you come in contact with.
Les Quiero

Hermana Watkins

Monday, October 28, 2013

Good week

It's really weird being on the East side of town now. I really love my new area though. We went downtown and she found this really cool place where you can look at down town Houston with all of it lit up and beautiful! We also drove by the Astro Stadium and this really cool apartment building that looks like Phantom of the Opera. :) 
 Last Tuesday I gave a talk in District meeting... I think everyone just likes to listen to me make a fool of my self when I talk in Spanish.. just kidding. This week was a really good week. When I first got in this area we had no baptismal dates, and this week we were able to receive 4  new baptismal dates. YAY! We might have a baptism in two weeks if our investigator can't make it to church to get the Holy Ghost. 

In every area I go to all the members decide they want to start feeding us. Hermana Carlson and Groves said once I left their area the members stopped feeding them, and now in this area we didn't have any dinner plans with members, but now we have one almost everyday. Yesterday the Garcia's made us tamales from Guatemala. They were wrapped in the banana leaves. YUMMY!! 
We got to help out at mutual last week and we did family history. The two kids I was helping did have any names done, so it was really neat  to start from the beginning. 
Wednesday I had exchanges and went over to the area I started in and had some very powerful lessons. I loved being back and seeing the progression with everyone. It was also nice being back on the bike. I've already lost my tan and muscle... Here are some pictures of graffiti in my area.


Friday was our miracle day. We received four baptismal dates and had six amazing lessons. We taught the Jewish family and guess what... THEY ACCEPTED A BAPTISM DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHH!! I would really love to receive the emails from Ross :) pretty please. I think it would be cool to talk to him about this Jewish family and talk to them about all the things that he is seeing over in Jerusalem. 
I love you and I'm so grateful for the amazing family and friends that I have been blessed with. Sorry I don't have a whole lot to say.. my memory is horrible. 
Guess what I saw this week?? I saw Lotus! I have seen some pretty sweet cars here! Oh and since I'm writing down random things.. one of the recent converts in my last area just got back from Mexico and bought me presents and some yummy hot sauce. 
Love you, 

Hermana Watkins

Monday, October 21, 2013

SURPRISE!

Hola, hola, hola! This is email is really long, but totally worth it to read!!
So the subject title fits this week perfectly, but I will get to the surprise after I talk about a couple of other things. Last week was probably one of the craziest weeks of my mission... I know I say that every week, but I'm telling the truth! Last week some of the Elders had ripped some gnarly holes in their pants so I offered to sew them for them. And one of our members is a seamstress and has this sweet shop, and I got to go and play around on his equipmen, and he taught me some cool tricks on the sewing machine. I was excited to finally use one my talents :) The Elders were pretty happy too.
We had a beautiful miracle. I talked a little about how we had trainings with the AP's and we prayed about some of the people in our area to know who the Lord has planned to get baptized this year. Well one of them is named Marichuri and we haven't been able to see her the whole time I've been in this area, but last week we went to go see her and all the things kept happening and we were running way behind. We finally get to her apartment and she's not there, so we say a prayer about where we should go and I was backing the sisters out and then guess who showed up...... Marichuri!!! YAY! It was amazing! We then had a lesson with her the next day and it was beautiful and I fell in love with her, and her dog. I strangely love dogs now, and I really miss Brutus... odd!

Now it's time for the SURPRISE!!! Last Wednesday Hermana Carlson was going on Exchanges with some of the English sisters so we went and dropped her off, and then Hermana Groves and I came back to our apartment to finish studies and to eat lunch. We then we received a  phone call from President Ashton and he asked me how I lliked being a trainer and how everything was going... of course I was freaked out that President was calling me, and then he said,"YOUR GETTING TRANSFERRED"!!!!!!!!!! WHAT!?? Last week I told you that we were thinking that Hermana Carlson might go to Hermana Shill's area because her temple square sister is leaving.... well turns out I was the one getting transferred. I had to then pack up all my stuff in one hour and then pick up Hermana Carlson and head to the mission office to meet my new companion. I was in SHOCK! And I was really sad... and still am. I became very close with Hermana Groves and Carlson and then had to pack up and leave. Hermana Groves is my baby and I really feel like I abandoned her :(
Hermana Groves and Emily
My new area is the furthest North area in the whole mission. I have downtown Houston in my area and it is BEAUTIFUL!! I also have the great and abominable church, Lake Wood, in my mission. I am the Senior companion, Hermana Shill is one transfer younger than me. So we are really learning Spanish really fast now. I LOVE her to death. We've been close ever since she got here so were having a blast together!!
Emily's newest companion Hermana Shill
Other things that happened this week is I got to do the training with the AP's again, because Hermana Shill hasn't done it for her area yet, and one of the families were teaching is Jewish and it is God's will that they get baptized this year!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whahoooo. Also, we did Family History and I traced our family history all the way back to Adam and Eve!!! WOAH! I believe it was on Grandma Watkins side too. I went through a lot of Royals to get there. Saturday morning my zone and youth from a Baptist church all went and did service on the Highways and cleaned them all up. I got to ride in the back of a truck on a Freeway in Texas... that was AWESOME!! I love doing service! It brings such a good feeling, even when I had a driver chuck a Dr. Pepper can at me... I still felt good about what I was doing.
Doing laundry with no dryer

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Merrell for the letters and the Merrell Connection. I love receiving that and seeing how everyone is doing. :)
Yesterday I had a super spiritual moment at church. The temple President and his wife came and spoke in our ward. They talked about temples and the importance and family history work. The Montano's family that I told you about last week we're sealed to their beautiful little baby girl on Saturday :) :) I LOVE THIS WORK!! President Cane came up and talked to me afterwards and I told him how I was a ordinance worker in the Vernal Temple and how I loved it and miss it. He then got in to a deep discussion with me and then asked me if I have ever wanted to have an experience like the brother Jared. I told him of course!! I would tell you all the things he told me but I believe they are way to spiritual and sacred to tell over the internet. Just go and read Ether 2-3 and try to relate it to going to the temple and how we really do have the same experience everytime we go.
I know this email is long, but I love talking about my mission and sharing these amazing experiences with all of you. And I haven't been doing an amazing job at keeping a journal this last week...so now I have everything in an email... haha I want the world to know that I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and has a very specific and personal plan for each of us. This plan will help us get back to Him. He wants us to communicate with Him so He can better help us understand His plan and the things that we need to do. He has also given us His Son Jesus Christ who died for us and suffered every single pain we have ever felt. I know They live and love us VERY much! I am also very grateful for Joseph Smith and have come to love him and his sacrifice. If it wasn't for him NONE of us could receive our salvation. This church is true and is the church that Jesus Christ himself established and restored through Joseph Smith.
Go to the temple. Pray and read daily. We don't have time to procrastinate. I say this becaue I know that it is true and I have seen the blessings of it in my life and I want these blessings for everyone of you!
I love you!

Hermana Watkins

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Miracles

This email I'm going to speak a lot about the miracles I have seen this week. And then some really funny stories.. maybe if I have enough time.

Miralce number one. Last Monday we had a feeling we needed to go see one of strong member families in our area. They are a cute young couple that just had their first baby girl. The sister wanted to learn more about angels, because she was confused by one of the scriptures we had shared with her in a previous lesson where it talked about angels. That's what we first started talking about, but the spirit directed me to ask Hermano how everything was going with preparing to go to the temple. He totally shut down and started speaking in really fast Spanish, but the spirit helped me to understand him. Words cant even explain what the mood was like in the house. He told us that he doesn't feel worthy at all to enter the temple and that he will never be good enough. He was completely chained down by Satan and was falling fast! My heart hurt so badly to see one of my brothers in that much pain and sorrow. I shared with him my experience of how hard Satan worked on me before I entered the temple and left on  the mission. Satan doesn't want us to do good. I then told them that it will really help to receive a blessing so he can receive counsel from God and the love God has from him. I then asked him if he would get one and he looked up at me straight in the eyes and said NO!! I can't explain how sad this situation was. I then was prompted to ask again, and we sat in silence and then he said,"your right Hermana I need a blessing, call the Elders up now"!! We then called the Elders and they came over and gave one of the most powerful blessings I have ever heard in my life. God was commanding him to feel of his love and commanding Satan to leave him a lone so that he can feel peace again.
After the blessing was over there was just a lightness in the air. He became a totally different person and just began crying and looked at us and told us he totally forgot what peace felt like. The next morning during companion studies we recieved a text from them saying that they called the temple and they are getting sealed in the temple as a family for time and all eternity this Saturday October 19th. We all just started crying and jumping up and down. Oh man I love the priesthood power and this Gospel soooo much!
We had Elder Golden from the Quorom of the Seventy come and man oh man he is amazing!! He taught us things that I have never even thought of in my life. There is no way I would be able to explain them through email. After listening to him I decided to change a lot of the things that I've been used to doing. He really opened my eyes and help me see things that I need to change. I think I'm still spiritually drained from some of the things he said. The conference was 5 hours long and we had one 15 minute break... WOAH that's a miralce right there, that I was able to focus the whole time.
We had a very spiritual lesson with a part member family and he acepted a baptismal date!!! YAY!!
Another miracle is that I am now driving and we are still alive!!! I didn't think I would be able to remember how to, but I forgot how much I love driving. Here in Houston there are all these weird medians in the middle of the road that I HATE, but I'm learning to love them.
Thurdsday was my 6th month mark!!!! How crazy is that!! Time has really flown by. It was Hermana Carlsons year mark and Hermana Purnells six month too so we all went out to Five Guys for lunch and TCBY (The Countries Best Yogurt) for lunch and dessert. :) Yummy! Then I had a surprise exchange where I got to go back to my old area with Hermana Wilzbach and Lister for the night and it was Francisco's birhday!!!! So we celebrated with Pizza and cake and then he came out and taught two lessons with us. He is the BEST!! We also had an English fast that day... talk about hard!!
Sunday was really good. I had another lady in our ward by me new shoes... haha she made fun of my shoes that have holes in the bottom... haha I like them and I think I will bronze them. :) Hermana Shill and Flores recieved a miralce baptism yesterday and I gave a talk at it about the Holy Ghost. I was super nervous, but God blessed me with the gift of tonuges and it was a very spiritual moment for me.
Hermana Flores is a temple square sister and she is going back to temple square this week and the other temple square sister that is coming in is English speaking so Hermana Shill needs a Spanish speaking companion... so everyone thinks Hermana Carlson is going to her area.... I am super nervous, because I don't believe I'm ready to take over this area and be a trainer... especially with Spanish. I pray to know the vision God has for me so I can be in line with his will.
I love ya'll!!!!!

Hermana Watkins

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conference=Christmas

Hello, hello :)
How is everyone?? This week we had Christmas!!!! Conference was wonderful! A lot of the things, well most of the things that they talked about, we have been talking about in my mission for the past couple months. This week actually in my email from President he wanted me to pray to receive a vision for my new area, and to find out what Gods plan is. So I've been studying like crazy and really, really getting deep into the scriptures, and everything that I studied is exactly what they talked about in conference. I love receiving personal revelation, especially when it lines up with revelation that others have received.
This past week has been super good. I have yet had a week that something crazy hasn't happened. I got to go on exchanges to my last area on Tuesday and I had Hermana Groves and Lister with me who were MTC companions and brand new....so I was a little nervous, but SUPER excited! I got to see a lot of my old investigators and got to show Hermana Groves how to get around in the Ghettos ha ha. We had a blast!!
This past week we have had some really interesting OYM's which means Open Your Mouth... so basically talk to everyone! My favorite most memorable one was with Taisha, who was this nice black lady smoking on the stairs of one of the apartment complexes we go to. Turns out she's Jewish and has actually been called to be a prophet..... and they were having their disciple meeting that night. I actually learned a lot from her. She is very educated with church history, and she knew everything about our Gospel too, except the fact that it's the ONLY true church. She wanted to give me her correctly translated bible, and I wanted to switch it for a Book of Mormon, but she was just a little hard hearted. She was very sweet though. I was just very broken hearted to know that someones heart could be so hard :( Hopefully one day her heart may be softened.
We had an awesome Zone Meeting this week and President and the Assistants will now be part of them. A LOT of things are changing in the mission field. They talked a lot about them in Conference. We get iPads, smart phones, and facebook probably by the end of this month. We will now have two sets of missionaries in the church at all times to do church tours, tutoring, family history, English classes, piano lessons, culture classes from members, addiction recovery classes... you name it, were doing it!! I'm really excited to start doing it, and seeing the progression in the church. I was asked to give a presentation on how to receive a vision for your area and what needs to be done. I actually love giving presentations now and sharing the knowledge the God has blessed me with. I'm learning so much in the scriptures!!!! We also had our interviews with President and we were asked to teach a lesson in 3 minutes to him, we also had a 20 minute training with the zone leaders and assistants with our companionship and we would write down all the names of our baptism dates and then we went through a step process like the president does when he does transfers to see if it's Gods will. So we found that only two of our baptismal dates will be getting baptized this year. I can't even explain how spiritually powerful it was to have God reveal to all of us in the room that, that specific person was to get baptized that year. So we get to find 5 other people that God has planned to be baptized. I love learning how to have more specific prayers.
Conference was amazing. I watched all the sessions in English except for the first one on Sunday I watched in Spanish. 
I'm pretty sure I could write 20 more pages about this past week. One last thing. Junior got confirmed last week. He was baptized before I got in this area, but hasn't been able to make it to church, but this past week he received the Holy Ghost and became a member of the Church. YAYYYYY!!! I love you all so much!1
Hermana Watkins


Monday, September 30, 2013

Transferred!


Hello family and friends!
This week has been super crazy, but really awesome! 
Yes I'm training and yes I was transferred. I'm still in the same ward, which is awesome, so I can still see all my other investigators coming to church. I'm now in Houston West. I just moved South a little. My new area is extremely different from Houston NW. There's more wealth and I'm in a car :( I miss riding my bike everyday, but it's nice to be in the air conditioner... now that it's cooling down. haha Oh I'm also in a trio. Like President said I was going to receive help training. :) My companions are Hermana Carlson ( Who is my Grandma, she trained Hermana Wilzbach) and my baby is Hermana Groves. :)

I love both my companions A TON!! Holy cow, Heavenly Father put me with the two most wonderful missionaries in the world! They are exactly what I needed! Hermana Groves is from Cedar City, Utah and her MTC experience was a lot like mine. She really struggled with the language, which is helping me a lot, because I get to teach her and my Spanish is getting a lot better now. And Hermana Carlson is basically native.

The trio Hermana Carlson, Hermana Groves, and Emily
The area is still hard for me to get used too. It's kind of like how my old area was when we first got into it... dead... we have like half the lessons that we did in my old area and less members live here. But I have the chub in my area!!!! We have a half member family in my area and they have the cutest/ chubbiest baby in the world! Well besides Charlotte and Lincoln. I just wish I could hold him. He has stolen my heart. This area has a lot of kids and babies in it though... It's killing me!! I love BABIES!!!
Emily and her district sisters
The Womens broadcast was WONDERFUL! Oh my goodness it was exactly what I needed to hear and all of our members. :) It was really cool seeing  Kelsey Rust and Jessica Grammar in the MTC choir. Herman Johnson and I were freaking out when we saw them. It is always nice to see Vernal people. Our new bishop said he knows the Colovich's son. They said he served here in Houston and they've gone to visit him in Vernal before. Small world.

The new bishop is exactly what the ward needed! He's main focus is strengthening the ward. Yesterday was 5th Sunday and he had all the missionaries go up and introduce ourselves and what areas were in and everyone in the ward is supposed to call the missionaries and set up a time for us to come over the house to have a noche de mormones which is kind of like family home evening, but they invite either a investigator, another memeber family, or less active. I'm REALLY excited to see the progression. Especially in this area. President really wants us to pray for a vision for our area, and what God wants for it. There's going to be a lot of changes, and it's going to be hard but I'm excited. 
I never thought I would see my daughter holding a cockroach!
Random things... we don't have a dryer so we have to ghetto dry our clothes in the apartment.. I forgot to take a picture. I get to go to my old area tomorrow on exchanges with my baby Hermana Groves. I now have a 6 pack :) I've lost more weight being in a car and having a gym then I did when I was on a bike everyday.... weird! Probably because we don't have member feeding us every single day. haha
I love you all,
Hermana Watkins

Monday, September 23, 2013

Transfers Coming



Dear Family and Friends,
I'm not sure how to write down all the things I want to say... I have a lot of emotions and things going through my head right now. Last week was pretty good.... A LOT of rain so we had some lessons of the phone... they were really weird, especially when we would pray over the phone.  The big news I have/ had is last Thursday at 2:38 p.m. I received a phone call from my dear President. The first question he asked me was,"How's your Spanish Hermana Watkins"?  I said,"Mejor (Better)" :) He laughed and then told me that the Lord wants me to be a TRAINER!!!! He then asked me how I felt about that. Right when he told me I felt instant peace. I told him I am willing to do anything that the Lord has planned for me. He was really shocked with my answer. Haha he thought I was going to freak out. But I really felt good about it. I was super nervous and I don't feel as prepared as I would like, but if that's what God want's for me then, that's what is best!! I then had a training meeting the next day with President and he really helped me feel more prepared. Well this morning we received the usual phone call from our district leader telling us who is being transferred and who is staying... well come to find out I'm being transferred and not training... as of right now. The AP's are supposed to call me sometime today or tomorrow. They said they keep receiving different answers for me... So I might be leaving or staying, training or not training. I think I'm in shock right now.. Not very sure on what I should prepare for or do, but I need to have the faith that wherever I go and do it's what God want's for me.  But if I am training, PLEASE pray for me and my poor trainee. I think I would love training though. I can really see myself struggling but growing a lot.
The weirdest thing is that there's only two Spanish sisters coming to the mission this transfer. I don't really know why I would be picked to train when there are sisters that are far more prepared and older. I have know idea what to think right now....

Yesterday John received the Holy Ghost :) He was really excited! We also got a new bishop who is Russian, but knows Spanish. He's legit and is really wanting to strengthen the ward. We have a family history fair this week and one of the ladies in my ward has her family history all the way back to Adam on this HUGE poster with her direct line and all those around it. It was super cool to see. She said it took her and her husband 36 years to accomplish it. That's a lot of happy ancestors!! :)

I can't believe Ross is in Jerusalem. Everyday I study in the Bible dictionary at night and I'm learning a lot about the things that Ross is seeing. I can't wait to talk to him about it all when were both home. Nicole is engaged!! Holy! I'm not ready for marriage. After being in a companionship I've come to realize that I have A LOT to work on before I'm in an eternal marriage. :) Thank goodness for missions. ha
Houston weather is freezing!! It's in the 70's and I'm freezing cold. That's not a joke. I woke up this morning chivering BRRRRR. I'm nervous about winter. I heard it gets really cold in the winter especially with the humidity... so I will probably buy a couple more cardigans and warmer things. :)

All in all the mission is going great. President sent his big email around to us today, saying that in order for us to reach the 1000 baptisms each companionship needs to have 7 baptisms. It's totally possible!! I love this work. Well that's basically all. I love you all, and I love this Gospel with all my heart!!
Les Quiero
Hermana Watkins


Monday, September 16, 2013

Hello family and friends,

So this week was..... THE BEST WEEK EVER!! Why?? Because we finally made Standards of Excellence!! Heavenly Father truly blessed us and our area this week. The week started out slow because neither of us were feeling to good, but we both received blessings and off we went!! I'm so grateful for the priesthood. :)

This last week we received a lot of news, and almost all of them were people that came up to us and asked us for help. The coolest experience happened yesterday. We were walking over to Johns house to help him prepare for his baptism and teach his family one last time (His mom wants to listen to us now) but this white gangster guy came up to us and was kind of buzzed, but he asked us who we were and what we beleived in. He told us that he just got released from prison because he was accused for attempted murder..... Surprisingly I wasn't scared of him at all. Hermana and I both felt very safe with him. He wanted us to pray with him and so on the side of the road we did, and he said probably one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard. It was beautiful!! We hope to teach him again this week :)

Other cool things that happened this week are I finally learned how to make pupusas!! And Hermana Sproule says I'm Pro :) I'm excited to come home and make this new food for ya'll <- That's my southern accent coming out.. haha Hermana Sproule surprised Hermana Wilzbach and I with brand new shoes... because ours are starting to get holes in the bottom. I love her!! This Friday our ward had Latino night were everyone wore their clothes and colors from their countries, and then we had TONS of Food and they did dances from all their countries. I loved it! I want to study cultures!!


  And last but far from least.... John got baptized yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was such a beautiful service. We had 3 from our district get baptized and the show up was HUGE!!


I really love reading in the scriptures. Heavenly Father has really blessed me these past couple months with helping me really understanding the scriptures. This past week I was finishing Alma and I've never really understood why those last couple chapters about wars are even in the BOM, but I learned so much from them. In Alma 60:23-24 it talks about cleaning our inner vessel before the outward one. I really applied this to working with the wards and making them stronger before we go out to fight the world and clean the outer vessel. Our President has really been stressing the importance of strengthening the members and the ward, and it's been a huge blessing for Hermana and me.

So a couple quick stories... 1. I now dream in Spanish every night and my companion says I sleep talk in Spanish too!! Yay! 2. We have 100 of dead cucarachas (cockroaches) in our apartment everyday, because they finally came and put poison around.. Super nasty!! 3. This morning I did surgery on my companions foot and cut out her hang nail... Super cool!!! Maybe I will go into surgery... ha 4. Hermana woke me up the other night screaming, "GET UP, GET UP" So I jumped out of bed and she flipped on the lights and was pointing up at the wall next to my bed and she looks at me and she thought she saw a GIANT cockroach by my bed, but she was dreaming it. haha. You had to of been there.

Well I would love to tell you more, but I don't want my email to be to long.. haha Transfers are next week... I guess will see what happens. :) The church is true. I know it!! I LOVE the scriptures sooooooooooo much!
Have a great week!!
Les Quiero

Hermana Watkins

Monday, September 9, 2013

Good Week

It feels really weird that today is already Pday. Holiday weeks really throw me off!! This last week felt very slow! We were able to meet all Standards of excellence again but the baptism and confirmation. Even though were not meeting all of them I have seen a huge change in our area and in this work. The Lords work is hastening on, and I  am so grateful to be part of it. :)

Next week Hermana and I will hopefully be able to reach all Standards. I hope you don't think numbers is all I care about. That's very, very wrong! I love our investigators and truly focus on them and the things that are important. I am just very impressed with our progression and the miracles that we have been given. This next Sunday our dear investigator John is getting baptized :) :) He received his interview last night and is already to go! We're very excited for him and his decision to be baptized. He's 17 and his older brother was baptized almost a year ago, and we've been working with him the last 2 months, and has progressed very well.

Last night we had a devotional for investigators and less actives at the Bissonnett church. It was really good, and I understood everything that was said last night. :) The lord has really blessed me this last transfer with the gift of tongues. Everyone in my zone thinks that next transfer I'm staying and taking over the area and Hermana Wilzbach is leaving. I'm super nervous if that is true, but excited too. I love change, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to leave all of our investigators.

Last Thursday my all time favorite investigator Francisco came out with us all day after planning. We taught four lessons with him. But he doesn't have transportation so we got to walk all around our area. Super exhausting, but really fun. :) He told us that we go in some of the scariest areas in our county. Weird.... I feel totally safe. We had one lesson were the investigator fed us and were pretty sure it was cat food....... Yummy!! haha You should of seen Francisco trying to eat it... haha. Francisco really helped me out with my Spanish and I we walked around were he would be the missionary and I would ask him questions about his belief and the church. I can't wait till you guys can meet him. He's LEGIT!! Francisco also fed us on Saturday. He made Fajita meat and sausage :)  I LOVE IT!! He also bought us two beautiful cakes. Man he's AWESOME!!! Were so blessed to have these amazing investigators.

Other then that not a lot happened. Family History was super stressful..... but went well. Every car in Texas has there favorite football teams flags on their cars. The mosquitos are killing me!!! And we found a flying spider in our apartment this morning! My worst nightmare just came true.

I love you all!! I hope Lindsey had a wonderful Birthday! I was thinking about you :) I have another present to send you that one of my investigators made :)

The Church is True!!!

Love,
Hermana Watkins


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hello Family!

Hello my beautiful family!!
I'm emailing today because all the libraries were closed yesterday for Labor Day. I feel like this past week was like a month long with all the stuff that happened. Last Tuesday we had Zone Meeting and it was probably the best Zone Meeting of my life. The spirit was very strong and Angels were surrounding us and teaching us lots of new things. So I lied to you last week about how were supposed to meet 900 baptisms... it's actually 1,000. :) Cool huh!! Our meeting was all about how we can reach that goal and what things we need to do. We had a big testimony meeting and it was beautiful! I love this work and the plan that God has for each of us. In the last couple months missionary work has really changed. We are not knocking on doors any more. We are going around and strengthening the members. It's through them that we find new investigators. We have really seen a change in the church the last couple weeks. Especially after using all of our trainings. I know we can get 1,000 baptisms but only if were doing ALL the things the Lord has asked/trained us to do. 

So the members and some of our investigators have been begging me to see pictures of my family and now that I have some, that's all I've been doing. :) And everyone LOVES the pictures. When I told them that the pictures were taken in our yard they all fell in love with our property. Everyone said that I have a beautiful family and guess what.... it's true!! Just like the church is true. :) haha 
Emily and companion in the car

The apartment has become a home for all the cockroaches in Texas.................. I went on a killing rampage the other night!!! I hate them!! The other day at church we were all outside calling our investigators and trying to get people to come to church and we saw a Cockroach this big
................................................ GROSS!!! I touched it too! I didn't have my camera so I will have to find another one and take a picture of me holding it. :) Were calling our management this week, and hopefully they will spray. I can't deal with them any more!

This week we have been really blessed with presents and food! We now receive like 3 meals a day from members and investigators. Also one of our less actives bought us brand new lights of our bikes, because my headlight fell off and Hermanas tail light did too. Francisco bought us donuts the other day and is now feeding us every Saturday night!!! Yes! The best part is were getting fed and having member invite lessons all at the same time!! 

So one quick story.. I was riding my bike saying hi, well Hola, to everyone on the side of the road and one of the ladies said Hola back very kindly, and the spirit was like go talk to her, but sometimes I get confused with the spirit and my thoughts so I just pushed it off and kept riding... well I get to the end of the road, and the whole time I'm arguing in my head if I should turn around or not. I finally slam on my brakes and yell at Hermana to turn around. We hurry and ride our bikes back to her, and the poor lady looked terrified. I jumped off my bike and introduced ourselves and she was really happy and told us to come over on Monday (yesterday) and we did and It was a AWESOME lesson! I know the Lord is putting people in our path everyday, and I love it!! :) 
The rest of the week went great. Sunday we had a huge fast for missionary work. We had 5 investigators come to church, and Hermana and I taught Sunday school.... Super terrifying, but fun! Yesterday we didn't teach much because there was drunks EVERYWHERE and the spirit just wasn't able to dwell in our area.... We've been using family history A LOT in our lessons and were going and doing family history work tonight with some members. :) 
Spanish is great!! I'm really starting to love it even more. I love you all!!
Oh and Lindsey HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I love you! I will email you if I have time, if not I will for sure send you a letter!! :)
Les Quiero
Hermana Watkins

Monday, August 26, 2013


This week was full of good news and some bad news, but all in all it was a GREAT week! Tuesday is when we received the saddest news I have ever received. My dear friend Francisco is unable to get baptized until his probation is over in 4 1/2 years. :( My heart was broken when our district leader called and told us this.  Right before we got the call we had just had a really awesome lesson with him, and he told us how excited he was to be baptized and to become a member. Well we were unable to meet with him on Wednesday because he had probation classes so we finally got to meet with him Thursday night. Hermana Wilzbach and I decided to read in True to the Faith with him about Adversary. We were both really nervous to teach the lesson. On Wednesday I was reading in 1 Nephi 10 in the third to last verse talks about One Eternal Round. When I read this I was really thinking about a track and how we all have our own lane to run and we all start in the beginning with our coaches ( God and Christ) and then we leave their presents and start the race. We all have different hurdles (life obstacles) to work through, but the whole time our coaches can direct us on how to work through these obstacles, and when we do, we become stronger. Sometimes the people next to us on the track seem like they come over on our path and make it harder, but other times people are sent to be next to us, to help us and direct us where we need to go. I could talk all day about this little story that I came up with, but I don't have time, but after reading with Francisco about the adversary I told him this story and he added his ideas to  it and different scriptures to go along. It was really fun! I then told him that he would be unable to be baptized until his probation is over. I of course was crying and could feel the spirit really strongly. Francisco then looked at me and told me he could feel the spirit and he knows that this is just one of those obstacles that he needs to get through. He was sad, but knows it's part of his repentance process and is willing to do all that he can to stay on his path. We then started planning for his baptism in 4 1/2 years and he's going to find himself a wife that is either a member or is going to get baptized with him and Hermana Wilzbach and I are going to show up with our families... haha hopefully I will have one by then.. :) I can't wait for all of you to meet him in this life or the next he's amazing!! I love him!
So that's the sad news/ amazing news to know that he is that strong. The ward said they would give him an assignment with the scouts, and he's super excited to just be a man of service for God. :)
On Friday we had Zone Conference and it was AMAZING!! The spirit taught me so many things that I have already started doing with the work. President announced that God has told him that we need to have 900 baptisms before the year is over. Right now we have 350. I was so excited when he announced this, because God knows the plan and he knows how we can reach that number! Ahhhh it's so exciting! We learned a lot of new things to apply to the work and to become better missionaries so we can reach that number. :) I also loved seeing all my missionary friends and meeting all the newbies. One of the things that we really talked about at conference was Family History and how we need to use it more in teaching. And if you read the verse I was talking about earlier it talks about the "course" and I found out that the course talks about family history and the importance of doing it. Not only can the people in Spirit world not receive their salvation, but we cannot either if we don't do their work. It's all part of the ONE ETERNAL ROUND!!  After Conference I went on my very first/legit exchange. Hermana Carlson who is Hermana Wilzbachs trainer came with me to my area and Hermana Wilzbach went to hers. I became the senior companion for 24 hours and was in charge. I loved it!! I was super nervous and first, but said a prayer and I had angels helping me the whole time. Hermana Carlson and I applied all the things that we learned at conference and noticed a difference in our lessons and it was beautiful. HOLY I love this work! We showed up to our investigator Juana's house and her daughter was having her birthday party, but they invited us in anyway and we played a couple games with the little girls and then sat down and taught about the Gospel. I have NEVER talked so much Spanish in my life!! I taught the whole lesson, only because the spirit was there. :) I also helped Juana's daughter say the prayer... oh my goodness it melted my heart. I can't wait to be a mom!! Juana told me that she could really feel the spirit and wan'ts to be baptized! :)


Yesterday at church we had Alex and Carla come with their cute little baby Mateo and Francisco of course came. Alex and Carla seemed to really like church and Mateo did to. It's killing me that I can't hold babies or kids though... ugh!! Last night we had a Noche de Hogar and the church or FHE with the ward. It was a lot of fun and there was tons of food!! I had like 5 meals yesterday :) and I believe I've lost weight... I have no idea how that works.
This past week former Elder Drake and his MTC companion came back to the mission and visited. He served in my area for a really long time so it was fun talking to him about all the changes and the people.
My health is great... I honestly don't understand it, but I know it's part of Gods plan and I've learned a lot from my problems. Do family history work. Your salvation and your family on the other side depends on it. :) I love you all!
Les Quiero
Hermana Watkins


Monday, August 19, 2013

1ST BAPTISM!


Cinthia is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It finally happened, Cinthia was baptized on Saturday and it was a beautiful baptism.

Saturday started out super good. We went and tried some of our referrals at Cancun and we have a new investigator named Juana. She's a mother of three kids and is originally from Mexico. Juana was really excited to have us teach her and we shared the Restoration and the spirit was beautiful. She was smiling from ear to ear the whole lesson. She didn't except a baptismal date, but really wants to learn more and she said she cool feel the spirit really strong and would like to get baptized once she receives a answer. I can't wait to go back and teach her this week. After trying the referrals we went over to Alex and Carla's to teach them and we received news from her mom that their baby is really sick in the hospital and they don't know if he will live. Which is really really sad, their first baby was a still born and this second one Mateo was a premi :( I pray all goes well. We then went to the Jimenez to see how Cinthia is doing and doing last minute things before the baptism. After getting ready we walked over to our rides house and she had totally forgot she was taking us.... so we ended up being late for the baptism.... I was soooooooo stressed. All in all the baptism went really well. Hermana Wilzbach and I sang a duet and the talks were really good too. Cinthia said she felt so clean and could feel the spirit really strong! She then received the Holy Ghost yesterday in sacrament.

We had a couple really good lessons with Francisco. He lives in the same apartment complex as us, so we go and see him a lot. He's a really awesome guy and guess what????? He's getting baptized this week... well hopefully.... he has to get an interview from President. Were really praying that all goes well. He's honestly the perfect investigator. We have seen the preparation that God has done for him and for us to teach him. 6 months ago he was a big time drunk. He told us there is no way he would of talked to us then. Like I said last week he went to church and this week we were praying with him that his boss would allow him to take off Sundays so he could to go to church and Wednesday we asked him how it went, and he received a miracle. He asked his boss and his boss was like of course, no problem. YAY!!! Miracle! He is so excited to get baptized and is basically already a member.We asked him if he knows this church is true, and he said," Without a doubt, I can't deny the things the Holy Ghost hast told me."He loves answering the questions in Sunday School and talking with all the members. He's also really excited to get a calling. I would say after two hard months of working and being sick, meeting someone like Francisco makes it all worth it.

My Spanish is coming a long really well. I'm thinking about doing a English fast next week.... that means I can't speak English for a whole week!!! Wish me luck!

We were one away from reaching Standards of Excellence. Friday we had a horrible rain storm come and the AP's told us that we had to go into our apartments. So we were unable to get in some of our lessons, but if and when Francisco gets baptized this week we'll beable to reach them this week!!!

What else happened this week???? Well transfers came and gone. I love my mission, and  I love the plan God has for me and I know without a doubt that this church is true. I love you all!! I want to say Happy Birthday to my beautiful sister Alesha and Grandma Merrell!!! Both of your birthdays were last week.

Les Quiero
Hermana Watkins