Monday, June 17, 2013

Hurricane drill

Good afternoon family and friends!! 
This week has been a roller coaster that I thought would never end. This morning was pretty interesting. We got a call at 5:30 saying that we needed to evacuate because a hurricane is coming. So first thing Hermana and I do is run outside to look at the sky and it's clear... no clouds, nothing. But we did as we were asked and packed up some belongings and are 72 hour kits and the other Hermana's came and picked us up and off we went to the chapel. Turns out it was just a fun little drill..... haha It was funny to see everyone with bed hair though :) I guess this years hurricane is supposed to be HUGE! I'm excited, but I'm glad we now know what to do just in case. 
Hermana Florence told me to tell you that she is so grateful for the package. She was rushed to the ER last week and had a ovarian cyst removed. Scary! She said she received your package when she was in the hospital and it lifted her spirits so much! She said she was going to write a letter, but didn't know when she would have time. So thank you!! 
Happy Father's Day yesterday dad. I'm glad you received my card. I didn't know how long mail took to get from Texas to Utah so I mailed it early so thanks for waiting. Also, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad this week. I hope your going to do something other than yard work, but yard work it fun too...... I actually had a weird urge the other day to do yard work so while riding our bikes I went and asked everyone that was outside if I could help them with yard work, but the hispanic people don't want us to help them with anything... lame.

So a little about our investigators. The  family that's not married haven't been doing the commitments we are giving them so we have to push their baptism date back to July 28th, hopefully they will be ready, because  the nephew leaves to Honduras in August and he and his cousin  are ready,but they both want to get baptized with the parents. But the dad doesn't want to get married.... so he can't get baptized. We had 10 new investigators last week and 5 of them excepted a baptismal date, and they are all progressing really fast, and I'm SUPER EXCITED!!! I love it! Surprisingly we had 17 lessons this week. I say surprisingly because I felt like everyone was gone or they didn't have time. But the God works is mysterious ways sometimes. I titled my email patience, because I still need to learn to have patience with myself and knowing that this isn't my plan, and that it's Gods plan, and I will progress with the language, teaching, learning, bike riding haha all on his time.

 The language is going great though. I teach almost half of the lessons now. I have like no confidence when it comes to the language, but all of our investigators say my accent is really good and I don't sound like a gringa only when I talk slow. haha I some sad news. Our investigator has been in the hospital for the past 3 weeks with her son that has Cancer and we haven't been able to teach her, but we teach her mother. And we found out that her son  passed away Thursday night. The family was actually praying that he would pass away. The cancer became so bad that he went blind and he wasn't progressing at all. Were going to see her today. I will probably cry a lot.. because this week on Friday is a year from when David committed suicide and one of our new investigators is named and his best friend got shot last week and died. :( He's so excited to hear more about the Plan of Salvation though and I can already tell he will progress really fast. He want's us to teach his family. He's 26 and has three beautiful daughters. 
This week I've ate some pretty awesome things. Elote which is corn on a stick.
I had to ride my bike while eating it and I almost ran into a car.. the people in the car looked at me like I was crazy, probably because I had corn in my teeth and butter dripping down my chin and I was eating corn while riding a bike.. you don't see that very often. The ward had a father's day party on Saturday and we had soup with pigs feat in it, and all honestly it was probably the best tasting soups I have ever had. I didn't know at the time that it was pigs feat though. The lucio's had a big BBQ for us yesterday and cooked  A LOT of meat, and I can't remember the name of all the stuff, but it was AMAZING!! I also had mangados
which is a frozen mango in a cup with a stick in it and the cup is full of chile powder and sauce. It was.. interesting but I thought it was pretty good. Everyone here loves them. My new favorite store in the world is called Fiesta! It's a grocery store, like Walmart, but ten times better!!!! It's literally a party in a store. They have loud latino music playing and flashing lights all over and it's all latino food! And everything is dirt cheap. Ross did LA have Fiesta's? if not they are missing out. I don't think I've ever loved a store so much. This morning we went after the drill and we were looking at the meats they have and they every part of every animal... kind of disgusting, but it sure taste good. Yesterday Hermana Baer and Pimentel had a baptism for Mauro who is the coolest guy on earth. He has been investigator for a year now and has like the whole BOM memorized, and he has the craziest story of how he crossed the border.. haha Those stories are my favorite!! We had one investigator come and all of her family was baptized in January, but she didn't want to, but now she does!! :) Umm what else happened... I am now pure muscle!  I saw a drug exchange go on right in front of my face... I can pop a willy on my bike. So many things happened, but I think I put down a lot of the important things. Sorry if my emails are really scattered and unorganized.. I'm working on it. I love you all!! 
Les Quiero
Hermana Watkins
P.s Baby Lincoln is very handsome. Thank you Jessica for the pictures. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tough incident

Thank you everyone for the emails this week. I really needed them. This week was probably the hardest week of my mission so far. I think I would rather have another colonoscopy and endoscopy over and over again before going through this week. A week ago on Saturday we went over to a ladies house who had been taught by the missionaries before, but she dropped them and wasn't interested any more. About a week ago we received a text from her saying that she would like to meet with the missionaries again, and of course we were super excited. Well  we get there and her apartment was/is disgusting!!! There was trash and food all over the floor and it smelled horrible. We were there for almost two hours because she kept crying and and talking to us and my companion had no idea what she was talking about. She speaks really really fast and is hard to understand.   So we set up another appointment with her for  Wednesday, and it was the hardest 30 minutes of my life. She has 7 kids but three of them are between the ages 2-6. We planned on teaching the Restoration, well we get there and there's more food and trash on the floor, but now there is dog pee on the floor and on the couches. The kids are super dirty and look like they haven't had a bath in months, and their clothes don't fit them. During the lesson the youngest child started to cry and wanted his moms attention. I can't talk about the rest without crying so lets just say she slapped and punched her kids in front of us. We ended the lesson very fast and went and called our zone leaders, who then called president. President wanted us to go teacher her again, but we had to have a bishop or a higher priesthood holder to come with us to be a witness, and to be someone who can go to court cases. This past Saturday we went and the Elders Quorum president came with us, and this time it was even worse. :( My heart hurts SOOO bad right now. I have never cried so much. During the lesson she told us that she received money from the church before when she was being taught by the missionaries previously, and she really needs it or else her electricity will be shut off and her kids will be taken from her. She told us that the state is already been over to talk to her about her kids. Thank goodness. I really don't know how you deal with cases like this everyday dad. Thank you for what you do. I wish I didn't have to witness something so horrible. Hermana Wilzbach and I were asked to write down everything we saw and heard. I never want to do this again. But I know we were sent there for those kids. Please pray that these kids will be taken out soon. The Hermano that came with us said she's from his country and usually hitting every once in awhile isn't uncommon, but he's never ever seen abuse and neglect like this before. 
This week really has been a pretty good week besides that situation. We only have one family that is coming to church, because everyone else works on Sundays, but they are trying to come. The hardest part about missions is seeing the sad lives a lot of these people live and the investigators not doing their commitments. Especially when they know that the church is true and what were saying is true. They just haven't had that conversion and desire. I know this church is true with all my heart and I love sharing it with everyone I come in contact with. I just wish they were all ready to hear it, but then this work would be way to easy. 
I don't know if you heard but there was a big fire in Houston where a hotel and restaurant burned down and four firefighters died. One of the members that feed us said that two of them were Mormon. I don't know if that is right though. The fire wasn't to far away from where I live. We drove by it the other day to go to the mission office for zone training. My President is an amazing guy and really knows his scriptures. You can ask him about anything and he can tell you what scripture to go to. I'm so grateful for him and his beautiful family. I love families!! My prayers go to the firefighters families and Alesha and Andrew. Thank you Andrew for all that you do. I love all of you soo much and miss you tons!
Just so you know I'm pro at riding my bike. My zone leader and I are having a contest to see who can do the coolest tricks. I can ride no handed on my seat and off my seat. I can put my feet on my middle bar and stand up, I also went off this ramp the other day and my companion said I was like 5 feet in the air. :) Awesome huh!! I love my bike. Thank you!! 
Hermana Cardoza feeds us every Friday and she took us to a chinese Restaurant and it was AMAZING!!! Her daughter Carly is actually moving up to Utah to go to BYU this Fall. She's super scared to be around Mormons all the time. haha 
Well family I would love and sit here  all day and tell you about everything but I'm on the lords time and need to finish shopping and I think were going bowling today as a zone. :) 
Love you all, 
Hermana Watkins

Emily's Apartment

Monday, June 3, 2013

Heat and Cockroaches

Hello Utah family!
From all the emails sounds like everyone is having fun and enjoying summer. I'm enjoying my summer too,but It's really HOT here and humid. I love the humidity, but were starting to get up in the high 90's and the humidity is gettting higher too. I love it when we show up to investigators houses and they tell us how horrible we look. Ha That only happened once and she was talking to me... my face was really sweaty and red. 
This past week has been up and down and up and down. After Pday last Tuesday Hermana Wilzbach and I were pumped to go out and do the work, because we had lots of lessons planned for that night, and they all fell through. Just like they did all day Wednesday and Thursday. They were the slowest days of my life, and really sad, espcially because a lot of the lessons were with investigators that are solid. Wednesday night was really cool though. We have dinner at Hermana Margy Sproules house every Wednesday night and she invited to of her daughters friends and mom to come to dinner so we could share a message with them. Hermana Sproules lives just a couple doors down from us. We love her! She's the Relief Society President in our ward. She's from Honduras and cooks really yummy food, but Hondurian food isn't spicy. The two investigator girls are 15 and 12. Their mom is a member but is inactive. We taught about the Restoration and it was in English so I taught most of the lesson and shared a couple experiences with them and then asked them if they would prepare to be baptized in a month, and guess what.... they said YES!!! How cool is that :) And they came to church yesterday and their mom loved Relief Society and forgot how strong the spirit was at church. I've really come to realize how important members are in missionary work. A lot of our references come from members and they help to fellowship them in the ward to. So help the missionaries as much as possible in Vernal, I'm positive they need it.
Thursday is our planning day so we were inside till 3 doing studies and planning and once we went out we mainly just tracked the whole time and asked for references, because all of our appointments fell through, but it was good exercise. Oh and we were ride home and it was getting darker and this lady was outside walking her dog, and it was on a leesh and everything, but it started to run after my companion, and the owner started yelling at it and pulled it back to her. Once I went by it ran in front of me and I ran into it..... the lady was then swearing and freaking out at her dog, luckily not me, but once we got back to the apartment we looked at my tire and there was dog hair... haha whoops.
Friday was probably one of the scariest days of my life... Just kidding.  We had Zone Meeting from 10-2 and it's in ALL Spanish... ahhh I was really scared, and I think the Zone Leader Elder Watts noticed, because he made me get up and share my testimony with everyone and then teach a little demostration ALL in spanish. I was a nervous wreck, but I gained so much confidence because of it. I guess I spoke perfect Spanish and everyone said they felt the spirit so strong. I was told by my teachers in the MTC that my simple testimony in Spanish is really powerful and ALWAYS brought the spirit in. So I gained a huge confidence boost and after Zone Meeting we went out and I talked to everyone in Spanish, and guess what we were blessed because of that. 
From Wednesday to Sunday we taught 14 lessons!!  So many blessings come everday in my mission. One of my favorite things is seeing the little Hispanic kids. I don't know what it is but little kids love me. LOVE! Everywhere I go they just surround me. We taught to different Normas this week and both of them have little kids. The first one has a little boy and girl around ages 2 and 4. The little boy sat behind me on the couch and played with my hair the whole time while the little girl was playing with her dolls right next to me. At the other Norma's apartment she has a boy thats 6 a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old boy. The two oldest sat next to me and started digging through my purse for paper and pen and then both started drawing me a picture while the ladies two dogs were licking every inch of my body.... gross! The 6 year old kept trying to speak to me in Spanish but I had NO idea what he was saying and he looks and me and in English said, "you don't know Spanish do you"? Hahah Smart little boy. The little girl started to play with my hair and and was hanging bracelets from my ears.  Cockroaches! we're starting to get them in our apartment now. We kill probably 4 a day. EWWW! I guess summer is when they start to come out.
I'm running out of time so I will give a brief little paragraph about everything else I want to talk about. I have hives all over my hands and arms. We think that's what it is so the nurse had me go buy allergy medicine. It's probably from all the cats...  I can ride my bike with no hands. We have 7 baptismal dates, but one of the families that has four baptisms we found out that they're not married.... :( and the dad doesn't want to get married. So hopefully we can figure things out. We kind of felt it coming though, becuase the spirit told us to talk about the Law of Chastity and if they were living the law. Hopefully, we can change the dads mind. They are my favorite family. They have family in Honduras that is moving up this summer and they want to be taught by us. They already met the missionaries and want to be baptized.
 Yesterday we had a ward activity at the church and we role played what FHE is like and how to invite an investigator family over for FHE. It was all in Spanish so they had me role play as a grandma, and I looked good. Hopefully I can send you pictures. The ward said I was their favorite part of the whole thing. :)
Emily as a grandma during role play

 Oh and yesterday we had a couple baptisms for our zone and your supposed to have investigadors there to watch, but no one came so we decided to go into one of the rooms at the church and plan, but I needed to go to the bathroom and when I was done I was walking outside the bathroom slowly trying to close the door quietly because the baptisms were right there, and I was waving at everyone one and then while I walking back to our room I realized that half of my skirt was tucked into my garments........ hahahhaha so half the ward saw
my bum...... ha. I was in tears crying because it was so funny. Whoops!
 Last thing, across the street from my apartment is the white building with a blue gate and it's all chinese people and they all drive white cars, and only wear white, blue or tan. It's the weirdest thing I have ever seen!!!!! I took a picture and I will send it to you pronto. Love you tons. The Lords work is the best work! Have a great week.
Hermana Watkins