Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Working Hard and Toe Surgery

We were very blessed this week to get a lot of new investigators, not just the every day news, but really God prepared people who are ready to hear the Gospel and except it. One of the our new ones goes to a church called Lakewood or as the scriptures describe it, The Great an Abominable Church, and it just happens to be in our area. You should look it up on the internet. It's HUGE!! We found out yesterday that the main preacher guy used to be Mormon and he and all these other churches have come together to make one big church..... I think I'm going to stick with the church Christ established. 

This week has been a really long and I have hit past the point of exhaustion. I think it's because God is blessing us with more hours in the day so that we can have more lessons in the week, so we can hit our goals. Our schedule has been really whack and switched up. One morning we went over to one of our members homes and did gardening with them and she taught me a lot about organic food and eating healthy. Her family has decided to quit eating gluten and some other things. On the mission I have really come to understand the Word of Wisdom more. If we think about the law of keeping the sabbath day holy, or keeping ourselves away from worldly media like movies, Tv, and music. I believe its the same with the Word of Wisdom. Our bodies our temples of God and we are to keep "worldy things" from entering it. Are we eating things of God and fasting from the things of the world? I really am super interested in this topic and I want to study more into when I am home. She also is a home schooling mom, and she is a big time role model for me. I have no idea how she does all the things she does. 

On Thursday we had  interviews with President. I am so blessed to have such and awesome President. We have had some sad things happen in the mission with some obedience problems, ending with missionaries going home and he has been super awesome through it all. I also received sad news that my MTC companion Hermana Florence was sent home to have surgery on her Gal bladder and was given the choice to come back, but she has decided to stay home.

Each month each area with a car is given a certain amount of miles that they can use, and we ended up using a lot of those miles at the beginning of the month so we have been having a lot of fun getting on our bikes again and going on 30 min. bike rides to get to one lesson :) haha I really do love my bike... it's just some times the car is a lot faster. Especially when one of us gets a flat and we had to walk a good amount a miles to get back to our apartment. :) 

As of right now we have some really awesome families and singles with baptismal dates. We are really working on J and helping him feel ready again to be baptized this Sunday and then the following Sunday will be Christmas, with Conference and G's :) :) YAY!! We are already working on helping her get names to take to the temple the week after her baptism :) She  invited me and Hermana Jaeger to come back in a year for their sealing :) This is what this work is all about :) Getting families to the temple. 

Thursday we got to help teach seminary in the morning.... bright and early! They usually start at 5:30, but since it was spring break they started at 6:00. haha Utah kids are really spoiled to have seminary during school. 

Last story today is last Thursday I went back to the foot doctor so he could burn the warts on me heel again, and he noticed that I had a ingrown toe nail.... I've been getting them like every month on the mission and he decided that I should probably get surgery on it so it doesn't happen again. Next thing I know after 5 shots in my toe I couldn't feel anything and he was pushing knives down in my toe :) Hermana Jaeger and I were super fascinated. It was really cool, but weird that it was my toe and I couldn't feel it. 
Emily got to wear flip flops for 3 days after her toe surgery

I hope all is well at home and that Ross is doing better. Stay strong brother!! I love you all and I pray for you constantly.... P.s. I've taught like half the mission how to do the monster voice. We even have members that do it too. haha 

Les Quiero
Hermana Watkins

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A roller coaster ride

Hello family and friends, 
This week is explained perfectly in the title. There was some days that we were just rocketing up the hill and other times we were thrown back and forth through hoops and twists, but all in all it was a good week. 

We ended up teaching a lot of lessons this week and we were very blessed with 6 new ones :) One of them  has 5 kids all over the age of 8 and she is AMAZING! We brought a member with us for the first lesson and her daughter opened the door with a parrot on her head. We didn't have time to get a picture with the parrot, but don't worry next week I will make sure to get the parrot on my head and get a picture :) We taught the Restoration and our member Hermana Alonso shared her testimony about the Restoration that I thought was really cool. She explained that the church of Jesus Christ is like a mirror. Once Christ and the apostles died the mirror was broken and the people on the Earth would take parts of the mirror, or little truths to put into their church, but they didn't have the full mirror. This is why the Restoration is SOO important. Joseph Smith was called as a prophet to restore this "mirror" of church of Christ so that we may be able to have the fullness. We can also see everything perfectly clear when the mirror is put back together. The whole picture is there. I loved this analogy and I shared it in one of the other Restoration lessons we taught this week and the lady told me that it makes so much sense and she wants to pray to know if this church has that fullness. 
We were blessed with two new families. I have been praying my whole mission to teach a family. I've just been lucky with the old single men ;) haha, and the teenagers. We received  a couple baptismal dates this week as well. I love seeing the fruits of my labor. I will work in this vineyard all my life to see one fruit. It's totally worth it. Especially with the knowledge that I have that my Savior is right by me doing the same labor. 
I've been praying to find service, because for some reason the Hispanic's culture doesn't like people to serve them.... so we were sitting at a bus stop and this lady was walking on the other side of the road carrying a lot of stuff. So my companion and I ran over and helped her. We then introduced ourselves while we were walking and taught about our Savior. She then told us about her family and was saying some not very nice words... but asked to have one of our pass a long cards. She then told us she just got out of jail and would like to have more of our cards to pass out to some of her friends. While walking down the street she put her stuff down and told us to wait a second and she went into this building with no windows and lots of flashing lights... we then found out that it was a Strip/ bar. She came out and told us she passed out the stack of our pass a long cards to everyone and told them to stop feeling lonely and call this number. HAHAHA 
All day Friday we were on bikes trying to find people and we ended up going to this HUGE park called Memorial Park and we thought it would be an awesome place to find people, well we come to find out that Hispanics don't like going to parks.... so we talked to some white people and man I am so grateful I am teaching Hispanics. We did find one hispanic and she was working, but we have a lesson with her this week. We then went to this neighborhood where is past investigator from 2006 lives and he has a beautiful little house. He invited us in and told her to come meet his beautiful wife. We then walk into a small room where this adorable lady is in a hospital bed. She has alzhiemers and can't walk, talk, eat, nothing. He does everything for her. He told us how much he loved her and is willing to do anything for her. He is SUPER awesome and he wants us to come back and to teach his one son that lives in Houston. 

Out of all the loops and twists we went through the biggest one was with J. His baptism was for yesterday and everything was planned. He passed his interview and was super excited for Sunday to come. Sunday came and our member that we asked to pick up J went and waited for a couple minutes and then left without calling him or knocking on his door.He has been having some struggles with this guy because he feels like he doesn't like him and he also feels like a burden for the members to always pick him up... So he called us right before sacrament and told us to forget about the baptism... :( My heart broke. I want everyone to know that you as members are key to this work. I have learned a lot of things this week, and I think the biggest one is forgiveness. It's super hard sometimes to do, but our Savior did it. He suffered for each and everyone of us, even though who would not except him. We shall do the same. 
I love you all and pray for you constantly. I pray that you may all stay strong during the trials that you are struggling with. 
I love you!
Les Quiero

Hermana Watkins

Monday, March 10, 2014

No Transfer

This morning bright and early our lovely district leader called to tell us who is getting transferred........ and it's not me!!!YEAH!!! I will hit my year mark in the same ward I was born into. Everyone last night at the devotional said I was going to get transferred, but Hermana Jaeger and I have been praying ALL transfer long that we will have at least one more transfer together. :) And God truly does answer prayers. I am sad though because my "sister" Hermana Lister is getting transferred. :( 

The past week has been about the same as it has been the past two weeks. Really slow. The work is still moving forward, but not at rocket speed. Speaking of which we might go to NASA this transfer :) :) 

Last Tuesday we had an amazing Zone Study with President Ashton about the Atonement and how we can better teach Mercy and Justice. WOW!! I love the Atonement. I  am so extremely grateful for this message that we have to share with the world that we have a Savior and it's through him and his Mercy that can overpower the power of justice. This plan is beautiful and perfect. We truly can be free from our sins and wrong doings. All we need to do is ACT! President Ashton is a very brilliant man when it comes to the scriptures. I learned so much from him and my testimony has really grown. I challenge all of you to read in Alma 34 and 2 Nephi 9 to learn more about this freedom that we can receive. How lucky are we to know of this plan and to be saved by the Mercies of our Savior. He loves us all very much. Act now! We have one investigator that has been investigating for 5 years and all of her kids are members now. She has a really difficult situation where her husband lives in the Middle East and they can't find him to get a divorce. She is currently living with the man of her two youngest children.. she has 7. She really feels like she needs to get the money to get the divorce in order to get married to a man that she doesn't love and then get baptized. She is procrastinating her day of repentance, and it's hard for me to see that she feels like she needs to put the things of man before the things of God. We need to pay our tithing before we pay the house bills, do your home teaching or visiting teaching before hanging out with friends. If we want the blessings we need to do His will before ours.

This week we had exchanges and I was so close to being companions with Hermana Johnson, but Hermana Jaeger ended up going to their area and Hermana Pimentel came here. She was born into this area and showed me a lot of people that she used to teach and she helped us get some of her recent converts into shape. :) That's another thing. I have NEVER left the zone on my mission. Not even for an exchange. I have know Idea what it is like outside of my zone. :) haha but I'm okay with that. 

Real quick I want to share with you an experience I had this past week of so. I was reading through some of the Conference talks from the session in October when I came across the one by Elder Terence M. Vinson. On page 106 at the very top of the page he says," He is always near, especially in sacred places and in times of need; and sometimes, when I least expect, I feel almost like He taps me on the shoulder to let me know He loves me. I can return that love in my own imperfect way by giving him my heart." Right when I read this I thought instantly of my experience at the temple when Sister Robb tapped me on the shoulder, and immediately I felt the love of God. As you might not remember the one thing I wanted to learn at the temple was the love that God has for me and each of my investigators. His love is SO powerful and he wants each and everyone of us to feel. Keep praying, reading scriptures, and doing all you can to have a relationship with him. I know that it is hard, but it's worth it! I would not be out here if I didn't know this church is true. I would of gone home long time ago. I love you all so much and I pray that you are all doing AWESOME!! 
Les Quiero Muchisimo!

Hermana Watkins 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Well as you all probably know now.. I have been sick again. Two weeks ago on Thursday my stomach on the right side started to really hurt, but only if you would touch it. I was fine sitting and standing, but when you just barely touched it it felt like I had needles going in to my stomach. Well I decided to push it off and deal with the pain, but come Monday at the Zoo I started feeling more pain and the days following it started hurting more and more when I would sit or lay down. So Tuesday I spent all day on the phone with President Ashton, Sister Ashton, mission nurse, and mission Doctor. I ended up not going to the Doctor that night, but I went the next morning to Dr. Cabeza's my usual doctor. He wasn't very excited to hear that I was having stomach pains again. I had a urine and a couple blood tests done, and then set me up to get a cat scan later that day. So ended up cancelling all of our appointments and I had to drink  two "Berry Smoothies" for the cat scan and then I got results a couple days later saying that I have large cyst on the left side, but they couldn't see anything on the right side that would be causing pain. Then the Doctor called for a ultra sound and I received that this morning... I don't completely understand why I have these health problems, but I have seen a huge growth in myself from them. This morning I really felt God's love for me and the Atonement working in my life. I have my check up appointment on Wednesday and I can't wait to hear if they found anything new. I really am grateful for these test and trials I have been given. I've been praying and working hard at getting certain Christ like attributes and God has given me ways to receive them. 
On Friday we celebrated Hermana Jaeger's birthday by going out to lunch and our ward had a late Valentine's party... that sadly 30 people showed up to. Nefi and Guadalupe had us over for dinner and they bought a cake for Hermana and we had a mini party with Mauro :) She turned 22 and I was calling her old, but then remembered that I turn 21 this year...... I don't like getting old. Hermana Shill also celebrated her birthday yesterday... but she just turned 20. :) 

The work was not only slow with all the doctor things, but it was slow for everyone in our district. For some reason the past week either no one was home or they had some excuse's. One of the days we ended up playing outside with some kids and I had a lot of fun blowing bubbles for them. I miss playing with kids. :( 

We had a miracle and one of our recent converts finally came back from Mexico... sadly he didn't go to church the full 3 months he was there, and he started drinking coffee again. But God blessed us to find him and start bringing the light back into his life. All of our investigators and really progressing and were really working on having one more baptism before the transfer is over. I really hope and pray I'm still here for at least one more transfer with Hermana Jaeger and in this ward... I'M NEVER LEAVING!! :) 

Oh good news this week we get to go to the temple with one of the recent convert families and do baptisms for the dead with the ward :) Francisco is going too :) YAY!! 

I love you all, 
Les Quiero

Hermana Watkins


Dear Family, 
 All I know that I have been so blessed with an amazing companion. We had trials thrown at us left and right, but we decided that we weren't going to let that pull us down and we kept going at the work with a smile on our face and everything worked out great. 

Everything all kinda started with a bad experience my companion and I both went through at the Hospital with one of the test they ran on me. But through lots of prayers and cracking Mormon jokes we made it through. Wednesday all the results came back and they found a large cyst. They said that it's not large enough for it to be removed, but it will cause me a lot of pain. I was prescribed with some pain killers. I was really happy to get some answers. 

We had over 20 set lessons and half were with members and we were SUPER excited to get out to work. Yesterday we counted and 13 of those lessons cancelled on us. We just started laughing when the phone would ring right when we would pull up in the parking lot or street and they would call and cancel every time 5-10 minutes before the lesson. 

We have been experiencing some INSANE weather. One day it was in the 80's and the next we dropped down to 40. Yesterday going to church it was in the 70's once we got out of church we had dropped down to 31. BRRRRRRR..... I very much dislike the weather here... Not only is the weather whack outside, but our heater and air conditioner decided to control themselves... it's been fun burning up one minute and then freezing the next. And to make things better our hot water heater broke for two days. :) 

Last week I think I shared in my email that I was going to the temple with some recent converts. Well we got them all names and Francisco tooThe zone leaders called us a couple hours before and told us our recent converts just passed the deadline to go with the missionaries... 

We also had two people call us and tell us that they wanted the missionaries over again.... come to find out they both moved outside of our area. 

We also experienced muerte de hambre... STARVATION!! We ran out of food and money this week. :) haha 

I tell you all the these things for a reason. To let you know that this is life. We are going to have hard times, even when we're doing all the things that God has commanded us to do. We will still be tested, have bad weeks, and wonder why this is happening to us. It's not because we are bad missionaries or that we have been doing anything wrong. It's because God wants to make us stronger, and the only way that happens is through those hard times. It determines how we use our faith and if we are willing to be patient and diligent with pressing forward. I always find myself thinking of the pioneers, Joseph Smith, and of course our Savior Jesus Christ. They were all wonderful and one being a perfect person still dealt with trials. Since they decided to press forward and to do the will of God they were in the end blessed. I testify that these things are true. Friday and Saturday we were blessed with the fruits of our labor. Friday night Guadalupe told us that she wants to move her date sooner,  I can't explain the change that I have seen in her. She has gone from someone who didn't want anything to do with the church to someone who can't wait to be baptized and has already invited us to her sealing in one year! It testify that her change came from LOVE. I can't speak Spanish perfect and sometimes have know idea what the people say, but when you love them you help them see the love that their Heavenly Father has. Then on Saturday Joel one of our super legit converts told us that he wants to move his date from the 23 of March to 16 of March. :) :) This is what happens when you push forward. I thought maybe the trials were done come Saturday night and that the next day (Sunday) was going to be amazing.. it was but we were still trialed. Last night driving home from our last lesson we got a flat tire. We pulled over and there was a huge screw in our tire. We called the Elders and they and our Ward Missionary Leader came up and we stood in the freezing cold trying to fix our tire. 
This week was a test but my super awesome companion and I decided to stay positive, laugh instead of cry, joke instead of complain, and keep pushing forward. I loved this week, and I am so grateful for it. 

I love you all and hope and pray that all is well at home. Thank you for everything!!!!

Les Quiero
Hermana Watkins

P.s. I loved the creepy cat hug card you sent. Totally made my day. 
Veronica thanks for the letter from Taylor I loved it so much. 

p.p.s I ate grasshoppers this week..... they didn't taste bad... I'll show you the video of me eating when I get home :)