Monday, April 28, 2014

Sunnyside, Texas

How ya'll doin??First off, last Monday and Tuesday were probably the saddest days of my mission. We ended up having 10 lessons in two days and it was AWESOME!! I saw all of our members that I was super close with and a lot of the were so sweet and gave me presents and letters. Monday night we had dinner with investigators and they surprised me with a little birthday party and they bought a little cake for me. :) It's tradition for some Hispanics that the birthday girl or boy takes a bite out of the cake before they cut it, but you have to get a lot of crème on your face when you do.... well I guess I didn't get enough so I go in to take another bite and my lovely companion Hermana Jaeger slams my face into it. It was such a much needed night with my favorite people.

Saying goodbyes is never fun, but I've got everyone's information and I should be going  back soon to see a couple of our investigators baptisms. :)
Transfer day in the chick van

Transfer meeting was an emotional roller coaster. President announced that he will be shutting down and combining a lot of areas because our mission is shrinking, because we don't have enough missionaries coming into fill the spots of those who are leaving. Like my title says I have been called to serve in Sunnyside, Texas..... ENGLISH speaking!!! I don't think I have cried so much in my life... okay it wasn't that much, but it literally felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. . Oh yeah, my baby Hermana Groves went English as well and a couple Elders. Lots of changes! Change is good!
Emily's new companion Sister Jackson

A little about my area. Is exactly below my last area. I can see downtown from my TOWNHOME... :) My area is pure African American people, and everyone knows us because we seriously the only white people here. Good news is Hermana Johnson and her companion cover my exact area, but Spanish speaking, so I get to see her ALL the time, a nice tender mercy from my Heavenly Father. There are 6 missionaries in our branch and about 20 people if that show up each week. I went from the biggest Spanish ward to a tiny little branch of people from all over the world. The area that I am serving in was a service area for about a year, so it will be like opening new area. They get about 10 lessons max each week, but we are going to make a change in that. :) Oh and it's the most dangerous area in the mission for sisters...... haha I live in the  GHETTO!! Oh man I love it sooooo much though. We have a member Raven who comes out with us and she's teaching me how to be black. Just you wait. I will have cornrows and everything in know time. :) Oh since this area was a service area we still do a lot of service and almost every week we go to the Police Station and do service with them. :)

The first couple days were extremely hard. I honestly felt like I entered a new mission and Sister Jackson my companion was my trainer. CRAZY! I don't know how to speak in English let a lone teach in English. In one of our lessons everyone of course was asking me "the new girl" to say all the opening or closing and prayer, and in a couple lessons I would accidentally start in Spanish or start speaking in Spanish during.... whoops. It nice being able to explain myself better and use different analogies and stuff that was harder for me before. In one of lessons we were teaching a lady and I really felt prompted to extend a baptismal date to her, but you should of heard how I extended it...thank goodness for the Holy Ghost, because she accepted!! Whoop, whoop.

One of the investigators we are teaching is named ( ....) I am not allowed to say his name because he is Muslim and his life could be a risk. But he is SUPER awesome!! This was the second lesson the missionaries have taught him and he is awesome He has know idea what is or how to pray. We are honestly starting from the very beginning with him and I love it. He is from Africa and speaks five different languages, and lucky me, one of them is Spanish and we speak back in forth. :) He really wants to become a member and really feels something he has never felt in his life.

The branch actually has a lot of white people in it. Because there are BYU graduates here going to U of H for graduate school. One of them Brother Shumway actually knows Adrianne Sam. Small World.

I love you all!!! I hope all is well at home and I can't wait to Skype ya'll in a couple weeks. :)
Have a wonderful week.

Les Quiero... I love ya'll,
Hermana Watkins... Sister Watkins

Monday, April 21, 2014


It came... we received the call this morning at 7:40 that I will be transferred. :( Wednesday will be the first day I will ever have left the zone. It's going to feel like a whole new mission. Especially if I go country. There's a lot of changes in our zone. We have one person from each companionship leaving. But I received an email from President Ashton today of him thanking me for the work I have done in Houston 1 and that now God wants me somewhere else. I'm guessing I will probably die in my next area, because I only have 3 more transfers left after this next one :( Hermana Jaeger and I are really sad to leave each other. We also text all of our investigators and members today telling them that I am leaving and we now have  20 lessons planned for the next 2 days. 

The week was slower work because everyone and their dog went to Mexico to celebrate Easter or Galveston. Everyone was telling us how they celebrate Easter in their countries and did you know that in many countries they act out the Crucifixion of Christ. They actually have someone play the role of Christ and they whip him and put him on the cross. They keep the person up there for three hours and then take him down. Crazy! I'm glad we celebrate the happy part of Easter which is the Resurrection of our Savior. 

We found out last Tuesday that a ward member Brother who is on Dialysis got moved to a hospital right behind our apartment. So we went over and he was in ICU. His wife took us to the waiting room and we ended up teaching all the people that were there about our Savior and the resurrection. We sang the hymn Families Can Be Together Forever, and the spirit was so strong. Hermana B hasn't been able to go to church for the past year because she had to take her husband to dialysis every week, but she is still a super strong member and loved sharing her testimony with others. We then found out Saturday morning that her husband had passed a way. We called her and she sounded very content and relieved. She came to church yesterday and was very happy to be there. 

We went to the Houston Food Bank with the youth in the Stake for youth conference. Our job was to make lunch bags for starving school children here in Houston. At the end of the four hours we ended up making 5700 bags! We had long tables where people would package cereal, cans of fruit, vegetables, milk, juice, raisins, macaroni, and other things and my job was to take all the food off the pallets and take them out of the boxes to place them on the table. The manager told me that was a mans job, but no one wanted to do I used my muscles :) It was a super awesome experience and I loved it soooooo much. I love serving!  
Joel our recent convert is now coming out with us to lessons and we walk around with him to teach. He loves the Gospel so much and told us that this is his calling in life to preach the gospel. He's been passing out pass a long cards to people he meets on the bus and in a couple months he's going down to Mexico and is meeting up with the missionaries there to take them to his family. This work truly is amazing. 

I love you all very much!! Have a wonderful week. 
Les Quiero 

Hermana Watkins

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Farm Animals and the temple

Our Sister Training Leader lives all the way down in Bay City which is a good 2 hours away from my area and we had to have exchanges with her. So my companion... lucky girl... got to go down to Bay City and be in an English area for two days while Hermana Ricks came up with me for one day and then she went with Hermana O'neill for another and Hermana Allen came to my area. It was a super fun, but really exhausting. I also missed my companion like crazy and thought I would never see her again. We decided to meet Hermana Ricks and her companion half way so we wouldn't have to drive forever away, and we met in this tiny town called Needville. It was so cute and doens't even have a stop light, but is covered with wide open fields, farm animals like horses,cows, and chickens all over the place. I LOVED IT!! I think I may have shed a couple tears :) 

While on the exchange we received some sad news that our investigators have been asked to attend another ward for a little while.  I love them so much and it's so hard to see them both go through such a hard trial.. 

Well this week was a really good week. One of the Elders in our zone extended on his mission and he ended up going home last week so his companion joined another companionship and we ended up giving our car and the other sisters car to that district and we got the mini van so we can pick up all the sisters in our district for our meetings. I am not a fan of driving a van.... But it's another fun experience we have :) Chick Van!!

I honestly can't remember a whole lot that happened the rest of the week. But I do remember the beautiful experience my companion and I had this morning at the temple. I love going there and learning more and more about my purpose here and the plan that God has for me. I encourage everyone to go to the temple more it's probably the best thing you could ever do. :) I can't wait to come home and just go to the temple whenever I want. 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week. :) 
 Les Quiero, 
Hermana Watkins

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wow, wasn't General Conference the best thing EVER!!! I was super sad/ really tired when the last session ended yesterday, but now I am pumped and even more ready to go out and to talk with all my brothers and sisters. And to be the Disciple that I have been called to be. :) That's a pretty big role we have to hold as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but I LOVE it!.

Everyone has so kindly this past week reminded me that I will be hitting my year mark this week...... :( I am in denial and I don't believe it to be true. I feel like I just got here and I have WAY to much to do in 6 months. So I have been thinking about extending.... what do you think??? President Ashton actually asked if I was thinking about extending and I have been praying about it, but I feel like I am needed home on October 7th and I will be linking arms with Hermana Johnson... good luck trying to pry us apart :) 

 This past week I was really sick with allergies and a horrible head cold.... I really think Texas is just full of germs and sickness. Almost everyone in my zone got this nasty sickness and the air here is basically yellow. Everything here is covered in yellow pollen... I very much dislike it. :( I also came to find out that Benadryl makes me really hyper and not sleepy at all. As of right now I feel a lot healthier. 

 Last Tuesday after zone conference Hermana Jaeger and I were talking about how we really want to start working even harder at talking to EVERYONE and always asking for referrals. Right after we got done talking about it a lady was walking down some stairs at the apartment complex we were at, and she came up and  starts talking to us.... a missionaries dream!! :) She asks us if we are missionaries and if we know Margy our Relief Society President. We told her yes, and asked how she knows her. She said she is really good friends with her and used to live with her and the missionaries would come over and Margy would feed them and they gave her a prayer rock. She told us she still has that rock and loves it. She then asked if we would like to come over to her house and if she could take the lessons from us. WHAT!!?? So last Thursday we went over, and of course had the R.S. president come over with us. I was super sick and did not want to be there after eating dinner I became extremely hot and just wanted to go home. I then went into her bathroom and prayed with all my heart that my Heavenly Father could help me get through the lesson. I then had a brilliant idea that we will just watch the Restoration movie.... God had didn't like that idea and made sure that she didn't have a DVD player. Well, I am so happy she didn't, because we then taught the most spiritual/ powerful Restoration lesson of my life. I should say the spirit taught the most spiritual/ powerful lesson of my life. Everyone was crying! Mable the lady accepted a baptismal date and she told us that when she first met with the missionaries she wasn't ready to take this step, but now she has never felt so good in her life and so much love. Right when we started talking about the Book of Mormon she asked us if she could have one.  I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ he was honestly helping me through every moment of that lesson. I love this work so much!! 

I love you all and I hope you all have a wonderful week. Thank you mom for the Conference journals my companion and I LOVED them!!

Les quiero,

Hermana Watkins

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


This week was amazing! Like the title says we had a miracle baptism yesterday, and we noticed last night that we actually put in our goals to have a baptism, and God blessed us to reach that goal. Joel  was the one that was baptized yesterday and he is AMAZING! 

I have truly come to realize that God is the one doing everything I'm just here to help him do it, and be His instrument. Joel was a stranger that I had spoken to on the bus for 5 minutes and talked a little about Christ and then gave him a pass a long card before he got off. We then got a call from Salt Lake that this man wants us to come over. He had just gotten out of the hospital when I met him on the bus, because he had been robbed and stabbed in his chest and back late at night. Each lesson we had with him was amazing and he love learning about God. Yesterday right before his baptism we had one last lesson with him to ask him how he feels and to talk about the love of God and how happy God is with him right now. He then started talking about when he was in the hospital and when he was in his coma he could still think but was unable to move. He told us that one day he was in pure darkness and he was feeling really scared and was praying over and over again. He then said he saw a bright light, brighter than any light he has ever seen in his life. He then heard a voice that said, " Son you are not alone, I am here with you". He said I know that the person was my Heavenly Father, and he said you missionaries to help guide me to the right path. He told us that since God has give him this second chance to live, he will give all that he has to help God's church and serve for the rest of his life. I love him so much and I truly love this plan that God has for each person. 

After the baptism Joel and the Elders investigator both were able to receive the Holy Ghost.  The church is true!! He then stayed and watched Ephraims Rescue with us for the ward family home evening. :) 

We were also very blessed with many other miracles, but I believe this one trumps them all :) 

I also would like to share a little about preparing for conference (Christmas) :) This Saturday and Sunday we will have the opportunity to hear from our Prophet, Apostles, and other men and women called of God. They will be bringing messages from our Heavenly Father that are specifically for each and everyone of us. Are we prepared to hear the things that they have to say? 

I believe I shared this scripture before about going to the temple, but I'm using it now in another way. I don't have a lot of time... and my email is already long so I will try and summarize... but it's soooo good!

Ether 3:1-6
In this Chapter we read of the brother of Jared. He goes to the Lord with this problem/ question of how they can have light in the boats. He takes this rock (problem/question) and breaks it into smaller and clearer stones. We do the same with our questions we need to break them down so they are clear so God can answer us clearly. He takes these rocks up to the mount (Temple or in this case.. conference) And Prays to God with a humble heart knowing that he is unworthy of this help, but understands that it is a commandment to ask God. We need to do the same and pray and repent so that we may be clean for the help/ answers we will receive. He then asks for help. Gives God the specific questions and asks that he may touch the stones to give them light. This when we do this and we sit and listen to conference God will then give us the light and understanding that we need. The brother of Jared doesn't ask that the trip may be short or that they wont go through hard times while crossing the water, but he asks for the light. When we receive our answers, which we will, we need to know that we will still go through the rapids or the hard trials, but the light will give us an understanding and a help maid to get through. In the last verse the brother of Jared has the veil lifted from his eyes. We can have the same experience... it's called revelation. When things are revealed unto us the veil is no longer there and things make sense, and we can recognize that our answers are from God. I have learned a lot from the brother of Jared and how I need to have questions, not one big one, but little ones that are clear and simple. We then take the to the Lord for help. We pray and repent ( so our inner vessel may be clean to hold the light Alma 60:23). We then ask, and ask specifically. When we do these steps our Heavenly Father will answer us and take the veil from our eyes so we can understand what we need to do. But when we receive this we must ACT upon the answers. I also learn we need to have the faith of the brother of Jared that the Lord will answer us. I hope and pray that we may all follow this example and have wonderful conference. 

Sorry it was long.....
Les quiero muchisimo!!!!
Hermana Watkins