Monday, June 30, 2014

"The Patient is a Little Mentally Slow"

Last Monday after preparing for the week my companion and I went to the Pearland church building to finish off the rest of our Pday with our zone. We first played a couple games of Volleyball and then played a get to know you game. After a couple awkward rounds of the get to know  you game we started playing the missions famous game of Scatterball. This game is basically a game of one on one dodge ball. It's usually played with 4-5 nerf balls, but the elders thought we should be fine playing with two hard volleyball's since none of us owned nerf balls. I LOVE SCATTER BALL, but after getting hit in the head 5-6 times last Monday my opinion has sadly changed. After the last time getting hit I sat down because I was out, and then minutes later I was back in. I stood up and my world went black. I had slid down the wall and next thing I know it I couldn't move or talk to get help. Long story short I got a concussion, surprise, surprise. Missions are just full of surprises. I spent a good 3 hours laying on the church floor and they had a member who is an ER doctor come and check me out and then give me a blessing. He had me go through all the awkward questions and then randomly he asks me to count down from a 100 by 7's... I don't know about you, but I can't do this with or without a concussion. My sweet zone leaders and companions did a good job at keeping me awake and talking to me. haha good bonding times. :)
So my week goes as followed. Monday night they sent me home with strict rules that my companion had to wake me up after every hour for a couple hours to make sure I was still alive ;) Tuesday morning I woke up with a horrible head ache and I still had dizziness so I was sent to the ER and our medical advisor Sister Mecham then became my companion while Hermana Johnson and Olson took my companion to go to the mission office. I got a CT scan and there was no bleeding in my brain but they said I for sure have a concussion. When the doctor first got in the room the nurse was telling him about what happened and then she said, "and the patient is a little mentally slow"..... I was laying right there haha. After the ER Sister Mecham took me to President Ashton and we had an interview so he could better understand what happened and what the doctors want me to do for the week. I love President Ashton, when we were in the interview he was joking around about how all he has to do is get a concussion and then he can rest... Poor guy does so much and never gets to rest. He also really liked to comment about how I was mentally slow..... :(
Tuesday- Saturday we were on exchanges with Hermana Johnson and Olson. Tuesday - Thursday Hermana Olson stayed in the apartment with me while Hermana Johnson and my companion went out and worked both the English area and the Spanish. Than Friday- Saturday Hermana Johnson and I FINALLY became companions :) :) the Vernalites were together, and we both had head problems. I had my concussion and she had head lice..... almost all the sisters in the mission have received head lice... and I'm just praying I don't get it. I've had enough problems :)
Saturday while Hermana Johnson's and my companion were working our areas the Spanish stake was having their stake conference, and Hermana Johnson had to go... so I received a huge tender mercy and I got to see my Houston 1 family :) :) :) Francisco started crying when he first saw me, and almost gave me a hug, but he caught himself. Guadalupe and Nefi are doing good. She is still waiting for him to be worthy to baptize her :( but it was so good seeing them. I still remember Spanish :) It really hurt my head, but God help me to get through it. After the conference Francisco went up to President Ashton and told him about his two angels that brought him into the Gospel... he is so embarrassing!
As of right now I still have major headaches and it's hard for me to concentrate. It's basically taken my whole hour and a half to type this email, but hey all is well. From what Sister Jackson says the area is doing good. Yesterday was my first day going out :) Church was awkward because President had the zone leaders have a training with all the elders in my zone about the true identity of women, and how they should be treated. They all have to personally hand write a sorry letter to me. But we had a genealogy class yesterday and we helped a lot of our members find family names and had the biggest turn out the branch has had since I've been here.
 I love you all very much. No need to worry about me things happen for a reason. Just keep me in your prayers that my headaches will go away so I can concentrate more on the work. Love you tons!!
Hermana Watkins

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dearest Family,

The past week went by a little slower than most but we found we were blessed with lots of little things. Yesterday we had a HUGE miracle. Our investigator   CAME TO CHURCH! She has been taught by the missionaries for the past 3 months and has made a lot of progression, but as of recently a lot of things have been happening in her life that have been keeping her from progression. The day finally came and I was so excited to see her walk into those church doors. That is one thing that hasn't been that hard for me in the mission and now being in Sunnyside we are basically pulling teeth to get people to church. On Thursday I had  interviews with President Ashton and he pointed out on my record that same thing that I have always been able to get people to church. He told me that when he was Branch President in his mission that he would still talk to everyone and invite them to church, but if they didn't show up that week, and didn't have a good excuse for not coming then he wouldn't go back and teach them. He has invited me and Sis. Jackson to do the same. It's going to be hard, but I know it will help a lot.
Emily found this cane in the apartment and tried using it to be able to empathize with Ross.  Look at her tan feet!

Some crazy things happened this week. On Monday we went over to have a lesson with an investigator and her daughters. The mom came to the door and told us that she's not doing to good. Long story short - that morning her husband  got up early and packed up all of his stuff, took their money, and stole her car (their only car), and left them. We went in and had a very powerful lesson with her about the trials of our faith and why we have trials. She then told us that though her situation is hard at the moment it was what she prayed for. She prayed to God that he would take all the things out of her life that are keeping her from progressing towards baptism. She prayed for that!! :) She loves the gospel and is so excited to be baptized. We then set up with her that we were going to come by every week to teach her and her daughters the last couple lessons. As the week went on we received sad news that they would be moving that Friday into the elders area :( And as of right now the only way of contact that we have with her is her cell phone that has been shut off, due to lack of money :( I know God will either put her in the missionaries path, or the missionaries in her path... I just hope it happens soon.

On Friday and Saturday I had an awesome exchange with Sister Tavu'i. She is from Australia and she is Polynesian, but she doesn't like Polynesians. haha Her dad is Samoan and her mom is German and they live in Australia. Crazy! We had a blast together and saw a lot of blessings as the day went on. They have a couple in their ward that are from Nevada and they are only here so the husband can go to the cancer center here. We went and visited them in the hospital. We had to dress up in all these aprons so we wouldn't get him sick. He had a tumor on the right side of his pelvic and a couple weeks ago they ended up moving not only the tumor, but that side of the pelvic bone and his right leg. During a very spiritual lesson on the atonement the spirit taught me that I have it pretty easy compared to this couple. They are so strong and I loved talking with them and hearing their testimonies on using the power of the atonement in their lives.

A couple weeks ago we had received a headquarters referral for a less active. We have stopped by numerous times to try and see him, but have had no luck. Saturday we were blessed to finally meet the family. They a newly wed couple as of a year, and the wife was actually baptized a month before they were married. Sadly they have both gone less active. But I am so excited to work with them. They were originally going to a Spanish ward, but now with the move they prefer English :) Now I get to practice my spanglish, and hopefully remember some Spanish :) The goal with them is to get them sealed in the temple in the next couple months. :) :)

We also got lucky to help out at the Juneteenth celebration of the freedom of the blacks here in Texas. It was a huge party with African drummers and inspirational speakers, and some good O'le Texa BBQ :) :) All the missionaries in our zone helped out and I talked to and relieved a lot of awesome referrals for the... of course... the elders. I believe that is my purpose in this area - to help out all the other missionaries to receive their elect. As long as the work is getting done I'm happy.
Emily's companion in the rain.

P.s. it's raining elephants and hippos here. I would say cats and dogs but they're not big enough to explain the rain storms here in Texas. Looks like we'll be spending some extra time in the library till the flooding goes down. :)

Well that's all folks. I love you mucho!!

Hermana Watkins

Monday, June 16, 2014

Shortest Email

This  email is going to probably be the shortest email you will ever receive from me.... I know you are all probably really happy about that :)
The email is going to be short because my brain is fried and I can't really think right now, and you probably wouldn't understand what I was trying to say any way.
The week was a good week. We are still working a lot with the members and trying to find those who are prepared. We have found that street contacting isn't the way God wants us to find the prepared here. At least we haven't seen any success in it. We find a lot of new people every day, but most of them end up dropping us after the first couple lessons. I am still trying to get how the work needs to be done here, but it's been fun getting to know a lot of different people and their situations.
This is how we knock on doors in the ghetto
Emily and baby Noah
For the rest of my email I am just going to talk a little about my area. The top part of my area is ghetto, and that is usually where we work. There are a lot of Southern Baptist and if they're not Baptist then they're atheist. Persecutions are a daily thing. Some people will even yell at you if you try and hand them a pass a long card. My area consist of mainly black people with some Hispanics mixed in. A lot of people either have 2-3 jobs or are medical support. Almost all the houses here where affected by hurricane Ike and they haven't had the money to fix the damages. I will send some pictures home of the ghetto parts. 
The ghetto of my mission

These are the gangsters of Sunnyside; they ride horses and drink.
The south part of my area is covered with mansions with people that don't know what to do with all of their money. So it's pretty interesting going from one part to the other. I don't think I want to live either life style. I know that all the people in my area and on this earth are children of our Heavenly Father, and know matter their living situations or what color their skin is, their Heavenly Father loves them all the same.
Real quick the family of six that we are working with are doing good. The mother Patrisha is really accepting to everything and is making a lot of good changes in her life. Just keep praying for them. They weren't able to come to church this week, but hopefully they can next week.
Love you all... sorry this email is random and short.
Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Watkins

Monday, June 9, 2014

1 Peter 1:7

Last week I believe I shared in my big email home about my studies about Sacrifice, and how I was going to start making some changes in my life and start sacrificing lots of different things. Well, I had forgotten that just because you have decided to follow God's will doesn't mean things are going to get easier. In my case they turned out to be exactly opposite. I have now come to truly understand the stance of all the recent converts in the church and how people feel when we are asking them to change there life styles. IT'S HARD!! But I found the scripture 1 Peter 1:7 the other day.. along with 1-6 of that chapter, that really helped me to have a better understanding of why things got harder. God is looking for His elect and in order to find them he puts in a refinery and allows Satan to try us and to put things in our path. And when we use our agency correctly and push forward even in the heat of things we will come out the out  the clean of clean. Another scripture that has helped me this week is found in Helaman 3:35 I want that true purification and sanctification. And by yielding up our hearts, even during the trials and hardships, we will be ready to be in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
The work has been a lot different in this area. A lot of people are willing to have you come over and teach, but a lot of them aren't really interested and don't tell you till the 3rd or 4th lesson. So it's been kind of hard realizing who the true elect are, but it's helping me rely more on the spirit of discernment to know. My companion and I have been fasting and praying for our area, and we've been emailing back in forth with our mission president and others to receive the counsel that we need. We have felt very strongly about really getting the members interested in helping, and doing missionary work.... but with some of the things that happened in the past in this area has made it a lot harder to earn the trust of the members again.
This is how people remember her name
We were very blessed to have a lot of member lessons this week. And hopefully soon they will turn into Member Present lessons and we will have some more investigators to teach. Yesterday we were over at a members home waiting for their friend Abdula to come over. He wasn't able to come so we talk to the members and it was very spiritual. The spirit impressed upon all of our hearts the power and importance of having the members and missionaries working together. I wish I could better explain the spirit that was there, but words cannot describe. After the lesson we all just sat and looked at each other with amazement of how wonderful we all felt. I know that it is God's plan that the members and missionaries work together. John 4:36 talks all about members who are the sowers and missionaries who are the reapers. And if we remember 1 Nephi 3:7 when God gives us a commandment he also provides a way for us to reach it. :)
Nothing to crazy happened this week in the ghetto's. We have this awesome family of 6 and they all have a baptismal date for the 28th of June. We pointed out to them this week the change that has happened in their home since they started listening to the messages and reading and praying together as a family. They said they have noticed a big change too. Now we are just working on getting both the parents new jobs so they can come to church. Please pray for them.
Texas Sunset
I told you we were having a lot of member lessons, and that is because on Thursday we finally were able to finish going through our Branch directory, and we have 36 less active people/ families in our area.... I am really excited to meet them. We met one on Saturday and she is a mother of 3 boys who are not members, but she really wants them to be baptized and go to church. The only problem is that she works 7 days a week 12 hour shifts at a refinery.... The only days we can teach them is when it rains.. so we're praying for that rain. :)
I love you all soooooooo much! I know the things that I have shared are true and will change our lives if we are willing to just yield up our hearts and give our all.
Hermana Watkins


I am not getting transferred I will be killing my companion this transfer.
Well this past week was full of excitement and growth. I was very blessed to go on two wonderful exchanges. The first one Sister Owens came to the area with me and we had some really awesome lessons. This Sister is someone who has made a full 190 flip in her mission and her testimony is so amazing. I love spending time with her and seeing the difference she has made. One of the lessons that we had was with our investigator Patricia. We invited all of her family to come join us. She has three daughters that have a lot of good questions. They all wanted a better understanding of who they are and what their purpose is. We ended up teaching like all three lessons in 20 minutes and extended a date, and they all accepted :) I love them all so much and can't wait to help them understand that they are all daughters of our Heavenly Father. Today we will be teaching them about the Plan and temples :) and we will be extending a temple date a week after their baptismal date. :)
Emily's new area
The other exchange was with Sister Sellers who is my Sister Training Leader. I also believe she was my long lost twin :) We have so much in common. Things from before the mission, who we are now, and what goals we want to reach on the mission and after. She is from a small town in Utah that is right next to LAKE POWELL!! She lives on a ranch of 1100 acres. I will be moving in with her after the mission and learning the ranch life and going to lake powell everyday haha. But I am not exaggerating when I say that it was the best exchange of my whole mission. We were on bikes all day long and we had two service opportunities where we helped these guys out in their yards. One of them actually turned into a lesson with his whole family and the other we have a lesson with him today :) I finally got to do yard work!! Prayers are answered. We also talked to a lot of people on the roads and set up lots of lessons for this week.
Sister Sellers and Emily

I am still getting to know the area and I accidently was led by the spirit down the wrong road and we ended up meeting my long lost friend Ashley. We only had 5 minutes to talk with her before her bus came, but she is LEGIT and I really feel like she is one of the prepared. We have a lesson with her on Wednesday so I will let you know how that goes. Pray for her!! I know she can be baptized soon. 
After the exchange was over we switched back at Stake Conference. My Stake consists of everyone that works at NASA or owns some big business. I was a little overwhelmed when I first got there. Saturday session was really different. Elder Keele is a General Authority and he put together a panel of young kids who are family history reps. The whole conference was him and the Stake leaders asking these kids inspired questions about the come follow me program and family history work/ temples. Surprisingly during the conference Elder Keele called me and Sister Sellers and two other Elders to come up and be part of the panel... It was pretty scary, but all the questions I got were about temples and their importance, so I was more than happy to talk about them. Afterwards I had couples come up to me telling me that my answers were their answers to their prayers. One guy said because of my answer he is going to go to the temple and be sealed with his family. I tell you what the spirit truly does wonders and miracles.
Real quick I was very blessed this week to be in a special training with some of the leaders. The training was on how we can truly become who the lord wants us to become. We are asked to take the name of Christ upon us. As a missionary/ member I need to pick up my cross and follow Him. Something I learned is that I literally need to sacrifice the Natural Man. Though I was called to repentance more than once this week I have come to understand how I can become like my Savior. I Matthew 18:9 talks about how we need to pluck out our eye if it offends us... well this applies to everything in our lives. If the TV offend us (the spirit) we need to pluck it out of our lives. If me laying my head on my bed in the morning offends the spirit I need to sacrifice that and kneel where I can't place my head. Sometimes it might be good things that we are doing that we sacrifice for better things. Please think of your life and what things you can change. I have made the goal to never think of home life before or after the mission, and past areas. I am to only talk about and think about things that are present in my area. 
I love you all and I only want the best for you, and I know that comes when we truly give it all to God so he can make us the people we truly want to be. :) Sacrifice the natural man!
Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Watkins