Monday, August 25, 2014

42 Baptisms!

This week was probably the slowest week of this transfer, but was filled with blessings and an amazing miracle. Yesterday Craig came to church!!!! YAY, happy day!! He will be getting baptized this Sunday and we are so excited for him. I'm going to share a couple stories about him this week. His son was killed while being chased by cops this passed week. Craig lost contact with his son for awhile, but got the news that he's been living out in the streets and got into some trouble with the cops, and ended up getting killed. Craig being the positive person told us that it's really hard to hear, but he is so happy that he has the knowledge of God's plan and trusts that his son is in a better place. He is also really excited to do his sons work in the temple in a year. We will probably be going with Craig to the funeral this week to give him some support. Another story is his ex-girlfriend came over to see how Craig was doing after she heard bout his son. I guess she is really pretty and still has a thing for Craig and she asked if they could get back together. Craig then told her that he has changed his Religion and in his new religion he has chosen to abide by the law of Chastity. He then taught her what it is and how the only way he would get with her is if they got married, and that was not going to happen.When he showed up to church he was in this sweet old pin stripe suit and looked very nice. He started to cry in Sacrament and told us that he was never felt so happy in his life. He also got to stay and watch 6 people be baptized. This past week the mission baptized 42!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The most the mission has ever had in history. It's because God really blessed the 40 missionaries that are going home this week. 

Yesterday at church we got a new Branch Presidency. I am really excited to work with the new Presidency and there takes on missionary work. Brother Holt is the first counselor and is an amazing member and missionary. 

We were blessed to do a lot of service this week. We helped the Houston Police with a luncheon they were giving for one of the cops that is retiring. There was so much food! They filled our plates full of BBQ and one of the City counselors Dwight Boykins wants us missionaries to come and get specially awarded for all the service that we give the community! That's a great in for the church. He is a super tall and awesome guy, I will send pictures of him. We also got to wash some of our members cars :) We had to wake up super early so we wouldn't be dying in the heat. And this week one of our members is allowing me to cut their lawn!!! Happy Day! I love yard work. :) 
                                                        Serving food at a police retirement party
 City Council Member

We had our last district meeting with Elder Evertsen. It's hard seeing all these amazing missionaries go home. Elder and Sister Hansen cooked a yummy breakfast for us today before we said goodbyes. Everyone keeps reminding me that this will be me in 6 weeks. I still don't believe them. 

We had a huge miracle with getting a lesson in with our Less active Heather and her son Seth. They are from the Caribbeans and are awesome. She really wants her three sons to be baptized and learn more about God. This Friday we will be teaching hopefully all of them and extending dates. :) She also took us to Olive Garden for lunch and we had a really good time talking about the Gospel, and we got to bless our waitress day by giving her a pass along card. That is another story that I will have to wait to tell you when I get home. :) 
 As you know this week is transfers, and no I will not be leaving. :) I am officially dying in Sunnyside. :) I am so excited for these next couple weeks. I can feel it in my bones the blessings that God has in store for our area. I am so excited to go out and work like crazy! 

I love you all. Have a wonderful week!!! 

Hermana Watkins

Monday, August 18, 2014

Spirit of Elijah and Everything is Bigger in Texas

Hey fam!! 
I feel like this week was filled with AMAZING miracles and blessings, but I'm not sure I can share all of them with y'all this week, but something I do want to share is Family History, and the Spirit of Elijah. 

Sister Elliott and I have decided to share something different with those that we come in contact with, either on the streets, or in the different places that we go to. Now when we first meet someone we start talking about their families and how much they love them, and then ask them about where they came from or if they know anything about their ancestors. This always brings the spirit into our conversations. We then share our testimonies about how important families are to us and to our Heavenly Father, and how he wants us to all be unified and know one another. This is when we ask them if we can teach them how to do their family history or if there is another day that we can come by and share more with them. We have only had a couple instances where they didn't, but we have seen the promise given in Malachi; that the hearts of the children will be turned to their fathers. 
Sister Elliot and Emily

This week we went over to Brandon's and taught him all about family history work. One of my favorite things that the spirit has taught me to do in these lessons is to invite the investigators to think of their loved ones that have passed away, and every time you can feel the presence of that ancestor in the room with us. And it happened in this lesson with Brandon. His dad was murdered when he was 14 and really wants to go to the temple and do his work for him. I think this is one of the my favorite feelings of the spirit. Before my mission I didn't believe that people would have so much desire and interest in learning about their ancestors, but they do!! Scriptures are true!! 
Art in the park, Texas size

Giant Spider
One of their investigators is preparing for the zombie apocalypse and had them try on gas masks. :) 

Something else that we did this week was not the smartest thing in the world. We were sacrificing our car all day Friday. We rode ALL the way down to the south part of our area which is 7 miles. We did it in 103 degrees with 100% humidity........ When we finally reached the bottom we realized we only brought 2 water bottles that were basically gone, and NO one would answer their door..... we thought we were going to die. So when in doubt we went in the shade and prayed. I had a feeling we should go try our less active  Heather that is NEVER home during the day. Well, sure enough she was home and actually had forgotten something when she left and had to come home and get it. She let us in and gave us 4 water bottles, chocolate cupcakes, and some fruit. HUGE MIRACLE!!! Especially because after that we rode around to a couple other neighborhoods and no one was home. After a long HOT bike ride we made it home for dinner and we ended up taking showers and drinking tons of liquids. My testimony of prayer grew even more after that experience. 
Texas size potato

I love the church so much!! There is a video on Mormon Channel called, the church at a glance, I think. And it is a perfect video to share with non-member friends and family to help them better understand what our church is all about. We shared it yesterday with one of our members sisters who is not a member. The spirit was so powerful and she really enjoyed it and had a lot of questions answered. I know that this is the true church! I live and love it everyday of my life. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, and all that he has done for me. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week at school and work!!


Hermana Watkins

Monday, August 11, 2014

Howdy Y'all!!!
I love being a missionary. It's amazing the power the gospel truths have and the change they can bring into the lives of others. The past week was full of miracles from God. We have been sacrificing even the little things to give all to God so he can bless the people in our area progress and receive the blessings of the gospel. 

Like I mentioned last week we had the opportunity to go to the temple!! Sister Shumway a young nursing student took us. We ended up getting there a little bit earlier then expected so we got to do intiatories and then an endownment session. I LOVED it! I actually received a lot counsel from my Heavenly Father that was very much needed. I can't wait to come home and go to the temple at least once a week ;) And I am going to take all of you with me, because I know of the amazing blessings that it brings and I want those blessings for everyone! 

This past week we had some amazing lessons filled with the power of the Holy Ghost. We taught a lot of Restoration lessons this week and every time after sharing Joseph Smiths experience every single investigator was filled with peace and happiness. Two of them actually started to cry and were so happy. One of these investigators was actually out washing his car when we pulled up. We started to take off our bikes and get all ready to go riding around the neighborhood. Right before we left I went on over and introduced myself and my companion. The words that we spoke to that young man were words I haven't never heard come from my mouth or my companions mouth before. It was an amazing feeling having the Lord speak through us to this young man that he loves dearly. After introduction he accepted to have us teach him about the Restoration. The lesson was amazing and very powerful. Everything the spirit directed us to say helped him open up even more to us and answered a lot of the questions he had, that we didn't know he had. He accepted a date and is really excited to learn more. Sadly he works on Sundays.... but hopefully he will have the faith to change that. 

Another miracle goes by the name Dennis. I actually met him while on exchanges with Sister Newman. He was sitting up in his garage and we decided to go up and talk to him, he accepted for us to come back and teach him more. This past week we taught him the first two lessons. The spirit was also very overwhelming, especially the Restoration. It was so powerful that the nurse that takes care of his cousin said she could feel something different when we were there. :) She asked if she could get a Book of Mormon as well and learn for herself. She doesn't know if she wants us to come over yet, but did feel the spirit. Dennis said he already knows it's true and can't wait to be baptized. 

Betha is from Africa. I believe I talked about her last time. We were only able to give her a Book of Mormon this week and share a little about it, but she loves us coming over. She is so excited to read it and pray to know of the truthfulness. I love her so much. Every time I go over I just give her the biggest hug. I feel like I've known her for years. :) 

The beginning of the week we were out on bikes a lot. We talked to this couple that was sitting outside on Thursday and they invited us to come by the next day. They ended up cancelling on us, but rescheduled for the next day. We also taught them the Restoration and experienced another very powerful lesson. He is Jehovah Witness and she is Baptist, but they both feel like there is more out there. They too accepted to be baptized and were very emotional to know that their Heavenly Father has not forgotten about them. 
Emily and her companion

Last but not least- we were working in the south part of the area, but felt very strongly that we needed to go visit one of our members in the north. We took some back roads to get to her house and guess who we ran into???????????? CRAIG!!!!!! We found him!!! He was so excited to see us. Remember a couple weeks ago he went missing? Well he got into a fight and was taken to jail.... but he feels Godly sorrow and has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying and fasting to run into us again. He is now preparing for baptism and has also set a date to go to the temple. He has completely stopped smoking and loves the feelings living the Word of Wisdom has brought. He got lost coming to church yesterday and called us almost in tears. We then remembered there was a devotional that night in Friendswood. We called all the members and know one could give us all a ride.... so we prayed fervently all day long and went to work. 5 minutes before it was to late to head to the devotional one of our less active members called and said she would be willing to take us all!!!! MIRACLE!!! Craig had an amazing experience and is so excited to be a member, and most importantly a missionary. He has already given out pass along cards to his friends, and his mom wants to listen to us and is planning on coming to church with Craig next week. :) :) :) Oh happy day!! I love being a missionary. 

If you couldn't tell the Lord really blessed us this week!! I know that blessings come from sacrifice and love! I also know the power of prayer :) 

I love you all!! Have a wonderful week! 

Hermana Watkins

Monday, August 4, 2014


After talking and praying with President, Zone/district leaders, and discussing with my companion we have decided to sacrifice the North part of our area. The north part consist of about 70% of the people, and all the former investigators in our area. We feel very strongly about this decision and that it is what our Heavenly Father wants us to do. It's a huge decision and it is really hard, because we had to drop all the people we were teaching and go to a part of the area that missionaries have never taught anyone. But I do know that it is filled with a lot of prepared people. Since we don't have formers or really any less actives that live down there we are riding around on or bikes and walking the streets and doing street contacting- one of the hardest ways of doing missionary work... but we have already seen the fruits of our labors.
One of the hardest things about this sacrifice is no one is outside during the day. The south part consists of nice homes, families, and people that can support themselves -perfect for the branch. God really has blessed us though. We run into members all the time- BYU students selling security and pesticides. They actually all know and work with Collin Boren (a friend and member of our ward in Dry Fork).  They are all super awesome and give us referrals of people they give pass along cards to or that they think would be a perfect Mormon :)
Since we are sacrificing the North part of the area we gave the Elders all of our progressing investigators and baptismal dates, one of those being Ruben. He was really sad to hear that we will no longer be teaching him, but hopefully he will keep progressing.
We have a super legit investigator named Brandon. He met with missionaries before and lost contact with them. He is progressing really fast and is excited to get baptized. We just need to teach the rest of his family now.
I went on exchanges this week and Sister Newman came with me and she is AWESOME!! She is friends with Sam and loves Marty and Christy. Small world! We had a long but awesome day of walking around the neighborhoods. We ended up talking to a lady from Africa and she loved the message of the restoration and is excited to have us come over and teach it to her family. We met a guy from Trinidad, Turkey (who is muslim but is really interested in Christianity), Mexico, and some small country that I have never heard of before. We talked to over 30 people and set up a lot of lessons :)
One thing I learned this week is the importance of sacrifice in our lives. Not only are we asked to fast once a month, but it's a weekly thing. We need to strive to fast from something each week. This doesn't mean food, but the things of the world, annoying habit you want to break, thoughts, a certain food you eat. As we do this I know we will become more firm in our faith in Christ, our souls will become more purified and sanctified, where it will come to the point that we will totally yield our hearts up to God. Helaman 3:35.
I love you all so dearly, have a wonderful week!!!
Hermana Watkins