Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas (Week 14)

What a wonderful time of the year where we get to celebrate our Savior's birth and the life He lived here on earth for us. Christmas is becoming more and more commercialized each year, and being a missionary separated from the world, I can now see how far we have moved from the true meaning of
Christmas. God gave us His most divine gift, His only begotten son’s life. The Savior gave freely to everyone out of pure love. He came here to set the perfect example for us to live righteously. He sacrificed everything for us to live with our Father in heaven again. The least we can do to give back to our Savior this Christmas is to serve those in need. The best way to give and serve is to do it anonymously, without seeking recognition.

Things are going well here in Shawnee. Elder Bushman got transferred to Wichita Falls TX, and Elder Jenkins is my new companion who left from Wichita Falls TX. Elder Jenkins and I are focusing on
growing the ward down here in Shawnee, and creating ward unity. The ward can't grow until the ward is unified and seeking to do missionary work. We are starting to set up Family Home Evenings with different families in the ward and inviting less active members and investigators, to create ward unity and fellowship. Home Teaching and missionary work are so important in a ward to bring less active and recent converts to church. Fellowship is everything. This will help our investigators and less actives come to church.

We have begun to find more solid people to teach and we have been digging though the area book
looking at old contacts and seeing if any of the people would be good to teach again. W~ is still struggling with coming to church but her testimony is growing each time we visit. Also we are visitingthe A~ family who live out in Bethel. We visited them yesterday and talked about the spirit of Christmas and read the story of Christ's birth in the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 1). They are a solid family looking for the gospel, it’s hard to meet with them but we are going to try to visit with them more.

We are not going to be able to do too much on Christmas, because we can only visit those with set appointments and so far we don’t have very many. I'm looking forward to calling home and talking to you guys. 

I love you all and Merry Christmas.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

PB&J (Week 13)

This week has been historical. Elder Moore has never had a peanut butter sandwich in his life and this week at his 22 month mark in his mission, he has finally taken the courage to try one. We give Elder Moore a hard time for how picky he is about food and trying new things. Last Friday Elder Moore went on exchanges to Midwest city and took his companion's (Elder Cutler) bike to use on the exchange. At the end off the night we got a call from Elder Moore telling us he had bad news. They were at a member's house for 10 minutes and someone had taken wire cutters and broke their bike lock and stole Elder Cutler's bike. Elder Moore told Elder Cutler that he would do anything to make it up to him, and he said "If you eat a PB&J sandwich your debt will be paid." The next Saturday Elder Moore ate a chunky peanut butter and jelly sandwich and it was indeed historical. Next week he will try ranch dressing. :)

Our investigator W is going through some changes. L no longer lives with her because it turned out she was doing drugs, not getting into too many details, W needed her out. This has made it easier on W and now she is finally giving up smoking and coming to church. She is really starting push herself for a date for baptism. One of our investigators P is also finally going to quit smoking and push for a date. His family is now supporting him more than ever, its gonna happen! Our investigators are pulling through and things are looking good for next week. Right now the ward needs a lot of help focusing on missionary work and bonding together in unity. This week we are gathering multiple families together and having conjoined family home evenings, to work on ward unity.
I found out yesterday I'm getting a new companion Elder Jenkins who is coming up from Wichita Falls, Texas. Elder Bushman and him are basically switching places. The leadership in our district has become a little faulty, so Elder Jenkins is going to be our new district leader, which means I'll be going on tons of exchanges. Ah, yeah.

Elder Martin

This holiday season has been legit over here in Shawnee and it's only just begun. I have new film photos but I forgot to get them put on a CD :P

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ice Storms (Week 12)

The weather this week has been crazy over here in "Okie"land. On Thursday we got hit with an "moderate" ice storm and we were stuck inside for awhile. Once the sleet eased up we weren't able to drive due to the road conditions (they don't plow or salt the roads here), so we set out on foot. On Friday we woke up to 4 inches of snow. It wasn't all that bad though, because it helped us get into people's houses.
We got a couple of good investigators this week one of which was J~, we met him when we stopped by to visit one of our other investigators, A~ and her son M~. He is another member of their household and he invited us in because of the cold weather. He was a really awesome guy and was very open to our message. We shared with him a Book of Mormon and explained to him that it was an ancient record of his ancestors from 600 BC to 400 AD. He was really happy when we gave it to him and explained that he has read a lot of books on Christianity. We shared with him the plan of salvation and the lesson went fairly well. He had a lot of input himself on the doctrine that he has picked up from other faiths over the years, but we did our best to show him the restored truth. We hope to teach him again sometime this week.
Recently we were able to teach W~ and her sister L~. W~ has been meeting with the missionaries for awhile and just recently has her sister L~ begun to participate. W~ has had a problem with smoking for a long time and so we decided to teach her and L~ the Word of Wisdom together. It was a little awkward at first because when we first came in L~ was smoking. The Word of Wisdom can be a difficult commandment to teach. We explain to W~ and L~ the 5 substances that the Lord doesn't want us to take into our bodies. We taught them that the Lord has commanded us to abstain from these substances because they delude the body and and spirit. The spirit was strong but I could sense contention coming from L~. 

We had an awesome member with us for the lesson, Bro. R, and he bore an excellent testimony on the Lord's commandments and the promised blessings that come when we obey them. L~ wasn't ready to follow the Word of Wisdom so I committed her to pray to know if it is a commandment from God. And her response was, "I don't". Me and my companion were alittle confused by her answer. We got the impression that she doesn't pray. The only way someone can become converted is if they have daily communication to their Father in Heaven. When we meet with her next we will be addressing her concerns with prayer and teaching her its importance.
This week's forecast for salvation looks good and the snow is starting to melt. I love the letters I've received from all of you and hearing about what's up. Keep me posted.
Sincerely, Elder Watkins 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! (week 11)

Time is starting to fly. This week has been pretty good; we have done a lot of exploring in the boondocks/sticks (finding inactive members in the middle of nowhere). We had some pretty funny experiences; you can tell a lot of the people live in the boons to get away from civilization. Literally, the first house we pulled up to there was a guy sitting in his tractor that asked us what we wanted. We told him if he knew where so and so was and he glared at us and said, "Well she's gotta live somewhere in the world." We asked him again if he knew her and he told us it was time for us to go, we awkwardly said "Okay, have a nice day."

There was another house that we tried to visit that had a large open front yard, and towards the house about 20 feet from the porch lay a rather large dog with a chain linked to his collar. We gradually walked towards the porch. As we got closer I started to notice the many Beware of Dog signs placed around the yard. Elder Bushman, quite unaware of the situation, led the way to the door. The dog that was once laying down, now stood staring me down. We got about 10-15 feet from the door and the dog bolted at me. I quickly ran back toward the car. The dog's leash was a lot longer then it looked from afar. The dog wasn't fast enough to catch me. 

Now Elder Bushman stood on the porch knocking on the door with me awkwardly standing 40 feet from the door. The dog still didn't notice Elder Bushman standing on the porch. Finally when no one answered the door after two knocks, he started to very slowly make his way off the porch with the dog lying back in its original place. Elder Bushman beckoned me to make some noise to distract the dog, so I moved the leaves on the ground with my foot while he stepped off the porch. As soon as he reached the last step the dog saw him and bolted at him. Elder Bushman who was speed walking, realized that the dog was faster than he thought. The large dog came within a foot from biting him. He ran around the telephone post and he barely got away. I could not stop laughing, I seriously thought the dog was getting Thanksgiving ham early. We had a good laugh about it once we got back in the car.

 A cool fishing pond in the boons.

We had Thanksgiving dinner at J~'s house, who is a recent convert that was baptized about year ago. She had her entire family over from Blackwell and Ada. We had a wonderful dinner and had a really good conversation with J~'s step dad who is a Baptist minister (kinda). We shared our similar beliefs with him and we eventually got to talk to him about the Book of Mormon and explain where it came from. We were even able to give him a copy to read for himself. We explained to him that the Book of Mormon and the Bible go hand in hand and support each other. He was really grateful for the Book of Mormon and he said he'll read it. We left their family by having everyone go around and say what they are most grateful for. It was a really good Thanksgiving. I'm grateful to be able to be here in Oklahoma and to share this gospel that I know to be true and that has blessed my life so much in so many ways. I'm grateful for Christ's atonement and to be able to know that he died for my sins so I am able to return to my Father in Heaven through repentance. We are so blessed!

One of our investigators is getting really close to baptism. We have been teaching W~ for quite some time now and we are really pushing her to find out if this is the right one for her. W~ is in her early 70’s and lives with her sister in a 1920’s manor. It is the coolest house and is in pretty good condition. Recently, her sister L~ has started coming to the Book of Mormon classes and is now interested in hearing from the missionaries. She is a pretty depressed lady but we are helping her see the greater joy in this life and God's plan for us. We are so excited to start teaching her. Good things are going to happen. All W~ needs to do is quit smoking and come to church (she is worried that she smells like smoke) but we explained to her that everyone at church loves her and have been through similar struggles, they are there to encourage her.

Next week looks promising!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, November 25, 2013

Key Quest (Week 10)

It's been a pretty decent week here in Shawnee. We have a lot of investigators that are struggling with the Word of Wisdom right now. We have taught them everything, it's just a matter of them quitting smoking so they can be baptised. I've quickly learned that the only way someone can give up an addiction is if they have the desire to do it for their self. It all starts with a desire to quit, and if there isn't any desire there's nothing we missionaries can do. One of our investigators who is married to a member has been taking the missionary lessons for over a year, and the only thing holding him back from being baptised and being sealed to his wife is smoking. Faith, love, and persistence is the best thing we can do at this point.

It has gotten really cold here in Oklahoma this past week. We had a small ice storm on Thursday while we were at Mission Conference in the city our cars iced over, which took about 30 minutes to scrape off. Church was even cancelled on Sunday and our cars were grounded. At the mission conference we were privileged to hear from Elder Cardon from the Quorum of the Seventy. He gave an awesome talk on the dispensations of time, and how this is the last dispensation of time. Now is the time to bring forth the work of salvation to the children of men. We are all eligible to receive the restored gospel. We are the messengers not the converters, conversion doesn't take place until someone begins to commune with God daily. 

We lost the mail keys... Again. We lost them once about two weeks ago and had to go to the office to get a copy of the key, but the one we lost was the last one, so the next day the apartment maintenance replaced our lock and gave us a whole new key. Well it didn't take too long for my companion to lose that key as well. We searched high and low and completely cleaned our apartment looking for it. We went without getting the mail for a week praying daily that we would find them. Finally I told Elder Bushman he needed to confront the office, it was his turn to tell them we lost them. We went in on Saturday and spoke to a very nice lady who was "brand new" and "only works on the weekends". She let us take the duplicate key to get our mail but we had to give it back to her. Hopefully we will get the 3rd mail key today, and from now on I'll hold on to it.

This next week will be good, we are going to be setting some pretty solid baptism dates for December. It's a mission goal for the month of December to get 50 baptisms. We are shooting for one if not two.
Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, November 18, 2013

D~'s Baptism (Week 9)

This week has been excellent. D~ was baptized Saturday, November 16, 2013 and confirmed on Sunday during sacrament meeting. Elder Bushman performed the baptism and I performed the confirmation. 

A ton of members came for the baptism, D~'s grandmother was even able to come. D~ told us days before his baptism that the temptations to mess up had become stronger than ever and that reading the Book of Mormon helped him get through the week. After D~ was baptized he told us that when his head went under the water all of the temptations and filth went away, and his mind felt at peace. 

I am so grateful to have been a witness of D~'s conversion. I remember only month ago that he couldn't go a day without drinking, and now he has been sober for 3 weeks and is a totally different person. I can't wait to baptize others and bring them unto Christ. You can tell there is an emptiness in people, an emptiness of hope. Everyone needs to be baptized in order to return to our Father in heaven. We all need the Holy Ghost to lead and guide our lives. The Holy Ghost is how God speaks to us, through our hearts and minds. Sunday's confirmation was awesome as well, I think I'm getting better at giving blessings.

D~ helped us with a pretty crazy service project last week. We helped a member demolish their garage. Their garage was in a very awkward spot in their yard and it needed renovation, so we destroyed it. We took out the front supports with sledge hammers and ripped out boards. Eventually it was on the brink of falling, and dang I wish I took pictures cause it was sketch. It got to the point where we had to place 2 by 4's on the ground to hit the supports at a distance. The scary part about the whole thing is that there was an above ground pool 5 feet from the back side of the garage, and when it fell it came  inches from hitting the pool. If it had hit that pool the whole block would have flooded.
Part one of a nutritious breakfast
This next week looks promising and we will have many to teach. Don't forget to keep me posted by emailing me   
Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 8

This week has been really good, things with D~ are falling into place for his baptism (Nov 16th!). Last Wednesday we went over the Word of Wisdom with him again and we found out that he is still smoking 1-2 cigarettes a day. We committed him to tear up the rest of his cigarettes and throw them in the dumpster. It was pretty awesome. It was hard for him but he did it for himself, and that is the most important thing for someone who is giving up smoking.

This week we reached out to a homeless man in a wheelchair. As we talked to the older man (70s) he told us that his daughter was a convert to the Mormon faith, and that she is doing really well. We talked to him a for a while, and he told us his story. He was from Las Vegas, and had profession as a musician for a couple of different bands. He told us that he has never smoked or drank, and has always looked at it as a bad thing for his body. He told us about the impact he saw smoking and drugs take on his friends and band members. He told us about a lot of bad things that happened to him that he didn't have control over. He was crushed by his electric wheelchair because the bus driver didn't buckle his chair in properly and when the driver hit the brakes, his chair rolled down the isle and threw him in the exit stairs and his chair rolled on top of him. He told us a lot of sad stories and that his children couldn't take care of him. He explained to us that he didn't want any financial support rather that he wanted our spiritual council.
We met with him a couple times during the week and shared some scriptures with him from the Book of Mormon. Recently he told us that the salvation army was going to kick him out because he was "too hard to handle." So we are helping him find a nursing home that he can vacate to. Once he finds a nursing home he wants to get rides from ward members to church.

Sorry this week's letter is short, we haven't had a lot of email time recently, but I'll for sure be writing more next week. We have had a pretty decent week for teaching, and this week is going to be even better.
Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week 7

This week has been really good.

Earlier this week I got a package in the mail from my dad that contained his Armor of God medallion. Dad told me he had been praying and felt prompted to send it to me to give to D~. Later that same day me and Elder Bushman went over to teach and visit with D~. He has been doing really well and has been sober for 12 days, and has been reading the Book of Mormon every day. While we were visiting I felt prompted to read Ephesians 6:11-18 to him, where Paul writes about taking up and wearing the whole Armor of God. 

After we finished reading the scriptures to him I pulled out the medallion and told him that I had received it in the mail from my Father and that he felt prompted by the Holy Ghost to send it to me, so I could give it to him. A light filled his eyes and he stood up and looked at the medallion. I explained to him the way my father felt it would help him, that he should wear it every day, and that if he ever felt tempted to drink that he would grasp the necklace and remember that he is wearing the Armor of God.

As of yesterday D~ is currently reading in 2 Nephi 10. I guess I should mention D~ is a Great Grandson of the Sac and Fox War Chief, and has a lot of Indian heritage. We explained to him that we believe his ancestors were descendants of the Nephites and Lamanites. Since we told him that, he has been studying and reading the Book of Mormon. Recently he showed me and Elder Bushman a painting he found on the Internet of Joesph Smith preaching to the Sac and Fox Indians.

He told us what he had found out about the painting; that Joesph Smith went to the Sac and Fox Tribe and told them of a book that was written by their ancestors which documents the teaching of the Great White Spirit. Joesph Smith even had a translated version that was written in the Sac language.
D~ is doing really well and he even came to the ward Halloween festivities. Sorry that I don't have a picture of him yet. He had to leave before we took our group picture.

Gleave, Bushman, Me, and Moore
Me with a member's 7 day old Boston terrier puppy
A member's film camera collection

Things are going good and I'm sorry that I'm going to have to cut this short, but I'm out of email time. Happy Halloween!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 6

This week has been up and down.

We have been meeting with D~ a lot and really cranking down on helping him see the difference between worldly happiness and spiritual happiness. We taught D~ to repent and the lesson was pretty solid. Alcohol is no doubt his demon, and we can see the effects that it has on him while we visit. He is in a really tough spot, and we are doing what we can to help him and we are making sure he has the desire to quit for himself. He has improved a ton since we first started meeting with him. We had a lesson with him on Friday and we made a commitment that he would not drink alcohol between then and Sunday, we also helped him find ways to be productive with his time so he doesn't have time to think about drinking. We taught him how important it is that we read, pray and go to church. We've taught him these so many times but I think it's finally setting in.
This Sunday D~ came to all 3 hours of church! There are a lot of semi-recent converts in our ward and they got along great with him. Most of the converts have very similar backgrounds and stories on alcohol addiction. During our last session of church, (Elders Quorum) a recent concert gave the lesson on keeping the commandments. It was crazy, the lesson applied perfectly to D~ in every aspect. One of the members shared that when we don't keep the commandments not only does it do harm to use, but it also harms those we love and are close to like our friends and our grandma (which was really weird because, that was D~'s exact living situation, all he has left is his grandma and one friend). After the lesson, D~ told us how much he enjoyed church and that he wants to come back again! We are going to meet with him later today.
On the down side of the week, we found out that one of our Investigators that we'd set a baptismal date with has a few problems, and might not be getting baptised anytime soon...
I'm not going to mention their name for confidentiality purposes. Our investigator was staying with one of the members in our ward because of their previous family condition, and is currently struggling to get their kid back because of it. Until this Thursday we didn't know there was anything holding them from baptism. It turns out this person has been stealing money from the member who sheltered them and was caught selling drugs behind the house. It's really sad and we don't know much more than that. We are hoping that everything gets resolved peacefully.

Besides that and me getting sick, this week has been awesome, and life is good. We entered our names into the ward chili cook off this Wednesday, and our recipe is unbeatable (3 cans of chili from Walmart and 3 mild sauce packets from Taco Bell... don't tell anyone it's secret).
Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bible Study (week 5)

Bible Study by Desert Noises on Grooveshark 
This week has been crazy. I don't know where to start.

Early in the week (I can't remember what day... all the days seem to mush into one), me and my companion were knocking on doors in the far south part of town. Me and my companion were listening to the promptings of the spirit and making the other knock the door to start the conversation. In The Oklahoma Mission we have a tracting method called "The Gift of Prayer" where we ask the resident if we can offer a gift of prayer to their family and home. I asked my companion to knock a door, and no one answered. He then asked me knock the door of a pink house that he "felt prompted" for me to knock. I went up and knocked on the door. I heard big footsteps and the door swung open. Low and behold stood a stout man, maybe it was the Tennessee football jacket or his rough complexion, but he reminded me of a football coach. I introduced myself and told him we were representatives of Jesus Christ. I asked him if we could offer a prayer with him to his home and family. with a loud booming voice he said we were just about to have prayer come on in. I was surprised and had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. My companion and I walked in to the living room to see 3 ladies sitting in the room, one of which was 95. The man introduced us to the ladies and explained that we were missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that we were serving two year missions where we leave behind our families and previous lives to serve the Lord. I was shocked how much he knew about us. It appeared that we had come to their house the very day and hour they had bible study. The man talked to us about the Rapture and asked us kindly about our faith. All of the people in the room seamed to have gathered from different faiths to pray and read the Bible. One of the ladies said it was hard to go to certain churches because they taught things that didn't feel right. I shared with her part of Joesph Smith History and told her about Joseph seeking for truth. We really didn't get to teach them a full lesson, but we had a really cool bible discussion.

After an hour of talking, I offered a prayer. As I began to offer the prayer they started to moan and loudly say "mmMmmm, Praise Jesus!" "Yes he does!" and, "Glory to him!" It was very distracting, and I tried not to grin. Overall it was a crazy experience.

Things have been going really well with D~. He has kinda stopped drinking (he says if he stops cold turkey he will die). We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he loved it. I have never seen him more attentive. We showed him the lay out with laminated pieces of the Plan, and it made complete sense to him. He was so happy to know where his grandmother (the one taking care of him) was going after this life. We set a baptismal date with him for the 16th of November.

This Sunday D~ came with us to church, but we had to drive him home at the very end of sacrament meeting because he was feeling really sick. His health is really poor because of his drinking, but he is doing much better, considering that he made it to church.

We have a new investigator this week named J~, who has similar problems as D~. He has bad depression and  is also an alcoholic and smokes. We have known J~ for awhile, but it was hard to meet with him and teach him a full lesson. He grew up knowing a very nice LDS family that treated him very well. Since they moved 10 years back, he hasn't heard from them. He has a really strong desire to become a member of the church, but he is scared that he won't be accepted because he and his girlfriend are living together and aren't married yet. We taught him the Restoration and The Word of Wisdom. He is striving to become better. We set a baptismal date with him for the 30th of November.

Last Saturday, we went to the Buckley's property to do service. We helped move fire wood and made a bonfire with huge branches of oak and pine. We had a lot of fun. I've noticed something about the people here in OK - they all have at least one dog, and in most cases they have four. They had some beautiful Irish and Australian Shepherds. Also, check out this legit donkey.

Things are going well and the members down here are awesome at feeding us (we basically get fed every night). I'm gaining weight or at least I'm trying to...

It's starting to get too cold to bike, so that will most likely help my efforts.
Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, October 14, 2013

Braum's (week 4)

Hello from Oklahoma! Things are going swell!

This week I was able to go on exchanges to Seminal, OK which is just East of Shawnee. My exchange companion was Elder Linam from Lehi UT, we both haven't been out in the field very long. It was a pretty rough exchange for knocking on doors, no one really answered. We did get to pray with a couple of non-member families, though, which was good. Out here in Oklahoma it gets pretty dead around 8 o'clock-especially in Seminal where there isn't a main street or condensed commercial property. We got to the apartment around 8:10 and we had nothing to do.
Bodacious Wall Mural Outside the Town Hall on Main Street

Maybe it was the Spirit, or maybe it was my stomach, but I felt prompted that we should walk down the street to Braum's to get ice cream. We walked the mile walk to Braum's and got ice cream cones. As we were walking out, a girl caught my eye (not like that). She was a Braum's employee and she was crying. We walked over to her and asked what was wrong, she explained that the person she had been living with for a year had just told her that he never loved her. We comforted her and found out she was an inactive member, in fact she had been the last door we knocked on... it was a spiritually inspired trip for ice cream. We talked to her for a while, and set her up with an appointment with the sister missionaries.

D~ has been doing good. We had a lesson with him and really cracked down on quitting alcohol. We read Alma chapter 34 with him and talked to him about prayer.and how it will help him in the process of giving up alcohol. Afterward we gave him a blessing. Elder Bushman sealed it and I anointed it. The spirit was so strong in the room and I knew D~ could feel it. We told him about the Book of Mormon class that we would be teaching on Thursday, and asked if he would like a ride and he said yes.

Later on Thursday we gave the Book of Mormon class, and connected the Book of Mormon with the Bible. We answered two big questions off the 50 frequently asked questions list. Why should we pray? and How can I know that the Book of Mormon is true? We taught a really solid lesson and addressed a lot of questions and concerns. I think it was really good for D~ to be there for the lesson and he got a lot out of it, he also made some new friends. D~ didn't come to church this week but we think he was visiting his dad so we will meet with him again this week and teach him the Plan of Salvation.

Fred the Toad

Thank you for your letters, they mean alot.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, October 7, 2013

N~ and D~ (Week 3)

Well I've left the MTC and now I'm in the field. Only five people from my branch left to Oklahoma, so it was a little sad saying goodbye to the other elders and sisters in our branch.

MTC Branch 159
It was pretty awesome on the airplane from Dallas to Oklahoma, I was able to sit next to a young African American woman and talk to her about the gospel. When I first sat next to her I noticed she was playing Ruzzle on her iPhone. I told her that I was terrible at that game and we quickly started to talk. She told me that she once had a Mormon boyfriend, but she dumped him because he was "crazy" (he was pushy on baptism and marriage in the temple). She asked me a lot of questions about the LDS church, and I did the best I could at answering them. At one point she asked me, "Well, if you never met me, what would you teach me first?" After that point I went into the first discussion and taught her the Restoration. After that she said, "In our church we know that we are from heaven, but after we die we still aren't sure." From there I gave her a brief summary of the plan of salvation. When our 55-minute flight was over I was privileged to hand her a Book of Mormon and invited her to find out for herself if what I taught her was true. It was a pretty cool experience.

Me and my bro Skippy/Elder Corbin
My first area that I've been assigned to is a town called Shawnee which is located south of OKC. I cover the southern part of the town which is a little ghetto, but the people here are awesome. Me and my companion Elder Bushman have one of the nicest cars in the zone, but we have been biking quite a bit the past couple of days. Shawnee feels like a town off the coast of the Mississippi river. It's like I'm living in a Mark Twain book, and it's awesome. Everything here is Bible themed. It's crazy, Shawnee has every christian denomination you can think of.

Last Friday me and my companion felt prompted to visit one of our recent converts in the area. N~ was recently baptized and is a recovering alcoholic. We met with his family and talked about some of the things that he'd recently read in the Book of Mormon. After we finished our lesson we felt prompted to ask if N~ would like to come with us to our next appointment with a young man named D~. We explained to N~ that D~ was also a struggling alcoholic and was close to death and becoming homeless. N~ said yes and we left to D~'s.
N~'s dogs

N~ wasn't sure what to talk to D~ about and we told him to just listen to the promptings of the Spirit. When we got to D~'s house, and when we met him he was shirtless and depressed at the door. He invited us in and we sat in the living room. D~ and N~ hit it off so well that me and my companion didn't say anything until 25 minutes into the visit. N~ shared his story of being homeless growing up and going through divorce, alcoholism, and other difficult challenges.

He bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it helped him with his challenges and to become closer to God. The Spirit was so strong and I could tell D~ could feel it too. We told D~ that we loved him and that are there to help him over come his struggles. He thanked us and N~ then invited him to church! It was awesome we barely did anything haha. D~ said yes and N~ offered to give him a ride. I know this gospel is true and that the love it brings can change our lives.
I'd love to hear from more of you! Please e-mail me at: 
Thank you for all of you that have written me it means a lot. Anyways, me and my district are leaving to go play basketball inside a Baptist church. Praise the Lord! Amen!