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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