Monday, March 31, 2014

You have been voted off the island... (Week 28)

Sooo... This week has been nuts I really don't know where to start. 

First off we lost Elder Linam this week. We got a late night phone call from President at 10:21. He told Elder Linam that he was being emergency transferred to Wichita Falls TX because a new missionary was going home. Elder Linam's new companion is going to be.... *Drumroll* Elder Bushman. HA! Both me and Elder Memmott looked at each other and laughed, because we both served with Elder Bushman, and now Elder Linam was. Ha ha Elder Bushman. Such a funny guy. The next day we helped Elder Linam pack up his stuff. All of our plans changed for that day. We had to drive Elder Linam to the mission home and we had to get there at 7pm, so the whole day we were visiting members and saying goodbye. I'm not going to lie it’s kinda nice having only one companion now, cuz our apartment has so much more space now, and Elder Linam left tons of food behind. 

WE SET A BAPTISM DATE WITH B'S FAMILY!!! YEEAH!! It was amazing! We visited with them late Monday night and we taught them the Doctrine of Christ again and focused on baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. We started the lesson with another object lesson and made it really simple for D~ and K~. We explained and taught faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and endure to end. We made the analogy that baptism is like a gate and after the gate there are more covenants and blessings that bring us closer and closer to our heavenly father. After we read some scripture in the Book of Mormon we extended an invitation to their family to be baptized: “Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone who holds the proper priesthood authority of God?” B~ and J~ both look at each other and said: "yes" my heart skipped a beat. J~ got emotional in her voice, she told us that last Sunday at church everything clicked, everything just made sense. She also explained to us that her and B~ have talked about it, and don't want K~ and D~ to be baptized until they have that same desire and gain a testimony of their own. SHE GETS IT! K~ and D~'s desire is slowly growing and they are beginning to understand it, so our next visits are going to be more focused on K~ and D~ to help them grasp the meaning of baptism and the restored gospel, and helping them receive answers to their prayers. Their date is set but not 100% solid yet. Their Baptism will be on Friday April 25th and their confirmation will be on Sunday 27th.

On Sunday we had tons of investigators at church. We had J~, K~, D~, and A~ FINALLY CAME!! He is the friend of Brother Hills that we have been teaching for 3 months, he's a Choctaw Indian. It was awesome. I felt like everything that was taught and discussed in church answered his concern about priesthood authority and baptism. I guess we will find out what he thought about it at our next visit. Later that night B~ and his family fed us dinner and afterwards the Boger’s came over and we taught D~ and K~ the Plan of Salvation again. It was awesome, we used the analogy that our life on earth is like High school. Our careers and the money we make in life stands on how well we do in High school. The same goes for our life here on earth. The choices we make and our efforts to live righteous lives effects where we go after we are resurrected. It went really well and later the Boger’s talked about temples and their purpose and how they get our families closer to our Heavenly Father here on earth and in the life after. We then showed them pictures of all of the temples on on D~’s iPad. It was awesome they spent like 10 minutes looking at all of the temples as a family. After B~ gets baptized he will soon get the Priesthood and he can baptize D~ and K~, which is what we are going to talk about next time.

Anyways things are going good me and Elder Memmott are rockin’ the duo. Sometime this month we are going to have a church tour with Bu~, De~, A~, and BL~. It’s going to be awesome. 

Sorry if this email is hard to understand, its’ been a crazy week and I can barely think straight haha.

I love you all! Keep me posted on... stuff.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

 On the Coast

The new Mega Desk

 Mountains II

 Tree House

 Fishin' Pond

Monday, March 24, 2014

Transfers! (Week 27)

This week has been a busy one. We had transfers on Wednesday and we now have Elder Memmott from Nephi Utah in our threesome. He's a great missionary and excellent District Leader (even though he is a new one). Elder Linam got really bad food poisoning on Thursday so we were inside most of the day, but we got invited to B's home that evening for dinner so Elder Linam slept to get his strength up so we were able to go. It was an excellent dinner! B~ cooked us T-bone steaks as big as our faces with bacon mash potatoes (Oklahoma knows how to do it right). After dinner they got to get to know Elder Memmott and then we read Nephi 8 about the tree of life. Their oldest son D~ was gone in Texas for spring break but we still had an excellent discussion.

On Saturday the branch had a family activity with food and games. B's family came and we had a ton of fun. The branch members are awesome and are kind and social with everyone. The next day on Sunday half of B's family came to church, and it was probably the greatest sacrament meeting I've been to thus far on my mission. The Boger Family gave talks on the Book of Mormon, temples, eternal families, and the importance of the home. During Sister Bogers talk I looked over at J~ and she was crying, she had the hymn book open to Love at Home. The talks that were given were so powerful. I was kind of bummed that only J~ and K~ were there. Tonight we are going over to their home and we are going to talk more about the doctrine of Christ, focusing on Baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It is going to be great. 

Sorry this email is so short, we are at members home right now doing p-day email and they have a drum set, but that's not the main reason why this email is short haha my companions are eager to play sports. 
I love you all and hope you have an excellent week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins
B, Me, D, J, and K
Me and my brother

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Investigators (Week 26)

It has been another great week down here in the south. This week we got 7 new investigators which is probably the most I've gotten in one week on my mission thus far.

Sister R~ and her 20 year old daughter (less active members) invited 4 of their friends over and we taught them all the restoration lesson. It was awesome! The members are getting hyped on missionary work! One of their friends B~ that was at their house is super solid. He told us at the end of the lesson that he was struggling with doubting his faith in God. We showed him a couple of good scriptures on faith (Alma 32:21 and Ether 12:6) after we showed him the scriptures he said, "THAT WAS EXACTLY THE SCRIPTURE I NEEDED! THANK YOU!" haha it was great. Sister R~ and her daughter are going to bring all 4 of them to church next week! It’s going to be awesome!

We had a pretty crazy tracting experience on Saturday. We knocked on a door were a Hispanic family lived. A young 11 year old boy answered the door and got his dad. The father saw us and invited us right in. We told him that we were here to pray with his family and bless his family. He couldn't speak a lot of English but he thanked us and we prayed with him, his wife, and his son. After the prayer he gave us water bottles and some Mexican food and begged us to sit in his family room. We did so and began to tell him about our message of the Book of Mormon and that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored. We could tell he could only understand some of our words so we left them with a pass along card and told him and his family that we would come back with a Book of Mormon in Spanish and we would bring a member of our church that could speak Spanish. We are going to come back and teach them sometime this week.

We finally taught B's Family the Word of Wisdom. We were super worried about it because almost every time we went over to teach them J~ has been drinking coffee. But as soon as we got to their house my stress was relieved. B~ had his iPhone out and he was showing my videos of his family racing each other in the backyard having fun. They are such an awesome family. When we got inside and taught them the word of wisdom everything went smoothly. In fact B~ didn't have any problems with any of the substances (Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, Coffee, and Tea). J~ told us that she would give up coffee and switch sweet tea for herbal tea. Both of their kids had no problem with the word of wisdom, and their family committed to keeping the word wisdom. Next time we go over on Tuesday we are going to set a baptismal date with them for April 13th.

Last night we found out that Elder Zeyer is getting transferred. He is becoming a Zone Leader in Moore, he wasn't too happy about it. We have so much good work going on in our area. We are getting Elder Memmott as our new companion and District Leader. He is an awesome missionary, He was the missionary who was companions with Elder Bushman in Shawnee before I came out.

Anyways that it for this week, sorry my letters are always so short, I'm a terrible typer. 

Love you all have a good week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Me, Outgoing Drunk Guy, and Elder Pugmire

Going through the Arbuckle "Mountains" (more like hills)


Monday, March 10, 2014

YES! SOLID! (Week 25)

This week has been awesome! We met with B's family three times and each lesson was super legit!

1st Visit: We took Brother Kelly over and taught them the 10 Commandments, and focused on keeping the Sabbath day holy. It was great, taught them the hand signs for all ten of the commandments to help them have it memorized. Brother Kelly bore a sweet testimony on keeping the Sabbath day holy and talked about how church brings the spirit of the Lord into our homes and families. It was awesome, at the end of the lesson we set up a time to do a tour of the church building with them. 

2nd Visit: We had the Kellys and the Plecters come over for the church tour in Paul's Valley. It was awesome. We showed B's Family around the church and explained all of the physical features of the building. After we had shown and explained to them the Relief Society room, Primary room, and Young Men's room we took them to the chapel. The Spirit was so strong it was awesome. We explained to them the order of sacrament meeting and all of the features in the room. We then walked to the front of the chapel and showed them the sacrament table. The Spirit was so strong as we explained that the sacrament, through partaking of it we remember our Savior's sacrifice and that when we are baptized we take the sacrament to renew our covenants and are cleansed just as we were cleansed at our baptism. I looked at B's wife (J) and I could just tell she was feeling the Spirit. After we explained the sacrament we had some of the members bear their testimonies on the sacrament and its importance. After we had finished the church tour we went in to the RS room and and had a short discussion on prayer and how we can be strengthened daily by praying as a family, and then watched the video Daily Bread: Experience. Where Apostle D. Todd Christofferson bears his testimony on prayer. 

At the end of the lesson, we asked B~ to say the closing prayer and ask to know if the Book of Mormon is true. It was the GREATEST PRAYER EVER! Afterwards B~ told us that he wanted to speak with us alone. We were a little scared at first that he was upset, but really he just a had a ton of questions that he felt embarrassed to ask in front of the members. He asked us about tithing and we told him that it was completely confidential, and that it would be between him, the bishop, and the Lord. It was awesome. We asked them when we could see them again, and they said, "Tomorrow would be good." It was awesome.     

3rd Visit: the next day we took Brother and Sister Carter over and retaught parts of the Restoration and then showed them the Prophet of the Restoration Movie. It was great. At the end of the movie Sis Carter, bore her testimony on the Restoration. In her testimony she explained that families can be together through the temple, that prophets speak to us today, and about general conference. After she bore her testimony, we really didn't know what to say ha ha. J~ commented and said, "Seeing what the saints had to go through to have religious freedom, they would have had to know that it was all true." SHE GETS IT! The Spirit was strong the whole time we were there.  

Church: THEY CAME!! IT WAS AWESOME! They had a great spiritual experience and came to all three hours. J~ loved relief Society and was super happy the whole time. There weren't any young men at church this week so that may have been weird for K~ and D~, but they loved it. Hopefully, they can come again next week. I'm running out of time so I'll have to wrap this one up.

I love you all and I'll tell you all about next week. 

Sincerely, Elder Watkins 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ice Storms on Sundays. Why? (Week 24)

This week has been pretty good, and we have taught have some good lessons lessons.

On Tuesday, we went to Wynnewood and met with the Church of Christ preacher and had a good discussion with him. We were trying to teach a Restoration, but we only got half-way through because we got on the topic of baptism by fire. Haha, it got pretty deep and we kept trying to move forward with the lesson. He is a great guy and is originally from Europe, but came to America to practice religious freedom. He is very open to us and interested in what we offer. He doesn't believe miraculous works (priesthood) are on earth anymore, so that is what we are going to talk him about this Tuesday, and then hopefully finish teaching the restoration.

On Wednesday, we taught the F~ family and brought the Pletchers over for the lesson. We taught them the Doctrine of Christ and read Nephi 2 with them. The lesson was awesome and the spirit was really strong. We got the whole family really involved with the lesson and showed them a really cool object lesson - 7 Nails object lesson) where you have to balance 6 nails (Doctrine of Christ) on top of one that represents Jesus Christ. B~ is still struggling with getting work off on Sunday. We committed him to pray individually and as a family to get work off, and next time we go over we are going to focus on keeping the Sabbath day holy and we are going to set up a time that we can take them on a tour of the church building with Brother Kelly.

This week we got a new investigator couple in Davis. They are a young black family that lives in the apartment of an old less active that moved. They are pretty cool and when we first found them, the father invited us right in. Last week we taught them a Restoration with the commitment to read and pray, this week we are going to teach the Plan of Salvation because they had a loss in the family recently.

Things have been good this week, except that we got hit with a huge ice/snow/hail storm Sunday morning. we only had one hour of church because only 32 people came. I'm surprised we made it to church. Anyways I got to go now, I love you all! See you next week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins