Monday, April 28, 2014

B~ and J~'s Baptism! (Week 32)

This week has been awesome. B~ and J~ got baptized and confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tons of people showed up to the baptism, and even the mission president came! For the baptismal service J~ asked Sister Boger to give a talk on Baptism. It was awesome, she even gave B~ a True to the Faith book (which he was wanting to get). It was pretty amazing! B~ was baptized first by Elder Memmott and then I baptized J~. The spirit was so strong you could just feel joy fill the room as they came up from the water. Their desire to follow the Savior is so strong. After they were baptized we listened to Brother Pletcher give a talk on the gift of Holy Ghost and then Elder Linam and Elder Zeyer confirmed the gift of the Holy Ghost on them. It was awesome, right after they were confirmed I had a mini flash back of their progress. They have grown so much and this is just the beginning, they are going to bless so many people's lives as members. After the branch gave special welcomes, B~ and J~ bore their testimonies. So powerful. J's testimony of the restored gospel is so strong. B~ talked about the blessings he has experienced as he has investigated the gospel and he also told the story of how we door knocked into them while he was blasting his country music (He loves telling the story). I don't know if I said it already but they are going to make amazing members.

 (L to R) Elder Zayer, Elder Memmott, D~, B~, C~, J~, Elder Watkins, Elder Linam

Now we are just helping their two boys gain testimonies of their own.

Other than the amazing baptism, this week has been good. We are beginning to work with two solid investigators who are part member teaching situations. One is the mother of a member in Sulphur who has had a hard time with health problems. She came to church this week and loved it. Her daughter Sister C~ is the primary president and all of the primary kids helped her get around the building. Every time we saw her she had a huge smile on her face. The other investigator is the new boyfriend of Sister R~ and has been to church twice. The more we talk to him the more interested in the gospel he sounds. We haven't taught him yet because he lives out in Elmore City (the outskirts of our area) but we are teaching him this week on Wednesday!

In other news, we got word that on Wednesday we are going to be a trio again! No more mega desk :( and no more apartment space :/. His name is Elder Durham and no one knows much about him so I guess we will find out more about him on Wednesday.

This branch has grown so much since I got here it's crazy, the branch has had 10 baptisms just in this month. Seven baptisms is good for the branch for a year. At this rate this branch will be a ward in two more months, maybe less. We just gotta keep the ball rolling. Miracles are afoot. This next week is going to be great! Trio! Yuh! I love you all, keep me posted!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, April 21, 2014

He Still Lives (Week 31)

This week has been wonderful and Easter Sunday ended it off perfectly. Me and my companion Elder Memmott were privileged to speak in sacrament meeting. Elder Memmott's talk covered Jesus Christ's mortal ministry and His church. Both of our talks focused on the Atonement and the resurrection. My talk focused on the Book of Mormon and that it is another Testament that Jesus is the Christ; and the prophecies of Jesus Christ's Atonement. One of my favorite prophecies is Alma 34:8-10. Christ completed that final sacrifice, that infinite sacrifice. Jesus Christ paid the debt for all of our sins and mistakes, and made it possible to live again with Him and our Heavenly Father. In my talk I also talked about Christ's appearance in the ancient Americas, and what He taught the Nephites and Lamanites while He visited them. Sacrament meeting was a little backwards because the branch ran out of sacrament cups, so we gave our talks first while a member made an emergency run to the next closest church building to get more. Me and my companion both felt inspired to extend some bold commitments to the congregation during our talks. As you take the sacrament, focus on the Savior and close your eyes. Ponder on His love, example, and the sacrifice He made for you and I promise that you will feel the power of Christ's infinite atonement wash over you. After our talks the sacrament was blessed and passed. The spirit was so strong. I am so grateful for our savior Jesus Christ and what He did for us. 

B~ and J~ are getting baptized this Wednesday, April 23rd! We are teaching them their last lesson before they are baptized. We are going to talk about the Priesthood and church callings. We are also going to introduce Family Home Evening and get them started on doing that every Monday. I have been so blessed to be able to teach this family. It shows me that there are people out there that are prepared to receive the gospel and they can be found from knocking doors. Who would have thought that the most solid family in the mission would be found from tracting. I feel like they're the family I have been sent to Oklahoma to find. Watching their testimonies grow has strengthened mine, and I can't wait for Wednesday to watch them take this leap of faith. They are going to make amazing members! 

This week we had a cool finding experience. We were trying to visit C~ a potential investigator, and when we knocked on the door a man answered. He was nice and introduced himself as M~. He told us that C~ is his girlfriend and actually used to meet with missionaries, Elder Robb and Jenkins (my last companion in Shawnee). He said that he moved and didn't see them again. He told us he was struggling with alcohol and wants to quit. We told him our message would help him, and we set up a time to visit with him. It was pretty cool! When we got back to the apartment we looked for his teaching record and it was the first one in the area book, pretty crazy. We are going to be teaching him and C~ this week, yeah! yeah! 

Once again the work is hastening and this week is gonna be good! Keep me posted! 

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, April 14, 2014

Castles and Snakes (Week 30)

This week has been good. We have been finding a ton of new people to teach, Davis and Sulphur are full of work! We found a new family in Davis that are really solid, A~ and C~. We found them quite a while ago and it was really hard to catch them at a good time, but this week we taught them a restoration lesson on their porch. Me and my companion are both teaching with the new method of using the teaching pamphlets. It was awesome C~, the father was listening and focusing the whole time we were there. C~ has a lot of things in common with B~, so once B~ is baptized we will take him over there teaching with us.

Things are going really good for B~'s family. This week we taught them the law of tithing and earlier that day before we had even taught them the lesson B~ texted us and asked us if we could go over tithing and that he has a check ready to pay. It was crazy we hadn't told him anything about what we were going to teach them this week. It was an inspired lesson. We ate dinner at their house and then later the Carters came over for the lesson. It went really well in fact after the lesson B~ and J~ both got into a big casual conversation with Brother and Sister Carter (on taxes, haha me and my companion just sat and listened, most of it went over our heads. I am not excited to be a home owner..). It was good though and they are becoming good friends with all of the members. At the end of the lesson we talked about their baptism date and we told them that we feel prompted to make it sooner because they are ready, so B~ and J~ we be baptized on April 23rd, 2014. They are excited and so am I. J~ wants me to baptize her and B~ hasn't decided yet.

Other news: We did some work in Doughtry (a far away town of 100 people in the middle of the Arbuckle Hills). It's a really pretty area, but there isn't a lot of work to be done. We tried a couple of potentials and got stuck in a one-way conversation with an old man about horses. After we had left Doughtry we found a castle. It was pretty cool and we checked it out, then we found a big snake and ran off. Crazy Oklahoma stuff.  

Tornado season has officially started. Yesterday we got hit with a big thunder storm. It was pretty crazy stuff, but don't worry the tornadoes didn't touch down until the storm reached Ardmore and no one was hurt. This next week I will be in Ardmore for a couple of exchanges (last week we didn't get to do one), so hopefully the tornadoes are done with Ardmore for a while.

Anyways, sorry this letter isn't very long. Things look good for next week and we are all looking forward for April 23rd. I love you all! Keep me posted!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

 The Castle (you can see Elder Memmott in the background lol)

Tornado season is here

"The Churches of Paul's Valley welcome you" 

Brother Hill showing us his crazy stamp collection.

Goodbye Elder and Sister Fairborne we are going to miss you! 
Elder and Sister Reed are the new branch senior missionaries.

 Inside the Castle.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bold Sauce! (Week 29)

General Conference was awesome! Where do I start? Elder Holland’s testimony was probably the highlight of the whole thing. Filled with Conviction and power Elder Holland's testimony pierced everyone to the core. Bold Sauce! My favorite talk had to be L. Tom Perry's Sunday Afternoon talk on Obedience and Faith. I loved when told the story of Abraham and Issac and went in to detail of all of the things Abraham had to go through to take his only son up the mountain to be sacrificed. I cannot imagine the pain our Heavenly Father felt to watch his only begotten son be crucified. I love the promise Elder Perry left us, that through our sacrifices and our faith the Lord will save us in his time. We all face difficult trials as we journey on the path back to our Father in heaven but through Christ's infinite Atonement he will lift us up and make our burdens light.

All of general conference was awesome! On Saturday we met B~, J~, and K~ at the church to watch the afternoon session. Me and my Companion sat in the back and watched. Every once and a while I could see J~ look over at B~ when something stood out to her. It was pretty cool, they really enjoyed it and learned a lot. After the afternoon session we went to Braum's and got banana splits (Hey dad B~ and J~ said Thank you!) We had a great time, while we were eating our ice cream B~ told us that He might be getting his shift changed soon so he can come to church. YEAH! and B~ and K~ even came to the Sunday Afternoon session! J~ was out of town and D~ was at a dress rehearsal for a school play (that we are going to on Tuesday). B~ and J~'s baptism date will most likely be on April 30th due to work complications. I'll keep ya posted.

Yesterday we finally made contact with a former investigator family J~ and T~. They loved the missionaries that use to visit with them, but it's pretty sad because the old missionaries mostly just hung out with them. In the rain on their porch we taught them a short restoration lesson and they loved it. It will be hard to meet with them because Sunday evening is the only time they can meet because they work long hours.

Things are going good here and this next week is going to be awesome! Love you all! Keep me posted.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

 Stubborn Mailbox

 Massive chicken fried steak sandwich...