Monday, May 26, 2014

Lawns, Ramps, and Flat Tires (Week 36)

We have done a ton of service this week, its been great. Three days out of the week we were blessed to do service for others.

We built a wheel chair ramp for one of the less active members in Sulphur, M~. She is the Aunt of Th~ a 13 year old recent convert in our branch. She lives in a smaller house behind Th~'s house. Last week M~ fell for the third time this year, and had to go to the hospital. The doctors told her that she will be paralyzed in her left leg until they can give her surgery. She has been living in Th~'s house for the pass week because she been unable to get in and out of her house in the back yard due to the steps from off the back porch of Th~'s house and the porch steps into her's. We talked to the Branch President and Brother Fultz about building a ramp to M~'s house, and this week we got to help build it. The church payed for the wood and Brother Fultz (who has a background with building ramps for hospice work) helped us cut it up and assemble the ramp. The Fultz are amazing, they are on fire!

After we finished the ramp and we were getting ready to leave Brother and Sister Fultz notice the neighbors and they turned out to be good friends of theirs that they use to live next to. The couple were deaf (There are a lot of deaf people in our area because the Oklahoma School For the Deaf is in Sulphur). We greeted them and asked them if we could mow their lawn and help with their yard (we have been learning a little bit of sign language from members in the Branch that learned sign to teach the deaf members in the branch, I also borrowed a sign language book that I've been studying during Language study.) We used the little signing we knew and they said we could. We picked up all of the dead tree limbs and mowed their front yard and back yard. It was awesome to get to meet them through service, such a miracle. They were so humble and kind and we are hoping to go back sometime with a member that signs so we can teach them.

During the week we had to make a quick trip to Walmart during exchanges. As we were walking in to the store we saw that a car had a completely flat tire. Not seeing the owner of the car any where in
sight we couldn't do to much about it. After we had gone in, bought what we needed we walked out of the store. To the Left of the exit of Walmart there was a table where we heard someone say "Hey Elder do you want help support our ministry by donating?" We told them "no thank you" and then we heard "well do you want to hear what we are about?" Elder Durham said "helping people I hope." They then said "of course" we acknowledged their response with "awesome" and walked on. As we were moving towards our car we saw the owner of the car with a flat tire, a hurried young mother with her daughter on the phone assessing the damage. We approached her and asked if we could help. As we were helping many people walked bye not caring, but then others stopped to help. We soon had two other people helping us take off the flat tire and put on the spare. After we were done she thanked us. We then told her what we did as missionaries and asked if we could come by and share a message about Jesus Christ sometime. She said yes and we are going to teach her next Sunday. Miracle! Its been a huge blessing from the lord to find so many people to teach through service.

Its been a good week, and the Lord is blessing Sulphur.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Pocket size puppy

The Ramp

Stuck in the car during rain storm

Oklahoma Skies

We caught a tarantula

Epic Puppy yawn w/ bro H~ in the background

Some Film Photographs

Around the bend

Grandpa Hill


Oklahoma Skies


Cool Ponds

Chickasaw Woods


Sulphur Water

Bromite Hill

Monday, May 19, 2014

You're a Member? (Week 35)

This week was good but also strange at the same time. As soon as you think you've adjusted to the work it changes on ya, but that's how you grow as a missionary. Really this week has been great, with lots of miracles mostly with less-active members. In the past two weeks we have found 4 new less actives that were not on our roster. Three of them we found from knocking on doors.

Last Week

It was crazy so the first one we found was when we went over to visit Mx~. We were waiting for Mx~ to answer the door but he didn't answer, so we waited a little longer. The door right next to Mx~'s apartment opened and a bigger man stuck his head out the window. We noticed he kept glancing over at us. After a couple more minutes of waiting (Mx~ is in a wheelchair) we began to walk away, when we heard "WAIT!" We turned around and sure enough the man next door started walking towards us. He asked us if we were Mormons and we told him yes, and then he simply said, "ME TOO! My name is W~. I haven't been to church since I lived in Delaware, which was 20 years ago. I use to have a quad scriptures but, I lost them in a move. Where's the nearest church?" We were shocked haha. We introduced ourselves and gave him information about the church's where-abouts, and he asked us to come by sometime in the next week.

This Week

We went over to W~'s house, and he invited us in and introduced us to his girlfriend, and while we were talking we asked her if she had ever talked to Mormon missionaries. She then simply told us "Yeah, I'm a member I was baptized in California when I was 20." W~ whirled around and said, "Your a member?!... huh I didn't know that." It was nuts. We taught them a lesson on the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, and they loved it. W~ asked us "where could I get a Book of Mormon?" ... Uh from my backpack haha, it was great. They both expressed there desires to come back to church. They don't have a car at the moment so we discussed with them about getting them a ride with a member.

Yesterday (Sunday) during branch council we talked to the Branch President about all of the less-actives that we have recently found in Sulphur. We discussed setting up a monthly sacrament meeting in Sulphur, either at a members house or in a rented room. It's going to awesome once we get everything set up.

This letter is so out of order but oh well. I should also tell you about the other less-active member we found. Earlier in the week we helped brother Fz out with some service. We helped him carry and store a bunch of hospice equipment in a storage unit for his work. When we got to the building the equipment was being first stored in we met this lady that was talking to brother Fz. We were dressed in service clothes completely unrecognized as missionaries other than our name tags (in fact I don't know if all of us were wearing them... oops) and the first thing she said when she saw us was "oh you brought some strong Mormon boys to help."

Wait Whaa?

We talked to her while we carried equipment and she was very familiar with the church. We didn't get to talk to her to much during the service project. However, later we talked to brother Fz and he told us he found out she is a recent convert that was baptized in Ardmore, but she hasn't been to church since she moved to Sulphur. We are going to try to set up something and meet with her this coming week.

We didn't get to teach to many lessons this week, but the lord has blessed us with guidance to find all of these lost members. This next week is going to be good and we have been working with our two most solid investigators, "Em" (Bro B's daughters friend who is 10 years old) and sister Caster's Mom, "Be". We taught the restoration to both of them right after church in the primary class room, and Em and Be both loved it. We are working toward a baptism date in June, still flexible.

The Gospel is great and the work is hastening in Sulphur.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Norman Stake Fair with recent convert T~

Norman Stake Fair

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day (Week 34)

It was great being able to see you guys! I'm so greatful for amazing parents that taught me and raised me in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I do not know where I would be with out them. Thank you so much for everything Mom. It's crazy how much you all have grown in 8 months. Cali, Jessie, and Gracie you all look so different. I was happy that I was able to skype and see Grandma and Grandpa as well.

This week has been good. We found two new investigators, A~ an older lady who is an inactive Methodist, and Mx~ who is the referral we got from Brother H~. We had an awesome lesson with Mx~. We taught him the restoration and he enjoyed it. It was hard for him to remember what the missionaries taught him when he lived in Idaho; because of all of the medication he had to take, but as we taught he started to remember things and his eyes would start to glow. We are going to teach him again this week and we are going to get him started on reading the Book of Mormon.

Yesterday we went over to the Fz home and gave them the picture of the Salt Lake Temple. We kept it gift wrapped so they could be surprised. It was funny Brother Fz (B~) couldn't tell what it was. Sister Fz (J~) opened it and almost started to cry. She was so happy she loved it. She said that she is going to find a space for it right away. We shared with her the scripture in Alma about the stripling warriors, and talked about a Mothers sacred responsibility to nurture and teach her children. Sister Fz was so happy and closed the visit with a prayer in tears. She is awesome!

This coming week looks really promising with all of the new potentials that we found in Davis. One of them is Y~ she is so solid. We are so excited to teach her this coming Wednesday. Also we are going to start teaching a young couple D~ and S~ on Tuesday. The Lord is providing and the work is picking up it should be a great week!

Thank you for all of your letters and e-mails. I love you all!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Riding in Brother's C's Bronco

The 1978 Ford Bronco

Wynnewood Oil Refinery


Oh and a poisonous Brown Recluse we found in our apartment last night...

Monday, May 5, 2014

TRIO (Week 33)

We are now officially in a trio companionship again. Elder Durham has joined the crew. He is from Springfield Illinois and he will be serving in Fortaleza Brazil once he gets his visa. He was the
missionary that took my place with Elder Jenkins when I left Shawnee. It's pretty crazy we all served in Shawnee, I took Elder Memmott's place when he left and Elder Durham took mine when I left, and now we are all companions! Crazy stuff!

This week has been a pretty slow one and a lot of crazy stuff happened. First Sister R~'s boyfriend turned out to be a con man and emptied all of the money in her bank accounts and ran off with her
car. Crazy stuff. The good news is that they found the car untouched and on Sunday after church we gave her a blessing of peace and comfort. She is a trooper! She has trying so hard to do missionary
work but every time she gets knocked down, but continues and endures anyways. She is awesome, and later that same day we got a voicemail from her saying that she talked to her friend's 10 year old daughter, E~ (she has come to church twice with another girl her age) who said that she wants to become a member of the church and be baptized. So on Friday we are going to Sis R~'s home to eat dinner and teach E~ a restoration lesson. Sis R~ is also fellow shipping with more of her friends that drop off their kids at her daycare.

We are still teaching M~ the former investigator that we found. It has been hard to help him progress and read the Book of Mormon on his own. He also has a really bad alcohol problem. He is a very smart guy and knows the scriptures really well. He just lacks the motivation and self reliance. He's got potential and he wants to change. We are going to get him started on the 12 step program this week.

This week has been hard with teaching lessons. We have mostly been knocking doors looking for new families to teach. It's been really hard in Sulphur (people this week have been pretty mean) but Davis seems to be the place for nice young families. We have found a lot of new potentials that we are going to start teaching this week.

One miracle that we had this week was getting a solid referral from one of our less active members in Sulphur. His name is M~ and he was almost baptized 20 years ago. He is super interested in meeting with the missionaries and we will be teaching him this week. Also in the process of finding him we found a long lost inactive member from Delaware that lived right next door to M~. Crazy stuff combo!

This letter is getting long... I'll have more things to say next week! Keep me posted I love you all!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Chickasaw Cultural Center (Lamanite Village) 

Biking through downtown Sulphur


Broken Glass

I caught my first fish on the mish. A little Blue Gill

Chickasaw Warrior