Monday, August 25, 2014

Swolly Mammoth (Week 49)

Swolly Mammoth (Descriptive-Noun) Def: The honorary title of a man who lifts heavy weight without strain. For example: Samson (Judges 14:5-6).

Me and Elder Staheli have truly become Swolly Mammoths over the past few weeks. We have helped move six or so families in and out of the ward over the past month. Its been crazy and next week all of the Vivint staff are moving back to Utah... Oh boy gotta love 3 story apartments.

This week has been tiring but good. Yesterday we got a new investigator P~. An older lady that got our phone number from one of her friends that missionaries had done service for. She called us one day and asked us if we could move some heavy boxes for her. We went to her house provided help and offered to come back and share a message about Jesus Christ with her. She agreed and we met with her yesterday and taught her the Restoration of the Gospel. The lesson went really well. In fact, when we shared with her the first vision she exclaimed I believe it. We were taken back in shock a little bit. She told us that she has seen visions also. Pretty cool stuff. We had our ward mission leader with us and he did a wonderful job of testifying and teaching why the Book of Mormon is so important. When we handed her a Book of Mormon she sadly told us that it was nearly impossible for her to read anymore because of the damage in her eyes. Thank goodness for the gospel library app. We showed her where she could download it, and that with the app she could listen to it on audio. She was so happy. We listened to Moroni 10:3-5 and she requested to keep listening to more of the chapter haha. We sat there and listened to the first half of chapter 10 with her. At the end of the visit we set a baptism date with her for the 5th of October. Got to love Sunday miracles.

We are still visiting with our Vietnamese friend Lee. He isn't very interested in changing his religion right now (which we figured), but we will continue to help him learn to speak English by reading the Book of Mormon. Last time we visited with him we taught him 20 new words, 10 religious words and 10 emotion words. Haha it was a lot of fun, after we taught him the words I stood up and started to point to random items in his house, quizzing him. He did really well. We later left him with the reading assignment of Mosiah 3, haha when he saw how long the chapter was he sighed an laughed. He's awesome.

This coming week is going to be great, we have a ton of new people lined up so its going to be good. I love you all. Have a good week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, August 18, 2014

NyQuil vs The Plague (Week 48)

I got the plague. I've been sick with a nasty cold. I've been a total zombie ha ha. I accidentally took NyQuil right before district meeting on Friday... you can imagine how that went down. I'm getting better though. I should be feeling 100% by tomorrow.

Due to me being sick this week has been a little slow but there has still been some cool miracles worth mentioning. On Tuesday night we had all of our appointments fall through so we came back to the apartment. We sat at our desks pondering on what we should do. We thought about updating the area book and getting organized. Elder Staheli suggested we try G~, a potential investigator that we have tried a 100 times and he's never answered. Feeling exhausted and not very confident in the idea I hesitated. Then I waited a moment and felt a small prompting that we should go try him. We hopped on our bikes and biked the mile to G~'s house. as we approached G~'s we passed an active member mowing his lawn. We locked our bikes up to the stop sign in his yard. We waved to him and walked up to G~'s house and knocked his door, and guess what?! He didn't answer... hmmm.

We decided to to go try another potential that we also have never met that lived right across the street from the active member's house. As we were walking down the street brother Tucker came out of his garage having finished mowing the lawn. He beckoned to us to come in and visit. I wasn't sure if visiting with the Tucker's would be the most productive thing to do because we had just recently visited with them, but something told me that this was where we were needed. We went inside and visited for awhile with brother and sister Tucker. After 5 or 6 minutes of talking brother Tucker got a phone call. It was an older couple in the ward it was sister H~ asking Brother T~ to come over and give brother H~ a blessing, the day before he had fallen (2nd time this year) walking around in the house. It was strange that we were there at such a perfect time to go over and give brother H~ a blessing. We left 30 minutes before curfew, gave brother H~ the blessing, and got back almost exactly at 9:00 p.m. The Lord has been teaching me in so many ways. My understanding and perspective of faith has deepened so much the pass couple of months. When we trust in the Lord and do the will of the Father we will have his spirit and we will be guided.

L~ is probably our most solid investigator right now. This week we taught him the commandments and next time we are going to teach him the wonderful word of wisdom haha it should be good. We set a baptismal date for him on September 20th... a few days after my year mark. Man time has flown.

Well sorry for the short letter. This next week should be good. Love y'all.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

 Elder Gunderson and I

Zone P-day at the Oklahoma City Zoo

Awe yeah

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Friend Lee (Week 47)

This week has been good we have had some cool miracles.

I don't know if you remember or not but at the beginning of last transfer we ran into a Vietnamese man . I can't remember if I told you about him, but his name is Lee and when we first met him he could only speak a little English. Since then we have continued to meet with him, communicating with him on his iPad. When we visit him we show him Mormon messages (with close captions), and we show him scriptures in his English and Vietnamese Book of Mormons and he is starting to learn English. We have challenged him to read the English and the Vietnamese side by side to learn English. The first visit we had with him this transfer he expressed to us that the text on the English Book of Mormon was to small for him to see, so last time we brought him a big printed English Book of Mormon, we opened it up to 3 Nephi Chapter 11 in both the Vietnamese Book of Mormon and the English Book of Mormon, and left him with the commitment to read the chapter before we came back, he then held up the English Book of Mormon and started to read out loud, IN ENGLISH! With almost perfect pronunciation. He read the chapter heading and the first verse almost perfectly. It was bizarre. As he read the chapter heading I pointed to my palms, my feet, and my side. giving him visual signs as he read. I watched his face as everything started to make sense to him.

Next week we are going to take a young Vietnamese recent convert (the only one in our mission that we know of) over for an actual lesson and she is going to translate for us. We are super excited. What a blessing it will be for her to begin doing missionary work. We are all guided by the Lord to stand in certain places to serve and bring souls to Christ.

(Note: See Independence Day! (Week 42) paragraphs 4-5 to read about when Elder Watkins first met Lee.)

We also started teaching a potential investigator that the missionaries have met with for months. It's about time! She is an older Mexican women who is a devout Catholic. One day we decided it was time that she should be taught. After a visit with her we told her we wanted to share a quick message with her about Christ. She was open and we shared with her the message of the restoration. The spirit was so strong and I could just see the excitement on A~'s face as we told her about the Book of Mormon and a modern day prophet. She didn't have any arguments or negative comments. We gave her a Book of Mormon and her face lit up with joy. "FOR ME?!" ha ha she is awesome. We are going to give her one in Spanish kinda like Lee, to help her learn English better.

This week was good and next week is going to be even better. Keep me posted!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

My friend Lee

Yeah they're about done for.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Lord's Hand (Week 46)

This week has been very interesting. I've learned a ton.

Never have I done so much service in such a small amount of time. I've learned that when our hearts are pure and turned outwards, the Lord will inspire our minds to go places where his children are in need.

Everyday there has been productive work done and new lessons learned.

So many surreal moments where everything just seems to line up perfectly. Thinking whether or not to read a letter from home before going out to tract, and doing so causing us to run straight into the
son of the recently deceased Brother Phillips, who was almost in complete despair trying to help his widowed mother move her heavy furniture in to a Uhaul on his own. The timing was perfect. I would
have never recognized him if he hadn't been facing south to see us. There is no such thing as coincidence.

After we had taught R~ (recent convert) about missionary work and service we took him out to go teaching with us. Our first appointment ended up falling through, but we felt prompted to try M~ (a potential investigator). We knocked on her door but there was no answer, it was then that I looked over and saw two older parents moving their 23 year old son into an apartment across the parking lot. We pondered for a second and decided to go over and offer to help. They hesitated at first because of our clothes but we insisted. We helped carry two trailers full of furniture into his apartment and got to know them really well. At the end we were blessed to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Here is the crazy part, before we left the dad reached into his pocket and pulled out a $100 bill and held it out. OH NO we do this out of charity. But he kept insisting that we take it and get dinner and give the rest to our church. After five times of him insisting that we take it we finally accepted it. We ended up giving $91 to humanitarian aid and spent $9 for shakes at Braum's because the dad made us promise to get something to eat. While we drank our shakes we realized that R~ had applied everything that we taught him that day. Awe yeah!

This week we've gotten four new investigators. We've gotten more investigators this week than in the whole month and a half that I've been in this area. The Lord trusts us and is granting us more opportunities to teach. I know the Lord works through us in mysterious ways to accomplish his work. The book is blue, the church is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Photos from my previous area - Sulphur

 The clouds out here are amazing some days.

Elder Memmott

 Elder Durham

 The skies go on for miles and miles.