Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Intellectual Historians (Week 54)

Sc~ is a smart guy, but does he have the fullness?

This week we visited Sc~. The investigator Elder Staheli and Elder Bues shared the restoration with a couple of weeks ago. We had to speak with him to reschedule our new appointment we set up with him and his wife. While we spoke to him on the porch I realized we were dealing with a pretty smart guy. He sort of reminded me of C~ from Shawnee, you know that guy who took IQ tests and scored something around 180 IQ. We got into a good conversation with him on the porch and he ended up inviting us inside. Sci-fi posters and merchandise decorated the walls of the living room. After he took 30 minutes to explain to us the plot of Star Wars Episode 7 (lol) we got out the scriptures and started talking about the gospel.

I soon learned Sc~'s story. Around the age of 12 Sc~'s parents and him were converted and baptized into the LDS Church. He attended church with his parents until he fell away in his late teenage years. He slipped into drinking and smoking and felt lost for many years. He studied and searched the scriptures. He got deep into the study of history and religion. One day while he was reading the scriptures the spirit bore witness to him that he needed to be "saved."  He went straight way to the closest Baptist Church and was baptized. He felt the holy ghost from his commitment, but then fell away and went into inactivity, and now he's set on that there is no need for organized religion. Good thing our other appointments fell through, we ended up teaching and discussing with him for two and a half hours. The spirit inspired me and Elder Staheli. A clear question entered our minds.

"Sc~, do you believe God is a God of order?"

He sat there puzzled for a moment. He pondered and then asked us to expound.

Do you believe God is the same yesterday today and forever? Do you believe God would allow and leave his children to dwindle in confusion until his coming?

He thought and pondered the questions. He knew what we were getting at. The need for a prophet. We reminded him how prophets and priesthood authority are essential to our salvation. After teaching him the doctrine of Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, Endure to the End) we made it plain and simple and told him either the Book of Mormon is true or it's not; and the only way you're going to find out if the church is true or that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God is by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. He accepted the invitation and told us that he would sincerely study the book. The spirit was strong the whole way through. As we left I thought about the scripture that talks about how the servants of the Lord though weak they will confound the wise. The spirit works through us and guides our minds and prompts us what to say.

This week was good, we had a church tour with P~ and she watched the General Women's Conference broadcast. Super awesome! She is moving along. Sorry for focusing the email mostly on Sc~. AHH I'm running out of time! I love you all! Have a good week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Almost walked into this guy whilst tracting...

Finshed (Geometry)

Goodbye Lee... gave him his last English lesson... he's going on a 3
month trip back to Vietnam :(

Monday, September 22, 2014

Half Way... (Week 53)

It's very surreal how quickly time has passed. It's kind of scary really. Wednesday night after nightly planning I sat back and reflected on the year. I thought about all of the people I have taught and all the lives I've watched the Savior heal. I thought of all the friends I had made, all of the memories of dangerous storms, slammed doors, people praying with us under the influence (not the spirit). So much behind me but still so much in front.

This week has been good! Lots of tender mercies and miracles. A few of them I missed while I was on exchanges, DANG IT!

First off P~ is super close to baptism! We taught her the Word of Wisdom and she committed to follow it. Her foot is almost completely healed, that priesthood blessing is working fast! She is pretty far into her reading/listening. She loves the Book of Mormon and her testimony is beginning to sprout. While I was on exchanges down in Mustang, P~ basically told Elder Staheli and Elder Bues that she knows the Book of Mormon is true.... darn exchanges....

We took our Bishop out teaching with us on Thursday and taught some of our investigators. Including the D~ family (the in-active family with the 11 year old who has never been to church) which went really well. Brother and Sister D~ really opened up and admitted they need to change. Their testimony's are still there and Brother D~ basically told us his conversion story. They just need to make the effort and come to church. There is only so much that we missionaries can do. After the appointments we talked to our Bishop about the ward members and missionary work. We discussed with him the things that were discussed in our training with Elder Foster on creating a vision. Bishop is on fire right now, he basically told us all that was going down in the ward and what we need to do to fix it. We came up with tons of ideas to get the members more involved and excited about missionary work. After the conversation he invited us to bishopric council on Sunday morning to talk about our vision. Awe yeah!

Yesterday before church we went to the bishopric council. Bishop is on fire and he is ready for the Mustang Stake. We created a list of goals that will help the ward achieve its vision: To create an atmosphere in the ward where members are actively involved and participating in personal missionary work and being motivated and filled with the pure love of Christ. Things are going to change in the ward. Everyone is on board.

Dang it I'm running out of time... I love you all! I'll email you more about P~, and C~.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Good Times

Monday, September 15, 2014

Prayer and Our Connection With The Father (Week 52)

This week I've learned a lot about prayer. We started the week out with a mission tour (where half of the mission gathers for a training from a General Authority). Elder Foster from the Quorum of the Seventy came to our mission and gave us a training on prayer and our connection/relationship with God. It was very inspiring and powerful. He read the scripture from Moses where God appears to him and tells him that he is a son of God, then later Satan appears and tries to deceive him by calling him the son of man. We watched a couple of videos that went into the science of the Earth, existence and how perfect living conditions are for us to live on it. The whole training made me ponder God's infinite love for us. We also talked about member missionary work, of course. We talked about the need of having a vision of ward missionary work before we set goals. Kind of a no-brainer, but surprisingly it's something wards struggle with establishing. Members don't always see the true reason for missionary work.

Later we even had our training in district meeting on prayer. In district meeting, each companionship accounts for their week and addresses a concern they are having with a family or individual they are teaching. Then the missionaries in the district offer inspired advice and insights, they have learned from similar experiences. This week we discussed P~, the super solid lady we have recently been teaching. Her big stumbling block is prayer, she prays on her own but when we invite her at the end of the lesson to say the closing prayer she shuts down and gets really shy and won't pray. Our goal is to to help her be able to say the closing prayer by the end of the week. We role-played and studied it out. Then on Wednesday, we taught her a whole lesson on prayer. You could tell she knew it was coming. We invited her to pray and.... no go. BUT she promised to say it next time (Saturday), we still had time to help her pray. Okay so on Saturday! SHE DID IT! It was awesome too! She even accepted our offer to give her a blessing for her foot to recover (a reason she can't come to church). It was so powerful, she loved it! All we have left to teach her is some commandments and we will have taught her everything. She has been listening to the Book of Mormon on CD.

This whole week has been about prayer. It's nuts.

Last night after I poured out my heart in prayer I laid in bed and stared at the ceiling and thought about how it was all possible for our Father to love the infinite sand of souls He created. Of course something none of us can comprehend as mortals, but a thought occured to me. He is living eternal life, time is infinite for Him. He has no limitations, He is our personal and loving Heavenly Father, we mean everything to him. It was a peaceful thought and I knew it came from my Heavenly Father.

UGH! I'm running out of time, can't type fast enough. This week has been good we have two new solid investigators that I'll have to tell you about next week! I love you all! Keep me posted!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

 Our Vietnamese friend learning anatomy. lol


Monday, September 8, 2014

Bikes and Rain (Week 51)

This week has been interesting, all of our plans got changed and moved but everything seamed to work out okay.

We had transfers this week but nothing really changed in the district. Me and Elder Staheli will be together for another 6 weeks. AWE YEAH. The only change is that we now have a Marseille Elder in the District, super cool!

This week has been difficult to meet with our investigators but thankfully we were able to meet with P~. We taught her the 10 commandments, something that basically every oklahomian knows. We can tell that she is really sincere in here investigation. Lately she has been asking really good questions, she is already jumping ahead into the doctrine and covenants haha. We have been taking members with us to teach her and its been great! The members in the ward are finally starting to get excited about missionary work, in fact they almost start teaching the lessons on their the own... yikes. Haha it's hard sometimes but you just have to help them remember the purpose of missionaries and members in hastening the work. Missionaries are the teachers, and members are to bare testimony and fellowship with the investigators.

P~ is moving pretty quickly and will probably be baptized sometime in October if she continues to prayerfully study and come to church. Lately its been a struggle because of her ankle injury, we might try to give her a blessing next time to hopefully speed up her recovery.

Other than P~ we really haven't been able to meet with our progressing investigators, but we have still seen some pretty cool miracles. On Saturday it rained pretty much all day. We had four hours of outside service planned that got canceled. So on Saturday morning Elder Staheli and I had to alter our plans completely. We decided to see members on the outskirts of our area (excellent idea for a rainy day right? haha). Well no one answered. No one. We were pretty discouraged, so we decided to take a pit stop at the gas station. Elder Staheli and I were hungry so we got some Texas Rolls. On the way out we noticed an older man in the left turn lane of the busy road pushing his broken down car. We ran over to him and helped him push his car out of the street and up into the parking lot. The man spoke Spanish so he was a little hard to understand. We smiled and gave him a pass along card and told him we were missionaries. He lived in Moore so we told him if he saw missionaries there to say hi (there are Spanish speaking Elders there). Just helping him out made our day. It's amazing how God places people in our path. It reminds me to always be aware of those around us, there are opportunities everywhere to serve.

This coming week should be good, we have a lot of solid appointments set up. I promise next week will be more interesting! I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Castles Bro'



I am on a Foreign Mission


Deep Dream



Late Night Snack


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Temple Trip (Week 50)

This week has been really really productive. We have done so much teaching!

This week we got two new investigators that we have been waiting to teach for the longest time. They are the military parents of two children. M~ is the mother who has been raised Catholic all of her life, and C~ the father is indifferent about religion, both of them have had and still have LDS friends in the military. We took a younger member that moved into the ward last week to teach them with us, and he connected with them really well. We shared with them the restoration and it went really well. M~ expressed that she feels that she needs something more for her family. We shared with them the importance of Jesus Christ and His gospel and how it protects and nurtures the family. Brother J~ testified of the restored gospel and how it changed his life, the spirit was so strong at the end of the lesson M~ and C~ visited with us for a while. Haha we were running late for curfew and it was hard for us to leave their house. They are awesome!

This week we taught two lessons to P~! They were both awesome, the Plan of Salvation and the Doctrine of Christ! She has already read to 1 Nephi chapter 7. She is so sincere and intent on finding the truth it's awesome, we are hoping she will be able to come to church this coming Sunday.

We finally got back in contact with our African-American neighbor E~. And it was quite a miracle that we even ran into him. We had knocked his door for what felt like the 12th time, and he was the last person we were going to try with Brother C~. He didn't answer so we walked down the stairs and ended up talking with brother C~ for awhile, and while we were talking E~ came around the back corner. NO WAY! E~ came up to us and we ended up talking to him for 10 minutes. A couple days later we visited with him and talked about the the Book of Mormon and read the Introduction with him. We answered a ton of his questions and invited him to church, and he came! It was awesome! He missed the first part of sacrament but he stayed for all three hours. He enjoyed it and met a ton of members. We hope he can make it again for next week.

Last week we were able to go to the temple as a zone. It was so refreshing to go and it felt so good to be inside completely separated from the world. Going to the temple helps me remember what heaven was and will be like.

This week has been great! We have a ton of set appointments for the week to come. Thank you for all of the emails! I love you all! keep me posted!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Me and Elder Staheli

Busy Week