Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! (Week 62)

Elder Taunteang is in Kiribati and Elder Matthew is now in Ponca.

This week has been crazy, but good. Tuesday us and the Blackwell Elders left to Moore to drop off Elder Taunteang at the mission office and then stayed in Moore and did splits with the Moore 2nd and the Zone Leaders. It was nice to see missionaries from my last zone and to spend the day serving with Elder Park and Elder Davis. After spending the night we had transfers in the morning, and I got to see old friends, companions and leaders.

My new companion is Elder Matthews from Spanish Fork Utah. He is a fairly new missionary who just got done with his training. He is awesome and we get along great. We are learning a lot from each other (in a positive way).

This week we have been going through our ward roster and meeting all of our less-active members, and building relationships with them. We are finding a lot of part member families and we are going to start teaching a few soon.

Bad news C~ is in Jail... But from what we have heard is that he shouldn't be there long. We don't really know what happened but we are hoping that we can get a hold of him soon.

A lot of our investigators are struggling right now so keep them in your prayers. We are starting to do a lot of finding through tracting, street contacting, and visiting former investigators. So far we have found a few but we hope to fill up our teaching pool by the end of the week.

Since It's Thanksgiving I thought I would write a quick list of some of the things I'm grateful for.

I am grateful for:
My Family and their love
My friends and their support
My mission and the experiences I've had
The Atonement of Jesus Christ
The Restoration of the Gospel
My health and strength
My weaknesses that make me stronger

The librarian that cuts our time short... (yeah...)

Well I love you guys and I'm grateful for all of the blessing this gospel gives. The book is blue! The church is true!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, November 17, 2014

Time is Too Fast (Week 61)

Wow, it feels like just last week that I arrived here in Ponca City and now the transfer is over and Elder T is leaving tomorrow to his homeland. I've learned so much from him and I'm so happy I was blessed to serve with him for 5 weeks

Tomorrow Elder T leaves to OKC and because he leaves before the actual transfer on Wednesday I will be going on splits with one of the elders in the city for a day. I will get my new companion on Wednesday, his name is Elder Matthews. I don't know anything about him except that he just got done being trained. I'm excited to serve with a newer missionary. He had a good trainer so I'm not too worried.

Things are going well in Ponca City. We just got our first big snow storm and the roads are pretty icy. Our side of town has a big network of culverts, and they provide us with quick ways of cutting around town. We have been trying to think of even quicker ways of getting around since we can't really ride our bikes on ice. So we might just start rounding up the stray dogs in town and use the culverts for a bob sled track.

Two birds. One stone. Dead.

This week has been interesting because Elder T has preparing to depart Oklahoma, and it seems like all of Ponca City has the Flu/Cold. Almost all of our investigators have been sick with something or other, but that hasn't stopped us from finding people to teach. This week we have found a new less-active family that we didn't know about. One of them (the Cb~ family) has been less active for quite some time so we are going to start teaching them the discussions to help them find the answers to their current questions.

We set a baptism date for Calvin for January 8th. He is doing great and has started reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it. We can tell his mom isn't very fond of the the church or us coming over so we are hoping to establish trust with her, and help her understand we are only here to help her son come unto Christ. It's been hard to get a hold of him because he doesn't have his own phone, so we have to get a hold of him through his mom's phone.

Zane and Nakisha have been really sick this week, but Zane told us that he has already read 6 pages of the Book of Mormon on his own and has really enjoyed it. We meet with them this coming Thursday, and we are hoping to talk about a date for their wedding so we can work towards baptism.

Well I gotta go, I hope it has been a good first week of winter for y'all. Keep me posted!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

 First Snow


 Me and Elder Taunteang

Monday, November 10, 2014

Messengers of the Lord (Week 60)

Sorry for last week's short letter. This last week has been great even though the weather hasn't. This week it's suppose to snow and ice over... Bikes on Ice.

I wanted to tell you guys about C~ last week but I didn't have enough time. I had so many emails to read in an hour (first world problems). You guys are awesome thank you for all of the love and support! Okay so C~, last week we had all of our appointments fall through, so we had a member drop us off back at our house and we walked to visit a less active member. During the walk we handed out two Book of Mormons and two Restoration pamphlets. Super solid finds. We arrived at the member's house and she wasn't home. Hmmm, we had 45 minutes left until 9 o'clock. We pulled out the roster and looked for a member to visit.

There turned out to be a inactive member that lived just up the street and around the corner. We knocked on their door. A man in his late 20s opened the door. We asked if Sister Bb~ was home. He told us she was his mother, but she wasn't home. We asked him for his name and we reached out to shake his hand. He hesitated on shaking our hand (he said he was sick), but told us his name was C~. We introduced ourselves and told him that we were representatives of Jesus Christ. We told him, "We don't want you to be out in the cold while you're sick, but when would be a good time to catch your mom home?" He told us but then abruptly told us to come inside. Me and my companion looked at each other, shrugged, and followed him in. We were slightly taken back by his invitation considering he had been really sick. We stepped inside with faith knowing the Lord would keep us from getting sick. He sat down on his couch and asked us if we could share with him our message. A little shocked by his eagerness, we said we'd love to. We taught him the Restoration and he loved it. The whole time we shared the message he was commenting and asking questions (the best!). We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited him to read, ponder and, pray about its message. At the end of the message he told us that he had been praying for help and direction and when he saw us at the door he knew he needed to invite us in and hear our message. He recognized us as messengers of the Lord.

So, that all happened last week, and yesterday we saw him again. He was literally standing by the front door. He invited us in with a smile on his face. We planned on sharing the plan of salvation with him but something told us he need a different message today. We asked him what he has been up to this week and he said, "Just fighting my addictions."  We asked him what his struggle was and he told us he has been fighting a drug addiction since he was 18. We changed our lesson plan and talked briefly about the word of wisdom and the different tools the Lord has given us to fight Satan's evil influence. We told him about the church's Addiction Recovery Program and gave him a pamphlet with more information on it. Sister Bb~ his mother walked in and you could tell she didn't like the church too much. During our visit we had been reading verses from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. She just so happened to walk in while we were sharing Ether 12:27. Being irritated she asked, "Why do you guys always read from the Book of Mormon and never the Bible?" C~ jumped in, "Mother they just read a scripture from John." So awesome! We explained to her the importance of God's word, and how both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are both testaments that Jesus is the Christ. She told us of a bad experience she had with a church member a long time ago, which lead her to leaving the church. We explained to her humans aren't perfect but the gospel is. We continued to teach both of them the importance of the restored gospel we bore our testimonies. Sister Bb~'s heart seemed to soften. She sat in for the rest of the visit and listened as we gave her son advice to read the scriptures and pray every night. By the end of the visit Sister Bb~ seemed to have a different attitude of understanding and love. She told us she wants us to continue coming by as much as we could.

The Spirit softens hearts.

This will be Elder T's last full week in the mission field. I'm going to miss him. He has taught me so much about love and hard work. He has been a wonderful example to me of how a missionary should finish their mission.

Thank you all for your emails and support, keep me posted!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

P.S. We are getting three new missionaries in the district, and two of them are greenies. No I'm not training yet, but soon. I can feel it.

 New Glasses

Members Concert


Before Pen

After Pen

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Halloween! (Week 59)

Sorry the email this week is going to be ridiculously short because we have to leave early for zone p-day in Enid (80 miles away) but next week I'll be sure to make up for it!

This week has been awesome. We had an amazing turn out for the ward Halloween party. We had to squeeze 3 extra tables in the cultural hall. A lot of less actives and non-members came. We had Our investigators Z~ and N~ show up. Their kids are awesome haha. Elder T was struggling with a ring toss game so their younger son walked up to him, "Here I got it". He got it on his first try.  Z~ and N~ are awesome, they apparently know a lot of members of the church. Well I guess everyone knows each other in Ponca City haha. We are hoping to teach them tomorrow night, and go over the restoration with Z~.

We have been finding a lot of investigators to teach and our teaching pool is filling up. We had one night where in an hour we found 2 potential investigators that we left Book of Mormons with and a prayer, and taught a new investigator on the spot (I'll tell you his story next week). Super cool.

Once again sorry for the short email. I love you all.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins