Things are going well. On Sunday we got transfer calls, and I'm staying in Ponca for another 6 weeks! Which I'm pumped about. A ridiculous amount of anxiety was building up last week, wondering whether or not I'd be getting transferred or not. I did not want to leave. I love this area, and things are just starting to pick up, so I'm grateful that the Lord wants me to stay.
Joesph's baptism date got pushed back to the 26th, he is still struggling with completely giving up smoking. He was really discouraged when we went over last. Withdrawals have been really painful for him. We have been helping him with the Stop Smoking Workshop (a program that the church puts out to help people quit), and we are focusing on the main steps #1 Prayer and #2 Avoid temptation. #2 is pretty hard for him because he lives in a home with two chain smokers, so he is around it all of the time. We are meeting with him today. Keep him in your prayers.
Tonight we are going over the baptismal interview questions with John, and I will let you know how that goes. Karri was sick this week so she wasn't able to come to stake conference, but you could tell that she was so sad that she wasn't able to go. I'm trying to remember if I told you we set a baptism date with her. Well we did! It was amazing, and had to be the most powerful spiritual experience of the transfer. We've talked about it a great deal with her, and she just wasn't sure if she was ready to set a date. We invited her to say the closing prayer at the end of our visit and ask Heavenly Father if March 5th would be enough time to prepare. While she prayed I had the most amazing experience, it felt like every fiber of my being was floating, I had to open my eyes to make sure I wasn't 10 feet in the air. I knew Karri was praying with all of her heart. After the prayer we asked her how she felt. Haha she responded "Kinda weird, like I'm in a dream or running though a beautiful field of flowers or something." We explained that it was the spirit that she was feeling. We told her that God was confident in her and so were we. We told her that we pray every morning for the ability to see others as God sees them. I told her, "I can see that you are ready." She confirmed, "I know you can, both of you have a wonderful gift to see people like God does. I can feel it." She told us that March 5th would be enough time. We are so excited for her, we are going to teach her later today.
I wasn't going to talk about this much, but I attended a funeral on Saturday in Shawnee for my recent convert Danny. He passed away a couple weeks ago. It was an amazing service and the spirit was so
strong. A lot of family from California came, and all of the missionaries that knew him were there as well. At the end of the service, I was able to talk to Danny's mom for the first time. She lives in California and is not a member. I asked her if she had found a necklace with the Armor of God on it. Her eyes filled with excitement and she moved her jacket to show me it was around her neck.
I explained to her that I had given the gift to Danny before his baptism to help him fight the temptation to drink. I was so happy to see her wearing it in remembrance of Danny. I pray one day she will listen to the message of the restored gospel and enjoy the same blessings that Danny received. Keep his family in your prayers.
Well my time is up, sorry if the email is complicated to read, that's kinda how this week has been. I love you all!
Sincerely, Elder Watkins
All of the missionaries that knew Danny and their companions. Danny's Grandmother is in the front she was baptized three months ago.