Monday, April 27, 2015

Ponca-Shawnee-Davis (Week 84)

These last few days have been crazy.

On Sunday (the 19th) I was fasting because I didn't get (forgot..) to fast the week before (Having general conference got me all mixed up) I know I'm dumb, but I feel that it was inspired because later that morning before church I got an alarming text message from the Ponca City Elders that Carri was super depressed and didn't want her baptism to be announced for Saturday at church. My heart sank, but I realized I was fasting so I dedicated my fast to Carri.

Later on Wednesday I got a phone call with Elder Matthew on the other line, "Hey Elder Watkins Carri wants to ask you something..." Then Carri, "Elder Watkins I want to invite you to my baptism this Saturday, can you come?" You have no idea how happy I was at that moment, off the walls, off the charts, my response: "Of course I would love to!"

Everything worked out perfect because Elder Quinney had a baptism the next day in Shawnee. So we got it approved with president to go on exchanges and go to Carri's baptism in Ponca City on Saturday and then go to the Shawnee baptism on Sunday. President Walkenhorst is awesome!

It was a 3 hour drive from Duncan to Ponca City. We got there and the service was great. There were so many people there we had to have the service in the chapel. Sister Weatherly (One of Carri's close member friends) gave a talk on baptism, and the relief society president gave the talk of the gift of the holy ghost. When I got into the water for the baptism, you can probably guess, the water was freezing... Nope it was scolding hot. At first I just walked  right on in like it was no big deal, but then my eyes widened a bit. Yeah, it was hot. Elder Matthews turned on some cold water to cool it down. We had a lot of extra water in the font, but it was still pretty warm haha. Carri was baptized and everything was great. You could see her countenance change as she was filled with a new desire to follow Christ and endure to the end. I'm so excited for her to begin this new life fresh and clean.

The baptism in Shawnee was also great! we had to use the chapel there at well. I got to spend the night at Elder Corbin's apartment (one of my best friend from home), so it was fun to visit with him. This is his last transfer so he goes home May 13th.

As we were traveling back to Duncan from Shawnee I realized how close Davis was in our trip and I kept thinking about the Fultz family (recent converts from last year). I called president and asked him if I could have permission to visit with Jennie Fultz on our way back to Duncan. The Fultz family have been going through some complicated and difficult trials. President gave me permission and I was able to visit with Jennie and the boys. I love their family and miss them so much. Me and Elder Quinney left Jennie with the commitment to prayerfully study 1 Nephi chapter 8 and look for answers. The whole trip was a huge blessing and I know that God has his hand in all of it.

We had a really good lesson with Brett (really smart Bible-Constitution guy) this week. We answered a lot of his questions and talked a lot about the organization of Jesus Christ's original church. We taught him the restoration with the Jenga Blocks and he and his kids really enjoyed it. He is awesome and is studying a ton!

Well I'm out of time! I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Me, Elder Matthews, Carri, and Elder Quinney

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Elk Mountain (Week 83)

Sorry that this email didn't arrive yesterday. We did a big service project down in Waurika for a member and then we had zone p-day in Lawton and then a STM (Specialized Training Meeting) at the stake center. So we are emailing today instead. Yesterday for p-day we hiked Elk Mountain as a zone. Even though they were smaller mountains, we had tons of fun. I'll send some pictures.

This week has been really good. We had two really good lessons with the B~ family, one with the Bishop and the other with Sister Mikesell. Lately we have been really focusing on the sacrament and the importance of church attendance. Sister B~ can be nervous around groups of people she doesn't know so we are helping her build friendships with some of the sisters in the ward. They were planning on coming to church last Sunday and they were so close, but everything piled up on them and they couldn't come. They want to come to church so bad though. they are one of the busiest families I have met. Keep them in your prayers.

We got a new investigator this week. Br~ is the father of a small family that he and his wife home school. He is very spiritual and loves the constitution of our country. I have met a lot of people who
know the Bible like the back of their hand, and he is definitely one of them. He loves the church and knows a lot of members from living in St. George. He's also close friends with an active member family that home schools their children as well. During our first visit he did most of the talking but we taught him a lot of restored truths. He is really interested in learning more about our faith (has already read half of the Book of Mormon). He is sincere and honest in wanting to visit with us in finding the truth, which is making us super excited to teach him again. He is super super smart. So we will have to listen very carefully to the spirit so we teach simply and powerfully, and study hard so we can answer some of his deep questions. We are excited to teach him again this week.

Sorry for the short email we are running out of time. I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Elk Mountain Hike



Cool Lizard

Along the trail

Boulder Hopping



Jenga Restoration


I had seen other ways missionaries taught object lessons using jenga blocks, so
me and Elder Matthew's put together a restoration lesson.
Me and Elder Hoops have perfected our jenga restoration lesson.

This is what the investigator has to end with removing all the 
Apostles and the two foundation pieces Apostles and Prophets. It's
basically impossible without knocking it over. If they get there then
you read the wind of doctrine scripture from Ephesians and blow it over. :)

While they are trying to rebuild it exactly as it was made you branch
off and start building other churches with some of these blocks.

Once they give up from all of the chaos you teach the Joseph Smith
story and the restoration. Next you walk them through the construction of
Christ's church flipping the Apostle blocks to show the modern day Apostles.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Rattlesnakes (Week 82)

We have had a great week here in Duncan. We had some great lessons with investigators, visited tons of less-active members, and we stumbled into tons of rattlesnakes...  at the Waurika's Rattlesnake Festival. We were at a members home for dinner and we got to walk through Waurika's lil' downtown and see a lot of rattlesnakes. I'm not usually big on snakes but it was pretty cool. I'll send some pictures.

Me and Elder Hoopes got to go to a baptism in Mustang for M~, the father of a part-member family I taught about 7 months ago with Elder Staheli. It was amazing to witness his baptism and see the great faith that he has developed over the past several months when I was in Ponca City. Their family has grown so much. It was amazing to see how the gospel strengthened their family through the trial of their young son's suicide. The Mustang ward has been amazing with their love and fellowship for their family. There were so many people at the baptism we had to have part of the service in the chapel. Next week M~ will be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood so he can eventually baptize his daughter when she is ready. Man I just got goosebumps, so awesome!

Yesterday we had a pretty cool miracle. Earlier in the week (Tuesday) we got pulled over and asked if we were Mormon. We respond with a "yes", and joy filled his face. "I'm a member from OKC and I've been looking for the church, what's its address?" We started talking to him and he told us his story. He joined the church * years ago but after moving to Duncan a year later he quickly went inactive and felt guilty for living with his girlfriend, and 7 years later on a random street he ran into us. Well we set up a time to meet with him and we were on our way.

Well Thursday rolls around and we show up for our appointment but no one was home, We heard music from the garage and walked around the house. It was his now married wife working in the garage. We struck up a good conversation with her and we told her we would try to come back later when he was home, well are plans got crazy that night and so we couldn't see them.

So, yesterday night we were biking down their street to see some of our other less actives. Elder Hoopes was biking ahead of me, I noticed both of their cars were home and his wife working in the
garage again. We turned around and visited with her, her husband and their 8 year old daughter. We asked if there would be a good time to come back and share a message with their family and his wife said one of the greatest things in the world, "we can listen to one right now, I think." We sat down and shared a powerful message on the atonement of Jesus Christ and what it means that He lives today (check out We taught her about the Book of Mormon and its divine witness of Jesus Christ. She had so many questions, she was fascinated by the Book of Mormon. When we gave her one she thanked us and told us that she would read the whole thing. Those were sweet words to our ears. She even asked where our church was. After we said the closing prayer I could see a few tears in her husband's eyes. The spirit was really strong the rest of that night. There is nothing better then following the spirit and being guided to the right place at the right time. Being a missionary is awesome.

Thank you for all your emails! I love you all! Have a great spiritually uplifting week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Me and Elder Hoops got matching rattlesnake head necklaces. "We real cool."

The snake pit...

The Menu

Duncan is a forest

Paul Simon lives here

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hello Duncan! (Week 81)

Well I'm here. I arrived in Duncan and I'm now with Elder Hoopes who is from Wyoming. I am serving in Duncan North that is divided on Elder Street with two other Elders serving in the south. We have a small district of four Elders. It's different.

So I was super confused when I got here because I was originally suppose to serve in Duncan North but I was told I was changed to Duncan South, because Elder H~ and Q~ had already been companions. So I became companions with Elder Hoopes and was told that we were in the south, but because Duncan central got removed they switch the north area with the south. I am now in the area I was originally intended to serve in, Duncan North. So if that made no sense to you that's fine because it's nearly impossible to explain the full story. I guess it really just comes down to the Lord needs me in the Duncan north area.

My last full day in Ponca City was wonderful. I got a ton of pictures with the families I served with and the individuals I taught. Okay so story time, me and Elder Matthews were making our last visit of the night with the Snelding family and we were running late into the night, about 9:30. As we were leaving to make a 10 minute bike ride home I felt like we should swing over to Miranda and Matt to say goodbye. It was super late but I kept thinking about them. So me and Elder Matthews swung by and it turned out Matt's back pain was so bad he couldn't move and he wanted a blessing. It was his first time getting a blessing and he needed one bad. Elder Matthews anointed and I sealed it with a priesthood blessing. The spirit was so strong and my heart was filled with gratitude for the promptings of the holy ghost. If we listen we will be guided to where we need to be at the time we are
needed. Shout out to Miranda I know you are reading this, You are awesome!

I loved President Eyring's general conference talk on being Spiritually prepared (priesthood session). It taught so many wonderful points on how to minister as Christ would. Praying for the spirit and listening are key. God is always trying to communicate with us we just have to listen.

Duncan's going to require some hard work but it is going to be so much fun. Me and elder Hoopes are going to "Dunk Duncan". Okay I had to I couldn't resist. We have an awesome ward mission leader and a lot of prospective/RM elder and sister missionaries. I am excited to serve here.

I love you all! I hope you had a wonderful Easter Conference as I did. :)

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

My real address is:
1710 W Plato. Rd. Apt 1105
Duncan, OK 73533

If you sent anything to the Apt 208 address the other Elders will forward it to me.

 The Duncan District. Elder Hoopes is on the far right.

Matt and Miranda. You won't find too many people as awesome as them. :)

Me and Brother Pyne

The BK Crew. These men are awesome, they would come out with us once or twice a week to teach with us.

The Stephens. Baptism date for the 18th!

The Barillueax's

Mark our Polish investigator with his son cherishing the Book of Mormon :)

Me and Joseph

Me and Elder Corbin. This is his last transfer :(

The fish I caught on p-day :)

The Snelding family from Ponca City