Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Flood the Earth (Week 88)

The weather this week has been crazy. Its rained almost everyday and we have received four severe alerts and two extreme alerts for flash flooding and tornado's. Craziness! We only needed to get in the shelter once and the tornado rotation dissipated just south of Duncan so we were safe. Duncan is no longer in a drought so that's good. We have seen a couple of signs saying please stop praying for rain.

They almost had to reschedule zone p-day because highway 7 was covered in a foot of water from Beaver Creek overflowing. We took a picture of it from off of the front page of Lawton's newspaper. I'll send it to you.

Our whole mission is focusing on using the Book of Mormon to its fullest. The Lord is flooding the earth more than one way. It was funny that our elders quorum lesson this week was reading Ezra Taft Bensen's talk entitled: Flood the Earth with the Book of Mormon. A very good talk BTW.

We taught C~ and Bd~ (Recent Convert) twice last week. The first visit we went over the plan of salvation and answered a lot of their questions about the spirit world. At our second visit they still had more questions so we read Alma chapter 40. They loved the chapter, it was cool how they would ask a question and the the next few verses would answer their question. It's amazing the answers that Book of Mormon contains. We are blessed with so much knowledge. That was a cool visit because Bd~'s friend K~ was over who was also sitting in on the lessons when Bd~ was first investigating. She also had a ton of questions that were similar to Bd~'s about the plan of salvation. That's one of the most important things preach my gospel talks about is teaching people not lessons. We have to adjust the messages we share to what the person or family needs. Listening to the spirit is key for teaching effectively.

We went over the 17 points of the true church with B~. It was a good discussion, we went through the scriptures and talked about the organization of Jesus Christ's church and taught him the restoration. He is awesome. He is so honest and sincere about finding the truth. He loves the messages we leave with him. His desire to read and study grows every time. Keep his family in your prayers.

Oh after we had our specialized training meeting in Lawton with the zone leaders. They informed us that we were getting a car. So our area has a car now, which means we can work with the members in Marlow, Empire City, and Central more. We were excited to get that news. :)

Sorry I have to wrap up. I love you all. Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, May 18, 2015

Storm Chasers (Week 87)

This week has been great! Me and Elder Mierau are basically brothers, both of us are very similar. He is from California, orange county. I can tell this is going to be a great transfer full of spiritual experiences and fun times.

We had a very spiritual weekend. First, we went to the Stake President's future daughter in law's baptism in the afternoon and then afterwards we were very privileged and blessed to attend the Stephen's baptism in Ponca City. It was a long drive (3 hours) but me and Elder Mierau were able to talk and get to know each other. The baptism went great. There were four kids and three missionaries dressed in white. Haha the kids all picked different missionaries to baptized them, they are so funny. After I brought Xander (The youngest) out from under the water he jumped in the air with his hands held high splashing water all over the font! He was so happy to be baptized. It was amazing to see their whole family together at the service. You could see a difference in their eyes. The first step to an eternal family.

No we didn't chase a storm, but it chased us! After the Stephen's baptism we decided that we would drive home so we could make it to church in the morning. President called us and advised us to be safe and keep in contact with our weather contacts because there were some big storms moving NE across Oklahoma. We decided to drive south through Stillwater to avoid the city and the major roads because that is where the storm was hitting and we would have to drive through Moore (Which is famous for getting hit with big storms and tornadoes). As we drove south towards Stillwater the weather began to get worse. With our wipers on full and our brights on it was really hard to see the road. We drove slow and offered a silent prayer to know which direction to take. We both had a feeling to get on the 35 and go through the city. We were both a little hesitant to the prompting. Then 5 minutes later we got a text from our Stake President to take the 35 and that the storm was beginning to pass the city. We got on the 64 and hopped onto the 35. We didn't get hit with a drop of rain the whole way into the city and we got to watch a sweet electric storm over Stillwater to the east. We learned two things follow the promptings of the spirit and follow the guidance of your priesthood leaders. Your faith will increase, you will be protected, and you might get to watch a beautiful light show.

We taught B~ again! He is awesome! We went over some of the 17 points of the true church with him and we taught him about the sacrament. He is planning on coming to church this week! Keep him in your prayers.

Thank you for all of your letters and emails! I'm glad things are going well for "yall"! You are in my prayers!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Xander, Josiah, Isaiah, Adreanna

The first time on my mission that I've seen a bike lane

The Seal of Melchizedek

Tracting Adventures

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tornadoes and Floods (Week 86)

This week we have had some pretty crazy weather. We heard from several people that just within the past few days Oklahoma and Kansas had over 58 tornadoes touch down. CRAZINESS! No worries Duncan wasn't hit with any of them, but one of them got really close to us. It actually went through the south elders area in Waurika but only destroyed a few trees and an old barn. I guess the tornadoes weren't really the intense part. The big problem for our area was flooding. We were in a flash flood warning for three days in a row (good thing our apartment is on the second floor). My weather radio was going off every five minutes. We were driving during one of the really big storms and the water in the street was 6-12 inches high (I have some videos I'll try to send). The storms were a huge answer to prayers because of the drought Duncan is in.

Last Tuesday we had Mission conference where we got to hear training from Elder and Sister Corbrige. He gave the missionary talk "The 4th Missionary". All of you who are preparing to serve a mission or are on a mission it's a must read. His training was called "The Most Important Thing" (The Atonement). He really focused on teaching to the understanding of those we teach: the What, Why, and How of the gospel. It was a very inspired training.

This week we had a really good lesson with B~ (recent convert) and her non-member husband C~. We taught them the restoration with the Jenga blocks, it was a lot of fun because their toddlers wanted to help, haha you can imagine how that went. Thankfully we were able to distract them until the great apostasy haha. C~ really enjoyed the message and is really receptive, we are hoping to see him at church in a couple of weeks when his work schedule lines up. He enjoys church he has been two times already. It was really cool to watch B~ teach a lot of the lesson from her observations. It's amazing how strong of a testimony she has developed.

Mother's day was great! I love you Mom! It's a blessing that we get to skype, I enjoyed seeing "yall". I just realized earlier that was the last call I will make to you guys before I come home... that's weird.

My new companion is Elder Mierau who was just serving with the other Elder Watkins (not related) in our mission. I will be serving with him for one transfer and then he will be finished with his mission. Then I will only have two transfers left which leaves me with a chance to train a new missionary! :D Who knows it might happen!

Duncan is doing well! Please keep our stake presidents wife in your prayers she was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer :(. As with all things faith brings miracles, everything will work out!

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, May 4, 2015

YEEHAA (Week 85)

This past week has been good. Elder Hoopes goes home next week so we are getting things ready but working hard. Ain't no one getting trunky serving with me. :) All joking aside he is doing really well!

This past week we have been doing service for Mrs. B~'s Brother T~ on a house that he is painting/remodeling. Our first impressions of T~ was that he was a pretty rough guy always in a
hurry. Mr. B~ was telling us about the project and we asked if we could help. He asked T~ and he said sure. We went with Mr. B~ the first time out into the far country in Velma. The next time we went to help, T~ picked us up. While we were in the car he started to ask us questions about what we did as missionaries and what we believed. His interest grew and we had a really good conversation. About the time we were pulling in he asked if he could study with us sometime. Why of course! On the third day we helped him he picked us up and took us to Taco Bell for breakfast (good stuff), and offered to buy us something that would help us with our missionary work... he offered to buy us new bikes. He's a very nice guy, we politely told him that we weren't serving him for any reward. He was persistent, we told him the gift we would enjoy most is if we could share the message that we love with him. He said: "okay, but also I'd like to take you guys to the rodeo with my family this weekend if that's okay." We asked president for permission and got to go to the rodeo with him! I'll send pictures! We are hoping to teach him sometime this week.

We had another great lesson with Br~ this week, he has already read to 2 Nephi! We taught him the plan of salvation and he really enjoyed it. It made complete sense to him. He is still on his spiritual search for the unity of faith. He says some of the most profound prayers I've heard on my mission. We are just helping to ask those specific questions so he can get those specific answers the Lord has prepared for him. He is going out of town next week for a political meeting so we won't see him for a while, but it will give him more time to study and pray. We are hoping he can come to church soon.

We are finding new investigators and things are starting to pick up here in Duncan. Keep us in your prayers. Love you all!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

The rodeo with T~

Getting the horses ready

Sunsets. They never get old.

Axis and Allies for a rainy p-day. Lol

Service before...

... and after