Monday, June 29, 2015

Elder Sheffield (Week 93)

My new companion is Elder Sheffield From Peoria, AZ. He is awesome and I am so grateful to be his trainer. He has a strong testimony and a great knowledge of the gospel. The last 5 days have been so much fun and rewarding, lots of finding and lots of teaching.

We had a really cool finding miracle this week. It was about 8:30 and we were on the west side of town so we decided that we would do some tracting. With only a little amount of time we offered a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to guide us to someone who was ready and prepared to receive the gospel. After the prayer we grabbed a copy of the Book of Mormon and carried it with us (something our mission is doing to flood the earth with the Book of Mormon). We felt prompted to knock on a door a couple houses down. The lady who answered looked surprised and happy to see us. She told us that she loves the Mormon Church and was a close friend with a bishop growing up in El Paso. She told us her story of how she was struggling with finding answers to her spiritual questions and the bishop gave her a lot of direction. He gave her a Book of Mormon and since then she has read it 3 times and loves it. She asked us about the temple and if there was one in Oklahoma. She also asked us how we prepare to enter the temple. It was so cool, you could see the light in her face as she asked about it. She told us she wants to go there some day! It gets crazier. She told us the story of how her son survived being born prematurely and that is was only because of her faith in God that he survived. I shared one of my favorite scriptures with her: Alma 37:6-7, and she started to quote it as I read it. We are going back and we are going to teach her. We are so excited! I love finding miracles!!!

For p-day we are going to Lawton for a zone hike in the Wichita Mountains. I'm really excited I'll be sure to send pictures next week.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

LOL Elder Sheffield! I love this guy.

Goodbye Elder Mierau!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Happy Fathers Day (Week 92)

Thank you Dad for sending me the pioneer stories about John Watkins. I love reading the stories of our ancestors and learning my roots. If it wasn't for my fore fathers I wouldn't be where I am today. Looking at history we can see the Lord's hand in bringing to pass His purposes. While we sang "O My Father" in sacrament meeting I started to ponder the influence and the example my father has had on me both my Heavenly Father and my earthly father. I know that if it wasn't for the love of my father I wouldn't be who I am today. I love you Dad!

We have had a crazy week. Everything is a blur. The clock is accelerating. We have found a lot of new investigators and we are seeing a lot of miracles and blessings coming from the Lord. We have begun to teach J~ (our finding miracle from 2 weeks ago). She is awesome.

We had trainers' meeting on Wednesday which was very inspired. I am so excited to train but I am also nervous. It will be good.

We have found some amazing people up in Marlow this past week. Yesterday we taught E~ the Doctrine of Christ. It was such a powerful lesson even though it was on the porch. It was such a perfect lesson because we truly discerned her needs and taught towards them. She has been out of church for 7 years and can see the difference church attendance has made on her life and she wants it back. We taught her about the sacrament and the blessings of church and the spirit brings to the home. At the end of the lesson before we left she sincerely thanked us for the visit and told us that she felt touched. We explained to her that it was the spirit the she felt. We are going to set up a church tour with her next week. Super pumped!

Speaking of church tours, we had one last week with Br~! We had brother Lim there and it went great! We had a funny moment though. We came a little early to get everything ready, made sure the AC was on, and that everything was tidy. Well apparently we totally missed this huge wolf spider that got on the wall. Haha we were doing the tour and turned the corner and Br~ pointed it out. We all just stood there awkwardly. I quickly grabbed an empty vase and a paper plate from the kitchen, caught it, tossed it outside, and on we went with the tour. Haha, we had a good laugh. Hopefully Br~ will be able to come to church one of these coming Sundays when he isn't so busy. Pray for him.

Well I'm out of time. I love you all! Happy Fathers day!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Oklahoma sunsets never get old.

The music store we went to on p-day had a steel slide guitar. Very cool.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Trainer Calls (Week 91)

Saturday night we got in a little late, we were about to start planning when the other elders knocked on the door which reminded me of what was happening that night. I had totally forgotten that it was the night that the assistants made trainer calls. The other elders were pretty set that I was going to be training so they came over to wait for the call from the APs. The phone some how got put on silent, we had a missed call from the APs and 1 new voice mail. I anxiously put the phone on speaker and we listened to the voice mail. AP Nibley was simply relaying information about Elder Mierau's departing temple trip and asked us to call him back. My heart sank a little but I know it was probably Elder Nibley giving me a hard time. I patiently waited while AP Nibley and Elder Meirau talked about the trip and then about our area, then as soon as I thought the conversation was over I hear: "Oh and is Elder Watkins still there?" Everyone fell silent. "...yes" the next response: "President has asked that you would train this next transfer." We all went crazy! Haha so much fun. I'm so excited to train! I've been wanting to train my whole mission! I am excited for the new experiences that lay ahead. I will be training for last 2 transfers of my mission.

All of the missionaries in our district are getting ready to go home. All of us leave one transfer after the other. We have all decided to hide how long we have been out from the new missionary so we don't make him homesick. That way none of us will get "trunky". It should be a fun challenge.

We have good/bad news about C~. He got a job, but it's clear up in Tulsa so we are unable to teach him for the time being. We have been helping him find a closer job by asking around. Keep them in your prayers. It was cool though because yesterday we heard from the Relief Society president in ward council that when B~ and her husband C~ both came to church the previous week B~ stood up and bore her testimony in Relief Society. She shared in her testimony that while C~ and her were in gospel principles class, he leaned over and whispered in her ear, "this is home". It's such a joy to see investigators feel God's love as they come to church and feel the spirit.

Yesterday we got permission with Cr's mom to set a baptism date with him. We are excited that we are able to help him progress now!

This week we are going to be giving Br~ a church tour. It's going to be great. It seems that every time we teach him, his heart grows more as well as his interest to learn more.

Our finding has been going really well as of late. We are finding a lot of new investigators. We have also been running into a lot of former investigators who want to start investigating again.

Well I'm running out of time! I'll be sure to send you the audio files of last p-day. Lots of fun.

I love you all, I hope you have a good week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Bluegrass venue. The back part of the Cowboy Music Store in Comanche

The flood gates of Lake Waurika (after all the rain we got this spring)

Monday, June 8, 2015

19th Street (Week 90)

Summer is here, and the temperature is rising.

We have been doing more work in Marlow with our car which has been a blessing. Last week we found a less active family who have a 12 and a 13 year old who haven't been baptized. The parents have really strong testimonies but struggle with coming to church. The father served 6 years in Iraq and suffers with really bad PTSD so he struggles with crowds. During our visit they explained to us that they want their children to make the decision on their own to be baptized. The mother told us that lately her daughter (12) has been asking about baptism and wants to be baptized. By the end of the conversation the Dad confessed there were Sundays that they could make it to church. We didn't say to much during the visit but whatever was said the spirit spoke and was present to touch their hearts. We are teaching their family this week. We are excited to start working with them!

We set a baptism date with C~ this week! It's the wonderful date of July 4th. We are excited. A bitter sweet thing happened in their family. C~ lost his job but the cool thing about it was that now he is able to come to church and came yesterday! He was talking about it with us and he started pointing out all of the positive things about losing his job. He gets to catch up with his family, he can come to church, and he can be here to help his sister after she has her baby
(any day now). He knows that God has a plan for everything.

We have been doing quite a bit of finding this week. For the first half of the week it seemed as though no one in Duncan was receptive, but on Friday everyone and their cat wanted to listen to us. We knocked almost all of 19th street and everyone at least listened to us and accepted our offer to say a prayer with them. With 10 minutes before 9:00 pm we had to head back home on our bikes before we could finish the street. As we were biking away the spirit told me that tomorrow was when we should to knock the rest of the doors on the street. Huh strange prompting. Well the next day around 7:00 pm we came back and knocked on the rest of the houses, and the one house that appeared to be vacant was the one that opened. When the homeowner answered the door she had this big grin on her face. We introduced ourselves, afterwards I felt to ask if she had met with missionaries before. She said yes! In fact, she had studied with them for along time and had read a lot of the Book of Mormon. She has African-American children and told us she stopped when she found information on blacks and the priesthood and it gave her doubts. We had a HUGE conversation with her on the porch and helped answer her questions about it. We explained the purpose for the priesthood and explained to her that God gives all of his children callings. We  pointed out how in the old testament only the Levites held the priesthood. We quickly resolved her concern on the that topic and she began to ask us questions pertaining to the plan of salvation. We basically covered every part of the plan of salvation lesson from our conversation and her questions. She explained to us the trials that she was going through and that our visit was an answer to her questions. One of the huge questions she had been struggling with was why does God allow his innocent children to suffer here on earth. The spirit prompted me to share the story of my brother Tyler who has cerebral palsy. Turns our her youngest son has a lighter form of cerebral palsy. The connection we made with her was really cool. We gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet with our number on it. Right after she pointed to the Book of Mormon in my hand and asked if she could have a copy because she couldn't find hers. I gave her a copy and asked if we could come back for a visit. she told us that she would call us when her life settled down a little. We are still going to swing by next week. :)

Today for p-day we are going with a member from Waurika to Comanche's Music (instrument store). Brother Chesley plays a lot of blue grass instruments and is going to teach us a few tricks. He's really really good on the Dobro which is an instrument I've been waiting and dying to learn. Next week I'll send a recording of our music. Come Come ye Saints.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week.

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

Monday, June 1, 2015

Out of Stock (Week 89)

Elder Mierau and I have had a really good week! We were able to meet with a lot of our investigators and we are starting seeing a lot of growth and progression. We also had a former investigator (Has to wait until he is off parole) come to stake conference.

We Got to teach Bd~ and C~ this week. They are on fire! Bd~ has been working on getting C~'s sister-in-law interested in taking the discussions and coming to church. Until this last week she hasn't been really interested. She is in a very difficult situation right now. She is pregnant and is living with Bd~ and C~ because her boyfriend is abusive and she is trying to break up the relationship. She has a lot of questions and is beginning to search for answers. She is really receptive and wanting to find the truth. Before we could get to the end of the lesson she asked us if she could have a Book of Mormon. We had run completely out of Book of Mormons that day and we were running late for stake conference in Lawton so we were unable to give her one (the most frustrating thing ever). We told her we would come by and give her one the next day. Well later that night we got home earlier then expected and I had this prompting that we should give it to her tonight. We pulled up to the house and she was sitting on the front porch sulking. It was perfect timing, she seemed so sad and lost when we pulled up. We gave her the Book of Mormon and had a really spiritual conversation with her that lifted her spirits. We testified of the Book of Mormons power to heal and direct our lives and left her with inspired promises if she would read and pray. We could feel the spirit so strong, it just goes to show that God sends us to the right place at the right time.

We had a good discussion with Brother B~ (investigator who has met with missionaries for over a year). We had a discussion about sacrifice and its blessings. It was amazing because the spirit resolved his struggles and motivated him to do better. He is more committed now to reading the Book of Mormon. Hopefully life will slow down a little bit for their family so they can make it to church on Sunday. Keep them in your prayers.

Stake conference was great! We were honored to hear Elder Frost from the Quorum of the Seventy speak. A lot of the talks were focused on keeping the Sabbath Day holy and making sacrament meeting more spiritual. President Walkenhorst gave an excellent talk on hastening the work of salvation in Oklahoma and how we can become better member missionaries. At the conference I saw a couple of people that looked really familiar, they were some of my classmates from Lone Peak HS. It was super weird. They are part of a sales group down in Wichita Falls, Texas. Small world.

Well the sun is suppose to be shining all week long. It's time to melt haha. It shouldn't be to bad.

Thank you for the emails I love you all have a wonderful week!

Sincerely, Elder Watkins

New downtown mural for Rhythm and Routes

Newspaper on the flood

A member taught us how to play a few hymns on our harmonicas

Taking shelter from a hail storm

More crazy newspapers


Elder Mierau wanted me to make him a funky planner cover. So I did.