Sunday, May 25, 2014

Week 36: Split Area, a New Companion and Housemates, and Two Sad Situations

What is up everyone? :) Miss you all :)

So this week was transfers and I am taking my talents to .... Arayat. I'm staying here :) That is Lebron's quote by the way. So I got a new companion Elder Soberano. He is Filipino from Ilo Ilo which is where my trainer Elder Gomez is from. I am his 14th companion which is a ton and this is his 9th area! That is so many! So he leaves in 3 weeks, so I will be the one to kill him (send him home). He isn't trunky at all and is really excited to work hard for his last transfer. I get along well with him and he is super into deep doctrine and stuff. That's what he love to do - read.

We also got 2 new elders in Arayat! So we split our area. The two new elders are Elder Cancel and Elder Drake. Cancel is batch with me and he is from Cavite. He is an amazing cook so I plan on taking advantage of that... I may get fat in the weeks while he is here :) also he is training Elder Drake who is from Sacramento and is a cool dude. He played football so that's cool :) The 3 football players in the mission are all in the same zone. Hopefully we will play sometime. I really enjoy having 4 in the apartment. It make things a lot more fun and interesting.

As for me, I'm doing well. No sickness or anything, and I'm having fun :) One unfortunate thing that happened this weeks was that Charlot ran away. She was supposed to be baptized 2 days ago but she was getting persecution from her family about becoming Mormon and then she ran away and changed her phone and sad.

I'm sure you may be curious about Ariel. So I found out some more about him. I don't know where his parents are but his grandparents live here. So he begs for money and would go to his grandpa's house. If he didn't bring home enough money, his grandpa would beat him. So Ariel doesn't go back there anymore and just sleeps in the burger truck. He attended church again last week and is becoming friends with all the primary and members :) He kissed my feet at church and it was awkward lol...

But, again I'm doing great :) loving the mission life and having a blast. Time is truly flying, close to 9 months. Bitters next month is at a year! What?! Crazy :)

Love you all. My prayers are with you and especially with Dan and Kim right now.

Have a great week :)

Elder Watkins

Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 35: Pictures!, and Ariel's Story

This week we received pictures and recordings this week! Dustin told us about his friend Ariel and part of his story. There were still some questions we had and hope that we will get some answers.

In his recording, Dustin told us about Ariel whom he met a while ago. Ariel is eight years old and basically lives on the streets. The family who owns a burger truck in the area lets Ariel sleep in the truck at night and they pay him to do some jobs on the truck. Ariel is a very friendly, happy little boy :) Dustin invited Ariel to go to church. The next Sunday, Dustin arrived and a member told him that his friend was looking for him but had left. Dustin went outside and saw Ariel across the street. When Ariel saw him, he smiled and joined Dustin. He was wearing a tattered shirt (which was too big for him) and tattered shorts, and had no shoes. Regardless, he was happy to be there. He stayed for all three meetings, and got a little sleepy at the end (haha, don't we all!)

Later that day, some of the sisters in the Ward brought some clothes for Ariel. Charity Never Faileth :) Relief Society sisters have the same heart where ever they are in the world. I love them!

As I was listening to Dustin's recording about Ariel, I wondered if he would ask if he could bring Ariel home with him...

Elder Watkins with some big artillery at Clark Air Force Base.
(Isn't he adorable?)
More of Elder Watkins at Clark

Elder Watkins' friend Ariel and a Ward member

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Week 34: Mother's Day Skype!!!

Best Mother's Day Gift Ever!!!

Mariah is super excited to talk to her brother!!!

Cambri is happy to see Dustin's face!!!

He looks great and is so adorable :)

Elder Watkins with missionaries in his area
(picture from Sister Martino's Facebook page)
Elder Wilson and Elder Watkins
(picture from Sister Martino's Facebook page)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 33: Hard Work, The Lord Provides, and Heavenly Father Knows Me


I can't believe next week I'll be skyping again! Time has and is absolutely flying by. 8 months already what?? Super stoked to talk with you all so soon :)

So this week was a lot of hard work in finding people. We were blessed with 13 new investigators! I'm really hoping these are the right people the Lord has prepared for us to teach and be converted to the Gospel.

I'll share a story about one of the new investigators.

We met her and her sister on tuesday. Their names are Relin and May. They are 18 and 16 and both Catholic. However, Relin is very interested in investigating other churches. She's been attending Iglesia ni Cristo and Baptist. She actually recently decided to be baptized to the Baptist church then we met her. We taught a short lesson and she invited us to return later that week. Upon our return we started teaching Lesson 1 and we were teaching about everything up until Joseph Smith. She had a lot of questions so the lesson was pretty long we decided to save Joseph and Restoration for the next meeting. She then told us that she decided to be baptized to Baptist church and asked if we would not return to teach her. We taught her Restoration immediately and the Spirit was so strong. We could see the Spirit really working in her as we testified about the Restoration. After she said she would like to think more about it and wanted us to come back and teach more. I was grateful that the spirit does the teaching and told her something that helped her choose to keep listening to us... hopefully she continues to let us in!

Tomorrow I will be going on an exchange with my MTC companion ELDER HOWLETT! What a stud of a cowboy... we will be heading to Manila. We are going for fingerprints... however we have to be at the bus station at 415 AM... this is the 3rd time this week we have had to wake up before 430... man I'm tired... but its all good. I've actually noticed a cool trend. In the afternoon we have from 12-130 lunch! I used to eat my food fast and then take a nap. But I've noticed also that when I just study I feel more energized! The Lord provides! Also last Sunday I was walking and was super hungry... but I didn't want to buy food on the Sabbath. I was like the Lord will provide. I was thinking more in terms of energy, but the next house we randomly spoke with, total strangers just asked to come in and eat their food! haha so cool. The Lord truly provides 'take ye no thought for yourselves'

A spiritual experience I had yesterday which really helped me feel that my Heavenly Father is keenly aware of me and my feelings. I have been kind of down the past few weeks. I feel like I haven't felt the Spirit as much in the last few weeks while teaching. I couldn't tell if it was due to something I did, or if I was getting dull/numb to the Spirit (which I don't think is possible anyways). Anyways I was praying for help and more motivation and an increased ability to feel and recognize the Spirit. At church yesterday, I was asked to teach the Gospel Essentials class and the lesson was about tithing. Not usually the most spiritually powerful lesson. I taught and didn't think too much of the lesson. Later that night I we ran into a Recent Convert who was in the class. His name is Olbeth and he is around 30 years old. He thanked me for the lesson and said that lately he hasn't felt the same at church. He felt like he was missing something at church. He then told me that in the lesson he felt the Spirit more strongly than he had in any lesson he had at church. That same day I went on splits with a Priest from the branch named Ariel. He started off the day kind of bummed but by the end he seemed to do so much better. As we were walking home he explained to me that he had a bad day and was upset the whole day. Then we went teaching and said that he felt the spirit so strongly in the lessons today and was so much more happy. 

This just strengthened my testimony that the God listens to my prayers and knows my concerns. He knows me personally and He will answer me and give me the help and encouragement I need. 

Hope you all have a great week :) love you all :)

Elder Watkins

Elder Watkins and two wild chicks.
He is so adorable!