Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 51: Year Mark!, Reflections, and Testimony of the Book of Mormon

Well, first a shout out to Mindy for her birthday!! And again I'm not in town to celebrate it with ya... :( sorry. I swear I am always gone when it happens :( But I'm sure you had a good one :)

Also secondly, I just received the package this morning! I'll be opening it later tonight :) So thank you very much!

What is going on in the Philippines...Well, this week, September 13, I will hit my true year mark!! What?! That is so fast! I only have 10 months left...  :( I like the way Dan put it earlier in my mission... "Only 10 months left to change people's lives" So true. As I reflect over that time, I can't help but think how much I've grown. I am still a solid 5' 8", I've actually lost weight and still don't look a day over 16...(and I turn 20 in 2 months LOL). I have grown so much in other ways. Learning to speak to people how to teach how to study, how to work hard, clean, money living on my own, getting along with others, integrity, love and patience, the lost could go on and on...But of all these thinks I am most grateful for my spiritual growth and growing closer to my Savior. What a blessing it's been and is and will be. I am also so grateful for each of you. Without you, I wouldn't be on my mission. Specifically Mom and Dad. Thank you so much for the support you are giving to me. I feel your prayers and love. Thank you for raising me in this church and teaching me correct principles and letting me govern myself. Thanks to your teaching and example, and of course I wasn't perfect, but I was able to avoid the big pitfalls of high school and be here on a mission :) Thank you.

These past months my testimony of the Book of Mormon has been growing and growing I have always had a testimony of the divinity of this book, but I am experiencing more spiritual growth than ever because of it. I just think back to before the mission where I would maybe read the BoM on a Sunday and that's about it...I always used excuses such as busy, tired, entertainment, the list goes on. Sometime it didn't even cross my mind to read it. Now that I am here in the mission the 1 hour of personal study a day is not enough time! I am truly feeling changes in my life and seeing it in the life of the people I teach. The people who don't understand or don't go to church are the same people who don't read the BoM. On the contrary, the people who read are progressing and gain a desire to learn and overall become more happy. The Book of Mormon is the way to peace and joy in this life and the next. By reading, pondering, and applying the principles learned we come closer to Christ and become happy. When I face trials or hardships, where do I go for comfort or help? Internet? Friends? Family? Though these may be good sources, why not go to the best source? He, who understands us more intimately than we even know ourselves. I just wanted to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon with you all because I am a witness of how much it is helping me in my life right now. I love you all so much and want that same thing for you! I know that as we keep reading the Book of Mormon we will be blessed and guided in a that we do :) What a great promise in  2 Nephi 32:5

Again, love you all. Have a great week :)

Elder Watkins

Feeding a caribou and her baby

Mount Arayat

Elder Watkins "next to some river"

Companions!! Elder Ofiana and Elder Watkins

Caribou friends :)

Left to Right: Bryan, Jhann-Jhann, Elder Watkins, Irish, Elder Ofiana, Bryce
Front row: Newton, Sis Buan

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