Sunday, November 23, 2014

Week 62: How old am I?

Unfortunately, no family letter this week :(

I asked Elder Watkins if he felt different now that he was 20. This is his reply:
"Umm not really... Haha feel pretty much the same. I got asked the other day how old I was and I said 18. Oh, wait 19... Then I looked at Elder Monroe; wait, I'm 20, right?"

Oh, Elder Watkins haha

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 60: Turning 20 with only 9 months left, Following Promptings of the Holy Ghost, Reality of Satan

Hey Fam! and new homie Tyson!!!

So smooth! I now have a Filipino family member! (Mom and Mariah... ehh. medyo na lang...;) He looks like a stud :) so excited :):) (the bits of Tagalog in the letter are to Tyson so he learns Tagalog)

So there seems to be some confusion with the emailing situation. Haha So I just can't live chat. I can still definitely read and email you guys no probs :) I can and will still be recording so no issues there. I have just been crazyyy busy the last two weeks so I haven't had much time to email...Ask Elder Bitters if you don't believe me haha

Thank you everyone for the great birthday wishes :) you are all the best :) and in return happy birthday to Mariah who is now 17... what the heck  haha... oo nga pa la I received the package!! Thanks so much!!!

Last Monday we had a Family Home Evening with Jes and his family. He's the one who is getting married to get baptized, to get sealed in the temple :) they really enjoyed the Sour Patch Kids :) And I took the ENORMOUS pants to the tailor and got them fixed up haha :) I actually am sportin' a pair as I type this message :) so thank you very much :) I will be sending the pics I am sure to take to you all next week... :) ang sarap ng pagkain d2 xa Pilipinas Tyson...napakasuwerte na man tayong dalasa ;)

As for me I am doing wonderful haha. I love the live of a missionary... It's sad to thin I only have 9 months left... To you that may seem like a long time still, but to me it looks really short. I can't elieve how fast the mission is going and pretty soon I won't be a missionary anymore :(  Don't know why that thought came into my head. Maybe cause I'm listening to Dad's recording about the hotels and stuff hahaha

Cool story for the week. We have been working with Brother Steven Ong, a returned missionary and his non-member wife Abigail. Abigail is a super receptive and INTELLIGENT investigator but is super busy... kaya it is hard to find time to teach her. Last night, after a whole week of not being able to get a hold of them, we randomly felt prompted we should go visit her at  7:30. We had other appointments and were about 15 minutes or so away from her house. It would also be pretty expensive to get there based on where we were currently at. We decided to follow the prompting. We got there and long story shot it was the perfect moment to get there. Any earlier and they would not have been there and any later they would have been gone again heading to Manila. Because we listened to the Spirit and were able to visit her. She shared with us she had finally decided that she WILL BE BAPTIZED!!! The question she said now is "When". Next week is when, is what I told her haha. But I know our Heavenly Father is aware of us and wants us to succeed. I also know he communicates with us through the Holy Ghost. We just gotta listen :)

Maybe an interesting thing to be testifying to you about this week but I see it happening in the lives of the people here. But I know that Satan is real. He works for our destruction and misery. I know that no degree of sin can lead to any true or lasting happiness. I also know that any negative thought about ourselves or others is not coming from our loving Heavenly Father who loves each of us with perfect love. When we feel we are not adequate or feel hopeless, it comes from Satan. God wants us to be happy and all happiness derives from Him. Always remember that God is more interested in where we are willing to go and become, rather than who we are at the moment.

Love you all soooo much:):):):)
Have a great week!
Elder Watkins

This is Harvey

This is myself and elder moral on exchanges. Eating... chicken feet adobo.

This is the whole Tarlac zone after the transfer announcement.
 We had a super good meal catered for us at the church for our last zone activity :)

The posterity from right to left
E. Monroe a midst the few, the proud, the brave. 
He begat E. Gomez, who hails from the land of Ilo Ilo, 
and paved the way for E. Watkins who leaves legends in his wake,
gave birth to E. Choresca, who will claim the birthright to the kingdom, 
and begat E. Jacobson, who will (sana) continue the posterity to prosperity.

Elder Gordon and Elder Watkins are backkk!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 59: Missionary Firesides and Training, Baptismal Goal Date, and Testimony of the Book of Mormon

Hey Everyone!

First super sorry that I wasn't able to email or chat with you last week. The last week of every month is super hectic for email. We are in the computer shop for 4 hours doing reports. And it was my first time doing it so I wasn't uber fast haha... But I am also sad to inform you (Mom, Dad, Mindy, and Mariah) that I will no longer be chatting every Monday. I guess it was not allowed. And I guess most of the mission was doing it, and our Mission Leader Council meeting last week, President Clark reminded us that it was not ok. So I was being disobedient in ignorance but now that I know that it is not in harmony with the Missionary Handbook. I will be following :( but this may mean an increase in recordings.

Also no recordings this week because I epicly failed haha. So this morning I was recording then after what felt like 15-20 minutes, I checked the time and realized the recorder was off. So I turned it on again and recorded; this time I checked after about 3-5 minutes of recording and the battery had died...So I was outside talking to myself for about 25 minutes... It was great LOL

But this week was another fantastic week.

Friday: We had the Tarlac side of the mission, (the half I am on) attend a missionary fireside where Bishop Causse of the Presiding Bishopric come and teach us. It was cool. He just walked around and talked with us instead of giving a talk. Also on Sunday was the Philippines wide broadcast. We listened to our Area President Ian S Arden who is a BOSS! and then 2 other general authorities and Elder Oaks. I love being able to listen to so many General Authorities. I am learning a lot from them and their example.

Friday evening /all of Saturday: MLC or Mission Leader Council. This was held at the mission home and it was awesome. Working with Pres. Clark and just discussing the mission and what direction we are going to take was amazing. He named that MLC a "Red Flag" Day where we will be either be making huge gains in our mission or stay the same. This is due to the new changes we are making in the mission. I'll probably talk about those in a recording to give you more details. It changes the way we proselyte and how we teach. Unfortunately, we will not be receiving iPads or iPhones... not yet at least... ;)

Sunday was a great Sabbath full of meetings. We were at the church from  10am-730pm. It was crazy. My companion and I presented the changes of our mission to the stake president and his councilors, the bishops and all their councilors. The majority seem very excited; there, of course, are a few who are skeptical, but the stake president is really backing us up and what is to implemented this week so we will see how it goes.

We had 45 minutes after church before our next meeting and we were blessed with a new investigator. A less active in our ward brought her friend to church, who also happens to be the cousin of our Ward mission leader. So we were able to teach her and she accepted a baptismal goal date of December 13! It was great.

Highlight of the week however was finally returning and teaching Steven and Abigail Ong! They were a golden family a while ago. So Steven is an RM and his wife is a non member. They have the 2 cutest Filipina girls ever!!! They are 3 and 1 years old. They are such a cool family. and the 3 year old speaks English! haha. Anyways Abigail is super receptive and understanding but has not been able to a accept a Baptismal Goal date. Well we assigned her 2 Nephi 31. She read it and said while she was reading she felt like she was with Joseph Smith watching him translate the Book of Mormon. She felt that there was no way he could write/translate this unless God helped him. She told us she now believed the Book of Mormon to be true. We continued teaching a lesson about the Plan of Salvation. When we got to the Atonement I felt prompted to invite her to be baptized. I extended the invitation and she just started smiling and said, "Yes, I'm ready." I'll pray if November 29 is the right day for me. It was so cool! and they came to church again yesterday. and the 2 weeks while they were in Manila, they went to church there too!!! It was awesome :)

Just love you all so much and I know that the Book of Mormon changes lives. Read it.
Have a superb week!
Elder Watkins