Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 64: Gratitude for Eternal Families, for the Spirit of Discernment, and for Answers to Prayers

No coincidences: Tom has been going to physical therapy for the last few weeks for his shoulder. Seth, the therapist, has worked with Tom, Dustin, and Mariah over the years. Wednesday, Seth went home sick and Tom worked with another physical therapist he had never met before. Conversation eventually turned to missionaries. The therapist has a cousin from Washington serving in the Philippines, Angeles Mission...Elder Monroe!!! Elder Watkins' companion!! Not a coincidence :)

Hey family :)

Just want to start off with sharing my love for each of you. You are all special to me and infinitely more special to our Father in Heaven. I will be eternally grateful that I was born at the time I was with the parents and siblings that I have.

I feel like I have been our of connection with the family for quite some time now! I apologize and hope you will forgive me :)

I will just give a day by day update so you can see what happened.

Tuesday: Mission Leaders Council. Met at the mission home at 7:30 AM with the other Zone Leaders from the mission. I met up with some good friends that I have made over the mission, namely Elder Gordon and Elder Wilson. Elder Gordon and I cooked the chocolate chip pancakes then we proceeded to a full day of discussion. It was a very revelatory experience and I received many spiritual insights ad ideas. The spirit was very strong and I have a firm testimony of revelation.

Wednesday: Continuation of MLC for the morning. It was a very important meeting as we decided the number of baptisms we as a mission would goal for 2015. We decided on 1800 baptisms. We prayed to ask Heavenly Father if it was right and we felt it was true. Later that day I went on exchanges with Elder Roberts, Zone Leader from Angeles in my area. He was really sick. But after persuasion and long suffering, he agreed to work :) We had a good day haha.

Thursday: Went on exchanges again...but this time with Elder Webster from Provo, UT. He is just approaching 3 months in the mission. On our exchanges I was brought back to memories of my own training and my adjustments to the mission. I cannot believe how much I've grown (no height unfortunately) but my paradigm of the world and those that surround me. I have grown to really love the gospel. One thing that I have realized is how much more I need to improve myself. I feel like the more I learn and internalize the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation, the more humble I get. I find weaknesses and try to recognize that I need the Savior to over come them.

Side note: Even with the amount of love our Father in Heaven has for us, we still experience hardships. Satan spreads false doctrine. Whether it is about self-worth, guilt, or anything but truth. He will tell us we cannot accomplish our goals and will try to make us miserable. Happened to me this week and I was very spiritually distraught on the inside. No one really noticed but me. But then one of my good friends in the zone, Elder Birth, was thankfully able to discern or listen to the Spirit and recognize that I was not the same. He shook my hand and asked, "What's different about you?" We talked for a long time and I was filled again with light rather than doubts and other things in my mind that were lingering before. Two points: 1. Satan always lies, 2. Be the person that God can use to answer one of his children's prayers.

Saturday: Baptism of Sister Teresa Espinoza! I can't get my card to upload these pictures...I'm not sure what the problem is but I really want to send some pictures home as it has been a long time since the last I have emailed...Sorry! :) But Sis. Teresa was baptized and she bore an awesome testimony after the baptism! That night we also taught Jes and Cathy! Their marriage is next Wednesday at 2PM!! Followed by Jes's baptism on Saturday :) It is so different to be working with families. The most likely to stay active and remain strong in the church. It makes it all the better when they have their eyes on the temple :) Again, I am grateful to be born into the gospel and be sealed to each of you :)

Well, I thought I could fit in all the days and I am out of time...again. I love you all and wish you all the best week :)

Elder Watkins

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