Monday, December 30, 2013

I made an actual list of this week's events! Hopefully this email will be more interesting than those of the past :)

Okay, it was a great week! We were riding home last night and Sister Stratton and I just kind of looked at eachother and said, "This week was amazing." Our area is really picking up!

First, we had a lesson with Claudia, a forever investigator (not the other amazing one I talked about a few weeks ago). She is great, but she's been struggling with the idea of modern prophets, and she's got 2 crazy kids so she feels like she has no time to pray or go to church or anything. And to top it all off, her brother just got killed over stupid drug stuff, so her family is going through a pretty rough patch right now. But the other day, we had a lesson with her and an amazing member, Hermana Hernandez. Claudia told her the whole story of her brother (like the 3rd time we've heard it, haha). She kept talking and talking, hardly taking a breath, and we were trying to talk about baptism and nail her down on an official day, and her kids were screaming and being crazy, and it just wasn't working! Then finally there was a pause and Hermana Hernandez chimed in, and it was AMAZING. Everything went silent and she just sweetly started to share her testimony of the gospel and baptism, and the spirit was so strong! Claudia started crying a bit, and really opened up to what we were saying. She said she would pray about baptism, and really take the time to read more about Joseph Smith and pray about him too. So great! We have a return appointment tomorrow :)

Ricardo! He's still doing great. He's set for baptism on the 11th of December. After a turn of events, we ended up having a lesson with him and our stake president, President Burnham, in the chapel, and it was great! They let us schedule another one the next day in their home, which was just as wonderful. He also got to see a baptism of a kid in our ward, and he's super excited for his! The funny thing is that we were telling him that he could choose who he wanted to baptize him, and he chose president Burnham, haha. He keeps calling him Juan el Bautista (John the Baptist) which probably isn't super appropriate, but he's super happy, and we're really excited for him!

Oh yeah, and we had Christmas! It was great to talk with my family! I didn't even cry til the very end. My poor companion, though, started bawling when her camera was held up to another screen and she could see her sister that is serving in El Salvador (and is almost done with her misison, how exciting!). It was a great day, we stayed really busy and ate lots of posole and tamales and all the good stuff. And we even got to celebrate like the mexicans! We opened all our presents in the evening on the 24th, so thank you to everyone who made our Christmas great :)

We have another baptism set up for the 11th! Her name is Yajaira, Ruth's daughter (a recent convert). Basically every time we see her she asks if she can get baptized the next day. I wish! But we've only got a few more things to teach her, and then she'll be good to go! We're working hard on her brother Braulio and her dad Cristian.

The confusing thing is that we just started teaching another couple named Ruth and Cristian! They're a little bit crazy and we only just met them, but we think things will turn out well with them! This Ruth is already a member and mostly speaks English, but her boyfriend/husband (we're not sure what their relationship is) doesn't know much about the church or Christ, for that matter. So we're going back to night, we hope things will work out with them!

And to make things a little bit more crazy, we found another Cristian to teach! He can be Cristian #3, haha. He's the son of some inactive members we just found (who sadly were asleep when we stopped by). But we had a good chat with their son, Cristian #3, and we're going back tonight too! We're thinking things will go well with him.

That was mostly our week! Evelyn, our 14 year old investigator is doing great. She's progressing slowly but surely! We just have to ask every couple of minutes for her to listen and stop talking about Justin Bieber. Nevertheless, she's doing great!

I love you all! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Make some good goals!

Love, Sister Watkins

Monday, December 23, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

Question of the week: How many chickens have you eaten in your lifetime? Every egg counts as one...

That was the conversation starter at a dinner this week, courtesy of our Zone Leader. Haha, there have been chickens everywhere this week for some reason! We saw one crossing the road on the way to church, and the answer as to why it was crossing the road is sadly because it was really just lost, poor guy.

Anyways, this was a good week! We'll start with Saturday. We had the BEST ward Christmas party EVER! Tamales, posole, menudo, and 5 pinatas. Count 'em, 5. And a wedding, to start the night off on the right foot! We wandered around and talked to/set up appointments with basically everyone, so Christmas Eve and Christmas day will be super full, giving us no time to be homesick. And we worked out our skype calls and everything, which is super exciting! The only sad thing is that the family we live with left on Sunday afternoon for Utah, so we're home alone this whole week. It's so lonely! But we're going to be spending so much time outside the house this week that we won't have so much time to think about it.

Okay, what else... We have a recent convert named Ruth, who has a 9 year old daughter named Yajaira who wants to be baptized. She's super adorable and loves the lessons, which is super great! We've been trying to find time to meet with her 14 year old brother Braulio, though, who's been tough to get a hold of. Well finally, this week we found him at home when we visited Yajaira, and we had a great lesson with him! He had tons of questions and was kind of confused about some things, but we think it went really well. We had just read a talk together called Will You? and it's super great (I think it's from CES Education Week back in the 90s if anyone is interested). It just talks about how Will you? is a yes or no question and lots of other good stuff, so when we asked Braulio if he would pray about what we had taught him (mostly the plan of salvation, but basically it was a little bit of everything), he responded with, "I don't know." So we both just turned to him, looked him in the eye, and Hna Stratton said, "It's a yes or no question. Will you pray about the things we've taught you?" And he was kind of surprised! But he paused for a second, got pretty serious, and said yes, he would pray. So we're crossing our fingers and praying a ton that he actually will! It was a cool experience.

What else happened... Why can I never remember what happened during the week?? Haha, something cool we did this morning was a little self-defense class with a guy in our ward! He just taught us basics, so now I know how to elbow and knee somebody properly, and what I should do if by chance a girl gets in a fight with me and grabs my hair, hahah. It was super fun!

Oh yeah, one awkward, funny encounter we had this week with 2 really drunk people at 11 am on a week day: We were passing an apartment complex on our way to visit a less active, and we saw these two people sitting in front of the sign just chatting. The guy got up and started singing John Denver songs with his own words thrown in and started saying, "Jesus is coming" in Navajo, and the other lady got upset, saying, "Can I just talk for one minute??" so we got the other guy to calm down, and she slowly said, with great concern, "Is it true that... the volcano is gonna erupt?" And that's where we just stopped and said we had to go, haha. It was super funny! I'll never forget the guy's rendition of Rocky Mountain High, it was so classy.

So that was our one interesting experience for the week! And now it's almost Christmas, I can't believe it! Time has just flown by.

I love you all! Merry Christmas!

Hna Watkins

Monday, December 16, 2013

Nacho really is a nickname for Ignacio. Who knew!

Oh my gosh, we've had a great week!

But now I don't know where to start! I always have to go back and read the last email I sent so I know where the last week ended and where this one began, haha.

We have an AMAZING new investigator named Claudia! She was kind of an accident, but she's been wonderful! We were having a tough day, and everything was falling through, so we spent most of the afternoon just wandering, trying to contact former investigators and really un-progressing ones. We were getting pretty hopeless, and our feet were hurting, so we didn't have the best attitudes. We were wandering through an apartment complex, and knocked on a door where a former lived. Nobody was home, but we saw the guy's niece drive up, who the other sisters had sort of talked to but had never really gotten anywhere with her. And this was Claudia! We told her we were looking for her uncle, who wasn't home, so we started giving her the whole invitation to the Christmas lights and what not, and then we got an actual conversation going about her religious background, and she came out with a lot of questions. So we went inside, sat on the couch, and had the first lesson. It was INCREDIBLE! She was absolutely ready to hear what we had to say. The spirit was so strong, and she just kept saying how good she felt and how warm her heart was. Such a good lesson!

Then we went back on Saturday to go over The Plan of Salvation (we had given her the pamphlet), and she had actually written down questions and had read everything we had given her! I've never taught anybody so willing to learn, haha. So we had a great lesson and invited her to be baptized! Her date is for the 18th :) So basically she's golden, and I am immensely enjoying teaching someone so prepared. There will definitely be more news to come about Claudia!

What else... The Rubios! Have I talked about them yet? They are good friends of some members in our ward, and after a long time, they're finally opening up to the gospel! We've had 2 great lessons with them, and they're working towards a baptism, but it'll have to be far in the future, because Hno Rubio is still married to someone in Mexico, even though they've been separated for years. So that's always a bit of a process. But He and his wife (not his actual one, just the one he's been with for 18+ years) talked to the bishop to learn more about what they should do to get married so they can get baptized! So they're super ready. They also come prepared with questions and read all the chapters we give them. It's so exciting to be teaching so many people with so much desire!

There was lots of other stuff this week, but I can't remember right now (don't worry, it's all been journaled, so at least it's on paper if it's not in my brain). Oh, some recent converts got to go to the temple to do baptisms for the first time, which was great! And we got to do a session too! We get to go to the Mesa temple every three months for a session, and after this trip, we had a big missionary dinner after where they passed out tons of mail and packages. Guess who had the biggest stack? This girl! Haha, it was awesome! I have pictures, but this computer is kinda old so I'll have to figure it out some other time.

I love you all, I gotta go!

Love, Sister Watkins

Monday, December 2, 2013


What a crazy couple of days!

This new area is great! It's waaaay smaller than my last area, but there is still a ton of stuff to do. Where to start...

Thanksgiving! We spent the day visiting basically EVERYONE. I don't think I've ever ridden a bike so much before in my life as I did last Thursday, haha. We helped a recent convert, Yenisbel, and her 2 kids make a cake cause they had never made one before (not even the boxed mixes, like the easiest things ever), which was really fun, even though they're from Cuba and they drop syllables all the time so I can't understand what they're saying, haha. Then we visited a lonely single guy, Hno Trujillo, who showed us pictures of his family for like an hour and asked us to find him a girlfriend when we asked if he needed anything, haha. Then we had dinner with our family, Familia Morales, and it was super good! Not quite the same as mom's Thanksgiving (mexican style turkey), but it was still very satisfying and delicious! We also went and played flag football with the english ward in the morning. Overall it was a great day!

So there's one apartment complex in the corner of our area that's huge and we visit it every day. Basically everybody knows us or has talked to the sister missionaries at some point or another. But it's great because there's so much great work to do there! There's an investigator named Jaime that has a baptismal date for the 14th that lives there, and he's awesome! I think he was super hardcore into drugs, but went to visit the visitors center for some reason and started reading the book of mormon, deciding he wanted to change his life. The sisters have taught him everything, and he's basically ready for baptism, just that he needs to find a new apartment, away from "the mother of his children", haha. So he's super awesome, is reading so much from the Book of Mormon, and is so ready to get baptized!

We're also working with some recent converts to get them ready for the temple. One sister is named Ruth, and basically lives in the most humble circumstances ever with her 3 kids and husband. She works a lot and does a ton for her family (her husband is kind of a bum), but is so willing to do anything to live the gospel. So great! We're working with her to get a reccommend for baptisms, so that's pretty exciting for her!

Then we had Fast Sunday! Everyone is suuuuper nice in Mesa. I'm not going to say that Phoenix is a rough, mean place, but in comparison to Mesa, it kind of is, haha. Everyone is friendly! The members all said hi to me and complimented me on Spanish and stuff even though I had no idea what was going on, haha. I didn't really get the chance to meet the bishop, but they all seem very nice and welcoming. Woo!

Also: I ate the best tacos al pastor the other day. If anyone is ever in Mesa, go find a restaurant called La Merced, and get 3 or 4 tacos al pastor. They are HEAVENLY! I would eat them every day if I could! so good.

Well this week just flew by, and I can't really remember any details! It's been good, though. I really like Mesa a lot!

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! And happy December!

Hna Watkins

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Exciting News!

Hellooooo everyone! This email is late because of transfer week. P-day is switched to Wednesday every six weeks so that we can go shoppin and get supplies and such when we get to our new areas.

Speaking of: I've been moved to Mesa! I'm in a WARD called Liahona 2! My new companion is named Sister Stratton, and she can speak even less Spanish than I can, haha. She's been out a transfer longer than I have, but she's already amazing. I don't know much about the area, but it seems like lots of good stuff is going on here! I can't wait til Sunday when I can actually meet people. There's not too much to say cause I've been here for less than 24 hours, but I think things will go really well!

I'm gonna miss Phoenix and all the people in Camelback 1, but I think Mesa will be a great experience :) oh, and I'm still on a bike! The ol' purple Avalon from Wal-mart is holding up pretty well! The last week in Phoenix was great! It has been getting pretty chilly, and it actually rained on Friday and Saturday. So my last hurrah with Hermana Arevalo was riding our bikes through the rain! It was pouring when we woke up on Friday, but we had weekly planning so we were hoping it would have died down by lunch time so we could go out on bikes, but it didn't. We were kinda nervous, but we went out in the rain! It was hard at first, but we saw lots of miracles and got a new investigator, so it was definitely worth it :) Hermana Arevalo is staying in Camelback 1. That branch used to be 2 sister companionships and one elder companionship, but for this transfer, they're erasing those area boundaries and splitting the whole area in half. So Hermana Arevalo will get the Elders' area! So exciting. Change can be so much fun!

But hard at the same time. I feel like this is my first day in the mission all over again! Just that I know more about how it works this time, haha. It's hard the first couple of days in a new area, you just feel kind of helpless and lost, and that you're being dragged around by your companion (like those poor kids on leashes getting pulled by their mothers). But it'll turn around in a few days! I'm trying to remember the beginning of my first transfer, and how much time I needed to feel comfortable. It must have been at least 2 weeks! So this time I'll hopefully need less since I at least know how planning and teaching work :)

Everyone in Mesa is so nice! We went to Wal-mart for groceries and EVERYONE talked to us! So friendly. There are still crazy people too, though, haha. I'm a little sad, I won't get to go to the library and see eyepatch man anymore. But we get to write emails in the privacy of our own family history center now! It's super nice.

Well sorry there wasn't too much exciting stuff, I don't know anything about this area! Hopefully I'll have more good stuff on Monday :)

I love you all! Nobody let Tamara or Annie (or even Andy) take over the position of favorite aunt. It's got my name on it.

Have a good week!

Sistah Watkins

Monday, November 11, 2013


Everybody! This week was great!

First off, we've got two baptisms planned for this Saturday! One is a granddaughter of Hna Lopez that hasn't been baptized yet, and her Grandpa is gonna baptize her, so that should be an awesome experience! And... drumroll ...Roberto is getting baptized! Officially! It was an amazing experience, a miracle, really.

The first couple days of this week were tough, to be honest. We were struggling to plan because we didn't have very many people to go visit, everyone kept cancelling on us, and we lost a couple investigators. Pretty discouraging. So we decided on Friday that we would fast on Sunday because we really needed to see some things move forward (which was extra difficult cause our branch president gives us donuts at correlation! But it's worth the pain, heh heh). So before church we were talking with Roberto, asking him (again) if he had been reading or felt anything different about baptism. His answer was the same, that no, he still didn't feel any different. Gah, so we just told him again to keep reading and praying. Fast forward 2 hours, and we're going in to sacrament meeting (we have it at the end of the day). I was talking with other investigators, so Roberto walks right up to my companion and says, "I'm going to get baptized!" WHAT!!! He said he was listening in Young Mens class and was really touched by what was being taught. He realized that Heavenly Father has given him so much, and the least he could do is be baptized and be faithful to what he knows. So that was his sign! Roberto is getting baptized!!!! It really is a miracle. Fasting is so amazing! I don't think I've ever gained such a strong testimony of anything in such a short period of time. If you really need to see some changes in your life, FAST. But do it prayerfully, with real intent to work hard for what you're asking for. I promise the Lord will bless you for your sacrifice!

Other amazing things this week: Yumiko had her son, Adrian, and hadn't been very well the whole week. It's so difficult, they live in a tiny apartment with so many little kids and they can't always pay for electricity and air conditioning and that stuff, and the little bed they have for Yumiko broke in the middle of the night. So things are tough for her! She had a c-section and had been in a lot of pain, especially in her back. We went to visit them the other day, just helping them out with their kids and doing some cleaning with them cause things have been crazy. We asked Yumiko if she wanted a priesthood blessing, but she said no, she was too embarrassed. Well we sent over some elders anyways! Haha, and we went and snagged her some pillows from Walmart to help her be more comfortable. The amazing thing: the next day she was up and walking around! She was in bed all day the day before, in so much pain, feeling really really low. And the day after, she was smiling and shuffling around! It was great to see her up and moving, and it definitely strengthened her testimony of the church. She was embarrassed, but so grateful in the end for the blessing. It really helped her! So great.

Wow, I'm already out of time. I hope that wasn't too confusing! I love you all, everyone have a great week!

Love, Hna Watkins

I forgot to write about it, but we went to the Visitor's Center with Yasury and her dad on Friday. And guess who I saw: TAM! We were getting ready to go into the family display, and someone tapped me on the shoulder. Lo and behold, I turn around and its my sistah!!!!! What a coincidence (aka blessing from the Lord)! So fun. A VC sister took a picture with her iPad, and here's the result! So fun!

Monday, November 4, 2013

What a great week! I feel like in my past couple emails I've rambled a lot, so I'll try to be more organized today!

First off, we had a great experience with Byron this week! He and his cousin are from Guatemala, and they just moved to the area and don't really know anybody. We taught him once like a week and a half ago and we hadn't been able to catch him again until Saturday. We chatted a bit outside his apartment, and committed him to go to church! We were waiting and waiting after correllation and didn't see him anywhere, so we stepped outside and wandered around the building to see if we could find him (cause our church building has like 1,000,000 doors, everybody always gets lost, haha). So we head outside, and on the other side of the parking lot we see him getting in his car to go home! We booked it across to his car, waving our arms and calling his name to get his attention, haha. He pulled over and said he didn't know where we were and he was nervous cause he didn't know anybody, but once he saw us he was ready to go back inside. And he had a great time! We were standing in the foyer before the meetings started, just chatting, and some Hermanos came right up to him and introduced themselves and when we turned our backs for one second to say hi to someone, they had whisked him away to priesthood. So great! I love it when the members step up and fellowship the investigators. So much love!

We also had a great lesson with him later that day about the plan of salvation and the word of wisdom. Everything just made perfect sense to him, and he is really ready to step up and change his life. He has had some problems with drinking, but he really liked the word of wisdom and is willing to do whatever it takes to set those addictions aside. So wonderful! It was especially great that one of the men that took him to priesthood has had the same kinds of problems in the past. He was talking with Byron and testified to him about the power of the atonement. He was in the same place about 3 years ago, but now he's attended the temple with his wife and is super active in the ward. So he's a perfect example for Byron!

Okay, who else... Silvestre! We went to the Visitor's Center with him on Halloween, haha. It actually was perfect, since it was a Thursday and a holiday, there was hardly anyone there. We had the place to ourselves and looked at just about everything! And we brought a great ward missionary with us, Hermana Anaya. She's a convert too and is absolutely not shy at all. She basically just bore testimony one minute after the other about everything we saw! She's so great, haha. So we have a baptismal date with Silvestre, but he still is having some problems with a girlfriend, even though they're not living together. The only problem is that he has a family in Mexico! So we'll have to work that out with him this week.

We're still having trouble with Roberto! He's seriously such a good kid, and he's basically already a member, just minus the fact that he's not baptized. We're pretty sure he's ready, but he keeps saying he's waiting for a big sign or feeling or something to tell him he should get baptized. The only problem is that he's still not really putting in his full effort! I think we'll have to slap him around to get him to really really listen to us, haha. But he still has his baptismal date, so we're just gonna keep pressing along and try to get him to the Visitor's Center this week.

We got some really exciting news yesterday: Yumiko finally had her baby boy!! His name is Adrian, and we got to visit them this morning at the hospital. So precious! We mostly just talked about how everything went and how she was feeling, but the moment she gets home, we're gonna seize the moment and talk about the plan of salvation. She's so ready to be baptized, but she just says that she wants to know more. So we're gonna give her anything and everything we've got!

A little testimony: fasting is amazing. When we fast, miracles happen. We had 5 investigators in church yesterday, and the spirit was so so strong! I am ashamed to say that I have been a super lame faster all my life. Now that I have the opportunity to fast with real intent, I can bear testimony of the miracles that take place and the blessings that the Lord pours out on us. It's still super hard to fast, especially when you're running around trying to meet new people and get everyone to the right class at church and make sure everyone has a ride, but it is SO WORTH IT. Seriously, I encourage everyone to fast next Fast Sunday. I testify of the power it has in our lives, and that we can fast any day to show our gratitude to our Heavenly Father. And He will bless us in return!

Yay for being a missionary! Life is the BEST. I've never been so happy. One thing we've committed to do is live like this is our last week in the mission. Amazing things have happened! But we are also recognizing Satan, that he's calling for reinforcements against us and all missionaries. I love Moroni 9:6 (I think). Mormon is writing to Moroni, and he says "And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently". No matter what, no matter the hardness of the people around us and their actions against us, we must labor diligently. I love the rest of the verse too: "for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." So great! We've got work to do and so little time to do it, so let's get to work! Let's conquer the enemy! And we will find peace for our souls with our Heavenly Father in His kingdom. So great!

I love this gospel so much, and I love being a missionary. I hope everyone has a great week! I love you all!
Hna Watkins

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hello errybody!

Where to start this week... We went to the visitor's center with Nereyda, a recent convert, her husband Octavio, an investigator, and their 5 year old daughter, Ashley, who's a mega fashionista, haha. It was really good! We talked a lot about eternal families and eternal marriage, which was really exciting! We had another lesson with them a few days later because Octavio had this whole week off of work, and he committed to baptism! His only struggle is the Word of Wisdom. But his date is the 16th of November! This is actually the 3rd time he's had a baptismal date, but the other day at our ward halloween party, he was talking to one of our Elders and confirmed the date and was discussing baptism and everything. So hopefully it'll all work out!

Speaking of our Trunk or Treat party! Mom sent me a mega-package full of cupcake decorations and cake mixes, and we went crazy! They were a huge hit! Everybody loves the missionaries now, thanks mom!

Okay, other people we've taught: Byron and Yarli, cousins from Guatemala that just moved into our area. Byron is super friendly and Yarli is a bit shy, but they are both looking for a church since they are new to the area, and they're really interested in our message. Byron really just wants to follow the path of Christ but never has been exactly sure how to do it. We had a second lesson with them on Saturday, and Byron committed to baptism, also for the 16th! It's so impressive to me to watch people as they open up to the message we have to share and see the changes they make to follow the example of Christ and be baptized. When people really feel the Spirit, they are willing to change anything. It's always such a good example to me!

We've also been teaching a 14 year old boy named Roberto. His dad and stepmom are both active at church, so he's been attending a lot with them. He's just come from Mexico and is going to high school and learning english at the same time. And he's a great student! That's so impressive to me. Anyways, we've been teaching him for a long time and we even had a baptismal date with him a few weeks back, but he's just been waiting for a special feeling to confirm what he's been learning, even though we're pretty sure he knows it's all true. The only hard thing is that he hasn't been very diligent with scripture study or prayer! We've been trying to help him understand that it's very possible to have that special experience that he's been looking for, but that he has to do his part. It has been tough the past couple weeks to try and find a nice way to say it, so finally we were just kinda tough on him and told him that he has to put in his effort. The Lord is always waiting to bless us! We just need to take that first step and show our willingness. So we taught him that, and we got through to him! He was kinda silent, but in the end he just said, "You guys are right. I haven't been doing my part." So he's gonna work harder now on prayer and scripture study, and he also committed to a baptismal date on the 16th of November!

We also have one more man who's ready to be baptized, Silvestre. We were walking into Gospel Principles class last sunday, and one of the elders in our ward pointed out an older guy sitting in the back that he hadn't seen at church in 4 months, but that he lived in our area. So Hna Arevalo and I went up to him and chatted a bit, and he invited us over this week! So we went by, and basically he's a member that hasn't been baptized yet, haha. The only problem was that he had a girlfriend that he was living with several months ago, but she's gone now, and he's started coming back to church after a few months of realizing that he was really missing it. So he's the fourth person we have for the baptism on the 16th of November! Bottom line, we've had some great miracles in finding and helping people commit to baptism. What a great week!

Everyone remember to do your part! Heavenly Father is waiting to bless you! Show him your willingness by being obedient and humbling yourself through prayer. It's hard but definitely worth it!

I love you all!
Hna Watkins

Monday, October 21, 2013

If anyone REALLY loves me they'll send me some stamps!

Yah! What a good week! It's kind of weird to write again after writing on Wednesday, so I'll try to think of some good stuff to write.

We got Isabel and Daniel and their grandkids to come to Church! First off, we told them that this week was the primary program, meaning they had to be at church at nine. So we told Isabel and Daniel that we'd come help them get ready in the morning, like ironing and brushing hair and stuff, which they were super grateful for because they have like 5 or 6 grandkids (I'm not sure how many, I keep losing track, haha). We showed up at 7:30, started ironing and pouring some cereal, and left them an hour later about halfway prepared. So we were just crossing our fingers that they'd be there in time to take the Sacrament. Then we showed up to the church, and no children were there practicing or anything. After asking around, we realized the primary program wasn't that Sunday, which was super embarrassing!! But the great thing was that Isabel and Daniel showed up about an hour late, so they were right on time for our church! It worked out perfectly!

What else happened.... we had a missionary fireside at our chapel last night, and it was so great! We sang a song with Hna Toledo, a blind woman in our ward who plays the guitar, and some recent converts bore their testimonies. It was really nice. And we got the Riveras to come! They're less-actives that we've been working with a lot, but they both work on Sunday mornings so they haven't been able to attend church. But we got them to the fireside! The only thing is that Yasury wasn't able to go, even though she was all ready to share her testimony! But her sister Yumiko, the pregnant one, has been having a lot of labor pains, and they were planning on taking her to the hospital! So Yasury was being the good sister and took care of her. And we'll have a new baby! Perfect to teach the plan of salvation :)

That's about it... We've just been doing the regular teaching and stuff, trying to get some of our regular investigators to start progressing. We're going to the Visitor's center tonight with a Recent convert named Nereyda and her husband Octavio, a long-time investigator. Hopefully things will turn around for him and he'll get interested again! I'll let everyone know how it goes!

Everyone have a good week! Being a missionary is the best!
Love, Hermana Watkins

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Yaaaay a baptism!

I honestly can't even remember what has happened since I last emailed!

Also, this email is 2 days late because it's transfer week! And for some reason, they change P-day to Wednesday during transfers. Nothing changed for us 6 missionaries in the Camelback 1st branch, so that's exciting! We're just gonna keep charging on ahead with the work!

Okay, so Yasury's baptism!!! You guys, it was AMAZING! It was a little scary at first cause we couldn't find a jumpsuit that fit well, and we were running around trying to search for more, when finally our district leader told us they were all hanging up in the boy's bathroom! So we had to sneak in there and get some of those, but otherwise, everything went very smoothly! Yasury (the mom) was baptized first. It was a little crazy cause some little kids were running around and yelling, but as Hno Curiel started with the baptism, everything just got really quiet and peaceful. Yumiko (Yasury's sister) was really moved by the whole thing, and Lorenzo, their dad, got to be there, which made it really special. There was a little problem with Yasurita's baptism cause Hno Curiel couldn't get her name right, haha, but it all worked out in the end.

And then their confirmations were on Sunday! Both the blessings were really special. It was Fast and Testimony meeting for us, so beforehand we asked Yasury if she would bear her testimony, saying that we would too (meaning I had to do it in spanish, so scary!), and she did! It was really powerful. She gave a beautiful testimony on her feelings about her baptism and the changes that she's made and feeling the spirit and stuff. So great! She is really special. She's definitely going to be a great asset to the branch and to the church.

What else has happened this week.... We made contact with a street contact from about a month ago, and it was great! Her name is Guadalupe and she has one son named Alexis (who is like 10 and has serious attitude, it's hilarious. The first thing he said when his mom introduced him was, "Soy gordo" with a huge smile on his face! It was so funny). She's been going through a really rough time for about a year now, and was really enjoying our message. We have another appointment for next monday, so hopefully everything goes well!

This week was interesting cause we weren't seening a lot of progression with our investigators like we wanted. We were planning on dropping a bunch of them this week after a final visit, which is always a scary thing cause you don't know if any of the referrals you have to fall back on will actually pull through. So we were just praying and praying that if we did decide to drop these people, we'd find more people to work with. And the Lord answers prayers! But diligence is required. We have worked super hard the last couple days, and the Lord has provided us with great new investigators and a change of heart in some of the old ones that are now progressing more than ever. So great! I love seeing fruits of our labors and answers to prayers.

Well I hope this isn't too long! Everything has been wonderful. Phoenix is full of weird people. A guy just walked into the library with an eyepatch. But I love it here! There are wonderful families like Yasury and her daughters and sister and dad, and great members like our branch. I absolutely love being a missionary!

OH I almost forgot! On Monday night we were leaving a member's house to go to FHE at the Guerrero's house with Yasury. We were pedaling along and were coming up to a corner when a car passed us and stopped right before the stop sign. We rounded the corner and stopped cause smoke was coming out from under the hood, and we were gonna ask if we could help. And then there was a huge boom and all these flames came out from the hood!! And the people in the car just bolted out! It was crazy! There was tons of fire, and Hermana Arevalo was just saying "Alejese, alejese, alejese!!" Finally a firetruck came, and it made me realize how brave firemen are! A guy jumped out of the truck, and before they sprayed the fire or anything, he walked right up to the car with a flashlight to find the problem and make sure nobody was still in there or anything. And then it was great, we met up with Presidente Alvarado, and he introduced us to a family he knows from his work! Potential investigators! So there you go, missionary work can come from anything, even an exploding car :)

Well great! Everyone have an outstanding week!
Love love love
Hermana Watkins

Our zone at the Mesa Temple.

Fiesta patrias!

Yumiko, Yasury, y Estrella at the Visitors' Center.


The baptism!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pretty sure this is week 11

Hi everybody!

This week was GREAT! I can't really remember how it started. That was like a million years ago. But we've had some great lessons with Yasury, who's official baptismal date is October 11th, with her daughter Yasurita. It's so exciting!! We can't wait for this Friday. It's like waiting for Christmas! The challenge now, though, is to help Yamiko and Estrella and even their dad Lorenzo to commit to baptism.

Estrella's baby boy is named Mitsuo! We were a tiny bit disappointed because Hermana Arevalo and I had thought up a name for him: Natalio Patricio (our first names masculinized). Haha, but Mitsuo seems to fit him very well! It was so awesome, they made it to a session of conference! It was Sunday morning, which is perfect because the Prophet spoke! Yamiko wasn't feeling to good so she didn't come, but Yasury and Estrella LOVED it! We were taking some pictures after, and Estrella was talking about how Mitsuo is a future missionary, which is so awesome to hear! They have such an amazing desire to learn more, and are willing to change anything in their lives that isn't in harmony with the doctrines of the gospel. I love their examples of faith!

And I finally figured out all their daughter's names, haha! Yasury's girls are named: Yasurita, Yukey, and Yza, and Yamiko's daughter is named Mitsue. So Japanese! Can you see why I was so confused until now?

We also made a great connection! We were planning on going to the Visitor's center with Isabel and her fam and The Rivera family, but rides didn't work out, so we had to cancel. We were over at the Cobarubias house (less-actives), and we were telling them about Isabel, and it turns out they're good friends! They had just lost touch over the years. So we gave them Isabel's number, and after talking about conference, they planned on inviting Isabel and Daniel and their girls to come watch Conference with them. So great!

Um also, this week I ate the most delicious hot dog in my life. Hermana Anaya truly is an amazing cook! Or she's just crazy and throws a bunch of things together and they turn out deliciously, haha. This is how it went: warmed bun, 2 american cheese slices, hot dog wrapped in bacon, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, diced onion, tomato, guacamole, grilled onion, and cotija cheese. WHAT. It was like three pounds and SO DELICIOUS. Thank goodness we had to go to an appointment, or I would have eaten another one, haha. Also, we had gigantic lasagna yesterday. It was heavenly. I love mexican food, but a little change never hurts, haha. It was wonderful to have a little break with some italian food.

Thanks for the emails and letters, everyone! I love you all!
Love love love
Hermana Watkins

Monday, September 30, 2013

Does anybody know how many weeks I've been out for?

Hola a todos!

First off, Estrella had her baby 2 nights ago! A beautiful baby boy! We haven't had the chance to go over there and see them because both Hermana Arevalo and I have been pretty sick, but sometime this week we'll get to say hi and ooh and ah over his beautifulness!!

So, on Wednesday we got to go to the Visitor's Center! We went with Estrella, Yamiko, and Yasury and their daughters, and Hermana Correa and Hermana Faw (the other companionship we live with) took a 17 year old investigator named Alex! It was so amazing. We didn't spend a ton of time because the pregnant ladies can't spend a lot of time walking around, haha, but we did get to show them around the visitor's center and walk around the temple a bit. The display on families there is so great, it had everybody teary-eyed! And they loved the Cristus too. Overall it was amazing!

Then later this week we had a lesson about chastity and the Word of Wisdom. We were a bit afraid of offending them, since they all have children and no spouses, but everything went really well! They really liked everything we taught, and Yasury was so great in the end. We asked them to commit to living the law of chastity, and she frankly said, "Well we obviously haven't been living it before, but we're ready now." And they all agreed. It is so amazing to see the changes people are willing to make for the gospel!

Their baptisms have been postponed, though. But for good reasons! Yasury's daughter, Yasury, (Hna Arevalo calls her Yasury pequenita, haha), is turning 8 on October 5th and wants to be baptized too! And Yasury wanted them to be baptized together. So we're going to have a baptism after Conference!

Speaking of Conference, I am so excited! I loved the Relief Society broadcast. The messages were mostly centered on making and keeping covenants, which I don't think I have a huge problem with, but it seemed like every word was made for me. I really loved it a lot. Especially Sister Reeves, the second counselor. She said something along the lines of, "Is this what the Lord wants me to think about myself? Or is Satan working against me?" I love that! We always think we're so unworthy to do anything, like pray or study or take the sacrament, but that's not how Heaveny Father wants us to think about ourselves. Everybody remember that!

What else happened this week... Like I said, we were both pretty sick! We caught a nasty flu. But mom, you'd be very proud! I used the home remedy of hot lemonade and honey. It helped a lot, both our throats and our spirits :) We've been working a lot with less-actives, and the other day we stopped by a less active family's house, the Riveras. They weren't home, but we remembered that other less-actives lived on the other side of the complex, so we thought we'd give it a try and knock on their door. A woman named Isabel and her husband Daniel live there with their granddaughters, and they haven't been to church in about a year. It breaks my heart, because they used to love church, but from one thing or another, Isabel has been really offended by basically the whole branch. She was really happy we stopped by, though! She said nobody has visited her for several months (partially why she's offended), and was glad that we dropped by to say hi. She dumped her whole story on us, and I couldn't understand everything, but I could tell she's not very happy with the church, and I was worried she was really hard-hearted and wasn't going to listen to us. But Hermana Arevalo shared an experience about pride, and you could just see Isabel physically soften! Hna Arevalo didn't like slap her in the face to tell her to get over herself, but used so much love and was really able to open Isabel up to the idea of change. So great!

Well that was probably really confusing, haha. Isabel talked really fast, so I probably didn't catch everything that happened, but we're excited to go back and chat with her about going to the temple and stuff. Don't ever give up on anybody! They can change!!

Anyways, I love everyone! I'm almost out of time, so everyone have a good week!
Love love love
Hermana Watkins

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 10?

Haaay everybodaaay!

What has even happened this week? I can hardly remember 2 days ago, haha.

Let's see... We started teaching Maria! She lives in the trailer park, and has 3 kids and a boyfriend. We talked with her for about an hour. We sat down in the living room, and she just opened up to us about her life and her concerns right now and how she's been searching for a church, or some kind of guidance in her life, and felt really good the one night we stopped and chatted with her. Hermana Arevalo talked with her again, but I was on an exchange, so I didn't get to be there. But we're going to teach her again tonight, so that will be exciting! She's definitely ready for the gospel, and she really loves the Book of Mormon and prayer. The hard thing is, she doesn't have a car, like tons of other investigators, so we basically are begging people in the ward to take her and her kids to church. But hopefully she'll make it next Sunday!

Also, Isis Xochihua, 2 houses down, is the 12 year old daughter of Lucero, the woman we've been teaching, and she is super interested in our message! She has been asking and asking to go to church (they don't have a car either, and rides are scarce, haha). So we're excited to go back and teach her! We didn't know she was so interested because she's kind of shy and has to take care of her younger siblings a lot, so we haven't really had the opportunity to speak with her. But we're also headed over there tonight, so hopefully it works out!

Who else... We've visited a less-active family, la familia Cobarubias, a bunch of times this week, and they're really progressing! They watched the movie Together Forever (again, I was on exchanges, so I missed out!), but they really liked it! We're working on teaching them about the temple and encouraging them to prepare to attend. So exciting!

So yeah, lots of good stuff has been happening this week! I have to say thanks for all the love I get from you guys! Dad sent a 52 oz bag of peanut m&ms that the elders next door loooved (they only have ancient boxes of mac and cheese to eat, haha), and Tam sent me a postcard made from an old cake mix box. Very creative! So thanks for all the words of encouragement and love! Much appreciated :)

I'm out of time! I love you all! Remember that Heavenly Father loves each one of you!
AND SEND ME LETTERS! It's so fun to get letters!
Love love love
Hermana Watkins

Monday, September 16, 2013

I don't know how many weeks I've been here for. It feels like I've been serving forever!

Okay! Where to start... I honestly don't even remember what happened 2 days ago. But I'll try!

First off, we have a few miracle investigators! We had Zone Training on Tuesday, I think, and an Elder had a referral for us, who wanted to be contacted on Thursday. So we head over there, and Thursday was wrong (obviously that Elder was an English speaking Elder or something) so we didn't have time to teach, but we invited them to our ward party on Friday night (Fiesta Patrias - Mexicans party hard!). The amazing thing is that they came! It's two sisters and their sister-in-law, Yasury, Yamiko, and Estrella. They have four daughters between the three of them, with 2 on the way! And they are so super nice. They had a ton of fun at the party, so we made sure to invite them to church on Sunday. And guess what, they came to church too! All three hours! And they really liked it a lot. I didn't get to talk to them a lot about it (I was playing the piano during sacrament meeting, yikes!), but Hna Arevalo said Yasury had some great questions about the sacrament and it's meaning, and Estrella really liked gospel principles class. Success! And we haven't even had the chance to teach them yet! But we're going to have FHE with them tonight at the ward mission leader's house, so we're super excited for that.

What else happened this week... We were riding along after stopping at a less active's house, and a guy getting into his car in his driveway called out to us, "Hey, are you guys church people? You should talk to Molly, she's right over there!" Turns out Molly is his girlfriend that's standing in her doorway, and she says, "Sure! Come on in!" She was super nice, we both liked her right away. We were getting to know her and were getting ready to introduce the first lesson, when she kind of just stopped us and asked us for help with her family. She really opened up and really trusted us, even though we had just met her. And then Hna Arevalo was so great, she just shut the pamphlet, put it in her bag, and started teaching about prayer and fasting and the power that those have in our lives. It was a really powerful experience. I can't wait until we go back to teach her!

Okay, food update: We eat dinner at a member's house every night at five. ALL THE FOOD IS SO GOOD AND I EAT SO MUCH. It's great, hahah! The other night we had enchilada-type things (same flavors, just stacked up like pancakes instead of rolled up). Last night we had tostada things that were kind of barbeque-y and spicy and sooo good. And we had tamales filled with chicken and potatoes and peppers and it was SOO good. The members really know how to cook, haha. And a new favorite: Arroz con leche! Except without the raisins. Its so yummy! I love all the members, they love cooking and watching us eat, it's so great!

Basically being a missionary is great and I absolutely love it! There have been some hard days this week, but we are trying our best to be diligent, and we can really see miracles that come from trusting in the Lord.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot Maria! We were confirming an appointment con la familia Xochihua at the trailer park 2 nights ago, and as we were leaving, we noticed a woman sitting on her front steps with her kids, so we went to talk to her. She had so many questions about the Book of Mormon, and we taught her about specific prayer, which she was shocked about but was pretty excited when we invited her to pray tonight. We just had such a good conversation with her, and I feel really good about going back to teach her this Tuesday. So exciting!

ALSO, we met some Jehovah's Witnesses last night! They were a little intimidating, but they were very nice to us. She tried to give us their magazine-preaching thing, which we declined, but she invited us back to teach her about the Book of Mormon, and she wants to teach us more about the Bible. So we'll see how it goes!

That's mostly the exciting stuff from this week. I love you all, I hope everyone has a great week too!!!

Love love love
Hermana Watkins

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week one is done!!

This has been a week of firsts. I even made a list!

1. I played rugby for the first time (District sports on Saturday mornings). It was touch rugby, and we had to wake up a half hour early to play. I'm not quite sure yet if its worth it, haha.

2. I ate 3 taquitos de carnitas without even thinking about it or asking what's in them! There were definitely some fatty pieces that kinda grossed me out, but it was super delish. Also, I'm eating a lot more salsa, but I need to learn to deal with the salsa picante.

3. I've been riding for muchas horas on a bike in the sun, and I'm actually enjoying it! Yesterday was the first day that my bottom didn't hurt as much as it usually does, haha. And I think I'm losing weight, which is a wonderful side blessing! Or I'm just neutral, because I eat so much at the member's houses (they all love to cook super delicious food, it's been quite difficult).

4. I painted a wall! We were doing service for la familia Pineda in our ward, so we just threw some tshirts on over our dresses and started painting! Hermana Correa got some paint on my head, but luckily it was water based or something like that, so it came out when I showered, haha.

5. I lost my shoe twice in one day while biking! I honestly don't know how or why that happened, haha. I had to stop and run back to get it in front of lots of cars, how embarrassing!

6. I've been attacked by a dog! But by attacked, I mean we were riding through a trailer park and a dog came screaming out of a trailer for my bike and was going in for the kill when I think I accidentally ran over its toes. Oops. Bottom line, trailer park dogs and cats are evil.

7. We got rejected twice. Two doors closed on our faces! That was kind of hard, and a shock to me. It's so sad! I just want everyone to listen! Our message will help them so much!

8. The great thing is, for every rejection, we have a great contact. Just yesterday, a door was literally slammed in our faces, just after we had gotten the referral from some members down the street. We were pretty sad, but we turned our bikes around and continued up the road. There was a guy sitting on a bench who we stopped to talk to (Hna Arevalo is so good about talking with everyone!), and he was so interested it was unbelievable! He basically ate up our words and asked where our church was so he could come on Sunday. It was so great! And I actually got to give him the Book of Mormon this time! Usually Hermana Arevalo does most of the talking and I jump in when I feel I'm ready (which I'm getting so much better with spanish, it's great!), but this time I just whipped it out of my bag and gave him Alma 36 and taught him about repentance. It was so cool!

So that was one of the best lessons for me this week: for every rejection, there's someone waiting around the corner, ready to accept our message. It is so hard to have a door closed in your face. But we must always keep going! There is always someone else who wants and needs what we have to offer them. We must always remember that in the work.

Another thing that has helped me a ton: there have been times, just in the first week I've been here, when I think the work is harder than I can bear. It's so hard to keep pedaling when it's 4 pm and we're hot and sweaty and tired, and everyone we talk to waves us off. In these moments, the thoughts come that remind me how easy it would be to quit and go home. There is a nice bed waiting for me and food and friendly people and lots of comfort. But in these moments, I think of Christ, our Savior. Think about what He actually did. He SUFFERED for us, and then He DIED for us. And what He had to do was a million times harder than riding a bike in Phoenix in September and talking to people. He was completely submissive to the will of Heavenly Father. He knew what He had to do, and He did it. So I ask myself: If Christ could suffer through all He did, and end up being crucified by His persecutors, can I ride my bike for a few more hours tonight? Can I say hi to someone and ask them how their day is going? Can I give someone a tiny piece of paper with a picture of Jesus on it? Of course I can!

That has been the most encouraging thing for me this week. I did not know what I was getting into when I first got to Arizona. I had absolutely no idea how hard missionary work actually is. We're emotionally and physically exhausted all the time. We're getting rejected. People laugh at us. But I've learned, just in the past week, that all of this is absolutely worth it. This whole time I didn't know how hard it would be, but I also didn't realize how HAPPY I would be! I didn't know it was possible to be so happy just serving others, especially on a bike in 100 degree weather. I am so happy! We ride around singing and talking to people and practicing our spanish and teaching, and it has made me happier than anything in my life has ever made me. I'm so incredibly grateful that I decided to serve a mission! There's so much more for me to learn and do and say, and I've only just barely begun, but I can't wait for all the trials and obstacles and miracles and normal things I will see. A mission is the best thing I've ever done with my life, and I can't wait for the rest of it.

Whew, sorry, I didn't know I was gonna get all journal-y! But I can testify that what I've learned is true. The gospel is true, and Heavenly Father truly loves all of us so much. I'm so grateful for all of this, and that I have the chance to share it with everyone every day! I love the gospel and I love being a missionary!

And I love you all! Have a fantastic week, everyone!

Love love love

Hermana Watkins

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Everybody, I'm alive! In case anyone was wondering, haha.

I'm in Phoenix! And it's HOT. Mi companera se llama Hermana Arevalo, from El Salvador! Our branch is called Camelback 1st, and we met the branch president last night (but I already can't remember his name, haha). I think it'll be fun! We're living with another companionship, Hermana Correa and Hermana Faw (who was in the CCM with me). Our apartment is actually super nice!

And a surprise of the past two days: We're gonna be biking! We have a car to share between the two companionships, but we're not going to be using it very much, so we're off to buy some bikes today!

The first two days were CRAZY, but so good. We got off the plane and went to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center, which was so beautiful. It's the second most productive visitors center in the world, after Salt lake, which is crazy! Then we went to the mission office and ate some lunch and packed an overnight bag. Can I say how great it was to have a baked potato with BACON and broccoli and a roll and a salad? Mexico was great, but I LOVE american food!

They let us take a nap, then we had a little bit of training and getting to know President Sweeny and his wife (they are great, but don't worry, padres, they're not as good as you!), and then we went CONTACTING! That was crazy. I went with Hermana Wheelwright (also from the CCM), and we walked around with a sister who had been in Arizona for only 6 weeks! She was a pro, though. We talked to a guy sitting outside his trailer and gave him a book of mormon, and then to some other guys who were a little drunk but nice, haha. All hispanics are so nice! They'll listen to whatever you have to say and joke around and are so friendly. Our experiences sounded better than some of the english missionaries, who said that all the white people just ignore you, haha.

So yeah! We stayed the night at a member's house, got up the next morning, and took a written driving test (I still need to figure out how to order my driving record!!). Then we did some training, and right before lunch, they announced our companions and areas! We had to chill for a bit and wait for Hermana Correa to be certified with her driving, but then we headed back to our area and went to a dinner appointment! It was with Hermana Toledo, who is blind and lives by herself, but can do everything on her own! She had some Little Cesars and spaghetti for us (american food, sooo good!), and then she played the guitar, so great! We are going to sing Mas Cerca, Dios, de Ti in 2 weeks at a fireside, so we were practicing for that! After that, we went to a branch correlation meeting, where we met the President and others from the branch. That was kind of hard cause it was super long and sooo hot in the Presidents office, and I was really tired and having a hard time following the spanish. But everyone was so nice! I'm excited to get to know everyone better on Sunday.

Basically that's been our first two days! We're whitewashing, so Hna Arevalo doesn't really know this area, but apparently we have 13 investigators, so we're gonna do some visiting and teaching tonight, so exciting! I'll let you all know how it goes :)

Basically, I'm terrified, so everyone keep me in your prayers! Hopefully I won't die of heat exhaustion before I get to do some work, haha!

I love you all! Everyone have a good week!

Hna Watkins

Sunday, September 1, 2013

last week at the CCM!

Well well well, look who´s starting their last week at the CCM!

Can anyone believe it?!?! I definitely can´t. Last night I was just laying in bed thinking about Arizona and what it might be like, and it hit me that a week from yesterday morning, I will be in Arizona!! I am BEYOND excited! These last few days are getting harder, when all I want to do is get out of here and teach real people, so I´ve really got to try to push til the end. But we´ve got in-field training on friday, I need to do lots of packing on Saturday, and then Sunday is my last day with my branch and district! The hardest part will definitely be leaving all the people I met here. You grow to love everybody sooo much, especially when you feel like the past 6 weeks have been an eternity and you´ve known them forever.

Speaking of forever, we got to go to the temple again today! It was very nice, just like before, but we got less time to take pictures or sit in the Celestial room. But it has been so cool to be able to go to a temple in Mexico! That´s something I never thought would happen, haha.

Another thing I never thought would happen was that I´d have to give 3 TALKS out of the 6 Sacrament meetings I´m here for (and 2 of them are fast sundays, so unfair). Basically every time we walk out of sacrament meeting and shake the branch presidency´s hand, President de Hoyos is like "heh heh heh, Hermana Watkins" with a huge smile on his face. I think he thinks its funny to watch me stand on my toes at the pulpit every sunday, so rude (it doesnt move and there´s no step, so nobody can see me unless Im on my toes!). Haha in all honesty, it´s been great practice and Im super grateful. But really, 3 times?? None of the elders in our district spoke once! Haha I guess that´s what you get for being prepared.

No food update this week... they have started making the same things over again, so I don´t have as many chances to be adventurous! But Tuesday is pizza day, and they´ve started giving us pepperoni! (But I have to say, Im super jealous of all the missionaries that get layovers in Texas or something so they can get McDonalds or Cinnabon... I am going straight to Phoenix, so I don´t get that chance! I guess it´ll just have to wait, haha.)

I still just can´t believe I will be in the field in 6 days! Where did all the time go?? Every day feels like forever, but each week just flies by. Just the life of a missionary, and its wonderful.

Guys, being a missionary is great. Nothing new has happened and our schedule hasn´t really changed, but each day is wonderful. The MTC is an amazing place, and Im so grateful I have gotten to learn so much about the gospel and how to be a missionary at the CCM. Everyone should get to come here. It´s so great.

Verse of the week: Mosiah 2:41. We´ve been working on how to teach the commandments and help people make commitments (1 Nefi 3:7 is also great). They are great reminders of the blessings we can recieve by keeping the commandments. We can obtain a state of never-ending happiness! So incredible. So if anyone is ever gonna teach someone about the law of chastity or the word of wisdom any time soon, use these verses!

Les amo a todos! Tengan un buen semana!

Hermana Watkins

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

some pictures!

1. A day when I got the whole district to wear blue

2. Mexico City temple! It was super good.

3. My district at the temple

4. Our roommates that just left! Hermana Vance on the left, serving in Honduras, and Hermana Tolman on the right, serving in Ogden Ut

5. Mis hermanas y yo, getting our hair cut in the peluquería

6. Una foto de Benemerito

another day, another destiny

I´ve had Les Mis seriously stuck in my head all day!

Where to begin... Its been a great week! Lucas, one of our investigators, is going to be baptized! We had such a cool experience with him. We had asked him to read 2 Nefi 31, which he did, but he studied really in depth and really sought an answer about baptism for himself. We took a lot of time and talked through all his thoughts, and then we asked him to be baptized. It was like the quietest moment ever, and I basically felt the Spirit sit down between my companion and I and listen in. So cool. So yeah, weve just been progressing with him and are working towards his baptismal date!

These past few days have been so weird! Our roommates left for their missions early this morning, and a bunch of sisters from our branch left Monday morning! Its weird when the friends you´ve made start spreading out, and you might never see them again! It makes a mission all the more real. Especially when Hermana Tolman, our roommate, walked in last night and grabbed Hermana Vance´s face, her companion and shouted "We´re going on missions! Well, we´re already on missions, but we´re going on missions!" Haha, Im going to miss those girls so much!

Okay, food update: one of the tastiest things I´ve had was a tortilla-in-enchilada-sauce mixture. They were cut up into bite-sized pieces and soaked in delicious sauce, and served with cheese on top. SO GOOD. And it was breakfast! I don´t understand a lot of the Mexican food traditions, but that one was super good, haha. Also, once a couple weeks ago we had regular, super delicious tamales for breakfast that were just wrapped in corn husks, but a couple days ago, for dinner, we had basically the same tamales, but they were wrapped in giant leaves. Muy extraño. The tamale itself was pretty good, but the smell of the leaves almost killed me cause everyone was opening them at the same time! I thought I was gonna throw up, but I made it, so no worries.

On Sunday we watched a devotional from the MTC after last Octobers conference, given by Elder Bednar. It was super interesting. He gave his take on studying the words of the living prophets, and it was super insightful. He gave us clips to watch, and one at a time, we searched for the doctrine, the invitation, and the promised blessings. So he´d pause after each one and give us time to write down what each one was, but he told us to make it personal. So I really liked hearing that. He said not to just write down what they were saying, but to write down what it means for you, aka the personal invitation and what blessings YOU can recieve from heeding their message. I really liked it a lot, and now Im really looking forward to the next conference so I can do the same thing with all the talks!

Nothing much else is new... we´re still in the same schedule, but we´re getting another investigator that´s going to be a missionary in my district! So we´ll all get a chance to teach eachother and be taught by eachother, and Im excited for that.

Last bit of news, it´s pouring rain outside, and I don´t have my jacket. Yay for Mexico weather!

Love you all!

Hna Watkins

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Week 3 already??

Oh my goodness, how does time fly so quickly??

This week has been great. We got to go to the temple this morning! Doing a session in spanish was definitely an experience, but it was incredible and I definitely want to do it again. Leaving the safety of the MTC made me appreciate it 10 times more when we got back, haha. Some crazy things this week: we got 2 new investigators, Lucas and Holly! Sorry if I already wrote this, haha. It was so cool to teach Lucas. We were kind of planning on teaching him the plan of salvation for the first lesson, but as we got to know him, we realized he was having the same confusion that Joseph Smith was having. Immediately, Hermana Taufoou turned to verse 9 in JS History and asked him to read it, and neither of us knew what it said, haha. We heard him say Methodist and Baptist at the end, so we were pretty sure it was the right verse. Then I got to testify of the first vision and recite it in spanish, which felt so incredible. He said he would pray about it, and the next time we met, he said he had recieved the prompting that he should read the Book of Mormon. Going back after that first lesson, though, we went and read verse 9 in english, and it was exactly what he needed to hear. It was so cool to see the Spirit working like that through my companion, especially cause we had no idea what that verse was! So cool.

What else...We went to the TRC for the first time, right after we taught Lucas, and that was a bust, haha. Honestly, though, it wasnt our fault! We both had no idea what we were doing, and our teacher didnt know any information about it, so we just got shoved in a room with one of the teachers that was just playing herself, and we were so awkward, so we just chatted and said a prayer with her, haha. Tomorrow we go again, so I promise that will be a much better experience! Hopefully we´ll have a better story to share, haha.

Also, we saw a FAT cockroach in the hallway to our classroom. I did not realize how nasty they are when theyre big. SO GROSS. I basically couldnt eat lunch, I just wanted to throw up. Bless all the missionaries that have to deal with those every day. Also, a new vocab word: enratonar - to get sick from eating too many mice\have a hang over. I think our dictionaries might be a little skewed, haha.

I think the food is getting better each day! I dont know what it was, but the other day we had empanada things filled with some sweet meat and pineapple and some potatoes, cheese, and red sauce. It was super good! maybe Im just getting better at eating whatever they give me, but I like the food more each day. The only downside is that the cafeteria is getting more and more crowded. Tuesdays are great, though, we get pizza from costco because thats what they like to serve to the new missionaries!

Well life here is great. Everyone read Ether 12: 27 and Deuteronomy 31:7. Those verses have really helped me this week with finding trust and confidence in the Lord. He just wants to strengthen us, but we have to take that first step and come unto Him.

I love the gospel, and I love you all!

Hermana Watkins

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

CCM take 2!

Well well well, week 2 is done! Ill try to figure out some pictures this time! I figure I need to write more about what life in the CCM is actually like...

La comida! Its actually not that bad. Breakfast is always cereal, with a choice between the Mexican variety of Cocoa Pebbles, Froot Loops, and Frosted Flakes. The milk is boxed and sometimes warm, and super sweet. It took me a while to get used to it, but I love it now! There are usually waffles and pancakes, but they dont do syrup, only honey, strawberry syrup, or hersheys syrup. And theyre really dry, so I usually just stick with cereal and a pastry! Lunch is pretty good, and I think its when I eat the most. Theres always soup, which can sometimes be good or a mystery, a meat dish, like beef and vegetables or chicken or fish with a sauce, theres always rolls and tortillas, and usually theres refried beans, rice, and\or vegetables. sometimes the meat is also a mystery, but usually its pretty good, so I try to taste everything! Dinner is about the same, but with tons of dessert pastries and cereal again! I love the cereal so much. And the pastries are usually pretty good, too!

Ive got to tell more about our district! They really become your family at the CCM, even though Ive only known them for like 2 weeks. I think I can finally attach pictures! Ive got to apologize for my awkwardness, I felt weird standing in front, haha. So on the left is Elders Cutler and Sumsion, and theyre going to South Carolina and New Jersey, then theres Hermanas Henrie and Broadhead, and theyre both going to El Salvador. Theyre the best! Then me and mi compañera, Hermana Taufoou, whos going to nicaragua, then the two elders next to her, the one right in front of the other, are Elders Elowitt and Edson, going to Washington state and Texas, and then Elders Davis and Wareham, going to San Diego and Las Vegas! We are a very diverse group, hahah. Theyre so much fun! Were kind of to the point where its hard to study, but were starting to make goals for study time so we can get more work done, haha.

Thats also our classroom. We basically spend most of our day in there, which was only bad for the first few days when my bottom hurt really bad. sometimes we get really tired of it and we have to take a walk outside, but most of the time we dont mind being inside, especially when it rains.

We just finished with our first investigator, Lisa! Everyone only gets a limited number of meetings with her, and we committed her to baptism on the last one! I cant believe we got to that point, it was really exciting. It was super funny, at the end of the day Hermana Taufoou turns to me and was like "we asked someone to be baptized today, and they said yes. Were missionaries!!" it was a very exciting moment!

Now we have Holly as a new investigator, who actually is kind of like Lisa but easier, cause we got a strong maybe and definite desire to be baptized from her in the first visit! We also will meet Lucas tomorrow, another investigator, that I think is supposed to be a lot more difficult. But its all good practice!

All the teachers here are from provo, and they come in 6 week waves just like the districts. We now have 2 teachers. We still have Hermano Klabacka in the mornings, and now we have Hermana Arbon in the afternoons. They are the ones that play our investigators, so its a little weird sometimes, but I really like the practice that we get, and by now Im super grateful that they threw an investigator at us on our 3rd day here.

I really love the CCM a lot! Sundays are so great, but fast sunday was a little hard cause they make you fast from saturday night to sunday at lunch time, which I am not used to at all. Theres also some weird rules, like no cameras except on pday, and no sitting with the opposite gender in the cafeteria. a little strange, but I still like it a lot!

Except bugs. We played volleyball as a district last thrusday, and I seriously got 8 bugbites, including one on my forehead. And I keep getting more each night! And there was a fat spider this morning crawling around by our suitcases. It was seriously bigger than a quarter. blegh.

They also have given us really nice filtered water bottles, that basically take any bad stuff out, including chlorine flavor.

Guys, the CCM is great! Everyone go read Alma 26, when Ammon is just boasting about Heavenly Father. I seriously love Ammon, even though hes kind of a drama queen. He faints all the time when he gets super happy and spiritual, hahah. But I just love how he is so happy to just be a simple tool in the Lords hands. Im only in the CCM, but the joy of missionary work is real! And I know with faith, I and all the other missionaries and future missionaries, can find strength and power in the Lord and be a tool in His hands.

I love you all!

Hermana Watkins

I hope all the photos load! One is our district, one is the view from our casa each morning, and the last one should be mi y mi compañera!

Unfortunately, only two of Trish's photos loaded, and they are not the photos she described, but here they are!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

El CCM!!

Everybody! First, I have to apologize for the horrible typing. Im stil trying to figure out this keyboard. But the CCM is great! I got here on tuesday afternoon with about 15 other missionaries, and they picked us up and drove us through the city! The grounds here are so beautiful, and the weather is basically perfect. Every couple of days, some clouds will roll in at about 5, and it´ll pour for like an hour, so crazy.We´re right in the middle of a valley, and I dont know what the Mexicans are celebrating, but they are setting off fireworks and stuff all the time, even during the day. There are always sirens going off, and you can hear that the city is really busy outside the wall. So its nice that we have our little sanctuary in the middle of everything!

Basically they took us to the front door of the main building, gave us an envelope with nametags, a map, and our companion´s info in it, and let us loose. Theres a bunch of residence houses, and we´re in number 43. theres like 5 bedrooms in each house, each has their own bathroom, and 2 bunkbeds in a room.

But I have to tell about my companion! her name is Hermana Taufo`ou. A short lesson in pronounciation: TAU-foo-oh. It took me a full 72 hours before I could say it right, haha. She´s from Idaho, but her dad is full Tongan, so thats where the name comes from. She plays soccer and basketball, and is basically the sweetest girl ever. And she´s going to nicaragua! She´s teaching me how to shoot, but I cant say I´m the best or most capable student, haha. We share our room with 2 sisters on their 4th week, hermanas Tolman and Vance, who are both very nice. Basically everyone is super nice!

Our district is great too. We´re all in a classroom together for most of the day, so we get along pretty well by now. There´s me and Hermana Taufoou, one other set of sisters going to El Salvador, and 3 sets of elders, all going to different places, and all stateside! I just realized that, haha. Everyone has taken some spanish, so we´re all on the same level. We´re all becoming good friends! So our schedule actually changes a lot. Usually we have a couple hours in class with our teacher, Hermano Klabacka, and we switch between language and spiritual study. Then we have lunch, and time to prep and teach our investigator, Lisa! That usually takes several hours, because each companionship gets 1/2 an hour. Then theres always more personal and companion study, and something called TALL, which I cant remember what that stands for, but its a church language learning thing on the computer. On sundays we go to lots of meetings and watch a lot of devotionals, which actually was super great, as long as you´re not tired, haha. I gave my talk on the first sunday here! It actually went really well. I have a goal to always be prepared for sunday talks. But thank goodness next week is fast sunday, haha.

So that´s basically what each day consists of, but it comes in different order. Being a missionary is great! I´m tired 100% of the time, but I love learning more each day. I´ve never been closer to Heavenly Father in my life, and it´s an incredible feeling. I know that He loves us, and for that reason, He sent His son to die for us. I know that´s true. Another great think about being a missionary is that you get to memorize a bunch of stuff! I have the missionary purpose, baptismal invitation, and almost the first vision, all in spanish, and all in the first week! Its basically just the Holy Ghost, and mi compañera repeatedly drilling me, haha.

One of my favorite verses this week is Mosiah 7:33. If we are diligent and trust in the Lord in all we do and in all our work, we will be delivered out of bondage. Hopefully its not literal bondage, haha! But He can help us through our inadequecies and weaknesses to make us strong.. Ive definitely seen proof of that in just this first week here, in others and even my self.

Les amo todos! Everyone have a good week!
And send me letters! They take about 12 days to get here, haha.

Hermana Watkins

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Alive!

Trish had a few minutes on Tuesday evening to let us know that she arrived in Mexico safely. We noticed the night before that her travel plans had been booked from San Jose, Costa Rica instead of San Jose, California. Woops!

Mission travel shuffled her flights around and she was on her way. Here's her first email, in all its Spanish-keyboard glory:

I cannot figure out this keyboard! Where is the flipping apostrophe??

I made it! Im in Mexico! Ive only got like two minutes, but im alive and well and im so excited!! Mexico City is HUGE. While we were driving, I was secretly getting jealous of all the girls that are called to mexico, even though its kinda dirty, but its just so interesting! theres so much to look at. But then it got kinda stinky, so i´m good with arizona, haha. theres like 4 different accent/apostrophes... ´`' what do they all mean?? and the qeustion mark is at the top of the board, what?

Anyways, el CCM is so beautiful.  I didnt even know we were coming up to it, and suddenly you get to a gate and see a big grass lawn. I think ill really enjoy my time here! Ive got to go, I love you all, and I don{t even have a tag yet, but I love being a missionary!!!!

Love, Hermana Watkins!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Hello everyone! I've been called to serve in the Arizona Scottsdale Mission, reporting July 24, 2013. I leave for the Mexico MTC this Tuesday, and after 6 weeks of study, I will get on a plane and begin serving in Arizona!

If you'd like to email me, my email is:
I'd love to get emails from anyone and everyone, and I'll try my best to respond to each one I get!

For snail mail, you can send me a letter to this address for the first 6 weeks of my mission (until September 4, 2013):
Sister Patricia Watkins
Arizona Scottsdale Mission
Mexico Missionary Training Center
Ave 510 #90
Colonia San Juan de Aragon
07950 Mexico City, Distrito Federal

After that date, I will be in Arizona, so letters can be sent to the mission office address there. I currently don't have that address since it's such a new mission, but as soon as I get it, it will be posted on here.

Thank you to everybody for the love and support! I will miss you all! I'm so excited for the opportunity I have to serve a mission, and I can't wait to get out in the field. I know I have a Father in heaven and that His son, Jesus Christ, atoned for our sins so that we can return to His presence one day. I am so excited to share this beautiful message with the people of Arizona!

Thanks again to everyone! See ya in 18 months!

Hermana Watkins