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