Friday, November 20, 2015

October 26, 2015

This was probably the busiest week of my mission up until now.
First of all the interview with Sen. Warner's board went well! The only struggle was on the issue of CURRENT EVENTS in the US.... of which I have no knowledge whatsoever. Actually, some guy in the store last Monday started yelling nonsense at us in English about colors and the Archangel, but I’m not quite sure if you can count that as current events! But the call went off smoothly so Thanks technology!
This week we were flying around! Maria Lopez, I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned her, decided with her boyfriend that it would be best to separate. She's getting ready for her baptism this Saturday! She's super excited and her 8 year old son Maximo is also excited, He says he wants to get baptized but we need to make sure about his level of commitment. Maybe that’s because we are teaching two kids actually. Martín is the grandson of the branch pres. He is the literal embodiment of the Chilean goofy. The kid is a ball of energy. It makes the lessons a little stressful with the both of them being so wild, but I guess it’s practice for parenting! 😅😓
The awesome part about this week was our work with the members, We worked with a different member almost every day compared to the month before.  The goal this week is to keep the members excited and keep up the progress!
This week in my studies I finished Jesus the Christ. I am really grateful I’m coming to know Him better over my mission. In my interview with Senator Warner’s committee they asked me if the mission had been a life changing experience,  I shared with how much it has been. It truly is the best 2 years!
This week we have a lot of visits planned with Maria and Maxi to make sure they are ready and sort out all the details for the baptism! Hopefully in the process we can get to her daughter Catalina (14) to take lessons. Maria really wants the best for her 2 kids, you can tell it in her eyes.
We also found out the stove in our house works!!!  So we made some Betty Crocker cookies (thanks to Elder Livingston) and I really really think that homemade cookies would be the best thing for this country. That, or The Gospel..the latter I’m sure of it! haha.
I’m currently studying in Helaman.  It really called my attention how Nephi loved his people but at the same time was almost inconsolable because of their iniquities. The trick I feel to missionary work is to really love the people you serve!
Well, time is short and internet is slow, but I LOVE YA!

Elder Garrett Watts
"Eat Chickin"


October 19, 2015

Well this week was pretty active! We had the ground breaking for the temple in Concepcion. It is awesome to see the progress in the mission and the country to have the blessing of a second temple!  Speakers including the area presidency and President Arrington, did the groundbreaking ceremony!
Teaching wise, we have a solid group of people who are doing well. Martin, the grandson of the branch president, is a goofy kid and the family is progressing well. We started teaching about the commandments this week!!!!
Another family were teaching is the Pastenes family. The oldest son Christian told us to come by to visit his less active father and two sisters, (all the kids are in the mid 20's). But the mom isn’t a member. They really like church and have come the last two Sundays. We are trying to get the mom to open up a little more. It appears her husband speaks for her, but every lesson she opens up more and more!
Maria Lopez is our eternal investigator because of her marital status.  This week we all felt it was her time to act. She’s being really strong because all of her family is bullying her because of what she believes.  She feels like her kids aren't getting the right idea of what the Church is because her dad and brothers are always bashing on it. But this week we gave her a blessing of comfort and I really felt that in the next couple weeks she's going to commit herself with a baptismal date
I got really deep into the book “Jesus the Christ this week and the war chapters of BoM. It made me think about how when you keep the commandments as soldiers, like the Strippling Warriors.
Well Elder Livingston and I will stay together this cambio.  So we’re gonna stay hard at it and help them to come unto Christ!
OH!  I also am starting language study of Portuguese!  Gotta take advantage of the gift of tongues while ya can!

Okay have a great week!

Elder Garrett Watts


October 13, 2015

So this past week flew by really fast. We had a lot of visits with people who are progressing well.  Our biggest challenge is helping the less actives have a desire to come back to Church.
I was pondering Moses 1:39 and about how it is truly WORK.  I also thought about the saying, if you like your job, you’ll never work a day in your life."  I think the two go hand in hand. If you like the Gospel, or the effects it brings, then it’s not going to feel like work. It will be an escape and a refuge.
I did receive the package.  I made sure that hno Ricardo Del Rio got his football. He's going to be ecstatic.
Workouts are going well.  Shaved a little more time off my sprint and stamina is getting better daily. The house on the other hand has fallen a bit, and is no longer that clean image I described last week. But tomorrow is mission wide cleaning day so problem solved!
Well, got to go to work! More to come next week. Thanks for everything you do mom!

Elder Watts

October 5, 2015

Haha, I'm so glad you got to go to conference. The speakers truly were inspired!
While reflecting on what I’m going to apply these next couple months, I have decided to ponder the Elder Durant’s talk.  It really struck home! That and saving a bit of money every week isn't a bad idea either!
We had the opportunity to find a lot of really good people this week, but for some reason or another, only Martín came to church. Martín is the 9 year old grandson of the branch president and we are working with him and his mom to be ACTIVE and to sanctify the Sabbath so he can be baptized in early November!
Elder Livingston and I had a good week, It’s been raining a lot this week but thank goodness for those boots sock things I have!  Saved my shoes and my life various times this week.  Hopefully spring will spring sooner rather than latter!
We really have been making an effort to keep the house clean. I understand now why Mom was so serious about the cleanliness of the home. The Spirit is much more present. Now that we have gotten more control over the house, we have progressed to our patio, which had weeds about up to my knees. HAD. Key word there. With all the rain the past couple days the earth was very soft and we took advantage to uproot all the weeds and now we’re thinking about starting a garden, to have tomatoes and some other veggies in the house.
We read in Alma 17 about how Ammon "desired to dwell amongst the Lamanites, perhaps until the day [he] died." I think that’s the main reason why the houses in the mission fall into such disregard, because the missionaries are always thinking, "Me voy de aqui, asique por que poner un esfuerzo!" but if we have that attitude that I’m just gonna leave here, we'd never do anything, we'd never teach, heck we wouldn’t even make our bed or shower, because the house is just gonna get dirty again.. right?
Now we need to get better still. There are a couple bad habits we still need to overcome, but I know that the Spirit is more present with us throughout the day when our home is kept.
It’s strange what you get out of conference right???
Well, this week there should be sunny skies so hopefully the weather forecast proves true!

Have a great week and stay safe. Give hugs to everyone!
Elder Wattws

September 28, 2015

This week was full of activities in the branch, getting ready for the branch conference we had yesterday. We really strengthened our relationship with the members, and have seen the blessings already. This really is the Lord’s work. One member commented to us right before he gave us a referral to visit his sister. "You guys are animated and serious about your job. Go get my sister and bring her here!"

This week, David had to leave on a trip for a while, we’re not sure when he's coming back. We found a couple of new people to visit but we need to be better at helping them actually come to church. It’s the only way to really want to change. On Saturday we had a cool experience. While looking for a referral from the branch president, we wandered lost in this one neighborhood and kept coming back to the same street. We decided to abandon that effort and left to leave with a recently reactivated young man who really wants to activate the members of his quorum. After 3 appointments that we had set up falling through, we finally asked him, "Where do you want to visit?"  He started walking over to a house of another less active young man. When we got to the street we couldn’t believe it but it was that same street we kept coming back to!
We knock ton he door, he let us in and told us. "I was thinking about going to church tomorrow... this is like a sign I think!" And he came!  The YM president was on his game, and we’ll be seeing him back soon!
It’s an awesome thing to be a missionary.  i had a dream the other day i went to Water Country USA, but here in Chile. I think part of my brain is already thinking about home but I really like being a missionary!  It is AWESOME being able to see people’s lives change! A guy I baptized in my last sector , Gonzalo, just emailed me and he and the family just BEAM!  It was a blessing to be a part of that.  Just gives me so much more energy, plus the fact that I only have 9 more months to be able to do this work!!!!! It goes by way too fast!
SO, this week I’m not going to sweat all the things at home. I’m just going to work my best to make sure someone else here in Linares has that same happiness. Mosiah 2:17 right???

That was the week! Hope you have a great day!
Elder Watts

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 21, 2015

Dear Mom,
Well, the highlight of the week was yesterday, when we were able to help a couple understand the importance of being married. The woman, María Lopez, REALLY wants to get baptized. She has truly converted and has mentioned how frustrating it is not being able to do what she wants (and needs to do) because of her civil standing.
Well as far as preparation for the PT test, I’m doing well.  Got up to 5 pull ups now so tha’s an improvement of the 2 I could do when I got to this sector!  I feel like the sprint is going to be the hardest. Hopefull, the weather will warm up this week.  It may be spring but it’s still winter here.
I was asked to give a talk at the branch conference we will this week. The talk is on how we can prepare and get something out of the conference talks and classes. It was perfect because the following week is GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! WOOHOO!!!!
Overall were just getting in our groove still. This week was pretty uneventful for us (even with the earthquake).  All the families are with their families in the CAMPO (countryside) for the Independence day activities. We missed out big time, but still managed to get some really good empanadas!  So, it wasn’t a complete loss!
The branch put on an activity and we ended up being waiters.  One more thing to add to my resumé!!  Lol
David didn’t end up coming to church, but we found out that he's probably not going win his court case.  We will be patient and support him as he goes through his trial.
During studies this week, I learned from the example of Amulek. You can be a great missionary and really get to the people, if you are patient and soft spoken and ask good questions. SO, I’ve tried to be soft spoken. For example here is the discussion I had with a less active sister recently: "Okay where are we gonna see you? IN church! , Okay, and at what time? 10am!  Now how about you show up early? OKAY!  What are you gonna do tonight? READ! and why? BECAUSE I NEED THE BELSSINGS, ALRIGHT HERMANA!!!! WOOHOO!!  She ended up making it to church.  I still need to be fine tune my approach, but I am getting better.

Have a great week and stay safe!

Elder Watts

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015

Well, this week was pretty fast paced to say the least.  Getting to know the members, investigators and companion that all come with a new sector.
Elder Livingston is a really relaxed dude. We crack each other up.  We have really hit it off well. Probably has to do with the fact that we’re both from the greatest state East side of the Mississippi, VA.  #VAinVAdesLinares.
We have an investigator whose name is Davíd.  He is very cool. Has a past he’s really trying to forget about and the only thing that is delaying his baptism is his own insecurity. He hasn’t had a lot of the doctrinal lessons.  So this week we’re really going to focus on how he can come to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and the truth of the Book of Mormon.
I’m currently studying in Alma.  Had a really good week of studies and my testimony grew about patience in our trials.  Alma and his people weren’t allowed to pray but they put on a happy face and did the best they could with the situation they were given!  The Lord knew the prayer of their hearts.  I think we could all be a little better at that, and I‘m currently focusing on that.
Also, I have been asked my President to make a set of workout videos for the mission with the Zone Leaders.  I will send a separate email asking Coach Getty if he can put a program together.  If he is not, could you ask Ricky.  I need some ideas for a 30 minutes body weight program. We have limited access to stuff like that. The reason President is asking for that is because he doesn’t want us going to/paying for gyms and the workout videos that are available to us have less than modest apparel.
All in all, doing well. Animated and working hard. Please pray for David and that he will feel the Spirit and receive answers to his questions and commit to being baptized at the end of the month!

Elder Watts