Monday, February 22, 2010

6.5 Weeks In!


¿Como estáis? Bien, yo espero. Esta semana he estada mucha ocupada. Quizá lo estaba ocupada porque de la nieve. Chiste.

¡Estoy mucho animado por esta próxima semana! Deberemos recibir nuestros los plans de viajes. Si yo recibiré, enviaré una corta carta a ustedes.

He estado much bien a oir de ustedes Disfruto sus cartas muchas.

Well, I'm out of Spanish for today. I'd write more, but at the moment it would take more time than I have, so I'll continue in English.

Thanks to Josh, Jared, Sister Freeman, and all of the Cub Scouts for their letters to us. We really enjoyed them! It was great to hear from them and hear about what was going on in their lives.

Tuesday's devotional was really good. Elder Spencer V. Jones talked about how we can become more effective missionaries. A main part he emphasized was having love for the people. Try to become like one of the people through finding their best traits and acquiring them. Not so that we can seem more at home, but to show the people that we want to make an effort to show our love and hopes for them through our hard work. He also talked about how we need to be sincere as we offer to serve. Also, we need to be able to have the Holy Ghost in our lives as we teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our words won't convince people to come unto Him, but the feeling in their hearts will. "Men are weak in and of themselves, but when they let the Holy Spirit guide their lives, that's when they become effective representatives of Jesus Christ." It's not his exact wording, but close enough. ;)

So how is everyone doing back home? Great, I hope! I heard that the baseball team sounds like that they are off to a good start. I'm really glad to hear that!

During my walk on the Temple Grounds yesterday, I met the old mission president of Asuncion, Paraguay. He kindly stopped and talked to us for a few moments about what we can expect. It made me much more excited to finally leave! We took a picture with him, but I didn't have my camera with me. It was still a good experience to talk with him though.

By next Monday, I will probably have a lot more to say. I should have my travel plans, and I'll be getting ready to leave Utah. I can't say that I'm not excited. I really didn't get a chance to plan this letter out, so sorry if it's all a jumbled mess.

I can't believe I'm getting ready to leave already. It seems like I've only been here for a little bit, yet sometimes it seems like I have been here forever. All I know is I'm excited to get out and start working! :)

Well, sorry for the short letter. It's hard to think of what to say when you have a big red timer in the top right hand corner counting down to zero. It's kind of unnerving... hahaha. But I hope everything is going well! Thanks always for all of your love and support! Take care of yourselves!


Elder David Watson

Monday, February 15, 2010

5.5 Weeks In!

Hey Mom + Dad! (And Everybody!)

M'bae cha pa? (How are you?) It's been really great to hear that pretty much everything is going well! :) I ran out of time last week to write more (I had 8 seconds left on my time...), but I managed to get most of it out!

I am feeling much better. It was just a one day, weird flu thing where nothing really happened except that I was feeling really bad, but I'm glad I'm okay now. I wasn't actually "quarantined," but that's how it got passed on. My Zone Leader right now actually is in quarantine because he got a really bad flu... so he won't be back in action for another week or so. I feel bad for him... stuck in the same room for a week. Yuck.

OH! I hope your crown treatment went really well, Mom! I know it sucks to do it, but I know that you know that you'll be happier with it done.

There really hasn't been too much going on this week. I still love learning Spanish and how to teach in Spanish! Our devotional on Tuesday was given by Elder C. Scott Grow (Such a cool name!!) about our dual purpose as missionaries to convert and to re-active less active members. I really enjoyed it!

I don't quite know what else to say this week, so I'll just finish off with some Spanish.

¿Cómo están ustedes? ¡Estoy muy excelente! Me encanta mi tiempo aqui en al CCM porque estoy estudiando y aprendiendo mucho! He progresado mucho en las seis semanas aqui. El Evangelio de Jesucristo es mas importante en mi vida. Yo sé que Él es mi Salvador y Redentor. Jesucristo y nuestro Padre Celestial aman a todas las personas. Dios quiere que nos tengamos feliz, pas, y exitóso en esta vida. Yo sé que por medio de la Expiación de Jesucristo, podemos acercarnos más a Cristo y podemos llegar a ser más como Cristo. Tengo mucho feliz para estar un misionario de Jesucristo y aprendé como enseñar Su Evangelio.

Well, I hope everything continues to go well with you! Take care of yourselves! God Bless!


Elder David Watson

Monday, February 8, 2010

4.5 Weeks In!

Dear Mom and Dad!

Staying out of trouble is always a good thing! It's not something hard to do here when you are focused so much on learning! :) I hope that things go well with your quest to do taxes and that everything comes out well!

First off, I've been talking with my teacher who went to Paraguay. He's told me a bunch of cool stuff, including that some families hand make guitars, and that those guitars are really great! It's something I'm really willing to look into on my p-days, if I have the time!

I've been continuing to do a verse by verse "analysis" of the Book of Mormon, which I'm pretty sure I mentioned last week. I really enjoyed going through 1 Nephi 8 yesterday. It reminded me of my Book of Mormon class, and I've gotten a lot out of my studies so far! :D

This past Tuesday's devotional was given by Elder Richard G. Hinckley and his wife. Sister Hinckley's remarks were focused on the importance of keeping journals and recording out thoughts and feelings while studying. (See 3 Nephi 23:13). Elder Hinckley talked to us about avoiding the "Groundhog Day Syndrome," referring to the movie. He gave us six steps. First, understand your purpose. While he was talking about MTC life and a missionary's day-to-day life, understanding our purpose helps us to know why we are here and what we need to do to get there. (See John 3:16, 2 Nephi 31:19-20, Alma 34:32 and Alma 37:44-45.) The second step is to be obedient. Obedience is the first law of heaven, and in obeying the commandments of the Lord, we will find greater happiness and a love of all men. The third step was "be clean." He meant that we need to be worthy, and that through our clean thoughts and good actions, the Holy Ghost is able to guide our lives. The fourth step is to work hard. Working hard helps us to realize the benefits and blessings of this life, which includes our families. I'm kind of adding my own thoughts to this step, because Elder Hinckley only talked about being an effective and productive missionary, which everyone should be anyway. The fifth step is to love the people. Without love, we don't care what happens to them, which is completely and utterly hypocritical of missionary work.. I know I am here to invite all to come unto Christ, that through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring (persevering) to the end, everyone can live with our Heavenly Father in eternal life. The last step is to exercise faith. Without works and our good deeds, which are because of our love for our fellow men, and our willingness to follow the Savior's example, faith means absolutely nothing. Likewise, without faith, our works don't mean much.

I've learned so much here at the MTC, and I can't quite explain it all in a letter. Most of it would be in Spanish! ;) What I can say is this: I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith, because of his faith and efforts, sought to know which church was true in 1820. God, our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, appeared to him as two completely distinct and separate beings. An angel of the Lord revealed the location of records of God's dealings with the Ancient Americans. They too, like the Bible, had prophets, comparable to Moses, Noah, and Adam. Through the power of God, Joseph Smith was able to translate those records into what we have today - The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. And it is just that - another testament of our Lord and Savior. Though the power of the Holy Ghost, we can pray to Heavenly Father to know its truth. All we have to do is have faith in Jesus Christ that He will answer us, and sincerely and intently ask in prayer. Prayer is a two-way communication with Heavenly Father… I know that He listens to our prayers and wants to answer. All we have to do is ask. When we do as the apostle James and the prophet Moroni directs: "Ask of God... and it shall be given you." "Ask with a sincere heart, having faith in Jesus Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost." (See James 1:5-6 and Moroni 10:3-5). Our answers won't be huge - they will be silent promptings in our hearts and minds. I can't tell you how the Holy Ghost will touch you, because every person is different. What I can tell you is that when I've prayed with faith about a decision I've made, my body is filled with a feeling of knowing my decision is right. If the decision is wrong, I feel an emptiness. I promise to all that if you read the Book of Mormon, even just parts of it, and ask with faith and a real desire to know, and a willingness to act on an answer you receive, that God will answer you. I've done it. You can do it too. I know that the Book of Mormon can answer the questions of our souls.

I hope everything is going well with everyone! Take care of yourselves! God bless!


Elder Watson

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Delayed Mail... The Email was Stuck in the Server...

Dear Mom and Dad (and everybody),

Well, this week has been really quick! It seems like I was just writing my letter home yesterday! Just for kicks and giggle, I decided not to have any sweets this week (cookies, chocolate milk, etc.), and what do I get? COOKIES! 3 packages of them! And Mike is sitting by me right now doing TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning, it's a computer program that helps teach languages...) The irony of things... hahaha. But the cookies are great! :)

We've been transitioning more into Spanish this week, which I am REALLY grateful for. I've found that using Spanish is MUCH more beneficial than just learning bits and pieces of it.

This week's devotional was given by Elder Stephen E. Snow. I participated in the MTC Choir too - and we sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer." That was actually quite fun!! And I sat by Mike during the devotional, so that was a definite plus too. Elder Snow talked about incorporating hymns into our lessons and the power of music to invite the Holy Ghost. He also taught us that obedience and hard work solve all of our concern and doubts. How true that is!!

Wow... for some reason I don't have a lot to say this week. We got a new district in our zone, and they are all heading off to Argentina, Buenos Aires South. It was kinda fun to help them get used to the MTC.

I guess the only really fun thing this week that my teacher, Hermano Hanson, taught us a few Guarani phrases. The Bookstore has Guarani copies of the Book of Mormon, but they were out of stock. So I'm going to have to see if I can get my hands on one if I can!

I'm sorry this letter is so short! I promise I'll have a lot more to say next week! Take care of yourselves!!


Elder David Watson