Monday, June 27, 2011

Schools Out!?!

Dear Family!

Wow... the week just absolutely flew by. I feel like I was just here typing. We are here again in Asuncion for a meeting with all the zone leaders of the mission (11 zones, 22 zone leaders) and we will be here until Tuesday afternoon. Fun stuff! It sounds like you had a really fun week! Finally school is out... It is almost July! How does that work out? I bet the students weren´t very happy about that! Hahaha. I am really glad that the surgery went well with Mom. I am sure she will be alot happier after it is all said and done. :) Do you have any fun plans for the summer? ;) Or just the same old same old? President Murri is already going? Oh bugger. That would have been fun to have discussed Paraguay a little bit. Oh! Say Hi to the Johnson family for me too!! They are so great! The Jones family... The Watson family... Jalatay´s... Ward members... family... friends... everyone! Man... I just think about everyone back home and how great you all are. It is amazing to see how the Lord gives each person a unique gift and blessing so that we can all uplift and encourage another. So cool! I imagine I will get my package tomorrow seeing as we have a general mission leader´s training (zone leaders and district leaders) so I should end up getting my mail and everything. Usually I get stuff on Monday (mail wise) so I can write letters and stuff, but it seems like this week I will have to wait a little bit. Tranquilo! No worries. It doesn´t bug me at all... sorry if it does you. When you are a missionary... priorities change. But you know that. Tranquildad total (Dicho paraguayo). Total tranquility. My English is so bad... hahaha...

Wow! Way to go Jonathan! Like the other Elder Watson said... he will be taller than either of us. But that´s all right, because I like being in Ciudad del Este and I ain´t coming back. ;)

Anyway. My week. It went by TOO quick. It didn´t seem like we had time to do anything. Due to some circumstances, the baptism got pushed back a week but the family is awesome.

It has finally gotten COLD! Like super cold. I am sure not as cold as Rio Gallegos (Guy yay goes) but still cold enough for me. Leaving at 1 in the morning to get here was so cold............. not cool. But it shouldn´t last too long. By the time August rolls around it will start getting warm again. So I don´t mind it. I´ll be in Ciudad del Este. We have some awesome members here. They just work so hard! Elder Flint and I were searching for some references yesterday and we were in an area with people just stacked upon each other. I imagine something a little like Buenos Aires, but less sophisticated. Then we climbed this huge hill, and we came out to a bunch of mandioca fields (yucca) with a few houses here and there. Here there is just a little bit of everything!!! It is crazy! We are teaching a few good families and are seeing a lot of progress. We are also in the process of finding new families to teach. Life is awesome! We should be having a baptism this weekend of a family (pray please!!!) and are progressing really well with todos! It is a blast to be a missionary. Sorry that I don´t have to say too much this week... I will look for things to say next week! :)

Well, I love you all! Take care of yourselves! Send my love to everyone! Saludos a todos! I will keep you in my prayers for you health and strength! Keep pressing forward in the work of the Lord!


Elder D. Watson

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!


WELL! News! Sorry for writing today, being Tuesday. The office informed us late Sunday night about our TEMPLE TRIP on Tuesday, so today is our P-Day. I guess that is just how life goes sometimes... life on the move!

Sounds like life is good! I don´t have too much time today, so here goes nothing!

I am now in Ciudad del Este, 1st Ward. It is AWESOME HERE! Love it! My companion is Elder Flint, who is going home this next change. So now I already know I am going to have a new companion... ;/. Elder Flint is awesome and I am learning tons from him. Cuidad del Este is so amazing! I absolutely love it here! The ward is gigantic! Well, compared to Acahay at least... haha. But anyway. We have a bunch of Indian members in our ward. Like, people from India! They are so hard working! Our stake president is the first Indian stake president in the world, from what I have been told. Pretty cool huh? It´s awesome because they are all awesome and are so faithful. The Paraguayan members are pretty cool too! We had a young woman who brought a college classmate to church by herself. Sweet! We are teaching a few families, one of which is a cousin to a recent convert in Encarnacion. What a small world! She is also a member and we are working with her boyfriend who has a baptismal date for the 9th. The other family we are teaching has a date for this weekend, and they have progressed so much in the week I have been here. It is so different being in a place where Spanish is understood perfectly. Our next-door neighbor is Portuguese and is a member. We read out of the Book of Mormon in Portuguese with him sometimes and a recent convert who is his friend. So much to tell!

Today we went to the temple! SO AWESOME! I love the temple! It has such peace and comfort that we can receive from being inside. My English is a mess. Sorry... I hate being in a rush but that´s life. We are working hard and I am learning so much from being here. We will be taking a bus in an hour so that will be fun! So... ya. Got to go.

This is the truth. No doubt about it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church! We have living day prophets who guide us. We have even more of the precious word of God that brings even more blessing in our lives. Jesus Christ is not dead; He lives. He still reveals His gospel and will through modern day prophets. I testify that He is the Son of God, our Savior, Redeemer, and our Good Shepherd. I know this because the Spirit has testified to my spirit of this truth. We can only know of spiritual truths if the Holy Ghost testifies to our spirits. Logic can´t do it. Logic will convince our minds, but the Holy Ghost will testify only of the truth, and nothing but the truth. That´s why it is so important to receive an answer from God to know what is the truth. I love prayer! :)

Anyway. I hope you make sense out of my jumbled mess. Next week will be better... I hope. We will to travel to Asuncion again for a zone leaders council on Monday and Tuesday for a training meeting. Lots of travel. Fun stuff! I love you! Take care of yourselves! I really do love you all! Take care of yourselves!!!!!!


Elder David Watson

Monday, June 13, 2011

We had a baptism and I am being transferred...

Hola! QUE TAL????

Hey! So great to hear from you! I am so glad to hear that your week has been great! I am short on time today (took a little too long replying to the other Elder Watson and a few other things I had to read from President) (AND what do you mean ´David´s time?´ Just because I like getting to places early??? ;) ) so I will just start spewing.

First off! BAPTISM! We had a beautiful day for a baptism in the river 8 de Diciembre. It had been cold all week, a problem for the sister who was getting baptized because of health problems, but with lots of prayers of faith, we had awesomely warm days on Friday and Saturday and it all went off without a hitch. Roberto and Brigida Medina got baptized! In really cold water. Alright, it can´t be as cold as the water in Tierra del Fuego, but pretty cold nonetheless. Elder Griffin has other pictures that he is going to give when we get home, but I sent one. Anyways, answered prayers are awesome. They got confirmed members of the church the next day and it was an awesome day! Gotta love life.

On Saturday, I almost died. I was showering when the cables that bring the power to the showerhead exploded. Twice. A nice good scare, but no damage done. I got out without a scratch. But there was quite a lot of smoke. Interesting story for you. :).

Also, there are changes this week. I don´t know where, but I got the call from President Callan assigning me to be a zone leader. Boy was I nervous answering the phone. But it´s what the Lord wants. Where He wants me to go, what He wants me to be, there I go and there I am. Life is good in the neighborhood. I am quite sad to leave Elder Griffin, as he has been one of my best companions, and this area of Acahay. I have enjoyed immensely preaching the gospel here and calling the people to repentance. For through repentance is the only way to reach true happiness. True peace. True calm. The Atonement is really the central piece in changing our lives. Through Christ our Mediator with the Father, all is possible. Doesn´t matter how stubborn, dumb, stupid, arrogant, prideful we think we are, through repentance we may be healed of all of our spiritual sicknesses and weaknesses. Pride, I have seen is the downfall of all. Really it is. Whether it is rejecting the truth, rejecting the need to change, refusing to understand, refusing to change our lives to be more in harmony with that of our Eternal Savior, pride is the cause. As Alma teaches, those of us who are not free from pride have cause to repent for those who are prideful are not ready to stand before the Great and Eternal Judge at the last day. It is a lesson I am learning repeatedly here in the mission, and I suppose one all of my life. I still feel I have my prideful tendencies, but that doesn´t discourage me. I have faith and hope through Christ our Lord, for through faith in Him and His mercy, all is possible. Be happy, hopeful and don´t be afraid to change! It is a blessing. Truly it is. Repent ye, repent ye, and come unto Him who invites all to come unto Him. He reaches out with arms of love and mercy, willing to forgive us and welcome us into His fold. When we do our part, the Lord does the rest. Try it and see the blessings and miracles in your life.

Work to understand the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ. Understand the purpose of the Atonement, The Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we truly understand, we will change our lives to follow our Lord and Savior. We will be able to teach and guide our families to the straight and narrow path that leads unto salvation. Without understanding, it is extremely difficult to be obedient to the commandments and almost always leads us to be tempted by Satan. It is something I see here every day and I know that true comprehension will lead to having more happy, unified families that rejoice in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. The amount of money we have means nothing. I work with people who live off of 20 dollars a week. With big families. But when we have faith, true confidence in the Lord, He WILL provide. Be faithful, be diligent, be like Nephi. And I must obey. Amen. (2 Nephi 33).

Alright. Got to go! Love you so much! Say hi to everyone! I cannot wait to be able to share my experiences and what I have learned with everyone, especially in Spanish! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!! Take care of yourself!

Elder David Watson

Monday, June 6, 2011

Such a Blessing To Be In Acahay!

Dear Family!

Wow!!  What a week! Sounds like you all had some fun! Nice, calm, but great! I really like what the other Elder Watson wrote about being happy... something that cost me a lot to learn! I actually learned it when I had the opportunity to train Elder Hatch, but it really has made ALL the difference in the mission! It’s just our view on life! I had read a talk from a past General Conference about Happiness: A Conscious Decision. It never really hit me though; even through the tough times I was experiencing, until I got the opportunity to start from scratch. But now... I truly can say that I am much happier! I can say the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings SO MANY blessings! It brings peace, joy, and a satisfaction of knowing that you ARE doing what the Lord desires. So awesome!

Anyway... this week. Today I had a zone counsel (consejo de zona) with the zone leaders and the other district leader in the zone. We spent most of it talking about relying on the Spirit, mostly on the topic of planning. I am so excited to see the changes of what is taking place in my life. Here in Acahay we have the unique opportunity of going to places where there have not been many missionaries. On Wednesday, we went to Carapegua, our second time entering the area. Again we had another amazing day being led by the Lord. Finishing our day we found a family that was so interested in the Gospel! We talked with the 20ish year old daughter who has a few kids and her brother of 17, with the mom taking care of the little ones. We sat at a table, inside the house, on normal chairs... I felt like I was in the states! Haha. Anyway, we had an awesome discussion about the role of prophets in our lives. I felt the Spirit testify as we taught them about Thomas S. Monson, our living prophet in our day (hoy en día). As we were running short on time (She had to go to college), we briefly shared about the Book of Mormon and some of the teachings that help us to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all felt the Spirit strongly, and each wanted their own copy to read so they didn’t have to share. Hehehe. A family that had never heard of the Church of Jesus Christ, let alone the term Mormon, and we were able to talk about the true doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ. I really consider it to be a special opportunity to be able to find these people so prepared to receive the restored truth. We are so excited to be able to go back on Wednesday and Friday to teach this special family even more and to find the other families that are waiting to accept the gospel in their lives. We also have 2 families preparing to be baptized this Saturday! We are working on getting the necessary paperwork to marry one of the families (with whom we have had such spiritual lessons that have brought me to tears) and praying for good weather so that the wife of the other family can be baptized due to her health. 4 baptisms!!!!!! So exciting!

It really is a blessing to be here in Acahay. The branch is slowly strengthening in its knowledge of the true doctrine of Christ and is growing as the people are truly becoming converted into disciples of Jesus Christ. It is not an easy process, but then again, whoever said it was? The Atonement of Jesus Christ was not in any way, shape, or form easy. Do I think I am better than my Lord and Savior? More perfect? Absolutely not!! I am being humbled daily to see how true faith brings miracles. How the true Gospel brings families together. How the restored doctrine of Jesus Christ changes the lives of everyone who openly receives it and applies it to their lives. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. That Joseph Smith was called of God to be a modern day prophet. Prayer is the key in our communication with our Heavenly Father. It is key that it comes from our hearts. It is key that we talk with the Almighty, as He is our Father in Heaven. Have faith. Trust in Him who cannot fail. He shall guide each one of us in His path. Ask with faith, and we shall receive blessings because we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing unto Him. Who can refute the power and glory of Him who created all things? The word of God shall be fulfilled. It doesn’t matter how many people say the world is going to end. It doesn’t matter what justifications the tempter can create. He who has all power will act according to what He has said and what He is now saying through His modern prophet, Thomas Monson. Pray. Try it. You might be surprised. :D

I really am SO EXCITED to be a missionary. I never want it to end. I don’t want to leave the friendly people of Paraguay. I don’t want to leave this people who really are waiting to follow our Lord Jesus Christ. I just may cry if I have to leave Carapegua and Acahay behind... not to mention where we haven’t explored yet (Ybycui, La Colmena). I absolutely know that even more families are just waiting to meet the Lord’s authorized servants. BIG SMILE!! Apyka Tuicha! Una GRAN SONRISA!! Love it!

I love you all! Really do! I can’t lie! If you knew how much I really am grateful for the experiences I have had, here in the mission and before! I apologize if I can’t name everyone by name... but really I am truly grateful. I love all the letters I get and the thoughts and prayers of all of you! The Lord works miracles according to our faith, so that the prayers of the just and faithful shall be answered (Alma and the Sons of Mosiah with the angel). I will be talking again next Monday (change in schedule, Pdays are ALL Mondays now) and we will see what happens. I may know of the transfers because I am the District Leader, I may not. We will see. Until next time... chau from the valley of Acahay! Really Itá because that is where I am at... hehehe. CHAU!!!

Con cariño.

Elder David Watson