Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Crazy Week!

Hey Family!

Well, that was the reason I didn’t get the email last week! Pictures make the email slow. Oh well.  I still got to read it! You are absolutely right - I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation! It really gives us a peace and strength to know what we need to do in this life in order to prepare for what happens after death. It helps us to know that families can be forever, and that the death does not separate the family - what a blessing it is to know that.

This week has been awesome and super busy! We were getting things ready for this week and for the conference with President Arnold! It was an amazing conference! I felt the spirit so much!!! We learned a lot about having the spirit always with us, becoming more like Jesus Christ and working with the members. I had the privilege of having an interview with President Arnold - I know personally that he has been called of God and that he does have the authority to be one of Christ`s witnesses as a seventy.  It was an amazing and spiritual experience.  I learned a ton and I know I have to keep making changes in my life and as a missionary. It was awesome to see that everything Elder Eddy and I have been trying to do in our area is exactly what we learned about in the conference! It helps me to know that I have the authority of our Lord and Savior to be a missionary here and to help the people of Paraguay come closer to our Redeemer and to make the changes in their lives and to become spiritually clean through baptism. I love being a missionary!!! I am growing to love the people and see in them what our Heavenly Father sees in them!

I am sorry for the short letter! I promise to send a much better letter next week! Love you tons!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take care of yourself!!!!

Elder D. Watson

Thanks for the email address! Is there anything I can do for you all? Let me know! LOVE YOU!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Can't Think of Anything Catchy

Hey Family

Well, what´s new? Life here is going fine. I guess the email system is acting up again because I didn´t get the weekly email, but that´s all right. I`ll get over it.

This week was a little nutty... we finally got moved into our new apartment. It´s not the best apartment in the world, but it works. We are living in downtown right now, which makes things nice because we are close to everything. Logistically speaking. If that´s the right word. Anyway. It´s been pretty cold lately (I know not as cold as down south) with lots and lots and lots of rain. Puts a damper on things. The work`s been picking up little by little. We are trying to focus on working with the members instead of by ourselves. We can teach teach teach all we want, but if the members aren´t in on the teaching and the fellowshipping, it´s not worth it. For the longest time, things have been divided - the members and the missionaries. It`s a big problem because many of the converts fall away when the missionary who baptized them gets a transfer. Rather sad too. But if the members are the main focus in the lessons, and all we do is help them teach their friends and loved ones, the church will watch out for the welfare of one another´s souls. Instead of the missionaries taking care of things. It`s rather daunting trying to start something like this, but the excitement of the members as many of them are learning how to share the gospel helps out a lot. Things would be so much better if the members had their converts instead of every missionary. Sure, the limelight and importance will placed on the members instead of the missionaries, but that is all right. I don`t need anymore pride - I`m trying to get rid of it. I`d much rather that each convert has a strong relationship with the members than with me. Although it is rather important to love those you teach and charity for them, I’d rather slip out of the picture on the back end after everything is said and done after a baptism. I have much more confidence that a new member, with lots of members looking out for him, will stay active rather than trusting in the missionaries to keep him active. Which isn`t the job of the missionaries anyway. It`s rather inspiring to see the members get excited when they see the vision of how the Lord`s work should be run and the many blessings that are waiting them and their loved ones who are ready to accept the gospel in their lives. It`s also pretty cool to see the testimonies of the members themselves grow and develop as we help them learn how to share the gospel. It is a huge process, but a process that is worth it.

We`ve been teaching the mom of a member we activated (who would rather speak English with us while we are with him and Spanish to his mother). It`s been amazing being able to teach the Plan of Salvation and helping people get the whole picture of what this life is about. She`s been rather sick these past few years, but as she grows to understand the purpose of life, why we go through trials and difficulties, and what`s the purpose of bettering our life here rather than eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Life is so much more than living in the moment. There is a goal so much more divine than living to make a fortune. There is a purpose so much more pure than wander around until we find a place to be comfortable in our lives. The purpose of life is to be happy - to prepare ourselves to meet our Divine Maker. The goal is to live with our Father in Heaven after this life - with Him and where no unclean thing can dwell. Life is about becoming more like our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Great Jehovah. He is the Perfect Example. He is the Divine Role Model. It is Him who we should pattern our lives after. Big whoop how much money we have when we die - how big our house is - how nice a car we have. Have a higher vision, look beyond the moment, see what God wants you to see. We can take nothing with us in this life - only who we are, what we`ve done, the desires of our hearts, and if we have followed the Lord and kept His commandments, and have been sealed in the Holy Temple by the divine power and authority of the Almighty, we can live with our families forever. It`s amazing when you think about it like that. The Gospel of Jesus Christ solves any family problem - solves any personal problem - it just takes the desire and the will to take that first step in the footsteps of Him who blazed the trial. May the Lord bless you all with this desire to follow Him in the straight and narrow path that leads to Eternal Life and Salvation.

I love you all. Time is up. Say hi to everyone.

Elder D. Watson

Monday, August 15, 2011

We helped translate for visitors, in English!

Dear family!

I am sorry for the loss in the family... I didn´t know Greg but I can imagine that is rather hard for you. I am sad to hear about the loss of Ed as well. Please send my best wishes to everyone.

Wow! It sounds like you had a nice trip home! That is excellent! I am glad you got home safe and everything. I remember taking those car trips and it being a good time. Although, most of the time was spent sleeping or on the gameboy hahaha. Oh the joys of being a child hahaha.

Stake Conference! I love Stake Conference!!! Thanks to the family, ward, and stake for their support and prayers - they mean a lot! :).

Well well well. This week. We had a baptism in the ward! One of the families we are preparing are getting closer to their goals. Their 16 year old son decided to be baptized so Elder King and Elder Henriquez prepared him! It was nice going back to see the family and their progression. I hadn´t seen them for a couple of weeks besides Sundays so it was nice to be able to teach them once again and see how everyone was. The dad is so great - he is helping the missionaries teach his neighbors! Those missionaries are going to be super busy! :). Elder Eddy and I have been working hard getting to know the members and less actives, and teaching their families and friends. We have found some excellent people and we are excited to activate members, strengthen the testimonies of the members (all of them) and finding the prepared people the Lord has put in our path. It´s amazing seeing the testimonies and the faith of the Paraguayan people, even if half the ward isn´t Paraguayan... :). Well, not half but a good portion. This Sunday we had many people from the US, a good chunk being from Utah. What happened? A service medical group (Hope Alliance?) came to Ciudad del Este to visit the hospitals and health centers. They gave us a call to ask to help translate, being as they are all from Utah, members, and very few speak in Spanish. So we have been talking, helping and translating. It´s been a blast, as well as we have been receiving many references to go and teach. It is awesome. But it has helped me to know, that being a DOCTOR or anything of the sort is not for me. Sorry! No can do. ;). But we are excited to keep helping until Thursday and finding more teaching opportunities! They are amazingly awesome people too, so loving and willing to help. They came to the baptism Saturday and Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. Such great people! :). We have a zone conference this next week with Pte Arnold who is coming on tour of the mission next week. It will be really intense. I am so excited. I have never met him, but talking with the other Zone Leaders has given an idea. Also, the zone leaders will have an interview with him... AHH! I am so excited and ready to become a better missionary! So cool! :)

That´s about it for now. We are moving into a new apartment, and it isn´t fun moving. But that is life! I love being a missionary. I love you all so much! Take care of yourselves! Say hi to all for me!!! :)

Lots of love

Elder D. Watson

PS Please don´t send too many more packages... they are asking us to reduce the number, for several reasons which you will be reading about in a letter from President Callan, and any packages we do receive we will have to pay extra to receive them. I feel it would be better to save the money and use it towards a better cause after the mission. Thank you so much.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teaching with Members is Awesome!

Hey Family!

Wow... wow... wow... my cousins are all getting married. Crazy stuff. That´s awesome though! Send them my love and congratulations. Wow! Kyoko! How is she? And all the family??? It sounds like everything is going awesomely great!

This week was rather interesting - we gave up our investigators to the new missionaries and started working in the side of the area where the missionaries have not been in years! A funny side note - we are teaching more people that speak English than in Spanish... hahahaha. Cool jacks. Anyway, it is amazing to see how the Lord works and puts people in our path. It´s amazing to be a missionary! We are having so much success working with the members, teaching in their houses. The Spirit is so STRONG there. It´s such a difference. When we teach the members´ friends and family in their own homes, the missionary work is such much more effective. The Spirit can testify even more through the testimonies and experiences of the members. All of the success we are seeing in our area is because of the members and their inspired help. It is absolutely amazing. I can´t wait to help the missionaries when I get home because that´s where true success is in the missionary work. IT´s helping the members teach their loved ones the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am REALLY sorry for another short letter. I have been having to report more numbers of late and information being a Zone Leader. Not cool, but sacrifice is necessary. I love you all so much! Take care of yourselves! Say hi to all!

Elder D. Watson

P.S. Thanks to all for their letters and support! I love you all so much!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Busy Week!

Hey Family

Sorry this week is going to be a short letter too. We had our Zone Leader Meeting here in Asuncion and the bus leaves soon.

The work is going great. I get to play tour guide for 3 missionaries but this is the Lord´s work, so it is possible. We had 6 investigators come to church in the rain - what a blessing.

Elder Eddy is such a great Elder. I am going to be learning tons from him. Let´s just say I am learning that I can humble myself even more all of the time. There isn´t an end to pride, unfortunately.

We have a baptism this weekend if we prepare them really well! If not, next weekend. I am excited. They are the children of a family we are teaching, and the parents are doing paperwork so that they can prepare to be baptized as well. They are a really good family.

We have an investigator who has SO MUCH faith, but she is moving to the other zone, so we will pass the reference on so she can be baptized over there. She already says she is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Too cool.

Elder Eddy has had a lot of success working with members and I am excited to be able to work with him. Elder Flint came with his parents this Sunday to church - way weird. But cool.

I have to go now. I love you all. Never forget that.

Elder D. Watson