Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 13 - New companion and answered prayers

I really love this time of the week when I get to sit down and really think about all the miracles that have happened over this past week. :) it is so much fun. 

So first big news! Sister Hansen is being transferred to Orland park. She is leaving! I have absolutely loved my time that I have gotten to serve with her. She will add so much to her new area. :) my new companion is Sister Raccuia. I haven't actually met her before, but I am SOO excited to get to serve with her. I have only heard incredible things from her and I am so stoked to get to be with her. :) 

So we had a super fun week and had some really incredible things happen. On Monday we had an appointment that fell through so we were stopping by some less actives that we wanted to visit. We tried a few places, but nothing was super solid, so we called Brother Westergren and asked if we could come over,  he told us that we couldn't come over because he was home alone because his wife was in the hospital, but he told us that she would absolutely love a visit from us. So we ran right over to the hospital. :) We found her room and were able to go in and talk to her for a little bit. She was really upset. She had gone to the emergency room because she had gotten so worked up and so sick physically because of some really devastating things that have happened in her family. We just listened as she talked with us about how low and overwhelmed she was feeling. We offered to say a prayer with her. It was one of the most special prayers I have ever heard. All of her worries, concerns, and stresses were dimmed for a moment as the spirit flooded the room as we prayed. We were able to have someone come and give her a priesthood blessing. Sister Westergren is now home and is doing lots better. :) Every morning, every planning session, every time we leave the apartment, and every time we just don't know what to do we pray and ask Heavenly Father to guide us to where he wants us to be. It was amazing to see the Lords hand in our lives as he directed us to Sister Westergren. No one knew that she was in the hospital and that she was struggling, but Heavenly Father did. He knew that she needed us in that very moment and we were able to be instruments in Gods hands and to answer her prayers. It was amazing.
So we got a Media Referal (That basically means they were looking on LDS.org or MORMON.org and said that they would like the missionaries to come over, so then we get a text with their information, and we go over.) a few weeks ago that we have been trying to get in touch with, but we haven't been to successful. We have knocked on his door a few times, left a note with our number on his door, called him, everything we could think of. But no luck. So we decided to try one more time to go over and see if we could meet him. :) we knocked on his door and he answered! We were so surprised and excited to actually get to meet him, but before we could say anything he said super excitedly "Oh! You're from the church, please come in." 

We told him that because of mission rules we weren't able to come inside without another female there. So he literally grabbed his shoes and ran out the door so we could talk to him outside. :) He was so excited to meet us it was awesome! He told us how he just had this feeling that he needed to call off going to work that day, and then that's right when we knocked on his door. He immediately started asking us questions and we were able to teach him about the restoration of the Gospel and we gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him if he would read 3rd Nephi 17 as soon as we asked him to read it he opened it and started reading it right there. :) he was so eager to learn and just couldn't get enough about what we were saying. :) It was so cool. It was awesome because we were about to give up, we had said we will go over "one more time" and when we did miracles happened. :) He has since done some kind if weird things so the Elders are teaching him, but that moment was so cool!

One of the highlights of the week was Saturday. We went down to a farmers market in town near by with most of the missionaries in our district. We set up a table on the corner that had lots of Books of Mormon, DVDs, Magazines and pass along cards. We set up this plan where half of us would stand behind the table and sing hymns and the other half of the missionaries would go out and talk to people. It was a BLAST. :) It was amazing that as soon as we started to sing, the spirit was so strong. People were way interested in what we were doing and would come over to see what was going on, we even had a lady come over and record us for a little bit. :) We found lots of people who were interested in meeting with the missionaries and we gave out a lot of Books of Mormon. It was so much fun. We met some really special people that I just loved talking too. I noticed that there were a lot of people on the other side of the street who would look over to see what was going on, but then would keep walking. So I ran over there with a member who was with us and we started talking to people across the street. We were talking to this lady who wasn't super interested but super friendly. So after we stopped talking to her the most darling girl who was about 15 years old came over to us and said "I heard you talking to that lady, and I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit more about that book you were talking to her about?" It was AWESOME. :) We were able to talk to her about the Book of Mormon and about how much we loved it. She was so excited and happily took a copy and told us that we could come over and talk to her. She was adorable and just so hungry and anxious to learn. She doesn't live in our area, so we will send other missionaries over there but she was just awesome and I so hope things will go well. :) 

The District before transfers
Another miracle happened while we were out talking to people Saturday morning. It was right at the end of us being out there and we had only about 5 minutes left, so we gathered all the missionaries together and we said a prayer and told Heavenly Father that we were going to go out and talk to everyone we saw and try so hard to find one more person who was ready and excited about hearing the gospel. After we prayed we split up and went and just talked to everyone. :) after those 5 minutes were up we all came back, and none of us had found anyone who was interested. So we packed up and left our little corner. Us sisters were going to go to lunch together, so we walked into TacoBell and we saw two ladies who we had talked to while we were at the Farmers Market. They weren't super interested when they walked past us, but as soon as we walked into the restaurant they were so excited to see us.:) They walked right over to us and started asking us all these questions that they had. We were able to talk to them for quite awhile and they took the Books of Mormons that we offered them and said that they would love to have the missionaries come over. :) It was amazing, and was a total answer to our prayer. Heavenly Father doesn't always answer our prayers in the ways that we might think he will, but he DOES answer them. Because we prayed and then did everything we could do he helped us find these two more ladies who were curious and wanting to learn more.
Miracles happen every day. :) 

Thanks for your prayers and support because they are FELT. :) I LOVE YOU.

-Sister Watts

Random creepy hand

Teaching 6 year old

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week 12 - Christ walking this path with us

Is was a really amazing week. :) Unfortunately because of time I can only talk about two experiences, but it was awesome!!

We had a really incredible experience his week with one of our new investigators named M****. He was taught about 5 months ago by the sisters who were here before us. He seemed to be doing really well, but a week before his baptism he dropped the sisters and said that he didn't want to be baptized anymore. The sisters were of course totally bummed, but told him that if he ever needed anything to just call. So.
:) Last week we were going through our records and were seeing if there were any names that popped out at us, that we could try to contact again. M****  name jumped out at us so we sent him a text and just asked him how he was doing. He basically replied back and said that he was so happy we had texted him, he explained to us that he felt the previous missionaries were a little pushy and that he didn't feel ready to be baptized, but that he really wanted to read the Book of Mormon with us. The Book of Mormon is powerful and it is true so we were so stoked to start reading it with him. :) We asked Melissa if she would come to the lesson with us and she was way excited about it.

Just a few minutes before the lesson Melissa called us and said that she was going to be about 40 minutes late. We aren't allowed to be in a building with just one man so we were in a little bit of a bind. It has been raining pretty much nonstop all week, but luckily during the 40 minutes we were with M**** we were able to sit outside and the weather was beautiful. We weren't too cold and didn't get rained on, it was a miracle. We were able to have a really incredible lesson with M8888. We read the first two chapters of the Book of Mormon and he just loved it. :) The spirit was really strong as we talked about the scriptures and our favorite parts from the verses we were reading.

We spent a lot of time talking about 1st Nephi 1:20 "But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith." It was amazing to get to talk about how much Heavenly Father loves each of us, and how often he takes the time to show us in little ways that he is aware of us. Since our lesson M**** has been texting us tender mercies that he sees in his life. It's amazing how often Heavenly Father does these little things to help us feel his love. When we open our eyes and try to see all that he is doing, we will recognize that his hand is always in our lives. :) M**** came to church yesterday all on his own without any reminder or prodding on our part. He stayed for all three hours and participated and loved it. :) It was so fun to have him there. The ward just loves him and were so happy to have him back. He is an incredible kid. We’re so happy to be working with him again. :)

There were definitely things this week that started out difficult and were even a little bit discouraging. We got dropped by an investigator who we thought was doing really well. We met with less active after less active who told us they "just didn't want it anymore" we had a really powerful lesson with one of them where I felt the spirit so strong, and I promised him profound and incredible blessings IF he would just commit to coming to church, and he said no. We were yelled at. And we had appointments that we were totally stoked for fall through. I found myself asking "why isn't this easier?" "Why don't these people understand?" and "Why don't they want this?" It was heartbreaking for me to watch people who were so close to the truth, so close to these amazing blessings, and so close to feeling so happy.

But they just turn it away. I know how happy the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes me and I so badly wanted these people who I love so much to feel it and love it too. I want so badly for these people to feel the joy and the happiness that is just waiting for them as soon as they embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. But they were choosing to throw it away, not to embrace it, and not to not live it. That night I knelt down by the couch and as I prayed I cried. I felt like Nephi when he says "I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night." As I prayed I felt an overwhelming comfort and assurance that I was not alone. That Christ was walking this path with us, working with us, loving these people with us, feeling the happiness and the heartbreak with us, and that he would not leave us alone. I found so much hope in that fact and that is what I have clung to this week. As I have watched others turn their heads to something so beautiful and amazing it has strengthened my desire and efforts to never go away to always stay dedicated and committed to my Savior. I will never leave him because he will never leave me. I'm excited to love and serve alongside my Savior. I love what I am doing, it is difficult at times but I wouldn't trade it for anything else. :) Thank you for everything. I love you all so much and I am deeply deeply grateful for your prayers, love and support. Stay faithful and LIVE the gospel.

-Sister Watts

Creepy people in some guys' yard

The Maglios Great Dane, he is HUGE and loves to cuddle with me

Me cleaning at Jens. :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 11 - Mothers Day Skype and pictures

You are all the sweetest EVER. I seriously love you all so much. :) How fun was it to get to talk last night? I was on cloud 9. I think we have the most amazing family. Thank you for loving me and supporting me so much YOU are extraordinary. :)  I really loved talking to you guys so much. You are so happy and just totally made me happy. There are many missionaries who have hard situations back home and who come away from talking to their families and say "I wish I wouldnt have called" I FEEL SO OPPOSITE. And I am so grateful that I do. I really just love you guys with all of my heart and I am learning more and more every day how absolutely incredible you all are. I am so blessed.We are so blessed. :) 

Thank you, You are so encouraging and supportive and are trying so hard to help me. I appreciate it so much. It is the biggest blessing in my life to have the family that I have and to have been raised in the gospel. I will forever be grateful for that. :) I'm so grateful that skyping yesterday went so well. :) I was worried with the Storm that it would mess with the wifi. But it went awesome. :) 

I'm being obedient. :)  I am trying with all of my might. :) I need the blessings that come from being obedient. I will never stop. :) 

Love you, Sister Watts

Some fun pictures that were sent today too

I love my MTC Comps
Sister Spackman and Sister Watts
A member's horse
Sister Paulson at the temple
Most of my MTC missionaries
My Zone
Sister Williams

Sister Buckmiller

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 10 - Baptisms, The Savior loves you, and priesthood blessings

Hi my sweet family. :) I LOVE YOU. We had a really special week with a lot of miracles and blessings.

A***** and L***** were baptized. :) It was absolutely incredible. Both of them were so excited and could hardly wait to be baptized. The service was absolutely incredible. The spirit was so unbelievably strong. There were so many people there and it was just amazing. I felt so grateful to have been apart of these sweet kids special day. President Woodbury changed some appointments and canceled some plans that he and Sister Woodbury had so that they could come to the baptism as well. Isn't that amazing? He made us feel so special. He put in a lot of work to be there to support us on Saturday and it really meant the world to us. After the baptisms he pulled me and Sister Hansen aside and in the most tender and gentle voice he told us that we were doing a good job and that Heavenly Father loved us very much and was so grateful for the work we were doing. It was such a tender mercy and made Sister Hansen and I so happy. :)

President Woodbury is amazing. Honestly Saturday morning I threw up and wasn’t feeling well, so I prayed and said "Heavenly Father, I am going to need extra help today." He blessed me with an incredible personal study, I learned so much and felt the spirit SO strong. Then while I was getting ready President called and just wanted to see when our baptisms were I told them they were at 5:00 and he said "That’s too bad, I have appointments all day, so I won’t be able to make it." so I told him that was alright and how grateful we were for him and then hung up. He called back literally 5 minutes later and said 'Sister Watts, I have rescheduled my day so that I can come to your baptism." :) Heavenly Father knew that I needed to feel special that day, and President and Sister Woodbury were a total answer to that prayer. I was SO grateful!!!

Our Book of Mormon night this week was so special. Kimberly came and Sister Paulson came. It as less than is normally there, but it ended up being a really sweet lesson. We asked Kim how her Book of Mormon reading was going and she said that she was trying so hard to read, but that she wasn't understanding all of it. So we answered the questions that she did have and then started where she was at and just got to read with her. It was awesome. :) I love the Book of Mormon so much. It was really cool to watch her go from being a little bit confused about what she was reading to just loving what she was learning from it. In hopes of having more people at our Book of Mormon night we changed it to Wednesday night, which is mutual night. So that hopefully when parents come and bring their kids to mutual they will just stay to study with us. So Kimberly brought her whole family with her to the church on Wednesday. :) The kids absolutely loved mutual.
Cute picture for Sis Watts

They had so much fun! When they were leaving one of her sons who just turned twelve said "Thank you so much for inviting us Sister Watts, can we please come every week?" :) They are so stinking cute and I just love their family so much. They all came to church yesterday and loved that too. We had an appointment with the family last night and a dinner appointment right before it. We forgot to check our phone in between appointments so we missed a text from Kim that said "I have to cancel. :( It is mass chaos over here." So because we didn't look at our phone we missed her text and just went right over there after our dinner appointment. And it was such a blessing that we went over. Kim has a 14 year old nephew who is living with them right now who is just the sweetest little boy in the whole world. His mom has recently stopped paying any attention to him and has pretty much abandoned him.

He is absolutely devastated. When we walked in he was in his room just hysterically crying because he missed his mom so much. It was one of the most heart breaking things I have ever seen.
Since we were there Kim asked us to try to help him feel better. I was a little intimidated by the task because he was so distraught, but I said a prayer and asked for the spirit to be there and to comfort him.
We talked to him about how much Heavenly Father loves him and cares about him and is aware of him. We talked to him about how much Jesus Christ loves him and knows exactly what he is going through and how he feels. We told him that he is never alone. I have never been filled with so much love in my whole life. I had never met this little boy before, I hardly knew anything about him, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love him more than we can even comprehend. He is so special. When we started talking to him he had tears coming down his checks but as we told him how loved he was and how he could always turn to Heavenly Father in prayer and find a friend in Jesus Christ he was smiling and happy. It was a miracle. :) We gave him a picture of Christ so he could look at it and always remember what we told him and for the whole time we were over there he held onto the picture, he carried it around with him everywhere he went. He refused to put it down. :)

We have amazing members in our ward who do so much for us we are so grateful for all they do. So this last week we tried really hard to serve our members. :) Whenever an appointment fell through our back up plan was to go and help a member. We showed up on some of their front porches with a bag of cleaning supplies and said "we are here to clean for you." :) We scrubbed floors, did dishes, cleaned the tops of refrigerators, and vacuumed. I felt really grateful to be able to serve them and help them. We knocked on one sister’s door and told her that we were here to clean and she said "who told you?" Confused we said "told us what?" She replied with "That today was my cleaning day??" Haha. :) she had recently had a lot of family over at her house and was working on fixing everything up after and was feeling a little overwhelmed right when we knocked on the door. It was really fun for us to not have any idea why we needed to go to that member’s house right then, but we showed up and were able to really help. Our members are just amazing; they really just treat us like gold, so to be able to help them as really awesome. I love doing service in a skirt. :)

On Thursday both Sister Hansen and I woke up sick. Almost all of LaPorte has been super sick over the past few weeks so we were bound to get it sooner or later. We ended up calling the mission nurse and spending the day in bed. It was kind of a bummer to spend the whole day inside, but we seriously we were so blessed that day. :) Our sweet members were so amazing to us. News spread like wild fire that we were sick and everyone was anxious to help us. We got tons of texts and e-mails of people asking if we were ok and asking what they could do to help. Sister Brown just showed up at our door with two big big bags of groceries for us. :) She bought us soup, sprite, crackers, and lots of other things to help us feel better. Later Sister Scroggin brought by Ginger Ale and medicine. And to top it all off that night we had two Priesthood holders from our ward come over and give us blessings.
Miss a question, draw on your face?

The blessings we recovered were so special and brought us a lot of comfort. I love the Priesthood and I am so grateful for it. :) In the blessing I got on that night Brother Hill said "Heavenly Father is answering the prayers from the people who love you back home, and is blessing you tremendously." THANK YOU. :) That was such a tender thing for me to hear and a powerful thing for him to say. I know that because of your faith and your prayers we are seeing miracles and blessings every day. I wish I had words to describe how grateful I am for the love and the support I am getting from my sweet family and friends. I love you all so much, thank you for sending blessings my way. :) Have an Amazing week.

-Love Sister Watts

After a response was received from both Tammy and me Mckenna said this...

We are the funniest family. :) haha I cry when I read your e-mails every week and both you and dad replied by saying that you were crying as you read my e-mail. I love how much we love each other. :)