Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 31 - Called to be a trainer

Hello Family. :) Transfer calls came in this week and... Sister Boyd is leaving. I'm super bummed to have her leave. She is an incredible missionary and I feel like our 6 weeks together was much too short. I learned so much from her and I totally adore her. :) 

But, some pretty crazy news! I'm going to be training a brand new missionary. :) I am so excited and honestly can't wait for this super fun adventure to start. It will be a brand new experience but I am so excited for this call. I feel like the area, the ward, and myself will all benefit so much from having a new missionary, I am just so excited. :) 

Heart Attack
This week was really incredible. Heavenly Father blesses us so much. As we walked out of almost every appointment we were just so excited and happy about what had just happened. It was awesome. :) We have an investigator that is married to a less active member of our ward. They have both been super super sick and we haven't been able to see them or really get in contact with them. We decided to go and heart attack their door with fun letters, quotes, and scriptures that we love. It was way fun. Right after they found it they immediately called us and set up an appointment with us. :) when we got there a few days later they were so grateful. Mona said that she had never had anyone do something so kind, simple, and thoughtful for her. She told us that she had already saved and scrapbooked every heart that we put on her door. It was just very sweet of her. :) 

Apartment Cleaning
We have been at J***** house a lot this week. She is the former investigator that we found at Walmart. :) Her house has super toxic mold which I think we told you about but because it has gotten so bad she has gotten kicked out of her home and so she is trying really hard to find a new place to live. Right now her family is living in an apartment. We were over there two days this week cleaning and packing and helping her with everything that she needed. (No worries. I wore my mask.) But while we were there we were able to meet some of her friends and family and it was so awesome to be with them. :) J***** is way excited to be learning about the gospel and her friends were way open and excited about meeting us. We are way excited about J*****. It's amazing how much service really does open peoples hearts. It's awesome.

We had the greatest miracle this week. :) R***** CAME TO THE WOMENS MEETING. it was absolutely perfect and totally awesome. She loved every minute of it, felt the spirit super strong, and got to meet so many of the members. As soon as the meeting was done she said "I can't wait to hear the prophet speak." Ah. :) sister Boyd and I just wanted to fly our of our chairs. We were so excited. So she is going to come to general conference!!

Community Yard Sale

And one last cool thing. :) there was a community yard sale this week where the community set up a bunch of tables at a park and had members of the community sign up to come and sell things. :) sister Boyd and I had this way awesome idea to bring all of the supplies that we had and give them away for free at the yard sale. :) it was a complete and total success. We cleared ourselves out of Book of Mormons, DVDs, bibles, and all of our church books and then tons of other things. It was so much fun. We talked to some awesome really special people and just had an awesome experience. We got so burned. Holy cow. I haven't been this burnt in years. But it's ok. :) 

I'm sorry this is kind of a makeshift e-mail. I just had way to much fun talking with Sister Wright. :) I love you all so much. :) I'm just happy. I love my life.

Love you. :)

-Sister Watts

Another dead bird in Gurnee! What is the deal?

Big dinner bibs

These girls are moving to Provo

Not safe for occupancy

The district - Elder Robbins, Sister & Elder Jensen, Elder Montgomery
Sister Goff, Sister Wright, Sister Watts, and Sister Boyd

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 30 - The faith to succeed :)


It has been a super exciting, fun, crazy, busy, roller coaster of a last two weeks. I'm totally sorry that I ran out of time for writing an e-mail last week. So many incredible things happened last week that I still wanted to talk about and update you guys on. :) So probably the most exciting thing that happened last week is that we had a really incredible mission conference. :) Elder Hamula (a member of the first quorm of the 70) and his wife came and toured and visited our mission last week! It was awesome. :) Friday was completely dedicated to Elder and Sister Hamula. We had to leave our apartment at 6:00 a.m and we didn't end up getting home until 11:00pm. It was crazy. :) 
The Chicago Illinois Mission
The whole day was honestly just jam packed with really incredible things. We started out the day with the mission conference and it was so powerful and finished the night with a fireside that we brought less actives and investigators to. Too cool. There was a moment in the conference where the spirit was so incredibly strong and I totally believe that Heavenly Father was speaking right to me. Elder Hamula told the whole mission that we had "the faith to come out and serve a mission, but now we have to find the faith to succeed on the mission." I feel like that hit me like a ton of bricks. :) It was very scary for me to serve a mission, and honestly there are still moments after being here for awhile that I feel scared but I have had the faith to make it through. But God doesn't just want us to have the faith to survive he wants us to have the faith to thrive. :) He has called us here to find, teach and baptize. He wants us to have success. 

Sister Boyd and I have taken that council and have tried our best to run with his advice. We have left more powerful invitations, have trusted God more in ALL things, and are just striving to exercise our faith in every aspect of the work. Since we have raised our vision a little bit and have recommitted ourselves to having the faith to succeed we have seen so many more miracles and just some really cool ways that Heavenly Father is answering our prayers and blessing us for our efforts. :) 
King Arthur

I don't know if you guys remember the guy that it told you about a few weeks ago who asked us if we really believed the Things that we were teaching? And we said YES. :) Well, first off this cute man's name is A****. Anyway, while we were talking with him a few weeks I just instantly and easily could love this man so much. Sister Boyd and I were talking about the experience that we had with him when we first met him and we both just had a super strong feeling that we should go and try to talk with him again. :) So we went over. When we knocked on his door he was pretty excited (and probably a little bit shocked) to see us but he was very kind. :) A**** told us that as soon as we left him last week he started looking up a bunch things about the church and he had a lot of questions. :) We talked with him for about an hour and were able to have a really neat conversation with him. He told us that we would really be interested in coming to church and that he is pretty curious about the things that we believe. We stopped by a few days later and we were able to meet his cute wife S***** and we taught them both about the Restoration and testified of the Divinity of the Book of Mormon it was a super cool lesson and I just really love both of them so much. :) The happiest part about this whole story is that A**** CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!! We were so happy. :) The ward was super receptive, welcoming, and kind to him. It was so awesome. :) I was just so excited for him to come to church. It's been awhile since our area has brought someone to church so we were just absolutely thrilled. :) 

Another totally awesome miracle happened with a former investigator named J*****. :) So it was kind of a funny story. It was a few Mondays ago we were shopping at Walmart and we had finished buying everything that we needed. We were loading our car when Sister Boyd remembered something that we had forgotten that she had wanted to get (Inspired Remembering). We walked back in and the first person that we saw was J*****. :) She had been taught awhile ago by the missionaries and ended up stopping taking the lessons. She was SO excited to see us and immediately wanted to set up an appointment with her and she wanted us to come and see her. :) We have gone over a few times and have been reading the Book of Mormon with her. She loves it, she absolutely loves the Book of Mormon and it is very fun to talk about it with her. We love her. :) 

Another totally amazing experience we had this week was absolutely priceless. :) We have these two investigators, J*** and R****. They have been meeting with missionaries pretty regularly for about a year and just haven't been progressing very well at all. So we didn't totally know what to do to help them start to love the gospel. :) We were up at one of the properties that they are fixing up one day and R**** was telling us all the things that she wants to get done up there. It was a long list. :) We offered to have a bunch of missionaries over to help them get some of the things done. :) THEN.
Testimony Bonfire
we walked around back and saw that she had a giant pile of wood that she was planning on having a HUGE bonfire with before the summer is over. We were so excited and asked her if she would ever be willing to have a big testimony meeting around the fire after we worked around her house. She was so stoked. :) It was so much fun to see her so excited. We ended up having 6 companionships at the bonfire. It was PERFECT. :) Pretty much the whole testimony meeting was about how we have gained our personal witnesses that the Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ is true. It was one of the most genuine, sincere, and tender testimony meetings I have ever been to. The coolest part was that J*** and R**** totally felt it too. They both bore their testimonies and shared some incredible experiences they have had. It was just such a priceless moment for everyone who was there. The missionaries were so grateful to be there and everyone wants to do another one before the weather starts to get colder. :) 

My very favorite lesson we taught this week was to a less active member of our ward named K*****. :) K***** was baptized when she was in high school. She was introduced to the church through her best friend who is a member and she just loved how happy she felt while she was with her friend and when she was in their home. She fell away from the church a fee years later when her father passed away. It completely and totally rocked her world and was just so hard for her.
She has since completely rejected home teachers, missionaries and almost all of her connections with the church. Sister Lewis and sister Boyd were looking through the church records and just had the strongest impression to go and stop by her home. She said it was a complete and total miracle, but SHE LET THEM IN. :) It was the coolest. I got to meet her this last week and it was incredible. She is such a special woman, I just love her. :) We were able to have an incredibly powerful lesson with her and she was so open with us about how she was feeling and where she was coming from. She told us many times how 'scared' she was to come back to church, how 'scared' she was to pick up the Book of Mormon again. She was just scared. I had a powerful feeling that I was supposed to tell her my story about coming on a mission. I told her about how absolutely terrified I was and how I was scared, but because I have done what God asked me to do I have been more blessed than I ever would have imagined. EVER. It was a super special moment to be able to share with her a story that is so special and tender to me. After I shared that story with K***** her demeanor completely and totally changed. It was incredible. :) instead of saying "I can't" it was "I can" she started talking about how she wants us to teach her boyfriend and how she hopes he will be receptive. It was absolutely incredible. :) so cool.

It's just amazing to me how much God is preparing people to hear the Gospel and how much he wants them to accept it and come closer to him. His ONLY desire is for us to come closer to him and I know that is only possible through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is incredible and I absolutely love everything about what we are doing. :) we see miracle after miracle after miracle.

One last thing. :) Everytime I think or talk about it I totally just cry. I don't know if any of you remember B****? He is the man that We were teaching while I was serving in LaPorte. Right before I left he had just started to Read the Book of a Mormon and said his very first prayer. He has come to church twice in the past three weeks and has completely dedicated himself to quit smoking and drinking so he can be baptized!! :) I don't even have words for how happy and excited I am for him and his family. He has come SOO far and I just love them so much. :) The church is true and it totally changes lives. It's the coolest. :)

Don't forget to have the Faith to Succeed. :) Love, Sister Watts

Thanks Cindy and Jeff Ross!

The Hermanas, Sister Boyd and Watts

Sister Watts in Chicago

Sister Boyd and Sister Watts - Major mold at an appointment

Sister Boyd and Sister Watts - The Fountain

Sister Boyd and Sister Watts - The Bean

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Week 29 - Mission Conference

Very busy week for Sister Watts and P-Day was full with a trip into the city so we didn't get an email with a lot of detail. But we did get a lot of here they are:

Awesome doughnut shop

I'm King of Chicago!
Proof the doughnuts are awesome

Jordan's steak house

Keith and Simone
The Bean
Mission Conference

Mission Conference

More Mission Conference

Mission Conference

MTC Comps


Sister Boyd in the rain

Wow...big ring

Sister White

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Week 28 - My week :)

Hello amazing family and friends. :)

I LOVE YOU. Seriously. I think I have the most incredible support system in the whole world. I wish I had the words to say how much you all mean to me. I guess I am just so grateful for all of you. :) Thank you!!
This was a really fun week. Sister Boyd and I are working really hard and are doing our best to show Heavenly Father how much we want to assist Him in His work. We are trying our hardest to be diligent, obedient and giving everything we have to The Lord. And we are loving it. :) 

We had two experiences this week that just made me so grateful for the testimony that I have and for the peace that we can find in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sister Boyd and I decided to do our Weekly Planning this week outside at the park this week, so we could talk to people who were here while we planned. There was this old man who brought his grand kids to come and play. :) He ended up coming over and talking with us for awhile. He  is pretty involved in his religion and wasn't totally interested in learning more about we had to say. But, he has friends who are members of the church so he knew a little bit about what we believed. :) We had a lot of fun talking with him and we had a pretty neat conversation. We started talking about the Book of Mormon and about Joseph Smith. He straight out looked at me and asked "now, do you really believe all that?" I looked at him and with the biggest smile and with total confidence said "I do." :) I absolutely and completely do. I don't know if I have ever been asked that point blank if I believed the things that I was teaching, but I do. :) I know it and and I love it with all of my heart. I know that the spirit was there in that little moment when we got to testify to him.

Last Monday one of the members of our ward passed away. She was such a sweet lady and made me feel very loved and welcome in the two weeks that I knew her. Sister Boyd and I were asked to say the prayers at her funeral and then to help with a little luncheon we were having at the church afterwards. They ended up asking me to play the piano while they all ate their lunch. :) It was a really special and incredible moment for me. Sister Leonard was the only member in her family. Most of the people who were at the luncheon and the funeral had a lot of questions and were feeling so sad about what had happened. As I played the piano for them I watched them all just sit together and just cry. They were so sad and so distraught to not have sister Leonard with them. I absolutely know that it is ok to cry, and that they need this time to grieve. But as I sat and watched them be totally sad I was so grateful for the peace and comfort that the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation brings. I know that I will be with my family forever and I can't imagine anything better. :) I know hat making and keeping our Sacred covenants brings peace in this life and absolute JOY in the life to come. I was just very filled with gratitude to me Savior for making it possible for us to return to live with him again. Sister Leonard is happy, I know it. :) I love Gods plan for us.

I just love the Gospel. I had a really neat moment this week when I was reading the Book of Mormon. :) We aren't teaching a whole lot right now, and we are spending most of our time trying to find those that Heavenly Father is preparing to hear the gospel. We are out knocking a lot of doors, talking to a bunch of people, and trying our best to be where God needs us. I found a lot of comfort in a scripture that I read this week while I was studying. It's where Alma the younger leaves to go be a missionary. :) He is serving in an area that is a little bit slow, where the people aren't very receptive to him and the special message that God has called him to share. Alma feels pretty down and is feeling a little bit sad. The scriptures say that he was "weighed down with sorrow". But I absolutely love what Alma is told when he is in the middle of feeling this anguish. :) "Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him." I LOVE THAT. We have great reason to rejoice. I am so grateful that I am here serving as a missionary. I love being a special representative of Christ. This work has brought me so much happiness and I am so happy to be serving here. :) I know that God is aware of each of us and he loves us more than we could ever imagine.

He knows what we are going through and he wants us to be happy. :) I am so excited for this week!! We are having a member of the 70 who is coming to tour our mission. We are having a full mission conference all day on Friday and it is going to be so fun. :) I can't wait. It is going to be so much fun getting to see everyone again and to get to learn some really awesome things. :) It's going to be great.

I love you all so much. :) Thank you for the prayers, support and love. You are all AMAZING. I appreciate who you are so much. Thanks for your examples. :) Love Sister Watts. :)

Sister Boyd - Birthday lunch

Cookies from the neighbor

Mini Sister Watts

With Sister Clark
Zone practicing for a musical number

Zone activity

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 27 - I love this :)

Hey Fam. :)
With Sister Boyd out working
We have had a really fun week! We have been working hard and are trying our very best to do what Heavenly Father needs us to be doing!

Chicago Temple
We had the biggest tender mercy this week of being able to go to the temple. :) Yesterday in Sacrament meeting we had the Chicago temple President and Matron come and speak to us, and while we were listening to them speak I just had the biggest desire to go to the temple! And then it worked out so so so nice because the temple was open this morning for Labor Day, so we were able to go. And Ahh. It was exactly what I needed and just brought a love and a peace unlike anything else. I love the temple. :) But anyway, this week was really awesome.

Some great things happened. This week while we were on exchanges we were called by the cutest 90 year old lady in our ward and she told us that she needed some help. :) We were excited to help her and were grateful for the opportunity. She had run out of milk, so we needed to run to the store really fast to grab her some. While we were there we met the sweetest man. :) We walked by him once and he was really friendly and kind to us, so when we passed him again we stopped and talked to him. He asked about our name tags and about who we were and what we were doing. :) So we were talking to him about the church and our role as missionaries and we asked him if he would ever be willing to read the Book of Mormon and if he would want to learn more about the gospel. His reply was just so tender and simple. :) He said "Absolutely. You girls just have a special spirit about you, and I want that." It was so incredible. :) I was amazed at how powerful and real the influence of the spirit is. We had only briefly testified of these restored truths and had only been talking with him for a matter of minutes, but he felt the spirit and was able to recognize that it was something that he wanted in his life. It was cool. He loves in Florida, so hopefully we can set him up with the missionaries down there!
I'll Follow Him!

I guess I am just super super grateful for the spirit this week. :) We had a lesson with this really cute family from India! They used to be Hindu and have converted to Christianity, and were baptized a little while ago. They have so much faith and every time we have met with them I have just been really amazed at their testimonies. :) We went over this week and Sister Jada had some questions about something's that she had read in the bible and she was wondering if we would ever be able to answer her questions. We said that we would absolutely love to try and then we said a super fervent prayer asking for the spirit. :) She had us read some chapters that I honestly had never heard before, and quite frankly the questions that she as asking us I didn't know the answers to. But we had full faith that Heavenly Father would help us and that if we followed the promptings of the spirit we would be able to help her. And we were. :) it was an absolute miracle. As we opened our mouths to teach and discuss the scriptures she was curious about, the spirit filled our mouths and totally carried us through that lesson. I was shocked by some of he things that were coming out of my mouth and Sister Boyd's because I knew that they weren't coming from us. The Holy Ghost is amazing and because of it we were able to have a super great lesson with them. :) 

We had an absolutely incredible experience this last week that I have thought about so much, and I have been really excited to share it with you guys. It was just a super profound moment for me and The spirit was so strong. :) it was amazing. We were meeting with this family who has just barley been baptized. Their names are Ami and Ilona. They have made so many changes and have come so far because they love the gospel. They have honestly had to make a complete 180 turn. It's amazing. :) But we were over there and Ilona asked us how we continue to find our faith even when moments and times are hard. We shared our favorite scriptures with her and just gave her some advice. She got really serious for a minute and said "Sisters, can I tell you something? Every time I pray, or read my scriptures, or when you sisters come over I see people dressed in white standing around our home. They are here protecting us, they love us and they want to help us." We were both stunned. As soon as she said that the spirit just flooded the room and we knew that what she was saying is true. This work and everything that we do every day is so much bigger than ourselves and right now. We receive "heavenly help" every single day.

We shared with her the story in 2nd Kings where the prophet Elisha and his servant were completely surrounded by the armies of Syria. The servant was scared and had no idea how they could ever be ok when the fight they were fighting seemed to be so much bigger than themselves.

Then Elisha says something that I think is absolutely profound, he says "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." And then the Servants eyes were opened and he was able to see this massive army that was behind them. AMAZING. :) I didn't realize how true and real that story was until in her own words Ilona testified of that exact thing. There is never any reason for us to fear, or be sad, or feel lonely because we are NOT alone. We are more supported and have more people rooting for us and caring for us than we could ever imagine. They are helping us so that people that we meet on the street recognize and feel the spirit, we are being helped to do things that we never thought we would be able to do, and we are being helped to see miracles. :) So "Fear not" because we are on the winning team and we are not alone. :) I love it, and I love what I get to do. :) I am forever grateful that Heavenly Father is giving me this opportunity to assist Him in His work. 

Thank you for everything. I love you all more than I even have words and I am so grateful for your prayers and support. Thank you. :) 

Love, Sister Watts

Sister Watts and Boyd being goofy

Sisters Boyd, Prestige, Winward, and Watts

TP Dresses with the YW