Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 35 - Serve like it was our day job

Hi my cute family. :)
At the bonfire
We had a really awesome week and some super incredible things happened, we have just had a really busy day. We ended up going to the doctor this morning because last night while we were at the bonfire I stepped on a nail and it went about an inch into my foot.
Kind of crazy. :) I'm totally ok, the mission nurse just needed me to go to the doctor to make sure there wasn't any infections. I'm ok. :) 

Leaf Raking
We had an awesome bonfire with Rachel again and it went PERFECT. :) We served like it was our day job this week. We made two full batches of a
More Leaf Raking
chicken noodle soup because everyone
in the whole world is sick it seems like. We raked leaves like crazy this week. And there was a family in our Ward at moved so we helped pack, clean, and move them.

This was an awesome week. We worked really hard and just had a ball. :) I LOVE YOU.

-Sister Watts
House Cleaning

Daniel's new puppy :)
Sister Golba-Ingles
Timeout corner at church
Sister Golba-Ingles

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 34 - 8 Months

Hey family. :) We had a really special, busy, crazy, fun week. :) Just like all of them are. 

We got to spend a lot of time with missionaries this week, which was awesome. We had Zone
Singing! :)
Training Meeting this week which was really incredible. We have an awesome Zone so it was fun to get to meet with them and learn from their examples. Always fun to see President and Sister Woodbury too. We had two zones at this Zone training so for the first part we met together, then we split up, then we came back together at the end. The Zone Leaders had asked Sister Golba-Ingles and I to sing a special musical number, when we split into two zones, with a companionship of Spanish Elders. It was really cool. :) We sang "Savior Reedemer of my Soul" and it went well I think, everyone was very kind. As soon as we started singing Sister Woodbury came into the room (she was with the other Zone) so that she could listen to us sing. :) When we met back with both Zones she had told President that everyone needed to hear our song, so we sang it again for everyone. I was totally nervous, but it was one of the most powerful experiences I have had at a zone training meeting. The spirit was just very powerful and you could just feel it so strong. I love music and I am grateful for the power that it has. The whole Zone Training was about Prayer. It was so powerful, simple and incredible. Just like everything in the gospel is. :) We learned a lot and just had a really awesome experience. I loved it. :)

Decorating cookies with the Sisters
One thing that made this week interesting was that the Sisters who are closest to us got into a car accident this week and totaled their car. President Woodbury called us that night and asked us if we could go and rescue the sisters. So we drove out and found them. :) Thank Heavens they are both totally ok, they just don't have a car now. So we have been able to give them our bikes, and we give them rides to meetings and things like that. They are fun sisters so It has been fun to be with them so much this week. :)

This week Sister Golba-Ingles and I have been trying really hard to go through our Area book and find less actives and former investigators that we can start teaching again. It was been powerful to watch Heavenly Father put us in places that we need to be right when we needed to be there. We stopped by the cutest family in the whole world. :) He was raised in Park City and after they were married they moved to Utah. They lived right down the street from the Salt Lake Temple for about 5 years. All of their best friends are members and they have been really open to the church. :) When we knocked on their door she was so excited to see us, it was awesome. She invited us in and we were able to talk with her for about an hour and we just had a great talk. She has just had a baby a few weeks ago, so she hasn't been feeling up to going to church. We wrote a list of our favorite conference talks and invited her to listen to those. She was so excited about it. :) She invited us over for dinner a few days later so we could meet her husband. They couldn't be more adorable. :) They are such a fun family. We had a ball talking with them and I am so excited to be teaching them again. :) We have an appointment set up to teach them on Wednesday, and I can't even wait. :)  

We had exchanges this week which was fun. Sister Johnson came to Gurnee with me and we just had a ball! Oh we had way too much fun. :) I totally love her. She is from Highland and graduated from LonePeak which was fun because she knows Caden and Aubrey. :)

I think one of the most powerful moments from this week was last night. Sister Golba-Ingles had been having a hard day and just really wanted a blessing. So we called the Elders and asked if they could come and give her a blessing they said "of course, we will be right there" 1-that's probably my favorite thing. :) it was very cool to see them be so anxious about serving and jumping on the opportunity to come and give her a blessing. She didn't feel totally comfortable with telling them what she was feeling, so with very little direction we said a prayer together and then they gave her a blessing. EVERY single thing that Elder Johnson said addressed EVERY single one of Sister Golba-Ingles concerns. It was so powerful and really incredible. There is absolutely no way that he could have said what he said had it not been for the priesthood power of God. That blessing worked miracles and was just such a tender mercy to be a part of. :) 

Contacting at Walmart
We had the funnest contacting activity ever this week. :) About a month ago we were able to set up a deal with Walmart where we would be able to Proselyte outside the front doors. We set up two tables at each of the doors, stocked them with supplies, our prayer board and had missionaries singing hymns, handing out cards and talking to people. :) it went perfect. I was really stressed that morning because it was raining a little bit and was getting all of our supplies and things wet, but we prayed and prayed and prayed and guess what? The rain stopped. :) it was perfect. We were able to talk to so many people and we found some really solid new investigators for lots of different companionships. It couldn't have been more perfect. :) We had this "prayer board" where we had people write their names, their families names, and just different things that they would want us to pray for. :) it was really tender to see how many people were so willing to come and write on our posters. We are so blessed to have a God who answers our prayers. :)

I absolutely love my mission. :) I can't believe it, but I realized today that exactly one year ago I opened my mission call. It is hard to comprehend that it was over a year ago that my life completely changed forever but I am so grateful that it did. Serving a mission has definitely been one of the most powerful and life changing experiences I have ever had. I thank Heavenly a father every day for calling me to serve. I know that I am right where I need to be and I couldn't be happier about that. :) Thank you for all the support and love you have shown me over the past year. I couldn't have done it without you. 


-Sister Watts

Beautiful lake in Gurnee


Kiss the Count

Sister Watts with a pigeon

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Week 33 - I'm not cold anymore

Bikes for the week!
This week was AWESOME. :) Totally breathtaking. The leaves are changing colors and it couldn't be more beautiful. Every single tree we look at is just stunning. It's awesome. We biked about 60 miles this week and had a lot of fun adventures there. And we had some powerful experiences. Over all it was just totally breathtaking. :) Some fun quick things, we had a blood drive this week that went really well, we helped out at a super cool recycling event with some other sisters and met some awesome people, and we had a fun moment helping out at the food pantry here is town. Cool things happen when we serve. :) It's the best. 

Ok. We had the BIGGEST blessing in the whole entire world this week. Holy crap. :) So Monday night we had a few minutes to fill before one of our appointments, so we decided to try and find some former investigators that Sister Boyd and I had tried to contact, but couldn't find. While we were there we met this guy named T***** B*****. :) He is a 66 year old black man from Tennessee and couldn't be more adorable. We had met him a few weeks earlier and had given him a large print BOM he was pretty interested in what it was and asked us to tell us a little bit more about it. :) We were talking to him outside on the porch because there wasn't another female at home, so we weren't able to go inside. While we were talking with him he was shivering and in his sassy way kept complaining about how cold he was. Sister Golba-Ingles had pulled out her Book of a mormon and read the last two paragraphs in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon. Right after she was done reading it Brother B***** was absolutely silent. He looked up at us and with the most tender, innocent, and genuine voice he said "I'm not cold anymore, I feel very warm." THAT WAS A TOTAL MIRACLE. The spirit filled that man's heart so much and touched him so deeply that he wasn't cold. He had tears in his eyes and was very emotional because of the experience he was having. We asked him if he knew that what we were telling him was true. He said "yes". :) So we asked him if he would want to be baptized. And he said YES. :) We were so excited. We have met with him a few times this week and it has gone really really well. 

We went over on Saturday night to invite him to church and he told us that he was really nervous about going to a different church, and then he promised us that he would come next week. We were a little bit bummed and despite our valiant efforts he told us he would not come this week. Well, Sunday morning rolled around and we got a call from T***** saying "I have my clothes all laid out, Im about to get dressed. I'm coming to church" AHHHH. :) the spirit works miracles in him. Sister Golba-Ingles and I were so excited. :) He came to church and loved it. He actually even bore his testimony about how welcomed he felt at church and how grateful he was for everyone who was so kind to him. He told about how he has been pretty closed off to God for a log time but because of the things that he has felt when he has been taught he is willing and wanting to create a relationship with God. It was the coolest. :) He is such a special man. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has led us to him. He is very prepared and is so receptive to the spirit. He is planning on being Baptized on November 8th. :)I feel so honored that God trusts us enough to be the missionaries that get to teach him. :) We love him and are just so excited for him. 

We had the coolest lesson with one of our members this week. :) We had dinner with Sister Evans Thursday night, so during nightly planning on Wednesday we were talking about what we should share with her and we put together a lesson plan and then moved on. The next morning when we were solidifying our plans for the day Sister Golba-Ingles and I just didn't feel the best about what we had decided we were going to teach her, so we scrapped that lesson and went back to the drawing board. We both felt like it would be fun to read with her the story of Samuel the Lamanite. It was kind of random and we didn't understand why, but we went forward anyway. :) After dinner Sister Evans opened up to us about how hard her calling is. She was just called to teach the 12-18 year old Sunday School class. The first lesson she taught she finished the lesson in tears because the kids were so disrespectful. She was terrified to go and teach them again. It was her turn to teach on Sunday and she told us that she was beyond scared. We got out our Book of Mormons and read with her Helaman 13:2-4 about how Samuel was rejected the first time we tried to teach the people, and as he was leaving the city he heard the voice of the Lord telling him to GO BACK. I'm sure he was nervous, scared, and unsure about what was going to happen but he went back anyway. He got up in the wall and testified of truths from his heart. And because he went back miracles happened and people were baptized. :) It was SO powerful. Sister Evans was so touched by the spirit and as soon as we started reading those scriptures a peace and a warmth filled that room and it was incredible. It was the coolest. :) Just so amazing that Heavenly Father KNOWS. he knows what we need, he knows how we are feeling, and he knows how to help because he knows YOU. it was incredible, and just a very special moment to be a part of. :)

After we left Sister Evans house I had absolutely no idea how we were going to get to our next appointment. It was easily an hour and a half bike ride away and it was starting to get cold and dark and I had no idea how we were going to be able to do it. But like we had just learned, God answers prayers. :) He sent the Jensens to help us. The Jensens are a senior couple who are serving on the Navy base that is in our Ward boundaries. They just happened to be in the area, and happened to have a bike rack, and just happened to have a totally free night. They were absolutely sent to help us. :) We loaded our bikes onto the back of their car and were able to make it to our appointment on time. It was a complete and total tender mercy and answer to prayer. Time and time again we saw blessings like that happen with our bikes. 

Blood Drive
After the Blood drive we had an appointment that we had to get to so we headed out on our bikes not totally remembering the advice to not work out after donating blood. After our appointment Sister Golba-Ingles was not feeling well and didn't think that she could make it home on the bikes. We called our Ward mission leader and he was in a perfect position to come and rescue us. It was amazing. And again by Sunday the Elders had their car back and offered us their car. We said absolutely not. :) Haha about an hour later the elders had left the keys to their car on our front porch basically leaving us with no choice but to use their car. It was very humbling to let them serve us in that way, but I was very touched by their courageous and powerful examples. It was very kind of them. We had so many tender mercies shown to us while we were on bikes his week. :) Whether it was members who were willing to help, safety while we rode, or Elders who sacrificed their car, we were so blessed. 

This week was absolutely incredible and proved over and over and over again that God answers prayers. He does. I know it. :) Heavenly Father loves us so much and cares so deeply about each and every one of us. It's incredible. I am so grateful for the experiences we were able to have this week and he priceless moments we were a part of. :) 

I love you guys. Thank you so much for loving me, supporting me, and praying for me. I appreciate it so much. I LOVE YOU. 
-Sister Watts

Found my wallet

Near Lake Michigan!

Sister Golba-Ingles

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 32 - Get OUT and Serve

Hello Family&Friends. :) 

Sister Boyd, Elders Johnson and Shields
This has been an incredible week. I feel so blessed and very very happy this week. :) I have been so
Cute Sister Watts :)
blessed to have been given an amazing companion. I love Sister Golba-Ingles with everything that I am, she is so special. :) She is a convert to the church and is the only member in her family. Her choice to serve a mission is an incredible act of faith and trust in the Lord. She has a powerful story and a deep conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She just graduated in 2014 and has the perfect greeny fire that I love. I have learned so much from her in the last 5 days and I can't even wait to continue to serve with her. I feel very privileged to be her companion. :)

We did a lot of really great things this week, and we had some pretty awesome miracles that I am so excited about. :) We have been trying a lot lately to be more service oriented. There is a whole lot of potential in our area and we know that there are people who live here that need the gospel, but we haven't been able to find them out knocking on doors. So we are trying a different approach. :) We are trying to serve a bunch and are trying to get more involved in the community. We have started helping out at Food Pantries, Paper Pantries, and community events. It has been so much fun, and we feel very blessed to be around so many incredible people. We have met some of the most selfless, Christlike, and giving people these past few weeks. We have also been super blessed to have many many moments where we get to talk about who we are as missionaries, what our purpose is and in he process we get to testify about the Gospel. We have had some very special conversations with some special people. :) Heavenly Father has totally been blessings us in every way as we have been diligently trying to be OUT.  

Last week when we were at the Community Yard Sale we met so many people who were genuinely interested and excited about who we were and what we had to say. We met this very sweet man who was Muslim. He sat down next to me and we talked for a solid hour and a half. He was so intrigued by the message that we were sharing and we has just soaking in everything we had to say, it was so cool. :) He agreed with a lot of the truths that we testified of. It was pretty powerful to see the spirit testifying to him of truth. We sent him home with a Conference edition of the Ensign, a Book of Mormon, a picture of the Temple, and a Restoration Pamphlet. (It was kind of convenient to have every thing we owned sitting on a table in front of us) :)  Person after person was just so excited to take these special documents and videos. We have found a lot of this same excitement in almost every activity we have helped with. It has been so much fun. :) If you have any fun and creative ideas or things that we could do out here just let us know. :) 

We have been really trying to get all of our investigators rooted in the Book of Mormon. It has been amazing to see that as we have brought them back to the basic and simple doctrines of the Gospel, they have been progressing so much more than they have in the past. We are working really hard and are seeing blessings all along the way. 

The scarecrow :)
We had a pretty hilarious experience this week. :) We were outside the church sitting on the grass weekly planning when we got a pretty frantic phone call from Elder Johnson (our Zone Leader) They were inside the church and said "Can you sisters come inside please? There is a lady that needs help and I feel like Sister Watts is the perfect one to handle the situation." Haha. :) So we ran inside and sitting on the couch was the cutest, sweetest and most adorable old lady. She was bundled from head to toe in her winter clothing, has no teeth, and looked like she had almost everything she owned in her little walker. Her name was R**** and she basically just needed to be loved. :) She lives about a half a mile away from the church and had walked to the church in hopes of finding someone that could help her. She told us that she really wanted to enter a scarecrow contest but because of he disabilities she wasn't able to do it on
The finished Scarecrow
her own. :) We told her that we would absolutely love to help her with anything she needed. So Saturday morning we went over to her home and made her scarecrow for her and then went and set it up at the contest for her. :) Now keep in mind. Saturday was the coldest day in October in the history of Chicago. The entire time we were helping her we were completely and totally frozen. But it was beyond hilarious. :)

She ended up coming to parts of general conference and she loved it. Speaking of which, we totally loved General Conference. :) We just had a blast of a weekend. All of the missionaries in the area came to the chapel to watch conference. It was perfect and just so much fun. :) I feel like here were some common threads in this conference that were just powerful and so awesome. That absolute truth completely exists. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true always forever and no matter what. Despite every test, challenges, and accusation the truth of the Gospel is real. The coolest thing about that is that you don't have to take my word, or your leaders word, or even the apostles and prophets word for it. You can ask GOD if it is true and he WILL answer you. No matter what. He is our Heavenly Father and he loves us more than we can ever comprehend, so he will absolutely answer your prayers. After you have gained that knowledge we can be a light and an example to everyone around us. We have the divine ability to make a difference. As we stand up boldly for the truth and the testimony that we have already gained we can totally and completely change the lives and hearts of those around us. The gospel is the coolest. I loved every minute of conference. :) 

We have a fun week coming up! I can't wait. :) We are getting a special preview of the new documentary "Meet the Mormons" that is coming out on October 10th. It is basically a documentary of 6 members of the church. It follows their lives and shows a little bit about what it's like to be mormon. I can't even wait for it. It looks SO good and it sounds like it is going to be incredible. We will be watching it before District Meeting on Wednesday. :) We can't see it in the theaters, but I absolutely encourage you all to go and see it. Date night? Family Home Evening? Anything. Go. :) Take your families and friends and love it. :) Then. After we watch the movie, and go to district meeting we will go and drop our car off at the auto body shop because we have to get something's fixed on it. We are dropping it off on Wednesday and we won't get it back until Monday, which means...BIKES. :) We get to go on bikes this week. Holy, I am so excited! My whole mission I have been in a car, so I can't even wait to be on a bike for a week. It's kind of funny. We have been praying like crazy to find people who are ready to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so Heavenly Father answers that prayer by taking away our car so that we can meet people. :) We got the bikes yesterday from some members in the Spanish branch and they are absolutely adorable. This is going to be such a tender mercy and an adventure. Every single time we talk about it we just laugh. We are too excited. :) We have lots of appointments, so we are going to be busy busy busy. It's going to be fun. We have a Blood Drive coming up and some cool service opportunities I am way excited about. :) 

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary.  I love my life. :) 


-Sister Watts 

Huge Hat