Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 39 - Week of miracles

Sister Watts in front of a pretty wall :)
Hello Fam. :)  What a week. :) This week was beyond amazing. Everything that happened this week was nothing short of miraculous. It was so incredible, great things are happening here. :) I'm sorry this e-mail will be short. 

The craziest miracle that happened this week has been a work in progress this whole week. We have this family that we have been working with for awhile. They have been on the missionaries radar for about 6 months or so? Anyway we have been working really hard with T*****, the husband. But there hasn't been a whole lot of progress there. They own a salon so sometimes it is hard to teach them there because it is such a chaotic environment. 

Miracle#1 This week we started talking with S*****, his wife. :) She is beyond darling. She is super tiny and was born in the Philippines. We were able to have a really amazing conversation with her earlier in the week. We stopped by a few days later and she as so excited to see us, she called us down to meet the patient that she was working on. 

Miracle#2 The patients name was Morgan, she is a member of the ward that meets just before us. :) Her and Morgan have been really good friends for about the last 3 years. It was incredible, while we were sitting there talking with them we were able to have an incredible conversation and then Morgan invited S***** to come to church. S***** said YES. :) We have been trying every single
thing we can think of to get them to come to church, and just like that she said YES. :)  It was amazing. We ended up having dinner with Morgan a few days latter and she told us all about all of the questions that S***** asked her. It was incredible. So we were totally planning on S***** coming to church, but we got a text from Morgan about 30 minutes before church started Morgan texted us and said that S***** wasn't going to make it. We were so bummed, but holy cow we prayed like CRAZY those next 30 minutes. And of course Morgan texted us so excited and said "SHES COMING." :) We were so thrilled. They both walked into church about 20 minutes late, but it was totally ok. The high counselor that was giving a talk about the "covenant path." He talked about baptism, the priesthood, and temple ordinances. It was such a doctrinally solid talk for S***** to hear. While we were singing the closing song she leaned over to me and asked "where am I on the covenant path?" Ahhhh. That's perfection in missionary life. We were able to have a really neat conversation about how she needed to be baptized so she could live with Heavenly Father again. It was awesome. :)

That's all I can report right now. But I am so happy. :)


-Sister Watts 

Disney Store on P-Day

Light Parade

Public Transportation

Week 38 - Chicago!

Wow. This week has been amazing. I am absolutely in love with everything that is happening here right now. I am just having a blast.:) 

Sister McChesney
I just  adore my companion sister McChesney, she is 22 and from Georgia. She is the oldest of 7 kids and was studying at BYU to be an English teacher. We have a ton in common. We are having a ball. :) 

The city is a miracle. Holy cow, it is like a dream come true. There is so much character here. The art is everywhere you look and absolutely unreal. I am just thrilled to be here. :) We do a lot of finding in this area. Because we are on Buses, trains, or walking everywhere we are constantly surrounded by people. It is so fun. :) We are always talking with people and everywhere we go we are handing out cards, copies of the Book of Mormon, and getting people's information so we can have missionaries go over and visit them. Most of the people that we meet don't live in our area. They are coming into the city for work or school and then they go back to the suburbs where they live. In our mission they actually call us the "temple square sisters" because so much of what we do is send referrals to other missionaries. It is really cool. :) 

In the City!
We see a lot of miracles while we are out talking with people but there as one experience that I had this week that was just really neat. :) This woman got on the bus and was just so stinking cute. I started talking with her and she had the most beautiful accent (which is a really fun Chicago thing. So many people have the most stunning accents) I asked her where she was from and she said "Lithuania" I was so excited. I said "I'm serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I have a really good friend who is serving as a missionary in Lithuania." She was so excited to get to talk about her home town and opened up to me so much about her and her family. I was really happy to be able to connect withering a really simple way that meant so much to her. I gave her a picture of the Salt Lake Temple, she was amazed at how beautiful it was. :) She turned the card over and there are a lot of questions on the back like "what is the meaning of life" "where did I come from" and "can families be together forever"? The spirit told me to just be quiet. So I didn't say anything. She got really emotional. I waited until it was right an then and all I asked was "would you like missionaries to come over to your home and talk to you about the answers to those questions?" She said absolutely and gave me all of her information. :) It was so powerful. I'm so grateful that the spirit was so strong in that moment on the Bus. It as so cool. :) I love it. I sure hope the missionaries we sent her to will be able to find her and teach her, it was an amazing moment.

We have some really special investigators that we are working with. :) Two that I am really excited about are names L***** and S*****. They are both originally from China and are here in Chicago going to med school. They are absolutely brilliant and are very intelligent. I guess they went to temple square to visit, and talked with the Sister Missionaries at the visitors center and just loved being there. It was actually a huge miracle that we were able to meet with them this week.
They have been in contact with the sisters for a really long time, but haven't been able to work out a time where we could come over. Well last week they e-mailed the sisters and set up an appointment with US. Totally cool. :) Because they were raised in China they have almost no concept of God, Jesus Christ, or even Religion in at all. So they have a lot of questions that will be really fun to help them with.  They are so humble, and genuine and super intrigued in what we are teaching them. The whole time we were teaching them they were sitting on the edge of their seats and were hanging onto every word we were saying.

They told us something that was just so kind of them that I loved. They told us that we "light up" when we talk about the church. They said "we want that. We want to light up about God." :) I just loved that. I thought that was so kind of them and super powerful and profound. I'm so grateful for the Gospel because it really is a light. That is something that is very real. :) I'm very excited to be working with L***** and S*****, they are so special. We have another appointment with them this week! They are amazing!

Street contacting (proud of tattoo)
This week has been amazing, but It has totally confirmed one thing that I have absolutely learned on my mission is that "no growth happens in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone." Everything that I am experiencing right now in the city is totally foreign, different, and sometimes uncomfortable. I told Sister McChesney that I feel like I have almost moved to a different mission. Everything is so different. But I am so grateful for this experience that I have to serve here in the city. I am learning to be more courageous and brave.  I'm learning to testify more powerfully. I am learning more completely to rely on Jesus Christ and to trust in the enabling power of His Atonement. I am so grateful for all of the incredible things I am learning. It really is humbling. There is so much potential here in this area and i can't wait to work really hard and become more of who my Heavenly Father needs me to be. :) I love all of you so much. Thank you for all of your kind words and prayers.


Love, Sister Watts

Monday, November 10, 2014


Family comes first!
Hello my sweet Family & Friends. :)

I don't ever know what to say about this week, or even how to put it into words. It has been a crazy, emotional roller coaster this whole week.

In my interview last week with President Woodbury, he told me that because there are so many sisters going home in the next few transfers he is needing to close down some areas. He told me that he was seriously thinking about closing my area. As soon as we started talking about it my heart just sank. He asked how I felt things were going, how the people we are working with are doing, and if I felt like this was an area that could use a break for a little bit. I was honest with him in my responses and we talked about the work that was happening in our area. President was very kind about the work that I have done in this area. He told me that for some reason the whole time he has been here this area has just really struggled. He told me he puts his "strongest" missionaries here, and for some reason there isn't a whole lot happening. Despite his kind words I walked out of the interview feeling very sad. I didn't want to admit it to myself, but I walked out of the interview feeling that the area would close.

I was so worried. The only thing that could really describe what I was feeling is that I felt "heavy" I
Chicago version of the "Quatro Quatro"
felt a lot of weight on my shoulders. I knew that I was called to serve here in this area for a reason and I worried that I didn't find or fulfill that reason. I was racking my brain for things that we could have done differently, areas we could have been more diligent, or just things I could have done more. This is the Lords work and he is very generous in letting us help him, I felt like I had let Him, the Ward, and the people we are teaching down. When I got transferred here things were slow, and I had such high hopes and big goals for this area to progress and to find the people that needed the gospel and I felt like I had failed and hadn't measured up to everything that I had hoped for. I was discouraged.

I asked Elder Griffin for a blessing Monday night because I didn't want to feel what I was feeling anymore. I KNEW that those thoughts and feeling we're not coming from my Heavenly Father and I wanted them to leave. I was distracted by myself and I needed to forget myself and go to work. The blessing was so tender and exactly what I needed to hear. It was a powerful reminder to me that Heavenly Father was aware of me, he was proud of me and he was with me. Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and the blessing helped me find faith in that plan again. I am so grateful for the blessing that I received. Thankfully Sister Golba-Ingles took notes during the blessing so I referred to it often throughout the week. It brought so much comfort and peace into my heart.

The rest of the week was really crazy. :) It was still very much like a roller coaster. Full of worries, fears and doubts but all along the way Heavenly Father was answering both of our prayers. We saw incredible miracles and had some special tender mercies. One of the most powerful miracles happened a few nights later. We went to the last appointment of the day, and they weren't home. It was around 7:45, it was late, totally dark, and now we didn't have anywhere to go. I had no idea where we needed to be. We said a prayer and then we picked a less active member of our Ward that neither of us knew, and we decided to go find her. :) we knocked on her door and the cutest little Korean lady opened the door and was very excited to see us. We sat down and talked with her for a little bit and had a really incredible discussion with her. Her name is H*****. She was born and raised in Korea and she joined the church when she was about 15 years old. She is the only member in her family. She is a returned missionary, she served in Korea. And she is just darling. We talked a lot about her conversion, her mission, and some other spiritually powerful moments she has had. We looked through her Korean scriptures, hymn books, and old lesson manuals. It was awesome. :) We had a great lesson with her and it was such a powerful tender mercy. I think my favorite part of the whole experience though was when she told us that her husband doesn't really love the church and he has a really hard time with people just coming and stopping by. I guess he is really shy, so when missionaries come and knock on their door it makes him feel really uncomfortable. Well, the night we went and stopped by he was on a one night business trip leaving H***** home and able to talk to us. It was incredible. In the blessing I received Elder Griffin told me not to be worried about where we needed to go, and that Heavenly Father would take care of it. That promise in my blessing was absolutely real. We didn't need to worry about where we needed to be, Heavenly Father knows. He knows us, He knows the people we are working with, and he knows where we need to be. We just need to trust his plan and follow it. :) That was a powerful experience for me that brought a lot of peace and comfort to me.

We had some really amazing experiences like that all week long, but still the worry of transfer calls was in the back of my mind. So much was weighing on this one call. I have never been more nervous for a transfer call my whole mission. I was so nervous because this call was so much bigger than I was and would have a huge effect on a lot of people. Well. Finally. :) Our phone started ringing. Ahhh. I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest. Elder Foster congratulated Sister Golba-Ingles on her mission call and was super excited for her. :) Then the conversation shifted to me, I still can't even wrap my head around what he said next. He said "Sister Watts, you are being transferred to the Lake Shore 1st Ward, and you will,be finishing the training of sister Mkchesney." OH MY GOSH. :) I thought I was going to fall over. Let me tell you a little bit about why this is so stinking crazy. :) My area is right smack dab in the middle of the city, I will be living right in the heart of Chicago. The Lake shore Ward is as downtown as you possibly can go. I cover the loop and will be completely reliant on public transit. I still can't even believe it. :) It will be completely and totally opposite of everything I have experienced so far on my mission. Even in writing this right now I feel totally and completely shocked. There is a lot about this crazy call that feels intimidating to me, but I don't think I could be more excited. :) IM GOING TO THE CITY!! It is going to be such a blast, the area is beyond fun and my companion is incredible. I have met her once and I Was really really impressed with her. She is a visa waiter, she has been called somewhere in Poland I think? So she could possibly get her visa at any time and then she would leave? So who knows. Everything about this next transfer is going to be an adventure. :) It feels so crazy, but I am so excited. :) I can hardly wait. As for here in Gurnee they aren't closing the area, but they are white washing it with a companionship of Elders. It will be exciting and I am grateful that they will be here. :) I was so worried about it all week, but when Elder foster told me what was happening I felt total peace. I know that everything is working out exactly how it is supposed to and I have complete trust that the Elders are supposed to take over this area.

The last two days have been kind of crazy setting everything up for them so they can take over as smoothly as possible. It has been hard to say some goodbyes and to explain to people what is happening, but it will all work out ok. :)

The biggest tender mercy in the whole world happened last night. We have been so blessed to be working with a less active member who is just amazing. Some of my most powerful lessons have been with Kathryn and I just love her more than I even have words. She was the one person that I was concerned most about when we were told that the area might be closing. We have such a strong relationship with her and she has come so far. I didn't know how she would handle us leaving. Sister Golba-Ingles and I have prayed and prayed about it because it was something we were very concerned about. :) I want to tell you guys a little bit about the lesson and conversation we had last night with her. First a little bit of a back story, K****** was baptized about 20 years ago when she was in high school and was really active for about 7 years, she had some hard things happen and hasn't been active since. She has not allowed visiting teachers, home teachers, missionaries or anyone into her home for 13 years. Her heart has absolutely been softening over those years until sister boys and sister Lewis knocked on her door about 3 1/2 months ago. She let them in. :) It was right before sister Lewis was about to go home so K****** told sister Boyd "when you get your new companion,
K******, I love her!
I want you to bring her over here" I knew that K****** had told sister Boyd this but I didn't understand the magnitude of what that meant until last night. K****** told us about how for the past little bit she has been struggling and things have been hard, when the sisters knocked on her door again it was huge that she let them in. She told me that she knew that she needed to tell sister Boyd to bring me back over there because she knew that the next missionary was going to be special. She looked me right in the eyes last night and said "I knew that YOU were coming. I knew that YOU were going to help me. YOU were going to be the one that could bring me back. YOU were going to be the one that I needed. "I am the reason that YOU have been called to serve in this area. I am eternally grateful for what you have done for me over the past 3 months." I was absolutely speechless. She went on to say how she has been reading the Book of Mormon every day, praying every day, and is now ready to become actively engaged in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is going to be perfectly fine without us here anymore. :) It was powerful. Every single feeling of inadequacy, doubt, fear, worry, guilt, left me in that instant. The heavy weight that I was feeling left. It was gone. All of my worries about her, the area, and my role in that were completely wiped away. It was a miracle. I felt complete and total comfort and peace and rest.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Heavenly Father cares. He loves us. He knows exactly where his missionaries need to be. He knows exactly what we need to hear. He knows exactly who we need to know and the people we need to come in contact with. He knows. He cares about each of us enough to place us on paths that we don't understand but that we need to be on. He knew that K******'s heart was ready, he knew that we were supposed to be here to help her, he knew that everything needed to work out exactly how it did. He loves us. :) This week has been hard, but it has been the biggest blessing and miracle in the whole world. I trust my Father in Heaven with everything that I am. I love him and I am grateful he is letting me serve him. :) I can't wait for this new adventure.

I love you all so much!!!

Love, Sister Watts 

Finally bought a coat! :)
An "Elder Wand"

Goodbye to Sister Hansen

Yogurt from a kind member

It gets dark early!

MTC Reuinion

Nancy Morris

Week 36 - Missions Rock!

Hey Family. :) I really love you guys. A lot. I hope you had a super fun week. :) 

This week here feels like it was a crazy roller coaster. We had some really fun and incredible experiences, and some definite roller coaster ones as well. 

Sister Golba-Ingles opening her call!
So first off, with the biggest and most exciting news of the week, SISTER GOLBA-INGLES got approved for full time missionary service!! Ahh. I am so happy. :) 6 weeks ago when President Woodbury called and told me that I was going to be training, he told me that Sister GI was serving here in Chicago as a two transfer missionary. Basically it was a test mission to see if she could adapt to the stresses and demands of missionary life and work.

She has been beyond amazing and every single step of this processes I have just been in awe at her faithful, powerful, and incredible example. She has been so positive and optimistic despite some very real and difficult challenges. After a lot of interviews, questions, and reports we found out earlier this week t
Celebration ceral after opening "the call"
hat she has been approved to serve as a full time missionary. :) After we got off the phone with President Woodbury we just sat on the floor and cried for joy. We were so happy!! He told us that she should be expecting to have her mission call come in the mail in the next few days. Well. :) On Tuesday we checked the mail and there was a very special, important and life changing white envelope waiting for her in the mail box!! We were so excited and were absolutely filled with pure joy. :) We were on our way to an appointment, so sister Golba-Ingles just hugged that envelope and smiled so big through the whole drive. So fun. :)

She decided that she wanted to save it and open it at District Meeting in front of our district. :) This has all been top secret and hardly anyone knew that she was serving here under special circumstances so all of the missionaries were thrilled beyond words for her. She opened her call and has been called to serve in the Pocatello Idaho mission. :) Ahh. She is going to be so perfect for that mission, and I can't even wait for her to serve there. She is an unreal amazing missionary and I know that she is going to touch so many peoples lives. I like to think that the only way Heavenly Father could have made it work so that we could have been companions, was if he did it this way. I am so grateful that he did, because I adore her and I have loved getting to serve with her. :) I am grateful that Heavenly Father places very special people in our lives for very specific reasons. I love her, and I have loved being her friend and companion!! 

This whole adventure with her has been very amazing, so I have to say that those moments surrounding her call were some of my favorite of the week. :) We did teach one lesson that I really wanted to talk about. We have been working with one of our investigators named R***** for a while. I love her with all of my heart and I know that there is a ton of really amazing things in store for her and her family. We went over to see her on Wednesday and she was totally and completely distraught. Just so sad. She has been having a really hard time because there has been a lot of hard things happening lately with her and the father of her daughter. We went over and she was so happy to see us. :) It was amazing because we were there RIGHT at the exact time that she needed us to be. She asked us if we could go on a walk with her so she could vent to us. :) It was one of the most interesting, thought provoking, and inspiring conversations I have ever had. I learned two things that I am so grateful for. :) 1-Heavenly Father gives us commandments for a REASON. He tells us to live chaste, moral, and virtuous lives because if we do it saves us from SO much heartache and allows us to feel so much happiness and peace. It's amazing. And then a second lesson. :) R*****, the whole time was taking about how sad she was that L****'s dad wasn't being everything she had hoped. We were able to talk to her about how no matter what L***** will ALWAYS have a perfect Father in Heaven. Who loves her perfectly, will bless her perfectly, and will do everything for her perfectly. I can't even describe the peace, light and hope that came into R*****'s eyes when we were talking with her about that powerful truth. I know it's a truth. We have taught L***** "I am a Child of God" And she sings it every time we are with her. :) I was just so grateful for that truth and the hope that it brings, because it does bring hope. 

We had some really great lessons this week, that we were really excited about. :) but  wanted to talk a little bit about an experience that we had this week. So I don't know if you remember Tyrone? He was the man that we had a few really special lessons with. He ended up coming to church and bearing his testimony a few weeks ago?? Anyway. :) We have been meeting with him and it has been going pretty well, but for some reason this week he flipped a complete 180. We were talking to him on the phone and he all of a sudden got very angry, condescending, demeaning, and just really mean to us individually and to the church as a whole.  I don't think I have ever been so hammered For who I am and what I believed. The whole time we were on the phone I was just praying for Charity and for patience. It was one of the most intense and emotional moments of my whole life. It was very hard. I won't go in to detail about what was said. But I was thinking about that experience a lot this week and just about how sad we are about what has happened. We had interviews with President this week and we had an amazing interview. :) At the end of us talking I asked him "President, what do you think I could be doing different or better?" He was quite for almost a minute, and you could tell that he was listening very intently on what the spirit wanted him to say. In the most tender voice he said "You need to have greater faith that the Savior is walking every step with you." That line really caught me off guard, but it was so powerful. It brought me instant peace and comfort. I know that is true. We are not alone in the lords service, in missionary work, ever. We are so loved. Since that interview there have been a lot of things that have happened like what happened with Tyrone and I am so grateful that I have been able to say to myself in moments of need I have been able to say "have greater faith Sister Watts. Jesus Christ is walking with you." That has brought me a lot of comfort. I'm grateful for my Savior. Life is hard, sometimes we don't understand Gods plan or our part in that plan, but I know he never leaves us to handle it alone. Never. 

I love you guys so much. Thank you for all of the support, love, and prayers. I feel it and I am grateful for it. I love you with everything that I am. 

Love, Sister Watts

Walking dogs for sick friend

Sister Clark

Walmart Contacting 1

Walmart Contacting 2

Walmart Contacting 3

Walmart Contacting 4

YM Torch Pumpkin