Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Transfer - New Changes

Hi All,

I am not in Tortuguitas anymore. I am in Capítal, the city, in Lugano. My new companion is Elder Ure from Morgan (I think) Utah. This past week in Tortuguitas has been really full and fun. We got to watch fireworks on Friday Night and on Sunday Lucas passed the Sacrament for the first time. Yea! :D

Well, there’s not much going on. It’s really hot and at night it is really hard to sleep. One of our fans broke the other day so we are using one for two people. We use the fans to blow air on us as we sleep.) We are working with some less active families to bring them back to church.

I am not sure what else to say. I am in a new area so that’s exciting… I'll be sure to keep you all updated next week. Stay safe during New Years!

Love,

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Week Before Christmas

Elder Cranford & Watson & Christmas Tree
Hey!

This week was really good but went by really fast. We had the two confirmations from our two baptisms of Lucas and Wanda from the previous weeks. We also had a Christmas conference that was awesome. It was a lift that I really needed. As well I received some mail and a couple packages from Michelle. I got letters from Jessica Jelaty, Paul Gonzales, and Michelle. Looks like I have a bit of writing to do. Could you send a short note to Spencer Brown wishing him Merry Christmas and Good Luck in the MTC! I wasn’t able to send a letter…

Well, I gotta go. We are working hard to apply what our inspired leaders have taught us and how the Lord would have us do His work. Thanks for all the help that I receive from you. Every bit is appreciated. Have a great Christmas and as a gift for Christ I would ask that we could all recommit ourselves to live the commandments and do the things He would do if He were in our place. May God Bless you all.

With tons of Love,

Elder Michael C. Watson

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days Until Christmas

Divisions
Hi All,

There are only 12 more days until Christmas? Crazy!

Well, this week hasn’t been the most exciting but here it goes.

On Tuesday we did divisions with our district leader and I went to Saavio. I was with Elder Caon from Santa Fe, a province here in Argentina... Like 30 minutes from the borders of the mission. So we spent the day going by their investigators and teaching. We taught Alma 47 to their investigator couple that got married on Friday and baptized on Saturday. That was a really good lesson to never give in to the temptations of Satan even when it doesn’t appear harmful or that we will have power and control over the situation.

Wednesday - We had a teaching appointment with Susana, Byron and family, but as being feriado (or holiday) Susana took the kids to her mother’s house and Byron was home alone. I let them borrow my transformer and some adapters so that they can plug in their TV and we can watch the restoration together. But as Byron was only there, we let him borrow the things and continued with our plans.  And we did splits again, but with members. I went with Hermano Gomez, Elder Cranford with another member. We went to a teaching appointment and taught the restoration to a couple and committed them to read, meditate and pray about the Book of Mormon and go to church. We called them on Saturday night but they are really busy now and can’t set up an appointment or tell us for sure when we can pass by. Hm...... Interesante....

Thursday - Planning! It’s always fun to plan out the week, who we are going to teach and how we can help to be baptized. However, every week seems to be faster and every day shorter... What’s going on? I am confused. We are so busy and have a ton of people to go by so I think that might be one reason. We had Lucas’s baptismal interview and everything went fine.

Friday - We met with Susana and Byron and their family to watch the restoration to only find out the transformer to convert the energy didn’t work for their TV. It says max 1600 watts and the TV 155 but that didn’t stop their TV from smoking. Like literally. There were billows of smoke issuing from the TV. We took apart the TV and found a mini breaker had popped so their TV still might be saved. If not... Well. I feel really bad then. Susana had to leave for work and we shared a couple things with Byron and his oldest daughter Micaela.

Saturday - We did service this morning for a family and then ate lunch with them. Afterwards we spent running around trying to get everything together for our two baptisms on Sunday, Lucas y Lautaro. We also taught a couple, Silvio y Alejandra, for the second time. The first was right before I got here to Tortuguitas. Lots of canceling and missing appointments but por fin! we got to teach them. It was a good lesson.

Sunday - Hectic day. We had the baptism for Lucas Perez which was awesome, but Lautaro didn’t show up to Church. We left during the second hour to go to his house and bring him for his baptism but he wasn’t there because his Grandma took him to another church in another city (who is a member by the way-inactive but still, a member). It appears that we will have a bit more work to get Lautaro in the water. He’s ready to be baptized but I guess his family isn’t... Well, that was the week. A ton of walking and some good results. This week was really a trial of faith as we had to do a ton of stuff and watched a lot of things fall through or didn’t happen. But I will stay strong and have faith all will be well. Like it says in Santiago 1:6 that we have to be steady and firm in our faith and not be tossed and turned as if we were in a stormy sea. That foundation we can build on is Jesus Christ - our Savior and Redeemer. Only by his grace can we be saved. And we can only attain his grace through the principles and ordinances of the Restored Gospel and the authority of the Holy Priesthood that has been given to men once more to establish the Kingdom of God and bring all of God’s children back to His presence once more. It will not be easy. It wasn’t easy for Christ who paid for every single living being’s sins, pains, and sicknesses and neither will it be easy for us. We have to give all that we got to attain eternal life. Like the saying goes, I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it.

Well, I gotta go. The siesta is starting. Love you all. Be good. See ya!

Love,

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, December 6, 2010

Finding Families!

Wow. What a week. Very full, but very good.

Monday – We went to Saavio to jugar con la pelota, to play soccer. One of the other elders kicked my ball and se pinchó.... It got punctured... Oh well. Less for me to carry back to Tortuguitas I guess...

Tuesday – District meeting and Service. The meeting was really good. As well as service. We helped a family paint their fence. This family is so awesome!! If I say "Agua!" to dogs when I get back; to get them to go away, it’s because of them. Hahahaha

Wednesday – We were walking behind a family so I decided to contact them… But they talked with us first… The husband said, "You speak English?" We talked for a little bit and found out they lived in Connecticut for 7 years. They have 3 daughters ages of 11, 8, and 2. I asked the wife if she would like to be with her family forever and she said yes. We wrote down their names and directions to the church and invited them for Sunday. Originally we were supposed to be doing service but it didn’t work out. Instead we found this family… there is a reason for everything!

Thursday – Service again, this time helping another family move. Where did they move? Right in front of the family we had found the day before. Que tal. How about that? :D We had an appointment at 6 so we had to dash, but found the house.

Friday – A lot of running around trying to find people and invite them all to church and teach them. We taught the last of the teachings to Lautaro and set up his baptismal interview for Saturday. We stopped by the family we found to set up going to church and planned to walk with them. Oh yea!

Saturday – Crazy day. In the morning we went to Lautaro to make sure everything was still good. And then we went to go eat lunch. Then we went back with the District Leader for the interview… Only to find that Lautaro’s dad wasn’t there and there wasn’t a man of 18 years or older so we couldn’t go in. We ran around for a bit and ended up taking Lautaro over to a member family that lives by him and had the interview there. We came back, finished up the register and left for our other appointments.

Sunday – Church! We walked with the family and got to church a little early. The members did their part and started talking with them and welcoming them. Then we had two more investigators show up right after that. We also had Wanda there but she arrived right before the Sacrament so there wasn’t time to confirm her. But the good part was that she was there. Also a former investigator came with his friend (who happens to be a member) and the bishopric blessed their baby. Lautaro didn’t show up and we haven’t had time to go by and see what happened so we have to do that really soon. So no baptism. The rest of the day we went around trying to find people to teach and in the night we went over to Susana and Byron (the parents of the family that came to church) and taught the restoration in English to the girls because they understand more English than Spanish. Now that was hard… I kept slipping back into Spanish… But it was a lot of fun. I think we are going to teach everything in English to them, but we’ll see. The parents understand a lot of English as well, so Elder Cranford and I are really excited! :D

Why in the world would we want to come back at the same time? (We asked them to write each other to confirm which transfer they will be coming home and what semester they will go back to school… we don’t want them coming home at different times!) We’ve always done EVERYTHING at the same time........ Ugh. Na, just kidding. I am super excited to spend a good chunk of time with my bro speaking in Spanish all the way home. It’s gonna be great. We can now speak code at the dinner table and you’ll have no idea what’s going on. And David will teach me Guarani and then you’ll be even more lost!!!! Yea. He’s already started too! :D

Well, that’s about all I have to say this week. Time is flying by way too fast. The one year mark is rapidly approaching and I feel like I’m just barely getting the hang of things. That’s all right. There’s always something to work on and always something to get better at.

Oh! I just made a bookmark thing for the Plan of Salvation. Re-Copado – Awesome! I plan to do one for a lot of things; the Law of Chastity, the Word of Wisdom, Tithing, the Ten Commandments. Visual aids help. Well, that’s really it. I hope all is well at home and that everyone is great.

I have a couple questions that I would like you to ponder. By what conditions are we saved? How can we fulfill these conditions? God is just and perfect. He has given us the commandment to be perfect. He’s also been merciful and let his own Son, Jesus Christ, come to the Earth to suffer for our sins, pains, sicknesses, and die on the Cross. The Atonement grants us the mercy to satisfy the demands of Justice. How can we apply the Atonement to us? The answer is through the Priesthood and the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Priesthood was lost after the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ were killed and martyred. Without the guidance of the priesthood, men became confused and began to form their own churches, using the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many churches teach good things! But what they lack is all of the teachings of Christ and more importantly the authority of God to perform the ordinances required for Salvation, namely baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost (John 3:5 I think). It’s like if the Ice Cream man tried to pull you over and give you a ticket. He can try to do it, but he doesn’t have the authority to do that. Now if a policeman did the same thing, it’s valid, right? It’s the same with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are many good people out in the world doing good things, but they lack the authority to do so. That’s why God and Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to answer the humble prayer of the 14 year old boy of Joseph Smith. They restored the authority to Joseph Smith and through him restored the same Church that Christ set up when he was on the Earth during his ministry: a prophet, 12 apostles, Seventy, and so forth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the Earth today. Within it you find the authority of God as well as all the teachings of Jesus Christ. Within it you can receive a remission of your sins, and receive the gift and companionship of the Holy Ghost. Nothing has been lost and nothing has been added. Why is all this important? Because God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He did not set up 50 ways to gain salvation, only one. I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that he received the divine priesthood power and authority. With that power he translated the Book of Mormon and reestablished the Church of Jesus Christ again on the Earth. You can know what I have just written is true by reading in the Book of Mormon, think, really think about what it teaches (and that nothing contradicts the bible, only clarifies it and helps us to understand, it’s a companion!) and pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ and ask him specifically if it is true, you will receive an answer from the Holy Ghost through your thoughts and feelings. You will feel that it is true. You won’t be able to deny it. If you didn’t receive an answer the first time, don’t worry. Keep on trying. It’s a trial of faith. And a promise. And God will fulfill all of his promises. I promise you in the name of Jesus Christ that if you read the Book of Mormon, ponder its teachings, and pray to God and ask Him if it is true, you WILL receive an answer. The answer might now come right away, but surely it will come. Knowing the Book of Mormon is true means that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God with His power and authority. Knowing Joseph Smith was a prophet means that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of God.

If you really have interest to know that what I have said is true, there are two young men or women that live by you who can teach you more. They have the same power and authority I have received to preach the Gospel. You will feel and know they are really true servants of God, with the divine commission to share the restored Gospel with the world. If you can’t find them, ask a member of the Church. They will help you find answers to all of your questions and doubts.

Well, gotta go. Love you all. Stay safe, be good and Choose the Right. See ya!

Love,

Elder Michael C.  Watson

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Keep Breaking Umbrellas!

Well, this week has been quite a roller coaster. Let me start with the beginning.

Monday, after emailing we went back to the apartment to do a spring cleaning. Elder Cranford cleaned the floor Argentina style (soapy water with a squeegee type broom) and I cleaned out the fridge, scrubbing it and removing all the ice. It started raining in the afternoon so we didn’t do much after. I didn’t feel like writing so I fixed a couple buttons on my pants, a shirt pocket, and stitched my name on the inside of the funda por mi biblia, the protective cover for my bible. After that we left and started the work.

Oh the weather here. If it’s hot for a couple days, its sure to rain the 3rd or 4th day. Its a good 30 degrees Celsius and then it rains. And every time it rains I tell myself I need to buy an umbrella (the three I have bought have broken within a week.... maybe I should spend more money and get better quality....) but afterwards I always forget... Ooops.

Tuesday through Saturday we spent a good deal of time preparing the two baptisms we had planned this weekend, Wanda and Lautaro. We ran into a bit of trouble with Lautaro and his father so his baptism has been postponed for a bit... (hopefully this weekend). But we finished teaching them the things they needed to know before baptism. We held the baptismal service for Wanda right after Church on Sunday and it was awesome. A ton of members were there and as well as some family members of Wanda. Overall it was a great baptism. :D

Well, my mind just blanked out so I guess I am going to end this letter… I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He loves us. He’s always ready to help us get up when we fall, that’s why He suffered and died for us. Without the Atonement that He suffered for us, we couldn’t return to our Father’s presence again. Our Father commands us to be perfect, but as we can’t be, He has provided a plan of mercy. The only way to receive His mercy includes the Atonement of Jesus Christ as well as His Gospel. We cannot receive mercy freely, but only through faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, and Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins by the proper authority, receive the baptism of fire or the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the end. All the Father asks us is to keep the commandments. Yes, we will fall and make mistakes, but that’s why we can repent and get better. It’s like riding a bike. When we fall, we have to get back up and keep on going. And if we try to learn from our mistakes, we won’t fall as much. This process of showing our faith by keeping the commandments, reading the scriptures and praying daily, going to church - (even when we are in the most difficult times) will lead us to feel sorrow for our actions and we will repent. Repenting leads us to baptism and after baptism leads us back to church to partake of the sacrament, renew our baptismal covenants and leave the heavy backpack of sin behind. We don’t just go to church to learn, but to be free from sin. The learning helps us to not sin as much as we gain spiritual strength and knowledge. Being clean helps us to have the Holy Ghost with us so that we can make the right decisions and press forward with steadfast faith in Christ. As we fulfill our part, God will help us to do what is right, but we have to act first. Without action there are no responses. Action = blessings = more action = more blessings, and it keeps on going. We just have to keep going. Love you all. Be safe. Be good. Always remember our Heavenly Father and His expectations for us. Psalms 85:6 and Romans 8:16-17… He’ll never command us to accomplish something we can’t do.

Gotta go, Love you,

Elder Michael C. Watson

Monday, November 22, 2010

Families, Agency, Chastity

They're Out There, We'll Find Them
Buenas tardes a todos!

This week wasn’t all that exciting. We did confirm Cecilia from last week because she arrived a bit late last week...

With the work right now we are teaching a lot of kids. We are trying to teach (or find...) their parents and bring whole families into the gospel… The problem is that either their parents aren’t interested in religion (better to say that they are more interested in the things of the world) or that they work all the time. It’s hard to find a complete family here. This has helped me to realize that the Law of Chastity is sooooo important. God wants a couple to be married before they have children. There are too many reasons. With their parents just together, there is no commitment, no loyalty. When times get rough, they split. Being married brings many blessings as well as many responsibilities. Responsibility to the wife (or husband), the children, to provide for the family, and to raise the children with love and unity. When there isn’t a mother or there isn’t a father, the children not only lack someone to provide for them or someone to care for them, but they lack the role models and the teachings that children desperately need these days so that they won’t fall into Satan’s traps. There are too many reasons for this law and the power to have a family should not be played with or treated lightly.

Well, we are really busy trying to find people to teach and help those that we are teaching progress towards their baptisms. Next week I will send a list of 17 points that list characteristics that the true Church of Jesus Christ should have. It’s pretty neat. And I like it.

Well, that’s about it. We have two baptisms this weekend so I will inform you about them next week. Sooooooo excited! :D Missionary work is the best!

OH! We watched a clip when Elder Bednar came to Argentina. He was speaking in English with a translator by his side. But he is awesome. Basically he said the power of faith comes by action. If we pray (the example he used) that the people who didn’t come to church this week can come next week, is a faithless prayer. He said for us to go out, find a less active (better a nonmember friend!) and help them. Go to church with them, walking, giving them a ride, visiting their home, lending your ear. It will take faith to help them because many (if not all) times we don’t know what to say or do beforehand. But like the Lord says many times in the Bible to his apostles and to us in the Doctrine and Covenants to not worry about it beforehand and it will be given to us in the moment we need it. Like Obi-wan says to Luke, trust your feelings. That’s how the Spirit guides us (Galatians 5:22-23) and we will feel what we need to say more than we think of what we need to say. Anyways, Elder Bednar is awesome!

Well, gotta go. Love you all. Be good. Stay safe. Happy turkey day. I would have forgotten about it if I didn’t read it in your email to me. Haha. Love ya,

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder M. Watson

PS. We get mail tomorrow!!!! (I don’t know how much because we just received it like 3 weeks back, but still... MAIL! HAHAHA!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Transfers came and went. We weren't touched! :D

Hola a todos!

I am soooooooooo excited! I am still here in "Tortugas" with Elder Cranford. This transfer is going to be so awesome. We have a ton of people we are teaching and have many possible baptisms! :D

Mom... You have more cakes than years old! 23! What’s up with that?

Anyways, my week. We had a baptism this weekend. I baptized Cecilia Peralta. They are 3 siblings that live together. Their parents have passed away, their father a couple years ago and their mother passes away a couple of months back. They are in their mid 20’s (Cecilia is thirty) but it is hard for them to keep everything up. What has given them hope is that they can do the temple work for their parents. Their dad didn’t get baptized and their mom did. In a year they are going to go together to the temple to do all their work and get sealed as a family. We are really excited for them and are helping them so that they can complete with their goal. (Cumplir con su meta)

We had a lesson with a less active member yesterday. She was baptized when she was 14 and stopped going to church a little while after. She is teaching and learning English. (We often talk in English to help her out! Fun! :D ) So yesterday we started out with the primera charla o sea la restauración. (the first lesson, the Restoration) We ended up talking a lot about apostasy and about Joseph Smith. She asked us how he died and I think this was one of the first times I have been able to testify about his martyrdom. It was so hard trying to find the words to use but throughout the lesson I was able to bear my testimony about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and I could feel the Holy Ghost so strongly. Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God and restored the Church of Jesus Christ back on the Earth and you can know it through the Book of Mormon! (Ask the missionaries or members... They are very willing to help you know how you can know for yourself that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the Earth.)

As we share the gospel and bear our testimonies, God is willing to testify to us, His children, by way of the Holy Ghost. Any member and every member should share their testimonies with others. If we don’t feel like we have that strong of a testimony, read the Book of Mormon. Get on your knees and really pray to God and ask if it is true. You can ask Him about anything. Any commandment, any prophecy, any revelation, anything (Moroni 10:5). Pray to God and ask Him if Joseph Smith was a prophet, if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church with the authority of God to perform sacred ordinances, if we should pay tithing, if the Book of Mormon is true. The Holy Ghost is ready to testify to us the truthfulness of ALL things. Every time you ask with real intent, you will receive an answer. Every time. Study it, ponder it, and ask God. I promise you as a Representative of Jesus Christ that He will answer you and you will come to know with all your heart that all the things I have testified and shared are true. It’s not only my religion and beliefs. It is the ONLY way to return and live with God again. Baptism by the proper authority and confirmation in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the door that leads to the straight and narrow path back to God (camino angosto). And as you strive to live the commandments and understand why you need to obey the commandments, more understanding will come to you and you will gain a testimony of it or your testimony will be strengthened. Like Alma says in Alma 32, that you need to plant the seed (the word of God) in your heart and nourish it. As you nourish it, you will feel it grow within you and you will know for a surety that it is good. God will not give you a commandment you cannot live. Have faith in Him and all things will be possible for you. You can overcome any temptation. Any habit. Anything. Our Heavenly Father wants you to be happy and only by obeying all of His commandments can you really attain true happiness.

Other than that, the week has been pretty quiet. We are working hard to find people that will listen to us and choose to follow the example of Jesus Christ. I am so stoked for this week. It’s gonna be great! I love you and hope all is well. If you need any help or have any question, doubts, or comments, please write me. I feel like Ammon and Aaron and just want to serve and help people. I don’t judge and just want to be able to see you again with our Father in Heaven in the Celestial Kingdom. Love you all. Stay safe. Time flies when you are having fun and a year has almost gone by.... too crazy. Anyways, see you all soon.

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Michael C. Watson

Monday, November 8, 2010

Zanja (Zan-Ha) - Ech!

Well, this week has been way crazy. We’ve gone on splits twice and tons of other stuff has happened. I will try to remember todo.

First off. I know I can’t email on Thursday the 11th of November so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! HAHA! 21! Again! :D :D

I got my packages and letters! :D Super excited. Thanks to the Pitcher clan for all the goodies! I LOVE it! :D I also got my packages from the parents, the first one and the Christmas one. I put my stocking up in my closet with the stash that was inside. I won’t wear those until Christmas and my Birthday! :D And the ballot. I got it after Election Day so it is void. But, I still voted. And even though I had no idea who was who, I knew some people and made sure my vote counted for Fillmore. ha! Even though it doesn’t do anything. Bummer.

Alright the week. Tuesday I went with Elder Rodriguez on splits in Del Viso. He was the first missionary I saw in my area. Elder Garay and I were walking to the apartment and I saw Elder Rodriguez leaving to go down south. Now he’s back as my district leader. Too cool. And miracles always happen in splits. Always. We found a woman by asking for references and she was praying for someone or something to help her. Too awesome.

Thursday we had a baptism! My foot. In a water ditch. More like a zanja (Zan-Ha). The main difference is what is inside. In a water ditch you would expect to see water, no? Well, I guess you can call it water. Except it stinks really bad and there’s a lot of stuff inside the zanjas that really shouldn’t be there. Anyways, I was pulling out a mint and a little kid that was playing in the calle asked if he could have one. So I stepped over to give him one and didn’t see the zanja because there was grass covering it. Well, my foot, ankle and pants sunk into sludge. I pulled it out gave the kids their mints and left as they were laughing at me. It was pretty funny I admit. But when I am cleaning my shoes in the sink and black is everywhere... So not cool and they still stink. I might have to give them a better cleaning. I did use some liquid soap but I guess that didn’t work. Anyways, yea. Zanjas.

Friday was divisions again with Elder Ramirez from Chile. He’s brand new on the mission but way old. Like 25. He’s finished most of his medical school and is cool. The best part is that he likes Star Wars so we got a long. Hahahahahaha. But that was a good experience.

Sunday we brought 5 kids to church. One is a grandson of a less active woman and the other four live in the back house. The family in the back is literally de diez, 10 people that can be baptized. And 2 of them have already gone to church and liked it. Oh yea! This next transfer is going to be way awesome.

So the weather. When it gets really hot here in the spring (33 degrees Celsius - how much is that in Fahrenheit????) the following day or days it will rain. So today it rained. Even with the foul weather we went to San Fernando so that Elder Cranford could sign for some packages and I went with the companions who hadn’t received packages (pobrecitos nosotros... haha jk) and we went and got the best ice cream in Buenos Aires supposedly. I’d agree! :D Yum! hahaha! So it’s starting to warm up. And they say it’s nothing. This summer is going to be full of a lot of water drinking. For sure. But I like it more than cold! (I say that now)

Anyways, I am happy and the world is rolling and I gotta go. I love you all. Smiles aren’t enough. Keep it on!

Con Mucho Mucho Mucho Amor,
Elder Michael C. Watson
Vamos Vamos Argentina
Vamos Vamos a Ganar

Monday, November 1, 2010

White Rabbits!!

White rabbits! Haha. I may have actually done it today, but I don’t know. December I will do for sure! Haha.

Well, this week was interesting. Tuesday we had District meeting which is always great. This week we learned how to help our investigators to pray and learn the importance of it. There is a DVD that we use called The District. They just did the second part so we are watching every District Meeting one segment or two. It’s pretty awesome to watch other Elders teach with the Spirit. Also they are teaching in English... I don’t think I could do that. We are thinking of trying to teach a less active in English because she is learning it and teaches it, but we’ll see. It’s probably better we do it in Castellano (Spanish but South American version it’s not the same as Spanish as many people have told me) but it would be awesome to try!

Wednesday was the national Census. We had to stay inside until a census worker came by and asked us some questions. I was thinking that if they didn’t come until the afternoon I would die, but they came in the morning so it was fine. The thing was, that we could only go to citas fijas...uh fixed appointments... How do you say that in English? We couldn’t knock on doors or anything (which we never do... toooooooo busy) but that means we couldn’t go by people that we hadn’t been able to get a hold of. We were walking down the street and some women called us over and had a ton of questions. They are from the province of Fermosa and son Paraguayas... um from Paraguay. Anyways, they had tons of questions and one of them came to Church on Sunday so we will see how much they progress.

Thursday was planning and too much didn’t go on. Friday we had interviews with President Gulbrandsen and his wife... in our apartment. If we hadn’t received future notice and if we were lazy that would have been disastrous. But we received notice and we worked hard to clean up after the missionaries who were before us (it looks like that had a BBQ "asado" on the porch because there was a bunch of charcoal. and a bunch of broken stuff) so it went fine. We learned a lot of stuff and it was awesome the 10 or 15 minutes they were with us.

Saturday was our day to go by a TON of people and we actually were able to teach a lot. It was good. Sunday was Halloween. I was sad because I don’t have a black and orange tie so I could really celebrate it. Nothing really happened. In some places the local stores have treats for the kids, but other than that, it was just a normal Sunday night. There is this one less active family, the Gutierrez Family, and we are teaching them and all their family (a lot of success is found in part-member families!) and there are always a bunch of kids. They asked us how Halloween was in the States and so we told them a general scope of it. Maybe one day Argentina will do it like the States, but that’s a long way off.

That’s nice of mom to take Rice Krispies Treats over!  Rice Krispies treats don’t exist here... Mainly because marshmallows don’t. But the Gutierrez Family keeps asking us for some. Maybe if we go to one of the stores that sell American products we can find some. But we would have to search and travel a bit to find some.  What they need to start selling in the States are alfajores. They are awesome! I was talking with a member in Villa Adelina and he told me that they exist in Utah. So I will be looking when I get back! Haha. And the funny part is that there are a lot of American companies that make alfajores.

Well, that’s what happened this week. Well, some of the things. Really, there are just too many things that are go on. I hope that everyone is great and that all is well. I will be getting mail tomorrow in District meeting so that should be a lot of fun! And I have a couple packages so that makes it even better! Haha. Anyways, stay safe, keep studying the scriptures, praying and striving to keep the commandments. As you do so, the Lord will provide the ways (proveer los medios) so that you will be able to keep the commandments and follow the example of Jesus Christ. (1 Nephi 17:3) Well, until next week. Un beso y abrazo muy fuerte.

Él Amoroso Querido Watson - "Elemental, mi querido Watson" ---> Our foundation is Jesus Christ and his Gospel- Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism by the proper authority, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the same authority, and Enduring until the end (building your faith, keep on repenting and going to church to renew your baptismal covenants and keeping the commandments)

Love,

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, October 25, 2010

There is so much to do!!

Hey all!

First the news: Jacob got his call?! Attaboy! :D That is awesome that he is leaving for his mission. :D :D :D  Brother Luloff is moving? :(  :(

This week was really long but really good.  I learned a lot and it was just great.  We found a lot of people this week. The problem is trying to find them again because many times schedules aren’t very fixed here. We found 15 new investigators of which 12 or 13 are still interested. We have a lot of work in front of us but it is a very exciting time. We have to get the investigators to come through with commitments come to church, but we are working on that. We are doing really good.

As well we have found a couple families to teach. Not all are interested, but it is a starting point. There is just so much to do here. We’re never bored. :D 

On Wednesday we had a special conference with all the missionaries who came to Argentina during December until March (Justo!) President Gulbrandsen helped us to realize our potential and that as we hit the one year mark, it’s not the time to start down the hill but to grow wings and fly as one missionary explained it. There are a lot of things to accomplish on the mission and my goal is to do all that the Lord expects of me. Not very easy, but it is so worth it. The blessings I have seen up to this point are amazing; I can’t wait to see what is to come! :D

Today I went to sign for my two packages. The office Elders went to customs today (or very soon will go) to get our packages. So yea, that took a lot of time out of our P-day today. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.  We also spent some time with a member who was baptized when she was 14 but didn’t have any support so she went inactive and now is coming back. She is learning and teaching English and so we spent a couple of hours eating and talking with her in English. It was a bit difficult but good. (I am so not used to speaking in English...) We couldn’t go or do anything in the afternoon because everything is closed for the Siesta (the afternoon nap here in Argentina - EVERYTHING closes down).

Well, I don’t have that much time today. I still have to go buy food and some other stuff for this week.

Well, gotta go. I am writing letters (I found a place to buy envelopes!) and will be sending them soon. Love you all and be good.

Con mucho Amor,

Elder Michael C. Watson

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bautismo!

Elder Watson, Luz, Celeste, Elder Cranford

Hey! :D

First of all, Happy Mother’s Day! It was Mother’s Day yesterday here in Argentina (and I am pretty sure almost all of Latin America).

Alright, this week.

First off, we had two baptisms on Saturday for two cousins of a less-active family. Their names are Celeste and Luz and really are great. I baptized Luz which really was an amazing experience. She has been kind of on and off about being baptized because she is scared of water. Saturday morning she told me she didn’t want to be baptized because she was scared. I talked to her as well as one of her Primary teachers and she was decided to go through with it. Her sister went first and kind of threw herself back in the water which scared Luz. She ran out and didn’t want to do it. Nothing I said, her mom, her sisters, the members would convince her. It wasn’t until her father came (who isn’t a member...yet) and said that he would be right by her the whole time would she do it. So he was at the top of the stairs of the baptismal font and I baptized her.. Not only could I feel the Spirit, I can understand more of the role of a father on his kids. When there is love, understanding and trust between a father and his children, the children can do anything as long as they have their father’s support.

Now, applying this to the Gospel, we have a loving Heavenly Father who loves us and wants to help us. How many times are we scared or afraid to follow a commandment or a prompting of the Holy Ghost? How many times do we think we cannot do something even if we tried our hardest? This is where our Father in Heaven comes in. God wants us to follow the commandments. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to learn and progress in this life (that’s why we have trials). He is willing to be right next to us as we try to follow His will. He knows what is best for us. We just have to trust in Him. How do we build that trust and confidence though? This is where fervent, heartfelt prayer, scripture study and going to church come in. We can build trust in Heavenly Father as we learn and understand more of what He wants us to do. We learn and understand more about the Father through Jesus Christ (Christ teaches His apostles that knowing Him is knowing the Father - not the same person but as knowing a son can lead you to know what his father is like). We learn about Christ through fervent scripture study, really thinking and applying what Christ teaches us and understanding the example Christ has set for us. We can find many of his teachings in the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. When we read both, we can come to know more about Christ and what he wants us to do. As we learn this, we know what the Father would have us do because the Son doeth nothing but what he hath seen from the Father. (John 5:19)

As we learn this, we can start to recognize all the blessings and help from God we have received in our lives. Our families, friends, homes, the food on the table, etc., etc., etc. Really there are just too many to count. As we start to recognize the blessings, we can trust in the promise that we are obedient, that God will bless us. As we strive to be obedient, because no one is perfect, we can start to see the support in our lives that God gives to us. But all of this doesn’t come in a snap of the fingers... It’s a long, long process that takes a lot of concentrated effort and persistence. We are going to fall, a lot. But we just have to get back up and keep on going. It’s like riding a bike. We are going to get a lot of scrapes and bruises (or maybe only a few if you are lucky) but as we overcome the obstacles, the blessings of God will come pouring down from Heaven. As an authorized representative of Jesus Christ, I promise that as you obey God’s commandments, he will bless you. We can ask for help. He wants us to ask for His help. As we humble ourselves down in prayer, recognizing of our own strength we are nothing, and as we strive to carry out what the Father would have us do, we will be strengthened and guided in all that we do. We won’t avoid all the obstacles... More might even come in the way. But I promise you that you will have the strength to overcome every single trial and follow the example of Jesus Christ and obey the commandments.

We had stake conference yesterday. We learned a lot about cleaning the windows to see the real side of people, not taking offense (because really when we are offended we are just giving our free will to someone else. No one else can MAKE us offended. We choose to be offended), the missionary work and not judging others (because we will be judged with the same judgment... scary thought if we are really hardcore, no?)  That really was just an awesome experience because we had an Area Seventy come and speak and I just learned a bunch! :D 

OH! Funny story. Actually a couple. As my last name is Watson and my badge says Elder Watson, a lot of people quote Sherlock Holmes to me. Elementary, my dear Watson. (In Castellano of course (Not Spanish because that is TOTALLY different.... haha.)) Even the Area Seventy came up to me and said it as he shook my hand. It’s hilarious.

Another funny story. Jack Sparrow lives in Villa Adelina. Not the actor Orlando Bloom but Jack Sparrow. We met him one day in the train station and he stopped us and talked to us for a bit. It was on P-day so we are already strained for time so we had to go. But before we left, he picked up Elder Southern to guess how much he weighs. We saw him a couple of times and how he talks, walks, runs, (smells) and how his looks match Jack Sparrow (the character). Kind of weird but funny.

What else... Oh. Photos... Sorry Mrs. Wortham... I’ll stop taking snapshots. Literally I haven’t really even been thinking when taking pictures. Just thinking, oh that’s cool. But yea. I don’t exactly have a lot of time to think and plan, but I will mejorar! (Get better)

Wow... So many people getting mission calls and getting married... Time really flies.

Well, I don’t know what else to say. The work is great and we have more things to do than we have time to do them. But I am having a blast and serving the Lord 24/7 is the best thing I have ever chosen to do. EVER. :D

I sent home some pictures. One is the bicentennial peso ($1 coin) which is worth about 25 cents. Another is a monedero where you can keep all your change to ride the bus and for things like that. The others are the 20 peso bill and the 50 peso bill which are 5 and 12.5 dollars, but are like 20 and 50 dollars to the states.

Love you all and miss you. Write me if you have time. I’ll write back asap. Today I am starting on the list I have to write to people. Not too long, but if I wait... Well, let’s just say its better to do it now... :D Be good, stay safe and don’t get into too much trouble. Love ya,

Chau!

Elder Michael C. Watson 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

General Conference, Zone Conference, The Zoo!

Hey Everyone,

Today for P-Day we went to Temaikén which is a zoo! It was a lot of fun. We were supposed to go with our district but they didn’t show up for some reason... We saw other Elders from the Zone though!  There is a picture of me under the zoo sign… can you see me?

I am going to send home a bunch of pictures today… a few are of my shoes so you can see how they are doing 9 months into my mission.  I know they are dirty but the streets here are just dirt so as soon as I step outside, they are all dirty again.  The shoes I wore mostly in Villa Adelina are now my Sunday shoes here.  That’s just life outside of Capítal… The ¨Provincía¨ is not in really good shape. I was lucky in Villa Adelina. What splits the two is a big highway called General Paz that is a circle around Capital. People call this ¨Capítal¨ and outside of this circle is Provincía.

I am not having any problems with my weight so far.  I can gain weight or lose weight really easy. I just have to eat a bunch of junk food or abstain from it. It’s kinda funny. I think I have gained 10 pounds and then lost it like 4 times already. I think I need to watch my weight during the summer though; it’s going to be blazing.

I hope my package got delivered (the status shows an attempted delivery on Oct. 6th to the mission office).  I really don’t know when I will get my mail this month.  This week has been absolutely crazy. Good but crazy. I am going to start first with the most recent.

Yesterday we had a special conference with our Area President, Elder Arnold. Let me just say that it was absolutely amazing! Honestly, I was scared because I had heard that when Elder Aidukaitis came to the mission (right before I got here) that he really laid into the missionaries. But really President Arnold lifted and lifted us up. Even though we haven’t been doing things in the best way, he encouraged us to start anew every day, leaving behind what we have done (good or bad) and sleeping well, as long as we have worked our hardest. There are lots of things that we have to change but they are all great things. I am really excited to apply them to the work and my life (because almost everything I learn on the mission applies to me for the rest of my life).

The Zone Conference was really strict. We had to show up an hour early and be studying quietly and we couldn’t talk with any friends. Right after conference we got to hug President Arnold and shake his hand, along with his wife’s hand (as well as President Gulbrandsen and la Hermana Gulbrandsen) and then go straight to our areas. (I got to go to Villa Adelina because that’s the only way that I knew how to get to the conference and it wasn’t very expensive... I was WAY excited even if I was only in the train station... LOL) President Arnold told Elder Cranford about when he and his companion had competitions to see who could get in the most doors and whoever did had to buy the other one a soda. Really, President Arnold is awesome. He was so happy and he talked about obedience the whole time. When he bore his testimony about Joseph Smith it was amazing. I was translating for an Elder in my district because President Arnold was switching from English to Spanish. Just WOW! It was sweet.  He spoke in General Conference about honoring our name and the name of Christ. It was absolutely fantastic! :D

Elder Green, in the picture you saw posted, was in my District in the MTC and is a friend on Facebook. There should also be pictures of the zone conference going up soon! All three zones took a picture with Elder Arnold and his wife. I am on the stage on the right hand side. 

General Conference was amazing. It has been a week and a half of intense Spiritual experiences. The talk I really remember is from President Monson about gratitude. (It probably doesn’t help my memory that I watched it all in Spanish... I understood most of it! I won’t be able to listen to General Conference in Spanish very much after the mission so I took advantage of it... I took some good notes! LOL).

I want to thank EVERYBODY for all the help they are giving or have given to me. Everything you all do lifts me up. Thank you thank you thank you.

Bueno, I have to go.  The train leaves in 5 minutes. LOVE YOU ALL!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Watson

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Transfer Week - My New Area is Tortuguitas

Hey all!

Well it’s a new month. And a new month brings new changes right? Well, the transfer ended with a big change. I knew it was coming but I didn’t want it to come. I have left Villa Adelina and now I am in the area of Tortuguitas (Tor-tu-gi-tas is how you pronounce it) in the partido (county) of Pilar. I am excited but really nervous, this is my first change to a new area. I loved Villa Adelina but it was time for me to go. Seven months in one place is a looooooooooong time, but it’s all good.

Transferring is an interesting experience. We get called Monday night at 9:30 - 10 (usually 10:20) with news if we have to go somewhere or stay. And then, when you get the call your head spins. You can’t sleep so you start packing your bags. As you are packing you start to think where you had gotten all this stuff. It’s hard to think late at night when you can’t sleep. I thought I didn’t really get anything new but my baggage lets me know otherwise. (PESADISIMO! Really Heavy!) And then it’s walking in circles, waiting. We all gather at the mission office (unless you’re in the south, then you go to your new area all by yourself) at 11:30. Here we see old companions and friends and we get to talk for a bit. After a while, you find your new companion, talk for a bit and then leave. Usually we go to our area in a remis (think taxi but a normal guy with a normal car driving you to a destination). This time, however, we had a member drive us from the office to our apartment which is on the third floor up a narrow staircase right next to an auto mechanic. Apartments in Argentina are put into any place they can fit.

So nothing really great happened this week. We just worked hard to find and get people to General Conference. Fabian, an investigator went and had a great experience. He is moving to Orem in a couple weeks for work and will be in Utah for a couple months. I hope that he keeps on going to church and the missionaries there baptize him.

My new companion is Elder Cranford and is from Montana. He is really cool. This transfer is gonna be great. Well, gotta go. More stuff later. Love you all! Catch you later!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Watson

Monday, September 27, 2010

Short message: Sept 27

Buenas!

I don’t have much time this week so I will just be quick.

I love the scriptures. They have so much meaning in our lives. We can learn from almost every verse and apply it to our lives. This is one of the ways God answers our prayers and how he helps us to know His will for us. This life isn’t ours, but a gift from Him to help us show our love and loyalty to Him. As we learn how to show our love for God and obey his commandments, we will have so much more freedom in life and the life to come… John said that the truth will make us free. This truth is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation. When we conform to God’s will, this is when we will find true happiness, peace and joy. He wants us to be happy and knows the best way of how we can get there. We just have to be willing to sacrifice a couple of things and do what He wants in His ways.

I love you all and hope everyone is good. Stay safe!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Watson

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monkey in the Middle?


Buenas!

Wow... Esta semana voló! It really did fly. It felt like I was just writing you yesterday. I hope this doesn’t become a running theme in my life or this next year and a bit (I can’t even say year and half... :( ) is not going to last very long.

Let’s see what happened. We had zone conference this week which was really great. We really focused on asking heaven-inspired questions and having love for the people we teach. Something that requires a lot of patience (something I don’t have). We have been really trying to find someone to teach on a regular basis but things just keep on happening. Just gotta keep chugging... That’s what the Lord wants us to do; never give up in trying to what the Lord has asked. He will provide a way to help us complete with the work He has given us. Oh! I found a scripture I really liked in Alma 29:9-10. Really missionaries are on the Lord’s errand and seeing people change because of the influence of the Holy Ghost is one of the greatest joys I have had in the mission.

So with Zone Conference comes MAIL. And with my mail came a package from PARAGUAY! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D I think I was the most excited to get a letter from David. I have been smiling for days on end. He sent me a plaque in Guarani and a Paraguayan tie. It was the best! :D I also got a couple other letters from Michelle, Joanna, Josh Jelaty, Jessica Jelaty and our cousin Crystal Yokom. It was a good haul. Lol. :D

We are working with some inactive families right now who have children who are not baptized but we are still searching for a family of investigators to teach. I know there are TONS of people prepared here in Villa Adelina, we just got to find them. And I won’t stop until I do!

We went to a park by the Rio de Plata today and hung out with our district. Those who had guitars played them, we played monkey in the middle with my soccer ball, Frisbee and just relaxed. It was a lot of fun. But the down part is that we had to find a way back that took longer than we would have liked so I don’t have too much time. I love you all and hope all is well. Be safe and stay good. Les quiero!

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ya Septiembre??? Peruvian Food - YUM!

Buenas tardes a todos! :D

Well, this week was really good! The best part was Sunday so I will get to that last.

In the beginning of the week we really couldn’t find anyone and it was really hard to teach. But we started passing by lots of less actives to invite them to the Stake Conference with President Arnold this weekend. Many said they would think about it, but we found an part-member family of the Mom who is member and her 3 daughters, Celeste, Barabara y Valentina and all of them can be baptized. They all came to church and are really excited. :D We are now working with 3 less active families to reactivate them and help them to come back to church. It is so awesome!

I don’t remember if I told you about the member and her boyfriend who stopped us in the street to ask where the Chapel was... Anyways, it was about 3 months ago and many things have happened since then. But finally, her and her two daughter came to church!!!!!!! I am soooooooo excited. I was about ready to give up going by. But that is twice where I have found people when I felt like it wasn’t worth the effort. It was awesome when they walked into the chapel. And now she has an interview with the Bishop in two Sundays so she can arrange everything. It’s just way awesome.

On Sunday we went to a member who has been struggling with health problems and discouragement. He is the only one in his family that is a member and it is really hard for him. We were able to have a good lesson with him and his wife (she came in at the end). We shared how our examples can help build up other people. We shared how Alma was really worried about his son and tried to help him. We then shared how in the Alma the Younger’s most difficult moments he remembered the testimony of his father. This member is a good missionary. He has written out his testimony and put it in the copies of the Book of Mormon of his oldest daughter and a present for his friend. He worries and works with his family so much to get them to go to church and to realize the blessings of the gospel. Even though right now they are going to church or reading, we shared with him that they would remember the testimony of their father (and husband) in their darkest moments and help them to realize the truth of the Gospel and its importance in our lives.  It was just a great lesson.

Today we went over to the Zone Leaders’ area to eat food from Peru (It’s really spicy) and to hang out. It was a lot of fun. If I ever go to Peru (which I would like) I will have to bring a lot of milk…

Well, that’s the big stuff that happened. We have Zone Conference this Wednesday.  Rumors are that President Arnold is going to be there which brings us great fear but (at least to me) excitement.  We will receive a lot of good advice and teachings and MAIL!!!! All three are VERY important. LOL. Anyways, it’s a lot of fun the Missionary Work. There are lots of times where it is way difficult, but it definitely has its rewards.

Here is a scripture to keep kids in line (Elder Southern found it) Deuteronomy 21:18-21. I was going to send some thoughts but they left... Oh well. I hope all is well and that everyone is being good! Stay safe!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, September 6, 2010

Soccer & Pizza... Fun P-Day

Elders Watson & Southern
Hey all!

This week was alright. We had splits so I was with Elder Cortés from Chile for a day. That was fun. Splits are always interesting.

Today, Hermano Cano, my first zone leader, came to visit us. He finished the mission and played Soccer with us at the Stake Center. No one had a ball so I bought one... for 56 pesos... so it was like 14 dollars. But it’s from Boca so it’s pretty cool.  The ball doesn’t look as nearly as good as it did new but what can you expect playing on concrete.  I took a lot of pictures with it BEFORE we played so I would have good memories! :D  Afterwards, we went to an all you can eat pizza place with our district. That was pretty fun.

The Patriarch for the Stake is in our ward (Its way cool to say that we are a ward) and we went to his house the other day. As we were talking he asked about Dad and what position he held. When I told him that he was a bishop, Patriarch Leotta told me that being a Bishop is one of the hardest callings of the Church. (He was called 3 times). But it is always interesting talking to him. He is like 80 years old and acts and looks like he is in his 60s or 70s.

I met an Elder Johnson (in our zone) who knows me from Baseball camp and BYU. Truthfully I didn’t recognize him at first but after thinking for a bit I did remember him. He knows Dave too. I think I have a really bad memory... Oh well.  I will get to talk to him more.  He just barely got to the field but he is way excited.

Well, that’s about all that happened. We are working hard to find people that we can teach. It’s hard work being a missionary. But it is so worth it. Every time I testify I can feel the Spirit testify to me. I know that as we, the members, work to bring the Gospel to our friends and family, that we be given the words to speak. (D&C 84:85)  This is the work of the Lord and when we work and try to take a part in it, we will be blessed abundantly with the Spirit.

I hope all is well and that everyone is being good. I am way excited that Josh is set apart. I will definitely write him. Hopefully sooner than later, but I will. Oh, speaking of letters... I forgot them in the apartment today so they will have to wait until next week to be sent. Sorry! Anyways, may the Lord be with you in all you do. Love you all.

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, August 30, 2010

Casí September?????? Where did time go?

Hey Everyone!

Well.... Time certainly has flown. Elder Southern keeps saying I have 1 year under my belt (I only have 8 months) but really, in a blink of an eye I will be there. How scary...

We received some exciting news this week. We are officially a ward now, not a branch. We had a special sacrament meeting which was overwhelmingly powerful and awesome. It was great to see the members so excited and happy. Eight years ago they were meeting in a house by the railroad tracks and now have their own WARD building. It’s pretty sweet!

This week was pretty hard. Lots of our investigators are gone on vacation or are moving so we have to pretty much start over. But that’s alright, we will go where the Lord would have us go and do what he would have us do…

So more about Elder Southern. He’s from Indiana, has been on his mission for a year and 3 months, loves to play soccer, his Spanish is really good and is a great guy. We are excited to work together here in Villa Adelina. He’s taller than me, a first for a companion in the mission. ¿Que más?

It’s great to hear the progress of everybody and hopefully I will get some letters in a couple of weeks so that I can catch up on everybody else.  I still haven’t sent letters but I promise to send them next week. I don’t know what more to say. I hope everyone is great and being good and studying their scriptures. I don’t know how I went throughout the day before the mission without reading the scriptures... That’s something I want to keep for many many years to come, daily scripture study. Well, that’s it for me. Ta ta for now!

Con Muchísimo Amor,

Elder Michael Watson

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Still in Villa Adelnia. Now with Elder Southern

Elders Hales & Watson
Hey all!

Well, this week has been a little bit crazy. We walked and taught a lot and received many ideas and revelations for Villa Adelina. Elder Hales and I found some people who have so much potential and we will work faithfully with them.  Transfers were today and went well. I am still in Villa Adelina and now with Elder Southern from Indiana. I thought I was gone for sure! We have a lot of good ideas that we can carry out together. I finally have a fixed schedule with one companion. I was supposed to send a picture of the baptism we had so that you could send it to the parents of Elder Hales, but I forgot to bring the stuff. It’s just as well since there is a druggy going in and out and a bunch of kids so probably it’s better that I forgot it.

Elders Hales & Watson
I love Villa Adelina and the people here. There is a lot of abundance and potential. The members of the branch help out a lot and together we have been able to do a lot of stuff. In the near future if the missionaries and the people work together, we can fill the chapel. I know it!  I hope one day to come back to Argentina and see it as a Stake. It can happen, just as long as the people and the missionaries work together.

Well, I gotta go. If you can, read 2 Nephi 31 prayerfully and meditate what it means for us. I had an awesome experience with a family that not all are active and really it is awesome. There is the painting of Jesus Christ with all the angels behind him in the sky with his hands extended. Really, this chapter and the painting go together. The way that we can return to live with God and our Families forever is through the Doctrine of Christ and his Atonement. I hope that all will be able to feel and know that really the Gospel of Jesus Christ is restored on this Earth again. We have the power and authority of God restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. This power and authority is what validates the ordinances of Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost and what opens the door to the path we need to take to return to live with God again. I testify this is true and know that if you read this chapter in the Book of Mormon and pray about it with sincerity, you will know for yourself that the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and the Church of Jesus Christ was restored through the boy prophet. I love you all and hope all is well. Be safe and good!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Watson

(P.S. Thank you to Elder & Sister Kroff for the pictures!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saludos de Argentina!

[Mike will be getting a new companion, who he has been partially working with this week, starting Monday. His name is Elder Hales and he also has a blog. I have added a link to his blog in Mike's Blog List. I have been reading Elder Hales' blog off and on for the last couple of months, he is a great missionary and I know Mike will love working with him.]


Hey all!

Well, this week has been really busy but really good. On Monday I am going to stay with Elder Hales! :D At least until transfers... After that, we´ll see.


Elders Hales, Watson, Leavitt, Paz and Peterson
This week I have gained a lot more enthusiasm for talking with everybody. Elder Leavitt has that MTC excitement and wants to talk with EVERYBODY! While it is great to do so, we also have to teach people. We contacted many people but really couldn´t find anyone to teach. We have to find the balance in between visiting people and doing contacts. But I believe it is just something I have to learn through experience and time. As well I went on splits with one of the assistants. In this half-hour to 45 minutes, we found two new investigators and taught two lessons. In all reality, I learned so much in this little time, smiling, how to receive references, how to get in to teach, and many other things. That was a great experience.

Today we are going to have a baptism, completing a less-active (now active :D) family. I am sooooo excited! And Lucas is too! The service is going to be awesome because lots of people from the ward are going and we have invited other people as well. It´s going to be great!! :D

This next Stake Conference, September 19th, the Stake has put a goal to have 200 investigators present in a meeting especially for investigators, recent converts and less-actives with the new President of the Area, President Arnold. Which breaks down that each area needs to bring about 30 people. Elder Hales and I have put a goal to bring 50 and I know we can do it if we work hard and with the members.

Well, that´s about it that´s going on. The week has been crazy busy but nothing really new. I hope all is well and that everyone is being good! :D

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Watson

Saturday, August 7, 2010

¡Sorpresa!

Hey all!

This week has been very complicated and interesting. Much different from last week!

As you can see I am sending this on Saturday. My P-Day is today because my companion Elder Paz is going to go to the offices to work and the office missionaries have their P-Days today. Right now I have Elder Hales and Elder Paz as my companions. It’s really awesome! :D

So my schedule during the day is a little hectic. Elder Hales and Elder Paz go to the offices at 9 in the morning and I receive Elder Leavitt. Elder Leavitt had his visa delayed so he went for a week in Mississippi and is now here in Argentina. He spent two weeks with the assistants as his trainers and now is with me in the mornings (Monday - Friday) and with Elder Peterson (an office elder) in the nights. So I guess that makes me a bit of a trainer.... Kinda weird and scary, but the responsibility helps me a lot. Plus, Elder Leavitt has so much excitement to work that he is teaching me a lot too. :D Anyways, I receive Elder Hales and Paz around 5 and we leave to work the rest of the night.

This week also we put a baptismal date for two boys of a less-active family. I have been teaching them (I started teaching them with Elder Garay so like 4 months) and finally he has a date for the 14th! We’ve been waiting for the whole family to be ready to come back. Lucas, who just turned 12, will be a baptism for the mission while his brother Gaby will be a baptism for the Branch. Still, I have been working with them for a long time and finally we are going to see him baptized by his father! :D

Hmm... What more can I say. Things are going great here in Villa Adelina and I am learning more each day of how to be a better missionary. Thanks for everyone that is supporting me and I hope all is well at home.

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, August 2, 2010

We have a new Mission President!

Hey all!

This week flew by. We had a zone meeting we were interviewed individually by President Gulbrandsen. He really is called from God to be our Mission President. We talked a lot about how to use silence when we teach. When we ask a question we should not be afraid of the silence. This is when the Spirit ministers to us as teachers as well as our students (or investigators). We can really follow the Spirit and learn when we take time to settle down, be quiet and listen.

I also received a package from the parents containing things that are really important. Things like socks, candy, peanut butter and POP TARTS. :D I also received two packages from Michelle along with a couple of letters. I am working on writing to all those who have written me... It takes a long time to write and that´s something I don´t have too much of.

We didn´t have anything else too exciting go on this week. We are working hard to find people to teach and to help those we have to progress to their baptisms. I hope all is well at home and that this finds everybody great.

Con mucho Amor,

Elder Watson

Monday, July 26, 2010

¡Buen Día!

¿Cómo estáis? (you plural)

How’s it going? This week wasn’t too exciting. We did start teaching two sisters of a sister in our branch. The thing is that they pertain to another area so we are going to have to pass along the reference to them. They are really anxious to learn about the gospel and have lots and lots of good questions. They both accepted a baptismal date and are going to read and pray to see if the Book of Mormon is true and pray to see if Joseph Smith was a prophet. It was a lesson that was really awesome!

Every time I testify about the Book of Mormon and about the Restoration, my testimony grows a little bit. The feelings the Spirit brings to us as we testify are undeniable and unexplainable. It says in Doctrine and Covenants that if we open our mouths to testify, the Lord will fill us with the words to say. I tried out the promise and the Lord will really help us. As we learn to follow the Spirit and its guidance, we can and will testify with power to all. Even though living the gospel and the commandments might be hard at first, as we strive to do what we have been commanded, it will get easier. President Argyle told this to me during one of our interviews and it is so true. When we put out the effort to obey, God will provide the means and way for us to accomplish our goals. (1 Nephi 17:3) I testify that we are commanded to live every commandment and it is not impossible to follow the guidelines of the Church and the commandments of God. As we exercise our faith (works) and show that we are willing and want to obey, the Lord will help us. That’s why He suffered the Atonement for us. He knows how we feel at all times and knows how to succor his people. (Isaiah 53:3-5, Alma 7:11-12)

I don’t know what else to say. We have interviews on Thursday with President Gulbrandsen. I am so excited! For one, it will be a 15 minute interview (which is really long!) and two that we get our mail, packages and "pedidos" (things we can order). This week we have a lot planned and hope to find a lot of people. Oh! We have a branch missionary family home evening on Saturday and it should be great! :D Family Home Evenings are always fun! :D

Well, I gotta go. I hope all is well and that everyone is great! I love you all and Hasta vernos cuando reunamos otra vez! (Until we meet again!)

Love,
Elder Michael C. Watson

Monday, July 19, 2010

Testimony of Church Videos


Hace un poco tiempo que he escrito una carta larga y probablamente algunas personas son un poco frustrado conmigo... Por eso voy a trabajar para corregirlo... :D

Está semana fue de diez! Encontramos un hombre que nos contactó en la calle y dijo que necesita ayuda en su vida y quiere cambiar. Pensamos que él pensó que fuimos Testigos de Jehóvah, pero cuando nos reunamos, empezamos a enseñar y ¡todo estaba de diez! Fijamos una fecha bautismal para 7 de agosto y Gerado (su nombre) encantó las reuniones de la iglesia. Fue muy muy bien y somos preparando todo por su bautismo!

Voy a compartir una relación que fue muy espirutal para mi. Empezamos a enseñar un antiguo investigador en Jueves. Miramos la Restauración y todos sentimos el Espíritu refuerte. Antes de la primera visión, el hijo de 14 años dijo que sentió muy bien y quiso comprar el video. Despues la pelicula, testifique que la iglesia de Jesucrist en verdad esta restaurado y que la representamos. Testifique que José en verdad vió nuestro Padre Celestial y su hijo Jesucristo. Al yo testificaba, podía sentir el Espíritu testifica a mí y a todos. Antes en la semana estaba un poco debil y dudando un poco acerca de mi testimonio. Pero al yo comparto mi testimonio con todos, estoy sentiendo el Espíritu testifica a ellos. La verdad, es el mejor sentimiento que he sentido. Ahora quiero testificar acerca de José Smith y nuestra Iglesia en todo momento. Estoy reanimado para hablar con todos y testificar a ellos. También, ¡los videos de la Iglesía son tan poderosos! Cuando los vimos con atención, podemos sentir el Espíritu testificar por medio de las verdades que nos enseñan.

Quiero testificar que sepan esta es la iglesia verdedera de Jesucristo.. Al leimos en el Libro de Mormón y preguntar al Padre si es verdedero, Él va a contestar sus preguntas con poder. Pueden sentir y saber sin dudas que la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Días es la única iglesia que pueden conducirnos a nuestro Padre Celestial. Solomente por medio del Evangelio de Jesucristo podemos ser perdonados de nuestros pecados.   Necesitamos fe en Jesucristo, Arreptirnos de nuestros pecados, ser Bautizados por la autoridad de Dios, (el Sacerdocio cual solo está Iglesia la tiene por medio de la Restauración), recibir el Espíritu Santo (También por esta misma autoridad), y perservar hasta al fin. Al hacemos esto, vamos a recibir perdon de nuestros pecados y recibir poder para seguir adelante en esta vida. Tenemos un profeta hoy en día, se llama Tómas S. Monson. El recibe revelación de Dios para ayudarnos evitar las tentaciones de Satanás y pecado. Todos los mandamientos son importantes!!! Sigálos y van a ser bendicidos.

Les amo y quiero que sepan! Perdonáme para no escribiendo en mucho tiempo. Voy a esforzarme cada semana para escribir una carta rebuena. Hasta la proxima semana!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Elder Michael Watson

P.S. Zone Conferences are every 3 months which means (right now) that I will receive packages and letters every three months.

P.P.S. I forgot something important.... It must not have been that important.... Oh well. ¡Chau!


It has been a while since I wrote a long letter and probably some people are a little frustrated with me ... So I will become better... :D

It was ten weeks ago we found a man who contacted us in the street who said he needs help with his life and wanted to change. We think he thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses, but when we met, we began to teach and everything was great! We set a baptismal date for August 7 and Gerardo (his name) loves the church meetings. It’s going very very well and we are preparing for his baptism!

I will share an experience that was very spiritual for me. We began to teach an older investigator on Thursday. We watched the Restoration movie and everyone felt the Spirit testify. Before the First Vision, his 14 year old son said he felt very good and wanted to buy the video. After the film, we testified that the true church of Jesus Christ is restored and that we represent it. We testified that Joseph truly saw our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. When I testified, I could feel the Spirit testify to me and to everyone there. Before this week I was a little timid and hesitated a little bit about my testimony. But when I shared my testimony with everyone, I felt the Spirit testify to them. The truth is the best feeling I’ve felt. Now I want to testify about Joseph Smith and our Church all the time. I have a renewed enthusiasm to talk to everyone and testify to them. Also, the videos of the Church are so powerful! When we watch them carefully, we feel the Spirit testify by the means of the truths that they teach.

I testify that I know this is the true Church of Jesus Christ… When we read in the Book of Mormon and ask the Father if it is true, He will answer your questions with power. You can feel and know without a doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church that can lead us to our Heavenly Father. Only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ can we be forgiven of our sins. We need faith in Jesus Christ, and repent of our sins, be baptized by the authority of God (which is the priesthood that was only restored with this Church), receive the Holy Spirit (also by the same authority), and endure to the end. When we do this, we receive forgiveness of our sins and receive power to move forward in life. We have a prophet today, who is Thomas S. Monson. He receives revelation from God to help us avoid the temptations of Satan and sin. All the commandments are important! If we follow them we will be blessed.

I love you and want you to know! Forgive me for not writing a long letter for awhile. I will strive each week to be better at writing letters. Until next week!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!
Elder Michael Watson

P.S. Conferences Zone are Which Means every 3 months (right now) That I will receive packages and letters Every three months.

P.P.S. I forgot something important .... It Must Not Have Been That important .... Oh well. Chau!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I am still in Villa Adelina!!!!

¿Cómo estan?

Estoy muy feliz. Anoche encontré que voy a quedarme acá en Villa Adelina! Amo esta rama y area! No tengo mucho tiempo porque estaba enviando muchos fotos y charlando con Dad. Promete que voy a enviar un email muy grande la proxima.

He recibido cartas de Spencer, Gianluca, Tara, Elder Ian Ray y Michelle. Muchas gracias para me escibieron!!!

Gracias por todo!

[I pieced together our chat to compose this letter]

I received my package (Envelope) and other letters!  We had zone conference on the Saturday before transfers!! We are going to have Zone Conferences every 3 months now, not every transfer so it won’t be until September or October until I get to check for mail again. We are still unsure whether we are going to get mail every 6 weeks or so because we need to order books of Mormon and other materials periodically... So that might change... But right now, that’s how it is.  But I am not too worried. I don’t live from transfer to transfer off of mail so I will be just fine. :D  But that doesn’t matter! I am still in VILLA ADELINA!

I have had to go to "capítal" a lot recently because my compañero has back problems and had an endoscopy a couple weeks ago.  My companion isn’t familiar with La Rural Convention & Exhibition Centre on Av. Sarmiento 2704 so it probably isn’t in our mission... [this is where the 2010 Hemophilia World Congress is being held this year, this week and a couple of my doctors are there and said they would keep an eye out for Mike].  He was in Capítal for a while and knows it pretty well as well as in the offices... Anyways, that is way cool!

That is a nice picture of you on the couch with the casts on your legs!  You are using my glass to drink water by the way!!! ;) How are you?

I received my DNI which is my official ID for here in Argentina.  It is like a mini passport. It has pages for changes of address and voting and things like that. It also has the date I entered into the Country, I am here only temporarily and from the United States.  Oh yeah. It has a spot to show if I get married here… I think that page will stay blank though! It also has my fingerprint. 

Oh well. We will see. [I don’t think this last comment was regarding his DNI but rather the doctors that will be watching for him… I think].

As we were going to Zone Conference on Saturday, in Belgrano in "Capítal", a group of Americans got on the subway and were talking in English. It was so weird… It was like I was listening to an alien language.  I can understand the Elders alright, but grown-ups talking English is so weird now…

The picture of the apartment is down the street from our “casita.”  I will take a picture of our "casita" today and send it to you next week. We moved from my first apartment and are in a different part of the area now.  The silver van is just a car, it is on the same street (across the street) from the apartment building picture.

The pictures of the plastic bags in the trees are the NICE garbage cans… That is how we take out the trash…

I also sent a picture of some vegetables were 50 cents at a local verderduría.

Did David find a way to make his teeth white again because mine are starting to go clear as well… I’ve been taking a bunch of calcium this week but there really hasn’t been any improvement. There is a Dentist in capítal but I will have to pay my own way to go to him. Were you able to find a solution?

Con mucho amor,

Elder Watson

Monday, July 5, 2010

Short message

Dear Family,

Ok. I have two minutes again...

This week has been really good. We taught a contact I made yesterday and he has a lot of desire to learn more. :D We are teaching a couple and they want

to get married and learn more! They first need to get all the paper work together but they are a family of God! This transfer has been really hard, but really

fun and good at the same time.

Overall I am good. Just out of time. Love you all and hope everyone is well. I hope Dad is feeling better and I will be praying for him.

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, June 28, 2010

Is Jesus Here?

¡Buenas Tardes! Dias! Noches!

¿Cómo estan? Espero que todo esta bien! Estoy muy feliz para escuchar que Josh va a ir a St. George! Me pone muy feliz!

Ahora la obra es un poco difícil.... Somos esforzandonos muchísimo para hacer que el Señor nos espera y hacer nuestra parte. Nonetheless, we are working in the work of the Lord and with his help we cannot fail! :D I am enjoying the mission so much! I am learning a lot of how to be a better man and servant of the Lord. It’s wonderful the things that I have come to realize and learn and how I can have more of the Lord’s blessings in my life.

A little funny story...

We were passing by some former investigators to see if we could continue with them and help them to come unto Christ. I wrote in my planner the names and addresses that we were going to pass by that night. When we were outside of a house that I thought a man named Jesus lived there, we clapped (normal knocking on doors) and a lady came out. I asked if we could find Jesus (Se encuentra Jesus?) and she responded yes, in her heart! I was so confused... A minute or so later we were able to find out that Jesus didn’t live there and we moved on because she was alone and we can’t teach women without a man present. As I was reviewing the list I wrote I realized I crossed the name and the address... Oops....

Anyways, I don’t know what else to write. We are working hard and I cannot wait each day to talk to people about the gospel! The gospel of Jesus Christ really does help people in every aspect of their lives. We need to continue each day working to become more like Christ and doing the things that our Heavenly Father would have us do to earn our salvation. Nothing good in this life ever comes easy, but when we do our part the Lord will do the rest.

Well, I hope all is well at home. I am going to be sending a bunch of letters soon so I hope that I can catch everybody before things change again. Cuantas cosas cambiar cuando una persona esta en la misión? Hahaha. Anyways, love you all, stay safe, study the scriptures and be happy! Life in the US is truly a blessing. Love you, mean it, let’s do lunch. Chal! :D

Con mucho Amor,

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, June 14, 2010

Getting Ready For Our New Mission President

Hey!

Sorry I haven’t emailed a long letter in a while... Things have been pretty hectic. Our new apartment is pretty far from everything (not like David and his 30 min walk to his area) But it’s getting there... Oh well. At least it is a nice apartment. As soon as I get a card reader, I want to send a whole bunch of pictures. As well as this, can you look through the album Michelle gave me and help me remember what I am supposed to take pictures of? I would be glad with any help I can get. ;)

Anyways, last week we had our last interview with President Argyle because Wednesday is his last transfer. He is a man of God, called by a prophet to help us in this work. We have truly been instructed and helped by him and I don’t want him to go... But I am excited for our new mission president as well. At our interviews we received our mail. I received the box of flat sheets and peanut butter and a lot of letters. :D Some of the other Elders were giving me a bad time because I got a lot from Michelle, but I like reading so it’s good. :D I also received one from Alexis, Cybil, and a couple from Joanna. I don’t want to leave anyone out but thank you so much for writing me!!! :D  I will be getting to those as soon as possible... I still have to respond to letters from the last transfer.... I think I am pretty bad at this whole writing letters thing... But I will probably be a pro by the end of my mission. ;)

So I was reading through the dear Elders I got and I read about the time you [mom and dad] went to the Argentina restaurant. Mom - the black sausage is an acquired taste, even for the people here. I bought an Argentina Jersey, #10, Messi... It was 10 dollars. :D

Congrats to Bryan! :D :D I am glad the week and everything went well, including the drive. :D If you could send me a ballot that would be great. :D I have no idea what’s going on in the US except for what I get in letters, but I would like to vote. :D

Elder Raymond - Yes!!!! His companion was Elder Healey. Elder Charles es un CAPO! He is so awesome. :D I really enjoyed my week with him!  And we also know the same person at BYU, Ethan Watts... Pretty crazy.

Also there is an Elder from Neuquen in my zone as District Leader. His name is Elder Diez and says he went on splits with Alex Cahan... If I understood right. Anyways, I thought that was pretty cool. :D

Anyways, I have to write my letter to the President and we have to get going... There’s never enough time on P-Day.... :( Oh well. Necesito aprovechar que tiempo que tengo!  Say Hi to everyone for me and that I love them.  Thank you for all you guys do for me and I will see you all really soon! (If time keeps flying by like this! :p)

CON MUCHO AMOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Michael C. Watson

Monday, June 7, 2010

Where does the time go?

Hey!

I don’t have a lot of time today. Like thirty seconds... But things are great here! We are working hard to find new investigators and progress with the ones we have. I testify that this work is of God and that I am seeing many miracles in the lives of the people here in Argentina. Also the Book of Mormon is the word of God and was written for us. We can apply every chapter to our lives. I testify that as you read the Book of Mormon you can feel the Holy Ghost and know for a surety that the Book of Mormon is true and that the Church of Jesus Christ is the only true church and that by and through the restored priesthood we can receive the necessary ordinances and blessings to live with our Heavenly Father again and with our Families for Eternity! I love you all and please keep praying and studying the scriptures. As we do this, Heavenly Father will bless us in more ways than we can imagine! Stay safe and be good! :D

Love,

Elder Watson

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Companion, Same Area

Hey All!!!

This week I don’t have much time to type... Today was transfers and that took a while to put everything in order. As well, we moved to a new apartment... I am no longer in an apartment with three other missionaries but an apartment of two with my new Companion Elder Paz. He is from Peru and is our new district leader here in Villa Adelina. I don’t know much about him yet, but as we move along I am sure I will have more to tell you about him. Elder Garay is now a Zone Leader and a District Leader in a Zone that is way north called Zarate. I am very grateful to have had him as my companion and he has helped me to become a better person, missionary and servant of the Lord.

I can’t wait for Zone Conference next week. :D Hopefully I will have some packages waiting for me! ;) With Peanut Butter! ;D Lol...I want to tell you all that I know that this church is true and that you can find out for yourself by reading the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon has the answers to our souls and as you read it, you will find the answers Heavenly Father wants to give you. He loves you and wants you to have peace and happiness in this life.

I love you all and can’t wait to hear from you!

Love!!!
Elder Watson