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


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,


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