Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Dear Family,

That's pretty awesome that Fillmore had a baptism! :D

So, here is the last letter of the mission. What a crazy week to end the mission. All in all we had 10 baptisms in the zone and 7 of them were confirmed. The missing 3, we looked for high and low before sacrament meeting and couldn't find them. A bit frustrating if you ask me.

We had a Christmas activity on Thursday. We all went out to Pilar (well, all the missionaries up north... the ones down south missed out) and had a blast. We sung hymns, played the White Elephant game, had a scripture chase and then listened to President. Every time we talk to him it is so inspiring.

We spent a lot of the week in other areas, trying to help them out and teach them through divisions. Honestly, being a zone leader makes you really tired with all the stuff you have to do, but there are great rewards for the work, especially the feeling of satisfaction as other missionaries learn, grow and have success.

Well, today is my last pday so I am going to try to buy a couple things and then we are going to play soccer. What else would I do in Argentina my last pday? Haha. Well, thank you for all the support you have given me. That Skype call was fun yesterday, especially that I could see you this time. Lol.

Well, see you Thursday!

Love,
Elder Watson

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Navidad Blanca

HEY! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

So this week is going to be super exciting! We have 12 baptisms set in the Zone in our building for the 24th. If we can help our investigators and a couple of possible people to be baptized in our area we can have 16 or 17 baptisms in the Zone. Not to mention all the possibilities in the other areas. This is going to be a great Christmas!

This week was pretty hard. We found a couple of new investigators that accepted baptismal dates (I don't know them because I was on divisions with Lima that day) and we couldn't get a hold of them afterwards so they didn't come Sunday. Also the three girls we have baptismal dates for Christmas Eve didn´t come to church because there was a wedding in their family until the morning so they didn't come either. But they know the church is true and the only thing we really have to do is work with the parents.

On Thursday we have a mission activity in a church campsite so that's going to be fun. Other than that, things are going and we've got a lot to work on and get better. There's never things to stop getting better at. That's for sure. Well, the place is closing for the siesta.

Love you!
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte

Monday, December 12, 2011

White Christmas... During the Summer!

Hi!

I am doing wonderful! The zone is really exploding! We are expecting 17 baptisms or so (maybe more) for Christmas Eve. Our Stake President told us about a tradition they do is that they bring all the investigators from the stake by bus to the stake center to be baptized on the 24th and they will be confirmed the 25th. We talked to President and he's fine with that. We already have 7 baptisms and 15 confirmations this month - that means we would have at least 24 baptisms in the month of December (we are hoping for a lot more!). What a White Christmas! :D :D :D

Zárate is doing fine. We are really focusing on the Zone so we don't have insane numbers, but we are doing fine. Obviously we can do better, so we are working on that. But we are really happy with the energy and excitement the Zone has is really amazing!

Last night we were visiting some members and they happen to have a cousin that is serving in the Ogden mission. When I said that I had family there, they asked if I could take a Christmas gift to him. I said yes. That family called their uncle and I talked to him (he lives in Buenos Aires South) and told me that there was an Elder from Santa Paula there in that mission as Assistant, Elder Castro. So I would be Alex Castro who's coming home, no? We are still rivals even though I don't know him. That's just taken for granted ... being from Santa Paula :)

Well, that's about it for now. TTFN! Love you!
--
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Short again

Dear Dad y Mom,

So I am in downtown again finishing up my DNI. We took the opportunity to go to the Calle Florida (Florida Street) where there are TONS of shops and stuff to buy. Well, you know me, I am not all for shopping but I did end up getting stuff. I just think when I come back I can buy  souvenirs. Right now I just want to help people to come unto Christ.

So we are probably going to get to Zarate late so I gotta go. It's always unpredictable our route and how much time it takes, but it's the only one we've got. Unless President wants  to give us a car. That would be cool. :p Anyways, Thanks for all that you do! I LOVE you so much!

--
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Short and Sweet

Hi Family,

Well, today was fun! We went down to the mission offices in a big van with the zone for transfers - it is less expensive and more enjoyable than just taking a remis (taxi type thing). So we went down, got some mail, talked with some friends, got to meet the Hermana Sperry and Dunn who are friends of Michelle´s that say Hi, and then we came back. That's all we've done today so far.

This week was good. We had a baptism, Julia Knulst, the godmother of Hugo our recent convert. That was cool. We really didn't organize it too well so I ended up baptizing her instead of a member, but hey, it's a baptism! This week was super hectic. As a zone we had 11 baptisms. We spent all week verifying and helping missionaries with the investigators. We even sent Elder Lane to San Pedro for a couple days to help them get their 8 baptisms. Super tight. Just a long week with lots of calling and going to bed late from calling the zone and planning for our area.

Well, that's all the time I have to email today. Love you all and hope you are great! See ya!

Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hey There

Hi Family,

Well, I don't have that much time today. I feel like I say that every week.... Today we played soccer with our district so that was fun. I played barefoot on the concrete so we'll see how my feet come out! haha

This week was good. I went to Baradero again to help them out. We found a guy that's going through a tough time but was like a perfect investigator for the restoration. Wednesday we had Training with President and this Wednesday we'll have training again. Fun stuff! I also went to Campana on divisions as well. It was a good day. Both days I learned a lot... from the other elders and the situations we were in. Nothing bad, just different.

Well, I still have to write President. I'll try to write more next week. I am learning and growing every day. It's amazing! I hope all is well with you!
Love,

Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte

Monday, November 14, 2011

GREEN ALERT? NUCLEAR POWER PLANT? IN LIMA?

Attn: READ ALL BEFORE DOING ANYTHING

On Thursday morning we received a call from a couple Elders in an area called Lima telling us a man from the Army came to their house, gave them a note saying that they should lock all their doors and windows because the nuclear power plant was on green alert and if anything happened they should take the pills in the paper bag they received. So they ask me what they should do. I say, well, let me call President.  The Elders in San Pedro almost went to the Rosario mission! So I call and relate what had happened and we start an emergency evacuation of the whole zone.  So we put the whole zone on a conference call and tell them to get to the offices of the mission a.s.a.p. Five minutes later we get a call from the Elders in Lima - saying, "Hey... ummm................ so guys. This was a simulation..... I didn't know what the word simulacro meant and yea. It's something they do every year." So we start calling the whole zone so that no one leaves on a bus... because they would be disastrous and take 3-4 hours to get them back to their area... if not more. We call President and say that its a false alarm and everything is all good. Everyone stays and all is well. BTW - The pills in the plastic bag? Candy. Well, that was a good experience. Good maybe isn't the right word. Interesting, breaking the routine. Something like that. Anyways. So. Yea. That was fun.

Well, I am in downtown today. Elder Lane had to do some stuff for a visa and so we woke up at 4:30 this morning to come down to the area offices. So let's just say I am tired. But the people at the office are nice and as they pass they say Hi Elders and that makes me feel good. :D The receptionist is a lady who worked at the mission home for 11 years, cooking and stuff. Let's just say AMAZING cooking. :D Now she doesn't work there... :( as much I guess. She is pretty cool.

Well this week FLEW by. INSANE. But we had some miracles! The sisters in Campana had four baptisms this weekend so we went out one afternoon to go try to help the father of one of the girls be baptized. We got to the point where he was going to pray to find out if he should be baptized. I don't like pressuring people anyway, but that answer sufficed.

So yea. Todo bien. Not much going on. We are working with Hugo's Godmother and she has a date for the 26th. We are also working with a less active and his girlfriend to get them married so that she can get baptized.  Other than that we are kinda dry on investigators at the moment. We've left the ones we have because they aren't progressing and we have to get back in touch with a few. But we have LOTS and LOTS of appointments this week. Like Bastante. Going by members and less actives and investigators. We got our plates full. We need four missionaries again!

Well. That's about it. Thanks for the news - it's always good to hear about stuff.  I am going to see if I can buy some jerseys today because downtown is the place to get them. If not, oh well. I still need to eat... I haven't eaten breakfast or lunch yet. That could be a problem. Well. Love you all! I am doing my best and we are seeing good fruits. We had 91 people in church yesterday, that is up 20. So that was good. Hope all is well with you!

Love,

Elder M. Watson

Monday, November 7, 2011

November Already?

Dear Family,

Happy Birthday Mom! I know it's a little early, but it's better than late. Haha.

This week. Well, we did exchanges with our district leaders on Wednesday and Friday so that was good. We also had a baptism! :D :D :D :D :D His name is Jonathon, 20 years old. Super Capo (Stud). We had stake conference so we had another area in the zone that baptized their investigators with ours. So cool. :D Things went very well... I baptized Jonathon. Usually we have a problem that the water is super cold. But this time it was super HOT. I almost cooked. Oops. It was my fault for leaving the hot water on so long. But I thought it was the cold that was on... Oh well. We also had interviews with President. Amazing like always. Better that he came to our church to do the interviews. Sweet! :D

This week should be good! Elder Christofferson is here for a special conference with all the mission presidents of South America. One of the topics will be presented by President Gulbrandsen about Recent Convert Trees. Basically, our mission is having tons of success teaching and finding through the recent converts. One area had 19 baptisms in two months. It's a tree because it starts with a member or family and it branches out and out. It is absolutely amazing. My last 6 baptisms are the result of this style of work. And I am convinced it will work anywhere! As you teach the recent convert/less active/member and receive references from them and teach those references with them, you not only find new and better and investigators but you strengthen the testimony of these members. It is absolutely amazing the results. We should be getting a booklet of examples and I can send pictures of examples. It's AMAZING! :D

Well, that's about it. I am in Baradero, a town an hour north of Zárate. I will be on divisions for a couple days here so that will be sweet. The only place farther north is San Pedro. Let's see if I can get up there. Haha. Anyways, Love you all! Be good!

Love,

Elder Watson

Monday, October 31, 2011

News Letter...

Dear Family,

Well, this is going to be really short. I ask for forgiveness now.

We had a baptism at 8 o’clock Saturday morning, which went well (yay for waking up at 5) we are expecting two baptisms this weekend. We also have stake conference. I am finding real joy working with and through the members. Things are just doing great. Love you all! Love,

Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte


(P.S. Mike spent a lot of his time this morning scheduling his classes for winter semester at BYU).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Elder Quintana Transferred

Elder Lane & Elder Watson
Hey all!

This week has literally been crazy. I know I said it's been busy lately. But this week was absolutely crazy. Monday went well. Tuesday was a bit different. We had weekly planning and then went to go do service - when I get a call from the assistants telling me that Elder Quintana has to be in the Mission Home ASAP. So we run back to the house and throw everything in the suitcases and off he went. Emergency transfers are quite fun. Anyways, so now I am only with Elder Lane.

Last week was just a blur. Trying to see everybody and help everybody get to church. We literally had so many things to do with no time to do it. Thursday we had set up an appointment with the Stake President and President Gulbrandsen came. But the Stake President didn't show up. So it turned to an hour lesson with President Gulbrandsen, Elder Lane and I. Wow. Can I say amazing? Sure, we've got quite a bit of changing to do, but President helped me to get a better vision on things and how to be a better leader. He really made a point when he said that he wants us to work with the recent converts and the members on the 5-5-5 program (Do you have this in our ward?). This is really where we've been having success. President went with us to a recent convert family and we had a great lesson. So that was cool. Every second I am with President I am learning something. He is SO AMAZING! :D

Elder Lane and I are getting along pretty well. He likes to be clean! (YES!) and helps out a lot. We've been trying to figure out how to best work the area. Last transfer we just went out and found people and taught. All the people that we found last transfer (that weren´t baptized and aren't progressing) we've dropped. Right now we are making a HUGE map and organizing all of the members, former investigators, and all that jazz. It's gonna be sick. Like 2 meters long... so 7 feet by 3.5? something like that. It's gonna be legit. I'll take pictures of it when I am done.

So you want to hear a miracle? Well, it's not HUGE, but it's big enough for me. We've been teaching a 13-year old and his Dad kinda got a little mad at us for coming by often. So he restricted us to only pass by on Fridays. The kid freaked out a bit of baptism because we showed a lot of urgency to get him into the water. Well, we had a lesson on Friday with his Aunt (an awesome active member who is a PERFECT missionary) and we just took it cool. We read 3 Nephi 27 with him (he didn't read it for homework so we read with them) and explained about the Church and about the doctrine of baptism. Suddenly he clicked and understood the importance of baptism and why we need to get baptized ASAP. So I asked him when he wanted to get baptized and he said next Saturday. That night he asked his Dad for permission and everything is all good! :D :D :D :D His dad is a less active member and his mom isn't a member. The mom is going to the service with various other family members that aren't members. The Dad wants to go back to church, but in his own time period. So we can't do anything about that. But we are going to have an awesome baptism to round out the month. :D

Things are pretty awesome here. We've got some sweet plans for the zone and we are seeing the Lord's kingdom progress here in Zarate. Things are going very well. I love you all and hope everyone is well. Until next Monday! :D

Love,
Elder M. Watson

Short Note


Hola!

Well, I don't have much time today. Being so far from the Mission Offices has really made us short on P-Day. We went to go pick up our new companion Elder Lane. Yes, the same Elder Lane who was in Rio Gallegos and the same who added me on Facebook before the mission. Oh yea!

So Elder Harris and Elder Heath went home. That was sad. And tough. Having not one but two elders just getting close to the end of their missions was pretty hard on Elder Quintana and I. But we had a rocking week still and everything went great. We had a baptism and two confirmations. Things are doing really well.

So that's basically all the time I have today. Love you all and be good! :D

Love,
Elder Watson

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another Week - a ton of stuff!!

Divisions with Baradero
Dear Family,

Well, this week was pretty amazing! I'll let you in on it as I go. :D

Tuesday was District Meeting and Divisions! I went to a city nearby called Campana. We were able to teach a lot and I was able to do a baptismal interview for one of their investigators. The work is about to burst here! The zone Zárate is just so ready! I had a good time with Elder Curbela. I even got to show my cooking skills. :D

Wednesday I went back with McDonalds for Lunch with Elder Harris. We went to work and had a good day. Thursday was a lovely planning session! (It's really hard to stay focused for 4 hours straight with 3 other elders with one of them not wanting to do it at all....... Ugh.) But we split the weekly planning session up into two groups and we were quite productive. Then I left with Elder Heath and went out to work. Friday was a great day. I went with Elder Quintana and taught a lot and got a lot done. Oh... by the way - It rained from Thursday to Saturday. And when it rains here, it pours. And that makes riding bikes fun - especially when you're going through the mud. Friday, we shot over to find an investigator who lives on the OTHER side of town --- with lots of mud in between. Apart from sliding in the mud on bikes, one happens to lose control and eats it. Yea... I fell. But I didn't get too dirty. It was funny - afterwards. You can ask Elder Quintana.

Saturday we had a baptism! Micaela's mom got baptized. Afterwards, we visited with an investigator that can get baptized at ANY moment. We just need to help him gain his testimony again. Then we went to Campana again for another baptismal interview and we helped them with the baptism due to the fact that not many people showed up. We got back and visited with another couple that we are working with (the boyfriend has been inactive for 6 years). They went to general conference and we watched the restoration with them and we got down on our knees and prayed. She received her answer! How cool! We left committing them both to go to church and they said they would.

Sunday was an interesting day. Elder Harris woke up with a big fever and body aches and so I volunteered to stay home with him. Just to say right now - what torture for a missionary to be inside ALL DAY LONG. I about died. I studied in the morning, watched a talk by Elder Holland on our DVD player we got from the mission and Legacy. I also cleaned and organized and paced a bit. I read a couple letters and listened to a tape I received. But being stuck inside all day long is not a good thing. AT ALL. I think if I ever stay inside a house all day long again I will go crazy! Haha. But now he's better and so we are all good.  But we also had Micaela´s dad baptized and Micaela and Claudia (her mom) got confirmed. It was a good day even though there were only two going out and about.

We played soccer again! :D Tomorrow Elder Heath and Harris have to go to the mission home for their going home interviews ---- they have a LARGE group so President is getting ahead on that. That's weird. People go home from the mission? This is the first time I have been with someone that goes home and luckily we have SO much work there is no time for them to be trunky. This transfer has been very very fast. But very good as well.

Well, that is about it. Thanks for all that you do! If you can, can you make most of my classes in the morning and before 2? I just focus way better on books and stuff in the morning. Thanks!

Love you all! Be good!

Elder Watson

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conferencia General!

Elders Watson, Harris, Heath, and Quintana
Dear Family,

What a week! Time flies by so fast now! It is UNFAIR!

We did divisions this week. We brought Elder Caon to our area Tuesday and Wednesday (One day with Elder Harris and one day with me.  Elder Heath went to Baradero). That was a good experience.

I lost my voice this week... It's still in the process of coming back. But Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were bad... like it hurt to talk. But now everything is good. :D This week we prepared a zone baptism---- 4 people! :D We had one baptism, Micaela, while the sisters in Zarate II baptized a Father and Daughter and the Elders in Lima (not Peru) baptized a little girl of a part-member family. That was an adventure and a half. Talk about complicated. We did not prepare very well but in the end, it all came out well.

Conference was AMAZING! I love conference sooooo much! I think it goes by so quickly because I am writing the whole time! Haha. I loved Elder Callister's talk as well as Elder Scott's. Basically they were all inspired and amazing!

Well, we played soccer today (is there a surprise? :D) but this time on an Astroturf field. We paid 20 pesos each to play on the field for an hour and a half or so. That was nice. :D

Micaela's parents are getting baptized this weekend so that is awesome. We are really doing some great work, enough to keep the four of us VERY busy. :D I am loving every minute of it.

BTW - Mom, if you can get a weight class in, that would be WONDERFUL! My legs are getting much more pumped, but overall I am out of shape. I am definitely going to have to go running and play lots of sports when I get home. It's just not fair when there are so many good sweet things! Alafajors.....Lots of stuff. :D

Anyways say hi to everyone for me. Mom, can you say hi to the Vera Family for me?

Love,

Elder Watson

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Real Fast

Dear Family,

Well, I just got back from downtown (Capítal) from doing a bunch of paperwork to make me legal again... (I should have done this when I was in Río Gallegos but all the papers were here so that was a bit of a complication. So here I am with a little bit of time to write.

This week went well. We are working hard to help people understand the importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - Going to Church, living the Commandments, that sacrifices are rewarded with blessings and most of all, following the example of Jesus Christ and being baptized by someone who holds the priesthood authority of God. We have 2 or 3 baptisms planned this weekend for conference so that is good! :D Good, I mean great! I am really pumped for General Conference! It's going be great. We are getting down the working in between four and things are really turning out.

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. Every time I bear my testimony and teach about Him, I feel the Holy Spirit so strongly. I am grateful (like David) for His love for me, that He was willing to suffer and die for me - for my imperfections, weaknesses and sins. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and testifies the truth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to be the first Prophet in the dispensation and that Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet today. This simple truths come from asking God with real intent, with faith in Christ that comes from a desire to follow Him. I love Him. I don't know where I would be without him.

Thank you for all that you do for me. I am forever grateful. Everything sounds great back at home. Say hi to everyone for me! :D

Love,
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte

Friday, September 23, 2011

September 19th Already?

Dear Family,

It's already Monday the 19th? Freak... How does time go by so fast? This week was pretty busy.

Tuesday and Thursday we had training meetings. We had to take an hour and a half bus to downtown and then take a train up to San Fernando. All around it's about 4 hours round trip each day. But we learned a ton!  It kinda sucks now that I have to go to the meetings... I can't go to a computer nearby and just watch from Skype. But now I can participate more and understand a lot more of what is going on. (Doing meetings by Skype can be tricky.... especially when you can't see the chalkboard or hear what's going on.)

Wednesday was District meeting and then back to Zarate 1 to go find some people to BAPTIZE. Thursday after the training meeting I went with one of our District Leaders to his area that is about 3 hours away in bus. So after that ride we got to the area about 8:30 so we had time enough to go by one house. Friday we had weekly planning and then I went out with them to work. Let's just say it wasn't the best of days. I was actually kinda stumped and didn't know what to do but to just say keep going and everything will be all right. Talking with President this morning helped to realize more of the purpose of divisions and I learned a lot. Hearing, you forget, Writing it down, you remember, Doing, you learn. I could have done better in the showing and doing part. I kinda sit in the back and observe and kinda comment and talk with the Elders.... What I need to do is talk with them and then show what they can do. I'm a leader for a reason. So that was a help to realize one of the purposes of divisions.  I really didn't know what to do on divisions but now I've got a better view on it.

Saturday morning we came back and rocked the day. We passed by a bunch of investigators trying to find a baptism for this weekend and inviting everyone to Church. Sunday came around and we had 4 investigators in Church and had some good meetings. Elder Heath and Elder Quintana had to give talks so that was fun. Lol.  Today we just got done playing soccer.... (HURRAY FOR THE NORTH! :D) and now have the rest of the day to do the stuff we need to. :D

That's tight that Dad went surfing! I saw the picture and said "What in the world is he doing on a surfboard? He's gonna get a bleed!" (Who do I sound like? jaja) So I guess you're doing well health wise.

I am doing well. We are working super hard.... Slowly we are learning how to plan between the four. We might have to split the area and assign two and two (President's idea) but we'll see. It's nice that we can be all over and have two appointments at a time. Now imagine that the 4 of us knowing the area and getting four members to do divisions. SWEET! That would be super tight.  Anyways, hope everything is well. Love you all and be good!

Love,

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, September 12, 2011

Working in a Foursome!

Hello Family,

Well, I don't have much time but here's an update.

Working in a foursome is quite the chore. We are always rotating who goes with who and where we go. We aren't two companionships but we are one of four. It's different but it's pretty awesome. I am with Elder Heath, Elder Harris, and Elder Quintana (From Chihuahua Mexico... He speaks PERFECT English ---- even street talk ---- everything. It's like I am back home when I talk to him.) Things are going really well. We've been struggling with planning because we have to do twice as much in the same time but it's getting better. Sunday at church was the best. We could all split up and talk to everybody we needed to right after Sacrament meeting ended and split up two here and two there to go do stuff. It's tight! Being in four rocks!

We played soccer today so that's the reason I don't have much time. The Cybers (we were do our emailing) were all filled up so we wasted a bit of time looking for one with computers open. But it's all cool. Anyways, I love it here in Zarate and we are going to work very well here. Everything's all good. :D Say hi to everybody and I love you.

Love,
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back in Buenos Aires

Hey!

So guess what. I am no longer in the south.......... I am in Buenos Aires! I am in a place called Zarate. I am with Elder Heath and Elder Harris. For now. We are supposed to get a newbie tomorrow. So we three are zone leaders/trainers. It is an experiment I am told. I didn't even know where I was going and who my companion was going to be. I left yesterday at 5:30 and got to Ushuaia about 10:30. Just then Elder Brown told me that I was going to be in Zarate. So yea. That was fun. So after a 4 hour flight and an hour drive I am in a short sleeve shirt with my hands sweaty. The coolest thing? We have bikes. YEA!

Anyways... That's the update. The week went well. We did divisions with the members a bit so that we could get more work done. I like being on divisions with the members and you can tell the members enjoy doing the work too.

Well, that's about it. Just tired after traveling so much. How does it (traveling) do it to you? I am so excited that the Solarios got sealed! That's so tight. Thanks for keeping me updated on everything. Even though I don't comment on everything I appreciate every bit.

I will be sending pictures next week. Love you all and talk to you soon!

Love,
Elder Michael Watson

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Crazy Week!

Dear Family,

Well, every week is becoming an adventure! :D

This week we did exchanges, two baptismal interviews, went to Ushuaia (oo-shwhy-a) for interviews with President, had two baptisms in our building (not ours but the zone´s) and yea. That was fun. Wednesday we did exchanges with Austral - an area of just mud. Just like San Benito. I felt at home. :D  That was fun. Thursday we had a baptismal interview in Chacra (the other area in our zone/district - there are only 6 proselyting missionaries, 8 with Elder and Sister Downs. Elder Downs is the branch president of Austral). Friday we left Río Grande at 6 in the morning to go down to Ushuaia (the most southern tip of missionaries in the world) for our interviews/zone conference with President Gulbrandsen. I was hoping to have a second interview, but he remembered that he interviewed me in Calafate so I didn't get another one. Bummer. Anyways, a pretty drive and good socializing with the other missionaries.

Other than that everything is going well. I am learning a ton and being humbled every step of the way. I am nothing, but with Christ I can do everything. Every time I think I have a hold on something, something happens to show me my dependence on the Gospel and my Savior. He is the only one who can save us. Through the Spirit, he leads and guides us. We have to shut our mouths sometimes and just listen so that we can do His will and not ours.

That's sweet that you got to spend time with Papa, and the Watson Clan. Send my love to all. I am glad you are doing well. I was sad last week because there wasn't an email but there were two this week... Haha. Anyways, I've gotta go. Love you!

Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte

Monday, August 22, 2011

Saludos del Sur

Hey all!

This week went by way too fast. Time just keeps getting faster. Sometimes I wonder if I even sleep. But hey, life keeps going if you are ready or not.

I really don't have that much to tell this week. We had 8 investigators in church! :D That was awesome. Things are a little complicated to put a baptismal date with them right now, but we are working on it. It's weird how things can be so close yet so far. I think I need to rely on a bit more on revelation. Only help from Heaven can get us around some things.

We got our mail this week. I got a letter from Cybill, Joanna, and Michelle. Actually a couple from the last. ;) Michelle sent me a small painting of Jerusalem that I put up on the wall by my study desk. I always feel a bit better after getting mail. It's kinda like a battery charger.

We are working hard to find more men and families to teach. Without finding new investigators, we are going to run out of people to teach. We talked with President today over the phone about the zone, how it’s doing and what's going on. I love talking to president. He is so inspired and helps us so much! I wish I could be as inspiring.

He talked to us a bit about faith. It never ceases to amaze me how many opportunities we have to show our faith. If I would realize and act on every opportunity that I receive daily to act and show my faith, there would be a lot more spiritual growth on my part.

Something cool that happened. We did exchanges and I went over to Chacra to work with Elder Lemo. The last appointment of the day was with a young man. Our goal for the appointment was to put a baptismal date with him. We get there and settle in and Elder Lemo asks the mom and grandma to share with us a scripture (because we do it all the time haha). They sat there looking or thinking, maybe both when an 8 year old girl that was recently baptized says, "I like 2 Nephi 31:13." I looked over at her and said, "You were inspired, let's go there." How could an 8 year old girl choose the perfect scripture about baptism? The Holy Ghost brought the scripture to the mind of the special daughter of our Heavenly Father so that this young man could receive the teaching he needed. With a couple of testimonies of baptisms, Elder Lemo commits this young man to baptism, which he accepted. Before when he heard the word baptism, he turned off. That day, the Spirit touched him and this Saturday he enters into the waters of baptism. Maybe we should pay more attention to the small impressions (or maybe start involving children in our spiritual experiences).

Anyways, I don't have much more to say. Hope you are all well. May the Spirit be with you. Always.

Love,

Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte
La Mejor en el Mundo y Lo sabes!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Huge Letter


Mis seres queridos,

Well, you guys got to see your fair share of cool things! Let me share with you the GLACIERS! They were amazing! On top of that, we saw a huge chunk of ice fall... about the size of a house! It was like the movies... all slow motion... even the water spraying up from the lake. It was insane. I hope we can come back one day as family so you can enjoy it!  On the way up.... All the snow! The picture outside of us... it was VERY COLD and VERY WINDY out there... if you zoom in you can see hair being pushed up....

I think I said last week that I needed to buy boots... This is why --> After one day of work... (he sent pictures of his shoes) I bought some boots for 415 pesos... There wasn't enough money on my card so I bought them with cash that I pulled out from Calafate. Just so you know what's going on with the expenditure of the money I pulled out.

Alright... so I realize it's been 3 weeks since I've written an acceptable letter... so here's what happened; two weeks ago we went to Calafate (People say it's like Park City, Utah, huge tourist attraction) and then we scooted on up to the glacier about another hour north. We went with a member who had a convi (a van with lots of seats!) with the zone. We had lots of fun talking on the way up... It took us about three hours to get to Calafate. Once there, we got the elders there and started the drive up. The snowy landscape was incredible! The mountains were amazing and in places the mountains were orange from the reflected sunlight... it was so beautiful! The glacier was up in the mountains so we hit a windy road up (at least it's paved now... it wasn't a little while back). When we turned a corner and saw the glacier it was jaw dropping! You need a VERY BIG glass of root beer to put the piece of ice in it. Basically yea. So we got up to parking and President was there waiting for us with his wife and his son Brad. While we walked down to the observation balconies, President pulled us aside one by one to a balcony so that we could have our interviews. What a special experience! I am sure that will probably never happen again. While waiting we talked with Brad about his mission and what he did. (Let's just say he was very successful in the Philippines.) We were inspired and uplifted and received some very good ides. Now that part is to put them to practice. After everyone was done, we said good-bye and headed back down. We got some sandwiches at a local grocery store and headed back down to Río Gallegos. We got home around 10:30 or 11 and we were very tired. It was an amazing experience.

That week went well. We struggled a bit to find our investigators but everything turned out to be all right. The shocking moment came right after church. We were standing in the halls trying to set up some appointments and we got a call from the office elders advising me that my plane to Ushuaia would be leaving tomorrow and I would be going to Río Grande. Can you say shocked? We were just finishing week 2 of the transfer and I thought I was home free for at least until September. I guess not. Anyways, that was sad news. So we finished the day as normal as we could. That night I packed everything up and was filled with mixed feelings. Going to a new place and then leaving a place I had come to fall in love with. There are some amazing people there. Anyways, my plane left at 1 on Monday so a couple we are teaching and the Vera Family came to say good-bye. That was tough, but what are you going to do about it?

I got on the plane for an hour and then we were in Ushuaia.... NEVER thought I was going to ever go there! Well, I was only there for a couple hours, but hey! I was there. I took a van up to Río Grande at 5 and enjoyed the ride up.... the only bad part was that I was sitting above a heater. SOOOOOOO HOT. That wasn't fun with my jacket, suit coat, sweater, and shirt... Ugh. I was able to take it off but in doing so, my nametag (in Guaraní) fell off (yes David, I wear it sometimes...) and the magnet strip on the back of it fell into a crack that leads to the frame. So I still have the important part, I just can’t wear it now. I tried super hard to get it back, but we would have had to take apart the whole floor for it. Anyways, after the ride I got to the apartment around 9 and we left to go teach a family a couple blocks away. We finished teaching, came back, planned and I hit the sack. Traveling is tiring! I am still tired. 

All right, now we've gotten to this week. I am in Río Grande in Tierra del Fuego (for real this time). This area is amazing. Apart from being COLD.... it is ready to burst. We had two people come up to us and contact us... one a member from Corrientes another a former investigator that wants to start listening again with his girlfriend. This place is ready for a lot of work. I am in Centro (basically down town) so that is sweet. We have a ton of people to teach and baptize... we just have to help them progress a bit. :D I am SUPER SUPER SUPER DUPER EXCITED! Río Grande is really an amazing place and there's going to be some awesome stuff happening. The branch president is amazing; as well with almost every member I have met. There's going to be some great stuff. I'm excited! :D

Well, it was snowing earlier but now it's stopped. I am happy and things are going great.

Now to all the stuff you are doing. That's pretty sweet you were able to talk to a lot of people. So the Genesis is the Kat's replacement? Pretty gnarly. Hiking and Canoeing! I miss that. There's going to be a lot of stuff to do... After hibernating for the time that I can. I think I can take power naps with Dad now... haha.

Send my love to Kyoko and all the family. That's some tough stuff. We just need to trust in the Lord and His Plan for us.

Well, that's all I've got now.  I love you and hope all is well. Thank you for all the stuff that you for me. I really appreciate everything. Talk to you next week!

Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte
La Mejor en el Mundo y Lo sabes!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Transferred! Further South...

HEY!

So I am not dead... just in Tierra del Fuego... For reals this time. I am in place called Río Grande with Elder Finlay (He's from California... ROCK ON! :D) I flew down to Ushuaia and took a four hour van north up to Río Grande. It was a sweet drive. Lots of mountain ranges and snow. Something that wasn't in Río Gallegos that much. This will be fun. Oh... I am going to have to buy boots because the shoes that I bought won't work too well here.... Seeing that they are broken with my eccos and rockports. But I can take these to a shoemaker and he can fix them. But boots are kinda necessary I guess.

Leaving Gallegos was hard. Right in the middle of a transfer with lots of good stuff going on. I got a call after church yesterday telling me I was going and basically had my last day to do things. I am going to miss the Vera Family a lot as well as our investigators.... But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Well, I will send more next week with lots of pictures of the glaciers- They were fantastic! A block of ice the size of the house fell off and it was amazing. I just couldn't get a picture of it because my batteries died after like 5 minutes of use. (I charged them for like 3 days.... I need new ones too.) Hope you are all well!

Love,

Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte
La Mejor en el Mundo y Lo sabes!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Short Letter This Week

Dear Family,

Well, this week is going to be a small letter. We are going to Calafate tomorrow (an area within our zone – 2 ? hours away from the city...) to have our interviews with President and to go see the glacier Perito Moreno. :D Usually the Elders from Calafate to come see us... but now we are going to go see them. Sweet!

So Elder Simper and I are going to stay together for another transfer! That'll be fun. :D We are going to have an amazing month - lots of teaching and baptizing. By the way... Our mission broke the record for most baptisms in a month in the history of Buenos Aires Norte - 146. That's more than double of last July. We are really focusing on planning in chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel and getting people to go to Church - members and nonmembers. Our job is not to only baptize but to lift where we stand. I am learning some great stuff that will help me for the rest of my life.

This week we taught a lot about becoming who God wants us to be rather than what who we think we want to be, inspired by the talk from General Conference. Ser o Hacer - To be or to do. We can do the things without being. We can become the thing by doing. We become holy and pure by keeping the commandments and making sacred promises (covenants) and staying faithful to said promise. When we are baptized by someone who possesses the holy authority of God (The Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood), we are cleansed of our sins and we make the promise to keep the commandments and to always remember Christ. Since we are not perfect, we must renew that covenant (or make it again) by partaking of the Sacrament every week. If we do not partake of the Sacrament, the Holy Spirit will distance himself away from us until we purify ourselves. It's simple, the Spirit cannot dwell in unclean temples. We cleanse our temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) by repenting (which includes humbling ourselves (Mosiah 3:19)), being baptized if you haven't been and if you have, partaking of the sacrament, bearing your testimony and participating in the missionary work. The important thing is that we become like Christ - and the way we become, is to do. So let us make sure our to do switch is on now and not later. And if you have a doubt, what do you need to do to obtain an answer? The response is to ask God in the name of Christ if it is true - and if it is, the Holy Ghost will answer that prayer because it testifies of all truth.

It may sound like we've got some hard stuff to do. We do. But our Heavenly Father does not expect more than what we can give - every effort is pleasing unto him. We can make the ride and ending better by having a great attitude. BE HAPPY! The glass is half full, not half empty and it's always a good day. Look for the blessings - there are SO many. Usually they are just hidden. And what fun is it if it is obvious? Looking for them makes them all the more worth it.

Anyways, I am happy to be here and to do the Lord's work. I have SO much time to make a difference and that's what I am doing. I love you all and thanks for all that you do. "If Your Happy and You Know It" is a great song. As well as "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!"

Love you all! Thanks for all that you do for me. :D

Elder Michael Watson

Monday, July 25, 2011

Walking on Water

Hey all!

Well, this has been interesting... Transfers are on hold for a week. I don't know if it is only for the south and the ashes from the volcano or what... but we've gotta wait a week. That's fun stuff. I hate transfers.

Wait.... yesterday was Pioneer Day? That's cool. We watched Legacy yesterday with the Vera Family. Haha. What a coink a dink.

This week we did a lot of service. We've been helping the Vera Family with their upstairs room. Putting up Dry Wall and fiberglass. Fun stuff! Haha. I can totally build a house when I get back. Well. Maybe. The cool thing is that a couple we are teaching wanted to come with us to do service. How many investigators offer to do service with us? Not many! That's WAY awesome. Anyways, that was fun.

We are really focusing on working in harmony with the members. It is MUCH more difficult but I know it's worth it. President Gulbrandsen showed us a graph.... If the mission is totally obedient and do everything they should alone, we would baptize around a 100 people a month. If we add on members helping us, that would be 200 people a month. When we get to the point where WE help the MEMBERS with the missionary work, we would have 300 baptisms a month. That means every missionary would have at least 2 baptisms a month. So we are trying to get to the second category first. It's going to require a lot of waking up on the member’s part. It's going to require a lot of change. We can't keep doing things the way we are used to doing to doing them, but it will require adaptation and effort. It's not easy to do missionary work, but it is worth it. Some of the greatest joys in life are reserved for the missionary work. As members, if we get involved with the work, doing what we can to help, not only will they be MUCH more successful, but our lives with be filled with a greater measure of the Holy Ghost. And who doesn't want that? Sure, it means we have to get out of comfort zone. We can help to save the salvation of all those who are around us and help ensure our own personal salvation and the salvation of our loved ones.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It has an inspired promise from God that you can read it, ponder its teachings and ask Him in the name of Jesus Christ if it is true. How great a promise! To ask the most Supreme Being in the universe that has all power and He will take the time to answer you personally. The way he will answer is personal and unique. But the Holy Ghost will testify that it is true and you can know it without a doubt. Well. That's about it for now. Next week we'll find out with if I stay or not. (Imagine a pouty face).

Love you!
--
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte
La Mejor en el Mundo y Lo sabes!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Walking on Water

Well, I am going to start out with the usual phrase - It's cold. Like... I crossed the pond next to my house.... Like literally walking on water. That was a fun experience. The wind was pushing me and it was rather hard to walk. But it saved like .... 2 minutes? If that's worth it, haha.

Well, this week flew by. I was reading dad's journal entry and I realized that my journal writing is lacking.... ALOT. Gotta make that change. We had Zone Conference on Thursday by Skype. That was fun. We learned alot about having a prayer in our hearts as we are teaching and working, asking for Charity. For me it's pretty difficult to think of two things at the exact same time, but it does help you to feel the Spirit.  We also learned some great stuff. I can't wait to go over my notes with you to show you EVERYTHING that I am learning. It is so amazing.

We found a couple this week! The girlfriend is a former investigator and already had all the lessons! :D The boyfriend is amazing! Soooooo cool! :D They just have to get married and ya stá (That's it?) We've got to teach him everything, but he didn't even freak out about the law of chastity or anything. He just accepts it. The Lord is really preparing people to hear the Gospel --It's just our job to find them and teach them (it's actually part of the members´ job to help find them, but more on that later). We also have another couple that have almost completed their divorces and can get baptized in September (that may seem like a long time but they've been going to church for a year). They are really excited and so are we. :D

Well, that's about it for now. We are getting a better relationship with our branch - so that's good. And that's about it for now. Love you all. Talk to you next week!

Love,
Elder Watson #2

--
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte
La Mejor en el Mundo y Lo sabes!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Learning and Teaching

Hey all!

A boring week is all right - it's good that you are healing Mom and it's good to keep Dad busy.

This week went by fine - we had lots of training meetings and lots of things to do so we were plenty busy. Being a zone leader sometimes feels like I am not a missionary - just running around and doing a LOT of errands. But hey, it's part of my responsibility now.

Yesterday was a good experience. Basically, President called early while we were sleeping so that we could get on our knees and pray for the Lord to bless the members and investigators to come to church and so that we could receive revelation on what we could do to help them get to church. After the prayer we called investigators and some members, etc. to no avail. Anyways, we gathered a report for the Zone and related it back to President. President then told us some success stories as well as his point of view on the activity - that it was a demonstration of who had oil in their lamps and who didn't. I learned that I need to be doing the small stuff daily to have the wondrous results that my Heavenly Father has planned for His children. By way of me, He can bless the lives of those who live in Seis de Abril. Now it's up to me to live up to His expectations and llevar a cabo (bring to pass) His desires for the people here. This works for everything - we need to be doing to little stuff every day so that the Lord can bless us - both in the small everyday matters and with miracles.

Elder Simper received a score of talks from his parents last week. (MAIL CAME! Thanks for all the stuff! :D) We've been listening to Michael Wilcox and he is awesome! We've listened to  - "The Fourth Watch" and "Walking on Water." Both of them are pretty sweet. I would definitely recommend listening to them - they certainly helped me out.

I've been learning more and more about becoming a missionary of action and of faith. It's been a real wake up call but it's helping me a ton. It's kind of hard for me to make decisions, but I am definitely learning (slowly but surely) of how to live the commandments rather than just follow them. It requires a LOT of action - more than I am used to but it's helping me to grow up.

Like I mentioned, I've been listening to Michael Wilcox - and he brought up a point I had never thought about. I thought that our Father might be slow to forgive or that it requires a ton of work to receive forgiveness. While it requires a lot of work, he will forgive us immediately - just like Christ taught we should forgive someone seven times a day if they are truly repentant, Heavenly Father will forgive us seven times in a day because He would not command us to do something if He does not do or had done it. Now it's not an excuse to sin - it's more of how merciful He is and His desire to help us grow. I've always been hard on the justice side of things - living the law and being perfect. While those are commandments, realizing the merciful side of our Father, it has helped me to come closer to Him. The only reason to fear His presence is if we are wicked and unrepentant. If we are striving to live the gospel, repenting as necessary, and really give all of our efforts - there is no need to fear. Just like D&C 45:3 states (I think) that Christ is our advocate and He will help us to overcome what we could not. We are not perfect - but we can be through the merits and blood of the Lamb.  I started to read 2 Nephi 9 today and thought a lot about the Atonement and apply it to one of our investigator who is waiting for a sign to be baptized. In my studies for him, I found many things that helped me - how about that -> studying for my investigators actually helps me; a fulfillment of a promise President Gulbrandsen gave to us.

I am really learning so much out here - sometimes I feel like my head will explode with so much information. But I enjoy learning. :D I hope you are well and aren't hurting a lot. I love you a lot!

Love,

Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte
La Mejor en el Mundo y Lo sabes!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!!!!!!!!! The Weather Outside is Frightful... Wait - that is Christmas Music.

So we started off this morning in a very special way. Calling the American Missionaries in our zone and singing them the Star-Spangled Banner to start off the day. :D And then we listened to a WHOLE bunch of American music - America the Beautiful, Amazing Grace..... stuff like that! :D

You also know you are in the bottom of the world when there is snow and ice on July Fourth. That's right... It SNOWED! It snowed on Friday but it's all gone - but the ice is EVER present. For instance yesterday morning I completely biffed it. It reminded me of a time when I was walking with a couple of friends at BYU where I biffed it hard when I told them I would catch them and we fell down together...(Smart thing for a California boy to say.) But this time I just hit the ground hard by myself. But it was all cool. More cold. But yea. Anyways, let's just say that's what the weather is like. COLD! I am kinda tempted to put my tongue to a metal pole to see what would happen. And then again.... that's probably not too smart.

So this week went by really fast. But it was really good. I had a really good self-analysis this week and with the help of Elder Simper I totally was able to make some decisions to better myself. We also had a leadership counsel where all the zone leaders get together to discuss what's going on in the mission and how we can get better. We are in the south so we get to participate via Skype. It was pretty neat. We have another one on Tuesday and Wednesday so that'll be fun too. We have a couple of investigators that are progressing and they have baptismal dates for the 16th. We are pretty excited to be working right now. We've got a whole bunch of good stuff going on. We talked to President this morning and that was VERY enlightening. It was amazing. He shared with us an experience he had recently when he was meditating on the Atonement and the importance of going to Church. Basically, making things short - The mathematical process of The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ which leads to Repentance which leads to Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins by those who hold the authority of God (Priesthood - Article of Faith 5) thereof which leads to the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying of hands by those who hold the Priesthood. After all that we keep doing the process (equation) until we die. That's the letter of the law. Now here comes the Spirit of the Law. What is Our Father's purpose for us - "To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" Moses 1:39. We gain the ETERNAL LIFE by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. We become as the Father is by leaving the evil and cleaving unto everything that is righteous. Basically if it does not coincide with the Father, we should leave it. Now. But how can we become like the Father - again, another process. We desire to change, so we are baptized, leaving the old person behind and starting over again. We go to church to unite the family, and to further the changing process. We are literally trying to leave the natural man behind. All of him - desires, flaws, mortality. Mortality is already taken care of by the Atonement. Our desires and flaws are part of our decision to change. We decide to repent. We decide to go to Church. We choose our environment (our friends, homes, work... basically everything.) Is what we have inviting us to come unto Christ? If it doesn't, should we have it? Does it invite us to become better people? I know it's a hard decision to make - we have grown to love many things that are good. But we must think about better and then BEST. How would we feel if Jesus Christ should come into our home? Would he be comfortable? Would everything inside be appropriate for a perfect being to behold? There might be a lot of sacrifice involved - but I declare unto you that it is worth it. It is worth every bit - why? Eternal Life and Eternal Progression are things that are not worth giving up. Having the eternal guilt that things COULD have been better? Not for me. The mission has changed a lot of my points of view - but I have one goal- to become as close unto Christ as I possible can. I won't be perfect - but I can try to be. You may ask, what's the point if you cannot do it in this life? My point is that you reap what you sow. You spend your whole life sowing, you will spend eternity reaping the benefits. Is that worth 100 years of hard work? You Betcha. We are in the world but we are not of the world.

So yea. I've been realizing a lot of great things and I hope I am helping your testimonies to grow and flourish. I know I am not perfect and I do not know a lot - but I do know this - Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. He died for me. All He asked me to do is to take my cross and follow Him - be obedient, follow His example, do my best and let every thought glorify the Father. Easy, right? If it was easy, it wouldn't be of God. The things he requires are simple, but yet so difficult. May we always choose to do what is right (CTR). To judge the right from the wrong is as plain as day from night. Now choosing to act upon what is right is the test.

I love you all. I really do. I know I come down hard every email. I am sorry if I offend anyone. If you feel hurt or angry, I apologize. But I also ask and even invite you to do something if you feel so. What is it that makes you hurt? Is it in accordance with the Savior and His teachings? I make mistakes of which I am fully aware. But my belief and resolve is this - that we leave the natural man and become like a child - submissive, meek, humble, willing to submit to all things. Leaving is a process. You have to unlock the door, turn the handle, pull open the door, step through and close the door. (Locking it is a GREAT idea) But as we are leaving the bad and cleaving unto the good, please don't look back. And ripping off the Band-Aid is much better than slowly tugging. Just keep your sight forward to the goal - Eternal Life with our Family and loved ones, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ and our Beloved Heaven Father. May we do this, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

_ _
Elder Michael C. Watson
Misión Argentina Buenos Aires Norte
La Mejor en el Mundo y Lo sabes!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Schools Out!?!

Buenas!

So basically Mom's description of her week reminded me of my last week of high school. I am SO GLAD I NEVER have to go through that again. Senioritis is horrible. Wow... Jonathon Freeman is giving talks and playing the piano? When I get home he's going to be taller than me! That's just weird. But that's all right - because I am never coming home! :D

So this week was very interesting. The best part was that... we had a baptism! :D Everything just worked out perfectly (which was weird. VERY weird.) The only bad thing that happened is that neither of us had our cameras (my batteries were dead) so there are no pictures. But comparatively, that is something really minor that can happen.

 Also, we talked with President this morning and he told us that Elder Simper is going to stay with me - SWEETNESS! That's basically awesome if you can't tell. He's a very good elder and we're going to have a lot of success and fun. :D Which means one of two things. He either leaves next transfer or I will stay here until like... September/October. I hope the second option. This area is so amazing. One of the reasons is the Vera Family. They are just amazing! Oh, Mom! She studied a bit to become an English teacher and can totally read and write in English. So you can talk to her! This is the family that is going to get sealed in a temple in a year. Without a doubt. They are awesome! They are my second family here! We are having a “war” right now. You remember what we did with Uncle Chris with ALL that candy inside of our car and then we did it back to him... Yea. So they gave us "Cascarilla" or the shells of cocoa beans. You put that in a coffee maker and it makes something like hot chocolate but less sweet and less thick. It is basically amazing. Anyways, they gave us a Tupperware filled with Cascarilla and so we hide it in their car (when they give us rides home basically every night from San Benito), in their house.... It's a ton of fun! :D

Something funny that happened. You know how EVERYBODY who has been to Argentina says that there are a ton of dogs? Well, proof of that would be the dog in our sacrament meeting. Somehow it got in right before the meeting started and we had to take it out. That was weird, but funny. Oh yea. As well, you remember when I struggled to give a 10 minute talk. Yesterday I gave a talk and it could have easily gone for 30 minutes. There's just not enough time. And teaching lessons are better. There's interaction and you are not listening to Elder Watson blab and blab about missionary work. I choose a talk in the Feburary 2005 Liahona as my theme; Seven Lessons on how to Share the Gospel by Elder Clayton Christiansen. That was cool. But I guess I need to say the most important things. Anyways, talks at home are gonna be fun! :D

So yea. Seis de Abril is amazing! We have three investigators that we are teaching that can be baptized in July. Two of them on the 16th and we are going to see if the other one can be baptized on the 8th (The 9th is a branch activity.) but we'll see. That's about it. I am doing good. It's not actually THAT cold. Just a bit. Love you all. Be good. I hope to hear from you. That's if we get our mail. Awesome Volcano. Anyways, take the good with the bad.

Say HOLA to everyone, Los Johnson, Jones, Jelaty, Watson (Pres y his wife), the WARD, and the Family... Basically EVERYONE!

Love,

Elder Watson #2

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!

Wow. Talk about a week that FLEW! I can't believe it's over. Everything just kinda blurred together and I really don't remember much. President Gulbrandsen called to see how the week went and basically Elder Simper (my temporary companion and my x-zone leader :D) took it under control and did the report. I was just basically... uhhhhhhhhhhhh yea. That. Now I have more of an idea of how to do the report over the phone. It was weird, but it's what President Gulbrandsen does with the Zone Leaders so that was really cool.

I basically had a lot of meetings this week due to being a zone leader. We do our meetings through Skype because we can't go up to Buenos Aires and back... that would be a little inefficient. So that was interesting. The mission is still waiting to fly the missionaries up because the there aren't any flights. That's all right; I am learning a bunch from Elder Simper. He's AWESOME! :D So yea... that's a fun situation. But the work still keeps going.

So something that we do now is that we pray before every visit to find new investigators, to have the love of Christ and the Spirit with us. And when the scriptures say "Pedid y recibiréis, Llamad (SHamad) y se os abrirá." "Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you." it means exactly that. We're just starting to see the miracles that the Lord has prepared for us. He is ready to give, but are we ready to receive? Are we working diligently for our Salvation? Are we doing the daily little things to gain our testimonies and to feel the Spirit? Are we making the little decisions to help us get closer unto our Father? This life isn't about making huge decisions... it's about making the small ones. Sure we've got big decisions to make every once in a while - the mission, college, job, marriage - but how many decisions are those? And then think about your day today. How many decisions did you make? Did they draw you closer to the Savior? You may be thinking that there are decisions that really don't matter. You may have a point. But even what clothes we wear is a decision to come closer unto the Savior. Are we looing for the bulls-eye or are we looking for the limits. If we talked about archery, where do you want to hit? Obviously the center. The same way with obedience. We try to get the closest as we can to the center. That way if we miss, there is a margin of error where we'll still be all right. But if you are a semi driver and you think you can drive on the edge of a cliff and not fall off - good for you. Now what happens if you make a mistake? Chau.  We AIM for the center, not for the limits. It's not important if we think that doesn't break the "rules" - It's important that we would do as Christ would or as He would want us to do. There is a ton of stuff that is good. There are more that are better. And then there are those that are best. Which one will you choose? Which one would our Father in Heaven want us to choose? Wow. That's two emails in a row about obedience. Sorry. It's just something I can get carried away with.

Well, there's not much more that is interesting. We could have two baptisms this weekend. That would be amazing! Miracles are something to be worked for, not to be waited for. D&C 58:26-27.

I hope all is well, that everyone is good. Say "Hi" to everybody. Love you! :D

Elder Watson

Monday, June 13, 2011

The quickest companionship ever...

Dear Seres Queridos,

What do you mean a bore? It's awesome all the things that go on at home! :D

So this week was interesting. It was hard but I learned a lot. A lot of things fell through and people are just tough to work with sometimes. I don't think I will go into customer service when I get home.

So we have transfers this week, right? Well, I thought I was safe. Like I didn't have a big leadoff or anything. But the pitcher is way too fast and unpredictable. Basically I am not training anymore. I am a zone leader now. Hm. At least I don't have to change areas! I LOVE SEIS DE ABRIL!!!! LO MEJOR AREA EN TODO EL MUNDO. PERIOD......... (that's quite a bit of periods. Haha)

So this is the low down. Elder Giraldo goes to another area within our zone/district (being that it is the same) with another companion. Elder Berríos goes up north. Pobrecito. I will receive my new companion when there are flights. (Due to the eruption of Argentina/Chile and all the ashes, they aren't any flights). So I am with my ex-zone leader so he can teach me a bit until he goes up north too. Pretty exciting, no?

Well, we lost all of our baptismal dates. For one reason or another. So we got some work to do. But I am not scared or disappointed. I KNOW that the Lord guides us in the work. I am just trying to be the most efficient instrument I can be. If He wants me to train for a week, sweet. If He wants me to be a zone leader... well, I can do it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me. What I am trying to do is focus more on the Spirit and what the Lord wants me to do, not what I want to do. It's tough trying to focus on the Spirit, but when you're paying attention, humble and obedient, you'll be able to recognize it.

When we live the commandments, our desire becomes to live the commandment. When you first start living the Word of Wisdom, maybe you live it because it's a commandment, even if your body desires to break it. Over time, through obedience, diligence and faith, you won't have any desires to break the Word of Wisdom. Thus your desire has become the live the commandment.

Think about it. What things in our lives are we doing because it is a commandment? What things are we doing because it is a desire? My life before the mission was to keep the commandments. My life now is to live the commandments. If that makes sense. If all of our desires are in compliance with the laws and ordinances of our Eternal Father - we will just be filled with joy and happiness. The Holy Spirit will seal us and we will become as our Father in Heaven. Too bad I've got a LONG way to go. But I am working on it.

The mission has completely changed my life. There is no way I can go back to the way I was. Maybe except long hair and a goatee. That sounds cool, especially here in the South. At least it's not snowing or too cold. I just might have to buy some boots to walk in the mud.... It rained a lot and San Benito is a real kick walking around in dress shoes. We'll see how much time I have today.

So you remember how we baptized a family recently. Guess what? The father now has the Melchizedek Priesthood! :D :D :D :D :D. Matias is amazing! And now I have at least 6 more weeks with him and his family. YEA! :D

So we had a special conference for all of Argentina yesterday. Apparently every 2 years there is a broadcast from Salt Lake with special counsel for the members of Argentina. Pretty cool, no? Anyways, I got to listen to Elder Zivic of the Seventy, Sister Wixom (the Primary General President), Elder Neil Anderson and President Boyd Packer. Yea.... AMAZING! Some highlights -

Elder Zivic: The Second Coming: if it was tomorrow what would you be doing? If you died tomorrow, what would you be doing? Guess what - do it now and don't wait!

Sister Wixom: Three commandments for the family: Scripture study, Family Prayer and Love.
Elder Anderson: Missionary Work comes right below in importance of the Atonement

President Packer: The Gift of the Holy Ghost : the only church who has it and the importance of it in our lives and how it´s helped him.

Listening to General Authorities now is an amazing opportunity that I wouldn't miss for anything. Why did I sleep during them beforehand? Those who have ears to hear, LISTEN. Those who have eyes to see, LOOK. Basically, don't be hearers of the word only, but DOERS. Analyze your life - recognize your mistakes (it's a part of repentance and it's a blessing to do so). If someone doesn't come to church, pray that they'll come. Then go out that day and help them get there. May we not give vain prayers, but fulfill God's will for us and our brothers and sisters.

I love you all. I pray that you are all right and that everything is going well. Life is meant for service. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve. Are we better than Him? He has descended below all things and has risen triumphant. May we follow his example and not give up. It's never too late to start but it's already too late to wait. May we do so now; sharing our testimony of our Lord and Savior with all those we come in contact with. 2 Timothy 1:8 - In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Watson #2

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hospitals, Transfers, Training...

Hey all!

No news is good news right? Haha. Don't worry about being boring. It's the best way to be! :D Now my week was not boring at all.......

So what a week.....

We started out going to the hospital........................................................................................................

Don't get worried, not for me. Elder Berríos had been having severe headaches, dizziness, etc. We went to the hospital Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for various tests, appointments, checkups, etc. Let's just say I relearned my love for the hospital. Go over here, go over there, go upstairs, no the other window. Fun! Lol. Anyways, it got all figured out by Friday, but President was worried enough that he was going to send E' Berríos north to be closer to better hospitals. Thursday night we received a call that E´ Berríos was going North. As he was already starting to feel better, he was able to get another day and that solved the problem. Now he's fine and healthy. But meanwhile President had already arraigned for a new missionary to come in his place. And when I say new... I mean N. E. W. Like I am now a trainer. Anyways, we walked around in 3 for a while and took advantage of the situation and did lots of divisions. Which helped us to cover all the days we missed. In fact, we had a most excellent week according to the results of the week. Which is fine with me. It was a spectacular weekend. 

So Elder Berríos is now replacing an Elder in our zone due to emergency transfers and I am here with Elder Girado. (Hee-ra-do)  My new companion. I did take pictures... but I brought the wrong memory card! Figures, right? Well, next week there will be pictures. Anyways, he's from Lima, Peru. He's super super super super super excited to go to work. Oh yea. Did I say super excited! It's amazingly awesome. AND! He likes to be clean and organized. :D :D :D :D :D That makes my life SO much easier! :D

We are working with various families right now. The work is going well and I am having fun. I get to have more fun now that I am training! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!

So everything is beginning to freeze over. It's crazy! But it's not snowing.... Only ice! Igual, (Still) it's not fair that there is cold w/o snow. Actually, as a missionary... I wouldn't mind if it only got cold. The snow would be different to work in. But hey. I am here for whatever. 

Well, that's the weekly report from Rio Gallegos (Ga - Shay - gos for all those who tend to say it wrong ---> Ga - yea - gos JUST SO YOU KNOW!) Nothing new. But the newbie right next to me. Ha. That's a good one. Just wait until I come back.... I have been learning some great jokes. That can be said in English. And some better ones in Spanish. And for all those who don't appreciate my punny jokes. Well. Sorry. LOL. I've got to spread the love, you know?

So you've been losing weight? That's great! Just don't buy steak unless it is high grade. Less calories that way. Sweetness! You're going to have to send some pictures so I can see the difference! :D

So. Yea. That's me and my life. Short and sweet and to the point. Love you all, close and far. Be good, stay safe. Keep going forward with steadfast and unbreakable faith in Christ and his Atonement. Never get discouraged. And when you are tired, think about Christ and his sufferings and know that He suffered for you. He already suffered your grief’s and pains and sicknesses. All He asks is that we keep the commandments. And if we keep the commandments, He blesses us. We are in debt to Him. However, because He loves us so much, He has marked the path we must tread. We must bear our crosses for a short moment and then shall we be made strong. I really do love you, distance really does make love stronger. I've never had so great of an appreciation of my family until now. Don't get into too much trouble with the garden Mom! ;) And Dad, I've got a whole bunch of sweets to bring from Argentina! THEY ARE SO GOOD! :D Just you wait.

With lots of love,

Elder Watson #2

Monday, May 30, 2011

The wonderful area of SEIS DE ABRIL!

Hey all!

The first thing is that it's not getting too cold. Kinda wierd being really south but... yea. I mean the water freezes here during the night and the morning - but it's a lot warmer that I thought it would be. I thought I would be a snowman here. But I guess that is more south in Tierra del Fuego. Actually... Only in Rio Gallegos is it not snowing... Like a big bubble. Bummer.................. haha.

Wow… you just got my letters? That took a while... but at least they got there!

Well, this week. Busy busy. We are looking for more families to teach and we're getting there. The Vera Family was a blessing as that they were pure gold in teaching. It looks like we'll have to work a little bit harder (and smarter) in teaching our investigators right now. Really this week we tried to focus on priorities. We could teach a bunch of people and be crazy going from here to there to everywhere, or we could plan well and have better results. In the beginning of my mission, daily planning was a bit dull... just fill in a bunch of names and try to go by them all. I realize now that daily planning is not only putting a name, but also realizing what we are going to teach them and to what end we want them to get. As we put specific goals and plans for each activity we do, we become more efficient with the things we do. We won't be running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but be calm and peaceful as we do what is required. I read Abraham 4 and 5 today - President said last week that it was the first recorded weekly planning. As I read it, I realized that I could do our weekly planning a LOT better. Going back to school will be a piece of cake when I plan out the week and days to do what I need to. The things you learn on the mission, kinda neat. You really learn more as you put your focus on other people more than yourself. Sure I can learn a lot studying each morning to improve myself but studying and planning for someone else helps me to focus on what they need and how I can help them, which helps me to know what to study. Mosiah 2:17. There's a lot more blessings to service than just serving God. Cool stuff.

I have been learning a lot lately on relaxing and easing out a bit. Just trying to enjoy life a bit. Doesn't mean that I am working less - just trying to take a different point of view on things. Being so serious isn't as great - we are not fulfilling our Father's purpose for us - Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy. Sure we've got to be serious - but as several companions have pointed out to me... I need to ease out, smile and enjoy life a bit. It's not easy changing, but life sure does have more meaning to it. Being serious, downtrodden and discouraged doesn't come from God - It comes from Satan. I need to be serious, but happy, joyful, going about my work with a smile. As we learn to find the joys of life, we truly come to appreciate the good things in life - family, nature, friends, investigators, service, and members... Things like that. :D

I heard a couple of good talks the other day while I was on divisions with Elder Simper. One is by Jack R Christianson - Healing the Wounded Soul, another is Hank Smith - Be Who You Are. Those where really cool to listen to. They helped me a lot to recognize some stuff to change and become a better servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I chuckled a bit when I read the journal entry - "We went on a new report system today – it is church wide.  It’s great, they are so much easier to work with, the only rough part is sitting down and planning a whole week at a time." That's missionary work right now. We found some teaching records from 2002 and that era. They were really old and really different. The ones we use now are much more up to date and easier to use that provide more information. Missionary work now is just so sophisticated! Hahaha. ;)

Say hi to everybody: the Jalatys, Conaways, Paces, Boons, Los Gonzales , Utah Watsons y Papa Cliff, Aunt Darlene y Uncle Jon, Bentleys.... Just like what the other Elder Watson said - EVERYBODY! HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yea. That's life and the work. Stay tuned in for next week's version of "Seis de Abril - A marvelous work and a wonder!" Haha. :D

Love,

Elder Watson #2

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I DID NOT Forget you!

Hello Family,

So today I am writing because yesterday we had INTERVIEWS! That means that President Gulbrandsen came down with his wife and an assistant to teach us and interview us. It was like a zone conference, but a lot shorter, kind of. It was really good and even though I talked to President Gulbrandsen for like only 5 minutes... I feel a lot better and more determined to do the work!

JACOB GOT A CALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED! :D :D :D Like yea! :D Bryan is almost on the mission! Wow.... I am old. :(

So this week was another hectic week. It seems the weeks of baptisms are always hectic- but if it means we are bringing another soul unto Christ, it's a good thing! :D Nothing too big happened during the week - we taught, found some investigators and in short ... another missionary week. On Saturday we did splits for the baptismal interview and I went with Elder Simper to do service. Mind you.... Saturday morning was COLD! WITH A CAPITAL C !!!!!!  Like.... I thought my hands were going to fall off as we were carrying things. What I wouldn't have given for my work gloves from the ranch! Everything was iced over and yea......... toooooooooooo cold! Today it rained a bit and now the sun came out so it's a nice day to do things! :D

Saturday we also had a baptism! Cristian was really excited and we were too. Although he can't see well enough to read the Book of Mormon, he has enough faith to know that it is true. We've read parts to him and he's asked God and he got his answer. Like what Elder Watson #1 said - if we have faith in God that he will answer our prayer, he will do so. The thing is that you have to believe.

Sunday was a good day. We had 86 people in church and it was amazing. The amazing part was that the 7 converts that I've had here were all at church. (One of my converts moved to the Buenos Aires Mission West... their home teacher is a 70's brother so I think they are good! :D) One was confirmed, 3 received callings and 1 received the priesthood. How big of a smile did I have on my face? You don't even know! We are probably going to have another baptism this week ---- all depends if he has to work. He basically knows it's all true, we just have to tie the loose ends. So yea. We are really working hard to find and teach and to baptize. This trick is working with the members. The faster members are involved, the more comfortable investigators are, the spirit is much more stronger, and everything is just better. The ideal situation would be that we help the members with the work, but right now we are just focusing on having them help us. But that's the next step!

Well, that's all I have to say for now. Things are going great and I guess I am getting the hang of being a missionary - the thing is that we should always be a little uncomfortable, always looking for ways of doing things better and looking to bring all unto Christ. That is, after all, my calling - I've left my nets and my boat and I am feeding the sheep.  Hope all is well and BE GOOD!

Love,

Elder M. Watson