Friday, July 31, 2009

Girls Camp

Girls camp this year was great. We had six girls go and four of them were Beehives. So everything is new and exciting to them. Kris Brower was our camp director and her assistant was Lisa Foster...they did a fabulous job. Kris is a great cook and so the food is so good and when I come home I have to work off the extra pounds I put on at camp. We made rag flip-flops for a humanitarian project and crafts with the nice stake ladies and the skits are always a big hit. They have a zip line up there which was fun for the girl. Kris machine embroidered shirts and all kinds of cute things every day beside the nice things they all got from their secret sisters.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

MTC Battle Wounds...

Elder Nathan B Watkins
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Apa Kabar Beha! (What’s the news bra?)
Things here are going better, days go slower but weeks go fast. We are teaching the 2nd lesson again on Saturday in the language, should go well since were picking up the vocab a lot better. The language is nuts there’s all these prefixes and suffixes but there are no tenses so it’s crazy. There are not even separate words for he and she its just dia. Some more culture things are you point with your thumb but, the thumbs-up is like flipping the bird. All the busses are not public transportation so you can haggle for buss fair ha-ha. They wear a thing like a lava lava called a surang its the same thing but almost like bed sheet cloth its attached at both ends and you have like 8 ft of it and your wrap it up like a towel around you but the truly crazy thing is they also use it to sleep in and for blankets I’ll have to get a picture of one when I get there of me using it. They are like 1-3 American dollars it can cost more if you suck at haggling because they'll try to rip you off because they think you don't know the language. Over there they whiten themselves instead of tan like here. Over there tan means you are a farmer so they have whitening cream and they wear jaket (jackets) all year round crazy. It’s like 1 American dollar to 3.5 of their money so it’s sweet. For like 50 cents of their money you can get a huge plate of nasi goreng (fried Rice) with some baging ayam or babi or ekan (flesh of chicken, pig, or fish) and a big drink for that, it’s crazy so I'll be eating good there. They use a chili pepper called a Cabe ands its way hot. They usually eat everything Pedas (spicy) so I am excited for that, it’s supposedly way good. So since we have 1-3.5 ratio you can get ties from 50 cents to 8 dollars (alright ones). The 8 dollar ones are made in Indonesia. Although there made from a fabric only sold in Yokekarata or something like that in Indonesia. I'll have to get the right name for you later to Google and see if you can buy them on line. They are the coolest ties there called bankit ties so Google that and generally you can get really nice cool ties for like 2-3 dollars so, I’ll probably send some ties home etc. It’s not too expensive to send things home by air. Btw (By the way) we just got that new teacher who was born in Indonesia and served in Malaysia. He said it’s like 25 bucks for a huge box home. Now the best part you can get any music/movie DVD/ video games for 1 American dollar there on the streets so expect a lot of that ha-ha. Brother Leo said his companions had like tons of movies and Cd's that they sent home he said it was nuts ha-ha. The people there have the humor of a young child, from what we hear the big joke over there is, hey my friend is from Japan (the friend really isn't) and I guess people just crack up laughing at that they think that’s funny?? I have no clue ha-ha. They also are very gullible and scare easy. If you say something really fast to the sisters over there they tense up and say it back to you. So, I’ll have to try it out for you and let you know. The last part we found out is that generally there is no toilet paper. There is a bucket next to you with soap and water and a ladle thing or there’s is a little hut that sits over the river and has a spoon or a hose next to it… yicks not to exciting ha-ha. But there’s going to be so much we won’t find out until we get there. This week hasn't been to eventful for things this week but last Friday we were playing some basketball and I went up for a block and took an elbow up in the nose it made some wicked cracking sound and my eyes got blurry and watery, I didn't get a bloody nose but it split it open up in the top (like in fight night Landon when you take a huge punch to the face). So I went to the clinic right here to have it checked out, it wasn't broken but it was swollen and a nice cut. And a nice MTC battle wound story too. So everything is fine but just thought I’d tell you about it. Since then my basketball game has been off a bit so all my awesomeness must have been in my nose ha-ha. So we have like less than 4 weeks left in here, we should be getting our flight plans in about 2 weeks and then we will be leaving in 1 1/2 weeks to two weeks from then. I am so excited to get there and do some of the Lords work and bearing my testimony will be awesome (as well as buying ties and surangs ha-ha). The language is coming better we are learning a lot yet seems like we aren't because learning the lesson is harder then learning vocab for clothes, body parts, and food. Hope everything is good at home. Mom have fun at girl’s camp. Dad have fun fishing and Landon you stay… classly adic laki-laki. Sampai Nanti Elder Watkins

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Boys in the District

The Missionaries in Nathan's District
Back Row: Elder Jeffries (roomie), Elder Watkins (the cutest one of all), Elder Harvey, Elder Steele, Elder Hill (the one who ate the tie), Elder Larsen & Elder Thomas (Nathan's companion)
Front Row: Elder Porter, Elder Pingel (roomie) Elder Carter, & Elder Klemm

Thursday, July 23, 2009 (Landon’s 15th Birthday)

Hey what’s going on everybody? Thanks Grandma Watkins for the peanut cards they help me make it through the full 3 hours of straight up language study (or brain exploding exercises). Well the MTC is alright I’ve been here a little over three weeks now. We can teach the 1st lesson in Indo and we can teach half of the 2nd lesson right now but, by Saturday we are teaching the whole 2nd lesson in our language.

I had some question regarding the tie. He did cut it up into strips and then ate it. And it did pass two days later. It gave him a lot of fiber and the next morning he had some nasty burps. The only real side effect was that he now eats double what he was eating before. I have seen Elder Kevern 6 times or something like that now his p-day is on Thursdays.

We went to the temple on Sunday for the usual temple walk it was fun we sang the birthday song while clapping the tune the whole way up (ha-ha) it was great. People were giving us looks and had no idea what was going on. We haven’t learned any new funny words since last week so I apologize for that but I am sure we’ll learn some more. We get a new teacher to teach both classes since one of our teachers Brother Bindrup leaves in like 2 weeks for his new job in Washington DC. He will be doing things with Indo and he will read articles and write reports on them for the government. In the other Indo class Sister Stisse leaves to go to Hong Kong and to tour Indonesia in a couple weeks so these are the last 2 classes they will be all teaching. Our class will have Brother Merrill who’s awesome and the other class will have Brother Ross. We both share this new teacher they hired named brother Loe he is from Indonesia and served his mission in the Singapore mission so he knows what’s going on with Malay and Malaysia, he’s way nice. He said when he was there they couldn’t wear name tags at all in Malaysia but he said that’s changed and Singapore is still nonproselyting. But, it was our 2nd speak your language day yesterday so we didn't get to ask him too many questions because of the lack of language skill ha-ha.

Thanks Layne Bird for the package how did you know I would love all the objects in that box it’s awesome! It’s the entertainment for everyone in the room ha-ha. Thanks to the Brower family for the mini cakes and the Mountain Dew and the letter. The Indonesian song that I know must translate because 60% of the words I do not know ha-ha. Funny story so, to say the prophets where sent to teach us you say Allah mengutus para nabi mengajarkan kita but, if you don’t say mengajarakan with the right a sound it means god sent prophets to chase us ha-ha, now I bet you'll never guess who pulled that one ha-ha. There is a lot of things like that because the “e” makes the “a” sound. Basketball is now open again to play so I ball it up all the time. I think I am better at basketball in MTC than at home ha-ha I’ve been jumping stairs to get better hops and I went in for a layup and I could have almost dunked it ha-ha. They lifted the ban on handshaking and appropriate hugging ha-ha who knows how long that will last we had two people in our zone get sick in the last two days but they were only sick for a couple hours. We are always really busy here but, it’s going good and the language is tough but I am glad I’m not learning Mong since it’s like Russian/Mong and they make noises for words. Till next week…Sampai nanti.

Happy 15th Birthday Landon

Fifteen years ago on July 23rd Landon you came into the world. You made our family complete...the last piece of the puzzle. Of course it feels just like yesterday. I use to tease you and Nathan that I was going to put rocks in your pockets so you would stop growing. I sure wish you would have listened and not grown up so fast.We love you and hope you have a Happy Happy Birthday!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grand Teton High Adventure

Jeff and Landon went on a High Adventure Camp to the Grand Tetons July 13-15. They had a blast...Jeff and Landon are the only two that did not swamp their canoe. Jeff thought they were going under once when another canoe ran into the side of them...But Landon was so determined that he yelled there is no way and with what he calls his mad skills he kept them afloat. This is something that they will always remember doing together. Not too many picture as they were having too much fun.

Friday, July 17, 2009

MTC Life

Thursday, July 16, 2009
Selamat Pagi everyone!
Things here are going great. Thanks for all the dear elder letters and packages and stuff. Thanks Mrs. Nielsen for the package as well. I don’t have her email so Mom forward this if you can. The language is pretty tough but not too tough we have to have the whole first lesson memorized for Saturday in our language, its nuts. We learned the birthday song the other day but I don’t remember how it goes. I got a request from someone to have some things that are funny to say in your language so here it goes... Whoohoo! First is Wadu ( Wa doo) which means like holy cow. Ampun(amm poon) which means like awww man. Gimana Sih! (Ge Mana Se), i's make a e sound and that words means like say what?!? Umm that’s all I have for now but I’ll work on finding some more words. Something really exciting happened this week freaking Elder Hill ate a whole tie!!! Yes… he did and its nuts he ate a full on red tie from the top to the end. It gave him some super nasty burps ha-ha. We really haven’t learned much about the culture besides that they don't use toilet paper!! Gimana Sih!!! I’ll let you guys figure out what they use. The MTC has gotten a lot better. Things go fast and it feels like yesterday was just the Sunday devotional. The food I am already tired of the food it’s all nasty with lots of salt and Crisco... the scale said I gained 3 pounds but then we started doing pushups, crunches, pull ups and dips as a room and I am back to where I was. It was because in gym we only played four square and didn't burn our fatness. We can play basketball again here now that we haven’t had a swine flu outbreak. Thanks for the zucchini bread we ate it all in two days (yes, I did share and not just with my district but with the other Indo district as well.) So I got some question on how many are going to Singapore. There are two districts of Indonesian speaking elders and sisters so 21 of us. The two sisters and 4 elders are going to Jakarta Indonesian mission. And the rest are going to Singapore. This is the biggest group of us ever, the most they have had was 10 and they usually all went to Jakarta. The last two groups only had two missionaries total going to Singapore. In the next two years they will be teaching Malay in the MTC.

It’s been fun, I almost out of time. Sampai Nanti!!!
Elder Watkins

Thursday, July 9, 2009

First Email

Here is part of his first email. I emailed his letter out this morning if your didn't get and would like to let me know...

Thursday, July 9, 2009
Selamat Siang Keluarga saya! So that means good morning my family but saya is my keluarga is family and yeah... I guess this is my first letter. My pday is on Thursday if you haven't guessed. My Companions name is Elder Thomas he’s tight and from Bountiful. Yeah the shots weren't a big deal at all but, yeah cost 33 dollars lol Japanese Encephalitis was free but it’s generally super expensive. Yeah and were learning Indonesian but well be speaking Malay in our mission. We have already started being taught the language, we learned how to pray and bear our testimony or doa and kesaksian. We haven't stopped learning the language since we got in. They truly hit us with a fire hose on the first day. The food here sucks, it smells alright tastes ok and then gives every elder super nasty gas... not necessarily stinky but everyone has gas and it’s even worse if you drink the orange juice. Yeah, but anyone can email me but just continue to dear elder me at because with the thirty minutes I have no idea if I can write and read all the emails I would get.

Our teachers are cool they went to the Jakarta mission and their way nice and cool. One is captain of the BYU soccer team and stuff he’s cool and the other one is cool but I don't know too much about him. There are 21 missionaries going to the Singapore mission, 26 of us in two districts C and B, 11 in one and 10 in the other, 5 of them are going to the Jakarta mission. I guess this is the most missionaries they’ve had speaking Indo in ever!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

He's Alive...

Well...we finally got his first letter. With the fourth of July we didn't get his letter until Monday and then we had a vacation driver so we didn't get it until 5:00 p.m. which about drove me crazy since we usually get our mail before noon. I am going to have to have a good talk to our mailman, no vacation time carriers when we are expecting such important mail! His companion is Elder Thomas from Bountiful and his roommates are Elder Pingel from Ohio and Elder Jeffries from Draper. He had to get two more shots Polio because his was too old and Japanese Encephalitis. I hope he doesn't get sick from them. His tentative departure date is August 31st so he will be in the MTC about nine weeks. Not too much more info since it was is first day there. His P-Day is on Thursday and so we are looking forward to more details then.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nathan's Big Day

Well the big day finally arrived for Nathan. This was the quick picture they let us take before he left to go inside and you can see in his face how happy and ready he was to enter the MTC on July 1st. He will be in the MTC for about two months for training and learning Bahasa Malay. We are anxiously awaiting to hear from him for more details. We are so proud of him and are counting the days until we see him again. It is a bittersweet time for Jeff and I. No one can prepare you for this parting.