Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hump Day...Only 365 days to Go!!! Ronald & Yanti's Baptism!

Elder Nathan B Watkins WEEK 52 (ONE YEAR)

Mom's note: We are so glad to be starting the downside of our countdown to his return. It was so great to see only 365 days left on the blog countdown. Hooray for us...only one more year to go!!! As you will read in his letter he doesn't even acknowledge he has been out a year...I guess he truly loves his mission. Thanks to everyone for always asking how he is doing and helping us get through this first year. We made it...barely!!!

Hey everyone,

Well this last week was awesome. We got Ronald baptized and he bore a great testimony about how everyone in the Branch has like spiritual strings attached to them and they all love and care for each other just as they were your brother or sister. But he was really strong and his testimony was awesome. He said he knew he just felt something different here at this church that he loved and that he knew he wanted. Brother Buhman his fellowshipper baptized him and it went really well.

Best of all Yanti got baptized! Wooo! Man was it a great day. She was so happy. It was by far one of the most spiritual baptisms. We had maybe 70% of the Branch there which was crazy and everyone really felt the spirit. It was by far one of the most exciting and well anticipated days. She was so happy after she came out of the water that she started to cry but, they were tears of joy she said knowing that she had found the truth and that now her next step was to share it with her family. That day she had worked from 7pm-7am then went home showered and changed then came to all of church and made it back probably at 4. So she had ended up being up without sleep for pretty much a day and she said it was totally worth it.

Dewi sadly wasn't quite ready for the 27th but came to the baptism which was good and which helped her to feel the awesome spirit that was there. We set her for July 11th which will work out well and she said she is now prepared so, this Friday she will be interviewed again and she is already gotten a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon and Thomas S. Monson. She is so awesome. So she will be going down on the 11th of July and she will be at church this week cause she doesn’t have to work because every 2 years they get 5 days off in a row and they have a huge party at their work. Their work is actually pretty good to them in terms of days off and nice places to stay. But their pay is not so good but, man they have great hearts over there. We also have a great opportunity to teach her younger sister and a cousin and Dewi's younger sister. They all just came in last night at 5pm from Indonesia and are no working at the same place but stay in Cheras. So that is not our area but, we will pass them to the elders or the sisters to get them dunked :)

This last week was really good but, really rough. Cause not a lot of appointments since we cleared out all the non progressing investigators and basically cleared our pool except for 5 investigators. So on Monday we pretty much tried finding people all day cause our night appointment fell through at like 10 minutes before so, then we just saw a member. That day I probably taught 20 1st lessons on the hot street and man was my mouth dry and my skin like melting off ha-ha but, it was worth it. We found some new people and they are pretty good. We did some finding in little Indonesia and its like soap box teaching cause you'll teach like a group of 5-10 at one time. They are all very receptive and willing to hear the gospel. I think being out of their home country and in another place makes them think a little. The best part is even if they only meet with us one time more than always they will read the pamphlet so it doesn't go to waste ha-ha.

Today for P-day we went off to the Batu Caves and KLCC and we brought with us the sister missionaries Sister Lim and Wing and Sister Yanti and Dewi came which was awesome. They were super excited because they never really leave their little Indonesian neighborhood and they had a blast. It was a really good day and it was very fun heading off with them and showing them around the country they are in. Dewi told me she felt prepared for baptism and that she wanted to do it on the 11th so it was cool. So was that was pretty fun. But here comes the problem I kind of let them borrow my memory stick with all the pictures of the baptisms and all of the fun activities today so I will have to send pictures home next week. Sorry…eh minta maaf (Hey Sorry).

So now were on to lots of finding and seeking referrals from the member which is super tough and really makes you remember to rely on the lord and not your own strengths ha-ha. So umm before I forget Elder Rathnayake is 26years old and his parents know he’s a volunteer for a church and that's it. He doesn't speak Malay but speaks Sinhalese and no, I will probably not learn it ha-ha cause it’s hard and not even our Sri Lankan recent converts speak Sinhalese because they are Sri Lankan-Tamil. But all the Tamil people here always speak Tamil to him and he doesn’t speak Tamil ha-ha which is way funny. So sorry but, I will send you the pictures next week that’s my bad since I lent them the card to print pictures.

Well thanks a lot for everything.

Elder Watkins

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

King of KL

We went to Elder Barlow's Homecoming (he was in the apartment with Nathan when he was in Butterworth). He told us that Elder Watkins was the King of KL now.

Shalom (that is how the Indonesians from Medan that are Christian greet you)

Well this last week was pretty crazy and well it still turned out ok. The reason my companion has to leave every 2 weeks is because he is Sri Lankan and that is just what they do for Sri Lankan's here in Malaysia. They don't want them working here and there is no way they can work here if they are leaving every 2 weeks ha-ha. He can only come into Malaysia every two weeks for 2 more months or so cause they gave him a stamp in his passport that gives him 4 months but he still has to go out every 2 weeks.

Yes, Elder Barlow is right I am like the King of KL, one cause I have 3 of the 4 areas here in KL and two, I have been here for quite a while so it therefore makes me King. And yea it’s pretty true that in Penang that Tamil, English, Chinese, and Malay languages are all mixed together so it’s pretty hard to even talk with 1/2 the people there. But Iban is the language of the original people of Sarawak which is similar to Malay.

This week Yanti will be getting baptized on Sunday which is way exciting she is way awesome. Dewi we are not quite sure if she will get baptized this week because we want to make sure her testimony is strong, in her baptism interview she said that her testimony or her faith is wavering. So we got some plans to help strengthen her testimony. She basically needs to read more often and to pray and it will help out but, she still plans on being baptized and is still awesome. She also might have a problem with the Word of Wisdom but, we aren’t sure cause she is very shy to tell us, she just told us that she ate a coffee candy which might just be a copout but, we will find out and help her to overcome it.

Justice isn't getting baptized this week its Ronald and he is way excited to get baptized. Brother Buhman, a man he works with and helped to fellowship him will baptize him this Saturday at 11. So it’s going down and he is way happy for his choice and after that he and Sister Clarence have plans to go to the temple in a year and get sealed together which is awesome. Justice is set on a new baptism date for July 10th. And hopefully he can make it this time, basically he didn't make it cause he wasn't taught everything before that date.

This week we had dinner with a family from Kuching, which are Bidiyuh which is another tribe out of Sarawak with sister Lucia and her parents and siblings and the best part is that her little sister is named Liahona ha-ha :) so awesome and it’s the truth. They are an awesome family but, they live in Kuching and only Sister Lucia is here for schooling. They made us some awesome Chinese food her mom is an awesome chef.

But this upcoming week the highlight will be Yanti and Ronald’s baptism. I am so excited for Yanti's since we saw her progress from the very beginning and its awesome how she just had to read the "Book of Mormon and Pray" and that is all it really takes to get a testimony but, some get it faster than others. She has a true love for this church and her goal is to bring the missionaries to her home in Indonesia for her husband and her two daughters. Last p-day she had the day off so she followed us to KLCC the Petronas Towers and she got to see them for the first time and she was really excited.

Well that’s pretty much all for this week. and I would write more but don’t have a lot of time cause I am going out with the Smiths now to teach the Myanmar kids some English ha-ha. Some news that is true though is we will get a new companionship here in KL on July 14th or something like that then I will be back down to just one area. Sorry I don’t have more time.

Next time eh?

Elder Watkins

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Running Everywhere...But worth it!

Hey everyone,

Well, this last week was pretty crazy. Between my VISA run and Zone Conference and then District Conference I have been running everywhere, meeting members and investigators and getting them all to follow us to District Conference. I just needed like a small bus for them all to follow me ha-ha… cause that’s pretty much how many members and investigators we had following us. But, we got Yanti to District Conference on Saturday and it was awesome for her to be able to come. She really felt the spirit and she learned a lot about how to share the gospel with her family and how to strengthen her family in the church so, she was way excited. On the way to the church and I am talking to Yanti and I see the two Assistants and I tell her that one of them is named Elder Compton and he is a very mean person so she was like, yah? And I said, for sure so watch out for him, but I was just messing around and I didn't think much of it. Later she was suppose to get interviewed for baptism and the Zone Leaders were busy so lo and behold Elder Compton has to interview her and she was like, oh crap and was nervous ha-ha. So today we meet with them this morning and she told me, hey you told me he was a rude guy and then I had to interview with him and I was so scared. I felt really bad but, luckily she forgave me ha-ha. She passed with flying colors and will be getting baptized on June 27 by Eder Patrick Wong and no, his name is not Patrick his first name is Eder so that is not a miss type ha-ha. But everyone always gets that confused ha-ha and thinks we are talking about Elder Wong he -he. So it’s exciting that she choose Eder to baptize her cause he is the member fellowshipper.

Dewi will have her interview on Friday and all should go well, she is awesome and keeps us guessing cause ever since we taught her how to joke she always is, she is even getting me with jokes ha-ha. Like I called her to tell her to come out so we can meet with her and she says I have to go to work but, she was just messing with me and then just showed up at the store with Yanti ha-ha so, she has even tricked the Master.

We also have a Filipino man named Ronald who will get baptized on June 26 and oh yeah, Dewi is June 27. Ronald is really cool and is also excited. We have Glenda still but she is in China so her baptism is postponed.

Justice a man we received from the other elders was suppose to be baptized this week but can’t cause he has only been taught 2 lessons but, he has been to church for like 2 months though. So we will work on getting him dunked.

So my companion is from Sri Lanka he is the only member of his family. He is a convert of about 2 years and 4 months. Before he was Buddhist and his parent don't even know he was baptized. He is cool the only problem is he has to leave every 2 weeks and go back to Singapore... which is pretty ridiculous which means are area is down 3 days every week and half, which sucks cause we cover 3 branches so it is pretty rough. He speaks English alright and he speaks Singhalese. I am the Senior companion and the District leader.

I didn’t get any mail from Singapore. My bus ride down to Singapore was about 6ish hours. So I didn’t get to see Elder Herbst :/ but what can you do. On July 14th there are new missionaries coming in and President Clark said they will put in another companionship. And there might be some other elders coming in next week but were not sure.

And yeah that person who posted on the blog is Elder Dylan, probably spelled that wrong he is from the Ipoh Branch but, he was schooling in Penang when I served there. He also served his mission here. He is Punjabi and Chinese mix. He’s cool he just finished his mission last December. And the Timothy's still have a little influence left in Butterworth they had a couple of families they helped baptized a long time ago.

Umm and I am jealous that I did not get to eat my birthday brownies from the Nielsen’s but, I did get Malaysian cake ha-ha which means like no sugar and it is not as awesome as American cake ha-ha. The Smiths took me to Outback Steak House though.

But next week Elder Rathnayake goes to Singapore so I am going to try to get Eder to be my temp companion so, that is all for the week. Next week will be awesome with the baptisms coming up.

Elder Watkins

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Companion from Sri Lanka

My Malaysian Birthday cake

Maria, Me, Dewi and Yanti eating Birthday Cake at the Park

Hey Everyone,

Well this week was another amazing but, super crazy week. I guess we will start off with that Elder Kiwi, Elder Thomas, and Elder Kelley were all transferred off. Elder Kiwi was sent off to Sibu to be a Zone Leader. Elder Thomas was also off to Sibu and Elder Kelley was off to Bintulu. And now we are back to just one companionship here with three branches again which is super crazy and intense but, hopefully it was all work out. Ayo... so hard because all the areas are so big and the branches are so big but, well figure it out I suppose.

Right now I am in Singapore, I took a bus down on Tuesday because they changed it from Monday because I had to come and get my companion named, Elder Rathnayake from Sri Lanka, he is Sinhalese and he’s way cool and nice. Hopefully things will go good with us and we can get these people into the water ha-ha. We will be heading up the KL again on Thursday, just in time for Zone Conference and then that weekend is District Conference. So this week will just be okay and not a ton to report on because we won't have a lot of time to be teaching people ha-ha.

Well first things first are the people we are teaching. Yanti and Dewi came to church again on Sunday and it went really well they really felt the spirit and they still have a strong desire to get baptized. They both are super awesome and I am way excited for June 27th to come around. Maria is still doing well but, she got called into overtime on Sunday. She still has a concern that she said she will tell me when I get back from Singapore so that we can hopefully also get her baptized. She is still awesome but, has this one thing to overcome. She knows so much deep doctrine already and is so good in the Bible and stuff. Eder Wong and I both agreed if she gets baptized she would make a great teacher and would excel greatly in the church. But, for my birthday, on Saturday they got me a cake and we celebrated at the park near their home and it was way fun, I’ll send some pictures. The cake looks amazing but, didn't taste super amazing cause well it's a Malaysian cake and well they don't like anything sweet ha-ha. But it was the thought that counted and we had a blast. They each swapped me some cake which means they feed me cake generally they swap with their hands but I was fortunate to have it with a spoon ha-ha. They are so funny. They were super happy but super sad at the same time cause they found out Kiwi was getting transferred... but what can you do, they are still really awesome.

We recently inherited some new guys from the other elders. A cool Myanmar guy who will get baptized and read the Book of Mormon once while he was in a Pastor University, he's way cool and on track for baptism. He just needs to be taught some more and then he’s good to go. His name is David and he is pretty awesome.

We also got another African guy named Vincent and for some reason he has a lot of legit "Benjamin’s" in his wallet... who knows why but, it’s cool ha-ha. He has come to church twice but, I don't think he has been taught a whole lot.

But KL is pretty amazing and I really just want to get back to KL so I can get back to work in my own area and not just sit around here in Singapore. Because I am not super good and street contacting ha-ha sometimes I feel like I am stalking the person and then it just gets awkward ha-ha.

Robert and Kalpana our recent Sri Lankans converts are doing amazing and their boy Nickish is learning English so fast. They are such an awesome family. We gave them a picture of the temple and now it is above their bedroom door ha-ha so that way they will always remember their goal. Also in about 10 years or so they plan on moving to Germany because that’s where his brother lives so that means they can go to the temple there if not sooner in the Philippines ha-ha.

We are also teaching some new Indonesians this one is a member’s sister’s maid. So long story short she is going to see if she can bring her to church every week and then we will hook her up with a Book of Mormon in a couple weeks when she knows she can come back again.

All in all things are going awesome in KL except for the 3 branches coming up it is making it rougher ha-ha.

And Nick is going to Boston...wah? That so crazy that’s not where I would have guessed at all ha-ha. And thanks to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday and stuff with cards and on Facebook, etc.

Elder Watkins

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy 20th Birthday Nathan!!!

Nathan's 5th Birthday with his new puppy Hunter...I don't know who has the biggest feet!

Nathan holding Landon the day Landon was blessed. What a great brother he has always been!

Showing off His Big Cutthroat on his fishing trip with Dad & Grandpa to the Book Cliffs when he was three.

Playing Lacross for the Cottonwood Colts! He was the Team Captain his senior year.

Nathan and I at his Graduation. We couldn't have been prouder that day of his accomplishments! What a great student!

Here he is at the curb of the MTC ready to go and serve...this was the last time we saw him and you can tell just how happy and ready he was to go. What a great missionary he is! Only 388 more days to go until we are all together again!!!

Nathan in his first area Butteworth, Malaysia with Myra and her kids.

Serving now in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at Christine's Baptism.

Today is a day of very mixed emotions. For the last twenty years we have blessed with having Nathan in our life. We couldn't be prouder of his service to the Lord but, we miss him especially today on his Birthday! May the Lord watch over and protect him while he is in Singapore on his Visa Run and that he will return back to Kuala Lumpur safely so, that he can continue this amazing adventure he is on!

Happy Birthday Nathan you are always in our thoughts and prayers. We love you! Mom, Dad, Landon & Bridger :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nerves and Font Issues at Raymond's Baptism

Raymond's Baptism

Maria, Me, Dewi & Yanti

Hey Everyone,

Well this last week was awesome. Raymond's baptism was successful. He was so nervous 1 because he was getting baptized 2 he was getting baptized by his buddy Robert ha-ha so they were both super nervous and so with them both being nervous they were extra super nervous ha-ha.... But, it was hard to get him baptized since we spent the whole day filling the font. We filled it once and it went really fast but the filter was bad... Ayo... so we changed the filter and went to fill it again but, the tank up on the roof was finished..... so now we found this giant hose and put it on the kitchen sink and filled up the font.... so after 8 hours of filling a font we had enough water to get him dunked... he he

So Glenda our golden Filipina is going well she is reading and praying every day. The only problem is her boss is too nice to her and takes her on vacation with the family ha-ha… so this last week she was in Malacca and next week she will be in China, then she will be at church again ha-ha. But she studies the Book of Mormon and the Gospel Principles like no other. She has such a great desire to learn and that’s one of her favorite parts about the true church is that she is learning more than she has ever learned before. But, sadly cause she is missing church we have to push her date back a bit cause we haven’t been able to get her all taught and interviewed in time. But she is awesome and has a true love for the gospel.

Next we have Yanti. Yanti is our Indonesian she is 28 years old and has a husband and kids in Indonesian. She loves the gospel so much and is also golden. She has been praying every day and reading the Book of Mormon. Then when we teach her friends she is testifying and helping them to also know it’s true. And she hasn't even been baptized yet ha-ha. But she will be soon enough. She told us the other day she wants to do missionary work for her family in Indonesia and then she said she will send off her son on a mission in 10 years ha-ha. She is so awesome.

Then we have Dewi she is also Indonesian and will be getting baptized the same day as Yanti. She is way cool and funny ha-ha. Since I generally trick her cause she is the most believing she also tries to get me back but, yet doesn't always succeed. But she is totally prepared for baptism. She was nervous to set a date cause she felt like the end of June was fast then she thought about it and it truly wasn't.

Then we have Maria she is also an amazing Indonesian. She loves to learn and to share with us and she knows a lot about the Bible and tons of deep doctrine already. So she always asks us really deep questions ha-ha. She is so funny though... she loves to play the guitar and she said it is like she is praying when she sings and plays. She is so cool. She went to Malacca to check it out recently and brought us back key chains ha-ha. Their all super awesome and every lesson with them is super spiritual and they are all progressing great. But Maria is scared to be baptized cause she like, this is the real deal, the real baptism, what if I sin again. So we plan to talk about the Atonement and Sacrament etc. and that's pretty much all our investigators worth talking about. But they had a birthday dinner for me and it was cool but, they said they planned some secret thing for us when I get back from Singapore but we don't know what it is so now we are waiting in anticipation for what this surprise is ha-ha. But they keep bringing it up but, won’t tell us anything so it makes us way excited ha-ha.

But all in all were on the search for those elite again. In Singapore I don’t know what we are doing though but, I will be there with all those going home which is like 6 or something like that. And we should email you from there. Thanks for everything.

Elder Watkins

P.S. Pray that I will make it back into Malaysia I am a little worried since I have these big sticker extensions in my passport and I really want to get back in to see Yanti and Dewi be baptized ha-ha. So keep that in your prayers that the Immigration will have their hearts soften for me.