Thursday, May 28, 2015

Transfer 12: Isogashii!!

FHE with the Yoshida family!!! (Bishop's family)

Isogashii means busy, which if last week was any indication, this transfer will be very busy.

  We had a few lessons, biked way far into the country to see people, did yard work for a member, had sports night with lots of members, less actives, and non members, and we have our yakusokusha from Vietnam. He has to get baptized either this Saturday or the next! I was running around church like a chicken with its head cut off yesterday trying to figure out all the problems and things we need for this guy to get baptized. It was really fun actually, this week is also going to be focused towards that goal as well as a few other teaching appointments.

   And you know it feels great to be busy! Its taihen and stressful and we are so tired at the end of the day and then we have a ton of phone calls to make. But I feel like a real missionary, like we are actually doing something other than scouring Japan looking for someone who'll listen. Its great!

  But please pray for us to be able to reach our goals and be effective teachers. My teaching is way rusty. I actually have to teach about the commandments like word of wisdom this week. I've never gotten that far before. We can do it but only with the Lord's help.

   Well speaking of, we gotta fly and do other fun pday stuff, so let me just leave you with one other thought; I read my patriarchal blessing today and it only has 2 sentences about my mission. I used to think "well that's no help" But recently I realized that the whole blessing has to do with my whole life so looking at it that way, my blessing is actually all about my mission because right now that is my life. Food for thought for y'all there.

   Love y'all,
Elder Watkins

Happy Birthday to Aunt Melissa!!!
Real Gold!

Service at a members house.

Rice fields
Big chicken

Boy Scouts outside our apartment?

Don't see this everyday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Survivor Takaoka

Takaoka, Toyama, and Takayama District

TRANS.... FER........ CALLSSSSS!!!!

The results are in... Elders Esplin and Smith have been voted off the
Island! Takaoka Elders 2 is gone. Elder Esplin will be a zone leader
in Shizuoka and Elder Smith will be going to the famous Mt Fuji. That
means that our 4nin is now just a 2nin and Takaoka is now all in the
hands of me, Elder Miranda, and the Man upstairs.
District lunch in the park

 I'm kind of overwhelmed as I've never had an area all to just my
companionship, just the two of us. We have all the investigators now,
a huge area, and a big apartment. It's going to be kind of lonely. At
the same time I'm excited because we have many investigators now; some
close to baptism. With a set up like we have I feel like we can and
will see success this transfer.

And then so is our last transfer with Yamashita kaichou, so we've got
to make it good. This transfer is also only for 5 weeks instead of 6.

 I'm really going to miss Smith and Esplin. In this one transfer
we've become good friends and a good team. It was a fun transfer and I
feel like we worked pretty hard. One thing I worked on this transfer
that I'd like to share with y'all is my relationship with and
understanding of the Man we are all here for.

Singing the song for our moms!
   The iPad's have given me access to many resources I had not had
before including the bible videos and the book by James Talmage Jesus
the Christ
. As I've read in my personal study the New Testament along
with Jesus the Christ and watched the Bible Videos, I began to feel a
personal connection to the Savior and an increased desire to serve
Him. I now understand more clearly what happened as He went to the
garden that night of the Passover. I see how His sacrifice not only
allows us to repent, but also gives us strength to do what we could
not by ourselves. And I know that He loves each of us and that He did
heal the sick and raise the dead. This was all stuff that I believed
already, of course, but now I see it in more perspective as though I had
been an onlooker as He walked the streets of Jerusalem. And I found
more questions and things that I still don't understand, but I will
study those more.

Kids Eikaiwa! There sooo cute!

   It is so cool to think that I am continuing the work He began back
in those days. I would invite you all to try it too, maybe not the
same way I did, maybe there is a better way for you. Or perhaps you
already have a strong relationship with the Savior, but I know He
would always appreciate a visit so to speak. Even for a month, it is a
good spiritual experience that I am thankful for from this transfer.

      Well, looks like we got a lot of work on our hands this time.
As always I am thankful for your prayers, it helps me a lot to know
that there are folks out there rooting for us in the Nagoya mission.
Let's do this!

Love and jelly beans,
Elder Watkins of Takaoka
Bye Elder Frost

Bye bye to  Elder Frost who's going back to America.
Elder Smith when he found out his bean area is closed, haha!
home made katsu!!!
bowling with the elderly

bowling with the elderly



Bye bye to Mineta Shimai, shes going home.
Babylon, don't go!

Huge baptist church

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Up, down, and around the World

Out to preach

Hey all!

Had a bunch of fun skyping everyone yesterday! The whole family was
there and 2 of my best pals joined in too. It was great.

 This week was a series of ups and downs for me. Monday I crashed my
bike, I messed up the gears and got cuts on my hands. Tuesday I got it
fixed and the guy did it free of charge. "God's blessing" he said in
English. That was cool.
Around town

   Another one is we were dendoing on Saturday morning and I got a
nose bleed randomly. I went to the nearest restroom and when I got out
I looked like I'd been in a gun fight. So we went all the way back to
base, changed, and went all the way back. After that we got some melon
pan ice, a special treat in town. The workers know the missionaries
and were happy to see us. Then they said, they'd put in extra ice
cream for us. I was way happy about that.

 I also tried sushi this week. I hadn't done it yet since I don't
like seafood and I'm kind of chicken I guess, but I had a salmon one
and it was pretty good. We got a video of the occasion.
Around town

      Next week is transfer calls, I think it will be President
Yamashitas last time doing them, if I'm not mistaken. Strange to think
already another transfer in the books after one week. We have a goal
to all see a baptism per companionship in the mission for when the
Yamashitas leave and the Ishiis come. I know that with a little faith
we can do it. Just like The Savior said we could, move mountains, walk
on water, part the sea. We need to act on our faith, which I believe
we have a good supply of.

Love you as always, have a great week, Happy Mother's Day!
Elder Watkins
the fam!!!

My baby cousin!

My puppy Cinnamon!

My buds Sheldon and Shane
Big Buddha

The famous Big Buddha of Takaoka

Look closely at the sword
Big fish

Wow! that brings back memories

Wow! that brings back memories

My new Megazord figure :)
Go Go Curry!

This is Melon Pan guys, sooo good!


Takaoka Ward chapel

right next to a rice field

Us at church

Us at church

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Golden Week, Golden City

us 4 in Taikoyama land

Happy Golden week everybody!! It is a week of Japanese holidays. Today is Greenery day, tomorrow is Kids Day, yesterday was Constitutional memorial day, and last week we had Showa day, with other stuff mixed in between. So there have been lots of parties and celebration going on. We had a ward BBQ and that was way fun! So much food from Brazil, Philippines, and Japan. We got to play with the kids for a bit, talk to everybody, eat, and the brethren even played some American Football. Just like America!

    Friday we had a Matsuri in Takaoka, first one I've seen since the big one in Seto. It was way crowded! There was a live band and lots of friendly, genki people. We invited a lot of people to Eikaiwa and talk about the church to a few folks. It was super fun.

   On saturday and sunday we had stake conference in Kanazawa. We got there early since we went with the Bishop, so we spent about 3 hours dendoing in Kanazawa. We explored the city and I have to say it is probably the most beautiful city I've ever been to. There were lots of people out, everyone was genki, there was the big old castle, lots of big buildings and stores, there was even a Mister Donut with 4 floors! I just loved it, and so did the other missionaries, we all want to transfer there now!

   We saw one elder at stake conference for the last time, he is going home early today for medical reasons, but he will be reassigned to a different mission. He has only been out about 6 months, he is a friend to us all. It is inspiring to me to see him go out and work hard in spite of whatever may try to hold him back. I know he will change lives no matter where he goes. He has done just that out here for us.

  It made me think again though, of how these 2 years aren't promised to us, we should use the time we have to its full extent and make an impact that will last a lifetime (or forever as the case may be).

     Well we have Mother's Day coming up and I will be skyping my family for the last time before I return in December. Tanoshimi! (excited).

Love you all a ton,
Elder Watkins
Taikoyama Land!
Me and Elder Cowan

Melon Pan ice on my kokan with Elder Esplin


Girls from kids eikaiwa, so cute!


Filipino cooking!

Young women making yakisoba

The drinks!


Sakamoto Kyoudai, the host with the most!

Elder Smith playing some jams on a members guitar


Dudes dancing to grease lightning




Dendo in kanazawa

Dendo in kanazawa