Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Atsui sama desu!

Ferris wheel

Another hot day in Toyama ken! So I've had this rash for ever since
I've been in Takaoka that I finally took to get looked at. We sat down
with the doctor for two minutes and he looked at it with a microscope
and said, yep you have a rash. Then I paid 3500yen. Yay for
reimbursements! I got this cream stuff that has been working miracles.
Hereafter I will do a thing where I send before and after shots.

We taught our investigator and his mom again last week. She is really
getting into the gospel. She tangents wayyyy hard so the lesson
clocked in at about 2 and a half hours, longest lesson of my whole
mission so far, I think. But she said she felt as though God is
watching over her and also that Joseph Smith was a wonderful person. I
was touched by these remarks. They both agreed to read and pray about
the Book of Mormon.

Speaking of, remember I made that goal to preach from the Book of
Mormon on the streets and try to hand out some copies? Well we were
able on Saturday to give a copy to the first person we talked to. We
explained what it was about and that it could improve his life, then
we said it's free, then he asked if he could have a copy. It was good.
He didn't become an investigator, but Elder Dana and I could feel the
spirit and power from that book.

We are trying to help the youth in the ward. We attended Sunday school
yesterday and had a good conversation with them all. One girl had just
gotten back from her last girls camp before she turns 18. That was
natsukashi to hear, I remember my last scout camp and how it got my
mission call there, and my last youth conference too. I told a few
stories from that time. They thought it was neat how I got my mission
call at scout camp when I'd gone as a chaperone.

   Summer break just started so pretty soon there's gonna be party's
in the streets with matsuris, and also tourists. It's gonna be fun.
Something about summer reminds me of my friends back home. Been so
long since I've heard from them. So shout outs to all of them! We had
some great times, I still remember the movies, beach, camping, Temple
trips, and the friendship building, and testimony building things we
did. Indeed those summers prepared me for these hot summers in Japan.

   It's definitely not the same, but these two summers of dendo have
been the best, there's no rafting, no dances with pretty girls, no
video games, but there is testimony, spiritual experiences, good food,
great friends, and it may be challenging and stressful, but at the end
of each day I can look back and honestly say it was fun. It was the
best. These experiences are only one time each. I'll get to go camping
and stuff again, but dendo is special, and so much more rare. I hope
my friends will get out to see for themselves.

   You guys stay cool! Drink a lot of water! Make each day the best!

Love and sunshine,
Elder Watkins
Takaoka Ward

We cleaned out the fridge...

Sashiburi cold stone!

The small was five bucks.

 Worth it.

Elder Dana

That MOP life!

Pokemon store!


Primary kids from my ward sent some cool drawings!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Built upon an Ishi

Nonami reunion!

Ishi means rock, and it's also our mission president's name. Clever right?

Hey y'all! Well last week the opposite of a mission call came to me in
the mail, a letter from the honbu saying I'm going home.
Nooooooooooooooooo! I said. Then the letter says to fill out some
going home info then forget about it. So what if there's only 5 months
left? There are 24 hours in a day and I'm just going to focus on
making each one count.

Dance recital for our girls

   Last week we had interviews with president Ishii. It was nice to
finally talk with him one on one. He is such a nice man, even though
he still has trouble remembering our names. His English is way good.
We talked about my life's story and about dendo. He is different from
Yamashita kaicho and yet the same. Ishii shimai can't speak any
English, but she loves talking to us. While we waited for our
interview she sat down with the missionaries  and we had a wonderful
chat about many things. She is like that really cool aunt that hangs
out with you at family gatherings. She admonished us to eat vegetables
and drink lots of water. Fun fact, she is a vegetarian.

   I also got to Kokan with my district leader, Elder Nakamoto again.
He is so wise. We taught a cool lesson together at our investigators
home, and it went really well. He also shared with me the power of the
Book of Mormon, particularly in dendo. This is definitely true, and it
got me thinking that I should use the Book of Mormon way more than I
do already. Our most powerful weapon out here is our testimony, the
second most powerful weapon is the Book of Mormon, because it
energizes our testimony and ignites a testimony in others.
Nonami reunion!

    Saturday we went to a traditional Japanese dance show to see our
kids Eikaiwa students perform. That was very neat, and today we had a
primary activity at the church where we made curry with the primary
children. This is kind of a side note, but I really love Japanese
kids, they are so cute and full of energy and they are generally
really good.

  Well that's about all for this week. Got stuff to do. Btw today is
Marine day in Japan, happy Marine day! Love y'all so much!

The church is true and the book is blue.
Elder Watkins
Nonami reunion!
Isn't that one of our church's pictures? Whatever happened to thou shalt not steal?
What's this? A letter from the honbu?


My fake surprise reaction, haha!

Waiting in the eki for two hours because Elder Nakamoto is bad with train times.
My companion
Traditional Japanese dance

Himi matsuri!

Himi matsuri!
Saw some members and other friends there. It was fun!
Okay, lets move on....

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Father Tanner!

Our  MTC doki, (most of it) Moulton, Strauss, Tanner, Smith, Brown, Me, Nakamura shimai, Papenfuss Shimai

Hey y'all, it's a hottttt day in Toyama ken! They said this place was
cold like Nagano. They were wrong. Still, makes me thankful I'm not in
Aichi ken, which is basically Africa. Anyway...

 We had the welcome President Ishii conference last week! We took a
long train and I spent the night in Fukutoku area, in Nagoya. There
were 8 of us in the apartment. It was crazy, and we didn't sleep very
well. We dendoed a little at night. It was good to be back on the
streets of Nagoya again after so long. Felt like being in Nonami but
on the other side of the city.
My follow up training sons!

   I saw many old friends at the conference, including my partner in
crime Elder Tanner, who is now an assistant to the president, making
him one of the head honchos in charge of the conference. He is such a
good leader, always caring about everybody. I also saw my boys Elder
Tallent and Elder Laumatia. They have changed and grown a bit. Along
with my dear MTC companion, Elder Brown who is in Nagano now. He has
changed a lot too since I last saw him. We talked and reflected on how
we have all become better since those first 9 weeks locked up in
Provo. This was the last time to see many of the sisters we were in
the MTC with too since they are returning home after this transfer.
And Elder Bills who is leaving early for school.

  There were also a great deal of new faces, many young missionaries
who I've never seen before. It's crazy to see how the mission changes.
Antoinette shimai going back to the Philippines.

 President and Sister Ishii are so very nice. The first thing he said
in front of the mission was a cheerful shout of "Nagoya dendobu wa
Saikou desu!" Meaning "Nagoya Mission is the best!" Followed but a
round of applause. Ishii kaicho wants us to work hard and obey all the
rules, but have fun as well. He also emphasized unity in our
companionship and with the Lord. They shared many stories from their
life along with their testimonies that this work is true. It's really
exciting to have them here.

   Well on the way back Elder Dana and I missed a train and were
stuck in Nagoya station by ourselves for two hours. Well the only
things to do were to buy dinner and dendo some folks. As we walked
around an image popped into my mind, I hadn't thought much about it
since, but on my first day in Japan, Elder TuAkoi took me to a very
high tower were we could see the whole city. I knew it was close by so
we went to that tower, just across the street, and went up to the 42nd
floor. It was like a time machine. When I stepped out the elevator I
recognized that I was on the exact location I remembered and
everything was exactly how I remember seeing it 1 year and some months
Again the the Iida fufu, they're our doki too after all!

   I looked out at the large Nagoya city, now with a year and a half
experience as a missionary, having been to various places and met so
many people and learned many important things, and a stronger
testimony than I had the last time I'd stood in that spot looking at
that sight, not knowing what was ahead, or how great it would be. At
that moment I bowed my head and said a prayer in my heart, 'thank you
for sending me to the Japan Nagoya Mission.' There is no place I would
rather have spent these two years. It was a very spiritual moment for

   Soo much other stuff happened this week! We had ZTM, 2 awesome
lessons, and Ward conference, to which an investigator came and we had
a huge shokujikai with lots of stake people. I talked to all the young
men and young women and found out one of the boys loves power rangers
and knows everything I do about the show in Japan and America. Total
Two of the coolest stake people ever!

Anyway you people are awesome. You know stuff may be hard, but I think
this thing with places is not just for missions, I think in many
instances, if we are doing right, the Lord puts us were we need to be
at the right time. Perhaps we don't always know that, but I believe it
is true. So keep it up guys.

That's my motto, fight the fight, finish the course, keep the faith.

Elder Watkins
Random concert in Takaoka

Random stuff in Takaoka again, way fun day

Fukutoku for conference

My trainers new hair style

Song practice

Father Tanner and his third son, elder Dana

Our usual pianist playing at her last mission conference.

Waiting for the president

These kids!
The old Nakatsugawa crew. (Sister Campbell goes home soon too. Wah!)

Himi sunset
Costco muffins and tortillas with cheese!

Surprise from the Brazilian king!

Nagoya eki towers

Concrete jungle

42nd floor just as I remembered

Nagoya Eki from the 42nd floor


Singing a song for English to Antoinette shimai. It was very last minute but she enjoyed it.

Nonami reunion!

Morphin with Mihara

Kanazawa zone!

Kanazawa zone!

Walking the streets