Monday, August 31, 2015

Toyohashi Roach Exterminators

The Gifford pose

I've never had this problem my entire mission, now I'm paranoid that
one of those little critters is gonna pop out at me anytime. The
Suzukis have given us a set of tools to fight them with, but Elder
Gifford just settles for a large kitchen knife. I'm never using that
knife ever. This week one crawled round our dishes and I spent the
whole next day not using those dishes. So nasty.

 So this week we found another 6 investigators! Just not all on the
same day. Some of them have interest, some don't. Just gotta find the
ones who are prepared.

Dog parking

 We did a lot of work with members on Saturday. It was awesome. For
the first time on my mission, we got to help a member family move to a
new house. I remember that was a normal thing back in SC. It was fun!
They lived on the third floor of the apartment and there was no
elevator. We formed a chain and got what seemed to be a hundred boxes
down stairs. Next week we will move the furniture and refrigerator.
The fun stuff.

  Right after that we went to the ward primary activity where we were
asked to teach "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" in English to them.
That was fun! The kids are so hyper and so cute!  After that we had
shaved ice and onigiri which is a rice ball. The mission president's
son and his family are members of our ward, so they chilled with us at
lunchtime. Their 11 year old son is a kid genius. He even knows some
good English phrases. The Bishop also came and talked to me. He is way

 On Sunday lots of members talked to us and they all remembered my
name and everything. I'm starting to feel more like a part of the ward
now. It's cool.

Flashback to the south

   Recently we've been talking a lot about the Atonement in the
mission. If our investigators have a clear understanding of that, they
can keep the commandments more easily. The knowledge that Christ
suffered for us, and because of Him we can be changed and made strong,
is something I have seen demonstrated in my own life. The Savior will
help us, but we have to let Him, we have to come to Him. I've been
enjoying some videos on gospel library called His Grace. They're about
people who's lives were changed because of the Atonement. They really
show the difference it can make.

Well, love y'all and wish y'all a happy Power Rangers day last week!

All that love,
Wat chan
No sir, not in my house!

The hunt


Dana and Smith in Takaoka
DTM with Ishii kaicho!

Funny faces, even Ishii kaichous in on it!

Me and elder Gifford skyping Elder Gifford!

Hey what's up elder!
Karen Rider Edion? Haha Edion is an electronics store btw

Katsudon is awesome! Happy Power Rangers Day!

Matching ties, swag ne?

Add caption

Tiny melon pan! Soooo good!

Primary Activity

Ishii kaihou's grandson

Ishii kaicho's son

Yakiniku pday....Before



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Translating Pizza into Miracles since 1994

Funny one!

This week went by so fast!

Let me tell you about the Suzukis. They are Fufu or senior couple
missionaries serving with us in Toyohashi. They are from Yamagata Ken.
Suzuki Shimai is a fireball, she just throws down when teaching a
lesson with us or when something needs to get done. She's also super
cool. She even fixed three pairs of my pants that I ripped or tore,
including the one from last weeks crash. Suzuki Choro is a straight up
boss. He was a fireman, so he tells stories of the many times he's
gone into a burning building or any of the other things the fire dept
does. He too is a great teacher.
Them young-in's

The Suzukis help us a lot. They drove us to ZTM in Okazaki and came to
our apartment to help with a bug problem. They also tachiai for some
lessons. When their not helping us, they are helping somebody in the
church, or anybody really. It's like dendoing with your grandparents
or something. It's cool.

Speaking of ZTM, I realized I was the second oldest missionary I the
entire zone. Everyone else is super young! I didn't even know who half
of them were! Cray. But the APs, Elder Tanner and Strauss were there
too, so I wasn't the only Ji San there. I was asked to translate for
the Japanese missionaries including the Suzukis. That was pretty fun,
I just never dreamed I would even be considerable as a translator at a
missionary meeting. I remember seeing Sister Nielson translate at ZTM
in Matsumoto, I thought I'd never reach that level of being able to
interpret things so quick. Now here I was, and it was fun. I totally
messed up a few times, but the other missionaries were so nice and
said my interpretation was easy to understand. I felt good about that.

We also had dinner with the Shimoda family. Their daughter Ayumi
recently returned from a foreign exchange in America. Her English is
way good. She made us some American style home made pizza. IT WAS SO
GOOD! Just like back home, probably the best pizza I've had in Japan.
For desert she made American style chocolate pecan cake. That was also
SO GOOD. It reminded me of something I ate at Grandma's or Gram's
before. I was way happy with that menu. Afterwards we had a spiritual
message and took funny pictures together. I love member work!
Okazaki Zone

At ZTM we talked a little bit about prayer and faith. One of the young
elders said that all they do is pray that they'll find a new
investigator then they go out and find a new investigator. Straight
up. This got my dear young companion, Elder Gifford, thinking "let's
do it". My thought was "but we do that everyday and nothing happens."

Well the next day we went out to see some less actives and members. We
rode all around town and talked to everybody in sight. My companion,
with his determination, found a new investigator. When that happened
we were both like, "hey it works" so we decided to keep it up. Well
finding a new investigator is cool, but that's not too miraculous.
Turns out most of the people we wanted to see weren't home, but by the
end of the day we'd found 5 new investigators through OYM and given
out 3 Books of Mormon. We were beat, but we'd seen miracles. That is
my all time record, so far, for investigators found in one day. And
then the next day, we found one more! That was pretty awesome. I
learned from my companion's faith and determination, how if we just go
out and fight, and fight to win, the Lord will provide us with the
miracles. Whether it's 6 investigators or just a Book of Mormon given.

  Well folks, stay positive and determined. We had some spiritual
lessons this week and there were still things that could've been
better, but the Lords on our side.

Love you guys,
Watkins Choro
Sukiya with my fourth daughter.

Me and Gifford eating gyudon.
I don't know

Real home made pizza!

The Shimodas with the Suzukis


Funny one
I'm so tired

But I be excited

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Transfer 14: The Final Destination?!

Might be my last time to see Grilo Choro. He's so awesome.

Back in Aichi. It's sooooooooooooooooooooo hot. Just like last summer
when I was here. The train ride here felt like coming back home after
a vacation to another state. So many familiar things that I haven't
seen in a while, mixed with the unfamiliar scenery of Toyohashi.
There's a lot more buildings and people, but the roads seem way
complex for me. Still don't know where anything is.
Express train

The ward is pretty nice. One thing I want to focus on here is member
work since that worked out way good in Takaoka. So this week was Obon,
which is a Japanese holiday weekend when ,they believe, the spirits of
their ancestors come back home from the spirit world for the weekend.
So the whole family gathers together from out of town and has a
celebration, including fireworks. Members of the church often
celebrate by going to the Temple to do ordinances for their ancestors.
So there were a lot of folks from out of town, and a lot of folks who
went out of town last week.

At sacrament meeting, two young women shared their feelings about the
Temple. One of them spoke for about 15 minutes and was holding back
tears as she spoke of the feeling she gets each time she goes. I was
really impressed with the faith of these two teenage girls, they have
strong testimonies and really cared about the gospel. Not something
you see very often I think.
We accidentally bought a bullet train ticket. Whoops. Yolo

 We have a lot of investigators here, it's pretty cool to have
someone to teach each day. Elder Gifford is a young and very energetic
missionary. He's so full of energy, it's hard for an old timer like me
to keep up. He has a big vision and he's full of the spirit.

 Well I'm slowly adjusting. It always takes a little time to get used
to the new place and people. You just have to give me someone to love,
and a few fun locations, and it all starts to fall into place. I hope
and have faith that we can see miracles here. Toyohashi is actually
the mission president, president Ishii 's home ward. So I feel special
being the first missionary he has assigned to work here since he
became the mission president.

Love you all, have a good week! Fight the fight, finish the course,
keep the faith.

Elder Watkins
All the young missionaries.

My boys

New trainers, mueller, Mahony, and Klien.

Japanese missionaries

Basically all of the sisters got transferred.
Hamamura Shimai! ^_^

Had lunch at our dendo shunins house with the fufu (senior couple) missionaries. That's right we have a senior couple in Toyohashi! The Suzukis! They are awesome. Suzuki shimai is even going to fix the pants I broke. Anyway lunch was awesome!

The Toyohashi ward chapel.

Big Jesus standing in the door.

My companion elder Gifford.

Our messy apartment. Gonna clean it.

My desk

And I got this bruise on my bicep from it. Other than that, I ripped my pants. But I'm ok.

I didn't see a low hanging wire so I biked into it and it threw me to the ground. I got this crazy scratch on my arm.