Monday, November 23, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Merry Christmas from Toyohashi!

Christmas lights are out, carols are being played and sung in church,
storm troopers are dressing as Santa Claus, and that feeling is in the
air. It's a good time to be in Toyohashi.

This week was fun! We went on a doryo Kokan with the Kariya elders on
Wednesday. I was with Elder Johnson again. We housed an apartment that
a lot of Australian rugby players are said to live in. I rang the
doorbell and out came a ten foot tall muscular white guy with an
Australian accent. I was struck with terror and elder Johnson talked
to him. He was way nice and said we could come back. Haha, talking to
gaijin in English is not what I'm used to. Unless they are fellow
missionaries. In fact it's really strange to talk about the gospel in
English at all haha.

On Friday I got to teach my first DTM. It was cool to set district
goals to help achieve our zone goals so that we could ultimately
fullfill the mission goal. That is 150 baptisms as a mission by the
end of the year. We also talked a lot about our goal to give out one
Book of Mormon each day. I was able to share some experiences and
testify of how the book works in dendo and in our lives. The best part
is the commentary and participation of the district members.
Our goals!

To give you an idea, my district consists of six elders and two
sisters. All of the companionships are training. And two missionaries
are returning home soon (me and sister Kittaka).  Then there are elders
Johnson and Miranda who have been out for about a year. So there is a
range of experience and back ground. The young missionaries have a lot
of fire and faith in them, it's exciting to work with them before
going home.

Speaking of, I actually received my super trunky papers this week
including my flight plans, and instructions for me to complete before
I leave. It doesn't seem real. But I will try to make these last three
weeks the best.

We also had movie night again and a lot of people came, members
brought friends, less actives came, Eikaiwa students came, and I
finally got to watch the movie in English! It is such a good film!
(Meet the Mormons btw) and each time we've shown it people have cried
and had good comments. Afterwards we ate a curry dinner and mingled
with all the guests. It was a great time and a great way to introduce
people to the church.

  Elder McArthur is doing great! I sometimes feel like I am working
with an old friend from back home. We like different things, yet we
are the same. It is way fun. He's a great missionary.

  I invite you all to adopt the same goal as us this Christmas
season, to give a copy of the Book of Mormon to any friend neighbor or
acquaintance who is not a member of the church. If you do so you will
feel the power of the book in your life, your testimony will grow, and
you can plant the seed for them to receive the greatest gift of all
from Jesus Christ. I know that this is true.

Have a great Thanksgiving! Sorry I won't make it due to a previous
obligation, but please save a seat for me at the table for next year.

Much love,
Elder Watkins
Santa trooper
And they say they aren't Christian.

Me and Toyoky.

Elder McArthur and Toyoky the robot of Toyohashi
This is what a Christmas tree in a Japanese missionary apartment is like.
Inagi kyoudai from Nonami came to Toyohashi! So good to see him again! He's the best!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Koseki family FHE they are so awesome!

Way crazy week. I'm just blown away by how busy we are. So many
investigators and so many lessons. And this week will begin the Kokans
and other stuff.

Biggest news, we have a yakusokusha! Suzuki San is preparing to
receive baptism for next month. We gave him a priesthood blessing to
help him overcome smoking. He's trying way hard. Praying that that
that and other things will happen so that he can make that date!

That night we had another lesson for exactly the same time in a
completely different place. So we did an emergency Kokan with the
other elders so we could teach both lessons. It was an operation, and
the results were really good.

Friday we had my last Zone Training Meeting. This time I got to be
involved in the planning for the zone and preparing for the upcoming
transfer. The Zone Leaders told me, "you are the sempai of the zone
and an example to all of us" that was a good thing to hear. The
testimony meeting at he end of ZTM was a good one, there were other
missionaries in the zone as well who will go home shortly after I do.
So we all shared our testimonies, and we talked about how we were so
thankful to work with everyone in that zone and in this mission and do
the extraordinary things we got to do and are doing. And we each
expressed our determination to not back down but  be better
missionaries than ever before with more motivation than ever before.
And have fun doing it. It was so good to hear these testimonies of
elders and sisters both old and young.

One of the elders, Elder Valente, taught us a Japanese word that's
sort of his motto for life. Thought I'd share it with you. Nonki. It
means carefree, optimistic, no worries. If we have faith that the Lord
will help us, then it's nonki. It'll all work out. So in everything we
do, try not to worry about the outcome, believe that miracles will
happen. Don't think that dendo is hard or that Japanese is hard. Life
is hard. But dendo is the Lord's work. So we can do it. We' e been
called to Japan, so Japanese is the easiest language for us to learn
right now. I know this is true. We can't let doubt and fear keep us
from success. Just gotta have nonki.

I know the world is crazy, but never give up and don't set limits.

Love you all like a love song. Have a great week!
Watdawg Watkins 2008
Cool view of Toyohashi
Thanks for the presents!

Elder McArthur helped me get the new Masked Rider Ghost figure

black thunder cake

Sweet black thunder cake Miranda made for our birthday

This guy is awesome. He bought these small cakes for our birthday lunch!

21 boys!


Pepsi Ghost! Mystery flavor, cherry! Long time no taste! I was way surprised.



Dikevel Choro

Mihara and Kariya Choro
Lesson 2 drawing I made for our investigator


Okazaki Zone!

Lotteria, best burgers in Japan.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Transfer 16: The Final Countdown

Happy 21st Birthday!!

Wow what a week! Soo many things happened! We've been way busy.

On Tuesday we had a mega lesson at a members house, the Shimodas. They
were so nice and made me a birthday cake and sang to me a week before
my birthday! So cool! We had a great lesson.

 Back up tho, Monday was nuts! We were in a 3 nin the whole day with
my old friend Elder Mitchell! His comp Elder Mueller, another old
friend, just finished his mission, so Elder Mitchell stayed with us
for the day until transfer day. We walked and took trains everywhere.
Since he served in Toyohashi before, he already knew were everything
was. We visited a member together and went to a college festival with
our friend from Eikaiwa, Yoshi. That was way fun! I got to play a
traditional Japanese string instrument. Way cool, but I can't do
anything like the actual performers.
Birthday cake the Shimodas made!

Wednesday, we received a referral from Salt Lake, first one my entire
mission! We went out and met her and she was way nice. Turns out she
studied with the elders many many many years ago (like before we were
born) and still has good feelings about the church. So we will meet
her again tomorrow. Yay!

Thursday we taught the word of wisdom to our investigator Suzuki. He
really wants to give up smoking, but it's hard. Please pray for him.
He's a way good guy.

Saturday we met some guys from Tennessee, THEY HAD COUNTRY ACCENTS!
That was wayyyyy natsukashi! And way hard to not say Japanese words in
that conversation. They are from near were my grandma Ruth and Uncle
David live. They all work for the same company and came out for

It was also elder Miranda's birthday so we had indo curry! Then we did
an OYM attack at the eki and gave out four Books of Mormon! Way fun!
Got donuts afterwards.
Opening my package

  Sunday was the best! We had Stake conference for the Nagoya East                         Stake, and I got to see all my friends from Seto and Nonami! It's been
one year since I've seen most of them. Some of the kids had grown a
little, some families had new babies, and they were all doing well.
Nojima San who recently got baptized was there. A general authority,
Elder Choi spoke and my friend Inagi Kyoudai translated for him from
English to Japanese. Most of them remembered me, even the kids
remembered and called me "Watkinzu Choro " and "Wat Chan". Perhaps the
best reunion of all was to see my old Japanese companion, Chiba Choro!
He lives in Toyota now and is doing well.

 It felt like my home stake. This is what I love about the gospel, no
matter where you go, we are all brothers and sisters. It felt like a
huge family reunion! And indeed it was as we are all children of the
same father. That just might be my favorite thing about this gospel,
it is so strong it can even bring people from across the globe, from
Korea, China, Brazil, America, Great Britain, and Australia together
in rejoicing and praise of our God, who is our Father, and our
Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Thanks guys!

 Well, today is my birthday! I guess I'm 21 now. We will be
celebrating with lunch today with one of our friends from English
conversation. I also got a package from my family, so that's exciting!
Thanks for all the messages and shout outs! It's kind of a normal day,
but out here, there are no normal days haha.

I hope y'all have a good day on my birthday too. Happy Birthday to
everyone! Here's to one last transfer. Fight the fight, finish the
course, keep the faith.

Opening my package

Bday gift

Bday gift, Yum!
Indo curry with Elder Mitchell
Chiba Choro!!!!
College festival

I played this, or tried

College festival

This spider guarding the doorbell.

Donuts after dendo with the new bean Elder Arscott

Elder Arscott was so tired!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Trick or Tansfer OoO

Happy Halloween!

My fate is sealed. The results of the last transfer calls to effect me are in...

I will be finishing my mission in Toyohashi with Elder McArthur! Yay!
But there's a twist. I've been assigned as the new District Leader for
Toyohashi and Kariya! That means I have to do Kokans with all the
elders in the district, plan and teach DTM, initiate weekly reports
with missionaries, and most of all be the best example of a loving,
Christ like missionary that I can. I'm way nervous since I haven't
done such things since I was in Boy Scouts, but I'm excited to have
this opportunity not only to help my fellow missionaries, but also to
learn from each of them. I hope this will be good preparation for
future church callings and I know that the Lord will guide His work.
I drew this.

  In other news Elder Gifford is leaving Toyohashi and going to
Meito, the honbu ward. But he isn't working in the honbu, just regular
missionary, which is way good. Also the Meito zone leaders have
switched to being in Nonami! What! And Sisters will be returning to
Nonami. Crazy!

  Elder Miranda is staying here and he will be training! In Kariya,
Elder Johnson will be training, and so will Sister Kittaka. This means
that half of my district will be beans! I'm way excited for that.
I made these!

    Well we of course had a Halloween party in Eikaiwa on Wednesday, I
was Santa, Gifford was a ninja, Miranda was a spy, and McArthur was a
pirate. We made four chocolate cakes for the occasion. It was way fun!

  Thursday we had trainers training. There were about 50 missionaries
there! We got lots of good training on how to be good, loving
companions. The Assistants to the President are Elder Tanner, Elder
Sato, and Elder Nakamoto, two of those three were my district leaders
and good friends, as you'll remember. It was way fun to receive
training from them again and also do a mogi OYM with them.

  Afterward we had w surprise birthday party for Ishii Shimai, the
mission president's wife/ bye-bye party for two senior sisters who
worked in the honbu. That was fun! The cake was so good! It was also
fun for elder McArthur to reunite with all his friends from the MTC.
Reminds me of when I was a bean.
And these

    I also had an interview with President Ishii for my temple
recommend. It was a spiritual experience to answer those questions and
be counted as worthy to enter the Lord's house. President Ishii is so
filled with love and with the spirit, when I'm with him I really feel
like I'm in the presence of a servant of the Lord.

  Many other good things happened including some member lessons and
investigators progressing. But let me just say that I am excited to
finish here in Toyohashi this way. Good things are on the horizon, and
with faith I know we can achieve our baptismal goal and much more
within these last six weeks. Please pray for the Toyohashi ward, and
the Toyohashi/Kariya district this transfer. Let us see these
miracles. I love you all a bunch!
Not these but they're cute, huh!

Elder Watkins

I forgot some birthday shout outs so for last month, my buddy Sheldon,
brother Brock, and anyone else.

Miranda making cake.

Halloween Eikaiwa


Add caption
Last DTM with Lenning

District picture

Dinner at the Bishops house

Trainers training

Birthday party

Last time to see Tanner until the great and last day.

Indo curry

My bean!
Just watched Elder Mueller go on his own to the honbu for his last
time. Seems like just yesterday we were in Ueda on a Kokan.