Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fight the fight, Finish the course, Keep the Faith

Ayumi chan also one of the coolest girls in Toyohashi!

Well... It's my last email from Japan.

This week took some unexpected turns, some of which are a sort of
surprise for next time. So I won't spoil that here. But it was overall
a fantastic week. Elder McArthur did a good job being sempai just as I
knew he would. I went on my last two Kokans, one with Elder Arscott
and one with Elder Legault (Lego). And we met with members a ton!

  It's been stressful, I have a list of things I need to get done and
stuff to pack before I leave. With a ton of dendo stuff on top of it
all, which I'd rather just focus on that. Already I've had to say good
bye to some people who I won't see until after the mission. This is
the most good byes I've dealt with, since I'm basically leaving the
entire mission. I just hope all these missionaries and members know
that I love them, and no matter if I know them well or not, they are a
part of my family.

 We attended a concert in Meito put on by a brother from Osaka for
the Nagoya stakes. He invited the missionaries to sing a song with him
too. He told his life story basically and sang some great songs, one
of which was "Angels Among Us" by Alabama in Japanese. He talked about
how the missionaries are angels and how they help people. He also
mentioned the pre earth life and got me thinking about how all of us
in this mission might have known each other before this life and were
chosen then to be here now. It would certainly seem that way to me.

 I shared in testimony meeting yesterday with the ward some thoughts
I've had about returning home which I'd like to share with you. In the
mission we often think of our time out here as our life. When we came
here, we are born. When we go home, we call it dying. Many people are
afraid of death because they don't know what will happen. But I'm
starting to understand it more.

We believe that before this life we left friends and family and
heavenly parents to come to this world for a time. Here we gain a new
family, make new friends, some of whom we might have known before,
then when our time is up we say goodbye to those family and friends.
It's very sad, but there is an assurance that we will indeed meet
again. Then we take the many things we've learned, and return to the
spirit world to be once again with our heavenly parents and those who
have gone before us. What a wonderful reunion that will likely be!

Missions are exactly the same way. We leave our family for two years,
come to Japan and find new friends and family, go through some trials,
learn, and then we have to say goodbye to everyone. Very sad. That's
the part I'm at now. Then next week I'll cross through an airport
terminal in South Carolina, and be reunited with the family I knew
before. That is going to be a very happy time. And with that
knowledge, death isn't so scary as long as one is prepared I think.

And now my feelings are that of The Apostle Paul at the end of his
ministery. 2 Timothy 4:6-7 "6 For I am now ready to be offered, and
the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I
have finished my course, I have kept the faith." This has been my
motto for a while. Fight the fight, finish the course, keep the faith.
And never forget why you're here, because Christ is the Reason.

  Friday evening is transfer calls. Please pray for Elder McArthur
and everyone to have another good transfer. This week we are gonna be
way busy, but I hope that it will be the best week and that we'll see
some miracles. Next Monday I go to the honbu, then set out for Tokyo
with the Elders from my doki. From there we head home.

 Gonna give it my all this week. But I leave you folks back home with
the lyrics of a familiar song, "I'll be home for Christmas, you can
count on me."

 See you next week!
Fight the fight, finish the course, keep the faith
Elder Watkins
Toyohashi Ward


Our dendo shunin is awesome!

View of Toyohashi from a secret location

Last Kokan Tim tams

Ready for church

All of those gifts are for McArthur haha

Yuri chan, one of the coolest girls in Toyohashi

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