Monday, August 31, 2015

Thank You!

Thank you all for the happy birthday wishes!  I had a wonderful day!

My companion woke me up with cookies, candles, and a card.
Then we breakfasted on French toast and peanut butter (a precious commodity here in Argentina)
A beautiful day at church, with a special conference presented by members of the Area Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles via satellite transmission.
Then my companion cooked lunch for me.
What is that?
That's right, it's lomo saltado!  Only my favorite food since before I was born ;)
A delicious lunch with a gorgeous view

And then a terrific Noche de Hogar (family home evening) to top it off!

But wait, there's more!

Today Andrés and Mirta Irala (some of our favorite members) bought me an ice cream cake.  #blessed

God of Miracles

My God is truly a God of Miracles.

We had zone conference on Friday with Presidente y Hermana LaPierre and the asistentes. About a week beforehand, the zone leaders asked me to prepare a special musical number, an arrangement of "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." I had never touched the piece before, and the only time I had to practice was during P-day. I practiced for several hours, but still could not make the piece peformance-ready. I prayed for divine assistance. The morning of the conference, I practiced a little before the missionaries began arriving, but the song was still full of errors.

Then the time came for me to perform. I began to play, and my fingers seemed to take on a strength and agility beyond their own. I executed a near-flawless performance.

It was a small thing, very insignificant, but no less a miracle than the feeding of the five thousand or the turning of water into wine. That is the miracle of the gospel: the Lord can make of us something more than we could ever achieve on our own.

Love you all!

Hermana Watts​

Hna Watts y Hna Castillo with Pres. y Hna LaPierre

Monday, August 24, 2015

Training, Week 1

Training a new missionary is a very humbling experience.

I don't know that I can say much more on the subject. Hermana Castillo is a very capable missionary. Most of the time, I just sit back and watch in awe as she shares the powerful testimony of one who has sacrificed everything to be here. Because of the experiences she has had, she is able to connect with the people in ways I never could.

This mission has given me many reasons to marvel at the intricacy and perfection of God's grand design. Consider, for example, Yanina, who is the only member in her family except for a grandfather who never attends church. Who better to reach out to and encourage her in her worthy desires than my companion, who knows exactly how it feels to be a member without family support?

I feel truly humbled and grateful that the Lord has allowed me to have some small part in this glorious and grand plan for the salvation and exaltation of mankind.


Hermana Watts

Monday, August 17, 2015


I want to tell you about two exemplary sisters who are role models for my life. The first is my very good friend Krystal Bowen. We were in the same freshman ward at BYU and became friends as she helped me cope with the death of my uncle by inviting me to attend the temple with her every week. She has always been a spiritual giant for me. Towards the end of the year, she received her mission call to the Argentina Posadas mission. She was due to report to the MTC in June 2014. I remember her telling me about her mission - she was so excited: "Half of the mission is in Paraguay!" and I was like, "Oh, that's nice."

But life doesn't always go as planned, as Krystal soon found out. She tore up her knee playing Frisbee and had to have some rather severe surgery to fix it. The mission would have to be put on hold for at least a year as she endured surgery and then months of therapy afterwards. The chances of her being called to the same mission were slim to none.

In the meantime, I received my mission call to the Argentina Posadas Mission. "Hey, that's Krystal's mission!" I said.

A year went by, and one day I received an email from Krystal. "I just wanted to let you know that I was once again called to the Argentina Posadas mission and enter the MTC June 30!" Despite all the trials, Hermana Bowen arrived in the mission field last week, ready to work hard and serve the Lord. She is exemplary.

Still best friends  (Hna Bowen)
The other exemplary sister is my new companion, Hermana Castillo. She is from Lima, Peru. She is the tenth of eleven children in her family. Hermana Castillo joined the church when she was sixteen years old. She was the only member of her family to join the church, with the exception of one sister who is now inactive. Ever since that time, she has felt a strong desire to serve a mission. When the age changed and she could leave at age 19, she began to prepare herself. "No, don't go!" her family told her. "You are right in the middle of your schooling. Stay and at least finish your degree!"

"All right," she agreed. "I will finish my degree."

As the end of her schooling drew near, she once again began to prepare to serve a mission. "No, don't go," said her family. "You have just finished your degree. You need to get a job!"

"No!" she firmly told them. "The Lord has asked me to feed His sheep. I am going on a mission." And that was that. 

¡¡¡Mi Hija!!!  (Hna Castillo)
There you have it. Two exemplary sisters who have pushed through trials and difficulties to answer the call to serve the Lord. May we learn from their examples to be valient in the service of God.


Hermana Watts

La Zona Iguazú  (before transfers)
¡Feliz Cumpleaños!  All five of us have August birthdays 

The trainers and new sisters (there was also a large group of elders who arrived, but sisters are more important haha)

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Hand of God

Once again, I find myself reminded that in this work, none of our efforts mean anything without some divine intervention.

Consider the events that would instill in a young woman a deep and abiding faith in God. What experiences would lead her to search for a church where she might increase her testimony in and knowledge of her Savior, and where her only son, not yet two years old, might learn good principles and values? What could bring to her memory a childhood friend, and impel her to ask him about his church? I certainly had no part in any of this, nor did my companion, nor did the friend who invited her to attend church. Surely none but the great Architect could have planned everything so perfectly.

A week ago yesterday, we met Maria Nelly, a single mother looking for the truth. She wanted to find a church where she could raise her son in the ways of truth and righteousness. She asked an old friend from school, a member, what his church was like, and he invited her to attend. She accepted the invitation, and she also accepted our invitation to visit and teach her.

I can only marvel at the perfection of God's plan. Never would we have found Maria on our own, only through the intervention of a higher power.


Hermana Watts

Hna Dempsey and Hna Watts with Teresa

Hna Dempsey and Hna Watts with Catalina

Found this weird sculpture-thing . . .

My new placa (name badge).  Notice a difference?