Monday, May 30, 2016

The Lord's Work is Our Work

Wilsin is out of the hospital and doing very well. We promised his mother Susana that if she would make a goal to be baptized and make every effort to achieve that goal, she would see God work miracles in her life. One miracle is that Wilsin is safe and sound. Another is that she and her boyfriend were able to take the decision to live in separate houses until they can get married. Now she is one step closer to baptism, and God will continue to bless her as she strives to be obedient to His commandments.

We had a very neat experience this past week to have a member invite some nonmember friends to a family home evening. Later in the week, we were able to go visit one of the friends with the same member. There was a powerful spirit in the lesson and in the family home evening, and now, reflecting on the title of my last email, I have received a new perspective. This is the Lord's work, yes, but it is also our work. I think it's interesting to consider the name of the church I represent: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is not just Jesus Christ's church, it is also our church. This work is not His alone, it is also our work. We who are members of this church have covenanted him that we will always remember Him, that we will take His name upon us. I would humbly suggest that taking His name upon us implies taking upon ourselves some of His responsibility to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." When we as members and missionaries work in unity with our Savior at the lead, we see miracles in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

Hermana Watts

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Plan

On his way home from school last Thursday, Wilsin, an energetic almost-seven-year-old boy in our branch, ran in front of a motorcycle.  He suffered a severe injury to the head and was rushed to the hospital.  He had just enough strength to offer a prayer before he fell into a coma.  For many hours afterwards, the doctors were unsure if he would survive.  In one dark moment, one doctor pronounced him dead.  But Wilsin's time had not yet come.  He woke up.  He began to regain strength, such that when we heard the news a day later and called to see how we could help, he was able to speak into the phone and assure us that, "¡Estoy bien ahora!" (I'm fine now!) 

We went to visit his mother to offer service a couple days after the accident.  She is preparing to be baptized soon.  She told us the whole story, and then we shared a very tender moment with her as she said, "Es un milagro que mi hijo está vivo." (It's a miracle that my son is alive.)  My companion and I testified to her of God's plan for his children.  She said, "Yes, I know the Lord has a plan for my son.  He is going to be a great missionary."

God does have a plan for us.  I spent some time this week studying Abraham chatpers 4 and 5, which describes the creation of the earth.  In chapter 4, the Lord sets forth a very detailed plan of how He is going to create the earth, and in chapter 5, He follows it.  God's plan is perfect.  He knows exactly how He is going to achieve His goal: the immortality and eternal life of man.  He set this plan up before the foundation of the earth.  It is detailed and exact.  If we trust in Him, He will watch over and protect us until we have completed the work He has sent us here to do.

Hermana Watts

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Lord's Work

One day last week, all of the charlas we had planned fell through and we had a few hours with nothing to do, and I was trying to think of who we could go visit when the name of an old investigator popped into my head. About a month had gone by since the last time we visited her, in which visit we had explained to her that we wouldn't be able to visit her anymore. While she had desires to be baptized, she was stuck waiting for a divorce to go through so she could get married, and until that happened, there wasn't really very much we could do for her. The Spirit indicated that the best we could do for her was drop her. But this past week, I felt that we needed to visit her again. (I had felt the same feeling when I greeted her in church on Sunday, although in the moment I had ignored it.) We went to her house, and not many moments after we arrived, she said, "Hermanas, do you have any baptisms planned for June?" "Well, no, not yet," we admitted. "I've been thinking I would like to be baptized in June," she announced.

We set a date with her for June 4 and assured her that the Lord will bless her as she makes sincere efforts to meet that goal.

This truly is the Lord's work. When we trust Him, He can work miracles through us.

Hermana Watts


Family home evening with the Martinez family (a couple weeks ago) - we acted out the story of Abinadi and King Noah. Junior was Abinadi, his dad was King Noah.

Monday, May 9, 2016


Bikes - we do wear helmets :) 
We had a special lesson with David to plant his "seeds of faith" - literally and figuratively.  He loved planting the little beans we brought him and talking about how faith is like a seed that we need to plant and nurture so it can grow.

 taking a break with some Fanta Guaraná ;)
Look!  There was an owl at church! (it's dark cuz owls only come out at night)
How quickly can you plan a baptism?  Fernando turns 8 and gets baptized.  His mom forgot he was turning 8 until a few days before, so we rushed to help her get the baptism organized and planned in just 2 days.  After a lot of frantic running around, the baptism went miraculously very smoothly.  (Never mind that the service started an hour late  . . . )  In the end, it was a treat to be able to share the special occasion with Fernando and his family. 
German pancakes with dulce de leche and bananas. mmmmm...
With my nice new rainboots, I have successfully conquered my fear of puddles ;)
Hey, is my hair getting darker?
Happy Birthday to Arminda! (She is one of our investigators.  We love her!)
Happy Birthday to Denise! (She is a less active sister we are working to reactivate.  She's wonderful!)
Rainy Days
Skyping home :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Miracle of the Gospel

We found a really cool less active sister a couple weeks ago. . . she's progressing, she's reading the Book of Mormon and praying, but she still has doubts about going to church. We're trying to give her a little bit of space to make her own decision - we don't want to force her - and we always encourage her when we can. She's funny because I think she knows she needs to come back, she just doesn't want to accept it. We left her with a few verses on faith from Alma 32, came back, asked what she thought, and she says, "I read it, I don't really remember everything it says, but I do remember that basically it said I need to go back to church." Well, no, actually, that scripture didn't say anything about going to church, it was talking about increasing your faith, but if that's what the Spirit told you, great!

We really just love her, and our lessons with her are always so spiritual. She is honest with us about her doubts, but we can see her gradually beginning to rekindle her faith and overcome her doubts with just a few nudges in the right direction. 

This gospel is so incredible! I was talking to my companion this morning about what a miracle repentance is because it gives us the ability to completely change our nature. The adversary would have us believe that we are the way we are because that's how we were born, that there's no hope for us, we can't change. But the gospel teaches otherwise. We can change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is possible! We can put off the natural man, lay aside our wicked habits, and become truly good, inside and out, with no more desire to do evil, but to do good continually. Isn't it a miracle?

Hermana Watts
Look! I made a family tree :)
At the cow farm again
I told you I milked a cow!;)
isn't it pretty? 
so peaceful . . . maybe I'll get a farm when I grow up
Look! I got to feed the baby cow!
So I was on divisions with Hna Nilson in her area while our comps went to Asunción to do tramites when we came across this truck that said "Mango Guy" . . . which inspired Hna Nilson to draw this.  Turns out "Mango Guy" is a guaraní phrase that means "under the mango tree" which is so not as cool... but we had a good laugh.  (At the right it says "Watt is love?  Baby don't Hertz me, don't Hertz me, no more!"  I think Hna Nilson is quite the comedian!)