Joy and happiness can be yours

HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!

We are having a baptism next month. I’m praying everything works out. So remember the family I talked about last week? Well, we weren’t able to see them this week and I was really bothered by it. Especially because they didn’t even have a Book of Mormon yet. So we were praying and praying that they would come to church on Sunday. Well, Sacrament meeting started and no show. Then the sacrament started, and still no show. Then I was eating my bread and Sister Manufekai whispers “They’re here”. And I turn and there are the 3 boys walking into the chapel!!! I was so happy. After sacrament meeting Laron (The dad) had to go because he got a new job and started that day. But we really wanted his son to stay. So we asked if he could and a member would take him home. Ty (the son) really wanted to stay so Laron said it would be ok. He loved church. We got to talk to Laron before he left and told him we would stop by later that night to give them each a Book of Mormon. Kristal (the girlfriend) wasn’t at church. She was in Toledo fulfilling a previous commitment she had made. We were sad she wasn’t there but Laron told her hi for us and hopefully we will see her this week. So anyway, we went to their house later that night. And because Kristal wasn’t there we had to sit outside. My legs are covered in mosquito bites. But it doesn’t even matter because the Spirit overpowered anything that went wrong. We gave them the Book of Mormon, testified of it and Jesus Christ and then invited Ty to get baptized on September 14. He was nodding his head yes before we could even finish the question. We explained what baptism was a little bit so he knew what he was saying yes too. We would love for Laron to baptize him but we’re not sure that he’ll be ready by then. Ty is so ready though. He said that when he was in priesthood class he was thinking to himself about baptism and wondering if he ever had been or if he wanted to. So he said that when we asked him, it confirmed his feelings. The spirit is so great. We could literally SEE Ty feeling the spirit last night. The spirit is the best gift that Heavenly Father has ever given me. I am not perfect at recognizing it or at following it, but I strive to do better everyday. It is a taste of eternal joy and feeling it can bring you more happiness than anything else. Ty and his dad could not stop smiling last night.

I also got to go to the temple this week. I just love that place so much. It truly is the Lord’s house. I’ve never felt so close to my Father in Heaven. I’ve never gotten so many answers to my prayers either. Go to the temple. Be worthy to go to the temple.

The church is true.
Everything is possible through Jesus Christ. He is our Savior. He loves you so much. Love Him back. Live the gospel. Be happy.
I love you.

Love, Sister Watko 🙂

Alma 28:8 “incomprehensible joy”‏

Hello everyone!!!!

This week was so amazing.

Monday: We had family home evening with a recent convert family. There are 4 kids ages 12-1. Usually they are crazy and all over the place. We can barely get a lesson in. So we decided to watch the Restoration movie and see if that got their attention. It did! Everyone was sitting down quietly, eating popcorn, for the whole movie! Even the 12 year old boy started crying. So precious.

Tuesday: We received a media referral… Usually those things never work out. Well, we went to his house and nobody answered. It was super sketchy and there were like 10 cats outside. So we left and called the number. He answered. His name is Laron. He told us he wanted to meet with us. I asked why and he said that he’s actually a member and fell away from the church in his late teens. So we set up an appointment for Thursday. (To be continued)

Wednesday: We have a less-active that works at the mall. We can’t go to her apartment cuz the guy she lives with wont let us come. But while we were at the mall we saw our neighbor, David, who also works at the mall. He’s Indian. And mean. But he loves us! Usually he cusses non-stop but he only swore once and then apologized for it. Then he invited us to dinner because he makes amazing curry.

Thursday: We contacted the media referral. We went to his house with a recently reactivated member who also fell away from the church in his teens. So we met Laron, his girlfriend Kristal-who lives with him, and his 16 year old son Tyree. He has 2 more sons, 7 and 8, but they weren’t there. So we go in and he just starts teaching his girlfriend basically. He has such a strong testimony! Kristal was pretty skeptical. She was crying and saying that she was scared. She didn’t want him to move on without her and stuff. Well, the lesson was all over the place but the spirit was really strong. Tyree was really interested. We committed them to read the Restoration pamphlet and pray about it. Kristal warmed up to us and she invited us back on Saturday. The best part about that lesson was that they were all saying how they needed to change their lives. They said that this is what they need to start new and make things right. I was literally sitting in a room of repentance. Spiritual high.

Friday: I was kinda depressed in the morning. I know stupid. I don’t know why. But I haven’t been to the temple in a while and I really need it. So Sister Manufekai called President Gerber for me and he was actually in Monroe visiting with the Elders. So he made a stop over to our apartment. I asked if I could go to the temple and they said yes! So I get to go on Thursday :). Then President gave me a blessing. The most perfect blessing. He said everything I needed. I also got another blessing later that day by our district leader’s companion. It was cool cuz the blessings were very similar. It just shows that they are from God and not man. 2 in one day. Best ever :).
We taught our investigator Rose. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned her before. She has no legs and is paralyzed on one side of her body. We read the talk “Hope ya know, we had a hard time” by Elder Cook. She loved it a lot and wants to reach out to others so she’s not always wallowing in self pity. She also told us how God answered her prayers earlier that week by sending someone to her to pick her up when she was sad.

Saturday: We saw our neighbor David again at the mall. We were talking about missions and he said he would never be able to do it. And I said “David you would do what we do if you knew what we knew.” And then he asked “What do you know?” And we said let us tell you! And then a customer came up so that’s as far as we got. But we set up a time to have dinner with him the next night.
Then we saw Kristal and Tyree. Laron wasn’t there cuz he had to work but that was ok because the lesson was PERFECT! Kristal said that the night we left her and Laron got in a fight because of something that happened with their son. Kristal ended up drinking the whole next day. So on Saturday she was really sick and almost was going to call us and cancel. But she prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help her feel better. And so He did. We taught the Restoration. It was more organized this time. When we taught about how the gospel blesses families Kristal started crying and said that it’s been a long time coming and that this is what their little family needs. We taught the rest of the lesson and then asked if we could all kneel down so that she could pray and ask God if this is the path that she needs to be taking. And then we told her that we were all going to be quiet for a little bit after so that she could listen for an answer. She cried through the whole prayer. Everyone was crying. Except me. Cuz there is something wrong with me…. I was crying inside though!! Then after we sat there for a little bit she says “I’m so happy”. She couldn’t wait until Laron got home so that she could hug him and tell him everything that just happened. I can’t even tell you how I felt. I’ve never felt so good in my life. That feeling is why I came on a mission. That feeling is why we needed to come to earth. Everyone needs to have that feeling. I wish I could describe it, but I can’t. They asked for the address to the church so that they could go the next day. We left their house just so… happy! That’s the only word I can think to use.
Then later that night we saw a less-active family who is super cool.

Sunday: We walked into church and guess who was there?? Laron, Kristal, Tyree, and their 7 year old! They LOVED it!! Everyone was so nice to them and they participated in their classes. They told the bishop that they will definitely be back next week. Yay!!
Then we had curry in the hallway with an Indian. We can’t go into his apartment because he’s a man. So we ate in the hallway… it was kinda awkward but that’s missionary life. And then we talked to him about Jesus Christ. He didn’t really want to talk about it but we did anyway. He opened up to us and we got to know him better so that we can talk to him about the gospel more.

What a great week. Miracles everywhere. God is so good. The spirit is SO good. I want to feel it for my whole life!!!
Thank you for everything. I love you.
The church is true.

Love, Sister Watko 🙂

A Luau in Michigan…Oh, and one more thing; Be Obedient!

Hey everyone!

So Sister Manufekai and I are both staying in Monroe for another transfer! Woot!
This week was really good! We had our luau on Saturday and it was awesome! Hopefully pictures will be coming soon. Sister M did a tongan dance and then a tongan elder came down and all 4 elders did the Haka. It was so cool. Then my companion won the watermelon eating contest. So fun!!!! But the best part was that we had more non-members there than members! A lot of less-actives too. It was a success.

This week was really good. We got into a lot of people’s homes who don’t usually let us in. It’s amazing how when we are exactly obedient the Lord blesses us. We worked hard and did our best and we saw miracles.

So it’s a new transfer and we are ready to set new goals and see many many more miracles. Lots of things are going to be happening here in Monroe and I’m so excited!! This week I’ve been reminded of the blessing of having an eternal perspective. That is one of the best things of having a knowledge of the gospel. Here and now is just so tiny compared to what is in store for us. What we do now effects our eternal destiny. Our job is to enjoy the journey. Be happy. Keep the commandments. And if you don’t believe that the commandments can make you happy, I challenge you to try it. You will have Lasting Joy.

I love being a missionary. I am so grateful for how much my Heavenly Father has helped me grow and learn. This short time in Michigan is helping me not only for my life after the mission, but for my life after this life. I’m doing my best to make the best out of it.

Prayer works.

Repentance is real.

The gospel is true.

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Sister Watko

The Power of Testimony

Hey everyone.

This week was really good! Crazy but good.

But today I felt like I just needed to say this:

Throughout time, God has called prophets. They receive revelation from Him and write it down. That’s where we get the Bible. Then Jesus Christ came to earth and established His church. He called 12 apostles and gave them the Priesthood- the power and authority to act in God’s name.
What a wonderful gift to have!
Jesus Christ performed the Atonement to save us all. And after the apostles died, the priesthood authority was gone. There were people who distorted the doctrine of Christ or made up their own teachings. Other churches were formed.
In 1820 there was a very confused boy named Joseph Smith. He wanted to join a church. He knew it was important. But which one? They all contradicted each other. But that smart boy still read the Bible. He read in James chapter 1 verse 5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. So that is exactly what he did. He knelt down in a grove of trees and asked God which church he should join.
This is Joseph Smith’s experience: “I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me… When the light rested upon me, I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said ‘This is my beloved Son, Hear Him’.”

It sounds impossible and even a little crazy. But I KNOW that Joseph Smith, a fourteen year old boy, saw our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. They told him to not join any of the churches. Joseph Smith was called as the first prophet of this dispensation. Through him the fulness of the gospel, including the priesthood, was restored. He was led to the Book of Mormon to translate it so that we can have it and read it today. That book was written for our time and I know that it is true. Today we have the same church Jesus Christ established when He was on the earth. It is the true church. By following it’s teachings, we can live with our families and God again someday. I am so grateful for this knowledge. I know it because I did exactly what Joseph Smith did. I prayed. God gave me an answer. Prayer works.

I love the Restoration. On Tuesday we taught 7 other lessons and found 4 new investigators. And this is what we taught them. This is our unique message to the world. This is what changes lives. It has changed mine. I am so grateful to be able to teach this almost everyday and see the effect it can have in EVERYONE’S lives.

An investigator in Grand Blanc got baptized on Saturday. I wasn’t able to go, but I heard that he was very happy. What a wonderful experience to be one step closer to having eternal joy. There is nothing better!

It’s been a week full of miracles. God blesses His servants. I’m doing my best everyday to become more like My Savior.

I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t forget to CPR- Church, Pray, and Read. 🙂

Love, Sister Watko

Better Late Than Never

This week was really good!

On Tuesday we had a super cool experience with Ms. Debbie, our recent convert.

So we were planning to teach her about missionary work, and it was obviously the right topic. We went to her house and she asked if we could go with her to pray with her neighbor downstairs. Her neighbor’s son had committed suicide 2 days before and Ms. Debbie felt very sad for her. So we went downstairs and Sister Manufekai and I met her and testified about the Plan of Salvation and taught her about what we believe happens after we die. And then we stood up and held hands to pray and Ms. Debbie said the prayer. The spirit was sooo strong!! We all told Teresa (that’s her name) that we were there for her if she ever needed any uplifting or anything. THEN Ms. Debbie invited her to come listen in on her lessons with us every Tuesday and Friday and Teresa said ya I’ll definitely do that sometime. So hopefully this next week she will be with us :). And then we went back up and said you just taught your own lesson! It was so cool to see how happy it made Teresa and Ms. Debbie to share with her the gospel.

We volunteered at a soup kitchen on Friday night at a catholic school. It was so fun! We got to talk to lots of people and talk about Jesus Christ and how He can help us with anything we go through. It was a very humbling experience. Sometimes I forget to rely on Jesus Christ. These people have almost nothing and He is all they have to rely on.

I got to spend the day in Ypsilanti on Thursday. Sister Manufekai had her one year temple trip, so I needed a companion. It was so fun! The sisters there have Eastern Michigan University in their area so we tried to contact on campus. But neither of us were very practiced at it. So we basically just walked around and said Hi to people. But then this guy looked at us and we looked at him and he looked at us and he said “Did you ladies want to talk?” And we were like Sure! Haha. So we talked to him about the Book of Mormon. He said he’d have to do some more research on it before he could meet with us again, but he wanted to see us on campus again sometime. So hopefully the Ypsi sisters will get to teach him. I’m glad some people are more brave than I am :).

I gotta go. I love you so much!!!!! Thanks for being the best :).

“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be at the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.”