Michigan, Detroit Mission

Michigan, Detroit Mission 1.20.15

Michigan, Detroit Mission 1.20.15 – Hard to see Sister Watko…left side, peeking out from behind an Elder.

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Taught by an Apostle of the Lord (Elder Oaks)

Hey!

What a crazy learning week!! Elder Oaks and Elder Kacher came on Friday and I didn’t trip on the way up to shaking his hand! Elder Oaks is funny! He had his iPad with him and he went to look up a scripture and he turns around to one of the assistants and was like “Can I borrow your scriptures please?” So he hands him his scriptures and he looks at us and picks up his iPad and says “The only reason I have this thing is because President Packer made me get one!”. Haha. Elder Oaks is not truly repentant. Just Kidding. But the meeting was really good. He taught a lot about the Atonement and how it’s a daily reality. He taught me something really cool about the Holy Ghost. So the mission of the Holy Ghost is to testify of Christ. Every baptized member of the church has the gift of the Holy Ghost. Therefore, our mission is to testify of Christ. He taught about what praying with real intent means. It means that we are willing to act when we receive our answer and not just beg God for something. I think the coolest thing that I felt while listening to an apostle of the Lord was that he is just a man. Just like us. But he has been called of God for a special purpose, just like any of us. Elder Oaks told us that he wasn’t called because he knew the most about the gospel or because he was the best candidate. He said he was “called to learn.”. It was a really amazing experience.

We had a really awesome experience on Sunday. So I was not doing good that day. I was really down and we had planned to go tracting and I almost told Sister Weight that I couldn’t do it and that we should find something else to do. But I just decided to go anyway. We needed to stay close to the church, but the only streets close to the church that are in our area are dirt roads where the houses are way far apart from each other. And all the snow was melting so everything was muddy. Well, after a few slammed doors and a nice rejection I was seriously ready to get back in the car. But Sister Weight kept walking, which meant I had to. So we knock on the last door of the street (it’s always the last door), and this older man answers. Sis. Weight asks him if he has heard of the Book of Mormon and he said he had but has never read it. So she began to explain it and I bore my testimony of it. He said “I have never heard that before, that’s interesting.”. So we offered to come back to bring him one. He was a little hesitant and said that he’ll talk it over with his wife and give us a call. We asked if we could say a prayer with him before we left and asked if there was anything he needed at this time or someone we could pray for. He said his wife was about to go into surgery in a few days. So as my companion is saying the prayer I could just hear him trying not to cry but failing. At the end of the prayer we all look up and he has tears streaming down his face. He thanked us sincerely for coming by and then turned and shut the door. This man did not accept to take the lessons or even to take a Book of Mormon. But he felt the spirit and he is changed because of that. I’ve been having trouble feeling the spirit lately, but that helped me to know that God is still there and that he loves all of us.

The Atonement is real.

I love you all.

Love, Sister Watko πŸ™‚

Ether 12:27, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Michigan Winter is Back

Hello!

Michigan is back!! Snow, wind chill, and all! I got a brain freeze on Thursday because we were in the middle of nowhere teaching this girl on her doorstep with the wind hitting my head really hard. And yes, I was wearing a hat. It hurt. But it was fun!! I love the snow πŸ™‚ I love tracting in the snow!:)

So miracle of the week: The day I got the flu, Sister Weight met this guy (Dan) in our apartment parking lot who said he wanted to study Mormonism. He just got out of a 17 year relationship and wants to make changes in his life. So she set up an appointment for the next day. He lives right above us to the left, so it’s pretty convenient. Our first appointment with him was pretty good. We couldn’t get a member to come with us so we had to sit outside in the cold. We got through the whole Restoration with him though and he agreed with everything. Except that he thinks the King James version of the bible is a joke; but he’ll get over that. He only says “Our Father” when he prays and he only goes to church when God tells him to go (which apparently isn’t every Sunday?). So we went back to teach him a few days later and we had another woman with us, so we could go inside. He only had about 30 minutes to talk. He told us that he just got laid off of work and is most likely going to lose his apartment soon. The cool thing is that he read the first 3 chapters of the Book of Mormon and they totally applied to him! Nephi’s family had to walk away from everything and they needed to have faith. Dan recognized that and told us that meeting us was not a coincidence. We mostly just talked about what he had read and then talked about his concerns with prayer and church. Every time we would tell him the true way to do something, he would just say “yeah, I can see that. That makes sense.” The spirit was just talking right through us and we bore testimony. At the end of the lesson Dan said that he was going to cancel the appointment because he had so much to do, but he decided not to. He said “I’m glad I didn’t because I really, really needed this today. Thanks ladies.” Then we met with him 2 days later, and he had read up to 1 Nephi chapter 14. He loves the Book of Mormon! For the lesson we read 3 Nephi 18 with him and talked about why we go to church. He told us that he would come. He seemed so excited. But he didn’t come. That was a little disappointing, but maybe next time. So Dan is coming along. He’s a really cool guy and He really loves God. He wants to please Him.

Funny moment of the week (there were a lot, so I’m just going to choose one): We were tracting and this guy answered the door with a really alarmed look on his face. I thought he was going to get mad at us and yell and stuff. But he didn’t. While Sister Weight was beginning to try to teach him, I noticed that he was in his very short, short shorts, underwear. The guy kept telling us that he was saved and that he was sorry for coming out in his underwear. Sister Weight just kept on going and I just stood there awkwardly cuz, well, ya know, it was awkward. Then he said again “Thank you for coming by and I’m sorry I am in my underwear.” And Sister Weight goes “Oh no, It’s fine!!!!” Then he closed the door, we walked away and I just started laughing!!!! Sister Weight looks at me and asks me what’s so funny. I was like “That dude was just in his underwear!” She was like “He was…?” She didn’t even notice. And he said it like twice! It was so hilarious! My companion is very focused. Good for her :).

We get to meet Elder Oaks this week! I’m so excited! Our mission president has been stressing a lot lately about us becoming consecrated missionaries. And not just missionaries but consecrated people. I’m doing my best to take it to heart and “bury my weapons”. I love being a missionary! “What is a consecrated missionary? It is a missionary who is willing to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice and to hold nothing back. It is a willingness to give every ounce of energy, every conscious thought, and every drop of
passion to this work – to submit our will to God’s will whatever it may be.” -Tad R. Callister

Thank you for everything! I love you!!!!!!!!

Love, Sister Watko πŸ™‚

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a marvelous Christmas!!! It was so good to see everyone!!!! I miss you all so much!!!

I had a great Christmas! In the morning we volunteered with some members at this community place and served people food. It reminded me of my job at home, so that was fun :). Then we ate 3 other meals and of course, skyped you! Thanks again for all of the gifts. I love them all!

We got a new investigator last week! Her name is Shawn. She is a friend of a less-active and her investigator husband. She has really been prepared! She wants to find a church that she enjoys and where she feels like she belongs. We gave her a Book of Mormon and taught her the Restoration and she totally felt the spirit! She has a really busy schedule, so getting her to church might be difficult, but God will make it happen :).

We went tracting a lot this week. We really need to find new people to teach. Who are ready. I know the elect are out there, we just gotta go find them.

Well, sorry this is so short.

I love you so much!

Love, Sister Watko πŸ™‚

“The start of a new year is the traditional time to take stock of our lives and see where we are going, measured against the backdrop of where we have been….I do want to talk about the past and the future, with an eye toward any time of transition and change in our livesβ€”and those moments come virtually every day.”
Elder Holland

Christmas is coming

HO HO HO!
So I’m in the Adrian ward, living in Tecumseh, MI. It’s right next to Monroe, and right above Toledo again. It’s super spread out and country. I feel so detached from the world down here. It beautiful though. It would be more beautiful with snow… but…. we haven’t had any!!!
My companion is Sister Weight. She is 20 years old, from Hillsboro, Oregon, and has been out for almost 10 months. She is a really hard worker and a great missionary! We get along really well.
The week was rough. Nobody wants to see us until after the holidays, so I haven’t met very many of our investigators. So needless to say, the work is kind of slow here. But we’ll change that! I replaced my trainer, Sister Cutler, in this area. She went home last Wednesday. So I get to hear lots of stories about her and stuff.
It’s super nice though, cuz we get fed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. The only night we didn’t get fed this week was Friday. So I’ve gotten to know a lot of the ward members which has been really good. It’s kind of a goofy ward, but they are really awesome. There is a lady whose calling is to make sure we get fed. So she passes around a calendar, and goes up to people to tell them to feed us. She’s really gung-ho about it. It’s hilarious. We are very taken care of down here. The ward loves us, missionaries. I’m excited for Christmas cuz I don’t think I’ll feel very homesick :).
Well I hope everyone has a a very Merry Christmas and remember that HE IS THE GIFT. I can’t wait to see you on Thursday!!

I love you!

Love, Sister Watko πŸ™‚

Goodbye, Monroe!

Well, I’m leaving Monroe after 6 months…. I’m not quite sure how to feel. I’m sappy about it. I think I need the change but I love the people here sooooo much!! It’s cool though, cuz I don’t feel very sad leaving a lot of them because I know I’m going to see and talk to them again. I made eternal friendships here :). I’m ready to start new.

This week was actually pretty good. I had an awesome lesson with a new investigator we got. Her husband is jewish and she told me that he started reading the Book of Mormon before she did! He is really curious.

We taught the Ferguson’s the Word of Wisdom. I have never seen anyone so excited to stop drinking coffee! She was literally dancing in her chair. I think the main reason she was excited was because her husband smokes and she doesn’t like it. So she’s hoping that this will help him quite. They came to church on Sunday too, which was good :).

My last Sunday in the ward, I got to give a talk. Sister Hart and I spoke about the Enabling power of the Atonement. I got to study the Atonement all week and it was awesome!!!!!!!! We were really nervous but I think we both did a really good job. I’ve been having a really rough last couple of weeks and this week was dramatically better. I not only got to learn about how Christ can help us, but I got to experience it. I can’t say enough how grateful I am for my Savior. I have felt over and over again the love He has for me and for all of His brothers and sisters. He has given us everything we need in this life to be happy. I am grateful for this time of year to celebrate him.

Except that there is no snow and its like 40-50 degrees outside! It’s ridiculous. What kind of Michigan winter is this??? Oh well. It’ll probably dump on us soon enough.

I love you so much!!
Thank you for all the Christmas cards and the prayers.

Love, Sister Watko πŸ™‚

Ups and downs of mission life

Hello!

So…. Did you #SharetheGift?? I hope so! This is a wonderful time of year for people to accept Jesus Christ and His gospel. We got 3 new investigators this week!

Amber is super cool. She lives with her Jewish husband and her son. She wants to find a new church to go to that wont judge her or her son. And she doesn’t like the church too big or too small…. The Monroe ward is perfect for her!!! She didn’t come to church though. Nobody ever comes to church. Ok that was a bit dramatic. People DO come to church. I just wish they would come more often. Church is so important. But she did tell us that she has been reading the Book of Mormon and she enjoys it so far! The Book of Mormon is so important too! Her husband likes us but says he isn’t Christian so he won’t come to our church. He showed us this cool prayer box tradition that they do is Judaism.

We went to teach this one lady that we found a couple of weeks ago named Vickie. She just moved out of a house that was molding and had cockroaches. She was so happy to be out of there. Well, we started teaching her on her porch, but it was really cold so we asked if we could come inside and teach her. So she let us in, and she was telling us about her dog and how much she loves him. Well, I looked at the dogs face and I said “Oh he’s so cute!!!” and then he turned around and there were red patches and fleas all over him!!!! Just writing this is making me itch! During the whole lesson the dog was itching itself and biting itself, it was so nasty! Luckily I never touched it. But afterward I really felt like I had fleas! EW!! So we quickly found out she wasn’t “all there” and so we left. She was really sweet and told us she’d love to see us again and make us cookies. But she’s not ready.

So my companions and I have all been having a rough time. Not with each other, but personally. It’s been really cool to see how the Lord places us in the companionships and places we need to be. We have all been able to help each other. It’s really been taking a toll on all of us, but we are pushing through it. We’ve done lots of praying, reading, and of course card playing. We need our time to wind down and breathe. God knows us all so well and He knows we can overcome our trials.

Thanks for all the love and support!!! I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Sister Watko πŸ™‚