Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 26, 2011

Hola, from Phoenix!

Well it's blazing hot down here right now.  It's 90 degrees and 70% humidity!  They're telling us its nicest days so far this Summer.  I was very surprised to get off the plane, get in the van, and look out to see green grass!  Which I later found out is lovely to look at, but crackles underfoot and you can see millions of black beetles jumping around.  I think I won't be sitting on it anytime soon.

It's beautiful down here! All brown with splashes of color from cactus, these old trees, and tons of red, orange, and pink flowers.  Some of the big cactus are around 10-15 feet high!  I'm at the mission home right now and in the front yard they have a gigantic queen palm tree (look them up, they're really cool!).  Proportion-wise, it's a bit like this. <picture>  We all thought they'd planted a pineapple in the yard.

It really feels like a different country here with all the plaster (?).  Houses with red tiled roofs and giant plants everywhere.  Although when we stepped outside for the first time in the heat, I just stopped to catch my breath.  Quite a shock after the nice cool airport.

We got delayed by a few hours.  They found a problem with the plane we were going to be on.   They fixed it and found another problem.  I guess it was pretty serious because they announced we would have to wait for a new plane to arrive that could take us to Phoenix.

Thanks dad for always fasting for me and thanks for all of you for your prayers!!

We got here safely and were met right away by some Elders who were heading home.  Then they whisked us off.

It was so good to hear you all today!  I was so excited to have the chance to call.  Now I just need to count down the days til Christmas until I can call again.

Dad, just wanted to share that while we were all introducing ourselves a bit ago, I told all the Elders that a thing I like to do was go shooting with my dad.  Made a few of them grin, and surprised a few more.

I love it here already and I"m so excited to get to work tomorrow at noon.  There are amazing things happening (I swear the Spanish is messing me up down here right now).  They're almost up to 100 baptisms a month here.  With the temple being built, interest is being sparked and God really is preparing these people  to hear His words and to know of His love for them.  The work here is booming and the church has some great plans for this area.

Well, I don't have much more to say at this moment except to say that I"m so glad I did this.  I love this work, I love my mission president.  I'm excited and I so look forward to spreading to others what I know to be true so that they can feel the joy this knowledge brings and how it can change lives and families.

I love you all so much.  I'll write you more on P-Day after my first official week as a missionary!!

Les Amo,

Hna Watson

P.S:  P-Day is Monday.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Elora made it to Phoenix safely!

We have not yet heard from Elora since she arrived in Phoenix, but Todd just spoke with Elora's mission president! We have been very anxious to hear that she made it safely.

She made it to Phoenix yesterday a little delayed because her airplane had some mechanical issues. There were a lot of transfers yesterday as well as new missionaries and outgoing missionaries - so it was a little hectic.  Her P-day will be on Mondays.  She is in a car mission currently (great news!).  The area she is serving in is Montana Del Sur (sp?). 

He has two pieces of advice for anyone who corresponds with her:
1) Always send packages or letters to the mission home address in Glendale.  They also request that we send everything USPS first class (not parcel post, UPS, Fedex etc).  The secretary will re-send the items directly to Elora within a day of receiving it and this will lessen any confusion with transfers/address changes etc.
2) Don't communicate any distracting or worrisome information to Elora that will cause her to lose focus.  Keep things positive and upbeat.

We are so pleased to know that she is in Phoenix and doing well.  We were able to speak with her for a few minutes yesterday and she sounded great - and excited to finally be in the mission field.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 21, 2011 (Letter)

Hola mi familia!

Que pasa este semana?  Que tal la chamba?

Things here are good but sort of crazy as we get down to the last little bit.  Only a few more days!

I haven't checked my email yet today so I"ll just catch you all up first and finish this later.

We got our travel plans late Wednesday.  Looks like we'll leave on the 26th at 5 and get there around 10 in the morning.  Plenty of time for a full day of prosoliting! (Yeah, I know I spelled that wrong.  The Spanish is messing me up because everything in it is spelled exactly how it sounds). Also, we'll be staying at the mission home that first night.  We asked them and they said it would be best to have all that sent down by the time I get there.  They'll just hold it till I come.

We got lucky again and are going to be part of this thing that'll announce Africa really being opened for some intense missionary work.  So if you see anything about that look for me in the choir. I have a bright green shirt on and I'm in the front.  Also I got to be in the second big panoramic picture for the MTC.  Cool!!

So I got sick, and it started to turn into another sinus infection.  So I got to the clinic as quick as I could and saw the doctor.  He wasn't too surprised, he said it's pretty common to get them at the MTC because everyone's sick here with colds.  He was good and we talked about the last bout I had with it and what we did about it.  He told me to do all that again then gave me some antibiotics to help kill it now while its not too bad.  He also gave me some good advice because he said that the climate in Phoenix will not be good for sinuses so he told me how to combat it.  So pray for me please that I'll get better and won't have to extend my stay in the MTC!

So about the call you got on Wednesday.  I think the filling on my tooth is having issues because it feels pitted or cracked and I've been having pain in that tooth.  Thankfully, they can get me in tomorrow morning so it'll get taken care of quick.  It was weird though because when they called I was right there so in a way I'm sort of glad dad didn't pick up then because then I could have heard him but not talked to him.  Also mom I was going to call you since you have the info but I couldn't remember your work number and couldn't remember if you were back there or not anyways.  Please send it to me!

Well, not much else going on.  Except that our investigator Jose has agreed to be baptised!  Yay!  He took awhile to think about it but in the end got an answer to his prayers.  He'll be baptised next Monday before we go if we can teach him all the commandments (Chastity, Tithing, and the Word of Wisdom) and refresh him on the 10 commandments in half an hour today.  We're going to do it!  Woohoo!

Well, off to check emails in a bit but first something funny. I already said this to Larissa a little.  But I was talking to a Sister from Phoenix and she told me that they'll think we're crazy for being outside because no one goes out in the middle of the day because it's so hot.  So they'll probably take pity on us and let us into their homes.  So maybe it's a good thing I burn like I do.  They'll see me and pull us inside.  Ahhh air conditioning.

Oh!  The letter to Kassandra Orton!  Can you get it to her please?  She sent me a nice letter and I wrote her back but she must have given me the wrong address because I just got this back.  I think she's either a primary girl or in YW's in our ward. the email is being stupid.  I went and printed them all off and only later found out they changed the rules so it only prints half of the page.  So I didn't get what you all wrote.  If you could send it again by dearelder that would be great.  I spent all my time trying to get it to work. :(  SO I can't really answer much here to you all.

I just showed the new sisters around.  They're great and still a little shell shocked but so happy to be here.

I love you all so much!! Take Care!

Oh, what's this about grandpa falling??  Grandma mentioned it in passing in her letter but it sounds like it was pretty serious.  What happened?

Alright I'll wait for your replies.  As far as the airport goes I'll try to call around 7 that morning of the 26th but it may be later around 8.  But probably not past 8:30.  Also, if I don't call don't worry.  I'll email you when I get down there to let you know I'm okay.  If I get more info, I'll send you a letter.  Tell me what number to call at through dearelder.  I'll just call the house number if you don't tell me differently.

I love you all!!
Les Amo,
Hma. Watson

P.S. Tell Connor sorry again.  He'll get his letter really soon!  I got half way done with it before I had to run to class and dinner.  I'll try to finish it soon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Elora Leaves for Phoenix July 26

If you're reading this, I'm sure she'd love to hear from you!


Sister Elora Watson
Arizona Phoenix Mission
18001 N. 79th Avenue
Building C, Suite 50
Glendale, AZ 85308

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 13, 2011 (Letter)

Que tal la chamba familia?

Thank you again for the letters and the package!  All the Elders had fun trying out the candy soda things, although one nearly ate the wax bottle as well.

Thank you for sending those stories and please send more when you think of them.  I love reading all of them!

I'm so glad that mom's doing so well! Sounds pretty amazing that she's doing as well as she is.  Though the menopause sounds pretty miserable.

Okay so funny story.  My companion and I just spent five minutes trying to figure out how to spell 'exercise'.  We both kept trying to spell it ejercicio.  I guess it's a sign that we're getting used to the Spanish!

Sounds like everyone's doing pretty good.  That's awesome about Connor's test.  Give him a hug for me.

Yikes about that missionary!  Well, he must have forgotten what they tell us everyday here.  Obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles.  If we are not obedient the adversary will take that chance you give him.  I've seen it here with missionaries that just bend the rules a little.  One had to stay three extra weeks while his knee healed.  Others had to go back home.

Thanks for keeping up the blog, mom.  I'm excited to see it when I get home.  Ha ha!  Yeah, Darren didn't do too well writing to us.

Well, at the very least whoever I marry has to be approved by dad and Darren so he's sure to be good.

Aww!  Man!! I want to see Yi Yi again!  That was so fun when he was over that night and we banged pans at 11 o'clock.  Give him a huge hug and kiss for me and tell him I said hi!

Okay, so your story about Darren and the turkey made me laugh so hard!! I can just picture that happening.  Hopefully the pasta and turkey will keep him alive another week.  I imagine he's living off of dollar menus at the moment.

Ha ha!  So finally got to the last episode?  I pretty much know what happens.  Yeah, it's dumb.  Muhaha!  Just wait til I get back home and beat you all again.

Thank you for the stories.  I realized I didn't mention it, but yes, I did want some of yours.  It's really amazing how God really does answer our prayers.

As far as the bike goes, I think it'll be best to just get one down there.  Thanks for taking care of me!  THere is one thing I need and surprisingly, they don't sell them here.  I need buttons.  The ones on my white shirt wear through the thread and always fall off.  So, if you could send me like seven or eight buttons and some more white thread, that would be great!

Okay so both a good and a bad week.  We had some wonderful speakers this week, we always do.  Also our Elders sang "Love One Another" for the Sunday fireside in Spanish and it was great!

The bad part of this week was that our investigator Eva dropped us.  Dropped all the class in fact.  So now we've started teaching Laura.

The good is that we finally asked Jose to be baptized!  We taught him the last half of the Plan of Salvation on Monday and we talked through more of his issues and built his confidence but eventually worked through it and he said he'd do whatever it took to get to the Celestial kingdom.  SO we smiled and explained that in order to get there we have to follow the commandments of God, and one of those commandments is to be baptized.

He was a little shocked/scared, but he said he'd like to pray about it first and he said he knew God would answer him.  Yay!  I can't wait till our next visit with him!

So today was awesome.  Our district gets picked for everything.  Oh, by the way go check our the New Family Search online.  They had us test it and boy was I impressed.  We get to do a special survey in two days as well.

So, like I said in my email we got chosen to go and clean the temple!  The man is charge was funny, he was giving us our assignments and declared that all sisters would be cleaning the chandelier in the Celestial room!  Woohoo!  The Elders were disappointed so  he explained that it was because it's less likely that we would play with it.  But it was a blast.  It was so weird to be in there in tennis shoes and scrubs to clean.

Well, that about covers it.  Here's my mission address.  It has to be written just like this, no nicknames or I won't get it!

Sister Elora Watson
Arizona Phoenix Mission
18001 N. 79th Avenue
Building C, Suite 50
Glendale, AZ 85308

I love you all so much!  I"ll let you know when I get my flight info so you can all plan on being around when I call!!

Les Amo!
Hermana Watson

P.S. We got our travel plans today! Yay!!  We leave July 26th at 8:40 on the plane with 12 other missionaries.  We're flying Delta.  That being said, they seriously warned us against meeting family there.  I'll call you all sometime between 6 and 8 and 'maybe' call when we get there.  I'll get there at approximately 9:22 and apparently they'll take my bags and send me off to go tracting.  Woohoo!  Que Bueno!  Love you all.

Friday, July 8, 2011

July 6, 2011 (Letter)

Hola Familia!  Que Pasa?

First of all thank you all for your letters and for the advice you gave me.  I'm trying to put it all into practice and things are getting better.  Funny thing is my teacher warned me about this the second week I was here.  He had a one on one with everyone and while talking to me said "God puts us with certain companions for a reason. I'm not sure but I think you're with her because she'll teach you patience and how to teach others."  I'll admit I sort of brushed it off thinkg, "Patience?  I need to learn to be patient?" Nahh..."  I can freely say that I have most certainly had to learn more patience.

Hi mom!  Thank you for finding that slip for me and thanks for everything you do for me!  I think I already said this but thank you for the 4th of July box of goodies!  I swear you and grandma must plan this or something because when I got that I also got a box of cookies from grandma.

Haha!  Oh! That's so nice!  Well at least now you can foist the chore of washing him off on one of my siblings and just get to enjoy a nice clean Stickers!  Benefits to being sick.  :)

That's sad about that lady being fired.  They must really be in a bind with all that and you being gone as well.  I'll bet they really miss having you around to help out.

So how are you feeling now?  Sounds like dads taking really good care of you.  But that sucks that you had to wait so long to go into the surgery.  Did you have to fast that whole time?  Have you guys heard anything about the tests they were going to do with that one ovary?  Yikes!  It was really a mess in there.  No wonder you weren't feeling good.  But I'm so glad it went well and it sounds like you're healing well too.  I'm glad I could fast for you and I had your name in the temple down here as well.  Also dad's right.  Just relax, read, pet Stitch, and heal up properly!  Love you mom!

Alright, I'll be looking forward to that package!  Thank you all!

Okay so we had a pretty awesome two weeks.  Sorry I didn't write last week.  My time got cut a few hours short so I'm writing one big one instead.

First off, we had all the mission presidents (the newly called ones) here at the MTC. As I said in my email, I got to meet mine and they're great!  They just got down there this week so they won't be there long before us.  Did you check out the blog they set up?  What's it like?  But the super cool thing was that the prophet and the apostles were all here!  We didn't get to see more than glances of them but it was cool to see all the cars with bullet proof glass parked on the sidewalk.  But then they had a special devotional and i was in the choir.  So we're all getting ready for it to start when the people by the door jump to their feet.  So we all jump up and start trying to see who it is.  Then all saw 7 apostles walk in!  There was Elder Bednar, and Elder Holland..... Wow!  Then Elder Bednar spoke to us.  Let me tell you, he doesn't waste words.  My hand cramped from writing like crazy to catch it all.  But it was incredible.

Overall I'm doing well with the language.  I can speak in future tense now!  Now I just need to remember stem changing words and build my vocab.

The 4th of July was just like any other day, but with no mail.  Late into the night we could hear the fireworks go off outside.  However, the 2nd of July was awesome!  Classes were let out early (8:30) so that everyone could go to a special devotional to celebrate.  We had a wonderful speaker that nearly brought us to tears.   We sang patriotic songs like America the Beautiful and Yankee Doodle.  It was a blast.  Then they had a parade of flags with bagpipes and drums playing Hail to the Prophet and Scotland the Brave.  Then the best part!  President Brown stood and announced that the handshake/hug ban was officially lifted!  Everyone went crazy with cheers.  Then when they calmed down he announced that after the prayer we were free to go watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks as long as we stayed on campus.  Even more cheers!  Then  when we all calmed a little, he said "Also, we have ice cream for everyone!"  That was a good night. :)  The fireworks were awesome!  So overall a very good week.

Starting this Friday we have to start teaching, or rather re-teaching, all the grammar we've gone over.  We got lucky and have an easy one - future tense!  It'll be fun!  We're going to make them translate the "I will go and do..." chapter of the Book of Mormon.  Muhahaha!

Oh, and yes Connor sent it to the right one.  Give him a hug for me.

Whoa!  Darren moved out?!  That seemed really fast.  But that sounds like it's an awesome place he got.  Tell him to give me the address.

Well, it's got to be pretty hard right now for her to go from being with him everyday to not.  She'll pull through, and tell her to write a dearelder when she gets home.

Great!  I'm glad they got those pictures up so quickly! Thank you!  It already feels nice to have it since the A/C isn't working properly right now and we're all cooking.  Thank you!  I love it!  I was very pleased with the girl who did it, she was great!

Thanks for doing that blog for me by the way.  Thanks too, there's not much really that I don't want on there, but yeah, I know you'll know.  :)

Tell everyone thanks for the advice and help.   Things are getting better, but we're still just working on things.  One thing I never expected though, I asked her to be more direct with me.

Woohoo for no work!  But sounds like a crazy time.  At least you'll be having fun while you're at home.

Ha ha!  Well seems you already washed them.  Good!  They hate it, but its got to feel so good to get rid of that fur.  Oh!  Cute little girl.  She's a hoarder all right.  Oh! He's so cute!

Haha!  Alright.  I love you mom!  Sooooo good to hear from you.

Hna. Watson

P.S. Can you all send me some stories of our ancestors through Dear Elder?  I'm finding that I don't know as much as I'd really like to about them.  Les Amo!

June 29, 2011

Hola mamita!
Thanks for writing me and for sending me that fun box of treats! Yum! Between you and grandma I'm the envy of my room! Thank you so much for getting that for me and for the slip as well! No rush on it, I'll be here for another month. I leave on July 26. Oh guess what mom! The newly called mission presidents and their wives were here last week! We had apostles and the prophet walking around all week! How cool is that?! And we got to have Elder Bednar speak to us, wow! I also, because I'm getting a new mission president a few weeks before I go, got to meet my mission pres and his wife and son! Their son is going to finish high school in Arizona and so they brought him to meet us. They're awesome! I'll send you some pictures soon but I have something fun to share with you! They've started a blog for my mission and will start adding to it next week sometime so you can check in on me. Oh and apparently my pres. works for the Deseret Star newspaper and did a little digging on us new missionaries and found your blog, so he's been following it.
Well I'm almost out of time. I'll send you a letter soon and you should be getting something in the mail soon! I love you mom, thank you for being a wonderful example and mother to me.
Oh and here's the blog info:
Te amo!
Your Hermana Watson

June 22, 2011

Hi mom! I'm sending most of the info for the week in a letter letter but I wanted to say hi as well!
Things are going well here! Thanks for grabbing my meds, I was actually going to ask you about that. Oh and I think I mistyped last week. I meant my black skirt and black and white skirt. I~m good on socks and other things but if you could get those, my meds and if you could find me a slip that would be awesome! A dress slip with straps and that's really long, like almost ankle length. I have one but it's not long enough. It's great for my skirts buit just doesn't work that well with my white dress. It's weird, you'd think they'd sell some here but they don't.
As afr as Mac goes he's supposed to be sending it to your tnjwatson one.
You'll do just fine with this surgery, the doctor is a really good one and you'll feel soooooooooooo much better after this! I love you mom!
Hna. Watson
PS Boy have I got some fun stories for you!

June 16, 2011 (Letter)

Hi Mom!  Te Amo!

I'm working on getting everyone a letter just for them at one point or another and you were next!  Just wish I had more time to write. :(

Thank you for that nice note and for the knee highs!  I really needed them!  Also for the card (which was really cute, by the way) and my license.  We all started comparing our drivers licenses when I got that.  Lol!

Ha ha!  Yeah, I should have given it to you in the first place.  I thought he might have forgotten to turn in my tithing.  Thanks for finding it!

Oh, wow, no wonder you weren't feeling good!  Man, what a mess.  But at least now they know how to fix you!  That is a little scary thought about how they'll have to do it.  I'll be praying and fasting for you on that day.   I hope they understand how painful endo can be.  Good for dad for doing that.

Good!  I'm glad my letters have been getting there safely.  Tell them to write me back sometime when Ribs isn't working and Connor is back in the states.  Also, how did Connor take my letter?  I was a little nervous since I basically told him my testimony.  I just felt like he should know how I feel about the Gospel.

Since I ran out of time to write you an email, I thought I'd give you some excerpts from my journal for what all has been happening.  Oh, and my comp and I are doing better.She had a good experience in the temple and we talked.  We're better, but still working on things.

Okay!  So on to my journal!

I think I may have mentioned this before but we lost an Elder in our class.  June 6th he told us he was going home to straighten out his life.  June 7th he left.  He's written us and is having a hard time since people aren't really being nice about it.

June 8th - I had to move to a top bunk because we had two new sisters move into our room.  It's so fun having them here.  Even if we might all get sick and die because one of them came here with croup.  She says she got it from her little nephew the day before she came.  So far no one else has caught it.  But guess what got announced the next day?  We're currently (still) under a no bodily contact ban.  No handshakes, hugs, nothing.  Because some new missionary brought Noro virus here with him.  No one in my zone has it yet though so I'm hoping it'll just pass over us all.

June 10th - My companion and I got to take a field trip into the real world so she could see a dentist about a cavity since her filling fell out.  It was sooo weird!  They had a shuttle take us there and the whole way there we were freaking out because we were leaving the MTC!  When they dropped us off and drove away we just looked at each other like "Oh my gosh, whatdowedo?"  Plus, it was strange to have everyone smile at us and go "Hi Sisters!" Weird. Weird. Weird...  We got her all fixed up (apparently we came just in time to avoid a root canal) and headed back.  It's amazing how we could just feel it once we entered the MTC boundaries again.  It was like getting back into a hot tub after jumping out for a second.  The spirit is so strong here, it really feels different!  It was so odd to be out of it, if only for a little while.

Oh!  I was so excited!  June 9th I finally fixed the Rubix Cube!  Took me long enough since I could only really work on it five minutes at a time.  Tell dad that I'll be able to beat him again when I get back!

There are so many missionaries on crutches - you seem them everywhere.  Mostly from accidents playing soccer.  While we were playing kickball the other day, an Elder slipped and twisted his ankle.  Had us all worried because he's had surgery on that foot before but it looks like he'll be okay.

I can't believe how time flies here.  The days are super long, but all of the sudden it's Wednesday again and we all just go "What happened to the week?"

Part of our time is spent teaching our four investigators, Jose, EvaMaria,  Caesar, and Gina.  Jose is the only one who speaks English.  The rest we have to teach in Spanish.  It's hard, but I'm finding I can understand them pretty well and can usually communicate to them what I need to.  At least they usually understand me pretty well.  EvaMaria is hard.  She can't read so our teaching is going pretty slow, especially since for a long time she wouldn't admit to it.  She's got two young sons and we just found out that she's been doing some illegal things to make money to raise them.  But I think we're making progress.

So last Sunday I got called out for a second weekly interview, which is weird since we only get one on Sunday>  Our branch president is giving me a calling to be the new coordinating sister for our district.  I'm so excited!  But I can't tell anyone in my district yet since he asked me not to.  He said they'll find out next Sunday when they announce it in Sacrament.  I'll pretty much be reporting to our branch presidency how the girls are doing and helping the girls out with whatever they need.  I'm so excited!

So Monday as a district we banned English until 12.  It was hard!  But we made it and will be doing it again soon.

On that same day we learned some interesting things about the culture since our teacher Hno. Rosales is from Mexico.  He told us never to knock on a door 5 times and that even 4 times is pushing it.  Apparently it means you're ragging on their mamas.  Also tapping your fist on your heart means you're gay.  Also there's a phrase we'd been using and when we said it he just groaned and said "don't use that!  That's like something my grandma would say!" So we stopped.  He got us all laughing our heads off when he told us how he used to say "Of course my horse!" because in Mexico they think Americans all say that all the time.

So crazy thing happened the other day.  I ran into a girl here who was one of my friends at APA!  Starla is her name and we tried forever to figure out where we knew each other from.  Then it finally clicked and I asked her "You didn't go to APA for ninth grade, did you?"  Funny running into her here!

Well that's about it for me!  Love you!
~Hna. Watson