Sunday, March 30, 2014

Good, good week!

                                                                                                                              February 10, 2014
Mum this is the greatest poster ever! and I think there is a resemblance!


Hiya family!
This morning I decided to study kindness; mainly because for the last couple of weeks I have just been trying to be a kinder person all together. Anyway, it was a pretty hard thing to study, because there are no sections in the PMG about kindness, neither are there very many scriptures just about being kind. Probably because being kind encompasses a lot of things! For example if you look up the word "Kindness" in the topical guide you will see right next to it "See also:" and then a bunch of words. I love looking at these because I feel like it gives you an idea about synonyms for the word. So between in the Bible and Book of Mormon these are the words that come up: Benevolence; Compassion; Courtesy; Gentleness; God, Mercy of (Mercy of God); Gracious; Mercy; Charity; and Love.
The first scripture I went to was this one, 1 Nephi 19:9 In this scripture Christ exemplifies kindness. This is what it says:
 9 And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they aspit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving bkindness and his clong-suffering towards the children of men.
What stuck out to me is the word put before kindness, “loving”. It made me think, Is there different types of kindness?

So I made a list of some reasons why people are kind, this is what I came up with,
Obligation: for example, to a boss or co-worker, or feeling the need to be kind because someone is kind to you first.
For our own personal gain: example, being kind to the server so they don’t spit in our food, :) or being nice to the police man so maybe he won’t write us a ticket.
And the most important and necessary type of kindness: Loving Kindness!
This is the kind that the Savior has and the kind that he asks us to have when he tells us to love one another, and do unto others as we would have them do unto us!

Next thing I looked up was Nehemiah 9:17: This scripture is way good.
 17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to areturn to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to bpardon, gracious and cmerciful, slow to danger, and of great ekindness, and forsookest them not.
How many times do we do all that it describes and yet God still pardons us? Shouldn’t we do the same? It shouldn’t matter if they aren't listening to what they are told to do, or if they aren't being mindful of the things we do for them, or that they are stubborn and slow to learn, or rebellious. This is not an excuse to not be kind! You can rebuke, correct, or express your feelings, and still be kind. We need to take this example; and pardon, be gracious, and merciful, and KIND! I love this scripture so much!

I have quite a few other scriptures in there but the last one I want to share is this 2 Peter 1: 5-8
 5 And beside this, giving all adiligence, add to your faith bvirtue; and to virtue cknowledge;
 6 And to knowledge atemperance; and to temperance bpatience; and to patience cgodliness;
 7 And to godliness abrotherly bkindness; and to brotherly kindness ccharity.
 8 For if these things be in you, and aabound, they make you that ye shall neither be bbarren nor cunfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I see this as an equation Diligence(faith+virtue+knowledge+temperence+patience+Godliness+Brother Kindness+Charity)=Knowledge and Understanding of Jesus Christ=becoming more like Christ! So often we think of Charity and Love and Patience and all these really good attributes, but we forget about simple kindness. I know that kindness is part of becoming like Jesus Christ. I know that if we come to love the people who are around us then we can start being kind because we want to be, not because we are obliged or because we want gain, we are kind because we love them. I know that with this we can get just a little closer to becoming like Jesus Christ.
So that is what I studied; now I will tell you about my week! So this week was good. I have been struggling for the past couple of weeks, not feeling like I am successful. Sometimes when you have a lot of people dodging appointments and not seeing much success you tend to feel like it’s your fault. Well Tuesday we had a big meeting. The Scotland West Conference, basically just all of Paisley and Glasgow zones. Elder Herbertson was there. Everything in this meeting made me feel so much better, just about how no effort is wasted and how we can understand that God appreciates our sacrifice! There was a lot and I definitely don’t have time to get into it all but all I can say is that I gained a huge testimony of my Heavenly Fathers love for me. He knew I was struggling and he knew what I needed to hear and I am just so grateful that he cared enough to help me feel better. At the end they had a testimony meeting and even though I knew that I was going to be a crying mess I knew that I couldn't, not thank my Heavenly Father publicly for his love in answering my prayers, so I did! Then that night we met with a former investigator, and now she is a new investigator.

Sister Proctors cat, Walter, I play with him
every time we visit, even if he makes my eyes
scratchy and my nose stuffy!
Wednesday we had a really good lesson with Caroline, mother of Scott (10 year old) who we have been teaching and waiting till he can get baptized. Anyway, Caroline is a less active and we had a really spiritual lesson where she expressed how she wanted to get to the temple. So there is a working progress but she is progressing! So that is really good! We also saw Sister Procter and did 1 Nephi 2 scripture lesson with her and she totally kept the commitment to read 1 Nephi 2 without us even reminding her! I was so proud of her! It’s so sad; everyone has been having deaths in their families these past 2 weeks! So we have been visiting people and sending cards and flowers and stuff. Friday we met with Paul and had a good lesson with him. We set it up this time, that if he wanted to come to church he has to phone us in the morning to tell us that he is awake and then we will meet with him, because he has bailed on us way too many times. We will not give up on him though. The McNally's in our ward told us that as long as he is progressing don’t give up; it took them like 6 months to come to church!
The really cool thing that happened this week happened last night! It was a miracle. So a couple of weeks ago we tried by this less active, and she told us that she wasn’t interested, and we were guided by the spirit to be a bit bolder and ask her why she wasn't interested in the church anymore. Well that kept her from closing the door on us and she told us to come back and she would explain. So we set up an appointment for Tuesday, but then we forgot that we had that meeting on Tuesday, so we had to phone her and cancel it. Well we tried by last night, and she let us in and we had this really long talk with her and her non-member husband and 10 year old son. Basically the son is way spiritual, she has said multiple times that she has wanted to come back to church, and her husband is a cynic but has a lot of questions and was asking us a lot of questions. By the end of it we asked if they wanted us to come back, and they all agreed. And then she said this "I don’t know what is different about you two, you are the first missionaries that have made it through the door in a VERY long time". :D I was sooo happy! This is a family and the gospel would bless their lives sooo much. Her name is Donna and her Mum is active and in the ward, Sister Black! We see her like once a week because she lets us bring people to teach at her house and I am just soooooo grateful for this miracle. I am just praying so hard that they feel the spirit.
Cause I am cool!  
So that was our miracle this week. And it came out of cancellations and people dodging us. It seems to work that way a lot, we have a whole day planned and it all falls apart and then God guides us to where He ACTUALLY wants us to go! So that was my week in a nutshell, we visited some of the usual less-actives and such but I just shared the really good parts! Oh but I did forget one thing, we visited one of the members who is in a nursing home and she is the sweetest lady ever! Her name is Barbara Graves, and she has some serious memory problems, I can’t tell you how many times she told us that she "won a watch when she got [her] husband", "he is the love of [her] life", "[she] can’t wait to join him", and how "[she] is so happy that [she] is sealed to [her] husband for time and all eternity". It was the sweetest thing ever! She just loved her husband and couldn’t wait to be with him forever and I have never heard anyone talk about being sealed in such a way as she did! It was certainly admirable!
Well that was my week, it was really good. I hope you all had a great week, and have a great week! I love you and my prayers are with you!

Sister Watt  

Strengthening Family!

                                                                                                                                       February 3, 2014
Hiya family!

I hope everyone’s week was good. It seems that my weeks are getting progressively more difficult and tiring. But such is missionary life! So I will start out with my study this morning.

I studied for the question “How can the gospel strengthen relationships and families?"
It’s obvious that the gospel strengthens families; that is encompassed in everything that we teach, but how and why? I started off in Preach My Gospel (PMG), on page 32 it says this: "The restored gospel blesses and helps husbands and wives, parents and children, as they strive to develop stronger relationships and spiritual strength in their families."
There are two words there that stuck out to me, helps and strive, when we are teaching people and talking to people on the street we are always testifying that the gospel blesses families. Sometimes, I assume that if you are a member of this true church you WILL, no matter what, have a stronger and happier family. Its amazing, I have read that same sentence in PMG so many times but until I actually focused my study, those important words never stuck out.
The gospel only HELPS us have strong family relationships, it does not guarantee. So, as with everything else in this Plan of Salvation, it requires work from us to receive this help. I looked up the word "strive" in the dictionary and I really liked the definition. It says:
"Make great efforts, especially to achieve or prevent something"
So I decided to put that definition in context:
The gospel will bless us and our families when we:
1) Put great effort in to developing stronger relationships
2) Put great effort in to spiritually strengthening our families.
Another thing came to me. The way that I realized that the gospel helps strengthen our relationships is by giving us a reason to have a strong relationship. That reason is Eternal Families!

Ok moving on. Another thing in PMG that I found was this quote "A home established on gospel principles will be a place of refuge and safety." This quote brought me to another question. "How do we establish a home on gospel principles?"
So I took this question to The Family: A Proclamation to the World and from the proclamation I found these points:
Parents are to rear their children in love and righteousness, teaching their children to love and serve, observe the commandments of God, and to be law abiding citizens. (that last point is something I would not have thought of)
It also says to base the home and family off of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
We know that God works in a specific way.  We make a promise or work hard, and He blesses us. So when we strive to establish these elements into our families and relationships; we are promised with the blessing of strengthened family, peace, joy, a sense of belonging, the ability to resolve misunderstandings, dismiss contention and challenges, and healing broken relationships! 
I think that is such a great promised blessing! 

So that was my study this morning, I also found a few good scriptural examples of families and relationships that show we are blessed because of the knowledge of the gospel, if you want to look it up.
Alma 19: 8-13 An example of love between King Lamoni and his wife, the faith of his wife, and King Lamoni's desire and excitement to share his knowledge with his wife.
1 Nephi 5: 1-6 Despite Sariah’s frustration, sorrow, and lack of faith, Lehi doesn't argue and comforts her, showing the faith he has in his God.
John 19: 25-27 the perfect example of love, Christ makes sure that his mother will be taken care of.

Alright, so I hope that that brings some people insight and answers any personal questions that someone was having maybe. I will talk a little about our week now. So it didn’t start off too nice. We were supposed to have an appointment with Paul and he bailed, so that was fun. But FHE was good. We watched the movie The Lamb of God and that was really good to be reminded of my Savior and what he has done for me. Tuesday we visited the Watson's, we had two potential investigator lessons but they also fell through. To be honest, most of our week fell through, so you might be seeing a pattern. haha Tuesday we also had district meeting and it was really good. Our new district leader is a good teacher and I took a lot of good notes. We also tried by a former investigator and got another appointment set up with her for this week.

Wednesday we met with Brother McCafferty and we visited Fay in the nursing home. Then we also saw Sister Procter. Finally she is showing some progress! She asked us to start doing a Book of Mormon class type of teaching with her, because she said she doesn't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and she doesn't understand it. So we are taking it one chapter at a time. It was so much fun this week to really dive into 1 Nephi 1. I am excited to be doing this with her. Thursday we saw Sister Betty and most of our day fell through. But Sister Jacques and I had a really good weekly planning and companionship inventory. Sister Jacques and I have pretty different personalities and so sometimes we struggle, but we have found that when we really take time to talk over stuff and tell each other what they are doing well and what is bothering us we do alright. So sometimes our companionship inventories can be really long but I know that they are necessary for unity in our companionship.

Friday we visited with Sister Smith to see how she was doing with her progression to prepare her for church. Actually, Saturday night one of her friends passed away, and so I was thinking about it last night (she didn't come to church), that maybe we didn't have to give her that spiritual schedule to prepare her for church, but actually to prepare her for what was going to happen with her friend. I don’t know, but I sure hope all the reading and praying and things she did throughout the week helped when her friend died. After that we met with Christine and she is doing the young woman’s personal progress and she says that she can feel it helping. So that is really good! Then we met with Sister Irvine as a backup to an appointment with Agnes that fell through. It was really good, Sister Irvine showed us soooo many old, like super old photos. She is in her 80's and she showed us photos of her when she was 19! She had this dress that I was dying to have! Oh my goodness it was adorable, she said she will check to see if she still has it and give it to me if she does! But she is pretty sure she gave it away. But that was really good for us to do that with her because she is quite a stern woman and I think she really enjoyed showing us the photos and she actually said she enjoyed our visit and told us to come back. Usually she just pushes us out the door! haha. Then we had dinner at the McNally's. They are so nice, always feeding us! And we had a lesson with Paul. We really talked to him about the importance of church and how we are willing to help him get there, and the spirit was really strong. He brought up coming to church on his own and so after that we really felt like he was actually going to come to church this time. Well he didn't, and left us waiting at the bus stop again....it’s really really frustrating. We are supposed to have an appointment with him and we will see how it goes, we will probably be having a wee talk with him about how its rude that he keeps on standing us up, and how if he is not going to come, all he has to do is send us a text message. I am trying really hard to be calm about it! But I know that the spirit will not let me get angry with Paul. I am always fuming when we are alone and when he bails on us and even leading up to seeing him again, but the moment we are with him in a lesson the spirit is there and I can’t help but love him and I find myself being a lot nicer than I wanted to be, which is good.

Saturday, Marie from Hamilton came over to East Kilbride and took us out for lunch, it was good seeing her and she is doing really well! Her testimony is strong right now, and Victoria is doing better. Despite their mother-daughter difficulties they might be having at this time! But most of our day was finding and Sister Proctor was sick so we ended up giving her lesson Sunday night instead of our usual Saturday night. We also met with Brother Graham on Saturday as well. Then Sunday we had church and did a lot of finding, like besides Sister Proctor that is all we did! So that was my week, and this is a very long email! Sorry! Well I have got to run, but I hope all is well and thanks for all the prayers and love!

Cheers!
Sister Watt

       

Today is my 10 Month Mark.

                                                                                                                                        January 27, 2014
Hiya Family!

This was an interesting week, we had some really good things happen and some disappointments, but you know what, I much rather have that than just a week full of disappointments.
To start off I want to share with you the awesome study I had this morning! So I started with a question that arose from doing Sister Jacque’s final 12 week program, we read about how we have been given authority because of our calling and what that authority does and mean. There is this part that says this:
"In addition to authority, you are also to exercise power in your work. The authority that you have received can lead to power. Indeed, spiritual power is one evidence that your authority is real. Spiritual power is a gift that makes it possible for you to do your work more effectively."
Anyway so that part made me wonder, "how do we develop this spiritual power and be worthy of the gift?" I know a part of it is given to us with our setting apart as missionaries, but "how do I use it to its fullest potential?"
My conclusion was great; it came from other parts in Preach My Gospel. I won’t quote them because that will take too much time but here are few things that I found.
·         We need to focus! Too often we can find ourselves distracted by the world around us, in our lessons there are loud, misbehaving children, cars and buses passing on the streets, and even thoughts such as "what should I say to this person next" or "I sure wish the kids would stop being so loud so the spirit can be here". The point is, all these things are opportunities for you to become distracted on what matters, and in my case that is listening to 1) the spirit, because it will not be screaming in my head, it will be a quiet voice or thought or feeling, 2) my companion because she is being guided by the spirit as well, and 3) the investigator because they are why we are trying to teach by the power of the spirit!
·         First you have to have a spiritual confirmation of the things you teach. Moroni 10:5 it is the spirit that will reveal all things to us. Our purpose is to help these people to experience this revealing of truth, but we can’t do that unless we have it revealed to us first!
·         "You develop Christ like attributes, study the missionary lessons, improve your ability to speak in your mission language, and rely on the Spirit in order to teach with convincing power. " PMG We need to do these things in order to teach with spiritual power.
·         Study chapter 10 of PMG. ”By studying, developing, and using the teaching skills in this chapter, you will become a more capable instrument in the hands of the Lord. The Spirit will draw upon the knowledge and skills you have developed to help you teach more powerfully." When we study we are giving ourselves more tools for the spirit to use.

So that is just a few things I studied this morning, I know that this email is probably not going to missionaries but I know that these things can be likened to everyone's life and how you can feel the power of the spirit stronger in your everyday life!
So that was my spiritual bit. I know I don’t share spiritual things often enough, I will try to be better at that! Maybe I will make sure I have a question every Monday morning (well I have a question every day already, but a specific one on Monday that isn't about my investigators) and I will study it out and share what I found!

Now for a quick wrap of this week:

                The highlight of our week was that Paul now has a baptism date for February 22nd. We took him to the church building and gave him a tour and watched the Restoration DVD; he committed to coming to church yesterday, but he didn't. So Sister Jacques and I enjoyed walking to his house in a torrential downpour and not have him be home. :( It was pretty disappointing. Sister Jacques and I have done so many things to try to get him to come to church, we have addressed concerns he has, offered to help him find the church, gave him a tour, so I feel like we are running out of ideas, and running out of time. So tonight we have an appointment with him and we will resort to bold and spirit filled testifying! Hence my study this morning. Remember last week how I said that we met him on our way to email and invited him to FHE, he went and it was really good! So that was exciting.

We have some really good new potentials and investigators. Two of which we had return appointments for, but they fell through. So that was a disappointing end to our week.

But hey I am so sorry, I have actually ran out of time, and there are people who have reservations for our computers now. It’s been a busy Monday! So hopefully I can share more details on things next week, honestly though the baptism date was the biggest part.

Love you all and have a great week!
Sister Watt

P.S. I am in the UK section of the Ensign for the month of December! Yup famous me! :)



Good Week!

1-20-2014

Sis Watt and Mary Cunningham, Edinburgh
Hiya,

I remember I used to say Hiya in every letter, mainly because I used to say Hiya all the time. I have come to realize that that is a Glaswegian thing. That’s why I stopped saying it, in Edinburgh they say Hello, I think. Anyway, just something I noticed when I was typing Hiya.

So I hope everyone's week has been good, I have had a good week. I really feel like we worked hard this week, which was good, and while we didn't make all of our goals we exceeded our goals in one area, and made some other goals! So I felt really good about this week;  I’ll just touch on some of the highlights for the week.
So Tuesday we had district meeting and we usually have a district lunch right after. So I was assigned to make it this time. So I made homemade chicken noodle soup, and it was soooooo good. It reminded me of when I was little and Mum and I would make chicken noodle soup for the family because it was my favorite thing to make with mum! So good! Seriously like it was the best thing that I have ever made!

With Norma from Edinburgh
We were able to see 8 less actives this week, and that was all before Friday! So that was pretty crazy and a big blessing. We are really starting to see some progression among the less actives, which makes me really happy to see. We had two less actives at church, hurray! We met with Caitlin again and we had a good lesson with her. She is not our only progressing investigator. She is quite busy with college, so I hope she will be able to continue to fit us in her schedule, she seemed pretty stressed about it, so we have been praying that God will help her in college so she can meet with us and not be too stressed out! We also met with Agnes, and we gave her a Book of Mormon. That’s a big deal because the Sisters have been trying by her a ton and she has only let us in 2 times and it has really just been a casual getting to know her thing. So she took the Book of Mormon and she was so cute, she was like "Can I keep this with me so I can read a bit of it before you two come back?" Haha we were like....uh yes please, it’s yours to keep actually! Haha. We met with a recent convert, Brother Graham. He told me that when he first met me he thought I looked like I could be a good singer/song writer! I was totally flattered!

Friday night we had another appointment with Paul. Again we invited him to church, and again we set up a time and place to meet, and again he didn’t show. It can be really frustrating, but he is just such a nice guy it’s impossible to be mad at him. We actually just saw him on our way to email this morning, and he apologized for not meeting us, he said he slept in again. It’s just really hard because he seems so excited about church and everything and yet he keeps on not coming. So we are trying to figure out what it might be that is holding him back. We invited him to the FHE that we have every Monday with Sister Green,  tonight. And we set up a time and place to meet him; we will see if he shows and if he does maybe this will help him to be more excited and comfortable to come to church.

Saturday we had a STL (Sister Training Leader) join us. We did a lot of finding since we had basically visited everyone we had planned to visit by Friday. It was really good, I learned a lot from Sister Cline (the STL), I learned that I need to be more persistent, which was good because I thought I was already pretty good at that, but I was able to see how/where I need to improve. Every day this week was good and satisfying, the only thing was that Sunday all our plans fell through. Well you can’t expect everything to go right! Haha

I gave a talk on Sunday; I guess there was someone who bailed because bishop asked me Saturday night, it was on tithing which is funny because the one other time I had to give a talk on my mission was on tithing as well. Is God trying to tell me something? Haha But I think it went well, I got a lot of compliments and Bishop said I was a good speaker; and I didn't cry....I call that success! One of our goals this past week was to find some good potentials, and we did! So I am excited to see what this next week brings and this next transfer!

Well I am out of time and my computer needs to be taken by someone else, there is a queue!
I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!

Love
Sister Watt

My shoes, my zipper busted this week, and I fixed it again, time for new shoes!

 The tip of my shoes were really bad but I used super glue!
Yes my shoes are very dirty, thank you muddy Scotland!