Friday, December 30, 2011

Post Navidad

Hello Again Fam,

It was so nice to talk to you all yesterday! What a great Christmas gift. You all sound so good. I missed being there on Christmas, but I had such an amazing Christmas here. It really came and went so fast. Its kinda funny that we both had hot Christmas´s.  I guess I didnt miss too much.. Mom- Last night I read the email you sent me to read Chrismas Eve. Thanks so much. Thats such a great story. I really felt the Spirit testify to me that that is what the Savior did for us. He took our licks. Every single one of them. As much as we learn about what He did for us we will never know exactly how extreme it was. Its unfathomable. But we can know why. Its because he loves us. Its because he loves His Father. How loving Heavenly Father was to let his only Begotten Son do something like that for the rest of us, knowing that all of us wont even be able to return. Its truely amazing. 

Believe it or not I feel like alot has happened since we talked last! I didnt tell you that Elder Anderson and I have been planning a big Christmas breakfast for about 2 weeks now. But what happened is we were so full from Saturday night we decided not to make it on Sunday morning. So we made some of it later that night. We made a breakfast caserole. It had eggs, milk, hashbrowns, tons of cheese and the closest thing we could find to sausage. Me mixed it all together and then cooked it this morning. It was way good! Also I made a fruit salad with bananas oranges apples pinaples peaches and yogurt. It was delicious. We kinda just hung out the rest the day until 8 when Elder Catala called his family. He did Skype and they wanted to meet me so I talked with them for like 45 minutes. It was way fun. Kinda confusing when 9 people are all talking spanish at the same time. It was cool though. We both bore our testimonies at the end. 

Today was great! So we found this name in the area book. Her name is Berta. I dont know if i have talked to you about her. She has been to church like 10 times. She was way close to baptism about a year ago and was offended by a missionary. But she likes alot so thats good. She just had her 3 daughter die 5 months ago. I dont think I have ever met someone so distraught in my life. She keeps saying that she just want to know why. Oh and the reason we went to her house this morning is because we can only visit with her monday wednesday and friday in the morning, because her adopted daughter hates the missionaries. So, it kinda complicates things. But we had areally good lesson with her this morning. I shared Alma 7:11. Talks about how the Savior didnt JUST suffer for our sins. For everything. What ever we are going through he knows. We talked about how the spirit is a gift of comfort for us. On Friday we are going to her house to meet again. And we are bringing our secret weapon. Aka..... The sister missionaries. I dont know what it is they just kill it every single time. They are awesome! Plus they are both Widows and so they will really be able to relate to her situation. Im way excited. 

Oh and get this. So we took a Taxi to her house because we were late. We got there and it was 12 pesos. Elder Catala handed the guy a 50 peso bill. This always makes the drivers mad because they have to deal with all the change. Sometiems they wont even take it. This time he just said no I dont have change. So Elder Catalla had 7 and I had 2. The guy was so bugged ha ha. But he said oh well its Christmas. So I got out of the car and thinking that Elder Catala was gettting out on the other side. I slammed the door just as Elder Catala said bye to the driver and the door smashed him right in the face ha ha. It was so funny! I really cant even describe how funny it was. I think I was laughing for 10 minutes. For the whole lesson he had a big red mark on his face. Too funny. 

Well I love you guys tons.  I love you guys a ton. Thanks for everthing that you do for me. Ill talk to you next week.

Elder RIley Watts

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Letters and The Quest for 100

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the letters sent to Riley (20!).  He finally received them after being in Argentina for 5 weeks.  As you can see he was very happy and loves his family:

WE GOT MAIL!  It was so awesome.  They only brought letters so we could get packages at the Christmas conference which is this Thursday ( I'll talk about that later ) I got about 20 letters though.  Our family is so awesome!  All your brothers and sisters sent me letters. They are really so cool.  I loved reading Uncle Ron's letters because tons of stuff he talked about I do every day.  I will write back everyone, eventually.  It's pretty expensive to send letters though.  I'll have to do it little by little.

The Quest for 100:

This week was my most successful week so far as a missionary.  I think the most fun week also.  So one week ago I decided that because we had literally nobody to teach and have not had an investigador in church for a month I would do whatever it took to get an investigador in church this week.  My plan was to just contact like crazy.  The average missionary in our mission does about 30 contacts a week.  That's the goal at least.  I decided we would do 100.  The week started our rough.  Just lots of people that didn't have time or "wanted you to come back".  On Wednesday we knocked this house and this mom answered.  I really felt like this was it.  I introduced myself and told her who we were and about our message.  I really just put everything into it.  I was trying so hard to somehow let this lady know that we have something that she and her family so desperately needed.  After I got done talking I felt good, I felt really confident actually. She just looked at me with a frown and said No, Gracia's.  And closed the door.  I didn't understand because I really felt at that moment that we would truly get in.  But anyways, I was driven to get 100.  Later that day we  knocked a house in General Roca. We had knocked this street many times.  But never this house for some reason.  We just passed over it always.  I knocked it and this guy about my age, maybe a little older opened the door.  Two other guys were there with him.  They had their shirts off, lots of tattoos, even more earring's, were smoking and drinking to top it all off.  The first thing I thought was great, can't wait to be made fun of for my Spanish.  I quickly told him we were missionaries and what we do.  He said do you talk about Jesus? I said yes.  He told us to come in.  I was pretty shocked, not going to lie.  We had a really good lesson!  Two of the three mentioned they would like to come to church but they had a party Saturday night and assumed it would go for awhile and didn't want to wake up that early.  We told them that we would pass by Sunday morning just in case.  So I had a small hope, but honestly I didn't know what would come of it. The quest continued. Thursday we found a guy named Tobias.  He said he would come to church also. However, in a return appointment we found out that he is crazy.  He just straight up told us that he is crazy.  It was kinda funny.  But one crazy guy is better than nobody I guess.  Saturday we worked harder than ever. We worked in an area way far away we hadn't been to yet.  It took 1 hour and a half to walk to.  No success unfortunately.  At this point we were at 92 contacts.  When we got home Saturday night Elder Maude and I immediately started feeling really sick.  I think its heat exhaustion. Chills really bad, a headache that turned into a really bad migraine, every joint in my body just hurt. Saturday night I really didn't plan on going to church in the morning. I felt so sick. I only slept about 3 hours that night. Also to make it worse, our crazy investigador Tobias texted us and said he couldn't come.  So we were back to where we started.  When we woke up Sunday morning, both Elder Maude and I felt pretty good. It was truly an answer to our prayers.  So we got dressed and walked to General Roca to see if the guys we met early in the week wanted to come.  When we got to his house we knocked on the door and that very second he opened the door.  He was completely ready to go. He had a shirt on, and even had his hair combed! I was so happy. We were going to have an investigador in church. Then from across the street his friend came. He was ready also! 2! He asked me if it would be OK if his younger brother came. 3!  This could not be happening. The first guy came out of his house and asked if his older brother and his cousin could come. I think I answered in English I was so happy. 5!  We called two taxis and brought 5 investigadors to church. They told us that they didn't get back from their party until 7:30 but really felt like they needed to go to church with us. They had less sleep then me ha ha.  We had a great sacrament meeting.  Our members bore such great testimonies and the spirit was so strong.  Everyone was so inviting to "the boys".  What a sight it was to see those 5 and us 2 with our hymn books singing Joy to the World.  We sent them home in Taxis and then went back to the pension to study.  Almost immediately we started feeling sick.  Within an hour my migraine returned and we laid in bed the rest the day.  I was really mad that I was 8 short of 100 and prayed that I would get better so I could go get 8 more.  Immediately I received my answer.  Heavenly Father truly allowed us to go get our investigadors that day.  It was like the sickness was put off for a few hours so we could do what he needed. Although I was sad we didn't get my goal, 92 isn't half bad.  We led the mission in contacts and it really paid off.  At times it really felt so useless.  But we were truly blessed with success.  I really believe that as hard as we work, success is a gift.  We cant do it alone. Such an awesome week. One of the boys I'm really looking forward to teaching.  His name is Maxi.  He doesn't smoke or drink. And he loves talking about God and the Savior. Great Great week. We were truly blessed. I'm feeling pretty good today. Still really sensitive to light, thank goodness I got the "ante ojos". :)   ( Sunglasses)

This week should be lots of fun. Tomorrow we go to Cordoba for the day to renew my visa for next year. We leave at 4:00 in the morning! We are going to visit some of Elder Maudes old investigadors and family's. Also we are going to the NBA store. It should be way sweet! Then we have the Christmas Conference on Thursday. They make Asado and everyone gets their Christmas stuff. I'm really excited!

Mom- I have started memorizing the living Christ. I am half way done right now. I will finish by Christmas. It really is so good. Before I go to bed I always say it and think over the words in my mind. They really sink in and have lots of meaning.

Well you guys are truly the greatest family in the whole world. I hope that you survive the hurricane winds. Thank you so much for all of your prayers on my behalf. We are all involved in such an amazing work. Have a great week! I love you all so much. Besos :)  ( look that up )
Love Riley

Monday, November 28, 2011

Two weeks worth

Here are excerpts of the last two weeks from Riley's letters.  He sounds great!

At the beginning of this week we had another AWESOME dinner. It was on Tuesday with the Rosalez family. They are way cool.  Before they got baptized they were gypsies.  The hermano has really long hair, and one of his eyes is a lot bigger than the other.  He is so funny and crazy!  So on Sunday they told us how to get to their house.  We asked for an address, but they don't have one.  You will soon see why.  They told us just to walk down this road until we hit a little grove of trees and then to go into the little grove of trees until we see a big blue bus.  So we had no clue where we were going.  But we just started walking and finally made it to the little forest.  Which was way cool by the way, lots of big vines and stuff.  Tons of parrots all over.  After 10 minutes of walking through this jungley type forest we got to this big old blue bus.  Big surprise to us, the big blue bus is their house!  It is so sweet. Elder Puma and Anderson were with us. So the parents, four elders and their two little kids were crammed in this old bus eating food.  It was so cool.  Pretty good food too.  I ate this spine of a chicken. Such an awesome family.
So Thursday as you know was Thanksgiving. We went to this big buffet in down town Villa Maria.  It was so good!  They had all types of asado still on the grill. Chicken, Pork, and beef.  Plus they even had french fries. I had 6 plates full of tons of meat.  My second favorite part about it was the fruit. They had every type of fruit you could ever imagine. Plus some I had never seen. I had 3 giant plates of fruit. And of course they had a big table full of deserts. Tons of different kinds of tortas ( cakes ) and ice cream with big bowls of Dulce de Leche.  We were there for about 3 hours.  After 11 plates in total I was so full.  It was awesome.  I definitely got my 60 pesos worth.  The workers were stunned every time I got up for another plate ha ha. It was weird all the other people around us would get like 2 servings.  Must not of been their thanksgiving.
Right now we´re still really struggling with investiagadors. We have one lady named Georgina who is really nice, but impossible to get a hold of. She is always gone and never is there for appointments. Its kinda frustrating. But we have one tonight so we will see. We have talked about the Book of Mormon and stuff with her but she claims to not believe in God. But, she always reads what we tell her to and she always lets us come back. So I know there is something there. Tonight we are showing her faith in Christ the movie. I think it will be perfect. The guy in there has all the same questions as she does. So that's Georgina. We have like 10 other people that we have taught they are just hard to get a hold of. But I know that its just as important to strengthen members and less actives as it is to find and teach. So we can still have success even when it feels like we aren't having any.
I got a church calling. Gospel Doctrine teacher for the Recent Converts and Investigadors.  It's so awesome.  You should see me up there teaching.  Sometimes I have to bite my tongue because some pretty hilarious things happen.  Some of the questions.... Kill me. "No hermana we cant still use wine to make it more symbolistic. Yes if we can't get a hold of water we could use banana orange juice."  Its awesome. I love you all!!
I got my haircut for the first time here in Argentina. A lady in our ward owns a peluqueria. She did a pretty good job ha ha... No seriously it looks good. Plus it was free. What more can you ask for? We go to her house once a week for lunch. It is always our most anticipated meal of the week. Then after she always lets me go out back and pick a bunch of grapefruits to take home. They are really good! Its awesome because Elder Maude doesn't like them. They are really an awesome family.
Sunday was probably the highlight of the week even though Hermano Mollo didn't go to church. Yesterday was our wards primary program ha ha. Oh my gosh. That's really all I can say. It was so funny! I thought our wards primary programs were crazy.. Kids were just running around, up and down the stand, hitting each other, it was a show. I was laughing so hard. But it was well done. Everyone had their little part they read and they sang songs ha ha. Then after we ate lunch at the Rivero´s house. He is the Elders Q pres. Really awesome guy. He served a mission in Buenos Aries.  During lunch his kid spilled a whole pitcher of juice on me ha ha. I felt right at home :). Just kidding.  Pretty sure I was the one that was spilling things most the time. 
I started reading Jesus the Christ before I go to bed.  I really love it.  It's so interesting to learn what his name means and all the significance.  One of the best things I have read so far is the story of the leper?  Jesus was in Capernaum when a leper came to him and said If though wilt, thou canst make me clean?  Talmage makes a big deal that he didn't say Can you heal me?  But he said Will you heal me?  He asked with 110% faith.  As I have thought about it I think that this totally applies to us.  We need to follow the commandments and guidance of our prophet with the "Will you heal me" mindset.  I know that if we were to do that we would be even more blessed and strengthened that much more.  There are countless times that I can think of when I have taken the "Can you heal me?" mindset.  Every day I strive to teach, learn, and follow with the "Will you Heal me?" faith in my mind.  Sometimes its hard.  But we have lots of help. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Different P Day and a Hurricane

Riley's P-Day was moved last week so we didn't receive a letter until Thursday so I'm posting two letters this week.

Letter #1 (From Last week)

Dear Family!
I´m so glad to finally be able to talk to you!  It seems like it has been forever... The reason they moved P day is because transfers came a week early.  I think its so people could pack up and move and all that stuff.  But I am staying with Elder Maude in Villa Maria of course.  So much stuff has happened in the last 10 days!  I'm really glad the office told you our P day would be moved.  Man I don´t even know where to start.  Last Sunday we had our first Baptism!  His name is Hernando Rinta. He is a really cool guy.  I only taught him once so I don´t know him that well.  Baptisms here are a lot different than baptisms in California.  A lot smaller.  But it was really cool.  I am really enjoying our ward here.  The people are all really awesome and really nice.  Tomorrow we have a big cook out sports night at the church.  It should be really fun.  The weather is hot!  Except we had 2 way random days where it was pretty cold.  One day it rained a ton.  The streets completely filled up with water.  It was like a river! We got soaked.  We were just walking around in the mud and water trying to find somewhere to go. Finally someone let us in.  But that day was really fun.  I'll always remember it.
OK so the pictures.The first is me on the top of our pension. Pretty sweet view huh? The wind is blowing really hard right there. I actually took that today. The other one is of a sweet basketball hoop ha ha. Isn't that awesome? I have seen some of the craziest things since I have been here. Sometimes I forget I'm in Argentina. I really love it though.

The bakery is so good. I usually get what are called facturas. They are like 30 cents. They are really flaky and in the morning warm. Some are cream filled and others are just sprinkled with sugar. Dad I don't know if I am gaining weight. Nobody here has a scale thus far. I'm trying to eat somewhat healthy though. We eat just about everyday at members houses. We have had some really good stuff and other stuff that isn't so good... But its a great experience to try all the food. So far we have only had the Famous Argentine Beef twice. SO GOOD! Its expensive and members just cant afford it. Tomorrow will be really awesome at the cook out i bet.
Halloween looked awesome!! Sounds like you all had lots of fun. Joseph and Olivia I really love your costumes. You both looked great. It was hard to be away from you on Halloween. But we had a really cool day on Halloween to make up for some of the sad feelings. We spent the whole day helping this family move houses. And get this we only had a little cart thing to move everything! Luckily it was only 3 blocks down and 2 blocks to the right. But they didn't want to throw anything away. I felt like we were just hauling tons of junk. Its also kinda hard to move when you have no clue what the person is saying ha ha. So after we got them all moved the Dad made Asado. That is like the best known Argentina Dish. He bought tons of steak and sausages and then you cook it on coals in this little brick oven thing. It takes about 2 hours to cook. It was so good! Definitely the best meal I have had so far. The funny part was we were all just sitting around the table and I just felt like something was missing... It was plates!! Everyone just started diggin in ha ha. It was so funny. You´d grab some salad with your hands and then pass it around. And there was 1 cup ha ha. I have never experienced anything like that. It was so crazy. What a Halloween. 
 This last week we on Saturday the coolest thing ever happened. We had another service project where we actually helped some people to build a house. We mostly just moved rocks around but it was still fun. I have always wanted to combine my 2 favorite things into 1 while I have been here. That is teach a lesson, and play basketball. On our way home from the service project we did just that. We walked through a park and these guys were playing. We asked if we could shoot with their other ball ( of course we knew they´d invite us) and they invited us to play. It was way fun. I don´t think they expected us to be as good as we were ha ha. We kinda killed them. I even broke a piece of the backboard off with a dunk. It was really fun. Then after we talked about the church and what we are doing. some of the guys were interested in the libro de mormon so were going back in 2 days to share it with them. What a great way to do missionary work ha ha.
I miss you guys lots. But I'm having a really good time here. Its so so so amazing! I'm so glad to be doing the Lords work. I'm learning a lot everyday. Even though its hard its so rewarding. This is truly the greatest mission ever. I guess Ill talk to you all on Monday!
Letter #2 (This Week)

Dear Family,
This week was really awesome here in Argentina. I feel like i learned alot. Both my Spanish and my Gospel knowledge. I also am getting to know our area pretty good also. I feel like I'm getting more and more settled in so that's nice. It still seems weird that I'm in Argentina though. So last Tuesday a Hurricane hit Villa Maria! Seriously! It was crazy. Elder Maude and I had 30 minutes left before we had to be back at the pension so we decided to go to this less active members house. He lives 4 blocks away so we thought it would be perfect. Out of nowhere the sky totally just got way dark and there was tons of lightning. The lightning was so cool! It wasn't vertical, but horizontal! So so so weird. and there wasn't a single second where the lighting would stop. Then the rain came. One minute we were dry and the next we were soaked. We were knocking doors like crazy to try and get into houses, but nobody would open up. Its the most rain I have seen in my whole life. Just buckets and buckets. The streets filled up within minutes. There was tons of wind also. you couldn't look up without getting tons of rain in your eyes. So we started for home. Then all the power in the whole city went out. Not one single light anywhere! We were trying to cross streets with water up to my knees. The only time you could see was when the lighting would light up the street for a split second. It was the weirdest thing, I was completely wet and cold, but I was warm. I was happy. Just happy to be a missionary and to have the Gospel. We finally made it home after 35 minutes. 4 blocks is all! So crazy. Me and Elder Anderson went up on the roof of our apartment and watched the storm until it stopped about an hour later. I thought about the Nephites when Christ visited them. It had to be like that. The thunder was deafening. The wind was knocking down trees and stuff. So so cool. Its funny how you can feel the spirit in a time like that. The sad news is... My camera broke. Everything in my bag got soaked. Luckily my memory card is OK. Does it have a warranty or what? I don't really know what to do. Cameras here are pretty cheap? I don't know tell me what you think.
OK we had another cool meal. We ate at the same house that we helped them move  on Halloween. We ate rabbits ha ha. It was so weird. Yes without utensils or anything. No beer this time though so that was good. Also they had raw pork that was salted a ton. It was very weird. I don't know why they didn't just cook it. But it was a way cool experience. Other than that haven't eaten to many weird things.
We found 3 new investigadors that I am really excited about  this last week. I know that we can help them. Its good because now that we have set progressive investigadors we have something to do. Its alot better than just knocking doors ha ha. As fun as that is..
Well I love you all very much! Thank you so much for your emails and more than anything for your prayers. It really means the world to me. Have a good week everyone.
Love Riley

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Arrived in Argentina!!!

After one month in California Riley has finally arrived in Argentina.  We received his first email yesterday and he begins by describing his long journey that began last Wednesday.  His description reminds me why I don’t like to travel.

Alright. We started in Anaheim meeting at the mission office at 830 am. From there we went to the airport and our flight left at 11.  So our flight left and we got to Atlanta. It brought back great memories of our fam there. ( running through the airport to catch a plane, getting our flights canceled, then canceled again) Great memories! There we met a guy from Kaysville. How funny. Then I talked to dad and Alex.  It was so great to hear your voices. You both sound good. Next we got on the plane. It was pretty rough, 10 hours about. Good food though so I was grateful for that. I actually slept a lot though. Of course I got up to go to the bathroom and the dumb kid in front of me put his seat back. So annoying. But the flight went fast. I was so happy to have Elder Anderson with me. We have become such good friends since the MTC. On the plane I could have sworn they were speaking a different language. The Spanish here is not Spanish! It sounds so different. But really cool. Our plane landed and we got our stuff and went through customs. No problems there. Then we met our guide guy named Aleberto. We went with him to the LDS embassy place in Buenos Aires.  It was about an hour away.  When we got there it was about 12 Argentina time. At this point we had been traveling for about 25 hours.  By the way Buenos Aires is crazy!!  It’s so big! It’s like London.  Really, really dirty though.  So we were at the Embassy for 10 minutes is all... We picked one paper and got back in the car.  Then we drove to the domestic airport in Buenos Aires.  Now its about 1:30.  Alberto bought us pizza at the airport.  He was so nice to us.  And so patient with our Spanish. ha ha. It was funny.  We were SOO lucky to have a plane to Cordoba.  I guess a volcano erupted in Chile and some planes couldn’t fly.  Without plane it is a 12 hour bus ride ha ha. But we got on our final plane.  It was about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I tried to sleep but couldn’t.  The plane was too small.  Luckily the seat next to me was empty.  When we were flying I was so grateful I am not in the mission below us.  Its just corn fields the whole way.  Cordoba is gorgeous though!  Its so pretty here.  So green.  So we flew in and got our luggage and had no clue what to do ha ha.  We kinda walked around for a little and then decided to go to the curb pickup.  We waited there for a little while and after a few prayers our president pulled up.  I’ll talk about him later.  So then we got in a van with some of the office workers and drove to this embassy in Córdoba. This was to start the renewal of our visas.  We signed some papers there and then left for the mission home.  We finally got there at 6:00.  There we officially met the president and his wife.  Let me just say he is the coolest guy ever.  I love him so much.  He told me what he got out of his mission and how I will be able to do the same and how he’ll help me.  It was like an answer to my prayers and cleared up so many doubts.  He is so amazing.  Then we got all of our information and had a little orientation and ate some Empanadas. (Argentina’s claim to fame) They were very good.  At 10 pm we left the mission office with the assistants to go meet our new companions in Ville Maria, about 100 miles away.  The bus terminal was crazy.  People just running all over.  So we missed the bus at 11:00 but got on the one at 12am.  Pretty much slept the whole way.  I have never been so tired in my whole life.  Finally made it to Ville Maria at 2:20am. It was weird I woke up right when we pulled up to our stop.  It was really lucky.  We took a cab after that to our Pencion.  Last time I looked at the clock before sleeping was 3:00 a.m.!!  Then we woke up at 6:30 to start the day ha ha. So that is my journey here. I have counted the total hours, but its a lot. I’m so grateful for our safe arrival.

The first couple of days were so crazy. Oh my gosh.  I am still so tired. I’m not caught up on sleep quite yet.  The people here are so different.  I can’t describe them.  Some look really native with dark skin and are really short and others look really European and are 6 2.  But regardless, I’m the tallest person so far.  And the tallest in the mission, President says.  I’m not used to walking in to a store and having every person in there look at me. Or have heads turn on the street.  Sometimes I forget how tall I am. But it’s cool.  I like it.  I really like my Companion Elder Maude.  He went to Lone Peak.  He loves basketball too. I think he was a little bugged at first that his last transfer he has to train a greenie.  But he has really came around.  We will be good friends.  And we live in the same Pencion as Elder Anderson and his trainer Elder Puma!  I’m still getting used to it because its weird having 4 people in a place half the size as my apartment in California. But they said that next week they’ll send us desks and beds so that will help me adjust more.

I’m not going to lie.. I had planned on telling you all this stuff that was hard to get used to or that I didnt like about where  I live, but after going to members and investigadors houses I have no reason to complain. So, I´ll tell you what I love. The bottom of our pencion is a little argentine bakery! After working all day we usually buy a little something there. Then right next door is the grocery store. Its so sweet. We live kinda on the outside of town of Ville Maria. We mostly go to investigators houses that are outside of town. It’s so crazy because some streets are like the ones Dad and I saw in Honduras. No grass, no doors, lots of houses made of wood and brick. Some without roofs! Then you turn the corner and the houses are pretty nice. They have grass, and some even have cars. It is the weirdest thing you have ever seen.  I love it so much.  I feel like I am either just in some fantasy land, or I am adjusted well.  I mean I already saw how it was in Honduras.  Elder Anderson is shocked out of his mind ha ha. But I am feeling awesome.

Ok so about letters: I think you have the address but oh well

Letters and Packages:
Gay Lussac 5270
Apartado Postal 49-X5009ZAA
5009-Ville Belgrano, Cordoba
C.C 17 Suc. 9
Cordoba Argentina

So with packages you have to get this green form ---2976 custom form (green). Otherwise customs will charge me lots of money and it will take lots of time to get here. I think you get it at the postal office. They say not to use Fed Ex or UPS. Only USA mail or national service or something.

You can also send letters to the Pouch.  The address is:

Elder Riley Watts
Agentina Cordoba Missioin
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

Last story. Church was awesome! The ward is the bomb. They all love me so much not going to lie. I have to duck through all the doors so they really love that.  I only understood about one person while at church-- I was sitting in the chapel after sacrament and this little girl came up to me.  She said Hi and I asked her what her name was. He name is Valentina.  She is 4 years old and has long dark hair and big brown eyes. She is so cute!!  I talked to her for a little about where I’m from and stuff.  I could help but think of Olivia and realize that she is my sister too.  And we lived together before this life.  And the next two years I’m going to be sharing the gospel, this thing that makes me so happy with my brothers and Sisters in Argentina. I couldn’t be more happy.

As you can see Riley is doing great.  Thank you for your love and prayers.  They are working!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


After waiting all day Monday we finally received Riley’s email as we were sitting down for dinner.  We decided it would be a good idea for me to read his email to the family around the dinner table.  I started to read but didn’t get very far before the tears started to flow.  I tried handing the letter to Jana but she wasn’t in any position to read either.  Alex offered to read as he looked at Jana and I in dismay.  Well, a few sentences in and Alex lost it too.  There we were sitting around the dinner table crying our eyes out.  The real funny thing was our nephew Gabe was eating dinner with us.  I looked over at Gabe and he was just staring at his food.  I’m sure he’d never had a dinner quite like this one.    

The Big news of the week is that Riley got his Visa: 

“VISA! So yes I got my Visa last Friday. I am feeling tons of different emotions! It’s so crazy. I’m way excited. I'm nervous. I'm sad to leave Santa Ana. I'm sad to leave my companions. I’m so happy to see what Argentina is like. But overall, I'm just really grateful for this opportunity to come here and learn some really valuable lessons. So I leave Wednesday morning. I think we leave our apartment about 8. I have no clue what my travel plans are or anything. I just know I’m getting picked up and that I am traveling with Elder Anderson. We are both really excited about that :).  I’m trying to pack like crazy and get ready for it.”

Riley has had some great experiences in California and has mixed emotions about leaving.  He’s excited for Argentina but will miss the people he has met in the Anaheim mission.  Here are a couple stories he shared with us this week:

“Man I have so many stories to tell. Ok first I will tell you something that’s kind of funny. Some people would call it coincidence... But I don’t think so. So we had about an hour until dinner last Tuesday night. And with that hour we decided that we would try to track down some investigators in our area book. I picked one named Albundio and we went to his apartment. We knocked on the door and this kid answered. He said that nobody named Albundio lived there... But he said come on in Elders. It was weird. So we went in and found out that Oscar, is a member, but has been inactive for about 1 year and a half now because his sister who is the only other member in the family moved away. He was so happy to see us and said that he has wanted to come back to church but doesn’t know how to do it because his step dad and mom are catholic. He is 16 by the way. So we invited him to church and he came yesterday. He had a great time and is really glad to be back. Were we led by the spirit to "Albundios" house? Yes I would say we were. This is where it gets funny. So after we met with him we walked outside and went to the gate where we came in. Oh by the way this is in a gated in apartment complex. We went to the gate and it was locked. On the ground about 20 feet away I saw a pair of car keys. I went and picked them up and they had a key to the gate. Would we have been locked in there forever? No. I’m sure we would have found another way out. But I still would like to think that Our Heavenly Father loves us that much that sometimes stuff like that happens. Thought you might think that was funny. 

Ok so Jose is doing awesome! Yesterday he got the Aaronic Priesthood. He hasn’t missed church yet. 4 weeks in a row. Maria wasn’t baptized yesterday like planned though. Her husband is deathly ill and she practically can’t leave his side unless her daughter is in the house. So we're shooting for next week. We started teaching Jose's niece Anna! She is 13 years old. She is really cool. One thing that has really touched my heart is helping people pray. Especially with Anna. It was so amazing to watch her take that leap of faith. For the first time in her life she talked with Heavenly Father. The spirit is always so strong. Likewise I have been so amazed with Jose and his faith. He quit his job so he won't have to work on Sunday. Last night we went to teach Anna and after I asked him if he had found a job yet. With a smile on his face he said, “Nope. Still looking." Not one bit sad. If you didn’t hear what I asked you would think the question was, " hey have you picked out your new Camaro yet?" He just has so much faith. Not worried that he has to take care of his mom and dad. Not worried about what will happen. Just complete faith. I just couldn’t help but ask myself if I could be the same. It really touched me. Nope. Still looking. 

Ok so the pictures are of my favorite family here in the Garden Grove 10th ward. They are the Garcia family. I met them my second day here. We went to their house because they haven’t been active for 7 years.  Since that day they have us over for dinner twice a week, and haven’t missed church yet.  They are SO awesome.  I feel like family when I'm around them. They got me that fruit dessert because I’m leaving. I really love them. I know they'll make it to the temple.”

 We are so excited for Riley to be leaving for Argentina.  We hope to get a phone call from the airport today.  Thank you for all your love, support and prayers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Last letter from California???

Dear Family!
     This week was really awesome. Lot's of really cool stuff happened. Every night we had dinner with a member. I'm so grateful for that. Some of them cook really weird stuff, and others its really delicious. But they are all so nice and so willing to help us out.
We found 3 new investigators this week! My second day here in Santa Ana I made a contact all by myself. Her name was Juana. She gave me her address and all that info. At the beginning of last week ( Tuesday I think) we went to go visit her. Well we got there and asked for Juana, the man had never heard of Juana. My companions just started laughing because I had been so excited to teach my first contact. Sweet little Juana had given me a false address. But, at the door we met Fernando. We are currently teaching him. He has lots of questions about the church. Also we have started teaching a family. They are hard to explain... None of them have the same last name. The mom and dad aren't married. And there are 5 random kids that come from the mom that live with them. This is a big problem here. But they are really awesome. They have a 17 year old girl and a 13 year old girl. They are both really interested in the Book of Mormon. Every time we go back they just have tons of questions. We are teaching them the restoration tonight. I'm really excited! And we are teaching a man named Art. I don"t think its exactly going anywhere... I think he just likes to hang out. So I think we're dropping him. 
On Friday I got a call from the office saying that my Visa is almost done. They had me and Elder Anderson sign some papers. The Sister from the office said that she sent them on Friday and on Monday ( today ) Salt Lake will get them. I think then Salt Lake has to send me the visa. I'm not exactly sure how that works. So I think I'll be leaving this week! I was sad because I wanted to see Jose get baptized. But I got really lucky. Yesterday we were scheduled to have Ramiro get baptized. He is an awesome guy. His wife got baptized about 6 months ago. We are really excited for him. It was also fast Sunday yesterday. I had the thought to fast for Jose and his mom Maria. So I did. Jose came to church for like the 3rd time in a row. His mom hasn't come in a while. But the ward mission leader decided that Jose might as well get baptized today if he is ready. So they interviewed him, and he passed of course. Everyone was so happy. He has been trying to get baptized for 7 months. And yesterday I had the opportunity to baptize him! It was so awesome. I was pretty nervous going into it. But everything went well. I even said his name right. Jose Isabel Toro Garcia. Why do all Mexicans have 4 names? I know that the Spirit helped me. It was such a great experience for me. Now you can start looking at the pictures. So the first picture is of Elder Smith, Jose, Elder Arevalo, and me. Isn't he just awesome?! The next one is of us 3 and the man Elder Smith baptized, Ramiro. The 3rd is of all of us together. Man I didn't know that setting up baptisms took so much time. We had to print the programs, set up chairs, fill the font, it took some time. Since it was Elder Smiths 1 year mark one of the families he got to know really well while serving in an English speaking ward brought us Cafe Rio. They took this picture of us. They are really nice.
Have a great week everyone! I love you all so much. I'm so grateful to be a missionary!
Love Riley
Here are the pictures Riley sent this week.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First Week in California

Riley spent his first full week in California this past week.  He has been blessed with two really good companions - Elder Arevalo and Elder Smith.  He has already seen some succes as described in his letter this week:

"Since last week We have committed 3 more people to baptism. Its way exciting. Yesterday actually we had our first baptism as a companionship. The day i came in before i met my companions they committed this lady named ana lilia to baptism after being taught for 8 months. So we let the elder that taught her baptize her, but I got to be a witness. It was really cool. Next week Ramiro is getting baptized. His wife got baptized about 7 months ago and now he is. Im really excited for it because i feel like i actually know him. And then in 2 weeks maria and Jose are getting baptized. So we're really doing well. We need to find some new progressive investigators because all of ours are getting baptized!"

He also had a unique experience attending General Conference:

"Conference was really amazing. We watched it at this huge church. It is the 3rd biggest in the world (lds churches) it has 2 basketball courts and 2 huge chapels. There was like 6 languages there. We did get to watch it in English though. I was really grateful for that. Between sessions the wards just stay there and make food. Its so awesome."

He loves the people and especially loves the food.  It sounds like the members really take care of the missionaries in Santa Ana:

"The members houses we eat at are so awesome. Oh my gosh. They have these tiny little houses and nothing. absolutely nothing. But they invite us over to eat every week. They cook all day for us. they're so willing. And so grateful for what they have. WE have dinner for us just about every night. In the mornings i eat oatmeal or eggs and then usually a  sandwich for lunch. Its good. I have gained 7 pounds since i got here. 197!! THis mexican food is killing me."

197!!  I wonder if he can still dunk a basketball :-).

Here are two pictures he sent this week of his companions and the first baptism he participated in:

Thank you for your prayers, love and support. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Santa Ana

Dear Fam,
I know that I talked to you on friday but it seems like forever ago! How is everyone doing? I'm doing so good right now. These past couple days have been crazy! I have done so much stuff. Thanks so much for your emails mom and Dad. Dad- I'm sorry you werent feeling the greatest. I hope that you get feeling better. Thats awesome that robby is going to tahiti! That will be awesome. Also thanks for the pin. I'm glad to hear that your first days were hard- because friday night and saturday and part of sunday was really hard. But im doing lots better. Its always a reassurance that I'm doing the right thing. Mom- Thats awesome that you talked to Elder Thornes mom! He is so awesome. I do miss him. I hope that he is doing good. That will be fun to visit with them. He should be in Alaska by now.
I guess I'll just start telling you about the last 4 days. So we got to the airport and the assistants and President Bowen and his wife picked us up. They are seriously so nice. They took us out to lunch and we got to take a nap after. It was much needed. Then we met our new companions. I am in a threesome with Elder Smith from Sandy and Elder Arevalo from El Salvador. They are both so awesome!! I got so lucky to get this awesome of trainers. Elder Smith has been out a year so he knows alot. Elder Arevalo has been out 23 months so he knows everything. I have learned ALOT in the last 4 days. But i still feel like i'm never going to be able to learn everything that i need to do. At first I wasnt sure how happy i would be here. But now i know that I am going to be way happy. It is so pretty here. And the people are awesome. I really don't care how long I stay here because I like it so much, even though its hard. I know the Lord wants me to be here. Pres Bowen told me to watch every little thing that Elder Arevalo does. He is so amazing. I mean his name is even Nefi ( which is Nephi in spanish). He is so humble. The first night I didnt have a bed. But he insisted that I have the bed so that I could get a good night sleep. When I got out of the shower, Elder Smith had made me a big bowl of oatmeal with bananas in it. How did I get so lucky? Every second they were and are just trying to help me. Its incredible. I really hope I can become like them. Also Elder Arevalo is the most obedient missionary ever I'm sure. With everything. he is such a good example. He loves how tall I am. He's always laughing when i have to duck to get through doors or When the little kids at church were telling me how tall I am. Let me tell you a little bit about our apartment. Its way pretty outside! There are lots of palm trees and there is a little river that runs through the apartments. It is called Cinnamon Creek Apartments or something. The inside isnt quite as nice as the outside ha ha. But its so fun. The shower hits me about at my sternum. To shower I just get on my knees ha ha. I have found myself on my knees alot lately. And it really helps. Im so grateful for the power of prayer. I know that all of our prayers are answered in one way or another. Church was awesome. I passed the sacrament. It was kinda frustrating because I cant understand anything. People just talk so fast. But just about everyone speaks english here also. My first night in the field, we visited a less active member. I bore my testimony. It was really cool. I can definitely feel the spirit helping me when I teach. Also that night I did some street contacts. This guy was completely drunk. He asked us if we wanted to come in and have a drink and talk about God ha ha. It was great. I wish everyone was drunk all the time so they would talk a little slower. Saturday was awesome. There is this new program for new missionaries. Everyday instead of 1 hour of companionship study you do 2. I really enjoy it. I feel like im learning alot. Also in the first week when you're new as part of the program, it is the new missionaries job to extend the baptismal invitation. So... Saturday we were teaching Maria and her son Jose ( None of us really know the investigators that well because Elder Arevalo and Elder Smith have only been companions for 6 days in this area). Anysways we taught Jose and Maria saturday night. They have been seeing the missionaries for about 4 months. I gave them the baptismal invitation and they said yes! They are gettting baptized the 9th of october. It was so amazing. The spirit truley helped me out so they could understand me for one, and help them know that it was true. It was awesome. This week its the "new missionary's" ( they want to get rid of the term greenie ha ha) job to lead into the first lesso and do the baptismal covenant. So tonight i'll have 3 opportunities to do that. I'm way excited. Actually mainly nervous but thats ok. Sometimes Elder Arevalo and Elder Smith will just stop talking and just look at me during the lessons. I just have to try and listen to the spirit and just talk because I don't know what the heck is going on. People talk so fast!!  Today we played soccer and baksetball as a Zone. Geez people act like they have never seen someone that is good at basketball before. Have these people watched the NBA? Our zone is mostly from south america so I think thats why. Today I had to use my debit card to go shopping because I don't get my own card here since I am not a temperate missionary. Elder Arevalo just gets extra money loaded on his card but the office hasnt loaded it yet. It was fun to go shopping though. The fruit here is so good! Some members just have orange trees and lemon trees. Its awesome. So the address for our mission is 2500 N Bristol St, Santa Ana CA 92706. That is the office. All the mail and packages are sent there and the zone leaders give it to you once a week. Have you gotten my package that Elder thorne sent yet? I bet you havent they kinda take a while to get there. I am really wishing that I would have brought a third bag. Like how we talked about just getting a small one to carry on. Thats 50 more pounds of stuff! That would be way nice. Plus they let you bring that and a back pack on the plane i think. Do you think I should buy one here? or do you think you could send me one? I don't really know what to do. I'll just wait til next monday to hear back from you. Do you think that you could send me a digital watch? I know thats alot to ask for, but it gets really dark here fast and I can never see mine. But i could just buy one at target also. I'll just wait to hear back from you ha ha. Oh yes I can print out these emails. I think that I'll do that and just keep them in a binder. Santa Ana is pretty sweet. All the mexicans have there sweet cars that go up and down. It's hilarious. Santa Ana is kinda scary though. There is a few places we cannot go. But There has never been anything bad happen. The Lord watches out for you.
I heard that this is the second most populated vietnamese place in the world. The first being vietnam. They are everywhere! And they drive crazy. Elder Arevalo is like a grandma behind the wheel. Just about everyone has cars in our mission. It is way nice. I need to appreciate that while i have it. Anyways I spear we are getting cut off like every second. Elder Arevalo is always saying " Chinitos Locos!" Crazy asians ha ha. He is so funny. He is actually way good at Enlish. But he still says some funny stuff. He is so patient with me. Every lesson he can do it 100 times better than I can but he lets me so that I can learn. I can just really tell that he loves me. and all of our investigadors.
Well i don't know how long I'm going to be here, but I'm loving (just about) every minute of it :). I'm learning so much. I love you all so much. Thank you so much for everything you do for me. You are the greatest family in the whole world!
Love Riley

Friday, September 23, 2011

California here I come!!!!

We got a surprise call from Riley on Thursday afternoon.  He had just been informed by the MTC Travel Office that his visa hadn't arrived and instead of leaving for Argentina on Monday as originally planned he is headed to Anaheim California Friday morning.  We got to talk to him this morning while he was at the airport.  He sounded GREAT!  It was so good to talk to him.  He is having a great attitude about being in California.  The Travel Office said it could be a few days or a month before his visa comes in.  Then, this afternoon we received the following email and picture: 

Hello everyone!
Well I made it to California! The plane ride was great. It is so weird to be in the real world. We met our President, President Brad Bowen. Attached is a picture of him and his wife plus the people we traveled with. You will never believe this.. He is Brother Bowens first cousin! Sweet huh?  He is the most loving guy ever. I know that Im going to love it here. He is so awesome! Right now we're at the mission home. We get our new companions tonight. I will be teaching in spanish so thats good. There are only 4 spanish speaking missionaries here. Anaheim is the 2nd smallest mission in the world but has 7 languages. President bowen says that my trainer is the very best missionary in the entire mission. This is his last trainer. I'm very lucky. I cant wait to meet him. Plus he isnt from the united states. But he does speak a little english. Well i gotta go. I love you guys! I don't know when p day is  but i think its monday. I guess we'll see.
I love you all so much! I'm kinda nervous but reall excited. Cant wait to see what the Lord has instore for me here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Departure Date!

Riley had another great week!  He was given an estimated departure date for Argentina of September 26th.  And while he has loved the MTC he is starting to get anxious for the next phase of his mission - real missionary work. 

Olivia sent a special package to Riley this past week.  While eating a tootsie roll she lost a filing in one of her baby teeth and the dentist suggested pulling it out - which he did.  Olivia decided that she would rather send it to Riley than put it under her pillow for the tooth fairy who has been less than reliable the past few years.  Riley was surprised to get this special present from Olivia and his only suggestion was " need to brush those teeth of yours"!

Riley sent Joseph and Olivia Spanish CTR rings.  Instead of CTR they have HLJ on them.  According to Riley: "In Spanish the saying is "Haz la Justo" or Do the Just!  So much cooler than ingles.  Also what makes it cool is "Haz" is the command form of hacer - to do.  So, the ring is like commanding us to do the just.  I really think it's cool.  Enjoy!"

Jana has enjoyed sending packages to Riley.  Some of the things she has sent:  bottled peaches (one of his favorites), a homemade apple pie (another favorite), chocolate chip cookies (a favorite too), a huge box full of an assortment of snacks which Riley reports his whole district has thouroughly enjoyed.  Speaking of his district here are some pictures he sent of his district and his companion Elder Thorne:

Riley shared the following about a difficult experience his companion had this past week:

"Ok well, last saturday something really hard happened. It was really hard for Elder Thorne, and even me. But we are doing well. Last saturday we were playing beach volleyball as a district. When gym time was over we started walking back when this man stopped elder thorne and brought him aside. Immediately I could tell that something was wrong. I could just feel it. After they talked for about 5 minutes they came over to me. The man told me that Elder Thornes best friend Tommy had died. Tommy is LDS and went to school with Elder Thorne. He had some crazy heart attack, Elder Thornes dad who is a heart surgeon worked on him, but couldnt bring him back. I have only known Elder THorne for 6 weeks but I feel like I have known him forever. My stomach just sunk. I felt like one of my friends just died. We went back to our room and ate some icecream, and peaches ( thank goodness we still had a bottle :) ). It was really hard. Our branch president came and talked with us and then we gave him a blessing."

Later that day Elder Thorne asked Riley to give him a blessing.  Riley shared an amazing testimony of the influence of the Holy Ghost and the power of the Priesthood.  This was a difficult experience for the two of them but they have both been blessed to get through it. 

Thank you for all of your prayers on Riley's behalf.  He is truly being blessed.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Half way done (with the MTC)!!!

Hello my AMAZING family!

I just want to start out this email by saying how much I love you all! I do! I’m so incredibly lucky to have each and every one of you. Thanks for the chocolate package last week! Wow I love it! So do lots of other people. And the giant package,. WOW! That’s so heavy. The little mail lady could hardly pick it up. Thank you! I love you guys so much. I can't say it enough. Thanks! Thanks for supporting me while im out here. I love you guys so much. Thanks for financially supporting me. I couldn’t do any of this without you. Dad i love the pictures! It only took like 1 minute to look so keep sending them! Alex you look awesome!!! That’s so cool! I love how they named the little guy spiker. I really do ha ha.

I cant lie, the past 2 days have been kinda hard. Number one, i think its because our teachers are different so its hard to have change. Ill talk about that later. And number two, I really just miss you all. It has hit me that I’m not coming home for awhile. But I know i can do it. I just got back from the temple. E.T. and I did a sealing with this couple that was probably 106 years old. It was awesome. I feel so at peace right now. The temple is truly the best place in the world to be right now. I know i am being blessed and I CAN feel your prayers. I really can. THANK YOU!!! Ya know as much as I'd love to go to Utah State right now and come home every week for Sunday dinner or meet you mom at some place for lunch, or go to BYU with Mckenna, I know im doing the right thing. I know it. This is such a great experience. I love missionary work. Well i think i do, The MTC is not missionary work ha ha.

So about our teachers. We got new ones this Monday. The first day was excellent! We all really liked them and had a great time. One of them is named sister Alvarez, she is about 24. the other one is named Brother UrQuhart. he just got off his mission 3 months ago. So I feel like he is one of us. So that is good. But they teach way different. For example. Our old teachers taught us the ENTIRE day in Spanish, I mean if we didnt understand at all we would do it in English, but pretty much all Spanish. And that is the inspired curriculum designed by the apostoles. These new teachers do zero Spanish.. But they say that its important to learn how to teach before you learn Spanish. So I do believe that. I think I have learned a lot. Sister Alvarez has really showed me a new way to pray. I feel that my relationship with my Father in Heaven is getting so much stronger. I have had some awesome prayers and really received some inspiration. Our new teachers main focus is love. They want us to love. And it is really pretty amazing.. I have noticed a difference. I believe that our actions and countenance speaks louder than our words. If i love the people of Argentina with all my might, the spirit will do the rest. That’s the way the savior did it. So iäm really focusing on loving. I try to talk to every missionary i see in the lunch line. I need to get better at opening my heart to people. I’m really praying for that right now. So the next day was kinda a disaster with our teachers. Something i dont like is they have our whole district teach at the same time. 8 missionaries teaching one of them. and they make us teach in English! I know its good, but I have my doubts.. Their old district they taught for 7 weeks knows less Spanish than i do.. What am i going to do when I get to Argentina and know nothing ha ha. oh well. Other stuff happened that made some people mad, but im not going into that. This is a good challenge. We'll have to really puch ourselves.

Brother Beach is awesome isn’t he?  Wow I really love that guy.  I miss him. I miss Bro and Sis Williams. They had great stories. Even if they were a little long... ha ha ha.

Booze town! Congrats on completing operation T. You are awesome. I bet i get a letter from Tara today and she'll tell me all about it. I think she is in love with you. But ya know you have to go on a mission before you get married so slow down! I'm glad that school is going well for everyone. Its so weird not to be at Davis! I have said that before. Its so weird. I miss it. But there are tons of kids from Davis here. I love it. Tallon Burton leaves this week so that will be sad. I am meeting tons of people every week. I love it. Its weird how many people know me from basketball. Everyday almost someone asks me if I played for Davis. Lots of senior missionaries too. They're cute.

So I got released from being the DL. It was awesome while it lasted, but its good to have some free time. ( in the mtc you keep your calling for half your time than switch with someone) The new one is Elder Nelson. He is 22 years old and awesome! He's so funny. I'm glad he is the new DL. I do miss it and hope i get another opportunity at leadership. I truly feel like im finding myself through service.

Oh Elder Thorne broke the record again. 4:38. He's a stud.

Highlight of the week: Ok the temple was awesome! And it was really an answer to my prayers. But, we had an amazing devotional. Mom you asked if I had read the Elder Holland talk in my binder( i love the binder!!) YEs i read it the first week. AWESOME talk! anyways, he came and talked to the MTC last tuesday. Elder Holland! We had excelent seats on the floor. Wow. The minute he walked in you could feel it. Everyone stood up, and you just knew. That is an apostole of the lord. I think I spelled that wrong. Thats how its spelled in Spanish. he is so funny! And so amazing! I have never heard a more amazing talk in my life. I could talk this whole 30 minutes about it. It was truely just life changing. The theme was love, in a sence. I just felt so loved. I'll write you some letters that you'll probably get Friday or Saturday and give you some details on the notes I took. But wow. That guy is amazing. I felt the spirit so strong. Afterwards we had a  devotional district and it was great. I love hearing everyone’s testimonies.

I love you all so much!! Don't forget it. Thank you so much for everything!!

Love Elder Watts

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Letter - August 4, 2011

Hola Everyone!
     I'm so happy it's Thursday so I can email you! Thank you thank you thank you so much for the packages, and the envelope. I LOVE THE CANDY. So do my roommates ha ha. Unfortuneately lights have to be out at 10:30 so I won't be able to use the lights. But in the field I think i'll be able to. So thank you! I think the best way to do this is for you guys to send me dear elders and then I'll have the whole 30 minutes to email you. I really do appreciate all of your letters. This week has been so packed full of stuff that it will be hard to cover it all. But I will try.
Residence Halls:
I love where we live. We live in 6M. It is pretty much our whole zone on the second and third floor. All the Elders are so awesome. In my room we have such a good time. At night we just tell funny stories from highschool and college. Of course we also talk about our missions and how lucky we are to be our here. Down the hall there is a room with 4 Elders from Mexico. They are all going to Ogden. They are always asking me questions about it ha ha. They leave in a week and I will really miss them. There are some pretty strict rules.... But I'm following all of them. I know I'll be blessed by doing so.
District H:
I love our District so much! Next week I'm going to send you some pictures of us. Our classes are comprised of our District. We are in our classroom 10-12 hours a day. So we are all getting so close. It's pretty cool. We have a basketball hoop in our classroom and we love playing horse when we have breaks. Learning Spanish creates some really funny stories. Number 1: A member of our District who is also in my room, was asked to talk in sacrament meeting. He is very good at spanish. He can pretty much just carry on a conversation. Up at the pulpit he called all the Elders "frog girls" ha ha ha ha. It was funny. Number 2: While praying to close our class I called our teacher Brother Koller who is a man, A sister. Everyone got a real kick out of that. And number 3: ( its a little bit inappropriate). We had a sub for a class last monday. She is a sister who just returned from her mission. She asked us how we were feeling and Elder Nelson said, I'm really Tired I need to sleep with you ha ha ha ha ha. I think everyone laughed for 20 minutes. He was so embarressed. So was the teacher... I just got back from the Temple with our District. It was awesome! I'm so happy we get to go every week.
It is so nice to go to the gym everday. So far I have just played basketball everytime. Elder Thorne usually plays one game and then goes to run on the track. Yesterday he did 65 laps in under 30 minutes. Thats over 5 miles. Sweet huh? He is going to break the gym mile record tomorrow I think. His record is 4:10. I have met so many people while playing basketball. We kinda have a set group that we play with. There are 2 courts where the good people play, and 4 courts where the bad people play. If you play on the bad courts you are guaranteed 8 dunks a game. Which is sometimes fun. Dad, Kyle Collinsworth doesnt have my gym so I cant dunk on him. But I dunk on lots of other people. The Other district in our zone that came in at the same time as us kinda has a rival with our district.They are district B. Their District Leader is named Elder Martino from Dallas. I feel like he's my second companion. I like him alot. The reason I say this is because we always play them in sports.
So far the devotionals have been awesome! They are tuesday and sunday nights. Last sunday we heard from the MTC services president. He talked about love. Awesome talk. He had everyone rolling around laughing the whole time. Last tuesday was the best though. Gerald N. Lund came and spoke to us. He wrote the Work and The Glory plus lots of other stuff. He talked about faith. If was so awesome! You won't believe this. I sang in the choir for the Devotional ha ha. Don't worry, there were tons of other people to drown out my voice ha ha ha. But it was way cool. I was up on the big screen alot. The song we sang was "Behold the wounds in Jesus' feet". Look it up! I look forward to our next devotional.
I'm being so blessed right now. I really feel like i'm being lost in the work. I don't miss people every second like some elders, I don't feel homesick, and I just know this is the right place to be. Last night we had a District Devotional and everyone bore there testimonies and it was just so cool. I've thought about it so much. I just have no desire to leave or do anything else at all. Which is awesome because you hear elders complaining and stuff. Twice a week we have zone conference meetings with the branch president and the other district leaders. It's awesome. They teach us such cool stuff that I know I'll learn in the mission field. Oh and I think my Spanish is improving. I'm understanding alot of the stuff thats being said so thats good. All 12 hours in the class are in Spanish :).
Mom, thank you so much for everything this week! I'm so blessed to have you. Mckenna is nice. I don't worry about her one bit! Which is amazing because she is so amazing. I'm really being blessed in that sense. I did get a letter from her this week though. It was very nice. I also have seen her sister about 6 times now.
Dad, thanks for your letter! I loved it. It was better than moms ;). I talked to a girl in your ward yesterday. I forgot her name though. She is doing well. I hope your ward is doing good.
Alex, thanks so much for the letter! you are my very best friend in the whole world. I love you. I'll write you when i get back to my dorm because time is almost up.
Joseph and Oliv. I'll write you too! I love you flops and mops :)
Elder Watts