Monday, April 8, 2013

Conference in Argentina

 Dear Fam,

Ya know, one of the hardest things in the mission is to sit down in front of a computer on your p-day, and try to put the feelings from your heart onto the screen. Feelings such as, I can’t believe I’m in Argentina, or I know the Book of Mormon is true, or the week was hard, or I don’t understand Spanish, or just how much you worry for your investigators. But I think the hardest of them all, is what I’m feeling right now and what I felt time and time again during Conference.  And that is how much I love you. We have the greatest family. I don’t know what I did to deserve this family. You are all just so special for me. I hope you know it! The Gospel has truly brought us together and taught us how to be happy as we live God’s plan.

I loved conference. We were so blessed in this last week. In conference we had 7 people in church. I will tell you about all of them later on. First off, No Dad Elder Acton’s Dad didn’t work for Arthur Anderson. He is currently a mall cop haha. Elder Acton thinks that’s pretty funny. 2- I didn’t get my contacts. I’m going to kill this mailing system!!  They said I had one, and then it didn’t get to me.  I’ll just survive for 4 more months without contacts. They are way too expensive here, AND the elders say they are bad quality. So I’ll just wait. I use my glasses also here and there. I do have something I need though... There are no church stores here. I would love it if you could send me some stuff from Deseret Book! Espanol o no Espanol. It’s ok. I would really love that though. I learned so much in Conference. I wish I could just type for hours and hours about all I learned. I too feel like the over all theme was OBEDIENCE. I feel that I look at Conference so differently now. I loved the talks. I have to admit that we laughed a couple times while the choir sang as well. I loved Priesthood! I got to watch it in English too because in that session we didn’t have investigadores. I love Spanish, but English is better! Dad I really felt like I was just with you and Alex, and Joseph the whole time. I loved the thought that while I was singing Hope of Israel, you were too. At one point I thought I was going to look over and see you with your iphone getting the NCAA update haha ;).

Hey did you hear the news? ALFREDO L SALAS my president is a new Area Seventy. Like I didn’t see that one coming - haha.

I hope you like the pics. That is our apartment. We live above, to the left.

The other picture is the temple, and the other is my District. Tallest to Shortest, Me Elder Acton, Hermana Sepuerva( chile), and Hermana Rios(Bolivia).

Remember the Familia Quiroga? We had some opposition this last week.  They almost got separated. They were sleeping in different rooms and not talking. We went Tuesday and talked with them, shared a scripture and then had a really special prayer with them and all their kids kneeling. That night the dad, Roberto, said a prayer by himself from the front room from where he was sleeping. The next morning his wife asked if he wanted to drink tea with her, (sinners :) ) and so it was that over a cup of tea they resolved their problems and then all went to Conference this weekend. It was so awesome. The Power of prayer is so real. Well there is the time already. I hope you all have a great week! I love you all so much. Thanks for all you do for me.

Love Elder Watts

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter In Argentina

Hey family,

Hey how is everybody doing? Once again it’s so good to hear from you all! It’s incredible how far away we are yet how close we can feel. Ya know guys I feel like sometimes we fall into routines and we don’t find Joy in the Journey. One thing I learned in my last area was that attitude is everything. I’ve probably said that 50 times. But it’s so true! When we have faith in God we naturally have a positive attitude.  Lately I have been trying to find joy in the journey in everything. Starting with personal studies and ending with saying my prayers at night. This week went really well. Maipu is a great area. Ready for some Cordoba Mormon facts? In the 1950s the first chapel was built in Cordoba, Neighborhood Villa Belgrano. The second was built in 1964 Neighborhood Maipu. It’s the second oldest in Cordoba! 5 years ago they chose 2 sites for the temple. 1 was the Villa Belgrano site and the other was a big site in front of the only Wal-Mart on the west side of Capital. They ended up choosing the Villa Belgrano site due to the surrounding neighborhoods. So they took down the Villa Belgrano Chapel and started the temple.  So Maipu is the oldest chapel standing in Cordoba. All the other wards, branches, and districts have branched off from this ward. So with all that said, I was expecting a big strong ward.... Let’s just say that she’s not in her Glory Days. There are 400 members but only 50 or so attend church. Everyone is kind of just waiting on other people. The bishop is a good guy. He is a little bit older but has a strong testimony.

I really like Maipu though. It has a little bit of everything. The chapel is in a really rich neighborhood. My first day I told Elder Acton that we need to get in one of the houses before the transfer ends. Then later that day we were buying something in the supermarket and this guy named Oscar started talking to us in English. He was in the army. He asked why all missionaries are called Elder. We told him and then kept talking. He invited us to his house the next day. He lives in a huge brick house 2 blocks from the church. He owns a radio station and wants to interview us. I’ll keep you posted. I think more than anything he invited us in to be nice and speak a little English.  After explaining the Book of Mormon he was way interested. We are going by this week. 

OK I’ll answer a few of moms Questions ;). I haven’t gotten the contacts yet, but its been confirmed that I will get them this week. We get the bolsa Wednesday. Thanks for worrying mom :). When I got here there were only 2 investigadores, so we have been finding a ton. We are teaching this 1 family named the Quiroga family. They are so awesome! Right off the bat we hit it off and I can tell they really like us. What a blessing. Sometimes the transition of missionaries can be tough. They have 3 kids. They are married, and they are just amazing. The mom and kids have gone to church. The Dad wants to go but is having tons of opposition. They had all committed to go this week and then Saturday night they had a pretty bad fight. This guy Satan never gets tired! So they didn’t go and yesterday we went and they said they are getting separated. I know they wont, they just need to learn how to solve their problems. God is helping them get stronger. I love them so much though. For Easter she made us homemade Easter eggs out of chocolate. That’s the big thing here - big chocolate Easter eggs and lots and lots of wine. Yeah baby. There is an awesome sister that makes sure we have food. She’s really great. Ok guys if you saw the apartment I’m living in you would die. I tried to send a picture but the computer won’t let me. It’s way sweet! Its gotta be one of the best in the mission. We live above members who aren’t active. They are way cool though, well technically I haven’t met them because they are in Chile but they left us tons of food to make. I am really loving being with Elder Acton. He is great. We totally would have hung out in High School. He loves basketball too. This week has been great. Its weird because everyone asks is we are brothers... He is probably about 6’ 2” but he is blond. I guess we look alike.  1 year before the mission his parents got a divorce and it was really tough. Everyone stopped going to church but him. He is really a cool guy. 

Well Guys I think that’s about it. I want you to know that I love you all so much and am so happy to be part of this family. I don’t know what I’d do without you all. I hope you enjoy conference and have a great week. 

Love Elder Watts

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Alex received his mission call to the Sydney North, Australia mission last week.  He will be leaving on August 14, two weeks after Riley returns from Argentina.

Dear Family,

Hey guys how is it going? Australia!!!  I really can’t believe it.  That’s the last place on earth that I would’ve thought!  I am so excited.  There aren’t words for how I am feeling right now.  I’m just so happy for Alex because I know what’s a head of him in preaching the gospel.  That is going to be so great.  I’m not going to lie.... I’m so grateful that we will get to see each other. That is a huge blessing. We are so blessed as a family. It’s incredible.

Well we had transfers! I got transferred 15 minutes away to another Zone here in Cordoba Capital. I was in West Cordoba and now I’m in East Cordoba.  My area is called Maipu – Pronounced: my poo ;).  As you can imagine the missionaries have lots of jokes about eating, sleeping and working in Maipu. haha. It’s going to be great.

My new comps name is Elder Acton.  He is from Utah.  We are going to get along great. He loves basketball :).  My District is a little bit smaller this time.  I only have one other companionship.  I have the sisters that are in Nueva Cordoba.  I already met both of them, they are way cool.  One is from Argentina and the other from Chile.  The Sister from Argentina is the first sister missionary in all of Argentina that is 19.  She has tons of energy!!  

I had a really interesting week this last week.  Over all it was really good.  I really feel like I have grown in these last few months.  It wasn’t exactly easy.  I know I never said this but the week that I got to 9 de Julio the Bishop had a problem with tithing.  That’s why we were without a bishop for so long.  There were so many tests there.  I really feel like the lord was punishing the ward.  I just worked my hardest but never had the success that I wanted.  But that’s what happens sometimes.  I left the area better, and they are going to baptize a few families in the next months.  Sometimes there is only one answer in life--- Believe in God.  Believe that he is.  Mom’s famous scripture helped me a lot during this time.

Well guys that’s all the stuff basically. Next week I’ll do a better report on the members and investigadores and all that.  Thanks for everything! I love you all so much. Have a great week!

Love Elder Watts

Here are some pictures Riley sent with his latest email:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Boston is Home!!

Hey Fam!

Hey guys how is everything going?  It’s so good to hear from you!!  I hope that you all had a great week.  I still can’t believe that Boston got home last week.  I bet it was way good to see him.  Tell him to send me an email.  I think it’s funny that he got skinnier haha.  That’s not the case with this guy right here.  Just keep the Peruvian food comin baby.  There isn’t day lights’ saving in Argentina!  Crazy huh?  I think it’s the only country in South America that doesn’t have it.  Today we went to a big huge park and played soccer as a zone.  OK now I know that every time that I mention that we play soccer you all picture me and then laugh.  However, I want you to know that I have gotten lots better at soccer. Actually, I don’t even dislike it anymore.  I would play it after the mission too.  Not to brag or anything, but today my team won 4-2. I scored 3 goals :). It’s been fun being with Elder Gonzalez because he is way good at soccer. I have learned a lot. 

Big news in 9 de Julio!!  5 months ago there was a change of bishops.  Finally, we got a new one.  We were 5 months without a bishop.  We are pretty excited for the ward.  I’m sure that the work will really start to pick up.  This Sunday was really great.  We had 2 complete families in church.  Both will be baptized in March.  So I do think that things are getting better.  The Lord really blesses us.  I feel like this week I have really been looking for answers to help my district with some specific problems.  As you know when they get a new bishop he and his wife along with his counselors and their wives share their testimonies.  The whole time they were speaking I just really felt like I need to study humility & recognize the hand of the Lord in all things.  Those were the thoughts that kept running through my mind.  And now with what Mom said in her email its confirmed.  I think that’s definitely what I need to do. 

So the week had its ups and its downs. I didn’t get the contacts you sent.  I bet the packages didn’t get here together or something. I’m sure ill get it in April though. Next, I am really sad to let you know that Damian didn’t get baptized.  Everything was going good and he decided Saturday morning not to do it.  We did everything we knew how to do.  He said that he just didn’t feel like it.  I feel like there was something more. It’s really sad after all that the Lord did for him.  And then he and his family didn’t come to church yesterday.  So we are going to go see what happened.  But we are really sad for him.  Maybe a miracle will happen and he will be able to do it this next week. 

I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary in Argentina.  I can’t tell you enough how much I love being a missionary.  Even though it’s not the easiest thing in the world, I really do enjoy it so much.  I know that I am growing so much and am doing the most important thing.  I am so grateful for my testimony.  It really defines me as the person that I am.  I know that God exists and loves us.  I know that because of his love he provided us with this great plan to come to earth and be tested.  With that same love he sent Jesus Christ his own son to be sacrificed so that we can return to him.  I know that only through this church can we be saved and receive all that God has.  Every day I pray that I can gain more conviction in my heart about these things. 

I hope that you all have a great week! I love you all and am so grateful for you.

Love Elder Watts