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Happy Thanksgiving

Hello all!

Well, the weather's getting colder and colder here in Denver. Could be worse, though. Forecast says in Gunnison it's a balmy -1 deg F. Here, it was 25 waking up.

So the work is improving still. We've had to sort of drop a lot of our flaky investigators. They don't show up for appointments and don't return or answer our calls, so we can only hope they'll be more committed when more missionaries come by. It's not that they don't like the message; rather they refuse to find out whether or not it's true. If we ask them to do anything read 1 chapter in the Scriptures, come by Church one week, or even simply pray once in a while, they can never "find time" to do it.

It's really frustrating because we know how important it is to do those simple things. No man can ever know for himself whether our message is true and gain a testimony of it until he has begun to keep his commitments to find out.

This has been something my comp and I have been working on: helping people to realize the importance of reading and praying and keeping commitments. Everybody enjoys our visits and thinks we're really nice and all, but don't understand that we mean business when we promise that reading and praying about the Book of Mormon WILL give you a witness from God.

We have one investigator that has actually decided to take us seriously and take that challenge. When we asked if she had read the two chapters we left her, she said no, but that she'd read the one before it as well. Our jaws almost dropped to the floor. She felt something as she read, and Moroni's promise was coming true, and she is gaining a testimony. We are SO excited about her progress.

Unfortunately, I don't have very many funny stories to share today-- we've been focusing our efforts on non-Colfax areas mainly, and so we meet less crazy people.

To all ward members, on behalf of all missionaries, I beg you to keep us in mind and look for missionary opportunities with your family members and friends. Members are SO much more effective at this work than we could ever dream to be. Members living the principles of the Gospel bear a far more powerful testimony by their examples and actions than any full-time missionary could ever dream to share with his words. We've learned that if someone actually opens the door to us and talks to us, it's a sure-fire bet that they know a member.

Also, to all those who are afraid that mentioning your nonmember friends to missionaries will destroy any friendship you have, simply tell the missionaries what street to tract, and that will be good enough. =)

Well, I love you all, and I know that this church is true. I've never found so much joy in work and rejection. =) I know that this work is indeed the work of God. To this I bear testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

It's a Small World after all

Hey all!

So, another P-Day, another week! Here's what's up:

I severely underestimated the intelligence of stupid dogs. We tracted (knocked doors) at the Lofts at Lowry townhouse complex-- a really nice complex with 2-3 story residencies. There's the entrance, a 2nd story wood patio above it, and an attic.

There was one with a dog on the second story that really didn't like us. I thought as I walked over that if the dog was smart enough, he could easily urinate on us from above, but dogs aren't that bright, right? Wrong. I ended up with a small measure of dog piddle on my head, and a companion laughing his head off at my misfortune. I just hope the dog's owner didn't train him to do that =)

So, Leah reminded me that I have yet to mention anything about my mission president! Well, President Christison is amazing. He's one of those people that you love the moment you meet, and you can tell they love you. I knew from the moment he spoke that he was the man called of god to lead this mission.

His wife (our "mission mom") is no less awesome. The love that they can show for this ragtag bunch of 19-21 year-olds is astounding. I don't know how they can love 200 missionaries all at once!

OK, so my folks may remember the time that we bumped into our cousins completely by random coincidence in front of "It's a Small World" at Disneyland? I've had a few moments like that in my mission.

One of the Elders serving here (Elder Brooks) went to my Junior High school, I bumped into another one (Elder Guthrie) at the MTC, and Elder Sax is from our home stake in NC!

Also, I met a returned missionary, Elder Bouldon, who just a few months ago was serving in the Cary 1st Ward, and recognized me from Institute class.

Oh, and remember that New Era article that the Church did about the Young Men in our ward? Well, one of the APs at the office happened to be looking through that issue and swore he recognized one of the people in the article, and now everybody knows about Elder Watkins-- the Church magazine missionary.

Anyway, time's up, and I gotta get back to work. I know that the message we share is true. I wish I could sit down with everyone on the face of the planet and spend a few hours talking about what I know and why, and how wonderful a message it is. I love the Gospel, and that motivates me to WANT to share it with everybody I see. I just wish they could see how much I love it and know that there must be something in it.

I love you all! Have a beautiful winter, and enjoy the temperature (it reached 9 degrees here). I close with the traditional Colorado farewell, "Stay warm!"

A couple of great people

H everyone!

Just FYI-- I did get that package from my boss yesterday. Thanks for that-- I will greatly enjoy its contents ;) Sorry for the confusion about the address.

So I'm still getting used to actually being a missionary. As I walked down the hall at Church, one of the girls was talking to her friend, and said, "No, we can't-- there's a missionary right there." I turned around to see who she was talking about.

Weather has gotten better since last week. Most of the snow has melted. Oh, and here's some pictures of how the snow was last week: brrr!

Well, in missionary work news, we have a few really great investigators now. By great, I mean they show up for their appointments and are somewhat interested. We have a couple that we're teaching that have a newborn. We taught the first lesson about Joseph Smith and the Restoration, and also answered some questions and cleared up some confusion they had about a lot of stuff. We also taught some of the Plan of Salvation, and mentioned how families can be together forever. The Spirit was very strong, and we could tell that they felt it, too. We challenged them to read some scriptures from the Book of Mormon and to pray to ask God if it was true, and whether Joseph Smith was really a prophet. They said they would, and we almost shouted for joy =).

We are also teaching another lady, and she is pretty solid, too. We just need to teach her some more before any more progress can be made.

I think one of the things I'm learning on my mission is how to take the right perspective on rejection. It's actually kinda funny. Some people think they're dealing us a huge mental-emotional blow when they curse us out and slam the door ("Yeah, I I really showed those Mormon boys!"), but in reality all they've really done is scared their neighbors and weakened the integrity of their porch door frame.

Some rejections are really funny, because people believe the weirdest things about our Church. It's amazing how people can tell you straight to your face that you have devil horns, worship Martian lizards, sacrifice chickens, are a nudist colony, have 23 mothers, and are racist. So, we simply bear our testimony that we know Jesus Christ is our Savior, and (politely) that those strange rumors are straight out of left-field, and that is that.

Well, looks like I'm almost out of time-- I'd better get going. I love you all, and hope things are going fine on the home front. God bless you all!