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Hello all!

Wow, has it really been 6 months!!?? I've heard that this is the point at which a mission really begins to speed up-- that's unfortunate, because it's already gone by as if it were only one month! I guess when you're involved in a good work, time starts acting really funky.

First, I'm still VERY pleased with our new Gmail system.

Second, we've been working really hard on getting the ward to help us in Elder L Tom Perry's 20 lesson program, which was instituted throughout the Church. Missionaries across the world are instructed to get 20 lessons per week, minimum, which is a pretty high goal in most areas. We are instructed that if we cannot reach that goal by teaching investigators, part-member families, and less-actives, then we need to make up the difference (for us, about 16 lessons) in teaching the ward members. It's a tough endeavor, but we're making good progress and improving our teaching. We've been working on learning to create lessons that aren't the standard 4 Preach my Gospel lessons and involving and enthusing kids, especially. We've that if the kids are actively learning and growing from our lessons, that gets us on the parents' good side, and they love to have us over to teach their family, and hopefully eventually, their friends.

On a pensive note, I've been evaluating missionaries' motivation. Some come out because their entire family's served missions. Some come out because they want to grow spiritually. Some come out because their parents are paying for it, or for college or a truck. Some come out because they want to convert people. Some people come out just to get everyone off their backs about it. But some actually come out because of a sincere love for the work. Perhaps there may be few of them, but they do the work of 10 missionaries every week and the people all around us recognize the light in their eyes. They are missionaries 24/7-- not juts during proselyting hours or while tracting. Those are the ones that truly love the name on their badge, and are really on "the Lord's errand."

They are also the ones known as "sticks on the mud" or any of a myriad of other nicknames, but they're the ones whose examples of love service, charity, and sincerity inspire the rest of us. I'm trying to be more like them and follow in the steps of Jesus Christ in my own short work in His ministry, and I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to serve Him, and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Watkins
Colorado Denver South Mission
Hello all!

Hallelujah! Houston, we have Gmail! The day has finally come when the Church migrated from its Novell system with 100MB of space, a bunch of errors, an ugly interface, slow response, and annoying navigation and no user-friendliness to the revolutionary Gmail-- the top-rated and easiest-to-use email client on the Earth, with a whopping 7419 MB of space (and counting =) )! As people can tell, I'm a missionary for the Church and Google! =)

Well, it's been an interesting week with the latest round of transfers! After Elder Finch left, and Elder Chapman came in, and then Elder Romeril came in (all in six weeks!), I am very glad to be getting everything normalized, and I hopefully will be with my new companion, Elder Baker, for the whole intended 6 weeks. It's kind of funny that I went though 3 companions this past transfer (two of which had to go home early for medical and other reasons). In mission slang, I would say I killed them off. It was really funny when I met my new companion, and he said, "So tell me a bit about yourself Elder Watkins." The look on his face was great when I told him, in the coldest tone I could muster, "I had 3 companions last transfer-- 2 went home and one was ET'd." Somehow I managed to keep a straight face, and he was very much alarmed at such history =) He was relieved later when he found out that none of my history has anything to do with disagreements between companions.

We're making OK progress with our investigators, and they are making sufficient strides to hopefully be baptized in a few weeks. Keep them in your prayers, please. We're hoping to get some more new investigators soon so we don't have 7 hours of tracting per day, but even if not, we'll survive.

Attached are pictures of a cool house (or in spanish, un hogarito we saw while tracting (knocking doors)-- I don't know if a midget lives there, or if it's just a very elaborate playhouse, but it's pretty cool, and we just had to get pictures.

At any rate, keep up the work on the home front, and God bless!
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