Contact Elder Watson

Jacob will be unable to read this blog during his mission. If you wish to contact him, please use the information below.
He may not be able to respond directly to each letter or e-mail, so check back weekly to learn of his progress!

Adriatic South Mission
P.O. Box 2984
Bulevardi "Gjergj Fishta"
Qendra "ALPAS", Shkalla NR. 5,
Apartamenti NR. 14
Tirana 10000, Albania

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

15 June 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Things are going really well here. Gjakova is pretty awesome! So here in Gjakova the missionaries work together a lot. We help each other with other lessons when they need the help and we do a lot of group finding and contacting. We're a pretty close district and we get along together really well. So those "Sweet Jacob" cookies were only for the missionaries. People here have a very different taste for sweets, and those "Sweet Jacob" cookies are waaaay too sweet for them. The Albanian elder in our district, Elder Lesi, liked them a bit, but he wasn't able to eat more than a couple. Haha. We actually convinced the rest of the district that we made those from a pre-made American cookie mix. Haha. They don't have all of the same ingredients here in Kosovo, so I had to make some changes to the recipe, but they still turned out really well. That's so crazy that Josh {Braman} is home from his mission! Tell him "HI" for me. Wait a second. Micheal Thomas graduated from High School? That's super crazy! That's awesome that he's already made so much progress on his mission papers! That's so awesome that Loren {Olinger} got his mission call!! Tell him congrats for me! Rachel, I'm glad to hear that you had a great time with that activity this last week! {Her last Activity Day Camp before heading to YW.} Don't worry, activities in the Church when you get older just get better, so you have a lot to look forward too! Woah, when and where did you plant a new pumpkin patch? Every Halloween are you going to wait out there for the Great Pumpkin? Be sure to say, "Hi" to Grandpa for Father's Day if you get the chance to see him on Sunday. Also be sure to give my regards to everyone!

This week was a pretty good week for Elder Baker and I. We had the opportunity to get to know some of our less-active members more. It was a really good experience just to be able to talk with them and to show interest in their lives. When we showed a sincere interest in their lives, we could feel a complete change in the meeting with them. When they see that we really love them and are interested in how they are doing, they open up more and they are more willing to listen to what you have to say. It's been really awesome to see the change in relationship that we've had with some of our less-active members this last week. Now we're a lot more like friends and we're a lot more open with one another. This week I also got to go on an exchange with Elder Rasband. It was super awesome! Elder Rasband is one of the Zone Leaders up here in the north zone, and it was really awesome to be able to serve around him again for a day. Honestly, when we were together, it felt a lot like we were back in Durrës. He's such an awesome missionary and I'm grateful that he's a zone leader up here. So here in Gjakova the branch is really small, so we as missionaries get to give talks frequently. Honestly giving a talk doesn't even freak me out anymore. I think by the time I leave Gjakova, I will have given more talks here than combined anywhere else in my entire life! It's a really nice opportunity to be able to teach the members frequently.

I've been studying a lot about prophets recently and their importance. I think I've talked about this in a recent email with you, but I really want to emphasize it again. My testimony is growing stronger in that the Church is led by true prophets and apostles of Christ in these last days. I know with all my heart that Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet of the Lord today. I know that the Quorum of Twelve Apostles are prophets, seers, and revelators. I know that if we follow their words, we CANNOT go astray. God won't let His prophets misguide us in these last days!

Thank you so much for all of the love and support that you give to me! I couldn't do this without you! Zoti ju bekoftë! Ju dua shumë!

Me dashuri,

Elder Watson

I bought a suit from Osman, a man in Prishtina who has
a Turkish suit shop.  It's super cheap compared to suits in America.

Today for P-day we went to a Serbian Monastery near Gjakova.
It was very pretty there.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

8 June 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you all so much for writing to me frequently! I really look forward to reading about how your week went. I'm really excited to hear from you every P-day. I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to write to you last week, but there was a problem with my email account and it wouldn't open. But everything is working fine now, so that's good. 

That's awesome that the Wirth's are expecting a baby! Tell them congratulations from me! That's really awesome! That's crazy! So much missionary stuff going on in the ward with the Curtis's leaving and Josh getting home! Rachel, that's pretty cool that you went on an awesome school trip! I'm glad to hear you had a good time! How do you feel being done with another year of school? Are you excited for the summer? Or are you going to miss school? I hope that you have a fun start to your summer. That's exciting that you'll have Genesis {granddaughter} for a while. Hopefully she likes working, because there's always a ton of that around the Watson house during the summer.

President Weidmann texted the missionaries with the news that Elder Perry passed away the morning after. It's sad that he's gone, but he's served a long time and he's given a lot of wonderful counsel and guidance during his service as an Apostle. 

This week I've actually been studying a lot about the role of prophets and priesthood leaders. I'm so very grateful that God has given us prophets and leaders to guide us in these days. To me, it shows the consistency of God. Why would God communicate to man from the beginning of time through prophets and then just stop several years after the ministry of Jesus Christ. It's shown in the New Testament, specifically in the Acts of the Apostles, that Peter was the leader of the Church after Christ's Ascension into Heaven. So why would the Divine Office of Prophet be taken from the earth so suddenly? It doesn't make sense to me. In the scriptures it tells us that God is the "same yesterday, today, and forever" so why would God change His method of communication with man? We know that after the Ministry of Christ that the Apostles were killed one by one until they were all taken from the earth. Because of the death of the Apostles there wasn't that Priesthood Authority on the earth to direct the Church of Christ. Many people tried to continue to direct the Church, and I'm sure many, if not all, of them were led by a sincere desire to follow Christ's teachings. However, they still didn't have that Authority to act on behalf of the Lord. It's like if we see someone speeding and we tell them to slow down, the action that we are doing is a good one that will lead to the safety and blessing of others, however, we don't have the authority to write that individual a ticket or to arrest them. Only a police officer, someone that is authorized to act in the name of the law, has the authority to give tickets and make arrests. It's the exact same thing with Priesthood Authority. So that's why a restoration of Priesthood Authority was needed, and that's why we are so blessed in these days to have that Priesthood Authority back on the earth. We have Prophets, and Apostles, and Seventies, and all of the same organizations that the Church of Christ had back when He established it Himself. We are truly so blessed that the Lord has promised us that from now until the end of the world we will never lack that Priesthood Authority again. I'm so grateful for this and I know with all my heart that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God who receives revelation and has the Priesthood Authority to guide Christ's Church in these days. If any of us have questions or doubts about that, simply we can simply read his words and ask God. Matthew 7:20 tells us, "wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." It's as simple as that! Read and ask. I know that we will receive an answer from God if we do.

Thank you so much for all of the love and support that you give to me! I couldn't do this without you! Ju dua shumë. Kalofshi mirë! Javë të mbarë. U nglifshi shnosh!

Me dashuri,

Elder Watson

P-day in Prizren.
Elder Watson and Elder Baker.

View from the top of the castle in Prizren.
Sweet Jacob's Cookies in Kosovo.  They turned out so good
that everyone thought they cam from a pre-made box!

Monday, June 1, 2015

1 June 2015

Sorry, no update today.  Elder Watson was having computer/e-mail problems and was only able to get a short message out.  He says he is "alive and well"  and that things are going well in Gjakova.  He wishes that we all have a great week.  Hopefully, a better update will be forthcoming next week!