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

Monday, November 30, 2015

30 November 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for the emails that you write weekly! I really enjoy being able to hear about what's going on back home. I'm glad to hear that you had a good Thanksgiving. Zach {Crook from the Princeton Ward} told me about his mission call {Mexico Monterrey Mission}! That's super awesome! He got the second best mission call in the world!

We have some Christmas decorations at our house. It's only a small Christmas tree, but at least it's something. We've listened to Christmas music already, well we started the day after Thanksgiving. But I enjoy Christmas music, so that's all good. I love how the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has so many Christmas albums! My birthday was pretty great! We had Church which is always super awesome. And then we had a super awesome district lunch. We had... Wild Rice Soup! It was super good, I got really trunky eating it. Yeah, it turned out that good! We also had a really good cake from an American Sweet Shop in a nearby town. With the storm that came through last week it caused the Church basement to flood quite a bit, so that took a lot of time out of our days, cleaning all of that up. But everything is all good now.

Mission Conference was great! Yeah, we have a talent show and we get an amazing Traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but the main focus of it is to learn about the new Christmas Initiative by the Church, "A Savior is Born". If you haven't seen it yet, go to <> and watch it! It's an amazing way to spread the message of the birth of the Savior! Watch it. Love it. Share it! Be sure to share it with everyone that you possibly can!

#ASaviorIsBorn #NjëShpëtimtarKaLindur

I'm sorry, I'm super, super short for time today. Thank you for all of your birthday wishes and prayers! Ju dua shumë. Kalofshi bukur.

Me dashuri,

Elder Watson

Flooded Church basement.
We had our Mission Conference at a club in Tirana.  It was a
cool setting, but kinda' weird for a Mission Conference.
With the Abrahamsons--from MN!
My MTC group at the Mission Conference.
23 November 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for keeping in touch every week, I really enjoy hearing about what is going on back at home. Sorry, I don't have a whole lot of time to email today, so I'll try to write as much as possible in the time that I have. We had a pretty busy P-day today. We were busy preparing for the Thanksgiving Mission Conference that'll be this Thursday. I'm super excited. I'll show you more about the skit we'll do soon. This week was pretty good. The temperature has dropped quite a bit and snow is falling in the mountains. I love the look of snow on the mountains!! I'm so excited to see snow again! Hopefully in the next couple of weeks snow will start falling here. It's nothing like back home, I've heard, but they still get a decent amount here in Gjakova. We had a pretty big windstorm that came through Gjakova this weekend and it caused a bit of damage. We're fine and the members are fine too. It was super noisy though. All night our windows were howling like crazy. It got so bad that I spent about half an hour duct-taping them so they'd be quiet. It muffled the noise quite a bit. The handyman's secret weapon! {Red Green would be so proud!} When we went out the next day, there were so many leaves and lots of debris everywhere. Tons of windows on shops were broken. We didn't have power through Church, so that was a little interesting. Haha, what can you do?

Elder Harline is super awesome with the language! He speaks super well for only knowing Albanian for a couple months! He's from Lindon, UT, and he's fresh out of high school. It's so weird that he graduated this last summer. I was in Gjakova when he graduated. Woah, I feel old saying that. Charmander is a super solid investigator. He's accepted all of the commitments we've given to him and he's progressing to his baptismal date; however, the biggest problem we're facing is finding a way to baptize him by immersion without dousing his tail, he is fire type you know. We know he'll do well with the baptism by fire, but we're a little worried about the baptism by water... 

We'll go down to Tirana on Thursday for Thanksgiving and for my birthday, we'll probably just do a special lunch with the district and that'll be about it. It falls on a Sunday, so we'll also have Church. Hopefully the Sisters will enjoy my birthday for me. Haha. You'll have to send me pictures of them eating my cake and opening my presents. Haha. {The Princeton Ward Sisters will celebrate Jacob's birthday with his family this year.} I was looking forward to going out with the Elders when I got back, but I guess I'll have to wait a bit. 

So this past transfer I've been studying a ton about the Restoration of the Gospel and about the Prophet Joseph Smith. I came across one of his quotes that I absolutely love! I'll share it with you:

"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

I really love this quote and the desire it gives me to devote myself to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love serving as a missionary and I love serving the Lord! Things are going great here in Gjakova. Say hello to everyone at family Thanksgiving. Also tell Grandma Hawkins happy birthday for me. I didn't forget, I just forgot during our email time, but I wished her a happy birthday. Elder Harline is my witness.

Ju dua shumë. Kalofshi mirë!

Me dashuri,

Elder Watson
16 November 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

It's really awesome to hear from you every week. Yeah, last week was pretty crazy! It was super awesome getting to go to Macedonia though. The bus system is not very reliable here. We were told the times for the buses, but then we got there and found out that the buses just decide to go when they want. We missed nearly all of our buses only by five minutes, and we were on time for what they told us. It was pretty frustrating! Oh well, we got to go see Skopje and eat Burger King. I had a Double Whopper and a fountain drink and I nearly cried! Drinks from the fountain just taste so much like America! Every time we missed our bus, we said, "At least we got Burger King" that made it a bit less frustrating. It was a fun p-day.

Dad, that's awesome that you got a deer! That's super awesome that it was an eight-pointer too! Rachel, that's awesome that you were able to go to the Temple for the first time this week! I always love going to the Temple. I'm really excited to go back to the Temple after my mission! That's super awesome that the Wirths {friends from TX} had their baby on 11/11!

On 11/11 we were actually at a baptism. So on 11/11 we had halfway training in Tirana with all of the trainees and the trainers. So we carpooled down to Tirana with Elder Guymon and Elder Mero, missionaries from Prishtina, so we traveled back up with them, obviously. Elder Mero is from Canada, but he's actually Albanian. He lived in Tirana when he was 1-3 years old and then he left to Canada. In high school he learned about the church and then got baptized. Elder Mero still has a lot of family living here in Albania. His grandma was actually taking lessons from the missionaries when he got his mission call. So on 11/11 after halfway training, we went over to the other church building in Tirana, and watched the baptism of Elder Mero's grandma. It was a really awesome experience! It was really cool for him to baptize his grandma. That was one highlight from our week.

Another huge highlight of the week was this last weekend. So there is a member here in Gjakova named Burim. Burim is the first member of the Church in Kosovo, I believe. He was introduced to the Church through a member who has a music organization here in Gjakova. He wanted to get baptized, but back then there was no Church in Kosovo. So he waited and waited until the opportunity came to be baptized. He was finally baptized in 2006 in Slovenia. He's a super awesome member with a super awesome story that I can't do justice to in the time that I have to write today. However, he has been inactive for at least the past six months. This last week he was contacted by a member in Albania for him to take part in an interview talking about the history of the Church in Kosovo. Talking about the history of the Church really reignited his testimony. He has the calling as the Branch Mission Leader, and so on Saturday morning he came to the meeting and we discussed what we can do to forward the work along. He also came back to Church Sunday for Sacrament meeting. He also drove out to a village 15 minutes away to pick up an investigator family that was having an issue with their car. I was talking with him and he said, "With my return to Church, I'll help all the others return!" He's super awesome! He has such a fire inside him now to do everything he can for the Church. It was a huge answer to many, many prayers. I feel super excited and super hopeful for the future of the Gjakova Branch! It was such a wonderful weekend that everything else that happened during the week pales by comparison!

Thank you for all of your many prayers and thoughts. Ju dua shumë. Javë të mbarë. Kalofshi bukur!

Me dashuri, 

Elder Watson

Pictures from Skopje.  There are a TON of statues.
If you ever get lost, don't tell someone to meet you
by a statue of a man on a horse.  There's one on EVERY
street corner--NOT an exaggeration.

Role plays where Elder Harline and I teach our investigator,
Lunch a couple of days ago.  Don't worry, it wasn't dead for
long before we ate it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

9 November 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry I don't have too much time today. We went to Skopje for P-day and the bus system isn't the best. But I'm alive and well, things are going good. I can't complain! I'll write more next week and send pictures from Skopje.

Elder Watson
PS-I had Burger King today and nearly cried!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

2 November 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for writing to me every week. So you had the time change this past week? We had that a couple weeks ago here in Kosovo. It's getting darker earlier and it's super annoying for working. It seems a lot later than it actually is. That's really awesome that Daniel Crook {from the Princeton Ward} will be heading to the MTC this week. I'll bet that he's excited, but a little nervous, about that. It'll be a wonderful opportunity for him. Sorry, just a heads up, time is really short today for email. We were tied up with something a little bit earlier and so we didn't get a whole lot of time for email. Okay, so a quick run down of the highlights of this week. On Thursday, we had a Mission Conference with Elder Johnson of the Seventy. We went down to Tirana for that and it was a wonderful experience! He talked about how we can recognize and understand the Spirit more in our lives. On Friday night we had our Halloween party at the Church. It was a lot of fun. On Saturday, Elder Frroku ended his mini-mission so we went down to Tirana to transfer out. My new companion is a fringo {greenie}! That's right, I'm a dad again. I've adopted him into the Foster Family Line. His name is Elder Harline and he's from Lindon, Utah. He's super cool. The only weird thing is that he graduated high school in 2015. I was a senior when he was a freshman! Crazy! But we get along great and he's super awesome!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and thoughts! Everything is going well, but time is out. Ju dua shumë. Kalofshi bukur!

Me dashuri,

Elder Watson