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Hi I'm Shirley Watts

I joined the church in August 2011 and it has been the best thing that I have ever done!

About Me

I am retired due to ill health but my beliefs and my faith keep me going and give me lots to look forward to. At present I am a secretary in the Relief Society which means that I take minutes in meetings and help to look after the sisters in the church. Because that is what we all are - brothers and sisters and children of God. I am divorced and a mum of three grown up children who I love dearly and wish that I had converted to the church a lot earlier in my life and brought my children up within the church. It brings so much happiness to know where we have come from, why we are here and what we are going to expect in the future. The youth in our ward have strong testimonies and their faith is so strong it is encouraging and wonderful to see and feel their enthusiasm. My hobbies are knitting - at the moment I am knitting a dog coat for one of our dogs! We have two dogs - one is a little white chihuahua and the other is a staffie that thinks he is a baby, we also have an african grey parrot, who is a little character. I want to perfect my cooking, especially baking cakes. I am a strong Osmond fan, they first got me interested in the religion but I did not convert until later in life. Although I am a fan of theirs I wanted to receive my own testimony and find the truth for myself before I did convert. I read the Book of Mormon and my heart burned with the love I felt for my Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ and my life began again from there. I love my faith so much.

Why I am a Mormon

I chose to be a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints after I was encouraged by Alan Osmond to get myself a copy of The Book Of Mormon. He asked me for my address and I said " Oh no you are very busy - you don't have to be running around after me!" Can you believe I refused an Osmond my address! Seriously, although I was a fan of the Osmonds, I wanted to have my own testimony, I wanted to feel for myself that the Church was true. We are encouraged to read the Book Of Mormon for ourselves and then pray to Heavenly Father for a sign that it is true. I was so excited to get my book, I couldn't read it for several days. I held it, stroked it, had it by my side all the time, but it took a while before I actually started to read it! Eventually I started to read, I admit it wasn't all easy to understand, but that is where the missionaries help out. They visited me as often as I wanted and we discussed sections of the book that I didn't understand. With their help I came to understand the gospel and my love for this wonderful book grew. I could feel within my heart that the Lord was helping me to understand the gospel and was guiding me to my eventual baptism. At the end of my reading my life felt different. I felt lighter, my problems never vanished, but I felt that I could cope. I was happier, I wanted to share this feeling with everyone, I couldn't understand why other people did not want to have this feeling too! The missionaries came to me after I had finished the reading of my amazing book and asked me to pray for a baptism date, they gave me a few options and asked me to pray for one that felt right. I did and I looked forward eagerly to this date. From then on in my life has been totally different. I am happier, I am more caring, I want to help my fellow man, I want to share the gospel with everyone, that is the most important. We need the gospel to return to our Heavenly Father, he is waiting for us.

How I live my faith

At present my calling is as a secretary and I help to keep meetings recorded and all information about the sisters within the church up to date. I enjoy this so much as it helps me to make friends within the church and to for those that need extra help I can help to arrange this. I love to do my visiting teaching, where we go out in pairs to visit a selection of sisters and to find out if we can help in any way we can. Often we just talk and pray together and help to keep their faith strong. We all have times in our lives when our troubles get us down and we need to share these problems, that is when we listen and offer any advice we can. My answer to life is that " A day is wasted if it doesn't have a smile in it." Often a little chuckle and a gentle word makes us all feel better. I have the Elders and Sister Missionaries around to my home and we talk about anything that I don't understand in the scriptures. We discuss what we have read and how the scriptures have bearing on our lives today. Even though I have been in the church since 2011 I am still learning and that is what the church is all about, to constantly be learning, developing and growing all the time within the faith. We are encouraged to learn and become our very best so that we can help others whilst we are here on earth. The Lord encourages us to look after those who are in need, "when we are in the service of others we are in the service of our Lord."