Tuesday, April 28, 2015

04-20-15 to 04-27-15 Lots of strange folk!‏

So Monday was rough because our huge FHE with Abner fell through due to super hard rains but we had a little one with Abner's fam so it was cool :)  Abner read a verse in the Book of Mormon that said they "fought like dragons" so he was hung up on the existence of dragons haha it was hilarious. 

Tuesday was way great! The zone leader Elder Romero came in divisions with me in Jamundi and i got to know him better.  He's a super humble dude and it was cool, i enjoyed working with him.  It was kind of a bummer because out of all our plan As Bs Cs and Ds we had EVERY HOUR we had 2 visits of about 10 minutes each.  So needless to say my feet hurt.  But it was a really good day.  Something interesting is i met an old woman when we knocked her door and she kept going off about how she feels sad for dying soldiers, and another old woman came to the door and asked for stomach meds!  What the heck!  But we took the reference so whatever! 

Wednesday we had MUCH more success!  Elder Ortiz and I decided to try something new where we count how many people reject us and how many accept us when street contacting.  We got quite a few rejections but we just remember the life of Christ and feel like real servants of Him.  We talked with a new investigator we contacted with Romero named Jose and he's a chill dude!  But something interesting is when we talked about Adam and Eve he said he thinks the "forbidden fruit" is sex!  What the heck?  that makes no sense!  But he said he really wants to change and be closer to God so he's a cool guy!  That night we had a meeting with the Bishop and our ward mission leader and he told us he was impressed with our willingness to work and was impressed with our initiative!  It was cool!  So i think things are gonna turn around here in Jamundi! 

Thursday was decent.  We went and talked with the weird old ladies and i guess the one who asked for stomach meds is crazy with age so she kept asking us the whole lesson for the date, where we were from and she asked us weird math problems like "how many times is 4 in 16?"  it was a riot! 

Friday was alright.  We searched out lots of inactives and found most of them but a lot go to other churches!  Makes me sad that they've lost their testimonies. 

Saturday was GREAT!  We got 7 new investigators!  the first family consists of almost all girls besides the dad who was cooking stuff.  We just taught the 3 daughters the plan of salvation but I'm not sure how much they got out of it.  The sketchy thing is the 15 year old girl is a huge snake!  She kept saying "give me your eyes" and when we asked when we could come back she said "every day" so lets see if we go back there.  The next fam was this guy and his family.  He was super great and talked the entire time about his amazing love for his fam.  i think he'll progress a lot!  something interesting is he said "I'll give the closing prayer" and he crossed his chest, said the Lord's prayer, gave a normal prayer and crossed his chest again.  I couldn't follow what was going on!  The last was a girl who came and contacted us the other night wanting to know about the Church!  I guess she studies religion a lot and is particularly interested in the Mormons.  It was a cool lesson, shes really receptive, has lots of good questions, and committed to come to church without a problem!   So we were really happy that day.  Something funny is some random kid that day yelled "HEY ELDERS.  LONG LIVE THE MORMONS" hahaha i had no clue who he was! 

Sunday was cool, because the girl Jo who we talked to that night came to church like she said!  The members were super great to make her feel welcome, the wife of Abner sat with her and answered questions and the theme was on the Restoration!  It was super good!  Everyone thinks she's golden, she said she really enjoyed the reverence, lessons and prayers.  It was way cool.  Something strange is a lady named Hanna came to church and talked to us trying to establish her World Ministry movement!  What the heck!  We told her she probably wouldn't find help in our church and she kept pestering the bishop until he showed her the church communications website and she left. 

So yeah that was a good week! I'm loving Jamundi!  This Sunday is gonna be transfers so let's see what happens.  (I'll probably stay).  Love you all!  

Monday, April 20, 2015

04-13-15 to 04-20-15 BEE Missionaries

So this week has felt like a big learning/changing/bettering kinda week.  So Ill just start from Monday haha.  Well we didnt do much Monday, but Tuesday Elder Rojas came to Jamundi!  Since he's now a traveling missionary, he was joining me and Ortiz for the day!  It was way cool!  He honestly kinda called us out because we've honestly not being doing so well lately.  Both of us being rather new, we havent really known what to do.  But Rojas taught us a new way of planning with plans A B and C EVERY HOUR without fail!  Its so much more affective!  We also learned how to contact better, how to ask references from members and how to do everything faster, simpler and more powerful.  It was way cool!  ALSO HE BROUGHT GOOD NEWS FROM IPIALES!  H. passed his interview and is being baptized this month!  I'm SO SO SO happy! 

Wednesday felt good to put into practice what Rojas taught.  We asked for lots of references and set up an FHE with Abner and he's inviting 8 people for us to take their references!  We're doing that tonight :D we're pretty excited about that.  I also found out Abner's been stalking my whole family on facebook (he speaks fluent English) it's pretty funny how much he already knows about me...for all i know he's reading this now!  Haha! 

Thursday I went to Santander with Bautista.  It was kind of a rough day to find people home.  None of the people we planned to visit were home besides one less active, but we're gonna start working with him every Thursday when we head over there.  There's a bridge on the road to Santander we always go over, and that area must be pretty hot with guerilla because it's super fortified!  And i heard machine gun fire when we past!  But something crazy is the guerilla shot and killed 5 soldiers about an hour from Jamundi the other day!  It's been getting kinda sketchy here lately, I've been seeing lots of Helicopters, hearing gun shots and i saw the SWAT team yesterday!  (eating slushies called Cholados here hahaha).  But I've heard the military is trying to take over the President of Colombia so i hope that doesnt turn to crap haha. 

Friday we had interviews with the president!  We talked about the new initiative we have in the mission called BEE missionaries, which stands for Buscar EnseƱar Edificar which means search, teach, edify.  The point is to make us work more efficient and part of it, is if an investigator doesnt keep the first commitment, or doesnt attend church (for no good reason) we need to drop them.  So the assistants had us go through our investigators and we ended with 0.  which sucks.  but i can see its going to make things more efficient with our time.  We are on the Lord's time after all.  But with President, all went well!  I like to ask him hard doctrinal questions haha.  This time around I asked where the black race started (an investigator asked me that) and how Adam baptized himself.  He told me some pretty good answers that blew my mind.  But It was a good time. 

Saturday i got to talk with CHRIS RUIZ!  We left at 10:00am to be at the office by 12  and wow was that a chore to make it there.  Our bus knocked the dang mirror off a taxi, and i guess in Colombia if you get in any type of accident, you just stop right where you are and dont move.  So between the bus and the taxi, the whole road was blocked and backed up forever and the police had to come and check it out and everything.  It was a joke, and set us back an hour!  But we finally got there!  It was so nice to see Chris!  a piece of home for a bit :') haha.  He brought the package FULL OF CHOCOLATE, SALMON, A SHIRT AND JESUS THE CHRIST (the book) I was so happy!  But yeah we chatted a bit.  Not too long due to time but it was cool :)  But yeah that was a nice highlight. 

Sunday was a great day as well!  So i attempted to make crepes for the first time in the mission for lunch and it didnt really work out.  The pans we have are awful and we have an electric stove so it kept sticking and didnt cook right.  oh well!  That night as missionaries, we set an appointment with the Bishop in an effort to gain confidence with him and to show we wanna help.  And it was way good!  Once he saw we were trying to help, he asked suggestions, we made plans and now we're gonna make a new ward mission plan, call ward missionaries, and we're gonna pump up the ward for missionary work by talking in Sacrament on Sunday!  We're so excited!  Today we went to the funny taxi drive member named Alirio's house for lunch for Bautista's birthday and ate cake.  it was nice.  but yeah, there's my week!  We're super excited, and hopefully we can start getting real busy here soon!  BEE MISSIONARIES!  Love you all!

Elder Welch

Monday, April 13, 2015

04-06-15 to 04-13-15 Week of experiences!

Wow, i did lots this week!  So Monday night, we went over to the house of Luz and her daughter and we starting to talk about the importance of marriage, because after we do that, Luz wants to be baptized!  But her daughter attends another church called the Cruzada, and the missionaries that teach her showed up.  One named Ana celia, a black woman and one named Luz Maria, an older woman.  The daughter asked if they should go to the dining table in the back of the house and Ana said "no, i wanna hear what they have to say".  So we were all cheerful and introduced ourselves but she did not look happy.  I saw something was gonna go down!  She introduced herself and was very stern and said that their church is true and all this other jazz.  So we're just like "lets explain the Book of Mormon to show what we're all about!" and the crap hit the fan!  She just started Bible bashing and my comp started too!  I was just watching thinking "shoooot".  It was kinda fun though.  But the contention made me feel really anxious.  It got to the point where i thought "nah this aint going anywhere.  i need to testify".  So i bore my testimony.  I said that i KNOW in the name of Jesus Christ that the Book of Mormon is true and that God loves us and gave us prophets again in these latter days.  And the Holy Ghost spoke power through me, (i saw the fear in her eyes haha).  But after she just brought up something from way earlier that she disagrees with and i knew she was shaken.  But the contention was so awful i just felt a bad presence.  So i said "come on lets go" to my comp, but Sister Luz and her daughter were like "NO NO LET'S PRAY" while Ana just rattled off!  It was a mess!  So we prayed and left.  But it was interesting!  I didnt like how it felt but it felt good to testify of the truth in a "hostile venue" like it says in Doctrine and Covenants.  I know the Church is true and no amount of gospel knowledge from anyone can convince me otherwise. 

Tuesday was a pretty good day!  Luz and her daughter called us over to their house after lunch and apologized profusely and said that they loved how we remained passive and loving in that situation and they also did NOT like how Ana acted and said that she was a very rude woman haha.  So yay!  God 1 Satan 0!  hahahah!  That day we met with investigators, and on our way home that night it started to rain.  Then rain harder.  Then HARDER!  So we dropped off the member who came with us and started home because at this point it was POURING!  It was the hardest rain I've seen in my life.  It got to where there was about 6-7 inches of water flowing like a river down the road and wow!  We were up past our ankles in water! It was crazy!  When we got to the apartment, i was so wet, it was like i jumped into a pool wearing my clothes.  Nuts! 

Wednesday was cool!  We went to Gato Monte to visit Armando again.  He's just such a cool dude.  He let us chop some sugar cane with a machete and we've been snacking on it ever since.  It was pretty crazy though because when we left we had to walk about an hour to the bus because our taxi couldn't come get us!  So we were just walking through this area and WOW the houses are huge!  Mansions!  Its also a red zone that every one says is full of Guerilla so I'm pretty sure theyre all drug lords. But nothing really happened to us.  I saw a man on a side road a way off that may of had a gun i couldnt tell but he was standing as if he were guarding it.  GUERILLA.  But it was a good time and a nice man let us ride for free to Jamundi in the back of his truck so SCORE!  I also tried my first Cholado that day.  Its like a fruit icy dessert that Jamundi is famous for!  It was pretty good.  But it was chill.

Thursday was pretty boring and normal but Friday was chill!  We met a new investigator named Jose and he's pretty funny!  But he's loaded with hard (and unimportant) questions, such as "where did the black race begin?"  i dont know!  Does it pertain to my salvation?  but he was cool and his wife is super nice and they wanna listen. 

Saturday we went to Santander as a district to do some service.  A brother from the ward that we went with last time had us help mix concrete because he's remodeling his house.  It was hard work but a good time.  Afterwards, he drove us to his grandmas house in his sweet 74 Toyota land cruiser and we chatted with them for a while.  Its a super cool house thats pretty secluded and all open!  It 's a cool place!  But it was a good day helping out and getting to know more people. 

Sunday was a pretty average Sunday.  Luz came to church without us even saying anything that morning which was a HUGE step!  i also got pretty frustrated with the ward again.  In ward counsel they didnt talk about anything and it was really unproductive.  Although we have over 100 less actives.  So that's a bummer.  But I'm gonna try and make some calls, do some studying and see if i cant help out.  But yeah thats about it.  It was a pretty good week!  Hope all is well, and i love you all!

Elder Welch

Elder Bautizta (Peru), Elder Ortiz (Peru), 
Elder Welch and Elder Neilsen (Price, Utah) 

Ortiz and Welch  with  Bautizta and Neilsen

I think this is the "after" of celebrating
Elder Nielsen's Birthday :)


 "Sugar cane and the long walk"

 "The 'nice man' ride to Jumandi"

Ride in the '74 Toyota :) 

Oh, man! If you know Jake, then you know 
Pine-Sol is his MOST favorite smell, haha :) :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

03-31-15 to 04-06-15 LA PASCUA

This week was pretty normal honestly but because of Easter or "La Pascua" and General Conf, it was pretty great! 

Tuesday was normal.  I saw lots of parades in the street!  The Catholics like to dress in ropes and march about with Images of Christ haha so that was fun to watch.  They also burn lots of sage and pine incense which smelled pretty good.  Me and my comp were marching in the streets laughing how it would be to walk in the parade with them dressed as 2 Elders haha! 

So Wednesday was April Fools, (which they dont really celebrate in Colombia) but my comps still got me.  They took the planks out on my bed and bolted the door when we came back that night so we couldnt get in hahaha.  Whatevs it was still alright.  

We got a new investigator named Daniel and he's pretty cool.  He's a reference from a teenage girl member in the ward.  She always introduces all her friends to us which is way nice!  That night i went to Abner's house because he needed help with an English test.  We had a pretty good talk too on how the point of a mish is to change who you are and help others, NOT to have the "best dats" in the mission.  As long as I'm putting my heart and love and sweat into the mission, I'm successful.  So that was great. 

Thursday was cool, i went in divisions with Bautizta and we went to a village in our area called Santender.  We did it because apparently its the area of both of our companionship's.  Kinda weird but whatever.  We were with a member all day and we made a new investigator named Ce and his son E!  But no one else was home so the member bought us icecream.  Santander has lots of cool celebrations for Easter so it was fun to see the things there they do with Christ and stuff. 

Friday was rough.  We searched alll day using the ward directory and no one was home because it was Holy Friday.  I guess bigger part of the holy week here.  That night we taught our investigator P and i kinda felt frustrated with my comp.  He teaches wayyy too much info and talks way too long so i could just see her losing attention and getting bored.  I didn't feel the Spirit much which was too bad.  Hard to teach without the Spirit. 

Saturday was my first General Conference in the mission!  We went to the chapel to watch and it was interesting.  Obviously it was in Spanish, and they dubbed it over with translators.  When we started i was worried i wouldn't understand so I said a prayer to help me and it went pretty good from there on out.  I loved the talks on family, it was good!  It also reminded me of my own fam.  I look forward to watching General Conference again together.  I also miss it in English.  Its so much better to hear it in their own voices.  I was honestly kinda sad i didnt get to hear the prophets real voice.  But it was way great!  I also look forward to watching Priesthood session with my dad again, i sure missed that!  It felt kinda weird but i got a lot out of it. 

Sunday was ROUND 2 and LA PASCUA!  It was way cool to listen to all the testimonies from the Prophet and Apostles about the resurrection of Christ.  I felt the Spirit so strong as the Choir sang hymns of the resurrection.  He is Risen!  It was even better with the whole congregation singing in union!  I loved the words of (i think Elder Anderson?) on how everyone in the whole world was singing praises to Christ together!  I can testify of that!  It was beautiful.  I want to add my testimony to the Prophets to say I KNOW He lives.  And that because of him, we can live in Him.  He was lifted up on the cross so we can be lifted up in him.  He rose from the grave so we can rise from the grave of sin and mortal death.  Christ is the beginning and the end and he is our only path to eternal happiness.  How LUCKY are we to have this?  and as it says in the Book of Mormon, "How important is it to make these things known among the children of men"? Go and share the good news because Christ is everything.  I love you all, and i share that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.  

 His desk
(It's fun to see some pictures I've 
mailed sitting on his desk)
 Their kitchen

 The other Elders in his apartment

His bed on the floor...
(don't know how to feel about that :/)

Subway love :)