Monday, May 25, 2015

05-19-15 to 05-25-15 New Companion!

This week was pretty good! 
So Tuesday WAS MY MOM'S BIRTHDAY!  Happy birthday mom, i love you!  I celebrated with an 8 hour zone conference in Cali!  yay!  It was kinda slow but we got some new cool ideas to get references from members. 

Wednesday the door man down stairs of our apartment said our new investigator William passed by the apartment wanting to talk to us.  So we went and found him and talked a bit at his house.  I guess he REALLY wanted to learn more!  So we taught him about the Book of Mormon and the restoration and he said "now i can see.  God has send you both to me.  I know it is true."  WOW.  It was super cool, he's a man full of faith! 

Thursday we had divisions with the zone leaders!  The plan was for Elder Cortes to go with me with Jo and see if we couldnt get her to baptize Saturday on the 40th anniversary of the mission in Cali.  We had a super cool plan, but around 5, his comp called us and said we had to go to Cali RIGHT THEN.  I guess something happened and the zone leaders had to go to the offices.  So dang it!  But Jo couldnt talk that night because work was busy and she had to go later.  Oh well i guess.  Also, in 2 days (Wednesday and Thursday) Bello and Dalton found 22 INVESTIGATORS.  So now im all excited to get out and knock doors or something. 

Friday we went in divisions, me and Dalton in his area and the others in my area.  The goal was to help me and Ortiz learn how to contact better and be more excited about contacting.  We had quite a few good experiences!  One lady said we were angels and an answer to her prayers.  We taught the plan of salvation, and i showed her my picture of the Mt Timpanogos temple, and she said "wow i feel peace when i look at this."  it was really beautiful. 

Saturday was the 40th Anniversary mission activity and we were busy all day!  It was fun to sing in a choir with 80 missionaries. (i sang bass).  The building was packed that night and everyone seemed to enjoy it!  I got my ring back from Elder OrĂ© who was there, and got to see a few other great Elders!  It was a good time.

Sunday was great and sad all in one.  Starting with the great, something really strange happened.  So a lady came to the church with a list of questions, so we came to her house after church to talk about it.  When we got there, she called over 3 of her friends!  So we were sitting outside in the doorway teaching these four women (we can't enter without a man present) and one started recording us on her phone!  I was kinda bugged but we taught them anyway.  And by the end they actually seemed really interested and touched by the Spirit.  It was interesting to say the least.  That night we had a lesson with Jo and brought a brother named Pedro, a super great 77 year old man.  But he kinda just ended up talking with Jo's mom all night bearing his testimony while we listened.  Jo's mom was really bothered by the fact we can't be alone with them as women without a man present.  But whatever!  Jo was talking about baptisms though and even asked which one of us would baptize her!  It was rad! 
The sad part about Sunday was in the night at 10 we got a call from the assistants and Elder Ortiz received Extra official transfers to go to Cali.  BUMMER.  my new comp is Elder C from Peru as well, and i guess he's kind of a "special assignment".  I dont know.  I feel honored in a way because Elder Rojas said he felt only I could help him out.

Today i went and picked up C, and he seems pretty cool!  He also seems kinda down.  I guess he has family problems and other things from his old days from before he got baptized that might make him go home soon.  I feel bad.  He was just in Pasto for 3 weeks, in Cali for 2 and now hes here.  So he doesnt think he'll be here long.  I guess ill just love him, help him and we'll go to work.  And so the mission goes.   Love you all!
Elder Welch

Monday, May 18, 2015

05-11-15 to 05-18-15

Monday was a great P Day!  That night we had an FHE with the Castrillon family and taught the Plan of Salvation.  It was fun to adjust the teaching for the 5 year old girl and the 7 year old boy.  I just love kids and their minds.  When explaining the 3 degrees of glory, I asked where the kids wanted to go and the boy said "france!" and the little girl said "the lowest one!" hahaha so i guess i failed there.  It was a good time. 

Tuesday was rad.  Elder Dalton and I went in divisions and it was a blast being with another Gringo!  We found out that day with a less active/investigator family that they dont come to church because the dad is very very Catholic and doesnt want them to attend church with us.  So thats a real bummer because unless they make a decision there isnt much to do about it. 

Wednesday I was a bit frustrated because me and my comp stopped by an investigator to see if she needed anything any to set another appointment and I guess she got a new puppy so we stayed for an hour and a half because my comp kept playing with it!  But its okay, i try and get us out of appointments at good times.

Thursday was a good day.  We went with the other Elders to Armando's tiny house or as they say here "finca" and they finally got to meet him.  He showed us around his property and we followed him as he chopped a path through the jungle on his property.  I saw some rubber trees and stuff which was cool haha. 

Friday was pretty slow, lots of appointment's fell but we had some good experiences.  So at our pensionistas house we talked with her daughter in law Gi. She's never really cared about the church and has also said she's super Catholic.  But in the lesson she said something different.  She said she was reading something on the internet about how the Book of Mormon isn't true, and actually received an answer to how she knows it IS true!  She knows the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  She also told us she's been talking to her husband (the pensionistas inactive son) and they want to be sealed as a family in the temple.  So we're gonna work super hard with her and Sai her husband.  We also decided we want to change pensionistas.  We've changed to Abner's wife. 

Saturday was pretty average.  That night we had an FHE with Abner's family, our ward mission leaders family, and some of our investigators.  We taught a lesson on temples, but somehow we got on the topic of where blacks came from.  But it was a good lesson.  Also, Abner's daughter was selling cupcakes for something to do with school or church (not sure what) so i bought 10.  aaaand ate them all that night.  (sorry mom) hahaha!

Sunday Gi and Sai came to church which is a great start!  After church we had lunch with all 4 missionaries with a family that invited us, the Alvear family.  It was great.  Brother Alvear, the dad, gave us homework to find the "2 laws of existence" one in 2 Nephi and the other in Doctrine and Covenants 93, and afterwards we had a SUPER interesting discussion on the concept.  He tied in religion with science.  It was WAY cool.  That night we met some new investigators, a poor little family of a grandma, the dad and the son.  They are very kind humble people.  We have another lesson with them tonight so lets see if we can touch their hearts. 

Lastly last night, we had a lesson with Jo.  She expressed concern that she doesnt feel the Spirit and is afraid she won't.  But i bore my testimony on how sometimes God answers by withholding answers.  I said she should look for how she can learn from it.  I also left Alma 5, where Alma bears his testimony and how he gained it through much prayer and fasting.  Maybe through fast she can receive her desired answers. 

Today for Pday we had to go to a member whos a doctor in Cali because last night my comp said he's having pains in his lower stomach and we're worried its something really bad.  So the member said tomorrow he'll call with results.  After that, we went with the family of that member to PRICE MART.  Price Mart is basically Costco and has TONS of American imports.  I bought Welch's grape jelly :)  I was so happy.  Never thought i'd geek out over gummy bears and jelly.  Welcome to Colombia
So there's my week!  Love you all!

E' Welch

Monday, May 11, 2015

05-05-15 to 05-11-15 New Elders in Jamundi

Tuesday was CINCO DE MAYO which means nothing in Colombia because i guess its just a Mexican holiday, but whatever.

Wednesday Elder Bautista and Elder Nielsen left Jamundi at the crack of dawn and we switched into their room HAHA.  That's how the cookie crumbles.  At about 10:30 the new elders arrived.  Theyre names are Elder Dalton from Monroe Utah and Elder Bello.  THE SAME BELLO FROM IPIALES.  But that's actually a good thing because he brought lot of great news from Ipiales!  The best being H not only baptized, but his oldest son who was on drugs and didnt want to listen, IS LISTENING!  He read the Book of Mormon, wants to change his life and is BEING BAPTIZED!  I want to cry just thinking about it.  That has to be my biggest blessing in the mission thus far.  I am so happy about it.  But the new elders are way good, i love Elder Dalton.  He's an excellent missionary from what ive seen so far. 

Thursday we let the new Elders go get lost in their new area and we went throughout the day.  It was a decent day, and that night when we were walking home at around 9:15ish from a lesson in a neighborhood about 10 min from the house, a less active and her guy friend passed by and offered to drive us home.  We accepted and when we got to the apartment, everyone was outside, and i guess about 5 min from that time, someone shot and killed someone less than a block away!  God really watched over us, it's nice to know we're protected. 

Friday we had a zone conference and after, Elder Lyle came with us in divisions!  He's now a traveling missionary, and he's the best Elder I know.  It was a fun, productive, spiritual day.  It was also fun to see because my area was his old one so all the members went nuts to see him!  It was a way productive day.  I hope i can be half the missionary Elder Lyle is.

Saturday was normal.  We had plenty of appointments which was nice, and that morning for service, we washed a dog haha.  One of our investigators in the car wash next door has a pet stray dog that lives there, and i thought he smelled like garbage so we washed him.  It was a cute dog and now he always tries to follow us home because he loves us so much! 

Sunday I GOT TO SKYPE HOME!  As usual, it was super great to talk to my fam.  But it felt different than the last time!  I didnt feel anxious before or sad after!  Just normal, talking to the fam!  But i sure love everyone!  Best mothers day ever for me! hahaha. 
Today we just went to McDonalds then played air hockey at an outdoor arcade in Cali and sat in massage chairs.  It was glorious.
I love you all, and hope all goes well!
Elder Welch

 Tayler and I were trying to answer his 
Skype call. His "calling" picture cracks me up :)

Skyping. Doesn't he look great?!? 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It's a Small World

On Saturday, April 18th, our friend and neighbor, Chris Ruiz, was able to visit Jake in the mission office in Cali. Chris served his mission about 25 years ago in the Cali Colombia Mission and had dreamed of returning. It just so happened his dream came true while our son was serving in the same mission! We are so grateful that Pres. Pricoli so graciously helped arrange for the meeting to happen. Seeing our friend on video speaking to our son made the World feel a whole lot smaller. Chris delivered a box of necessities for us (chocolate, candy, pop-tarts, smoked salmon, Christmas lights to hang around his apartment :) and a band t-shirt, haha) and brought back some things Jake wanted us to have and try (blocks made from sugar cane you make into a drink called agua panela, chocolate Jet Bars, the poncho he wore for Carnaval, his old quena, and letters for each of us). Here are a few pictures from their visit.

With his companion, Elder Ortiz, in the mission office

 A family Chris knows from his mission came along.
The older son will be serving a mission soon!
(That's Pres. Pricoli in the back)

Jake with Chris :)

Monday, May 4, 2015

04-27-15 to 05-04-15 Round 2 Jamundi!

This week has been pretty average. 
Monday I got a haircut (i may have already mentioned that) and that night we were suppose to have an FHE with Abner but it fell through, because his new baby boy had an allergic reaction to an immunization shot!  Yikes!  His wife and daughter got back from the hospital around 8 and we gave him a blessing.  It was sad but now his baby boy is okay so all is well :)

Tuesday was rather boring.  A guy fixed our stove and kept leaving for parts so we had to stay in the house until 4 to lock it up.  It was so boring!  That night we had with our investigator Jo and she's been studying the Book of Mormon like crazy using foot notes and everything!  She's great because she loves to study!  Also, she stopped drinking coffee just because we mentioned it a little once!  We didnt even twist her arm of anything haha.  GOLDEN! 

Wednesday was normal.  I went in divisions with Elder Bautista in my area and we kind of struggled to hunt down an appointment.  But that night we met with a less active and his parents decided to listen!  So they're our new investigators!  They were a pretty cool family.  The dad said he believes in the possiblity of Christ in the Americas because he studied the aztecs and mayans and he said they believe in a white God that came down and taught the people.  So he told us he'd read the Book of Mormon and pray about it!  WOop!

Thursday was once again pretty average.  most of our appointments fell through and we struggled to find people home, but that night we taught some friends of Abner.  Theyre pretty cool, and from the north close to Medellin.  i love their accents haha. 

Friday we spent all day with less actives, trying to get them excited about the church and what not.  That night we also met with Jo and she had a BILLION questions for us!  Some were kind of interesting haha, here's a few. 
Does God live in a star?
Did God come down as a human to have baby Jesus with Mary?
Does the church have official ties with the free-masons?
It was pretty funny haha but she had lots of good questions too.  its good to know she's studying so much though! 

Saturday was way slow.  We only found members home so we just visited members to keep the confidence between us good.  We also started our fast which was great!  I really like fasting now that i understand it.  I was having a harder time with this fast, because my whole body began to hurt and i couldn't sleep but i prayed for strength and felt better.  Fasting is really a time of spiritual upliftment! 

Sunday was pretty good!  Jo came to church, and we had a really nice spiritual testimony meeting.  I always love to hear testimonies.  That night we had a FHE with a great family of the Elders in the other area, and we taught them the Restoration.  It was a nice lesson, and they had good questions!  

Also, TRANSFERS CAME.  Elder Bautista is leaving for Morichal, and Elder Nielsen is leaving for Buga.  So we're going to have 2 new elders opening Jamundi 2!  should prove interesting!  But i'm staying here!  that means i'm in Jamundi at least until June.  Love you all!

Elder Welch

Not sure who's birthday they are celebrating...
looks like they know how to party though :)