Monday, August 31, 2015

08-25-15 to 08-31-15 Meet the Mormons!

This week has been super rad!  A lot better than the last which is good news!
Monday night i had a really good lesson with our investigator named El and I bore my testimony on the Book of Mormon.  He got pretty excited to read after, now we just got a way to get him a job that doesnt work on Sundays, because as a taxi driver, it's gonna be rough getting him to church!  But i see BAPTISM! 

Tuesday we had a "we sucked last week time to change" type of district meeting.  And i guess it worked because we all had better numbers this week!  I had a really good lesson that day with Nai.  We shared a lesson with her on the Plan of Salvation, and she was super receptive!  When I explained the spirit world to her, it looked like a light turned on in her eyes and she said "oh!  That makes sense!"  The spirit was truly there. 

Wednesday was rough at start because we wandered most the day, but that night was great.  We had to go to our investigator who's husband is the Catholic dude that wont let us talk .  We decided that we'd try and put a baptismal date on her, and if she didnt accept, we'd drop her.  But Lo and behold, she accepted!  19 of September!  Let's see how that goes.  The other lesson that night was with a reference from our Bishop.  We taught the Restoration, and he seemed to like it!  And he lives RIGHT in front of the church, so let's hope we can get him there haha. 

Thursday was alright.  I had divisions with Morichal 2, me with Elder Skinner, and Elder Chaiña with Elder Yanzapanta.  It was actually a really awful day work wise because they had almost NOBODY to teach.  So most the day was walking, and knocking on doors with LOTS of rejections.  It was cool though to talk with Elder Skinner because we have identical tastes in music.  That night I got to give a baptismal interview to one of their investigators whos been investigating more than 2 years.  She didnt end up passing but only for some doubts she has.  Elder Skinner was bummed about the day, he said "I feel like this is how my mom feels when people come over and the house is dirty" (referring to his area) hahaha.  But it was okay, he learned some valuable things. 

Friday we had 4 lessons which was AWESOME!   Our first lesson was a reference from the offices.  He actually recieved lessons in a town on the coast of Colombia up north, and said he'd like to get baptized!  Only problem is he is moving to a red zone in our area and that he's homosexual... but he's super great!  I hope we can get him to make some good choices!  Another cool lesson was with Nai.  Something funny is she said "FULL HD" as a way to say cool! for example: "Your shirt is full HD!" hahaha i was laughing pretty hard.  We ended up talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how she needs to search the Book of Mormon to know if we have the authority to baptize.  She eventually got on the topic of Temples too, and said she wants to go with her family.  I wanna baptize her so bad! 

Saturday was rad, but different!  We had a HUGE stake mission activity called "Meet the Mormons" where we basically had free popcorn, soda and invited the entire world to watch the movie Meet the Mormons.  We started at 6:30 with about 150 people is all, so the entire zone hit the streets and started talking with EVERYONE!  By the end of the night we had 370 people!  It was super rad!  the assistents were stopping cars to invite them, it was hilarious hahaha.   Only thing is that out of ALL those people, i bet very few will be for Valle Grande because we live further away, but baptisms are baptisms, no matter who teaches them! 

Sunday was excellent.  We had a great ward council, because the bishop asked us what they could do to help?  We suggested daily organized divisions with priesthood holders and assignments for members to pass by for investigators to take them to church.  The bishop is happy to do it!  I'm hyped!  And we had 7 people come to church!  One of the highest in the mish!  I love it!  That night we had a FHE with the YSA kids again, and they brought a new investigator named Juan.  I shared an article on the Savior from Milton Ballard out of the December 2014 Liahona, and we all shared our testimonies of Christ.  It was great.  At the end, all the YSA kids were like " hey Juan!  You should get baptized!  How's the 12 of september?"!  hahaha!  So great.  It was a great time.  I love this ward.

Today we went to downtown Cali to see if Elder Guillen could find a speaker, but he didnt find one he wanted.  But it was a nice day to chill,  Anywho, love you all!  It's been a great week!  Also, ive been eating more fruits!  You're welcome mom ;)

Elder Welch

 It looks like the puzzle is coming along nicely :)

 We asked him for more pictures of the interesting 
bugs, food, etc.

Not sure who the friends are but Elder Welch sure is cute :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

8/18/15 - 8/24/15 Zone Conferences and illnesses‏

This week has been a slow one due to long conferences and illnesses! 

Tuesday was our zone conference and also Tayler's birthday!  Something funny is i remember the last one was on Tayler and Stephen's anniversary!  It was a good conference, but as always, INCREDIBLY long!  We were there at 11:15, ate Dominos for lunch (YES) and went until 8 at night!  Phew!  But we learned some cool things about obedience, speaking with faith, working as a team etc.  That night when we got back to the house, we went to get something to eat nearby and met a guy from Florida that got deported back here.  He was super cool and is basically super American now haha. 

Wednesday I had divisions with Elder Altamirano from my district.  It was a rad day!  Their area has been Rough, but we had a good day!  Something funny was there's a guy in their area that is NUTS.  Everytime he sees Elder Altamirano's companion Elder Critchlow (a gringo) he yells "HAY ESTA!  QUEMAMOS LO!" Which is to say "THERE HE IS!  BURN HIM!"  And he did the same to me!  So i guess he hates the gringos!  A spiritual experience we had was during a lesson with a new investigator, I quoted the first vision of Joseph Smith and after gave a powerful sincere testimony of it, and the spirit was SUPER strong.  I almost made the member with us cry haha.  Unfortunately the new investigators were still rough to deal with and i can tell their hearts have been hardened. 

Thursday I was WHIPPED because i slept very poorly at the other Elders house thanks to the fact that there is no pillow.  A good lesson we had was when we talked with Nai.  We read from the Book of Mormon with her, and she seems to be interested.  We hope she can keep her commitment and aread and pray.  That night we also had a little miracle of finding a "lost" inacative.  lost to say that she's not registered here.  But she said shes been thinking of coming back to the church lately.  So that was cool! 

Friday, we went and visited Jo and D, the investigators that are gonna baptize of Elder Ludwig and Elder Guillén because THEY MOVED TO OUR AREA!  inherited baptisms!  the only problem is getting D's papers so he can marry jo.  And he doesnt know where he's registered... and his mom won't say because she doesnt want athem to get married.  ALWAYS SOMETHING! 

Saturday AI woke up feeling SUPER sick from a cold.  I was sneezing like a fool.  We went out to try and work, but maybe God didnt want us to that day because everyone of our confirmed appointments blew us off.  So we went to get me some meds, agua panela, went to mission coordination and went home.  it was a arough day. 

Sunday I was starting ato feel bettaer which was nice.  And we had 5 investigators come to chuarch which was a treat!  One investigator of ours, Liz, wasn't gonna come but a member passed by without asking and brought her!  LOVE this ward!  The bishop told a really good story during sacrament meeting on his conversion.  I guess he had a bad drinking problem.  And when he was young, his little boy needed a new pair of shoes because they were poor.  When he got the money, he spent it at the bar on the way home.  As a result his wife got very angry and kicked him out.  WHile in the street, he met the missionaries, and they said God had given him a second chance.  Now here he is!  Beautiful to know how God guides us to the prepared.  Sad part of Sunday was when we walked ALL over and no one could visit.

Today i bought a new speaker because the one i brought from home is dying!  Good news is the dollar is up to 3200 pesos so now all us gringos can get everything super cheap!  WOO!  USA!  haah.  so yeah there was my week.  It was alright, just kinda slow.  But it's alright! 

PS sorry for all the A's thrown everywhere, this keyboard ahas a sticky A key. 
Love you all, stay safe! 

Elder Welch

Monday, August 17, 2015

08-11-15 to 08-17-15

This week has been rad! 
Tuesday was SUPER COOL!  I went in divisions with my zone leader Elder Green from Layton!  He's a super cool/fun guy, and is a legendary missionary.  We talked to a ton of people, and had some great lessons!  I kind of brought down some hammer on some less actives.  I asked if they loved God, and when they said yes i quoted from John where Christ says "If you love me, keep my commandments".  It was rad.  But i spoke to them with the spìrit and with power.  It was a spiritual day, and Elder Green and I got to be a bit better of buds.  It's nice to have zone leaders that are your friends. 

Wednesday I was whipped from Tuesday because Elder Green and I talked all night!  it was fun to see what Elder Chaiña learned from Elder Lyon.  He was being more outgoing and talking more!  I'm a proud father :') I also got my hands on a copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  I'm using it on lots of families lately.  It's a wonderful thing to pass over if you all get the chance!

Thursday we were kind of having a hard time finding people home, but we got a killer reference from a member named Omaira.  She's feeling really lonely lately, lost her husband a ways back and has liked what she's seen in the church.  I'm just happy we can share with her the plan of salvation to help her. 

Friday was rad because we found some cool new people. One is an entire family.  The missionaries before hardly taught them, but the dad of the family had a TON of questions, all pointing to the Plan of Salvation.  It was just an intense experience to answer a TON of his questions.  They're super great.  Also, the mom said she lost a baby of 7 months old, so it was beautiful to tell her that her baby is saved and not condemned like everyone's been telling her. 

Saturday I had a super cool contacting experience!  So we were knocking on the door of a less active, and he wasnt there.  I turned around to see a lady of about 40 something years old playing with a yoyo in front of the store.  So i pulled out the yoyo mom sent me and started playing with it too and trying to do some tricks like around the world!  The lady started laughing and we went to talk with her.  She's super cool!  She agreed to let us talk to her!  Thanks mom for the yoyo hahaha. 

Sunday I was kind of bummed because we had this HUGE family all planned out to come to church and they didnt come.  We even sent a member to get them.  But i got to meet the son of the bishop sunday who just got off his mission!  his name is Sebastian and he's super rad!  He's down to go to appointments and everything with us.  So that night we went to visit the yoyo lady with him!  She is VERY prepared by the Lord.  She shared of how she's been praying to know which church she should congregate at. She's also married which is a MIRACLE in Colombia, and she said she wants a good clean organized church to go to.  We had a very spiritual lesson too.  She seemed deep in thought when we left.  It was amazing.  Just good days to be a missionary!  I've been trying to get better and using "inspired questions" lately.  To follow the spirit better to ask good effective heaven sent questions. 

Today we went to La 14 in Calima and i bought a thousand piece puzzle and we got a fan for the house!  So on p days and when we have time im gonna finish the puzzle!  Good times!  Anywho, I love you all!  have a great week!

Monday, August 10, 2015

08/03/15 to 08/10/15

This week has been good and productive! 
Monday night, we had a FHE with a part member family.  It was a really good time, we played lots of games (which were basically all ruined by the kids ideas they added) but they all had fun so i can't complain. 

Tuesday was really good!  That morning we had a district meeting in the chapel Americas, and it went very smoothly!  We made good plans, had good thoughts, everyone was active and I'm getting better at my role as leader as in checking in and helping everyone out.  It feels good honestly!  That night we found a family of old investigators using the area book and they said they want to keep listening and dont know why the missionaries stopped coming!  But it's been since April when they passed by.  We taught the Restoration to see what they remembered and the spirit was there very strong.  Later we talked with C and J, one of our couples thats on track to get married and baptized.  It's been a hassle to get their civil registers, but we're working on it.  Also, a return missionary of the ward that got back like a week ago came, and it was super rad.  He's like having a 3rd companion to help out!  He also showed us to like 4 or 5 families, many with non members in the house.  Rad!

Wednesday was a bit slower.  We searched for lots of people from the area book and found few.  That night the ward mission leader went with us to visit C and J, but the ward mission leader got distracted and chatted with them for a long time!  We hardly got to share anything! 

Thursday we had a good day.  With one family, a family of about 8 people, we taught the plan of salvation.  About a month ago, the one brother in the family was killed.  So they had a MOUNTAIN of questions.  But it was special to tell the mother that she can see her boy again.  We stayed a bit long, but for a good reason.  We helped resolve many doubts and questions on the matter.  Later we visited 2 members named P and An that are getting married on the 28th.  Theyve been inactive but now want to make it all right.  We made instant friends, I really like them! 

Friday a lot of people blew us off but we still had a really good day!  With our pensionista we made brownies, but since there's no pam here, we used butter with flour which just burned the bottom.  It kind of ruined them but i learned not to use butter and flour again!  That night we met with just J. and i found out something that's kind of a bummer.  Him and C. have a rough smoking problem.  So that should be a hastle!  After we met a referal from C. named Mar. and her husband Wi.  It was rough!  She wants to listen but he's a die hard catholic and hardly lets us talk!  He kept talking about prayer and the virgin!  It was frusterating." 

Saturday was pretty alright!  We had a super good zone meeting.  I LOVE our zone leaders, Elder Lyon (from my group) and Elder Green!  They're great!  I just left feeling happy and excited to work!  I also got my PACKAGE!  Thanks mom!  I enjoyed the yoyo and american deodorant a lot haha.  That night we visted every investigator we've got to invite them all to church. 

Sunday was great too!  Only let down is almost no one we invited came to church.  We even had like 6 people say YES YES WE'RE COMING that morning!  It's an ongoing frusteration of the mission.  But the members are so great and willing to help.  That night, we were in a lesson with Mar. and Wi, and a member was passing by and came in and joined us!  It was so great of him to go out of his way and take the initiative like that!  Even though it was another rough lesson thanks to Wi.  I think we'll drop him and continue with Mar. at C.'s house, because Wi doesnt hardly let us speak.  That night, we had a FHE with almost all the YSA and YM/YW from the ward. (so like 10 kids haha).  They're super rad!  We did a scripture search thing on "people in the Book of Mormon who are good examples of Enduring to the end".  afterwards, we shared what we found, discussed how we can follow their examples and how we can become great like them and receive salvation.  It was rad!  I love them all alrready!  this ward is honestly a huge blessing for me.  Im excited to see the great things we can accomplish due to their great attitudes to progress. 

Today i got my haircut and we played soccer as a zone!  Loving the life in Valle Grande!  I also didnt get robbed this week, so I'm happy about that!  Love you all!

Monday, August 3, 2015

07-28-15 to 08-03-15 Breaking in the son

So Tuesday i spent the day with Elder Ludwig and Elder Guillén going ALL over both of our areas!  Some of my new investigators are REALLY solid!  On the 28th we have a mass wedding of 7 couples, and many are investigators that will get baptized the next day!  It's gonna be SO cool!  We're gonna be working like crazy to get it all ready! 

Wednesday MY SON ARRIVED! haha!  I had to be at the offices by 9 in the morning and we got trained on how to train!  Basically a load of "what-to-dos" and "what-not-to-do's".  Then at 12oclock, we went into where the new missionaries were waiting, while they had their eyes shut, and we put our hands on their shoulders!  My comp was saying "I'M EXCITED" hahaha.  Elder Chaiña!  (pronounced: Cha een ya) He's from Puno, Peru!  He's a shy kid, but he's got lots of gains to work!  After lots more presentations and stuff, we finally got back at 5 and i gave him some time to unpack then we hit the street!  A good lesson we had was when we stopped by a less active that night.  She doesn't come to church because she's getting old and sick so it get's hard sometimes.  So we shared about how Christ suffered for all her pains and sicknesses and afflictions so she could be comforted in these times.  She cried and the spirit was really there!  Good first lesson with the son! haha!  He's really quiet but when i give him time to share his testimony, he teaches with love and the spirit.  It's rad!

Thursday was the first REAL day with Elder Chaiña!  It seemed to be kind of an unlucky day honestly haha but i kept being happy so my comp wouldnt get discouraged.  The water went out in the apartment, the atm in our area stopped working, and we got ROBBED!  HA!  When we were coming around a corner, a guy stopped us and told us to give him our change.  So i gave him all my coins, and he said he wanted more!  I didnt see because i was looking him in the eyes telling him i had nothing (which i didnt) but my comp said he lifted up his shirt to show a gun! he walked away when i insisted i had no money.  First day with my comp and he got scared straight!  It was funny honestly haha.  But man, it was a tiring day!

Friday was great!  But that morning something strange happened!  We were getting confused because the offices kept calling calling me Valle Grande 1 and the others valle grande 2 (the zone leaders told me vice a versa) so i called the assistents and i guess we were in the wrong areas!  So we had to change!  So all day the other elders came with us to my area so Elder Ludwig could teach me the area.  That night we went to the Bishops house for an appointment which was rad!  But to get there we had to walk a path between 2 red zones and a little 10 year old kid pulled a knife on my companion demanding his water bottle!  Before anything happened, the kids friend came and they walked away!   What the heck?  We were so surprised, especially for the kids age.  But man the bishop is cool.  He's super nice and we talked forever that night making plans.  He gave us assignments, offered lots of help, and even organized weekly divisions with us to go with members and learn the area quicker!  Exactly what i need honestly, im so hyped to work here. 

Saturday we walked a TON searching out old investigators from the area book.  And we were whipped!  Most of the day we just stopped by members to complete with a request from the bishop to explain fasting and to spread the word of a ward fast we did Sunday.  Something cool, is a 16 member named Julian met us in the street and just came with us to our lessons!  Without being asked!  I was sooo happy about that.  Im loving the new area. 

Sunday was pretty alright.  The ward honestly seems pretty unorganized.  They do sacrament meeting last which i find strange.  But sooo many people bore their testimonies.  I really admired that.  We went over half an hour for everyone to get a chance.  It was a good day.

Today for Pday we attempted to make cookies in the church!  We found all the ingredients, but theres no measuring cups in Colombia, so it turned out kind of awful hahaha.  What can you do.  But i'm enjoying it here!  Just getting in the habit of looking behind me and ahead of me more attentively.  I guess the missionary that died in 2013 was in my area so I'll be super careful.  I have lots of help so im not worried!  Love you all! 

Elder Welch

 The newest missionaries in the Cali Mission
and their trainers (including our own Elder Welch)

Jake and his new companion Elder Chaiña