Monday, September 28, 2015

09-21-15 to 09-28-15 Sick in Valle Grande THE SEQUEL

This week has been kind of a bummer because i got SICK again! but it's okay, what can you do? 

Monday night, we contacted a cool young couple that works in their own pizzeria. It was a nice way to start the week, finding some new people to teach.

Tuesday we went to an appointment that we set Monday night when we called our bishop.  He gave us a super important reference to teach the husband of a member who theyve been trying to teach and convince for 30 years, because the day before, he walked up to his wife and said "i want to listen to the missionaries."  We taught him the Restoration and I see a real change of heart.  He wants to become more close with God.  Miracles are happening!  The bishop is also SUPER happy we're acting on our word.  He said "I love Americans because they always complete their responsibilities!"  Proud to be an American :¨) hahah. 

Wednesday we thought would be rough because we had almost no set appointments but it turned out to be great!  We went and contacted the cool guy at his barber, and talked about the church.  The more we said, the more he liked it!  He kept saying "Esa religion es bacana!" which is like "That religion is awesome!" haha.   That night we taught a reference from a less active that is going through chemotherapy.  Poor lady.  But she is incredibly strong and positive.  You have to be, right? 

Thursday, I got sick,  BLECK.  We tried to go out and work but kind of just bounced from member's house to member's house because the sun was killing me.  That night i got worse with a fever of 100.6 and lots of body aches. 

Friday i was still sick but different symptons.  I got a sore throat and a bad headache!  We went to lunch normal, but i almost passed out so we went home and i rested a bit.  I was so bored but so miserable that day haha. 

Saturday i was feeling mostly better, so we ended up working normally!  But we only found 1 person home alllll day.  which is the worst.  We read a quick scripture with Nai and had to go to a FHE that fell through.  Nai is excited for general conference though!  im excited to see what she feels!

Sunday was exciting, we had a huge meeting after church talking about the direction of the ward.  the bishop is willing to do anything to help us grow.  I love that about him.  So we're making a new mission plan.  Besides that, it was a slower Sunday as well.

So that was basically this week!  SLow slow slow but this week will be better!  And GENERAL CONFERENCE!  We can listen to the latter day seers and revelators!  So get PUMPED!

Love Elder Welch
I told him that I'd read about Colombia being in a drought but that my weather app shows clouds and lightning EVERYDAY in Cali. His response: 
"HA!  that app is lying!  try hot sunny days at 95 degrees every single day.  it is sooo hot lately.  i want rain!" 

I also asked if he saw the eclipse Sunday night. His response: 
"there was an eclipse?"  
Haha! I guess missionaries are too busy to look at the moon :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

09-15-15 to 09-21-15 Elder Uceda!

This week was a good one! 
So Tuesday was pretty good!  I was confused in the morning when we went to the chapel in Morichal for the district meeting, and it was full of young students dancing "salsa choke" in the chapel part!  im pretty sure that is super unallowed.  i guess the bishop "lent out" the chapel to a school for 3 days to help them out and to do some missionary work.  But dancing in the chapel?  I felt uncomfortable about it.  A good lesson we had was with Nai.  We explained the importance of tithing and fast offerings.  After explaining it, she seemed to think it was really beautiful and nice how we use the money to help others.  She also gave us some yummy arroz con leche (rice pudding)!  The other good lesson that day was with a less active named G.  We read the 1st presidency message from the 2015 September Ensign on prayer, and she cried sharing how she never forgets to pray.  She said when she does, she feels the need to return to the church, but sometime stops her.  It was spiritual, and we explained the difference of promptings from God and from the devil, and how she can tell.  I think in time she'll come back.  The bishop is gonna work to help her. 

Wednesday was kinda sub par.  To prepare for the conference with Elder Uceda, I went to the stake center to practice piano.  I got Juventud de Israel down but was iffy on Estandartes al Señor.  All day we found no one home but That night we got some lasagna from a less active so i couldnt complain really. 

Thursday was the day!  Elder Uceda!  It was a wonderful conference and from 12 to 9, the time had never gone more quickly!  I really want to be a better "Preach My Gospel" missionary.  We learned about speaking with the heart, true love for those we teach, being humble, patient, persistent, having true intent etc.  We also studied some ways to read the scriptures more effectively.  He talked about how if you look at a chess board and ask "how many squares are there?" youll say "64".  But really, there's more!  if you look closely, there are actually 204.  So when we read the scriputures, and look at the meanings of words, or the words chosen, we can find "hidden squares".  I loved it.  He also talked a lot about how the Latino missionaries should learn English because the English version of the scriptures is the most accurate.  So feel grateful for your English sciptures! 
(He also said that Elder Uceda gave him a "thumbs up" after he played the piano so it must have went well.)

Friday was a hard day.  We had a hard time finding people home again.    That night we had a lesson with Nai, and we shared an article on the Book of Mormon from the July 2015 Ensign.  To be honest, im not sure what she was thinking.  I just want her glasses to get here so she can read it! 

Saturday was the Colombian version of Valentines day!  the day is called "Day of Love and Friendship" or "Día de Amor y Amistad".  We had a hard time finding people home but we had a GREAT talk with the bishop!  We talked about how we can better work together to move the work forward.  He wants us to call him daily to coordinate and to work together.  We're so lucky to have him as our bishop!  He also wants to help us find investigators through the ward counsel which will be SUPER nice! 

Sunday was great!  Thanks to the bishop, we had 6 investigators attend church, one being Nai!  It was her first time, and everyone was being great to make her feel welcome!  That night we had a FHE with some kids from YSA and our investigators Liz and Caro. It was alright, we played games, heard a message on "spreading light" and ate arepas with eggs! 

Today was just your average Pday.  Soccer and relaxing.  I love you all, and hope you all have a great week!
Elder Welch

Monday, September 14, 2015

09-08-15 to 09-14-15 Cam

Wow happy 11 months Elder Welch!  I don't say that to be trunky, i just think it's insane how fast the time goes haha. 

This was a pretty alright week!
Tuesday Was a day of lots of walking without appointments which sucked!  That night we visited Dayana and the fam, and she's already reading the Book of Mormon on her own!  It was a fun little mini FHE we had.  We talked about prayer in the family.  We used the talk from the September 2015 Ensign by Henry B Eyring.  I recommend it! 

Wednesday was an interesting day.  we passed by the Vic family, the ones that had bad spirits in their home.  We talked about the priesthood power and how we could offer blessings to homes.  of course they wanted one, so we blessed their home.  Im not sure how it's been since because we havent been able to find them home since.  Poor family was scared to death!  Also, the little boy that lives in front that was convulsing last week is still in the hospital up to this day.  But they should come home tomorrow according to the 13 year old son. 

Thursday was a fairly busy day of 3 lessons!  Best one was with the son of our pensionista, Cam.  It was a change from the past because he actually asked us to talk.  He told us a story how we was into drugs and gangs and how on one occasion he was running from some people that wanted to kill him.  They shot at him but he by some miracle survived and escaped.  He said a man that saw told him that he needed to search for God because he shouldn't have lived through the attack.  Now he's cleaned up and becoming a disciple of Christ.  I gave him Alma 36 to read and reflect over because i think he can relate. 
The other lesson was with Nai (the yoyo lady).  We taught the Law of Chastity which is easy for her being a married woman.  She's super rad.  This weekend she's gonna come with us to church! 

Friday was 9/11.  Though not really recognized here, i remembered.  Hard to believe that 14 years ago has passed since that terrifying day.  We've come a long way!  We had a really good day.  Cam wanted to talk again.  We read Alma 36 together and he was in awe at the similarities in his life.  He told us he just wants to change already.  So we invited him to take the ultimate step and be baptized the 26th of this month.  He happily accepted.  Such a solid kid.  He also helped me reflect on my own purpose as Elder Welch in the mission.  Alma 36:24.  I need to help rescue all i can from the sorrow and guilt ive already passed through and been rescued from.  The Atonement has no respector of persons.  It is infinite and free as long as we accept it and use it. 

Saturday we had a good zone meeting about our loyalty in the mission is first to God, 2nd to the mission president, and 3rd to our companion.  It was a rough day though appointments-wise.  A less active bought us hamburgers which was cool. 

Sunday was stake conference!  All the talks were on the Sabbath Day.  The members here are REALLY good at keeping the sabbath day holy.  A cool talk i liked was on how we take upon ourselves the name of Christ.  as missionaries this is more literal with our name tags.  She talked of a missionary that when he was struggling he just looked at his name tag and thought "my first name is nowhere to be found here.  Just the name of my family, the church and Jesus Christ.  Because we're not in the mission to represent ourselves, but our families, the church and most importantly, Jesus Christ."  It was cool. 

Today We just relaxed.  This thursday Elder Uceda from the 70 is coming to speak to us all day, and i get to play piano!  WOO!  It'll be an exciting week.  Love you all!  have a good one!
Elder Welch

A new friend :)
 (I'll bet this makes him miss his own black cat)

We asked for pictures of cool bugs.

Monday, September 7, 2015

09-01-15 to 09-07-15 Dayana's Baptism!‏

This week has been a good one! 
So tuesday morning we had to go to the internet to take a Preach My Gospel survey that questions our skills in Preach My gospel.  No lies, it made me feel guilty because i lack in SO many things.  I have a LOT to work on.  We had 4 lessons that day which was cool.  One that was pretty interesting was with the Vic family.  So we were explaining the importance of having the priesthood authority to baptize and how kids dont need to be baptized, and somehow they got to asking us about spirits.  I guess the same day the girl in the family had a scary experience where she saw a dark shadow in her room.  I don't want to explain too much because talking about those kind of things isn't good, but we explained how Christ and the gospel can bless them and protect them and their home.  So we're gonna offer to bless their home soon.

Wednesday we had 3 lessons.  The first lesson was with The Mina Mena family, and we ran over a pre-interview so Dayana can get baptized that weekend!  She's so cute, she knows it all and says it with confidence!  That night I went to Morichal (another area in the mission) so i could go with Elder Skinner and Elder Yanzapanta and talk with the lady i interviewed last week and see if i couldnt help.  We made a plan to fast for her this weekend to see if she can't get an answer to her prayers.  Something that was a bummer was when that morning the zone leaders took our phones!  But the offices said to take the phones of the whole mission so it wasnt anything bad.  But it was a bad time!  We couldnt call anyone! 

Thursday I had divisions with Elder Ludwig, and NO one was home that day.  Our only lesson that day was with the son of our pensionista.  We only got up until the apostasy and he wanted to stop.  So it wasnt that great of a lesson.  We were stressing out to figure out how to organize the interviews, and clothing for the baptisms Saturday.  (Elder Ludwig was gonna baptize 2 other little girls too). 

Friday was a LONG day!  Interviews interviews interviews!  First thing that morning, the zone leaders stopped by and gave us our phones back!  We were hoping for an upgrade to iPhones haha but nah, we just got our Nokias again and a lot more rules.  After lunch they came back to give Dayana her interview and she of course passed with flying colors.  She was jumping up and down with excitement haha (she's eight). After that, we were in an appointment with a reference that lives in front of sister Liliana's house, and while we were teaching the restoration, and i just finished testifying of first vision, Liliana came running in frantically with her 2 year old boy in her arms yelling "He's convulsing!  What do i do? I don't have money to go to the hospital!"  Poor boy had his eyes rolling back and his lips were going blue.  So we hurry and gave her all the money from our pockets which wasnt much and she ran to get a taxi.  Sunday the Bishop said he's in the intensive care unit still.  Holy cow!  We didnt really know what to do, so we walked the half an hour home to get money and went to Morichal so i could give 3 baptismal interviews.  We were late due to the ordeal but I gave the interviews.  The mom didnt pass because she has a smoking problem which was sad, and though the 2 kids passed, they dont wanna baptize without their mom. 

Saturday was the baptismal day!  The day started off crazy when Elder Ludwig and I were scrambling to find keys to the chapel so we could start the font filling up before the zone meeting.  The zone meeting was cool, it was on receiving revelation and setting goals.  Then we had another set back!  the zone leaders only brought 1 pair of baptismal clothes for children so we had to run home and eat lunch, then run to the chapel in Cuidad Modelo to get the rest of the baptismal clothing.  At that time it was about 4:30 and i still needed to interview Elder Ludwig's 2 investigators before their baptism!  So we ran to the chapel, interviewed them, and they passed with flying colors!  (children are brilliant).  Dayana, Luz Angela and Michelle were all beaming with joy!  Johanna, Dayana's mom, said she was counting the hours to her baptism she was so excited haha.  It was a fun nice service.  Only let down is that no one came besides the bishop (who baptized Dayana and Luz), the 1 counselor of the bishopric, the ward mission leader, the primary president, and Dayana's parents.  But they didnt care, they were so happy!  Also, Elder Chaiña got to baptize Michelle!  it was a good night, and everything fell into place. 

Sunday was a normal day.  The 3 girls were all confirmed, and we visited some investigators and recent converts that night.  Transfers came, but only one person from my district left. Elder Yanzapanta.  So yeah, there was my week!  Love you all!

Elder Welch

Gettin' his crafty on :) 

With Elder Chaiña and Elder Ludwig

 That must be a missionary hug ;)

 Adorable little new member and her family

Ha! Not sure...