Monday, November 30, 2015

11-14-15 to 11-30-15 Transfers!‏

This week was a good one, lots of our investigators were progressing.  Hoover (I spelled it Hubert last week, but i was wrong haha) went 4 days without drugs, and it getting stronger at avoiding temptation!  Also, Vic is doing super good coming to church and lots of activities.  The truth is, I'm super short on time because transfers came so this is gonna be short.  I got transfered to Zarzal and am the new zone leader with Elder Gomez.  Elder Muñoz got transfered to spend his last transfer in Buga.  Truth is we're both super upset and I honestly am not sure how i feel about being zone leader, but the good news is Andalucia is in my zone so we're gonna do divisions and I'm gonna being calling a lot to check in on my investigators haha.  But dang, I wanted to pass Christmas in Andalucia with Muñoz.  I'll still send him the gifts.  But as i always say, I'll do as the Lord asks me. 

Elder Welch

Monday, November 23, 2015

11-17-15 to 11-23-15 Saving druggies‏

This week has been pretty good.  And as the subject line depicts, ive had to break out the Word of Wisdom pamphlets!  We've found quite a few drug addicts as of late!

Tuesday was another weird day where we had no appointments, and just wore down the soles of our shoes.  Something funny is there is this pitbull dog that really loves us and follows us around everywhere haha.  He waits for us outside appointments and goes with us everywhere!  He call him "woody" because of the song in Toy Story "You've got a friend in me".  haha!

Wednesday me and my comp decided to take out the lists of "Old Investigators" and "future investigators".  We found a WHOLE lot of people that weren't very happy to see us again, but we did have some good lessons.  We taught Cal a really good lesson, he's super excited to learn how to pray and everything.  We set him for a baptismal date for the 12th of December (we'll have to move it back because he had to go to the hospital for an appointment during church Sunday). 

Thursday was a pretty good day! I went in divisions with Elder Gomez (zone leader/ex assistant) and Elder Winchester (Current Assistant).  It was a great spiritual, busy day.  We had a great lesson with Seg that morning, and something i learned from Elder Gomez was to ask lots of good questions.  It makes it way more affective to teach to their needs.  Ive always kind of done it but he helped me do it better.  Later that day we found a new investigator named Hub.  He's a great guy but has an addiction to drugs.  He really wants to change.  We're working hard with him.  On our way over we ran into the 14 year old druggy kid and he was with another girl and they were huffing their shoe glue!  They started following us asking for pesos but we didnt give any.  Then the girl asked Rodrigo for a kiss and he said no and she started crying!  it was a circus.  But wow we're finding so many druggies. Later that day we visited the Marias (M and AM), and they're super excited to be baptized again!  I dont know what happened but i thank you all for the prayers!  They both came to church too, and didnt seem bugged this time! 

Friday was calm and uneventful compared to Thursday.  We taught Maria (M) the Word of Wisdom because she has a smoking issue.  We also had a really nice visit with Cal and we brought the 1st counselor of the branch and the elders quorum pres.  He's such a great guy, we're excited for him. He's changed a lot! 

Saturday we had  a pretty good zone meeting on working with members and using the book of mormon to invite the spirit.  Later that day we met a new guy named John whos also a druggy.  He's pretty good, but kinda nuts.  The drugs he told us he uses are kind of sketchy... but he wants to change so we're gonna help.

Sunday was Excellent!  on our way to get some investigators for church we ran into a guy named Vic, whos also a drug addict!  He told us he wanted to change and come with us to church! (he always said he'd come but never did).  But he really liked it and is starting to take some steps!  He surprised us!  We're getting excited because it looks like we're gonna have lots of baptisms in December!  Merry Christmas!  that night Vic also went to a meeting with the men.  We didnt even stay, but he liked it.  

Today we didnt do anything!  We're just so tired that we slept haha.  But tonight we have 2 family home evenings so all is well! 

Just so you all know and can pray, the Mina family from Cali is passing through some false legal charges and as a result, the kids are with members and the baby was sent to a shelter.  I realize we cant help much but pray for them.  They're wonderful people and were ready for baptism when it happened. 
Thanks!  Love you all! 
Elder Welch

In honor of Thanksgiving, I challenged Jake to be grateful in any circumstance and to find 5 things he's grateful for in any challenge or trial. This was his reply:

I WANNA EAT I wish there was thanksgiving here.  but its chill, your challenge is super easy.  because im super grateful :)  being in Colombia and seeing the people im around makes me grateful for 1a decent home 2a stable family 3plenty of food 4health 5the true church in my life. i could go on and on.  but being in a poorish area brings those things to mind haha. love you mom!  have a great week!

Monday, November 16, 2015

11-10-15 to 11-16-15 Friday the 13th

This week was great!  A bit harder but what's the mission without trials, am i right?

Tuesday we had a zone meeting and i got my "hump day" package!  thanks mom!  we also got some crazy new rules, the biggest being no more soccer nor basketball in the mission, and we can no longer reactivate single women less actives.  only men and familes.  That night we went with some members of the ward to bless the house of an investigator because i guess a witch is cursing her house (don't ask me) and we had a really nice family home evening with her.

Wednesday was good, Elder Muñoz and I felt like knocking some doors, so we did and met some cool people!  It was pretty funny, one guy said "i have something of yours" i brought sister Alzamora's name tag! haha i guess he is a car driver and her nametag fell off and he found it cleaning the car.  What luck!  But it was nice meeting some new people. 

Thursday we had to go to Zarzal to do some baptismal interviews for the zone leaders.  it went well, but we barely got back to the car in time to go home! 

Friday the 13th was classic!  We had the worst of luck!  No one was home, the city cut the water without saying anything, and me and my comp started getting sick!  But the one good appointment we had was super rad.  It was a new kid we met named Seg.  He's a super analytic person and accepted a baptismal date for December.  We're getting excited!

Saturday Elder Muñoz and i got SUPER sick with colds!  Both of us!  It was rough, we wanted to work but we just had no energy to do it haha.  But we still ended up having a really good lesson in the park with a guy we met named Cal.  He's a super rad dude, he used to be a bum we saw passed out at the bakery, but i guess a month ago he had a nasty fall when he was drunk and he broke his arm pretty bad.  He said after that moment he swore to change. So he rented a house, hasnt drunk in a month, shaves, wears clean clothes and sells candy to get by.  He's super humble and was so excited to come with us to church Sunday that he was waiting in the park since 7 in the morning haha.  We're excited about him.

Sunday was kind of a bummer because none of our investigators with baptismal dates came to church and we had a hard time finding people to teach that night.  But we did have some interesting experiences.  First one was when were walking in a dirt road neighborhood, a businessman type man came and asked for help.  He explained how a robber stabbed him the head, how the doctors surgery couldnt do anything and how he had no money to get home.  His head is part shaved where the doctors worked, he had a huge lump with the KNIFE STILL IN HIS HEAD!  It was cut from the doctors but still there.  Gives me chills thinking about it.  So we gave him 6000 pesos (like 2 bucks) to get home.  Crazy! the other was while were walking through a ghetto part and some drugged up 14 year old came out wanting to improvise with Rodrigo.  (Rodrigo improvises rap super good) so Rodrigo schooled him, the kid asked for my ring, I told him no and he ran off sprinting. never a dull moment. 

Today we had a branch activity with Zarzal in a rad farm up above in Andalucia.  It was fun but most of it was swimming so me and my comp felt kind of left out. But it was cool. 
Love you all, hoping this week will be more active appointments-wise.  See ya!

Elder Welch
Wendy: Was Vanessa's baptism in the river?
Jake: you betcha

Wendy: Are you good? Like really good? Can I pray about anything YOU need just for you? 
Jake: im super good!  just a bit tired.  whipped all the time!  But thats normal for a missionary haha love you mom!

Monday, November 9, 2015

11-03-15 to 11-09-15

This week has been pretty quiet, besides our fighting to maintain M and AM on date for their baptisms. 

Tuesday we went up into the mountain to contact the old man who gave us Mangas 2 weeks ago.  His farm is pretty humble but really cool. We chatted a bit and i guess hes a member of the Pentecostal church of Colombia.  He talked a LOT but seems pretty with it considering how old he is.  He told us all sorts of stories about how Andalucia was 50 years ago.  That night we had a FHE in the chapel just for M and AM.  We had about 10 members come and played games, and watched the video on John Tanner.  It went SUPER well!  The sisters loved it and left with some more friends! 

Wednesday was interesting.  We did a "desembarco" in Bugalagrande, or basically, we did divisions with members and contacted, taught and vistited less actives all day.  I went with a super tall guy named Diego.  He's probably about 6 foot 7 ish.  But wow i felt super weird all day.  probably because i wasnt with my comp!  But we kept busy, 6 lessons that day.

Thursday was nice and calm.  I did a cool art project haha i made a mini bicycle out of some wire i found in the street, and i painted it red yellow and blue for Colombia.  It turned out great!  That day we visited AM and she was SUPER excited for her baptism!  It was rad to see her excitment!  She is super full of charity, love and selflessness.  We also passed by Jha, and i guess she's moving to the area of the sisters!  NO!  but she'll still get baptized so it's alright.  that night we went and talked with a contact we had and i guess they have a nephew who is super into drugs and wants help so they took us to his house and we talked for a while.  It was a good little lesson.  He's a rad guy about 21 years old, but wow was he shifty.  the drugs dont let him stay still.  We're gonna work with him and be his friend because he really wants to change. 

Friday i spent a good amount of time organizing a list of members in our area in order by their addresses, and we went out searching them out all day.  Amongst them, we found the Leal family, a family Chris Ruiz asked us to search out.  the Grandma seems pretty bitter towards the church though she remembers nearly nothing about it.  The grandpa couldnt talk to us because he's mute from a sickness he had.  It was sad to see how theyve completely fallen away, but she willingly gave us a reference. 

Saturday was strange!  All our appointments fell through and we dont know why!  Honestly, nothing really happened.  We ate pizza that night and i found a HUGE beetle on my desk but thats about it.

Sunday was frusterating.  It started out great because 6 of our investigators came to church including AM and M.  It seemed to all go well but when we went to visit after church, they said they didnt like it.  They were bothered by the irreverence and lack of organization.  Nooo.  M said she'll keep going because she still liked a lot of things but AM said she's not going back.  We're praying hard for them.  We're gonna focus a lot on helping them get testimonies of the Book of Mormon so they can have a testimony to motivate them to keep coming.  Pray for them! 

Today was a great day of nothing.  We went to Tulua so Muñoz could buy some souvenirs, we ate, slept, got icecream, guarapo (a lemonade made with sugar cane water) and did nothing!  It was actually really refreshing for once.  But im still happy here!  I love the people, my comp is probably one of my favorites up there with Solorio haha and we're having a lot of success.  I love you all and have a delicious week! 

Elder Welch

Last weeks baptism.
This one made his mom cry. 
Doesn't he look great in white? :)

Elder Munoz's longish hair throws me off.
(Jake mentioned it's a cultural thing where he's from
and the Church allows him to keep it a little long.)

 That looks an awful lot like a mattress that
thing is crawling on...eww...

This is the cave pool he mentioned 2 weeks ago.

Doesn't he look great?!? 
(With Elder Munoz)

Monday, November 2, 2015

10-26-15 to 11-02-15 Rocky roads in Andalucia

first off apologize for any time i miss a space.  The keybboard im using is a stupid rubber one that youu have to press really hard for it to type. 

This week hasbeen good but with some obnoxious experiences.  But in advance,  this time NONE of it was our fault haha.

Monday night i had to go to Zarzal todo a baptismal interview for the zone leaders, but due to the investigators family, we couldnt do it.  wasted hour busride.  Then we had another problem.  No more buses were leaving to Andalucia, and we only had 13,000 pesos, and the zoneleaders left!  So we  prayed, ended up finding a lady who was going to Andalucia too, took a bus to La Paila, then to outside of Andalucia, thena car home.  phew!  we were so scared haha but God definately answered our prayers. 

Tuesday was great!  We were teachinig Jha and she said "when can I get baptized?" we're super excited for  her.  Her cousin also excepted a baptismal date. 

Wednesday we visted Jha and she lead our session readingfrom the BoM haha it was so great.  that night i got to interview the sisters investigators that me and my compvisited!  and they passed!  im not sure what changed themom's mind but shes okay with itnow. 

Thursday I went to Zarzal in divsions with elder lyon.  the goal was for me to interview their investigator but it was sadbecause he's so scaredto tell hisfamily.  We never ended up being able to do the interview. 

Friday was the baptism of the sisters 2 investigators, and Vanessa askedme tobaptize her!  So we got 3 of our investigators with baptismal dates and took them to the service.  But wow.  How unprepared.  it was gonna start at 3:30 but somehow no onethought to find baptismal clothing for the 2 girls.  on top of that, people were coming late, there were no chairs, no music, and little reverence.  It was embarrassing that we brought investigators.  We may have lost them because of it.  at 6 we ended up getting the clothes and doing the ordinance but the spirit wasnt there.  Thatnight we had a talent show inthe church which wentwell.  It was better organized and Jha came.  It was a geat time and Muñoz and I sangwhile i played guitar.  We ended up leaving Jha with membersand runningto make ithome ontime but I guess Jha leftalone and got home with a friend (a boy) which REALLYmadeher mom mad.  So now we have to regain the mom's confidence.  Nooo.  so in 1 day we almost lost 3 baptisms.  It was frustrating. 

Saturday was HALLOWEEN!  Andnothing went on until the night time.  We had a super average day.  Taught some sisters, met a crazy dude etc.  But wow that night was SUPER busy and loud inthe park haha.  lots of partying. 

Sunday was somewhat frustrating.  It was a transmission of the District Conference from Tulua and too be honest, after the baptismal service experience, we were reluctant to invite investigators to church.  but we did it anyway.  Only M came, (one of the sisters that had the bad experience atthe baptism. ) but how boring was the conference!  and almost no one greeted her! she leftwith a face that read "im not coming back".  So we werebummed.  Afterlunch,  we had a 3 hour branch counsel where we talked about a lot of the things thatneed to change so i felt a bit better.  But man. 

Today we ate mangos andhung out with Rodrigo and Lizeth.  nothing too crazy.  Sorry i have no photos againbecause were out of time!

i love you all!  have a geat week!