Monday, January 25, 2016

01-19-16 to 01-25-16 Finding fools!‏

This week has been pretty good!  We're really excited for our zone because last week our zone of 10 missionaries found 102 new investigators and around 25 of those are families!  Today we celebrated by going to Tulua to buy Dominos Pizza haha. 

Tuesday was a great day!  We found 2 new families to teach, both referenced from Elder Giles and Elder Tumbaco.  Both are young couples with little boys.  the first seems pretty interested.  The husband is a bit stuck on his Pentecost believes that God is 3 in 1 but the wife really wants to learn more. the other is really good and the husband has a strong desire to better his family for his son.  But they left on a long trip for a week so we wont teach them for a bit.

Wednesday we moved into our new house! Its super nice and spacious and white.  but since its a brand new barely finished apartment, its kinda dirty haha so weve been cleaning it like crazy.  but now you can feel the Spirit so strong!  It's a good change.
Thursday we had a baptismal interview for an investigator of Elder Giles and Elder Tumbaco named Alexandra.  She's a wonderful lady and has a lot of health problems.  She's always on oxygen but she never ceases to smile!  She's gonna be a great blessing to the church with her great attitude. 

Friday we had interviews with President.  It was all normal and i didnt have much to say or ask haha but I got my letters from the family for Christmas!  3 months late but i still enjoyed them haha. 

Saturday me and Elder Gomez found 2 more big familes!  Theyre both really good!  One is just this cool big black guy and his nice wife.  theyre really exicted to stregnthen their family, so we're gonna work extra hard with them.  The other is kind of sad because the sister of the family we taught lost her husband 2 months ago because he was shot and killed.   (that happens a lot in Zarzal for some reason.) But it was a really spiritual lesson. 

Sunday was pretty normal.  Just a few lessons.  We went to Nabor and Mery's house and taught Mery's sister.  It was a simple lesson on living up to our potential, but it was good for Mery's sister.  We left her meditating. 

But yeah not much to my week!  If you all can, pray for Colombia so it can rain.  the drought here is getting pretty serious, and if it doesnt rain soon, we'll be all out of water.  I dont wanna see what will happen at that point!
love you all! 

Elder Welch

 The main park in Zarzal

Elder Gomez

 I sent this antique tie clip for Christmas 
and he really loves it :)

 His desk

 The new apartment

 Little area for washing clothes

 Five pizzas for ten people :) 
He said he made himself sick, haha

Zone Zarzal celebrating their past week success

Monday, January 18, 2016

01-12-15 to 01-18-15 Getting sick again!‏

This week was pretty average to below average.  it started off on the wrong foot when

Tuesday I started to have body pains.  I thought it was from working out (we've been working out a ton lately) but I found out it was more than that wednesday haha.  but that night, a member named Ligia presented us 2 families to teach!  And theyre both married!  So we're excited for that.

Wednesday we woke up and went to Tulua to do the finishing touches on the District Mission Plan (district as in what comes before a stake, not a missionary district).  But man, my body hurt!  By the time we got home, i had a 101.8 fever and was DONE haha.  So i was bed ridden all day. 

Thursday i was still sick but i was bored of laying in bed so we went out to work haha.  we had a good lesson with Nat and J, because theyre getting really into the church and are showing a TON of faith!  Nat already said she wants to get baptized, and J is actually reading what we leave now but the problem is... they dont want to get married.  bummer! 

Friday was a long day because we had no confirmed appointments.  We've dropped a lot of investigators lately that dont want to progress so we can work harder, so we kinda just tried contacting all day.  Elder Gomez was a bit frustrated with religion just because some people just drive us crazy with their apostasy driven beliefs.  It was just kind of a long day. 

Saturday we had a good zone meeting that pumped me up and that night a member presented us a new family.  They didnt really show much interest to listen but at least the members are working now! 

Sunday after church, we had to go to Tulua for a meeting with the District President and all the Branch Presidents in the District to talk about mission plan.  It went really well, we and all the branch presidents are in agreement and we're gonna make some VERY necessary changes to hopefully improve how things go in the church in Zarzal, Tulua, Buga and Andalucia.  We're pretty excited.  But the meeting went too late and we couldnt get a bus back to Zarzal!  So we went to Andalucia to sleep in the house of the Elders there. Only problem is that Andalucia is in it's "carnivales" right now for the cities birthday.  I have NEVER seen a bigger party in Colombia.  We couldnt walk through the park because the WHOLE thing had a stage, and booths, and carnival rides.  We walked the whole block to get to the house.  And the music was SO loud that in the house we had to yell to talk to each other.  There was a HUGE reggatone concert of a group called "Alexis y Firo" and Elder Gomez and Elder Suyon freaked out about it haha i guess theyre pretty big.  But yeah, we couldnt sleep til 3 in the morning because the whole house was vibrating.  wow.  what a party, it was crazy to see. 

So this morning we got home tired and slept all day haha.  Some good news is we found a nice house this week and may move in today depending on what our land lord says!  So we're excited!  I love you all have a good week!

Elder Welch

Monday, January 11, 2016

01-05-16 to 01-11-15 Nabor and Mery's baptism‏

This was a pretty good week, and was very necessary to get back our spirits!

Tuesday was pretty normal.  A recent convert asked a weird question based off 
1 Corinthians 11 on whether or not woman need to cover their heads when they pray.  I thought it was a bunch of garbage but we gotta answer peoples questions, ya know?

Wednesday was pretty rad.  The Pensionista of the other Elders presented us 2 new families which was super cool! 

Thursday we had to travel to Cali for Leadership Council.  It was a long day but there's some cool new things!  January 20th, there's a worldwide missionary training from Salt Lake that we're gonna see, and everyone is super excited about it!  Also, the 12 apostles made a pretty big change in that the assistants to president are no longer going to do office work.  Instead they have to have the "example area" for the mission!  We're all super excited to see their numbers every week!  It's kinda becoming a competition haha.  We're all pretty excited!

Friday we got excited and worked HARD.  We've dropped almost all our investigators that arent progressing and have started contacting EVERY family we see in the street.  It's been exciting!  I also made the realization that i need to confide more in the spirit and less in myself.  We're starting to get powerful! 

Saturday we had the baptism of Nabor and Mery!  Wow!  It was the most spiritual baptism i've ever been to.  It wasnt even the service that was super impacting.  It was their testimonies after.  Both stood up and shared with everyone their testimonies, and i've never seen a more powerful and sincere conversion.  Both expressed great desire to go to the temple, and great gratitude for missionary work for finding them!  They both testified that they know the prophet is a word of God, that the Book of Mormon is true.  The spirit was SO strong.  There really are people out there 100% prepared by the Lord!  We just need to find them!

Sunday was a pretty good Sabbath.  When we got to church, we were surprised to see that President and Sister Pricoli came so we missionaries all stood up straight and prayed that our investigators would come to church haha.  But God couldnt have been more merciful!  We had a TON of people in the chapel, we had a family come to church, Nabor and Mery got confirmed, the gospel principles class we teach was solid, and the sacrament talks were really good.  We better be careful, we may become the "branch of Enoch" haha.  After church, we worked super hard, and contacted everyone!  I jokingly said "im gonna contact a motorcycle driving by!" and when i didnt do it, E'Gomez was like "why didnt you do it?!" so i said "would you be crazy enough to do it?" in that moment a motorcycle came and Elder Gomez waved it down hahaha i couldnt stop smiling while we talked to him.  IT was a good time.

Last night transfers came, and Elder Gomez and I are staying together!  Elder Palma went to the offices and the new elder is Elder Tumbaco.  Sister Panduro left and some new sister from Peru came.  but luckily our zone didnt change too much!  So we're SUPER excited to kill it this transfer!  We're gonna baptize a ton of families!  That's the goal!  Love you all!
Elder Welch
Back in November, Jake wrote that the Mina Family in Cali had been charged with false legal charges and were jailed and had their children taken away. Little Dayana was one of his recent converts and the parents were working really hard and were close to baptism. Today, Jake wrote this in my personal email: 
"Update on the Mina Mena Family: E'ChaiƱa told me they have their trial this week, so pray pray pray like crazy!"

Nabor's and Mery's Baptism

Monday, January 4, 2016

12-29-15 to 1-4-15 HAPPY NEW YEAR!‏

This week has been very eventful but very slow in the work. 

Tuesday we started off kind of exciting.  So we started contacting our street references and we found a new family!  They invited us in and are really great!  But when we started talking, they told us of how scary things have been happening in their house and how for the past 3 years, the 17 year old daughter has had a dark figure come and bother her in the night.  So we offered her a blessing and they accepted.  When we finished, she got all weak, cold and sick so we were worried and offered to come back in the night time with the other missionaries to bless her again.  So we came back in the night time to bless her again and since then she is sleeping normal and feels calmer! Rad!
Matthew 10:1
(He gave a lot more details about the blessing they gave but I thought it best to leave some of it out.)

Wednesday we fasted for that family just to be sure everything would be okay, and the family joined us. It was a rough fast all day in the sun but it was worth it because the family is happy and grateful.
Mark 9:29

Thursday was slow because it was NEW YEARS!  Cool because 2016 and stuff but bummer because everyone was drunk or out of town.  I ate 3 dinners though which was AGONY!

Friday was worse because everyone was hungover or asleep haha so we had a zone meeting and did practices.  but it was pretty important to help the missionaries. That night while we were walking we saw a big glowing plume of smoke so we walked to where it was and the sugar cane field was in flames next to the houses!  They were huge flames, like 20 to 30ft high.  Luckily it burnt itself out and didnt hit the houses because the firemen came super late.  But it was cool to watch! im guessing it was a firework related accident. 

Saturday was pretty normal.  The 20 year old son of the Arias family is getting super interested in the church, but he's super smart and studies hard! he had all sorts of questions but he came to church for the 2nd time! Cool!

Sunday we had normal 5 investigators attending church but we are all bummed because we confirmed with like 15 and most blew us off.  But its chill. 

Today we hiked to the top of a mountain which was fun.  I am BEAT though haha.  But it was sure nice to get out and hike.  Anywho yeah. It was an alright week!  Casting out devils, new years, fires, hikes, but nah im sick of the holidays.  I just wanna work hard again!  But its alright because this week is our chance! 
I love you all!
Elder Welch
Yikes! It looks like he got hot on that hike!

The whole Zone Zarzal