Monday, April 25, 2016

04-18-16 to 04-25-16 Working with members

So this week we tried REALLY hard to find new investigators.  It's been a struggle but we're figuring it out. 
Monday the husband of our pensionista, Luis, introduced us to a family of 6.  They've already met the missionaries and almost baptized a way back.  For certain problems they didnt but Luis feels like the time for them to receive the Gospel again has come.  The only problem with the family is they are VERY unorganized.  always getting distracted and half leave the room in the middle of the discussion so no one gets very much out of what we say.  but we're gonna try hard to get them to listen!

Tuesday was pretty slow,

same with Wednesday.

Thursday we decided to dedicate some time to contacting, whether it be knocking doors or stopping people in the street.  But seriously, EVERY person we talked to gave us dirty faces or came up with a ton of excuses of how we couldnt visit with them.  I think here in Palmira other churches have spread lots of anti Mormon material because seriously, no one wants to talk to us and some people we've talked to have brought up how we believe in baptizing for the dead and eternal marriage. 
So yeah, finding through our own efforts will not be the most effective way to find in this area.  So we've decided to work almost 100 % with the members.  We've been to EVERY house in our area from the members list, (171 houses) have made a list of who actually lives there (only like 30) and are planning FHE's, service, etc. etc.

Friday was crazy awesome.  we left all day with a member named Andres Cruz and he presented us some people.  Theyre all really good and we had 5 lessons that day!  it was nice to be busy for once.  We also had a lesson with Jul and she said she prayed about the Book of Mormon and wants to be baptized!  Wooo! 

Saturday we spent most the day confirming attendance, but around 6 or 7, my hip starting making a popping sound.  Then it hurt REALLY BAD.  So we rested a bit and I decided to sleep on it to see if it would be better Sunday.

Sunday was great, Jul came to church and so did F our less active.  They both had a really nice experience and all the classes and talks were really good and edifying.  After church my hip was still bothering me so i called Sis. Pricoli and she told me to rest and take some ibuprofen to see if by Monday it would change.

Today my hip feels better, and we slept and bummed around all day.  So nice to relax a bit! 
So this week all our plans are to work with members.  Let's see how it helps us!
Love you all!  have a Great week!

Elder Welch

Monday, April 18, 2016

04-12-16 to 04-18-16 Struggling with Samanes‏

Wow!  This week we've been battling the area! 

Tuesday we had interviews with President.  It went really well!  We waited forever, but i was grateful when it was my turn.  i love president, and sister Pricoli!  Also, Sister Pricoli brought me some things i had Elder Roman buy for me in Pasto!  I got a rad new Poncho, and a few other things!  I'll send the pics next week!  Something interesting is that night i met a guy who claimed that 13 days ago he had died, went to the 3rd heaven and talked to God.  He said God told him that there are no true churches and that he had to start his own.  His evidence was he said when you talk to God a lump comes out of your forehead.  Sure enough, he had the lump!  hahaha gotta love people.

Wednesday, all our appointments fell through.  We've been trying to set up a ton of FHE lately to try and get some references.  There really isnt a way to contact in the street because everyone closes in their houses during the day.  And member references are the bomb!

Thursday was another day of walking with few appointments.  But in the night time we met a family that had listened to the missionaries a while back and almost got baptized!  the reason why they didnt is because the husband is from a country next to Israel, and was married over there.  And in his country divorce doesnt exist!  So he can't get married here!  kinda crazy!  But theyre really good, and the wifes sister we met lives in the US and is here until January.  i wanna baptized her so i can have a convert in the states hahaha.  I just hope they progress!  That night we had a FHE with a family but the person they were gonna invite didnt come...

Friday we had few appointment.  Again.  That night we had a FHE with he Branch president, but the people he invited couldnt come.

Saturday we had a pretty good appointment with F.  But Guess what we found out?  HE'S BAPTIZED.  He got baptized when he was 14 (He's 42) and has been inactive ever since!  Frick!  But I dont care we're gonna activate him.  His family that's active said he seems more motivated than he's been in a while.  That night we had a FHE but the people the members were gonna invite WENT OUT OF TOWN!  We feel like some unseen force is fighting to keep investigators away from us hahaha. 

Sunday we had a conference for the area (Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador)  transmitted from SLC and Elder Oaks, Elder Hales, Sis McConkie and a member of the 70 talked!  It was funny, Elder Oaks did the first part of his talk in Spanish!  His Spanish was awful and he said he prepared it just for this haha but he wanted to address the people in their own language.  I found it VERY thoughtful and awesome!  In the afternoon we joined the branch council in a group effort to visit all the less actives and recent converts in the other elders area and next week we're gonna do the same in our area.  I think it went well and it motivated the members a lot. 

Today we went to a place called The Paradise thats a house where they filmed a Colombian soap opera called La Maria.  (soap operas are HUGE here).  It was a good time! 

Ive made a decision this week.  If worse comes to worse here in Palmira, and i dont baptize (WORSE COMES TO WORSE) I feel like I can at least try and motivate and edify the branch here.  My plan is to teach them how to work effectively as a branch council and hopefully the reactivation and retention can go up.  But I'm not discouraged!  Frustrated... kind of... 
Pray for my area :)
Love you all!
Elder Welch

"Playing Janga and eating cookies haha (funny face)"
(He say's "funny face". I say, "concentration" face :))

 "Baking cookies!"

"The Paradise" 

Monday, April 11, 2016

04-05-16 to 04-11-16 Arrancando (that means "getting started")‏

This week has been a battle, but hey.  Opening area haha. 

Tuesday i gave my first district meeting since Andalucia.  I'm a bit rusty haha.  But it went well!  My district is just me, Elder Ramirez, and the zone leaders Elder Herrera (who lived with me in Ipiales) and Elder Lish from Idaho.  Phew, tuesday was a good day for references.  In the afternoon, a member presented us a family (THEY'RE MARRIED), a member named Andres Cruz (he always accompanies the missionaries here) presented us another family, and in the night time our pensionista presented us ANOTHER family!  We were pretty happy, what do I tell ya? 

Wednesday was a bit less busy, but it was still good.  We had some lessons with some of our best investigators.  One is Gui.  He's excellent.  The missionaries met him recently and just in time, because he's been passing through some AWFUL trials.  One being divorce, and the other lung cancer... in my boat that's gotta be 2 of the worse things you could have happen.  But he has a very positive attitude all the time and trusts in God.  He reads his Book of Mormon chapters we leave and prays.  He's waiting for the answer to get baptized.  At the end of the lesson, we offered him a blessing of health.  It was very spiritual.
The other is F.  F is the uncle of a missionary here in Palmira, and he has recented the discussions before but FOREVER ago.  He knows a lot, but never got baptized.  This time around, he told us he's trying harder.  He reads and prays and is also waiting for an answer.

Thursday we spent the majority of the day visiting members to get references.  But wow, we're starting to need more ideas to find investigators.  In Palmira, almost NO ONE is in the street.  So contacting families doesnt work.  References is good, but it doesnt give us the quanity we need to stay busy.  Me may result to knocking doors... (that's heresy in this mission haha)

Friday i completed 18 months!  Crap!  And to make it worse, our plans A,B,C,D, and even F fell through.  Zero appointments.  Bummmmer.  On top of that i got a mad stomach ache that killed me all day and sent me to the bathroom more than once... haha ugghh

Saturday We worked on getting some investigators committed to come to church.  As a result, we found out that the day after we gave Gui the blessing, he heard something burst inside of him and had to go to the clinic.  So we went with Andres Cruz to the clinic to visit him.  I'm not sure what happened to him, but he's getting better.  it was nice to go to the hospital and visit... but i hate hospitals haha they remind me of zombies movies.  My companion was a bit confused why the blessing didnt work like he thought.  I explained that sometimes the Lord's will is different.  or maybe his body reacted like that so he could get to the hospital and treat something more serious.  We just dont know. 

Sunday was my first sacrament meeting in Palmira!  It was rad to play piano again, and great to take the sacrament.  This branch has very little attending, only like 40 or 50 and it's in a house chapel.  But the house chapel is actually pretty nice!  Sunday i was reflecting a lot in the type of missionary i've become, and so quickly.  I've become VERY organized (are you happy mom?) :) and VERY obedient.  I'm trying to be very strict to receive the blessings.  But I feel good where im at, even if the success isnt coming like i want it to. 

Today we made cookies with Andres Cruz!  He has an oven so we made them and played Janga, and connect 4 haha.  It was a nice day.  So yeah that was my week! 

We're taking a bit to get started, but I'm sure the Lord will bless us.  My son (Elder Herrera) is doing great, he's learning fast and is trying to be good to apply what i teach!  We get along well, and all in all, i'm grateful im training.  it gave me the push i needed to better myself. 
love you all!
Elder Welch

Monday, April 4, 2016

03-28-16 to 04-04-16 My son and general conference!‏

This week has been a lot of changes. 

Monday I traveled all day, and wow.  It hit me.  The HEAT.  It was SO HOT!  From cool Pasto to the humid hot valley of Cali.  I was dying!

Tuesday I was in divisions with the zone leaders of the Versalles zone in Cali, and I'm not gonna lie.  I was pretty bored all day haha I don't like not being in my own area.  I feel like there's so many things that aren't happening that I want to do!  But it's alright.

Wednesday I went to the offices to have my second Training for the trainers meeting.  It was the same as the first time when i trained Elder ChaiƱa haha and every with me has trained before too!  So it went by rather fast.  After, I met my son!  His name is Elder Ramirez, and he's from Santa Fe Argentina.  He's 19 years old, a member of 5 years and he's a really good kid.  He's got a peculiar personality but it makes it kind of fun hahaha. 
As soon as we got to the house, he opened up the area book and started looking for investigators!  His initiative surprised me!  So we immediately set out looking for the pensionista and other members.

Thursday we did a lot of walking.  All day.  And had zero appointments.  I felt kind of bad for my son, but he's a good sport.  The struggles of opening area... I'm used to it though haha.  Technically my 4th time, but you could say 6th or 7th if you consider that I've arrived to areas that had nothing.  I'm kind of good at opening areas now.

Friday we finally had some appointments!  We found some really solid investigators, one being a married couple that was gonna get baptized 2 years ago but lost contact with the missionaries when she left to take care of her sick mother.  It was a pleasant miracle. 

Saturday and Sunday was GENERAL CONFERENCE! 
I had many feelings during all the talks. 
1. I'm SO grateful for temples and my family!  What a miracle, and a blessing.  (I got kind of trunky)
2. We need to get to work to rescue our lost family and friends!  We need plans!  Ideas! 
3. I'm so grateful for repentance.
4. We need to start family council when i get home mom and dad hahaha

All in all, nothing beats listening to the inspired and chosen leaders that God has sent us.  We truly are blessed to have the restored gospel in our lives.

Love you all!  Have a great week!

With Elder Roman in Pasto

 I sure hope they didn't eat it O_O

 I'm guessing this is the Zone in Pasto

 With Brother and Sister Narvaez in Pasto

"My Pensionista Sister Hilda and her son Diego in Pasto" 

"This is me with all the zone leaders and sister trainer 
leaders with Sister and President Pricoli"

New Palmira Companion, Elder Ramirez from Argentina