Monday, June 27, 2016

06-20-16 to 06-27-16 Ipiales!

Wow it's been so good to be back in Ipiales.  I sure do love it here.  It's been a busy week haha the life of a zone leader i guess.

Monday was just traveling.  Bleck I hate that 14 hour bus ride. 

Tuesday we had our first district meeting!  Our district has 8 Elders, and all the missionaries are pretty good!  I'm hoping we can all work really hard together. 
Something rad is I got to see Albert that day!  He was my mission leader when i first started the mission and we spent a lot of time with his family.  It feels good to be able to express myself in Spanish this time around haha.  Something cute is his wife Flor asked their little girl Estrella if she remembered me, (shes like 5 now) and she said no.  Then Flor said "You don't remember Elder Welch?  He gave you a CTR ring!"  and she said "It's the same Elder Welch?!" hahaha. 

But man, it feels good to be in a good area with a companion that supports me in the work. We've been talking with lots of families in the street and have been teaching with POWER!  I love it! 

Wedesday we walked A LOT haha but it was the semi finals of Chile vs Colombia in the American Cup so no one could listen to us. Also i ran into Patriarch Coral!  My very first pensionista! 

Thursday We had a lot of good lessons.

Friday we had to do a HUGE errand.  We had to do the 18 hour round trip in bus to go to Popayan because my comp had a problem with his passport.  What a long trip.  But it was cool to at least go because it's a super famous tourist place. (look it up on Google.)

Saturday I got sick.  Probably because the climate change,  But I still worked hard.

Man sorry im way out of time today, my comp took forever to get ready and we got to internet late so I lost time.  BUT JUST KNOW I'M HAPPY AND WE HAVE GOOD INVESTIGATORS! 

Love you all! 

Elder Welch

"The Largacha family (the family who fed us in Palmira)"

"Me in the street in Palmira!"

 "Some mission buddies from my same group"

"The chapel in Ipiales"

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

(don't remember the dates) IPIALES‏

So I don't really have anything to say about this last week.  But it doesn't matter because I got a MIRACLE transfer.  I got transferred to IPIALES AS A ZONE LEADER!  I'm gonna finish my mission where I started! And even crazier, I'm companions with Elder Herrera, who also started his mission in Ipiales and we lived in the same house!  He goes home after this transfer some I'm "killing" him. (Mission Lingo).  

Our house is super rad, it has couches, which makes it the only house in the whole mission.  (don't laugh at me U.S. missionaries).  But it's cool to be back.  I'm COLD and today i saw my old mission leader Albert, and my Pensionista is the brother of Gyovani, my old investigator.  Crazy to be back.  But needless to say, I'm excited to be here.  Finally I can work hard and have a comp that helps out :)  Thanks for the prayers.  Sorry I don't really have much to say.  Hope your week is super! 

p.s. for those that don't remember, Ipiales is a small indigenous town on the border of Ecuador, (like 2 hours south of Pasto).  My area is the old part so it has a TON of character, and a ton of old people in ponchos and fedoras haha.  It's super traditional.
Love you all!
Elder Welch
He sounds a lot more excited to be in Ipiales now that he's experienced other areas of the mission :) He served in Ipiales for about 4 months the first time around and I think he thought it was a little too safe and quiet, haha. It's funny how a little excitement (and heat) can make you appreciate the simple life. I've attached a couple of old pictures that include some of the people he mentioned in this email.  -Wendy

 Albert, who was the ward mission leader, is in red.
Elder Herrera is back row on the right.

This is Gyovani and his family.

Monday, June 13, 2016

06-07-16 to 06-13-16 Hola, me llamo Elder Welch y Soy un misionero de La Iglesia de Jesucristo...‏

Hey everyone.  Thanks for your prayers.  I think God sent me angels to pump me up this week thanks to all of you.  We had a pretty good week.  

So this week I kind of just got to a point where I was frustrated and we knocked every door haha.  In this mission, we normally try and do everything possible to find before we knock doors because it's just not that effective, but we got to the point where nothing else works so we're on plan Z haha. 

Tuesday we had a district meeting, and I think Elder Zubiria, my Argentine buddy in the other area noticed my stress because he said "Elder, transfers are in a week and you still haven't done divisions with us.  Tomorrow?" so

Wednesday we had divisions with Elder Zubiria and his comp Elder Mamani.  Wow, it was just what i needed.  Just a nice break and we knocked a TON of doors.  It was fun, haha we played a game "Knock on the RICHEST house you can find".  So we went to the richest neighborhood in my area and went crazy.  You'd be surprised, these people are richer than a lot of people in the states.  Radio door bells and everything haha.  But we actually found a few nice people.  It was a fun, relaxing day.  Oh, I also hit 20 months in the mission.  NO

Thursday was pretty alright.  We had 2 lessons, one with Nu and one with Pa.  I'm kind of worried about Nu, she seems like she's kind of losing her marbles.  She says she sees people before she dies and stuff.  What ever.  Pa has been hard to find lately because he works like crazy.  Poor guy, he works like 14 hours a day 6 days a week and makes 60,000 pesos every 15 days.  That's only 20 bucks in 2 weeks.  I feel pretty privileged in the states.  It was kind of a painful lesson, we were teaching him about the Sabbath, but my comp wasnt paying attention and he started talking about Noah when i let him talk... when he finished i straight up said "i have no idea where you were going with that."  haha... oh no. 

Friday Ramirez and i just knocked doors like crazy!  Ding dong! Hello!  My name is Elder Welch! And we would like to share with you a book of Jesus Christ!

Saturday we had a mission activity in the branch called "master chef".  How it went was people brought a dish and we chose 5 judges (investigators and recent converts) that tried every dish and chose a winner.  After, we distributed the food and socialized.  It went really well, and i made Bungalow sweet crepes!  Felt good to flip again! 

Sunday nothing really happened worth noting.  We had a FHE with some members and knocked doors. 

Today is the last PDay of the transfer, and elder Zubiria goes home next week, so we got together and had a cook out and ate steaks.  It was a good time. 

So yeah, there's my week!  Love you all! 

Elder Welch

"A cool fruit called Carambolo"

 "I made crepes for an activity!  Felt good to flip again!"
Jake worked at a reception center before his 
mission where he was a "Master Crepe Flipper" :)

 "The activity.  We called it "master chef""

"Poor mans barbeque"

Monday, June 6, 2016

05-30-16 to 06-06-16‏

This week was... not the best.  Not gonna lie to you.  The best day of the whole week was Monday.

Monday after we wrote the family and everything, a miracle happened when we were walking to an appointment at 6 when a man on his motorcycle stopped us.  He introduced himself as Jo, and asked what we do. We explained that we're missionaries and that we teach people about Jesus Christ. Then the guy just started telling us his life story.  He said that he's about to pass through a divorce, that he has a 3 year old little boy and that he's thought of "the worst". I don't know exactly what he meant, but i'm pretty sure I have an idea, and that scares me. But he said he felt like he should stop and talk to us because we can help him. So we went with him to his house, talked to his wife with him, and all cried together. We taught of how in a family, God needs to be first, and how the majority of all divorces could be avoided with simple repentance. Then we shared a scripture in 3 Nephi 18:18-21 that talks about family prayer, and invited them to try it.  I'm not sure if they'll stay together. But i know God put us in his path to share with him the Plan of Salvation if nothing else. We'll be helping him out.

Tuesday we didn't have any appointments.  But something i tried to do was share my testimony a lot more.  While looking for some old investigators that we found in the area book, we met a lady who had listened for a time but the missionaries stopped coming.  She said that she had a problem with the idea of another baptism and prophets, and ended up going to another church.  When i asked if she had read the Book of Mormon, she said yes.  But when i asked if she had prayed, she said no.  I bore my testimony on how the Book of Mormon is the only question she needs to answer, and if she knows it's true, she will know that this is where she should be baptized and that God has called prophets again.  It was a really spiritual experience.  She agreed and said she'll pray. 

Wednesday we also didn't have any appointments.  We also had some bad news.  Elisabeth, one of our only chances at baptizing this transfer got sick of her family and left for Cauca for 2 months.  So that bummed us out. 

Thursday was pretty rough too.  All day we had no appointments.  Just walking and getting rejected by the people. 

Friday was even WORSE because The U.S. played Colombia in the American Cup, and it was the first match of the season.  So all day, no one wanted to open the door, cars honked their horns at me, and i got a lot of dirty stares.  And we lost 2-0 haha. 

Saturday i finally started to get frustrated.  Our lack of success made me wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and as a result, I felt very unmotivated, short-fused, and even a bit discouraged.  I know I know.  But I'm praying and reading the scriptures more than i ever have because I can't afford to let myself get down!  We had no lessons Saturday.

Sunday, same thing.

Lately has been hard for me.  I've felt like I'm not succeeding and have felt very frustrated with my comp, my area and myself.  I ask for your prayers!  But i'm sure the Lord has something for me to learn from this. 
Something cool is lately I've been reading the Bible like crazy, and im in 1 Samuel right now.  I've learned  a LOT.  It seems like just as the Israelite's trusted in God that he helped them. But they just kept turning their backs on him.  I need to be careful not to do the same. 
Deuteronomy 31:8 "And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."

Today we helped deep clean the chapel as a branch which was a fun good experience.  I love service! 

Love you all!  Remember that God loves you! 
Elder Welch

 "My shirts are so worn out that they're see through!"

 "Me and Elder Ramirez cleaning the house chapel"