Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On Fire!

Week 2 down... WHAT?! One of the elders this week said we only had 100 more weeks left on our mission. I was like, "Don't say that! And by the way, it's 102..." Little did I know, I'm assigned to come home June 30th, 2015. What's up with that?! President Perrutti will be hearing from me when I get down to Campinas. "Hey President, there's a typo we need to fix..." Haha but seriously, I can't believe I'm writing about this right now but I was joking with some of the Elders in my district this week that I was assigned to serve for a period of 24 months, not 23.5 months. Anyway,here's another brief, very brief, "journal entry" of my second week as a MISSIONARY! Whoop!
So I was conducting a District Meeting and I listening and suggesting ideas we could do better as a district this coming week with our "investigators", learning doctrine, and learning the language. At the end of the meeting I expressed how most, if not all of the elders in the district, are much more qualified to be in my position to interviewing and leading meetings and discussions. I thanked them for helping me out however and then asked them for some constructive feedback. "What can I do to better serve and help you?" No one said anything. I could tell one of the missionaries wanted to say something so I pleading with him to just "Lay it on me!" Haha, he wouldn't so I shared the story of Joey D slamming his face in to my facemask at halftime of the Delaware game my Junior year and how terrified I was. I related that to having "my feelings hurt" and told them that it wasn't possible. I'm not sure if the way I just wrote that makes a whole lot of sense but I think it did in the meeting. Anyway, everyone started laughing and then my companion gladly raised his hand to let me know what I need to stop doing or start doing to help them out. "Yes, finally! Elder Lundquist... Let me hear it."
"You need to stop talking so much in your sleep. You keep waking us all up..." Hahaha WHAT! Everyone started laughing and I told him that "I will really try harder at not doing that..." Haha I knew he was just messing around but I guess I've developed a little bit of "Matthew syndrom." The other Elders jumped in right after that and told me some of the things they've woken up to from me. The loudest I guess I was must've been the first week and I guess I screamed, "That's awesome!" loud enough to wake everyone up... Haha they also said I'm laughing a lot at myself. Yikes. Haha I told them I couldn't help it. "Sorry Elders, I can't help being happy. I'm finally a missionary now."
One of the coolest experiences this week happened on Sunday. A sister in my district came up to me in private and asked if she could have a preisthood blessing. She's really having a tough time and stressing out about a couple of things. I sat up in my seat and just smiled back of my ear to back of the other ear (yep, that's bigger than the Grinch's smile...) and said, "Of course." Another missionary and I found a quite, empty room and took her and her companion inside. We sat down and I asked her for her full name. After saying a silent prayer for the spirit and reviewing the order of blessings for comfort I layed my hands on her head along with another Elder. As soon as I began with her name my entire legs went numb. As I proceeded with the blessing the feeling went up through my body and out to my arms. I was completely just "numb." I dont' know how to explain it. I said things I tried writing down in my journal a couple hours later as I recapped the experience but I literally could not think of anything outside of three words. It was unbeliveable. I closed in the name of Jesus Christ and I looked up. I went to go shake her companion's hand and then her hand to thank them for the opportunity I had to exercise the Priesthood we hold and then to tell them how grateful I was that they asked, because the blessing is ultimately predicated on the faith of that person. But I reserved those comments for a little bit later in the night because I walked over to her and she was crying. It was nothing the Elder and I did, but the Spirit was so powerful. Sister Barr, the companion of the Sister who was struggling, hit her chest with her fist and said, "Thank-you. That was the Spirit." I smiled and shook her hand and then turned to Sister Harrast who I thought maybe was praying because her head was down. She looked up with tears rolling down her cheek and just muttered a simple, "Thank-you." Sister Barr kept apologizing for crying but expressed how greatful she was for the Priesthood.
I wanted to tell that story only because of how grateful I am for the Priesthood in my life. I'm absolutely dumbfounded when I think about why I was chosen to be born in to this church and why Heavenly Father trusted me enough to hold this sacred authority. It was definitely something I won't forget.
So I clearly love it here. This place is amazing. Elder Holland I guess made a comment that, "the spirit is so strong at the MTC, you would be able to pick up the phone book and read it and still feel the spirit." That's definitely true. Everyone's always smiling and helping people out. Everyone holds doors open for eachother and picks up trash. I actually really like holding doors open for a significant period of time because everyone will say "thank-you" in their mission language. Some of them are FUNKY! The only thing that isn't so awesome here is having to be here another 4 weeks. Sure, I love it here and am so happy I'm finally a missionary but it's like sitting in the locker room right before the biggest game of your life. It's like getting the most inspirational/motivational/ go out and just dominate someone's face off with the gospel of Jesus Christ type speech, and then you have to sit in the locker room for a couple more hours before going out to play. Haha, I'm really looking forward toAugust 30th. I understand that this program is inspired though and that I really would be in for a mess if I had to talk to a native Brazilian in Portuguese. I've only been here for 13 days... But on the flip side of that, in just two weeks I've learned more about how to speak and become better at speaking then I did in all of Spanish I and Spanish II of High School. Some of the missionaries get discouraged during lessons with our investigators that they can't speak the way they want to but I try to highlight the perspective of things. It's really amazing seeing how quickly you learn with the Spirit. 7th Article of Faith speaks the Troof! We begin and end all of our studies with a prayer and pray for the gift of tongues. I wish I could spend more time talking about this, but I want to talk about a couple other things before my time is up!
My district this whole past week at meals kept making comments like, "Man Elder Welch, I've never seen someone eat so healthy in my entire life!" Haha I was like ooooohhhh baby, you've clearly never met the Bosler's... But what was funny was Sunday came around, haha, and the sisters in my district were almost appalled by my "cheat day." Hahaha, after lunch I went and got chocolate milk and ice cream and poured the ice cream in to the milk. I might have thrown some cookies in to that puppy as well. After I was done making my concockshin (yikes on spelling there but I have five minutes left so dont judge...) I looked up and started rubbing my hands together to get all of the cookies crumbs off. Haha I don't know why I'm going in to so much detail about this but while I was doing that, four of the sisters were looking at my plate in front of me with their mouths open. "Elder Welch!"
"Sorry sisters... Today's my cheat day." Haha I felt like I was sinning or something for eating a "make-shift milkshake." Haha I gues they thought I was healthy all seven days of the week...
Anyway, I have one minute. Friends, I PROMISE I'll respond next week to you all. I love this gospel and I know it to be true with all of my heart. I have some AWESOME insight I've learned this week from reading the bible that I'll share hopefully next week with you all. Dustin, please send me both the Bednar and Maxwell talks. Really want to read them.
Mom & Dad. I'm so grateful for you all. 
I love you all!
Elder Welch

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