Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hey, remember me? No you don't cuz I'm about to mess you up (missionary style...)

Our family got to talk to Tyler this morning before he left for Atlanta!  It was great to hear his voice and feel how happy and excited he is to get started.  He did ask if all of you friends and family back home could please include your address so that he can mail a letter back to you.  He would love to write all of you back, but doesn't have mailing addresses so he hasn't been able to.  Thank you to everyone that has been writing and supporting him - it really means a lot to him!  This is the last letter he sent to us from the MTC.

Familia! Como vai??
So, I hear football is starting up this week. I was under the impression Week 1 for High School started last week and college started two weeks after that... Guess not. Matt, I know its only been two weeks since you've written me but I wanna hear from ya! I didn't realize how much I loved football. Even though I'm in Utah right now, the weather is starting to change a little bit, indicating one thing... Football season. Holy smokes I'm so pumped up and I'm not even going to see or play in one game. Oh well, I live vicariously through Matt's year and Joe's updates. Adam... Onde esta voce?
All right, enough calling people out. Haha I actually don't realize who did and who didn't write me during the week because I literally do everything I can to keep my mind working so I won't get homesick. I successfully made it through the MTC without missing any of you! YEAH! Haha actually that's not true. And sounds mean... To be honest, I miss all of you. A lot. Especially the first day I played bball here. For some reason I associate bball with family and friends and couldn't help but think about home. Other than that tho, I really haven't struggled getting use to missionary life. It will be a whole 'nother story come though when I'm in the ATL. Haha I keep singing Justin Beiber and throwing up that "A" symbol and then laughing at myself. Seriously, I laugh at myself way too much... It's kind of a problem. Haha but I keep thinking about Matt getting made fun of for our music video last Christmas for doing that. Hahah okay enough at laughing at that. I'm pumped to go to Georgia. More on that later in the email though.

Wrap-up of MTC (I'll get more spiritual as the letter goes on. Don't worry...)
-I've earned some serious "street-cred" here. When people know your name, you feel special. When people know your name because of something specific, you feel even more special. But when missionaries from Mexico and other countries call out your name in the hallways and ask if you're playing futbol/futebol/soccer/whatever language they're learning during gym, you feel big time. Yep, I had some Hispanics asking me a few times if I was going to be joining them on the field. That sounds like either a super lame comment to be proud of, or just an arrogant comment, but I'll say it nonetheless because Dustin's always bragging to me in his letters. Plus, I didn't realize how fun soccer is. Who knows? Maybe Brazil will ask my mission president if I can help them out in the World Cup next year... Okay but seriously, I'm really bad. I'm one of those kids in gym class who goes way hard when he has the ball but when he doesn't have the ball, he just makes jokes that no one laughs at. I've had my moments though. I've "5-holed" some missionaries here, rainbowed the ball and even tried a bicycle kick on a cross. (I missed the goal by about 20 feet and jacked my back up. When I stood up I admitted that I surprised myself that I even made contact with the ball and if it went in, I would've just walked inside.) Haha but the Hispanics like me on their team though so just be proud of me.
-I balled it up a couple times here but I wasn't a huge fan of playing with some of the missionaries. I think Lucifer has his hands on church basketball because it literally brings out the worst in everyone. Haha I told the sisters in my district that before they marry their future husbands, to watch them play a church basketball game. I actually left a game one time to play four-square. I know. FOUR SQUARE! (I did get to the King spot one time though... No biggie.)
-I said goodbye to one teacher already and I have one more class tonight with my other teacher. They both have had such a big impact on me and I'm so grateful for them. They both gave me their emails so I can email them if I have any language questions/ just keep in contact. I suspect that it will be a challenge to study an hour a day in Portuguese when I have only had six weeks of learning it. Their emails will come in handy along with a lot of language books and prayer. At first I was worried I would forget a lot but that fear has kind of left me. Not because I have an Apostolic blessing from Elder Richard G. Scott but also because of yesterday.
-The Branch President released my companion and I yesterday as Zone Leaders and told us to take a seat in the congregation with our district as the new ones sat up on the stand. As we gathered our things together though he said, "Elder Welch, don't go to far though because you'll be our first speaker today." AGHHHHHH!!! Haha I actually wasn't too worried though because I had somewhat of a talk prepared and the second counselor gave me a little bit of a heads up that I should "be ready" (haha that's all he said. "Elder Welch, be ready. I would want to know if I were you.") So I kind of knew that the chances were high. Anyway, it was one of the coolest experiences since I've been here. After reading about two minutes of what I prepared, I looked up and everything just came out what I was trying to say. I wasn't thinking in Portuguese but there was definitely some sort of google translator in between my thoughts and mouth- it was incredible. I didn't really skip a beat and I bore my testimony on recognizing the Spirit in our lives. I closed em o nome de Jesus Cristo and sat down. The rest of the mtg went great. About two hours later I got a lot of compliments from different people, not that that's important at all, but how they were impressed with the talk. (Man, okay I feel flat out arrogant in this letter right now just by the things I've said so far... Sorry) I don't say that to say how well I speak Portuguese. Hopefully you know that by me admitting my stories about my "investigator" laughing at my pronunciation of words like "Tiago" (James) or not understanding a very basic, five-worded question. I just wanted to share that experience because of the Gift of Tongues. I had faith that that was real, but it wouldn't happen until the field and in a lesson, and only in the most crucial part of a discussion. Not true. If you prepare yourself, have faith, and are humble (which it doesn't seem like I am right now), the language will totally come. It was a cool testimony to me yesterday and assured me that I'll have a tough time in Brazil speaking Portuguese in the beginning whether I go there now or in 5 months. Don't worry though, I have a written our language study plan for daily, weekly and monthly goals for my language study that I'll be sure to follow in Atlanta.
*Quick side note. MATT! Get on my email and message Andrea Ruzzo. Ask him for his email and tell him that I'm on my mission right now and want to write him and his family. His name keeps popping up in my mind. He and his family were my host family in Italy.

All right, there's a wrap-up of the MTC. I'm absolutely thrilled to head out and FINALLY be a missionary. You enter the MTC all fired up and ready to go, but it's like I said a couple weeks ago. It's like sitting in the locker room for six weeks after Joey D slams his face in your facemask and tells you to Man-up or Coach Griff calls you out in front of the whole team during half-time... I actually don't think I ever told you about that experience but that was definitely I won't ever forget. Regardless, I'm ready. Pumped up and ready to mess some people up missionary style. I said it smells like football season earlier in this email, I change my mind... Smells like Missionary Season. All day, every day for the next two years of my life baby! Can't wait!

I've learned a lot since I've been here, especially through that sickness that literally brought me to my knees and had me pretty much crawling to the bathroom in the middle of the nights. (I lost about 7 pounds from just one week of being sick. I would say about 10 lbs but I weighed myself right after a meal. Haha that sounds so girly...) Anyway, I've learned a lot about faith. I read Ether 12 today and didn't realize how awesome it is. I spent forever on it. So in all of Ether you can recall that descendant after descendant (son/brother/brother in law) goes wicked, wages war, Heavenly Father sends prophets, they kill them or chase them out... You know the story. Finally, Ether comes along and Heavenly Father calls him to be a prophet. I love how in verse two it says that "He could not be restrained because of the spirit which was in him." That's like Clay Matthews style. Nobody's stopping him from getting to the Quarterback... Haha anyway, Moroni interjects his own thoughts in this chapter and says that Ether "prophesied great and marvelous things unto the people" but they couldn't understand him because they "saw them not" or because they couldn't understand them. I think it's similar to the Nephities in 3 Nephi where at first they couldn't understand the words or where the were coming from until they "turned their hearts, ears and sights" to the sound thereof. Anyway, there's so many things I wish I could tell you about this chapter but I want to send some last few pictures before I get on the plane to Atlanta. Moroni summarizes one of the things Ether testified of in verses 6-23. He uses the word "Faith" TWENTY-SEVEN STICKIN' TIMES! He then talks about his Ether's worries because of the awkwardness of his hands and weakness in writing and then Heavenly Father says that if we have faith, weak things will become strong. Scripture Mastery Matt! Yeee for BofM this year! Haha anyway, I love the examples Moroni uses of missionaries in the Book of Mormon who worked miracles only after faith. Read it and weep family.

Anyway, that's definitely comforting to because I don't speak my thoughts (and definitely don't write my thoughts) as clearly as I would like to but thankfully I have the Spirit. I love you all. I know there's a wise purpose in me going to Georgia for x amount of time. I'm not disappointed or discouraged. It's like tithing. If Heavenly Father needed money, He could send down a meteor to blow a hole in Utah where there's a bunch of gold. He has us pay tithing because of who it helps us become. The same is true with my reassignment. I'm anxious to see the type of person He changes me into because in just six weeks, I feel like a different person than before my mission.

The Church is true. Christ lives. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God.
I love you all.
Elder Welch

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tyler Gets a New Assignment!

Tyler is still waiting for his visa to come before he can go serve in Brazil.  He has completed his 6 weeks of training at the MTC, and since he has still not received his visa, he has been re-assigned to serve in a new area in the states until it comes.  The Mission Department has told us that there are over 700 missionaries who are still waiting for their visas.  Below is the email he wrote home today:

Quierdo Pais e otima fimilia,
I received my reassignment today! They wanted us to email you and let you know where it was. My companion and another missionary in my room were both reassigned to Pocatello!  I was actually hoping I would be called there so I could go and pick up all of Dustin's slack from three years ago... Haha just kidding but I was thinking how cool that would've been to be able to tell people that I am his brother. I love you all. My visa will come. As for now, God has a little bit of a different path for me. The more I look back at my life, the more clearly I see and the stronger my testimony grows of how much He's really been "in the details" of my life. I feel like I did back on Feb 22.  

I tried to send a video, but I guess it's not working.  I guess you will have to just wait and see it.  So I leave this Tuesday at 2:30 am for the Atlanta Georgia mission!  Once I get there, I'll send you the video.  I love you all!  Thank you for the love and prayers.  Tell the Jenkins that they're awesome too!

The picture is for Matt (oh, and Mr. Sedlacek of course...)
Love you Matt! Let me know how Football goes! I think of you all the time and wish for ya the best of luck. Remember, "Noah's arc, back-spin" night!" (Haha I told my companion that and he looked at me like I had problems)

Here are some other pictures that a girl (Sarah Kron) from Tyler's stake back home sent.  They are both training in the MTC at the same time.  This is the email she sent home to her family with the pictures:

Elder (Tyler) Welch + me (from the same home stake) - our classrooms (that we are in like 80% of the day) are like two doors down. Actually two nights ago my district + his were paired up to teach each other (one companionship from one district teaches another from the other district) the third lesson. Their district has been out almost their full 6 weeks and we have just barely passed our 3rd week mark, but were still able to communicate pretty well in portuguese!! #wahoo! Elder Welch + I didn't teach each other but the moral of the story is that we see each other so much and finally got in a photo...especially an OHIO one (which our companions were both REALLY confused about, haha). But they did it anyway. (: OH-! (: #ohiopride

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Man-ing Up"

All right so this week was the best week so far. Not because of the things I experienced but because of the things I experienced. Haha that doesn't even make sense but hopefully it does by the end of this letter. Let's start off with a run down of how the week week, shall we??

Actually, a few items of business I need to take care of first.
-Dustin, really sorry abt forgetting to respond to your question abt my Temple clothes. Please just send the tie, socks, belt and pants. I believe that's all I'll need. Thanks for being patient. ALSO! You have no idea how much I love your letters. Sorry family, but Dustin's are the best. Yeah you write me the most too but the things you write about are uplifting, motivating or just funny. Haha it's like you've been a missionary before and know what type of stuff I wanna be reading. So, keep it up please. Whenever I get a letter from you I always get super pumped. I might even reference one of your letters later on in this email.
-Shout out to a couple of friends and adults back home who emailed me, thank you! Especially Dominic and Sister Nelson. Please know that I love hearing from all of you and that one of these days I'll figure out how to manage my time in order to write back to all of you.
-BRITTANY!! YEEE!! You rock, you rock, you rock. I've gotten many comments abt "my blog" and how different people read it from time to time. Thank you so much for keeping up on it. 
-Shout out to the Boslers, LeFebve's, and Brittany for packages. Uhmmm, yeah baby again. Brittany, your PB cookies need to be somewhere in stores. I've decided the only thing I want for Christmas this year is a batch of those and a CD of Reese singing "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." More on that later...
-At some point in the next couple months, no rush, but I want a small "photo book" of pictures of the family. A lot of missionaries have them here and walk around showing off their families. I'm always like, "Oh yeah, well my family's better! And then I show them a picture of only some of us at ZooFari (yikes on spelling). Haha they always laugh at least
-Let the Nilsen's know that I love them. I've thought a lot about them this week and realized how big of an impact they have had on me in just two years. I pray for President Nilsen frequently and hope he can get back to his upbeat, giving everyone bear hug self again.
-Mom, you rock. I've thought a lot about you this week. Thanks for working on the Yellow Fever. I bet that was probably a pain. I love you
-Dad, or whoever for that matter - Elder Low (Tyler Low) and I talk a lot here. I see him all the time and we always play bball or soccer with each other. Anyway, he told me his dad called the Brazilian embassy or consulate to check up on his Visa and they told him if they had him get a "Secondary Police Report" he would have his in 3 more weeks. I'm not quite sure but maybe you could call him and talk to him about it. I'll be reassigned this Thursday if my visa doesn't come, which doesn't bother me because I'm teaching the Gospel! I just don't want to be in the States too long and lose some of my very limited Portuguese. Haha but it's cool because the Apostles will actually put my picture up on the board again, look at me, and pray to see where I should be reassigned. So, I could possibly be the youngest Welch ever to have received two mission calls!
-Gma and Gpa McFerson. I love you guys a lot. Thank you for your thoughtful letter.

All right, now to this week
Last Tuesday night we had our weekly, "MTC Tuesday Night Devotional." Elder Richard G. Scott came.................... AGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was like a 12 year old girl who just got called up on stage for Justin Bieber to sing "One Less Lonely Girl." Agh! I actually don't think that's the right song, but Matt will know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I was pumped. He talked all about prayer, which was way good. Here's a few things he mentioned.
-He started off really emotional, which is unlike him. One of the first things I wrote down was, "he's really emotional right now." Haha I remember feeling weird for writing that down at first. Anyway, he continued to go through tissues throughout his talk. The most I've ever seen an Apostle cry. He talked all about answers to prayers and how Heavenly Father loves us. He kept emphasizing that. He then said at the very end of his talk, "for those of you who are wondering why you think I've been so emotional tonight... Let me tell you why. I've received the strongest of impressions from my Heavenly Father tonight that my wife, who passed away in 1995, was going to be able to be in attendance tonight as I spend my evening with you." I wish I could word that sentence more like because it was so powerful. I think all 10,000+ missionaries here started tearing up. He then just looked down at the podium and paused for a little bit. Holy cow just that alone was one of the most powerful feelings I've ever had. To have an Apostle of the Lord testify that his wife is in attendance tonight with him - someone he hasn't seen for almost 20 years. Phew. After that, he pronounced an apostolic promise on everyone learning a language here. The Spirit about pulled the hair on my head off my body. After talking about his wife he said, that he feels that he should do something. "I invoke an apostolic blessing..." he paused for about five seconds. "to everyone learning a language..." and then he gave it. I don't feel comfortable sharing it right now but it was incredibly powerful. Everyone wrote it down and has been talking abt it since.
One thing he said about prayer that I thought was interesting was that he said Heavenly Father will sometimes "let you suffer" (meaning not giving an answer to your prayers) because he loves you and trusts you. This is an answer to your question to "continue on with your own judgement." He said that then, the Holy Ghost will confirm your decision or you will receive a stupor of thought. He won't let you question or wander too far without giving you a distinctive answer. Anyway, that was definitely a highlight of the week

Wednesday: I hosted 852 of the new missionaries that entered the MTC this week. I almost didn't like it because they pull up, some with cars PACKED full of family and friends as they are dropped off at the MTC, and every one's crying. The mom's always have the hardest times and I just wanted to run up to them and give the mom's a hug. Man! Some of them were really painful to watch. It got me thinking tho about this question.
So I've asked my "investigators," some of them that don't keep any commitments, "why do you keep wanting to meet with us?" Partly because I know they won't stop meeting with us because we're in the MTC... Haha but I started thinking, what if they asked me, "Why do you want to keep meeting with me?" I'll give my answer at the end.

Thursday was awesome, we got to Skype a Brazilian lady. Man it was so fun and got me PUMPED! Anyway, I'm running low on time, so just take my word for it... It was awesome. Haha

Thursday night I got really sick. I wasn't sure if it was something I ate or just picked up from being so close to missionaries, almost touching shoulders with other missionaries in class. Anyway, I doubt its something I ate because I'm eating healthy.  But my zone leader just got over his sickness which took him to the hospital last week because he was coughing up blood. His got really bad and he came in to my room to check up on me. I said I was fine and he asked me what was going on. I didn't say much but he described his and told me that his started off the same way. He told me just to miss tomorrow and sleep because it's really going to get bad. I told him I was just going to "Man Up." Anyway, I hope to finish this though before I have to go but I learned something valuable through my arrogance. My whole life I've always wanted to be seen as someone "strong." Physically, mentally and spiritually. And whenever I was struggling, which was ALL the time, I didn't ever want to say anything because I didn't want to seem "weak" in any way. Whether it was physically mentally or spiritually. For instance, I've never doubting the very existence of God and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon more in my life than I did until after I got my mission call. And it lasted for two months! Anyway, I've struggled with a lot of things but it's only made me "stronger." Not because I kept it in, but because I was lucky enough Heavenly Father was patient with me and would help me out before I would just "give up." So I got so sick this week... Well I don't really know how to explain it. Migraines, nonstop all day long would just drive me insane. My head hurt twice as much as it did back in high school when I got my concussion playing football. I had chills all day long like I was back in that Alaskan water. No joke. Haha I would go to class with normal missionary attire, a sweatshirt, and then a jacket on top of it in this blazing hot Utah weather right now. Haha I got so many looks. Haha oh man next week I'll send a picture of what I wore to bed one night... And then my stomach. Let's just say I spent more time in the bathroom than all you have in the month of August combined... Haha, it was so bad. Cramps would take me down and about make me crawl to the bathroom. I would sleep with a trashcan by my face.... I'm out of time so here's the moral of the story:
My companion woke up one night and came in to the bathroom and asked me if I wanted a blessing. I continued to deny it because I didn't feel my sickness was "sick enough" to qualify for a blessing. Are you kidding me? I don't know what I was thinking. I kept denying a blessing because I wanted it to come from me because I wouldn't be healed without faith, and I didn't think my faith would heal this... Finally, one night, the Spirit literally slapped me in the face and the thought, "Why is it that you are denying a blessing from God? Man-ing Up has nothing to do with not letting other people know you are weak." It got so bad one morning I had to grab the bottom of the bunk bed to pull myself up out of bed. Dustin talked about a scripture in a letter this week in the begging of Alma that said, "Alma, being a MAN of God, he BEING EXERCISED WITH MUCH FAITH..." I listened to the spirit, asked for a blessing, and have been healed since... Does that surprise any of you? The Priesthood is a real Power. I testify of it. Even though much of my "Pride" was damaged, and for the better (especially buying Pepto Bismol with a whole bunch of sisters looking at you... "YES! I have problems right now!") I've been extremely humbled this week. There's been a lot of pleading for forgiveness on my part this week.

So family, friends, everyone else... "Man Up!" And exercise your faith in Jesus Christ.

I love you all. The church is true.
Elder Welch

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Missionary

If you are interested in learning more about what Tyler is and will be going through as a missionary, check out this link where elders and sisters share the joys, challenges, and blessings that come from serving the Lord as full-time missionaries.

Thank you all for your love and support of Tyler.  He appreciates it more than you could know!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013


All right, so Mom told me last week's letter was lame and I need to devote all of this time to writing home instead of friends. So, once I get out in the field, I'll write all you guys. My Pday is always cut short bc every Tuesday night we have a devotional and choir has practice at 5:00 pm. So, I eat dinner at 4:00 pm only giving me about an hour to handwrite letters after doing laundry, going to the temple, and writing home. I'll have more time out in the field, so please be patient for TWO MORE WEEKS!!! WHOOOOO!

So first, I was able to go to the temple this morning and let me tell you- wow. Last week they asked my district if we could help them clean the temple one day (bc its been closed for the 6 weeks) and that was an incredible experience. I wrote it all down in my journal, so I'll be able to share that with you all in two years. Haha sorry, I want to talk abt missionary work right now. But last thing, if you haven't been to the temple in the past two/three weeks fam, go. Every time I've gone since June I've learned something, but today, I learned abt 10 different things. What a blessing it is to have temples on the Earth. They put things in perspective and motivate you to do better.

Okay, so let me start by saying how grateful I am for all of you. Your prayers and letters are incredible. I wish I could respond to you all, especially the family individually, but there's not enough time in the MTC. I think it will change a bit in the field but just know that I love you all and your consistent support is very appreciated.
It's weird thinking school is starting up! Haha what?? Matt's talking abt two a days ending and friends are telling me how everyone's starting to part ways- it still feels like its July 17th! Haha I've already been in this place for a month. Time has definitely flown by. Anyway, piece of advice to all the high schoolers, GO TO SEMINARY. Sister Nelson has prepared me so well its unbelievable. Let her know how much I appreciated her lessons. I still remember some of them very specifically. And scripture masteries... whooo baby! those come in handy. It seems like whatever the topic is, I can relate it to some scripture mastery I memorized. So, you want missionary advice? Memorize, memorize, memorize. It's such a blessing - especially with studying things. I've memorized a scripture everyday so far since I've been here. Well, I missed two days but I'm not going to count those bc I've memorized a couple of scriptures on other days, so I've made up for them. I memorize it first in English so I can make sense of it in Portuguese. It's helped a lot with learning vocab and making sense of sentence structure/ grammer. Holy cow is my pronunciation bad tho.... Yikes. No. BIG TIME YIKES. Here's a story you'll all hopefully enjoy:
So we were teaching an "investigator" the Restoration and everything was great. We were understanding him well and we were communicating almost everything we wanted to say. Right before we quoted Joseph Smith's First Vision, I was telling the background to the story. (One interesting thing I've learned btw, is he started his studying when he was 12. He didn't just "open" to James 1:5 one day and had that thought. He definitely paid the correct price to receive his answer. Anyway, something to think about as you continue your own studies and search for questions you need answered. Don't get discouraged, it will sometimes take time.) So I was feeling the Spirit strong and I was just PUMPED to share the First Vision exactly the way Joseph Smith recorded it and our investigator totally ruined it. Well, I did actually bc I didn't prepare well enough. I first made the mistake of not bringing my Portuguese scriptures in to the meeting with me... not smart. Second, I couldn't remember how to say the Book of "James" in Portuguese. Anyway, so I said something like, "He continued to diligently read and discover for himself, which of all the churches were right. He then read a scripture in the bible that challenged him to 'ask God, with real intent, having faith that you will receive an answer.'" I tried to fast forward through that but it was no use... Hahaha oh man I want to slap myself just for telling you all this. Soooo, he asked me RIGHT BEFORE The Spirit was about to bring the house down with those powerful words, "What scripture was it?"
(Gulp...) "Uhhhhh..." My heart started racing. I said, "I'm not sure exactly what it is in portuguese but in English it's called "James." Hahaha lamest response ever. He just stared at me. I then said a whole bunch of NOTHING for the next 45 seconds in some pretty bad Portuguese. Haha but then... It came! I had memorized it and could see it in my head! Haha I got so excited. It's in the book of (spelled the way I said it) "Chawn-choo. Yeah... It's in the book of Chawn-choo." Hahahaha oh man I don't know how he didn't just stand up and leave after that. Whooo was that bad. He looked at me with another blank stare. "Oh man..." I thought. I noticed he had a Portuguese bible in his hand and I asked it I could see it. Whoo! Save the day, right?! Nope! Haha I opened to the end of the New Testament but couldn't find it bc James is such a short book to begin with. I then went to the Table of Contents and saw what I thought it was, turned to it (chapter 1 verse 5). Phew! Finally this is over. I can finally share the best part of the Restoration lesson.
I opened to it and handed it to him. He looked at it and then I leaned over and looked at it... "Oh C'mon!" Haha this isn't even important! I thought. Just let me share with you something that will change your life, and your family's life forever. Just let me share with you my testimony about what Joseph Smith saw and the fruit that testifies of his call as a prophet. I seriously wanted to stand up, walk out the door, and then re-knock. I needed to start over desperately bc abt 10 minutes had passed and my companion was lost too. Turns out, we were in John, the verse didn't make any sense. After this ten minutes of doom, I finally recognized James (Tiago in Portuguese), opened to it, and then he understood. Haha it was bad. Real, real bad. But other than that, everything has been going great. I made sure just to laugh at myself with this story instead of getting discouraged. Especially bc my teacher was playing the investigator one time and started laughing at me.... Hahaha it's pretty funny. I should probably record myself now so I can laugh at myself in two years pronounce things like "Tiago", "Chawn-choo". (Haha, in Portuguese it's pronounced "Che-a-goo"... ay yi yihhh)

Seibert wrote me this week abt how camp is going at Kent State and how he wakes up at 6 in the morning and gets back at 9 at night. Please, high school two a days were so much worse.... Haha that actually sounds horrible. I can just remember getting out of bed in the morning, not used to the "football soreness" at the beginning of the year and wanting to just slide down the steps head first in the morning. I seriously was so tired all the time and never wanted to move my body. And then walking out to practice with the dew on the grass making your socks socked before a three hour practice started... To think it's worse than that? I'll pray for you, how abt that. Haha no but reading Matt's letters abt how they went (first sorry to hear abt the concussion! Yikes! That's no fun. Speaking of Seibert, don't rush the recovery of those. You want to make sure you'll be able to play later in the year then rushing back in to things.) and how sore he always is kinda makes me miss it a little bit. Haha believe it or not, I miss those times. When things are as hard as those three weeks are, you'll look back and really appreciate the work you put in. Man, there's nothing like high school football. I'm anxious to hear abt how your season goes and Ryan's...
Anyway, the reason I brought that up is because Seib actually said "your days are probably similar." Thanks! Haha I was like, "Yeah, you know what! It is pretty hard here." Haha I said that jokingly but I think if you're not happy, and it's so easy to get discouraged, this place is rough. So here's what my day is like.
5:30- woken up by MoTab baby! Most missionaries wake up just before 6 or 6:15,  but I like to wake up earlier so I can study more in the morning. I sometimes have already showered, shaved and completely dressed before the 2nd person has gotten in the shower. Kinda like Joe's first companion... Haha but seriously, I wish there was more personal study time.
6:30- Breakfast
7:00-10:00 - Language class with a teacher
10:00-11:00 - Personal Study
11:00-11:45 - Lunch
11:45-4:00 - the schedule changes here everyday but it's usually a combination of companionship study, language study on the computer, and language study with your companion
4:00-4:45 - Dinner (hardly ever hungry. Haha I feel like I just ate breakfast and then it's dinner time already... Not complaining though! Haha I'm grateful for them feeding us three meals a day)
4:45-6:00 - Usually companionship study or language study depending on the day
6:00-9:00 - Language study with another teacher
9:00-9:30 - Plan for tomorrow and what you will study, etc
9:30-10:25 - Kind of free time but it always takes me this whole time to recap the day in my journal or finish up some thoughts I had during Personal Study.
10:30 - Lights out.

So there you go. You can think of me throughout the day for the next two weeks and know what I'm doing the exact time you're thinking abt me! Haha lame... But to wrap this up, it's not physically exhausting but mentally. It's impossible to not gain weight here bc you sit down the entire day here and eat every four hours... (minus 50 minutes to exercise. Which I usually play futebol to prepare myself for Brasil!) Yet, I love it here. I love being a missionary and I can't wait to share the things I know to be true with all my heart to the people of Campinas.

I've been lately going through the New Testament and 3 Nephi and studying Christlike Characteristics. I have probably read 15 pages of scripture in the past two weeks. There's so much to learn in His life. If aren't searching for a specific question right now, I would invite you all to do the same. I've been a lot more happier and grateful for the things I've been so blessed to have in my life.
I know this church to be true with all my heart. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and the most important thing it does is testify of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Living Son of the Living God. He lives and loves us. I can't stress how much of His love I have felt in such a short amount of time. My testimony began with an answer to a prayer about the Book of Mormon but it is founded on the truth that through His sacrifice, I can live again with all of you again. I love you all. Thank you for being so supportive. Your letters mean the world to me.

I promised some pictures, causing me to end a little bit sooner than normal bc it takes some time to upload them.

With love,
Elder Welch

 Celebrating a package from Karli!

 "My district is always asking why I stay in my clothes so long... Haha"

"First ever professional haircut... SUPER weird!  Haha, truly a life changing experience.  I'll tell you more about it next week"

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Week 3

All right, before I begin, let's get down to some buisness... Sorry for asking for things, but it's necessary, haha. So Mom, 1. I love you. 2. Remember that vaccination place where it took an hour to get one shot and I told you it would only take 5 minutes? (Still sorry abt that.) But I never got this yellow piece of paper, or didn't bring it at least, that says I had the "Yellow Fever" vaccination. I guess they won't let me in to Brazil if I don't have that. So could you send that to me please? You might actually have to go to the place and get another copy bc I don't remember getting it (even though I probably did... Sorry!) 
Uhm, I love study time. Holy cow I wish I could just send my study journal home to you all with my notes in it that I've learned from the one hour a day of personal study time. I've learned so much and just want to share it but I have other more important stuff to write to you all about that it takes precedence. But! I've been studying, thinking, praying and then thinking again, and then more prayer and thinking, and then more. Man I wish I was better at really "studying" when I would read my scriptures at night. Treasures are just pouring out as I spend an entire week of studying 5 pages of scripture. Anyway, I've thought a lot about family history work and want to request two things. Again, sorry... Haha but 1. As deep of a family history chart as you can go. That baby will be big time important to me. Also, coupled with that, stories of literally anything that each person has done. I would suspect Grandma Welch has some awesome stuff on that but I've been thinking a lot about it lately and it will be such a blessing to have. I know that's a big favor to ask, so I don't expect it to come in the mail next week or even probaly for a while, but as you do some of the digging and study, it will benefit you as well.
Fam, I'm going to try to mail a package home next week with some stuff goodies and handwritten stuff. Sorry I haven't been able to handwrite you anything. It's kind of stressful on Pday bc there's so much to do. And mine always gets cut short a couple hours bc of Tuesday night devotionals... which ohhhhh man, DA BOMB. Haha I dont mean to complain, it's just a little unfortunate bc I want so badly to respond to your letters I get, I just can't find the time. I've thought about writing a portion of a letter every night before 10:30 but we're not supposed to. So, I can't do it. Sorry. But holy cow please keep writing. They're like power to me. Haha and Ashley, tell Reese my favorite letter I've gotten here so far is from her. Sorry fam, Reese's was the best... And Joe told me about her walking up to sing in the Ward choir during Sacrament mtg?? Hahaha that's awesome. Holy cow I miss her and Boston (and Nixon and Chase of course, but they never had "the time" I guess to talk to me...) When Boston gets the chance, I would love to hear from him. I always think abt things he has said to me and just start laughing to myself. Oh and ps Ashley, some of the sisters in my district also use DoTerra. Haha I'll tell you more about it in a handwritten letter at some point in the future. And JOE! You almost did it! Haha your first letter I got said you really thought you were going to write me every week. Aghhhh, so closee..... Haha no I'm not complaining, and please don't feel obligated to write me (this is to everyone), but I do expect at least one a month from everyone in the family (except for you mom. Sorry, I want you to write every week.)
Okay, I have successfully killed too much time. Man it's going to take some time to not go off on tangents while emailing. But speaking of "complaining", I received a certain letter this week from someone calling me out. Haha Dustin I guess says that there's no way I'm always so happy. Well, as much as I would like to tell him he's a liar, he's right. I'm not going to lie, the MTC is tough! It's constantly a mental battle of fighting homesickness, memories with friends, inadequacy with the languague, missing lifting with Matt... haha just to be specific, but it's tough. One thing I'm learning to do here though is to think of something else when all of those feelings and thoughts come up. Whenever I find myself thinking/worrying about something, I immediately start repeating a scripture I memorized the day before or conjugating a verb in all the tenses I know, or thinking about how best to teach my "investigator." Dustin is right, but not completely right. I do love it here. I'm preparing to go do the most important work I can do in my life. I wake up every morning and the last thing I do is, absolutely last thing I do, is put on my nametag. It means so much to me. To bear the name of the Savior on a nametag that also has my name on it is such an privilage, even as daunting as it sometimes can be. I asked my roomates if they still get giddy when they get to put it on in the morning and they said it's kind of worn off now. I told them to never get tired of it. Haha but anyway, the reason I bring that up, and sorry for this letter being the way it is without a lot of substance, is because it isn't easy. Just as it is for going to work, or having to listen to Matt's high pitch noises (I actually miss those btw...) or having Reese color on the walls. Anyway, I'm rushing to finish on time but just know I'm having the time of my life. I'm representing the very person who gave everything He had so I can live with you guys forever. That alone deserves all of my heart, might, mind and strength. Everything I got. So, hopefully you'll never read a letter of mine where I'm discouraged. 
I love you all. I'll send pictures next week.
Elder Welch