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

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