Monday, September 23, 2013


Miracles, I tell ya... Miracles...
First off, this week was REESE'S BIRTHDAY!!! YEEEEEEEE!! It made me sad on Thursday thinking it was her birthday because she kept asking me all the way up until I left on my mission if I could please fly home just for her birthday. Man, she's getting so OLD! Haha I miss her laugh and her just saying, "Tyler, beat Boston up!" or "Telephone, Telephone." And then her laughing every time... Haha tell her that I love her and miss her. She's awesome 
Mikaela's mission call... WHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I'm so pumped for her. The city of "Lost Wages," 'ey? Haha that's so awesome. It makes me so happy when I get an email about people getting their calls. Dad, keep those coming from the Stake and if anyone asks, tell them that I said they're awesome.

All right, so who wants to hear some miracles and just shout out, "Hurrah for Israel!" I do. .... (just did)  The lady I told you about last week, the one who has been smoking for about 45 years religiously, not missing a day. We reviewed the Word of Wisdom with her and then told her that she couldn't be baptized until she had quit smoking cigarettes for at least 10 days (that's not a rule, just what we felt comfortable with. The church policy I think might be a week). "What! That's not fair guys! I can't do this then. I won't get baptized... I can't quit smoking..." Chapter 5 of Preach My Gospel is probably my favorite chapter. I just absolutely love the Book of Mormon. Aghhh I can't tell you how much it means to me. I almost wish I could redo my farewell talk so I could really share publicly to all my friends really what and how much the BoM means to me. Anyway, the reason I said that is because I carry it around with me almost anywhere I go. You know the scripture in Ephesians 6 of the armor of God? My weapon is the BoM, not a sword... Pshhh, who needs a sword when you have a Book of Mormon. Anyway (x2), I always try to read something from it with an investigator during a lesson. With this lady, I compared her to Nephi in a couple different chapters focusing on just being obedient to God's commandments and "way" will be provided. I came up with this schedule for her and wrote in on her calendar that hangs on their family room apartment wall. Each day I wrote the max amt of cigarettes she could smoke really big on it. We also discussed some other things. Anthony, her boyfriend for 25+ years (I believe I wrote abt her last week) came in after we left around 8:50ish and was questioning what I did to their calendar. Whoops! Haha but he laughed at her! What! Haha seriously, he laughed at her because he's known that she has smoked everyday since she was 14 and there was no quitting. Well well well.... We had a lesson the next day after the blessing with her. We picked her up with a member and she was sitting in the front and told us her "stomach reeaaaallllyyy hurts today." She continued and a little bit later she said, "Oh my... I'm getting sick from cigarettes. They make me SICK! This happened after I smoked both of the ones I smoked." Everyday after then, she would pick up a cigarette and get really sick when she would start smoking. A few days later we were sitting down (I think Friday and she said, "Guys, this is incredible. It's just incredible. I don't even have a desire to smoke anymore." After that blessing, reading from the BoM everyday and fervent prayer, guess who just quit smoking in 6 days? YEEESSSSSSSSS!!!! I just called her on the phone before coming here and she didn't smoke ONE CIGARETTE yesterday! I told her how proud of her we were of her and the help from the Lord she received. Anthony yesterday realized that she had quit and started laughing at her. I asked her on the phone what he said. The only thing he said to her after laughing was, "That's unbelievable..." Holy cow I'm so excited for her. She asked Anthony if they could get married (it's the better thing to do, they've forgiven each other of everything and we feel comfortable with it from prayer) and he said he would consider. Uh oh... Looks like I might be planning a wedding soon.

Sister Deborah Thomas:
We met her two weeks ago with about 90 minutes of tracting to do. We didn't have much time to go finding but I felt strongly to ride 20 minutes to this apartment complex I saw the other day and go knock those doors. It didn't make much sense bc we would waste 40-45 minutes of the time riding on our bikes just in travel time before it was 9:00pm and we had to be inside. I couldn't deny the prompting so we went anyway. After getting there and only about 40-45 minutes to knock doors (we had a zone training this day which took up the entire day) we said a prayer. "We know there's someone here who is ready. Please lead us to them as we represent Thy Son."
After the prayer we were led to a door kind of around this corner- which is odd when I think about it because it wouldn't make sense to start there. We knocked on that first door and a lady started yelling from the inside. "WHO IS IT!??" Ohhh great... I thought. They're going to tell us to leave from behind the door. I just said, "Representatives!" Haha. After a few more things she was yelling from her apartment kitchen, she walked to the door and opened it.
"Hi ma'am, thank you for opening the door. We are representatives of the Lord, Jesus Christ and he has sent us here, specifically to you. As His...." Her head dropped as she looked at the ground. She reached both arms out to us with her palms opened and waved us in...
I didn't know what to think. "Uhhh... I'm sorry ma'am..." I cleared up the rule about not entering the house unless there was another male present out of respect for her. She was living with a few other ladies so we couldn't go in. She seemed understanding and said, "Okay." She stepped out of the door.
She started crying and told us that she just got off the phone 15 minutes ago from her family that her nephew, one she absolutely adored, died unexpectedly. I'm not sure of the exact details but it was a random, out of the blue death that surprised everyone. She had been crying for those 15 minutes, you could tell. "I believe in Him. I prayed. And he sent me my angels..." Holy smokes that was powerful. I seriously "Teancum'ed javelin stabbed" by her saying that from the Spirit. She told us that she also can't find a job and that she's struggling financially. We left a blessing of comfort and felt impressed about her receiving a job. Two days later we called our ward employment specialist who came to our next lesson where we taught the Plan of Salvation. It was an awesome lesson. One of Sis Thomas' friends sat in on it and said, "Well thanks guys. This has been extremely enlightening." I told her it was the Spirit and the veil getting thin baby. In my head I kept saying "Oh yeah baby. Keep doing your thing Holy Ghost!" Haha He was definitely our companion in that lesson. Sooooo, we were riding our bikes past her apartment complex and an older lady comes running after us. "MYYY ANNGGELLLSSSSS!!" Haha she attacked me and hugged me. I tightened up again like a stick. Haha I felt so awkward just hugging a woman but after that greeting, she told us she got an interview lined up with a really good salary.
A few days later she called us saying she got the job...

The Church is true. The Priesthood has been restored. God lives and loves us. There's nothing He wants more than for us to come closer to Him
I was reading the testimony of Joseph Smith yesterday at church because I refused to take a Book of Mormon back from a guy named Clyde. He's 399 pounds and is going to get baptized! I just know it! Even though he refuses to talk about anything. We keep going back to talk to him and talking to him and he keeps trying to give me the Book of Momon back. I always put my hands behind my back or in my pockets. He gave it to Elder Peery one time and I took it from Elder Peery ad made him take it back. Anyway, pray for him. I feel strongly about him. The reason I said that though is because September 22 (yesterday) was the 180th year anniversary that Joseph Smith was able to finally take the plates and begin translating them.  I don't just know that that book is true but it has absolutely changed my life. It is the foundation of my testimony and the foundation of almost every lesson. I love it. Read it. Trust it's promise. And because it's true, Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was a prophet, the priesthood has been restored, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's Kingdom never to be taken off the earth again.

I love you all. Family, seriously. I can't tell you how much I love you. Being away from you just really makes me know how much I love you. Matt, keep being awesome. I was thinking this week that the best decision I ever made in high school was not playing baseball my senior year so I could work out and hang out with you. I love you especially. Miss you dude.
I'm happy. I'm seriously so happy here.
Elder Welch

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