Whooooo baby! I'm not sure if I've been so tired in my entire life. No joke. As soon as I lay down at I almost instantly fall asleep, then my alarm goes off what seems like 10 minutes later. Haha agh! I'm like pllleeaaaasssssseeeeeee let me sleep a little longer. My Mission President said an interesting thing the first day we showed up here. (He's probably President Nilsen's age. His youngest kid is in 5th or 6th grade. He's straight up Awesome (yes, capital 'A')). I didn't know how hard it would be to get up in the mornings on your mission because it was my first day but he made a comment that I love now. I think of it all the time, especially when the alarm goes off and I want to chuck it out the window... "It shouldn't be hard to get excited every morning. If you're not excited, you haven't thought about what you are doing. And if you can't get excited by thinking about it, pray to really understand what you are doing." I love that. Here's a couple reasons why I love it.
Well, I'm sure you are wondering about my companion/trainer so skip this paragraph to figure out what I was talking about above. (Oh! So one of the senior couples should have sent you, mom and dad, a picture of me (yeee!) but I don't know if they told you about the facebook group. Check it out. I hear it's pretty sweet but I'm not too sure because I haven't seen it. There should be some pictures of our group that came in this week. 50 MISSIONARIES in to the Georgia Atlanta mission last Tuesday. [Here is the facebook link: Georgia Atlanta LDS Mission] The Lord is seriously hastening His work.) Anyway, my companion's name is Elder Peery. He's awesome and I'm learning a lot from him. He's pretty much the opposite of me in every way (seriously) except for us both being missionaries and willing to work. Haha no joke. But I'm learning a lot about patience, love, and charity. President Harding also said how you treat your companions on your mission is transparent of how you will treat your future wife. (He talks a lot about marriage and the blessings of it.) Haha so I've changed a lot and have become a lot more compassionate. I told him that my goal was to make him laugh at least once this transfer. He never laughs, especially at me. I know... Even me. Haha BBUUUTTT!! I just made him laugh about two hours ago so pshhh, piece of cake. It was actually pretty funny because he was trying to justify what he was reeealllyyy laughing at and I told him that if he told me the reason, he would be hurting my feelings- so he stopped. Haha but in all honesty, I love him. I'm really trying to make him love me though. I'll tell him a couple times a day that I love him and he'll just tell me, "thanks" or "okay." I was thinking if he was actually my "future wife", I wouldn't be able to stand that. You know how much courage that takes to tell another man you love him? Haha a couple days ago I gave him a hug and he kept his hands by his side the entire time. I was determined he was just going to "love me" so I kept my arms around him. No words spoken for like 15 SECONDS. I finally told him that I wasn't letting go until he showed me some love back... so he put one arm around me and slapped me on the back. Haha I just think it's funny though. I couldn't be happier with who he is because although I feel like I mainly talk to all the people, he's willing to work. We don't waste anytime. We run to houses when we're short on time and we almost have to run home every night in order to get home in time before . I talk about that more later... It kinda stinks though because I'm sweating every night while we are planning and my feet feel like they're going to fall off (we're on foot. one of the bikes is broken) I actually had a dream that my feet jumped off my body and ran away one night because my feet hurt so bad. Haha
So let me tell you why every one reading this needs to go on a mission.
Heidi and her fam:My trainer really doesn't talk much unless it's just me around. He got pretty discouraged because we were tracting all day long and the only person that invited us in was a single mom... so we couldn't go in obviously. Anyway, we sat down on the side of the road and he told me that he doesn't feel ready to be a trainer. It was really sad hearing him not feel qualified. I told him how much he has taught me and how good of a teacher he is (he knows the doctrine really well). Anyway, we sat on the side of a curb on the road in a neighborhood. We both were exhausted and I asked him if he just wanted to go home and call it a night or if he wanted to finish out the night. (it was close to 8 pm). After a long pause and discussion I told him that we weren't going home and that we signed up for this to find those people prepared by the Lord to be able to enjoy the greatest blessings this world has to offer. We said a prayer of faith that we could find them that night. We both were exhausted. He saw a scary guy outside blowing the grass off his driveway (Heidi's brother) and decided to talk to him. Agh it was scary. I felt like he was going to eat me! Anyway, long story short (haha sorry I want to tell you more stories), he let us in with Heidi and her mom and her daughter. It's not a traditional family who lives inside the home but we taught them the Restoration and committed them to read the Book of Mormon. It felt awesome bc that was my first mission and it came after a big time struggle from the entire day. Btw, Georgia is like Ohio on steroids with humidity. Wearing a dress shirt is killer. I sweat so much.We ran to their house the night to just tell them that we were thinking of them and that we loved them. Heidi's mom was so touched she came out of the house and gave me a hug. I was like, "AGGHGHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Haha it's funny because mom was the last female I hugged. It was only a couple months ago but it feels like a really long time ago. Anyway, I gave her a quick hug because 1. she was a grandma and 2. Dustin told me that it's better to just give them a hug if theyre older and make it quick then to make it super awkward. Haha she also hugged Elder Peery.
Allen:He invited us in RIGHT AFTER Heidi's. Aghh it was awesome. We were able to teach him as well and leave with him a Book of Mormon. He just recently got out of jail but it wasn't for anything serious. Elder Holland gives a crazy sick to the nasty awesome talk in the latest Ensign and relates Justice and Mercy of Jesus Christ to the penitentiary. Because our first lesson was on Prophets and apostles, we gave him that to read. Go and read it. It's awesome. [The Justice and Mercy of God] Also, Brad Wilcox's talk on Grace is in there. Karli actually showed me that a couple months ago and he makes so much sense of it. I've read parts of it over a few times. Read it and weep. [His Grace Is Sufficient]
Cristina:She's living with her boyfriend/husband. We're really not sure yet because it's been so long since they've been together but we had another similar experience as above. Discouragement from the entire day, saying a prayer to find those prepared, and then going to work. We tracted in to her apartment and she let us in. After talking with her for a little bit she told us this. Her boyfriend said some pretty cruel things to her the night before, "things that never should be said", and she was so offended that she slept in their family room. She told us that at 4:00 am she was bawling as she knelt down on her knees and offered a prayer. She was looking for purpose in her life. She told us that she woke up that morning just lost, not knowing what she's supposed to do with her life. She had no "purpose". She prayed to God to help her with her purpose. With what she should do. She then said, "I decided I should read the Word of God. I found the bible on my phone and downloaded it. Right after I began reading, you knocked on our door and told us that you are "Representatives of Jesus Christ." That's not a normal thing to say. I know he heard my prayer."
I'm out of time! Man! I didn't get to even expound on these thoughts. Anyway, the church is true. I love the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible. I've never been so tired in my entire life but I also have never been so happy.
We were running home from Allen's that one night and I looked down at my tag and realized what I really was doing. Who I am now. I miss you all so much, but know that I love it here because I feel the Spirit almost every waking minute of the day.
I love you all.Elder Welch
Here is Tyler's mission address if you want to mail him letters or packages:Btw, unless there is a holiday, my PDAY is on Mondays.
Otherwise, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.orgElder Tyler WelchGeorgia Atlanta Mission112 Governors Square Ste. AFayetteville, GA 30215-4805