Monday, November 18, 2013

Letter from Tyler to his family last week [11/11/13]

Dear Family,

Reading mom’s letter this week made me start tearing up.  I’ve always been a “cry-baby”, but surprisingly I haven’t cried much on my mission.  I guess tears don’t come out very easily when you’re smiling so big that your cheeks close your eyes up.  Anyway, I had an impression to write ya’ll a letter this week while I was reading mom’s letter.  Who can deny a prompting from God?

First things first - Matt… I’m so proud of you.  I seriously can’t find the words to tell you how proud you make me.  Your letter made me want to do the “double dream hands” dance with my mouth opened (like we would while watching YouTube).  Hearing that news was the best thing that’s happened on my mission.  I love you.  I keep being reminded of deciding not to play baseball senior year to lift and hang out with you more.  That was probably the best decision I have ever made in my life.  I am so grateful for those last 4 months that we had to hang out.  I look up to you, BIG time!  Keep spending time on your knees talking WITH Heavenly Father (not “at”).  Keep me updated on how things are going with you and Big Marsh – let me know if you need help with anything, even if it’s something small like bearing my testimony on a certain principle. 

I’m so happy to hear that you have “Risen from the Dust” and taken on this challenge to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year!  It’s a lot more than we’re used to reading, but I promise your testimony will grow to be like Nephi’s – UNSHAKEABLE.  This gospel is true; it’s so true.  And the Book of Mormon is literally the Words of Christ.  Treat them like that.  I can never put them down on the ground now.  That book changed my life before my mission and is now shaping my life as a missionary.  It’s literally “DA BOM!”

I got your awesome package, mom!  Holy cow, you’re so awesome!  My companion started laughing when he saw some of your writing, “Who loves you? Your mama ‘wuvvvvs’ you!”  Haha, and thank you so much for the healthy food.  My companion and I have a “cheat night” every Monday night now after planning.  I proposed the idea to him by calling it “Treat yo’self night” as part of our “Family Home Evening”.  Haha, he’s getting really healthy now too, and asks me “Elder, what are we going to ‘treat’ ourselves to on family night?” Its usually ice cream with some sort of topping on it. We usually buy something on P-Day for later that night.  Sounds lame, but it’s a fun tradition.

Mom… my arm is reached out right now to “nail it!”  Seriously though, you skipping make-up to take the sacrament made me so happy!  I wish I would’ve taken the sacrament more seriously when I was blessing, preparing and passing it while in High School.  I start looking forward to it as soon as Wednesday nights now as I try to realign my will with the Savior’s.  If we prepare ourselves each week to take it, repenting of those sins of commission and even omission, taking the sacrament can be the most spiritual experience of our weeks.  I invite everyone in the family to spiritually prepare themselves Saturday afternoon/evening (in between football games) to partake of the sacrament worthily this Sunday.  I promise that you will feel the spirit more abundantly not only during that meeting, but as well as throughout the week.  It will be unlike anything you’ve ever really experienced. 

The Primary Program was yesterday and made me think of Boston and Reese.  Man do I miss them!  They’re the first pictures in my photo album mom sent me and I love showing them off to investigators.

I think about all of you individually, at different points throughout the weeks and months, depending on whose face I decide to sleep on at night.  It’s kind of weird how I realize that I love you more, being away from you.  I’m so blessed to be apart of this awesome family.  I love my nametag because it has Christ’s name on it, but also I love it because it has “Welch” on it.  I’m proud to be a Welch!

Stay faithful family!  I love you all so much!

Elder Welch

P.S. Instead of writing me at Thanksgiving about how “grateful you are for me”, think of someone else that could use it, and write them a letter.  Handwrite it, make it short, and then feel good about it.  I have too many blessings right now – give some to other people who don’t have the same assurance of hope that we do, that we can be a family forever.

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