Monday, January 6, 2014


Woah. Where to start? This week has been madness. Ill just say everything that comes to mind so I apologize in advance if I'm all over the place. (plus, it~s a little distracting emailing here because every word I write gets a little red squig-ga-ly line underneath it. haha spell check...)

Monday was crazy. We had an awesome P-Day and were in the process of setting some big-time goals for the coming transfer. We had an awesome family night with the Santamore family and talked all about their conversion story. We then came home for nightly planning when we got a call from the assistants. I always ignore calls from 9-9:30 because that time is so crucial, but since it was one of our leaders, we had to answer it.
`Elder Welch… We've got some news for you.´
We all looked at each other knowing what the news was. ´Nooooooooooo!!!!!´
Man, hearing that news was pretty heart-breaking. When I first got to Georgia it was a constant mind game of wanting to be in Brazil, but last transfer I really grew close with a lot of people. Especially with the ward and area ´heating-up,´it was an exciting time. The members there are awesome. I loved working with the Bishop and other aux leaders. I learned so much from them. Only having one day to pack up and go was probably a good thing though. I wanted to say goodbye to everyone but it wasn't possible without ´calling a timeout on the Work of Salvation.´ Elder Goddard and Elder Dobbins have got it good there in Smyrna. Ill always be grateful for those 5 months in Georgia. I hope to be able to stay in contact with the members and ´soon-to-be´members.

The plane ride was a nice long one. I didn't mind it though because I had a lot of time to catch up on some studies that I've been wanting to read more in to. The lady I sat next to on the plane was from Germany too, so I couldn't really talk with anyone. Haha, I thought I would test out some of my rusty Portuguese with her, so when the plane first started taking off, I struck up a conversation... Talk about being discouraged. Haha I repeated myself like three times with some of the most basic questions, and she didn't understand me. I thought, ´Man! Has my Portuguese really gotten that bad?!´I even tried saying words slower and asking for help with pronunciation. It wasn't until a little bit later that I was able to understand her broken English. `I only speak German.`
Phew! Haha
Being arrogant, I re-told myself that I could speak Portuguese. Ohhhh mannnn.... Getting off the plane in Saõ Paulo was a whole ´nother story.

So, as you could imagine, being in Georgia for half of a year and not speaking Portuguese with anyone, made me realllllyyyy bad. And I mean, REALLY bad. It´s definitely been a test of patience the past couple of days here. My new saying to myself is, "Tem Fé Elder Welch... Tem Fé." Haha this might be bad to say but whenever I have a bad street contact, I think to myself, "At least I´m not learning Cantonese..." (Sorry Karli - whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies...)

I got in to the habit of talking with everyone in the streets while serving in Georgia which I guess has been a good thing, but also an interesting thing. Haha after my companion and I got to our new area, we went out to meet a less active. The first person I saw I just went for it...
"Oi! Tudo Bem! Qual é seu nome?"
Yep. That´s what it sounded like to me. Haha I seriously didn´t understand anything. But over the past few days it´s been a huge blessing because I´m starting to pick up more and more. (I said it was a interesting thing because after saying hi to the person, I just turned to my companion.) Haha I don't think he was used to talking with people on the streets so it was a little bit of a change for him. We started laughing about it later because I ask a question and then have no idea what they say. Now, since I know more questions, I ask a question, don´t understand what they say, and then ask another question. Haha. Anyway, It was close to 9:00 one of the first nights and he finally said to me, "Be careful with who you talk with now. There´s a lot of ladroes (thieves) out here at night." (We´re serving right in the middle of a city). Because of not being able to speak well with the people here, I told myself that I would "love everyone´s faces off." I don´t know what it was but I started hugging all the people I met. Haha I think I was a little too excited. My companion, worried for my safety, told me to be careful at nights though - I wouldn´t want to be hugging someone with a knife on them...

Although I still don´t know what a TRUE Brazilian looks like (they seriously are a mix of every ethnicity), I love it here, just like I did in Smyrna. I´m pumped up for what this transfer has in store. The people here are awesome too.

Every time we sit down here to talk with someone, I fall asleep... It´s automatic. Not because I´m tired of walking 50 miles a day, but my mind becomes fried trying to translate everything. Haha my companion always puts his hand on my back while he´s talking to wake me up. The investigator (yes, that´s the tough thing here. We only have ONE investigator. Who thought Brazil baptized every week? Elder Lee told me that only one person has been baptized in the past three transfers here. We definitely have some work to do...) or member, depending on who we are teaching, always starts laughing at me when I wake up. Haha
Funny story about that though - yesterday, being fast and testimony meeting... oh man, this is embarrassing... I fell asleep AGAIN while sitting in the pew. I woke up to a sister in the ward closing her testimony and saw that no one was in line (haha it started out with a line...). I looked over at Elder Lee, cueing him to come up with me. So, I stood up and walked to the pulpit. When I reached the microphone I thought to myself, "What in the world am I doing up here..."
Haha oh man, it was bad. I woke up while sitting in the church pew and 30 seconds later, I found myself standing at the pulpit. With a prayer in my heart, I bore a simple testimony and told everyone how much I love The Lord. I made a few comments that made them laugh and then sat down. Elder Lee (he´s awesome), came up with me and bore his. I think it may of helped "integrate" myself in to the ward though because a lot of members came up to me after and said something (I think it was good but it could´ve been something bad - haha)

Anyway, there´s a lot of work to do here but I´m pumped up and ready to prepare Jundiaí for the Second Coming! I have faith that I´ll pick the language up, I´ve just got to be patient.

Love you all!

Elder Welch

Why's my hair so short? Because my companion cut it... haha my sides are actually longer than the top of my head

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