Wow. This past week was the hardest week on my mission. Don´t get worried! but man it was hard.
Well I told you last week that we had one investigator. Egghhhh... Haha I don´t know if I would call her an investigator. Everything here is just kind of madness - I don´t know how to explain it. VERY different than serving in Atlanta. Definitely a challenge that I´m up for though. Just some highlights of this week:We spent about nine hours each day this past week in the sun. Whooooooo, talk about getting a bronze. I would be rocking an awesome ´´missionary´s tan´´ if I went swimming. We ran out of water too, which is a whole different story. Haha everything here in Brazil is so expensive! When I was serving in Georgia, I never had a problem with money. If we didn´t have a dinner scheduled, no problem. Buying groceries on P-Day, no problem. I´m starting to understand what Joe must have felt like eating a block of cheese for meals. Haha we have no food in the house, and this past week, no water either. So, for breakfast I would eat leftover chocolate from Christmas (don´t ask what type- I won´t be able to pronounce it...) and then either go to the church and fill up some water bottles or ´´clap´´ outside of somebody´s house and ask for a copa de agua. The best day this week was when we finally did get water (the mission supplies it). However, I ate the last piece of chocolate this morning, so I don´t know what we´re going to be doing for breakfast anymore. (oh, that´s something different here too. Brazilians have the lightest breakfast on earth and then skip dinner. They have a MONSTER lunch and then pretty much fast to the next day´s lunch. It´s definitely been different trying to get used to that. I eat about three/four plates of food at lunches.... MINDLESS EATAAAAAHHHH!! Haha)
A lot of other things made this week something to be grateful for. I´m hesitant to say it was the hardest week of my LIFE because that´s a little dramatic, but it definitely was up there. A combination of the heat, walking all day, only chocolate to eat, no water, and no ´´immediate´´ success was very humbling. But, I love it. It´s very easy to get discouraged when things aren´t going well. I was praying one night this week and just started to say everything on my mind. I was saying how hard this was... and then how hard that was... How embarrassing that contact was... and then an incredible sense of peace came over me. I wasn´t discouraged, rather just talking with Heavenly Father about some of the experiences that I didn´t anticipate having on my mission. Just small things like hang drying my pants after washing them and then a storm coming in that night (yep, I wore wet pants that day... haha), to never seeing carpet (you can´t ever go barefoot here... man I miss that).
For some reason I started thinking about walking down the airplane terminal after my mission (100 pounds lighter) and seeing Mom and Dad´s faces. (Hopefully this will happen...) but you were so proud of seeing the type of person that I had grown to become while on my mission. Mom was crying (I know, weird huh. But hopefully this illustrates a principle I had never really thought of) because she was so happy that I was her son. After my homecoming talk, she sat on the couch back home asking me about all of the stories.Now, that almost sounds kind of arrogant to say "how proud mom and dad were because I became awesome while on my mission," but I continued to pray. I told Heavenly Father how happy it made me when I did something that made my earthly parents proud.I then had the thought of returning back to our Heavenly Parents. Walking down the airplane terminal, passing different people, and seeing the family with signs saying "Welcome Home." I tried picturing what it would feel like to know how proud my Heavenly Father and Mother were of the type of person that I had become while serving my "mission" while on earth.It was a powerful prayer where I felt incredible at peace. It really changed my perspective on doing missionary work here, as well as helping me understand my identity as a child of Heavenly Parents.I hope this letter doesn´t sound like I´m depressed, or even trunky for that matter - there´s just not much to comment on. Haha I saw the hand of the Lord everyday here and I´m grateful for that. Hopefully Heavenly Father is a little easier on us this week, but hey.. "Come what may and love it." I love it here. I love the people. I love The Lord. I love four plates of rice and beans everyday and people correcting my pronunciation. I love showering, using the restroom and brushing my teeth all in the same four foot square bathroom.
I have no choice but to love it. When I think about how good home is, it doesn´t make this journey as much fun. I´m loving the grind and learning a lot.I´ll forever be grateful for Heavenly Father. I know He is in the minute details of my life. I know that He loves me and looks forward to my prayers as much as my earthly parents do my weekly letters.I know Christ Lives! That this is His church and that I hold His authority. I know the things I´m experiencing are helping me to become like Him.There´s so many things to be grateful for. Since I´ve left, I´ve really become grateful for my earthly mom and dad. Thank you for raising me in this restored gospel. I couldn´t be any more happy. I love it. Just LOVE IT!
As always, I´m livin´the dream.Elder Welch