Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"The Kingdom of God or Nothing"

You´ve gotta love that phrase. Haha my companion was reading one of the books in the missionary library and shared with me the motto of Presidente John Taylor. Haha hardcore... That´s what I'm talking about!

Man, where to start this week?
First off, I love the members here. Let me say that again. I really love the members here. Haha we finally got some things clicking here and Jundiaí is starting to get ´´whiter´´ by the minute! The Relief Society gives us lunch everyday, the YM go on divisions with us every Saturday so we can cover more appointments, the EQ called three YOUNG couples (sorry, but young couples are gold on the mission. I love them - especially when both are returned missionaries) to have family nights in their homes any night of the week so we can bring investigators over, The Bishopric is throwing us assignments to hunt down some families (a little bit overwhelming but awesome at the same time because they finally trust us), etc. The ward is clicking on all cylinders. The High Priests took Eduardo under their wing and are making him feel like a hundred bucks... The only ones that are missing are the YW, but it´s a little challenging because we only have three. They give us bread or cookies though, which is always nice to have on Cheat Day (pday).
HOWEVER, I received a call last night that I´m being transferred. I seriously felt like crying. Not because I´m going to miss the area but because I don´t feel like I´ve finished the work that I was sent here to do. I spent a really long time on my knees last night. Right before I felt like we ´´had it,´´ I got the transfer call. It´s like going to the free throw line at the end of the game and the ref never passing you the ball... I got subbed out. It was a hard pill to swallow. If I learned anything from serving in Georgia though, it was the attribute of ´´submitting´´ myself. I know the Presidente is inspired and this is the will of the Lord right now. I hope I can return here before leaving Brasil.

Julho unfortunately took some steps in the opposite direction this week. After I emailed last week, we went and bought some fruit. As we were walking back home, we saw Julho sitting outside smoking. I asked him what was going on, trying to do it in a manner the Lord would even though I felt like doing a round house to his face (to knock the cigarette out of his mouth, not actually hitting him...) He told me that he´s not baptized yet, so its all good. We returned later, and a couple more times this week... Long story short, he ´´banned´´ us from his house. We´re not allowed to return, at least temporarily. It´s really sad too because you could see how the first steps of living the gospel were making him happier. Unfortunately, these stories come with missionary work.

Is the Priesthood real? Let me answer that for you
We were teaching a less active member this week, which we found out has a daughter serving as a missionary in southern Brasil. The mom and the other daughters are less active. It was really hard to see this, part member families, and less active families just KILLLLLLLLLLLL me. Anyway, she handed me a letter at the end of our lesson that her daughter wrote me. I read the final two paragraphs where she talked about gratitude and covenants. She then bore her testimony on the reality and potential they have as a family to live together forever... My heart was pumping the Spirit. I don't know if that makes sense but I was feeling it. It was a mixture of heart breaking feelings and the truth just burning with truth...
In the meantime, the member we were teaching with made this really big GASPING noise in his chair and then stiffened like a board. His legs, arms and neck were straight and he started to slide down the chair he was sitting in. His head started shaking back and forth and he was making these crazy noises - like he was choking on something. The four women that were in the room ran in the corner and called the ambulance. I grabbed my companion and we sprinted to the other side of the room to catch him before he slid out of his chair.
It was seriously on of the craziest moments of my life. His head was shaking back and forth and his body wouldn´t bend. I knew (thank goodness for Boy Scouts) that he couldn't lay him down. I squatted behind him and bent his body so he was sitting in a 90 degree angle. Holding him up with my knees, we placed our hands on his head and looked at each other. I looked at Elder Dorman and let him take it.
He yelled at me, ´´What´s his name! What´s his name! What´s his name!?´´
I answered back yelling ´´Jaciel! Jaciel! Vai vai vai!!´´
We then gave him a blessing...
As we closed in the name of Jesus Christ, he began to foam out of his mouth. Less than five seconds later, he started coughing... About 15 seconds later he started breathing again.
Holy cow. If that didn´t testify to the less active mom and family that the Priesthood has been restored, I don´t know what will. It was the most powerful experiences of my life. We picked him up and set him on this big comfy chair as the ambulance arrived a little bit later.
´´Don´t worry guys... God already took care of him´´ I felt like saying. Haha they took him on a stretcher because he was really weak and took some blood tests
Here's a picture of us in the ambulance.

I know this is the Lord´s work. I know His Priesthood has been restored to the Earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know President Monson is a Prophet of God today and Christ stands at the head of this church. There´s just too many evidences. The mission life... Man...
 L.I.V.I.N.  T.H.E.  D.R.E.A.M!
Elder Welch

Blake and Lindsey... SOOO Sorry! I just saw the email and felt TERRIBLE! You guys are the best. Whenever I read Alma and think about the sons of Mosiah, I think of the little posse and how awesome it will be to see you guys after the mission. You will really begin to understand your identity as a child of God. We obviously always knew that but you have no idea... I am finally learning how to pray. You will go through some of the HARDEST TIMES, times where you just close the bathroom door and start crying in prayer. Those moments are the greatest conversion builders. I look forward to receiving advice and reading stories of you guys in the coming months and years! I love you guys!

Elder Welch

Here are some pictures of Tyler and his companion making bread that someone from Tyler's area added to Facebook:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Walking, Talking Testimony (3/17/14)

Caption for the picture: ´´For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto (Elder Welch)... Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature...´´ (Mormon 9:22).

Picking up. March Madness is here and EVERYONE is fired up! Especially the Jundiaí Ward! YYYEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Yesterday was one of the best days ever. Sometimes as a missionary, you work so hard and you don´t really see any results. However, the Lord just showered us yesterday (and the past couple days especially) with people that are really loving the Good Word. We had an all time high with investigators at church yesterday, pumping everyone up. We even had a couple come up to me in between classes and ask if they could invite one of the couples we found to a family night this Wednesday... ´´Uhmmm... Yes!´´ Haha holy cow. It was unbelievable the way the ward responded yesterday. I pulled my companion into an empty room during church yesterday so we could say a prayer of gratitude. This has seriously been my dream since I got here.
When I first arrived, we didn't have a bishop. Yeah, we didn't have a Bishop (he got called to serve in the Stake Presidency). The members asked the mission president to take out the old missionaries. We had one investigator, none of the members liked us, and I couldn't talk or understand Portuguese. Holy cow those times were awful. However, FINALLY, after working and working and working, especially with our ward missionary leader, the members trust us now.

We finally got a Bishop a few weeks ago and had our first ward council together. THE ENTIRE THING WAS ON MISSIONARY WORK! Who are these investigators? I want to feed the missionaries! I want to help teach them on this day... etc. It was unbelievable. The ward was totally different yesterday. Our ward mission leader (he loves missionary work and worked in the mtc for like 5 years) came up to us with his hand on his forehead, ´´Finally. Elderes... We have missionary work again back in this ward.´´

This past week was awesome. Especially the couple I mentioned above. Their names are Guilherme and Solange. We also are set for Julho this coming weekend and his baptism... We hope all goes well.

As I prepare for conference, Ive been re reading the talks again. One of them talked about members praying for the investigators by name in their ward. I don't know if you are doing that, but maybe you can pray for ours too! Haha heres a list of some of them that are really making strides.
Guilherme and Solange
Alexandra and Lara

The thing that really pumped me up this week was a scripture in Matthew 26 about the atonement. The phrase, ´´And he went a little further...´´ caused me to reflect on my efforts and to pick it one more step, to take it up one more degree. When Christ did this, ´´He fell on His face´´ and accomplished the greatest event ever known in Human history. I´m ready baby. This week we´re going to be cranking it!

Invitation, read 2 Nephi 16 and insert your name this week... He´s calling us to this great work! "Lord, how long?"
"Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate…" Nonstop. Can´t stop, won´t stop.

Love you all!
Elder Welch

Monday, March 10, 2014

March Madness!

Man, life is good. This week was awesome. Missionary work was good, Ashley had her birthday, Dad´s is coming up this week, College bball is getting exciting (I think it´s this week, right?), and Carnaval ended! Man, Brasil´s holiday of Carnaval really killed us last weekend and the start of this week. Every single appointment fell through and we didnt find anyone new. Next year I´m going in to Carnaval fasting - especially if I´m in the city again - The Lord, my companion, and I will find a family next year!
A quick comment on some of your letters. That´s what I´m talking about! Mom wins it for best missionary in the family, especially with all of the work she´s doing on the other side of the veil right now. But you all are amazing! I sometimes think about what it would be like to serve in the Powell Ward not knowing the Welch family... How I would use you guys... Haha. It´s kind of funny to think about it though because most missionaries are intimidated by the Stake President, ESPECIALLY going over to their house. I always tell them that Stake President´s are soft... Haha anyway, you guys inspire me to be better.
Noah Adam Lewis... Man! He´s helping with the missionary work here in Jundiaí! Haha I brought him up in so many conversations this week. If you could in your next letter/package, please send me pictures of him with Britt, Adam, and Chase, as well as updated pictures of the rest of the family. Pictures are the best. Also, quick note about packages. Thank you! They seriously are the greatest thing as a missionary. Two things you look forward to the most as a missionary. Baptisms and packages.

I don´t think I explained last week´s title at all in the email but I was reading the scriptures and came across this dynamite verse in 2 Nephi 7:11 (mmm, slurpee!) about being an example and standing in Holy Places (Jd´s story!! Holy cow!)
´´Behold, all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of you fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled.´´
Every night before I go to bed, I open this window at the feet of my bed and look out at Brasil and think about investigators and how my mission is going. There´s this hotel that is in the distance with a red light on the top of it that stays on all night. I think it might be the North Star, but it seems to always be directly above the red light on the hotel. I often think about the old conference talk about ´´Lighthouses´´ and how they work. Because I´m a missionary and all I think about is being a missionary, I related to who I am (identity) as a missionary.
The conference talk speaks about how sailors use the ´´Lower Lights´´ of the light house to maneuver past the rocks and safely dock their boats. He relates the Light House to the Savior and the ´´Lower Lights´´ to members living virtuous lives. Every night before going to bed, I think about what type of ´´Lower Light.´´ How people view me on the streets. What type of teacher I am. What type of companion, member of the Jundiaí Ward, friend, etc. It´s important to me, and serves as a reminder every night, that I´m leading people safely past the dangerous rocks of temptation, heartbreak, and addiction to the important ´´Higher Light´´ - Jesus Christ. // Man, it´s awesome being a missionary!

So who wants an update on the amazing Eduardo? I sure do... (lame)
Man, if you could watch on film how this week went with him… it was awesome!
Last Tuesday morning I woke up with a lot of anxiety I think - I just felt really uneasy about Eduardo. I talked with Elder Dorman about it and the best way to help him for his baptism this weekend. We shifted some plans around and saw him that night to confirm all was well for this weekend.
Well, what I woke up thinking was true. He didn't feel prepared to be baptized and wanted to wait until May - some important date of his I think.
The Spirit put thoughts in my head as we opened up to Mosiah 18 and talked about a ´´desire.´´ We then gave him specific examples and asked him inspired questions. As  the Spirit set the stage, we bore our testimonies of the Savior and His restored Gospel and then knelt down.
The mighty Elder Dorman stopped us before we prayed. He said, ´´Eduardo, as representatives of Jesus Christ, we promise you that you will receive a confirmation that you should be baptized this Sunday, if you pray and ask specifically right now. ´´
I remember thinking, ´´Whoa baby! I´ve gotta pick my faith up for this now.´´ Haha Elder Dorman is awesome. But knowing this was possible, I confirmed what my companion said. We then invited him to pray.
´´Boom!´´ The Spirit hit me hard in the middle of his prayer. Eduardo began to talk with Heavenly Father about his thoughts of joy when he heard someone clapping in front of his house. He said even though we didn't have anything scheduled, he knew it was us. He then began to express gratitude. It was an incredibly sincere prayer. He really put a lot of thought in to his words. It was such an awesome experience. We were united in purpose, full of gratitude, and asking Heavenly Father for a very specific answer - Is this Sunday the day?´´
Eduardo closed the prayer in the name of Jesus Christ and the thought came to me not to move - just to follow Elder Dorman, haha. I´ll always be grateful for this prompting.
After about 3 minutes had passed, Eduardo said, ´´Guys, I don´t know if you are still praying (our heads were still down and arms folded), but I didn´t receive an answer...´´
´´No!´´ I thought to myself. Without lifting our heads up, I know we both felt a pit in our stomach. We just promised him an answer! I shut my eyes even harder and began to pray with more fervor. ``Heavenly Father, I know this is possible - How? Because I feel it right now! Please let Eduardo to feel this.´´
Without saying anything, five more minutes passed as we were kneeling in a circle.
´´C´mon, c´mon, c´mon... Feel it Eduardo!´´ Haha it was so intense.
Another minute must´ve passed when he finally spoke again. ´´I have received my answer...´´
Both of our heads shut up.
He had his arms crossed with his right hand on his chin. With a slight grin on his face, I knew he finally felt the confirmation - I began to go crazy inside with excitement.
´´Guys... I need to get baptized this Sunday.´´
Two huge breaths of air left Elder Dorman´s mouth and mine. We jumped over to him on our knees and hugged him together. Tears were running down his face as he began to express gratitude again to Heavenly Father. We were in a really awkward, 3-man hug, but no one cared because we were so happy. Haha it was so awesome. As Elder Dorman and I stood up,Eduardo pointed both hands to Heaven and thanked Heavenly Father one last time. It was like he was in the majors and he hit a home run - in some cases, he did. It was incredible. We were all so happy.
As we left soon there after, Elder Dorman and I put our arms around each other as we walked home - classic Hollywood shot. We didn´t stop talking and thanking Heavenly Father for it until we fell asleep at 10:30.

Pretty awesome, right?
So, yesterday he was baptized. I was so happy he chose a member to baptize him because I think it hyped the ward up a little bit more. I was pleased to be a witness.
As I stood off to the side and saw his body completely submerged in the water, feelings you just can´t explain came over me. As we came up again out of the water, he turned around and looked at me for approval, haha. I nodded at him and shook my fist. The biggest smile grew on his face turned away from me and looked at all of the people there supporting him. It was awesome.
Last night we passed by his house to recap some of his feelings. After he talked for about 25 minutes straight, we invited him to record these feelings in a journal. We taught a short principal on the importance of remembering these type of experiences in our life. The Spirit didn´t leave, but filled the room.
My favorite part of what he described was this big man in another ward came up to him to congratulate him - they knew each other somehow in years past. Eduardo related like this.
´´He came up to me with a smile on his face and his arms opened. He reached out for me and gave me a big ABBRRAAAACCCCCOOOOOOOOO!!!!´´ He talked about his feelings and how loved he felt just from a simple hug... An apostle in October´s session of conference talked about this too. How powerful a hug can be to someone who needs some loving...

Well, those were some of the highlights this week.
A quick funny story - I didn't realize but my watch was about 2 minutes fast. On Saturday, Elder Dorman and I were trying to catch a bus. I was leading us, trying to get Elder Dorman to pick up the pace a little bit (the buses here are exact with timing). I got on safely but the doors began to shut with Elder Dorman on the outside. `´Noooo!!!´´ Haha we both reached out titanic style. Somehow, I don´t know how, he shimmered his body through these doors. Haha however, his shoulder bag was caught on the outside part of the bus! Hahah, we started moving and were like pulling each other in to the bus because his bag was hanging on the outside.
Long story short, he and his bag made it on safely. I went to sit by a man and strike up a conversation when it turned out, we got on the wrong bus... Oh man, haha I don't think Elder Dorman was too happy with me. The next bus arrives about two minutes after the bus we got on leaves (but, my watch was fast....) ooops! It took us really far away from our appointments and we ended up missing some unfortunately.
Haha but missionary life is awesome. I love it. I seriously am so happy. Heavenly Father blesses us so much. I really think the only thing that could make my life better right now is if you all lived here with me in Brasil.
The Savior lives! He lived and died for us. And through Him, we can make it back together as a family, and live with our eternal family in the Celestial Kingdom. Let´s do this! 
Elder Welch

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Important Package Info

Important information regarding sending Tyler packages:
Brasil´s government is trying to protect the country from imports. I can understand their reasoning, but they´re a little too hardcore for a missionary... Let me explain.
I got a call this week from the secretary saying that I had some good news and some bad news... The good news was that I received a package. Whooop! Seriously, receiving packages is the greatest thing ever. The bad news was that Brasil put almost a 300 dollar tax on it... Yes. Let me repeat that... 300 Reais.
They asked me what I wanted to do. I honestly was heart broken. I knew if I bought the package, I wouldnt have money this week. I thought if I delayed until today, I could write you guys and have you put some money on the credit card (please read what I wrote again about the username and password information to activate it online again) so I could buy it. Buuuttttttt, Brasil continues to increase the import tax every day. They told me that it would be better to buy it now and tell you how to avoid this in the future. So, I bought the Catholic package (btw, holy cow mom! Haha the pictures of Mary made me laugh because you tatooed that box with her - good thinking though. She has a lot of power here in Brasil. No one will break in to that package) and ate beef jerkey and Peanut Butter for the rest of the week. No problem though. I love both of those things.
You can´t tell the truth with the things you put in the box. I know, that sounds horrible but its true because Brasil thinks I will receive it and sell it on the streets. For example, you bought that awesome water filtration system and sent it to me. On the ´´Custom´s Declaration Note´´ you wrote exactly how much it cost there in the states - 50 dollars. You also put the exact amount of money it cost for the clothing - 30 dollars. When everything was totaled up, the price of the items inside the package was MORE EXPENSIVE than what it cost to send it here to Brasil. I think everything inside the package was a little over 100 dollars, where it cost 60 dollars to send... When the price of the items inside the package is MORE EXPENSIVE than what it actually cost to send it, Brasil will stamp a fat tax on that puppy... So, in the future, what you can do is this
Peanut Butter.....quantity-2; price-$3.00
USED clothing.... quantity-15; price-$7.00
Half eaten granola bars ..... quantity-8; price-$5.00

Try to make the stuff sound not wanted and make up the quantity and price of the items. PLEASE MAKE SURE THE ITEMS IN THE BOX ARE SIGNIFICANTLY CHEAPER THAN THE PRICE IT COSTS TO SEND IT.
I´m a little worried more packages are on the way... Haha this should be an interesting experience here in the next couple of weeks. Sorry I didn´t know and send this information out sooner but, it´s a funny story I can tell people about after my mission on how I survive on packages sent from home and not the money I actually receive as a missionary.

Just to let you know however, paying close to 300 reais for the package was totally worth it. Why? Because I finally received PEANUT BUTTER! WHOOOOOOOO!!!!
I let one of the Brasilians try some peanut butter here and he about died.... Haha it was so funny. The Brasilians here LOVE peanut butter. Hey, that might make me a Brasilian then... Anyway, thank you for the Peanut Butter.

Lower Lights

Whhaaaaa?? Noah Adam Lewis. Can I get a HOLLLAAAA??!!! Haha it´s so weird thinking Brittany and Adam have another kid. Haha I´m starting to forget what it was like to be just normal, at home, going to school and playing sports. While Brittany is recovering, Adam owes me an email with some updates on their new baby.

Also, Ashley´s birthday is coming up. Whoop! Shout out to my awesome sister.
-Mom, the Brazilian I sent a picture home of eating peanut butter is probably the greatest cook to ever walk the planet... Haha we made a deal that if I gave him some peanut butter, and you sent me a recipe, he would make a peanut butter cheesecake free of charge. Oh yeah. Please sent me a recipe of how to make a peanut butter cheesecake. That would be an awesome cheat day food... Haha
-DUSTIN OR MATT, please send me some workouts over email. This week is my last week of air alert. I know you may have sent some in the next package but it takes a really long time to get here. It would be awesome to have a fresh sheet of some body weight workouts to do next week.

So, this week was awesome. In the back of my journal I started a `Transfer Summary` of each transfer on my mission. Throughout each transfer I will write the biggest things that I learned on that short summary. Anyway, the reason I write that is because of the principal I have learned and gained a testimony of now in the tenth week.´´Enduring to the End.´´ Holy cow, it stinks but its so awesome at the same time.

I´ll be honest, when I got off the plane here ten weeks ago, I was really arrogant. I thought I had missionary work down. I felt like I knew how and when to work and use members, how to utilize the ward leadership, when to get the mission leaders involved, and how to teach and listen to investigators according to their needs. MAAAANNNNNN has this not only been a humbling experience, but a time where I have made a lot of growth. I love the principal of Enduring to the End.
Last week´s letter was probably pretty bad. I tried to write it as fast as I could because it was profound to me. So, with the limited time I had, I tried to send it. I hope it made some sense. The purpose of the email was to confirm that this truly is His work. So many people start programs to break bad habits or throw loads of money at companies to help them make changes, when in reality, all we need to is understand Christ´s restored Gospel - His Doctrine.

For the first time on my mission, I feel like I have really done what I have been called to do. We have an investigator right now named Eduardo. He has had a lot of really difficult problems in his life that have kind of messed him up. Drugs, deaths, addictions, etc.. But that´s why we´re here, right? To help others come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.
Mom´s package included this quote from Elder Bruce R. McConkie:
´´By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Master and He has chosen me to represent Him. To stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me. My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my words are His words and my doctrine is His Doctrine. MY COMMISSION IS TO DO WHAT HE WANTS DONE. TO SAY WHAT HE WANTS SAID. TO BE A LIVING MODERN WITNESS IN WORD AND DEED OF THE DIVINITY OF HIS GREAT AND MARVELOUS LATTER-DAY WORK.´´ WhooooOO! If that doesn´t get you pumped up, there´s something wrong with you. I love it. Absolutely love it. I keep this in my shirt pocket every day and think that I literally stand in the place and minister to the people that He would be if He were me. Man, that´s powerful.
So, how´s this apply to Eduardo? If the Savior was sitting across from Eduardo during a lesson, teaching him about the word of wisdom, how would He do it? Simple, he would teach the doctrine behind this commandment and then invite him to live it. Why? Because this is the only way to true happiness. He wouldn´t, for example, teach him to slowly cut back on the amount of cigarettes each day - because in reality, He would be teaching him that breaking the word of wisdom is okay. He would tell him to live it right now. But he´s addicted and his body would go in to shock, right?... No, the Lord always provides a way to accomplish commandments.

So, what we did with Eduardo was first teach him about repentance. What it means to repent, why we need to repent, and the blessings... Then, we taught simply the Word of Wisdom. Knowing he smoked, we then invited him to repent and quit now. After about 20-30 minutes of him not believing in himself, he handed us all of his cigarettes (man he smoked a lot) andcommitted him to living the word of wisdom.
The following day came and the expected temptation came to smoke. He immediately began to pray and ask for help. Boom, temptation went away. The next temptation came a little bit later, and a little bit stronger, but boom! He prayed and the Lorddelivered. Third time. Fourth time. Fifth time. Unfortunately, he gave in toward the end of the night and went to the drug store to buy ONE single cigarette. (Haha this story is awesome.) He was trying so hard. He repented of his past transgressions of smoking and had a desire to keep God´s commandments.
As he put the cigarette to his mouth, his tongue swelled up, his mouth filled with spit, his throat tightened and his stomach started to growl. WHATTT?? He told us it was the nastiest taste he has ever had in his life. He put the cigarette to his mouth again a couple hours later and the same thing happened... After each time of putting the cigarette to his mouth, he repented. After these two instances, the temptation to smoke didn´t come back. It´s been almost 10 days and the desire to smoke another cigarette has vanished.

We saw him yesterday and marked his baptismal interview for this Friday. I´m so happy for him. The atonement of Jesus Christ has completely changed him.

This is incredible. This is the happiest time of my life. I literally represent Jesus Christ. My voice, my acts, my words... are His! My commission is do what He would do - That is Preach His Gospel. I´m striving to teach the doctrine simply so the Holy Ghost can testify. When this happens, all I do is invite them to repent!

These 10 weeks have really humbled me. I´ve tried and tried and tried again. I did contacts holding a picture of Christ´s baptism, I´ve shouted on a soap box and invited people to church, I have even carried around pictures of my family and invited people to hear why I´m so happy.  Nothing has worked. It wasn´t until a prayer of faith (during Pday by the way), that we found Eduardo and scheduled a time to teach him.
Nephi was right. I should´ve just entered Jerusalem following the Spirit, not knowing before hand what I should do.
This is His work. Christ Lives! And I have been called of Him, by a living prophet today.
Elder Welch

Carrying Them in My Arms and On My Back (February 24, 2014)

Sorry for the delay in posting last week's letter.  I was in labor last week, so clearly posting to the blog was not a top priority! So here is the letter he wrote last Monday:

1 Nefi 22:8
This morning I was reading about Nephi´s prophecy about the Last Days. In verse 10 he talks some strong language. I´m not sure if this is the exact translation - "I would that you should know that EVERY FAMILY will not be able to be blessed…" unless they come to the knowledge of a Savior. He goes on to talk about how missionaries need to share this testimony to bring scattered Israel back home. I loved it. Verse 10 put a ton of weight on my shoulders as I thought about my responsibility aqui in Jundiai. I continued to think more about this prophecy and trying to apply it to me. I reread verse eight and felt like Superman. Haha with the Lord on my side, I´ll just put them on my back. I loved the way he describes it. I maybe took it a little too far this morning as I was sharing it with my companion but I picture a battle scene with wounded people, and then missionaries dressed in a shirt and tie, carrying people draped over their shoulders and arms to the Savior. Man! One of these pdays I will send home a picture of someone coming to the baptismal font. Keep praying for this area with me!

So this week was awesome. I learned one of the most profound lessons as my companion was teaching me how to teach the word of wisdom (with the vocabulary) to the people here in Brasil - its a little bit different than the states. He began to tell me how he usually sets goals with people who have problems with cigarettes or alcohol - something every missionary does, something I did to while serving in Georgia. The Spirit then hit me... Oh man it hit me hard.

The thought was on teaching commandments to people in general and then how the Savior would teach it. Why is it when we teach someone tithing, its so easy to say regardless of your circumstances, pay 10 percent and the Lord will bless you? Or if someone has a problem with the Law of Chastity, we tell them they need to stop right now. But why is it different with the word of wisdom? If someone is breaking the law of chastity every day, do we set a goal with them that its okay to still break the Lords commandment, just to only break it three times this week instead of seven? And then the next week to limit it down to only two times? Obviously no.
Then why did I set goals with people to only smoke 10 cigarettes on this day, and only drink two cups of beer on this day? In reality, I'm telling them they can still break a commandment. That's a problem. A REALLY big problem. That kind of seems hardcore but its the truth. Think about it. I'm supposed to be standing in the place of the Savior during these lessons, but I'm not doing right if I wouldn't teach and help these people the way He would. Plus, I'm teaching them false doctrine that they can continue to break the word of wisdom because its an addiction. It's false, and you won't have the Spirit with you. I talked to my companion this week about it and how the Savior would teach it. He would take away the temptations and then work a miracle in their lives through His faith.

Well, because this is the Lord´s work, we took away all temptations from two investigators this week with cigarettes and they stopped smoking in one day. Man it took a lot of prayers but through their faith and ours, The Lord helped two of His sheep break life long habits in the life of these two 60 year old men. 

Elder David F Evans visited our mission this week and talked about marriage for about three hours. Haha I'll write more about it next week.

This is His work and His doctrine. We cant change it because its not ours to change.

I love the Lord!
Elder Welch