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:

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