Monday, April 7, 2014

"I tell you these things because of your prayers"

Doctrine and Covenants 38:30 - 

Amen to conference, ey? Yesterday and the day before will definitely be a conference weekend I will never forget. Why? Because I practically understood nothing. Haha I heard Elder Holland threw down on a solid missionary story, Elder Christofferson hit it on the money with the Resurrection and President Packer seemed to give his ´'final testimony,'' but my notes would tell you something completely, and I mean completely, different.
I'm getting to the point where I'm trusting in the Spirit enough during lessons where I can understand what the person is saying and I can communicate my feelings - but outside of this, I still don't really know what's going on around me. My notes on conference were short, but really the things that I needed to hear. The words that spoke to me, Heavenly Father allowed me to understand. To give you proof of this, the overarching lesson I learned this Saturday and Sunday was to hand write letters to friends and family. Yep. I told my companion this and no one talked about that. But, it was cool to not take notes this conference on what was said, but rather on the lessons I learned through the Spirit.
Ill stay on the conference topic for a little bit longer. The talks I really understood were Elder Corbridge (because he practically gave the missionary lessons - aka my entire vocabulary) and Elder Ballard. Oh yeah to Elder Ballard. I loved everything that he said and I think I understood just about everything. Because of his talk, I'm inviting the family to purchase individual Preach My Gospelś and to write me what you learn during the week. Friends and extended family are welcome to do this as well. Once a week, we can have our own ''Companionship Study'' over email and share with each other what we learned in our own ''Personal Studies'' during the week. I'll start off with the first lesson that I learned since serving in Brazil.
When I arrived in Jundiaí, we had one investigator. Yes, one person in our entire teaching pool. We spent the next two weeks in the Sun, fasting, praying, and working to build up a solid teaching pool. I seriously about died. These were the hardest couple weeks on my mission so far.
I decided that I was going to go crazy on Chapter Nine and do everything that chapter says about finding people. We tried and tried and tried, and continued to fail. It was terribly frustrating. We even decided to wake up earlier as a companionship so we could workout and began our studies sooner. A combination of the sun, no food, and no sleep caused us to randomly collapse during lessons. Our bodies were exhausted.
I then read a ´'hidden promise'' (Preach My Gospel has a couple of these) under the section of chapter nine titled, ''Teach when you Find, Find when you Teach.´'
It talks about three things, that if you do every time, you will have a solid teaching pool. ''Missionaries that put this principle in to practice HAVE MANY PEOPLE TO TEACH.''
The three things are,
1. Sharing short, brief statements of the Restoration
2. Ask ''Who do you know that would be interested?'' two times
3. Do this every time.
Ohhh yeahh, I thought. We're about to qualify for Heaven's blessings now. We sent a goal to bear a simple testimony of the restoration and then ask who do you know that would be interested to 300 people every week.

Results, in 8 weeks, we went from one investigator in our teaching pool to 62. Trust in the Lord and his (hidden) promises. Jundiaí is now Killing it! They just had another baptism last weekend.

Love Preach My Gospel. Its incredible. I study it everyday. My goal on the mission is to earn the title of being called ''A Preach My Gospel Missionary.'' That doesn't make a whole lot of sense but I want that nickname... Desire that nickname too. ''A Preach My Gospel Member-Missionary.'' Study it and pray about what you learn.

Anyway, I want to share one last thing before we go buy some good ol fruit!

While I was serving in Georgia, I was really struggling with making my prayers meaningful. I would be so tired at night, I would almost immediately fall asleep as I began my prayers, later waking up at 2:00 in the morning with the worst cramps. Hah it was awful. I prayed and studied and prayed some more about how I could improve my prayers, receive revelation for my life and the investigators lives, and to be happy.
Karli, I don't know why, randomly sent me a notebook and thoughts from Elder Bednar with an invitation to keep a ''Prayer Journal'' - answer to a prayer.
Since then, I have written down almost every night what happened during the day and then what I prayed for during the day. I had never gone back and read it until recently.
Some of you might think I'm a baby when it comes to the Gospel, and maybe I am, but I couldn't hold back the tears. As I flipped through the Prayer journal, I began to make check mark after check mark of the prayers that were answered - they weren't always on my time table, or how I wanted them to be answered, but they were answered and I grew from them. He has heard everyone of my prayers. He gives me promptings because of my Prayers. He gives me understanding when I ask for it and helps me find happiness.
I think that's kind of how judgment day is going to be. We learn that the books will be opened before us, but what does that mean? For me, I think my Journal will be opened, a record of my prayers will be opened, the things that I fasted for will be opened, and I will look up at Christ and finally understand that He really was always there. I will finally understand His Mercy and bear witness that He is the Christ.
Let us try to ''make'' prayers as they say it in Portuguese. Don just ''say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen'' - but ''Hear them in the Name of Jesus Christ as well.'' Close your prayers with the mind and will of Christ.
I'm grateful for the Lord and a Loving Heavenly Father who hears all of my prayers. I am finally beginning to understand how to pray and it is making me so much happier. It sometimes takes so much thought, and I get even more tired after, but its changing my life and some of our investigators.

Let's join together as a family and help the Lord hasten this Great and Marvelous work. Lets contribute and use our ''Four Minutes'' (yep, the pictures helped me understand that talk... ) the way they were intended to be used. Lets consecrate our lives so we can live together forever.
Love you Fam! Thank you for your prayers. I'm strengthened by them day by day.

*I hope you take the invitation to study Preach My Gospel at least once every week. I promise that it will bless your life and you will be so much happier. You will find success with your own Missionary efforts, and in return 1. you'll be more happy, and 2. your sins will be more readily forgiven you. Let us not forget the most important book however, The Book of Mormon. That invitation is an automatic. Read it everyday. Love it everyday. Bear testimony to someone about it everyday. It was written for our day. If you want a challenge, try to love that book of scripture more than I love it. I don't know how we will measure that, but try.

With love for the Lord and a recognition for His hand in all that we do,
Elder Welch

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