Monday, April 28, 2014

Just Get Me to May!

Baseball season is getting rowdy and serious. Haha I remember Coach Schmidt in high school would always tell me that when we were at baseball practice. If I was in a slump or things were going really well, he would always say, ´´Just get me to May!´´ Why? Because the playoffs are in May.
That´s how Socorro is right now. Some hours of the day are killer, while others are heart breakers. However, with the turnoutyesterday, May is looking really promising.
So another transfer will come to an end today. It´s crazy how fast things are moving now. I was so nervous with this transfer cycle because of all the work that we put in and just started implementing. It didn´t help to get a call from the Assistants this past Wednesday to say that one of us would be leaving... It actually was a really surprising phone call. They told us that this coming transfer, we both would be training new missionaries. My companion was pumped for the opportunity, as was I, but to be honest - I DON´T SPEAK PORTUGUESE! Haha seriously, if I get an American companion to train, we´re going to be two mimes on the street holding copies of The Book of Mormon. It will definitely be interesting this coming transfer with a missionary fresh off the airplane. Anyway, they told us to travel to Campinas on Thursday, where we would have a meeting and then attend a session at the Campinas Temple. After the session, I was at ease and felt on fire. It was the first time I got to attend the Campinas Temple, as well as the first time attending in Portuguese. I learned a BOAT load of things, I think in part because of the language. Different things stand out to you in another language. The same is true with the scriptures. It´s been a real blessing learning Portuguese because the Restored Gospel is continuing to expand further and further beyond what I knew as a high schooler... However, everything cooled down this morning before studies when we got the call that I would be the one staying in Soccorro. My companion was cool with it because he was indifferent about the situation. Let me tell you a couple of reasons why I´m pumped for this transfer in MAY, whether or not I have an American or Brasilian companion (I´ll find out tomorrow).
We didn´t baptize anyone this transfer, but I´m comfortable with it this time. Last night I was thinking and I really feel like I did everything the Lord wanted me to accomplish in this area this past transfer. However, in a way, we did baptize a family - a family of SEVEN!
The family of Nelson and Joana is a less active family that we began working with about a month ago. They came to a Branch activity we had one time, but they never made it to Sacrament meeting. Yesterday, was depressing as I sat in the first meeting and taught the second meeting without them (Sacrament is the final meeting here). We made a phone call however before Sacrament started to one of our leaders. As my companion was on the phone, Nelson, Joana, and their 5 kids came walking up the steps dressed up for sacrament meeting. I threw my hands up in the air and just about hugged the mom I was so excited. I hugged the dad and son and told them to pass it to the girls in the family. Haha it was the first time being amissionary where Ive really been working hard with a less active family and they returned back to church. As they took the sacrament together, I felt like money. The members after the meeting were so happy too. They were hugging all of the members and the men and women were just kissing each other... Brasilian culture - still not used to that.
But wait, the good stuff doesn't stop there. Our Branch struggles here with taking care of investigators. What I mean by that is they don't really talk to them and definitely don't sit by them. Its a big challenge as a missionary when you have a handful of investigators at church and you're trying to make sure they all have a spiritual experience. I sometimes feel like a mom trying to take care of her church pew full of kids during Sacrament meeting.
Anyway, we always pull members over to talk with investigators and have figured out some different techniques that seem to be working . But yesterday, after church, one of our members invited a family we´re teaching to a barbeque with PICANHA! The best tasting meat in Brasil. Its seriously like a 100 bucks. Brasilian bbq´s alone are the best, but with Picanha.... I haven't tasted it yet but Ive heard stories about what it tastes like. Haha straight up mouth watering. Anyway, so I was pretty pumped to hear about that.
We also, along with the Branch Mission Plan I´ve slaved over this past transfer making, had our first ´´Preach My Gospel´´ class at night. We had more members come and participate then I thought would show. On Thursday when I went to the temple, we bought ten copies for the Branch to use during these classes. The members had notebooks, highlighters, and pens - taking notes like crazy. We focused our class yesterday on ´´Listening´´ and how its probably more important than teaching. This week I'm planning some visits with some investigators and less active members to visit after the class next Sunday night. Socorro is about to become a ´´Preach My Gospel Branch!´´
To conclude, Ill give a Preach My Gospel thought - another hidden promise that Ive tested and its come true.
Chapter 9, under the section ´´Talk with Everyone´´ gives a short section on prayer. It says to pray for three things inparticular.
1. To have the capacity to find someone that you can SERVE
2. To have the capacity to find someone that you can TEACH a truth, and
3. To have the SENSITIVITY to know who that person is.

This is how we found Eduardo. Result - Baptism
This is how we found an 80 year old women being abused by her own daughter... Result (I got transferred the next day)
This is how we found Vanderle and Claudete. A couple that was a few days away from divorce, and now are happy together and reading the Book of Mormon. Vanderle made it to church yesterday (Claudete no because the car broke down...)
Believe it! Pray for it, remember that you prayed for it, and then work for it. Faith without works is dead. The same is true for prayer.
The Church is so TRUE! I love being a missionary and representing the Savior every day!
Elder Welch

Btw, Mom - Your talk was seriously DYNAMITE! Your testimony has caught fire since Ive been serving a mission. Holy cow, I'm so excited to talk to you and hear about more of your successes with this ´´great and marvelous latter-day work!´´ on Mothers day! WHooooo!

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