Tuesday, June 24, 2014


To start out, I received the beloved packages Ive been waiting for so long to receive. Its been over four months since Ive gotten some love, even from the mission office with material. Everything arrived together. Talk about Christmas morning! Haha it was awesome. I had to open them in a couple of days because I only have time at nights after planning to think about the fam!
The picture of Matt at prom seriously shocked me. HOLY SMOKES HE´S HUGE! Haha he always told me that he would beat me up when I got home, which I never believed, but now I can see how it can become a reality... No joke. Its funny too because my companion sometimes talks about Matt and how hes so strong. He thinks youre an animal.
The memory card and oil containers made me really happy. Unfortantely, last month I went to send home a few fotos and EVERYTHING, almost 5 months of my missions fotos were deleted... Man! I said a prayer to just forget about it because I was a little frustrated. Now, its just a fun memory... (not really "fun" but definitely a memory). Anyway, Ill send home my memory card probably in a month or two when I get some more pictures on it.
ITS PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!! (with out the jelly) OOOHHHHHHH YEAHHHHHHH!!! I was so happy with the peanut butter. Whoo baby! I shouldve taken Elder L Tom Perry´s advice more seriously before the mission...
And the rubix´s cube...
Last month I really spent a lot of time thinking about Christ and how He would teach people today in Socorro. I thought and thought and thought, and finally figured it out with a simple question. Paraboles! (wow, forget how to spell that in english)
This week I started using the rubix´s cube to help people understand the great apostasy and restoration. I literally saw people dumbfounded this week as their minds finally clicked! "I understand it now!" Many people said.
And so it began. I started thinking about and looking for different things in the house to use to teach the way the Savior would. I thought about examples and stories in my life also. This week, I made a big leap forward in the way I taught. As I used stories, objects, and examples, people not only felt the spirit, but understand in their minds as well (principal lesson Abinadi taught to the Priests about the Law of Moses)
Yesterday also, we visited a pastor and attended his small congregation. We talked with him, the lead pastor of the Testimony of Jehovah, and some Catholics this week. No real evident progress yet, but I feel like something big is about to happen here in a couple of weeks. I think we need to look for the smaller congregations first and help them come unto Christ - not to destory these other churches, but to bring them Eternal Life.
Im excited for the work. Its getting hotter and hotter every week! Expect baptism pics next week!
Elder Welch

Preach My Gospel thought will come next week if you want to keep doing this

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Impossible Not to Believe

This week I spent my studies focusing on Abinidi and Nephi, brother of Lehi, and how they "performed" on their missions. The phrase that stuck out to me the most was this one in verse 18- that it was impossible not to believe in his words. The final verse of this chapter says that, "many received baptism..." Ohhhhh, that definitely got me on the edge of my seat. So what did they do? How did Abinidi speak with such converting power in order to help Alma, a PRIEST of King Noah, gain a testimony (who later baptized more than 200 people in one setting) and restored the church? How did Nephi prepare the Nephites and Lamanites for the birth and visitation of The Christ in the Americas? I think I found part of the answer this week in these chapters - Boldness.
Alma 11-18 and the beginning of 3 Nephi give a lot of examples of how they spoke and the result of what they preached. The thing that caught my attention was how they simply, yet boldly taught repentance and a remission of sins. WHAT?! You mean I don't need to teach this and that and that?? Haha I finally realized how simple these lessons need to be. Obviously I need to teach everything before baptism, but the first and second visits need to be simple, bold, and focused on a repentance and a remission of sins. It´s the atonement of Jesus Christ BABY!!
So an update on the Pastors.
We had a meeting with the "Father" of the HUGE catholic church that is in the center of the city. He's always inside of the church, so we had no choice but to enter. I read over the missionary rules to make sure I wasn't going to break any rule before my companion and I entered. We first had to wait in this waiting room with other people that were waiting to confess (man it was so hard not to start talking with the other people there about how to truly receive a remission of sins). We later sat down with the Big Man in one of his offices and had a really good conversation.
We approached it like Ammon. We opened up the conversation more or less like this:
"We know you have a large influence here in Socorro and we were hoping we could help you reach more of the people here. You know probably better then we do, that there are thousands of people here that need the Savior in their lives. We are Representatives of Jesus Christ to bring the joy of His atonement in the lives of all of the citizens of Socorro. We would like to discuss with you some of our goals, and maybe your goals, and work together on this."
He was a little bit taken back by our conversation. We sat there and discussed various topics, finishing with the Gospel of Jesus Christ - Repentance and remission of sins. This was our chance to shine.
We gave him a Book of Mormon with a promise. We bore our testimonies as boldly as we could and then left him an invitation to attend fast and testimony meeting with us the first sunday in July. We said that people need to hear his testimony of Jesus Christ. HE ACCEPTED!! 
The only thing that held us back from inviting him to be baptized was the setting. If it wasn't for the rule that we couldn't preach inside of religious places, we would've.

No! Gotta go unexpectedly. Two more daughters of God returned to the waters of baptism this week! Two more families!!! YES! 
I forgot my USB that has the pictures of the baptism, but here's a picture on my companion's camera of one of the ladies that was baptized! Her marriage was saved thanks to MISSIONARY WORK!

Love you all!
Elder Welch

Monday, June 9, 2014

"Bringing Them to the Knowledge of Their Fathers"

Brittany´s letter last week to me was awesome. The way she talked about the atonement and being grateful for challenges caused me to write a little bit in my journal. I learned a lot and felt the spirit bem forte. Thanks for the letter and update on the family.

Adam, também, was awesome. The best thing you wrote deserves to be in Chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel. ´´If your´re mindful of your time, you waste as little as possible.´´ Genius. And you asked me about the worst thing Ive eaten. I seriously haven't eaten ONE thing I haven't liked. Everything is seriously so good. I'm gaining weight like its my job unfortunately. So, I made a goal with an investigator this week that he drops his habit of smoking and I'll drop my habit of eating desserts. Ohhh man... If I could tell you how many cakes and cookies we received from the members this week... The worst idea ever! But I'm hanging in there. My companion is going hammer time in the kitchen while I eat fruit in the corner...

Dad- sorry to hear about being empty nesters. Haha but I enjoyed the simple letter you wrote about eating s'mores with gma and gpa McFerson and Ashley and Joe and their family. One thing I miss is eating dinner on Sunday outside, and then just sitting at the table and talking for an hour (usually eating an entire package of Oreos...)

And mom, Haha I received a message that I have FOUR packages in Campinas! WHOOOOOPPPPP! Butttt, I have to wait one more week to receive them. Haha oh man, I've been waiting so long for these pictures of the family. I can live without the peanut butter, but without the pictures. Thanks for sending them. And yes, the secretary in Campinas is the best spot to send things. Its actually a mission rule to send everything there.

Well, well, well, we got the transfer call last night.... AND I´M STAYING IN SOCORRO!!! Yeahhhhhhhhhhh! We were with our Branch President yesterday in the car when our leaders called and he pulled over on the side of the road to listen in. After he heard our leader say that we are staying, we started screaming with us. Haha it was so funny. He said, "Yess!! Mais vinte batismos!! Mais cem batismos!" Haha he said 20 more baptisms... paused... and then said 100 more baptisms. Haha he helps us out so much here. I'm grateful for the trust the Lord and our Mission President have in us to work here in the tiny town of Socorro.
We received a rule this week that we have to stay in our house this week when Brasil is playing in the World Cup. Last week Socorro started decorating the entire town with flags and different things to get ready for this week. They put up things just about on the church house too! They're crazy! Haha but our mission president made it really clear that we have to stay inside each time Brasil is playing. Mixture of safety and unproductivity. Happy studying for me!

In Preach My Gospel, Chapter 10, it starts out quoting a scripture in D&C 11:21. The Lord promised that we could persuade people (convert them) by the way we talk. This hit me hard the past couple of weeks, knowing that I could literally, (not me but the Spirit) convert someone that would generally not accept the restored gospel. What I have to do to prepare for these things is something I have begun on my own each morning and night. I know the Lord is hastening His work, I just need to keep up with His pace. 
With these pastors and other members of churches, I really have a firm hope that they´ll be baptized and remain active. Seriously, if one more person tells me "I was born catholic, Ill die a catholic" (or any other religion) I'm going to go ninja on their faces. The Scripture in Helaman 15:7-8, and throughout all of the Book of Mormon, about trying to convince the Laminites of the incorrectness of their fathers is exactly what I'm doing. "Have you ever stopped to think that what your parents taught you is wrong?" Sure it´s harsh, but eternity hangs in the balance.

As I strive to become more like the Savior, His purpose becomes my purpose.
I'm living the dream as the greenie fire continues to motivate us do everything we can.

Elder Welch

There´s some KILLER videos of the life of Christ on lds.org. I want so badly to watch them, but know that I will miss time on the computer that I could write family. I usually watch one every p-day. If you can however, (for my birthday?? YEeee!!) is burn them on to a couple discs and send them to me. We have a mini DVD player in our apartment and I could watch them when I work out in the morning. Seriously, they'll motivate me to cut off this fat on my "love handles." 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pastor Searching

I had a study this past Wednesday that literally burned me. I felt like Shadrach, Meeshack, and Abednego (yikes on the spelling) burning in a furnace without any pain. I was so filled with the hope the Spirit brings, I left our apartment yelling (in a loving voice) that ´´Christ loves you!´´ Realizing how ridiculous I was, I cooled down a little bit, but not very much. Here´s why.

I had already had this knowledge in my head but the Spirit finally burned the testimony in my heart that I couldn't help but share it. This is the time in the history of the world unlike anything before. Every prophet, every dispensation, looked and awed at our day - probably giving them motivation. How depressing it would be to be a prophet back in the days of Moses or Noah, knowing that your work would eventually end in apostasy? As Elder Holland has said, they probably were able to stiffen their shoulders knowing that one day, our day, the gospel would roll forth and spread to every land and reach every heart. I'm living in this day. I'm a missionary who just got subbed in to hit a couple free-throws and seal the deal at the end of the game.
I started thinking about the examples of the missionaries in the scriptures. One of them that inspired me was Ammon, who stood bold in front of the king, called him to repentance, and converted the entire land! Right now, I'm only reaching one person at a time. If I'm lucky, baptizing or rescuing one soul every other week. But this is the TIME for missionary work. Because of Ammon´s example, along with the story of Christ and Peter at the end of the book of John, I went ´´Pastor Searching.´´
Every street contact I did this week that ended in ´´Sorry, I have my own religion,´´ I asked them where their leader lived. AsSunday night came to a close, we had 7 addresses of pastors and leaders of different churches here in Soccorro - 7th day Adventist, Jehovah Witness, Catholic, Congregation of Christians... You name it, we have it! Why? I have this dream of baptizing hundreds and hundreds of people, and I can´t do this only going door to door.
As I explained last week, I´ve been putting the Book of Mormon up to the test to every one of these leaders. Not with the purpose to boost my pride, but to have the opportunity to reach more of our Heavenly Father´s children. If I could work with the Spirit to convert one leader, imagine how many souls would be rescued... It gives me goosebumps.

I quickly learned however how key it is to be bold. Ive begun standing face to face (not bible bashing) and putting all the marbles on the table with the Book of Mormon. 7th day worship, mode of baptism, priest craft, etc... All based on the Book of Mormon. With my companion, we have begun inviting these leaders to be baptized. One has already accepted, on the condition if the Book of Mormon is true (yes! count on it!)

Anyway, I knelt down one night this week incredibly sad. I saw for the first time in my life, the hand of the enemy incredibly evident. Just about every drug that exists I saw this week, 12 year old girls living with 20 year old men, 27 year old men living with 44 year old women... The sin that exists in this city was killing me, so I knelt down with a desire to reach more, faster.
During this prayer, the story of Peter and Christ came to my mind, proving that prayer is a two way communication.

Peter and the apostles fished the entire night and didn't catch one fish. They didn't catch ONE SINGLE, TINY FISH, not even a bass, that seems to eat the same bait off the same hook every ten minutes. Christ that morning walked along the shore and simply said,
´´Children! (You look hungry!) Do you have anything to eat?´´
Frustrated probably, they replied, ´´No! Leave us alone!´´
 With a simple command to put their fishing net on the other side of the boat, and obedience to this command, the apostles caught 153 fish - bearing testimony to John that, ´´It was the Lord.´´
The two questions, ´´Children, are you hungry?´´ and ``(Elder Welch) do you love me?´´ are still causing me to think. I've changed and changed and changed to try to put my line on the ´´other side of the boat´´ but I'm not dragging in the 153 fishes that Peter and the apostles dragged in. Why not, if this is the time, baptize 153 in one setting? or 204 like Alma did at the waters of Mormon. Orrrr, 3000 like Peter did later in Acts chapter 2.

I'm examining where my fishing net is, and will strive to put it on the right side of the boat this week. I'm excited for the results!

With faith!
Elder Welch