Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Vamo´ Lá! [6/30/14]

Wow, where to start?? This week will be a little bit ´´lighter.´´ Hopefully you´ll get a few laughs in on vacation (during my birthday) with the family.
First, my companion got Dear Johned... Haha seriously, I didn't know how to act. He and his girlfriend bought some pretty expensive promise rings to wear that he took off last week. I made him a nice Mexican meal however when we got back to the house (Mexican food still is my favorite - btw, dad I still eat it before the General Priesthood Conference session! haha) to help soothe the pain. We had hot sauce that we loaded on top of the food... We kept putting more and more on joking around, saying that he doesn't feel any more pain. Not sure how he felt the next day in the bathroom... I was afraid to ask.

World Cup update. Seriously, Brasil is killing me. I'm trying to save the world down here with baptisms but they keep winning. We have to stay in our house during the games because the entire population is drinking and it could get pretty dangerous. Its funny because we don´t watch the games but we always know the score. When Brasil scores, fireworks and noisemakers go off for about 10 minutes straight... And when the other team scores, it´s ghost town. Seriously. More silent then the Celestial room in the temple. Anyway, last Saturday we had the baptism of Catarina scheduled for 5 pm, but didn't happen until 6pm! The stinkin´ game went into penalty kicks and delayed everything! Haha it´s fun being down here though because everything is different. The roads are decorated, houses and stores, practically all of the cars have a Brasilian flag waving in the air... even the TREES are decorated. I love the pride the Brasilians have.

The baptism of Luzinete and her family was delayed because of her boyfriend. Man, its a really complicated situation. She has EIGHT kids, four of them that live with her. The eight kids have two different fathers, and she´s pregnant with one more (yep, that makes nine!) with another man. He´s addicted to drugs and alcohol. Shes trying to get rid of him but its hard because he´s the father of this child on the way (two more months and he´ll be born). It was especially sad because he showed up to church yesterday drunk. My companion and I with a returning member kicked him out of church because of the words he was saying. The returning member is a policeman who called his co-workers to come and get him. The man got scared and walked out on his own. About 50 yards from the church, he collapsed on the ground and went to sleep in the middle of a sidewalk. It made me so sad for various reasons. He´s impeding this family from joining the church and Satan has complete control over him and his body.

However, Catarina and Giovana were baptized this week! Catarina investigating the church 5 years ago but stopped because her entire family are members of Jehovah Witness. We followed up with her this week about her reading in The Book of Mormon where she told us she didn't read. I about died I was so sad, but I felt the spirit to open up with a prayer. I felt impressed to ask Heavenly Father to give us another confirmation that the Book is true - guess what happened. Every received a testimony or confirmation. Catarina and our member who was present, as well as me and my companion. She tossed out the coffee and cigarettes and was baptized. Yeah yeah yeah!

Vanderlei, the one that wanted to follow Christ´s example exactly by being baptized in the (FREEZING) river, was called yesterday as the President of the Young Men. Wow. One month after his baptism, he is already meeting with us in ward counsel. I talked with him and his wife yesterday and they told me, ´´We love you Elder Welch! We are so close to the Savior and feel so important now!´´ It made me happy to know that I played a small part in their conversion. The Lord has been preparing them for a really long time. I also realized how important it is to give recent converts callings in the church. They´re on ´´greenie fire´´ mode! Why not give them a calling? They, like Vanderlei and Claudete felt, will 1.feel really important and 2. elevate the faith in other members.

I spent a lot of time this week studying Christ and how to start a lesson. I realized a promise Chapter 10 has. ´´When you share spiritual experiences in the first visit, they will recognize you as a servant of the Lord.´´ Because Chapter 9 talks about ´´finding those that will receive you´´ this was an answer to my prayers. I need these people to recognize who I am and why I'm visiting them. Para batize-se até o pó!

Boston... Happy birthday man! Love ya! I loved the pictures Ashley sent me of him with Reese and Nixon.

Love you all family! Have a good vacation!

Livin the dream!
Elder Welch

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