Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Man, the mission is such a blessing. I always thought I would go and serve a mission and then return a ´´changed man.´´ Haha which is true for anyone that serves, but what I failed to think of was all of the situations I would be put in to cause that growth to take place.
Tuesday morning last week I was transferred back to JUNDIAÍ! Haha but to tell you the truth, I wasn´t very happy. I'mnot serving in the center of the city like I was back in January, but in a city called Colônia, which is about 20 minutes away from the center, walking. It´s hard to put all of my feelings in an email, but Heavenly Father definitely has been listening to my prayers about my desire to better know the Savior. If you don´t want to pass through challenges, don´t pray to get to know the Master. Haha

I had surgery on on of my big toes this week. It was a mini surgery but sent me to the bed the entire week (I´ll send pictures next week). The surgeon looked at my foot, numbed it all up, and hunked out practically the entire nail! I was laying down when he did it, and then sat up to talk to him about the Restoration... Haha you know, you always gotta be preaching the gospel. But when I sat up, I almost immediately fell back down. I about fainted! Haha he shouted at my companion to get me water and told me to lay back down. YOU PULLED MY ENTIRE NAIL OFF! I thought to myself. Hahah I made a joke out of it a little bit later... Man, the smallest touch of the foot on the ground this week sent that big toe bleeding for hours.
As a missionary, Ive always missed the family, but it´s never been a problem that I couldn't focus. But let me tell ya, when you´re in pain, in a country far away from your mom, you really start to get homesick... Man. Haha seriously. The only other time this happened to me was in Georgia when I picked up e. coli and lost 10 pounds that one week.
Because I knew I was going to be in the house the whole week, I thought to myself, ´´How can I invite others unto Christ?´´ Being cut off from all human contact, just my companion and I, I thought to myself that I would invite myself to come closer to Christ. I picked up the book ´´Jesus, The Christ´´ thinking I would draw closer to the Savior learning about His life.
I learned a lot of things this week that strengthened my testimony and gratitude for Jesus. I learned a bunch about the ´´Pre-mortal´´ and ´´Mortal Christ´´ and thought a lot about the parables and miracles he gave/performed.
But the lesson above it all came from a self reflection at the end of the week. I picked up The Book of Mormon and read the story of Moroni at the end of his life (because I was feeling pretty lonely too... haha). The Spirit that cheered me up and the excitement I had about ´´next week´´ (when I can leave the house on my feet) was at an all time high. I thought to myself, ´´I haven´t felt this all of this week in my studies of a book written by an Apostle, in the temple, only about Jesus Christ.
I got news from recent converts in a different area that they recently got divorced. That really threw a javelin in my heart. The email I sent them was to read the Book of Mormon everyday.
Sister Bosler told me last week that her Mission President used to have a huge list of "to-do's" for missionaries to complete when they returned  home from their mission. After some time on the mission, he shortened it down to one simple thing. Read The Book of Mormon everyday.
With the testimony of Joseph Smith, I add mine. Anyone who reads The Book of Mormon and abides by it´s precepts, will come unto the Savior more than he will reading any other book. I know the book was written for our day. It helped me this week be more happy and excited more than a book written by an Apostle of The Lord, in the temple, solely about the life of the Master did in a week´s long story.

Love you all! I hope you keep reading The Book of Mormon everyday!

Elder Welch 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

1 v 16 Upset

Man! seriously, I was 99% sure that I would be staying here in Cosmópolis. After all, I just got here a little over three weeks ago, but the Lord has called me a different way. I´ll be packing up my things here in a couple of hours and will hit the train station tomorrow morning.
I learned two things this week that I would like to mention. First is related to the talk that was given in General Conference about Patriarchal Blessings. The question he made was, "If I continue the way I´m living (even if it be a righteous life), will the blessings in my Patriarchal Blessing happen?" I thought a lot about that this week, and today I realized something so simple. (it seems to always happen on pday...)

We were leaving the house this morning after our studies and, as always, we knelt in prayer. (btw, it hurts to kneel bc my toenails touch the floor... wimpy huh? I pray with my feet up in the air - it´s gotta look pretty funny.) One of the Elders said the prayer and he said, "Please put just one person in our path that is prepared." - A simple prayer, right?
I remember this morning I thought to myself, "noooo. Why did you say that? It´s pday, I´m more tired than a koala bear (btw, I fell asleep this week standing up on the bus... Yes, I was hugging a pole, standing up, sleeping... Crazy how much the mission wipes you out physically) and I don´t want to look for people to teach today. We´re going to get our hair cut, send an email to our families, buy groceries and then come home..."
The Spirit put a funny thought in my head that I later laughed about. "Don´t say amen then." I was thinking about it throughout the entire rest of his prayer until he finished. I paused, delayed saying amen, later committing myself to the prayer overcoming selfishness. I said amen, which I knew signified I would do my part to "fulfill" the prayer. I was walking just an hour ago as we passed two guys. I remembered the prayer, thought to myself, "Man! I didn't want to say ´amen´ anyway." And let them pass by. This happened with probably 5 or six more people. I repented later and started talking to some of the people in the road - wow. Talk about rejection. Haha
But, the last man was the elect. He is married with 4 kids. Already has a Book of Mormon and invited us to visit him... The other missionaries will visit him because I will be transferred tomorrow.

In all, it was a really powerful lesson to me. "If I keep living the way I am, will the blessings I ask for in my prayers happen?" Our prayers need to have action. Its incredible how much prayer is changing me and deepening my conversion to Jesus Christ. "Amen" is the signature to our prayers. The convenient you can almost think of it.
The other story doesn't give time to tell now. Sorry but it deals with being a Rep. of Christ and not a Representative of anything or anyone else.

I love you all. Keep serving and magnifying your callings!
Elder Welch

Who Can Put a Price Tag on a Mother? (10/6/14)

My friend Elder L. Tom Perry won it this past weekend with the best quote. After he talked about the mother´s role in the family, I had to bow my head and thank Heavenly Father for our awesome mom. Seriously, I tell all my companions about you.
To start out, I received Mom´s awesome package this week that seriously felt like Christmas. That package was ´´bom demais!´´ Thanks for including all of those ties, videos of Christ and pictures (especially of the weddings of Ashley, Brittany and you with dad.) Let me stop there for a second... Holy cow, I don't know why you guys never had pictures of your wedding up in the house but I laughed so hard! I looked at dad and seriously thought it was me back in the 70´s! I showed the other 3 Elders in our house saying, ´´Who would've known that my Dad was so good looking back in the olden days...´´ They looked at the picture and then looked at me. Recognizing that it look like how dad looked I started bobbing my head up and down and just said, ´´Thank you for calling me beautiful.´´
Haha but Ashley, I also received your package with that sweet Brazilian shirt! Whoooop! Seriously, I was showing it off to my companions. I´ve been getting a good use out of it at night.

And just to do a quick follow up - I want to hear about how the family nights are going with Preach My Gospel. I've been spending the past month chapter 10 on trying to better my teaching to help little primary kids understand the missionary lessons. Every day I take a part of chapter 3 and try to "dumb" it down to the language and some good questions and scriptures that would make sense. As for me this month, I have written much because I haven't learned anything extravagant buuuuuutttt its helping. But I want to hear how its going with you guys! Especially with Matt who´ll be leaving here in one year! whaaa whaaaaa!
I sent some pictures of how the week was. The theme of "opposition in all things" these past couple of months continued this week. I seriously never knew how much pain a simple nail on your hand or foot could have. The baby in me came out this week, but it didn't stop me. Joseph Smith once said that "no unhallowed hand could stop this work from progressing." With him, I add my on, "No toenail can stop this work..." Haha it sounds so wimpy, but ohhh man. If I could just tell you about the pain it causes. I bought a good pair of Nephi sandals that I'm wearing (you can see them in the picture of the baptism)

The baptism with conference was the highlight of the week. I met Osvaldo three weeks ago as I came to hear that he´s been an investigator for over 10 years. I thought to myself, ´´ohh man... What can I do differently?´´
I spent a few days before I visited him, thinking about what would be the best way to help him out. After many prayers, the answer came. "Just be happy."
I showed up happier than a little boy on Christmas morning to his door. He invited us in. We just asked him questions about happiness and taught a 2 minute lesson at the end on how the Restoration is the only way to true happiness.
He loved it. The Spirit testified of the truth, and his good friend baptized on Friday.
With conference, my favorite talk was President Uchtdorf. His simple question of "Lord, is it I?" was the greatest question and talk I think I've heard.
Love you all!

Elder Welch

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"Vamos Pular Juntos, Irmão!"

Saturday night at 9:45, we received a call from the Ward Mission Leader saying, ´´Oh! I forgot. Tomorrow the Bishopric wants us to talk about Missionary Work. You guys are going to give the talks.´´ Haha I didn't have a problem with it, but imagine my companion who just arrived in Brasil this week! Haha his name is Elder Jensen - he was waiting for his visa for 8 months in the Anaheim Mission in California. Haha I felt so bad for him because he had 30 minutes to prepare a talk the night before in Portuguese. I helped him out Sunday morning with some of the translation. He gave a great talk on Faith. I was proud of him. (By the way, I just did the math - he´s my 15th companion on my mission already! Can you believe that?? Haha Ive lived with a lot of people from all around the world...)

After thinking, I decided to talk about excitement. I looked up examples in the scriptures of people that accepted a call from the Lord with excitement. I highlighted the apostles leaving their boats ´´immediately´´ when the Lord called them and Oliver Cowdery´s testimony of the Book of Mormon (when he said, ´´these days are never to be forgotten´´). I finished it with a story about our family history. Elder Heber C. Kimball was in the Kirtland temple with the Prophet Joesph Smith, when the Spirit whispered to Joseph to call Elder Kimball on a mission to England. A month later, he arrived in England, being the first missionary there of this dispensation. The book, ´´Nosso Legado´´ tells the story that before the boat stopped, Elder Kimball jumped off the boat and exclaimed, ´´Im the first on in this land to carry the message of the Restoration.`` I beat my chest as I talked about this story and gave the ward permission that they can have a little bit of pride about our calling to share the gospel.
I then told them the story of the foot race that happened, and who won that race. George D. Watt, my 4th grandfather on mom´s side. I talked about the blessings of the Restoration that have just happened in my life, all because of the excitement of one missionary who answered the Prophets call almost 2 hundred years ago.
The ward got excited, called a missionary meeting together and we got to WORK yesterday night! The term now is, ´´Let´s jump together off this ship.´´
I´ve got fire in the bones baby! I love being a missionary 

Elder Welch

 One of the schools we taught at in Socorro

Another class we taught in Socorro