Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Life on the Res. Week 17 - We Almost Died!

*****WARNING: The first half of this email was written last Pday which
we didn't get to finish because of service and you are hearing from me
today because yesterday's pday was spent driving with Sister
Thumstedter to Snowflake for a baptism of a family she worked with
when she served up there. Also next week Pday will be on Wednesday
again because it is transfers week and I am finally getting a
guys :)*****

 I know this may be throwing you all for a loop, but turns out we did
service for almost all of our PDay yesterday so we got special
permission to finish our emails today!
     I never really know where to start these letters so I hope you
guys don't think I am crazy and this scatter brained all the time,
there is just so much to tell and I tend to forget and go on and on...
but anyway! Whew, this week. It feels like the days here last forever
but the weeks go by so fast! I'm not really sure how that works, but
it does.
  I guess I will start with the fact that Sister Hess went home this
morning! I am yet again the "last of the mohicans".... jut kidding, I
mean I am back in the trio with the Spanish sisters I live with most
of the time, but we were able to find some members to come out with me
during some days so the work is a little more balanced the next two
weeks. On the bright side, all of our lessons will have a member
  This week was full of things to do with meetings, the holiday, and
sharing the god message of the Gospel with the people here in Mesa/
Scottsdale. We had exchanges on Tuesday with our Sister Training
Leaders, which is just when we switch companions for the day so that
our leaders can evaluate how well we are doing and give us advice on
how we can be more effective and happier. I went with Sister Colina
into, you guessed it, Spanish work for the day. I may not have been
called Spanish speaking but by the end of these few weeks I could
probably hold my own!
  Well for Thanksgiving we tried our best to stay busy but there are
only so many things that you can do in your apartment... we did have
three dinners though, that was very fun, and so filling! Holy Moses,
it was a LOT of food. We helped out with the state Turkey Trot and
then for service we made birthday cards for homeless children with the
other missionaries in our zone. It was a long day because we couldn't
do much proselyting work but it was fun to do all the service. On
Friday we did a sisters workshop where we were with the other sisters
in our zone and we learned about things to do on the mission to stay
happy and healthy. We got to do each others make up and hair and those
things and it was SO FUN! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the sister we serve around,
they are so amazing and you can just see the Spirit radiating from
  We have been able to go to the visitor's center with some of our
investigators this past week or so and it has been really cool. When
we went with Victor and Rozlyn I ran into a frond from our stake at
home, Ali! It was so fun to see her! Of course we had to get a
  We (and by we I mean I because I STILL don't have a full time
companion) have been trying our best to teach all the time, but it
seems like Heavenly Father really wants me to learn something,
probably patience. But while we were trying to visit a less active
family on Sunday we were able to meet the family that lives next door
and they said they wanted us to come back and teach them! The father
is a less active member, turns out, but the kids are all unbaptized
and the mom is not in the picture anymore. They are a pretty sweet
family and I am so thankful that we were there at just the right time
to get to meet them!
  And now you get to hear the story I know you wanted to read from the
moment you saw the heading of this email! We have been trying to
contact this referral, Matt, for a while now and he has never been
home to meet us (yet!) but the other time we went over it was
daylight, not scary at all. This night on the other hand it was around
6:30 (aka complete darkness on the Rez in winter time) and we decide
to go check on him. So as we are walking up to the door we see a dog
and think, aww cool I didn't notice that before... and then we get
close and see it's a doberman and he's growling at  us. AND if that
wasn't scary enough, four more of them come out of nowhere! By this
point we had made it to the front door but that meant we were trapped!
Mat wasn't answering the door either... I was so scared! I was jumping
and squeaking at every bark and growl coming from those dogs. I am not
conditioned for this at all! We decided we couldn't run back to the
car cause that would make them madder, and they would totally outrun
me....We slowly inched back to the car, miraculously without being
devoured. If I learned anything, it is to always carry a Book of
Mormon, especially around possessive dogs. And never go to Matt's
house at night time... I made it another week on the Pima- Maricopa
Indian Reservation. I'm not dead yet!

  Luckily for you not too much happened this week so you won't have to
keep reading for too much longer! We had some really good days, and
some not as good days... There have been quite a few interruptions in
our normal schedule so it is easy to feel like we aren't being as
productive as normal. I'm excited to get my brand new, very own,
companion next week!  The coolest thing that we did this week was get
to meet Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the presidency of the 70. He came to
our mission and gave us a really cool training. He told president that
he thinks that our mission is very obedient! While he was speaking to
us he talked about a lot of different things, especially out of Preach
My Gospel. It seemed to a lot of us that he spoke quite a bit on
marriage and preparing for that part of our lives, which is a little
different topic to speak to a bunch of *obedient* missionaries.. it
was still really amazing! He also spent a big amount of time talking
about the parable of the 10 virgins and how it is comparable to the
temple. We can't borrow some one else's oil (temple recommend), you
will be turned away just like the 5 foolish virgins. He told us to
never let the time of our oil (recommend) lapse, lest you be
unprepared when the bridegroom comes and tells us "ye know me not".
  Hope this wasn't too long of a read for all of you! I love you guys!

Sister Welch

PS. Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes! It really was an
awesome day! I got to spend most of it at church!

News from the Res. 1 December

"Hey Bobby! I'm not dead yet. I love you. I got your birthday package
this week, thank you so much! I will definitely have to make the
cheesecake or lemon bars and Sunday to celebrate. I will be finishing
writing my bigger email later tonight it's been a crazy couple days.
Miss you. If there's anything I can do for you let me know.

PS if you're putting a package together anytime soon it might be nice
to have my scarves and flannels… But it's OK if you can't get around
to it fast fast. I love you K bye."

When I got this note, I immediately thought of my friend, Amy Jo.  I remembered getting a similar note from one of my sons while he was on his mission, and her saying I need to let him know in no uncertain terms that this is not acceptable.  I knew that I would not get a weekly epistle, but seriously....  It even felt like she used Siri to write the note to us.  

Friday, November 27, 2015

Life on the Res - Week 15

Abandonment part 2

Hey friends and family!
        This past few weeks have been crazy and fun! Well I finished up my
week of Spanish work on Sunday night when my companion, Sister Hess,
got back to the valley from the area in the mountains of Arizona.

At first I wasn't so sure how well this week would go adjusting to a
new companion again and then having her leave. But this week was
really fun! We get along so well and clicked so fast! It will be sad
to see another friend leaving me so soon :( But her family is excited
to have her back home in Austin, Texas. Before coming to be my
companion she was serving in the Apache Reservation and she was there
for 10 MONTHS!!! That's like more than half of her mission! She told
me that most of the missionaries that serve on one reservation serve
on the other as well so she thinks that my next area will be in the
mountains! I guess we will have to see about that! As far as the work
goes here, it is going, but very slowly... It seems like all of our
investigators are in a pact to avoid us, and our recent converts all
got sick at the same time. So as for actually having teaching
appointments this week, that was a negatory. On the bright side
though, our bishop has asked us to go through the ward list and find
less active and part member families to teach so we have worked on
those lists quite a bit this week. Sister Hess and I have also spent A
TON OF TIME, I mean like hours, putting paper records into our virtual
area book on the iPad. That has been such a blessing. We found some
former investigators and recent convert- part member families that we
contacted and want to meet with us again! I guess when the Lord closes
one door, he opens another. The most amazing lesson we had this week
was that we put Nicole on date to go through the temple for January!
She was wanting to wait until the end of next summer when we first
started meeting, but she feels she is now ready! We are so excited for
her! She is such an amazing lady and she really is trying to do all
she can to bing herself and her family closer to Christ and what he
has planned for them.
        For our P-Day today, Sister Hess and I decided to go to the Visitor's
center at the Mesa temple. They just finished remodeling it last week
and it is amazing! There are so many more displays and resources for
members and nonmembers to learn more about the church and what we
believe1 I was so amazed at every new station! Also I am super duper
excited for the Christmas lights at the temple that come on the day
after Thanksgiving. That will be a great opportunity for our
investigators to go to the temple and feel the amazing spirit on the
        We finally got to see Erica this past week. It had been a while since
we had talked with her and it was so nice to see her. She says that
she might move in with her sister and I think that may help her out a
bit. She always says that it is hard to be the only one that is trying
to do good things at home so if she gets the job she applied fro and
moves in with her sister it will get her away from that a little bit
and she can have the opportunity to recognize the difference that will
make in her life. We brought a member, Briana Charlie, with us to the
lesson and it was so good! We have brought her to lessons before and
she usually is good about talking if we ask her questions but never
really jumps in on her own. But she has been taking a seminary class
at school and learning a lot about the gospel so she feels more
comfortable chiming in whenever she feels prompted and not just when
we ask her. It has been really amazing to see her grow. She told us
after the lesson that she is thinking about going on a mission and I
think that would be so amazing for her and her family. Right now she
is the only member of her family that is active in the church, but she
knows it is true and comes on her own. what an amazing young lady.
        So I have been studying the parable of the good samaritan this week
and I had the greatest experience with that story. So I had always
thought of it as the priest and the Levite are the bad guys, don't be
like them. Be like the samaritan who took the time to help the
suffering man. And that is good, but I thought about it a little
different. So in the story, what if we are the man left by the wayside
who FELL into the band of robbers just like we FELL from the presence
of God. In the ancient Judaic practices the priest and the levite
represent the Mosaic Law. They were workers of the temple. they didn't
help the fallen man because they couldn't. The Law of Moses alone
cannot save us. It is only the Good Samaritan (Christ) who can truly
save us completely and fully. If they had stopped to help, they would
not be clean to work in the temple, therefore, they were not
necessarily bad men who had no compassion but in order for everything
to typify of Christ they could not help just as the Law of Moses
cannot save.  Mosiah 4:8 says that there is no other means by which
salvation can come, only by and through Jesus Christ.
        I love you guys! Feel free to relpy to these emails, I love love love
hearing from you and what is going on in your lives! Thanks for all
the support and early birthday wishes, you make being away form home
like I haven't gone too far :) Keep being amazing like I know you are.
And remember, the still small voice is still small. he won't shout
back or cause a bush to burn of write a message for all of us in a
stone with his finger, but that doesn't mean that he isn't there and
that he doesn't love you. His timing is much different than the world
of instant gratification that we live in today. So be patient, the
answers you seek will come, but only if you are listening.

Love and prayers,
Sister Welch

Life on the Res - Week 14 - And Then There Was One

Well folks, this week was a little bit insane. Last week we were kind
of struggling to find people home still because of percap season but
we were able to have a few lessons which were really good. Sister
Havea had to say goodbye to all of our people and that was really hard
for her and them. She had been here for almost 10 months and the
people adored her. Needles to say, I have some pretty big shoes to
fill!   I think Saturday was my most favorite day of the week. We got
to go with some of our less active youth on an outing that the leaders
kept secret until we got there. Turns out the young men's leader here
has some really awesome connections! We got to go o the air patrol
hanger in Gilbert where they had the plane that was in the Dark Night
Rises and the new Fast and Furious. We got to actually go inside the
planes and actually sit in the cockpit. It was pretty cool. And then
right after the activity we had a baptism! Judy finally was able to be
baptized and it was a great experience for all who were there. She is
a rather large lady and she was really  nervous about the actual
ordinance of the baptism but afterwards she just kept saying how
thankful she was that she had done it and that the elders were really
amazing and made the experience really easy for her. I was so glad
that she felt at peace, finally, because she is such a great lady and
she really deserved for something good to happen in her life. And just
like that, it was Sunday. The day that my mom deserted me. Just
kidding, my trainer (mom), Sister Havea finished her mission and is on
her way back to Tonga. Still. It takes four days to get there. Poor
thing. Well this is where the crazy begins. So. I was supposed to
train a new missionary this transfer and at first I was so nervous,
and then so excited and then Sunday night I was nervous again. After
Sister Havea left I was with a sister that was supposed to go home at
the same time as Sister Havea but she extended her mission three
weeks. We were supposed to be together for a day, well until the
transfer meeting when I was supposed to get my new trainee and she was
getting another sister to take back up to the mountains with her for
the last three weeks. Monday morning after exercise we had a text from
President Sweeney that said to call him right away. And if any of you
have been on missions you know that this is quite possibly the
scariest text you can get while on a mission. So we called and he
didn't answer. I begin to freak out a little bit. President calls back
a few HOURS later (I am almost dying at this point) and he informs me
that the sister I was training decided not to come on her mission. Oh
by a, I now in a pickle. So we had to figure it out for me to get a
companion... I am in a trio right now with the two sisters I live with
who do Spanish work (that's a whole other story in itself) and I am
waiting till Sunday when the same sister I was with Monday can come
back down and be my companion until she leaves on the 30th of this
month. After that, we aren't really sure what is going to happen.
Apparently there aren't enough sisters in the mission for me to have
my own companion anymore. President asked me to look for a member that
can be a mini missionary for 2 weeks until the next transfer where I
will get a new Sister from Tonga who I will train. I am so sorry if
that was hard to follow, but that is my life recently. The Spanish
work is killer and my brain hurts from trying to translate everything
and still not understanding most of the things they are saying. BUT I
know that there is something I am supposed to learn here, some
experience that I am supposed to have. I may not be sure what that is
at this point, but I am going to keep searching for that reason. I
know that this church is true and that Christ is our Savior and
Redeemer and through Him all things are possible. Even though it has
been a crazy week I still love it our here. I know this is where I am
supposed to be and we are going to try our best to make the most of
the situation. I love you all so much, thank you for all you do and
your uplifting words.

Sister Welch

PS enjoy these pictures of the happenings here in Mesa!
Oh yeah, we may or may not have locked our keys on the apartment and had to break in the window to get in our house....

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Life on the Rez - in pictures! Week 13

This week, Sr. Welch sent us several pictures from the Reservation!  Love to see the people she is serving, and who she is serving with!  I am a proud Missionary Papa!

We had a Halloween party and the missionaries had a booth with a raffle for this gorgeous picture of Christ. I LOVE the people here, they are so fantastic.

The church has some goats and a garden and we ate this one for dinner one day this week. I found out that I do not like mutton.... but that's okay :)We got to go to the temple again on Saturday for Halloween so we could avoid all of the crazy people haha it was fan-freaking-tastic. President Sweeney encouraged us to take family file names so I was able to do work for some family members and had such an amazing experience! It was super special to do it for my own family. 

Our people are doing pretty great! Judy is on schedule for her baptism this coming Saturday so hopefully she is feeling better by then! Everything here is great. I love you all and hope you enjoyed seeing my life in pictures :)
 Also I found out that next
transfer I am going to be training x2! Crazy right! In December I am
training another sister from Tonga! it is going to be so fun!

And this is a little story I shared with her about my mother's visit to us.  "I forgot to tell you a funny story.  Saturday after the show, when we were going to bed, Grandma slept in Nathan 's bed. All of a sudden, I hear her say oh my. I thought you were sleeping in your brothers room!  I go back to the bedrooms and Nathan is climbing in bed with her! I guess he wanted to sleep in his new bed too."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Life on the Rez - Week 12

Yoo-hoo! Family!

        First off if you don't get the Disney reference, maybe you shouldn't be in this email list.... Just kidding I love you all!!!
        Well I am definitely still being humbled, like everyday. So that's good. This past week or so have been a little hard. See, in the Native American communities, every three months they get their money from the
government for being native, they call it per cap. Well that whole week when they get their money the missionaries always have such a hard time having lessons because no one is home, they are all out
spending all of the money they just got. 

BUT! We had a baptism this past Saturday! There were five baptisms in our stake, two of them in
our ward!It was finally Charles' day.  Last time that we taught him before his baptism the Spirit was so strong. He told us about how he completely changed his life about a year ago and how he finally started coming to church, and my appreciation for this man grew so much. He truly has been converted to follow Jesus Christ and always is searching for ways to become and even better disciple. Man, I am just so proud of him! On Saturday after his baptism he just kept thanking us for coming to teach him and how he felt clean and whole. It was such a tender moment. Later that day we went to my first Pow-wow!
 It was way cool! But we saw Charles there and he saw us and said sassily, man I told you guys I would be at church tomorrow, you didn't have to follow me! Hahahaha I love this guy!  We were supposed to have two baptisms on Saturday, but the other one (Judy) was so sick! She woke up with a fever and upset stomach. Satan is really working hard on this poor lady. Missionaries have been teaching her for about a year and her date for baptism keeps moving around. She is so ready spiritually but she has some illnesses that really keep her down sometimes. We are now striving for the 7th of November which is the day before Sister Havea leaves so we are really hoping that it all works out for that day! 
Halloween is in full swing here in Arizona! So many people go all out! Almost all of the houses have decorations and there was a community party on Friday and I kid you not, every single person was dressed up. And I'm not talking simple whatever you have in the closet that afternoon costumes, I'm talking like they sent days if not weeks to finish their costumes! Crazy! A little girl (Aniah) we teach was a port-a-potty. So cute an funny, I'll have to attach a pic for ya'll. This evening we have the ward trunk-or-treat, which apparently is a huge thing around here. We have been told that hundreds of people come and a lot of them are nonmembers. So the SEVEN missionaries we have here in the one Papago ward are having a booth where we are giving out copies of the Book of Mormon that have testimonies of the ward members written on the inside cover, pass along cards, all sorts of pamphlets, and the big thing that we are doing is we are having a raffle for a huge and so beautiful picture of Jesus Christ. And then all of the people who enter the raffle has to put down their phone number and address so that the missionaries can come by and drop off a small picture of Christ. It is going to be pretty great! The other missionaries say that the booths that they have had in the past are always really successful. Hopefully this will help with our lack of lessons as of lately.... 
This Saturday so on Halloween, all of the missionaries in the valley get to go to the temple for the evening. President Sweeney says that it can get pretty crazy here on Halloween night and it isn't a successful night to proselyte, so we we get to spend the whole evening in the temple! He has also encouraged us to take family names with us to do so Sister Havea and I will be working on that this week. 
It has been getting cooler here! And by cooler I mean that it is only 90 degrees at nine o'clock at night instead of 100. But progress is progress right? Ha. Sometimes it even gets down to 60 at night, those nights are the best :) 
This week in my studies I have really realized my true love of the Book of Mormon. I mean I know that I have said it before but it just really hit me this week how powerful it is. I am in the part of Alma where the sons of Mosiah and Alma the younger are teaching the Lamanites, and maybe it is because I am on my mission now but I am just amazed at their strength and testimonies especially through all their trials, and how they were such amazing missionaries. They truly knew how to teach people not lessons. That is something that I think I am still working on, maybe that is why their stories have touched me so much this week. There is so much that I am still learning and I thought, if I trust God then it really doesn't matter what I don't understand. And that is the true test here, isn't it? How much do we trust God to follow Him and the plan that he has set out for us. Sometimes we may not know exactly what that plan is, but that is what the trust and faith is for, so that one day we will know what that plan is or maybe we can see his plan for us in retrospect and be thankful for the trials and experiences we had that made us the person we became. There is a Mormon message that talks about a man that gets stuck in the snow when he goes out to get firewood. He says a prayer asking for God to send him someone that can help him return home. Instead of just sitting by the road and waiting for God to do all of the work, he went and he did what he knew he could do and he cut firewood and tried his best to get his truck out of the snow. After the truck is full of wood the man decides to try again and is able to make it out of the snow bank. It was because of the load or weight in the bed of the truck that put enough pressure on the truck so he could get out. The story goes on to say that we all have loads and trials and it is only because of these things that we are able to move on along the path home. These things make us who we are and give us opportunities to strengthen our faith in Christ and our relationship with God. So even though our trials are hard to bear they are great experiences we have to grow our testimonies and really rely on the Lord and His Atonement. 
I love you guys so much! I hope you are doing well and find strength in the Lord through your hard as well as god times. 

Love and prayers,
Sister Welch 

P.S. I love my district.

Pictures from the Rez

I asked Sister Welch (Bex) for some pictures from the Rez, and this is what she sent me.  No telling me who the people are, but glad to see the faces she sees regularly.

Life on the Rez - Week 11

This week was pretty chill. We had a lot of visits and lessons, but
nothing too crazy. Every Thursday night we have sports night with our
ward and it is a pretty good activity to get people from the community
to come and meet us in a casual setting. This week our zone leader was
on exchanges with the district leader during sports night and I
thought he was going to die. hahaha the members just get so into the
game (usually basketball), they love their rez ball! It was so funny
to watch Elder Johnson's reactions to their craziness. On Friday night
Sister Havea and I traveled up to the reservation in the mountains to
attend a funeral of one of the ladies she worked with. She was only 25
and had a little girl and husband. It was quite possibly one of the
saddest things I have been to in my whole life. There were so many
people and they were all crying. I didn't even know anyone there and I
was crying! On a happier note though.... on our way home we stopped
for dinner and we were walking up to the restaurant and saw these guys
waving fanatically at us. I thought that Sister Havea knew them
because she had served in the area where we were eating but she had no
clue who they were... turns out they were RM's and they were super
nice and bought our dinner! They said that they knew the poor
missionary life at almost the end of the month, haha. Other than that
we had a pretty slow week. Hopefully I will have more stories next
time :) One thing that I really liked during studies this week was
this quote by Elder Oaks: "The purpose of the gospel is to transform
common creatures into celestial citizens, and that requires change." I
can literally see this as I serve the people here in Arizona. Hope you
all are doing well! Love you guys!

Sister Welch

Monday, October 12, 2015

Life on the Res - Week 10

        It feels like the weeks here are getting shorter and shorter (and it
has nothing to do with the fact that it gets dark now at 6 o'clock in
the evening...)! Last Monday we found out that President Sweeney
forgot that Sister Havea wanted to extend so her ticket to Tonga is
already bought for the 9th of November! Our time left together
literally just got cut in half. So we have been trying to work extra
hard and make the most of the time we have left! (a month left
together may seem like a ling time but it flies by out here!)
        We now have two investigators on date for the 24th of this month!
Judy and Charles! Judy has been meeting with us for a while and she is
finally taking the plunge (no pun intended... well maybe a little...)
and then Charles is the older man that we have seen for only a couple
weeks who had a heart attack. It is the best thing to see people
changing to come to Christ right before our eyes. One of the less
actives we are meeting with, well she isn't so less active now, is
coming with us to do baptisms at the temple next week and we are going
to start teaching her the temple preparation classes  so she can
receive her endowments! She is an amazing example for her family, but
not all of our less actives are making such great progress... There is
a quote by Elder Bednar that says "After we come out of the waters of
baptism, our souls need to be continually immersed in and saturated
with the truth and the light of the Savior's gospel. Sporadic and
shallow dipping in the doctrine of Christ and partial participation in
His restored Church cannot produce the spiritual transformation that
enables us to walk in a newness of life. Rather, fidelity to
covenants, constancy of commitment, and offering our whole soul unto
God are required if we are to receive the blessings of eternity...
Total immersion in and saturation with the Savior's gospel are
essential steps in the process of being born again." It is so true. We
cannot expect to automatically have all these blessings and a great
testimony and relationship with Christ if we aren't putting in any
work.  Slowly I think we are getting them to understand and as long as
they are making progress I'm happy :)
        This week we had a Zone Training Meeting and it was amazing. First
off my zone leaders are like the coolest thing since sliced bread and
they are super in tune with the Spirit which makes them even cooler.
Anyways, we discussed a lot our reasons for coming on missions and how
that fuels us to be the best we can be. Some of the cools things that
we said were: "If we are striving to be celestial beings, we cannot
use terrestrial words and still expect to reach that goal" and "if we
want miracles like God performs then we have to live as God lives".
Elder Johnson, one of the zone leaders posed the question, what's your
why? I really had to ponder why did I really come on a mission and
this is the conclusion that I reached: before my mission I had a
testimony but I came on a mission to be converted. It is so important
to keep an open mind and heart everyday so that that conversion can
take place. Just like Elder Holland has said, belief is a good start.
But that's just what it is, a start. We sing all the time the hymn
Called to Serve. Called to serve what, called to serve when, and
called to serve how? If reaching our own conversion is the end goal,
we have to start now on that path back to Him. I am learning so much
every day and what I am learning I love to share. READ THE BOOK OF
MORMON IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. It answers all questions and calms
all fears. It has for me and I know it can for you, but it can't
change your life if you don't read it.
        Last night we had a Mission President's Fireside where recent
converts to the church bore their testimony and President Sweeney and
our stake president spoke. A few of our investigators came as well as
some of the less actives we have been working with. Once of the guys
that came the elders have been trying to get to come back to church
for almost a year! Sister Havea and I visit his aunt who lives right
behind him and one day when we saw her we decided to leave a note and
flyer inviting him to the fireside and he actually came! We were so
surprised! And then we were talking to him after and he said he is
going to start coming to church and the sports night that the
missionaries host every Thursday! So cool and all from a note! We
didn't even talk to the guy! Anyway, the fireside was pretty amazing.
There was a 13 year old young man from our ward that spoke about how
he fond the church and joined. When he bore his testimony I cried...
it was so sweet. He has so much faith and is such an example for all
of his family who are now investigating as well. He already knows that
he wants to go on a mission and you can see the Spirit radiating from
this young man. He has been through so much, just like most of the
youth that live on the reservation. It seems like they all have been
in a group home at at least one point in their lives, but all of them
have such great and strong testimonies and know that they can draw
from the Savior's strength. What great examples they are to the rest
of the ward.
        The work here is great! I love you all, and look forward to all of
your emails, letters, and packages! Keep being the amazing lights that
you are :)

Sister Welch

Life on the Res - week 9

So it has not been that long since my last PDay so this is probably
going to be a little short... At the end of last week we sang at two
funerals. I only ever met one of the people that had died but the
worst part was when members that I have come to love were so upset and
one of the older ladies came up and gave me a big hug and just cried
on my shoulder. But right after that we got to go to general
conference which is always like my most favorite thing ever. I really
loved and enjoyed all of the talks but some of my favorites were the
three members of the church presidency and of course Elder Holland. I
definitely have some things to really think about and work on for sure
:) haha well yeah... During my personal study earlier this week I had
the privilege of reading the first presidency message in the Ensign
for this month. SO GOOD! President Uchtdorf said some really amazing
things, he talked about how in Ancient Greece they had a relay race
where the runners to win had to cross the finish line with a lit
torch. He related how this is like how we must keep the light of
Christ during our race of life. He said "while it is important to
start the race, it is even more important that we finish with our
touch still lit... For the touch is not about us or what we can do. It
is about the savior of the world. And that is a light that annoy ever
be dimmed. It is a light that swallows the darkness, heals our wounds,
and blazes even in the midst of deepest sorrow and unfathomable
darkness. It is a light that surpasses understanding." Other than that
not much else has been going on exciting, well except for the changing
hearts of the people we are working with :) Erica is doing amazing! We
see her almost every day and when we don't see her she calls us with
questions. She was so excited for general conference so she could see
the living prophet, how cool is that? Our next baptism isn't for a few
weeks so that will be really amazing! I'll for sure keep you posted
about all the other fun stuff that happens this week!

Love y'all!
Sister Welch

Life on the Res - 30 Sept 2015

Sweet mother of pearl, has it already been a whole transfer out in the
mission field?!?! I am no longer the baby missionary any more, yay!
Sorry for not mentioning that last week for all of you who await to
hear all the interesting things that happen here on the Pima Maricopa
Indian reservation..... This week was Native American day so a lot of
people were not at home cause they have huge celebrations with all
kinds of vendors and dances and lots of super cool stuff like that! We
are trying to stay as busy as we can and visit a lot of people. We got
two new investigators! Erica is 18 and her family used to come to the
church but she was never baptized and is really interested now and
loves coming to church with us! She asks so many good questions in our
lessons and I can tell she is really wanting to change and learn more.
Our other new investigator is Charles, he is an older gentleman who
has been coming to church since February but told the missionaries
then that he wasn't interested in getting baptized. But a week or so
ago he came up to us before church and said he wants to be baptized
and asked what he had to do to be ready! So we are reaching him now as
well and he already knows quite a bit just from church attendance. We
put him on date for the 24th of this coming month!
We get to do a ton of service out here on the reservation, almost
everyday. I love it! It is such a good way for me to get to know the
members of our ward a little better, plus they usually make us
breakfast which is a plus!
 Sometimes, it is hard here though. When I came out my brother told me
that the hardest part about missionary work is other people's agency
and when they don't use it to do the things they know they should. I
see that with a lot of our less actives and sometimes even our
investigators, but I still love them and want to help them in any way
that I can. I so wish that I could shake some of the people we are
working with! They know the things they should be doing but are
holding themselves back from blessings of church attendance and going
to the temple because of stupid pride or fear or weaknesses they think
they have and cannot get over. JUST DO IT, I want to say to them. Just
let it go. Give it to Christ. That is what he is there for. That is
why he suffered for so long and so hard in the garden of Gethsemane.
Because he loves us and wants to take away our pains. But the can only
do that if we give it to him! He will not make us clean against our
will. We all have problems, that is why we come to church. It is like
a hospital where everyone has a different sickness but we are all
there to get healed. Maybe one day I can help them see that. Maybe one
day they will able to understand to a fullness the blessing that
Christ's sacrifice is. And maybe I will be here to see it. Agency is
the hardest part of missionary work. I have come to love these people
so much! I think that when I was set apart as a missionary I was then
able to love as God and Christ love, because that is the only way to
explain how my love for these people came so fast and so full. But
because of that love I want them to have what I have and to find
happiness in Christ and his gospel like I have. That is why agency is
the hardest part of missionary work.
Sister Havea is amazing. I am so thankful everyday that she is my
trainer! We get along so well and when we teach it just kinda flows. I
am learning a lot and making a lifelong friend at the same time. We
have been working extra hard this week especially to have member
presents at all of our lessons, and I think it has been going pretty
well. We had a 24 hour missionary one day this week and she did a
really amazing job. The members out here are great and really love
helping out in any way that they can.
One of the elders we had here on the reservation got transferred out
this week and his companion is finishing his mission in a couple weeks
so we got two new missionaries! Now there are seven of us and we eat
dinner together every night so that makes it so fun and busy! This is
my last full transfer with Sister Havea cause she goes home around
thanksgiving so we are doing to make the best of it :)
I love love love getting all your emails and letters and packages! It
makes it so fun everyday! Thank you all so much for all the love and
support. Love you all!