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.

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