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."