Friday, July 30, 2010

Red Dirt

It's not that hot here in Uganda.
It's weird though because the sun
passes right over head, every single day.
The sun rises at the same time, and sets
at the same time. It's almost the
same temperature every day and every
night as well, with the occasional cloud
coverage or rain during the day which
makes it much, much more comfortable.

The one thing that does suck here is
that red dirt. Bugembe is the
worst area in the mission too with it.
It's nice when it rains a little every once
in a while because it keeps the dust down.
But, it sucks when it rains a ton, like
last night! It sounded like a
hurricane outside for a few hours and
because the house isn't sealed
that well, our kitchen doors kept slamming
shut the whole time!

The day before though we played soccer again
with the Elder's, some investigators, and
random guys. I was THE only mazoongoo (white
person) there looking like a snowman in Africa.
I played goalie most of the time though
because I kind of stink at soccer. I got
super burned by the sun though. I took a
picture so you can see how bad I got it that
day. I was going to put sunscreen on my nose
before but I forgot so that's where I got it
worst because it was already a
little sunburned.

During the week we pretty much just taught
lessons like usual. Last Tuesday though we
had the Jinja Zone Conference which President
and Sister Jackson came to and it was way
spiritual. I got to see the other about 26
missionaries that are here in the Jinja zone.
There are some cool guys. I did realize
though that for some reason this is an
old guy mission.
That's not even a joke. Most of the African
Elder's are like 24 and older.

Zone Conference was good and we learned a
lot about recognizing the spirit and such.
It took up the whole day though since
we still have to be in by 7 p.m.

We finally got J C interviewed Saturday too!
I baptized him yesterday in Empumede
(because our "chapel" was having a water
problem). It was so awesome.I hope J felt the
spirit as much as I did. It was also good
because we had some of our investigators
there to see the baptism and they all really
enjoyed it. Another guy we were teaching named
Immanuel was even there and after told me he
wanted me to baptize him.
We like to try and do it like Clay's mission
where you have a branch member baptize them but
we give them the choice to choose too.

We also had a new investigator come to church
this week, even though we didn't really plan
on this particular guy coming. We were walking
down by all the shops/mud homes and I was
just greeting people and this guy came up to
us showing us some police report and medical
thing telling us how he got mugged and his
shoes were stolen. I was like I
have no idea what this guy wants us to do?
He was also pretty drunk so I wasn't quite
sure about him. We just told him to go to
church Sunday and described where it was
like we always do, expecting him not to
show like everyone else does. He was there
though, drunk, still pulling these papers
out every time someone talked to him. It was
actually a little funny. He even introduced
himself and had a 5 minute introduction
when everyone else were just saying their
names... He even somehow made his way to
the baptism!
It was good though because
the lesson taught in one of the
classes was about the word of wisdom so
maybe he'll clean up. I don't
think he got it though... But then again
I also didn't think he got
when and where our church was going to
be but I was wrong about that too!

This morning before we came to Jinja we
just cleaned our house. Elder and Sister S
came by the other day and saw our home
and said we had to clean it so we wiped down
walls, swept, mopped, and just cleaned the
entire house today and last night. It looks a
lot better. I feel like it's almost a waste
cleaning though because we're supposed
to be moving to a new house. Elder W and I
found a place about a 100 meters up from our
place that is way nice.
It's like an American home. It's walled in
which is required, has a great view from the
mountain of all of Bugembe and out to the
lake. It's got nice flooring, built in closets,
and everything looks recently redone. The
only problem is the water tank is smaller
and it's higher up the hill so we might have
water problems. But, nonetheless I hope we
move in there because it's so much nicer
and is right next to a road that
doesn't have much traffic at all unlike
the road we live on now. That
will cut down on all the dust we have
to sweep and mop up.

I hope you guys know I love you so much.
Make sure people email me!

Elder Welch

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Few New Pictures:)

First Baptism
Food for Sale

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Njebele? (How are you)

Hey, sorry for some reason my myldsmail account wouldn't let me get on so I don't know what you guys wrote me over the last 2 weeks. No worries though, I am well. I saw President and Sister Jackson emailed you guys for me. The internet here was down the last p-day we were here so I didn't get to email you then either. I wanted to make sure you weren't freaking out though and knew that all was well. I'm sure you've heard of the bombings but again, no worries, I'm about 2 hours from Kampala in a village called Bugembe. It's a suburb of the city of Jinja which has over a million people. The mission president has been taking the right precautions though and we are being safe. We are coming in by 7 p.m. and are not going to restaraunts or any other crowded areas. But just know I'm safe, and worry no more.

Bugembe is interesting though. It's very tropical and we walk red dirt roads everyday so we get red dirt all over us. I was scared of how we would be living, especially in a small village like Bugembe, but we live really well. We live in a pretty large house on the hill. It's about 2500 square feet. There are 4 missionaries staying there though. My compainion is Elder W. He's from Zimbabwe and is extremely interesting. He's 27, he converted about 3 years ago, and he used to be a rapper/music producer in Zimbabwe. The other two missionaries are both from Utah. I've seen some pretty crazy stuff since I've been here, I can't even recall it all haha. The people are really nice though, expecially the kids. There are seriously just tons of kids EVERYWHERE. I don't know who even takes care of them. They just seem to roam the streets in groups. Whenever I walk by they, 99 percent of the time at least, just start singing this song. It goes Mazoongoo bye bye, Lasoga bye bye. That just means white person bye and Lasoga is the local language here. Either that or they'll just keep yelling Mazoongoo! I get called Mazoongoo probably a thousand times everyday. They kids also just love to run up to you and hold your hand. They also always ask for a biscut, sweeties, or they'll say "you give me my money." I'm not sure when I exactly borrowed money from them but I guess I owe them some. It's also interesting seeing the men around here. It's anti-gay as you know and all.. but for some reason the guys here hold hands or link pinkies whenever they're walking around. It looks extremely weird. I wanted to take a picture of this but we're also not supposed to take our cameras out now so that we don't look like tourists. Speaking of which, the other mazoongoos (white people) we've seen here are all pretty mean. You see some walking around and try talking to them but they just ignore you. There are two guys here from Utah State though who are doing a project for their bussiness degree there. They teach a few business classes at the churchs around Jinja about 4 days during the week. They go to our branch on Sundays and help us teach every once in a while. They're pretty cool. They also go to the Elder's quarom activity we have every Saturday. We go to one of the schools and play soccer on their field Saturday mornings. It's pretty fun. It looks painful to watch these Ugandans play with no shoes though! Speaking of shoes it's amazing to see people with either no shoes, two different shoes on, or sometimes they'll just wear one shoe!

But about the work here, it's going pretty well. The people are really receptive to the gospel. It's funny though, you'll ask someone to go to church and they're always like "Sunday, you will see me there!" or "I swear on my mothers grave, I will be there!" Sunday rolls around, ya they're not there. People always just say yes to anything you say here. It's actually pretty funny. That is if they can understand what I'm saying, or if I can understand them. They speak with such a thick accent I can hardly understand them. I've learned I have to talk slower and to pronounce my t's if I want people to somewhat understand me. I'm trying to learn the language here though. I know a few phrases like njebele (how are you), sebo (man), nyabo (woman), kali (ok), jumbo (hello), and of course mazoongoo.

The culture here is way different. The women will kneel down to greet you. It makes you feel a little uncomfortable when they do this. The women at the church though don't do this, and they teach the members there to treat women with respect, and to treat them as equals which is good.

Another thing totally different here is eating! It's very rude here to walk while you eat or drink something. Yet, it's not rude here to use the restroom, pick your nose, or just start breast feeding in public. The food here isn't bad actually. I love chipatees. It's kind of like a thick tortilla that the fry. I'm pretty sure the only ingredients are flour and water but they're soo good. I also like samoosas which are either cooked peas fried into dough and it's triangle shaped. You can also get meat in them too. Not a big fan of just cooking pork or beef here though. I got sick last Sunday from the pork we had. I think I'm going to follow the Jewish tradition of not eating that anymore. We also get to drink a lot of coke which just makes my day. There's no Dr. Pepper though which would make it that much better! Cokes here are about 600 shillings for a 300 ml bottle. That's like 30 cents for a 12 ounce. They have glass bottles here though which is smart, because after you drink it, you bring it back to the person you bought if from and they just keep reusing them. The money here is pretty easy to get used to. 2000 shillings here is like a 1 dollar bill. But, everything is so cheap! We get 12000 shillings a day (6 dollars) for food and whatever. That's more than plenty it seems.

Washing clothes is different too. P-day is usually the day you go to the laundrymat or whatever in the states but here, those don't exist. You have to hand wash them and hang them on a line. I just pay Sister Dorine from the church 5000 shillings to wash mine. That's way good money for the people here so all of the missionaries pay someone from the church to do it.

We're also allowed to watch animated movies here on the mission so since we're not busy doing laundry on p-days, we watch a movie. Last week I got to watch Toy Story 3! I was so happy to get to watch that. What a great movie. I was a little scared at the end though. I was like "no way are they going to kill them off." But it all worked out! So you guys won't have to worry about me not seeing the good animated films for the next 2 years.

Getting around is pretty different as well. We don't get a car, even though we're out in the middle of nowhere, where people build mud houses to live in. We do ride the bodas though. They are like bicycle taxis you can just hope on the back of. They're pretty nice but you can only do those going down hills. They also have van taxis, and a small bus that goes from Bugembe, to here in Jinja where I'm emailing. There are motorcycle taxis as well but the mission president banned missionaries from riding on them because they're not that safe. Other than that though we walk everywhere.

I'm going to try and send you some pictures right now though so you can see how things are here. Actually I'll attach them to my next email so you actually get this one. Later for now

Love you so much,

Elder Welch

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I thought concerning the terrorist bombing in

Kampala this week I would post some of the

info from the Mission home. We still haven't

received an email but maybe this next Monday.

"Good Morning,

Elder Welch as well as all of our missionaries are

completely safe. He is working in an area that is

about 2 hours away from where the bombs were.

No need to worry - the Church does everything

possible to assure all of our safety. "

"Elder Welch asked if we would e-mail you

to say that he is just fine. He knew you would

be concerned. We talked to him tonight and

he was upbeat and excited about sharing the

gospel. He is a great young man."

"Elder Welch is in one of the safer

suburbs of Kampala."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Last letter sent before he left MTC

Sorry this didn't get posted sooner! But I love that he is so excited to serve! It's so great to know that he got to Uganda safely and that his new journey in life has begun! We are so happy for him!

We have a half P-Day today since we leave on Monday so I thought I would take the time to email you and tell you how much I love you. Clay took a picture of our travel plans so I hope he sends it to you. It was sad saying bye to him for the last time for almost 2 years though. He teared up a little but I did my best to not. I shared with him a very touching scripture that I had read that day about Jesus Christ. Thank goodness for the Book of Mormon because so many plain and precious things were lost in the Bible. Read 3 Nephi 16:1-3. How awesome is that scripture? It talks of how Christ visited not just the Jews in Israel, or the people of the Americas, but the whole world! He loved the world so much that he visited them all. Right now we're doing some final laundry again to prepare for Monday as well as packing up and making sure our shoes are shined. Making sure we're ready for over 40 hours of traveling time from here, in Provo, to Kampala, Uganda. I am so excited. I can't wait to see the people there. I also want to make sure and pray for the abilitity to truly touch someone's life on the way there. Clay gave me some advice on the best way to talk to people. Tell all the family I love them sooo much! They are the best family in the world, and I'm so glad we all could be united together in the pre-existence to be a family here on the earth! We must have really seen something in each other even then. It is crazy to think of us all before, around the same age, deciding ok you're the parents and we'll be your kids in this order. We were all truly equal. Even now I think we get a taste of Heaven on earth as we are all around adult age and I feel like we all demand respect for one another. But, anyways it's been the same old here at the MTC. Just class, studying, and eating. I did have the opportunity today to teach Elder Fitt in a practice teaching assignment. I taught him about a lot of things other churches may find weird about our church, but showed him all the plain and precious doctrines in the Bible itself, testifying of their importance. We had our last class with Brother D yesterday and it was sad to see him go. We're all hoping he finds that special someone and gets married soon. We have one more class with Brother S on Monday so it will be good to have one last class with him. We even had Brother K teach us today about hard questions or responses investigators might have when we commit them to baptism. That Brother K is such a cool guy. He looks like Buzz Lightyear no joke. He has that kind of Jay Leno chin. My companion and I even had the chance to teach his wife as she pretended to be an investigator. We got to each lunch with Brother K today too. Found out he's just about to graduate from BYU with his political science degree and look for somewhere to go to law school. He's a pretty smart guy. I guess I should tell you about my travel plans though and should stop rambling about things that probably aren't all that interesting. So we meet at the travel office here at the MTC at 1 p.m. on Monday. We go up to the SLC airport and our flight leaves around 5 I think? I'm sorry I forgot my itinerary at my room but I should call around 3 or 4 I think? I have your numbers so I'll call you both up. I will also fill you in than on the travel plans more precisely. I do know that we get in at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday into Kampala. Again though I love you guys so much! I really wish there was more interesting stuff to write to you about but here at the MTC it's pretty basic. We do have this devotional tonight called The Standard of Truth though so that should be good. We will also get to see the fireworks at the stadium of fire at around 10 from here at the MTC too. But not much else to say but that I love you guys so much and appreciate every single thing you do for me. Oh I also did get that package you sent with the paper and other things. I really appreciate everything I get from you two. Tell everyone I love them so much and I love hearing from them. Can't wait to talk to you guys on Monday. Now I'll leave you with another scripture. Moses 6:8-9. Read it. Notice how it says Adam and Eve were modeled in the likeness of God. Who was Eve modeled after? Heavenly Mother. It's similar to how in verse 9 it says "and called their name Adam." Their name is Adam. Just as Heavenly Mother and Father are named Eloheim. Even in Genesis and Exodus it says "us" all over. "Let us go down." "We will create." Women have the power to become Priestesses and have some power in the hereafter as well. I love you guys soooo much. Talk to you Monday.

Elder Trey 'Tex' Welch

Arriving in Uganda!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Safe Arrival to Uganda!

Greeting from the Uganda Kampala Mission,

You son Elder Welch arrived safely to the mission field yesterday morning. We ate breakfast with him the morning just before he had a training session. He has just been in the office and I can see that he is eager and ready to serve.

I will be sending a photo to you that was taken this morning at the breakfast.

Sister R

Mission Secretary

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Week 2

My weeks been good. It's gone by pretty fast. Oh I saw David Fitt in here which was good so i got a picture of us that I have on my camera I gave to clayton to put the pics up somewhere. We have not been going to the temple here because the provo one is closed and they aren't bussing us up to the Timp one. So it will be over two years before I go to the temple again. Sad. It was weird when I saw Clay on the phone with you guys. To Elder Rennie I was just like "that's my parents right there, in that little box, and I can't talk to them". It's all good though. We could go to the field but we usually go to the gym. We did go to the field a couple times but we played Softball and Horseshoes, and yes, horseshoes isn't exactly a work out but it was fun. I love the book sooooo much thank you! It is seriously amazing. I'm excited to get out of here. I can't wait to see the people of Uganda. I've been praying for them. I hope they've been praying for me, and for answers. I have seen Skyler Humphreys and a few people from Pleasant View as well as some people from my old ward, and people from BYU, but only Fitt from other than Utah. I seriously love you guys so much and can not wait to hear from you. I'm so thankful for everything you're doing and for allowing me to be out here in the mission field without having to worry about not having anything, or not being able to afford anything. I love you sooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep up writing to me, I love it! And no worries I'm not homesick anymore. It was just that first day when I was being a wuss. I'll be great for the next two years.. Can't wait to see you than.... Love Elder Welch

This week we've just been learning about how to meet people's needs and really understand what the spirit directs us, as to what they need to hear, not always necessarily lesson 1. But we've also been working on getting lesson 2 down, the plan of salvation, and have taught it several times this week and I feel like I have it down pretty well. We even taught it to this British and Finnish kid in Clay's class that wanted to see how we taught it. It's kind of cool to see those kind of saints travel around the world to be here and do the Lord's work. I've also been reading the Bible for personal time like I said and have learned so much. Exodus 28 describes what happens in the temple, kind of, well at least what we wear in there so I was going to write K a letter with some Bible verses to help her understand what exactly, and why we do certain things in the temple. We learn almost entirely from Preach My Gospel but also use some videos on like to study from. There are only 2 other guys going to Uganda from my district, everyone else is going to Tucson, AZ so we don't learn anything about Uganda. We did get to meet out mission president when they had the seminar and he's a way cool guy. His wife and him are funny and converted to the church in their early 30's. They say they've started about 70 small businesses which is pretty sweet. They've been to Africa a lot so know what they're doing. We also had the Malaryia pill talk from a doctor here about taking them every single night. My companion and I are getting along great. The other two guys in our apartment are a little loud but I like them a lot too. Hopefully a mission is a humbling experience for one of them haha. Don't worry I do love my compaion. I will call you from the Salt Lake and L.A. airports because I hope you got my travel plans I wrote out. I bought a 5 dollar, 3 hour calling card that works in the U.S. but I'll try and call from London too when we fly through there. We start taking those Malaria tablets on Saturday btw, cause you need to start 2 days before you leave. I haven't gotten my passport or visa but I'm sure we grab that right as we're leaving. I do have about 120 dollars cash and I hope that my bags will weigh less than 50 each. You weigh them here at the MTC before to make sure. No worries but thanks so much for the Dearelders! Like I said I think you can do that still when I'm in Uganda for free but I'm not 100 percent sure. Thanks so much for the book and thermus container too! They will be so useful.. I might even use that book to show to investigators.. Tell P and S so much for writing me too and I appreciated K's letter.. I hope M and B are having/had a good time in Bermuda.. I hope J and M are well too. Clay is supposed to give me my camera back today so we'll see how that is. Tell everyone they can email me too if they want. For working out we've been playing basketball at the gym and when we get back we'll do push ups, pull ups, sit ups, and I filled up one of the water weight things and do some curls with that so I'm staying in pretty good shape. I weighed 184 at the gym the other day.. Just in case you didn't get that I got the water weight package. Thank you so much! They will honestly be soooo useful. I've been more obedient because I found out that even at the MTC you are only supposed to write letters on P-days and not every day so I will write a few to you guys today and send them over the next few days so you keep hearing from me even when I'm on the way there. I love you so much. Other than that it's pretty boring and basic. How are things? I like hearing about that stuff. Btw what's going on in the world? I feel so sheltered I have no idea. WWIII could have started and I wouldn't know. Keep up the dearelders. Love you, Elder Welch