Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spitting Goats

The pictures of those falls are on the Nile. They were awesome.

The guy in the water was just some guy who went down the

falls holding onto a jerry-can (to earn money of course). Ya J

is doing great. We were supposed to have a baptism this week

but that didn’t happen. The guy came to church but since he had

been working the night shift he hadn’t slept yet so he left half an

hour before church ended. I We called him and he just said he was

too tired to stay awake any longer and the heat was too harsh.

Hopefully next week he won’t have worked so he will be able to be

baptized. I was sad about this because it broke the streak of my

own personal goal of 1 baptisms each week. Actually, we had a

leadership training and that was the exact goal our Mission

President presented at that meeting. He said we should aim to

be the best. He said being average wasn’t ok and gave an

alternative definition of the word “average.” He said it’s being

the best of the worst or the worst of the best. Both of those

don’t sound very good do they? I was happy to see him present

that as our goal but I know others will struggle with that.

Well Bugembe is a rugged area, we are just blessed with one of

the nicest homes in the mission. Other areas apartments are

pretty bad actually. Some areas in Uganda reach up to the

borders of Sudan, so about 8 hours from Kampala at the farthest.

The two most northern areas are Lira and Gulu. The mission also

covers Ethiopia which is decently far so if you get transferred

there you have to wait for your visa and than take about a 2 hour

flight there. Hopefully Rwanda and Southern Sudan open up soon

so missionaries can start moving into there.

Don’t worry about me, I’m completely healthy and always taking

my vitamins and malaria pills. I work out 3 mornings during

the week so I’m staying relatively fit. Well as fit as I can keep

myself. Plus walking keeps my legs decently strong too since

there are a few hills in Bugembe.

So this week was good. We were supposed to have that

leadership training on Tuesday but last minute they changed

it to Saturday so it was kind of frustrating not having any

appointments set up for Tuesday but we found investigators

to teach.

Wednesday we had a few Family Home Evenings at some

members homes. One of the members was a returned

missionary who served in Nigeria. The guy is awesome and

he has a wife and 2 kids already. I was surprised looking at

his mission pictures to see him swimming in his mission

… I guess they didn’t get the memo.

Thursday was a busy day and we saw a less active member

and taught him how he needed to endure to the end. I really

hope he starts coming back to church soon.

I also saw a goat spit that day and it was pretty funny for

some reason just because I didn’t understand how it was

even possible. Goats don’t even have lips really!

Also my companion told me he knows how to talk to

dogs that day.. Interesting.

Saturday we had that leadership training and set up

an appointment with an R.M.’s “daughter and son”.

They are really his sister’s kids but he takes care

of them. They even came to church on Sunday and

we committed them to baptism for November 12th

after the first lesson.

Sunday was good despite not having O baptized.

Next week I know it! We also had a few good lessons

with some young adults and finally had an F.H.E.

at the Branch President’s house.

It’s been a good week and even today I think we

know a place where we can find a Dr. Pepper!!! Just wait

for lots of pictures of that moment next week haha.

I was reading this week in the Book of Mormon and read

Helaman Chapter 11. I was thinking about how

“history repeats itself” and how “the Book of Mormon

was written for our day”. How true. As you read this you

can see that this is exactly how times are now with the

U.S. in Afghanistan fighting the terrorists. The thing I

found the most interesting was that this is like 11-7 years

before the birth of Jesus Christ. For me this is a testimony

of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and how we

need to prepare for the second coming of the Savior.

We need to humble ourselves always and constantly

repent because the Savior could come sooner than we

all think. I love you all so much and keep the faith.

The church is so true.

Elder Welch

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another Great Week

I’m doing great!
Another good week here in Uganda.
On Monday we did go to Bugagli Falls
and it was pretty awesome! I tried to take many
pictures so you could see all the amazing sights
there are to see here.

On Tuesday we had Zone conference so President J
and the AP’s came down for that. We were also
interviewed so it was good to meet
with President J. The four Elders from Mbali also
came and spent the night at our place Monday and
Tuesday nights since Mbali is about
a 2 hour drive from Jinja. The conference was
good and we were able to learn much.

On Wednesday we saw this couple, T and R, who are
pretty awesome and even came to the couples party
they had for all of Jinja on Saturday. They really
liked it too! I was surprised cause we saw
them at church last Sunday and I didn’t expect to
see them ever actually coming to church. It’s nice
because they are actually close and remind me of an
American couple the way they actually like cuddle
and show affection for each other which is almost
non-existent here in Uganda.

On Friday J passed his baptismal interview and it’s
so nice to see the way his life has changed for the better.
He was suicidal before and now he sees the purpose in life.
It’s awesome. I hope he progresses and serves a mission
himself someday since he’s about 22.

Sunday was a good Sabbath day. We were supposed to have
2 baptisms but O had to work again so he missed. J was
baptized which was awesome! He really was feeling the
spirit and couldn’t wait to be baptized. We also had
Family Home Evening at the Branch
President’s house. It was good. He served us samoosas
and batunda juice which was a really great meal to
tell you the truth!

I was reading In Moses Chapter 5 this week. I love
verses 6 and 7. I love when the angel asks Adam
“Why dost thou of
fer sacrifices unto the
Lord?” and how Adam responds “I know not, save the
Lord commanded me.” That’s how I feel about anything
that is confusing or I might question
for a second in life or in the gospel. We won’t ever
know on this Earth why the Lord commands us to do some
things, but he does command us, and we need to do them
simply because the Lord wants us to. Adam
does find out what the sacrifices symbolize but for us,
we might not ever find out some of the questions in life
until after we have passed on. I just do the things
because I know that the Lord will provide a
way, because he never commands us to do something,
save he were to provide a way.

Elder Welch

Well that’s been my week.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"in the middle of freaking Africa!"

My adventure is still going and crazy as ever.
I think I’m just getting used to being in Africa now.
I used to say to myself every few
days “I’m in the middle of freaking Africa!”
Nowadays I don’t say that as much.

Jinja is a pretty big city but it has lots of
parts to it. So Bugembe is just like a suburb kind of,
of Jinja. Bugembe used to be where all the rich
lived in Jinja but than people just starting
building mud huts everywhere so it has a lot of people,
mostly children, just everywhere. A lot more Muslims
here too than there are in Kampala for
some reason. I can’t even guess how many people are
in Bugembe because
it would be pretty hard to get a good count.

Speaking of Conference I listened to the Afternoon
session of the April 2010 conference and I nearly
cried like 5 times for reasons I
don’t even know! I think it’s because I realized
I’ve been taking all the blessings and things I had
in the United States for granted.
Honestly I even took for granted being able to go
to conference live with Clayton because I fell asleep
when we went! Even being with my
brother was truly a blessing I would never give up
and will never give up. Also the family stories
they told really touched me. I love
hearing President Eyring just announcing things
because you can tell in his voice, that he is just
so close to the spirit of God, he has
such emotion with each word he speaks.

Well enough of that. My week was short as usual.
I feel like I’m always here emailing now. Well last
Monday the highlight of my day was
buying new sunglasses since I lost both of the pairs
I had brought out here. They are fake RayBans.
They say “Roy & Bon” on the side. They’re
pretty legit though.

Tuesday was teaching as usual and we left a Book
of Mormon with these two girls as well as
read with them 2 Nephi 31. I’ll realize
that was a bad decision later on in the week.

Wednesday we had lessons and a Family Home Evening
with a member and her recent convert sister.
It was pretty good and we’re trying to help
them both stay active in the church

Thursday we had a District meeting and Elder D
set a goal for Bugembe to have 10 baptisms this month.
I thought it was reasonable but apparently the Zone
Leaders thought it was not an achievable goal.
With 5 per companionship we could do it. For us
we have those planned out for the next 3 weeks so
it will depend on Elder D and his comp
to get their 5. Maybe we’ll help them out and get 6 haha.
The Zone Leaders and everyone else in Jinja set
goals for 4 baptisms for the
month per district so we’ll have to show them
that if you aim high, even if you miss, you still
fall high. We had also gone back to those
two girls and their mom came and answered and
said she didn’t want us deceiving their daughters
into another religion.
On Saturday we went to the hospital to see
Sister D’s brother who had hot water poured
on his leg and it hasn’t been healing. We gave
him a blessing and were there for Sister D.
We also saw a member who just had twins but
lost them both shortly after. It was really
sad. The woman has been inactive in the church
for 6 months and her husband is an active R.M.
who we’ve been trying to get him to bring
his wife back to church. We were just there
to show them support and
it was a really solemn and humbling experience.
I haven’t felt so bad for people in a long time.
We told them we were always there for them

Sunday was a good Sabbath day.
We were going to have 2 baptisms for
our companionship but one of the guys couldn’t
get work off so we set his back for next Sunday.
O was baptized though and it’s good to
see him and his two friends all baptized. J
even was found worthy
to receive the Priesthood for next Sunday.

Today we are going to go to Bugagali Falls
after emailing. I hear they
are pretty sweet so I will make sure to send you
guys the pictures next week.

I have been noticing in
the scriptures a theme that shows God’s love for us.
It’s about mercy and justice and how God is both.
Because of Justice we need to repent
and make sure we are clean if we are to enter Heaven.
Mercy allows us to get there. A good analogy of this
I heard in a talk was about the
Civil War and a soldier who was on guard duty. He fell
asleep during the night and his battalion was attacked
and many men were killed. The soldier on guard duty was
held responsible for the men killed and
sentenced to death. A week before he was to be
sentenced to death. the mother of the soldier sent a
letter to President Lincoln. She said
“Before this war I had 4 sons, and one by one I’ve
lost them all. I’m left with one, and he is sentenced
to death. Please spare a devastated
mother of having to lose all 4 of her sons.”
President Lincoln wrote her back and said how the boy
deserved the punishment for his crime,
but that he would allow him to go, not for his sake,
but for his poor
mother’s sake. This shows the kind of love and
mercy the Savior has for us. When we get to be
judged, Jesus will be there pleading our
case, saying he took upon him our sins, so that
we could enter Heaven.
Heavenly Father will then say,
“I will let them in, not for their
sake, but for your sake, my only Begotten.”
Oh how much are we loved.

Elder Welch

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Yes transfers were this week, and I’m still in
Bugembe. It’s not a bad thing since this has been
the highest baptizing area in the
mission for the last two transfers I think.
In the last three months our area has had 18 baptisms
(13 from my companionship). I talked to
my brothers (the missionaries I came out with) and
they have each had 5 and 6 baptisms each. This area
is good, but I would enjoy a break
from all the dust here.

A District President is like a Stake President, but
the Mission President still has to conduct a lot of
the business. To become a stake is hard and the people
need to pay tithing but we hope to see one here soon.
We got our new Branch President as well. It’s Brother
K. The guy is awesome.
He served in South Africa but is totally humble and
charitable. We’ve always had FHE’s at his house on
Sunday’s and love being with him and
his family.

Well this week was kind of different. I didn’t have
as much time to teach and meet with our investigators
as we would have liked to. On Tuesday I was told that
Elder M and myself were to go to Kampala
to have some new missionary and trainer, training.
So we went up there on Wednesday and went with the
missionaries in Mutungo. It’s a newer
area but their home is so nice. We were mainly
traveling that day as it takes a while to get to Kampala.
We took a “coaster” or a van up
there for the 2 hour drive. My seat was tilted in so
it was uncomfortable falling onto the man next to me
the whole time.
On Thursday we had the training. There were 10 new
missionaries, 6 from Zimbabwe, 2 Americans, a Kenyan,
and a Sister from Malawi. It’s a
powerful group of missionaries and we hope to break
the chain of laziness that has been plaguing this mission.
The two guys from the U.S. are pretty legit.
The training went well though and they got to see some
of the new ways we are trying to teach people in this
We stayed the night at the Assistants place on Thursday
night and Friday morning we worked on finishing up
transfers and getting ready
to drive down to Jinja. Oh and we almost found a
Dr. Pepper copycat called Dr. Stripes! Too bad the places
that had them were closed so I didn’t get to taste the
awesomeness of Dr. Pepper… The last one I had
was in London. I miss that experience haha. Friday we
didn’t get home until late so all we had time to do was
weekly planning and go to correlation.
Saturday we scrambled to see people since we hadn’t
had time to set up
appointments but it was still a good day.
On Sunday we had President J at our church again to
set apart Brother K as President K of the Bugembe Branch.
Well that was the week in my life. Hope all is well
with everyone back home. Just know that all the answers
for life have been given to us.
I’ve been reading the Old Testament and even there,
we have answers.
The Old Testament even has humor! I was reading in
2 Samuel about King David dancing with the Ark of the
Lord and it made me laugh thinking
of all the modern dances now that I could see King David
doing along the Ark and how his wife saw him doing them
and was pretty much like
“this guy looks ridiculous.”
I love the scriptures so make sure you
read them! Love and miss you all so much!
Elder Welch

Friday, October 1, 2010

Autumn in Uganda is great! The leaves fell a little
bit but they start growing back right away so I
didn’t notice much. Mission is good.

My companion is on a mini-mission right now.

He’s negative 4 months on mission but I’m sure

the time will fly for him. He’s doing great but he

hasn’t been trained on any teaching skills so he’s

extremely fresh. He’s picking things up though.

It helps with the language because when people try

and say “I don’t know Lzungu (English)” I just have

Elder Musitwa contact them. Speaking of which

Clay should see him when he’s in the MTC in

January if Clay is still working there.

Jinja border Lake Victoria as well. That’s the

lake we see from our house. We did get new

furniture this week too. I had a picture of the

couches which are really nice as well but, like

I said, those unfortunately got deleted.

I don’t think the women here got the opportunity

to see the General Women’s thing but I didn’t

even hear about it either. We won’t even get to

watch conference for almost a month after it airs

anyways unless we go and watch it at a computer

place late at night.

So now to my week. Almost basic but it was a good

time. It flew by so it’s hard to remember everything.

On Monday it was Elder Flinders last P-day so Elder

Stevens and myself hung out with him and we went

out to eat at this place called Ossiez that is really good.

The people there really liked that guy.

Tuesday we had just a bunch of lessons but at the

District President’s house we watched The Testaments.

I’ve never watched that before! What a great movie.

Really helps you see the people in the Book of Mormon

and how they read the scriptures and how people

persecuted the truth, just like they always have

and always will.

Wednesday we had our District Development

Meeting and all shared how mission blessed our

lives. I stole Ammon’s words and how he asked

the exact same question to his brethren in Alma 26.

His answer is that he’s been blessed by bringing

nonbelievers to repentance, and giving them the light

of the gospel. Same for me, that’s the one blessing

that I see here on mission, is how the gospel

changes people.

Friday we were busy finding a few people and setting

up their baptismal interviews which is always stressful.

On Saturday they had the baptismal interviews and 4

of them passed, but one of the guys we had planned on

was MIA. The ones who passed though were J, S, B

, and J. They are all pretty legit and I wish I could show

you a picture of them….. J is from Rwanda and has lived

here for only a couple of years. S is a friend of hers and

lives down by a lot of people who are becoming members.

Same with B, she’s living down there and the three of them

are friends, and we taught them all at about the same time.

Now just from that area down there we have had at least

5 baptisms and hope to have more from more of their

friends we are teaching. J was S’s friend, who was baptized

last week, and was way excited to be baptized.

He too has a wife and kid in a village up north.

We’re teaching their friend named O who should be

baptized next week as well.

So on Sunday we had those 4 baptisms and E was rebaptized

since he missed too many weeks to be confirmed

but he was more than happy to do it again. He had

business to attend to in village but President M

still made him be baptized again anyways.

So on Sunday we had 6 baptisms in Bugembe

because the other guys even had a baptism,

even though it was the Jinja District President’s

adopted daughter. Kind of a freebee so over

all out of the entire Jinja zone, our area had

7 of the 17 baptisms for September, and my

companionship alone had 6 of the baptisms,

which is pretty good since there are 9

companionships in Jinja. Also President J, the

mission president, came to our church and

had some crazy news. They released the

District Presidency and called our Branch

President, President M, to be the new

District President. It was pretty new,

and they also told us of how the Bugembe chapel

has been approved and will be finished in

6-8 months.

So that was the week, it was pretty good.

I wish I could have shown you it in pictures,

but hopefully next week my camera will be

working so you can see.
Keep studying your scriptures. The church is

so true and when you read the Book of Mormon

slowly, you will see how it applies perfectly to

our lives in anticipation of the Savior coming the

second time. Just look around and see how the

members of the church are the same, yet different

in a good way from everyone else in the world.

The Book of Mormon is that second witness of

Jesus Christ. Matthew 18:16 gives the need for

this book perfectly. Everything points to its need,

especially with the world getting crazier by the day.

I love you all. God bless.

Elder Welch