Sunday, May 15, 2011

Greetings from a whole new world. Ethiopia is great! It is completely
> different than Uganda and I feel like I’ve started a whole new
> mission. This roads are nice, there’s no garbage, the food is amazing,
> the weather is cooler, people don’t just tell you what you want to
> hear, and they also don’t really know English so I’m having to learn
> Ahmaric. Look up the symbols for that language by the way, it’s a
> completely different alphabet. It sounds similar to Arabic as well.
Ethiopia is a great country. It’s much more modern than Uganda and the
> people here are beautiful. That has actually been a problem with
> missionaries in the past here but don’t worry about me. You know I’m
> strong. Especially down here in Awasa, the people aren’t as good
> looking. It’s got a bit of Italian culture mixed in and the people
> here have style, show public affection, and are more Europeanish.
> The flight here was amazing! I think the best food I’ve eaten the 10
> months before that was the airplane food. We flew on Emirates airlines
> and that is a very nice, Arabic, airline service that is centered in
> Dubai. That flight was so nice! Air conditioning, nice seats, nice
> service. That was a mini trip.
> Awasa is a 4 hour drive south of Adis Abbaba so we made that trip on
> Wednesday morning with President Parrish and his wife. Reminded me of
> the old trips we used to take as kids besides the fact that we saw
> hyenas, camels, huts, and all kinds of things that you see in the Lion
> King on the way down.
> Awasa has a branch with a great President of the Branch who found the
> Book of Mormon and was taking trips from Awasa to Beklobet which is
> like a 3 hour trip a few times a month until he could get missionaries
> sent here. We are opening up an area close to Awasa called Sheshemene,
> the Rastafarian Holy Land. Rastas there walk barefoot and it’s said to
> be a bless land.
My new companion is from South Africa. He’s a white African and he’s a
> very straight guy. He worries quite a bit about little things and I’m
> trying to help him with that and he’s helping me to be a better
> missionary overall.
> The language will be hard to learn but us as missionaries as for now
> are just learning the basics of it. They will at some point teach it
> at MTC’s and stuff and missionaries won’t be using translators, but as
> of now we usually use translators

It’s been raining every day here as well so I guess it’s similar.
By the way, we flew from Entebbe to Adis Abbaba, and than
drove down to Awasa.
some! I miss those little kids so much!
So you know pretty much my week but basically I arrived in Ethiopia on
Monday night. The flight was amazing and we grabbed some good food
with President and Sister Parrish. President Parrish is a counselor in
the mission presidency.
Tuesday we were just in Adis and we saw the nice chapel they have up
there as well as some missionaries and had a District Leaders meeting
and set some goals for all of our individual districts.

Wednesday we came down to Awasa and we’ve been staying here as we wait
> for our house to get signed over so we can move there. It’s a small
> apartment here but we all enjoy spending good time together. The
> shower here is so cold though because they have no water heater!
> That’s the only thing I can complain about right now.
> We’ve just been seeing some of the recent converts down here and we
> did a little finding in Awasa and found some good families for the
> Elders here to teach. We made a trip to Sheshemene on Saturday as well
> and went to a place called Wendo Genet, which I believe means ‘Place
> Paradise’, being named that by the former king of Ethiopia, Ras
> Tafari.
> Sunday was good but we didn’t see quite as many people at church as we
> would like, and that’s why we are opening up that meeting group in
> Sheshemene so it is closer to some of the recent converts. The most
> recent convers in Wendo Genet were a few preachers from a church and
> we are just trying to get them patient with us as we make it easier
> and the church closer to them. They are great guys though seriously.
> Well that’s been the week. Just know I’m safe and that Ethiopia is
> seriously amazing!
> Elder Welch

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