Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Meeting with Elder Cook was awesome. He’s such a great and humble guy. We didn’t get to be with him too long but his training and instruction was much needed and cherished. He is one of the 70 and was sustained last conference. He’s actually giving a talk at conference this next session so look out for that. So this week for us was a little shorter on teaching because of the trainings up in Addis but it was an overall good week. We’re teaching a few really good people and the best thing is that G and her two daughters should be baptized this Saturday.

We had a better Sunday too. We had 51 people there which was a lot better than it has been and after each sacrament meeting I make sure to just have a short meeting with the Branch Presidency to discuss things we can improve on. I appreciated that they fixed a lot of the things I talked to them about last week. The only things this week were that the Aaronic Priesthood should be seated before the meeting starts, they shouldn’t be wearing sandals…. (I switched and passed instead for the young man who was wearing sandals), and that the talks need to be less loud and Protestant-like. It was a way better Sunday overall though.

Today we should be moving into our new house which will be great because traveling to and from Awasa to Shashemene is really a pain. I also realized I have way too much stuff I realized to fly back to Uganda with today. I could only come here with one of my suitcases and it was really quite full.

Well sorry this week has been a little uneventful but the work is rolling forth and I love you all still the same! Keep being awesome and I really appreciate all of the support that you all are always giving me. Can’t wait till we meet again!

Elder Welch

P.S. Sorry to hear about BYU’s embarrassing loss…

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We haven't moved into our house yet but we should this week. The
church there is established in Awasa so they have a church. They are
still looking for a another church in Wendo Genet however.
I'm going to be short this week because of circumstances but I promise
to send more next week with pictures too.
The week has been good. We did have a little problem in Wendo Genet
dealing with one man's pride but the situation is being solved and
it's not really my worries since that's not my area. The Elders there
are doing a great job with the little problem.
Awasa is a bit harder of an area than Shashemene especially with who
the missionaries have been teaching before. They haven't really had a
big teaching pool and they haven't been seeing the recent converts so
attendance is down and they aren't getting new people into the church.
We're trying to turn things around.
We had a couple of baptisms this week. On Saturday N was
baptized. On Sunday M, the father of the 7 kids and his wife who
were baptized from Arsi Negele, was finally baptized as well. Their
family is so powerful. I was so happy to see him finally baptized
because of delays from work and school. It wasn't for our area that it
counts but I was happy to at least see M getting baptized.
Monday we couldn't do much because it was the Ethiopian new year and
everything was closed. It was a little frustrating. The guard of the
church invited us over for lunch and to see his family. He says he
will learn more about the church when he's done with his Lutheran
gospel training. I think he fears that they will kick him out for
meeting with us.
Today we are headed to Addis Ababa again for a meeting with Elder Cook
tomorrow morning. We should also move into our new home tomorrow once
we come back.
Well that's it for me. I love you all and can't wait to see you again
someday soon. Keep the faith.
Elder Welch

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The week has been good. It’s been weird trying to settle into a new area and especially since we don’t have a translator which makes things very hard because the words I can say in Amharic don’t lead to any personal connection. I hope we get some members or a local to start working with us soon. We’ve also been traveling daily from Shashemene to Awasa as they are getting a new house to move into. They found a new house, which is the picture I’m sending you and it’s very nice! It’s about two floors with a balcony on the third floor with an amazing view. It’s very large and will be a nice place to crash in the evenings.

Sunday Elder C and I stayed in Shashemene for the service there since we needed someone to run it. There were only 13 people there, all members, because there were no missionaries there at all to invite people or do any teaching which is kind of a bummer. There were only 20 in Awasa though which has 4 missionaries teaching all the time… I don’t know why it’s struggling so much but we hope to see that number at least double by the end of the next couple of weeks.

Today we were able to play some rugby again but the Ethiopians still didn’t understand the rules. I was surprised to see that they were doing worse on the rules than they were last week haha. It was fun and is giving me a good exercise on top of the 30 minutes I’m doing in the mornings.

The work is going well and I hope to be able to do my best to get things better than when I found them. I just want you all to know I love you and that I can’t wait to see you all soon. Keep the faith. Be awesome. And make good decisions. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do (and don’t do some things I probably would do). Haha playing.

Elder Welch

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We were able to play rugby today actually. It was a lot of fun but I’m
a bit out of shape and now my feet and body hurt from actually
running. No worries it was just touch rugby by the way.

Transfers were this week and for me I did get transferred to Awassa
which is where we go every P-day anyways. It’s pretty familiar
territory but I won’t be able to see those plants sprout. Hopefully
they keep growing and the other missionaries take care of them. I’ll
also be the Zone Leader down here with Elder M, we won’t be
companions though. My companion is Elder W and he’s from
Idaho. A pretty cool guy and I’ve been able to see him a couple times
a week for the last three months anyways.

We were blessed this week. More people prepared themselves for baptism
than we expected. We really didn’t do much as missionaries, all of
these people were prepared already it seems and we just so happened to
pass by and show them the little bit that was needed to do. So we had
fifteen people baptized from Arsi Negele and one brother from
Shashemene. Overall we had sixteen baptisms this last week and it was
pretty cool. We would have had brother Mesa baptized and another woman
as well but Mesa had exams to do and the other woman who’s a husband
of one of the men was having some lady problems so they will be
baptized this next week too. It was amazing to see these people travel
hours both days for their baptisms and confirmations all at their own
expense. It is definitely one of the moments I will never forget.

I’ve mentioned a bit of the week already but like I said, it was a
great one! It really was a great way to end the transfer. The work is
going great. The only other highlights I can think of besides that is
that we had 40 people in Shashemene on Sunday. That was the highest
we’ve had it and it was nice to see it at such a level as it was my
last Sunday there. We also visited Arsi Negele that evening with
President Amannual from the District Presidency who lives down here
and he taught them a bit about the temple and answered all their
questions. He’s a good guy.

I am doing great, healthy, and I’m loving
the work. Take care and know how much I love you all and I can’t wait
to see you soon! 9 months! That means if anyone else wants to have a
baby too while I’m out the should get started in the next 15 days
otherwise I’m going to spoil the day. Take
care and keep the faith.


Elder Welch