Sunday, November 27, 2011

The week on my part went pretty well. We’ve been focusing on the referrals we’ve been given and most of them have been progressing very well. The work is going well for the zone but the only little downfall for the other companionship in Awassa had their bikes stolen. Whoops! It’s kind of slowing the work down for them but they should be getting some new ones this week.

On Saturday we had 3 baptisms in Awassa, one from us and two from the other companionship. On our side Brother I( was baptized. That man is powerful! He knows great English and like I said is a bit of a traveler. He’s been all over Africa and even knows Portugese. I remember like 5 months ago when he knocked on our door in Shashemene looking for somewhere to rent to stay and he told us yesterday at his baptism that when he saw us he just felt something very powerful. Well apparently the Lord wanted him to join his church because we than again contacted him several more times and even his best friend Grume was baptized in Shashemene about 4 months ago. Sadly I had gone to Kenya for a couple months but when he moved back to Ethiopia to Awassa instead but guess what, the Lord really wanted him to join the church at our hands no matter where he was. It’s weird how certain people get seen by the missionaries in so many occasions that it goes beyond coincidence into being Divine. G was able to baptize him on Saturday (kind of awkwardly but the things that mattered were there) and he was so happy. He was confirmed on Sunday and looked very sharp. There are only a few of my recent converts who are extremely powerful and this man is one of them. G happens to be one of the other ones as well.

Well that was a highlight as well as that Sunday was orderly and there weren’t awkward mistakes or disorganization at church. It was great. Yes, the Branch President was away on some business haha. His counselors organized the meeting great and the 1st counselor conducted the meeting very well. The 1st counselor is actually a young man of maybe 19 or 20 but he’s been a member for a few years and knows how things need to be done.

We also had a meeting with a few Jehovah’s witnesses on Sunday and that was interesting. Their Bible is very different I noticed and I was asking them if it bothered them that their Bible had things removed from their scriptures that weren’t in harmony with their doctrine. They believe every one else’s Bibles are wrong actually. To each is own I suppose.

Well the week has gone quickly and another quick one ahead I’m sure. On Thursday we will be heading up to Addis Ababa for a Thanksgiving dinner with all the other missionaries at a member’s home who works for the American Embassy. All the members from the Embassy will be there. There are quite a few members who work for the embassy so it will be cool to be with a bunch of other Americans again.

So that’s the past week as well as some future plans. I hope your thanksgiving will be awesome and you can all appreciate the blessings in your life as well as one another. I’ll be thinking of you all and will be missing you. Keep the faith and know I love you!!!

Elder Welch

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Well my week was another busy and quick one. We’ve still been teaching the referrals we’ve been given. The referrals given from the strong members are of course great referrals. We’ve been blessed to receive them. T is still doing well, we just need to see his wife and family but only on weekends is she free and we haven’t been able to get a good time.

G’s friends came again on Sunday and are awesome. This week when we were teaching them they said they knew the church was true but needed time to separate from their old church. The one said she was only going to be able to come every other week and said she wasn’t coming to church but going to hers this week. Well, great thing was that she came to ours again anyways! That’s a good feeling when someone tells you they won’t come, and you don’t expect them, but they come! Better than when everyone else says they are coming and none of them show… Haha.

It was nice this week because I was able to do two interviews for the wives of men I baptized a while ago. The women would have been baptized with them but the one had doubts and the other didn’t have money for the travel. Well they were both baptized on Saturday which was awesome. When I interviewed the one I asked her who she wanted to baptize her and she said me. I suggested her husband but she said that since I was the one who was teaching her in the first place, I should baptize her. So I did! It was cool. The other guy baptized his wife even though when I was in the font he tried getting me to baptize his wife too but I refused and made him do it haha.

Sunday was a little bit better of a service. The Branch President is learning. I think I’m going to tell him this week though that he should have his counselors conduct the meetings instead of him doing it every single week…. I don’t know why he likes to do it since it’s always kind of a mess haha. He really is getting better though and we had a lot of people finally set apart to their specific assignments.

Today we had a good activity and we hiked a mountain. Pretty tiring, and a little painful with all the little pokey things that were everywhere but the end is always worth it, just like life! I took some pretty sweet pictures as well.

Peace and love!

Elder Welch

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Well the week has been good. We’ve been focusing a lot on all of the referrals we received last week. They are all pretty awesome and we’ve been teaching them with the members who gave them to us. We’ve also been doing contacting but that really almost never proves to be fruitful. The president has a goal for us to contact 24 people everyday so we do it to be obedient to that request. At least it’s getting the church word out there, but I would say the protestants who are now attacking our church are making people more aware of the church.

We also had the Parrish’s down here this week which was cool. They also took us out to Haile resort again and I had a nice yummy steak. Not as good as last time but still better than anything I ever eat these days.

Sunday was more organized and we actually had enough women to have a small relief society. Our recent convert G gave us two older women referrals and they came to church and really enjoyed it. They were one of the few people who came to church with their actual scriptures. They are pretty awesome ladies. G is an awesome missionary and she is so converted!

We are still teaching T, President A’s friend (the 3rd Counselor), and he’s very committed to everything we teach. He has a motorcycle which is cool but he’s only got one eye since a student stabbed him in the eye a while I guess. Pretty morbid. I also don’t know if that’s good on his depth perception while riding his motorcycle or not?

Well that’s about what’s going on here. Nothing too eventful again this week. Just doing the work and praying for more good people to teach. I love you all so much and pray for you daily. I will keep those specific needs of yours in my prayers and hopefully things will start working out well in all things. Love you all! Keep the faith and keep being awesome!

Elder Welch
P.S. The pictures are of our guard. The church is going to stay safe!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This missionary is doing well. The week has been great. A lot more teaching this week and we were blessed to have a lot of great referrals from some great members. Sister Genet, our recent convert, gave us a couple of women who seemed pretty interested so we taught them and gave them some Book of Mormons.

President A, the 3rd Counselor in the District Presidency (I know, that’s a weird position) gave us a few of his friends who are teachers like him and fathers of some families. One of them actually was attending the church before they had a building. He was attending with President Ammanuel and his family in their home before they ever sent missionaries here. He’s back to investigating and we gave him a baptismal date for next month.

We also went out to Chucko, which is like an hour and a half taxi ride, to see a member and his family as well as two fathers of some big families who were interested. We also gave them baptismal dates for this next month. They seemed very interested and are pretty old. I think they are the fathers of families of 8 and 7 kids. I tried explaining how the Book of Mormon is the scoring goal in a tie soccer game and how it helps us know the one true church, and makes it so we don’t have to bash with people. I hope the analogy landed.

On Sunday we didn’t have many people at church, nothing was organized, but it wasn’t as chaotic because the Branch President was in Addis Ababa. Nothing was planned but the 1st counselor did a good job of kind of improving the meeting. We did have a great referral after the meeting from a guy who is investigating in Addis but was passing through as he was going to his village in Southern Ethiopia. The guy is very interested but he brought his friend to church who lives here. We gave him a baptismal date.

Another great thing on Sunday was one of my recent converts from Shashemene who moved to Awassa came and brought his friend who I had given a baptismal date to months ago when I was in Shashemene. The guy now lives in Awassa as well. He missed the baptism before because he went to Kenya for two months but he was excited to be back and to be retaught. We gave him another baptismal date as well so this next month will hopefully be a good one.

The work is going well. I miss you all so much and you are always in my thoughts and prayers. I hope all is well and all of you are being examples and faithful to what you know to be true. Keep being awesome. I love you all so much. See you soon!

Elder Welch