Sunday, December 18, 2011

Well my week went pretty good but it was a bit long. We’ve been able to have a couple of great new investigators. One of them is named Misgana (it means praise in Ahmaric) and he comes from our investigator, Mulu. Mulu is ready to be baptized but she wants to wait for her friend Genet who she runs a shop with to be baptized with her. Anyways, Mulu saw this guy, Misgana, preaching across the street and she told her about the church and bore testimony to him about the restored gospel. He’s very interested and said he was looking for the church of the New Testament but hadn’t found it so he was just teaching from the Bible on the street. We hope to continue teaching him.

We also started teaching a guy named J. He’s the neighbor of Bereket who we’ve been teaching and hopefully will be baptized this week. J is actually a Rastafarian and moved to Ethiopia from Jamaica when he was 5 with his family. He is a DJ and father of three children. He’s about 35 and said he wants to stop smoking weed and stuff but has been struggling to find the strength. I told him with the Book of Mormon he would find the additional strength, with the Bible, to be able to kick the habit and live the commandments. He was also worried about his occupation as a DJ and being able to live clean. I told him about this DJ in the United States named Kaskade who is Mormon and keeps the commandments and is also the father of three kids. He was pretty happy to hear that it was possible to be a DJ and stay clean at the same time. We hope he keeps loving the Book of Mormon like he has been so far.

We’ve also not been attending the P.E.C. or any other meetings for the church down here since the Branch President didn’t want us there. The sad thing is that now those meetings don’t take place at all. It is a bit frustrating having to be told to just sit by and watch this train wreck and told we can’t do anything. I really hope when President visits this Branch this week that he can do something that will bring immediate results.

Saturday and Sunday were good as well. J, a guy the other missionaries in our district, was baptized. He’s a great guy and I had to get a picture with the guy. Sunday only 32 people were at sacrament and I think 10 of them were investigators and the 4 missionaries. The old members are slowly falling away and won’t come anymore. It’s starting to become a huge problem. I have faith things can change, but faith without action by others will be in vain.

And now I’m emailing. That’s the week. Hope all continues to go well in your neck of the woods. . Keep it real and keep the faith!

Your servant in Christ our Lord and Savior,

Elder Welch

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Yes the Christmas season is different here, I know at the very least that it is different because of the day but I don’t know too much about any other traditions they have here.
it is very hard to get people enduring to the end when they have a philosophy like ‘no worries’. People seem to endure for a time , and than simply forget why they are doing it and kind of backslide. They need to be constantly reminded.

I simply cannot tell you how annoying flies are here. They are the worst thing about Ethiopia. The flies in Uganda are nothing like here. The flies here seem to have a different mindset and have absolutely no caution when flying around. In the U.S. the flies will hover kind of before landing on you but here they just fly right into your nose or ear or whatever else. It frustrates the crap out of me. I think people must think I’m mad when they see me flinging my arms all around my head trying to keep them off sometimes.

I miss snow so much! Here the wind isn’t bad but I do like sitting behind our house and having the wind just blow nicely on me. It has this suction behind there between buildings that just allows the wind to flow through there like a wind tunnel and it feels amazing. I really can’t wait to be cold again. The power even went out the other night and my fan didn’t work so I went outside and sat in the back for like 10 minutes to try and cool off.

The week has been good but another quick one. We have been spending quite a bit of time working with the same people we’ve had baptismal dates with. They keep wanting to wait on baptism but I’m not going to push them faster than they are ready. I just don’t know what the exact reason is but we will keep working with them. Most of them are coming to church every week but I guess I too want to make sure they are ready to make such a decision.

We went to Chooko (sp?) this last week and we have been seeing some two older gentlemen there who are friends of a recent convert. They have big families and we are planning them to be baptized this month. We did find out that the one has 2 wives right now though so we instructed him on what he should do at this time and we hope he can find the strength to do it. We just told him he should legally divorce one if he’s married legally and to not live with or have any relations with that one. We told him he should still provide for her and any other kids though.

We had a lot of investigators at church too. It was awesome seeing our recent convert, Genet, with 5 other women whom she has been able to start bringing to church and to be baptized. The whole relief society is being built on that woman. She is seriously one of the greatest recent converts I have been blessed to have.

It’s pretty much the same old same old here but the experiences are great and I love the people I’m able to teach. It is a little hard for me to say I love everyone in this country, but I can say I love the members and investigators very much! It’s a little hard to love those that yell at me all day. Sorry for that weakness haha.

Elder Welch

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy post-Thanksgiving! I’m glad you guys had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was great too and yes I had the basic Thanksgiving dinner that I always dreamed about. The only problem is that the food was too rich (and clean) for me so I had a little tummy ache for the two days following. All is well now. I think they imported the Turkey from the U.S. or something because that’s not an animal they have here. There were like 35 people there probably? I didn’t get any pumpkin pie but I had a slice of banana pie.
The families here do pretty well. The members are taught a lot about self reliance and stuff and to have a bit of self respect so they can depend on themselves and not need others to provide for them. It reminds me of the scripture from Paul where he said if a man can’t provide for himself or his own house, he’s worse than an infidel. A little harsh but it’s true.

Well my week was good. Pretty basic with the trip to Addis for the Thanksgiving dinner aside. The dinner was awesome and the people who had us come, the Leischman’s, have one of the biggest houses I’ve ever been in. It was like 5 floors and more of an American home than anything I’ve been in here before. There were quite a few people there and it was great to meet some of the Americans who were there. There were probably about 24 missionaries and another 20 Americans.

Other than that we’ve just been teaching and trying to get people prepared to make sacred covenants. The only problem is people these days are wanting to wait for their wives or to learn more or whatever other excuse they can think of. Hopefully the one’s we’ve been preparing will be ready by the end of this year.

The pictures I sent are of me, and my hair haha. I also sent some pictures of camels on the way to Addis Ababa and some pictures of the flies I was killing while I was in Wendo Genet waiting for interviews. The flies there seem like more than the sands of the freaking sea.

Keep it realsies and stay faithful! I love you all!

Elder Welch