Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Well the week has been basic. Again, my last emails will be short
especially since we’re short on time. Elder B is still building
the relationsips with everyone so that they can lean on him when I
leave. We are hoping to have 5-6 baptisms for these last two weeks
which will be great. We finally got J to get a letter signed
saying he was married to his wife so he and J, a guy who is on the
rowing team here in Uganda should be baptized next week.

Today we went to the zoo which was fun. Sorry for no pictures but
you’ll see them in two weeks anyways. Plus I went to the zoo here
about a year ago and saw similar things. I wonder if the animals
remember me from last time? Just kidding.

Anyways that’s about all that’s going on right now. I look forward to
sending you guys my last email next week. I love you guys so much and
I’m thankful for all that you do! I can’t wait to give you guys some
hugs in person. I will probably cry when I get home but that’s only
because I’ll probably cut some onions right before I come down the
escalator, it won’t be because I’m a wuss or anything…… Haha I love
you guys so much!!!!


Elder Welch

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The week was basic. We have just been trying to follow up with people but the only problem is that school just started up again for people here and so the kids are all gone, and the parents are usually out working. It’s been hard to follow up with people and find them home. The days are a bit slow until 5 or 6 at night because no one seems to be home!

W and his family are doing well. His kids came to church again but him and his wife didn’t again. He had to go somewhere to buy some land for a new home possibly. We went to his home and he had his cousins over and they were drinking… I guess we need to teach the Word of Wisdom tomorrow night haha.

The Branch is doing well and the Branch President is a good guy. The only thing that’s a little frustrating is that church has gone until 1:30 the last two weeks. It reminds me of 3 Nephi 11:40. The church should just be three hours, for our investigators benefit, and everyone elses too haha.

Well nothing too new besides that. I’m enjoying my time here and the other Elders in the apartment are fun and I haven’t laughed this much my whole mission. Actually one of the Elders has a cousin who was in this mission for my first 3 months out named Elder F who I really liked and laughed a lot with too. Reminds me of that. Both of them Are Elder F so it was pretty cool.

Can’t wait to see you soon!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Sudanese were just wealthy and it was strange but it turns out the father is just a wealthy businessman from Sudan and is away a lot. We finally met him on Saturday and he’s a cool, but very tall, guy.
Well another week close to seeing you guys! It’s been a good one but pretty basic with a lot of finding and rebuilding the teaching pool. They only had 1 baptism in this area last transfer and they didn’t have much prepared for this transfer.

This week we did find 3 pretty cool families. All of them live somehow near the church. The head of one is named W and he’s a great guy and ready to learn. He sent his kids to church this week because he had a friend come from out of town. His wife is also very nice. We followed up on a lady named R and we met with her family which was nice. Her husband looked really young but they had 6 kids and seemed really interested. We also have been teaching this guy named F and his sister since his wife is always doing hair at the salon. He sent his sister and her two kids to the church and they seemed to enjoy it. We really need the fathers to come though because we won’t baptized a part of a family, but we want the whole!
Church was great, we had 116 and they installed a new branch president who was in the Stake High council here. He seems like a really great guy.
We are still working on the Sudanese but the father and mother were here this last week from Sudan and we were able to give the mom a blessing. The only problem is the mom, dad, son, and one daughter are going to India this week. It was cool to give them the Book of Mormon in Arabic because I’ve never heard anything but the Qur’an read in Arabic. Pretty sweet.
That’s about all we’ve been up to. Nothing else too new besides all the finding.
I love you guys so much and look forward to seeing you soon! Take care of yourselves and I’ll be home in no time. Thank you again for everything!
Elder Welch

Sunday, May 20, 2012

 I really received a testimony that this is where I need to finish my mission when I first got here. On Tuesdaimmy who had a baptismal date and was supposed to be baptized but he wasn’t fully married yet so they had to wait on him. When I met him though I thought I knew him. We just talked briefly with him but as I was walking away one of the Elders mentioned that he played Tennis. I asked “has he been to Kenya for that?”  They said they thought so because he had a Kenyan necklace. I realized I did know this guy.

I had contacted J about 4 months earlier when I had come down to Uganda from Ethiopia for a Zone Leaders Council. Right before I was getting on the airplane to go back to Ethiopia I had gone out to get a coke. I was sitting at a place near the mission office drinking the coke and some guy sitting across from me started talking to me and I told him a little bit about the church and where it was. He told me of how he coached the Ugandan tennis team and stuff like that. I gave him a pass-along card and thought nothing of it. He was literally the only person I contaced the 3 days I was there. I guess a couple of months later he saw the missionaries again and paid for their taxi. They then started teaching him and he came to church and was about to be baptized. Now for my final area I see him and it was so amazing. What a miracle. What a tesimony and help that to me it is to know that Heavenly Father puts us just where we need to be, to be with the people who need to hear from us, at the exact times. It has given me the motivation to finish these last few weeks strong.

That was the big thing for me this last week. Other than that we are doing some finding. We started teaching these Sudanese in this huge mansion on the top of the hill. I took a picture so I’ll see if I can send it but if not I’ll just show you in a few weeks.  It’s cool. Hopefully we’ll keep finding new people and we’ll have success by the end of the transfer. We’ll see.

Well I love you guys! I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks. Keep it real and thank you for everything you do for me!

Elder Welch

Sunday, May 6, 2012

6 Weeks More!

Another good week and I pray they keep going fast so I'm back home soon. It's hard not to think about home and returning. Things are much different here and I look forward to going back to the comforts and commodities that I used to take for granted. Never again.

Anyways the week was good. A lot of teaching and such still, nothing out of the ordinary. We did finish up preparing C, B R and R for baptism. R wasn't able to be baptized this week though because he had work in a village outside of town. C and B R were both baptized and it was great.

We also went and saw J. We came up and found him reading the Book of Mormon on his porch which was a great sign. The only thing is that we found out his family and his wife's families are doing their best to make sure that J and P do not join the church. They are facing a lot of pressure not to be baptized again from them and it's effecting them. They want to make sure they are making the right decision too and they don't want to change again if this is the church that they decide to join. I really pray that they will be able to just cut the cord and make the decision that will be the most beneficial to their family.

We also keep trying to see F but he is never around when we go to see his family. J is still very interested in the church and doing well but it's hard that her husband is dodging us. It's the same thing with J and P for him because his friends are telling him not to listen to us and how are church is still new and all this stuff. It's frustrating that the thorns prevent people's seed from growing, but it chokes it out. I really understand the parable of the sower better now because of that.

Well on Sunday we had all three of the guys who needed to be confirmed there. They were the first 3 in the church and all looked very 'smart'. I took a picture with them as well as one of the new grey suits I got. I didn't wear the vest because it's hot, but I figure I'll start whipping out the three-piece when I get home and it's cold.

That's about all that has been going on. Not a very eventful week but it's been good and quick. Quick is the most important part right now! I hope you are all doing well and remember how much I love you guys! Keep being awesome and keep the faith. The church is true and the book is blue. Love you guys!

Elder Welch

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Well the week has been good. We are still focusing on the main teaching pool which we accumulated the first week or two we were here. We have been trying to see J and F but we have only been able to find J at home so we're hoping to find him and her there together soon! She came to church again this week with all of her children so that was great.

Jo also finally came this week. This guy and his wife we have been seeing are really cool. They are young and pretty well off already. He drove his van to church (which having an investigator with a car is a huge thing by the way) and brought his two kids because his wife was on her way back from Kampala. We are seeing them tonight but they did seem to like church although they had to go early.

On Saturday we had our leadership trainings over in Lira which is about an hour and a half away. It was good to be there and get trained by President as well as to see the other missionaries there. I did get my package there, so again, thank you!

On Sunday we had President Jackson at our sacrament meeting which was good. He talked about 1 Nephi 8 and the Iron rod leading to the tree of life. It was very good and he encouraged the members to keep enduring, and to never let go of the rod and call it close or good enough. It's hard but we have to hold fast to the rod, not clinging barely. We had 13 investigators there. We hope to have some baptisms over the next two weeks but people here are a bit flaky so we'll see what turns out.

Today we had our zone activity and went out to this fort constructed by protestant missionaries when they first came to the north here. It was cool and built on top of these stones. We also went and hiked up this large rock hill thing and got some good pictures. It was a great time and gave me some much needed outdoor exercise. I took some pictures so hopefully you can see how cool it was.

Well that's about all the highlights for this week. I love you guys and hope all is well! See you soon!

Elder Welch

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Two months left. Niceeeeee. I’m pretty excited to work on this last 1/12th of my mission. Can’t wait to see you guys.
Sorry about not sending pictures. For some reason these computers here won’t let me send pictures. If I can find one that will I’ll send them, if not you guys might have to wait two months to see the rest. Sorry about that. The computers here are just horrible in comparison to Ethiopia.
We are figuring our way around Gulu a lot better and we are getting a lot more investigators to church. We drive around the city but we park it and walk when appointments are close together.
I was on an exchange this week for a day with a missionary who’s been out for 5 months. He was more tired than I was! I thought I would be able to relax being in his area but I ended up having to teach his investigators as midway through almost every lesson he just started playing a game on the phone. 
A lot of people live in huts here. They aren’t that bad on the inside though, at least not what you would think. The roads are mostly dirt here but the ‘paved’ ones have so many potholes in them that you wish they were dirt, because they would be easier to drive on.
They speak a lot of Lacholi up here. Not much about Koney, although someone said he came a while ago to bury his mother.
Well the week was quick. We have been seeing a lot of families lately and struggling t get them to come to church. We were walking around around 1 PM the other day and I was complaining about how it was such a useless time to tract since there are never families home, only kids or moms. Well we knocked on this gate and found a husband, wife, and their 4 kids at home in the middle of the day! It was pretty awesome and I really appreciated getting proved wrong. The family is great. When we visited again we found out that the woman’s mother had gone to the church and was planning on being baptized but moved to Tanzania suddenly. She told her daughter to keep meeting with us though and to go to that church. Pretty nice to have the support of her mom like that. The woman’s name is J, her husband is F, and they have the four kids named A, P, J, and Princess. An awesome family! They all came to church on Sunday too besides the father because of something in the family.
On Sunday we sacrament meeting and then watched the Sunday session of conference. Again, they watch it in segments to make sure everyone sees them I guess haha. It was great and the two words I really needed to hear and use in my life were from President Uckdorf, ‘stop it.’ I like that. I need that haha. We had 10 investigators there this time.
I also ended up giving a couple of shirts and pants to some orphanage here that is run by a Professor at BYU-Idaho. I figured I didn’t need them and what they heck.
 I’ve had to learn a lot of things on my mission and one of them is that I was too idle and not enough help. I love you guys!!!! See you in two.
Elder Welch

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

NY Times Uganda Missionaries Article...Check it Out!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Well the week was great. I’m really lucky to have Elder B right now because he’s a great worker and is keeping me working. We spent a lot of our time this week following up on the people we’ve found over the last two weeks. We had a few of them come to church this week and they seemed to enjoy the services. We’ll see them this week and we’ll see if we can keep them coming and progressing.

On Wednesday we had a DDM and it was pretty good.

On Friday we went to Kitgum which is a village about two and a half hours away. There are some members there and we visited them and made plans to come back this next weekend. We will only be able to go with one of us so we will split this week and Elder B will take one of the other elders this time there to teach their friends and families.

Saturday we followed up on some people and made some last efforts to get some people to come to church on Sunday. We also cleaned the church in the morning and had a baptism in the evening. I also had a suit made for pretty cheap and it turned out pretty well that got finished that day.

On Sunday we had quite a few people come. 163 people this week and it was pretty full. I also was able to wear the new suit which was nice. It’s a three-piece. I figured I might as well go all out on it if it’s so cheap here. We had 8 investigators there as well and we should have a baptism this Sunday. His name is K and the other elders were teaching him before they left. He’s a good guy of about 22 and will hopefully serve a mission in a year. We were supposed to have another guy named R baptized but he missed church because he was in the village. We’ll wait a few weeks on him now we think.

And now it’s Monday! Another week down. Take care of yourselves this week and I’ll see you in a couple of months now. Love you guys!!!!

Elder Welch

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

WOO HOO!!!!! Elder Tex has his return travel info!


Leaves Uganda Monday 18 June 2012

Returns Salt Lake City, UT
Tuesday 19 June 2012

We are getting so excited!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Well the week was a bit short. On Tuesday we headed up from Kampala for the 5 hour drive to Gulu. We have a truck so Elder B and I took turns driving. It’s interesting driving on the opposite side of the car and road for the first time. It’s weird getting used to.

On Wednesday through Friday we did a lot of tracting and were shown a few of the recent converts and members which are in our area from one of the other missionaries. Elder B and I are both brand new to the area so we have to start everything from scratch this transfer. We found a few good people and everyone of course said they were coming to church but only 1 of the guys we found came. His name is Anywor and he has a wife and little girl. His wife didn’t come but he did and he’s a pretty cool guy. He understood the resoration well.

Sunday there were about 124 people there on Sunday which is good but apparently not as good as they usually get. The church should be from 150-200 I guess. We then went with one of our recent converts in this area to see some referrals. He showed us a couple of great people and their families so we hope that they can turn into some fruits. We only have 5 more Sundays before this transfer ends so starting from scratch will be hard but we hope to do well by the end of it.

It’s very hot here but the last two days it has rained and cooled things down. I was especially thankful for the rain last night because there was no power and I would have melted alive if it wasn’t cooled off by the rain. I also almost forgot that we had to change the tire on the truck because somehow we ran over 3 nails! I don’t know how that happened but it was good to get down and dirty changing a tire again. I remember doing that very often with the Altima.

Well that’s been the week. Not too eventful because we are just starting things but the people here are very very nice. The only problem is it will be hard discerning who is really interested and who is just trying to not hurt our feelings. have a great week! Keep it real!

Elder Welch

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The week has been good.
On Tuesday we had an awesome experience. We went to Dababey’s house and talked with him about his son and getting him baptized. We talked about giving blessings and we invited him to give all of his children blessings. He gave his two daughters and son amazing blessings. He then also blessed his wife and following that, we were able to give him a blessing.

On Wednesday we had exchanges with the elders in our district and it was good seeing the people that they are teaching. The Megenagna district does really well. They’ve had the best numbers for 7 months straight now.

The next few days we just saw a bunch of the recent converts and did some picking up and dropping things off stuff.

Saturday we had some great lessons and the day was way more packed then we expected. We had a couple of baptismal interviews to do and we also saw those two young boys. The great thing was that this time, both of their mothers joined in on the lessons and we gave them both Book of Mormons. They seemed to enjoy the lesson and hopefully next time we’ll be able to teach the whole family, and eventually they will work up enough courage to come to church. They are very scared of being shunned in their mainly Orthodox community. That is the biggest thing keeping them back. Pretty sad that Christians like that can cause people to fear searching for light and truth.

Saturday night we also went to the Wright’s (Americans) for dinner. They made us burritos and we had some cake and ice cream after. It was so awesome! I miss good food from America so much, even if it is food that we stole from Mexico haha.

Sunday we had 120 at church and we also had the baptism of Meseret. She was scared when going under the water but it all turned out great. We had 11 investigators this week as well. Following church we were able to go to Mae and Ariel’s home (The Phillipinos) and they fed us lunch. Mae’s eye was pretty swollen as well and we were able to help her husband give her a blessing. I think it might have been one of the first he’s ever given but he did a great job, and the faith required was definitely there!

Today we are having a zone activity. We are having some sandwiches for everyone and the whole zone is coming together to play some sports and board games. It should be pretty fun.

Well that’s been the week I hope all is well and that you keep praying and making the right decisions.Love,

Elder Welch

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Uganda Address...He will be going back there soon.

We have news for you... our Post office box number has changed... and please add the Name “Nakawa” next to the PO box number as shown.
All packages that have been shipped to the old boxes will still get here.. just make note of the new address for future boxes sent here..
Please include the full address on the address label...


Elder / Sister _________________
Uganda Kampala Mission
Nakawa House
Plot 7 Port Bell Road
P.O. Box 40041, Nakawa
Kampala, Uganda

Sunday, March 11, 2012

This week we had 34 investigators total for the church in Megenagna. It was awesome. 13 for us, 13 for the DL, and 8 for the other companionship. A total of 118 at church this week so it was amazing!!!!

The week was great. Elder C eventually got his license and scares me with his driving sometimes. I’m sure I scare him with mine too. For me it’s I’m too over confident when driving, and for him he’s very indecisive. Haha maybe we’ll learn from each other to be more like the other.

Wednesday we had our ZDM and Elder Calcote did an excellent job conducting the meeting. We really tried to make sure everyone was focusing on baptism

Afterwards the P’s took us out to lunch and it was a nice 5 course meal at some orphanage place where they teach the orphans to cook and stuff.

Friday we went over to the Elders in a part of Addis who we kind of neglect and we were there for their weekly planning. They are doing really well and hope to have 5 baptisms in just this next week alone. That district is suffering though because there are now 4 of the 6 missionaries missing because of visa problems. We also went and saw F’s family later in the night and were able to share about the Restoration with a couple of their friends.

Saturday we received a referral from G, a recent convert, and it was his sister whom we went to see together. The only problem was there was some protestant pastor there who kept trying to fight about doctrine and was really just bringing in a different Spirit.

Later that day we also received some referrals from some very strong members in the Branch. They come every single week, early too, and they are just the most faithful people. The referrals were 10 and 11 year old boys…. Apparently their families are neighbors but want the boys to be taught and to come to church before they decide to come, because they want to see how it goes. They are Orthodox and it looks like they are looking to leave that church. I refuse to baptize those boys by themselves but hopefully the boys enjoyed church yesterday and their families will become interested and come next week.

Sunday was great. Like I said, we had 118 there and 34 of them were investigators (over 8). Everything went very well and it was a well organized day. We also finally have a 2nd counselor in the Branch and a new Elder Quorum President. Both of those new callings went to brothers who returned within the last month. Afterwards we had the baptisms of S and J. They were so powerful and the two of them bore such powerful testimony. J didn’t come with his family though because apparently his family was still getting ready and he didn’t want to be late for church so he left them and told them to come after him. They didn’t but he says he might wait for them this next week haha.

Well that’s about all that’s going on. Keep the faith and keep being awesome!
Elder Welch

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Last couple of emails...

The Ethiopian calendar makes up for leap year with a 13th month that has one extra day every 4 years for the leap year. They have 12, 30 day months and the 13th is usually 5.

J was doing better this week and came to church in his new suit which he bought specifically for church. We gave him a new baptismal date for the 4th of March. My new companion knows Amharic very well and Jacob told him to bring his spear to “battle” with his wife haha.

We didn’t bring our spears but it seems like J’s wife’s heart is really softening. The two little girls they have too are so adorable. J is really changing a lot and he says he does a lot of preaching while at the club he works at. We gave him a miniature Book of Mormon to carry with him at all times and to help with his bearing of his testimony.

On Sunday we had District conference and had about 250 people there, which is better than we thought because this time they weren’t getting busses for people to come from the Debre Zeit or Awassa areas. Elder Hill from the Area 70 came this time and spoke. He’s from South Africa and was a really great and kind guy. He has the strongest testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We had quite a few investigators there including Carlos again and we were glad Jacob was able to make it this week.

Well the week has been good. We’ve been teaching the people we’ve had as baptismal dates and we are working to make sure they come every week, to every meeting which is hard in a country where people need to work often and do whatever they can to provide for their family. We have also received some good referrals over the week so our teaching pool is getting larger, it’s just hard to teach all these people with the other tasks we have to accomplish like exchanges, DDMs, weekly planning’s, interviews, and doing errands for the missionaries throughout the zone.

On Tuesday I did finish the entire Bible which is something I have been working on doing for my entire mission. I made sure to read it slowly and I’ve been able to do it cover to cover. I’m pretty happy I can officially say I’ve read the Bible.

Saturday we had to take a missionary who’s visa ran out to the airport so he could fly to Uganda so they could work on keeping him here a little bit longer. We also had a couple of interviews that day and we were able to teach Mulu with someone who knew a little bit of Tigrinia and it went ok. The Spirit made up for where we lacked in communication I think. We also were able to see S’s family who are just awesome and still doing great. We gave his wife and daughter a blessing.

Sunday we had about 107 there at church but it was a lot of investigators and I’m not sure where the other members were. We had 6 investigators there. Jb came a little bit late because he thought church was at 10 like it was last week but he had some great input for the Priesthood meeting. He bore his testimony and he is just a really powerful guy. We were also able to give a member there at church a another blessing because he was having back problems. He wanted us to anoint his back with oil and bless him but we told him it would be ok just to do it on his head. We gave him that.

It was kind of cool to be able to give 5 blessings this week.

Today we also went to eat with the Parrish’s for both of our birthdays because my companions birthday is actually on Sunday so we both will be turning a year older this week, I’m just moving on to 21 and he’s moving on to 20.

The week was great. Tuesday we went to the embassy to try and get Elder Calcote’s license notarized at the U.S. Embassy. Turns out again that it opened at 1 so we would need to go back. I joked that the place must be open for only 10 minutes a day from 1 to 1:10. My joke wasn’t that far off…. We later went back and got there at 3:45 and it turns out it closed at 3:30…. Despite the wasted time doing that back and forth we were able to teach a few recent converts and teach Sebit and Alimiyu who we are preparing for baptism. Sebit will actually be baptized this Sunday and Alimiyu the Sunday following.

On Wednesday we went down to Debre Zeit for exchanges with the 4 Elders there and it was a good time. The one Elders spent a lot of time sitting around at the church waiting for people who never showed up. It was a little sad but we were able to teach the missionaries and hopefully help them find better was to find and teach.

Thursday we headed back to Addis Ababa and we went to the Embassy right at 1 this time. I was hoping again that since we’re U.S. citizens we get to kind of cut the line. My hope was in vain and we had to wait almost an hour standing outside of the embassy just to get in. When we got in we spent another hour waiting for Elder Calcote to be called up to say “yes” and pay the 50 dollars so they could notarize his license. The process itself was like 1 minute but the waiting made it be 2 hours. I guess that helps out on the patience thing. I also bit my tongue and didn’t say anything to the Ethiopian guard outside who let people who came 10 minutes after us, get inside 30 minutes before us. They really don’t understand lines too much here.

Friday we were able to meet with Jacob’s wife Hiwut. Jacob was out with some guests from the Middle East somewhere so we just shared with her more about the difference between the Priesthood and the Holy Ghost. Protestant churches really have a hard time seeing the difference and they think that the Holy Ghost gives you the power to lead the church and baptize. That’s why there are so many churches I suppose.

Saturday we met with Getachew and his daughters which was nice. We were able to give him and his daughter blessings for some eye problems they were having. We also got to go far out of Addis to this woman named Florida (pronounced flo reed a) and her sons. They are from Burundi and live in this huge complex of massive buildings outside of Addis. I took pictures of the place. There are mainly refugees from the Congo that live there. She was nice and we invited her to come to church since we hadn’t seen her for some time and only her one son who is 16 comes every Sunday. They don’t have enough money apparently to have the whole family come but she and two of her sons did come on Sunday which was great. She also has her oldest son named Elvis who isn’t a member and we are going to start teaching him.

Afterwards we were able to go and see Solomon’s family. They are always awesome and we talked about service. His oldest daughter, Hannah, wasn’t feeling well so we were also able to give her a blessing. The Mother was so thankful for the blessing we gave her last week and said she immediately got better. She must have had some powerful faith!

Sunday was good, we had 6 investigators there but one of our investigators turned out to be fake. He came and asked for money, then left before the sacrament meeting even started. Better sooner than later I gues! We only had 92 people there this week and there were a lot of recent converts and members missing for some reason. Afterwards we were able to get some rest and food and then to see Desalegn and his friends. We gave a baptismal date to his friend who is now the guardian of his Sister’s daughter. The mother passed away so she lives with them now.

We look forward to finally baptizing Jacob this week with Sebit. It has been 4 months of teaching him from down in Awassa, to up here, but the Lord has blessed me again with being able to see such a powerful guy baptized where I am. That happened once before with Ayela too. It’s crazy how the Lord was able to make it possible for me to be apart of that. Jacob I think will be my favorite person to teach on my whole mission. He’s so humble and such an amazing guy. I also included pictures of him with his wife and two daughters.

Well that’s all for me now.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

That thing on fire was something next to the church that they burn stuff at but for some reason that day the fire was really big and the smoke was pouring into the church compounds. Ya that was the church, it wins an award like every year for the best grounds in Addis Ababa I think.

Being a missionary really does prepare you for standing in front of people. All the talents and skills you learn on a mission really benefit you for this life, and in the life to come.

We will be finding out transfer news probably on Thursday and the week following there will be new companions and things so I will let you know in my next email what is going on. I think I’m staying but I think I’ll be getting a new companion.

The milk here is just not pasteurized, or not done as well at least. The milk here expires like 3 days after you buy it so you have to buy it every couple of days.

The week has been another good and quick one. We spent quite a bit of time this week working with the recent converts and preparing a few of the men for the Priesthood. The recent converts here are doing well but the Branch President is just working on finding them all spots to serve in callings in the church.

Tuesday we were able to go to J’s house although he wasn’t there. We spent some time sharing with his wife but she really likes the preachers on TV who do the ‘miracles’. We tried to explain how true desciples of Christ don’t take money from the people and how miracles are not to be done in public like that and broadcast on television. She just insisted his money came from God because “he prays too much” and it was just a little bit frustrating. We were also wondering why J hadn’t been there on Sunday but we didn’t get to see him until Thursday. When we did see him he said that he had worked really late on Saturday night, like 6 in the morning, and that he had been too tired. We also found out that he later that week also drank a little bit while DJing. It’s easy to see that he messed up because he hadn’t been doing the things the Lord asked in order to protect him from sin. We will push his date a little bit back but we really hope we can get him prepared for baptism soon.

We also have a couple of new Sudanese young men we are teaching; S and D. We met them at different times but we’ve started teaching them with the other Sudanese members. The Sudanese really seem to understand the message of the Restoration and can see the church is true. I love those people.

Sunday was a fast Sunday obviously and there were some pretty good testimonies given. We had 108 there on Sunday again but we didn’t have quite as many investigators as we have been getting. I guess that’s what happens when we baptize all the really great people we’ve had. The Branch President also won’t baptize anyone unless they come 4 weeks in a row to all 3 classes. If they miss a class, or a Sunday they have to restart and come 4 weeks in a row again. It really is going to slow the baptisms down and I fear some people will keep on coming and missing every once in a while and won’t be able to get baptized for sometime. We’ll see how it works out.

Today and the rest of this week will be really busy. We have Elder Renlund, President Jackson, and the assistants flying in tonight and we will have trainings with them tomorrow. It should be good but I have to conduct the meeting so I hope I don’t make too many mistakes. Today we are also having 18 other missionaries staying in the 3 houses we have around Megenagna for the trainings tomorrow morning. It will be pretty packed in everyone’s houses but we did that because some came from far, and others have a hard time getting to the church that early in the morning from the other side of Addis Ababa. We will have 10 people (including us) at our house alone. I’ll make sure to wake up early to get a hot shower before it’s all gone!

Well that’s been the week for me. Not too many exciting things but I’ll let you know more about how this next week turns out the next time I email.

Elder Welch

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The one guy baptized last week was Sudanese and his Sudanese friend baptized him. They are living here in Addis because of the stuff that was going on in Sudan I believe.

Timcat means baptism in Amharic so they were celebrating the baptism of Jesus. Pretty much people get together and they get baptized again. Some get baptized by just spraying a hose everyone… It’s like the Ethiopian spring break, but a little bit less immoral.
The Ethiopians use what’s called njera. You can look it up online but it’s basically used for picking up the food and kind of soaking up the liquid and stuff. I actually really enjoy the Ethiopian food.
We were anticipating the arrival of the 7 missionaries who had to leave because of visa problems and we finally have them back. We picked up 4 of them on Thursday night and President Parrish took us all out for a nice dinner which was nice of him. The missionaries had been in Uganda for 2 weeks and it was kind of slowing the missionary work down. We were glad to have them back.

Thursday morning we were able to have a ZDM and we had the district leaders give trainings on certain principles we had talked about at the ZLC. It was great and we keep hoping the missionaries will feel more accountable and responsible for their areas. A lot of missionaries have this “I don’t want to be a baptizing machine” attitude. When they say that I tell them well good job you are achieving your goal of not baptizing. I really see all the missionaries so much happier when they are actually baptizing people. I hope some of their attitudes change and they actually want to see success here on their missions.

Friday we were in Debre Zeit for the weekly planning the missionaries were having there. We also were able to do interviews for 3 people who were baptized this weekend there. The missionaries there are really changing their attitudes and are having success. That’s an example of how much happier they are because of it. I also ate something funny so right after the interviews I was trying to drive through town pretty fast to get back at the missionaries house for my interview with the toilet… Ya that happens sometimes here.

Saturday we met up with C and talked about the Priesthood and a lot of other things. He’s a smart guy, knows the Bible well, and he says things that are exactly what we believe. He believes we can become like God, he believes Jesus Christ is our older brother, he even sees why polygamy was practiced by us and thinks it will come again. He feels anointed of God already but he says he just wants to also find the right church to unite himself with for the brotherhood and stuff. Hopefully he wants to join the church because it’s true!

On Saturday we also had a new investigator referral from the Phillipinos in the Branch. He was at their house as we taught their maid, M, and he works at the airport as the head chef for a few of the airlines onflight food. His name is A and he seems interested in learning more about what we have to teach. I hear he has a lot of questions for us when we meet on Saturday again.

Sunday was great, President S wasn’t there so his new first counselor, S, who is Sudanese conducted the meeting. It was his first time and he thanked and announced who was playing the music and sutff like 4 different times during the meeting. He’s a funny guy. We also had sister Z baptized on Sunday which was great! That family is pretty awesome. I was also able to teach about the Sabbath day in the Sudanese gospel principles class and I was able to teach about missionary work to the Young Men. It was missionary Sunday so four of us missionaries spoke on missionary work and I spoke specifically on full time missionary work.

Well that’s been the week’s highlights.
Elder Welch

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Address for 21st B-day cards :)

Here is Elder Tex's Ethiopia address.
We thought if anyone wanted to send a birthday card his way,
it would be good to send it soon so it will get there in time
for his big 21st Birthday.
We can't believe he is almost 21!!!

Elder Trey M. Welch
Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latterday Saints
Po Box 25876 Code 1000
Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Monday, January 23, 2012

Well this week has been a pretty quick one and not too many details. Last Monday we were able to meet up with D.J. J and his wife H. He has an awesome family and two little girls. D.J. translated for us since she didn’t know too much English and he was pretty much trying to convince her she needed to accept it haha. It was funny because they are both very social people. When we came the second time this week she was still defensive about being Protestant and we found out she hadn’t read the Book of Mormon at all. We told her that the reason she can’t accept this is because she hasn’t been trying, and that if she read the Book of Mormon she would be reacting totally differently. She promised to read the Book of Mormon. They both also came to church on Sunday and brought their 3 year old daughter. They seemed to like it but I don’t think he knew there were 2 hours of classes after sacrament meeting. I think they enjoyed it though.

We also me with S and his family the Saturday and Sunday. They are ready for their baptism on Sunday but the only problem is the mother wasn’t able to make it to church this Sunday so we aren’t sure whether we will just baptize S and his daughters, or have them wait one more week to see if the Mom will make it to church. We asked them to pray about it and to decide this week what they felt would be best to do as a family.

Hopefully we will also be able to meet up with the driver for the Branch President’s family. His name is M and  he drives for two of the families at the embassy. His two siblings also work at one of the families homes so we hope to be able to teach them all sometime soon. The driver has come to church the last 3 months, but mainly because he drives them to church and just stays for the meetings. He’s a cool guy.

Other than that we are just teaching some individuals here and there, and we weren’t able to meet up with C this week. He said he had some questions but we didn’t find the time to meet. I hope he can progress. The week has been good, and I hope you all have had a great

Elder Welch

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Life is great here in Ethiopia. No snow here but it is nice and chilly in the mornings and in the evenings which I love. I can always put more clothes on when it’s cold but when it’s hot I can’t take more off (especially as a missionary

I was able to fly Emirates again both ways. It was niceee. It would be nice to be able to sign up for their frequent flyer program, but I don’t get to buy the tickets or anything.
No Heater, just a thick blanket for us.

There seem to be a lot of Sudanese here in Addis because of refugee status. No missionaries in Sudan.
Well the week was a good one. The first couple of days we were in Uganda and traveling back here to Addis but we still did some good work the rest of the week. We are still seeing our Baptismal dates who are S, Z, H, M, D, G, and Brother. Sn, his wife and two daughters are the first four. They are so awesome and are really doing the things we ask. S is such a happy loving father, it’s so awesome seeing that. Him and his wife have fun a lot too, like when we got there for our appointment he was slumped over sleeping and she was just laughing and woke him up and then they shared a laugh together as he woke and we came in. They are still doing well but we will see how quickly they can keep the Word of Wisdom.

D is a Sudanese guy and has come the last 3 weeks to church and has some good support with his friends. He actually brought two other Sudanese guys for a lesson this week and the one guy was like 6’7 so I felt pretty short obviously. He’s doing well.

G is the friend of D and has been having to wait the last 2 weeks to be baptized because the Branch has had holiday things. He’s very ready and will be baptized this week finally.

Brother (His name is hard) is awesome. He’s lived in Israel and was somewhat of a Jew before. We were able to meet his wife and kids on Ethiopian Christmas which was cool. His wife works on Sundays so she can’t come but this week he brought his three kids and his brother.

A recent convert, G, also came this Sunday with his wife, daughters, and servant (they have those here). It was so cool to see the whole family, especially his wife who left him for a time when he first joined the church because she’s hard core protestant. That was powerful.

All of these people came to church on Sunday and it was an awesome program. They read some scriptures and showed a video on the life of Christ for the 1 hour only service. We had 130 people there which was more than they’ve had in a while, and we actually had been thinking there wouldn’t be a lot coming. The Branch President is doing an awesome job!

We have been trying to see J (the rasta) but he was sick on Friday so we are seeing him today with his family. He’s an awesome guy and I can’t wait to see his family. I hope they are nearly as receptive as he has been.

This week we contacted this guy who was an American. Apparently he used to play for the 49’rs and now is here helping kids with basketball and other stuff. His names C and he’s a cool guy. He likes to talk but he’s agreeing with everything we’ve spoken about (including polygamy, go figure). He’s from Mississippi and his father used to meet with the missionaries. I hope he keeps reading the Book of Mormon and listening to the Spirit which he told us he had felt. It was funny, afterwards he was looking at pictures of baptisms on the wall and I told him someday that was going to be him. He was just like “oh man I have to be baptized again, I’ve already been baptized like 4 times.” Haha it was kind of funny.

Other than that we’ve been moving around quite a bit helping missionaries with needs and what not. The work is going well and the field is very white and ready to harvest. We’ve been blessed with a teaching pool full of just very sincere people.

Thank you for all the support and love you send. I hope you all are doing well. Peace!

Elder Welch

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s 2004(here) but 2012 for you guys (The year the world ends… Jk! I hope…) I hope you both had an amazing new year! It’s not really the new year in Ethiopia so I just crashed and we didn’t celebrate or anything. Kind of weird. Last year I was in Uganda and we watched the fireworks from our roof and it actually felt like a new year. I hope this one is great and guess what, I’ll see yall this year!

Uganda has been good. It is so hot here. I didn’t mean to confuse you. I am here for a Zone Leader Council and it was great. We learned so much from president and they set a new mission goal of 2012 baptisms for 2012.
I have been making sure to keep a journal but I’ve only done it twice a week and sometimes only once. I did spend a little bit of time on New Years Eve thinking about the last year and all that I’ve seen and done. I did make sure to write it all down in my journal too. It was a great year and it’s always possible to have a greater year than the one last!

Wow, I can’t believe the weather is so warm there! In the evenings here it gets down to the 30’s…. I’m glad we have a hot shower here finally but it sucks walking outsides in the morning to get to it.

Well the week has been good. I’m adjusting to the new area but it’s pretty awesome. We have a car which I’ll send you a picture of next week, the home has hot showers and power (usually), the branch is great, and we get to be around President Parrish who doesn’t like it when I dance for him in the office.

It’s weird up here, as zone leaders we are doing a lot of extra things like bringing needs to the areas all over Addis but we end up with more lessons and baptismal dates than the rest of the zone… I don’t know why since I’m new. I hope we can help the other missionaries areas as well as keep ours going.

We also have a great family that is a referral from a guy named D. He is awesome and has a cool conversion story. He had found a Book of Mormon in some language from Ghana on the street and bought it because he recognized the word “Jesus Christ”. He could never read it because he didn’t know that language but a little later he got a Joseph Smith pamphlet and read his testimony and felt the same way. He found that Joseph Smith had the true church of Christ and that is what D was looking for. Well he found the church and lo and behold, they had the very same book he had in his home, but in his language, and it was FREE! Long story short he loves the Book of Mormon and was baptized a few weeks ago and is now bringing in some awesome referrals.

Now, the family is from him and the father’s name is S. His wife is Orthodox and her parents are Priests in that church or something but she doesn’t believe it and we gave them a baptismal date on Saturday night for the 22 of January. They were pumped for it and they all came to church on Sunday. They have 3 kids and 2 of them are over 8. I’m excited for them to continue being awesome members.

Also, I was so happy to hear that the Rastafarian guy I was teaching in Awassa is moving up here to be with his family. He’s been staying away from drugs and has come to church the last 3 weeks down there. I can’t wait to meet his family and hopefully see them all baptized together! What blessings the Lord provides.

We also get to teach Sudanese people up here and they are such strong members. They are literally giants as well as metaphorically in faith. They always look very good in suits and stuff on Sundays for church. We are preparing a lot of these big brethren for the Priesthood as well as a guy named D for baptism on the 22 as well.

Well there are a lot of cool people we have been teaching so I won’t mention them all. It is also awesome being able to serve the other missionaries. I love being able to help them with their contacting and teaching as well as getting them their physical needs. The missionaries here are awesome and I look forward to learning from them.

Sunday was also a good day. We were just there for sacrament meeting but it was very powerful. The Branch President shared his families conversion story and there were other great testimonies. There were a lot of our investigators there as well. Actually all the people we have with baptismal dates came. We only were there for sacrament though before we headed to the airport to catch our plane.

The flight was awesome as usual, but Uganda is so hot! I love it here nevertheless. We had to be home by 6 P.M. here because of the new year though so we played risk with the AP’s and some other zone leaders. Man, I love board games!

We had the trainings all of Monday and it was a spiritually uplifting meeting. We learned a lot about how to better our zones and missionaries as well as our focus is more on families and not just numbers. They set the mission goal of 2012 baptisms for 2012 and for each companionship to have 5 baptisms a transfer. I thought it was awesome. The funny thing though is I’m the one of the 3 oldest missionaries there so everyone was kind of quiet and sucking up a little. As you know me, I speak my mind so I thought it was kind of fun being able to speak my mind on some of the subjects. I really try to be genuine and the same person in front of President as I am in front of the other guys. Afterwards I was just telling president sorry for kind of debating one of the goals we were trying to set and he just said “oh well we just expect that of you”. I’m glad he welcomes that kind of stuff haha.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Well the week has been good. I was in Awassa at the beginning of the week but I got a call from President Parrish on Tuesday night letting me know that I would be transferring while we were in Addis for the Christmas party since we would be coming up for that anyways. President Jackson had let me know it was going to happen in our interview on Sunday so I already knew.

Well Thursday I packed my stuff and said farewell to Awassa. I felt bad leaving though because I knew literally every member, and every recent convert in that entire region. I was leaving 59 recent converts and probably just as many people I interviewed for baptism from the other areas. I will definitely miss Arsi Negele. There are 17 members in that city I taught and baptized and President Jackson visited there and said it was one of the most Spiritual experiences he’s had in his entire mission meeting with the Saints there. They are so faithful and so converted. I was blessed beyond capacity to be able to have the opportunity to teach those people and to see the Spirit convert them to the truth.

We spent the night in Addis and then on Friday morning we played some basketball, watched Home Alone, opened presents, had a nice lunch, and had a devotional on the true meaning of Christmas. It was pretty awesome! After the party Elder O took my place and those missionaries headed back to Awassa. That zone is in good hands nevertheless.

We’ve just been teaching and doing a little bit more work for the missionaries up here the last few days. We did teach an awesome family of a Mom and Dad with 3 kids about the Restoration. They were a referral but they really understood the lesson well. On Sunday the Dad and the two oldest kids came to church and loved it.

Sunday was an amazing service. It was so organized and I was able to bear my testimony as a new missionary here. There were 116 there at church and quite a few investigators. I was also able to do an interview for another areas baptism and we had two baptisms here. I don’t really count them because I never taught the people but they were pretty awesome.

I also opened the rest of the presents mom and dad gave me and I’m getting old when I get excited about a new tie and white shirt. Thanks so much! We also then went to President S’s home for a Christmas dinner which was tasty. His kids performed the nativity for us and it was pretty awesome.

And now today I’m just at the office here for Ethiopia emailing. It’s pretty cold up here actually and I feel like I can’t type very well because my fingers are cold. It does give me the chance to wear my sexy jacket!

Keep the faith. Life isn’t so much of a judging of works but more of a judging of what we are becoming by the end of our lives. I hope that I’m becoming better each day but the Lord does show us our weaknesses, and then makes us stronger if we can recognize those things. Keep it realsies!!!