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!!!