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