Tuesday, August 25, 2015

4 Weeks In!

Man tell you what, this was a tough week! anyways I would like to start off by saying when I get written emails call me by Matthew or Matt haha! I know the Lord recognizes me as elder but I never thought I would miss being called by my real name so much! anyways on friday we went tracting in Bogota surr area! It was cool but for some reason every time we go tracting I get super homesick because I think, wow this is my life for the next two years haha. But anyways we had two and a half hours this time instead of one like my first time. When we got there it wasn't as ghetto as I thought! I was a little bummed I was like Ive been obedient send me somewhere scary haha. Then I walked down a few alleys and decided yup this is good enough. But the day started out slow. The first 20 minutes everyone we said hi to said no gracias and I was like que es esto haha. No but for real it was a bummer. Then I told my companion they didn't give us any restrictions sooooo lets go over the bridge that crosses the highway and try over there. We get over and he said i don't think we should be over here so we decided to make the trip worth it lets talk to one person! So we talked to these two guys and they were awesome! i didn't understand a lot but what's awesome down here is you ask if the believe in Christ and they say si claró haha so that's awesome. But anyways we talked to these two guys for about 20 minutes and I gave out a Book of Mormon to them! Which they always ask how much they cost which is funny for some reason. Anyways the day went on not much more success only got 6 contacts so I was kinda bummed about that. But we were walking down the street and someone say my tag and goes Jesus Christ? and we were like sí somos misioneros and he just crosses himself and walks away haha so weird but funny at the same time. 
Friday to saturday I had a dream of home, not like that's uncommon, but they haven't been happening for a while, so I woke up so sad! I was like ugh common I'm sick and tired of all these psych outs! I miss you all so much. But that made saturday and sunday morning really hard! Not much happened saturday, but sunday was good! Each sunday we have the same lesson in priesthood every other week so that was my second time hearing that lesson. But that night we watched The Testament which is funny because earlier that week I was remembering a movie where the second coming was happening and all these rocks and caves were collapsing and then we watched that movie I was like whoa that's weird haha! anyways that movie is way good! Except the Jesus they casted in that movie is not what I picture him looking like! haha. 
Monday was my last day in my huge room we got blessed with that has three showers and 10 bunk beds and my last day in my district and with my companion. Later that night we watched a video of one of elder Holland's talks over a video of the atonement happening. I started tearing up and was like dang I'm terrible. I need to be a better missionary and work harder! Such a good video! 
Today however was wicked awesome! First we went to the temple but it was in Spanish so I was like ummm what the heck I don't know when to do anything so I'll just follow everyone else haha. After we went on a tour! The tour was so cool! We rode a gondola up sooooo high (which btw the elevation here is brutal!! whats Ohio's at? Because we are like 8500 ft up and I die playing soccer!) But anyways there were a lot of insane views of Bogota and a lot of cool shops! I took lots of pictures that I'll send! I also ate a fried ant cause elder Niu bought them! Never in my life have I eaten something so nasty! I was gaging for like five minutes on the bus ride home! I still feel kinda sick and I did that like 2 hours ago! 
Anyways that was my week! oh yeah I got my new native companion! He's super nice but I forget his name so I'll tell you next week! He's from Guatemala and speaks a little bit of English! He saw me and gave me the biggest hug! This should be a fun two weeks! Oh and btw I got really downgraded on my room I'll send a picture next week! haha love you all

Élder Matthew Welch

 Here's what a fried ant looks like!

Thursday, August 20, 2015


The other day I started thinking about that during a devotional and just started laughing to myself. I thought of Brittany saying it and it was just really funny. honestly in the past nine days I haven't left the fence besides this morning. This morning we went to the temple. It was lots of fun and I'm trying to soak it all in bc I cant go once I leave Colombia... bummer. Anyways ummmmm this week I made a day in the life video so ill send that to mom in a separate letter. but tonight we have a seventy coming and speaking. I didn't know they knew this tiny place existed haha. I have no idea who is coming bc in all reality I don't think people know the names of the seventy but maybe that will change on the mission. This week really wasn't that great. Me and my closest friends here started a soccer team and we play everyday. We joke around to each other that we are starting to understand our real purpose of our missions which is to play soccer and be immersed with the Latinos so we can play like them. I cant think of much to write cuz not much happened. The language gets harder everyday. Sometimes I get made fun of for not understanding cuz no teachers speak in English. each day i have to speak an hour more of Spanish then i did the previous day so tomorrow i have to speak 12 hours of Spanish.... ummmm scary. next tuesday i go on a tour of Colombia so if you don't hear from me its because I probably died. I get my Latino companion next wednesday so I'm soaking up the norte compainion. I go tracting tomorrow in bogota sur mission. aka the slums so I might get stabbed so possibly see you all soon! haha just kidding but I'm excited! I love you all sorry this letter was terrible it'll be better tuesday I promise! I love you all! I know this is what I need to be doing I pray for you all daily! Keep me in your prayers too!

PS if you guys remember elder and sister Niu from our ward, their nephew is here and we are going to the same mission so that's neat! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Week 2 in the Books!

Man this week went by actually pretty fast! All of the 6 weekers and Latinos left at 3 in the AM so there are like 30 of us here right now. A new shipment of missionaries get in around 12 tonight! 

So instead of going by each day like last letter I'll just talk about what we did in a big jumble mess! 
So Friday we got to leave this prison also known as the CCM and go tracting! Me and my companion (Elder Zesiger, 19 years old as of yesterday, from Ogden Utah, is about 5'7") everyone asked a lot about him - he's cool though and we get along great. But anyways, we went tracting just me and him and I gave out my first book of Mormon! crazy I know, and I understood about 30% of what was being said, but at points I felt the spirit prompting me what to say with my little vocabulary or what to open to in the scriptures for him to read and answer his questions! It's crazy how true the gift of tongues is. All you have to do is open your mouth and the Lord will fill it with what he needs you to say! Even if that means speaking a language that you have no idea how to speak! Huge testimony builder! 

We finished teaching our fake investigator yesterday. The teachers pretend to be investigators from their missions and you teach them, and once its all over they tell you more about them. Mine was so easy. This lady had a lot of life struggles with her husband being in jail and her having a boyfriend and stuff. Apparently where she served both the husband and wife had to want a divorce and he didn´t so she was stuck with him. We told her until she gets a divorce (which she should bc he was in jail for beating her up) she had to break up with her boyfriend. She called and did it in the middle of our lesson and even though it was fake I never felt more uncomfortable! haha but she was awesome. Her name was Silvia and she obeyed every single commandment without much hesitation. I'm excited to bless families lives like this teacher blessed Silvia's. 

I cant figure out how to send picturesssss...... so lo siento 
Ive made some really good friends here. I enjoy being here about 65% of the time. Then when I lay in bed at night I start thinking, I'd much rather be sleeping on a couch than this bed that I'm scared is going to collapse on me and kill me! Which reminds me - I started playing would you rather with my companion and got to the question, "would you rather die or be in the MTC for the rest of your life?"  My companion and whole room chose death so that was comforting haha. Except for one. He is literally the exact definition of the Elder in the "Best Two Years". He already wants an extension and his humor reminds me of dads. So that means forced laughs come after jokes. haha but anyways hes a great example of a missionary and knows his stuff well. 

A lot of good is happening here. Everyday I end my journal with I'm excited I'm here even if it is forced. I want to be here. I want to serve my Heavenly Father. I want people to know how much Christ loves them. How simple it is to return to Our Heavenly Father. Anyways the church is true! I'm ready to finally Bautizar Conversos! 

Love you all! 

Élder Welch!

PS for breakfast all we had was two hot dogs. idk know how many more of these I can eat. I feel like Joey Chestnut up in here 

Friday, August 7, 2015

First Week!

First of all you guys all claim to be praying for me but this has been the hardest week of my entire life! So Tuesday we checked in around 12 midnight here so 1 am back home. we got our companions, which I love mine, and went to sleep. The next day all we did was just sit around and wait for interviews and to get our name tags  and then watched the district the rest of the day. Thursday I talked to presendente about my homesickness and basically told me all my feelings were foolish. Haha harsh, but I guess true. But I've been praying to have a desire to be here everyday and it's starting to get better. Friday we went to the temple. ITS HUGEEEEEEEE. So weird going to a multiple story temple haha. But sadly it's my last temple session in English until 2017. saturday I don't know what happened so sunday we had a fast and testimony meeting. I was starving - it's the longest I've ever fasted! My Spanish wasn't good enough to go up there so I just sat there all confused for an hour. In priesthood we practiced blessings. I got to consecrate and anoint in spanish in front of all the elders haha. Monday I don't know what happened. Tuesday was a regular day until we watched a devotional by Russell M Nelson that he gave in Provo and that day was seriously so lucky. It had a good impact on me. 
So this MTC is so small. Its about 50 yds by 45 yds and outside maybe 100 by 75. There are only like 80 people here. My classroom that I'm in for 14 hrs a days is about 10 yds by 10 yds. But here at this MTC we go into a immersion experience which is the first two weeks they teach Spanish. week 3 and 4 the teachers don't speak any english and week 5 and 6 we get Latino companions. so I basically have 5 more days before I'm completely screwed to learn Spanish. Ive already learned a lot though. This has been so hard for me being here. I'm extremely homesick and I miss everyone. I miss our food. I literally eat a hot dog and rice for every meal. So I think only Nixon would like this. I pray to get a desire to be here everyday. I'm praying about the BOM and doing everything I can to be the best missionary I can be. I have to think about how I feel and imagine this homesickness for eternity and that's how the people of Ecuador will feel if they don't accept this gospel. 

I love and miss you all so much! Hope you have a great week! Talk to you all on Tuesday!

Bautizar Conversos

Elder Welch