Monday, September 26, 2016

"Work, work, work, work, work"

So this week was pretty good. Besides the fact that the door opened and my bands flew out and whipped me in the back while I was working out, it was a solid week.
Something I love about my new sector besides the chocolate bread (btw they have a very good pineapple bread too I discovered) is that we do a lot of service. For example we have been helping out this old member with his little plot of land. Taking a machete to it and taking down all the plants. Then burning it all and while all the smoke is in your face and eyes, cleaning it out till there's no green left. That last part wasn't too much fun. But this week we got ourselves a crazy service planned. We are gonna go rat killing. I ain't talking mice, I'm talking straight rats. This member has a chicken farm thats filled with huge rats so we gotta go kill them now... with our feet! haha I'm so freaking scared for this service but it'll be awesome to say I've done it and send you dead rat pictures. Stay tuned!  

So this week we had interviews and man was that such an awesome experience! I really love my mission president and I respect that guy so much. He really knows what he´s talking about. So we had 3 questions we were to prepare ourselves to answer for the interview. 1. What are you doing to be a better missionary? 2. What are you doing to help your companion become a better missionary? 3. What is a question you have in mind that you would like to get answered in conference? 

So I started out by answering the first and third saying I wanted to be a more consecrated missionary. He then asks me what I'm doing to do that and i said well that's the answer to your 3rd question. What does it really mean to forget yourself and go to work? He then goes that's a great question and I recommend you go study the life of the Savior. I have that question because I've thought about it a lot and I came to the conclusion that its impossible not to think about yourself on the mission. He says its not that you don't think about yourself, its that you put the needs of others before yours. He then gave me a few examples of the Savior and man was the spirit pumping in that room. So I asked him where I should start in studying about the Savior more. He says have you read Jesus the Christ? I said I got to the millennium of time and was so lost and so I gave up about 2 changes ago. He goes just skip straight to the Atonement. He then gave me a super powerful thought about the Atonement.
Then he asked me about my companion. I said idk what i need to do to help him improve. Im still trying to get used to him. (my comp is super quiet). He says part of that is that you need to look at other missionaries especially with your calling and look to see how you can help them improve. He says once you start doing these things you'll understand what it means to forget yourself and go to work. 
I talked about to him a little more and he finished the interview and thanked me and looked at me straight in the eyes and said "elder Welch, you are a completely different person then you were when you started the mission" I literally almost started crying. The mission has changed my life. I told myself that I didn't want to come home weird like Dustin and I didn't want to ask to extend my mission. I was holding back as a missionary. Now I don't wanna come home. Besides being so tired all the time, I love this. Jose´s baptism was the most spiritual one I've had yet! The kid got baptized and just gave the biggest hug to the member that baptized him. He then bore such a very short but powerful testimony that this church is true. The spirit was so strong! I was so happy! The gospel is the source of our happiness. Ohio State football is a close second, but truly i couldn't stop smiling that whole night. He's a new 18 man that's now apart of the true church and preparing himself to help others do what he just did. Convert to the Lord. 
Thanks so much for everyone of you that wrote me. I love you all and I'm super happy. As Tyler once said a lot of times "Im livin the dream!" 

 Jose´s baptism! Great kid! 

 the picture with the kid by me is the familia moreno. We are just working with them helping them receive their answers and then its their turn! 

Sector pictures. We just walked up those monsters. The first one doesn't do it justice but just look how much higher we are then the rest of the buildings haha 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Winter Time

Man the "winter season" in Ecuador really is something else let me tell you. I am so happy this is my last time in this season in Ecuador haha. You leave the house, sunny its like perfect no clouds nada! Then you leave lunch and its just the worst thunderstorm you have seen. It just straight down pours like a freaking hurricane and just thunder and lightnings all day and so yeah.. you get drenched. Especially since I don't have an umbrella and my shoes had a huge hole in them i was getting extra wet. One day it even hailed. So running away from the hail to shelter, I was put to think about one of tylers stories. He said one of his companions would walk in the rain instead of run because he says you get just as wet. I say that is false. I have experimented and have decided that it is false. I have an umbrella now so im a little more prepared for the week.
So the work here is good. We have a program and its awesome and all. Its just the whole program is about to get baptized this weekend. After that, we got nothing. Ive never felt so non diligent and diligent at the same time in my mission. Im used to working everyday all day and now we have a ton of more things to do so your numbers definitely take a bit of a crash but you show up to your house just as tired. My sector as always, IS ONE BIG HILL! This time its no joke. Its just a hill. The only flat part is right when our sector ends. On the bright side there is this chocolate bread that is sooooooooooo good here that has frosting on it. MMMMmmmmmmmmmm yummay that stuff is good! I try not to eat it though everyday because i don't wanna get fat. Some how i still manage to get skinnier and skinnier and idk how. I still consider  myself yolked though to an extent. To finish off about my sector, we got a couch inthe house. It may be a couch that has no cushions and not soft at all but i still sleep on that and it is my best friend. Hate all you want mom i wont go to bed im takin the couch.
Like I said we have a few people that are going to get baptized this week. So im choosing to talk about one. His name is Jose. Hes 18 years old and hes been through a lot! I still dont know him perfectly, but my companion has told me everything to be able to see the repentance in this young man. After going through fecha after fecha, having a baptism everyone there waiting for him and him not showing up, to him now being 100% certain of his baptism is awesome. Truly the gospel changes lives. My calling is so awesome. I get to see people everyday accept and use the greatest gift given to the world, the atonement, and see it change lives. See it change the way people act, look, and even their appearance in their face. Its the greatest to watch people truly find happiness. Something ive been doing this week is plopping myself down on that awesome couch and i found a bunch of Christmas letters. Dad take notes here. So this one missionary that was here, in his stake they did a Christmas book. Every missionary writes about their mission and shares some stories and their testimonies. So there is about 200-300 of these letters in the house. I dont know a single one of them, but they have given me such a spiritual boost! Seriously i read all of those letters in 3 nights. It made me reflect on my mission and ask myself questions about how much have I really grown on my mission? How have i seen the atonement work in my life and the lives of others? And the fact this week when i was teaching Jose and had the feeling of I dont wanna go home ever, is an indicator to me that this is where i need to be and that the gospel of Jesus Christ really does bring true happiness. This is real fun being a missionary, walking hills not so much, but teaching and baring my testimony yes. I love you all! I hope you have an awesome week! Thanks for everything! Talk to you guys later.

 my last zone picture in ambato

Elder Pricito! With our sunday candy ties on. Its his favorite song too! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

So long, farewell, alfeiterzang goodbye!

I feel pretty confident in my german spelling so hopefully its right. Anyways, we just had changes and I'm out of Latacunga! After 4 changes there i was ready to leave but it was pretty hard to say goodbye to some members. The bishop sure was happy though that I left haha I dont know what I ever did to him. Anyways, the familia Avila was super hard to say bye too. I almost cried and they gave me sooooo much crap including my favorite spoon that i always used over at that house haha! Definitely made my suitcases a bit heavier. Im now back in Quito in the zone Chillogallo. Should be a lot of fun and a lot of growing. My companions name is Elder Chavez, from Peru. He has 2 more changes than i do in the mission so hopefully he can help me progress more and especially improve my Spanish! 
The baptism of Tatiana went super well! Oh and of Tiger haha. That kid is crazy though! He has a testimony so thats what matters. Anyways, easiest baptism of my life done but it was awesome. The hermanas had 2 baptisms too so it was awesome to hear all the testimonies at the end of the service. 
My favorite part of this week was finding a couple new investigators. Especially the Familia Maya Taco. They are super awesome and willing to change. I think they just need a little push and a little more help until they start doing it on their own but they are all super humble and it was incredible to hear their story. We started introducing ourselves at the beginning of the first lesson and they just start talking about all these family problems that are going on. Normally you might think, well thats not good, but when you have the answers to all these problems it kinda just puts a smile on your face and you think thank goodness im here. Although i wont be able to see them progress, I know that if they do their part, an answer will come and that they will be blessed for it. The gospel of Jesus Christ truly does bless families and I hope one day they come to experience that! 
Well thats basically all I've got for this week. Things should be getting pretty crazy and I'm excited to see what happens! I love you all! Thanks for the letters. You all rock and i miss and love you all! Take care and talk to you next week. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Purpose for Everything

hahaha so one of my past companions elder Furner wrote me and I thought you guys might think this was funny. He went home about 3 changes ago and now studying at BYU. So anyways, I always teased him that he is going to have to take what he can get as far as his wife goes because i was just making fun of him and it was really funny he would get super defensive but he ends his letter to me with this hahahaha "Your favorite, best, awesomest, most attractive companion that you have ever had, and the one that is going to choose whatever wife he wants because they all want him" I still doubt it though.
So this week was awesome because we had sort of a miracle happen. So we received a reference from a recent convert. Her daughter was going to get baptized in Guayaquil but she moved into latacunga and she already had the interview and everything in Guayaquil. She came to church twice here and then she got her interview this past Saturday.NOW, SHE AND HER SON TIGER ARE GOING TO GET BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just when I thought all hope was lost for baptisms this change this miracle happened. Im super happy for her and her son. They always talk about how much they love reading the book of mormon. Its awesome to listen to. Im so happy for them they are awesome! 
So this week was pretty crazy with one of our new investigators. He owns the papi pollo restaurant that i love here in latacunga. And since I've been here for 4 changes, me and him are super good friends. He's so awesome. Then we decided to finally  make the move on him and try to start to teach him. I tell you what i felt so nervous haha! I didn't want to ruin the friendship that we have or get banned from the papi pollo that i love so much. So what i have to say to you guys is that you cant be afraid to open up your mouth and share what you know to be true with the friends you have. It may be hard, and you may think a lot is on the line, but I promise something good will come out of it! Who knows, maybe they'll end up accepting fecha like my papi pollo dude luis. Be brave and the Lord will bless your efforts.
So I had a couple of spiritual experiences  that have happened to me this past weekend. To start, baptismal interviews are the best and they are just so spiritual! Its awesome getting to hear their repentance story and why they have changed and then to hear their testimony. It for sure strengthens mine!
Second, Yesterday was pretty rough. I was pretty stressed with some dumb stuff that i shouldnt worry about and it was just hard. Then in sacrament meeting to finish we sang i believe in Christ and i was super close to crying but i held them back. Its so awesome my life right now. Literally all i have to worry about is telling people they have a loving Heavenly Father that has given us a Savior. Its awesome thats all i do.  At times i forget my purpose and i just wanna go home or just go to LA fitness and just be the tank i once was, but then something spiritual like that always snaps me  back into why im here in Ecuador. Life is going pretty good.  To finish the day, i was outside brushing my teeth on my patio and i was just looking up at the stars. I then thought of a quote that one of my old zone leaders shared with me

“God left us the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of unfinished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation.” 

I just felt the spirit super strong in those few minutes i was outside. We truly do have a loving Heavenly Father. At times we question things that He does, but He has a purpose for everything just like how He did with how the world was created. The mission is awesome guys!
Have an awesome week! I love you all! Take care talk to you later! 

 shoes are finally giving out:( 

 my cat friend named chestor