Monday, April 24, 2017

La Chamba

The "chamba" took a big hit this week. Adam taught me that word. He said thats what they called the work in Mexico so I thought it was more fun to say chamba than obra so I do. Ill explain later why it took a hit. 

This week we had zone conference and it was pretty good. So president starts out the conference saying "we have good news and bad news. The bad news, Elder Christofferson came and visited our mission this past monday. It was short notice and only invited the missionaries in quito. Good news, we are going to spend the next 30 minutes talking about it." I just about punched someone in the face. Stupid emergency changes. They did a pretty good job talking about it. He left a blessing on the mission however I forgot my notes in the house so I forget exactly what the blessings were. Still feel a little bitter. 
A couple highlights of the week. 1. my sandals broke so I decided it was a sign that since it was like my 3rd pair, that it was time to buy crocks. They are just the greatest. They also look super swaggy. 2. I started making the mama de los batidos. I call it "la mama". Its basically just a ton of fruit, eggs, avocado, milk, vanilla, and the secret ingredient, pony malta. I like drinking it while I have my crocks on.
So like I said, la chamba took a hit. We went 3 straight days without a lesson. I wanted to die because it was so hot those days and you just stand outside of every house crying and knocking for like over 5 minutes because they told you to come and they lied. Not only that, just about every contact denied us too. Needless to say, I passed out at the end of every day. Then to top off that we got denied every contact, yesterday, the ONLY investigator that we had, decided to drop us. Like excuse me? I drop you you dont drop me. After that happened I told my comp I need to sit down. I sat on a stair for like 30 minutes cuz I didnt know what to do anymore haha. That night I told the zone leaders what happened and they said "are you going to go teach him again?" After he said that I didnt respond for like 10 seconds cuz I literally almost said "you idiot I just said he said I dont wanna listen anymore. Why would I go back?" After the conversation I was doing some pondering and I thought of the districts when the investigator "jinx" thinks she received an answer and that the mormons arent for her. The missionaries didnt give up on her. Anyways, yeah so I decided since he studies in Riobamba, like 5 hrs away from Tena, that I would call him and invite him to read the book before he decides to drop us. I will inform you next week on the outcome.
So on saturday we did divisions so i went to the other sector in Tena. It was awesome because we had a lesson. But it was also great because the guy we taught has been looking for an answer to his question about what church is true. He said he has been studying with the testigos and adventistas and catholics and everything. So his mom is adventista and he lives with her. So we were teaching him and then his mom comes in right when we are starting the first prayer and she just gets so mad. She like starts throwing a temper and everything haha. It made me think a lot though in Acts 5 verses 41 and 42 because she literally hated us because we were teaching the truth. Ive been thinking a lot about that experience including yesterday on my half hour stair sit. We are getting rejected left and right right now here in Tena. Its way hard and it honestly makes the days so long. But I am grateful that everyday I get rejected representing the name of Jesus Christ or as the scripture puts it being counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
Well la chamba continues. At least if the day is hard, i get to go home and put on my crocks. It always puts a smile on my face. So does putting on my placa. 

I found a bamboo log and I tried to cut it with my machette. But because I was so tired I actually fell asleep on the ground and my comp took a picture of me sleeping

Just a couple dollops of tuna. That tuna was straight gold. 5 bucks! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tener Careful!

So it was another successful week in Tena, meaning I survived and the crazy indigenous didn't rob me! Anyways its been a good week. I love being with my Colombian comp again. Hopefully I'm still saying that by the end of the change haha. 
Idk why but i literally feel like Benjamin Button because I feel like my body is falling apart. I wake up and my whole body just hurts and I feel like an old man but everyone tells me I look like im 18 so must be all the rice I eat:) Anyways so we went to a waterfall today in the middle of nowhere jungle town. It was the muddiest trail to get there and it was like over a 30 minute walk in straight mud. Luckily I made it safely and crossed the river and did some rad poses in front of the waterfall. Walking back was the tricky part. The whole time I literally almost fell like 50 times and so did the other elders so i decided I would make a deal first one to fall has to buy bread for everyone else. Luckily no one agreed because right when I was about to pull out a victorious walk I tanked hard core. I went straight from my feet to my back and it knocked the wind right out of me. I took it like a champ. However I feel bad for the branch pte when he washes my clothes tomorrow because it looks like I pooped my pants but i promise I didn't...
So the week was great. We are working super hard and contacting a lot and not seeing a lot of fruits but its still awesome. The only downside is we are making progress with the less actives here. Including going from telling the missionaries to stop coming by, to inviting us to eat with them every friday for lunch! I think the hardest part for me is its all coming to an end soon and I wanna see results and I wanna see them now before I go home. But Pte said something yesterday in consejo de rama and said we cant run with these people. It really made me think because yeah its cool to see results and to baptize and all that but the branch already has too many less actives. Im working on my patience now. Ive developed I think more tolerance on the mission than patience. You have to have patience and really learn how to love these people. Its great being a missionary! 
I love you all! 
Elder Welch

PS- come to Tena if you wanna hear a hot cheeto and taki talk on sunday about the work for the dead in the recently cleaned office building/ chapel that I got assigned to clean:) 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hot and Sweaty

So its been another solid week here in Tena. So yesterday we received changes and Elder Velez the "mono" is now out of Tena and I will be receiving Elder Espinosa. You might remember that name because he has already been my companion. He is the colombian I was with that was WAY hard to understand. However, since Tena is in the absolute middle of no where, he still isnt here. He is coming all the way from Manabi and has to travel to Quito then take a 7 hr bus ride to get to Tena so he probably wont get here until about 8 at night. Its been nice being able to speak english with another elder all day since I haven't had a gringo comp since august. 

Not too much new went on. It was another week of contacting and naked people answering the door telling us they are busy. However, it was rewarding. We were able after 3 straight hours of tracting to find a new investigator named Gustavo. It was so nice we taught the restoration to him and felt the spirit so strongly. A few tears may have fallen from my eyes. Im not sure if its because we actually taught a lesson and he 100% understood and comprehended what we were teaching or because I felt so much love for him as he said yes to a baptismal date. Both reasons are valid. We also are going to start teaching a PF family. Everyone is member minus the dad. He played for the LA galaxy about 20 years ago so thats pretty cool. He started talking to me about pro soccer players about like 15 years ago and I was like yeah I have no idea who these guys are. I gotta stop telling people I like sports because they think I know everything. I stood my ground more though on soccer than I did with baseball #thankyoucompa├▒erouruguasho :)
Well, I love being a missionary. It was a great week being all in! The weather is hot and we are sweating a lot. Its awesome too because my farmers tan line is getting pretty good as well. I found out this week that Tena is hotter than guayaquil so that made me feel a lot better. Not only am I walking more than Jake fisher, but I for sure am sweating more than him. 

I love you all! Thanks for everything and talk to yall later

The smallest zone in the mission

I ate a worm this week. Its called the Chontacuro. I only took it down fried but I wanna 
eat it raw this next time look it up in the internet

My mono:) 

I actually climbed a hill in Tena so thats all of Tena in the picture

Monday, April 3, 2017

All In!

So it was another great week as a missionary! It was for sure better than last week. It was a lot of prayers and questions answered as well as I listened to general conference:) Something else cool is that today I fed a monkey and it climbed all over me. That was WAY cool:) They robbed me a couple times including stealing the bag of grapes out of my hands but it was awesome! I want a pet monkey now. The only thing that scared me was the bigger one bit this guy so he slapped it in the face haha and they all went into attack mode so we got the crap out of there! Other than that it was great.
So yeah conference was wayyy awesome! Such good talks were given and so much was learned. The key things I learned were about being all in, following the spirit, and love. My favorite talk was given by Elder Gary B. Sabin. It was so good! It honestly just hit me super hard about being a missionary here in Tena. I just have to be all in and give everything I have to the branch and the Lord. Then the talks on the spirit too especially Elder Rasbands about following the promptings. I loved the part "9 times out of 10 youll be right" in referring to following the spirit. I thought about the internal battle missionaries tend to have when walking in the street and thinking "contact them" and then you fight it no and its just a battle honestly haha and then the person passes by and yeah. I referred that back to being all in. Not letting a single moment pass by! Then A LOT of talks talked about Christ's love for us and His work and also our Heavenly Fathers love for all of His children. It then made me think again about being all in. The branch and Tena in general need all the love I have right now. I know Heavenly Father loves all these people here in Tena even if they dont know it or believe it or dont want to know anything about Him. I need to have the same look on them. My goal is to eventually have the experience of Pte Eyring happen to me all the time where you just look at someone and see them exactly as He does. Im loving the people more, but I have a lot more of love to give them! For that reason, I want to be 100% all in. So by that im giving everything I have in what I have left. To help me complete my goal, I dont wanna think about home. Please when you guys write me do not mention anything of the house or how much time I have left. Anything that can be classified as "trunky" dont send me please! Subjects to avoid: anything related to the gym and working out(<--especially this one), sports, vacations, schooling, or anything else you guys can think of.

Im so excited to be here as a missionary! Pte told me in a letter that he sent me here because he believes with the experience that I have that I can help change the branch and help strengthen future leaders/ find them. Im grateful for this challenge. Yesterday we had a solid assistence of 14 people haha 4 being missionaries but thats going to change. Im getting used to the heat and humidity and im more focused!
I love you all! Thanks for the letters and talk to you all next week:)

My new style. You may be wondering what the heck your tie is too short, no its called the power gap

also note that I put a towel on my belt. Yes i do feel like a quarterback but its just to wipe the sweat off my face during lessons and stuff :) 

My monkey friend