Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Best News Ever

Well I must have done something right.... I don't know if anyone can deserve these kind of blessings in their lifetime... But I am so grateful that I choose to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  

February 8th 2012

This morning I checked my Facebook messages which I kind of dread doing sometimes but I got a message from one of my dear friends down in Ecuador telling me that one of the families that we baptized was getting sealed today..... 

"Now have we not reason to rejoice?  Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God."

I started crying when I read that email.... This family truly was prepared for the gospel in every sense when Hermana Climaco and I found them.... I am still so grateful that we found them and that we never ever gave up on them. 

I opened another email from another family that was baptized with me and who have been struggling to get to church ever since... I was worried what they would have to say to me... But to my astonishment this family is now making it to church and also is in the process of making plans to get sealed in the temple as well....

"Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."

I am so proud of these great families.... I know that they will do wonderful things for the Lord.  I am so blessed... And I am so happy that I choose to serve a mission for my Lord and Savior.  His blessings are infinite.  And I am still being blessed for my service as a missionary.  I have never regretted answering the Call to Serve.

Monday, August 12, 2013

This is IT!!!! or...Dreams really do come True!!

Well... I don`t know what I should be feeling right now... but I am feeling it... I am coming home in no time!!! I honestly can`t believe that this is it!  Seeing mom`s email that says: 'nine days!'  just makes my head spin... I feel like I have been gone FOR-EV-ER and I have imagined and dreamed about this coming week for a long time.... I just hope that the plane doesn`t crash!  ha ha

This week was pretty good.  I completed my 18 month mark in the field and on Thursday morning I saw a card on my desk and my month counter was flipped to the last one!  My companion made a card that just said,  thanks for being her companion and she said that she has learned a lot from me.. I just hope that`s true... I feel like I make so many mistakes that I don`t even know what she could possibly learn from me.  We're still alive... that`s all I can say! ha ha

Ummm This week went by really fast I am trying to remember the things that happened but my mind has just gone blank! Oh yes I remember a couple of things. We had interchanges this week I got to go with a new sister her name is Sister Perez... No she is not my old companion she only has like 8 weeks in the field and she is from Mesa.  She is really cute and funny.  

My companion and I got a call Thursday night saying that we were going to have interchanges and that we had to be in the stake center tomorrow at 12 in the afternoon so my companion freaked out after we got that phone call but in the end it was really fun having the interchange.  Hermana Perez and I stayed up till about 1 in the morning just talking and talking and talking.  She told me about how she joined the church and how no one else in her family is a member of the church.  She said that the first month of her mission was really difficult because her family didn`t really understand why she was here and what she was doing.  She said that her siblings and her parents sent her quite a few emails saying things like, "If you come home, it`s okay... We won`t judge you for it."  And she said she was really close to going home.  That made me feel bad, but happy that she didn't!  

But, we had fun and in the morning she asked me if I would help her study how to teach the Plan of Salvation.  As I was talking and explaining with the scriptures that I use, she was just writing it all down... I don`t really think the way I teach is that great but just thinking of how far I have come from where I started really makes me realize that the Lord has helped me out so much (D&C 84:80).  

This past week I was thinking about many of the people that I have gotten to know and how much I am going to miss them.  I was re-reading one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon, Alma 26, and I came across three verses that really touched me-

"And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some,
"Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many...
"Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and as my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding, he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvaion, to those who will repent and believe on his name...

I just love those scriptures and that it mentions that Alma and his brethern suffered.... Missionary work isn`t for sissys and I am not going to lie and say I loved every single second of my mission... But I will say that it was worth it and all of the ups and downs really have shaped me into a better person.  Anyone who is thinking about serving a mission and is kind of dragging their feet just pray about it and talk to your Bishop and before you know it you will be out in the field. Because it`s the best thing you can do, not only for the Lord but for yourself as well.  

I know that the Church is true... I know that Joseph Smith restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ back on the earth and we have a living prophet on the earth today. I know that Christ lives and He loves us.  I know that He died for us and He rose again so that we can have a way to return home to our Heavenly Father.  I am so grateful for Him and His sacrifice for me.  His mission on earth was His whole life and He never complained and He never ever stopped doing the Lord`s will.  I am trying to be more like Him.

I love this work and I am so happy that I answered the call to serve. 

I love you all more than I miss you... I will see you soon!  (I mean it!!)

Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess)

P.S. sorry my camera didn`t work... i had to have my companion email me a couple of pictures-__- she didn`t have pretty ones.
Crazy Sisters!!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The End is Near

Hey family!
Well how are you all doing??? I am really in a different world... I can`t believe that the time keeps flying by... Just when I feel like I have got everything down I have to get ready to leave... It isn`t really fair... But that is how life goes!  Just when we feel like we have gotten things down they release us from a calling, or we finish the class that we were taking or whatever it is... We have got to move on. When people ask me how long I have in the mission... I really don`t like to tell them that I am going home really soon... It makes me feel really bad... Mom and Dad we have to come back!!!! 

Well what else... My companion completed 2 months today in the field... I asked her how she felt this morning as I saw her flip her month counter chart that I made her and she looked at me and said... -normal- ... Yeah.. I guess that`s kind of how the mission goes for the first months we feel like the time is just dragging along and for me I would like to slow down reality a little bit more.. 

Well today we went to the Malecon... It is like a huge walk way on the River Guayas that is here in Guayaquil.  It was kinda fun haha!  And when you are talking to your companion it makes it GREAT!!  I could see my old area from the walkway and It brought back many many memories of Good Old Duran... the ward that I served in for five months that is just across the river.  I almost started to cry thinking that I can`t personally say goodbye to those amazing people before I leave.  

Here we are en el malecon.  You can see Duran in the far left!! Ja Ja!

This P-day and the past three P-days I have been writing letters to ALL of my converts and sending a picture and it is a lot of work.  But it is bringing back many many memories of the wonderful people that I have gotten to know here.  It just makes me realize that God loves ALL of His children.  Because many of the  letters that I have written have made me cry just thinking... When am I going to see them again!  

I don`t know if I told you guys but last week my poor companion was having a bad week.  I would find her really quiet at times and at other times I felt like she was giving me the silent treatment.  Well when we were in church we had just finished teaching our Gospel Principals class because our Ward Mission Leader was M.I.A for the third Sunday in a row.  As we finished the class one of our investigators asked my companion what was wrong.  (I had already asked her that like six times during the weekend but she didn`t seem to want to respond so I stopped bothering her with the same question.) After the investigator asked her what was wrong she opened up to the whole class and said that she was having problems at home.  

I was offended at first that she wasn`t opening up to me and that she spilt to the whole class what her problem was... but I was grateful at the same time because if he wouldn`t have asked her I don`t think I would have ever found out what was happening to her.  Her mother left home right before she came on her mission and I am sure that it is really bothering her not having the support of her mother during the two months she has been out here.  Her father has also stopped going to church and now her siblings are not going either.  It really broke my heart just thinking about how unfair life is!!! Here I am coming from one of the best families in the world and I find myself crying over little things that don`t matter or complaining because the email wasn`t long enough.... But I really have the best support system anyone could ask for.  Thanks for your examples and for your prayers.... I know that the Lord is helping everyone of his missionaries and he blesses the families that send the missionaries as well.  

I have just stopped to think about the blessings that you all have received while I have been gone... And there are a lot to be mentioned... But top on my list is Taylor.   I don`t know if you all have realized it... But in almost every email that you all have sent me you have mentioned that Taylor is talking so much better... I just can`t wait to get home and hear her talk to me.  I have prayed for her for a long time and I know that my prayers are being answered... I just hope that you all are recognizing the blessings that the Lord is sending our way.  

I know that he has blessed me so much during my service as a missionary... I just wish I had the time to tell you all of the blessings I have received!!! I know that my life has been changed forever and I will never ever regret answering the call to serve. 

Love you all so much!!! See you soon!!! 

Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess)

We are only human!!

Well hey family!  

How are you all doing?  Things here for me are going along just smoothy!  I am developing a lot of patience this week... Just when I think I have got the patience thing down.... I feel like everyone just wants to try Hermana Welch`s patience today... It`s really nice. 

This week we have been looking for more people to teach, the few that we have are not really progressing like we would like them too... But that is okay we just need to work a little harder with them so that they can start working with us.  

Well we have been working with a guy who`s name is Sergio.  He is 21 years old and is a really great guy.  He lives with his mother and his sister.  When we first met him he told us that his dad had died about two years ago and we have been teaching him all about the Plan of Salvation.  He seemed to be drinking it all up and loving it all until we scheduled a lesson for Saturday.  Just when we were about to head over to his house we called and mentioned that we were running a little behind and would be there fifteen minutes after our scheduled appointment date.  

Well his sister answered the phone and told us that Sergio had just left with one of his friends. Well GREAT! So we debated and debated whether we should just go over to his house or not and finally we started walking to his house.  When we got there his sister looked at us like, "Uhhh what are you two doing here?"  It was a little bit disconcerting.  But we invited her to church and she said that she would coordinate with Sergio to come to church with us...  

Well long story short she never coordinated and when we called them on Sunday in the afternoon his sister once again answered the phone and when she told Sergio we were on the phone she informed us that he didn`t want to come out of his room to answer the call    -___-

Man does that make me want to cry when people just loose interest for whatever reason and refuse to even talk to us... We are praying and hoping that Sergio is still willing to listen to us and that he was just in a bad mood that day.  

Well right after we got that bit of sad news we had to go to the chapel because we had a ward activity.  As we were on our way to the chapel my companion said in a joking tone... I bet that our ward mission leader hasn`t even planned anything.  And lo and behold... she was right. 

When we got to the chapel there was no one there and our ward mission leader showed up 20 minutes late and the members started trickling in... The only members that showed up were the ones we called practically begging them to come and join us and our ONE investigator that was there. 

The first thing that our ward mission leader told my companion and I to do was to organize the agenda and we both looked at him with a look of surprise because he had a whole week to plan and coordinate everything.  Well we put our names down to give little spiritual thoughts and we also put our ward mission leaders name down.  

When we showed him the agenda he saw his name down to participate and he said, "Noooo" in the most outraged tone ever.  We then mentioned that it was just a spiritual thought.  He got even more upset and rudely said, "No! I am not giving a talk." Then my companion said, "Well then we are not either... You should be the one who has this all figured out.  You can give the only talk."  

Our ward mission leader gave a haughty laugh and said, "yeah.. we`ll see" I was actually really embarrassed because we were in a room with a bunch of members and my companion is popping off.  I just wanted to say.... "Heyyy... we are missionaries... we have to be nice!!!  But I kept quiet."  

As our ward mission leader was then directing the meeting he announced that Hermana Orihuela would give the first and only talk followed by testimonies of other brethren that were there. My companion got all red in the face and flustered and delivered a small talk but during her whole talk she was kind of reaming the members and telling them that they have to help us more with missionary work.  It just wasn`t done in that great of a spirit.   I am continuing to try and keep it all cool. 

Oh funny story.  I have to make this quick... Well as we were teaching our new convert Fernando he had a friend over.  I think his friend has some kind of nervous problems because he has lots of nervous ticks... His nervous ticks made a really interesting lesson for us.  As we started to sing the first hymn to start the lesson Frank took off his tennis shoe and with his white sock he would stomp hitting his heel on the floor like five times in a row and then he would stop and put his foot back in his shoe and then shake his hands like he had Parkinson's... It was just a little scary, and when ever my companion would talk or read a verse from the scriptures he would start shaking even more or pound his foot even harder on the ground...
I just kept thinking "WE ARE TEACHING A CRAZY PERSON!!!!" but I managed to finish the lesson without bursting out laughing or anything like that... All though I was on the verge. 

Well sorry that this email was a downer, heck I only have like 26 days left!!! Even though some weeks like this one was really tough, I love this work!  I just love what I do and the fact that this is all coming to an end so soon is bitter sweet.  I know that this church is true and I know that if we are faithful and obedient we will be blessed. 

A shout out to my cousin Kurk who will be joining me in the work pretty soon!!! Good luck with everything!!! 
Kurk is entering the MTC on Wednesday!  He is going to TURKEY!!

 I love you all more than I miss you!!!

Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess) 

P.S. sorry no pictures this week... i forgot my camera-__-

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Well family!!! How in the heck are all of you!  I am doing really really really great!  Because we finally had a baptism here!!! yay!!! It really is a miracle.  So we are happy.  OH I almost forgot!

TAYLOR!!! Happy birth-a-day to you!!!! happy birth-a-day to you!!!! happy birth-a-day dear Tay-a-lor!!!! Happy birth-a-day tooooooo youuuuuuu!    (I like the way dad always sings happy birthday... you have to sing it like he does when you read that to her) But Taylor I can`t believe that you are 20... you all are growing up so fast... I don`t know what I am going to do when I get home!!! I can`t believe it!  All the nieces that I don`t know are walking... When I left Alice and Adalynn couldn`t even really talk....  So a lot has changed since I left.  

Well this week we had an awesome week... But I feel like I have never recuperated from last Monday night when I arranged everything for my companion`s birthday. Well Monday night after we got back at around 9:00 p.m. we planned the next day and then I called our District Leader and gave him our little report.  After that I "got ready for bed" and I stayed at my desk "writing in my journal" and so did my companion... I then realized at about 10:15 that she wasn`t going to bed... So I told her I was tired and that we should have companionship prayer... We had prayer and then as I went to my bed she stayed at her desk..... 

My Companion and I celebrating her birthday (on our p-day) by wearing Jerseys
from competing Soccer Teams.  AND eating at
MCDonalds!!!  American Food!! 

Well I stayed in bed trying not to go to sleep because I had balloons to blow up and things to put out on her desk.  She didn`t quit writing in her journal until 11:10.  So when she finally came to bed and started breathing heavily I was soooooooooooooooooo tired!!!! I blew up the balloons in the dark and as silently as I possibly could... Which is no easy task and I wrote her a little letter and arranged some things that I had bought and made for her on her desk.  And I went to bed.  -_____-  

When the alarm clock rang it rang a little too soon for me but my companion was really really happy.  I had also arranged  to have a little lesson with a few investigators that we have but in reality it was more like a little birthday party.  They served us dinner and we sang happy birthday.  Here in South America they first sing the happy birthday song in Spanish and then they sing the song in English... (I know I find that kind of weird too) But when they all sing in English it goes something like this, "Heppi berthdey tuu yui" someone always pipes in "tu yui tu yui" and their accents while they sing just make me laugh super hard.  It is really fun.  

THE cake with the magical Frosting!!

But the funniest part about the night was that little cake.  So I guess that our investigators forgot to buy candles and the lights go out all the time here so there is always one ancient candle stashed in the kitchen cupboards somewhere. Well I don`t know what happened to the candle but when they brought out a giant pink crooked candle on top of that little chocolate cake we all burst out laughing. It was really funny. And after we all sang there is an
other tradition that the birthday kid has to take a bite out of the cake so I took the liberty of shoving the cake in my companion`s face... But it must have been some magical frosting because it didn`t stick to my companion`s face... She just made a dent in the cake.  It was hilarious... You kind of had to be there... But my companion had THE BEST birthday.  

Well some other news.... We had a baptism por fin!!!! (finally) It really was a miracle.  Well we have been visiting this guy named Fernando.  He is about 42 years old and the missionaries have been visiting him for about five years... Well when we went to visit him we found out that this guy has a huge fear of his family so that is why he never has gotten baptized.  

Well we have only taught him for about two weeks and we finally found a teaching record on this guy--but it was incomplete. (future missionaries always update your area book!)  The two companionships that took the time to write two lines on this guy said the same thing that we had found, the missionaries taught him for about three weeks until he said he didn`t know how to tell his family about his baptism, so the  missionaries stopped teaching him.  Well we prepared him for an interview and the day before the interview I was asking what the Sabbath day was and things like that to see if he needed some refreshing when I asked him about tithing he said he was paying his tithing... Uhhhhh what??? This guy pays tithing???  

I then testified to Fernando that paying tithing is much harder than making the decision to be baptized.  We told him that he didn`t have to be afraid and that he could do it.  He looked like he was about to cry.  It was a good lesson.  The next day at our interview he came out of the interview with his eyes wide open like he was scared to death and then Elder Randall then said, "Hermanas, Fernando is ready to be baptized--tomorrow!"  Well trying to contain our excitement, we congratulated him and started making calls to organize everything.

Well this is where the story gets good... (If you have endured through this entire email... I congratulate you!)  The baptism went really well until Fernando stepped into the water.  The man who was baptizing him is named Carlos and it was his first time baptizing anyone... so I was a little bit nervous about everything.  As he finished the prayer and we all said amen opening our eyes to see the ordinance performed we saw Hermano Fernando crouch down into a cannon ball position instead of working with Carlos and laying down peacefully in  the water like he should have. Well the two witnesses calmly informed Fernando that he had to lean back while Carlos holds him up.  So the prayer was said again and we all opened our eyes to another spectacle.   Fernando then leaped back plugging his nose and practically jumping at the same time splashing water everywhere and poor Carlos practically threw his hands up!!  

Brother Fernando (on my left) and Brother Carlos (on his left)
before the wrestling match!

Well four more times and i just felt more and more nervous the whole time seeing that these two were not able to get it done.  It was so hilarious that I almost burst out laughing... My companion then said in my ear, "porque se hizo bolita"   why is he forming himself into a ball? After about 3 more times the bishop came up and closed the curtain and then he took about four brethren back to help them out.  During those 15 minutes with the curtain closed we just heard splashing and splashing and more splashing.  

When they opened the curtains again we saw that Fernando seemed a little tired and then I noticed that ANOTHER brother was in the water with them to help with this baptism.  When the prayer was said again we opened our eyes with anticipation to see Fernando lean back with the help of Hermano Carlos.  Then the other brother who was in the water t suddenly pushed Fernando into the water so that his whole body went under.  It was so dramatic... But every time my companion and I even think about that baptism we can`t help but burst out laughing.      Ohhh good times!!!!! 

Well i gtg love you all so much!!!!

Love Hermana Welch #1 (jess)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Well well well... Here we are in the middle of July!!! The month is flying by!!! I just can`t believe it!!! All of your emails are making me super trunky!!! ha ha... Everyone is saying ONE MONTH LEFT!  So I am trying to be really focused.  Well... what happened this week that is worth mentioning...
Ummm my companion is going to turn 21 tomorrow... So I have been really sneaky and trying to get some things for her... But it is super hard when we have to go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time.  And it is hard when we have to see and hear each other at all times... But I have been staying up late and doing little things at night so that I can put somethings out on her desk tomorrow.  She seems pretty happy.  She left a note in my agenda the other day that said,

"There isn`t a better way to start the mission than with a good friend. I really do consider you more than just a companion.  Thanks for your example and for teaching me everything to be a better missionary.  You really do mean a lot to me and I am happy for you because you are going to see your family soon but I am sad that I have to have a different companion. I will always remember you.  With love- Hna.Orihuela"

Sometimes when I read the letters or notes that my companions leave me, I wonder what example I am giving them, I just hope that they learn something.  And when they thank me for the little things it just makes me think... Isn`t this what friends do for each other... but I guess that some people don`t know how to be friends... they just add people on facebook and call it good!  ja ja
My old companion, Hermana Perez told me that she washes all the dishes alone and eats alone and teaches alone!!! She also told me that she feels alone!!! Poor thing... I guess that her companion isn`t that great of a companion yet... But at the beginning of my mission I wasn`t that great of a companion either... But that is why we are here... Too learn how to be better people.  I know that I have changed a lot...
My companion and I were talking about family experiences one day and I am so happy and grateful for the great family that I have.  She asked me how my brothers and sisters are and I told her experiences about each one of them to describe how my family is.  I told her about Jon, perfect Jonathan, not wanting to eat on the road trip because mom and dad bought the food on a Sunday.  I also told her that he couldn`t say Christopher when he was little and that he called Chis babe for a long time and the name stuck and some of our aunts and cousins still call him babe.

I then told her about Chris` "too yait too yait!" story and about Bradley and the "cops get down" and also about Bradley biting everyone when Nick was born.  I then told her about Nick and his binkie for the first four years of his life and his red pants and his poems.  I then told her about Taylor and her excellent memory and then I told her about Emilee and her "very gentalyyyyyyyyyyyyyy", a very pretty little song that she made up when she was 3 as we were decorating Easter eggs.
So my companion thinks that we have an awesome family... It`s a hard one to beat. IMHO (mom you are going to have to translate my quick references of these experiences so that my thousands of blog readers will understand!  ;) 
And  now she uses the phrase "too yait too yait"!   For example, we are visiting a lot of less active members here so that we can teach their non member family or we can help them come back to church and one day we were in the house of a less active member and his mom was dressed really nicely and we were trying to teach her a bit.  She is about 55 years old and she was so distracted I was wondering what she was waiting and then we heard the doorbell ring. 
Well, in walked a 60 year old bald fat guy and they were walking hand in hand.  When they sat down together on the couch we realized that they were going to go on a date.  -.-  When we walked out of the house I looked at my companion and asked, "She isn`t married to him right??? It looks like they are dating..."  My companion then said in English, "Too yait too yait" I laughed so hard... Too yait is right... How sad it is to date when you are old and fat!!!! man that stinks... There are slim pickings if you ask me! 
What else happened this week... Sorry that this letter isn`t making any sense... I am emailing while emailing so it is kind of difficult.  This might not be funny to those of you who don`t speak Spanish but here it goes... This week I was singing a song that one of my companions used to sing... I have only heard the song once on the radio here... But it goes something like this... "Si hubo terremoto... Si hubo terremoto da da da da da.. da da da da da da...."  What I have been singing for almost 8 months is, "If there was an earthquake... If there was an earthquake... da da da da da... da da da da da da...." 
When my companion heard me singing she then said... "What in the world are you singing"... I then sang a little louder trying to put the words together and she then burst out laughing so hard that there were tears in her eyes... she then said "nooo hermana.... Subete mi moto"  I then was so confused.... What... it isn`t, "If there was an earthquake" and she then said, "NNOOOO the song says, get on my motorcycle!!!"  We laughed so hard for about 5 minutes. 
Well I am sorry my time is up!!! But I love you all so much!!!! I hope that you all have a great week and that everything goes your way!!! I know that this church is true and that if we are faithful God will bless us even more than we can imagine.

Love you all more than I miss you. 
Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess) sorry there is no picture-__-

From the Editor:  So!  If you care at all, here are the family references:  Jonathan was about 7 years old.  We had four children with Nick being a brand new baby.  We were living in Omaha at the time and had been asked to speak in a branch that was about 50 miles away.  No problem right?  Well, yes I am lazy and I thought, we will get ready and run through McDonald's on the way there so that we can make it to Sacrament Meeting on time!  (I'm sure it started about 9:00)  Well as Brad was making the order he asked Jonathan what he wanted.  A small voice from the back of the van replied, I don't want anything.  Um.... we're sorry Jonathan, you have such lousy parents that are leading you down the wrong path, but really what do you want?  I'm not hungry.  So, there was the first mistake we made with him!  LOL  
Next is Chris' story of too yait, too yait!  Another Sacrament meeting story.  This time, I passed.  He was realllllly thirsty and about 3 years old, he wanted a drink realllly bad.  I told him he would have to wait till after the sacrament was passed.  This did not satisfy him and he pestered and pestered until he finally figured out that he wasn't going to get the drink. And he began to pout.  He was pretty good at pouting.  After the sacrament was passed, I whispered sweetly in his ear that now we could go get a drink!  TOO YAIT, TOO YAIT!  was his emphatic response like it was going to make me feel bad that we didn't have to leave the chapel!  
Bradley's story entails another very bad moment in mothering.  We had a chevy astro van that we tooled around in in those days and there was a great spot for a little guy to stand in between the two captain chairs in the front.  He would stand there and hang on to the chairs with both his arms and watch for patrolmen.  He had eagle eyes and would holler in the raspiest kid voice you ever heard:  COPS!  GET DOWN!!  It was so funny.  Unless of course you are opposed to little people not being fastened down in their seats. I know I am now!  But if it makes you feel any better we lived in Cody, Wyoming so there weren't too many accidents on the road. And you have to remember that I grew up with my mom's arm for a seat belt.  When she hit the breaks she put her arm out and hit me in the chest at the same time!   I know it's no excuse, but it's all I've got!  
Nicholas had the most stubborn personality as a kid.  He only would wear read pants.  I finally broke down and accepted the fact that he was not going to wear anything else so I began to buy only red pants! He LOVED the Red Power Ranger.  He also had a memory that wouldn't quit and memorized poem after poem in his pre-school. He also liked to perform,  one time I had to drag everyone to the pediatrician because Taylor was sick, he told the Dr.  that he could do the Michigan Ragg and then proceeded to do it all across the room.  Dr. Jameson looked at me and said, "don't you ever give this kid any attention?!?"  Too funny!   And--Nick loved his binkie.  I don't know if he was really four when we got rid of it, but he could do some great tricks with it!  
Jessica didn't put this one in, but I will.  When we would have scripture study before she could read, she would want to take a turn. and it went something like this:  And it came to pass....and then a story about rabbits in the sage brush would make it's way into the narrative.
Taylor was born with a cleft palateand has hadd difficulty speaking and still doesn't talk in a way that is too intelligible, but she does have an amazing memory and she really helps me out.  If I forget anything, she lets me know about it!  
Emilee doesn't think this is a very great story, but she was the singingest baby you ever saw!  We were dying eggs one Easter and her cute little song was a little along the lines of a winnie the pooh number, "very gentallllly" she sang over and over as she encouraged us all to be so careful with the eggs as they might break.  Anyway, way more than you wanted to know, but once you get me started, I can't stop!!  
It is almost time for me to be done with Jessica's blog.  What a blessing it has been for me.  I can't wait to see her, but I get a little weepy to think that these experiences will end soon. Thanks to everyone for reading and for caring and for being our friends.  Cindy.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013



Well hey family how are you doing??? I hope that everyone is doing really really well.  I am just doing great.  Today we cleaned the apartment for like 4 hours... That is just the best way to spend your preparation day... But sometimes I just can`t stand living in a dirty apartment.  I know I am just passing through and I am not going to live here forever.  But why can`t we treat these apartments like they are our homes.  The last sisters that were here in this area I don`t think ever cleaned... But I am just ranting..... Okay I am over it.  

Today I woke up and my companion said, "Feliz 17 meses!!!" Uhhhhh WHAT!!!! That sure woke me up!!!! I jumped out of bed and was so happy!!! I still am happy but I honestly can`t believe it!!! 17 months away from home!!! I can`t believe it!  That is a really long time. My companion keeps saying I am so jealous of you!!! But I just ask her... "When did you start your mission?" and she says... "last month" and then I say... "That`s right... I have been here a while so don`t be jealous... You will be home before you know it."  It is pretty neat being this close to coming home...
Well this week we had some pretty crazy things happen... Let me first think of what to tell you all... At a lunch appointment that we had my companion was really silent when she was eating and I had to do all of the talking.  It kind of made me think that something had to have happened because she usually isn`t that quiet.  We came out of the lunch appointment and my companion said that she was lucky that she didn`t throw up during our lunch time.  I then said that the food wasn`t that bad and then she told me what had happened. She said as she was eating the beans and rice she was only on about the fourth spoonful when she crunched down on something really hard. 
She then secretly slipped the hard substance out of her mouth when she noticed that it was a piece of something purple.  She then asked me... Hermana do you remember what color the sister`s nails were?..... and I did remember.... They were purple!!!! I then said, "Noooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!"  If that isn`t gross I don`t know what is!!!! My poor companion... she only has three weeks in the field and is having lots of luck with the food!  haha
My companion says that she hears me making noises in my sleep.  She says she constantly hears me whispering/sighing, "aye aye aye" I don`t know why I constantly am saying aye aye aye.... I think that I am just kind of stressed!  haha Speaking of stressed... This past Tuesday at our District reunion our zone leaders called us in the other room while our District Leader was teaching to check our Area Book we showed them our agendas and after they gave us a few suggestions on how we can improve, Elder Suarez asked, "Hermanas, how do you feel in your area?" 
I was looking at my companion and waiting for her to answer because if she didn`t I would have burst out crying.  When she realized that I was waiting for her to respond she then looked at Elder Suarez and told him that things were not going as well as we would like in the blessed area of, "Las Americas."  When she started describing what was happening I actually started to feel my eyes well up with tears... She started saying how everyone that the other Hermanas were teaching are never home and now they don`t answer their phones when we call.  All of the people that we contact are super rude and slam the doors in our face.  It is just not a very happy place to be a missionary. 
Then Elder Suarez turned to me and his eyes got three times bigger when he saw that I was on the verge of tears and timidly asked.... "Hermana Welch how do you feel in your area?"..... I couldn`t even speak because if I did I would sob or make a noise that could be even more embarrassing so like a nerd I just gave him a BIG thumbs down.  He then nodded his head not sure if he should ask me more or just move on so after about three LONG seconds of silence he told us to sit down and he would give us a couple of pointers on how to work in La Kennedy, especially Las Americas. 
My area is really hard because there are malls and every kind of business in our area and there is also a huge airport in the middle of our area... So the people who live here are really rich... Or they like to think they are.  But Elder Suarez told us that our area was one of the hardest in the Kennedy.  I was actually really surprised to hear that and I wrote down all of his suggestions.  We are doing better and are now more motivated to work.  I am happy to be here and I know that I have to learn a few more lessons before I can come home. 
Well my time is up.  I really hope that this email goes through.  I know that this church is true and I am so happy to be a part of this great work.  The Lord expects a lot from us and I know that I have to give more than what I am giving him now.  But most of all I know that he loves us and wants us to be happy.  That is why he sent His Son to die for us.  I am so grateful for the atonement in my life so that we can repent and be made clean again.  I know that this Church is true. 
I love you all more than I miss you.
Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess)
P.S. Happy fourth of July!!! 2 Nephi 2:27