Monday, October 29, 2012

Lost members and dead iguanas

Hey family!  

How are you all doing this week?  Well this past week went by really fast!  (I know I always say that but it is true)  When my companion and I were doing our weekly planning we looked at each other and said "SEMANA SEIS" and then we both started commenting that this transfer had gone by WAY TOO FAST!!! But in my opinion way too fast is a good thing sometimes.  Haha

This week my companion and I didn`t have a baptism but it was still a great week.  We have been working with a list that the Bishopric gave us.  It was just two pages of the ward list of members.  Our job was to verify if these people`s information was still correct.  So it took us a little bit of time each day of the week to get it completed.  But it was really interesting to look for each and every member on the list.  And yes we found A LOT of less active members.  It was actually pretty disheartening looking for all of these members and realizing that most of them were less active.  But what was even more shocking was we were finding some houses and no one was living there.  So we went to the neighbors and asked if they knew so and so. 

The neighbor would then say, they haven`t lived in this house in YEARS!!!  Wow what happened there?  Why doesn`t the ward know that these people moved?  It was pretty crazy. But as I was counting the people on the list we only had 32 names on the list and only two families were active... two out of thirty-two... That is really low!!! I don`t know what the statistics are in the United States but I don`t think it is that low... Or at least I hope not.  But the less actives that we met either had changed religions or just don`t go to church.  We met one women and she had a pretty interesting story.  

Well in my area we have these apartment complexes that the people refer to as "The Blocks".  As sister missionaries our leaders advise us not to enter into these buildings during the night time because it is too dangerous.  There are a lot of people addicted to drugs that live in these apartments so these people are pretty desperate.  Well about three out of four members that were listed lived in the blocks.  So my companion and I went around 2:00 in the afternoon to check on these members.  Well to enter these apartment complexes you have to have a key to get in the main door at the bottom.  Luckily the door was left opened when we entered the building.  We walked up the four flights of steps knocked on the door and there was no one home.  We then walked down the four flights of steps we found ourselves locked in the building!  So we decided to contact around the first floor as we were waiting for someone to leave the stinking building.  

Finally an older woman opened up the main door and we yelled at her to hold the door and as we were walking out she said, "Take care sisters!" We stopped when we heard sisters and asked her if she knew Maria Carmen who lived in this building.  She then smiled and said that`s me! Well I was taken aback because she was not only smoking she was wearing a cross around her neck.  She invited us up to her apartment.  So up the four flights of steps again....  

When we got into her house it smelt like cats/catfood/smoke... She also had a little catholic shrine placed on a table to see right when you walked into her small apartment.  So we talked to her and asked how she was doing but didn`t really ask, "What the heck is this lady?" Pointing at her shrine and then shouting, "Come back to church!" We just shared a scripture with her and invited her back to church.  We then verified the information we had and she told us that her husband had died two years ago.  She then looked at me and asked if I was from the United States.  I told her yes.  

She then rummaged in her purse and took out her wallet and removed a photo of a missionary.  She then asked me if I knew a Brian Birch.  I looked at the photo and told her that I didn`t know this kid.  Then I turned over the photo and read the little testimony that was written and this guy was from Green River, Wyoming!  I told her that I was born in Wyoming and that he must be a great guy!  haha She then laughed and told me that she has been trying to write him for a while letting him know that her husband had died.  It was actually pretty touching.  

She told me that he served in 1996 and she still carries around his picture and wanted to let him know that her husband had died.  Even though she isn`t active in the church she still remembers the missionaries and she feels something for them many years later.  It was pretty neat.  

Well I need to wrap this up.  I am almost out of time!  But I know that this church is true and I love teaching about it.  I love watching the change that the gospel makes in our investigators' lives and I know that this change is from God.  Love you all more than I miss you!  

Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess) 

P.S. My companion and I found a dead iguana on the road the other day.  I didn`t have my camera so I couldn`t take a picture... (even if I could have taken a picture i probably wouldn`t be able to send it to you anyways.  I don`t know how to work my camera with the computer in this cyber...) But what was even crazier was the people here didn`t even care that there was a dead iguana on the road.  I guess they are every where here so it isn`t that big of a deal....

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