How are all of you doing!!! I hope that your Thanksgiving plans are all coming together and that you are all going to have lots of fun without me! I wish our President would do something with the mission about Thanksgiving, but he doesn`t do anything for us for Christmas so I am not getting my hopes up... I will just go out and work and sweat my guts out. I have the rest of my life to eat Turkey anyways. Haha
Well I received the news last night that Grandpa died. My companion answered the phone and she was informing the mission president how she was doing with her health and then the president said that he wanted to talk to me. He then told me that mom called the mission office and told them that Grandpa had died. My mission president seemed a little bit worried saying, "Hermana Welch, all we know is that your grandpa died. We don`t know how or why or which one died." I let him know that I knew which one had died. But it is pretty interesting how even though I knew Grandpa Welch was ready to go it still didn`t change the fact that I am going to miss him. As soon as I heard the news from the president tears started streaming down my face. The president could tell I was crying when I stopped responding to his questions and then he told me, "Hermana Welch, just keep working. Hermana Welch, you know the plan of salvation, you know where your Grandpa is... you have nothing to worry about."
As I hung up the phone with the President, I kept crying but I thought about the wonderful plan of happiness we have. Really it is such a blessing to know that we will see Grandpa again. We will not only see him again but we have the opportunity to live with him again, forever! We are sealed as eternal families and that is what God wants for us. He wants our happiness, and we are happy when we are with our families. So it was a nice phone call and I could tell that the president was concerned for me because he then gave me permission to CALL HOME!!!!! So it was nice to talk to mom and dad for a bit today. (It was also weird talking in English! haha I never ever thought I would say that.)
This week has been a good one. Well kind of a good one, we had a baptism at least! His name is Adrian, he is 11 years old and his mom is a member but his dad isn`t. It was kind of a little surprise for my companion and I. We were not really thinking that Adrian was going to get baptised this month. We just invited him to have a baptismal interview on a whim hoping that his mother would say yes to him being baptized. Well his mother said yes and not only said yes but said he wants to get baptized TOMORROW! So Hermana Paasaca and I said that that would definitely not be a problem soooo we scrambled around and tried to get everything settled.
We filled the font and called a bunch of members and when the baptism came we actually had a really good turnout. Our Bishop baptized Adrian and his sister Ariana and it was pretty special! Hermana Paasaca and I thought that the night before was a little too late to call and ask someone to give a small talk for tomorrow... So we gave the talks, I talked about the Holy Ghost. It was my first talk in Spanish! It was pretty good if I do say so myself, I only stumbled on a couple of words and everyone looked like they understood what I was trying to say so that was pretty good!
This whole language thing is really challenging... But I never ever realized how rewarding the process would be. Every time I get a compliment on my Spanish I feel like they just gave me ten bucks! Really it is such a hard thing and when I get a scrap of credit it really makes my day. I finally feel like I am making progress with my Spanish. I can keep up and I understand almost everything and the best part is I don`t have to say ¿Como? after every sentence anymore. But as I am learning more and more words I finally feel like my personality is coming back to me. I have kind of felt like I was losing who I was before because I could not fully express myself to these people. But now I feel like Jess down here... Well, I feel like Hermana Welch is probably better put;)
I just read Nathaniel`s email* and I know how he feels about the whole nobody sings down here. Everytime I have to direct music for anything I feel like I am singing a solo! It is pretty sad. The chapels have pianos but no one can play them so we usually sing the hymns without music. I have also learned one new hymn down here, in the states we never sing this hymn because we know that it is bad!!! But in english the hymn is called "Scatter Sunshine". It is actually a pretty popular hymn down here and everytime we sing it I hate it so much. Haha
Well I am out of time, but I know that this church is true. I really am happy for the knowledge that we have from the Book of Mormon. We know the Plan of Salvation and we don`t have to worry about what happens after this life. If we do our best while we are here on earth things will be okay on the other side. And we will see Grandpa when we get there. I love you all more than I miss you!
Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess) xoxox
* (mom talking here-- I forwarded Nathaniel Sigmund's email to her because it was short! and he was talking about the heat and stuff, I thought she would be able to relate to it. I am not trying to match make or anything like that!!!)