Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Conferences and old Acquaintances

L to R: Hermana Welch, Unknown person who just got baptized and Hermana ?
(I am sure that Jessica has mentioned her companion's name, but all I can find as I
go back is, "My companion!"   So why include the picture?  Because she never sends any and I am desperate for a picture!!) 

Hey Family!  
   How are you all doing!  I am doing great!  Things are really going great for my companion and I.  We started a new transfer today, last night we were waiting for a call that never came from our zone leaders to tell us if we had transfers or not.  I was so sure that I was going to get transferred, I washed all of my clothes and was picking things up and then I realized... Uhhh it is 11:00... They would have called me by now.  So I went to bed.  This will be the longest time I have ever been in the same area.  I have never been in an area for more than three transfers at a time. (A transfer is 6 weeks) So that is pretty interesting for me.  

   This week was just a blast!!!! We had a conference with the President on Friday.  We had to travel for about 45 minutes to get to the chapel where the conference was but it was really cool.  We were there with six other zones.  It was really nice to see so many friends that I haven`t seen in FOREVER!!! Hermana Schlosser was there with the girl she is training and a lot of other elders and sisters were there.  It was nice to see everyone.  

   Our President is usually pretty serious whenever we have conferences but this time he was really happy and was joking with us the whole time.  I had a really good time.  He made some announcements and answered a lot of questions that all of us had.  It was just a good time to spend with our President.  

   The President also gave time to the missionaries who are going home so that they could bear their testimonies.  It is pretty cool seeing them go home.  Seeing how much they have changed and how they are ready to face a different time in their lives.  One elder said, "my family says I have changed... But no one knows how much I have changed but me.  I am a different person and I never want to go back and be who I was when I started my mission." It was a pretty powerful testimony and I feel the same way.  The mission makes really good changes in our lives and hopefully in the lives of those we serve here as well.  

   The weirdest thing about being in that conference with everyone was that it dawned on me that I am not one of the new missionaries anymore.  When people ask me how much time I have left on my mission and I tell them that I go home in August they always say... Wow ya mismo!  (Wow really soon!)  And it really makes me think.... Have I really been away from home for over a year, or is this just some dream and I am going to wake up and be in the Provo MTC again?  (How horrible would that be? ha ha)

    The President also showed the baptismal numbers of all of the zones that were present.  There were a lot of zones that had zeros for the wards they are serving in.  I was really surprised.  We are in a South American mission... How is it possible that we are not baptizing?  It was nice to see when he put our zone up on the projector, the Duran ward (my area), always had their goal met.  I know I am not the best sister missionary, but I am really trying to give my all and not let anyone down. 

    This Sunday I had an interesting experience happen to me... As my companion and I walked out of the chapel on Sunday I saw two members from one of my old areas outside.  They were dressed in church clothes and one of them told me that they had just visited their Grandma who lives here in Duran.  We talked for a little bit but I noticed they were lingering for quite a bit.  They asked if I was headed back to my area and I told them yes we had to go.  They then told us that they could accompany us back.  I told them no we were fine and I told them to say hi to everyone back in the ward.  They said sure.  

    As I was about to get into the taxi I shook their hands and one of them secretly put something in his hand and handed it off to me while my companion was distracted and getting in the taxi.  I turned quickly and got in the taxi.  As the taxi rolled away from them I gave my companion the note and told her to read it.  She opened the little scrap of paper and read, "Hermana Welch, you have transfers tonight.  Call me and let me know if you got transferred.  Will you do it?" and on the back side it had his number and by his name he drew a heart!!!! 

   My companion then looked at me and asked, "When did he give this to you?  I didn`t even notice!"  I told her that he slipped it in my hand when we shook hands goodbye!  She then started laughing and asked me... "What is he thinking?  Does he really think that anything is going to happen between you two?"  I then told her... Well he wasn`t thinking.  We laughed it off... But I was actually kind of offended that he would think
that I would break the rules to inform him where I was being transferred too.  People are crazy.  

   Well my time is up... I love you all so much.  I am so grateful to be a missionary and I know that this work is worth every effort.  The church is true and I am very happy to be here in Ecuador preaching and teaching what I know to be true.  

I love you all more than I miss you! 
Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess) 

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