Hey Family! Well this week went by really well... We finished it up with two baptisms so that is always nice when you are a missionary. This week was a weekend when we were all waiting to see if we had transfers or not and it is official. I will be part of the Ecuador Guayaquil West Mission starting July 1st. I am kind of sad about that because I will have my exit interview with different mission president... So the president that I will finish with won´t see where I was when I started and where I am now... But I guess that is okay. At least I know how much I have changed and I am still changing a whole bunch. Hopefully I finish my mission the way the Lord wants me to!
Paul and Cesar took the plunge!
Getting a little carried away, trying on Baptismal clothes!!!
I only have about three months left here in Ecuador... and I honestly can´t believe it! Just 12 more weeks and I am done! I remember entering the MTC and thinking can I go home now!?! But now I am just so happy that I was able to serve here in Ecuador, I have learned so much.
This week we ate at a members house and she was pretty happy to have us. Her husband is less active and she is pretty sad and doesn`t know how to help him. I asked her how long her husband had been less active for and she commented that he quit going to church after she got her foot amputated...
My companion and I both looked at each other and then we looked at her and my companion said, "You.... you only have one foot?" The sister started to laugh and she said, "I thought you two knew!!!" Well it took us by surprise! She then stood up and showed us part of her leg and she began telling us how she had her foot amputated. She told us that she had a tumor that was eating the cartilage in her ankle and the doctors couldn`t remove the tumor without destroying her foot so they cut it off.
She then asked if we wanted to see her leg. My companion said YES!!! I was a little reluctant but I also agreed. I felt so bad for her when she showed us her poor little leg. She also commented that her husband has a prosthetic leg as well. I have met one too many people down here in South America that have had their legs or arms amputated. It is a hard life and as we finished up our lunch we talked to this faithful sister a little more and we left.
As we walked away my companion and I were a little silent and I commented that I have nothing to complain about. My companion said the same thing. We then talked about how hard it must be for her and her family. But the thing that impressed me the most about this sister is she is the happiest member that we have in the ward. I really don`t know how she does it but she doesn`t let anything get her down. It takes a pretty strong person not to complain about their circumstances when others have so much more.
This week we made some visits with the Relief Society President and the Young Women's President and they showed us some inactive families that we should visit every once in a while and try to get them to come back to church. It was pretty sad visiting these families. They know that the church is true and for one reason or another they have fallen away. (It seems to be a trend here in Jaramijo because almost EVERYONE is not going to church)
But what surprised me even more was three of the families that we visited had entered the temple and have been sealed and have forgotten the covenants that they have made there They haven´t been to church in over three years. We are working with these families because they have a couple of kids who are at the age to be baptized. We were teaching an 11 year old and his parents and sharing scriptures and doing our best to motivate them to come back to church. When we closed the lesson I asked their child if he could say the closing prayer and he didn´t even know how to pray. -___- It was pretty sad because as I was teaching him I almost started to get teary eyed thinking, your mom should have taught you this! I hope that these parents realize the responsibility they have to raise their children with not only physical protection but spiritual protection as well.
There are two scriptures that I love to share with families that are less active and whose children don´t know anything about the gospel. They both are in the Bible the first one is in Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Many of the parents that we find who have fallen away from the gospel usually have children who are in need of an attitude change. Many of these families are looking for a way to help their families and don´t know how. The second scripture is found in Isaiah 54:13 "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children." When ever we share that scripture the whole lesson changes and the parents then realize WHY they need the gospel in their lives.
I am so grateful for parents who have taught me the gospel in such a way that I want to keep living the gospel. I am so glad that we have a prophet on the earth today. I know that God lives and that he loves us. I know that Christ lived and died for us and that thanks to him we can live again. I love you all more than I miss you!
Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess)
The first photo is of our baptism, Paul and Cesar took the plunge!!!
The other two photos are showing that we got a little carried away seeing what baptismal clothes would fit Cesar and Paul.