• I am serving in the Georgia Atlanta Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from January 26, 2016 to August 1, 2017. This blog contains weekly letters and pictures about my experience.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

What Child Is This

Hey Y'all!

"What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?"

So sorry I haven't updated y'all for a while now. It's been a little crazy at home. :) However, I have some great news! My doctors are optimistic for my return to my mission at the beginning of January. We are shooting to get me back out on January 3rd. I have two more checkup's this week and if they are all clear then I can start the process of returning. :D This is truly a miracle, and I am so very excited to be finally returning to my wonderful mission!

"Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading."

The last few weeks have been lots of fun, but also very crazy. getting ready for Christmas was very fun. One of the funniest things I did was with my mom for my dad. You see, a few years ago he brought a rubber chicken to his family's white elephant party, but my brother took it home and gave it away at another party. My dad was sad because he wanted it to return again. Every year he has complained about it. So finally, my mom and I did something about it. We bought a dozen little 8 inch rubber chickens and started to play a little bit of elf on the shelf chicken style. They did all sorts of things starting the week before. We hung them by nooses, gave them a snowball fight, stuck them in the shower to cause mayhem, and lots of other things. To top it off, on Christmas day we wrapped a big squawking rubber chicken exactly like the one he lost and gave it to him. He hat lots of fun! And so did we! :D

"Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary."

To be a little more serious, I also did some other great things this christmas season. I made more cookies for the missionaries here. They were having another zone conference and payed me to make sugar cookies and cowboy cookies. I had lots of fun doing it!

"So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him."

I also went on an adventure too. :) My best friend Sister Palmer - who will be continuing her mission as a service missionary. We took the long, three hour drive to Vernal Utah to visit the temple. It was a beautiful temple and the most amazing experience. I have never seen a celestial room that surprised me quite the way that one did. It was simply amazing! Something funny happened too when we were together. After the session we were talking to a temple worker who asked us if we were missionaries! Haha! :D We laughed and explained to her that we were sick missionaries hoping to continue our missions soon. Later, when we went to lunch, the men making our food asked us that same question. One seemed really nice and interested in our predicament. Afterwords me and my friend laughed. I guess we still look a lot like missionaries! :D

"Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary."

The rest of my time leading up to christmas was fun. My parents took me to a Kurt Bestor concert. If you don't know who he is, look him up on youtube. He plays beautiful music. :) I also got to visit my cousin that returned from his mission in the Alpine German speaking mission a couple of weeks ago. This next Sunday I'll get to hear him speak. I never thought I'd be able to see that. Haha! In fact I shouldn't be able to see it because I should be out in the field. But this is definitely a tender mercy to see my cousin. We also had a christmas party for my dad's family and for our family, which was chaotic as usual. :) And christmas was amazing as usual, with lots of food and the best opportunity to go to Church. :D

"This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary."

This season has definitely been crazy, but it has also been filled with many miracles. I love the Christmas season because of all it encompasses. On this day a child was born. Not just any child, but our Lord and savior. The only begotten of the Father that can atone for us. That set an example of who we needed to be. Through him we learned the meaning of Christmas. To be Christlike. This song I have had stuck in my head. It's beautiful. Bring him incense, gold, and myrrh. This is Christ the King! Haste to bring him here! The babe, the son of Mary.

Y'all's Southern Bell,

Sister Welch

A coconut cream pie I made for the youth to take to families as they caroled around the ward.

 The sugar cookies I made for a missionary zone conference.

Me at the Vernal temple.

Vernal Temple

Pepper stole my dad's reading glasses. ;D

One of the many nativities we have in our house.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Oh Come All Ye Failful

Hey Y'all!

Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem."

These last couple of weeks have been filled with service, gratitude, and miracles. :D First, I'll give y'all a health update. Last Tuesday I had an MRI of my jaw, the results came back the next day showing no sign of current infections. This seems to be a good sign! If the infection does not come back by January I can head back out on my mission. :D

"Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;"

My Thanksgiving was amazing! Not only was all my family able to come, but we also got to have my grandparents over from their nursing home. They are both suffering from dementia and other issues, however it was lovely to have them with us. My dad brought out their old camera and screen to show pictures of back when they were all younger. It was a great Thanksgiving. One that I am particularly grateful to be here for. :) And of course, I got to help my mom by making pies and rolls by scratch. Yum yum!

"Sing, Choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation;
Sing all ye citizens of heav'n above!
Glory to God, Glory in the highest;"

The Saturday after Thanksgiving my parents took the family to dinner and to see the Temple Square lights! :D I was particularly excited since last year I missed it and I thought I was going to miss it this year because of my mission. The night wasn't too cold, so instead of turning into walking popsicles we actually enjoyed the lights. One of my favorite things was how they had different nativities from different countries. They were all different and unique, but having all those nativities really brought a unity. No matter where you are, we can all celebrate the birth of our savior who was born for us all.

"Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus to thee be all glory giv'n.
Son of the Father, Now in flesh appearing;"

On Monday last week, I got to help my mom again with the festival of trees. :D This time it involved standing in a freezing conference center, in front of a giant semi-truck sized door which opened and closed frequently, selling tree stands and other last-minute items for people setting up their trees to be auctioned off. Even though it was ridiculously cold at times, it was very fun. Apparently it's a requirement for all tree builders to buy a festival of trees stand to use. That would make sense since these stands are made pretty sturdy to withstand the weight of the trees they have to hold up. "Tree Doctors" walked around inspecting trees and helping especially the new people. It was lots of fun! I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to help out for this event. :D

"Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, Come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ, the Lord!"

The rest of the week went a little less eventfully. Lots of shopping and spending time with my family, which is what the holiday season is really all about. :D

As this Christmas season flows into full swing, I am increasingly reminded of how much we have to be thankful for our savior. Born this Christmas to save us, and to set an example to us. He served his whole life. In fact, service was his whole reason for being born! How grateful I am for our selfless savior, Jesus Christ. The reason I chose this song was to also to remind us to gather together, in memory of that wonderful night over 2000 years ago. Come all ye faithful. The joyful, and the triumphant. Come, let us adore him, Christ our Lord! This season, as we try to perform acts of service inspired by #Lighttheworld, lets all remember that the more we show christ-like charity and love to our fellow man that we ourselves are drawing closer to the savior. His whole life was service, and the best way we can show our gratitude, and our willingness to draw closer to Him is to also serve. :) What a wonderful season it is!

Y'all's Southern Bell,

Sister Welch

 Thanksgiving Pies and Table!

Festival of Trees being set up!

Me with a few people who I sold tree stands with! It was a fun, but very cold day.

 My family and I at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

 Temple Square pictures and nativities.

My dog's new Christmas outfit! :D