• 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.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Army of Helaman!

Hey Y'all!

"We have been born, as Nephi of old,
To goodly parents who love the Lord.
We have been taught, and we understand,
That we must do as the Lord commands."

This week has been pretty amazing. First off, Paula went to church! We didn't think she would since we told her it was stake conference, but she came with her three daughters. They all loved it even though the girls found it hard to sit through the whole 2 hours. They will be coming to church next week too, and I'm excited. :)

"We have been saved for these latter days
To build the kingdom in righteous ways.
We hear the words our prophet declares:
"Let each who's worthy go forth and share."

This is the Beaver's home. We had dinner with them yesterday. 
Sister Beaver is from Taiwan, and she made us an authentic Chinese meal. 
It was way fun! :D
We had an amazing lesson with this man named Kafe this week. He is from Ethiopia and was referred to us by the Spanish sisters we live with. We went to the appointment with an amazing team-up and had a super powerful lesson on the restoration. We gave him a Book of Mormon and testified that he can receive answers the same way Joseph did, through prayer. We had a little big of a language barrier at first, but after a while and a lot of help from our team-up we were able to get the message across. :) He promised he would read the Book of Mormon. We are hoping to see him again this week. :D

On Thursday we had our first exchange with a set of our sisters. I was with a new missionary named Sister Hall. We had lots of fun, and I learned a ton from her. We were able to see two less-actives at dinner. They took us out to Chinese and we got to know them. It was really good for me especially since I don't really know anyone. Haha! :D

"We know his plan, and we will prepare,
Increase our knowledge through study and prayer.
Daily we'll learn until we are called
To take the gospel to all the world."

This week has been pretty amazing, and I'm glad to be here, on my mission. There was one more tender mercy that I'd like to share. On Saturday night we got a text from a man we've been trying to meet with for a while. His name is Robert. Without any prompting from us, he asked "Does Heavenly Father really know I'm here?" We were surprised and I was super excited. This like never happens! We replied and testified that not only does God know he's there, but he loves him too. He replied "this is so amazing." We were shocked! I don't know what it was that he read or was going through at that time, but I was glad he texted us. He didn't want to set up an appointment with us right now, but I'm sure he will soon. :)

"We are as the army of Helaman.
We have been taught in our youth.
And we will be the Lord's missionaries
To bring the world his truth."

The past couple of weeks, I've had a quote stuck in my head that I stumbled across a little bit ago. it's by Thomas S. Monson and goes like this:  "There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. The blessings of eternity await you. Yours is the privilege to be not spectators but participants on the stage of..service." I loved this quote. Especially at the end, where it says that we aren't the spectators, standing on the side-lines, watching it all unfold. But we are the participants. We are the ones making it happen. I as a missionary am one seeking those souls, grasping those hands, and inspiring those hearts to learn more of the truth Heavenly Father has placed before them. And we as members of the church are here to steady others feet, help those who are in need of help. And help in the glorious work of bringing others to the fold of Christ. We cannot stand idly by and watch as the world falls to satan, but we are to be pillars of light. Serving and inspiring those who need help. This is a noble calling we have, but it is also a big calling. Compared to the 7 billion people on this planet, our millions of members seems like such a small thing. But we need to remember the promise of God that he will be on our right hand, and on our left, and his angels round about us as we go to His work. He will not leave his little band of warriors. We can go out and and receive the blessing of eternity and give it to others knowing that we have the host of heaven behind us. This is our calling back up by the most powerful being in the universe, God. I challenge y'all to never forget that. :)

Y'all's Southern Belle,

Sister Rebecca Welch

My companion and I yesterday! Beautiful face, huh? ;D

We had a really cloudy day and the skyscrapers were being hidden in the clouds!
Pictures from Leadership Council Meeting.  How sweet is it that President and Sister Foote polished all their shoes?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Love Is Spoken Here

Hey Y'all!

Wow! So it's been a crazy week y'all! We've seen many miracles though and I'm excited to find out how all of them pan out. :) But first, the sad news. On Tuesday last week we sent dear Sister Ducharme home to get better. :/ Please keep her in your prayers this week as she is adjusting in to regular life and working to get healthy again. 

I hear the words she whispers as she bows her head to pray.

Even though we had a sad start to our week, it was still great! As I said we had many miracles this week. :) The first was a man named "A". On Monday last week we got a call from a member in the Dunwoody ward. She told us this crazy story about how she felt prompted to go to a certain Walmart and talk to this one man at the AT&T stand. They ended up talking for several hours about the church. He was amazed at our members faith and was really interested. He wanted to learn more about our church, so she called us. We set up a church tour for him on Sunday but he didn't show up. However, he did seem really interested! :D

Her plea to the Father quiets all my fears,
And I am thankful love is spoken here.

Our next miracle was pretty crazy too. We were sitting doing something in the apartment when we got a call from a mysterious number. We answered it and it was a woman with a very heavy accent. She said that a member form our church had referred our number to us and that she was looking for spiritual and financial help. she also told us her name but I have no idea what it is, her accent was very thick. Anyway, we told her we could at least help spiritually and set her up with an appointment for this Wednesday with one of our bishop's to see if he could help her organize her finances. I really hope she comes so we can teach her more! :D

With father and mother leading the way,
Teaching me how to trust and obey;
And the things they teach are crystal clear,
For love is spoken here.

On Thursday we went to see this non-member girl who got in a car accident. Her name is Stevie and she's 14. Her aunt is a member and they live in Oklahoma. She got in her accident here and went to like the best spinal recovery facility which is in our area. The aunt asked us to come by and see if Stevie wanted a blessing. When we entered the room her and her mother started crying. We shared a short message of hope and courage and Sister Davies shared her testimony of medical trials from her past battling cancer. At the end we gave them our number and the mother said she would text us if she wanted a blessing and us to come. I hope they take us up on that offer. :)

I can often feel the Savior near
When love is spoken here.

Finally, the last miracle happened today actually! :D We were standing in line this morning buying our groceries, when the lady behind me asked if we are missionaries for our church. I said yes enthusiastically and she got really excited. :D She said she has been looking for a church with a good program for her three young daughters. I told her about primary and invited her to church and to teach her more about our religion. She said yes enthusiastically, gave us our number and took a card with our church address. We hope she comes to church and that we get to teach her and her family. :D

To top off an amazing week we went to the temple today. :) it's always a special treat to go as a missionary. While I was in there I thought a lot about a scripture that I had studied and shared with a family last night. It's in Moroni Chapter 7:46-47  "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."

I really love this scripture. But what caught my attention the most is about how charity endures forever. In the temple we are promised eternal happiness, love, and joy, when we keep the covenants we make. Again, love is promised as lasting forever. I really liked how it said that. Charity, the pure love of Christ, the love of our family, of others, of God, can last forever. Unlike the things of the world today, that last but moments especially compared to eternity, Charity and love will last through eternity. That is perhaps one of the greatest rewards we will receive and one that we can have now. At the end of that scripture it says that whoever has love it shall be well with him in the last days. And it will be. In this world of ever-growing darkness. Where fear and sorrow penetrate just about every wall and home, it is more important than ever before to have love as a barrier. To have Charity act as a shield against Satan's fiery arrows. God knows that, and tells us to have it. I'm grateful everyday for the love and charity I have and have seen in my life. And I encourage every one of you that if you haven't, armor yourselves with everlasting Charity against Satan and the world. 

Y'all's Southern Bell,

Sister Welch

Not many pictures this week. But here is us at the temple with a bunch of missionaries!  The other sisters are the Hermana's that live with us.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Let Zion In Her Beauty Rise!

Hey y'all!

Her light begins to shine.

So happy to be back in the mission again! :D I returned to the field on Tuesday and on Wednesday I was called to serve in the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs Wards in Atlanta Georgia! :D WOOOH!!! ATLANTA!!!! It's not the heart of the city and neither is it the poorest part. In fact, it's probably the richest part of Atlanta. But we live in the city! :D I was put in a temporary trio with Sister Davies and Sister DuCharme. However, Sister DuCharme will be returning home tomorrow for medical reasons. :( We will miss her. I'm now in a 4 man apartment with the Spanish Sisters and I was made Sister Training Leader with Sister Davies. How crazy is that?! :D I"m excited for this transfer, there will be many fun times and miracles.

Ere long her King will rend the skies,
Majestic and divine,

When I got to the mission we did baptisms for the dead then I spent the night with my favorite companion EVER sister Williams! :D I was way excited and we had a blast with one more night together! :D

The gospel spreading thru the land,
A people to prepare

Sisters Davies, DuCharme and Becca with Abbie at her Baptism.
Jesus is the best photo bomber ever! :D

Perhaps the biggest miracle took place this Saturday. The sisters here had been teaching this amazing 15 year old girl named Abbie who was on date to be baptized January 6th. She is the most prepared person I have ever met! She found out about the church through -  of all things - the Book of Mormon Play while on vacation. After watching the play she was intrigued and started talking to the missionaries online before eventually taking the lessons from the sisters here. :) I have never met someone more excited about their baptism. But of course Satan tried to stop us.
Sister DuCharme scraping ice off the car with her hand.
Ice scrapers are over rated

On Friday a huge storm rolled in. It sleeted all night and made basically the whole city stop in it's tracks. One thing you learn about Georgia is that literally EVERYTHING stops when there is even a possibility of snow on the forecast. Two days before the baptism people were texting us asking if we were still holding it. We said yes, because we are Utah missionaries who have driven in snow and ice before. Nothing would stop us! :D And Abbie had the same mentality. The day soon arrived and we were told to stay inside our apartments until at least 11 am because of black ice. We waited impatiently since there was lots we needed to do to get ready for the baptism at 2. At 11 we booked it out only to find our car frozen! Like literally, the doors were frozen shut. The trunk frozen shut. and the windows so frozen with thick layers of ice we couldn't see out! All I can say is thank goodness for back up cameras! We backed sister Davies out into the sun after getting the driver side open. Then we turned on the defrost and started chipping away at the ice with our gloved hands. Eventually we were free from our frozen tomb and the rest of the day went off without a hitch! In fact, there were more people at Abbie's baptism than at any other one in that ward! It was wonderful! :D

There were so many things that happened this week that were miraculous, but that one stuck out to me the most. It was amazing how the Lord made everything work our in our favor so that Abbie's baptism could be memorable. :)

To meet the Lord and Enoch's band
Triumphant in the air.

We are filling the font.  It takes 1 1/2 hours to fill it.
This week has been amazing, and I hope to continue seeing amazing ones this whole transfer. On Saturday we were vacuuming the baptismal room when we found a penny heads side up, we thought it was funny and joked about how much good luck we would have. The next day I found another one. And today I found two more all heads side up! What are the odds of that?! Then I was going through my wallet when I found one penny that looked so beaten and battered and bent that you could hardly call it a penny. You couldn't see Lincolns face and could barely see the tales side if you caught it in the light right. I didn't understand how a penny, perhaps the most worthless piece of change could have survived this long in the condition it was in. When I found more ironic was that I had been seeing pennies everywhere. I thought about it for a minute as I was studying the battered penny and a thought came to my head. How often do we feel like a penny? Sometimes we feel worthless, like all we are good for is a sign of good luck on occasion. And sometimes we don't even feel like we are good luck. Sometimes we are like that penny I found in my wallet. Battered, bent, and scraped beyond recognition. How could someone like that be worth anything at all? And then I thought a little more. It's not how we look on the outside that makes us worth so much. It's the potential we have, what God sees in us. What Christ sees in us and saw in us when he suffered for our sins and died on the cross. They have that ability to look beyond the scraped and bent parts, the sins we make and the hard times we may have gone through. They look beyond that to what is on the inside. Someone worth more than you can imagine. We are no longer an ordinary or beat up penny, but instead a gold nugget, worth so much more than we can even realize. But God knows, Christ knows. We knew before we came to this Earth. I know that we are worth more that one small penny. That no matter the bumps, the stumbles, the scrapes we make and have, we are still worth the same. We have lost nothing in God's eyes as long as we try to do our best. It's a very sweet thing to think about. That we are worth so much in someones eyes, and not just anyone's God's. I bare my testimony that I know each of you are worth the weight of the world to God. And that no matter how beaten up and battered you may feel, you are still loved and worth so much in the eyes of God. So remember that when you feel down. :)

Y'all's Southern Bell,

Sister Welch

New and returning missionaries arriving at the Atlanta Airport, greeted by President and Sister Foote in the middle.
Becca and one of the Elders are both returning from medical leave.
From here they went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.

Sister Davies scraping ice off the car.

Sister Davies found this apple crisp mix thing in the pantry. We made it and it didn't taste great, but it looked cute! :D

Selfie in the back seat of the car.

So that was a microwave dumpling thing that went terribly wrong.... It is now charcoal. :P

Here are some pictures of this cool museum we saw on the way back from a meeting!
AKA Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta GA

Friday, January 6, 2017

Called To Serve

Hey Y'all!

"Called to serve Him, heav'nly King of glory,
Chosen e'er to witness for his name,"

So great news! All y'all who didn't read the update last week, I had my last check up's and have been approved to return to my mission tomorrow, January 3rd! It was pretty crazy. My stake president submitted my papers and that SAME DAY the missionary department approved it! I am headed out on the 8:30 am flight with all the newest missionaries from the MTC. I'm very excited for this new turn of events. :D

"Far and wide we tell the Father's story,"

The day I found out I was going back, I went to the Provo City Center Temple with a good friend. It was my first time, and I couldn't believe how beautiful it was! My first thought was that it looked like a modern medieval palace. Truly, this building is worthy to be called the House of the Lord. I wish I could have gone again before I left, but I'm still grateful for my friend for taking me.
"Far and wide his love proclaim."

For new years celebrations, I spent the night with three of my closest friends. We played games, watched a movie, and just had fun. :D

On Sunday I was able to see my cousin's homecoming. I'm very grateful for this, since I wasn't suppose to have seen him for another 7 months at the very least. He did a wonderful job on his talk, and it really pumped me up for my return. :D

"Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
Forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing.
God our strength will be; press forward ever,
Called to serve our King."

I am every grateful for this time I've been home, but I am also excited to return. When I was interviewing with my stake president he said something that caught my memory. He said that right now, someone needed my talents in Georgia. You could say that my time being home has perhaps prepared me to help this person while helping others at home in this way. Heavenly Father knows I have done everything I needed here right now, and that there are now more people in my mission to help. It's pretty crazy how he prepares us for others. We think we are making ourselves better like me with my medical problems, and we are, but we are also doing it for others. It's a completely selfless act to become perfect like Christ. In reality we are making ourselves perfect to help others. And I guess that makes sense, since Christ was completely perfect and all he did was serve us, up through his death and resurrection. I hope I can represent Him to the best of my abilities now that I am called to serve my Lord again.

See y'all in Georgia!

Sister Welch

It got pretty cold here! There was frost everywhere, including on our garland outside. :D