Crabs and Laughs and Happiness

Hello Family!
(and Friends)

And Happy Birthday Dad! I hope you have something fun planned, even though it may just be you and Ben at home.  Eat some ice cream for me.  :]

Well what a week this has been! I'm writing a letter home too, because I've been keeping track of all of the miracles that happen every day, and they're incredible, but I forgot to bring the paper with me to type them up here.  So be expecting a great letter in about a week.  (That's how long it took for your letters to get here.)

Thank you Grandma for the package! I was so surprised and so thrilled to get it.  I laughed at the baby announcement and took pictures with the HUGE decorated marshmallows, so when I have time, I'll have to send those to you.  It made my day.

So, there are a couple things that I've realized as a missionary.  First, there is truly an endowment of the spirit.  It's interesting that even though I was living the best that I could before my mission, I felt the gift of the spirit so strongly in the MTC, and I feel it even more strongly out in the field.  It's the best feeling in the world, and I love it.  It's something that I just want everyone to have so that they can know their lives are guided by a Father in Heaven who truly knows them and loves them. 

Another thing I've learned: the visitor's center is a miraculous teaching tool.  I have a completely different perspective of visitors' centers now, because they are really object lessons waiting to happen.  Visitors' Centers are really for the visitors because there is something for everyone and every type of learning: visual, hands-on, etc.  I think in the past week, there were at least 5 people who committed to baptismal dates in the VC.  The Spirit is already there, and people can lean in a way that's best for them, and their testimonies just comes.  It's amazing.  I still haven't gone through all of the kiosks and looked at all of the displays yet.  I was assigned to give a tour on temples this past week with another sister, and even standing outside of the temple, looking at it through the front window in the VC, I could feel the power of that building, and Heavenly Father's love for the young man we were teaching.  It was a neat experience, and there are more that I'll share with you in the letter I'm sending home.

Two funny stories before I go.  Last week we went to dinner with the Premonts.  As we were driving there, Sister Hazen said, "I'm just going to warn you that Sister Premont loves the sister missionaries and wants us to marry her son who's like, 26 or something."  I just laughed, and said thanks for the warning, but when we got there, her son walked out of the living room and I looked at him and said, "David?" And he just looked at me and said, "Wait, I know you.  How do I know you?" So we figured out that we knew each other from BYU, through Ali Walker, and the whole time we were talking, his mom was standing there going, "David, you're turning red...and I don't think that's a sunburn.  Wow, you're really blushing!"  Poor guy.  He handled it well, despite the blushing, which was ridiculous anyway, but the whole situation was just funny to me because I'm a missionary now and not even thinking along the lines his mom was.  During the entire dinner though, his family was asking Sister Hazen and me dating questions, and we kept trying to redirect and ask about how their missionary work is, and it was just a crazy experience.  They're a good family though, and I got a good laugh out of it.

The other funny story happened a couple days ago.  We got a phone call from a member of the ward who said that she and her husband had a bunch of crabs that they weren't going to eat, and would we like them? We said yes, of course, so we drove over there and they pulled out this huge garbage bag with probably a dozen crabs just sitting in it.  I wasn't exactly sure how to react.  Then they showed us how to yank off the legs to get the meat, and how to open the shell, and what the lungs look like, and it ended up being quite the cultural experience for me.  I did eat most of a crab, just to say that I did it and because they weren't that big, but then we decided to take the rest home.  We ended up taking them to district meeting, after telling the elders that we were bringing a surprise dessert.  They were pretty disappointed.  But luckily, a member had given us a chocolate cake as well that we shared with them.  Mmmm.  Crab cake.  :] 

Well, I'll send that letter as soon as I can, but I hope that everyone is doing fantastic, and I'd love to hear from you all!

-Love, Sister Welch

P.S. I went to the city today and it was HOT and HUMID, but amazing.  I can't wait to go back.

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