All right, all right.

I'll send you a real email.  I know that past couple have been quick, but time is such an issue (as well as my scattered missionary brain) so I spent a little time this morning collecting my thoughts, and I brought my journal (which consists of a post-it note on each page reminding my what to write when I have time to catch up) so.........here it goes.

Two weeks ago we saw a miracle with Susan.  I hope she realizes one day how truly blessed she is.  She's great at recognizing it now, but oh my.  What a charmed life.  So, the story goes that when we were teaching her, her only concern was tithing.  She wanted to pay it, but felt that she just wouldn't have the funds.  She calculated all of her spending, and savings, and income, and to her, it just wasn't going to work.  Of course we talked about the blessings, and that we need to take out tithing before any of our other spending, but it was still an issue.  Well, the first or second week after she was baptized, I noticed her paying her tithing. I didn't say anything, but was hopeful that it was a full tithe.  Then two weeks ago, we went over to see her, and before we could teach anything or even ask her how she was doing she said, "You have to look at what I just got in the mail today!"  It was a notice from Pepco, her insurance company, telling her that instead of paying $136.00 every month, she only had to pay $5.00 for the next couple of months.  Amazing.  Heavenly Father knew that she needed that blessing, and now she KNOWS that tithing is a true principle and commandment. 

Gilberto was another miracle.  Remember how I said last week that we thought he disappeared? Well, we were so excited to have him back, that he went to the  VC (visitors center) Saturday night for a concert, church on Sunday morning, and we went over to his house Sunday afternoon for a lesson.  Poor guy.  Maybe we were a little too excited.  But we needed to see him and figure out where he was at.  Church was a little overwhelming too, so we needed to clear up those concerns, and it worked out.  He went to the VC with the Dougalls for a piano concert (Fan-Ya Lin from Weber State) and that really wasn't his type of music, but it's okay.  He's patient.  The Dougalls told us afterward that he'd told them that this gospel is what he'd been looking for for all of his life.  Yes!  And then when we saw him on Sunday, he'd told us that he'd gone to Virginia a week earlier because his cousin was in a car accident.  He said that when he got there, he asked God to make sure his cousin would be all right, and his prayer was answered.  To him, that's the first time he'd really seen a clear answer to his prayer.  He's also been reading the Book of Mormon and praying about that as well.  He likes to open it randomly, and pick a scripture to read, but then comes to us confused, which makes me laugh.  But more importantly, he said that it doesn't matter what he reads, even if he doesn't understand he feels better afterwards.  And it's so true.  I love it when investigators describe the Book of Mormon that way.  It doesn't matter what you read, because it's all true, and the truth will set you free.

In my studies this morning I was reading in Moroni 7.  I don't remember the exact verse, but it says something along the lines of "charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth."  I realized that although many people would say a lie is the opposite of truth, iniquity is really the opposite of truth. God is truth, and when we sin, we are removing ourselves from him.  We "oppose" him in a way, because we are not being who we truly are, who he created us to be, but we are becoming the opposite of truth.  It was a good realization for me, and it explains why investigators feel better when they read the Book of Mormon.  They are coming closer to the truth, and to who they really are.

As for this week, there have been A LOT of changes.  Number 1: I was transferred yesterday.  Now I'm in New Carrollton (in Prince George's County.  Probably not a good idea to look up their crime rates...) and I'm with Sister Holt.  I don't know what I did to deserve this, but when she came out in November, we were instant friends.  She's one of those people that I'll probably live with when we go back to school.  This transfer is going to be so much fun.  Number 2: My schedule at the VC changed.  Now, instead of being there 3 time a week, I'll be there 5 or 6.  Number 3: President Matsumori asked me to play the piano for a tri-mission conference.  Baltimore, DC-South, and our mission are all meeting at the Visitors' Center to be taught and trained during a three-hour meeting.  Now, normally I wouldn't be nervous to play for such an event, but there just so happens to be a guest speaker named Elder David Bednar who is coming.  Yep.  I'm nervous.  Number 4: Night of Music and Inspiration is two weeks away!  Yikes! I'm behind.  These next couple of weeks are going to be an adventure.

Another miracle I just remembered.  Sister Gros and I were checking on formers (people that had investigated previously) that lived in a little townhouse subdivision.  We had about 5 people to check on, and there was a group of guys hanging out by their car in the middle of this circle of townhouses.  We noticed them, and they started honking the horn to try and get our attention, but we ignored them for a minute to finish checking on these people.  Before we left, however, we decided to talk to them.  When they saw us walking over there, they got quiet, and looked like they were a little scared (because two white girls in skirts can be very intimidating, I know). One of them, even "walked" away, but there were two that stayed, and one that was brave enough to really talk to us.  He was probably 17 or 18, maybe 19, and when we told him who we were, he started getting really defensive. I don't know what's so scary about missionaries, but we started to explain more, and that we were paying our own way, and we were just doing this to give people second chances, and bring them closer to Christ.  Then he just blurted out that, "This is so weird!" And we asked, "What's weird?" He said, "I just threw away my wicken books yesterday because I realized they weren't getting me anywhere.  Then I prayed to God to put me on the right path, then you show up.  This is so weird!" I think I was smiling pretty big (I couldn't help it) and we asked him what he's looking for out of life.  He wanted peace, and power to do what he wants with his life.  We talked a little about the Book of Mormon how it shows us where to find true peace and power, and gave him one, and he took it very carefully.  His friend finally decided to talk, but it was just to ask him, "Are you really freaked out?" and he said, "Yeah! This is seriously freaking me out!  This is weird."  So, we bore out testimonies, and decided to leave. We didn't want to scare him anymore, but he is going to be golden.  Hopefully I'll still get the updates from Sister Gros and be able to tell you about him.

That's all I have time for.  Stay true to what's eternal.

Love, Sister Welch

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