Jerome and Betty and Theo and Blanche

There were miracles this week. Jerome came to church! I just about had a heart attack because I was so excited. The Sisters have been teaching Jerome since September and he had been to church ONCE. He just has some complications with work and family that legitimately make it hard to come. But this past week he got his schedule and he wasn't working on Sunday. Miracle number 1.

Miracle Number 2: Betty. Betty is a woman in her 60's that usually goes to the mega-church across the street. It's called Reid Temple and I'm sure that thing is bigger than the Conference Center. It's HUGE. (As a side note, our church was built first.)

 Anyway, this church attracts a lot of people and they even have a whole police force directing traffic every Sunday because there are so many people. 

Well, it was getting a little too big for Betty, so she decided to come to a church that was a little more personal.  And that was our church.  She came on the Sunday that we got the new bishopric, so the Spirit was strong, and she was just adopted right into the ward.  I was so pleased with how everyone noticed both her and Jerome.  In Sunday school, she wasn't shy at all, and loved to answer questions.  One question seemed to be a little overwhelming because as she started to answer, her eyes suddenly rolled back in her head, and she started trembling like she was having a seizure.  Her voice kept getting louder and louder and the eyes of everyone else in the room kept getting bigger and bigger.  I was a little worried, I'll admit, but Elder Noel (senior missionary) handled it really well, and just cut her off by thanking her, and continued with the lesson.  Then it was just funny and I was trying to not laugh as I realized what had just happened.  It will be interesting to see what future Sundays bring.  We'll be teaching her now and she wants to be at church every week.  I think our first lesson may need to be on the fruits of the Spirit.  :]

Miracle Number 3: Theo.  He's from Ghana, and is so prepared to make this a part of his life!  We showed up at his house for our appointment, and he wasn't there, so his brother called him, and he immediately drove over.  He felt so bad, and as we started to teach him we could see how sincere he was. He has an interesting background.  He's married, and has a family, but they are all in Ghana while he's over here working.  When his kids get to high school age, then they'll come over and do high school and college here, then go back to Ghana.  That seems to be a common thing that Africans do here. They want the harsh punishment and spanking from elementary schools in Ghana, but the education from high school and college in America.  Interesting, but it works for them.  Theo grew up in Ghana and he said that he recognized who we were almost immediately because of what the missionaries and church has done for his people.  He had a chapel in the town where he grew up, and it was common for him to see people getting food and clothes from members of the church.  He loves the Church and wants it to be a part of his life.  And to make this story even better, when I had gone on exchange a couple of weeks ago, Sister Holt had gone to this area with Sister Chan, and she'd felt like there was someone there waiting for us.  So we knocked the whole street and found Theo.  Amazing. 

Miracle Number 4: Blanche.  She's a referral from the Elders, and she is also so prepared for this message.  She's had questions about everything we teach, and she accepts everything we say in a heart beat!  She's 17, and will fit in perfectly with all of the girls we have in the ward.  Wonderful how that happens.

Also, I went back to Olney on exchange last week (one of the perks of being a trainer) and got to see Daneil!!!  It was SO good to see her and to know that she's still teaching the 4 year olds in primary and STUDYING the Book of Mormon, not just reading, but studying.  She told me that she looked up the Valley of Laman and the River Lemuel the other day on google, and people had some really weird ideas.  Haha!  I love that girl.  She also told me that the spiritual thought we left was corny.  ...But I know that just means she liked it.  I wish I could have spent the whole day with her.  But we got to teach Russell as well, because the Sisters have started teaching him again.  It was good to see him too, and it made me laugh because I'd forgotten how brilliant and also how stubborn he is.  What a service he will do for the church when he accepts it. 

Oh, another miracle.  Mosquitoes like new blood better than the old stuff so I'm not getting eaten alive this summer.  That's a HUGE blessing.  We went to do yard work for a member in the ward and I only had one bite when we left.  Poor Sister Holt did get eaten alive.  But that wasn't as scary as when the member started telling us about the ticks she'd been finding on her kids AFTER I'd been tromping through the bushes and foliage in her yard.  Oh dear.  But I came home free of those nasty bugs too.

I wish I had time to tell you about all of the funny things that have happened this past week.  There have been a lot.  Grown men riding the little 2-foot-tall children's motorcycles, the Noel's stories, and so many more.  By the way, we had transfers yesterday and Sister Holt and I are staying together! Which is great because we have so many things going in the area and the ward now and we've gotten better at maximizing the little time we have.  It will be a fantastic transfer. 

Well, we're off to a nationals baseball game right now.  We'll be sitting in the stands with about 150 other missionaries, in our proselyting clothes (which means skirts and suits), wearing our baseball hats and enjoying the sun.  It's going to be glorious.

  Go Nationals!

I love you all.  Stay true to what's eternal.

Love, Sister Welch

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