The Carrollton Ward

Just to warn you, this email is going to be scattered, but I'll try to do headings of some sort to keep it a little organized.  There was just a lot that has happened recently.

A Derecho
For those of you who speak Spanish, you'll know that this means "in a straight line" or something like that.  This is what the news reporters used to describe the storm with hurricane speed winds, the rain/hail, and the non-stop lightning that came through on Friday night.  It knocked over trees as tall as 30 feet, any yard decorations were blown away, and some houses were even punctured and destroyed from the tress falling on them.  In some places in Maryland, people still don't have power.  The VC was down for 3 days, and from what I hear, it was pretty bad.  But I wouldn't really know.....I slept through the whole thing. 

4th of July!
For the first half we were at the VC, then the AP's let us go down to the city to see the fireworks.  They were amazing.  The other amazing part was the number of people there.  It was crazy.
And everyone we stopped to talk to was from a different country: Turkey, Ukraine, Germany, El Salvador...

The Carrollton Ward
This is actually something I've been wanting to do for a while, but haven't been able to with all of the other things going on.  But I wanted to write about some of the people in this ward that I'm going to.  They are incredible and I am learning much more from them than I'm sure they are from me.

Brother F.: He's been a member for almost a year.  His daughter joined first, then was such an example to him that he wanted to have the light she did and was baptized.  At one of our correlation meetings as the ward mission, he was talking about his desire to use the priesthood he had.  He was frustrated because he wasn't getting any training, but here he had God's power and knew he needed to use it to bless lives!  It was such an example to me because I've met many who have the priesthood, but sometimes seem to forget.  Yet Brother F. is desperate to be an instrument, do his home teaching, and use the gift God gave him.

Sister H.: Has 11 kids, including all of her foster children.  The youngest just got married.  She serves in the nursery, feeds us twice a month, has let Edward (who is blind) live with her, and she is wonder woman in real life.

Ema: In her 50's.  Joined the church about a year ago.  Now she's preparing to go to the temple.  She's from Sierra Leon and has been through every trial imaginable in life (husband left her, kids left her, dialysis three times a week, no home, etc) but she's always smiling.  She is a light and the perfect example that material things don't make us happy.  Now, because of her faith, we're going to start teaching her daughter!

Grandma: Sister H's mother-in-law.  She's in her 80's and can reach past her toes.  Ema lives with her.

Edward: From Nigeria.  Joined the church and lost his sight. Always happy.  He bears his testimony every chance he gets and knows who you are even if you don't introduce yourself.  A humble, humble man.

Michael: From Africa as well.  He knows 5 languages, used to be a university professor, then had two strokes and lost his ability to speak.  I gave him a tour at the Visitors' Center, and he joined the church about 9 months ago.  He passes the sacrament with the deacons every week and is one of THE most faithful people I've ever met. 

Brother V.: Got married and graduated from BYU a few years ago.  Now he's working on his PhD, is in his 30's, and is the 1st Counselor in the bishopric.  Gives everything to the Lord and his family.  Truly consecrated.

Sister C.: Has three callings: ward organist, counselor in RS presidency, and Stake YW camp director.  And her husband's the bishop.

Giba: Walks 5 miles to church every Sunday because he doesn't have a car or a phone to find a ride.

And the list goes on and on.  These saints are good people.  The best of the best.  If you can, go onto
lds.org and watch Elder Holland's interview.  I say 'Amen' to all that is said there.  The people of Africa, and of the Carrollton ward are teaching me what it means to be close to God and to just trust Him.  He'll give us what is most important, and that's not material things.  It's family, and protection, and the gospel.  And trials are to bring us closer to Him.  I wish you could all just be here and see how glorious these people are! It's a little piece of heaven on earth.

Stay true to what's eternal.  It's the only to be happy.

I love you all,
Sister Welch

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