Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 24, 2014



Hola Everyone

Well, the time has finally arrived...It seems just like yesterday that I was being set apart to serve the Lord for 2 years. l still remember the day that l entered the MTC so vividly. lt was one of the happiest days of my Iife but also one the saddest as I said goodbye for 2 years. I honestly never thought that I would make it through the MTC or to the end of my mission because my conviction of the truthfulness of the gospel wasn't very strong when I started. But the Lord provided the way to help me make it through those 9 weeks in Provo; he did it with Elder Olson. He became my best friend in a few short weeks and we helped support each other as we strived to find our testimonies. When I arrived to Chile I couldn't imagine being able to understand spanish. Chileans talk so fast! But once again, the Lord provided the way. I was able to learn spanish relatively quickly. I'm not fluent by any means but I can understand and speak well enough. The gift of tongues is real, I am a witness. I want to take a part of Alex's and Max's last emails home because it really does transmit some of my thoughts:
I love looking down and seeing next to my name the name of my older brother Jesucristo (Jesus Christ). It has meant the world to me to know that, I can do anything, ANYTHING, because I am on His team. The battle and war has been won. It was won long ago when my best friend suffered, fell on His face and cried. Then after being beaten, spit upon, and crucified, He gave up His life for me and all of us who are on this earth. But he rose again on the third day, triumphant over death. That is when the battle was won. I know that Christ suffered and died for all of us and that He invites EVERYONE to come unto Him and be partakers of the blessings that he has prepared for each of us.
I have had lots of ups and downs during these two years but each and every one of them has taught me a lesson. I have come to know that God knows every single one of us personally. I know that He knows me, a simple missionary from Twin Falls, Idaho, and he knows every single one of you. I feel like I have come to know my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ just a little bit more. It is a lifelong journey and I can't wait to continue on this journey that we call life.
I won 2 state championships and I never thought that anything could beat those feelings. I was dead wrong. The feeling of sharing the gospel with someone and seeing them accept it, cannot be beat. There is no greater joy than sharing the gospel with others. I love being a missionary and it makes me sad to think that I won't be able to put the name tag on in a week, but I feel content with what I have done. I have strived to do everything that He has asked me to do. I wasn't perfect, far from it, but I know that overall, I did my best. I love how I had to lose myself in order to find myself. I know that it sounds cliché but it is true.
These last 2 years have been the best 2 years that everyone talks about. I never understood that before, but now I do. And no one will ever understand it until they live it. I am almost 100% sure that I will have 2 years that will be better as I get married and have a family, but I will never again have another 2 years that will bless me as much or prepare me as much as these have. I also never understood how my dad could tell me that I would learn to love a people that I never knew. But I understand now. I love Chile and the Chilean people. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.
I know that God and Jesus Christ live. I know that Christ suffered and died for me. The Atonement is real and it can carry us through whatever stage of our lives. I know that this is the work of God. I have seen his hand in it. I know that this is the only true church. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and his son Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove. I have no doubt about it. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God. I know that if I strive to do everything that They ask me to do, I will return to live with Them again with my family. I love my mission and I love the Lord. I will be forever grateful to Him for giving me this oportunity to serve Him.

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

Hola Everyone

This week went by pretty quick. We taught a lot of lessons! I think that we taught more lessons than I have taught in any of my other sectors during a week. The odd thing though is that it felt like we were out in the street most of the day contacting people. I have been here for 2 years and I still don't understand why we focus so much on contacting, but whatever. Preach My Gospel teaches us that we have to adapt ourselves to our circumstances so I guess that is probably why. I would have liked to have been able to help more people understand their role in the Work of Salvation. But we would get in trouble if we weren't teaching more lessons, so I have been in a rough situation. We found quite a few more people this week. We started teaching a lady named Leticia and her boyfriend Juan José. He is from Venezuela and has some different ideas about God. They are both really smart though; they understood the Plan of Salvation pretty well. They couldn't come to church yesterday because they had other commitments with family, but they promised to come this next week. We tried to get with Cristian and Paulina but their landlord is really rude and won't let us on to his property. So we're trying to find some members to help us out with their house so we can teach them. Time is just flying by! Next week will be my last letter so I'll be sure to share my testimony and everything that I have learned next week. I love and miss you all so much! Have an awesome week! Try not to freeze to death!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 11, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was just full of curveballs. I got special changed out of my sector for something that I didn't do, so now I'm in a trio with Elder Adair (UT) and Elder McGee (MO) in Talca. I'm not going to lie it has been really hard to deal with; but whatever, the mission goes on. This week we were able to find some really receptive people who want to learn more about the gospel. We actually found a young family of 3: Cristian, Paulina, and their 3 year old son Oliver. They came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it. The problem is that they aren't married. But Paulina wants to get married so hopefully we can help them do that soon. We had a special mission conference yesterday. Elder Christensen from the 70 Presidency was here with his wife and they talked a little bit to us. That is why our PDay is today. Anyways, he talked about sanctifying ourselves. There were lots of other things that he talked about but I heard a lot of things that I need to do within the next 3 weeks so that when I get home, I will continue strong in the church. I don't want to focus on coming home so I'm just trying to stay focused as much as I can and just work, work, work. I have to keep myself focused because I don't want to do die; so please keep me in your prayers. I love and miss you all so much! Have a fantastic week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014

Hola Everyone

This week was pretty interesting to say the least. The weather, Halloween, and Stake Conference made this week just all sorts of crazy. The weather was acting all sorts of crazy. It was really hot and then all of a sudden the wind started to blow like crazy and it got really cold. It happened 2 days in a row. We had a ward Halloween activity that turned out pretty good. It was absolutely nothing like a ward party in the states but it was still good. We also had stake conference this weekend and I really enjoyed it despite the fact that I had a 24 virus that was brutal to deal with. Elder Norambuena (Chile; Area Seventy) presided and I really enjoyed his comments. He really stressed the importance of member-missionary unity. He invited all of the members to commit to be better disciples of Christ. He also focused a lot on really studying the scriptures and not just reading them. I honestly think that is one of the hardest things for me because I just love to read. But I have already made the commitment to be better. Seeing as how I am in Curicó again, I was able to see a lot of members from my other 2 sectors here. I was so happy to see all of them and it seemed that they were pretty happy to see me as well; or maybe they were happy that I'm leaving soon. I'm hoping that it was the first reason haha. But the most special moment for me was being able to see Yilda again. Almost a year later, she is still strong in the church and is absolutely loving life right now. She is a primary teacher and the branch Family History advisor/consultant. She looked so happy but she started to cry when we had to say goodbye. It will be the last time that I see her unless I come back to Chile. But seeing her happy, made me realize that every single second of my mission has been worth it. It was worth helping her accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and become a better person. Getting back to my sector that I'm in now...Bernardita accepted to be baptized on the 23rd of this month, but she is really struggling with some doubts. She doesn't want to make the wrong choice but she is scared of receiving an answer. All we could do was testify and promise her that she can't be misguided when she follows the Spirit and its promptings. Hopefully she will be able to overcome her doubts and be able to make the decision to take that leap of faith. Well that is about it for this week! My PDay next week will be on Tuesday so don't freak out when my email gets to you a day later. I love and miss you all so much! Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 28, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week went by pretty slow but it was a good week. We have been trying to focus on getting members to go out with us and we were able to do it. We were also pretty limited with time. We had to go to Santiago on Wednesday and didn't have any time to proselyte and then we had to do divisions with the other Elders that we live with because one wasn't feeling very good. But we are making progress with some people. Bernardita is doing well as well as a girl named Solange. She is the girlfriend of a member and she has been coming to church for quite some time. We were able to teach her about Priesthood Authority because she had a lot of doubts about it, but it appears that she understood. We are going to invite her to get baptized, so fingers crossed everyone! My new companion is pretty cool. He is pretty inteligent and really good with the scriptures. He is a workaholic which is exactly what I need to keep me focused. It has been a blessing so far, so hopefully he won't let me die haha. Well I love and miss you all! Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

Hola Everyone

This week went by pretty fast as well. We had some really good lessons. Bernardita is progressing pretty well. She couldn't come to church this week because she had some problems in her house, but she is reading the Book of Mormon, and praying. We have a lot of potential investigators, the trouble is being able to visit them; because everyone works and is free from about 7:00 pm forward but we have to visit all of the less-actives, recent converts, and investigators in that time span. Chileans make things way more difficult or exagerate a lot of things as well. Such as: I don't have time, I worked a lot, or I'm tired. They have a few priority issues but we are slowly making progress with them. We have changes tomorrow, and Elder Mendoza is leaving. I'm pretty bummed because we got along so well, but I also understand that we almost go home together so it would basically leave the sector in a whitewash. My new companion is a Peruvian (my 4th...). I don't know anything about him besides the fact that he was Elder Gillins' companion about 10 months ago. I can't believe that this is my last change...It seems so unreal. But I'm not "dead" yet so I'm going to keep working hard and help the people that need me. I love and miss you all! Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

Hola Everyone

This week absolutely flew by!!!!! I honestly can't believe that it is Monday again already. We had a really good week. We had 3 investigators that came to church. Bernarndita is progressing quite a bit. The one big thing holding her back is that she lives with her boyfriend (who is the father of their child). She seems to be pretty fed up with him lately so we will see what happens. We have a FHE planned with her and her sister's family tonight so hopefully we can help her clear up some doubts that she has. On Saturday, there was a multi-stake YSA activity and all of the young single adults went out with the missionaries from the 2 zones here to contact people. Our companionship alone had like 20-25 contacts in a little over an hour. It turned out to be a lot of fun. We had Zone Conference this last week and it was really good. President Warne and the Assistants really focused on using our time more efficiently. Lately we have been having better numbers as a mission so we are definitely seeing the hand of the Lord as we strive to be more efficient with our time. Well, that's about it for this week! I love and miss you all! Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

Hola Everyone

This was one of the fastest weeks of my mission so far. Everything just flew by! I'm not sure if it was because I was so focused on General Conference and helping others go or we were just working extra hard. We had 2 investigators that went to General Conference. One, Bernardita, went to 2 sessions! She didn't really want to go but her sister and brother-in-law (members) convinced her to go. The first time she just went in street clothes but the 2nd session she went in a dress. She said that she felt like she needed to go in a dress, not because anyone forced her. The other investigator, Constanza, also went to 2 sessions but only went because her mom went. We didn't get a chance to really talk to her about it though, so hopefully we can find out what she thought about it. I really enjoyed General Conference. I'm only going to share my thoughts about a few talks that I really enjoyed. Elder Ballard: 1) Stay in the boat because the Lord will guide us right. 2) Always wear a life jacket; study the words of the apostles and prophets. 3) Hold on with both hands; avoid the distractions that surround us that tell us to "leave the boat". Elder Scott: 4 tools to help us stay active and live the gospel. 1) Prayer 2) Daily scripture study and studying the words of the modern prophets 3) Weekly family home evening 4) Regular trips to the temple. I feel like Elder Scott's talk was specifically directed at me seeing as how I will be finishing my mission soon and will be a "normal" person again. And of course, Elder Bednar's talk. I have always enjoyed his talks and this one was especially good. I'm only going to touch on one specific detail. He said that there are a lot of people who think that absolute truths don't exist. They DO exist! And we can know them through prayer and the Holy Ghost. And for those that say absolute truths don't exist obviously haven't read the Bible. It says that "every knee shall bow...and every...should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:10-11). There are many other absolute truths and I know of a few of them. I know that this is the same church that Christ established during his mortal ministry. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that is was translated by Joseph Smith through the power of God. I know these things for myself because God told me so through the Holy Ghost.   That's all I have to say about this week. I love and miss you all! Have a great week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week just absolutely flew by! I really don't know how it is Monday again and time to write all of you. Things were pretty good this week. We were able to talk to Alexis. He was just kind of depressed. I'm not really sure why because a professional soccer team that is pretty good down here just signed him to their farm team (20U). But he didn't show up to church and we haven't had any contact with him since Friday. But hopefully we can teach him and he will be excited to go to General Confrence. Speaking of General Conference, I'm SOOOOOOOO EXCITED for it!!! I'm beyond ready to hear the Prophet and the 12 Apostles speak and give us the direction that we need for the next 6 months. It has been way too long since April. I have been trying to prepare myself for the last week or so and I will continue to do so, so that I will be able to receive the direction and the answers that I need. I invite all of you to do the same as well. I can't really think of anything else because I'm so focused on General Conference. I'm looking forward to be able to share with you my thoughts and feelings on the talks next week. I love and miss you all! Have an absolutely awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 22, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was a little bit rougher than what I had hoped it would be. I thought because of the city we would be able to talk to more people and such, but I was wrong. It was basically the same as the year before in Licantén. Most people besides the members of the church were drinking so it wasn't worth much to go talk to them. My birthday was a pretty normal day in the mission, almost all day in the street haha. But it didn't bother me that much. Well we were supposed to baptize Alexis yesterday but he didn't show up to his baptismal interview or church so obviously he didn't get baptized. We're not really sure what happened because the day of the ward activity he seemed fine. He seemed to really enjoy himself but the next day he completely ignored us and wouldn't answer his phone. We just have to keep working with him and find out what happened. Like I said, this week was kinda rough. We didn't have too many lessons because people left to go visit family, touristic sites, etc. But yesterday during planning we set goals to contact the references we have received and to let our faith show through our work. We're going to work and pray extra hard this week and leave the rest to the Lord.

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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September 15, 2014

Hola Everyone

This last week was really enjoyable. I'm with Elder Mendoza (Mexico). We arrived at the mission home the same time I did. So I'm pretty sure that President won't let us die together. We were supposed to baptize a young man this last weekend but his mom had to work so he didn't want to do it. So he will be getting baptized this weekend. This week we will be celebrating the independence of Chile from Spain on the 18th. I'm excited for this week because most people don't have to work so it should be a great opportunity to find more people to teach. A lot of people drink a ton during this week but there are also a lot of people who don't. I'll be sure to send you pictures of the ward activity this week. Something really gratifying happened to me this week. I was able to see Carlos, Rosi, Miguel, Sebastian, Vaitiary, and Martina this week! They were the family that we found when I was with Elder Ramirez about 8 months ago. I was so overwhelmed to see them and see the small changes that they have made. I don't remember if I told you guys or not but Rosi got baptized about 8 weeks ago; Elder Mendoza actually baptized her. When I saw Rosi on Saturday at a stake activity, I just wanted to cry. I could see the difference in her countenance. I could see the happiness that she now has. I could see the difference that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has made in her life. It was such a special moment for me and it just strengthened my testimony of this great work that we are involved in. I may not have been able to attend her baptism or been the one to bapitze her, but that doesn't matter to me; being able to see her and know that she is firm in the gospel is more than enough for me. I know that this is the work of God and that this is the church of Jesus Christ. The gospel is for everyone and can change the life of every single person for the better. I love and miss you all! Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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September 8, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was kinda slow. We had very few lessons but we were a lot better with being diligent in looking for people. We really tried to talk to more people in the street, outside of their house, etc. As for investigators, we were really only able to meet with Willy. He didn't have a lot of time so we couldn't teach him what we wanted. But we watched a really cool video (https://www.lds.org/youth/video/because-of-him?lang=eng) that talks about Christ. He also came to church yesterday!! It was an absolute miracle in my eyes. He has told us so many times that he probably would never go but he showed up. A lot of people would say that we should have stopped teaching him a long time ago, but like I have said before, not everyone progresses at the same rate and we had felt that we needed to keep teaching him. He will get baptized one day, but I won't be here because we have changes tomorrow. I'm heading back down to Curicó. It looks like I will be finishing my mission there, seeing how I only have 2 changes left. Time sure has passed by quickly. I never understood how people could say that the mission flies by, but I really do understand now. I hope that I can finish my mission strong and help the Lord in whatever way I can. I love and miss you all! Have a great week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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September 1, 2014

Hola Everyone

This week was pretty decent. We were able to teach a few more lessons. I don't remember if I ever told you about a kid named Willy? But we have been teaching him since June. He was basically atheist before but now he is starting to believe in God. His progress is really slow but sure. We watched The Restoration with him and the thing that was most interesting to him was the Gold Plates. He wanted to know everything about them so we basically explained the Book of Mormon to him. He was really, really interested. We read Alma 32:21, 26-28 with him and he understood really well. He admitted that he hasn't been doing everything that he could to help the "seed" grow. But he committed to do his part. I really hope that he will receive his answer. Francisco didn't get baptized this last weekend because he still has a long ways to go (he is working and studying and literally has no time to meet with us besides Sunday at church). We have to talk to him about changing his baptismal date to sometime in October. Things are good here besides the weather. It is seriously bi-polar. It was really warm this last week but now it is freezing and raining. It has been raining hard since about 3 am this morning. I have been really studying the Atonement a lot lately. I still don't comprehend a lot of things but I feel like I have come to understand the Atonement just a little bit more. I don't have much time to explain this week but I will try next week. Love and miss you all! Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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August 25, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was pretty much the same as last week. We really struggled having lessons. It's so frustrating to set an appointment with someone and then when you show up they aren't there. That has kinda been the story of my mission so far; finding people but then not be able to find them again. Francisco has been working for about a month and it has been ridiculously hard to meet with him. He wants to get baptized but sometimes he doesn't show that desire because he doesn't come to church on Sunday; the only day that we can talk to him because of his schedule. But we did find a new inactive lady named Barbara and her two children who are not members. They are really, really receptive so hopefully we can start to make some headway with them. The daughter wanted to go to church yesterday but they didn't show up. Hopefully they will come this next week. We also taught a young man named Pablo on Tuesday. He is a Jehovah's Witness and he really liked the idea of having a prophet in our time to guide and help us know what God wants us to do. We have another appointment with him tomorrow. There was a small earthquake here on Saturday. It was the longest one that I have experienced as of yet. It started out pretty slow and so we thought "yeah it's a normal one" but it kept going and then got a lot stronger. So we were kinda confused with what we were going to do but then it stopped like 10 seconds later. I think it registered 6.2 or something like that. It was interesting for sure. Well that's about it for this week. I love and miss you all! Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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August 18, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week wasn't very good for numbers as we had very few lessons. We had an activity (Talent Show) on Saturday so we were trying to make sure everything was in order for that. The talent show was a huge success. Lots of members showed up and a few even brought friends who aren't members or who are less-active. As of right now Francisco still has his baptismal date for the 30th of this month, but we have to change it because he isn't ready. It's frustrating but not everyone learns or understands at the same pace. We couldn't meet with Juan this last week because they changed his work schedule and things got kinda complicated. Hopefully we can find him this week. My companion and I are looking "outside of the box" to find more people to teach. Doing contacts is pretty boring and it isn't very effective, so we are going to try some new things. That is basically all that happened this week. I know that things will start to pick up for us soon. I love and miss you all! Have a great week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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August 11, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was pretty normal. We kinda struggled with finding things to do because most of our appointments fell. Well, there isn't much to do here besides contact so that's what we did. It didn't really work for us during the week but yesterday something unexpected happened. An inactive member (who we didn't even know existed) brought his girlfriend to church. She is really, really interested in the church. I thought of a scripture "Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter..." (D&C 58:3). I think that as missionaries and as members we expect immediate results. And a lot of times, the Lord doesn't work in that way. He blesses us in His time, and in His way. The weeks just keep going by and I don't have a ton of time left. I just want to keep working hard and do the things that the Lord wants me to do. I just want to be "an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my [hope]." I love and miss you all so much! Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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This is a picture of Elder Harding (Highland) and I today. He goes home tomorrow.


August 4, 2014

Hola Everyone

This week was so much better! We were able to find 3 new investigators, which hasn't happened in a really long time. One of our investigators, Francisco, got really emotional during church yesterday because his son got presented (the mom is a member). He said he felt really good and we were able to change his baptismal date to the 30th of this month. The Stake Patriarch took us to an old friend of his named Juan Godoy. His son is now the Branch President in San Francisco de Mostazal, my old sector. Anyways, the Spirit was soooooooo strong during our lesson with him. This guy has had so many spiritual experiences it is almost unbelievable. He knows that the Book of Mormon is true, that the church is true, but for fear of leaving "the faith of his parents" he hasn't been baptized. But he committed to pray to know if he should get baptized. Feeling the Spirit is one of the coolest things ever. I'm not very good at recognizing it, but when I do recognize it, wow. For many of you, you may understand what I'm talking about. The Spirit is hard to explain. You have to experiement what it feels like to know what it really is and how it feels for you personally. I was reading a talk by Pres. Packer this last week titled "The Candle of the Lord" and he had an experience that I really enjoyed reading. He talks about how a man tried to tell him that he was basically crazy. I'm just going to cite it here.
"I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. “You are wrong,” I said, “there is a God. I know He lives!” He protested, “You don’t know. Nobody knows that! You can’t know it!” When I would not yield, the atheist, who was an attorney, asked perhaps the ultimate question on the subject of testimony. “All right,” he said in a sneering, condescending way, “you say you know. Tell me how you know.” When I attempted to answer, even though I held advanced academic degrees, I was helpless to communicate. Sometimes in your youth, you young missionaries are embarrassed when the cynic, the skeptic, treat you with contempt because you do not have ready answers for everything. Before such ridicule, some turn away in shame. (Remember the iron rod, the spacious building, and the mocking? See 1 Ne. 8:28.) When I used the words Spirit and witness, the atheist responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” The words prayer, discernment, and faith, were equally meaningless to him. “You see,” he said, “you don’t really know. If you did, you would be able to tell me how you know.” I felt, perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then came the experience! Something came into my mind. And I mention here a statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas … and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977, p. 151.) Such an idea came into my mind and I said to the atheist, “Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.” “Of course I do,” was his reply. “When did you taste salt last?” “I just had dinner on the plane.” “You just think you know what salt tastes like,” I said. He insisted, “I know what salt tastes like as well as I know anything. “If I gave you a cup of salt and a cup of sugar and let you taste them both, could you tell the salt from the sugar?” “Now you are getting juvenile,” was his reply. “Of course I could tell the difference. I know what salt tastes like. It is an everyday experience—I know it as well as I know anything.” “Then,” I said, “assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.” After some thought, he ventured, “Well-I-uh, it is not sweet and it is not sour.” “You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.” After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not convey, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, “I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come than you are to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!”

I know that the experience was kind of long but I felt like I should share it. I'm going to attach it so that you can all read it. I hope that you enjoy it. That's about it for this week. I love and miss you all! Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

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July 28, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was pretty normal. The ward is getting better with supporting us. We had a few of the brethren go out with us this week to do contacts and look for less-actives. I know it may not seem like much to some people but it is a huge step for the ward here. We are done with this change and my companion and I are going to be staying here. This next change is going to be a challenge for us. We are really struggling with finding people and I honestly think that the trend will continue. It has been like this my whole mission so I'm pretty used to it. I don't want anyone to think that I'm lazy or that I don't care; but I'm used to struggling even though I'm working hard. Obviously the Lord has other things in store for me than baptizing a thousand people like everyone wants to do. I like to think of the scripture in Alma 20:30 "And, as it happened, it was their lot to have fallen into the hands of a more hardened and a more stiffnecked people; therefore they would not hearken unto their words" I know that the Lord is in charge and that this is His work, not mine. His plan is perfect. It may not always be what we want, but it is always for the better. I am willing to "suffer" if it means that I will become who he wants me to be. I love and miss you all so much! I hope that this week is awesome for every single one of you!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

Remember who you are and the family name you bear
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Remember who you are and who you represent



July 21, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was about the same as last week. We really didn't teach many lessons this week which was a bummer. We have really struggled finding people this change. Willy is a stud but a little lazy. He read the pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation with his girlfriend, who is a member, and then explained everything back to us. He said that he had prayed but didn't receive an answer. But as we talked to him and listened to him we realized that he hadn't prayed with real intent. So we explained to him what he could do in order to receive his answer. He said that he would pray again and do it for real this time. Well Zone Conference was pretty good. President Warne focused on how we can help investigators progress. And everything really came down to: praying, reading The Book of Mormon, and going to church. I know that seems pretty obvious but the way he explained it was different. And there is not enough time to tell you everything that he said. But he wants us to basically focus on reading the Book of Mormon and having spiritual experiences with the investigators with the BOM. And the next day I was reading in Preach my Gospel and I had a lightbulb moment. I read a quote from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. I had read it before but it had never quite had an impact on me; “Please do not take the Book of Mormon for granted. Pray for a vision of how the Book of Mormon can be used more effectively in your mission. I promise that as you do so, your mind will be enlightened with the direction that you should take." (Seminar for New Mission Presidents, 23 June 1999). I realized that I had never actually done that. So I made a commitment to do so. I hope that I will soon receive the help that I desperately need in order to help the Chilean people accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's about it for this week. I love and miss you all a ton! Have a great week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

Remember who you are and the family name you bear
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Remember who you are and who you represent
p.s. This is a picture of me and a member from my sector in San Francisco


July 14, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was a really struggle. My companion has to spend a bunch of time in the dentist office because they are re-doing a bunch of stuff with his teeth so that has been something kinda difficult to accept; being there instead of outside in my sector. We weren't able to meet with Francisco this week. He didn't show up to the 2 appointments that we had with him but I'm sure that we will find him this week. We have been teaching a kid named Willy over the last change and a half. When I first got here he told us that he didn't really care about religion and didn't really want to do much. But as we have visited him occasionally, his countenance has changed and he shows just a little bit more interest. In fact, on Thursday we were talking to him about what happens after death and he made the comment that we would have to wait until we die to find out. We shared some experiences and bore our testimonies that he could know by praying with real intent to know. He looked at us for a second and then said, "I guess I'll have to try it out." I know that this may not seem like much to some people but for me, it means so much! His progress is slow but it is steady. Not everybody progresses at the same rate and this just proves it. We have Zone Conference tomorrow and I'm really excited for it. I love hearing what President Warne has to say. I know without a doubt that he is a man called of God to direct this mission. I love this work and I love being a missionary. I love and miss you all! Have a stupendous week!
With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

Remember who you are and the family name you bear
Return with Honor
Remember who you are and who you represent

July 7, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was pretty normal. We kind of struggled but like I have always said that the tough moments only last a small moment and then the Lord blesses us. We started teaching the boyfriend of a member and he is really receptive and wants to make changes in his life. We are really focusing on making him understand that he needs to do it for himself and not for his girlfriend. We have had good support from the members with him so far, so that has been a plus. We are trying to brainstorm ideas on how to find. Contacting doesn't work and we don't usually get references so we are trying to think outside of the box and I think we have a few ideas that might work. I completed 19 months on Saturday and I was reflecting on how quickly this last month went. I hope that it doesn't get any faster because I'm not sure how well I will be able to handle it if it does. I love and miss you all! Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

Remember who you are and the family name you bear
Return with Honor
Remember who you are and who you represent



June 30, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was kind of crazy. Chile was pretty excited about the game against Brazil on Saturday and everyone was getting ready for it. We had to be in the house from noon to 6 pm on Saturday. When everyone started leaving their houses there were a lot of people crying and such. The way that they lost was heartbreaking. It was interesting to see how passionate they are about soccer. I keep telling everyone that they still have hope because the US team is still in the running. They all just laugh at me. But anyways, things are good here. It was kind of a slow week. We are still trying to work with the less-active list and find new investigators that way. But it still hasn't really worked for us quite yet. But things are already looking bright for this week. We have some appointments with some people who seem really, really interested so hopefully it works out for us. I just can't believe how fast time is going. Sometimes it feels like I'm in a dream and everytime that I "wake up" another week has passed. The investigators that we have had aren't really progressing which is really disappointing but I know that things will turn around soon. I love you all and hope that you have a great week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

Remember who you are and the family name you bear
Return with Honor
Remember who you are and who you represent

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 23, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was okay for us. We are basically in a whitewash like I said last week so we were in the street for quite a while. But we are trying to work with the less-active members to find families where not everyone is a member. It hasn't really worked quite yet but we're not going to stop doing it after only a week. I know that it is the best way to work so we are going to just keep trucking along. Elder Santos is pretty cool, but he is SUPER quiet! Way more shy and bashful than I am (imagine that) haha. This week was kinda crazy with soccer. We have to stay in the house during the games that Chile plays and when they beat Spain (defending World Cup Champion) things were kinda nuts. Luckily we just had Coorelation meeting afterwards but it was still pretty intense. We had a few less-actives come to church that hadn't gone during my time here with Elder Arriola so I was pretty excited. We just have to help them progress and become active again. We are praying hard and trying to find the people that are waiting for us and I know that if we are obedient and diligent, we will find them. I love and miss you all so much! I hope you have a great week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

Remember who you are and the family name you bear
Return with Honor
Remember who you are and who you represent


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 16, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was pretty rough. It rained 4 out of 7 days and we were in the street most of the day for 2 of them. It was pretty miserable to be honest. We have really struggled with finding people lately. And the World Cup started so that has been pretty interesting to deal with as well. All I want to do is find someone to teach. I get pretty tired of being in the street all day long with nowhere to go. But I know that things will start to click soon. We had to divide our sector with the sister missionaries. We were just kind of working everywhere without any problems but President Warne wants all of the sectors divided. So we lose basically everything we had and we have to go to the part of our sector where there aren't really any investigators. We have changes this week and my companion is heading down to Curicó. My new companion will be Elder Santos. He is from Uruguay. I don't know him but everyone says that he is pretty cool but that he is really quiet and shy. Kinda reminds me of someone but I don't know who....I guess both of us will have to break out of our shell. We are basically going to be in a whitewash so it will be interesting for sure. I saw on the mission website today that Ignacia (the daughter of Yilda from Licantén) got baptized this last week! I'm super excited for her! And I also found out that the mom of the soccer prodigy family from my last sector, she wants to get baptized as well. I'm super excited for her as well. It looks like most of my work as a missionary will be planting the seeds and being able to watch from afar as those people choose to accept the gospel. I don't mind it because I know that I did my part. I love and miss you all. Have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

Remember who you are and the family name you bear
Return with Honor
Remember who you are and who you represent



June 9, 2014

Hola Everyone

Well this week was pretty slow for us. I wasn't even in my sector for 3 days this week because my companion went to Santiago with some other missionaries for his visa stuff. So I stayed with some other elders in their sector on Monday and Tuesday and then on Thursday I did divisions with an elder from my district. But basically everything that we have had lately, is gone. We don't have investigators. The family that we taught last week told us to not come back because the aunt (owner of the house) is super catholic and doesn't want us there. So that was kind of a blow to the stomach. And on top of that, it rained for like 3 days straight. We got absolutely soaked. And what made it worse was the fact that basically nobody let us in those 3 days. I'm not gonna lie, this week was pretty difficult to handle with all of the stuff that happened. But I know that the night is darkest just before the dawn so I know that soon things will start clicking for us. Well for all of you who are reading this, I completed 18 months in the mission this last Thursday. The last 18 months have been super hard, full of happy moments and not so happy moments, struggles, challenges, and triumphs. I have finished 3/4 of my mission and am in the last leg of it. I can't imagine how quickly these next 6 months will go by (if it is true like everyone says). I know that this is it. This is my last chance to work in the Lord's vineyard as a full-time missionary and I'm not going to let it pass by. It's time to dig deep and finish out the game. I love and miss you all a ton! I hope that you all have an awesome week!

With love,

Elder Jayson Welker

Remember who you are and the family name you bear
Return with Honor
Remember who you are and who you represent