Monday, May 29, 2017

This email was sent by Sister Welker on May 29th.  We received it on May 28th.

Week 42: Someone Else's Shoes and Road Trip to Hamilton

Sadly, I don't have heaps of time, but don't worry nothing super exciting happened this week.

We went on exchanges with the Mountford Sisters.  I stayed in my area with Sister Ventayen, and my companion went to Mountford with Sister Yuson.  The theme was "Stepping inside someone else's shoes."  Each missionary switched shoes with their assigned companions and had them focus on trying to get to know their companion and trying to picture what it would be like to be in their shoes (literally haha).  It was a really neat experience and gave me the chance to imagine what it would be like to be in another person's shoes.  It had to be one of the craziest exchanges, but I really loved it.  It helped me to see that all the missionaries within the Hamilton New Zealand Mission are truly family.  That we are all concerned for each other, and and want to make sure we are OK and safe. 

We are on our way to Hamilton today to make a switch with our car.  They need to fix ours and we're going to switch it out for a different one temporarily.  So my companion and I will be on another random road trip!!!  I can't wait!! :D

Hope you all have a good week.

Sister Mandy Welker

This email was sent by Sister Welker on May 29th.  We received it on May 28th.  Sister Welker ran out of time last week.  This is from May 22nd.

Week 41: Banana's and Mints, Mother of 2, Random Sleepover, and Church again?

So once upon a time, my companion and I were planning to go grocery shopping, but sadly due to the timing of the holidays, we found out that our mission cards didn't have money for this week yet.  So rather than go empty handed we bought Bananas and Mints.  We thought it was pretty funny and we even took a "poor missionary photo" for memories haha.

We had Zone Conference and I was reunited with Sister Jabeque.  She had been in Tauragna this whole time with a different companion every transfer!!!  In mission life, when you train your called a mom and whomever you are training is your daughter.  So I'm now a mother of two, and we were able to take a family photo.  Can you see the resemblance?  haha. ;)

So Mom was right when she told us putting grease down the drain is not a good idea.  We were having trouble with a shower filling up as we were showering.  We thought at first, that it was because of some hair in the drain, but we had already cleaned out all the hair on PDAY.  Then we thought that maybe would just need to buy some drano stuff and we'd be all good.  Just in case, we called our housing missionaries and explained our concern.  They had a plumber come and check the problem out.  Lucky we did, because the problem was bigger than we thought.  Over the course of who knows how long, there has been food and grease, and heaps of others things building up inside the pipes.  Guess the shower and the sink use the same pipes haha.  The plumber tried plunging the clog farther into the pipes in hopes it would unclog once it found bigger pipes, but instead the stuff started coming back up the sink.  So long story short, we got permission to have a sleep over with the Mountford Sisters.  This was just after President Cummings told us no more sleep overs haha.  We didn't complain though, and we spent most of the night taking photos and enjoying each others company.  Oh and don't worry, they have everything all good to go now.

Just when you thought everything was back to normal, we went to church twice on Sunday.  It felt like my Tauranga days when I went to both Welcome Bay and Mount Ward.  After church we stayed to talk with the missionaries in the other Zone that use the same chapel as us.  The Zone Leaders told us how they had referrals for us.  We were excited and were told to come back to the chapel in an hour.  So we went to the flat for lunch, then came back to meet Justin and a Jade (names changed).  The Zone Leaders didn't find out till after they invited them to church that Justin and Jade were actually in our area not theirs.  So we introduced ourselves, and walked them to their next class which ended up being a private lesson.  Justin and Jade are excommunicated but had made the decision they were going to try and come back to church.  So Jade drove her family to church without informing them where they were going.  Justin wasn't super happy once he saw the chapel, but wanted to support Jade and decided to stay for church.  By the end of the private lesson, Jade was in tears and explained how she truly feels that when she talks to missionaries that she's talking with God, and that missionaries are the closest people to God.  That had to be one of the best compliments I had ever received.  To know that someone felt that they were talking with God when they were talking with people like me.  We're hoping to visit them again soon, so I'll be sure to keep you informed.

Hope you all have another good week.

Sister Mandy Welker
When you only have $6.30 on one card and $0.35 on the other card.  (Don't ask which one had the 35 cents haha)

 Me and my two daughters.

Sleep Over with the Mountford Sisters!!
This email was sent by Sister Welker on May 29th.  We received it on May 28th.  This is from the week of Mother's Day, May 14th.

Week 40: Skype, Movie with Maggie, Dinner with Misty

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all those mothers, soon to be mothers and want to be mothers out there!!  It was a great day to remember the important women in my life, and I'm grateful I had the chance to personally tell my own mom "Happy Mothers Day," thanks to the wonderful world of technology that allows for me to both see and hear my mommy from all the way across the Pacific!!  Skyping definitely had to be my favorite part of the week.

There's a less-active sister, who I'll call Maggie for now, that I have visited once a week ever since I've been in the area (February).  We love her to pieces and she loves missionaries and she'll never let us leave without feeding us.  Sadly, this sister hadn't been progressing and I had told my companion that if she wasn't willing to progress we would have to stop visiting her.  The day we were about to tell her we might have to stop vising her, she told us that she had prayed with her kids on the way to school!! I was so excited, so happy!!! I couldn't believe it--MAGGIE had actually prayed!! I was skipping out of that lesson happy that she finally decided to pray with her family.  Later on we watched The Testaments with her.  It's a movie based on events found within the Book of Mormon.  The best part of the movie is when Christ visits the people in the Americas at the end of the film.  By the end of the movie Maggie had wet eyes.  She just couldn't stop talking about how cool it would be to have been in America when Christ came.  She told us how nothing else would matter.  I could tell that she had been deeply touched by the video and had a new desire to find ways she can make changes in her life for when Christ does come again. :D

Lastly, we had dinner with one of our recent converts, who I'll call Misty.  We baptized Misty in March and have continued to visit her ever since.  She is one of the happiest people I've ever meet and now that she has the gospel she's even happier.  This was the first time we had been invited over for a dinner, and sadly we were running a little late.  Once we got there she had her small kitchen table FULL of food.  There was hardly any room for our plates!! Though dinner was amazing, it was the lesson that had to be my favorite part of the night.  We were reviewing the Plan of Salvation with Timothy (name changed), who just got baptized at the beginning of this month.  Today, Timothy's cousin was over and he wanted to participate in the lesson as well.  To our surprise, Timothy remembered everything we had taught him.  By the end of the lesson his cousin Robert, (name changed) was able to put the Plan of Salvation puzzle in perfect order and was making comments like "I want to be baptized like Timothy," and "I want to go to that kingdom," as he pointed to the Celestial Kingdom.  I know at the moment that Roberts parents won't let him get baptized, but I hope one day Robert will be baptized.  Who knows?  Maybe that visit was just a way for us to plant a seed.  :D

Hope you all have a good week.

Sister Mandy Welker
 Picture my family took from Skyping last week

Picture my family took while waiting for me to Skype ;D 

My family :D
Sister Welker & Sister C saying something in Maori!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

This email was sent by Sister Welker on May 8th.  We received it on May 7th.

Week 39: Extra Sister, Trip to the Airport, Baptism, and Mothers Day Dance

HEAPS happened this week!!!  And there's not enough time to email.  Story of my life haha.
This email was sent by Sister Welker on May 1st.  We received it on April 30th.

Week 38: Bury our Weapons, MTC Exchange, and RM Fireside

It's been another great week here in the Alfriston Area. We went on an exchange and the exchange was themed from the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's burying their weapons of war and never looking back.  We started the exchange by writing something down we wanted to never look back on, and we literally buried it in the ground and spent the exchange trying to bury the past behind us and move forward.  It was cool.  I liked it!!

Wednesday we went on an exchange with the MTC missionaries.  Crazy to think that was me ages ago, leaving the MTC for a day to go out in the field and do missionary work.  I remember that day and the temple day being my favorite part of the MTC.  

Last night we also had an awesome RM fireside.  Our ward mission leader picked members of our ward that had served a mission and asked them if they could share their experiences and testimonies.  It was so cool and all the RM's and full time missionaries sang Called to Serve.  It was awesome!!

That's basically about it for this week.  Hope you all have another fantastic week!!

Sister Mandy Welker

This email was sent by Sister Welker on April 24th.  We received it on April 23rd.

Week 37: Yellow Tree, Miracle or Weird Visit, 20, Hello from Grandma

I know it must look weird to have an email sent at noon, and to have another email sent at 4:30 pm (New Zealand time), but I can explain.  Long story short, we are allowed 90 min on the computers, and with the computers at the library we can use them for an hour and extend our time if we'd like for 15 extra minutes.  Sadly, there were so many people that wanted to use the computers today that they wouldn't let us extend our time and I only had 60 min on the computers earlier today.  So basically, I have 30 more min now on the computer.