Elder Colton Mikal Welling, called to serve in the Zambia Lusaka, Africa Mission. Entered the MTC, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. We are so proud of you and we are so excited for the awesome adventures you are about to embark on. Love you!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dried Caterpillars......

Hey family,
I am doing great over here.  I will try to answer all the questions but forgive me if I miss a couple.  Soccer with the natives was amazing and no I did not get schooled, I actually excelled against them. I was pretty happy.  My companion told me I was the first white guy who knew the game as well as he did.  The picture thing is not working out too well here, so I will try to send as many as I can next time.  I did not believe the slamming the door in our faces thing till I got here.  It is a real thing!  The people are friendly once you get here and get to know them.  I have had some rough experiences, one with some drunks, one of them grabbed my wrist the other day and if I hadn't been with a companion that drunk would be severely beaten haha. (scary).  I have enough American money and the native money is to use to buy things. The American money we have, has to be exchanged and there is only one place in town to do this.  I say the food is scarce because I am use to eating 5-6 meals a day not 2-3 haha.  I dont have any baptisms yet but I have a lot of investagators.  My companion is awesome.  he is funny and a pretty good soccer player.  He is from Uganda and plays all the time. 
They eat dried caterpillars down here and the taste is definitely new. haha.  We do eat with members but not a whole lot.  I wish I could have some real meat though the meat down here really sucks,  I am not going to lie.  The chicken tastes like rubber here.  Yes it is very hot here still, all my shirts have a nice sweat ring around them.  The clothes washing is hard because it is all by hand, no machine.  I am not use to washing by hand but I will get use to it.  I am just walking everywhere and it is really a lot of walking.  I am hoping the winter months come a little faster but we shall see.  I dont write a lot but I am sure I will have more stories as I get into the mission more.  I am loving it though it is really fun and I am glad I am here.  Oh the SPIDERS ARE HUGE!!!!!!! like no joke. Love all of you!

Love Elder Welling

Monday, March 24, 2014

First Week in Lusaka!

Hey Mom, Dad, Katie, Nate, Kade, Caleb
I am doing great here.  I landed in Lusaka and immediately was hit with the heat and humidity.  No joke I literally started to sweat as soon as I stepped foot out of the airplane.  I am very hot down here and I have been burnt to a crisp.  My companion that I am with is Ugandan he is the best friend I have ever had haha.  At nights he throws a blanket on and I sleep with nothing on it is very different at nights here.  The sleep change has killed me I am not fully adjusted but I will be hopefully soon.  I have taught a lot of people already and on my first Sunday here we actually got one of our investigators to church.  I was really excited.  All my books are acting like they are wet because of the humidity.  I get to play ball with the locals today so it should be really fun.  This may sound bad but I literally look like a Mexican hahaha.  I will not be the same color as I was when I left.  I am happy to be here and we have actually been a little scarce on food the last few days.  The candy that I packed from the MTC tasted very good.  It was nice to have some American food haha.  The food here is almost all the same.  It is called Nshima.  It is fried chicken with azu sauce and veggies, with this corn meal stuff that looks like mashed potatoes.  Surprisingly it is really good.  I would like to ask if you guys could send me some recipes through email so I have them.  I made my first dish of food last night and it was very interesting haha.  I fried chunks of potatoes and then poured baked beans over it.  My companion actually loved it.  I am not very long winded so I don’t have much to say haha.  I hope this will be adequate for the 400 dollars a month haha.  My companion is awesome.  He is very cool and is very well versed in the gospel.  The cool thing is he has only been in the church for 2 years.  I miss home though.  I miss playing ball almost every day and i miss a lot of other things too.  It is not what I exactly expected.  I haven’t seen many animals around yet so we will see.  I don’t think I get to go to Victoria Falls at all while I am here so that kind of sucks.  There is literally trash all over the streets and it smells horrible.  I am liking it though.  It is very scary eating the food after they told me all the parasites that are in the water and food.  The house we are living in is the size of our dining room and living room put together.  So it is very interesting here.  I love and miss you guys!

Love Elder Welling

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Letter From President and Sister Erickson

March 19th, 2014

Family of Elder Welling ,

Dear Family,

We are so pleased to report that Elder Welling has arrived safely in the Zambia, Lusaka Mission. He is a choice young man and eager to be an excellent missionary. We were very pleased to note the preparation, worthiness and commitment he has to be obedient and to serve the Lord. We know that as he serves the people, he will learn to love them and they will love him. His testimony is strong and we are honored to have him in our mission.

Elder Welling will be laboring in the Lusaka, Zambia Zone, with an excellent trainer, Elder Mwambu .
Sister Erickson and I will see him at least every four to six weeks at Zone Conference and I will have an interview with him on those occasions. 

The mission home address is:
Mail and packages can be sent  here .  Providing us with a tracking number will sometimes expedite your packages arriving here.  You can email us the tracking number of your packages.
Thank you for teaching, nurturing and sending forth this fine young man to serve the Lord and honor his family and other loved ones. May the Lord bless you with peace and assurance that all is in His hands.

Yours Sincerely,

President and Sister Erickson

Zambia Lusaka Mission

Safe Arrival

Hey I made it to Zambia safley and I am at the mission home.  I dont have my companion yet but I will get one shortly.  They are letting me email to tell you that I am here.  My flights went well and Africa is blazing hot, I started to sweat as soon as we landed.  I dont know how long it will be till I adjust but it will probably be a bit.  Tell everyone there that I will email them on pday and make sure mom sees this so she is not freaking out thanks.  Also the mission presidents wife will email you guys with the adress for me.  Thanks a lot to everyone love you guys.


Love Elder Welling

Final Days At the MTC

Dear mom and dad,
Thank you for all the snacks, they have been great.  I know have a pantry full of goodies. Haha I enjoy the mail from you guys and the funny notes. I am doing well. I fly out Monday and I travel by myself.  I will call and email you on Monday.  Be careful sending things to me, because it will get to me when I'm gone. From now on it needs to be sent to Africa.  I leave the MTC at 11:30 a.m. So I will call you guys at the airports during my layovers. I'm excited to finally get out to the field, it will be awesome. Today we had a presentation that was nine and a half hours long.  The doctors here have scared me to death about malaria, and I'm not sure how that will go.  Don't forget to tell Jill when I leave, because I get a package from her every day.  Anyway in will talk to you on Monday. I love you all. Say hi to the grandparents and tell them that Sunday nights just aren't the same. 
Elder Welling 

Monday, March 10, 2014

First Email from MTC

Hey family, 
I have been doing awesome here at the MTC, it is an awesome place.  My companions name is Elder Thomson, from Pocatello, Idaho. The other elders in my zone are awesome. I have met a lot of people that I am connected with in so many ways.  Today I went to the temple, and for some reason we wanted to do initiatories. While doing those, I met a guy by the name of Earl Condie, who lived in the house next to Blain Welling, and served with him in the stake presidency.  He said he also knew the Hatch side of the family, and he even knows Grandpa Welling.  There was another guy whose name was Brother Warner, who lived in Evanston awhile ago, and worked for Blain Welling.  He is one of our Branch President.  The food here is okay, I don't like it too much.  But I'm not going to complain either. The beds are, however, the worst beds in the world.  I have had a lot of fun so far, and I am excited to get out in the field.  It has been awesome to see all the things that I have even learning in only six days.  They throw a lot of information at us all in a short amount of time.  Here is what my daily schedule looks like; Breakfast, three hour class, lunch, three hour class, dinner, three hour class, 50 minute gym, personal study, and in bed by 10:30.  I miss you guys a lot, and I would really like to see you guys, but this is way to fun haha.  I wish that there was a little more gym time here, because I can't sit still and not do something for three hours of the day.  It's nice to get the packages and the emails, thank you.  I will email you guys later, thanks again. Love you guys.
Elder Welling
District at the Provo Temple

First Letter from the MTC

Dear family,
Thank you for all the things you have done for me over the past couple of years. The MTC is awesome, I absolutely love it.  I have gotten a lot of instruction over the last two days, and it is amazing to see the information I have remembered.  This experience was a lot better than I expected it to be!! I have four elders in my district, they are all amazing and very chill.  It's just like having a group of friends here.  Their names are Elder Thomson, Elder Beuhner, Elder Hansen, and Elder Rollins.  Elder Rollins is related to the Martin family in Evanston.  I am glad I started out with awesome companions.  My personal companion and I, (Elder Thomson) are zone leaders at the MTC.  Another really cool thing I found out tonight, is our Branch President, President Rodney J. Brown, was Grandpa Hatch's last companion on his mission.  It was the coolest thing ever.  I am excited for what lies ahead for me.  I would write more but my hand is cramped because I have never done this before.  Say hi to everyone for me! Thanks! I will write soon! Tell Nathan to keep his eyes focused towards his mission, and study Preach My Gospel, which is the number one thing used.
Love, Elder Welling 
Elder Welling & Elder Rollins (Related To Martin Family)
(From left to right) Elder Bradshaw, Elder Thomson, Elder Rollins, Elder Welling, Elder Beuhner, Elder Hansen.
Elder Welling with President Rodney J. Brown, Grandpa Hatch's last missionary companion in Alaska. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bittersweet Goodbye

We were able to take a few pictures in front of the Provo temple and go to lunch with Colt. We had some fun and laughs with him before we ventured to the MTC and said our goodbyes. What a bittersweet day!!

A Wonderful Day at the Temple

We were able to take Colton through the Bountiful Temple on Saturday, February 1, 2014, with family and close friends.