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, May 26, 2014

After 8 Weeks Package Arrives..

Hey Family,

I am doing well here in Africa and I am loving it here!!  I am also learning a lot ever since I got here and got into the scriptures a lot more, it has been very interesting!!  I am picking things out of the Book of Mormon that I never have before!!  It is awesome!!  I want to quickly say that I know I need to focus all my attention on the mission!!  I am doing that during the day but as soon as we hit the place where we stay it is hard to hold it all back because when we hit the flat we do our study and then we have time to sit and talk!!  Believe me it is darn near impossible to just put those feelings aside!!  So far every missionary that i have talked to struggles with the same thing!!  Anyway Thanks for the picture of the ribs my mouth is watering right now!!

The meat down here sucks!!  My companion likes to buy meat from the street venders and to be honest it really scares me when he does that because the meat looks terrible!!  Anyway I don’t have too many stories this week other than it was interesting we ran into a couple of drunkards that we taught because they insisted or we wouldn’t have been able to leave!!  It is hard teaching someone who is drunk especially when they have that glossy eye look and things take forever to register in their minds!!  The general authority was awesome his name is Elder Hamilton!!  He taught us about the things missionaries struggle with and helped us figure them out!!  

I am about to finish my training and could possibly start training others here shortly so it is weird!!  It seems like time is going slow and at other times it fly’s so it is really weird!!  Mission life is hard but it goes on and everything works!!  It is weird I go to bed tired and I wake up tired even after I get the required amount of sleep!!  The package came and I think everything was there I got the spices and the rice packages and the brownies and all that!!  I figured out a fact though if you send a package send the tracking number to Elder and Sister Skidmore, like someone did and they can go get it from the postal service instead of waiting for them to deliver it!!

By the way the package that was sent the brownies and the granola bars are about gone and we are working on all the little things in there as well!!  If I can make a suggestion next package lots of those brownies and granola bars and maybe some Oreos and sour patch!!  I am going to say that after this package if you send a birthday package and a Christmas one, don’t send anything that is not edible that will save money and I can use the money that is saved on me for when I get back!!  Thank you for the JW stuff I think it will help haha and I will memorize these things to help me and my companion!!  Anyway this is more than I usually write but grandma wanted a book so!!  Anyway have a good week and Memorial Day I’ll talk to you next week love you all!!!

Elder Welling

Monday, May 19, 2014

Shortened P-Day

Hey Family,
I am writing you guys to let you know I will not have a pday this Monday!!  There is a General Authority coming this Monday so if you would relay this message to everybody that would be awesome!!  I am doing great and all is well down here!!  Tell Caleb happy birthday for me love you all!!!!!!

Elder Welling

New Hair Cut and our District

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Anticipated Mother's Day Call....

We had the opportunity to hear Elder Welling’s voice yesterday for Mother’s Day.  He sounds great and was very upbeat and positive and when asked how he was doing, responded with I am doing great and really love it here.  We were able to visit with him for about an hour and fifteen minutes.  While we were talking we asked him a few questions that we thought would be good to share his responses with everyone.

How is the work going?
Two of the main religions that I deal with are the JW’s and the Brunomites and they know their Bibles very well.  It doesn’t matter what scripture references we throw at the JW’s, they just dismiss them.  The Brunomites believe in the restoration, but they believe that a man by the name of Bruno restored the gospel.

Are you close to the mission home?
No, we live in a suburb fifteen minutes outside of the city (15 minutes by bus).  We have to take a small bus like you see in the movies, a bus that is supposed to fit six or seven and they cram 15 to 20 of us in them.  The drivers are crazy!  We try and get on the bus with our eggs and other groceries and hope we make it home with them intact.  I am scared to drive.  There are no traffic laws down here, they don’t yield to pedestrians.  I have already been hit by a truck.  I was walking on the side of the road and a truck clipped my shoulder and arm.  I am scared to drive down here!  People don’t have licenses; they just jump in cars and drive.

So how many elders are in your district?
There are four elders and four sisters.  We are in one of the tougher areas.  Me and my companion are in the Libala South area, and a kid from Canada and his companion are the Libala North.  Between the two areas we have a branch of about 100 people.  The hardest part is keeping them active.

When you play soccer on P-Day, who do you get to play with?
All of the elders in our zone.  The members also join in and some onlookers as well.

Do you get to play basketball?
No, not really.  I choose not to.  Too easy to get hurt.  The courts are dirt and very uneven.  The curbs are right under the rims, so if you forget and go in for a breakaway layup, you roll your ankles.  Plus the games just turn into jungle ball. 

Has Grandma been forwarding Zach’s letters to you, Zach is having a difficult time with how filthy India is?
Yes she has, it is filthy here too.  People burn their own trash, they don’t have garbage trucks that come and pick it up.  So, they throw their trash out.  If it makes it into the garbage can, great.  But if not, it just lays on the ground.  Nobody picks it up.  The only system that is maintained by the city is the underground water.  Our flat is the only place that has a septic system.

Are the people nice?
Yes for the most part, unless they are drunk.  The alcohol is called Chiboota (is what I think he said) and they are not nice if they have been drinking too much.

Are there any other critters running around that you have seen besides spiders and scorpions?
Yes there are a lot of lizards, BIG lizards.

Are you still getting along with your companion?
Yep, we get a long great

What other languages do they speak there?
They speak Bemba and Nyanja

Do you eat with the members a lot?
We eat with them a few times a week

Do they eat with you or wait till your done eating then eat?
Both some members eat with us and others wait until we are done then they eat.  It is really interesting because then don’t have silverware, we eat with our hands.  Before we eat they bring out a large bowl or pan of boiling water, we then all wash our hands and then eat.  We take the Nshima and form it into balls and then use it to pick up the rest of the food.

How are your clothes holding out?
They are doing ok, we have to walk everywhere and the roads are reddish clay like dirt, we start out heading to church with our white shirts on and by the time we get to church our pants and shirts have a reddish tint to them.  It is almost like the red dirt at the baseball fields in Evanston.  I have to hand wash all my clothes and can usually get most of the red out of my shirts.  Since we wash all our clothes by hand, I have to do a lot of ironing.

What kind of fish are you eating?
I believe the small fish we eat is called Kapenta, the larger fish, not sure on the name but they are pretty good.

Are there a lot of street vendors?
Yes they are everywhere and they sale anything you can imagine, from fish to vegetables, fruit, little trinkets, clothes, etc.  I can tell you that the fruit down here is amazing; it tastes so much better here than it ever did in Evanston.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bonus Week.... Two Letters...

Hello Family,

I hope you guys are doing well and everything there is going great!!  I have had a great week and have done a lot of things!!  It is still hot down here and not getting very cold I am dying down here!!  The food is not scarce but I ate the whole fish because my companion and the members were and yes it was very crunchy but still good!!  I am glad hats off went well and that everything is now finally over!!  I am sure they were great performances and all the people did well!!  It was cool to hear about Katie’s experience she will remember that for the rest of her life!!  I am glad to see that you guys like the spiders I probably kill two or more a day now!! The weather is getting colder and they are coming in a lot more now!!  I see the Skidmore’s on a regular basis and they are a very nice couple!!  I will just be calling next Sunday and I will try to make it before church or after I am not really sure but either way I do it, it will be hard to catch all of you together!! I will try to make it at about 4-5 my time which translates to about 7-8am for you guys if that will work!!  

We do quite a bit of service down here, this week we went to a persons home to perform some work and the service was to move a huge pile of dirt from where it was to another place up a hill a ways.  There are 4 sister missionaries and 4 elders in our district, when we all got there we looked at the pile of dirt and said there is no way we are going to move all this dirt today.  For some reason, I just said let’s just do it.  I ran the wheel barrow because the sisters were not strong enough and a few of the elders were complaining, so I just did it.  Anyway we worked really hard and finished the project and we were able to get the whole pile moved, it was an amazing feeling to know when you put aside our own problems and give service, we can accomplish anything.

The people down here are hard but we are continuing to teach them and to do all we can to bring them to the church so we will see how it will go!!  It slipped my mind when I told you about the bed situation but the doorways in our flat are too low also and I have to duck under all of them or I hit my head on all of them!!  Today will be really fun because we are finally able to play on a full size soccer field instead of a short little one and things!!  It is kind of funny down here because these people refer to themselves as the N word including my companion and every time I hear it I have a hard time not laughing at them!!  It is really quite interesting down here to see all the cultures and things that people have!!  The work is still going forward and everything is going great I will tell you a lot more things when I call this Sunday!!  Anyway I love you guys have a great week!!!

Elder Welling

Hallo ,
Sister welling i hope you are doing fine and the rest of the family. my name is Eriya Mwambu am a Ugandan from a family of 7. am the 3rd born of the five children in our family. i joined the church in 2011 while attending high school . just in the very year as my testimony of the restored gospel kept on budding, i shared with my mom about these truths. she later joined the church in November 2012 along side all my 4 sister . my dad is not a member and has choosen not to be so ...i hope he will come along when that time comes! i am 10 months on mission.  i love playing football. i was happy to meet elder welling whom we share the same hobby. all americans mostly like basketball but wooo...his just intrestingly different and his football is so much promising!.. i plan to join the army home as soon as i can. after mission....i am greatful for your mail and most especially all that i have read from your family especially Kaden and Caleb...i pray you have a cheery week. 

with love

Elder Mwambu