“Whether or Not We Are Wearing a Black Name Tag” ~ Katherine Welch

She is talented. She is beautiful. She is a missionary. Here are some responses from my dear friend, Katherine Welch:

Question: What is a personal/favorite memory you have from your mission?

“Oh my. A favorite memory from my mission. That is hard. There are so many! Probably one of the most poignant and memorable would be teaching Ike (said eye-kay) with Sister Lin. Sister Lin was from Taiwan. Ike was from Nigeria. Sister Lin was still learning English and Ike spoke English with a thick African accent. It was our first lesson with Ike, and Sister Lin and I had agreed earlier that we would take turns teaching the lesson and that she would be the one to invite him to follow Christ’s example and be baptized. Sister Lin’s past two companions had let her do very little teaching, and although she was excited to teach Ike, she was very nervous. (Just as a side note about Sister Lin, she was a very simple and child-like person. In many ways it was hard for her to understand the American culture, and to pick up on social cues. But her direct teaching was perfect in many ways.) So, throughout the lesson, when Sister Lin would teach, Ike would indicate that he did not understand, and I would end up translating most of what she had said. Well, we came to the end of the lesson, and Sister Lin knew it was time to invite Ike to be baptized. She extended the invitation, in her high-pitched, Chinese voice: ‘Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?’ Ike just sat there. He looked at me, and I looked back at him, refusing to translate. He had to understand on his own. Sister Lin looked at me, knowing Ike didn’t understand, and I kept looking forward at him, expectantly. Suddenly, I saw a light come into his face, and I realized that the Spirit had translated every word that Sister Lin had said. Ike sat taller and exclaimed, ‘Of course I will be baptized! When will it be? Will it be in a river or a church somewhere? Can my friends come?’ I couldn’t hold back my emotions any longer and started to laugh and cry at the same time. It was incredible.


Question: What did you learn from this experience?

“I learned many things from this experience.

1. I learned to trust God.

2. I learned to trust my companion.

3. The Spirit will teach us what we need to say and will tell us what we need to hear.

4. Heavenly Father loves His children.

5. I am one of Heavenly Father’s children, and He will be there right when I need Him.

6. The gospel is true!


Question: What is it like to be a missionary for a day?

“Here is the schedule from one of my blogs.

6:30 – Drag myself out of bed, pray, exercise.

9 – Drive 25 minutes to the Visitors’ Center to pick up the phone and then 25 minutes back home. Sister Welch (that would be me) forgot to grab the phone before we went home the night before. (Ai yi yi. I try to be perfect, but sometimes it just doesn’t work.) 

12:30 – Go to teach Linda, from Peru, but she’s not home, so we teach her sister Roxy instead. Roxy tells us, ‘You know, I don’t think it’s a coincidence I met you today. I think God has a hand in everything.’ Yes!

2 – Check on Stafinia, but she’s working, so we talked to Solange, her co-worker, who is from Benin, Africa. Sister Gros made her day because she speaks French, which is Solange’s native language, and she hasn’t met a French speaker in months.

2:50 – Got a phone call from Elder Bleak with the news that Sheri went to church!! It’s been SO hard to not see her/talk to her/be there for her, since she moved, but she had surgery on her knee and still went to church the Sunday after. She’s incredible…and she’s getting baptized the beginning of March. Eeeeee!!!

3 – Taught Cheryl the Restoration. We all got teary-eyed. Cheryl is from Guyana and has a lot of questions, but is very sincere in her desire to learn.

5 – Made the fastest and ugliest batch of cookies I’ve ever made in my life. Thank goodness for frosting.

7:30 – Gave the ugliest batch of cookies I’ve ever made to our less active. Thank goodness he’s not picky.

10:30 – Crawled into bed and fell asleep in two seconds. 
And lots of contacting people and phone calls and prayers in between.


Question: What advice would you give future missionaries?

”Some advice: Always be developing and strengthening your relationship with the Savior and Heavenly Father. The atonement is the most important part of life to understand and experience. Also, you can never study the missionary purpose too much, and Preach My Gospel should be read as scripture. Know that being a missionary will be one of the hardest times of your life, but also one of the most glorious times. (I am missing it so much as I am remembering and writing about it!) Choose to love it.


Question: What are some reasons that people should go on missions? / Why should everyone be a missionary?

“I feel that people go on missions for many reasons, but those reasons can be summarized into three main motivations:
1. Fear,
2. Duty, and
3. Love.
The best reason (and I may suggest the ONLY reason) a person should choose to go on a mission is because they love the Lord and want to serve Him. Anyone can have this motivation. New converts, young single adults, parents, leaders, senior couples that have been on 10 missions – this should be the reason that we want to be missionaries. Jesus Christ’s life sets the perfect example for what a mission should be… and our lives today can follow that example, regardless of whether or not we are wearing a black name tag.


“Whether or Not We Are Wearing a Black Name Tag” ~ Katherine Welch

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.