Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Week 1: A Tough First Week But Still Excited

So I survived the first week! So 1/3 of my mission is already over! I've been told that your mission can be divided into 3 equally long portions; your first week, the rest of the MTC experience, and then the rest of your mission! So I'm a third of the way done! It feels like I've been here for an eternity! It has been an emotional roller coaster these past few days! Day One was REALLY difficult for me. I was super homesick that night and felt like I had no one to talk to. But that night I had an epiphany- I had my Savior Jesus Christ to talk to. I testify to you all that the power of prayer is real. That God does listen and care about each and every single one of us. I prayed for comfort and peace, and that I would not feel so overwhelmed. And guess what, it worked! I woke up the next morning with a renewed energy and spirit about me! And it has only gotten better! I've got to say that my favorite part about the MTC is that every minute of every class of every single day is centered on feeling the spirit. It is a feeling that I have never quite experienced before. But revelation comes easier, thoughts, ideas, and love for others comes easier. Patience comes easier. Charity comes easier. And the language comes easier. Because of this spirit, I've been blessed with being able to pick up on the language fairly quickly. We came in on Wednesday and taught our first lesson in Portuguese on Friday. Our investigator's name is Amauri. He is from Brazil and has a hard time feeling God's love for him. When we taught him the first lesson in what we call our "caveman Portuguese," the spirit was thick, we taught him how to pray, and promised him that if he would read the scriptures, that he would grow closer to God and more easily feel of His love!

So some mission president promised one of the Elders in my district that if he read the entire Book of Mormon in English in his stay in the MTC, that he would leave the MTC speaking fluent Portuguese! So our ENTIRE district took on the challenge because we all really want to learn the language REALLY bad! We also have made a goal to have "English Fasts" every Wednesday, which is where we will only speak Portuguese the entire day!!! So I am super excited for that!
My companion is Elder Vance; he is also going to Mozambique.
If anyone would like to, I strongly encourage everyone to look up and watch Elder Bednar's MTC address entitled Character of Christ. SO GOOD!!! I won't explain it too much because it will take up too much time, but it is about an hour long, and it is so inspiring! Please watch it. Please.

Well, I am just about out of time, so I'll close with my testimony.
Eu sei que Jesus Cristo esta nos Salvador e esta o filho de Deus. Eu sei que Joseph Smith es um profeta verdade. Eu sei que O Livro de Mormon e verdadeiro e O Livro de Mormon es as palavras de Deus. A igreja esta verdade. En nome de Jesus Cristo, Amem. 

So that is not 100% accurate, and I don't know how to type in Portuguese yet, so there are no accents, but hey, I've only been learning for 5 days! Cut me some slack! The Church is true. I know it with all my heart. I love the Lord. I love this work. I love the People of Mozambique. They are my mission, not the country. I wish I would have shared the gospel so much more while I was at home. I want my friends to experience the joy and happiness that this message has brought me. I love you all. Keep sending me mail through DearElder. That is the best part of my day is reading mail from you guys, so thank you to everyone that has sent me mail so far! Keep it coming! I love you Guys! Talk to you in a week!

Elder Rash

P.S.-The Chocolate Milk here is delicious!!!

Note from Parents:

Elder Rash also sent us two letters that we got today in addition to his Email. I thought I would share a couple of additional things with you that he shared with us. He and his roommates are all going to Mozambique. The 4 of them are the only missionaries in the MTC going to Mozambique in July. There are 12 missionaries that just left Mozambique ending their missions and no more coming until these 4 go out in July. Elder Rash was selected to be a District Leader. As such he gets to go and pick up the mail daily and as he noted in his letter the Dear Elder notes that he gets daily are a spirit lifter for him. Anyone who wishes to mail him through this website can drop him a note by going to www.dearelder.com. You can create your own account and then send him an email using his MTC address info on the blog. He will get these notes everyday if sent by 12:00 pm or the very next day. No cost associated with it. Emails he can only get once a week. He is enjoying regular mail or Dear Elder mail each day. 

Elder Rash & his companion Elder Vance

MTC Roommates: Elder Draney, Elder Larsen, Elder Vance, Elder Rash

Elder Rash & Elder Peterson (Friend from School)

President Jackson (Branch President)

Elder Rash and Elder Vance (Provo Temple)

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