This past week was the last week of my first transfer in Mozambique!!!!! It flew by so fast! It was crazy! But good news! I'm staying here in Matola for another 6 weeks! In fact, not a whole lot changed in our Zone, pretty much everyone is staying! But I've been praying for this! I have absolutely fallen in love with our area! I love the people and wanted to be here for all of the baptisms and weddings that we'll be having this transfer! Speaking of Weddings... Parabens Tobie e Austin!!!!! I watched the videos and saw the pictures and it made me so happy! I'm so proud of you guys! My advice for you is the same advice that God gave to Adam and Eve; "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the Earth!" I'm so glad that I could be a part of the wedding! It made me feel special, so thank you guys! I wish you both the best of luck!
But our area is doing great! We had...
13 Investigators with a Baptismal Date
7 Investigators at Sacrament Meeting
14 New Investigators
So it was a pretty decent week!
Now, I don't know what it is about me that just makes drunk men flock to me, but it seems like there are always drunk men that want to talk to me! So yesterday was a holiday here in Matola and Maputo that honored the military! So all of Matola and Maputo had work off. Naturally, everyone got plastered-drunk! On two separate occasions, I was approached by visibly drunk men, and they just gave me the biggest bear hug ever! I felt terrible because I would go to investigators houses smelling like alcohol! Alcohol is very bad... Don't even touch that stuff... But yeah, so that was one experience! Another crazy experience was as we were walking down the street and I saw this little Mozambican toddler! As we got closer, this little girl looked EXACTLY like Emmy, Tyson and Kamee daughter! She was a Black Emmy! So that reminded me of home!
This past Wednesday, we had Elder Hamilton of the Second Quorum of the 70 come and visit our mission! We had the opportunity to shake his hand and receive training from him. As I shook his hand, I was anticipating him to ask how I was doing, so when I shook his hand he simply said, "Hello, Elder Rash." Nervously and awkwardly, I spouted out, “I’m fine, thanks! How are you?" He gave me an odd look, and I walked away feeling like the biggest idiot in the entire building! I didn't feel so bad when Elder Almeida, from Angola, came and sat down next to me and told me he had responded to Elder Hamilton in Portuguese on accident... Elder Hamilton doesn't speak Portuguese! And apparently a bunch of other missionaries had really awkward encounters with him as well! But the training he gave was absolutely wonderful! I learned so much and was just entranced by everything he was saying! I was completely immersed in his words and was so edified by the Spirit! At the end of his training, he opened up for questions that anyone might have. I had written down some questions that I wanted to know from my personal study a few weeks prior. I raised my hand, asked my question, and waited... And waited... And waited... All while he just stood and the pulpit contemplating my question. Eventually he turned to President Koch, and said, "Would you like to give it a shot?" President Koch partially answered the question, and then Elder Hamilton stood up again and answered my question as well! My question was, "How is my faith and hope related to the Agency of others? I understand that there is a power in faith. That faith can move mountains! So if I have faith that investigators will come to church, or that they will accept a doctrine or a baptismal date, how does that influence their Agency to choose? Does it influence their agency at all? And then what is the point of my faith in a desired outcome, if the Agency of others can cause the desired outcome to not happen?!" This question came about as I was studying in the Faith section of Chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel.
I'm sorry my letter is a little bit late, I'm sorry if it caused any problems for anyone, but Monday was a holiday, as I said, and all of the stores were closed, so we pushed P-day back by 1 day! So I'm sorry about that! Well, I think I'm out of things to write about! Mom, I hope this lengthy of a letter will suffice! I love you all! Oh yeah, Congrats to Samantha Smith!!! Zimbabwe! That is crazy! You'll be my neighbor! There are quite a few people from Zimbabwe here in Matola that I've met! Good luck understanding their English! Haha! But they're cool! Anyway... That's all from this side of the world!
Elder Ryland Rash
|Not exactly sure but we think this is a dried up water well.|
|Close up of the well|
This is what Ryland said about the picture of the family....
"So this is Bento and Edilta with their son Belview and Bento's brother, Esdor! This is MY Family! We found them, and I hope we get to baptize them this transfer! Whoo Hoo! They are my favorite family! That is their house, which Edilta is standing in the doorway. There are other doors that you can see in the background, and those our other "house". They're really just small rooms. But we have another investigator, Rita who lives in the room right next to them in that door you can see just next to my left shoulder! Hope you guys like this picture! Love you guys!"