Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 20: Transfers are humbling experiences


Well, this week has been extremely stressful. So I've been with Elder Nielsen from Cache Valley Utah, and we've been working our tails off to make up for our lack of experience on the mission, and lack of ability to speak the language! We set personal records for contacts and lessons, and this week has been extremely rewarding! I was absolutely terrified at the concept of training, but now that I'm here, I've realized that it is actually a huge blessing. The Lord knows exactly how I feel, and He has helped us out Immensely!  This week has definitely been humbling, in the fact that I recognize ALL of my faults and shortcomings.  But the Lord has used this to bless me.  I've turned to Him in prayer in every phase of the work, and I've seen so many miracles this week!  New Investigators, Referrals from members just coming out of the woodwork, and an overall increased capacity to recognize the promptings of the Spirit! That has become the biggest blessing- relying on the Spirit. So that has been a huge blessing.

          But this week we had the blessing of watching Conference!  In Portuguese. From what I understood, it was really great! It was just a little difficult to understand because the translation is a Brazilian speaking super fast!  So the accent is a little different, plus he speaks super fast!  But I learned a lot!

Nos temos uma rua em nossa área que e muito perigoso! Pessoas tem encontrado corpos mortos nas machambas que estão perto da aquela rua! Eu gosto de andar na aquela rua! (no translation, sorry.  If you know what he is saying, let his mother know!)

          Well, I've got to jump off now... I'm super sorry that this letter is so short... But before I go, I have a challenge for you all!

          Make a list of people that you think could benefit from the Message that the Missionaries share. Pray for everyone on that list for 21 days straight- every morning, every night, by name. You have the promise that at the end of those 3 weeks, that at least one of those people will be ready and prepared to receive the missionaries and the message that they bring!
          Again, I'm sorry for the briefness of the letter!

This picture is for Uncle Troy!  Poor people of Africa are being deceived!

Farm land

They call this area the Green Zone because of the lush green area.  He says this is his favorite part of his area.

Fishing in a stream.

Family he and Elder Nielson are teaching.

Not a great picture, but this is Elder Rash with his companion Elder Nielson from Cache Valley, Utah.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 19: Helping Hands.... serving so many!


So this week has been absolutely NUTZ!!!

          So first of all, I met 2 Missionaries from Mesa this week! Both went to Mtn. View (Don't worry... We all make mistakes. But repentance is real.) Elder Owens and Elder Sharpe! Elder Sharpe is serving in Matola 2! He is super cool and I've had the privilege to live with him for the past few days. I also met Elder Owens. When Elder Owens went through the Gilbert Temple for the first time, he ran into Papa!!! So that was super neat! He said Hi to me for Papa, so that was super neat!

          As for the cool stuff that happened this week, we pretty much lived at the chapel this week! On Wednesday we cleaned the chapel because on Thursday was were having a Zone Conference! So then on Thursday we were at the Chapel from 8 in the morning until 18! Then we went on a short division so that our Zone Leaders could interview Joanna before her baptism! So she passed her interview! Which means that we were cleared to have her baptism on Saturday! But on Friday we spent most of the day at the Chapel again for Mormon Helping Hands! We had an organization come in called Stop Hunger Now and we all helped package meals that would be delivered to children and families living in Tete, Nampula, and other areas in Southern Africa that had more humble living conditions. So that took up most of the day, and Graca Machel came to speak. She is the wife of the First President of Mozambique (and widow of Nelson Mandela) who is super involved in this type of Humanitarian aid and such. So it was super fun and all of the Matola Zone was there! Then on Saturday we had the baptisms!!! We had our investigator, Joanna, be baptized by her father, and the other Elders' investigator, Michella, was baptized 3 times!!!!! Haha! She just wasn't going under completely! Her foot popped up the first time, then her knee, then they finally had her sit down in the font, and it finally worked! Haha! I kind of felt bad for her because she kept choking on water!! But, in the end she was super happy with the choice that she had made!

          On Saturday night we got a call that Elder Stewart would be leaving Matola. So he had to pack up his bags to go to Maputo to open up a new area and train a new missionary, so I was super sad to see him go. He's been one of my best friends on my mission so far. And he goes home next transfer!

Now for the Big News!!!!!

          I'm Training. Not In Training. I am the Trainer of one Elder Nielsen. I am being transferred to T-3 and will be finishing the training of Elder Nielsen. I am staying in the Matola Zone, but T-3 is about 2 hours from where I currently am. I am super nervous. I feel insufficient in the language, unprepared to train, unaware of the logistics of missionary work, and am absolutely terrified out of my mind. However, I have met Elder Nielsen and he is a super cool guy! I don't know too much about him other than that. He is super cool! I'll be sure to send pictures and tell you all about him next week!

          I've got to finish up, but my scripture for everyone this week is Alma 5. This scripture really opened my eyes to the power of the Atonement.

          I love you all! I feel the power of your prayers for me on my behalf. Please keep praying for me.

Love,

Elder Rash
 
Mesa Arizona Temple.  He had someone make it for him!


His Birthday package FINALLY arrived!!!!  Was mailed on August 24th and arrived last week!

TWO MONTHS to get to him and a month late for his birthday!


Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela's widow, working side by side with the missionaries!

Working the hairnets! hahahaha

Elder Stewart left Elder Rash on Saturday.  Elder Rash has grown to love him and will miss him a lot!

Elder Rash's FIRST baptism! Joanna and her father who baptized her.

Combined baptism with another set of missionaries.  Elder Sharpe (on the far right) is from Mesa Arizona as well.

*  These are pictures that Sis. Koch sent me this week.  She is so good to me!  This is from their Zone Conference.




 
 

Monday, October 12, 2015

"I love you mom!" Videos from Sis. Koch are the BEST!!!!

video


video

Week 18:Prayer is POWERFUL!!!!!


This week has been crazy awesome! The weeks are flying by and I'm almost done with my training! Whoo Hoo! But I really want to tell you guys about a super spiritual experience that we had Sunday night.

          All of our lessons had fallen, and all of our backup plans had fallen, so we decided to pray. We asked Heavenly Father to help us find a lesson, and to help us find someone to teach. As we said "Amen", another man said "Amen" with us! We looked up to find a man named Jerson standing in front of us. He is the son of one of our investigators and he was on his way home from work. He asked us if we were doing anything, and we said that we were just working. He invited us to come to his house and have a lesson with him and his Mom, Vittoria. His house was super nearby, and we hadn't even thought about stopping by his house because it was so late at night. But we went to his house and had one of the most powerfully spiritual lessons that I have experienced thus far. We taught about the Plan of Salvation, and when we testified that Vittoria would see her Husband again (her husband passed away 10 years ago), she started weeping. The Spirit was definitely present, and I saw it working in her heart. She said that she missed her husband a lot, and we offered to give her a blessing of comfort. She graciously accepted, and we laid our hands on her head and Elder Badger gave her a beautiful blessing. She wept through the entire blessing, then afterwards we had a kneeling prayer that we asked her son, Jerson, to offer. Jerson walked us to the gate, and we promised him that he would see his Father again, and he started weeping as well. He said that it brought comfort to his heart, because he's been really missing his Father, lately. This experience really strengthened my testimony of the power of prayer. Heavenly Father answered our prayer of faith, and placed someone in our path before we had even said Amen. I refuse to believe in coincidences. God definitely had prepared that family to receive that lesson at that time.

          As far as other events that happened this past week, we had our Ward Activity! We were super stoked for it! We had been planning it for about a month, and the day finally arrived! We woke up Saturday morning and were at the chapel at 12 to start setting everything up! We were expecting to have all of the leaders there at 13 to help us set up. But 13 rolled around... Nobody... The activity was supposed to start at 14! And it was just us four Missionaries sitting in an empty chapel! 13:30 rolls around and still nobody. Finally, someone made the comment, "There is literally NOTHING we can do!" To which I responded, "Well Brethren, I believe there is something we can do." I gathered everyone together, knelt down, and Elder Stewart asked me to offer the prayer. I literally prayed for a miracle. I prayed that we would have a full plane. It was a short and sweet, and we got up from our knees with a newfound hope. So we wait, and we wait, and we wait, and eventually, One Person Came!!!!! It was Now 15 and we literally only had 3 people other than us at the chapel! 2 of those 3 were only there to clean the chapel! Not even to participate in the activity! I was so disappointed! We prayed, we hoped, we had faith, we acted, we did literally everything we could! Nobody was answering their phones, nobody was coming and it was already an Hour after when we were supposed to start! Then; the miracle! As if all at once, people started coming through the gate to the church! In 30 minutes we had 60 people come! They were an hour and a half late, but hey, they came! And they came with snacks, and soda, and activities planned, and food!!!!! And better yet, EVERY SINGLE SEAT of the plane! Our prayer was answered with exactness! But the activity was this; we were all on a plane and the plane crashed. We all "died" and then we took them on a tour of the 3 Degrees of Glory! It was a huge success and everyone loved it! Afterward, and had food, games, skits, activities, and it was so much fun!

          This Saturday we will be having a baptism!!!!! We will definitely be baptizing Joanna. And we hope that we will be able to baptize Lidia, and Lima! But we'll see with them.

          We've been trying to work a lot with Inactives, and this week we were able to locate the houses of 5 Inactive/ Part Member families! Which is a miracle in and of itself, because there are no addresses, and our area is MASSIVE! So that is a miracle as well!

          Well, I'm out of time, but this week was awesome! I'll let you know how transfers go next week!
 
The kids that follow him around chanting his name!

After the prayer....they started to come....

....and boy did they come!

The "plane" is packed....and refreshments are served!


Entering the Celestial Kingdom in the activity

Elder Rash with the Ward Mission Leader and a member of the Stake Presidency
 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 17: Bucket Showers keep you cool on a Hot Day!

So this past week has been a little crazy! On Friday Morning the water went out... and didn't come back on until Sunday Morning... Sheesh! I never knew how much I relied on running water until it was gone! We were, however, blessed enough to have a community spout that was pumping water still, so we filled up basins, trash cans, bottles, anything that we could find, really, with water so that we could cook, bathe, drink, and everything else that you need to use water for! So I took a bucket showers for a few days! Now you might think, "Man, that stinks!" But to tell you the truth, there is nothing better than a nice cold bucket shower after an extremely EXTREMELY hot day! I came out here with the thought, "Psh! I'm from Arizona! I can handle a little African Heat!" Boy was I wrong! It has been in the 40's, which is around 110ish, but with the humidity, you just stay wet and sticky from your own sweat. Plus, when you're walking around at 13:00 with the sun beating down on you relentlessly, you just want to lay down on the side of the road and die like we see so many dogs do here! So yeah, it's been hot, and without water! What a beautiful combination!

            As for Conference, I've heard quite a bit about it, and we're going to download all of the sessions and listen to them this week, but we were only able to watch the Saturday Morning Session at a Members house in English, then we had to go home because it was too late. It was 18:00 here when the first session started, and we had to be inside by 21:00, so we only had time for the first session, but I absolutely LOVED it! I learned to much! I loved Elder Uchtdorf's, Elder Maynes's, and Elder Lawrence's talks so much! I can't wait to hear all of the rest of the sessions! But here in a couple of weeks, we'll watch them in Portuguese with all of the ward at the Church building!

            As for our investigators! We WILL be having a big baptismal service on the 17th with 3 of our investigators, and 2 investigators of the other Elders in our District! So I am super stoked for that! Joanna, Lidia, and Lima will all be baptized! Whoo hoo! Joanna is an 11 year old girl, and her adopted father and mother are super active! Her Mom is actually the Young Women's President, and her Dad is the Excecutive Secretary. Lidia is a friend of a recent convert that we have. She is 16 years old, and we almost stopped teaching her because she told us that her Father forbid her from going to church and being baptized... So we taught her that if she had faith, and if she prayed that her father's heart would be softened, she would be able to be baptized on the 17th. She showed great desire and faith to be baptized, and so I had been praying super hard for a miracle for about a week. The next time we met with her, she greeted us with a huge grin on her face! "Everything is resolved now!" She said! Yes!!!!! Our prayers had been answered and her father had a change of mind and a change of heart! So she will be baptized in 2 weeks as well! Lima is just this super awesome guy that we met doing door contacts! We initially met his nephew who was a 2 year old named Kelvin! He called Elder Badger fat, and I was just laughing so hard, and apparently he didn't like it, so he called me ugly! Haha! We initially didn't think that Lima was all that interested, and the only reason we returned was to see Kelvin again, but Kelvin went with his Mom up to Nampula. But Lima invited us in, and has been one of our best friends, most progressing and reliable investigators, and is just super nice!

            This Saturday we will be having an awesome ward activity! We have planned it all out, and we will be taking the ward on a "Flight to Tete". The "Plane" is going to crash, and we are all going to "Die". We will then take them on a tour of the Spirit World to teach them about the Plan of Salvation. It is going to be super awesome! Plus the ward is all super hyped about it! Well, I think that is all I've got for now! Thank you for all of the prayers on my behalf! I love you all, I think of you often.

            I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know God lives. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's kingdom once again established on the Earth.

Love,

Elder Rash
 
Getting water from a community spout



Puppies are cute!

Getting ready to watch General Conference.....

on this little computer! hahahaha


This is a Choppa.....15 passenger van, crammed with MORE than 15 people!







I hope he brings these home!  BEAUTIFUL!!!





One bucket for the shower, one bucket to flush!