Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 25:Not your typical Thanksgiving, but still feeling extremely blessed!

Well, sadly this transfer is over... But the good news is that I'm staying!!! Our whole District is staying and we are all SO excited! We have really grown really close together. We are all homies and we get work done! We are also getting another companionship in our Ward. We will have 6 missionaries covering this ward! On a regular basis, the missionaries bring 30% of the congregation to Church. We have been extremely blessed with investigators in this area. Elder Nielsen and I have been EXTREMELY blessed! As I said before, we have 3 families that we are working with that are already married. But Missionary Work is never easy, and there is ALWAYS a hang up. With one of these families, this week we discovered that the father is a Polygamist!!! His wife hates the idea and the other woman. He has 3 kids with this other woman, and 9 kids with his wife. So on Saturday night we went over to their house to teach the Law of Chastity. We weren't exactly sure how we should go about addressing the problem. So our plan was to follow the Spirit. We sit down with him, his wife, and 3 of his kids and some of his grandkids, and we teach the Law of Chastity- addressing everything basic and saving Loyalty to your Wife for last. We get to that point, ask him if he has any problems with it, and he lies to our face. I did not want to burn this guy if front of his kids, so we asked the kids to leave so we could talk to their parents. They left, and I asked him again, explaining very clearly that having more than one wife is a grave sin. That any sexual relationship before marriage is an extremely serious sin that needs to be repented of. Again, he lies to us. So we break out the scriptures. We turn to Matthew 19:9 and Jacob 2:27. We were very forward and strict with him. He said that he understood the commandment clearly, but refused to answer us straight as to whether or not he had another wife. At the end of the lesson I was afraid of losing this family because we were so bold with him, but at the end of the lesson, we reminded them about church on Sunday and asked them if they would be there. The wife immediately replied, "Oh, we are going to be there. Without fail." Haha! She loves that we are burning her husband for having another woman! Haha! And they were at church the next day!

So we have been struggling lately with our potential families. Many have not been keeping commitments, but we were still hopeful. We set a goal this week to have 7 families at church with us. During the week, it was looking hopeful. We had 10 families say that they would be there. We worked hard. We called them. Visited them. Reminded them. And when Sunday morning came, we only had 1 family at Church. I began questioning what the point of my faith was, if people can use their agency anyway. I feel like a parent praying and trying to help a wayward child. You pray, you act, you fast, you pour out your heart day and night, and your tears wet your pillow at night for these people that you love so dearly, but in the end, they continue to choose to do wrong. It is heartbreaking. But I've learned that all that we do; while our faith still has a power in it, that our prayers for them, and our fasting on their behalf, and all that we do for them, will strengthen our faith more than it will help them return. The only way that they will be able to change is by choosing to soften their hearts. Every day I get a taste of how our Father in Heaven must feel when we choose to sin. It kills you. It is saddening. But also on a daily basis, I get a taste of our Father's joy when His children choose the right. I hope all that makes sense.

But as for Thanksgiving went, we didn't eat with Members, or have a MASSIVE meal, but we made pulled pork sandwiches, mashed potatoes, gravy, SO GOOD! I'm sure every missionary says this, but I have become quite the cook! Oh, but during the week, we had a Family Night with one of our awesome recent convert family, Jose and Felicidade! We went over at about 3, killed a couple of chickens (Mozambican style- I've got a couple of videos of Elder Nielsen and I each killing a chicken, I wish I had a way to send them home), prepared the chickens, went to a couple of lessons, invited a bunch of people over, then went back for the Family Night.

This morning we went down to a local school and met up with a bunch of young men in the ward and just DESTROYED these kids in Basketball! We won 8 straight games, blow out! They only scored in 3 of the games, but they just wanted more! But I understand, I was (and maybe still am) a stubborn, cocky little kid. But we whapped these Priests! It was so Hot! The sun was out. Man, I am tired. Well, I don't think I have anything else to say.

Oh, but I do have a special request this week from all of you. This week just keep Elder Nielsen and I in your prayers. We've made it a goal this week to not waste a single minute. We are going to work as hard and as diligently as we can to get 7 families to church this next Sunday. We will be doing all that we can, and I know that we could use a few more prayers on our behalf.

I know that this is the work of the Lord. I'm honored to be here spreading His gospel. I know that this Church is His Kingdom, reestablished here on Earth.

Thank you all.

Talk to you next week.

Elder Rash

Killing these chickens for Family Night

Finding a piece of home

Getting their hair done

Not sure if I like this hairstyle on Elder Rash

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