Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 68: I love NAMPULA!!!!

I love it in Nampula so much! I am so much happier with my companion, with the other guys in the house, and I feel like I am just able to work so much harder and more effectively in Portuguese! I enjoy being a Zone Leader, I am able to help out a lot more people and I interact with other missionaries and their investigators on a much more regular basis.

So here in Nampula the branch already has a branch president and his counselors. The President is a return missionary that served about 15 years ago or something like that, his name is President Chimit (Pronounced Schmit). So in Nampula we don't have any elders in the presidency, however, we do have in the other areas of our Zone. In Tete we have an elder in the Presidency, and in Maxixe we have both of the Elders as the counselors to the Branch President. But in all of the areas here in our Zone the branches depend a lot upon the missionaries.

As for our daily routine... It is still pretty normal.

We get up, do our normal morning routine, studies, lunch, and we typically get out by 12 or 13 and we come back around 2030 because we exercise at night plus everyone's doors are closed by 2000. Our daily routine here is pretty much the same as everywhere else in the world with a couple of exceptions.

So, on Sunday night we went to a birthday party of a member here named Maxx. He is from the Philippines and owns his own school. There is actually a high population of Philipinos here in Nampula, and only 2 of them are members. They are from the Northern part of the Philippines and Maxx  is super nice, same with his whole family. They invited us for the party, and we sang karaoke, ate a lot of really good Pilipino food and just hung out with about 30 philipinos!  It was so much fun! I talked with a lot of them about Elder Hofeling and asked a lot about the Philippines and stuff like that! A fun night. 

So, today is a holiday in Mozambique.... Mozambican Independence Day!   All the internet cafes are closed so we are using a computer at the church building.  We only have one computer here, so we are taking turns using the computer for P-Day. We live 20 yards away from the chapel, our house is right behind the chapel.

As for Elder Rash

Welcome to Africa, Man!

How are you liking it so far: Is it completely different from what you were expectingI know that it was for me. Well keep up the good work, enjoy the MTC while you are there, and work hard when you get out of there! I love you Elder. Stay safe. Keep your head on a swivel.

That's all I have time for!  Love you all so much!

Elder Rash

"Old Man Head" you see it?
Branch Saturday Activity

What a turn out!!!

Birthday Party for Maxx

Trying to make his daddy jealous....I know it's a necessity, but mom doesn't like seeing this...

Message to Elder D.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 67: Zone Conference, traveling, area, and responsiblities

*  From Elder Rash's mom:  This e-mail are answers to questions from his dad.  So it doesn't really have a flow to it.  But I didn't know what questions were asked, so I'm just posting it as is!
Hey, so my zone practically covers 90% of Mozambique.

We have missionaries in Tete, Nampula, Chimoio, Maxixe, Quelimane, and had missionaries in Marromeu, but it got closed down because the war was getting too close to the city. The areas that we have missionaries in is pretty much the entire province in which they are serving, so there are no boundary limits.

We don't currently travel to visit other missionaries, but we are talking to president to see if we can get some divisions arranged. Each flight would be about 2 hours long or so.

Every other Transfer we have to fly down to maputo for a leadership conference and every other transfer we have to fly down to Beira for Zone Conference. So each transfer we are on a couple of planes to get from place to place.

Nampula is massive and 90% of the population is Muslim, so we never work in the city because that is where they all are, so we work in the outskirts of town. I love Nampula and the branch here. They are so excited about missionary work and give referrals like crazy! They are such a big help. We are really pushing to divide the branch into three so that we can become a district. We used to have an attendance of 200 here, but this past week we had 126 because the missionaries were out of town for half of the week at Zone Conference.

Once you've seen one part of Mozambique you've seen it all. The only difference about Nampula is that there are some cool mountains surrounding it, and the city is more spread out and bigger. The streets are wider, everything is more organized and clean.

Elder T is awesome! I also just call him T, so don't worry if you don't want to spell his name. We get along really well. He is really relaxed and chill, but is good to work with.

Zone Conference was really different  because of the new stuff I have to deal with, but it was good. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to being Junior Companion without any major responsibilities.

As a Zone Leader I don't do much, I just make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing, and give them ideas to fix any problems that they have. The main thing that has changed about me is that now I have to be even more of an example. So that has become a big shock to me. I wasn't asked to serve in this position because of what I have done in the past. I was asked to serve here so that I could grow as an individual.

Hey, can you guys send me the emails that Devon sends home so that I can see them. I wasn't able to subscribe to the automatic thingy.

During our time in Beira I was able to pass by and see Tony and Carolina. Tony is still super active, but Carolina has gotten a little weak. She lost her baby that she was pregnant with- a baby girl...

Thank you guys so much.
Elder Ryland Rash
Zone Conference in Biera

Three Zones:  Manga, Biera, Nampula

Human Tug of War with President Koch

Serving the missionaries during Zone Conference

Role Playing during Zone Conference

Quick visit to see Tony and Carolina while in Biera

African Sun Set

Dinner with the missionaries

Getting a ride is so much better than walking!

Nampula Zone

Heading back to Nampula after 3 days in Biera for Zone Conference

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Week 66: Welcome to Nampula

*  Note from Elder Rash's mom:

E-mail was super short this week.  He made it safe to his new area, Nampula....which is the furthest north part of his mission.  In fact, the furthest away from Devon he could be! :o(

His companion is Elder Taukiuvea, from Logan, Utah.  He is tongan and plays the Uke and has one with him!  Ryland is such stocked about that!  Elder Taukiuvea has 3 more months before he goes home.  This is the first time since Elder Rash's trainer that he has a Senior Companion.  He is super excited about that!  He wants to learn as much from Elder Taukiuvea as he can!

Elder Rash says that he will probably be in Nampula for at least 4 transfers and he is happy about that!

He loves his new area, he loves the Branch that he is serving in, and he is "pumped" to be serving there.

He has been sending lots of recordings to the family, hence shorter e-mails.  I will try to share in the blog some of the things he shares with us in the recordings.  Just know, he is much happier and super excited to be in Nampula.
Elder Brochier became such a good friend to Elder Rash

Elder Bird was good to Elder Rash

Saying goodbye to Elder Chirchir

Can't remember this Elder's name.....But I'm sure Elder Rash will miss him too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Week 65: Leaving the people of Swaziland is bitter sweet

I don't have a whole lot of time today; but, I have some exciting and saddening news.

I'm being transferred. Very. Very. Very far away. I'll let you guys know more about it when transfers officially happens next week. But for now it sufficeth me to say that I will be leaving this week, probably tomorrow. It will be a very new experience in a very new area and it will really help me grow a lot spiritually. I am really excited for this new calling and will tell you guys more about it next week. I love you all so much and will send some recordings this week. Let me know what you think about my daily recordings, is it worth it? Does anyone listen to them?

Happy Anniversary today for Tobie and Austin! I love you guys. Send me some pictures from Hawaii!

Alright. that's all I've got for now. Sorry it isn't a lot.

I'm sorry. I know this gospel is true. I know God lives. I love being a missionary to preach repentance to everyone I meet.
Elder Rash

*  From Elder Rash's mom:  Elder Rash is leaving Swaziland on Thursday, September 8th and heading to Maputo, Mozambique where he will get on a plane and fly to his new area.  He says he will miss the people he has grown to love in Swaziland, but is ready for this new experience and challenge.  No pictures this week, but tons of recordings....sorry you don't get to hear them, but I don't know how to put them on his blog.  Just know he sounds good!