Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 75: We are living after the manner of HAPPINESS!

Well, another week down and yet another P-day that will seem too short, but I love this time that I have to relax for a bit and tell you all about how awesome this last week was!
The one word that I can use to describe the overall feeling of this week would be Joy. We absolutely had some annoying times and stressful times, but I feel as Nephi felt. That despite all of their tribulations in the wilderness, he and his family "lived after the manner of happiness" because they kept the commandments and did what God asked them to do. This last week Elder Taukiuvea and I journeyed through the wilderness, figuratively speaking, and we had a lot of tribulations, but because we were obedient to the mission rules and fulfilled our purpose as missionaries we "lived after the manner of happiness."

To begin, I must say that the universe has taken revenge on me. My whole mission I prided myself on not receiving a single abscess, and was involved in "helping" others get rid of theirs. I am not so proud to inform you that this week I broke my 17 month "Abscess Free" streak. I got an abcess at the beginning of the week and it was extremely uncomfortable. It only lasted a few days until I was able to squeeze it all out. It was only about the size of a marble, but it was a pain in my armpit! It was in the same armpit and in the same place as the Abscess that Elder Brochier had a few months ago. However, mine was not near as bad as his was. So that is my experience with an abscess. It definitely was not a walk in the park.
We also stayed super busy this week running around everywhere in preparation for our lessons, our Zone Training, and an activity that we had on Saturday. We had a really successful week with lessons having 30 lessons this week, 19 of which were with a member present. So we were moving every minute of every day to get to all of our lessons.

On Thursday, Elder Taukiuvea and I gave a training to the Zone about the importance of using the Book of Mormon in our missionary work. It is the cornerstone of our religion, it needs to be the cornerstone of our testimony, of our study, and of our teaching.

On Saturday we had an activity for the youth and YSAs. We had a massive Minute to Win It competition and everyone loved it! We had a decent turnout and I expect even bigger turnouts in the future.
We have been working really well with the members and teaching references that they give us to teach. Our recent convert, Nora, has been a huge help to us. We taught her about the importance of Missionary Work a few weeks ago, and she got super animated and excited about it. She was a little bummed when we told her that she can't serve a full time mission, but she has really magnified herself in the way that she has assisted us in the Branch. She directed us to her Brother and his family, and her sister, Gina, and her family. Both families are super nice and Gina has a strong desire to change her life around.

We also have made an effort to work with Part Member Families and all of the baptisms that we are planning for the 26th of November are part member families. We will have 7 baptisms for the 26th, and 2 more the following week. Hercilio and Saquina will be opening the marriage process tomorrow, will be married on the 26th, and baptized the following week! I am so excited for them!
On Sunday we saw all of our hard work pay off when we had 194 people at church! That is huge for us! Of those 194, 26 of them were our investigators!!!!! Awesome!

I have a testimony that as we follow the will of God that our lives become much easier. If we yoke ourselves with the Lord our burdens become lighter. I love missionary work and the privilege I have to devote my time to the Lord. I am far from perfect but I am trying to do what is right.

I know God lives. I know He loves His children.

Until next week.
Elder Rash

*  From Elder R.'s mom:  He sent pictures this week, but mostly of his abscess.  Not something I want to share with everyone.  Hopefully he will send better pictures next week!

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