Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 77: Patience is a Virtue

As a title for this letter I chose, Patience is a Virtue. This week I had an abnormally large number of opportunities to develop the Christlike Attribute of Patience, and boy was it difficult. I'll start at the beginning of the week.

On Monday I received my flight plans to fly down to Maputo for the Leadership Training. I was really excited to travel and see some old friends, some recent converts, some members that I love. I was excited to see other missionaries, to see President and Sister Koch, and I was excited to have the training from them, and the Thanksgiving Feast that they were nice enough to provide for us. Needless to say, I was excited. I waited patiently for Monday and Tuesday to pass and was scheduled to leave Wednesday morning. So I get all packed and all ready for the trip, and I show up to the airport only to discover that my flight had been cancelled... Ugh... Disappointment #1.

The airline told us that they would have a flight for us that would leave at 4am Thursday morning... Ugh... Disappointment #2. And they told us that we would need to be there at 2am to check in... Ugh... Disappointment #3. But, I kept my cool. I smiled and just kept forcing myself to think, "It will all work out in the end. It will all work out. It's Okay."

I went through my day as normal on Wednesday and went to bed a bit early so as to wake up at 1am to leave to the airport. I got there early and was the only person in the airport, but they hadn't started checking people in yet. So I sat down and waited about thirty minutes until they started calling specific groups of people to check in. I finally stood up to go try to check in but was not given the chance. Here in Africa there is no such thing as what civilized countries call, "lines". It just doesn't exist. I was in no mood to fight to the front of the mob and throw elbows and punches to make my way there, so I just stood and waited patiently for an opportunity. I stood there for 2 hours. I may have missed my flight if a nice Muslim man hadn't grabbed my bag, fought his way to the front and demanded that they help me. He was super funny and a huge help. I finally got onto the plane, and was then informed that the flight would be delayed an hour... Ugh... Disappointment #4.

"It will all work out in the end. Just smile, Elder Rash."

I got the Maputo exhausted. Went straight to the office and had the Leadership Training, then immediately had lunch, then we set up Christmas around the office, then I was privileged enough to go to T-3 and visit my old area. By that night I was exhausted! I went straight to bed and was immediately asleep. We woke up the next morning and I pretty much just sat around the office, got a little nap in, and practiced the piano for a few hours. There wasn't anything for me to do... 

Friday night my plane was scheduled to leave at 17:45... Delay after delay after delay we finally left at 22:30... Ugh... Disappointment #5

I got back to the house at 1:30 Saturday Morning, and woke up a few hours later for the baptisms that we had that morning. We had 8 Baptisms.

Anyways. After that long ordeal I really learned what it meant to be patient. I used to think it was gritting your teeth and holding your tongue until the trial is over. But it is so much more than that. 

"Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith—you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled."

I feel like this is the type of patience that I was able to experience, patience with a hopeful outlook rather than a grim outlook on things.

After the long test of my patience, we were blessed enough to have 8 baptisms, 6 of which were part member families. It was such a blessing to see the gospel help these families take one more step closer to getting to the temple as a family. What a blessing!

I believe that is all I have for this week.

I know that God is mindful of His children. I know that he loves each and every one of us. I know that Christ died so that we can change and become better than we currently are. This life is the time for Men to prepare to meet God. We need to learn to live a Celestial lifestyle. The same person we are in this life is the same person we will be in the eternities. Where are you now? Where will you be in the eternities?

Jesus is the Christ. Joseph Smith was His means of restoring His gospel here on earth. Thomas S. Monson is His prophet today. This IS the Church of Jesus Christ.  I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all, have a good week.

Elder Rash

P.S.- Thank you so much for the videos and pictures! It was super good to hear your voices and see your smiling faces! It was absolutely impossible for me to recognize Holly. I literally spent 5 minutes trying to figure out who she was! I thought maybe she was a friend that someone brought along to help out set up lights at Nanny and Papas or something. Holly is a Babe Now! Dang! Reese, be careful. Keep an eye on her and keep your gun loaded. Haha! Brincadeira! I love you guys!

Note from mom:  Elder R. sent TONS of pictures and videos from the wedding celebration and from his Zone Leadership Training.  I wish I could put them all on here, but I don't have names or anything to go along with them.  So these at least give you an idea what his weekend was like!

Arrived back in Nampula just in time for these baptisms!

Zone Leadership Training in Maputo with some of his favorite missionaries

Wedding day!

Wedding party!

More wedding guests

And more....

and still even more!  It was a HUGE turn out of support for the couple!

Cutting of the cake.

The party went till dark

Elder R. hasn't been captioning his pictures, so I can only guess...they are washing dishes?

Teaching a lesson?

Being silly?

Look at Elder R's smile!

Being even more silly!


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