Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Week 85: Excited for the work in Munhava and EXCITED to teach EVERYONE!!!!

Well this week has just been absolutely amazing! I can't begin to describe how wonderfully spiritual and uplifting this week has been.

I first need to explain how stellar my companion is! I absolutely love this guy! Elder Smith is in his second transfer and he is so excited about missionary work and he just sometimes needs some direction and help on HOW to do it in a more effective and efficient way. He and I get along great and we work really hard together.

I love our investigators so much! I have noticed recently that I just love random strangers from the moment I meet them. I don't know what has been the cause of this change in me, but I absolutely love it. I feel like I am truly losing myself in the service of others, and I can explain how wonderful it is.

I want to just mention two experiences that I had this week. One was in a lesson that we had with Bishop Comiche and his wife, Anita. Anita has become inactive and it is really hard on Bishop. When we were finally able to sit with them, I felt it would be important to talk about the Love of God and how he is literally our Father. As we bore our testimonies that he loves us and does everything for us, the spirit filled the room and I was overwhelmed with emotions. I wish everyone really understood how important that sacred relationship is that we have with our Father in Heaven.

Another lesson that we had was with a couple named Alfredo and Anora. They have been investigators for quite a while and have had a lot of difficulties with getting married. The wife hasn't been coming to church but the husband is always there. We had a super spiritual lesson as well on the importance of obedience and the blessings that come as a result of our obedience. We emphasized specifically the WHY we are obedient. That we are obedient because we Love God, and that the commandments are there to protect us, not to limit us. They really understood and committed to get married on the 25th of February and baptized on the 4th of March! Then the next day the wife came to church with her husband! I was so happy!

Sunday was also super good! We had 15 investigators at church! Four complete families of ours came to church as well! That made me so happy!

It has been raining just about every day this week... Which is super tough. I don't have boots yet, nor an umbrella, and boots are super expensive now... But we'll see how these next few months go...

I know that this work is true. I am so grateful for this work and the time that I have to serve as a missionary.

Elder Rash

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week 84: Leaving Nampula is not easy! Heading to Beira to be a trainer is exciting!

Hello family and friends worldwide! 

I have some exciting and also some sad news... I got transferred! I am now with Elder Smith in Beira in and area called Munhava (Moon Yava). It is super funny because while I was in Nampula and I told people where I was being transferred, everyone would laugh. I soon discovered that Munhava in the language that they speak in Nampula, Munhava means "Poop here". Haha! I haven't had much time in the area, but hopefully there is no correlation between how the area actually is, and it's name...

As for my companion, he is absolutely amazing! He is from West Haven, Utah. He is in his second transfer, so I will be finishing his training. And he is super nice! I already love this guy! We are going to get along really well during our time together! One thing that I absolutely love about Elder Smith is that he is super optimistic and excited about missionary work! He is always super positive about investigators and really optimistic about the future. He sees them as their potential, not as how they currently are. I just love that about him.

As for the district that I am in, I will be with Elder Price and Elder Coelho, and Elder Donker and Elder Dutra. Elder Donker actually served with Raelee in the MTC, so that is super neat! But I have never lived with any of these guys before and I've only served near Elder Price in Swaziland, so it will be an interesting transfer getting to know all of these guys.

I was a little sad about leaving Nampula. I left at just the worst time! Haha! On the 28th of January, there will be 2 weddings, and in February, we will be having 3 families get baptized! Plus, on the 4th of February we have 10 Baptisms, on the 21st of January we have 2 baptisms, on the 28th of January we have another 2 baptisms! Man! It is just frustrating, you know. However, I am just super excited that they are choosing to make covenants with God and change their lives around. That makes me super happy.

These past few weeks my testimony about God's love has really increased a lot. When we truly understand that relationship that we have with our Father, the more clear things become for us. He really is our Father. Everything that he does, he does for our benefit. There is a difference between God doing things FOR us, and God doing things TO us. He never does anything TO us. But because he loves us, he always does things FOR us, even when we don't understand why. All of our trials are FOR our benefit and personal growth. So whenever you are confused or lost, just know that you have a Father in Heaven that is rooting for you. He is all powerful and all loving. He is capable of helping you through anything if you let him.

I also have had my testimony of the Book of Mormon strengthened these past few weeks. I see the difference that it makes in people's lives when they truly read it and ask God about the truthfulness of it. I used to think that people used to just say that they felt good while reading the book, just to appease us. But after quite some time and experience with a lot of people, I can now judge the sincerity of people. They honestly do feel good while reading the Book of Mormon. They really do experience a change in their lives because of it.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true. That those who honestly read the Book of Mormon will experience a change in their lives. That the Spirit truly does testify of its truthfulness, but you have to be willing to accept the answer. And answers of this nature typically don't come all at once. They come exactly like Alma explains it in Chapter 32 of Alma. It is like a seed. Plant it. Take care of it. And it will grow and bare fruit. I promise.

I am so excited for the rest of my mission. I have renewed energy to serve all those that I come in contact with. I love this work and I love this people.

Thank you all so very much for your prayers on our behalf.

Elder Rash

New Companion Elder Smith from West Haven, Utah

Welcome to Beira!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 83: PATIENCE is a Virtue that the Lord wants Elder Rash to really get familiar with

Well it has been a while since I have sent a quality letter home to you guys, so I figure I better make somewhat of an effort to write a bit more.

This past week was extremely frustrating. During my whole mission I've noticed a common theme of a Christlike Attribute that the Lord wants me to develop even more; patience. This week was full of tests, some of which I passed, others which I failed. The Lord was sending me test after test of my patience to see how I would react to each situation. This week we finally were able to purchase a new washing machine, since our old one has been broken for almost a month now (and washing clothes by hand is not fun). You'd think it would be a simple process. Request the money, pick up the money, and buy the machine. In theory, it is a very simple process... However, this is Africa, and to make a long story short, it was a not a simple process. Simply put, all day Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday was spent running around Nampula from bank to bank to bank back and forth trying to get the money that was sent to us to buy the machine. Then, after spending 60,000 Metecais to buy the new machine, we brought it back home, AND IT DIDN'T EVEN WORK!!! You can imagine my frustration. Well, after sleeping on it and receiving revelation, we woke up the next morning and were able to fix the machine, and now it works great. So the Nampula Elders finally have clean clothes! Hallelujah!

The area has been suffering a little bit because we haven't had as much time in the area as we would have liked to. We are still planning 2 weddings for the end of this month, Hercilio and Saquina, and Elizio and Clara will all be married this month! Whoo hoo!

Mom asked me about my attitude toward my responsibilities as a missionary and how I feel every day when I wake up. From day to day, my feelings vary, just like they do for everyone even in their everyday lives. Most days I wake up excited for the day ahead, but I absolutely have bad days as well. This past transfer has been mostly good mornings. It helps that I have the amazing companion that I have, Elder Oliveira. It is definitely easier to be excited about the work when you work with your best friend. So these days I'd say that I typically wake up with a positive attitude and am excitement about the day ahead of me.

I love being a missionary. I know that this is the work of the Lord. I love what I do and I know that the things that I am doing are good, right, and true. I have a testimony of this work. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

This may possibly be my last week in Nampula... Transfers are next week and I don't have any promises that I will be staying. If I leave, I will miss Nampula. If I stay, I would be so happy to stay and help out even more! However, I'm just an instrument in the Lord's hands and I'll help out wherever I'm assigned.

Thank you all for your prayers on our behalf.

Have a great week!

Com Amor,
Elder Rash

*Note from mom:  FINALLY got pictures from Christmas and the baptism they had last week!
On their way to Maputo for Christmas!

Merry Christmas....packages are under the tree!

Elder Nielsen and Elder Rash together again....

Elder Waynette and Elder Rash

Two Mesa boys.... Elder Rash with Elder Sharpe

Brazilian barbeque

The Nampula Brothers

Baptism in Nampula....last baptism of 2016

Elder Oliveira, Elder Rash and Carla and family

Elder Rash and Elder Goes with the baptisms!

Elder Oliveira made homemade lasagna

Elder Rash with his favorite missionary, Elder Larsen

MTC Companions together for Christmas (Elder Draney is serving in Nampula with Elder Rash)

Swaziland buddy, Elder Baker

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Week 82: Still to busy to write....

Note from mom:  You know when it is getting closer for your missionary to come home when the letters start getting shorter and shorter and then hardly existent!  He sent one recording to let us know how his week went, but didn't have time to write anything.

He is doing well.  Elder Rash had a baptism on New Year's Eve morning.  They were instructed to stay indoors the rest of the evening by 6:00p.m.  They tried to do as much work as they could in a short amount of time.  They visited a part of their area they had never been before and it was not the best experience.  Let's just say, they will NOT be going back to that area for a while.

Transfers are coming up and the rumors of transfers has begun.  Elder Rash thinks he will be leaving Nampula at this transfer.  He has mixed feelings about it.  He loves his companion, Elder Oliveria, and doesn't want to leave him.  They have lots of weddings and baptisms on schedule for this next month and he will miss them if he gets transferred; but he also is ready for a change.  He has been in a leadership position for most of his mission and he is ready to have less responsibilities and really give 110% to sharing the gospel.

Elder Rash also informed us that after this transfer he will only have 3 more transfers (transfers are every  6 weeks)!!!!  When you put it like that, it seems like he will be home so soon!!!

He loves receiving e-mails, so if you would like to write him a letter, please do!  I can't promise he will write you back, but it will certainly brighten his day!

Sorry, not much time to write today. But here is a recording that explains the week.


Note from mom:  No e-mail for everyone this week.  He didn't have much time to write and promises a big letter with lots of pictures, recordings and videos next week!  We had a wonderful Skype with Elder Rash on Christmas Eve!  We laughed, cried, was as if he was in the room with us!  He bore his testimony of the Gospel, his love for the people he is serving, and his great love for his mission.  He is not ready to come home!

December 26, 2016

Mom. I love you so much. I wish I had more time to use internet, but next week I will send recordings and videos to you guys. I promise. I love you. Christmas was really good and really different. I miss American Christmas's.

Thank you so much for the videos and pictures!

I love you Mom!

I talked to President a little about the extension, and at first he told me that the Area Presidency is not allowing any extensions at all... I will talk to him a little later to ask him a bit more about it.

I loved Skyping you guys.

I love you guys. Thank you for all that you do for me, Mom. I will write more next week, I promise!

Merry Christmas from the Maputo, Mozambique Mission

Elder Rash helping in the kitchen

Eating and talking with his mouth full

Tradition of giving a tie to a missionary that has inspired you

Exchanging of the ties

Christmas dinner

Gifts from the Koch's. 

Oh how I love that smile!

The WHOLE Rash Family!!!

Very hard for my boys to be serious

Elder Rash and Elder Oliveria from Brazil