This week has been absolutely amazing! Of course it had its ups and downs, but Elder Smith and I put in a lot of good work and we were happy as we did it.
It was also really nice to see the fruits of our labors on Sunday at church! As we have been working harder and harder we have seen a huge improvement in the Munhava ward! The average church attendance the last 3 months was around 90... These past few weeks we have been steadily increasing that number... 96, 115, and then this last week we had 142 people at church!!! Whoo hoo! We had to get more chairs just so people could sit down! That was such a good feeling! We had 23 investigators and 3 families!!! AHHHH! It made me so happy when people came to church!!!
We have really been spending most of our time working with Part Member Families and Less Active Families! It really is the best way to do missionary work! We are strengthening families and helping whole families eventually get to the temple, and as a bonus, these members become so much more willing to give referrals to the missionaries. They come to realize a mighty change of heart that happens within them and their family members and their desire to share the gospel with other people increases so much. Elder Smith and I have been so busy these past few weeks with teaching a lot of part member families that live in our area, and with a lot of less active and inactive families. And it is paying off! We are definitely seeing the fruits of our labors! The Bishops wife was inactive for a few months, and we started meeting with her and helping her, and now she has come to church for the past 2 weeks in a row! I have noticed a huge difference with Bishop and with his whole family! I am so happy that his wife is becoming active again so that they can go to the temple like they had planned a while ago. The gospel makes me so happy, and seeing the gospel make others happy just melts my heart.
I also just want to take a moment and let everyone know how amazing Elder Smith is doing! He is growing a lot as a person and as a missionary. He is so in tune with the Spirit and cares about everyone. When I get frustrated and lose the Spirit, Elder Smith is always there to calm me down, correct me, take the reins of the lesson, save the lesson and get us back on track to helping the investigators. Elder Smith is an amazing missionary and is helping so many people with his testimony of the Savior and his example as to how to follow Him. Elder Smith has helped me so much in my growth as a missionary and disciple of Jesus Christ. I am so glad that Elder Smith is my companion! We have learned so much together and we are doing such amazing work together! He really is a blessing to everyone he meets. His family should be very proud of him and the work that he is accomplishing here!
Well I think that is all that I've got for this week. I just want to close this letter with my testimony that I know this is the work of the Lord. I know that this is His church. I know that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet and that the Book of Mormon is evidence of that truth. I know that the Book of Mormon changes people's lives. I see it every day and know that that is true. I love this work. I know that this is the True church of Jesus Christ. I know that God lives and that he loves us. He responds to our prayers if we ask with a sincere desire to know the truth.
I love this work.I love being a missionary.
Note from mom: Elder Rash is doing so well and is so happy! We received 4 recordings this week! YIPPEEEE!!! He shared with us that the abscess on his nose is gone, but TWO more have surfaced! He has come to the conclusion that he will have abscess the remaining of his mission. He is taking amoxicillin at the moment, but knows that whatever is in his system is not leaving anytime soon! He has a good attitude about it and is not complaining (at least to me). Just some thing he is learning to deal with. He said that he has become the expert missionary with abscess. At Zone Conference another missionary was telling Sis. Koch about his abscess and Sis. Koch called Elder Rash over to give this elder some advice and she called him "Doctor Rash". They got a laugh out of it! If anything, this trial is teaching him how to help others! Just keep praying that the abscess don't get too bad that he will have to come home early!
|Elder Rash and Elder Smith taking a stroll along the beach after playing Futbol|
|Unnamed family that I'm sure Elder Rash loves!|
|Zone Conference with familiar faces - Elder Perez|
|Elder Rash and Elder Perez at it again!|
|This wonderful couple The Martins will be heading home this month.|
|Reunited with the Nampula Zone - Elder Goes|
|Elder Rash LOVES Elder Olivera|
|Apparently this is Elder Owens...don't know anything about him|
|Elder Rash and Elder Dutra love to clean their apartment together|
|These missionaries all had the blessing of serving with the Martins in Swaziland.|
|I love this picture!|