Monday, March 27, 2017

94: Hard lessons are learned on a mission

Just another week of teaching people about Repentance!

As I have become more and more experienced as a missionary, the more I have become affected by the agency of others. I means that in the sense that as people use their agency in a positive and righteous way, the more happiness and joy I feel, but the opposite also occurs quite frequently as well. When we explain things in such a clear way that they plainly understand what they SHOULD do, and then they choose to disobey the commandments of God... I can't really describe the level of anger and sadness that wells up inside of me knowing that people are having blessings withheld from them because of their disobedience to the commandments. It is really quite heartbreaking. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful enough to change our lives and bless our families, and some people just couldn't care less about the Gospel...

But I know that God lives and He loves His children so much. He sent His Son to be our Savior. Christ invites all men to Come unto Him. I know that through Christ we can all be forgiven of our shortcomings.

Well I wish that I had more time to write about how the week was, but this is all I've got time for...

I love this work. I love this people. I love this Gospel.

Elder Rash

93: Answering Mom's questions and Church is growing in Beria

*Note from mom:  I asked Ryland a bunch of questions in my e-mail, so these are some of his answers.  Because he didn't send a letter for the blog, I thought I would share his letter to me!  Consider yourselves lucky!
Things are going normally...

Zone Conference was really good. I only have one more. I was the translator for this Zone Conference and I translated for all of the new guys.

The rains have died down a little bit, but it rained pretty hard yesterday and today and it will probably rain a lot this week.

Elder Carlson is doing great! I know that he isn't very photogenic, but he really is a happy kid! We laugh all the time and joke around a ton! He is a really smart nice kid! I don't know if I will ever get a picture of him smiling. He HATES pictures! So sorry about that Mom.

I'll be going home with my whole group that came with me. Elder Larsen will be going home the same day, but his flight goes through New York instead of Atlanta.

We have had water and power, we haven't had any problems for about a week and a half, which is nice.

I haven't had any abscesses lately.

My shoes are.... Let's just say that they will make it another two months. My Shirt are fine. My pants too. My ties are just fine. The clothes that I will be coming home with are the shirt on my back, my pants, my shoes, a pair of socks or two, I will bring home a lot of ties, and a few pair of Garments... I will be bringing home a lot of African clothing for me that I had made, but nothing that I would wear in public.

For the Mothers Day Skype.. I think they will make me Skype home. I don't see the point of it honestly... What do I say? See you soon? But I will probably end up Skyping you guys.

Because of time, I won't write an email for you guys to put on my blog, this will be my only email. Not much happened this week. It was a pretty frustrating week. EVERYTHING fell. All of our plans fell and we were unable to meet with a lot of our investigators.

Sunday was Stake Conference and we were blessed to witness the creation of another Stake here in Beira and Manga. We have been working super hard to Prepare for this and it finally happened! Whoo hoo!

Sorry it isn't the best email. But it is all I had time for...

I love you guys, if you have any questions for me, just let me know.

Elder Ryland Rash

*Note from mom:  Most of these pictures are from Stake Conference where a new stake in Beira was created.  There are now two Stakes in Beira.  Ryland did not give me any information on who are in the pictures, so your guess is as good as mine!

Zone Conference lunch (the only picture from Zone Conference that had Elder Rash in it...and he's not even smiling!)

A new stake was created in Beira!  What an exciting time!

Elder Carlson with Pres. and Sis. Koch.

Elder Rash with Pres. and Sis. Koch!  He is going to miss them so much!

Elder of Ryland's favorite missionaries from Nampula.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

92: Grateful to be a missionary!

Salutations family and friends around the world! This week was absolutely amazing! A little weird, but just awesome nonetheless! Elder Carlson and I got a ton of really good work done and helped a lot of people! In the end we saw the fruits of our labors and it made all the hard work worth it in the end.

I am absolutely loving the work with Elder Carlson! He and I get along really well! He is really teachable and willing to learn. He is a humble guy that loves missionary work and is willing to work hard. From the pictures that I have with him you can probably tell that he isn't the biggest fan of smiling, but don't let that fool you. He is a really nice and happy guy. We joke around and laugh and have a lot of fun while we work. He is improving every day with his level of Portuguese and his ability to teach people and talk to people. He still relies on me a bit to translate sometimes, but he really does understand Portuguese really well, it is just the Mozambican accent that is still a tad bit difficult for him. But all in all, Elder Carlson is a great guy and an amazing missionary! He will be able to help a lot of people come unto Christ during his mission and throughout his whole life.

As for how the week went, we were really busy running around all week. I got pretty sick on Friday and we weren't able to go out. I must have eaten something pretty bad because my stomach was NOT happy with me. But the next day we were able to get back out to work and help some people!

This week the Lord has blessed us with a lot of new families that we have begun teaching. We began teaching 26 new investigators and had a lot of new people come to church on Sunday! We had 27 investigators at church and even the members brought people WITHOUT US ASKING THEM TO!!! That made me so extremely happy when members came walking into church and said, "Hey, I brought my neighbors today!" Whoo hoo! Thank you so much! We were so blessed this week!

I am so grateful to be a missionary. I know that this work is the work of the Lord. I know that He is on our side and I see his Holy Hand in our work every single day. I am so glad to have His divine help on a daily basis. I love helping others. I know this Gospel is true. I see it bless and change people's lives all the time.

I love this work.
Elder Rash

First full week working and learning together!

Monday, March 6, 2017

91: And the Rains came tumbling down....

This week has been a pretty abnormal week. So I am now training Elder Carlson from Pocatello Idaho! Unfortunately he wasn't able to get here to Beira until Saturday night... So for most of the week I was either walking with Elder Price and Elder Donker, or I would walk with a member (which was pretty tough and weird...) But now Elder Carlson is here!!! He is a great guy and has a huge desire to work and to help people! So far we have gotten along really well together and we work really well together too! His Portuguese is actually really good! He still has a rough time understanding what other people are saying, but as far as grammar rules and speaking to other people, he does a pretty decent job! I am just super excited to finally get back to work with a companion and help a ton of people!

While I didn't have a companion, our area definitely suffered because of it. I was dependent on others in order to have time in our area with our investigators, and when I was with the members it was really difficult. I really did feel alone. I typically can rely on a companion to pick up where I stop at, or someone who knows how to teach in a good way. But walking with members is completely different. They don't know how to teach. They don't know what to say... It just is difficult. However, I am really grateful that members made time to help me and our area by walking with me while I was without a companion.

While I was with Elder Price and Elder Donker we were obviously walking in a threesome which at first really made me nervous. In the past when I have seen 3 missionaries try to work together, it just gets crowded in the lessons and in contacts, so I was nervous that we wouldn't be as effective, but I was completely wrong. The way that the three of us taught and testified of what one another was teaching was just absolutely perfect! It seemed as though we had been teaching together for years! It just worked out really well in my opinion. So the times when we were in a tripla was just really fun and neat!

This past week we have gotten the most rain I have seen so far in my life! Sunday and Monday were the worst! It was absolutely crazy! There was so much rain and wind and lightning! It was actually pretty scary! The days following the rain I knew that we were going to need boots to get around our area, and I was really glad because we had bought boots just a few days prior. So as we went out to our areas on Monday and Tuesday we thought that the boots would help... They didn't... In most parts of our area, the water came up to people's torsos, making it impossible to make it to some parts of our areas... Houses were flooded, and life was not enjoyable for a lot of people... But now most of the water has drained out of the area and things are getting back to normal.

On Sunday we had an alright day. We woke up without energy or water... Went to church without energy or water... Had a decent turnout given the circumstances that people were under... Came home from church still without any energy or water... We sweat like crazy.... Then we left for our area still with no energy or water... Great, right? When we finally got home, we had energy and water! What a tender mercy! I just felt bad that Elder Carlson's first real day in the field was a pretty hot and uncomfortable day full of quite a few problems! But he will adjust fairly quickly!

Well that is all that I really have for now! I am really excited for this week to get to work with Elder Carlson and help our area out a lot!

I'll talk to you guys more next week! If you have any specific questions just let me know and I can answer them for ya. Love you guys!

Com Amor,
Elder Rash

Saying goodbye to Elder Smith!
Rain is falling all around!!!
Rain water up past his knees!
Working in the rain is all part of the job!
Flooded streets
Flooded houses
Even in Africa the kids play in the flooded streets!
Elder Price and Elder Donker wadding through the water!
Elder Rash with his new companion, Elder Carlson...straight from the good ole US of A!
Welcome to the mission Elder Carlson!
Doing missionary work in the down pouring's what they do!