Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 96: Miracles all the way to the end!

This week was really hectic, but we finally saw the fruits of our labors! This last Saturday we had a big baptism and saw so many of our brothers and sisters experience the first fruit of repentance and make the decision to follow Jesus Christ by being baptized. I'll send those pictures, but it was such a neat experience that will NEVER get old! It was so touching to see so many people decide to follow the Savior. I love this work so much.

 We have transfers this week and I am pretty sure that Elder Carlson and I are staying together. Because President/Elder Koch was out of the mission for about a week, he wasn't able to finish making transfers... So we won't know about transfers until the middle of the week.

Elder Carlson and I saw two miracles this week that I just wanted to share with you guys. We have been teaching this man named Sergio, and his wife Sara, for a couple of weeks now. He is a super intelligent guy and has been progressing really well. His wife is a bit slower and a not too interested. They are a younger couple and don't have any kids yet. Well we had been wondering what we could do and how we could help Sergio even with his wife kind of dragging him down... I had spend quite a few nights praying about him and asking for the Lord's help. Well, the Lord works in very mysterious ways and one day when we showed up for our visit with him, we learned that his wife had left him! What the heck!? It kind of surprised all of us! But he wasn't too distraught about it... He is still just really excited about his baptism! He LOVES the Book of Mormon! He reads it all the time! He is definitely one of the elect. But in the end I guess you could say that it was a miracle that his wife left him! Haha!

 The other miracle also comes with a really depressing part as well. I believe that I have mentioned Alfredo and Anora before. They are a family that has been investigating the church for the past 3 years. They are also a younger couple- he is 21 and she is 19 and they have a 9 month old baby named Smith. But the only reason that they have not been baptized is because the parents refuse to sign for the wedding without him paying Labolo (the Mozambican Dowry). She is legally a minor here and her parents need to sign for her to be married and they have been refusing for the past couple of years. Well last Sunday, Elder Carlson and I went to the parents home with Alfredo and Anora and taught them a lesson and we were very blunt with them. We shared with them Ecclesiastes 12:13, D&C 3:7, and to polish it off we read Mark 7 with them where it talks about how the False Traditions of our Fathers cause us to break commandments. We told them that Labolo is NOT from God and that it prohibits people from keeping the commandments. I know that the lesson was inspired. At some points during the lesson I was afraid that they had been offended, but they said that they would talk to their family and that they would pray about it. This whole week we have been really worried about the situation. We have been praying and fasting that the Lord would soften the parents hearts and allow the wedding to happen.

Well we went to visit Alfredo and Anora last night, but only found Anora at home. We began talking to her about if she had spoken with her parents yet about the wedding. As we mentioned it, she got a huge grin on her face and explained to us that her parents said that if it is what God commands us to do, that they are totally fine signing for the wedding without receiving Labolo!!!!! That they want to do what the Lord wants them to do!!!!! AAAAAHHHHH! I nearly cried! I was so ecstatic! We talked a bit more about it and she was super happy.

Then her countenance changed. She got really quiet, looked at the ground, and got really depressed. We could sense that something was wrong and guessed that it was related to Alfredo. After talking with her a little bit and after a bit of coaxing, she told us that Alfredo is cheating on her... Whoa. She told us that it has been happening for a few weeks and that just that day she had confirmation after seeing him with another woman... She began crying and talking about how her only desire is to have a happy family to raise her son in. She told us that she wants to move back in with her parents and leave Alfredo. It was really sad when she said, "Satan is winning. After all of the miracles that the Lord has done for us to get us to this point, Satan still has a hold on this family. He won. It's over." My emotions went from the point of crying tears of joy, to the point of crying tears of sadness. We just sat there with Anora for 10 minutes talking with her about Family, and God, and trials that we have in our lives. We will be going over there tonight to talk to the two of them about the whole situation and try to help them out a little bit...

Elder Carlson and I are working super hard still. I have found that in order to keep me motivated, we have had to put a bunch of people on for a baptismal date of the last Saturday that I will be here so as to keep me busy. We are currently planning 4 weddings for the 6th of May, and 20 baptisms for the following Saturday, the 13th. We will see how many of these actually happen, but things are looking pretty positive at the moment. I will keep you guys up to date with all that goes on.

But I am now starting my last transfer... Whoa... Only Six weeks left to help as many people as possible. Gonna make the most of it!

I love this work. I know that this is the Lord's church. I know that God Lives. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. The Book of Mormon is the word of God.

I will talk to you guys next week. Love you so much.

Elder Rash

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