Saturday, September 27, 2014

ER Visits and Étouffée

September 22, 2014
Josh has been out for 3 months!

Hello Friends and Family,
    I am doing well and what not. Nikki has got everything set up for this Saturday at 1 PM and I am super excited to either baptize her or confirm her. They didn't make it to church yesterday but it must have been a good reason because we still haven't gotten a hold of them and she isn't the kind to make excuses. Leonard Smith is going well, except we couldn't get him a ride to church this last week because he is handicapped and the van available, we forgot to call the member who has it..He likes our visits but continues to be sick and we keep trying to visit every other week or so and help them back to the fold. For the Zone P-day we played Frisbee outside, but to tell you the truth, that was insane because our team was way short and it was, I am guessing, around 99 degrees outside and wetter than a pond. I almost died in my little polar bear body. We then went inside and had the most amazing rounds of California Style dodge ball (one ball, one victor) with my brother Elder Barker being awesome as ever! He is up in Liberty Mississippi and got trained by Elder Larkin as well (thus my brother). So that was an amazing day and then the rest of the week pretty much got CRAZY. 
   We had so many people go to the hospital and get hurt and our poor Albany sisters, while they were parked, got nailed by a truck cutting across the gas station parking lot and had to go to the ER. That was Monday night right after Nikki's last lesson and we still didn't have our car back from the shop but Chris (her returning husband) took us straight there and we saw and talked to president Hansen and the office Elders, gave blessings and all the works. They hurt now, especially sister McEntire, who went into shock and got flung around the most (they didn't have seat belts on because they were parked and got hit at 40 MPH or more) But they, by the power of God, have been preserved and are not hurt so that is good business. The rest of the week was just ups and downs with all the other missionaries, with one thing or the other and me sitting back wondering how it isn't me having a hard time like usual; but being able to try and help, but mostly I focus on the work and do what I am told. I really have grown to love my mission president as he has dealt with so much and is still new and figuring things out, but he is doing what is right and he is an amazing guy!!

    We went to a Recent Converts (name is jag) junior high football game in Denim Springs one day (his dad is an investigator so this was for trust) and it rained and rained and the poor kids didn't do to well but it was a nice experience. It was especially nice because Brother Landry who is Jag's grandfather took us out to dinner at like 8:30 but it was so worth being late and the Zone Leaders were notified as well. Anyway we went to Don's seafood and were treated to anything we wanted (everything was so expensive..) but I had fried oysters and normal oysters and fried alligator and fried catfish and craw-fish 
Étouffée and fried shrimp and GOODNESS it was the most wonderful dinner I will ever remember in my life. I have tried all kinds of southern stuff now and feel extremely accomplished and at the time I felt extremely full. When it comes to progress it has mostly been personal this week rather then with anyone we are teaching so I am sorry for the boring and short letter.
Had the awesome experience of getting Facebook pics of Josh
this week! This is at Nikki Horton's house....the hats are awesome and such cute kids!!

    I have learned that deep doctrine is useless and unneeded. The gospel is simple and easy and oriented on feelings and change of heart, of which is not obtained from extended studies of things not pertaining to salvation. I have learned to have gratitude for any circumstance and to find joy in every moment that I can by trying to labor exceedingly to help and love others. It works, I just feel so very emotionally sound and strong, that Satan no longer has power over my mind or my emotions like in times past. Christ truly can change us, and it is through His atonement that change is wrought upon us. I witnessed a baptism by the hands of the Amite Elders in our district this Saturday and it was so nice to see the full affects of hard work and care no matter how "difficult" any area might be. Gratitude is the law that can govern the outcome of any unfortunate thing, when we thank the Lord for them, he will give us opportunity to grow, because afflictions are for our good. Selfless acts of any kind or nature bring others unto repentance and are a symbol of our own personal repentance. That is what every thing is about, it's about changing and becoming perfect. To know the Atonement, to feel it, to suffer through with it, to love Him who performed it.
 I am really super happy and to tell you the truth I don't think that will change if I remember God who has given me all and remember meekness and temperance. I love you all, keep on moving toward the goal. Eternal Life.
Elder Joshua Dean Rush

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