January 5, 2014
From Josh's first area
Dear Friends and Family,
It is always such a dear and lovely week when you feel good. My companion does not agree, for he has been sick with a cold, and has very consistent bloody noses. We had one rest day for his sickness, and I slept more than he did :D Turns out when you have an entire day all to yourself, because your companion is out of commission, you happen to learn a lot of things. I will share with you some of the things that I learned and stuff because this week was pretty uneventful (yes it was New Years but I will explain that later).
Things I learned, being most important I learned Faith, simply put I learned it by study but also by application. I felt when acquiring faith surrendering your heart for focus on the Saviour is the most beneficial thing. Life tends to happen whether we would like it to, and it seems obvious that we should always remember the Saviour in all that we do. The plain truth is that consistent and deep concentration on our dear Christ is key to the burning of faith so often learned of in the scriptures. I always have wondered how Moses, or Alma, Brother of Jared, and the 3 Nephites could acquire such great fruits of their faith. It isn't always about those physical manifestations of miracles that mark the great power in our Faith but the change wrought in our hearts. I have been out 6 months of my mission already, and that is one quarter of this service in life I can never reclaim. It was in lack of a better term Miraculous. I have changed so thoroughly and so intimately because of this mission and because of the preparation before my mission that I cannot even come to remember why I did the things or was the boy I used to be. The man I am now, is certainly not done growing at all, but this momentous year and years prior have been mountains and mountains of great tribulation often caused by my own mistakes. True, many of you know and remember the kind of mistakes I used to make. I apologize for that, and have let them go. Free from the chains at last it seems, the fleeting moments of darkness a blur in my mind, hope for a better world has finally come (Ether 12:4 & 6).
Some awesome ugly sweaters there!
The New Years day we tracked for several hours with little to no luck. The last door we knocked was at about 5:45 and it was because the man said that it was too dark for us to be out, it was a sad hour, but personal growth is had in every step of faith we take, right? The day we were sick, the Hastings brought over chicken noodle soup and some turkey burgers for dinner, they are the sweetest and most kind people you can find on this earth everyone. If you ever meet a Hastings you tell them thank you, even if they aren't Elder And Sister Dave and Norma, just believe me they are the finest people heaven has given up.
A funny occurrence that happened last P-day: We were playing volleyball in Alexandria and, well I got upset, I don't know exactly what happened but I might have broke down crying and kicked a chair. I took a timeout for my temper tantrum and learned a little bit more that day about controlling my emotions, and I was put in remembrance of the great sensitivity that lies within my heart.
Remember dear fellows, God indeed loves you, no matter who you are, whether or not you want blessings or further light is up to you, but salvation by itself is free to all man. Christ bore all sins for all people throughout eternity, and the great time is at hand that He will return again. The work is ever hastened, the twelve tribes are being gathered together, and many prophecies I know to be true from the scriptures are coming forth as we live and breath each day. I have no more Faith concerning the Messiah who is and was and for eternity will be Jesus The Christ, because I know with absolute surety who He is. I have not seen Him or felt Him, but I do know that He lives and is there, all the principles of happiness are found in his church, and that church is this great Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The ordinances found are of utmost importance, and there is no greater or more important thing in this life than our Father in Heaven who is Elohim and our Saviour Jesus Christ who was Jehovah. I testify in Christs sacred name -Amen
Love yours truly, Elder Joshua Dean Rush