Friday, January 2, 2015

Last Letter of 2014.....

December 29, 2014
Christmas Jammies (yep, my mom sent us matching pjs)

Dear Friends and Family,
    Hey everyone! I had a merry merry Christmas, but I am so very glad it's over. I mean everyone is so happy and accepting but nobody actually stays in Oakdale, like every single place even Wal-mart shutdown in Oakdale on Christmas Eve and day, i was like woah, miracles. Everyday was an adventure because we had p-day, then district meeting, then it was Christmas Eve where we went with the Hastings to go caroling to some of the members of our branch and the Bradleys. Mrs. Bradley is really super nice and stuff, I think the pageant just stresses her out, so our visit with them was lovely. Brother Bradley is one of the smartest men I know, he just remembers everything and always has something so very profound to say, I swear he could be a General Authority, if he had a conversion.
 Pics of the Hansen Family and 
our clean up project for service

    We got lots of treats and gained a lotta weight, but we got a lot of smiles and joy so it was all worth it. Everyone we went caroling to said they have only seen that on tv, so we made some people really confused and delighted that night. It was a good idea of the Hastings to bring their daughter, Sandy who flew down from AZ, because we needed more girls to balance out our excellent man voices, haha. I can't help but near tear up when the sweet song of Silent Night is sung, it just has a spirit about it that brings great remembrance of the reverence during our Saviour's birth. How special He is to us, so nice to have all things revealed unto us in the spirit. That we may bring to remembrance the great days we spent in the presence of our Lord and Father who showed us so much. The things we witnessed before even coming to this earth and yet when the earth was operating. A great orchestration of faith was required for God to not help us, or the Saviour, in our darkest moments so that a great understanding of the Atonement could be had. The greatest times to learn are the greatest times of loneliness.
Check out the billboard for the high school, bet you wouldn't find that even in Utah

    Miss Emma and Breanna, who starred with us in the pageant are now our close friends! They ask us questions all the time and they really would like us to come and visit and have dinner or a little shindig with them. The gospel moves forward no matter what, especially when our hearts are in it! 
    Barker and I have been tracting a lot and ya know its probably most fun for us because of all the crazy little things that happen. Got a Catholic to tell us all about the history of the founding of Mexico and America and how we were almost Spaniards and then we always get that one very country man who asks us to please stop coming to his door cause he don't want our religion he got one. Anyway, it is always a learning experience even if we don't have anyone inquire of the gospel.
 Christmas Day

    Nene Tren came to church the other day and one of the greatest miracles took place. We are in a distirct with the misisonaries, who are in Leesville and DeRidder, and so we talk to them often, so when we were talking to the Leesville Elders about our investigators and mentioned Nene, they mentioned that they had a Vietnamese member who spoke amazing English in their ward! When we called Sister Scalf (this member we mentioned) she was worried that she wouldn't be able to help very much due to learning the gospel mostly in English, but when this Sunday lesson with Nene came rolling in....Joy was had indeed. I love hearing them talk in their native tongue, and Nene understands so much that we didn't know and we really have to slow down now because its very very hard to understand the gospel let alone in a different language so that's our goal now. Sister Scalf helped us so much and was so sweet and her husband and little boy were so good to come and help as well. Nene and Phoebe (sis. scalf) exchanged numbers and now anytime Nene has a question on her mind she will call and ask with a willing answer on the other end. What a good day yesterday was, and now we are gonna go have p-day in Alexandria with 2 districts so that's exciting!
 Much Cool Rush stuff to be found here
Funeral Home in Glenmora

    I know that trials and struggles will continue throughout my mission, and sometimes things get real hard to understand and sometimes I lose hope in myself. But just look at the miracles around me, they are so lovely. I know Heavenly Father loves me very much and He is a glorious and exalted being who can love with no limit. I just have to surrender all that I have in order to access more, and as I do so, it really makes me appreciate all those who I love and who love me. They gave me the base of this sweet swelling in my chest, and now I can say my testimony is now my own. I enjoy having charity and love towards others, it is the single best way to turn darkness into light and pain into joy. When you love others without guile and without a need for reciprocation, then you will find peace that only Christ can give. I really know all things are true that the Lord has revealed unto us. The Spirit and Jesus Christ are my friends and close ones at that. I know who I am, and I am not afraid to be me. I hope you all learn who you are and remember that you should love others for who they are. A beautiful world we live in "fo sho" In Jesus name amen.

Love yall sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much
     -Elder Joshua Dean Rush

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