Dear Friends & Family,
I have been doing well this week, which is what I will tell you every single time, because even if it's been terrible I just reflect a little bit on everything that happened and then it doesn't look so bad. It really never is that bad, I am just one who would be described as anxious. Small things sometimes flip me out, but then big things are no deal, so I am working on that, pray for me. This week was transfer week so not a lot happened in Oakdale, but a whole lot was happening in our lives! Funny story from transfers, we didn't get transferred so we couldn't go but then president called me as District Leader, BUT then after the leadership meeting I had to go to transfers, at transfers President pulls us aside says he made a whoops (I'm not the District Leader) cause Elder Barker is DL again and so I'm free and we got to go to transfers. The Lord and I are pretty tight right now, just saying.
Next on the list of awesome things, so our district changed up a ton this time around, we now have 2 greenies being trained in our district. It is going to be a good transfer because everyone is so friendly up here and we are all good buddies. Matter of fact Sister Kongaika- Aholele (Sister Kay) is from Salt lake and she is Tongan (if you couldn't tell from her name) and she has a lot of awesome to be shared. Elder Sinclair is one of the new elders up here and he is such a delight to talk to, always learning something and always enjoying. It is good to be a part of the Work in Louisiana, it is a good work full of fun! I especially like the fun part, but it is hard tough work too just so you all aren't disillusioned.
The best thing about this week was being able to see Elder Nathan Netzley from Hyrum Utah! Got a good picture with him, and it turns out he is being trained in my zone so I get to see him pretty often. It is good to see a man from back home, even though he could leave to Brazil any waking moment! Happy Birthday Annalise Netzley!
Next on the list of wonderful occurrences of this week: The Alexandria Stake had their stake conference this week which was extra solid and super spiritual. Got to see Elder Netzley again, especially when the entire zone stayed at the Alexandria/Pineville Elders apartment. It was as flashback from that huge sleep a few months ago, reliving the dream everyone. I love when people are around me, and I love telling them how much they matter, so when I see people I just am filled with so much joy it can only be described as a toddler with his ice cream! The Thermostat was turned to 55 degrees, I was under a fan and by a drafty window, so for once in my life, even with 20 bodies in one small place, I was very chilly on that ground. It was a struggle but it wasn't Carthage Jail. Just know that I know that nothing is as hard as we make it. Learn to enjoy like Paul did, all manner of afflictions for Christ Jesus, then the beauties of this mortality are given to us.
I know now that when the Lord asks you to be or do something, always do it, or else you look really bad to everyone else who realizes your potential and the Lord gets frustrated. In other not great news our 2 baptisms are going to have to be postponed, but we get to go to Chinese new year on the 22nd, so that doesn't really relate but is an event to look forward to.
I hope and pray all is well for each of you, that you are happy and healthy and full of the Spirit. I certainly feel as though each of you are directly connected through your prayers, to me. It is a blessing to have so many people on your side, it makes the opposite side seem so little. Fear is the lack of faith, so when we can rid ourselves of the fear of failure, or of disappointment, then we have faith sufficient enough to do those things. Repentance is the single most important change anyone can go through, it isn't being sorry nor is it just admittance of fault. It is a heart that is given to the Lord and filled with light, it casteth all fear, and it helps us live the greatest of all the commandments. Love the Lord with all heart, mind, might and soul, and Love thy neighbor as thyself. There are no exceptions to these rules for they constitute all that our Faith is. All of the happiness and joy that comes from this love, lead us to that further repentance, to sorrowful is one thing, but to change the very nature of your natural frame, is Godlike. I love you all so much and this I know to be with a certainty in truth, that Joseph was the last prophet of all dispensations, that in his weakness he was qualified to be a prophet. No other man but Christ has done so much for the salvation of man. This church is undoubtedly true, never let fear tell you otherwise. In the name of Jesus Christ -Amen
Love Elder Joshua Dean Rush