Saturday, March 21, 2015

I'm being transferred!!

March 17, 2015

Dear Friends and Family,

   I am being Transferred from my current location to an unknown destination. It is always sad to leave, but it is now onto new adventures and more excitement. The Lord is in control and I appreciate Him giving me new places and people to experience and enjoy, I absolutely love these people down here. I mean we are all american, but in the south they bring it to a whole new level, including a new level of fun.

   Heavenly Father intends that we get over ourselves and cast away our pride, but the only way to do this is literally the hardest things you can think of. It is different for each person to rid themselves of a certain level of pride, but you must give of yourself freely, and care more for others than you do for yourself. This is not to self depreciate however, it is self-building when this happens. Serving even those who despise you Right? We had the interesting chance to give some other elders some relief, we are often with DeRidder elders for one important reason or another, and this time we visited some other elders while we were coming back from our pday. I won't name them, but it sure made them happy, and sure made us happy, sometimes during a long hard week, you need the relief of an enduring friend. The endurance Chirst gives is eternal and always patient, shouldn't we do as the master commands? 
Elder Rush, Elder Barker, Nene, and Sister Scalf
   I know I talk about Loving one another a whole lot, and loving God and all that, so if y'all get bored I understand, but really I find that piece by piece and patient moment after patient moment we can all gain such an appreciation for our brothers and sisters, and I tell you what. I know it is the kind of joy that you really can't explain but that you can only experience. 

   It's all about trusting in God right? That you are doing the right things. Well it turns out that our 2 investigators will be baptized this month, and the miracle of this week is our humble invitation to preach. Now a preface to this story begins at the pageant, remember all our black friends we had pictures with and such, well Miss Emma and Brother Greene had their son/brother come back from the marines this month and we met him and had lunch with them. We finally reconnected and it was great, but! when we went to his farewell at their church he invited us to come introduce ourselves so we did, and then the Reverand of the Church, Rev. Thomas, came up to us and asked us if we could preach a sermon on the third Sunday in April. We accepted and I think this might be a pretty miraculous thing if y'all are hoping as I have hoped. Oakdale could be changed forever, and it only took 6 months. :) The field is white everyone.
Barker, Brother Rick Jones, Me
   In the spirit of St. Patricks day I actually researched this saint of Ireland (my dear homeland). It turns out his story is very special and very interesting. It does not matter that he had not the fullness of the gospel, but rather it is amazing that he still preached the love of God to the children of man, as I am attempting to do, and he did it with ultimate patience and with an eye single. Here is one of his quotes to end with. "I am imperfect in many things, nevertheless I want my brethren and kinsfolk to know my nature so that they may be able to perceive my soul's desire." -Saint Patrick. 

It isn't what we do, so much as it is who we are, and why we do the things we do that makes us Saints. Remember that Love is the purest motive, and that only through Christ can we get this special love. 

-Elder Joshua Dean Rush
March 18, 2015
Hey so here is my new address. I got sent to Amite, and now I can go on exchanges back in Albany!!! :DDDD

10453 Pine Lands Apartments
Amite, LA 70422

my companions name is Elder Anderson, he's from Sandy UT

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Lord is treating his vineyard here with tender love....

March 9, 2015

Dear Friends and Family, 

   I love you all so very much, and I also love Oakdale. It is a tough little place for a sensitive little guy like me, but it sure has taught me a lot about patience and a lot about miracles. It isn't as if the miracles are always big or spectacular, but rather that they are small and special, so often unseen or appreciated. We had 3 people in our branch non-member and member who were healed because of a priesthood blessing, and because of that, they came to church. It was so good to see for the 3rd week in a row the congregation felt full and wonderful. You wouldn't believe how much this little branch has grown, it makes me so happy! People are starting to come back and show up again, and get over sickness. The Lord truly is good. Treating his vineyard here with tender love is just what it needed.

  So on Monday and Tuesday we had birthday parties like you all know, but the best thing about Tuesday was having district meeting with everyone there and afterwards we did this fun thing for the new year/springtime renewal. Sister Kay, our good Tongan missionary, does a thing similar to "burning the boats" of last year, but instead we write stuff on a balloon that we want to get over or let go of and then, we let go of the balloon! It was great, and Elder Olsen really liked it for his birthday lunch. He actually let his balloon go out in the middle of nowhere (we were trying to find a fire tower) on a dirt road, then we all went home. It was a real solemn and nice memory to have.

   So an update on all our investigators: Our single older aged man who dips tobacco wants us to meet and answer questions for his girlfriend and we are still working on praying to find testimony and to stop chewing. Our vietnamese investigator has been sick, but she is progressing well. She will be baptized, it's now just when. Our young black man is learning really quickly despite his age and will also be baptized soon. Everything is doing good and we got referrals so we might have some more investigators here soon.

   Church was the best this week, the Boswell sisters came and sang, and the older one gave a talk, we taught our young investigator, and we set up appointments for this next upcoming week. I hope you all a great day in Christ.
Most of what I learned comes from 1 Cor Ch. 13 on the perfect law of love, it is truly fulfilling all that the law requires of us, and it can perfect us.

-Elder Joshua Dean Rush

Sunday, March 8, 2015

It's a great work to live!...and check out all the pics :-)

March 4, 2015
This is my District
Dear friends and family,

   This week has been another exciting one, but I mean when is it not? You have to make it good, and you have to make it fun, or life is gonna go on without you. The Saviour won't ever leave you behind, but he sure likes it when you enjoy that which you sow and reap, especially in the business of missionary work. We contact all day and all the time, anywhere we can go to huge social events to give cards, testify and invite others to learn the good word. Sometime soon the blessings will come. Our district is amazing and we are so full of miracles and good missionaries. I love this district we have it goin' on right now, and transfers is coming up and 6 months have passed since I got here so I might have to leave, but oh well, I guess. At least, I have all these memories now, always remember the good times, so that when hard times come you can hold on to the good to lift you back up.
Our District with the Baton Rouge Temple

   I will let you know that our p-day surprise birthday party for Sister Bible turned out perfectly this last Monday, and I can't remember what we did the p-day before that because everything just blends together when you're a missionary, but I can't complain because it's a great work to live. I have been wondering how it is the challenge of a mission always stays at it's peak. I come to find that it's the principle that both Alma and Paul teach about the work, Alma 1:25 "25 Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore withpatience the persecution which was heaped upon them."and 2 Cor 4:17-18 " 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." The reward is far greater than that which we can earn. That is why our mortal limits must be pushed to the very potential that causes us great discomfort. It is only by this, do we qualify for the eternal glory. It was a nice insight I had about why things never seem to get easier.
 Party cupcakes

This is Sister Kelsie Abercrombie(she is training Sister Thomblin in Deridder and she and I are the only members of the original districts.) and this picture is for her mother! :D (somehow I hope she sees it haha)

   The nicest thing about not only this week, but the past few, is Brother Rick Jones has been taking us out to dinner and giving us service and helping us contact and all around being our most solid member missionary right now. He taught me the importance and power behind fasting, he has us fast to help one of the members of our branch so that he could heal, because that is all the help we could offer, and it worked just as faith always works.
 black dood in mamou, playin cajun music

Elder Whitmarsh in the right, huge ginger, and Elder Pederson on the left and they are Spanish elders in Eunice, Louisisana, where we went to a parade to help them out and to have a good time being servants

   Funny story time, so we went to Philip and Lois Veazay's house, they are an older couple who just got sealed in the temple and they are as Cajun as it gets, and we decided to visit them to first of all see them because we love them, second they need it, third I helped them set up their new printer, and finally fourth because Phil's truck broke down yet again and that bums us out. Turns out installing a printer and sharing a lesson takes a little bit of time, and the longer you are around Bro. Veazay, the more he gets hilarious. Anyway, he was talking about all this stuff when he was a kid and all these funny things and joking about how I am/look like a redbone (Native American/French) and just being all around a hoot. He then proceeds to teach us french as he learned it from his parents, and along this adventure we learned this phrase, and when and if you translate it, just know that the way you say it is very important as to the meaning. "Faire l'amour" It is to court in Cajun. Anywho, we laughed for days when he told us what it meant.

 Sister Kay, she's Tongan
(Sister Thomblin in the front)  Sisters "borrowed" my camera for these pics
One more of Sister Abercrombie
   As a district, we have been trying to find a lot of contacting situations and it seems as we pray and search as a district, and try to do what Elder Kapishke told us to do, by contacting 10 people per day per person by testifying and inviting and then asking for referrals/appointments from everyone we see and to talk to everyone we see. This is not that hard when it comes to talking to them, now when trying to get info or having people agree with you or set up an appointment that tends to be the hardest part. We are told if we keep at it we will have more lessons, so we do it and have as much fun as we can. The fun part comes in when we go to a Rodeo in DeRidder. Everyone looked at us funny like they always do, but we talked and gave cards to a bunch of people so it was a great success. The more people see us, and the more we speak, the more likely it is that people will come into our path that will be ready for the gospel.
 Rodeo with me, Sarge, Barker and Olsen

   Sunday was such a special day, a fasting day and the day before p-day!!! (imagine singing that sentence). We had some amazing testimonies that truly lifted me up to a new happy plane of existence. I mean when Sister Porter gets up and sings, it is hard to not feel the Spirit as she testifies through her powerful voice. It is a really baptist style song, but the power and conviction is backed by the Holy Ghost. We taught Lil' J. again on Sunday and we have been able to teach him more often recently so we are hoping baptism is coming soon. Our little Vietnamese woman, Nene, is coming along nicely and also should be close to baptism, I may not see it, but what really matters is that it happens.

love you all so so much, keep in touch, don't be shy, drop me a line. :D

-Elder Joshua Dean Rush
District meeting attire...when you get "snowwed out" in Deridder and have to stay overnight, to the next day and have no proselyting clothes