Saturday, May 30, 2015

11 Months out today!!!

May 25, 2015
Me, Sister Fredrickson, and Sister Groesbeck
Dear family and friends, 
   This week has been another good week. We have been trying our hearts out to find more investigators, but it sure is slim pickings. We sure do love all the people here. In some neighborhoods, lots of people just chill outside and so we offer to walk up to them and pray with them and teach them. Due to that, we have a lot of return appointments sooo maybe we will have some awesome success? We went back to one home where we found an exed member and his nonmember family and it was his birthday and his whole family was there and they all wanna be taught and had awesome questions! 
   Another thing, we have our black minister investigator and he is the one that taught us how to contact among his people. He lives a good clean life now and wants us to help him help other people, especially the youth, so we met all these young men and got tight with them, we are homies for life now, I bet. We had a huge turnout for church, mostly less active members we have been working with, but not only that, but we had a large group of the Duncan family show up. The Duncan's are the best members that could have happened for this little branch and they take such good care of us. We even had a crawfish crab boil birthday party for their oldest kid, who turned 11.
   It's been a blast and I will be sad this next transfer because Sister Fredrickson or Sister Groesbeck might get transferred and things are great in our district/area. We all work hard and love one another and it shows in the miracles. 
God gave us friendships so that we may better fulfill the greatest commandment to love our brothers and sisters. Another plus of the mission is the sweet friendships that happen so often.

Take care of each other, 
Love Elder Joshua Dean Rush

Mother's Day, Homemade Twinkies, and Preachers!

May 18, 2015
Making Gumbo for Mother's Day
Dear friends and family,
   First off, because this letter/email is the only one I write this time in my mission, I had better make it more interesting and more spiritual right? My time is running short and I can only work harder, but I can't stop the time from passing. It no longer seems like a sacrifice, but rather "With an eternal perspective, you can see that giving up the things of the world is really no sacrifice at all. The blessings you receive are greater than anything you ever give up." -True to the Faith.
 Gumbo was good! and a nice messy kitchen!

   I wish more people would listen, I wish more people would harken unto the spirit, but so has every missionary that has ever labored in the vineyard, all we can do is continue in faith that our labors are not in vain, but rather are "great recompense for reward" -Heb 10:35 because our trial of faith is "more precious than gold" -1 Pet 1:7. It isn't all dark and dreary this week, it has actually been great joy day in and day out, as I reflect, the more I appreciate the time I spend. We tracted for 4 hours one day this week and nothing came of it, every single person, it seems, rejected us, door after door, place after place, but I would have you know that amidst all the annoyance and frustration and boredom and rejection, I came to remember that the Saviour felt the same thing among his brethren. "He came to his own, and his own received him not" - John 1:11. When it becomes painful, seemingly too painful to bare, the scriptures are always there. It is such a simple, easy, well known primary answer, but where else can you find words worth more than the gold they were written on?
Homemade chocolate Twinkies for Mother's Day

   As I have been leading this small yet powerful district, I realize that it's not I, but rather the Lord and that they are leading me more than I am them. The benefits of leadership all come through sacrifice and sanctification. I really know now that its only hard because it's worth it. Anything earned that wasn't earned in pain and in work, wasn't truly ever worth it. That is what a mission is. It may seem easy here in the United States, in a fun place with lots of missionaries and good members and food. But the love just isn't there. This is the promised land, so therefore, it follows the same trend it always has. Not only that, but it is the last days. "The love of many shall wax cold indeed." -D&C 45:27. It's a beautiful place and gems can be found.
   It's all about hope, faith, love, obedience. That is always what the simplicities of the gospel entails, every doctrine and every law revolves around those attributes of the Saviour. It can be said that this week we had a minister who invited us to help with his troubled youth, to take them out of the dark place they live and offer them life. He trusts us and is also investigating the church, and hopefully we can lift those that seem so far down that they can't be rescued. Everyone can be rescued if enough love is shown. I'm sure of it.
District Meeting in a Bank

   It is easy as humans to forget that we are children of God, ever able to be like Him to feel like He feels and to become as He is. It is easy to say, oh yes we are children of God and he loves us and I have faith in him, but when it gets hard and when our faith is tried and we say those things, do we actually apply them and do we do them? Do we become those sons and daughters, full of patience and grace and love, even amidst the waves of pain.
My District, more pics from Mother's Day

 Sister Groesbeck and Me

    I love our Saviour, this work is true, the true church is THIS church, no evidence against any document, any leader, or any event can disprove what the spirit manifests in peace. Find the spirit and pray and sanctify ourselves as the Master, then when ye shall ask, ye shall receive truth from the spirit, for the spirit is truth.

Your loving son, and true brother -Elder Joshua dean Rush 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

2 for the price of one!! Welcome to May!

May 4, 2015

Dear Friends and Family,

   It's been a fantastic start to this new transfer. I mean really it's been full of all kinds of success. The first few days were slow because it was transfer week and there was lots of packing and P-day was on Tuesday, and Wednesday is always an all day ordeal for transfer meetings. We went finding most of the week, which includes the ever interesting method of Tracting. We found a part-member family who want to start learning from us, and that gives us a lot of hope that we can get this branch up and moving.
This would be the District.. lol.. Staley Groesbeck Fredrickson

   I love my new companion, Elder Tucker Staley from Syracuse, Utah, with 4 siblings including himself, and a quiet confidence about him. He is awesome and super nice, it's going to be a good transfer and we have a really good district. It's actually exciting to see the success that our sisters have been having. I mean we have been helping them with less-actives that we have been working with, but that's really with only one family. There was around 4 less-actives at church this last Sunday, and I tell you what! ain't nothing feel better than a change of heart and a renewal of testimony. It's a blessing to see God's work stir the hearts of people that have already accepted us and the message.
The Croc in Ponch

   Lots of success and lots of fun every single day, I have a few pictures from like a month ago so enjoy that! Love you all so much, it turns out when you have faith and say that you want to have more faith, its given to ya, and suddenly the things that held you back no longer hold you back anymore. I'm feelin free and feelin' real real good y'all. It just so happens that I have felt this and found my own testimony of how this gospel works in perfecting the saints. It sure has been workin hard on me being super imperfect, but looks like a teenager can actually help guide lots of people closer to their Saviour. It isn't me who made it possible, but surely it was the Spirit. He is my best buddy!!
Strawberry Festival Y'all

Love, Elder Joshua Dean Rush

May 11, 2015

Dear everyone,
I uhh pretty much told y'all what was up so I mean I hope everyone else is doing alright. It was good to talk to the family. To all my friends, keep on keepin' on. It ain't as hard as we make it, and anything we put our heart in usually becomes much easier, as long as its along with what the Lord wants. Find that out cause he needs all of us!!
Bikers Yo'

Love "the lazy" Elder Rush

p.s. also pray because honestly that makes everything better.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Frisbee, burgers and rekindling the fire.....

April 26, 2015
Playing Frisbee in the Rain!
Dear Friends and Family, 
   This week was crazy and now its going to get even more crazy, my dear Elder Anderson is getting transferred somewhere else, and therefore tomorrow I will be getting a new companion. Elder Netzley is heading out to Brazil and this transfer has Elder Barker going home with a bunch of other wonderful friends, but in life comes change and with change comes adaptation, and with that comes strength, so all will be well.
   We had 3 less-actives and 2 investigators come to church this week. It was an amazing miracle to see one of the LA's who came, and he came without his wife who wanted to come originally, but he decided to come on his own due to her being sick. It's impressive to see when less-active members begin to rekindle that fire they once had, and embrace the gospel, we have a few, including the one aforementioned, that are working toward the temple, and that is as important as any baptism.
We ate a 3 pound burger (Elder shaeffer and I) at this bbq station in Independence, Louisiana, it was pretty awesome!

   I'm learnin' to love and I'm lovin' to learn, this mission has been real good to me, all the obstacles previously in my path seem to dissipate away and, maybe I esteemed myself as weaker than God intended me to be. How blessed my life has been out here, all the friends and memories, and blessings in my family. It is worth every ounce of sweat and every tear. It's a service only God really sees, day by day, in our hearts and minds. Christ is a kind leader to give us such an amazing organization in this church, where things move near flawless even on grounds of imperfect people. It is indeed a stone cut out of a mountain that is filling the whole earth.
   I am excited to see my family again for Mother's Day, I'm excited to see what blessings will come out of this small and strong little branch.
Love y'all,
-elder joshua dean rush