Dear Friends and Family,
This week was a fast one, and a real hot one! The heat index over in this little area is around 107 on most days and I think it's because we are getting into the Texas desert a little bit? Not sure, but somehow it's hotter here than anywhere else in the mission, we don't have to say that twice when we go knockin' on doors. Turns out work here is near non-existent except for what the sisters have been doing, so we kinda have to start fresh..but that's okay we will do what the Lord needs us to do, hard work isn't a problem.
I think I learned a lot about forgiveness and good ole prayers bein' answered. I don't know exactly what I've learned as much as I have felt like I've learned something? I will try to explain clearly my feelings. When the Nephites were getting along and prosperous, I believe, the first mention in scripture happens to be that there were no "contentions" among them and that no more were there any "dissensions" either, and those two things were huge problems back in the days of the Alma. I think that happens in the church today, we just seem to get a bit too distracted on what everyone isn't doing or hasn't done, that we can't forgive others for what (negative) things they have done, and it makes a heart hard. The church really can't grow under these circumstances and, of course, it is hard to look at all brothers and sisters the same regardless of any circumstances but maybe if we tried a little more, we would have a bit more Zion in our midst.
For awhile in Amite, I felt very alone, and I am sure very few of you, if any, besides maybe my own mother could tell. She always ends up saying something to someone though, I'm sure, because, coincidentally, I get more emails of encouragement directly after the week of trials...In any case, I prayed for deliverance and peace and tried to do all that I could on my own to be aligned with the Lord's will and pleasure, not ever nearing perfect but feeling quite on task, yet I never seemed to get any relief from the anxieties of my heart. Thankfully, the Lord did answer, and it was now that he decided, I really don't know why this is, but even though I did need comfort for quite some time the Lord saw fit to let me be for just a bit longer. It doesn't seem like it was for any reason or because it was the right timing or anything, it just seems like the timing was merely on the eternal clock.
I know the Lord doesn't force us to believe or force us to follow or keep commandments. I know he gives us moral agency to do our best. I have seen and heard a lot of negative evidence and discrediting things about this church and all that it is, but I sure like it, it seems to push me in a good way and toward a growing mind and a larger view of life. I certainly know it's true, but I guess it just isn't for everyone, and I am certainly okay with that. It isn't an easy thing we ask as the "Mormons" but I believe it is often worthwhile in it's results to create a better people for our Father in Heaven. Cling to the truth, farewell until next week.
Love yall, Elder Joshua Dean Rush