Sunday, December 13, 2015

Catch up time!!! Transfers...Fireworks....Sickness...Work

Nov. 9, 2015
Our Backyard View
Hello Friends and Family,
  Well there is a lot of crazy stuff happening in y'alls world back home. I don't really know the extent but I think everyone should just take a deep breath and chill out. :) I mean I have hardcore anxiety so that's a hugely ironic comment, but it's out of love! (This is in reference to a church statement that was released that had some controversy associated with it)
  Lots of things happening this week, mostly rain and cold temperatures and early nights. We still bike in rain and in the Dark but we try not to do that as much as possible and still, of course, stay with our hands to the plow in the work. A servant who, "having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." therefore we continue. 
Because they had my camera i get to share these ;) this is Sister Whitney Carpenter from Austin, Texas
Sister Ariel Pfleger from Idahooooooooooooooo

It is so much easier to appreciate the world around you when you try to look through God's eternal eyes which sounds like it could be a difficult task, and it is, but it is a noble one to pursue.
  I learned a lot about patience, just like I always do because I am naturally very impatient and want things to move fast, but it brings a lot of peace to know that after waiting a man willing to change was found. This man we found was a random number of about 160 people in our phone who were labelled as some sort of investigator or that had potential to become one, and I called and texted ALLLL of them (so painstaking) and our finding this guy happened as result. Nice guy, we had one lesson, then he said he was moving to Florida, we told him we would get the missionaries there, he decided not to move and now with one thing leading to the other and lots of exposure to the church, he wants to get baptized! Hurrah!
  I randomly texted him if he made it to Florida safe, and he was reading the Book of Mormon at that exact moment and, therefore, took that as a huge sign and we came and taught him and he has the starting of a wonderful testimony.
  Not much else to report, the days are short, it's getting cold, and our bikes are made of metal and run by our pedals. Hope y'all are taking care of  yourselves feel free to write, send a package, email or pray for me, all is acceptable hahahaha.  But seriously, Thanks for the support :)

-love elder joshua dean rush

Nov. 16, 2015

Dear everyone,
  Things are always great right? Yes, indeed they are. I am now going to give you some descriptions of events.
This time around Christmas everything gets busy in Natchitoches, they now have lights all over the city, especially downtown which are starting to turn on at night, and it is quite the sight. Lots of lights, and moving lights, and singing lights, and all kinds of sweet amazing Christmas and New Year's spirit. 
NSU vs SFA game!! NSU won

  Okay, so investigator Man who is 19, we do service with him and he is great and now we just need him to find a testimony of the sweet record of Joseph. The investigator guy who didn't move to Florida has some struggles from being a war veteran and tried to drop us, but he is doing fine now. He needs to come to church, but he is reading the Book of Mormon and just being a little trooper :3. One of our ward missionaries has a friend who is sincerely investigating, and if we can coordinate meetings with him he is our highest hopes of conversion. Nice guy, real fun, super smart, if he reads, he will succeed. The rest of our investigators need to learn how to search, ponder and pray (but that's pretty much anyone) so they are stuck in the mud when it comes to concerns, oh well.
sis carpenter on the left sis pfleger on the right

  Our Climate recently has been dropping and the 65 with 80 percent humidity makes it real real nice for me. Short sleeve white shirts and everyone thinks I'm crazy but I think the white shirt black name tag signs of a Mormon missionary are like the Title of Liberty, ya know? People notice and, in my perspective, surely enjoy the sight.
Well I hope you're all doing so lovely thanks for all the wishes, prayers, emails and support from the homeland.
marching band because #throwback
trumpet section :')
Keep on
love elder -Joshua dean rush

Nov. 25, 2015
service after much sawdust and paint
Hello dearest Family and Friends,

  A lot of events have transpired and a lot of informative things have happened in just this last week. It's been one of the busiest weeks of all transfer. I can't complain because usually when life gets busy the Lord seems to take over. I can't lie and say it hasn't been extremely stressful, but it has made me stronger and I feel quite happy and satisfied to have grown because of it. 
elder allen and myself (aren't we great?)

  For the next month all you will hear about will most likely be the Christmas Festival here in Natchitoches, and I hope it's not boring but you just gotta know!!! It's the most beautiful and amazing thing I have seen to see an entire city filled and lit with the Spirit that comes when Christmas rolls around. On Saturday, we got to attend the opening ceremony where they have a fireworks show, and it was great! Apparently, they have that every Saturday for awhile, with thousands of people coming in, so we will be able to talk to a lot of people.
the good ole district

  I am not entirely sure how to get around just yet here, and I just got a new companion who's name is Elder Kyle Carter from Washington State. Great guy, it's gonna be real good! When I get lost, I guess, I just have to try to find those people that need to be found right?


  I usually don't talk much about transfer meeting, but this time around it was really extremely hard. I am getting to the point on my mission where everyone I've known and loved and served around are ending their journeys. The Hastings and The Bibles (senior couples in Oakdale and in Fort Polk) are leaving this month, and I spent 6 to 9 months serving around them. There isn't a more perfect example to me of what true love, discipleship, and marriage is like than what I saw in all of them. 
  There is something to be learned from those who have lived longer than we have on this life, and we should use this resource more often. 
Fun Timessss

  There has been a lot of discouragement and loneliness in my life and on my mission, but now through the lens of the gospel it isn't of any significance. Too much of what those feelings represent is our tendency to look inward rather than out. This is wayyyyyy obvious I know, but I love the people I have been working with and teaching here. They may not always progress or do all the things I know would bring them closer to the Saviour, but they bring me joy when I can serve them and help them. 
  We have a Less-active who we hope to get back to church soon, a 19 year old guy we do service with who we hope will open more to our message and a good man that is a friend of a member of ours who is very very interested and open to what the gospel has to offer. 
How great the peace the gospel brings.

I love you all and miss you in great abundance.

-Elder Joshua Dean Rush

Nov. 30, 2015

So Josh had pneumonia this week and was super sick, so no group letter this week :-(

Dec. 7, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

  Sorry for the lack of a letter last week, nothing to report besides sickness and coldness! This week is much more noteworthy and, unfortunately, I don't have pictures to send until Sister Pfleger gives them to me. It's easier for us to all bank on one person taking pictures as long as they get circulated. 
nice picture of fireworks -by sis pfleger

  We had the opportunity of attending a few wonderful Christmas events this week. We went to a Gala put on by the NSU art department that literally made life a more beautiful thing to live. The tap dancing soldiers were definitely the highlight of the performance (there was a member who was the star, of course.)
the "old" district

  The next event was the Christmas Festival and I wish i could describe it to you. 2 hours of parade and singing and bands and music. The festivities here go above and beyond usual, and it suits me well. I am usually a Grinch with Christmas, but on the mission my hearts gotten real soft for it.
so sly with elder Solomon and sis P

  This letter is going to be really short and to the point and I am sorry again. It gets difficult to stay focused on long explanatory emails, y'all will just have to get an account from me personally when I return home. The 18th month mark of my mission is coming soon and I feel really proud to have made it so very far and done so much (hopefully) good unto my brothers and sisters. This time of year is a good time to remember Charity and to feel love for God's great gift and the gifts of our lives in such a wonderful place wherever that may be.
More Fireworks!
love you all and take care - elder joshua dean rush