Thursday, April 7, 2016

Zoo, Easter, Hospital visits, General Conference and more!

March 14, 2016
woot woot

Dear Friends and Family,
rainbow deliverance

 Finally after days of floating about we sent the dove out and it brought us an olive leaf and we headed for land!! No not really that dramatic here in Plaquemine, in other places in Louisiana however that is a tale sad but true. It did rain gallons of water on us and we had to stay inside a lot of the week, but nothing serious happened that we are aware of. Heart goes out to all the people severely affected by the storms. 
Well with all that disheartening business happening I will have you know the week still went well. Really if 1 or 2 of the days goes well you essentially have a great week as a missionary. Got to look at them upsides or you gonna be upsides down.
focused on the animals...
  Monday at the zoo was perfect. It is in the boundary of Baton Rouge and not too far from a place called Baker Zachary which is north Baton Rouge and close to us as long as you get across the river. Such a splendid time, I have lots of pictures but i will only send the best ones and we can all worry about the other ones later. It was so fun to see some old friends again and be with a bunch of missionaries. The zoo on Monday is the perfect time to go because no one is there. The only disappointing factor was that there were no penguins and no lions. Thankfully the next best wild cat, the Tiger was there waiting for us to behold his glorious beautyyyyy!

  After that, almost all of us missionaries got flooded and the weather and sad countenance of the sky caused us all to get really really sick. It was really hard to function with headaches and crazy tiredness and sore body, it was really weird. The work went to near zero for awhile, because the entire city had gotten sick or had been affected by the storm or something, it was sad to see everyone so downtrodden. It's thankfully always in due time after sorrow, that the Lord delivers. On Friday, we went to see our investigator family after several failed attempts all day and some Tylenol to ease the aches. They were all fighting...and yelling, mostly our investigator dad with his father they all have some substance issues and this was causing a huge rift. Thankfully Elder Rogers and I showed up at the perfect time to settle things down and bring the Spirit into their lives right when they needed it. God calmed them all down as we testified of the Atonement of Christ. That it's power combined with that of the will within them could heal all the wounds and free them from sin and addiction. That if they truly wanted it, they were going to need to make a change and pursue church and a changed life. This weird moment when everyone in the neighborhood comes over right at that time (happens a lot in the hood) to see what was goin' on with their friends. A friend of our investigators came over and he listened and expressed his desire to come with us to church the next day and learn to change and overcome his addictions as well. We testified again and everyone said they were coming the next day. Now before we get excited, the dad and 2 of his daughters showed up but it was the Spirit that they felt that mattered and everyone who wanted to but didn't come will come if they remember. 
Church was perfect. 
Change is the name of the game and Jesus is the best teamate. 

love yall - elder joshua dean rush

Elder Romero made the bird dance. 

March 21, 2016
Dearest Family and all you Friends out there,

  Hello y'all, get ready for some crazy. I will just lay it out real straight for you. Our progressing investigator who has been coming to church is a nice black dude with one leg. Guy really loves us and the gospel and is on track for baptism as soon as we can teach the man. The unfortunate thing about this week is that his sister kinda did him dirty by trying to uhh hurt him? She cut him up pretty bad and he had to get some stitches and we showed up at the hospital FLIPPIN' OUT. He was way fine but man that was some intense stuff. To make things ever more difficult his mother passed away this last Saturday night and, of course, you can't make it to church the next day when that happens. We visited them and I think I've seen more tears of joy and sadness from this sweet family than I ever thought I would.
 If y'all know how to pray, if you could just do that, I would be so grateful ;D
  Okay so onto some better news and better days. The work is becoming crazy to keep up with and I love it. It's like a great chase to get so much done, because we have lots of people to teach, reach, and love!! We found a bunch of new families 22 miles away, in a city bigger than Plaquemine called Donaldsonville and they are super cool and progressing now looking for a church yay. Less-active work is working and all is well over here and I am excited to see what this next week holds.

Miracles every day -love elder joshua dean rush

did some service and there was...a lot of grass so Elder (assistant to the president) Brown and I are in the same district and on exchanges and therefore he captured this obscure service moment, lots of grass

March 28, 2016
Dear family and those of you still reading these letters,

  Had such a fun time this week sharing in all the Easter festivities and Christlike love that comes about from this season of worship.
The most noteworthy of events that we went to this week was the annual Jehovah's Witness memorial of the Death of Jesus Christ. Which I can confidently say I enjoyed very very much. The similarities are uncanny and the talk given was sublime on mercy and the goodness of God. I felt closer to Grandma and Grampa Rush :) Everyone there was especially nice and the little lady that invited us saved us a spot and everything. I think we could learn a thing or two from their dedicated service and goodness of heart.
  We didn't' find anyone new this week to teach but we did just meet a lot of people around town. Apparently before Easter Sunday, its a tradition to have a craw fish boil and invite every single person in your neighborhood. We knocked doors a lot Saturday so everyone invited us to eat with them, when the day came to an end, I believe my pants could no longer fit at all until the next day hahaha.
  For the spiritual experience this week: We went to teach our part member family that we have been teaching for a while now that we see weekly who live wayyyy out in a place called Grosse Tete, and the mom is the only member and we have been teaching her girls. Her older daughter joined us this week and we shared the Easter video and both her and her younger sister and probably everyone in the room felt the Spirit and acknowledged it. It's a small thing I know, but when people feel it and can say they feel something its a huge milestone in the direction of spiritual strength. 
I have learned to love the people down here and I miss everyone in all my old areas lately and I honestly feel homesick for the the rest of Louisiana, its a strange feelings, but I know that the Saviour is the one who instills these feelings in all of us. 

love yall - elder joshua dean rush

also i never took yall on a tour of the apartment sooo here weee goooo
the only lights we have are
"clean room"

April 5, 2016
Dear Friends and family, 

  This week was wonderful. It was a bit strange due to the fact that Elder Rogers was on LSU campus all week and I was with a certain Elder Butler, but he is my new best friend in the whole UNIVERSE. :D Exchanges as a missionary are very weird sometimes, because randomly you have to switch living with the person you have been with for weeks to someone you barely even know. Thankfully, the Lord blesses those who choose kindness over skepticism. Reality is that the whole week was a blast that just kept on lasting. We planned to only go for a day but General Conference and miles for our cars just didn't match up until switch back Monday morning. It was good to find a brand new friend that you could teach the gospel with and meld with right off the bat. Such a refreshing spirit that brings.

  General conference was amazing and very helpful for me. I always like the talks that give suggestions on how to improve or at least the ones that tell me what the best options are so I can try to get there myself. I felt a special connection with Elder Oaks talk focusing on temples and the miracles that they bring into our lives. The Way God lives is found in those special buildings and we are taught how to be more like Christ and our Father in Heaven, free from distraction and temptation for a short while. This all and the salvation of our ancestors, it is a very significant phrase Joseph Smith said, That we cannot be saved without our dead and they without us. If we only ever went to the temple once to learn we would not be able to remember or progress. Therefore, serving our dead gives us responsibility and helps us develop charity and reminds all of us of the covenants we have made in this life. 

I hope all y'all are doing so great 

love -Elder Joshua Dean Rush

(p.s. pictures coming sometime later. sorryyy i forgot cameraaa)

THIS was so nice to see after 5 days of grey BLAHH :DDDDDDDDDDDDDD

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