April 11th 2016,
Dear Family and friends,
I am wayyyy sorrries, I forgot pictures again, but maybe someday I will upload them, but for now I will try to just make this entertaining... It probably won't be but I wll try to be more spiritual this time and maybe that will be more rewarding to read.
This week we had our annual branch crawfish boil, and I have eatin' at them a million times, but I have never seen or held live crawfish. I was able to do this and watch how they actually do what they do when they are being boiled and such.
It was amazing to see so many part-member families and Less-actives at the boil. I mean we had twice as many people as at church, which is too bad, but you know what? everyone treated each other with real kindness and respect and the Spirit was felt there. The Lord works among his children in ways we do not understand, and when we righteously gather together to enjoy one another we can reap the benefits of love for our brothers and sisters.
I have learned in exquisite detail how to be patient in these last few months. Just everyone around me wants to test it, but ya know I feel like I can really say that it's grown, and I hate being patient :), so it's impressive that Christ has improved me greatly in this aspect. All through service as I teach or with hold or especially as I listen. Common theme of the Work and of sacrifice is that God will give you His strength through His Son. He took our place once and He does it again and again.
I love this little branch and I am hoping that some of the wonderful people can come back soon. I know some have back in DeRidder and that gives me hope that at least even when I leave somehow what I did will help the Lord accomplish all his purposes! In de nombre JesuCristo Amen
Love -Elder Joshua Dean Rush
Went on splits with Elder Butler, it was awesome!
April 18th 2016,
We have 3 families progressing. 2 live in a place called Donalsonvile. Our old investigator who is struggling with a drinking problem referred us to his friend and he is very open and even writes notes when he reads the Book of Mormon.
Love yall -Elder Rush
Last District Meeting....of Last Transfer!
April 25th 2016
Dear Family and Friends,
Okay answering questions: I feel motivated and the week went fine. It wasn't nearly as "productive" but we still did essentially what was available to do. Can't do the very best every every single week! Always must do better than the last but as good as you can get it now. It's good to know day by day mistake after mistake that when we are progressing forward in this life that we still have the Testimony and the Revelation of truths before us. We can understand if we just look for it and that no question truly has to go unanswered if your heart is ready to receive an answer.
Learned a lot about understanding other people this week. I mean I have always understood needs but never on a level as deep as is required of a mission. We have all these less actives, for instance, who are having hurt feelings or having a hard time just making that first step to attend church. I mean out here its miles and minutes a plenty to go, but not only that but I really can understand them and the feelings they feel of de-motivate or distress. Thankfully this empathy isn't without a price. It is a great way to experience the Atonement. We have had a few people come back to church.
The sisters had a baptism this week and its one of the first ones here in like a good amount of years, therefore, everyone was super pumpedddd. Hardly anyone showed up for the dunk itself but I mean everyone has to come to church for the confirmation right??? ha, well mostly. She is a sweet lady so humble and ready for the kingdom, I think she will hold out pretty well, ya know.
More good news is a family in Donaldsonville (like 30 miles away but a ton of people live there) are progressing and reading the Book of Mormon and committed themselves! yes! to come to church.
Turns out the secret to getting people to do things is just have them make their own commitments based on what they learn and feel. I don't have to hardly invite any of these people just teaching them supporting them and asking them simply to wonder what Christ would have them do, they decided in their hearts to repent OR they ask us "what can we do" This is exactly what the people asked Peter in Acts Chapter 2.
The Work is slow it is toilsome but it is preparing to bring forth a greattttt abundance for the kingdom.
love you alll ammmen - elder joshua dean rush
Holdin' 'em Live
Me and Sister Emaly McBride from Hyrum Utah hooray
May 2nd 2016,
Dear Family and Friends and Anyone I guess else who reads this? Does anyone really read this or ya'll just waiting until I come home at this point? anyways long intro.
Well bad news is I'm sick today and have been for 3 days. Thank the Lord though that I still received A) sacrament and B) some Nyquil to alleviate my symptoms. I am feeling much better than yesterday so don't even worry. The Branch was sad that we were gone and prayed for me to feel better and then Bro. Bergious from the presidency came and gave us the sacrament, so when it comes to Sunday, it was pretty darn fulfilling.
Due to it raining almost non-stop this week, we have been on and off lockdown for a few days, what made this more exciting was the fact that we did exchanges with the LSU elders annnnnnnnnnnnnd our zone leaders, so we were busy and flooding. With LSU we had institute and I met all the YSA there including Terry Parker who was a missionary while I was in Amite, but lives there now, I was real close with his mom Tanya, so it was a nice reunionnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!
Went with zone leaders to get some wings and fried Oreos, pretty much the best thing that you can get in a combo. It was really great getting to go to free speech alley with LSU, but that only lasted for awhile. The Zone leaders are both old friends and one previous companion of mine, Elder Allen from Natchitoches, so we got to go back to the old times of working together.
Good weeek love yalllllllllllllllllllll -Elder Rush
I think this is Josh's zone at the Louisiana Baton Rouge Temple
I think this is Josh's district and Brother and Sister Lawes (a senior couple)
May 23rd 2016,
Dear Friends and Family,
This week I am going to try to do a better letter and maybe try to do this until I go home but we will see how that works out. I just got my last companion Elder Hendricks he is from Albuquerque New Mexico and what a guy!
This new week of this last transfer I feel like the Miracles are pouring out and my steam is starting to add up! It's like the little engine that could and I find myself daily saying that good ole phrase "I THINK I CAN.. I THINK I CAN" also coupled with the fact that the Spirit of God says to me, also, that indeed I can, indeed I can. It is such a comfort to have made it and to have progressed and to have done good for the Lord. You look back and you see huge positives even among the negatives, and it's almost like the hard things get forgotten.
We had some miraculous lessons and results this week. If I could have done back flips I would have. 4 Less-active members and 1 Investigator came to church and, my goodness, I cannot tell you how exciting that is! One of those less actives it took forever to find out where they lived but man was it the right timing, he has been back 3 weeks in a row, without any sign of stopping. HE EVEN, is thinking heavily about serving a mission as well...kid near makes me cry every lesson we have with him. He just let the Spirit in and he is making changes and he isn't giving up either, it's like how the gospel is exactly supposed to work. Jesus is real impressive!
When those lost sheep get found and you take them back to the fold, there is something sacred about the fact that you are only but a servant of the Shepherd but that He safely carries home each individual as you but seek them out and encourage their return to the Master Shepherd.
I have a real testimony folks about Christ, This Church of His, and his anointed Prophet Joseph Smith and now Thomas Monson. It isn't a joke and it isn't easy and sometimes it makes 0 sense, but having understood the workings of the Spirit. It is undeniable!
love you all :) -elder joshua dean rush
We had a Nerf war on p-day because there are thousands of bullets
and guns just sittin' in the LSU Elders apartment. Ssoooo we had fun as a zone!
Me saying goodbye to Lola the Jeep.
We got a brand new Corolla cause after 3 different times of me driving this old Jeep, sooo done.