This week was the baptism of Thuli and Fannie! I was asked by Thuli to baptize her and Fannie asked Elder Blow. It was such a privilege to be part of their baptism and their conversion. They both have strong and powerful testimonies. It was interesting to see the progress of their conversion. Bro. Fannie is outgoing and loves talking with everyone. He gained a testimony of this gospel very quick. We actually met him when he came to church one day on Fast Sunday and he actually got up and bore his testimony that Sunday. He hadn't even met with us missionaries yet. He has gained a powerful testimony of this gospel and of the Book of Mormon.
Thuli is very quiet and shy. We met her when a member brought her to church. We began meeting with her and she was quite shy and didn't really say much when we met. She however always kept the commitments we gave her and marked up all the pamphlets we gave her. She began to open up to us and became more comfortable with us. She quickly gained a testimony of this gospel as well. She has a humble and powerful testimony. When she came up out of the water she came up with tears in her eyes. The gospel has changed her life and has brought so much happiness into her life.
They both brought many family members, that are not members of the church, to their baptism. They have and will be such an example to their family. We hope to begin teaching their family members so they may follow the example that has been set before them.
So this week is transfers. Elder Blow and I received a phone call Saturday morning informing us that Elder Blow would be leaving and that I would be training a new missionary and be the District Leader. I am sad to see Elder Blow leave. We have made so much progress in Kwa-Thema. I am excited to be able to train a new missionary. I am a little nervous about this new task and leadership role but I am also excited for what is ahead. The work will continue to roll forward here in Kwa-Thema.
I had a wonderful Birthday yesterday. What made it so special was the baptisms of Fannie and Thuli. I received many birthday wishes from missionaries, members, investigators, and Pres. and Sis. Leavitt. Thank you all for your birthday wishes as well! It's weird to know that I am no longer a teen. I still feel like I should be in High School. But actually I'm in South Africa living on my own and talking with random strangers about something that has blessed my life so much. I love it so much! I love this gospel and know it is true.
I'll talk to you all next week. You'll find out the nationality of my son next week. Love you all!
Love, Elder Rash
Questions asked by his dad:
- What aspect of your testimony has grown the most since returning to the mission field?My testimony of the Book of Mormon and the power that is found and gained from reading The Book of Mormon daily. And the importance of gaining a testimony of The Book of Mormon2. What is your schedule like each day?We wake up about 6:15, go and play soccer for 30 minutes, come home shower and eat breakfast. About 8 or 8:30 begin personal study. We plan for our day about 9:30 and head to our area at 10:30. We have appointments every hour of the day and head back to our flat at 8pm. We usually find 30 minutes throughout the day to do companion study3. What kind of food do you prepare for yourself?A lot of chicken and pasta. Eggs. Toast. Crepes.4. How often do you eat with members?Just about every night. Sometimes twice a day5. Out of your investigators, how many are progressing?Well progressing investigators is no longer a key indicator but if I could guess it would be about 15 to 186. Tell us more about each of your progressing investigators?That would take a very long time7. Tell us how the returned missionary that has returned to church is doing? Has he kept coming to church since his first week coming back?He is doing great! Has come every week since that first week. He comes teaching with us. He goes to institute. We find him at the chapel throughout the week just hanging out with members. He is doing really well.8. When are transfers and do you think you will be transferred?This week is transfers. We found out Saturday morning that Elder Blow will be leaving and that I will be training a new missionary and become the District Leader. I am nervous but also excited for this opportunity. I will find out who my new companion is and meet him on Tuesday. It's going to take a lot of work and be tiring but it will be rewarding.9. What is the hardest part about teaching the gospel?Finding those who are serious about learning the gospel and that have truly been prepared. Also just teaching it simply10. Is there anything that they don’t have in South Africa that you miss from the US?I was thinking about it earlier. Probably some nice pepperoni pizza, Hot Cheetos, and Reese's Peanut butter Cups. Other than that not really11. How was your Birthday?So my birthday was good! The entire district and Elder Blow sang to me and wished me a Happy Birthday. Many people in the ward were aware so they wished me a Happy Birthday. Also our bishop's wife and daughter have the same birthday as me so they invited us over for cake last night. That was a lot of fun.
Baptism of Thuli and Fannie with their families