Monday, November 27, 2017

Week 13: And the rains came tumbling down

Hello Friends and Family!

 So this week has flown by compared to last week. Probably because I had a P-day this week unlike last week since I was on a plane on Monday.

So this week it rained everyday from Wednesday-Saturday. Let's just say that dirty roads as well as dirt roads mixed with rain does not go well with biking.  So, Wednesday-Friday it started raining about 3 pm each day. Usually we would be in a lesson when it rained hard so we didn't get too soaked; but when the roads are wet then our bike tires flick water and mud up onto our backs. So let's just say our white shirts weren't so white by the end of the day. Although it rained and was a little chilly it was still super enjoyable! Nothing like getting wet and muddy for others so we can help them come unto Christ. Elder Blow and I were happy to do it, but Elder Soglohoun wasn't to hip on biking in the rain.

So Saturday we went on splits with some members so we could meet with more people. Elder Blow and a member took the bikes to 2 different appointments that were nearby each other but a ways away from the chapel. That way they could bike back when they were done. Elder Soglohoun and I went with a member to a potential investigator who lived near the chapel, so we walked. We were at least prepared this day and brought our jackets. However walking for about 10 minutes in the pouring rain is still going to do some damage. By the time we got to the potential investigators alleged home our jackets, pants, and heads were soaked. When we went to see if the potential investigator was home we were told they didn't know who that person was and that they didn't live there. At that point we were like what do we do? We were already soaked and had another 10 minute walk back to the chapel. We had planned on doing some finding after that lesson but with it pouring no one was out on the streets. And if they were they weren't going to stop and talk in the rain. So we decided to go to an investigators home who lived nearby. Her and her son are on date to be baptized on the 10th of December. When we got there they first just laughed at us and then got us towels to dry off and pulled up a heater and blanket for us to get warm and dry off. After we were dry we headed back to the chapel to meet up with Elder Blow and Bro. Thato. Their success was a lot better. They were able to have 2 lessons. They were soaked and muddy as well when they got back lol. This rain threw a wrench in our week and despite many appointments falling through we were able to have a pretty successful week. I believe we had 11 new investigators this week and 7 at sacrament meeting.

So Saturday night we received transfer news. Elder Blow and I will be staying in Kwa-Thema and Elder Soglohoun will be going to Roodeport. He was not very happy because he wanted to spend his whole mission in Kwa-Thema and he had been telling us he knew he wasn't leaving. Elder Blow and I, the Zone Leaders, as well as the other companionship in our district had to do a lot of teaching with Elder Soglohoun. Hopefully this experience will help him understand that the Lord needs us in other places sometimes and we need to understand that we are His instruments and should go and serve wherever He has assigned us. Elder Blow and I are excited to get to work again in our area. Especially with Light the World beginning we are working with our ward to do many activities for Light the World. We also received news that we will be receiving a car now. I loved biking but there are pros and cons to both biking and driving. I am quite excited to be driving in South Africa again.

We met with a lady last night named Naledi who the bishop referred us too. She had a lot of questions and also told us that she has been looking for a church and wants her baby to be blessed. We had a powerful lesson and invited her to be baptized when she comes to know these things to be true.

We have many new investigators that are very promising! I am excited to help all of them come unto Christ.  I love this gospel and I love this work!

I love you all,

Elder Rash

Selfies are the best!

Rain + dirt= mud....not so good for white shirts

Even when he's tired he's smiling!

Getting ready to head out on a cold and rainy day!

Isn't he sooooo handsome!

I did NOT send him out with this jacket....

Monday, November 20, 2017

Week 12: Hello From South Africa ONCE AGAIN!!!!

Well hello friends and family!

 So, many might not even know since it happened so fast, but I am back in Zion, South Africa!

This past week has been wonderful! I was expecting to be the only missionary on my flight here but there ended up being a senior couple coming to the mission from New Mexico.
So my area is called Kwa-Thema. It is a township near the city Benoni. It is an all black area which I love! We are currently riding bikes but could get a car here soon because 4 areas will be closing down.

I probably won't share a lot about the people we are teaching because I'm still getting to know them and have only met with the people we are teaching once. The work is going really well here. We have about 6 progressing investigators. It could be better so we're going to continue to find and teach. Hopefully with the Light the World initiative we will be able to find a lot of people.

I am currently in a threesome. My companions are Elder Blow and Elder Soglohoun. Elder Blow is from England and Elder Soglohoun is from Benin. We all get a long really well! So Elder Blow actually came into the mission the day I left so he took my spot with my companion. So in our mission lineage he is my brother but also kind of my father now because he's kind of training me again. We'll just cover any parts of the 12 week program that I feel like I need to refresh and then finish what I didn't finish. I've got the doctrine and content down really well surprisingly. Now I'm really focusing on my teaching skills.

This week has gone by quite fast! I've eaten 3 kotas already in the time I have been here. Kotas are the big things of bread with chips (fries) and meat in them. Man I missed the food here! And even more the people. I have been able to talk on the phone with my trainer and many missionaries I was in the MTC with since I've been here. I can't wait to see them all.

I have been able to recognize a huge difference in the kind of missionary I was in my first 3 months compared to now. All of the missionaries said I looked different compared to my picture coming out of the MTC. They all said I looked a lot happier. I can honestly say I am so much happier and have been able to feel the holy ghost so much more!

I love you all. I will talk to you all next week!
Love, Elder Rash

He loves riding a bike.  Easier to stop and talk with people.

He loves the kids

Elder Soglohoun, Elder Rash, Elder Blow

Elder Rash loves the Africa sunsets

Buddies already

Sleeping arrangements

Horsing around before bedtime

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Welcome Back Elder Rash!!!

From Elder Rash's mom:
348 days ago, we welcomed Elder Devon Rash home with open arms from serving just 3 short months on his mission in Johannesburg South Africa.  Yesterday, we said goodbye with joyful hearts as he returned to the people he grew to love and the land he will serve for the remaining 21 months of his mission.  We could not be more proud of our boy.  He has beat the odds and has endured well as he has prepared himself to be a better missionary.  We know he will be an AMAZING missionary and will serve with all his heart, might, mind and strengthen.
I was hoping that while Devon was home, he would write down his feelings about coming home and his journey back to the mission and share them on his request fell on deaf ears (hopefully he wrote them in his journal).  But I want it recorded that, as his mother, I couldn't be more proud of Devon.  Coming home was not easy, but it was the right thing to do.  Being home for a year was not easy, but he used that time to learn more about himself, he applied the Atonement, and he endured.  A mother never wants to see their children go through hard times or trials...oh, how we wish we could take away any pain or sorrow; but we ALL need to experiences sadness/sorrow/pain/trials so that we can recognize and appreciate the JOY and happiness the Atonement provides for us.  So, now that this challenge is behind Devon,  I can honestly say how grateful I am for this experience that Devon was able to learn from, to grow from, to develop a closer relationship with his Father in Heaven and Savior!  I know that because of this journey, Devon will be a more powerful, Christ like missionary as he serves and shares the message of the gospel, and bears his testimony of the power of the Atonement and the peace and joy that comes from it!
Elder Devon Rash's Mom

Proud Parents

Grandparents and cousins that came to say goodbye

Great-grandpa that loves this boy so much

Powerful men who had a hand in helping this boy get back out on his mission

Missionaries who loved and supported Devon

Family that love Devon so much

frustrating morning trying to get checked in

My two African boys....and my beautiful daughter-in-law

This sister of his loves him more than he realizes

My kiddos (well, most of them)

Till we Meet Again Elder Rash...REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE!  I love you!