Good Morning Everyone! Actually Afternoon... I don´t know maybe it is morning there.. anyways!! HELLO! I aplogize for my very short and brief emails last week. No excuses.. this week I would love to tell you more in detail with the time I have about my experience so far here in Maringa. I have to say though that sunday nights when I am thinking about what I am going to email the next day.. it is kind of like getting up to bear your testimony. You plan it all out and then when you do it you don't say anything you planned. With that said, I aplogize for jumbled thoguhts!
Devanir being silly
Speaking of bearing testimonies, yesterday was fast and testimony meeting. I was fasting and praying for help from the Lord in the ability to SPEAK Portuguese. I have been very blessed so far to be able to understand about 75% or monst conversations. But I have been struggling opening my mouth... So I prayed for courage to get going and be able to speak my mind and testify of what I know to be true. Before I knew it I was walking up to the front and at the pulpit! It was simple but I did it. And The ward (ala) I am serving in is AMAZING! I love these people so much. They are extremely supportive and helpful. They all are helping and encouraging me to speak. The often ask me to say the prayers haha. I also spoke in Sacrament meeting last week...that was intersting... haha. But I am learning so much!
My companion is heaven sent. I love her and appreciate her more that words can describe. She is very loving a patient. She has been out for 3 months (she just finished her training!) We are opening a new area together. So it has been quite the experience! We have been working really hard to organize an area book and find people to teach. I am very grateful for my time in OKC and my companions there really teaching me how to organize and work an area. It has helped us both a ton. We have been talking to many many people. We have contacted over 200 people in these past weeks. We literally talk to EVERYONE.
We have lots of goals and plans to achieve them. The hardest thing is me not being able to teach as much yet. Sister Sedgwick is an incredible misionary to be doing all that she is! She was told to train me to be a trainer when I am done with my training which is kind of scary to think! But I know that all things are possible with the Lord on our side. We hope to have a baptism of a family this Sunday! I´ll let you know what happpens!
President Genaro, our Mission President is coming out to visit our area (About 3-4 hours from Londrina) in 2 weeks. Our ward mission leader want to have 10 baptisms that day he comes. We are going to have to pray and work a lot harder! But the faith of the WML is amazing and the ward wants to do everything they can to contribute. The youth are so strong here. They love to help us and go out with us and refer us to their friends. They all are shining example and I am amazed at all that they do. The youth today are incredible!!! They have a really neat board in the church right as you walk in. It has a picture of every primary and youth and underneath the picture says ´future Sister NAME or Future Elder NAME´ and then the dates they are serving in the years to come.
The work is hastening and it is amazing! I love companionship study with sister Sedgwick. We get SO excited about what we are learning and doing we practically are bouncing in our chairs and then cry hahaha. We LOVE our mission!!! Although we have many trials and hardships, every one of them tends to disappear when we invite some one to read the Book of Mormon or come to church or pray and they accept. Or when we feel the spirit as we testify! ITS ALL WORTH IT! :) I wouldn't trade this time for anything!
So Brazil, particually Marianga is simply the best place ever! I love the people. They are just so great! My favorite person here is the Relief Socitey President. Her name is Devanir. She reminds me of Sandi Edwards. Totally dedicated to her calling and loves life. She works so hard to help others and just makes everyone smile!! I added a picture of her and me and also her being silly haha. We get along really well and she is someone I can actually understand pretty well when she talks haha.
The food here is great! I love it! Even though it is pretty much the same things every time is is just so yummy! We have rice every day and bean... yummy! Then meat and salad and juice or Guarana. It is a Brazilian pop. It is reallly good. I have never had so much pop in my life haha. But thankfully we do a TON of walking so it´s okay haha. Seriously we walk a ton! I There are a lot of hills here too. I think I a loosing the weight I put on in OKC :D yay! haha.
There are a lot of Dogs here. Everyone has one or more dogs. I dont think I have been barked at so much in my life. People just let them too. We have had to teach though a dogs none stop barking sereral times haha.
We are teaching a Japanese Family right now. We think they are going to be apart of the 10 baptisms next week. The Husband (Dario) was a referal from church Headquarters. I´ll keep you posted on how that goes.
The weather is very bizzare. On day it ws below freezing and we couldnt feel our toes and fingers, the next day it was so hot we sweat standing still. Today is over cast and really nice and breezy. We had a lightning and thunderstorm last night which was super cool to watch!
Alright, I love you all and am praying for you. My prayers are also with my cousin Sarah at this time.
Thank you for all the updates in everyones lives. Miss you and hope you all have a great week-
Love Sister Rachel Edwards
PS Missionary challenge for the week: Share your testimony of the Book of Mormon with a friend. We give challenges to our ward too. This week their challenge is to bring a friend to church. I´ll ease you in to it :) Write me your experiences!! :)
Lunch! (No Dinner in Brazil. Snack instead.)
Devanir being silly