Monday, October 28, 2013

Oct. 28, 2013 Maringa Brazil

Unique fruit growing on branch of tree
Eating Unique 'Jabuticaba' Fruit 
Awesome photo of Fruit
Package arrived. Love the peanut butter!
Dr. Scholl's Gel inserts to comfort feet.
Celebratory lunch - Rachel was accepted into the University of Utah!
Sister Sedgwick, Sister Edwards, Leonardo

Oct. 28, 2013

Oi Familia! 

Desculpa, this will be very brief. This week was BUSY! I am totally exhusted today. But that is what P-day is for... reboosting for the rest of the week. Bless you p-day! 

Happy Halloween everyone! We dont have it here in Brazil. They think it is a very strange holiday...I'll have to agree on this, haha. Though I am impressed my Uncle Mike has worked so hard creating a haunted hotel for the communityin Montana...I think he has done this for 25 years, now!

Happy 20th Birthday Damara! Love you a ton! I need your email:) We live near a street here called Amaral Road. I think of you everytime we walk down it:) Hope life is fantastic for you and that you have an amazing Birthday! :) hugs!! :) 

We had a family home evening with Irmã Devanir and Filipe and Leonardo. It was great. We played Thimble and got an ab work out from laughing. I love these people so much. They have such a special place in my heart.

We have 2 weeks left of the transfer.. bizzare! Time is flying by! I would love to stay in Maringa but who know what will happen! We will see!

I am reading the Book of Mormon over again but this time only in Portuguese. I thought I would need my dictionary and English book of momon out and open but I havent yet! The gift of tongues is real and amazing and I am so gratful for the mercy and love of the lord in helping me learn Portuguese. I have to say it is much for fun talking when you can understand and communicate back haha. The members use to think I was timid and shy... i think they have changed their minds now :)

As for a quick spiritual thought: I have been thinking a lot about the need for modern day revelation and the need for a prophet and apostles today. I am so grateful we have a living prophet today. I'd like to know from you all, What does it mean to have a living prophet on the earth that speaks directly from God? This is something we try to explain the importance of to our investigators. It really is incredible and such a blessing and demontration of the Love of our heavenly father for us. i love the words of the hymn We thank thee oh God for a prophet. 

  1. We thank thee, O God, for a prophet
    To guide us in these latter days.
    We thank thee for sending the gospel
    To lighten our minds with its rays.
    We thank thee for every blessing
    Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.
    We feel it a pleasure to serve thee
    And love to obey thy command.
  2. When dark clouds of trouble hang o'er us
    And threaten our peace to destroy,
    There is hope smiling brightly before us,
    And we know that deliv'rance is nigh.
    We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness.
    We've proved him in days that are past.
    The wicked who fight against Zion
    Will surely be smitten at last.
  3. We'll sing of his goodness and mercy.
    We'll praise him by day and by night,
    Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
    And bask in its life-giving light.
    Thus on to eternal perfection
    The honest and faithful will go,
    While they who reject this glad message
    Shall never such happiness know.

AMEN!!!!! Love you all have an amazing week!!!  Love Sister Edwards

(Sister Sedgwick, Sister Edwards, Leonardo)
(Playing Thimble)
(Leonardo feeding Bishop's Baby)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rachel - Maringa City, Brazil

Oct. 21, 2013

Oi Family and Friends!

This has been another wonderfully busy week! It rained, dumping buckets at the beginning of the week and today is extremely HOT! I am not looking forward to winter.... yikes. Chirstmas will be strange with hot waether. 

We are teaching a "Jessica" and a "Rebecca" kinda cool!!! I have yet to meet a Jeffrey and Ryan here in Brasil. This week we have Zone Conference and Stake Conference. Zone Conference was incredible. I love my mission President and his Wife. They are the most loving, enthusiastic, and service oriented people. They know each of us by name and you can feel their love when they are around. The Assistants gave an awesome training on working with members. We have a lot of great plans for activites in helping members practice teaching using 'Preach my Gospel.' 

Our Mission President talked to us a lot about revelation and change. The church has 2 constants: 1. The Doctrine and 2. Changes. (We are always changing to be better than before). The Doctrine and Teaching never change, though. 

One change we are implementing that they talked about also in the Provo MTC when I was a backpack. They dont want missionaries to use backpacks any more. It is not professional and looks like a student. What can we do but smile and obey? :) It was changed for a reason. Sister Sedgwick and I are buying new bags today! 

He taught us about batismal services and how they should be held. Baptism is a sacred ordinance not an event. People here, like the US, too, like to have cake and food and gifts and sometimes even have a little party at their home afterwards. This is not bad, but it also not needed, he told us. For example: Do we eat cake and celebrate after we take the Sacrament? Baptism, like the Sacrament, is a sacred ordinace. We are changing a few things to the service, not the actual baptism, but the service to imply the scaredness and importance of this covenant. 

We also watched 17 miracles. It was a tender moment to be feeling the spirit so strong and then turn around and see the same thing with all the other Elders and Sisters. I am so grateful for the Pioneers and all they suffered for us today. I also know that we are pioneers in our day. Leonardo is a pioneer in his family, blazing a trail for his prosperity to follow. 

It is amazing to see what the Gospel can do. I love this Gospel with all my heart! I love being a missionary! I know this church is true. I also know that the Gift of Tongues is real. Without it I would still be running around like a 'chicken with its head cut off' here. I can inderstand just about everything now and can speak so much more! It is amazing! I am so grateful!!! 

Love you all. Thank for the love and support! 
Have a miracles filled week!

Love Sister Rachel Edwards

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sister Edwards, Alana, Sister Sedgwick

13 de Outubro 2013 (October 13)

Querida Família e amigos,

BOM DIA! Good Morning to everyone! Before I go off on random topics and rants as I always do...
I just want to thank all of you who are reading this. It really means a lot to me that so many people  love and support me. Please know that although I am focused on the people of Brasil right now, I do take time to think of you!!! I love you all and appreciate the love and support that I receive. And thank you to all those Brasileiros out there reading too! It sure makes me smile to to hear, "Sister Edwards, we found your mission blog!" Thank you, Mom, for keeping it updated.

This week was Awesome. Really it was; no blisters, no dog bites, no hospital, or doctor visits...   I am exhausted!   That means it was a hardworking successful week! We couldn't have done it with out the members in our ala (ward). 

After conference and the call for members to get involved in missionary work, our district leader challenged us to teach 20 lessons with members present. (Normally we teach 5-6 a week with a member present). It was incredible to see the response of the members! Especially the youth! We taught 20 lessons with members this week! It was awesome! It was really neat to listen to their testimonies as they shared the Gospel with their friends and neighbors. 

I have to give a shout out to Alana, Thalia and Filipe. WHAT SOLID YOUTH!!!! These young men and women know their Savior. They know their responsiblity here as a member of the church. They know their purpose here on earth. They know their standards, the Gospel and how to be missionaries. They radiate God's love. 

Alana is one of the most loving people I have ever met. She is 14 and loves everyone! It is so awesome when she comes out with us because she is not afriad to share what she knows. She will take my planner and begin to schedule return appointments, gather addresses and information and bear her testimony. She listens sincerely to people's concerns and offers advice. She doesn't hesitate to do anything and if she could would spend all day walking the street of Maringa with us. 

Thalia also has such great faith. She is 16 and was baptized this past Janurary. She is a great example to her younger brother and little sister. Her family, all recent converts, have truly expereinced the change and peace that the gospel brings to our lives. She too, walks the street with us, contacting and teaching. She rings door bells before we can even catch up! She is quick to think of friends that she wants to share her love of the Book of Mormon with and shares her conversion story with them. Both of these young women are on fire, a true light and example to their peers.

Filipe is 17 and preparing to go on a mission. He will be an incredible missionary. I know it because he already is an incredible missionary. He, along with the other youth, introduces himself and welcomes visitors to church. He come to lessons with us and shares the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard. He loves the way the Savoir loves. He is a ward missionary and magnifies his calling. He goes to seminary without even thinking twice. He is a stong example to the other young men in the ward. He is always thinking of others and is quick to serve. He is worthy of the priesthood he holds and actively uses it with righteousness each sunday when he blesses the sacrament.

All of the youth are heeding the call of our Prophet. When they could be hanging out with friends at night- they are in Seminary. When they could be home or doing what ever during the day after school- they instead, are out teaching with us. Even more, is that they want to. They make time for the Lord. I am amazed at this generation of youth and their valiance, diligence and faith. 

This past Sunday, we made a sign up sheet for members to sign up to come teaching with us. The youth and young adults attacked this opportunity! We also handed out little sheets of paper for members to write down a friend or neighbor that they thought would be good for us to visit. During Ward Council the ward auxiliaries carefully planned how to get all the members, recent converts, and investigators to Stake Conference at the Stake Center next week. This ward, Maringa Cidade Novo, is heeding the call of our Prophet and Apostles.
I love you all and I know that our Father in Heaven Loves you. We are his Children. We chose to follow 
him and to become like him and he is showing us how. Heed the call of the Prophet. The time is now! Our Savior is coming! The work is Hastening and will continue to hasten. Every member a missionary! I would love to hear about your missionary experiences this week if you would like to share them with me:) I promise that if we make time for the Lords work first he will bless us with time to do the other things life requires. 

13 de Outubro 2013 continued...

I love being a missionary. I love the people of Brazil. I love the spirit. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ restored to the earth. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and called by God. I know that He saw God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is true and contains answers to every question we have and will ever have in this life!

Iris, Alana'a sister, told me that everyone on Facebook is putting up a picture of the Book of Mormon and bearing their testimonies about it. If I could use facebook right now I would too! I dont know if this is just in Brazil but I imagine in the USA too. I invite you to do this too! What an awesome and simple, yet powerful way to be a missionary in our world today! Have a "Family missionary counsel!" I loved that story from Elder M Russell Ballard. 
"The Most important work is the Work of the the Lord." -President Thomas S. Monson

Monday, October 7, 2013

Letter Oct. 07, 2013- Maringa City

Ola a todos! Hello to all ! This week was really good. TONS of rain! We did not contact as many people in the street cuz everyone was in; out of the rain. :) But rain or shine we were out. I kinda got a little home sick being in the rain -Love you Oregon! 

Conference was amazing. I loved every moment. We watched it live down here and it was really neat to see so many people flock to the stake center to hear the words of the prophet. In between sessions we went out on the streets and invited people to come. 

We had two of our investigators come to conference. Leonardo also went to Preisthood (here it is 9-11pm at night!) He has amazingly strong faith. He wants to be baptized and has been praying daily for it to happen (as have we.) Support from family is so important and we are praying his parents will allow him to be baptized soon. He is a pioneer for his family. He is strong and has been prepared to be the first in his family and to help them. We pray they will experience a change of heart, too. Last night after conference we explained this to him. 

We had a mini testimony meeting at a members home. Leonardo bore his testimony and my heart was filled and overwhelmed with the spirit. An 18 yr old priest, his neighbor and friend (Filipe) also bore his testimony. We were all in tears! The young men are exceptional and are going to be righteous, strong missionaries and instruments in the Lord's hands. I feel very blessed to witness and be a part of the Lord hastening his work. 

While watching conference, I was overwhelmed with the spirit of "the time is NOW"! Thank you for your love and prayers. I really feel them. I love being a missionary and love Brazil! The Portuguese language is coming! I keep trying to talk more. I understand quite well. It is very exciting! 

Brandon Sundeen ! I got your letter! My heart melted! I miss you guys so much! I am really happy for you and Stephanie and all that is happening in your life. You are a huge example to me and The best big brother ever! I hope I can follow in your footsteps. I would love to see pictures of little Aiden! :) While reading your letter I had flash backs to writing you letters when you were a missionary...with games of tick tack toe and hang man:) Thank you thinking of me and reading my letters. That means so much to me. Love you and your family so much!! 

Lynette Summerill !! You are so kind! Thank you for the beautiful birthday card and loving words of advice! It was a pleasant suprise to receive a letter from you. Man, getting snail mail is the BEST! Thank you for making my week! 

Elder Galloway! Welcome home! crazy that I just wrote that! Hope all is well with you and the adjusting goes well. Thanks for being a great missionary and teaching my friends in St. Helens!!! 

Love you all family and friends! Boa Semana! Tchau!

Love Sister Rachel Edwards