Friday, November 29, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Oiiiiiiiiiii!!!! Hello wonderful family and friends! I hope that you all had a fabulous week! I did! We did! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! Funny Story: For some reason.. I still do not know why... Sister Sedgwick and I thought this past Thursday was Thanksgiving. So... we told EVERYONE about it. That night when our District leader called we wished him a Happy Thanksgiving just to hear.. "Sisters, that is next week!" haha! Oops! WELL....now everyone in Maringá knows the story for Thanksgiving... Book of Mormon style:) We shared the story of Columbus and the Americas and the Bible from 1 Nephi chapter 13. We told them about how Americans celebrate "a prophesy of the Book of Mormon" without even knowing it! We also told them all about how in this Vision that Nephi had he saw the preparations for the Restoration by way of the prophet Joseph Smith. The Lord had it all planned. It is amazing to read and to see how Nephi litterly saw EVERYTTHING! From the beginning until Chirst, through the Great Apostasy and to The Restoration all the way til our day. We really are living in the LAST DAYS! Thats amazing to think about. I know that the Work is real and is The Lords work and that he is picking up the pace. Time to get going....lets all catch the wave!!! How exciting!
One thing we are trying to do here to work better with the members is to have more family home evening with them. We are planning to combine families and do mini trainings. We put up a bullitin board in the church and every noite familiar we take a picture and add it to the board. The members and visiters all see the board and are curious and want to participate. All FHE here have fun, fun games. Its always a good time with the missionarias right?? haha
This week I had cool experience. We were walking a long distance from our house to an appointment. As we walked we were talking with everyone we passed. As we were doing this we came across an middle aged man who appeared to have a disability with his legs because he was hobbling. He had just come out of an adult school and was waiting for the city bus. We went up to him and I started to introduce myself. He waved us away motioning that he was deaf. Smiling, I got out a pass along card and showed him he could search the church site and receive a book of mormon. I wrote down our names and we were off. A little ways away I felt like we should go back and invite him to church. So we ran back to beat the bus and gave him the address. He seemed very suprised but pleased. A few days later my companion and I were deciding whether we wanted to walk home or catch a bus. We had time to walk but felt like we need to take a bus. One bus passed but still we felt like we should take another. So we waited and caught the next one. A few stops down... guess who got on the bus?? It was him! He sat in front of me. He didnt see me. It tapped him on the shoulder and waved Oi and he waved and turned around. I took out my planner and wrote "Você vai para Igreja comosco este Domingo?" or will you come to church with us this Sunday? He nodded and smiled then pointed to his watch. I wrote 9:00. He wrote "onde" (Where) luckly we were passing the street and I pointed to it and wrote the address again. I got out a Restoration pamphlet and gave it to him. He looked at it and smiled and it was so neat because I litterly couldnt say anything but I felt the spirit as he started to read. Sadyly he didnt show for church this sunday. But I have no doubt that we will run into him again. There are maaannnnny ways to share teh gospel. Being a missionary with a job and purpose to do so IS easy but thinking back to my life before my mission I can think of serveral opportunities I missed. I invited you all... especially this Holiday season to think of the true blessing the Gospel and not hesitate to share. I think people are more open than we think. Especially our friends and neighbors:)
Lucas, our investigator, came to an activity we put on at the church. So did Leonardo. They are so great! It was a proud moment during the game/quiz at the end about the Restoration to hear them answer questions. Lucas has done his research! He was the only one who knew the name of the Brother of Jospeh Smith who died. I think he impressed everyone.. certianly me!!! He is learning a lot and we had some very special spiritual moments with him this week. Both of these young men have GREAT faith. They lack the support of their families. I admire all they do. We are planning Leonardos Baptism... It is really amazing to see peoples hearts slowly open. We made cookies last week and brought some to him but he wasnt home. His mom was and we were able to talk to her and even schedule a FHE!!!!!! This is a miracle and true tender mercy of the Lord. Sadly the only day she can do it is this Thursday.. the same day we are going to Londrina. But I have not lost hope! We will continue! (We will be in Londrina for a mission tour and to hear from our Area Presidency.)
Thank you Cari and Winnie or writing back to me about Prophets:) That meant a lot to me!
Thank you for all the Love a Support. Hope all is well with you and that you have a FELIZ DIA DE GRACAS! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!
Tchau!! Love, Sister Edwards
Posted by Rachel Edwards at 7:58 PM
Monday, November 18, 2013
Oi Todo Mundo!
This week was a million times better than last week:) It is so true that blessings follow trials. Thank goodness! haha So.. I didn't get transfered!!! Yay!!!!! And I am with Sister Sedgwick again!! WOOHOO! We were sooo excited! We have so many goals and plans. We found that now that I am not training we have a lot more time to work! We were in studying and training for 4 hours (which we both loved the spiritual nurishment, dont get me wrong!) But now we have more tine to visit and teach. It is the first time for both of us being 'out of training.' Exciting!
We are teaching a young man named Lucas. He is 18 and is great!!! We met him through Terezinha our other investigator. She has a beautiful singing voice and she made our shirts from scratch. She introuduced us to her other seamstress friend, Gisele. Gisele invited us over and we met her younger brother Lucas who just moved in with her. He has been going though a lot of struggles in his life right now. His family (parents) live in another city and he is trying to get life figured out. Wow, the Lord has such great planning skills! Guess who he met? Us! He is new in the city, doesnt have friends.. looking for a purpose... yes! He is great. He came to church this sunday and really liked it. We felt impressed to ask Leonardo to come to a lesson with us (He also is a Membro Missionario de PODER!!!!... Even though he hasnt been baptized yet. His faith is so strong and he helped us so much with Lucas.) Leonardo didnt hesitate one moment to share his testimony of how the gospel has changed his life. I think that this helped Lucas a ton. Yesterday night we watched The Restoration movie with Lucas Leonardo and Felipe and Irmã Devanir. The spirit was so strong! Lucas felt it and even told us that he accepted to be baptized! I wish I could relay all the detail for you:) Just imagine pure joy and happiness! It was great! We are going to work with him everyday this week. The youth are great and really reaching out to welcome him.
We put on a fireside for the ward on the Work of Missionaries and helped them to understand their purpose and role as members. We used the talk from Conference by Elder Neilson. He gave 3 things we need to do as members. One was to pray for the missionaries and their investigators by name. So on the board we wrote all of our names and all of our investigators names. We had them write them all down and they all committed to praying for us and our investigators. It was a really tender moment! During lunch appointments we will give them the updates for their lists:) I encourage you all to ask the missionaries in your wards for the names of those they are teaching and to include them in your family and personal prayers. I know with out a doubt the Lord hears and answers our prayers. This is also good so that when investigators do come to church you can know them and be able to meet who you have been praying for. They WILL feel your prayers:)
Love You all, sorry again this was brief. I hope life is happy and well. Miss you and love you and am praying for YOU:)
Até mais! Tchau tchau! Love Sister Edwards
Posted by Rachel Edwards at 9:21 AM
Monday, November 11, 2013
As I sit here, sweating in a Lan House in Maringá Brasil, I am pondering...what on earth will I write about this week? This was a long, tough week, full of rejections. It was definitely a "missionary experience." It is mostly hard to see people reject the message of Salvation but my pride also crept up at times. TUDO BEM! All is well though. I still love this work and being a missionary.
I would like to turn the this attitude over to a very funny experience I had this week. We were walking up a road in a neighborhood far from where we have been normally working. It was hot and we were struggling talking to people. We came to a house that we had once contacted at before, way back when we got to this area. There was an 7 or 8 year old girl playing in a kiddy pool in front in her underwear. We clapped at the gate and her dad came out. He was holding a glass plate and sponge, covered in soap. He came to the gate to talk to us. He continued to scrub and wash the plate as he talked to us. His daughter continued to squirt the hose all over and splash in the pool. As he talked and made conversational gestures he flung soap all over the place. He was really friendly and interested and wanted to keep talking. The entire time- he scrubbed the plate, without even thinking. As this converstion was happening the little girl went over and picked up their poodle dog and put him the pool. The poor little dog didn't know what to do. All the poofy fluffy fur was soaked and he was a sad, sad sight. I couldn't hold it in... I started laughing. The man turned around a told her to "get that dog out of the pool!" She got him out and he came over and shook water allll over us. The converstion continued and... he continued to scrub the plate. By the time we finshed there was no more soap! This was a simple, but really 'funny in the moment' experience. We had a good laugh.
Transfers are tomorrow. I still don't know if I will transfer or not. I hope they tell me soon so I know if I need to pack or not!
We are teaching a really great lady named Terezinha. She is actually our neighbor. She is a seamstress and is making us a special shirt so that we will always remember her. She was going to be baptized this week, but last minute we found out that her husband, she has been with for 25 years, that they have never legally married. What annoying news! Lots of Brazilians do that. People all over the world do this...They say thay are married but are not really legally married. I really love her though and have a lot of hope. Maybe next transfer a wedding will happen:) we will see!
One other quick story. We had another dog follow us around all day. She was so cute! She followed us from appointment to appointment and even waited for us out side to finish teaching. She tried following us into the grocery store too! I dont know why I have so many dogs follow me here but its cute... as long as they don't bite me. DONT WORRY. I don't pet them:)
Love You all, sorry this was brief. I'll try to make it more spiritually uplifting next week:)
Posted by Rachel Edwards at 10:32 AM
Monday, November 4, 2013
Hello Ya'll! (I had to throw in some Oklahoman talk:)
I cannot believe that it is the last week of the transfer. It just flies by!! I have been in Brazil for almost 2 months now and almost 6 months into my mission! I come home in a year and 3 weeks! UNBELIEVABLE! I still have so much to do here. Good thing I still have time. I do not have a whole lot to write this week. Does anyone have questions? It would be easier to answer some questions haha.
We had testimony meeting this week, along with everyone else in the world:) I felt the spirit very strongly. I am so grateful for this ward that I have been able to work with. Leonardo bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting. I felt like a proud mother!! Maybe it is a glimpse of how Heavenly Father feels for him. I am so happy for him and all the goodness and happiness he has in his life. I can't wait for the day he is able to get baptized and recieve the Priesthood. He is more than prepared and I admire all that he is doing. His testimony was and is pure and strong. He knows who he is, why he is here and what he needs to do to prepare to live with his Father again one day. He shows his faith and gratitude by serving others and getting involved in activities of the church. He wants to serve a mission! We love him and are so excited for the life he has ahead of him.
We are teaching another investigator who is studying English. He is very sincere and kind. He has an awesome house too! He has a bird atrium in is house! Its really awesome! That is one thing I love about the houses here. Everyone has a different house and everyone makes it personal.
I am excited for the plans we have this week. I went on splits with my Sister Training leader this week. I learned a ton!! One thing I learned is that I actually know how to be a missionary here! Sometimes being Junior companion I do not realize what I know how to do until I have an opportunity to actually try. I was happy that I could lead her around our area and talk to people in Portuguese allll by myself. The Lord is blessing me to do his work! I am so grateful because it is a lot more fun when you can actually understand:)
Once again this week, probably the 20th time I have heard it here in Brazil, I was told that I look like "Bella" from Twilight. I hope that is a compliment... haha
Well, I hope you all have a good week! Enjoy the cool weather cuz we are sweating like pigs down here:)
Posted by Rachel Edwards at 9:42 AM