Monday, January 27, 2014

Jan. 27, 2014

Querida Família! 

Bom Dia! Transfers are next week. After 6 months of my first area I had the feeling that I would be transfered. I was right. We had interviews with our mission president and he told me my guess was correct. He also told me that last transfer he had planned to transfer me. He put me in 3 diffrerent areas but the Spirit told him to keep me in Maringá. He didn't understand why since I had already been there for 3 transfers. But he obeyed the prompting and left me. I know that what he did was inspired because all that I have experienced this transfer was meant to happen. I have learned sooo much! 

I am leaving Maringa. Only one week and I transfer. It is very sad to say goodbye to the people I have come to love. And they have been so good to me. What a blessed area this has been. There are so many faithful saints in Maringa. I will be forever grateful for coming here and living among such blessed people.

Now the time has come and I am moving on. Change has been a hard thing for me, but I am learning what joy it truly brings. I can't stay too comfortable or I won't grow! I need new challenges. Wow, I think I am pep talking myself right now. Leaving my area here is going to be really hard! I love these people. I have lived here as long as I lived with my first roommate, Becca Proper! CRAZY! Time passes really quickly. 

This week we had a HUGE storm! I was at the other side of the city when it happened. Where I was it didn't hit too hard. It just seemed like a rain storm that we have had. We luckily were inside teaching and stayed completely dry:) But as we got near our neighborhood we discovered the strength of the winds. There were several tall old trees that we blown over, some taking down powerlines, one fell into a house. There were 3 roads blocked off near our house! When we got into our apartment we realized we had left the windows open!!! The rain and come in and soaked our floors. My companions bed was completely drenched in rain water. The wind was so strong it blew the covers off our beds!!! What more IT BLEW THE DOORS OFF OUR WARDROBE!!!!! It looked like we had been robbed hahaha. But it was the storm. Luckily....(blessings and protection!) our study room was unharmed. Scripture and paperwork was all dry and safe. Today while I was sweeping the apartment I swept dirt and leaves haha. But all is good, safe and cleaned up. Now I am packing my suitcases! Next week I will be able to answer to what city I will be transfered! 

This week I have been learning and studying a lot about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The simple 5 steps to an eternal life: Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost and Endure to the End. (Man that took a while to type as I had to think how to say it in Inglés haha) Anyways, I love that this gospel is really so simple. If we do these things we will be blessed. It is really neat to see how this gospel, pure and simple, applies and fits in to the plan of salvation. 

The Lord's plan is PERFECT. One of the most crucial parts of the plan is our Free Agency. We use our agency to choose everyday, how we will endure this life. I have been studying the talks from the past general conference and Elder Richard J. Maynes said something that I just love! He said: "Our ability to endure to the end in righteousness will be in direct proportion to the strength of our testimony and the depth of our conversion. When our testimonies are strong and we are truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, our choices will be inspired by the Holy Ghost, they will be Christ-centered, and they will support our desire to endure in righteousness. If our testimonies are weak and our conversion superficial, the risk is much greater that we will be enticed by the false traditions of the world to make poor choices." 

It is so true! Everything we do will show how strong our testimonies are and what we do also will determine what happens to our testimonies. It is so important to nurture and care for our testimony, our faith and conversion. It is something that beinginning small and need care. As it grows and becoming stronger we need to reach out and help others in their growth. The best part about the plan of our Heavenly Father is that we are NEVER alone. We have our wards and stakes and families and friends. All of us are here, with the same ultimate goal. No one is better than the other. We are all children of the same God. This life is not a race. What good would it do to race to the celestial kindom, arrive there and look back to see that you are along and left everyone behind? This is not what God wants. He wants us to be there with our families, those we love. Equally yoked with our spouses, sealed for eternity with our children. I looooooove family reunions! They remind me of what Heaven will be like:) In our families (in our homes and wards) we need to join together and help one another. Our testimonies our precious and powerful. Lets us them for the better, and share them allowing them to grow! 

I pray you all have a great week and challenge everyone to share a truth you hold dear to you heart, whatever part of the Gospel you know to be true, share it with one another and with someone who has never heard. I love you all! Boa Semana! 

Love, Sister Edwards

Eating coconut on the side of the road. Rachel says, "I love fresh coconut and coconut water. And the kind man carved a spoon out of the coconut husk for me to use"


Leonardo and Felipe singing hymns and Primary Songs on Skype.
You can see the sunbeams radiating through the window...beautiful.
The us was shining brightly through our window here in Oregon when they sang.

Very creative Investigator- Henrique
Sister Correa loves cats.
Iris, Natalia, Alana. Iris and Alana are sisters. They have had Rachel in their home many times and shared delicious lunches. Both also go with and help Sister Missionaries regularly. We love them so much!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jan. 20, 2014 Maringa City

Hello Family and Friends!!!

We had a very memorable week! Our amazing and super prepared investigator Luane was baptized yesterday. She is the fiancé of a member (Emerson) who lives in Londrina. They are getting married in March and he is moving here to Maringá. She has been investigating the church the whole time they have been dating for the past year and half. She visited lots of Wards and Stakes to find where she felt most comfortable and at home. She went to many in Maringá and Londrina. Guess what ward felt right? Her very own home ward, Cidade Nova Maringá! (Our ward). She also said she likes the Sister Missionaries more than the Elders hahaha. 

Last week my companion was giving a talk in Sacrament meeting. She spoke on Baptism. Luane felt the spirit really strong and decided that is what she wanted. She had talked about Baptsim with Emerson and they planned on getting around to it in March too. But she felt the spirit so strongly she didn't want to wait. Because Emerson lives in Londrina he travels to Maringá every weekend to go to church with her. We didn't know that he did not know she was planning to get baptized this week. We worked with her and planned a family home evening. He came and we taught a lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Afterwards we invited Emerson to baptize his fiance this weekend. He began to weep as he has no idea that she had changed her mind and that she wanted to sooner. It was all a suprise! The spirit was so strong and SHE bore a powerful testimony of  how she knows that these things are true. 

We had a beautiful baptism this Sunday and he cried as he baptized his soon to be wife. She is very happy and excited to go to the temple and be sealed for all eternity in a year. What a special and wonderful moment! I feel so blessed as a misisonary to  participate and witness the Lord's work. It is real. It is true. It is good. It is full of joy. The ward choir sang for her and it was wonderful! Our ward has very girfted singers! 

One thing that really touched my heart was the excitement I saw in Leonardo, our patient eleito (elect) investigator who was already planning his baptism which will be in March. He has been waiting for 6 months for parent permission to be baptized. He, along with Luane, is converted. I love this Gospel and I know that it is true. I would not trade this time, these trials, these joys, for anything. I know this is where the Lord need me right now. 

I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting this week. It was special for me to take a moment and look out into the congregation at all the dear brothers and sisters of this ward that I have grown so close to, that I love so much. I love that the Church is focosed on families. I love that Wards are families. And no matter where in the world you go you have a ward family. 

The church is true, this Gospel is the pure Gospel of Jesus Chirst. He knows us, he knows our hearts. He knows who and what we need in our lives. And we need each other. 

I pray that my last letter did not come off as preachy but as an invitation to lift where you stand. To help those around you. We are all brothers and sisters and we all need to love of our Savior. I with you, will choose to obey the most recent revelation of God and commandment he has given to join forces with the member and missionaries. For 9  more months I will work on the missionary side. When I return, I will join you all! I love you and am praying for you. Thank you for the letters, emails, love and prayers. I am feeling it truly! 

Have a great week!!!! 

Love, Sister Rachel Edwards 


Sister Genaro visited Rachel and her companions. And she brought friends along!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Jan. 13, 2014 - Maringa City

Hello Everyone! 

This week, we received a list of all the members in our ward during our Zone Meeting. When we had our mission tour last we we were promised by Elder Costa that we would have a baptism for every person we rescued and brought back into the church. So my companions and I are working really hard to visit EVERY MEMBER.  (that's over 200 addresses!) Sadly there are way more names I do not recognize than names of people I have met. We are finding that lots of the addresses do not exist anymore, or are wrong, or that people have moved. We are finding new investigators in the process and finding the sheep that have wandered from the flock. 

I had a neat experience this week. We were looking for the house number 300 on a specific street. As we were looking we passed a house in the 400 range. As we passed, I felt a strong prompting to go back and knock at the door. So, stopping my companions, I suggested we go back. They followed me and a lady came out then I clapped at the gate. When I introduced myself she went on to explain that she was a member and was baptized in 2008 and that her son is married and a strong member of another ward in the city. 

She explained that she admires the work of missionaries and knows the gospel is true. She said she left the church because, after the missionaries had done sooo much for her and her family, and when they were transferred, that no one in the ward helped them, and that she felt abandoned by the people. 

This broke my heart to hear. She said she felt bad for the missionaries because they tried so hard but had to leave. Now her pride has taken over and she refuse to go back because of what had happened and doesn't want to give it a second chance. This was very sad to hear. Later, after we left, we kept looking for number 300. It ended up that number 300 didn't exist on the street... When we looked at the name, we realized that... is was the same name as the member we had just met. 

The Lord had guided us to her door. Why? Because she is a daughter of God, just as every other sister in the church. She has a purpose and a plan in her life. Heavenly Father wants her to return. He loves her. And we are his servants here doing his work. We have plans to go back and visit her and help her to feel the love of Savior again. How many people are there in our wards who are like this Sister? Feeling abandoned. 

She said that her home teachers and visiting teachers never visited her. I feel very strongly that the call of President Monson for the members to come together with the missionaries is true and greatly needed. New Members need love and support. We need to help their faith continue to grow so that thay can become strong, firm members of the church. 

I have been asked to speak on missionary work this upcoming Sunday in Sacrament Meeting. I have been praying and studying the talks of the this past General Conference in October. I invite you all to re-read or re-listen to these talks and make a family missionary goal. 

Actually please make 2 Goals. :) 1) to help someone new in the church and 2) to rescue a less or inactive in need. Look at your ward directory and see who lives on your street. 

I promise that the Lord will bless your efforts and that you will be blessing the lives of many and they will thank you one day for helping them feel they love of our Savior and the happiness the gospel brings to our lives. 

I love you all and pray you are well and happy. I am praying for you! Thank you for your examples and support. Have a wonderful miracle filled week! 

Love, Sister Edwards

Monday, January 6, 2014

Jan. 06, 2014

Wellll... I am happy for be writing in this new year of 2014! Funny how it doesn't feeeeeel really different. But goal have been set and I am happy to also report that I went running everyday last week! (Yes! I actually did more that just sit ups pushups and stretching in our front room:) haha Ohhhh the New Year! Feeling good! 

I also had a fun trip to the hospital this weekend. Don't worry Mom... everything is fiiiine! :) I was hooked up to an IV and given medication for pain. I am having troubles with digestion and stomach and intestines and actually I dont know what the problem is yet... I have most exams to do this week. But I am not worried, I have amazing and loving companions, and an incredible mission Mom- Sister Genaro, and the priesthood... so everything is perfect!!! 

This week was a little difficult as far the work goes. The town was literally empty and silent as everyone left for vacation... or there were all the drunk people who stayed home. New Years was spent sleeping peacefully.... well kinda, the fire works were reallly loud haha. But it was a good week. 

We had a really great lesson with an investigator and lots of our investigators returned from vacation too! We watched the movie, 'Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration' with Leonardo and Felipe and Guilherme. My testimony and gratitude for Joseph Smith grew more and I truly am so grateful for those who came before us and made it possible to have all that we have today. 

I also bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting this week. I didn't say anything I planned... as usual haha, but It was much easier to speak compared to my first week here:) I feel like an official member of this ward since I have been here for over 5 months now. I really have such a special love for these members.

Sorry that I haven't been sending picutres. My card reader is having problems... I try to figure it out! I pray that everyone has an amazing week! Love you all

Love Sister Edwards

PS This week really was amazing because Alana, a YW in our ward went out with us and we taught toooooonnnnsss of lessons with a member present. It was awesome! Members testimonies work miracles! 

Sister Rachel Edwards, Elder Hunter Beaudion- Rainier Oregon Stake

Elder Beaudion returns home to Oregon in a month! Rachel and Hunter both serve in the Londrina Brazil Mission. What a memorable time!
Seaside, OR. Rachel on couch next to Hunter....two future missionaries in Brazil !
Photo bomber ;) was Rachel's former zone leader...
Awesome missionaries from Oregon!
Elder Beaudion, Sister Edwards...from Rainier Oregon Stake...