Monday, February 24, 2014

Feb. 24, 2014-Assis, São Paulo, Brazil

Querido Família e amigos!!!

I am overwhelmed with the feeling of love and happiness as I received
a letter from my investigator in Maringá that will be getting
baptized here soon in the next few weeks. He has waited what seems
like a life time. Because of his faith and determination he finally
has the opportunity to follow the example of Jesus Chirst and be
baptized by the Holy Power of the Preisthood. What an incredible
journey it has been to enter the gate to the ever enduring pathway to
our Father in Heaven. I am so proud and so happy for you Leonardo!

This week my companion and I had the privilege and honor, to meet,
teach, and baptize an elect son of God. His name is Roberto
(Pronounced Hoberto in Portuguese). He works as a barber in a Salon.
His work is not in our area of the city. The other Sisters we live
with passed by there and as they talk to everone (All all missionaries
do) they invited him to church and got his address. That next Sunday
passed and he didn't go. They passed by another day and once again he
happened to be there and they invited him again. Recongizing their
sincerity in the invite, he decided to go. 
He is an man who has been
searching for a truth his whole life. He saw this as an opportunity to
look a little more. So the next sunday he showed up at the chapel all
by himself. We found that he lived in our area. So the next night we
went to his house and taught him about The Restoration and Joseph
Smith, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of Wisdom. He had felt
the spirit very strong in church and had a great desire to change his
life and follow the example of Christ. We invited him to be baptized.
He accepted. We invited him for the following Sunday, he was hesitant 
thinking it was too early. We left it in the hand of the Lord. 

We all kneeled and he prayed and sincerely asked God if this was the His will
for him to be baptized and asked for a confirmation that our message
was true. The spirit touched and filled each of our hearts that night
and tears streamed downs each of of cheeks. He whispered to us that he
was ready to do what ever he needed to prepare. We taught about the
word of wisdom. That very moment he got up and gave us all his
cigarette and coffee. We taught about the power of the Book of Mormon.
He received a blessing from some brethren from the branch this week.
The desires and addictions which had controlled him for so long were
gone. He no longer had a desire to smoke. For the first 3 days every
time he had the desire he ate an orange and read the Book of Mormon.
After three days the nicotine was out of his blood and he no longer
disired. He is a true example of living what he learned. He applied
all that we taught. We visited and taught him every night. Members
befriended and welcomed him. He was invited to Family Home Evenings
and saw how the gospel blesses families. He passed the interview on
Friday. Elder was very impressed with his determination and faith. 

On Sunday, he was baptized. It was a beautiful moment. He invited his
daughter who has no idea we had been teaching her father. She could not
believe the difference that she saw. The only word she had to use was
"miracle." The gentle, yet powerful, spirit of truth touched her heart
and she couldn't hold back the tears as he entered the water. I never
saw Roberto smile so much! When he bore his testimony he could hardly
talk and he expressed his newly found love for the True Gospel of
Jesus Chirst. My testimony was strengthened as I witnessed the miracle
of the gospel working in the life of someone so prepared for the
truth. Now he is anxiously waiting to be confirmed next Sunday and
then to receive the Preisthood. He is already desiring to go to the
temple and be baptized for those who have already passed on in his
family. He is also very excited for the Sisters the teach his daughter
and her family. I love being a missionary! It is the most gratiying
work... because it is the Lord's Work.

One other thing I would like to share is something that
the Branch did yesterday that I thought was a GREAT idea! These
members are incredible and so dedicated to their testimonies. They had
an activity Sunday afternoon called a Multirão. This word means to
'gather together'. They understand the importance of Gathering. So all
the members gathered to the chapel. Then they all got their home
teaching or visiting teaching partner and everyone together left with
a list of new members, less and inactive families. Everyone visited
Everyone! It was so neat to see the youth involved in the reactiving
and faith building activity. Some members visited until late a night.
All shared a message of hope and love. These members truly understand
the importance of helping reaching out in love and rescuing. This is
also a GREAT help to the work of Salvation, Missionary Work. I invite
you all to get with your home teaching or visiting teaching partner
and visit your families. This system is so inspired and blessing our
own lives along with those we visit.

Thank you for the Love and support. I love you all and pray you have a
wonderful week. Don't forget to study the scriptures, they are not on
gold plates any more but the value will always be more than all gold
plates put together! Love you!

Love Sister Rachel Edwards

Monday, February 17, 2014

Feb. 17, 2014 - Assis, São Paulo, Brazil

Dear Family,

What a GREAT week! I love Assis! I love my companion! I love our investigators! I love being a missionary and I love you all! And... Happy Valentines Day! haha That was not planned... I really do love all these things. 

This week we worked SUPER hard. It felt so good and satisfying. We met several new investigators with a lot of potential. We finally met all of the members of the branch. We are not completely lost in the city now. Things are going really well. My companion is incredible. We laugh, we cry, we teach, and we drop dead tired every night. She is the definition of dedication and I am so grateful for her example. 

It has been so neat this week as we have been trying to do different things to get different outcomes. Change is so important. If you are not getting the results you want, you have to change something to receive something different. 

Last Sunday we had planned a Family Home Evening with a less active. We made a cake and she wrote an invitation and we went knocking on a random neighbors door to invite them to FHE. They accepted graciously and excited to meet their neighbor. The next day sadly, the neighbors weren't home when we went to have the FHE. 

Sister Bispo... without losing hope, saw a young man walking down the street. She shouted "Hey you!!!" It was like a movie. He looked behind him to see who she was shouting out. "No, You!!!" He pointed at himself curiously and confusingly. "Yeah, you! come here!" Sister Bispo was smiling so big, it was so funny. I was so surprised at what she was doing. He came over and we introduced ourselves and invited him the the family home evening. He happened to live on the same street. He said that he has visitors at his house. We invited them too! We went and got everyone and they came and met this family and we had a great family home evening. It was good because it was casual and fun and an easy introduction to the church. 

I know that Family Home Evening is to strengthen our families. It is also a great opportunity to invite the missionaries and investigators. Who doesn't like a great night of food games singing and an awesome lesson from the missionaries? haha seriously though, its is a great thing to do and I invite you all to invite the missionaries and your friends and neighbors. This is the gospel, sharing the gospel through simple ways. 

This week we had a ton of rain, which was a great break from the hot hot hot sun. It didn't just stormed. We found ourselves soaked to the bone on serveral occasions. Luckily people here are really nice and give us towels to dry off when we enter. Last night a huge storm came out of nowhere. We didn't know where we were so we were looking at our map. Within two seconds it was pouring and windy. There was a ton of dirt in the wind and were were so wet and dirty. It was hard to see because it was getting dark. I saw a house and I ran to it and yelled "podemos entrar??!!!" This random house was full of family for a birthday party of a one year old. I didn't know that, of course. The let us in and we ended up teaching the whole family! It was such a neat experience! 

This week I also had a suprise visit from the Beaudoin family!!! I was soooo great to see them and so cool I got to serve in the same mission as Hunter. They brought me beef jerkey and I was sooo happy and excited! Good luck in the real world Elder! :) 

I hope you all have a great week! Dont be afraid to try something different! Different results will occur, probably better that you expected! :)

Love you!

Love Sister Edwards

Lots of rain!
Kind Family who rescued Sisters from the rain storm!
St. Bernard PUPPY
Talented artist, he is from Japan, lived in Italy, now in Brazil, and is proud to look like Santa.
RC. Beautiful !
Sisters Bispo/Edwards- traveling very early in the morning on way to missionary mtg.
Sisters Butler/Edwards
Good way to cool off in the hot, hot weather!

Kimberly Beaudoin with Rachel
Elder Beaudoin, John and Kimberly Beaudoin, Sis. Rachel Edwards
Beaudoins with Rachel. Thank you for the visit !

Monday, February 10, 2014

ASSIS!!! Feb.10, 2014

Dear Family! Wow I have soooooo much that I want to write but only a little bit of time left. Our interent here keeps doing down. So Hopefully you get this! I love and miss the wonderful people in Maringa, and they will always be in my heart.

I am now in Assis São Paulo! I love my new area and I love my new companion! It is wayyyy HOT here! We sleep with bowls of water by our beds to keep our clothes wet during the night to stay cool haha. We live in a tiny house above an office complex of a member in our ward. Its actually really nice because we live in the downtown center close to everything! Church, store, bank, post office, lan house-(computer place), everything! Its great. 

There are no trees here! Maringá had tons and tons I realized. The sun is very hot. The Branch here is incredible! The members are so faithful. We had Stake Conference this weekend and the whole branch got together early in the morning to catch a bus to travel to another city for the meeting. The members are so eager to help us. They love to teach with us and want to help us with everything. It is so wonderful! 

We have 4 sisters in this whole city. It is split into two areas. Our area has a really cool forest park thing. There are lots of fruit trees there and we are always eating goiaba and other fruits:) São Paulo has more Açaí than Paraná! I am really excited about this!!!! My companion too. 

My companions name is Sister Bispo (Bishop is Portuguese) She is the most hard working humble, out going person I have ever met! I love her so much! She is always making me laugh and seeing things in a new and more profound light. She has gone though a lot her in the mission but you would know a thing because of how happy she is. She teaches with the spirit and I can see miracles happen in peoples eyes when she testifies and promises blessings. I am so excited for this transfer with her and hope to learn all I can from her! 

We will being traveling a lot in this area. For our disctict meeting we have to take a bus at 5:40 in the morning for 2 hour to another city. Our district leader is really great! This is his last transfer along with the other 2 sisters we live with. Elder Beaudoins parents are here in our mission this week picking up Elder Beaudoin! He is going home! It is so crazy how fast time goes by. 

Well I want to tell all my stories but it looks like a gotta go! I love you all and hope you have a great week! You are in my prayers! Have fun playing in all that snow!!!!

Love, Sister Edwards

*Londrina Brazil Mission Home:

Sister Rachel Jean Edwards

Missão Brasil Londrina

Ave Higienópolis, 1100, Sala 61 - Centro

86020-911 Londrina-PR

Brasil (Brazil)

Current address:

Sister Rachel Edwards
R. Barão do Rio Branco, #306
Centro- Assis, São Paulo