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

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