What.... a.... weeeeeeekkkkk....... I do not even know where to begin this email.
This week was very difficult. Emotionally. To begin, I will say that I do have permission to tell this story. I was given permission to share what has happened.
As many of you know, my companion's name is Sister Bispo. I LOVE her. She is incredible. You know how in school they tell you to write about some one you admire, some one who is your hero? Well, her name is Ingrid Bispo. And she is my hero. She is one of the most dedicated, hard working missionaries. She loves this work and is exactly obedient. She loves everyone and is instantly friends with all people we talk to. She has a very special gift of teaching. She knows how to teach with power, authority and conviction. She knows her Savior. She has really helped me become a true missionary. I love being her companion. She is also fun, crazy and we laugh a ton!
Sister Bispo has been a member for 5 years. She was baptized when she was 16. To this day, she is still the only member of her family who is a member of the church. When she was 8 years old, her dad died of throat cancer. When she met the Elders, she was taught the Plan of Salvation and told she could see her father again. This gave her great strength.
Sister Bispo is the youngest in her family. Three years ago, her oldest sister also passed away. The family still doesn't know how she died. Her oldest sister had a daughter who has been cared for by Sister Bispo and her Mother.
Sister Bispo tells me how grateful she is for the plan of salvation and to know she will see her sister again, too. She has already done the work in the temple for their dad and sister. Sister Bispo dedicated her life to the gospel from the day she was baptized , and even more firmly when she chose to serve a mission. She promised the lord that nothing would stop her from completing her mission.
She has been faithful to her word. 2 weeks ago she reaches her 1 year mark. Six months ago, she received devastating news that her mother had passed way. She had a heartattack while sleeping one night. This was the hardest thing, Sister Bispo says, that she has passed through in her life. She was very very close to her mom.
Although a ticket was already purchased for Sis. Bispo to return home, after much prayer and fasting she decided to not return home. She was afraid to not return and complete her mission. Her family (A brother, sister, and niece- the only living family members, no aunts uncles or grandparents) all non members didn't understand at first. But she was able to help them understand.
After much suffering and pain she has been able to continue serving a mission as a hard working missionary. We have had an incredible two transfers together. Growing and loving and laughing. This week, I dont know why..... truly,,, I dont know why...but we received another call...
Sister Bispos Sister was dying in the hospital. She had an infection and went to the hospital and they gave the wrong injection and she was deathly ill and half paralyzed as the injection had hit a nerve. Motherless and recently spousless, she was begging for her sister to come home and help and also help take care of the motherless niece. Sister Bispo without hesitation packed all of her bags and we headed to Londrina. I have never seen any one suffer as she did this week.
We fasted together and prayed togather. I wonder why the Lord has allowed these things to happen to her. When we got to Londrina, we both felt a strong impression that she wouldn't return. After days of being torn in decision, she decided to return. But as we were returning we felt this odd feeling that it wasn't going to happen. A sleepless night in Londrina we both wondered what would happen. The next day we went to the mission office and met with President and Sister Genaro. They are real parents to us here in the mission. Especially Sister Bispo, who no longer has parents here with her.
After a long interview with Pres and many, many phone calls, study of the scriputres and prayer, Sister Bispo felt stongly that she needed to stay. She told me that she wanted to go home and help her sister. But she knew the Lord had promised her he would protect them. She was able to get in contact with her home ward. Her bishop went to the hospital and gave her sister and blessing. The ward is taking care of everything so that sister Bispo can finish her last 6 months.
We received news today that her sister is already showing improvement. I admire sister Bispo so much. This was not easy, to say the least. She is a true example to me of dedication to the Lord. I know that that Lord blesses us when we keep our promises and covenants.
I am so happy to still be here with her. It is our last week together. It was a difficult week. We have come out of it stonger, in our own personal ways. I love sister Bispo and am so grateful for her.
Thank you for your prayers and support for the missionaries. If I could ask one thing, please join with me in prayer for her family. Thank you.
We ended our week wonderfully in remembrance of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ this Easter season. I know He lives. I know He loves us. His love and sacrifice is infinite.
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday.
Thank you for the prayers. Miracles are real. Faith leads to miracles, I know this is true. Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Edwards