Monday, May 26, 2014

May 26, 2014-Assis, São Paulo

Dear Family and Friends,

My fingers are really stiff trying to type because it is suuuuper cold today! The temperature has dropped! Here in Brasil they build the houses so that they can be nice and cool during the hot weather, which is great. Its just that when it is freezing cold outside, inside in just as cold! But I am enjoying the colder weather, it feels like forever since I have passed though a "winter."

This week I have learned a lot! I have had such great studies in the morning as I have began to re-study Preach my Gospel from the beginning again. I love studying about the Restoration of the Church and the importance of the priesthood keys and living prophets and apostles. I know that the priesthood  has been restored and I am so grateful to live in a time where we can easily access this Holy power of God. 

I know that with out the Priesthood all our good actions and intentions to follow the Savior would only be that- Good actions and intentions. We need the preisthood the SEAL and connect our works here on earth to be vaild in Heaven too. I admire our recent converts who are worthy men receiving and using this preisthood worthily to pass the Sacrament. 

Roberto arrives early to church every Sunday to prepare the Sacrament table. He humbly serves and passes the sacrament during the meeting. Antonio received the Aaronic Preisthood 2 weeks ago and is preparing to baptize our next investigor Pedro. He has been helping us teaching him and is so excited to see him accepting the Gospel. 

I also have relearned a simple truth from the example of the heroic Alma the Younger in the Book of Mormon. 

Alma 5:45- 45 "And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?

Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me."

Just as the invitation of the Book of Mormon invites us to pray and ask God if it is true and by the Holy Ghost we will receive an answer, Alma testifies that it works. He wanted to know if everything that he was preaching was true. And so what did he do? He fasted and prayed. And by the Holy Spirit he received an answer. 

I wanted to put this to test. So this week a fasted and prayed to know if the Bible is true. I realized that I have never asked God this before. That I was just born knowing the Bible is the Holy word of God. (This is the case with the majority of people). I have already prayed about the Book of Mormon and received an answer and can say that yes, I know it is true. I wanted to have this same conviction about the Bible so that when I teach people the spirit of my testimony can back me up. And also so that I can understand more of what the Lord wants me to understand. 

It just so happened (completely unplanned) that morning during studies, my Book of Mormon reading linked to the Doctrine and Covenants, which linked to the Bible. When Joseph Smith was restoring the Church and read something in the Bible and had a question he inquired the Lord and the Lord revealed the complete truth. 

Time after time I read examples like this that morning. While sharing my studies with my compaion she helped me recognize that I had shared everything from the Bible. I realized how important and essential the Bible also was in the restoration of the Church along with the Book of Mormon and Revelation. I know that the Bible is true as far as it has been translated correctly side by side the Book of Mormon. We truly do have the FULLNESS of the Gospel with the Standard works of the Church. I am sooo grateful for the sciptures. I love to read them and i truly feel the spirit testify of their truthfulness. 

This week we have been working with Claudio and Pedro. They are progressing really well! Claudio went to his interview for Baptism this week. He did not pass- not because he is not living the commandments but because he needs a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon. He trusts in our words, through the Spirit, more than he thinks. We are helping him to have a spiritual experience in prayer. He wants to know. He really does. He just needs to learn to listen :) Hopefully by this weekend he feels more ready. We are praying for him!

Pedro also had his Baptism marked for this weekend and is more that ready! He is incredible! He wants to serve a mission and participate in everything at church. He is so anxious to receive the Priesthood and serve. He loves learning and is reading the Book of Mormon and received a powerful answer. 

He has gone though so much already in his life and is such an example of love, selflessness and dedication. His father passed away 9 months ago and he is feels at peace to learn about the plan of salvation and that he can go to the temple to be baptized for his Dad. 

Pedro wasn't able to be baptized this week because he was in the hospital all day with horrible pain. The Doctor said that he is going to have to have surgery this week. He is really nervous because he wants to get batized first so he doesn't have to wait to heal to get baptized. *He could really use some prayers! We are doing all we can to help him be baptized as soon as possible! 

We had an incredible Branch Conference with Stake Leaders. Although it was cold, we were all warmed by the spirit. I love being a missionary and am excited for a week a miracles! 

Thank you for the Love and support! Have a great week!

Love, Sister Rachel Edwards

Waiting at the Rodoviaria 

Zone Meeting in Marília
Missionary activity at the church. Everyone got a companion and went knocking on doors and teaching and giving people Books of Mormon. It was great!

Teaching Claudio with Irmã Neusa
A cold Sunday Morning.

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