Family and Friends,
Making lasagna w our district
Where do I begin??? This was one of the best weeks of my mission! Seriously! I am overwhelmed with joy and the spirit. Good thing you all can not hear the voice that I don't have right now... :P I lost it a couple of days ago and have been letting my companion do a lot of talking for me haha But now that I am writing.. let's get started!
okay so Monday- P-day. We had a normal day. I did receive a call from my trainer, Sister Sedgwick. She recently has become a Sister Training Leader and we set up a day to go on splits!!! I received incredible news about Becca's mission and we also had an awesome family home evening with Antonio Roberto, Osana and her Brother Nathan.
Then Tuesday. The Elders came to our city for our last district meeting of the transfer. Oh yeah, I forgot. Today is transfers, and Sister Buás and I are staying here in Assis together:) Yay! This is my 4th transfer here. I think Presidente Genaro likes to leave me in areas for a long time. I stayed this long in Maringá too. But it is cool because I really get to know the area (I dont need a map any more) and the members. I have made some life long lasting friendships here in Assis as well as Maringá.
But anyways, we had our meeting and then we made lunch in the church kitchen and Pedro and Claudio came to the church to be interviewed. Pedro passed with flying colors. Elder Lourenço (our DL) was so impressed with Pedro and afterwards couldn't hold back from showing his excitement for him to get baptized.
Claudio was also interviewed for the 2nd time. He didn't pass again because of a few things he still doesn't understand. We had taught him more about the Book of Mormon and prayer and when he went to church Sunday he said that he felt that his prayer was being answered. He asked if he could be interviewed again. This time he had more questions. I felt a little impatient. I explained that the interview is not the time to be telling all of your doubts. That we are here as missionaries to help you prepare for an interview and pass with out doubts. He hadn't understood that. So he finally opened up and told us all of his doubts. We were able, a long with a member, to discuss a few topics and help him understand better the doctrine. I could see him beginning to think and in the end we left him again with the same challenge- to pray about it.
Wednesday- Pedro got baptized!!! our Recent convert Antonio was able to baptize him. It was soooo spiritual and he bore the sweetest and most sincere testimony! Sister Sedgwick and Sister Saldanha came to do splits with us. It was SOOO great to have a day with Sister Sedgwick. I love her so much. She is one of my closest friends now and I am so grateful for all the she has taught me in the past and that very day with her. She teaches with such love and a strong testimony. She and I with Irmã Osana went to visit Claudio. We taught him again about the basic truths that he has already heard. We invited him to go to Pedro's Baptism. He went and really enjoyed. All the members love Claudio because he is very open and funny and likes to talk to everyone. When I got home that night the Sisters suprised me with Açaí in celebration of 1 year on the mission!
Thursday- ONE YEAR MARK!! The time goes by sooooooooooo fast! Okay so that morning we went the bus station to drop off Sis Sedgwick and Saldanha to go back to their areas. We were really cold and far from home so we decided to take a bus home. We got on a city bus to the city terminal where we normally take another bus. I had a strange thought and turned to sister Buás and said, "Lets walk the rest of the way home." She looked at me like " Are you crazy??? I am freezing!" But didn't say anything. I told her I didn't know why but maybe we should. So we left the terminal walking towards the city center.
As we were walking I heard someone call, "SISTERS!" I turned and across the street, far from his neighborhood, saw Claudio in jogging clothes walking birskly down the street. He motioned us to come over. He was beaming! Something had happened... we greeted him and he said "Sisters, I need to tell you something that happened last night." Curious, I said "Tell me!!!" He began to tell about what had happened.
He said that when he was at the baptism the night before for Pedro he had felt something so good and special. He said that he felt an urge to be baptisted that very moment but didn't have a towel so he didn't say anything! He said that when he got home he got on his knees by his bed and began to pray. He said that he prayed and conversed with God and then got into bed. When he got in bed he heard a voice. A voice that clearly said, "He was my prophet (referring to Joseph Smith) and they are my servants (referring to us missionaries)"
He said the voice was so clear and that when he heard it in his mind he saw us. He said he looked into our eyes and felt a force (the spirit). He told us that he knows now that the church is true, that the Book of Mormon is true, and that he needed to put his pride aside and be baptized.
I was so overwhelmed with the spirit in the moment with him there in the street! I was so grateful we had decided to walk home because we had not planned to go by his house that day. I called our District leader and he told us that he would be there the very next morning for the final interview.
Friday- Elders came for an interview that morning and that even Claudio was baptized. It was soooo neat! The spirit does great things. It is the spirit that literally changes hearts. The Real miracles we see today- a true change of heart! I saw this happen in this man.
Saturday- Saturday I was completely without a voice. We taught some good lessons and visited lots of people. Pedro came to teach some people with us. He shared a pure and touching testimony with everyone we talked to!
Sunday- We went to church. When we got the we got a call from Antonio who said that he was waiting at the bus station to pick up Pedro to bring him to church but the bus arrived and he didn't get off. I called Pedro to find that he had just gotten home from the hospital with his mom. They had been there all night and he had missed the bus because of this. I explained that today he would be receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and be confirmed a member today.
There wasn't a bus that would pass in time for him to come. So my companion and I put all our money together and called a taxi that went to his city to pick him up. He got back in time for sacrament meeting to start. He, along with Claudio, both confirmed and received the Holy Ghost. Their blessings were so special. Pedro was one of the first to go up and share his testimony. The spirit of the meeting was so strong as we all shared with one another what we know to be true.
Josi and Miria left with us for the day we we taught tons of lessons with them. They are both waiting for their calls to arrive. They are more than ready to serve. They teach with confidence and clarity. I admire them a lot.
Sooooo, all in all, this week was great. I could not be happier! Thank you for all of your love and support! I pray that everyone is well and has a great week!
Love, Sister Rachel Edwards