Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014 Assis, São Paulo

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was quite eventful. A lot of highs and lows. We found some families that we are now teaching. It is so cool the way the Lord prepares ways for us to meet families. 

The Assistants to the President were traveling and on the bus they talked to a young man who is 19 who lives here in Assis but travels to Londrina to study. He is studying to become a Pilot of airplanes! Cool huh, Jeffrey! Anyways, he was on the same bus and the Elders talked to him and for the 2 hour ride and taught him. He was so excited to know that there are missionaries in Assis. 

Elders called me that night and passed the address to me and we went the the next day. The best part was the the entire family was home and some family friends too. When we started teaching they made is very clear that they are Catholics and they go every Sunday. I got a little nervous to start teaching. But then, it was like a movie, I stopped and heard a voice saying "you are here with the true message of the restored Gospel. Share it and the Lord will do the rest" I realized that I needed to trust in the Spirit. 

So, we got started. We taught about prophets and Christ and the Apostles and about Joseph Smith. It was miraculous their response. To sum it up- all of them accepted to get baptized with out even questioning if it was necessary to be baptized again. They excitedly received the Book of Mormon promising to pray about our message. The only thing that impedes them to be baptized is that they, as a family, work at a flee market selling pastels Sunday mornings. It would be a huge thing to not go because they lose their spot for the entire week. The sacrifice is big. They could use your prayers along with us. It was a very special moment teaching them and seeing how the Lord really prepares peoples hearts. 

We also are now teaching the daughter of an inactive member. This inactive is desperately wanting to return to the church. She was baptized over 20 years ago and because of moves and family issues, fell away from the church. We found her knocking doors and she remembered that she had been baptized. She works as a cook at parties and festivals and so it is hard to get a Sunday off, but she is really trying. We ate at her house this week and wooooow, she has a talent to cook! She is so cute always making us bread and giving us stuff. Her daughter is also eager to learn and her husbund is also on our list. He seems like a great guy too. She is reading the Book of Mormon and remembering everything. It is so cool to see a testimony rekindled.

We had a Festa Juninha which is a Catholic holiday but the activity at the church was a June Festival. It was like a harvest party. It was awesome! I totally want to be Brazilian now!!! They dance and dance and dance. It was a dificuilt moment to be a missionary and only watch! haha but the food was yummy:) 

Sunday was our hardest day.... one thing after another happened. First I woke up really sick. I didn't know why. Then we left to try and wake up everyone who said they would go to church with us. All of them, everyone... Did not go. We left with an Irmã in her car to get the people who live far away and they didn't go either. It was depressing. 

When we finally got to church, late, Marcio wasn't there. We had seen him yesterday and he was talking about how excited he was to be confirmed and recieve the spirit. We called him and he had been in a motorcycle accident and was in the hospital. Right after I hung up worried and sad for him, my attention was turned to our recent convert, Antonio, who went running out of church. I asked him were he was going and he said that his dad had had a heartattack. His dad is one of our investigators. During sacrament meeting we received the news that his dad has died. We went to the Funeral that afternoon. 

It was hard to see a family suffer so much. Antonio was different. He was clearly sad with the loss of his father but he leaned to me and said "Eduarda, eu sou muito grato pelo plano de Salvação. Minha irmã acha que ela nunca verá meu pai de novo, mas sei que vou." Which means I am so grateful for the plan of salvation. My sister thinks she will never see my Dad again but I know that I will. He was comforted by the Spirit and understanding what he has. Over the past couple of weeks, His Dad was so excited to learn more about what had happened to his son, Antonio and why he used white shirt and tie now and wanted to come to church. Antonio said that his Dad had promised to go with him next week. Antonio felt at peace to know that his Father would still have a chance to learn the truths that he has now. He is anxious to be baptized for him next year in the temple. 

I am very grateful for the Atonement. Because of Christ, death has been overcome and we CAN return and live with God in the Celestial Kingdom. We need repent everyday and remain pure so that we can have this great blessing in our lives. I know that death is not the end. Even though we continue to miss our loved ones, one day will we be reunited. We need to do everything we can now to prepare for our eternity. This life is short. There is no time to wait. We need to act today. Repent today. Serve, and love today. No one knows tomorrow, only the Lord. Let us accept the love of our Savior and his atonement by repenting, learning and studying from the scriptures, praying, going to our church meetings and serving our fellowmen. This is enduring to the end. It really is enjoying to the end...the blessing of a life to live and learn. 

I love you all. Thank you for the prayers and support. Be strong out there, the world has camouflaged evil everywhere! Follow the Spirit and we will be protected.

Love, Sister Edwards

Teaching how to braid.
Miria...her mission call will arrive soon in the mail.

Irmã made me an adorable winter hat. :)
Noite Familiar (Family Home Evening)

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