Monday, September 29, 2014

Sept. 29, 2014- Foz Iguaçu

Heeeelllllllllloooooooo Everyone!

Greeting from Foz Iguaçu! Yes, that´s right, I am on the boarder of Brasil, Paraguay and Argentina right now! :) Today is Sister Sedgwick´s last p-day and so this week President Genaro gave us a huge suprise and today we are going to tour the water falls! They are HUGE and very famous. It is one the 7 wonders of the world!!!! We are more than excited!!!!! We will be catching a bus here soon:) AHHH!! I am sooooo excited! 

Ok.. moving on. So this week was incredible and as usual really busy. We had mission tour which was soooo amazing. Elder Soares of the Seventy came and spoke to us. He gave tons of insight and we all felt the spirit and were edified. The best part is always the end when we all sing as Missionaries our Mission Song. Sister Sedgwick we leading the music and crying with us all as it was her last time. Seeing her going is super hard for me. We are such close friends and companions and I love her so much. I dont like to even try to think about me leaving when it is just so hard to see her leaving. She is a huge example to me. I look up to her in so many ways. I know they Lord loves us because he made us companions and then put us together in the end too:) 

We traveled all day friday on the bus to the where we are now (About a 10 hour drive). We then went to another city called Medianeira about an hour from here Saturday to do splits and work with 4 sisters there. Sunday we attended church here (incredible ward!) and Sister Sedgwick gave a training to all of the new Sister Training Leaders. It was sooo great! Once again she help me sooo much. We worked more with the Sisters here and now were are headed out. Oh yeah, we also sang in sacrament meeting here too. 

Being a Sister is so fun! You just can do everything and it doesn't even matter when you are. I love being able to have the spirit with me and guiding me in soooo many diverse situations. I am truly learning about the Love that Christ has for each of us as I receive an automatic love for so many people I dont know, missionaries, members, investigators. 

Being a member of this church and participating in the true gospel of Christ is the greatest privilege! I have a testimony and love for these things and for this work! Love you all! Have a great week! Help out the missionaries there is your ward! :)

Love Sister Rachel Edwards

The river that separates Brasil and Paraguay

President Genaro

Taisha from Oklahoma went throughout the temple  :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Photos Rachel- Sept. 22, 2014-Londrina

Hey Everyone! 

Okay so this week was crazy! I didn't stay in my own area very much. We had to do lots of splits because this coming week will be MISSION TOUR!!!!! So we had to cram a lot of stuff in this week. We went to a city called Arapongas. It is about an hour away. I dont know why but Sister Sedgwick and I were soooooo car sick on the bus. We arrived and had to sit with our heads between our knees for like 15 minutes. It was funny at the same time that it was annoying. 

We stayed there for two day because there are 2 companionships there. It is such a great area! Everyone we talked to were really open and willing to hear us. They baptized 3 people this week! We followed up and help one of their investigators. She is incredible! When we arrived she got all serious and said "I only have one big problem with this church..." i got all nervous...."When I leave church on sunday my face hurts because I smile so much!!!!" SO COOL! She is an eleito! (Golden). It is awesome to visit the other areas and work with so many sisters. 

My testimony is really strengthened and I am learning so much. Spiritually I am feeling great. Physically I am almost dead! I am soooo exhausted. I have never felt so tired my life. When we do splits we have to work our 110% to be able to help them. When we arrive in our own area we have to try and do the same but it seems really dificult these day because it apears that Londrina caught a discouraged bug. We seem to be suffering! Not just our area but the two zones! It seems like no one wants to hear us and when they do they dont progress. I think that this week with the mission tour we will be able to recharge our batteries with a new hope and be able to accelerate a little better the work here. (Sorry if the grammer is wrong here, I keep leaning to Sister Sedgwick to help me remember how to say things in English haha) 

We also went to Vivi Xavier! I was able to see João and we took him to his interview with the LD there. He is getting baptized this week! I am very very happy for him! He was a very special investigator of ours. 

My Birthday was great. I was in Arapongas. Sister Sedgwick made me a cake! Then i got home and Sister Nacsimento had made another one! Then on Sister Sedgwicks birthday the members invited us to FHE which was also a suprise birthday party for us! It was so kind. 

Sunday I talked in Church about magnifiying our callings. It is neat because now I have no problem speaking in church, including in Portuguese. It's a miracle! haha. We had 3 investigators at church. two were Arí and Marinalva. We hope that they will be baptized this weekend. They are so great! We love them! We will have family home evening in their home tonight! 

Well, I have to go. We need to catch a bus to the city center here soon. Love you all. Have a great week!!!! 

Love Sister Edwards

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sept. 15, 2014- Londrina, Brazil

Rachel's 21st Birthday is this Wed., Sept. 17th. Time is flying by!

Dear Family! 

What a week! It was great though! This week Sister Sedgwick and I returned to our original city of Maringá!!! It was so awesome! We were able to see all of the members and our recent converts. I never felt so loved! 

We arrived at the door steps of many people and waited to see their suprised faces! I felt loved because everyone remembered me and was actually really happy and excited to see me! I dont know how to explain it. But pretty much it was the best tender mercy to be able to see all the people who I love so much and who have helped me to become who I am now. The funniest part is that they were all amazed at how I learned to speak portuguese! haha. 

The weather has been extremely hot. It feels like the sun in 1 yard away from your face. Today is more overcast, thank goodness! We spend the day completely soaked with sweat, and that is not an exageration. I was enjoying the cooler season... I forgot the heat:P But life is good, and the work is going well.

 Antares was a unfruitful area. Seemed like all the missionaries that passed here caught the bug of disappointment and saddness, some even depression. But we are doing well! We have been finding some great new investigators with tons of potential. 

One is a family of 7!!!! There is the Dad and his 6 children. We still do not know what happened with the mother but he is so incredible. All of them are under the age of 12 and he takes care of them all alone. They went to church with us and it is really obvious that he sincerely wants to help his family. He loved church and so did the kids! 4 children are 8 and up and we are praying and working to be able to baptise them here soon. Please include them in your prayers! (Silvio, Gabriel, Manuel, Jonaton, Gabrielle, Juju and Silvinho). 

We also are teaching a GOLDEN couple. They are elderly (they are my new Brazilian Grandparents! And, I love them) Arí and his wife have tons of faith. They lost one of the 7 children 6 months ago. We taught them about the plan of salvation and baptisms for the dead and eternal families. They feel a great need and desire to go to the temple. It was a very spiritual experience. They are progressing really well! Arí makes laundry detergant and softener and gave us a ton for free! It smells good and works better than the stuff from the store! Please add them to your prayer lists too! Thanks! 

Kelvin was confirmed on Sunday. I have not seen someone smile sooo much! :) 

 This week our Zone leader shared this sciputure with us all. I really liked it and want to share it with you all too! Mosiah 24:13-16

13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their  afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort,for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, evenwhile you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand aswitnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety thatI, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease,and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

 16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying:Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.

I liked it because the Lord really is helping us to do this, HIS work. 

Our zone didn't baptize anyone this week which was sad for us. Lots of baptims fell, including our (Kelvins mom). But this scripture helped us remember the how the Atonement applies in the lives of our investigators and our lives too. 

Blessings are coming! Can't wait to share them with you! After the trial, is the blessing. After the reallly hard trials are the miracles! We just need to open our eyes, focus and we will be able to recognize them. The Lord loves us and wants us to be happy! Men were made to have joy! Joy comes through Jesus Christ! 

Love you all! Thank you for the birthday wishes! 

I hope you can all find joy in Christ this week and look for the blessing he is sending you too! 

Love, Sister Rachel Edwards