Date: Monday, September 1, 2014
Subject: 15 months in the mission field
To: Jeanette Edwards <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Goooooood Afternoon to you all! What a crazy week! It didn't go by fast as normal, but that is okay. So I am not in Antares. I live right next to the Airport of Londrina. We see planes taking off and landing all day long. I think of you a ton, Jeffrey. There is a brother in our ward who is getting ready to be a pilot. He is awesome and shared all the cool toys with us haha.
We arrived Monday and organized all of our things is our new, yet ancient, enormous, 3 floor house. That evening, more that 11 sisters arrived that night. We are a pit stop house in the mission. There are always people coming and going and showing up. It is fun but exhausting. The house looked as if it had never been cleaned. Today we spent more that 3 hours deep cleaning. The are tons of pigeons and birds that get in the house on the 3rd floor and leave a mess. To put it short... it is disgusting!
The best part is when we were finished more sisters arrived who will be sleeping here tonight because we have a leadership conference all day tomorrow. I love seeing and talking to al these wonderful sisters! Tuesday I was in the Rodoviaria all day with Sister Sedgwick. (I can not remember the word in Enligh... Bus Terminal... something like that.) Because Tuesday was transfers and we were incharge of making sure every sister caught her bus and that everyone arrived in their new areas and found their new companions. It was a long day, and crazy but fun to see and talk to everyone.
Our first day working was very difficult. We were very rejected in our new area. The people here seems to be much more closed and stubborn. We got into only one house!!!! (Very uncommon here) and it was an elderly lady who fell asleep when we began to pray. It was sweet, and super funny. She told us the same story about 10 times and then gave us water. She didn't remember a word we said but she loved the company. At least we made someone's day!
Another funny story. The other day I was explaining to a member how to make cookies and while I was explaining I accidently switched the words for "bowl" (vasilha) and "toilet."(vaso) We all busted up laughing because I practically taught here to stir all the ingredients in the toilet. hahahaha
Okay anyways, so it was a rough start and I think the Lord understood and heard our prayers because the next day he sent an angel. We were studying that morning and someone called us and she said that she was a member from the Centro Civico ward and that she loved the sisters and was going to leave with and work with us for the day, Her name is Eliane. Out of no where she showed up at our door. She went with us alll day long. She came preapared with pamphlets and a Book of Mormon and pass long card and FOOD! She walked with us alll day long! She is such an example to me because she is not a youth getting ready for a mission she is a mother of grown children and has a badly swollen foot and leg but she wanted to be with us and share the Gospel. I want to be just like her one day. We taught some neat people and had very uplifting experiences. I know the Lord hears our pleas.
The next day I was.. you won't beleive it..... attacked by another stinkin' dog! When he bit me he didn't break the skin. We were knocking at a door when the neighboor was opening the gate to leave in his car the his dog excaped and thought my leg looked yummy. My heart and adrenaline was affected more than anything... my leg is juuuust fine. Thank goodness. I dont know why the animal kingdom loves... or hates me. haha
That same night we met an awesome family who 10 years ago were taught by Elders in an other ciy. They almost got baptized but lost contact during the move to Londrina. We are going to have family home even there tonight. It will be fun.
This week we also had a huge suprise from Pres Genaro! He called us telling us that Sister Nescimento's brother was in Londrina and that we could see him! He works for the church and always is traveling. He was here for a meeting and took us to subway. He took pictures of us contacting in the street and did video interviews. I dont know if he will public more stuff about us... but maybe! It was super cool! He is really nice and we had a great afternoon.
Our biggest miracle of the week happened Sunday night. It was POURING rain. Like.. storming. And we stopped at home to get rainboots and coats. We decided to say a prayer and ask for inspiration of where to go because we didnt know what to do. We both felt prompted to visit a young man who is investigating the church. He wants to be baptized but the other sisters never could find him or his mom at home. So we went there and.. no one was home. We decided that the Lord sent us there for some one and so we began to knock doors. We knocked almost all of the doors with out any success (in the rain... cold hearted people here? haha-when I lived in Asiss and Maringa, we were always invited in when it was raining. ) We finally we came to the last door on the corner street.
We knocked and were kindy rejected again by an elderly cathloic lady. When she shut the door the window opened and a young man yelled "wait a minute!" Suprised we waited and he came running out and said the he was a inactive member and wanted to talk to us. His mane is Ariel and he is 19. He was baptzed when he was 10 and for the last 3 years fell aways from the church and started drinking a smoking and partying. He explained how his dad past away 4 months ago from cancer and that it shook him up so much he stopped to think about what he had done with his life. He began to remember the church and realized that he needs to baptize his dad in the temple. But he is embarrassed because of his addictions and knows he is not worthy to enter the temple. Crying he asked us to help him.
We were all filled with the spirit and he cried. It was so neat. He is the only member in his family that lived in that house and he moved recently and doesn't even know where the church is. I know the Lord sent us to his house the raining night. He heard our prayers and Ariel's. I feel so grateful and blessed.
We decided to pass on more time by the house of Kelvin the other young man. Miracously his mother was home! We were able to talk to her and we planned out Kelvins baptism for this Sunday! HUGE MIRACLE! It was so neat to see how the Lord uses us to answer his other children's cries and needs. She also is interested to know more about the church. Then on the way home we met a guy riding his bike and he practically pleaded with us to help him firm up his life in Christ and be baptized. It was so neat! He already heard of the church becasue he would play soccer there with other young men when he was younger.
We are very excited for this week! We have many plans! I pray that you all have a great week and look for opporunities to serve the missionaries and your friends and neighbors. Pray for a miracle. I promise the Lord with answer and give you better that you expect! He hears us and Answers too! I love being a missionary!
Love you all!
Love Sister Rachel Edwards