Monday, October 27, 2014

Oct. 27, 2014- Zone Conference

Hello Everyone! 

Well, this week flew by!!!  Sorry this email will be really fast. We worked like crazy this week. We also had our zone conference. We did a neat family home evening last night and I would like to share the story with you all. Hope you have a great week! Headed to Maringá this week! :) 

Love, Sister Edwards

The following story is a great example of how The Lord teaches and molds us through life's trials.

There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." (Malachi 3:3) This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week this woman called up a silver smith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. 

As she watched the silver smith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot--then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.

She asked the silver smith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silver smith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy--when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oct. 20, 2014- Sweating in Londrina

Olá Todo Mundo! 

Okay, everyone close your eyes and imagine that one day when you were doing intense exercises and your body is hot and the air is muggy and you are sweating... now imagine feeling like that EVERY moment of every day!!!!!!! The heat... We wake up- sweating. We take a shower and leave the bathroom- sweating. We are in the road- sweating. We teach- sweating. It is just sooooooo wonderful... not. haha This week we literally took a shower and then put on our clothes and get 'back into the shower' to get our clothes wet and then leave the house. Not exagerating! I dont think in my whole mission I have been sooooo hot. Okay, enough about that:P

This week we had huge miracle. We were tracting, totally lost in this new area. Wandering, we were looking for new people to teach. As we were headed up a street we walked in front of a house that had 3 people sitting in the front. I waved and greeted them and the man said "come in! come in!" A little surprised we entered and began to talk to them. We met a husband, his wife, and mother-in-law. They told us that they are very Catholic but interested to hear what we had to say. So we taught them the Restoration. 

They accepted everything we taught them and said they would pray about baptism and our message. We left with incredible feeling. All week we had thought a lot about what we would teach them. We had felt the impression to teach about temples but we did not fully know why. When we got there they were there waiting for us with another Aunt and also a daughter. 

We began to ask how their prayers went. The man began to describe to us the powerful experience he had when he prayed. He said he prayed, went to sleep, and that very night he had a dream. He dreamt that he was in a holy temple completely white. He described the front and the staircase and lodging. He said that on one side he saw a place where lots of americans lived. On the other side he saw all of his ancestors. He explained that he met a teenage boy who came to him and told him that he is very happy now because Valcir (the man we are teaching) has met the Sister missionaries. He said that he is feeling very content now. Velcir said that the dream stopped and that he woke up at 3 in the morming and could stop thinking about it and that he could not stop thinking about us, too. 

He wanted to know about the place that he visited in his dream. With mouths wide open we proceeded to teach about the plan of salvation and temple. The thing that was coolest is that we had a member teaching with us and she was able to confirm that everything he had describled was the Curtiba temple. The staircase, the front. The place where the americans live is the mission home that to the side of the temple, exactly as he described.  The spirit was so immensely present in that moment. We showed him pictures and he was so intently interested. 

He wants to learn everything. The whole family accepted the lesson we taught and expressed that they too want to be a family sealed for all eternity. It was so neat. We left the Book of Mormon and yesterday passed by and he is already almost done with 1 Nephi. We are so happy and pleased. I know that the Lord has a great plan for him and his family. He truly prepares peoples hearts. 

There was a really funny moment during the lesson too. I was beginning to explain about baptisms for the dead (imagine everyone listening carefully, curiously) when a HUGE mouse sized cockroach came charging out of no where and headed straight for sister VerHoef. Reacting she screamed and began to jump and step on it. It was soooo funny! 

"And so in the temple we do something called baptisms for the dead" " AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" *SMASH* *STOMP *STOMP* (laughter). haha "like...for him!" 

We also had an interesting thing happen. In the front of our house there is a huge tree. All day the leaves fall, making a mess in the road and in the front of the neighbors houses. The neighbor ladies always swept them up for the elders. Then when the sisters arrived there was the talk of the neighborhood that the house would now be taken care of. Unfortunately we dont have a lot of time to sweep the leaves every day. So the neighbors agrued about who would clean it up. We explained that we are willing but have little time and that Monday we would do it. 

That next morming (Saturday) I woke up early out of no where, oddly, and the voice of my Mom came into my head. "you know what you should do"  It was really strange. But then while laying in bed I imagined what my Mom would do if she was here. I then imagined her out there sweeping the front of everyones house, not just ours. Seeing her example of service in my mind I decided to get up and do as she would. So I did. I swept everyones sidewalk. Our neighbor woke up really suprised that day. I am so grateful for the example my Mom has set for me of serving others. She has had such an infulence on me that some how she is able to talk to me through imagination! Love you mom! Thank you for always serving everyone. 

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week! LOVE YOU ALL! see ya in 1 MONTH!!!!!!! 

Love Sister Rachel Edwards

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oct. 13, 2014- Londrina

Hello Everyone!
I wish I had cooler things to report this week. Lets start with the good stuff. I decided that I'll share the bad news because it is good news in the end:) Strarting from the top. 

We made it to our new house in Ouro Branco tuesday night after spending allll day in the bus station helping all the missionaries be transferred. It was long and tiring and crazy. The secretaries are new and so it was an... adventure. But everything ended well and everyone got to their areas. That night we did the big trade with the elders and switched areas. We were so tired. So were they, since they were also in the Rodoviaria with us. It was funny because we took the Zone leaders to our house to show them where it is and when they went in apparently they thought it was super clean and that is smelled good too (Like cleaner, ya know) and so they called the other Elders that were still in ouro branco to tell them to spray something smelly before we got there. When we got to the house the whole house smelled like thick man cologne! It was really funny. But they left peanut butter and maple syrup in the house so we were pleased.
Okay so then the next day we hit the road in search for new investigators in our new area. I dont think I have ever been so tired in my life! We walked sooooooo faaaaar! FAAAAR FAAAAAAR away! We visited a family of natives. To get to their 'land' was quite an adventure! I was exhausted and began to feel sick. We made it home that night. The next day i woke up with lots of body aches and a horrible head ache. Wanting to work we headed to our dictrict meeting but I was loosing focus of everything. It also has started to heat up a ton! So it wasnt helping. 

After lunch, (the little that I tried to eat) I was barely walking and so we headed to the nearest clinic in our neighborhood. Sadly Brasil doesnt have the best medical system. We went to a free little public clinic. I waited for about 2 hours to be seen and finally a Columbian traveling doctor lady saw me. It turned out that I had a throat infection that was spreading to my blood and making me more ill. She ordered me to get an injection... yep in the place where noooo one likes it! It was not pleasant at alllllll. Then prescribed me to a medicine. (Which ended up being the wrong medication)

It was such a miracle when we left the clinic, because I was still in my clouded sick world, and we would have to walk home in the heat. But as we stopped to ask for directions a family helped us and gave us a ride home. It was such a tender mercy. 

The next day we tried to go to work but I got a migrane! The worse I have ever had in my life. I was not well and not able to even talk,  to see, or anything. So we stopped my a brothers house. He gave me a blessing.

I ended up in the hospital that night until really late throwing up really sick. Finally we were able to come home and all saturday I was bed ridden. Litterly. I dont think I have even felt so weak in my life. I couldnt even get out of be to go to the bathroom! But I rested allll day. The doctor in the hospital was really upset with the other doctor who gave the injection because she had done everything wrong and unnecessary. That is why i got worse the next day. He hooked me up to meds int he hospital and gave me antibiotics that i am taking until now. 

Sunday I was able to go to church to take the sacrament and bear my testimony. I actually was able to work too and we met a great family. Today I am great! I am back in the game and doing much much better! I feel like myself again. 

We were able to clean up and organize our house better and I think that now that everything is in order, health and house and area book we are finally ready to get going in this area! I only have 5 more weeks. I want them to be the best 5 weeks of my mission!! I am so excited to work with Sister VerHoef. She is from Georgia. She is so awesome. We are very close already after this weeks adventures. We will have a great time together. 

Thank you for your prayers! They were definintly heard on my behalf this week and I am very grateful! Love you all! Have a wonderful week!!!!!! Oh yeah! Elder Delgado and comp. went to our area in Antares and baptized Renan yesterday! He is so happy and doing sooo great! I am gratful he was there to be able to help him in the process! The Lord knows us and provides.
Love, Sister Rachel Edwards

Waiting in clinic... Very ill.
Sharing 'love rocks' from Primary! Thank you so much!
Farewell at airport
Sis. Sedgwick returning home
Big hug until Sister Sedgwick and Sister Edwards meet again.
New companion. Sister Verhoef (from Georgia)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oct. 06, 2014- Travels and new area

Hello Family! 

Here are a few notícias! 

1. I made it home safely from the Foz de Iguaçu. It was incredible! Better than I could have imagined! We had a blast. We were soaked to the bone and man was it fun! Best P-day EVER! We took a night bus home and slept on the bus. I wont say I got the best nights sleep but we made it and the Lord truly helped me because that day of work I wasnt sleepy at all! 

2. We had an awesome Zone meeting this week. It was really spiritual. One of the best, in the top 3! I learned new techniques and was able to apply them that day! We eneded the day marking a baptism. It was great.

3. We have an incredible golden investigator- Renan. He is 23 and lookign for truth. He understands and believes everything we teach. He is very willing to keep the commandment and make necessary changes. He loved General Confrence too! He will be baptized this week. :)

4. General Conference was AMAZING! I felt so edified and uplifted as the spirit truly testified and confirmed the words of each speaker. I loved all the talks and want badly to study each of them thoroughly. I know that they are men of God called to teach and warn us. I know obedience is essential. I made a list of questions before it began and as always the Lord answered each of my questions. 

5. Sister Sedgwick is going home tomorrow!!! :(  

6. I HAVE BEEN TRANSFERED!!! Again. haha. I am going to yet another part of Londrina. It is a ward called Ouro Branco (White Gold). How perfect! GOLDEN investigators in WHITE! haha. President is doing a big switch of areas. All the Elders there will trade with us here. They are our zone leaders. It will be fun to see what this transfer brings. I will be training a new Sister Training Leader. I already love her! Her name is Sister VerHeof. We will be traveling alllll over alllll over again! yeah! 

7. I still need to finish packing and cleaning and picking up Sisters from the bus station. 

Love you all! See you all in one month!! ahhhh!! (Mixed feelings).

Have a great week! 

Love Sister Edwards

Watching General Conference
Riding on public bus
Renan. Loved watching Conference and will be baptized this week.

Incredible trip to one of the 7 Wonders of the World. 'Iguazu Falls'

Iguazu Falls "7 Wonders of the World"