Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beautiful Pointsettia

Dearest Family,

Really though, poinsettias are thrown around like weeds here. They have these huge plants of them everywhere. The cream colored ones too. They are gorgeous! The dog was way ugly so we had to take a picture. I can’t believe summer is already coming to an end there. We have only a few more weeks of winter and then it’s back to the scorching unbearable heat.
It has been a week of many many miracles here in Ñemby. A few weeks ago we started teaching a woman who has been inactive for ten years. She is the mother of our former ward mission leader. From the moment that we taught her about the Restoration again, she has helped us find many new people to teach and has come back to church. We continued teaching her the regular lessons to help her stay active in the church and this week, as we were teaching her Lesson 3 (The Gospel of Jesus Christ), and she said that she didn’t think she had been confirmed so we called the secretary and found out that she hadn’t been confirmed and since it was ten years ago, she needed to be baptized again. She accepted baptism again, but as we did the interview, we found out that she had had some serious sins from before. She was so sad as she told us about. We have visited her every day and her testimony is growing. We taught her about repentance and bore our testimonies. She seems a little downcast though and she didn’t come to church yesterday. We have gone every day to her house and really have been praying to know how to help her. I honestly love her so much !. We are really trying to follow the Spirit and answer her doubts. It made me think a lot about our Savior. The sins of only a few weigh on me heavily and I am so saddened for them. My own sins are burdensome enough. I cannot comprehend what Christ suffered for us, but I love Him and am so grateful for His love for us and obedience to the Father.
Things are great with my companion. She is ever an example to me of faith, patience, diligence, and love. I love her and we are prepared to fight for every one of our investigators.

I love you all!!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting colder and no shoes!

Dear Family and Friends:
This week was FREEZING! and I thought that I was going to be fine with shoes until I come home, but all at once, my shoes came undone. With the rain, cold, and holes in my shoes, the Lord really tested my diligence. Speaking of which, my shoes are not going to last me another 5 months in Paraguay. I´m so sorry to ask, but do you think you could send me another pair? My feet will be forever grateful. But it honestly made me think about the pioneers and the sacrifices that they made as they crossed the plains. Our wet muddy feet are not even close to the bare-footed tracks that they left in the snow. I´m grateful the appreciation that this experience gave me, even though I did complain a little at first. I´m grateful for my companion and her courage and ever-diligent example. Bueno. Enough about shoes!

Not a ton has happened in the last couple of days. We have some investigators right now that are great. I think I told you about Veronica. She is the girl that we contacted in the street who said she didn´t believe in God. I told her that I knew she believed in God and that He loves her. She didn´t say much. The next day we were looking for someone else an knocked her door. She is progressing along and LOVING the Book of Mormon. It has been really cool for me.

I was reading Mark chapter 1 yesterday and it says that they were astounded by Christ´s words because He taught as one having authority and not as the scribes. I honestly hope that as we testify and teach that we can do so as those having authority, not just as another one of the "scribes" of today. There are so many religious groups so we really have to stand out and use the Spirit. That is my goal for this week and for my mission. I am really trying to be a better teacher and help my investigators come unto Christ.
I just want you to know how grateful I am for all of you and how much I love you.

Have a wonderful week!!!

Hermana Rachel

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Freezing Cold...

Dear Family,

Whoever said it doesn’t get cold in Paraguay lied. It is 3 degrees (Celsius) with humidity so we are pretty bundled up (as you can see from the pictures). It has been a great week though and I hope you are enjoying that nice sunny weather in Utah...or wherever you guys are. Thanks for the e-mails. I love you all and always love hearing from you. It has been a great week and a half here in Ñemby! I get to stay here with Hermana Quartino which makes me very happy! I absolutely love this area and am excited to have at least another 6 weeks here. I hope you like the pictures! The one with the braid in my hair is from this morning, the rest are from this Tuesday and our district meeting. Hope you enjoy! And yes, that is my machete (crocodile model, the 2010 edition) and yes, I use it often. I am developing quite a lovely callous on my pointer finger. Do you think I am going to have a problem bringing it home on the airplane? I hope not.

We had a few disappointments this week, as always, but we are not discouraged. Each new change gives me more ánimo and motivation. I know that we will continue to see more miracles as we are obedient and work hard. I am prepared to do so otra vez. We had interviews with President Callan this week and we both realized how quickly our time here in Paraguay is passing. I honestly couldn’t believe it! We both got kind of teary thinking about how much the Lord has blessed us in this short time in Paraguay. We are so indebted to Him for all that He gives us. Trying to "repay" Him by keeping the commandments doesn’t work because He just blesses us more. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me this opportunity.

We are still trying to teach a larger quantity and greater quality of lessons. We froze a little bit, but were able to teach a few new people who seem great.

I love you all more than I can explain. I want Katie to know too that I love her and am so excited for her to be a member of our family. I have never seen a happier Kris, not even on opening a Wii on Christmas morning. I fully support you two and can´t wait to get to know you better! All my love also to the Gilbert´s, Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles, etc.


Hermana Rae

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Oh hello my dearest family!
It was changes week! Earlier in the week, I got a phone from the assistants that 3 more sisters would be coming to our apartment - 2 of them opening an area. The sisters that came are Hermana Casteñeda from Perú and a local missionary from Paraguay that is holding the spot until another sister arrive. Which brings me to me. I am training. I got my new missionary yesterday, Hermana Quartino from Montevideo, Uruguay. She is just incredible!! I felt so responsible when I knew that I was going to be training! I am so grateful though for the confidence that my Heavenly Father and my mission president have put in me to be able to help a new missionary become adjusted in these first couple of months of the mission. Man, I still feel like I´M new! I will do everything in my power to live up to the responsibility. She told me yesterday before we went to bed that it had been the best day of her life. She gives me so much ánimo and I love her faith. She is a convert of about 8 years and is a twin. More to come, but I just absolutely love her and feel so blessed.

I took my companion to the office and saw Hermana Jara too (who also went home this change) and it was so fun. We were taking some pictures and just so happy. What a joy it is to be a missionary!!! There are some days that I miss you all terribly and wish I could be with you, but really I am so happy to be here. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am so grateful that I have such a blessing and opportunity. Your love and support means the world to me. Thank you for always being there and for all your loving words.

Well, my time is up! More to come on Monday. Give my love to everyone!
Hermana Edwards

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

Dear Family,
The city of Ñemby is incredible. The ward is SO organized. They actually have a visiting teaching and home teaching program! There’s a ward mission leader. The bishop comes to the activities and holds consejo de barrio. I am just so impressed with how well things function here. The members are so faithful and they helped us out a lot this weekend. It was so much fun to go to lessons with them and hear their testimonies. I really think that I will enjoy my time here and am excited to work hard. We found a great family this week. The mom is a single mother with 3 kids. She is so great and accepted a baptismal date. She wasn’t able to make it to church this Sunday, but committed to come next week. She is so sincere and I am excited to see her progression. All in all, I am just trying to get a sure footing on how to get around the area, know the members, and find out more about our investigators in these 3 1/2 remaining weeks. It will be a fun and interesting challenge, but I feel humbled that the Lord blessed me with another opportunity to progress.

It is honestly incredible and I really think I am going to love it here in Ñemby. A girl who served part of her mission here 2 years ago and one of her friends came to visit for the weekend and did divisions with us. They are awesome and helped so much! Her name is Diana Schumicar and she is planning on going to Utah in October for conference. I told her to stop by, so hopefully she’ll call you! She is great.
I am still learning so much about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Well, I love you family! Have a great week!



Saturday, April 24, 2010

Zone Conference

This week has been great!! Hermana Plessl and I have at least 6 more weeks together starting today. I am so excited to be staying here and love my companion! We really are out in the boonies, but I am obsessed with this place. Our apartment is way nice too so it has been great. We had apartment inspections and interviews this week. President and Hermana Callan said ours was the nicest and one of the cleanest they’d seen :). I asked President about departure days and it doesn’t exactly work the way I thought it did. The MTC will assign me a departure date (which I’ll find out in June) and then President has about a 30 day flexibility period. I very well could be coming home on Dec 10th again. I know it will be what the Lord wants me to do, but for sure it will be before the December 29th date.

We had zone conference in Ciudad del Este.
The work is progressing along and we are so excited about some of the investigators we found this week. There seem to be a lot of prepared people and we are doing all we can to help them enter the waters of baptism. We have been practicing teaching the lessons from just the Book of Mormon and it has been going great. My little blue Book of Mormon from a few zone conferences ago has become my proselyte best friend!!! I love it and my testimony is growing so much! I am finally almost finished with the New Testament and finished the Book of Mormon again. On to the D and C! There is just so much to learn! I read a great quote this week from my MTC notes that really helped excited me to work more diligently. it says, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force him to drink." (In response) "Yes, but you can salt his oats!" Just so you know, I am going to put salt in the whole oat supply of Coronel Oviedo. That is my goal.
All my love and prayers.

Your little/big sister and daughter,


Monday, April 5, 2010

General Conference

Dear Family,

It has been a great week here in Coronel Oviedo! General Conference was just so great! We aren’t allowed to go to conference unless we bring investigators; so luckily, we were able to see at least 3 of the sessions. Sadly, I missed the Saturday afternoon and of course priesthood, but we were able to at least go to the other 3. It was such a needed blessing.

We saw some great miracles this week. We were really praying that we would be able to bring people to the conference. On Friday, we were clapping some doors in a government asentimineto and were being treated very poorly. People were completely ignoring us or would just go inside when we tried to talk to them. We were about ready to give up on the place when we decided to talk to one more person, a lady who was outside bathing her little girl from a bucket. She let us in and we taught her the first lesson. We asked her what she was looking for in religion and she said that she wanted to know why there are so many churches if there is only one God. Shouldn’t there be one path for all of us? I don’t think I’ve ever really had anyone come out and say that so clearly to us as missionaries. We testified of Christ’s church and the apostasy and restoration through Joseph Smith. She accepted our invitation to go to conference the next day. When we went and picked her up, her boyfriend was there too and asked if he could come. Of course we said yes and all went together. When we got to conference, our district leader told called us and told us that the conference was going to be postponed for another hour. I was annoyed at first, but Heavenly Father knows best and it ended up being perfect. We asked them if they would like us to take them on a tour of the chapel. We showed them the RS room and theme, the YW room and theme, when the man asked "Is there one for the family too?" We were so excited and read with their family The Family: A Proclamation to the World. I was so excited, as you might imagine. After, we showed them the baptismal font and talked about Christ’s baptism and explained how important it is. A member came with us and explained her conversion story. The man was so incredibly touched. He showed us his arms and they were covered with Goosebumps. He told her how much her story touched him. We still have a lot to teach them, but it was honestly the coolest thing and they just fell right into our laps. I feel so blessed to see Heavenly Father’s love for His children. He wants their salvation and for that reason, leads us to their homes. We are praying so much for them. They loved the conference. Especially the talks by President Eyring and Sister Beck. It was awesome.

I know this is Christ’s true church. I love my Savior and loved the focus on His life yesterday. I know He is God’s son and am so grateful for His ministry, loving atoning sacrifice, and resurrection. I am so grateful to represent Him both as a missionary and as a member of His church.

Oh yeah! We opened an area this week. Its 2.5 hours from Oviedo and out in the middle of nowhere. We went with the Elders and members. Missionaries have never been there before. We are going again this Thursday so it should be really cool. It is beautiful and there are tons of birds, cows, sheep, etc.
Love Always, Rae