Monday, July 27, 2009

John Groberg and Gerald Lund (Ameritus Seventies) spoke the last 2 weeks at devotional. I think I forgot to mention that but it is such a blessing to have such wonderful experienced people speak to us. I am still loving the MTC, but more and more ready every day to leave. The RS speaker yesterday had served with her husband in Paraguay as mission presidents. MY teacher also brought in pictures of Paraguay this week too. I am so excited!!!! except for the pig heads that they eat with the teeth, nose hairs and all, I can't wait!
We've been continuing to go to the call center. I always pray to have good experiences there and I am always amazed at how fully the Lord answers my prayers. I talked to a woman named Cindy on sat. She was a hispanic woman who had just moved, was looking for work, had a 6 mo. old baby whose father had just left and gone back to Mexico and she was living with her mom, grandmother, and 2 younger brothers. Things were hard in her life. She had been looking for a church to go to though and was very interested. I looked up the church nearest to her, gave her the bishop's name/number and gave her the 1st lesson. We also talked about the plan of salvation. She's going to read the Book of Mormon and have the missionaries over. She also was going to go to church yesterday with her whole family. It was SO cool! I was so grateful and i hope that she made it to church. I have been praying for her. I hope that you will pray for Cindy too.

I can't believe I'm leaving so soon! I should be getting my flight plans this week so I'll let you know when I'll be calling you. Hopefully not at 3 in the AM! Also, I'm going to buy a filtering water bottle from the bookstore. the lady from RS said it was the only other thing she wished she would have had. IT filters any water you have. going to try it.
I saw Chase this week! It was so fun and I got to talk to him for a little bit. IT was great to see him. I've also gotten to see Kris a few times this week which is always fun.
Glad you like the hair. It was free so I thought I might as well. Tell Lauren that these locks are still hers for when I get home.
Thank you SO SO much for the letters, packages, Dear Elders, etc this week!! They meant so much. We didn't get mail on Fri because of Pioneer Day and we only get mail once on Saturdays so I saved my letters and read one each night. Kris, mom, Dad, grandma Dixie, Grandma Goedde, Aunt Pam, Aunt Lynette, Anna, thank you! It means the world to me. Mom and Dad, I cried. The journal, bread, rice cakes, know all my favorites. And the luggae tags :).Thank you so much. you are amazing. That meant a lot to me. Kris, your words helped a ton. IT has been such a blessing to have you so close and knowing exactly what I;m going through. Some of these missionaries really are a miracle. Thank you for helping me to see them more as such. I love the teachers here so much. They are so great! I had interviews with both of my teachers this week and they said some really kind things. I loved it.
Spanish is coming along great. It is such a fun language! Our teacher has been helping us learn some Guarani phrases and they are so fun! I can't wait to learn in. If you log onto - General Conference- you can listen to talks in Guarani. It is so cool. You should listen to how it sounds. IT is VERY Lamanitish. I love listening to the talks in Spanish. Our church leaders teach some simply and give such wonderful perspectives. IT has really helped my Spanish to listen to them.
We went to the temple this morning and it was great. It was REALLY hard to stay awake. I hate that about myself. But I learned a lot and loved it.
A challenge for all of you this week...Alma 40-42. it is wonderdul.
Time's up!
LOVe you!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hi Family!

thank you for your e-mails! It was so good to hear from you! It sounds like you are all doing great! Mom and Dad, thank you for working so hard to provide for our family. YOu are both amazing.
Mom, thank you so much for praying for my trainer. That means so much to me! I know that God answers prayers. I have a quick example from this week. On saturdays, we go to the Referral Center and make phone calls to people who other members have referred or we confirm that they've received copies of the Book of Mormon, etc. and have the opportunity to bear our testimonies and see if they would like to visit with missionaries. I prayed all day on Saturday to be able to have a good missionary experience and find someone who would receive our message about Jesus Christ. First, the system was down. When it came online, I tried some calls and got tons of answering machines. I switched over to try some Spanish calls. No one answeredf and the list ran out. I tried non-member referals and the first person answered in Spanish, even though they were English calls. I taught her about the Book of Mormon in Spanish. She had been given a copy by a friend and committed to read a chapter that I gave her and pray about it that night. She also agreed to have the missionaries come visit her. She was a young mother with 2 little kids and
seemed excited about the gospel. IT was so cool!! The next 2 calls I made, the people "coincidentally" spoke only Spanish again. Another wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon and the missionaries. She lived in CA but had never heard of Mormons or our church. She seemed so excited too. IT was so amazing. I know God answered my prayer. It wasn't a coincidence that I called Spainsh-speaking people. It was a little miracle for me and it touched my heart. A tender mercy.

I was thinking about why I am here. There are many reasons, but I keep coming back
to that first time that we went to China, saw ALL of those people and you told me to look at their faces and know that God knows them all and loves them. That even though I have always been on the other side of the world from them and didn't even really understand how many other people there are, God knows them all individually. You could see them for who they were and who God knew they could become. I've been able to see that potential in God's children in other times in my life. At college, at home, during high school, over and over again in Mexico, walking out of Versailles and seeing those Haitian vendors, etc. etc. I have certainly seen it here at the MTC and can;t wait to teach the people of Paraguay who they really are and who God wants them to become. I did initiatories this morning at the temple and heard those beautiful blessings again. I really want those for everyone. It is a miracle.
My e-mail time is almost up, so I will write the rest in a letter.
I love you all so much!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hi Familia!
How are you all?!! Thank you for the letters and e-mails. Jord, your e-mail helped a lot. It's going to be a huge shock when I get to Paraguay and don't know Guarani and there are no familiar faces...BUT, hopefully I will manage. The Lord will provide a way.

This week has been great and has FLOWN by! The weeks are so fast. Yesterday was my
half-way mark in the MTC. Exactly 4 1/2 Weeks. I can't beleive it. I saw my room mate Lauren and Natty, my sweet friend in the TRC this week and it was so fun! They are so great and I miss my friends and family, but all is well.

Yesterday in RS Margaret D. Nadauld spoke! It was amazing! Mom, you would have loved it! And I got to go and meet and talk to her after. IT was so much fun. She is a solid lady. She talked about how all of us are temples. She pointed out the differences between the Pioneer temples, the Hong Kong temple, Vernal, etc and how of them are so beautiful to look at but so different from each other. People come from all over the world to look at them. Only the finest materials are put inside. Likewise, we need to take care of our bodies on the outside and and put only the finest knowledge, food, spiritual experiences, etc. inside. We may not look like out sister's San Diego temple, but we are all beautiful and need to make our temple the best it can be.

My meeting with Richard Heaton was great. He had my companions come in also and sat down with us for about 15 minutes just getting to know us and talking to us. He told me about how much he loved you Dad and how grateful he was for you and what a winner mom is. I fully agree on all counts. He is a great man and SO busy!! I know that it was a sacrifice for him to meet with us but I am so grateful that he did. He says hello.

I'm starting to feel guilty because I LOVE receiving letters and packages but hardly have any time to write back. We have the temple on Mondays again and we have been scheduling appointments during letter writing time because I really feel like we need to make the best use of our time while we have these resources in the MTC. I need all the practice I can get!! We have study at 1:30 today and we are teaching lesson 1 in Spanish for the first time today at 2:00! I'm nervous but so excited! This work is amazing and I am learning a ton every day.

Love you all so much! Sorry I have to run. LOVE LOVE LOVE you!!!

Hermana Edwards

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dear Family!

The 4th was a little tough here at the MTC. Great, but definitely a hard holiday to miss. Richard Heaton organized a program for the 4th called "the Standard of Truth" about all the people who facilitated the Restoration. Each of the perspectives was told by the historical figure i.e Paul (Saul), Martin Luther, John Wycliffe, John Calvin, George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and of course Joseph Smith. Some of the costumes were a little funny, but I thought the message was so beautiful and gave me such a great perspective of the grand plan in heaven for those who were called and chosen by God to facilitate the Restoration of the gospel.

On Sat. night we got to stay out until 11:00 (!) which is way late for missionaries. We watched the fireworks from Stadium of Fire. It was a lot of fun and one of the sisters in our room gave us all glowsticks to play with. After a package of gummies and Gushers, my glowstick soon became a lightsaber and wand which I had a lot of fun with, especially while pretending to cast spells that ensued fireworks. Simple pleasures. Basilisks in the shower, everyone in suits, and a boy that looks like Draco Malfoy...I really am at Hogwarts. Don't worry, I am behaving myself.

Have you read "Jesus the Christ"? It is a amazing! I haven't gotten to read all
of it but I occasionally read sections for my personal study and I love it. So
interesting. I really feel like I am getting to know my Savior better by learning about his life and ministry.

I am also obsessed with "Preach My Gospel". It is incredible! Please use it in
Family Home Evening or Scripture Study or whenever you can. It is amazing! Also, Dad and Mom, have you read the ensign this month yet? they are some great talks about adversity and trials that reminded me of the discussion we had before I left. And Dad's talk. They are great. You should read them.

I love you all I haven;t gotten mail since Thurs though because of the holiday though so I will write more later. Anyway, love you love you love you!

-Sister Edwards