Sunday, August 30, 2009

Not sure about those 'dogs'????

Some new found enemies...Can I just say that the dogs here are NOT dogs! They are
wolves, tigers, bears, and are so sick! There are these 2 dogs that always chase us
and on one street, there are these 13 BIG dogs who fight and chased us yesterday. I
am not exactly the animal lover I once was. There is this one dog that is
incredible. I took a picture and will send it to you.
I laugh every time i think about it. are you my dearest family? I hope that all is well with you.
Thank you so much for you emails. It is so good to hear from you. Week 2 was a
little bit harder. The more I understand, the more responsibility I have.
I am really trying hard not to rely as much on my companion and ask a lot of
questions because she leaves the 24 of September and i will have to know
the ward, area, etc, to show a new companion. I am sure it will all be fine
though. Did I tell you my companion is not only a nurse but was a surgeons asistant
before this? She took cooking classes and is an amazing cook. I am in good hands.
I love her so much and am learning so much from her. We are having a ton of fun and
I don't want her to go!!! Alas, I know there will be plenty to learn from other
companions as well. I saw Hermana Plessl this week. Things have been really hard for
her with the culture shock, etc. Her area is half campo, half city and is pretty
rural. I feel so spoiled to be in such a nice ward, with a great companion, and area.
I am just thankful for this area right now. That is not to say I haven´t had
struggles here. This week was really hard at times. Sometimes i feel like I am not
studying as effectively as I could be, or I can´t express things the way I want to
in Spanish during lessons, but it has been good for me to grow and get to know
my Heavenly Father better. He and I talk A LOT these days.

We had a miracle happen yesterday. We are teaching a woman and her daughter. The
woman's name is Raqule Soria, the same name as my companion! How funny! We fasted for
her and some other investigators and she and her daughter came to church yesterday!
They loved it and said they are going to come every week! I was so excited.
The problem is that she is not married to her boyfriend (even after 10 years) so
we are going to have to pray a lot to help her prepare to be baptized but I
really hope so! She is so great.
We are visiting another family in the ward who are all members except for the
father and 16yr old daughter. We have been trying to activate them and get them
to come to church. The dad is always working though and is a car mechanic from
his home. He is always really nice to us and we set up a time to come and teach him.
It took a while and he finally agreed. As we were leaving their house, we noticed
some pornographic pictures in his workshop. We talked about and practiced what we
should do and say because we really felt that we should address it. We took some
pictures of the savior out of the Ensign magazine to give to him instead. Yesterday,
we were on our way to another appointment (we were going to visit them about an hour
and a half later) and we ran into the mom and the little girls. We asked them if we
could still visit with the dad and the mom said that he had just started drinking
and there was no way. We insisted and went to talk to him. He agreed to be ready in
an hour and a half. When we came back for the visit, he took forever to come. He
showered, etc, and finally we got to visit with the whole family for the first time!
We read a scripture in Romans 10:8 (i think...) that talks about thoughts and how we
can have a family more unified if thoughts are pure. Anyway, we asked him to take
down the pictures and he was a a little resistant but agreed. We are going too pass
by his house tonight and give him some scotch tape to hang up the new ones. I always
made him hold hands with his wife and promise to do so whenever they were sitting
or walking, etc (something I learned from Hno Arredondo). I was kind of nervous
but they listened. God knows people´s hearts and this is HIs work. Nothing is
Something gracioso from this week...we stopped to help a man cleaning up leaves
in the street and invited him to church after. At this point, he started to tell us
that he had had a vision where Jesus, Fidel Castro, and some guy from the Republic
of Paraguay came down and gave him a blessing. People here are crazy sometimes.
It was really funnny.
Antoher thing that I have noticed A LOT here is that Satan is hard at work with
these people too. Distractions are sometimes the biggest problems during our lessons.
We were teaching a lady named Ylinda and her daughter Fatima. They have ahd 8/12
people in their family die, only 2 weeks ago an uncle who paid their bills. They were
so sad. We taught them about the plan of salvation the first time and they were so
interested. The spirit was so strong. we went back and only the mother was there.
She is a little crazy but nice. It´s funny too because they have all these chickens
that run to the gate whenever we clap. I love it. ANYWAY...back to Satan and his
distractions...we were visiting her and were interrupted 3 times, twice by friends
passing by another by a huge gust of wind. Guess when? the first time in the middle
of the first vision, and the other 2 right when we were in the middle of inviting
her to be baptized. it was a lucha for sure, but sometimes the opposition is
reassuring that this is GOd´s work and Satan is really trying to stop it.
WE just have to remember to push through the opposition.
We met a lady the other day and she let us in. She is caring for her mother who
is 100 years old! She is the tiniest thing and is basically just laying in her bed
to die. There were pictures of the virgin Mary, the pope, and Jesus everywhere. We
said a prayer with them there. Can i just tell you how much I love prayer. Wow, it
is so powerful.
This week we also went to the temple. It is tiny but it is so beautiful!
It was really special. It was such a cool experience and I really learned a lot!
It was the first clean, familiar place I had been, since coming here. What
a blessing. We also had zone conference this week and it was great. I really love
president Callan and his wife.
Please tell everyone hi for me and that I love them so much! I am so grateful to
be here. Thank you so much for being so faithful in writing me! It means so much!
I didn't send a letter last week but I will try to today with pictures. I´ll let
you know when i receive yours. Send candy!
Times up!! cant wait to hear from you next week!!

Much love,

Hermana Rae

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rachel Correspondence Information

To send a letter to Rachel, the easiest and quickest way is to send it 'pouch' through Salt Lake.
To do this, it must be a single sheet of paper, written with your letter, folded into three sections and taped. This way takes 1-2 weeks. Put a .44 cent stamp on it with this address:
Hermana Rachel Edwards
Paraguay Asuncion Mission
PO Box 30150
Salt Lake City, Utah 84130

If you want to send letters straight to her/or a package, here is the address: (This takes 4-5 weeks)
Hermana Rachel Edwards
Del Maestro 2881
C/Caballero Barrio Herrara
Paraguay, Asuncion

I don't know how much it cost, but it must be mailed at the US Post Office.

First week in Paraguay

This is attempt 2 as my email was just erased halfway through. PERO, estoy feliz estar aqui! Todo esta muy muy bien. Paraguay is beatuiful....the foliage, sunsets, and people that is. Other than that is is very dirty and a lot like Mexico accept I think Mexico is nicer. I really am loving it though! WE are in the most "chuci" (ritzy) area of the mission called Amabay. BY this I mean that some of them maybe have a car. Mostly though people have dirt, wood, or tile floors, not really doors or windows, and a lot of the houses are garages. we also don't knock on doors. we clap in front of houses for people to come out. the people are so gracious and a lot of them listen and will let us in. they think all churches are just great. Amambay is also the most organized ward in the mission. The people here are great! They are so wonderful! We almuerzamos with fam Roig my second day here! That is the family of the sister we met at temple square.(See picture at bottom of blog) I am serving in their ward and they were the ones on the temple committee. Dios es en los detalles. Can you send me the picture with her? Her family wants to see it. Speaking of the temple, we get to go tomorrow! I am so excited! The food is good. Nothing too crazy yet. I fear that I am going to return looking like Madame Maxine from Harry Potter when I return because all we eat are noodles, rice, bread, and chicken. Carbs and protein with all that walking makes for one tall, solid person. I hope I don´t look like a viking but alas, all is well and I will try my best to stay in shape. No promises about what you´re going to get when I walk off the plane next Christmas. haha. Things are similar to the United States in ways. All of the little convenience stores remind me of China in their setup, how they´re on all the corners, etc but they aren´t nice like the China ones. Now, some of the most important things. The work here is great! We are opening an area right now. Nothing too crazy because there were missionaries here one transfer ago, but neither of us know the area, people, and the contacts are kind of older, so it has been a bit of challenge. The bishop and the members are amazing though and that really makes things a lot easier. Mostly, we have been trying to get to know the members, the bishop, the area, and old contacts from the area book. Since Tues night, we found 14 new investigators! It has been amazing and the Lord really has answered our prayers. By the way, the Spanish here is kind of wild. I am still struggling to understand it all because they speak VERY quickly, throw in some Guarani words, speak softly, and slur their words all together. It´s getting better though and I am starting to understand more. I can´t wait until I´ll be able to understand it all. I will do better to work towards it. The more I am learning, the more I realize that people are so similar all over the world. They are funny, have the same worries, and most of all, they are children of our Heavenly Father and He loves them. My Companion is the best thing that ever happened to me! I am so sad because I am her "executioner" in that I will be her last companion before she leaves. She goes at the end of September. Her name is Raquel Soria from Northern Argentina (Santiago de Estero) and I absolutely love her. She joined the church 3 years ago and is now 28 years old but is so chiquita and cute. She is a saint. I have learned SO MUCH from her and thankfully, I can understand her Spanish very well. She is so much fun and such a hard worker. When we took the taxi to our apartment the first day, she told me that she had a dream about me 3 months ago so when she saw me walk in, she knew she was going to be my trainer. It´s funny how I just barely started praying for my trainer like a month ago, but Heavenly Father already knew. He is always way ahead of us. (and to think that was the time when I almost did'nt go!) so weird, but awesome. I am so glad to hear you are all doing well! Mail here is going to be a pain, but here is what I´ve gathered from the other elders. Send letters in envelopes and packages through the regular post office mail (not UPS or anything) with stickers of Jesus and the Virgin Mary on them (so they don't get opened) to this address - Del Maestro 2881 c/Caballero Barrio Herrera Paraguay, Asuncion. That takes about 4 or 5 weeks.Dear Elder and pouch take only a week and a half or so. I have an hour for email to you and my mission president so feel free to send me something quick on p-day and I will respond. Other than that, who knows. But the others haven't had any problems with packages or
anything so send me goodies!! haha. I was thinking about RMCF (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) last night. Miss it. We have just enough money for the month which is great, but I like to but juice and water bottles a lot with my own money so I hope that is ok. Other than that, I am being frugal.
My mission president and his wife are amazing. I love them and am so happy. Don't
worry, they smile, the picture does'nt do them justice. they are great. I have a sec so I will tell you a couple of weird bug things that I learned. There are these black butterflies that fly around at night and lay eggs from the sky into your skin. They live on the trees. When the eggs get into your skin, this worm-snake-like thing grows and you can see it wiggling around (like on the mummy) and then it pops out of your skin....SICK! So we have to be careful about those. haha. Also, Hna Soria told me that in some of the rooms in the houses in other areas there are "reinos de araas." Dad will know what that means. Anyway, all I can do is laugh. It will all be fine I´m sure. I am not too worried. It rained today and the street flooded. This really is a world away, but I am so happy to be here. More tired than I´ve even been in my life but loving it nonetheless. In the airports and plane alone I had many opportunities to share the gospel. It was great! Pray for missionary opportunities and I know you will receive them. That's your challenge for this week. Love you all so much! Sorry again that I didn't get to talk to jordan and kris.
Much love. Rae