Monday, December 13, 2010

Helloo everyone! oh man we had the best week ever this week! seriously it was so incredible. We saw so many blessings it just was amazing. It was really nice too after the crazy fiascos of last week. For an update though, the Ramirez family is doing wayyy better! The husand is gonna go meet with the branch president and he realized he was way out of line. They have been reading and praying more as a family this week and its cool too cause the little boy named juinior, always reminds everybody in their fam to pray before they eat or before they go to bed haha it's awesome! So they are doing way better. We saw them a lot this week just to make sure they are still good.

Everyone at home sounds great though. I'm so bummed i missed the christmas program man, i would've loved to see it or hear it or sing it! And i was actually wondering if it's not too much to ask, is there any way you could make a copy of some of the christmas songs and send them to me? I wanna sing one in sacrament meeting or something i think that would be awesome! Like the song about the man with m any names, or "a long time ago". There are others i think too but if you can't no big deal. GOod to hear about zach and tyler winning and daddy's crazy travels. I always loved christmas time when everyone even dad could just take break and it sousdn like it'll be a full house for christmas haha i can't wait to talk to you guys! Christmas is gonna be soo awesom ewe have some great plans that i'll tell you about when it's closer :). But i loved the christmas thoughts too mom, realyl inspiring and just uplifting that make me smile. I love this christmas time i have just felt soo good!

Okay so now for the events of this week. Ahh i'm so excited to tell you. So on tuesday, we go on splits. I'm with an english elder and we go to teach alejandro. He is the son of a recent convert family that has been way awesome. He is 25 and just really open to meeting with us and taking the lesons. He has shared that he really enjoys reading the book of mormon too. So this time we go and it had been a little while since we had seen him and so we caught up a little bit. Then we finally asked how his reading and praying had gone. He said taht since it had been a while since we had come by ( like 3 or 4 days), he hadn't done anymore reading and started to just feel super stressed cause he doesn't have a job, a girlfriend, and there was just a lot weighing on his mind. But he said he read on monday night (day before we came), and he said it was awesome the feeling he had after he had read and when he was praying. He said for the first time he really focused his prayer on whether or not the book of mormon was true and he said his feelings of stress and nerves just went away and it was like heavenly father was telling him, just don't worry about it. and he said he knew taht the book of mormon was true! WHAT THE!!!??? it was soo awesome just witnessing this true conversion! So we kind of walked him through saying well what does that mean about joseph smith and the church today, and he was just like, it's all true man i know it is. So we set the baptismal date for december 12th (yesterday), and he hesitantly took it cause it was really soon but said yes i will be baptized. Ahh man it was just incredible. And then when we went over the next day, he said he was feeling way better about his baptism and was jsut ready for it, what a blessing from heavenly father!!

Also on tuesday night, we had a meeting with mission president and the stake president in the stake over, and a few other guys concerning the future of another spanish branch. Basically it was just the future plans for the area but a lot of it was still up in the air so basically all that we know is that we're getting another branch in south salem (i'm in west salem). Which is great news obviously, and it's gonna happen in february now. We might get more spanish missionaries here too which would be great. BUT, what i did also find out, is that president macdonald just said that puertas is getting transferred! even though it's 3 weeks away, he was like yeah he's gone so don't even worry about him hahah. he's so down to business i love it. The thing is, we all kind of new he was leaving, but just having pres say it, made it sink in. So i was a little nervous but i'm feeling way better about it now. Daniel sent me a letter too that was pretty motivating that i just feel good now.

Then on wednesday we had presidents interviews. They went really well. Funny story too. We go over to Alejandros who lives with his family, and we have been teaching a lady named stacy (the picture i sent with the little grill that i won in the raffle). She is like 22 and is alejandros sister. She knows all this is true, but she just said, i want to make sure i can go to church and be committed if i'm going to be baptized cause she works on sundays :(. BUT we were at alejandro's going over the baptismal questions and ask him how he wants the service to go. we talked about who would talk and stuff and then we ask oh and did you think of who you want to do it? we explained it could be his step dad, or his cousin, or so on and so on... but when we ask him, he gets a smile on his face and says i want you to do it elder edwards. I was like what?? i thought i didn't understand him when he said it in spanish but i was so honored! It was just a really cool feeling and without being prideful it just felt soo cool to have him pick me. I know taht it has been the Lord that caused his conversion, that gave him the witness that these things are true but it jsut made me feel like all along, i did make an impression on him, and it was just really cool for me. I'm sorry if i sound into myself and stuff but it was just really cool. There's more though, we gather the family to say a prayer and have alejandro announce his baptism, and when he does they asked stacy when they could do it on sunday night. And she was like oh...i can go at like 7 ish. And then they were like "wait, are you getting baptized too?" and she was like SURE! hahahahah i just laugh thinking about it right now! The thing is, we foudn a church for her where she works in portland so she has actually gone to a few sacrament meetings and she was down to be baptized! Talk about the lord working in mysterious ways hahah, it took the family to ask once to solidify a date! That was so funny, but the only problem is that when we went over the next day before her interview, to prepare her, she said she had been feeling sick and went to the hospital. She had a FEW kidney stones inside her and they had to do 2 or 3 surgeries. So we'll wait on the baptism but she is still excited and ready too. That'll come in the next few weeks, i know it.

Ummm, we have been working a lot in independence this week. We met some awesome families and they are progressing nicely. And guess what Katie...we met 2 ladies taht are from the Dominican republic and one from mexico that lives with them!!! Clara and Rosanna are their names and they are soo awesome. The first lesson we taught with them they tell us that they never let [preachers in, they just noticed something different about us and knew we had to come. Then during the lesson the daughter rosanna who is like mid 20's says, i feel a peace right now that i havent felt in the longest time and i just wanted to thank you. And then the member that was with us (Juan Rodriguez the guy that called you mom :D), goes, that is the spirit testifying that these things are true. it was awesome!! They were all asking for their own copy of the book of mormon haha it was incredible. They called us "heroes" and just kept saying how they knew there was something special about us. It's crazy how those that are prepared really will feel of the spirit and know when they are finding the truth. It's just a tesimony to me that Heavenly Father really does prepare his children for the gospel. They are awesome and we went back again with some different members and taught the plan of salvation. It was cool cause i got to really take charge of the lesson, puertas didn't really teach as much as he normally does so not taht that's a good thing but it just gave me some confidence. And then we set baptismal dates with them. Unfortunatly Clara is leaving for newport and won't be back for a while but Rosanna will be here and she has a date for the 25th!! (CHRISTMAS PLANS!! :D).

So she came to church yesterday and seemed like she was doing pretty good. But their testimonies have already formed and they are just like, oh man we know this book is true! Literally they are just amazing and i have never seen someone so prepared! Clara and Kenia (the girl from mexico) will take a little bit longer but that's okay. We have to be patient too haha! Seriously though, they are so awesome.

Other things, we went and gave stacey a blessing at the hospital which was really cool and i got to give a lady in the branch a blessing too. These opportunites jsut remind me of how awesome it is that we have the preisthood on the earth today. It's such a blessing that it was restored through the prophet joseph smith.

On sunday, we had our big day! After church we just went and set up and tried to get as many spanish people to the service as possible (which is not easy!) But when alejandro finally came we got all dressed up and took a ton of pictures and what was cool was that he even took out his earrings. He just has little gauges, but he took them out and just looked soo good. The poor guy was super sick though, he had a runny nose and cough and sneeznig haha but he was a good sport. He took it all really seriously and jsut you could tell he was ready. It was cool when we were walking over to the font, we stopped in the bathroom and said a prayer together and then walked down into the water. I can't tell you how good i felt and just happy for this guy. We have had a lot of time to get to know each other and play soccer and hang out and i just can't tell you happy i felt in that moment for him. It was very powerful. HE MADE IT! ahh man it is just so rewarding when we work and work and work and then it all pays off. Heavenly Father has truly been guiding us to those that are prepared. I wish i could say it was us that has brought this about but really we justinvite people to do stuff, and He does the rest.
Well that was my amazing week. There is more good stuff coming too i can feel it. I feel like usually after really good stuff happens, we are all humbled but im hoping that these people with a date will follow through and we even have another family that has committed to being baptized but just don't have a date. They are hard to get to crhuch too. But i know that as we are obedient and humble we will continue to see the lord's blessings in our lives. This past week has been a really nice spiritual high for me. I know that it was with us as we testifed. Elder Puertas and i have been really close too. Since we found out that he is leaving, it just pushed us a little clsoer together and we are teaching with better unity and i just love the guy. He is seriously an increidble missionary and just loves the work too, he is such an awesome example to me. I have learned so much from him and know that these lessons will help me the rest of my mission.

Anyways, i love you guys so much. Thanks for the emails and the letters and the prayers. I can feel your love and excitement in my joys in the mission. What a wonderful time of year this is, i never want it to end hah! I'm excited to talk to you guys in a few weeks and i am so grateful for you efforts to share the gospel. I was so happy to hear that JP and Andrew made it to the christmas program. I have been feeling strongly that i need to get in touch with John Corcoran again cause it's been a while and i just want to share these experiences with him and give him what we have. thank you for your examples, i love you with all that i am. I know the church is true and i know without doubt, that Jesus Christ lives.
Love Elder Edwards

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