Ahh let me just breathe for a second and tell you, this week was AWESOME! man we saw soo many miracles and are just absolutely amazed at how much we have been blessed this week.
I feel like i'm finally coming into my own as a district leader. Although there are things to sort out and things to learn, i feel way more comfortable with what i'm doing and i have felt the blessings come from sacrificing on behalf of those we must serve as leaders. In this case it was some other missionaries. There are two missionaries in our district who have been having al ittle trouble with morning obedience and so this past week we have been getting up like 15 minutes earlier to go over and work out with them at 6:30. So while 15 minutes doesn't sound like much, IT REALLY IS hahah no i'm just kididng, but still i was frustrated at first that that was what it would take to help them be 100% obedient. We have so many promised blessings when we are ALL the way obedient and not just partly. But the first day that we did it, it just dawned on me the important role that both elder gomez and i have to ensure that all of the lord's children AND servants, are doing what they need to, and it made that task much more bearable and even enjoyable knowing that it was not only benefitting these other two missionaries and ouselves, but their respective area as well. Elder Gomez was frustrated at first too but he is coming around now haha :)
So we had whats' called a leadership training meeting this week in corvalis. Normally all the district leaders, zone leaders, and trainers, go and teach and get evaluated and learn a ton of stuff. But this time, president wanted everyone to go and so we divided up the training into three days and our day to go was on wednesday. So we had two zones down in corvalis and we all were told three topics that we could potentially teach on, those being: revelation through prayer, the role of the holy ghost in conversion, and we invite, they commit, we follow up. Those were the three topics that we had to prepare for, and then on wednesday they just asked randomly a certain number of people to teach. We got divided up into three rooms randomly, and President asks, "okay who has never taught any of these before?" and a number of people raised their hands. Then he asked "okay who HAS taught?" and then he picked an Elder Nichols (my mission grandpa, he trained puertas). So it was Elder nichols and a sister abbot that were teaching. Everyone's hearts settle back down again knowing they don't have to teach hahah. But Nichols says hey sorry i have to go help Elder lopez with setting up new phones for the misinoaries, so he is excused and he asks again, while standing right next to me, who has taught these before. And i rose my hand very slowly and not very enthusiastically but nonetheless he looked down at me and said, ELDER EDWARDS why don't you take the floor. So my heart just explodes and i got to teach Revelation through prayer with sister abbot. We didn't have any time to prepare together, just what we had done before that day and so we just started and yeah. It ended up going really well and we got some good evaluation that will not only help as we teach district meetings and stuff but also in our missionary lessons. At the end of the day i was SO glad that i got to teach. I don't know why, i just learnedo much and it was just kind of fun and a rush hah. We had to teach for an hour and a half and then we rotated rooms and president picked another two missionaries to teach and then we rotated a third time after lunch with the same pattern. So at the end of the day, only 18 missionaries got to teach out of 75-80 so yeah. i guess i was lucky huh?
That evening though we taught a book of mormon class. it seems like every where we go there are bible study classes and we figured since we have so many recent converts in the brnahc, a book of mormon study class would be a good idea. and well it was actualyl elder gomez' idea but yeah, it went really well. It got the members excited and we are hoping they will bring friendsand stuff.
Okay thursday. So bear in mind, that all we have right now for a solid is shane who even he has bene kind of flakey these days. It was actually our fault but yeah he couldn't come to church thi week :(. We have other progressing but he's the only one with a date. But thursday, we see victor and his family. We have an awesome lesson with them about the plan of salvatino and we had a baller member with us named juan (the one that calle dyou a long time ago about the cabin). But we taught them and then at the end, invited them to be baptized on the 26th!!! We asked Jaime first and said, are you willing to follow the example of jesus christ and be baptized on the 26th of this month. And at first he pauses and says, nope. hahah it was like uhhh freak!! But we kept talking and they ended up agreeing to that date and so now we have to get them married and help them get their answer that this truly is the right thing for them to do, even though we know it is, they have to as well because it's their choice. So 4 more people are that much closer to going back to live with Heavenly Father (i have to say it that way so that it isn't just a number :
We left that place soo happy haha and we were running around all night that night we didn't eat until like 8:30. As much as it stinks some time to not eat from like 11 in the morning to 8:30 at night, i love it how even eating becomes second priority when we have the lives of these heavenly children in our hands. It was amazing thouhg, we left feeling so good. OHHH and i forgot to tell you. two sundays ago, the elders up in independnece call us and tell us that there was a spanish guy that just walked into church (english ward), but was looking to go to church and they told him through a spanish speaking member that they would contact the spanish missioanries (us) and wed come visit him. So we went and saw him this week and he is amazing!!! He has the saddest life though man he had an accident at work and messed up some of the discs in his back and now he shakes all the time and it's hard for him to even turn the page of a book. His family is in mexico but beacuse of his work accident he can't really get a job any where and has virtually no money or source of income, but he is living with his brother who is helping him get by. It is so sad! But when you look at this man, Ruben is his name, it has never been so easy for me to love somebody. I mean truly see them as a child of God. I'm serious, when we met with him for the 3rd time on saturday, we were talking and i was looking at him straight in his eyes, and it was just so clear to me that Heavenly Father has a plan for that man. He is soo humble and is willing to do anything to go back and live with Heavenly Father. He can barely read but still spends hours even, attempting at a few versus. We watched the restoratio movie after we had taught him about it, and he said he wants to keep watching so he can memorize what joseph smith said when he saw Heavenly father and Jesus Christ appear to him. It was soo amazing! This man has such a humble spirit and is just incredible. He now wants to be baptized on the 19th of this month. He is amazing! I love Ruben Chavez.
Then on Saturday, we were with miguel and maria. They had a baptismal date a little while ago and miguel had the amazing experience of getting his answer to his prayer right in front of us! So we went and taught them and decided they needed to go back to the beginning and we watched the resoration with them as well hah, (different day). But it went really well and then we were talking and talking and focused our conversation on how maria has felt the spirit in her life, and the blessings she has seen since she has been keeping the commandments so diligently. She just got a job this week too and the week before was the first week that she had really been reading and praying a lot and just like that she got a job! It was such a miracle and she started realizing all these things she was getting from keeping the commandments just as it says in mosiah 2:41. So Elder Gomez asks her if she would pray right in front of us (JUST LIKE WIH HER HUSBAND), and ask heavenly father if these things were true. So she said yes, which already was a miracle because she RARELY prays in front of us. but she did it, and while we were sitting there, she told us what happened afterward. She said she prayed to know if these things were true and then when we said amen, we jsut knelt there in silence. She said that when your eyes are closed and there are lights on you can tell because it shows kind of through your eye lid, but she was kneeling face down and could see no light. But when she said amen, she said she saw a bright light and that she just felt good inside and she knew this was true! We invited them to be baptized on the 19th and she was sooo down! She just matter of factly says, yeah that day is good for me how bout you miguel? and turns to him and he nods with a smile. It was suchh a miracle oh my gosh!! We seriously couldn't believe what had just happened.
Mom, your letter about never doubting helped so much. Elder puertas just sent us a letter about faith and how honestly, if we TRULY have faith, we can open the windows of heaven and have such a power as we teach and preach. We are the ones that limit ourselves and put boundaires on ourselves. So this week we were just striving to have such a faith. That whoever we invited to be baptized they would accept and know that these people needed this. We did our absolute best not to DOUBT. like you were saying mom. That letter came at the best time. So this week was awesome. Again we saw so many miracles and it left us thinking why? Why did we see so many blessings. My battle was not being prideful. I know it wasn't us that set those dates, but the spirit that allowed them to be in such an environment that they could feel the need to be baptized. BUT at the same time, it was like ohhh man we have 8 people wihta date now and so on and so forth. But it cannot be like that. And we haven't thrown it in peoples faces or anything but at the same time it's kind of like in my head, okay man WE are doing so awesome and i'm just praying that i can stay humble or i know that these people will suffer from my pride, and we can't afford that.
Then, the last thing i have to write in like 2 minutes was that on sunday, we were supposed to have like 15 people at church. I know, it would have been sooo amazing!! So we were all pumped, but in our sunday morning rally for church, miguel and maria were sick so they and their daughter couldn't come, victor and his family were stuck in lebanon with car trouble or something and they couldn't come, and roxanna and kenya the dominican ladies were sick too as well as two of our big member families. UGHHH i was soo frustrated i thouhg i was going to explode. But, when i saw Ruben walking in the hallways of the church, i told myself to just be satisfied, just for right now. Seeing Ruben there honestly made it okay. I could see his smile as he walked and didn't really know where to go but seeing people greet him and ask him how he liked class and he has his big print book of mormonin his shaking hands, it was really touching and i knew that for this week, he made it all worth it. it was a really touching experience.
My time is up, i love you guys so much! Transfers are this week and i'm staying here again hA!! i'm actualyl so pumped this month is gonna be amazing! I am bummed though cause elder alderman is leaving. He is in south salem but comes to our branch and we have worked a lot with them in the branch and it's just sad to see him go even though he wasn't my companion. I love the guy.
But here we are, happy and feeling good and positive. This week, i felt way more capable. Even though i couldn't do everything, i feel like i have been drilled with positive motivation and encouragement from you guys and from Heavenly Father and i just feel good.
I love you so much though family and you mean the world to me. I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ and He is the only means by which we may be healed and live with our Heavenly Father and Families forever.
love Elder Edwards