Monday, June 30, 2014

Fields, greyhounds and excuses......

Hola from Chivilcoy!!!! Things here are going great!!! I love it out here in campo. Sometimes we´ll go riding on the dirt roads, and there´s just miles and miles of fields and grass and trees and it´s absolutely gorgeous. The people here are so receptive and kind. There´s a giant, European style Catholic church a few blocks away from our apartment, and every morning and evening they sound their church bells, and we can hear it as we study. It´s remarkable. There´s a giant plaza with a park full of statues and trees and shops of every kind line the streets. I literally feel like I´m in Europe. The weather is cold in the morning and at night, but in the middle of the day, it´s perfect!!! We eat dinner every Thursday with an older member, who was a professional chef in the United States for 30 years!!! And she speaks really good English!!!  They do greyhound racing here. So there are greyhounds running around EVERYWHERE around here. A ton of Collies too (which I know my sweet Nanna would LOVE:)
I wasn´t able to attend the baptisms of J____ and F_______ on Saturday, because we´re so far away and the traveling fee is so high, but I was there in spirit:) And we had the baptism of our sweet investigator E____, who´s a 66 year old man who just loves his life. I look up to him so so much. He had a hip replacement a few years ago and his leg hurts ALL of the time, but yet he finds it in himself to leave his house at 5 in the morning, and walk miles through the pouring rain and muddy roads to make it to church at time. He is amazing.

His example reminds me that there can´t be any excuses. We have so much that has been given to us, and we have to use it to our advantage to serve others, and to serve God. E____ goes to church every week because he knows and says that "God will help me." It´s as simple as that. His faith extends beyond words. And that´s what we need to remember and utilize every single day. Because we were given the chance to hear this gospel, we need to live it and share it. It´s the least we can do for our Father in Heaven who has done everything for us. Mosiah 4:11! I know this gospel is true. Every day I gain testimony of the surety of this course. I love this work with all my heart!! I´m so blessed to be here in this beautiful country of Argentina. Every night I go to bed with a smile on my face:)
Love you all!!
Con amor, 
Hermana Edwards

Monday, June 23, 2014

Travels on the Nightbus, goodbyes, and blessings

HOLA PEEPS. So, things in Ituzaingo went great!!! We found a bunch of new investigators, Hermana Christley and I got to know each other very well, and one of our investigators asked me to give the prayer in English. No big deal, right? Nope. Couldn´t do it. I've officially forgotten how to pray in English. 'Twas quite an experience. Then the electricity went out on Tuesday and it was nighttime and we couldn´t be out on the streets without lights, so we went home and waited for the transfer call. We all knew that we'd be going because this is the last week we´ll have with Presidente Carter. BUT, ya know I figured I´d be staying in Ituzaingo cuz I was JUST barely transfered last week. SO we get the long-anticipated call and..... TURNS OUT I´m being transfered OTRA VEZ.

So we go and we do the things the Lord commands, and the transfer meeting happens and...... I´ve been called to serve in CAMPO!!! En la zona de CHIVILCOY NORTE!!! Campo is 3 hours away from the city. We took the double decker Nightbus there (take it away Ernie) It´s so beautiful here. A lot more tranquilo (I don´t know if that´s spelled right) Our house is legit and we use BIKES (which have been hard to adjust to but I love them. I´ve named mine Jimothy) My companion´s name is Britney Bangerter and she´s from (drum roll please) SANDY UTAH!! (that`s 4 companions from Utah in a row now) She´s AWESOME I love her to death. And I´m gonna kill her. Yep. In August she goes home!!! And I´ll likely have to stay here and teach the area to my next companion!!! It´s insane!!! But this place is gorgeous, and it´s almost like a completely different mission. The people talk a little different, act different, everything. So, three areas in almost three months of being here!    It´s the Cliffs of Insanity, but now that I look at it, I wouldn´t have it any other way.

Our dear President and his wife leave this Saturday. We all went up on Wednesday and said our last goodbyes to him. It was SO emotional. Even though I haven´t known him for too long, his words and advice have truly impacted my work and my outlook on this mission, and on life in general. He is truly a man called of the Lord. We´re all going to miss him so much.

This week has taught me just how powerful the priesthood is. The Lord gives honorable men the authority to open the curtain and allow the light of his power to shine in. On the bus to Chivilcoy, I was feeling really sick. Emotions, traveling, everything was just crazy that day. We were on a bus, and would be for another hour or so, and I really wasn´t looking forward to throwing up. I thought about it for a really long time, and finally I asked for a healing blessing from my new district leader. Before he began, he asked me if there was anything else I´d like to include in the blessing. These past couple weeks (and months really) have been rough for me. I was feeling lost and useless. And so I told him "comfort." This blessing that I received that night on the bus, was and will forever be one of the most sacred moments of my mission. And even in my life. He just KNEW exactly what I needed to hear. And during the blessing, this dear, humble elder began to weep. Afterwards, I thanked him with tears in my own eyes. I told him that he knew exactly what I needed to hear, and he replied "Those weren´t my words."

Hermana Bangerter then told him "But you are worthy enough to have this power to speak for Him." And this is so true. All you worthy men out there have this authority to open up the curtains and let the sun in. And every woman out there has the ability to partake in this beautiful blessing. EVERYONE benefits from the priesthood equally, not just those who hold the keys. The worth of this blessing cannot be measured. It requires true faith and trust in the Lord to truly see that THIS is His power restored to the earth at this time for US to benifit from. Take time to appreciate the priesthood in your life. If you hold it, be worthy in everything that you do. If you don´t, be worthy still! Support the men who do hold the keys and understand that we are all children of God, who created us, who knows us, and whose love is unfathomable. That´s amazing!!
You are amazing!! Thank you for everything.

Con amor,
Hermana Edwards

Campo= countryside

Monday, June 16, 2014

WORLD CUP, Castelar and 'Murica!

¡Hola! I have been transferred into the zone of Castelar, in the ward Ituzaingo 3 (I know, I still can´t pronounce it) My companion´s name is Hermana Christley, and she´s from Spanish Fork Utah!!! I have come to the conclusion that I will probably always have companions from Utah. hahaha. She´s great! She´s been out on her mission for 13 months now. Crazy sauce. It´s difficult to find new investigators because no one wants to let us in. But we still have some great investigators! M________ is our gold investigator, and she knows and teaches English! So we´re going to try to teach her a bit in English too!! Our other investigators are C_______ and G_______!! They´ll likely be baptized in July. 

President Carter also told me that I´ll have the opportunity to go to the baptisms of F_______ and J___ in Libertad! I´m SO excited!! At least I won´t have to leave for good without ever saying goodbye to anyone!:)

The World Cup started last night for Argentina. We were told by President to be in our homes by 7pm. With reason. Fireworks, yelling, running in the streets, everything. It felt like New Years Eve, only a bajillion times more intense. AND THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST GAME. Mundial lasts for 2 months. On Saturdaywe have to be in our houses from 1 to 4pm. It´s seriously the funnest thing ever to be in Argentina during Mundial:D ¡¡¡¡VAMOS ARGENTINA!!!!

One of the members in our ward lived in Utah for 8 years, and she said she wants to celebrate the 4th of July with us!!! ´MURICA. 

This week is our last transfer meeting with President Carter:( We get our new president on the 28th of this month. I´m going to miss the Carter Family so much!!! They have influenced this mission so much in the 3 years they were here. Our new MP will be President Robertson (in which Meet the Robertson´s becomes reality) !!! A lot of changes going on!! But it's all for the better:) I´ll keep you updated!

Con amor, 
Hermana Edwards

Me and Hermana Christley

Monday, June 9, 2014

Flash Transfer and a bit of movie trivia...

Last night, we got a call from the Assistants. Turns out I´m being flash transfered in preparation for the new Mission President coming in a couple weeks. I didn´t know I had the capacity to cry so much. I didn´t think it´d be hard!! I knew there would be a transfer meeting in a week and a half anyways, but I never could anticipate how this would feel. I truly love where I´m at with all of my heart. The investigators, the members. Everyone. Hermana Parrish is possibly the absolute best companion I could´ve asked for. But now I´m going to a whole new place with a whole new companion. The Lord really knows how to test His missionaries. But you know what, it´s for the best. The Lord knows where I need to be better than anyone. Maybe there´s a family out there who´s waiting for my new companion and I. Change isn´t easy, but I have faith that it´s for the better. Libertad will always be a place I hold dear to my heart. But I´ll love my next area so much too!! And my new companion will be a CAPA, I just know it!!! Heavenly Father knows His children. He knows exactly what we need to learn and to progress. So I´ll rely on that knowledge, and everything will be alright:) I love you all so much. Thank you for all of your words of encouragement. Siempre. (name that movie)

Con amor,
Hermana Edwards

Monday, June 2, 2014

FIFA, bird anesthesia and testimonies

Soooo, this week has been pretty crazy. First off, everyone´s gearing up for Mundial (FIFA World Cup) and if any of you know how Argentines are when it comes to fĂștbol, you know that it´s gonna get pretty intense. Argentines are practically born playing fĂștbol. I´ll be walking down the street, and there are literal two year olds doing some super advanced fancy footwork and whatnot, 10x better than I ever could in my life. The World Cup is like a holiday for them. FIFA Brasil EVERYTHING. I got this free sticker collection book of all the players and teams in the world, and now I´ve decided I´m going to collect all 600 of the stickers before Mundial is over. Life goal. I´m so happy I´m serving here now when this is going down!!! 

So. For the rest. The insanity didn´t start until Saturday. We were walking down the street, going on our merry way, when Hermana Parrish noticed a bird that didn´t fly away when we walked by it. So we creeped up on it, and it tried to kinda bounce away. And so we caught it and picked it up (it´s okay, we sanitized ourselves afterward) and we noticed that it had blood all underneath it :( Probably from some rogue gato. So we took her with us back home (we promptly named her Cheeky Fluff) and we made a decision right then and there: we were going to save this bird. So we performed surgery, without medication (¨twas a brave little bird) And we removed a bajillion feathers that were all stuck inside her wounds!! She had one on her neck and one on her stomach. And seeds that she had eaten were coming out the neck wound:( We took out all the gross stuff with tweezers, and I wrapped her up in a little gauze thing. And we made her a little house in a cardboard box, and gave her pan rallado y agua to eat and drink. It was adorable. Then we went out to work for the rest of the day. When we came back home for the night, we found out that Cheeky Fluff´s little heart couldn´t quite handle the trauma:´( 

Before this solemn incident, however, as we came to our door at night, I started pulling out the keys. But Hermana Parrish stopped me and whispered "wait." I turned and we watched as two young guys who were walking down the street separated from one another as if their intent was to corner us. And so instead of going into our house (believe me, you don´t want people to know where you live) we rushed to the neighbors across the street, who so happen to also be members. As we were walking over to our neighbors, we noticed this little Black Fiat Uno drive by, and a chico stuck his head out the window and stared directly at us. It went around the corner, and we were kinda scared about it. BUT THEN THE SAME CAR CAME AROUND OTRA VEZ!! So we hid inside the gate of our neighbors house, and the older son (who is a pretty big guy) came out and decided to escort us to our home. As we were walking, we noticed a middle aged woman running for her life in the street. It just so happens that a police truck was driving down around the corner just in time. We whistled the cops over, and we overheard her say, "There are two boys going all over the place, robbing people!!!" WHAT: People, we were almost ROBBED. So the police drove away in search of the culprits. What would´ve happened if we decided to open up our door as they were walking by? The Lord truly blesses His missionaries. Crazy stuff going down in the hood. 

Other than the almost robbing business, this week has been great!!! Some of our investigators really opened up to us and just poured out their souls. It´s situations like these that I realize how truly blessed I am. I never knew I could hurt so much for people who I don´t even know well. I love my investigators. I love these people. I really truly do. I couldn´t even imagine going to another place other than Libertad. I love these people too much. I want, more than anything, to be able to mend them. And it´s hard because I know I can´t fix everything. But the Lord can. I have seen His hand in this work, day after day. I know this Gospel is true. I know it. And I´ve learned, that even the simplest of testimonies can prove to be the most powerful. Bear your testimony. Better than that, live your testimony. This is the only way you can grow. I´ve seen miracles, and I know this church is true. 

Con amor,
Hermana Edwards