Elder Edwards

Elder Edwards

Friday, November 28, 2014

Testimony from a Missionary Mom to her Son

Last night in my letter to my MTC missionary son I felt like sharing my testimony with him.  Here it is. 

I want to share my testimony with you. 

I know that God lives and Jesus is the Christ, who atoned for our sins so we can repent and become exalted. I know it. I know that the Holy Ghost helps us very often if we tune into Him – through feelings, thoughts, warning of danger, testifying of truth, reminding us of things we’ve learned, sanctifying us, and guiding our big and small decisions. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s true church on the earth, and that it has the fullness of the gospel, including God’s priesthood power, saving ordinances and temples, living prophets and revelation. We are so very blessed to have the fullness, rather than just some truths. It’s like how much more you can play on that awesome conference center organ with all the keys and stops, than you can on a little mini keyboard. The mini keyboard still plays some music, but not as much and not as powerfully. I know that Jesus Christ will come to earth again, and the most important thing we can do to prepare is come unto Christ and repent. 

I know that families are central to God’s plan and that because of the priesthood power, temples, and Christ’s Atonement, families can be together forever! Which is super de duper awesome!! I know that the family and home are the best places to learn the gospel and develop our character to become more like Christ. I know that a gospel that invites sacrifice of time, talents, and funds is a gospel with the power to help us change into the beings God needs us to become. I know that if we hold fast to what we know in the gospel, any little things we don't understand will make sense later. The old adage is true -- it's best to doubt your doubts and feed your faith, until your doubts are resolved or disappear. 

I know that by studying true doctrine, ESPECIALLY in the Book of Mormon, our attitudes and actions change from the inside out. From my powerful experience last December with reading the Book of Mormon in one month I know that book is true more than I ever have before. And I know that Joseph Smith was right when he said that the Book of Mormon is the truest book on the earth, and living its principles brings you closer to Christ than any other book. 

I know that Jesus Christ leads this Church through giving revelation to living prophets and apostles, and that they are inspired of God for our needs today. If we follow them we will be blessed. Period. I know that our opportunities to serveas a missionary for you, or in other callings like Dad’s bishop-ing or my seminary-ing, are incredible opportunities to bless others AND ourselves. Those callings bring us closer to the Savior, help us stretch, grow, do hard things, study hard, ask for and receive revelation, become less self-centered, and change in wonderful ways. They help us to become like Jesus. Which is what we want. I know that through Christ ALL things, including our challenges, can work together for our good. Challenges are part of the plan, and we can choose to let them make us bitter or better. I also know that Satan is real and he knows our strengths, weaknesses, and life missions. Because he’s real I know that it’s uber important that we put on the armor of God chain mail every single day through power holy habits like:  

connecting prayer (not just saying a prayer)
feasting on scriptures (not just skimming the surface) and words of the prophets 
serving others, which includes missionary work, callings, small acts of kindness and friendship, service projects, helping the poor and needy, and especially serving in our own families 
obeying the commandments, modern prophets, and promptings from the Spirit
using holy music and media, avoiding worldly music and media
in other words – continually filling ourselves with God’s light and pushing away darkness

It’s all true, Adam! I know you already know that. But I just wanted to say it anyway. 

I love, love, love you!! 


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Adam MTC Letter week 4

A few bits from recent hand-written letters:

Boy, there have been maybe 4-5 hymns I've sung here where there is just such a high-vibratory energy, you just feel it, it's awesome. One of those moments was singing "Praise to the Man" as part of the choir. Have you sung any good hymns lately? I hope so. Where are you in the scriptures? I invite you, if you want, to read 1 Nephi 10. We read in French, my companion and I, today, and it's about the prophesies of the Savior coming to the world.  Right now we're re-watching "The Testaments" movie. Boy, I was taking notes the whole time, and I got quite a bit out of it. [Adam is extraordinary at taking notes during church meetings, general conference, or even when talking with his parents about gospel stuff. I love that about Adam.]

I got to play piano for sacrament meeting again on Sunday! That was so awesome. Just so you know, it's been really fun. I've now had the chance to touch a piano 5-6 times at the MTC. It's been fun. Maybe I can lead sometime. 

Elder Johnson and I just were assigned to be Zone Leaders of our little zone. I worried that it would be challenging since I really would rather not get in people's faces - not that I really need to - but you know what I mean. I'm grateful for the good elders in our zone. But anyway, love you! Good night! 

Email to Mom: 

Love you all! 

Holy cow you guys are awesome. Oh yes yes yes! I love pictures! I'm sorry, for some reason, we can't get pictures to work on any of the cmoputers in this lab, but I will try to send pictures next week. 

I'm so glad that you all seem to be doing well. I pray for my family "ma famille" every night. It's a good thing to be able to learn French and serve. I feel more like I'm out here because I want to. Thanks for those quotes, that means a lot, Mom. I'm sorry, I have to go, we still need to go grab some lunch, but I love you tons!! Don't worry, I'll write a letter that has a week summary to you today. Oh yay! Thanks so much for sending me a package, that's so nice! Yes, the language is going well, thanks a bunch. I really feel like the Lord is blessing us to get it. I'm working on loving people around me the way Christ does, with His pure love. I hope I can get that down. 

I love, love, love my family! I'm sorry you miss me, I miss you too, but I know this is the right thing, I can definitely feel the growth happening. It's a good thing. 

You're such a great Mom! I'll pray for you tonight. Thanks for supporting me so well. 


Email to Dad:

Hey Dad! OH good, I'm glad you liked getting the letter. I love getting glimpses into the family life, too. Yeah, these four weeks have been awesome. It's been lots of fun. 

Oh, please please send me some family photos!  I would really like that! We should get our travel plans Friday, if our visas haven't been delayed!!! Isn't that crazy? I plan on calling the fmaily from the airport, if that's okay with all of you! I'll update you on when we'll be leaving. 

I'm glad too. Grandma [Georgia] told me a little about how much like Grandma Evelyn and Grandpa Bush you are, I think that's raelly cool, because I'm more like them than I thought, too! She said you whistle like Grandma Evelyn, and Grandpa Bush sang a lot, so that's really cool. 

Good question with the zone leader thing. You know me, I dislike being other peoples' babysitters, but part of the responsibility is watching over the missionaries a little, which is good. I could be better at going to bed on time, I'll be honest. It's a struggle, because you want to hang out with people in your zone, rather than go to bed. But other than that, we're the people to go to if missionaries in our zone are goofing off, or we're the ones who are supposed to talk to other ZLs if their missionaries are goofing off. We also interview the elders every week, which was fun. Thanks, though Dad. That is one thing that I've tried to do, lead by example. Thanks Dad, I appreciate that a lot. 

Will you tell me about Thanksgiving, Dad? Love you tons!! 

Elder Edwards

One Handsome Elder...Adam's Pre-mission Pics

I must confess I think this is my favorite pic. I smile every time I see it. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adam's MTC letter week 3. Lava lava, playing piano in sacrament mtg equals happy face!

Holy cow, yeah it feels good to wear a T-shirt and jeans. Oo, I just learned the French word for T-shirt yesterday, but I forgot it. Oh well. It's in my little notebook somewhere. :D P-days are awesome!! I <3 them. A lot. 

It feels good to feel a lot of love here, I thought about some of the great experiences I've had recently--last night, an elder in the zone asked me to give him a blessing, and I did, and it was cool. Man, there's this awesome elder, Elder Similai, in the zone, too, he's learning French but going to New Caledonia, a little island off of Australia in the Vanuatu Port Vila mission. Me and Elder Harris noticed he was wearing a lava-lava and we commented on how cool those were (he's from American Samoa originally, he's a cool guy). Then just right on the spot, he offers to give each of us one of his only two lava-lavas, he's like "Yeah, elder Harris, I'll give you this one right here and Elder Edwards, I'll give you my other red one." He said, "It's okay, I'm going to the islands anyway," basically he can get more in New Caledonia. He's so nice, he has such a good heart, it reminded me of the guy in your district who gave you a lava-lava! So I'll wear it tonight and think of you, Dad!

One of the cool things we've been learning about is that study should be focused, we shouldn't waste that time, which can be hard sometimes because for us the study time is in 4-hour blocks. It's a cool thing, though, because the teachers definitely reiterate to us that the mission isn't about us. It's not something you go out and do because you want to hang out in a foreign land for two years. This week, we'll be giving a few lessons on the Plan of Salvation, so hopefully those go pretty well. Fire alarm going off, I better go. :D 

Love ya!

I consider the capturing of the above picture the highlight of my photographic career. Elder Harris did a wiggle face for a sec and it took right at the right time. And a picture of my desk. Is it okay that I'm sending this many pictures? Haha sorry if it's too many. Love you so much Mom!

Okay I wanted to send you a little bit of something I didn't tell anyone else about( you can put it on the mass email though): Sunday, I got to play for Sacrament again, and it was so much fun! I still got nervous for the closing song, because we'd had a talk or two that were really powerful and so my mind wans't really on playing, but it was okay. Nobody died even though there were a number of mistakes. It's so fun to be able to share light of Christ with people through music, I remember laying in bed one night in the first week here and thinking of David Archuleta's song "glorious" and feeling so full of joy because I might be able to help with music the next day or two, help play and maybe bring a fulfillment of that song. It's a great song. 

Btw, if anyone asks, I have the best ties in my district hands-down. Not completely, but still truly. 

I love you tons, Mom, I need to go now but I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

We got an email after all! The Spirit makes French better!

Yippee! After Adam sent a bunch of pictures and no email, I assumed we wouldn't get an email letter today. Then a couple hours later he finally sent one! 

I hope this is okay, Mom, but this week, I'll just let you sort between what you think is appropriate for the blog and what isn't. Sorry to make more work for you.

(Note from Mom: I'm not really editing stuff out this time. Also, I love marking principles while reading things so I'll bold principles or life lessons in Adam's letter.)

OKAY! :D I will try to remember what I wrote down: 

So we taught one investigator, Charles, and he was golden and he committed to baptism (it was just a fake investigator, he's now our teacher, he's an awesome guy. His name is Frere Keenan, he actually grew up a few years in Europe, served a missino in Quebec, and he's pretty outgoing, so he's really fun to have for a teacher.) Now we have three new investigators, one of them is Pierre, whom we haven't really met yet, one is Barbara, who is being played by our other teacher, Seour Hawkes, and that first lesson was pretty difficult but we learned the importance of asking questions and inspired questions to get to know people and to keep the lesson engaging. Thanks a bunch Mom for being a good example to me that way! The last investigator is someone we're going to teach for the first time, I forgot her name but she's really nice and she's probably Mormon so it shouldn't be too hard. 

The food is still pretty good, it's kind of awesome to eat and not have to make my own food. Pretty sure I'll miss that in a few weeks. Hey and I loved getting that package today!!! Thanks a ton!! We actually just got it but due to some unfortunate events I could only get it today so it was trei bien! 

We memorized "Our Purpose" (see PMG chapter 1, first page) in English and French over this past week or so. We're working on the Frist Vision now, so that's good. One of the things they stress here is that study and planning with the Spirit is really, really necessary to teach with the Spirit. In other words, if study is realy distracted and unfruitful, good luck teaching a hard investigator. 

It's been super fun to hang out a little bit with some of the French elders. There are probably three or four elders who are from France or nearby islands, native Francophones, and a few others who are from New Caledonia or similar places, islands owned by France. They're native French speakers too. One of them in particular is Heno. He's funny. But you already know about him, haha. 

One other cool thing is that we've been to the temple twice now, both of them have been the old original movie. I actually don't think it's that bad. It's kind of cool to go as a missionary. 

I love you guys a lot! I'm grateful for the love and support of my family and friends. I've been loving getting lots of mail, too. I feel really bad for my companion, Elder Johnson. The poor guy hasn't been getting a ton. But he's pretty tough about it. 

Anyway, what else can I tell you about? Oh, French! Okay, so that is kind of fun and also kind of scary. I really want to ask one of the French elders, he's learning English as we learn French, if he wants to trade reading the Book of Mormon to each other, I thought we could help each other with pronunciation and stuff. I don't know, I thought it'd be a pretty good idea. But anyway, I try to throw in a simple French question every now and then at a French elder. They're nice to help us out. Holy cow though, one of them showed me how fast they actually talk in Paris, it's pretty fast. But it's been good to feel the help and support of God as we pray here for the gift of tongues and receive that help. It's interesting, as we teach lessons, if you focus on the language and not trying to bring the Spirit into the room, you actually get a little tripped up and the lesson goes worse. But it's kind of awkward sometimes. But lots of times, the Spirit will help us think of simpler ways to say things, and somehow our dear teachers (playing investigators) will understand. Haha. 

Dad, that's awesome that you're learning French on Duoo Lingo! Haha Mom told me about that trip to Old Navy when you were doing Duo Lingo and you would get mad every time your thumb hit the wrong button. Haha that's awesome! Hey, do you guys want to know the word for angel? It's "ange." You say it "Ah-nge." And they have "An Angel from on High" in the hymnbook in French! So that's cool. Hey and guess what else? 
Dad = Pere ("pear")
Mom = Mere ("mere)
Sister = soeur, "sir"
Brother = frere, frair
Child = enfant
Husband = mari
Wife = I don't remember (Note from Mom: that's good Adam...that means you're focused on the right things at the right time!) 
Hyrum and Gabe = faithful tax payers (thanks very much for the candy, my dear subjects :D)
Grandpa and grandma = grandpere et grandmere
truth = veritae 
without = sins or sans
I'm happy = J'ai heureuse, "Zhay Ay-ruse"
I love you = J'aime vous, mi famille!
Eternal family = famille eternelle
Gospel = Evangile
Church = L'Eglise
Ticklish = hmm, I think heureousillie...
You are a clown = Vous etre un clune
Any questions? = Vous a questions de n'importe pour nous?

I loved hearing about Halloween and all that! Sounded like Ziester was indeed the cute soul I know. 

I love you all a lot and wish you a good week!

Shoot, at least a couple more things--oh, I"ve been playing soccer lately for gym time, which is 8:15 to 9:30 for us, so that's been really fun! Oh, and can you please tell Andrea and Tony thanks for the Altras? I don't have their address but I'm grateful to have such high-quality running shoes, I'm actually wearing them right now! And please tell Grandma and Grandpa thanks for the tie rack, it's awesome, saves tons of space! I'm very well taken care of and sometimes I remember how loved I am by my family when I wear the missionary clothes you bought me, Mom and Dad. I think it just kind of floats sometimes in my subconscious, a little gratitude way down in my head. :) 

Well I need to go now, I hope that is enough. I hope you enjoy the pictures!


Elder Edwards
(Note from Mom: I'm highlighting this part because it's a mom payday moment...)
Yes! OH and Mom, my branch presidency counselor told me to tell you thanks for reminding me to practice piano every day and stuff, I got to play for sacrament meeting and they were grateful to you. Thanks MOm! I have to go now but I love you! I'll pray for ya tonight!

Oh shoot, I forgot to answer these questinos! Thanks so much for writing, Mom! Haha I loved that meme, that was hilarious. Thta's a sweet Tour d'Eiffel shirt! I'm glad you got to have a good birthday! I felt really bad I didn't get a letter to you right on time but hopefully you got the one I sent by now! Nice bike Geeber! Wow and it looks like Gabe needs to join the Army, he looks pretty scary, bet he could intimidate the other side. Unless it's in style. :D Thanks a ton Mom! Yes, I am doing pretty well. It's lots of fun.

My birthday present in honor of Adam going to serve in Paris.

1) What is your mission comp's first name and where is he from? 
My companion is Elder Johnson, he's a cool guy from Portage Utah. We're a lot the same, he's more outgoing though. It's fun to work together, we're blessed, we get along really well. He's really patient with me, I take a lot of time to do things, so that's really good. Haha we definitely have some funny moments. Yesterday, he said he wouldn't date me if he was a girl. It was pretty funny. Hahaha.

2) If you have time, I'd love to hear what your basic daily routine is like.
Our daily routine is basically this: 

6:15 arise, pray, brush teeth, shave
7     breakfast
7:30 start studying in class
8:30 teacher comes and starts teaching us
11:30 lunch
12:15 go back to clsas and study or learn with a teacher (we often teach a lesson or two in the morning and after lunch blocks)
4:30 dinnner
5:15 back to class, study (you divide time between personal study, companionship study, and language study)
8:15 gym time (we may or may not whoop with excitement at this point sometimes)
9:15 gym time is over
9:30 last hour of the day, shower, brush teeth, get ready to sleep, a little bit of spare time
10:15 quiet time, everyone is supposed to be quiet (it's really hard though)

10:30 go to sleep. We're far from perfect at following it, but we're doing pretty well overall. 

3) How often do you get to attend the temple? 

We get to go to the temple noce a week, which is cool.

4) Can you see pictures I send in emails?
yes, I can see pictures you send. I like them, thanks!

Thanks guys love you! Thanks for the quotes Mom!

Adam's First MTC Pics!

After waiting a while with my email inbox as my companion, I decided this time we're only getting pictures rather than an email. 

That's okay! Adam has been sweet to send several paper letters to me and Mike and his siblings after they wrote to him. I'm thrilled to finally get some pictures. Tomorrow is his two week mark (that first week was a year, so it's really the one year and one week mark) :) so it's great to see the people with whom Adam spends all his time! 

(Adam and his companion, Elder Johnson.)

An MTC picture of President and Sister Babin -- president of the Paris, France mission.

(This is Adam's friend Kogan, who took a trip to Temple Square a few days before Adam's mission.) 

The most up-to-date picture, took it about 15 minutes ago. Me and Elder Johnson checking email. In P-Day clothes. Which feel very good. Jeans = awesome. 

Okay. This deserves explanation. THIS GUY is one of the French elders. Probably one of the most charismatic people here. He's Elder Heno. He's from just outside of Paris. He's pretty funny and generally a goofball. He's hilarious. He started calling Elder Harris Zac Efron, and so now when he sees Elder Harris he'll be like "ZACH!" In his French accent. Haha he speaks English really well, most of the native French speakers seem to, we have about 7 or 8 I'd say, but a couple don't. Anyway, there's the little Napoleon. 

This is our MTC building.

Provo Temple! from our weekly temple walk 

​This is me with one of the three zone leaders, Elder Martin. Cool guy. ​

​This is our district, four sisters going to Montreal, Sisters Johnston, Arreola, Delgado, and Ladd respectively, and four elders going to Paris, Elders Branchflower, Harris, Johnson, and Edwards respectively. ​

​This is the elders with Frere Sybrowsky, the guy over the French teachers at the MTC, or at least over our section of teachers. Way cool guy. He's awesome. He loves it when people accidentally call him "Elder" because he's been home for two years. haha. ​

Most of the district with Frere (Brother) Sybrowsky

​This is just a small portion of the sense of humor Elder Branchflower has exhibited over the past two weeks. The funny raisin in cinnamon rolls and rice pudding laugh-face-off story? Yeah, that's this guy. ​

This illustrates a little of Elder Branchflower's personality. Elder Harris was sick yesterday and Elder Branchflower was with him most of the time so he wore flip-flops to go outside for a moment. Pretty great.

Elder harris laughing with a book over his face :D

What a missinary desk looks like