Elder Edwards

Elder Edwards

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Adam's MTC letter week 5. Thanksgiving was great...two apostles visited!

Hey Mom! I love you tons!!! Thanks sooooo much for the packages and the pictures! I'm very grateful for them! Elder Johnson says you're the best for giving him the lamp. Elder Similai will love it too I'm sure, I'll just have to ship it to him. GUESS WHAT we're leaving the MTC Monday at 11:30 AM!!! WOOHOO! Direct flight to Paris! I am a spoiled keet, I got three [packages] this week! Haha! It was awesome! Thanksgiving was super good, it was sad to see the French elders go, we got to serve in the temple laundry room one last time, Elder Johnson bought me breakfast, I had a couple funny moments with Elder Heno and the other French elders, and I'll think of some other things to talk about too. I'll set up that Christmas tree. I'll be back later. Love ya!

--Elder Edwards

Hey Mom!

Okay wow, those pictures were awesome! That sounds like and looks like a great Thanksgiving! I'm sorry I didn't send out a card or letter for you to be on Turkey Day, but I hope it was enjoyable all the same. thanks for telling me about the family stuff, how everyone said what they were grateful for and talked about me! It's good to know people talk about me. :D Thanks soooo much for the packages! I shared a lot of food that first night, and I'll try and share more as time goes on. The Sour Patch kids were a personal favorite among the food, I must say. But I really loved the Christmas tree, me and my companion really felt loved as we put that up on the wall. I love you all lots. Please tell all the family that I lvoe them and appreciate their decorations a lot! 

Haha! I laughed when I read that line about you leaving Seminary if necessary to talk to me. I don't think that will be necessary, we check in to the Travel Office at 11:30 AM on Monday, I imagine we'll be waiting in the airport between 1:30 and 5, so the call will probably come sometime in there. I know that's kind of vague, but I hope that is okay. I don't think I can talk for very long, especially if more than one person is waiting for the phone, but it would be awesome to hear your voice again!! The rest of the famaily, too. 

[I had challenged Adam to give away a Book of Mormon on his flight.] Thanks, Mom! Yeah, might as well start speaking French to the French people. The good news is, the odds of sitting next to a French member are relatively high on that flight, I should think, so I might be able to start off a little soft. Then again, it would be good to sit next to a non-member. Our teacher, Frere Keenan, said thta he had somebody cornered for 2 or 3 hours on his flight to Chicago on his mission, and he taught him all three of the first lessons, he was so excited!! Haha! 

  1. Have you had a chance to be a greenie missionary curb escort? Not yet, but we signed up to do that. We're hoping thta we can, I think it would be really fun, if not also a little painful. :D
  2. What are you thinking and feeling about flying to France? I think it will be cool to get there, one of the branch presidents from another branch showed us a bunch of pictures of Paris, it was way cool. It has been so fun to be here, but I think the Lord has worked to prepare us, we've worked, too, so I think we're more or less ready to go. If you have to fly 12 hours, that's a pretty great place to go. :)
  3. What was your Thanksgiving like? I hope you had a nice feast! Did they have a GA devotional to make your day special or anything? Oh it was so good! We had lots of great things, we had a service project where we made meals for the UTah Food Bank, it was very cool. We had a great GA devotional, actually Elder Oaks came the Sunday before Thanksgiving and Elder Bednar was there on Thanksgiving! Woohoo! Apparently you can go six weeks or even 9 without ever seeing an apostle, so two in a week is pretty sweet!  We did have some good food, and I loved the packages. Thanks to you too Grandma and Grandpa Balderree for the tie rack, and Grandma and Grandpa Edwards for the awesome package! Loved it! 
So Mom, how is life going for you? Is it easier to get to bed on time now that I'm gone? I hope so! Is there anything you want me to get a picture of if possible my first day in Paris? I mean, we'll be busy, but if you want, I can try and get an overhead picture of France or the Balkan Peninsula. That would be sweet! And how is the family? Are Gabe and Grace doing well? 

I just got to go to my last day of the temple today, it was really good. It was really sad to say goodbye to all the French Elders yesterday, they flew out yesterday, but it's good for them. I loved them a lot, especially Elder Heno and Elder Brunet. 

Just a quick spiritual experience: O, we had a really good combined district (zone) meeting. There was a special lesson given by our leader, Brother Dowling. He's a counselor to President Merrill, who is a BYU professor of religion, teaches classes on the Book of Mormon. (Any friends at BYU who know him should tell me, that'd be cool!) But I was struggling with some feelings of sadness, and Bro. Dowling talked about the importance of a name, and what goes into it, and as we sang the closing song, "Souvien-Toi" (a French hymn that means "Remember," speaking of the pre-existence), I had a special moment, and felt the strength that I needed. It was really good. 

Mom, just before we sang that song, I realized that a large part of the reason I'm on a mission, to me, is to represent you, because you never got a chance to come out here before you got married, so I was restrengthened, and I want to have a really good mission, in part for you!! And then we sang Souviens-Toi, which is a song about a mom, or at least a parent, singing to her/his baby, and I realized that it was basically you singing to me at that moment. And I almost cried, my eyes watered for sure. But I did a little translation of it, some of it is from another translation I saw online before I came, and I just used their lines because it was good, but most of it is mine, I think: 

I translated it to preserve the lyrical beauty and hopefully much of the rhythm, so that at least some of the time, you could sing it to the tune (New World Symphony, Dvorjak), and it would mostly work. :D 

"Souviens-Toi," French hymn
From: Adam
For: Mom

Please recall, little child:
Your parents on high--
You'll be back in their arms
These times aren't for long.

But today, you are here, 
Here and marvellous.
Heaven's light brightly shines
In your heavenly view

Speak to me, little one
Of that blessed place
For the veil is yet thin
To your angel face.

Verse 2:

Please recall, little one, 
Those forests and cities
So may we picture them
For a while here, please?

And the sky, just at night
Is it pink or gray? 
Does the sun stop and stare
When it snows or rains?

Tell me now, my small child, 
Of its color now
And the songs of the birds
In that world so fair.

Verse 3: 

Remember, my small child
In that former time
Even then we were friends
Joyous in the sky! :)

Then one day, full of joy
We did stand and fight,
Following Jesus' plan
Of eternal life!

On that night, we promised
In that heavenly beam
So by God's love and faith,
We're again a team!


Fabric Christmas tree we sent Adam, with paper ornaments from family and friends. Others have sent ornaments that will arrive any day now. 

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Thanksgiving service project 

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I assume this is Adam's MTC district or zone of French speaking missionaries. 


Hey Dad!

I'm doing great, how are you? Oh thanks a bunch for your emails! I look forward to your email and Mom's especially every Tuesday, so thanks a bunch! Thank you SO much for the packages! I am a spoiled, happy missionary keet this week! I got three packages! I really loved the Christmas tree, too, and the scriptures on it. I liked your choice of Isaiah, "For unto us a child is born." That's a great part in Handel's Messiah. I am doing well, I hope you are, too. 

I love you too Dad! It was comforting to hear that you've missed home a lot like I have when you went on your mission and when you went on your Army tours, too. That was good to hear. Thanks a bunch, Dad, I appreciate that support.

I thought of you guys a few times throughout Thanksgiving day. They tried to keep us relatively busy, though, which was good. I felt bad, I kept asking people what their normal Thanksgivings were like, and a couple people were saddened by that because it made them miss home, but oh well, I didn't mean to. I've been trying a lot to reach out to people and talk to them more, even if it's just an elder next to me in the lunch line, you know. I admire how good you and Mom are at that, and we practiced approaching people on the street the last week a couple times, and the last time was actually really fun, we basically need to be enthusiastic, think of something that excites me about the gospel, and share it with that person. I think it'll be rough the first while, as people reject quite frequently from the sound of it, but I guess I'll just pray and get used to it. 

Also, 1 Nephi 13 is a great scripture on the coming forth of the Book fo Mormon. I thought it was a cool thought that France, our first real ally to America, helped America become a free and independent country so that the gospel could come forth. That's the gospel perspective on 1775-1784 when Cornwallis surrendered. So I think I might try using that history to talk to French people, because that's really cool. "You know how your country helped my country become free?" "Yeah?" "Well, that actually happened so God could establish His true Church on earth and bring forth a book of scripture to the world!" I don't know, Kurt Nielson said you just find things that interest the people, like talking about cheese or food they like, or talking about religious reformers with which they're familiar. But I'll work on it. I've been working a little with this kind of thing. 

I also loved a quote from "Meet the Mormons" from the Candy Bomber, Halvorsen, that "All happiness comes from service and giving to others," or something like that. Way to go with the Tithing Settlement! That would really overwhelm me, haha! There are reasons why you're a bishop and not me, I think! Oh that prospect sounds so very difficult. :D Thank you for serving, Dad!

So how are you doing, Dad? Haha I've realized that I didn't help out much with Thanksgiving at home, I'm sorry for being less helpful than I could have been. I guess it's a testimony to your great strengths of assertiveness, activity, and example. I really appreciated your letter, too, by the way. I hope that the end or near-end of your bishoping career is fulfilling. It's fun that we both get to serve the Lord in some pretty dedicated callings together for a while! Work is still going well? And are you getting enough sleep? :D I hope that has been easier since I've left. I know we miss each other lots, but it's not bad if at least that gets easier while I'm away! Haha. I'm sorry I never got a Thanksgiving specific letter to you for Turkey day! But I hope it was a good day nonetheless. I know the past few days have been amazing thanks to you all. :D 

Love you tons, Dad! Thanks for the great email. Thanks for your prayers, too! I know you send them lots. We're learning lots about grammar and such lately, they're trying to give us a solid foundation so we can hit the field and grab the vocabulary like crazy. That's my idea for this week, anyway. Some cool French words: bataille ("bat-AI," battle), l'epee (luh-EH-pay, sword), travailler ("tra-va-yay," to work). I am really grateful, it's been fun to see progress. Love you! Hey and I translated "Souviens-Toi," you know that French hymn that I told you and Mom about? The lullaby? Lots of it was with help from a couple other elders and some of it is actually from another translation online, I just used what they had, but most of it is mine. Love you! I will include it with Moms because I think I need to give her a good email this week. :D Love you Dad! 

God bless you!

Elder Edwards

P.S. It's a little hard sometimes to feel like we're set apart from the world, because our humor isn't always as respectful as it should be--do you have any suggestions for that? Just don't get involved with it, I guess? Thanks for your advice on being a zone leader, too, it feels much more comfortable to me now. Eat some chocolate or French truffles for me! :D

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