Note from Becky: Thank goodness Adam completely missed the whole Paris terrorist events last week, even though he's in the Paris mission. Thank you to all who have reached out with such big hearts caring for his safety last week. I was comforted that he is living in Belgium. I didn't edit anything out of Adam's email to me or Mike this week.
Here is a 3 minute voice recording from Adam wishing us happy new year.
Here is a 3 minute voice recording from Adam wishing us happy new year.
I loooove you! Balderrean style salutation. :D Haha so how is life? I hope well. Life is great over here in Belgium. I'm still not perfect and still have a long ways to go, but I feel much, more at home here and the Lord is helping me just take it a day at a time. Plus, I just ate rice with spaghetti sauce and cheese. Hard to be grumpy after that. :D Also, it helps to have little recordings in my head of what you and dad would say. Haha we're so close, us three, that I actually subconsciously think of what you or Dad would say at a certain moment and say it to myself, just in my head, because it makes me feel better. Like how you always help me feel like I'm doing okay, and help me be patient with myself. Thanks Mom! Wow I loved that awesome prayer that you typed for me! Holy cow, do you pray that much for me every day? I have an awesome mom for sure! No two ways about it!
Haha, along with that, Mom, just so you know, no matter where I'm called to go to serve the Lord or go to school or live in the rest of my life, or no matter where you and Dad and the family are, I'll always, always remember your good example and your very sweet, dear heart. I don't know if there's a day goes by when I don't think about my dear, sweet mom and how great she was to me and how she taught me everything and worked so hard with Dad right there by their side, how they are always both such a good team. I always think about the solid guy Dad is and his great example, too. Funny you should mention the cole slaw--I actually FINALLY made Kid's Favorite Salad but WITH MAYO today, and it was good :) Haha so trust me I would have helped with eating it if it was possible! Sadly it's not. But life goes on. :) Actually I think it's funny now that I whined because you made me cook lots of my own meals, or feed myself lots of the time, because back then, I didn't have to shop, I didn't really have to cook or do anything, and salads and sandwiches and leftovers just appeared magically in the fridge without any work from me! So turns out this is good for me! Haha. I think I'll learn to like taking care of myself like this.
I very very much love your recipe book and I have already used it a couple times for eggs, rice, and the salad. Don't worry, it will be used more! :) Also, rice is the best creation ever, not doctrinally but just in matters of food, because it's so genius...you can cook it in several minutes...and then add cheese and spaghetti sauce and it is the best-tasting thing in the world. Haha anyway! Also I loved your blog post! Read it after emails last week and it was sweet! Thank you, Mom! I highlighted it up nice because I am my mother's son in the way I like to mark mah books :D. Hey thanks for the pictures and teaching me how to meal plan, too! When I eat I can think of how good Mom is because yes. I don't really know why, I guess because you kind of fed me for 19 years and continue to do so through sacrifices so I can be here!! Thanks Mom and Dad!!!
I like that blog post, Mom! Way to be supporting the prophets. That's cool with the quote for amy and Tom, too. I have faith they'll come back with time.
Go Mom and family with all those awesome New Year's Goals! Woohooo! Yeah! Mom that's so great that the family or the kids have been getting to bed on time! That's an accomplishment for any Edwardian for sure! (Except maybe Dad but no even for him because he still loves to talk to us and serve us and other people :D). And great job eating healthier! In fact I am also working on that, too! Love you tons, Mom!
Okay, in answer to your questions:
-Thank you for wanting to pray for our investigators, that's so nice! Our most consistent ones right now are Michel (the recent convert), Laisse ("La-ees"), Carine ("Ka-reen"), which are all one family, Michel and Carine are husband and wife; Thibault ("Tih-boat") and his mom, Marie-Thérèse ("Mary-Teh-rez"). Also, there is the Won family and Phillipe. Thanks Mom! There are lots of others but others are less consistent so that's good. Could you also pray that I can remember peoples' names? Haha it's a bit of an extra challenge in French so yeah.
-Cool, Elder Johnson sent a letter! Oh shoot, I need to send a letter to his family for the Christmas stuff too! Whoops! Okay the letters just got here barely today, January the 12th, and they were in Salt Lake on the 6th. So probably seven days, if I figure correctly. Wow I can't believe my letters aren't there yet! Holy holy cow. I sent them five days before Christmas, if I remember right! At least a couple! Well it's okay it'll probably be better now that the holidays are over.
-No, we don't get fed every night, but we always get to visit and teach someone, and for sure most of the time we go to someone's house, they give us some sort of food, so it's actually quite nice. Haha. People are so good to us here. Some of the common desserts or little treats are cookies, biscuits (not like we call them, they're basically little snack cookies or crackers), chocolate (people just bring out a bar to eat while we talk, it's awesome), gaufres (aka belgian waffles :D :D they eat them cold here and with sugar it's really good you can get them hot too), and that covers it. We also had a TON of crêpes with Michel and his family a few days ago, holy cow it was so hard to stop eating them... he has this amazing machine that can cook six little ones at a time and there was just this big pile and I kind of felt obligated to keep going...wow it was good. Haha! Dinners vary. Lots of the time it's much like the food we'd have at home. When people want to have a little lunch, it seems normal to have some bread and cheese and maybe a little sausage, but I've only had that once with members so I think it's more of a nice thing, for formal occasions, at least in Belgium. Also, we've had carrot potatoes, which wasn't bad, soup, which is always good, fries which are really good here in Belgium, even fried sandwiches, so in short we are well fed so I am happy :D Also we're going to try some really good meat sandwiches with Michel later this week, I'm excited!
Thanks so much for sending that Facebook post from Kogan, Mom! That means so much to me because he's already becoming a missionary and I never would have seen it otherwise! THanks! He actually sent me a package this week with Nutella and 5 gum, I was soooo excited! Haha! That was so nice, he's such a good friend. Have you heard from Kate Powell how Tali is doing at all? Just curious. Sounds like Jayson is doing well. Wow you have been in touch with some super dee-duper people lately! Go Mom! Love you! Holy cow that's so cool. Good for you.
Yes absolutely keep doing things to protect family, friends, and neighbors against pornography! It's really really bad! Thanks for the blog post about President Benson, too.
Wow! Clarissa, in response to her, I'm not sure if my church is the old church or not. I have been to both current churches in Charleroi because there are two wards, I will send a picture of mine if I can and see if it's the same one.
Mom, I love you soooo very much! Just to let you know, we're meeting with members a lot this week, so I know them and can work with them once Elder Amico is gone. He might leave after this transfer because people are normally in an area for six months, maybe 7, and he'll have been here for 6 once the next transfer day rolls around. Also, our teaching is going well, I bet we'll have a baptismal date with Thibault soon. Thanks so much for your blog post in the mail, I am always happy to read those! Please send me more if you have the time! :) But don't worry all is well here. We're taken care of, the Lord blesses us, I'm grateful for His blessings in our lives, including the blessing of eternal families, I know they're real. Hey also read Elder Ballard's section on Eternal Families and a little later on our premortal and post-mortal lives in "Our Search for Happiness," if you have a copy. It really is so good. Especially the second one, I read that last night and was just blown away. I left the appartment feeling very at peace, knowing things would be okay, with that great perspective. It makes sense that days and weeks and even months and years go by quickly if our little life on this earth is just a thread! Thanks for praying for me with opening up to people! I know I will, it just takes a little bit of patience and the Lord's help and humility.
God bless you Mom! I'll pray for you with the preparation for your General Women's talk and the family new year goals.
I'll send some pictures, too. Shoutout to GABE my LITTLE BROTHER who got his Patriarchal Blessing this week!! Whoo! And Michael from my ward who has been ordained an Elder this week! Gooo Cherry Village!
Rock the missionary work, folks! Don't hesitate to study the scriptures every day! You are missing out on so much if you don't! Seriously, no lie! God bless you everyone.
Love you Mom!!
Also, Mom and Dad, sorry if I seem needy I don't mean to. I just love all these things from home and all these letters and blog posts. :D Love you!
I got your letter and Mom's blog post today!! WOOHOOOO!! Thanks for always showing love for me dad, and being so consistent with your emails! I always look forward to reading your email! :) Also any letter, stamp, hair, or other molecule from home is always appreciated, too, so when I get two letters today, it was like YES! Haha. Thank you so much for teh pictures, Dad! They did make me smile. I loved seeing that family picture, and it'll be good to have that photo of us in South Carolina.
I have been doing great, Dad, how have you been? Yeah, it's cloudy and rainy a lot here, but it's not so bad. I'm just glad it's not as cold as it is in Utah :D Sorry. :D You're right, the Lord sustains us no matter the weather.
Woohooo! Go Dad and ward in missionary work! That's so great, I can tell you've put more effort there, Dad! Haha that makes me happy that you would up the anty with missionary work because I'm out here! That sounds great with the Garveys and Deckers. Boy I'm glad you have some good missionaries there, too. That's actually a line in Preach My Gospel... it's something like, "Ask yourself, am I being a blessing or a burden to the bishop?" Haha we're actually going to eat with our bishop, Bishop Coudeville. That will be awesome! Sorry but yes, keep up the efforts there! I know that every less-active person who becomes strong and active again sort of counts as a baptism, too--not that they necessarily are re-baptized, but just because it's someone who was somewhat lost and they're back again! So if it helps to think of it that way, that's very true, I think.
Woooooooohooo! Go Gaber and the Patriarchal Blessing! I can't wait to hear about it, I'll send him an email if he hasn't sent me one this week. I hope it was cool. And good for Mike Usle, will you tell him I'm excited for him? Wow there are going to be lots of those ordinations going on in the next few months, I expect! Haha yayyy! Go Dad getting the missionaries ready! There's actually one member who's my age here, Isaak, he's really really cool and reminds me a lot of Zack Stanger because he's a very laid-back, accepting guy. He's thinking of going on a mission, and Elder Amico and I are working with him to help him want to go. :D I talked to him about it last time we stopped by and it's lots of fun to do that, because you know if you helped someone else go on a mission, you helped a bunch of other people, too! So think how cool it is that you've helped at least, what, 8 or 9 people go just as a bishop! No, probably more like 12 to 14! Wow! Go Dad! Not that you need to get proud because of that, and I know you won't, but that's really a great thing! I Hope you know that. And I'll be honest, it would have been very, very much harder for me to get out here if you hadn't gone before me first, because I knew that if you could do it, I could too.
Thanks for serving our blessed USA, our country, Dad! You know, people kind of make fun of America here, which is okay, it's not really anything much, but I will always hold our country dear in my heart! Thank you for telling me about the insurance, too! Do you have any idea what things are covered internationally, just so I can know, in case I need new glasses or a doctor's appointment? Thank you Dad! You're awesome! Haha, it's funny, one of the things I've been thinking about lately is just that I miss home, but really, the things that I miss the most are things like family. But also, I was reading Elder Ballard's "Our Search for Happiness," (which is an amazing read, by the way) and he talked about eternal families and how people who have the gospel and a testimony of it, and the blessings of its ordinances, really are the richest people already, even if we sacrifice for the Church or for families, like you and Mom always do! So thanks. You might also be interested to know, we talked a little bit, Elder Harris and Elder Wells and I, about being a dad and how cool it'll be. Haha I'm kind of worried I'll be a boring dad, but I'm trying to have fun when it's a good time, like dancing around in the kitchen to music or whatever. Haha! I hope my mission makes me a really good dad for my wife and kids when I get them. Which, in case you were wondering, I'm not planning on waiting more than a year or two! Let me say that again, if it's all right with the Lord, it will be within a year or two of when I get home, I think. Haha, wouldn't want to delay you playing with more and more grandkids, right, Dad? Haha I guess I shouldn't make promises, but that's the plan right now, just so ya know. :)
I hope that continues to go great with the food storage! I will pray for miracles for your work this week too!
Cool, it's good to do scripture study by topics sometimes! Yeah, we can always endure to the end! I listened to a little of Pres. Uchtdorf's "The INfinite Power of Hope" from the November 2008 Ensign, it was really good. I know God lives, too. He shows it to me by His promptings and the love and happiness I feel every day. And I'll get there, I'll open up to people, I know I will, because I know with him, I can do it. Thank you sooo much for your prayers, and please know that I pray for you every day! Lots of times when me and Elder Amico say prayers together we pray for each others' families, too, so there's also a Swiss missionary who prays for you guys! Elder Amico said thanks and smiled when you thanked him. Haha he has actually covered some of my costs until I could pay him back when people haven't taken my card here, or when I didn't have enough money. So he's great. I love you Dad! I know angels are taking care of you! Probably especially the dear angels like Grandpa Bush, how close you were with him! I feel close to him, too.
If it's not too much to ask, would you send me a little recording with one or two of stories from his life he told you? I'd love that.
God bless and keep you, Dad! I will send some more details from the week in my letter with Mom. Until next time!
Elder ADam Edwards