Elder Edwards

Elder Edwards

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015 - A typical day routine, and three small miracles

Note from Becky: The first three paragraphs are Adam celebrating a new baby niece. He's excited!


WOOHOOOOOOO BRIELLE WELCOME TO THE WORLD!!!!! WELCOME WELCOME WELCOME! :D :D :D Wow thanks so much for all the photos, Mom! I loved seeing those! What cute little eyes she has. She still looks a lot like Austin to me. :D But good for Malia that little Briester looks more like she does. :D What a cute little bundle of joy! It was kind of weird to wait a whole week like that for news to hear if my niece was born! And I'm glad she is! Austin and Malia are great parents, good for them. I was shocked to see how little Brielle's little head is compared to the tips of Dad's fingers there! That's pretty crazy! 

I love how I'm an uncle again!!!! WOOHOOOOHOOHOHOOOOO!!!! Ain't no uncle prouder in the world! Il n'y a pas un uncle qui a plus d'fierre qui moi! I love you all tons! What a great thing, too! And how crazy--is that really right, that Brielle will be the same age as Zia was when I left? Wow! 

Congratulations Malia, Austin, Zia, Brielle! Also to everyone in the family, espeically you, Mom and Dad! You're grandparents times 2! That's pretty cool! I showed a couple of those pictures to Elder Baldwin and Elder Harris. Elder Harris saw that there were two little baby girls and said we needed to start getting some boys in the family. So, somewhat jokingly, but also knid of seriously, I said, "Hey, I'm going to get married pretty quick when I get home, I'll try and help out with that!" Thanks for telling me I'll be a good dad, Mom! Haha but you're right, right now I just focus on the mission. 

Adam is staying in his first area, Charleroi, Belgium.

I'm pretty happy to stay in Charleroi for another six weeks, too. At first, I kind of wanted to go, but now that I'm staying I'm actually pretty happy. Me and Elder Harris were talking last night, we like to talk to each other a lot and help each other relieve stress, I guess. I told him thanks for all the times he's helped me calm down. Haha not that I've had nervous breakdowns or anything, the transition was just tough for a while. It's just like normal life, really, there are stressful moments every day. But I realized it was a blessing. By the end of this transfer, our third out in the mission field, we'll have been together in the same district and apartment for six months--six weeks in the MTC and four or five months out here in the field. What a great blessing that is! He does a great job of accepting me and being a good friend. He's awesome. I asked him if he'd like me to stay another transfer after this one, he said, "Yeah, that'd be pretty sweet." Can't wait till you all can meet him! Haha he and Elder Baldwin especially make me laugh every single day. It's difficult to describe how many laughs that Elder Harris, Elder Baldwin, and Elder Wells (although he's gone now, and yes, he'd like to visit you) have given me! Haha. I always laugh so hard that I cry. Elder Harris always enjoys pointing that out. "Haha--look, look, he's crying! Man, you're crying!" Hahaha.
Out here in the mission, you just have to find ways to have fun every day, our else you'd go crazy. So we have our own little weird ways of having fun. Elder Wells and Elder Harris would trip each other and try and push each other into parked cars as they walked down the street. Haha! I was joking super hard with Elder Baldwin yesterday--we disagreed on the pronunciation of "scenario"--he thought it should be pronounced with a softer "a" sound, I was for the ardent pirate "ahr," and so then I just messed with him for several minutes on the pronunciation of several words, and I laughed really, really hard. Haha we still get along pretty good, no worries. He's a great guy, really funny, I think I'll miss this town and Elder Baldwin and elder Harris once we separate. It's been a little hard on Elder Harris to train so early, but he's doing a good job. He's got a great heart. His work ethic and obedience are really a help for me. 

We also got to welcome in Elder Harris's blue, (greenie), Elder Smith on Wednesday night! We considered the "take all the doors off the hinges" welcoming trick like we did for Elder Baldwin (it's okay, they're all back on now), but we decided to be nicer since he's a blue. He's a really sweet guy, has a really good heart. He seems to be adjusting to life pretty well out here. I was for sure struggling in his shoes! So I tried to give him some advice that would've helped me in his shoes. Good guy. 

Just so you all know, it's normal now in our mission with President Babin to stay 4 to 6 months per area, which is a relatively long time, with President Poznanski before, it was usually 3 to 4 months per area. So I figure an average number of areas is probably around 4 to 7, accounting for a number of exceptions. It's also normal to get two companions per area, so an average number of companions is around 8 to 12, according to Elder Baldwin. Right now I'm his ninth companion, and he's in his fifth "ville," or city. Oh yeah, Elder Baldwin makes great food! No I haven't made a lot for him yet. But I think I might try that jumbo pear breakfast cookie recipe soon, those sounded really good. Would you mind sending me a brownie recipe? I don't think I have one. :D Thanks Mom! 

Mom, you asked me about the normal day-to-day life out here.
Yes, since Elder Baldwin came we have done a lot more contacting (or "tracting," if you prefer), which means talking to people on the street, as well as lots more porting. It was interesting, when he came I wanted to just have appointments lined up for the whole day, not have time left for contacting and porting and stuff, but it's been cool to see the effects of being willing to just go out and talk to people. So a normal day might look like this:
  • 6:30 Get up, exercise, shower, eat, talk with other elders (mornings are pretty relaxed)
  • 8 Personal study
  • 9 Companionship study (all four of us start with a hymn, prayer, and 3 pages of the white handbook together, then we go to our companionships to study)
  • 10 Language study (as a greenie, this is another hour for the 12 week program, but as a trained missionary it's just a half-hour of language study)
  • 10:30 or 11 Go out and contact (I need to get out faster in the mornings)
  • 12 lunch for an hour
  • 1 contact or maybe go to a lesson
  • 3 or 4, maybe another lesson
  • We have a dinner appiontment fairly frequently, usually at least one or two at Michel's house a week, often another one with members too, those are usually at 6 or 7
  • If there is no dinner appointment, we go back to eat at 5
  • If we don't have an appointment at night, we go contact or go porting until we need to start heading home to be back at the apartment by 9
  • 9 PM return to apartment, plan for the next day
  • 9:30 deadline to be home if teaching a lesson; plan, eat, hang out with other elders, maybe play UNO for a while, talk, tell stories,
  • 10:30 bed
There are definitely rules I could follow better there and a lot of time is taken up by getting places here, but that's more or less the idea. 

Here are a couple little miracle stories we've seen from contacting:
  1. We talked to a really young family, just starting out, a husband, wife, and little baby in  a stroller, in the middle of town last week or the week before, and I felt guided, I think, to talk about families and how the gospel can help them. So I told them about that a little bit, and they said we could come over and teach them, and gave us their address right there, and we'd just barely met! Haha apparently it's not that unusual, but it was unforeseen for me, that's for sure! It's interesting, sometimes people you expect to just say "No," are actually quite willing to talk and listen. It's pretty cool. So on Friday, we went over to the families house and taught them a little about the Plan of Salvation and the Book of Mormon. Their names are Alexi and Geraldine, any prayers for them would be appreciated. They said they were going to come to church, but they didn't make it, but we're going to pass by their house another time this week. It was amazing to see the Lord can make that kind of stuff happen--when we talked to them, both of them said they weren't believing, but the wife almost wanted to hear something to help her understand the Savior and the gospel, because her family is religious as well. 
  2. We were on the metro yesterday, and Elder Baldwin noticed someone sitting next to us, while the rest of the area around us was empty. Now, keep in mind, I haven't done much "trajet contacting," which is contacting in buses or on metros, but Elder Baldwin and I have both felt to work on it, so when Elder Baldwin had noticed the man next to us, he motioned to him with his eyes, and I thought, "SHOOT!" Haha it takes a good bit of courage to talk to someone in the metro, because everyone just tends to daze off and more or less mentally go to sleep! But I was grateful for the chance. Turns out, Elder Baldwin had a prompting to talk to him, but then had me do it, because he'd already talked to someone on the metro, and so I asked the man what a certain word in the Book of Mormon meant, and then started a little conversation with him, then told him, because it's always necessary to make the switch, why I'm here and the message of the Church. Then I gave him a Book of Mormon and explained it a little bit, guided a little here and there by the Spirit. Elder Badlwin let me do most of it and helped a little at the end. So it was really cool, he gave us his addrses too and we actually have an appointment with him Friday! So there you go. 
  3. Yesterday, we had a really cool story: we were stopped by someone in an African store who gave us both orange juice and then talked to us about how he's Christian, too, and how he likes to take care of people who preach God's word. :D And that was actually right at a bit of a low moment for me, so how cool is the Lord's timing? He likes to send those little lifter-uppers, I've started to notice. Start lookiing for them, people, you can find them! :D
No, sadly I didn't see the solar eclipse, it was cloudly here so we didn't even notice! Bummer, right? 

Wow that's so cool that Gabe started running track! Woohoo Gabe! Set some records, bro! I bet you can do great at that! I'm sure you know Dad did track too but that's really cool that you're starting so young! I bet you could be really good at cross-country in high school as well! 

Actually, the weather has been really nice. There was even a blessed day of 70° and that was AWESOME! Actually, I feel blessed, it hasn't rained a ton, it's been pretty nice. It's usually cloudy for at least part of the day, but I'm pretty used to it now. There are some really pretty moments when the sun is out and you get to see the nice pretty sunsets sometimes. It's also pretty green here, even in December when I first came there was lots of green grass. 

Hey Mom, have you sent the package yet? If you haven't, would you maybe send a little bit of peanut butter? Haha we can still get it here but if it's not too much of a hassle. American peanut butter just sounds really good. :D Thanks! I'm really looking forward to it!

Way to serve Mom! I'm glad to hear that your life is doing well.  Love you all so much. I'm glad you can sit by Dad now! Be happy for that! I better go now, but I love you all so much, have a great week, and a GREAT HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HYRUM, GABE, and AUSTIN! Woohooo!!! AND BRIELLE!!!

Love you all! Till next time!

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