Elder Edwards

Elder Edwards

Monday, July 6, 2015


Hello my dear and sweet family!

So I wanted to write you this little letter today, I apologize for any shortness of letters I've been sending you lately. That's not my intent, I should be sending some good letters to my family! So I'll try and send a good one today.

This week has been good. Whew, I feel like I could be better at utilizing the time I have--it's hard to get out of the apartment sometimes after meals or after studies, for example--but don't worry, still working over here. I try to be a good missionary, but the hours are something I really struggle with. Not getting up on time, thankfully, I'm usually pretty good with that (even if I fall back asleep on my knees haha), no but usually it's good. I guess just I'm just trying to work on leaving meals after an hour (the rule is an hour) and also going to bed on time and stuff like that. It's also hard to get to studies on time, for me personally. But that's not to whine, that's just to say that you can always improve at things! Life is good, even if it's hard. :D

Monday, we had a pretty relaxed P-Day and we didn't really do a whole lot. Cleaned the apartment and maybe did something...? Yeah wow sorry that sounds super lame. No I think we just went to our family home evening at a member's house. That was awesome though! That was super good, we went over there and it was so great, we got to talk about the temple and the members and it was so cool. Get this--each member in our ward has to travel TWELVE HOURS just to get to their temple! Here in the Rennes stake, we're assigned to the Bern Temple District (no, missionaries can't go, haha), and so that's literally all across France. Twelve hours of driving. Pretty crazy! Makes me appreciate the temples we have in Utah, all of which, I dare say, are closer than that from our house!! Pretty cool, huh?

Tuesday, we were able to have a good zone conference!! I GOT TO SEE ELDER BALDWIN!!!!! WOOHOOOOHOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!! I LOVE that guy, he is SO COOL! I got to sit and talk with him a little bit,  and GUESS WHAT? He was the first person ever to ask me to play piano for something as big as a zone conference. Sniff. He knew I played piano, so he asked me to play prelude, and then apparently that's assigning me to be the piano player for the rest of the meeting. :D Hey I'm not complaining!! It was great, got to play some prelude and do some improvisation, lots of fun. Man and it was just SO GOOD to see Elder Badlwin again. He is almost effectively my "dad" on the mission, or my trainer. Really good guy. We got to catch up a little bit on his missino and how the ward is in Rennes and stuff. He's going to attend his local college in Georgia for a year or so and then maybe transfer out to BYU. But a funny little moment--I asked him during the lunch if I could come over to Georgia after i was finished with my mission. He just scrunched up his face and said, "yeah!!" like it wasn't even a question. He's so cool. I'm so excited to go visit him. Haha that's far in the future but hey, still cool. So cool story--when he told me about Nantes, thisis the ville where he was "born" or where he started his mission, I said I wanted to go there! And look where I am!! And when I was thinking about him finishing his mission near the end of our time together a few months ago, I said, "I want to see his dying testimony," or his farewell testimony in the mission. And GUESS WHAT?! I WILL!!! We have combined zone meetings between the Rennes Zone and the Angers Zone (I'm in Angers) pretty frequently, so I should be able to see him give his last ttestimony on the mission!! Pretty great, huh? Fun times.

Well, other than taht, we received an iPad for our companionship this last week. Good stuff, we've downloaded some videos and tools to use. We're hoping it'll be a good tool for study and the other guys, Elder McBride (he was in my district when I was in Charleroi) and Elder Carson have been using it pretty well in contacting, they say it works wonders, so there you go. We have two booklets that talk about how to use them and protect ourselves against dangers with them. Of course, the Church has parameters set up to defend us against that, but still. I'm kind of nervous, because that can so easily turn into a distraction, and I've been so distracted with things ilke Facebook in the past. But actually, we're not even using Facebook right now as missionaries, but still, a little nervous. But it's good, we keep it in a place where we both can see it when we're not using it, and when it's being used, the other comp. has to be able to see the screen. So it's a pretty good system.

Other than that, more than giving a day-by-day letter, I wanted to give a more personal one, so here goes:
We had an exchange with the district leader, Elder Adams, and his companion, Elder Bruno (who by the way is Elder Baldwin's MTC comp--small world out here guys), and this time, I was with Elder Bruno. It was good, we were able to do some service at a bread shop for homeless people and they gave us some pastries after. Haha good times. It was good, we had a little bit of time to go contacting on the street, and we tried talking to a few people (not many in the little town of St. Nazaire, their area), but it made me reflect--I really should be doing my best here to talk to everyone when we're out contacting, to give the Lord my best, to help people understand the importance of the restored gospel. It's not something to avoid or wish I didn't have to do. Interesting stuff. So that makes me think. We also had a very delicious cherry pie, Elder Adams and Elder Bruno are legendary cooks, and "petit" or Elder Young was able to help Elder Bruno with it, so there you go. Very good. Good times there.

I love my zone and my district. I was able to go around and talk to people and make some new friends, felt more natural than it did at the beginning of my mission. Cool stuff that happens here, I already feel like I know lots of people in our two zones here--Elder Vance was in my last district, and now he's in St. Brieuc, in the Rennes zone, I know my district pretty well, and there were a couple of people I already knew too. So fun times, I'm starting to know people now. I dread the day when everyone I know will start dying...:/ all the old missionaries say that happens and they're like..."dude, I don't know anyone!" But thankfully that day is still far away, and, like you said Dad, I can still live every day to its fullest and try and be happy with the many still left. We also have an exchange with our Zone leaders this week, tommorow and Wednesday, which is unusual, actually, because neither I nor Elder Young is district leader, but apparently, that's something they like to do to get to know us and probably teach us and stuff, so that'll be good. I'll be heading out to Angers so that will be fun. (You say it "On-jay") .

Other than that, I've been reading President Hinckley's book "Standing for Something," which is a MARVELOUS work and I simply could not say enough good about it. So much treasure in there, you just feel like a wiser and better person in reading it. It's such a great comprehensive work. President Hinckley covers more or less 10 virtues in 10 chapters, more or less, and it's a great little discourse on how to live a great, full, joy-fulled and gospel-obeying life. Man, all the little values in there. I enjoyed a couple of these principles:

1. Frugality and industry (he used a quote from Benjamin Franklin to this effect): it means you take money and time and you use them both as effectively and as well as you can. Also covered the Pioneer saying "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Cool, huh? 
2. He also shared a couple cool stories of how he's reached out to others or others have reached out to him, for example at airports (what better missionary is there than the prophet, right?) Once, he was talking to a rather rebellious young man, drifting through life, visiting South America, and he basically set him straight, telling him that old values are indeed of value and that the young man was in error, searching for a world where morality wasn't important. I've also very much enjoyed trying to keep my mind more virtuous and President Hinckley's thought to see people around us as children of God, to see them as our own brothers and sisters. How valuable is that? So important to see them as children of God. Also so cool to hear this from a prophet. Such a good book, really recommend it. It's actually written from a Christian perspective specifically for America's situation, but it's very hopeful, citing how Britain was able to overcome the evils of Nazism in large part due to their great, optimistic attitude, and how we can overcome the evils present in our day, inour lives, in our societies, such as family divorce, pornography, drug abuse, etc. Great perspective because it's optimisticand it's super great. Anyway good read, I should be finished with that in the next three days or so.

Well, I love you all, my family, and I hope all your lives are good. Happy 4th to you and I hope that went well. Today we played some basketball with Terrence our ami with a baptism date and that was about it. But yeah! I also wanted to answer your questions (please also tell me all about your lives, how school work is going, all that, I'd write more questions but I don't have much time):
  • Dad, yes, with the Nashville Tribute Album and Handel's Messiah and "stones in the River" Album, I actually only have the Trek album of the Nashville Band on my flash drive. Maybe I accidentally deleted the other stuff?! Haha I don't know. But I would love that. If you can, would you put that into MP3 format, please? I hope that's okay. I don't know if it's possible to find an MP3 file converter and just send me that, that might be easiest and that wouldhelp a lot. Thank you so much! 
  • Thank you SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE! I haven't got it yet but I feel the love alrady! you guys are awesome! 
  • Couyld you guys send me a photocopy of my Patriarchal Blessing? I lost my original copy and I fear that it won't make it to me from the elders in Charleroi--I requested one there but I think it might get lost there...I would really appreciate that. 
  • Good luck at Scout Camp!! 
  • Independence day--went and bought some pain au chocolat (chocolate bread) haha and joked about how we'd put red, white and blue chocolate chips on top. No, didn't do too much, but we thought of America in our hearts. :) It was good. 
  • Terrence, Serge, and Covalie were all found before I was here. They're great. Sorry, I don't have my camera with me, I'll try and send them next week. 
  • Woohoo for you Mom! Cool with those goals and how well life is going over there. Way to take a little break. Cool that you saw Ms. Moyes! that's super crazy, I didn't recognize her but thought maybe she looked a little familiar! Wow that has been a LONG time! I'm glad you got to have fun lately! Cool with the blog success too! I need to go but I love you all and thanks for all you do! Thanks you too Gave! Talk to you later! God bless you! 

Love, love, lots of love, to my dear and eternal family,

your brother and son, Elder Adam Grant Edwards

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