Elder Edwards

Elder Edwards

Monday, August 31, 2015

Aug 31, 2015 - Adam's letter today is three short videos.




video

video

video

Hey Dad! Thanks for your awesome email. Hey Mom and Malia too! Jist
wantrd to tell you guys I'm here if you wanted to chat.

GUESS WHAT!? IM TRAINING!!,!! :D i'm so excited!!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hello everyone! Expectations, Love, and Calm--weekly update August 24 2015







Hello to all my friends, family, and loved ones! God bless all of you
as you seek to learn and apply the Gospel and the will of God in your
lives. It's something very important to do.

This week has been really good. If you remember my letter from last
week, I wrote a lot about how Elder McBride encouraged me to just give
my all to my mission, and how I decided to go all out with it, and I
made a lot of changes, and it,s been a really good week! Voila, now
another week has passed, and we're here with just another week left
before the end of August. I hope everyone is enjoying the end of
summer back in the states and also the last little bit before school
starts, God bless you all!

Anyways, this week I've tried to apply that and just become a more
heart-filled missionary, to try and apply myself more fully in the
Lord this week, and it's been good. Man, and I have just been learning
tons from Elder McBride. I feel like part of the reason we were put
together s to help ME become more and more independent and happy and stress-free and
especially calm in my mission. It's been so good and I've felt a lot
of fulfillment, and I understand a lot more things now that i'm being
a 100% missionary than before. This week, we had another great comp.
inventory, when missionary comps meet together at the end of weekly
planning, and we talked a lot about what I could do to just be myself,
and to just be the best missionary possible, and the things I could
change. One of the things that came up, interestingly enough, was change
itself! As those of you who know me well may know, I'm not always the
biggest fan of change, and i think that's pretty true for lots of
us--especially when the change is hard and abstract and
soul-stretching and you just don't feel like it's a great thing! But
I've given it some thought, and we've talked about it a lot, and it's
good. 

i decided in the end to let change be a total, constant
"handoff", if you will, to God, and that I would let that be in his
hands, and that I would try and follow Him and His will as best as i
could. So I've experienced a lot of the power of the Atonement this
week.  Anyway, we talked about some stuff
like things that help me diminish and also just get rid completely of
stress, like laughing, having fun, letting go of the little things,
choosing not to stress and just let it go when something bad happens
to pass by on the street, or when we accidentally see pornography on
the road, just because it's there and because it's not our fault if we
don't dwell on it, and letting go of my little mistakes and how life
isn't perfect and all. I also am trying to say "I don't care" more,
really learning so much, Elder Mcbride is a great comp.

Okay, I,m going to paste in some stuff that i wrote to my friend
Lauryn because I thought you guys would like it lots and I figured i
might as well not type it out twice, so here you go:

"For the past while I,ve been in Nantes (you say it "Nont") France and that makes it about
three months that i've been here. My first comp, Elder Young, was here
with me for six weeks, and he had just finished his first twelve weeks
or just finished training, as we call it. He was a great guy, chill, we
had a lot of fun times, but I still had to learn some things like how
to get out of the apartment on time and get to bed on time and stuff
like that. Then, surprise surprise, I became comps with a guy I
actually knew really well--Elder McBride!! Get this--he was there when
I was on my first train ride to the apartment, my first day in the
mission field!! Crazy, huh? Then when he left our district he went to
Nantes, and then I followed him! So now we're comps and he's probably
going to leave which is a Pity. He is literally the guy who has helped
me change and learn the most on my mission. It's been cool because
we're pretty different people, and sometimes i prefer to let things
that bother me slide, but it's been so good for me to learn from the
way he talks to people on the tram, I do that a lot now, and also how
he takes life without stress, it's really, really good. He has a
really good attitude about the rules and how people shouldn't stress
too much about the rules. Haha--It's funny how you can kind of see why
the Lord and president place you with people after a while--my last
two comps have been totally chill guys have been really motivated and
worked hard but without stress, just with an easy mind, which is
exactly right. It is so great to have a good desire to be exactly
obedient, but realistically, we're going to fall short sometimes, so
the value of the rules isn't in beating yourself up about it every
time you break the littlest one, but rather how to give more of your
heart, how to really embrace God and the change he wants you to take.
Really cool stuff. So sometimes comps who are different are kind of
harder to work things out with, but if you,re just honest and open and
tell them how you feel, you talk to each other and help each other
learn, you learn SO MUCH! Man it,s crazy, even with style and matching
clothes and stuff! So much fun. Remember that, on a mission, comps who
are especially different still have great potential to be a great
friend, we feel like buds, and also a HUGE opportunity to learn, more
so than you would ever have at home.

We have three really good amis right now, even more, just three or
four that are ready for baptism. Life is going well. Lord prepares
people for us
. Innocent is a super cool African guy, and he is super
open to the truth (look for people who are humble enough to admit that
maybe they don't have one hundred percent of the picture with
religion, super good) and also Djenice, an eleven year old, and also
David, an African guy who is also super cool, and then Kevin, yet
another African guy, haha come to think of it these people are all
Africans! It's awesome. Oh man we got to eat at this awesome famIly's
house the other day, so sweet, they had this spicy stuff to put on the
food, and it was good, but most of all the FRIED PLANTAINS, OHHHHH
they were heavenly. Taste like bananas but made to taste sweet and
stuff, so really good."

Life has been going well, weird that my birthday s in a couple weeks.
i really really really want to train, but I also understand the
importance of being okay with and in accordance with the Lord's will.
But i don't think that stops me from dreaming :D. It would be such a
great chance, I'd love to have a new missionary to show the ropes to
and help him not stress as much As I did my first while on my mission,
to help him have a fun time and make a beastly missionary out of him!
But I humbly must say that i have no idea if that is actually going to
happen, nor can I really expect it, it is a privilege that not really
everyone can expect to have in the mission, with decreasing numbers
and stuff. But God be blessed, and we'll see what happens this
Saturday. I'll be able to let you know the news, if Elder McBride is
transferring out or staying, or if I'll be getting a new comp, i
should be staying but there are also surprises sometimes so you never
know. But I,m happy here right now, no reason to leave that i know of.

We had some cool experiences this week! 

One. We were given a referral of a member and two investigators of the church, two of whom, the
investigators, are going to be married soon, and the other guy is the
member the brother of the lady who will be married. We got that
Wednesday from Corsica the big island south of France. But then,
Thursday, we were out to go porting or door to door and finish up the
night, we took dinner at 7:30 or so, so we just had a half-hour left,
and we went out to an area near to our house, and we learned about
following the Spirit! Never care more about your own idea than what
the Spirit or a Spirit guided companion ways, because that,s what I
did, and we just about missed out on what happened. At a fork in the
road, I wanted to go right and insisted, so we did. Then after a
while, we went left, following Elder McBride and the Spirit's
suggestion to him, after being there for a few minutes, we were really
discouraged and we hadn't he anything happen that night, but then a
couple of younger adult guys, maybe 25 to thir each, started walking
by the front of the road, in t of us, and they just about pass us but
then turn back, and as we walk past each other, they say, "hey
elders!" And we're like, "hmmmm?!" So turns out those are the two
guys--both super cool by the way--were the referrals we got JUST THE
NIGT BEFORE and they live less than ten minutes' walk from our house,
and we found them, newly moved here, before we even had the chance to
call them!
 

So the Lord gives us miracles. Honestly, though the biggest
miracle is how much I've changed and opened up to the Lord's will the
past week and a half.
i love you all so much and I'm so grateful for
the good that happens when we humbly and openly submit and DISCUSS and
OPEN UP to the friends, family members, companions, etc, around us,
and that humility and open communication does wonders. Do that this
week, do that today with a relationship that is struggling, do so with
the Spirit of the lord, and i promise you it will work wonders. God
bless each and every single one of you!!!i love you all, please feel
my love. I'm having fun and doing great over here, Thank you for all
your love and support. I apologize for the letters I did not get to
answer specifically, but I hope you enjoyed the eMail.

Thank you especially Mom and Dad, loved your eMails and felt your love
from them. I tried to just be comfortable this week in buying what
looked good for food (you kind of go without a lot of things here
sometimes). The good news? Well I have lots of yogurt and fruit and
muesli and good food for the week. The bad news? Well no money in my
mission account for next week. Whoops. Well yeah I'll be more careful,
our washer is now fixed after being out of order for the last two
months so that helps our money a lot. Anyways God bless, with return
from ed week, from summer to school, with everything you're facing.
Know the gospel is true, we don't necessarily need to stress about
every mistake or temptation or imperfection, apply the Atonement and
become better with all your heart, let the little things go, don't
care sometimes, ENJOY LIFE, and never be afraid to change with the
help of the savior's Atonement. God bless, thank you so much, have a
great week, especially thank you mom and dad and hyrum gabe grace
malia and austin and brielle and zia. Love you all!!

LOOOOOOOOOOOOVEEEE YOU!!!!! LOVE YOU TONS!!!!!!!

You are teh best! Till nezt time, enjoy your lives with the Lord,

Your son, brother, friend, and missionary

elder Adam Grant Edwards

Monday, August 17, 2015

Aug. 17, 2015 - Short letter and a few pics

Terrence!!! Okay now you finally know who this guy is! He was found by Elder Young and Elder Lucas (the guy I replaced, great missionary), taught in large prat by me and Elder Young, and baptized by Simon, a Young adult in the ward. Great guy, still going pretty strong. 


Selfie time--me and elder McBride

this thing was HUGE you should've seen it!! haha




Hey Mom and Dad,

Great stuff today! We went to go help a member move for part of our
pday which was sad but good. :)

Love you smuch. God bless you in all that you do. Thank you for the
updates and your letters and love. Sorry it's so short today but I'm
loving my mission, I'm loving it and I love you and God. I'm doing it
for God now, really doing it from the heart.

Thank you so mich Mom and Dad. Would still like
the other stuff though. Will be trying to work hard and love it and
talk to people rather than hang between letters now, so I will be
working away, but thank you for all of your love. God bless you and
thanks for the pictures!!!

Love with all my stinking heart,

Elder Adam Grant Edwards
------------------------------------------------
Gee, Dad, thanks it is good to hear from you. I. Love you and
appreciate you so much. Sometimes it feels like I havent seen you in a
while! Haha which I guess is true. I hope you got those pictures that
I sent, that that went well and all. Thank you for all that you do and
your little update on the week. Glad that Balderree family party went
so well. Anyways, just wanted to invite you to chat me if you have a
sec. Sorry realized I could have asked you way earlier when I started
emails but there you go. Thanks again for that good Dan Cahoon music,
I like it!

----------------------------------------------------


Monday, August 10, 2015

Aug. 10, 2015 - Adam's letter and pics of cathedral



this is the one like Aragorn; pretty cool!!! Sick!


the organ!!!!





Love you Mom and Grace and Gabe and Hyrum and Malia and Dad! 

This week has been good, we got to go see a really great big cathedral! Guess
what else, we still have two baptismal dates, we had to move them back,
but it's going well, the Lord is blessing us here in Nantes.

I think about you guys often! By the way, thank you so much for the
letters, I appreciate it so much. God bless you in all your endeavors.

I got to be part of a really cool Plan of salvation lesson yesterday,
and guess what? I think that someone who I personally contacted will
get baptized. We'll see though all in the Lords hands.

Learning so much about being independent and becoming a better person
and being stronger in the gospel. Encourage you all to read a talk by
Bishop Causse entitled "Architects of Our Own Happines." Do things that
encourage you and lift you up and help you make your goals. Do things
that help you but the lord and the gospel first. That's always
important. The people who don't in hiatory always regret it.

Always be ready to help in missionary work and in genealogy work. So
important in our lives!!

Love you all so much and thank you for the photos of the family party.
God bless you all. Sorry I couldn,t get a personal email to each of
you today but hope it"s going well. Love you!

Sincerely,

Your loving son and brother serving the Lord In France,

Elder Adam Grant Edwards

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Adam to Dad (Mike):  


Cool!! Go get 'em in court Dad!!! :) whip that prosecution! No haha
sorry I'm just kidding. But I love you lots and I think of you and
your example often. It's interesting to be here and be so far from
you, but I'm glad I'm doing it. I think i'm going to work on having
fun here and enjoying t like you said.

Oh I don't know--maybe just some good family pictures and maybe a good
cookbook with some good recipes, haha I want to learn how to cook
better. I hope that's okay, thanks so much Dad! Also, I know this is
kind of a special request, but I thought it would be really neat if you
could please enlist the four grandmas and grandpas in putting together
a little family tree with all of my ancestors marked who were converts
to the church, like marked in red, and a copy or retelling of each of
their conversion stories. If there's a way to get that from them four
and you and Mom, too, even mission stories, that'd be great. Even just
a couple little cool ones, whatever you think Dad. I hope that's not
too much. Please thank everyone for all their kind notes and letters
and prayers and support!

Can you imagine I've already bee out here for 10 months? Lots of
people are impressed by my French, I get lots of compliments now, but
also still have a hard time communicating, but it's from the Lord, I
don't want to take any glory from it.

Talked to a cool guy who was going on vacation here in Nantes on a bus
who was Vietnamese. He was a cool guy, really nice. I don't know, you
probably tried it on your mission, but MAN bus and tram contacting
takes soe courage. It's all right, I'm more used to it now, but you
really have to be nice and natural and it's kind of hard just to start
talking to people, also to get the subject toward the gospel!!!
Anyway I talked to him just for a minute and, mentioned the church,
asked him, I think, maybe not if he'd be intereseted in hearing more,
and he said no, but it was still cool. Stuck out to me because he was
Asian and i really like Asian people, they're good, they have good
hearts, you know.

Well we have been teaching, for the second or third time now, a new
ami who is from Africa who just moved here from Tours. How we found
her is quite miraculous, definitely inspired toward her, but we found
her pretty far out of the middle of town where we live and where we
most often cross through, and we talked to her and taught her a little
lesson right there on the street (it's different now, you can teach
just a principle from Preach My Gospel, even just a little something
like how we believe in prophets or how to say a prayer, then you have
to wy a prayer, then give them a commitment to do, then it counts as a
lesson). Then we got her number and address and were able to go over
to her house the first time a few weeks ago. Now we were just able to
go over yesterday with the sisters, Sister Proudfoot (who I qctually
knew in the MTC) and sister Romero, to pass her over to them. Her
name, by the way, is Marina. She has two cute little African boys, so
energetic and fun! Haha Elder McBride bought the little guy a soccer
ball for his birthday last week and gave it to him, he's been loving
it. It was hard a little bit to let her go, especially since elder
McBride announced that we'd be passing her over to the sisters before
he'd even discussed it with me, but I'm not bitter, it's actually
better in the end, just sad to see her go because she is literally one
of the most legitimate people I have ever contacted. After the visit
with her yesterday, when we finished teaching the Plan of salvation,
she cried at one point and said she believes it, she's trying to
accept it at least. She will get baptized in six weeks, I call it! No
ha a but it will be fun to see what happens, I have faith in it!

God bless you Dad, hope that's good to read. Would you and Mom like me
to add more stories and experiences in general to my letters? What else
would you like in them? Also i've been studying and trying to figure
out my life mission, studying my patriarchal blessing and all that, and
what do you and Mom think about my life mission? Any important
thoughts or impressions you've had, especially about how I'm learning
and growing in my mission? I hope that life is going good for each and
every one of you. God bless you so much.

That album is SO COOL!! Thank you so much. Yes, could you please send
me Handel's Messiah and the Stones in the River album? Thanks so much.
Thanks for teaching me how to sing too because then if it's in your
head, it's out in the air! (Especially if your name is Dad
Edwards--and it may well come out with a couple little rhymes and funny
additions!!:D )

Dad, sometimes I get kind of down, seeing all the wickedness and all the drinking and smoking and stuff that people do, it makes me kind of sad. You would not believe
how many crazy, evil ideas are rooted, i mean rooted in these peoples'
minds, it's amazing!!! Like truth is relative for each person, good
for you if you believe in God but it's not important for me right now,
maybe later, the good ole' "well there's so much bad stuff in the world
that how could God live," you know of course.

Love you tons, God bless ysou in everything you do. Serge and Covalie
actually are not dropped, but we currentlycannotget in contact with
them. Denice is doing well, we need to get this family coming back to
church and to see and teach him again soon. David we saw and we moved
their baptismal dates to the2 september, just after my birthday!
Cool right? Anyway yeah. Lots of exchanges. I got to go to St. Nazaire
by the coast twice two weeks ago and also to la Rochelle right down by
the coast (AND the southern-most area in our mission, or close to it
at least, nerly surrounded by the Lyon mission and the Bordeau stake)
and that was really cool. The people just get MEAN sometimes in little
villes like that when missionaries have been there for a while.
Generally it was all right, we chose a hard spot to contact for a bit,
too, it was just interesting, haha. Some French people certainly do not
have a hard time being cold. But most are good. nantes is really nice
because lots of people don't know you, you know? Probably one of the
closer things we have to being like San Fran, a lot smaller but still
lots of people and lots take the tram.

God bless dad. I know this gospel is true. 

Love, and with eternal friendship and brotherhood and sonhood, your
dear beloved son,

Elder Edwards

Friday, August 7, 2015

August 3, 2015 - Adam's letter

Hey Mom and Dad! 

I'm doing okay, things are going well. I was happy to hear about you guys and your cool experience with the bike ride! Yeah, I bet you guys are all sore! I'd be super sore on my butt if I'd done that! Pretty crazy there. It sounds like that was a pretty spiritual experience. Life is so good when we live it well. I hope that life is going well for all of you over there! That was fun to see all those pictures from the bike ride and from the family party. Plus, Malia sent me a few pictures of Zia and Brielle, and that was awesome!!! I love so much to hear from you all, and also to review and see my life the way it is, thank you so much for working so hard to keep me so up-to-date!

I love you all so much. I just wanted to say that this week, I've had some real cool lessons on how to live life to the fullest. Sometimes, I don't really state my opinion or let it be heard, I'd prefer almost just to let it sit in silence and let myself mope about it and feel sorry for myself later. Well that doesn't really help anyone! So it's kind of cool, it's a fun time to try and speak up more, it's actually helping me feel lots better inside when I work with other people and it helps me feel lots more like my companion's friend! It's not Elder McBride's fault at all, I just need to speak up more! so good to feel like I'm heard and people listen.

I've kind of done some thinking about life lately the past while, and I just wanted to reflect a little bit on one thing--It's so important to live life to its fullest. Sometimes, we think that going against the grain, against the gospel, or against the prophets or their teachings, will bring us happiness. I see that every day. Most members do. And if we don't see it around, right in front of our very eyes, we see it on the news. We see so many things calling for our attention. If you live in a big city, or even just in the midst of a school, you can walk around and see people put on these masks, wishing that others won't notice them or make fun of them, trying to hide something from the outside world. I do that a lot! And it's really interesting, we actually don't need to do things like that at all!! I LOVE the fact that we can be legit, we can be authentic and genuine and loving, and we can share Christ's love with people, and we don't even really need to try! We can let all our coldness and doubts and fears melt away, melted by the warmth and sun of christ's love! What a powerful warmth that is, too!! So every time you feel cold or empty or feel like you face too much weakness in yourself or that you'll never overcome your sins, smile and remember all that the Lord has taught you. Do His work happily in your heart. 

And as a wise missionary I knew told me, one who has now gone home, Elder Wells, the Lord doesn't call us to be people who we're not. He didn't call Elder Edwards to the France Paris mission to be some cold, unreachable character, or someone who wouldn't take life and live it to the fullest. He called me because he knew I could do great things here and because I can reach out in love towards others! So don't ever doubt the Lord's ability to warm your heart. That happened a lot at the beginning of my mission, whoa boy I was a stiff ole' goat there for a while, and He'll help me with it this week, too. It's so important to reflect and go back, looking at your life through a lense not of criticism, but of reflection, with a sincere desire to see and live the way the Lord would want you to live, and what a powerful thing that is. Look through your Patriarchal Blessing. Don't share it with me or with others, but keep it personal between you and the Lord. That is a special thing, a compass just for you. Live it love it every day. 

Take all the doctrines that Christ has given us through our beloved modern-day prophets and put it to heart. And remember something: be grateful for those prophets, for their teachings, for the scriptures, because man, you come out here in France and it is not the same! You see just how lost people are, and you work with people and you talk to SO MANY PEOPLE who just don't believe in God, not even one bit! It's sad, really, it's scary! But the good thing is, I've learned that their beliefs or views on God do not at all have to be the same as mine. In my heart, I desire to believe in God, and I know that is right, and I know it's right to do this mission faithfully and follow his prophets. So dang it, we can do the things the Lord asks of us! Never doubt because of past mistakes or current trials or worries for the future that Christ can make of you everything you want to be, and even more!

If we could see the warmth of His light bouncing off of and playing on the surface of our spirits, it would make our eyes shine! Truly, no greater days are ours! And it is true that no days we live can be relived. In other words, once you "eat up" this day, you can't "eat it up" again, you can just turn to tomorrow. So, repent, do everything you need to in order to live happy this day, and in the mean time, hey, have some fun, take a walk in the morning, learn to cook, smile, laugh, enjoy every single minute of life, take some moments just to appreciate the fact that you're alive, that God loves you, that you have clothes, you have food, you have a family, you have beloved friends, you have commandments that keep you warm and safe. 

Oh, my friends and family, speak out your hearts, make your feelings and opinions known, remember to never forget what Christ has done for you, your fathers, your children, your nations, and take it and GO! Reflecting on this power God has endowed you with, this ability to live this life TODAY, you have more power than most people could possibly imagine! In concentrated effort, in living the commandments, in being faithful in your trials, in smiling even in the rain, you learn to become the joyful, happy, bright person God so hopes you to be! Live, write in your journal, reflect on past choices, repent and let them go, and move on and decide what you'll do differently so every day, no matter how hard, can be as joyous as you can make it! And I can promise you, being thousands of miles away from home, dealing with things that every missionary deals with on the mission, the Lord can and will strengthen you in your trials. 

I've been trying to write in my journal a little more often, to talk to my companion just about whatever, have a laugh or two with him, to really invest in this beautiful life God has given me, and what a gift it is! Take moments to put the smartphones and youpads and computers down, and just enjoy your family and friends for crying out loud. There's a reason, maybe, why Genesis doesn't include the creation of iPads! Because when God created us, and He gave us the gospel, that was pretty much all that was important! If you do this, life is so joyful. Stop being too hard on yourself, be happy no matter how many people mock you, make a choice that you'll live to follow the Spirit now and forever, forevermore! God bless you all in this pursuit, and I hope that you have the chance to really ASK GOD what you can do, how you can repent, start with a new vision, get that new desire, re-evaluate your life, and start what it takes to change. Talk to God. Talk to your bishop and Priesthood leaders. god will make a way for all things to happen that must. 1 Nephi 3:7 and never forget..."Men are that they might have JOY."

Wow, glad to get that out. Have been trying to read my scriptures more by delving into them, getting deep, you know, my own personal questions. So good. Things are going well, we're teaching Djenice, a little boy of 11 years old, whose dad is super cool an RM, and also David, both of those people have baptism dates but we need to see David again, haven't seen him for a few weeks. Anyway, for all those missionaries with bikes, be grateful for them! God bless you all, take care, and see you later!!!

P.S. Thank you mom for the talk and to the McCrary's for their package and to Dad for the music. It worked, thanks so much! :D God bless, talk to you all later!!

Love, tons of love, and go and enjoy life,
your loving son and brother,
Elder Adam Grant Edwards
Missionary, representative of Jesus Christ