Elder Edwards

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

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