Elder Edwards

Elder Edwards

Monday, February 29, 2016

Feb 29, 2016 - Hello Family! :) Update from Week 2 in Troyes

Finished reading Jesus the Christ for the first time ever :D 



video

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Hey Mom and Dad! Thank you so much for your little emails, I loved them so much. Looking forward to the packages Mom! Thanks so much. 

This week, I would like to talk a little about some of the events, some of the things I've done, and also some cool experiences. Hope you enjoy. :)

So, last Sunday, as you know, was our first Sunday here in Troyes. We got to meet the ward and stuff. Monday, P-Day last week, was pretty chill. We pretty much just did studies and bought food and then hung out at the church, doing emails and stuff, then went to an appointment or two with Elizabeth, a less-active member, and Jeannot, who is an investigator but who is not very motivated. I'll make a table here with all the amis later. Then that was our Pday! I also practiced piano for a while, which felt really good. I hadn't realized, but it had been several weeks since I'd played. That was pretty unusual. 

Tuesday, we had a BIG BIG finding day. WHEW man it was crazy. The whole district came down to Troyes, so we had eight elders here for the day, and we basically just street contacted the whole entire day. Wow it was tiring. Haha I had a really cool experience, though, me and Elder Kelley were doing splits for a while and we ran into this guy, turns out he was a less active member!!!!! From Italy!! Crazy right? He said he'd tried to look for the Church in Troyes, been here for two months, but that definitely was a testimony that the Lord guides his missionaries. Haha here I was just thinking I was walking down a calmer road for a break from so much noise and people, and nope! Someone there. Really cool. 

Wednesday, we did some finding and taught two great lessons on the street, really cool, we met this one guy whose name is Cedrick and he is awesome. We tried to just be really nice and authentic with him, he is hopefully very prepared to become a new ami even if we couldn't fix another rendez-vous with him right then. Then I also listened and read a lot of talks, like "Turn to Him and Answers will Come" from General Conference and also a talk by John Bytheway, and boy it was cool. You really need to keep your spirituality strong as a missionary, or you feel overwhelmed and kind of pulled under really fast. So I learned that the difference between a less-active RM and a strong active one is simply habits. It all depends on if I keep going to church, reading scriptures, etc. And if anyone reading this on the blog happens to have a falling-out with God, or starts to be less-active, I want you to do a couple things: Read that talk, and decide now to never give up, to restart the things in the Church to keep your spirituality, ask God in faith for help, remember the many times God HAS touched you, and get back in touch with your ward and Priesthood leaders. Ask them for special help if required. The most important thing is to make an effort, NOW, and to not give up. 

Two things I've learned on my mission: 

1. You can know for yourself, now, starting with your actions today, that the basic doctrines of the gospel are true, and that the Church is true. 

2. You are always the one who decides if, in the end, some trials, doubts, frustration, filthy lies, untrue weaknesses pointed out in Church leaders, clouds of doubt, etc. will cloud your faith or if it simply gives you a big boost because all your strength is spent on gripping that iron rod, on staying active in the Church. You cannot grip the iron rod halfway. You are either doing all you can for the Lord and His gospel, or you are not. So I invite you to decide, now, to make every setback, misunderstanding, and trial of your faith an opportunity for GROWTH and not for DOWNFALL. Do not let your faith and salvation rest on those infirm sands of circumstance. If you decide now, and take action, the Lord will help you and show you what to do. I testify that's true. 

Thursday, we did some good missionary work, a few cool contacts on the road. Talked to one guy who was more or less on the street, and when we asked him if he was interested, he actually said, "Oui, ca m'interesse." Or, "Yes, that interests me." That is super duper rare to get a response like that so we were both pretty happy, Kaonohi and I. We also visited an elderly member named Sister Glowacki, and helped her talk out some problems and sad things she's dealt with in her life. I also sent referrals for Tippe or Andrick (haha turns out his name is really spelled Hendrick so I will write it like that from now on), but several of his family members he referred so I sent those out to Salt Lake online. Really easy to do online by the way everyone. We then had a great Ward Mission Leader meeting and Priesthood Executive Meeting and Ward Council. Then that was all. We talked about how we really wanted to get a lot of activities rolling and our vision of filling the chapel with people on Sunday, and bringing new amis and less-actives there by having lots of fun activities. The ward really liked that. Also, Thursday morning Elder Kaonohi gave me a blessing that was very personal and I realized that the Lord has a place for me in this mission and that He needs me to persevere, He basically asked me to persevere to the end. It was very reassuring and it was definitely overdue, I should have asked for it sooner. :) 

Friday we planned a lot and also had an interesting experience going door to door. Hahaha we actually were threatened by an old grumpy guy (man, he was freaking crazy, too, angry like you wouldn't believe) and he freaked out and yelled at us, got super angry. Nothing happened though, we're fine and safe. Haha you run into some pretty angry people sometimes... Just shows Satan opposes this work and frankly, I don't care. God will protect us and push us forward. We just keep stepping outside and talking to people to bring them into the Church.

Saturday, me and Elder Kaonohi talked a lot, it's been fun to have a comp who I can just talk to, we have really fun conversations. Sunday, we had a great time at church, we had THREE investigators there! Holy cow that is awesome for me so I am just so excited. Just FYI for all you people in Taiwan and Brazil and stuff, not sure how good that is for you, but in France, that's doing business, so yeah don't you judge me. :D Was a big blessing from the Lord that's for sure. Then had some good experiences finding an ami or two that we have not been able to get in contact with. :) That's our week! Now here I am Monday morning, not being able to wait until ten am because that's when we can go buy food... :D Haha yaayyyy

This week, in general, I've thought about you lots, family! Mom, Dad, Malia, Austin, Grace, Hyrum, Gabe, Zia and Brielle. I love you guys a bunch and look at the family photos you've sent me every once in a while. You're so awesome. I miss ya lots. :) Hey but don't worry I'm still focusing on my mission. 

I don't really know what else to tell you! Hopefully the rest of the stuff I want to talk about will come out this afternoon when I take some time to chat you and stuff and answer to your emails (at this point I haven't read them yet). Okay love ya!

My questions for you, family:

1. Should I go to BYU-Idaho right away, in the winter semester after my mission? Or should I wait a few months so I can start working? I mean, do you think I could find a job, and do you think it would be advisable, or better, to just go to college right away, or do you think I would need some time?

2. I've thought somewhat about extending my mission, but I've mostly decided not to. I just wanted to get your thoughts on it. Just want to make sure that what I'm doing is right. :) 

I know how important it is to grab hold of the iron rod and just hold strong every day. :D It is so great. We're working with a lot of less active members and it is important to keep mind focused and away from distractions. Love you tons family. :) Great week to all of you.

All right see you this afternoon! Ciao! 

Love 

Elder Edwards



Friday, February 26, 2016

Feb 25, 2016 - Transferred to Troyes, France and new Hawaiian companion, lotsa pics

First pair I trashed :D haha look at the heels on those suckers! I kid you not, they were fine three or four weeks before that!
Well I look like an idiot but it's not Worth loading another photo so oh well :D. This is me and a recent convert
Sayin goodbye to Frère Desvergez, my DMP in Nogent

Felix; this is the member who almost cried when I told him I was leaving. Behind is Frère Ihout; the guy we helped with his move several times:
This is saying goobye to the Bouchiquet family; the people who had us over Christmas Eve: She is an English professor and they're just awesome.













I assume this is Adam's new Hawaiian companion. 




Okay, family! So here we go, I hope you all got and enjoyed my pictures, if not Mom should have them, sorry I am late on the letter, I'm writing here in the apartment tonight, so I hope it finds you all safe happy and well. :) 

NEW ADDRESS

Les missionnaires
Elder Adam Grant Edwards
1  Impasse Jacques Julyot
10000 TROYES 
France

BTW you say Troyes not like "Troyez" but like Twah. Just FYI because this town's name is especially difficult for English speakers, me included. :)

Here are videos giving you the broad, overall feel and picture for this past week and what me and Elder Kaonohi are trying to do:

(See other two emails with videos, too big to put here)

All right! And then I know that you might feel ripped off if I just stopped at that and called it quits, so here is some literary review of what I've been up to with my new awesome Hawaiian companion: 

Monday and Tuesday: still in Nogent. Which is weird, already feels like more than a week ago. We were lucky enough, Elder Malloy and I, to be invited over by several members those days, notably the Doumbias Monday, The Bouchiquets Tuesday, and I believe also the Kusselings Tuesday. :D It was incredible. I think you have pictures of all three of those. Great member appointments and I really will miss those people. I do miss them already. When I listen to certain music, it makes me think of the Nogent apartment and the people I knew there and members and how many laughs we had, we were so close-- it's just so painful sometimes. But man, it's also good to be here in Troyes. :D Can't complain. Gotta keep happy and smiling. No other way to live life to the old Adam. 

Anyways, we're bored with that subject, let's move on to Wednesday. It was a very smooth, uneventful P-Day, I got to think of Dad and wish him happy birthday, and it was surprising because it was definitely the shortest [transfer day] I've ever had as far as that goes. Felt the shortest, anyway. I mean, I've had 2 1/2 hour trains before just from one city to Paris (coming in from Nantes, for example) and so, yes, just being here and fine and dandy about 2 PM was nice indeed. I even had an extra bag (haha embarrassed) because I didn't want to leave behind the cool basketbal shoes that I'd found in my last apartment, they're sweet NIkes and they fit me perfectly and so yeah. Haha I'll have to lighten up my packing next transfer. Boy I just have a BUNCH of books too. Figures. :D I have a decent amount of French language study books alone so it's kind of fun. Wednesday we were picked up by a member (as, again, neither I nor Elder Kaonohi know the town at all aside from our own humble experience of 5 days-- haha if one of us hasn't been somewhere, the other one hasn't either), and he dropped us off at our apartment. 

We then were able to unpack and unsettle and talk a bit, but no fear! We got to work after a while. We went out to teach our first member present lesson, or rather a lesson for a less active member, and it was great! Her name is Bernadette. She's cool. Also this is weird to teach sisters like this because habitually since after Charleroi I've been in villes where we have sisters as well, so I've usually given sisters to be taught by the sisters, but now, here, we're just in a cute little smaller-town, although decent sized town ward, so as far as missionaries are concerned, WE'RE IT! Haha the ward spoils us so bad. Everywhere we go it seems like they try and feed us, give us juice, or crackers, or snacks. I think they sensed our energy when we came in and we just want to keep it up. I think members really like good energetic hard working missionaries, so I want to be more like that. 

Anyways. That was Wednesday. Let's now progress in speed because I'm tired and you're all probably wondering when the novel will be over. :D JK read on it's interesting I promise. Ok. Thursday we did lots of stuff, some contacting, went to see a member family (yeah we're that boss already seeing members that's K's idea) and then we got to go to Ward Mission Leader Meeting and then Priesthood Executive Meeting and then Ward Council all the same night. WHew. It was awesome we love meeting members :D I loved it, reenergizes me hard-core. 

Friday. We went to the Bernardi Sr. family's home. Frere Bernardi is one of the guys who is always down and ready to teach with us, so we like him a lot. We did that, had a nice long lunch at their house, saw cool MISSIONARY BOOKS where they keep papers and records of all the missionaries they've ever had since like forever in their ward (seriously I mean I saw like ten and more missionaries I knew in those things it was crazy, and they go back many many years), then came home, then went back out to go to a ward activity called "Missionary Video Night" where we watch a Church video once a month and invite all our amis and members and less-actives to come. It's great. We watched Finding Faith in Christ. watch it y'all who need faith in Christ. You should find it it works. 

Saturday we taught Andrik, an amazing ami, and the Spirit was with us. He taught so strongly. We are learning a lot lately about contacting all people possible and just opening our mouths without fear of the consequences or what the people will say. We were able to talk with him and he shared some really personal things with us of how his family needs help and things like that, won't share the details because it's private. But boy, it was so cool. He started talking about baptism and how he hadn't felt ready for baptism before, but how now he was feeling like he was ready (miracle because this was the first time we had seen him, our companionship) and WOW we threw out the baptismal challenge and he accepted, the guy's making a covenant of faithfulness to God in the next two or three months, I'm not going to share the exact date I guess because I feel like that's private too. He is so cool, comes from French Guillana in South America. So golden, prepared. 

We then went to the Faria family's house, Portuguese family, and they were awesome and gave us good food, including a pineapple upside-down cake. :D Thought DAd would smile at that. I like those too you know! Also saw an ami for the first time, Laeticia (Lay-TEE-see-uh) and that went really well. With these situations of coming into a ville when you're both brand new (whitewashing), you really need to get a first RDV with all the families and investigators and stuff to get a feel for who they are and what they need, etc. So we've been doing that. 

Sunday -- we went to church, got to sit by and meet a bunch of new members, but to us there were a rather few amount of people there, or at least so it seemed, so we made a goal to fill the chapel with those less-active and soon-to-be-amis who need the Lord so badly. And we need them! This is a very tranquil ward, the culture of this town is very slow moving and relaxed, so it is hard to get them out of their comfort zone. It's ok though. 

Sunday afternoon we went to visit Sister St. Marc (spelled with a C in French) and ate at her house (also ended up being late because we talked with the bishop forever and the member who was supposed to give us a ride was waiting on bishop...hahaha we found this out after...). Also that talk with Bishop for a while was great. He reminds me a ton of Jayson Davis, his face and mannerisms and all. I'll have to get a picture we're going by his place next Wednesday. We finished weekly planning, thought thoroughly of a good vision for this ward, and we think it involves activities to bring amis and less actives out and keep them out and also just to fill the chapel on Sunday with repentant, happy smiling sincere souls. We could really feel the power behind that goal and we are going to work to sustain it. We're going to work really hard. It is necessary to talk to at least once person a day in a really uncomfortable situation-- one you don't think you would have talked to yesterday. That way you always grow. :) I'm trying to do that and talk to everyone and it's great. It'll be hard to keep it as energetic and hard-working as a couple of our first days were, but I'll do my best. 

BTW, my blue, Elder Walton, is a district leader now! Congrats for him. Yay. 

And now here I am Monday night with a fairly uneventful PDay behind me (played piano for a while, felt good, had been a few weeks I think--haha weird I totally forgot about it). We went to see Laeticia with a member and then to visit a less active member, Elisabeth and her friend Jeannot (Jzuh-NO) and that was good. Yay! We're going to be having a great finding day tomorrow with the WHOLE District right in our ville of Troyes. That's how we're doing district meetings now this transfer, we go around every week to a new ville of one of our equipes and we just all find there all day, doing district meeting and lunch in the middle, and hope to just super-boost our missionary lessons, amis, and work in each of our villes. :D With energy, smile, Spirit, nothing can go wrong. I love the Spirit and how it guides me in every aspect of my work.  

Keep your spiritual shields high and strong. The adversary and opposition are strong but don't let them get to you. :D It's eventually you who will decide if you want to let faith hold out or if you want to let doubts affect your faith. Faith is the right choice. 

Also I love Elder Kaonohi. He works hard and is chill and loves life and is just so much fun. I've already pretty much told him everything about me, he is just that good of a talker and listener. So I am in real good hands here. Having lots of fun. :) We laugh well. 

Ok well I better let you go. Y'all have a good night. Love ya ad talk to you later!!

LOOOVEEEE YOUU FAMILYYYY 

Love lvoe love <3 oops too much sorrry

Elder Edwards 





Monday, February 15, 2016

Feb 15, 2016 - Hello Dear Friends and Family! Transfer to TROYES -- an Era of great work to begin

Okay family! I love you all. So this email will mark the end of my
time in the Nogent Ward. I was there for only two transfers or three
months. I almost can't believe it. I was kind of going back and forth
between leaving and staying, and finally we get the repertoire and I'm
out! Fun fact though, I'm going out into the country just a ways
southeast of Paris. I'm so excited!! My new companion will be Elder
Kaonohi. His full name is Vaihi Teva Kaonohi. HE IS HAWAIIAN!!!!! :D
:D :D YEESSSSS. From what I've heard he is super chill and he sounds
like he just has the biggest heart, I am SO excited because we are
both pretty chill people, hard to offend, etc. So I am just SO PUMPED.
We are going to get along great.

Ok. So I guess let me step back and cover all my bases. I'll talk about:
  - What happened this week
  - My feelings about the transfer
  - My last Sunday and saying goodbye to everyone in Nogent
  - Goodbye to Malloy, Jenness, and Beach
  - Beginning of Troyes

1. What happened this week in a linear delivery. We taught Frere
Saisiaw for the last time. We were also able to teach an old
investigator, Charles, whom neither of us knew before, for the first
time, and it went great. He was much more believing than he was with
the last set of missionaries, so he has progressed in the five years
since he was last taught. We also were able to eat at the Lucas
family's house. His accent in English was INCREDIBLY good. I've never
heard a Frenchman speak English like that before. We had district
meeting, we went and did service at the Leconte family's house. Also
had DMP meeting Thursday. We tried getting the second year visa for
Elder Malloy but it turns out you can only go in the morning. So he
now is able to go get his second year legality. :D We taught Mezak
with a member, Samuel. That was great. He is our only progressing ami
and I joked I want to take him to Troyes in my suitcase so I can keep
teaching him. We visited with a member, Ali, who was baptized a year
and a half ago, whom Sister Hill was able to teach for a while. We
were also, finally, able to visit with the Ihout family one last time.
They're the ones we helped move so much at the last minute last week.

2. My feelings about the transfer-- I'm pretty happy but also a bit
sad. Me and Elder Malloy have gotten along really well here the last
while, and it'll be sad to leave. Honestly, we kind of didn't
really expect it. I sort of did, sort of didn't. It's hard to say. But
I am SUPER HAPPY to leave!!! Oh man I really hoped to move faster here
this second half of my mission, so I'm super happy. :D We are
whitewashing as well, and I'm going with a super chill, awesome
Hawaiian companion, he's got a big heart, I've only met him once or
twice, but he is just awesome. And also, I'm going to a REALLY SWEET
town that is fairly well-known in all of France or the mission, it is
a pretty small town with NINE churches, all of them have bells that
ring on the hour. And I love bells. I am SO PUMPED. :D :D :D So yeah,
we are both completely new to the town, so we will be totally finding
out how to get to the apartment all alone and everything. It will be
interesting. :D haha. We are going to try and find the right rhythm,
going hard with finding and all that.

3. Last Sunday -- was really interesting, had a great spiritual ward
conference to finish off my time here in Nogent. It is really weird to
be a missionary who's leaving... In no other time in life are you
every really "assigned" to leave, and given a specific date to do so.
There was one brother who was even so sad he almost started to cry,
which was kind of weird, but several of the members seemed genuinely
sad to see me go. It was cool to have a good time seeing everybody for
the last time and it was just a great spiritual Sunday as well, so
yeah. :D Great experience.

4. It will be sad to say goodbye to Elder Malloy, my current
companion, and also Elder Jenness and Elder Beach, the Aulnay elders,
who live with us. It has been cool because I have had such a fun time
with them, it has been so cool. We just got a Risk board from another
missionary apartment, so it has just been great in general. We have so
much fun playing chess, too. Elder Malloy is pretty much the best
companion I've EVER had at playing chess, which is super cool! Anyway,
it'll be sad to leave them, but I'm also happy to be moving out
relatively quickly. It's always a shock and a boost to see that kind
of stuff change. Change of scenery can help a lot. I need to focus
more and more on my misisonary call.

5. Troyes -- Funny, Elder Johnson, my MTC comp, and Elder Roth, whom I
lived with last transfer, were in Troyes before. Me and Kaonohi are
replacing them. And Roth is coming back to Nogent! Haha! So that's
kind of cool, we're swapping places almost.

I have also learned a lot this week about humility and just not caring
about leadership in general. I am still not in a leadership position,
like district leader or anything, but it's ok! I have learned that I
DON'T NEED LEADERSHIP in order to feel loved or important. I don't
need a title to be a good influence to those around me.

Plus, Compiegne has been moved from my old district, Paris Lilas, to
come to my new district with me! So I'm keeping Elder Kelley, my BYU I
buddy (we want to room together) and Elder Williams, who are both
really cool, in my district. I will be in the district of Troyes,
Meaux, Compiegne, and Auxerre. All elders, each town has one
companionship. It'll be fun.

Thanks for telling me how much you love getting my emails, I didn't
realize that it made that much of a difference for you! Haha sorry
it's hard for me to feel like continual communication is going on, I
still feel pretty separated just because we can only talk once a week.
Please send me emails during the week whenever you want to.

Love you tons. Sorry I don't have any pictures to send this week, but
I will try and send a few next time.

Love you guys! Have a great week.

Elder Edwards


Monday, February 1, 2016

Feb 1, 2016 - Adam's letter - new French clothes and a new investigator!

Week 4 of Transfer 10


This was our district meeting activity. 




Hey Family!!

Hope you are all doing well. I wanted to just thank you for all the
emails and letters, please know I love you all so much. I appreciate
your prayers and all you are doing to help me stay strong out here.
Life is so good. I'm well and happy.

Just to respond to some of your questions... Mom and Dad, you asked a
few questions about how you could best support me in prayers or things
like that. Yeah, I could try and start keeping you updated with my
amis! I will just try and remember to send the names of new people to
you when I get them, that way you just kind of know everyone. :) Thank
you for your kind and loving support.

Here is a quick update of my week...

A few of the main activities we did this week were: less-active
finding and teaching, family home evening at the church and two at
families' houses, member visits and work (got to help a member with a
home-teaching visit, that was really cool), and we were able to do
some good finding as well. I had a good time stretching myself and
trying to talk to more people in the train as we're going to and from
places. It's been really cool. Like I said last week, it's been
sometimes frustrating, which happens, but it's all right. I'm learning
to stress less, and learning that inviting is success. No matter
what the people say, I gotta try and remember the smiles, the people
who are happy, the people who are accept, and then I'm happier and I
do better work. It is important to talk to as many people as I can do.

Other than that, I bought a cool pair of shoes and also a really cool
light French coat. I decided to get that instead of a French suit
since I already have a suit that is European style. It is light tan
and is a really cool style, double-breasted. I got it for really
cheap, I was really happy. I also got a new tie! So yeah I am happy.
:)

As far as things go, things are going well. We got a new ami [investigator]
introduced to us and our ward, his name is Mezak, prnounced
"mee-zack." He is AWESOME. We got to see him at one appointment and
also at church. He was soo cool! He wants to be baptized and he is so
great.

Hope you all are doing well!!