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 



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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



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