Elder Edwards

Elder Edwards

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April 10, 2016 - Hello dear beloved family! To infinity-- and to Troyes!

My week had nothing to do with the title, that was a complete misadvertisement.

Just kidding, it actually did. Let me tell you a little bit about this
transfer, which we have just started, this month, and this past
week... Shallll we?

Last Tuesday, we had a great time shipping up to St. Merri, the chapel
in the center of Paris, and we had a great zone meeting there.
Officially, we have no zone conference this transfer, which is lame,
but we still had district meeting and zone council--something to help
us kick off the new transfer and see friends  in the zone. It was
really fun and we talked about our game plan.

Got to see lots of people, such as Elder Malloy, Elder Engelbrecht
from the mediterranean (he's really young, third transfer and he just
loves me and Kaonohi because we're so cool haha no just kidding),
Elder Young my old comp who is still my zone leader (I don't think I'm
leaving this zone for a while), Elder Smith who I lived with in
Charleroi, Elder Harris's greenie now zone leader, the Nogent sisters
Woolley and Brown, Sister Nolasco from my group (started mission same
time as me), Elder Beach and his greenie he just got, etc. It's been a
lot of fun.

Anyway, but our game plan for this transfer is to do a BUNCH of member
involvement and to keep working hard (as that was last transfer's
focus, finding new investators), but just to work better. So basically
entails member work, continuing hard work, and activities with the
members. Allow me to go more into detail on the Troyes dream team
action going down to the east of Paris....

For us, we have a pretty hard time getting a lot of excitement going
in the ward. Our ward mission leader, bless his heart, has been very
very busy with school and work and so has his wife, so he has very
little time and hasn't put very much energy into helping us out with
our missionary cause as long as we've been here. So we're really
looking to pump them up. What did we do? Well, we have three
activities planned for this month, in the next three weeks. 

  • One: this Friday, we are doing a movie night at the church, watching a church film and bringing amis so we can make it fun. Should be a blast. 
  • Two: we're doing a four to five-hour day of missionary work with as many of the members as will come and all eight missionaries of our district (Elder Divis, Cisneros, Raffanomezana or Raffi for short, me, Kaonohi, Fonua who I met in Nantes we're good buddies, and Allen) and we will BOSS work. WHO yeah. It'll be awesome. The "finding day" as we call it is part of the zone wide transfer program. 
  • Then three: we're going to have a Tahitian/Hawaiian Party at the church in a few weeks, with food and music and the haka and everything. It'll be legit. What's even cooler is that the bishop has backed us up with this, normally he has a harder time accepting activities that are less than a month in advance, but I think he likes us so he's being more forgiving here.
Grateful for the Lord who does all these things, makes 'em happen.
Voila our plan for the ward. We're also going to be working with them
a lot in general throughout these next five weeks just to get them to
teach with us and do their own missionary work. Had a member today ask
us to sign and give her a Book of MOrmon for a friend, hope that went
well! We wished them good luck. That's a really good missionary idea,
members giving BoMs to their friends with the missionaries' contact
info inside.

This week, we've basically been trying to teach and visit people and
we sort of just had a lot more chill time than usual. Been kind of
weird. I had a hard day where I just couldn't get myself to contact
somebody Friday, and I've been trying to wake up from that since. Haha
but it'll be okay. Oh yeah, I finally got my haircut. Paid 21.50, the
lady thought we were really cool and said we spoke really good French
for just 18 months out, and then a day or two later saw a place that
only asked for 10....ouch...

We cleaned the church with Jean Michel, we're often teaching somebody
with him or just around him. We also visited Denise, our Ivory Coast
investigator, with Sister Traore, ANOTHER Ivory Coast sister. Boom.
Too much African for Satan to handle. Those people have so much faith!
Oh yeah. She was supposed to go to Versailles to see a baptism and
church today but she wasn't able to she was sick...no... Hoping she
will make more efforts to go to church. Also missed a train after that
so just kind of chilled and talked for a couple hours. Romilly sur
Seine--great place, there should be missionaries there and a branch
too. They could, there are enough members, we really think they should
put a branch there.

We also visited with Frere Verrier a bit and that was very cool,
insightful. He has a very strong testimony of the church even though
he never or rarely comes Sunday. But we're still trying to love him
and help him see he has to come. :) He told me some good advice about
not wanting leadership, etc. on the mission, and expressed
appreciation for what we do as missionaries. It was a sweet moment,
tender mercy from the Lord. :)

Also had good ward meetings that night.

Friday we were privileged to have the Vandiver senior couple pass by
to check our apartment, and apparently we keep it in pretty good
shape! :) :) That was pretty good to hear, considering I've been
chastized before for bad apartment upkeep... Haha the only thing they
said was clean the bathtub area. So we were like shoots we're down.
They also brought us a lot of chicken to cook up (meat man it's
awesome) and this massive two pound box of strawberries (HECK YEAH
BABY). It's pretty good, not going to lie. They're so nice.

We got to stop by the Amantchi family. They;re really cool, liked
sharing a message with and hanging out with them. Oh also earlier in
the week we did some service and visited the Largeron family. Ate with
them and they took us to go shopping after too.

ALSO we had this HUGE tender mercy and miracle Friday. We went early
in the morning during study time to go to the UPS building outside of
town--decent bus ride out--and turns out the guy who runs that place
is a MORMON. Holy cow!! We're like No way dude! Also the timing on
this was impeccable, Heavenly Father orchestrated this incredibly
well, because we arrived five minutes after they were actually
supposed to close for a good five hours until the afternoon, and the
nice lady, just walking out, let us in, left us with her bus, and,
well, her boss was like, "The missionaries." And we were  like,
"Hey...do we know you?" Haha this happens a lot. The lady had walked
out by now. He was like, yeah, I'm actually an old member, it's been
ten years since I've been back to church but I had a lot of good
experiences there. 

And we're like TRIP cool man sounds good! He talked
to us some about what he experienced in the church, baptized a while
ago and stayed active and strong for seven years, working like a boss
with the missionaries all the time, loved them. This is like a 35 year
old guy by the way. Come to find out he's made some changes in his
lifestyle that aren't super okay by the Church, he lives with a man
and stuff, hasn't necessarily been keeping the Word of Wisdom super
well. Well you know we just had a bit of a feeling of love for him and
I want to tell you all, everyone, anyone to whom this applies, if
you've broken commandments and strayed, the way is there for you man!
You can come back. Don't hesitate. Don't wait. Don't let other
members' sour or even hurtful attitudes keep you from rushing back to
the Savior's arms. He is standing there, waiting for you. And "His arm
is stretched out still." Don't wait another second, man. He's waiting.

Saturday we did boss work contacting on the street in Auxerre, the
smallest town in our district. Whew people were JERKS there DAAANNGGG
we got some pretty curt responses from people. Nothing like crazy, no
swearing or anything but wow there were some pretty rude people. Hey
it's all good though we're used to it. We still had a really good
lunch and a couple tender mercy nice people contacts, and a member
even sewed up Elder Kaonohi's pants because they were ripped pretty
bad. Haha he had to stand in another room guarded by me and like four
elders so the old sisters sewing it wouldn't walk by and see him in
his underwear hahaha. It was funny. Anyways, that went well, I got to
chill with my good man Elder Divis from Modesto California, he was my
Paris Lilas Zone Leader last transfer and now he's my Compiegne
district leader so I know him already. Anyways we talked some and I
got some good advice on just staying strong, working hard, staying
motivated until the end of my mission. That was really good, good
little talk there. Then we went to the church, upon our return to
Troyes, and made two of the three flyers for the three activities this
month, and printed them out (we now have all three posted on the
church bulletin board and gave little flyers out to members today with
all the info on them they need, hopefully that'll help boost
participation). We then went to the Faria's house--you know, the crazy
Portuguese family who are just totally my favorite. They're so funny.
They crack me up. They also feed me which is nice. :D Kidding. Had
some pretty good jokes with their son Benjamin and it was fun. HOLY
COW their dad, Frere Faria, in his fifties or sixties, has really
really dry jokes--Kogan if you read this like you but more dry and in
a different language so harder to understand--and man I just started
understanding all of his jokes all of a sudden last night (whew
language barrier makes humor comprehension hard) and I was like WHOA I
AREN'T FUNNY SORRY. Haha hey no I'm kidding, he's awesome, he's funny.
Anyways that was our Saturday.

Sunday we had a great day today. I'm writing you Sunday night
actually. Seeing if that lets me write you more and send you more
pictures and videos. I hope so. Some of these videos especially were
overdue. We had a great church meeting this morning, gave out those
flyers to everyone, and met a couple members, and we had a couple
people there so that was good. Didier and Laeticia came, they are rock
amis when it comes to church attendance. Hopefully we'll be able to
see them both soon.

Afterwards, we got this cool random invitation to go to our DMP
BERNARDI's HOUSE and we were like HECK YEAH WE WILL and we did! HOOO
man it was awesome. We ate. And we ate. And we ate some more. Plus it
was really good and on the spot and all made within an hour. Pretty
good stuff. Frere Bernardi is French, in his forties or so, and his
wife is from the La Reunion islands way east of Madagascar in the
Indian Ocean. Yeah. Cool huh? They're the video I sent you, that's in
their house today. Anyway had a great time, chatted and saw their
house and chilled with them, was really good important bonding time
with our ward mission leader and his family, and then we took a nice
relaxing Sunday afternoon/evening walk with them. It was really cool.
We can't do that every day, not even often but it was good, it felt
relaxing, reminded me of the importance of family, reminded me of our
Sunday walks, you guys, and I felt their love and yours.

That finished up the week for us.

One thought I had today--if you're here to serve your mission, (and
remember every member is a missionary), why be hesitant about
missionary work? Why avoid talking to people about Christ and the
gospel? That's what it's all about. So I need to not hesitate to go
out on the street or in the houses and apartment buidlings and tell
them what they need to hear. The Lord is with us. I love you guys.
Hope this email finds you all happy, healthy, and well. God bless you
and be with you.

Study conference! Apply those principles to your life. Amazing things will change and happen. 

Love you family and friends!!

You should all shoot me an email because let's be serious, you didn't
just read all that. :) Plus "you got a friend in me." It's true. Toy
story man. K just email me now please. :) Love you family!


Elder Edwards

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