Elder Edwards

Elder Edwards

Monday, May 23, 2016

Family Email -- 2nd week in Compiegne :) things going better

Me and Elder Williams in front of a Catholic church in Margny les
Compiegnes a town right next to Compiegne

Elder Edwards like WHOOOO

Pretty good crowd of people here. It was fun to be tere because many
people I've known in my mission, including Sister Ulrich and Elder
Branchflower from the MTC, and Sister King and Sister Brown, and Elder
Malloy have all served in St Quentin. So I'd heard a lot about this
place. Fun to finally see it.

Lot of soup huh

Hey family!!

How are you all doing? Thanks for your email Dad, love you so much Mom and Dad and everyone. Wow sounds like you guys had fun with that four day conference. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE!!!! :D I love it! Cool tie too! Thanks for everything in there, the peanut butter,
everything. Already enjoyed some of the chocolate. Haha it's okay you didn't write me mom I understand you must be pretty tired. hey you can still write me before tomorrow though, if you want, I always get those because we'll be at the church for district meeting. Love you guys so much.

Ok so I will tell you a bit about my week and then I'll respond to your comments.

This week was a lot less painful and a lot more joyful than the preceding. Haha.

It's not that this is a bad place, but the first few days of
contacting in Compiegne were pretty rough, and I was like, "holy cow, nobody's talking to us, how did these guys do this" and then turns out those days, my first days, were actually some of the hardest Elder Williams has seen in three transfers of Compiegne!! Haha so that reassured me and things have been going better now. The Lord has sent
us a lot of nice people or people who are willing to talk to us for a bit, and that is really nice. It is true that in little towns like this, with about 30,000 people or so, Elder Williams says, there are many people that know us and you run into a couple jerks. But that doesn't bother me. It's just whatever. Plus most of the time the people are nice so it's ok.

Missionaries in the recent past have struggled a lot to get
member/missionary work moving much at all, so I'm hoping I can do things to make that change. I received a very encouraging email from Elder Hughes about that, saying that I can be just as close to members here as I was in Troyes. Haha I choose to believe it. I know things
can happen. It's just kind of hard because in a lot of peoples' books, if the missionaries don't make efforts to know them, and come visit them, it's just the same to them. In other words, if I don't make efforts to know them, they might not either. So it's kind of on me in
large part. And this is a pretty sluggish, slow-moving town/ward so that's what it'll take I guess. More on that later I still haven't made a true effort in that area.

Monday we had a rather chill pday. Tuesday, we had our first district meeting. We now have a couple new faces in the district; Elder Raffi and Elder Allen went home last transfer, so we now have our district as follows: Elder Kaonohi and Elder Trotter in Troyes; Elder Ethan Williams and Elder Edwards in Compiegne; Fonua and Bishop in Meaux; and Cisneros and Sutherland (they can speak four languages in between them) in Auxerre. The training Elder Fonua (the new district leader) gave was really inspiring. He talked about how we can each do better in our own villes (areas) and mentioned a quote from Sister Babin that
inspired me a lot. "If you're in Alencon (an infamously small, hard area in our mission), and there are only 23,000 people who live there, sure maybe the whole town doesn't want to hear about it, but can you at least find the 2 or 3 or 5 people who are just golden, waiting to hear the gospel?" And I really really liked that. Could feel it was true. So I've tried to pray for that and apply it a little bit and the
Lord already blessed us this week. 

We had a few rendez-vous throughout the week ; we passed out  invitations to the houses neighboring the chapel to invite them to a party this Saturday; taught Karine (I actually taught her before on an exchange here hahaha this is so weird to be here) ; taught Chantal, a recent convert since December; went to a city called Creil for the day Thursday  and taught a super cool less active guy named Franck. (Think of Franck Banks from Father and the Bride. Nah nah just kidding totally different guy haha he's super cool though) He is a really member, really loves coming to church, but is just so far away, w/out car and the only way he can come is by  train. The only member family
who could give him a ride hasn't really wanted to do it, so it's kind of hard for him. THANK YOU ALL MEMBERS WHO GIVE RIDES EVEN WHEN INCONVENIENT. it's important. 

Friday we did weekly planning, and also met a BUNCH of sick people. We met Arnaud, the French form of Arnold,
and he's a former investigator who stopped us at the side of a crosswalk. He was just smiling at us, hand stretched out, big guy from Guadalupe, so I was kind of scared he was going to attack us or mug us or something. Then just calmly shakes our hand and tells us what a great thing we are doing. Expresses from the bottom of his heart, in English, his second language, what a good thing we're doing. It was
pretty sweet. A true miracle from the Lord. This guy was just out in front of a little sketchy store in downtown, not far from the train station, and boom we have this huge miracle in meeting him. Talked for a good 20-30 minutes, went like that. I just tried to accept him and love him for who he was in that little conversation and it was such a good experience. He shared how he's been trying to work to overcome alcohol addiction, and said he'd come to church. We will recontact him to teach him this week. Also met some weird but very nice guy, Frederick, who was atheist himself but was very kind and open to talking about us, very humble guy, and that was cool. Said maybe he'd
give the card to his daughter who maybe is believing, so that was cool. Also I FINALLY got to meet the Mexican family we teach, and boy they are awesome. Ariel, the father, is an investigator since several months if not more, Monica, the wife, is a less active member, and
their little baby boy, Aron or Aronchito as they call him, haha, just barely turned a year old. So there you go. Super cool family. I love latino culture. So sweet. We talked about teaching/learning in the church and service, as Ariel has pretty much been taught everything by this point. He just struggles to come to church so he can't be baptized yet. I saw a lot of good in that family though. Such nice
people. Plus they gave us some DANG good cake. Also forgot to mention, we had a couple surprise little meal appointments on Wednesday that was awesome little tender mercy.

Sunday, yesterday, we were able to have two recent converts there, Elizabeth and Seye (Shay-yay) both Nigerian English speaking members, and TWO SWEET NEW PEOPLE, ANTONIO (a guy from Angola we contacted Saturday, he'd been contacted by us before, said he'd come and DID)
and HERVE (a cool guy from Congo who is Antonio's friend and who tagged along). Legit right? Most of the time when people say they'll come by, it means nothing. But they did! Super cool. Good moment. We're going to see Antonio Tuesday night and Saturday. Grateful for that miracle from the Lord.

You know, to put it broadly, I guess I'm really just grateful to the Lord for this chance to grow. The transfer to Compiegne hasn't been easy, but it's been all right, and it's an adjustment I needed to make sometime or another. The Lord is teaching me lots of things here. He's making me build character and helping me decide that I'll really keep
working hard to the end here. And he's helping me love my companion and my members here, even though I was very attached to the last ones I had. He's helping me see the value of door to door. We tried some of that with some pretty good kindness in return last week. He's also molding my will to His. And helping me see how my life can be better. I'm learning to stay active with good things, e.g. It's better to work hard and actively clean the apartment at 10 on pday than just walking /sitting around lazily doing a couple things. Literally you feel happier and more productive it's awesome. And He's helping me see how
I'm better than I sometimes think I am. I get incredible support from friends and family alike so I thank you guys all so much! You're awesome.

Love you guys! Hope to talk to you soon. Thanks for your dear and sweet replies to the last email, too. Helped me a lot. And mom, no worries, my heart wasn't super broken, well maybe a bit, but more just sad you know. It's okay. It'll be all right. Lord has things in store for me, I've got faith. (Note from Mom: Adam is teasing me that I didn't write to him yet, but I was writing him while he was writing me.)

PS study your scriptures every day guys! Circumstances took away quite a few days of study time from me this week, and I did not like it, neither did my spirit. I really feel the difference, it's not great. So yeah. Study those scriptures faithfully! 

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