Elder Edwards

Elder Edwards

Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016 -- Week 2 Already over?! Napoleon's palace, and 2 New Investigators In

Hey guys!! :) 

Thanks for your letters, Mom and Dad! I love you and hope you are doing well. 

A spirit of dedication to member work, and to our members has pervaded this week for me. I have also felt pushed to call and contact many people we haven't seen in a while. I finished the week in a spirit of love and happiness. It was a good week. Let me tell you the main events and how it went. 

Monday: We were able to see the Duvin family, and that visit went well. 

Tuesday: We went to District Meeting

Wednesday: We went to Paris again. Elder Burgoyne did his first year legality with the other greenies, and I contacted in several hours with Elder Hone! It was a pretty positive experience. Then went to eat at a random invitation to the Joly's house. That was great
Thursday: Went to see Sister Mendoza, a Peruvian sister I've mentioned before, for the first time with Francois. Also met with Chantal. Then ate at KFC and Francois paid! Haha that was spectacular! 

Friday: Had a great member present lesson and second lesson with Laure! Mentioned her before with Elder Libby. She stopped us on the street a few weeks back. We managed to have a second appointment with her, which was great! Francois was kind enough to be present. We talked about faith in God, how she shouldn't doubt, etc. She has a lot of faith, especially for someone who grew up without any exposure to it at all. She's making some  good efforts in the right direction. Thanks to that second appointment, and the Good Lord, she is now a new investigator.

Saturday: We met with Alexandre, an investigator, and his girlfriend,  a member of the Church in the Versailles  ward. We talked about the  three most important things he needs to do in order to  know the Gospel is true: pray, read the Book of Mormon, and come to church. He has taken a few lessons a year ago in a different ward, but as it's the first time he met with us, we counted him as a new investigator as well. The best part is, he called us! He reached out! We didn't contact him in any way. So that was a big miracle. We'll be meeting with him again this week. 

Sunday: Had a great day at church, weekly planning, and making a list of less-active members whose addresses are up-to-date. 

There you are, family! 

Another couple cool things I started doing this week: 

- Made a little "Member Missionary Work Experience" sheet for the missionaries in our ward. On it, we write all the things and people our members are working to share the gospel with. That way, we have these members and these people in mind, so we know what to share with them in order to help them help their friends. Neat, huh? The idea came to me last night, I really recommend it to other missionaries, I think it's a worthwhile thing. 

- Soissons. We met with the only active member in this town far east in our area, and just had a good ol' sit-down about all the less-active members of Soissons. Lately, we have been seeing some success with less-active and member visits, and he was able to give us five more names to work with, less-active members in Soissons! Consider us the powerful less-active "net-workers" in the ward. Haha. We pull on all the people we visit and see (which include, thankfully, several investigators now, and many less-actives), and we were able to write all those names down on one sheet of paper last night, which felt great to have it all down on one piece of paper. It feels like the culmination of five months of work for me. 

There you go guys! Also just for laughs, here's some other stuff...:) 

Love you and have a good week!


Elder Edwards

Monday, September 19, 2016

Adam's Letter, Sept, 19, 2016 - Less active lessons and pumping up members

Hey mom and dad and family!

Love you guys!

So yes, I am staying in Compiegne, sorry for some reason that email
didn't make it or something, maybe I was just pressed for time, but I
am staying, I finish here, and Elder Burgoyne is still with me. It has
been good. We're starting off this transfer pretty strong. :)

Man today a lot of people contacted me telling me about home, how much
time left it was and all, and I was just like, "WHOA." Haha it was
weird. And the mission sent me my airplane information. So it kind of
makes me sad. I'm a little bit in denial. But, actually, I take that
back--i'm not. No reason to be. Just a lot of mixed feelings, you
know? I am, of course, happy I get to see you guys soon. It'll be
great. Haha. I'm keeping my focus on, though.

This week was really good. We didn't get a ton of rendez-vous with
investigators, but we did with members and less actives. We are
working on pumping up the ward about missionary work. And that is
going pretty well! Slowly but surely! And fairly quickly even,
sometimes! Last week, Sister Gaydu testified about the lesson where
she was there with us. This week, yesterday, Bishop testified about
the power  of missionary work, and how it's an act of faith,  and
things like that. And so that was nice to hear. He even directly
invited the members, saying, "I want you to  spend more time with the
missionaries." :) So that was  awesome. We hope to  keep this momentum
going.  I love the Lord and am grateful for Him.

A couple highlights from the week:

1.Tuesday -- We went to Soissons and visited a member who lives in
soissons, the only active one, and he talked to us about some tips for
how to teach our Muslim investigator. That was cool. Then we were able
to visit with a less-active, elderly sister in the same building. She
seemed to really open up. We tried to express to her how much love the
Savior had for her, and how He wanted her back. And so she said,
"Yeah, okay, I'll talk to that member," and accepted to come to
church. We also left her with a Book of Mormon. She'd been bitter for
so long about the branch in Soissons being closed 7 or 8 years ago,
and so we explained that maybe it was time to forgive.

2. Noyon Night -- Wednesday -- we went to visit Elizabeth in Noyon
with the bishop, and there, we were able to do some less-active
finding, and also the visit with Elizabeth went great! Turns out she
was able to get everything she needed for her visa, so thanks for the
prayers guys! Non-member friends helped her out so pretty cool stuff.
She's doing great, which was a huge relief, because for two or three
weeks, we couldn't get ahold of her by phone. We then went to the
bishop's house afterward, and so enjoyed a good hour or more of
driving time with him round trip. That was fun. :)

3. We visited with Seye about he Priesthood. He's great, warm guy,
that's always fun.

4. Visited with the Requillard family, at last!! Went to their house,
had a good dinner, got to eat some salmon, that was good. And taught a
little lesson to their little 8 year old boy. Was a sweet moment,
looking back, because I seem to recall a French elder with a very
strong accent coming to visit me when I was 7 or 8 and preparing fo
rmy baptism inUtah. So it was a sweet little reversal of roles there.
Also got to see some horses and kick a soccer ball around with them a
little bit. :)

5. Saturdayy--Beauvais day! Had a great experience being guided
directly to one door by the Spirit. He said he was Catholic and not
active in his church, but  he still took a card, and I really just let
it loose and testified about how we're here to open the doors of the
Atonement to people. Man it was awesome. Read something called the
Donaldson papers which is really good, recommend it for all other
missionaries serving.

6. Visited the Gaydu family. Great as always. The ward just seems to
be drowning us in food and member love. :D they sent us home with a
bag of food.

7. Sunday--had a great, spiritual sacrament meeting. It was one of
those times when the Spirit just tells you volumes, and you're just
soaking it up, and it's answering a lot of your personal questions. I
cried several times during it. It was a beautiful experience. I
testify that efforts in being more spiritual are worth it, guys.
Heavenly Father wants to hear from you.

Plus, at the end of church, for the last hour, Ariel and Monica came,
and that was AMAZING! I hadn't expected that at all!! We weren't even
sure our appointment was going to be good for that night! But they
came, it had been MONTHS, boy it was just beautiful! And I want to
testify to you that Heavenly Father sees every little family that
exists, who is in contact with this church, and He wants them to go to
the temple. We were able to visit them last night and set a baptismal
date for Ariel.  Please pray for him folks!  We set it for the
weekend  after conference, so we really need him to progress.

Anyways, that's our week... Full of miracles and spiritual
impressions. I loved it. I'm going to finish out well, going to keep
my presence here. That is important, because the Lord and the people
need me here. But I will adjust mentally enough as well so that when
I come home, I will be present there, too.

Let it be a glorious end. :)
"If we fail, we fail with glory..."

God speed the right!
God speed the right.

Elder Edwards

P.S. Mom and dad, when do I need to start registering for classes?
Sorry to ask so many questions. Thanks for everything guys. Love you!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sept. 12, 2016 - Loved my birthday and your emails guys :D last transfer here goes :D

Hey Mom and Dad! Holy cow, love you guys so much. Thank you for your
GREAT emails last week, and then I so enjoyed reading even MORE emails
on my birthday. Boy that was just great. The package got here the day
before the 8th, it was perfect timing. That day we were in Auxerre and
in trains all day, so it was pretty good, miraculous timing. I was
very grateful. In fact just to show my gratitude I waited all the way
until that night to open it and took lots of selfie pictures at like
11 PM. :) it was too good to pass up.

Blueberry bread (#thanksfriends)

Beautiful night shot--not too far from our apartment, maybe an 8 minute walk

Monday, September 5, 2016

Adam's letter - Sept 5, 2016 - The power of following small promptings

Adam with his "greenie" companion, Elder Burgoyne on the right at a zone conference. I'm glad the mission staff posts these pics on their mission Facebook page! 

Isn't this food beautiful? 

[Hey family! Last full week as a 19 year old]

Hey family and friends! 

Boy I hope life is going well for you all and that August ended in a tranquil manner. 

It seems like the days have just really started rolling by much faster this week. I was surprised a couple days in a row this week how fast the days go--I found myself kneeling down for companionship prayer at the end of the day, and it felt like just a few hours or moments before, I had done the same thing the day before. Haha. Man it is weird. But I can testify of the power of being active and making full, positive use of your agency and your ability to labor. Few people have fully realized the value of those two principles--choice and work. I challenge you all to try to make unusually good choices and to work exceptionally hard this week. You can only see blessings for it. :) It makes boring times go by faster, too! Busy people we admire have a secret--they don't give themselves enough leisure time to be bored. Interesting, isn't it?

This week, we once again felt that our weekly statistics didn't  really represent the week. We had  a much better week than numbers would account for. We did TONS of service! At Francois' house, at the Bishop's house, and at Brother Judas' house, the Elder's Quorum President's house. Man, it was fun. Haha a lot of service at important Priesthood brethren's houses. For Francois' family, we moved some old shelves and other things from their back patio onto their yard so they could prepare to have cement placed where their patio is now. We insulated the ceiling of the garage of the bishop's house. And we demolished a stone wall at Frere judas' house. Cement and stone. It was pretty tough. Haha. They had a power drill with a special attachment for breaking/cutting cement and similar materials, which naturally did most of it. However, I did still learned that cement is indeed breakable by hand. Amazing what big metal mallets will do. Whew it was still tough though. Don't try this at home kids.

Much of our week was occupied with those three service activities, the latter two especially, each taking a full day to accomplish. And the rest of it was spend at district meeting, visiting the dear souls we have to watch over and teach and nourish spiritually, and contacting. :) We made a good week of it, though, worked hard to smile, laugh, and have a better attitude than before, and that it made it much better. Much better. Funny what a little bit of smiling and unbeatable attitude will do. If I learn one thing from my mission, I hope it is to be clean all my life and to have an unconquerable spirit in the face of opposition when I'm doing what is right. So it was a great week. Even with small moments of opposition, it seemed as nothing to us, because we were already feeling positive, and we didn't want to let it bother us. So that was great. 

To go more in depth on our appointments interactions with people this week, we were able to visit the Duvin family, and talk about repentance. They enjoyed it as always. Visits have been going much better since the one time I botched it a few weeks ago haha. They are such a  nice family.. We were also able to visit Brother and Sister Trouillet, and Sister Trouillet, who can't walk very well due to an accident, has made serious progress. We see more light and motivation in their faces since we started coming, since we first came with other ward members. We had a great Correlation Meeting with our ward mission leader, Francois. And we had a great district meeting, all about how to gain our members' trust, how to have that great missionary aura, through all our church meetings and interactions with them. That was fun to see the whole gang in Saint Merri. Then we visited Chantal later that night on Wednesday. We did a lot of weekly planning Friday and explored a little bit of the southern side of Compiegne, which we don't know very well in general. Saturday we did the service at Frere Judas' house. Then, on Sunday, we had an absolutely KILLER day. Boy that was awesome. We had church. Then, during church, Frere LeBras, a dear dear frere, randomly invited us over to his family's house for lunch after church that day. We were like, "well yeah, we're in!" So after church, we went there, ate a great meal, but even more importantly, enjoyed a great moment with a great member family. Frere Hitoto was also there. (He has been doing GREAT at coming to church, by the way. Man he has been really consistent recently, probably 3 or 4 out of 5 Sundays, whereas before he wasn't coming at all. We're super happy.) Then, after the lunch, we met a new potential, Lasanna, for our first official appointment at the church. That went rather well. we also had a fairly killer visit with Ariel and Monica. We felt we were able to get on a more humorous, more personal level with them through that visit, and hopefully strike a chord with them, showing them sincerely and pretty boldly that they need to come to church, whether they're tired or not. It was fun to see their faces light up and laugh a little bit as we talked. I hope I have that influence on people, I'd much rather be a motivator and someone who makes people laugh than the opposite. 

To tell you Lassana's full story, rewind two weeks. Elder Burgoyne and I passed by a nice-looking, tall man from Sierra Leone, and we either let him pass us by or talked to him briefly. It seems to me we talked to him briefly, and had a nice but brief exchange. However, last week, on Thursday, we were walking in normal street clothes to Francois' house to do service. On the way there, by the big roundabout we pass on this trip, just a few seconds after crossing the street, I notice a tall man maybe 15 or 20 yards away, and my eyes are drawn to him. He is of African origin, but I don't recognize him right away. Yet, as I look at him, and as my attention is drawn to him, in the middle of our conversation between Elder Burgoyne and I, the Spirit says to my heart, or perhaps my mind, as I perceive his slow, bent walk and his wistful look to the side, "that man is pondering truths or questions that could have to do with his salvation." It was a tangible, fairly certain feeling. I could trust it, I felt that as I looked at him. And so, hesitantly, a little afraid, knowing this is awkward because we're not in our normal clothes, I finally talk to him almost as he passes right by us, and we smile and talk for a couple minutes. We asked him if all was all right. He opened up and told us about how he'd been having problems with his spouse and that his debts were many, and that he had many problems. That they had been a burden for him. I opened up, after smiling and listening, telling him that we share messages for people with such problems, and that the things we share, while maybe not fixing monetary problems right away, could nonetheless help make things right and give him the right vision for how life is and how it should really be. And so, happily, gladly, he gave us his phone number, and we set an appointment for last Sunday at the church at 3 o'clock. And he kept it, too. The visit we had was wonderful. He is a Muslim man, but is very very open to other truths where they might be found. We talked a little bit about the Family proclamation, the Plan of Salvation, and had him commit to try to live by the paragraph of the Proclamation starting with "The Family," where it talks about how family life should be based off of prayer, patience, etc. and he said he would. He had to leave after not too much time, as he had other things to do, but we testified to him that the things we taught were sincere, and that people in our families and our ancestry had made the search, as he had, and they had found, as we had, that the Church was true. And so we hope that something we said touched him. We left him with a Plan of Salvation brochure and a Book of Mormon, invited him to church, and we will call him in the next couple days to see him again soon! He lives just down the street from the church (amazingly--I don't know how the Lord does that) and so we think it will be fairly easy to see him. 

Elder Burgoyne made great statements of testimony and significance in the lesson. It was a beautiful experience. He's progressing well, too, I'm proud of him. 

I'm constantly reminded of the need to have patience, or to communicate openly, or the need to not let anger fill my soul up and burn away my life. It is important to give preference to the sweet, consoling influence of the Spirit and the "angels of our better natures" over carnal pride and anger which would so quickly end our souls. 

I testify that the Gospel is true, and any sensible fool who reads the Bible and the Book of Mormon and the written words of modern prophets in proof of the truthfulness of this Church will know it's true. It all makes sense. And when you think it doesn't all make sense, pray harder. The Lord will show you eventually that it does. If your faith needs to be great enough to move mountains, make sure you're not making mountains out of molehills of doubt or insignificance. And by golly, don't ANY ONE of you mess up a chance to commit to do a good thing, an act of service, to visit an elderly or sick person in your ward, or a friend, and don't fail to EXECUTE that duty, that act of service. Don't miss opportunities to do something good, for your life or for another's. 

Talk to you all soon. 
It has been a glorious 20 years of service here. :D