Saturday, January 4, 2014

Last Email From Elder Edwards.

Dear family,

This will be the last ever mission email I will write... That's crazy! Things here are definitely starting  to get all wrapped up and it's starting to almost feel real that the mission will end. Don't worry though we are still working hard and I have one last Baptism for this Saturday.
I can't wait to get home and tell you all about everything. I have so many stories but I don't think I'll ever be able to tell it all. 

  The highlight of this last week though was almost as a dream come true. I got a call last night from a recent convert of mine from Fogo (João and Natalia) informing me that yesterday they were interviewed and it was approved for them to go to the temple. Now, according to their visas, they will be getting sealed in Brazil this February or August! I am stoked for them and when I get home I will be able to talk with them on Skype!

Love you all. Hope all is well


Thursday, December 19, 2013

3 Weeks To Go...

Dear family..

You're telling me that time goes by fast.. I only have three weeks left and days are passing by like hours..

As for mission work.. Things here are blowing up.. We had 84 people in church Sunday (when I got here it averaged 48-53), this week we have 2 baptisms and to be honest we have stopped focusing on baptizing. Here in Sal there are enough people for us to be a stake but there are over 300 inactives so we are all working our hardest to bring them all back and then we will baptize their friends and family ha. It is amazing to be a leader in this zone there seriously is soo much going on. President told me last week.. "Elder Edwards... You have a lot of responibility out there, in your hands there is a stake."  So we have all been working like crazy to "git r done"

Love you all. Talk to you soooon

Elder Edwards

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Only Four Weeks To Go!

Hello my family,

I am still Zone leader and after last nights transfer I am going to finish my mission as Zone Leader in Sal and my new and last comp will be Elder Gomes from Fogo. The weather here just got perfect.. besides the fact at night it's a little bit cold (around 70 degrees)... Oh man the weather out there sounds like a nightmare!!! The turkey should be planned as soon as possible.. My body is suffering from a lack of turkey. I am going to need a ton of stuff when I get home... Everyday I keep thinking of stuff that I don't have, real cloths to wear, a phone, girlfriend, and much more...

As for this week... It was pretty hard. I spent the week with Djony and the first two days went really good. He showed up excited and ready to work.. Then after that he decided that mission work is exhausting and I spent the next 7 days dragging him around and trying to help to not be a fubeka.. I love Djony but I am excited to have a real comp now.. 

Well I only have 4 weeks left and the Mission President has entrusted me to save this branch and to strengthen
Sal so it can become a stake.  I plan to just go to work and get as much done as I can these next couple weeks. Time is going by super fast and I know I'll see you guys soon!

Elder Edwards

Monday, December 2, 2013

January 8th!

Hey family,

Well this week was really cool but kind of unexpected. So I went to Praia alone with the intention of coming back here with my new companion but that didnt actually work out... The Conference was amazing and was one of the most spiritual ones yet and then at the end President Oliveira told me that I wasn't actually going to receive a new comp until the end of the transfer (dec 8) and until then I would be serving with a mini missionary. I now have my mini missionary (djony my recent convert from
Santa Maria) and things are going very = good! I love djony and we just have a good time all day long and at the same time teach txeu lessons. 
Also the other good news I got is that my flight was bought and I am now set up to go home January 7th and my flight to slc arrives at 10:35 january 8th. Wahoo!!!
 I was thinking that you guys might like to come back and visit CV during the summer or spring time. Praia isnt all that interesting but I think you guys would really like to see Mindelo (mini Brazil) and Sal. There is a lot of cool history stuff there and after visiting the old salt plant today that was founded by the Portuguese I decided that one day I need to take you guys there. 
 Love you all a ton!
Just 5 weeks! Keep waiting but dont get too trunky.
Elder Edwards

Monday, November 11, 2013

Home Stretch.

Wow things here are passing as if the whole mission was just a dream. I only have 8 weeks left but it feels like just yesterday I was a new greenie trying to get used to mission life... and creole. It's going to be soo sad to leave the mission live and enter back into the real world but the time is coming and now I need to make sure that I am all prepared to be a grown up ha.

This week I had the most marvelous experience and I would like to invite you all to experiment the same thing this week. We had a meeting with all of our missionaries and the theme was about gratitude and how we need to always strive to be more and more grateful. "A person who is ungrateful is someone who doesn't recognize the Lord's hand in their life" if we strive to be grateful we will notice that God is in all aspects of our lives and is always blessing us. We read in D&C 58:7-8 about how the Lord expects us to be grateful in all things and we have the duty to offer up to him our sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. So what I did to count my many blessings was on Saturday afternoon I started a fast with the intend of only thanking the Lord for EVERYTHING that I have and he has given to me and I didn't ask Him for anything. During the fast and especially during sacrament meeting I felt a new light come into my life and I realized that God is truly watching over me. When I got home from church I told my companion silmply.. " I love God" and that was exactly what I felt nothing else. It was really good and I'd like to invite all of you this Sunday to try the same thing and see how much God is already doing for you because then you will know how much he will do for you in the future.

Thanks for all of you help. 
With love,

Elder Edwards

ps please dont send anymore mail.. It probably wont get here

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Coming Home.

Dear family,

Wow things here are weird and crazy... So I got everything figured out in Santa Maria and then last night I got a call from the president saying that he has to take the zone leaders out of santa maria and put us on the other side of the island because there they are killing the Lords work and once we fix them we can become a district.. So I am now in Espargos.. I have been thinking a lot about this and I think that I am going to start school in January... I wanted to extend because I didn't think I would have enough time to get everything set up in Santa Maria but now I have learned that the Lord is doing His work in His time. He didn't need a lot of time but it was him that pieced everything together and built up his church. Now my work here is coming to an end and I feel like it's time to start school and prepare to one day have a family..
 I hope all is well with you guys. Love you all.

Elder Edwards

***Update: We were planning on having Elder Edwards home before Christmas but they were unable to schedule a flight that would get him off the island in time. So he will be arriving back in the ol' US of A the first week of January. We can hardly wait!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 13.

GOOO Utes!!! Man it's good to hear about a strong win.. About time.. So things here are going really good. Elder Haile has come here ready to work and to turn this place into a branch. Yesterday in Church we had 10 men there who can all potentially hold the preisthood. As of now we have baptized and reactivated enough people to be a branch we just need to help all of them progress a little bit more and help them to be ready and strong members... Also we will for sure keep baptizing and reactivating! 
The wedding this week went good... The baptism was a different story though.. Their family threw a wedding after party for them and they decided at 1:00 am after the spirit had gone to bed to drink a little bit of wine..Hopefully here in the next couple weeks they'll repent and get there. 
Also this week I wanted to share a story with you all about the book of mormon and the power that it contains. Back in the day when I was a young man I never read the book of mormon and I never wanted to.. I don't know why but that was how I felt and during family reading I usually was half asleep.. When people asked me where I was in my BOM reading I always said "in the middle of Alma" and then everyone always responded "oh yeah alma sure is a long book" I knew nothing about alma I just heard everyone else say that they were in the middle of alma..
  I promise that I have repented for that and I have had a huge change of heart. The Book of Mormon is for our days and if we aren't reading it we are only effecting ourselves. Our mission has started working a lot with in-actives and what I have noticed with just about every case is that none of them were reading the book of mormon.. This usually resulted in them not praying, not going to church and eventually giving up completely..   Please read the book of mormon everyday.. preferably 30 minutes.. This is eternal life. It starts here and I know that if we are all ready we will be stronger in the church, we will be happier people and we will have the strength to endure to the end.. In lehi's vision only those who held firmely to the iron rod made it the tree of life. Lets all hold a little bit firmer and be a little bit stronger each day! 

(to the mission pres)As for Santa Maria things here are truly being blessed. This week during my division with Elder Christensen my faith was strengthened about the importance of inviting. We ended up running into an inactive member named João who has been away from the church for a couple of months now. We sat down with him, got to know him a little bit and realized that the reason he fell away was because of problems with commandments and he was having problems with repentance. He decided he wanted to come back to church and fell that sweet spirit that he used to feel.. We were getting ready to finish when I got the impression to ask him if he had priesthood... He said he had the aaronic and really wanted to receive the melquisedeque but he wasn't ready and didn't feel like he could get there. I invite him as simple and I could, "João, voce irá se preparar para receber o sacerdócio de melquisedeque?" In that moment I felt the spirit testify very strongly about what was said.. He sat there for a minute and that said "vou...... vou.... vou vou vou vou vou vou" It was amazing to see that change happen in his heart in basically the blink of an eye.
Love you all,
Elder Edwards