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

Friday, September 20, 2013

New Pics!

September 16, 2013

Hey family this week I was thinking about personal revelation and I wanted to share something interesting with you guys that I 
     Lots of times in our lives we come to the point where we have to make really important decision, for me it was whether or not I should extend my mission and delay school or if I should get back to school as soon as possible, for you guys I know that the decisions are different but for sure you have them and want to make the right decision. As I was studying about prayer and seeking the will of the Lord and how we can know how to always make the right choices I learned some pretty valuable things. 
     First off, more than rarely we get so stuck up on choices that are between right and right. In D&C 58:26-28 I learned that a righteous and obedient servant should not have to be shown and forced into doing every single thing. It is our responsibility to seek for righteousness and do what we feel and know is right. 
      The second part that I really liked and that explains perfectly about spiritual guidance was a short clip by David Bednar called "Patterns of light: Spirit of Revelation" ( I advice you all to look it up on YouTube) It shows three ways that we can receive revelation in our lives and what we need to do to follow those promptings by the spirit. And then last but not least we always have the scriptures. In Nephi 32:3 we learn that the words of Christ will show us all things that we must do. 
       Through these 3 things I learned that it is the right choice for me to stay. I started off first with a desire to do good and to finish my mission off in the way that the Lord would want me to finish my mission. I wasn't sure at first and then like in that clip by David Bednar I was basically in the fog. I couldn't see the end but I had faith and could fell that God was guiding me and then for all of the doubts or fears or questions that I had, the Book of Mormon was there just like a compass to keep me heading towards the right path. 
       I know that God is watching out for all of us and through the simple and little things in our lives the Lord works miracles and brings to pass his work. I pray that you will always remember these things and apply them to yourselves in your day to day lives. Don't be afraid to act and do what feels right. I Love you all and hope all is well!
 Elder Edwards

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

30 Minutes A Day Challenge.

September 2nd, 2013

Wow this week was full of adventures and full of new experiences. First off on Tuesday and Wednesday we had to do everything for the week because we were going to Praia so we ended up marking 12 lessons just on Tuesday and 9 for Wednesday with 3 baptismal interviews. It was crazy and we were running around like mad men trying to get to all of our lessons. We ended up getting everything set up and then Thursday afternoon we got to Praia and I did a division all day with my best friend ever Elder Christensen. 

Friday morning we had zone leaders council which went really good. The first part we just talked about health and basic info that we needed to pass over to our missionaries and then we played the dreaded ´´scripture game´´. A couple months ago our mission president decided that we all need to know the scriptures better so he asked us all to memorize one scripture for each segment in the missionary lessons. That means in total we should all have at least 42 scriptures memorized. I had them all but a couple weeks ago I decided I wanted to have better scriptures for each one instead of just the basic really short ones. At the council we decided to play the game and when it was my turn I completely killed it. I quoted the best scripture that was full of life and super long.. The mission president stood up and gave me a standing ovation which was not like him because he is really serious. Then we made our goals for this month and reviewed with everyone what they thought and how we were going to make it happen. We also we all challenged to take a book of mormon, write in the front cover what we want to change in our lives or who we want to be and then read the book 30 minutes every day and watch for this change come to pass. It was a really cool idea and I am stoked to get started ( The same challenge works for all of you guys as well).

Then Saturday we woke up at 5 to get to the airport for our flight that was suppose to leave at 7... That sure didn't happen though. The plane got delayed and we ended up flying out of Praia at 1 instead which really messed stuff up. We didn't get back to our house until 3 and we were suppose to have 3 baptisms at 3:30 on the other side of the island.. We ended up just cancelling the baptism we planned with everyone else and we just our baptisms here in Santa Maria in the ocean at 6:30. It was actually a really sweet baptism and I got to go into the ocean to do one of them so I can't complain. 

Then it was my first Sunday here in Santa Maria which turned out legit! Even though we were out of area we still had 10 investigators show up and 2 of them went up and bore there testimonies about how they read the book of mormon and prayed about it all and they know that it's true and are anxious to get baptized... SOOOO sweet to see and to know that God is working to help all of our investigators. We are seriously being soo blessed here and we are seeing miracles all day everyday. Also I realized that the mission President sent me here with a giant task to accomplish. He told us that where we are and what we are doing is not just for any missionary and in itself is a blessing and a privilege. We are suppose to lead and help our zone to be able to have enough worthy priesthood holders to seperate from the mindelo stake and become its own district. Then in our area we are suppose to find and baptize enough people for Santa Maria to become a branch instead of just a group. Man there is a lot of pressure on our heads right now... We don't really sleep anymore because we have soo much to do.. But I am 100% confident that through obedience, diligence and scripture study we are going to be able to accomplish all of these things and the Lord will use us in his hands. 

Elder Edwards

BIG News...

September 4th, 2013

Hey so I called the mission president today and told him that I am extending.... I have been praying and thinking about it a lot these past couple weeks and I know its the right decision

September 8th, 2013

Dear family,

 So it's all official and I am going to be staying until the end of February.. I'm not going to lie at the start was was really unsure of the decision but I kept reading the Book of Mormon 30 minutes a day and all of the doubts or excuses I had went away and now I am sure that it is the right choice and God will bless my efforts. And the mission President didn't ask me to I just felt like it was necessary because the mission is really young right now and there are a lot of greenies that can use my help.

 As for this week things were pretty crazy. First it started with ''the baptism of john''. Joao our investigator is deathly afraid of water and before his baptism his only doubt was so deep the water would in the ocean because he was scared he was going to die. The morning of his baptism we went to work out right next to the beach and saw that the waves were HUGE probably the biggest waves I have ever seen in my life. I just kinda brushed it off and hoped that things would settle down by the time the baptism came. When we got to the beach with our 7 investigators and joao the beach was completely full of surfers and tourists which is really rare for where we went but joao had to get baptized so we went ahead and did it there. The first second and third time we tried the baptism waves came and messed it all up. I told the member that was baptizing him to just say the prayer, let the wave pass and then dunk him. The prayer was said and then the wave came... But this time it came bigger than normal picking up joao and pushing him into the sand. My first thought is ''oh crap joao is dying of fear right'' and I would have thought he was drowning but he was just floating in the water on his back looking confused. I told him to stand up when he says to me ''Am I baptized yet''? Apparently joaoheard the prayer and figured he could just dunk himself in the water once or twice and call it baptism. The member, my comp and I couldn't help but just start freaking out and laughing almost to the point of dying. He said it so seriously and was actually convinced that he was baptized.

And my comp by the way is super cool. He both work together perfectly and are teaching and baptizing like bosses. We call ourselves the dream team and our secret weapon is the book of mormon and acts 22:16. This week we ended up being in a room full of people and taught them all about faith and repentance and baptisms and then we marked 8 of them with baptismal dates. It was super cool. God is blessing us a lot right now!

Well I hope all is well with you guys! Love you all tons.
Elder Edwards

Monday, August 26, 2013

Last Transfer!

Dear Family,
   I'm glad you guys liked the d&c count down. Wow this week came with lots of changes! Saturday night I got a phone that informed me I was being transfer. I left Elder Dos Santos and now I am serving in Sal with Elder Camargo (also from south Brazil) and we are the zone leaders on this island. I was way surprised when I got the call because it was the middle of the transfer but it was for sure inspired and me and Elder Camargo are going to be the dream team out here. Our area is call Santa Maria and is the newest area in the mission. Our plan here is to baptize enough people to officially become a branch. This area is the nicest part of all of Cape Verde and our area is set up way legit. On the side is a huge beach with tons of Europeans then right inside is a kinda like a tourist mall with surf shops, ice cream stands, Hawaii inspired restaurants and then the city part where the Cape Verdians live is set up and looks and feels just like St. George. This place does not feel or look like Cape Verde at all!! I am way stoked with the change and they made it sound like I am suppose to finish my mission here and go out with a boom leaving my legacy forever! I accept. It's gonna be awesome. 
  Also this Friday we have zone leaders council so I am going to fly all the way to Praia, go to a conference and then fly back the next day. Because I'm on this island and zone leader I am going to fly at least one sometimes twice a month! 
  The only problem here is that everything is way expense! Everything costs about double from the rest of Cape Verde. Also the mission president told me I need to invest in some new shirts because they are all yellow and really gross.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Emails And A Reading Challenge.

August 4th:
Well once again another transfer has come and gone. For the next transfer I am going to be staying in my same area with my companion. I'm pretty excited to stay. This last transfer we were basically just getting everything set up and now we just need to baptize! This week here should be awesome. This week is Elder Hutber's (my friend from England) last week. In the last 12 transfers of my mission I have spend 10 and a half transfers with him on the same island, most of the time in the district and 2 different times in the same house. Our plan for this week is to have a wedding for Branco and Rosa (translation white and pink) on thursday, birthday/ going home/ early thanksgiving dinner for Elder Hutber on Friday, And then Baptisms on Saturday! It's gonna be a way good week. 

August 9th:
family I also forgot to tell you about the updates with Relva. I talked to one of my recent converts today and I learned that things there are still really good. All of my converts are still really strong and they are all working really hard to grow the branch there. Also in my last few weeks there I taught the branch president what branch missionaries are and told him to call some and I'd train them all. Well he called them all and we trained them and then today I heard that they are all still really strong and they are helping out with the recent converts and they are bringing investigators to church.  It's crazy how much of a snow ball effect this work has. I also met up with the couple we married before I went to Relva. He is now a high priest in the stake and is doing work. The missionaries there said he's the strongest member in the whole ward! It's crazy how this work never stops and ours fruits  seem to just keep going and going

August 19th:
Dear Everybody,
This week went by pretty good. We have started doing divisions everyday with a bunch of young men that are preparing to serve missions so we have been teaching like 40 lessons a week. We should be baptizing a bunch this transfer. Also I have an invitation for the whole family. I meant to tell y'all last week but I forgot. So when everyone gets to 138 days left in the mission they start on d&c 138 and read one section a day until they go home. I started this last friday and want to invite all of you to read one section a day with me and then you can count how many days I have left! TRUNKY!... Dont worry I'm still working my hardest! Today read 135 and tomorrow 134 etc etc..

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Drum Roll Please....

Elder Edwards has his release date. He will be arriving January 2nd and we couldn't be more excited. I was really hoping we would have him back to spend Christmas with the family but the people of Cape Verde are lucky to have him a bit longer. Here is this weeks update from our Elder:

Dear Family,
   Drum role... Edwards' official coming home day as of today..... JANUARY 2ND! WAHOO! I talked to the mission pres and he said that my release date is the 2nd so I think that I should be flying in January 1st of December 31. That should be a good enough amount of time to get settled in, play a little bit of xbox, maybe buy a laptop for school, have a car? hopefully kiss a girl and get into school. That's about as far as I have though into things. 
 Today we finally moved into a new house which is looking sweet! It's a brand new apartment that has never been lived in before which is complimented perfectly with a brand new oven, fridge and washing machine.. Now we're living large and in charge. I think that I am going to be staying in this area for the next transfer (starting on the 5th) which should give me time to baptized all of our new amigos and realize our wedding.

Things this week having really started to turn around. We were praying to know how to better help our area and we both felt like we needed to leave a bunch of investigators that haven't been progressing. On Monday we set our minds and all of our faith to finding the elects that were ready to progress and ready to make there first steps to come closer to Christ. We ended up receiving a bunch of references and marked a new investigator with a baptismal date almost everyday. It never ceases to amaze me how full of miracles the Lords work is and how he will always answers our prayers and help his work to keep moving forward.

Love, Elder Edwards

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Marriage, Baptism and Birthdays and Pictures.

Dear Family,
This last week went by really good. That family that couldn't get married because of their window... They're getting married next month and then baptized! That problem didn't last at all ha. 
The only new things that happened this week were 1, I am now playing piano in sacrament meeting which was pretty sweet  but a little bit weird at first and not completely perfect but better than nothing. And 2 is our investigator Samir. Samir is a golden investigator that reads everyday in the book of mormon, prays a ton and is going to church now with my old white shirt and tie. He's a boss and can't wait to get baptized. The miracle though is what he has overcome to get to this point. I met him three weeks ago and he had problems with cocaine, weed, beer, tabbaco, coffee and sometime black tea... He has huged desires to change and live a new life and it has been amazing to see the diferences in him.
Well time is out! Today is my companions 19th birthday and we have a surprise party to go to at a members house! Love you all,
Elder Edwards

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Home Stretch.

Elder Edwards is officially 3/4 of the way done with serving his mission. It is hard to believe that in 6 short months we will have him home. We are all very excited! I am mailing a package his way later in the week. Please let me know if there is anything anyone would like included and i'll ship it with my stuff to save on your costs. Here is the update from this week:

Hello my dear family,

Well this last week was for sure a roller coaster week. I had four different comps until on Friday I finally received my new greenie straight from the MTC. He is a pretty quiet person but I can truly see a lot of good coming from him and pretty soon he's gonna be a boss missionary. We have found a couple families and it looks like we're going to be having a couple marriages and baptisms! WORK WORK WORK. There's no replace for good hard work. Especially when it comes to mission work. 
  Also like I said last week I am back into my old area and yesterday at church was way interesting. While I was there I got to see my fruits that were left from the last time I was here. One of my recent converts is almost not a recent convert and is turning in his papers to serve a mission! I really hope that I am here to see him leave for the mission field! We also baptized a lady who is now the first councilor in the Relief Society. Also a family of 5 we baptized are all still really strong and all have callings! This work truly is amazing and we definitely are always making a huge difference everywhere we go!
That was pretty crazy to hear about scout camp and about that man. I almost feel like I am anti scouts.. It sounds more dangerous than being in Africa!
I hope all is well and that you all are taking care of yourselves. Just 6 months til we can party!! ha just kidding.
 Elder Edwards

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 2nd.

Dear family,
 Well this week was... Good? Everything seemed to go pretty good this week up until yesterday. Our baptism for this week had to be baptized on Sunday instead of Saturday. We did the baptism and then right at the end a drunk showed up and hugged all of the Elders. We finished with a prayer and then all of our investigators then and recent converts went home. While we were cleaning up the drunk guy, who said his name was jesus, starting chasing the short little english guy around the church and then out side screaming "I wanna kiss you!"
  We finish cleaning up and then Jesus decided that wanted to kiss us all and started running around in circles after us trying to get us. Finally after getting chased and chased around he took off running down the street. He was sprinting right behind.. From a half a block away I flagged down a taxi. We all ran into it and took off with the drunk still right behind us. There are literally crazy people here from years and years and years and drinking grog and killing their brain cells. Man theyre all really fun to mess with and play tricks on.
  So that was the okay part of our day... Then came the "Mal". Last night we went to visit Isabel who was the one that got baptized yesterday and when we got there her childs father was there making a whole bunch of noise. She had a problem with him before and in order for him to get baptized President Oliveira said he was not allowed to go to her house anymore or she would be un church punishment. When he went there she told him he had to leave and that he was not allowed to come back. He Freaked out and on his way out he took a swing at our recent convert and tried to hit her in the face. I ran at him so quick he shut the door real quick and ran away. That was the first time I hated being a missionary. I didnt chase after him because of this name tag and I sat all night regretting not running him down and beating him. Guys who attack girls are souless and to me have no value. Its so sad to see broken families that arent being blessed in the way that they should be.
Hopefully this next week will continue alright. I am buying a hand made guitar today those that has cape verde on it and all of the islands on the back.
Love you all
 Elder Edwards

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mother's Day.

Elder Edwards called home on Mother's Day to talk to us all. He actually surprised us and called a few days prior to Mother's Day to test the phone. It made my whole day. Nora and Stella are still talking about it. Stella actually cried for almost and hour after he hung up because she didn't want him to go. He is doing wonderful. He says it is hotter than he can stand but is loving the work. For some reason in the area they are in only women are accepting their lessons right now and have only had one male be baptized and six females.  Matt says he has forgotten what American food tastes likes and craves Gatorade. I'm going to send him a package this week with some American treats if anyone has anything they want to add I am happy to add it to the box. He is still on track to return home shortly before Christmas. We can't wait. Love you Matty!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

To All Who Are "Perdidos".

Well yesterday was my last ever Easter in Cape Verde... Not actually a bad thing. Holidays here, I sadly have discovered, are backwards. In America even the people that don't believe in Christ go to church on Easter. Here even the members use the family party or even just a regular party excuse as a reason to skip out on church. 
As for new news... Last night President made the Transfer Calls early. my mini missionary is heading back home and I am going to get a fresh new america greenie!
I am pretty excited for this experience but its going to kinda stink for the new few weeks basically doing everything myself. Also this week we are fighting with all of us strength for our baptisms this week. We have 4 people planned and it is going to be a lot of work to get them all there. Tomorrow we are going to do a fast for them... I know you all have a desire to help this work go on not only in word but in deed. If y'all want you can fast with us too!! Their names are Taty, yanike, Yuri and Antonia! 
Things this week have gotten a little bit trunky. The mission is always kind of a drag when you're stuck with a mini missionary.
Well I love you and thank you a lot for sending me pants! I will try and send you some photos today! 
Love Elder Eduardo

March 24, 2013

Dear President,
 Once again we are starting to see the fruits of our labors. When I first showed up to this area there weren't very many investigators and things were just passing along without a real excitement here. I remeber in the first week of this transfer you basically told me to just focus on families. We made plans to find, teach and baptize families and yesterday I truly saw a miracle! Yesterday we had a family of 7 show up to church and for the first time ever in Cape Verde I saw a family fill an entire row during sacrament meeting.
 So far in this new area we have been finding a lot of families and as of right now we have 3 of them that are progressing towards baptism! It is truly amazing to be a part of this work and to see first hand that the field really is white and ready for the harvest!
We need lots of help them please pray for these families!!!

This last monday... wow we had a crazy experience. Two weeks ago our neighbor called us over and said she wanted us to come to her house. We maked with her for last monday and went over there. When we showed up she told us she wasn't ready yet and had her son take us on a tour of her house. After waiting like an hour we finally went back up stairs to see that she had prepared a huge dinner for us! She said she had already eaten so we served ourselves and eat a good amount... then she came to the table telling us that she could see in our eyes that we haven't eaten well in a while and that our moms are for sure very worried about us. She grabbed our plates and filled them up FULL! I battled with all of my might to eat it all and got just about everything. I was ready to explode.. then she brought us out a fruit salad desert and filled up a bowl full.. I left her house the most full I have been probably since the last time I ate at chuck a rama. I am scared to go back there..
Well I hope all is well with you guys! I will try to keep writing more each week. 
 Elder Edwards

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sorry Matt.

A few weeks ago (February 4th) Elder Edwards emailed home an incredible story. He asked for it not to be posted on the blog because he didn't want others thinking he was here for any kind of recognition. I emailed back asking for him to reconsider allowing me to post it but got no reply. I have had the nagging feeling that someone out there really needs to hear this story and in the past month 191 people have read this I am going against Matt's wishes and posting it anyway for whom ever it is out there that needs this today. Sorry Matty, Love you!

This week Lots of things happen. Breaking news in Relva! Due to excessive wind a power line was knocked over and forced to the ground nearly landing on a cinder block house! Luckily nobody was hurt and even more luckily they were able to just leave in like that the whole day live and full of power so everybody could watch the soccer game.
 This week was also zone conference. I was lucky enough to be called on to give a training which went by pretty good but the highlight of the conference wasn't there. The zone leaders came up with this idea that included every missionary there leaving and going out to try our faith. The activity was that we would all go out, find a member, teach them and receive a reference. Then we were to go and find that reference, teach them and mark a baptismal date with them. I know it sounds crazy. Because we weren't close to my area I was assigned to go out with my last companion Elder Christensen. We headed out of there a little confused by this difficult activity but we were ready to accept the challenge. We headed to the nearest memebers house. We talk to her and she gave us the sad story of all her friends live in a different city. There was a pause for a couple seconds... The member finally said ''oh actually I do have one friend that lives just up the street''. We knew that this person was inspired and we needed to go contact them. We ask her if she would come with us to contact her friend. She didn't really want to but then after a little bit of convincing power she agreed. She said she was going to go change cloths and then she'd be right back... 5 minutes later she came back shouting ''I brought a surprise!''..  she had left to change her cloths but she also slipped out the back door, pick up her friend, convinced her to talk to us, and then showed back up with her friend bright and ready to accept the gospel. We talked to the friend for a little bit, read with her joao 14. 1-6 and then invited her to be baptized... She seemed a little surprised by the invite but the spirit was s strong there she had to say yes. In the end it was a great experience and I thought that would be the highlight of my week.... 

Little did I know God had been preparing a miracle for us to find back in our area upon our return, 

Dear President,
      I appreciate your letter and I will keep working to help out where I can. This week I saw and felt God's love and I truly saw and felt that God always hears and answers our prayers. 
     Last week Elder Nhafé and I decided that we were running with a shortage of investigators in Relva and felt it would be effective to start working in the next zone over as well as in Relva. In the next zone, Achada Grande, there are only 3 active members in the whole zone! A couple months back Elder Schillimat had been working there everyday and after having no success the zone leaders told them he couldn't work there because it's was too catholic. It's a decent sized zone and with only 3 active memebers, to me the catholic church didn't seem like a good enough reason to avoid the area.. We trained the 3 members one day after church and had received 21 references, that seemed like enough for a full day of work there. This last Thursday we headed out with high hopes and with a spirit of urgency to find these people and to share the restored gospel with them. To make a long story short, we didn't find the success we were looking for. I literally witnessed a 70 year old lady run away from us screaming out ''no no no I'm catholic''. We walked back home that night with broken hearts and with a little bit less faith for the work in the area. The next day we had a division planned with the district leaders and I was suppose to go back there with Elder Guy. I truly felt that there was at least one person there who was ready to hear our message. I prayed, a true prayer, with all the energy of my heart and with all the faith that I had this work that on this, the second day in Achada Grande, I would find at least one person who would accept and feel our message. God heard my prayer, and he definitly answered it. 
     We found a lady in the streets who, after talking a little bit with her, she invited us to come talk to her at her house.  She told us all about how she had been searching for a church that was just right for her family. She explained how she had talked to several different pastors and preacher and had a mountain of pamplets, books and bibles to prove it. I felt in my heart, in that exact moment, that she was the person ready to receive us. I told her about the day before and how I had prayed to find a prepared person, then I spoke a little bit of the restoration and bore my testimony of its truthfulness. When I finished there was a short pause between us and then she started to cry a little bit.. then she tried to talk but it just turned into a lot more crying... After a couple minutes she regained her bearings and told us that she has been praying for this for a very long time. 
     I know that during that day I truly was instrument in the Lords hand and He truly guided us to that person to recieve his message. I pray that I will always remeber this and that I will always pray and search for his elects.

To finish off this week of miracles, I saw the fruits of my labors yesterday in Elders Quorum. Yesterday there were only 11 people in Elders Quorum. 2 were me and my companion, 5 were my recent converts and 2 were investigators we brought to chruch... I know that I have and am still making a difference here in Relva and I'm glad glad to be a part of this work..... And to just add to this pill we baptized and confirmed the mom of a bunch of members this week... She was the first investigator I have baptized that I had to teach in Creole because she doesn't understand or speak a word of Portuguese. 

I love you all and hope you enjoy this, the longest email I have ever written during my mission and probably during my whole life.
  Elder Edwards
God is watchin out for us. (See Alma 26:1-12ish... I think)

A Kiss For A Missionary.

These are excerpts from two different emails home. One to the Edwards' and one to the Wagstaff's. Both sent on March 3, 2013.

Bom dia,
   Well I have officially finished my first week here in Mindelo. It has definitely been a weird transition. I came Relva, the most third world part of all of Cape Verde to São Vicente, which may be the most developed and modernized part of all Cape Verde. The work here is definitely different than Relva but things are already starting to pick up. This area was supposed to turn into a stake this next week but the church decided that it's not quite ready yet. Our goal now is to work our butts off and hopefully in the next couple months we will be able to make the change. 
  A weird thing that happened this week was that a full grown man walked past me very slow and creepy like and then kissed me on the shoulder... I think he had been drinking.. I was for sure a little bit weirded out.

I love the mission and the work here is on fire! I don't have time to think about everything else. These last couple weeks on top off normal mission work I have been teaching relief society, a mission prep class, training the 4 new ward missionaries and yesterday I gave a 10 minute talk in sacrament meeting! I don't have time to even think about what's going on! ha. Well I hope all is well with you. Love you all. Elder Edwards

Monday, February 25, 2013

Secret Trip.

Hello my family,
  This last week lots of things have happened. Last week after using email I heard a secret that came from headquarters that I had 2 plane tickets that were going to take me out of Fogo over to Praia and then up to Mindelo. The strange thing was when I got on the plane and did the math my first flight was set to leave at 4:50 to Praia. The second set to go at 5:35. It's a 35 minute flight.. that doesn't leave a lot of time for a lay-over. I was kind of nervous about how it was all going to work out. The first flight took off late and we landed in Praia at about 5:40. There aren't any other planes out in the hanger. I figured I missed it. I ask the service lady, she tells me to run out and check back in real quick and we are running, (me and the sister I was with It definitely looked like a date). We go through security to discover that we are back on the exact same plane haha. And by security I mean they looked at my ID and then I walked through the metal detecter that is clearly unplugged for everyone to see. I got to Midelo, São Vicente to discover that I am now serving in the second best area. Second to and only Relva.
  I am now officially settled in and am serving with Elder Vicente. A guy from Fogo who I met while I was there and he is serving here until he gets his visa to go to Brazil. He's a boss and we are going to baptize like crazy!
Love you all.
Elder Edwards

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Name Tag Lost At Sea.

This was supposed to post prior to the next one, sorry. This one was the week prior. Here's the update for our Elder.

Hello my familia. 
  Things here are..  The same. Today is the first day of the transfer and I'm staying in Relva one more with Elder Nhafé. I am excited to keep on working here in Relva. 

As far as my nametag.... Ya that was a fun day.. Its was about 3 months ago that I lost my original. We usually always do our baptisms in Cova Figueira because they have a fonte or we will go to Mosteiros becuase they have a nice calm spot to do it in the ocean with low waves and sand... To go to either of those places we have to pay with our own mission money to get a car to take everyone there. Life here is expensive.. If we baptize a lot we end up out of money. Being wise and creative as me and my companion were we decided to save money and do it our own way. We met with everyone in the afternoon and just walk straight down from our house to the ocean. The waves are large and lots of them are white on top... Sand is nowhere to be found.. Just baseball to soccer ball sized rocks..  It was decided that my companion would be the one to perform the baptism.. he's the junior comp and it's his first time doing it in the ocean.. I am in my baptismal cloths because I have to be the witness. I'm standing off to the side of my companion where it is more shallow. This spot and day was for experienced baptists only. He tries a couple times to say the prayer and dunk him in but he is having trouble timing it with the waves. He tries it about 3 times but everytime he finishes the prayer a big wave comes and they can't stay up on the slippery rocks. Finally try number four.. I give a faca to my comp and tell him that he has to say the prayer a little faster... He doesnt listen.. A huge wave comes!!! it throws my companion to the side and lifts up our baptism onto me! He is a weak swimmer... He grabs me screaming and tries to use me to stay a float! next thing I know I'm out in the ocean and I can't touch the bottom.. I see three big waves out the distance.. I was in hawaii I know what has to be done, I'm forced to take full action and dive head first through he waves. It's awesome of coarse. I love the ocean. Finally things settle back down and I make it back to shore. We do the baptism real quick and get out of the water! As I'm leaving I look down and realize that my nametag is MIA..  In the end it turned out to make for a good story... My new nametag should be here soon..
   I hope you like my story! Make sure you save this email I never actually wrote that in my journal... Love you all! 
  Elder Edwards
January 14, 2013

The New Relief Society Teacher.

Okay I thought about my week more during the week so I would have something to write about. This week after feeling like we were lacking good solid investigators we ended up having 10 show up to church on sunday and are now getting ready to fill up all the baptismal tanks on the islands! The church of elder (Igreja de élder) as they call it here truly is growing really fast! The mission average for baptisms last year was 25 a month...The mission average now is usually 125 to 140 a month! I think a lot of the difference is our new mission president. He was a CEO for some big company in America and as a child his family was all military... What that means for me is that he is running this mission as a fortune 500 company would be run with an extra drop of super shined shoes, extra ironed shirts and pressed pants as would be done in the Brasilian Army. As for my week... I have been unofficially called as the new relief society teacher... It's was a little bit of a challege as first because I showed up to church and then after 20 minutes of nothing happening in RS they handed me a copy of the teachings of Lorenzo Snow book I had never seen before in my life and told me I was called to serve! In the end though It turned out to be a good class. Yesterday at church I basically did the same thing, the only difference was I found out saturday afternoon. 

    Love ya,
 Elder Edwards.
January 28,2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One Year Down, One To Go!

We got the wonderful opportunity to speak to Elder Edwards on Christmas. It was such a blessing. He is doing great and loving the work. His only complaint was the high price of food in the tiny market where he is living. Matt says he eats more rice and beans than he would like. If anyone was thinking of sending a package any time soon I'm sure some American food would be appreciated ;) Also, if anyone wants to send anything you can drop it by my house (Heather) and I can mail it with our packages. E.E hasn't been gone a full year yet but thinks that the Mission Pres. will send him home a transfer early so he is able to make it home for Christmas 2013 and to start school back up in January 2014. So, from here on out the posts will be labeled Year Two to reference back to. Love you Matty!

Bom Dia,
  This week I had a chance to tan and to even get a little red on the neck. The work here is starting up again. We had a lot of investigators and we baptized them and then during the holiday season we didn't find a lot of people because everybody was partying and doin' worldly things. I hope all is well and that you guys aren't freezing!!!
To Mission Pres,
 This week I truly saw the fruits of my labor. On Sunday, after the branch had been struggling to find worthy and willing men to fill the leadership positions I had a great opportunity to watch one of my recent converts named Ady, who may be the most converted convert I have, be called to serve as our new ward mission leader. We have also have started to teach all of Ady's family and to add to the joy of his new calling his mom, for her first time ever came to visit The Church of Jesus Christ. Ady went up to the stand and with all the sincerity of his heart bore his testimony about his love for his mother and his love for the gospel and how today he got to see them both together. I don't think that there was one person in the room who didn't have at least one tear in their eye. 
Then to add one more thing to the joy of it they called the father of our beloved family that just got baptized and married to be the 2nd councilor of the branch. With the fullness of my heart, today and I hope for all eternity, I know that Christ lives and that his gospel blesses families.