Why Serve a mission?

When I was 15 years old I listened to the mother of a close friend talk about serving a mission. For the first time I remember really wanting to serve a mission when I turned 21. I just had to hear hundreds of missionaries sing "Called to Serve" in the MTC! Time went on, and I prepared for the different eventualities of life. When the age sister missionaries could serve dropped to 19, I was super stoked! I was 19, almost 20! I could go early! Well, it turned out that wasn't the time for me. November of 2013, I felt strongly like I should reconsider the mission idea. I did, and the pieces of the puzzle fell into place :) This is all really nice, but it's not really the WHY, it's more of the HOW.

So WHY am I choosing to dedicate 18 months of my life away from my family, friends, school, and a closet full of clothes to talk to people in Missouri? Well, 33 years ago, 2 male missionaries started talking to my dear sweet Momma. The message they shared with her changed the course of her existence, and our family. I'm so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and the knowledge I have of who He is, and what His plan for His children is. I can't help feeling like if I choose not to share this message with others that I'll be ungrateful for the amazing gift that I've been given. I've also been blessed with some talents that I'd like to give back to the Lord. As much as I love my family and the other things listed above, I love my Heavenly Father and Savior more. They have called, so I'm answering.

Monday, July 28, 2014


The Lord remembers all of His children.

Hello Everyone!

This week was awesome! I feel like I'm learning and growing so much every day! Its like a baby in a mother's tummy. Yup. I'm just a baby missionary. It's great though!

So for our weekly service we got to this community food pantry and help people carry their groceries to the car. It's a great way to meet a variety of people and show that missionaries care about everyone! Also, sometimes we get free food. We got like 5lbs of peaches and a coconut! So fun! Also, I went on my very first exchanges this week. It was fun, and terrifying, but overall a great experience. The Lord is so close to His missionaries! He never abandons us. We had to drive like 2.5 hours though to get to the STL's because we're in the middle of nowhere. BUT GUESS WHAT?! WE DROVE THROUGH AMISH COUNTRY! Alright, so maybe I'm overly excited, but it
really was so cool! We passed some Amish buggies. I creepily tried taking pictures, but you'll see for yourself that they weren't exactly the hightest quality. We're going back on Tuesday to Springfield again for Zone Conference, so hopefully I'll have more success then.

It rained this week! And thunderstormed! So fun! My first thunder storm :) It's so beautiful and wonderful! It cools things down, but then humidifies things. It just makes my hair extra curly! Counting my blessings :]

Alright, I have more old lady stories for you. Since our ward's not super great at visiting teaching (all of the active members have like 5 callings so they get spread pretty thin) we visit a few old ladies. They are so funny! One of them was telling us how if we were in Arkansas (where she's from) we'd say hello to people by slapping them on the butt! I don't think she's ever read the white handbook... haha she's the one who says most of the inappropriately funny things that only an old lady can get away with saying.

So as a missionary, people feel like they can tell you anything. Like the time they almost killed somebody. It's a blessing and a hardship. We want to help people, so we need to know their struggles so we CAN help them, but still. Mostly the things people tell us are just funny out of context it's great though.

Alright, now for some of the spiritual things I've learning. The main theme of my week is that Lord remembers all of His children. My exchange was honestly pretty rough for me. I'm still learning a TON so it's easy to feel insecure. Plus, being with the STL didn't exactly help because I felt like I was supposed to be some "perfect" missionary. But, the moral of the story, is that if we turn to the Lord, He will show us that He hasn't forgotten us. My personal study the next day was ALL about how the Lord remembers all of His children. 2 Nephi 28:30, 2 Nephi 29:7,8,14 are all about how the Lord remembers everyone, even Sister Missionaries serving in cute little towns in the middle of nowhere. Another thing that the Lord taught me was that maybe I don't know everything, but I know enough. A super great talk about that is by Neil L Anderson in General Conference "You know Enough" (or something like that). The STL had me read it with her. It was such a great reminder that the most important things to know are that God loves us, and that we're His children. If we turn to Him, He will strengthen us. Loved it!

Another talk I read with the STL was about how we each have a cheering section! There are people seen and unseen cheering for all of us to succeed! It was a great reminder of all of those at home that are cheering for me, those in Heaven, and most importantly My Heavenly Father! I'm doing His work helping people come closer to Christ so He will help me :) So thanks to all of you who are my cheering section! You're great! I'm cheering for all of you too! Keep being awesome!

This past week, a member was having some struggles, so we went to her house to try and help her. While there, she asked us to share a spiritual thought. There, in my scriptures, there was a quote that I had gotten my 3rd year of seminary. It was exactly what the member needed in that moment. It was so cool to see that the Lord has been preparing me for this moment, and to help these people for a long time. This extends far beyond just right now and my mission. Whatever we're going through, the Lord is preparing us for our future. Our past has also prepared us for our present. We can do it! He knows what He's doing. He has a great plan for all of us! Also, a shout out to my wonderful seminary teachers and seminary age students to go to seminary! Yeah! [will you post that on my FB page with the link to my blog? Thanks Momma dearest!]

Well, Thanks again for all you do! I love you all and hope things in your life are going well. If they're not, strengthen your relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study. The Atonement can help you with every area of your life! I spoke in church this past Sunday all about that. We are asked to do certain things so we can have greater peace and strength in our lives. There are so many blessings the Lord is just WAITING to pour down on us. He can't unless we are obedient and choose to follow Him. :) Make the smart choice and choose to strengthen your relationship with Him! Alright, I love you all. Until next week!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edgel

Monday, July 21, 2014


with a firefly
her house

walking on water
1st companion
she has arrived in Paris

Shes in Paris

Hello Momma!!

Things are so great! I am in Paris! Who knew! haha I'm in a tiny town in Central East Ilinois. My companion is Sister Barret from Vancouver, Washington. She's also 21 and also did 3 years of school at BYU before her mission. We have a ton in common, and She's awesome!!

So like I said I'm in a small town. There is never a boring day! Life is so funny and crazy. We're keeping busy and working hard. I have invited 2 people to be baptized and both of them said yes! One lady has to make some dramatic changes first, so it'll take time, but the other lady looks promising. Hopefully we'll have a baptism in Paris while I'm here! We also do a lot of work with less actives since there's like 120 families in the Branch, but only 80 people actually come to church... We also did some tracting. I was super nervous for people to yell at us, but mostly people politely tell us they're not interested.

My address is 516 Walcott St, Paris, IL, 61944. We live in a house. I thought it was old until we went and visited other people. It's actually in great condition. I've never seen such poverty and filth in my life. I think the smells are the hardest for me, but the Lord is strengthening me. I'm just realizing how well off our family and ward is. We are so blessed! I am so grateful for all of the blessings the Lord has given us. Truly, the gospel helps us in every aspect of our lives. Even thought I see people who live in filth and loneliness, I can still feel the Lord's love for them. It's remarkable. He loves ALL of His children. I understand a little bit more about Alma preaching to the outcasts in the 30's of Alma. That's us. There were several people who asked us where we've been when we came to teach them. They love the message and spirit we bring. I love this work! I'm so happy! Truly, everyone talked about how hard missionary work is, and yes it IS, but there are so many wonderful moments! One of the ladies cried after I commited her to baptism. The spirit was so strong! It's great :)

The weather has been awesome the past few days. Apparently it's supposed to get worse, but it's been cool with low humidity. So great! Truly a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. We get fed a few days out of the week. Sometimes the food is questionable, but the Lord takes care of His missionaries, and we avoid the questionable food as much as possible. We have a mini gym and such in our house. It's not of the HIGHEST quality, but what do you expect? We live in an actual house which is pretty cool. I kinda have allergies here. It's the height of the pollen season for corn. It's not super flat here. There are flat places, but there are hills and such. It's lovely. We had to mow our lawn on Wednesday, and it made me grateful I had mown a lawn before! Thank heavens for last summer!


So basically everyone here has always lived in a small town. They crack me up so much!

Church was quite the experience. There were only 6 of us in Relief Society, and I've NEVER heard such off key singing. It was so funny! I was struggling so hard not to laugh. I'm new and have to make a good impression. You would've thought no one had ever heard I know my Father Lives. Also, remember in the RM the Elders Quorum lesson? Yeah, that was a great lesson compared to our lesson. The sweet lady literally just read the lesson the ENTIRE time! Then the last 10 minutes we discussed the questions, AKA the sweet old ladies finally got to talk about the random things they wanted to talk about. It was classy. Sister Barret was playing the piano in primary, and so after, she slyly asked me about relief society. She hadn't forewarned me. She wanted me to discover the beauty of our branch on my own. I don't want to sound rude or anything. I just love how dedicated the people are to do what they think they should. It's so different, but wonderful! I love these cute people.

One of our investigator's husband asked me where I was from. When I told him I was from Vegas, he asked me why I was on a mission instead of dealing cards or being a showgirl. Haha I told him this was far greater than anything I could be doing at home. He seemed skeptical. I truly believe it though. I'm learning so much about the love God has for all of His children.


So I love wild flowers right? Well, my companion totally let us stop and pick some wildflowers to put in our apartment! Yeah! She's great! We also came home one night and there were FIREFLIES outside! I caught my first firefly! yahoo! We take advantage of the fun moments. It's awesome :)

Those were some of the main highlights of my week. I'm just so happy and grateful to have my companion and be here in Paris. It's been lovely! Alright, ttfn, tata for now!

Lots of love,

Sister Janea Edgel

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

more pics

I Love having a name tag!!!!

Hello there Mother Dearest ;)

We got special permission from the branch president to email you today in case we can't email later this week. We're currently in the laundry room emailing. Fun stuff!
I am doing so great! I love the MTC! I'm nervous and excited to go to the field. I feel ready in the sense that I know I'll never be entirely ready, but I'm as prepared as I ever will be :p I can't wait to meet my trainer, Mission President, and THE PEOPLE!!! AHH!!!!

This past week flew by. I feel like I've been in the MTC for a month! It's been awesome though. We have made so many improvements with our teaching. Heavenly Father has also taught me some wonderful lessons. You'll be glad to hear that one of them is to not take myself to seriously, and have fun as my blessing counseled me! Yes I was having a hard time with that because I truly just want to be a great missionary. On Saturday I was conducting sister training leader interviews with the sisters, and I realized that I had to have fun and be myself for them to be willing to open up to me. The Lord taught me the importance of who I am, and the need for me to be me so quickly. It strengthened my testimony to know that He will keep teaching me in those simple ways throughout my mission. I'm happy & the Lords happy so ya I'M SO EXCITED!!

Thanks for the packages! I have enjoyed the treats.

I have never felt more secure in the Love of God in my life. I love having a name tag! I still love my companion and roommates although sometimes I worry they find me annoying, but I love them! They are great and inspire me in different ways. We are so close as a district. I feel so blessed! I was so sad to say goodbye to my teachers today, especially brother Kezele (He was friends with Natalie Harmon my freshman year roommate! They're from the same home stake or something)

I am so excited to talk to people at the airport! I have been praying all week that I'll be able to talk to the people the Lord wants me to. I've truly been blessed with the ability to increase my desire to be bold. I don't know if I'm super bold yet, but I have nothing to fear! The church IS true! The message we share can only help people if they let it :)

I want to be able to send some pictures too, and we still need to finish packing and cleaning, so I'll talk to you more tomorrow! Make sure Dad gets this as well. Thanks for taking care of Momma pops! I love you all! I pray for you! Thanks for your valiant examples. I know my testimony of the gospel is so strong because of your examples. You showed me how you develop a testimony of the gospel principles. Thanks so much! I LOVE YOU ALL!! Sister Edgel

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pics of my district & my companion

My Companion
my district...the Elders even wore coordination ties

Thanks to all who have written me

Hello Mommy!!

I feel like a little kid on Christmas! I am so excited to email you! There's so much I want to say, and I have a fair amount of time, so hopefully I"ll be able to get to most of it. First of all, if you're worried about me, Stop it :) I am so great! I truly have been so blessed. I haven't been homesick at all. The first day was somewhat rough with that, but I realized quickly that if I was thinking of other things, I wasn't able to focus on what was going on, and I was missing the spiritual light and knowledge I need to receive.

Thank you for the package! And for like a banana. I loved everything and shared the chocolates and brownies with the sisters in my District/room. Thanks for the postcard and Dearelder Letter. You're awesome! I can only write you on P-day (which is actually great because it helps us focus better) so this is the first chance I could write you and thank you. Are you still in Provo then? Please write your response to this email on dearelder so I can see before my next emailing day (which probably won't be for 2 weeks). We leave the MTC next Tuesday. My flight leaves Salt Lake around 9:30 so I will be calling about and hour to an hour and a half before then, just so you're aware.

I LOVE THE MTC!! It is so awesome. I have a super duper district! But really, they are so great! We all get along super well. Now, it almost seems like too well. There are 4 sisters and 4 Elders (as you'll see in the pictures). We truly want to become better. Yesterday was harder to focus because we were pretty tired and needed some recreation, but it's been good. I LOVE MY COMPANION! I hope you got my letter from the first day. Her name is Sister Hickman and she's from Tulsa Oklahoma. She is 20, and really motivated like me. We get along great! Everyone always talks about how hard companions are, but they never say how great they can be! Having a companion really helps me grow as a teacher. It's nice to have someone there to help. It's also really nice because our teaching styles are different, so we challenge each other to change in goods ways and help each other. She helps me chill out when I take the lessons too seriously (which happens... shocker right? haha). She has great insights and helps me grow spiritually. She also likes working out and eating right! Yeah! So many prayers have been answered! The Lord is truly aware of me and taking care of me. Do not worry!

I honestly don't remember what happened the first few days. It really was like a firehose. Everything I thought about teaching was crushed so a firmer foundation could be built. Yahoo for firm foundations! I have super teachers. There are such great resources for us. I saw the hand of the Lord so much! While driving into the MTC I saw my Relief Society President from last semester. Tender mercy I needed. Then I saw a lady who worked in the baptistry in Provo when I'd go every Thursday night. I've seen lots of friends and people from BYU. It was just a way for Heavenly Father to let me know that He knows me and is taking care of me. The right people have been placed in my life to help me. He's got my back!

The food is pretty good. The first couple days I said, "I don't know how anyone could get tired of this food"... I'm starting to see how. There aren't a whole ton of fruits and veggies, but they ALWAYS have salad, pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew and [dun dun dun DUN!] WATERMELON! So yes, I had watermelon on the 4th of July :) Of COURSE Heavenly Father took care of me, I'm His daughter so why wouldn't He? They have pretty great opportunities to exercise. It's lovely. Our workout time is DEFINITELY appreciated. It's so helpful to keep us sane and happy. I love it!

The 4th of July was super duper! I work a red polka dotted skirt, a blue polka dotted shirt, and a white undershirt. Yeah AMERICA'! Our day was normal, until about 7. We had a devotional. Some really talented Elders and Sisters played some cool music. We had a speaker who taught about BOM heroes and American heroes and stuff. And then guess what?! We got to watch 17 Miracles! it was kinda funny because we were just sitting in like normal church seats, but it was such a holy experience. Watching it as a missionary was truly remarkable. It inspired me to want to sacrifice for others and be converted enough to the Lord to do whatever He requires. It was great! They had special ice cream bars for us as well. We got to watch the fireworks for a bit too (until 10:45!) We actually left early because that was the first day we would get our mail (since we didn't have a District President and it closed early, and some other stuff. It felt like the forces combined against us from getting our mail, but really we were just over dramatic. We only had to wait like 1 or 2 extra days).

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO'S WRITTEN!! You are so great! I've gotten mail every day. A sister in my ward didn't get any mail when the rest of us did, so I wrote her a letter and gave her chocolate. Thanks everyone who's writing. You are all so sweet.

There are some funny things that happen, but I don't know if it's just me that thinks their funny (since my sense of humor is strange) or if they really are funny. There's this Elder in my district named Elder Peterson and he cracks us UP! He's our district president. He was teaching us the 10 commandment hand actions one morning and he taught us the 4th commandment was to NOT keep the Sabbath Day Holy. Ha ha We were in Branch council Sunday Morning and he was reading the famous leadership scripture in D&C 120something (sorry I'm trying to type as fast as I can) and he said you help people by persecuting them instead of persuading them like the scripture said. HA HA! I guess he just struggles with that.

At the Sister Trainging leader/Zone leader training this Sunday the Old Guy Elder conducting picked me for a role play. I had to pretend to be a sister that was struggling with flirting (which is NOT the case in real life. I keep away from the Elders as much as possible. Except for the 18 year olds in my district. They're like my little brothers. I make them eat their vegetables and stuff. It's great!). ANYWHO, so I had fun with it and looked at my nails and stuff to get into the part. They called me sister Flirt in the skit. The next day at gym time, this Elder I never talked to before was like, "Hey sister Flirt!" It was pretty embarrasing because only the Elders and Sisters there would've known what he was talking about. It was pretty funny. I knew that was coming. That's about all I can think of for funny stuff.

There are lots of wonderful spiritual experiences that have happened. I truly see the Lord's hand so much more. I feel His love. I think that's why I'm not super homesick. My Father in Heaven is giving me so much extra love :) Lucky me! I can give it to others now too. I'm really learning that if I want to help others come unto Christ, I have to put what Janea wants aside. I have things I want to teach, but the Lord knows best how to help people come unto Him. I'm also learning about the blessings of obedience. Not going to lie, some of the rules I struggled appreciating when I first heard them. The Lord was so willing to show me the importance of them. I really appreciate all of the rules. They are helping me focus and come unto Him. This past week, our Teacher Brother Kezele had us teach something in Preach my Gospel in our companionships. As I was reading it, the Lord answered a question I had asked him 2.5 years ago. It was so humbling and just let me know that the Lord was aware of me, and He was directing my path. He has put the things in it that will best help me come unto Him. He is aware of me! He is aware of you! We pray so much here. But seriously. We pray before we study. We pray before we plan. We pray before we exercise. We pray before we sleep. We pray all the time! It is so necessary. One of the speakers on Sunday talked about how we can ask for miracles and the Lord will help us. It made me wonder why I never asked for miracles in my life before my mission. Why didn't I exercise that faith? The Lord has performed miracles in my life. Yesterday I was so exhausted. I've had a couple nights where it took me a while to fall asleep (but I've figured it out now, no worries!) so I was emotionally spent. We had a lesson with one of our investigators, and I was super worried. I prayed hard before that things would work out. The lesson went so much better than it would've if I had to rely on my own strength! We were able to discern some of the needs of the "investigator" and help them increase in understanding. Such a blessing! I love my Savior! I know He loves you. I pray for you every night Momma. At 10:15 we have quiet time to pray. Just know that every night at that time I ask the Lord to take care of you. I hope you are sensitive to the ways He does that. Study the scriptures. I've always been good at reading the scriptures, but I'm realizing I have not been super diligent about studying.

I'm trying to attach pictures now! I love you! I hope you love this long email. I dedicated all my time to writing you :]

The church is true! I love you all! Hurrah For Israel!

Lots of love,
Sister Edgel