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 21, 2014

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

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