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.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

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

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