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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Its a small town after all

Hello Everyone!

This week went pretty well. The work is pressing forward! So I've been super lucky because up until now, it hasn't been super hot or humid. Well, this week that changed. It's definitely getting warmer. We had a few awesome storms. Sister Barret and I got pretty drenched. We passed some little girls in swim suits outside playing in the rain! That's how I want to live my life! Enjoying the blessings of an adventure instead of moping inside that I can't ride my bike. I just love little kids. They're so fun :p

Good news! I will be in Paris with Sister Barret for another transfer! I feel like I've lived in Paris for a long time! I'm finally getting good at knowing people's names and places and what not. It's awesome! I'm glad to be in a small town. It makes it a lot easier to get to know people. The funny part about being in a small town is that people can't hide from us! They can run, but they can't hide. We will see them somewhere unexpectedly. It's quite comical. We joke sometimes that missionary work without the spirit would just be stalking people. haha :]

Our investigators are doing pretty well. We were pretty bummed yesterday because none of them made it to church after 3 of them said that they would be there. A few of the less actives we're working with came! Yahoo for progress! The good news is that Kelly has a baptismal date! She's so excited! We just have to get her to church :p It's really neat to see the progress we've made. They say, "numbers don't matter", and it's pretty true! Our numbers haven't changed much over this past transfer, but I feel like we've gotten a lot better at things than we were before. The members are beginning to trust us and to get excited about the work. It's awesome! We're doing our best to help people progress.

Something that I've been thinking a lot about this past week is sacrifice. We want things, but sometimes we aren't willing to sacrifice for it. As I thought about this, I realized that the Lord truly is capable of doing this work on His own. He could have angels come down and do it MUCH better than we could, but He knows that we need the opportunity to sacrifice and grow for the work. It's the same for the people we're teaching. We could do absolutely everything for them to get them to church, but they need to make those sacrifices to show their dedication to the Lord and to receive the blessings that come as a result of sacrifice.

There are some definite perks to being in a small town. For one, it's awesome to hear everyone's farming stories. Our branch mission leader was cracking us up yesterday telling us about some of the crazy things that go down on his farm. He couldn't believe I was afraid of cows (in real life they're huge and scary alright! They could squash me!). Most people here love animals which is awesome! My biggest problem with living in the country is the bugs. They. Are. EVERYWHERE! Sister Barret and I had a freak out on Friday. The bugs were after us alright! We're pretty sure they live entirely to terrify us when we walk into the bathroom or try to mow the lawn. It's just a theory, but we think we're on target! The bugs are scary! haha

I've made it through my first transfer! I don't know where the time has gone. It's awesome to see how far I've come in the past 6 weeks. It's crazy to think how much different I will be by the end of my mission! I love the opportunity I've been give to be a part of this work. It's awesome to see people change. It's not always an easy, fun, experience, but it's so worth it! It's so important to sacrifice what we want in the moment for what we REALLY want most in the end. I'm learning more and more about that every day. I love you all! Keep being your awesome selves! Count your blessings! Smile those beautiful smiles! Have a wonderful day :)

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sweet letter to her daddy

Guess what? I love you so much! You are just such a great example to me! Perhaps I feel extra grateful for a Daddy because my companion's Father passed away 4 years ago, so she talks about her Dad in the past tense a lot. I'm grateful to still have a father on earth who can still give me blessings that way.

I appreciated the letter both you and Mom sent me. They were so holy! I know that's strange to say, but they were. I know you'll do great! I loved your letter because you're such a great example of humility to me. Humility is more than just thinking God is greater than you; it's knowing that He is the source of your strength, He is the one you should rely on, and He will help us!

I love what you're doing with the primary children and young women! I feel sad how misunderstood repentance is. It's not scary! It's hard, but it's a beautiful thing! The invitation to change, become clean, and come closer to Christ is a great thing! We shouldn't be afraid of it :)

Truly the advice to absorb the positive and observe the negative is so true! Apparently I told Jayden at the start of his mission, "Do your best. When you know better, do better." I need that advice in my life! It really does come line upon line, precept upon precept. Don't be afraid to stretch a little. I've had moments where Sister Barret has looked at me like, "Nope, I'm not going to let you take the easy way out. You can answer this, so try" and guess what? I've opened my mouth and the promise made in D&C that it would be filled came true! The Lord does require that we walk a little ways into the dark. It's scary at times, but it's also important! I learn more about the Lord's strength and His ability every time I do that. You can do it! I have complete faith in you! I pray for the family when I run every morning. I run for like 20 minutes. I pray especially hard for my Momma and Poppa who are trying to lead our family, and now our ward! Whom the Lord calls, He truly qualifies! Just keep going and doing your best. Don't compare yourself to other bishops. Be the Bishop Heavenly Father wants you to be :)

I love you! I hope this week goes better. Just keep on keepin on!
Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edgel, your little one


Sister Barrett
So many welcome signs for such a small town of 8000
Silly Sister Edgel, you don't need a helmet in the house. haha

Miracles truly happen if we believe!

Hello everyone!

Well, as you can tell from my heading, this week was so great! Miracles truly happen if we believe! Also I hope you sang the heading to the tune of the song in "Princess Diaries". If you didn't, repent, go back and read it singing it with that tune :p haha

Anywho, this week was wonderful! My district leader asked me to give a training at District Meeting last Tuesday! Sister Barret was like, "Whoa! They never do that. He's mean!" but really the Lord knew that I needed to study what the training was supposed to be on. It went well. The Lord has shown me a lot this week that I am improving as a missionary! Yeah! The First few weeks I felt like I was coasting. I thought I would NEVER be able to lead as a missionary because I knew so little! Well, I still don't know very much, but I know enough for this moment. The Lord can still use me the way I am. I am getting stronger line upon line, precept upon precept. It's the way it works!

Also, Friday was my 1-month-in-Paris-and-Sister-Barret's-Companion-aversary! Yahoo! We went out for dinner to celebrate. We ate at a popular pizza place. Fun stuff :p

Alright, now for the miracles!

Tuesday after District meeting Sister Barret decided that we needed to focus our study and efforts this week on helping people attend Church. During our lessons, we made sure we made extra time to focus on church attendance and to invite people to our ward's ice cream social on Saturday. We started a fast of sugar as well to try to help our efforts. We made a plan and exercised faith that things could happen with the Lord's help.

Wednesday the miracles continued. So my area covers a lot of tiny towns surrounding Paris. We don't usually go into the other towns because of miles, and there aren't very many members there to help strengthen our investigators and various reasons, but this week we had a dinner appointment out in Redmond, close to Brocton, so we felt like we should go see some less actives we've been trying to focus on. They weren't home, so we tried contacting potentials. The potential we were looking for wasn't home, but her daughter, Chris (short for Christina) answered the door. At first she was like, "Sorry I have Native American beliefs". We responded, "Oh really! We have a book all about some of your ancestors!" (well, not exactly like that, but basically!). She asked us where she could go to buy that book..... Alright that's amazing! People don't ASK where they can BUY the Book of Mormon! She proceeded to ASK us where our church was, and when it started and all of these things! We talked a little bit more about our other beliefs, and got her number. We prayed for her and all of our investigator the rest of the week and guess what?! We walked in the door on Sunday and she was there! She drove 20 minutes to go to church! And she had read all the way to 1 Nephi 17 and apologized for not having read more! And she had great questions. Pray she keeps coming!

All week we kept inviting people to come to the ice cream social and church. Saturday rolled around and we had 3 investigators who each brought someone with them (so a total of 6 people) come! It was awesome! The ward did a great job at friend shipping them and trying to help them feel comfortable. One of our investigators, Kelly, has had some reservations about coming to church, but coming to the building, meeting the people, and feeling the spirit really helped her. Sadly she didn't make it to church because she wasn't feeling well, but in our lesson later that day, she told us she prayed Heavenly Father would forgive her and accepted our invitation to be baptized! I was concerned it would be because she loves us as people, but she said it was because she's felt the closest to God she's ever felt in her life. AMAZING! She also said on her own that she needs to study the BOM more on her own. Pray for her that she will feel good enough to come! Her husband, Mark, is less active, so our lessons and prayers also help him a lot. I love them!

All in all, this week was a great lesson in the power of acting in faith. We can say we have faith, but until we do our part and act in faith, we can't receive the full blessings of that power. We still have a long way to go in helping everyone we want to help come back to our Heavenly Father, but things are starting to change for the better. The members are starting to trust us and be more willing to help us. The Lord is also teaching me so much! I am becoming more comfortable as a missionary. I still have a ton I need to work on, but the Lord is at my side. This is His work! He won't let it fail :)

I love you all! Most importantly the Lord loves you! I hope all is well in your lives. I love the gospel! I love the joy it brings into my life! I love the vision that the Savior has for all of His. He sees who we can become. We just have to trust Him enough to let us shape us into something better. Have a super week!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edgel

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Lord knows you and cares about you.

Hello Everyone!

This week was pretty great. We had some more funny contacting experiences. We were trying to get a hold of a lady that's recently started avoiding us (President Holland says to be more persistent than an AVON lady and let me tell you, AVON's got nothing on us! We're the definition of persistence! Anywho..) I love children because they're so honest and open to us! Parents probably hate that about them when we come around. So we went to this lady's house and her daughter was like, "Who are you looking for?" We told her her mom and she said, "She's in the back". We walk to the back and this man is there and asks who we are. We tell him, and we walks into the house and says, "We've got some holy rollers on our hands". Another lady comes outside and says, "Sorry, she's not home." As we walk away, we hear her daughter say, "Mom, why don't you want to talk to them?" hahah So funny! As a missionary, we have to find the humor or we'd just be super sad!

Some other fun things from this week was we got to pick more wildflowers! We've had a ton of rain, so things have been muddy, but the plus side is there's more flowers! Yeah for wildflowers! I love seeing them wherever we go. Heavenly Father is just so great to bless us with so much beauty!

I learned an important lesson about the power of service. We went to see an investigator that's kind of been avoiding us lately. When we walked in, it was obvious she wasn't exactly thrilled. She was busy trying to move her furniture. We just jumped in and started helping her and asking her what else we could do to help, and her entire attitude changed! Instead of being a burden, we became a blessing, and she was more willing to sit down and have a lesson. We were able to start meeting regularly with her again. We also had another opportunity to help a different investigator fix up her back yard. It was just amazing to me to see how service truly softens hearts. I read in the New Testament this week in 1 James 1:27 about how true religion is really service. My testimony of that was strengthened. If someone is hard hearted towards you, serve them! The Savior really knew what He was saying when He counseled us to serve others.

We didn't have any investigators at church this week sadly. We did have some less actives that we visited come! Yahoo! It's great to help people renew their covenants. We're just trying to help strengthen the branch any ways we can.

We started teaching a mother and her daughter this week! So exciting! They don't have much of a religious foundation, so hopefully we'll be able to teach them. The hard part is our investigators get fed antimormon stuff. We can usually calm their concerns, it's just hard when they won't tell us what they are so we CAN help them. It's all good though :) It's truly the Lord's work! Not ours!

Something that I'm learning on my mission is that I learn the most right after I have a hard experience. The Lord truly uses my struggles to teach me a lesson. It's awesome! He's right there to help and lift me up when I stumble. It's interesting because I have to take the first step and read my scriptures and study Preach my Gospel. It's usually as I act that receive the help and direction I need. Sometimes I think we think that "God will just help us". While that's true, we usually have to take the first step. The Stake President came in spoke in church and he said that the Lord can't magnify our works if we're not doing anything. We have to do something for him to magnify it. I love that! So true for missionary work. We have to open our mouths, and work hard, and then the Lord can use what we can do to bring forth His work. So true!

I hope life is well for all of you wherever you are! The Lord knows you and cares about you! Have a wonderful day!

Sister Edgel

So Many Blessings

SO MANY BLESSINGS! IT's CRAZY! Heavenly Father is watching out for us :]

This week was good. I had a hard time Wednesday night because one of our investigators told me that Sister Barret was a better teacher than me (well, she was just trying to compliment Sister Barret, not offend me). It was interesting though because the Lord truly used this as an opportunity to teach me not to compare myself with others. He is making me into who I need to be! He has a plan for me, so I just need to do my best and it'll all be okay!

Humility is more than just thinking God is greater than you; it's knowing that He is the source of your strength, He is the one you should rely on, and He will help us!

It's interesting to me because my greatest moments of learning on my mission have come right after my greatest moments of trial. I definitely think that's the Lord's way. He tries us, we do our best to be faithful, and He blesses us and helps us even more. It's great!

Yesterday's Sunday School lesson was along these lines for me. It was about Elijah and the widow. Saturday I was actually thinking about this story and about how really, Elijah didn't need the widow to feed him. The Lord could've provided another way. BUT, the Lord knew that the widow was going to run out of food and die, so SHE needed the opportunity to feed Elijah. I think that's how my mission is. Yeah, maybe Sister Barret could teach better without me, BUT I need to learn how to become a better teacher so I can be who God needs me to be. I definitely think the Lord uses us because WE are the ones that need the blessings of sacrifice.

This just reminds me of last summer when we were painting my bedroom. You and Dad are master painters to me! You didn't need my "help" at all! BUT because you love me and want to help me become better at painting, you let me help paint the desk area (that thankfully no one will really see and see my numerous mistakes). That's just how the Lord works. He knows our growth is more important than a perfectly done job. Isn't He great?

I love you and pray for you! Whenever I start to worry about you, it's like Heavenly Father tells me, "HEY! Stop worrying! She's my daughter! I love her too! I will make things work out. No worries!" Sister Edgel :]

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


fridge full of good food
tiny curl
Companion Sister Barrett

Charity makes everything work better

Why Hello there Everyone!

First off, I hope you're doing great! Life in Paris is great. This week I had my first Zone Conference! It was awesome! Sister Morgan (the president's wife) was so cute when she saw me. That was kinda nice since I was nervous. The Batchelors (from Las Vegas area) are going home soon. Sister Batchelor took a pic of me. Look out for them Momma in the Temple! They're great!

During Zone Conference we were trained about some of the things the Savior told people to be missionaries. I loved the scripture that said, "Said all you have and come follow me". That was so comforting to me because for some reason I always thought it was like, "Sell X amount of things and come follow me". It was nice to realize that He simply asks for all we can give, not more than we can. Some days it seems like I have less to give than others, but the Lord simply asks for all I can do. Such a comfort :)

So we were tracting the other day, and I heard the funniest excuse for not letting us in thus far. "Sorry, we have to get ready for the rain" [just so you know it only sprinkles like 10 drops after that]. We had a good chuckle about that. It made me wonder what excuse I give sometimes for not changing. "I'm the Junior Companion. I'm just too tired. These people will probably glare at us like others have". But really, the Lord knows best, so I just need to trust Him!

Today while I was running (we run on a high school track by our house in the morning) I was thinking about what more I could do to help people, and it hit me how important Charity (the Love of Christ) is! If we don't do things out of love, we're just doing them for numbers or gain or duty. If we have Charity, if we love people so much that the thought of them living without the Gospel would cause us to tremble for them, then I would be able to keep knocking on doors even if I'm not sure if they'll accept our message. I will have a greater desire to help people come back to church. I would have a greater drive! I would have a greater capacity to do more than I would on my own. What would you be able to do better if you had more charity? Just food for thought :)

GUESS WHAT?! WE had an investigator, Quinten, at church! We have 2 young men in our ward preparing for missions, and 1 of them has been coming to the lessons with Quinten. He went by to give him church clothes (lots of people don't have them) and brought him! It was great. Hopefully he'll want to come back. He seems like he has lots of potential. I was so happy when we saw him! Sister Barret was like, "Tone it down Sister Edgel. Don't scare him away!" hahaha So sometimes I get really excited... haha

Guess what else?! We have a family (a mom and her 2 daughters) that have been investigating the church for a while, and this week the Mom had some serious questions for us about where we came from and where we go after. We helped her the best we could. Her husband has a nerve problem and we're not sure how much longer he'll live, so we've been praying for them a ton. The next time we went back, she told us that she really wants to get baptized because what she wants most in life is to have her family sealed in the temple. We still have to get her to church, and quit smoking, but I'm learning that desire is the first step! It was great. Really, we didn't do anything but listen to her and help answer some of her questions. It's all about the spirit, and the person acting for themselves. She reads the BOM, prays, and understand things deeply. We are just here to act as guides! It's awesome though.

This week while contacting potentials, I got to share about family history! It was awesome. The people didn't seem exactly too excite to talk to us. We usually give people cards anyways, and so as I reached in my purse to give them the normal card, I felt inspired to give them a family history one instead. It turned out that one of the ladies was really interested in family history. I got to bare my testimony about the importance of families and of family history work. It was awesome! Yeah family history! I love this work!

So once upon a time, Heavenly Father takes such good care of His missionaries! One of my concerns has been eating healthy, and this week He totally helped us! We work at a food bank, and this past week very few people came so we had a TON of produce left over. They divided it between some of us workers. We had a food full of produce! It was such a blessing! I know the Lord answered my prayer about that. We also got fed 3 dinners and 1 lunch! That's like a ton for this mission. So many tender mercies :) Heavenly Father truly is watching out for us.

Keep on keeping on! If life is rough, don't forget to turn to the Lord. I am so amazed with how many people have been members of the church for years and have never read the BOM through entirely! If you're reading this and haven't done it, or haven't done it in a while, I challenge you to pick it up and start today! I love the saying, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the next best time is today". SO TRUE! Strengthen your relationship with God by reading His word :) Anywho, I love you all! Keep on keepin on!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edgel