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, September 22, 2014

Remarkably, the Lord works with what I do know and what I can do.

Hello everyone!

I hope you are doing well! Life in Parie is great :) The weather warmed up back to 70 this week thankfully, and we also were blessed with rain. Most importantly, the work is going well! I'm still learning a lot! Remarkably, the Lord works with what I do know, and what I can do. He's just the best!

Sometimes, when you live in a small town, you're driving to appointments and see lots of people on the street, and realize that there's randomly a homecoming parade. True story! It was pretty funny. It's also funny because people cannot hide from us! We will see them at our service, or at Walmart, or somewhere! It cracks me up :p One day we saw these 2 guys out walking their dog like 3 times in an hour and a half! ha ha

This past week I rode a bike as a missionary for the first time! It was so hilarious! I laughed so hard. Illinois seems super flat.... until you're on a bike! haha Also I laughed so hard because I'm sure we looked ridiculous! Enjoy the picture :p It was also super funny because it started raining on us after we left. THE SKY WAS CLEAR! It was the only time that day it rained. SO FUNNY! It was so worth it though :)

The work is going so well! Kelly is so excited for her baptism. This week she said, "I just pray and ask for it to come faster!" Who doesn't want to hear that? It's also been so awesome to watch her husband's heart soften. They're so on fire I love it! That is the best part of missionary work: seeing people change as a result of the spirit. I love seeing people's testimonies grow and their desire to do good increase. I just love that I get to be a part of this work!

So another funny thing about being a missionary is that everyone tells you EVERYTHING! Something that Sister Barret and I joke about is how many ways people tell us people could die. This week we heard about blizzards, snakes, bugs, and the normal illnesses. We also heard about crazy stuff going down in America (we're not really sure what's honestly going on or if people are just super paranoid). It cracks us up. The biggest thing that I've learned from these people is that so much of our fear is unnecessary! If we are truly being obedient and follow God, we have nothing to fear! Everything is going to work out :) Heavenly Father will take care of us. It's funny how many times I have to learn the lesson that God is watching over me :) Have no fear! Instead, be obedient and have faith. HAVE FAITH!

This week was our branch's primary program and it was soooo cute! Sister Barret and I really enjoyed watching all of the cute little kids and their simple testimonies. We also liked watching the little boy who was eating his tie the whole time, and the other little boy who was playing with a string and covering his eyes with his slip of paper. Fun stuff. Kids are the best! Every kid makes me think of my nieces and nephews. Seeing little kids also makes me think about what Christ said about becoming as a little child. There was a little girl we saw last week who cracked us up because she was so bold! She saw us and was like, "What are you doing here?" When we left she asked us where we were going. She was just very truthful. What a great example :)

So a few weeks ago in Fast and testimony meeting, our ward mission leader talked about taking care of the cattle preventing him from reading his scriptures. It was the first time I had ever heard someone use cattle as a reason, so it cracked me up, but then I thought about MY excuses for not keeping the commandments perfectly. It was interesting to think about the example of my parents. I know that some of the commandments they keep because they LOVE them! If we learn how to love the commandments and understand and see the blessings of them, then we won't LET things get in our way. Food for thought :)

Another thing I've been thinking about lately is our desires. We have an investigator who is struggling with conflicting desires of wanting to be a good religous person, and wanting to party and "live it up". Something we've been focusing on is helping her realize that it's all about the big picture. We need to hold onto what we want most, to prevent us from giving it up in the moment. This is definitely something that I'M still working on. I was reading in Ether this morning, and it's so interesting because the Lord asks the brother of Jared a lot, "What do you want? What do you want me to do for you?" I know that the Lord asks us that question every day when we wake up in the morning. "What do you want? What would you like help with?" I'm still working on refining my answers and holding fast to the big picture.

Yesterday we had dinner and family home evening with the Branch president's family. We shared our thought from 1 Samuel 16:7. I love this verse, because it talks about how the Lord looks at our hearts, not our outsides. This is such an important verse for missionary work! We can't tell who will accept the gospel and who won't. Who are we to say, "No, they'd never accept!" I got really emotional because I told them about a young girl in high school who was one of those people that some people passed by and said, "Nope! Not her. She'd never accept the gospel." Well, that person is my Mother. She wanted to badly for SOMEONE to invite her! She wanted to change! I hope that as you've read that someone has come to your mind of someone who maybe you've thought, "Nope! Not them!" You never know. They may accept! They may not, but it's not our place to judge. Everyone deserves a chance to hear the gospel :)

I love you all! Keep on being the great member missionaries, friends, and visiting and home teachers that I know you are! We need more wonderful people who step outside of their comfort zones for the comfort of others :) Have a super week!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Its beginning to look alot like Christmas.

Hello Everyone!

I know you're probably thinking, "What? Christmas? It's SEPTEMBER!" But believe it or not it IS beginning to look and feel like Christmas here in Illinois! One of our investigators had us help them put up a Christmas tree since she didn't have room for it in storage. The weather also thinks it's going to be Christmas soon (it was 40 degrees when we went running a few days this past week). A member also fed us pie for dinner. For the midwest, that isn't actually related to Christmas, but for this west coast girl, it is! They have pie here ALL THE TIME! I've had chocolate cream, banana cream, coconut cream, berry, strawberry rhubarb, pumpkin, and apple pie so far. None of those were repeats either! So much pie! Also Sister Barret and I are also what we've decided to call "Chr-unky" where you're trunky for Christmas. We may or may not have watched "Joy to the World".... I plead the 5th! haha

The work is going so well! Kelly and Mark came to churh 3 SUNDAYS IN A ROW!! Apparently this is a huge deal because people don't usually do this. So exciting! Also it's been so awesome to watch how the spirit has changed them. Kelly takes our lessons so seriously it's adorable! I love it so much! She tries to help Mark with the things we teach her. People always think SHE's the member, but she's just the sweet investigator :)

This past week we had President interviews AND exchanges. Both of them went so well! I really loved being able to talk with President 1 on 1. My exchange went well. I stayed in the area and Sister Barret left! This is a big deal because I had to lead the Sister Training leader around and lead all the lessons and everything. Also I drove for the first time on my mission! I was nervous, but it turns out I didn't forget how to drive in the past 2 months. That's good news! The exchange turned out to be really good for me to see that I have grown more than I thought. I am actually a fully contributing missionary! Who knew? It was great for me to build my confidence in the Lord's ability to build me up. I know on my own I'm week, but if I let Him be my pal, Holy Toledo! Things go great :]

I know I say this nearly every week, but that's because every day it's reaffirmed to me that THE LORD IS TAKING CARE OF US! This week we have 5 Mondays, so our money has to stretch a tad farther than normal, but guess what? We've been getting fed more than normal :) So that's a blessing! The Lord truly takes care of our WANTS as well as our NEEDS.

So funny story: This past week we decided to go visit a less active we tracting into (they had moved without telling us where) and the husband answered the door this time. We were totally talking to him when he says, "Well I've got to go give the wife her meds. Okay." and closes the door awkwardly on us. IT WAS SO FUNNY! Sister Barret's face was just like, "Wwwwhat? Is he coming back? Was that a goodbye? What just happened?". I had a SUPER hard time not dying laughing. That's another thing I didn't expect to have to learn: how to not laugh when you feel like laughing. Funny things happen to us all the time! It's fun :p

Today I've officially been in Paris 2 months! Crazy! It's so awesome how much things have changed in the past 2 months. I've loved watching people change and grow. I've decided my favorite thing about a mission is watching people take steps on their own! I love when they choose to obey commandments without us telling them, or they notice other things they need to change without us pointing them out. It shows that the spirit is working on them and that's the most important thing!

Something that I've been thinking about lately is how just because we change our actions, it doesn't mean WE'RE changed. That's why short diets don't work in the long run. We truly need to be changed, not just in the moment. It's far more effective to change someone's nature, and as a result to have their actions change than it is to change their actions and hope their natures change. I've been thinking about that with myself and my struggles. I'm trying to find ways to change my nature so that my actions will change on their own, and not the other way around. If you want to change, and are trying to change, this is a great way!

So this past week we helped the branch with a float for the upcoming parade! It was fun. Who knew my Student council float skills would come in handy on my mission? I sure didn't! It's been really neat to see the small and simple ways that the Lord has been preparing me for my mission! It's very comforting because if He's been preparing me to serve a mission, I know He's preparing me for the things that lie ahead. We have no need to fear! He'll help us and prepare us for our future if we let Him :)

I love you all! I know the Lord lives and loves us so much! I know He's just waiting for us to keep His commandments so He can bless us and help us! The church is true and such a blessing! I hope you have a wonderful day :)

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Friday, September 12, 2014

She is doing what God wants for her

Hello Everyone!

This week was a really great week. I keep on learning so much! This was one of those weeks that I could look back and see my progress which was awesome since there were times I wasn't sure which direction I was progressing! So as you know I'm training, and the training for this week had me do things that would normally be quite outside of my comfort level, but guess what? I did it! Amazing right? With the Lord's help, I've been able to do things I never would've been able to do before!

So funny story, we were talking to a less active that we visit periodically and we asked her how she was baptized and guess what? She was baptized because her Dad gave her $50! hahaha Well, now she's a member for more than just $50, but it was interesting to me to think about our own conversions. Do we realize that there's so much more to the gospel than just the surface level stuff? Do we realize it's not just a church but a way to be happy? Just some food for thought :)

So we got a call this morning from our Stake President's wife. She asked us if we still did service every week at the local food pantry (which we do :). She told us that she was at the gym at one of the local colleges and she was talking to a man next to her and he told her that his pastor constantly raved about "the mormon girls" who work at the food pantry. He says they work so hard and come early and leave late. It was really great to hear that someone recognizes what we do. This week was kinda hard because we contacted A TON of people, but weren't able to find any new investigators. We planted a lot of seeds, but it would good to see some other efforts were paying off in different ways.

Some culture background: Everyone here LOVES their riding lawnmowers. They drive down the streets with them with their kids on their laps. It's adorable! Also it makes me chuckle :p There also are churches on all of the street corners. We're technically not supposed to proselyte near other places of worship, but if we did that, we couldn't proselyte anywhere... so we just don't proselyte SUPER near them :P

GOOD NEWS!! Kelly (our investigator with a baptismal date) came to church again! She is so sweet! She was sitting by me and she said, "I want to get up and bear my testimony." WHAT? Seriously she's doing so well! She bore her testimony in our Sunday School class instead about how she knows that she's doing what God wants for her and she can see all the blessings He's opened to her. She is so grateful she let the missionaries in. Did I mention that she's so sweet? Because she is :) Her and her husband are making so much progress! At the lesson yesterday he was helping her say the names of the prophets in the BOM and for Helaman he told her you pronounce it Helium. So cute! Our prayers for them are being answered. Keep praying for them!

So this week we were at the house of a part member family, and it was interesting because we were talking to the Mom/Grandmother of the house, and we asked her about her missionary efforts. She said, "Oh yes, I keep a pass along card in my purse at all times! You never know." That was super great to hear, but she has less actives in her family, and even in her home. What good does carrying around a pass along card if we never open up our mouths to those around us? Our family truly is the most important place to start. It was quite an eye opening moment.

Another main theme from this week was a change in my desires. Up to this week, I've wanted high numbers to be "the good missionary" or because I just want them, but this week I really have had more success focusing on helping others more than the actual numbers. I just want to do whatever the Lord wants me to do to help His children. If it means driving around contacting potential investigators, I'll do it. If it means tracting for days in a row, I'll do it. I just want to do what He wants me to do. I just want to become what He wants me to become. I just want to be good. I want whatever He wants for me. He knows best. I really just need to trust Him. It will all work out!

I love you all! Keep on doing your best and moving forward!
Sister Edgel :)

Staaaaaange things are happening

Hello Everyone!

So I hope you sang the opening line like the song from "Toy Story". That probably makes no sense, but it did in my head! haha
Well, this week was pretty strange. We had some super funny moments. We were out trackting and a man opened his door just wearing underwear! I could hardly keep from laughing. I kept thinking, "They didn't teach me how to handle this in the MTC!" haha One of our investigators was also super drunk when we showed up and talked to us about how she thinks she's a prophetess and wants to sell everything she has to follow Him. Yup. Things are kinda crazy!

Sister Barret and I joke a lot about how there's a lot we didn't learn in the MTC. I was thinking about this, and I realized that the most important thing is that they taught us how to follow the spirit in the MTC and the spirit can help us with everything! I really mean that. The spirit helped me learn how to use a weed wacker (which I'm now super pro at by the way. Well, not really. I just THINK I am haha). It also has helped me learn how to handle different situations. How to not laugh, how to love people, and how to keep moving forward! I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who's prepared a way for us to get through EVERYTHING we need to get through. I think it's because of this knowledge that I FINALLY feel my age. I've always felt like I'm going to be stuck feeling 17, but a mission has really helped me change that. I actually feel my age! I've learned that Winnie the Pooh is so right! I am Smarter than I think, Stronger than I seem, and Braver than... I don't remember what He says exactly.. (Mom can you send me a quote of that?! That would be another good one :p) But it's true! With the help of the Lord I really can do more than I think I can.

The Work is going really well though. KELLY CAME TO CHURCH! She is progressing towards baptism really well. She's so sweet! Guess who else was at Church? Elder Bednar's Son who is in our Stake Presidency. He was super nice to her. Be nice to investigators! They need extra love!

This week I learned a lot about wanting people to change and act out of love, not an obligation to you. I am trying to change my attitude to love more people and be willing to serve them. It's a work in progress. We spent most of Saturday tracting. We don't usually tract because it's not super effective, but we wanted to change things up. When you love people, it's easier to keep going when the going gets tough. Love love love! We all need LOVE :)

It's kinda nice being set apart full time because I don't have to worry about balancing school and everything. I can devote my whole self to the work. I still am learning how to thrust in my sickle with ALL my might. Have you read D&C 4 recently? It really applies to all of us! I don't know if I shared this before, but before my mission I was super excited to sing "Called to Serve" in the MTC. Everyone talks about how it's awesome hearing all the missionaries sing it together. Well, we sang it in the MTC and guess what? It was awesome, but just as awesome as hearing everyone sing it at Stake Conference. It made me realize that the song isn't just for missionaries: We've ALL been called to serve! We can ALL receive the power from Heaven to fulfill these responsibilities. It just so happens missionaries are set apart specifically to have this as our only focus. It should be everyone's focus though.

I love you all! I pray for you and hope all is well. Don't be afraid to send me a letter! I'd love to hear from all of you. AND I always reply to anyone who sends a letter. Do I sound desperate? Probably because I am :P haha

Have a wonderful week!
Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edgel :

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Letter to her Daddy

Hi Daddio,

I sent you a package, but it sounds like it hasn't arrived yet. They told me it should arrive today sometime, so hopefully it does :) I sure love you!

So at first I was bummed that I had to wait an extra day to email, but then I realized I could email you on your Birthday! What a tender Mercy! I can kinda be a part of it! I hope you have a great day! I love you mucho grande!

I love to read your letters. You are just such a great example to me. I'm glad you had a positive experience with Keenan and Michael. They are good boys. That's awesome about the investigators in church!! We had 1 (and 3 less actives we've been working with) and I was just excited for that!

I'm glad you're learning how to balance everything with being Bishop and everything else. It's kinda nice being set apart full time because that's one thing I don't have to worry about! I can devote my whole self to the work. I still am learning how to thrust in my sickle with ALL my might. Have you read D&C 4 recently? It really applies to all of us! I don't know if I shared this before, but before my mission I was super excited to sing "Called to Serve" in the MTC. Everyone talks about how it's awesome hearing all the missionaries sing it together. Well, we sang it in the MTC and guess what? It was awesome, but just as awesome as hearing everyone sing it at Stake Conference. It made me realize that the song isn't just for missionaries: We've ALL been called to serve! We can ALL receive the power from Heaven to fulfill these responsibilities. It just so happens missionaries are set apart specifically to have this as our only focus. It should be everyone's focus though. Just thought I'd share that with ya :)

Guess what Daddy? I learned how to work a weed wacker this week! Another happy birthday gift to you! There were a TON of spiders in our weeds AND A SNAKE! I'm becoming so tough. You would be proud. Also I still screamed when I saw the snake. Some things don't change. A SNAKE IN OUR YARD! Yup I'm still freaking out about that. But I'm tough. I am. I think.... A tough princess. Does that work? haha

I hope you like the pictures I sent Momma. They were an extra bonus for your Birthday! I hope it's great :) Guess what, I love you! Have a super day!

Lots of love,
Sister Edge