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, October 20, 2014


Good Solution to a tough week

Hello Everyone!

This week was honestly one of the toughest of my mission so far. None of our investigators could meet with us. My companion is still new to the area, so I was doing my best to help us figure out potentials to see, and places we haven't tracted, and less actives to visit, but it was just so hard! I bring it up because through this past week, the Lord was able to humble me so that I could recognize His hand more in our service. It truly is HIS work! When I'm left on my own, I can't do anything! He is the one guiding us and helping us. He hears and answers our prayers in His own time :) Whenever we go through obstacles, I know it's the Lord just wanting us to be a little more polished so we can receive greater blessings and knowledge.

One of the goals of my mission is to become the person that is happy in whatever her circumstances are! It's funny because I don't think I quite realized that meant having plenty of hard times so I could learn to be happy in them. The good news is that the Lord wants the same thing for me! I always have the blessing of Jesus Christ's Atonement and the gospel to be grateful for and happy about! Those blessings never fade. I'm so grateful for that!

So a few weeks ago we were at a member's house and making calls to find someone to drive 6 hours to take us to and from St Louis for transfers. It was a struggle because of the time commitment and also the money commitment. We were starting to get discouraged, and the inspired member said, "If the Lord told you to do this, He'll prepare the way". Sure enough, she was right. We found a ride less than 15 minutes later. That experience has been with me all this week. If the Lord asks us to do something, He WILL prepare a way for us. I know that's true! There were many moments when I thought, "How are we going to be able to meet this goal?" and the Lord provided a way. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it! The Lord is truly guiding and directing our efforts.

We have some less actives who have been coming back and it's been so awesome working with them! I am so excited about the work we are doing here! I can totally see this branch becoming a ward someday. I love the people who have been called to serve with us. They're willing to thrust in their sickles. I know the reap will be so great! I'm grateful I was able to stay in Paris. What a blessing! I know the Lord is guiding and directing our efforts and loves us ALL so much.

I hope you're all doing well :) Keep on keeping on! Have a wonderful day!
Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edge

Sunday, October 19, 2014

We saw Meet the Mormons

Hello everyone!

This past week was chock full of great stuff. We had transfers on Wednesday, so we spent the day driving to and from St. Louis for transfers meeting. It was pretty crazy. 6 hours in a car! The good news was it gave Sister Willmore and I time to get to know each other. She's from Logan, Utah, and has been out the same amount of time as my previous companion, Sister Barret. She's awesome! It's fun getting to know a new companion.

Things in Paris are going well. The work is moving forward slowly but surely. We had a LEGIT hayride on Saturday. We were pulled by a tractor around his farm for like a 20-30 minute ride. It was way fun! We had a bunch of less actives come. It was at our Branch Mission Leader's house. He's so on fire it's crazy! He was going to paint a cow green and have it chase me since he knows I'm scared of cows, but luckily his wife has my back, so he didn't. Oh man!

Another funny story: So in branch council on Sunday, our Branch President told us about the time him and his son were pulling weeds around the house and he looks over and sees his son SWINGING A SNAKE around his head! Like a 3 foot long snake! He asked his son what he was doing and his son answers all nonchalant, "Just getting rid of the snake!" He threw it in a tree. Oh man! Country life is just awesome!

We had mission conference yesterday (hence the late email). It was so awesome! Elder Sitati of the 1st Quorum of the 70 was there. It was so great! When I walked in, I was pretty stressed out and burdened down with my imperfections and challenges as a missionary. I thought, "there's no way the way I feel can be made right. There's no way that all of these challenges can be helped. I'm just too low!" Yeah I know, kinda over dramatic. Well guess what? I was sooooo wrong! It's crazy to me that I even thought that, but sometime missionary work is just discouraging alright? haha Well, not long into the meeting, my heart was so softened and the spirit taught me the things that I needed to hear! It was such a great meeting! I just WISH you could feel the spirit of over 250 missionaries and their leaders. Man! There's nothing to compare! The spirit truly can help us in so many ways! The Lord answered my prayers and is taking care of me. I'm so grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and knows EXACTLY what we need to be successful and happy. He's the best!

It was also fun to see people from my MTC district! We also got to sleep over at the Charleston Sister's apartment since we were going to carpool with them and they live 30 minutes closer to St. Louis than we do. It was a blessing to get to sleep in a little more even though we still had to wake up early. It was so worth it!

Guess what else?! We got to watch "Meet the Mormons"!!!! When President Morgan announced that we would get to watch it, we all cheered! We all cried during the missionary Mom's part. I just loved that movie! If you haven't seen it yet, so see it! It was so well done. I forgot I was in the chapel at mission conference. It was exactly the reminder I needed that although change is hard, it is so worth it! The message we share with people is of such great worth!

Time for a MIRACLE story! So we got a call on Friday from Kelly, my recent convert, asking us to go to Wal Mart with her and help her pick out clothes for her husband Mark!! So exciting! He has been resistant to wearing what he calls "a monkey suit" to church, but the spirit has been working on him so hard core! Sister Barret and I just KNEW he would crack soon! The next thing is smoking. Kind of a jump, but the Lord will help him. I'm not too worried :]

Kelly is so on fire! She told us while we were shopping that she invites everyone she meets to come to church with her. It's just like Elder Bednar's talk in General Conference. Because of the good she's experienced in her life from the gospel, she isn't afraid to share it with others because she knows she's offering them a really great thing! The BEST thing in fact. I think sometimes I listen to the adversary's lies that I'm doing something weird, or annoying people, when in fact, that's a huge whopper of a lie! It's the best thing ever! I owe everything I have and am to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a blessing to get to serve :)

Another cool miracle occurred this week. We've been working with this less active family. It was always super hard to tell if they actually liked us coming, or if they were annoyed, but this past week when we stopped by, they had read the BOM on their own! Yahoo! They also told us that they had been clean from drinking for a few weeks because we started visiting them. They came to the branch hayride and talked to more people than they ever would have before. It's so awesome to see people change as the spirit softens their hearts and quenches their thirsts. I love being a missionary!

Well, I love you all. I pray for you and hope all is well. Keep on keeping on! You're awesome! Have a super day :)
Lots of love,
Sister Edgel

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Conference was wonderful

Hello Everyone!

This week went pretty great. This weekend was definitely the Climax! Conference was wonderful, and then between sessions on Sunday was Kelly's baptism! She was so excited! She wore a white temple dress which made me super happy. We've been focusing on helping her and her husband focus on going to the temple. She's worthy and prepared, but her husband has some Word of Wisdom stuff he needs to work through. Good thing they have a year! It's been so great to watch the spirit change them. Mark, her husband, bore his testimony during her service. It was so sweet! He talked about how he knew the church was true. He cried and talked about the blessings of God. Another miracle was that HE SANG during conference! They've come for 6 weeks in a row to church, and he's never sang. Evidence of the spirit softening his heart and working on him. I LOVE IT!

Kelly's baptism REALLY got us pumped. Yeah for covenants! I spoke about the gift of the Holy Ghost. Before I started, I felt impressed to talk about how the Lord has not placed a limit on the joy we can feel. The further we travel in the gospel, the more joy we can experience! When I was baptized, I felt so clean and so much joy! It was the best day of my life until April 19, 2014 when I went to the temple and was endowed. I've never felt so happy, clean, and renewed in my life! I know that even more joy is awaiting me as I continue moving forward in the gospel. The joy will never end!

There are moments as a missionary when it's easy to see that the Lord is strengthening you and blessing you extra and giving you abilities you wouldn't have otherwise. This Sunday I saw several of those. One particular instance was that Sister Barret and I sang a duet at Kelly's baptism. You couldn't pay me enough to do that outside of my mission. I truly do feel like the Lord has blessed my voice to be better as a missionary. That, or it's much better than the singers here, so it just sounds better! Either way, it's a blessing from the Lord :)

Conference was just so great! I know every missionary talks about it, but it truly was EXACTLY what I needed. I wrote some questions down before conference, and within the first 15 minutes I was tearing up because some of them had already been answered. I felt the Lord's love so strong! I know that I am doing the right thing. I know the Atonement has paid for my mistakes, and I can have confidence moving forward. I'm so grateful for that blessing! I love being a part of this work! It's amazing!

In other news, I will be staying in Paris for at least another transfer! Woohoo! Sister Barret will be leaving me, which is so sad, but I'm so grateful I was able to be her companion. I know President Morgan was inspired to put us together. She was exactly the trainer I needed and I learned so much from her! I'm looking forward to the other lessons I'll learn throughout the rest of my mission :) I can hardly believe my training is over! AHH! Good thing I have follow up training. It's nice when I remember that really, learning how to be a good missionary is a lifelong endeavor. I won't get it all now. It'll come in time :)

I love you all! I hope all is well. Keep on moving forward. Keep the faith! You can do it!
Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edgel

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Lord asks us to do OUR best, not the best that President Monson can do, just our best.

Hello Everyone!

This week was so great! Our branch got to participate in a parade! We passed out over 1200 cards to members in the community. Our theme was Gordon B Hinkley's 6 Bee's. It was awesome! The best part is the branch is excited about missionary work and trying to do more. Yeah! Go missionary work! Apparently when the float rounded the corner, Kelly (our investigator getting baptized next Sunday), stood up and started shouting, "That's my church! That's my church!" I don't have the words to explain how that makes me feel. SO HAPPY to say the least.

So Kelly is doing so great! Her husband is a less active member who's kinda had a rough past. It's been awesome to see the spirit work on them. Kelly is SO excited to be baptized. Yesterday we got her baptismal clothes all figured out and she'll be wearing a white dress. She looks so good in white! I'm super excited for them to get sealed in the temple in a year :) I love them!

Alright some funny moments from this past week. So one of the families we visit has their grandkids by love come over a lot. Adi, one of the little girls, is 5. After one of our lessons this week, she wanted to say the closing prayer (she also wanted one of my "books" about Jesus. So fun!) Anyways, she starts reciting the pledge of Allegiance! It was adorable. The 13 year old in the family, Haley, helped her with her prayer. It was so sweet! At the end of the prayer, Adi said, "THE END!" It was really cool because Andrea, Haley's Mom, started talking about the importance of ending our Prayers in Christ's name. It was awesome! She just needs to get baptized! We're working on it :p

This week was so interesting. Sometimes Satan really tries to discourage you before something good happens, and this week was a prime example! There were multiple days where it kinda felt like we were just driving and walking around and no one was home or wanted to listen to us, but then we would find someone or teach someone, and it would be so awesome! The parade went so well, and on Sunday our Branch mission leader sincerely thanked us for all of the work we are trying to do. Also we saw Kelly, and she is just so prepared and so excited for her baptism! They haven't missed church in 5 weeks! That's a huge deal!

This morning I finished reading the Book of Mormon. I love that book so much! I was able to pray about it, and I know it's true! I have for a long time, but it's comforting to know it still is! It can still bless my life. It gives me soooo much comfort, direction, peace, and joy! I love having the opportunity to learn so much on my mission. Lately, I've just had such a thirst to learn as much as I can! I think it's because I'm in my last week of training. CRAZY! I don't feel prepared to go to just 1 hour of companion study. There's so much I still need to learn! It amazes me how the Lord will use just the few things I have to offer, and make something great of it. Truly, we just need to thrust in the sickle with all of OUR might (D&C 4:4), not the might of someone else. The Lord asks us to do OUR best, not the best that President Monson, or anyone else can do.

CONFERENCE IS COMING AND I'M SO EXCITED! I hope you watched the Woman's broadcast on Sunday. I loved it! It truly quenched some of the thirst I was feeling inside. It felt so good to listen to servants of the Lord teach and testify of things they know.

Life is so good! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be serving in Paris! I'm grateful that the Lord can use me as a missionary! Sometimes I feel so insignificant and weak, but I truly know that when I follow Him, He can make me strong and make so much more out of me! I love you all. Keep on keepin on! Have a wonderful day and get excited for conference this weekend!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel