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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Picture of Sister Edgels companions

On Sister Edgels right is her 1st companion, Sister Barrett. On her left is her present companion, Sister Martinez. On Sister Barretts right is her new companion, also Sister Martinez. Sister Barrett is now Sister Edgels leader.

November 2014 district and other pics

The miracle of the dirty apartment

Hello Everyone!

I hope you're doing great! This week has been the best 3 weeks of my life! Aka it's felt like 3 weeks, but it's been awesome! Since I've talked to you last, I've driven to St. Louis twice, and moved from Paris, Illinois, to the Mahomet, Illinois area.

So earlier last week I was able to say good bye to all of the friends and family I made while serving in Paris. It was hard to say goodbye! I LOVED my time there! It made me realize how quickly my mission will FLY by! Before I left, we were able to have a really great lesson with Andrea and help her realize what the Lord's forgiveness can do for her. She cried because she finally understood that the baggage of her mistakes doesn't have to weigh her down. Because of the Savior's sacrifice, if she does what He requires, she can be free from the guilt and pain that comes from our sins. She can move forward with greater faith and hope. It was so beautiful! The spirit was so strong. I was so grateful I was privileged to be in that lesson.

Wednesday was transfers. We spent the day driving to St Louis for transfer meeting. It was so good as usual. President Morgan told us about a SUPER SWEET new website the church is launching called christmas.mormon.org. It's so exciting! I met my new companion, Sister Martinez! She's so great! We've had SOOO much for working together these past few days. So for those of you who don't know what "whitewashing" is in missionary terms, it's when two bran new missionaries replace the missionaries that were previously serving in that area. Usually at least one missionary who knows the people and area stays so that you don't have to start from scratch, but every now and then they do it to mix things up. Well, we were whitewashing one of the sets of Elders who were previously serving in the Mahomet Ward.

That whole day was just one big adventure! We picked up our car in Mattoon, and had to follow our Zone leaders to our chapel to get our luggage. It was HILARIOUS because we were both in a strange new car with a MILLION buttons and had no idea what we were doing! (I still accidentally hit the emergency lights ALL the time! haha) We were laughing so hard! I couldn't find the cruise control or how to adjust my seat for a while. It was funny. THEN we couldn't find our apartment! It was dark when we finally got to Champaign, so we were totally lost! It was hilarious! We said a prayer and then we finally found it across the street. It was right under our noses. When we finally found which apartment was ours we found that OUR DOOR WASN'T EVEN LOCKED!!!! We were so sketched out. We kept the door open and sang hymns while looking through every crack and cranny of the apartment. When we finally got our luggage into our apartment (we're on the second floor) we swiftly got to work. At transfer meeting I had joked that we needed to pick up our white paint, but by the end I realized that they really should have given us bleach and garbage bags! After taking 5 trips to the dumpster, the place was remotely habitable. I scoured the bathroom with bleach while Sister Martinez went through all of the junk left in the different closets. It was gross! It wasn't as bad as some of the horror stories I've heard from other Sisters, but it wasn't exactly great either. Alright I'm done complaining about the mess :P We were able to work pretty quickly and effectively. Even in all the stress it was apparent that the Lord was leading and guiding us. So cool!

For those of you freaking out about us living in a gross apartment, rest assured it's definitely not. Our Ward mission leader's wife gave us a floor length mirror, and new towels, and more things. The apartment had cleaning supplies, they just weren't being used. It's so much betters! The zone leaders had to come get some things out of our apartment for us and they were impressed with the transformation already. It's going to be super cute and a place of organization and learning when we get done with it :)

Soooo the next day we were finally able to do missionary work! It was the best! I love being with Sister Martinez. She's such a great missionary and so awesome! Each day things get a little better: Our apartment gets more organized, we meet more people, and we see the Lord's hand more in our work. The Lord truly was taking care of us! There were so many tender mercies! The weather was only in the 40's and 50's, the Lord lead us to people and put people in our paths, and we've been able to get acquainted with a lot of our ward members. This ward is SOOO awesome! I am so excited to serve here!

So funny story. Thursday night we decided we would try to contact less actives. We knocked on the door that we thought was a less active family, but it turned out not to be. We were so confused, but we just rolled with it and acted like we thought they would be active members instead. We had been talking for a long time, and I had been trying my best to figure out WHO the less actives were when I decided it would be smart to ask what their callings were. The wife give me this confused look, and is like, "The Ward mission leader!"..... AWKWARD!! We had accidentally gone to visit the ward mission leaders house! Actually, it wasn't an accident. The Lord lead us to them because He knew it was cold and dark and we needed to meet him. So funny but amazing at the same time.

This week was also Stake Conference for our stake. It was so awesome! Elder Payne from the 70 came to instruct the stake. It was so good! Saturday was focused on missionary work (which was super). Sunday was focused on the blessings of the Gospel and come into our lives when we truly give everything over to the Lord. It was exactly what I needed! I joke with Sister Martinez that my life so far has figuratively been me coloring on paper with crayons and holding my pictures up to Heavenly Father and being like, "Wook Daddy! Wook at my pwetty picture!" and Him patting me on the head and being like, "Awh! That's so cute sweet heart! Here, let me show you a better way to make art". He then takes my picture and transforms it into a BEAUTIFUL masterpiece that I couldn't have figured out on my own. I realized during Stake Conference that when we're consecrated, we give the Lord our crayons, and in return, He lets us put our hands on His while He paints masterpieces! Yes it's hard giving up our crayons. They're fun and we think we can color pretty good pictures, but the dividends from teaming up with Him are far greater than anything we could gain on our own!

Another miracle from this past week was that I didn't get nearly as sick as I could've! I started getting sick on Thursday. I was super nauseated and what not. I was trying my hardest to work through it. I was praying so hard that I would get better so I could work harder. The Lord answered my prayers! By Saturday, I was all better! No more chills or problems! It was just a witness to me that Heavenly Father is taking such good care of me :) He truly is my Father and cares about every aspect of my life.

I hope you enjoyed the novel that was this letter. Like I said, SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED! I wish I could tell you all the funny stories, and the miracles we've seen, but there's just not enough time, so just know that things are going well. We're in the Lord's hands which is the BEST place to be :) I hope you have a wonderful day!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edgel

Monday, November 17, 2014


Hello All!

This past week was pretty amazing! It was a good one to end my time in Paris *sniff sniff!* But I'm looking forward to serving the people in Mahomet, Illinois! Guess who's in my ward? Elder Bednar's son, so that will be exciting. I'll be whitewashing which is pretty nerve wracking for me, but if I've learned one thing on my mission, it's to trust the Lord!

So this past week I almost got my first kiss on my mission! We were having dinner with some members, and their 4 year old somehow fell in love with me. I guess it was because I played with his trains with him before dinner and talked to him. Anyways, after dinner, he came up and gave my harm a hug, and went in for the kill! Thankfully his dad was right there and intervened. I saw my name badge flash before my eyes! It was pretty hilarious, and terrifying. It's a lot harder to turn a 4 year old down than someone my age! haha

My companions thus far have loved me enough to humor my desire to go running in the morning. Well, I'm not always the most coherent person in the morning, so one day this past week I rolled out of bed and got ready quickly. Just before we went out the door, I looked down and realized I was still in my pajama bottoms! Haha That would've been funny :P Not quite professional though, so good thing I changed!

Well, like I said earlier, this past week was pretty great. We've been teaching a Mom and her 3 daughters, and about 2 months ago, the opposition really piled up on them, and their progress slowed. All transfer we've been working on helping them build up their fire again, and this past week we were able to have such a good lesson with them. It was basically dedicated to helping them understand the Atonement. Andrea was really struggling with that because this past week a 2 year old in Paris was brutally murdered and abused among other things and died. She asked why God let's things like that happen. That's a tough question to answer, but because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have an answer! We were able to testify of the power of the Atonement, and by the end, she finally got it. She understood that Christ felt all we ALL go through, and if we turn to Him, He will take our burden upon himself and heal us in any way we need. It was a beautiful lesson. It strengthened my testimony of the converting power that comes from teaching about the atonement. It is the reason behind all we do. It was incredible.

This past week I've been thinking a lot about repentance. I used to be afraid of repenting because it seemed so scary, but I've learned that it's such a beautiful thing! We're promised that if we repent, the Lord will remember our sins no more (D&C 58:42). What a tremendous blessing to know that the Lord can heal us and clean us! We don't have to be burdened down with guilt and shame. We can be free. I'm grateful for the role repentance can play in my life.

My testimony of the power of prayer was also strengthened this past week. All week I had been praying to know what to say to help Andrea understand the power of the atonement. I was sitting in the lesson praying my head off! The Lord heard and answered my prayers. It was amazing to see that if we have faith and do our part, the Lord will answer our prayers. I'm so grateful for that because I need His help a lot!

Another prayer that was answered was that this week IT SNOWED! Granted, it wasn't much, only like 4-5 inches so far, but I'm the driver! I'm not used to driving in the snow yet. It's amazing to realize how much the Lord has helped me though because I'm a lot better at it now then I am back home! I have a lot more confidence. It's a little more nerve wracking because it's the Lord's car, not mine, but the Lord has helped me and answered my prayers thus far. I'll be alright!I love the Lord enough to drive in the snow even though it's terrifying for me :] I know that if the Lord can help me drive in the snow, then He can help you do hard things too!

At our District meeting this past week we talked a lot about conversion. We are supposed to be teaching for conversion, not JUST understanding. It's one thing to know the plan of Salvation, but it's another thing to understand what it means in our lives, and HOW we can find greater joy because of what we know.

I'm so grateful for the change I had to serve in Paris for 4 months! It's been so great. I love the opportunity I have to be a missionary. It's flying fast! I love you all. I pray for you and hope all is well. Have a wonderful day and keep being your awesome selves!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Penguins in Paris

Hello Everyone!

So this past week I looked outside my window and there were PENGUINS! I got my camera and went to take a picture and then realized it was a dream. HA! Got cha! Well, it didn't surprise me there were penguins here because it's not even officially winter yet and it's pretty cold! The wind and humidity make a difference. Especially when you're wearing a skirt. The wind blows and basically it doesn't even matter! This winter will be the refiners fire :p ha ha That just means more blessings from the greater sacrifice :)

This past week was so great! I love being a part of the Lord's work! We were blessed in our finding. We went and had a luncheon with some members and nonmembers in the large town of Casey, Illinois. (You pronounce it KZ, don't be deceived. It's not pronounced the way it looks :p) There's a whoppin' 2300 people who live there. It's funny because now that does seem like a large town. It was nice to meet new people. I look forward to seeing the growth of this area after my mission. There's so much promise! I can just feel lit!

So funny story, we were having a spiritual thought with the members we eat with every Thursday night, and we asked them how they could prepare to go to the temple. One of the little girls, age 4, says, "Kissing!" It was too funny! Ha ha oh Little kids :p

Church went so well! Sunday morning is a missionaries most important time. The whole week comes down to Sunday morning. Will the people we've been working with exercise their faith to act? Well, we had 2 investigators come! It was great. We also had the family we've been working with come and stay for ALL 3 hours! They participated in gospel principles as well. It's been awesome to see the changes come about in their lives. I love seeing what the gospel can do for people.

Another exciting thing is that the branch members are doing more of their visiting teaching and home teaching! Yeah! As missionaries, we can't do it alone. We need everyone to pitch in and do their part. It's awesome seeing that happen. Yeah for answered prayers!

My testimony was strengthened this week about the importance of just doing what we can, and not worrying about ourselves. It doesn't matter if you only have a little to give the Lord, give what you can. The Lord can only magnify our efforts if we give Him something to magnify. Things work out. He doesn't need us to help Him, WE need Him to let us help Him so we can be refined and prepared to meet Him. He could do a much better job, but He knows we need to learn how to help our brothers and sisters so we can become better helpers in our eternal families.

Keep praying for the missionaries. It is so encouraging to hear people pray for the missionaries. I knew this would be the hardest work I'd ever do, but I didn't really understand that. It is hard. It can be discouraging. There are moments when I think, "AHH!!! I'm just 22! I don't know how to handle all of these huge life problems! I don't know how to help these people!" but then I remember that I'm not alone. We have the Lord as another member in our companionship, so it will be okay. I don't have to know everything because the Lord does. I just need to do my best and invite the spirit, and the spirit will help these people and help me in my efforts. So keep praying for these young whipper snappers! It brings peace to my heart whenever a prayer is offered for the missionaries. We need the prayers!

I love you all! Keep up your awesome work! Keep striving to move forward and become the best "you's" that you can be! You're awesome! Have yourselves a super duper day!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edgel

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Best Day Ever

Hello everyone!

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes. You're so awesome! (Don't feel bad if you didn't send her a wish, email me and I will pass it on to her, cando1855@gmail.com Her mom, Patti)

This week was so great! Yesterday was especially awesome. I never understood how big of a deal Sunday was for missionaries until my mission. It is the climax of the week. Everything comes down to Sunday. Will people come to church so they can progress towards baptism? Or will they let something less important get in their way?

Well, yesterday Rosa came to church! It was a miracle because during my entire training Sister Barret and I tried SOO hard! We would go to her house and wake her up and call people but she just wasn't ready for it. Then, this Sunday, she called us 4 times to try and find a ride. We were able to find her one super last minute. She came and she bore her testimony! She talked about how she has been praying and studying for a while with the missionaries, and that morning she felt like she finally got her answer. This is the true church, and she wants to be baptized! SO exciting! We were sitting there practially dying! It was awesome! The coolest part of the whole story is that the Sunday before in one of our mission meetings, our Branch mission leader said something along the lines of, "Don't you think your mission president would want you to give up on her by now? She's been learning since January and hasn't progressed much". It kinda bothered me, but I knew he was right to an extent. She needed to start taking steps. And then she came to church! It's so awesome to see how the Lord doesn't give up on people. He's holding out for us! He has so much faith in us! He knows who we can become :)

Brianna, the daughter of our other investigator Dusty, came to church on Sunday. It was great. Dusty has been having a hard time. She came to a branch activity last week and it really helped her. It strengthened my testimony of the importance of helping one another. We need to love each other and be there for each other! Ward/branch activities are so important to help people establish a support group so they can grow more in the gospel.

A funny moment from this past week happened on Saturday night. We had planned to have a member feed us and then have a lesson with one of our investigators, but we totally forgot to tell the investigator about it! It was the morning of the lesson and Sister Willmore's like, "We forgot to call John and tell him!" It was super funny! So Sister Willmore was leaving him a voicemail while I was making myself a hot dog, and in the middle of her leaving her voicemail I SPILL BARBECUE SAUCE ALL OVER THE FLOOR AND COUNTER! Sister Willmore lost it in the middle of the voice mail. It was so funny! Beware of the barbecue sauce, it'll get you!

Kelly, my recent convert, is so on fire! She got called as a Branch missionary and sometimes I think she's a better missionary than I am! She tells us that whenever she goes anywhere, she bears her testimony to people and invites them to church. She does this with people she doesn't even know! She's also talked to her son's in laws and her other friends about just meeting us. She's so awesome! I think of President Bednar's talk this past general conference about how when the atonement helps us, we naturally want to turn around and help others. So true! She's such a good example of this!

We had a fun Halloween. We were able to see Andrea! She had knee surgery a few weeks ago, and this past week, Sister Delp (who is an AMAZING ward missionary BTW) wanted to make her dinner. (Just so you know, she likes like 15 minutes away from Paris, has 4 kids, and a crazy schedule, but still made time to do it. I know! So dedicated! What a great example!) It was exactly what Andrea needed. It softened her heart and she's ready to learn more once she heals. It's been awesome to see. Andrea talked about how she's missed meeting with us and wants to get back into it. Prayers are heard and answered! We spent the rest of Halloween with Kelly. We watched Johnny Lingo and some other church clips with her. It was fun. She's on fire!

Paris is so on fire right now! I love it so much! Truly, the field is white and ready to harvest. We just need to have faith in the promise that the Lord IS preparing people! This is HIS work! We just need to trust Him and know He has bigger plans for us than we have for ourselves. I hope you have a super day! Thanks for all you do! Keep doing your visiting teaching! Keep doing the small and simple things that help us establish our relationships with our Savior :) Have a wonderful week!

Lots of love and support,

Sister Edgel :)