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.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sept 21, 2015 Sister Blonde

Hello Everyone!

I hope this letter finds you happy and well. Things are going pretty well in Columbia! This past week I was in Mexico, Columbia, and St Louis! (all in Missouri of course ;) I was in Mexico for an exchange, Columbia (because that's where I'm serving now), and St Louis for a mission conference! These town names still kill me. It's awesome :)

So I can't think of any particular funny story from this past week, but a few weeks ago I was in the car with these little kids, and one of them kept calling me "Sister Blonde". It was adorable! I love children! They're the best!

So the highlight experience of this week was definitely going to St Louis for Mission Conference! Elder C Scott Grow of the 1st quorum of the 70 came for a mission tour. Thursday morning we had a meeting with him with the mission leaders, and then we stayed with some other STLs and helped them work their area. On Friday, the other half of the mission had a conference with him. Boy was it powerfully refining! His wife got up and told us "You're all beautiful missionaries, and wonderful people, but you're not working hard enough." Talk about boldness! It was exactly the call to repentance that we needed. I cried pretty hard, but then was able to recommit to trying harder. I was able to feel the relief that comes from repentance, and trying to constantly improve, and not settling for "good enough". I know that if we want to be ready for when the Savior comes again, we are all going to have to work harder, and with greater unity. It was so exciting to see the potential our mission has as we stay close to the spirit and try harder each day to be better.

One of the things that Elder Grow shared with us, was how to have more powerful studies. He talked about how (the spirit)+(the word of God)=Spiritual Power! He suggested that we study by topic, and ponder more of the things that we read. It was awesome! I wish I could've put you all in my pocket so you could've been there to see it. It was amazing to feel of God's love through the correction process. We were corrected by God, not because we're not good enough, but because God loves us and wants us to become even better! It opened my eyes for my need to constantly strive to improve. Correction is a way we can know that God loves us and cares about us. He wants us to stay close to Him!

Saturday night we had a really neat experience. We were 10 minutes late to an appointment, and just as we got out of our car, a man pulled up on a scooter. We started talking to him, and at first he wasn't interested. I pulled out a Book of Mormon to give to him, and he just lit up. He opened up to us and told us that as he was driving home that night, he had prayed and asked God to let him know what he wanted him to do. He asked him to show him a sign, and within minutes, there we were on his doorstep. It was amazing. What really touched me was that it wasn't until he had the Book of Mormon in his hands that his heart softened enough to want to meet with us. We saw him yesterday and he had already read and found answers to prayers. Wow! I'm looking forward to meeting with him again this week.

Life is so great! I love being a missionary! I love this work! I am learning so much, growing so much, and learning to love the Lord! He is my rock. He is my source of peace. Keep looking to Him and being your great examples of service and progress with God by your side. Have a great week!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Sept 14th, 2015 transferred, SLT, Columbia

Hello Everyone!

This letter is coming to you from Columbia, Missouri! I'm now in my 4th area. I've served in Paris, Champaign, St Louis, and now Columbia! I'm quite the world traveler ;)

Wednesday was transfers! After transfer meeting, we went to lunch with a member. I was walking back to the car that brought us there, and I opened the back door to grab my stuff and transfer to another car, but I couldn't see my stuff! I looked up, and saw this cute black girl sitting in the front seat, staring at me, and then I realized it was the wrong car! Whoops! It was too funny! The girl and I both laughed it off thankfully. Oh the awkward moments just roll forth!

This was one super duper week! Talk about a week of miracles :) Being an STL is super great and a wonderful opportunity to increase my faith, work hard, and learn to be more willing to sacrifice. I love it! I love my companion. She's so stinking cute. I'm learning so much from her about being bold and faithful. It's awesome!

On Friday night we decided to go to a smaller town in our area that hasn't been worked sure hard. We tried contacting some people, but nothing super spectacular happened. We were heading to visit a member, when Sister Sperry stopped for us to contact someone else. She wasn't interested, so we decided to go tracting. We ended up meeting this AWESOME asian family who are refugees from Southern Asia. Their story is amazing. They told us that they knew they could tell us about their lives because they could tell we're their sisters in Christ. It was great. We're looking forward to teaching them some more :)

Another neat finding experience happened on Saturday. We decided to try another area that has been worked less, and we ended up talking to someone who's met with missionaries before. We asked if he knew anyone who needed help with anything, and he referred us to his neighbor across the street. We started talking to her, and she has an amazing story too. She just had her work schedule change, and has Sundays off and wants to get back into things. Super great!

There were so many instances of us being in the right place at the right time. What was amazing to me, was for us to be in the right place at the right time, some of our plans had to fall through. I think that's so true for life! We have things that WE think we should be doing (good things!) but God needs us to do something else in that moment, so things happen differently than we expect so what God needs can happen, instead of what WE thought we needed.

God answers our prayers! Not always in the way we're expecting, but He does. He wants to bless us with so many things! He wants to pour out His spirit on us. We are the ones who need to ask and seek. He lives, He love us! This is His work! It's such a privileged to represent Him and help His children full time. I love this work! Thanks for all of your support. Keep being strong and helping others along your way :)

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Sept 7th, 2015 So many miracles

Hello Everyone!

I hope you had a lovely Labor Day! We sure did. Sorry for the day late email, our library was closed yesterday. It all works out!

So this week was FULL of me being awkward. We were talking with this Bosnian family (for those of you who don't know, St Louis has the greatest population of Bosnians outside of Bosnia. Just a fun fact) and we prayed with them and were headed on our way. One of them extended his arms to me to give me a hug and I panicked! I said, "Sorry, I can only hug you" and he looked at me and was like, "Okay, then give me a hug" and then I realized what I said and I was like, "Oh no, I mean I can only shake your hand!" It was pretty hilarious and embarrassing.

Another funny moment from this past week was another prayer! So the lady we just started teaching is learning to pray and it is seriously the best thing ever to hear her pray! The 2nd time she ever prayed out loud she said, "Hey Heavenly Father.....(her prayer)... alright, talk to you later. Bye!" It was so great! I seriously love her. She's learning so much and growing so much! AH!! I love being a missionary!

This week we saw SOO MANY MIRACLES! Yeah for miracles! So we were running late one day because we started teaching this young mom, and it took longer than we expected, and we missed our bus. Then we had cleaning checks, and then because we were low on miles we had to walk 1.5 miles to the appointment. We showed up, and we were like 1.5 hours late! Even if we're running late, we've decided to still try to talk to everyone. So we got to the apartment building, and there was this lady, we'll call her Reese, sitting in the front. We did our little shpeal and she seemed mildly interested, but mostly consumed in her thoughts. Well, as we were talking, the girl we had come to see, CAME DOWNSTAIRS and so we got to talk to BOTH of them! It was so great! When we were leaving, "Reese" said, "I feel so much better now! Ya'll really helped me." It was great. She was supposed to come to church, but didn't make it. When we went back on Sunday to see her like we had scheduled, she said, "Today was the worst Sunday ever, and I know it's because I didn't come to church!" We had a great lesson with her. Our ward had a picnic yesterday and she came with her boyfriend, and her step sister and her 2 kids. It was so great! Her Step sister just moved here and is looking for a church too! AHH!! Miracles! God is so cool!

Another neat thing that happened this week was the friend of a less active in our ward gave us a couch! It's awesome! We had a member come and help us move it into our apartment. Well, the next day we were planning on helping another less active family move. We only had like 1 hour, and we just picked the time that would work with our schedule. When we got there, it was the perfect time and they had THREE couches that they had to move. Because we had just moved our couch the day before, we knew what to do, and the situation was WAY less stressful than it could have been. It was so neat to see how God gives us experiences so we can bless others. Our lives truly are not our own. We are here to help one another and that's part of the reason we go through the things that we do.

I love being a missionary! I am so sad to be leaving St Louis. My "baby" Sister Bishop will be training! I'm so excited for her! I will be going to Columbia, Missouri, and I'm going to be a Sister Training Leader. I feel so under qualified, but I know that I'm going to meet more people that I will love and who will continue to change me. Alright everyone, let's get out there and go to work! Have a super week!

Lots of love,
Sister Edgel

August 31, 2015 crazy trainer

Hello Everyone!

I hope you've had a good week. We've had yet another week of miracles and learning! I never cease to be amazed with how gracious God is in answering our prayers in such unexpected ways! He's awesome!

So the funniest moment of the week would have to be on Wednesday. We decided to try and catch a bus we've never caught before. Well, we had to walk about a mile to get to the bus, and we only had about 10 minutes.... We decided to try anyways. We were speed walking up and down these hills, and Sister Bishop was like, "Sister Edgel, this physically isn't possible! The fastest man in the world can't even sprint to the stop fast enough for us to make it!" and I was thinking, "Yeah, but He wasn't a missionary!" So we walked up the hills, and then the final hill, I had us run down. I should back behind me, "You can tell stories later about your crazy trainer!" I was just praying so hard that our sprint hadn't been in vain and that we'd catch that bus. I was praying it had somehow been delayed long enough for us to catch it. 1 minute after we arrived, LO AND BEHOLD there it came over the hill! It was a valuable lesson about faith, and the importance of ACTING on our faith and giving God the opportunity to provide a miracle. It was neat :)

On Tuesday morning, I felt inspired to give myself and Sister Bishop a little pep talk about miracles and how we have no idea what's around the corner, and we have to have faith that God will provide. Well, we had just got back from our district meeting when we got a call from a senior sister Missionary telling us she had a referral for us! This lady, we'll call her Kelly, is so stinking awesome! She just moved here from San Francisco, and has read a lot and really wants to become a member of our church! When we went by to see her, she told us she had been listening to "sessions" to fall asleep, and we realized she meant GENERAL CONFERENCE SESSIONS! She's so stinking adorable I love her so much already. She was the referral we've been praying for for the past few months.

Okay you have to understand a few things to really appreciate this story: We've been working so hard the past 2 transfers and haven't been seeing a whole ton of progress. We fasted over a month ago to be able to set a baptismal date with someone and "nothing happened" on our side. What we didn't know, was that was during the time Kelly was moving to St Louis. I've been praying all transfer for referrals, and none came. None. Zero. I prayed for over months. None came. But while none were coming, I kept feeling like Heavenly Father was saying, "Hold on and keep praying! Something really good is coming!" and boy was He right! I would go months with no referrals for one as awesome as Kelly!

I had a really neat experience this week. Like I said last week, we've been facing a lot of opposition lately about Joseph Smith. During the heat of it, I just wanted it to stop! I just wanted to move into a cave and for people to leave us along. Well, that's not really what I wanted, so I persevered. This week while reading Section 135 of the Doctrine and Covenants, my testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet was so strengthened! All of this opposition made me realize WHY that matters! WHY I NEEDED to know if He was or not. My understanding of God depended on it. It's so beautiful that Joseph saw God the Father AND Jesus Christ. It changes the relationship I can have with God. I am so grateful for the times my testimony was challenged because it has made me so much stronger. So if you're going through something that is challenging your testimony, thank God for it, and learn what you need to learn and keep growing! Growth is painful, but it's so great! I was satisfied with my testimony, but God wasn't. He wants us to grown. He wants us to develop. He LOVES US!

I love you all. I wish I could tell you all of the miracles we've seen, all of the prayers answered, and all of the good. Unfortunately I can't right now. I pray that you're seeing those things in your lives too. God is our Father! He loves us so much! You can do the hard things you're doing. Keep spreading goodness! We're changing the world one smile at a time :) Have a super day!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

August 24, 2015 Hives

Hello Everyone!

I hope this letter finds you happy and safe and doing well. Life is good here in St Louis. We had some interesting things happen this week, but through it all God has come out on top, so what else matters?

Alright, who's ready for another awkward prayer story?! My life is full of those. We were out walking and talking to people and I decided to start eating an apple I had brought with me. I was only a few bites in when we decided to knock on a door we were passing. Well, we ended up talking with the Mom and at the end we asked if we could say the prayer. She wanted to hold hands, so I held her hand with my good hand, and I had the apple in my other hand and held Sister Bishop's hand with my pinky (I didn't totally want to leave her hanging!) The whole time I was silently praying I would chuckle. The moral of the story is apples and prayers don't mix!

So this week I had a fun adventure with HIVES! Yeah! Thank goodness for modern medicine, oatmeal baths, and priesthood blessings. I am on the up and up! The worst night was the night after I got them. I was so stinking itchy and miserable, but the whole time the words "Watch with me" from Matthew 26:38 kept coming to my mind. The Savior invited his apostles to watch with him while he suffered for us. This was my opportunity to watch with the Savior, and remember how many people there are in the world suffering. There are so many types of suffering: spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, etc. We have the opportunity each day to watch for those people and help them with their suffering. Each day I offer people spiritual balm to calm their "spiritual hives". Sometimes I forget how blessed I am.

At this point, you may be wondering why I titled this email belly flops. Well, I will now get to that! No we didn't go swimming, but this week I felt like I did a spiritual belly flop. Some weeks things work out great, and some weeks I belly flop! The good news is, because of Jesus Christ, our belly flops can become back flips. We can keep trying! So if any of you are feeling like a belly flop pro more than the back flip master you're trying to become, remember that it can get better with the Savior's help! Life is great! There are so many miracles that we just need the right eyes to see. Be grateful we get the chance to swim! God is so aware of our lives! He loves us so much! He already has put in place the things that will help us with the trials that we'll face in the coming weeks.

We had a really neat lesson this week with an investigator who has struggled with praying and viewing God as a loving Heavenly Father. We brought a recent convert young woman with us and we were able to talk with him about what the Atonement really means for us. Sometimes we understand the atonement in our mind, but our heart fails to comprehend it's deeper meaning. It means we can keep trying. It means that God loves us far more than we comprehend! It means that we can overcome whatever challenges we face through Jesus Christ! It means we can be happy even when we're itchy :)

I love you all! I hope all is well. Keep on being the amazing people that you are! Don't forget you are not alone. Don't forget your dark nights can become beautiful mornings. Christ is our best friend! Let's watch with Him as much as we can and reach out to those we are suffering more than we are. Have a great week!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Monday, August 17, 2015

We are being led

Hello Everyone!

I hope this past week treated you pretty well. If not, I hope you have some super intense battle wounds to prove it ;) I accidentally tripped while running on Wednesday, so I have a few battle wounds of my own. Who knew what a pain scraped knees could be? So glad I'm in a ward with lots of doctors and nurses! haha

So lately I've been saying so many awkward things! I have this problem where I can't always understand what people are trying to say, so I answer them to the best of my ability, and it turns out I was totally off. Here are a few examples: Guy on bus-"I love to ski". Me-"I"m from Las Vegas" (I thought he said he loved Mesquite, like Mesquite, Nevada... nope!). Lady on street- "How are you?" Me-"I'm 22"..... Let the good times roll!

This week was pretty interesting. We had a few rough experiences, followed by really awesome ones! For example, Monday night we felt like we should go to this complex to talk to people. We started talking to this lady who just went off about Brigham Young (and had NO idea what she was even saying). We decided to just walk away. We were getting into our car when this man says, "Tough job Sisters, but someone's got to do it". We found out he was a less active member who just moved back into the ward. He asked us why we came there, and we didn't really have an explanation for him. He realized that we were sent there for him. It was really neat. Where would we be without the guidance of the spirit?!

On Tuesday, we were leaving our meeting and were walking with the Zone Leaders and the Assistants (pretty high up missionary leaders) and this man started asking us questions. At first we thought he was sincere, but he was just trying to prove us wrong and Bible bash. It was so stinking annoying! He challenged the Elders in the area to come to his church (he was a pastor with his wife) the next day for their Bible study. It made me so sad because we're not here to argue. We're here to invite people to come until Christ. Christ wouldn't argue. Well, I was kinda shaken up, but the Lord truly answered my prayers and helped us have some pretty amazing lessons. Before the lessons I was just praying and telling Heavenly Father I was shaken up, and He pretty much just took over! I love when He does that.

We had a really neat lesson with an investigator on Friday. We've met with this investigator a few times, and he usually argues and asks loaded questions, but when we went to see him something was different. Before the lesson we had decided to take a step back and just talk about Heavenly Father, and it was exactly what He needed. He doesn't have a strong faith in God as his loving Heavenly Father. It was amazing how strong the spirit was. We found out after that he had received some rough news 15 minutes before we arrived. He said he knew we were sent there by God. Wow. What a blessing to be a blessing in the life of someone else.

For the past 2 transfers we've been praying for referrals, and we haven't really been seeing the fruits from them. We've done our part and we ask almost everyone for them, but it still wasn't panning out until this week! We received so many from the people we talked to. It was amazing to see that just when we got to the point when we were contemplating the effectiveness of asking so many people for them, the Lord blessed us to know that we were doing what's right. It doesn't always happen when you want it, but it does happen! Keep doing the good things God has asked you to do, and you WILL see the blessings.

I love you all! Keep looking for the miracles in your lives. Keep spreading goodness with all you meet!

Lots of love,
Sister Edgel

Monday, August 3, 2015

The worlds largest spider

Hello Everyone!

Today is a beautiful day! I hope you would agree :) Things are going pretty well here in Webster. The heat is really not that bad (Vegas has really conditioned me I guess!) The work rolls forward! It's great!

So this week we were helping a single Mom in our ward clean and organize her house. All of a sudden Sister Bishop stops dead in her tracks and says, "It's real. The spider [the 5 year old girl] was talking about earlier is real!" We all stopped what we were doing, and sure enough, there is a HUGE spider, about 3 inches wide hiding behind this box. Me being the brave one, I grab the broom, and after mustering all my courage, I start beating the spider and hard and as quickly as I can! To our dismay, the spider escaped to under the bench. Deciding the broom wasn't enough, we go grab the vacuum and try vacuuming the spider. The spider wasn't going to have it! It fought back and refused to go into the hose. That's when we discovered it was actually a plastic spider.... and we all had thought it was real. hahaha

This week we met a lot of really neat people! We met a few women tracting who actually let us in to talk with them and asked us questions. They weren't ready to accept any commitments and change their lives, but it was neat to see how we were lead to different places at the right times.

One of my miracles of the week was getting better from a cold quickly. I got this little cold on Tuesday. Without thinking much about it, we planned a day of walking outside for like 5 hours for the next day. Holy toledo that was a bad idea. I could hardly think straight after and walk. I was exhausted! I decided to ask for a blessing. I don't really want to share all that happened, but after the blessing, I felt much better. The exhaustion left and in it's place was a determination to keep working. It didn't even slow our work for the week. What a wonderful blessing!

So last Monday we got a call from our Bishop telling us that a recent convert in the ward's husband wanted to start taking the lessons! We were super excited. We went by to talk to him, and he wants to start having meetings! He's been coming to church for a while now. We asked him why he did, and he said, "It just feels good. It feels better." It's amazing to see the difference that living the gospel makes in our lives even when we don't understand it completely.

We had another cool experience with a different recent convert family. The Mom and son joined, but the Dad has still not really opened up to missionaries. We've slowly been working on him though. This past week, we invited some members to come and talk about family history with them. The son was given the job to talk to his Dad and find out what he could. On Sunday, the son came up to us and told us that when he 1st got the assignment, he was apprehensive. He thought he'd have to break his Dad's video game to get him to help. To his surprise, his Dad had been willing to help. Even better, when his Mom hadn't been able to go to church that day because she was sick, her husband gave her a lecture and told her she should go! So cool! It's amazing to see the spirit work on people :)

The church is true! God loves us, even in our weakness. His strength is the true source of our strength. Keep on pushing forward with faith! You're awesome! You are loved!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

July 27th Bus story

Hello Everyone!

I hope this letter finds you happy and well and learning some good things this past week about life!

Things in Missouri are going pretty well. The other day we were waiting for the bus and we met this sweet girl with down syndrome who seriously made my day! She was so stinking adorable and talked to us all about her love for Glee. We asked her what she loved to do and she said, "Read the Book of Mormons." Someone in her high school class had given her a book. She also told us so was taking french. We asked her how to say hello in french and she said, "Hola!" It took a lot of self restraint not to laugh too hard. She's one of my new favorite people. I hope I can see her again some day!

The hand of the Lord is so apparent in our work. Lately, we've been trying to strengthen to ward. We've been seeing about a member a day. We'll just talk with them for a bit and then share a brief message and see what we can do to help them. Well, we went to see this one lady, and as we were walking to the door after, tears came to her eyes and she thanked us for coming. She told us she's been going through some rough times, and it was exactly what she needed that day to know God was aware of her. It was the best feeling to know we had been an answer to her prayers. Find out what that feels like for yourself! Life your lives in such a way that you can be those answers to people's prayers! It's the best!

Earlier that day we were waiting for the bus and started talking to this girl who was also waiting for the bus. We learned about her background and talked with her about the BOM and gave her one. As soon as she got on the bus, she started reading it. She had to wait a lot later that day, so good thing she had a good book with her! She doesn't actually live in our area, but it was still really neat to see how God had placed her in our path. Hopefully the Elders have success with her :)

Something I've been thinking about is how God truly can magnify the good things we do. I was reading in Jarom 1:2 about how Jarom thought he was writing these things just for the Lamanites. I thought about it and realized that FAR MORE than the Lamanites have benefited from the Book of Mormon. Jarom didn't totally understand why he was writing, but God magnified what he did into something so much greater. I see God doing that in my life every day. Some days it feels like I just give him a teaspoon for his huge pot, and he uses my little teaspoon and adds some water and some flavor and turns it into a big cup. The key is remember that it is God who magnifies and is the source of our strength. Humility is a great and super hard thing!

I love you all. Keep on keeping on. God loves us all! He is aware of the details of your lives. Keep doing your best and He'll fill in the rest.

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Kids say the darndest things

Hello Everyone!

I hope this letter finds you nice and cool drinking a slush from a glass on the beach, or doing something equally as enjoyable. This week was actually not too hot. I have discovered sweat glands in places I never knew I had them due to the humidity, but it's been raining again, so that keeps things cool. That quote was courtesy of a little boy we met talking to people before an appointment on Saturday. Kids are too funny!

So something that I've learned on my mission is that not everyone prays the same way. We met this lovely lady knocking on doors near a referral, and she invited us in. She was older, and couldn't hear or understand much, but she kept telling us we had a good spirit. Before we left, we offered to pray with her and she motioned for us to get in a circle. We assumed she wanted us to hold hands (everyone likes praying that way it seems) but she actually wanted us to form this hugging circle thing. Our faces were just inches away from each other and it was so funny! We could hardly keep it together. She ended up having to say the prayer because neither of us could talk. I don't think those kinds of prayer circles are for me. I'll just stick to folding my arms.

This week was so amazing! We were able to see the hand of the Lord so many times! Last week when we were trying to contact a potential, we knocked on a few doors nearby. We met this wonderful black lady. On Tuesday, I felt like we should go back. After we taught her the first lesson, she told us that the day we came, she had been going through something hard. We had lifted her. She could feel a special spirit about us. We went back to see her again on Friday, and brought one of our recent converts with us. It was so great! The recent convert was able to connect with her and teach her about forgiveness. It was amazing to see. The lady prayed that we wouldn't forget about her and that we would keep coming. I guess she doesn't yet realize the persistence of missionaries... One of the best parts was how fired up it made the recent convert. She saw the good that she can do and how she can really help other people, and she's on fire! She just got her visiting teaching assignments, and she's so excited! We're so blessed to be a part of so many people's journeys.

Something we've been focusing on is having more members get involved in the work and catch the spirit of missionary work. We had 2 laurels come out with us and it was so great! Their testimonies are so simple and profound. It's so amazing to have the testimonies of members because they see things in a different, more applicable light. It's so awesome to be able to work with so many wonderful people. MEMBERS ARE SO IMPORTANT! We seriously can't do this work alone. If you're not net comfortable with inviting someone to talk to the missionaries, say hi to those who are talking to them/have talked to them! Say hi to the new faces at church! Invite them over for dinner/for FHE. It's amazing the difference it makes.

This past week I read in D&C 103:12 that "after much tribulation, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, cometh the blessing". It's so true! We saw this in action. We've been had a bit of a challenge of turning potentials into investigators, but this week we were able to see some of the fruits of our labors to involve members and talk with everyone. The Lord truly has so many blessings he's waiting to give us! We need only endure in faith.

Keep up all the good you do! Have a wonderful week!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sometimes flying shoes break the ice

Hello everyone!

I hope you're all having a lovely summer and surviving the heat (if you live in Las Vegas) and if you don't, well I still hope you're surviving it! We are thankfully thanks to my handy dandy water bottle! And a car... There are some perks to being a Sister Missionary!

So this past week we've tried riding the bus more often when we can. We got on the bus one day and we quickly found seats and I decided it would be a good idea to cross my legs. Well, apparently my leg strength is stronger than I imagined, or my feet shrunk, because I accidentally catapulted my shoe across the bus! It was super funny and slightly embarrassing. It did break the ice and allow us to talk to the people across from us though!

On Tuesday we decided to go try a potential we haven't seen in a while. The last time we went we had met her mom and referred her to the Elders in her area. She was so awesome! Well when we knocked on the door her Mom came to the door again! She said, "I can't believe it! I haven't been here since I met you last time. You know I had just wondered if I'd see you girls again." The crazy thing is we hadn't been back since that time either. It was amazing to see the Lord directing us to go and talk with her. We were able to have more in depth conversations this time, and hopefully the Elders will get to start teaching her soon. So cool!

Yesterday we were on our way to see some members when we passed a street I knew we had a potential living on. We tried the potential but they weren't home. We saw some people out for walks, so we decided to talk to them. They weren't interested, but we thought we'd knock on a few more doors before getting back in the car. We did, and we met this girl who is a nurse for the lady of the house we knocked on. We talked about receiving answers to our prayers and she was super interested. She said she was looking for an answer to a question and was going to call her Aunt about it that night, but then we just knocked on the door. So cool! The Lord truly is preparing people for us to talk to.

Earlier this week in my personal study, I was reading in D&C 95:1 where the Lord says, "Whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven." Well, lately I've been praying for humility and to know how to improve, and boy did God answer my prayers! Yesterday so many things went wrong. The most members I've ever had in my mission came up to us to tell us little things we had done wrong the past week and could do better. It was so hard for me! I'm sharing this because I want to tell you what happened after: I finally had the power and determination within myself to change and become better! It hurt so much in the moment, but once I was finally humbled, I could feel the promptings of the spirit so much stronger! So whenever you're "chastened" or humbled, remember it's because the Lord loves you and is trying to help you improve! Use it as an opportunity to grow and move closer to God.

I love you all! Thanks for all you do! Stay awesome! Have a super week!
Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Right now, I honestly want to read that book!

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all are doing well and are enjoying this lovely summer weather. Things have tempered down a little here, which is a blessing! We just enjoy every good weather day and bad weather day too! Life is awesome :)

This week was FULL of funny moments. Sister Bishop is such a hoot! I really admire her ability to laugh at herself and not take life too seriously. We were out tracting this week and we were talking to this old lady who wasn't exactly the friendlies person on the block, and Sister Bishop was kinda nervous and asked her if she was home alone. The lady was super creeped out, and we both almost started laughing after we realized what she had accidentally said. I still get a good chuckle out of that one :p

This week we also had to find someone to confirm one of our investigators in church. Since I drive, Sister Bishop was the one texting people and she accidentally texted a lady in our ward instead of the person she meant to (for those of you who don't know, only men in our church hold the priesthood to do that). What made it even more funny was the message was worded like, "Would you be comfortable doing that in church Sunday?" so it sounded like we were serious! ha ha luckily everything worked out and we found someone who did a great job!

We saw lots of little miracles throughout our days. It was neat to see how the Lord placed us in people's path at the precise time they needed us. We have been talking with one of our neighbors, and on Friday, we pulled up to our apartment at the EXACT time she did. It was fun to talk to her. The next morning, the same thing happened, and it was kinda creepy and hilarious at the same time!

We were at the house of a less active family and we were helping them clean. We were talking to the 7 year old and 5 year old daughters who were with us. We asked the 7 year old what her favorite thing to do is, and she said, "right now, it's honestly to read that book", that book meaning the children Book of Mormon book. We both about fell over! I just love the innocence of children. It made my heart so happy to hear her love for the scriptures from a young age. We hope to help them continue that!

It's funny because you normally face opposition between a baptism and confirmation, but this week was the most I've ever seen on my mission thus far. Our investigator who just got baptized faced a lot of trouble with her mom and the cops this past week. We weren't sure if she was going to be able to be confirmed still, but alas, God is more powerful than man, and it worked out beautifully! Her husband got his work schedule rearranged so he will be able to come to church with her for a while now. So exciting! We hope to start working with him soon. Keep them in your prayers!

Life is great, the work is hard work, but it truly is sweet labor! I love my Savior. I'm so grateful for the love and patience He has for each of us as we learn to do our best to follow Him and His example. God is in control. Thanks again for everything you do to make someone's life a little better or easier. Our efforts do not go unnoticed by God. Keep it up!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

June 15, 2015 A wedding, a baptism and a baby

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying swimming in pools, eating popsicles, and wearing shorts. We are enjoying filling up baptismal fonts, eating free custard (we get for being missionaries), and wearing short sleeved blouses :) Life is great here in Webster Groves! This was the busiest week of my mission, but also one of the best!

This week started off super intense with a lesson with Lulu who was supposed to be baptized on Sunday. We discovered some concerns she had that had never come up before. When we left the lesson, we were both praying so hard! We were so concerned for her and wanted to be able to help her the best we could. After lots of pondering and prayer, the next day we came back and her spirit had changed. She had read the Book of Mormon and it had resolved her questions and concerns. We tried explaining things more to her, but she just said, "You don't get it. I get it. I was just being stubborn. If this is what God wants, it's right." Wow. We left with tears of gratitude in our eyes. It was amazing to see that this truly is God's work. We do VERY little of it.

On Sunday Lulu was married! It was so great! I wish you could've been there to see it. Let me tell you, it was HILARIOUS to watch 2 sister Missionaries try to orchestrate the whole thing. Somehow things worked out. We didn't have time to plan out all the little details, so we just winged things as they came our way! "We need a knife to cut the cake" (me and sister Dahlberg sprinting as quickly as you can in a church building to get a knife), "We need music for them to walk down the isle to" (us waving frantically to a member who played the piano well enough to play for a few minutes of a wedding), "Wait, my friends haven't gotten here yet" (us walking back up the isle to see if her friends had arrived yet). The important thing is it all worked out! And we had fun and a lot of pictures to prove it :)

We also had 2 baptisms on Sunday for a Mother and her son! It was great. The ward came out to support them. It was awesome to see :) Baptisms are so great! We had a mini fiasco with filling up the font. We had asked the Elders how long it took, and they said, "Only about an hour". Well, an hour and a half before the baptism, when we start filling the font, the primary president says, "It takes HOURS to fill the font!" We kinda panic, and turn on the water up all the way, regardless of the temperature because we just need it full! Well, the controls were on the men's side of the font, so I had to wade through the font to get to the controls to turn it up. It was only up to my ankles, but it was pretty hilarious! That's the closest I'll get to swimming in a pool for 7 more months :P

So you're probably wondering why there's a baby in the subject line. During all of this craziness we also had transfer calls. It turns out that Sister Dahlberg will be leaving and going to Illinois, and I will be staying here in Webster Groves and training! That means I will be in this ward for 6 months! I'm nervous and excited. It will be great I'm sure :)

The Lord is so good! One night this week I was laying in bed and praying about something, and I couldn't help but asking, "Does this really matter to you Heavenly Father? I just need to know." The next day when I was having my personal study, I was reading in the doctrine and covenants and the scriptures were a DIRECT answer to my prayer, followed by a verse about how God knows we have need of things even before we ask. WOW. What a direct answer! I love my Savior. I love this work! Have a great week.

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

June 22, 2015 Lulu's baptism

Hello everyone!

I hope things are going well in whatever part of the world this letter finds you in. Things are going really well here in St Louie!

So this Wednesday I got a new companion! This is her first area, but you wouldn't even know that! Her name is Sister Bishop, and she's from Lehi. She's so great! Things are going really well here.

Funny story: So on Sister Bishop's first real day, we went to go crochet with a less active who teaches all the missionaries to crochet (don't worry, our mission President has approved it!) While we were there, her dog nearly threw up on my bag (missed it by a centimeter) and then almost pooped on Sister Bishop's foot. Poor dog! It was pretty funny though to watch Sister Bishop's face. She just stared straight ahead and dropped her crocheting. hahaha Life keeps you on your toes :p

Yesterday was Lulu's baptism. It was so beautiful. Our mission President and His wife came to support her. It was great. Lulu was so happy and the spirit was so strong! She had wanted me to talk, so I talked about the role the atonement has played in getting her to where she is today, and how it will continue to help her after baptism. After she was baptized, she just cried. It was so sweet. She was so touched. There's nothing quite like a baptism as a missionary. It was great for Sister Bishop to start off her mission with a baptism. Hopefully we'll have a few more in the next few weeks :) Our next goal is to help her husband. Keep us in your prayers!

The two investigators that were baptized last week were confirmed yesterday too. It was really neat. They're not naturally super social, but it was fun to see them start coming out of their shells. The Mom answered a question about a Book of Mormon story in Gospel Principles. It was really neat! They stayed after for Lulu's baptism too. It's so neat watching people grow and progress in the gospel. Missionary life is the best!

This week I learned a lot about the importance of being grateful for the good in other people and in valuing their value! We had got back late from a meeting with our new ward mission leader, and we only had 5 minutes until 9. We decided to go try our neighbor who I've talked to before. She didn't answer, so we tried her neighbor. We were about to go back when Sister Bishop said, "I think we should try apt B. We did, and we ended up talking with the lady for over 15 minutes. It was really neat. We have a return apt with her this week, so we'll see how it goes!

One of the main focuses of my studies recently has been looking for the Love of the Savior, and for His mercy, and the importance of giving God our hearts. It's been amazing to see how many times the Savior reaches out to us, even when we don't deserve it at all. Studying the scriptures this way has brought me so much peace! If you are having trouble feeling the love of the Savior in your life, and/or love for others, I challenge you to read the scriptures looking for it. It has helped me so much. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary. It's the greatest thing in the world! Keep doing all of the good that you do. Have a wonderful week!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

June 8th The work rolls on

Hello everyone!

I hope this letter finds you all well. You are in my prayers often!

This week was pretty great! I can hardly believe it was only a week ago we got to hear from Elder Christofferson. What a blessing!

On Thursday we had to go to this meeting and I was a little nervous about it. We stopped at Chic Fil A before for lunch. When we got up to the window, they asked us if we wanted an ice cream cone because they had accidentally made an extra. It was such a simple thing, but I know it was the Lord reminded me He loved me and knew me and it was all going to work out! Think of it: we came during lunch, the busiest time, and of all the cars they could've given it to, they chose ours! Wow! Heavenly Father truly takes care of His missionaries :)

A highlight from this week was we got to have a mini missionary come out with us! She is 16 and in a nearby ward. It was so great. She was such a great example of thoughtfulness and had such a wonderful testimony to share with those we talked with. She was definitely exhausted by the end. I don't know how we do what we do as missionaries when it is literally so exhausting. We couldn't do it if we weren't truly supported by God.

This week we started teaching this woman who's had a broad religious background. Somehow we got talking about the temple and I told her about the peace that I feel when I'm there and the love. You can just feel it is a house of God. She paused for a moment and then proceeded to tell us that she's never felt that way, but has always wanted to. Sometimes I am amazed by the truths I have always taken for grated. People really are searching for things I've known my whole life. I love this gospel! What a blessing to be a part of this!

So exciting news! Lulu and her husband came to church so they could talk with Bishop before their wedding this Saturday! While talking with Bishop, she decided she wants to be baptized this Sunday with 2 of our other investigators getting baptized! Wow! We're so excited for them! It never ceases to amaze me that if we simply do our little part, the Lord will magnify our work so much.

You have to understand something about Lulu and why she is such a miracle. Last transfer was pretty slow and honestly it was really hard on me. We couldn't get a hold of her for the first 3-4 weeks. One day before we tried to see her, I said a prayer and told Heavenly Father that if we couldn't see her that day, we weren't going to try teaching her any more. Well, we got in, and it was the perfect timing for her, and her life is changed forever because of it. Wow. This is God's work! It will roll forward.

I love you all! Keep on giving all that you give, loving all you love, and sharing light with those around you. Have a super day!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

June 2, 2015 Drum roll please

Hello Everyone!

I hope this letter finds you happy and well. Things are going so well here in St Louis Missouri! Today marks 11 months of my wonderful privilege of representing my Savior Jesus Christ to my brothers and sisters here. Wow! Time is flying :)

So this week, Sister Dahlberg roped us into singing for District Meeting this week, which also happened to be President Interviews... But you've got to understand, NEITHER OF US SINGS! All week we practiced as we were driving between appointments. Well, the big day came and we were feeling quite giggly and nervous. We did really well! Except for when I started laughing before the ending part... other than that it was quite a success I would say. Check! Done with that one. We must have been at least half way decent because our Zone leaders called after and asked if they could record us singing at our next district meeting. Sister Dahlberg said, "But I'm so tone deaf!" Our thoughtful Zone leader said, "You're not tone DEAF, you guys just have some tonal issues..." hahaha

So guess who's planning a wedding?! We are! We are helping our investigator Lulu get married! That's definitely one thing I didn't think I'd have to do on my mission.... It's been great though! She's from Africa and has decided to do an Tanzanian themed wedding (that's the country she's from). It's been exciting and a tad stressful, but mostly just fun :) We have 11 more days to get it all figured out. Oh and I forgot to mention that she wants us to be her bridesmaids. Another thing I didn't think I'd do on my mission :) Fun stuff!

This week was truly remarkable! We were able to find lots of new investigators and see miracles. I love being a missionary! Yesterday our mission got to hear from Elder D Todd Christofferson and his sweet wife. They had come to a Stake conference (in my last Stake!) and had extended their trip long enough to talk to us. Wow! It was an answer to so many of my prayers. I had a break through, which was really good.

For those of you who don't know, I've honestly struggled for a long time to see myself the way God sees me. Its so easy to compare ourselves with others (WHICH IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA!) Well, I've been praying about this and fasting and studying for a while. At the conference I was reminded to not take my value from being "better than others", but rather to look to the Savior, and the price He paid for me, and each one of us, and take my value from that. I am valuable not because of who I am, but because of who Christ is and how much He think's I'm worth. I have been so much happier since then! We truly have infinite worth!!

Elder Christofferson said something that I really want to share with you. He said, "Don't go home and think 'I've served the Lord faithfully, and He owes me.'" He talked about how now we're in even greater debt because of the blessing it is to serve God. It's so true! I can't even put a price on the lessons I've learned during these short months as a missionary. I will forever be blessed because I made this decision to come.

I love you all! As my Dad would say, " the church is true, we have a Savior that loves us, what else matters?"

Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edgel

Memorial Day

Hello Everyone!

I hope you had a good Memorial day! We had a great day exploring St Louis and doing lots of shopping and walking.

So we had the brilliant idea one afternoon to take the bus to the community college to talk to people. When we got there, we discovered that school was out, and not a soul was in sight. After walking around and trying to find people, we decided to head back to our bus stop. Sister Dahlberg has this goal for us to sing at District Meeting some day, so we decided to practice. It was getting dark and we were alone. We sang "I am a Child of God" and then sang "When I'm Baptized". As we headed toward the bus stop, I made the comment to sister Dahlberg that I didn't want to sit in the creepy bus enclosure, so we should go sit at the bench instead. Well out of no where we hear this ominous "MUAHAHAHA!" Not thinking, I sprint off toward the bench, and realize that it's just this guy laughing, unseen by us, in the bus stop enclosure. I look back and see that Sister Dahlberg had dropped to the floor with her arms over her head. Too funny! We ended up talking with the guy, who had heard us singing and everything the whole time. He asked us to sing for him. We ended up getting his number and address. It just goes to show that you really never do know who's watching you, or listening to you :)

We have some investigators who've been struggling to make it to church. We decided to have a lesson with them about the light of the Savior. We light a candle below the picture of Christ, and read the talk from Elder L. Whitney Clayton about 7 year old Sailor Gutzler's experience making her way from the plane crash wreckage to safety by following a light. (click here for the full article).The thing that stood out to me the most was that there were times on the journey where Sailor couldn't see the light. She had to just keep walking and trusting that she was headed in the right direction. That is such a parable to life! We can't always see the Savior. Sometimes we have to trust in His promises and keep walking. As we do so we will find safety, regardless of the storm we have faced, or our condition.

This week we talked with our investigator who's a young mom about a lot of the different commandments. She had a hard time understanding WHY we needed to do all of the different thing. we talked a lot about the importance of being in a condition we can heed the promptings of the spirit. I told her about an opportunity I had earlier in my life where I felt as though I needed to pray for someone right then and there and hard. It wasn't until later that I discover that this person had been severely struggling, and right when I prayed they were able to get needed help. I asked her what would have happened if I had been drunk or not listening? The next day when we came back she courageously smashed all of her cigarettes! It was amazing to see what people are willing to do once they have tasted of the Savior's love for them and the happiness that comes from following in His ways.

I love my Savior! I am so grateful for the time I have to represent Him and serve His children! Don't be afraid to share the gospel! It brings the greatest blessings to us and those around us. Share the Savior's love! Love is the most important ingredient in our lives: love of God, and love of fellow man. Have a wonderful week! Keep up all of the good you do :)

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left.." D&C 84:88

"I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left.." D&C 84:88

Hello Everyone!

I hope this email finds you all happy and well. Things are going so well here in St Louis, MO! We have been seeing so many miracles! We've also been laughing a lot and working hard. It's the best!

So last Monday we were at Target and our checker told us that we looked Fierce! We asked her what she meant, and she said, "You two just look spot on!" It was neat because we explained to her that as missionaries we're representatives of Jesus Christ. We got her number and started teaching her! Sadly we discovered she's not in our area, but the YSA sisters will take good care of her. It's amazing how much the Lord hears and answers our prayers for people to recognize us as His representatives.

I know I mentioned it before, but we've been taking the bus lately, and man there are SOO many adventures! Monday night we were talking to this guy outside of the bus who teaches dance. We talked with him our whole trip home. We pulled the string to get off the bus, and he asked us, "Are you going to teach someone here, or do you live here?" We were kinda creeped out, but he said, "I live here! I wondered how you knew that." We got to talk with him some more. It was really neat to see how the Lord placed us in his path. That seems to be a common trend lately!

On Tuesday morning, we took the bus to go help someone clean their house, but it didn't work out, so we did some street contacting instead. We got so caught up talking with this man that we had to sprint to catch our bus! Later that SAME DAY we were with a young Mom we're teaching, and she was pretty depressed and needed motivation to go and take care of some very important paperwork since she's an immigrant from Africa. We knew she wouldn't do it if we didn't go with her on the bus, so we went with her. The walk to the bus would normally have taken 20 minutes, but we had to do it in 8. We sprinted up the SAME HILL we had earlier to catch the same bus! While we were running, I was praying for everything to work out. The scripture in my subject line kept coming to my head. The Lord promises us as missionaries to prepare the way. I felt like Sister Dahlberg and I were doing that for the young Mom we're teaching. I was running ahead to slow the bus, and Sister Dahlberg was carrying her purse so we could make it. If we were willing to do this small thing for someone that we love, just imagine what our Savior is willing to do for us! It's truly amazing to me :)

Yesterday, that young Mom came to church and brought her 2 year old son. It was so great! When I first met her she told us, "Sorry, but I dont' think i'll ever step foot in a church building again." She also had a lot of anger and hate built up from the things she's experienced in her life. Now, little over a month later, after coming to know and love our Savior Jesus Christ, her eyes are filled with greater light and love, and her smile comes from her heart. It was so great to see the transformation that has occurred within her. I am looking forward to see the rest of the transformation in time.

I love you all and hope all is well. Don't forget you have a loving Savior who cares so much for you and is there for you. He has "gone before your face" and prepared a way we can return to live with our Father again. I love this work! I am learning so much and growing so much as well. Keep up your good work!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Lord answers our prayers

Hello Everyone!

I hope you're having a great day! We've been enjoying the rain the past few days. I never understood the phrase, "April's showers bring May flowers" until my mission where I've discovered what REAL showers are! What can I say, I'm learning so much!

On Saturday we were meeting with a recent convert outside of his apartment, and this 10 year old boy with his dog walked past. The recent convert talked about dumping out this broken looking kiddie pool and throwing it away, when the little boy said, "There are tadpoles in there". We seriously didn't believe him. Really? Tad poles in some random dumpy pool full of water? After our lesson, we walked over and sure enough he was right! There were tadpoles! Life can spring from the most unsuspecting places :)

So this Wednesday we had transfers. I got my new companion, Sister Dahlberg! She is the cutest thing and exactly what this area needed. We have had so much fun already. I am truly so blessed! It never cease to amaze me how aware the Lord is of our needs and concerns.

Last Monday I had a really unique epiphany. We were standing in line at Aldi's (the grocery store) and the lady in front of us had a lot of groceries. I asked her if she needed help and helped her put her stuff up. You could tell she was touched. I felt so happy I got to help one of God's children. Later that day, we were at Ross shopping. If you know me, you know I love to shop! For some reason I wasn't finding as much enjoyment as I normally would have. That's when I realized how much I've truly grown. It makes me so much happier to serve the Lord and be an answer to someone's prayers than to do what I want to do. I am so grateful for my mission and how much it has changed me.

My testimony has been growing so much lately of how the Lord can use our unfortunate circumstances for good! A few weeks back, Sister Adams and I missed our bus and had to catch a different bus to a train station, to take another bus, to walk to where we needed to go. We were 1.5 hours late for the activity and missed dinner. It was quite a bummer, BUT while we were waiting at the bus stop, we met this lady who had talked to missionaries before. She had also read parts of the Book of Mormon. I didn't think we'd ever see her again, until a few days later we ran into her outside of her apartment that happened to be in our area! Saturday we stopped by at the perfect time and were able to talk to her and her friend Will. It was really neat how the Lord used our unfortunate circumstances to bring about good!

The Lord is so aware of us and answers our prayers even when we're not aware of them! A few weeks ago, I talked about how we met another woman on the bus, but it turned out she wasn't in our area, but was in the area right next to our that happens to be the AP's (the head missionaries in the mission). We gave them the referral, and they called us on Saturday night to tell us that the lady had read the pamphlet, made notes, and had been waiting for someone to get back in contact again. She said the main reason she let us in was because she knew we were representatives of Jesus Christ. How we looked, spoke, acted, and the love we shared let her know that. I'm not telling you this to brag, but because the past few months, those specific things have been my specific prayers. I had no idea the Lord was answering my prayer in that moment. The Lord is so aware of us! I just can't say it enough. He answers our prayers, even if we're not aware of the answer at that moment.

I love my Savior. I love having the opportunity to show my gratitude to Him to serve a mission. This is the best decision I ever made! If you can go on a mission, GO! It's the greatest thing to come to know the Savior, and learn to love Him far more than you ever did before. I love you all and hope all is well. Have a wonderful week!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Monday, March 23, 2015

transferred to Webster Groves

Hello Everyone!

I hope this letter finds you all happy and well. Things are pretty great here in Mahomet. We had some rough stuff happen this week, but through it all we've been able to see the hand of the Lord, so it's all worth it :)

This week we've had all 4 seasons. We had summer on Saturday, spring on Thursday, Winter on Tuesday, and Fall on Friday. It's really impressive to me the varying temperatures here.

On Saturday we got transfer calls and guess what? I'm finally going to St Louis! I will be spending the next 6+ weeks in the Webster Groves area. It's south of Frontenac, Missouri. I'm super excited! If you know of anyone who lives in that area that you want me to see (because a lot of people told me they had family in St Louis area) just let me know and maybe they'll be in my area so I can see them :p I will still be a senior companion, which I wasn't really expecting, but that means I'll still be driving! Driving in an actual city again! We'll see how that one goes. I will miss all of the people I've met here. I have grown so much during my 4.5 months here in Mahomet. I'm grateful for the learning I've gained during those times I had to walk in darkness. I'm looking forward to a new adventure in the beautiful state of Missouri!

We did a lot of walking this week to try to save miles for a conference the last day of the month. On Thursday the forecast was rain, but we prayed that it would hold off until we were done with the majority of our walking and it did! I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who answers even our smallest prayers.

On Monday night we got to see an investigator who is the only person we're still teaching that the Elders were teaching when I got to this area. She has been able to realize the strength that has come into her life as she's read and studied the Book of Mormon and met with her. She set a goal for herself to come to church, and to write in a study journal daily about the things that she's learned. She is such a great example to me of the power that comes into our lives when we hold onto the Word of God and have faith in Him.

Saturday morning we went to see a less active member who, it turned out, wasn't home. On our walk back, we passed this man. I asked him if he'd ever talked to missionaries before. He told us his sister had, but his brother was more into religion, so he gave us his apartment number and had us go see him. We did, and taught him about the restoration right there. It was cool to see how the Lord places people in our pathway. We just have to open our mouths. He will provide :]

I love you all and hope is well. Keep on keeping on!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

For the Lord I am a back road snow driving girl

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all doing well! Things are going pretty good here in the lovely town of Champaign, Illinois. This week was a little bit of a roller coaster, but that's what makes life fun right?

So funny story: After it snowed on Thursday, we decided to drive to see some people we can't normally visit in the middle of no where in the area we cover. Well, it was late, and we were on some random country road and it was dark, and the GPS was telling us to go straight and turn onto this road, and all of a sudden I realized that the sign ahead of us said "Road Ends". I realized I was in the middle of a field of unplowed snow! YIKES! I had Sister Madsen get out of the car to back me, and the snow was up to the top of her boots. Double YIKES! So I was praying and I was like, "Heavenly Father, please ask all the angels to come to our car and get us out of this field! I don't really know how to drive in the snow, but we need to get home" and sure enough, the angels came and got us out of there WAY easier then it should've been. I just turned the car around and got back on the road. Simple as that! The moral of the story is I'm SUCH a desert rat city girl. But not for the Lord. For Him I am a back road snow driving girl. Except at night... after it's snowed... but it all works out!

So I normally have blonde moments, but this past week I feel like they've been happening quite frequently! I was cooking chicken, and I was trying to use this seasoning that has a grinder in it, but no seasoning was coming out! I was getting frustrated, and then I realized I left the cap on it... haha Another moment happened when I was warming something up in the microwave. I wasn't feel super great, and so I was bent over and praying, and I looked at the outlet beside the microwave and noticed a switch I had never noticed before. I decided to flip it and guess what? IT IS THE LIGHT IN OUR KITCHEN! We have 2 lights, and we only knew where the switch was to 1 of them. I thought the other one had burned out. NOPE. I just didn't know where the switch was! I feel like there are so many lessons that we could take away from these silly stories. For me, I realized that I don't have to always just accept things the way they are. I can look a little deeper and find another way. There are things WE can do to make our circumstances better. Open our eyes to the goodness of God! We'll find those light switches in our lives if we look hard enough. They're right there! Sometimes it does take us being humble and looking in the right places before we can find them though.

So on Tuesday we had a training from our Zone Leaders. It was all about the importance of being valiant and standing together for what we believe. It was so great! It was a reminder that the adversary is real, but that God can help us. It was crazy because right after, we went to see one of our investigators whose been praying about baptism and been talking to his mom, and we found out that she said he can't meet with us anymore. So sad! We went and got ice cream, and then went back out. It was funny because we were like, "Okay we know opposition is real, but did we need that reminder right away?" haha That night, we were able to see a less active who's a young single Mom. It turns out that her best friend had been put in jail that day and it was exactly what she needed. I whole heartedly agree with President Thomas S Monson that, "I know of no experience more sweet or feeling more precious than to heed a prompting only to discover that the Lord has answered another person's prayer through you".

I've come to realize that I don't want life to be easy, because then I wouldn't learn anything. For the longest time I've battled feelings of wanting so badly to be perfect now and not wanting to make any mistakes ever! Every day should be a perfect day! But I've had to realize that I don't actually want that. I'm grateful I can make mistakes so I can learn and be picked back up again and realize how strong God is, and how silly I am! He is so good! He truly has a perfect plan for all of His imperfect children. We don't have to fear out imperfections or mistakes when we allow the Savior to walk beside us and help us with them. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to choose each day to look up to God instead of down at my feet. This church is true! This is the more beautiful work I've ever done and I'm so thankful I get to be a part, even in the frozen corn fields of Champaign Illinois :) Have a super week!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Part of her letter to Momma....the broken bird

Another lesson I've had to learn was that I don't actually want everything to be perfect all the time Satan makes me think I do, but that would take us back to the garden of Eden! I would be stuck there forever! I don't want things to be perfect all the time: I want Christ to make me perfect through my weaknesses. I had so many fears about making mistakes. I've come to realize that God would rather I make a mistake than just sit there wondering what to do. He doesn't want me to make big mistakes, but HE CAN HELP ME MAKE THE RIGHT TURN EVEN IF I START TO MAKE A WRONG TURN! If I stay close to Him, He'll make it all BETTER! Not just as good as new, but BETTER than new. I love this story by Elder Packer. I heard it in my D&C class Sophomore year and I love it. Here's the little big I love. Here's the link to the whole thing.

Now, the last thing I want to talk to you about: a broken bird.
Over the years, as a diversion, I have carved wooden birds. Sometimes it would take a year to complete one. I would get specimens and measure the feathers and study the colors and then carve them. I would carve a setting for them. It was very restful. Sometimes when I would get unsettled, my wife would say, “Why don’t you go carve a bird!” It was a very calming thing in my life.
Elder A. Theodore Tuttle and I were going into town one day. I had one of the carvings. I was taking it in to show someone. We had put it on the backseat. At an intersection, he slammed on the brakes, and the carving tipped upside down on the floor and broke to pieces. He pulled over to the side and looked at it. He was devastated. I was not.
Without thinking, I said, “Forget it. I made it. I can fix it.” And I did. I made it stronger than it was. I improved it a bit.
Now, who made you? Who is your Creator? There is not anything about your life that gets bent or broken that He cannot fix and will fix. You have to decide. If some of you have made mistakes and you think you are broken and cannot be put together, you do not know the doctrine of the Church. You do not know what the Atonement was about and who the Lord is and what a power He is in your life.
This is His Church. We are His servants. We who hold the priesthood have His authority and power. We can perform miracles. We do not talk about them. Most of those miracles have to do with healing the body. The greater miracles are the miracles of spiritual growth and healing in the lives of every one of us.
So if you are on the wrong path, then you must decide. You have the agency. You have the promptings of the Holy Ghost to guide you. There is that great truth that the gospel is a gospel of repentance. Repentance is like a mathematical equation. Repentance leads to forgiveness.

I love you so much Momma :) Thank you so much for your sacrifices so I can be refined. I thought I was obedient before, but I'm learning how much more I have to learn. I don't just want to do the right things: I want to do them for the right reasons :) Thanks for all you do! You are so awesome! I hope you have a super day!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pray, Pray, Pray all day, day, day

Hello Everyone!

I hope this letter finds you all well. Things are going great in the Champaign/Mahomet area! This week was so great.

Last Monday we decided to go to Panera Bread (aka St Louis Bread Co) for lunch. When we walked in, this lady came up to us and said her and her husband wanted to buy us lunch since they had a daughter on a mission a few years back. They made us get dessert and a loaf of bread too. They were hilarious and adorable. It made me think of my ward family and friends back home who would all do the same. I love how we all take care of each other's missionaries all over the world :)

During a lesson this week with our French speaking investigator, his 18 month old little brother kept coming up to us and gnawing on our book of Mormons. It was hilarious! Not only is the Book of Mormon spiritual nourishment, but apparently it tastes good too! Wish I would've known that longer.... haha

This week we were able to FINALLY meet some less actives we've been trying to see for a while. It's so cool how the Lord is guiding this work. He is at the helm. We have nothing to fear! I'm also learning is a waste of time and energy. Prayer is much more effective! I worry about things that end up working out perfectly. I end up being reminded whose work this is, and how much it's in His control.

Cool story time! So we were tracting on Wednesday night, and it was pretty cold (what's new) and we met this man who talked to us for a while. It was pretty cool. He said he would try coming to church. Well, Sunday came and went and he didn't end up making it. Life went on, and later yesterday, we stopped by to see an investigator, and his wife told us to stop coming by because his health is bad and he's just not interesting. Ouch, that hurts, but I said a silent prayer, and asked God to please direct us to honest seekers of truth and people who really are interested. I don't want to waste the Lord's time herding goats. Well, we decided to stop by and see the man we had just met tracting. It turns out, he had been praying 20 minutes before we knocked on his door. After we left, he had spent the rest of the night researching the church (he was watching a movie when we got there, so he must have ditched the movie). It was really cool. It was a direct answer to my prayers! Then, we only had a few minutes until we had to head home, but we decided to try contacting someone Sister Martinez and I had met while tracting on New Years Eve when NO ONE was home or interested except that guy. We were able to have a short lesson with him. It was super cool. The Lord truly turns our sacrifices for our gain. It was such a great opportunity to see how the Lord is guiding us in our work. We're not along. The sacrifices we make are never wasted. We grow, and He uses them to bless the lives of His children as well.

Thanks for the quotes! I love them. I love the one "The Lord looks at weaknessess and rebellion differently" especially because I fear my weaknesses, but I'm learning not to. Worry is a waste of time. I worried this morning because we were going to have to email later than normal and I worried you would worry, and then guess what? The appointment cancelled. All that worrying last night for nothing. Waste of energy! Prayer on the other hand ISN'T a waste of energy. Things just work out with prayer!

*Pray pray pray all day! Pray in every way! Happiness happiness happiness happiness will be your life's theme!* (sing to the tune of row row row your boat :P I just made that up...)

I've learned that just because things are hard, it doesn't mean they have to stay that way.

I'm also learning about humility. Humility isn't just not being puffed up and proud, it's being willing to listen to others. Realizing that you are part of the problem, and asking others to be patient with your weaknesses!

Life is wonderful! I am learning, growing, and changing, and watching others do the same. This work is so magnificent! Thank you for all you do. I hope you all have a super week! Don't forget to pray :)

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Its a blessing to teach who Christ is.

Hello Everyone!

This week was pretty groovy! I got to experience a variety of new things. Monday night I was in my very first FREEZING RAIN storm! It wasn't super bad, but just enough to have a few funny slips and lots of laughs :) How would I get through life without being able to laugh at myself? haha We also had some sleet and yesterday and the day before we had a few inches of snow. The forecast was bad, so our Bishop cancelled church after sacrament. There's a first time for everything! During the summer we don't cancel church from it being too hot. 1 for heat 0 for cold :] jk

So on Saturday during coordination we were reviewing the families that will be fasting this month for missionary work, and one of the brothers we have to contact, his last name is Parrot. One of the Zone leaders (who serve in our ward) looks at us, and asks if it's pronounced like it's spelled, and I say, "Yup! Parrot, just like, you know, buck buck buck-cock! Oh wait... that's a chicken..." and now they won't let me live it down! Birds are confusing okay! Kindergarten was a long time ago. They should give a refresher course in College...

Another funny moment occurred while tracting. We were doing a door approach talking to this man about how Christ can help us in our lives and how great it is to know we have a loving Father in Heaven and he says, "That is a true statement. I'm going to go back to my peanut butter sandwich now!" haha Salvation or Peanut butter sandwich? It's just funny the things people tell us :P

So last night, we had a few extra minute before a lesson with an investigator, so we decided to knock on some nearby doors. Thankfully, the people were SUPER nice. The lady asks us, "Are you really out in this snowy weather knocking on doors on Super bowl Sunday?" Surprise! We had no idea! We were just trying to contact people. Thankfully it was at least during half time. We just live in our own lovely little world as missionaries. It's great!

Yesterday we were visiting a less active in our ward, and we actually got to witness the spirit change in her home. Normally, we can't really tell the difference we bring because we're so used to it, but when we got there she was pretty frustrated with some things, and after our visit, she was at peace, and didn't want us to leave. It was amazing to see the change that the spirit can bring into people's hearts and homes.

This week we also got to help our Thai investigator strengthen her faith in Jesus Christ. I know I've said it before, but it's such a blessing to teach someone who Christ is. We've been teaching her more about her life, and helping her see how the Book of Mormon can help her learn more. It's so great!

Yesterday during church, a single sister who comes out with us a lot decided to bear her testimony about the blessing it's been in her life to come out with us. It was such an answer to our prayers! We've been trying to get the ward more involved, and it's just hard. It's not that people aren't willing, it just takes longer to get new things moving then you think it will. Thankfully this is the Lord's work, and He helps it move along faster than it would without Him :)

Heavenly Father loves us! He is constantly reaching out to us through so many sources! The church is true! The Book of Mormon can help us so much in our lives if we let it! I hope you have a super duper day!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New companion, Sister Madsen at the Kraft manufacturing plant

This should be called Miracle Work instead of Missionary Work

Hello Everyone!

This week was GREAT! Not just because the sun came out for a few days, but because we were able to be apart of so many miracles! Missionary work is so great :)

Funny Moments from this past week: We were tracting on Tuesday night and we knocked on this door. Someone behind the door asked who was there. We told them it was the missionaries, and they responded, "Sorry, no one's home!" haha Too bad! They missed out :p

So I don't know if I mentioned it before, but lately I've been struggling with losing my nametags/keeping them in one piece! In desperation last week, I taped a safety pin to my slightly cracked tag with medical tape... Sister Madsen likes to tease me about that one! Oh the remedies you find with limited resources! :)

This week was great! We started teaching some super solid investigators that we've been trying to pick up for a while, but it just worked out the past week. Something that the Lord is continually teaching me is to trust Him. Trust that He sees the bigger picture and that He's desiring to bless me, because He is! Whenever I trust in myself more, that's when I get into trouble. I'm so thankful for repentance though so I can get back on track. I love the Gospel!

Two years ago I remember hearing one of the Sisters from the General Relief Society board tell us that the most important endeavor of our life is to understand the spirit and learn to respond to it's promptings. That's something that I've been trying to learn more about as a missionary. I've learned lately that mostly the spirit just inspires us to do good things! It's not always distinct promptings, but just encouragement to be better or do better!

Alright cool story time: So last transfer I SCOURED the area book about information for people since we were white washing. Well, one day I decided to flip through some of the blank pages. In them, I randomly found an old referral (about 2 years old). We decided to try and go see this man again. Well, we tried a few times to no avail. I felt that we should keep trying, and we FINALLY met him! It turns out he had asked for the missionaries. They had stopped coming and he never found out why. Well, this week we were able to have a lesson with him, and it turns out he's been trying to get back into church for a while now, but due to his health he's home bound. He told us he's already read a lot about our beliefs and he believes them. So cool! It was amazing to see that what I didn't recognize was the spirit at first was definitely the spirit. It didn't tell me anything big or grand, but just encouraged me to do good things.

Last night we had a really cool lesson with our investigator who speaks French. His French Book of Mormon had come, so we read it out loud with him. We would read and then stop and talk about it. After we finished the first chapter, he asked if we could read another! He has such a desire to learn about and follow the Savior. It's so amazing to be a part of his conversion. We were truly lead to him.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity I have to be a small part of this work! I'm grateful the Lord works through the weak to show his strength. I know the Lord hears and answers our prayers. If we're true to Him, He WILL be true to us! I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week :)

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel :]

Forgetting yourself means remembering the Savior

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a great Martin Luther King day. We sure did! We went to the Mall just to look around. It was fun, but I feel like I'm outgrowing the mall. I never thought I would say that! It was fun, but I really do prefer missionary work. It feels me with happiness that is way more permanent.

So the past couple of weeks I've been learning about the angels that are around us. I've decided there are 3 different kinds of angels. There's the warning angels that warn people to repent, there's announcing angels that announce good news such as the birth of the Savior, and then there's the rescue angels that go around catching Sister Missionaries who slip on ice. Sadly, I have the greatest interaction with the last group! I have yet to physically fall (which truly is a miracle) but there's been some pretty close calls!

Funny Moment from this past week: Somehow Sister Martinez and I were talking about the muffin man, and she was like, "Yeah, he lives on Curry lane." I did another one of my infamous awkward pauses, before saying, "Um... Don't you mean Drury lane?" Who knows, maybe there's another muffin man who's lives on Curry lane and makes like fry breads or something instead. You never know!

Good news! This week was MUCH warmer. It was a tender mercy because, don don Don DON! I got a new companion, Sister Madsen! She is coming from the St Louis area, which is about 10 degrees warmer, and has less fierce winds, so she appreciated what was "warmer weather" for here. I'm telling you 40 degrees is warm! So toasty in fact that we leave our big coats in the car and just wear sweater. Perspective is an important thing. Just remember that!

Yes, Sister Martinez was transferred to the St Louis area. Yes I was so sad! And Yes I love my new companion! She has only been out for 4 months (I know I make it sound like I'm older when I'm really only 3 months "older" mission wise but that's like twice her life :P) but you wouldn't even know it! She's from Herriman, Utah and such a stellar missionary! She was such a good sport. After I picked her up, we barely had time to grab her some food before I hauled her off to dinner and another appointment after (we hadn't even unpacked). It was good for both of us though because we were able to forget the stressful day we'd had and focus on meeting someone else's needs.

Although this week was SUPER crazy, it was also one of the best of my mission (funny how that happens!). We had so many miracles! We were able to start teaching the wife of a member. Her husband has been hesitant to let missionaries teach her since she's from Thailand and doesn't understand everything, but Sunday night when we talked to him on the phone, he told us we could teach her whenever we wanted. Such an answer to our prayers! We also were able to start teaching the coworker of another member. The Member challenged her to be baptized and she accepted! It was so cool. We had been praying and fasting to set a date with someone, and out of nowhere the Lord proved the way. So many miracles!

People are constantly telling you as a missionary to "Forget yourself and go to work" and I never really understood how to do that or what that even means. I'm learning that what it really means is forget yourself, and remember the Savior more. Keep your covenants, and do your best to think of others more.

Life is wonderful! Thanks for all of your support and prayers! Sister Madsen has a picture of 2 sister Missionaries reading the scriptures, and they're surrounded by angels with swords protecting them. I love it because I know it's the truth! I know that those angels are there because you pray them there so thanks so much! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Edgel

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sister Edgel in the snow

Without hard work nothings grows but weeds.

Hello Everyone!

I hope you had a great WARM week :) It was 7 degrees outside when we got to the car this morning. WHAT? Are single digits really allowed? I thought I was in Illinois, not Russia. Who knew?

I want to take a minute and thank all of you for your prayers and support. I can feel them, and I need them! Thank you for all you're doing wherever you are to serve and help those around you. You are awesome! Thanks so much for all you do! Thanks also for all the Christmas cards.

Funny story: So the whole time we've been in Champaign, Sister Martinez and I have been pretty cold. We kept thinking it's just because we're both from warm climates. Well, on Friday, the maintenance guys came to change the filter in our furnace and guess what? Our furnace was broken! haha That's why we were always freezing! The furnace wasn't able to blow the warm air up to the vents. In our ignorance, we just thought that was natural. It made me think about my life. How many times do I suffer through something when there's a solution that could help me so much more? Why do I let myself go through a trial that Christ could help me overcome?

So a few weeks ago we were trying to find this sister in a near by apartment complex. We knocked on this door and asked for her, and right as we did, about 10 kids walked into area we were. They heard what we said, and said, "Tameka Balin?" (name changed for her privacy)"She lives over there!" They told us we were one building off. Then, one of the other little girls shouted out, "Look at her hair!" and the next thing you know there are like 12 little kids gazing at my curly blonde hair. It was pretty hilarious! Sister Martinez and I quote that all the time. The funny part was that last night we realized a former lives in that apartment where all the little kids came out of. Maybe they'll let us in because of my hair...

For New Years, we both fell asleep around 7. That's all we wanted to do! Oh the exciting life we lead :) It's great! We did wake up around 8 and toast with some bubbly grape juice. Thankfully our neighbors weren't as bad as they can be at times. Tender Mercy!

So I've officially been on my mission for over 6 months. Where has the time gone? I can hardly believe it.

This week was good! We were able to have a lot of lessons even though it was New Year. Such a tender mercy! On Monday we were able to see an investigator we hadn't seen in a while due to the holidays. It was so good! It was amazing to see the light, confidence, and hope that had come into her life since our last visit. She lost her husband a year ago, and was still struggling with it. The gospel of Jesus Christ was able to help her through it and give her so much comfort. She was so grateful for the work we did and told us to "tell our supervisors we were doing a great job". All from 1 visit a month ago. It strengthened my testimony of the converting power of the message we share. It's truly the best thing!

We've been seeing more miracles and meeting more people who are willing to talk to us. On Friday we had a member come out with us. We went to the trailer of the person we planned to talk to, but he told us he was moving and dropped us. We went to see the next person, but she had just left to go shopping. We decided to visit a potential we had found the week before, and it was such a great lesson! He was so prepared and it was so cool. The spirit was so strong. I'll tell you more about him in a video where I can explain things better. It was just such a witness to me that if we keep going, things will get better.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about sacrifices, hard work, and enduring our trials. I'm continually learning that these are the things that will make us the happiest in the end. When we sacrifice for something, we are more dedicated to it. I was reading about President Benson's life as a farmer. He said something that really helped me. He said, "without hard work, nothing grows but weeds. There must be labor, incessant and constant if there is to be a harvest." Sometimes I want missionary work to be easy. I'm learning that it wouldn't be worth nearly as much if it were. It means so much and it's so valuable, so of course it will come at a cost! It is a price that's a privilege to pay. It's much cheaper than the price of sin.

I love you all! I hope all is well with you wherever you are! Keep up your good work. You can do it!

Lots of love and support,
Sister Janea Edgel