Why Serve a mission?

When I was 15 years old I listened to the mother of a close friend talk about serving a mission. For the first time I remember really wanting to serve a mission when I turned 21. I just had to hear hundreds of missionaries sing "Called to Serve" in the MTC! Time went on, and I prepared for the different eventualities of life. When the age sister missionaries could serve dropped to 19, I was super stoked! I was 19, almost 20! I could go early! Well, it turned out that wasn't the time for me. November of 2013, I felt strongly like I should reconsider the mission idea. I did, and the pieces of the puzzle fell into place :) This is all really nice, but it's not really the WHY, it's more of the HOW.

So WHY am I choosing to dedicate 18 months of my life away from my family, friends, school, and a closet full of clothes to talk to people in Missouri? Well, 33 years ago, 2 male missionaries started talking to my dear sweet Momma. The message they shared with her changed the course of her existence, and our family. I'm so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and the knowledge I have of who He is, and what His plan for His children is. I can't help feeling like if I choose not to share this message with others that I'll be ungrateful for the amazing gift that I've been given. I've also been blessed with some talents that I'd like to give back to the Lord. As much as I love my family and the other things listed above, I love my Heavenly Father and Savior more. They have called, so I'm answering.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

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

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