Why Serve a mission?

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

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

Monday, 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!