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, 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