Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mmmm, Chipotle

So we had a pretty fun week, not exactly the best week for missionary work, but we had a good time. Of course we had a pretty fun Thanksgiving, we went to the church to play basketball in the morning because our ward is too nerdy to play football (we have a lot of Georgia Tech students in the ward) so that was my biggest bummer not playing a turkey bowl, we were going to go to another ward but our zone leaders wouldn't give us permission. But we did have a good dinner at a member's house. So far since Thanksgiving we have eaten turkey at least once a day it seems like and we'll probably have it again for the next couple of days. On Saturday we ate at another members house but instead of the normal home-style fixin's we had turkey tacos which were pretty darn good! And I guess while I'm on the subject of food I had probably one of the weirdest things I'll ever have on my mission, we got fed chicken feet soup. It was really weird but didn't taste bad at all, it was just one of those texture things. IT was this Jamaican sister that made it for us, and the last time we were there she made us porridge, which I thought only existed in fairy tales. That was pretty weird too, it tasted fine but it was just a really weird consistency and she gave us a Jethro sized bowl of it, but I managed to keep it down.


Since I didn't have a whole lot to do for my birthday we are going to do some celebrating today and go to Chipotle! I am stoked! The only Chipotle that I know of in Georgia is in Atlanta and now that I am here I can actually go! hopefully its as good as back home, because the Mexican food in Georgia has been kind of disappointing so far.

Well as far as the work here in Union City, our teaching pool is pretty shallow. None of the investigators we have right now seem too interested and nobody is progressing so we will more than likely be dropping them. We get a fair amount of media referrals here though which we got a couple this mornings. Atlanta is pretty much the media referral capitol of the world. There's one set of missionaries in this zone that all they do is deliver and teach referrals, and I think there's only one or two other missions in the world that have to do that as well. So we will probably be doing a lot of finding the next couple of weeks which is always fun. Its not my favorite part of missionary work but its where most of the best stories come from, especially now that I get to ride MARTA. Well, thanks again for everything, I will keep y'all updated next week and have a great day!
-Elder Edwards

Monday, November 23, 2009

ATL - the Big Show

So I am super low on time but, we did have transfers and I never would have seen this happening, but I got moved to ATLANTA! woohoo! time for the big show in the city! well I guess actually my area is Union City but its part of the Atlanta Ward and its not to far from all the stuff down town and We get to ride MARTA which is a trip, but I am still in car so that's nice and actually I like MARTA a lot, it doesn't really get all over our area, but it gets us to all the stuff down town and p-days we hang out with everybody in our zone at like Centennial park or play basketball somewhere or whatever we want! With some restrictions I do suppose but I am loving it!

I do miss Griffin but I guess change is always good, I think that's part of keeping your eye single to the glory of God, plus President probably knew I would have had too much fun if I stayed in Griffin, but then again I am darn sure I'm gonna have a lot of fun here, and probably anywhere I go, I like the motto one of my former companions had which was to work hard and play harder, meaning get work done and then when its p-day get all the extra energy and fun out so you can dedicate yourself the rest of the week. Well I forgot to bring my new address but the mission office forwards everything to me and it only takes another day or two so if you have anything to send this week you can send it to the mission office ;D Well I hope y'all have a great week!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Super Blessed

Well, I finally sent that letter in the mail this week, hopefully it either has gotten to y'all or will really soon. This week has been pretty good for us, Saturday we had a perfect day, we saw everyone that was on our schedule and were just super blessed. There is a lot going on in the Griffin ward right now, and it felt like we were running around with our heads cut off at church because there were a lot of less active members that have been making their way back and it almost feels like a lot to handle sometimes, but it is pretty much freakin' awesome.

Transfers are next week and I kind of have the feeling I will stay in the Griffin Ward again, but you never know. Right now the ward has 2 sets of missionaries and the missionary areas are divided by a highway that separates us into the east and west parts, but the west part has a lot of the county where nobody lives, and the place with the most potential for them is at the top of their area which is hard for them to get to because it takes a lot of miles to drive up there. On the East side, we have the ghetto and the city part of Griffin where it is really dense and we can get stuck doing stuff all day there, and on top of that we have and area south of us that we don't get to see a whole lot of because we don't have the miles to go, and there's a totally different area to the north that has a lot of work to do but the same thing, we cant afford to drive up there except maybe once a week, and we haven't even made it up there in the past couple weeks becasue we have so much going on in the city part of Griffin. Well there used to be missionaries in locust grove, which is the area to the north of us but because the number of missionaries in the mission has gone down we had to combine the areas, which are all part of the griffin ward. But, we had interviews with President Satterfield on Tuesday and they are heavily considering taking one of the sets of missionaries and putting them in the north part of the ward and leaving one to cover the south part, which would make things a lot better for missionary work. So I don't really know whats going on this upcoming transfer, but I definitely would like to stay for another transfer in this area around the city part of griffin, so I guess we'll just wait and see.

Well I'm always glad to hear from y'all and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Love,
Elder Edwards

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween!

Well it has been a super week indeed. We were able to teach and prepare Brother 'C" for baptism, have him interviewed, found worthy and dunked on Friday. It was probably one of the best baptisms I have been to. There was a super strong spirit there and it really confirmed D&C 84:20 that the power of God is manifest in the ordinances thereof. We had a lot of support from our ward in helping make the baptism a success, and it definitely was! I will send the pictures whenever I my memory card gets more full.

There have been a lot of miracles lately here in Griffin, and I can definitely say that the field is white already to harvest. I got the chance to read several articles from the October Ensign this week and it has definitely inspired me and given me a vision for the kind of miracles and success that can happen. There was a talk about the effect of members in missionary work and there were several outstanding stories that really gave me some good ideas. Recently we have had several less active members make their way back to church, which is one of the coolest things to see. This week we contacted a media referral we received and as we went it turned out that she was a member that had fallen away but really wanted to get back on the path. She was able to come to the chili cook off at the Griffin Ward and have an awesome time, but she didn't make it to church this week, but I'm sure she will this upcoming week.

Well, as far as Halloween, we had our Ward party/ chili cook off/ dinner theater/ trunk or treat on Saturday, which was pretty cool because normally the rule for missionaries on Halloween is that they have to be in by 6:30 Pm but we got special permission because it was a ward activity and got to be out later than probably most of the mission. It was kind of funny because right when I got there I got suckered into baby sitting duty by the bishop and had to watch the kids that were in the super-bouncer that was in the gym, which was really awkward because missionaries really can't play with kids at all so there wasn't much I could do except watch, but then we got another member to take over my post for me.

Then we had our chili cook off and after people got settled in we had a little dinner theater skit put together for everyone to watch, and all the missionaries and several members were involved. IT was called the Gladdem's Family, and was a sort of parody to the Addam's Family, and showed how members can help the missionaries with sharing the gospel. So I got the part of playing Puglsy which was pretty fun, I only had two lines. But the play was really fun, I got brother 'T' (a nonmember married to sister 'T' who is a member) to take pictures of the whole thing which was pretty cool, so I'll send those pretty soon as well.

And then right after the dinner theater we cleaned up and had the trunk or treat, except that it was kinda raining so everyone got their candy and went around to trick or treat in different rooms in the building. Well while everyone was trick or treating we got put to work vacuuming and what not so I got maybe two pieces of candy, but it's OK because I don't need that much candy and if I want any I can just find someone who has a lot of leftover candy and mooch off them!

So I just realized last night that at the end of this month I will no longer be a teenager! Ah! It was kind of depressing at first but I guess I will have to get through it. As far as needing anything, I can't think of anything off the top of my head, in fact I will probably end up sending some stuff home sooner or later because somehow I now have more stuff than I came out with and my suitcases are starting to be a lot heavier. But ya I will let you know if there's anything I need! Well this email is getting pretty long so I'll let y'all go, have a blessed day!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pictures from Georgia

Here are some pictures from Sharpsburg, Atlanta and Griffin.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Baptism!

So it has been another super exciting week for sure. Just to name a few things that happened I got the package the activity day girls sent, we went to zone p-day, got in a car wreck on our way to zone p-day, are scheduled to have a baptism this Friday, and found 8 new investigators throughout the week! Not too bad huh?

Well first and foremost thank you for the package, I really enjoyed it, and I think there were a couple other missionaries that enjoyed it too, or at least the candy part of it! I will write a letter home soon because I don't remember writing one last week, but just be looking for it.

So then we had zone p-day after our emailing session last week, which was pretty exciting, not so much that we got to play basketball, but because right as we were turning in front of the church we got in a wreck! Elder 'B' and I got a ride from some people in the area directly South of us, Thomaston, and they are famous for always coming in the "Tooth Ferry," which is a big blue van that one of the members owns to pick up his patients because he is a Doctor. So we're getting there and at the intersection just before we get to the church we started to turn, when there was a car coming from the opposite direction, and I wasn't really paying attention to what was going on until I saw the pick up truck coming straight at me! I think it was really our fault because I don't think we had a green arrow to turn left. But ya, pretty much we got slammed pretty good. Luckily everyone was safe in the car, I had the worst of it because I got a shard of glass stuck in my forearm so I was bleeding a good bit, but then I just rubbed some dirt in it and called it good. It actually wasn't that bad, just a little scratch, but the van got it pretty good, the windows on the back right were gone, and the axle probably got banged up pretty good like the rim did, but I think the other truck got it worse because he hit us with his front, and the wheels were V-d out as the dragged it onto the tow truck. So needless to say that was a big bummer, especially because it was a member's vehicle. Plus we didn't have as much time to play basketball, but we survived. I felt pretty bad for Brother 'S' who was driving because it wasn't his vehicle he was just driving us.

So ya that was a good start to our week I guess. But the biggest news right now is that there is going to be a baptism in the Griffin Ward on Friday! Woohoo! His name is Brother 'C' and he is 22 and is ready to be dunked! We met him a couple weeks ago, and he's the son of a media referral we received, and hes come to church twice, had all the lessons but one, and will be interviewed on Wednesday and baptized Friday! I am pretty stoked, I will definitely send the pictures to y'all! That's about it for this week though, have a good one!
-Elder Edwards

Monday, October 19, 2009

SDOHS Pride

Dang, I am really glad for the Eagles this season, it definitely has been a lot better for them than in the past. Hopefully they can win region and gain a seat
in the play offs. What other schools are contending for the championship this season? I really miss football, they take football serious down here being in the SEC and all. There's a field just down the street where our apartment is were they play Pop-Warner so every Saturday its crazy to see such a huge crowd all for the little pee-wee players. Griffin High School is ranked #1 in the state in their division so Friday nights are tough for us around the Griffin area.

Well we certainly have another powerhouse Stake Presidency. It will be weird to come home and see all the changes at the ward and stake levels, but it will be
good.

We had a pretty rough start to our week but picked up a lot of slack towards the end of it. We had some really good team ups with people in the ward and were able to find two new investigators, one of which made it to church which was awesome. I was pretty nervous because when we got into priesthood the lesson was on eternal marriage and exaltation and then the gospel principles class threw down on the law of chastity, so I was kind of nervous at first and
didn't want him to get scared away, especially when we didn't even teach him a full first lesson when we met him two days prior. We also had another investigator at church, "R", whose wife is a member and we've been working with him off and on. He's been suffering from cancer in the recent past so we haven't been able to see him a whole lot because he's been pretty sick, but after church you could tell he had been touched by the spirit, and when I went up to ask him how he enjoyed the service he told us it really hit home for him. It is weird how fast things seem to change even from one week to then next let alone one transfer to another, but Bro. 'R' has definitely come a long way. Sister 'R' is such a good support for him and is definitely gung ho on teaching him about the restored gospel.

As far as anything else, we had zone conference this week which was super good, we didn't have any general authorities but President 'S' is definitely an inspired man. He gave us some good trainings about obedience and then at the end taught us one of his "life lessons" about finance and all I can say is that it was pretty sweet.

Well that's the report for this week, Thank you for all of your emails and
support, I love all y'all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Transfers!

Well, it has been a busy week with transfers and everything and then yesterday being a holiday the library was closed so that's why we haven't had a chance to email yet. But being it was transfers last week, the final verdict is, I remain in Griffin and am now serving with Elder "B". I think we are going to have a lot of fun this transfer, not that I haven't any other transfer but it should be really good.

Elder "B" is from Utah, so I now officially have my first companion from Utah, well Elder 'P' was from Utah, but the MTC really doesn't count. But ya Elder 'B' is a diabetic which will be different for me, especially when he was telling me how to use his glucogon shot if he isn't acting right or if he falls asleep and isn't waking up, but no other missionaries hes served with have had to use it, in fact I don't think he's used it in the last 10 years. But ya, I guess its just kinda different because I have to pay attention to it, but I don't think anything will go that bad to have to use it ( knock on wood). But sadly I don't know how much we'll be able to go work out at the gym with 'JS', so I'll have to ask Elder "B" about it. He really isn't too much of a sports person in general, but he does like music a lot. He found a small keyboard at a thrift store so we have fun dinkin' around on it when we have time. He also is learning the harmonica and the recorder. He's definitely an interesting character but I have loved every minute of serving with him.

So I should be sending my pictures home shortly I really didn't take many this last transfer and I forgot to get a couple off Elder M's camera that I wanted, but there are definitely some good ones that y'all will like. Well that's about all the news as of right now sound like y'all are having a lot of fun back home! I'll Talk to ya next week!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hear me now, believe me later

Well, not too much new info for this week, we did get two of our most promising investigators to attend conference with us which was awesome, pretty much they will be baptized when they get married and stop smoking, which they are working on both right now, so hopefully next transfer they should go down!

Well I hope everyone enjoyed conference because it was sweet. I liked the Saturday session the best because it seemed like I got a lot more personal revelation than Sunday, not that it was bad, but I just liked Saturday better, I think Dallin H. Oaks was one of my favorite talks, about how the love of God does not supersede his commandments and love doesn't give us the right or excuse to not obey. But pretty much all of them were really good.

Well, since you asked, Elder Meacham is from Boise Idaho which I thought I said, but ya as far as his bench stats lets just say he should stick to cross country. He loves to run which is good for me to go out and jog in the mornings, however, speaking of bench, our ward mission leader has a son in law that is a huge time lifter, and is seriously just an ox. hes about my size but 100% solid, and you can tell he lifts weights but not that he lifts as much as he does, I mean he squats about 600, and benches like 400 and is seriously just a tank. But, aside from that he is a nonmember and our ward mission leader wants us (meaning me because I am about the only missionary that can hang with him lifting wise) to kind of make him a special project, so we have been able to go lift at the gym with him which has been sweet, and also painful. Last Saturday we worked biceps and triceps and we could feel the burn in our arms for the next several days, even just talking on the phone hurt just to put the phone up to our ear. And then this past Saturday we got to go do a leg workout with him before the first session of conference, and now it feels like I can barely walk! Luckily it's p-day and we're going to play basketball today so we should get some of that lactic acid out. But ya our ward mission leader wants us to go lift with him at least once or twice a week, which I have no complaints about, I just wish I didn't feel like a wussy. He goes to a super hardcore gym where pretty much only serious lifters go, and actually he got kicked out of his old gym for lifting too much is what he said. So ya he's the real deal.

But with transfers, more than likely Elder Meacham is going to be leaving because he has been here for 6 months, so regardless I hope whoever my companion is next transfer likes to lift! Well as well I forgot to tell you all about a pretty funny experience I had last week at church, so I will tell you now, but for the past couple of transfers, I have been trying to learn some hymns on the piano and just practicing when I can when we are at the church for meetings and whatnot, and so recently I've been playing before church starts just some pre-prelude music before the real people that do it get there, and so our church schedule is kinda flip flopped with priesthood first and then ending with sacrament, so there's a couple times in the griffin ward I've been able to play the song for priesthood, even though its Brother Lackey's calling I suppose, but he hasn't minded every once in a while letting me play because I'm already up there, which has kind of put me on the spot several times because I haven't really wanted to do it, but its not that bad because there's not nearly that many people there for priesthood that often, so I can suck it up. But I've been getting to the point I can play about four or five hymns comfortably. So on Sunday we were leaving the gospel principles class and on our way to get a seat for sacrament and just about as soon as I walk in the chapel the chorister comes and asks me to play piano for sacrament because the pianist wasn't there, so I pretty much just got suckered into playing for sacrament because I couldn't really say no, and so ya I actually had to play piano for Sacrament! it was pretty rough, especially the introduction to the first song because I don't practice intro's and then I haven't practiced just about any sacrament songs so I had to pick one that looked easy to me and then pretty much sight read it and there were a couple really rough spots but I got through it. But ya it was pretty intense and I kinda dont want to get called on for it again, at least not until I can play more hymns better! So ya that was my funny story for the week, so I hope y'all have a super week and I'll let you know about transfers on Wednesday!
love,

Monday, September 28, 2009

The weather report

Well I know y'all have been hearing about the rain, and well, pretty much everything got dominated. I think the flood got as high as one of the schools, and I heard that when they were cleaning up that there was a refrigerator that somehow managed to land in the top of a tree. Luckily, that didn't happen in our area. We had a good amount of rain, but no floods here. I guess it was really bad just a hour or two north of here and a bunch of the priesthood holders in our ward went up Sunday morning to help people out up there.

As far as missionary work this week, we had another solid week numbers wise, but it was the first week that no investigators came to church which was a bummer. The two girls, L and S have fallen off the radar lately, and haven't kept appointments or come to church in several weeks, so we have dropped them for the time being, but more than likely we will refer them to the A.P.s because they cover the singles ward and I think that that is hands down the best place for them anyways. R and J have been almost impossible to get a hold of as well, but they have both just started jobs and have been getting things together, but as well havent been able to come to church yet, but once their schedules straighten out things should be fine.

We are excited for General Conference this week. Elder Condie (I don't think that's how you spell it but it sounds right) was a stud at zone conference. He was super funny and had a super good impression of President Hinckley. He focused on a lot of different ways to find investigators and definitely emphasized retention. It was a different zone conference because usually the a.p.'s zone leaders, and a few other random missionaries give trainings on different aspects of missionary work and then the Mission President hits it home. But this time we heard from the a.p's and zone leaders just a brief summary of how our zones and mission as a whole were doing, then we heard from two Stake Presidents, President S and his wife, and then Elder Condie and his wife. So it was a super spiritual zone conference at that! Well thats about all for this week, next week is transfers, which will be weird because we'll have P-day two days before, but I bet we'll be able to email families and whatnot when we find out on Wednesday, so until then, Adios!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Good Week in Griffin

Well as usual it has been a good week. It was kind of a slow start, I got to go to the other side of Griffin on Tuesday for exchanges with the district leader, but when I got back we got right to work.

Right now all of our dates our investigators have to be baptized are kind of in limbo, we have one super awesome couple but they have some legal issues they have to work but before they can be married, and then baptized, so we're going to see them tonight and see what we can come up with. They are really solid though, so I'm not too worried, it just kinda stinks it wont be until next transfer. But R and J are referrals from our bishop's brother in the ward right above us. We were kind of unsure at first, but they are really excited about coming to church and being baptized.

The two other girls we had baptismal dates with are kind of dwindling in unbelief. They missed stake conference yesterday which they said they were going to come to, and haven't been keeping many other commitments lately, but we are going to shake them a little and see how much they are really interested tomorrow.

But ya, yesterday we had Stake conference which was sweet because 1, I got to see several people from Sharpsburg and all the other missionaries in the zone, and as well it was a sweet meeting to be at. There were kind of two themes to the meeting, one being there was a lot to do with I guess along the lines of unity and how the church is a melting pot of different people and cultures, and then it got into quite a bit into African americans and the priesthood and how God has always chosen who he gives the priesthood to, like the Levites for example. But ya that was pretty interesting I thought. And then the stake president has been emphasizing emergency preparedness and being self reliant and he had some super cool stuff to say that just made the stake conference different from any other I've been to, but this is going to be a big week for us.

Today we have zone p-day which is going to be awesome to see all the missionaries in the zone and play basketball, which is pretty much all most of the missionaries do on zone p-day is b-ball, so that is always a plus. Then, tomorrow is our Zone conference which is going to be amazing as always, but even more special because we have a general authority coming, plus it will be a combined zone conference so one of the other zones should be at that meeting with us as well. But ya I will definitely tell y'all about it next week, so until then, have a great week!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend update...

Well we had another really good week. We have been able to find and teach people pretty easily here in Griffin. WE didn't have the baptisms we thought we would, in fact the two girls, L and S are having trouble keep commitments lately. They visited L's mom in Athens Georgia, and she didn't like them going to the church, and their friends are telling them all the word vomit and rumors that they hear so right now they aren't sure what they're doing. They were supposed to come watch a baptism for another branch on Saturday but didn't show, and then missed church on Sunday, so we are going to have to drop a spiritual bomb on them tonight when we go to teach them.

Our other lady N, who called the church last week has shown tremendous promise, except that she is leaving back to Detroit sometime this week she said, but she has been to church twice already and if we taught her the rest of the lessons she could potentially be baptized this Saturday, but we'll see, its all in the Lord's hands right now. We have a couple of other investigators we're working with but nobody that is too serious at this point, but I would definitely be surprised if we didn't baptize by the end of this transfer. Next week we are having our zone conference and I guess we are having a General Authority come and visit which is going to be really cool, we are also having Stake Conference this weekend so we'll get to go to that as well on Sunday. Well that's about all for now, talk to y'all next week!
Elder Edwards

Lots of Investigators

(this is from the week of Sept 7)

Well We had a super good week this week, Elder Meacham and I were able to teach a whole bunch and put up some super good numbers, in fact the highest numbers of my mission! Not that its all about numbers, but we found 13 new people to teach and were able to get a lot of the members come out with us to teach, and we have a baptism scheduled for Saturday! woo hoo! We are praying that it holds through, its two 20-ish year old girls that order a bible from the church, and we've been able to get them to commit to baptism which has been a miracle to see them prepare and change their lives so much in only a few short weeks. All that is left to teach them is 4 of the commandments, and they have already committed to live the word of wisdom and law of chastity which are the two big ones, so hopefully its just a matter of time now.

The Griffin Ward is super good, although I think Sharpsburg fed us more, but the ward is super missionary minded, and even though we have two sets of elders, both of us are able to have team ups just about every single day which helps sooooo much. On Sunday a nonmember lady called the church to see if she could get a ride to church so she was talking to Elder Smith for a couple of minutes and before he even asked anyone one of the Members said she could do it and had her there in no time. The lady had moved from Detroit not too long ago and never really went to church there because she couldn't understand any of the preachers, but she came here and loved church. She brought along her 9- year old son and her two year old daughter and it really seemed like they had a good time. The members were super friendly and introduced themselves and did a super job of fellow-shipping. I was able to talk to her and she had been layed off from her job several months ago and had been in the hospital since. Yesterday was the first time she was able to get out of the house in a long time. Elder Meacham and I were able to schedule a time to go over and teach her this week which is going to be really good, because anybody that is asking to come to church without knowing anybody and not having ever had a super strong background in any church must be elect, and this lady definitely seemed elect. She has a lot going on in her life right now, but the church here has definitely been able to help more than I would have ever imagined, especially for anybody that has walked in for the first time. apparently when she was in the hospital one of the nurses that attended to her was a member and one way or another was able to talk to her about the church, and now I really think there is soo much potential for this lady to receive the help that she is desperately in need of. I couldn't understand all of her situation, but she has been going through a divorce, and is suffering both physically with sickness and is on her own without any sort of financial assistance from what it sounded like. But I can definitely see her progressing in the gospel and shee seemed so grateful just being at church. Elder meacham and I are really looking forward to going over to teach her because we know that the gospel will bless her family. I am super grateful for that nurse that was able to be a member missionary because the members are our biggest support, and its really though the members that missionaries find the greatest success. well that is about the extent of my news this week, hoefully I'll hear from y'all soon!- -Elder Edwards

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Madness

Griffin is awesome! We had a super good week last week even with transfers, which usually slows us down. But Ya Elder Meacham is a really good missionary, he's a really hard worker and likes to get stuff done. He's only been out a transfer longer than I so we're both still pretty young but it will be good because we aren't under the all searching eye of some older missionary and we don't have to babysit any greenies so we just get to go to work.

They have a super good teaching pool going right now and we were able to have two people commit to baptism my second day here, not too bad! The ward is really good as well, they seem a lot more missionary minded than the others so we should be able to see a lot of success this transfer.

Well I'll bet your wondering why I'm emailing you on Monday, and no its not because we've gone apostate and decided to have an extra p-day, but I forgot to tell y'all that President Satterfield has now moved p-days to Mondays and done some other changes to our weekly schedule, so this is really weird for me today because I just got used to living p-day to p-day and now the schedule has changed. I really liked having p-day on Wednesday because it was a good break in the middle of the week, so I dunno about this Monday stuff. I think President's idea was that it would give us a good full week to work but it is going to be a long week. It did seem kind of like a rock in the river to have it on Wednesday's but I think that it will be good for the hard working missionaries and give them more to work with but the lazy ones will just get lazier because they dont have p-day to keep them going. But, President is just testing the waters and exercising authority and he's open to whatever, so we'll just have to see how it goes in the next month or so. But ya that's about all of the big news for now, well I'll talk to y'all in a week!

Love,
Elder Edwards

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Transferred!- Hello Griffin(dor)!

(Part 1)
Well Monday we got the call from the APes, not the monkeys but the assistants to the president, and I am leaving Sharpsburg! So I have my bags all packed and ready to go so I'll probably email after transfers to tell you where I'm at, Elder Adams wanted to come before so I figured I'd write you now and save some time later this afternoon. But I am definitely gonna miss Sharpsburg, this ward has been super good to us.

To answer your question we do go to PEC every week and just give a report of our work for the week. Sharpsburg has a really good Ward mission Leader that always looks for ways to help. He definitely helps us get our meal calendar filled up which is definitely a blessing. This Sunday, even though I wont be attending the Sharpsburg ward, is a fifth Sunday as you know and he and the missionaries are teaching the third hour and giving kind of a training on member missionary work which should help the ward a lot and hopefully get everyone excited about missionary work. We had one of our investigators come to sacrament for a little while which I think is going to help spark some missionary work as the members see us bringing people to church and gain their trust in us. But ya I will defnitely email later and tell you the news of where I am!

(Part 2)
So we just got back from transfer meeting and I am now serving in Griffin Georgia with Elder Meacham. It should be a super good transfer. I just dropped my stuff off at our apartment and I have my own bathroom, and there's a bowflex there, so we're gonna get into spartan shape, and Elder Meacham is a super cool hard working companion from what I've heard. He came out only a transfer before I did, but I think we are going to have a lot of fun together. He's a cross country runner, just one of those skinny guys, so I'm gonna work him lifting weights and he's gonna run me skinny, or at least that's the plan. Well there's not too much other news right now, but I will talk to y'all soon!

-Elder Edwards

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pine Wood Disaster

This week has been really good. We got to teach several appointments this week and feel good about the investigators we have right now. I hope I make it past transfers next week to be able to stay here because we could definitely have a baptism or two come up in a few weeks out of the people we are teaching now.

Saturday our ward had a pine wood derby, and Elder Adams and I got to participate in it. We were supposed to have an investigator there, but he wasn't able to make it for whatever reason, but it was a lot of fun. They had two categories - the regulation division and a pretty much anything goes category. We made a car like the day before at a recent converts house, and finished painting like a couple hours before the race, and let me just say, it was a major failure. We made it to the bottom of the slope and not much further, couldn't even pass the finish line :( but we had a lot of fun making it.


None of our investigators came to church on Sunday which was kind of a big let down for us, but we will continue to work with them this week and I'll be sure to update y'all next week after transfers!

Until then have a great week!
-Elder Edwards

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A- Town

Well, it has been a pretty super week for us! Sunday as always was really good, its hard to do much other than go to meetings and then church, which starts at 2, and then we generally have dinner appointments which take up the majority of the night, but this Sunday we got enough time to go contact a few people, and it was the first time we had a perfect night, where we were able to see everyone we had planned for.

Then Monday we had exchanges and the district leader came here and we had a good time. And then Tuesday we had a super lesson where we taught our investigator about the plan of salvation and he seemed to really like it. He asked us about three times what his next step was, and we have pretty hesitant to hit him with a baptismal commitment, but that third time it finally got to us to commit him already, and though we don't have an official date, he said he would like to be baptized and we are going back to teach him on Friday, and he said he might be able to come to the ward pine wood derby on Saturday with his son ( its really not a boyscout pine wood derby its more like a dad pinewood derby and they have two classes, a free for all and then scout rules, but anyways. . .) And he also should be coming to church on Sunday which will be Huge!

And then, we got talking to sports afterward and he played baseball at Auburn for a couple of years, which was pretty sweet, and then he also has a bunch of hook ups and said he can get tickets to pretty much any sporting event in Georgia and invited us to a baseball game on Saturday, which is out of the mission and I don't think we can get permission from president to go to it even though he said our mission president could come as well. But ya, we are super excited for that.

And today was probably one of the best p-days ever. Let me explain. . . Elder Sessions, who is our district leader, is going home in two weeks, and he had never been to Atlanta so he had permission from President Satterfield to go as long as a member drove them, and they weren't able to get a member from their ward but we had a member from our ward who is just awesome and he was able to take us and by grace we got permission from president as well, so we spent the day in Atlanta and got to go to The World of Coca Cola, Cyclorama (a civil war exhibit/museum type thing) and then we walked through Centennial Park and did a little tour of the CNN Center, and it was just Awesome! We got some sweet pictures which I will most definitely have to send y'all. But ya that is this weeks news, so have a great day!

-Elder Edwards

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Teaching Pool Getting Bigger

I got the package yesterday, thank you guys so much for sending it! I found someone in the Relief Society to hem my pants as well.

Well, I wrote y'all leters and sent them today, so this one will be pretty short, but we had a super day yesterday.

First we had our weekly meeting with Brother Morris, which is always awesome! He is a recent convert and is about 82 years old. He lives by himself and loves all the missionaries, but especially the sister missionaries, because they are the ones that were able to convince him to join the church. Every Tuesday morning we go over and share a scripture message with him and then he feeds us lunch. We were super lucky yesterday and after lunch he showed us his bees as well. He has about 6 or 7 bee hives on his property that he keeps and gets honey from. We were pretty excited to go see them, and we took some pictures that I'll send home soon. But, it wasn't all that great of a day to go see them, because they seemed kinda aggravated by Brother Morris and stung him a couple of times as he was going through the hive. It was still a pretty neat experience. This year his bees haven't been doing so well, so he hasn't produced a lot of honey off them, but last year was really good and he would give honey to the missionaries, so I was kinda bummed that we missed out.

Then we had a super good lesson with Brother Apostolo who came on a team up with us. We were supposed to visit Craig, who is one of our investigators which would have been super good, but he was stuck at work, but we were definitely blessed because we were able to contact a former investigator and teach him, and he seemed to be interested in the gospel a little bit. Last time the missionaries taught him he had a baptismal date and everything, I think he even had his interview, but for whatever reason wasn't able to go through with it and the missionaries stopped teaching him, so maybe he will be ready this time around! Well we are doing really good, our teaching pool is steadily growing which is really good for us.

Alright well thanks again for the package and I'll hear from y'all soon!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Waitin' and Hopin' and Prayin'

Well It has been a pretty interesting week for us. We had a lot of super good plans but they fell through. We have one super solid investigator that we haven't taught since I've been here but the Elders before were teaching. She's been on vacation for a couple weeks, but we finally met her on Sunday. She's dating one of the sons of a less active family in our ward, but he is in California because he is in the military, but Lauren (the investigator) wants him to baptize her, he just needs to get leave to come home, and we just have a little more to teach her. Lauren has apparently been going to the singles ward by herself for the past couple of weeks which is why we haven't met her, but Sister Sones (the less active mom) brought her to church on Sunday and we would have taught her that night but Sister Sones wasn't feeling good so left with Lauren after sacrament meeting, and then to add to that we won't be able to teach her until after August 15 because both of them are going on different vacations in the next week or so, which will only give us a couple of weeks left in the transfer to work with. But, it is all on the Lord's time and she seems really solid so its just a matter of time.

But ya that's about all of the news lately. Today was zone p-day so we all got together and played different games. I pretty much just played basketball all afternoon with half of the other Elders in our zone, which was a lot of fun. But ya, thanks again for sending that package and I hope y'all have a good week!

-elder edwards

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Companion / New Mission President

So this week as you know was transfers, and I am still in Sharpsburg but I am now serving with Elder Adams. He is pretty cool, he was born in South Africa and then moved to Utah/Idaho about 7 years ago, he has been on his mission for about 19 months and we are excited to get to work.

We also met the mission president (Stephen H. Satterfield) last week and I think I wrote about him in the letter I sent last week, but he is awesome. He looks like President Sherm Smith which I thought was kinda funny, but he and his wife are just the best. We have zone conferences next week and then interviews the week after so I'll let you know more about him as I find out more about him.

We are still living at the same address so whenever you will be able to send me those things that would be great! :D But that is pretty much everything, nothing all too exciting except for interviews and transfers so I hope everyone has a stellar week!
-Elder Edwards

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Message from Alex

That's awesome that everyone had a good time at youth conference and I was able to see the pictures of Dad and Ryan on their biking trip which looked like a lot of fun as well! We have not met the new mission president as of yet but tomorrow we are having interviews so we will see what he is like!

On the fourth of July we had a cook out with the other missionaries in our district which was a lot of fun. We had to be in our apartment complex by 6pm because they don't want us getting into trouble or getting blamed for anything or being out when everyone is partying, so after our missionary bbq Elder Warwood and I went and worked out for about an hour and a half, which felt good until I ran on the treadmill. I didn't run for that long but afterward I was just drained!

And then today has been a lot of fun so far, we got to go practice some golfing with this super cool guy that is a nonmember but his wife is a member of the church and so we went and hit some balls at the driving range and then went over and played the par 3 hole. I'll tell ya what, I am not going to be a professional golfer any time soon! We had a lot of fun though.

This is our last p-day before transfers and I can not believe that this transfer has gone by so fast! Which reminds me, if anyone sends mail in the next couple of weeks it would do best to send it to the mission office :D Well, right now we do not have any solid investigators :( We found a couple of people to teach but not much success so far that we can see. Our district has done really well, the other two companionships have been able to baptize this transfer which is always awesome. We have had some success with some less active and part member families and have gained their trust and friendship.

There are a lot of really good members in our ward as well and we have been fed at least every other day if not every night, its almost too much because we hardly have a chance to eat what food and groceries we purchase on our allotment! This week will be interesting because starting today we have our car grounded because we didn't turn in our mileage report on time, so we will be walking/ riding bikes the next couple of days. It wont be too bad because we are allowed to drive to our meetings, like interviews, church, district meeting, so pretty much only Friday & Saturday we won't be able to drive at all. Other than that things have been well. Elder W and I get along really good and have a lot in common with each other, so it will be intereting to see how transfers pan out next week. Thanks again for all your encouragement and support I need it! Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Goodbye President Mathusek

Hello there! This past week has been alright, I think the most exciting thing that happened was when Elder Warwood barely bumped the other Elder's brand new car and left a nickel sized scratch, so we had to spend a lot of our day doing an accident report and emailing some pictures and what-not to the mission office.

But we did have a baptism in our district and concerning our goal to double baptisms...it was down to the wire, the AP's were txting us everytime we had a baptism this weekend and we needed about 20 to get 634, exactly double the amount of baptisms the mission had the year before President Mathusek came to Georgia and our final count was exactle 634! We were pretty darn excited for that!

We had a big mission get together on Monday to say goodbye to President Mathusek and it was really good to see all of the other missionaries I knew there from the MTC and then of course to be able to talk to Elder Cooper and see how things were back in Dallas. It was kinda weird though, because even though its only been 3 or 4 weeks since we served together it was just weird, I don't really know how to explain it, but it just wasn't the same as in our glory days together, but it was still good just not the same. Hes a really awesome guy. I could never say enough for the awesome example he set for me and all the hard work we were able to accomplish.

This week should be really good for Elder Warwood and I, we found a couple of people to teach on Monday and we just went on splits last night and will be going on splits tomorrow night. Our Ward mission leader is really awesome as well, he has been pushing us pretty good to get things going which is what we need I am super thankful for him as well. And I am also thankful for my family being able to support me in everywhich way, thank you! Well that is my report for this week and I hope you guys have a good week as well!
-Elder Edwards

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

¿Habla Español?

I'm glad you liked the tie I had been saving it! As far as Spanish, President said that there was a chance for me to flip over but I don't think its going to happen because he also said that they need good English speaking missionaries as well, so if its meant to be it will happen. Actually Elder Peterson, my companion from the MTC is now a spanish elder along with a couple others I came out with.

Well, Elder Warwood and I are in our own apartment right now and its pretty cool. The other Elders left some good work out equipment and we just found out the code to the work out room which has a treadmill that doesn't work so great, but they do have a bunch of dumbells, enough weight to keep me busy, and one of those pulley system workout gyms so we are going to get pumped in the next couple of weeks!

It's been a lot different this transfer because I have been on exchanges every week with different Elders so we still haven't been able to do a whole lot here in our area because we only have half of a week to work with most of the time, and then Sundays take up all of the day because we dont have sacrament until 2, which means meetings all morning and then the ward feeds us really well, so by the time we get back from dinner appointments its time to plan for the next day, but as a mission everyone is working really hard. As it turns out, the big 680 "Beast" that we have been working on as a mission for the last year was actually a 634 teddy bear, so we only needed 634 baptisms to double the amount, and it is definitely down to the wire. It all depends on this weekend. We are about 20 or so baptisms away and we have either 25 or 30ish commitments for this week, so if everything goes right we will have doubled our baptisms as a mission from the time president Hinckley told us to do so, which is Huge! President Mathusek leaves next week which is pretty crazy to believe, but the new President will be awesome I'm sure. If we reach our goal president Mathusek is going to get us all ice cream sundays on Monday and then have a missionary picture.

Well it has been heating up pretty nice, its been in the 90's all this week and with the humidity it is pretty warm, still not all that miserable, but then again I'm not on bike so I couldn't quite tell ya. We haven't had rain since I've been in Dallas, but we're entering into Hurricane season so we'll see about that.

Well, thats about all I have for this week, but I love y'all and I hope you have a super week!

Alex comes through for Father's day

Alex sent me a nice package for Father's day. He had purchased me a very fine 'Chik-Fil-A' necktie (25 cents) and a sweet Napoleon Dynamite Card that talks. He also sent some nice pictures that were posted earlier. Best of all was a hand-written letter - Thanks Alex - you rock!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The New Area

Ok, so I am in Sharpsburg which also covers a part of Newnan, GA. My new address is 22 Forest Circle #909, its in Newnan GA but I couldn't tell you the zip code off the top of my head.

My new companion is Elder Warwood. Hes a pretty cool guy, likes to race dirtbikes and just do a lot of fun stuff. He's from Battlemountain, Nevada which is about 700 miles north of Las Vegas. We are whitewashing here and we haven't done a whole lot except eat dinner with some members and visit a couple of people here. He is definitely a lot more laid back than Elder Cooper which Im trying to decide if I like. Right now I feel kinda lazy because we haven't done a whole lot but then again we didn't do too much the first little while in Dallas whitewashing. He has been out about 16 months and is a little bit trunky if you ask me but we have some huge potential for baptisms this month.

The Elders before us baptized three people in the same family but they weren't confirmed so the records haven't been sent in and don't count towards the mission goal of 680 baptisms before President Mathusek leaves, and right now we are pretty close to reaching that goal. We need 93 for this month to make it, which will set a record for the mission, and it averages out to a little more than 1 baptism per companionship so we should hopefully be able to contribute to that goal.

My new area is a lot different from Dallas. We don't have to drive so far to get what we need done because everything is a lot closer together and not nearly so spread out. There are also a lot more clearings than in Dallas so not quite so many trees. We are also pretty close to the mission home and about 30 minutes from Atlanta, or so I am told. The members here are really great. Of course you got to talk to Sister Vaughn who is really awesome, as well another figure getting his name around is Brother Morris. He is a recent convert of about 1 year but you would never know it. He is 82 years old and just one of the coolest guys you'll ever meet. He loves to take the missionaries out to dinner and it usually ends up being a steak dinner. He travels all over the mission it seems like to be at other missionaries baptisms, so when he came to Dallas for a baptism that the sister missionaries had, he took about 6 of us out for a pretty excellent steak dinner and then to Coldstone afterwards. He is just a really great guy, and loves to take the missionaries to transfers or the temple or anywhere else that they need to get a ride to.

I am looking forward to getting to know the ward/ area better and get to work here. Sacrament meeting was really good, the youth in the ward just got back from their trek and we got to hear about it in fast and testimony meeting. As far as peach season, I've kinda heard it is a myth :( I really don't think its much different than anywhere else but I'll keep asking.

That's about it for now, hopefully you got my letter I sent last week, but until then have a wonderful week!

Monday, June 8, 2009

An act of kindess that snowballed

On Saturday, Dana got a really nice phone call from Georgia. Sister Debbie Vaughn phoned to say that she had fed the missionaries that night and wanted us to know that Alex's tummy was full and he is happy. As a parent, you hope and pray that there are kind people who will look out for your child, but to have one of them take the time to call and let you know he is well just meant the world to us! She had some very nice things to say about Alex and we are sure he will live up to them.
So when we had the chance to have some great elders come to our house for Sunday dinner, we knew what to do. Elder Cox and Elder Baker are both fine young men and we are happy to have them serving in our ward. When they were getting ready to leave I asked them to write down their parents' names and phone numbers so I could call them. My first call was answered by a machine so I left a message for Brother and Sister Cox telling them about our dinner and thanked them for raising a good young man. Next I spoke with Brother Baker who said "Oh! you don't know how much this means to us." Actually, yes I do. How nice to be able to tell this father that his son is well and healthy and happily serving an honorable mission. We had a really nice visit and he said that my call was "just the vitamin he needed," and it would last him the rest of Elder Baker's mission. About an hour later the phone rang, and it was Brother Cox calling from Idaho. They had been out of town and got my message when they got home. His son had previously been serving on the Reservation up in Chinle and was a little sad about leaving that area and the people he had grown to love. I was so glad to tell him about our brand new ward and our gratitude for having good elders to help move the work forward here. It was another lovely visit with a proud and grateful father. It was a good reminder to never let a kind word go unsaid.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baptism and Move

Dear family,

thank you all so much for the emails for this week, its always good to hear how things are going!
Well I have some pretty huge news for all y'all. First and foremost I apologize for lying last week. As it turned out Brandon has been to church numerous times before we ever taught him and after talking to the Zone Leader, District Leader and clearing it through President Mathusek, Brandon McCarthy was baptized on the 5/30/09 and confirmed a member the following Sunday! It was sooo incredible! Everything worked out so flawlessly with him that it was just meant to be and the purposes of God could not be frustrated and it truly was a miracle. I was able to baptize him and Elder cooper Confirmed him and it was one of the best experiences I have yet had on my mission and look forward to baptizing more.

Secondly, as we all know transfers were this week and. . . I am now serving in the Sharpsburg area with Elder Warwood! He is really awesome and I think that this area will be great as well. I don't know our exact address at this time but if you plan on mailing anything this week it can just go to the mission office because I will receive it about a day later than I normally would so it all works out good. Well I will hand write a letter today or tomorrow with further information on everything here but I love you all and I'll hear from ya soon!

-Elder Alex Edwards

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Greased-up

Dear Mom and everyone else,

This week has been really exciting as always. We were pretty disappointed though that Brandon wasn't able to make it to church this past Sunday so we are going to have to push the baptism back for next week, so hopefully I'll still be able to go to it, because transfers are next Wednesday and the odds of Elder Cooper and I staying together again are pretty slim, so we'll see how that pans out. We are teaching Brandon this afternoon and then he will be interviewed for baptism right after so we should be able to square things away with him.

I hope everyone had a good Memorial day, because ours was really good as well. We got to get up an hour earlier because the Dallas Ward was in charge of putting up flags along one of the bigger freeways not too far from the church. It was a really neat experience. They had 80 or so flags, each one to represent a soldier from Paulding County who passed away while in the service, and put them all along the highway. We got to ride on a flatbed trailer with the flags and was a lot like a hay-ride down the highway. It was awesome to be part of something that meant a lot to the community, and we definitely felt that as people would drive by waving and honking. It was quite a sight, sadly I didn't bring my camera but hopefully I painted the picture for y'all. There were two groups I was on the flatbed while the other group was pretty lucky and got to ride an old firetruck from about the 40's but the service rendered was all the same.

Afterward Brother Crew, who is super awesome, took us to the traditional Martin's breakfast where we "greased up" as he would say. It was a super good southern food breakfast type place and I got a chicken biscuit, some hash-browns, and of course grits. Brother Crew made us all get grits as part of the deal and they weren't all that bad, they didn't really have any flavor to them but it was a lot like a cream of wheat type deal. I think I was full from that breakfast the whole day.

Then we had district meeting and afterward we went on exchange with the district leader and Elder Cooper went with him to Acworth while Elder Wood came here to Dallas with me. I was pretty nervous because Elder Wood has only been out 1 transfer more than me and I would pretty much be the senior companion for the time but things ended up really good. Monday we had members come on team ups in the afternoon and in the evening as well so we didn't do any driving after 12pm or so which helped a lot with our miles and all in all it was a really really good for both finding and teaching. Then usually we would have exchanged the next Tuesday but we decided to stay put because we were going back to Acworth for P-day with Elder Anderson who is leaving next week and didn't want to use all of our miles, so I ended up having to plan the whole day on my own which I have never done because Elder Cooper takes the lead almost all of the time because he's senior but things worked out pretty good.

I really like Elder Wood, mostly because he reminds me so much of Andrew. He is a stud volleyball player, loves pretty much all motorsports, wakeboards and really has the same interests as Andrew and even kind of looks like him and definitely has the same sort of attitude, so that was pretty cool, him and I got a long really well. This exchange has definitely helped me grow a lot and feel a lot more confident and more independent because I have relied quite a bit on Elder Cooper being he is the one who has trained me and the only real companion I have had (no offense to Elder Peterson, but neither of us knew anything).

Well, that has been about it for this week, hopefully I'll hear from you guys soon but until then have a good week!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dear Y'all

Thank you for sending those addresses to me I will write some of the guys today for sure. I can't believe everyone is getting their papers in and getting their calls already! It will only get better to see everyone else get out on their missions pretty soon. As well I can't believe it is already summer! I feel robbed that the graduation was at Cardinals stadium this year.

You have to wish Christin a happy birthday for me, the 18 as well was my 3 month mark. I can't believe that this transfer is already coming to a close!

I now have a suit that I can thrash, and I didn't even have to go to the thrift store to find it. I picked it up from the Acworth Elder's apartment with a couple of ties that people left behind, and actually I kinda like the suit. It's nothing fancy but it is a brown which I like because I have a bunch of brown ties that go better with that suit.

Well as always it has been a fantastic week. We were able to get our investigator Brandon to church which he really liked. Everybody thought he was a missionary which was kinda funny but I really think it was good for him to hear. We went over after church and taught him the second lesson and he accepted everything with an open heart, and moved his baptismal date up to May 30! We are incredibly excited for him and know that we have been blessed with God's mercy in allowing us to teach him. There have been a couple sticky situations with him and we weren't sure how to handle some things but every issue we thought we might have had has been diffused so far with no problem whatsoever. It really seems like its something that is just going to happen and Elder Cooper and I were blessed to be the ones to teach him. After this Sunday he will be taught all of the lessons and the following week he will be baptized!

On Monday we had interviews with President Mathusek and our district was the last to go, so we where there pretty much all day. My interview with President wasn't much longer than the last but I know he is a super awesome priesthood holder and would not be surprised to see him be a seventy one day. We also got to write our first President letters to President Satterfield who will be taking Mathusek's place in the middle of next transfer. I am really looking forward to getting to know him and build a good relationship throughout my mission.

Yesterday we were again blessed greatly and were able to go on a team up and teach one of our potential investigators, and will be able to go back to help her paint her patio deck next week. She has had a fair amount of contact with the church and has been able to do some of her geneology and we had a really good lesson. I can't say how solid she is but it is my hope and faith that we will gain her trust as we do service for her and help her around her home. She had some really interesting tomato plants that all the soil was contained in a can sort of thing and then the plant grew from the bottom of the can in a sort of upside down fashion which I had never seen before but I guess was supposed to help keep the bugs away or something, but I thought that was pretty cool.

Then after lunch we had only a half hour or so until our next appointment with a team up so we went down the road to a street we had planned to tract and at the first house we pulled up to there was a younger lady and her mom washing the car. After a couple minutes of introducing ourselves the young lady was visiting her mom and her husband was actually LDS and less active from the sounds of it. She had been raised Catholic, converted baptist not too long ago and then now is married to a Mormon and has a child that she wants to get to church but is pretty confused with what religion to go to. She said that she had met with the missionaries a couple of months earlier but didn't remember much, so we taught her the first lesson, committed her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and she is supposed to come to church with us on Sunday. It was a pretty big miracle to us because we could have just stayed and waited to be picked up for our next appointment but we left and must have been led by the liahona or something to this lady and even though we won't be able to continue teaching her she can go back home and look further into the church.

After that we had another really good appointment with an inactive member and taught her children about Joseph Smith as well. It's kind of hard right now because her husband isn't too fond of the church and she doesn't have much interested in coming back but wants her kids to learn, but If it is Heavenly Father's will we will be able to see them come to church and hopefully be baptized. It was a miracle meeting them as well. We were tracting in that neighborhood a while back and just walking down the street and her and her children were out for a walk, and before we could even introduce ourselves the kids were asking their mom who we were and told them we were the missionaries and then told us they had some questions and wanted to learn more about the church. It also turned out that Sister Ipson, who we've been working with here and there, was her visiting teacher and it didn't seem as though there was much coincidence in meeting her. It is pretty funny when we meet these people that the members know and associate with and more often then not its just to perfect to be a coincidence.

That evening we went to visit some members but the address for one didn't exist so we knocked a few houses trying to find them when we ran into a group of people having a bible study. We were invited inside and got to talking and then they asked about us and what we did and got to teach them a first lesson, which was pretty interesting. By the end I could feel that they felt the spirit but when we asked if they wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon it went downhill from there. The leader woman of the group said she wanted to stick to the King James Version of the Bible even though they said that they knew Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Then they had some jokes and questions about polygamy and then asked us about women being prophets which is always kind of weird , but what took the cake was the prayer we had before we left. We all held hands in a circle and everyone was prayer talking, just saying thank yous and whatever, while one woman was I guess the voice of the prayer was praying. Elder Cooper and I had no idea what to do and it was kinda just messed up really, I can not say that I felt the spirit at that time. But ya that was a story for the journal!

Thanks again for everything and tell the guys how excited I am for them next time you see them, do you know how soon they leave? Ok well have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Over the Fence and Through the Woods

Well it was super good to talk to everyone on Mothers day! I'm glad to hear that the new ward is starting out well, and I'm glad to hear about all those boys who finally got their Eagle done. Has anyone else received their mission calls yet? I bet they are all getting really excited.

This past Monday we had companion exchanges and I got to go to Acworth and spend a day with the district leader. I was pretty nervous at first but felt really comfortable when I got out there. I really like the district leader we have right now. This is his last transfer before he goes home and he is a really sharp guy, I definitely learned a lot from him. They are on bikes in his area so I would have ridden his companions bike but his chain broke the day before exchanges so we were blessed to walk the whole day. It wasn't that bad, Elder Cooper and I have been doing a lot more walking but I could definitely feel it in my legs by the end of the day. It was a lot different because we could really talk to everybody we passed which I liked a lot. We ran into one guy from West Africa over in the Ivory Coast is what he said and taught him a first lesson and committed him to be baptized which was amazing! It will be cool to hear how the Acworth Elders do with him. After we were done teaching he said the closing prayer with the biggest smile I have ever seen, he was ecstatic!

At night we went to try to visit a member but they drove by us as we were on our way over. She told us about a shortcut we could take if we hopped her fence and decided to take her word for it because apparently a lot of missionaries used to do it. So we hopped her fence and walked across to what we thought were the apartments but it was a neighborhood that was even further away than the one we came from. So we went back to the sort of clearing in her back yard and went down a ways until we could see the apartments and started walking towards them until we ran into a creek. We ended up having to hop two more backyards until we got to a spot where a tree had fallen across to the other way and walked across the creek and had to trail-blaze our way through the poison ivy and trees and bushes. Well, maybe we didn't run into poison ivy, but we were still trailblazing our way through the woods to get home. It definitely made me appreciate being a missionary today, instead of when they didn't even have paved roads.

alrighty, you'll have to send me the addresses for Zach and Jacob and all the other guys and I'll see if I can't write to them and everyone before they head out. I love you guys a lot!
-Elder Alex Edwards

Monday, May 11, 2009

Feliz Cinco de Mayo

Hola, feliz Cinco de Mayo! well, I guess today is actually the seis de mayo, but anyways, I hope you at least got to celebrate by eating mexican food or something for me because there are only a few mexican restaurants around and none are as good as back home ;) Thank you for sending me that package hopefully I should have it soon in the next couple days.

And I am for sure looking forward to this Sunday as well! I am not really sure when we'll be able to call y'all, but our church is from 11-1 as well, so after converting that to arizona time it would be pretty early in the morning out there, So I really don't know, I would assume we'd call sometime after church but if you are in church when we get out it probably wouldn't be until later in the evening for us, meaning afternoon in Arizona.

This week has been pretty good so far. We were able to see a couple of miracles happen. For one we have a baptismal date set for an investigator who's wife is a member. The two of them are separated right now from what I understand but a couple of weeks ago she said that he was interested in learning about our church, and he took the lessons a couple of years ago but wasn't all receptive, so she said she wasn't quite sure about it. Then last week we decided to go tracting in this one neighborhood and when we got there it was completely dead. After a couple of hours or so we came across her house and didn't even realize that she lived in that neighborhood. When we went up to the door she was waiting for us and gave us some water and told us that her husband was coming to drop off the kids and would be there pretty soon and we could probably set something up to start teaching him. So we waited for a little while and then went down the street to knock on a few more doors. when we started to head back we saw the van she described and he pulled in right as we were walking by the house and started talking to him. By the time we left we had a dinner appointment set up for Sunday with the family and when we went back we taught him a really good lesson and he said that he would be baptized! It was just awesome to see that he really wanted to know if this was true and was just so much more prepared this time around. It will also be really good for the family and hopefully bring them together and both Elder Cooper and I are really excited to continue teaching him!
well It is really good to hear from you, and I cant wait to talk to the family on Sunday!

Love always,

Elder Alex Harrison Edwards

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Exciting Times!

Well, I am pretty shocked to hear that the Ward split! Actually I was thinking about Dad being in the Bishopric for whatever reason a couple days ago, but I had no idea that the ward was going to split, let alone Dad would be in the Bishopric! It will definitely be a change coming home.

This week has been very good for finding. We found and taught several investigators, and were even able to get a baptismal date out of one, but we havent been able to get in contact with her since we've met her. But our teaching pool is definitely picking up. We still dont have anyone to come to sacrament but I know that as out numbers continue to increase we will find the ones that are ready right now. We are continuing to see less actives make it to sacrament meeting which has been awesome.

We are continuing to progress here in Dallas. The investigators we've found are a lot better quality than those in the past, and though we are losing a lot we have been able to find even better people to teach, and I know that if this continues we will be able to baptize pretty soon. We also have a couple of 9 year olds in our area who are from less active families that want their children to be taught so I really think that working with them will be really effective. Last week the sister missionaries had a baptism like that who was a 9 year old that was part of a family that was less active, but just got to be baptized by her grandfather, and Elder Cooper and I were able to participate in the confirmation which was really cool as well.

I cant remeber if I told you or not but last wednesday on transfers we lost one of the sister missionaries in the ward and gained two more, sister Krall from L.A. and sister Roden from Jamaica. They are really good. It seems like the sisters get all of the refferals from the ward or something because all of the recent baptisms have been people they taught, so hopefully they dont take our refferals in this area. Its kind of hard working in the same ward because of the way our areas are divided and we started working with several members in their area before we realized it, so we'll se how things go this transfer.

I am glad to hear that everything is going good, you'll have to tell me what the new ward is like, it sounds like there are several activities coming up shortly and whatnot, and you'll have to let me know how everyone else is handling everything, but it sounds like its all good right now. Alright, well I will hear from y'all soon!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stormin' Mormons

Well, there were a couple of big storms this past weekend, Elder Cooper and I were not affected by any of them however. But I guess on either Friday or Saturday or something there was a huge hail storm and people said that there were golf ball sized hail raining down and it sounded like the roof was going to give way, but we were at a members house when that happened and they live a ways a way from our neighborhood so we didnt even hear much. On Monday there was a lot of wind and a pretty big storm that came through and the power was out for a little while but again nothing serious. It did however blown down a coupletrees in the neighborhood and some landed on houses but not ours. You could tell because everyone who did get hit had tarps covering the holes, but we're still alive.

Well that is pretty insane what happened to T-Nut. I can't believe that one (other) guy was so stupid. It seems like there's always one person to ruin it for everyone.

Well the work has definitely been improving a lot, especially over this past weekend. We were definitely blessed with a lot of sucess in finding and teaching. I think we ended with double the amount of lessons taught for last week than in the previous ones. Saturday we taught six just from tracting, and it seemed like everyone was letting us in. We met one guy who invited us in
without a word, before we could even tell him who we were. So we taught him the first lesson and committed him to read and pray, and set up an appointment for thursday this week to see how he did on his committment. So on sunday we had an appointment with one of his neighbors and taught her, and pretty much the same thing. It was a good lesson but not quite that golden contact, and promised to read and pray which is always awesome. So after that appointment we
thought we would go downt the street and just say hello to the people we taught the day before because there was two other families we taught. So we get back to Chris' house , and again he just invites us right in to meet his wife and family. They were all super friendly, probably the nicest people we've met so far, just that real southern hospitality. So we get to talking and Chris' wife Karen said she watched the show "Big Love" about the fdls so Elder Cooper and I
kind of looked at each other and were like oh man, not the best start, but she said she knew Mormons weren't all like that and it was different from the tv show, so we set her straight on polygamy which was good, and then she asked about Joseph Smith. At that point I got pretty excited and was about to just jump right into the first vision but Elder Cooper in his infinite wisdom stopped me and started from the beginning of Lesson 1 and just set everything up
perfectly. It was kind of funny because at first the grandma was there and told us how she was raised Pentacostal and believed in tongues and whatnot and seemed to attempt to put up that sort of guard but definitely agreed with everything Elder Cooper was teaching. So finally we get to Joseph Smith, and I remember the overwhelming calm that came in the room at that time. And so I told them about the first vision and how Joseph Smith was called to be the next prophet, and I can't even begin to describe the spirit that was there, never have I felt it so strong. By the end of it both the grandma and the mom were just in tears. So I invited them to be baptized and they werent all too sure at first and said that they still liked their church, but we reminded them of the sprit they felt, and began teaching them about the book of Mormon. It had turned out that Chris had been laid off and that they hadn't been to church since because they felt like Heavenly Father took that away from them. We reminded them that sometimes we
have to be tested, and that if we put our trust in Him we will be blessed for our trials. Elder Cooper went on to talk about tithing and the blessings that come from it. They were so happy we stopped by and I knew it was no coincidence. In the car ride back I was trying to figure out why at that particular time the Spirit was so strong, because we didnt do anything different
than what we've been doing, and I realized that it was because Heavenly Father had prepared them to hear that message, and that they needed it without ever knowing it. We are going to visit them again tomorrow and they offered to feed us as well. I am so overcome with joy we were able to meet them. I am almost positive that they will be baptized by the power and authority of the priesthood in almost no time. That one experience was the best I have had yet since I've been in Georgia, and I know that as long as I am working hard I will have more
like it. I cant wait to continue to see them progress and enter into the covenant of baptism.

Thank you so much for all of your help and support and for writing to me, I appreciate it so much. I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Elder Alex Edwards

p.s. I sent a letter yesterday to everyone at home so hopefully you get it soon, I asked if it were possible if you could send me a couple of things but forgot to ask if there would be any way you could send my black leather fossil watch, and maybe a pair of shoes as well? the only ones I have that arent dress shoes are my basketball ones so if you could send me another one of my pairs perhaps my black and red osiris shoes I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Every Member a Missionary

Hey there, its really good to hear about how things are going back home, I miss all y'all. I hope everyone enjoyed conference, I know I did! This week we are kindof rethinking our strategy on how to do missionary work and starting to do a lot of work with the members and getting them excited for missionary work. I loved Elder L. Tom Perry's talk and how he said that is so much more effective when we teach investigators in the members homes. Tracting has definitely not been very effective here. We have dropped all of our investigators we've had in the almost 4 weeks we've been here and we haven't even been able to contact the one investigator that was golden for quite some time. But member work definitely seems to be the way to go right now. We just need to make sure that we follow up with the commitments we've given the members and I know we will see a lot of success.

Well, everything else has been really good so far, we haven't been able to teach a whole lot this last week but we're plowing the fiild so to say right now. Hopefully things really pick up before the transfers. Part of me would really like to stay here and work with Elder Cooper but the other half wants to see more of Georgia, and from the sounds of things its pretty much a 50/50 chance either way. But I will definitely do my best where ever I am needed and am just having a really good time. I cant wait to get your letters this week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Smello!

Hey y'all!
Well it has been another really good week, we were able to teach quite a bit, nobody all too interested, but we're still looking for the 'elect'. I wrote you a letter today so you'll hear about how the work is going, but I just wanted to send a quick email and see how things were going.

Tomorrow we have interviews with President Mathusek which will be really good.
Last week we had a new missionary meeting for all of the new missionaries and their trainers, so it was good to see some of the other Elders that were in the MTC with me.

I am definitely looking forward to General Conference, its too bad I wont be able to go to Priesthood session with Ryan until he's a teacher! I still cant hardly imagine him passing sacrament and going for fast offerings! There's a family in our ward who is really nice and they have a son that is a sophomore right now and another that is also 12 and they both look so much older than they are its pretty ridiculous. The twelve year old is real close to being 6 feet tall (which I still cant believe he's 12 just because of how big he is), but its funny because his brother is a lot smaller and looks like he could be at least a junior. But they are a really great family, strong members in the church and are busy pretty much every day between the two boys and their baseball schedules. But anyways, all is going really good here and I should here from you soon!

-Elder Edwards

p.s. if you could send some of those reese's eggs I would most appreciate it, Oh and I sent my sd card in the letter I wrote just fyi because I wasted so much time trying to upload pictures through email and I probably couldn't even fit one picture on an email because its too big of a file, so we'll see how that works and maybe work something out later for how to do that.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hello there

It has definitely been an interesting week. Yesterday especially. We taught a couple of people who were really just looking to bible bash so it was a pretty rough day all around, we weren't able to leave the house until 3 because we had to wait for the plumber to come fix our toilet because it was leaking,we did get to do some service around the house, but we didn't have much of a day to begin with, and pretty much everywhere we went we were met with rejection, but it was definitely a way good learning experience and a testimony builder.

Today we were able to go to the temple which was really good for us to kind of refocus and prepare ourselves for the rest of the week. Georgia has been really good so far. The members are awesome and we get a lot of help from them as far as meals and getting people out on team ups and splits.

Tonight we are visiting with a progressing investigator that we met while tracting. Last time we invited her to be baptized, but she is waiting to learn more about the church, so we're going to focus on getting her to sacrament meeting.

Right now Elder Cooper and I are serving in one ward and are working alongside three sister missionaries also in the ward, so pretty much we have the north half and they have the south part of the boundaries. As far as other missionary work that we've been doing we have been working on less actives and part member families. I am definitely thankful for the family I was raised in and the strong example of my parents and siblings. It sounds like everyone is doing good. I can't wait to hear back from you!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Alex with his Mission President


Alex, President Mathusek, and Sister Mathusek
Taken at the Mission Home on Alex's first day in Georgia

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dallas

Ok, so It has definitely been a really good first week. White washing hasn't been exactly what I expected, but I am liking it. Our address is 227 Eagle Lake Dr and I cant remember the zip code other than it's in Dallas Georgia.

We definitely lucked out and have been blessed with a car, actually its probably one of the nicest in the mission, its a 2009 Malibu, which has been very much a convenience. On top of that we have a generous amount of miles, about 300 more than the sisters who are serving in the same ward with us, so we have to keep that secret so they don't go ballistic on us. Elder Cooper also bought a GPS
which has been really good to have especially when we dont know the area. Actually, I would very much like one for myself, not right now, but maybe next transfer if my next companion doesn't have one himself because they save so much time that would normally be spent trying to figure out a map and are pretty cheap now a days. As far as a bike I am still wanting to get one, but probably not for a while, especially if we have a car, so I will let y'all know. But we may use them here if we ever get short on miles at the end of the month and I would like to use one.

We haven't been able to teach a whole lot because one, neither of us know many people in the ward or in the area and the sisters took all of their investigators and most everything in our area book, so we don't have too much to work with there. We have mostly been visiting less active and part member families which has been really different than what I would have expected just coming out of the MTC because it is a lot different teaching style. However it has definitely taught me a lot, especially the importance of being active in the church and keeping covenants and how doing so will truly bless your life as well as your family.

I have also been able to see how important planning is and how Heavenly Father has blessed us in our planning, and been able to go to meet people we were supposed to meet at the right time. We have one new investigator who we found through tracting and we are teaching her again tonight. The ward is awesome here we have a lot of really great members and a superstar ward mission leader. The ward has about 600 members and only 250 or so active, so if we can reactivate people they'll split the ward in no time. We are really hoping to have a baptism this transfer which will be hard, but definitely possible we just need to start finding people to teach, which is what missionary work is all about. There are a lot of part member families that love to have the missionaries over but aren't interested in the lessons or hearing our message, so we're praying for their hearts to be softened, but it is definitely a really good area with tons of potential.

But that is definitely way cool to hear about Andrew's mission call! when does he leave? I heard Hunter is working on his papers as well so hopefully I will hear from him and all the other guys soon. Ok well I hope you have a wonderful day!

-Elder Alex Harrison