Saturday, December 3, 2011

Learning How To Love

Learning How To Love
Monday, November 28, 2011 3:05 PM


Phew!  What a crazy, busy week!  Let's start...

I got a call on Tuesday evening from President Black.  He asked if I would half-train a new missionary.  This means that he has been out for 6 weeks, and I would finish his training for these next 6 weeks.  I hope this next transfer is a great one.  I will be training Elder M and I will meet him TOMORROW!!!!!  I am staying in the same area.  Aliante/Waterfall Wards.  I love it here!

Food Report:
Monday: Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Tuesday: Pulled Pork Tortillas
Wednesday: Crouton Chicken
Thursday: THANKSGIVING! (Turkey, Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Yams, Jello, etc.  And then for Dessert: Coconut Cream Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Red Velvet Cake, Pumpkin Cookies, Ice Cream...Yumm!)
Friday: Honey Baked Ham
Saturday: Teriyaki Chicken
Sunday: Lasagna

Investigator Update:
1)  WE FINALLY GOT TO MEET WITH S!  After much scheduling and rescheduling and cancellations and everything...We finally got to see her.  We had 3 lessons with her this week.  We reviewed Lesson 1 (The Restoration) and re-committed her to be baptized on Dec. 30th, we taught her about baptisms for the dead (because she had questions and wanted to know about it), and there was a baptism in Jeff's YSA ward this last Saturday and we got her to come to that and did a "Question/Answer" session afterwards and taught her more about Baptism.
2) J: So...I discovered that his wife, D, is really the driving force in learning more about the Gospel.  She is really coming to know it is true.  I can hear it in her words and see it in her actions.  J is still waiting on that answer, and I believe he is reading some anti-material.  But, he still wants us to come over and teach.  We taught a 2 hour lesson all on Baptism this last week.  OH, AND guess what!!  They came with their 5 kids to the baptism, too!  How awesome is that!  We can two of our investigators there to observe a baptismal service.  It was SO cool!
...And...We are trying to find more people to teach as always.  We NEED more people to always.

Small World:
1) At Thanksgiving dinner, Bishop R's sister said that she served her mission in Nova Scotia.  I took a shot in the dark and said, "My aunt served there.  Did you know a Sister Cheryl E?"  She got SOOO EXCITED and said, "I LOVE CHERYL!!"  They never served together, but they served around each other.  How cool is that!?  SOOOO AWESOME!!  Tell Cheryl.

Weekly Update:
Monday: Met with S.  Great lesson.  Love her.  Elder C and I took pictures and printed our Christmas Cards out.  You will be receiving them in the mail shortly.  I sent cards out to everyone that has sent me mail since me being on my mission.  Anyways, we had dinner with the B Family.  Sister B said she bought her son an orange tie and he got so excited and said, "This is just like the one Elder Edwards has!"  That made me so happy.
Tuesday: District Meeting.  District Lunch.  Taught S again (yay!).  Taught Frank and Donna a lesson on Thanksgiving.  Taught J and D about Baptism.
Wednesday: Went on Blitz (part-day splits) with Elders B and M.  We ate lunch at In-N-Out and went to Yogurtland afterwards.  Yum!  Taught Devonna and Jesse about Thanksgiving.  Went to Frank and Donna's because they made us homemade banana bread.
Thursday: THANKSGIVING!  We went to the Turkey Bowl in the morning.  It was fun to see all the elders and to chat with the friends I have made that are now in other zones.  I was the time keeper, magaphone user, and horn blower.  Too much to keep track of.  Elder T(I guess it is now Dan) called and it was great to chat with him for a bit.  He's officially engaged!  We had dinner with Bishop R and his family.  SOOO GOOD!  Then, we visited Bishop H and ate more food.  Then, we visited the H family.  Then, we went back to the R's to play games with them.
Friday: Went to the Train the Trainers Meeting.  Had dinner and movie night with Ray and Jean.  We watched "The Testaments"  I LOVE that movie so much!
Saturday: Helped a lady in the ward move.  Went to the baptism that S and the H came to.  Just busy!
Sunday: Church!  Then, dinner with Lyndee and her family.  It was great to get to see Eric Reese and Seth.  They came down from Colorado for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We had a lot of fun!

Spiritual Thought:
So, my Spiritual Thought this week is a rather long one.  I have had 4 companions now (Elders N, T, S, and C), and two out of these four admitted to me that they do not know how to love people they "do not know."  This last week I have been thinking a lot about how to love people.  I started writing down my thoughts on love and all of the sudden it turned into this huge thing.  So...Here is what I came up with...

Learning How To Love
Jesus Christ established this commandment while going through His ministry here on Earth: "That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another," (John 13:34).  But, how can we learn to love everyone?  How can we have love for those we have just met?  How can we love those who are so different from us?  I give five suggestions on learning how to love:

1) Know you are loved by your Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We are told and shown throughout all history that we are loved.  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son," (John 3:16).  Prophets and apostles in modern days talk and testify of the love our Father in Heaven has for us.  Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf says, "...wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten.  No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you.  In fact, He loves you with an infinite love. ...You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time," ("Forget Me Not," General Relief Society Meeting, Sept. 2011).  And, of course, Jesus Christ showed the ultimate expression of love in His atoning sacrifice.  He suffered all pains, afflictions, temptations, infirmities, all so that He "may be filled with mercy" so that He can know "how to succor" us and come to our aid through of the perfect love He Has for us (Alma 7:11-12).  When we gain a sure testimony that we are unconditionally, always, and completely loved by our Heavenly Father and Savior, I promise that it will make it easier for you to love all His other children, you will know that He feels the same way about them as He does you.

2) Follow Christ's perfect example.
Jesus Christ is our perfect example.  He admonishes all of us to walk in His footsteps.  He says many times, "Follow me," (Matthew 4:19, 8:22, 9:9, Luke 9:59, John 1:43, 2 Nephi 31:10, etc.).  Christ knew how to love perfectly for "charity is the pure love of Christ," (Moroni 7:47).  Many times charity is manifest through service.  Our Savior always sought out opportunities to show forth His pure love through service.  He taught truth, healed the sick, restored the Priesthood authority, established His Church, and performed many more miracles to show the love He had for everyone.  We need to love Him to be like Him, and as we seek out opportunities to serve as Christ did, we will learn to love more purely like Him.  Elder M. Russell Ballard said, "It is only when we love God and Christ with all of our hearts, souls, and minds that we are able to share this love with our neighbors through acts of kindness and service - the way that the Savior would love and serve all of us if He were among us today.  When this pure love of Christ - or charity - envelops us, we think, feel, and act more like Heavenly Father and Jesus would think, feel, and act," ("Finding Joy Through Loving Service," Ensign, 2011).

3) Open your heart.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that many of us are wronged by others at some point in our lives.  It then makes it very easy to close our hearts.  Please do not do this.  Please do not take away the opportunity for someone to love you.  That would be a tragedy.  We read in the Old Testament about a friendship established on love so much that "the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul," (1 Samuel 18:1).  Jonathan's father, King Saul, became angry and jealous with David because the people loved him.  He became so "wroth" that he made multiple attempts at trying to kill him.  It could have been potentially easy for David to say to Jonathan, "Woah!  Your father is trying to kill me, we can no longer be friends."  But, because David allowed his heart to be open, his friendship continued and Jonathan helped to save David's life on more than one occasion.  In the story of Jonathan and David, we learn that we can open up our hearts by choosing to trust.  This can be a frightening thing, but remember the words of John, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear," (1 John 4:18).  As we learn to cast away our fears, our hearts will open to the idea of love and we will more easily be able to love others.

4) Speak of love.
Prophets and apostles both anciently and in these modern days all speak about love.  Paul says, "...he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law," (Romans 13:8), " love serve one another," (Galatians 5:13), "But the fruit of the Spirit is love..." (Galatians 5:22).  Moroni says, "But charity is the pure love of Christ," (Moroni 7:47).  Thomas S. Monson said, "Love is the catalyst that causes change," ("A Doorway Called Love," Ensign, Nov. 1987).  If we want to love then we must talk about it.  While being here on my mission, I have tried to make it a point that after speaking to someone, as I walk away, I verbally say, "I love him," or "I love her," or "I love them."  I now do have a genuine love and concern for all those that I meet.  I had a companion that said to me every night, "Hey!  Guess what!  God loves you.  Hey!  Guess what!  I love you."  When we say something out loud, we believe it, then, we come to know it.  When you use the word "love" in your every day language, you will be more receptive to loving others.

5) Seek not to judge others.
Brigham Young said simply, "Judge no man," (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, No. 48).  When irrational judgments are placed upon others, love can not abide.  When we judge others whether by their actions or appearance, we open the gate for every antithesis of love to enter into our minds and hearts.  Judging others is the prerequisite to contention, jealousy, malice, unhappiness, and disdain.  David O. McKay quoted Matthew 7:13, which reads, "Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in they brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"  President McKay followed this scripture by saying, "The context of that scripture plainly indicates that the sin the Savior is condemning is the disposition to look unfavorably on the character and actions of others, which leads almost invariably to the pronouncing of rash, unjust judgments upon them," (General Conference, April 1944).  Whenever you feel a judgement coming along, think to yourself of the second verse in Hymn 220, "Lord, I Would Follow Thee."  It reads, "Who am I to judge another when I walk imperfectly?"  As you cast away judgments on others, you will be able to care more and love deeper.

Joseph Smith says, "Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God.  A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race," (History of the Church 4:227).  We need to implement ways of learning how to love in our life.  That is what our Father in Heaven wants us to do.  That is what Christ did.  That is what we need to do.  The fruits of loving our heavenly family, that is to include everyone on this earth, are happiness, peace, joy, Godly power, and hope.

...End of Spiritual Thought.

So...I love you all!  Thank you so much for everything!  Thank you for your love, prayers, support, mail, etc.  Tell everyone (family, friends, the ward, etc.) "Hello" and that I love them.

Elder Sean Edwards

Monday, November 14, 2011

Testimony of Missionary Work


AHHH!!!  I can't believe Mom and Krista were SOO CLOSE to me!!!!  That is pure insanity!  I love knowing that we were in the same state though, even though we could not be in the same exact place.  It's like when I would be at the AMC Movie Theater with friends and you were all at home.  Same state...very close...but not quite.  Okay, that was a super lame example, but whatever.

ANYWAY!  On to my week...

Finally I get to e-mail on a Monday and hopefully get back into the routine swing of things.  We last left off on Tuesday, Nov. 8th.

Here is the Weekly Summary:
Tuesday: Well...It was our P Day.  That pretty much sums it up.  We have been organizing a visits list, so that when we go to do visits to part-member families and unbaptized members we have a method and it is organized by neighborhood.
Wednesday: Zone Meeting.  It was good.  We talked about the difference between the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost.  Elder S went to meet with President Black at the same time we had a lesson scheduled with J.  So, he went with our District Leader Elder C to meet with President while I went with Elder W to teach J.  We taught J part of Lesson 4 (The Commandments) and taught him about The Law of Chastity and The Word of Wisdom.  He is so awesome.  That evening we taught a lesson to the H family.  We did an in-depth Book of Mormon lesson and read and discussed each paragraph in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon.  If you haven't read the introduction lately...READ IT!  It is so great.
Thursday: We went on Splits with the Zone Leaders!  Elder S went with Elder M to go to his area and I went with Elder B to stay in my area and do J's Baptismal Interview.  He did awesome and will be baptized on Friday, November 18th!  WOOO!! :)  We talked about going to BYU and he really wants to get in.  I really hope he does.  He was so excited saying, "Then, when you're off your mission we can all hang out on campus together!"  But, in 2 years he will be 19, and he also really wants to serve a mission.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?!  That is probably the greatest thing I've ever heard.  We spent the rest of the day getting out lists together...There is a lot.  Especially when you have to cover two wards.  Oh, and we did our Weekly Planning.  Busy, busy, busy.
Friday: Most of the day was covered with Leadership Training.  It was a great meeting.  We learned that Elder and Sister Yamashita came to the States in July 2011 (this year) not knowing ANY English.  President Packer gave them a special blessing to help them with learning and look at them!  They are incredible!  One of the new things they teach missionaries in the MTC is, "Teach People, Not Lessons".  President B changed it around a bit and says, "Teach People, Not Lessons...But teach them something!"  Hahaha, I love that!  We were told to start committing people to something at the doorstep.  I tried this out on Saturday and really like what happened.  I handed the 20 year old a pass-along card and instead of saying, "There is a website there you can go to if you are interested in learning more", I said, "Will you go on to this website to learn more?"  He said, "Yes."  Who knows if he actually will...But, I really like the thought of extending a commitment at the doorstep.  It was a great day.
Saturday: We taught R about The Church in Former Times.  We taught F and D about how to start reading and understanding the Book of Mormon.  We went on blitz (technically splits that only last about an hour with the District Leader and his companion).
Sunday: Church yesterday was really great.  I love Fast and Testimony Meeting.  I felt so prompted to get up and bear my testimony.  I bore my testimony on Missionary Work (go figure).  I requested help from the members to do missionary work.  We need people to teach.  We are not allowed to tract in gated communities which makes it especially difficult for the W Ward because there are only 3 small neighborhoods that are not gated.  I've tracted them over and over time and time again.  We need help.  I said that the most common reason for not sharing the gospel with non-members is because we are afraid of being rejected.  I told them that is a valid fear, but we will be being an even better friend if we share this message with them because it is the message that gives life and saves souls.  I continued to bear testimony and say that if they are rejected, mocked, torn apart, spit upon, then good for them.  Good for them for standing up for the same message that our Savior himself stood up for.  And if they are rejected, maybe if they are lucky, fortunate, and blessed enough, they will feel the smallest FRACTION of what Jesus Christ felt because it was not easy for him...And it may not be easy for us.  I am so passionate about this.  After bearing my testimony, Sister W (a mother of teenagers) got up and bore her testimony on missionary work and how great it is.  After her, M. E (a teenager) got up and said, "I just want to back up with Elder Edwards said..." and continued to bear her testimony on missionary work.  She shared the message with A, and even though she was scared to, she did it.  And look what happened there!  After her, M. B (a 10 year old primary boy) got up and bore his testimony about missionary work and how great it is.  He said that as members, we need to help the missionaries.  It was not me who touched the hearts of people yesterday...It was the Spirit.  I hope that the words that were said will inspire people to reach out and do missionary work.  Yesterday evening we went to newly released Stake President "farewell" thingy.  Even though I don't really think he is leaving anywhere.  That was fun.

Small World:
1) I am related to my Ward Mission Leader,  through Aunt Lesa!!  SMALL WORLD!!!!

Investigators Update:
1) J: Going to be baptized this FRIDAY!  AHHHHHHH YAYYYYYY!!!!
2) J: The H family are progressing.  They are great and I love them.  After our lesson on Wednesday, I was prompted to ask them if they would like a Priesthood Blessing.  I would imagine it is hard to gain a testimony of the Priesthood if they don't have any experiences with it.  It went great.  I gave D a blessing and Brother A gave J a blessing.
3) S: We set a date to meet with her on Saturday, and an hour before our appointment with her, she cancelled...Again.  I will just have to be patient on this one.  I text her things to read from the Book of Mormon, so I hope that is helping.

Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Calzones
Thursday: Chicken Pasta
Friday: Ham and Cheese Soup
Saturday: Ham
Sunday: Pork Loin

Spiritual Thought:
I got a really great letter from Grandpa this last week (Grandpa Edwards, of course!).  It really helped to encourage and uplift me.  I love what it says and it is true for everyone.  In it he mentions Elder Maxwell's talk, "Jesus, The Perfect Mentor".  He references some things that President Brigham Young said such as, "There are no two faces alike, no two persons tempered alike; ... we are tried with each other, and large drafts are made upon our patience, forbearance, charity, and good will, in short, upon all the higher and Godlike qualities of our nature."  Elder Maxwell says, "In the relationships of which I speak - the mentoring, the tutoring, the commending, and occasionally the correcting - every one of us has ample clinical opportunities to develop our capacity to love."  I love that.  I stand by that.  And I testify of it.  Our capacity to love will grow if we let it.  We need to have an attitude of humility, patience, and selflessness in order to grow.  That is the prerequisite.

Well...I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!  Thank you for everything.  Thank you for your love and support always.  Tell everyone in the ward, all friends, all family that I said, "HI!" And that I love them.  Thank you for the letters and the packages.


Elder Sean Edwards

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 24, 2011


Hiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!  I can't believe Week 1 of my 3rd Transfer in the field is OVER!  Wow.  This has been quite the interesting week.

I will start with the Food Report:
Monday: Crockpot Beef
Tuesday: White Chicken Chili
Wednesday: Salmon Grilled on a Wood Plank
Thursday: Ham
Friday: Bow Tie Pasta
Saturday: Pulled Pork (at L's)
Sunday: Hawaiian Hay Stacks (Sister S said she was worried about making anything Hawaiian because she thought I was Hawaiian and didn't want me to be offended. Haha.)

So...Because there is just so much to talk about, I will just go through a quick summary of my week.
Monday: Bye, Bye Elder T! :(  So sad.  It was strange to have to say "Good Bye" to someone you have lived with and spent 24/7 with the last 3 months.  But, I got my new missionary companion, Elder S.  He is awesome!  He is 19 years old and from the east coast.  He is excited to be out in the field and he has an incredible and great enthusiasm to do missionary work.  I love it!  I think it has been quite an adjustment for him.  He has never lived out of the home, so I've been trying my best to not only teach things pertaining to missionary work, but also to teach life skills.  He grew up with a dishwasher in his home, but has never washed a dish before.  I taught him how to wash a dish, put it in the dishwasher, and start the dishwasher.  I also taught him how to do laundry and how to work the washer/dryer.  The mission president always asks every incoming missionary, "Do you know how to and can you ride a bike?"  Elder S said, "Yes."  But, the answer should have been something else.  Since our whole area is bike, I've been trying to teach him how to ride a bicycle.  I've been learning a lot of good patience skills.  He has crashed a few times and gotten scrapes and bruises.  I wish things could be easier for him.
Tuesday: I gave Elder S kind of a "Half P-Day" so he can do his grocery shopping and unpack his things.  Tuesday night we taught a lesson to W' s kids, B and H.  We taught them the first half of Lesson 3.  They are so attentive and pick up on concepts really well.  It will be a happy day when they can be baptized.  Elder S did a good job on his first lesson in the field.  He was able to participate a little and share a personal experience.
Wednesday: We taught a lesson to R about the Priesthood.  Other than that...Tracting and Visits.
Thursday: We did a lot of tracting and visits.  We had a lesson with S planned, but she was put on some new medication and didn't hear the doorbell ring or our phone calls to her.  It has been very difficult to get a hold of her lately.  Hopefully we will be able to see her soon.  She didn't come to church on Sunday either. :(
Friday: We had a "Train The New Missionaries Training Meeting" with President B.  It was a great meeting, and I got some good insights.  Because Elder S does not know the key points of the lessons, I figure that would be a good thing to get down first and foremost before we start studying anything else.  So, we have modified the training program to address his most important needs first, then hopefully we will be able to go back to the training program outline.  Elder S has been diagnosed with ADHD but does not take or have medication.  So, there are some challenges but we are working through it patiently and with love.
Saturday: We taught a lesson to V and D who we met while tracting a few months ago.  They were finally able to meet and we were very excited to teach them.  I just knew that they would start investigating the church and LOVE it!  Well, we went over, and it was like an ambush.  The mom, V, was very contentious and every time her daughter, D, would say something like, "Ohhh...That makes sense," V would say, "No it doesn't!"  It's interesting how when I was talking and answering their questions, I could really feel the Spirit so much that I started to cry as I bore my testimony about the Spirit World, yet V could not feel the Spirit because she made the decision beforehand to not allow herself to feel the Spirit.  I guess that is just the beauty of agency.  It was a very interesting experience and I learned a lot from it.  I have a deep love for V, and I wish her heart could be softened.  There is always hope.  Then we had dinner with L and family.  It was a lot of fun.  It was great just to be in the company with the family I know and love.  It was fun to chat with T and A her kids.
Sunday: We were told last minute that we needed to teach Gospel Principles class.  So, we taught the lesson.  It went really great.  I really enjoy teaching and had a lot of fun.  Right after getting home from church we got a phone call to visit F and D (who are recent converts that moved into the ward about a month ago).  D requested a blessing, so I gave her the blessing.  It went wonderfully and she was very thankful.  She asked us to come back and teach her more since she is still "new".  So, this is exciting because we have more people we can visit and teach.  I think it will provide for some great teaching opportunities for Elder S AND me.  Also, a non-member family has been coming to the ward.  Their first Sunday was last week, and I was right on it.  I introduced myself and told them we are the full-time teachers for the church and offered to come over and teach them more.  J. H (the Dad) was unsure about it and kind of dodged the invite.  So, I decided that I would just give them the space they needed, and when they want to learn more, they can come to me.  Well, after Elders Quorum, he came up to me and asked us to come over and teach him, his wife, and family more!  AHHHH MIRACLES!!!  I am so excited to start teaching them.  We made an appointment for Tuesday evening.  Also, we set up a lesson for today to teach a teenager boy, J.  He is a non-member and has been coming to church with his friend in the ward.  He loves the church, and so we are excited to teach him.  His Mom was killed right in front of him just a year or two ago, so it is a very sad story.  I believe his Dad left him, so he is living with some friends right now.  He seems very nice.  More to come...

This will be a crazy, busy week.  I am so excited to teach J and the H Family!  Sister B is coming over tomorrow to do an apartment check.  Wednesday the District Leader is coming to do all day splits with me.  Thursday is the Waterfall Trunk-or-Treat.  Friday is the Aliante Trunk-or-Treat.  So, it is going to be busy busy busy (which is SOO GOOD!)!  We love busy.

Well...I will end now with a spiritual thought for the week:
I was reading in Mosiah this last week.  Alma the Older's son, Alma the Younger, was going about seeking to destroy the Church.  An angel appeared to Alma the Younger and rebuked him.  Alma the Younger was " great that he became dumb, that he could not open his mouth...he became weak, even that he could not move his hands," (Mosiah 27:19).  He was taken to his father, Alma the Older who "caused that a multitude should be gathered together that they might witness what the Lord had done for his son, and also for those that were with him," (Mosiah 27:21).  It goes on to explain how Alma the Younger, because of this experience, had a change of heart.  He repented of his sins and no longer sought to destroy the Church.  Instead, he saught to build the Church by becoming a missionary and teaching truth.  I love what it says about Alma the Older's excitement over what the Lord did for his son.  The key word being "for" and not "to".  The Lord does not do things "TO" us.  He does things "FOR" us.  Our blessings, our afflictions, and our experiences are all FOR our benefit.  With this outlook, I believe we can grow spiritually and learn the lessons the Lord would want us to.

I love you all.  Thank you for your letters!  I read them and cherish each one.  Please tell all friends and family, "Hi!" and that I love them.


Elder Sean Edwards


Saturday, October 22, 2011


There is always a plethora of things to talk about.  It is incredible how much can happen in just a week's time.  As you are all aware...Transfers are here!  It's always an exciting time of anxiety for no one can know what will happen.

Here is the breaking news for transfers!
1) Elder T is flying home tomorrow!  I am SO happy for him...But SO sad for me.  He has become one of my greatest and bestest friends and I am going to miss him.
3) I do not yet know who my new companion is.  All I know is that he will be coming to me straight from the MTC!  AHHHH!!  Yes, President B called me this last Thursday and asked me to be a trainer.  I haven't even been in Vegas for 3 full months and I am training just after being trained.  At a meeting on Friday, President B said that I am the first and only in the mission to train just after being trained.  Scary!  Hopefully I will be a good trainer.  I know that probably everything about me training has to do with the fact that I had an incredible trainer.  But yeah...Wow, that was unexpected.

This has been such an exciting week.  I will hold off on the Food Report and Small World Stories to give you an accounting of my week.  My last e-mail came on Tuesday, so you already know what happened on Monday and Tuesday.  I will start with...
Wednesday: We went back to S's in the morning to finish teaching her Lesson 1.  She is INCREDIBLE.  I love her so much.  The lesson went extremely well, and just before we ended the lesson, I extended the invitation to her to be baptized.  She smiled, looked at me in the eyes, and said, "YES!"  Ahhh!!  I am so excited for her.  She couldn't come to church yesterday, but she should be able to come this Sunday.  We are working towards her baptism date of November 19th (Just after Mom's birthday).  We also taught R and showed him the "Finding Faith In Christ" DVD.  It was a very spiritual lesson, and tears started strolling down my face as I testified of Jesus Christ as our Savior.  I can feel my testimony grow stronger every day.
Thursday: I took my "Driving Test" and passed!  Haha.  Good thing.  On my way back from the Mission Office is when I received the call to train.  In the evening, Elder T went to his last temple trip and I went on splits with Elder C (who is our new District Leader) and Elder W.
Friday: Friday morning was the Train the Trainers Meeting.  This is where we got our booklets and materials on how to train the new missionaries.  President B and the APs asked me all these questions about my MTC experience since I was so new.  Elder T had his Exit Interview.
Saturday: We spent most of the day visiting members that Elder T wanted to say "Good Bye" to and get pictures with.  The N Family (who I LOVE) fed us Breakfast.  We played a dancing game with them.  It was so fun.  Their youngest daugher, A, is like 8 years old and she came out in this Winnie The Pooh costume and started dancing.  It was the FUNNIEST thing ever!  We had dinner with the E Family (who I LOVE).  Sister E is an incredible cook, and I really get along with her 17 year old daugher that goes to LVA.  We have a great time.  So much fun!
Sunday:  Yesterday we taught Gospel Principles in the Waterfall Ward.  We talked about Obedience.  I shared an experience that I had with Dad a couple years ago.  I remember Dad writing on a piece of paper the following words: Good, Happy, Successful.  He asked me, "Sean, what of these things do you think I want you to be?"  I said, "Happy."  Dad said, "No.  I want you to be good."  He said that being "Good" (implying that being obedient and keeping the commandments) would prove to be a recipe for happiness and success in all that I do.  And I testify to you that is true.

Food Report! (You already got Monday's in the last e-mail)
Tuesday: Lunch - Salmon Salad, Dinner - Pizza
Wednesday: Mozzerella Filled Meatballs
Thursday: Pulled Pork Tortillas
Friday: Lunch - Avacado Grilled Onion and Pepper Chicken Sandwhich, Dinner - Sweet Pulled Pork Burrito
Saturday: Breakfast - French Toast, Eggs, Bacon, and Sausage, Lunch - Pizza, Dinner - Balsamic Blackened Chicken Alfredo Linguine
Sunday: Creamy Spinach Tortillini with Sweet Potatoes

Small World:
-At the E's (We baptized M. E. recently) house on Saturday, they invited some other members to eat with us, the O’s.  Sister O and I were talking about how her daughter goes to Somerset (a charter school).  Her daughter turned to me and said, "Yeah, we have some other members that go there.  Do you know T?"  OF COURSE I KNOW T!  Then I said, "Christy C. goes there, too."  Sister E chimed in and said, "NO WAY!  YOU KNOW THE C’S!?"  I explained that I was related, etc. etc. and it turns out that Sister E sold them some of their Golden Retreiver Puppies like 30-something years ago.  And, Sister E taught Caleb in school, and I even saw their Christmas card from last year hanging up on the wall.  SMALL WORLD!

Spiritual Thought: 2 Nephi 4 is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon.  In this chapter, we see that Nephi is just like the rest of us.  He says, " soul grieveth because of mine iniquities," and that his " beset [him]," (2 Nephi 4:17-18).  Yet, we know that Nephi was an incredible man that walked in the ways of the Lord, was obedient, and followed everything that he was commanded to do.  How can we be like Nephi?  A few verses later we read the things that he reminds himself of that keep him going.  He says, "God hath been my support," "He hath filled me with his love," "He hath confounded mine enemies," "...he hath heard my cry," and "...he hath given me knowledge," (2 Nephi 4: 20-23).  Nephi says, "...I know in whom I have trusted," (2 Nephi 4:19).  I promise that if we remind ourselves of the blessings that come from following the Lord and knowing in who we trust, we will be happy, continually blessed, and we will stay on the strait and narrow path that leads back to our Father in Heaven.

Well...I will end my e-mail here.  Thank you all so much for all your love, support, letters, and encouragement.  Tell friends and family the same.  Tell friends and family that I love them.  And guess what...I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Sean Edwards

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 10, 2011


Hi.  I will start with a highlight...The weather!  The weather this last week has been incredible.  It rained quite a bit, was overcast, and cool.  It felt nice.  It has jumped back up into sunny and warm for today, but at least it is a sign that it is starting to cool off.  It was much appreciated.

I never know where to start because I always have a million thoughts going through my head.  I will start this week off with the Food Report:
Monday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Tuesday: Lunch - Mahi Mahi, Dinner - Shish-Ka-Bobs
Wednesday: Eggplant Lasagna
Thursday: Cheeseburgers
Friday: Spaghetti
Saturday: Pistachio Crusted Salmon
Sunday: A Middle Eastern Chicken Dish
Monday (Yesterday): Cheeseburgers (again)

Weekly Summary:
Monday: B is one of our new investigators.  She is recent convert W' daughter and C and K's step sister.  She is 13 years old and so excited to learn about the church.   We taught her the 1st half of Lesson 1.
Tuesday: We taught B the 2nd half of Lesson 1.
Wednesday: Incredible day!  It poured rain most of the day, but because we were diligent and went out in the rain, we were able to see blessings.  We were biking up to the north part of our area and Elder T had the inspiration to visit this lady named Sharon who the missionaries before us put down as a potential in the area book.  We tried stopping by her house multiple times previously, but no one was home.  This time...She was home.  We talked with her for about 30 minutes on her doorstep.  It was obvious that she wanted to know truth, but didn't know where to find it.  Her friend had been telling her some confusing things and Sharon said that those things didn't feel right to her.  We testified that truth has been restored to the earth today.  We were able to answer a lot of her questions and she said our answers made sense to her.  She has also been having some health problems, so we offered to give her a blessing.  I gave the blessing and it was a really incredible experience.  This was the first blessing I gave in which I had no foreknowledge of the situation.  The words seemed to just flow right out of my mouth.  I knew it was of the Spirit and that He was guiding me to the right things to say.  The Spirit was so strong and after the blessing Sharon was crying.  She said that I said exactly the things she needed to hear.
After being at Sharon's house, we biked up to W's house to give Sister C's disabled daughter, Candy, a blessing.  Candy is 7 years old and very severe.  She has several self-stimulatory behaviors similar to Elaine (ie. rocking, etc.).  She has had many seizures lately and there was a concern there.  I had the opportunity to give Candy a blessing and that was a very special moment for me.  It felt for a moment as if I was giving a blessing to Elaine.  In the blessing I spoke of how Candy is one of God's greatest treasures.  I know the same goes for Elaine.  It was a great Wednesday.
Thursday: We taught Madison (recent convert) about the Tree of Life.  We taught B Lesson 2.  B's step brother, H, joined in on the lesson with us.  He is now a new investigator.
Friday: It was a normal day...And then, OUR BIKES WERE STOLEN!  YES...STOLEN!  Rawr.  That Satan is always trying to thwart the work, but we will not let him win!  Oh...And there was snow on Mt. Charleston.  I thought I was back in Provo for like 2 seconds.
Saturday: We went over to Mia and Brad's house (some neighbors we met at the Bloc-Party activity).  We had breakfast with them and did service in their yard.  We had a short discussion with them.  They were nice and listened, but they were not interested in learning more.  Maybe one day.  We taught Alyssa a lesson about the Liahona.
Sunday: Church.  After church we went to a member's house.  He owns a diamond business.  His "silverware" was gold-plated.  Crazy!  Anyway, because Elder T is planning on proposing to his girlfriend of 5 years in a few months, he was looking at some diamonds.  It was fun to hold $15,000 diamonds in my hands and look at them through the lens.  Good thing I didn't lose any!
Monday (Yesterday): We had dinner with the Gibson's family.  I got to go on a walk with their daughter with autism.  That was fun for me.  Also, we had a family game night with the Andrew's, who we LOVE!  They are so much fun.  Like, we quote them all the time because they say and do the funniest things.

Here are some of the more funny moments of this last week:
1) Elder T and I are riding our bikes in the rain back to our apartment to get our jackets and all the sudden we hear someone driving down the road yelling, "HOW'S LASAGNA??"  We turn in much confusion and the bishop's wife, Sister R, is yelling outside her car window asking us if we want lasagna for dinner.  We were totally taken offguard.
2) While at dinner, Bishop R was saying how perfect the lasagna was because when the "cheese cooks, it blisters and bubbles and makes it perfect."  Desi shouted, "Ew!  I don't want blisters on my food!"
3) The very next night, we were leaving Wes' home after teaching a lesson to his daughter Beth.  A Relief Society activity had just ended and as we are riding our bikes, all the sudden Elder T and I hear, "I BET YOU DIDN'T HAVE LASAGNA TONIGHT!"  Yep...Sister R again!
4) Sister R proceeded to tell us to get some leftover treats from the Relief Society activity.  As we were riding away she yelled, "Good luck with the sea of women!"  Hahaha!  She just says so many funny things without even knowing it.
5) On Sunday we joined the Teachers and Priests for their lesson.  Well, it just so happened it was a "rebuking" lesson because none of the teachers showed up this last Sunday to help prepare the Sacrament.  Anyway, the parents were invited to come into the meeting and the Young Men's President starts off by saying things like, "We love your young men.  They are awesome.  Is there anything we can do to better improve our program?  How can we help your young men?" etc. etc.  Sister C just shouts, "We all know this is a prerequisite to a tattle-tale so get on with it already!"  It was the FUNNIEST thing ever.
6) Bishop R is a surgeon and I was telling the Bishop R and his family over dinner how one of my greatest fears is having my appendix burst.  Bishop R came up to me on Sunday and said, "I was taking out an appendix last night and thought of you."

My e-mails are WAYYYY TOOO LONGGGGGG, but I don't know how to shorten them.  Sorry.

Anyway...I will end my letter here so you don't have to be tortured with anymore reading.  I love you all.  Thank you for all your love and support and letters.  Tell all friends and family I love them.

Love you!!!!

Elder Sean Edwards

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 3, 2011

THE EDWARDS FAMILY!!!  (Said in the tone of how the Sister Missionaries say, "THE ROBLES FAMILY" in The District 2.  Elder Taylor and I say, "THE ROBLES FAMILY" like 5 times a day).
Because General Conference is so great and always puts everyone on a spiritual high...I will start with my weekly spiritual thought.
Spiritual Thought: Many incredible and inspired things were said at General Conference this past weekend.  One of the great lessons I learned this past weekend wasn't something that was directly said, but rather, a connection I learned to make on my own.  It's always an exciting part of Conference when the prophet gets up to announce the new temples that will be built.  In the Saturday morning session, President Monson spoke of the Provo Tabernacle burning down, and declared that Provo's second temple will be built in its place.  This made me extremely excited and happy.  I remember going to devotionals in the Provo Tabnernacle.  It was a beautiful building where the Spirit could reside.  I also remember driving and seeing the Provo Tabnernacle in flames.  The roof had collapsed, the walls were burnt down, and not much was left standing.  My students at Timpview and I watched news footage in class that morning about the sad event.  It was one of the oldest buildings in Provo, and seemed as if a great loss.  When President Monson announced that a temple would be built in the former Provo Tabernacle's place, I knew that the Provo Tabernacle had to be burnt down so that our prophet could be inspired to build a temple in its place.  I thought about how our life experiences are similar.  Sometimes bad things happen to us, even seemingly destructive things.  We can get burnt down with the hardships of life.  But, we must always remember that our loving Heavenly Father "shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain," (2 Nephi 2:2).  Our trials are meant for us to learn from them so that we could be built up to be something even better than we were before.  We are refined and made beautiful through our afflictions.  Just like how a great building was burnt to the ground so a perfect building could be built in its place.  Let us remember what we are told: "...bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success," (Alma 26:27).
I know that was long...So now I will give you the Food Report!
Monday: Lemon Glazed Salmon
Tuesday: Lunch - Jalepeno Burger (Red Robin), Dinner - Jamba Juice (we were SO full from lunch)
Wednesday: I don't remember.  Oops.
Thursday: Cranberry, Turkey, and Stuffing Sub
Friday: Cheeseburger
Saturday: Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwiches
Sunday: Pho! :)
Now for some Small World stories!  Actually, I think I only have one.
-The family that feeds us Pho, the Eckersely's, know the Cordner Family!
Time for some Funny Stories:
1) On Monday evening, the Mills family asked us to help them with relocating some of their food storage.  After eating dinner, we were ready to get to work.  Elder Taylor said, "YOU'RE ALL OURS!"  What he meant to say was, "We're all yours."
2) Tracting always makes for some good laughs.  On Wednesday, we tracted into someone.  The lady opened the door and said, "Now is really not a good time.  I'm in the middle of a clogged toilet.  I thought you were the plumber."  Oh.  My.  Word.  Please.
3) I was thinking...What does President Monson say when singing, "We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet"?  Does he say, "We thank thee O God for MEEEE."??
Here is how the rest of my week went:
The driving coordinator took us out for Jamba Juice on Tuesday because he really likes us.  We did a lot of tracting...again.  On Wednesday we tracting into Alex.  He was extremely receptive to hearing about the gospel AND just a week ago someone from his work gave him a Book of Mormon.  He already read the Introduction and the testimonies in the beginning.  He was excited to hear more, and we hope to start teaching him this week (he was out of town this weekend).  He is also really busy.  He is a single Dad with two kids, he goes to school part-time, and he works full-time.  We had interviews with President Black.  It was great to sit down one-on-one with him and speak to him about how things are going.  He was very positive and happy with my efforts.  I love him.  He is great.  I feel very comfortable around him, and I got to talk to Sister Black a bit about their service at the correctional facilities.  We have implemented one of our "creative" finding ideas.  We had a Bloc-Party on Friday evening for a street in the Aliante Ward that a member put together.  We got to meet a lot of non-members.  We didn't push the gospel on them, but instead, mingled and got to know them as people first.  We plan to go back and follow up with them and see if they are interested this week.  Hopefully our efforts will show forth fruits.  Then the weekend was just filled with General Conference!  We watched it at member's homes and recent convert's homes.
Well...Hopefully we will find people to teach soon.  Thank you so much for all of your support and love.  Thank you for the letters!  Tell family and friends I love them so much!  Tell the ward, "Hello!"
Elder Sean Edwards
Picture Glossary:
1590: We made banana chocolate milkshakes!  Yum!
1613: Me with our recent convert Ray!  He is a Crossing Guard.
1617: We had Conference Breakfast with Ray and Jean.  They made us these yummy waffles.
1618: Me and my Pho!  Our recent convert Alyssa is in the background.  We love her!
Keep Writing Everyone: