Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 26, 2011


Hi family and friends! :)
Well, I made it to Nevada!  A letter is being sent home that our mission president had us write telling you that we made it safely.  I forgot to include the area where I will be serving, so I will just tell you...NOW!

I have been assigned to the Aliante/Waterfall proselyting area in LAS VEGAS!  I am in North Las Vegas, and it is part of the Tule Springs Zone.  It is hot here, and I am sweating, but I am loving every single second of it!  Oh...I'm in a BIKE zone!  One of the Assistant to the Presidents gave me his bike and helmet because he didn't need it.  It was so nice of him.  Free bike!  Perfect.  One of the boundaries of my area is Decatur.

Where I am living is awesome!  I live in an apartment style set up.  We have a kitchen with dishwasher, a good-sized living room with comfy, leather couches.  The bathroom is nice.  The bedroom is a good size with walk-in closet.  We even have our very own washer and dryer.  The apartment complex has a pool (which I can't go in...But it's fun to just see water in the desert).  Oh...And there is a Wal-Mart RIGHT across the street (literally a two minute walk).  The best part: The air conditioning works.

My companion is Elder T.  He is AWESOME!  I am so happy, and I couldn't ask for a better companion.  He is so chill and helpful and the perfect trainer.  He encourages me and compliments me in front of other missionaries and ward members and on the phone with investigators...ALL the time.  He's from Connecticut, and he only has like 2 months left which makes me sad.  I hope I can be his companion up until he leaves.

Yesterday was an extremely long day.  I woke up at 3:00AM Utah time (2:00AM Nevada time), and didn't get to bed until 11:00PM Nevada time.  But, yesterday, I was initiated into the mission field.  Elder T and his companion before me (Elder W) and I were in a Tri-panionship for a night.  They said that we had an investigator appointment with Priscilla.  Elder W met up with his new "companion" Elder D.  Well, we get to Priscilla's house and the four of us go in.  Elder T says that we couldn't stay long because we have a dinner appointment and so we were just there to see how she was doing and how she felt about coming to church.  Well, as we are talking, all the suddent, Elder D. starts elbowing her.  And Elder T asks them to move further apart, and that it felt awkward and it was inappropriate.  Elder D. was just like, "What are you talking about?  There's nothing going on."  Priscilla is just like, "There's nothing wrong with that...I mean, we're all friends here."  So, I was just thinking to myself, "This is weird."  Well, then, Elder D. starts like grabbing her hand, and Elder T is like "Listen, I know something is going on here, and I'm going to have to tell the president if it continues."  Elder D. and Elder T go back and forth, and I'm just thinking, "Are you kidding me...Elder D. is crazy."  Elder T says at the end of our discussion, "Okay, you're not going to be teaching or seeing Priscilla anymore, and Elder Edwards and I will just take over from here on out."  Elder D. goes, "Okay, well can I just say 'Good-Bye.'?"  Elder T says it's okay, and I look over and Elder D. is HUGGING Priscilla, and then he KISSES HER!  I dropped my bag and yelled, "WHAT!?"  And then EVERYONE starts laughing.  Yeah, "Elder D." and Priscilla are MARRIED!  And, it was all a big joke to "Welcome" me into the field.  Oh my gosh, it was SO funny.  I couldn't believe I fell for it.

So, I'm told that we have dinner appointments every night, and Elder T says that this is his 3rd transfer here and he has never had to cook dinner here.  So, don't worry, I'm going to be fed well.  Last night I had a really good Philly Cheesestake at a member's.

I also taught my first REAL lesson yesterday to an investigator named John.  He's 18 years old and way cool.  We already had all the lessons, but still has not commit to baptism because he's afraid of how his Catholic family will react.  We were going to read 3 Nephi 11 with him, but when we got there, everything changed.  He asked us about Patriarchial Blessings, and so we had a whole lesson on just that.  It went really well.  I was able to tell him what my Patriarchial Blessing did for me.  Hopefully he will commit to baptism soon.

My P-Days are usually on Monday, but since yesterday was transfers and craziness, we are e-mailing today.  We just went out and did grocery shopping.  I had to replenish like my whole life.  I will send back two more shirts soon, and send you some more pictures soon (I printed some off at Wal Mart today).

Next week my P-Day won't be on Monday though.  My P-Day will be on Wednesday, because we are going to the Las Vegas Temple on Wednesday, August 3rd.  :)  I'm excited for that!

Well, I have 28 minutes left on this computer, so I'm going to shoot this message off early, and hopefully you will get it and can reply quickly and we can chat.

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!  I'm so glad you had fun with the Edwards family at the Grand Canyon.  I'm sad I missed out, but I'm glad you are having fun adventures just like me.
Elder Sean Edwards


And, everywhere we go, people shout out their cars, or pass us in the lanes of Wal-Mart and say "HI ELDERS!"  I ask Elder T, "Oh, are they in one of the wards we are in?"  And he says, "Nope...People out here are just friendly and love us."  Pretty cool.
And, I can't remember what else I was going to say, but there was something else.
Anyway, I'm sure I'll remember later and just punch myself for not remembering because I have to wait a whole another week to tell you. OH YEAH!
I just remembered...The investigator that Elder N and I taught the Plan of Salvation lesson to at the MTC is getting baptized on AUGUST 6TH!  I might even get to go to her baptism.  My first baptism of someone I taught, happening only a week after me getting here.  I hope I can go, I don't think it's in my boundaries, but I hope I can go.
We have a baptism this Saturday as well.  An investigator that Elder T and Elder W have been teaching.  His name is Christian.  Woo!
Love you again!
Elder Sean Edwards

July 19, 2011

Title: LAST P DAY AT THE MTC...already.


First thing's first...I LOVE YOU!

Okay, so I depart on Monday, so I will try calling from the airport.  Our flight leaves at 8:30AM Utah time, so I will call probably sometime between 6AM and 8:30AM Utah time!  I will try using the calling card Mom gave me.  Because Mom and Krista will be in Utah at the time, I will call them, and because Dad will be in New Jersey at the time, I will call him.  I will call Mom's number to get a hold of her, and I don't know Dad's cell phone number, so you must get that to me somehow.

I have had some really really REALLY incredible experiences this past week.  I GOT TO TEACH A REAL INVESTIGATOR!!!!  Okay, so at the MTC, there is something called the TRC, where missionaries are assigned to go in and teach "investigators".  Pretty much all of them are actors, and missionaries are to treat it as if it were real.  They did tell us the first time we went in last week that every now and then, a member will bring an investigator friend, and it is real.  Then they said, but the chances of that happening are slim to none, but treat it as if it were a real investigator anyway.

Well, Elder N and I go in to teach, and we treated it if it were a real investigator.  The investigator's name was Amanda, and she was with her member friend Biff.  They were actually driving up from SummerlinLas Vegas so that Biff could bring Amanda to see the Salt Lake City Temple.  So, they are actually from my mission boundaries!  Cool!

Well, Amanda said that she had just had the first lesson recently, and that her baptism date was set for August 6th.  So, we proceeded to teach her the 2nd Lesson, The Plan of Salvation.  I was getting SO EXCITED in the lesson, giving High 5s to everyone and yeah.  Biff and Amanda both commented that they really liked my enthusiasm.  Well, after the lesson, I asked Amanda where she was in reading The Book of Mormon.  She said that she just finished reading 1 Nephi 10.  Then, I got EVEN MORE EXCITED!  I said to her, "Can I share with you one of my favorite scriptures from that chapter?"  Well, I read to Amanda, 1 Nephi 10:18 where it talks about the Lord being the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Before I could say anything, Amanda said, "Oh, I was just telling Biff yesterday about this scripture and how I thought if God gave the ancient people 12 Apostles, then he will do the same thing for us today."  AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!  This was the SAME SAME SAME SAMEEEE EXACT THING I WAS GOING TO TELL HER!  Like, woah!  It was so beautiful to see someone so ready to recieve the gospel.  Huge testimony builder.

Just after leaving the lesson, missionaries always go up to the secretary and ask whether the "investigator" was real or not.  And, she always tells them, "No, they were actors, but I'm sure you did a great job."  Well, I don't like to find out if the investigator is real or not, because regardless, we should always teach as if it was a real investigator.  Just before walking out of the building, the secretary motioned for Elder N and I to come over to her, so we did.  She then proceeded to say to us, "You know...You got the only real investigators that have come in all day."  SO AWESOME!  OHHHH SO AWESOME! :)  Maybe I'll get to see Amanda and Biff on my mission.  I hope so!  They are part of Red Rock Stake.

Okay, I know you're all probably sick of reading this already ridiculously long e-mail, but I have another cool story.

Yesterday, our district was in our classroom doing personal study as per usual.  I have NO IDEA why I asked this, but I said to the district, "Can someone explain the Olive Tree symbolism analogy thing that is in Jacob?"  The missionaries then began to explain it to me.  Well, while Elder N and I were teaching an "investigator" we finished our lesson a bit early because we had taught the first half last time.  I asked the investigator if we could read The Book of Mormon with him.  He said, "Yes, I am reading in Jacob right now about the Olive Tree."  WHATTT!!!  Okay, that is incredible.  The Lord works in such amazing, wonderous ways that we could never foresee.  But, it is so cool!  Another great testimony builder for me.

Oh, I met a Sister missionary who just got to the MTC from the Freehold ward.  I was walking in to get the mail for our district (one of my District Leader jobs), and she came up to me and said, "Are you from New Jersey?"  She knew who I was.  She is going to the Colorado Denver Mission, Spanish Speaking.  She's really pretty.

So, we all know, I'm not the most athletic person in the world, but I think people look at me and underestimate my POWER!  TOTALLY KIDDING!  Haha...I'm not good at sports at all.  But yesterday I was playing Volleyball (with the less athletic Elders) and ALL of my serves went over the net and within the boundaries.  AND the other day I hit a HOME RUN in softball.  YAYYEAH!!
I saw President B conducting the Devotional music.  I was so excited and proud to tell my district that he was my Stake President.

"Krista" means Christ in Croatia (I think).

I taught my first official District Meeting this past Sunday, and the Presiding member of the Branch Presidency pulled me aside afterwards and told me that I was a great leader.  I don't know how he figures, but it was a nice thing to hear from him.

I encouraged my district to come up with goals to work on to make us better missionaries.  We came up with the acronymn, FLOPD (Flopped).  F=FOCUS, L=LOVE, O=OBEDIENT, P=PATIENT, D=DEDICATED.  I've also REALLY REALLY REALLY been pushing the issue of Language.  I've talked about it with my district 3 times now about using appropriate missionary language.  We wear Christ's name on our badge, and we are representatives of him.  Our language should express that as well.  The language we use is a direct display of our faith and love for the Savior.  And, I believe having the Spirit with us is conditional on the language we use.  I feel very strongly about that, and I hope all of my district's language can improve.

A missionary is someone who leaves their family for two years so that someone else can be with their family forever.

Family: Thank you for sending me the care package.
Extended Family (Aunt Terry and Uncle Rod, Uncle Don and Aunt Jenny, Uncle Lou and Lesa, Aunt Donna and Larry, Grandma and Grandpa, and EVERYONE): I LOVE YOU!!!!  THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR MAIL.
Elder Sean Edwards

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 12th, 2011


Hey Family!
Well, it's been a crazy busy week here at the MTC.  On Wednesday, right after I said my good-byes, I heard someone yell, "ELDER EDWARDS!"  I turn around and it was two of my student's Mother!  She is Taylor (little boy with Down Syndrome that was at my Farewell) and Aaron (my peer tutor who would text and call me)'s Mom.  It was good to see a familiar face.

So, one of the living buildings here is under construction, and so we are staying in what I think is a Sister's Dorm.  The bathroom is nicer than I had expected, that's why I think it's a sister's dorm haha.  And, half the building is Elders and half are Sisters.  My friend, Sister Jade Bollinger, from my YSA ward lives RIGHT above me.  Too funny!  I also see one of the girl's I used to work with from CHA ALL the time here.  It's great to see familiar faces. :)

Okay, I'm done with my familiar faces stories!  WAIT...NO I'M NOT!  I just got finished with lunch, and I ran into Elder Gibson...The Elder that is going to Cambodia on his mission that I went through the temple with!  Small world at the MTC.  It was great to see him.  He has another 8 weeks left.

Well, my district is AWESOME!  I got called as District Leader my 2nd day here.  We all get along really well, and everyone is very supportive of me when I give District Lessons or when I give instruction.  It makes my life so much easier.  I am very fortunate.

Some Things:
1) You know all those Chuck Norris jokes?  One of the Elders said, "The boogyman checks his closet every night for Chuck Norris."  "Chuck Norris checks his closet every night for Elder Holland."  Hahaha.  He said that after we watched a clip of Elder Holland's General Conference talk about the Book of Mormon and how true is MUST be. :)
2) One of my teachers, Sister Philburn served a mission with Steve Marsh.
3) The 3 things Elder's talk about are: Gas, Girls, and the Gospel.  The Three G's...In that order, unfortunately.

My companion is Elder N.

Classes are AWESOME!  I love it so much!  I have memorized the scripture of The First Vision.  I don't know why I'm so excited about that...But I am!  We do a lot of role playing with teaching investigators.  I typically do not like role playing, but THIS I LOVE!  I can feel the Spirit so strong in some of the lessons we teach, and I just can't wait to have that feeling magnified even more when it's a REAL situation and real investigator!  One of our "investigators" is George.  We first taught him yesterday, and he got a blood clot last year and had to amputate his leg (This is all real).  He is also a Special Education Art teacher for Alpine School District and teaches students with autism!  HOW AWESOME!!!! :)

I got a slip requesting me to go to the Medical Health Center, and it didn't say why.  I was so scared for what it might be.  Well, I got there, and a doctor handed me a card and a huge tub of homemade cookies.  They were from one of my students! :)  Her bishop works as a doctor at the MTC, and so she gave it to him to give to me.  I wrote you a letter telling you more and who it was, so look for that in the mail.
I can't believe we are timed with how long we can e-mail.  It's almost time for me to change out the wash, so I will leave you with this last thought.  Just a thought...

I've been trying to think of questions that investigator's might ask.  One might be, "How do you know or how can you prove that we have a modern day prophet."  Well, that's tricky!  Faith?  Yes.  But, I was reading in the scriptures and came across the verse that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  If God gave the people prophets like Moses, Adam, Noah, etc. in ancient times...Then, He will do the SAME thing for us today.  This scripture is PROOF of that.  No question about it.

Dad: I am from nowhere and everywhere.  I am a child of the universe. I love you!
Mom: I love you!  I love you!  I love you! Thank you for sending me letters!
Elaine: RAWR! That means, I LOVE YOU in dinosaur!
Krista: Thank you for sending me notes about my setting apart.  I'm glad you are having so much fun!  I love you!
Grandma and Grandpa: I LOVE YOU!  Thanks for sending me a letter.  Keep them coming :)
Tell Sister Smith: Thank you for sending me an e-mail and that I love her SOOOOOO MUCH!!!
(Put this on blog). :)
Note: REMEMBER to write to Elder Edwards!  You can send one for free by going to .  His mailbox number is 261, his mission Nevada Las Vegas West, his departure date July 25th. will only work while he is at the MTC.
Thanks everyone who has so far send him letters or, you know, dropped off huge barrels of cookies. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Hey everyone.  Ever since leaving Jersey, I have been committed to spending time with close family and friends and preparing for my mission.

I don't know if I will be able to write as often as I would like on this blog, but I am handing this blog over to my family for the next two years.  They will post on here my weekly e-mails, so please check back frequently to see what I am up to and what I am learning while serving in Nevada!

For all of you who came to my "farewell" talk in Provo, THANK YOU FOR COMING TO SUPPORT ME!  It was really incredible to see how many people came.  People from all over my life.  My Primary President growing up, my students from teaching elementary and high school, family including aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends from my past 5 years in Provo...I have never felt SOOO loved!  It was a taste of Heaven.