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: