Elder Edgels wisdom:

Elder Edgel's wisdom: I knew God was a Heavenly Father who loved me beyond anything I could ever imagine and was going to do His best to help me along.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A few mission pics

We had a building week

Yeup. I've never heard of church canceling. I thought rain or snow church would continue but apparently if 8 inches comes down Denver shuts down. If Steamboat did that they would never have church haha.

We had an alright week. Lots of meetings so that's that. Interviews with President. I drifted into the parking lot and had no idea that he was still in his car and he pulled me into his car and gave me a very sharp rebuking and said I send a message of total disobedience to my missionaries when I do that. It was very sharp haha. But we have a good relationship and we laughed it off in our interview. He emailed me today and apologized if he was too stern but I needed the reminder to not be light minded.

We didn't find any new investigators :( My least favorite thing. I LOVE finding. We did see a ton of miracles. And I was able to find on exchanges in other areas. On one awesome exchange we found 3 new investigators and both are extremely solid. A couple and a guy who's wife is pregnant so she couldn't join the lesson. But the first couple texted us that night and said they were grateful to have met us and went over to their member friends that reffered us and that we mentioned and said they set up a time to get together with them and invited us. HAVE YOU EVER HAD AN INVESTIGATOR THAT SETS UP LESSONS WITH MEMBERS?!?! The other guy was sooo prepared. He kept saying how much he wanted to learn and accepted a baptismal date in the first lesson. Miracles are everywhere!

Serving in Highlands Ranch is growing on me. It's the richest zone in the mission and I've always had a bad taste of rich white people. It's been humbling to see how good of hearts are here in the ranch. Very sincere, giving, loving, hard working people are here. It's the highest functioning stake in the mission. All the members are amazing and magnify their callings.

Desmon got baptized!! I got here 2 weeks before his baptismal date and it's been great seeing his excitement for baptism from the previous missionaries teaching him.

With Church canceled we set up 3 way splits and got a ton of work done.

I love you all!! It gets better and better here in the Ranch.

In our mission whenever you didn't have the best week in numbers but feel guilty and want to improve you say "we had a building week". But we did have a great week. We gave our best and this week we'll do even better.

I had the awesome blessing of serving with one of my past comps again whom I served with in Foothills for two transfers. I haven't laughed that hard in one day in a long time. We had a really good talk the whole day on loosing ourselves in the work. We had a powerful evening at his missionary correlation. His ward mission leader reviews the goals and the need to find and basically reiterated everything I had said the entire day..

Elder Pikula and myself realized that we're both not very good at focusing and that together we're easily distracted so we've been working on being better focused this week. Yesterday we were on time to every single appointment!! A mile stone of us haha.

We met an awesome lady named Big Mama. She's the mom of Andrew, our investigator. In the middle of the lesson she came home and at first we were afraid she wouldn't like us but she LOVED us before even talking to us. This lady is so in tune with the Spirit and God even though she's rambunctious or as she says "a pitbull". She's not into churches but when she feels the Spirit we're confident that she'll jump right on board. Unfortunately we couldn't teach her since she's not YSA. Andrew is way cool. We've taught him 3 times and he's accepted a baptismal date for March.

We found a guy a little while back and now we're teaching his brother. They also have a sister that's YSA age so we could baptize a family of YSA!

We tracted into a lady who was a little reluctant to let us in at first but later confessed she was a member and felt it was inspired that we came by. She's not YSA isn't interested in coming back but she's at least one step closer!

Kameron is doing amazing. The missionaries started teaching him a week or two before I got there and he's progressed a ton. He's completely clean and living the Word of Wisdom, is way more mature and way more responsible. There is a distinct difference in him.

My thought in closing is the power in selflessness. If I've learned anything my mission that will change my life forever it's the power of selflessness. I've been having a lot of questions lately that I've wondered about frequently. Finally the thought came that I wasn't even going to worry about it anymore and I was just going to work my absolute hardest till I could get it. Then once I lost myself in the work the answers to those questions came.

I love you all!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Medalian family baptism, Medalian family, Mission leader who everyone says looks like he could be my brother, Lakewood zone

The Lord sees weaknesses differently than rebellion.

Pretty humbling the one about The Lord sees weaknesses differently than rebellion. I've gotten those two confused for a long time. I was taught and always raised up that when you serve a mission, you serve your hardest. You give everything and you obey everything. It's been hard to see missionaries not do that. It stinks being around missionaries and to not feel the Spirit from them. It really stinks that consecrated missionaries that follow God's will more than their own will can be rare. I can quickly jump to the conclusion that they're rebelling and instead I need to really work on loving and seeing it as a temporary set back. My calling isn't Abiniadi's. These are still some amazing young men and women and they deserve a lot more love.

Yes I'm outtie. I'm getting transferred out. Our guess is to Centennial which I think is the Stutz's stake so that'll be interesting.

Elder Rhoades has amazing leadership and efficiency skills. He's one of the best zone leaders in the mission with how easily he gets along with missionaries and gains their trust and how prepared he is for everything as a zone leader. He's like a Gadianton Robber infiltrator. He can make friends with the most disobedient missionaries and gain their trust and find out everything thats going on in the mission that needs to get reported. In my bye bye book (a journal that missionaries have other missionaries and investigators and members sign) he wrote, "Your probably the most christlike missionary I've met and served with. You stand up and live exact obedience under every circumstance, I have mad respect for you" It meant a ton for me to hear that for him. I testify that facing with the Savior is always worth it despite the trials and pressure we may be under! This transfer was tough but I've learned a ton and have grown a lot. I've been brought to my knees and humbled and because of that I've realized the need for improvement and am working on it. I could have been a lot more Christlike in my correction. I'm working on my patience still haha.

I got to go on exchanges with an Elder Jensen! My 5th exchange with him! I was his zone leader back in Grand Junction and he has grown a TON since the first time we served with each other. He was so afraid and timid and has grown to be so much more confident and capable and social able. It's so great to see his improvement. Together we taught 6 lessons, found 3 new investigators and set 2 of those new investigators on date. We make a great team!!

We set a 17 year old girl Mikayla on date for March 22. She's been struggling a lot in her youth to find happiness and has been trying different churches out and trying to be closer to God. She said "yes" before I could finish the baptismal invite haha. I'm so bummed I won't be able to teach her. Edthnie is a 28 year old with a 6 year old that wants to find the truth. She asked if it was alright if her sister came to church with her because she wants to find the truth too. HECK YA!!! The day before that I called a new investigator that my companions had found on exchanges while I was gone a woman in her 30's. I called to set up an appointment but she said she's not sure with a lot of things going on her life. So I kept talking to her and asked what was going on and she said a lot of emotional struggles that she's been dealing with for the past 10 years. I asked if she wouldn't mind sharing and then suddenly someone I've never met told me in tears how she's been lesbian and dating a girl for the past 10 years and just recently broke up with her because she feels God wants her to start a family with a husband and she wants to follow God. She said she's afraid of what people would say if they knew she was meeting with us but she agreed that this phone call was definitely a sign from God that she needed to. Ever since she's loved reading the Book of Mormon and so I told her I'd be at her baptism and finally meet her since I'm being transferred haha.

I got to see the Medalens one last time before I get transferred. We had dinner with them and it was so great to see that family. I've loved my time here. I've loved my trials here and the refiners fire. It's taught me to be more confident and stand up to lead. It's taught me be definitely be more charitable and to see the best in my companions and in missionaries no matter what they say about me or what decisions they make.

In our Zone Leader Conference Call we have on Tuesdays to report upcoming baptisms, our mission president counselor quoted Elder Rhoades, their area 70 who said "Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will always make sure that there will always be an abundance of low hanging fruit". I definitely know it's true where ever you are! I've grown in so much more faith in miracles on my mission! If you hold out faithful God will bless you with that low hanging fruit. If we hold out through our trials, stay faithful to God and not to man and see the blessings of our hardships and trials from even other people's faults, God will send us to the promised land!

I love you all!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Praying to see others positive side

Shout out to Jasmine Reffnar, and Bruce Anderson! You wrote me an awesome letter and I accidentally threw away the envelope so I have no idea what your address is!! Please email or write me again!
Shout out to anyone else that might have written me the past 5 weeks. The letters got lost when I got transferred out to Denver.

Maaaaaannnnn oh man!!!! I love my mission!!! This week was a great improvement. I don't ever like talking about negative things but I think it's appropriate to show the change that happened this week. This has been the hardest companionship to get along in for me. My companions and I are just different in the way we do things and we've butted heads and clashed a bit. It's been pretty miserable at times worrying if they hate my guts and also being a jerk back to them. We've also struggled being effective because of the contention and conflicts so we've struggled. This week was the hardest but also the best. I decided to reflect a few mornings in a row for my personal study and to wake up early to have extra time to ponder on how I could be better in this companionship. I fasted and prayed a lot and realized how judgmental I've been and have been blinding myself to their positive side. So I decided to stop judgments completely and start focusing on their good and we had a great few days. Then on Sunday we had a comp inventory and all apologized for our wrongs. That last day we worked our hardest and saw miracles and had our best week the whole transfer. It's helped me to finally learn things I've struggled with my whole mission of being judgmental and not as loving to missionaries.

I went on exchanges with Elder Mataalii on bikes. We taught 5 lessons together and set 2 people on date after just meeting them. We found this lady named Letty and her 3 kids. Ely who is 13 and the only one over the age of 8. She said that her sister converted when she was 18 but she wasn't ready to look into it then but felt she would in the future. When she saw us though she said she got excited for us to teach her and when we asked if she'd be baptized she was hesitant as people normally are so we got nervous but then said "well I have to have my brother in law do it so as long as he can, ya" It was a great testimony that the Lord is preparing people all over the world and in our zone.

On Wednesday our mission president, President Murdock came out with us for a few hours. It was awesome being able to teach with him. And hear him testify to our investigators.

Natasha and Ben decided to move to Indiana! Her nephew doesn't really have functioning parents right now so she and Ben talked and they decided to move down to take care of him and gain custody. Everything has been going so perfectly for them. Ben found a new job that pays 3 X's more money and is way more fun. They already bought a great house with 8 acres for super cheap. They already called the Bishop and are excited to drag Natasha's parents to church as well. Our President came with us to teach them and is getting in contact with the mission president over there so we're not worried at all about the transition.

As I mentioned before I've done a lot of thinking and praying. I wondered a lot on how I could be a better leader and what a leader was in the first place. I thought a lot about the example of the Savior's leadership and how he was perfectly loving and understanding to everyone. He never judged his people. When they lifted them up all instead of thinking "man these guys are idiots!!! Why don't they ever get it!? Why are they so deficient?" He said "Father forgive them. For they know not what they do." I've been humbled a lot this transfer in the way that I treat others and the need to focus on their positive and to just have an unconditional love for them despite their weakness. I'm so grateful for Atonement helping me to change my nature and to be able to keep getting up and trying again. I'm so grateful for my mission. I'd be in a gutter if I hadn't served the Lord and given up my desires to do the will of the Father.

Funny/awesome story: Last night an older lady refused to talk to us or let us in when it was freezing cold outside. We joked around with her about how cold it was but she had a little bit of an attitude and told us that we thought we were Christians but really weren't. Elder Rhoades with so much love for her said, "Jesus would let us in. You can claim that your Christian all you want but until you prove it through your works, you're not a true Christian." BAM LADY!!

I love you all!!

Elder Edgel

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Faith-full mission

It's been a growing and humbling week. We still didn't get much proselyting in I'm really excited to work so much harder. There's so much faith being spread around our mission I love it. Our mission set the goal of 1081 baptisms and 1081 reactivations this year. That's one baptism and reactivation per month per companionship. That's estimated to be 90 each per month. But our President added the 1 to help us always remember the importance of the one. That it's not about numbers but individual lives that are changed and brought to the Savior. There was the question in a lot of our minds whether it was realistic or not. I came to the conclusion that the only thing that is not realistic is our own personal doubt and lack of faith. With God everything is possible. Through faith the sons of Mosiah converted thousands to the Lord when the Lamanites hated the righteous. That was definitely not realistic but through God it was made possible.

We had our Zone Conference on Wednesday and our assistants trained us on putting people on date in the first lesson. I'm extremely excited to see how this will go. I know it's so possible.

Thursday I went on my third exchange with Elder Clubb! He was in a former zone of mine and he's now the district leader and doing a great job. Friday we had 40 minutes to weekly plan and then President called us in to his home just to interview us which was good but was a bummer to be away from the work for that long. Saturday we had a three hour companionship inventory We talked about how we both have attributes to teach and help each other with. He's very good with missionaries and helping and gaining their trust and lifting the missionaries he has stewardship over.

We had three great lessons on Saturday. We taught Lenny our recent convert with Brother Triplet our Ward mission leader who is a boss teacher and fellowshipped. He also came with us to Natasha who admitted she's starting to feel guilt for smoking weed and wants to quit now. They have to postpone her baptism because Ben needs to become worthy enough to baptize her but he's met with the Bishop and Stake President and is on his way. Then we taught Adam our new investigator who had been taught formally and set him on a date for baptism. He's 12 and is on probation so we'll see where he goes but we're excited. He's a great kid but his mom doesn't like the church.

Yesterday we taught another recently new investigator named Austin. He's 15 and has a desire to follow God. His dad is not a member but has read all of the standard works and wanted to make sure that his son did as well. We'll get him to join our lessons eventually.

After Elder Rhoades and mine comp inventory and our interview with President it left me really thirsting after becoming the best leader I can so that I can help as many people as possible. It was really humbling for the both of us. President didn't call us in for any specific reason but talking with him made me thirsty after being the best I can. Elder Rhoades shared with me his 5 month vision that he made during a study for the rest of his mission and confided in me to keep him accountable. He's such a saint and a good missionary. I'm really excited to see what we can do the rest of this transfer together.

I love you all!

-Elder Edgel

No opportunity like being a missionary

This week I got to see the Medalens twice! They live in the zone so when I was on exchanges with those missionaries we went to go see them. It was so nice to see how amazing they're doing. Steven is a worthy priesthood holder and husband and father. Leanne is a member and you can feel so much more peace between them. Kaleigh and Yazzmina are still joined at the hip and great member missionaries at school and have gone through the temple for baptisms for the dead. While waiting for everyone to get home Kaleigh went tracking with us and it was so special to hear her bear her testimony about praying to know this is true. Oumiama was 17 last time I was here and is now 19 even though it's only been about 10 months... Muslim girls only know what year they're born and guess how old they are pretty much. But she received her Patriarchal blessing on Sunday and is serving a mission in a year so is going out with the Sister Missionaries. Luke told me about how he was at the pool thinking about being baptized and then felt the Spirit so strong telling him he needed to be baptized as well. Such a saint. David hasn't joined yet but Steven has high hopes for him. Tali lives with her grandma is doing amazing.

I also got to serve with my Southerner MTC convert missionary companion from Kentucky, Elder Rafferty. It was awesome working with him. We got mean remarks from the people and slammed doors all day long and I was impressed with his love and patience regardless.

It's been a rough week for sure but everything is getting better. It's kind of a shock after coming from Delta where things were never better. It was the best time of my life and best transfer of my mission so far. I can't wait to make this transfer and next transfer the same way.

Proselyting time has been very limited this week with doctor appointments and zone leader stuffs to do. One day we got a total of 20 minutes to proselyte... The roads were exceptionally backed up with the slippery snow. I thought for sure that this week we would have all the time in the world for proselyting but how wrong I was. So a lot of learning to accept God's will and looking for little ways to share the Gospel when I can. I've learned a lot on how to move past mistakes, worry about things I can control, how to righteously influence others and share my opinions, how to be happy with what I have and how to loose myself more fully in the work.

Last night Elder Rhoades and I were talking and he shared the interesting insight on how we will never get this opportunity again. There will never be anything like what we're doing ever again. Not even a senior mission will be the same. Not even being an 70 or Apostle will be the same going out everyday to knock doors and teach non members everyday about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a small window of opportunity that we get as young men and young women to do this. It's amazing to me how the Lord puts the future of his Gospel and church in the hands of the young men and women of his church. He calls the weak. I don't know of any business or corporation or cult or other religion that can successfully do that. If the church wasn't true the missionaries would have ruined it by now. But God qualifies those he calls. He makes weak things become strong to show forth His power and that He is able to do His own work. Despite how immature, how unlearned, how foolish, how lazy, how pushy, how crazy we may be, He puts it in our hands along with his utmost confidence. Man I wish I could do exactly this in the future for a second time.

I love you all to the moon and back!