Email: August 30, 2012
So great to hear from you once again. I LOVE PREPERATION DAYS! Email
family and write letters=the best thing ever, besides learning the
gosple and progressing in the language. This week has been awful. well
the beginning of it anyways. I do not feel like I am learning any
Italian and have gotten super down on myself. I know I can do it though
and I am being stupid becuase I have learned so much and am progressing.
Our "progressing investigators" aka my teachers pretending to be
people in italy so we teach them a few times a week in Italian. I have
learned a lot from that and since my companion and I are able to get
some sort of a message across, i guess we know italian. We teach
patrizia and Leo. Leo, aka Fertello Acerson, role plays so well! It is
so fun!!! We have taught Leo in the train station, aka the stair well,
its awesome, we give him sort lessons and then he just gets up and leave
and yells got to catch my train so we have to pretend call him and set
up appointments. THe other companionships in the district have similar
experiences. leo is not home half the time, his dad tore up the letter
and pamphlet we left on his house door and the other compaions were
invited to the disco tech, club and said yes becuase they didnt know
what it was. We hold mock sunday school when someone is invited to
church, and my companinship became members, Fertello and sorella Klemm
(I was sorella klemm) and we had the sisters come over to our house so
they could teach their investigator "alex" a lesson in a members home so
they could have the spirit in the lesson more. Crazy things like that
with fertello acerson make teaching our progressing investigators so
much more fun. When we have sorella fairbanks as our teacher, we have
set times when we teach so its not as realistic at all. We have to call
and set up apointments with fertello acerson and he really plays the
part of some investigarot he had in italy. Sorella fairbanks is always
home as an investigators and doesnt throw any curve balls at us, so good
and bads from each teacher. Its fun though.
Can't wait to hear from you all soon, love the letters and dear elders thoughout the week, make everythign better.
Anziano Tymczuk got in a van and left for SLC to go back home to
canada...he wants to clear up some things back home so he can come back
and serve a better mission.He is so strong and I love him so much our district bawled last night
when he told us he was leaving. He promised he would be back though and I
know he will be. He has so much courage and love for god that he is
willing to to this. I will NEVER judge any other missionary that comes
home. Even if they do not go back out. It is not our place to judge and
we just have to love. Anziano Tymczuk is such a great guy.
Thanks for your support and prays, they really do help! Keep up the scripture study and continue to be awesome!
With so much love,
Anziano Edwards :)
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Letter: August 24, 2012
I am just sitting here waiting for the Tuesday devotional to start. Word is it will be Dallin H. Oaks. Tuesday devotionals are always an apostle, general authority so it could be Oaks, or just be a member of one of the quorum of the 70.
Tuesdays are so great. Service in the morning and it always goes short so we have quite a bit of free time and just relax then lunch (sack lunch), then 1-2 is language study as a district, so no church clothes until 1! Then it’s class (2-5), dinner, TALL (Technology-Assisted Language Learning) and the devotional, then we discuss the devo as a district then bed.
Today I had to write down the outside of big trashcans in bathrooms with Windex but my first one smelled horrible. So as instructed, took it to rinse out with toxic chemicals, I found what died. The bag leaked and milk(?) maybe puke and dead animals maybe were covering the bottom with furry mold. Yeah I puked, well almost. It was awful. But I would maybe eat out of it because I cleaned it so well. Ok it was still gross but it was clean for sure, cuz I’m awesome. Then the man in charge sprayed half a can of air freshner in the hallway. Anyway yeah it was way eventful.
Update! Some guy of the Quorum of the 12 walked in! Neil L. Andersen. WOOO! So cool! You can hear about him later!
Well it is later…it was very cool to have him walk in and it became dead silent as everyone stood up. No one even whispered. He talked about Thomas S. Monson’s teachings, he read 9 things that Pres. Monson would say and then told a story or just expounded a little about each point. I really enjoyed the point “Trust in the Lord: you will be an instrument in His hands,” and maybe even more, the point, “Never ignore a prompting.” Such a good talk. Also, on Tuesday, Elder Andersen put up a picture of Pres. Monson and it was his birthday so we all sang happy birthday to Pres. Monson. That was really awesome. Monson is 85. Also, when Monson was ordained an apostle, Andersen was ordained a deacon a month later.
My thing I want most in Italy would have to be seeing a big fat Italian man making pizzas. He would have a white undershirt on, gold cross chain, and is just tossing pizza dough in the back singing. Yeah, if I find him I would be the happiest man around! My collega, Anziano Klemm, can’t wait to get to a plaza or busy square and just shout about the truthfulness of the Church.
Io so che il Libro di Mormon e vero. So che Dio è il nostro Padre Celeste e Gesù è il mio Salvatore. Io so che le famiglie sono eterne. Joseph Smith era un profeta vero e Thomas S. Monson è il profeta di Dio oggi. Nel nome Gesù Cristo, Amen.
I love you all so much. You are in my prayers every day, multiple times too.
With love, your favorite,
Letter from Anziano Klemm (A.J.’s Companion): August 24, 2012
I don’t know who you are, or why I’m writing this. But I feel compelled to share with you my testimony. I know that Jesus is our Savior. I know He died for me. I know that He loves you, whoever you are, know that whenever you have an issue, who better to turn to than the one who loves you most. I know that Jesus Christ atoned for my many, many sins. And lastly, remember, there isn’t an issue too small for God. I hope this has helped you, even in some tiny way. I love Christ, and I AM His witness.
By the way, I’m having my friend/companion send this, so please don’t be offended by me call you “whoever.”
Friday, August 24, 2012
I am doing well!!!!!!!!!! Hard time the past few days with the language but I got over myself. Brother Miller, in my MTC presidency has told me this many times "Do you know more than you did yesterday"? I say yes each time the he says "well then you are on the right path" So comforting. We are all progressing at differnent speeds and growing in defferent areas so there is no good in comparing my self to others. I am doing good thought. I learn more italian each day and so im doing great that way, just sometimes feel that I am not pregressing as fast as I want. I rely on the lord and am doing my part. I can do my part in learning a little better though so I will do that and then the Lord can bless me more so than he already has.
I took pictures with Jeffrey and said my good byes. Hahaha, yes I did write him a letter/card and so I went to the store and was looking for a card and he was there and came up and asked me if i was looking for a card for my sister so I said yes and he was pround that he knew me so well. Jokes on him, that ugly card was for him. He picked it so I have it to him. It was a card with two old ladys sitting by a pool, yeah it was creepy and really odd. Not my fault he picked it. Jeffrey was jeffrey here at the MTC for sure so you can tell him mom he was a great missionary so far and will continue to get better, no doubt about that. Boston is lucky to have him!
Have fun with everything you are doing family and make the best of it. I dont have my notebook so I dont remember any thing I wanted to tell you... so wait for my letter I will send today.
Oh! On tuesday devotional this week, we has some awesome guy speak to us. His name was like somthing like elder Neil L Anderson...yeah the APOSTLE OF THE LORD! It was so awesome, that guy is awesome!!!!!! His talk and his wifes was great. jeffrey and the older group of italians never got to hear anyone that cool and awesome. We were told we have a decent chance of hearing from a member of the quorum of the 12 but honestly didnt think it would really happen. More about him in my letter.
Not sure what else to say, but you all will get a letter this week that I will send out today.
Love you all and its good to hear you are reading scriptures together. You all are great.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Letter: August 18, 2012
I love you so, so, so, so much!!!! Please ask me questions and tell me what you want to hear. Otherwise, I don’t know what to tell you in these letters. Before coming here I was told or read somewhere that write letters about what they want to hear, and my journal is what really happens. And that journal is full of good stuff. I actually enjoy writing in my journal, weird huh? I’ve never missed a day and I will never while I’m on m mission. They are getting longer each day too. The atmosphere here is so great. With all such great people around me, it is really difficult to not fell the Spirit, improve as a missionary and as an individual. I’ve grown so much while here and it’s only been just over a week. For my blog which I assume exists, feel free to share my stories, facts, and random things I say on it. Don’t share anything too personal. My collega (companion) Anziano Klemm is a great guy! I got really down on myself Saturday. The day started good but I felt like I didn’t know the language. We do a lot of role-playing for practice and I just could not make a sentence. I feel well and able to understand when others talk, my vocab is pretty good. My class is so smart and it seems like everything clicks with them. I’m constantly reassured I’m doing well, I’m better than yesterday so it’s ok! My presidency: Johnson, Miller, and McMullin are so great! Those men help me so much. Wish you could meet them.
From Sacrament meeting: “I am called to serve the Lord and will return with honor.” That is exactly why I’m here. I have grown so much, you have no idea. I learned about myself, and what the gospel and the doctrine of Christ is and how it applies to me. The topic on Sunday was “endure to the end.” Once we have entered the straight and marrow path we need to exhort every effort to stay on that path.
The Spirit is so strong here. I know and can tell you with complete sureness, the Holy Ghost is true and ever so great. I can recognize him and enjoy his gift so much. The help He offers is so great. The feelings are so great. I’m happier, stronger, and able to do so much. Temptations are nearly nonexistent, it’s due to so many great and strong people around who all have the Spirit with them so unclean things do not dwell in the MTC. It’s awesome. I’ve learned about repentance on Sunday in priesthood and how to teach it to others. Repentance is so wonderful and I know how true it is. The Savior helps us through anything and everything.
Have faith in everything and really come unto Jesus Christ and God. The people who wrote the BOM (Book of Mormon) on those plates/sheets of metal were really awesome. They dedicated their time, their entire life to the Lord and his teachings. We need to read the BOM. So many blessings come from just reading, even more blessings when we really search them and try so hard to really dig deep and enjoy the blessings from the BOM. Preach my gospel has so much packed in to it. I have grown to love it greatly. It puts things simply and gives insights a well. Make the Savior at the center of your life. everything then will fall into place. God can’t wait to forgive us and help us, we just need to earnestly seek for it. His blessings are so great, I can’t tell you all of them as they are so abundant. It’s wonderful. The language is hard, but it’s a good challenge. The MTC is great, every aspect of it. The Church is so organized. Wednesday’s are crazy! So many new missionaries arrive and everything schedule wise is great. It’s crazy to think that you can control 2500 young men and women and everyone has time at lunch, PE, etc. Also, the church rocks at not being in debt. Before a building is dedicated to the Lord it is built with the finest materials and it must be paid for 100%. Not sure where I learned that, but…yeah.
· My district is great/awesome/incredible/amazing
· My zone is Zone 33 (it’s all the Italians)
· I’m district 33B
· In the Zone there are two older districts A and D, with 3 new ones, B, C, and E
· Older districts have 6 people in each
o District A = 4 Anziani & 2 Sorelle
o District D = 2 Anziani & 4 Sorelle
o District B = 6 Anziani & 2 Sorelle
o District C = 6 Anziani & 4 Sorelle
o District E = 8 Anziani & 2 Sorelle
§ District A & D leave August 21st at 8:00 a.m.
§ Districts B, C, & E: We all came in together –biggest group since 2006 (which was 50ish)
· Each District makes up a class
· Zone 33 (Italians) is now one of the biggest here in the MTC. We overtake a part of the lunch room, it’s a cool sight
· I’m Sr. Companion and will switch out at week 4.5
· Someone in the new districts B, C, or E will be the Zone Leader because Anziano Worthom leaves Aug. 21st.
As of Sunday I know 19 Elders here. I see Elder Bushnell ALL the time. It’s awesome. He is doing well and he hasn’t ruined anything, but the first day, Elder Bushnell made his bulletin board in his room fall off…so he is being himself.
Side note: just noticed, I don’t use paragraphs…oh well, deal with it!
I have so many letters to write it’s crazy. I love it so much! Each and every letter has a great message and I love them so much!
Jeffery R. Holland is the greatest man alive! His talks are so fantastic. “My mission meant everything to me.” –Jeffery R. Holland. He was so into his talk. He was mean too. He hates how missionaries want to leave. He really would tie you up to prevent you from leaving the MTC. Oh, it was just great. It is also only an MTC talk, like all of the pre-recorded talks for Sunday evenings, and Tuesday and Sunday firesides are live and really good chance a quorum of the 12 will speak to us how that they are not on a “vacation.”
Random quotes from David A. Bednar:
· “Knowledge of the Lord leads to a personal conversion to the Lord.”
· “Christ turns outward with compassion, love, and service when we turn inwards.”
Funny part from Bednar’s talk: talking about people who say their ancestors came across the plains and had so much faith and did so much, then quite rudely , he said, and says to people when he talks with them, “That’s nice, what have you done today?”
Random facts/answers to questions:
· Weather is hot. Gym in the afternoon most days, but whatever
· People are crippled everywhere, not many arms/legs broken, but hyper extended knees and torn ACL and muscles. People scream really loud when they bust their knees and ACL.
· I always do sand volleyball. Did soccer twice and it was boring and everyone is a billion times better than me
· Got our second teacher finally! Fertello Acerson. He is awesome. Just came back almost a month ago from Cataña Italy mission. I think I will learn better from him because of the different teaching styles. So I’ll learn differently with each so that’s really good.
· Love the food. Maybe gained like 3 pounds, but yeah the food is really good.
· Tuesday s are service days so you can get sack lunches (and breakfast) in P-day clothes (as well as on Thursdays), and those are a good mix up from cafeteria food.
Again, I enjoy and like and appreciate my district. I love them. I have learned what real love is and I fell it in my district. We are so open and we all have shared really personal experiences with each other, and cry together. The other districts are not like that. They enjoy each other and work well, but my district is so fantastic. You have no idea, I honestly can’t explain. I feel so close with these two sorelle and 5 anziani. This group is so special and close to my heart. There is a feeling I have not felt before here in my class, ever, ever in my life. It is so special.
You all have instilled something special in me and it is great and so strong. Please continue to be who you are and love me, and love your Savior. I know He loves you and I both. You love me, so love Jesus Christ more than me. Just please pray for me and others. Find those to bring unto Christ as I will do so as well in Italy. But more importantly, love yourself and grow to convert yourself unto the church and the truth –fullness of the gospel.
Just learned that the next group coming in 3.5/4 weeks (or whenever it will be) is 17ish people. I am part of the biggest group EVER going to Italy. EVER!!!!!! That comes from Brother McMullin.
Jeffery R. Holland is fantastic. From one of his talks, “My mission meant the everything to me.” That is how I want to feel, and that is how I feel already. He talked about generations of missionaries, whether it be one or a dozen. I’m happy to tell others my dad served a full-time mission and the time comes when I can tell my kids that your grandpa served a mission. That is just so cool to think about.
I’m not going to waste any time starting now. I have wasted seconds, minutes, and even a few hours of the Lord’s time already and now it will not happen again. This is the Lord’s work, I’m just a helping hand for him.
Love you all and know that you are loved so much!
*Other random quotes/thoughts from this letter:
· “Spelling is stupid! When in doubt cross out and write an easier word.” –A.J.
· “If you don’t love someone, you don’t know them well enough.” –Anziano Day
· 1 Nephi 3:7 à D&C 49:11-14 à Matthew 28:18-20
o Missionary work, God was called, He prepared me, He has commanded me and I will go forth and do it because there is a way for me to accomplish it. The Holy Ghost is and will be at my side, always.
o I am with you always!
Friday, August 17, 2012
Email Written: August 16, 2012
I can play my name tag. Yeah its a cazoo.
I love letters from dear elder and I am getting them all as well as actual letters from mom and angie and friends. They are always just what I need to hear so thats great.
The spirit is so strong and great here. It is esential and so fantasitc. I have never felt it so strong and learned to much about it. Its fantastic and I LOVE it!
In Italy you dont pull peoples legs as in joking with them, you take them for a walk.
Um jeffrey R. Holland is amazing! There are talks that are only put on here are the MTC and they are awesome. He said that his mission ment everything to him and will not let elders and sisters leave once they get to the MTC. He was crazy serious about it and was just powerful. Anyways so I am not leaving evn thought the first week was tough and still is but its all good and I love the MTC and my distric too much.
My mission presidency all went to Italy a billion years ago and so they know whats up and speak it too. They said that my group of Aug. 1st is the largest ever to come into the MTC and there is a reason for that. He group leavingon Tuesday the 21st ish have 12 and in three weeks we get 17 new missionaries going to Italy and then I am the big smart old wise group. Italy gets new missionaries every 3 weeks.
I will copy my schedule and lety you konw what I do here or just write in my hand letter. I an so busy all the time. I see Elder Bushnell all the time and just fouind out he lives the on first floor(basment) and i am on the second floor. We taled for a while last night. It was good.
Thanks so much for the package! Those pictures were the best!!!!! We have a drawer of concencration so we all put food and snacks in it and we all share it for the betterment of your room. We have the Best food in there. I just dont snack so i just contripbute for the most part but the healthy snacks I kept for my self that you sent. :)
We write our names and mission on random stuff such as bottom of desks, cupboards and things we pull off the wall like the demperature guage(thermostat thingy) We have to leave ouir legasy behind some how. and there is a GIGANTIC book oabout italy with pictures in the class so we all wrriete our names on that too.
I never remember who I wrote what to and what in my journal so who knows if I ever repeat stuff of forget stuff but yeah.
canada calls them chalk brushes, not erasers but it makes sense cuz they don not erase anything. and they say oot instead of out. Anziano Tymczuk (tim chuck) is from canda and he is awesome he takes jokes well and makes fun of canada more then we all do.
Aunt Vickie send me a package and will do so every week, She is Sam grandma and adopts missionaires. She is fantasitic. Home backe goodies every week!
The older group leaving to italy were so helpful and it sil suck to see them lean at 8 am tuesday and jeffrey leaves at 6 am on tuesday as well. The italians are flying from SLC to Chicago to paris then split up to rome or milan and Ishould to the same.
when we go do laundry thurdsdays at 8:30, we all sling our bags over our sholders and sing hi ho, hi ho, its off to work we go, wistle sistle sistle hi ho hi ho hi ho. Its gerat the looks we get are so funny and I have it recored so you will see it eventually. We are all in step together and in one giganitic line of 40 italians. Its awesome.
well 30 min if up so.
I am so glad to call you my family and love you all so much. I wish i could send pictures but I cant so no pictures unti the begining of october from me :( I wnat to hug all of so so bad so *internet hug* :)
Love me, Anziano Edwards
Monday, August 13, 2012
Letter Written: August 10, 2012
As you know I’m alive!...unless you didn’t get my letter I sent on Thursday/Friday last week.
Please write to me using dearelder.com, I would love letters as often as possible. Short is great, often is better, but long often letters are super awesome! Dearelder makes it so easy for everyone as if it is sent by noon, I will get it that day. P.S. hair cut went good. I was pretty worried it would be bad, but it turned out great Side note, hair cuts are free and I get $6 every week to buy random stuff like supplies, personal care items, vending machine food, dry cleaning. Oh, and laundry is free, I just need laundry soap. That was the fun fact for the da. Oh sisters get $8!!! Crazy, I know!
My district is awesome! We are just so funny and get along so great and we adopted Anziano Hulburt from South Carolina. He’s a convert as a year and ½ ago(ish) he is just ridiculous! So dang funny!!! Can’t stop laughing when he is around, which is 90% of the time…he tells so many stories, it’s great!
Love you all!!!
Email written: August 9, 2012
Thursdays are my preparation days so that is when I will be emailing you. I can only email family so please encourage everyone else to write me, as letters are awesome. Let everyone know about dearelder.com as it sends letters for free while I’m here at the MTC and then in Italy it costs whatever postage does. Sorry for my spelling and gramar, I am just trying to write what I want quickly as I only have 30 min.
This place is awesome! The language is hard but I can do it. My companion is Anziano Klemm from Pueblo Colorado and his is just so dang funny it is great. There are 2400 missionaries here right now and it does not seem like that at all. I never see that many and think that there are only about 800 maybe? Anyways my district is by far the best out there! We are so close together and all get along so well all we do is laugh and have fun. We are open and just love to be together. New missionaries come in every six weeks that are serving in Italy so in a few weeks, my district and the other districts that just came in willl be alone for for three weeks then have a new group for three weeks then we are off to Italy! It is so exciting I just cant wait to get to Italy. The group that came in Aug. 1st has been the biggest group since 2006, its awesome to know that the Lord is ready for people in Italy and I am apart of that. on aug. 1st, 24ish of us came in together all going to Italy and we are now one of the biggest zones in the MTC. Italy has no idea what is comming! We are going to rock that place! By week 4 most feel comfortable speaking and teaching a lesson with ouit notes so when september rolls around I will let you know. I have seen so many Elders I know here its redicoulous. Colby Nelson was numer 17 today. I see Jeffrey all of the time and when I first got here and got my name tag I met up with him as we got our picture and ID card. I am loving this place!
Dwevotionals when all missionaries get together is cool as we are all in our suit jackets and were allowed to take them off and all of the white was so bright, it hurt to look around it was that bright. It was cool to think we are all here serving the lord and going around the world. Let everyone know about dearelder.com and I am leaving the MTC oct. 2nd.
All I hear is goodness. All talks and such are just for me I feel, I learn from each one and its awesome. I never get sick of hearing things as they aer just what I need to hear.
The lord is belssing me for my work and obediance and he will beless my family as well, so you are goign to be blessed in everything, I know that.
Read your scriptuers and pray all of the time, you never can say too many prayers. Thanks for supporting me fully!
I LOVE YOU AND THIS MTC AND THIS WORK AND JUST EVERYTHING!
Love Anziano Edwards. This cool name tag is like hte greatest thing ever! Just saying....
Love you agian and again.
-Anziano Edwards. It says ANZIANO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Written: August 1, 2012
Buona Sera! I am alive and well! Today I learned how to recognize the Spirit, invite others unto Christ, and listen with love. I know personally that “my mission will be a WOW!” (Sister Nally, a mission presidency wife even told us that!). Met the zone leaders and learned that my group of missionaries, all of those that came 6 weeks ago up to us will be the largest group of missionaries for the Italy missions since 2006. There are 26ish here now. The Lord needs us in the near future in Italy.
My companion is Anziano Klemm from Colorado. He is awesome; love him and the other 4 Elders in our room. It is just great here and I can’t wait to learn so much in a short weeks.
(Drawn in the margins of this letter was a picture of Anziano Edwards’ missionary name tag with the following message: “Got one of these today…. NAME TAG!!!!!!!!!!!!” We are glad to see that he loves his nametag so much ;))
Sunday, August 12, 2012
A.J. entered the MTC on Wednesday August 1, 2012. We drove up to Provo the night before. On the drive up we saw a beautiful sunset!
|The beautiful sunset!|
As a family we went early on Wednesday morning and spent some time together at the Provo Temple, and took a lot of pictures. It turned into more of an attempt at pictures because the sun was so bright and A.J. thought that his retina’s were burning. So if you notice our squinty eyes it’s either due to the fact that our family's Chinese heritage is finally showing through or we were looking at the sun for too long.
|Saying "See you in 2!" to Grandma|
|With parents and younger siblings|
|All lights are green to enter the MTC|
|Elder Edwards with the MTC in the background|
|2 very fine men|
|Anziano Edwards right before getting dropped off. He was very anxious and excited!|
Friday, August 10, 2012
A.J.’s farewell was July 29 and he spoke on sacrifice…and cell phone coverage – he related it to prayer He did a wonderful job, and surprised us all by going over on his time limit! We then headed back to our house and we met up with all of his friends and family for breakfast. His siblings made him a blanket with pictures from home, and matching pillowcases for everyone to sign and wish him good luck. Thank you to everyone that showed up and gave their support!
|A.J. and Nefi|
|Elder Edwards and the little cousins|
|This is the blanket that A.J.'s siblings made for him :)|
We also made a video of A.J. that played at the house during breakfast. If you missed it or would like to watch it again, it's your lucky day!