Friday, March 29, 2013

Meeting the Melting Pot -Italy!

Email: March 27, 2013

Ciao tutti! Questa settimana era fantastico ma abbastanza difficile.. Mi piace Udine tanto, especialmente i membri della chiesa. Lora hanno un grande aiuta in tanti modi. Questa è il mio quinto trasferimento! Mama mia! Dovè il tempo!
Sono molto grato per l'opportunità di essere una missionario a qui in Italia. Ho recevuto tanti benedizioni durante la mia missione. Il mio collega è bravissimo è una grande aiuto in questo lavoro. Secondo me, Io parlo la lingua Italiana abastanza bene. Tante persone hanno deto che Io parlo benissimo. Il lavoro del Signore è deficile ma, quano ho lo spirito del Signore, Lo Spirito Santo, Ho la forza di fare qualsiasi cosa che è necessario. 
Mi manca la mia famiglia ma, lascio la mia famiglia per due anni in modo che altri mi possono con il loro per l'eternità.
Questa chiesa è la chiesa che Gesù Cristo ha stabilito con l'autorità. Joseph Smith era la prima profeta in questa dispensazione è il Libro di Mormon è la prova che queste cose e vera. Questo è la mia testimonianza, è lascio nel nome del mio fratello maggiore, Salvatore, con sede lascio, è redentore, Gesù Cristo, Amen.  

The other day I talked with someone from Chad, Africa. It was the 60th country I have talked with! I thought I was going to encounter Italians, Americans, maybe a french or German...who would have guessed Italy is a melting pot too! There are a bunch of Italians but there are at least 60 other natonalities here! Its so cool! I keep a list in my planner of places from where people are from whom I talk with.  

William has a date for the 20th of April, but he said in our last lesson, that he wants to move his date sooner. Reason being partly honestly is excited and also that he may move at any time to another part of Italy or somewhere else in Europe to get work. He really is attached to Anziano Tanner and myself and wants to get baptized with us. Good thing is that he said he knows the chruch is everywhere and he will be able to find it if he moves. We are so excited for William! 
 Ousman, the 12 year old son of a new convert, Florence, is still out of town for sports camp so we havent been able to even hear from him. His mom says he is doing well though.

Our distric got split, now is just us and Pordenone. Anziano Johnson is our District leader and just hit his half way mark. We got slip as Udine and or Pordenone will get a second set of missionaries at trasfers, May 2nd. we both have a big appartment that can fit 4 Anziani. The appartmemt in Mestre became a Sorelle appartment and Padova has four Anziani, next trasfer Mestre will get another copia so there will be four sorelle in Mestre and 4 anziani in Padova, with one copia from each city working a half day and changing cities in the afternoon. The mission has EXPLODED! New cities are opening and a buch of cittie are preparing for 4, 6, or even 8 missionaries! We have and will be getting a buch of sisters! Super awesome, the sorelle have such a strong spirit and are always the best missionaries.

Anziano Tanner are loving life and get along super duper great. We have such a good time always and are laughing constantly, usualy at something stupid I do...examples include me doing casa with my helmet on, using our house key and trying to open the neighbors door, ect I have lost my mind! I am constantly doing stupid things, but its good, just makes us laugh and lighten our mood.

I AM STARTING MY 5TH TRASFER! It's so crazy! I cant beleive it! I have been on my mission for nearly 8 months! Seems like I left maybe two months ago! I am so happy even though the work is stressful and hard with two investigatores, which neither are Italian, and we havent seen the one for a month. Italy is such a cool place to serve the Lord and the people dont really listen at all but I love them still.

With all the love I can type on this dirty keyboard and slowest computer ever,
Anziano Edwards!

This is the picture of when the Traveling Assistants came and blitzed us a few weeks back. Both Anziano Herrington (taller one) and Sciarretta are finished with their missions.

New Email Policy for Missionaries

"The church has adjusted the email policy for missionaries worldwide.  They have re-emphasized the need for missionaries to write to families and the Mission President each week.  In addition you may communicate by email with friends, priesthood leaders and new converts..."

Basically this means that A.J. can email more than just his immediate family each week. He would love to hear from all of his friends and other family as well! This is simply another way to write to him. It is asked that you respect that he is only allotted a short amount of time to check and send emails each week, thus it may still take a few weeks (or knowing A.J. and how busy he is, more than a few weeks) to hear back from him. His priority for P-Days and emails remain the same: contact the mission president and his family! The blog will be updated the same as it has been in the past (hopefully more regularly). The email address you can contact him at is:  
The contact page has been updated as well :)

Great Miracle Week and Smashed Euros

Email: March 20, 2013

Well email is going to be quick this week.
I and Anziano Tanner are staying in Udine. Our district is split so its just us and Pordenone. Both us and Pordenone will get a second copia of Anziani probably next trasfer (begining of May) or the one after that so Udine and Pordenone will have 4 anziani each! Gorizia and Trieste is their own district as well. Trieste will be getting a second copia soon as well. Our new zone leaders are Anziano Treadway and an Italain whose name I forgot. Padova will be housing the padova anziani and the zone leaders who will work mornings in padova with referal work then the afternoons and evening everyday in Mestre, the mestre apartment was changed to a Sorelle apartment and our zome is getting S.lla Padula(Italian) and she is training and whitewashing Mestre and next trasfer Mestre will geta second copia of sorelle. This trasfer is crazy mission wide. President is whitewashing many cities, new cities are being opened, cities are being prepared to open soon, so many people are training, and new apartments are being bought everywhere preparing for the peak of missionaries in the summer. SO EXCITING!!!

The word Bho, or Boh, seen it spelled both ways, just means , i don't know/doesn't matter/just about anything else you want it to mean. It is pronounced bow like on a present. It is usually used how Americans will shrug their shoulders and say that mumbling noise like i dont know.

Well this week was great, started to see some great miracles. William is still set and super excited for his baptism on the 20th, and he came to church, a member gave him a ride, and he loved it. Members were fairly good at befriending him. Found a new simpatizzanti, a 84 year old Italian but doest look or act that old. I would bet he is only in his late 60s but he said no to baptism in our second lesson as he is too old to change religions even though he said the whole restoration makes sense with the apostasy! Come on! So frustrating! Great two lessons with him. The rain hasnt stoped yet.....after watching the discovery channel and national geographic for years I finially believe that there is a rainy season! Its so we here! Everyday! Its really fun though, one you get soaked, after about 5 minuties, about the time it takes to walk outside and unlock the bikes, you just cant help but laugh and cry inside because you are just soaking wet and you can ring your suit out....its annoying but I love it, even if noone wants to talk to you. Sill havent gotten the pitty lesson during casa of the person who sees that it is raining and just invites you in to get warm and dry. We are doing alot of member work and thay all have so many referals its fantastic! I love visiting members! I have been working on memorizing DeA capitolo 4 (D&C 4) in Italiano. 90% memorized! For mothers day I will reciting in Italian for you all.

Pictuers are of my collega sleeping on the train, and then two other pictures of my collega.

Today we went to the Air Force base and played racket ball and ate 1/2 pound clasic American bacon cheese burgers! I feel awful right now, so much american fat! SO yummy though!  It was weird wearing jeans and a t shirt for p-day. 

The other day I put 20 cents on the train track and so now I have a 20 cent euro smashed by an Italian train! Myself and il mio collega were like kids running to put a coin on the track, during casa....., then running back to find it before people saw us and though we are crazier that we already are...

CIAO! Anziano Edwards! 


Golden Elect!!! And Rainey Days!

Email: March 13, 2013

Attached pictures are of some food that didnt work comment...
My current district and then of me and my last companion, Anz. Proctor.

The weather is rainy. Simple as that. Saw the sun the other day for the first time in 4 days, then it got cloudy and rained that evening and has been raining every since. I loved the rain back home, but dispise it now...but once you are soked, you cant help but laugh. I love it! The more times you do work in bad weather, the better wife you get so I will have a fantastic wife! Hahah The weather yesterday was a low of 4 and a high of 14. The days are good, cold in the evening but honestly not that bad. Cold a little I guess. I have gotten a winter coat, aka some fat. :)

On the street we are always asked abut the pope. Its all about the pope  or about the crisis. Thats all people talk about. Anyways, most Italians dont really care that much, they think its all ridicoulous and see the follies in the chuch here. But still think its true, go figure!

I have received my camera! Yippee! Alot sooner than expected. All is well and every district leader or zone leader that my camera changed hands with all took a picture of themselfs and of random things, so thus I have a bunch of random pictures. I love them all!

Italian is coming great! I fell very confortable with understanding people and usually have no proble responding back. People complement me on my Italian all the time, also my companions too, he speaks the best out of his MTC group secondo me. The dialect in Udine is basically he same as Vicenza. I learned the word Mandi, which means good luck/good bye from two different old people this past week. It literaly comes from lo mano di Dio, the hand of God. Only old people use. it.

Thursday night the traveling APs came to blitz us, I was with Anziano Sciarretta and Herringtotn was with Tanner. Had some cool miracles and had a bunch of fun. They are both going back to America in a week. Sucks to be them!

Doing strada and Anziano Tanner invites this man and he didnt even acknowledge him and just spit at his feet. Fist time I have had anything like that happen! It was a shock and was just so weird. The Italian people are never rude like that. Elder Bushnell (in Boston, Mass) gets fast food thrown at him and swear words all the time. Another reason Italy is the best misison out there!

I went crazy for like 10 min during studies trying to find the word faith in the Topical Guide, but was using english BOM under the word fedè. took me 10 to find out why I couldnt find it...Italian is taking me over! Good thing.

My "rain ties" Wear my two ugly ties that dont matter if they get ruined byt he rain. I have had to wear them for the past 8 days!

Area book work yeilded little succcess but we do have appointmetns with some people next week and have lots more work to do later.

Continue to pray for Ousman as we are not able to see him for a few more weeks. And pray for William(miracle referal) and all other potenitals. William was a referal from the Rome mission. He is from Gahna and is GOLDEN ELECET! He asks the perfect questions and has the perfect answers! My first real elect person!" He will be baptized April 30th!

Other missionaries comment on my "missionary whisper" Didnt even know such a thing exists. But i guess I have it. I go quieter when I bear strong testimony or tell the Joseph smith experiance. thats just what others missionaries have told me, I guess its really good......bho.

Life is great, companin is fantastic and we dont get lost as often anymore! I am loving Udine!

Stake confrence was on Sunday, member family took us, it was great, all about every member has to do their part and great things come to pass. The members are SUPER excited about the Rome temple.

This week I will be making lasagna with a raggu that takes at minumun two hours to simmer. Its going to be fantastic....I hope.....will let you know. I indeed am an AMAZING CHEF. When I come home, we will be eating REAL italian for a month. I have so many real recipes and italian missionary recipes too. I love food! haha.

Ciao! Off to fare il lavoro missionario. vi voglio bene!

Con amore, Anziano Edwards!

ps time is flying by! I am in week 5 of my 4th trasfer! Wow! Thats all I can say is W.O.W. I have 16 trasfers in total.

Ciao di nuovo!

Current District 
Food that didn't quite work out

Anz. Proctor (Comp. from last transfer)

Udine Apartment
Rainey Day Ties

View from Apartment in Udine

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Scegliere le Giuste!

Email: March 6, 2013

Attached are a picture of Centro and the other is of the Duomo in Udine. Cool little city. It is quite small, centro doesnt have any of the big main stores, but thats fine as I dont buy anything anyways. The city is quite spread out and very quiet and peacefull type of city. People are friendlier but still dont listen...bho. Work is hard but great, Anziano Tanner makes it so much better as he is such a hard worker. When he gets stressed, he has to work, he likes manual labor and is always asking for ways to can do manual labor service project in the community but there is nothing. Anyways is the point is Anz. Tanner has the typical new missionary syndrom: came in guns blazing, then hit with culture shock, and now realized he doesnt know the language he thought he did in the MTC. So he is stressed, just like me! So he just wants to work hard all day, great attitude! Love him to death, we get along so great!

The weather is warm! Well warm compared to the past months! Udine is warmer than Vicenza as I talked with Vicenza the past week at zone conference and they got tons of snow, and we got nothing. It is windy here though so that makes it colder than it really is. This past week so SO warm! Highs in the 11-14's! It was SO warm, random hot week. Its raining now, but not cold, just need a rain jacket and you are mostly warm enough, but jacket with inside liner is too hot. At night, when riding home at 8/9 o'clock its like 5 degrees which is plenty cold by me. Once the sun goes down, its gets COLD! Anziano Tanner is just how I was in the winter, always telling me how cold it is and how at home, Arizona, it never got this cold. He is so great, love him!

Anyways, Ousmans mom just called and said he is out of town for sports training and wont be back until the end of march and we have at least 4 more lessons, the commandments, so we will be setting a schedule of when we can meet and teach him and change his date for April sometime. We speak Italian with him, I think he was born here, as I think Florence, his mom, has lived in Italy for a long time. Not sure exactly though. other investigators include.....Lorenzo, Marco, Andrea, and Elsa, who are all invisible....haha yeah we have no other investigators, just a few new converts and lessa actives we work with. But did some area book work, and have a bunch of appointments set up this week and next week too. Things are looking up in the new investigator category. The work is hard but so fun.

Going to Venenzia with the Anziani from Vicenza(so my old city, my old companion and his trainee Anz. Giles) next week as that's the plan as of now anyways, so Im super excited for that, mostly just to see Anz. Proctor again and give him crap for going home as he hates when other remind him that his mission is ending in two weeks! 

Well not sure what to tell you but yeah. Keep praying and scegliere le giuste!


Con amore, Anziano Edwards!


Udine è una città di tante miracol

Email: February 27, 2013

 Azniano tanner is AMAZING! I love being his companion! If we knew each other before the mission we would have been friends for sure! He is as swimmer, loves hard manual labor, do it your self stuff, a BIG family guy and gets emotional with his family (me too if you couldnt have guessed!) Anz. Tanner is stressed quite easily and he copes with stress by hard work, so its great, we just go and do finding work and his attitude changes completely! He is super spiritual and always trying to better himself. he thinks I am the best thing ever at everything(far from!) and the best cook in the world(about right, I can cook well not to be prideful...).
The work in Udine is tough. Simply said. We had a few investigators but all of them were dropped, even the one we found. But we had a miracle with Ousman, a 12 year old boy who's mom is a new convert and his dad is not a member, nor wants to be. Father is muslim but gives his son permission to be christin, and his parents are divorced so he can only come to chuch every other week so we saw him the first time on Monday which was a Scambio with Trieste(district leader is Anz. Briscoe) and the miracle was Sunday evening when he got to his moms house, he told his mom that he wants and needs to be baptized! We taugh him The Gosple and he accepted the date for the 30 of March! BAPTISM!!!!!!! :) He just need to teach the commandmants and he shouldnt have too many road bumps leading to baptism, knock on wood. He is from Nigeria but doesnt realy konw english so we obviously teach in english. My collega hasnt seen him and wont see him for two weeks, basically the end of the transfer. Super cool too as our new convert of two weeks, Paticia (from the congo) was randomly hanging out with Florence, ousman's mom so she kept the two little boys quiet for the lesson.
typical day is finding work!!!!!!!!!! leave the house at 11 do some centro strada lunch and language study from 1-3 and then more rinding work until 8 or 8:30 when we do calls as the city is empty that late and you get yelled at if you are doing casa knocking doors after about 8 or 7:30. Italians get angry if you knock their door anytime after about 7:30/8:00, go figure. We have one maybe two appointments to new converts or visiting a member but they usually always fall though. Its good, though. This past week has been my hardest week in the sense of lowest weekly numbers, no investigators or new peope at chuch, no dates set, no lessons in the presence of members, 3 other lesson, 0 referrals, 0 new investigators, (only one this whole trasfer thus far) and then 3 lessons to new converts or less actives. its hard but a super great city. The members are all awesome and the brach misison leader we just call and tell him when we have a lesson and he calls the members to see who can come with us. the branch pres. is super great, Presidente Bressan and Fratello Toth, pronounced toot. Super great to work with and gave a a list of people dto work with and where to do finding work.
Cool side note, Anz. Gessel is one of the zone leaders in Mestre and he started his mission in Udine so we call him for all sorts of stuff.

Thanks for all your support and love! I pray for the Lord to be with all of you all the time!

La mia missione è importisimo! So che questa chiesa è vera è Dio è il nostro padre. Il mio scope è invitare le persone avire a Cristo.
Udine è una cità di tante miracol.

Con amore,
La tua fratello è figlio, una missionario a Milano,
Anziano Edwards.