Thursday, August 7, 2014

Last Missionary Email!!!

Email: August 6, 2014

Well some times I waste time looking at cities on google maps....Milano is girantic!
So because of that.......this is really short....sorry, but not sorry because I will see you all in a few days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOOO!!!
I cant even to describe it because it is everything. 
I will take the Italian fast train "italo" on thursday to Milano with Anz. Carter. I am super excited for it. 
The goals for the end of my mission are doing great. 
I will have a less active lesson tonight, then have an hour or so of doing some good old street contacting as my last missionary experiance in Reggio Emilia. I am excited to share the gosple on the plane too! 

My bags are packed and it has begun to sink in....its over. well It has been amazing. Simple two amazing years. The Italian have made an everlasting impact on me along with all the missionaries here over the past two years. 

Fun fact I fly home with two other Elders becuse the other two are getting picked up by their famlles here and with like 13 or so sisters. 
I arrive thusday moring about noon, get picked up by the office elders have interviews with pres. Dibb and financial secratary, then dinner and a testimony meeting. Then off to bed and catch a plane early friday morning and then I am home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you all and just cant wait to tell you everrything in person and to give the best hugs and kisses to the bestest people in the world!!!!

Love ya! 
Anziano Edwards

Friday, August 1, 2014

Watermelon, Giant Bales of Hay, and a Stick

Email: July 30, 2014

This week was good. Things to note include 
-watermellon for .19 a kilo. aka we buy a 10ish kilogram watermellon every day and eat it! They are amazing but I am getting sick. Not sick of them, but eating pounds and pounds of watermellon a week isnt the smartest thing I ever did...but we are still going strong this next week! 
-We received some documents we needed so our envestigator can be baptised. Mission President will look at them in the next day or so then he should be baptized in the following week after he is interviewed. It is sad because I will mostlikvnkl òvn fhasdlfh aweofhasdlòfkjsdlkfjasdlkfjasdpkfjsdklfsdjklfhasduopfhasdklòfasdklòjfhasdiljfh efhasdklfhsdjkldfdsfsdj(sorry, I just entered into a random typing war with the other elders....) I will most likley not be here to see him baptized, but hey, thats all right! The other investigators in the city have all pushed their dates back for one reason or another. The work is going forward non the less and its super exciting! 

Well this trasfer pres. changed some mission rules and order and one of the changes was trafer calls. Everyone will now receive their trasfer calls saturday, insead of monday or tuesday which is awesome because we can tell member in church the thurday before trasfers, Dosnt effect me, but it was super exciting and I dont thing I ever mentioned it a few weeks ago. 

Well I am sick of writing emails and am just excited to come home and tell you all the stories and picures! 
One week!
Anziano Edwards!!!!!!!!!

The Assistants called so I talked to them on a big bail of hay!
Then, for more time than was necessary,  we took a dozen funny pictures with me and some hay! Super random, but fun! So I took one of me and a stick :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Countdown Begins!

Email: July 23, 2014

Punk, dont worry about your not too cool scorpion story, because mine and carsons are that cool either! Glad you didnt go to the hospital. Its cool that we now have a mutual hate towards those dumb critters! I understand the feeling of fire, scorpions are dumb! When I get home we will go out and smash them all until they go extinct! We will use a big black light and wear big rubber boots to keep us safe ;)

I don't remember my 13 goals, but they are written down at home so next week I might send them to you. Many of them are really dumb and funny, so not too serious, but other are super good. 

Well this week was good. THe other companionshi traveled all the way to Ancona, super long train ride away so Anz. Burton could pick up his renewed permesso di siggiorno and he forgot his origional receipts and so they stayed the night there and we overnighted his origional papers to overnight a letter with DHL it is 21 euros! Thats like $30 or somthing! Crazy! 

Its been hot. End of stroy. Well, more humid than hot so that is why it sucks! But I guess I have to stay strong until the end right? YES! 

Tons and tons of storries and pictures in a few more weeks! Stay stong! haha

Anz. Edwards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mission Life is Mission Life

Email: July 15, 2014

Good to hear all is going super well. I honestly dont know what to share with you...mission life is mission life. Nothing goes your way, people come and go and its summer now so its hot.  I have been blessed with is very very mild summer! I love it! Secretly I am super excited for a 110 degree summer day in dry St. George! I have missed it more than I would have ever thought.

I know comming home will be super weird, but I dont want anything more than to be home with those I love most! I set 13 goals of what I want to do before me mission ends and the best part is my companion. Anziano Espinosa is down to do what ever I want, within reason. He understands how important my mission has been and want to do everything possible to help me finish strong. I couldn't have asked for a better last companion! 

The assistents showed up yesterday morning and gave us our new fridge. So now we have two! Its great! I was good to see Anz. Tanner, my first trainee and to see that he turned out alright. haha He has been in Milano or the area for the past year and his is sick of it, but he will be threre as AP for atleast a few more. And on the other hand; I have had a wonderful spread of cities. Far west to far east the middle and have gone down south for confrences. I have seen the mission. 

I gave a talk on Sunday. I called the member who puts the sunday programs together and signed myself up for a talk. Weird huh!? Something I would never do back home and yet I wanted to do so in a forign language. My topic was, go figure, misisonary work. It was very nice and I got to leave the ward my testimont wich was the real reason why I wanted to. reggio emila has become my home, dont caompare you St. George, but I love it here. I know in a few weeks it will be really hard to say good bye. I hav alrady began my preparations to ride the only fast train in Italy I havent been on, an ITALO. Google it, they are super fancy and a private company.  

Invite the missionaries over for dinner before I come home or for a FHE. 

Love you tons and tons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

My Family Booklets & Happy "America" Day!

Email: July 9, 2014

As a mission we are pushing "The My Family booklets" so we have to make our own and help all new converts do the same. Its super fun. 

For the fourth of July, we ate and McDonalds. It confermed how much I hate fast food. Plus its super expensive here. But we had to celebrate America day! 

The work is great, we have lots of success iwth less active members. We are looking forward to some baptims here in Reggio in the coming weeks. Pray for us! or rather our investigators! :)

Love you tons and tons! 
Happy car shopping! I cant wait until I can drive at my own free will, I am sick of public trasportation and crapy bikes. 
Send my love to everyone. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Plan of Salvation Card Success

Email: July 2, 2014

I am super excited to come home and fairly excited to start school again. haha It is going to be a blast living together with Jason. I call the best bedroom! I am most excited for a super cool new apartment. The one here in Reggio is old and in a scaryish part of town. I am not sure who thought it would be good for missionaries...we are on the list to get a new appartment but I will be gone when that ever happens. Luf you tons back!

The ward loved the temple! Go figure! haha they were the happiest people in the world! They left for three days and came backsaturday late evening. They took a tour bus all together, 13 hours! There were 51 who went and two couples were sealed, two youth for their first time and one 30 year old(my less acitve!) who went for baptisms! Chruch was combined and the first hour was a temple lesson given by the bishop rick and the second hour was normal class. Sacrament was testimonies from the members who were sealed or went for their first time. It was SO spiritual as you could imagine. One of the best sundays for sure! 

As you saw in the pictures I sent, we have been going crazy with these new plan of salvation cards we made ourselfs. Mondaydistrict meeting Anz. Espionosa and I gave a 20 min training on the ways we can utilize them. We are very excited, rather, extreamly excited. We didnt go to bed until 1:30 becuase we pillow talked for ever thing of the cool ways we can use them! Besides being the happiest I have been during finding work(tracting), we have tons of success! 

I just checked out family search with dads account! It is super cool. We are using "My Family" booklets to teach and create with our new converts currently. I filled mine out but I need pictures of each of my siblings, mom and dad, all four grand parents and all my great grandparents. 

English class is every tuesday adn thursday evening as a free service in the city. We have like 25 "students" and it is the funnest thing ever! I teach the intermediate class, the sisters teach base grammer and the other anziani teach the advanced conversational class. We are teching some of the people the gosple so we ahve lots of new investigators comming out of it! Perfect! Also, we always finish with a "I'm a Mormom" video and they love them! Super great!

Well Anz. Burton is amazing and by far my best district leader and he has only been district leader for 1 trasfer before. He is from Washington and as dad knows, amazing at singing. He was on American Idol season 11. I love him already and our apartment is the best! We are going to have a rocking trasfer and I already know it will be a fantastic end. 

ps, it is super cool still. Middle of june or a week I was a litte warm,        not even hot. Now its breezy and warm. Last year it was an oven all of June and July and Aug. were the worst ever! 

Love you tons and pray for you always. Thanks for everything you do for me. I cant wait to see you! Love your alltime favotire missionary! Thanks for the fun pictures and uplifing thoughts! It was perfect! 

Tower of Fancy Cards! We received 5000 fancy Plan of Salvation pass along cards and made a fell... 
Me with Reggio Nell'Emilia. Some museum in town. It's a 3D map of the province Reggio Nell'Emilia. Kinda cool.
Italian front side of our Plan of Salvation cards.
English front side of Plan of Salvation cards. 

Italian back side of pass along cards. These only exist in our city. NO ONE else has anything like them! We created them, ordered them, and I haven't ever had as much success as we are currently having. I love it!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Getting out of the Rut

Email: June 25, 2014

First me bike story. Yes of course it is fixed. Its basically a new bike. In the past month I have bought a new front and rear wheel and adjusted it all. Oh the joys of a bike mission....hahah! I was riding in centro and for no reason at all I stop dead in my tracks and I do I half flip. My companion was ahead of me and so unfourtuantly he didnt get to see the excitment, but the break pad thing-a-magig broke and went into the spokes and broke a doxen of them and the main damage was caused from the tire guard(the thing that keeps water from sprayin up onto you as you ride. The two rods that attach it, some how got caught in the tire and folded it up into its self. It was fun.....kinda...hahah

This week was really good. We got out of our rut and taught 11 lessons (up from 6-8 lesson mark for the past month) Plus found 4 new investigators, and set 1 baptismal date for aug 2nd, and another accemped the soft baptimal invite and will accempt a date if he recieves and answer!! The biggest miracle was with your less active brother and sister who the sister stopped me on the bus and asked if we were the mormons. They live in Parma so we take a 12 train ride there a few times a week to teach them and a hand full of other members and now investigators. The brother is going to the temple tommorrow until saturday evening witht he ward!!!! He is super excited to say the least. He is fully active,but we are still working with his sister. They are in their 30's and were both baptized at 9 or 10ish years old badk in peru. I love them to death! We had a lesson yesterday with both of them and we took an ex missionary with us to help teach/make friends with the sister so she will be willing to come to church. 

I assume the ward temple trip will be just less than 1/2 the ward so maybe 30, but I am not sure who exactly will be going. The youth are goingn to Madrid Spain in July so oly a few of the youth are going on both ward trips. It is a HUGE sacrafice for them! Few members are able to go ever year. Some wait years to go! 

Fun story. A member from Reggio just left on his mission to London this past week and his parents we freaking out! They were a mess to say the least. So on exchanges, Anziano Berg(DL) and I went to share a spititual thought with them, the mom and dad, only child family. They wanted us to call london to make sure he is ok becuase he never few before, ect. The assistents gave us permission we called the Preston MTC! Not many missionaries can say that! haha He is doing great and is District leader in the MTC and he will be there for 6 weeks becuase the MTC is making him traslate and help the other Italians who dont speak super good english. 

We are fasting with the ward for 30 days to boost the Lord's work. We havent seen a baptism since march and very few people in chuch. It was the bishops idea. So ever day for the next month, a deffernt member is fasting specifically for missionary work and our investigators. Its fun to call and remind the members, call them with miracles and then call to thank them! Best part is the members are more then excited, the LOVE it! 

Two members a man from Croatia and a filipean girl got married and are at the temple as we speak! She was raiased LDS and he was intoduced to the church becuase of her and he was baptized about two years ago! Super cute couple and we had a great wedding party after the entire afternoon that include dana amazing lunch. IT was super super super simple and so I loved it! THe DJ was really lame though...haha. 

I am not being trasfered! Thank goodness! I would be super upset if I was trasfered for my last trasfer! It would be aweful! I am staying with Anziano Espinosa and Anz. Carter is staying too. Anz. Berg, distric leader, is trasfering to Ancona to be with a newish missionary and be district leader there. Anz. Burton, in his 12 trasfer is comming to Reggio to be district leader. 

ps! I will go back to Bologna to pick up my permesso di soggiorno that is now available...the fancy important legal stuff I started back in October......

The Newlyweds

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Italy Soccer Missionary

Email: June 18, 2014

Well Italy loves soccer WAY TOO MUCH! It is great! There is a big stir about the world cup....only bad part is I dont understand one thing about soccer! I am sure I am the only person in Italy who doesnt like soccer....

Not sure what to say this week. Went to church. Taught some lessons. Our less active brother passed the sacrament and the bishop is working on getting him to the temple next week with the ward!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So cool! 

Got to go ciao!

Happy belated fathers day to you dad!

Love your happy smiling missionary!
Anziano Edwards
Summer scarfs. They are the new fashion...just like every single summer.
My District Leader, Anziano Berg. First class! 
Zone Conference. Modena Zone combined with the Bologna Zone in Bologna. It was great to return to my last city. Good memories!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

English Class, Fast Trains, and Church Leaderes

Email: June 11, 2014

I knew you recieved my flight plans because I recived a letter from the office titled, "Customs Bulletin" When you get this you know you are near the end! It was a bunch of legal just about US customs and declarations, then a letter about working hard and another about my mission finacnes and final interview with Pres. Dibb. Nothing that important but it seemed fancy. haha 

I am not trunky but super excited to end my mission. I love it for sure, but Aug. will be great. I get to see all of you! Not to freak you out, but I will send you 8 more times, the 8th being two days before I come home. Its nuts!

ON tuesday we are going to Bologna for a zone confrence.  Modena and Bologna zone combined. We are taking a fast train, (frecciarossa-google it!) We got tickets on sale for 9 euro. Best part is the tickets are in first class! We take a 15 min bus ride to the high speed train station on the north end of the city. So that will be fun. 

We had 10 new people in our english class. We printed out fancy flyers for it. We printed 2500 for them for only 40 euro which the ward reimbursed. Pictues wil come.

ON sunday we traveled to Modena for stake confrence because reggio doesnt have the means to show it. They failed to mentiont that Pred. Uchtdorf, Pres. Anderson, and Elder Teixeria were there. It was held in Bern Swizerland and included 30ish stakes in france italy, Swizerland, Belgium, and some other country. It was AMAZING! It was the best in every sense! The talks were perfect! 

Well I love you all more than you can imagine.

Anziano Edwards
Companion with all our English class flyers 
Just riding through town and for no reason it broke...I didn't crash though 
The tire and wheel 
The wheel 
Reggio Emilia District

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Go Visit the Temple!!!

Email: June 4, 2014

I may be slightly evil to be happy that you were miserable in the hot humidity (of Florida)! Now you have a small taste of how much Italian summers suck as a missionary! 
Recently is has only been in the mid 20's, thats like 70/80s. Its humid, but not too bad.....yet that is....

We have a small teaching pool. Kofi hasnt answered our calls for weeks nor came to church the past month. We have no idea what happened. Is really sad to have such a cool man just disapear. We will keep praying. I know he has a good reason, but it is weird of him not to answer. But better news is other other investigator, rather our only other who makes progress and we can meet, Samuel (Pakistanian) came to church with his girlfriend(a member of two years) and he loved it! He will be baptized in July. He accepts everything without questions. He is just simple prepared! The only thing he really wants, is to go inside the temple. I have never worked with a new convert, let along an investigator that has such a burning desire and goal to make it all the way to the temple. 

Speaking of temples, the ward is going on the yearly temple trip the end of June. The coolest part is seeing all the buzz and excitment of the temple within the members. They sacrifice SO MUCH! Its crazy! They are stunned when I tell them I can see the temple from my house and its 10 minutes away, but yet I never went all that often. Its true, we are blessed so very much to be so close the the temple to do everything we need to do to be together forevrer. I am so blessed to have a family like you. Thanks! Go and visit the temple! 

With all the love in the world,

ANZIANO EDWARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Look! I can still spell my name! (Kinda!)
Let's just say that my shirt was greasy! 
A.J. at the Castle
Castle and Beautiful Italy
Art Major = Pointless Major
The painted walls were cool, but I just can't appreciate it. It's just weird.
Fancy art that I didn't understand
Castle Courtyard
Classic Italy!
Full Shot of Castle

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fancy Flyers

Email: May 28, 2014

Well we didnt teach many lessons, but the week was great. We make some fancy flyers for our free english class! Hope we have a good turn out.

Send me lots of pictueres!

WIth all the love I can send through this email, 
Love you all and cant wait to come home!
Vi voglio bene!
Anziano Edwards 
Climbed down some stairs that were roped off...didn't see any sign that told me not to go...haha
So a few weeks ago I found a cat....Anz. Finnerty wouldn't let me bring it home :(
This is my new district leader. He is Canadian so we don't judge him. Hahaha jk
Happy Birthday to me! Grazie. I got both packages: Angie's and the Family's

Monday, May 26, 2014

Amazing Mission!

Email: May 21, 2014

My new companion is Anziano Espinosa. He is from northern California. He has mexican ancestors. His previous city was Modena, litterly 10 min east... He will hit his year mark in a month. He is really good at the language and being creative. We get along well. 

It has been weird having Anziano Finnerty out of the appartment. We all miss him for sure. I am postive that I will never have an appartment, or college room that will be so fun, loving, funny, spontanious, understanding, and overall super spiritual. I loved the past 3 months. I hope the next three months will be similar. 

The new sister in the district is Sorella Jackman or somthing like all know how bad I am with names. ps, a skill I have aquired during my mission is the ability to not remember unimportnat things....but I also forget the names of the misionaries I serve with...hahaha  My district is a very experianced district of older missionaries so I am looking forward to some great things here sooner than later!

Anz. Finnerty did stay the night here monday night as he had to pick up his permesso di soggiorno tues morning at 8:30 so that was a bunch of fun to see him again. He is in the same stake as me so I assume in the next three months there will be a misson confrence or stake confrence to see him again.

Not much has happened over the past few day. Our baptimal date is doing very well and will come to church with his girlfriend who is a member so we are pumped for that! He reads the BOM (Book of Mormon) everyday and even better, understands it all!!! I am so thankful for the BOM being available in nearly ever language in the world! ps, I could never learn Urdu. crazy looking language! 

We had family home evening with our The Elders quorum pres and his family of 4 kids, ages 12-18 on monday then tues. evening, we had FHE with our ward mission leader and his family of two young boys ages 6, 8. IT was a blast! Super spiritual too! This friday we are having FHE in Parma with a newly retired husband and wife with a less active Peruvian brother and sister! FHE rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you all tons and tons. I miss you daily and always pray for you all! My mission is amazing. I love Itlay and all the people here. 

With all the love from Italy, 
love, Anziano Edwards! 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mother's Day Skype Session

Missionaries are allowed to talk with their family only twice a year -once at Christmas and again on Mother's Day. We are lucky enough to be able to Skype with A.J. instead of just a telephone call. This was the last time that we will talking with A.J. as a missionary (back to the weekly emails) because he is coming home the beginning of August!!!!!

A.J. is happy as ever and absolutely loving Italy and everything about it -the people, the language, the food (particularly pizza and gelato at the moment), the missionary work, the country, his companion and other Elders he lives and serves with, and on and on and on......He is excited to be coming back home to Utah, but will definitely miss Italy and being a missionary. He can't wait to show everyone all of his pictures and tell all of his stories face to face. The personality and sense of humor has not changed or gone away one bit!!! He says that the mission hasn't changed who it is, just improved him as a person and made him "a better me!"
He ended by bearing his testimony in Italian and though as a family we couldn't understand all of it/most of it, the Spirit was still felt strongly and his love for this Church and gospel is intense!

Faces of A.J.-