Monday, August 19, 2013

Random Pictures

Sister Mendoza and I on exchanges! Love her.

That's concerning.

PHS! Gotta love the Bulldog pride.

Elder Weight! Finally got to see him!

President and Sister Hanks. They are wonderful.

Sister Wilson's favorite holiday: 4th of July.

M---- got baptized :)

We looove to bake for people.

I bleed blue--BYU blue!

Filled my frame with pics of my lovely family. :)

We Need the Book of Mormon. 7/29/13

I have so much to say, but I will try not to bore you all with mindless details. :) haha. This week has been awesome.

A sign we saw in a store... a little extreme, I think.
First things first, C---- is being baptized this Friday! We are so excited for her. She quit smoking, drinking iced tea and drinking coffee cold turkey, in a matter of 24 hours. We gave her the church's 15 step stop smoking program and she is amazing. We love her so much.

Also, we met another golden investigator this week named Z----. Z----- is almost 19 and was referred to us by her boyfriend who lives in New Jersey. They met online and when he told her about the church, she was immediately interested. She's one of those investigators that the Lord has prepared from the very beginning. Everything we taught her just seemed like a reminder of what she already knew--even though she'd never heard any of it before. She truly is golden, and she's being baptized on August 10th. Her boyfriend will be in town that week, so we're excited. She's coming over to Sister A--'s house tonight for dinner and games, and we're also going shopping at Charming Charlie and stuff a little later on today.

Z--- is amazing!! Seriously GOLDEN.
Another miracle from this week: On Thursday night, the ward hosted a cute thing called GRITS - Girls Raised in the South. A lot of the young moms in our ward are here from Utah with the security sales team, so the ladies wanted to give them a good taste of the south. They had cooking demonstrations, recipes, and Sister N---- even taught us how to be southern ladies. :) haha. So fun. After everyone had left the church, Sister Wilson and I stayed behind to open the church for a ward mission leader from another ward. He was proposing to his girlfriend in the chapel that night and needed to get into the church. So we let him in, and while he was proposing, someone started banging on the back church door, so I ran to check it out. It was two girls, M--- El-- and C---, who had been baptized a year ago but were completely inactive. for the last week or so they'd been talking about church and wanting to go back, then they drove by the church building at 8:30 at night and saw our cars there. They decided to go and see if they could find the missionaries, and voila! There we were! Seriously, it was a miracle. We would've never been at the church that late if that WML hadn't asked us to stay there, and we would've never met the girls. They told us how much they missed church and that they really wanted to come back, but needed the missionary's help. Also, one of them has a non-member sister who we are now teaching. We've been over to visit them several times now and they all came to church on Sunday. C---- had to work, but hopefully she can come next week. Seriously, a true miracle!
GRITS cooking demonstrations.

I'm in love with the South.
In total we had 4 investigators attend church and one less-active. So awesome. Another thing I learned this week was how much we NEED the Book of Mormon. It's not just a cool book that we're lucky to have. Pres Holzapfel said it perfectly when he said "Look at how many religions there are! Look at how people interpret one book in so many different ways. That alone is proof that the Bible is not enough on its own. We need a second witness of Jesus Christ, to clarify and testify of his doctrine." The Book of Mormon does not add to or take away from the Bible. It's simply a record of prophets, teachings, and believers, just like the Bible! The Bible takes place in Jerusalem and Israel, and the Book of Mormon takes place in the Americas. God loves all His children, so He wanted all parts of the world to have his gospel. Between the two books, they testify plainly and clearly of what He wants us to believe. The Bible lost many of its plain and precious parts after being translated so many times, so it's missing some pieces. But the Book of Mormon was translated ONCE. It's the missing part of the puzzle that answers so many questions, and I am so, so grateful for it. I'm grateful that between the Bible and the Book of Mormon, we have the fulness of Christ's gospel. It's been restored to the earth today, and we have it! We have prophets (Amos 3:7), we have apostles (Ephesians 4:11-14), we have Priesthood (Mark 3:14-15), and we have the Book of Mormon, the record of Christ's other sheep (John 10:16) which comes together with the Bible to testify of Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 37:15-17).

It's just such a cool testament to me. I already knew that this was Christ's true church on the earth, but seeing the scriptures in the Bible confirm it is so powerful. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary.

Please pray for C---- and Z----!

Sister Edwards

A Rainy Week in Alabama - 7/22/13

Hello hello!

This week has been great, since Sister Wilson and I are staying together in Bessemer!! We get to be in this awesome area with this awesome ward with these awesome investigators for at least 6 more weeks. I'm so stoked. Plus it rains all the time in Alabama, which makes me happy. :D

We had a ton of cancellations this week... people calling 10 minutes before the appointment saying they can't do it, and us being like "Awesome, what now?" lol. That happened soooo much this last week... it's a part of a missionary work. But that's why you have a back-up plan. I also think I've been hung up on more times in the last week than I have in my whole life! haha. I'll be in the middle of saying something like "When can we come and see you again?" and they'll just hang up. That's happened a few times with K---- this week sadly.

how we look when we get canceled or stood up on.
New planners for the transfer!

Yeahhh buddy. Tree of Life.

It was National Vanilla Ice Cream day. Naturally we had to get some.
In other good news, C---- has a baptismal date!! We love her so much. She is an amazing person. She is being baptized in less than two weeks on August 2nd. We talked to her about the importance of being sealed as a family, which has a lot of meaning to her since her husband passed away in February. Then asked her to be baptized! She is a beautiful person and I can't wait to see her be a part of this gospel. She is so solid. Her daughter B----- will hopefully be baptized soon too, but we have more to teach her.

it's been raining a lot in Alabama!
Also, her daughter has a friend named Br----- who we started teaching this week! He sat in some of our lessons at C----'s and wanted to learn more. He is an awesome guy with a heart of gold. Seriously, they don't come any nicer than Br-----. We taught him the first lesson and it was awesome. When we started talking about Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Noah, Abraham and Moses and how awesome they are, he said "Man, why don't we have a prophet today? I wish we did; that would be so awesome. Someone that God called to lead his people." When we told him we DO have a prophet today, named Thomas S. Monson, he was like "What?? Are you kidding me right now? Why isn't this on the news?! Everyone needs to know this!" We told him that's why there are more than 60,000 missionaries out spreading the gospel right now. :) he is awesome and when he looked up a picture of Pres. Monson, he said "He is a prophet. I can tell. He glows." So cool.
Our awesome district. Left to right: me, Elder Banks, Elder Lealiiee, Elder Dalo, Sister Wilson, Elder Galorath, Elder Losi, Elder Snelgrove.
He came to church with us on Sunday, along with C---- and B-----. He had an awesome experience at church, because the last speaker talked about how we will receive an answer about the truthfulness of the church if we have the right INTENT. If you don't intend to do anything about it, you likely won't get an answer. But if you intend to change your life and become a member of Christ's church, you will receive an answer that this IS the church of Jesus Christ, on the earth today. Awesome.

Some cute puppies we saw. Reminded me of Schatzie.
We also had dinner with Bishop K-----'s family this week, and C----- came too. Sister K----- is an incredible gourmet chef and makes us the most amazing meals. She even wrote a cookbook and gave us a copy of it on a flash drive, along with the most amazing cake in the world and some other awesome stuff. We love their family. It's awesome because they were Baptists their whole life, and Bishop K---- has only been a member of the church for 4 years. But he is amazing, and so is his wife.
Us with Brother T----.
last but not least, we visited an awesome guy named Brother T-----! he is a recent convert with the most amazing conversion story. he is paralyzed from the waist down and has been for over 20 years from a gun shot to his back. In his neighborhood they have a calling tree that goes on when the missionaries enter the neighborhood to go inside and make it look like you're not home. lol. So he went in off his porch and laid down and stuff, but he heard a voice that said "Go outside. Someone is coming to see you." He looked around, then heard the voice again. "Go outside. Someone is coming to see you." So he goes outside, looks around for 15 minutes, and there were the missionaries, walking up the street. The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ changed his life and he went from smoking crack and cocaine to being the amazing member he is today. He needs a video made about him, because it seriously is amazing. He is so solid and has so much faith, despite being paralyzed. He studies his scriptures every day and is such a faithful member of the church. That is a true convert. I admire him so much and am so grateful for his example.

The church is true! I'm so glad to be a missionary. I read 1 Corinthians 15 this week and was amazed at how much pure doctrine is in that chapter! Verse 10 talks about laboring and grace (faith without works is dead, James 2:26), 20-22 all men shall be resurrected through Christ, verse 28 God and Jesus are separate beings; verse 29 baptism for the dead; 40-41 three degrees of glory/three heavens (2 cor 12:2), 44,46-49 we lived with God again and we will live with him again; etc. It's awesome!! I love this chapter and have been studying it a lot.

Thanks for all the emails and letters. I just found out we are only allowed to write letters on P-Day (monday) so it will take some time to write back, but I will definitely do my best!

Love you all!

Sister Edwards

Funny Stories - 7/15/13

Well I have a time limit today which is stressing me out, but i'll try to tell you about this week and what all went down.

I had some interesting adventures this week. We had zone training on Tuesday and Sister Wilson and I sang There is A green Hill far away. It was cool. Then we got pulled out of the meting and this lady named K had walked in, looking for a church and for some gas money. We thought she wouldn't really be interested, but we've visited her several times and she is a promising investigator. She told us some crazy stories about herself like she woke up in a coffin and pushed it open and said "I don't mean to scare nobody, but I'm alive." She can't read, and she and her husband live in a camper trailer in a rundown trailer park. Not a trailer house, a literal camper trailer.We visited her and taught her, then she asked us to come to the sketchy Laundromat and meet her husband who just got out of prison. So we did, and we answered a lot of his questions like "do you really believe that black people are the devil?" no, no we do not. lol. We taught them the first lesson and about the Atonement and he was touched when we told him he could hold the Priesthood power. It was a great lesson.
Lame panorama of Super Bessemer Highway, the main road in Bessemer.

We had another awesome lesson yesterday with the AP security guys who served Spanish speaking missions. They translated for us, and the two guys we were teaching were ready to be baptized in the first lesson. So that was cool. We found out that one of them, G, is getting baptized this week!

Some funny stories from this week... the churches here are named some weird stuff. One we've seen is called "Love Conquers All Ministry" and another one down the street is "The World Overcomers Christian Church." Then another one we saw is "The Peoples Church--Let's Just Praise the Lord." That's literally the title of the church. Kinda made me think of when Jesus is speaking to the people in 3 Nephi 27:7-8 "Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel."

Technically we aren't supposed to take pictures of the signs... but there was no one around.. and this one was too good to pass up!

Another funny story: a few weeks ago, Sister Wilson and I were in Wal-Mart getting some stuff. This 15-year-old boy with a shaved head and crocs comes up to us and says, pointing to our nametags, "So I see you work for Jesus." We're like "Yes, yes we do." then he's like "Okay, tell me who the first people on the earth were." I said "Adam and Eve." And he's like "actually no, you're wrong." he proceeded to tell us how the Bible says that other people were on the earth before Adam and Eve, so we asked him to show us where in the Bible, and he's like "I'll come to your church one day and show you." Okay... lol. Some people just want to prove you wrong! We still laugh about that one.

pretty pictures of the ghetto in Bessemer :)

Another weird moment from this week: while out teaching some lessons, we saw a boy pointing his gun up into a tree. He shot it, and out falls a little squirrel!! We wanted to cry. It was squirming on the ground, he put his gun directly onto its stomach and shot again. Can I just say gross? We freaked out. Yes, we are in Alabama where every little boy has a gun and shoots squirrels out of a tree for fun.

We taught a less-active member about family history work this week, too. the spirit was strong as we taught about it, and a lady who had come with us said "well sometimes you don't want to do family history work!! I found out that my grandma divorced her husband and married her step-son! I was like 'Grandma, what were you doing?!'" Spirit gone. But sooo funny.

Milking a cow!
Anyway, there's one other one but I'll tell ya next week. Today was fun! We went over to the D-----'s and milked the cow! So fun. They gave us fresh raw milk and eggs again, and then we've been hanging out with Sister W. She taught us how to make biscuits, cornbread, etc, and then we went to a quilting club with some of the older ladies in the ward. Boy, did we have a southern spread. lol. I AM in Alabama, and when in Alabama, do as the Alabamians do. It's been an interesting experience.
Brother D----- and his cows.
his farm.
Quilting club with the girls :)
These ladies know how to cook!
Sorry I didn't have time to write back to your email mom. Today was cut a little short, so I'll write you a letter soon.

Love you all!

Sister Edwards

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Tough Week

This week has been a very emotional one! Sister Wilson and I are dealing with a lot of difficult things with our investigators and it has been tough. More on that.

So last Tuesday  we met the new mission president! What an awesome experience. I"ll forward you the email we got from him today with some notes from his talk. He teaches very differenty from Pres. Holzapfel but I love them
both.. I went up and introduced myself to them and reminded them that they had met Mom at their farewell. 

I don't remember the day-by-day breakdown of the week, but the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday was hard to say the least. We visited a sister in our ward who is less-active and recently had back surgery and is in terrible pain. She can't stand for more than 15 minutes and she lives all alone in a run-down trailer home. She is so unbelievably lonely and is sinking farther into depression every day. We love her though, she is so sweet. We go and visit her often and do everything we can to lift her spirits and bring her closer to Jesus Christ. She can't make food for herself since she's in so much pain and will just open a can of corn or make a quick sandwich. So yesterday Sister Wilson and I brought her dinner, and we're going to help her cook meals twice a week. But anyway, it's just a hard situation. She's lonely, she's constantly in pain and does nothing but sit, watch TV, take her pain meds and sleep, and she is so poor. She's in need of so much help and I came out of our visit with her so so down. It hurts to see someone in so much pain and not be able to take it away.

Right after our visit, we got another call. Things went south with another investigator and it made us so sad. We love them so much.

Lastly, we visited a woman who is just as sweet as can be. She recently lost her husband and is struggling to raise her family in a dysfunctional home. We sure love her, and she really needs our help.

It's hard because these people have such real, difficult trials and it breaks my heart. I don't feel qualified to handle them, but somehow the Lord is strengthening me. I never knew how much it would help to have suffered through so much in my life. But I can relate to these people so much better because I have experienced so many trials, and that's a blessing. I talked to her about losing Grandpa and how we were so so close. I told her how hard it was, but that I found strength in the Savior and in this gospel. She knows this is what she needs to find joy, and her faith is incredible. She truly is a wonderful woman. She came to church with us for the first time yesterday and went to sacrament for the first time. She has a lot of anxiety so she was very nervous, but it was awesome to have her and her 10-year-old there. To see them take the sacrament for the very first time was... wow. Beautiful. It gave me chills. It was fast and testimony meeting, so Sister Wilson and I prayed that the people would be inspired to share things that were applicable to her, and wow, were they! So many recent converts got up and said that the gospel changed their lives, and that the gospel brought them peace through trials. She wants her daughters to have a strong foundation in God and so many of the youth got up and bore testimony of the gospel and Jesus Christ. She was so touched and said "I will be back next week. And I just got Sundays off, so I can come every week." She is amazing.

On a happier note, Mitch got baptized yesterday!! That was my first baptism, and it was sooo exciting. We had originally planned it for Sunday morning a 8am since Mitch does the door-to-door sales where he works all day every day but Sunday. The Bishop said it had to be in the morning, so Mitch could be confirmed during church that day. In the end we moved it to 5 so that his friends could be there, and it was great because it was exactly how Mitch wanted it. It's his day, after all, and we were glad he was so happy. He was glowing, truly. It was awesome to see someone you taught and helped finally enter the waters of baptism and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. He was so happy. Such an awesome experience.

We had another family reunion this weekend, too.  It was fun ahha, I love our ward. They're all so great. The (Smiths) are the family we ate with that had the farm and ducks a few weeks ago. Brother (Smith) brought us vegetables from his garden and a whole carton of eggs from his chickens!! I was soooo happy!! haha. so this morning I had cage-free, grain-fed eggs where I've actually seen the chickens and fed them myself and I know they are well taken care of. They run around his back yard all day and are happy as clams. So that was just really cool. me and my weird ways.

More and more people are finding out about Minor Details... I had so many people come up to me yesterday and say "So we heard you're famous!!" I'm like no.. no I'm not... We got to teach the Sunday School class for the 14/15-year-olds yesterday too, which was fun, and then we taught a short lesson in YW right after on ordinances and covenants. When I introduced myself, one of the leaders said "And she's the one in movies! which movie was it?" I told them Minor Details and  two or three of the YW were like "No way! I love that movie. I knew you looked familiar." hah. So yeah... there's

Well, that's a lot. Sorry for so much, but I have a lot to say. :)
Love you all so much! Hope to hear from you soon!

Sister Edwards

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Family! so much to write about. so many miracles have taken place this week and I am so, so blessed to be serving a mission right now.
First off, that broadcast--wow! I am excited but nervous to use technology. It's nice not to have Facebook or any of those distractions. We'll see how it goes.. if it's what the Lord wants then I'll do it. It felt soooo cool to sit there as a part of the team. what a blessing to know that every time they said "full time missionaries" they meant ME! I am a missionary. sometimes it just hits me and I'm like "whoa. I can't believe I'm here, doing this." I remember all the times the missionaries came to our home, ate dinner with us, left us a message, etc. And now that's me!! I'm the missionary in someone's home, teaching them, helping people, etc. It's just insanely amazing. What a blessing. I love, love, love being a missionary. I almost never want it to end, haha.
This Bessemer ward is amazing. They have shown us so much love and taken such good care of us. Sister Wilson and I have visited pretty much every member individually in their home and gotten to know them all. We leave cards and cookies and make sure we can help them however we can. Everyone is so excited to have sisters and I love being in this ward. We greet every member every Sunday at the doors and it's nice to know everyone's faces already. I love our ward mission leader and his family. Their little girls are the cutest and always give us the biggest hugs and hold our hands wherever we go. They're so happy to have girls so they can hug us! haha. Sister Wilson and I are singing in Sacrament meeting next week. We'll sing in our apartment and record it so you can hear the song. I have been trying to take lots of good videos to send! Sometimes I wish you could just see me being a missionary, Mom. I wish I could video tape everything I do so you can see I'm actually doing this!! It's so cool. I'm so glad to be here.
One of the members in our ward is this amazing 86 year old and she is just the classiest lady! She is always dressed to the nines and wears makeup, nice clothes, earrings, jewelry, etc. Her house is decorated so fancy too. She has the biggest personality though and makes me laugh so much. She was in commercials and did film all throughout her life. Apparently she won an award for being in the most commercials at one time or something? We visited her last week and had the best time. She's the funniest and loves to squish everyone's faces and kiss us on the cheek. We are now her "precious angel baby missionaries" and she's Grandma. ha ha. She can't let us leave her house without giving us food, so we left with a bag full of Vienna sausages, graham crackers, saltine crackers, soup, peanut butter and homemade fudge/almond joy chocolates! ha ha. Her and her husband banter back and forth and are just really funny. He had one of those long claw-like grabby things for things on the top shelf, and well... he may or may not have used it to grab her bottom. Lol. Sister Wilson and I just looked at each other in shock and died laughing. He said "She can't go anywhere when I've got one of these!" lol. Funniest people. We just didn't know how to respond to that. 

The culture in Alabama is really fun. Everyone likes to talk for a very long time. There's no such thing as a "stop by" visit. You sit down, talk, talk and talk and they like to give you all the details about their life and their uncle's life, and their grandma's life, and their best friend's nephew's life, etc. It took some adjusting at first but now I'm a little more used to it and am loving it.  

One of the cities in our ward is McCalla and we LOVE it!! It's more like what I thought Alabama would be. A lot of people are farmers there and have gardens like you wouldn't believe. We ate dinner with a family this last week that has chickens, cows, emus, ducks, and goats. Our dinner was fresh green beans, squash and carrots from their garden, along with homemade rolls and fried chicken from their own chicken. lol. They also had butter made from their own cow's milk! He said we can come over in the morning sometime and help him milk the cow. We'll probably do that next week or the week after. Not eating meat has worked out just fine here. Everyone is very understanding and always has something else besides meat available! it's been a huge blessing. You should let Nick Van Why know that, because he promised it would work out, and he was right. :) It's nice that so many members have gardens and farms, because we've been given some fresh produce! We got zucchini and peaches last week, and there will probably be more as the season goes on. It's a huge blessing to me!
Sister Wilson and I are still doing so well together. This companionship was inspired for sure. She understands my need for a clear, distinct answer and a pattern or method to doing something. She thinks just like me and has been able to help me a lot. The hardest part about missionary work for me, as a type 4, is that there is no right/wrong answer! There's no set method or procedure that needs to be done in order to teach the lesson and there's no perfect, step-by-step process to teaching a lesson. It's all very guided by the spirit, and you can't really pin it down. so that's been a hard adjustment for me to just feel and be okay with not having all the answers. I'm working and praying for confidence in trusting myself and trusting the spirit to guide me. I'm getting better. But yeah, we have so much in common. We like all the same things and don't like all the same things, We're going to be friends forever and I can't wait. We've been really blessed with each other and it will be hard to say goodbye. 
Has anyone received mission calls lately? I know Elise Carambela's papers were in.. she worked at Jamba with me. What about Kayla? Or anyone else? Has anyone gotten engaged/married?

We have been SOO busy here in Bessemer. This field is white (or green in my case) already to harvest. We haven't even been here for two weeks and have been so so busy. We always have people to visit, teach, and help. We haven't had to go knocking once. I told you last week about a woman who could progress if she would actually be home for our appointments. It's hard to see someone recognize truth, and then not care enough to do anything about it. We'll see how that goes. Now we also have one whose fiance is the less-active brother of our ward mission leader. She's had several lessons and already knows she wants to be baptized and sealed to her future husband. They are both very promising and like I said,she knows it's true. We've met with her once and I already adore her. she's the sweetest southern woman! she has a farm too, and owns a stable and works with horses. Her property is like 60 acres and it's just the most beautiful, green, lush sights. I'm sending some pictures. We have two appointments with her this week, Wednesday and SundayOn Sunday we're making homemade vanilla ice cream with fresh home-grown peaches!! haha. She told us she does that and we got so excited. So yeah, that will be awesome. :D I love her and am really excited. I hope we get to see her baptized.

We're teaching a girl next Sunday. Remember how our ward has a lot of people from Utah here for the summer to sell security systems? She is with that group with her boyfriend. She lives in Bountiful, has had discussions in Utah but never got baptized. She really prefers sister missionaries and hasn't been taught since getting here, so hopefully that'll work out.

Some sisters are also giving us their investigator who has a baptismal date because they didn't realize he's actually in our area. We're meeting him tomorrow and he's getting baptized in July. So cool!! I'm way excited. Our elders also had a baptism this week, which was cool.

We have 8 referrals we received from some people and some missionaries, so we're going to contact them all this week. The work is moving forward. Lastly, a few stories about a few more investigators.Yesterday we taught a guy named xxxxx and his cute family yesterday. These security sales guys are awesome, because they go door-to-door selling security systems, but they also share the gospel! So one of them called us up with a referral for xxxxx and his family who are Catholic, but very interested in the gospel. Only thing is that they all speak Spanish and very little English. Luckily the sales guy served his mission in Peru and he brought a couple where the husband served in Mexico. So yesterday we taught the first lesson and they translated for us as we went. So so cool. The spirit was so strong and I was so grateful to them for helping us. There are no Spanish missionaries in our area, but we're going to see about having some from another area come teach them. They were very touched and accepted the Book of Mormon and will pray about it. We have another appointment next week... I can see real intent in them. It was cool because afterwards, their friend said "Wow. That was so powerful. I asked him how he felt when you sisters were teaching, even though he can't understand English. He said 'It feels good. It feels powerful, I feel peace."" That was such a testament to me that the spirit can reach across all language and cultural barriers and touch the hearts of any person. So cool.

We taught a girl on Saturday and have another appointment tonight. She has had all the lessons and was almost baptized a year ago, but was living with someone so she didn't get baptized. Now she's single and I think she'll be baptized. She remembers how good the church felt and how it brought her peace and joy. We taught her the first lesson again, since she'd forgotten most of it. She really felt the spirit and is going to read and pray about the Book of Mormon again, since she wasn't sure how she felt about it anymore. I have high hopes for her and hope we can see her baptized. She's a sweet girl who lives in The Projects, so Sister Wilson and I were a bit nervous to go over there for a 7 o'clock appointment, knowing that by the time we left it would be dark. We prayed for safety and walked with a purpose as we walked to our car. Sure enough, a large group of large men were standing at their house across the street from our car. They called out to us and at first we were really nervous, but then we realized they had 5 or 6 little children with them, running around and playing games together. They asked us what church we're from, so.. we talked to them. The one guy has two children and the other kids were his nieces and nephews. They are really important to him. We bore a quick testimony about how families can be together forever, and asked if that's something he would want. He had a sincere look in his eye when he said "I would want that more than anything else." We took down his number and will most likely give him over to the elders, but what a cool experience it was. I could feel protection and safety as we talked to them. There was no fear or concern, and I just felt angels protecting us. And then, turns out, he was interested in the gospel. Pretty cool.
Last but not least, last night was awesome! Sister Wilson, the elders, a couple in our ward and myself were invited to the mission home for Family Home Evening with Pres. and Sister Holzapfel on their LAST Sunday in Alabama. What a blessing that was! And what a privilege. President asked us to come up with a lesson, so we planned and taught a lesson on the Atonement and how it can apply in our family. We took the attribute of humility and applied it to family relationships and really broke it down. At some point I'd like to share it with you, because it went really well I think. The spirit was there and we left several commitments to bring them closer to the Savior. I think they all liked it and it was again, such an honor to be asked to come teach. We planned a musical number as well, but a sister in another area got injured during our lesson, so President needed to leave earlier and go make sure everything was okay. Still, what a blessing! I love them and am grateful for them. I can't wait for you to meet them!! Sister Holzapfel is a doll. President is so powerful and so good at connecting to people. You will love his talk. 

I'm gonna send my pictures now!
Love you all!

Sister Edwards
Wow, wow, wow. So much has happened this week and I have so much to say.
So this week has been intense. On Friday we went and met a referral. We knocked and she let us in, and we ended up giving her the whole first lesson right there. It went so well and the spirit was so strong. She believes in Jesus but knows she needs to do more. She's a sweet black woman, single mom, and has 5 kids. She's pretty young and was so so touched by the message of the gospel. She had a lot of questions and wanted to know more, and she couldn't stop thanking us for coming. She said that just before we knocked, she was in her room praying and telling God that she just couldn't take it anymore. She was handing it over to Him and just said that she needed some help. And then we knocked on the door. So cool, huh? We helped her recognize how that was an answer to her prayer and that the message of the gospel could change her life. We're going back to see her tomorrow. Pray that everything goes well with her, please!!
We've met up with a few other investigators the elders left us. We're seeing several of them this week, as well as some referrals we got from ward members. Our ward mission leader and his family are soo awesome! His future sister-in-law has had all three lessons already and is so ready to meet with us. She wants to be baptized and sealed to her future husband, so we're teaching her on Wednesday. Our warm mission leader's kids are so cute!! His wife is adorable too.  The girls, ust love us! the first time they saw us they ran up and gave us a big hug, because they haven't been able to hug missionaries in 6 years. So cute.
This weekend was fun! Remember how I said the whole ward is related? They really are!! Two families started the ward as a branch, and then it grew and grew.  Almost everyone is related to one or the other. This last weekend they had a big family reunion for one family, which is basically just a ward party. Haha. 70% of the people there were in our ward. So we went and met a ton of people! It was at this big park area where the two families used to live, and half the ward members were baptized in the little creek at the park (picture posted of the creek). It was typical Southern food potluck, and I think that's when it really hit me--I really am in Alabama. Haha. Next month is the other family reunion, and we're invited to that too!! haha.
The ward has been so awesome. They are ecstatic to have sisters and have welcomed us so warmly. Because we moved in after elders, our apartment needs a LOT of work. Sister Wilson and I had to buy a TON of stuff to make it liveable. We had like two forks, two spoons, two plates, that's it. No rugs, no pans, nothing nice, and it was just nasty and gross and stinky. So it's taken a lot of work to fix it up and make it sister friendly. So many of the ward members have asked us what we need, how they can help and what they can do to make it better. They're so sweet. People are bringing us swiffers, plug in air fresheners (our apartment smells like smoke... but that's because of the complex), kitchen towels, pans, a blender, etc. It's been a huge help and they are so sweet. Our relief society pres. has taken good care of us, but we've spent a lot of money on this apartment lol. It's getting better!!
Church was great. They asked all the missionaries to get up and bear their testimonies, which was way cool for me. We share the area with two other missionaries. We see them most days and they are great. They're our zone leaders so we do a lot of things with them. They are fantastic missionaries and it's an honor to serve with them. Relief Society was wonderful and we had lunch with a really nice family afterwards.
Sister Wilson and I made cookies the night before (you're allowed to do that as a sister missionary!!) and packaged them up to take to members on Sunday. There's a huge amount of people in town for the summer doing security sales, and they're here for a while. They're mostly from Utah, and they're all younger couples with young kids. They live in some really nice apartment complexes down in Hoover, so we drove up there and visited with them! We introduced ourselves and we also got a lot of referrals from the members. We're teaching a few referrals this week! It was funny because it just felt like Utah Valley up there, in these nice apartment complexes with all these nice Utah families. Haha. It was surreal and felt like I was in Utah again. 
Also, EVERYONE tailgates you. Seriously. I can't tell you how many people ride our bumper every single day. Also, everyone has an accent here. Even little two-year-olds!! It's really cute.
Sister Wilson and I are doing so well together. I'm happy so many people liked the post on facebook! I'd LOVE to know what people are saying!! We are having so much fun together. We basically feel like we're having a 6-week sleepover with our best friend--while working super hard and getting blessings from the Lord. haha. We do work hard, but it doesn't feel like it because we are having a great time.
So I have a beautiful photo album I got at the MTC that I would LOVE  to be filled with pictures!!! Can you put out an announcement to people that I would love pictures of all of my friends? So if a friend wants to send me a picture of them (printed, 4x6) I can stick it in my photo album! We don't have time to print pictures and I don't have any pictures here anyway, so it would be great if people could send me pictures. I keep some picture frames on my desk too that just need to be filled. :)
So excited for all my friends going in the MTC this week! The only ones I can remember for sure are Emily Lewis and Landon, but I know there are others too. Good luck to all of them!! I'm so proud of you all. Email me your addresses so I can write you! You will love the MTC. :)
Sending pictures! Love you!!
Sister Edwards