Monday, March 23, 2009

Ups and Downs

March 23, 2009
What an amazing week!!! Lots of things happened, good and bad. I guess I will give you the bad first. Sadly, my knee has given on me. I don’t know what happened but it's just been in pain constantly since last Wednesday, I've been taking ibuprofen(sp?) and doing everything I can to heal it. Trying to push through the pain, but my companion insisted I call Sister Hutchings (Mission President's wife), so I did. She said to go through the weekend to see how it was, and it's still in enormous pain...feels like someone’s trying to pull my knee out :(. So she called last night and she is making an appointment for me which should be sometime this week.
I've been trying everything to get it better, because I thought it was gonna just be like a day pain thing, like usually happens but nope, it's not going I will keep you updated and I think Sis. Hutchings will keep you updated but I'm not sure. I guess we'll see what the Doc says....same pain I had when I first hurt it (3 years ago) but 15x worse....I'm pushing through though, and working hard.
Anyways, I have had a really good week!!! I witnessed a miracle!! Tuesday and Wednesday we went on exchanges with the spanish elders. That was fun. They are traveling assistants. I went with Elder Patterson...We had a really good two days, met alot of new people and taught a ton. Got my first door slam in my face too.
Okay so for the miracle! We have received this guys information from HQ in Utah, and have been in contact with him for about 3 weeks now. His name is Jeff by the way. Elder Patterson and I went to visit him on Wednesday for a little bit. We didn't teach anything then because he was on his way out, but he is a really awesome guy, and super friendly. He has HIV (from a blood transfusion the hospital gave him) and leukemia from smoking forever (but he quit a while ago). He has a hard time holding things with his hands, can't see in color and throws up a lot.

So when Elder Ragle and I went to see him on Thursday he was having a really difficult time, he has like no money and little with him. He was divorced a while back. His wife and daughter stayed down in Alabama and he stayed here in TN. His daughter also has luekemia and has been in the hospital for a while. When we went to go see Jeff her kidneys started to fail on her so he was really worried about her and depressed, and trying to get down there to see his daughter. So we asked him if he would like a blessing. He said yes. We explained a little bit about what the priesthood is and what blessings can do and if you had faith that you will be comforted. So, I was able to give him a blessing...It was amazing, you could feel the spirit so strong. We then taught him the first lesson which is on the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We gave him a Book of Mormon and some particular scriptures to read.

We then came back on Friday to see how he was doing before he left. He said to us....Ever since ya'll gave me that blessing yesterday I can see in color, my hands don't shake, and I haven't thrown up since! He was all excited and gave us hugs and all. I was like wo, did I do that? Well the Lord did it through me...he comforted him and he is being healed, slowly but surely. He left for Alabama and got back yesterday morning about 4:30. He called us when he got back, and that was fun waking up that early but it was all good because he wanted to go to church with us. During church he got a message about his daughter, that her kidneys have failed almost completely so they were going to do surgery. He was really, really heartbroken and having a tough time, so we taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he understood it completely. It brought such comfort to him. It was the best lesson I think we have ever done. He is in Alabama right now, but should be back in town tomorrow night. We plan on baptizing him this weekend, he is ready. We should have two baptisms this weekend!! Actually three because there is an 8yr old being baptized on Sunday! Anyways so that's that. It was an amazing experience, best yet.

Keep up the good work

Have faith, be obedient and work hard!

Love yall
Elder Edgell

Oh and the sister I told you about last time hasn't smoked since last Thursday!!!!!! She’s grumpy from it, but doing it!!

What's a Gator fan doing amidst all that Vol stuff? Only in
Tennessee. :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Work Continues...

March 16, 2009

Hey Yall!!!! Sounds like everyone is doing well. Keep up the good work Andrew!

That’s so cool that Ben (Brown) finally got his mission call! I'm so excited for him. I'm sure they are excited, he has worked hard for it. One of our young men in our branch got called to the same mission!

Oh super exciting news!!! We set a baptism date last Thursday!!! April 14. The missionaries have been working with her for the past couple of months, and we finally set a date with her last week. Her name is Connie. Her husband died last year, and she has been going through a difficult time, but she loves us. She loves how we are so dedicated in what we do...I love when people love us back, and tell us how awesome we are, it brings us up big time.

My companion and I got 3 new investigators yesterday! Just from contacting (going out and talking to people). One guy that I talked to was awesome. I talked to him, seein how his Sunday was going, what he was up to, and then I handed him a Book of Mormon pass along card, and asked him if he’s ever heard of it, and he was like "YA! I have one at home." I asked him if he’s gotten a chance to read it yet...he said "No, but it’s on my to do list." So I was like WHY HAVENT YOU READ IT YET!!!, but in a nicer way than that. The outcome of that story is that he wants the missionaries over to teach him! I say missionaries and not us, because he may not be in our area.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes/packages. I got Krista and Mike’s last week, and we ate the cake. Speaking of eating, I’m being feed very well.
I'm having a blast, and learning lots. Yesterday our branch presidency got released and new ones were called. They are all awesome people. I love the people here.
Glad yall are doing good. Thanks for the prayers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Service and Teaching; March 3 - 9

The place I live in is a very nice apartment complex. We live in the bottom level. I like it, it already feels like home.

Our ward is small, well it’s a branch, but I kinda like it being small, because I already know pretty much everyone. They are all so nice here.

Yesterday we had Zone Conference all day in Nashville. It was awesome, we mostly focused on obedience, and the blessings of it.

It was really warm all week...Elder Ragle hates the cold....this morning when we were going to workout, he thought it was was at least 56, and beautiful! I love this weather.

Last week we did some yard work for a less active sister in the ward. It was fun. She had a ton of cool stuff in her garage. Her ex- husband used to work on cars, and Elder Ragle loved it because he's a mechanic (diesel engines). There were a lot of car parts, and old stuff, it was cool.

Last Friday we got a referral from someone to go and teach this kid named Luke. He's 18. Last year his dad and step dad died all in one month. I was able to relate to him and it was easier to teach him, because I knew where he was coming from. He had done a lot of drugs, but after his dad and step dad died, he straightened up, and started going to church.We taught him the plan of salvation. He’s so excited..he wanted us to come back the next day...I wish we could of but we are going back this Saturday.

Our mission is striving for 100 baptisms this month. I think we have at least 102 dates, but most will fall through, which stinks, but we keep on praying for it.

During Zone Conference they sang to me and a group of elders who had birthdays in March, which was cool, but your birthdays are just another day.

Oh, I did get the box, and thankyou!!! I was going to ask you last week if you could send me Girl Scout read my mind! :D

After Zone Conference, we cleaned out a crackhouse! Oh the joys of being a missionary....the person who we helped out had been renting out the place and the people who lived there were druggies and really messed up the place. ALOT. I wish I would of taken pictures but didn’t have my camera with me. All the walls had holes in them. They left their car and they had a dirt bike in the back yard, and still worked, so if you want a dirt bike you can go get one. Just kidding. There were beer bottles was gross...but we helped the guy out, and taught him pretty much the 1st lesson afterwards too. Don’t worry I’m safe and sound.

I’m doing well, and working hard, and love the people...they are such hard workers, and they have great faith...keep praying for us, we need it so we can get 100!

Love ya'll, Elder Edgell

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

First Week in Tennessee

In Elder Edgell's words:
" How yall doin? Hermitage TN is an amazing place, I love it so much. As you can tell I'm picking up the southern accent pretty quick. and I've only been here a week. My comp has a pretty good strong southern accent to him, and he's from Nephi Utah. He's really cool, we've had a really good week.
The first day that I was there, I taught my first lesson to a lady named Anita. It was the attonement...I bore my testimony and I could tell that she knew it was also true, we set a baptism date for the 14th of March, but when we were getting ready to eat at a part-members house she called us and dropped us :( ,she said that she found Jesus in her front room this afternoon, but we are gonna go see what's up tommorow.
My first time I went out contacting(seeing people on the street and teaching) my companion told me to go talk to the guy filling up his car, so as i was walking over to talk to him, he went in to the store....I was so nervous I didn't know what to do..I said Hi, I'm a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints, and he was like Oh the mormons...How you doin? I said good, and stated what I was out doing, he was a protestant, and I gave him a Book of Mormon pamphlet, it was cool.

We also meet a lady while tracting(knocking on doors) her name is Cathy, and we knocked on the door and she answered it and we talked to her for a while. We asked her if she knew about the book of mormon, and she said a little bit, and then was like oh the mormons, ya'll practice poligamy and we were like no we don't. but in a nicer way. She said she has been praying and looking for the right church her whole life. So we are going to try and teach her tommorow night...
I met my first celebrities yesterday!!! THE OSMONDS! (Photo of me with them above)Jay and David Osmond came to do a fireside last night, to help get investigators to and share the gospel with them, you may remember that David tried out for American Idol. They're so cool.
It's so awesome being a missionary, I love the south so much...
Ya'll are lucky that you got snow, we just got a little dusting, and it is freezing today, the windchill will make it in the single digits.
Our branch is small, but I like it.
Everyone is surprised and shocked that I am from the east coast, its so funny because they get all excited about it.
We had an amazing contacting story from yesterday(Sunday) We were walking in a parking lot, and saw this homless lady(alot out here) and we stopped and talked to her and we gave her a Finding Faith in Christ hand out, and told her what it was, and we went on our way. We found some more homeless people and talked to them for about 30 minutes, and the lady that we saw was still sitting at the bus stop. My companion and I got this feeling that we should go back and give her a Book of Mormon. We walked over there and handed it to her, and when Elder Ragle told her that this book is a evidence that Heavenly Father loves us, she started to ball...tears came from her face, it almost made me cry. We shook her hand and went on our way. Whatever trial she was going through I know that we planted that seed for her, and hopefully she will remember that.
I love being out here and teaching the gospel, it's so much fun!
They said that we are supposed to have the worst year for tornadoes this spring...not gonna lie, pretty excited to see if I can see one, but if it does damage that means service for us :). No one usually has anything for us to do....I guess they don't want us to work in our good church clothes or something.
There's a TON of VOL fans out here of course, our branch mission leader is a huge TN fan and he hates the Gators, so I rubbed it in a little bit. He's also a sports journalist for a local paper out here...everyone is gonna try and make me a VOL fan, but I'm not gonna budge..hope not anyways. So he's my source for football news. I've seen a couple Gator fans out here but not alot. It's always good to see a Gator tag in front of the car every now and then, or a flag from the car.

Hope you have a good week....I can't believe I turn 20 on SUNDAY! How awesome! The missionary work here is good, and I came at the perfect time to do it. LOVE YALL!"