5 Month Flashback – Week 22

Oh hello good people of the World!

Well here we are again meeting through the internet… kind of… not really but I mean it makes me feel like I have some connection with civilization. But listen here I am so glad to talk with you all it has been a lovely sweaty day in Puerto Barrios but lovely nonetheless.

Well tomorrow I hit 5 months living in Guatemala. That is half the time to incubate a baby, I feel like that is pretty successful. But hitting this major point in my life I figure we would do a short five month flashback because that sounds pretty catchy. I really wanted to add in some nice background music but I didnt so just hum to your selves while you read this. Well in the last 5 months I have learned a whole lot of Spanish, been in 3 areas, had 5 companions (more than half being Latinas), made some pretty good friends, kissed by a gangster, ate monkey uterus (yeah I brought that up again), saw a castle, moved to the beach, learned how to wash my clothes in a pila, had two baptisms, read Jesus the Christ, and saved a pigeon. Those are the major points that I can remember right now that I think are pretty neat. But I have now lived 5 months without carpet…. and I miss carpet a lot….. but all is well I love this country!

Well now onto notes from this week. First off, I decided if we had some crazy natural disaster in the States that I could survive easy now after living here. This week some kids taught me how to make a kite out of tree so I mean if we lost everything and had to live off of what the Earth cold give us I could make kites for everyone so I think that is a good attribute to have so yeah……. Also I am an animal whisperer so that could be handy too.

Today is clearly P day that is why I am permitted to write ya’ll. And today was a great Pday we went to some ruins. We first walked into this museum and there was this black jade with this tree carved into it and some people holding onto a rod walking to this tree. Now my Mormon folk out there if this does not scream first Nephi… I do not know what does. So we look at the back and guess what had a quote about the tree of life on it…, if you guessed that black jade you nailed it. It is so amazing that we find things like that in places that are ot own by the Church. Still do not know how it got there or who made it, but it is unreal that I am serving where the people of The Book of Mormon were. HOLLAR

Well this week I am learning more about meekness. Things happen sometimes that we just do not like but this week I am learning more to smile at it and look for the funny things that happen. We have this darling recent convert, he is like 65 years old and just cracks me up.. Him and my comp were having a dispute and my comp was just done with the lesson but I just sat there and talked with him for a minute. He has a lot to share with us and we just need to listen to him. But I feel like that goes for everyone. A lot of the time we just do not always listen and there is always someone that needs us to listen for just a moment.

Well kids, that is our lesson for the day, learn to listen. This message was brought to you by Hermana Edwards in Puerto Barrios. But thanks again for all of your support. I hope that all is well in your lives and that you are staying dry. Know that I that I love you and that I love this work. I cannot say that enough. I love being a missionary. I am learning so much and what a blessing it is to serve here in Guatemala. This country is so special to me. I love you all and hope that you have a beautiful week!

Con Amor
Hermana Edwards

Week 21- She’s Rolling Along

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2013 12:17:44 -0600

Oh hello you good people of the world!

Well we have finished another week in oh so wonderful Perto Barrios. What a week it has been. First I want to thank everyone that has sent me letters, I finally received a whole load of them last week and I was so thrilled. Being in Puerto Barrios we have to wait an extra 2 to 4 weeks to receive mail so it was such a treat to be able to read some wonderful things from you cute kids.

Well this week started out a little slow, but sometimes that happens. SO this is what happened, we were walking, walking at a very rapid pace I might add, when my ankle rolled. And sometimes my ankle rolls a lot which is fine but this time it hurt really bad – but, I just was like “walk it off Edwards” just the usual pep talk. Well we get to the house of the other Hermanas here in Puertos because we were having divisions with yet another companionship of Hermanas and my foot is getting real big, real fast….. this was a problem because my shoe was getting small real fast. But the story ends well, I am just in a brace right now, but I am able to wear my normal shoes again so thats okay. Point of the story just dont roll your ankle….. clearly.

Well this new branch that I am in is so wonderful, I absolutely adore it. There are some sisters in this ward that I just cannot get enough of. One of these sisters name is Hermana Arjelia. Now Hermana Arjelia is like my BFF here in Puerto, I like to yell her name in the streets of Guatemala when I see her a few blocks away and she just laughs and tells me to be quiet. Well we were in this lesson with Hermana Arjelia and some of her family. For some reason my comp brought up how this is probably going to be her last area and Hermana Arjelia looked at her and kind of shrugged like whatever and then said how she doesn’t want me to leave. She said that the Sunday that she met the missionaries for the first time she saw my comp and was like… yeah she is from Honduras, and than she the cute little Peruvian and Hermana Arjelia thought she was cute and then she saw me and said that something hit her like a wall…. at first when she said that it made me nervous…. but do not fret she did not stop at that. She continued by saying that she knew that she met before this Earth life and that she feels something very special with me. I have known this sweet woman for 3 weeks now and I love her dearly I know that I am supposed to be with her right now.

I had another really cool experience this week as well. I was with Hermana Arjelia (I told you she is my BFF) and we were walking and talking. We walked past this man and said Hola and what not and he told me my accent was good and I said thank you….. because that is what you do. We continued walking and then something told me to stop and go talk with that man. So I told Hermana Arjelia to wait for a second because I needed to talk with that man. And me being so odd and awkward turned around and went up to the man and said Excuse me but I have a feeling I need to talk with you…. I could not have been more casual… I know. We talked for a bit and gave him Book of Mormon. He thanked me for turning back to talk with him and told me that he wants me to meet his family because he said that he can feel my heart and my spirit and knows that I am a good example to youth. Well that was so so so kind of that man because sometimes it is easy to get lost here, but it reassured as to why I am here.

This week has been difficult, but it is not going to be the last difficult week. I have seen miracles in just the past couple of days. There is this menos activo who is just a stinker about everything. He is 19 years old and before wanted absolutely nothing to do with the church but I have been praying for this boy to have a desire. I challenged him to read the Book of Mormon with me and I honestly did not think he would…. but he is. He is reading it slowly but reading it nonetheless. There is a lot of power in that book and I know that it can change lives. I just want to let you all know that I am doing well and that I am thankful for your support. I love you all. If any of you are having a rough time, take a minute to read the Book of Mormon and pray, I have seen how it helps my life and how it literally changes the lives of other people. Or you can just come to Guatemala and then everything seems so much better! I love you all and I love this church! Keep on doing work kids! Edwards over and out!

Con Amor
Hermana Edwards

Week 20 – Kittens and Site Seeing in Cemetary

Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2013 15:36:31 -0600
Subject:
From: alyssae@myldsmail.net
To: m_jedwards@msn.com; jedwards@pbtk.com; soccer.kj@hotmail.com

Well friends and family here we are again!

Well I have survived yet another week in the Tower of Terror…. Tuh Duh! And this was my first week solo with my comp so that was kind of interesting… we shall talk more about that later. But all in all I am really loving this area. It is hotter than Hades but that is nothing new,, but having it be so hot makes the cold showers a lot more bearable so I guess there is always a positive side to everything folks.

Well this week I added more pets to collection of animals that I have here. Last week I got a pigeon, I am living like a real Guate with that and this week I added two kittens to my collection. Everytime I feed my kittens I hear my moms voice in my head telling me that I can’t take the baby home after I found that toddler in the street back in the day when I lived in the states. But I really love these kittens so I figure it is all right and more people want to talk to me because they see this white kid feeding kittens in the streets of GUatemala.

Well clearly today is Pday and we can all thank the heavens for that. Today for Pday we went to this cemetary that is here in Puerto Barrios. Now that kind of sounds morbid but well my life is rather weird these days so why not spend a couple of hours in a cemetary. But this cemetary is kind of cool, it has got this baby taj mahal and all sorts of things that just make me love my Guates a little bit more.

So this week I am learning more about humility and meekness. I kind of don’t want to learn about them, but I guess it is time again. I have been having some problems with my companion which is expected because everything was so easy with my last companion that I would have to get some one who trials me. But I know that there is a reason I am with her and there is something that I can learn from her. But at the same time I know that Heavenly Father is never ever going to give us something that is too hard to handle. Right now this companionship is very difficult but at the same time Heavenly Father has put another companionship of sisters in my same area that I get along with very well and that provide a lot of support for things that are going on. I also am very aware that this is my opportunity to learn. Some times it is hard to learn about humility when I so gosh darn stubborn, I think that is why I love donkeys so much they just understand. But at the same time I know that this is when I can more fully use that Atonement. The Atonement is there for us to be better, to overcome our sins but it is also there for us to learn to submit our will and take on the will of the Father. At times it is hard and at times it sucks but if we want to return to live with God one day sometimes we got to sacrifice.

Well now that we have gotten past the more serios stuff I want to let you all how much I love my mission. Yeah there are problems, sometimes they are hard companions and sometimes there is monkey uterus but I promise that we can all do hard things. And there are always people there to help us do that. Right now I already have a best friend in the ward. Her name is Chatia and it was her birthday last week. She has special needs and we get along very well… clearly. Everytime I see this sweet girl she throws her hands in the area and screams so obviosly I do it in return. I am so grateful for people like her. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be here and to get to know these people I love them so dearly. THings are chugigng along for sure. I hope that you all have a beautiful week that is not 95 degress plus humidity. But if you do remember your sunscreen! Les quierro mucho!

Con Amor
Hermana Edwards

Week 19 – Puerto Barrios

To whom it may concern or interest:

AHHHHH I am so thrilled to write all of you cute kids this week. First off, all of you who watched conference throw your hands in the air and yell WAHOO!!!!! Oh my heck that conference was killer… we all just got a little love from that cute Prophet Monson and were called to repentance. I think I can last another 6 months…. oh but I am thrilled to hear what comes next. I am not going to lie when President Thomas Monson said farewell I wept because here I am in Guatemala and he just said bye…. oh my heart cannot take it. Well needless to say I cannot wait to read those sweet talks over and over again (exclamation mark).

Well for others news from this week, this kid right here had cambios. But that is nothing new. So I went to our cambios meeting and there was soooo many people there. Three fourths of our mission was there just hanging out talking in Spanglish. So I am hanging with some of these missionaries that I adore when I finally got to enter the cambio room. All of my friends were waiting outside to hear where in Guatemala this kid got to go. I was told that I was going to Puerto Barrios. Now where in the world is that – I only know Zona 18, so I am a little naive when it comes to the other parts. Now let me tell you how this cambio worked out. They did not just kick me out of Zona 18, they kicked me out of the capital. I almost passed out. Because you see, here not many people get to leave the capital in fact very few people get to leave. I think it is because they are sick of me befriending gangsters, but I do not know. So last Wednesday I took a 6 hour bus ride to my new area which in fact sits right on the beach…. please living like a Princess these days. All of my friends were dying because I got to leave the cap but whatever, it is no big deal (actually it is a big deal).

Well Puerto Barrios first is soooo hot. And it is soooo humid. I literally sweat all of the time. I sweat when I sleep, I sweat when I study, I sweat before the shower, I sweat after the shower, I sweat when I walk, I sweat when I teach, I lieterally sweat all of the time and it does not help that I have Edwards genes in me. Talk about a hot mess… but it is fine because I live next to the beach.

This first week here has been interesting. We are opening up a new area so that is kind of rough. Also our area is huge so that too is rough. We lived with the Hermanas that we share our area with for a few days and finally got moved into our house. We live in the Tower of Terror now. Literally I am not being dramatic. So the first day we visited our apartment the woman who owns it was like this used to be a working hotel, but now we have permanent residence. Stop right there little missy! I am pretty sure they said that in the Tower of Tower movie also there is a broken elevator so I think we have clear evidence that I live in the Tower of Terror. And one more piece of evidence I found my first drowning pigeon in our pila here, but do not worry I saved it and then I fed it cereal and now he lives under my pila. SO welcome to my life.

For Pday today we visited a castle (thats what happens when you move out of the cap). It was so cool and so fun oh my heavens. I love this place. But really Puerto Barrios is killer and cruise ships pass by so if you want to visit go on a cruise. Oh and there is one more reason why I love this place the people here are so dark. I mean Guates are pretty dark as it is but I am talking really dark like middle of Africa…..so I feel a little bit at home.

Anyways this week has been so good. So hot, but so good. It is hard being dropped into an area where I feel so lost all of the time. But there are people here to help me. I cannot help but think this is what we were told before we got these bodies and came to Earth. There was this plan and we were stoked for but we knew at times we would feel lost but God would not leave us alone. He puts people on out paths to guide us, to be examples for us. And most importantly He gave us our Savior. I am learning more and more about the atonement and how to use it better in my life. I am so grateful for that sweet sacrifice of love for all of us. Yeah at times we all feel a little lost, sometimes a little sweaty but that is okay because there is a light that can guide each and every one of us. I hope you know how much I love you all and I hope that all is well! Keep hanging in there and keep smiling and if it is hard think of me living in the Tower of Terror! I love you all!

Con Amor
Hermana Edwards

Week 18 – Transfer this Week

Oh hello to all of you wonderful people that so patiently read my letters! I hope that all of you are doing so wonderfully!

Well this past week has been another wonderful week in Guatemala! We taught the Gospel, we studied, we walked miles and did what missionaries do. Also we have not had any rain this week just the sun that feels like the fiery inferno but I am getting some good color…. red, but that is okay. We did have the wonderful opportunity this week to watch the Relief Society General Broadcast. I was not to sure how this was going to go over in Spanish but oh it was so wonderful. The minute I heard President Monson start to talk before the Spanish translator came in I began to weep like an Edwards. My cheeks were hot and tears were coming. No one else in that congregation was crying except the one white kid…. yeah thats me. THe sweet ward members were looking at me very concerned and my comp said do not worry about her she is from the States….. oh but it was so wonderful.

Also this past week my sweet friend that was baptized last week received the Holy Ghost and the same Sunday that she got that you better believe this white kid with 4 months of Spanish under her belt gave her first talk in chuirch. I was a little bit nervous because I did not have time to really prepare anything andf when I say prepare anything I mean prepare my Spanish because that always needs rehearsing…. you all thought that I was bad when I did not prepare anything in English you should hear some of the doctrine that I teach in Spanish…… just things like I am the Priesthood or I share my first vision or repent of your fish I do not know but all is well in Zion.

Oh but the big news for the week is we got the call for cambios this yesterday, Mind you I have been in this area for a total of 6 weeks…. I was sure I was here for at least another cambio….. but you better believe that they are taking me and my comp out of this area and putting in Elders because it is too dangerous or something like that…. I do not really believe that but I guess my President knows best and I have a testimony so let us all prayer for the poor sister who has to deal with this kid. It really is bitter sweet because I have come to really love my gang ridden hot mess of an area, I feel like I fit in in some weird way. But the hardest part is having to leave the Youth here. I love them so dearly, one of them told me he started his papers because I helped him. Oh cambios…. I guess it is a good thing I did not unpack all the way after my last move. Bring it on cambios.

This week I came to the realization that all of these members that I love so dearly are all converts. I was sitting in a lesson with our girl that was just baptized and I was the only person in the room that was baptized at the age of 8. This church would be absolutely nothing withou sweet, humble people with hearts that are open and ready to convert to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It truly is incredible.

Well, I do not have any funny stories…or jokes other than I am the only white person in this area so everyday is kind of like a joke….. But I hope that all of you have a wonderful beautiful week.

Con Amor,
Hermana Edwards