Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Email subject line: Elder Edwards

Hello from the Korea Seoul Mission! We are pleased to inform you that your missionary has arrived safely to the Korea Seoul Mission happy, healthy, and ready to perform the Lord's work among his children in Korea. Thank you for preparing them so well! 
Korea Seoul Mission

Monday, July 29, 2013

Phone Call from the Airport

5:10 AM this morning, the phone rang. "Hi Mom."
SOO good to hear his voice!!!

Last night we planned how we would all gather for this phone call. Should we all sleep in the same room? Then we could all wake up at the same time? No. We figured it out and when Spencer called this morning, we quickly gathered in the living room.

He sounded good, but tired. He had a 2 hour nap for sleep last night. Hopefully he was able to sleep on the plane. His plane left at 6:00 AM for Texas. A lay-over there, then a 14 hour flight to Korea. He's scheduled to arrive there at midnight our time. 3:00 PM Korea time.

We asked about the Korean missionaries in the pictures he sent. "They're the international missionaries from Korea. They fly over to the MTC for 2 weeks to learn the gospel. Then fly back." No language training needed for them. :)

When asked what he would tell Dallen, Melissa and Sarah Jane, or anyone else possibly preparing to serve a mission he replied: "Read the Book of Mormon. Really read it. Not just skim through it. Look up the references. Read Preach my Gospel. It won't just make you a good missionary, it will make you a good person."

At the end of the phone call I said I was sending him a hug over the phone. "Squish up your shoulders tight, tight, tight! You feel that hug?"  "Ow Ow Ow," was his reply. :)

Sure love that boy. Keep him in your prayers. Along with all these other missionaries who are on the Lord's errand.


Friday, July 26, 2013


Help me. I'm going to Korea in 3 days and I can't speak Korean. This is going to be super awesome.
This week was really long and really short. The more I'm out here, the more Time just punches me in the jaw and spins me on the merry-go-round and then stops it suddenly and expects me to understand. Now that I think about it, Korean feels like that too. Sweet. It was really hard to focus this week... We are all just so incredibly excited to go to Korea. SO excited. Yesterday, we had in-field orientation. Which was a 9 hour ordeal learning about how to work with members and the ward. It was super long.... But I made it. I'm still here. Our teachers have been telling us tons of stories from Korea, which has just made us even more excited.

Lots of people ask me what my biggest concern is... And it's the food on the plane. My teacher says that you get the choice between an American meal and a Korean meal. I can't decide! It can either be my last taste of 'Merica or my first taste of Korea. This decision has occupied my thoughts for 2 weeks. I'm really weird. But maybe it doesn't matter, because everyone says plane food is bad, so I'll probably just throw up either way. Sweet. But I am super excited for the plane ride!
We got our Korean nametags this week!!! Elder Edwards = Ay-de-wo-de-se Chong-no. Sweet.

The MTC has been good. In some ways it has really exceeded my expectations, and in other ways it has really stunk. I have loved learning Korean, and the spirit that is here. It is so cool. I love my teachers and it has been so great to learn from them. All in all, I have loved it here. But I'm very ready to leave. 9 weeks is a long time.
In 3 days, I board a plane to Korea. I couldn't be more excited. Or nervous.
3 Nephi 5:13: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." Alma 42:31: "And now, O my son, ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people. And now, my son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them. And may God grant unto you even according to my words." I'm so excited to share the gospel with the people of Korea. It is going to be such an amazing experience.
I'm ready, in that I am not ready at all. Bring it on Korea.
Elder Edwards

Wardies--me and Sammi Burnett. We're not allowed to take pictures with just an Elder and a Sister, so those are our companions. :)


Friday, July 19, 2013

Travel plans. Finally.

Hello everyone!

Today is Friday. And it's also 4:00 in the morning. Our district has the privilege to clean the temple today, so we had to rearrange our schedules. Which means that we all got up at 3:50am to do laundry. I'm kind of tired, but it's good. Everyone has been excited about this p-day... because we get travel plans, and get to clean the temple, and do laundry with no one around. It's awesome.

Life is good here. There is a lot of excitement in the air because Korea is SO close. AUGH. I'm ready to go. It's fun talking to new missionaries who've been here for a few days or so and they ask how long I've been here. 8 weeks. It's a long time. I definitely get some respect as an MTC veteran around here. Awesome.

Travel plans are HERE. Finally. We report to the travel office at 3:00 AM on July 29th. We will be traveling on American Airlines. First flight is 304 which leaves Salt Lake City at 6:00am and arrives in Dallas TX at 9:40am (I think Texas time... I'm not sure.) Flight 27 leaves Dallas at 10:45am, at which time we arrive in Seoul at 2:50pm. (Once again... it's weird with time zone differences. I honestly have no I idea how long I'll be flying for. Sweet.) I'm so excited!!!! Korea is incredibly close.

The new Korean missionaries came in on Tuesday. 4 Elders (Ahn, Lee, Lee, and Pak) and 3 sisters (I can't remember their names.) The Elders are so cool! One of them speaks a fair amount of English so we're able to communicate. As zone leaders we got to orient them last night... That was rough. The one Korean sister who is fluent in English was in an interview for most of the time, so we muddled through it in Korean. Which was funny. And hard.

In Korea it's not weird for two guys to link arms or hold hands. Which is WEIRD here in 'Merica. So it's weird when the Korean Elders are touchy with me. Different culture I guess.

Another culture thing: Deodorant does not exist in Korea. At all. And the toothpaste is not good toothpaste. Apparently they put sugar in their toothpaste, which kind of defeats the purpose. So I'm thinking I'll just embrace the caveman side of me and live for 2 years without brushing my teeth or using deodorant or showering. It's going to be awesome. Just kidding. I might shower sometimes.

Life is good. The language is coming along and I'm so excited to go to Korea!

Love you all,
Elder Edwards

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I wanna go to Korea. Right now.

Hello family and friends!
This week FLEW by. It seems like it should be crawling because I want to get to Korea so bad... But it's going really fast. So I guess that's good. This week has been really fun and I am really enjoying the people in my district and my zone. They are all a great group of Elders and Sisters.
I get travel plans in a week!!! Next Friday, we get to clean the temple for 3 hours which should be a really cool experience. (The temple has been closed for the past couple of weeks for cleaning.) I'm looking forward to that. And then, after the temple, we should be getting travel plans in the mail! I'm so so so so excited. SO excited. In just two and a half short weeks, I will be in 한국! Korea won't know what hit them.
This week, I got the privilege of hosting the new missionaries coming into the MTC on Wednesday. That was.... fun. And kind of sad. It's super easy looking back on that moment of saying goodbye to the family because it was 6 weeks ago, but these poor Elders and Sisters went through that 2 days ago. Ouch. But the two missionaries that I did host I feel like are doing pretty good. I sure hope so. It is insane how many missionaries the MTC gets. On Wednesday, 840 new missionaries came in. 840. That's a lot. And our job as hosts was to make sure they didn't take a super long time, because the coordinating peoples goal is to pump in 100 missionaries every 15 minutes. Which they do every Wednesday. Crazy. The work is hastening!
The Korean zone got 20 new missionaries going to Taejung, Busan, California, and Toronto Canada. They are all super awesome. My fellow zone leaders and I got to get them oriented last night and Wednesday. It was fun. Looking at them, I feel like I know an incredible amount of Korean. It's amazing how much we have learned in these 6 weeks here. Really, I know very little Korean, but it's nice to get a confidence boost every once in a while. A side note: The new Korean missionaries thought I was 25 years old. 25. I think my whole life has been leading up to this moment. Never before has someone thought that I am older than I actually am. So that was pretty cool :)
On Tuesday, a bunch of Elders from the zone and I played soccer. Oof. That was rough. It was at least 150 degrees and SO hot. I'm out of shape. It was amazing to me how much your athletic level can decrease in such a short time period. I guess that's what super processed food and very little exercise does. Sweet.
Life is good, the MTC is great, Korean is hard, and the gospel is true!
Love, Elder Edwards

Friday, July 5, 2013

Korea is loooooming​.

Hello hello! This week was super awesome. Yep.
The Branch Presidency decided to send my fellow zone leader, Elder Nemelka, a week early to Korea so he could accompany Elder P. So he was super pumped about that, and both of them have now been in Korea for 4 days! I'm jealous. So Elder Grimshaw and I helped them to their bus at 2am monday morning which was pretty fun. And tiring. But I'm super happy for them.
Happy birthday to Dad today!!! You are so awesome. And happy anniversary to my lovely parents. They are definitely the bomb diggity.
Yesterday, the MTC had a special devotional. We got to stay up late to watch stadium of fire, so we all (the whole MTC) watched 17 Miracles from 8:30 to 10:00pm. That was pretty cool. And the fireworks were honestly pretty dumb, but mostly because I saw more trees than fireworks. Yesterday was the most homesick I've been here... Because all I want to do on 4th of July is make cool firework boxes with my little brother. But it's all good. Cause I heard they have sick fireworks in Korea, so next 4th of July the Koreans will get a little taste of 'Merica from yours truly. I've never actually shot a Roman Candle, so I'm pretty darn excited for that.
... Yeah. The days here are really really repetitive, so I feel like I have less and less to write. But that should be solved in a few weeks once I'm actually in Korea.
Funny fact. One of the Korean words for "Wow!" is 대박 (pronounced day-bak), which translates almost directly to "Great Melon!" I got a pretty big kick out of that. Great Melon! It sounds like something Batman or Robin would say in one of those old sweet movies. Great Melon, Batman! Hah.
I've thought a lot about the word "might" this week. There are so many scriptures that tell us to labor with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. D&C 4 being maybe the most prominent. Jacob 1:19 says (I'm paraphrasing); "If you don't labor with all diligence and might.... those peoples blood that would have been saved is on your garments." And I want some pretty spotless garments come judgement day. I want to come home and say "I worked HARD." That's my goal.
Elder Edwards