Monday, September 27, 2010

Finally some pictures!

I got three questions from katie to answer this week:
1- At what moment have you been the most proud of yourself thus far in the field? Umm this one is harder to answer, but i feel like this past week was actually a proud experience. We did exchanges with the English elders and i went with the senior who has 15 months out. It was really cool though because he and i did puertas' and i's normal schedule so i was kind of the leader. I just felt way big cause i planned out the night, led all the discussions that we had, and got a referral from a random member that we didn't know before haha. I did all that talking and the teaching, and not only that but i got to decide more or less what weould teach and stuff like that. It was a really cool experience and even though it wasn't a hugely succesful night, it was a confidence booster that i know more about what i'm doing than i thought.
2) what it feels like as you go to knock a door? Okay so honestly i hate knocking doors, especially white people's doors. hahah i just feel so awkward and puertas makes me do every one just because i need the practice. For some reason, i cannot just be myself when i do it, i always feel like i'm trying to put on a face or something, i don't know, i need to just chill and relax when i do it. But, we don't knock every door we pass. We actually hardly ever go knock beacuse our days are pretty full. We go knock for a few minutes if appointments fall through though and we just walk along the street until we feel like we should go knock (or until it looks like someones home) and then puertas says "no tenga miedo" "don't be scared" and he makes me go do it haha as he slowly comes behind or talks to someone on the street. It's good though, just the other day we talked to a lady mowing her lawn after an appointment fell through and then she said sure come on by after we offered to finish mowing her lawn hahh.

3- Least favorite thing to do as a missionary? (plan at night, wake up 630, knock?) Ugh my least favorite thing? I hate getting up in the morning but we have been going for a walk every morning which helps us have something to look forward too haha, it helps us wake up too. But in all seriousness i think knocking doors might be my least favorite. Even though i think, "what's the worst that could happen" i just don't like it and i get nervous hahah. It feels unsuccesful too like there is more we could be doing.

Man there is so much to say, so many stories to tell! A kind of funny one is that we were gonig to an appointment witha spanish couple and on the way, i walked by a house with the blinds open and saw a guy with one leg in a wheel chair watching "night at the museum" hahah. SO i wave and keep walking. But as i walk away i hear a small voice saying ELDERS!. So i turn around and see him in the door. I'm thinkin "great who is this crazy old man with one leg and no teeth" But he starts talking to us like he knows us. I honestly had no idea who he was but he told us he was a convert adn that he goes to a different ward than ours. Then he told us, my friend is coming over right now and i'm giving him our mormon book (the book of mormon), and that he wants to go to church at your building tomorrow. SO we are like hey sweet and we gave him our number to give to his friend bill. Then Bill calls us that night and we set up a ride with him for church haha and then he and the wheel chair guy came with us to church and they loved it! it went so well and they were even participating in sunday school and priestrhood and stuff it was awesome.

Anyway, that was the cool stuff that happened this week. I read a cool story in the new testament this past week too. I have never really opened it up much, but this past week i just started reading it and it is soo awesome! i love reading about all the stuff christ did and how he taught and everything. The story i liked though is actually one of the last things he did. I was reading in John, i dond't remember which chapter. ANyway, Jesus was put up on the cross and one of his apostles were there along with his mother and mary magdalene. The last thing he says before he dies to his mom is, Mother behold thy son, and to his apostle he says, Son behold thy mother, and then he passes away. What seems very simple, really stood out to me. The last thing Jesus Christ did while he was on the earth was make sure that his mother was in good hands by leaving her in the care of one of his apostles or disciples. It just made me think of how important our mothers are and last night i shared this same story with a recent convert spanish family, and they loved it. It made me think of you mom though and i just wanted to say thank you for everything that you do for me even out here on my mission. Your support and love and uplifting messges that you send me, I can't thank you enough for everything you do. it makes me grateful for the our family too, and the relationship we have together between all of us. I have seen a lot of families out here that are just missing it, and it really is soo sad! I'm serious it breaks my heart to see families being torn apart and distant relationships between siblings and parents. We are so blessed to have the gospel in our lives, i know that that is the reason our family is so strong. It makes my responsibility even more sacred and special to know that i am in charge of giving that happiness to others. We are so blessed to have the gospel, it is the only way to have lasting happiness :) I love you guys so much! And thankyou for all the support and letters and love, it has been a real blessing. Be well, i pray for you everyday and night, know that our savior lives and that we have his same exact church on the earth today. It seems like a good thing to share huh? I love you guys!!!!

Katie's commentary: Love the pictures and Tra'vs progress. Just one thing. I always love to see what missionaries wear on P-day--the 1 day of the week that belongs to a missionary until 6pm. Usually the missionary wears their favorite jeans, shoes, belt, that hemp bracelete they brought, that puka shell necklace they saved, their hat, sun glasses, favorite skater shirt and jacket. Never fails ;0)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Does anyone read this blog?

Just curious if anyone follows this blog...if not--I'm going to delete it unless you comment in the comment field or email me at Thanks for supporting Trav.

Wet Week

- This was a wet weekend, not only was it pouring but we had 3 baptisms! I'll explain up to them in a second. This past tuesday, was super stressful, we got a couple married that was living together. Jose and Cindy, me and my companion even got to be the witnesses to the marriage ha it was a really cool experience. We have been working with this family since the weekend that i got here and now things were on track for this weekend.

- one evening for dinner, we shared a dinner message with the family that we were with, and what we didn't realize that the lady eating with us who was sister crows sister-in-law, wasn't a member. SO we share something from preach my gospel and do a little role-play. We asked sister crow to invite her sister in law "rhona" (is her name, their from new zealand), to do something. It could be read the book of mormon, come to church, anything. We explained that in order to gain a testimony and grow our faith, we must ACT. As we act and show heavenly father we WANT to know these things, then we receive our testimony or witness. Anyway, they do this little role-play as we watch. It was such an awesome experience becaause what started out as a little "pretend role play" turned into something real, a real missionary moment. And sister crow just bore a sweet testimony of the book of mormon and even started crying saying "rhona i wish i had shared this with you earlier", she got so into it and the spirit was so strong! It was just a cool thing to see how the lord works in mysterious ways. Puertas and i were all ready to change the message that we were gonna share because we thought it might be weird to teach from preach my gospel to a non-member, but we stuck with it and it was so powerful! so now we are going over to her hosue this week again to eat with Rhona and follow up and see if she read :)

- Here's another cool story, we were teaching a family called the "payasos" which means clowns in spanish. They are actual clowns for their work, they dress up and go to parties and stuff hahah. But they are so awesome and their two little girls give me all sorts of art work that they make so they are awesome ha. We went to teach them like a week and a half ago but they were like oh we're moving we'll get in touch with you later. So puertas and i are like great, we may not ever see her again. But she said she was moving over into the "flats" which is just an area in west salem. So on friday, we are driving through the flats and we have 1 hour to go knock doors. While we're driving puertas turns to me and is like "edwards, pray that we find the payasos" so i'm like okay and i said a prayer right there. Then i try and give him directions just trying to be led by the holy ghost, and then he stops and we get out. I was like bro i think we should go up there, and he's like nah let's go here, so i follow him over to this apartment complex that we've knocked like 4 times. There are a bunch of kids playing in the middle, it's shaped like a "U" with a play ground in them iddle. So we are talking with the kids and a couple that was sitting outside when all of a sudden, i turn to the right and see martha and jaquelin (the payaso girls) playing. And i do like a double take and just say NO WAY! They were playing right in front of their new house and so we found it, (with heavenly father's help of course)!! it was soo crazy like the first place we go it was where they live. What an answer to our prayer! That was soo cool.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This is a picture of 3 of the boys from our home ward--elder nate quinn, elder mike kinney, and trav man all in the MTC together.

Excerpts from Trav's letter:
- Things i have learned from this week: i have learned how to hold my bladder, and how to eat without throwing up.
I'd love to say that i've eaten a bunch of crazy things but no, we just eat a ton! haha! 3 nights this week, we had to eat 3 dinners in a row yikes! Before every dinner, i have to say a prayer that my stomach will have a little extra room. There was one time where i took a bite of chicken and was chewing, then i thought, if i swallow i'm gonna puke haha so i just sat there with this chicken sitting in my mouth and then i said a prayer and swallowed haha. Thats how those dinners are. Its great though, we are getting fed really well.
Things with my companion are great. We are speaking more spanish and just started this thing called purification. We made a list of 10 things that we need to do better in our companionship and just as missionaries, and then we prayed and fasted this weekend (since it was fast sunday) for help in bettering ourselves as missionaries. So we put down some things that will help us be more obedient, more spiritual, and better at spanish ha. Me and puertas have been doing really well, and i see that he trusts me more even in my first 2 weeks. I realize that last week i was being kind of selfish and that fact was, i just didn't know how to do anything haha and now i'm getting the hang of things better, i know the people better, and i am more comfortable when puertas throws me under the bus as we teach in spanish. He is always like, and now my companion is gonna talk about ...fasting or the temple haha. I try so hard to follow the conversations and then puertas just drops something on me and i teach and bare my testimony about it haha. We have taught some normal lessons too like the restoration and the plan of salvation too. Today we are gonna go teach abotu the commandments and something else i can't remember.
- i just love this work! it is such an amazing feelnig to go around from house to house, with the sole intention of helping that family. That is really the only reason why i am here, to help these people accept the gospel and bring them a life full of blessings and happiness. I just love the interactions and the role that we playh as missionaries. Even through the hard stuff like one family that just got baptized told us they had a relapse with drugs and drinking. It was aweful of course but thats the beauty of the atonement. They can be forgiven and they will be as they continue to live the gospel. But the fact that they shared that with us, with complete trust in us to help them was a really cool thing. I just love this! I'm beginning to see why daniel and katie always tell me how jealous they are of me :)
- Ah man i can't tell you all how much better i feel this week. There are still hard days when i get super frustrated either with myself, or with another elder (not even my companion). I try to just remember why i'm out here and that its not about ME! I loved the first day we planned together, my comp and i, and he said the prayer. He said help us heavenly father to know how we should plan YOUR day. I just really liked that how it really is his time that we are on, not our own. And even though i lose that perspective at times, in the end it always comes back and i remember.
- Last tuesday we had a good finding day. We only found 30 new people instead of 100 haha we set our goal pretty high huh? But 30 was still great and we've gone back to teach a couple of them. There is one white family (not married of course) that was actually really into our message. The girls name is vanessa and she was like, ya know what, a ton of religious people like you guys come and knock on our doors and i've never let any of them in. But for some reason i just felt like you guys should come in." We were shocked ha and just prayed and said thank you heavenly father for these miracles we see literally everyday. They are great and their family is really just looking for a new start, which is exactly what we can give them!