Monday, April 23, 2012

Mary's 1st letter from Artashat, Armenia

Hello Family!  

I don't know where to start!  The new bishopric will be so great!  They are all wonderful-each with different strengths-it'll be fun to see them work with the ward.  Who will be the replacement for Bishop Joy in the stake presidency?  It sounds like there will be a lot of changes made in the ward.

Way to go Dad-with your joke-I'm sure President Christiansen is going to miss working with you.....unless you become the new counselor :) Wherever the Lord asks will be wonderful!

That is so exciting for Spencer-it's always good to hear that people are making progress-it would be so wonderful for the rest of the family to come back-how neat would it be if they were to be sealed?

I am with Sis. Bailey-Did they also send a picture of us?  If not I'll try to remember to send some next week.  Sis. Bailey is from N. Carolina-this is her last transfer in the mission-she is so great!  She's the oldest of 3, attended BYU, going into dietetics, her parents are divorced, and neither of them are active.  She's also vegetarian, so it's a little ironic that I'm with her and not Sis. Bobzien, since Sis. Bobzien is also vegetarian.  It'll be so great!  She is amazing.  She loves the people so much-and she shows it! I'm so excited to learn all I can from her!  We're in a little town called Artashat.  Sis. Bailey and her previous companion-Sis. Kohler reopened the area about 6 months ago (I don't remember how long it had been closed) And we are the only missionaries that attend the branch-where as most of the other areas there's at least 2 sets-if not more- for each branch.  We have the most gorgeous view of Mt. Ararat-I don't know how I got so lucky :) I'll send pictures for sure.  Mostly we've met with members, new converts, and a couple of less actives.  The people are SO great!  They are so loving and giving-so welcoming!  That's a big thing here in Armenia-guest loving-it seems even more amazing since they are in such humble circumstances.  Our branch president is so supportive-he does everything he can to help and often comes to lessons with us.  We have a lot of work to do-with the members, the less actives, and finding.  

Everyone loves seeing pictures of the family-they all say I look like you, Mom-and that Beth also looks like us, but that Cari is different. I've had a couple people say I sort of look Armenian-hahaha-so funny-I never would have imagined that one.  But I'd gladly be claimed by them-they are such good people.

One of the members we visited with is a member of the 70-Elder Menasian(sp?)-when we met he asked what my callings were before being a missionary.  As we talked-he explained that it doesn't matter the calling-whether YW president, nursery leader, Bishop, apostle-no matter what we are always missionaries.  That is our highest priority.  And so true, right?  We have been blessed with so much and have so much to share with others!  And to find those who don't have the truth.  The Lord is so aware of us-and He is always preparing people to hear the message of the Restoration.  What can you all do to help find those people?  How can you help the missionaries in the stake?  I know the Lord will give you missionary experiences-especially as you pray for them and seek them.

It's so warm here-Sis. Bailey tells me this is the hottest area during the summer....I may just become a lobster.  We did have rain a few days ago, so it was a bit muddy, but other than that it is sunny and dusty.  So good though.  I love it!  

Everyone is so funny about my language-lots of people are amazed that I'm learning, even more are amazed that I just got here.  They all say I speak so well-even though I feel like I hardly speak at all-only little things.  But for the most part I feel like I understand what they're saying.  It's different, but I feel like our teachers prepared us so well.  I have truly been blessed-especially compared to years ago when there was no MTC or language training.  I'm looking forward and working toward the time when the language isn't a barrier.

Pres. Carter told us that with our group there were no missionaries going home-so we were able to open 3 new areas (did I tell you that already?), but we don't get new missionaries until after the other missionaries leave, so we aren't exactly sure what'll happen during those weeks.  I'll also have a second trainer-to finish my training after Sis. Bailey leaves.  It'll all just be so good!  And of course, since the Lord's hand is in it, it'll all work out how it needs to.

Mom-I have some people I want you to forward emails to, but I don't have their email addresses with me right now, so I think that next week I'll write an email to you, and then write another one that you can forward to them.  Will that be ok?  Also, Sis. Bobzien's mom bought minutes online and then sent a number and instructions for calling-but I don't think you need to get anything because I'm almost positive that we get to skype-but I'll let you know as it gets closer. 

Also-I'm going to write another email-answering Callee's email-will you forward it to her?  We are allowed to receive emails and then I can go through you to respond, or I can respond with regular mail. I don't know if you want to let people know-but you can give people my email address-since I know that's easier than regular mail.

I love you all!  I am so grateful we have the knowledge of the gospel-that we can be together forever.  I know we are led by a living prophet-Pres. Monson-that he speaks with God on our behalf.  This truly is the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness!  

Love you!

Sis. Broadbent    

Moroni 7:45-48

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mary made it to Armenia!

Monday, April 15 Mary left for Armenia!  She had a bit of a trip - first to JFK where they went through all that needed to be done for International travel.  She called me, her mom, from there, just to say hi and that she would be calling Tuesday morning while they were laid over in Austria. She sounded so excited and very nervous as she heads for this new adventure!!  She said she felt like she was in a dream after being in the MTC for 11 weeks!  After an 8 hour flight they got to Austria, a small airport where they had to stay for 14 hours!  Mary called us here at home in the morning so that she could say hello to everyone.  She sounded excited and ready to go!  Her Armenian sounds awesome and she feels like she has a good handle on it.  She told us that the MTC has changed how they train recently, the missionaries now teach in their assigned language every day, rather than just a day or two a week.  Many of the TRC volunteers felt like this was very good preparation and felt that these missionaries were able to speak Armenian very well - even before leaving the MTC!!  We hope this is good preparation and will get them off to a great start!!

We received a letter from the mission President and he said all the missionaries look good and he is excited to serve with them!!
Here is picture of them!

Don't they look great!!

And here is Mary's quick email after some rest and before her great day began!

Hello family!
We have arrived!  Hours ago really, but we're here-and it's great! It was so good to hear all of your voices and to feel of your love and support!  Thank you for all you do!
Pres. and Sis. Carter said they sent you a picture of us at the airport-I hope you recieved it; Sis. Carter said at first it said your email wasn't valid, so hopefully it worked out.  I don't know when p-day is, so we'll work that one out later-also I used my debit card in the airport yesterday-I hope that was ok.
Pres. and Sis. Carter ar wonderful! I love them already and they seem great! I'm so excited to be here!  Earlier Pres. Carter said that Grandpa was the stake president (maybe counselor?) when he went on his mission-and that Grandpa interviewed him.  He talked about how wonderful Grandpa was and described him just how I remember him-that whenever you talked to him, you felt like you were the only one in the world-and the most important at that.  He also said that his sister dated Dean for a while...what a small world!
I am so grateful to be here!  I can hardly believe it's real, but it's so great!  I feel so blessed to be a part of this work!  And so grateful that we all share the joy we have because of the gospel!  You are wonderful!  I know our Savior lives, this is His work, He directs it, and we can find so much strength through Him! 
I love you!
Sis. Broadbent
2 Nephi 31:20

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mary is on her way! April 11, 2012

Բարև իմ ընտանիք: վայ դժվար է հավաքալ որ ես գնում եմ Հայեստան:  բայց անհամբերությամբ սպասում եմ գնալ:
(Hello my family! Wow! it's hard to believe that I am going to Armenia. But I am so exciting to go!)
It sounds like your weekend was great!  I hope you said hi to everyone for me! How fun to see everyone! Way to go Beth for finding names! I'll bet that was a special experience being baptized for them-going to the temple is always special, but even more so because of the work you did! I'm SO proud of you!  What a neat opportunity to talk  to Beam's parents it sounds like they are greatl!
 Funny story about that-yesterday at our devotional Bishop McMullin and his wife spoke-he told a story about a seventy that was on a bus in Africa.  This lady sitting behind him started bashing the church and had the whole bus joining in.  When the lady paused for a breath, the seventy began reading from 2 Nephi-we rejoice in Christ, we talk of Christ etc. And the entire bus was saying "Amen" after every line he read.  Finally someone asked if he was a preacher, he said no, but that he was reading from the Book of Mormon.  The lady that started it all ended up taking the discussions-the Lord truly knows and prepares people to hear his gospel.  The time will come for them as well :) 

Easter sounds like it was also great! Don't you just love how we have the opportunity to better remember our Savior?  Josh-where is Eric going to? I don't recall hearing.
Easter was so wonderful! We had a mission sacrament meeting-the sacrament was passed to all of us gathered together-it was so neat! We sang Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer-it was a gorgeous arrangement-it always feels so wonderful to testify through song!  We had a couple of guest speakers-maybe you've already heard, I don't know..... :)  Pres. Packer and his son Elder Packer (of the 70) spoke.  It was amazing to be fed by these great men!  Elder Packer talked about how important the BoM is as well as the Bible.  He also talked about our Savior and how there are things in our lives that we often look to the Prophet for, but that we should seek comfort and guidance from our Father in Heaven.  We should always look up first.  Pres. Packer-bless his heart-was cracking some pretty good jokes at the beginning :) He is so great! He is a wonderful example, as he struggles from polio, of what it means to live with a smile, even when things happen to you that you don't have control over.  He talked about the power we have and the power we can ALWAYS have through the Holy Ghost.  And how we find so much joy heading the promptings of the Holy Ghost, because that helps us become like our Savior and Father.  He also talked about how we all have circumstances that are not ideal-the Savior certainly did-but we must not quit, we must not become discouraged-it is through those trials and experiences that we become strong, and where we find more knowledge.  He invoked so many blessings on us-I feel SO blessed!  We were talking about how blessed we've been to be here the time we have-we've heard from Elder Holland, Elder Oaks, Pres. Packer, multiple members of the 70, and we had the opportunity to sing for conference. WOW!
Mom-Thanks for sending that stuff! You're the best! I will be send a package home, too.  Conversion is an on-going process right? And no matter the things we do as teachers or as students, the Spirit is what converts us.  It is important that we do the things necessary to invite the Spirit and conversion, and we have to really desire it.  There were a few scriptures I thought of-I'll let you read them and see what you think.  Alma 32:26-37, 2 Nep 4:16-35, Alma 36, Alma 5, Mosiah-the beginning, I don't remember the cahpter, but it's when Benjamin is talking to his people about being converted.  I don't know if it'll help, but there you go.
Travel plans-we fly out Monday morning-we have a layover in JFK for a few hours, so if there's time I might call you from there, it'll be before 1-but it depends on how long we take.  If I don't call from there, I will definitely call from Austria-we have a 14 hour layover in Vienna-so I'll try to make sure I don't call at an in convenient time.  We're there from 8 am-10 pm-but I don't know what time that is for you-it's Tuesday for us, probably still monday for you, I don't know.  I'm excited to talk to you all! Maybe I'll be able to say some things in Armenian for you :) Maybe not well, but....we shall see.  I'm excited to talk to you!
I love you all! We are blessed beyond all measure!  Today at the temple I felt that more than ever and got just a small glimpse of just how much our Father loves us!  WOW! This IS HIS gospel!  I know Christ is at the head of it and that HE LIVES!  Through Him we can gain access to all our Father has! 
ձեզ սատ եմ սիրում:
սերով քույր Բրադբենթ

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mary's MIssion April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012
For those of you who may not have seen Mary - she was in the MTC choir on the Saturday afternoon session. I will try and figure out how to capture her from the youtube, as of yet I am not having success, so check out the blog later! Or you can just go to youtube, search for the 2012 lds conference sat session (you'll see David Archuleta all over it!). They have some great shots of Mary in the Lead Kindley Light Hymn. She is near the end.
Here is her latest letter!


I have so much to tell you about! I'm already assuming that I won't fit it all in this email, so you'll most likely get a letter, too.  With that being said-I'm probably not going to write any of this in Armenian :( But I want to get as much in as I can.

I'm so sorry about Sis. Coleman's dad-I'm sure it was hard for her, but I hope everyone is doing well with it.  We are SO blessed to have the gospel!  If for no other reason, it's the knowledge we have that we can be with our families forever.  What a blessing!

I'm so glad you were able to go up and spend time with Kris, Marinda, and Camryn-it sounds like it was great! I'm trying to picture just how adorable Camryn is and I'm positive my imaginations are not doing her justice.  Please do send pictures-I would LOVE them! You could even send them through email and that'd be great! Speaking of which-will you forward the pictures to me that Marinda sent from Karalyn?  I'd love to see them.

Saturday was SO fantastic!  I can't even begin to describe to you how wonderful it was!  The choir directors kept saying it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I thought, I've done something like this before, right?  But truly, nothing can compare.  I think even if I was in MOTAB for years, it wouldn't be the same as singing as a missionary.  I love the calming power we find through the Holy Ghost.  Sis. Bobzien and I were talking afterwards how as we were waiting to sing Glory to God our hearts were pounding, but as we started the spirit immediately calmed us.  I also love how well everything connects together.  The 2 speakers right before we sang Lead kindly light, spoke some about that idea-how we need the Lord to guide us.  It was so powerful-I almost started crying at the end (and we all know how little that happens :)) And singing Mack Wilberg's arrangement of Praise to the Man was AMAZING!  It was the neatest thing to be apart of the growing momentum of the song-and to witness that I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the sacrifice sung about in the last verse, is something that all of us can relate to as we sacrifice for the gospel and for our Savior.  WOW! We came back and watched all of the songs-we've talked often here that there are always angels round about us to bear us up-but I think there were more angels with us then!  I feel SO blessed to have had the opportunity!

CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING!  I loved it!  I love how simple the gospel is and how much it fits so perfectly into our lives.

Sunday night we had Vai Sikahema speak to us-he is a sports broadcastor in Philedelphia-he told some awesome stories about how he is still helping to share the gospel through his work.  The station he works for started doing this thing a while ago called the Wednesday's Child-where they are trying to place children in homes for adoption-they were looking for a slogan that would that would be catchy-he suggested "Looking for a Forever Family" So now, all over Pennsylvania they use that slogan.  He said that he hopes that the children who are placed through the program will recognize the gospel when they have the opportunity to hear it and that it will be familiar to them.  He also said that last year the tabernacle choir asked him to help sell tickets for a show they were going to do there-and they let him do whatever was necessary for it.  I don't know if you could look it up on youtube, but it awesome, the "commercial" they created to promote the show.  I just love how he showed us (even though we already know) that missionary work needs to be done everywhere-especially after missions.  What can we do to share the message of the gospel with those around us? How can we help prepare people to accept the gospel?

Right after the fireside we had this AMAZING opportunity.  We were back in our classroom and some security guards came to get us to go to the front desk-we all thought it was some kind of April Fool's joke.  We got to the front desk and there were 3 men-2 americans and one armenian.  The americans-1 the father of a missionary speaking armenian in Cal. and the other his brother. The armenian -Օրեմ-moved to CA about 7 years ago-about 4 months ago he was driving and saw the angel Moroni on top of one of the temples and he thought "I need to go in that place" So he made his way to the temple-they told him he couldn't go in and explained why and then arranged to have him meet the missionaries. (There are 4 Elders who speak Armenian in Glendale CA-and they have an Armenian branch there) So he's been meeting with the missionaries ever since.  Then the week before conference he decided he wanted to go to conference-he drove up here, by himself and ended up staying with this Elder's family.  He didn't have any tickets-but he was able to attend all the sessions of conference in the conference center!  So we talked to him-in Armenian and English-about the gospel and about Armenia.  It was AWESOME!  And we were able to understand!  WOW!  He told us how he knows Pres. Monson is a prophet, that the church is true, and that he wants to be baptized.  We all couldn't stop smiling and he made a comment about how people in Armenia don't smile, Sis Bobzien asked if we shouldn't smile then, and he said "No-smile-all the time-it will catch their attention and they'll wonder why you're smiling and why you're happy"  so amazing!  I'm so excited to meet these people!  Scared out of my mind-but SO excited!

I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church on the earth that contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We know and have access to all the doctrines that we need to return to our Heavenly Father. I feel blessed beyond measure to be apart of this work!

I love you all! You're the best!


Sis. Broadbent

Oh and yes-I leave the 16th-less than 2 weeks :) so CRAZY!