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

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