Monday, June 4, 2012

Mary's Mission letter June 4, 2012

Barev dzez im sireli untanik! (so I don't know what this means because she has written it in "English" and you can't translate it unless it is written in Armenian! Barev dzez means dear family)

 It was fun to see you write a bit in Armenian, and it feels so neat to understand it!  The one, մէծ սիրով, that you said means big love-its really more of "with a lot of love".  If that makes sense.

A little bit of housekeeping before I jump into the week....I recently found out that we're not supposed to even read emails from anyone other than family-I guess it provides too much of a temptation to write back...I know it's a challange for those not family, especially considering the mail system, but I also know there are blessings with obedience.  But we get DearElders regularly, which is basically the same as email.....  On that note-will you let Callee know that a letter is on the way-en route-but I really have no clue when she'll get it-and while I can't read her emails anymore, I appreciate her love and support and assuming she started her papers-congrats! I am SO  excited for her!

Last week we had a lot attend church-this week-almost half of what we had last week-shat kich-but it's not really in our control.  Even though we were small in numbers, it was a wonderful day! We have a senior couple that comes to our branch and the wife is trying to learn Armenian-she bore her testimony in Armenian and it was so sweet! All of the members loved it and were SO happy with her!  Sis. Bailey also bore her testimony for her last Sunday here-it was so good, not to mention all of the other testimonies.  A lot of the members testified about the importance of our trials and how we learn from them-I am also so impressed with our members, especially with that perspecitive; I often feel like they have so many more things that burden them, maybe not more, but different.  Our trials are all so different, for each of us individually, specifically tailored for our needs, so we can be taught.  Truly, I know the Lord knows us-He is always near us, and He wants for us to learn from our trials-to grow and improve.  I was reading in Mosiah 23 today and there were a couple of things that stood out-1st, verse 15-it tells about how Alma taught that we need to love our neighbor as ourself-I love this! The teaching itself is good, but more than that I love how scriptures like this really show that The Book of Mormon is another testiment of Jesus Christ-how it teaches of Christ, leads us to Christ, and how it shows that the Book of Mormon is true! More than 100 years before the coming of Christ, and Alma teaches the same thing that Christ would teach-using the same wording-coincidence? Not at all! There is no way the prophet Jospeh could have possibly written it!  Only translated through the power of God!  So amazing! 2nd-verse 21-it talks about how the Lord chastens His people and tries their patience and faith-thus trials.  But how He does it for our good.  A member the other day was saying that something bad that had happened couldn't possibly be from God-and maybe He didn't make it happen, but He allows things to happen for our benefit, so we can gain that experience and knowledge.  Knowledge is such an amazing thing!  2 Nep. 15:13 talks about how the people were brought into captivity because of a lack of knowledge.  This also reminded me of D&C 131(?) where it says that we cannot be saved in ignorance.  But on the other hand in D&C 82 it says that he who sins against the greater light receives the greater condemnation.  Knowledge is SO powerful!  I was thinking about how there are a couple of really important keys with knowledge.  The first is that we must gain it; through studying, pondering, receiving revelation from the Spirit:  really seeking knowledge.  The 2nd is the responsibility we carry once we have knowledge:  to share what we know, and as we've been taught from the apostales, as we share what we know our own testimony is strengthened.  We also have the responsibilty to act according to our knowledge.  Can you imagine being filled with spiritual knowledge- knowing how we need to live, what we need to change in our life, how to change, all of the secrets of the God's kingdom and such-and just sitting on the couch, not even thinking about it or doing anything about it?  It just doesn't fit.  When we have that knowledge we need to act accordingly, so we are not condemned because of what we know but aren't doing.  So many things revolve around our actions, desires, and how we change (faith, patience, charity....)they are all so connected.  I also really like what it says in the bible dictionary about knowledge "...are know what to worship and how to worship..." our knowledge helps us with those two things.  I was thinking about how we know that we worship God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ-I think that in doing so, we come to know our Father better and our Savior better-we learn about their characteristics and we learn how to emulate them-so we can truly become like them, which in the end is our goal.  I don't know-kind of cool-food for thought.  And since knowledge is the only thing we can really take with us after this life....why not do what we can to gain it?

With that in mind...there's a couple of things I was thinking about studying this next week.  The first is humility.  What does it mean for be humble?  How do we become humble and remain humble?  Why is it important for us?  The second is becoming a son and daughter of God.  I know we are all children of our Heavenly Father, and that He loves us because we ARE His children, but all through out the scriptures it talks about becoming a son or daughter of God.  What does that mean?  We already are, so how do we BECOME?  What does the life of a son or daughter of God look like?  Food for thought....

And the big news of the week......brace yourself, it's big-and unexpected for all the sisters here.  As you know, Sis. Bailey is going home.  Sis. Burnham is also going home.  And it's transfers this week.  We thought a couple, maybe a few companionships would be affected, but alas, all of the sisters have been switched a bit.  Sis. Beal, who has been here 12 weeks longer than us, will be with Sis. Bobzien-both are VERY nervous since they are both so new.  This was VERY unexpected since we though Sis. Tolman would stay with Sis. Bobzien and at least finish her training.  As it is, Sis. Tolman is coming down here with me to finish my training.  I am SO excited to work with her!  Then another sister is going up to take Sis. Beal's place.  There are two sisters who will have mini missionaries (members from the branches) until the new group of missionaries gets her in July.  It'll all be so great!  I know some of the other sisters are nervous, geeze, I'm nervous, too, but I know the Lord knows what He's doing!  He is guiding this work!  I know Jesus Christ is our Savior-He knows us each personally and has felt all that we feel!  We saw a car accident the other day that ended up killing one and injuring others.  I was thinking about how much peace we find through the gospel; through the Book of Mormon, through our families, through prayer and through the Savior.  Knowing our relationship with God and knowing that He has a plan prepared for us.  We truly are blessed beyond all measure!

I love you all!  I hope you all have a fantastic week!

ձեզ շատ եմ սիրում (I love you)

մէծ սիրով (? direct translation is mets with, we'll have to ask her on this one too!)

Քույր Բրադբենթ  (Sister Broadbent)

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