Monday, July 30, 2012

Letter July 30 2012 and pictures

Barev marev Family!

This picture is from our mission conference when Elder Schwitzer and Bishop Stevenson came-this was all the missionaries in the mission-now there are a few more, but this is pretty much all of us.  If I remember right, I told you about when they came.

One of the pictures is a view from a member's apartment-it's just a bit of the city.

The one of the car-it's probably weird that I sent it, but I love it, because almost everyone who owns a car in Armenia own a car that looks like this.  Ba-I just love it.

Another is just a picture of one of the streets here in Artashat-a lot of the streets are like this, dirt roads, lined with trees and house-its a pretty typical look.

I think I'm just going to try and send pictures today-we didn't have a very eventful week, it was pretty normal.  Hot, but good.  I studied a bit about charity-I always feel like I lack in my love for the people, especially when I start to notice how I'm finding all the things about Armenians that tend to be so frustrating.  But I love the people-I just want to see more of the good, and feel more of that Christlike love towards them.  I read a talk that Pres. Uchtdorf gave a few conferences ago-it mostly was talking about hope, but I love the connection it made to charity and faith.  I've always wondered why they are always connected, so it was good to understand a bit better the connection they have.  He says "The stronger our hope, the purer our charity.....The things we hope for lead us to faith, while the things we hope in lead us to charity."  So I was thinking about the things we hope IN, so I could better understand charity-here's just a few things I came up with-we hope in Jesus the Christ, the goodness of God, manifestations of the Spirit, our knowledge that prayers are heard and answered.  So why does hope in these things lead us to charity?  I think as we taste of those things, as we experience them and then hope in them-that we'll again experience and taste God's love-then we know what God's love feels like and we have a desire to love and serve God.  As we feel that way toward God, we naturally begin to feel that way towards others and we begin feeling the "pure love of Christ."  One thing from the True to the Faith book that I really liked "Strive to love as He loves, with unfailing compassion, patience, and mercy."  I just was thinking how charity NEVER tears down, it always seeks to build others-after all, isn't that the example we see in Christ?  I feel so blessed that I have tasted of Christ's pure love, however inadequate I feel, or how little I may really have tasted of it-I have tasted it!  What a blessing that we have the gospel! I truly know that Christ is our Savior, that He gave His life for us, so that we have the opportunity to be enfolded in His arms of love again!  

Will you all think about the experiences you've had feeling Christ's pure love?  Think about how you've felt, and will you strive to feel that kind of love towards others?  Will you share a taste of that love with others by testifying of Christ and sharing His love with those who have never tasted of it or those who have forgotton what it feels like to be enfolded in His arms?

I love you all!  I hope you have a great week and that everything is well!

Ձէզ շատ եմ սիրում:

մեծ սիրով

Քույր Բրադբենթ
More pictures to come...

A couple of these pictures are from when we went to Geghard and Garni with our zone-I don't remember if I told you about that-the one of just the church is Geghard. Then there are a couple of me and Sis. Tolman-one is us near Khorvirap.  The last picture is me with Anik, Mary, and Norik.  Anik is the one we are seriously teaching right now.  I love this family SO much!  We were hoping Anik would come to church, but they ended up having some house work to do :( We had even just taught about keeping the Sabbath day holy :( If everything goes well, she'll be baptized towards the end of August-if she'll come to church....

Anyway-I love you all!

Աստված ձէզ հէտ

մեծ սիրով

Քույր Բրադբենթից

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mary's mission letter July 23 2012

Happy Pioneer Day! We may not be celebrating it here-but I hope it's
good for all of you! We are so blessed to come from such a rich
I am SO excited for Chance and Kylie!  That is SO great!!!  I was
thinking about Amy Ormond this week-I think she was supposed to have
had her baby-do you know if she has and if everything went well?

I'm betting the weather here is about how it is there-hot.  The
sisters up in gyumri and vanadzor say it's almost cold there-it's so
interesting how the weather differs, even in such a small place!  In
general people here just deal with the heat-they sweat, and we smell
them! Sometimes they'll use fans, but very rarely do they have air
conditioners.  I think if they had them, they wouldn't use them
because everyone thinks that if you are even slightly chilly you'll
get sick or hurt your heart.  It seems so bizarre to me, since we
always like it cool and we grew up just fine.  It's fun to compare the
difference in custom and belief though.

I don't really feel like I have a lot to tell this week.  It was
pretty normal.  Our investigator Anik is still doing well!  We were
worried last week after church, but when we met with her, she was
still as enthused as ever to come to church and she reads from the
Book of Mormon regularly-she always asks us her questions about what
she read and I love it!  Her family was all really sick yesterday,
they took her husband to the hospital, so she wasn't able to make it
to church.  But she's still doing so good!

We started a new mission plan this week-we're reading all of the Book
of Mormon, Preach My Gospel, and the White handbook in 60 days.  It's
been kind of neat, because as we're reading the Book of Mormon, we're
looking for Christ-I'm amazed at how the Book of Mormon really is all
about Christ!  I've also been amazed at all the different names He is
called-about 50 pages in and I've already found over 25 different
names for Christ!  Anywhere from Messiah, redeemer to the mighty one
of Israel or the God of Nature.  It's pretty amazing!  And I feel more
and more the power that comes from the Book of Mormon.  It truly is
Another Testament of Jesus Christ and helps us build our faith in Him
and become more like Him!

I was reading a talk from Pres. Monson the other day, here's just a
couple of thoughts,  "Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek
it." We need to learn what we should learn, do what we should do, be
what we should be.  By so doing, the blessings of heaven will attend."

I was also thinking about the time the Lord has given us to learn and
grow here.  What can we do to use the time His given us better?  I
remember hearing a quote from Pres. Monson saying that he wanted to
follow every prompting of the spirit so the Lord knows that He can
trust 'Tom Monson.' What do we need to do to show the Lord He can
trust us?

I love you all!  I hope and pray all is going well!  Have a good week!

Love you!

Metz sirov,

Sis. Broadbent

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mary's Mission Letter July 16 2012

Hello, hello family!
Sounds like this week was pretty good for all of you! Isn't it neat
how there are so many connections-what a small world it is-Sis. Tolman
is from Logan and there are at least a few of the other missionaries I
know that are from Salt Lake and north.  The members are also so funny
when they find out we're from Utah-they always say something about how
there are so many who are from there-now I see how true it is.
We had a new group of missionaries come in from the MTC this week-3
elders and 3 sisters.  With it there was a HUGE transfer.  We found
out the day after transfers that Sis. Tolman and I, and 1 set of
elders were the only ones who didn't have a change! We've decided the
Lord must have some work for us to do together here in Artashat! Sis.
Beal and Sis. Bobzien are still together, but they changed cities and
are now in Vanadzor-a city in northern Armenia, when we last talked to
Sis. Bobzien she said it was COLD-which is such a bizarre thought
because it's been so hot the last week and we've heard that now until
the end of August it will really start ot get hot! 100 and above is
pretty normal-everyone tells us it has to be hot so that the grapes
will hasnel-ripen correctly.
Yesterday was water day-it's a holiday here where everyone goes around
throwing water on each other.  Before church we were waiting for our
taxi so we could go pick up Anik-Sis. Tolman and I decided to play a
bit and we dumped some water on some kids around our apartment, but we
managed to stay dry.  When our taxi got to our apartment, there were
at least 10 kids waiting outside our door for us (oops, what had we
done?), but our taxi driver came and told them to wait until after our
meeting and then they could get us-we were about halfway to the taxi
and the kids were mostly convinced, and then this little kid-maybe 4
or 5 years old threw water on us.  From there all the other kids broke
loose-they all dumped their water on us too.  All three of us were
soaked-the 2 of us and our taxi driver-but we were all laughing.  So
much fun-we've decided we need to start a holiday like that in the
Anik DID come to church! We were so excited and she was SO nervous!
She seemed to enjoy it-I know it was different then she was expecting,
but we're hoping she'll continue to come and still want to meet with
us! Pres. and Sis. Carter came for our sacrament meeting-they had me
translate for them, which was OK until one of the speakers started
reading an entire talk from the Liahona....with no breaks, bah-that
wasn't so good.  I also spoke...about receiving and giving
forgiveness.  It was ok-I can at least say that I am much more
comfortable speaking now than I was 12 weeks ago when I got here and
there are some words that just come to me in Armenian and not
english-I have tons of room for improvement, but I don't feel like I
struggle with it so much.
I don't have time to tell all I learned about the atonement and
repentance, so here's just a few thoughts- As I studied I felt how
precious we all are to our Father, how much He wants each and every
one of us to improve and grow and He has given us the tools to do so,
through Christ.  I feel so blessed to share what we know, and knowing
how sad I feel when others reject this message, I can only imagine the
sorrow that Christ feels, and Our Heavenly Father, because of all
they've done for us-and because of their immense love for us.  I read
this amazing talk given at a BYU devotional last July-Brad Wilcox I
think is his name-it was amazing! You should look it up!
Sis. Tolman is still amazing!  I love her and I feel like I have so
much to learn from her! I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store
for us this next week-He blesses us so much! I truly know this is His
work! We can not do it without Him!

I love you all! Have a good week!

Metz sirov,

Sis. Broadbent

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mary's Mission Letter July 9 2012

Barev family!

It sounds like you had a fanastic week at trek! It was so wonderful to
read and feel the spirit of the trek and to hear about all the
miracles!  It reminded me of Mormon 9 (maybe Moroni?) where it talks
about how God will always be a God of miracles, so long as we have
faith.  What an awesome promise!  And it just shows even more how much
our Heavenly Father really loves us and wants to bless us!

I had written out all my email and was getting ready to send it when
my computer shut off and everything is now gone.  I don't really have
time to write it all again, but I'll get in what I can.

Anik and Mary (did I tell you about them last week?  The family we're
teaching?) are doing ok-Anik was supposed to come to church yesterday;
we had it all worked out for her to come with a member and she was so
excited-and then she didn't come.  We were both SO disappointed! As a
result and because I had been studying about the traits of our
Heavenly Father and our relationship with Him-I was thinking about how
truly great He is!  The immense love He has for us!  While agency can
be so frustrating-it is a wonderful gift, and shows so well how our
Heavenly Father really loves us!  I can only imagine how He wants so
badly for us to choose to follow Him, but whether or not we do, He is
always waiting with love for us to choose Him and come to Him.  I love
this little quote by Elder Koeliker, "I am confident that our Heavenly
Father's arms are constantly extended, ever ready to embrace each one
of us and say to each one with that quiet, piercing voice, 'I love
you'."  He wants so badly for us to come back to Him, to have all He
has, and to become like Him-to really have the fullness of joy He has.
 How can we gain all He has and become like Him if we don't know who
He is?

As I studied about it, I naturally was led to think about Christ and
His Atonement-this next week I want to study more about it and how I
can better apply the Atonement in my life.  Will you all study it with
me?  I'd love to hear what you learn.

Sorry it's so short! I love you all!  I am grateful beyond all measure
for your constant love and support.  I am so grateful for your
wonderful examples and for the strength I feel from you!
I love you!  Hope you have a good week!

Love, Sis Broadbent

Many of you have asked how to send Mary a package - this is what the mission secretary sent us, so if you would like to try... she would love it~

- MAILING PACKAGES.  The mail system here is sometimes unreliable and can become expensive and complicated if you use carriers other than the regular UK or US Postal Service.  Please DO NOT send mail via UPS, FedEX or DHL.  If your missionary does receive mail from these carriers, it will be their responsibility to pay all fees, which can easily be several hundred dollars.  Nothing should be valued for more than $100 and if you insure it, it will most likely get stuck in customs, and can be charged as much as it is insured to get it out.

Most packages arrive here but some do not.  I have seen mail arrive as quickly as a couple of weeks or as long as four months.  There is no need to put "Jesus stickers" or write "religious material" on the packages.  Just send them using  (UK) or US POSTAL SERVICE.  Priority Mail seems to be a little faster.


Missionary Name

Vratsakan #5

Yerevan, Armenia 0051

This address is the Mission Office and is to be used for all missionaries in Armenia and Georgia.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Busy Busy - From Mary July 2, 2012

It sounds like your week was filled with a lot of great things! How
fun to get together with both sides of the family! I love family
reunions! It's always so great to just be together! Is Trevor home on
leave, or home for good?  I didn't realize it had been so long since
he left, but I guess it was last year, wasn't it?  And even better
that Kris and Marinda were able to come down! It must be a challenge
with the heat and the fires, especially because this past winter we
didn't have as much snow.  How scary for all those people! I'm so
excited to hear about trek! I know how hard you've worked to pull it
all together, and I'm sure inspite of the heat, or maybe because of
it, the experience will be wonderful!

We had a very busy week!  I feel like the Lord is just pouring out
blessings on us!  I feel so humbled!  We received a couple of
referrals from members in the branch, both are families, but we're not
sure how serious either are, we're hoping to get a better feel this
next week.  We also had a man come to church yesterday, we're going to
try to start teaching him and his family this week.  We're also still
trying to visit all our active members, so both Sis. Tolman and I can
get to know them.  Those meetings as well as the meetings we get from
our daily street contacting are keeping us so busy!  We're trying to
find the balance of time and we feel like we're just go, go, going all
day every day.  I love it though!  It's so great to be busy-to be
doing the Lord's work!  The Lord is truly blessing us!  I don't
remember if I told you about the lady we found that had the 2 sons
die-we had taught her a few times and it was wonderful, but she is
currently vacationing in Sevan, so we're waiting for her to get back.
We had the opportunity this last week to visit a few of our members in
Ararat (the city, not the mountain), since it's a little far, we had
to get permission to go-it was good and we're hoping to spend a day
visiting less actives a couple times a month.

I was studying a bit about conversion this last week-from a few
different general conference talks-I'm going to share a bit, maybe a
few quotes and such.  I was thinking about the people of Ammon in the
Book of Mormon, and the conversion they had.  I love the example they
set, how they were true to the covenants they made-no matter the
circumstances that came upon them. It also says multiple times in the
Book of Mormon, that they were steadfast and faithful until the end.
So I was thinking about how we all need to have that kind of
conversion.  I feel that sometimes, we are converted, but then so
often along the way, we stop doing something, whether its praying,
reading the scriptures, attending church, etc-that leads to us making
other not so good choices-and before we know it, we've lost our
testimony and conversion.  We really become converted in the
journey-in the Enduring to the End-and we have to keep working to
maintain our testimony.  Our lives often show our conversion, as Elder
Oaks said, "The symbols of our Christian faith are the lives of our
people....Our lives of service and sacrifice are the most appropriate
expressions of our commitment to serve the master and our fellowmen."
I feel that in our commitment to serve-as we really apply the
principles and doctrines-as we serve, we maintain that conversion.
Elder Hales tells a few things that help maintain our conversion. "We
become converted and spiritually self reliant as we prayerfully live
our covenants-through worthily parktaking of the sacrament, being
worthy of a temple recommend and sacrificing to serve others."  Then
he explains why they are important, "The sacrament gives us an
opportunity to come to ourselves and experience a mighty change of
heart-to remember who we are and what we most desire" "We become
worthy for a temple recommend by STEADILY and STEADFASTLY obeying the
commandments" (That enduring to the end thing-constantly working to
worthy-diligence really) "As our desires to learn and live the gospel
increase, we naturally seek to serve one another."  As I've studied it
a bit, I've realized more and more that our conversion is maintained
constantly doing the basic things-I love how in the Book of Mormon it
talks about those that fall because of the easiness of the way-really,
we just need to do the simple things, and we'll be strengthened to
continue in the way; we'll continue to do the things that are
necessary for us to return to live in our Father's presence.  Will you
all take a look at your lives?  What could you be doing that you're
not?  What simple thing could you do better-pray more sincerely,
ponder the scriptures and not just read them, be more aware of the
promptings of the spirit? Whatever it is-will you work on it?  And I
will too, I'll find those things and work to become better.  I know
the Lord will help, because I know He wants us to improve! He WANTS us
to be like Him!  And we can, through our Savior, His only begotten
This next week I'm going to study about the character of our Heavenly
Father-and why it's important for us to have a relationship with Him.
Will you all study it with me?  And share what you learn?

I love you all!  I hope you have a great time on the trek!  And that
the heat isn't too unbearable! I feel like we've been blessed, because
the last few days, we've had rain and it's been rather spring like-I
hope some relief from the heat comes your way!  You're the best,
Family! I couldn't ask for better examples or a better family!  I love
you!!  Happy Independence Day!

Metz Sirov,
Sis. Broadbent