Monday, September 24, 2012

Mary's Letter for Sept 24 2012

Բարև ընտանիքս (hello family)

Wow!  It seems you have had a weekend of temple wonderfulness!  That is fantastic that so many youth went with you and then that you were able to go the dedication.  So neat!  I am so excited for Brian and Becky!  They look so happy and their little boy looks adorable!  And how great that you skyped with Kris, Marinda, and Camryn!  What a great connection the internet brings us! 
The temple has got to be the thing I miss the most!  I know it'll be there when I get back, I just miss the peace of being in the Lord's house.  We are so blessed! Especially to have over 100 hundred temples on the earth.  Sis. Tolman and I were just talking about the temple yesterday, and how we feel we should make that more of a focus in our church meetings.  I feel like there, it gets mentioned much more, but here, we don't talk about the temple so much-it's usually an occasional Sunday when we talk about it, whether in passing or as a lesson.  But really, the temple is our ultimate goal-and just being worthy of always having that recommend in our hands-while I feel like we understand that without the ordinances that take place in the temple, we know that we can't reach our ultimate goal to live with our families and our Heavenly Father again, but here, I'm not so sure our members understand that.  It's something we're trying to work on.  To always keep the temple as our goal.  We are so blessed.
I don't really have much to say this week-It's still been really warm-and we've heard it will probably continue until the middle of October.  We'll just keep going with it. We've had a fun time trying to get meetings this week because everyone is gathering grapes.  Really, everyone-almost every contact or member we call is out working in the fields from dawn to dusk-I know it's hard labor for them, but for a lot of them it's probably the last work they'll have until next summer, so I'm trying to be patient with it.  
We've talked a lot about church this last week-why we go, what does it do for us-those kinds of things.  And how we need to prepare for it if we are going to have an experience that will do us more good than just going and sitting.  Will you make an effort to really prepare yourself for church this next week?  I read somewhere in PMG that no Sunday will ever be boring if we have prepared for it and if we are really going to learn.  I know the Spirit will teach us what we need if we are open and prepared to listen.
I don't have much to say this week-we have a baptism planned for Saturday-Gayannae-I'll tell you about it next week.  We also have zone conference this week, so I'll tell you about that too.
I love you family!  I hope you have a great week this next week-that school and work will go well!
Մեծ սիրով (literally big love she probably means lots of love)
Քուր Բրադբենթ (Sister Broadbent)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mary's Mission Letter Sept 17, 2012

Hey family-just a random quote I've been thinking about from Pres. Monson

"To find real happiness we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves."  

I hope you'll all find some little service you can do for someone-even if it's just a smile, listening to them for a few minutes, letting an angry word pass, etc.  Nothing big.  Just find something you can do for someone else.

Love you!

Sis. Broadbent

Բարև ձեզ իմ սիրել ընտանիք (hello my beloved family),

It sounds like this week was another good one!  I am so grateful that the Lord takes such good care of all of us.  It sounds like the fireside was really good-and I'm sure Josh and Beth sounded wonderful!  They are both so talented!  I was surprised to hear about Pres. Cottle and Sis. Jones.  As hard as both circumstances are, I know the Lord is caring for each of us, that His plan and timing is so perfect, even if we don't understand the reasoning behind it.  Congrats to Curtis! I didn't even know he was dating anyone-it will be so neat for them to be sealed!  That is so exciting for Brian and Becky-it sounds like it's getting closer for them! That's great!  And way to go Joe! I always hoped he would find that love in reading....I knew it was deep down there somewhere! 

Lately the weather has been starting to cool down-it's still in the 90's during the days, but at nights is when we feel the chill-I think fall and winter will be here soon!

Gayane is good-she was a bit sick this last week, but she's still doing so well! We had another miracle-she has never had an abortion!  That is so huge for an Armenian woman! We also found out that her daughter is actually adopted and her son was a miracle because she couldn't have kids!  WOW! I can't even tell you how we felt when we found out and when we found out how she feels about abortions.  Truly, amazing! 

Sveta, another investigator, has started doing better this last week.  Up until about halfway through the week, we didn't really feel like she understood, and she hadn't read on her own from the Book of Mormon, but there was a switch that seemed to go off-she read quite a few chapters on her own, and she was able to completely voice her understanding.  We're hoping with the understanding, that she'll be able to progress.  She faithfully comes to church and has a lot of desire, we're praying and hoping for her.
I had a neat realization the other day as I was studying about prayer-I was just studying and opened up to Moroni 7-the charity scriptures.  As I read verse 48 I read it with a slightly different light, and I'm grateful for what I learned.  I always thought this verse was saying that we need to pray specifically for charity, and I'm not saying it still doesn't mean that, but I feel like it also means that as we pray for others, with all the energy of heart-then we are filled with love and charity for them.  I feel like that really is true, as I think about the times that I sincerely and whole-heartedly pray for our members, our investigators, and others-I always finish feeling like my heart is filled with love for them-a love that is indescribable.  It sounds so little and insignificant, putting it into words, but I guess I was just filled with a greater understanding.  Then as Sis. Tolman and I talked about it-we also came to the conclusion that without love, we can't really receive revelation for others.  Will you make an effort to have more meaningful prayers?    
I know I probably say it often-but I love this work-so much!  I never would have been able to imagine the things I've felt or experienced while serving-I know I have much to learn, but I feel so grateful for this gospel!  I know it's true!  I know this is Christ's church and that He is the head of it!  We are so blessed!

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

Love you!

Metz sirov, 

Sis. Broadbent

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mary's Mission Letter Sept 10, 2012

Բառև ձեզ իմ սիրելիներ (my beloved family)

What a good week for you! It sounds like the Brigham temple is just beautiful! I'm sure it is-I'll wait as patiently as I can to hear how the dedication is and for when I'll be able to go myself!  Jim and Kami are great aren't they-how's their family? I wish I could hear Josh and Beth play their whistles-especially that piano and whistle duet-I'm sure it is beautiful! I wonder if you could record it and send it to me-or we'll just wait for Christmas and they can play it then :)

We had a really neat experience this last week with our investigator Gayane.  We were teaching about the Word of Wisdom, discussing it, and then asked her to live it.  She accepted and then proceeded to tell us that when she first went to church in Yerevan, she had already decided to start living that.  She was a smoker and knew she needed to stop.  She was doing pretty good, and then one day she came home really upset and her kids' behavior made her more upset.  She decided to light a cigarette and smoke.  Not even a minute after she had lit it, we knocked on her door and walked in-it was within the first week of when we first started to teach her.  She told us she knew from then on that she wouldn't smoke or drink anymore because Heavenly Father had sent us to her.  What a miracle!  Despite that we had no idea that we had had that kind of effect, the Lord used us as His hands.  I am continually amazed at the tender mercies and miracles that the Lord works in our lives and in the lives of others.  I've come to learn over the past few months of being here, that there are many days, if not most day, where I may not feel like I received any specific impression from the Spirit, but I just try to do good things, and try to do and say whatever seems right; and that is how the Spirit seems to work.  If we are obedient, worthy, and working, we can be sure the Lord is using us.  Wow! I feel so blessed!

One other miracle-a little sad, but a miracle none the less.  I know I've told you all about Virab-Elder Minasyan's dad-one of the oldest and most amazing members here.  We visited him all the time and he's just amazing.  He passed away this last week, which is hard because we love him so much, but let me tell you about the miracle and experience we had.  We had planned to help Elder Minasyan help clean his house this last week-we called right before we went to make sure we could still come and he told us his dad wasn't doing well.  Later in the evening, we went to see how he was-and he was basically in a coma-laying down and not responsive in any way.  We had a small lesson with the family and talked a lot about the plan of salvation-they all have a really good understanding of it, but it's always nice to have reminders.  We went on our way-expecting it would at least be a couple of days before he died.  The following morning our branch president called to tell us he had died the night before.  We came to find out that he had died about 15 minutes after we left the home.  As small as a miracle this may seem-I feel so grateful that #1 we were able to go and be with the family before he died and that we were able to say our own goodbyes and #2 that we weren't there when he died.  The Lord's timing is so perfect and I am so grateful.  Another really neat thing, we were able to participate in the first LDS style funeral in Armenia.  Pres. Carter felt very strongly about doing the funeral how we would in the states-he invited many of the members to participate and all of the branch presidents.  He gave direction that that is how funerals done for church members need to be done from here on out.  It was a really neat learning experience and the spirit was so strong as many taught about the plan of salvation.  Also, this is probably more cultural than anything, but I think it was really neat.  in general, Armenians are buried in a dark brown color, the only time they are buried in white is if it's an unmarried girl-kind of as a symbol that she was never a bride.  Anyway-Virab was buried in his temple clothes-it was just so neat!

I love you family!  I don't really have much else to say nor do I have much time to say anything else.  I hope this week is another great one!

I love you a lot!


Sister Broadbent

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mary's Mission Letter Sept 3, 2012

Բարև ձեզ իմ սիրելիներ (Hello my beloved)
It sounds like you had a good week! I still can't believe the kids have started school-they started here today and it's still so bizarre-it feels like we just started the summer and yet it's gone! Strange.  I'm glad Dad has more feeling in his hand!  Oh Steve and Julie! I was just thinking about them this last week-I was thinking about how they are in the same place in their mission as Pres. and Sis. Carter are-so they are experiencing how strange it may be to be out longer than anyone else in the mission.  According to Pres. Carter, it's pretty nice because they have a lot of insights on things that are beginning to happen again in the mission, that they've experienced before, so they have a better view on what needs to be done for the mission.  Steve and Julie are wonderful! Send them my love!  I'm also glad your birthday was good Mom-you deserve it!  Did you go the Brigham Temple open house?  And will you be going to the dedication?
Վայ այս շաբատվա վերջը շատ լավ էր: Կպատմեմ: (Wow-the end of the week was so great! I'll tell...)

Anik was baptized! And it was wonderful! I wish I could describe it all to you, but I'm not sure it'd be so great and it just wouldn't do it justice! The spirit was so strong and she was so happy! Most of the pictures are from that-there's the one of just us before the baptism, the one with us, Anik's daughter in law-Mary and her two granddaughters, and then our branch president.  Then there's the one after the baptism with Pres. and Sis. Carter.
  Mary told us the coolest thing as we were waiting for Anik to change.  She told us she loved the feeling that was inside of the church-she said that she felt like she was out of the world and said she had never felt like that.  Awesome!  Anik also told us she felt amazing as soon as she went into the water-she couldn't put it into words (and as we all know, it is hard to put feelings of the Holy Ghost into words, so it was completely understandable) she was so happy!
I don't remember if I've told you about Gianne, but she's the woman in the other picture with her family (her 2 kids and mom).

 She and her kids came to church again this week.  As we met with her and talked more about the Restoration of the Gospel, we were talking about the need to pray to find out-how we need to ask specifically if we want to find out.  She proceeded to testify to us about how she already knows the church and Book of Mormon are true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  As she testified, she told us how she came to know-the Spirit was so strong and I felt the conviction of her words.  She is enveloped in the Book of Mormon-she loves reading it and already describes how she feels a difference when she doesn't read it.  I don't know what we've done to be blessed with someone who is so prepared, but I am so grateful that the Lord is placing people in our path who are prepared to act on the message we share.  She is amazing!  I'm excited to see her become more involved in the gospel-there will be some things to over come, but she is so prepared.
The last picture is of a little boy that is in our branch-he's a doll, a little mischeif maker, but he holds a special place in my heart.
I don't really know what else to say-I feel like my thoughts are really scattered today-but this last week, I was reading a few different talks from conference and there's a couple of quotes I want to share.  "The purpose of both temporal and spiritual self-reliance is to get ourselves on higher ground so that we can lift others in need." I just love this, because it reminded me of how if we are going to help others come to Christ, we have to be near Christ ourselves.  How is your relationship with our Savior?  "...When God speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right."  and "As you and I walk the pathway Jesus walked....we will come to know Him as the Son of God, our Savior and our Redeemer."  
I am amazed at all the blessings that come into our lives because of the the path that we walk.  I pray we may always walk on His path so we can not only secure our own blessings, but also help bring blessings into the lives of others.
I love you!
Շատ եմ սիրում ձեզ:(I love you)
Հույսով եմ որ այս մյուս շաբատ լավ կլինի:(I hope that this will be another good Sunday)

մեծ սիրով (great pleasure)

Քույր Բրադբենթ (Sister Broadbent)