Mary refers to some pictures in this letter, however she has sent them in an odd format and the only way we can view them is to open them and find a program to view them in! Until I can figure out how to change them into a jpeg file or have Mary resend them I won't be able to share them - sorry! Also, when she types out the Armenian I have no idea what they mean!! She has to type it in the Armenian characters for me to translate them! Barev means hello but I have no idea what the rest of the opening line means!!
Barev dzez im sireliner!
WOW! We heard yesterday from one of our members about the age change! At first we didn't believe it, but what great news! A HUGE surprise! But how wonderful it will be! I think it will take a while to work its way into our mission, considering we already know many of the missionaries that will be arriving in Armenia in March-but maybe it'll start with the group after that. So exciting! And what a way to help the Lord's work go forward! I feel there is even more urgency in the work with the age change!
It sounds like the Hatch family is doing well! What a miracle for Matt and Melissa! That is SO exciting! And pretty soon Brian and Becky will have their little boy too, right?
So half way through this week I had a big change-I was transferred to Vanadzor with Sister Beal! It is SO different from my little hot Artashat! My first full day I was wearing tights, a sweater, and a rain coat. Cold. We'll probably have snow pretty soon here-were nestled in the mountains of northern Armenia and it is gorgeous! The one picture is a picture of some of the many mountains that surround us! I was so sad to leave Sister Tolman and Artashat-I feel like my home is there and I feel like Sister Tolman and I made a lot of progress together and that I grew a lot with her. I am very excited to be here though!
Sister Tolman and I were able to visit a member of ours before transfers that lives over 2 hours away by bus. We had planned with her in advance and told her to invite all her friends, when we got there, she said she had invited everyone, but they all were working or busy. While we weren't able to share the gospel with her friends, we had a wonderful meeting talking about service and missionary work and things she can do to help share the gospel in a way that is appropriate. It was really good, but the best part was when she proceeded to tell us about her experience with prayer. She said she had just been praying for ways to share the gospel and she felt very strongly that 2 missionaries would come and visit her. A few days later a couple of missionaries from another church showed up at her house. They talked for a bit and she thought that was her answer, however she immediately heard the Spirit tell her to be patient and that these 2 men were not the missionaries the Lord was talking about. So she continued to wait. And then we called her to tell her we were coming and she immediately felt that we were the answer to her prayers. I am so grateful that Pres. Carter gave us the direction to go! I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it feels to know that between his direction to go and the opportunity we had to go, that we were the answer to her prayers. I hope I am always in the position to be the answer to other's prayers! I want so badly to help this work to go forward and to truly be the Lord's hands and servant! I know I have a lot of room for growth-a lot of things I need to do to become who Heavenly Father wants me to become, but I want to be that person. I hope I am allowing the Lord to mold me into who He wants.
Vanadzor is so different! There is such a different kind of beauty here in the North! I already love the branch! They are so great and have a wonderful vision of how the work needs to be! I am excited to be with them. I love Sister Beal! She is so humble and such a great teacher! I know I have a lot to learn from her-I'm trying to soak up everything I can from her! She has such a big heart-so much love for these people and for the Lord and I can feel how she wants to help this work progress-I feel so humbled and blessed to be serving with such a spiritual giant.
There were a couple of things I was reminded of while reading the words of our dear friend Nephi-First-1 Nep 16:28-29-we also have a liahona of sorts-the Holy Ghost as our guide. And it works the same with us-it works according to our faith, diligence, and whether or not we heed what has been given to us. I need to be better at heeding when the Spirit prompts me. Second 1 Nep 19: 7-I was thinking abou myself-if I am giving heed to the counsels and the voice of Christ then all is well. But if I am not-I am trampling Christ under my feet. What a terrible and saddening thought. Everytime I think about all the Christ went through and how the people persecuted Him, I just hope and pray that I am in the crowd that is fully following Christ and not in the crowd that was persecuting Him. Once again, a reminder that I need to do better.
Will you all looks for ways you can be Christ's hands this week? And make an effort to follow the Spirit so you can be the answer to other's prayers-knowlingly or unknowingly?
I love you all family! Thank you so much for all you do! I can't begin to express how grateful I am to have you! LOVE YOU!