This is a picture of the Armenia Yeravan missionaries except for 10 elders and 1 couple that serve in the country of Georgia. Pres and Sis Carter are in the center front. There are 28 elders, 10 sisters and 5 couples - this was taken at the their zone conference (but was really almost a mission conference!)
Barev marev Family jan-
That is exciting news for all the future missionaries in our ward (and throughout the world) who are now preparing for missions! SO WONDERFUL! As I've thought about it, I have to say, I am very grateful for the timing of the Lord in that regard. I would have completely gone on a mission at 19 had the opportunity been there, but I am so grateful for the many experiences that I had between 19 and coming on a mission-I feel like many of them shaped me more into the person I am now.
Congratulations to all of the cousins who will be having new additions! That is so exciting for them all! What a surprise to hear about Jen-what a blessing it will be though!
We have many wonderful missionaries serving here and I am so grateful to be amongst them and learning from them. I have much to be grateful for and much to work on. I am feeling a great need to do more and be better, especially after being fed from general conference. First, I have to say-I can't begin to describe the power of the spirit that I felt as I listened to President Monson speak to us. He truly is the prophet of God. I know he speaks with our Heavenly Father and Savior in our behalf. I don't know if it's because I testify of him and our Savior on a daily basis, but I have never felt so strongly in my life that the words he speaks are truly God's words. WOW! On that note, I feel like I learned so much from conference, so many things that seemed to go right along with many of the things I felt and learned at zone conference. I have much I need to be doing. I feel there is a great urgency to this work-there are so many of our Father's children we need to reach and I need to be doing a better job. With humility and the Lord's help I know I can become who the Lord wants and that I can help to reach those children He wants me to reach. There is always more to be done; a work in progress. I'm praying I am moving forward and doing as the Lord wants.
Just an example of the wonderful elders we have in our area. Earlier this week, Sis. Beal and I were in a meeting, when one of our members that we had planned to take with us to another meeting began calling us, multiple times. Because we were in the meeting we put the phone on silent. As we finished our meeting we forgot to take the phone off silent and forgot to call our member back (because our other meeting hadn't worked, we didn't need to take our member with us, but we had a surprise meeting, so we were distracted-no excuse can excuse us from calling our member to let her know that the meeting didn't work out). Over an hour later we were in a meeting with a member when our member's phone rang. Sis. Beal and I realized that our phone was on silent, checked it and realized that we had missed many calls-not only from our member but from the Elders and from Pres. Carter. We were so embarassed when we realized our little slip up! When we called our District Leader, we were touched with the concern that he showed, as he expressed that he thought something bad had happened because no one could get a hold of us. I am so grateful for the leadership positions of our Elders and the love they show as they lead and try to help us serve more effectively. It is so wonderful to be serving with these Elders, to be learning from their humble leadership and service in the priesthood.
Just a little tender mercy I want to share-we've made more of an effort to talk to people while we are on marshutnis(they are our primary source of transportation here, these van things that we stuff full of people as we drive up the street)-sometimes it feels a little awkward to start the conversation, just because the normal way on marshutnis is complete silence. As we've gotten to know some of the people on the marshutnis and talked with them about the gospel, we've had multiple times when the person we are talking to pays for our ride. As little as it is-I feel so blessed and amazed to be serving amongst these humble people, who themselves often have so little, but are willing to serve us. It has been a reminder to me that the Lord truly does care for His servants.
In answer to some of your questions-Vanadzor is a lot bigger than Artashat-it is actually a city-maybe in comparable in size to Ogden (I don't know, really). Because we are settled in the mountains, it is already pretty chilly-the leaves are changing and we've had rain every day the past week (that means the real cold will be here soon) From talking to members and other people, it sounds like we'll probably have as much snow as we get in a good snow year at home. You know how I love the snow, so I'm looking forward to that :) Ani leaves for her mission the end of November-she is AMAZING! I just love her!
I'm having a great time getting to know Sis. Beal-she is adorable, has a great sense of humor, loves to laugh, and is a wonderful teacher. She has many qualities I am learning from-I just love her.
I love you all family! Thank you so much for all you do!
Have a fantastic fall week! Enjoy the colors while you can!
I love you!