Monday, November 26, 2012
Barev im sireli family!!
It sounds like Thanksgiving was wonderful! (Despite the flu bug-it's also going around here-hopefully I'll stay far from it :)) Even better that you were all together! You all look so great in the pictures!
Our Thanksgiving was a hit! We all did some part to prepare for it and the senior couple took care of the turkey (hard to come by here in Armenia...) and the home made rootbeer (mmmm). It was wonderful to be together! After eating we watched 17 Miracles together. Just so great! The one picture of all of us missionaries is from Thanksgiving-getting ready to eat.
The baptism was really good! We had a lot of support from the branch members, we had some other investigators come, and the spirit was really strong the whole time. The man in the picture with us and Anna is Sergey-he is a new convert and is AMAZING!
Sunday we had a fun experience, one of our investigators orginally started learning in a different city and she's had a hard time coming to church here, so one of the missionaries that had been teaching her asked us to just go and pick her up, without letting her know that we were coming. Her relative was also with her (she's a member and had talked with the elders about this plan). Anyway, so we show up, they had just barely waken up, and for the next 5 minutes they tried to decide whether or not to come. After we said there was a taxi waiting, they jumped into action and agreed to come. For the next 20 minutes they ran around getting ready and we helped to dress the kids. In the end they came! And our members at church were really good at helping them be more involved. It was a MIRACLE! It's times like that, when I think that sometimes we all need that push, that someone to show up at our door when we are not expecting it, that will push us into action. I don't know what'll happen with this investigator, but if nothing else, she's had another opportunity to accept the gospel. I hope we choose to act on those pushes we are given-I would hate to look back and regret not acting on those promptings that were given to help us draw nearer to the Lord. He is truly waiting for us.
I love you family! Շատ եմ սիրում ձեզ
Մեծ սիրով (lots of love)
Քուր Բրադբենթ (Sister Broadbent)
Հույսով եմ որ շաբաթդ լավ կացնի (not sure what this one says, something about shabat which I would guess means sabbath
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Barev im sireliner!
Happy Thanksgiving! In response to the question-we will be celebrating Thanksgiving as missionaries in our zone-for us it will be 6 sets of missionaries and a senior couple-it should be great! And be sure to tell Kami that I'll be with her friend that is here...I actually don't know her first name, but it's Sister Robles (I think they were in Ukraine together if I remember correctly....)
It sounds like Sunday was good-Sundays are always wonderful! Here in our branch we heard from Ani and Araks, two sisters (from the same family) that will leave for England this week for their missions (they are both serving in London, one in the south mission and one in just London, I think) It was really good. As I sat and listened, I was reminded of all the support I have and I felt so grateful! I also was reminded of the love I have for these people! They are so dear to my heart and I didn't realize how hard it would be to say goodbye to someone-to send them on their way. It felt harder to send them out then to come on a mission. Funny how that works. We had a huge branch party for them-wow! It is so good to see the support of the members! They will be so wonderful!
Before I forget-Anna passed her baptismal interview-so she should be getting baptized on Friday! Yay! She said to tell you all hello and not to worry about me because she is our mom and is taking good care of us. She is such a sweet lady with a large heart!
I'll try to describe Vanadzor a bit more-we are surrounded by mountains and hills on all sides-it kind of reminds me of Logan, but a smaller valley, a bit more narrow. It's probably the most mountainous city in Armenia. There's basically one main road, and it just extends through all of the city. We were crossing it today and I compared it with Washington Blvd, until I realized that it is much smaller than that...so maybe it's not as big as Ogden :) I really don't know how to describe it. We still don't have snow, I just keep thinking it will come and it doesn't...I'll just try to be patient and enjoy the cold without the snow :)
I think it's because of Ani and Araks leaving, but the last few days I've just been reminded of the great importance of this message, and how we, as missionaries, need to be bold and work with urgency. I was reading a chapter from Mosiah this week and was thinking about how our Savior must be, I can just imagine Him begging us to just choose His way and come to Him, because He has already paid the price. I often have to ask myself "Am I working with such urgency? Do I help others understand the importance of this message? As I've thought about Him and some things that some say to us about it being impossible for the church to be restored in the way it was, I came to this conclusion. I don't know a lot of things; I don't know how Christ did what He did, but I know He did it because He loves us; I don't know what it was like when Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, but I know they did because I've felt it in my heart and because of how I feel when I read the Book of Mormon; I don't know how Peter, James, and John appeared to Joseph and gave him the priesthood, or how Moses and Elijiah appeared in the Kirtland temple, but I know they did because of the reality of the priesthood power today. I don't know what God has in store for each of us, the trials we'll experience, or the burdens we'll be asked to carry, but I do know the God is our Father, that He loves us, He has a Plan of Happiness in place for us; a plan of redemption, so that we can return back to Him. I don't know how it will be, but I do know that because God is God, because He is all knowing and all powerful, that anything is possible through Him.
I hope you all have a great time together for Thanksgiving! Will you all take some time to write a list of things you're grateful for? Often, we meet people here who have so little-so think beyond the matieral things that are so easy to see. Be sure to take lots of pictures and send some my way and I'll do the same. I was hoping to send pictures today, but the computer just isn't cooperating...
I love you family!! A lot! You are truly so wonderful and I am so grateful for you!
Love you! Have a great week and try not to eat too much!
Monday, November 12, 2012
We has an AMAZING Zone conference this week with Pres. and Sis Lawrence (from the Area Presidency) Sis. Lawrence taught us about the house of israel and what it means to be a part of the house of israel. She shared a lot of neat insights and I feel like her teachings have helped me to understand more exactly what it means to be a part of the house of israel. She talked about how being a part of the house of israel has a lot to do with our premortal existence and the way we fought for the Lord there-our faithfulness to the Lord. As missionaries, yes we are here to share the gospel for different reasons and we each received our answer that we needed to be here, but a lot of it comes back to the covenants and committments we made before this life-that we are now fulfilling here. So neat. I wish I could explain it the way she did-it was just so clear! Then she talked about how not all people on earth are of the house of israel-which is why some do not accept the gospel. And of course those of the house of israel have been prepared to accept the gospel-so all we have to do to find them. I hope we'll all remember the covenants we've made-both the covenants we've made here and the covenants we made before this life. We have a great responsibility to fulfill!!
Also, it was really neat-we were each able to have interviews with Pres. Lawrence and he knew all of us by name! Can you imagine!? A man with such great stewardship who knows each of us individually? I testify that the Lord is the same-yes, He is the Savior of the world, and yes, He knows each of us individually and by name! I know the Lord is watching over us-that angels are protecting us, both angels on this side of the veil and on that side of the veil- and I know the Lord is with us!
Sorry this is such a short email, I guess I didn't have much to tell this week, or rather that I couldn't think of what to tell...
I hope you all have a great week! Be safe! Enjoy the snow! :) I've heard it's supposed to snow here soon :) And it's starting to feel like that just may be true.
Love you all!!!
Ps-the picture is just a gorgeous sunrise on the way to Yerevan this last week-enjoy! Love you!
Monday, November 5, 2012
Hello, hello Family!!
It sounds like you had a pretty good week-dear sweet Joe! He is such a great boy! (Dear Joseph-How I love and miss you bud!) Can't wait to hear how the temple was for Callee!
Before I start into the past week, I just have to say how I love days like yesterday, (we had a district conference with all the branches-Pres. and Sis. Lawrence, our area president, as well as Pres. and Sis. Carter spoke, some members, and our district presidency all spoke) when I can see the joy and excitement of the members just being with each other. It reminds me of the feeling of how the gospel unites people in more ways than one. We are so blessed.
Just a little insight from this past week-nothing from the week is particularly standing out so....I studied from Jacob 5 this week and I feel like I gained a greater understanding of this work. I'll just share a few of my thoughts: I was thinking about the relationship between the master and the servant-how everything the servant does, he does for the sake of the master and the vineyard; I too need to be doing everything for the master and for the vineyard. Thus-those selfish thoughts that take away from the work-I need to push them out, replace them with something better and then set to work-serving and "nourishing" those around me. Then I love how the servant is so observant of what is going on in the vineyard-I definitely have room for improvement. I came to know the character of our Savior just a little bit better as the master discovers there is no good fruit and is so saddened by the state of the vineyard (world?) but then how he gives it one more chance; where He and His servants set to work-for the Lord ALWAYS wants success-He does not want His work to fail. And of course His work cannot and will not fail-and so there is more for us to do. Starting with my attitude-expecting acceptance, allowing the Lord to work alongside us, working with the end in mind-to bring forth "good fruit". Then I need to get to work-it says multiple times that we need to "go to and labor diligently" to "labor with all diligence according to the commandments of the Lord" and then I love what the Lord promises us: "Joy with Him". That is such an amazing promise-the more I think about it-Joy with our Savior and Father-and then I think about how the greatest joy I have yet to feel is at those times when I am helping others to truly come to Christ. There is much for me to work on-much work to be done-and much more faith that I need to excercise.
These truly are the last days-I was thinking about the age change for missionaries and how it will bring so many more missionaries into the field-there is such an urgency to the work! And it is so exciting that you are all apart of it as well-as you see others come into the gospel and as you each serve in your callings. This truly is the Lord's work!
I love you family! I hope your week goes great!
Oh and we (as missionaries) pulled together an activity for the youth for Halloween and it was great! We had a pretty good amount of youth there-members and nonmembers and they all seemed to really enjoy it. We started it with a spiritual thought and activity about light and sharing the light we have with others so that we can illuminate the world with the light of Christ, and then had some fun games. It was good and I feel like it was a success.