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!