Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mary's Mission Dec 25, 2012

Today we not only got an email from Mary but we also had the blessing of being able to video chat with her!!  What a blessing technology is!!  We had the whole family together via the internet!!
Mary looks wonderful!!  She sent us some pictures with our Christmas package that I will post later.
She doesn't mention it here in her letter but she is a trainer!  And to top it off her new mission trainee is Sister Nelson - who is from Brigham City!!  To make this connection even more sweet - Sister Nelson's family lives next door to my sister, Ruth's sister - in-law and Linda (the sister in law) has been sharing Mary's letters with the Nelson's - so they feel like they know Mary just a little bit!!  Tender Mercies!!!!!
We got to meet Sister Nelson for a minute this morning which was great!  Mary also had several members of the branch there at the church so we got to see and be introduced to several of the wonderful people there who take care of Mary while she is away from home!!

Here is her letter for today -

Barev Family jan! 

What a great time of year! After the last few days being warm, we were surprised and blessed to come home to snow last night!  Another white, beautiful Christmas-for some of our missionaries, it may be the first and last white Christmas they ever have.  How blessed we are! More than the snow, we are so blessed to be a part of this wonderful season-to be able to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  The last two weeks, as we've passed out our Christmas oranges, I've come to realize how truly blessed we are.  In general, the celebration of the new year is so much larger here, than the celebration of the Birth of Christ, (Ironic, isn't it? For the first Christian Nation?) and it has been such a blessing to be able to share the love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ with those who need a little more lifting.  I would never have guessed that a simple orange could bring so many people to tears.  These people are so dear to my heart! I just love them and I can't begin to express how much, nor can I imagine exactly how much more our Savior loves them, as I feel that I have only experienced such a small taste of that infinite love for them.
I never realized how truly great it would feel to be a missionary on Christmas until this morning, as I was studying from the birth and life of the Savior.  Up until today, I just kept thinking how it didn't feel like December, let alone Christmas, then as I studied and thought about our Savior and the sacred privilege and responsibility we hold as missionaries, I couldn't help but be grateful and feel, once again, just how special it is to be here, serving these people.  When I read from Luke, the joyful declaration of the angel to the shepherds-I couldn't help but think about how we, if we will give our heart and will to the Lord, can be angels, declaring "glad tidings of great joy."  What a sacred calling we have! To stand as witnesses and declare to the world the joyfulness and truthfulness of this message-that Christ is living and guiding His church today! Wow! I pray I am fulfilling my calling!  I know that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God, that He came to carry each of us in our down times and to lift us higher than we could ever be lifted without Him.  He is everything we have and I know He loves and cares for each of us one by one.  
I am so grateful for each of you! For your testimonies and for sharing what we know, through example and word.  You are my angels.

I love you all!  Can't wait to talk with you! 

Metz Sirov, 
Quyr Broadbent

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wow Family!!!

Can you believe that Christmas is right around the corner?  I can't!  It's hard to believe that it is December, let alone that Christmas is so soon! Wow! 

I'm sure that missionary's mom was so grateful for all the help you gave! And what a fantastic way to spread some holiday spirit! I am SO excited for you! To go to Idaho for those names and to be able to spend some time with Kris, Marinda, and Camryn.  I'm sure it'll be just great!

We got our first real snow this week! A good five or six inches overnight.  I woke up and was just so happy! Everything looks so pretty-covered in white! And feels so Christmasy.  It's been fun, too, as we've walked around, to see all of the decorations coming up.  For the most part, everyone here is preparing for New Years (they don't celebrate Christmas until Jan 6).  And these people are just so giving! No matter the circumstances they are in, they always ask if we have a place to go for New Years and then they always invite us to spend it with them.  So great!  It reminds me of the teachings of the Savior in Matt 25-if you do it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.  As I've thought about this chapter, I've felt more and more how this is the call the Savior always gives-first and foremost, for us to come to Him, and then to build up His kingdom, to serve where we are, no matter how much we have, or how little we have.  He calls to us to serve.  I feel these people are such a great example of serving-that they are just so willing to give all they have to you.  I am learning so much from them! 

Sister Beal is being transferred this week down to my dear Artashat! She'll get to serve with Sister Henriquez (she's from Chili), who is so sweet and adorable!  I'll be getting a new companion, I'm not sure who it will be, but I do know she's coming from the MTC! BAH! I am just praying that I can be the trainer the Lord wants me to be and help this sister have a great beginning-one that will help her be solid for her mission.  I'm so nervous but I know that while I may not be adequate, the Lord is and I know He'll help every step of the way.  Sister Beal has been so good to remind me of this!

I don't remember if this last week I talked about our sweet investigator Lena, who just loves the Book of Mormon-we found out Monday night that she actually died on Sunday.  We were so surprised and saddened, but we know it is all part of the Lord's plan and as a result, we've been able to meet with her son-who is willing to learn more!  We're excited to help him come to gain a testimony, so that in turn he can have her work done too.  We also had a miracle-we had set up a time to meet with Lena's son-Gagik-we had called right before going over to make sure he was home, he was and invited us to come.  When we got to his home about twenty minutes later, he wasn't home.  We thought perhaps he had gone to the store, so we decided to wait.  After five minutes or so, a woman came up the stairs; she had also come to visit Gagik.  As we stood outside waiting, we talked and got to know her.  Over 15 minutes later, Gagik still wasn't home, so we all made the decision to leave.  Just before the woman went home, she explained to us that Gagik had invited her over to listen to us because he thought she would be interested in listening to us.  What a miracle!  This man, who we had never even met with, is already taking steps to share the gospel!  Since then, we've been able to meet with both him and her, on separate occasions.  I feel so blessed!

We've also been given a challenge by President Carter to find the low hanging heads this season and pass along a Christmas orange, one for each of the twelve days of Christmas.  I would invite you all to do the same-to find those that need a little extra lift and boost their day.  It doesn't need to be an orange, perhaps it will only be a smile, but I hope that we'll all remember a little more, the birth of our Savior, and strive a little harder to emulate Him.  I know He lives and loves us! What greater thing to do, than to share His love?

I love you all! I hope this week is wonderful! That you'll all be safe in the snow and that you'll have a great time together!

Love you!

Metz sirov

Quyr Broadbent

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mary's Mission Dec 10, 2012

Hello Family!

I think winter is finally starting to hit here.  According to the missionaries who were here last year, it was already cold in October, but it's just been the last couple of days where I have felt that it is getting cold. I was able to go to Gyumri this last week, and do exchanges with Sister Robles (Kami knows her from Ukraine).  It was so good to be with her and to get to know her.  She's from Washington and is just adorible!  I love being able to be with other missionaries; learning from them and getting to know them.  I love that just after a day of being together that I can feel like we are friends.  One of the sisters that is coming home this month expressed how she felt throughout her mission she has made eternal friends, and I couldn't agree more; there are just so many people, missionaries, members, investigators, and others that I just know we will be friends forever.  I love how the gospel connects people across the globe.  We are just so blessed!  The afternoon that I got to Gyumri, we got quite a bit of snow-and the following morning we had about 6 inches.  Snow is just so gorgeous! And I was so happy that I was able to be there to see it!

I just want to share a small quote that I heard this week, while watching a general conference talk.  It reminded me of our purpose, as missionaries and as members in general "What is most important in our church responsibilities is not the statistics that are reported or the meetings that are held but whether or not individual people-ministered to one at a time just as the Savior did-have been lifted and encouraged, and ultimately changed" Elder Ballard.  I have also thought a lot about what one of our elders said in his testimony, about going home and continuing to serve.  As I've thought about it, I realized that that is why, if nothing else, we need to serve here.  Because this is our calling.  Yes, one day our calling will be something different, but no matter what our calling title is, our calling it to do just as Elder Ballard said-to minister to people one at a time so that they are lifted, encouraged, and changed.  In essence, no matter where we are, we are called to build the Kingdom.

I love you all family! I know there's not much to my emails-sorry, I guess I'm just too scattered to make sense of the week and decide what I should write, but just know that Iove you all! A lot!  

Thank you for your constant support! You are all wonderful!

I love you!

Metz Sirov

Monday, December 3, 2012

Warm weather in Armenia

Hello, hello family! 

Can you believe it's December?! I sure can't! The weather has been so warm this last week and as we were driving to Gyumri there were fields of green!  I guess the weather just can't make up it's mind!
Sounds like another good week! Of course ours was good here! I think that very possibly my favorite part was sitting in a lesson with Anna, as she testified to one of her friends of the need of the Savior and the need to forgive others.  Then again in church on Sunday as she shared her sweet testimony of the gospel.  I felt like a proud parent and felt so amazed at the evidence of growth already since her baptism.  She is such a good woman.  We had a pretty special experience with one of our young members-a year ago she had her son die, so we went with her to the cemetery to support her (that's part of tradition here, to go to the graveside weekly for the first 40 days, and then regularly for the following year, and then on the year mark).  We sang through many of the Armenian hymns, mostly the slower, gentler ones; then our member, after we had said a prayer and talked with the caretakers of the cemetery, picked Come, Ye Children of the Lord for us to sing as our final song.  I was reminded as we talked with her, how so very blessed we are to have the gospel and to know of our Heavenly Father's Plan for us.  That is truly where our joy is found and even in death, we have so many things to be happy for-and so many reasons to push on with a good attitude and a smile.
Like I've probably said many times, it's neat to see the change start to take place in people.  It's been interesting to watch one of Elder Chojnacki and Elder Hall's investigators as he tries to quite smoking because a couple of weeks ago when he was doing so well and so close to quitting, you could see so much light and joy in his face, but the following week, when he was having a harder time and had begun smoking more again there was a physical difference in his appearance-that light and joy that had been there, was no longer evident.  Just another reminder that we are truly happiest when we are living the gospel and applying the principles in our lives.  And perhaps that is why, so that we can be worthy of the Spirit, be a light to all around us, and have the approval of the Lord, we need to apply the principles and doctrines of the gospel in our lives.  It's just so simple.
With the Christmas season here, I've been thinking and reading more about Christ and His atonement-I love how the angel of the Lord tells the shepherds he is there to bring "glad tidings of great joy"  And truly! What greater joy can be found than through our Savior Jesus Christ?!  I feel so blessed to be a missionary-a representative of Jesus Christ-to share that joy! Wow! One of our zone leaders recently told us "This is the happiest thing we could ever be doing" and I can't agree more! 
I'm going to start a study of Jesus Christ, His birth, life, and Atonement in preparation for Christmas.  Will you all do the same?  And share what you feel and learn? I would love to hear about why our Savior is important to you and about your testimonies!

I love you all!  
Have a fantastic week! Be safe with the changing weather! I'm always praying for you!  Thank you for all your love and support!

Love you!

Metz Sirov

Quyr Broadbent

Oh and that sentence (the one from last week that I couldn't translate) just means, I'm hoping your week will pass well (in other words that you'll have a good week)  I'll type in Armenian when I can, but the computer doesn't always work :)  Love you!  Thanks for the pictures!