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!
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!