Monday, March 25, 2013

Mary's Mission March 25 2013

(for those who know the Felix Family - that is who Mary is referring to, not Felix and Family)

Barez my dear family!!!

Thank you so much for your love, prayers, support, and concern.  I couldn't ask for a better family and I truly feel your strength!  THANK YOU!  That is so exciting for Felix and his family!  There is no better thing in the world than hearing about people progressing in the gospel, especially when a family is sealed.  That sealing is so much more precious, especially when we experience death-my condolences to the families of those two wonderful women.

With that in mind, I'm not sure if you've heard already, maybe gotten a picture from Pres. and Sis. Carter or something, but I'm training again.  AAAAHHHHH!!!!  I found out Wednesday morning and then we were put together on Thursday, in a new area.  I've been moved to the big city (and all this time I was hoping to stay out of it.... :) all part of our Father's plan, right?).  We're white washing an area called Ajapnyak.  If I'm honest, and I will be, I was super terrified.  Not so much of training, since I've already learned I can make it work with the Lord's help, despite my own inadequacies and shortcomings, rather terrified of being put in the city (it's just so BIG) and being put into an area that I nor my companion knows.  I guess it's like we always talk about, there is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone.  I know, hastat, that our Heavenly Father knows our needs, He knows the experiences we need to have and He knows how to shape us through those experiences; we will become all He wants (all we hope and more) if we will only trust Him and rely on Him.  That may be easier said than done, but I know that's how it is.  He loves us, always.  My new companion is Sister Ledingham, she's the middle of 3 kids and is from Provo.  She has a ton of drive and is so great already.  I'm positive, that like it was with Sister Nelsen, I won't be training her, she'll be training me.  I know I've said it before and I'll say it again, we have the best missionaries in the world. 

That being said, I guess we're in for a big adventure here.  There is so much work to do! This branch is currently most active and is set up and running the most the way a ward should be.  There is also a group that they just started within the branch that is for English speakers, we surprisingly have a good twenty people already, from India, Philipinnes (?), Mexico and other places-isn't it AMAZING how the Lord leads His children to where they will find and accept the Gospel?! THIS IS HIS WORK!! eli  

I was pretty excited to hear how in Sunday school the youth are learning about the Atonement, especially because as I was thinking about the coming week and Easter, I couldn't help but think that there would be no better topic of study.  Will you all study it individually?  And since as our knowledge of the Atonement grows, we naturally want to share it, will you pray about with whom you can share it some of what you've learned?

I love you!!  You are the BEST!!  I hope you have a great week and a wonderful Easter!

Metz Sirov,

Quyr Broadbent

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mary's Mission 18 March 2013

Hello my dear Family jan!

It sounds like your week was good! I am so glad!  I am always happy to hear that things are going well!  I constantly pray for your well being!  I am super excited that general conference will be here so soon! It is always a blessing to hear the words of our beloved prophet and apostles-we are so blessed!  In the last week we went from coat weather, to t-shirt weather, to rain jacket weather, and then we woke up to snow and we were right back where we started!  You'd think with this crazy weather that we were in Utah or something :)  I am constantly amazed at how similar the two are-not to mention that I feel that Armenia is my home so I often forget that I'm not really there with all of you!  

We have had a miracle!  I know we always have miracles, this one just feels extra large.  About halfway through the week, Mariam called and told us that she had a lot of business to take care of in her village and that Saturday wouldn't work for the baptism.  After a lot of prayer, study, talking with our leaders, and fasting, we had a meeting with her and one of our fantastic members.  We talked a lot about baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost and the blessings that would bring into her life, after talking with her, with the help of the Spirit, she excitedly agreed to be baptized on Saturday.  Saturday came, and early on in the day, she called us, saying that she wouldn't be able to be back until really late because of the bus schedule and asked if we could reschedule.  After talking with her, we were able to come up with a solution that helped her to get to Vanadzor in a time.  When we saw her, she was so happy and anxious to be baptized.  The baptismal service was beautiful!  The baptism absolutely picture perfect.  Vrezh also came and he felt the power of the spirit as he witnessed the baptism of his mom.  As we went into the other room so she could change, she expressed how warm she felt and how full her heart was.  The confirmation was also beautiful! I don't think I have ever been so happy to see someone baptized, maybe because we've been trying so hard to help her prepare and because we've had to keep pushing it back.  I feel so blessed to have been a part of it, however small my part was.  I am constantly amazed by the way the Lord works and by the blessings He constantly pours upon us!

The family we are working with and helping the grandma to learn to walk again, weren't able to come to church.  One of the daughters came, but none of the others did.  We feel that if no one comes this next week then perhaps the Lord needs some more time to work with them, to prepare them to accept the gospel.  It breaks my heart to think of them not coming because I can already see the blessings of the gospel working in their hearts and they need it so badly.  I love them.  I wish you could see the way the grandma looks at Sister Nelsen, any time she talks or any time they greet or say goodbye, she looks at her as if she were an angel-which of course she is!  It is an immense blessing to be with such a wonderful Sister, who is seeking to be the Lord's hands and who is teaching me so much! 
As I read from Elder Bednar's talk about testimony and conversion I could see where some of those we are teaching have a testimony, no matter how small, but that testimony has not yet been enough to help them become converted, there's something more we must do to help them on that path.  Not to mention how there is so much more for each of us to do to remain converted-through patience and perserverance.  The Lord expects us and wants us to remain true!  

I love you all!  I hope you have a fantastic and safe week! Enjoy the beginnings of spring! It has been so much fun to see bulbs start to come up! We are SO BLESSED!  

Love you!

Metz sirov

Quyr Broadbent

"Knowing that the gospel is true is the essence of a testimony. Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion." ~Elder Bednar~ 

Just a couple of pictures from the baptism and us with an armenian fireplace that we found and gave to Elder Haglund (he LOVES them and wants to take one home)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mary's Mission 11 March 2013

Բարև իմ սիրելիներ-վայ, ինչքան շատ եմ սիրում ձեզ
Ես շատ բաներ ունեմ պատմելու եթե ժամանակ ունենամ, հույսով եմ:(Translation: Hello my loved ones, wow I love you so much! I have many things to tell you if I have time. I hope I do.)

It sounds like that despite the week being "normal" with nothing big going on, that there were lots of good things that happened! I am so grateful the our Heavenly Father is so good to us! So good to you! I, too, love the temple, and I agree entirely with that little girl, Mom, if I could live there, I would!  No better place to be (except Armenia of course)!
We have had anything but a normal week! I feel like we have been running around everywhere, so busy with different things! And all of it so good, with so much evidence of the hand of the Lord! We are SO blessed! With that being said, I'll just try to tell as much as I can.  Tuesday we were able to go to Alaverdi (a small city about an hour away from Vanadzor) there used to be a branch there, but it is no longer open, so it is part of our branch.  Usually the Elders go to do visits and once a month they go up and do a sacrament meeting service.  President Carter gave us permission to go, since so many of the members are sisters and it was so wonderful and humbling to see the quiet and firm faith of these precious people.  We weren't able to visit everyone with the time limitations, but it was just so sweet to hear the testimonies of these people and to be strengthened by their examples, despite that they are so far.  It is evident that the Lord has poured out many blessings on them to help them be so strong.  Some of the pictures are from the area and the members. (I'm not sure about the pictures - she must have not have attached them) Then Wednesday we had a fantastic zone training meeting where I just feel like I was so fed! I wish you could all meet the Elders and Sisters I serve with because without a doubt, I know they are the best-they are so inspired and I am constantly amazed by them and their wisdom! We talked a bit about sacrifice; I can't help but think about how the Lord always blesses us for the sacrifices that we make and how the greatest blessings are often the ones we don't expect.  What can each of you sacrifice for the Lord?  A bit of time? A bad attitude? Thoughts and desires?  Pride?  I know as we seek the Lord's direction, He will show us what each of us needs to give to Him.  He is seeking our happiness and we are only truly happy when we are becoming like Him (Alam 41: 11)
We had a very interesting experience with a new contact we met with.  We often have people ask us if we pray in tongues, but we've never actually had someone pray in tongues in one of our lessons, until now.  Our lesson with her had gone pretty well, and then at the end, after talking about prayer we asked her if she would say the closing prayer.  She agreed and began normally, it soon turned to kind of yelling, at this point, I had already felt a change in the spirit in the room.  When that part had finished, she began praying in tongues and the calm, peaceful spirit that had once been in the room was now completely gone and had been replaced with a feeling of uneasiness and darkness.  I can't begin to express exactly how grateful I am for the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I often forget how blessed we are and the feelings we feel that come from the Holy Ghost are so common that I often forget just how good they really are.  It was humbling to feel the lack of the Spirit and fortified my testimony that this Gospel, our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true! It is truly the Church of Jesus Christ!  The teachings and the spirit of the Lord testify so readily of this truthfulness!
Ձեզ շատ եմ սիրում: Անչափ շնորհակալ եմ ձեզանից:  Լավ մնացեք:  Միշտ աղոթում եմ ձեզ համար: Գիտեմ որ մեր երկնային Հայրը պահում է և պաշտպանում ձեզ:  ( I love you very much. I am so grateful for you. Stay good (this is a way to say goodbye). I always pray for you. I know that our Heavenly Father looks after and protects you.)

Love you family!!

Մեծ սիրով,(With great love)

Քույր Բրադբենթ (Sister Broadbent)
(Translation thanks to Lance Stutz who taught Mary at the MTC)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mary's mission March 3 & pictures!

Hello, hello my dear family!

Mom, if I'm not mistaken, the Elder's name would be Elder Peterson and I know exactly who he is.  He is an excellent Elder.  I am so happy he came in and remembered to say hi to you!(Elder Peterson and his mom came in to say hello to me at the Distribution center - it was so great to talk to someone who has been so recently in Armenia!) It is so neat to hear how the missionary force is just growing so rapidly all over the world.  Truly, the Lord's work is going forward and it so great to hear about it all!  I got a wedding announcement from Jordan Gilbert this last week-I am SO happy for him! If you see him be sure to tell him congrats and give him a squeeze from me.  I also got the package you sent.  Thanks for everything! I feel so spoiled! 

Nearly all of the Armenians this week kept saying there would be no more snow, because March 1 is the first day of spring (news to me...) We woke up Friday and had a good six inches of snow-I laughed pretty hard when I saw it and kept wondering what everyone would say.  It's also snowing right now-I guess our winter decided to come a little late and that spring is not quite ready to come :)

As I've studied from the scriptures this week, there were two things that really stuck out to me.  First-our dependence on our Savior.  He truly is the center of God's plan and without Him we never would have been able to be born since we conquered Satan during the war in heaven "by the blood of the lamb" (Rev 12), and He hadn't even come to earth yet at that point and yet we were dependent on His Atonement.  Wow!  I know He is our Savior, our Redeemer, and our Friend, and I know He carries us, sustains us, walks with us, cries with us, laughs with us; He is our strength in everything we do.  Second, I just restarted reading the Book of Mormon and as I was reading about Nephi and his brethren returning to get the brass plates, I couldn't help but think of how important the scriptures are in our lives.  The word of God is our anchor to the Savior and to our faith and if we want to receive those blessings we must be willing to sacrifice and find the time to devote to studying His word.  It is so crucial to our well being and to our testimony.  I just feel so blessed!  While we have challenges, I am grateful for them, for the opportunity the Lord gives us to learn and grow closer to Him.  It is such a privilege to be here and to have the hand of the Lord in our work!

We were able to go with Tereza to a cemetery just outside of the city to help her find some of her family names to prepare them to go to the temple.  Afterwards we went to one of her relatives homes, where she shared with them a copy of the Book of Mormon, one of each of the pamphlets, and then talked all about the church.  It is so neat to see her flourishing in the gospel! And to see her sharing her testimony and the joy she finds from sharing.  I just love it!  She is an excellent example to me!  Will you all pray about how you can share the gospel with those around you?  Will you pray to have missionary experiences and for courage to act when they come?  I know the Lord will give them to you!  The area we went to reminded me so much of Utah!  The mountains were just so familiar and felt like home.  I guess the Lord knew I couldn't go without my mountains :)  The pictures are all from that-a couple different views and then Tereza at the cemetery-almost all of the headstones are like this-with their faces engraved in the stone-so interesting! 

I love you family! I hope and pray that all is well! I know this is truly the Work of the Lord and that His hand is in our lives! Have a great week!

Metz sirov, 

Quyr Broadbent

"We have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord.  We can't quit and we can't go back."  "The call is to come back, to stay true, to love God, and to lend a hand....Your Father in Heaven expects your loyalty and your love at every stage of your life" ~Elder Holland