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!
"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