Barev marev Family jan!
I am so happy that you were all able to get together! Last week when you said you were going, I thought of some of the many memories we have in Vernal and with Uncle Don and Aunt Mima in Heber-playing with marbles in the basement, the time Kris sneezed all over Cari's cheek, Aunt Edna's chocolate popcorn, and so many more things!
I can't believe school is out! That May is already ending. Wow. Time goes by so quickly! The kids here are out of school, too, and since the sun comes up so early and goes down so late, there is a group of kids that are always playing outside our windows. I love it. I love the long days of sunlight. We're also starting to get into fruit season....there is nothing better in the entire world than teaching the gospel and eating fresh Armenian fruit. You all just don't know what you are missing!
I feel so good about this last week, I feel like there were a lot of good things that happened. Robert was baptized and the baptism was beautiful! I know his back has been hurting him since, but he was so happy at church yesterday when he received the Holy Ghost and he bore a sweet simple testimony. I can't wait for the day when Robert and Hasmik will be in the temple together! We also had a really neat miracle this week. We've been working with the sister of one of our members, Narine. She has expressed a lot of desire to be baptized and then always says she isn't ready or that she hasn't received her answer yet. We've been trying to help her recognize her answer. She came to the baptism with us. We were talking with the taxi driver on the way over and she explained so well what repentance is and bore a powerful witness. Then before the baptism, our wonderful Elders, Elder Conway and Elder Olsen, were talking with her about her own baptismal date and about her knowledge of the gospel. We had the opportunity after the baptism to sit with her and her family and have a little lesson. As we talked, Narine told her member sister Nelly that she is getting baptized on and that she'll need her help to prepare. Then she looked at us and just beamed. The Lord truly does answer our prayers-and the prayers of all His children! I am beyond grateful for the influence of the Elders and the influence of the Holy Ghost in touching hearts. I know this is the Lord's work and that no matter how we try to do it on our own, we can't.
Manushak, one of the women I talked about last week, is so amazing! She is so willing to act! She keeps telling us how good she feels with us and talks about how God is answering her prayers. With her work, she is allowed four days off a month and has already said she'll be coming to church on those days. There is a chance that she may be going to Russia to work, so we'll keep going forward until we hear more.
Yesterday in church we had a couple of young dads sitting on the stand and their children kept coming up to sit with them. I couldn't help but think about the countless times we did that as children with Dad and then I had to express gratitude that the Lord blesses us with such wonderful families and those sweet, tender moments and relationships with one another. This truly is the church of Jesus Christ and it is the same all over the world! Phenomenal!
Sister Ledingham and I have talked a lot about following the spirit this week, about the commitment we have to make to follow the promptings of the spirit, and how if we really commit and then give all we have to follow what the Lord asks, that is when we begin to turn ourselves over to the Lord. I also read from D&C 58:27-28 and have thought about this and the connection between Moroni. The Lord expects us to go forward, to act and think for ourselves-to use the spirit within us to decide. We know when something is good and we shouldn't have to wait for the Lord to tell us, "Yes, that is a good thing, do it" We have a responsibility to be "anxiously engaged" and always looking to do good, to be better, and to reach out to those around us. I know I have much room for improvement. I want to be someone the Lord can rely on to accomplish His work, someone He can trust with His children. Will you each be more "anxiously engaged"? Will you seek to do good? I know the Lord will use you to answer the prayers of others and you will begin to recognize the presence of the Holy Ghost more in your life.
I love you!! Have an excellent week! Keep your smiles on and let your light shine!
"No good thing comes without effort and sacrifice"
"Our personal testimony is a protective shield and like an iron rod, it is guiding us safely through darkness and confus