I LOVE YOU!!
I am SO happy that Josh was able to go through the temple and that all of you were able to be there! You better believe I was there in Spirit :) I am slightly jealous that I wasn't able to be there in body, but that time will come all too soon. Besides, whether here or there, we are doing the work of salvation and it is such a sacred privilege. Everyone, and I mean everyone, always asks how long we are here and when we are going home. I always say that I'm not going home and that I'll just stay here forever. I sure hope you don't mind. It's just that everything about being in Armenia and being a missionary feels right. And normal. And natural. It is my life. And I don't want to leave it. I can't.
We had an experience this week that has reached the depths of my heart. And I feel that in the smallest degree I have a glimpse of how Heavenly Father must feel about all of us. He sees our great potential, sees the good we are doing and are capable of, loves us, and is sorrowed and pained when we are struggling or when we make choices that distance us from Him and take away our ability to feel His presence in our lives. I have also felt so strongly the power of the Atonement. I know I understand so little of all that Christ took upon Himself in our behalf, but I know He has felt all that we feel. And He doens't just sympathize with us, rather He truly feels what we feel, in the way we feel it. No wonder it is through His grace and we can and do overcome all things. I feel so blessed to be His witness. I can't begin to express how I wish that the people we teach and talk with could feel this in some degree! There is so much Work to do! So much good in front of us! We only have 1 stake here. There is so much more to come.
I know I always say that we had a miracle, it just seems that the Lord always blesses us with miracles. I don't know if you'll remember, but last month we had a woman named Alvard baptized. She is the sister of two of our wonderful members here, she lives in Russia and is here for the summer. This last week the fourth sister of these other three sisters also came from Russia. Her son will be leaving on a mission to England next week. Our wonderful Bishop called us the day she arrived and said that she wanted to be baptized. She was here last year, took all the lessons, but left before she could be baptized. She has since read the Book of Mormon three times and has regularly attended church in Russia. She was baptized this morning. The youngest of the four and the last of the children in this family to make baptismal covenants with our Father. Our Stake President said it well when he said, "God willing, you will all meet in the temple and be sealed to your parents" Such a miracle. God is merciful and He is a God of miracles. He is our Father and He loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His Son in our behalf. This is His work and I know it is true. Who can you share His love with this week?
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Keep your smiles on! Don't burn up in the heat of the summer! You are the best! I love you!
Mary with 3 of her companions - Sister Henriquez, Sister Nelson, Sister Ledingham and Mary!