Monday, August 19, 2013

Mary's final letter

Barev Family!!
I'm so glad that this week was good! Even if average, it is a blessing! The Lord is so good to us.  Especially when we take note of the blessings in our lives.  I love the quote you sent Mom! Imagine, if the members needed to slow down then, how much more we need to slow down now! When President Carlson had just come, he advised us all to take some quiet time each day to just listen and ponder.  I think we constantly must check ourselves and reevaluate.  How are we doing? Are we listening to the Spirit? Do we hear it amidst all the noise?  If not, what must we change?
This week has been full of miracles-it is SO wonderful to be a missionary! To be representing our Savior.  I feel blessed beyond measure.  It is still unbelievable that I'm going home.  It still feels like something that will never happen.  This is my home.  How can I leave it?  There are just a couple of the miracles that I want to share.  First is a family that came to church yesterday.  We met one of the sisters a couple of weeks ago and we've been able to meet with the family a few times.  During one of our recent meetings, as we were chit chatting at the beginning, we asked if they were going to come to church, one of the sisters,  Zhana, said, "I don't know" then turned to her husband and asked.  He didn't even hesitate to say yes.  He then said they had work to do, but that they would all make the time to come to church for at least the first hour. (And they came!!!) We continued with the lesson, and towards the end, they all accepted baptismal dates! Miracle!! We were SO happy! Then, as we talked with them after church, Sister Henriquez asked if they would come again and the husband said "Of course!"  Miracle! They are so willing to act! And he is such a humble man, with a kind heart.  I can't wait to see them make the changes necessary to help them prepare for baptism.  I can't wait to see them baptized-what a glorious and happy day it will be, as it will open so many more doors for them, so many more blessings will be given to them because of the gospel! And there could be no better thing for their family than to be a part of the gospel!  This week we've also started to see such a change in Mariam and Arayik-they are still struggling with the Word of Wisdom, but they at least acknowledge that it is a problem and an addiction.  I think seeing the change that comes into peoples lives, seeing the light of Christ fill their eyes and countenances, and seeing the joy and peace that comes into their lives is one of my favorite things of being a missionary.  It is so hard to describe, but there is a literal, physical change.  And it is amazing to be a witness to such a change.  Truly, there are so many miracles that come because of the Atonement.  Jesus Christ is our Savior.  I know it.  He has suffered all for us, so that we might change and return back to our Father.  This is His church, restored in it's fulness.  I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, it is such a powerful witness of our Savior, and it is evidence that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that He saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  I know President Monson is a prophet of God, that through him, Christ leads and directs His church.  God is our Father, He knows us and He loves us.  I know He hears and answers our prayers.  I am beyond grateful and will forever be grateful for the time the Lord has given me, that He has taught me to love His children, allowed me to feel so much joy in service to them, has allowed me to learn from the kind and generous hearts of these people, and has given me the opportunity to draw nearer to Him and our Savior.  His work is so grand.  I wouldn't trade my time as a missionary for anything in the world.
I'm not sure what else to say.  I hope you all have a great week! And I guess we'll see each other on Friday (that is if I don't accidently get lost in some airport and make my way back to Armenia :)  haha, if only....)
I love you all!!! You are so wonderful!! The BEST!!! I am beyond grateful for all your love, support, and prayers! THANK YOU!!!!
I love you!!
Metz sirov, 
Quyr Broadbent  

A last picture of Yerevan

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mary's mission 12 Aug 2013

Barev marev Family!!!
Sounds like a pretty good week! I love the temple.  And I can't believe that Joseph will be 12 so soon! He'll be able to go to the temple! YAY! That will be so wonderful! 
I'm a little sad to hear about Bishop Jones.  I love that man.  He is my friend and I always felt so much love and acceptance from him, even when he called me Mary moo cow.  I feel at peace, especially knowing that he and Margean are together again.  It will be different to not have either of them in the ward, but I know it is all part of our Father's glorious plan.  He truly knows all, is a part of all, and is preparing a place for each of us in His kingdom.  How grateful I am to know of His plan and to feel of the peace that knowing brings!!
One of our investigators, doesn't have a marriage licence, so she can't be baptized.  Her mom has asked if there is a way around that; we've told her we'd do all we can, but that in the end, she still needs the licence.  It's interesting how people think that we can get around the commandments and order of the church, as if there are exceptions.  Somehow, I don't think the Lord allows for exceptions or for excuses.  Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think as we learn from the scriptures, that the law is given, in essence so that there can be righteousness and happiness.  If we go against God's laws, we simply bring misery into our lives.  The commandments are given for our protection, our happiness, and our growth.  Obedience is the foundation where we can build our faith-for if we know that God loves us and understand that He gives commandments out of love, then even when we don't understand the why, we can go forward and keep the commandment until we gain a testimony of it's importance.  It's like it says in Ether, "There is no witness until after the trial of your faith" or as it says in John "If you do the will you shall know of the doctrine."  Our faith, knowledge, and understanding cannot grow without action.  How can we help our investigators and members to understand this?  To act?  I know that as we teach and testify under the influence of the Holy Ghost then they will make decisions under that same influence.  I feel like we strive to teach with the spirit.  Honestly, I've been trying to be more aware of those little thoughts and feelings and I've been trying ever harder to follow them, and yet it always feels like a fight to help our investigators to use their agency in ways that are pleasing to the Lord.  I can only imagine how much the Lord truly loves us to allow us to choose-to grant us according to our desires.  Wow.  His love is incomprehensible.  I am beyond grateful for the time that I have here, to feel of Heavenly Father's infinite love for each of His children.  Sister Henriquez and I were talking about that a bit the other day, how sad it is and unfortunate for those who choose to not serve missions, because they miss out on feeling that love and on gaining an understanding of the reality of His love and plan.  We are so blessed! Beyond measure!
I love you Family!!! I hope that all is well, that everyone is safe and healthy! Have a great week! Keep your smiles on and continue to be lights and examples to those around you! You are the best! I love you!
Metz sirov, 
Quyr Broadbent