Week 21. Drasitzdel (Russian for how are you...doesn't really translate)
Hello to everyone! I hope everyone is doing good and life is going well. I don't really even know where to start, But this last week was a great week. Things are getting pretty crazy, there is a lot of hype in our mission right now, because so many missionaries go home this transfer which means that there will be a lot of new people in the mission, many as in 16 new missionaries and 9 of them are Elders, in a mission that only has a total of 23 elders (just in Armenia). What im saying, is that the mission will be very young very soon. After next transfer, the oldest missionary will have only been here for a year and 3 months (our transfers are 3 months) which will be a very young mission. I am not worried about, the Lord is in control and we have good leaders. I will tell you all that happens to me next week, I will most likely be staying in Alaverdi which I am very excited about and the rest will be told to me tonight in a few hours. I will write you guys all about it next week. My companion, Elder Wood goes home on Friday, he will be missed. He is one of the best missionaries in the mission and one of the best speakers. He has taught me so much. And not once did we ever get in even one argument or disagreement. He is a pride less disciple of the Lord and I am honored to have been able to serve with him.We have been blessed in finding many less actives that were just names on a list before. And now several are committed to coming to church, and happy to have the gospel back in this area. Its sad to think how many people were lost and didn't know where to go, after the area closed 3 years ago. We have had a great time this last full week together and we have worked very hard this transfer. My companion says that he thinks its probably the hardest hes worked in his mission. We were able to watch conference on Saturday and Sunday, and I really enjoyed the talks. Its funny to hear a lot of the things that we have the opportunity to preach everyday. My favorite was the talk on Saturday about spiritual confidence by that German guy name Jorge? And as always my favorite was Elder Holland's talk. I love that quote of I may not be my brother's keeper but I am my brother's brother. I gave a talk in District meeting today on Charity and its so interesting that without charity we are nothing. I said in the meeting that Charity is the basis of all Christ like attributes. You can have faith and hope and all these great things. But with out charity it doesn't mean anything to God. Charity is but Faith, hope, and patience in action. With charity pride can not exist. I also taught that it is a gift that we must continually pray for and work for by applying these things. We can hear all these great talks and read great scriptures but if we don't apply it, none of it does any good, and we all have the opportunity to apply charity every day. Well family and friends, I can see myself changing so much as the days and weeks go by, its interesting to see my Patriarchal blessing coming about. However to be honest, I find more happiness in seeing others change and coming closer to Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. That is where the true happiness comes from. The Gift of tongues is REAL and all other gifts from God for those who WORK for it! I have been so blessed as i have struggled diligently to study all the time and to never miss an opportunity. Not that it matters but I am passing up other missionaries in the language and confidence in speaking, that have been here a transfer or 2 above me due to my diligence. I have never been the smartest but I have always been the one of the hardest working and that is what gets you places in life and in the gospel. And I owe this to my great parents and my uncle larry and my grandpa for teaching me how to work. I dont know what I did in the pre-mortal life to be blessed with great family and friends that I have. It just makes me think of the quote "And by the grace of God I go". I have developed many relationships with people that I love so much here and that I wish many of you guys could meet. In closing I just want to say that I know that God and Jesus Christ love us and they are aware of all that we are going through, I know they live and they want us to return to them. I know that their love and wisdom is so uncomprehendingly greater than ours. And lastly I would not rather be any where else in the world than where I am at right now doing what I am doing. Nothing brings greater joy and happiness than this work full time. Notice I said joy and happiness, not loads of fun. They are 2 very different things, I didn't realize before my mission. At times its not always fun but nothing in life I do will have greater significance or bring the joy and happiness this work brings. I love you all very much and hope that everyone is getting what they deserve out of life. I know I always say this but my love for you grows more and more each day and I love you all more than you know.
Love your friend, grand kid, nephew, and only son
Pictures of old churches on the Plateau of Sarahart