Happy Mother's day to all! Mom I love you and thank you for all that I am and will become. Always a great and eventful week here in Artashat, Armenia. By now many of you have heard about the changes in Armenia regarding the evanescence of the Stake to a district.
From some of the feedback I have heard, I fear that some skeptics are making this out to be more than it really is. Even being at the epicenter of some the turmoil, I would say It is a good thing and many of us have seen positive changes.
I want to reiterate the same thing I said to my branch, that this is not man's work, therefore it will not be done man's way, it will be done His way, in His timing. Sometimes Heavenly Father allows us to play in the sandbox --as man's progression is paramount to Him--until, the righteous receive further instruction, "grace for grace, revelation upon revelation and light upon light" or contrary, the wicked"ripen to a fullness of iniquity"and consequently, then swept off.
In essence, we are building upon the rock of our redeemer, a solid foundation, "a foundation whereon if men are built they cannot fall." (Helaman) To put an end to the antagonistic claims we are going forward not backward, as this is His work, currently being done His way, being built upon the rock of our Redeemer.
This last week my love and respect for the Armenian race intensified. I spent some time with a solid Elder (Elder Larsen) on an exchange in his area. Within his area boundaries, we visited the remote part of southern Armenia (Vayk), and met some of the most humble, generous lovable people I have ever rubbed shoulders with.There were many investigators we barely knew and they took us in and treated us like kings, with barbecues and there willingness to listen to our message.
The members in this area are small in size but large in spiritual stature. Quality over quantity, makes itself know as the few members in this small town preach the gospel with "full purpose of heart".
Elder Peterson is doing great. I learn from him everyday and I admire his composure and ability to see things and people in the perspective of eternity. We are doing great together. The area is still on a high with some sewing and much reaping to come. Artashat is a strong branch and consistently holds up to over a 100 members in church. We are working hard to establish the church and give all the opportunity of a lifetime.
I am doing well. Truly, I am savoring every moment. Smooth or course every situation is an opportunity to learn, progress and mature, simultaneously helping others to do the same. I have been called as the Branch President of Artashat and I have enjoyed all of that entails and the opportunity for powerful ministry in each of the member's lives.
To allude back to a scripture in Mark 6 I shared a few weeks ago of Jesus Christ calming the storm. Referred to in V:48 "would have passed by them, and considering not the miracles of the loaves (V:52)" compared to the conclusion of this miracle in V:51 "When they were come out of the ship, straight way they knew Him" (v:54).
The comparable difference between the disciple's response in verse 51 and there actions in V:54 in such a short duration of time is intriguing to me. In similitude, the biggest thing I learned this last week is that there are trials in life, storms, tempests, and adversity that seem an unconquerable feat. Adversity illuminated by faith in Jesus Christ becomes a catalyst for growth, a vehicle for personal development and an adventure. With this added perspective from each experience or trial we come out like the disciples of old "straightaway knowing him".