Thank you for being able to share your thoughts and feelings with us. I really appreciate that and I try pretty hard to be able to do that through my letters. There's no way I can really explain all that I go through or learn though. Every day is different and a new learning experience. In some ways it's so easy, and in other ways it's some of the most difficult things I've done. There are so many things that I don't fully understand as well, like Bryce said.
I'm way excited to hear from the words of the prophets in order to help me grow and know how I can do better. That will happen this weekend. We'll probably watch the normal sessions right in a row for the convenience of the Armenians. It should be wonderful.
Something that I really admire about Armenians is their willingness to give, despite their own difficulties. Not only are they always willing to feed their guests with what little they have, but they also will often pay transportation for their friends and give something to the needy. I don't think there are any homeless people, because their families all take care of each other. It's pretty respectable. A lady was walking and asking for money the other day and as a man passed he stopped, grabbed a coin and went back to give it to her as if he almost forgot to do so. I want to be unselfish like that as well.
One of my goals while I am serving my mission is also to improve my relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Sometimes I feel so close to them and know that they love me, but I also need to work on listening for His answers as well. I think the reason why we were separated from his presence was so that we could have true free agency, but we sure can choose to get to know him better. Elder Jonas is a very good example to me of that. I feel like he really knows how to pray to God and hear his answers. He has already helped me strengthen my faith in expecting an answer from God. Sometimes I'm probably pretty selfish in my prayers in that I talk a lot but don't even listen for an answer. I do know what it feels like when he does answer, though, and I think I am getting better. I hope that you can also get to know him better as well.
It's been a good week of work for me. I'm loving talking to people on the streets. Adam is still going forward. His family doesn't know he's getting baptized, however, so I hope that doesn't hurt his progression. We also met this really interesting kid who showed up to church. He's had a very sad life and has a pretty bad problem where his blood and fluids all go down to his legs. He seems pretty humbled and I know the gospel would change his life, so I hope it works out with him.
Easter was pretty nice. They play a little game with cracking eggs like they do in Romania, I think. They say "Christ was resurrected from death" and then answer with "Blessed be Christ's Resurrection." Like you said about knowing the name of who we receive blessings from, but it being an anonymous person happens here a lot, I think. EVERYone praises God and Christ, but we're finding that they really don't know the true nature of God and that he really does care about them. To me that is such a worthy goal. If all I can do is help someone get to know the God that I know, I will feel content from this work. I really do know that God loves me and has blessed me far more than I am worthy of. Every experience in this life is an opportunity to learn, grow, and become more like our loving Father. It really is. I know I can trust God too, and that if I am doing my part there is nothing I can fear. I love learning with Elder Jonas and I really feel like we are growing together. I hope you have a wonderful week. I miss you and love you.
Your son Elder Wainwright
Thanks for your letter. I'm glad to hear that conference went good, I can't wait to hear it next week. The broadcast is sent out here all through the night, so they record it as they receive it so that we can watch it the next week with the branches. Normally there are returned missionaries and a few Armenians in America that translate it at the conference center, but this year they did the translating all through the night as they received it with native translators. That will be so much better for them. We'll watch it in English in another room though on dvd's. I'm way excited. It's so comforting to have living prophets in these days, who help us better know God and prepare for the future. I teach so much that I cherish every opportunity I have to learn from others. For example, we were waiting for an investigator at the institute building and when she came we didn't want to leave because Elder Shulz ( the senior couple in our branch in charge of institute) was teaching such a good lesson. I find so much joy in learning new knowledge and skills, like a new phrase in Armenian, a gospel principle that makes sense, how to make a great pizza, how to unicycle, and so many other things. I hope that I can keep progressing and becoming a better person throughout my life. I am also so grateful for this opportunity to serve and get to know the people here in Armenia. Probably one of my favorite parts of this work is being able to see people change. That's what's so great to me about the Savior's Atonement, is the opportunity it gives us not only to find peace and happiness, but to become better people as well. Thanks for your great example Dad. I hope that everything is going well and that you also have peace and happiness. Talk to you later.
Your son Elder Wainwright