Armenian Time

Monday, May 31, 2010

May 30

Hey Mom,

Thank you for the wonderful letter. I have felt so good while reading letters today. Life is so good. This life is quite hard and has so much potential for good. I don't know why, but I have been pretty blessed in my life. I hope that I can make good use out of the blessings God has given me. I also know that what little difficulties I have had are all used for my good as I have turned to the Lord, my Savior. Now, the trick is just to be able to remember that when it gets hard again. Those oppositions are needed for us, though, if we want to improve and progress. A baby can't learn to walk without falling a couple times. . . or many times. Our trials are proof that God loves us as strange as that sounds. What a wonderful life and opportunity.

Something I miss so bad is a good old gallon of 1% Milk. Or even 2%. Elder Jonas and I have been having cereal recently for breakfast mixed with oatmeal to make it a little healthier, but the milk. . . just isn't the same. The Russian kind isn't bad, but that costs 800 dram or just over $2 per liter, but we found a tolerable armenian kind for half as much. It's a nice thick 3.5% and it's got a pretty strong flavor that tastes a little of the trash that the cows eat. I think my taste buds are getting pretty dull:)

We've got some great investigators right now. Their mostly pretty young. The one that is progressing the best is Hasmik, who is about 22 and was a referral from a less active named Rima. It's so cool to see how happy she gets after our meetings. Rima has also changed quite a bit as well. I believe that this is a blessing that Rima has received from reading the Book of Mormon. President Dunn promised everyone who would read it before the year that their lives would change in a few specific ways. I know that the Book of Mormon has great converting power. I also know that having supporting friends is so important as well.

We also got a referral from America for the first time! I guess they called from here, though. The sisters are going to go take them a Book of Mormon.

I am getting so excited for Elder Scott to come. I don't know if I told you, but the missionaries get three hours to meet with him, then he's meeting with the leaders, and then we have our conference. Hopefully it will be a life changing experience for myself as well as for Armenia. We've been calling through our branch list to try and invite as many people as we can. It's pretty sad how many people have left the church without even having a reason. It will be such a great experience. Elder Rasband is also coming with Elder Powell, the East Europe Area President. I'll have to tell you how it goes.

I'm praying for you, and so are a lot of the members and investigators here. Thank you for all of your prayers and love. Have a great week.

Your son Elder Bruce Wainwright

Monday, May 17, 2010


Hey Mom,

Thanks for sharing your inspirations. I also need to learn more about the way of our God. That's pretty cool the things that you have learned. I wish I had more time to read. I think I'll have to start doing some reading during my lunches if I can. I think it's so necessary to be able to trust our God, and that's why we know that he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so that we can trust him and completely rely on him. That's nice that you and dad got to talk for three hours. I love discussing things with Elder Jonas and others during studies and lunches as well.

Guess what, you know how I mumble or talk in my sleep sometimes? Well now I do it in Armenian. Elder Jonas said I was teaching something once and another time having a conversation with myself, and Elder Larson and I would practically have conversations with each other in Armenian. At least my roommates won't know what I'm saying when I get home. Elder Jonas and I have started quizing each other on our words that we learn, which has helped me a lot, both with diligence and with remembering the words.

Man it's pretty hot already. It started getting hot this week. Today is our first day in short sleeves, which seems awkward. It's not awful, but there's just no air conditioning, so we'll see how it is in a month or so.I think the weather doesn't get much over 100 deg. ever, but there's no air conditioning so it might still be pretty rough. It's nice and green, though, which is so wonderful.

The work feels really good right now. Sunday was a little stressful, but I think the branch is still progressing. Elder Jonas and I got to give on the spot talks again, but it seemed to flow very well. I talked on Faith, Elder Jonas on the Atonement, Grigor (1st counselor) on Challenges, and President Hunanyan talked on being like a family and being one. Anush just got back from a mission in Ukraine and she is pretty intense. She really wants to help the branch and it seems like she was a pretty good missionary. She keeps telling us ways we can improve, which is good. Tomorrow I am actually talking about hard work and how it can be enjoyable and even fun. I really felt like you and Dad taught us that lesson pretty well. I also know that our motives for working hard make all the difference. When I was working hard at work so I could go home or get money (in other words selfish motivation), it was not enjoyable and I didn't have fun. On the other hand, when I was working hard for Dad or to make someone else's job easier, it was much more enjoyable and many times we had fun while working hard. We really do gain more to our lives as we give more of it up as the Savior taught his disciples (Matt 10:39), and we can enjoy the hard things in life.

Adam blessed the Sacrament this week which was really nice. He also might be getting a district calling, which would really help him continue progressing I think. We also got to help a member plant this week, which was nice too.

Well, I hope all is well. Thanks for the email addresses. I hope you have a wonderful birthday this week, Mom. Shnorhavor! I hope it has been a great year to add onto all of the many others. It has been a wonderful year for me. Wow, I can't even believe how long I've been away. It feels like I'm just getting started. Have a great week, Mom. Thanks for always thinking about me and for the care in all that you do.

With much love,
Your son Elder Bruce Wainwright

Monday, May 3, 2010


Hey Mom,

Thanks for your letter. The Book of Mormon is a wonderful scripture, I agree. It's been a while since I've studied from the Bible, but I am starting again. I know that God the Creator in the Old Testament is the same Jesus, even Christ our Savior who is living today. As you learn about how God worked in older days, it should still help you better understand how he works today, since he is the same always and cannot change. I want to learn more about my Savior as well, so that I can better understand how truly indebted I am to Him and how great his love is for others. What a great brother we have. I hope I can become a little more like Him today and every day.

I don't have a lot of time if we want to go bowling with everyone else. Something I really enjoyed doing this week, though, was helping Ashot who is on cruthches move. A great guy from our branch came and helped us move his things down the seven flights. He didn't have much. He did, however, have some furniture that we were able to pick up and take to his new tiny apartment. It was pretty rough taking up all his things up five flights of stairs by ourselves, but we were exhausted and felt great afterwards. It reminded me of being able to help others move in and out of our ward and what a great feeling it is to serve others. I'm so grateful for my healthy body that helps me experience so many things. I hope I can always treasure and take care of this gift God has given me.

Thanks for telling me about your hummingbird experience. Nature is so beautiful and that sounds like a nice miracle. I'm sorry I can't write much, but I love you and am excited to talk next week. I hope it works out well.

Hey Dad,

Thanks for your wonderful letter and good thoughts. It sounds like things have been pretty busy there. I am also more happy as I am working as well. It also helps to be able to associate with good people. One of the things that I am still struggling with is talking to people on the streets. The standard is to get 12 gospel conversations. It's hard to figure out what I can do better, because sometimes we will talk to many people and sometimes, like this week, we struggle to get one good conversation. The times that I have felt the best, though, is when I am focused on my purpose and am trying to make people smile or say something uplifting. In all my work and in my life I have the example of the Savior, though, and the answer lies in following Him.

People have a very hard time telling the difference between us and Jehovah's Witnesses. I feel bad for Jehovah's Witnesses, because they are usually despised here. There are even posters up all over in the city telling people to beware of them and to keep the nation as one. I used to be afraid of looking like them, but I don't care as much any more. It's pretty funny how people can be talking to us and very interested, until we mention that we're not from their church and they might stop right there and walk away. They don't like the word "Mormon" either, but at least it's not as bad as Jehovah's Witnesses.

Despite that negativity, there are so many people in need of this Gospel and the peace and happiness it brings. We don't have any real amazing investigators that we're teaching right now, but we're still staying pretty busy. We really want to help strengthen the branch if we can at all. A neat experience that we had was with one of our great members, Taguhi (that means "Queen" which is a pretty typical Armenian name), who has been pretty less active since her daughter went to America and her son has gone a little wayward. She came to the Armenia South District Conference, which went very well, and was quite changed by the talk of President Dunn. He talked about spiritual maturity and how we can check our own by answering the question: "How do I respond when told 'no?'" I think it hit her pretty hard and she wants to find the old Taguhi that she used to be. What a wonderful Savior we have that is already waiting to give us a second chance. It was pretty cool to see that change in her.

It has gotten pretty green here, which I am so grateful for. I was afraid I would always have an image of a brown and dirty country, but the hills and trees are all green and beautiful. We'll have to go see some of the old churches in the hills while it's all green. It sounds like you all had a colder winter than we did.

That's so cool Bishop Decker did the Ironman! I wish I could have seen it. Have you been mountain biking lately, or hiking? Those are some of my best memories. I'm so glad the Earth is beautiful and that God wants us to enjoy it.

Well, I'll talk to you on Sunday Dad.
Your son Elder Wainwright