Armenian Time

Monday, July 26, 2010


Hi Mom,

It sounds like you had a nice week. So many good people. It sounds like they had a lot of fun too. Dad really does work so hard for others to have a good time. That's a good trait. Elder King is good at that as well. I wish I could have been there to see everyone. How is grandma doing?

To answer your questions, I'm not exactly sure why it was a hard week. I would say that what makes a hard week is when I am not as happy as usual and when the work doesn't feel successful. Also, it was hard to be completely obedient to all the rules and schedule with Elder Kankanyan, which was hard. Exact obedience gives a lightness and easiness of burdens that makes it easy to carry stress and hardships. His mission has finished already and I am with Elder Grigoryan now. Something that I learned from him, however, was to be more bold and clear with people, as well as to be persistent. It's easy for me to give up on somebody or to back off quickly trying not to intrude, when I think it is sometimes it can be better to continue to show interest in them and show that I care. I like what Kendall said about how important it is for people to know that you care. It's almost impossible to be able to help them without that trust. I hope I can better gain that trust with people.

Our two most progressed investigators decided they needed a break, which is sad. I hope that they can realize what they are missing. We have a few other potential investigators, however, and I hope we can start helping them. There's a girl that was coming to our english class a while ago that Elder Jonas and I gave one or two lessons, but then she disappeared. However, she passed us on the street the other day and said hi and then gave us a call on Sunday and said she wants to come to english again, as well as to church. That's a good sign that she did that all by herself. We'll see what happens.

I can't believe a year has already passed. I know it's all going to come to an end so fast. I just hope I can make the best use out of this precious time. There are just so many lessons to be learned. I had a pretty funny experience on my year mark. Elder Grigoryan and I were waiting at a bus stop to go to our Branch President's house and paint a little. As the marshutni pulled up, I told Elder Grigoryan it had arrived and went to open the door for him. As I turned around, I couldn't see him in the crowd of people. He was gone! He had gotten onto the wrong bus and was quick about it. Once I realized I was alone, it was pretty awkward. It's been quite a while:) The situation wasn't that bad for me, I just had to give the new mission president a call and he drove over to pick me up. I can only imagine what he was thinking as he pulled up and I am standing on the corner alone in my preperation day clothes to paint in. (I had to give a good first impression). He took it well, though, and didn't make me feel any worse than I did already. Poor Elder Grigoryan, though. He had no idea what had happened to me or what direction my marshutni could have taken me. I'm sure the lady next to him was a little confused as he exclaimed, "Where's my companion? I lost my companion!" The woman was kind enough to get off the bus with him and send him on the right transport to get to the Branch President's house. Fortunately, we didn't have to search long before we got a call telling us that Elder Grigoryan had managed to make his way to our destination. It was an interesting experience.

Well, things are going well. I got the stake packet, but haven't received your package yet. I hope it comes soon. There were some nice notes. Have a great week. I miss you.

Elder Bruce Wainwright

Monday, July 19, 2010


Dear Mom,

Thanks for the letter and pictures. The fish look good. That's sad Dad forgot one. Dad's a funny guy. I'm glad. In many ways, I hope I am like Dad when I grow up. I would also like to become like my Heavenly Father in many ways during this life as well. There are also many traits that you have, Mom, that I'm sure our Heavenly Mother has as well. I owe a lot of what I am to you two. During my mission, I haven't been able to depend on you as much, though, and I do feel like I am getting to know my Heavenly Father better. What's sad is how fast we can lose what we gain. It seems to me like I can learn a lesson, and if I don't continually feed that knowledge or trait, or whatever it is that I will quickly lose it. It's a good thing that God has patience with us and that Christ loves us so much that he is willing to comfort and take away the pains of our mistakes. I feel like something I need to work on right now is my studying so that I can get more out of it. There's just never enough time to study in the morning.

This week has been hard, but good. Elder Kankanyan is trying very hard, but it's not easy work. I have been trying to serve him and help him as much as I can. I feel like I'm learning a lot from him. However, I'm not sure if my language is improving, even though it should be. I'll have to focus a little more.

I wasn't able to tell you, but last Sunday was Water Day. It's like one big water fight for the whole city. Luckily, we didn't get too wet, but most people did. While we were walking that day, I heard a loud pop and looked over to see an older man inches away from being plopped on the head by a sack full of water thrown from an apartment window. Almost everyone on the streets were soaked. It's a funny holiday.

The work is going pretty well. Anahit said she wants to take a break for a while, but I think she'll be back. We also started teaching a neighbor family, Gayane's husband Khachik (which being interpreted means "little cross") who is the painter, as well as a fortune teller named Anahit who is a great lady. Anahit came to church with a couple others even though she had a daughter who was not doing well with diabetes (which they just call "sugar" here"). They're all good people, and I hope we can help them.

My birthday was pretty normal. On tuesday was when I mostly celebrated it. After District Meeting Elder King had made some cheese cake which we ate and then our district all said reasons why they loved me. We call it the love circle, and President Carter suggested that we do that for everyone. It was pretty special. I have some great friends. It feels so good to know that other people love you and know that you love them. President Carter also gave me a tie as well, which was pretty nice. I like President Carter a lot. He's pretty short, but has a big heart. He is also going to focus on the missionaries a lot, which is good. I have a lot to learn about being a good missionary still. He's going to even come to our house for planning sessions and maybe go out to meetings with us, which is much different than it has been. I hope that means that Armenia is getting more self-reliant and independent. His wife also seems to be a very strong and caring woman. I'm excited to get to know them better and learn from them.

Well, I didn't get anything for my birthday yet, but I decided I want to get a nice Armenian bible. I only have a not-so-good translation of the New Testament, so that will be very nice. I love studying from the Bible, recently, but it's very hard in Armenian. Even Armenians have a hard time reading it because of the weird spelling and things. It's also interesting that there are quite a few accepted translations in Armenian with some pretty different phrasing whereas we mostly use just one in English. That makes things a little more interesting, but the need for revelation all the greater. We've also been buying Russian milk, which is quite tasty. I don't think I'll get a blender unless I see a really good deal. Also, I know at least the packet thing got here, which I'll read later, and I think the package might be here too. I better go, but thanks for everything. I felt your love this week and miss you all. I can't wait to see you again. I am having a great time as I'm sure you know. Have a great week.

Elder Bruce Wainwright

Monday, July 12, 2010


Hey Mom and Dad,
Thank you so much for your Birthday letters. I feel your love and know that you love me and care for me. I have nothing to worry about. I also know that the Savior loves me. I wish I could talk to you, but I have to go. It's been a good week with Elder Kankanyan. He is very smart and has good skills, and I am learning from him. One of the reasons why he is serving is for a little spiritual boost, so I hope I can help and am helping him. We have a lot of potential investigators, so we'll see what happens. We got to play tennis, just the two of us and it was so fun. That made my week. It's a great sport. Thank you so much for all you do. Almost all that I am I owe to you all. I have a lot to learn and I am excited to do so. I can't believe a year has almost past. In a way it feels like I've been here my whole life, but I also feel like I am just getting started. Time is so short. Procrastination can be so dangerous. I know that God loves me and loves you. I hope you feel my love as well this week. Love you.
Elder Bruce Wainwright

Monday, July 5, 2010

4 July 2010

Thank you for your love in your letter Mom. I feel so close to you when I read your letters and I was expecting that today. It has been a stressful week for me, but I have also gained a lot. I can't remember if I told you I was going to change companions or not, but I got a new mini-missionary, Elder Kankanyan, for a few weeks. He is a good man, even though he has been having a hard time lately. He is 30 years old and was baptised two and a half years ago even though his mother was baptized many years ago. He has served as a missionary for a total of six months in Gyumri, Vanadzor, and Georgia. He is a very smart man, which he actually says is one of his weaknesses. He is also a very strong and good servant, and I have already begun to learn from him and grow while serving with him.

We've had some interesting meetings this week with interesting people, which I like so much. One was with a member and her non-member husband who is a great abstract painter and an engineer. He is a very smart man and believes that pure intelligence is really what saves us and makes us become pure and like God. He obviously doesn't understand the role of the Savior very well, but besides that he has gained a lot of knowledge just from his artwork and other studies. He told of an experience he had where he died for a few moments and his spirit went to the spirit world. He said the first sensation he had was a sort of nakedness and a need to find the place where he belonged. I have heard that God loves us and is preparing a place for us where we will be the most happy and comfortable, whether that is hell and the emptiness or whatever will be in the Telestial Kingdom, or eternal progression with our families in the Celestial Kingdom. I really like people that think about this life, the earth, the universe and what on earth we are doing here. They are such important questions and it seems to me like it is easy for us to simply live and eat without trying to understand why we are even doing that. This life is so interesting to me. We also met with a less active woman who also happens to be a painter as well as a psychologist. She is also very smart and has interesting ideas about life as well. She also guessed that I had Irish blood in me and guessed all three areas that Elder Kankanyan's family comes from. She's a good lady and is also pretty in touch with the spirit.

Our investigators are doing alright. Not much change, though. We are trying really hard to help Anahit overcome her challenges and make it to church. I think that's one reason why Elder Kankanyan is here. This next week should be a good one. Talking on the streets is still hard for us, especially since he is from the city. It will be good though.

President Dunn is gone. He is such a great man and example to me. I love him very much and will miss him. President and Sister Carter are here now, and we will have a get to know you meeting on Wednesday. I'm sure they will be great leaders as well. I've heard good things about them.

I do try my hardest, Mom, to be safe with my food. With apricots and things like that we have to bleach them. It's amazing how even the not as ripe apricots have great flavor. I also had my first watermelon on Saturday that we bought, which wasn't anything better than normal, but was still very wonderful. My eye is fine as well. It wasn't big. I'm not exactly sure why it happened or if there was something I was supposed to learn from it. It does make me think about making sure I am always willing and ready to listen to the Spirit who can protect me from danger. Thanks for filling me in on Sam. I haven't heard from him, which is understandable. It's so good to receive letters, but it's hard to write them. Especially in the MTC. He'll be a great missionary. What's new with Cody and Josh?

I'm glad you had a great weekend. I'm way excited for Emily. I agree with you about America and I know it's a blessed land. Soon other lands will be blessed as well as they near God and accept the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ. I'm pretty grateful to be able to serve this mission for the Lord, and I hope I can continue to be cleansed and purified. I have so many weaknesses, but they can all be overcome only because I have a Savior who loves me and wants me to be happy. Thank you for my life, Mom, and for all you do for me. I know God is blessing you. Have a nice week. Tell everyone I love and miss them.

Elder Bruce Wainwright