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