Armenian Time

Monday, August 30, 2010



First I'll answer your questions. I always forget to plan for preparation day, so we usually do what someone else is doing. Last week we went and saw Edgmiatsin which is like Armenia's religious center, even though I'm not sure why. Visiting historic or religious sites are my favorite activities. It helps me understand them a little better. We also got to see a baptism, which was quite interesting. They speak in old Armenian when they are doing their services, which Armenians can't even understand. Elder King is actually studying that old Armenian and has a Bible of it. The week before that we helped Elder King and Lusk move. Sometimes we just hang out with missionaries in the mission office and watch a movie, or sometimes we also play sports like basketball, bowling, or tennis. There are still a lot of places I would like to visit, though, so I should do more of that. I'll think about things for Christmas. Something I can think would be useful is baking powder and a little bit of vanilla flavoring. Unless I can find their vanilla here. And if you send something, you should always remember pictures and letters:)

That's cool that there's a foreign exchange student with Janice. Haikuhii is definitely an Armenian name. Her city is probably pretty small. The closest branch we have to her is probably Ashtarak (about 20 min north of Yerevan), then Gyumri. You should tell her "barev" for me. How long will she be there?

Do you remember Yervand, the amazing blind member who lives in Gyumri? Well, I heard his mother just got baptized last week. She wanted Elder King and I to come, but we couldn't make it of course. That's so wonderful. She's a great women and in some ways reminds me of you, Mom. This week we were also able to give Alik, the member's husband, a baptismal date. I think he just needed a reason to get baptized, and when he came to the Branch Activity at Sevan, he realized what he was missing with his family. He's a smart guy, and very polite. We also started meeting with an amazing Persian man, Yasha, and his Armenian wife, Araks. They're newlyweds and both have great personalities. I think Yasha already practically accepts Christianity, and I feel like we might be able to help him. He already calls us his friends. I have some other friends, too, that we're meeting with that I hope I can learn from as well as help them. I've been thinking about being a good friend, lately, and that is really one of my great goals. God and Christ are my best friends that I can always trust and always turn too. I also want to become that sort of friend. Someone who everyone feels comfortable being with, and wants to be a better person because of that friend.

Tell Aaron congratulations. I am happy for him. Give Genevieve a hug for me. Have a good week.

Your son Elder Bruce Wainwright

Monday, August 23, 2010


Hey Mom and Dad,

Thanks for sending of the letter, Mom. I figured you were probably working on it. Thanks for telling me about Logan, that's great. You should tell him hi for me if you ever get a chance. He's a good kid. There are so many good people in this world. It seems like it is so easy to miss some of the great opportunities in this life, or even the whole purpose. I feel so bad for people who don't know why they are here, or feel like God doesn't care about them. Like the sons of Mosiah said in Mosiah 28:3 I can't think of anyone not making it to the Celestial Kingdom. It seems like it is so easy for man to not find the truth in this life because they are blinded by the slights of men. How wonderful it is to have the fullness of our Savior's teachings today. All that we need to receive the greatest of God's gifts we have, we just have to live up to that responsibility.

That's interesting about the different addictions that you were reading about. I've been thinking about that too. I agree, that eating can become an addiction. In my Health class, they talked about how eating food actually causes a drug to be released to signify pleasure. Laughing can do the same thing, as well as like you said, pornography, actual drugs, and other things. I think simple habits like biting nails, etc. can also become addictions. What I was thinking about, was that as we try to gain self-control or overcome those addictions that we have, that it can help us to gain self-discipline and spiritual strength. All laws, including temperal laws like the Word of Wisdom, not only benefit our physical well being, but our spiritual as well. I also know that I can gain more spiritual strength from diligent obedience, like with reading scriptures, being punctual, studying well, and many other things. Diligence is so important, and I realized it is something that is hard for me. I do great at trying new things, but keeping it up is the hard part. I've been trying to work on that, and I feel like it has helped me with my language, teaching, and happiness. Thanks for the insight.

We met with Alek again, and I think he really would like to be baptized. He's a nice guy, and pretty smart too. He's an engineer for Yerevan TV. They have a good family. We've also been meeting with two interesting homeless guys and we have some other potentials as well. I'll let you know if anything happens with them.

Guess what... Adam left! I don't know if it's permanent, but he has a three month visa for Denmark. I'll miss him. He should stayed pretty involved in the church, though, so hopefully it will be an opportunity for him to see the church how it's supposed to be run. We're still learning here.

I like President Carter and his wife a lot. I think he wants to do things exactly as it says in Preach My Gospel. I think why Elder Christensen said it is good is so that we can re-focus in a way and have a new start. So that we can focus more on exact obedience. President Carter is strict, but in a very loving way that takes away any pressure. He is a wonderful servant of the Lord. I wish I could talk more, but I have to go. I love you all so much. Have a great week. Tell Janet thanks for the letter. She's a great woman.

Elder Bruce Wainwright

Monday, August 16, 2010


Thank you for the letters, Mom and Dad. It sounds like it was another exciting week for you. I had a good week as well. Elder Grigoryan and I have been trying to work hard. I also feel like I have progressed a little this week, spiritually and with the language, which is nice. I bought a grammer book about common mistakes and it has been helping me. Also, my studies have been going well. I feel like I was able to undergo some changes this week, which were inspired by our Zone Conference with President Carter that I think will help me do better as well. The focus of the Conference was on Chapter 8: Using time Wisely through goal setting and planning. There are key indicators that we report in order to be accountable for our work, and he wanted us to stop reporting on our street conversations and our member meetings. Our mission is the highest baptizing mission in East Europe, but our numbers in general have been decreasing in the last six months. We will now be focusing on having members present in our meetings and on helping investigators attend Sacrament meeting. It's a simple change, but I already noticed how it has changed my focus and I feel like I will be able to help more people come unto Christ. Something interesting that Pres. Eyring said to Pres. Carter was, "Hurry while they are still humble." This work is so important and I know that now is the time for Armenians to accept the gospel. It is because of the earthquake and how Jon Huntsman was inspired to help Armenia that we are even here. I was thinking about how soon Christ is coming and how it is likely that Armenia will play a big role in Muslims beginning to receive the gospel. There are already a few saints here that are Persians. A lot of them come to our English classes and are interested in Christianity. I don't doubt that God is preparing them to here about Christ's Gospel.

Elder Lusk, who is my new district leader and from my MTC group, wants us to build our relationships with the Branch. Elder Grigoryan and I decided to bake some cookies and give them to some of our investigators and less actives. It was very nice and I think they appreciated it a lot. We are also going to try and write notes to those we can't see very often or just want them to know we care about them. It feels so good, and I'm sad I haven't done this kind of thing more often. Today we also were able to help Elder King and Santo clean out the apartment they moved out of from the Shengavit area. I have been thinking about charity and selflessness lately, and I would really like to gain those traits. I've been reading from the teachings of the Prophets: Joseph Smith Manual and it is so evident from his letters, words, and actions that he genuinely selflessly cared for others and wanted to do all in his power to help them. He is such a hero and example. I hope I can really learn what I need to do to follow and become like the Savior in my mission. I get so excited when I am learning and progressing. I gave the lesson for our big Sunday School class and we reviewed what they had learned from the old Testament so far and we had a really nice discussion on sacrifice and why the Savior had to die for us. I hope it helped them. The church is new here, but it is still progressing. It's only going to get harder for them. I hope they can stay on the narrow path, like on angels landing, and make it to the end without falling.

I love you. I am so grateful for our family. I can't wait to be able to come and spend precious time together and continue to learn together. I really want to be able to always humble myself enough to be taught and to help God teach others. It's not easy. Thank you for all that you do for me. I am a blessed man. I know that God loves us and wants us to make it back to Him. It's been nice. I hope is well.

Elder Bruce Wainwright

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad

(I thought I'd put this in, too, because he tells about some of the wonderful things about his dad that are so true. I know the family will enjoy hearing this.)

Hey Dad,

I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday. I hope your hike goes well. You'll have to tell me how it goes. Which hike did you decide to do? That's good that Bryce gets to go on hikes a lot. I hope it's a nice day, and that you don't get too sore.

I am so grateful to be your son. I have learned so much from you throughout the years, and I'm sure I will only continue to do so. I owe so much of who I am to both you and Mom. You are a wonderful friend to others and make people feel good when they are with you. As Mom was talking about, you also have a wonderful desire to help those around you have a good time, like when you prepare camping trips, bring kayaks to activities, cut lots of wood for fires and many other things. You are always willing to serve others and can see where there is a need. I am trying to do the same thing, and know that I am the most happy when those around me are happy. I hope that I can in some way glorify you by my actions in this life, as Christ glorified the Father by completing his will. You mean so much to me Dad, and I can't wait to get back and go on a hike together or on a nice bikeride. I noticed that in the Family: A Proclomation to the World it says that a successful family is built on love, patience, and some other godly traits, but the last thing on the list was "wholesome recreational activities." I like that and think that is so important. I feel like you have provided our family with many wonderful "wholesome recreational activities." I hope you have a wonderful birthday, Dad. I love you and look up to you. Thank you for all that you sacrifice for me and for your great love.

Much love,
Your son Elder Bruce Wainwright


Dear Mom,

Thank you for sharing about your wonderful Stake Conference experience. I love learning from the general authorities. Their lives really are special witnesses of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, and they really help me understand what on earth we're doing here, on Earth. It sounded like a very neat experience. I learned a lot, just from what you wrote. I also wanted to thank you for the talk on cd you sent my by Cleon Skalson about the Importance of the Atonement. I listened to it during lunches this week, and it was great. It helped me better understand the role of the Savior, Heavenly Father, and my own role as well. What an amazing plan, which is purely based on love. I liked his insights on element as well, which reminded me of the String Theory. I really believe that both of those are true. All matter and intelligence functions how it does, because we have a Savior and Father in Heaven who love us and want us to be happy. I really enjoyed the talk.

As far as why last week didn't go very well, I can't remember for sure but it was probably a few things. It is hard when meetings fall through and people don't keep their commitments, but I also think I need to better learn how to forget myself in the work. I try pretty hard, but it's still easy to not want to talk to people on the streets or to be focused on myself. Maybe it's also because we haven't had a lot of meetings lately. I decided, however, that I need to keep working hard on my goals, like you said, and in general, as well as try to serve others as much as possible. Work is such a great principle.

We had a cool experience on the streets this week. We had some extra time at night, so we decided to go buy something tasty from a nearby bakery while trying to talk to people. It felt good, so we decided to do it. On the way, a young man walked up to us and asked us how he could get a Book of Mormon from us. We usually don't give them out unless they really want one, so I said, "Well this book is really important to me, so if you let us tell you why it's so important to us then we'll let you have this one." He was a nice kid and seemed sincerely interested in what we believe. We gave him the book and planned up with him to meet the next day. He came, but the sad thing is that he said he was leaving the next day to Europe for his work for a while. We taught him a first lesson and told him to pray about it. I'm not sure what will come out of it, but it was a nice experience and I hope it helped. Something else that I am excited about is that Alex, the member's husband that came with us to lake Sevan told his wife he wants to become a member. That will be so wonderful for their family. He's quite busy with his work, but I think it will work out. I'll have to let you know what happens.

We have a Zone Conference tomorrow. That should help us get to know President Carter better. I already love and respect him a lot. He is trying very hard to help us be better missionaries. I'm glad. I have room for improvement. I really want to be able to become a useful tool for Heavenly Father, not only in this mission, but throughout my whole life and especially as a father some day. One of the first things President Carter told us is that in the Mission President's manual, it says that of all the responsibilities of a mission president, the most important is his family. Also, in Preach My Gospel, there's a quote in Chapter 8 or 1 that says the most important work that we will ever do will be within the walls of our own home. I'm very grateful for all that you and everyone in our family does and have done for me. I hope that I can somehow repay that. Something else that I learned from Elder Skalson's talk was that Heavenly Father receives his Glory when his creations are obedient to him. There is a scripture about that in second Nephi as well, but I can't remember the reference. He said that a Bishop becomes a great Bishop when the members are doing their hometeaching and fulfilling their responsibilities. God also received his glory when Christ fulfilled his will and he is glorified when we, his creations, are obedient to his commandments. That also means that all I do reflects how great of parents you have been for me as well. I love you. Thanks for your advice and love. Have a great week.

Elder Wainwright

Monday, August 2, 2010


Hey Mom,

Thank you for the letter and for the updates. I'm way excited for Mark and Emily. Maia looks like a pretty baby. I like her red hair. I can't wait to see her in a year. Julia and Liam are growing up. I'm excited for them to have a new sister. I'm excited for Joshua and their family as well. Do they know if it's a boy or not? I'll have to ask him, I didn't even know Valerie was for sure pregnant either. So what was exactly wrong with Gary? Some kind of Allergy? That's wonderful they were able to help him.

Hey, before I forget, Elder Grigoryan wanted me to say "I'm thankful that you have good boy . . . uh, son." He's a great man, and we're having a good time together. He likes your music that you sent a lot, but not as much as I do. Thank you for the package. It came last week, as well as a nice letter from Grandma Snow and from Megan Gale. I'm sure taken care of as far as prayers and care go from home. Tell Megan thank you for me. She is a great woman. Tell her I will buy a big container of peanut butter from her. That will be great. I'll write a note to Grandma.

It was a pretty good week for me. At the beginning it was hard for me to feel like I was really helping anyone, but think I just needed to keep on working hard and trying to do better. I needed to get my heart more into the work, which has a lot to do with charity I believe. I am trying to be more diligent again with all the little things: my studies, talking to people on the streets, serving my companion, thinking of others, memorizing words, and other things. There's a quote in Preach My Gospel that says "the secret to missionary work is work," and I agree. That's probably the secret to a lot of things, and I know the Savior and our Heavenly Father are both hard workers. Dad is also a good example to me of hard work. If I simply continue to work hard, things will work out.

On Thursday, we got to go with our Branch to Lake Sevan, which was pretty fun. It was a little awkward not being able to swim, but it was a good bonding experience with the members. We had a good experience from our fast this Sunday as well. We decided to fast on inspiration for our investigators and to be able to find new investigators if that was needed. I had written to call up an old investigator, and she said she was still reading from the Book of Mormon and would like to come to church. It's been a while since an investigator has been able to come to church, but she made it and I think she had a good experience. I felt like that was a blessing from our fast, and we also should have two investigators come to our family home evening activity tonight. I like all these people, and I am excited to try to help them.

I love you. Everything's going pretty well. Tell Gary good luck starting school. I really liked school a lot. I hope he does too. Thanks for the music and great pictures, and the other things as well. They were all needed. I got a nice bible last week as well, and I like having it. I think I might buy another one with a different translation as well. Well, talk to you later. Hajogh.

Metz Sirov,
Elder Bruce Allen Wainwright