Armenian Time

Monday, September 27, 2010

9-27-10 Weekly Summary

Weekly summary:
This week went by fast, but it was nice. We met a great new investigator, named Artur. Out of curiosity, Artur decided to enter the church and talked to the District President for a little bit about some questions he had. We planned up with him and met twice with him. He's a skinny guy, gray hair, but has two boys who are 10 and 15. He made it to church, even though I only called a half an hour before-hand to remind him, which is a pretty good sign. He said his wife doesn't care for him meeting with us, since she's a devout Armenian Apastolic member, but he doesn't seem to let that disturb him from coming. He's a smart man, and I hope he can use his curiosity to sincerely pray about this. Not much has changed with our other investigators, but they have potential. Something we're focusing on this week is figuring out what has happened with all the priesthood holders in our branch: deceased, moved, ready to come back, or apostate. We've had some pretty good service opportunities this week. Last monday, our relief society president, Mariam, was doing some remodeling and we were able to help Yasha, our Iranian friend, carry up a bunch of sand bags for the wall. My companion and I haven't done any crazy workouts lately, so we were pretty dead afterwards (as in for two days). It's been a while since I've lifted cement bags. It's all good now, and I got some weights from Elder King (he leaves in a month already), so we can be better prepared for next time. We also got to move a piano down three flights of stairs which was an adventure. I love that kind of service. It was a nice week.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Weekly summary...
This week was good, even though we had very few meetings. We have been trying to remake contact with our investigators and clear up with them why exactly we are visiting and what our plan is. That is something Pres. Carter does very well. He makes it very clear both why we are here and exactly what will be required of the person we are teaching. He is a man full of love, both for the Lord and for everyone around him. I'm so glad we get opportunities to work side by side with him. We're trying to work with an investigator that he was able to give a Book of Mormon to. It didn't work out the other day, so he walked with us to grab an ice cream while we talked. He's a great leader.

We had four people come to church yesterday, which has not happened for a while. Ashot, the interesting Hindu/Yoga man came for sacrament. A lady who we met this week and are teaching english to came with her daughter. Also, Alik came for most of the meetings and had no problem participating. It was a nice Sunday. It is so nice to have a full Branch Presidency. The councilors are also the clerk and Branch Mission Leader, but it still works. As I said in Bryce's letter, we're supposed to find a man to fill in Elder Thylin's place as Elder's Quorum President. I really think God will provide us with one soon. We are trying to pray every day to find men who can lead the church here. It's a lot of work, but I can see improvements even in the little time I've been here. I was actually thinking about Zion's Camp lately, and how that was simply one of those necessary adventures that you were talking about in order for those men to grow and earn trust in the Lord, even though they didn't get to fight. 8 or 9 of the men in the camp were called to be apostles and all seventy men in the Quorum of Seventy were part of the camp as well. It's amazing how God works with his imperfect children.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Hey Mom,
Sorry I wasn't very clear in my last letter. We didn't go to Russia. And the temple is actually in Kiev, Ukraine. The sessions were transmitted to our branches through satellite since the saints here will now be attending that temple. Before they had to go to Sweden. Romanian saints will also be attending the Kiev temple as well. The only ones who went were about twenty youth who performed in the cultural event. One of the girls, Zara, who is from our branch had to stay longer for some reason, but was able to do baptisms for the dead there after it was opened. She and another girl should be getting their mission calls back very soon. What I said about President Monson was just from what I noticed in the broadcasts. I also talked about the power that comes from the temple, and I could feel that, even though we weren't actually there. I can't wait to get home and be able to continue to learn and grow while visiting the temple often. Most of the saints here have only been once, if at all.
This week was a little different. Elder Grigoryan had a hard time getting over his sickness and had a fever on and off for five days. The transfer was supposed to happen on Friday so we arranged for his parents to come pick him up. However, when President Carter went to pick up the new missionaries, they didn't show and they found out there were flight problems, so the transfer was delayed until today. So I have been serving with Elder King and Lusk in their area, which has been great except that I haven't seen my investigators for about a week now. I hope it doesn't put too much of a damper on the work. It was great with Elder Lusk and King, though. Their new apartment is beautiful and probably one of the best in the mission. We even dedicated it this morning.
To answer your other question, yes, we are also learning the new focused corriculum. Actually, missionaries in the whole world should be learning it. Bryce said he already flew to Jeauneu (however you spell that) to receive the training. I like it a lot. They did it by filming missionaries in California who learned the principles and applied it. They want us to basically be better teachers and more Christlike. To love people and really try to help them instead of just reciting to them everything we know. I'm excited to begin applying it. I've been thinking about that lately and really want to become a better, more reliable and helpful friend. It makes all the difference.
I'm excited about my new companion. His name is Elder Thylin (Tihl-in). He is from Sweden. He speaks great english, fairly tall, darker skin, and Armenian's love him. He's had it pretty rough I hear, both on his mission and at home, but he tries very hard to love people and wants them to love him. He's a pretty happy guy in general. I think we'll have a good companionship. He also likes to work hard and wants to serve well. I'll let you know how it goes.
Some more nice things about President Carter is his devotion to the work and the Lord. At least for now, he is trying to get into the middle of everything and even tries to go to meetings with missionaries. He is always ready to sacrifice his time for others. He won't make a decision until he knows it is the Lord's will, for example with transfers and callings, etc. He is a man full of love and has given me many special compliments that I don't know I deserved. I'm honored to have such a humble, obedient, and honest man as a Mission President, as well as his humble and loving wife. They are a great couple.
Well that was my week. The interview didn't work out with Yasha. The interview is for us to make sure we will not be doing anything to endanger the life of anyone. They pretty much have to have citizenship in a Christian country and plan not to return to Iran. We have a few other Iranian friends who are also beginning to ask questions. Just so you know, the underground Christians I was talking about in Iran were not members of this church, but still Christian.
I'm sorry you got sick and were stressed about your lesson. I feel the same way sometimes, that I could have given a lot better of a lesson. I think that's true, but I also think the imperfect ones are alright as well. As long as we learn from them. I miss you and love you. I try and think of you too, and remember how blessed of a man I am. It's interesting that our difficulties are necessary for our growth. Brigham Young said that Joseph Smith would not have been able to become as perfect of a man as he did if he had not had so much persecution, trials, and infirmities as he did in his life. I hope that I can make the best out of my trials, even though I don't feel like I have had a ton of very hard things to do. Maybe I just need to open my eyes a little more to see the opportunites God gives me to grow. I love you. I'm doing alright.
Elder Bruce Wainwright
P.S.- Thanks for the story from Lisa's friend. It was great