Armenian Time

Monday, June 27, 2011


This week went by pretty well. I realized I really don't have that much time left. I set some goals for things I want to accomplish before I leave, which should help me be able to keep sprinting to the end, like Dad was talking about. I hope I have given all that I could have. There is still so much to learn and so much to work on. This life really does seem so short and precious. There's also a lot weighing on it.

We found some good people to work with this week. Sadly, the kid that had set a baptismal date dissappeared soon after so we haven't been able to meet with him. We found a couple new people to meet with, however, and I'm excited to work with them. One is a man who lived in America for 30 years, but is now here and married and has a kid. His mother recently passed away and he had some other bad experiences that kind of made him wake up and want to be a better man. He's a great man and a good father. I hope he will be ready to act so that we can help him. We're also going to start teaching the father of a girl who just got back from a mission in Ukraine. He's a really nice man and I'm excited to work with him.

We had some good laughs at Aram and Susanna's house this week. They're a great couple. Elder Smith seems to be getting more comfortable and is doing amazing with the language. Oh yeah, six people are going to the temple this week! A family is getting sealed! I am so happy for them. There's not very many of those. This is the second for Vanadzor.Things are slowly but surely going forward.

The last picture is of my bibles. I've been studying Acts this week in three translations of Armenian alongside the English copy. It's helping with my Armenian and it helps me understand the verses better as well. Elder Scott encouraged the saints here to study the scriptures in multiple languages. The Joseph Smith Translation is still by far the best help, though.

Well, that's that. Sounds like things are going well. Even though I can't believe it I'll be back so soon. I love you all so much. Thank you for your faithful writing, mom. Take care.

Much love,
Elder Bruce Wainwright

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Happy Father's Day Dad,

Thank you for your letter. I like your analogy of the marathon. I'll try and sprint to the end. It's really easy because of my companion. He's doing so well and helps me want to be better. Both missionaries that I've trained have been like that.

I hope you had a nice Father's Day. You deserve it. I feel like you have been a very successful father. I know you're not perfect, but you are a great example to me in so many ways. Our lesson in priesthood this week was on honesty, and I know that I can look up to you as an honest man in all your dealings. They were talking about how in these days and in this country it's practically impossible to not lie or cheat. I know you have always tried to do your best, simply because you love people and you want to serve them. Some other things that I have learned from you are how to work hard, how to have fun while doing that, how to take care of others and help them have fun, how to be aware of opportunities to serve, and many other things. We have been greatly blessed with the family we have and I am so grateful to how you and mom have raised me and helped me overcome my weaknesses and challenges, and encouraged me to be better.

I am eternally grateful for the experiences I have had on this mission and I hope that I have been able to serve to my full potential. I love these people and pray that God continues to bless and lead them. I'm grateful for our Heavenly Father and family as well. He blesses me with more than I deserve. I hope I can faithfully follow my Savior as you and Mom are trying to do. I love you so much Dad and can't wait to see you again. Thank you for your great advice, love, and support.

Elder Bruce Wainwright

Monday, June 13, 2011


This week went well. We didn't find any new investigators for the second week, now, which is not good. We tried to meet with a nice kid who speaks english and invited us to help him with an English club. He has lived in America for two years and seems like a good kid. He said he'd be interested to learn about our church and our purpose here, so we're trying to meet up with him, even though it hasn't worked out so far. We're also trying to work with two part member families which would be so wonderful if they worked out.

Elder Smith is doing great. His understanding and speaking abilities are improving, which will make life a lot easier for him. He wants to be able to teach people the gospel so bad. I hope we can find some good people to work with.

Elder Lowe and I went up to Alaverdi this week with the Branch President and Relief Society President. It was really good that they came with us. It felt like the absence of missionaries and the distance to the church was already starting to have an effect upon the members there. This will be a test of their faith for sure, because of the distance they have to travel to come to church and the cost. Elder Lowe and I love the people there so much.

It has been raining here like crazy. There have been about three days with no rain. We're surrounded by mountains, so it will be sunny one moment and pouring rain another. I heard Utah has a ton of snow that is going to start melting soon. Hopefully there's not too many floods and such.

Well I love you Mom and Dad. I love this work and can't believe how little time I have left. I hope I can continue to learn much in the next 6 weeks while helping as many people as I can.

Love you.
Elder Bruce Wainwright

Monday, June 6, 2011


Elder Smith and I had a pretty good week. We didn't get done all that we wanted to. A lot of our plans didn't work out how we wanted them to. It's hard for us to teach in unity right now if we aren't able to specifically plan up for our meetings, since Elder Smith is still so new. Maybe I just need to stop talking. It's hard. Especially because I'm not sure if our investigators are progressing or not right now. We might have to leave them and continue finding people who are ready to act. Samvel came to church and sat next to his member friend, but he doesn't like to read by himself, so he can't really get a testimony.

Sister Hallowell's grandfather passed away this week. That was hard since she leaves in less than a month. If I remember right, Grandpa passed away right after Crystal got back. The sisters are always such amazing missionaries.

We started teaching some interesting people this week. Their names are Vartan and Berta. I like them a lot, but I don't think we're going to be able to meet with them very much. They have some confusing ideas, and don't seem very open minded, even though the seem to be looking for truth. They kind of feel like all churches have the truth. It was also sad that Berta (female) said she felt like church was weak or a thing for children. We get what we want I guess. Vartan is a little different, but is a talented man. He played us some songs on the piano and sang and I really liked it.

We've been checking up on everyone on the branch list that aren't coming this week, and I think we had one success. We met with a lady named Ofik. She had gotten offended from someone and that's why she hadn't come for so long. It's sad that the actions of one person, whether or not they are right, can make someone decide to seperate themselves from God and lose their blessings. I hope she can forgive and come back. She would be losing so many blessings. Staying on the right path is so worth it, but seems so hard.

Anyway, that was the week. We're going to work a lot through the members this week. We're actually going to plan a fireside where we can teach the members what their role is in the work. Then there will be another fireside they can invite friends and family to. Elder Lowe and I are going to go up to Alaverdi this week also, to encourage them to come to church. That'll be nice. I hope all is well. Thanks for the BYU email, I'll have to sign up for classes next monday. Love you all so much.

Love, Elder Bruce Wainwright


Well, training is going pretty well. It's somewhat stressful, but I'm glad that I am training right now. Elder Smith is a great missionary. He's from South Jordan. He's a very hard worker and doesn't ever want to stop studying or working. I hope I can help him have a good start to his mission. I forget how hard it is to not be able to understand people. He wants to know the language so bad, even though he's doing very well. We're starting to warm up to each other and have more fun together and trust for each other. We found some new investigators that seem like good people this week. One is an older woman who has attended a pentacostal church (which is very popular in Armenia right now right behind Jehovah's Witnesses and the Armenian church of course) for a few years but didn't like some things she was seeing. She lived alone, but has taken in a man who is a little emotionally different but has a pure spirit and is a pretty good musician. There nice people and I'm excited to work with them. Our branch president was really kind to them. I love our Branch President. I've gained a lot of respect for him. He has a daughter serving in Ukraine right now.

Well, I hope everything's good. President Carter invited us to his house for Preperation Day today, so our district and another district is going to have root beer floats and maybe play some games. I like how President Carter leads us. He's a great leader and I've learned so much from him. Tell the Farnsworths that I'll be praying for them. I love you dad.

With much love,
Elder Bruce Wainwright
Hey Mom,
Thanks for being so wonderful. You should have Hykoohee email me. I would be interested to talk to her about a lot of things, especially what she thinks of America. People here idolize America and many think of it as paradise and the answer to all their problems. What they don't realize is that we have actually come to bring the answer to all problems to Armenia. We had an interesting conversation with a pretty devout member of the Armenian church, in english, where he starting asking why we came to preach to christians and to really think about what we believe. Elder Smith handled it very well and bore a strong testimony, even though the man didn't want to listen. He was pretty excited afterwards. And then, this was pretty random, a man named Bob Stone from Michigan or somewhere came and said hi (in english). He was an interesting man. He also didn't want to listen but he said he had only talked to nice missionaries, which was a nice compliment. We obviously wanted to know what he was doing way out here in Armenia, and he appearantly was just living here because it was cheap. I think he was waiting for stock to go up, or something. He was a funny guy, but I imagine he's got to be somewhat lonely. That's the second interesting man I've met lately who is not married and doesn't seem like that's very high on the priority list.

That's about how our week went. I hope all is well with you. That's wonderful that Matt got to go through the temple. I'm way excited for him and his mission. I love you all. Love,
Elder Bruce Wainwright


Well, my trainee is here. We're in the same area, and the zone leaders are now the two district leaders that were serving under me. Funny, huh. And now I am one of their district leaders. Elder Smith is his name. My trainee. He is a great missionary. He has a lot of excitement and is very diligent. He is diligent both in the language and with the work. He really wants to love the people and make a difference. I think he'll grow up to be a fine missionary. He's going to be speaking the language very well very soon if he keeps working at it like he is. I liked your advice to make sure to have time to laugh and enjoy ourselves. I'll try and do that. I think it can take people a while sometimes to understand my sense of humor. I think we're going to do good work together, though. He's willing to put himself out and teach, even when it's hard. Understanding is still pretty hard, but it'll come. I forget how hard it was to strain to differentiate words from each other, let alone understand what they're asking or saying. It really does take the Holy Ghost for us to be able to understand each other.

This is interesting, there have been three branches (or six I guess) that have been merged together in the last month or so. Alaverdi is now part of Vanadzor. I think it's going to be a big faith tester for the members, but I hope it will help them grow stronger and try even harder. If they come, it has to be on their own bill, which won't be easy. President Schwitzer and the Eastern Europe Area Presidency have counseled to focus on centers of strength. That's one of the main reasons why they did it. President Carter is trying to lay the foundations for a stake in Armenia. There's a long way to go, but I can see how it will help.

Anyway, better go. It's been great. I'll have to tell you how things are going next week. Love you so much.
With much love,
Elder Bruce Wainwright