Well transfers just happened. I am now out of my first area and into a place called Gyumri! I always joke with other elders that I know up there that they are in banishment and now, I am there ha-ha, it’s not a coincidence. Its definitely going to be a tough time because my companion and me are white washing, which means that we are both going there without knowledge and have never served there before. It’ll be fun; it will take some getting use to. There are a lot of elect investigators that we have the opportunity of teaching, which is super nice. There hasn’t been a lot of success here in the past, but that’s about to change! I am definitely going to miss Vanadzor but rather get it over with now than later. I hope that you all know that nothing is a coincidence and that everything happens for a reason and it’s to make you into the person who you are supposed to become. Rely on the Savior always and it will be great! Proverbs 3:5-6
Monday, June 22, 2015
Well this week was really good. My companion and me felt that this week we learned a lot more about the spirit and that we taught more by His influence. Remember how important it is to have His influence in our lives. He testifies of truth and he also warns us of danger. He also prompts us to help others who need it. We all need to be humble enough to accept His presence and we also need to be humble enough to heed those promptings to be an example to others. I hope you are all having an amazing summer, whether you are on a mission or you are at home. Have the time of your life, we do not have much time here so be happy that this gospel is here and that is has been restored! Make sure that you are all loving each other. The tree of life in Lehi's vision represents the love of God! The rod is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it fills you with joy that is incomprehensible! For those of you who just went on origination or who are now on it, recognize how lucky you are to witness the beauty of the Gospel and how much the Lord's people have gone through to let us have this opportunity to share it and gain a testimony of it. When you have time read this talk, "Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson. It is an amazing talk. Be safe and make sure you are doing the will of God and not the will of man. Only one way to get back to Him and that's why we need to do it His way! Love you all; sorry it's a short letter
They found baby chicks!
lunch in a gorgeous field, then caught by a storm, if they lick their plates clean = they will have beautiful wived (Armenian Tradition)
Monday, June 15, 2015
Well, this week was a week of lots of confusion, blankness and relief. We had a very interesting start of the week. We had a jump start to the week, thanks to two past missionaries from America who came for a couple days and helped out. We had a baptism on Wednesday without my companion, because we had to do splits and our investigator said he was going to Russia so he needed to get baptized as soon as possible. (We made sure he was ready of course)
So, after the very early morning baptisms, three, we had a nice long ride up to Gyumri. Low and behold our taxi driver tells us he has been smoking since he was 10. And then we tried to teach him, but he said that he couldn’t... so we said that he can... and then he said he can’t and then I said do you believe in Christ? And he said, how can I not? So I said, if you believe in Christ, all things are possible. And he said that's right, and so I said you can quit smoking, so he said again, I cant. Very interesting how people don’t understand at all the Atonement or Christ's doctrine. People are too scared to take a leap of faith into the darkness because they've never experienced the power of the Atonement. When we take that leap of faith saying, "I trust you and know you will help me" there is always a hand there to guide you. I definitely know that. I don’t think I really understood the importance of the Atonement until my mission.
Lets just say first, that I have learned 90 percent of my knowledge that I have about anything on my mission. So go, if you are worthy to go, go. Anyway, the atonement is involved with everything in our process of perfection. We cannot become perfect in this life, but the power of the atonement is what makes it possible to receive the gift of eternal life, in which we will become perfected. I am still learning a ton about the atonement and I am definitely by no means or even close to perfect.
Just because I am a missionary doesn’t mean I magically get a free pass from sin for two years, I would say it is even harder on a mission! Satan has worked a lot harder on missionaries and me that I know than he ever has before, and do you want to know why? Because he knows what we can become. Don’t ever destroy your potential or you hopes or dreams or attitude or character as a servant of Christ because of Satan’s lies. He wants us to feel like there is no point of return, but there is always a point of safe return in this gospel. I would challenge you if you have 15 spare minutes in a day or night, to read or watch, President Uchtodrf's talk "Point of Safe Return." I think I have listened to it 10 times this week. There is always something new that sticks out to me.
I do want some suggestions on what you all want to hear about missionary work or what you want me to write about next week, I feel like my letters start out short and then they always become over-bearingly long. Anyway, it's awesome here in Armenia! The people are pretty much the same. It sucks not to be able to swim, because it’s hot. I will have some pictures next week. Love you all and I love my bros and sisters who are serving out there in the world!
Monday, June 8, 2015
This week was a pretty good week. There was a lot of moving around and a lot of driving to other places. We had a zone training meeting this week and for this month we are emphasizing teaching, and that is good, because my teaching has just gone well. Want to know why? I think that the past 50 meetings I have taught 49.5 how to begin teachings and firsts. So I’ve been getting a lot better at that! Which is fun, because we get to emphasize that Heavenly Father gave us a way to return to His presence and it's called the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I definitely think that this last week has helped me a lot with becoming more humble. I am a pretty prideful guy and don’t give into a lot of things, but lately I have been doing my absolute best, well I guess I’ve tried, to become more humble. It is still a work in progress, but it is an amazing Christ-like attribute. Mosiah 3:19 if you want more. This week we got to meet with one of the families that are preparing for baptism and hopefully they will be baptized this Wednesday! They have been preparing for about 2 and a half months and it’s amazing to finally see them be prepared to make this step toward Celestial Glory! We had a lot of investigators at church yesterday so that made our week really good. I also got to see my MTC teacher and he came to a couple meetings with us. This week is just a week of endurance, when I mean endurance I mean the endurance of a normal week. We have up and down weeks for a reason and the weeks in the middle for a reason too. The Lord is shaping us and I have seen Him shaping me into the person I can become. The Lord knows exactly what we need! Remember that. Love you all, have a good week!
Andrew with Elder Wahl, his MTC Teacher that is visiting Vanadzor this week!!!
Monday, June 1, 2015
This week was even better than last week. It was really good to pretty much have a pay day. I think about Fish Lake a lot. I want to go fishing and go to bowrie and eat good food. This week I’ve grown closer to the Savior more than I think I ever have. I have never relied on him so much. And the best part is; now I can feel the actual influence and change inside of me. there's a feeling that I’ve never felt before in my life that I can now feel, and it comes every time I think about my Savior and his atoning sacrifice and the power he has that is given from Heavenly Father to help me and my personal weaknesses. I’ve never been so grateful in my life. In everything that I do in my life, until the Lord tells me to stop, I am going to do everything for Him. I’ve never felt so good or happy or clean. I’ve never noticed how big of a debt I have to pay to him! And all he asks me to do is follow him and keep his commandments and he WILL do the rest. It’s amazing what the atonement can do and how much change it brings into people’s lives if they just allow it. I’ve never felt so grateful to have been born into our family, and that God has allowed me to grow up in this gospel and to have the experiences that I have had. The thing that means the most to me though, are the experiences that I had as a kid and how I forgot them over time, and since doing the things I have been doing, the Lord has had mercy on me and has allowed me to remember them. There are experiences that I forgot about years ago and now I can remember. This mission is the biggest blessing I have ever had in my life other than my family. People can say all they want about the church or Joseph smith or the book of Mormon. But I know what I know, I know what I’ve felt, I know what I’ve seen. I have heard the voice of the Lord and I will proclaim his word forever. We have an obligation to share this gospel and I am trying my best to share it with the strength that I have, and my strength is not enough and that's how I know that the Savior loves me. He has given me his strength. I have had many times where I didn’t know what I was saying but I knew that the Savior was speaking through me. I have felt the presence of angels. These people are amazing, it's hard, but it's worth every second! My companion is super awesome and we talk about this stuff all the time! This message started out for my family but then I felt like this should be for whoever is struggling, whoever is alone, or for whoever feels like they have nowhere to turn to. Just remember you are never alone. Have an awesome week! We should have a couple baptisms this week!