News Item: Newsletter update and transition
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Sister Eyre, the Armenia Yerevan Mission Secretary, has informed me that they will no longer do the Newsletters, and instead the missionaries will contribute stories of those they baptize each week. This move is made to continue to inspire and motivate the missionaries.
She also reports that the Armenia Yerevan Mission is seeing more baptisms than ever, with 11 baptisms last week alone!
Sisters Arslanian & Haynie
Baptism February 11, 2013
So this last week little A was baptized. He is 12 years old (as of the day of his Baptism!) and he is from a part member family. The story of how we met him kind of has two parts - when he met his first set of missionaries, and how he met us. His family has been less active for quite some time, but several months ago one of their family friends (an active member), talked to the elders about meeting with this less active family to try to reactivate them. Since it was an all women house the elders passed it over to the sisters and a little while later they set up a meeting. At that first meeting they got to know everyone, and found out that little A had not been baptized because he had been too young at the time when his mother and sister were baptized, but he really wanted to be! So thanks to this good active member reaching out to her friends the sisters were able to help this family come back to church and were able to start meeting with and teaching little A.
So the second part of this story starts at transfers when we got transferred in to white wash Gyumri. As with most transfers, especially right around New Years, it took us a while to get in contact again with Little A and his mother. We tried calling them several times but were never able to get through. After a few weeks we were finally able to talk to little A's mother on the phone and found out that they as a family had been having some pretty big trials. On New Year's day their house had caught fire in a room where Little A and his sister had been sleeping. Through a great miracle, both of them were not burned at all, even though everything else in the room had been destroyed. When we finally met with them the first time, we were so touched by all their testimonies about how the Lord had saved them. Little A is young but has great desires to do what is right. In his interview, he was asked what he would do if he found bad pictures of ladies and his reply was that he would take them and burn them. He is a sharp little man and has so much potential to become a great man and a powerful priesthood holder. He was baptized on his 12th birthday and next Sunday he is going to receive the Aaronic priesthood. We are so excited for the blessings that all this will bring to him, his family, and our branch.
Sisters Beal and Henriquez
Baptism February 16, 2013
Heavenly Father know us, and He answer our sincere prayers.
When Sister Tolman left Artashat I was concern about
the responsibility of this area. I pray and fast, I plead to Heavenly Father in his Son's name that I could find a family prepare
to make covenants with Him. A week later we meet K.'s family. They were so curious to know everything about the Church.
I could recognize that Heavenly Father had answer my prayer and fast. I was amazed how fast he answer, He is a merciful God.
K. smoke and drink, he couldn't find a job and his relationship with his wife was not the best. He had return from Russia 2 months
before we meet. He was trying to find happiness, as we all do. He was trying to find who he is, and his purpose in this earth.
We invited him to come to church, he did, we invited him to read from the Book of Mormon, he did. We invited him to get baptize and
make covenants with God, he accepted. Perhaps one of his biggest trial was giving up smoke, but he committed and he quit smoking.
He's a man trying to find God's blessings and God has shown his goodness showing him His way, His path.
K. has experience many miracles since he meet this Gospel, among them he had a dream where he had to choose between two doors. One was a big
door, who lead to a dark path, and a small one, who lead to a strong light. He said "it was God telling me that I should
walk in to the small one, and that there's no turning back from that choice". He also said " there's something changing in
myself, I can feel something growing". He was talking about that change of heart that we all must experience when we try to live
how the Lord wants it, the seed of Faith. Also he found a temporary job, he said about that the day that he prayed and asked
for a job, he walked away from his house with the hope of finding something, and he found the opportunity, Աստված մեծ է.
Before his baptism K. has experience many trials, Satan tried every source to take him down and out of the path of the Gospel.
Everything. But last Saturday he enter into the water of baptism, he and his sons S. and G. were ready to make covenants with the
Lord. Next day he receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, it was a day of joy in the heavens, and in our branch, in Artashat. Everyone was
touch by their sincere testimonies.
This Gospel is true, the reality of the war in heaven and that now take place here is more notorious when every and each investigator that we have
is near to make covenants with the Lord. K. open the door towards Eternal Life, he's at peace now, he finally knows who he is.
He's a child of God.
Quir Henriquez u Quir Beal
Elders May and Fagg
Baptism February 23, 2013
The Baptismal service went very well. Vasili is the first priesthood holder in Rustavi just yesterday he receive the Aaronic priesthood. It has been an amazing blessing to have had part in him coming into the true church of Christ he is an amazing man and will be an amazing member.
February 25, 2013
I remember when we first met S. She has two other members in her family and was not interested at all. She would ask us questions, but it seemed they were always in the interest of arguing rather than learning! One day, we got a call from an unknown number. It was S., telling us that she was going to come to church on Sunday with her family. We said OK, and were very surprised to see that she did in fact come that Sunday! The lessons with her were a joy and she was hungry to learn. Something dramatic had changed within her. We were planning to have her baptism on her birthday (her choice), when she got a job that prevented her from coming to church. We continued meeting with her, albeit less frequently, and her desire for baptism grew. She was keeping all her commitments, especially reading the Book of Mormon, except for church. However, begin determined to be baptized, she talked to her non receptive boss about getting Sundays off from work. We were surprised to see her at church a few weeks ago, and she explained that someone accidentally came into work, so S. had that person take over her shift. And again the next Sunday, she switched her shift with another worker so she could come. She demonstrated great faith to enable herself to be able to be baptized. Additionally, before the baptism, while we were waiting for people to arrive, she began to feel uncomfortable. She expressed to us that she wanted to serve the Lord so badly, and she was worried that other things would prevent her from serving with her whole heart. We feel so blessed to see someone who has such an immense desire to stay faithful and live up to their baptismal covenants. She was a completely different person after her baptism from the first time we met. S.'s change of heart was truly a miracle wrought upon her by the Lord!
-Sister Bobzien and Sister Kellis
March 2, 2013
K. and her family were a referral from a member. Ever since that first meeting, they have continued to invite the missionaries into their home or meet at the church to learn the message of the restored gospel. They were truly prepared by God to receive the gospel at this time. They are evidence that the Lord goes before us to prepare the way. We have watched them make those changes in their lives - going to church, reading the scriptures, praying, repenting, giving up coffee/tea, and apply the gospel in their lives. As a result, K. says "she feels closer to God than ever before" and that "she never imagined that she could be this close to Him." We hope to help them continue to draw closer to their Heavenly Father. A. made the decision first to be baptized. She and K. have a really special mother-daughter relationship. A. has really been a good example for her mother. K. for quite some time did not want to be baptized. Eventually, as the Spirit continued to work with her, her heart was softened, her eyes were opened, and she saw that need in her life. She has become almost like a mother for the missionaries and she considers us her sons. We managed to start up a cooking battle serving each other as we exchanged dishes. K. is a woman full of love for those around her and the Lord. We are grateful for the opportunity we have had to build this eternal friendship with her in the mission field. We know that the future holds much for this family.
- Elder Andersen and Elder Lake
March 2, 2013
We had a surprise baptism that past week with A. A. has always gone to church but had not been baptized. The missionaries always tried to teach her but so far no one was successful getting her in the water :) One day she came up to us and said she wanted to be baptized. We said OK and gave it a try. This 14 year old girl was prepared by the Lord. She kept all the commitments even though no one in her family was supporting her to be baptized. She felt so good when we read with each other from the Book of Mormon and when she came to church. She was ready for anything :) 2 weeks before her baptism we had had a hard time meeting with her. But she came to church the Sunday before her scheduled baptismal date. We taught her the Word of Wisdom and found out she was drinking coffee in the morning. We sadly told her we needed to push her baptism back further by 2 weeks. She was slightly disappointed but wanted to be prepared at the same time. We met every day for the next week and on Wednesday we had a meeting with her and we felt like she would be ready for the coming Saturday. Sister Henriquez and I prayed about it and we felt the urgency for her to be baptized. We were concerned about the coffee but when we asked everyday she would say, "I didn't drink coffee today." Even Branch President commented that she was drinking coffee and she replied, "Not anymore." Her answer was so certain and her faith was in the right direction. She was ready for baptism :) We had her interview on Friday and she was baptized the next day. She was so happy and the next day, Sunday, when she was confirmed she was in a skirt and looked like a missionary! She was glowing and will be a wonderful asset to the branch as an active youth member. She even said on Sunday, "Now that I'm a member I can go with you to meetings!" The Lord has prepared people to be baptized and he has prepared the rising generation to help the church grow in Armenia.
Sister Beal and Sister Henriquez (Artashat)
March 2, 2013
Well, I don't know quite what to say, it was such a joy to see S enter the waters of baptism. one of our big families in our ward are his friend's & it was great to see them turn out in full force to support him at his baptism. I don't really know what else to say except that there is no joy like the joy of seeing someone you love enter into a covenant with God & enter onto the path to salvation.
Elder Hall B./Երեց Հալ
March 11, 2013
We don't have a picture for A since he's from a Muslim country, but he is awesome. His coming into contact with the church was a miracle as well. He's had a dream of being a Christian since he was little, and recently moved here to Georgia from Iran for that purpose. He doesn't know much English, but one day he was trying to get directions to somewhere and ran into a less-active member that lives here who is also from Iran. Since they were both Iranian, they quickly became friends, and when the member found out why he came here, he took him straight to the church here and introduced us. He's been awesome to teach, and we are very thankful for the opportunity to have taught him.
Elders Orme and Luette
These last few months with S. have been awesome. It really didn't feel like we were teaching him because it always seemed like he already knew everything. S. really was a huge blessing from the Lord. The branch had been really struggling with worthy priesthood holders that were committed and ready to serve. We were whitewashed into the area and we were struggling to find the elect investigators that we needed to build our branch. We had a list of names of referrals from our strongest member, A., in the branch from the previous missionaries, S."s name was on it and we asked A. about him and he was like "for sure you need to call him." We called S. He came and we did a meeting with the four of us and it was awesome. From that point we were able to get more meetings with A. and with S. when before that, A. had not been super involved in the missionary work and it started a big change in the branch in general that will lead to more baptisms. S. was so prepared for the Gospel. He never smoked, and he didn't like coffee. He had a great understanding of the Book of Mormon. He has a great family. The Sunday before his baptism S. stood up and bore his testimony in fast and testimony meeting and said "I believe that God has called a prophet again....that is I know that God has called a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God." S. and his family are going to be such a blessing to the branch and will change everything. The Lord is really hastening His work and opening doors.
Elder Marco and Maughan
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