Friday, March 18, 2011

week 12

We all know I have a pretty small bladder, but these days its capacity to just wait a little bit longer is improving. When there is no where TO go, you just DON'T go. Haha. This is the case in the villages we go to. ps Irena maybe don't put this on the blog haha.

Lets see, where to begin? I guess at the beginning. On Wednesday we had my first zone conference. It was awesome. It was a really long one (from 9 till almost 4) but it was so good. It got me all pumped to do missionary work. Well, I was already pretty pumped, but I am even more so now! The main focus of the whole conference was using the Book of Mormon in every aspect of missionary work - in finding, teaching, re-enacting, everything. I wish I had brought my journal so I could share some things I wrote down, but I forgot it. What I remember right now that was super cool from President Carter (I think) was something along the lines of "the Bible brings people closer to God, the Book of Mormon is the key to getting into God's church, and the Doctrine of Covenants is the key to getting into God's temple." The Book of Mormon really has the fullness of the Gospel. In PMG there is a section on how the Book of Mormon answers the questions of the soul, and so they want us to start using that in our finding efforts. There is a list of common questions of the soul that they want us to use and then get right into the Book of Mormon where you can find the answers when we are contacting people or for a first meeting. I'm excited to learn the questions in Armenian so I can start using them haha. We also have them on small pieces of paper to hand out to people, so I will try to get started on using those. Over all, Zone conference just reminded me of my purpose (to invite others to come unto Christ... through baptism...pmg all over the place) and renewed my zeal and suppressed my lack of confidence in myself. I also got to meet more of the mission. There are 3 zones in the AYM (armenia yerevan mission): The Georgian zone, the North Zone and the South Zone. I am in the South Zone, which is the largest zone by a lot. So I got to see and meet most of the missionaries, especially because the Georgians came down and were in our zone conference. There are some really awesome people serving here. I haven't met anyone that I don't like yet. Our leadership is so awesome too. They are just spiritual giants. Especially our zone leaders, Elders Pulsipher and Lusk. They taught powerfully with the Spirit, and we could all feel that they really truly believe what they taught and that they really love the people here. It was great. Sister Burnham came down (from the North zone) that day so her comp could update her visa so we got to go for a quick dinner together which was really nice. I think we both needed it.
After the outpouring of the Spirit at zone conference we had a pretty killer week. We tired ourselves out with how busy we were. It was great. We had lots of meetings, we contacted more people and just feel really good about the week we had. It was so nice after having had a less successful week. I also had my first contact that I did all by myself. We were on a Marshutni going to Ayntap and we were sitting in different rows. I sat beside a woman and decided that I would try to read one of our pamphlets on the way and thought that I should read the Plan of Salvation one. I watched the lady's eyes following me and when I got the pamphlet out she was totally focused on it and reading it. As soon as she stopped looking at it and looked out the window or something I knew she was done reading the page so I would turn it. It was kinda funny actually. So finally, after a few pages I said hello to her and we had a short conversation. I asked her name, she asked mine, she asked where I was from. I said I was from Canada, she asked why I was here, and voila, I was in. So I offered to give her the pamphlet with our names and number on it, and then got her number. I asked about her family and stuff. She told me that I had kind eyes. I hear that SO often here. Anyway, I really want to  teach her! She seemed so genuinely interested! It was so cool finally doing that on my own! A little scary, but she was nice. The only bad part was that when we tried to call the number we were told we had the wrong one :( DANG IT! But thats ok. I want to try it again. I think it might have been her son or someone that didn't want us to talk to her or I don't know what. But either way, it totally boosted my confidence. I can do this! Haha. So, later this week when we saw the cutest girl ever on the metro who actually smiled back at us, I had the confidence to go say hi to her. That started up a conversation and now we're going to meet with her some day this week. She was super cool actually. She is Russian and moved here a year or so ago with her family and just learned Armenian. She speaks it super well though. She reminded me of Emily - she had short, funky, blond hair and a deep raspy voice. She was dressed all funky too. I like her a lot. I'm excited to go over there.

Our progressing investigator is still doing really well. She is just eating up everything we give to her. For example, last week we taught her the Word of Wisdom and committed her to keep it. She said right away that she could do it no problem. She said she only really drinks coffee socially anyway and that now that she knows its a commandment from God not to, it'll be easy to just say no. Later that week we called her and asked how things were going. She said that when she told her husband about the Word of Wisdom he kind of laughed at her a little for it. But then a few days later he got kidney stones and his doctor told him no drinking alcohol or coffee, and no smoking. So then she got to laugh at him. It was so often. When we put our trust in the Lord and just keep His commandments even if we don't understand them, He enables and blesses us and enlightens us so that we come to understand His reasons. She is seriously so solid. I love her and I am so excited for her baptism. The reason she is so solid is that she reads the Book of Mormon every day and prays. That is what makes all the difference. That was another thing from zone conference. President Carter wants us to start committing people to reading from the Book of Mormon for an hour every day! Even I think that's a lot, but it says in PMG that if an investigator is reading from the Book of Mormon seriously and praying, that all of the problems/concerns, etc keeping them from baptism disappear. The Book of Mormon seriously has so much power and is God's tool for restoring the church to the earth.
Well, I am pretty much out of time. I hope you all have a good week and I will keep praying for you! LOVE YOU!
Sister Smith

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