Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How is the transfer already halfway over???

I can't believe that it's already the end of another week! It's been such a good one! I can't believe it, but last Friday marked 6 months since I left for the MTC... Crazy. And I'm going to be 20 in a week.. yikes. It's flying by too fast! 

We had a zone conference this week with President Bennett from our Area Presidency. He and President Carlson both gave us some really great counsel in helping the Lord's work go forward here in Armenia. Some things from that to avoid retyping:

One fun thing that we were able to apply right off the bat from President Bennett's meeting was doing roleplays with those that we are asking for referrals. That night we had a meeting with a recent convert in our branch, who really wants her husband and family to learn about the gospel but they aren't very desirous at the moment. We roleplayed with her about how she could ask him to sit in with us. She loved it, and after practicing a couple times, she did just that. He didn't want to sit in with us at that time, but as we were leaving after the lesson, he promised us that would next time - which is a huge step from where he used to be just a few weeks ago and wouldn't even say hello to us. 

We were meeting with an investigator that we met on the streets that hasn't really been progressing, and were going to meet with her and let her know how much we loved her, and let her know that we want to keep meeting with her, but that she needed to do her part too in order for us to be able to do that. As we were reading with her from the Book of Mormon about when Christ came to America, there was a change in her countenance and after we had finished reading the verses we had chosen, she just kept reading quietly to herself and as then looked up at Sister Bekmezian and I and said the equivalent of "how is baptism performed?" We wanted to jump out of our seats we were so excited! We talked with her about baptism and tried to commit her to a baptismal date, which she didn't want to choose yet. She's coming around, and showed a lot more interest in finding out for herself, whereas with our few lessons before, we felt as is she mostly wanted to have us over as guests.

Another tender mercy this week is that our recent convert son and husband both accepted baptismal dates this week! It means so much for their family, and I couldn't be happy for them. This week when we were out in their village their daughter finally set up a time for us to meet with them as well! So many miracles are happening out there. We had a great lesson after church yesterday with her son  to finally kick the smoking in the bud. 

This week, espeically after President Bennett's meeting, I've been trying to focus on the Savior a lot more, which is only fitting as we are here as His servants. I'm so thankful for Him, His sacrifice for us, and this opporunity that we have to be set apart as His servants and help our Armenian brothers and sisters understand a little bit more about just how much He loves them how much He has done for them, and how much He is willing and wanting to do for them if they will come follow Him. I know He really is our Savior, and that He has so much in store for these wonderful Armenian people and the church here!

Oh! Other miracle! One of our old investigators showed up at church again this past week and wants to meet with us again! I can't tell you how happy I was! If you remember back to the very first weeks of last transfer (a feat that is almost impossible for me too..) she and her daughter are some of my very best friends.

The Large Plates:
This week I couldn't help but break everything. We were leaving our apartment for Zone Conference at 7:20ish Thursday morning, and I went to flip the lightswitch for the light in our stairwell - which resulted in the lightbulb breaking... The next day I was trying to grab an Armenian Liahona off the top shelf of our bookshelf and the the whole bookshelf ended up falling on me... 
We moved this morning! Our new apartment is really awesome, but I'm a little bit sad to leave my neighbor friends... We're really excited to be able to sleep through the night and get through studies without the co2 alarms going off though. 

I know this is really long, but I just wanted to share one thing that was a tender mercy for me this morning. Sometimes it can be frustrating when we don't feel as if we are measuring up to what the Lord needs us to be, or when we feel that we're not accomplishing all of the things that we need to, or (in the case of one of our investigators) we don't think we're good enough yet to take the next step in following our Savior. Sister Bekmezian was sharing with me some thoughts from a talk she read this morning and one of the quotes she read referred a little bit to this selection from the 93rd Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, which I went back and read. 

6 And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.

 7 And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was;

 8 Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—

 9 The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.

 10 The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.

 11 And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.

 12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;

 13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;

 14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.

 15 And I, John, bear record, and lo, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove, and sat upon him, and there came a voice out of heaven saying: This is mybeloved Son.

 16 And I, John, bear record that he received a fulness of the glory of the Father;

 17 And he received all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him, for he dwelt in him.

 18 And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John.

 19 I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.

 20 For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.

I'll let you all draw what you will from those verses - but it reminded me that in this life we learn and receive "grace for grace" and that there's a process that we have to go through to receive the fulness and become the people that the Lord wants us to be. What's even more miraclulous is that the Lord has provided the way for us to do that because He already has received the fullness, and has all power. As we follow his commandments and his counsel, and are faithful to him, we too can be partakers of that fullness of joy - not only "in due time" but also "grace for grace" along the way with His help. It's been so rewarding to see that process taking place in peoples' lives as they come to "understand and know how to worship, and know what [they] worship." 

I'm so thankful to be here in Armenia. I love these people, I love my Savior, and I love this work. I know it's His. 

Love you all!

Sister Kieffer

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