October 31, 2011 – Charentsavan, Week 8
Silence, The Sound of Inspiration
I just got a call from President Carter. There is a transfer happening in two days. Three of Charentsavan’s four missionaries will be moved out of Charentsavan(“Char”) and I will be staying here. Elder Watterson and Elder Kurth( my MTC companions) will be coming to “Char” as well as another great missionary, Elder Larson, with whom I will be serving. I am excited. I feel that this is a perfect opportunity. My companion will be serving in my “trainer” (Elder Reece’s) place as district leader. He will be in the City Yerevan, in the Erebuni sector. I have always wanted to serve with Elder Watterson and Elder Larson. Now I’ll be seeing them almost every day.
Yesterday was the most fascinating Sunday I have every experienced. It amazed me. We have a problem with people leaving after the first meeting. The second and third meetings are nearly as important. During those meetings we receive inspiration/revelation for ourselves. It is in the pondering and discussing of Christ’s Gospel and principles of love that we learn what we must to find the happiness that is available to us.
I stood in front of our members to give a talk as requested by our branch president. I was to speak on the effects of living the gospel standards. I had given a talk about six weeks ago, I spoke with a distinct voice and with confidence but my talk was not heard as well as I hoped. I was humbled at the second opportunity to speak. As I stood in front of these wonderful people, who are called “Latter-day Saints” I was filled with a love for them and also a sorrow for many. I know that many of them were not living in such a way to receive God’s help and blessings. I could not help myself, I cried. I have not cried very much during my service in Armenia, as compared to before my mission. I was humbled and I spoke with confidence but, I spoke softly. The room was silent and I realized that the people were listening, not so much to me but to the spirit. They were feeling love and light. The Spirit was present. It was a spirit of clarity and understanding. Almost all of the members were inspired to change something. That is how one sentence can have and effect on many. It is not the sentence that changes people, it is the spirit that touch the heart.
Most of our members stayed for the second and third meetings. They learned that they had responsibilities and they felt that they truly did have a greater influence on those around them than they thought. One of the District Presidency (Stake Presidency) came and spoke as well. He too spoke and the people heard, not just with their ears, rather with their hearts. One of the young men decided to start preparing for a mission.
There was a greater unity and love. The people were knit together, not by common words or by a common gathering place, rather their hearts were knit together because they all had tasted of a fruit that is indescribable, the fruit of the spirit. Let us all start to find ourselves in quiet places. The noise of the world often drowns the Spirit’s small and whispering voice.
Love Elder Cook