It sounds like Jared had a very eventful week, with lots of run-ins with church General Authorities. What a time to be there at the MTC!!!! Oh, Jared wants letters! Surprise, Surprise! :)
I do enjoy these emails. Though, I only get 30 minutes to read and write. We're not allowed to print anything out. Plus, I would really enjoy a dear elder every now and then. I haven't been getting much mail for the past few weeks :/ between you (mom and dad) and me. Dear elders really do make or break a day out here. After working real hard all day, it's nice to sit down at night and hear from home. It's not necessary every day, but once a week would be nice :)
Anyways, this week was crazy! On Friday, I was teaching a lesson to my investigator. When we got out, I saw everyone crowded by the window. When I looked out I saw three cars parked right in front of the main building on the side walk. Right outside our window. After a few minutes a security guard came in and walked up the stairs, this scared most everybody away. When a few of us, including me, came back timidly, the security guard popped out of nowhere and said "You can stay here, but you need to be extra quiet, no knocking on the window or yelling out, and no pictures. We stayed at the window for a few more minutes and then another security guard at the door of the main building waved to the security guard by the cars and mouthed, "he's here". Then we could here the radios crackling out "the snake is in transfer". It also said a few other code names but we couldn't make them all out. Then a few seconds later, right outside our window we saw the entire first presidency, including the mouthpiece of God himself, walk out the main building, along with Elder Holland. The three members of the first presidency all got into the three separate cars and drove off, with President Monson's car leading the way. I even got to see President Uchdorf (sp?) remove his jacket and hand it to a security guard. (I saw him without his jacket!). Elder Holland, after hugging President Eyring, left to go back in the building.
Later that evening, we were treated to a "special devotional" where Elder Bednar gave an amazing talk on being a Preach My Gospel missionary. Also present were six other Apostles. The spirit was so strong in that room that evening.
On Saturday, we were just hanging out eating lunch when we saw Elder Oaks walk by. Everyone did a double take along his path.
It was an amazing week needless to say.
On Sunday, there was a fireside with all 2,500 of us present. In the the middle of the talk, the member of the 70s who was speaking said "you Sister, in the red, along with the 4 sisters on your left and the 5 elders to the left of them, come up and tell us what you gave up to be on your mission." He was referring to our district along with the Georgians and The Latvians and Lithuanians. (Seegmiller and Dicus got left out unfortunately). Elder Skidmore said he was giving up watching sports for 2 years. The 70s member then said, "Yeah I've been keeping up with sports lately. Like that one Jimmer kid, he got drafted to what? the Kings or something? Yeah, we tried to draft him....but the NBA drafted him first" :p after he said this, the entire audience went OHHHHHHHHH and then clapped and cheered. Shoulda served a mission Jimmer :p
One cultural fact I learned this week. The Armenians don't marry. No. They kidnapp. It's completely culturally and leagally alright to just kidnapp the girl you want to marry. It's part of their culture to go out, after one or two dates, to put a bag over a woman's head and then literally carry her back to your home, where the relationship is "finalized", which stops the woman from leaving. If a woman divorces in Armenia, it is considered "amoht" or "shamefull". It's actually quite sad, but it's their culture. Some women look forward to the day when they get kidnapped. If a girl doesn't want to be kidnapped by the guy they dated, then they tell their dad and he busts out the weapons and has a chat with the man, laying down the law.
So this is one challenge we have to deal with, with members. There is a legal way to have a marriage license, it's just hardley ever used outside the capitol, so we have to encourage members to use that.
Anyways, It was another week. One more down and a few more to go. We get to our halfway point on Friday. I'm excited :)
Love you lots and I'll write again next week. :))))
Our zone includes the Armenians (7) the Georgians (2) the Latvian (1) the Lithuanians (2) the Greeks (5) and the English speaks (about 9?) All the foreign speakers in our zone are pretty close knit because we're here for so long together. So we're quite sad that the Greeks are leaving next week. We don't really get to know the English speakers so well because they come and go like the sun in a day.