Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Letters, Leaders, and Language....Oh My!

     So here's the next installment of Jared's letters.  He doesn't usually have much time so it looks like he's going to pick either Carl or I to write to every week. It was my lucky week today!  If you get a chance to write to him (or his companion!!!), it looks like it would be appreciated!  Heeeeeerrrrreee's Jared!!!

I'll write to you this time since I wrote to dad last time. :)

    I'm glad things are going well in SM. Things have gotten a lot better here. I may not be able to write as much because I'm testing out sending pictures with my camera, but it doesn't seem to be working. I think I'll just have to send hard copies and you can scan them in.

     I leave the MTC on August 8th (estimated) and it looks like I will be leaving my mission on May 8th, 2013. This is apparently because of some visa issues.I don't know much about my visa yet. I don't think they'll tell me much until I get closer to my leave date.

     My teachers are amazing. We don't know much about them much yet because they only tell us about themselves in Armenian. I think one is a pre-med Major at BYU. The other, we're pretty sure has a girlfriend. :p

     Things are crazy here but very fun. It's very difficult but that's part of the package. My branch president apparently (spell check my messages please :p) was in the Air Force :D He was a helicopter technician. He studied forestry at the U and after retirement, became the church's first forester. He became a member around 20 or 21, so he never got to become a missionary. He told us he was in a high councilor's meeting one day when everyone was talking about their mission and he felt very out of place. He told his wife that evening how sad he felt and how out of place he felt. 3 weeks later after that day he was called as the branch president at the MTC. He was crying as he told us that he was never able to wear a tag like we do, but he got his chance when he was called as branch president. Someday he hopes to serve with his wife and have the tag say Elder instead of President.

     We baptized our first "investigator" this week, which boosted our morale. But then they handed us two investigators at once after that. I pray in Armenian now which is very cool.

     Our sisters' names are Sister Tolman, Sister Boyle, and Sister Kholer (sp?) They are all lovely young women and they make class that much more fun. Two go to USU, and the other goes to the UoU, but we still love them all the same. We forgive them.

     Gym is everyday except for P-day. Our district has grown quite fond of beach volleyball outside, but there's also basketball, a track, gym equipment, soccer, frisbee, and a whole lot of other things. My companion is injured so I can't really run, but I still play volleyball.

     I play piano for both sacrament meeting and Priesthood. It's nice, but I was kind of surprised; I don't think I'm the best player here.

   I love all the letters and dear elders!  I get some everyday which is very nice :) Elder Maughan is jealous though because he hardly gets any. It was really funny. One day I got a package from Sister Jensen and Sister Stout (tell them thank you from me! :))) along with about 7 dear elders and 2 postage letters. Elder Maughan received nothing that day or at all that week. :P So I decided to send him a message myself. I think he liked it.

     But yeah, Armenian is coming along fine. I don't feel like I know much, but I know it will come in the next 9 weeks.

     I see Elder Bean here all the time and he speaks Russian really well now.

     We had a really good Devotional by a member of the 70s who was Japanese. He could speak English very well, but I could feel the spirit stronger with him than with anyone else. It just goes to show that you don't need to speak the language perfectly in order to teach the gospel, you just need to bring the spirit with you. He told his conversion story where his dad was killed by an American sub during World War II. The Joseph Smith story though overpowered his hatred for Americans when two missionaries from Idaho came to his door in Japan when he was only 13 years old.

     It's fun here and I know I'll be better when I leave. I miss home but I know this is where I'm supposed to be.

     I love you guys a lot. Stay well.

Yeretz Hammer (Tasty)

ps: I would write in Armenian but this gmail doesn't let me type in it. I can read everything you send though!

pss: I'll be sending pictures real soon :)

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