Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Lack of Music and a Donkey in the Well

Hi everyone!  One letter left before we here about Armenia!!!  Jared leaves August 8th.  So we would recommend that instead of sending Jared "snail mail", you can start using the email address that we've been using (He could send email's to family while he was in the MTC. He will be able to email you back as soon as he is in Armenia.)  His email address is  Jared wrote us a couple of letters.  Here they are!

Hi Mom and Dad,

    You can go ahead and put my email address on my blog if you haven't already.  It'd be nice, though, if people didn't email me until I'm out there, though.  

     I love you both.  Tell Maddie hi for me when she gets back.  (Maddie was in Montana and she's back! )

     Things here are going really well. I'm just waiting to be shipped out.  My Armenian won't get much better in three (less than 3) weeks.  I just want to get out there and start.

     I pray for you all. Stay safe and know I love you guys!

Yeretz Hammer

Jared then shares his testimony in Armenian and English.  I'm just including the English.  I still can't make out which characters Jared is using in Armenian!  Here's his testimony:

I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it is God's word.  I believe in Jesus Christ and I love him.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

(Jared included a picture of him with what looks like a light saber, with lights and all!  He writes on the back:  "And you thought they were training us to be missionaries!" I guess the world can always use some more Jedi's....or is that Jared-i's?)

Jared's letter to Me (Mom)

HI therrrrr!!!

I have a few more minutes, so I want to say I love you very much and that I hope you're enjoying work. I wish I could be there. I love laughing with you and messing around. You issss my favorite mommmmmmmm everrrr. Anyways. I'm almost done here at the MTC. Only one more short email with MTC restrictions after this one. I can't wait to get out there.

So, hugs and kisses and I'll be sending pictures home soon. LOVE YOU!!!!!
Yeretz Hammer

Letter to the family:
Hey Mom & Dad,

Sorry, this letter might be a bit short, the computer wouldn't let me sign in for a bit so my time got drained a tad.

So, I don't know about the visas, but I don't think they give them to us until our last day. My injury is fine I guess. They just give me pain meds. It's all they can do.

I got the book yesterday!!!! Thanks so much!!! I loved it so much.(We sent Jared a photo book that included pictures of family and friends.  I'm so glad that came in time!)

So a couple cool stories: 

Some Elders are going crazy in here without music. It's funny to see the ways they cling to the small bits of music we hear. For example: There's this one program we use called "TALL" Technology Assisted Language Learning. I hate it. But when you sign out, a choir sings "Talllllllll" for about 3-5 seconds. Some of the Elders here sign in and back out just to hear it over and over.

We also inherited this one tie from the Greek elders which, when you press a button, plays Christmas songs and flashes a red light over a over a design of Rudolph. I'm so sick of "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and "Jingle bells" now.

The zone leadership changed. It went to a companionship in the Greek District. It seems like the leadership in our branch changes from Greeks to Armenians to Greeks etc. because we're here for so darn long.

I taught Sunday School this week. I taught the Atonement which went actually pretty well.

The temple opened up again this week. That was pretty neat. We only get one more time to go before we're gone for two years.

In our branch, we are all told to prepare a 5 minute talk on an assigned subject every week, and on Sunday they pick 2 or 3 names to go up and speak. So this week, we saw one Elder go up very slowly and pause at the pulpit for a few minutes. Then he said "I'm going to be honest with you all, I didn't prepare a talk." Then he went on to say " The assigned topic was the Gift of the Holy Ghost. But today I think I'm going to bear my testimony on Obedience and Procrastination" It was actually quite funny.

I want to share one story I heard this week that I really liked. I think it was told in a conference talk a few years ago.
A farmer once owned a donkey. The donkey one day fell into an old dry well. The farmer heard the donkey and went and saw how he was stuck. The donkey was old and the farmer thought the effort to get him up would be more than it was worth, and the well needed to be filled in anyways. So the farmer decided just to bury the donkey. However, whenever the farmer threw a shovel-full of dirt in the hole, the donkey shook the dirt off and stepped up. Eventually, the hole was filled and the donkey just stepped out.

This is how I feel sometimes. I feel like several shovel-fulls of dirt are thrown on me: like learning the language. Learning the gospel. Getting up on time. Getting my hair cut....But this story was nice to hear. Just throw that shovelful of dirt off and stand up. Turn your trials into something that lifts you up.

On Thursday, Brother Carlson said something pretty cool. He said that we were a "really good group". He also said that he loved the Armenian race very dearly and that he's happy he can trust us with the Armenians.

So not much else is happening here. Just getting ready. We get our travel plans tomorrow, so that should be exciting. I love you all and I'll talk to you more next week!

-Yeretz Hammer

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