Monday, November 28, 2011

The Potato Cook-Off

Hello again!  I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving with friends and family.  Jared will tell you all about his day which, I'm thankful to say, turned out better than his Halloween celebration!  


Fight on USC! I wish I could have seen that game :) Oh, and tell Mr. Sakow hi for me :)

So the language is coming along alright. After Elder Seegmiller and I went on splits, it kind of forced me to speak the language a little more because we were both from the same mtc group. I'm still lost when the fast talkers in church get up to speak, but bit by bit ("kamats-kamats" as they say) I'll get better.

It's funny you mention the trinity, because out of all clashes in doctrine these people have with us, the idea of the trinity is actually one of the least. These people tend to accept for the most part that God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost could be three beings. One thing they do have trouble with is the name of God and Jesus. We try to tell them in doesn't really matter, but they continue to insist (because of the references in the Old Testament) that God's name is Jehovah.

So a little about the people I work with. The branch president is a nice guy. He's from a town south of Yerevan called Kharbert. He actually served his mission in California, and now has a wife and a little daughter about 5 years old.

Some people from the office: Sister and Elder Jones are the mission office coordinators and they're way neat people. They're actually scheduled to leave soon, but they really know how to connect with the youth missionaries. They have a few grandchildren at home that were born while they were away and they're excited to go see them soon.

Anyways, this week was pretty interesting with Thanksgiving and everything.

On Monday, we actually went bowling with some other Elders and one of our members. It kinda fun and interesting that we found this place. There's only one in the whole country I'm pretty sure. You find a lot of interesting things in Yerevan though.  We had to wait a little before our reserved time, so we went and checked out the Mosque right next to it. It was way cool to find this mosque in the middle of a thriving Christian country. When we entered the courtyard, the noises and distractions from the outside world just kind of faded away and we were left in this peaceful atmosphere.
Thanksgiving was way awesome. We spent the first part of the day cooking everything and getting ready. After everything was finished, one of the senior missionaries said the prayer and we ate. There was turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing (the sisters got some packets of spices imported from the U.S.), gravy (also from the U.S.), rolls (absolutely amazing, made by Sister Watkins, another senior missionary), and then more potatoes, because we had a cook-off. Naturally everyone brought way too many, so now we have enough potatoes to last us until the 2nd coming.

So, in front of the opera house, there's a wide open area. When it snowed the other day, the snow kind of melted and then froze again into ice as the night got colder. Elder Strader and I were walking through there when we realized it was all ice for about a football field size of open space....Naturally, we accidentally spent a few minutes distracting ourselves from the Lord's work. :p It probably wasn't a good idea, but it was kind of fun sliding along for 50 feet at a time

Anyways, despite all the distractions, we were able to get missionary work in :) Right now we're working on this one man who is seriously like the Lamanite king who Ammon taught. If we say something, he accepts it just because we said it. He's such a good man too. He has a bit of a word of wisdom issue, but he's already dropped from 2 packs to half a pack of cigarettes. He will probably be baptized on December 25th :) It's not Christmas day here. Christmas here is on January 6th, and it's actually called Three Kings Day.

Anyways, I love you all! See you next week!

Elder Hammer
Took a picture of me at bowling. One of the other Elders snuck in
Apparently there is a tradition to burn a tie at the one year mark.  Elder Strader just finished his first year.  Jared?  He just finished his first six months!

Any pictures from Thanksgiving?  No.  But we do have 5 pictures of a burning tie.  Hmmm.......

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