So sorry I couldn't get to email yesterday. There were two reasons for that. The first is that we decided to switch our Pday so that we could make gingerbread houses as a district and watch "It's a Wonderful Life" with Elder Peterson (my new companion. I'll explain more later), because he hadn't had the chance to see it before the transfer (again.). The second reason is that this ENTIRE country shuts down for a week for New Years. Every restaurant, government buildings, internet places, transportation, etc. It was a miracle that we found this one place that decided to open for January 3rd.
|Elder Hammer and Elder Peterson|
|Elder Peterson and his 12 Layer Jello.....for 2012?|
|The apartment that got hit by fireworks!|
Anyways, the next day we went to the Loveridge's place for New Years. Church was only an hour, so we spent the rest of the day over there. We made cookies and had dinner and watched the Devotional. It was kind of neat because their apartment overlooks a military base. It looked like the troops didn't get New Years Day off.
This week on Thursday, we went and delivered bags of provisions to the poorer members of our branch which we had bought earlier on that week. It was fun going to different houses and knocking on the doors and running away :) One of our members had such an amazing look of shock on his face when he saw three bags full of food on his doorstep. I'd say it was probably one of the coolest things I've ever done for the Christmas season. I want to do it when I return to the US.
So, we don't really trust the doctors around here, for several reasons. But in any case, we try to practice preventative medicine rather than having to send anyone to the hospitals. This week though, my distrust for the hospitals here went up quite a bit. Our golden investigator has to go to the hospital for a few weeks. When he came back, he said he couldn't listen to us anymore because his doctor said 'don't join the Mormons. The Mormons are bad for your health. Don't even be around them'. So apparently, one of the most highly qualified doctors in Armenia is telling people Mormons are bad for your health. Regardless of the fact that we teach about the word of wisdom etc. :p One of our members even said that his doctor told him to smoke for his health. Sighhh. I cannot get sick here or else I'm in trouble.
Anyways, that was my week. The work here is pretty hard because no one wants to meet during the week of New Years and anyone outside is either drunk or going to a party. :/ We did meet one guy outside though who came up to us completely drunk, practically in tears. He said he wanted to learn about our church because he can't stop getting drunk. So we gave him some pamphlets and took his number :) Potential investigator.
So I love you all, I tried sending lots of pictures this week :)
Happy New Year!
And here are some parts from the letter he sent me:
|Elder Hammer and Elder Peterson|
|Making Gingerbread houses|
|This must be a serious thing!|
...But yeah, nothing can really beat making sugar treats with my family around Christmas, but our Gingerbread houses will have to do for this year :) Personally, I thought Elder Peterson's and my gingerbread house was the best :p but I'll let you be the judge. We joked between the Elders that whomever made the best house would get the design contract for the Armenia temple. I think it would look like a pretty cool temple ;p
So this Christmas was anything but ordinary. I really liked it though. It is definitely a season to remember. I think service will really stick with me, more than anything else I could have every done. I really think more people should do this around the season.
So as for New Years Eve and whatnot. Don't worry about us staying up past 10:30 :p All the missionaries in the mission stayed up until the new year, because it sort of became an unspoken exception for the one night. We were expected to be inside by 7 though. That was something the President did not budge on. Things got quite crazy outside after that time.
Anyways, I LOVE YOU! And I'll see ya next week :))))