Monday, April 2, 2012

Not Purple Rain, Orange Rain

Parts of a letter to Mom
...You know what makes me sad? Violet's moving to Turkey for work :((( and she said she probably wouldn't be able to come to church for a year or so.
 ...At least the church is over there too.  There are a lot of Armenians over here that are getting really angry the church is in Turkey. Even though they hate us, they don't think the Turkish people deserve our church. It's kind of funny the logic they have. 
...You know, it's almost lightning season here and I'm way excited. I love lightning so much. Back in Malatia, Lightning struck our building twice and shook the whole structure. It was so awsome and loud :p Elder Lush was mad because he was in the bathroom and couldn't see it. Up here in Ashtarak (ps, I got transfered) it rained, but then it started to hail while we were outside at night contacting. That was very NOT fun. We were both soaked to the bone. And apparently also, the rain is so dirty here that your suit will start to turn orange the more it gets rained on. I believe it, I saw Elder Lush's suit.  
Letter to Dad
 Don't you remember what the draft man said?
If you want to survive, then get out of bed!
You're in the Army now
Woah oh oh, you're in the Army, now.

My companion is dead.

Something like that anyways :p

Well, we had a transfer this week. President Carter called on Wednesday evening and said I would be going to Ashtarak, back with my old companion Elder Frye. That song was playing on the radio on the way up to Ashtarak. Kind of funny it should be that one :p We're not sure how long this transfer is going to last because a new missionary is coming on the 11th and the new group is coming on the 18th. Transfers are going to have to happen each of those days, so we'll see what happens. 

Ashtarak is....well....small. And the apartment matches the town. Water is shut off except for an hour in the morning and an hour at night, and you're lucky if it's warm. :p So Elder Frye takes a shower at night and I take one in the morning. Then we gather up as much water as we can in that time so we can do dishes and drink when we need. P-day is pretty crazy because we have to fill up the whole bathtub so we can use the water to wash our clothes.
The apartment is about the size of a dorm room (I have pictures but they have to wait because they don't have anti-virus here) and our beds are in the living room.

Anyways, the branch is pretty nice. There are only about 20 active members and I'm the piano player again (the piano is another story. Each key is so out of tune that the two strings on each key play two notes a half step apart) but the members are fun and really love the missionaries.

We met with a couple members and I showed them my pictures. They say Maddie is cute and that you guys are a very attractive pair. One member said that Dad is especially handsome and that he grays well. :)

So we get to watch conference on Tuesday....the entire day. So that should be fun. We're going to watch the Saturday sessions and the priesthood session. The Sunday sessions are waiting until next week I think. :)

So Easter is the same day here, but it is definitely not the same traditions. First off, they don't come to church. They spend the whole day at the burial sites of their dead ancestors to remember Christ's death. They don't search for eggs, but they spend hours and hours designing intricate pictures on eggs which turn out to be pretty amazing. And (parents with small children sensor this part) as far as the Easter Bunny goes, I don't think he exists here :p (Mom's Note:  When I searched for "Armenia" and "Easter Eggs"  I found an article and this picture.  Apparently last year there was even a shortage of these gorgeous eggs!  Here they are!) 
One of our members we met with said the Jehovah's Witnesses came to their door and said "Come and worship Christ's death with us this Sunday at our church." And our member said "Well, in our church we worship the living Christ". They said after that the Jehovah's Witnesses were at a loss for words, so they just quietly closed the door :p I love our members.

So Spring has arrived in Yerevan!! Too bad I'm in Ashtarak now though...On Saturday it started raining while we were contacting on the street, then it started to hail, then it began to hail and some rain started falling that turned into frost as it hit the ground. It was really weird. So we may have to endure another week or so. :p

Church is fun. In Malatia, we were interrupted every five minutes by a priest singing over a microphone across the street in the cathedral. Here in Ashtarak, we're interrupted every five minutes by a rooster crowing at the farm next door. :p

So that was my week :) Have a nice Easter!!

Elder Hammer

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