Monday, April 9, 2012

You Know Your In Ashtarak When....

Earlier today, Jared told us he wouldn't be able to email us until tomorrow or Wednesday.  He sent us an email a few hours later saying that he was able to write after all!  So here is the letter!


So this week was a bit rough, most of the highlights being run-ins with the Armenian priests. That was less than fun. One got out of his car and asked what we were doing here and we said we were teaching about Christ. That really lit his beard on fire and yelled at us for a good 10 minutes saying we had no right to be in this country and that we should take our monkey business to another country like Iran or Turkey. We mentioned that we were already in Turkey, and then quickly put our shoes in our mouth as he went off again for another 5 minutes about how we were scum :)
On Saturday a priest drove up in his car and was about to yell at us, but we just walked away. He was all dressed for work with a giant blinged out cross around his neck (diamonds and everything), and I couldn't help but think of how many people could be fed if he sold his cross. 

But besides that... :)

I don't know how much of the Kiev Temple dedication celebration is online, but if it's there, look for the Armenian dance portion of it. A lot of my friends are in it and it's way neat (the best one of all is the dances I think). I really enjoy the dance they do and it's a great reflection of Armenian culture.
Here are some links to some of the celebration:
***From YouTube, posted by LDS Church News--I think the Armenians are about 3:50 into the video if I identified the costume correctly. I looked at the LDS Youth Website and they showed a young man in a costume and displayed an Armenian flag in the corner of the screen, indicating he was from Armenia: YouTube Video Link
***From the LDS Youth Website:   Kiev Temple Dedication Celebration Video ***
You know you're in Ashtarak when...

*You're walking to the store and you have to wait to cross the street until the cows pass...
*It's a dog-eat-dog world...literally... (don't ask)
*You tell people the church is by THE intersection...
*The town shuts down for Easter...and the day after when everyone has a hangover...
*Your taxi driver knows all of your members, personally, even though he's not a member...
*Your garbage man knows all of you members, personally, even though he's not a member...
*It takes 15 minutes to get from one end to the foot...

Fun fact: our branch president's son is in the Armenian Army band :) I thought that was pretty cool. He plays the Euphonium.

We did service this week at a member's house which was fun. She tried to feed us after and put matsoon on our plates...a lot. (Dad, matsoon IS umer). Remember all those times, Mom, that you said "Eat it! It'll prepare you for your mission!" came true.  I ate the whole plate. (Carl has stories from his mission about trying...interesting foods like Umer (or Ymer in Danish).  Wikipedia says Ymer is "...a Danish soured milk product. Link to Ymer/Umer.  If you know Jared, you know he is not a big experimenter when it comes to new foods.  Good job, Jared!!!  We trained you well!)
Anyways, I love you all! Pictures will come soon I swear! The internet is way slow here so it'll take until next Pday to upload all the pictures. But I'll get them to you, :)

Elder Hammer

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