Monday, April 23, 2012

You speak Armenian?

You know, we actually taught a lady who was a Yezidi convert to the church when I was in Malatsia. She was...different, but still a nice lady. I've had quite a few opportunities to teach Muslims though because of our proximity to Iran. Usually it doesn't go to far, either because of the consequences, or because it's just really hard for them to understand Christan beliefs. But it's an amazing experience every time. They are some of the nicest people ever.
So this week:
We celebrated the birthdays of our sisters in our district on Monday because both of their birthdays came up this past week. So that was fun. It was a surprise birthday party, the best kind :p
So the gas alarm went off at 3:00 in the morning on Tuesday, but after about 20 seconds, it stopped, so we opened the windows and went back to bed. Every night after that though, the alarm would go off, growing more frequent every night until Friday it would go off every 5 minutes starting at 3:00 in the morning. President Carter told us not to unplug it until we could get the gas people here to help us, so we just had to suffer through the night. On Friday we gave him an update on our situation and he thought the gas people had come on the first day we mentioned the problem, so he ordered us to get out of the apartment and not return until the gas people came. So we lugged our stuff all over Armenia that day, but thankfully the gas people came and it ended up just being a faulty alarm. So that was stupid. 
I got your package!!!!!! I was so happy :) Elder Hatch says thank you by the way. :))) It was pretty much amazing, and is about halfway gone now :p (yummmm....)
It also came on the same day as a package and two letters from Monica. I think the mail has been held up for a while because of Easter.
We were walking down the market one day when we pass one lady and she yells to her friend across the walkway "Hey, is this a religion or an organization?" and I turn around and say "A religion" with a smile on my face. She startled and her face turned white as she just kind of turned away saying "Oh...". I love it when people don't expect us to know Armenian :p
We have an investigator family right now. The mother has been smoking for 20 years because the Soviet doctor told her that it was the only way to help some cancerous lump in her throat. She also drinks quite a bit of coffee. She has been telling us for a while now though that after she reads the Book of Mormon, the desire just kind of leaves her, or she forgets that she "needs" a cigarette. Just the other day she said "I'm smoking one tomorrow, one the day after that, and then I'm done. I just don't need it anymore :)" It was really a miracle because when we first started, she told us she could never stop, or else her voice would be gone and she would have health problems again :)  I guess Heavenly Father is a better doctor than those old Soviet ones.
We also took them all to a baptism and Ruzana cried. She said she didn't know what happened, because she hasn't cried in years. She could tell it was something else telling her this was the path to healing.
Lots of thunder and lightning this week :)
I jumped onto a moving bus on Sunday :) I felt so Armenian.
So that was my week :) I love you all! :)))
Elder Hammer

A part from Jared's letter to me:

Hey mom! :)
So I'm going to put all the pictures on your email this time because I do yours first and I want to save the power on my camera. We're going to somewhere called Garni and Geghard which is an ancient Roman pagan temple and the other is an ancient Apostolic church. So it's going to be way fun. :) Besides that, not too much else happened this week. Just getting down to work and getting things done.
In my rush last week, I forgot to email Grandma, but I did this week, along with Grandma Chloe. So hopefully I'm not written off the inheritance :p Just kidding.
Tell grandma I love her though and I'm suuuuuper sorry. We were preparing birthday parties for the sisters in our district whose birthdays also happened to be last week.
Armen, nicknamed "Sticks" by the missionaries because he uses arm canes.  Super good member!

We gathered up dry plants for service this week, and then we burned them :) that's how Armenians do it.
(Jared has sent a lot of pictures of people burning things on his mission.  Our little pyromaniac!)

Just walkin' down the street and lo and behold...sheep.

Next 3 pictures: The birthday party :p

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