Monday, July 16, 2012

God Enjoys Water Day

Hello :)

So what do Armenians need? Well, it's hard to say because the only ones that complain about needing stuff are the ones that have enough already :p Funny how that works. Really, though, I honestly don't know. There are specific people I know, but they need bigger things like jobs and education. More intangible things. Bread is really cheep and so are clothes. They get most of them from China or from donations from DI (Deseret Industries.  It's like the Salvation Army). I wish I could be more help :/

Anyways, my week was pretty dry...until yesterday. And then it got very, very wet. Literally :p Yesterday was a national holiday called Water Day. Essentially water day is a day where anyone can get you wet and it doesn't matter. You can't get offended. The tradition is that the Armenian priests would bless water and then you would go throw it on someone else and they would become 'blessed'. But now everyone just takes water and douses each other.

So we were pretty much safe on the way to church and on the way back. It began to rain and Elder Bott (my new companion) said, "Oh look! God decided to join in on the fun too!" I thought that was funny.

Later on we were trying to find a less-active in this one building. When we came out, there was a group of about 10 teenage kids all holding buckets full of water. We tried walking casually, pretending like we didn't care, when they started following us. Elder Bott and I pulled out water balloons to get ready (which we had filled during lunch) and then booked it. The chased us for a while, but most of them dropped out, except for one. Elder Bott and I were running as fast as we could; we both threw our water balloons, and both missed :p. Then we reached a building and Elder Bott ran forward, but I took a sharp turn and kept on running, thinking he would just go straight. But as I stopped and turned around, he was standing right there smiling with the bucket in hand. He then says to me "Tsio?" meaning "Finished?" in Russian. I pull out my water bottle and give a feeble little squirt at him, and then he drenches me from head to toe.  I walk down some steps to find Elder Bott standing in the street looking very confused, and looking for me. He then sees me and just starts laughing. :p  So I guess it had to be one of us.

The rest of the day we had to avoid the most common technique, dumping water from your apartment window, as well as people hanging out of cars with squirt guns :p  So that was a nice end to a very...dry...week. :p

I have a new companion now :) His name is Elder Bott. He's from Arizona but has been all over the place from Utah to Iowa. He hasn't gone to college yet, but plans on starting out at BYU Idaho. He has a mom and a dad and one younger brother who's planning on going on a mission soon. Elder Bott has about 3 months left so I'll probably be the one to kill him :) (Carl informs me that "killing him" is a common way to say that Jared will be the last companion he has before he leaves his mission. Thought that's what he meant.  Kind of a weird way to put it!)

I saw my first Armenian funeral today. I think my first funeral ever (thank my lucky stars for that). A member in our branch had a mother that just died, so we went to go support him. They do something interesting after the viewing at their apartment; They take the casket and spin it three times in a circle so that the deceased persons spirit can say goodbye to all of his or her neighbors. So that's a fun-fact on Armenian culture. I had never really seen a dead body before so that was a little strange.

I'm getting pretty pro at sewing now. A lot of my clothes are falling apart, so I've been getting a lot of experience :p

So that was my week :) I love you all!

Elder Hammer

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