Monday, August 27, 2012

A Tomato and a Loaf of Bread

Yerevan at dusk

So, an interesting transfer happened this week. Part of it was that they pulled the other Elders from Arabkir and changed the boarders so that we have Nor Nork, Avan, Jrvezh, Arinj, and now Zetun as well as Kanaker. Our area is now the largest area in the mission. It's pretty stressful.

But yeah, the only other Elders in our district are the Zone Leaders, and they always have to attend Malatia for their district meetings because it's just two elders and two sisters. So our District meetings are two. Elder Bott and I. So we'll see how that goes. :p

Another interesting thing. We had to renew our visas this week. This one should last us for the rest of our missions. It was a nice little reunion for our MTC group.

The hospital was another story. It was exactly how it was last year. We got "ultrasounded". I'm not sure why. It was really awkward since it was a 27-28 year old girl ultrasounding my stomach...and beyond. But then after that we got our blood pulled, and then they hooked me up to an ancient EKG system with things that looked like car jumper cables,  which was also operated by a 24-25 year old nurse... And then to end it all off they shot us with about 5 x-rays.

But yeah it was fun. And then we all went out to eat together afterwards. So it was nice.

We were meeting with some members this week, when all of a sudden some kids ran by and threw rocks at their windows. So I guess it's not just us that gets the persecution.

We got invited in from off the street this week by some people who we helped. After we took their building materials to their house, they asked us to stay a bit. They apologized that they couldn't hyurasirel us (basically giving food to guests is what it means) because they had no more food in the house. But then someone came out and said "Hey, I found food!" So they brought it out and fed us with the last tomato they had and a small loaf of bread. I was really touched, but not surprised, because that's just how the Armenian people are. The only food they had they gave to us.

But yeah, that was basically my week. We're walking around a lot, but that's okay. Elder Bott is getting ready to go home in less than six weeks now. Everything is normal and going well. We have an investigator, Tsoghik, if you remember her, who is about to get baptized. We'll find out next week :)

Anyways, love you all lotssss :)

Elder Hammer
Our group at the hospital this week
Abraham and I

Elder Bott and his butterfly that flew onto him :p

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cool and Crazy


I'm super jealous about Anderson's Pea Soup. I remember eating there on the way back from Northern California, or Fresno. I do like our own homemade pea soup as well though, and the bread we had to go along with it. I do really enjoy Armenian food, but Enchiladas is sounding really good right now, or Lasagna.

You asked if we still say White Bible when referring to the white handbook (for missionaries) :p That was actually one of the first rules they told us in the MTC. Right after saying we all needed haircuts, they told us never to use the name "white bible". It had never entered any of our minds, so naturally we started saying it as a joke after that.

Anyways, I had a very tiring week. Quite a bit of walking, quite a bit of being cussed at (I know most of the cuss words now :p ) but that's okay. Things will get better.

The cool thing about being outside a lot, is a greater chance of seeing cooler things. For example, we saw a soldier just walking around with an AK-47 on the street this week.  Or like seeing some kids jump the wall of the military base, just so they can go play soccer on the field there. :p

We got to go help the other elders in our district. They've been stuck inside for two weeks now because of one of the elders has a leg injury. So we went on splits with them and helped them to be able to go do work outside now :) They enjoyed it.

Sometimes we talk to some really cool guys, and sometimes we talk to some pretty crazy people. We talked to these two guys that were pretty neat kids and asked us about ourselves and stuff and got us some sparkling water from their store (I had to choke it down). But then also this week, we met this one guy who said "Is it a sin to injure animals?" and we thought he was going to say something about the Armenian church doing animal sacrifices, so we asked him what he meant. He said "Like when I'm angry, or bored, sometimes I just burn things," and we asked "Like what?" He said "Cats, dogs, peoples hands." So we told him that that was probably a bad idea, left him our number, and then left :p It was a little weird.

Well that's my week. Have a nice week at school and stuff :)

Elder Hammer
The internet place we use to send pictures, but isn't allowed for normal email use, because of isolated computer stalls.

The statue and memorial of Gai

An activity in Priesthood, talking about listening to the one voice you trust to lead you and ignoring the other voices around you. :p

Monday, August 13, 2012


Pictures of when we went to the church in our area :)

So it's funny you should mention how you're surprised that our mission doesn't focus more on service, because just this week we had a big mission change. Now, we won't be reporting OYMs (Open your mouth), and we were asked to take a more concentrated effort on service. We had a large two hour meeting for our zone where some missionaries were told to share their experiences of opening new cities ( 2 new cities have been opened in our mission recently and the missionaries who entered them were asked to not report any numbers, and just focus on doing as much service as they can and make friends with those they meet.) We have also changed our schedule a little bit. Now instead of doing studies right in the morning, we leave the apartment at 7:00 until 8:30, and we do studies from 10:00-1:00. It's pretty neat. We're enjoying it.

Anyways, we've found lots of service opportunities this week. We found these two guys building a hair salon for themselves, so we were able to come back the next day and help them build the roof. We laid rebar and placed wooden framework for the concrete. It was pretty fun :)

Also this week, we were just walking down the street when this one guy stopped us. He said, "Hey you guys help out people right?" We were hesitant at first, because usually people just ask for $100, which we obviously don't have. But then he said, "Like physical work, if someone needs help right?" And we said yes. Then he said, "It's good you guys came, I'm really worn out and I need help." Then he had us wax his car :p So we took off our ties and waxed it. We thought he was just exploiting our willingness to help, but then once we were done he said, "It's really interesting how God knows what each one of us needs and he put you in my path so you could help me." So I thought that was a really neat experience.
There are always grandmas everywhere who always carry more bags than they can manage, so it hasn't been hard to find service opportunities.

Anyways, there was a big 6 point earthquake in Iran on Saturday, but it was only 3-4 point by the time it got here. We didn't even feel it because we were outside on the sidewalk, but while we were walking all of a sudden crowds of people just started spilling out of the buildings.

So yesterday was Elder Bott's birthday. :) It was pretty cool. I bought a little kinder egg for him while he wasn't looking and wrapped it up the night before, right before bed. Then in the morning I made pancakes for us, and then after church I made something called quesadilla casserole, which is a really good recipe I got from Elder Lush. So that was fun :)

Anyways, that was my week. I'm still super jealous that you got to go to the family reunion and have Taco Salad :p but I'm glad you guys had a good time :)

Love you all!

Elder Hammer

The fake In-n-Out they have's not as good.
Violet and us
The concrete roof we helped build
Bott opening his presents
Quesadilla Casserole
Me and the Quesadilla Casserole
Me :) I don't like my hair, it's too short : (Mom disagrees!)
Our marshutni had a random badger skin pinned up in it :p
Pictures of when we went to the church in our area :)

Pictures of when we went to the church in our area :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Falling Down the Manhole


So this week was full of a couple good stories. :p

(Jared tells us that 2 Elders are going home for health reasons. He wants to respect their privacy so he wants us to keep it off the blog.)
....So prayers for this mission would be appreciated :p Especially considering my miraculous story :p

This week, Elder Bott and I were walking along when all of a sudden I just fell straight down...into a manhole, the cover of which wasn't put on properly. I fell in about mid-thigh deep before I fell over onto the concrete catching myself :p Thankfully nothing too bad happened. My legs got messed up pretty bad, and I have a bruise about the size of half a Book of Mormon on my thigh, (a Book of Mormon, by the way, is about 7" long and 5" wide) which is turning some pretty cool colors, but for the most part, I was alright. After Elder Bott pulled the manhole cover off of me, I took a little break and then we went back home to put ice on my legs. :p

We didn't have a whole lot of people to teach this week, which was really sad, so we did a little service instead. We made some brownies (which don't exist here, but they love them a lot whenever the Elders make them) and gave them to some of our less-active members :)

We also discovered this week that we have a pear tree and some grape vines in our backyard as well. :) Yummmmmm,

For once, we finally did an activity for our branch. Only 10 people showed up :/ But that's okay. We watched the Testaments in Russian and brought our own homemade popcorn and some juice for our members. We ended up with a lot of extra popcorn :/ The movie was good though. Still cheesy, but a lot more awesome sounding in Russian. :p

So I got all the letters from the Relief Society and the Elder's Quorum as well as the High Priests :) Thank you for doing that for me :) I really appreciated that.

We were walking through Center this week on our way to Violet's house (we're teaching her sister. Long story.) and we saw three people in white shirts and ties and black tags. We didn't recognize any of them so we were really confused at first. But turns out they were Ukrainian missionaries who were here renewing their visas and taking a day to check out Yerevan until they flew out on Saturday. It was kinda cool realizing that other missionaries exist besides us here in Armenia. :p We're pretty isolated out here. With three Muslim countries on our sides and Georgia on the top, we don't see much of anyone, ever. :p

Anyways, I love you all :)))) Have fun at the family reunion :)

Elder Hammer