Monday, February 25, 2013

Word of Wisdom


Well if I didn't have a testimony about the Word of Wisdom before, I certainly do now, after being on a mission here. It's kind of funny though, because they just don't seem to get it here. More than once, this conversation has taken place:

Me: "You shouldn't smoke, it's bad for your health"
Guy: "No it's not, there's nothing wrong about it"
Me: "What does that say on the box?"
Guy: "Smoking is bad for your health"
Me "..."
Guy: "Well they just put that on there because the law says they have to"
Me: "You don't see the law saying anything about stuff like Kit-kats do you?"

It's just sad, because it's just not socially frowned upon here. In fact, it's almost encouraged. You can't step onto a marshutni without getting hit with a puff of smoke coming from the driver. It doesn't help that the government doesn't have the strength yet to enforce those kind of health laws.

One of our members just passed the 10 year mark of his wife's death. The night before he asked if we could come with him to her grave. So we got a "family friend" taxi that the missionaries always use and headed up to the graveyard. When we got up there (it was hidden in the ridges of the mountains) we saw these huge elaborate grave sites with huge grave stones. The further we went on, the smaller and smaller the grave sites got until finally we got to his wife's, which was no more than a patch of dirt with weeds and a singe rock on it. He had no money for anything else. It was probably the saddest thing I've ever seen.

We had brought some flowers with us, so we left that which we could, and then we moved on. We went over to his parents site as well as his wife's parent's site, and he wrote down the dates of birth and death. He's preparing to go to the temple soon and he's going to get his families work done for him :) After we finished, he turned to us and said, smiling, "This is a great church we've got here, huh Elders?"

It just kind of made me realize, that this gospel isn't a dead gospel. It's got living principles and living applications to people.

Well, we left that peaceful hill and went back down into the city, back into the real world, sighhh...

When we got back, there was a demonstration happening right in front of our church and right by our apartment because the president that got put into office is thought by some here to have not been the person the people elected. So that's always fun to deal with. We had to steer clear of the church that day.
Well, that's my week. :) Love you all!

Elder Hammer

Part of Jared's letter to me:

It's kind of weird because Elder Hall has less than a month left and he's the group right in front of me. I feel like there's so much to do, and just not enough time to do it all. I'm going to miss these people so much. 
Vardan (member) with his guinea pigs :p
Vardan with his turtles :)

The graveyard

View from the graveyard onto the city

Us along the train tracks. To get from one part of our area to the next (unless we take a 2-3 mile detour), we have to follow a path that takes us across them. Don't worry, we're super safe :) I'll point out details to these pictures when I get home :p

Us with the senior couples, at Lena's family's house. They're all members. All 9 of them :)

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