Monday, May 20, 2013

The Water Company

Me at the POW/MIA memorial in Yerevan.

Well, this is my last full week. I'm going to make it count :)

This past week was a little hectic, and a little saddening. Our investigator Hovhannes finally decided that he was just going to get baptized after he serves in the army. We prayed, we fasted, and we helped him any way we could. It's a mixture of family pressure and also fear of sinning while he's in the army. Elder Haglund was a great help, sharing his own experiences of staying strong in the military and testifying of the protecting power of the Holy Ghost, but I guess everyone still has their agency. For now, we're just trying to spiritually uplift him as much as we can before he enters the army. 

One of the members we were trying to get on a mission can't go, we found out this week. He has a pretty serious illness which is keeping him from going. It was really depressing, because we pulled him out of inactivity and got him all excited for a mission, and then he just got let down so much. But he knows he has to stay active though, because he wants to be with God again someday and with his mother. 

This week, my group went to Vernisazh, the giant tourist outdoors market. It was great and I loved it, it was just really sad for me because I was trying to find something that would help me remember Armenia, but nothing really satisfies. How do you sum up two years of love in a little trinket?

So we got this knock on the door and we open it to see this middle age man holding papers and this elderly man holding a bag of metal looking things. They said they were from the water company and I asked them what they wanted and the responded by saying they wanted to check something. So I asked them what they wanted to check and they said, "Well it's complicated and I can't explain it here." So I gave them 'the look' and asked for a license and the man pulled out this flimsy looking paper with a stamp on it, so I decided to entertain them. They walk in and they end up entertaining us :p He kneels down under our sink and goes, "Yup, good, alright. You have a meter and, okay, good, some pipes here." Then he gets up and asks where our restroom is and walks in there, looks around, and says, "Alright, well it looks like you have a toilet, good, very good. And okay, here's a closet. Okay good." Then he walks out and says, "So your water comes from the city system?" and we say, "Yes." (Our apartment is like every other soviet building in all of Armenia), and then he makes a mark on this sketchy looking paper and walks out. :p  There are a ton of people like that just trying to look for money, but if you ask for a license, that usually scares them from doing anything, and ends up just looking hilarious. :)

We went to a graveside service on Sunday for our member who's husband died. It's been 40 days since he died, so it's tradition to kind of have a second funeral. They burned some incense by the grave and everyone walks by and throws a little pinch of it in. Then after, Elder Haglund gave a dedicatory prayer for the grave. After that we went back to Bella's house where they did the traditional washing of the hands, and then a dinner of sorts with potatoes and meat and greens. She seems to be recovering well. She's an amazing woman :) We call her Mom Jahn (mother [dear]) because she always takes care of the missionaries so well. 

Well, I love you all and I'll be seeing you soon! :)

Elder Hammer

Vardan playing his banjo for us made out of car parts :p He's really good. 
Us at dinner after Vernisage
Dinner again :)

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