Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dear Fam and Friends,
   ... but I hate it here. Let's clarify first. I love "being" in class- I like learning and reviewing grammar, getting new vocab for lessons, being able to formulate sentences for my investigators but also to insult my friends. I love learning about the gospel and how to teach it. My teachers are incredible. I wish I could explain it in words, or that you could sit in with them for an hour. They're very good at Armenian but they're so much better at teaching about the gospel, and how to teach it to the Armenians, who know basically nothing about it. I love the devotionals, with all the speakers and the choir.
   But I hate it here. I hate the food, which is doing numbers on digestion- I was really annoyed one day last week so I ate some ice cream, but I'm hopping back on the wagon. It's delish magish but I already eat unhealthily anyway. I hate the elders who think being here 3, 6, or 9 weeks makes you hot stuff. A sister in my district called the new elders greenies. You've got to be kidding me. We've been here a month longer. We all collectively know nothing about what being a missionary is actually like. No one cares if you say gracias or merci or shnorhakalem. I hate that my companions, now zone leaders, think that 1. this defaulted title, of a leader of a tiny zone in the MTC, demands some instant glory and respect. and 2. that new missionaries are little balls of playdoh to be either molded into greatness or dashed to pieces based solely on what I do for the hour a day I interact with them. They vaccuumed my bed to make it presentable for when the new elders see what a room is "supposed to look like". And they made Elder Mills, the sacrament coordinator, explain what they were supposed to do when passing the sacrament 6 days in advance. These elders are 18 at the very least, I think they already have a decent idea of how they're going to keep their room and probabaly a decenter(?) idea of how to pass the sacrament. As for the respect, I'll listen to you when you actually have a lot more field experience than I do, aka in Armenia. As for now if you want my respect you should act like a normal person to me and not yell at me for laughing as I read the new British elders the bit in 1 Nephi about the wrath of God being upon their nation during the revolutionary war. That crap is funny and that's a fact, and anyone who doesn't realize I'm kidding needs to lighten up.
  Now, that was a lot of strong emotion. My companions are not bad guys. One of them is the most awk person I've known but neither are bad guys. We usually enjoy each others company and have some laughs.  They just don't know much about being a leader to people the same age/experience as you (neither do I, but its not that). Pday makes everything better, so today has been fine and relaxing, but I'd be lying if I said I was happy during this week, so there's that.
  It will not stop snowing. Okay it stopped today, but it literally snowed like the past three days. There's a foot and a half outside. But I don't hate this snow. Its powdery and easy to walk on, and makes incredible snowballs. Guess who I throw them at? Guess how much they love it? Haha I throw them at everyone actually, Elder Mills and Elder Shields and I have daily duels. And sometimes we lob a few to spook the sisters, but we havent hit one yet thankfully. Today Elder Mills and I made snow angels, Im going to try to send pictures and a video but I might not have time
  There's really not that much else to report. I got Aunt Katherine's second package, even though we hadnt finished eating all the first one. That bread is really really good, and I love the picture from Nick. Same to you, friend. As for meeting, I don't want to make you drive to Salt Lake and wait around hoping to see me, esp since I don't have a cell. The temples probably the best bet, and that will be chaotic. There's tons of missionaries there. But we go up after our district meeting which is suposed to end at 3. As for mac and cheese, right now I'd love some easy mac that I can make in the microwave, just the single serve plastic bowl stuff. But for Armenia I'd just like the basic box of store brand stuff. Should be like 50 cents haha. That would be awesome. 
 Sister Bleyl sent a very nice valentines package, and I got mail from Sis Anderson and Uncle Matt, all very much appreciated. Return letters going out today. Nothin else came.
  Crazy to think I've been here a month. Feels like a long time and an instant, strange how that always happens.
About the water- it comes through the pipes. The boxes people have is enough to fit all the water they'll get, they cant get more with a bigger box. They have electric water heaters but they dont work that well. This is all in some of the country at least, closer to the city we'd prob have running hot water. Brother Carlson, my teacher, said there was a 3 month period where he didnt take a shower in the winter. voch inch (oh well) Im excited to get out there and see what its live, learn to live in lesser conditions with these people. We take too much for granted here. That was a big reason behind the cold showers, it makes you go fast (some of the elders sit in the cold water for 15 min, which is just stupid) the point is your going to cherish the water you get so you should learn that a shower really only takes 30 sec. Im not saying I'm not going to take a 2 hour hot shower when I do get home, just that there's a lot to be learned about what we take for granted.
 Random note- this place is covered in church paintings. Most are the basic ones you would recognize, but a lot of them I have never seen ever in my life, and there incredible ones too. idk if I should take pics of them but I might. Some are really strange too.
  Anyway thats all I've got- again don't get me wrong, i really love being a missionary. Unfortunately God somehowwww knew that I needed a big ol lesson in patience, so that's what we're working on together. He's helpin me out every day though. The fact is, I could easily end up with either one of these elders as a comp in the field, and in Armenia its only one pair of elders per area/apartment.
 Anyway, I love most of you (those that write me. the others can go get theirselves a letter from a monkey) and I hope to hear from you this week
Astvatst dzez het

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