Monday, May 27, 2013
ahhh transfers are coming transfers are coming
Dear Family and Dear Friends,
Transfers are coming! If that wasn't obvious. But more important news first. We had a baptism! Our investigator Nara was the only bright spot of the past two weeks, and Sat she did get baptized and it was super great. Elder Maughan got to baptize a few times in his last month and you could tell it was very special to him. I confirmed her Sunday, she's doing super good. The gift of the Holy Ghost will do wonders I think with her progression and deeper conversion. And she's already sharing the gospel, she brought family members to her baptism. Our next goal is her son- Pres Carter challenged us at the last zone conference to baptize our "replacement" before he left- meaning a young man who can serve a mission. Arayk, Nara's son, is just that. At first he was kindof a punk, a 17yr old smoking and wanting tattoos and stuff, but he started sitting in and listening and now he seems more interested. We havent done any specific work with him yet, but if I get to stay in Charentsavan my goal is to baptize him as my replacement. MIssionaries that serve from Armenia are special. At 18 all Armenian men are required to go to the Banak, the Armenian Army, and serve for 2 years. A lot of Armenian males that serve missions come home early just because 4 years of service in a 6 or 7 year span is really hard on them. So the future kind of makes me nervous or Arayk, since terrible things happen in the Banak- they're required to swear allegiance to the Armenian Apostolic Church, and its just filth. Smoking, drinking, etc etc. But Arayk is a super good kid so we're going to work a lot with him.
So anyway transfers are coming this week. Basic logic says that I will stay here in Charentsavan, either with Elder Marco, who was trained here before me, or with a new senior companion. Since Elder Maughan is leaving, and the other elder in Char is having a pretty hard time with it, and hasnt developed good relationships with the members, its very likely I will stay, or that Elder Marco will stay, or that we both will. However, that makes far too much sense for me to feel comfortable. Pres Carter is known for shaking things up pretty crazy. But I still havent heard anything, so I cant say anything more. I want to stay though. I love our strong members we work with, and our new baptizees that are so great, and Char has a ton of potential right now.
The other man we met this week is named Kamo. We saw him on the street, and I recgonized him. I had talked to him on an exchange my first week in country. I obviously didnt speak well, but he was kinda a jerk to me. Not too bad, but he made it very clear he wasnt interested. He'd read a little from the BoM and didnt care for it, said he didnt want to meet, etc. So when I saw him standing on the same corner as 2 months ago, smoking, I was going to tell Elder Maughan we shouldnt bother, that he wasnt interested, didnt have work, etc. But I didnt feel 100% sure it was the same man, so I kept quiet. He confirmed that we had met, but he was different. Still not super open, but more accepting. He said he didnt have a problem with what we taught, just that everyone taught similar stuff, how's he supposed to figure out who's true, etc. He agreed to meet though. We met at his house the next day, and he was even better. He has a wife and 3 small kids, he doesnt work because his health is bad (he's smoked since he was 6yrs old) but he's being helped and he'll be able to work in August. He was even more open, he tried to quit smoking that day, and was more interested in finding out what we were about. He asked us to leave a BoM so he could try again. Basically he's a very good man, very humble and quiet, and receptive to the Spirit. He has a lot of potential and a great family, and I almost wrote him off. He wasnt nice to me the first time, but that doesnt mean I shouldve walked away without saying a word. He still has a way to go, but he's already changed a lot in the 3 times I've met him, and the whole time I just felt like God was not necessarily chastisting me, but just making it very clear that I need to trust His power more, and realize it's His will for every single person in Armenia to be happy and come back to Him. Its true that when the church is first starting somewhere we have to be careful about the order in which they come, but they all need to come.
Anyway Char went from a dead week to having a lot of potential, so we'll see what happens with the transfers. Nothing else too exciting to report this week, we're going to Lake Sevan today so that should be nice.
Lanes- singing in front of class is terrifying, but just remember what we learn from American Idol tryouts- its not enough to be an okay singer. You either have to be good, or super bad and embrace that badness, and go crazy to make it funny. Ill let you decide which to choose. I agree that Mean Girls would be awesome, but always love your leaders for the effort they do put in. As for food, get some! It really isnt that hard, ask around the ward for some super simple recipes and put em together with Alex and itll be delish magish. As for what I miss most, theres such a long list of American food i miss. Burgers is probably top, 5 guys and Red Robin. I miss Alexanders, and Chipotle, but I miss super easy food we can make at home like Mac and Cheese and canned soup and chili. And sandwich meats, I miss the one I used to do with ham and turkey and bacon.
As for TV, i miss classic movies, but I also miss Raising Hope and New Girl and Ben and Kate. TV in general though just represents personal time to do nothing with my life. Sometimes I miss it, but this is much more fulfilling. As for homesickness, it also comes and goes. Its been worse lately with Elder Maughan so close to leaving, but it hasnt been tooo bad. Maybe like a 6 or 7 at the worst of it all.