Monday, September 16, 2013

I've Been Spoiled

Dear Family and Friends, 
  It's always interesting how when the mission makes you give up all these things you realize you don't really need them, atleast not for 2 years. TV, texting, facebook, etc etc are all just time wasters. Not the devil, but not needed, I actually believe that, and its easy too since theyre just not available to me. The same thing has happened with basketball, wearing clothes except the same pants and shirt and tie every day, petting dogs, and even drinking milk- the sister being trained in Artashat drinks Russian milk, I told her not to, she said "you dont understand" and I laughed at her. I do understand. But one day Ill drink milk. later. 
anyway the same thing happened during the first 5 months I was in country, in Charentsavan. Being 30 min away from Yerevan you're far enough so that you dont go and people dont come, but youre close enough so no one worries about you. theres no restaraunts or fun stuff to do, and theres only 2 other elders in your district. Elder Marco and I used to feel lonely sometimes, but now i miss being off in my own corner of armenia to just work hard with my comp and have every one else leave us alone. now its different. in our district is the heart of Yerevan, with great resaraunts and cool stuff to see. Its a little distracting to me, but mostly to the other missionaries in the district, and im just kinda tired of dealing with it. and i have 2 sets of sisters that are only allowed to call me if they need anything, so lifes a little more hectic. I dont particularly like it, but just being left to myself for 2 years would be selfish when i can serve others. but i miss super focused, literally 0 distractions, hard work. its like im a different person or something. :)
Well i was gunna send a seperate email home with a few pictures telling a special story. but we arent allowed to send pictures with other people. ill mail them, but i couldnt wait. 
 Charentsavan was a very difficult time for me, everyone's read plenty about that already. but the bright spot was M and his family. They were people who actually managed to see and focus on what was important in life and set their sights on that, leaving everything else behind. M quit smoking, and his wife and mother stopped coffee. They came to church and prayed as a family. The wife was the only one with eyes good enough to read, so they listened to her as a family. leaving Charentsavan was hard for few reasons, but those few reasons (people, M was one of them) made it very hard, especially going south where our building has a font, so we wouldnt be allowed to go to yerevan for baptisms. but this friday i was on an exchange with elder kopsa, who serves in yerevan. we got a call that even though the elders in Char didnt think it would work out that week, M had successfully quit and passed his baptismal interview. we worked it out so that we finished our exchange at the right time, and Elder Marco (Elder Kopsa's comp) got to join their baptism. M and his wife asked us to baptize them. I wish I could send you the pictures. it was easily one of the happiest days of my life, to see people I had grown to love leave everything they needed to leave, do everything they needed to do, and be baptized on the original date that Elder Marco and I extended them 6 weeks ago- they were baptized on the 14th, so they can go to th temple next year on September 15th with the group going. what a special day. 
  Other than that the week was a rough one. It wasnt till it was over that I realized we got very little done. We met with a man who loves the Book of Mormon and says he believes Joseph Smith was a true prophet, but refuses to be baptized again and accept that his church is not the complete fullness. thats been hard. it happens though. its hard to explain whats been going on though. the weeks of my mission are starting to speed up for me, but theres still not much getting done. mission wide thats the feeling coming down from the top, and i see it in my own area and district. the mission isnt reaching its potential, and Pres Carlson is trying with all his might to push us forward. it has to come from within us at the end of the day though. thats been weighing on me a lot lately. 
  i hope everyone has a great week, congratulations to bo bleyl on brazil! crazzzzyyy. Im so proud though. i know me being proud doesnt amount to too much, but im so excited for him. ive already realized why no one can explain what missions are like. calling it awesome doesnt do it, and calling it the hardest thing ever doesnt do it either. its hard to explain, but for 2 years you suffer and have joy and just give everything you have to a work that is so far beyond you, all for reasons that you wouldnt normal suffer for and have such joy over. its incredible. 
 after the baptism we were late getting out of yerevan, but managed to catch the last passenger van leaving to artashat, so we squeezed on with 30 other people. i was half on a seat sharing it with a nice lady, surrounded by people who like me were all just sweating and stinking. and i thought about how id never and will never do something like that in america. and then i thought about why im doing it. and then i smiled. 
  as for the girls- lanies got swag. too much. someone needs to beat her down. with a stick. and im actually not okay with the girls wearing my shirts. so please dont. that yellow service shirt is my favorite bball shirt. work hard in school, but enjoy the rideeee! okay ive been cliche enough this week. 
  With hugs, smiles, sweat, rainbows, tears, and love from the DIRTY SOUTH, 

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