Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Week 2

Barez dzez dear dear family!!!

I just want to start by saying that I love you all soooo much! You are all wonderful people and I am so grateful to have come from you! Thanks for the package! I love healthy snacks! I haven't opened the wrapped gift yet, Im saving it for Christmas, but I did open the mug cause I wanted some tea!

The week has just flown past sooooo fast!!!! 2 weeks is nothing! I can't believe that if I were going English speaking I would be done at the MTC in a week. That is insane!!! I really don't mind it here (hopefully I will get to love it), so its ok that I am not leaving until february. So I think our departure date was supposed to be the 24th, but our miss pres has some conference or somethign to go to so we will be leaving a week earlier. Crazy!!

Oh, before I forget, do you all remember Elder Matson? (Joshua Matson), he served in Calgary. I totally saw him at the temple last week. So funny. Apparently he works at the MTC so I will try to go say hi to him some time. I finally saw Hannah last night and she and Andrew had put together a gift for me for christmas! They are the best. I love them! Andrew keeps me updated on his love life through dear elders.

So since last week I have just been learning more Armenian. I can now read a little bit better (I don't really know what I am reading, but I at least know what the letters are so I can sound things out). I can also pray, bear my testimony and apparently teach the first letter... but not really. That didn't go over so well haha. We had TRC last night which was supposed to be 45 min ALL in Armenian, but because not enough investigators showed up we only had to do 25 min all in Armenian. I cannot tell how how blessed I feel that it was only 25 min cause that was still SOOOO painful! I thought I was going to be fine. I have all these words memorized and I know how to conjugate into simple present and simple past tense, so I thought I was set. But when I got in there I just had the hardest time remembering anything and I was so nervous. There were many points when we sat in silence trying soooo hard to come up with something to say. Anything! But the sister we were teaching is the sweetest woman ever. I think I mentioned her last week, it was the same woman. She speaks like 6 lanugages and spends hours volunteering at the TRC every week. What a saint. She was encouraging, but still worked to get us to talk. Euf. Anyway... that was fun, and I get to do it again next week, and the week after that... and so on. All in Armenian.

In other news, my teaching and his wife are going to have a baby! Cute! We also found a mini-me of that teacher (bro dixon) in the cafeteria one day. It was this 9 year old kid who was visiting his grandparents, so we took a picture with him. SO funny... but I guess you would have to know bro dixon to realize how funny it is. I 'll tell you all about it to you later when you're older (haha Emmy!)

Thanks so much everyone for your dear elders. I can't tell you how much I love hearing from you all! It brightens my day so much, and my days are already quite bright. Its not always easy being far from home, but I am so grateful that I made the decision to be here. I can see the Lord's hand in my life. I am learning so much and I feel like I have changed so much already. It helps having a companion there that you want to love and to love you... I have to work much harder at being the best I can be cause she doesn't have to love me like you all do! My testimony of the atonement has already grown so much, and because of that my desire to share the gospel with others has grown so much because I understand so much better the change that the atonement can make. Thank you Emily for helping me to see and understand that so much better through the changes that you made in your life. It gives me so much hope for our family and for the people that I will have the oppotunity to teach. I love you all and I know that we are truly children of God!

yes geetem vor Hesoos Kristosu seeroom eh mez!
(I know that Jesus Christ loves us!)

Love you all!

Sister Smith

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The first email home!

Hello dear dear family!!!

First of all, I don't really remember any of your emails! I think I got Irena's right, and Mom, I also think yours is right. Emily, how coulf I forget yours?! Anyway, please forward this to everyone and send me all their emails so that I can send them emails in the future.

This week has flown past! I'm sorry I haven't written before now, but I didn't have a pday my first week because our pday is Thursday but last week was different because it was our first whole day. Last week was insanely busy! There was so much information thrown at us and so much to digest. But it was okay. I actually liked it a little, even though my head hurt from it all. My companion is Sister Burnham (Victoria Burnham, I have her as a friend on facebook if you want to facestalk her), and she is the dearest girl ever. It took us a few days to get used to having to ALWAYS be together (it can be exhausting no matter who you're with), but we have gotten into the grove of things together and here. We also teach really well together (or at least I think we do... I don't really know how our teachers feel about us yet). She is teaching me how to be more compassionate and patient, and I think I am good at keeping us on time. I think I might be a bit too um how do I say this? I'm not a slave driver because no one is the slave... but you get what I mean. I am just working so hard to try to be on task and doing the right thing. I am trying so hard to be exactly obedient, but with so many rules it gets hard, if not just because it's hard to remember all the rules!

The MTC is such a crazy place. It is amazing how much food they put out every day. Seriously, I am awed every time I walk into the cafeteria how much food there is! And how many boys they're feeding. And that explains the less than yes quality of the food. Mom and Dad, I miss your cooking SOOOO MUCH! I feel like I can never get really nourished here. I try though. I usually eat the salad or wraps. There are also so many languages here. It's crazy. People are constantly saying Hola, or bonjour, or in  our case, Barez Dzets! I love Armenian. It's crazy! The alphabet took us all forever to learn because there are so many characters that all look similar. But its a cool sounding language. I can pray now and say hello, thankyou, you're welcome and few other things. I wish I could type the letters so you could really see what they look like. Oh Dad, it's not queeeeer Smeet like you were saying, but more like kooyeer (soft on the r... like a rolled r with only one roll if that makes any sense). So I am doing really well with the language, I feel confident in it and I feel confident with teaching. We had our first TRC last night (Irena can explain what that is). We got to do it in English cause... well thats all we know, but apparently it's going to be all Armenian starting next week... we'll see how that goes. I am a little frightened. I don't think I can carry out a 45 min gospel conversation in a language I don't know.

Our teachers are really wonderful. They are Brother Dixon and Brother White. They both served in Armenia and they have pretty opposite personalities and teaching styles, so it's a good balance. They both have so much confidence in us though, and they are very encouraging. It's weird though, cause really I'm only like a few months to like a year younger than them... but I feel WAY younger than them.

My district is made up of 4 of us sisters and 6 elders. I think they send the best of the best to Armenia. Not that I am claiming to be that, but my district is so awesome. The elders are young, which often explains some of their behavior, but in general they are really mature and hard-working. They are also just such sweet guys (although I'm not supposed to use that word....oops). One of the elders isn't coming to Armenia, he is going to be serving Armenian speaking in California, which is pretty cool. He'll be the first elder to be formally taught Armenian in the MTC to go to that mission, so they are desperate to have him. The other sisters (sisters Bailey and Huntington) and also lovely, and the 4 of us sisters spend a lot of time together. We will be seeing a lot of each other in Armenia too because there are only ever about 8 sisters there at a time so we will pretty much serve with each other at least once. I am really grateful that sister Burnham is my comp here though. I love her.

I need to take care of some business now:
Mom, I need a favor from you before I forget. Can you order my vaccination records please? I had them, but I don't know where they've gone and there is one vaccination that I am not sure about. So I think what you do is call Alberta health link and use my health care number to order them. If you can't get them it's not a huge deal, I can just get the shot again, I would just rather not because it costs about $40.
Also, if you were planning on sending me a package here for Christmas it needs to be here by the 22nd at the latest because that is when the post office closes until after Christmas.
Last thing, I would love if you could send me my black jacket that I foolishly left at home. I have wanted to use it so many times! Its the one with the zipper that's at an angle. I am trying to think if there was anything else I need... I can't remember. Bah! This whole 30 min limit thing is so stressful!
Oh, please send me Chelsea's address. Im going to send her a letter to our house for now. Second, if you want to write me send me a dear elder because I don't have time to read emails and they get here fastest.

This Gospel is so true. I am learning and growing so much. Even though this is such a hard experience because I miss you all (I'm not cold-hearted like Irena, jk), it is so rewarding. I love testifying of Christ. He is truly our Saviour and Redeemer and He has the power to heal us and make us whole. Don't undermine that power. Use it! I love Him and I am so grateful for everything He has done for me and for you! I love you all!!!

Kyur Smeet

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The First Post

I thought I would get the ball rolling with a quick post. I will be entering the MTC on December 8, 2010, so technically I am not quite a missionary yet. I will be flying down to Utah on the 7th early in the morning, so that means I will have to live in limbo (between the real world and the mission world) for more than 24 hours... that won't be painful at all! Anyway, for anyone hoping to keep in touch, my email will be and my address at the MTC will be:

Sister Cathlyn Noelle Smith
MTC Mailbox # 243
ARM-YER 0225
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

I hope to hear from allllll of you! So write that down!

Merry Christmas everyone!

P.S. I thought you would all like to know how to say Sister Smith in Armenian. It is thoroughly embarrassing but great. It is Kyur Smith, pronounced "queer smeet". Awesome.