Tuesday, June 14, 2011

week 19

Well, I think I have said this a hundred times already, but missions are such roller coasters! This week alone was a bit of an intense ride. The beginning of the week I was still with Sister Deaver and we were super busy with her seeing the people she wanted to see before leaving and trying to pack and take care of business. By the time we would get home at night we were super tired, but also wanted to spend as much time together as possible so we had a couple of late nights just talking and laughing and then feeling sad. Eugh. I hate saying goodbye. It wouldn't be so bad except that she goes home in 2 months and she will be in Vanadzor for the rest of her time here (most likely) so we will not really see each other again. Tear. Oh my heart. Missions.... they just tear your heart to pieces.
So, on Wednesday I spent the better part of the day in the transfer van driving to Vanadzor to drop Sister Deaver off and pick Sister Burnham up (she was transfered to yerevan and is serving with my current companion's old companion... if that makes sense). We also picked up Elders Strader and Peterson from Vanadzor because all us babies had to renew our visa stuff so we got to have a bit of a reunion. We finally got home by 4 or so (we left at 8:30am) and then went out so I could start showing Sister Brower around her new area. The first couple of days together were hard for me. Adjusting to change is not my forte and it was stressful and scary. But after a few days of not feeling 100% I finally got over myself and got over feeling sorry for myself and just decided to be happy. I am glad I did too. I feel so much better for it.
So far, together Sister Brower and I have done a lot of exploring in our area to get a feel for it. It is so big that there's no way to know it perfectly, but we're trying to know it as best we can. We started by wandering around in one of our villages, Kharbert when one of our appointments fell through. It's such a pretty little village so that was fun. Although, we discovered that it's not as little as I thought... we really need to find a map for that place. Haha. Then on Saturday we had *J's* baptismal interview!!! It went well. She hasn't for sure passed yet because she has some things that she has to clear up with President Carter (actually, she's there doing that right now!). If all goes well she will be baptized a week from today! We're working things out so that Sister Deaver will be able to come because she is supposed to be in Yerevan next pday. So! We're really excited about that! After that we had more meetings fall through, so we went to our backup plan which was looking for less actives and exploring! So we went to an area that I have been to only a couple of times, and then we went a little further to a place I have never been to before, called Karmir blur, which means red hill. We quickly discovered the origins of its name. There is a hill with poppies all over it! Along with other flowers too! It is an ancient ruins site from 700 BC! Gosh I love this country. SO, that was fun discovering.  Oh, when we were over in that area we started talking to a man about the Book of Mormon and stuff. Generally we don't give our number to men before we know for sure that they're not creepers, so we invited him to church for the next day. I couldn't remember the address so we got his number and called him that night to give him the address. I didn't expect for him to come at all and completely forgot about it, but he totally showed up at church! And he stayed for all 3 hours. He seems really cool, so we're excited to start teaching him.
I have lots more about church yesterday.... where to start? Well, to begin with there was an old member of the 70 visiting our branch (I actually have no idea why or what his name was or anything). It was fast Sunday so it was testimony meeting which is always a little bit interesting.... but it was going pretty well, pretty normal. Our Branch President called *M* our new baptizee up to give her her baptismal certificate so she stayed up to bear her testimony. As she was doing so this CRAZY woman in our branch started freaking out and yelling (I have no idea what) because for some unknown reason she has something against *M*. They finally got crazy lady out of there, but I could tell that *M* was pretty shaken up about it. She has had issues with crazy lady before -  like when her baptism was announced she freaked out then too. Its hard for *M* though because her husband told her not to go because of crazy lady, but *M* is just so solid and knows its true and doesn't want to let anything get in the way. Anyway, so she had a rough day yesterday, and yet she still volunteered to help clean the chapel next week, and then reminded me to show her how to pay her fast offering. I just love this woman so much! She is so awesome! She is going to make it through all of the difficulties she is facing and is going to be a great strength to the church here. I just know it!
After church yesterday we were waiting around to meet with the branch president when this 20 year old kid walked in and apparently told one of our elders that he wants to get baptized and that he lives in our area! Saweet. Apparently he was taught 5 years ago and was coming to church and stuff then. So, between him and the man that showed up unexpectedly at church, we were able to miraculously reach our goal of 2 new investigators this week, even though I thought it would be impossible. The Lord works in mysterious ways and I need to learn to not limit Him!

Well, this week we are anticipating to be busy. We need to find a lot more investigators and we want to continue getting our area organized really well and getting working more with less active members cause there are a lot! Oh, I just found out that Julietta has passed! So her baptism will be about this time next week!!! SWEET!

SO! Last item of business - next week is mothers' day! Shnorhavor to all my sisters and adopted sisters and my Mommy and all the women out there!
As part of that I will be calling home! SO, organize yourselves. I will be calling Saturday morning at 8:40 my time, which means Friday night at 9:40 for ya'll. Don't miss out by going out to do less important things!

I love you! Have a good week and enjoy the beginnings of spring!

Sister Smith

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