Monday, January 30, 2012

January 23, 2012 - Sister Griffiths

I am taking advantage of this window of internet service and hoping it won't go down before I send it. This is the fourth time to try today. I have great news about the bride I wrote you about last week. They were able to get their marriage license last week and she proudly showed it to all of us when we went into the home. She has finished all the lessons along with the 8 year old nephew in the home. The district leader interviewed them and they will both be baptized on Wednesday. I was really impressed with our last visit at the questions she was asking about the church and the Book of Mormon. She is helping her new nephew to understand as well. She was asking us if after she was baptized, she should go to the branch president and ask for a calling in the Primary or wait for him to come to her. She loves children so I am sure it would be a great place for her but there are only at the most 10 children in the Primary including the nursery if everyone comes. There is a great feeling in that little Primary. I will never forget how generous they are each time we teach them with their food. I know that they don't have much but always insisted on putting out food for us and us eating the food. These are truly a very generous and sharing people.

We visit a new family that afternoon that the elders had met on the street. Their son was in the living room on the couch as he had just had a nose operation due to his nose being bent. I told him that we were very familiar with that operation as some of our children had had it. He looked a little different though as he had white adhesive tape across his forehead, down his nose and across his nose. He looked like he was in pain. In Armenia, men go into the Armenian Army when they are 19 for two years. It is required and he wanted it done before he left. He couldn't join us for cookies, fruit and candy but ate some warm soup. They all seemed very excited about the gospel including him as he had studied about churches in school.

We met with a member and her daughter next who are very active. They have been members for several years. They have family that live in Glendale, California. They would love to go to be with them, but cannot since it is very hard to get a visa. Their family in Glendale send them money to help support them as that is the Armenia way. If I have a good job in America, I will bless your family too because we are family. You would do it for me if the situation was reversed. Her and her husband want to go on a senior mission someday. Her scriptures are well used and you can tell she loves them with all her heart.

 When we left the member's home, we took a mar/shoot/knee to our next visit. It was a new route that we had never used before and the last thing the elders said was "Are you sure you will be ok"? We confidently reassured them we would be fine after all it had been two months since we got here. We were breezing down the road enjoying the new area we were in with the few lights that were lite along the way. All of a sudden the mar/shoot/knee died and the driver pulled it over slowly to the side of the road before it stopped. There was one other man on it with us. As they try to communicate with us, they found out we are Americans with almost no language skills. They signaled us to stay seated while they worked the problem. If we tried to get off, they would signal us again it will be ok and stay seated. After about 15 minutes of trying, a car much small than the van pulls up and they hook a rope tow to the bumper. They reassure us again and off we go down the road being towed on the mar/shoot/knee route to our stop. They wanted to make sure that they had taken good care of us and got us where we needed to be. The man that was riding the mar/shoot/knee with us got off at our stop also as he had gotten us to our stop and could now find his way home. I feel well cared for here by everyone even complete strangers.

We met with our other set of elders and headed off for about a 3 or 4 block walk to our next appointment. It was a mom and her daughter who were members. They were bright, fun loving and happy. The mother shared with us about her experiences at being a bride going into her husband's home. She laughed as she told us how hard it was since there were 3 other brothers which meant 3 other brides. Eventually, they all moved out and she endured getting the family home. The parents had both died and 3 years ago her sweetheart had had a stroke. She has been caring him in their home the last three years. We talked a lot about faith and she shared some funny stories. She talked about her job. She said. "I thought to myself, I have a brain and no phone. My boss has no brain and a phone." The next day as she was walking down the street, she found a phone just like his. She felt like the Lord had answered her prayers and helped her. I asked them about how come they were both so happy and had such positive attitudes. They said that it was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that had made them so happy. They were very sincere when they said it. On the bumpy ride home, I thought about what they had said and how often I have just taken it for granted and not felt the joy that they felt. It is like water, I have never really appreciated it before. Life is full of wonderful treasures that I am learning to love and notice, but I have to agree with them that the gospel is the greatest as it includes of all I treasure and hold dear in my life that bring me the greatest joy.

All our love, your Armenian Senior Couple Missionaries

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