Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 19, 2012 - Sister Griffiths

We all love that Primary song, "Once There was a Snowman, tall, tall tall". After my experience on Saturday, I think I will change it to "I Want to be a Snowman, fall, fall, fall". We had a snow storm on Saturday that gave us about 10 inches of new snow in Vanadzor in about 6 hours when it finally stopped. Of course, that didn't stop us from keeping our appointments. However, by the time we got there, we did look like snowmen. That evening, our last appointment was at 6:30. I really thought that the elders would cancel that one because it is on the top of a mountain side (like Stan's house for those of you in Logan). But our missionaries are like Helaman's Army so we took a cab up the mountain on this narrow road. About 2/3's way up, the cab couldn't make it so the elder's let the cab leave us and told us that we would hike up to our appointment's home. Those Idaho missionaries are hard workers and determined. There was a small path up the side of the mountain that is faster than the road so we took that. One missionary was the leader, my sweetheart is second, I am third and the other missionary was behind to help me if I need it or fell. Half way up, I had to stop to rest but then kept climbing. Climbing up several flights of stairs to our appointments and to our 4th floor appointment paid off and I made it. The view over the valley at twilight was beautiful as you could see a white, crystal clear little village as you looked town.

We knocked on the door and no one was home. He had gone to town and had forgotten about our appointment. So we started down which started with 3 flights of outdoor metal stairs that were straight down. That lead to the huge straight hill we had had to climb up that looked even steeper going down. I tripped and fell twice as we ventured down. That great part is that my coat is like a big sleeping bag so I didn't get hurt except for laughing so hard that my sides hurt. It reminded me of when I was a little girl making snow angels. An elder helped me up both times. Unfortunately, when he fell two times later down the hill, I couldn't help him up because he jumped up so fast because his companion was laughing at him. I guess he had teased his companion earlier that week when he fell so felt like he was getting even. When the cab came back to pick us up, some of us looked like snowmen before we brushed off for our next two appointments.

For Family Home Evening at an appointment, I had made some cards to use to play the matching game with the Plan of Salvation. I had had to write them in Armenian so they could read them and match them. We don't have colored paper here, so I had to tear pages out of a notebook I have. The house was so cold that one of the ladies was wearing gloves and we could see our breathe. It is the little things you miss like heat or plain or colored 8x11 size paper with markers that write. When they got a match, I had a bowl of candy in which they got to pick their favorite kind. The game was so exciting for them that the 30 year old brother even came in to play. They are such a happy people. Next time you use or enjoy the little things, be grateful.

I love how they are so warm and friendly at church. When you go in, the sisters all hug and kiss each other on the cheek. The brothers all shake hands and kiss each other on the cheek if they know each other very well. They always ask each other how they are doing and usually answer "shot love" which means very good. Even on teaching appointments when we go in, I shake hands with the men and hug and kiss the ladies on the cheek and ask how they are. We do the same hugging, kiss on cheek and shaking hands when we leave as we tell them good bye. On the street, the couples always walk with the women's arm linked to the men's. Most of the time two women or girls walking together link arms. You also see a lot of men or boys walking with their arms linked together. Here it is strange if you don't. One of our elders was telling a new missionary that he needed to do it with him when he was training him, but the new elder said, "I just couldn't do it." Of course, the trainer was just teasing him. It is nice to see how they are not afraid to show affection to each other as their tradition.

In church today, three sisters got up to sing a special musical number. They sang," I Need Thee Every Hour". On the chorus, everyone in the audience sang along. It is a song they all love and is usually sung 3 times at least a month. They also love to sing Come, Come Ye Saints and Silent Night year around. They sing at the top of their lungs with great love and enthusiasm. What is nice is to be able to sing along in English or Armenian and everyone thinks is great just as long as you sing and enjoy the music with them. They love music. So next time there is a special number, feel free to sing along and think of us in Armenia as we think of you all so often.

Love, Your Armenian Senior Couple:)

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