I hope you all are doing absolutely wonderful, and that everything's going great for each and every one of you. You're in my prayers every night, in Armenian, no less! I can't believe it's already been a week here. The hours seem to fly so quickly and before you know it it's the end of the day already. I love it here, and I love being a missionary.
Thank you so much for sending those letters and that package! And mom, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sending my blanket. I was actually going to ask you to send it. Also, both of my companions come from families that aren't quite as supportive as you guys are, so if you send other things to me, could you be sure to include something for Sister Long and Sister Wiederholt? I know they'd really appreciate it.
As for your questions mom:
-My cold is totally gone, it was better after the first 3 days. My throat still gets kind of scratchy sometimes, but that probably has more to do with trying to speak Armenian all the time.
-The language instruction is fast, but honestly not super overwhelming. I love armenian! Once I got the sounds in the alphabet down - which we learned all in the first day, everything started to pick up. I'm learning all of the different cases and tenses now. It's really great. We've taught in Armenian 4 times in the last week to an "investigator" named Zorab Zorabyan. It was so incredible. And the gift of tongues is so real because there's no way I could have learned this much so quickly without divine help.
-I LOVE my Armenian teachers! So far we've only met 2 of our 3 teachers, and for the first few days we only had 1 teacher, Yehbayr Wahl. He's so awesome. Seriously. Not only is he really great at teaching the language, he gives the most inspirational spiritual lessons too. We met Kyur Crawford yesterday and I really love her as well. Our last instructor Kyur Boyle is coming in June.
-Our district is so awesome! We have all 7 of us Armenian speakers as well as sister Peatross, the Georgian speaker. Everyone is such a hard worker and we've got really great focus as a district. Well, most of the time. But I'm just glad everyone takes it seriously. We all get along really great and have tons of fun together too.
-Our zone is also terrific - we have the Lithuanians, Latvians, and the people going to Madagascar in our zone. i love our branch and Branch Presidency.
-I've been eating lots of salad, honestly. I've actually been eating a lot better than I was before I came. People complain about the MTC food but it's not bad at all. There are plenty of options. As for exercise, we go every day (except the first two days, because they didn't have it in our schedules). Normally I just run around the lower field by the temple or we go to one of the gyms to run at the track or use the bikes. We've gotten outside as much as possible though.
-We got to do the temple walk on Sunday (it was hot... but beautiful) and we went to the temple this morning. I know I don't need to say it - but please please please don't show up at the temple on Sundays or Thursday mornings. Some families do and I felt so bad for their missionaries..
-We didn't do anything special for Memorial day - the music and the spoken word on Sunday was about it though. The only special thing is that the bookstore was closed when we tried to go to it to get flashcards.
-SPIRITUAL HIGHLIGHTS: Every day. We've had two super great devotionals one by Elder Allen who's the Managing Director of the Missionary Department - I loved his devotional. I'll have to send you a letter about it. Then we had ELDER NELSON come, HOW PERFECT IS THAT?? His was so great too and his wife gave a really wonderful talk as well. I also have really loved Brother Wahl's lessons. He must've been a killer missionary. Seriously.
-I don't really need anything. I'm good :) Actually if you want to send a few pairs of running socks that'd be great. Also we don't get packages right when they get here. I think that's a fake outside rumor. Or at least our district doesn't. our branch rules are that we don't get mail until after class ends at, and that includes the package slips that we can't take in until the next day. Just so you know.
-I sent the pictures I took! I'm sorry they're lame! I'll take more next week - and our Branch President's wife is sending one that we took at the temple on Sunday of our zone. I'll send it when I get it.
- I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
Bennett: Study study study preach my gospel. and the book of mormon. and apply it to you. this gospel is all about changing to come unto Christ, and there's so much we can learn from preach my gospel and the scriptures, even as lifetime members of the church. I'm so proud of you for wanting to be prepared. You're going to be an awesome missionary. Don't stress. and just share the gospel whenever you can. Even with people who already know it! You never know who needs a spiritual uplift.
-umm.. oh! Companions - Sister Long and Sister Wiederholt. They're both awesome. I'll write you a letter with details of them too. For now, it'll suffice to say that the Stake President's advice was definitely inspired, and something I needed to hear before coming to the MTC.
Claire: Thank you so much for your note! I love you! Thanks for being such an awesome sister.
Catherine: I found your letter first - it was in my bag that first day. It was the perfect thing for me to see that night. You're terrific!
Noah: HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAST SUNDAY! I hope it was the best and that you like your BB gun. Be safe with it! That's a fun toy though. Thank you so much for your picture and note. I loev you!!
Mom and Dad: Thanks for being awesome and for always teaching us the gospel in our home. It's helped me so much even already. Thank you for always encouraging us to read the scriptures and "support the program" some of those things I learned in YW's have already come in handy.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!! Keep doing family scriptures. and have fun together!!