I'm serving in Center, which is in the middle of Yerevan, with Sister T, who's from Highland. She just got here in Armenia with the last group of missionaries from the MTC. She's awesome and I'm learning lots from her. We've joked a couple times that the church has to be true if they're putting two of the very newest sisters in the mission in the biggest area of the mission. We're quite literally the most un-Armenian-looking pair of blondes running around the middle of Armenia. All joking aside though, we've been working super hard and have definitely seen miracles even just this week. I have no doubt that God's been looking out for us. Especially with the people that He's put in our path and that we're teaching.
There have been lots of ups and down this first week, we had a lesson our very first night with an investigator and I was so excited afterward because I had actually been able to understand almost everything and I could talk to her and she could understand me. Buuuut.... I soon found out that everyone has a different accent though and some people are easy to understand while others are sooo hard. I've done a lot of nodding and smiling. Hopefully not to anything I shouldn't have.
One of the hardest things so far for me has been that I can't remember anyone's names. I'm trying so hard, but I swear everyone's name is the same. It'll come though. I've also definitely been humbled this week, in seeing people in situations that are incredibly hard, and they still have so much faith.
Yesterday was my very first Sunday and it also happened to be water day. Talk about crazy. We didn't even make it to the bus stop outside our apartment before we were drenched by the little char kids that live downstairs. Church was good and hard at the same time. I don't think that my head has ever hurt that bad in forever. I met so many people and there was so much Armenian. some of the best moments were:
1. The second councilor (counselor? I don't know) coming up to me and saying, "do you want to meet my president?" (in English) I don't know why it was so funny but it was. Pretty sure he thinks I don't understand any Armenian. Later he came up to my companion and said, "we're having the missionary meeting on Wednesday, good?" and then pointing to me said "will you tell her?"
2. A little tatik came up and talked to me at church, and I had zero idea what she was saying because she was talking so quietly. Then she just starts pinching my cheeks and telling me how pretty I am.
I love the members here so much. We had 5 of our investigators at our branch yesterday, which was a miracle in and of itself, but then just watching how people reached out to them was so amazing. I wish I could explain the little idiosyncrasies that I love here.
One of my favorite experiences this week was meeting with a recent convert and his cousin who are both getting ready to serve missions. We taught the plan of salvation as a new member lesson and then had them practice teaching us. It was so cool to see the desire that they had to share the gospel because it had meant so much to them. Also funny because they totally mocked us American missionaries and how most of teach throughout. V (the new member) committed us to be baptized and then pretended to cry and just said "we're so happy for you! congratulations. We know you will be blessed."
Oh other random miracle that happened on the way here - I kind of accidentally made a contact in the Paris airport. By accidentally I mean that I was walking out of the bathroom I heard someone talking in Armenian, saying "You know?" Without thinking, I just said "I know," and then this man turned around and looked at me and said, "you speak Armenian?" I told him I was learning and then it ended up that he was on the same flight as us. What's cool is that he ended up talking to all of us missionaries and now Elder W and his trainer are teaching him. So. Miracles happen everyday, folks.
Anyway, this is getting rather long, but I sure do love Armenia already. I'm so far behind the learning curve, but hopefully I can still help somebody. The work is so busy here and I know that's it's because the Lord is hastening His work. The church is true.