First up, we had two baptisms this week and it was so special. It was kind of crazy trying to get all of the details figured out because Armenians just have this thing where they don't plan anything. It's always "oh, we'll just talk about it later." But. Everything miraculously worked out and we pulled it off.
When one of our investigators bore her testimony afterwards, she talked about how she had felt so alone after her husband and sister had passed away (yeah, I may have accidently said her daughter last week. Oops.), and that now she's not alone anymore, and how thankful she is to be part of a chuch now that helps her feel closer to God and be happier. We really have seen that change of countenance in her, and it's been so special. She's just a special lady, and I think she's going to be a strength to our branch as well.
We also got a new branch mission leader as well and he is just the most awesome person I've ever met. He's one of the few returned missionaries in our branch and he just got back from a study abroad thing in the Czech Republic for 10 months, and he's just excited about getting the missionary work done here in Armenia. He came with this huge powerpoint presentation with his ideas for how we can get the members involved and really strengthen our branch. The Lord's definitely got some special things planned for this area.
Our biggest problem is inactivity in our ward. We have the biggest branch in the whole mission, but not a lot of people come every week. There's this massive list of the 600 members that are supposed to be part of our branch, and there are sooo many without phone numbers or addresses or anything. We're trying to work with the members to get some of that figured out too.
Speaking of finding less-active sheep, remember when I talked a few weeks ago about how we broke out that list and saw them during appointments? At one of the houses, we found an older tatik who hasn't been coming for a while, and she has an 11 year old granddaughter who is just the cutest. We've met with them a couple more times and the girl wants to be baptized. I just love her so much. We gave her her own Book of Mormon because her grandma only has a Russian one, and she's already in 2 Nephi, she just loves it. Our struggle with her is getting her to church because sometimes her grandma still doesn't come and sometimes she has tennis. But we're working on it, and hopefully she's going to baptized on the 15th.
Also with my friends I talked about last week, the mom and daughter, we've been trying so hard to meet with them but they're so busy building a new house in Shenghavit. Their baptismal date is this Saturday, so we're hoping so bad that we can help them work out their schedules for they last lesson and interview.
A few quick funny things:
Crazy things happen on metros. Last Monday right after emailing, Sister Thueson and I got some iceream at the metro and right as the man hands it to her, all of the icecream falls off the cone and hits the ground. She and I can't stop laughing, and the man just keeps looking at us like, "well, what am I supposed to do about it?" The bummer was that unlike in America, you don't get a second try without paying again.
Also on the metro a few days later, there was a man that was sitting across from us that ended up getting off at the same stop. He talked to us on the escalator up, and asked about our church. After talking to him about it for a minute, he just interrupts us and says to Sister Thueson "hey (pointing to me), she's a pretty girl, can she be my hars?" Which is like daughter-in-law. So some old man on the metro asked me to marry his son.
This week we were also trying to meet with one of our investigators out in a village and we had taken the marshutni out and then they were supposed to meet us but we ended up having to take a taxi to their house. Which is where we met our friend Martin. Which isn't his real rame but it's what he told us to call him so I feel okay saying it. We had to call Martin back to come get us after we did a lesson and some service there, so then we talked to him on the way back to Yerevan. He's the nicest old man. But now he calls us everyday asking if we need a right anywhere or if he can show us where the good restaurants are. Martin also talked about how he had heard about how our church is the really rich church that gives people money. I hate that. It's so hard because so many people think that and that's why they want to know more about the church and you have to try to figure out people's motives. It's so hard because you want people to be able to be baptized, but that's not how the church works.
Sure do love being a missionary!