Monday, December 31, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
We've had a good/interesting week. First of all, xxxxx was able to get baptized this week, which is super good. We're pretty happy about it. I accidentally said the prayer wrong the first time, so I had to do it again, but it worked out. We had a really good turn out of the baptism this week, which actually made her pretty nervous for the whole thing. She did super good though, and I'll be sure to send you some pictures. Another investigator, came to the baptism and had a good time. She asked some good questions, and seemed really interested, and even at one point she started saying 'when I get baptized...' which I hope is a good sign. All in all it was a really good service. 5 people total got baptized there, so it was a big one.
We had an interesting day at church yesterday. xxxx was confirmed, and was really welcomed into the branch. A man who was baptized about 2 months ago, received the Melchizedek priesthood (I think it's kind of fast, but I think he'll learn fast), and Elder Lake was able to give the blessing. It was a cool experience for him, especially because he didn't know that it was going to happen before hand. xxxx said that he wanted Elder Lake to do it, just there in Sacrament Meeting, and all of the color went out of Elder Lake's face. President Carter was also there, and was very impressed with how well Elder Lake did. He had never even done one in English, let alone Armenian.
We got our transfer calls yesterday. It turns out that I'm whitewashing an area, as a trainee and District Leader. I wish they could have let me know a little before hand so I could prepare a little better, but oh well. My new area is called Erebuni I'll still be serving in the same Branch, but just a different area, so I'll be in somewhat familiar ground when it comes to members. Elder Lake is staying here in Shengavit, and is going to be a senior companion, which does not happen very often when you're just getting out of your training. He'll be great though, if anyone is ready for that he is.
That's awesome that the Aggies won a bowl game! Right when I leave... Hopefully they can keep it up.
I'm glad to hear that Grandpa Cardon's funeral went well. I hope that Grandma is still doing okay.
I did get the bag that you sent with the Tolmans, but I wasn't able to actually see them. I'm sure that they're busy. Thank you for the presents!
As for Skype, my turn will be at 9:20 p.m. your time on Christmas day.
I love you all,
Monday, December 10, 2012
I hope like everyone is doing okay over there. I'm so sorry about Grandpa Cardon. He really was a great man and a great example. I'll always think of him as my Grandpa.
We had a good week this week. xxxx passed her baptismal interview last week, and is scheduled to be baptized this upcoming Saturday. We're really excited for her. She's doing great, as always, but we're still having a hard time with her mom committing. We're hoping that her example will help her mom make a decision. xxxx is still doing really good as well, and had a good time at church yesterday. We're going to try and get her a baptismal date this week. If you could keep them all in your prayers that would be great.
That's awesome that you were able to talk to Elder Davis and Elder Gerber (yes his name is Aaron). I've actually never met Elder Davis before, but I have heard a lot about him. He left the transfer before I got to country. I have heard that there is and Armenian place in Salt Lake City, you should definitely try to find it. Oh, and if you end up talking to Elder Gerber again tell him that I'm sorry I haven't written him a letter yet, and I will for sure really soon.
Are you going to be able to send me those recipes? Let me know.
I included some pictures, and I hope that you enjoy them. I'll be sure to start taking more, I haven't been very good at it.
Well family, I love you. Sorry my letter is so short this week, but I'm short on time.
Oh, and thank you for the package! We already have the presents under the tree.
Peace and Love,
Monday, December 3, 2012
another good week here in Shengavit has come and gone. It's hard to believe that it's already December. I've already been with Elder Lake for about 2 months, and it has just flowed by. Time flies when you're having fun. We were able to find a decent Indian restraunt here in the city, and we tried it out this last week. It was really good, and a really good change of pace, but when I got the bill I almost died. And I didn't even get full! Oh well, we still made it to the end of the month. I also had my first good hamburger in forever last week. They're so easy to get in America! I just took them for granted. Later we also got fed this huge meal by a member family we visited, which was super good. And they wouldn't let us stop eating! Armenians are kind of like that though, if you don't eat their food they think that you didn't like it and get offended. They made us dolma, which is basically just meat and rice wrapped in a cabbage leaf. I really want to learn how to make it. Speaking of cooking, there are a few recipes that I would like you to send me if you could. I want to be able to do a good Christmas breakfast. So if you can send me the recipes for Buttermilk syrup, Swedish Pancakes, Orange Julius, Ginger Bread, Pumpkin bread, Eggnog, and a good chocolate chip cookie recipe that would be awesome. Oh, and if you haven't sent off a package with the Tolmans yet there are a few things that would be great if you could send: Nutmeg, that cranberry sauce stuff that you make the cran butter out of on Christmas, and another good thing of cinnamon. The cinnamon here isn't very good. The Armenian bread is really good, but other than that I think America has it beat. Oh, except for the fruit. Armenian fruit is really good. The cheese is super salty, and not a lot of missionaries like it. I don't mind it. The milk isn't very good, and it kind of tastes like the cheese. And it goes bad in like 2 days. As for meat, they basically live off of this stuff called yershik, which is basically like summer sausage.
The Christmas Spirit is settling in nicely. We put up our Christmas tree the first second that we had, and been listening to Christmas music since the beginning of November. The Armenians are even starting to get somewhat into it, and you see some Christmas decorations every so often. They have a Christmas tree up in the square outside of our house, and they're supposed to be putting up a huge one up in Republican Square in Center. As for celebrating, I hear that they don't really do much for Christmas, but New Years is huge here. Everyone gets drunk. And as for exchanging gifts, I have no idea. I guess I'll probably find out.
You gave in and bought a fake tree?! I'm so disappointed...
Mom, I'm sorry about your aunt. I hope that Grandma is doing ok.
Our investigators are doing pretty good. xxxx should actually be baptized on the 15, so that should be really cool. We moved it forward a week so it would be before the transfer. We don't know if either of us will be here after that. We have a ton of missionaries going out and a ton of new missionaries coming in, so it should be a pretty big one. She's doing really well though, and now we're just trying to get her ready for a baptismal interview. Her mom, still won't commit, so we're working a lot with her as well. We know they would do a lot better if they progressed together. We also picked up a new investigator this week, and she's awesome. She really has a desire to figure out if this is all true. We've only me with her twice, and so far she's been really accepting.
Happy Birthday Mom! I'm so sorry that I didn't say that last week. I hope that you had a really good one!
Well it's good to hear that everyone is doing good over there. I'm never good at emailing, because I always space what would be good to talk about. Maybe I just need to make a list. Oh, and I promise that I'll send some pictures next week. I don't have my camera with me, or else I would do it now. I need to get better at taking pictures as well, I know that I'm going to want them later.
I love you all, and I hope you have a great week.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
How’s it going? I hope all is well.
Armenia is sweet, I can't believe it's already been another week. We've been doing a lot of teaching and talking to people on the streets. We had a crazy amount of meetings fall through this week, which was sometimes discouraging. I think one day we had 7 fall through. We have a few progressing investigators still though, so it's good. This week at church we had almost 100 people at church, which is crazy for Armenia. I'm lucky enough to be serving in one of the strongest branches in the country. We have one investigator that's ridiculously close to being ready for baptism, but he just keeps relapsing into smoking. I'm really praying for him, he's a great guy. A little forgetful sometimes, but a great guy. It's crazy that in just the short amount of time here I'm feeling love for the people. Yesterday we had a cool experience. We were street contacting and we talked to this guy. At first he was okay, but then he started freaking out and telling us that we had no right to say anything about Christ. Because they're the first Christian nation and all. It was more funny than anything, and he wouldn't even really let us talk. It's amazing how ignorant some people can be. I feel pretty bad for them. At one point he told me that my Armenian was terrible and that for 50 bucks he would teach me how to REALLY speak Armenian. Funny. I didn't take him up on his offer, just so you know.
That's really sad news about the family; I hope everyone is doing ok. I'll be praying for their family.
The LDS church building in Vanadzor is actually the exact same building that we live in, so you should be able to see what we live around. We're planning on going to see some sights next week when hopefully it gets a little warmer.
Well, it's awesome to hear from you, I hope everyone is doing well. I'll try to send some pictures in the next few weeks.
Monday, April 23, 2012
It's been a pretty crazy week. First was the crazy amount of traveling that we did. I didn't really like that part. But now I'm finally in Armenia, and it's a party. The country is awesome, I love it here. The people get along with so little, and a lot of them are still so happy. The language is still kind of blowing me away, but I'm getting better. My first day I got totally wiped out, but now I'm getting in the swing of things. My companion is Elder Gerber, and he's been great. Luckily he's been patient with me, no matter how slow I am. He's also been pushing me really hard, but I guess that's the only way to learn. He actually called our house a few months ago and mom freaked out at him. He even made me German pancakes this morning, for which I am eternally grateful. We're serving in Vanadzor, a small city in the northern part of Armenia. Very cool place, and luckily it won't get as hot here in the summer. Yerevan is supposed to get pretty bad. The branch here is awesome; all of the people are way nice. I had to go up and bear my testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday, which consisted of about 20 people, and this old lady was just yelling at me the entire time. It was pretty funny. It'll be a while before I'm pro at the language though. I've had some Armenian food, but not a ton. My first day we had some Georgian food, which was basically a small chicken cut in half with some bread. The bread here is amazing by the way. We basically eat it for every meal. I had this thing called a lamajo which is basically a meet paste spread out on some lavash. It was way good. Lavash is kind of like a tortilla, just thin bread. Last night we ate at a member’s house and we had some boiled greens with some matsoon. Matsoon is basically a mix of cottage cheese and sour cream in texture, but a really strong taste. It was actually pretty good, but I've heard that a lot of missionaries don't like it. So far the food has been good, and today we're going to get some Armenian pizza. That should be exciting.
It's awesome to hear about everybody at home, I hope everyone is doing well. I hope the play is good for Mom and Jenna, and that sports are good and all that stuff. Tell Jenna she's awesome for making you dinner, I never did that ha. I hope Alycia had a good time at prom, and I'm glad Robbie beat up her date. He probably deserved it. I hope work is going well for you Dad.
Great to hear from you,
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Here I am, finally in Armenia! It's pretty crazy, and I'm super pumped. We landed about 3:30 in the morning local time here, so something like 4:30 in the afternoon at home. It's weird to be on such a different clock. So far everything is going great. We've met our Mission President, his wife, and the assistants. Everyone is way nice, I can tell that I'm really going to like it here. We just ate a fantastic meal, which was an awesome change of pace from airport food. That 14 hours in the Austrian Airport almost killed me. Seriously. It's all good now though, and I'm already way pumped to go out and do some stuff. Today we're going to the Armenian Genocide memorial and a Georgian restaurant, so that should be exciting. Well, this is just a little quick email, just to let you know that I'm doing ok. I'll write again soon! I hope everything is going well back at home. Sorry i couldn't talk on the phone very long with all of you.
What's up? Everything is good here, and we're definitely excited to leave. Only five more days. Today was the last temple day that we are going to have for quite some time, which was sad. It's going to be weird not being here. I feel like this is all I know. The General Authority we had last Sunday was President Packer. It was a really cool experience. We've been crazy blessed while we've been here at the MTC.
I sounds like you had fun in St. George. I remember all those trips. We don't really get to experience the good weather here, since we're in our classrooms all day, but I can always stare out the window. It's good to hear that Grandma and Grandpa are doing well. And thank them for helping to pay for my mission. i'll send them a letter as soon as I can.
This Easter was really good, especially here in the MTC. Like I said, we had President Packer speak, and it was a really good talk. Mostly about remembering the Savior and what he did for us. But he said it like only an apostle can. We also watched a great video on the end of the Saviors life and his resurrection. You can find it on LDS.org, and I would recommend it. My companion actually caught the flu last week and was in quarantine for 2 days. He missed the Easter Devotional, it was kinda sad. We also had an amazing spiritual experience last night with a member of our branch presidency. I'm going to miss them.
I actually was able to buy a calling card at the MTC, so I can call you no problem. I'm going to be at the airport pretty early, probably around 6:30 or 7 and my flight leaves around 8:30. The flight to New York is like 5 hours or so, so I could try to call you again there. We're going to be there for like 3 hours. Then we fly to Austria and then we have a 14 hour layover before we fly to Armenia. Long couple of days. I was about to send my temple clothes today, so you'll see them soon. I put a few other things for you in the bag as well.
I haven't really heard from any of my friends lately. Those Jerks. haha I'm kidding. I know how easy it is to put stuff of while out there in the world, so it's ok. It's just here that it can feel like forever.
I miss you all, and I'm sure I'll have tons more to write about next week.
Thanks for coming to see me on Saturday. It was a really cool experience. Even though the camera did keep on switching right when it got to me ha. It's ok though, I actually even messed up in praise to the man at one point, so I'm kind of glad it didn't show me there ha. Something I probably remember for the rest of my life. Very funny.
Ya it's crazy how fast it's coming up. We're supposed to get our travel plans this Friday, so I can let you know when I can call.
I think we all feel that we're all not quite ready to leave just yet, even though it feels like we've been here forever ha. There's always new words to learn, scriptures to memorize, or just concepts to understand. But ya, ready or not...
This week we have a special sacrament meeting for the entire MTC. We're supposed to get 3 well known General Authorities for it. I'm hoping it's the First Presidency. Just sayin. I'll tell you how it goes next week.
So Robbie is playing football huh? Sounds like I'm in trouble! He's going to be some kind of 7 foot tall 300 pound muscle man when I get back. Now that is scary to think about. Go easy on me. That's cool about the Jazz and the Aggies. It's always nice to have the teams we like to actually win! That doesn't happen very often.
Ya Richard Pack left this week. Sad day. We represented to Packs well though. And the camera loved him ha. I haven't actually talked to David Archuleta, but I'm around him a lot. He's in the same building as me, and he was in the choir (he only got to the MTC 3 days before conference, but they let him in anyways). It looked like a bit of an attempt to get some attention, considering that was the last thing you saw of the choir was him front and center with his nametag for all to see. Being famous gives you some perks.
A few days ago we actually had a real Armenian come and visit us. He was an investigator all the way from California that drove here to watch conference. And then he just decided he wanted to see the missionaries. The MTC actually let him in, which was pretty surprising. I could actually understand a bunch of what he was saying, which was way cool. The visit was really short though. bummer. I'll see if I can send you a picture.
Last night we had a Fireside that was pretty good. For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the guy, but ya it was good. He talked about how we need to stop focusing on what we gave up to be here. Whatever we give up to serve the Lord, The Lord will give you so much back in return. We need to keep our lives in perspective. Proverbs 3:4-5
I don't know where I can print off that USU paper, so maybe you emailing it to me would be easier. If you can. I haven't gotten that other sheet yet, but I haven't checked my mail yet today.
Jenna, I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write you back. I'm sending you a letter today, so expect it soon. And please tell Grandma and Grandpa thank you for that email they sent me. Tell them that I'm praying for them.
I miss you all, I'll talk to you soon
My week has been good, no complaints. I know you don't think it's a big deal, but I feel bad how whiney my letter was last week ha. Oh well. We actually got to walk down onto BYU campus today as well, because Elder Chojnacki wanted to get a suit tailored. It was kinda weird being in civilization.
That's cool that Emily is going to Alaska, I'm excited for her. I bet she'll have an awesome time up there, give her my best. Tell Alycia and Jenna congrats from me for their awesome performances. We aren't aloud to dance or play music while we're in hear, so it's good to hear that someone can still do it. It's kinda driving me crazy how little music there is here, considering that's almost all I did back at home. oh well.
I didn't know Grandma broke her hip! That’s terrible, I'm sorry to hear it. Tell her I'm praying for her and I hope she heals quickly.
That's crazy about Rob threatening Terri Miles (that's his name) I Hope she's doing ok. Too bad I'm not there so I can't set him straight.
Ya we have 2 Lithuanian speaking Elders and 1 Elder and 1 Sister speaking Latvian. They’re all way cool, and we spend a lot of our free time with them. And their classrooms are right next to ours which is cool.
One of our teachers said he got beat up by a priest of another church while he was there, so at least I'll hopefully have that to look forward to.
well, i G2G. Peace
Everything is good here, And time is definitely starting to go fast. I feel like I just wrote you. Thank you for the package, now I am the king of ties. If i wore a different one every day it would take me something like 2 1/2 weeks to wear them all. I'm pretty pumped. Considering that ties are the only way we can change our wardrobe, it's pretty cool. They make us wear our suits every day all day, So I haven't been able to even wear the other slacks I have. Oh well, I'll be in Armenia soon! only like 2 1/2 weeks. I have some stuff that I want to send to you, along with my temple clothes, so just let me know the day you can come by and I will just leave them at the front desk.
It's awesome to hear what everyone is up to. Tell Alycia congrats for cheer and prom, that's way cool. Now it's up to her to turn the squad around. Good luck with your opera and your play Mom and Jenna. I remember my opera too, it was about a dead chipmunk that came back to life, so I think you're will be better. I hope everything is going well at work Dad, I wish I could help you out. And good luck with the upstairs bathroom, it better be gorgeous when I get back. Tell Robbie he's a beast, and I'm pretty sure he could beat me up. Show those other basketball players who's boss. That's awesome about Grandma's hip, I hope she continues to improve. Tell Grandma and Grandpa that I'm praying for them.
Conference is coming up, watch for me. Richard Pack is in the choir too, so the Packs are represented.
Well I wish I could write more, but my time's up. I'll write you next week.
P.S. I dont' know if you noticed, but you accidentally sent Alycia's letter to Reggie to me. I've only been gone 2 months and you're already forgetting who's who
This week was interesting... A few cool things happened. First, Tyson was able to actually meet with me yesterday, and that was really cool. I didn't even think they let people do that, but I'm really glad that they let us do it.
Yes I am getting your Dear Elder letters, sorry I haven't really told you that. I really like hearing about home, so it's really nice to get something. We're actually going to break out the chips and queso today and have a little shindig (not really, but that's about as close as we're ever going to get). Thank you for everything you have sent me.
Another cool thing that happened is I actually get to sing in Conference in a few weeks. I got really lucky. I think it's going to be the Saturday afternoon session, so watch for me. I'll be the one in a suit.
I ordered some new pictures to send home, but they apparently just completely forgot my order. I reordered them today, so I'll try to send them soon. And I don't know where I'm going to get a box big enough to send my temple clothes home. I'll figure something out though.
Congrats to Mom and Jenna about the play, that is way cool. Break a leg. And good luck to Alycia with cheer tryouts. Make is so the Mountain Crest cheer squad doesn't suck this year! That's way cool that Robbie might get a 4.0 too, keep it up. And kick some butt in basketball, show them who's boss. If they don't listen, just tell them that your bro is a terrorist. Speaking Armenian makes me sound like one.
It's good to hear things are busy at work Dad, sorry I'm not there to help you out with your appendices. If you want you can just leave them all until I get back, it would give me something to do.
The one spiritual thought I have for you this week is that we have to remember how important our prayers are. It's easy to fall into a rut, and just say the same thing over and over, but remember to keep it sincere, and listen to what Heavenly Father is saying to you. I had been praying for the last few weeks that Tyson and Matthew would have some sort of wake up call, and look what happened. Heavenly Father answers our prayers, and I know it. Pray with all your heart
Well, I'm sure I'll talk to you soon, or at least by next week.
Սիրում եմ ձեզ
Really good week this week. I wish that they gave us more time to email, but I think that it will get better when I get to the field. Usually in gym I just run, mostly just so I don't get super fat while I'm here. It feels good to get some exercise. Tell Grandma I'm thinking and praying for her, I hope she heals quickly.
Something that's cool that I found out is a bunch of Armenians go to USU for school, so it looks like I'll have some people to talk to when I get back.
I'm not sure if this is the right verse, but Alma 29:9 is really good. If it's the one I'm thinking of then just use that one on my plaque.
Tell Mom and Jenna good luck with their play and tell Alycia good luck with her tryouts. I'm praying for you all.
Ya I don't know how to make the sushi work either. I'm coming back from the temple at like 9 am on wednesdays, and that's a little early for sushi. The only other time I leave campus is on Sundays for temple walk so I dunno. Sad day.
I don't know what else I want in a package... If i think of anything i'll let you know.
Sorry I can't write more.
I'm sorry, I don't have much time. I'll just write a few notes.
This week was really good. I don’t' know if I told you, but Elder Holland spoke to us last week. We also had Alex Boye speak to us. He's a professional singer, and really funny. Yes I did get the paper, but I haven't had any time to do anything with it yet. Thank you for the packages you have sent me, sorry I haven't thanked you more. If you can when you send that other package, just send a bunch of junky ties that would be sweet. any ties. even those neon ones I had. I feel weird because everyone has like a million ties and I only have five. That's crazy about Dad's companion, what are the odds? Something cool that we had a speaker say recently is that to pray with real intent, then you have to intend to do what God tells you to do. I never thought of it like that, so I thought that was cool.
I'm really excited to get into the field. I'm halfway! so I guess that's good. I'll let you know when I send my temple clothes back. Thanks so much for writing me! I promise to write more next week
Monday, February 27, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I'm having a good week. The temple this morning was really good, it's a nice change of pace. And the breakfast there is amazing.
Ya if there's one thing they make us do in the MTC it's making us do stuff that makes us uncomfortable. We're always busy, and they love to see us struggle. Especially the Armenian teachers. Don't get me wrong, they're really good teachers, but they push us really hard.
It's good to hear they are still keeping you guys busy back there. It sounds like dad has been busy at work, and with his talk. I bet he did great though. And don't talk to me about snowmobiling, it makes me jealous ha just kidding. I like to hear what you guys are up to.
Yes I have heard from a few of my friends. Steve sent me a letter today actually, and it's really good to hear from him. It sounds like he's loving it. I got a letter from Sean too, make sure to tell him thanks for me. Oh, and the Cheals. Yes I have seen Jordan Ensign, and it looks like he's doing good. That's cool to hear about Richard, I'll probably see him before I leave here.
I tell ya, the more I learn about Armenia and the more of the language I learn, the more I just want to get out there. It sounds amazing. I just wish I could just go.
A Typical day for me is get up, eat breakfast, hour of personal study, 3 hours of Classrooom instruction, lunch, 3 hours of classroom instruction, hour of language study, dinner, tall, gym and then bed. My days are packed.
That's all I can really think of right now. I'll write you again soon!
Hello Family, Բարեվ զեզ (hello)
How are things? Things are good here. We just got back from the temple, which was a really good experience. They actually don't let us use our own temple clothes, so I might just send mine home. I won't be able to use them for the whole mission. It's great to here that it snowed, the weather down here is weirdly warm. It kind of sucks. It's like we didn't even have winter. Yes I have written Reggie, he says we need to exchange stories. Yes I did get you're valentines day package, and I am very much looking forward to eating it. The language is coming along slowly but surely, but it will definitely take some time. That's cool that Alycia went to her first dance. Make sure to tell those guys that I`m not afraid to come home just to kick their teeth in though. Dad, I`m sorry your computer took a dump, that`s a bummer. Getting food to me after I get out of the temple might be kind of hard. No rush though, I still have a lot of time here. I don``t really have a favorite scripture off the top of my head, so just pick one for me. I`m good with whatever. I`ll send pictures soon, it just takes a few days for them to print stuff off, and they won`t let me email them while I`m here.
Well, I`ll talk to you soon.
Երեց Փաք (Elder Pack)
Thursday, February 9, 2012
That's a great quote to start off! (Help me Tom Cruise!) Talladega Nights is definitely a classic. Don't worry, I already put in a request for a live cougar, so hopefully we'll get it in the next few days.
Ya I heard the Giants won. It sucks, but I didn't really care at that point. I kinda hate both teams, so ya.
My first Sunday here was good. We had a mission conference where all of the mission presidency spoke, and then later we had a fireside. Both were really good meetings, so Sunday is definitely a day to look forward to. It's definitely my luck that the first Sunday I'm here is fast Sunday though. We didn't get to eat until like 7, so I was pretty sure that I was going to die at some point. Just another thing to look forward to I guess. I don't really have any good stories yet, but I'll be sure to keep you updated.
Yes I've been able to talk to Steve. I've seen a few other guys I know from high school, but not a ton of people.
The food all tastes weird. I don't know what it is, but It all seems a little off. We were able to eat in the temple today, so that was a good break. Definitely better food.
Well that's basically my week. I'll let you know the highlights as they come.
Love you all,
P.S. Tell my friends to get off their lazy butts and write me. My address is:
Elder Franklin William Pack
MTC Mailbox #124
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793
Also, some dear Elder letters would be nice, just to get me through the week. Tell anyone who wants to write me what my address is.