Saturday, March 1, 2014

Feb 26th - Email Home

Well, it's been a crazy week! Full of sleepless nights and iPad training! Wooo! Haha.

So Thursday night was a bummer night, but it ended on a positive note. We had two appointments drop us. One of them was an Egyptian man who we met when we ate at Chipotle. He informed us about an hour and a half before which was nice. The other appointment we had set up was with our family that we are teaching who are from Togo. We had a french speaking member with us, and we were so stoked. Alas, it was not meant to be. We knocked on the door... and there was no answer. We had another appointment with E though! He struggled to believe in three things. 1) Joseph Smith wasn't a Prophet, 2) Heavenly Father doesn't have a physical body, and 3) Jesus Christ isn't the Son of God. We were excited! Those three things are so easy to have resolved, as long as you are open to the answers. The way E can and will find out for himself, is through the Book of Mormon. We can't until he finds out the truthfulness of the Gospel!

Friday, we had an appointment with our Turkish grandmother who doesn't speak any English. We found out that she wants to move her baptism to the 15th and be confirmed on the 16th. The 16th is her anniversary. We told her that it would be fine until we found out later that Stake Conference would be happening those two days. We moved her baptism to the 16th, and her confirmation til the 23rd! She is so amazing. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or at least we tried to. She actually knows the Gospel better than we do, so we were taught by her... Haha! What a lady! I am pumped for her to come closer to Jesus Christ through baptism! She is so ready!

On Monday, we got our iPad training for us Mobile Device Specialists. That being said, we only got half a preparation day, so thats why we haven't emailed til now. The iPads are great, but really locked down-Which is fine. Now that I have one, I thought I'd enjoy it a lot, but I'm kinda at that "I dont hate it, but I dont like it much either" stage. They will be  a great tool in Missionary work though!

(personal note from mom: These photos contradict his "I don't hate it but I don't like it much either" comment....I personally think he looks pretty excited!)

Yesterday, we had a trial district training. We are the first mission to not have SLC send out someone to train missionaries on how to use the iPads. So we were being observed by someone from SLC, but he was just there to find out how well this new system of training worked. That took up our day yesterday.


-What is a Sunday like for you?  Do you attend Ward Council or other meetings each week?
Sunday is a great day. We have Ward Council 2nd and 4th weeks. PEC is on the 3rd week, and we attend both Ward Council and PEC at 9:00 AM. We usually just stay at the church because its about 2 miles uphill. Church begins at1:00 PM and goes til 4:00 PM. We will usually eat dinner at 5:00 PM and then we are off to do normal proselyting/missionary stuff.

-How is your scheduled baptism?  It's coming up fast.  How do they get baptized if you have to know Turkish to talk to them?  Aren't they ones with a interpreter?  Or are one of you Elders going to learn the baptism prayer in Turkish?  How would you do the confirmation?

We don't speak Turkish, but we have a member who is going to Turkey as a part of his job in the state department. Sebahat has asked him to baptize her. He willingly accepted, and we are trying to figure out how we will do the rest of the baptism, whether it be English or Turkish.

-What cultures are in your ward?  Is this the area where there are a lot of people who work for different embassies so you have a lot of diversity in your area?

So we have the housing for the State Department people. They have a job that is akin to serving a mission. They get called to go to a specific place (i.e. Turkey, Japan, China, Mexico) and they work the American Government jobs (like approving passports, letting people into the country) and so they have to learn languages. Lots of diversity in our area, everything from Hispanics, to Chinese, to Indian. We have it all here in Falls Church.

-How are things going with all the people you are teaching?

I believe everything is going well overall. Our days are pretty jam-packed!

-How are your shoes holding up?

Haha, they are great! I would recommend Hush Puppies to most missionaries. I say most, because I haven't really tried to wear them out, but I use them everyday!

-How many miles have you ridden on your bike so far?

Right now, I've ridden about 400 miles on my bike. We tend to walk everywhere here, or get rides if possible, because it gives us more opportunity to meet people and talk to everyone!

-Whats the area like, hills or flat ground?  Easy riding?

A little of both. Its like flat long hills. You are always either going up or down, but never flat. So the riding either requires a bit of endurance, or you'll end up just coasting everywhere.

-What is a Tech Specialist?

We go around to the different Zones and train them how to setup and use their iPads to fulfill their purpose as a missionary. We will be taking quite a bit of time next week to set everything up with each zone especially Tuesday-Thursday. We are also there to help fix any problems, or answer any technological questions they may have. 

-How will you fit visiting all the elders in with your proselyting?

We should be back before 5PM each day, so we should be able to continue to proselyte, just not in the middle of the day.

-Do you get a car now?
-Do you remember how to drive-haha!

Sadly... we don't! Haha good question though. We get picked up by the Office Elders and taken to our different appointments with the training. And yes, I still remember how to drive!

I know this church is true. You feel it every single day out here. It is amazing. Jesus is the Christ. He is the Son of God. He loves us! I wish I could just show everyone how to feel of His love. The Book of Mormon has the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel. Please, read it and then read it again, and again, and again!

Thank you for the Support and the love!
-Elder Armstrong

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