This week was good-since you requested, I'll try to tell you a bit about where we are-I'm not sure I can describe it, but I'll try. Artashat is HOT!! We think the high this last week was around 110 F-but we think in general it's been closer to 95-100. I'm amazed at how bearable it's been-I'm positive the Lord is helping us, so we don't feel that it is as hot as it really is-and I am SO grateful! We have this little city, surrounded by little neighborhoods. People either live in apartments, like ours, or seperate houses. In general, if they live in a house then they have a hyat, or garden-and its generally pretty large-they grow a lot of things that we do at home, but they are convinced that all the fruits and vegetables here are better than anywhere else in the world-I can't say for sure, but I'm beginning to agree! We were able to eat the first pickings of apricots, and even though they weren't fully ripe, they already taste how ours at home taste! Delicious! We are so grateful that there are so many fresh fruits and vegetables! I'll have to send some pictures of our Artashat-most of the side streets aren't paved, and once you get into the little neighborhoods there are fields of trees, grapes, and wheat, etc. I love it! Life is so hangist-so calm-and the people are so welcoming (for the most part). I'll have to send pictures so you can see it.
We met the neatest lady this week! We were out contacting, had stopped to talk to this man, and as we finished we turned and felt this lady watching us. We decided to talk to her-she ended up telling us about how her two sons had died, how she recently found out she has breast cancer, and how she felt this need to change and be cleaned in her life. As we testified-she began to cry. Despite being in the middle of the street, the spirit was SO strong! We've been to teach her a couple of times, and she's been so open and accepting! She feels so prepared! We're praying that her heart remains open and that she gains a testimony of the gospel. I'll try to remember to update you next week on how it goes.
Yesterday we had district conference, with all of the Armenian members. Elder Schwietzer and his wife came (the area authority-it was their last assignment, before going back to Utah) and then Bishop Stevenson and his wife (the new presiding bishop). The meeting was so good, but even better was the meeting we had with them and all the missionaries. They taught us about diligence-about how diligence is more about the persistence and quality than the pace we go. Elder Schwietzer taught how diligence is sincerly praying, one prayer at a time; keeping the commandments one day at a time; following the promptings of the spirit one prompting at a time-taking it moment by moment, but giving our all as we do so. He talked about how in the daily diligence and persistence that we grow and become who we need to become. Bishop Stevenson talked a bit about it too, and then talked about the song Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy (a group of Elders sang it and it was absolutely AMAZING) and how we are the lower lights. He talked about in how important our diligence is, so that we can be the light that helps guide people to the Savior. What a sacred responsibility we hold! As missionaries and members! We are so blessed! And because of what we have and hold so dear, the Lord is asking us to help others come to Him! How neat that the Lord has asked us to work alongside Him! He doesn't just sit and give us directions in the work; doesn't expect us or as us to work alone. He works with us and through us! Can you imagine! The Savior of the world working near us and guiding us?! Wow! I truly know this is His work! I know He loves us!
I love you all! I hope your week is wonderful!