Well some good news. We have no more continuing...... saga. No hide nor hair of any roaches the past month and a half!! Nilch, nada, none!!! Well, I guess hide nor hair doesn't exactly fit as an adjective for a cockroach! But we did everything we could and this apartment is sealed so tight I believe it could float as if it were a boat ("tight like unto a dish"). It has become our very comfortable living space once again.
We are happy and healthy and the Lord has blessed us so very much, even with the little things that could serve as a distraction.A few months back the senior couples accompanied the Mission President and his wife on a day trip to Mt. Aragats (which we showed you previously). On the way back we stopped to a place 30 minutes outside Yerevan and is what they call the Alphabet monument. (This is the only trip we have worn pants since we got here). So, it may look funny to see us in jeans and shirts instead of a dress and shirt and a tie.
This monument is out in nowhere. But all of the letters of the Armenian alphabet are here with a few statues scattered here and there.
We are all looking for the one that has the sound of the letter our name starts with. You have to know the Armenian alphabet to distinguish.
So, here I am with my J. Behind me is the letter S (which looks like a U). To the left of me it looks like a backwards J, but which is a yev sound.
Here we are in front of our letter E, pronounced Eh.
Here is the statue of Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the founder of the Armenian alphabet.
The following was taken from the internet, but explains better than I can the history behind the coming of the Armenian language:
In Armenian his name looks like this: Մեսրոպ Մաշտոց) (361 or 362 – February 17, 440). He was an Armenian monk, theologian and linguist. He is best known for having invented the Armenian alphabet, which was a fundamental step in strengthening the Armenian Church, the government of the Armenian Kingdom, and ultimately the bond between the Armenian Kingdom and Armenians living in the Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire.
Leaving his duty as secretary to King Khosrov IV for the service of God, he withdrew to a monastery with a few chosen companions. There he practiced great austerities, enduring hunger and thirst, cold and poverty. He lived on vegetables, wore a hair shirt, slept upon the ground, and often spent whole nights in prayer and the study of the Holy Scriptures. This life he continued for a few years. He prepared to be a missionary and converted many heretics and pagans. However, he experienced great difficulty in instructing the people, for the Armenians had no alphabet of their own, but used the Greek, Persian, and Syriac scripts, none of which were well suited for representing the many complex sounds of their native tongue. Again, the Holy Scriptures and the liturgy, being written in Syriac, were, to a large extent, unintelligible to the faithful. Hence the constant need of translators and interpreters to explain the Word of God to the people.
Mesrop, desirous to remedy this state of things, resolved to invent a national alphabet. Mesrop's alphabet consisted of thirty-six letters; two more (long O and F) were added in the twelfth century.
So there you go, now you know. I can tell you the language is hard to learn, just ask the missionaries! We know some words, bear our testimony and give a simple prayer, can greet the people, but for us to carry on a conversation is not possible. So, we just love them, hug and kiss them and we are all friends and truly love each other, without words. We do find charades works well sometimes too!
This is St. Grigor Lusavorich, one of the Armenian apostles. He is declaring that in 301 A.D. Christianity began in Armenia.
This arrangement has well over a hundred flowers! Here is another view:
Another activity in another ward (Ajapnyak Branch) and was on American Holiday Halloween. The missionaries in that branch planned it. They had games that we are use to like a fish pond, musical chairs, bean toss, and this may look familiar:
She had to eat this bread without using her hands. The kids really had fun. Three of the children were in costumes. They don't celebrate the holiday here but some are aware of our holiday in America. The children here are so cute and so sweet.
We have found joy in serving, and especially when we have taught the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this part of the world. There are so many wanting to know the purpose of life, where did we come from and where are we going after this life. To be able to answer those questions is so gratifying. You can really feel the Spirit. People's lives change and our lives change. They come to know the Savior Jesus Christ and all that He did for mankind and for them personally.
We love our mission.
Elder and Sister Eyre