Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Hello all who read this! I can't believe its already been a week. Time flies when you having fun right? Well its been a great week PACKED with all sorts of stories,experiences and events. I fell like I tell my story for each week so many times, after I write it in the journal then emailing a few times, sometimes I feel like an old man telling the same story over again because I cant remember who already told what too haha. This week we meet with many less active members. I have such a big testimony of finding people. Since my companion and I have opened this new area. We have a lot of finding to do. I witnessed the guidance of the Lord daily. Time after time we find people that don't have addresses or phone numbers, its very neat and just makes me smile at times and have even more satisfaction in what I am doing every day. I have never had so much purpose when I get out of bed in the morning. I just know that what I am doing is true and who I am doing it for is even more important. There is nothing more important that inviting others to come unto Christ. Its an honor that I and each missionary has each day. Like I said last week, I have never been happier in my life. I really mean this. This doesn't mean that there is not trials, hardships and disappointments and sometimes sadness, the sun,wind and rain beat down on me just the same as another missionary and or person. I have learned that I am truly happy only when I am teaching and testifying to people. No pday activity, no emailing session, no workout in the morning can or will give me as much joy as I get from teaching people and building up the lords gospel in Aliverdi. This is what I mean when I saw I am truly happy. I am very greatful and humble to be here. I love each minute of it, and am trying to soak it all up before it passes me by. We were blessed this week with many new investigators and its so neat to see people come closer to the lord. The language is coming along more and more with each day. Line upon line. I went on a transfer with an elder named elders shields who is such a bro and loves bullit bikes and running so we get along great. He being the zone leader came to Aliverdi and he said that this hardly ever happens when someone in thier training is showing around their Zone Leader and setting up appointments and teaching lessons and speaking as much as him. He was impressed and had some nice things to say. We went on a 6 mile run the next morning in the mountains of Aliverdi...so gorgeous! And so many hills it was a killer run, we kept raising the bar on each other so it was a great time and elder shields puked after haha I win...I still work out everday and love running and the armenians in our town love watching me run hahah i know kinda weird but they are really impressed with me and out neighbor Mikyle a huge boxer saw me outside our door stretching after a run waiting for my companion (elder Wood) and he told me to come over and so we did as soon as elder wood got back. He pulled out boxing gloves and training equipment and just when I thought he was about to run off with my face he told me to start hitting him. It was kinda crazy but so fun. I felt bad elder wood just watched. And Armenians are brutally honest so they always tell me how much of a super star I am physically and they tell Elder wood that hes "the saddest thing they have ever seen" closed quote, Armenians... gotta love em. Its all good they tell me i speak like an idiot all the time...water off my back. So long story short our neighbor who we really want to teach because hes a living legend in Aliverdi and everyone loves him, is giving me boxing lessons a few times a week. I love learning how to box and getting to know a potential investigator. I feel bad though, because elder wood just has to watch but hes cool with it he says. Besides that its a win win situation. Its been a great week. I am teaching with my companion with unity and equality and most importantly with the spirit. I am connecting with these people and they love listening to an american speak their language like a bro, I speak using a lot of bro talk and they think its the funniest thing. Well I love you all and hope your all doing great. I pray for each of you by name each day.Love Elder Lunt
at 7:59 AM
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Barev! Hello to all who read this. Things have been good here this last week, hard and tiring but good. Elder wood and I have been very busy. We are meeting with a lot of less actives right now and trying to fellowship and earn the trust of all. This last week and through out my time here in Aliverdi I have gained a big testimony of being in the right place at the right time. It happens everyday as a missionary serveral times a day. Its very neat to see things unfold, knowing that you were guidied to that person for a reason. It is great here but most everyone is not interested in what we have to say and those that do will hear but wont listen. So many have such hard hearts to anything other than their own religion which they see as apart of their culture. And most claim to be christians but dont act like christians at all. Its a very sad thing to see. We have had a tough week, so many rejections and insults and meaningless threats its a very sad thing to see a lot of these people harden their hearts. I got really bugged by a guy forcing his 1 year old to drink liquior and then laughing with his friends about it when we walked by. Its times like that when its hard to be a missionary and staying disciplined enough not to let your emotions get the best of you. Its hard to hold it all in at times and to see the sickness of some people. Honestly I feel bad for them and want to help them, but I know at the end of the day we did our best and we gave them the oppourtunity accept this gospel. The only thing that will bring them true happyness and so many reject it. Its hard to not let it get to me, its a sad thing to see them walk away from something that will change their lives. Don't get me wrong there are some great people here and they make it all worth it and they make up for the miniorty of who I just spoke of. The members who actually are and can be called members that are active are some of the best in the world. So devoted and they try to do their best and they are blessed for it. I am building close realationships with all of them and getting to know them personally. Its a great area and is growing fast. As soon as we get a building for church I know that this area will take off. It has a lot of potential and I can feel the excitment stirring. The language is coming along little by little each day just staying patient with it, it is what it is and I am glad I made peace with that before I arrived in country, I have also been very blessed to be patient with myself, the language and my companion ( who is by the way amazing,we get along great). We have a few Investigators at the moment and a lot of potential ones. None are really progressing though and none really want to meet or they try to avoid us, so we are praying for them and we keep trying. There are a lot of stuggles here and in every area and I am sure in every mission, ( our fridge and toilet doesnt work, cold showers, I had food poisioning for a few days, white washing a difficult area as a trainee, the language and not being able to show personallity as much as I want). These are a very few of the inconviences and curve balls that life has thrown at me lately, my point is that as missionaries and people in this world we have things that happen everyday that doesnt go our way most of you proabably have a lot bigger trials and burdens. However ss I have learned lately that it all matters on how you deal with and adapt to those challenges. Its so important to not shrink in our trials but to change our attitude and perspective in the times of our trials. Its something that I think is very important, to always stay faithful in our trials as well as out of them. Well Its a short one this week but I hope that you all know that I know that I love it here and that the lord's work is hastening; I am honered to be apart of it and serve as a disciple. My understanding and love for the savior is increasing each day its such a neat thing to see in myself (and on a less selfish note) in the members and investigators when we were able to meet with them. I love you all so much. I really do. I miss you and am sad to be missing out of your lives but I know this is where I am suppose to be and I have a such a strong testimony of our savior Jesus Christ and God the father and NOW I can truly say that I would give a lot more than 2 years for this knowledge. God be with you.
Love Elder Lunt
at 9:30 PM
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Hey everyone! WOW! What a week! I learn more and more here with every coming day.I am doing great in Aliverdi! I learn so much every day and I love this area I am in. Its like the Cadillac of the mission here, because of how gorgeous it is here, and my companion and I are all alone here with lots of work to do, its great! I love the people. I am connecting with so many great people and love them so much. The work is hastening here. This area was and is definitely ready and prepared for the gospel again. Everyone here is so nice and loves having us in their town. I love these people and I am so grateful to be here and to serve the lord. It is the best decision I have ever made to serve a mission and I am growing more in so many ways I never thought possible. And more importantly, hopefully helping others to grow and come closer to their savior.I am truly learning how to love everyone. Even those that don't love us, (like getting spit on)..I am grateful for this opportunity and I am giving the lord my Heart, might, mind and strength everyday and together my companion and I are seeing the blessings and guidance being poured upon us and this area. We got our first investigator last Wednesday. I was attempting to cook, yes I am the cook in the companionship its absolutely awful. Anyways I was cooking something that didn't turn out and we got a knock on our door. This young guy in in mid 20's is chillin there and he asks if he could learn more of our "thing". So we said we would be over in 20 min and we went to his apartment (right next door). He was very interested in the book of Mormon and what we believe. We got through the lesson my companion does most of the talking for now but I was bearing testimony and Armen (investigator's name) saw that I wanted to express something I didn't know how to say. And at the end of my testimony he said you can speak English if you want, i know English. I was super happy. The ball is in my court now. I bore a great testimony in English and actually showed my personality it was nice. And now we have our first investigator and he is progressing and reading the book of Mormon. One of the many miracles that I am witnessing here, nobody here speaks English and nobody knocks on our door for the gospel my companion said haha. The people here are great. There are about 20 members and about 10 that are active and about 5 that came to church . We had church in a living room at a member's house. It was a very crazy sacrament meeting, but good. The spirit was there and the whole time I thought of the Armenian words for "they are trying". They are trying and God knows it. Their circumstances are awful and things are not easy here but they do their best and that's all that matters, in return the spirit is very strong in those meetings. The church is buying a building here soon so that it isn't at a members house. There are a lot of clicks among the members here in Aliverdi, (the women) that don't like so and so, the gossip is bad. So I have gotten pretty good at teaching the charity lesson. It is so pretty here and yes, it is in the mountains but its weird because its so low. the elevation is 2400 ft above sea level (thanks to dad's watch which i love by the way) so its the lowest place in Armenia and the most gorgeous too, but also very very humid, which is fun with a broken fan and A.C. doesn't exist here :)
Last week we went to the former branch presidents house (excommunicated) he is great though from what I have heard and he wants to be re baptized. We have not met him. He lives in Russia because work in Armenia is like work in Mexico. His family is awesome though and they are very nice. The mom's name is Anahet and she wasn't aware that we were actually living in the area currently, and that Aliverdi was now reopened for missionary work. She just thought we were coming up from Vanadzor (nearest city, about an hour away). She told us that she had a dream that the gospel would be in Aliverdi and that the missionaries would be there again. We were amazed and said well actually we are. We are here now, its our 5th day here and we need your help to get this area a branch again. She was shocked and so grateful. It was a cool experience. I only have time for one more story, don't worry everything is in a journal for later. When we were walking home from that same appointment we were confronted by some Russian guy yelling at us calling us Satan. Which is nothing out of the ordinary. Hes actually the first mean guy we met here in Aliverdi. So we just ignored him and then kept walking. Not any more than 2 min later up the street we were walking and a lady came up to us and asked are you people of god? She said I have seen you walking around and never paid much attention to you. She said but now I need your help. She started crying and said that her grandson is sick and is most likely going to die. She asked us to pray for her. So we said ok and we gave her our number and did what we could. Well its time to go. I wish I could share more. But no worries, its all in a journal. Its great here and I hope everyone is doing great and recognizing the blessings that I am praying for each on of you by name. Love you all and know that I love it here and that the language is coming little by little. If you remember one thing from this letter please know that I have never been this close to perfect (not saying I am) in my life therefore I have never been this happy in my life! Love you all!
Elder Brian Lunt
p.s. my email day is on Tuesdays around 3 PM (Armenian time; I believe around 6 AM MST) because of no internet in Aliverdi, so we have to wait until we go to the city of Vanadzor on Tuesdays for district meetings to email. Love you all #TheFieldIsWhite #Sicklin #Thrust #GettinThatWheat #DoinWork #ImLovingIt
View from the city above called Sarahart (most members live here) very very pretty. We live in the valley to the right.
The view from where we live morning and night time. One of the pics is from Sarahart
View from our house and a river by us
We went to a really nice restaurant on the mountain by the river. we were the only customers because no people here can afford the price here. 2600 drum which is about 6.00 per person.. so much food it was great
Our first sacrament.
..soon to be in our own building and with much more people
at 9:45 AM
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Hey everyone! Well my thoughts are a bit scrambled today, so I aplologize if this is hard to follow. I am doing so great. We just moved to Aliverdi and got in our apartment yesterday and got all unpacked officially. Our apartment is pretty nice for the most part. We live in the prettiest area in the whole mission. Aliverdi is gorgeous. Its in a valley surrounded by mountains and lush trees. There is a huge river that runs in the town and is very pretty. We live on a steep hill right underneath the mountain. There are two parts too the city. Valley and the Plateau. There is a ski lift that takes you up to the Plateau but its broken right now. Most of the members live on the plateau. Its so gorgeous. We are the only companionship in the area and so everyone always wants to see pictures of what Aliverdi looks like. Its great and the people are so nice there. None of them have any idea what or who we are so they all want to talk, and they are so loving and nice. Where as the last city/gymuri a lot of people thought we were Jehovah witnesses and some people really hated us. My friend Elder Papitch got punched a few times when we were walking down the street last week in Gyumri. It was weird, we were walking on the sidewalk and some guy ran up and hit him a few times then ran off. I was stunned and was ready to throw down but he ran off so fast. Elder papitch is a great example and didn't even care. So I am glad to be out of Gyumri and in Aliverdi for the most part, not because of that. But just because of how excited I was to get here and open this great area. Before I left Gyumrui on Sunday I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting and it went well. The Armenians and other missionaries are surprised of how much I just don't care if I make mistakes and how I just speak whenever I can. They telling me to keep that up, and quite a few have told me that I am catching on really fast. I have learned so much about everything here in the past 2 weeks than i did in the entire MTC, about the people, culture, spiritually, language and many other things. We stopped at the bishops house before we left and we were chillin in his back yard and we saw a big Marijuana plant. We asked him about it and he said that they use the seeds for cooking. Nobody here really smokes it, he said Armenians know that is makes you stupid and they stay away from smoking it haha we had some fun pics with the leaves though. Well I love it here and am grateful for this opportunity to open this area of Aliverdi and bring the gospel to these people. I will send a few pics of the area and more to come. Love you all!
Elder Brian Lunt
Elder Brian Lunt
at 9:24 PM