April 10, 2017

Armenia/Georgia Mission


Free resources about the Armenia/Georgia Mission:



Armenia/Georgia Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Armenia/Georgia Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the mission address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

Armenia/Georgia Mission
Vratsakan #5
0051 Yerevan
Armenia

Phone Number: 374-10-25-93-37
Mission President: President Allen B. Bostrom

Armenia/Georgia Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the Armenia/Georgi Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Yerevan Mission,

  1. Log into your LDS account here.
  2. Click here

Armenia/Georgia Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Armenia/Georgia Mission. This blog list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their mission blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

Sister Lily Mortensen sistermishlily.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Ethan Bradshaw elderethanbradshaw.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Jacob Christensen skippertakesarmenia.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Brian Lunt elderbrianlunt.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Andrew Porcelli elderandrewporcelli.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Andrew Porcelli missionsite.net/elderandrewporcelli 2016
Mission Alumni mission.net/armenia/yerevan 2015
Sister Madie Kuykendall missionarymadie.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Darby Blanchard sisterdarbyblanchard.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Brandon Moon missionsite.net/elderbrandonmoon 2015
Sister Madison Kieffer sistermadisonkieffer.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Amberlie Fielding amberliesmission.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Lincoln Conway missionsite.net/elderlincolnconway 2014
Elder Jeremy Moore eldermooreinarmenia.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Mary Broadbent d-lbfamily.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Jared Hammer elderhammersmissionpage.blogspot.com 2013
Elder & Sister Reese reesejd.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Franklin Pack elderfranklinpack.blogspot.com 2013
Elder & Sister Eyre joanandlarryeyre.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Joshua Cook armeniamission.wordpress.com 2012
Elder & Sister Griffith griffithsmission.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Scott Johnson eldersdjohnsonsblog.blogspot.com 2011
Elder Bruce Wainwright wainwrightarmenia.blogspot.com 2011
Sister Cathlyn Smith sistersmitharmeniamission.blogspot.com 2011

Armenia/Georgia Mission Groups

Here are Armenia/Georgia Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Armenia/Georgia Mission.

  1. Armenia – Yerevan Mission Facebook Group (289 members)
  2. Elder Powell Armenia Yerevan Mission Facebook Group (99 members)
  3. Armenia Yerevan Mission (Arabkir) Facebook Group (52 members)
  4. YSA in Yerevan, Armenia Mission Facebook Group (30 members)
  5. Armenia Yerevan Mission Moms and Friends (LDS) Group (3 members)

Armenia/Georgia Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the Armenia/Georgia Mission!

Shirt designs include Armenia/Georgia Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL.  The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.

*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Armenia/Georgia missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Armenia Mission gifts



Armenia/Georgia Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Armenia/Georgia LDS Mission.

  1. 2016-2019, Allen B. Bostrom
  2. 2013-2016, Steven J. Carlson
  3. 2010-2013, Reese A. Carter
  4. 2007-2010, Ronald J. Dunn (Listen to an interview with President Dunn)
  5. 2004-2007, Lamar B. Bartholomew
  6. 2001-2004, Mervin Bennett Beckstrand
  7. 1999-2001, Robert H. Sangster
  8. 1997-1999, Robert B. Schwartz

Armenia LDS Statistics (2015)

  • Church Membership: 3,344
  • Missions: 1
  • Temples: 0
  • Congregations: 11
  • Family History Centers: 4

Helpful Articles about Armenia

Coming soon..

Armenia/Georgia Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from Armenia/Georgia RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

*Click here to take a survey to help pre-missionaries going to your mission.

When did you serve?

  • 2014-2016 (Elyse)
  • 2014-2015 (Clara)
  • 2013-2014 (Natosha)
  • 2010-2012 (Erica)
  • 2008-2010 (Carlie)
  • 2006-2008 (Tyler)
  • 2004-2006 (Melinda)
  • 2002-2004 (Mike)

What areas did you serve in?

  • Artashat/Nork/Arabkir/Kentron/Malatia/Vanadzor. (Elyse)
  • Gyumri, Charentsavan, Hrazdan, Malatsia. (Clara)
  • Gyumri, Arabkir, Malatia. (Natosha)
  • Ajapnyak, Yerevan, Artashat. (Erica)
  • Shangavit, Charentsavan, Gyumri, Arapgir. (Carlie)
  • Yerevan, Ararat, Gyumri, Vanadzor. (Tyler)
  • Davitashen/Achapniak, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Artashat, Nork. (Melinda)
  • Nork, Gyumri, Yerevan, Vanadzor. (Mike)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Dolma, Bonchik, Plaf, Russian candy!!! Wafflies, THE BREAD. (Elyse)
  • I love borscht, dolma, and the bread! Armenian bread is amazing! I enjoyed garlic matsoon. They have amazing fresh fruit and herbs that were delicious! Also, Letcho was great as well. If you went to the right place, sharma’s were great. Personally, i can rave about Armenian food. I loved it! Just be prepared for a ton of oil! (Clara)
  • Gata and dolma. (Natosha)
  • Dolma. Borsch, I actually learned to love Xash, or the soup with the cows foot in it. The trick is lots of lavash and garlic. I also came to really love matsun. The pilaf is amazing, especially on Easter. The fruit there just tastes better. (Erica)
  • Gata, Lahmajo, and BREAD. (Carlie)
  • Dolma, Lavash, Any fresh fruit, Boncheek, Khorovats. (Tyler)
  • Dolma, which they usually only served around holidays or special occasions.  (Melinda)
  • Khorovats, Lavash. (Mike)

What was a funny experience?

  • I accidentally grabbed the used paper in an outhouse instead of new paper. IT WAS AWFUL! (Elyse)
  • Armenians are funny people. Noticing the cultural differences was really fun for me. I have a list in my journal called “So hay”.. “Hay” is Armenian in Armenian… I would write down all the funny corks and things I loved about the Armenian people. Such as, Sharing reading glasses in Relief society, or checking their blood pressure during a lesson. They wear shirts with English words on it that doesn’t make any sense, and the grandpa’s are always outside in groups play nardy (backgammon) so, personally I thought my whole mission was a funny experience because the Armenians are so wonderful and overall a hilarious group of people. (Clara)
  • Difficult to even put one into words….(Erica)
  • I once told an investigator that Mary married Joseph (said the English pronunciation) instead of Hovsep ( the Armenian version). Seems simple until you think about the fact that the only Joseph the investigator has heard of is Joseph Smith. That took a minute to clear up!! Mary did NOT MARRY Joseph Smith!!! (Carlie)
  • Mispronounced words that meant other things. (Tyler)
  • My companion and I got caught in a freak hail storm with hail almost the size of golf balls. Left huge bruises, luckily we found refuge quickly. (Melinda)
  • Playing ping pong with the youth in the Center Branch. (Mike)

What was a crazy experience?

  • My companion Ali and I were being followed by a creepy guy in Artashat. Luckily, Seyran (our trusty Taxi man) came to our rescue and chewed the guy out! (Elyse)
  • I didn’t really have any crazy, dangerous experiences. (Clara)
  • Besides much stalking by strange men, my companion and I were in a terrible car accident (Marshutni). Also we witnessed a man get hit by a car going about 45 mph. I had a man assault me on the streets and another expose himself and then follow my companion and I until we outran him and hid. After all experiences, I still testify that the Lord is with his missionaries. (Erica)
  • Chased down dark hallways and streets by groups of young men that spot us and follow us. (Carlie)
  • Getting a knife pulled on you. (Tyler)
  • My companion and I got harassed by four young drunk men, and then one started to assault me. Luckily, nothing too serious happened before he got scared off. (Melinda)
  • Having drunks grab me and tell me they were going to bomb my apartment. (Mike)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • It was a monday night and all of our appointments fell through. We prayed that we would be able to find something to do. We arrived at our members house and she saw that we had the children’s Book of Mormon with us. We had intended to give it to another appointment but seeing as this opportunity was presenting itself we gave it to her. I remembered that she wanted it in Russian so I apologized that it was in Armenian. She ripped the plastic off of the Armenian book and when she opened the first page it was in RUSSIAN. IT WAS IN RUSSIAN! It was a total miracle. She let us stay and read with her family. (Elyse)
  • In my first area, I gave a lesson on temples and i shared my experience about my family getting sealed. I wasn’t very good at Armenian and everything I said didn’t make any sense.. but the spirit allowed it to makes sense to the family i was teaching and they said, “Everything you said didn’t make any sense, but I knew exactly what you were saying” The spirit will always help you! you can’t teach with out it. (Clara)
  • I experienced both personal and shared spiritual experiences on the mission. One of the most memorable was the first time I bore my testimony in a meeting my first day in country. I only said a few words but cried many tears, as did everyone in the room because the Spirit was so strong bearing testimony in a language everyone spoke. Don’t doubt your weaknesses, the Lord gives them to us that we may be humble, which is ideal for learning! (Erica)
  • Literally watched my brand new companion speak with the gift of tongues. Her Armenian was not really understandable yet and she was supposed to teach on a topic and her words were so all over I couldn’t even understand her, but our investigators got emotional and asked deep questions about what she had apparently taught them. Walked home that night saying ok I get it!!! She doesn’t need to know Armenian to teach in Armenian! (Carlie)
  • Being led completely by the spirit to find those prepared. (Tyler)
  • I got to see the conversion of an elderly gentleman before he died. He never told me he had cancer. Died at the end of my mission. He made my whole mission. I felt like I helped him prepare to meet his maker. (Melinda)
  • Seeing families find happiness in the Gospel. (Mike)

What are some interesting facts about the Yerevan Mission?

  • The people are all Christian. Unfortunately they don’t practice as much as they might want to. They go to the Apostolic church, and one of their practices is to light candles as a part of repentance. They think you get really sick when you don’t wear enough clothes and keep the windows open. (Elyse)
  • 301 A.D. was when Armenia claimed to be a christian nation. There is a city called Gyumri, there was an earthquake there in the 80s and the city’s still in rubble and they’re still rebuilding. We were always told that our mission is the South America of Eastern Europe. The missions around us are hard. I know people who served around us that only had one investigator their whole mission! compared to other missions around the world, our numbers are low, but for eastern Europe… they’re pretty impressive. (Clara)
  • Armenia was the first Christian nation. The people are still very sensitive and affected by the past Genocide. There are more Armenians outside of Armenia than inside. (Mostly in Russia, Iran, Glendale CA and Boston MA.) Georgia is part of the mission but I almost never saw those missionaries. They are some of the most generous and hospitable people you will ever meet. Armenia is Soviet Union meets the Middle East. First impression- concrete jungle. (Erica)
  • No knocking on doors so I spent a lot of time talking to people on public transport and planning walking routes to try to find people to teach. (Carlie)
  • 1st Christian Nation. (Tyler)
  • Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as it’s national religion. Just before WWI in 1914, they had a genocide inflicted on them. Still relatively unknown to many today. Millions were killed. (Melinda)
  • My companion and I opened the Vanadzor Branch. (Mike)

What was the weather like?

  • It was really warm in the south end of the county, where I was my first few transfers. Up North in Vanadzor area it was much colder, and snowed every day!!! The summers were dreadful, but it was fun to see so many people out and about during that time. (Elyse)
  • It depends where you were. If you were south of the city, than it was scorching hot in the summer, and pretty warm in the winter. If you were north of the city, it was freezing and just hot in the summer. You get all seasons. (Clara)
  • Very similar to Utah, but a little more humid. (Natosha)
  • A lot like Utah, cold winters and hot summers. (Erica)
  • Winter is cold and summer is hot, but South is really hot in summer and north is really cold in winter! (Carlie)
  • 4 seasons. Hot in the summer and cold in the winter. (Tyler)
  • Like Utah. Green in the north, desert in the south. Cold in the north during winter, hot and dry in the south in the summer. (Melinda)
  • A lot like Utah. (Mike)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • They are the most prideful/humble people I have ever met! They want to be happy but have a hard time doing it. (Elyse)
  • I LOVED gyumri. I was the last sister to serve there. The people there are so nice! It’a a hard area for sure, and there are a ton of humble people there because people are still effected by the earth quake. Typically the sisters know Siranush… she lives in Gyumri and does a lot of missionary work. All of my areas are special. Charentsavan is the smallest area. Armen, who is in a wheel chair, lives there and knows all of the missionaries. I loved how small the city was and that you could walk everywhere! Honestly, I loved my areas because of the people. I also appreciated that I served outside the city because I got to see more of the country and the villages. (Clara)
  • My favorite area was Artashat and I loved the people of course! I loved the Branch President back then (Petik). Utilize him! Also I loved the outdoor market, they will give you lots of free food when you walk through! I loved the taxi drivers there that will take you around everywhere for cheap. I loved that branch (now a ward) and how hospitable they are and how fun their activities are. (Erica)
  • Hospitality is ingrained in them. You can never leave a house unfed or thirsty. (Carlie)
  • Beautiful country and very welcoming people. (Tyler)
  • They love America and Americans. Good hospitality is very important to them. Especially if you are a foreigner. (Melinda)
  • Their generosity. (Mike)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Bring clothes for extremely hot weather (t-shirts, light skirts, shoe sandals) and extremely cold weather (winter coat, snow boots, socks, hats, gloves). Bring and write in your journal-you may think eh, I’ll remember this…YOU WON’T and you’ll want to. (Elyse)
  • There will be tons of things left behind from missionaries! don’t worry about a water bottle, or a bag. you’ll want to buy an Armenian one there and you’ll learn that the less you bring with you around the city, the better. typically missionaries buy water bottles because you’ll lose them. Bring good shoes for serving. You’ll do a ton of gardening. Bring a good coat and good snow shoes in case you’re in an area with a lot of snow. Bring clothes that you won’t mind leaving behind because at the end of your mission you’ll want to bring souvenir’s home. Bring card stock, you make a ton of cards on your mission to give to the people. A great service thing are acts of kindness, such as heart attacks. so post it notes are great! Armenians LOVE american gum. (Clara)
  • Don’t bring bedding stuff, maybe just a pillow case. Make sure you have a good coat and good pair of boots, but leave them in Armenia when your done. (Erica)
  • Good shoes are hard to find. I loved having good boots for winter since I spent lots of time in the snow. Also need shoes that are better in rain and jacket for rain. (Carlie)
  • Short sleeve dress shirts for the summer, long heavy coat for the winter (I bought one in country), quality shoes and boots (can’t go wrong with Ecco). (Tyler)
  • Bring a good warm coat. They can be hard to find. Bring very sturdy shoes, the roads over there are not well paved. (Melinda)
  • You should be fine if you know how to dress for Utah’s climate. (Mike)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • My whole life changed. I went into the MTC thinking I knew why I was serving. It wasn’t till after being knocked down a few pegs that I realized why I was there. I learned so much from the people I served, the ones I served with, and what I taught. It was an enriching experience that taught me truth about the church that will follow me throughout my life. (Elyse)
  • This sounds cliche, but I found myself on my mission. I felt so accepted by the people, and my mission that I was able to be my best self. I was able to see how far I could push myself, and believe in my abilities. I definitely underestimated myself before my mission. I received the gift of tongues and I was able to understand what it means to have the spirit with you all the time. The people I served on my mission was a great blessing for me because I was able to understand what charity is and how to see people through Christ’s eyes. My idea of Love is stronger because of my mission, and my heart always longs to be in Armenia with the Armenian people. It really is a special mission and will leave a stamp on your heart forever. (Clara)
  • I became the person worthy enough for my current spouse, amazing friendships from companions, other missionaries and people in Armenia and I received an unshakable testimony. (Erica)
  • I am Mom to three boys now. It’s anaxing to actually know what they will encounter and get to work with the missionaries at home and my boys get to see what they will be doing one day! Plus a piece of my heart is in Armenia and I think of it EVERY day. My home is filled with art from Armenia. (Carlie)
  • Innumerable. (Tyler)
  • I was told by a married return sister missionary that the harder you work on your mission, the more your blessed with a good husband. I feel for me this is true, based on the kind of man that married me. (Melinda)
  • A stronger foundation of faith. Experience in the Priesthood and in the Lord’s vineyard. (Mike)

What are some skills you gained?

  • Patience, love, responsibility, obedience, LOVE, humility, pride, hard work, a little more LOVE. (Elyse)
  • I learned how to follow a schedule and how to use my time effectively. I learned how to wake up on time and not press snooze. So many things! I learned Armenian, and I learned how to constantly be learning. I learned how to be humble and take criticism. I learned how to communicate and be vulnerable with the people around me. You’re biggest tool is your mission president. Open up to him about your problems and don’t be scared of telling him things you’ve done wrong. when i went to my mission president about my disobedience and my weaknesses, I always grew from it and it made me a stronger person. (Clara)
  • I learned that you can have a relationship with people even before you speak their language. I learned how to bring the gospel up in any conversation and not have it be weird. I learned that you can get along with anyone if you willing and open minded. (Erica)
  • Language, conflict resolution, prayer and fasting. (Tyler)
  • Language skills, gratitude, be more sensitive, and how to improvise in awkward and difficult circumstances. (Melinda)
  • I learned how to let little things go. I gained perspective. (Mike)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • I wish I knew the foundational principles of the gospel-authority, priesthood, BOM. (Elyse)
  • Learn the Bible. Armenians love the bible and will appreciate that you know it too. You have your whole mission to study the BOM. I would take time pre-mission to learn the stories of the Bible. I wish i understood Preach my gospel. I didn’t study much of it before going into the MTC. I wish I understood that a mission is a learning process, and it’s okay to mess up. Don’t strive to be perfect, just try. Don’t get down on yourself when you mess up. The Lord is just so grateful that you’re serving him. I also wished I understood how precious my mission was and to let my life before/after my mission go. I don’t think I understood how nice it was to have my life on hold, until I was home. I wish I understood that baptisms weren’t important. My mission president taught us that our goal isn’t to baptize thousands, but to find an Alma. Abinadi only converted ONE person. Some might say that’s a failure, but it was a huge success because look at everything Alma did. (Clara)
  • I wish I knew how much I would miss everyone and everything. I really embraced my mission but maybe I would have got in that extra meeting every day had I really known how much I would miss those experiences. (Erica)
  • That it would go by so fast. (Carlie)
  • The language, how to become friends with strangers. (Tyler)
  • I wish I knew that it was taboo, or extremely frowned upon for an unmarried woman to buy certain personal products. Perhaps some people didn’t want to see us because of it. They see that as the woman being “loose”. (Melinda)
  • I wish I knew how little some things in my life mattered that I gave a lot of importance to. (Mike)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Yerevan?

  • Armenians are the most humble, prideful people I have ever met. They have so little but have a rich history of Christ and want to salvage their current relationship with him. Our “Mormon” Christ is often overlooked. Once you get past that and teach about repentance (that it is not only lighting candles) then the real stuff comes in. NO ONE CAN DENY A TESTIMONY. (Elyse)
  • Have a testimony on the doctrine of Christ, and have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Have an open mind, and just decide to love the people. Love is a choice. Always choose compassion and love. It will help you. (Clara)
  • Just have the time of your life. Life at home will be the same when you get back, but you will be completely different. Let your mission change you. Let you heart open to the people. Embrace how different things are and recognize really how similar everyone is. Being homesick isn’t bad, but don’t let it consume you. Allow yourself 5-10 minutes each night to think about home. If you find your mind wandering during the day on a long marshutni ride or when your walking around all day, remember you have that time later to daydream and refocus. (Erica)
  • Work hard for your language skills and never stop but don’t beat yourself up about it even if you are the worst in your group. Pray in Armenian for your personal prayers as soon as possible and you learn enough words to start it, end it and say thank you. And continue this for the rest of your life!!!!! I was the only sister in a group of 8 elders, being solo is hard but very cool to get to study so closely with elders. Learned lots. (Carlie)
  • This will be the best experience of your life. Learn as much of the language as you can before going to the MTC. (Tyler)
  • I wish I’d done this. There needs to be an emphasis on girls and parents to encourage their daughters to only court/marry men that will respect their religion after marriage. Many men refuse to allow their wives to attend church. (Melinda)
  • Gain a testimony. Gain a relationship with the Savior. Don’t rest when you get home. Keep feeding the fire of your faith. (Mike)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • I once said that I was laying a chicken when I meant to say that I didn’t like the chickens-and then I asked for a naked pizza instead of a piece of pizza. ALL FUN AND GAMES! Everyone makes mistakes-learn from them and make them count! (Elyse)
  • I accidentally said I eat the bathroom instead of went to the bathroom. there’s tons of language mistakes i’ve made! I said Kiss till the end instead of endure till the end. I accidentally cursed a few times, and it was always during a prayer!!! (Clara)
  • I agreed to many marriage proposals in the beginning. (Erica)
  • Saying the wrong word. (Tyler)
  • On my mission, there was an elder that was 1/4 Armenian, and his last name was Bezdjian. In Armenia, the word for eggplant is baderjan. We were getting groceries and my companion asked for a pound of Bezdjian. She meant eggplant. (Melinda)
  • There really is a big difference between the hard and soft k’s, t’s, and p’s. Using the wrong one may seem like a small thing to English speakers. But remember that they are distinct, different letters in their alphabet that they learned since they were born. Some offensive things can be said if not used properly. (Mike)

Brett (Armenia Yerevan Mission)

–Paraphrased from Brett’s mission interview–

Armenia was a communist nation and part of the Soviet Union. It has strong roots in Christianity. Being part of the Soviet Union was a huge road block to religion in the country. Churches were destroyed and they had to practice their faith privately. It was really prepared for the gospel. They had a culture of faith that they couldn’t express for decades. When the Soviet Union fell, there was a huge earthquake in Armenia and thousands of people were killed. There were a lot of people that donated. One of them was John Huntsman. He donated a lot and built a concrete factory in the country. That was kind of the foothold for how the Church got started. People still remember John Huntsman’s name there and that gave the Armenians a feel for what the members were like. When the missionaries started there there were so many people that wanted to hear the word of the Lord. I think there were 9 branches started over that time. It had it’s ups and downs, but over these last five years the Church has made eastern Europe to really take its place in the gathering of Israel. There is so much faith. There is now a stake there. There had been two districts and right when I got there they merged those two districts for the purpose of becoming a stake. They merged some branches as well. I had the privilege of seeing those branches grow. There were so many functions performed by the missionaries when I first started. They have a stake president and a patriarch now that are all Armenians. They were pioneers. They picked it up and devoted so much of their lives to it. The Church would not be what it is without the sacrifice of those members. It took about 20 years to get that first stake, but they have the goal of getting their second stake in just 4 more.

Robert (Armenia Yerevan Mission)

–Paraphrased from Robert’s mission interview–

The church started in Georgia later than it did in Armenia. There was a member from the U.S. that traveled through Russia to Georgia. She did some humanitarian work and was able to get used fire trucks to Georgia. The president and his wife became favorable to the Church and that led to us being recognized there as a church.

Micah (Armenia Yerevan Mission)

–Paraphrased from Micah’s mission interview–

History of the Mission

Religion is super interesting in Armenia. It was the first Christian nation. They were the first to declare Christianity as their national religion. They’re very loyal to the Armenian Apostolic Church. It’s become more of a cultural thing. Their church is so ingrained in their culture and it has kept them alive all of these years. They’ve had a lot of persecution and they are surrounded by a lot of Muslim countries. There was the Armenian genocide that happened for religious reasons and they have held so strong to their religion through all of that. They believe so strongly in Christ, but it’s also difficult coming to them with our message because they see themselves as the most Christian nation.

I know that John Huntsman’s father funded a lot of humanitarian work in Armenia and helped the country a lot. Because of that, the country let our missionaries come. The mission was created in 1998, so it’s a pretty young mission and the church is pretty young there. It started whit 15-20 really devoted members that were found. Some of them are still alive today and are the leaders of the church today. There is a man who is the first counselor in the stake presidency that helped with the translation of the book of Mormon. That’s how a lot of the cities in Armenia were started in the church. They found a few key families that were converted and became the strength of the church in that area.

Difficult Commitments

It’s interesting because there area a lot of Armenians that are so devoted to there church so they don’t love us initially. Typically they think we are Jehovah’s Witnesses, but they do love us because we’re american or just because that’s what they do as Armenians. They will invite you over and give you all of their food and tell you that they don’t like your church. I think that the commitments that are hard for them to keep are similar in other parts of the world. It stems from a lack of faith in Christ or a lack of conversion and can be solved by helping them receive spiritual experiences through prayer or studying the book of Mormon or coming to church. There are certain commitments such as the word of Wisdom that are hard to keep. Having a marriage license is a hard thing for them becuase it’s expensive.

Mary (Armenia Yerevan Mission)

–Paraphrased from Mary’s mission interview–

Origins of the Church in Armenia

The church has been in Armenia for about 23 years, since the Soviet Union Collapsed. It started in 1989 when John Huntsman, a church member, donated and went to the nation to help rebuild. This allowed the church to eventually be brought in. The work started when the land was dedicated, and at first only missionary couples who could only speak English did the work.

The Church Today

In June of 2013, the first stake in Armenia was created. Often times we don’t understand how blessed we are to have the church organized, while in Armenia the church and the members are still learning. They just now are having bishops, a stake president, a patriarch, and more. Now members have access to the blessings of the Priesthood and of a patriarchal blessing. The closest temple is in Ukraine, but it is very far. It takes them about 3 days by bus to get there. It is a huge sacrifice for them to be able to go to the temple and access those blessings.