On Sunday, October 23, 2011 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Eastern Turkey (appx. 120 miles from Yerevan, Armenia). Elder Cook’s area felt the shaking, but it seems that no major damage occurred as a result.
“It rattled our building a little, but I’m pretty sure I was dancing so I didn’t feel it. We live on the 2nd floor so we didn’t feel it but the upper store tennants came running out of the building. Nothing big happened.” – Elder Joshua Cook
Ajapnyak (Davtashen) Population 125,000 The Northwest district of Yerevan City Center
Its name, literally “right bank”, refers to its location on the right bank of Hrazdan river. The administrative district of Ajapnyak has common borders with the districts of Arabkir,Davtashen, Kentron, and Malatia-Sebastia. On the outer border it is adjacent to Armavir,Aragatsotn and Kotayk regions.
The district lies on the right bank of Hrazadan river, thus securing its connection with the majority of Yerevan through the Kyevian Bridge. It is divided into a group of smaller areas (neighborhoods) such as Ajapnyak (central part), Norashen (Kvartal 16), Nazarbekian (Kvartal 17), Silikian (Yerkrord Gyugh), Lukashin, Vahakni, Anastasavan and Cheryomushki.
Along the western gorge of the River Kasagh lies one of the oldest and most famous cities in Armenia. Ashtarak, meaning “Tower,” is an important economic crossroads of industry and the Aragatsotn Province’s capital. As one of the first satellite cities of Yerevan, and with its deep historical and cultural roots, Ashtarak is home to many national monuments and landmarks which date back to the dawn of a medieval Christian Armenia. The Karmravor church dates back to the 7th century, and was built in honor of the Mother of God.
As legend tells it, this church and its two sister churches were built along the gorge’s edge as memorials for the lost lives of three virgins. Three sisters fell in love with Prince Sargis, and in an act of devotion and love for the youngest, the two elder sisters threw themselves into the gorge to facilitate the union of their sister to the Prince. Upon hearing of her sisters’ fates, the youngest joined her sisters by committing suicide in the same fashion. Sargis, mourning the loss of the women, had three churches built as memorials. Each church was named according to the color of the dress each sister wore to her death (Karmravor, meaning reddish; Tsiranavor, meaning apricotish; and Spitakavor, meaning whitish).
In the shadow of Mount Ararat, the Republic of Armenia spreads its borders southeast from Turkey and Georgia down to touch Iran. Rich in history and culture, Armenia has maintained its identity through the centuries, and holds claim to being the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion in the early 4th century AD. On August 23, 1991, Armenia declared her independence from Soviet rule, being the first non-Baltic state to secede from the USSR.
The climate and terrain are similiar to that of the Intermountain West with its hot summers and cold winters.