But other than that, we had a really good TRC last thursday with Elder Morley. Mostly because the second half of it we got to talk to this volunteer, Brother White, who was one of the very first missionaries to go to Arcadia and spoke Armenian! It was an interesting story because he served in Armenia as an office Elder doing computer stuff and whatnot but then two other elders got sent back to the states because of medical reasons and they ended up going back out and being sent state-side to Arcadia but it wasn't officially the Armenian speaking mission at that time. But when they started doing the work they found a ton of Armenian people and so Brother White, Elder at the time, started talking to the mission president of Armenia mission and he got transferred to California to see if it could be started into a mission and sure enough, in 2011 it was started as the official Armenian speaking mission in arcadia! so that was cool and I definitely will be pioneering this mission because they don't have a branch set up or anything so that will be exciting to see if something gets organized while I am there. But anyways, after TRC we had another group of missionaries come in. A massive group of 16 Elders and 3 Sisters. And so we went and got them all oriented and whatnot and the branch presidency kept complimenting how good of a job that me littlewood and sister haynie did as ZL's and the coordinating sister. they said it was too bad that this would be the last group that we got to welcome and do orientation for because we get released this upcoming sunday so others can have the opportunity to serve. I'm glad that I got that chance to lead. it was fun! Friday there isn't too much to report. Except that we Spoke our language all day friday and tried to not say any english. it was a lot of fun to see how much Armenian we really knew! It was exhausting i'll tell you that but it was fun. we made it a goal this past saturday to do it every MWFSa so that has been a lot of fun and we have all learned a lot from it. Other than that, Littlewood and I conducted district leader interviews and nothing too much to report. Just some minor companionship problems with one companion being too dominant in the lessons and what not. that was mostly in the new group of elders.
Then came saturday and as ususal it didn't really feel like a saturday. However! Mom did send Elder Morley a package and it was like a full blown Christmas! It was just a bunch of little trinkets and whatnot and she sent him my old camera to use since he didn't have one and he serious was jumping with joy! it was so wonderful to see. Other than that. Nothing. Sunday was a very long day of meetings. We got up early to meet with the branch presidency as ususal and we asked our branch presidency two questions that had come up in the past week which were if naps were acceptable to do during gym time and if we could study in the residence halls before breakfast instead of having to rush to get ready and go there for 15 min before breakfast. and sure enough, they made us feel dumb even for asking such questions and it turned into a big deal. in the end, we can neither nap nor study in the residence halls at any time. oh well :/ I also gave a talk in a special sacrament meeting we had with the cafeteria staff and it went really well! it wasn't as large of a group as i thought there would be so it wasn't nearly as nerve wracking as i thought it would be! Also in my normal sacrament meeting me elder morley frey and wood did a special musical number which we only got to practice once the week before and everyone said it sounded really great so that made me happy to hear! during the sunday night fireside there was a special musical number of a bunch of elders going to Tonga and they sang a song in tongan acapella and it sounded amazing. Wish i could sing like that! but alas, i cannot.
Monday i had some withdrawls from music. some people in my district started singing some songs that they missed and It made me realize how much i've missed music when i didn't think i'd really miss it all that much! so i can't wait to get into the field and listen to some classical or motab or something because music isn't allowed in here. bummer. We also got a new teacher monday! Sister crawford who has been off her mission in armenia something like 10 weeks ago. She is really nice and we have taught her in TRC before. I don't think she'll teach us that much just because she has to go through a lot of training but she has been in the classroom every now and again to observe lessons being taught and supervise the teaching. But monday was an awesome day for teaching. our investigator Samvel who has really been progressing committed to be baptized next month! it was a great thing to see him want to take it all in and care for his family. so that really made my day. But something that didn't make monday fun was that my friend from byu Colin Bledsoe left for D.C to speak french :/ so now i really don't have anyone to see from the outside world anymore. oh well. only a few more weeks then i'll be leaving! can't wait! not that i don't love the mtc but the field will be a much better experience. Tuesday I got oodles of letters from Warren and the Williams family that absolutely made my day. especially the one from Jazou where he asked when i would be coming back over to 'his hous.' Miss the little guy!
But Elder Porter is doing great and made it through his first transfer. he says that the language is coming along much better than it did in the mtc but it was really hard at first. He said that his sunday meetings with his little branch or whatever is held on the second floor of a soccer stadium so that is cool!! It'll be exciting to see him in two years :) Wednesday we had a cool culture workshop about the Armenian people to try and help us not become complacent. It was really deep to learn about the genecide and all the persecution they have had as well as to see how they have clung onto their religion because of their persecution. It made me gain a greater respect for them all and i'm excited to actually get to serve them in whatever i can. Also yesterday, Elder Littlewood and I decided to fast today. Yes we know it is thanksgiving and it is a day to overindulge but we thought it'd be cool to give up the food we would have today to help others we have in mind. So today I will not be gorging myself with turkey or mashed potatoes but i'm happy about it. besides, i get enough food as it is!
Well it's time for me to wrap up but i Love you all and thank you all for your support. The mtc has been a lot of fun but i'm definitely excited to go into the field. I hope to hear from people soon about the outside world and everyone's daily business!
Elder Tanner DeBry