Sunday, April 7, 2013

Week 15 (3/25-4/1)

 Happy Easter yesterday! In Armenian they say "Christ rose from the dead. Blessed be his resurrection". So unfortunately they don't say too much just Happy Easter. But this week was awesome. Busy. Spiritual. Missionary work. Ya know. 
     Last Monday we had a family home evening activity with our group and did an easter egg hunt and decorated eggs. Armenians paint them and they are so cool. much cooler than just dying them. but the families we invited didn't show up so we didn't know if we'd end up having them look for eggs. but they all loved it! we had our older members running to look for them! It was awesome. 

     Tuesday we had a little tuft with the other elders at our early morning meeting with the mission leader so we had to work that out later in the afternoon. turns out i'm a pretty good mediator and counselor of some sort! We gave a blessing to a less active and her autistic little girl who wouldn't keep her head still and her mother busted out laughing during the blessing. Kinda funny. We went out to lunch with the AP's since I bought one of them lunch the other week. Got a lengua burrito from some little mexican place. I like the Armenian preparation a little better. But tongue is tongue! We taught an awesome ESL class. We have a good 5 ish people coming every week. And we hope to start teaching one or two of them! but we visited Hambarsoom and gave him a DVD player while he is sick and we gave him a couple church videos. 

     Wednesday was awesome. Up at GCC at the booth we set up for the Institute, I had two people come up and initiate the contact with me and asked me questions. It might have been my brown shoes though that go so well with the navy pants and pink tie. Oh in other news, our car got keyed on wednesday also and we had to call the po-po and report it. Took forever and not even sure the officer got the story straight but we had to report it for church policy. We visited a family whose daughters names are Poulet and Bennet from Iran. We knocked into them the other week. They are super nice but are really having a hard time finding jobs. they say every place wants experience that they don't have. they said they'd love to talk with us but its hard to focus because they don't have money for a lot of food. So we ended up going and grabbing extra food from our apartment and leaving it there for them on their doorstep and ditched it. Definitely never thought I'd really see someone with malnutrition that extreme in Cali. Then we also visited the Uzbeki family that Elder Twelves and I moved in. We ended up meeting the whole family. The dad is Muslim but the family seemed pretty open to learn more about us and our message. Didn't get to quite teaching them but we hope to soon. And before we went home we stopped by some guys apartment who we met on the street. He is from Guam and is super cool. He and his girlfriend invited us back for Pakistani food next week (she is from Pakistan). 

     Thursday. Was the last district meeting of the transfer. So it had a somber feel and we took pictures. Anticipating that people would be gone the next week. Had a nice lunch at Red Robin and had to rush up to GCC for a lesson with Melinda. Finished the P.o.s. and said she is reading the BOM. then I probably had the best street contact thus far. Her name was Luse and she has been attending the seventh day adventist church. I asked some really good inspired questions and she ended up asking if we could meet because she was confused. Love it! Taught another awesome ESL class. Had our regulars come back and we are developing a good system of teaching together on multiple levels of english knowledge. 
     Friday was super busy. We didn't get to end up weekly planning we were so busy. We had a pot luck with our district again before our scheduled planning time. Had a little too much fun with our st. patty's day green beards. We had to move Susanna move out of her old house and pack everything in storage... sounds too much like home! Had to run back and have a lesson with Christine which was interesting to say the least. But the rest of the night was supposed to be crazy but the family we wanted to teach weren't home so we visited Poulet and her family. they have lived here in America for a little less than two years and they were asking questions like they got there the week before. Kinda funny to explain how american's dance and such. 
     Saturday we had a pass of with the Sisters. they introduced us to this Armenian Lady, Tina, who is awesome and crazy and all over the place and because Elder Dicus and I were playing dress up with all her antique stuff in her house, she loves us. Had a sushi buffet as a last meal with the ZL's Elder Fochs and Tovey and then had a second dinner right after that with Antonia and Bella where we talked about Easter and they explained how they make such cool eggs! and the kicker of saturday was.... I'M NOT BEING TRANSFERRED AND I GET TO STAY WITH ELDER DICUS! Super stoked. This will be an awesome transfer with him. 
     Sunday was probably one of the best days of my mission so far. We had a combined church meeting with the first ward and one of our leaders gave a great talk about easter. Minas the recent convert showed up and explained that he had to come to see us. Even though his wife thought he was at the Armenian church. Love that man. he gave us some colored eggs. he'll be back. Hamarsoom didn't show up until 10 minutes before the church meetings ended. I guess he never got the message about the earlier start time. But then we had to get ready for the baptismal service... oh yeah I forgot to mention I baptized a guy named Anthony Tanilian yesterday. I'm not sure if i've talked about him but Elder Dicus and I found him and taught him the first lesson and invited him to be baptized about a month ago. But he speaks good enough english so we passed him off to the ZL's in the singles ward and I got to baptize him yesterday! best experience ever. not even going to try and describe it. The rest of the day we had a nice easter dinner with a less active. then went to the farewell Despidida for those missionaries departing today or tomorrow. It was such an awesome day. 

And i'll leave it at that. Love you all and I hope you all have a great week. Thanks for all the love and packages parents! Love you. Happy EAster! 

Երեց Դեբրայ

Week 14 (3/18-3/25)

Բարեվ իմ սիրելի ընտանիկը: Այս անձած շաբաթը զբաղված եր: So translation 'Hello my beloved family! This past week was busy.' If I were better at typing in Armenian I'd probably write more but I'm not quite to that point. And I don't want to waste time. 
     Tuesday was a roller coaster to say the least. During morning studies we got a call from a less active member telling us that her son Gholia had passed away from a heart attack that night. I honestly had no idea how to respond to that over the phone but that was pretty tramatic for her and we had our hearts out to her this week. The afternoon wasn't super busy until our dinner appointment before ESL class started. But it turned out that only a few arabic people showed up to ESL. Thankfully we had an arabic investigator who knew good enough english to translate for the others. If only I knew arabic too. But after class we went on visits with the group leadership. Elder Dicus and I went to visit our recent convert Minas because we hadn't been able to get in contact with him for a while. Thankfully he was there and he let us in because we told him Bro. Bradley wanted to talk. We found out that he hadn't been coming to church, and wouldn't be coming back, because his entire family is against him going. He either has to get a divorce and move out or not come to church. He also was just being a stinker and showing us that he obviously didn't know some crucial basic teachings about the church which he was still arguing against. Probably the most devastating thing was to say good bye to him that night. Knowing he wouldn't be coming back to church anytime soon. He was my favorite member who I looked forward to seeing every week. 
     Tuesday night through Wednesday I was on an exchange with Elder Crumrine. I was still pretty somber about the day before. We didn't have a ton planned to do. Mostly checking up on old formers for the english ward that the other Elders cover along with the group. We did get to teach Armenian class which I especially enjoy because it is a lot easier to teach armenian than english!
     Thursday was an early start. Elder Crumrine had to go into Arcadia before Mission Conference for a special District leader meeting. But when the Conference actually started it was awesome. Kind of a bummer I don't really know anyone else except for those in our Zone. I know it will come with time and more transfers but I still just get to stay in the same area. HOORAY FOR GLENDALE! There were some awesome talks by the AP's and our Mission President and His wife. Love them. Also some big news is. We will no longer have cars in a few months but instead we have been selected for a test run of getting rid of cars and exchanging them for public transportation passes... Not sure how I feel about that but we will see. At least I'll be getting good exercise on bike! After the meeting we had a great lesson with our investigator Melinda about the plan of salvation. She is progressing well but still needs to meet with us more. That night's ESL class was really good and we actually had some members show up. I ended up working with one of our members who knows pretty good english but she just wanted practice. I helped her practice and she said her and her husband will make lamb head for us this next week! Pretty excited. It sounds like they literally just cook the entire head. I'll be sure to send pictures! 
     Friday was planning. Usual. I got to go on an exchange with the Assistants to another dinner apointment while Elder Dicus went with the ZL's to another dinner. We met with a family and they graciously fed us pizza. I also got to watch how the AP's taught which was really cool. But then I found out the Zl's and Elder Dicus went to a Japanese restaurant... at least I was spiritually fed. And again that night I went on yet another exchange with Elder Twelves but we stayed in my area. 
     Saturday was Gholia's viewing and funeral. It was odd and interesting to see an Armenian funeral. Armenians usually don't show much emotion as it is. But they still didn't after a death. They would be some gooooood poker players. It was sad to see though that everyone was in so much pain and distress when we know he is in a better place. We were invited to the luncheon after the burial which we couldn't go to because it was in Burbank. So we did tours while we waited and saw Minas. Still didn't really want to talk to us. Afraid of his wife seeing him and even coming to English class. But he did give us some pizza. still love that man. but then we headed to the luncheon and it was funny at first because some people yelled out "are you invited" and then we finally saw Susanna and she told us to sit and enjoy the food. It was eerie. The place was in a banquet hall that was being remodeled. Just the feeling of death and remorse in the air isn't a pleasant conversation starter. But Susanna was very glad we came to support her. We got a service referral and helped some people move in. One of the friends who was helping was Armenian and was super impressed. the actually familiy was from Uzbekistan and had another friend from Ukraine helping. It was awesome and they were impressed as well. I realized I want to learn more languages so I don't have to stand in a conversation and wonder if people are talking about me. Next language, Russian! The rest of the day was kind of frustrating. The other Elders weren't answering and we needed to plan a time to practice singing (Elder Dicus and I sang in sacrament yesterday). all the while, Elder Twelves was begging to see Mike and Bridget when Mike had earlier told us he was having a busy week and wanted to relax. But we went and saw them for a short visit. Twelves still is jealous that Elder Dicus and I are teaching them and he isn't. He kinda just needs to focus on his area and stop telling us he isn't going to get baptized. But anyways the night ended up with no practice and on a frustrating note. 
      Sunday after a quick morning runthrough of the song with Elder Dicus and Sister Harker, we sang in sacrament! We sang 'I need thee every hour' and Elder Dicus and I miraculously learned the Alto part to the song in such a short time. It should be on facebook but not sure. People ended up clapping and yelling out BRAVO after we ended. I guess it wasn't that bad! We had a awesome lesson with our investigator Souren and his family that night. It was awesome. We watched finding faith in Christ and the family loved it and asked when we could come back and teach more. the kids love us and it is so incredible to see the family coming closer together and we get to participate. 

Well this week was super busy and It will be a good week this next week so I hope all is well at home. I love you all. Thank you for all you guys do :) 

Elder DeBry