Friday, September 20, 2013

Week 35 (8/12-8/19)

Well this past week was definitely inspiring. Started off with some frustrations and ended last night with some miracles I definitely wasn't expecting. Not to mention this past week I realized I've been out 10 months.. That can't be right, can it? Anyways, I don't have much time this week but here are my adventures.
     Monday was filled with Wilson ball (one man dodgeball) and little ceasars. We unfortunately had two lessons cancel on us. Eddie, who is the guy that could bench 670 or something like that and had the super beefy mustang, and Carly who was the girl that was coming to church occasionally but is SUPER flaky. So we just ended up having dinner with the Castillo family and feeding their snapping turtles. 
     Tuesday was Zone Leader Counsel so Elder Winfield headed off with Elder De Spain behind with Elders Twelves and Jewell. It was different this month however because they only had the english zone leaders because spanish and english work are so different. I think that will be from now on. So there were only us 10 Elders there and two sets of sister trainers being addressed by Elder Bangerter, Sister and President Becerra. It was an awesome meeting. After being taught for a while and doing some 'real'-plays, Elder and Sister Plewe (the car office missionaries) who presented us with a massive map of the mission with every bus route and train line that exists in our mission. We then were told to, one at a time of course, tell President about our zone and who can lose their cars and who needs one. So basically everyone in our zone is losing cars but us and the Armenian Elders. Which is quite hilarious because they don't even know it yet and won't until next transfer. But it made me appreciate the hard work of those in the office a little more. We finished in the late afternoon and had dinner to go to with Sister Sowby at IHOP. Yes we did have breakfast for dinner. First time I have on my mission actually. And then we had another cancellation with Christina again and a quick lesson with Forest and Gina. However the big event at the end of the day was getting a call from President Becerra to tell us about the disobedience that had been going on in our Zone. Well, just one district in particular. Apparently President got an email from one of the new Elders that day saying his district was obedient. Going on to say that his companion had fallen asleep for the rest of the night on Monday. So that raised a big red flag to us and he told us we needed to get to the bottom of it the next morning. NOt only that but the assistants also told us that his Dad had called and questioned the AP's about the computer/emailing policy. So something was up.
     Wednesday we went up to one of the companionships up north to see what was going on. We stopped by the Elders in La Crescenta first and didn't exactly tell them why we were there other than to have some person interviews. We first talked to the trainer (he's been out 6 weeks and is now training. Last transfer I told the assistants and president that he was a good Elder.) He obviously didn't know what was going on and we finally had to ask him straight up about the email that his companion sent and confront him about the nap. He felt terribly guilty and started crying saying he just laid down after getting ready from not feeling well and that it hadn't happened before. Believable. So we cheered him up and just told him we want him to be the best Elder that his Dad wanted him to be. Next we talked with his comp and he was a lot more honest with us we found out. Apparently all the Elders in the district were: misusing computer privledges and doing email, facebook, taking naps during the day, playing basketball on days other than P-day. We were shocked. This was the first time we had heard about any of this but we have had our suspicion for a while. After we calmed him down and thanked him for his honestly we had to go visit the other elders in the  district. Which we did and went through the same scenario except no one was honest with us until we told them we knew about everything. So they all accepted their punishment and knew they needed to be obedient. I don't like having to discipline like that. But they are never going to be successful missionaries if they are disobedient. Just plain and simple. The rest of the day was relatively mellow compared to those few hours. We had Josh cancel on us who is a potential from the G1 Elders and agreed to meet with us even though he said "I'm not looking to convert to any church.." Oh Josh... that is what they all say. So we just ended up having a lesson with Anthony instead who was going to help us. He is still solid. Got his Patriarchal blessing and only has two more books in the new testament to read before he is finished with it! I'm impressed. After that we had an office run which is always fun. Tomorrow we get the new Armenian which should be exciting. Elder Shad Cook from Provo, Utah. Weird to think I'm not the young one anymore. Then we ended up having a delicious home made chinese food. 
     Thursday was zone training and in my opinion it was BOMB. We didn't have a ton of time to coordinate what Elder Winfield and I would talk about specifically but it turned out alright. We went over everything that President talked to us about which went all fine and dandy and I got to share some of my thoughts on a talk that we recently got called 'The Desires of Our Hearts" By Elder Evans of the missionary department. I'd say it inspired the zone to have the vision to baptized monthly. And Elder Winfield ended with talking about obedience and we listened to the talk by Elder Holland "the first great commandment" and it really sunk into everyone about being obedient and how it connects to being able to be a good missionary. It was awesome. Next I got to Interview one of the AP's investigators for baptism. His name is James Harrold from London and he is solid. He was so prepared and knew that this was the right thing to do. it was incredible to hear how deep his conviction was. I guess you'd just have to meet him but it was just an incredible spirit to talk to him and know he was ready and needed it. While I did that Elder Winfield and Bangerter talked to the district leader of the one district and tried to sort things out. I guess it didn't go too well because Elder bangerter was the only one to know this particular Elder well enough to get something through to him. We then raced off to meet Josh and had a first lesson with him that just went smoothly and he accepted baptism once he receives his answer. Love it. Later that night we went on some splits. Elder Garcia went with Elder Winfield and De Spain to play soccer with G7 while I went with Elder Bangerter to teach the Villalobos family with our recent convert Kelvin and then visit Gina afterwards. We had a great visit with Nicole and Jessy Villalobos and even had the middle Sister, Sarah show up. Nicole is the nonmember while her sisters have been baptized and they all agreed to listen another time when they could to the lessons. Unfortunately Gina also had to cancel but Elder Bangerter and I got to have a good talk about how the mission has changed us. I miss that guy. 
     Friday was the funniest day. All because every single appointment cancelled. Even dinner and then they rescheduled. It was quite funny. But it ended really well because James decided he wanted to get baptized that day and not Saturday so we ended up having to help the AP's take care of setting everything up. It was probably one of the best baptismal services I've been too. Seriously the spirit was so strong. James asked me to give a talk on baptism and it was totally inspired because the I can't talk in front of people at all. After the talks he played a song that he wrote for his mom who died a few years ago and it had everyone in tears how much this meant to him. His family is against him being baptized and so this was all in secret. Be he knows that his mom is was telling him the right thing to do. Words just can't describe it. To see someone just baptized is just a sight in its own. Definitely made up for the canceled day. 
     Saturday was also awesome. After some bomb studies in which got all of us excited for our lesson that morning with Melissa, we had our lesson with her at her friends house, Alexis Priestly and her dad joined us. It was awesome. We honestly didn't even really teach. It was mostly Alexis and her Dad who knew Melissa so well and just knew what she was looking for. We invited her to be baptized on September 29 and after Alexis bore some powerful testimony she accepted the leap of faith. The day kind of dragged on though after finishing our 12 week training with Elder De Spain. Then we got a call from Sister Beck from the office telling us we needed to start looking for more housing in our stake for more missionaries. So for the afternoon we made calls to members and drove around the area they needed an apartment in. Finding housing is boring! Longest few hours in a car. Not my cup of coco. Not to mention Christina tried to cancel on us again saying that her ex husband didn't want her to meet with us anymore and especially to have their daughters take the lessons. But we told her otherwise and ended up only being able to talk to her on the street because of the crazy concert that was going on across the street from her apartment downtown LA. Not sure how much longer we will teach her. 
     Sunday was awesome and long. We had the stake presidency meeting with President Becerra at 7 and got to see some of the humerus sides of all the people there. Especially to see our President talking about his son playing football and going to games. Kinda cool to see his Mission President side and then his Dad side.  No one ended up coming to 2nd ward church but we got to talk to Sister Boyack about Brennan just leaving to New Zealand. Made me miss Mom. But then we got to linger longer with the ward and be able to have lunch for once on a Sunday. But 7th ward was poppin as ever. Melissa showed up with Alexis, Brian got the priesthood, K got interviewed to get it as well and it was just awesome. The Boyacks fed us some awesome bbq and then we met up with Brother Prieto to talk about some lists he had for us to visit. Probably trying to get on our good side now that we talked to President about him not necessarily doing his job. So we were on our way home and decided to stop by a referral we got a few weeks earlier and hadn't been able to contact. Ended up being home. We got to teach them a lesson. Picked the entire family up as investigators. Miracle. Didn't think we'd ever pick up even 4 investigators in a week let a long a night. It was awesome. 

Overall, great week. Started off with some disobedience and ended up with 6 new investigators total. Love it! I love you all. hope you all have had a great week! 

Elder DeBry

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