Friday, September 20, 2013

Week 39 (9/9-9/16)

 Well family and loved ones!! It has finally happened. We have had to park our cars. Turn in our privledge of having keys and in exchange get bus passes, maps, and two working feet to carry us from A to B while talking with everyone we meet and see along the way!! I'm super excited to finally start this adventure!! Sure I'll miss the A/C and having the luxury of a car, but it'll be more of an experience if anything. So today is the first day. And it has already been quite the start to another great week! But lemme tell you about this past weeks adventures because there were many.
     Well last P-day was cleaning day to prepare us for the transfers. and for some reason (probably because we had to do it so much this week) I feel like we had to do something and run to the office or something because we have been so busy. But I can't remember and I didn't write anything down in my planner... bummer. But I remember I made some pudding! that was delicious. But we had quite the run in with a referral we had received and contacted that night. I guess the people/house we went two had been having pranks pulled on them and had actually gotten the police involved because it had gotten pretty serious/harassing. But ironically the guy and his wife had actually met with Missionaries before and he said "they were begging me to accept their message". We had quite the conversation and some would even label it as bashing but he was so FRUSTRATING. Ugh. And his wife totally would have been willing to listen because she wasn't so closed but her husband kept speaking for her. But it was pointless trying to further anything with him so that made Elder Winfield frustrated that we had to wasted precious time that we didn't have a lot of on a P-day. But we did make up for it by having just a pleasant conversation with a guy on the street. Nothing came about but it went from him saying "I don't want the shpeal" to us just being able to talk.
     The next morning, Tuesday, we had a tour/lesson with Nicole and her friend who she brought along, Stephanie! We hadn't heard rom Nicole for about a month or so and she finally found time in her busy summer to meet up and have a tour of the church. It was a great lesson and we got to extend a soft baptismal invitation which they both accepted if they knew it was true. Nicole even asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon after! Solid. But then we went up with Kelvin to GCC for the first time this semester to start the booth! And lemme say the booth is so awesome. It is the greatest finding activity to just pass our surveys and talk to people all the time and actually have people be interested! But just in that first day we got about 13+ numbers and people willing to meet with us and it continued throughout the week. After going back home to finish up our studies we did our office run and then went to the Priestley household for another dinner to meet another one of Alexis' friends, Leticia, and because her parents wanted us over for dinner one last time before she left for school at BYU-I. They fed us a massive, most delicious steak I've ever had that apparently Brother Priestley was known for his cooked meat and I found out why! But what made dinner so great was being able to have the whole family including Leticia, Alexis' Mom and the grandma come and listen to our message which was BOMB. We shared John 10 and showed how even when Christ was having a hard time, he went back to the place he was baptized and "there he abode". Then we went around and talked about how we can do the same more in our lives. It was quite the experience because we finally got to hear from the Mom who has been less active and she felt the spirit from what we shared and got very emotional. It was probably one of my favorite moments to share with a family while I've been out here. So much love for this family! Too bad Melissa wasn't able to come. She has been so busy with work and has had some boyfriend problems. We were hoping to finish the lessons before Alexis had left for school. Oh well! Things happen. So after we left while the spirit was still there we raced off to the Central building to catch the social part of the institute class and met a recent convert and her friend Liz who she had brought for the first time. Hope to start teaching her!
     Wednesday we passed our cleaning check then headed up to GCC again to run the Booth! We brought Elder Cook along (the new Armenian Elder) and had him get some experience actually contacting people. I wonder how nervous I was my first day on campus. But it was great. Hot. Got a little sun burned and another 15+ numbers/people to contact this next week! CHaching!! Later that afternoon we stopped by another referral we received from the Spanish Zone Leaders, Elder Mostert and Blanchard. They sent us to a guy named Gary who most graciously let us in and have a first lesson with him to give him the overview of what we teach! He has had a rough life and even spent some time in prison but he wants to follow the right path and the truth and he likes how he has run into three missionaries and feels like it is a good thing! We actually are meeting with him today so we'll let you know how it goes! Then the night got crazy and we had to do some splits. Elder Winfield went with Khoa to teach Stuart and to go on a home teaching visit with Brother McCubbins  to Christina's ex husband, Tim, who doesn't want their girls to take the lessons. While I went with Daniel and Elder Cook (Elder Cook because we were supposed to have a lesson with those Armenian guys that I met who were drunk and put me on YouTube). So we taught Stephanie and Nicole the Restoration which was kind of slow because Elder Cook is still pretty new. But it turned out well and we even got to extend a baptismal date but they both said they'd have to think/pray about it more to really know. Which is fine by us! After that those Armenian guys weren't home so we stopped by Albert and his family! I hadn't seen them since the last weekend I was with Elder Dicus. It was rough. I haven't taught a full Armenian lesson since the beginning of May about 5 months ago... sheesh. But Elder Cook basically couldn't understand them (bless his heart for trying though) and so I basically took charge and struggled to have a lesson. The girls and Romina weren't really listening but I guess the other Elders have just been focusing on Albert because the girls are more stubborn. But after that lesson I was pretty frustrated with my Armenian or the lack thereof. But I know I can work harder but I feel like I'm starting to lose it only after a few months.
     Thursday we had a great district meeting by Elder DeSpain!! His very first and he rocked it. So proud of our little boy missionary! Growing up so fast! That afternoon (after a delicious taco bell run with the district), we stopped by a members home and shared a message on the Work of Salvation broadcast (trying so hard not to fall asleep in their hot house) and then had to go back up to Tujunga to teach Raquel and follow up on our last lesson. We decided what she needed was a lesson to boost her confidence so we taught her about faith and used Ether 2 and taught what we had learned from President in Zone Leader Cousel which made reference back to Genesis 6 and how Noah also used stones after he was told to not use 'windows'. Look it up. It'll blow your mind. But we also did the tea bag lesson and she really liked that and found how it applied to her. Unfortunately it is Yomm Kippur this weekend and since her family is Jewish they are doing the traditional fast from everything and won't be able to come to church but she said she'd use the time to fast for an answer! That night we met with the Stake Priesthood again and had to give the low down on all the changes in the mission and talk directly to the ward mission leaders and how they need to do their job and tell them what we need them and the wards to start doing. We then ran into the Salazar family who we tried to see earlier but they weren't home.
     Friday was a little all over the place. We had gotten a call Thursday night telling us that we are going to train a new missionary next transfer and that we'd have a meeting the next day. So we did that during the day and had to reschedule our lesson with Gary to go in to the office. Then because the meeting went way over we were late to dinner and were all thrown off. But thankfully we got to meet up with Robbie who was having a pretty rough week and had a lot of questions that were making things harder. So we taught him about facing/coping with adversity and how it's just a small moment in this life if we have the eternal perspective of things. I guess his mom's health is getting bad and the social scene at church has been kind of rough on him and he's been starting to lose hope. On top of that we told him he shouldn't go to Disneyland on Sunday for his birthday. Which he wasn't very willing to do. But we cheered him up and told him he doesn't have it as bad as Job did. He got a kick out of that. And then he taught me how to play a few chords on the ukeleilei (spelling???).
     Saturday was more mellow. Josh blew us off again and it was too big of a hassel to reschedule so we got taco bell with Kelvin instead. Gotta love my Taco Bell. Then we had a way too long of a lesson with Ceasar from G2 who basically asked us questions then answered them himself... all while in a very hot house trying to stay awake. Then was weeking planning and it was super busy trying to get prepared for this whole no car thing. Still feel unprepared but oh well! We had a great dinner with the Berganza family and then went off to teach a referral Vincent who we got from the office. He let us in kind of reluctantly what it felt like and we taught him the overview of what we do and invited him to meet with us and his answer was "do I have to?" I just wanted to say. Yes. Yes you do have to and you have to get baptized as well. But he just said he was too busy and that we could just email him what he needed to know. Then I brought up the example and asked him if he'd rather talk with Christ or get an email from him.. he said an email because he was too busy. Welp. SEe ya Vincent! It was quite funny/sad. And then we got a call from Brother Duke from the High Council saying we had the Stake Presidency meeting the next day so we had to spend the rest of the night collecting info from the missionaries... lame. Then we got transfer calls!! Elder Winfield and I stay the same and will be training again! Hooray for training a new missionary!!
     Sunday was so long. We were fasting with/for Raquel to get her answer and had to leave early from G7 to check in our Zone's cars. But we did find out that Christina had been using some pretty serious drugs (crack and meth) and that is why Tim was trying to get custody. The truth comes out! anyways, we had to wait forever for everyone to bring their car in and have us inspect it. Finally two elders from our zone came in and one of them had sprained their ankle and was on crutches. So while talking to him about it we found out that he did it while playing basketball with a bunch of other missionaries Saturdaynight when they should have been home... so we had to call President and basically the rest of the night was dealing with disobedience and such with these elders and the others in their district. On top of that, we found out some bad news about Robbie. I guess he never came to church and he had been texting one of the ward missionaries and said that he had gotten drunk and just felt like giving up hope on the church... we even got him a pin from Disneyland to celebrate his birthday and tell him how proud of him we were that he didn't go on his birthday.. So after all this finally at around 8:30 we stopped by the Boyack family who had made food for us earlier and we got to eat and enjoy before heading home.
It was a long, long week. I loved every minute of it though. I miss and Love you all. I hope you have a great week!
Elder DeBry

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