Friday, October 25, 2013

Week 44 (10/14-10/21)

Well this week was full of cancellations to say the least!! If I remember all of them correctly, 11 lessons were cancelled! But surprisingly as we were making calls last night to district leaders, the little we did get to do every day this past week added up! So it was a good week. Saw some miracles. Taught the gospel. And all that jazz! Can't believe next week is Halloween and then October is over!! Strange.. then comes Thanksgiving! But lets not get too ahead of myself.
     Monday was typical. We finished up the evening with a diner with our Bishop in the family ward and his superb of a cook wife! Seriously every time we have dinner with them it is a very formal set up and a few courses and just awesome! But we were informed that a new ARMENIAN MEMBER had moved in not too far away from the Church and had actually come to church the pastSunday and that it was a family! So of course I wanted to investigate and meet this family! Turns out it was this woman and her daughter, Caroline and Karina, who had joined the church 11 years ago in Virginia with her, her husband, son and daughter who are now 18 and 14 respectively! But only Caroline and Karina are here right now and Haibert the son is waiting for them to find their own apartment! So that was super exciting! We gave them a blessing because the next day was Karina's first day of school and she was pretty stressed. So glad we could help them out! Then we rode back over to the church to catch the last big of G7 FHE where the dancers in the ward had taught everyone 'Thriller'. Unfortunately we got there too late to learn but as we arrived we insisted for an encore and they performed for us! Not too shabby!
     Tuesday was a bit slow. ish. We went up to GCC with the expectation to do the booth up on campus but as we were finishing up our studies up there, Elder Winfield started to talk to Elder Frost (one of the senior couples who serve in G2 but work up at the institute teaching as well) about a family that he has been friends with forever and who knows a bunch of the leadership in the ward and they aren't members. So while they talked Elder Whitney and I got to get to know some of the less active members who hang out around the institute and play pool with them. Yes it was an effective use of time to play pool with a bunch of members! We then headed over to Annie and Joe's place because Joe had to go to court and Annie said she needed some company. Well we got there and she had a nurse over so she had to literally 'shoo' us away. Well okay then! The rest of the evening wasn't too exciting. We had dinner with the Allison family. Brother Allison told us about these two Elders when he was the ward mission leader that were teaching this family and then the mother died. They attended the funeral some time later and found that the family didn't have money to have a priest from their church to conduct so the mother's sister was trying to coordinate everything. The elders went into the funeral and were asked by the daughters to say a few things. They got up and felt prompted to teach everyone how to pray. After bearing testimony of the Plan of Salvation to this congregation of about 150 people they left the chapel and people followed them out wanting to learn more. He went on to tell us how they began to teach 25,50, 100, most of the people who were in the funeral as the weeks passed and eventually they all got baptized. Thought that was a pretty remarkable story I'd share! That night we had a lesson with Stuart at the church. We went over what he had learned from Conference and what really stuck out to him was family was the center of it all. He had I guess approached his Mom while he was visiting them in Arizona that weekend about going on a mission and getting financial help and she was so approving and supportive! Which surprised him and thrilled us. He was a little worried about him going out at a later age but we told him that it didn't matter but it'd give him an added measure of strength of testimony. He's seriously pretty inspiring to hear how determined he is to know these things are true and to serve a mission.
     Wednesday we went up to GCC institute again to have two lessons.... both cancelled. So we had some lunch and then decided to capitalize on the opportunity to teach this one girl that Khoa had met named Cherry. She agreed and we had an awesome lesson with Elisse there to help! we taught her about what we did as missionaries which was her question! So we got to explain a little about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and even invited her to be baptized and she said she would! So that was awesome. Gotta love that. Later that afternoon we had to make a supply run to the office and then headed back for dinner with the Chadsey's. I gotta say having multiple sets of missionaries in one ward/at dinner appointments makes things really fun and lively! we had to run after we finished though because our evening was jammed with lessons back to back. we biked over to the central building to meet up with this girl from G7, Caitlyn Cope, who is good friends with Francesca, and decided to help her do some missionary work with some of her friends who she wants to invite to learn. After that we had her and Khoa drop us off at the Knight house where we talked with Brother Knight (Young men's president or advisor or something) to see how and if we could do more missionary work with the youth to get them involved. He gave us some great people to go by and some ideas of teaching their class and coming this Tuesday (tomorrow) to mutual to play dodgeball! Gonna be sweet. After that we stopped by the Bazil's again to prepare for teaching Sister Bazil's friend, Melissa, who hasn't been to church since she was a teenager. Just love being able to work with all these families and have them bring their friends to learn with us! Such a great experience. Just love being on mission.
     Thursday we had district meeting in our own district finally. Funny thing though. We were dropping off supplies to the district up in La Crescenta area and as we were pulling out to leave this companionship rides past us on their bikes on the sidewalk and I have no idea how but one of the Elders hit the curb and flew off his bike onto the grass. He wasn't hurt at all but it was just hilarious. Kind of had to be there. Anyways after district meeting we were supposed to have another lesson with this girl Cynthia but she forgot she was meeting with us and so we had to stick around and wait for her. But while we waited we taught Cherry again a short lesson! But even before that, all three of us were sitting in different groups of people at the institute talking/teaching people about some aspect of missionary work/the Gospel and it was awesome. I was talking to Cherry about the Plan of Salvation because she had a lot of questions about life after death. But then we went in and taught her an actual quick lesson about her questions and relating it to the Book of Mormon. She accepted a baptismal date for 24 November and said she'd start coming to Church! (Which she did!). After that Cynthia finally made it and she asked for me specifically not to be in the lesson and to just have Elders Winfield, Whitney and Khoa teach her. (Came to find out the reason why she didn't want me there was because I was to 'Happy'. Which makes sense because she isn't a very happy person because of her younger years being bullied and such which makes me sad. But yeah. I thought it was funny though. her texts said "I just don't want Blondie there".) So they taught and I talked with the institute teacher and this other member Frank 'The Tank' Silva. Still makes me laugh looking back. I mean who tells a missionary they are too happy? HONESTLY! Later that evening we had dinner with the Torgeson family which was delightful as always and then we had the assistants drive us to our next appointment with Julia Chernushin (They had a car because they had to take it away from some Elders. Still not sure why though.) But it was a BOMB lesson. We had a lesson planned but then we started talking about the Atonement and Stuart and if Julia could help us out with those lessons and we all came out with some revelation! Mine was: Appreciating the Atonement leads to understanding. Just think about that and get back to me. I thought it was good! Riding the bus on the way home though from Eagle rock was interesting. first while we were waiting for the bus there was this guy across the street chasing cars and yelling expletives and such at I don't know who. Second, we were almost to our stop when this drag queen gets on the bus with these hilariouis massive clown glasses, super super short tie dye shorts and a bro tank on. To add to it he got a call on the bus and he was talking to someone about he was about to go dancing and have 'a ball of a time'. It was really hard not to ask to take a picture.
     Friday Cherry cancelled on an early morning appointment. We finished studies and I went over to see Caroline with Elders Twelves and Cook to introduce them to their soon to be newest member of the Armenian Group! They were thrilled to meet her and her of her conversion (which makes it seem so easy to baptized Armenians...). I mean, she was telling us about the callings she fulfilled back in Virginia! So awesome. To add to it, her family that lives here in Glendale aren't members...yet! After getting a ride back to our pad we started weekly planning. Which was probably our most productive yet! Then was the long, long bike back to the top of the area and up some hills. Which was probably good we had to do because the Bazil's had made home made Café Rio!! ohhhhhh man does that sound so good.... a steak burrito enchilada style, black beans, mild sauce. Chips and queso. mmmmmmm I'm hungry for some Café Rio. But it was good! Not quite as top notch but it sufficed :) Unfortunately their friend Melissa never showed up so we didn't get to teach her which was a bummer.. But we did finally get a call back from our investigator William who had appartently been in the hospital for a week because he had a mini stroke from his diabetes and that is why he hadn't been able to meet up or answer or anything. But he called and was very appreciative of all the voice messages we left for him and invited us over for dinner the next day!! So exciting! but anyways Elders Winfield King and I ended up biking all the way back down to the Chavez's for a combined FHE with the Corrigan family which turned out really great! (Cool story. Biking how fast we were going, which was a ridiculous speed, got us there about the same time as a car. imagine that!) We taught them about faith and used this tea bag example which tied into some miracles that Elders Kind and Llewelyn have been able to see on account of them fasting with the Corrigan family to see miracles in missionary work! It was great.
     Saturday was even more cancellations! We had Forest Knipple and Robbie not be able to meet/get back to us about meeting so we had Luke and his fiancée, Evonne, drive us out to have lunch with a bunch of the people who go to Caltech in Pasadena! We went to the same schwarma place we went to last time and it was delicious. Monica (Thomas' friend was there and so was Kirsten's friend Morgan) so it was productive. We had them drop us off at a referrals house that we got for the singles ward and upon not having the person we tried home. And then we called the sisters who lived in the area to give us direction but the next place we were going was a wee too far for our liking. So we caught a bus and on the way ran into one of the strangest people I've met on my mission. It was this black guy and this woman who wasn't exactly the classiest of people. But the guy came up to Elder Whitney and I while Elder Winfield was on the phone and asked us "what are ties for boys??" confused we didn't say anything and then he imitated having a tie in his hand made a gesture that made it seem like a noose and then said "it's for hanging the black man".... okay sir you are drunk and it is 3 in the afternoon! It was more creepy than anything. Then he said "can you boys do this" and then stood in the street a few feet and stared at the sun for a minute or so straight as he continued to talk to us... yeahhhh Pasadena is a little coo coo. Glad I'll be in Glendale my whole mission! So we made our way back to Glendale and prepped for our meeting with the Stake Presidency this pastSunday morning. Then we had our lesson/dinner with William cancel.. he had to go into the hospital again because his blood sugar was in the 600's... so that wasn't cool. So we ended up going to the Berganza's for dinner and to be stuffed full of these delicious burgers that were very mysterious and delicious! I say mysterious because we didn't know what was in it that made it so good. But anyways after dinner we stopped by the hospital again to visit William but he wasn't there again! So we called him and he had just gotten out and home so we went down and visited him and taught him more! He is so funny. He was telling us about how he would when he was younger go to the temple down in santa monica and roll around on the grounds because he loved it there so much! It is interesting to see that the people who are prepared for the gospel have ties to the church before they really even know it.
     Sunday was long. We had a meeting with the stake presidency and they kind of harked on us for the work not going as well as they wanted it to be. especially because our numbers have been struggling as well when we should be leading the zone as an example. so President Morgan said he is going to make sure our Bishop and ward mission leader start to help us get lessons taught and to have 5 members into the temple by the end of the year and 3 more baptisms as well. So we have some major work to do!! But I personally enjoy when people tell me what exactly I need to do and need to put my head down and get to work! But that is just me. Bring on the pressure! William didn't show up to church though unfortunately :( Still haven't heard back from him and we are assuming he is in the hospital again. Be sure to pray for him. But in the singles ward we had 3 investigators come!!! Autumn came which was awesome (she said she had just been so busy with not having anywhere to stay and her dad's health is declining and meeting with us has fallen to the wayside. which is hard but we are used to it). Cherry came and our newest investigator Anthony came with Elisse and Bruno who we taught right after sacrament meeting!! it was awesome! Cherry loved church and Anthony said he'd pray about being baptized. I guess the Lord was throwing us some miracles after having so many cancellations! We had dinner with the Boyacks and they invited one of their old friends over and then we stopped by the Hillas/jones/ravesnwood family with our good friend Stanley who looks like steven tyler! So we caught them at the right time and was able to teach the adults and her two twin girls who are 14/15!! It was awesome!! WE invited them to start taking the lessons and they agreed and it was awesome!! Love seeing miracles!!
Well family friends and loved ones, have a wonderful week. Believe in and expect miracles as you go day to day. I miss you and love you all! Be safe and keep me updated with all that is new and lovely in the world! Next week will be after transfers and may be with new companions so You'll have that to look forward to!
Elder DeBry

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