Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 55 (1/4-1/11)

Well today has just been wonderful. I'm a little sleepy, yes. But our ward mission leader, Nate, got permission to take Elder Lloyd and I to the temple this morning and it was absolutely wonderful! Can never get enough of that place. To top it off, for breakfast after we went up to Lucky Boy which has the most delicious breakfast burritos that just hit the spot after being up since3:45. BUT SO WORTH IT! So that just adds to our amazing week jam packed full of fun. All while sharing the Gospel! I'm becoming quite the mulitasker. 
     So last P-day was actually pretty awesome. After the long haul of emailing (I say long haul because it seems to take me forever to write my novel of an email home), we headed to Glendale to meet up with none other than John Logan Dicus! Who was in town for a few days to show his family around town and such before he started school the following Monday. So he and his family invited us and the other armenian elders, as well as some of his recent converts over to the Kozy Korner thai food restaurant for some lunch. It was quite weird to see him again honestly. I mean, I know it has only been about 6 months since I've seen him and I was with him for the first 4 and a half of my mission but it feels like so much longer since I've seen him! And to add to that he had lost some weight and was back to his skinny self. He is such a stud. I love that kid and hope he is doing awesome back down in Provo. And I finally got to meet his family whom I had heard so much about in the first place! it is unusual to finally put a handshake to a face that I've only seen in pictures.But anyways, after a long lunch and catch up with him, we headed back to South Pas to finish some errands and head down to Nate's house to set up our slack line and chill for a bit. Which was pretty nice and like a normal weekend afternoon! So it was a good day. When we wrapped up the day, we ended up having to meet up with the other Elders because there was another ET that was made and Elder Wymer was with Elders Haslam and Johnson.So for some reason he had to come with us for the night which worked out because we couldn't get a member to come with us that night! Our first lesson was with a new investigator we had picked up a few days before, Dora Lee, who was the one that graduated from BYU back in the 70's. So we went through about half of the Restoration lesson before she started bringing up her concerns that she understood what we believed but she was going to stay Catholic because she didn't believe there  was an Apostasy. After that, Elder Lloyd spoke up and threw out a few scriptures that stumped her including giving the gift of the Holy Ghost in Acts 19. We ended the lesson with her still saying she wasn't going to likely change but she'd come to church with us after she gets back in town in a few weeks... fine with us! After her we went down to El Sereno to make our daily visit to Jacqueline and see how she was doing.. she is still struggling but Elder Wymer could relate to her with his parents smoking while he was growing up so that helped. Next, Vicki was sick so we couldn't stop by her but we stopped by Bonnie who finally let us talk to her and answered her door but she wouldn't let us in so we just talked in her alley-way. She wasn't really talking much which made it pretty hard but by the time we were done explaining she started crying. We asked her to offer the closing prayer but she declined mulitiple times and multiple times she said no.. so we finally left her with one and went on our way. 
     Sunday we was the first day that we had our new time for Church at 9! So we had ward council at 7:30 and Church following. The day seemed to go by pretty quickly because I was looking forward to the baptism of Cherry Go that evening. After church we went down to El Sereno to try and visit our potential Craig but instead we ended up talking and teaching his brother Cleo who was pretty open to listen to us! It was a quick lesson though because Nate had invited us over to his house to have a quick dinner (and to celebrate Armenian new years eve) before we went to the baptism. He made some delicious schwarma and hummus and then we were on our way to the baptism which was awesome. I was so excited for Cherry. not only that but while we were waiting for everyone to finish their 'Break the fast meal' I got to meet Lindsay Stirling! Who is kind of a big deal because she makes music and is a member of the church! And she is introducing the Gospel to a few of her friends that she goes on Tour with! Then it was the baptism and it was powerful. Cherry asked me to give a talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Nothing makes a weekend better than someone dressed in white! I really miss Glendale though. Especially those wards in the Central building. Everyone is just so awesome. Even though South Pas is awesome too. Votchinch. After we made our way back to our area and had another lesson with Bonnie and we had Nate come tag along to try and get into her apartment but to no avail. We again taught/reviewed the first lesson to see if she understood but she wasn't too interested in participating so after a short lesson we got a call from Kristy who was having a hard time and needed a lesson to pick her up so we went and talked to her about Prayer. I guess she had been having a hard time praying lately because of how stressed she had been and couldn't find the words sometimes, making her think she wasn't worthy to pray or something like that. So after some reassurance she gave a wonderful prayer. 
     Monday after studies we headed into the office to help out President. Sheesh there is a lot to do! We went over the upcoming meetings that we had this past week including agendas, topics, some concerns that he had and then we dove right into transfers. We first start off by seeing who is leaving and how many new missionaries we will have and I guess we only have about 10 ish coming in which I guess is super easy compared to how many we were having come in during the summer which was about 30+. So we figure out who could train and then started problem solving with Elders that President had heard were having problems, and then any impressions or thoughts we had been having which made things really messy on the board. I relate it to doing a deep clean in your room, it gets REALLY dirty before things seem to get better. With a lunch break thrown in the middle, the day flew by. It was so much fun though surprisingly. Even though we had so much to do, President was in such a playful mood becuase of some things that worked out really well with Transfers. Not only that but he was toying around with the idea of going to the BCS game that was in Pasadena with his son Elijah. Also what was funny was one of the other assistants, Elder Mostert, is a big college football fan and so to give him a hard time, President kept pulling up highlights from espn and such. It was great. President is a hoot! After our long day of transfers Elder Lloyd and I had to stick around to type up the agendas for the meetings and do some online proselyting. Our day came to a close at the office but before we left we had to get on some Elders who were still emailing after 6 and didn't have anything planned so we had a mini planning session with them before we left back to the area. As we were on our way back we got a call from this lady, Deborah, who we had given a call and left a message saying we'd like to meet, and she said that her and her friend would like to meet up with us! She said that she had told her friend about us and that made her super excited for whatever reason and so she gave us her friend's number and we gave her a call and thus began our phone tag with these two older grandmas. The friend, Gloria, was ecstatic and wanted to meet the next day but Deborah couldn't so we had to go back and forth figuring out times until we finally confirmed with Deborah and what I loved was she said "i'll bring some turkey sandwhiches for us all!" Who can pass up a turkey sandwhich? Not I. Anyways we had some people not home and so we decided to stop by Bonnie again and drop her. which worked out because she dropped us as well! And funny enough, after our lesson with Kristy who was again having a rough time. Can't remember what we taught her though...
     Tuesday was another very busy day! We had a super awesome day planned but had a few lessons cancel on us in the afternoon after we had done our studies and such but around 5 President and his son Elijah came out with us to do splits to cover all the other lessons that we had planned for the evening. So I went out with Elijah while Elder Lloyd went with President to teach Julian and Lisa, Vicki and Mark Newport. It was an awesome night! Our first stop after we split was with Hector who has been going through a rough time for some reason lately and has been a bit busier to meet with now that he has a night job working at a restaurant. So we went over and were following up with how everything was going and got into a lesson about the  Character of Christ because of some situation he was in that he was trying to help someone else with not being so selfish. So it was a really powerful and Elijah was a stud! He killed it. Way better missionary at age 16 than I was for the first 6 months of my mission! But after that we met up at the Hilton's house to have a dinner lesson with Jackie. Which was delicious. Since the Brethren have done away with the dinner calendar, I don't think we have had a home cooked meal with a ward member (excluding Nate) so that was super nice! They even made some of the best home made ice cream that I have had. So good. But after we shared a lesson about the Anti-nephi-lehis from the Book of Mormon and related them burying their weapons of war to Jackie's quitting smoking. After that we went on a search to find this referral we had received earlier that day and came to find out that it was the address and phone number of a sushi place... ha ha. Real funny. But when it was 9 we headed back to the south pas building to wait for Elder Lloyd and President and so Elijah and I were just talking and I had him ask me questions about him getting ready to go on a mission but seriously he is so awesome. I'm sure it helps to have your dad be the best mission President. But they didn't show up for about an hour so we had a nice long talk and such and when they finally they came they told us of the very long lesson they had with Mark and his Wife and how he wasn't ready to be baptized because he didn't have a solid belief that Jesus was the Son of God. So we have some work to do! 
     Wednesday we had our extended Mission Leadership Council with our guest speaker Brother Lee Donaldson from the Missionary Department. And can I just say, he was amazing. Seriously. Scriptural genius. Knew Hebrew and Greek so he could read the original texts of scripture. And the whole reason he was coming down was to teach us how to teach this new method using the pamphlets in 20 minutes and the way he showed us was so simple yet sophisticated! He was an expert teacher I'll tell you that much. Not only did he go over the pamphlets including how to pray and read the Book of Mormon with our investigators, but he reviewed Facebook and even showed us a sneak peek at what we will be able to do with our iPads that we will be getting in a few weeks! they are going to be sweet. And I guess we are part of the first 15 missions out of 30 that will be getting them and that is out of over 400 missions across the globe! So we all were super stoked. After the meeting and cleaning up after the leadership, we had to give one Elder a ride down to LA so we figured we'd stop by MexiCali for dinner on the way home :) so delish. nom. We got back to South pas and stopped by Jackie again with Brother Lambourne. Still not much progress and we are getting kind of stumped of what more we can do to help her. Then we stopped by Reynolds place and taught her and Alex a lesson in hopes to help Kristy with her talk she is giving this Sunday but she wasn't there. 
     Thursday was part two of Brother Donaldson's visit to our mission (even though it wasn't a mission tour and was actually the first time ever that the brethren had given a member of the missionary department to visit a mission for a second time. I guess President Becerra is just that awesome!) But most of the day was about the same material, except this time I was standing for the whole meeting to run around a microphone to those people who had comments and such. But it was still packed full of more things that will help us improve. After a full day of fun and microphones, we headed back to the area and headed straight down to El Sereno to meet up with Brother Jensen for a few lessons. first with this girl Kimberly that we met on the other day while visiting her neighbor and she said we could stop by. We were running a little late and as we were walking up we saw her leaving with some other people but thankfully she was kind enough to allow us five minutes to kind of introduce her to the love of the Savior that we share. And she was really rather receptive and set another return appointment! And we found out she is pregnant and super young so she'd be real growth to the ward! next was with Julian and Lisa who were just awesome. We went in and reviewed with them the Gospel of Christ and started to have a good discussion about what would help them come closer to making the step of baptism. Julian brought up the concern that he felt he hadn't received an answer yet and wanted to know more of the procedure and it was a perfect time to invite them to the upcoming baptism of the Colmenares this Sunday. So we are stoked to have them there. Then we had to head back up to the house and meet Brother Ray to go out to finish off the night with a visit to Jackie, Thomas Albano, and then Kristy. So pretty busy night. 
     Friday after studies we had a little bit of our weekly planning session and then called Gloria to confirm our lesson with her and Deborah but she said that Deborah wasn't interested and because she wasn't it made her hesitant to meet with us... that stinker... So that was a bummer. Kimberly also cancelled on us for some errands. But then Nate came out with us later that afternoon to make a visit to Jackie and figure out what to do with her and we came to the conclusion with talking to her that it felt right that if she could go the next 10 days without smoking then she could be baptized so we'll see where that goes.. but then we had a weird tradeoff and we were going to get Nate's family dinner when we ran into Brother Beaumont and so Nate left us with him and so Brother Beaumont came out with us to Kristy's for a bit to help her with what she had so far with her talk. then he dropped us off and Brother Caffall came out with us and he was hilarious. When we were at Vicki's (seriously we were running late and had 12 min) he decided to tell a joke in spanish (the only one he knows) and it was hilarious because they didn't get it but it had Elder Lloyd and I just busting out laughing. So we briefly introduced the Book of Mormon and got to start teaching her oldest daughter and then had to go to Julian and Lisas a little bit late. We taught them the Word of Wisdom and after Julian said the closing prayer we were pretty bold with them about being an eternal family and them not being able to unless they are baptized. Julian thinks that since he is old it may not be worth changing his ways so late in the game but I think he just needs to better understand repentance. But that is just my impression of it. They are such an awesome couple though. Lisa so wants to be baptized but is just waiting for Julian to make the decision. 
     Well that about sums up my week. I love you all very much. I would write a little more but quite frankly I'm exhausted from this morning's adventure at3:45 am. So I'm a lil' bit sleepy! I hope you have a wonderful week and I look forward to hearing from you next p-day. Which by the way won't be untilMonday because we have to do transfers on Saturday so you WON'T HEAR FROM ME UNTIL MONDAY. Then I'll be able to tell you about all the changes and whatnot.


Elder DeBry

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