Friday, February 28, 2014

Week 57 (1/20-1/27)

 My Dearest family and loved ones!! It has been week one back in the Armenian group and it has been awesome. Definitely a whole different world than South Pasadena. But I have missed it dearly. I have forgotten how exhausting it is to be in Armenian work. So full of adventure! And to my surprise my Armenian isn't TOO bad. It'll come back though. 
     Monday after emailing, we played some basketball with all the companionships that are down here in Glendale. Went over grocery shopping and I guess I had grown accustomed to having a car for grocery shopping and forgot how much time it takes to walk places. P-day went without much event though. I can't remember much of what we did. We met with Olga (Armen Baghdoyan's girlfriend) and helped her with her English and sure enough, before we had gotten there some sister missionaries were explaining to her a few gospel terms and so she was asking for some further Armenian clarification and she was asking us words like: Prophet and Gospel. So I capitalized on the opportunity to explain what the Gospel meant and had a quick lesson with her. When we got to explaining about baptism she asked "so if I wanted to get baptized, what would I need to do? " and both Elder Cook and I were just kind of stunned that she had asked us that! So we didn't really have that great of a response other than to keep meeting with us to learn more and then she had to go. So that was awesome! As we were walking out of the Church I really wanted to go say hello to Minas who lives across the street so we did and found him home and was surprised to see me. Still wouldn't let us in but he was laughing with us and saying that the other missionaries had told him that I had gone home already. He said anytime we needed something to give him a call and he'd meet us at the church. Miss that man. Anyways, we started walking back down to our next referral we were going to visit and we ran into this one lady who referred us to one of her neighbors who she said were religious and Armenian. We started heading down to visit Jerry after that and on our way we ran into Elders Coontz and Llewelyn on Chevy Chase and as we were talking with them a younger Armenian woman walked passed, Elder Llewelyn tried to talk to her but she wasn't interested but then we followed after her and started in Armenian which caught her attention and she ended up wanting to have something she could read about what we did as missionaries! We didn't make it much further when we started talking to this other guy as we were walking and started back tracking so we could talk with him. When all of a sudden at the intersection that we were at a car got t-boned and spun into another lane but thankfully didn't hit any cars. So all three of us walked into the road to see if everyone was okay and thankfully they were. Annoying though, one of the cars was hit so bad that their horn was jammed going off and it was super loud. But they all got out and were fine. In shock of what just happened but were fine. So we stuck around until the ambulance came and they initially didn't have to check anyone out but then one of the Armenian guys who hit the other who ran the red, was complaining about his head. We had to talk to the officer who was first on scene and tell him what we had seen and try and remember if we had noticed the color of the lights at the time of the collision. We weren't able to. Funny story though, the captian of the fire department that arrived on scene had some kids who grew up with some people that I knew from Unitah and he was talking to us about how everyone was fine and they were just complaining. So that took up the majority of the night and when we came back we still had to unpack and clean up the mess that the other Elders had failed to have cleaned the week before. 
     Tuesday after studies we met up with the other Armenian Elders to have a mini planning session and split the work. Which they had already had done but I just wanted to get an overview of how the group was doing. Which is great to hear about by the way. The two recent converts are doing awesome. Still strong. We have a few baptismal dates and a few investigators each to teach. So a good start! After we met up and did some internet proselyting, we stopped by the referral we got from the random lady on the street and found the couple she was referring to on their porch and we started talking to them and ended up explaining to them about the Book of Mormon. The wife wasn't having it. Especially when she went inside to grab HER bible and say that is all she needed. But the Husband was thankful and accepted it and said he wanted to read more about the things we taught him. After that short lesson we ran into some Armenian teens who we started talking to. Most of them were kind of ignoring us but one of the guys was really cool. Made us really wish there were more Armenian teens who were around more regularly to talk to. Funny enough we parted ways but saw each other a few minutes later at the McDonalds while we were getting some water. We walked and walked some more, ran into these two other grandmas who were super nice and friendly to us and wanted us to meet their granddaughters who were about our age. Which made us both laugh and blush. Down the street a ways we tried by a former who had moved (funny story: Elder Cook was writing a note to leave because no one answered at first but as he was doing so the guy opened the door.) But we met their neighbors who were again these two mid 20's guys who were on their way out and we surprised them with our Armenian and they were just laughing. One told us to call him "ARTHUR-MAC" and the other was actually willing to have us stop by. He was a member of the Choir at the Church he attended. After that we headed out to grab some dinner with the other Armenians. On the bus this old Armenian couple kept looking at my tag and wondering/conversing with each other if I was Armenian. I finally talked to them and the wife was super interested in having us stop by so she was yelling over the crowd to give me her number which never happens! So we definitely have seen some miracles this week. Dinner was awesome. The assistants stopped by with a phone of our own which was nice. Then we met up back at the Church to meet up with the leadership and go on splits with them. Elder Tyler and I went with Brother Bradley to teach one of the recent converts, Christine, who I was able to interview for baptism. We had a great lesson with her and tried by some other people with Ashot as well but none were home. Then called it a night. 
     Wednesday was pretty slow and long. We ended studies early to head up to GCC to do the booth which was pretty slow. I asked some guy who he was and he said "disgraceful" which had me pretty stumped. That was about the extent of the excitement at the booth. We went back to the institute and had some paninis which were delicious. We headed out and went back to the pad to finish our language study when Elder Cook realized that he lost the phone and so we decided to head up to the Frosts to see if we could get them to drive up to the institute with us. so it took seriously FOREVER to get there. But thankfully Aaron Gamez had picked up our phone and had given it to the Frosts. So by the time we had bused all the way out there, and gotten back to our pad it was time for dinner so we stopped by Little ceasars. But I ordered the pizza and Elder Cook was going to order the garlic cheese bread but it wouldn't be ready for 15 minutes so we decided to just eat the pizza there while we waited. And we had just about finished the pizza when the bread was finished. Which was super funny because they don't really have tables to eat at, only chairs to wait for your pizza. So while everyone else was waiting for their pizza we were eating ours with it on our laps. Kind of humorous if you were there. After dinner Arman Avagyan met up with us and came out with us for the rest of the night. Which was pretty slow. We stopped by and saw Bella, who is now living with Antonio's parents because they are getting a divorce... which is super sad. But anyways it was good to see them. The rest of the evening we didn't have anything set so we were trying by people and Arman was teaching us some new words! Always fun. 
     Thursday was my second district meeting that I've ever taught! First one as a full time district meeting. And I thought it was pretty good! I think I taught the wrong lesson BUT that's okay. But after the meeting Nate Philips took Elder Cook and I to lunch. It was originally set up that we were going to meet his co-worker who is Armenian but she rescheduled for an upcoming Sunday. So we went out to our favorite Armenian place on Glenoaks. While we were there we saw this poster that was advertising an international friendly game, the LA Galaxy vs. FC Shirak, who are the league champions from Armenia! So that sparked a great idea for us to try and get permission to go and get seen by the 20+ thousands Armenians that would be attending the game! But anyways. More on that later. After that we finished studies and online proselyting then had some cancellations! Gotta love them! We were going to visit Susanna Adamyan's Dad but he said he would just see us at Church on Sunday and then went inside... but thankfully we had dinner at the Bradley's that night and Mike and Bridget came! So after a delicious, classic dinner we were able to have a short lesson with them. After dinner, Brother Bradley drove us back down to Glendale and we were able to stop by and teach good ol' Hambarsoom! We went in and watched the Restoration DVD that he had been requesting from the other Elders and then talked about baptism. He said he wanted to get baptized in April but Brother Bradley didn't want to have to wait that long so he pushed up Hambarsoom's date to March 2nd. he didn't seem too sold on it but he agreed. 
     Friday was awesome. We had studies, started our weekly planning, took a lunch break and went to the church with the food we got from the Grape Leaf cafe down the street, and then went up to the Church where we finished planning and awaited to have our interviews with President. I was one of the last ones to get interviewed because it hadn't even been a week since President saw me. He was 'never better' in his classic words and he asked me how everything was going in Armenian work. I told him it was different from South Pas but he assured me that it could become a south Pasadena area. The interview question this time around was from Alma 23: 4-7 and he asked what our weapon of rebellion was that was holding us back from being a fully converted, baptizing monthly missionary. Good question to ask ourselves to see what we need to do to be closer to God. I love President so much. We talked for a while and then I asked him for permission to go to the soccer game in a few weeks and he said as long as we have it be on purpose we could have the good to go. Which is awesome! And I also asked him about school and what I should do and what is logistically possible if I wanted to come home early for school, or extend and how long I could for. He said I could go 30 days past the day that I am set to go home so whatever that is. Still need to decide. I'll let y'all know! But after the awesome interview that we had we printed off some addresses to some potentials that we received in Verdugo Hills. so we went up there and got some directions from the missionaries up there and then were on our way to find our way around verdugo hills at night! It was quite funny. We did contact one person who was fine with us coming back some time which was awesome. But we weren't sure how late the bus ran on a friday night so we had to cut it early and make sure we caught the 8oclock bus. Then we made a late night taco bell run! 
     Saturday we ran into some awesome potential. Two families before we even got to lunch we talked to and both of them coincidentally had just moved here from Iraq less than 3 months and said they'd be willing to meet! so that was awesome. Then we went and got some sushi. It was the place that used to go to and it was all you could eat but i guess it is now under new management so it wasn't.... which was oober lame. But after lunch we went over and did some service for Susanna Adamyan. we moved her large storage unit into a small unit and it took some serious tetris skills... so glad i have so much experience! After that we had Mike and Bridget pick us up and we had a lesson at their house with Mike's sister, Melineh, who had a bunch of questions about the Book of Mormon. After that lesson we again went down to Susanna's house because she had made some dinner for us. We were hoping to teach her dad but he was in the back room and his wife who is a jehovas witness wasn't wanting us to share a lesson.. which was lame. 
     Sunday was great! I started to translate some of the meeting! I was in the Relief Society and translated Anoosh's lesson (which I guess are the hardest for some reason) but thankfully she was teaching about a talk from Elder Nielsen about missionary work. In Sacrament meeting we had the Relief Society President, Hasmik Mnatsyan, come and give a talk which was awesome! She asked for a blessing after the meeting and we got to talk to her for a bit and she was telling us about the missionaries in Armenian and she was super funny and her Armenian was super clear and easy to understand. So jealous! But anyways. After the meetings we did some online then ate some food that people brought for us. Following we did a little exchange where I went with Elder Twelves to visit Helga and Christine while Elders Cook and Tyler went up to visit some more of the Verdugo hills referrals. On our way to Helga's we stopped by Tina and caught her home for once! so we stopped by and talked to her. We found out that her mom had passed away around thanksgiving, and her Dad was now in the hospital with heart problem. so we taught her the Plan of Salvation but she was so tired that she wasn't listening much so we ended it short and left. We got over to Helga's and it was great to see her so happy. Her and Christine had been at church that day. I've never seen her so happy before! 

Well family and friends, that is about my week. I love you all very much. I hope all is well and I get to hear from you soon!

Elder DeBry

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