Friday, February 28, 2014

Week 59 (2/3-2/10)

Hey family!! I had a wonderful week this week. Unfortunately Jackie wasn't able to be baptized but as an Armenian group we got to go to see the LA Galaxy play the league champion from Armenia, FC Shirak!! It was so awesome. I explain more below.... Also sorry this email is squeezed, it was written on my ipad. I promise it isn't that long...
     Monday was kind of a boring pday. That morning we were woken up rather early to the noise of the other elders, Judd and Herman, moving out of the pad and the zone leaders, Winfield Mabey and carvajal, helping them. It didn't take too long to get their stuff out of the pad but when they had it all out we could really see how dirty the apartment was. So while two of them drove to their new pad, the rest of us stayed and cleaned. Y'all would have been so proud of me. I was throwing unnecessary things away left and right, even though we don't
have a garbage ironically. It got to the point that if it wasn't mine and no one claimed it after I asked a few times, it was in the trash. Elder Herman didn't appreciate that too much. To find out his yoyos and other junk... I mean prized possessions were in a sack ready to go out the door. But we got it all spotless. Bathroom and all! After that and after studies we met up with Nate who took elder cook and I shopping at target to use some of my Christmas gift card money. I splurged and even got some healthy stuff! Green stuff! After we headed over to the church and did some slack lining in the parking lot. We were trying to do it all the way across the parking lot but that was a little tough.. So we found some other poles that worked. I've gotten rusty in the few weeks it has been! I just think it is funny that Nate still wants to come hang out with us on pday even though he has work. He just does it on his lunch break. After we were all done we finished emailing which seriously took so long because our whole zone was just in the church hanging out and we were trying to figure out our next pday activity which is ZONE OLYMPICS! gonna be great for sure. So that was distracting. Hence why my email got less and less detailed with each day. Anyways... After pday ended elder cook and I headed up to have our lesson with Souren and his family. But when we called the daughter answered and asked us if we could come back the next day...
Which was a bummer. So we headed back and met the other elders and sister Townsend picked us up to head to their house for dinner with mike and Bridgett. Dinner was delicious. I've missed home cooked meals
tremendously. Following dinner we read from the Book of Mormon with mike and taught him the importance if reading it. Because for a lawyer who says he can read 100 pages in an hour, it sure has taken him a long time to get into the Book of Mormon! But on our way home as he was driving us he said he did learn some new stuff even though he has been taught by missionaries for I don't even know... 10+ years? But he  did say something of interest in the car that although he learned something, we weren't quite answering some of his concerns that he has which he isn't quite able to verbalize. So we gotta figure that out!
     Tuesday was pretty slow. Usually I would have been going to mission leadership council buuut I'm no longer a zone leader so no more of that unfortunately. I think if I remember correctly, we grabbed some lunch and then headed to the church to do some online proselyting as well as meet with the other Armenian Elders to plan for our upcoming Armenian class. We have been teaching this one girl online whom Elder Cook knew before his mission. She is an evangelical Christian and she has been... I don't want to say arguing but kind of arguing with us about Grace vs. works. So that was an ongoing process this past week with her. Her name is Jolynne. But we had a lesson online with her and then met with the other Elders. So we are going to start up Armenian classes again and we wanted to have a kick off party with some introduction to the language, culture and some games and food. So we planned out what we would review kind of, who would bring what kind of food mad so forth. Elder Cook and I then decided to bus over to Hollywood to visit some solid potentials that wanted us to stop by but ever since our first rescheduling, we haven't been able to catch them at a good time. Our bad.. But we caught the bus and headed into unknown territory. Love this iPad and being able to look at a map now though. So we found the house. On our way talking to this one girl, Eden, who had bright blue hair and was doing homework in the cold weather on the sidewalk...she was an interesting character. But turns out John and Allison were back east visiting some doctors according to what their neighbor had said which isn't very reliable between Armenians. So we just headed back. I spoke with this one guy on the bus who just kept telling me how bad of a state Armenia was in and that I probably shouldn't go there... We decided to get off a bit before the church and grab some food at Islands. It is like red robin but I think a little better. Finally we got back to the church and met up with some of the leadership to coordinate a bit and them head out on some evening visits. I went with elder Tyler and brother Bradley first to Hambarsoom, since Christina Avoian cancelled, but he wasn't home either. So we stopped by Elizabeth and Sona to find they had some family over that we got to meet. Which is always a good thing. They were cousins to Elizabeth, Zoran, his wife and their son Kevin who is just a little ball of energy. They quickly left and we started having a discussion with Elizabet. She is studying to become a citizen and wants some help on her English. We then turned to the scriptures to where she was reading and went over Moroni 6 which spoke about Church attendance which was perfect to discuss with her. Came to find out she was having some word of wisdom issues and in light of her brother passing not too long ago, she said she wasn't in the right state to go back to church. But we invited her to come and continue to read which she said she'd try and do.
     Wednesday was the anticipation for Armenian class that night sothe evening went pretty quickly. After studies we went up to the church and did some online and updated the area book. Which is never really fun even when speaking into the iPad. But anyways we headed out of the church and ran into Minas Sarkissian and two others that were with him. Turns out it was his sister and her husband who were visiting and helping Minas fix his blue taxi car. We stopped and spoke with them. Both very friendly, the woman asked if we could help her
with her English and we said of course. So we got her number and should be visiting her up in Sunland soon. We were on our way and tried by some other formers but nothing panned out unfortunately. Later that afternoon we met up with the other Armenian Elders to exchange again so elders Tyler and Cook could go teach the less
active/part member family Vardan and Varter. In the meantime Elder Twelves and I decided to go take advantage of a free smoothie voucher that he had received earlier that day. It was this new store that opened up, cool people, turns out that the owner had family who were members so he said anytime we wanted a smoothie we could stop in for freeee. Love it! They weren't half bad either for a meal replacement shake. After the shakes we caught a bus and headed back towards the Wilson building to try by another former who wasn't home. But I met
his neighbor Vasgen who was super cool! Made me laugh though because the last Vasgen I taught was I'm the MTC and I didn't know what he was saying the entire time. By that time the other Elders had finished up and we swapped back. Elder Cook and I then met up with Nate who wanted to come on a lesson with us who ended up flaking on us.. So right after we rent over to Pacific Market and picked up the food for the Armenian class. It was super funny though. So when we were at Alex's place to pick up the food, we were talking with his Mom who LOVES us to death. We were just talking with her and then she kept saying 'Anoush zez' which means you're sweet. Then I said to her 'chigiardus duk!' Which means you are my liver (a sign of endearment) and she busted out laughing and said 'kootem kez!' Which means I'll eat you! It was quite the conversation. Then her son who owns the store said hey come on man why'd you call my mom your liver, we don't do that in English! You had to be there... I'm her favorite. Then we headed back to the church and set up for the Armenian class which was kind of... Not too big of a crowd as we expected. Helga and kris came, Peter and his wife came (part member family. Peter has his doctorate in linguistics) and then Nate! So not too bad but still.. But it was good. We gave somewhat of an overview of the class and then did some basic conversation, then we ate and played some games! Hopefully word spreads how awesome it is and they start bringing some  friends! We'll see.
     Thursday we had zone meeting! It was quite a different experience not being the one standing up and teaching! But I did feel bad because I had so many comments! But that's okay, they were appreciated! Most of the training was done on how to stay on purpose as we enter into the age of mobile devices! So after the meeting, us Armenian Elders went to Little Ceasars. The girl that was working there said she didn't like working there and she wasn't going to school so I brought up the pathway program that the church offers and she was super excited! I feel like that could really help her out! So that was cool. We took the food back to our apartment because it was close. Another funny story! We were back at the pad eating and Elder Cook just kept pelting Elder Tyler with a nerf gun while he was in the feetle position. I got a good video of it, so don't worry! After lunch we taught Jolynne online and I feel like she is just asking the same questions so we are just trying to get her to the point where we can pass her off to the missionaries in her area. Soooo that evening was super depressing though... So that night I was supposed to baptize Jacqueline in South Pas but I got a call from Elder Lloyd and just from the tone of his voice I could tell that it wasn't good. They went to see how she was doing and they caught her smoking... So we had to cancel the baptism. Super bummed. I ended up getting to go to Mike and Bridget's house for dinner with the Bradley's though. Which was super good but I would have much rather been in South Pas dressed in white... After dinner we had another lesson about the Book of Mormon which was frustrating... Neither of them had read and Bridget wouldn't really commit to read because she didn't have time... Just breaks my heart. Frustrating day as it was. Then to top it off we had a lesson with this guy Nshan later that day but he came out and told us that he talked with his preacher and he said that he wasn't able to meet with us.... But he was nice about it and sounded sincere about it so that was at least nice. But that was our day...
     Friday Nate took us out to lunch before we got into weekly planning. He took us to the Tam oshanter pub which I guess was Walt Disney's favorite restaurant in Glendale and where he got the funds for Snow White! It was super good and had a super cool atmosphere... The waitress that was working there was a little odd... Anyways... After that we stopped by the riverdale pad to pick up some of my stuff but come to find out that the zone leaders had done some cleaning and THROWN AWAY MY STUFF... But what is done is done. Yeah I wasn't too happy, but oh well. So Nate came back to the church with us and showed us some Chinese and did some weekly planning and then left.. Then elder cook and I finished weekly planning well... I did on my iPad and elder cook kind of observed. Then we had a guitar lesson with Emanoel Nemegerdi and they fed us some dinner. Super funny though, Haikus kept taking the guitar and trying to play it. Then we had to grab the bus and head up to Joey's house. It was the first time I had been over to his house since he got married. We had the typical pizza and hot sauce. Then had a bomb discussion for once! I showed him the baptism of Christ and talked about it after and he said what we were saying made sense and he committed to take the actual discussions! The. He drove us home in his sweet, new jaguar.
     Saturday morning we were hitting the pavement hard up in verdugo trying to contact those referrals we got from the sisters. While we were up there we met this one lady who had an Armenian husband and agreed to have us come over to teach her family. No one else was around unfortunately... But I had some good conversations with some Armenian ladies on the bus and got a solid potential for the single ward elders. So after that exciting morning we headed back to Glendsle and grabbed some quick lunch at the Grape leaf before we headed down to our big activity that I totally forgot to tell you all about last week. We were given permission to attend the LA galaxy vs. FC shirak down in Carson. FC shirak is the league champion in Armenia and so the stadium was packed full of Hay martkants. So we went down a bit early so we could talk to people. By the way we went down with 30+ people and some non members which was awesome. SO MANY ARMENIANS! Seriously it was so awesome. We didn't get to watch much but we were walking around and talking to people and people were just amazed that we spoke Armenian. It was super easy to start talking with people because we weren't in Glendale where so many people know a little bit of Armenian. We got some good potentials. OH! And ELDER COOK AND I GOT INTERVIEWED BY AN ARMENIAN TV CHANNEL! It was awesome there was this lady standing near us and she notice that other cooking I were speaking Armenian so she approached us and asked which team we were rooting for and when we said that we are rooting for FC shirak she pulled the cameraman over and started asking questions including which team we wanted to win and then she asked us how we spoke Armenian as I replied I said we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and we have a Missionary Training Ctr., Utah you went there for three months and Learned the basic Armenian and now we were serving in our Armenian congregation in Glendale. So that was one of the highlights of the night. But overall it was a really good experience really close game even fc shirak lost 2-1. On the way back we were speaking with some of the nonmembers that were driving with us and we ended up setting up an appointment with them later this week and having them come to church tomorrow. One of them and their wives actually came which was super excited. I got a jersey and a bobble head from one of the g7 members that came with us. So awesome!
     And we had a really good Sunday the next day. I translated for the relief society lesson which was a lot easier going from English to Armenian surprisingly. But we had a few people at church, including one of the potentials from the game. Right after sacrament Nate came and picked us up to go over to his coworkers house to have some lunch! Armineh, the wife, had A lot of questions why any Armenian would join a different church because of how stubborn they were and how long they have been in their own church. They made some barbecue for us which was really delicious and we got to talk to the husband for a while and found out that he is awesome and really wants the Armenian people to be more unified. I think we found our future branch president. After lunch Nate drove us back to the Wilson building where we met the other Armenian elders and brother and sister Bradley to take us to the Turley's house for our second dinner. It was super delicious including some homemade orange rolls but seriously I was so full. Sister. Bradley told us her conversion story how she joined the church against her parents will and then a year later then went on a mission where is visiting Authority, Elder Scott, told her that she would meet her husband in the mission field. She was a golden investigator and was awesome to hear about. Nothing much else happened after dinner...

And that is about my week! It was pretty awesome getting to go to the soccer game. Love being back in Armenian work. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Oh and Happy Valentines day!!
Elder Tanner DeBry

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