Saturday, April 19, 2014

Week 65 (3/17-3/24)


Բարև բարև բարև! Oh what a fun filled week this has been. A lot of miles have been traveled and even more adventures had. Nothing TOO exciting that sticks out but then again every day did bring a new adventure. 
     Last P-day we had our massive nerf war that we had been looking forward to. It was bomb and had a good turn out from the zone which was always good. The only casualty was a door opened on my face and left my eye a little swollen but I think it just gave me a more rugged look in my opinion. After the day ended we headed over to Panda on Glendale ave to meet with Brother Bradley, Ashot and Hambarsoom for a congratulatory dinner on behalf of Hambarsoom's baptism. His countenance certainly has changed. He just had that clean shine about him. Gotta love it! He is getting excited to get the Priesthood in the coming week as well as his trip with Ashot up to Salt lake to watch General Conference. After dinner we started to make the drive down to west hollywood to try and visit the less active family that we met a week previous and her russian neighbor that was impressed with our Armenian... but unfortunately the traffic was SO terrible that it took way longer that we had planned and so we just had to turn around by the time we got to the heart of hollywood and try by some other referrals/members that we had been told to stop by. One of them being the son of a member in Armenia. We got to this address and there were these three super sweet tatiks who invited us in and gave us some pastries and called out for the guy we were looking for, Hakob, 24, who lived in the back with his friend. They were all super impressed with our Armenian which was usual and interested how we learned and such and just as we were explaining, Hakob came out and we took the conversation with him outside and asked what he needed help with. He moved here from Armenia a few months ago and was looking for a connection to better work and help with his english. Both doable! so we set up a time to stop by with Ashot later in the week where we could have him explain who we could connect him with to get some better work. Before we headed back to Glendale we stopped by Moris' place and found him outside smoking and he told us to come back another time. if you remember, Moris is the Armenian who lived in Salt lake and has two of his sons still living there and are members! 
     Tuesday I was on an exchange with Elder Tyler. And I have to say for how interesting of a fellow he is, I do enjoy being able to help him out. He and Elder Twelves really don't see eye to eye and so I was trying to help Elder Tyler have better communication skills. But we started off the day by going up to North Hollywood to instruct the Spanish zone on some basic Armenian so they would better be able to give us referrals and such!! Brilliant right? I don't know why we didn't do this before. But it was awesome. Especially working with those missionaries who already had some language learning ability and had the desire to communicate with the Armenian people. So we were just going over some basics and some cultural questions they had. I felt like it went well. It took a little longer though and so we didn't have time to go up and do the GCC booth but we did stop by the institute to grab some lunch and then we headed back to the pad and did some studies. Funny story. Before we left the institute we ran into this Armenian guy who was smoking the sheeba outside the building and when we came out he started saying sorry and he didn't know it was a Church building and threw it down... then had Khoa come convince him to play some ping pong inside. Glendale for ya! We walked down a bit south to try by some formers and ran into this lady at a bus stop that Elder Tyler tried to talk to but she was incredibly rude and after he walked away I tried to talk to her but she straight up just said go away... so what did I do? I just stood there and acted like I was waiting for the bus. Just in time for the other Elders to drive past and come pick us up. We then took the car and went up to try by some people up in Verdugo hills/la crescenta area... not home then went down to dinner with the Carlins again and the other Elders. Seriously probably one of the funniest dinners I've ever been to. I don't know why. It started off by them not being ready on time and so we went outside to their backyard and Elders Cook, Tyler and Twelves started wrestling on the trampoline... Cook had both of them pinned within a few minutes. So ontop of that the Carlin women were just laughing and laughing and laughing all dinner. Don't know how else to explain it. After dinner we went back to the Church to meet up with the leadership. Which took a lot of waiting around and we ended up just being able to try by Elisabet and Sona but they weren't home... so kind of a bummer night. 
     Wednesday we went back down to the Hollywood district and did another language study with them. It wasn't as in depth because it was more of a followup with how their previous study had been with Elder Twelves and Tyler. After we went over with one of the companionships to visit their Armenian investigator who they are working towards baptism. His name is Havsep and he is from Lebanon and was a super funny guy. He was kind of baffled that we spoke Armenian and kept asking us why no one had ever told him there were more Armenian members and asked the other Elders when they could all come up to the church in Glendale. But it was good for us to gauge his understanding with how the lessons had been going. We started to have a lesson by asking why he hadn't been baptized and he was saying he had all these health issues that he wasn't sure he would be able to be baptized. So Elder Twelves and I reviewed the Restoration with him really quickly to see if we could clarify anything and after we were finished he said again he was already baptized and wasn't sure why he needed to be again. So we left it at that and said the other Elders would clarify next time with him. We headed back up to Glendale and continued to walk, and walk, and walk. We did stop by that lady that I had helped with her flat tire a while back and stopped by her clothing store. She was happy to see me but we tried to go over the restoration with her but she wasn't too into it just like how she was a few months ago. So we left and kept walking down to visit Jerry. He was feeling a lot better and his room didn't smell nearly as bad of urine as usual! Jerry is such a funny guy. He was telling us about all sorts of stories as we were trying not to nod off because of how hot his room is. But you gotta love him and how much he appreciates our visits. We shared a message and left. Then we made the long trek all the way up to Glendale market. I had forgotten how far of a walk it was. It hit the spot though when we finally got up there and we had a bomb conversation with the store owner Alex who was asking us a ton of questions about our beliefs and how we were different and had a prophet today. He had a concern of if God was our Father then why would he allow such bad things to happen to us. I then brought up the example of riding a bike. And how when the parents let go of a child's bike for the first time, they usually fall and hurt themselves, but we would never say that the parent didn't love the child but instead just wanted them to learn to do something good for themselves. He said he liked that. Walked over to Rita's next. Ran into some Armenian Jehovah's Witnesses and gave them a few scriptures to think about that they said they had never come across before... Rita ended up having to work late and so Brother Bradley drove us up to visit Joey and see if he could do some electrical work for him. Didn't get a lesson in but they set up a deal that Joey would do some car work in exchange for his electrical work. Finally we headed out and met with Christine Hagopian down at her house a little late and followed up how she was doing with smoking and she had been doing good!
     Thursday after a good district meeting Elder Twelves and I went over to grab some Pho and then started on the long afternoon of trying by old old old formers that we both taught when we were new. Including trying by Sarkis on verdugo (the one who we gave a french bofm to and he fed us horrid orange desert), Masis and Edmond in the super creepy house on Maple, some other random guy that I had remembered took a video of Elder Dicus and I speaking Armenian when him and his buddies were drunk and they told us to come back over and then we ran into some people on the street, Hakob and Elisabet, who were out doing yard work. Hakob was atheist but his wife was very nice and told us to come over and share a message any time we were around the neighborhood. They also taught me a new russian word, maladets, which means congrats or apres in Armenian. We had time for one more visit so we stopped by Trea and Natalie because they were not too far and had a nice chat to catch up with Trea and see if he was reading or going to church. negative. but they have some nice Armenian neighbors that I'm going to try and see if they can set up a khorovats or something with them. By then the other Elders came and picked us up and we had dinner with the Bradley's as usual. After dinner we headed down and picked up Ashot to go try by Edwin but he wasn't home but he got to meet his wife who was very happy to see that we wanted to help him find some more steady work. Then we headed down to Hollywood to meet with Hakob and we met his roommate Avik who were total bros. super nice though and the roommate was interested in our Church and why were were trying to do all these nice things for them. Ashot was super surprised though when he found out that Hakob's mom was a very active member in Armenia and that Hakob hadn't learned much about it! But it was a good visit and Ashot got to explain about the restoration. He was hungry though after so we dropped him of at In 'n out and then had to run out to make it home on time. 
     Friday was super fun. We went over to Ashot's new place early and landscaped his front yard that was a total mess before but after a full afternoon of work, lots of sweat thorns and some russian food that was super good but I can't think of the name for them, it was beautiful after we were done. Flowers and everything! the next day ashot gave us a call and told us that Adrineh his wife was just shocked at how awesome it looked compared to what it was before. But it sure was a lot of work but I love doing that kind of service out here. Don't get to do it every day! After service and a super cold shower to relax back at the pad we headed up to the church to do some weekly planning which we didn't get too far on but it was better than nothing. We ended up heading down to Hollywood to try and meet some of those referrals we never got to. None of them were interested or home so we were on our way back to catch the bus when we were on sunset and a bunch of police cars were all over and there was a helicopter overhead spot lighting us for a second or two and then moved on... it was nuts and we had no idea what was going on so we kept walking.. didn't want to be in the kill zone! but the night just got better after that. We talked to this really cool guy at the bus stop. Then I had a bomb contact on the bus where I was talking to three individuals and had a good group conversation. But the real kicker was when this bigger black lady gets on the bus, gets tripped by this white lady and the black girl just flips out at her the whole bus ride saying some of the most vulgar things I've heard on my mission. It was pretty intense because I was sitting a seat away from her and I though she was going to have a throw down with the white girl who was just laughing and not helping it at all. So we got off the bus and grabbed some quick taco bell and then found a baby squirrel by our apartment calling out for the momma squirrel and it was adorable. Serioulsy I could have picked this little guy up he was so scared. It was a good night though!

sat: road trip, henry, tujunga, Vardon smoking, alina karogh w/Nate
sun: Arpa, sisters boyfriend, helga, burbank and hollywood.      

     Saturday was another road trip day which put a lot of miles on the car. Probably about 100 just in the day. Started off by stopping by this super nice old Armenian lady who was in her nightie and told us it was a bad time and to call another day. Then an Armenian Bishop's house who wasn't home. Then we headed off to North Hollywood where we were at this complex with only a last name and a ton of the buildings had the same last name so we went searching and found some awesome people. Rima wants help with English. Another Astghrik had an adorable dog. Mary told us of a dream she had of Christ and how she was raised to always go to Church even when she didn't have the strength, knowing that she would have enough to go and pray. It was awesome. Next was Yerevand who was the random guy that showed up at Church a week or two ago and didn't stay long. But he invited us in and was super happy we stopped by and had all these questions and wanted more reading material to compare it to the bible. He was really hard of hearing so I basically had to yell to teach him and he couldn't hear Elder Twelves who was on the same couch. But he loved all that we told him and how we had scriptures to teach from. So that was cool. The last guy we visited was in Northridge which was forever away with traffic (even without traffic it was super far away) but he wasn't home but we talked to his neighbor and she was super friendly! Got a return appointment with her and her family. On the way back though we called up Henry Ammar to see if he wanted to grab some lunch and he invited us over to have some food with him and Lacey. It was super nice to catch up with them and they have some people in their ward who are Armenian but less active so we can still work with them once they get in the door. Finally we made our way back to Glendale and finished our weekly planning session in which I put in a bunch of info and Elder Twelves fell asleep. I got some good pictures. Then headed up to Tujunga. Stopped by Vardon's leather shop and talked to him and his friend who was there smoking a ton. Seriously I felt like I had smoked a few cigarettes after I left that store and we were both coughing once we got out and just stunk. But his friend was super cool. A bulletbike racer and crashed a few years ago going 180 mph. Said it was a miracle he didn't die after breaking 67 bones. Intense right? Anywyas so after we headed up to Alina and Karogh and caught them home and taught them. Karo I hadn't met but was super funny. We reviewed the BofM with them and invited them to be baptized but they didn't want to have to get baptized again. then their neighbors ca
me over and we got kicked out... good night though. 
     Sunday was awesome. Arpa wanted to go to Church and so we went on a split after Sunday school where Khoa came and picked me up and I went over to G7 to pass off Arpa to the sisters over there. She loved it. She got there early and I was able to show her around and introduce her to people. When we were at the Chapel she said she could just feel the difference and the Spirit and was super welcomed by people. She only stayed for sacrament but there were some super powerful musical numbers and she said she loved it and felt the spirit super strong. But after Church we went over and had some dinner with Helga and spent some time with them. Shared a message. Got Christine involved which was good. Tried by the Hayrapetyan's again down in Hollywood but they weren't there but met some other girl that was looking for 'more'. Then to top the night we met this really nice Muslim guy who lived by Ragned and gave us some water before we went home. 

Overall, a really good week! I love you all very much. HOpe you have a magnificent week! Keep smiling! 

Elder DeBry

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