Saturday, April 19, 2014

Week 66 (3/24-4/2)

 Well hello family!! I'm sorry this email is a few days late but this week we were able to go to the temple today and so our preparation day was changed to today and I had totally forgotten about it last week in my email... so sorry about that! But it has been an awesome, awesome week and a half. I can't even remember all that we did but I just know that it was full of miracles and fun stories that I'm hoping will come back to my memory! 
     Last Monday (24 March) was hilarious. After a p-day full of nerf wars and then just emailing, we had Armenian Family Home Evening. And since lately all we have been doing on p-days is nerf gun wars, we decided pretty last minute to do the lesson on the Armor of God and have all of our members shoot Elder Tyler with the fiery darts of the adversary as he was putting on this ski gear that posed as his 'armor'. Which was hilarious. Highlight of the night was seeing Anoush pick up the big bazooka we have and start to say "OOHHHHHH MAMA-JAN!!!!" and then proceed to shoot people, especially Ashot. I got a few pretty priceless pictures that is for sure. But then we realized that Helga had previously called us and told us she had some food for us to come pick up so we biked over to her house and on the way back Elder Twelves crashed his bike into me... don't ask me how but all of a sudden all i heard was "Elder...Elder! ELDER!!! I'M SO SORRY ELDER! I'M SO SORRY ELDER!!" And then WHAM crashed into me due to a lack of braking on his part and it was so random I couldn't help but laugh. Especially when he was just laying on the ground and kept saying I'm so embarrassed right now... Oh Elder Twelves!
     Tuesday then involved us going up to North Hollywood again to teach the other English district the basic Armenian to help the work move along. I have to say I definitely enjoyed teaching the Spanish district much more because they were more excited to learn more language abilities. Which I can totally see. But after that lesson, Elder Twelves and I went up to GCC to catch some free lunch. After lunch we really went on an adventure. We drove down to West Hollywood to see that inactive family that we didn't have time to visit last week but were expecting us and we felt pretty bad. But anyways they welcomed us in and we got to talk to them more about how they met the missionaries and etc. we started teaching them from the Book of Mormon to invite them to read and then one of their daughters came over with her kids and kinda killed it. She was super nice but the kids were distracting and so on and so forth. But the daughter was nice and open to having us come over. Even though her husband is/or was a priest in his own religion/church. Unfortunately she lives in Northridge which is forever away... also tried by their russian neighbors again but the wife wasn't there and the husband was quite frankly mad that we would even look at his door and this of talking to them about anything....  but anyways after that we tried by a few other members which didn't exist. One of which Elder Twelves tried to find a house that we didn't have a map to all he knew/remembered was that it was by the hollywood dam and if we just went north on these side streets that we would be SURE to find it... of course we didn't find it!!! 45 minutes later of just trying to find it, seeing some awesome views by the way of RIGHT UNDERNEATH THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN and then taking the most twisty-curvy road possible back down the mountain. Ohhhhhh I was so happy with him but it turned out alright. It is a good laugh, right? After we finally got back to Glendale it was about time to meet Bradley, Ashot and Hambarsoom at this greek food place for another celebratory dinner in honor of Hambarsoom. It was kind of a big deal with Ashot because he was late and not able to get Hambo so we did and then Adrineh ended up not coming which was part of our plan of teaching for the night... but it was good. Spasiba good...:) but after we went up to visit Edwin after Ashot went up to drop Hambarsoom off at the Hospital to visit someone. And we had an awesome visit with Edwin. Whose neighbor by the way had seen my video on facebook and said "heyy you're that guy from facebook right? Aren't your from Utah?" Which I thought was awesome!... but anyways, Ashot did such an awesome job. The whole reason we were bringing him was so Edwin could get some job connections and such and after they were done talking about job, Ashot tied it perfectly into what we were going to teach and such. It was awesome and Edwin loved Ashot. After that lesson we rushed over to see Rita who we hadn't seen in a few weeks so we went over with Bradley. She had been really upset for the past few days because of all the turmoil in Syria which is her home country. Apparently the Muslims are going through the highly populated Armenian/Christian cities and towns and bombing and killing thousands of people. Not only that but blowing off the crosses of their Churches and replacing them with the Islamic flag.... so she was really upset and we talked to her and gave her a blessing. So all y'all, keep Syria in your prayer please and thank you!! There are a lot of members and people we work with that have close ties there and your prayers will help them be prepared for our message. 
     Wednesday was pretty scoooo! after studies we went over with Nate to office depot to print off the flyers that we used at the LA Kings game on Saturday! Not sure if I told y'all about that... but yeah! Anyways after we made the flyers, which was hilarious by the way because the lady at office depot was having fun with us. We headed up to North Hollywood that afternoon to try and visit Yervand but he wasn't home... so we went and got some lunch at what we thought would be an Armenian place to eat but it was Arabic... and it was spensive. But oh well. After which we went by and taught Arpa! Who was still super happy she had gone to G7 sacrament and looking forward to go again. Her parents were home who we were really trying to get to be introduced to but they weren't too open to talking with us. But we talked with Arpa what she thought about Church and had some questions and then she just came out and said she wanted to learn what we were all about! Which was awesome. She even asked about baptism because there was a confirmation at the sacrament she came to. She knew that it was a big commitment and said "I don't know if I'm ready for that!" before we had even invited her to be baptized... but it was awesome that she was already thinking about it. It was a good lesson though. Later that night we went by the Mohlman family! Sister Mohlman is Armenian and is active and married with kids in the Burbank ward! Her husband isn't Armenian but she has a lot of family members who are also members but not active. She was... well, an Armenian woman. Very all over the place. Super nice. But again all over the place. Got some good potentials from them though! Dinner went a little long and then we had to rush off to Armenian class... which no one came to and then we had Christine Hagopian cancel on us. Lame sauce. But she is smoke free for a few weeks now! So that is good. 
     Thursday we had Sister Becerra come to our district meeting! Which is always a nice surprise. She is like an angel. But after the meeting we took some time to do some Facebook which we have been neglecting lately. And I went through and messaged a lot of the people who either shared or commented on that video of me speaking and thus far I've gotten some people now asking questions and one lady asked us to come to the Armenian Church with her and then we'll have her come to ours in return! So pretty cool what we can do over facebook nowadays! Then we had some bomb leftovers of the greek place. That night after dinner with the Bradley's, we were supposed to go to an Armenian baptism (a high school kid in a seminary class up there) that was going to take place up in La Canada but the boy's Mom told him that he wasn't ready and that she wants him to wait a few weeks and talk to the Armenian priest about it... so we are sure he will be baptized in the coming weeks and then we can start talking to his family. So instead we went over to Ella and Joey's and they fed us a second dinner and we had a really good discussion with them. It was more of a casual conversation that was based on the Gospel and Ella had questions from Tithing, Chastity and temple marriage and then why we decided to serve missions. She has such awesome questions and can feel the spirit but she just is hesitant. All the while Joey was just asleep on the couch...
     Friday I was on exchanges with Elder Cook! I miss that kid. I love Elder Twelves but he has just been up tight. From all the work we have to do and the little time he has, he is just stressed. So it was nice to be with Elder Cook for the day. I was still with Elder Twelves for the morning just so we could weekly plan and such. Including our weekly breakfast with Nate and workout. After planning though we swapped at McDonalds while the other Elders were waiting for Zach Morell to come down and be with them for the day (the first called Armenian missionary whom I replaced). So Elder Cook and I went off to go to our lunch appointment with Sarkis and Tamica! The couple from lebanon that made Elder Dicus and I lunch before. They were happy to see us and fed us a good lunch and we were able to share a message of the Restoration after. In which I had forgotten the first vision because I hadn't used it in a while for some reason... but it was good and hopefully we we'll be able to teach them again soon. We had to rush over to Varter's though for a quick visit. They fed us some bomb birthday cake since it was her birthday the day before. She was super happy and quirky for once which I hadn't seen in a while! But it made it a good mood of a visit instead of her gloomy, sick state of being. After that we tried by some people and were unsure what we could do for a lack of planning on our part... I hate not planning. But we got picked up by Mike and Bridget to go grab some lunch at a Pho place which was really good. I miss those two! Still where they are when I was teaching them a year ago but they will come around some point... they dropped us back off after Elder Cook made a deal that if Mike read every day that he would play Magic with him... but it seemed to work so far! We then drove up to see Edwin. Ashot bailed on us again but we had another good visit with Edwin. He was so funny. He loved being able to meet Cook and made sure we knew that we were his brothers and that his door was always open to us. we weren't there long so we didn't have a lesson but he was worried about Ashot because Ashot had used the excuse that he was in the hospital and we weren't sure what was going on. But I guess there was another big earthquake that night... didn't feel it so no worries! Said he would come to church though. 
     Saturday we were super busy. Elder Cook and I ended studies early to try by Jora up in Granada hills. Found him home but he said he was cleaning and busy... so we made another trip over to Northridge to hopefully visit Serge but his wife told us that he wasn't home and she didn't seem to interested in giving us his number. His nice neighbor wasn't home either and we never got a hold of Ripsime's daughter to set up an appointment with her... then we stopped by Yervand again! He was home thankfully and we were let in by his wife and kind of scared him in his kitchen because he couldn't hear us. He was REALLY chatty that day. He seemed to talk about everything. he had some really great stories to tell but trying to talk back to him and tell him we wanted to teach was just really funny because I was seriously yelling at him and almost would start laughing when I had to. But he had read the pamphlet we gave him and seemed to understand it pretty well! Didn't really seem to get the Apostasy so we tried to answer more of that but didn't get through much before we had to head out. but then we stopped by a referral we had received from the Spanish sisters up in that area and we met this Armenian lady who lived there and was super nice. Wasn't too open. But she offered us her granddaughter though which I thought was funny! By the time we were finished with all of those people up in that area and tried by some others in Burbank we had to head back to Glendale to figure everything we needed to do for the booth that night at the LA KINGS HOCKEY GAME! 

I felt like we were really unprepared and we found out that we were... Nate picked us up and took us out to grab something to eat before the game at this Korean BBQ place which was actually really good/interesting. You cooked it yourself and they just gave you all the raw meat you you put it all in front of you and when you were hungry enough to eat it, you ate! So that was fun. Then we arrived at the Staples center a wee later than we planned and had no idea where to go to find this booth that had been set up for us but weren't told where... so we were kind of running around the stadium for a while going from office to office to come to find out that they had taken down table because we were late. But it ended out being pretty good. Supposedly it was "Armenian Heritage night" but I seriously think we only had two or three Armenian contacts... the best contacts we had were with the workers that were standing around the booth manning the doors and couldn't walk away from us! So I felt bad we were unprepared with English supplies and didn't get to talk to a lot of Armenians. Got some cool gear though! So that is important. And we saw an accident where this Lamborghini crashed into this little toyota... so sad. And then we stopped by McDonald's and Nate went through the drive-thru backwards and the manager wouldn't give us our icecream... so it was a very unique night that is for sure!
     Sunday was awesome. Edwin showed up for Sacrament after having gone to the wrong Church building(he went into some Chinese Church and then followed the spirit along Wilson and found our Church!). Elder Twelves and I taught a part of the combined meeting of Relief Society/Priesthood on Service and there were some really good testimonies that Edwin enjoyed! He loved it though. We were even able to introduce him to all of our leadership, including our stake president, President Morgan. We gave him a brief tour to get him more familiar for when he comes to this weekend of Conference (which I'm so excited for). Practiced for our Easter musical number after Church. Then we drove up to Burbank to try by some referrals that the zone leaders had given us from knocking... one of them we actually got in and taught a lesson! Sarman and Yeranuhi. Sarman had some mental disability that he was aware of and he wanted help with that and his grandmother was listening in as well. We taught them the first lesson and they were intently listening! It was pretty awesome actually. He even said a closing prayer. Didn't ask a specific question but we will get there! Later we were up in Tujunga and stopped by Alina and Karo and they were home and had their daughter in law, Iskui over there as well! It was a really good visit. We focused on Iskui because she had met Elders Byron and Judd when they were here way back when but had never been taught. She made us some food and as we were eating we started going through the first lesson and she totally made sense of it and felt the spirit of it. She said a closing prayer and agreed to meet with us after our session on Saturday night. So that was awesome! lastly we tried by Helga and Christine and they fed us some and talked about General Conference! So it was actually a really good night. Some solid potentials and new investigators! 

Wow this is a long email. 

     So this most recent Monday, was not p-day. Again, sorry for no notice. Hope the search and rescue wasn't sent out after me. Went up to the Booth that morning. didn't know it was the job fair up on Campus and we got kicked out of our usual prime spot and were put next to the Jehovah's witnesses... we had the white board up there and had originally wrote up "how to have stronger relationships" but because everyone was just looking for job sturff, we changed it to "how can God help you find a Job?" and that was a little more successful! Funny story though. one of the older Jehovah's witness' came over and told us that if we had anyone asking a lot of hard bible questions to send them over to them... so I made a comment that if they had any Armenians come over to them, to send them our way. He then started telling us how long and vigorous it takes to be a Jehovah's witness and study and tests and such... anyways. Talked to another lady who wants to learn Armenian! Then bused down to Red Robin because we had told Kelsey Glendale that we would come see her at work and she gave us some free shakes. Solid! After lunch the other Armenian Elders dropped us off at another referral we had gotten from a G1 member who was this old lady. She invited us in and we thought she was going to be solid once she started talking about all of her relatives that she had lost. We tried to start to teach her but then she just kept saying the same thing over and over again... then she called her grandson who she was living with and told him that we were over there and that he needed to come meet us. He started to freak out and think that we were some strangers robbing the place and she put us on the phone with him. We figured it out but he still didn't want us in his house without him being there. So we left and that was that! Later that night we were up in Burbank and stopped by the Ainian family again to get more of the ward lists that they hadn't gotten back to us. They gave them to us which will be a big help in building that foundation. They were asking about the work and told us that the elders in their ward were only having two or three lessons with investigators a week and we told them that we had had 8 the week before... so we are doing pretty good I guess! After we stopped by Edwin again and had a BOMB lesson with him. he said that he had loved church and ever since he had been thinking about where we could go to talk to more people and have them come so the building would be full! It was awesome he said he was so jealous of us being missionaries. He was telling us that we just needed to tell people of the difference and then we started teaching him and his wife (who is opening up to us now) about the Book of Mormon. They LOVED it. They were blown away they had never heard of it before or anything! They wanted to start reading it together and the wife asked for a children's copy. It was AWESOME. 
     Tuesday we went up to grab lunch again at GCC. Started teaching some people that commented on my video which was awesome. Then we went up to Yervand and taught him about the Book of Mormon. He was convinced that Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet and wrote the Book of Mormon to help people get closer to God. So he said he'd read it but he didn't think he was a prophet or that the Apostasy happened. But after that we had planned out a few members up in that area to try by now that we had finally gotten the member list from the Ainians. We had some awesome street contacts while we were looking for these people. This one guy that I was talking to wasn't interested and trying to play it like he already knew it all and that he knew God but didn't believe the Bible and I was probably the most bold I've ever been with anyone and it was awesome! I started asking about his family and saying how I knew that he hadn't heard what we had to teach him or else him and his family would be happier. He didn't know what to say and then I just gave him our number and walked our ways! It was great. Love talking to people. That night we had dinner with Bradley and Ashot over at Panda since Bradley will be out of town on thursday. After dinner we stopped by Hamarsoom because he was in the hospital for a few days because of some health reasons. AFter we went up to Edwin and his wife to answer any questions they had about the Book of Mormon but they said they had been reading it as a couple and really pondering it! Edwin said "this isn't just abook you can read through, you have to take it slow and really see what it means." He is so solid. he is our next Branch President and family. LOVE TEACHING FAMILIES! Finally after that lesson we stopped by Rita again and shared a short message. She has been working alot and under a lot of stress so she appreciated the visit. She is so funny complaining to us about her bosses at work and such. She is like a little kid with her mannerisms and really loves us like her own sons. I love the poeple we work with. 

Well family. That is a lot of text to read. If you read all of it, apres/maladets. I love you all. Hope you have a wonderful week and enjoy conference! Make sure to go in asking questions! 

Elder DeBry

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