Saturday, April 19, 2014

Week 67 (4/2-4/7)

 Well hello my family and friends! It has been a jammed packed last few days since our Wednesday p-day. Who knew that so much could happen in such a short amount of time! Especially since this upcoming week I'll be approaching my 18th month mark... I don't even want to think about that. I love you all, but I never want to come home!... there is just too much work to be done here and too many Armenian families waiting to hear the gospel.
     So last Wednesday like I said was our temple trip/p-day which was awesome. Got some great insights of the mysteries of the kingdom! After the trip though the leadership that took us wanted to take us to grab some lunch while the morning traffic died down and that was only about 2 miles away from the temple and near the santa monica pier! Turns out they took us ONTO the pier and to Bubba Gumps to have some lunch with a view of the ocean... made me uneasy that we were there  but we were all just pretty astounded that we were by the beach! So it was pretty cool. After lunch we drove back and all decided we needed a quick powernap before we emailed home. The rest of the evening after p-day ended was slow. Ragned was home but Raymond wasn't so we weren't able to come in... so we tried by Elisabet and Sona again but they weren't home either. By that point we had to go back to the Church to teach our Armenian class that is so successful... no one came again. It might be shut down soon. But it was worth a try again! We had planned to see Christine Hagopian after as well but her regular scripture study class taught by Chrisy Frandsen was cancelled and so she went home. When we called her though she broke the news that she hadn't been completely honest with us whenever we would call and follow up with how her smoking was going. She had only been a few days at a time and then would get frustrated with someone. That got us down because we thought she had been doing do well. After all that we had also planned to see Adrineh but that didn't work out either. Instead, Ashot wanted to get some McDonalds ice cream as we talked about Hambarsoom not being able to go to Conference because of his health. Which we were all bummed about. Including Hambarsoom. Funny story though. While having ice cream Ashot decided he wanted Dicus to come down to a session with him while he was up there and so we called him and got to talk to him. Long time no talk with that kid. missed him for sureeee. 
     Thursday was Zone Training! And it was actually a lot better than the last one in my opinion. The topic was planning and relating it to all the things that we had learned in the temple the day before. There were some great insights. One of the things taught though that really made an impact on me was one of the things that our new sister trainer, Sister Baum, taught us. (and I invite you all to do it.) She had us all close our eyes. And think of a friend, a family member or just someone we care about. Once we had thought of that person she had us think of where we want them to be, what was our VISION for them. In the temple? Mission? Baptized? and once we thought of that we talked about what plans we had already laid out in our mind to accomplish that vision. What goals we had set for them and how we were going to be accountable so we could improve. And all this was then related to how we need to see our investigators. More often than not we get caught up in just trying to teach the lessons that we know will help people. But that exercise helped us to really feel that we needed to have a vision for these people. Our brothers and sisters. Our fathers and friends. Once we have that we are more capable of helping them reach that destination. So I liked that. After the meeting all four of us went back home to grab some food and finish language study. That afternoon Elder Twelves and I headed up to North Hollywood to see some of the members that we had planned to see now that we had a ward list of people in that stake. The first one we were able to talk to the nonmember husband. Who was very stubborn and "already knows everything there is to know about the gospel". mmmmmhmmm. Sure ya do! He was nice though and gave us some water.. even though we asked for it hoping he would invite us inside. Next place we had to jump a fence to get into the apartment building. Which I love doing and feel so sneaky. Elder Twleves cut/punctured his hand while doing so and left a big shoe print on my shirt as he was jumping over. Too bad they weren't home though... traffic got pretty bad and were only able to stop by a few more before we had to head back to have dinner with Ashot before he left for Salt lake. We stopped by and got some perashkis that had nutella in them (perashkis being this deep fried donut kind of thing that sometimes has meat or potatoe or sweets in them). Then we took Ashot over to Glendale Market because he had never been! He loved it. Then we sent him off to make the long drive to utah to see conference because he "promises so never just watch the conference on TV." What if funny though is every time he drives up or is coming back, he gets a ticket. but gets out of it because he said he is going to conference and is a convert to the Church... oh Ahsot... last time I think he actually got the office to go and do a temple session with him while he was near st. George... SO FUNNY. Anyways. After that we tried by Sarman but wasn't home and then drove up this canyon road up to Tujunga to see Joey and Ella. We had a really good lesson with them. Joey had some good questions about why we go to Church each Sunday and we explained the sacrament and importance of the baptismal covenant. Somehow we started talking about Funeral services and how our Church views death differently. Ella is still bitter as to why bad things happen. But we assured them they they could gain a witness for themselves as they pray, read and especially by watching general conference! We got them both to watch conference this past weekend. But I'll be sure to tell you that when I get to Sunday. 
     Friday was rather uneventful other than our lunch hour was filled with Elder Tyler and Twelves wrestling again... surprisingly Elder Tyler and his skills are improving! Plus he has Elder cook as a coach... but we taught them how to choke each other out which was good! Weekly planning was rather productive. We have a lot of potentials coming out of the woodwork which is awesome and we are SO excited for Edwin and his family still. Seriously every time we go over we are just so excited to teach him and he is eager to learn and participate. We did have a lot of weekly planning wiggles that we needed to get out though. But those are normal. Not much else happened that evening. We tried by some more people in Burbank. No one was home. We stopped by Aylin and caught her home. they were re-doing her floors. we told her about conference and she said she'd try and watch some. On our way home we got stopped by a group of kids asking what we were doing and it turned into them wanting to come to primary and young womens. One of the girls being Armenian and saying that her parents would 'TOTALLY let me do that'. 
     Saturday was GENERAL CONFERENCE!! In case you didn't know... Seriously I love General Conference so much. It is so awesome to be able to listen to such inspiring words! I'll probably attach some of my favorite quotes that I compiled but it was awesome. Saturday morning we were at the Central building. Watched conference. Edwin didn't come even though he said he'd be there... for  lunch inbetween sessions Khoa got us a bunch of little ceasar's pizza and it was delicious and awesome while Elder Carvajal expounded some of the things that the MLC got to learn during their temple session with President and a special Q&A session with the Temple president. Afternoon session awesome. After that we went up to La Canada to get some Los Gringos Locos and we saw one of the stake presidency members, President Woodhouse, and he picked up the check which was awesome. Then we went to the Stake Center to watch the Priesthood session which was probably one of my favorites. Makes me really miss being in Utah though. Watching the session with my pops and then dinner after. But it was still good. After the session we stopped by Alina and Karogh's to see if Iskui was there... but she wasn't and neither was karogh so we couldn't go in. But we stopped by Haik and Annie's place and FINALLY saw Haik. He was half asleep and wasn't too interested in listening but let us in and we were able to teach a lesson and invite him to watch a session of conference. Last stop of the night was Helga! She made us more food which is called spas which is a yogurt soup that was very interesting... they weren't able to see the sessions that morning so we talked about what we had learned and then committed them to watch it the next day. They also gave us a big, bright pink cake! 
     Sunday morning we had the Armenian translation of Conference. Not too many people showed up but we had Rita, Jerry, crazy Minas and some of the english leadership who brough some breakfast fruit and yogurt sturffs. But best of all... duh duh duh duh!! Edwin and his wife came! they were a bit late but came in and sat right now and watched and loved it!! after it ended we showed them a bit more around the church including the primary room and the baptismal font room. It was so awesome. They were really happy they had a place that their kids could come and learn. SO EXCITED FOR THEM. We'll see them tonight and hopefully finally meet their kids! AFter that we dropped the other elders off and then head up to Joey and Ella's to watch conference with them! They wanted us to go to the store with them and get some meat but we convinced them otherwise and to keeep the Sabbath day holy :) Ella had to run one of her neices home and get some food from her sisters house since we wouldn't let them go to the store. So Joey watched a good majority of the session and thankfully the Plewe's were there as well to watch since Joey had mentioned it to them that they were going to watch and have us over. So we watched and Joey was asking questions and stuff. It was awesome. It ended and Ella finally got back and we made some burgers and had a good discussion over dinner with them about what they thought and answered some of their questions. I guess Joey had the Tv on since about 8 that morning and watched some of the morning session as well! But it was awesome to have the Plewe's there to really show an example to Joey. They definitely listened better now that they were there. The rest of the night we tried by Aylin and Zhorants again and Zhorants was finally home! Aylin had to go to the store but we were able to have Zhorants watch a talk from conference which was awesome. It was funny: he is afraid to be alone with his new born son emanoel and as soon as Aylin left, he started crying. Super funny. To end the night off, Elder Tyler and Twelves had a rematch of wrestling.... which turned into Elder Cook wrestling Elder Twelves and then finally making Elder Twelves pass out... it was quite eventful. 

Anyways!! It was a great week. Conference was awesome. The work is hastening. I love you all! Have a wonderful week! 

Elder DeBry

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