Saturday, April 19, 2014

Week 68 (4/7-4/14)

 Well family and friends this past week was awesome. And today marks the first day of the transfer. No changes have been made other than Elder Cook will be training the new Armenian Elder that will be coming in on the 29...Elder Tavoian. But besides that... nothing too much. We had all expected that Elder Tyler would have been put into English work but yet another curve-ball after no call was received by the Assistants. I am really looking forward to this transfer. We have a lot going on right now and things only seem to be going up! Also this past week I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON IN ARMENIAN. I was super stoked about that. I wish I would have made a bigger priority of finishing it sooner but better late than never!
     Last Monday was rather eventful. After emailing we sadly had to go into the office to wash the car and then turn it in for the time being. So this past week has been a lot of bus stops, walking and biking for the first time in months! Thankfully Ashot wanted to go out to lunch and was willing to come pick us up! So he took us out to In 'n out and then went back to the Church. He told us all about General Conference in utah and how again he got pulled over going 120 or something but got out of the ticket by saying he was going to Conference... at least the cop didn't do a temple session with him this time. So it was kind of slow after that. We walked up to Rita's for dinner and she made a feast for us and the Bradley's. Seriously. hav and mis xorovats, brins, hummus, mutabel and then this weird delicious dessert that was like a rice pudding. But it took forever unfortunately. Rita was telling us about how her work isn't paying her for all the days she works and how it is just stressful and busy for her. To add to that, she should have been getting the word back from her lawyers about her husband being able to come visit in the fall. By the time we got out of there and sharing a message about the Book of Mormon, it was 8. So we decided to stop by Edwin.. even though during the lesson with Rita Ashot had called and told us that he had cancelled the lesson because something came up... which was really frustrating. So the Bradley's took us up there to try and see if we could still have a lesson but only Verzhik was there because Edwin had left to go somewhere because we cancelled... but it was really good to introduce them to Verzhik. She is solid and her english is really good surprisingly! 
     Tuesday was a bit slow... we ended studies early and busses up to GCC to go up and do the booth. But unfortunately the zone leaders and the G7 sisters were already up there and there wasn't  a point for all 6 of us to be up there... they were playing their guitar and the Sisters had written some super duper long quote up on the board in hopes that people would approach them... so yeahhh we went back to the institute and did some studies and planned a bit for how we could use internet proselyting more efficiently! It has been awesome though, for this whole week (13 April - Easter Sunday) the Church is having a massive push for media advertisement and all mobile device missionaries will be posting quotes, pictures and videos this whole week with the theme #BecauseofHim and it is estimated just on YouTube alone to have 110 MILLION views. So I am super excited to be a part of that this week. But last week we were still just figuring out how to best go around talking to some of the people that we had been in contact with from my video and potentials and stuff. It is really interesting to see how much more willing someone is to add us on FaceBook than give us their address or phone number. But anyways... we went back to the pad and finished our studies.. I had a big push to finish my reading and got it done :) So i was super happy about that. Feel very accomplished. After studies we went down to visit Jerry and had a nice visit with him. It wasn't very long before he had to go to have his dinner. Love Jerry. Can't remember what he was talking about but I just remember it was VERY hot that day and Elder Twelves was asleep while I was asking him to tell me stories about when he lived in Armenia. We left and then went to try to visit this family that the zone leaders passed off to us down on San Fernando and Glendale. They weren't home.. well we actually found out that we had gone to the wrong apartment building but it was good.. other than baking in the heat. blarg it is going to be such a hot summer... but the good news was, we had dinner with the Carlins once we bussed back to the Church. It was delicious. Elder Carvajal joined us while he was on exchanges with Elder Tyler. It was great, Sister Carlin sang us some awesome pieces on the piano while we were eating our dessert (she is a professional opera singer). Very classy. We headed to the Church after to go out on some splits with the leadership. We went up to see Edwin with Brother Bradley (Ashot bailed again and said that he had to go and take care of Hambarsoom again...thankfully he didn't call and cancel with him). We went over there and had a really good lesson with him. He is getting kind of fed up with Ashot telling him that he'll do something for him but not being able to.. he was really stresed and really needs Ashot to come help him out with his car situation. But we talked to them both about what we knew about Joel Kasparian and then tied it in to the Plan of Salvation and how it brings peace in our lives. Verzhik really understood that in order to achieve Celestial glory we need to live the Gospel. They had a lot of questions and really good comments about the Gospel, especially baptism. They said that they had learned about all these things in their Church in Iran. We felt the spirit really strong and extended the baptismal invitation to them with a date 27 April. They were pretty hesitant, saying they weren't ready and that it would take years to feel ready, but that they hadn't ever been baptized before. But they committed to pray about it.  Before we headed home we stopped by Hambarsoom's to see how he was doing, Brother Townsend and Ashot were over there already and had given him a blessing. We came and shared a scripture with him and then left. He is looking a lot better. 
     Wednesday was SUPER long. We had previously planned to go up to Granada Hills and teach their zone the basic Armenian to help them give us some referrals... but we didn't account for us not having a car. So we originally planned to bus (which would have taken 2 and a half hours) but THANKFULLY Nate was going up to North Hollywood and so he was kind enough to give us a lift and save us a whole bunch of time! It was super awesome though, we had the entire zone there and they were all eager to learn and to have us there. We even talked to two companionships who either already were teaching Armenian investigators, one of which was only able to read the Armenian material that we have... so we are DEFINITELY going to get on that! After that however, we had the long trek back to Glendale. we had the zone leaders give us a ride to a potential that we had in Northridge since it was about a 4 mile walk from the church that we were at. It took a total of three busses and a subway ride to get back.. a grand total of about 3 hours!! What made it worse was the heat and that no one was really on the busses to talk to so it was really hard to stay awake... but the subway was cool down to downtown Hollywood! When we finally got back to Glendale we stopped by that new health smoothie place to get a drink since we were starving and the owner Jason hooked us up. We finished studies back at the Church. Then we grabbed our bikes at the pad and were supposed to meet with Ashot and go up and teach Edwin but he rescheduled for later so we went over and tried by this kid that Elder Twelves had met a while back while on exchanges with Elder Tovey. He was home and even let us in and told us that he was actually hoping that we would stop by so we could answer some of his questions. We weren't sure if he was 'all there' but he was gladly participating because of whatever he was on at the time but we had a great 20 min lesson with him and were even able to invite him to be baptized. His parents walked in though right around that time which made it a bit hesitating as to what they would think or if they would interject if they heard the invitation. But all was well! After that we rode back over to Ashot's and met up with him to drive up to Edwin who was very happy to see us all. Edwin and Ashot talked for a while about his car situation and what he would need to do to get a new one. But because of some bad financial decisions and people taking advantage of Edwin, he has a low credit score. But we were able to follow up with them on how their reading had been going and I guess they had been going back and forth between Armenian and Farsi and had been reading it slowly but consistently! We also gave them a children's version of the Book of Mormon, which they were excited for.
     Thursday we had a district meeting on planning... afterwards we went back to the pad and how some lunch and finished planning before we headed up to Burbank to try by some people. But again, Nathan came to the rescue and was awesome enough to drive us up there and try by some people! Who weren't home... but we did get some delicious frozen yogurt for a pickmeup and talked about career paths when we come home... no idea what I wanna do. Elder Twelves having to sign back up for school makes it hard not to do the same and it is stressful! He had to run though and dropped us off in Burbank to try by some others. Walking to our next potential took longer than we thought so by the time we arrived we had to go find a bus and wait, and wait, and wait. Finally we were done with waiting (very patient of us) and we had khoa come and pick us up so we could meet Brother Bradley at the Church so he could give us a ride to his house for dinner. Which was awesome yet disappointing. Ashot and Adrineh were originally supposed to come but Ashot brought Hambarsoom instead. Which was still awesome, but we were really hoping to start teaching her. The other Elders taught him a lesson after and then we went out with Brother Bradley to go stop by Rima. She and Raymond were home and Bradley wanted to have a more serious conversation with her. We translated for him and basically he was just trying to come to the group so she could be a better example for her children to follow, especially with her husband passing away years before, how we are blessed through living the gospel of Christ and how our original meetin with them was not by accident. She kept bringing up that they were too busy and just wasn't having it. Ragned came home mid-way through and by then it was frustrating because she was telling us that none of us had really been through any trials and didn't understand how they felt... so we left with a prayer and told them about our Easter service. Just. wasn't very happy with them. Just makes me sad they won't see the importance when it is right in front of them. 
     Friday inbetween studies and weekly planning we were supposed to go over and help Edwin make a resume with Ashot but Edwin never called us... so we went out to lunch at Glendale Market and it took forever because they were so busy... so after lunch we headed back to the church and weekly planned and figured out the routes that we needed to figure out for our stake activity of passing out flyers through all of glendale to invite people to the Armenian Group! But it took a lot longer than we thought it would. That evening we got a call from Elder Coontz and Williams telling us they needed us to cover a lesson with an new investigator that they tried to call and reschedule because they were stuck at a busstop somewhere. So we went down there and met with this man, Gerald, who was really mad that the other Elders tried to cancel because he was going to invite his daughter to come and listen and meet with us.. but he was glad we came. we were too because he was BOMB. He is a decorated vietnam vet and had lost his wife a few years ago and now only has his daughter and some grandkids. He was super open. Like, Julian and LIsa open and asking good quesions. told us he wanted to quit smoking. was raised catholic. We went through the first lesson and then he said the closing prayer and the spirit was so strong that it brought him to tears. We invited to be baptized and he said absolutely if that is what God wanted him to do. 
     Saturday we had the massive stake activity where some from each ward and all the missionaries came and went around putting door hangers that had the Armenian group info on it. It was awesome, we had about 60 people come including the zone of missionaries. I went out with Nate and his girls and it was so awesome! they were troopers, Nate had promised one of them 10 cents for every one that she put on the door (she is six) and it was awesome. What person would deny a little girl putting a picture of christ on their door???? My strategy exactly... so we did that for about 4 hours that morning and then went out to lunch after at the greek place. which was delicious. Went back and finished studies, tried by rodrick and then had to bike all the way down to this referral on san fernando because we forgot the zone leaders had set something up.. they weren't home. So we stopped by Fariba whose husband let us in for some water and then she came home and was mad we had stopped by and this third guy got mad we were there and said he had talked to the leadership before and told them that if we tried to get them to come to church that they would call the police... I replied that we had only stopped by for water and they felt guilty that they were getting mad... that made me frustrated. Then we biked back up to another referral on cedar with this guy who requested a book of mormon. he was nice but only wanted the book.. he answered the door in his tighty whities which was weird so we left without pushing coming in... It was a slow night though. We stopped by the davtians for a bit. 
     Sunday was awesome. We had a few people come to church, some we didn't know. Edwin came for Priesthood which I was teaching about the significance of the Sacrament. We ordained Hambarsoom to the office of a priest in the priesthood. We were super glad that Edwin came. Verzhik didn't but she was busy with Edwin's mom with something. AFter church we tried by aylin and zhorants.. weren't home. Then the bradleys came and picked us up to go to the la canada baptism with the armenian kid whose parents weren't even in attendance of the baptism... got to meet Kate Hansen though who was an olympic luge athlete in Russia. So that was cool. AFter that the townsends dropped us off at Helgas, stopped by and apologized that we hadn't told them that the picnic was canceled. After, I went with Elder Williams to pass of Gerald which was a bomb lesson on the BofM. He said he would read it in about 2 weeks. Was asking great questions. He came to Church that morning to the first ward and stayed all three hours. committed him to be baptized on the 18 May. He said if it is God's will he will do it 110%! He is a stud. Then to top off the night we had one of the best lessons with Joey. Him and Ella had been praying and had received some answers (trying to find a tv stand at a cheaper price, ella suggested prayer and they found one). then ella had to leave for a massage at 930 at night.. i know right? but Joey started asking why dwe dont' work on sundays. discussed keeping the sabbath day holy. read from the bible . then joey started asking some questions about what the gospel is had a really good discussion about how the gospel blesses families, talked about prophets and relations to general conference. Joey had the condcern that prophets could talk to god. He brough up Joseph smiths retranslation of the bible somehow. he brough up the scriptures in revelation. Refuted it pretty hard and commited him to pray and he said the closing prayer. It was awesome.

Well I'm out of time for today. I love you all very much! Have a great Easter! Remember, He lives!

Elder DeBry

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