Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 69 (4/14-4/21)

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!! All of our investigators and members yesterday instead of saying the traditional 'happy easter' they say "     Qristos harav i mereloc! Orhnyal eh harutyune Qristosi!" which means "Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!" Which is a mouthful to say in response to someone in a greeting but it is so much more meaningful than what we have in English. Armenian is so cool. But anyways!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter in remembrance of the risen Savior :) It has been a terrific week. A bit slow. But there is no reason to get down when in the work of the Lord! 
     Last Monday was pretty awesome (so was today but more about that later). Right as the day started we had Khoa pick us up and take Elder Twelves, Williams and I (We had elder williams while he was waiting for his new trainee) to go play tennis! And I have to admit I'm not as bad as I thought I was but a little polishing and I could be a player!! But it was really fun. Khoa is super good but I had some good shots on him :) After a few hours of that we changed at the park and then went down to Vegas Buffet to celebrate Khoa leaving in a few weeks to move to Utah. We'll definitely miss him. I think if I remember correctly I think I had 6 or 7 plates of mostly just sushi.... I was hurting but Khoa said since he was paying that we all had to get our money's worth! I definitely did... it was painful. But after that we emailed and then walked over to meet Ashot at his house (he wanted to meet with us for whatever reason) but we walked over and only Adrineh was there and so we called Ashot and he told us he had hurt his toe at work and had to go to the doctor to get a shot to make sure it wasn't infected and blah blah blah cancel cancel that was a bummer. We walked over to see Rodrick but he wasn't home either. His Dad had a friend over and we weren't able to stay long. Stopped by Trea and Natalie again to see if they had watched General Conference, they hadn't... but we had a good talk with them. We really wanted to see if they could introduce us to their Armenian neighbors to see if we could do a BBQ or something like that to make contact. So that is in the making..Sure do wish they would progress and start going to Church though... what was funny though was seeing Elder Twelves make Daniel laugh. He was so amused which made us all laugh... Oh Elder Twelves... The rest of the night was pretty slow. We tried by a former, Gagik, who is from Yerevan and is super nice but had some guests over and told us to come back Tuesday. Tried to find Talia, that 11 year old that referred herself on way back when I was with Dicus. Elder Twelves couldn't remember. As we were waiting for the bus though, Varter's son saw us and gave us a ride home which was super convenient! 
     Tuesday was an adventure. After studies Nate took us out for lunch at the Cozy Corner (always delicious Thai food). We had a good conversation though. Since Elder Twelves will be going home in a month or two he has been trying to figure out what he wants to study and such. All of which I haven't really given much thought but I've been thinking about doing more of what some of our leadership and President Becerra does being a financial consultant/adviser... whatever that means! But Nate was telling me what I'd need to do once I got home in order to be on track. I think that might be something I'll look into for sure! But then he dropped us off in NoHo. We tried by Yervand, wasn't home. His neighbors wouldn't open the door for us either... lame. Tried by Gohar (referral for a guy named Tony but no Tony lived there). Her daughter was there. It was super hot and we just wanted to ask for some water but she was super confused because we were speaking Armenian and thought that we were trying to sell them water... it was a weird transition. But overall it was good and we got some water. Last stop for the afternoon was this member, Aghavni (which means dove) zurnachyan and we actually got in! She was this little old lady that had been baptized 10 or so years ago into the NoHo ward. Interestingly enough, when she was learning from the missionaries it was Hratch and Armen Baghdoyan who translated for her since there wasn't an Armenian group at the time! But she was super happy that we came and said she would come to Church but she just doesn't have a ride... so we'll have to see if the Matanyan's came come out and pick her up before Church! But she was really worried about her kids that all live in Ukraine so keep them in your prayers! We then made the wonderful 2 hour bus ride back to Glendale. Oh so fun! I think that was the day we stopped by the one place and got some free smoothies but I can't remember... we gotta stop doing so much each day! sheeesh! But by that point it was time to go finish putting in any leftover potentials or formers into the iPad to prep for our interviews with President on Thursday and then we made some dinner before heading over to Ashot's again because the night previous he and Adrineh said that we could stop by. BUT yet again.. we showed up and Ashot wasn't there... we called him again multiple times. Finally we tried by Rita to see if she needed our help setting something up but she was on her way out and didn't... then we got word from Brother Bradley that Ashot was with him over at Hambarsoom's helping him with something. So he had forgotten about his lesson with his own wife. Ashot... We met up with Aram that night to go on some visits to Edwin and Gagik again... the one night that Aram was able to come out, Edwin wasn't there. it summarized our week! We had a good talk with Gagik at his house though. He was really impressed with what Aram had to say but he still wasn't ready to change. He is one of those guys that will get baptized but he just isn't quite prepared yet. Aram is such a stud though. He has made such great improvements since I've been out in his leadership! he is really stepping up which is awesome. 
     Wednesday was very active! We ended comp study a bit early to make our long biking trip up to stop by Rodrick, wasn't home again, and then we made the 8 mile bike ride up to the top of burbank near sunvalley where we were going to try by some of the referrals the zone leaders up there had given us. first was Sarman. He opened the door and told us that he didn't have time to listen to what we had to say and I started to ask why so I could better understand and he just kind of flipped out asking if we had 50 k to pay for his medical bills and to help him not be sick in the head and to help his family. His mother or someone inside the door that we couldnt see kept yelling at him 'amot qez sarman. asek, shnorhakalutyun yev bari or' over and over again. But I very calmly bore testimony that we all have challenges in our life which brought the spirit but he still wasn't having it, nor was whoever it was that was giving the peanut gallery comments. Stopped by one of his neighbors to get some water. I gotta admit, people are very nice to give random strangers. Another person we tried by wasn't interested either but talked to us for a while. People just don't see the importance and difference of what we have to say in comparison to what they believe. The long 8 mile trek back to the church wasn't as bad though having somewhat of a downward slope the whole way which was nice. Brother Bradley picked us up there at that point to go up to Joey's to start installing his surround sound system. It was actually a lot of hard work! drilling a lot of holes in the ceiling and walls, putting wiring through them and such. Got even more of a workout! It was good though. We had to wrap up and grab some food before the fireside with Kate Hansen that night. Which we were supposed to go with Joey and Ella but they bailed for some reason... but thankfully we were informed that there was an Armenian family that was going to be meeting Brother Townsend that night at the fireside so they told  us to go and nonchalantly meet them! Which we did! The talk that Kate gave was pretty inspiring (for all those who don't know, Kate Hansen was in this past Olympics in the Luge and took 10th! she is from this Stake so that was awesome) But she talked about how she got to the olympics and all her failures and big wins and such and how Germany cheats! But more importantly, we met the mother and one of her sons who came to the fireside! Still not sure what they needed to meet with Brother Townsend about BUT we were introduced, amazed them with our Armenian and they might be coming to our group now! 
     Thursday we had interviews with President! Which I was super happy to be able to talk to him. I have felt so left out not being able to hear all the mysteries of the kingdom in the office and such! As usual, President was way behind schedule. We reviewed how we have been using the iPads to help fulfill our purpose and help our investigators progress to baptism. Planning has never been an issue for me throughout my mission. It just makes things so much easier! We talked about how to go about this last quarter of my mission that I have. President is just awesome. Love him and respect him so much. And Sister Becerra. They are both just so inspiring. After our interviews I ran over to KFC on President's request to grab him some lunch then we went to district meeting. Interesting thing that happened though. After the meeting we were doing some internet proselyting when the Sisters wanted to talk to us about a little skirmish that had been going on. They picked up an Armenian investigator who is ysa age but his family are full Armenian. they have taught him a few lessons and we have been asking them when they will pass him off to us to come to the Armenian group but they said that they would make the decision which ward he would be going to... so we met about that and talked about it. Interesting words were said, specifically about certain leadership characteristics that people had and how they used them in a persuasive way... to put it vaguely. In the end it worked out somewhat. We had to end the meeting and run over to Annahid Davidkhanian (who I guess used to have this famous wedding dress shop down in Beverly Hills and she makes wedding dresses that cost $20k+) I had never met her but I guess she has been a member for a long time but her son is a troublemaker and into the wrong things and her husband doesn't approve of her coming to any church (not even the Armenian Church... I know right??). We had a good lesson with her and read 1 Nephi 4 with her about 'slaying' those things that are keeping us from coming closer to God (the word Laban in Hebrew means 'opposing God' Hence, Nephi had to slay that which was opposing God so he could make it to the promised land.) After that lesson we went and got our bikes and went to go fill them up with air and Elder Twelves deflated his to the point where he couldn't ride it and it wasn't the right type of nozzle... so we had to go back to walking... Nate went with us really quick to go see Narek again because he had been asking us to come over and listen to his 'big news'.. I don't even know how to explain what happened. Basically he is brainwashed in a way into thinking some pretty weird stuff that require watching long youtube videos....but anyways, Badley picked us up for dinner which no one was at again and then dropped us off after at Ashot's to meet with him again. Finally he was there and he had bought some perashkis for us... we were already so full. Adrineh was even home but Ashot just doesn't seem to want us to teach his wife. But we talked about missionary work and how we could start to teach Adrineh. He was inspired about the whole story with my family so hopefully that will help him along. Hopefully it'll happen soon! 
     Friday we didn't actually get to weekly plan as usual because we went up to Joey's again to do part 2 of his sound system which was easier work but still tedious just doing wiring and such. But the TV was up so we saw some progress made! For some reason though I was just having one of the most off days I can recall. I forgot to shave, as we were heading out of Joey's to go catch a bus and we were changing, I had forgotten both my tie and my tag don't ask me how... ended up using Elder Twelves tag and Joey's ONLY tie that I could find after rummaging through his closet... But as we were waiting for a bus to head out to Van Nuys we taught this lady, Parkuhi, who actually approached us and started talking to us! We were able to teach her a lesson right there though! So that was good. Then we took another an hour and a half ride to Van Nuys to meet the Elders Armenian investigator who had received the first two discussions. Turns out he wasn't home... which was a super bummer. But we tried by Yervand, sleeping. As we were walking towards the bus, these two girls came up and stopped us and started asking us questions about what we did as missionaries, they had some misconceptions about Joseph Smith and him being a mason. But they were super nice, both of them were Russian and one of them was the daughter of a preacher of some nondenominational Presbyterian church. Should be able to meet with them and pass them off again! Got home kind of late that night. interesting people ride the subway to downtown hollywood on a friday night that is for sure!
     Saturday was a really good day. We started stopping by some of the families that we had been in contact with that week previous from the flyer activity. We taught this one family that had met the sister missionaries (seriously, we need sister missionaries who speak armenian, they would be so awesome in the group and would meet so many people!) but the wife, Satenik, wasn't really interested but was willing to listen which was nice. This other family that we met was BOMB and just barely moved here from Yerevan. Dad is looking for work. so is the son. they both have engineering degrees. One daughter who works at a neaby bakery. But they wanted us to come by again and talk to them! So we are excited for them. Lots of potential there! Pray it goes well when we see them this next weekend. Then we had weekly planning. Went well. The rest of the night was again pretty slow... I guess the day previous Ashot had gone over to Glendale market with the other Elders to have dinner and he got mad at Alex and his family because he got his order wrong and told him that the missionaries will never come back again... so we had to go by and make sure everything was okay between us. They are. They were just surprised and amazed that a member of our church would act in such a way which we totally understand. Just so dumb of Ashot to do such a thing... had some really good progress with some people online though that night! Whoot whoot! 
     Sunday was Easter and I don't think I've ever felt the Easter spirit so strongly! it was a great meeting. We combined with the first ward and Elder Twelves and I were switching off translating. The talk that I had to translate for had a lot of difficult words such as explaining what the word passover meant and how it had to do with the equinox and yeah... it was tough but I managed and just laughed. For Sunday school Elder TWelves taught but for the first part of it Elder Cook and I were talking to this one investigator of the english elders whose name is Eliqio or something like that... man was he hilarious. Don't even know where to start. He is this African american gay investigator that Elder Cook had met a few times and he was there for sacrament meeting but he was just funny. Cool guy though. the rest of church was awesome. But right after Elder Tyler and I went over to the central building for g7 church because Stuart Richan got the Melchizedek priesthood!! I was so happy for him. he is going on a mission. New York North mission speaking english. leaves 28 May. he is so awesome. what a stud. But we stayed for all three meetings. The sacrament meeting was SOOOO awesome. Most of the meeting was musical numbers. I was actually in the choir as invited by Joe. Which was fun. But seriously g7 has some great talent and very nice voices. Even Sebastian performed on his cello. I was impressed. After the meeting we were picked up and went up to the Turley's for their easter dinner. It was awesome. Learned some temple symbolism from Sister Turley. Afterwards we went over to Helga's and had another massive dinner... and played the traditional dzoo dzoo game where you battle eggs. I was so full I seriously wanted to bring it back up... but it was a great day. Loved it.

Anyways, that was my week. I love you all very much! I hope you had a wonderful week and an even better coming week :) Don't forget to smile! Hope to hear back from you next week! 

Elder DeBry 

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