Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 70 (4/21-4/28)

Bari loos!! This past week has been one to remember that is for sure! We had a lot go on and I'm not even sure I have the time to go over all of it but I'll do my best. Our investigators are still being stinkers, Brother Bradley commissioned us to start knocking a few hours each day, and our lessons are up and so is our new investigators. Things are getting on a roll and it is exciting! Not to mention the awesome p-day that we have already had thus far which included cleaning the apartment, golfing (my swing is still looking excellent if I do say so myself) and then we went and played some tennis right after and pretty soon we are going to have a nerf war. So gotta hurry!
     Last monday was pretty awesome as well. We went up and hit at the driving range up in Tujunga with Nathan and then grabbed some lunch right after. It has been awesome to get some golfing in! I've forgotten how much I enjoy it. After which we came back and did some emailing until the day ended and we met with Brother Bradley to have a coordination. Some of his first words were "Brethren I'm not sure how much you are going to like me after this talk I'm going to give you..." which made us all uneasy what was just about to happen. But he explained that for the past while since he has been made group mission leader he has felt we need to be talking to more people and that our days are just filled with trying by people that we never get in with. He explained that the flyer activity that we had a few weeks ago was a great experience because of all the people we were able to come in contact with and talk to. And so he told us that after much prayer and consideration he felt that both companionships need to knock two hours a day in order to talk to more people. I was really hesitant at first but I felt that it was what we needed to do and we all felt the same conviction. Ironically, since Elder Twelves is coming up on the last part of his mission, it is ironic that the first 9 and the last 9 weeks of his mission will be spent knocking doors. But THUS far it has been really successful and has helped us come in contact with some really great potential. So it was all good. After that Ashot wanted us to come over to his house for some reason but he wasn't home again... so we went down to visit some other people we had run into on the street, Elizabeth and Hakob. Elizabeth was happy to see us again but Hakob wasn't. He isn't a believer in God because of all the bad things in the world including the things he has seen in the army and such but Elizabeth hopes that he will change one day. We were able to share the message of the restoration. Elizabeth was intently listening. Hakob however was rather rude and negative about the lesson. Elisabeth told us about a miralce she had seen in her sisters life of being healed. Hakob was impressed that our leaders were volunteers and don't get paid. They said they'd come to church. They asked if we had any music that they could listen to or have. Elizabeth said the closing prayer though which was good! 
     Tuesday after studies we had Nate drive us to the bike shop to drop Elder Cook's bike off to get a tune up for him and then drove us to GCC so we could have some free lunch and then coordinate with the other Elders how we were going to split up Glendale geographically so we more efficiently knock Glendale and surrounding areas. After I went with Elder Tyler to start knocking for a few hours (Bradley wanted me to go with Tyler to show him how to talk to people, even though it was my first time knocking... it was kind of intimidating). But it turned out to be not so bad afterall! people weren't nearly as rude as I thought they would be. Maybe just because of the approach we were taking of handing out the flyers we had and it was less aggressive but it just seemed like a street contact but just at a door! We got some referals for the filipino Elders, found some less active G1 members that knew the Elders, and then we got into the next handful of apartments that were just 90% full of just Armenian families... I don't know if we were just at the right place at the right time but people seemed to be home and doors were open. Quite the faith builder! Elder Tyler was probably just about the most awkward thing to watch trying to contact someone at the door though... I don't even know how to explain it. He was super nervous, rushed, and people couldn't understand him. I think some of the people let us in because they just couldn't understand him and then we'd get in and we'd teach a lesson! This one fellow, Teyvan and her daughter Arega (I think) let us in and were super friendly. They had come to the US just a few months ago and weren't super set in any particular church but they wanted to hear what we had to say. So we taught them the restoration and Teyvan just kept smiling which was the oddest thing for an Armenian to do while we were teaching but it was great! We talked about baptism and he said that if he found out it was true that he would but he told us that this week he is going back to Iran for a few months to take care of some business... so hopefully when he gets back we can teach him. But he was solid! The time also flew by super quick and we were done in no time. On our walk up to the Church for visits this lady came up to us on her bike and started talking to us and asking if we were mormons and stuff and then she just wanted to ask us questions. She attends a Church down the street from ours that we always see a bunch of youth going to and she invited us to come and we have an appointment with her to go tomorrow evening so that should be exciting! But that evening we went out with Brother Bradley to see Edwin but he wasn't home unfortunately... we were able to have a good chat with Verzhik though and she told us that he was stressed because their car had broken down that week and he had found a new job with one of his friends and so he had been busy with that. But she said that she had been reading the Book of Mormon and so had her 11 year old son! She told us that they should have all been at Church on Sunday but they weren't... sad face. Final visit was with Elizabeth and Sona and Caroline their cousin was there with her son Kevin who is the most wild child... so while Elder Twelves was showing Kevin some videos on his iPad, I was teaching the rest of them and telling Caroline about primary and Church in general. She is concerned that Kevin is too wild to take to any Church which I can see why but hope something will come from us meeting with her in the future. 
     Wednesday after studies Nate gave me a call and told me that he had set up an online appointment for me to teach one of his friends from London, Sam. Who is this solid kid that used to be in Nate's ward when he lived there. But anyways his dad is a return missionary gone less active and his grandpa is a stake president but he isn't baptized yet so we gotta work on that.... 

on a side not I just realized that we have to meet Ashot down at Costco pretty soon soooooooooooooooooooo this email is going to be really short! Sorry about that! 

So taught Sam, he is awesome and has great questions about the plan of salvation and what baptism will mean to his family and his concerns about going to church alone. But good lesson. Tried to go by some of the referrals from the flyer activity. met a nice couple that elder twelves almost skipped over because he was being so hasty. But we went by this old referral from the Drapers and he invited us into his shop and he just kind of started trying to tell us our beliefs and saying the Book of mormon wasn't true and such and then he actually called his priest from his church and wanted him to tell us where the scripture was that says that there shall be no more prophets after Christ (which ironically it is in the Quran and Armenians despise the turks who are muslim). but the priest got on the phone and was trying to tell us the same things which was what we believe and that we were wrong and don't know the bible well enough to even talk about it (i'm surprised he said we could even touch it with the way he was speaking!) but we didn't want it to be contentious so we told them we had to go and the priest wanted to set up an appointment with us to talk face to face. after we knocked some doors on Arden below Glenoaks. Met a few good potentials. Roubina and her daugther who were impressed with our armenain and said to give them a call and they'd love to have us over. Sally was another who I thought was armenain but she just had too goood of an english accent to think that she was but then she told us she was and we were amazed! But after all that we met with Stuart Richan at the central building and he took us out to dinner at the greek/armenian food place to eat and talk to him for the last time before he headed out to arizona and then he leaves for his mission in a month. so excited for him to be going on a mission. I think i'm the most excited for him to go than any other person I've taught about the church and gospel. he is just so awesome. i really feel like i made a difference in his life. such an amazing feeling. but then we organized a closet at the church. 
     Thursday. District meeting. taught crazy minas during district meeting because he came in and was listening and we invited him to be baptized and he said he was ready to be but just couldnt remember. it was hilarious. then went to red robin cause Kelsie is going to cheesecake factory soon so we paid her a visit. then we got dropped off at a bus stop to go up to sun valley. tried to visit arpa but she wasn't home and then dropped us via text telling us hse was too busy and didn't want us going by her house anymore. and then we walked. and walked. and alked so many miles to the cabrini place to visit the mohlmans for some water. then caught a bus and then went to dinner with bradleys. after dinner we knocked dryden street and found some good potentials before having to bike home. 
     Friday. did more service for joey to finish up the main part of his surround sound system. it looks awesome and we 'had to make sure it worked' so bradley played the armenian cd that was in there and it was bumping. it was hilarious to see bradley try and dance. after we went back and changed. biked to arden and finished the rest of the area. Knocking isn't so bad. Elder Twelves and I had a little tussel and had to talk it out. I've learned the importance of just talking things out. that was important. then we biked another 8-10 miles up to burbank to meet some sisters who wanted to introduce us to this armenian family who gave us a 30 pound bag of grapefruit that we had to bike with... it was ridiculously heavy. but good to meet them. i knew one of the sisters she went to skyline and was deaf. went back to dryden to talk to more people and follow up with some potentials. tried by elizabeth and hakob. didn't let us in. met some other interesting people. one dog walker girl told us that her direction was sykadelic drugs and rock and animals... whatever that means. then went to print off the visiting teaching message and I fell on my bike while not even moving in the empty parking lot... thankfully only elder twelves saw. 

well I gotta run. i'll finish my weekly email next week. love you all! have a wonderful week! muah! 

Elder DeBry

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