Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 73 (5/13-5/29)

 Well. I'm not sure what to say about this week. It was super long and yet it was super short. Not to mention IT WAS ROASTING HOT ALL WEEK. We got a ton of things accomplished though! And I think that is what added to the lengthiness of it. Zone conference seems like it was forever ago and yet it was only a week ago.... time is going by too fast. This is the last week of the transfer and then ELDER TWELVES ONLY HAS SIX MORE WEEKS!!! YIKES!!!! I'm gonna miss the kid... only a very small tiny bit though. But seriously it was a great week, had a ton of lessons (13), and a whole family came to church this week!!!! So lets recap!
     Tuesday was p-day and we had to bike up to GCC because we had scheduled a lesson during the afternoon, forgetting that it was a tuesday p-day. We emailed, had lunch, the girl, Celine, didn't show up. We were there for what seemed like forever because Elder Twelves is having to start figure more stuff out for his classes when he goes home this fall. Which was super boring. Then we finally all four biked back down to the Wilson building. On the way I raced a bullet bike at the stop light... I lost. It was a pretty boring day. We played some board games. But a bit before the day ended we got a call from Helga and we helped her set up for the relief society monthly activity where they made home made dolma! There was a pretty good turn out with Rita, Anoush, Helga and Christine and then the english leadership came. It was really delicious and we ate a ton for the next few days. Before we went out on visits with the leadership, Ashot and Aram asked for a blessing which didn't leave us much time to go on more than a visit. But we tried by Aylin and Zhorants with Aram and only Aylin was home. I guess it was the first time that Aram had ever been out on a lesson with Elder Twelves and Twelves was stoked on life about it. Only Aylin was there with Emanoel but we had a really good lesson with her, talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ but having the discussion be directed more towards how Aylin could receive an answer that it was all true. Aram bore some awesome testimony and she said that if she could she could come to Church! 
     Wednesday was pretty slow as well. And unbelievably hot. I'm pretty sure every day this past week it was at least 90+ degrees IN OUR APARTMENT. But it was a good thing we were never there. I finally won Elder Twelves in nardi (backgammon). I felt super accomplished :) That afternoon after stopping by Jerry and stopping by Art's bakery to try and see Vasgen's daughter, Maria, but she wasn't there either. We had a lesson with Sam Wigglesworth that afternoon with Nate over Facebook. He has been busy with school and hasn't been able to read. But we went over the message of the Restoration. he knew all of the material but he had some good questions having to do with prophets and we tried to really apply what the restoration really meant to him, but he just still has the concern of having to change his lifestyle when he is only 17 and says he 'wants to enjoy life'. After that we endured the heat and knocked over on Burchett. Seriously, riding our bikes over there was like biking but having someone put a hot blow dryer in your face. Not so fun but people were nice enough to give us tons of water while knocking. Unfortunately that is about all they wanted to do with us. One lady told us to come back at a certain time that afternoon but ended up not being there when we went back. We headed up to NoHo that evening while listening to Elder Twelves 'Enya' on the car ride up which was stuck in my head all week. Not a lot were home and if they were they weren't interested in coming down to the group or they weren't actually Armenian. Before we headed home Helga wanted us to stop by and grab the leftover dolma that they had and wanted to give to us. It was summer dolma which is the same meat stuffing but just wrapped in different things such as peppers and other veggies. Super good. 
     Thursday morning we got ready super quick and then headed up to NoHo again because we had gotten a referral from the Elders up there for a guy who wanted to meet with us and said he was super impressed with our missionary efforts. So we went up there and taught him and he was AWESOME. Super friendly, has his own car mechanic shop, he has lived here for 20+ years and knows really good english, from Iran and HIS KIDS AREN'T BAPTIZED because he felt that it needed to be their decision. He had some great questions and really enjoyed meeting with us and he said he would come to church and that we could meet with him again. Said yes to a soft baptismal invite. After the lesson we headed back down to the wilson building for district meeting where we reviewed what we learned from zone conference and then went over more planning. We cooked the rest of the dolma afterwards and then we got a call from Elder Tyler. I miss him and hope he comes back soon. It sounds like he is taking it pretty rough so I really want you all to keep him in your prayers. The group really needs him back. AFter we talked to Elder Tyler we headed up to Alameda to start knocking. we stopped by Margos first off and caught her home. she had read some of the book of mormon and had actually taken an Armenian hymn book and read through it all and gave it back telling us that it was beautiful. she also told us that she was going to continue taking the medicine that her doctors had prescribed to her that would make her super tired and she wasn't sure if she would be able to make it to church... which would be unfortunate but we'll see. We taught her the plan of salvation really briefly since she had someone coming over but we brought up the temple and her being able to be with her first husband. She is awesome. Still hesitant about all these new things but she is feeling more confident in prayer which is all we need her to do! We finished the street and Nate stopped by and we got a slurpee with him as he told us his story of serving this guy some divorce papers for a recent convert in the south pas ward and him running at him in his car and yelling at him. After knocking we picked up the other elders and went up to the Turley's house to have her well renowned mexican mormon colonies enchiladas with an egg on top! they were sooooo good. seriously. don't even know how they were so good. but then to TOP it all off, Sister Turley had made cinnamon rolls that were seriously the best rolls I have ever had. Hands down. even better than little america rolls with creamy chicken noodle soup. so delicious. It is because she cooks with faith. which is hilarious. dinner took a little long as usual so we only had time to stop by Edwin after and he wasn't home...
     Friday was weekly planning. And I can say that Elder Twelves and I had an absolutely BOMB weekly planning. I think it was because of the great focus President placed on it during zone conference! But we really answered some simple questions. What is the: vision, goal, plan and what will keep these investigators from the waters of baptism. And that just kept us going and having some enthusiasm during all of weekly planning! so I was pretty stoked about that. After that we biked again up to dryden to keep knocking... we met this one guy who wasn't interested but I asked if he knew anyone in the neighborhood that had just had a recent death in the family and he actually gave us two addresses of his neighbors who were in that situation! We went over to the first one he told us about and this younger girl (Sunny) answers the door and is very friendly towards us and we begin to explain that we heard about their situation when her older sister (Emma) came out and told us to come in and get out of the heat. They were super friendly and seemed sincerely interested in hearing what we had to teach and learn more. I felt like because they had just lost their step dad that we could share the plan of salvation with them and they seemed to really be comforted by the things that we taught them. Through the lesson Emma was emotional talking about her family. They were hesitant to pray at the end but open to having us come over and tell them more of what else we had to teach. We are having the G2G7 Sisters go over there this week. I can totally see them coming into the Church. By that time we had to rush down and meet Bradley and the other Elders down at the Americana (aka Babylon) for dinner. We went to this little sandwhich cafe and I had some legit ginger ale. it was weird. still not sure if I liked it. But I say it is Babylon because, well, it is super hot and a friday night and it is California. Not sure I need to say much more. We went back to the pad and got the car and headed up to Tujunga/Sunland to see Haik and Annie. They were actually both there but only Haik was there listening. He had hurt his back at work but we showed him the Because of Him video and had a good talk about him feeling and acting on those promptings that he has. It was a good visit and Annie came out for the closing prayer. Still no change with them. 
     Saturday we did A LOT OF KNOCKING. We did some splits with the leadership that morning and went out knocking by the central building. I was out with Brother Turley. I love that man. Super humble. I seriously think he will be a mission president soon. Him and sister turley would be a powerhouse couple. We had quite a bit of potentials from that. We ran into Sisters Turley and Bradley while they were out contacting and it was funny to watch how animated Siter turley was. but after they got us lucky boy burritos which were awesome. miss those things. Then we had the bradleys drive us to meet up with the Burbank missionaries to go do some more knocking in their area. We were with Elders Sharp and Schropple this time who is the district leader. It was slower. Not as much success but we got a return appointment for this week which seems pretty promising because she has a brother who is a member in Montebello... thankfully we were in a shady area though. Later that evening we headed up to la canada for the culture night activity for the stake where there was food from a bunch of different places around the world and we were representing Armenia... not too productive because it was mostly members and no Armenians came. But we did get some good food. After we drove up to Alina and Karo's place and Iskui was there again! We didn't have a ton of time but we had a good time to get btr with her and answer her questions and then we showed them the Because of HIm video and told her we'd meet up another time and discuss the Book of Mormon which she was down for. What was awesome was that Alina in her closing prayer was super thankful that Iskui was learning from us which is always a good sign! 
     Sunday was awesome. Haibert taught Sunday school. Samvel Avagyan taught a bomb priesthood class about his trip to Palmyra where he ran into some random people and helped them through a tragedy that happened with them. and then.... AYLIN, EMANOEL AND ZHORANTS CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!!! Ah I was so happy to see them when they came in. They just came in and sat down with their car seat just like they were members. It was awesome. And they loved it. All the sisters loved seeing baby emanoel there and they just seemed so happy to be there. and it is even greater that zhorants closed his newly opened mechanic shop to be able to come to church! it was great. AFter church we had some food that bradley brought for us and I taught Sam online again with nate. We are making progress with him and he just doesn't understand the doctrine of some of the things that he needs to change, this next week I think we are going to facetime/skype him to have it more interactive. But he knows it is true! Just likes his lifestyle too much. After we had to race down to see Greg and Suzie but we had a great lesson with Greg telling him how much we need him in the group to be able to become a branch and he actually gave us a date that he would be coming to church which would be after he got back from camping! Next we went to burbank to try by some people who we had both met while knocking the first time with the burbank zl's and no one was home but the atheist sister of the one armenian family when I was with Bertoch. She gave us more water but still wasn't interested but she said her sister was, just not home. Then headed up to Tujunga to meet with Joey and Ella and had a good talk about the Book of Mormon and they said they would read it! well, joey downloaded it on his phone and Ella said she would try. AFter that we headed up to Northridge and met Jora who we dropped. We went over and sat on his porch and he said he read the pamphlet about Joseph Smith and he said he was disappointed because he felt like we were just the same... He wouldn't accept the Book of Mormon and just was very stubborn. At one point I stood up as I was bearing testimony to him and telling him he was risking his family's happiness if he didn't... and then he told us thank you and didn't want us to come by again because theere would be no point. to finish off the night we headed off to Helga's and had a chipotle-like burrito and talked about setting goals. 

I love you all! I hope you have a great rest of your week. Be sure to wear your sunscreen and drink lots of water! 

Elder DeBry

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