Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 74 (5/19-5/26)

 Happy Memorial Day! I hope every one is going to be having a grand ol' day enjoying beautiful weather, where ever you may be! So this past week was probably the most successful finding weeks I have had on my mission. We found THREE NEW FAMILIES! We are stoked on life right now. Going to be super busy in the upcoming week. Not only that but AYLIN AND ZHORANTS  want to get baptized on 22 June! Very excited for them, especially since they came to church and had Emanuel blessed during sacrament! A non member couple wanting their baby blessed! How awesome is that? Another wonder that happened this week, one of the Sisters from my MTC District, Sister Katie Nelsen, came to visit the group yesterday and will be here for a week visiting family and will help us with some lessons. It was super good to see someone from my district! so it was just an awesome week. it was long, and this email will be longer so brace yourselves.
     Last Monday was pretty slow. We deep cleaned the apartment hard core because it didn't have the most pleasant odor, and that was not because of me! Surprisingly I think my cleanliness has only improved since living with other guys, whereas theirs has decreased. So I did as my Mother taught me so well, get on all fours and use a lot of bleach on all surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom. so that took a while and by the time I was done my fingers just stunk of bleach. Not a good smell. We had nate take us to Target after because I still had some christmas gift cards. Then we all went to that bomb wing place on brand with Nate and keranq 50 wings. It was bomb. Nothing much happened after that. That evening after the day ended Nate dropped us off at a referrals house up chevy chase canyon, weren't home and then we had to walk back and set up for Armenian FHE which was somewhat centered on memorial day and we shared the message of Captian Moroni and the Title of liberty and we had everyone make their own flags which was actually pretty fun. 
     Tuesday after some studies we went up to GCC to do the booth for one of the last times this semester due to finals coming up these next weeks. It was election day up on campus so Sister Baum and Esplin came up with the idea of writing on our white board "Vote for Christ" which we all thought was really funny and we got more people actually looking at what was written on the board than usual! Funny story: there is a certain area on campus where people were voting and no one was able to campaign within those boundaries. But we were within the lines and had that on the board and one of the candidates came running up to us and told us that we needed to take it down and then realized that we were missionaries, telling people to vote for Christ in their life, and that it was funny. It was funny to see this kid run across the courtyard to just laugh at himself after. It wasn't too successful though. Had some lunch after, talked to Elissa about introducing her boyfriend to the missionaries and she is going tomorrow hopefully. After lunch we drove down to Montebello to visit some of the members that we have on record down there. No one was home or we weren't able to get into their apartment buildings. We did see the massive Armenian Apostolic church that they have down there and it was gorgeous then met the mother of a member at her apartment and she was super nice but I realized that while we were talking to her, and could have had a lesson, she was too old to get herself to the group and wouldn't be real growth to the church. Although she was the first Armenian to laugh and have a massive grin that we spoke Armenian. Super nice but don't have time to go to Montebello every week. After we headed back and went up to a street that both Elder Twelves and I independently felt we needed to knock. We quickly found out why! We were only able to get to about 5 or 6 apartment buildings because 98% of each building was Armenian and they all seemed to be indifferent to us coming back, except a few families that said we could come back and explain. But our Golden nugget for the day was this family of 5 that let us in, at the start only the Dad and 11 yr old son were home and the dad was thrilled we spoke armenian. From Iran of about 15+ years and super friendly. He actually asked us to share some of the things with him and as we were doing so the Mom and one of the daughters came home who is about our age. So the mom sat in on the rest of the lesson. They committed to another lesson and to pray! They were super awesome, and it was just the beginning of a great day! We met up with Brother Bradley and went over to Christina Avoian and had a good lesson with her about having her helping us teach Margo and taught her about missionary work. She is actually excited to be doing missionary work! And I gotta say, I was super touched by her closing prayer. One of the most sincere prayers I've heard. She called us family in her prayer and said that since we were family that we freed her from her lonliness by sharing the gospel with her. She is so awesome. Wee stopped by Edwin but no one was home again. Thinking about dropping him. Then the most bomb lesson of the week happened with Aylin and Zhorants. We went in asking them about how they liked Church since they both came and they both just loved how they felt like family since they didn't have any family here in America. So they loved it and their faces just shone with happiness as they told us how they feel. Then we addressed how they still felt like they needed a big confirmation that it is true. We shared some scriptures with them helping them understand that our testimonies come slowly and with action. They also brought up their concern that they didn't know if they'd be able to be together after this life and Brother Bradley taught that through the priesthood we can. The spirit was super strong and that set it up perfectly for Elder Twelves to invite them to be baptized and he did and they said they would on 22 June, which so happens to be their anniversary! It all just came down to them wanting to be family. Then once they said yes they had all these questions about how they would be baptized and what they needed to wear. It was awesome. Love them so much. I was literally just filled with the spirit so strongly. I could have flown home!
     Wednesday. Studies. Elder Cook had to go to a district leader meeting and so we were put with Elder Tavoian to finish his studies and 12 week training. Forgot how training is fun but frustrating at the same time. They are just so..... innocent and inexperienced! But after lunch we headed up to Burbank to stop by that lady Ninet that I met with the Burbank Elders, Sharp and shcropple, whose brother is a member in montebello. She wasn't their but her daughter was and said we could stop by next week again. Then stopped by thompson again to knock and the third door we knock they let us in, four people there in the apartment, had some questions, taught them the restoration, commit them to listen to us again and they agreed! It was bomb! Coincidentally it was the same building that Edik and his family was in. Neighbors. Also talked to another one of his neighbors who was from Syria and spoke a little Armenian but she was super nice and really impressed with our focus on family. She said she would stop by when we teach Edik tomorrow evening. Then we met up with the other Elders and dropped Tavoian off with Cook again. Met up with Elders Black and Williams and passed Anahid off to them and showed her the Mothers day video. Then went back up to Alameda and we met another guy, Goorgen, who let us in and was super nice. We talked about his faith. Open to listening. Taught him the restoration and asked if all churches had truth. Said we could stop by again this next week! After that we got some glendale market dinner. Then met up with Ashot at his house but he wasn't home and but we got some perashkis with him and the other elders. AFter we tried by some potentials on arden and burchett but nothing panned out. 
     Thursday was a shortened district meeting because it was just on planning. Then we did some language study. Listening to general conference is easier because I know Armenian! It was a sad day though because we didn't get to talk to Elder Tyler because he was busy running errands with his mom. I really was looking forward to telling him about the week. Keep him in your prayers please! We all really miss him out here and need him to come back soon! Then we drove out to Northridge and tried by this referral we got. Wrong address but it was an Armenian who knew who we were looking for and gave us the address of who we were looking for. Then we stopped by Annie who at first didnt want to let us in but then she agreed after she showed us that she already had a copy of the book of mormon. we taught her about the book of mormon and helped her understand. It was a really good lesson actually and under 30 min. Still stubborn to have us over again and not sure if we will but we might bring a member. Then we tried by some referrals given to us by the noho sisters. weren't home. went back and finished the last apartment on alameda and then continued on thompson where we found a whole complex where most of the apartment said they would be willing to have us come back over, and it was great because each time we could just say "hey we are teaching your neighbbor  on x day, wanna come??" and because their neighbor is interested they said yes! Then we found this one AWESOME family. Dad's name was Zaven. Daughter is Melissa, age 9. and son, Armen, age 6. They had the day before just come from Iran and were very, very lost and new to cali. we taught them a very short restoration lesson and set a return appointment. Zaven knows this will help his family and I think we invited him to be baptized if he came to know that these things were true. Cute story: as we were going around the rest of the building, little Armen was walking around following us in his dad's massive flip flops. Then dinner at the bradley's that night. Got some more of that pizza place where they make it like subway with whatever you want on top! It was super delicious. After we tried by some people but no one was home. talked to Bella at her apartment. Miss seeing her at church. 
     Friday was weekly planning. Had a good session, had a lot to plan for with all these new families. Not much else happened. We went up to knock dryden, not much success there. Then had to bike down to Hambarsoom's that night who wanted to feed us but he cancelled and ashot wasn't answering. so with an empty spot in our plan we called up Bridget and Mike and stopped by over there to see them since we hadn't in such a long time. We had a really good visit with them, I have forgotten how goofy they are. We really focused on Bridget and asked her what she hoped for and steered the direction towards the temple and her doing baptisms. She knows she wants to be sealed in the temple but she doesn't really understand the blessing she has that she can do that once she is worthy. we committed her to prepare to enter into the tmeple this next month. 
     Saturday was pretty slow as well. We went out and knocked with the north hollywood zone leaders again and it was pretty good, didn't get to teach anyone but we got some good potentials. I ran into this preacher and asked if we could come to his congregation and give a non denominational talk and he got super defensive and said no. but it was worth a try. that evening we had a bbq up at bradley's and had aylin and zhorants, and Ashot and Adrineh come and it was awesome. We taught them about modern day prophets after we ate. It was so good and they all had a really good time. 
     Sunday was awesome. Sister Katie Nelsen surprised us all and showed up at our meeting on Sunday morning. Super good to see her and catch up, her armenian is so good. And it was awesome to get to talk to her just in armenian. Not a lot of people were there but Aylin and zhorants came to sacrament and we got to bless emanuel. he is such a cute boy. I felt like I needed to bear my testimony about families since Aylin and Zhorants were coming to the group now and with all the new families we had found. It was a good fast and testimony meeting. After church we had Katie tell us all about hte work in Armenia and she said that our group was just like it was in Armenia so that made us feel good! But she told us more and it really is just like little Armenia here! It is awesome to hear. Then we had dinner with the townsends, got to go see joey and ella and give joey a blessing. Ella didn't want one because it freaked her out for some reason to have someone touch her head. then we went by some other potentials who weren't home. It was a good day. 

Well, that was my week folks. I love you all. Hope you have a great Memorial Day! Talk to you all next week. Don't forget to smile! 

Elder DeBry

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