Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 79 (6/23-6/30)

 Thank you all so much for the Birthday wishes this week!! It really was a highlight of the week feeling so loved and all your support. I really do appreciate it!! This week has just flown by. We got so much accomplished and it was pretty pleasing to see some fruit come from our efforts. But I still don't feel satisfied! But anyways some big highlights: I turned 21, we had our semi annual group BBQ/Picnic, we had another stake flyer activity and HAD SOMEONE SHOW UP TO CHURCH from it!, andddd that is all that comes to mind... but it even at that it was an exciting week! OHHH! And we had lunch with President and Sister Becerra! More details below. 
     Monday: for p-day we went down to china town and Olvera street which is like little Mexico and I got some Horachas! These little mexican sandal/slippers. They are awesome. And church appropriate so I wore them that night :) we also went to philippes which is this famous french dip place downtown LA that is like the original. it was pretty good! Monday evening was FHE, and we were hoping to catch a couple of our new investigators before it started for lessons, but they fell through. Instead Brother Bradley took me over to pick up Hambarsoom, and we had a short lesson about church callings instead. FHE itself was fun; we had a big turnout of members, ate a lot of food, and played jeopardy on American history (the American members couldn't help...we were surprised how well the Armenian members knew their history). As we were cleaning up aftewards, a random older Armenian man walked into the building so we ended up giving him a tour as well. During FHE crazy minas kept singing the lords prayer and waving the american flag. pretty funny. and then he was picking through all the food and we had to tell him not to.
     Tuesday: Turesday morning we spent at Pep Boys getting our car tuned up...only to learn it had engine problems and we should return it to the office and swap out cars. Lame. It was super hard to try and do studies while the world cup was on the TV of Italy and whoever they were playing... anyways. we got another Cruze so it was ok. Went to the office that afternoon also for an iPad training for ZL's / tech missionaries (one of whom is me; Elder Twelves wasn't invited but we couldn't find anyone for him to go with so he came and helped anyways and was super happy about it). We migrated to a new security app that locks down the iPads even more. The AP's didn't know much of what to do so we it was kinda figure it out for yourself. It was super stressful that it wasn't working and mine was doing weird stuff and yeah... We got it eventually and taught it to the zone on Thursday. Came back to Glendale and started knocking for a couple hours. Went to see Edik and his family that evening and brought Brother Bradley with us, and their 9 year old son started asking a lot of questions so we geared the lesson to him. Taught him to pray and he said his first prayer ever at the end of the lesson. He was a much better listener than the rest of his family! then we Dropped by Aylin and Zhorants afterwards with Ashot, but they had guests over. However, one of the guests knew Ashot from the Iranian army years ago, and wants to meet with us to show us pictures of their war years. Cool random connection. Ashot seriously knows everyone from Iran.
Wednesday: Was really really slow. Nate took us out to lunch for sushi. which was good. But the rest of the afternoon and evening fell through. I know we ended up in NoHo before dinner and found a Spanish referral while talking to someone. We had dinner at the Turley's. Wonderful food as usual: homemade tacos and all the buffet fixings, and homemade cinnamon rolls for dessert. Ate way too much as usual. Seriously she makes the best cinnamon rolls.
Thursday: we showed up to district meeting early to migrate everyone's iPads. Then we had Elder Twelves last district meeting (next week we're meeting as a zone)! Yet another surreal moment. I didn't get to be in the meeting much because I was going around with the zone leaders and sisters baum and esplin to work on everyone elses ipads. We packed quickly and ran out to the car to drive to Arcadia, because President and Sister Becerra were feeding us lunch! Sister Becerra made her famous lentil soup, and we had a full hour to just talk to them ourselves. We were quite honored they made time their last week to have a meal with us. We talked about their first experiences as a mission president, what happens when the new one shows up, what President gets to do as a Seventy (re-organizing stakes with Elder Bednar and Elder Oaks in the next 6 months, how lucky is he....), the current status of the Armenian work, and what's going to happen in the future. President requested Armenian speaking sister missionaries, but he doesn't think they'll show up until 2016. At least it took 2 years to get Chinese-speaking sisters. He doesn't know what will happen next transfer, but it looks like either they'll drop down to a trio, or bring an English Elder in for a couple transfers into Armenian work. Hopefully the latter. So we dropped off the other Elders, then drove out to NoHo to try by a potential from last week. His name is Armen. A older guy who let us in and wanted to know why the world is getting so bad. Taught the first lesson, did a pretty good job too, but he wasn't terribly excited. Turned around and picked the other Elders back up, then went up to the Bradleys for dinner with them and Mike and Bridget. Had a short-lesson-that-went-way-too-long afterwards on faith and how we must always make the first step when testing spiritual things, instead of waiting for miracles to happen. Bella called during dinner and wanted our help moving some furniture which was SUPER HEAVY. Like an old fashioned TV that had a built in record player and radio into the whole housing. then Tried by some people after dinner but nobody was home. On our way home we stopped by Vasgen and had a good visit with him. Somehow he started talking about Aram and how he didn't feel like he could trust him for some reason and they were just being weird about why we would come serve for 2 years in our prime years. not sure if that happened that day. or this week. they all seem to blurr.
Friday: That morning we had to run over to Bella's to move a bunch of furniture for her, then met Ashot at a bakery by his home for a late breakfast. We did half of our weekly planning, then met Nate for an early birthday lunch at a park since he left for Utah over the weekend. He drove all the way to Long Beach to bring back food from CAFE RIO!!!!!!!!, which is MY favorite place to eat back home. Nate is the man if I do say so myself. He even gave me a pomegranate wearing headphones. afterwards we Came back to the church and finished weekly planning, then started knocking for the rest of the afternoon. STopped by the Duvall household to print off some papers for the stake flyer activity then grabbed a quick dinner, then went up to Joey's for what we hoped would be a solid last lesson. Instead he was having issues with his vising aunt, and decided to throw a bbq for us at 845 pm, which meant we had to leave to go home before the meat was even on the grill. Ella wasn't too happy that we had to leave...
Saturday morning we had a second Stake activity where all the missionaries in the zone went on splits with members and went out knocking. We kept it shorter, aiming for 60-90 minutes start to finish. Went well, we even had a guy show up to church from it! We snuck into several locked apartment buildings to place flyers, and apparently one of the tenants went to the central building that evening to complain that we placed a flyer on their door, and some members of g7 talked her down and sent her away. We joked that we got her to the church though! As soon as the flyer activity finished, we changed and went over to Verdugo park for the picnic. Great turnout from members, too bad none of our investigators ended up coming. We played soccer, did an egg toss and a water balloon toss where we missionaries tried to catch them in our aprons (I won!! :), had a water balloon fight, had birthday cake, and we chased Henry Ammar up the street just so we could throw a water balloon at him. Good times by all. Came home, got changed, then ran over to Burbank to go on splits with the zl's. Slow few hours of knocking. I went with Elder Ford and we went into this nice area of Burbank and I saw some of the most elaborate from doors I've ever seen! Seriously I was just impressed with the door and the doorbell on some of these homes.. besides that we saw some deer and talked a lot about why we both started going back to church. He is a solid kid. When we finished, they offered to feed us dinner because some investigators had given them and entire crockpot full of chicken and potatoes. So we were fed by the missionaries this week! Extra blessings to them! Sunday was my birthday!!! we had another good turnout of members, but again no investigators, which was disappointing. But we had good lessons and participation, and like I mentioned earlier a couple random people from the flyer distribution showed up!!! I translated the whole time for both sunday school and for the combined relief society/priesthood meeting so I'm getting gradually better. Henry and Lacey came for sacrament meeting; Henry was the other speaker along with Elder Twelves. He talked about how he felt like he was returning home; Elder Twelves talked about how he felt he was leaving home. It's hard to say bye to a group of people that you have spent the last two years serving. But we'll keep doing great things and the work will continue to grow. I'm just glad I could do my part and serve with this Armenian Group. Twelves had a pretty good talk. He was crying of course but it got me choked up just because I'm feeling my time grow shorter and shorter. Townsends fed us dinner and threw another mini-birthday party for us again, where we ate way too much again. Then we got a call from the Carlins who wanted us to come over for some birthday cake that they had made for us that day and expected us to come eat it. they gave me a lovely tie which was very nice of them. But directly after them we tried by a few more potentials and ended the evening with Helga and Christine again where they piled a plate of pilaf and chicken for me for another birthday dinner. seriously I am still so full from it. But it was a really great day.

Well everyone we are about to have a bomb zone activity so I love you all! thanks again for all your love and support. I hope you all have a fun and safe fourth of july!! Happy independence day!

Elder DeBry

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