Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 80 (6/30-7/7)

Well. I've been transferred again! I am now in an Armenian trio with Elder Cook and Tavoian. Our new address is the first one that I had in the mission field! 485 Riverdale Dr. #3, Glendale CA 91204 for those of you who would like to know! So yep. That means that Elder Twelves is gone... we're really going to miss him. We dropped him off this morning at the mission office and tomorrow he flies out! How weird is that? I remember being the young'ns with him when I first got in the field... weird. Anyways! Today is also Elder Cooks birthday so that is exciting. But back to the work. This last week was nuts. We were SOOO busy. We taught 14 lessons! I mean, I know that isn't South Pas status but for Glendale Armenian work??? Never heard of!! So it was awesome. Set some baptismal dates. Got in with a lot of less actives (especially because it was Elder Twelves last week). 
And did a TON of work outside the mission. But because we were so busy I am stressed about having to now handle another area. Including being in a trio which is stressful already. Plus finishing Elder Tavoians training. And teaching them both how to run the group (hopefully branch) by the time I leave in a few transfers. So the mantle of responsibility of the Armenian group senior missionary has fallen upon me. But I know it isn't me running the show so that is comfortiing that this is the Lord's work!  I am just merely a tool in His divine hands and hope I can be used in helping the Armenian people come closer to him through baptism. But onto the events of the week! OH! AND WE GOT A NEW MISSION PRESIDENT THIS WEEK! His name is President Villanueva from Oxaca Mexico. We got to meet him Sunday night at Elder Twelves' departure devotional! He is the sweetest man and I am so excited to work with him! Okay but really now. 
     Monday: was Elder Twelves' birthday. emailed. bought some waterballoons at target. biked up to verdugo park and had a zone party. played soccer. set up the slack line (the koreans are pretty good). had a lot of fun. had a waterballoon free for all. then biked home. got ready. picked up the other Elders. drove out to mike and bridgett's for a xorovac (bbq) which was awesome. learned the proper way to set up and cook with coals. it was delicious. they gave us birthday presents (socks and a tie). After that bradley came and picked us up and drove us up to sunvalley to meet with Edi. he wasn't there unfortunately. 
     Tuesday: after studies we met with Chris Aristakissian. Had a final lesson with him before Twelves left. he is still on and off with coming. his focus is more the world cup than coming to church. but he is still awesome and we love him. knocked spazier. Got some good potentials. no one comes to mind though. drove up to NoHo. Met with Armen who was asking why there were so many different churches. explained the book of mormon to him and he seemed to accept it pretty well. committed to read it which is good. still not sure how solid he is. we'll try and set him with a date next time. he said he is already baptized and doesn't quite understand the need for authority. he is focusing on how he feels it is wrong to change religions. then stopped by Max (Khachik) on the way home since he wasn't home last time we tried by. caught him home. he asked some advice on some health decisions he needed to make and asked us to give some people a call for him because his english isn't that great. we confirmed our lesson with him for Saturday. Drove back and met with Rita and other Elders. Debra was there for some reason. had some cake with her (we thought we were having dinner...) and share a quick message with her before going out with the leadership. Went out with Bradley that night. Drove up and saw Margarita.We went over there and gave her a Russian copy of the book of Mormon. It finally clicked in her mind that we were the Mormons. She seems pretty hesitant to listen to us after that. She told us that in the past she had heard some things about the Mormons, and that they were all pretty negative. She kept trying to say that she really enjoyed learning and just expanding her mind but that she wasn't at that moment thinking that she would change. But she told us to never say never to change. It was a really good lesson we answered her questions and she still seems pretty open to meeting with us and she committed to read the book of Mormon and continue to pray. She said the closing prayer but no specific question was answered. She also asked us specifically why we do missionary work and what happiness it brings to us.Also saw Aylin and Zhorants that night. Taught with brother Bradley. We had a really good lesson lesson with them. Zhorants told us that he finally closed his shop and was in the process of looking for new work. So we talked a lot about the resources the church has and how we can help connect into finding a new job. He was very thankful. He seemed a lot more at peace now that he wasn't so stressed about the shop. They both seemed pretty happy. ElderTwelves shared second Nephi 31:20 about staying steadfast in Christ. They will be out of town this weekend but committed to manifest next Tuesday or we told them we would talk more about setting a date where Zhorants Smoking and future baptismal date. Zhorants said the closing prayer. It was a good one!
     Wednesday: was kind of slower. we moved into the new clerks office at the church for a while. we went up and finished knocking irving and started winchester. stopped by Edik and his family and taught a lesson. They apologized for not coming to church on Sunday, but they have had
lots of extra guests from their wedding. We discussed what happens at church, including primary for their son. They really liked that idea. Talked about our service as missionaries and how everyone in our church is voluntary. Angela said closing prayer. After we stopped by Edward. Wasn't home either so we dropped him for now. stopped by rocket fizz to see if elder Twelves could say goodbye to Roxanne and pick up his sign, she wasn't there. then went over to meet the other Elders and Ashot at BJ's for a birthday pizookie. the zone leaders pranked us and told us that morning when they were meeting with President Villanueva that the Armenian Elders would be tranferred to the San Fernando mission because of some new language rule... we all believed them and I was stoked for a new experience. Bj's was good. took to long and Ashot was getting impatient as most of our group is... then we had to run and meet with Greg and Suzy. They fed us dinner and we talked about their plans for summer. Read to them parable of prodigal son from bible, and hit Greg pretty hard on returning to God and coming back go church. He said he is still waiting to "make up his mind to do it" and we asked if he was waiting to actually have cancer and die first. Asked him to promise to come back after vacation this month. Suziewas in tears at the end. then we sped up to sun valley again to see Edi. Followed up with reading  he has been "too busy". But he was in Palmdale for work which was why we couldn't meet him. Promised to be at church this Sunday. Taught plan of salvation. Simple and to the point. Made particular mention of eternal families. Reiterated his baptismal goal and he still wants to achieve it. Said we would like to
meet with him more often in the future. He is still solid but just a little flakey.. which isn't surprising for Armenians. 
     Thursday: zone meeting. we were instructed on the vision to baptize. It was pretty good. Low baptismal goal which is pretty bummer but we do our best. afterwards we decided to have a birthday lunch and went to this brazilian bbq place (like tucanos and rodizio grill in SLC) and it was BOMB. Seriously so good. I have missed places like that. So that was a nice treat! Took a bit long though. the waiter was actually a member from brazil which was super cool. said he 'used to be a member' though so we may have more of a purpose of stopping by now! then we rushed up to noho to knock with elders hui and hyde (kim got transferred...) but it was pretty slow. Elder Hui was afraid of dogs and there was this massive dog that jumped up against the fence as we were walking and he jumped around me and spilled his coke all over. it was funny. had to head back to glendale, picked up the other elders and then headed up to joeys. Had a BBQ at his mothers home.  Ella asked briefly about our church's stance on gays. Asked them the question of why we meet with people and learn Armenian, and they guessed so that people join our church. We
said no, but rather to bless peoples families and help them to have more happiness and peace in this life. Explained that that is why we aske them to read scriptures and pray  to build those relationships with God and each other. Committed them to keep praying and reading. probably just need to drop them at that point. 
     Friday: that morning we had a popit/sparkler party with the g7 missionaries for morning workout.  after personal study we drove up to Sue Ammar's house and she gave us some breakfast food then we drove up to noho to teach their zone some more Armenian 101. funny story though, before we taught the deaf sisters were teaching the zone how to sign to a deaf person and it was actually really cool so now I know how to say " how are you. i'm a missionary for my church. can we have your number." it was really funny to watch everyone learn how to sign it though. then we taught them all Armenian. not quite as motivational as some of the zones i've taught but it was still good. hopefully it helps ! met some new missionaries in the zone. we felt like part of the zone! then we went back and did Elder twelves' last weekly planning! it was good. gonna miss that kid. after we drove up and found some good potentials knocking. talked to some guy who at first tried to bash with us but didn't really know his stuff so we ended up being friendly and having us say we could stop by. then I got a surprise visit from Dan Foches who was in town and took us out for some shakes at in n out then went to some g7 bbq activity. the rest of the night was pretty slow. visited jerry. he appreciated seeing us and gave us some good advice about women for the future. telling us we'll "feel a difference if something is wrong....". then we stopped by Gohar as well to see if we'd see her at Church. on the walk home we had to go see if Elder Twelves needed another suitcase from target but settled to borrow one from a member. that night after we got home and planned we did some sparklers and sat on the curb and watched whatever fireworks we could see where we were from. It was nice! 
     Saturday: went knocking with the burbank 1 elders. i went with Elder Mcaughly. taught a lesson at the first door we knocked but then didn't have much more success from then on... for lunch we stopped by glendale market to have some noms and then talk to them and see if we could start teaching them... it didn't get that far but we will teach them soon hopefully! then went to noho to teach max. North Hollywood sisters joined us for the lesson. Difficult to star tteaching doctrine with him talking about random health issues. When wegot the chance, we quickly explained the Book of Mormon and committed him to read it. Explained that reading will give him strength to quit smoking and have more success with his health concerns. Discussed baptism, he still wants to, and invited him to august 3rd. He accepted. Can't meet until Saturday though.on the way home we stopped by Edwin and Verzhik. Asked if we could offer some new perspective before elder 12s goes home. Told them about temples, eternal marriage and baptism for the dead. They were very interested and repeated how they had never heard of anything like that. They liked the idea of family sealings and told them to make it a goal a year after their baptism. Asked about Book of Mormon reading, and verHik says she still is. then stopped by some potentials the rest of the night. that night was transfer calls. Like I said, we'll be in armenian trio. not super stoked that the work is going back to one companionship. but we'll see how it goes. 
     Sunday: seemed very long. church went well, no investigators again... the townsends grandchild was blessed. Elder Twelves bore another testimony, didn't cry this time. took pictures with everyone afterwards. then went up to margarita's and met her husband Greg. We taught about fasting since we were at the time and why we couldnt accept their hospitality of food and water. Margarita told us that greg's mother was in Armenia and could use prayers so we prayed with them and talked more about our missionary service and invited them to pray as a couple. 

So that is about my week and I still have to go finish moving so I love you all and have a great week! 

Elder DeBry

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