Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 87 (8/18-8/25)

25 August 2014

Overview: busy first week of the transfer. Working well with Elder
Tavoian whose language is coming along. Taught Dalar and her family a
few times this week and they are easily one of my favorite families to
teach on my mission. I really hope they'll start coming to church
soon. Split the area with Elder Cook and Smith. Recommitted Andranik
and Margarit to baptism for September 21. Had the spiciest pepper I've
ever had while eating at the Avagyan's and Elder Tavoian was crying it
hurt so bad. Met with Hermine and had two great lessons with her and
set her with a baptismal date for 21 September. Picked up a new
family, Pedro and Anita. Bashed with Andranik and Margarit's son.
Taught and almost 100 year old lady in Sunland. Got a free dozen of
hot fresh Krispy Kreme donuts. Had a dinner that completely consisted
of fruits and vegetables that had been juiced. Hermine and Markus came
to church. He is also set with a baptismal date in October.


lesson with Helga - We had a really good dinner and discussion with
her. We were again about to show the because of him video and share
one of the missionary lessons but then she had more questions about
the plan of salvation. She wanted a answer to the question of why do
bad things happen to people especially young children in light of what
is happening in the Middle East right now. We open to Jacob for and
explains how bad things happen that God's will might be accomplished,
bad people will be judged according to their works and that we might
all be inspired to do good. We committed her to reading a talk that we
recommended that talks more about God's grace and how we can be
changed by it that has a part that talks about her question.

Lesson with Souren, Hilda, Dalar and Devin - We had a really good
lesson with them. Dalar, Devin, Hilda and Soren we're all there. We
started following up with the invitation that have been extended of
praying as a family. They all said they put pray individually but that
as a family they don't. We opened up to the book of Mormon and why we
did that we reviewed why we have the book and what the story was
behind it. We compared the attitudes of Laman and Lemuel to Nephi in
regards to their father Lehi  and his spiritual experiences. We read
from first Nephi chapter 3 verse seven and told them about how because
Nephi had spiritual experiences with his father he was more willing to
go and do the things which God wanted him to do. They are committed to
pray as a family and we talked about them coming to Tuesday night
activities. They committed to come to those as well and have a tour.


Coordinated with Elders Cook and Smith to split area

Tried by potentials up Glenoaks corridor - saw Margo. We caught her as
she was about to walk into her house and she told us that her sister
just died in France. She said that her husband was home and wouldn't
let us in but that she might be able to come to church soon.

Knocking with Burbank 1st Elders - w/ Elder Mcaughley

Waited for Souren, Devin and Dalar to show up for Tuesday night
activities - Devin said his cousin couldn't come and he didn't want to
go by himself

lesson with Andranik and Margarit - We started the discussion by
asking if they had any questions from the reading. Marguerite said she
didn't have any but she did just finished reading the restoration
pamphlet finally. We committed her to start reading from the beginning
the book of Mormon. We then started talking about second Nephi chapter
31 and read some verses with them. Specifically verses five through
10. After we finish reading the verses we stopped and asked how they
felt. They said they felt the spirit and they felt a closeness to
Jesus Christ and God. We then read Moron night seven verse 13 and
describes that the spirits that they were feeling was from God and is
an answer to the question that they had been asking. We then went back
and reread verse 10 from chapter 31 and we committed them to baptism
on September 21. The spirit was very strong and they excepted. They
even committed to come to church on Sunday and we'll see them again on
Thursday to confirm. Andranik said the closing prayer. No specific
question was asked but he is progressing with his prayers at least.

Visit to Margarita - We stopped by around 845 to ask her if she would
be willing to help Elder Smith learn Armenian. She agreed and said
that he could be able to stop by each week and practice with her. She
praised us for our good upbringing and for being well-rounded and good
kids. She told us that some people in her building in some of her
friends keep questioning why she's letting us come over but she just
tells them that she has nothing but good things to say about us.


Biked up to Winchester - set a few return appointments for this week

Bikes up to knock with Burbank 2nd Elders - Elders Schroppel and Sharp
- met the Ainians neighbor, had lady say we should go to mcdonalds for

Lesson with Arman, Kristina and Syuzanna Avagyan - They fed us a
wonderful dinner (insert pepper story) and then we had another lesson
on missionary work. We followed up with them to see if they had been
praying for missionary opportunities. They hadn't been praying for
them so we recommitted them to pray. We read from preach my gospel
with them and talked about how we are all gods children but some of
our brothers and sisters don't know the happiness they could have with
the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it is our duty to help them. We
then showed them the Work of Salvation DVD "I'll go where you want me
to go" of the family and their missionary opportunities. We went
around the room after and talked about some specific things that we
each noticed about the film ie how they started with prayer, how they
made it look so easy (they weren't doing anything extravagent or out
of the ordinary) and how it brought them closer together. It was a
really good discussion with them. We committed them to pray about
places that they might be able to share the gospel with people they
are around. And committed Syuzanna to come to the relief society
activity Thursday night.


Lesson with Hermine - We had a really powerful experience with her
this morning. We started off by asking her if she had any questions
about anything that she had been reading or from church or anything
like that. She asked what was the significance of the sacrament and
what the bread and water meant. We told her that was a part of the
lesson of the Gospel of a Jesus Christ that we were going to teach
her. We then asked what else she was hoping to learn from our meetings
and coming to church. She told us that she has a lot of hard times in
life and she wants to feel a greater peace and comfort during those
times of trial. We explained how it was through Christ that we can
gain that and through covenants, telling her we wanted to invite her
to be baptized that day but that we would explain why. She said her
whole life she felt like she had faith but that when she felt the
spirit she was afraid to follow those promptings and we explained that
maybe it was because she was afraid to change or not knowing what else
she could do, we brought up baptism and she asked why it would be she
would need to be baptized again, having just explained to us that she
feels all churches are good and that we can't say that any one is
true. Reiterating the message of the restoration we told her that we
could truly have the greatest relief of sin and trial through proper
authority. It was a powerful lesson. Debra explained how she felt when
she was baptized and how she felt when she received the Holy Ghost. We
answered her question of the sacrament while explaining enduring to
the end and then invited her to be baptized. She said she is desirous
to be and follow the right path but doesn't know if she is ready. We
promised she would be and extended the date of 21 September and she
accepted. She told us she'd try and be at church and that we could
meet a few times a week to help her prepare. She said the closing
prayer and asked very sincerely if this was the path and if she needs
to be baptized on this date.

District meeting/practicing for musical number at baptism - Elder
Brough is a solid district leader and had one of the more inspiring
meetings I've had.

Out in Van Nuys but felt like wasting time.. But then we went over to
Burbank and found a new family! It is the best feeling when you feel
you have exhausted your resources in who to try by and then you are
lead to someone who is prepared!

Lesson with Anita and Pedro ( background info: Pedro was a referral
from the Burbank elders and we met the mom at some point and she said
she was open to having us over!)  - We stopped by and at first only
Anita was home. We were setting up a time to meet her at GCC next week
when her classes start when her son Pedro came home and we went in.
They were asking some questions about what differences we had and such
and we taught them the restoration. We explained some how to begin
teaching including baptism  and they seemed to understand pretty well
the message of the restoration. But when we invited them to be
baptized as they receive an answer from God Anita was pretty sure she
wouldn't need to be baptized again. Must not have really understood
the apostasy and need for correct authority. Overall it was a good
lesson but we seemed to be talking to much and not letting the spirit
teach them what they needed to hear. Set a return appointment with
both of them to meet at GCC next week. Anita said the closing prayer
after some awkward silence of asking her to. Gave thanks and it was a
prayer from the heart. She kept saying that her sister and mother say
much better prayers to the point that everyone in the room is
crying... But anyways. Overall good lesson. They understood that the
Book of Mormon is the fruit that Joseph smith was called as a prophet.

Relief society activity - sister Turley taught everyone how to make
Spanish omelets.

Lesson with Andranik and Margarit - We followed up if they had been
reading and hey both had been. Margarit finished reading the chapter
which we read last lesson in 2 Nephi 31 and Andranik started reading
the plan of salvation pamphlet. We decided to read from the beginning
with them from 1 Nephi since they were both starting to get into it.
We read a few verses when Margarit asked the question of when they are
baptized if that meant they would become members of Christ's church.
We explained that yes we not only make that covenant with God and
promise to follow his Son but we become members of his church. She is
still not sure if she wants to change churches but we reassured her
that as she and Andranik come to church and see the difference that
they would be able to learn more and grow closer to God. Right after
that their son Vahik showed up with one of his friends and started
trying to argue and tell us that we were wrong and we needed to listen
to him and learn. He was trying to say that since we have the Bible
that there is no need for another essentially but couldn't provide any
examples of how the Book of Mormon teaches any different principle
than the Bible. The spirit was gone and contentious so we just left
and told Margarit and Andranik that we were sorry but that we'd see
them some other time.

Lesson with Aylin and Zhorants - We stopped by because I hadn't seen
them in a few weeks with all the splits and they hadn't been coming to
Church either. They were  doing well, busy as usual with Emanoel who
just turned 7 months. Zhorants is still working at the shop in Reseda.
Asked him how the smoking was going and he said it is still going and
he just doesn't have the desire to quit. He doesn't straight up want
to. We tried to tie in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how faith is
action that leads to change. It got turned into talking about why we
have commandments and why we keep them. Zhorants made the point that
we aren't saved by keeping the commandments but we explained that by
keeping the commandments we are preparing to meet God. Zhorants said
something interesting that he was very afraid for that day to be
judged by God. He said he was very, very afraid for that day. We
explained that when we exercise our faith ie reading praying and
coming to church we receive God's help. They said they had just been
so busy they didn't have time to read and come to church. It just
isn't as much of a priority and we explained that we could see a
different countenance in them when they are busy and not focused on
the things of God. The conversation got let to Zhorants saying that he
doesn't like prayers where we only ask for things and posed the
question of why we love God. His point was we don't just love Him so
we could ask for things. We reiterated that our point was that God
wants to help us meet our needs. Invited them to keep reading and make
it a priority. Kind of a scattered end of a lesson with Emanoel crying
and long distance phone calls from Iran. Zhorants said the closing


Weekly planning

Lesson with Varvaru ( Background info: Referral from a member who
lives in Salt Lake and met Varvaru while vacationing in Palmdale.
Varvaru has been attending a church up in Palmdale for the past while
and no one has noticed her until recently and she only speaks
Armenian. But this member's Armenian friend who also lives in salt
lake called her and asked if the missionaries could stop by and she
said she'd love to have us come over. Audrey wants us to follow up on
the progress and such made.  We called her on the phone and just set
up an appointment to meet with her. She seems very nice, a bit older
but said she loves going to church and participating in the ordinances
there. ) - So when we actually went over there and she didn't seem to
really know why we were there although she was very friendly to us. We
asked her about why she was going to the church up in Palmdale and she
told us that her son lives up there and that's why she was attending
for convenience sake. She asked if we knew if there was an Armenian
church going to be built up there and we didn't know. She says she
says your prayer in there and she was good and then goes home. We
tried to explain the difference between our church and others but she
didn't really seem to care nor be interested. Saying that she knew the
gospel and that she could really learn anymore. She was just a very
old lady not really understanding of anything we were saying. She is
99 years old turning 100 in April. She's closer to the spirit world
then baptism i'm sorry to say. But at least we gave her the pamphlet
and told her to give her son it and see if he could bring her to our
Armenian group. After much confusion on her part she said the closing
prayer which was the Lord's prayer.  We kept trying to invite her to
baptism but she just didn't understand what we were saying. It was
hard for us to understand her because her dentures kept falling out.

Funny story about prayer during Varvaru's lesson: so we asked her if
we could say the opening prayer and I was saying it and so while I was
saying the opening prayer all of a sudden I felt Twelves scoot closer
to me and I open my eyes and I saw that the lady had come across The
room and sat next to Elder Tavoian and was like grabbing his arm. It
was really weird. She sat in that spot for about half the lesson and
then went back across the room and sat in her own chair.

Wendy's / Krispy Kreme donuts - so on our way back to Glendale on the
freeway we noticed that there was a Wendy's and a Krispy Kreme to the
side. We decided to have dinner they had a delicious Wendy's meal and
then went over to Krispy Kreme's in hopes that we would get a free
donuts while waiting in line. That is false you don't get a free donut
when waiting in line at Krispy Kreme's. But we were about to get a
half-dozen and s**t but then the lady told us that it was on her and
she gave us a free dozen. Booyah!


Breakfast with Mike and Bridgett - talked about living underneath our
potential and watched the Mormon message about the man that goes on
the cruise and only eats beans in his room.

Tried by potentials on Allen - I was super excited to try by this lady
who told us she has a autistic and another who is blind but taught
himself how to read by reading the bible in brail. But we went back to
her apartment and she said she was home alone and didn't seem too

Knocked with NoHo ZL's Elders Ford and Axson - went with Elder Ford.

Dinner with NoHo ZL's - we juiced carrots celery apples potatoes
grapes and anything else that we had in the fridge. It was not too


Good turnout in Sunday school - translating

Hermine crying during relief society while talking about having our
burdens lifted.

Markus, Hermine, Kris Aristakissian and Mike came to sacrament.

Elder Tavoian and Twelves gave talks

Lesson with Hermine - We had a quick lesson right after church with
her. We overheard that she was asking Mariam the question why it was
we thought this was the only true church and if all other churches
were wrong. We asked if she had any questions and the question she
asked was how one could know if they were ready for baptism. We had a
difficulty understanding the question at first and sort of thought she
was asking who could baptize and why so we explained the priesthood
restoration but Mariam clarified that she wanted to know how we could
know if we needed to be baptized and if this was the path God wants
and it was his church. Giving the example that everyone else in other
churches thinks that their church is right and they are happy. We
brought up Alma 32 and Moroni 10:4-5 to explain that it is the spirit
and the fruits of our faith that come forth that we can know if
something is true and from God. She still seems to have quite a few
other questions but that she wants to know the truth. We invited her
to re-read the gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and to read Alma 32 and
told her we would read or explain more when we meet next time. We also
explained that through prayer she could ask God the questions exactly
as she had been asking us and through diligent prayer and reading she
could come to know the truth. She said the closing prayer and asked to
know the path. It was a good prayer. Mariam told us after that she
isn't getting a good response from her family and they are against her
learning from us and coming to church and baptism. We are really going
to need a solid support system for her to keep her strong.

Tried by Boris - wife told us wasn't interested

Dinner with Carlin's - ate way too much

Dinner with Helga, Christine and Chris - was fed way too much. I was

Well. That's about my week. And I hope you all have a great weekend I
will talk to you later! I love you! See you! Hajo majo!

Elder Tanner DeBry

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