Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 85 (8/4-8/11)

11 August 2014

Overview: finally met SAMVEL's wife, Suzanna and taught her. Set
Andranik and Margarit with a baptismal date of 21 September. Taught a
total of 20 lessons this week. Had zone training. Gave a few blessings
to Margarita and Armen who are starting to gain stronger testimonies.
Gave a talk on Sunday about the Book of Mormon. We didn't have any
English leadership at church on Sunday so it was all Armenian run!
Felt like a real branch. President Villanueva and his wife came with
their family to sacrament to see us speak! It was a really awesome
week. Hermine, Markus and Armen Avakian all came to church! That was a
nice cherry on top.

Monday: giameles w/ Nate and ZL's, shopping, church to email/sport,
Met with Arman and Kristina. We went over there expecting to just meet
up with Arman and Kristina and discuss missionary work.We planned on
talking to them about missionary work and catching the "missionary
vision". Of course, because they were Armenian they had a big table of
refreshments ready for us. Well, their mom sat in on the lesson! Which
is really a miracle because none of us have ever met her. Twelves
hasn't even met her. So she sat in on the perfect lesson. We went
around the room and asked everyone why we invite people to be
baptized. Then we show the "Because of Him" video and ask them the
same question again. It invites the Spirit really fast. Suyzanna, the
mom, was surprisingly really involved in the lesson and giving great
answers. They all committed to looking for more missionary
opportunities and a follow up visit to talk about the next step. So
that was awesome! Then stopped by Andranik and Margarit. We saw that
they were home and so we stopped by. We had a nice discussion with
them and read from the book of Mormon because they told us they hadn't
had time to read. Since last time we had already discussed the
introduction we read with them from the first chapter of Nephi.
Marguerite really seems to understand the need for scriptures and
really enjoys our visits. We only read to verse about five or six
before we had to go and we invited them to finish reading the chapter
and that we would come back the next day and discuss more. Marguerite
said the closing prayer. It was the Lord's prayer... But they are
coming along nicely and hopefully will be at church soon!

Tuesday: studies, knocking N Jackson, met some good potential who said
we could return Sunday. Drove to Hollywood to find out the lesson had
been canceled. Drove to Granada hills/north hills to try by referrals
but didn't had any success. Taught Varter and Vardan. Massive amounts
of fruit and vegetables. I know I've said this before, but I love
going over there because she makes Tavoian eat his fruits and
vegetables. Lots of people will say "Cow Brains", or "intestines" when
somebody asks them what the grossest thing was that they ate on their
mission ... But Tavoian will probably say carrots... We had a really
good discussion with her. She really seems to enjoy our visits to help
Elder Tavoian's Armenian. After the small talk and usual loads of
fruit we taught her the Book of Mormon and committed her to read the
first chapter and we'll follow up next time. She seems happier in
comparison to my first few months in the area. We feel she is coming
back.  Helga called and invited us for dinner afterwards. Told us she
is going to the first ward because she feels like she has more friends
there. Shared a scripture of the parable of the sower. Taught that we
are all fallen but it is up to us what soil we are placed in and how
deep our roots grow. Met Markus. He met us at the church and we had a
church tour. He thought for some reason that we were some other Muslim
church that proclaimed to accept Christ 200 years ago but was into
some weird physically intimate rituals and whatnot. He told us that
when he came to church he found out that it wasn't that church and he
could tell we worshipped Christ. We got to the baptismal font and
talked about baptism and invited him to be baptized. He told us that
he told us he will on his own time when he is ready. He was going off
on some weird tangents and for a while saying he wasn't sure if he
could come back and attend or learn from us because we weren't as
knowledgable about some history that he feels applicable to growing
closer to Christ. In the end, it was a good but long lesson. Said he'd
be there Sunday. Cook and twelves stayed to translate for Anoush
meeting with bishop. Elder Tavoian and I went to visit Andranik and
Margarit again. We had an AWESOME lesson with them. They had both read
some of the material we had left them! But not much. Margarit had read
some of the restoration pamphlet that we had left her and Andranik had
read some of the Book of Mormon but he said the words were really hard
to understand and had to read a few times. We read with them the part
from 1 Nephi 1 where Lehi prays and sees God, Christ and receives the
book and is filled with the spirit. We compared it to Joseph Smith and
they really seemed to enjoy it. We invited them to prepare to be
baptized and they accepted for 21 September!! We had to explain it a
few times to make sure they really understood what we were inviting
them to do but they said they did! We gave copies of the Farsi
translation to them and an extra for their son. Margarit said the
closing prayer and prayed specifically for things instead of the
Lord's Prayer! She included if baptism was His will! We're super
excited for them. She is like another grandma we have out here. She
actually really reminds me of Grandma Baker come to think of it.

Wednesday: ended studies early for Elder Tavoian to go with Twelves to
meet potential Boris in Burbank. Elder Cook and I continued knocking
on N Jackson. Met this English guy who said he wanted to be baptized
on the street. Met up with the other Elders because Boris wasn't home.
Lunch w/ twelves at chipotle. Knocked up on Winchester. Tried by
potentials in North Hollywood and Burbank. Slow afternoon. After
dinner met with Armen Avakian. While backing out of the driveway,
elder Tavoian backed into a wall with Elder Cook backing him up.
Nothing major. Just doesn't get to drive anymore! Anyways, Armen. We
had a pretty good discussing with him. He wanted to get some advice on
what he should do concerning his court case with his son. He told us
that he felt he had found something or rather had been prompted by God
to be leading a certain way that may progresses trial. We gave him
some advice and then read with him from Mark chapter 4 about the
parable of the sewer. We told him to go back and read that chapter and
see how it could apply. The bottom line was we were trying to give him
hope that God was leading him in a path that would bring him greater
happiness. We told him to keep praying and to read the Scriptures into
fall of the little things that he keeps receiving. He brought up his
priesthood blessing last time and how awesome that was sent he wishes
that he could feel that way all the time. Then met with Hambarsoom. We
read with him from Mark chapter 4 in the New Testament and compared
the parable of the sewer to priesthood responsibilities. He
understands that he has their priesthood responsibility to help and
minister but he feels that because of his health he is not able to. He
says he is continually looking for ways to serve others and help in
anyway. Went to Tujunga to meet with Joey and Ella. Twelves was
already up there with them. They invited us up and we had dinner with
them. We shared a message and we read from Mark chapter 4 about the
parable of the sewer. We related it to raising children and a gospel
centered home. Invited Joey to pray as to how he could raise his child
and such at home to help them have a strong testimony. He said that he
prays occasionally. As you can tell, we really thought the parable of
the sewer was a great application to everything this week.

Thursday: had zone meeting. About vision to baptize. Learned to be
more bold with the restoration and how God and Christ told Joseph
smith not to join any other churches and so we should b bold enough
with our investigators and tell them the same thing. Grabbed a quick
lunch with the ZL's at subway. Headed to Van Nuys to meet with
no-so-homeless, homeless Ashot. We had another really good discussion
with him across from his place of volunteering. He had some questions
if he had to join our church for us to continue meeting with them and
trying to help him better his situation. We told him no but promised
and blessing as if he was able to be baptized and came to know that it
was true. We reviewed the restoration and told him and emphasized that
God and Jesus Christ told Joseph Smith to join no other church but to
restore their true church. He wanted to know if the pamphlet we gave
him was written by Joseph Smith. Which tied in perfectly to the book
of Mormon. We read from the introduction and he seemed to understand
it clearly. He told us he would come to church and we explained some
of our services. He asked if there would be food there. He made sure
that we weren't Jehovah's Witnesses and that we could go to doctors
and such. Overall we told him and invited him to pray about the book
of Mormon and Joseph Smith and to find out if God wanted him to be
baptized. He asked a really good question of the differences that are
in our members because they are and have joined our church. We told
them that if it is gods will and our desire we can change the quality
of our life. We explained how to pray specifically and he said a
prayer for the first time wasn't a specific question so we had him
pray again and he specifically asked if Joseph Smith and these things
that we are teaching were true. It was a pretty sincere prayer.
Invited him to pray on his own, read the book of Mormon and come to
church this Sunday. Adventure finding elder cook a bathroom. Knocking
Winchester. No soliciting buildings. Got into some massive buildings.
Twelves took us out to dinner in stead of Bradley's... At mcdonalds.
Split up afterwards, Elder Tavoian and I went out to a referral in
Pasadena, Albert. We stopped by because we got the referral that they
requested a Bible. They were having a birthday party for their two
grand kids who had the same birthday. They let us in and we started
talking to them. Had a lot of questions about our missionary work,
what we did, how we lived, where we lived, where our church was, etc.
Then they found out we were Mormon, asking if we were polygamists,
they thought we weren't Mormon because we weren't polygamists. It was
an awesome visit. One of the daughters took the bible and he agreed to
meet with us again and gave us his information. Love talking with
families of Armenians.

Friday: after studies had to go into office and file an accident
report on car. Nothing in the end had to be reported because there
really wasn't any damage. Found out there won't be another Armenian
Elder called for a while. None predicted to come for the next six
months. Really quite shocked about that. Went back and weekly planned.
Longest weekly planing, ever. Seriously took 4 and a half hours. Large
mas was companionship inventory. When we finally got out of there we
stopped by Andranik and Margarit and had a really good visit with
them. Margaritte had almost finished reading the entire restoration
pamphlet. Andranik said that he had read some from the Book Mormon as
well and he seems really enjoyed it. Marguerite had a lot of questions
concerning baptism. We had gone into the lesson planning on teaching
the plan of salvation but we decided to teach the gospel of Jesus
Christ and address their questions about baptism. Her questions were
about how we baptize, if we light candles, some things they do in her
church and she said that she wasn't sure if they were true or not but
they were just things that they were raised up in and said they may be
wrong but they are willing to follow Jesus Christ. They're really
excited for their baptism. They will hopefully be at church next
Sunday. Andranik said the closing prayer, and it wasn't The Lord's
Prayer! Then we ran off to our dinner with Greg and Suzy. Having just
returned from a fishing trip, they fed us salmon and trout. Elder a
cook and I got to try fish head, including eye balls. Quite tasty. For
the message we went over the baptismal interview questions with him
and the spirit was very strong. He clearly has a testimony of this
gospel and to this church is true. He told us that he knows he will
come back to church at some point and when he does he will feel like
he is coming home and that he never left. We invited him to come to
church and he said he will on his time.

Saturday: Right off the bat we went over to Mike and Bridget's. They
bought us breakfast burritos. We talked about our testimonies and how
to gain one through prayer and reading the book of Mormon. We were
trying to have a mini testimony meeting, but it didn't quite work
because they're out of time. But we're going to continue it next time.
We also read Alma  chapter 36 with them. The spirit was there though
when we were bearing our testimonies to them of how we came to know
this gospel is true. Did some study then went and did service for
Armen Avakian and then he and Elder Cook had a jam session since we
finished early. We had a lesson with him after. He had a question
about something in the Bible in first Corinthians 8, he didn't quite
understand it. We talked about Idolatry of our day and how we can put
God first. We specifically talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy
and invited him and committed him to coming to church tomorrow and to
keep the Sabbath day holy. Gave him another blessing and he said it
was even stronger than the first. Went and visited Jerry afterwards
and then went knocking with Elders Bertoch and Ford. Elder Bertoch
just got called to be the new assistant of their mission so it's the
last time I knocked with them. It was a slow evening again, had a nice
chat though about what he can expect in the office life. Perks and
blessing and whatnot. Good kid. Knocked some SUPER duper Armenian
looking houses in the hills of Burbank. met Brennan boyacks friend
knocking who wasn't interested. Had dinner with twelves afterwards and
then kind of split afterwards. Twelves and Elder Tavoian dropped us
off to Margarita's. We visited her and she was just about to leave and
she told us she had been very uneasy and busy with everything and
praying for peace. We asked if we could pray with her and she invited
us in for a prayer. She told us that she had been reading the Book of
Mormon the day after me and Samvel went over there and she read until
about 1 or 2 in the morning. The next day she said she tried to read
but just couldn't for some reason. She said she couldn't focus and she
tried a few times but she just felt like something was stopping her.
She recognized that what Samvel said about Satan not wanting her to
read was true and said it had been affecting her in all aspects (work,
family and other people). We taught her about the experience Joseph
Smith had and how his tongue was bound before he was able to pray and
see God the Father and Jesus Christ. We offered to give her a blessing
and she accepted. Seemed to really enjoy it and felt it. She said
she'd try and come to church but she committed to keep reading and
praying. She is so solid.

Sunday: No English leadership. All Armenian run, kind of nervous.
Taught part of Sunday school about the Book of Mormon that got off
track talking about the House of Isreal. Had quite a few investigators
there (Armen Avakian, Hermine and Markus). Translated relief society.
Azatoui didn't come. Sacrament all three of us Armenian Elders spoke.
Elders Tavoian and Cook spoke about obedience and prayer respectively.
I spoke about the Book of Mormon. Our new mission president and his
family, the Villanuevas, came to see us speak. They were so happy to
be there. After church tried by some potentials from knocking and met
this Armenian girl from Murray Utah. Super random. Did studies, had
lunch then met with Rita. She had questions from Sunday school about
the tribes of Israel/the house of Israel. We reviewed the principal
and we talked about patriarchal blessing's. We invited her to meet
with the bishop to receive her patriarchal blessing. She gave Twelves
a haircut while we were there and threaded his thick eyebrows. Yes,
threaded and tweeted those bushels. Met and ate with Helga. Elder
Tavoian shared with her some of the highlights from his talk today. He
talked about obedience to the Commandments showing God our love. She
told us that she had been feeling she needed to read your scriptures
more that week and we expanded how she was showing her love to God.
Invited her to come to church next Sunday and continue to fall those

Well family and friends. Love you all, have a great week, keep praying
for your own missionary experiences!

Elder Tanner DeBry

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