Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 86 (8/11-8/18)

18 August 2014

Overview: transfers happened - I am with Tavoian still and Elder Smith
has his call changed to be an Armenian speaker with Elder Cook! Had a
good week, taught 15 lessons, good progression with Margarit and
Andranik. Markus came to church. And that's all that really stuck out
but more is below! Also, this is my last full transfer... Sheesh. ITS
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! Just don't remind me about it!

Monday: went to the office and washed our car. Went back to Glendale
and then drove to downtown to get some MexiCali with the ZL's Morell
and Cale. Super busy and couldn't get a vampiro with an egg... Went
back to the church and played sport. Gave each other hair cuts.
Emailed. The usual. Ran back to the pad and got ready. Went to Helga's
for dinner again. Christine made it all for us! When it came to the
spiritual message We had started sharing the because of him video and
were going to start the vision to baptize lesson when Helga asked the
question about the plan of salvation and how we will appear in the
spirit world and if we would be able to experience pain there. We
reviewed the last part of the plan of salvation pamphlet. We had a
good discussion with them and invited Helga to read the pamphlet
again. She also said she wanted to learn all the wording in Armenian
so we gave her an Armenian pamphlet. We were there a bit longer so we
ran off afterwards to see Andranik and Margarit since they aren't too
far. We stopped by and they were tired from a long day. Margarit was
up to prayer in her reading of the restoration pamphlet so we thought
of talking about that. Taught why and how we pray and reviewed briefly
how we receive answers. We asked if they had any other questions and
Margarit said that they had been praying about their baptism and they
didn't feel it was necessary for them to be baptized again. We taught
again the first vision and how God told Joseph Smith to not join and
other church meaning that they would need to be baptized again by
proper authority. They seemed to take it well and said they'd pray
about it. We invited them to pray specifically about these things.
Margarit said the closing prayer from her heart. Didn't ask a question
though but it was a good prayer. She's so on top of it. He's just kind
of an old man. But a really funny one! By that point it was kind of
late so we headed home.

Tuesday: was a very long day. I'm looking back at the plans and most
about everything either didn't go as planned or no one was home and it
was kind of a dud... We started off knocking more on N. Jackson and
after nothing too exciting had to drive down to Hollywood to try by
some Armenian members we have on record in the Hollywood ward. The
people we tried by weren't home or Elders cook and Tyler had already
tried by them and weren't interested. By that point it was time for us
to head over to see Azatoui for lunch! She loaded us up with home made
spring dolma which was delicious, some Armenian fresh bread from the
bakery, macun (yogurt sturff) and more of the same Russian salad she
made last time. "Hey elders do you want some more?" "Suuuuuuuuuuure!
Just a little though.." We reply. She'd go off into the kitchen...
Comes back with an even bigger plate than what we had before. We were
so stuffed. She told us more about the branch when she was there. She
told us more of how her and her husband, Rudy, met. How her parents
were against her marrying him because he is quite a bit older, then
they were WAY against her joining the church after they were married a
while. She is an awesome lady. Said she wants to start coming back up
to the group. After lunch we headed back up to Glendale and knocked
some more. Can't remember where. It was pretty slow. Varter cancelled
on us. Had dinner here at the pad. Then went out to do visits with the
leadership. We showed up a bit early to give Bradley the rundown of
what had been going on since he had been gone for a few weeks. Then we
met with Rita and she was going to meet with the Bishop but it turns
out the bishop wasn't meeting with people that night... So she went
home. Ashot went out with us though. We hadn't seen him for about 4
weeks.. Not sure why or what's up. Keep him in your prayers though.
But anyways Ashot went out with Twelves and Elder Tavoian and Elder
Cook and I went with Bradley to try by Andranik and Margarit again but
they called and told us they couldn't and rescheduled, Margarita
wasn't home, tried by Gohar and them ended up at Jerry's where he was
telling us more stories from when he was a priest. One that comes to
mind is how at weddings he would tell everyone after to come up and
kiss the cross which he told us really meant he wanted everyone to
come up and give him some cash. And then because he was a lot younger
then, some women would just say "why kiss the cross when I can kiss
you!" We got a chuckle out of that thinking of a young Jerry doing

Wednesday: we tried by some more potentials that we had on Jackson. No
success. Headed up to North Hollywood and started with Armen who we
hadn't seen forever. We got in with him finally! We had a good
discussion with him. A bit long (about an hour). We asked him if he
had read any of the Book of Mormon and he said no, he is going to
re-read the Bible first and then compare. We reviewed why we have the
Book of Mormon and he said it made sense and that he said he isn't
saying it isn't true. We somehow got on a tangent that related with
the Plan of Salvation. He went off on the insignificance of us in the
comparison to God who created all things. We very briefly reviewed the
Plan and addressed his what seemed like question of what we need to so
in this life to be better people. Touched on the gospel of Jesus
Christ and related it to baptism. He said he has already been baptized
so we went over the first vision and very bluntly taught again that no
other Church is the Church of God and he wanted to know why so we went
over the apostasy and he said it made sense but he still wanted to
read the Bible again before reading the Book of Mormon and then he'd
call us. So we basically dropped him. We'll try back in a few months.
He didn't say the closing prayer because he said he needed to study
more about how to from the pamphlet.. But overall it was a good visit.
We're just aiming to work with those who are prepared to be baptized
soon to build the branch so if they want some time to do personal
study, by all means! We had some time before our appointment in
Glendale with Markus so we stopped by Max. Yet again, not home. So we
dropped him. It was kind of a cleansing week! Good preparation for a
new transfer! On our way back we stopped by a man in Burbank who was a
referral. His name is Levon and he called and talked to elder cook on
the phone (which by the way he hates doing... None of my companions
really enjoyed talking on the phone.) but anyways he said he wanted a
copy of the Book of Mormon! So we stopped by and tried to have him let
us come in and explain it but he said he had all the other religious
books and read them and hadn't read he Book of Mormon. Cool older guy.
Hopefully we'll see him again seen. Then we met up with Markus at the
Wilson building for a lesson. Arman and Twelves were also there. And
since we all didn't need to be there I took twelves and we went
knocking! He was so thrilled. We went over to w. Stoker and had a
decent time. We got in with this one lady, Marita. From Iran, husband
and two older grown kids. Only she was home. But she told us while we
were talking that she didn't believe the Armenian church was true but
quite the opposite. Didn't have the most kind words to say. Said she
also didn't like the Lord's Prayer because it wasn't from the heart.
And after she said all that and we basically agreed we had quite a
good discussion! We taught her the first lesson. She seemed to
recognize the spirit and that it was good. Didn't understand it quite
well enough to ask a question at the end but she did say the closing
prayer. Really open. Told us she is going to Iran for a few months but
is interested and wanted us to bring by a Book of Mormon the next day
before she left so she could read it! So that was cool. We got a call
mid way through the next building from the sisters in Hollywood who
told us there was an Armenian lady there at their English class. They
wanted us to come down and teach but we couldn't. So we said we could
the next day. Met back up with Twelves and then headed off to meet
with the other elders who had Arman take them down to Armen A. for a
lesson. We showed up right as they were going to give him a blessing.
From there we went down to Eligio's for dinner. He had invited us the
night before but we couldn't make it. Had a nice dinner with him, I
was asking him all these questions about how he started meeting the
missionaries. Not sure if I've talked about Eligio but he is an
investigator in G1 and is gay. They have been working with him for a
while but he actually just told us Sunday night that he wants to get
baptized soon! So that is super exciting. He told elder cook that
after the Despidida he felt so clean and he went home and prayed to
know if he needed to be baptized and he felt cleaner than he ever had
and knew right then that Jesus Christ was his Savior and wanted him to
be baptized. So that is a super cool experience. But anyways after
dinner we had a lesson with him and had his friend Mary (friends with
Eligio, knows him from working in the industry) and we talked about
the Book of Mormon. Funny thing was that it had gotten to the point
that He would just open to a random scripture and ask us questions
about it. Funny guy. Super stoked for his baptism. It has been cool to
be somewhat around him and hear of his progress and such.

Thursday: after district meeting (and district photos as tradition
calls for), we went out with morel and Cale to get some lunch at
Glendale market. Had elder Cale try tan (the Armenian yogurt drink).
We had to chow down though because right after we had our lesson with
Marita. We stopped by per her request and gave her a copy of the Book
of Mormon in Farsi. Her husband was there and sat in on the lesson. We
briefly reviewed the Restoration for Azat (the husband) and then
quickly went over the Book of Mormon introduction because she was busy
and in a hurry. However, she was intently listening to what we had to
teach her. We really applied it to her family and finding and
following Christ's true path. We invited her to read and she said she
would. We also invited her to baptism and brought it up to her
husband. She said that if she came to know it was true she would be
baptized. Really strong spirit was there. Azat said we could stop by
next week but doesn't have a concrete schedule. So they are turning
out to be a pretty solid family! After the lesson we dropped elder
Tavoian off to go to a lesson with the zone leaders while elder cook
and it drove back to the Wilson building to get ESL supplies for our
ESL class with Suzanna in Hollywood as soon as they were done. She was
a very nice lady, from Armenia, lived here about 4 years but still
knows very little English. She was a professor over there in Armenia
and she said she wanted her English to be as good as her Armenian...
Not sure I can teach her that well but I'll do my best! But it was
seriously hard to teach her! She was asking all these grammar
questions in Armenian and I had no idea about most of the words she
was using. I don't even know how to teach English grammar words, let
alone teach them in Armenian. So that was quite a challenge. I kept
looking at the clock because I was just waiting for the hour to
finish. But she is a good student. Not interested in learning from us
though but she'll come around. We were going to stop by some more
Hollywood members and knock in their surrounding buildings but for
some reason we felt like we needed to just go knock up in Glendale
instead. So we did. Ran into Brad (brad and nancy can't remember last
name) and he showed us some more work they had done on the house.
Showed us their new bird that has a girlfriend who is a cloth and he
whistles at it when we'd move it around. Then had dinner w/ Bradley's.
Their daughter Erin was there visiting for a week before school
started back in Utah. Then went out to visit people afterwards. We
stopped by first Christina Avoian. Christina just had cataract surgery
on her eyes so she was still in pain but glad to see us. We all went
over there and shared some scriptures that we had learned from
district meeting about the Liahona and how when her eyes heal she will
be able to read finally the Book of Mormon. We gave her a priesthood
blessing and she seemed to feel a bit better afterwards. Next was
Margarita. Twelves and I stopped by as Cook and Tavoian taught Robert
the plan of salvation. We stopped by and she was happy to see Twelves
and was asking about his family and such. She didn't know that we
served for two years and left our families so she was astonished at
that and went off on a tangent about how she couldn't do that and how
a mothers love is a special kind of bond between the child and the
mother. We related that to how God is our Heavenly Father and loves us
the same way. We talked about marriage for a bit and told her that it
was a cultural thing for people from the church to get married young
and she thought it was for other reasons. Her husband came home part
way through the discussion and her mood changed and we left soon after
that. Before we did we asked the question of if she had seen a
spiritual change in her faith or anything from our visits and she said
that she still felt like she was overwhelmed and still felt like she
had a lot of questions and complexities. But we reassured her that
through our message she would be given the strength to overcome those
AND that the only way to gain clarity wad through reading the Book of
Mormon which she admitted she hadn't been reading. We committed her
to. She seems different around her husband, Samvel was right that
she'd be easily influenced by her family and others around her.

Friday: weekly planning. Walked laps in the chapel to keep away while
sipping on my big gulp of slurpee. After we stopped by Andranik and
Margarit. To start off the lesson Margarit had a few questions. She
first asked if God was Jehovah, telling us that when they first came
to America that is what they were told but they weren't sure if it was
true. She also asked if anything would happen if she chose not to be
baptized, why Jesus was baptized when he was older and not an infant
and if we baptized children. We taught accountability and also how
Christ went to John the Baptist because he had the priesthood
authority to baptize. We tied that into Joseph smith again and the
plan of salvation. How in order to live with God again we need to
follow the example of Christ by being baptized. The spirit was strong
and we had her ask specifically about baptism in her prayer. She asked
specifically if her being baptized again was God's will. Not only
that, but she asked to receive the answer in her dream if it was true.
Talk about faith! They are such a wonderful couple. They said they
feel their faith growing and they enjoy the spirit we bring in the
lessons. I love teaching them. Keep them in your prayers that they
will be baptized soon!

Saturday: taught ESL to Suzanna. More organized. Knocked into this
family from Ukraine. Husband aethiest. Neighbor had 200 year old
bible. Had to go pick up Williams and Parkin from the office. Stopped
by and taught Souren. We had probably one of the best lessons with
him. He was home by himself and after we were doing the usual small
talk to see what is new we asked about his oldest son Haybert.
Supposedly he graduated this past year from high school but since then
he hasn't really done anything with his life and is only working part
time at a pizza place. This really frustrated Souren and it seems that
he feels that Devin is now taking after the older brother in not
listening to his parents. Souren told us that he is trying to get
Devin to come over to the church for Tuesday night activities but he
won't listen. Souren seems really concerned that he is losing that
relationship with his children. We taught him that his family
relationships will strengthen as his personal relationship with God
strengthens and as he shares his spiritual experiences with his
children. We followed up to see if he was having family prayer and he
wasn't. We invited him to make that a priority and he said he would
even though it just wasn't a part of the culture of Armenians. He told
us he wants to have us come teach his kids, especially Devin more
because he looks up to us. We shared some personal experiences of
remembering the small things our parents did to help us come closer to
God. Souren really appreciated the encouragement we shared. We related
it to Alma and Alma the younger. How Alma the father prayed for his
son and he finally had a spiritual experience which helped him become
converted. It was a really powerful lesson. We set a return
appointment. He said he really wants Devin to come Tuesday nights.
Souren really seems to be in a humble place right now. He even said
the closing prayer from his heart. Praying for his children and for
the things we taught him. Please keep him in your prayers as well! To
end the night we stopped by Armen Avakian again. We stopped by with
the other G1 Elders Smith and Ward and had a drop lesson with him.
Armen still felt hurt from the last lesson with Smith and Ward in
which he felt like they were too pushy towards baptism and being
salesmen. We really emphasized the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how our
purpose was to only help and invite Armen to build his faith and
repent. And that baptism and those further ordinances were up to him
to make and that we would only help guid him there. He seemed to
understand it better and understood we were handing the wheel over to
him and letting him know that we were there to support, but he had to
make the steps now on his own. Overall really good lesson. It was
spirit led and he committed to keep reading, praying and coming to
church. But now the ball is in his court as to the next steps he needs
to take. Transfer calls: I am staying with Tavoian. Elder Smith
(English called, currently in G1) is going to go with Elder Cook and
has his call changed to Armenian work and is to be trained in the
language and culture. Tavoian and I will be staying here at this
address we are now (485 riverdale dr. #3, Glendale ca 91204). Made a
transfer night pizookie.

Sunday: church - Markus came. Small group. 13 people ish. Kristina
thinking about mission. Cook's music lesson. Lunch from Bradley's.
Studies. Practiced door approaches with Tavoian. Visited Margarit and
Andranik twelves and I. We had a good discussion with him. We followed
up if they were reading and they were. They weren't able to come to
church because it was a certain Armenian holiday. We read from our
chapter 7 and discuss the importance of coming to church, how it is a
commandment and how we are able to renew how are baptismal covenant.
They seem to really enjoy that but the question of baptism came up
again. My great feels that because she was raised in the Armenian
church she can't change. She asked if we wanted her to completely
change churches. We told her yes and she wasn't sure if she could
because that was the church in which she was raised. We talked about
the blessings that we are able to receive because of the reste the
restoration. I'm drunk recognized that he had already begun to see
those blessings. For example his leg being healed. They both
recognized that they feel the spirit during our lessons and that they
seem to be happy and their faces building. Marguerite is just facing
some trouble seeing the need to change. She recognized and understood
that if God were to answer her prayers and told her that she needed to
be baptized she said that she would follow Christ and she would. We
made the comment that it wasn't a certain church that we followed but
rather the Savior and his teachings. Overall it was a good lesson.
Told us we could stop by this week. They weren't going to promise that
they came to church next week although they want to to see how it is.
Marguerite said the closing prayer and again and specifically about
baptism. Went back to church, picked up G1 Sisters tonga and Scott.
Went to the departing devotional. 21 missionaries going home. Eligio
called and said he wants to get baptized. Morell leaves tomorrow.

Well I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Tanner DeBry

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