Overview: 44 people at church, super spiritual lessons with Hermine
and she is solid for the , got back in touch with Edi and
set him with a date for , Margarit said she isn't sure she
wants to be baptized but Andranik does because he has already seen
miracles from meeting with us, it was aTwelves' last week, we took a
temple trip and took Markus there and he loved it! He is solid for a
date and wants to be baptized. Azatoui finally called us back and we
met her daughter.... And that is about it! Oh... And IT IS SEPTEMBER!
Sheesh time is going by way too fast... AND it is Labor Day! Have a
great day everyone!
after workout blueberry waffles with the ZL's and sisters - Jorge
telling us we were being inconsiderate by being so loud and how one of
us was playing the 'giiitar'.. And then he jokingly asked where his
Lesson with George: We asked him what he was hoping to get out of our
lesson and why he wanted to learn and meet with us. He then started to
tell us about how for 48 years he was a devout catholic and would have
believed anything they would have told him to do. But after some time
of him listening to them say not to read anything else beside what the
Pope says he said that if he really had the truth he wouldn't have
anything to fear about reading and comparing other things. So he
started eating up and studying everything he could from the Jehovah
witness bible to other tramslations and languages of the Bible. And
slowly he started to realize that he could have a direct connection
with God and didn't need to have to listen to the Pope or the counsels
of men. So he felt closer to God through his studies and such. He
devoted his life to find others who had the same feeling and then he
met with the Missionaries and they gave him a Book of Mormon. But at
first he said he wanted to read it and compare it and study it first
before he continued. He had many tabs of scriptures that he had
questions about that we told him we would answer next time. We told
him we were short on time and that we wanted to share the message of
the restoration. He asked and confirmed that we believe the bible to
be the word of God. He believes the bible translations are perfect. We
taught him and he said he agreed with all that we had taught and that
he felt that God was telling him he needed to search out more for
himself and bring the confirmation to him. He understood he could get
an answer through prayer but that he needed to study it out for
himself and God would lead him. He said he would be absolutely
baptized if he came to know it was true. He agreed to meet next time
and has questions about scriptures in the Book of Mormon and how it is
there are passages that are the same as in the Bible when they were
written at different times and places. He prayed at the end and asked
if this was his gospel.
Armenian Group FHE: lesson on baptism and then the water cup game. We
had a good size group come.. Kind of. All the English leadership was
there, Ashot FINALLY showed up to something he said he would, Hratch &
Armen brought the ice cream and then Twelves and all us missionaries.
So a small group. But we were family. Oh also Arousiak showed up and
one of Minas' friends showed up. I shared the spiritual message on
baptism by showing the video of Christ being baptized and then reading
some scriptures on the importance of remembering our covenants and
make covenants with God. Then we played this game where one person
would stand in the middle of a circle of people and would say a
category and if one person on the outside guessed whatever it was got
a sacrament cup of water thrown in their face. It was pretty fun and
we all kept getting Hratch!
Started exchanges with Elder Brough
Lesson with Aghakhanyan Family: We had an awesome lesson with them. We
talked to them for a bit and Dalar said she was feeling sick and
hadn't gone to school that day. We followed up on how their family
prayer had been going and they said they had been praying together as
a family every night since we last saw them!! It was adorable, Devin
told us that sometimes Dalar would go to sleep and he would wake her
up and tell her they hadn't prayed that night and that they needed to.
We asked how they felt after they prayed and Dalar and Hilda said they
felt warm and peaceful. Hilda specifically said that she feels light
afterwards. We invited them to keep going and told them that they
would keep coming closer as a family. We introduced to them again the
invitation of family scripture study as well and invited them to read
together a few verses of the Book of Mormon. Dalar remembered the
story line about the family and some of the sons not wanting to follow
Christ. We read with them from a few verses and explained to them what
some of the words meant that they didn't understand. Dalar asked what
we can do if we don't understand the scriptures. We committed them t
read a few verses that night and we'd follow up tomorrow. Devin and
Dalar said the prayers and told them tomhave Hilda say the prayer that
Lesson with Hermine: We started off the lesson following up with the
question that she had from Sunday as to how we know we are on the
right path and what path God wants us to take. She said she knows a
lot of churches have truth but she wanted to know what made this
church any better than the others. We taught the restoration of the
fullness of the truth and then read from Alma 32 and talked about
planting the seed and partaking of the fruit of the gospel. She really
enjoyed the scripture and especially the last three about the joy and
goodness of the fruit. We invited her to say the closing prayer and
when she started she could only say about two sentences before she got
all choked up and couldn't speak. She uttered that she couldn't find
the words to explain how she felt and she was just crying. She was
over whelmed with the spirit and seemed to be shaking from how
strongly she was feeling it. We were sitting in silence for a few
minutes and she finally told us that she could just feel her heart
pounding so hard in her chest. We explained again that those feelings
are the confirmation from the spirit and from her planting the seed.
She told us that her family from Germany is going to be in town for
two weeks and won't be able to meet or come to church but agreed to
have us call her and see how everything is going. It was one of the
most powerful lessons I have had on my mission. Being able to see and
feel her being overcome with the spirit was just a testimony builder
to me of the power of the spirit and curtail role it plays in
conversion! If only we all could have experiences like that!
Lesson with Anahid & Preni: We had a really great discussion with
them. Anahid invited us in and her daughter was there as well so I
invited her to sit in on the discussion. We talked and got to know
them a little bit more. Preni goes to PCC and this is her second
semester. Anahid used to take classes on English but then stopped
because it got frustrating for her. We ask them about the relationship
that they had with God. Anahid said that they go to church once a
month but mainly for holidays. Predi said that when she was younger
she went to church a lot more and used to pray a lot more and said she
had a better relationship with God. But now because she doesn't pray
and go to church much anymore. We told them that they will be able to
strengthen their family and relationship with god which is something
they both are interested in. Preni is more comfortable in English.
Taught the restoration. They didn't have any questions and said that
if they found out if it was true then they would be baptized. Anahid
said the closing prayer to herself and said that she felt comfort and
said it may be an answer from God.
GCC booth - Brough, Twelves and I contacting up on campus for the
first time of the semester.
Studies at Wilson building - taught Brough how to pray in Armenian
Knocking on Linden: so as we were planning the night before what
street we should go knock for and it was pretty cool we were both
praying and deciding what street and after we prayed we felt a super
strong impression to go to Linden. And honestly as much as I tried to
change my mind on what street, I couldn't! So that was pretty cool.
And we found some good potentials and got a lesson out of it! So not
Lesson with Emma & Karo: They invited us in when we were knocking and
we talked for a bit about their family that all still live in Gyumri.
They talked about how they just go up to the corner church for
convenience. We told them that we help people strengthen their faith
in Christ and taught the restoration. They seemed pretty receptive,
not really a lot of questions. We invited them to be baptized if they
came to know that these things were true and they said they would.
Emma said the closing prayer in her own words, didn't ask a specific
question though. Set a return appointment for Friday. Karo didn't seem
too involved once we got into the lesson.
Met other Elders for dinner at Taco Bell
Exchanged back for splits with leadership - went out with Bradley
Lesson with Andranik & Margarit: We stopped by with Brother Bradley to
follow up on how things were since we hadn't seen them since we had a
bit of a dispute with their son who is against our church and was
trying to bash with us. Margarit went off on how in Iran there was
really only their church and a few other major ones but once they came
here to America there were so many and they didn't know why because
all we need is to follow Christ. We re-explained the apostasy but she
was set on just staying in her church and being pretty stubborn about
it. Saying that there is nothing that needs to be added and nothing to
say anything else is the path. Andranik seemed to be going along with
what she was saying until we said that they have seen the power that
God has given us to pray for and see the healing of Andranik, to have
Andranik see us in a dream and to feel the spirit of God when we
taught them. We emphasized that how could a false Church have such
power. Andranik agreed with that and recognized that he really had
seen that in our visits. Margarit agreed as well but was a bit
reluctant to say so. We showed the baptism of Christ video by John the
Baptist. It brought a powerful spirit and afterwards Andranik said he
knew he needed to be baptized like that. We focused more on Margarit
then and read Alma 32 on how she needs to plant the seed and see if it
grows and turns into a good seed and the fruit is desirable. After we
finished reading Andranik said "I know I need to be baptized. I want
to be baptized on the ." Margarit directly after that said
"unfortunately I don't want to be at this time. But Andranik can if he
wants to." We continued pleading with her to read, pray and ask God.
We felt inspired to ask if she had asked specifically and she said she
hadn't. We committed them both to and to keep reading. They agreed,
Visits: Stopped by Dalar and family - Hilda said the kids were sick;
Aylin and Zhorants weren't home.
Key wager with Tavoian - said he had the keys but gave them to me. I
said I never had them. Called Elder Cook and he said he had them. He
bet me $100 but he still is in denial..
GCC booth - Elder Tavoian's first time and he did pretty okay!
Finished studies/lunch @ GCC to wait for Anita and Pedro - no show.
got a call during studies from Hermine: Talked about how she couldn't
have us call tomorrow morning but she just wanted to make sure we
talked. I asked her how her reading had been going and she said that
there seems to be a fire in her each time she reads and pray similar
to the feelings that she had last time when she wasn't able to say
anything during her prayer. I re read Alma 32:28 with her and gave her
the reference again to read over. She said she will for sure come to
the baptismal service but not sure if she will be able to go to the
temple but will let us know.
Potentials on Dryden: stopped by Violet & Sako - set a return appointment
Knocking with Burbank 1st - went with Elder Jones who just barely came
out a month ago and is pretty obviously 18 but he'll do well.
Lesson with Bella: We stopped by and had a good talk with her. She is
still working at her catering job and is unable to come on Sundays
because she works all weekend. She still has a good testimony though.
She nor her testimony about prayer and told us how she prays
continually throughout the day. She said she sometimes reads the Book
of Mormon but I'm not quite sure how honest that is. But she is doing
well. Talked about how doing those things will help her find a way to
come back to church when she doesn't have to work. She told us that
Antonia was back out of jail and they are on talking terms so that is
District Meeting - taught on Church attendance, sisters took us on a
tour of the building to show us an example, very powerful and simple.
Lesson with Kristina: She wanted to meet privately because she had
some questions about some things she had been researching about the
church and wanted some clarification. She had a lot of questions and
concerns and was very open about them. Her desire is for the church to
be true because she has been raised in it and wants to continue to do
so. But some of the things she has run into have weakened her
testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and even the plan of
Salvation. All four of us were there and we told her that we would do
some research for her and try and answer her questions and not just
give excuses. But that in return she needed to be reading the Book of
mormon as much as she was researching on the internet and praying
daily about these things. It was a positive meeting and she felt
reassured but still wants answers. We will meet up next week and
discuss some of the things that we find. She sent us a big long email
with some of the specific things that she has come across and had
Knocking Winchester: Met lady knocking who said she didn't have any
water. We told that story to her neighbors who were appalled and
proceeded to give us a few liters of water. Knocked into a family of
Jehovah's witnesses and they tried to start bashing with us but
because we were short on time we had to bounce. The daughter said she
wanted to meet up with us again Saturday but we totally spaced that we
were going to the temple sooo we couldn't..
Dinner at the Bradley's - Markus came and we had a lesson with him
after dinner. We taught him about the word of wisdom and he accepted
it pretty willingly and liked the blessings associated with them. It
was pretty funny though. Markus loves to talk and give examples with
his talking in the form of stories or things he has seen in life which
take forever to explain. It was getting to the point that Brother
Bradley was trying to rush him along and asking him what his point
Went out to visits with Bradley -
Lesson with Hambarsoom: We had a good visit with him. It had been a
few weeks since he had been at church and he told us there were just
some things that were coming up on Sundays that he had to take care
of. He reassured us that he'd be there this Sunday. We told him we
would be going to the Temple on Saturday but he said he is pretty
tired and wasn't feeling up to going. But we taught and reviewed the
plan of salvation with him in coordination with the temple and such.
It was a good thing to review and left the pamphlet for him to read on
his own. He said he is praying daily and reading a bit from the Book
of Mormon each day.
Visited Aylin and Zhorants - We saw them as they were about to go take
Emanoel on a walk to the store. Invited them to the temple but they
said probably not because Zhorants has to work. Said we could stop by
another day but we just needed to call. They enjoyed seeing Bradley
Lunch at Vegas buffet with other Armenian Elders
Dinner with Helga and Family - they made Thai food for us
Afterwards Biked up to the potentials that Elder Brough and I knocked
into on Linden - the first family, Emma and Karo when we showed up
told us that they really weren't interested and to not visit them
again.. We tried to ask why and they said there was no reason other
than the husband not wanting us to come over. The next potential we
tried by was a kid in high school and his Mom started cussing us out
because we were trying to talk to him when he initially talked to us
the other day.
Lesson with Stan and Linda Ravenswood: I went over with Elder Tavoian
and met Elders Cale and Ward over there for their scheduled lesson. It
was so awesome to see them both. Stan was surprised to see me back (if
you remember he was the one that looks exactly like Steven Tyler). But
I had run into Linda a few days prior and I almost scared her off of
her bike while doing so but she was beaming to have us over. We caught
up for a little bit and had some laughs (they are a hilarious couple).
Then I shared a spiritual thought with them from John 10:39-40 that
talks about Christ when confronted with being accused of teaching
blasphemy he returned to the place where he was baptized and abode
there. I thought it fitting to talk about the importance of
remembering our baptisms with them since, as I had last heard it, they
hadn't been going to church too often. Linda caught on to what I was
getting at when I started saying and teaching the importance of
renewing the covenant each week and such. She said she'd be there this
Sunday and I really hope she is. Stan on the other had is a tough
cookie to crack and said he probably won't to be honest. We talked a
bit more, Linda loved the phrase 'access the Atonement' and 'sacrifice
brings forth the blessings of heaven' which were randomly placed in
the discussion. They are just so awesome and I miss them. Then Stan
shared some of his pie that he had made and was jokingly reluctant to
share because he had made it just barely. It was delicious. It is
lessons like that that I miss English work. Although throughout the
lesson I had the first instinct to speak in Armenian.
G1 baptismal service for Craig - sung musical number with some of the
other Elders and Sisters in our district. HERMINE AND HER DAUGHTER
CAME AND SAT FRONT ROW! Ah I was so excited that she came and Caroline
Davtian came as well to sit next to her. It was perfect. We had a
lesson with her afterwards.
Lesson with Hermine: We asked her if she had any questions about the
method of baptism and she said no. We asked her how she felt and what
she thought of the baptism and she said it was interesting. She said
that she felt a very strong experience that was brought forth from
watching the baptism. She related it to the other feelings that she is
been having has she continues to meet with us pray, read and come to
church. She said from that spirits that is burning within her she's
starting to see things in a different light. She said that just as
baptism is a change of all person to new her preparing for baptism is
starting to help her see those changes already. She was looking
forward to what wonderful changes will happen after her baptism and
the spirit she will feel after her baptism. She said she is continuing
to read and pray about the book of Mormon. She wanted to know
specifically where she should be reading. We told her to just continue
on from the beginning as it is the most understandable that way. She
agreed and said that she would keep reading. She also agreed that we
could call her twice a week while she has guests from Germany for the
next two weeks.
Lunch with Zone leaders
Lesson with Edi: We met with him at the church building in Sun valley.
We followed up with him to see how everything was going. He told us
that he has started a new workplace where he works normal hours from 7
to 6. But it's with this new job he doesn't have a place to stay so he
sleeps in his car. So his biggest problem right now is trying to find
a place to live where he can at least sleep and take care of himself
better. He said he still has a really strong desire to serve and to
join our church and be baptized. We talked about Mars I had chapter 2
about the happy and blessed state of those that keep the Commandments
and Elma 36 verse one that talks about prospering in the land. We
related that to baptism and showed the baptism of Jesus Christ video.
We really enjoyed that and talked about his desire to help serve
others. He kept calling the Mormon church is church which is awesome.
He bore a really sweet testimony of his desire to change and that he
looks forward to the new path that the Mormon church can offer him. We
said him with the new baptismal date of . He said he's
looking forward to his baptism and continuous service in the church.
He said he will be coming to church tomorrow. He said that he is been
praying but it is been hard to read while he is living out of his car.
He said the closing prayer and prayed specifically for greater peace
and to overcome the difficulties in his life.
Temple trip: went down to the LA temple and took Markus to the
visitors center. Took a group photo and then the Sister missionaries
took us on a tour that I had never been on! They talked about service,
families, the first presidency and quorum of the twelve apostles and
then finished it up with faith and being spiritually healed. It was a
great tour and what our little group needed to hear! (We had with us
Brother Bradley, us missionaries, Anoush, Kristina and Markus. I felt
like the theme of the tour was receiving answers and having the faith
to act on that which we do believe. So it was really good. After which
Markus got to meet the Farsi speaking Elders from the LA mission. They
didn't go to the MTC but instead just got called to speak it out here
and started learning from meeting with a member everyday for language
study. (Markus said our Armenian was much better than their Farsi)
which made us all feel accomplished... Not that we are comparing or
competing or anything. But just since we are the only 6 middle eastern
language speaking missionaries in the US it is nice to know where we
stand. But anyways! We walked the grounds and then went home. On the
drive back Elder Tavoian got sick in the car which was gross and we
had to call it a night because he wasn't feeling too hot after that.
Poor lil' guy.
Church: No investigators at church BUT we still had an attendance of
44!! We finally have Gagik and his family and it sounds like they are
here to stay! They are starting to get furniture and such while they
stay with the Matanyan's. So we had a full Sunday school with their
family of 4 and we had some visitors from Salt lake come! Seda
ghazaryan and some of her friends came down so that was awesome. She
even offered to translate but it was just two speakers in English so I
was good covering it. But it was a good Sunday. We had a combined
second hour of relief society/priesthood because it was the fifth
Sunday. Brother Townsend taught about prayer. Then sacrament was good!
We had those visitors, some new faces, the draper showed up. It was
very vibrant! They even all stayed after and socialized for a good 30
minutes afterwards! Our group is growing and I feel it is on the verge
of becoming a branch! But a bummer that not even Edi or Markus came to
church.. We'll have to see what is up with that. Also it is Twelves'
last Sunday here before he heads back to Washington (with a pit stop
in Utah to visit some people).
Knocking Milford - knocked into this one lady who had her daughter
come out and talk to us because she didn't think we spoke Armenian and
she invited us to come down to her church down in Hollywood called
Mosaic. So we'll probably go down there in a week or so! She was
surprised that we would be going and she really opened up to us and
even gave us her info to go to church with her down there. Another
lady we knocked into accepted our card but then she asked why our tags
were in Armenian and we said because we speak it and she lit up with
astonishment and said "I'll DEFINITELY call you!" So that was awesome.
Dinner/Lesson w/ Helga and family: We had a nice dinner with them and
afterwards we shared a scripture from Mosiah chapter 2 about the
importance of attending church. We read from verse three that talked
about the offerings and sacrifices that we bring to church and the
temple in order to hear the word of God. We taught them that as we
come to church with a purpose and with the sacrifices in burdens that
intern we are able to receive the blessings of the atonement made by
Jesus Christ. We invited them both to come to church next Sunday with
that in mind.
Finished the evening by walking to go visit Dalar and family - not
home; Aylin and Zhorants weren't home either unfortunately.
Well that about sums up my week! I love you all and hope you have a
great Labor Day!
Elder Tanner DeBry