Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 92 (9/22-9/29)

29 September 2014



Lesson with Hermine: we had a really awesome lesson with her. We had
Caroline Davtian come with us and it was perfect. We asked if she had
any questions and she didn't have any for us. So we told her we wanted
to go over the baptismal interview questions but first we needed to
talk about the priesthood and how we have a modern prophet today.
Which worked out perfectly. We told her that it was by the priesthood
that we can participate in ordinances which help us come closer to
God. We showed a video of Elder Bednar explaining the restoration of
the priesthood through Joseph Smith and described the events that led
to the restoration of the priesthood and what followed. We tied that
into how we have a modern prophet today who speaks to us and even
explained General Conference. We showed her a picture of President
Monson and the preceding Prophets. She didn't have any questions so we
moved onto the baptismal interview questions. She answered all of them
quite well and with confidence. The only one she said she wasn't 100%
about was if Joseph Smith was a prophet. She told us that she hadn't
specifically prayed for hat up to this point because she was praying
for the other things that seemed to be more important like her family
being supportive and such. But we explained the importance of praying
to know and reread the last two paragraphs of the Book of Mormon to
help her understand and see that if she comes to know the Book of
Mormon is true then so is Joseph Smith and this church. Caroline
explained to her that she knew through prayer and shared her testimony
that she could not deny that she knew that these things are true. It
was awesome. She knew and accepted that she needed to read more and
committed to do so. She knew and understood all the other questions
about the standards and was willing to live them. She had a question
about the word of wisdom concerning if it'd be okay if she drank tea
or coffee when in a situation when she had to have guests or was being
hosted to by someone else. We read from 1 Nephi 3:7 and explained very
boldly that we can't justify even the least but that God will help if
we commit to live His commandments. It was a great lesson. Asked her
if she had talked to her husband and she said that he hadn't given her
an answer yet but that she had brought it up to him in a way. She will
be interviewed Thursday for baptism.

Pday: shopping with other Armenian Elders. Golfing with ZL's at Los
feliz. I won. Lunch at Taco Bell. Went to church to email. Eligio
called and elder smith and I took his bike to the bike shop for him.
Took it back and his tire popped again. Told us of the drama he has
been having and the opposition he has been facing as he gets ready to
go to slc for general conference. His bike tire popped not too long
after we brought it back to his house. Elder Brough told us later that
when they visited that there was stuff moving in the house when they
were teaching and some bad spirits in there. So did that service for
him then had a lesson at 5 in Burbank that wasn't home. Brought home
Krispy Kreme for the zone instead.

Set up/planned for FHE

Armenian FHE: no one showed up... Hratch & Armen, Brother Turley,
Sister Bradley and Kristina Avagyan. Played conference jeopardy. Ashot
came. Gave Ashot a blessing.


Great study on Luke 5.

GCC booth

Lunch at GCC- best lunch with three black girls that I met on campus
who were super funny and asking all these questions about missionary
life which astounded them.

Pepboys for an oil change- 2 hours later

Dinner with the other Armenian Elders @ outback

Tried to go to cvs but Elder Cook's laundry detergent spilled-
funniest thing ever, elder Smith freaking out. Took forever to clean

Visits with leadership - Townsend, Turley, Aram and Gagik came

Lesson with Andranik, Margarit & their neighbors (Arousiak and
Husband): Gagik is awesome. Talked about their complaints of living
here but Gagik was positive and said they were here. Midway through
talking their neighbors from up the street came and joined the
conversation. Gagik asked if they had seen missionaries before. They
said that had but never talked to them. We explained our purpose of
helping people come to christ through covenants with God. They said we
were all the same. We taught them the restoration and introduced
briefly the Book of Mormon as evidence of a modern day prophet. The
husband said he'd read it to find out. Margarit started saying she
didn't want to change although she'll read the book but that they were
raised in their church. We taught that if they were try and experiment
then they could come to know of the truth. Gagik taught that what we
teach only supplements and compliments the things she had grown up
with and made her foundation more firm. We bore testimony of the
spirit and invited them to meet with us again, keep praying and to
try. Gagik was a stud and knew when he needed to speak and when to

Walked back to the church with Gagik - he was armadas with my Armenian
for learning it out here.


GCC booth - trying to help Elder Tavoian memorize a scripture; got a
bunch of people to add us on facebook.

Knocking Allen - hottest day of the week.

Lesson with Maria: we followed up to see if she had been praying and
reading to know if he Book of Mormon is true. She said she had read a
few pages but not many but that she had been praying. From what it
sounded like she was praying for we taught her from the Bible
dictionary about prayer really was. Namely that is it a way for us to
bring our will in line with God's will and receive the blessings that
he is already willing to grant. She really enjoyed what we had to say
and we said a prayer for her and Peter who came mid way through the
lesson. She said that her and her mom will be there at church on

Lesson with Hermine and Elin: Hratch met us over there. We had some
small talk about Arlin's school and classes but then asked Elin if she
remembered what we talked about last time, she brought out the picture
that we had her draw of the plan of salvation and she walked us
through it almost precisely. We reiterated the importance of following
the Gospel here in this life and then taught her more in depth the
gospel of Jesus Christ. We taught it to her and then had her teach it
back to us and she did! It was awesome. She even said the opening
prayer for us and she had me say the closing. She is reading from the
Book of Mormon and didn't even want me to spoil what happened in the
next few chapters. We invited and committed her to pray specifically
for God to give her the courage to be baptized and she said she would.
She is so darling. Can't wait for the day she is baptized!

Language study/called recent converts to invite to Despadida

Dinner at glendale market

Lesson with Souren Aghakhanyan: Read from Luke 5 and taught him to
experiment upon the word and launch out into the deep. Followed up
with his question of being baptized again and taught from acts 19. He
didn't have much to say about that. He brought up attending church and
how he tells others to attend church but he won't come... It was a
good heart to heart with him.

Met up with other elders and on the way home we were talking to Eligio
- ended up giving him a blessing for the adversity that he is facing.


Hermine's baptismal interview - passed and husband is accepting of her baptism!

Donuts with the district

District meeting - charity is a state of being where love is an emotion

District lunch at Taco Bell

Made baptismal program for Mark/Hermine's baptism

Knocked on Allen - Kyle... Told us he respected us but hated our
leader because he is "making us do this" and that there is a special
place in hell for the people who try and force people to tear down
their faith... He was all over the place and kept trying to tell us
what we believed in. We kept laughing at him which made him kind of

Knocked on Spazier - Mavteos and his wife from Ukraine let us in and
fed us all sorts of treats. Felt like I was out of country because he
was watching Russian TV and explaining to me what they were saying in
Armenian. For some reason at that moment I felt like I had forgotten
English and was just focused on the russian and the armenian was just
coming out naturally, it was a weird feeling.

Lesson with Joseph: knocked into him and he said he had heard a little
bit about Mormons but not much. Said he was regularly attending the
Armenian church and wasn't looking to change but agreed to let us in
for a few minutes and explain a bit about the differences in our
church. We taught him the restoration which went really well. He was
most interested in the Book of Mormon and said he wanted a copy for
his own study. He had a lot of questions for us as to why we were
preaching Christianity to Christians and had to keep explaining that
the truth was lost but restored through a modern day prophet. He also
was asking what the differences were with the bible and the Book of
Mormon and how they were connected. He agreed to have us come back and
bring him a copy of the Book of Mormon and talk with his family on
Saturday. Very nice guy. Lived here about 7 years from Iran.

Dinner with Bradley's - Zach Morell called concerning Christine
Hagopian and wanted her number.

Tried visiting: Hambarsoom, Greg (talked to Suzy who was sick. Told us
that Greg was out of town fishing again but this time in aspen), Aylin
and Zhorants and finally Rostome who we called and he said he was out
in Chino visiting his brother in the hospital.

Had a few extra minutes so took the scenic route home through forest
lawn. I'm going to miss glendale.


Studies - trying to be more fun for Elder Tavoian to learn

Weekly planning - planning for Hermine's baptism

Lesson with Kaylee Moreno: I had reached out to her this past week to
invite her and her family to my Despadida and she replied saying she'd
do her best to come down. She told me that she had been going through
a lot since the last time we chatted and since that last time we had
taught her with Trea and Natalie back in G2. She is now living with
her biological father and was at one point living in a group home. I
asked her if she was happy and she said yes but I felt like I needed
to ask if she had been reading and praying. She said that she actually
had read when she was in the group home but it had been a while. We
told her that it would help her through those hard times if she kept
reading and committed her to pray and read and share with us some
things that she learns from her reading this weekend.

Lunch with Rita: she invited all four of us over four lunch expecting
due to her seeing that I would be leaving soon and she wanted to make
my favorite food of hers which is this simple rice and chicken dish
with some lentil soup. It was amazing and she said that she had to
make what we liked before we each left. Meaning elder cook will just
have tan before he leaves. She had been doing well though. Sister
Turley helped her line up some job interviews with different salons
and such and they went well. She seemed a lot happier and less
stressed. For the message we talked about how General Conference was
coming up and the blessing it was to receive guidance from our
Heavenly Father. We read from 1 Nephi 16 and compared it to the
Liahona. We committed her to start to prepare for conference by
thinking of questions to be answered during the sessions. She was very
happy to see us.

Finished weekly planning - set goals for a 40 day fast

Made some changes to the baptismal program. Hermine and Elin ended up
not being able to meet with us today because they went down with Gagik
and his family to the children's hospital in Hollywood.

Dinner with the other Armenian Elders at McDonalds

Visited Andranik & Margarit: they had a guest over so we only stayed a
few minutes. They looked worn out so we just said a prayer with them
and offered for us to come back tomorrow and they said that'd be fine.

Lesson with Aghakhanyan family: when we first got there only Dalar and
Devin were home but as we were talking to them Souren came home and
invited us in. We talked to them for a bit about home and Elder
Tavoian explained to them about his horses. We followed up with their
praying which is still happening for the majority of the time and they
enjoy it. Dalar said she reads occasionally and Devin said it had been
a while. We suggested to teach them a way to recognize answers to help
them find those things more meaningful. We showed them the discerning
light video by Elder Bednar and then read from 3 Nephi 11 when the
people hear the voice of the spirit three times before understanding
it. They committed to pray and look for those promptings individually
and as a family. Devin said the closing prayer.


Lunch with the zone leaders and other Armenian Elders to Red Robin... Yummmmm.

Went back to the Wilson building to work on/fix some errors on the
baptismal program.

Went and tried by potentials: stopped by Anahid and Preni. They
weren't home but we spoke with the husband and talked with him for a
bit. He said he wasn't a believer of God or anything like that but
that if his wife and daughter wanted to learn then they could. We also
tried by Hayrapet who was a referral from the Burbank Elders a while
back and set a return appointment with him since he was eating xash at
the time.

Knocked with NOHO zls - went out with a Elder Nelsen who is a newbie
from Utah. Didn't have much success but he is a cool kid and will do
well as a zone leader.

Supposed to have a lesson with Joseph and his family but he wasn't
there unfortunately.

Got a call from Brother Townsend telling us of a difficulty with the
programs and we had to go back to the church to fix that. While
checking facebook we found out that Trea Moreno had a heart attack
yesterday so we called Natalie and went to the hospital in burbank to
give him a blessing. The doctors said it was 100percent blockage and
he should have died. So it was a pretty miraculous thing that he is
living. We gave him a blessing and he was very thankful.

Stopped by Kriapy Kreme on the way home to wait for transfer calls. No
transfers made within the Armenian group. Surprise surprise!


Best day of the transfer. Church - I taught Sunday School; the lesson
was about Sacrifice and I thought it went pretty well and so did some
of our leadership so that was good. We talked about how sacrifice
prepares us to live with God. It was a good testimony builder. Hermine
didn't show up which had me going crazy worried that something was
wrong. We didn't have to translate in relief society so we went to
priesthood. Gagik gave a great lesson about the keys and authority of
the priesthood. Went to sacrament and saw Elin already in there with
Juliet so that reassured me that Hermine was there. Sure enough the
relief society came in a bit late and she was glowing. It was so
awesome to see her. And she has been so well fellowshipped it has been
so amazing. But seriously our entire group is so awesome at making
people feel welcome. I love our group so much. We had a great
testimony meeting. Kristina Avagyan bore her testimony again which is
always awesome, Juliet and Gagik bore theirs. Juliet's was so so so
adorable. Our first youth testimony that I have heard since I've been
here! Then we also had some visitors Alina and her husband came back.
Then our Armenian leadership bore their testimonies which was
difficult to translate for... Especially Samvel's but it worked out.
Afterwards we were running all over the place to set up everything for
the baptism and trying to coordinate with the Filipino Ward who were
having a baptism at the same time. But we got changed. Hermine took
some time to herself and was praying in the changing room and came out
in her whites and looked like an angel. We took some pictures and went
back into the Sunday school room where we were doing the program.
Hermine's family was there, the Matanyan's had some cousins come from
Santa Monica, Alina and her husband were there, and most of our group
so it was a packed house! Samvel conducted and Brother Bradley gave a
talk and there was a musical quartet of Bradley Turley Gagik and
Brother Clark. It was awesome. Then the ordinances. Aram baptized Mark
and the water was pretty high so it was up to his chest which was
funny. Then I was able to baptize Hermine. It was perfect. She stood
there afterwards for a few seconds and I could just feel the power
that she felt. It was a great service. After we all changed we went
back in and did the confirmations. Mark again went first and then
elder Tavoian confirmed Hermine. He struggled a bit to get all the
words out but it was a spirit led blessing and that is what is
important. Very proud of him. Then we closed and ate refreshments.
While eating Debra had us come translate for her while she was
explaining the restoration to Albert and Arin. They seemed to have
caught their interest but not quite enough to meet with us. It'll come
though, when we came back in Hermine laughed and asked what they said.
She is so awesome I just have to say. She couldn't thank us enough.
Elin came up to us while talking to Hermine and said that she wanted
to be baptized tomorrow! Her mom said that she needed to wait and it'd
be up to her Dad but she said that it was her decision and laughed and
walked away. So that should be happening soon! Cleaned up and then
headed out.

Went with Armen Avakian to forest lawn again to pray with him by his
father's gravesite.

Went and prayed with Maria and Peter. They didn't come to church again today...

Headed out to Arcadia for he Despadida. Hit some traffic which made me
stress. It went really well. They had me go last for some reason but I
bore my testimony by teaching of the pattern how we can become more
converted. I shared from Luke 5 and I thought it went really well. I
was so excited though. ALL THE AVAGYAN's came!! Even Syuzanna!! I was
so happy to see her and so glad she was able to make it and hear the
testimonies. It has been a long time since she has been to church and
I hope she was touched by the spirit. But I felt very loved and
supported. I have served around some of the best missionaries ever and
even better members. Bummed a lot of the people I specifically invited
didn't come but I have a few weeks to track them down.

Anyways it was a great week. WE GOT A BAPTISM!! Quadrupled the
baptisms from last year. WOOHOO!

Elder Tanner DeBry

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