27 October 2014
Overview: had a great week! Gave my last talk in sacrament meeting.
Picked up I mean in her family more seriously as investigators and
they seem to be promising. Not sure what else to say other then things
are good and I am happy and well!
Pday: errands - suits to the dry cleaners, shopping at target, went to
Abril bookstore because of a clearance they are having and to get
Elder Tavoian a dictionary. Went to the church and emailed, played
basketball/Wilson ball. Didn't play much because I was fasting for our
group. We need all the prayer we can get! Worked on my stewardship
report for a bit. Drove the Sunlamd Elders Judd and Lim to la
Crescenta then went to...
Dinner w/ Townsends - awesome home made dinner. Sister Townsend made a
cake for Elder Tavoian to celebrate his birthday which was last
Friday. Shared a spiritual message from Alma which was talking
about the members of the church who were getting down/hard hearted
about the difficulties they were having. The verse talked about
regardless our trials that we need to personally remain steadfast and
immovable in our testimonies, service and helping the church.
Lesson/hair cut with Armineh: we showed up a bit late because dinner
went long but we got there and there were quite a few other people
there in the back where her salon was. Surprised to see Simon in the
back cutting the youngest daughter's hair there as well. Armineh cut
my hair and while doing so Mesha came over and so we started talking
to him. Elder Tavoian started teaching him how to tie his kind of tie
with my tie that I took off. She did a really good job and I think it
was the first time I've gone to someone to cut my hair in over a year
maybe even a half. But anyways it was a good visit afterwards as well
because we sat around with the daughters (Rose & Tina), Armineh and
one of her friends whose name escapes me and they had a bunch of
questions for us about some of the things they had been hearing about
our religion since they met us. The daughters were fascinated at our
schedule we keep. Armineh had a question if we did plural marriage and
their friend asked if we could have massages and why we couldn't have
caffeine. So we explained that and how we believed it was a
commandment from God. It was just a very laid back conversation which
I think made them feel more comfortable with us being there. But I do
feel that next time we go over there we can have a bit more direct
lesson with Armineh especially. We had to head out and forgot to say
good bye to Simon as we were leaving and he texted us later and said
that since we didn't we owned him one time of him taking us out
clubbing... What a funny kid. On the way home from their house though
I just felt this overwhelming sense of love for this family though
because although they are a bit rowdy and different, they are still a
family. They come together and are able to feel love in their home. I
hope we can help them to realize what they have and how to better it.
After studies we were supposed to have a lesson up at GCC with the guy
that we met a few weeks ago but he canceled again so we tried by a
part member family up right above GCC who are supposedly members of
the Glendale first Ward. The wife was there and we spoke with her
briefly but she was just about to put her kids down to a nap and she
said that her husband was very closed off to the church right now and
would not want anything to do with it including helping us in our
language abilities. After that we were invited by the other Armenian
others to have lunch with Armand. His mom made us some pasta which was
actually pretty good. We went home and did some language study and
then went up and knocked on Western.
Knocking: threatened to have the cops on us. Tons of Spanish people.
One guy who said he would refer his friends.
Helga invited us over for dinner and we had a really good visit with
them. Helga told us about a recent family reunion that she went to and
how it was causing her some stress because of the poor relationship
she has with her family. We shared some scriptures from Elma and how
Wendy members of the church where feeling discouraged they strengthen
their faith in Jesus Christ, or patient in their trials and where more
Visits with the leadership works pretty slow. We talked with the
leadership about upcoming events and members and then I went out with
brother Bradley to go try by some people in Burbank. We tried by Anita
and Pedro but they weren't able to have us over. But we had a lesson
with high repent and audit Gus where I taught the restoration. They
probably won't progressed too much but we can always try and get some
referrals from them for their family.
After studies we biked up to the central building to do some FaceBook.
Got in touch with Chuck Stapel and we are going to see him tomorrow.
He asked "Don't I owe you a knife?"
Knocking Thompson: got kicked out of a building by a Jewish guy, not
much else happened.
Tried by a less active Aivazian on w. Allen past the freeway. Talked
to an older Armenian lady there named Moses. She was very nice, had
lived there for 30+ years. Said that no Albert lived there but her
neighbor had a Persian boyfriend. She asked us some doctrinal
questions inquisitively about our belief of the Godhead and she said
she would try and come to church sometime and have access take her. As
we were going we shook her hand and she gave us a kiss on the cheek.
Tavo didn't know what to do and tried to hold his ground but she won.
We biked to go try by some other less active members that I don't know
and I noticed that surprisingly we had some on Milford and Myrtle, two
streets that we have recently knocked and I thought it was pretty
random we chose there but it was probably so we could be in the area
more to find those lost sheep! We saw Simon (Armineh's son) as we were
biking past and asked him for some water and he let us in the back and
we got to talk to him, Tina and Armineh for a while and answered his
questions he had for us more about our lifestyle as missionaries. I
told them that I would be speaking on Sunday and Simon said he would
come! He said we might have to break down the door and pull him out of
bed but that we could come get him! He also said that he would visit
me in Utah AND he said to his Mom, "I think I want to be a Mormon!"
And she kind of laughed and gave him a look like he was weird. They
are a super cool family. We scheduled another day that we are going to
come over and make xorovac with them next week too! And we also told
them that next time we come we will actually teach them more about
what we believe instead of just their questions which they were fine
with, including Armineh's question of why bad things happen to good
people. She didn't think there would be an answer but we said we did!
And she perked up to listen and wanted an answer then but we are
making her wait. Then the other Elders came to pick us up and we
introduced them and then left. Love that family.
Dinner at Los Gringos Locos w/ Elders Cook & Smith.
Picked up our bikes from Armineh's house, asked them how long an
Armenian viewing was and they said it would be between 1-2 hours but
that we HAD to wear black. They thought we were again crazy that we
Changed at the pad. I had to borrow Elder Cale's black suit because
mine is at the dry cleaner.
Went to Maria's father's viewing at the forest lawn in Hollywood.
THERE WERE EASILY 1,000+ people there. Easy. It was super funny,
driving up was just lined with black, white and silver Mercedes, BMW,
Audi and other sports cars. Then we get to a church and there are 100+
armenian men outside the front door just smoking. we go inside this
massive church and it is standing room only where we are and EVERYONE
is wearing black and is Armenian. The Priest sang some songs, gave a
eulogy, some other lady spoke but couldn't hear her over the very poor
attempts of Armenians trying to whisper with their really deep voices
and people in and out for their smoking break. But it was only about
an hour and a half and then we walked past the body of Serjik, Maria's
dad. Elder Tavoian and I were trying so hard to have a mourning face
on... Didn't work so well. But we saw Maria sitting with her family
and she waved. Then that was it! We had to wait around for a while for
the other Elders to pick us up so we took pictures of statues around
The other Elder's dropped us off at the top of pacific and we walked home.
District Meeting - finding. Elder Ward did the first part of the
lesson and I thought he did an excellent job, he was well prepared and
deliver his message sincerely. Talked about believing blood and
finding the elect. In the words of President Becerra "We aren't here
to plant seeds anymore but to get in our John Deere tractor and reap."
Serjik Keshishian's funeral service (Maria's dad): drove back up to
the Hollywood forest lawn and yet again were lines and lines of cars
to the same old church. Not quite as many people today but still way
more than I would imagine. They had another shorter viewing for
probably those who didn't make it the evening before and we did
another walk by of the body which is kind of weird then waited outside
for the burial. And who did we run into? MARKUS! So we talked to him
and whatnot and he said he'd try and make it to church on Sunday for
my talk. But we talked to some other guy that was talking to Elder
Tavoian's Eldridge knot of his tie and he compared the group of
Armenians in Glendale to that of the Sopranos TV show in a way and I
can see how that is true with just how they hold themselves in
comparison to Gagik for example who is newly from Armenia and very
humble. Anyways we followed the procession to the grave site and it
was quite a ceremony with two armenian priests singing and praying,
dozens of white doves being released in the air, the close family
dropping roses on the lowering coffin and then everyone being invited
to shovel the dirt. At that point once everyone was baking under the
noonday sun the priest announces the 'hogechas' or the after funeral
luncheon which everyone was invited to at Anoush restaurant hall in
Glendale. Then quite hastily most of the people left including us
because we were hungry. So we drive there and wait around for people
to come. Saw a super nice rolls Royce being driven up and almost
valeted by a young looking kid. We get questioned by this Armenian
priest who is there about who we represented and why we were there and
who we knew and such. But at that point we got a message from Armineh
that she needed us to to do service with Simon.
Service with Simon: surprised we weren't in prose, cleaned side of
house, organized some things he had in his backyard, planted some
flowers, ate some pizza and set up some lamps that had speakers in
Visited Chuck Stapel. Has a knife for me but it isn't quite finished.
Dinner with Bradley's. Watched church's video they produced on the
temple garments and clothing which was awesome.
Visited Margarita with Cook - wasn't home, picked up by Bradley to
visit Anita and Pedro - Anita was still at school but talked to Rubik
the husband. Stopped by Armineh's again because Simon told is the
lights weren't working - showed up and he had already returned the
lights but introduced Bradley to the family. Then we stopped by Dalar
who was going to bed but I told her I was leaving soon and would speak
for the last time at church this Sunday and she said that they would
come and that I needed to come tomorrow at 7 and she said "don't be
late!" It was one of the most adorable things ever.
Lunch at the pad for once... Picked up my dry cleaning. Forgot how
awesome it is to have creased pants!
Weekly planning at the Central building... Didn't get too far before
Nate showed up and we went over more class planning and prep for when
I can register for classes next week. It's getting real! Should have a
pretty good schedule planned out if all goes well. But that took
longer than I thought it would as usual.
Lesson with Hermine & Elin: it has been a while since we had seen them
both with them not being able to come to Church last Sunday for some
other things they had to do, they came to the picnic but I don't think
we have met with them for a while. Anyways! They were glad to see us.
Elin was waiting for us outside when we came. Everything seemed to be
the same school/family wise and we followed up with prayer and
reading. She had read the assigned chapter from the Book of Mormon.
They had been praying together and Hermine said Elin had been saying
most of the prayers (I don't think willingly) but they said they
hadn't really talked about or prayed about a date for Elin's baptism.
Elin was asking a TON of questions about everything which was kind of
funny but harder to keep short and on topic. We reviewed with her why
we read the Book of Mormon because she was feeling as if it were
homework. She was funny and asked why we were having her read the
children's Book of Mormon when she was able to read the regular copy
saying she was an adult and whatnot. We told her our lesson applied
into how we can make reading more exciting. We read about Alma the
younger and the sons of Mosiah becoming converted, fasting and praying
and King Mosiah asking if they were ready to go out on missions. We
applied it to especially Hermine and how she just like King Mosiah can
pray and ask God if Elin is ready to be baptized. We committed them to
look over a calendar of the next few months but Hermine was still just
determined in waiting to see when Elin would be ready and not be
pressured by a date.. Which was a little frustrating because I'd like
to be here for the baptism but I am just happy that they are still
progressing and doing well.
Tried by some potentials/referrals we had received from the Spanish Hermanas.
Lesson with Haik: was a referral from the Hermanas. We had met him
before on the corner of w. Thompson. But he invited us in and said he
remembered the sisters and told them a joke that when they gave him a
picture of Christ he said "I already have a picture of Christ in my
heart, but can I have a picture of you in there?"... Ohhh dear these
old Armenian men. Funny weirdos. But he was rather nice. His wife
wasn't so much so and kind of made a fuss that we were there at first
and she kept coming in. Haik wasn't the most interested but he said he
believed in Christ so we taught him the restoration. Spirit was
there. Elder Tavoian got to teach a good chunk. Left him the pamphlet
to read. Said closing prayer and he recognized it was a wrong prayer
but he said he said it anyways because of others around him.
Tried by another potential Ani - met her as she was washing her car.
Very nice middle age woman. Said we could come back next Tuesday
Dinner at Chipotle
Stopped by church and the zone leaders needed the car (we were using
theirs). We helped set up some Halloween party stuff with the other
first Ward missionaries then used the zls bikes to head to a lesson
with Aghakhanyan family... They weren't home. Headed back to the pad
to pick up our bikes to have locks and tried by someone down the
street on riverdale. Didn't answer.
Called Helga to see how her talk was coming for Sunday. Chris.
Christine guilt. Bad things happening. Wants name removed.
Drove elders to their exchange so we could have the car.
We were supposed to do something with Ashot but he bailed on us again..
Finished weekly planning at central building
Knocking with NoHo zls - knocked up in the cabrinis - didn't get any
potentials out of both companionships... Planned on teaching their
zone next week armenian 101.
Went and got Elders Cook and Ward from Armen's to then go to Mike and
Bridget's. Walked over with them and Pinkie to get little Ceasars -
pretzel pizza with crazy crust... Super delicious. Shared a mormon
message about God knowing us personally. Invited them to the Ward
Halloween party and Mike was all excited to bring his nephews Leo and
Went to the Glendale 1st Ward Halloween party - Eligio dressed up as a
missionary which everyone thought was hilarious. The young men didn't
show up so we were asked to participate in their haunted house part of
the evening and so we got to put on masks and whatnot and scare
people! Had a few kids that were crying, some of the youth said it was
pretty scary and I lost my voice somewhat. So it was pretty exciting
and fun for us. It took forever though so by the time we finished up
we just stayed and cleaned up.
So to end the night Elder Tavoian had received special permission to
be able to skype in on a special baptism back home of his Dad
performed by one of his older brothers. So we did that and that was
pretty cool to see. It was a short service but Elder Tavoian was able
to see some family members and close friends so it was good for him to
see and his Dad really appreciated him being able to receive
permission from President Villanueva.
Had planned on stopping by Armineh's but the other a Elders had to use
the car to finish their exchange and get some gas.
Met with the elders early at church to plan for our coorelation with
the group council to go over the member list/notes to download my
brain before I leave.
Church: we had a good group there today! People were slow getting
there but we had about 31 people there during sacrament meeting!
Including: SIMON, MARKUS AND ASHOT! It was so awesome! At 11 Brother
Clark drove Elder Tavoian and I over to Armineh's house to wake up
Simon but we knocked and someone answered the door and told us that he
was already up getting ready! Which was a super big surprise to us
because he said he usually gets up at 3 or 4 after a night of partying
(that is with getting home around 4 or 5 in the morning)... But
anyways it was awesome he was ready and excited to come with us. So he
drove us over there, he had to make a drive through stop at Starbucks
to get a morning drink to wake him up and have a few cigarettes to
wake up as well. But we got to church and the combined relief
society/priesthood had already started and so we caught the end of
that and then went into sacrament (after he took another smoking
break). A recently returned missionary from the stake came and spoke,
Scott Grey, who served in Mexico and gave a great but long talk. Then
I gave my final talk as a missionary which was pretty hard but a
little relieving to know that I still have two weeks until I really go
home. I was a bit bummed though because Scott took so long on his talk
that I had about less than 10 min. But whatevs. I said what was
important... I hope. After church I took some pictures with people and
Correlation with Group Council: right after church we got together and
went over our official member list and all those armenian last names
that had been given to us from the stake. We gave all the notes that I
had been passed from generation to generation. It was a pretty long
but a needed meeting to move forward to meet with the stake presidency
in the next few weeks to discuss the group.
Dinner @ home.
Knocked Milford - got into this first one really big apartment
building and got some good potentials and referrals. Including one
part member family that I remember visiting when I was in G2.
Biked over to see Dalar and her family but they weren't home so we
stopped by Aylin & Zhorants and they were home! Just heading out
though but we got to talk to them for a minute or two and invite them
to family home evening and then Sunday... Went down after that to go
see if we could say Hello to Ragned but she wasn't home either! Rima
and Raymond were again and we invited them to stop by tomorrow for
family home evening and for my last Sunday next Sunday and they said
Got a text from Simon saying he had some people over at his place that
wanted to learn more about Mormons! So we biked all the way over there
and there sure enough were 5 people we hadn't met and one of them had
seen the copy of the Book of Mormon that we had given him during
church. So we explained the basic beliefs of the church organization,
apostasy and restoration and need for evidence and those truths that
were lost. Clarified some other questions they had and then they left.
But that left us to talk to Simon, Simon's friend Mel, Tina and
Armineh was in and out while she was dying Rose's hair. But Simon was
explaining to Mel about the word of wisdom so we were explaining it to
her and Simon asks "so if your bodies are a temple and a gift from
God, what is your view on plastic surgery?" It was a perfect question
to explain to him that it wasn't needful that we be instructed all
things but that through personal revelation using prayer we can know
and ask God those questions for ourselves. Simon said he had never
really asked any questions to God nor had he given thanks through
prayer. We established that they all believe in God and that Simon had
felt the promptings of the spirit at a time when his car was getting
jacked and before that he said he "had a gut feeling he was going to
be robbed that day and took all the valuable out of the car." So we
explained that God was our father and wanted to give us answers. But
then the question arises why wouldn't God intervene when he was
getting robbed and we talked briefly about agency and said we'd talk
about that later (aiming it mostly to Armineh since she had the
question originally. But Simon said that made sense and so we went
back to how we can receive answers through prayer and it would come
individually so we used the example of the first vision. Mel wasn't
paying attention at one point so Simon repeated what we had just
taught about the first vision to her perfectly! Which was awesome.
Armineh said she still didn't believe that happened and that God
didn't have a body. But we told them to pray about it and we'd follow
up. We invited Simon to say the closing prayer and HE DID! I had to
say an example prayer but he did and said he was nervous and his heart
was pounding right before. So we had a really good lesson with them!
They are coming along quite nicely.
Biked to the church and synced our area books. Biked home. I beat
Elder Tavoian again. He took a wrong turn when he was in the lead.
Elder Tanner DeBry