3 November 2014
Overview: last full week. New people at church. Should have a
awesomely packed week this next week. Not going to send much more than
this email this week so I can get everything else done. Love you all
and I'll see you on Saturday! Flight #4753 arrival @ . PLEASE DONT
COME TO THE GATE! I want to see you all at once :) love you guys!
Pday: cleaned the apartment, went shopping, went to GCC to have
lunch/play pool/email, went bowling on Glendale with the zone. It was
super fun and we had a really good turn out! I came in third the first
game and second the second game! Well.. At least between us Armenian
elders. After that I headed over to the Wilson building with a Elder
Cook to finish emailing and write the remainder of my stewardship
report. By the time I finished we had to start setting up for our
family home evening. Right before hand, Elder Tavoian and I went over
to Dalar and Devin's house to ask them if they could come to the
activity. They said they would and sure enough they came! Kind of
funny though. Their parents just dropped them off at the church and
didn't come. But they had a good time!
Family Home Evening: we had a really, really good turn out! Like I
said, Dalar and Devin came, the Matanyan's came with their kids, Armen
G and Christina A. came. Hratch and Armen of course. The Bradley's,
brother Turley and the townsends came over as well. Kristina and Arman
came. And even Ashot came! We had pizza, I shared a message from
General Conference about which way do we 'face' and then for the
activity we colored pumpkins! We started tossing them around
afterwards and at the end of the night Ashot asked to have Elder
Cook's and my pumpkins... Not sure why but whatevs. But it was really
good. Ashot said he was going to the temple Thursday and that we were
going to see him Friday for lunch at in n out.
The zone leaders came downstairs and studied with us.
Went to GCC - survey, piano with Elder Adamson
Lunch @ GCC
Language study at central building
Stopped by McDonalds for an ice cream pick-me-up for some sugar
Knocking on Sonora - met guy who said the only God should be our
father (referring to our parents), met quite a few other Latino
families - Still not so good at Spanish, met a Hayastansi family that
gave us some walnuts.
Went to go pick up the other elders from Armen's but hit super bad
traffic on the way and had to have Armen give them a ride while we
fought traffic to go straight to Armineh's house for dinner.
Xorovac w/ Armineh & Family: 3 hours long, helped prepare everything,
cooked the meat while Simon started asking his bazillion questions
that were all about us and not the gospel. Mesha & Harut came over as
we finished cooking. Everyone came together to eat. Simon kept asking
questions. Wouldn't let us leave. Explaining his extent of knowledge
of our beliefs to everyone who had questions about it. Thought Tavoian
and Smith were bad eggs. They still wouldn't let us leave. Invited
more people over. We were talking to a total of 10 people in and out
of the conversation and kept answering their questions over and over.
Totally missed visits with the leadership all four of us did. Turley
came and picked smith and cook up to visit Christina A. We got a call
not too long after to rescue the sisters from a bus stop. Said a
closing prayer.. Simon said one and then asked Elder Tavoian and I to
say one as well. Mesha and Harut walked us out and apologized that we
were kept so long and missed our appointments. They were very sincere
and said that before I left we were more than welcome to come and
visit them at their house in balboa park by Granada hills to meet
Pretty frustrating night. Felt super bad that we stayed so long and
didn't have the most on point lesson with that family. I hope they
still recognize our sacred calling we have and are willing to have us
teach them and they don't just expect us to only answer questions. It
was a positive experience for them. They have a good relationship with
us but we need to show we still are representatives of Christ. Good
news is we know that Simon has retained what we believe and can
explain it to others!
Lunch at Taco Bell with other Armenian Elders
Dropped them off and went up to GCC to print off stewardship report to
give to President Villanueva
Interview with President Villanueva - asked about group, how to
request new missionaries (emphasis was placed on new sister
missionaries), review of email sent to President Yen, talked about
school briefly, asked me if he could keep me out longer, asked
permission to do registration and about exit interview and he said I
could do whatever I needed to do and that he trusted me completely,
said I just needed to let him know what I wanted to do for my exit
interview/last day and I could do it.
Ran errand to pad for the zone leaders Then biked like mad men to Hermine's.
Lesson w/ Hermine & Elin: talked about Halloween, Hermine said the
opening prayer, followed up with reading, taught about prayer, Hermine
had to tell Elin to not talk about so many random things, read from
Enos about prayer, she said the closing prayer and she is getting
better! Hratch kept going off on things when we'd pose a question to
Knocked Sonora: met a really nice lady from Iraq that said we could
come back, met another lady who I have met a few times out and about
who always asks us for pictures of Christ and finally found her
Biked back to pad and had other Armos pick us up for...
Dinner w/ Townsends: steak and super amazing twice baked potatoes,
home made brownies and massive amount of ice cream, brother townsends
awesome mission stories - rough apartment complex, companion who
didn't ride a bike well, other Hawaiian missionary won French national
title surfing competition, furnace blowing up/mice and pidgeons. They
gave me my red book of pictures...
Went home, got bikes and raced to Helga's. Lesson w/ Helga: found out
Chris had a breakdown and caused some property damage and vandalized
some cars, arrested. Helga really upset - earpiece?? Read a part from
a talk 'finishers wanted' and taught about enduring to the end. They
gave us more food...
Studied - got in a wrestle with Elder Tavoian... I won.
District Meeting - MY LAST DISTRICT MEETING...topic was revelation
through prayer, shared experiences that we have had with people
praying and receiving their answers, how is prayer is essential to
conversion, etc. it was a really good meeting and had a good spirit
about it. I tied in with what I had studied from Alma 8 on what we
need to do this next month in order to prepare to baptize December and
Lunch w/ other Armos
Language study at pad
Knocking: Justin - had one lady insist on giving us money after we had
given her our flyer for church. She was surprised when we said we
wouldn't take it but she said she'd try and come. Had a few other
Spanish speakers. Amazes me how someone can live in the US for 50
years and still say they don't know any English...
Knocked with Burbank 1st Elders - went with Elder Taylor. He asked me
a bunch of questions one of which was what was the hardest thing I had
done on my mission. And trying to look back I realized that yes it was
hard but the good/happy times drown out the difficult/trying times. We
knocked into this one lady that was obviously born again. She was
trying to bring up her concerns of what we had added/taken away to the
teachings/being of Jesus Christ when all she needed was Him, no
prophets or Book of Mormon. We had to explain why we had the Book of
Mormon and the restoration and apostasy of authority. She asked why
that authority was important and we explained that it was necessary to
have to do ordinances such as baptism. She the told us that baptism
was just symbolic and that we didn't NEED to be baptized to believe in
Jesus Christ. I quoted some scriptures which frazzled her and she said
she wasn't prepared to talk scripture or anything but we could come
back. So that was cool. Elder Taylor had a good question for her
though, "if you believe in Jesus Christ then why WOULDN'T you want to
be baptized?" She said we could come back and talk more sometime!
Found another awesome couple, Henrik & Melik, that for sure/promised
they'd be there for church on Sunday.
Dinner with Bradley at Panda since we are having dinner with him and
J. Logan Dicus on Saturday. But while we were there we were approached
by some armenian lady, Lucy, that wanted to know what we were and such
and once she found out we were missionaries of Christ she pointed to
her kids sitting and had us go ask them who their favorite person was
in the world or something like that and they said God and Jesus. I
gave her a card and told her to call us to meet with her family which
she said she'd love to do. After we had gotten our food she came over
and asked if she could talk to me for a second. So she began to
explain to me that she was going to have a procedure on her brain in a
few weeks and she wanted us to pray for her and her family at that
time. She started tearing up as I told her we'd love to and she said
that it wasn't random that we had met her there but that it must have
been an answer to her prayers. She and her mother were amazed that we
spoke Armenian but they saw us as true disciples of Christ which was
cool. She gave us all her info and said to call early next week.
Dropped off elders off at Jerry's
Visited: Aylin & Zhorants - talked to Zhorants outside as they were
leaving; visited Ragned but wasn't home.
Lesson w/ Margarita: going through rough time, deaths close to her,
has to go back to school, won't be able to take care of kids in the
evening.. Gave her a blessing. Said she felt our energy go into her
and it gave her the chills and relax. Gave her a plan of salvation
pamphlet and told her to read and we'd talk about it next time. Gave
us a lot of food.
Had to go rescue the elders from Jerry's and take them home.
Ashot no go on lunch
Lunch at glendale market w/ Armos
Lesson with Hermin & Elin: forgot surprise, taught Priesthood/missionary work.
Went to Ralph's and made surprise for Elin at central building
Dinner with Mitchell's - drove zls, horse mask
Went to Mike and Brisgets to help hand out candy - dressed up, saw dicus.
Dicus picked us up a bit before 11 (he was borrowing Bridget's car)
and we went to Souren's house for our scheduled lesson... They weren't
home. Super bummed about that. We walked around because we were on
time but weren't home after a while. Figures.
Visited Jerry: Dicus is still his favorite missionary... Even though
Jerry forgot his name which was hilarious. But Dicus's Armenian is
still awesome and still has it! Just not quite as good of an accent as
Lunch with Ashot, Dicus and the other Armenian Elders. It happened!
Surprised Ashot came but glad he did. He was happy to see Dicus. Dicus
said he hasn't changed any since he left. I was surprised Ashot didn't
bring up the fact that Dicus never calls or anything.
Did some weekly planning at the church and then took the other Elders
Knocked w/ NoHo zls: one lady's son was naked and running around, she
thought it was "awesome" if he peed on a bush and said "I hope there
isn't a child molester around here!" Probably one of the more
awkward/random contacts I've had knocking. We got a few potentials
that said we could come back though. No one super rude so it was quite
pleasant! It was Elder Ford and my last time knocking together. He is
getting transferred. It was a good run with them!
Met Dicus back at the Wilson building and went out to visit people.
Tried by Anita & Preni - they didn't remember who we were so didn't
let us in... Tried by Edwin, wasn't home. Then we went to Anahid but
she was still at school so said Roubik. Stopped by Hayrapet & Aregas
weren't home but we spoke with their neighbor and she said she'd be
willing to have the missionaries stop by and she even referred one of
her neighbors in the building that was going through a rough time! It
was awesome to work with Dicus again. He hasn't changed in how he is
spunky and a goof ball who is excited to do missionary work. We
stopped by Moses (the lady that kissed Elder Tavoian and I) but she
wasn't home either...
Dinner w/ Bradley's, Dicus, Mike and Bridget, Arman and Kristina
Lesson/Second dinner with Helga & Christina: made karmir plav -
Christine was questions why aren't they happy if they are being
faithful. Taught from Luke 18 or whereabouts about Lazarus and the
Visited Simon an hour later than we said we'd come... and set another
appointment for next Friday. Their back house tenants were asking
questions to them in Armenian thinking we didn't know Armenian. Pretty
Sunday: LAST DAY AT CHURCH.
Townsends were out of town and so was Sister Turley. Met with Brother
Bradley, Dicus and other Elders to discuss the work. Sunday school we
had quite a crowd and some visitors and new people. Olga was there
randomly. Samvel was in town. Rita came despite her back pain. AND WE
HAD THE ONE COUPLE, HENRIK & MELIK COME TO CHURCH! I couldn't believe
it and at first had no idea who they were but then the spirit brought
it to my remembrance. Jerry taught the lesson on the word of wisdom.
And it was a pretty good, solid, straight forward lesson. Henrik &
Melik were well welcomed and the other wives took Melik to relief
society and I taught Priesthood. I was going to talk about the things
I learned on my mission but I felt inspired to teach Henrik about the
restoration so we just had a straight up lesson for the lesson! With
many members present! We walked through the restoration pamphlet as we
would any other lesson but I was more open with the questions to
everyone and got some great participation, especially from the
Armenian speaking members. Including the stories of Gagik and Samvel
and how their experiences were with the missionaries and what they
thought of the message of the restoration. Samvel took over for a bit
and went on to talk about his experience and how he didn't learn much
from the Elders but they opened the door to him reading and studying
more and more and soon he said he was teaching the Elders... But I
brought up baptism and he didn't seem taken aback at all so that was
good! Then sacrament and they stayed for all three full hours! I was a
bit bummed Hermine wasn't there with Elin but I'll see them this week.
I translated for the testimonies. Elder Dicus gave his and his
Armenian is excellent. Arousiak got up and started praising us
missionaries as usual, especially aimed towards me since it was my
last time. Gagik and his wife bore their testimonies. They are so
solid and awesome. Talking about them wanting to do their part and be
firm in the gospel for their kids. Such a great family. And then
lastly I bore mine again. I didn't know much else to say other than I
was thankful for them all. I didn't cry surprisingly, because well,
Armenian men don't cry! But I will miss them all. It was hard for me
to sing God be with you til we meet again. I got a bunch of pictures
with people afterwards. Samvel pulled me aside and told me he had a
dream that was a similar situation that happened with Mom and Todd
coming back to church with his parents and he said that sometimes we
can only do so much and the rest is up to the people's choice. Random
comment but, thanks Samvel for the wise/counsel?
Smith and I afterwards went to forest lawn to meet Armen and man has
he changed. He lost complete custody of his son a few weeks ago and
now he is just super... Humble. Very much more patient and
understanding. He was sincere and kind and it was much more enjoyable
to be around him. But I said a prayer and then we left, short sweet
and to the point.
Picked up the other elders and went to mikes parents house for the
xorovac they made me. We helped set up the grill and Varuj, Melina's
husband, cooked and so did Mikes Mom. It was delicious, we had some
good conversation about Melina/Melissa coming to visit utah. Melina is
still mind blown that we are normal, cool people. We tried this
pudding/sweet stuff from sugar and butter and flour that is only made
for times when there is a birth in the family or someone and it was
super good. Super Classic xorovac or Lola, hav, plav, pomedor, peppers
and ayln. And for some reason as we were ending Elder Cook got
pressured into wrestling Mike's Dad, Masis, who was the iran national
champion wrestler back in the day and the first Armenian to win a
title. Pit ended a tie but it was fun to watch.
Dropped off at the central building to finish weekly planning.
Lesson with Helga. All four of us came over. Shared Matthew 11 about
the yoke of Christ and the Armenian translation.
Elder Tanner DeBry