January 30, 2017

Rain = Clear Skies = Sick Pics

Good little week we had! All is well, we still have all our fingers and toes! 

Missionaries watched the World Wide Missionary Broadcast. Elder Oaks, Bednar and Anderson and others had a little council about missionary work and gave us some tips. Now time to apply. :) Applying the things you learn is where you make all the money, where all the magic happens. 

This week was definitely slower as far as the teaching pool goes. It seemed like everyone we have been teaching was either sick or not home at all this week. However! We have found some new people and we are excited to reach out and start teaching them. 
BelAir


They decided to "give" us some of Beverly Hills/Bel Air to help the sisters out, and to allow us to teach everyone we find (not just serve as referral generators) which has been cool. Weve been trying to visit potentials and members we dont know and its been paying off in the little time weve had the "new" area. We found this cool less-active lady who has 3 kids and is married to a non member and she was all for having us come back for dinner :) Sick! 
Beach Pano


We also were asked to help out with the "Missionary Music Night" here in LA. That was a neat opportunity to play different hymns and arrangements. I miss the bass though.. :) 

Interesting thought: Christ took upon him the sins of all of us. As He atoned for us, he stood as the proxy and suffered for all of our mistakes, sins and shortcomings. Thus, He stands as a Mediator between us and God, and will grant us mercy as we come to know and follow Him. One of the many things we promise to do when we follow Christ is to serve others, to love them as He would love them. Isnt it interesting to think that others are placed in our lives, to stand as proxies for Christ as if He were here? 

(Matthew 25:40 "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.") Serve others, love God. Love others, serve God. Life. :) 

Mission rocks. Its the best and I love being a missionary. :) Have a great week! 

Also, the first and only time the CLAM will take a pic together! 
CLAM 2017

January 23, 2017

"Ohh, I gave you my address...??"

Morning!

This week it rained a lot. We got wet. I realized that after a while on the mission, shoes begin to loose their traction and when its wet, you go slippin and sliddin, lots of fun, but all in all, very good week! 

Had the near opportunity to have dinner at our ward mission leaders house with our good friend Mahyar. Turns out he is quite the horse-rider back in Iran, who knew? It was awesome to have the members take in a fellow brother like that and just have a good time. It even helped our WML want to start learning little Farsi phrases to better connect! 

So, about a year ago, we were meeting with this young man named Hamed and he was awesome, just a stellar guy. He got super busy with school and work and just lost contact, but out of the blue this past week he calls and asks if we can meet up! Absolutely! So we had a real sit down with our bud Hamed and got him fired back up about doing the daily things to keep us in tune with Heavenly Father. We are stoked he is back. :) 

Amir and Hanieh, our good friends. Man, they are great. We stopped by and Wednesday, they had company, but they were like, "Come by tomorrow!" So we did! We read out of Enos with them, talked about prayer, repentance and serving others and before you know it we were on the Word of Wisdom. <Persian Culture Time: Very polite to ask the guest if they want tea, and then coffee, and then water> Overall, great lesson, and Amir committed to come to church on Sunday. :) 

Friday! Drive-to-Torrance Day. We have tried this guy, Hamid a couple times and he is never home, but HEY! Upon arrival, he was just walking outside, we asked, "Are you Hamid?" And he goes, "Ohh, I gave you my address huh?" "Yes... gotcha!" But Hamid was super nice, invited us in and we taught him the Restoration. He was curious upfront about the Book of Mormon, especially that it about the people that lived here in the Americas. He goes, "You mean, there was people before the Native Americans? We call them سرخپوستان (Red Skins)" and then we turned to the Introduction in the Book of Mormon and have him read about where it came from and right there at the end of the second paragraph it reads, "and they are among the ancestors of the سرخپوستان". Book of Mormon is inspired (or translated correctly, or both 😛)

We also met with this man named Majid, who after we gifted him a Persian Book of Mormon, thanked us and gave us each about 3 hugs haha. We excited to go back and read with him. :) 

Went on exchanges with E Ancheta, one of the American Sign Language elders here in the CLAM, we rode the bus all day, had an interesting experience standing next to all these people going to downtown to protest/march for womens rights/equality/etc. lets just leave it at, LA has some interesting people. :) But, none the less, we got to teach and I brushed up on some of my signing. :)

Amir came to church, he loved it. :) There was also this new lady Mehrnoush who came with her mother (who turns out to be a member) and she said she is interested to learn more about the church, and her mother told us that she wants to become a member, so we will see. We think we charmed her with our Farsi skills during gospel principles but it couldve been the spirit. ;)

Are the things you and are I doing bringing us closer to God? Are we actively choosing to progress? Life is full of patterns and routines, which can have its pros and cons. If we use the routines of life to dig deeper into the more important things rather than worrying about the little things, we can learn and progress a lot more. However, if our routine makes us numb, passive and we just sift through the motions, we wont learn anything. Have habits? Good or bad? Keep the good ones, focus on the lessons you can learn. Break the bad ones, replace them with good ones and stay faithful until you can focus on other things. 

God loves you. He wants the best for you. :) Let him know how He can help and be willing to do what He wants you to do first. Seek answers from His word. Remember Him. Everything will work out in the end. :) 

Have a great week!


January 16, 2017

Culture Time

Hello! 

Here are some things that have happened!

  1. Elder Wiedrich had a birthday! 
  2. Ate at the Ward Mission Leaders house 4 times in 5 days.
  3. Had breakfast at the W Hotel.
  4. Had Chinese/Mongolian food with Persians.
  5. Helped translate Priesthood interviews for Persians in Sweden.
  6. Taught English to Persians, Africans and Chinese friends.
  7. Had interviews with Mission President.
  8. Went on exchanges with the Korean elders.
  9. Played Peace-maker between some Persians.
  10. Taught an awesome Afghani Persian the Plan of Salvation.
  11. Ate Hawaiian raw fish with Koreans. 
  12. Met a cool UCLA Researcher who wants to learn more about who God is.
  13. Started teaching our Persian Recent Convert.
  14. Went finding in Beverly Hills.
  15. Visited some rug shops in Downtown LA and talked to Persians.
  16. Spoke Spanish to someone from Africa who speaks Portuguese.
  17. Had 4 people come to church!
  18. Ate cookies with a Jewish lady. 
  19. Met a baptist lady who was standing at a bus stop. She turned and said, "You know, I know ya'll are Jesus people because I could feel it when ya'll walked up. You know what, the spirit just told me, "People gotta get off Facebook and start looking for Gods face in His book!" " And then stepped on the bus and left. 
  20. Had a great week! (2 weeks) 
Have a great week! ✌🏼

January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year! Hopefully looking back on 2016 brings good feelings, if not, you got this year! :) 
Saeed (second from left), Yousef (front standing), Karo (back between Elder Weidrich and Elder Ekberg pictures)

This week was good! Big news is Saeed, Yousef and Karo were baptized! They are 3 guys we have been teaching via skype for the past little bit and they passed their interviews earlier this week and on Friday were able to be baptized! Cool opportunity to be able to reach people outside of LA.

As far as the work here in LA, it goes! We started the year off strong with 4 investigators at church. We had our long-time good friend Maryam come as always, Mahyar, Erfan, the son of a member who recently got married and Victoria, our friend from English Class! 

New Years Eve was super exciting for us, we had to be in by 6, and after planning for the week, E Wiedrich and I played guitar until we dropped. 

I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve, especially around the holiday season. 2016 was great, this will be better. The Lord loves you. :) Have a great week! 

Also, if you're feeling into the Christmas spirit, check this out. Recognize anyone? 

December 19, 2016

{Christmas Caption Cheesy CurlyFries}

President and Sister Haynie with a nice looking tree. 

This week was a good one! We had the opportunity to attend our mission's Christmas Devotional. It was awesome to be with half the mission and to share testimony as well as to play and hear missionaries participate in musical numbers. Someone leaked that I play piano and guitar and E Wiedrich and I had our fair share of accompanying a few missionaries. It was super cool and Im grateful for the opportunity to share the Christmas spirit through music!


Sisters who sang while we pretended to play

When the Visitor's Center isn't looking.


The work continues to move forward, both here and around the world! We are helping 3 of our Sweden buddies prepare for baptism at the end of the month! We are very excited for them. :)
International Zone:  Korean, ASL, Farsi

Our good friend Maryam

video

O Come O Come Emmanuel, Elder Hwang on the Cello
(no video, just sound--but it's beautiful)  

Have an awesome week! Merry Christmas! :) 

December 12, 2016

Christmas Miracles

Ohh the Lord has been good to us. :) We have found ourselves saying, "Its a Christmas Miracle!!" very often. Its amazing how the Lords timing is perfect and everything seems to work out one way or another, even if you feel like everything is flying by a million miles an hour.

Via Skype, we had the opportunity to teach our friend Saied سعيد most of the commandments like the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, Tithing, etc. and it was super cool to see him just beam as we talked about how simple they were and that the Lord promises us such big blessing for keeping them. Saide has been one that we have seen the Light of Christ and change in his countenance most evidently, its amazing to see him just smile and smile as we teach him. :) 

Thursday, we had MLC and David Wade, head of the missionary department came down and helped train and teach us how we can be better! It was awesome to get down to the basics and learn a trick or two from him. 
Singing in Watts

Saturday we had the opportunity to go down to Watts (a rougher part of LA) and provide some service to the community with 25 or so missionaries. We helped set up for a huge effort to provide meals, toys and other things for the community/homeless in the area. We then were asked to sing some Christmas songs as the people came into the gym and had breakfast and we ended up singing for almost 3 hours!! Boy, we were so tired (I had forgotten what its like to play a 3 hour gig... dang Im outta shape, and singing too! I dont sing!) but it was so cool to be out and to do something out of the ordinary for the community and especially around the Holidays. We had so many people come up and ask about who we were and where we were from and how long we have been singing as a choir! 😂 

We also got to visit Giti & Kanan گيتى و كنان, who have been friends with the missionaries for a couple years. They recently returned back from a visit to Iran and Giti, the wife underwent a knee surgery and has been in a lot of pain. We were able to go over and give her a priesthood blessing (first time ever offering a blessing in Persian) and it was a beautiful experience. They were so grateful for our concern and help and told us as soon as they feel better they want to start coming back to English Class and learning more about the gospel! 

Saturday evening we had our ward Christmas party and 17 nonmember Persians showed up! It was amazing! :) We were so surprised to see so many familiar and new faces and had a great chance to get to know a lot of them. E Wiedrich and I were able to stand up and bear our testimonies in Farsi and share a message with the Persians who came. Awesome night. :)
video


Sunday, day of unexpected miracles! One of our members, Bro Potter came and told us at the Christmas party that he had met a new friend at the Apple store that day. They ended up talking, and Bro Potter 1. Bought a new phone (haha) and 2. Invited Mehdi مهدى to church! (This is what member missionary is all about, especially when they are Persian :)). Sunday morning, Mehdi shows up to church and absolutely loved it! He has been through some hard times in his life but said he felt so welcomed in and grateful to have received an answer from God about what to do in his life. :)
Farsi Central: Maryam, Sister Mead, Saide, E Ekberg, E Wiedrich, Mahyar, Hanif, Ehsan 

They was also a family of Persians who came into the Visitor Center after church, and while we were previously committed and couldn't quite meet them, they were so excited to learn more and left their contact info with the sisters. They told us that as Parsa پرسا and his family were leaving they said that they were excited to come back and meet the Persian Elders.
Sunday afternoon we get a call from the Assistants and they tell us they have two Persian woman down at their church building and if we could come down ASAP and speak with them. So, amazingly, we fly down the 405 in record time (God had to have parted the cars for sure) and meet Niloofar نيلوفار and her friend. They were two nice young girls from Iran who have been all over the world and kind of ended up here in LA and wanted to know more about the church and the process of becoming a member. We told them that we were the right people to be in contact with and we are super excited to start working with them! :)

Sunday night, we had heard that their lady Eli has been visiting the VC with her daughter often and we should stop by and see her, so we brought Sister Mead, our senior sister missionary friend who is from Iran, and met Eli and her family. Elham, Babak and Vanya الهام، بابكـ و وانيا were so happy so see us and welcomed us in and what a cool family! Vanya, their little toddler is so cute and just had the best time showing us all her toys. :) We had a good time meeting them and look forward to seeing more of them in the future. :) 

Last miracle, we were fortunate enough to meet this lady Joan from Australia. She has been facing some health concerns and we were able to go to the hospital and give her a priesthood blessing. It was a very sweet experience to be with her and to be able to offer her that service and to noticeably see God work and begin to heal her even during our brief visit with her. We pray for her that everything will go well and she will be able to make the trip back home. :)

Sweater Weather,  Elder Weidrich