March 28, 2016

Energize you life with JESUS!

Happy New Year! This week was great! :) We started off with our favorite, Korean BBQ, with an awesome family in the ward! We had a good time and it was cool to learn from them and their unique perspective and challenges. :) Recognize anyone? Think, Disney Channel. :) 
Chloe East (Disney Channel star on "Liv and Maddy")

We had an awesome District Meeting on you guys! Members! :) Get out an share the gospel! Its super easy to invite someone to watch a 2 minute video about Easter or Jesus. Honestly, I cant believe I didnt do it more at home. I promise that as you share your testimony (Super easy with a thing called a mormon message/easter video that is awesome!), you will find yourself smiling, and whys that? Cause the gospel brings JOY! Do it! :) 

Haft Seen

Norooz! (The Persian New Year). Our ward put on this huge party for it and we had probably 150-200 people come! Mostly all Persians. Im kinda bummed out we couldnt dance as missionaries. :/ BUT! It was awesome! :) We met so many cool people and it was cool to celebrate their New Year with our good friends. Mehdi and Ehsan cooked the Chicken Kabobs for dinner, this is me next to the cooks themselves, in the flesh. 

Also, as part of tradition, Persians put up a display in their homes called "Haft Seen" which means 7 "S". Basically its 7 things that start with the letter S (Seen in Farsi) that represent different things such as New Life, Health, Wisdom, etc. Kinda cool, and you bet Im going to have grass, garlic and a goldfish in my living room for Easter for the rest of my life. Kinda odd, but hey! #Traditional

On Easter Sunday, Los Angeles decided to close off a big part of Westwood (Our favorite Persian finding place) for the day. They set up a huge stage for live music, every Persian who sells anything had set up a booth and people were selling food left and right. Ok, maybe not the best Sabbath day activity, but holy smokes there was probably 10,000 Persians in a little 1/4 mile. We handed out probs 200 cards and placed 2 Book of Mormons, got a ton of phone numbers and some peoples addresses. We are super excited for the next little bit and to see where the Lord takes us. :) Also, if I decide to play bass in a Persian rock band, dont be surprised. :) #PersianGrooveJive

We played basketball this morning. We were practicing or "Superman Arms" for swim lessons, ok maybe just me. 

Our good friend Maryam is super awesome! We have been learning with her about trusting in the Lord and relying on Him. Sometimes we pray and feel like we dont get an answer. I promise the Lord always answers, it may just be that we cant understand it, arent ready for it, or its different then what we want. Prayer becomes natural when we recognize our relationship with Heavenly Father. We are turning to Him, to align our will with His, not to change Him to fit our wants. Because ultimately, who knows best? :) Trust in Him. 

Kind of along the same lines, another moment with Elder Ekberg about perspective. Life is hard, most of the time anyway. It wouldnt be any fun if there wasnt bad times in there. We wouldnt learn or grow at all. However, I have caught myself asking, "Does it really need to be THIS hard? Why right now? Cant I just get over this one, then get another to chew on?" The Lord never gives us anything we cant handle. He loves us and knows we can do it, but we have to be willing and humble enough to ask for help. If that means mom, dad, a sibling, friend, teacher, dog, the wall or better yet reaching up, it makes the difference.Trust in the Lord. Have faith and do the little things that will build your faith! Pray, read the scriptures, watch the Easter video (with a friend), go to the temple, write your favorite missionary. We all know the right thing to do, we just have to do it. Start with something you know you can do. Then, pray, put your trust in Him and do something more, maybe even something a little scary. You can do it, but only with His help. Easter isnt all about the bunnies, theres something in that gift called the Atonement. Use it. Its there to HELP, not to put us down or make things seem impossible. 

I love all of you! If you ever need anything, Im here! Its awesome to hear about everyones experiences and adventures! Keep up the great work! The Lord loves you! :) 

March 21, 2016

Tea? Sorry, we don't have coffee.

Happy New Year!! Norooz! It was the Persian New Year this weekend so, celebrate! 

So, last night, after a day full of New Year street conacting, we got a referral, had time, so we went to go see them. Met Mohammad at the door and invited us in, later his friend Hadi shows up. Two cool guys from Iran, here to study and get their degrees. They play guitar and piano, basically Eler Arguelles and I in persian bodies. We sat down, and in Persian culture, host offers drinks to the guest, usually tea. "Ohh we don't drink tea." 
"Tea? Sorry, we don't have coffee." 
"Actually, we dont drink that either." 
"Ohh, fruit? Can you have that?"
"Yes, haha, we can have fruit, only on Tuesdays though."
We ended up having a great lesson with them and are excited to see how the progress. Also, I have Koran homework reading. 

Had some Persian food! Also some Venezuelan food to celebrate culture I guess haha. I also bought corndogs this week #missionlife probably the best decision I've ever made. 

We went on a hike this morning! Ahh, LA. Why cant I be normal? Im EXTRAordinary. or something like that. 

Our friend Farid has gone a little MIA. Please pray for him. We are excited this week for Norooz. The actual new year was this past weekend but our ward is throwing its own seperate party, I should have some pretty cool pictures next week. We hope Farid will come and it'll be a good chance to fellowship and see where hes at. 

This week was good! We had Zone Conference, loved it. We talked a lot about what we can do now to become Christlike and always stay active in the church. Its a lot about burying our weapons of rebellion and allowing the Lord to take control. Attributes of Christ are gits from God, and I know that we can be gifted with these qualities as we strive to use them for the betterment of others and build up around us. 

Anyway! I hope everyone has an awesome week! Remember you are loved! :) Hopefully Spring Break was cool! This week is SB for UCLA so Westwood will be a ghost town, but that just means more Persians! :O For the New Year! Woooo! :) Love you! 

March 14, 2016

Farsi Family

So. This week was good! We met this lady, Maryam about 2 weeks ago. We had met her friend Taranom on the street and invited her to the VC, well when she came she ended up bringing her friend Maryam! They are both PhD students, moved her from Iran and are going for some post-doc education! Super cool and super smart! Anyway, this week we met Maryam with Bishop, and they smarted it out. Bishop is some crazy rocket-surgery, mechanical engineering, flexible structures professor at UCLA and Maryam is a chemical engineer with emphasis in Plasma Processing or something crazy like that. Maryam has been through a lot, a lot of persecution, mistreatment and it is so cool to see the difference the gospel makes in someones life. A simple sense of freedom and feelings of love make all the difference in the world. 

English class

Also, our member friend Sam, was sick this past week. We went up to visit him this week to give him a Priesthood Blessing and to see how he was doing. While we were there we were also fed, Persian food, yes. Its the best, honestly the best food ever. Also, Sam has a son here in LA living with him, Erfan who is a professional drummer! He has performed with so many cool people, and at the NAMM show, gahh. So we talked music for a bit and then he had to teach me how to play this Persian hand drum, its honestly the coolest thing I have ever seen. Also, I got to play the Sitar, I am buying one. That is all. 

Hans Zimmer.  'Nuff said.  

We also went street contacting! :O 

Check out the new Easter Video! :) If you're in LA on April 23rd, Gladys Knight is coming and doing a free "Musical Presentation" with her Gospel Choir :) cool opportunity for missionary work. 

Farsi! I havent really talked about it ehh? Well, its coming! Ive been in Farsi for about 4 1/2 months, and  its definitely frustrating at times. I dont really have anyone to look to for help understanding, I have to be that guy, so its fun. Definitely waiting for the interpretation part to kick in, but all is going well. I can read the Book of Mormon and understand nearly everything which is good. However, because we are not immersed in the culture/language, its hard. Speaking, understanding and simply just having enough lessons, exposure to the language is hard but its coming! :) Just have to keep reminding myself that it has only been a little over 4 months and we are doing great! 
Korean BBQ.  Of course


Also, Ive been thinking about how well the mission prepares you for things later in life. I cant say I know exactly how, but I know that being out serving, Heavenly Father is preparing me for what will come later. If you dont use the time Heavenly Father gives you, you miss out on the blessings He is waiting to give you. He puts us in companionships out on the mission in order to prepare us for marriage. The more I think about it, a companionship is a little family. You sacrifice, compromise, and decide what is right rather than who is right, together. There cant be a happy, or successful marriage, family, or companionship with one person. It takes two. Same with a district, zone, mission, or a family. It takes individual AND collective effort on everyones part to be successful. Family is important! Elder Holland said that he doesnt know if there are wards or stakes in heaven, but there sure are families. Prepare now for what is to come. Everything God gives us is to prepare us for additional happiness and joy. 

Thanks for everything! Have an awesome week! :)

March 7, 2016


Farsiland Adventures. I need an exciting way to start my emails. Ideas? 

Another great week! We went to Korean BBQ twice this week.. I like it maybe a bit too much. :) 

Also, we were able to do some service for, I think an old Senator of California. This is a selfie (props to Elder Arguelles) of his wife and her sister. We may or may not be getting letters of recommendation from a Senator on our resumes. haha.. haha 

Also, this is Elder Jung! He is from Korea, he was serving in Seoul South before coming out waiting on his VISA, but now he is here. Heres another thing, he knows Elder David Law! He was in the same district with him and even lived with him (I think) for a time! How cool is that! Small world! 
Elder Jung

Also, Hamed, as always. 
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We met with our great friend Farid this week and had a solid lesson with our bishop about the Restoration, the BoM, and the prophets. He soaked it up and we are so excited to continue to see him progress in the gospel! He is awesome and he was even able to come to YSA ward with Hamed this Sunday! We are meeting with him later tonight to follow up and read in the BoM with him! 

We got a referral to visit a man in the valley, out of our mission, so we took a drive last night. We show up, knock the door and a nice older Persian man, JB greets us and tells us that we should speak with his Son about God, he wasnt too warm at first with us. Well, the son wasnt home, so we asked him when a better time to come and talk with him was when the son just pops up behind us! Sweet! The dad invited us in and we had an awesome discussion about the restoration of Christs church with JB and his son Nima. We left them with a Book of Mormon and promised them if they ask God if it was true, they would receive an answer. Nima told us, "I'll do it! I already believe you guys, but I'll do it!"

Anyway, great week! Im grateful for the opportunity to be here on the mission! I know we grow through trials and challenges. Heavenly Father loves us enough to give us these things to stretch us to grow into the people He wants us to become. If it didnt hurt a little, we wouldnt get any better. :) Keep going! :) Have an awesome week! :)