Monday, August 10, 2015

10 August 2015

Over here, everything works a little differently. That also goes for clothes shopping. I needed a new pair of pants, so last Monday, I went and tried to get them. It's a bit more of a process, but it's a lot of fun. First, you go down to the fabric place. It's only about 15 minutes from the apartment, and there are at least a hundred small fabric shops there, in a crazy grid pattern. You find one that looks like what you need, and go in and find the fabric. Some shops sell custom pant fabric: in other shops, when a roll is just about out, they take just enough to make pants out of it, and sell it to these shops. We went to one, and I found some amazing fabric: stretchy brown fabric. Then, you go down to a tailor, and get measured. He then makes pants out of it. Total cost? 380 rupees, or about $6.

On Tuesday, I had some very fun registration paperwork to do. But, I finally got registered! Then, we tried to clean off the apartment's whiteboard so we could update it. That was an adventure. Usually, you can just wipe them off. I tried using lens cleaner, water, and a whole bunch of stuff. The only thing that ended up working was dish soap. Then, we had to find a marker. That was another adventure. You can usually find a stationery shop on any street, but none of them had the. We ended up walking half a mile before we found one, but along the way we got a bunch of other stuff that we needed. Finally, we got back to the apartment, and had a clean whiteboard and a marker. We did the math, then tried to visit a whole bunch of people. The most memorable of them was one of the missionary's parents, who doesn't speak much english. 

Wednesday, I had a lot of fun, by completely losing my voice. I had a cold all week, but it really set in then. I couldn't talk to save my life. Which is really unfortunate for a missionary. We called Sister Berret, the mission nurse, who said that I couldn't talk or I might do permanent damage if I had laryngitis. So, I didn't talk much. However, I did get a package! Thanks! We had four back to back appointments set, scheduled, and visited. The first one started late and ended early, but the second one was amazing. We, or really just Elder Patten, taught a new investigator, and got him to commit to baptism! Our third appointment bunked on us, and the fourth one was a little different than normal: a birthday party. It was fun, but not exactly what we were expecting. 

On Thursday, my voice started coming back! We had a good weekly planning session in the morning, then headed out. Unfortunately, so did everyone else. All of our set appointments ditched, including one of the investigators we had on date. But, we talked to one of the hopefully soon-to-be-missionaries, and got him excited about serving! We also talked to one of the less active families that's been under the radar for a while, and go them to commit to come back to church. 

Friday was not a very exciting day. We did do one thing very exciting, though: we had been inviting all of the young men to an activity we had planned all week, then called around and visited around and did everything we could to try to bring in as many people as possible for it. How did it turn out? Well, the guy we planned it with showed up, but no one else. The activity was watching the Restoration movie, though, not something that needed a lot of participation, so we did it anyway. 

On Saturday, we started out by trying to print off a better area map. We have three large maps in our apartment, but all of them show disjointed small bits of it, not the whole thing. Before we got too far into that, a member asked us what we were doing, we told him, and he said that he would take care of it. Later, we visited the Balla family, and shared a message before asking them to show us where another family lived. They couldn't, so we moved on. Not much else happened; until school gets out, no one is ever home. That night, we taught some awesome lessons, though. 

Finally, we had a very fast Sunday. We tried visiting some people before church (2:00), but no one that we were trying to see was home. However, one random guy invited us in. We sat down, and he started talking. He had an interesting story: he had spent 14 years in the U.S. working for American Express, and also in the Indian Air Force. He mentioned a few things that were a little off-putting, though, such as how he could have a million people do what he said and how he could have them build a million "Jesus churches" if he wanted. That, and he said he was currently with the political group CPI. I figured that stood for the something Party of India, but couldn't guess what. That is, until we excused ourselves and left, when I saw a huge hammer and sickle painted on the wall with CPI in big letters next to it, and realized that the C stood for Communist. Then, we went to church, had branch council meeting, then had dinner. By then, it was 8:00. So, we visited a very fun family. The father is the first convert in Rajamundry! He is pretty old, but still both alive and lively, and funny!

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