Monday, October 12, 2015

12 October 2015

This week has been pretty different. The number of missionaries in Rajamundry has more than doubled, and instead of having two missionaries in our apartment, we have 5. It's quite the change. Also, the visa-waiters in my batch, Elders Whaley and Goodrich, finally came in! Elder Whaley is off in Hyderabad, but Elder Goodrich came into 1st branch, not even 10 minutes from our apartment. It's pretty exciting!

Anyway, our week was spent largely in preparing for the new missionaries coming in. We got a map printed that turned out to be a little too big. Or actually way too big. We didn't think that 2x4 sounded too big, but it turned out to be massive, because it was in meters. So, we have a map of our area that is too big to fit on any of the walls. We ended up taking it around a corner in one room, but it keeps falling off the wall because it's too heavy. That's kind of a problem, because I used over half a roll of duct tape trying to keep it up. We're debating on whether to glue it to the wall or nail it, because nothing else seems to be working. Also, we pulled out the smaller beds in our room, and put in the bunk beds. That was quite the effort; involving 64 washers, and 16 bolts and nuts: all without a wrench. But, they are up and holding together. Getting the beds out was even more fun. We ended up having to take one of them on our shoulders to the other apartment, which was a pretty good adventure. It wouldn't fit in our lift, so we had to carry the 50-lb.+ behemoth down four flights of stairs to the ground, a kilometer to the other apartment, then up five flights of stairs to get there. That was lots of fun. The other one is still in our apartment, waiting for the zone leaders to figure out how they are going to get it to Kakinada, which is a 2 hour bus ride away. 

The new elders arrived on Wednesday, and on Friday. My new companion, Elder Jalagam, is...interesting. He's the first native companion I've had, so working with him, and just communicating with him, is tricky. But, things are going well so far. We've split the branch into two areas, and Elders Lindsay and Prasad are taking the south half. It's been working well. Elder Goodrich, coming straight from California, was a bit shell-shocked by the whole transition, which was pretty abrupt. He came in just in time for a wedding, general conference (which he watched twice- once in California, once here), and for our BML baptizing his son. All of those are very, very different that American versions of them. 

Conference was really good, though! I think three new apostles might be a record. The timing of it all was off from what we thought it would be. On Saturday, it started at 9, which wouldn't have been a problem if we hadn't been under the impression it started at 10. After an urgent text from our zone leaders at 9:20, we came in at 9:30, halfway through Elder Uchtdorf's talk. You have to love the analogy of the quilt! It's run on an odd schedule: Saturday, it starts at 9, ends at 11. The second session starts at 11:15, and ends 1:15. Priesthood starts at 4. Sunday, it starts at 10, second session at 12:15, and priesthood session is usually replayed at 4. We attended all the sessions of it, except for the second priesthood session, and had a few investigators show up, even. I think that's our news for the week!

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