Monday, October 5, 2015

5 October 2015

So much has happened this week that it's really crazy. On the upside, transfers are (hopefully) finalized, and this is what's happening: I'm staying in the 2nd branch, getting a new companion (Elder Jollagum), and having two new missionaries come in: Elder Lindsay, and someone he's training. Also, I am going to be the district leader over the apartment. Elder Patten, my current companion, is going to Ramurthy Nagar in Bangalore, and Elder Braganza is staying in Kakinada with my MTC companion, who is flying out to India tomorrow. That's the biggest news.

Even crazier things have happened, though. On Tuesday night, while we were teaching an investigator, two more people showed up out of the blue; just two guys who we talked to on the street. There were three missionaries, and now three people who needed to be taught. So, Elder Patten called anyone and everyone in our branch to see if anyone could come, while Elder Braganza and I talked to the 2 new guys. Eventually, because no one in our branch could come, the 1st branch missionaries came- right as the new investigators were leaving. So Elder Patten took them to a member's house who, due to some misunderstandings, was cooking us dinner even after we'd already eaten and said nothing about it, while Elder Braganza and I tried to teach the original investigator. But, she had to go then, so we filed paperwork and things the rest of the night. It was really confusing, but more or less worked out.

Wednesday was yet more unplanned and crazy. In the morning, Elder Dharavat called and asked if we had 50 Telegu Books of Mormon. That's right: 50. After studies, he came over with a bunch of other missionaries and started an assembly line where each of us highlighted a few pages and passed them down. We crunched through most of them before Elder Patten and I had to go to an appointment. Afterward, we came back and helped the other missionaries finish up writing our contact information on innumerable pamphlets and cards, then headed out to the appointment. It was way out at a pharmacology college, where we got fed lunch, before being sat down in a room where students started trickling in. Unfortunately, an hour later but still not before they all came, we had to go. So, we left Elder Patten with 3rd branch, and went back with 1st branch to our respective appointments. Unfortunately, right as we arrived back in our area, the appointment bunked. We instead called a ward member, asking if he could come on exchanges with us. He said yes- then showed up an hour and a half later. By then, it was dark and raining, so the other plans we had also fell through. We spent a whole lot of time right after that calling anyone we could think of to ask if we could come over, but to no avail. Eventually, Elder Patten came back, so we went to the one appointment of the day that hadn't bunked. 

Thursday was relatively tame. We had to go to the Foreign Registration Office in the morning to deregister Elder Patten so he could leave. But, when we showed up, they got really mad at us, because Elder Patten was missing a really vital piece of paper: his registration certificate, which we are supposed to always have a copy of in case police stop us. Elder Patten told them he never had it, and the guy there nearly flipped after hearing he'd been here for six months without it. Elder Patten called the mission office, other elders, and the area's FRO expert, but none of them had it. We basically just bit our fingernails and waited until the mission office called back: they had it after all. But, they have to mail it to us, which takes a week, minimum. We then went to an appointment at the church to wait for an investigator, who didn't show. That night, we split up: I went with Auto Raju, our BML, to an investigator's home while the other elders went to another.

On Friday, we had a new District Leader meeting, where the zone leaders told us what we are supposed to do, before zone training. Then, we packed up and went to Kakinada. Funny story: on the bus there, we talked to no less than 8 new people, one of whom was really condescending and really...interesting. He told us that we should wake up at 4 in the morning, that we should pray to everything, and that God is watching us all the time, and so we should be scared. He was a thoroughly interesting person.

Saturday, we went out to a sister who lives way far out, which took a while. She gave us some drinks and snacks, right after we had a big lunch. Then, we had a meeting with the branch president, whose wife had just made some treats for us. After that, we had a quick early dinner, and went finding. Normally, that doesn't involve eating loads of food. But this time was an exception. We saw some sort of really quiet celebration, so we came over to it. It turned out to be the opening of a new chicken shop, and they asked us to pray for it. After that, they gave us soda and snacks. We had another appointment right afterward, where we got yet more food. I don't think I ever had time to get hungry that day.

Sunday was the opposite: fasting. We had church and BCM, then a lesson with a less active member, who lives really far away, and whose house is only connected to a paved road by a half mile of really bumpy dirt paths. While we were talking there, her home teachers showed up. So, we taught a joint lesson with them. Later that day, we had an appointment with an investigator, and taught her, and then another. It was a busy day!

About conference: we watch it a week late here, because of the time difference. Also, would you move to Arizona if David got a job there?

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