Monday, September 26, 2016

26 September 2016

India came back all over again. We had a very short week running all over, looking for people. My companion is fresh out of training, and doesn't know the area too well so far, so we are  both having fun trying to find people. Things are going well! Our biggest problem is our investigator's availability- we can't find them. I forgot my journal again, so this will be a shorter email, though. We largely spent the week trying to meet with our investigators, but with little luck. One of them, Aruna, was out of town, and is now facing some severe financial difficulties. We visited her Sunday morning, and she promised to come to church. She didn't, and she bunked on the appointment we had set for that night too. That's always frustrating. We did have a better appointment with Santosh, another investigator. He is an interesting case. He comes from a Hindu background, and so doesn't have all of your standard Christian beliefs. When we were teaching about the Plan of Salvation, he started laughing at the thought that everyone would be resurrected. "Where would everyone be? There's not enough room on the earth!" That sort of thing. Eventually, we just challenged him to read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and ask God if this is his plan for us. That seemed to work at the moment, but we'll see if he follows through.

Throughout the week, we've had a lot of people who have randomly stopped us on the street! That's definitely a welcome change. The only problem with them is that usually, they only speak Telegu. My companion, Elder Daniel, speaks Tamil and Malayalam, and I've learned French, Tagalog, ASL, and a couple others. Unfortunately, no one around Visak knows any of those languages. That's always fun. Apart from that, enough people know English that we can usually teach...usually. I'm really strongly considering learning Telegu, just to get around. 

That's about all that is new for the week. Next week I'll put in pictures! The view around here is great. See Ya!

Monday, September 19, 2016

19 September 2016

This week was really, really short. Tuesday morning, we had zone training. All of us went down to the stake center in the morning, and the training started. Right after that, things got crazy. President Koster called and asked if I'd received any news on my visa. When I said I hadn't, he told me he had: my visa arrived! And not only that, but I was leaving. When? Tomorrow. After the training, I went back and started packing everything. That turned out to be a wise move, because I got a call from the office later confirming some details. Specifically, that I was getting picked up that night. I threw everything in my bags, and still had time to go out visiting before the APs picked me up. We went down to the mission office, and I got McDonald's for the last time...That night, we slept at their place. Unfortunately, the only free spot they had was a leather couch. Have you ever tried to sleep on leather? You stick. I didn't sleep- at all. In the morning, we went down to the office again, and I hung out and ordered Burger King...also for the last time. Eventually, I had an interview with President, and we waited for the cab. 2 hours after it was supposed to pick me up, we finally had to drive out and meet it. The Area Office was way behind, for some reason. I still managed to get to the airport on time (nearly), and I made it to my flight. With everything I owned it tow, I flew off to the logical, smart layover: Abu Dhabi, only 1700 miles past India. It was a 9 hour flight there, and a 4.5 hour flight back.

After an eternity of not sleeping on various planes, I arrived in Bangalore. The driver and I had to wait at the airport, because another missionary was arriving in an hour. I used the time to sleep on one of the tables there. We went down to the mission office, and the APs took us out to lunch at a chicken biryani place. That was amazing- I hadn't had it in 4 months. Later, I met with our new President Mortenson. Turns out, he was my grandparents' former home teacher! Then, I learned my new assignment: Visak 3rd branch, with Elder Daniel. Now, there's only one zone I haven't served in, Chennai: the one President Koster went on work trips in. That night, I took yet another flight out to Visak.

I arrived there late Thursday night, and not too much has happened since. We've done a lot of walking around and riding autos. Turns out that we have a ton of investigators who are infrequently home and live far apart. Thankfully, we do have a couple on date. That's pretty much all that's happened. See Ya!

Monday, September 12, 2016

12 September 2016

Well, I forgot to bring my journal in this week. That means a very short email. But, let's see what I can remember.

This morning, we climbed the mountain again with a big group of members. That was a lot of fun, especially with the view. 

We spent a lot of time this week out with Edwin, our former Elders Quorum President. Funny story on that- for a week or two, he was both the EQP and ward mission leader. He was not very happy about that. Fortunately for him, he was just released as EQP, and has been devoting a lot of time to his new calling. We had a record number of lessons to investigators with a member present- and an equally remarkably low number of investigators at church. The excuses were wide and varied. One family had their mom is Pasig, another city, so all of them didn't go to church. One family's father returned to drugs, so they didn't come to church. Fortunately, our investigators who are on date for this week both came to church, and we just reviewed the interview questions with both. Pray that nothing terrible happens until Saturday, and they are looking good! 

We currently have quite a few investigators who would progress if only they would come to church. Roland, unfortunately, is looking about ready to drop off the list. He is facing some serious financial difficulties- including his utilities being shut off. He's looking for a job, but asked us not to come back for 2 weeks again to give him some time. 

Things are going well here, and the work is moving on. See ya!

Monday, September 5, 2016

5 September 2016

This week was really, really short. We did a whole lot! On Tuesday, we had a district meeting, followed by a district leader training. Since my companion is the district leader, I hung out with other missionaries for an hour until they were done. We managed to meet with an investigator named Sander, who we learned actually lives outside our area. Oops! We'll be transferring him.

Wednesday was exciting. I turned 20! Apart from that, a lot happened. We met with Roland in the morning, and gave him a triple combination. He is struggling right now with some old demons, as he puts it. We had a long talk about everything from Joseph Smith to the Pearl of Great Price, and everything in between. Later, we went out to Tagpos, and met with the Panahon family, which was interesting. The husband is less-active, all the rest are nonmembers. Finally, we had dinner with a member.

Thursday wasn't quite as busy. We visited a member family in the morning, the Antoja's, to ask them to fellowship Roland-only to learn they were leaving on vacation soon. We met with Daniel, an eternal investigator, later. At night, we met with a recent convert, and another part-member family.

Friday was weekly planning, which is always thrilling. Then, we went out and everything fell through, so we visited Carlos. Oh, Carlos. Always a barrel of laughs...and false doctrine. This is the less-active who thinks he's a prophet, by the way. Highlights: "God gave me this elastic mark on my waist so he wouldn't forget me, because he loves me so much (he pulled down his pants to show us it). You see this (finger) nail? Get a thousand people and none of them will have a nail like this. Smoking is only a little sin. I always pray before I smoke, so God understands. Jesus is merciful, right? The people who won't forgive Marcos are 100% going to hell!" I'll admit, it was a fun monologue. That afternoon, we visited Emie. She is an old, blind, less-active with a fun story. She wants me to ask you to adopt her. Do you want a 70 year old daughter? Up for grabs! Finally, we went to the Gutierrez family.

Saturday wasn't quite as interesting. We visited the Panahon family again, and they are all scheduled for baptism now! Later, we visited the Deguzman family, who were struggling. Their 9-year old kid is pretty sick. Finally, we went to Mark.

Sunday, we had stake conference, with a surprising number of investigators showing up! Afterwards, we went out visiting again. The most noteworthy was Mark, who is getting ready for baptism! 

That's the news of the week-see ya!