Hello everybody I hope you all had a super amazing Christmas because I sure did! I am so grateful I had the opportunity to call and Skype my family and friends. It was nice to see that everyone is doing well back in the states. I was super motivated after calling you guys and I wanted to do was find hundreds of people to teach! But it was a little sad to see that our week was not as good as we had hoped for, but no problem, aside from the low numbers we were able to set Phanindra with a date and he was really excited about coming to church. His lesson was the highlight of the week for me! Elder Napali was with me and Elder Solomon was in Kakinada with Elder Thompson.
Elder Napali might be the most loving and Christlike person I have ever seen in my entire life, he is always smiling and giving people hugs. Anyway this lesson was so great because Phanindra really wanted us to come over and he really wanted to hear another lesson from us. In the past he never kept his commitments with Elders but with us(Solomon and I) he is. Our member that was suppose to come with us bailed so Napali and I just taught him. His mom actually sat down with us and Phanindra translated to her and his sister. His mom and sister have never showed any interest in listening to us but today was different.
We had many laughs and the spirit was totally present because they were also asking us questions and we ended up teaching a 1 hour and 30 minute lesson! Even their neighbors came down to listen to us and ask questions. Phanindras mom wanted to see pictures of Jesus so I brought my gospel art book and gave it to them and all the kids and neighbors were looking at it! Even though we cannot count that as a member present lesson, I am so glad that we were able to teach and testify with with the spirit with us because thats what helped them with the understanding.
We set Phanindra with a date on January 12th and so far he is doing everything he needs to. He came to church yesterday and he met a lot of new people his age so we could not be happier.
This week we are going to rock it because last week was not so great! Solomon and I are going to work out more and eat less food for our new years resolution. Yu-gi-oh at night is the greatest thing ever! Singh asked his parents for his actual deck from home!
It’s amazing to think that today is the 6-month mark for his
mission.What a blessing it was to speak
and Skype with Elder Dusara this week.We spoke like he was in the other room and had not left the
country.He is becoming a great
missionary.Being the social person that
he is, speaking with people is an easy chore for him to do on a daily
basis.He doesn’t look at it as a chore.
An example of this is his love for electronics.When he sees someone with a cool phone
(usually a younger person), he will walk up and talk to them about their phone
and they’ll talk about the phone.Eventually the conversation will turn to why he is in India and what
he’s doing.An invitation to come to
church and find out usually follows.
Something else we learned from our conversations with him is
how well he gets along with the other missionaries.He has found out that almost all of the other
elders have experience with video games, and Yu-gi-oh cards.Of course, these are the elders that have
come from the US and have been exposed to those two forms of entertainment, but
he is quickly becoming a mission favorite.A lot of other missionaries want to be his companion because of his easy
going personality and his constant focus on having fun while working hard.
In Rajahmundry, his current area, he is spending a lot of
time reactivating those who have recently joined the church.Being in India (like anywhere else), it is
very easy to return to your old ways due to family pressures, or just quit
going all together.
Elder Dusara is learning the value of long-term
relationships and scripture study as well.He never really started to read scriptures until he was just about to
leave.Now he is reading to learn and to
study a specific topic.He now has a
testimony of the Book of Mormon and loves to read it.
Being the competitive person that he is, he is getting close
to his dad’s mark for wedding proposals on his mission.His dad had 7-8 wedding proposals on his
mission, and Elder Dusara already has three proposals just from Rajahmundry.Let’s hope he keeps the proposals as they
are and nothing more.
He is having a great time in India, and the time is really
flying for him and us.We look forward
to our next conversation with him in May to see how things are going with
So this last week has been interesting for my companion and I. We have been taking advantage of the cycles we have and we just keep pouring money into it because they are junk bikes. We are also waiting for reimbursements from the Zone Leaders and it is taking forever.
I have been living off personal funds for the past week. Anyway, the members are really helping us out with our area and they are showing us where all of our members live so now we have a pretty good scope of the area. Our Branch President gave a referral to a family that lives close to their home. He showed us where they live and we went and taught them about the Book Of Mormon. The husband has a crazy drinking problem and he wants to change because it is destroying his health. We visited them twice last week to check on him and his family to see if they needed any help at all. I heard he was admitted into the hospital on Saturday so I fasted for him on Sunday.
Besides visiting alot of less actives, that was our week in a nutshell as far as the work. The members have been feeding us every Sunday and this last Sunday I was fed the best Egg Curry ever! I had three huge servings of rice just because it was that good (after I closed my fast of course). I have cut back on rice so much since I have been here because it is killing my gut! Me and my companion have devoted every morning to getting better at basketball. Elder Singh is teaching me better jumping techniques and I can almost do IT!
Elder Solomon and I have been having a side hobby which has been pimping out our ugly cycles and helmets. We spray painted them flat black and I have put the Xbox One sticker and Lamborghini Aventador logo on my helmet. I would love to send the pictures I have but all these computers have viruses. Merry Christmas to all! Stay Classy!
I am going to keep this email nice and sweet because there is not really that much to write about. So this last week we had a Christmas devotional in Vizak and we had some service opportunities as well followed buy some bunked appointments. Anyway, we finally were able to have a member present lesson with our boy Phanindra and we introduced again to the Book Of Mormon.
We did manage to find more less-actives thanks to the help of the Spirit. No joke. We sometimes are just walking and randomly we notice a house or person that looks familiar to us and we start talking to them and they are members! They just have not been to church for a long time. Like I said a couple of emails ago, this branch is not doing super great and they really, really need help building unity with each other and us. They are teaching classes in Telugu and most of them do not have testimonies of the Book of Mormon. But Elder Solomon and I are on the case to help out as much as we can!
We had the opportunity to go to Vizak like I said for a combined Zone Christmas devotional. It was the best Zone Conference I have ever been to because we got to ride in a large van with Elder Thompson and Elder Napali (from Nepal), Elder Singh and a couple other weird missionaries, but Thompson is the funniest guy! We dueled with Pokemon cards on the way and we just laughed the whole 3 hours. When we arrived we had lassi (curd, boost, and sugar mixed) and I finally got to see Elder Willis (MTC batch mate) again! I also got to meet his companion Elder Sharma from Utah! They are both the coolest guys in this mission aside from my companion and we 4 are like brothers.
After the wonderful testimonies that were shared, and the awesome talks given, we came to a close and my companion had his interview with President (Berrett). After he came out he told me what him and president talked about and it gave me so much motivation to work even harder. He said that President put us together in 2nd Branch because he knew that we were both fantastic missionaries and he knew that we were capable of healing this branch. He also hinted at me becoming a District Leader so we will have to see what the future has in store. We are going to keep being the best missionaries we can be and have as much fun as possible while doing it.
So yeah Elder Solomon and I have been at work this whole week just trying to meet as many of the members as possible and finding some investigators through them. We met about 5 members the first day here because everyone's home is so stinking close to each other. The whole week we probably visited around 40 members and we visited 9 less-active families. We actually are suppose to have cycles which would be super amazing but someone else is using them at the moment so we are cycle less for a couple more days. The area is much smaller than my old area and we are able to fit in about 4-5 appointments every day. No joke that is everything we did in a nut shell. For food we have been blessed tremendously with the opening of a Dominoes in our area! Can you say blessings? Yea my wallet is getting lighter and lighter but...I am saving my backside a lot of problems that come from street food so it all works out.
There is a huge problem with our branch here! Everyone speaks Telugu! They even teach the classes in Telugu and that's not suppose to happen according to our English memorandum. This branch has about 150 active relief society members (100 are aunties) and only 50 have the priesthood (Most are less-active) so its kind of depressing to hear but...Elder Solomon and I are not worried at all. We made ourselves a promise to only find and teach English speaking people or Half and Half speaking between Telugu and English as long as they have the desire to follow Jesus Christ! So you have to use your judgement wisely and follow the promptings of the spirit:)
Elder Solomon get along so well because we are pretty much the same person? We have the same interests and that makes everything super nice and fun!
For my mom and dad, Elder Singh and I are pretty much bros here! We both are exactly the same person and we know why we were such good friends back in the day! Next week I will send pics:)
So this last week was very very interesting. I able to go on exchange with my boy Elder Bean and spend alot of time with Elder Mecham and Elder Radhakhrishnan. On Wednesday I received a call from the AP's saying that I was getting transferred on Dec. 2nd so I had to do a lot of stuff! I visited all the members and less-actives that I felt I should visit and bore my last testimony to them. Some members cried when they found out I would be leaving and that really touched my heart.
I made a special visit to my recent converts Raju and Renuka and encouraged them to Read, Pray and come to Church because that is how they are going to see the many great blessings they are missing out on. Something extra cool was the fact that I was able to buy a new camera:) I sold my old cam to a member in my ward and went to reliance digital to purchase a new Canon Powershot SX500:)
It came at the perfect time because we had a Missionary fireside that same day so I was able to get some wonderful videos and shots of the ward. It was a very successful fireside and 70 people attended which was such a blessing for us (Elder Sommer and I) even though we were leaving. We gave the sister missionaries all of our investigators and less-actives and pray that they will bring all of them back to the church and to baptism.
I am emailing from Rajahmandry as we speak and It is a beautiful place(Similar to Fiji) just a little more dirty. Elder Eames, Elder Vipea, Elder Solomon and I are all sharing an apartment together and we are going to do work over here. Apparently english over here is super rare (Rescue Rabbit) and like everyone speaks Telugu. We were called to find and to teach in the English language so we will find english speaking people. We don't need any more less-active telugu speaking families:(
Well lets see if some pictures work so yeah! bye bye
Yea, so the burger I ate combined with the lack of water I had been drinking(last Monday) left me in a world of hurt. The next day I woke up with a temp of 104 degrees and my whole body was weak! Sister Berrett (mission president's wife) wanted me to go to hospital so I did.
I had to get a X-ray on my hand and had like 5 shots injected in my arm because this dude with 4 months experience could not find my vein and he destroyed my left arm and I got a sister to do the right arm. I had the chills the whole time and the AC was turned on full blast...I was dying:( The X-Ray was the same thing, waiting around in a cold room with the chills! I got my results and just dipped out and slept back at the apartment. For two days I was sick and In bed, it was such a horrible experience but thats mission life.
I was happy to do some missionary work for the last couple days of the week to try and finish of strong. We were able to meet with some less-actives and a couple of very strong investigators. The best thing that happened all week though was the fact that we had 5 people come to church:) We have never had investigators come to church since our companionship but last Sunday was such a blessing:) We prayed super hard that they would all be able to make it and that they would be able to feel of the spirit that comes when partaking of the sacrament. It was so cool to see are prayers answered again and to see the joy in their eyes when they heard the primary kids sing:)
I bought a Manchester Jersey today and ate a Papa Johns! It was amazing but not AJAZING! Im a loser... peace out bros
Finally... an amazing week for me and my Companion! We were able to do everything that we wanted and planned and we were able to reach our Key indicator for Recent Convert/Less Actives. We have been literally making it our focus in our areas to just find the less actives. When we find less actives we will also find part members and other investigators in the process. This sounds to me like we are "Hastening The Work Of Salvation". We have been maintaining that 2-3 lessons a day routine and we are trying to be as obedient as possible. The blessings come NO JOKE when you are trying your best to be exactly obedient in everything you do.
I cant even stress to any of you the power the Book Of Mormon has when you are daily reading and praying! Every time we meet with the less actives we always pull out the scriptures and have fun, whether it be reading their favorite passage or doing a little from where they left off. Some of these less actives ask us questions that could easily be answered if THEY READ THE BOOK! We have been taught the basics, Pray, Read the Scriptures, and Come to Church since we were kids and now more then ever is when I am starting to see why it has been repeated all these many years, even dispensations. People are not doing it, some think they can conquer super deep doctrine and some think they already know everything...WHAT A BUNCH OF FRUITCAKES! Me and my companion have been calling people Fruitcakes and Fruitloops our whole companionship (Are we bad people?).
If you are not doing the basics how can you expect to grow in knowledge? You can't, and then...you go inactive. One of the biggest challenges or concepts for people here to understand or to accept is that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Ghost are 3 SEPARATE beings. They are only ONE in purpose! AHHHH!!!!!( caps rage mode...). One easy scripture to solve this problem with one who thinks or claims to be of great understanding with the Bible is Matthew 3:13-16 I believe. Talks about Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist.
This last week we also had our interviews and Zone Conference which was amazing (practices are so lame). President Berrett made it very clear to us that we are no longer doing Missionary Work here. We are to be Hastening the Work Of Salvation. Its funny because Elder Sommer and I have been doing that since we were companions so the Spirit must be guiding us in the right direction:) We are continuing to do the work we should be doing and doing that work with EVERYONE makes everything so much easier and enjoyable.
Thats my super great week, I hope y'all enjoyed yours, peace be with you, and an extra peace for you;) STAY CLASSY MY FRIENDS!
This last week has just been crazy from me and my companion. We are working as hard as possible trying to get those darn less-actives back to church. We spend so much time waiting around for busses and autos it kinda gets really annoying, but we still hold strong and have fun. We are teaching or meeting with at least 2-3 families a day and seeing how we can help them stay strong in the gospel or come back to the fold.
We have been working very closely with our leaders here and they are doing a great job in telling us where certain families live. The work is moving forward here in our area and I love it, I have many opportunities to exercise the priesthood which is also amazing. One thing that people cant really come to an understanding about here is the need for the Restoration? When we are teaching people about The Great Apostasy we have to nerf it completely because it is a very hard thing to understand when you have never thought about it before. Some people can understand it but most cant. Me and my companion are going to use the scriptures more when we teach the apostasy and help them understand that we are the only church that has the correct authority given from god restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
We do have 5 strong investigators that we are working with and we are diligently trying to answer their questions to the best of our ability. Most of them speak telugu and can understand english but can't speak which is tuff. We are trying to teach more people that speak english because thats actually what we are suppose to be doing anyway. Using a translator is fine in some situations but I don't like it, I have never felt the spirit when we have a translator because we have no idea what they are saying and they don't understand what we are saying, its hard sometimes!
Anyway hope everyone is staying nice and cute, I know I am:)
My companion and I were super motivated to just rock our area and just get like 20 new investigators. But my companion had this in-grown toe nail and it needed to get pulled out so we went to the hospital like 3 times and it took like and hour to get there. Everything is fine now, he walks around with one sandal and one shoe. Everyone looks at him strange and its actually a great conversation starter.
We have been very unfortunate with the buses here. We are looking for a specific bus and we never get it. There are some days were we are waiting like an hour or two just to get a simple bus. Pretty much we didn't have the week we wanted but that is ok because we were able to meet a lot of less-actives and a lot of new investigators. Its pretty amazing to see the blessings of being obedient in our work. We get up, have our studies and go out.
We didn't even realize it but yesterday we looked at our investigator pool and we had 12 investigators? BLESSINGS!!!! And we had both gave out all 15 OYM cards we had. 5 called back and we had like 4 referrals. When you are doing what the Lord expects of you, you will be blessed! My companion is a really hard worker and he motivates me every day!
This upcoming week when ever we have down time we are going to look through our member record and find those less-actives and bring them back to the fold! By doing that we are going to strengthen our ward and build trust with our leaders.
Diligently doing the things that matter most will lead us to the savior.
The major event that has happened this past week was transfers. Elder Sommer is my new companion and Elder O'Dell went to Bangalore. I am the senior companion in our companionship so I was a little afraid at first because Elder Sommer goes home in January (He is pretty much an apostle of this mission). Right when he got here we just started to work non stop. We had days planned out where every hour was pretty much an appointment. He is such a humble and diligent, hard-working guy and he is so fun to be around when we are proselyting. He motivates me to do better each and everyday and he is not one of those missionaries who thinks he knows everything about the work.
He told me that I am teaching him how to have casual conversations because he is not very good at it. I AM TEACHING HIM! It's a crazy thought. We have been having 3-4 lessons a day and meeting a ton of less-active members. During my personal study today while reading Alma 23 verse 5-6 really touched me and my companion when I shared it. It talks about how they converted thousands of Lamanites and they never fell away from the church.
Hyderabad has a population of a about 2-3 million people, India as a whole is 1 billion strong! Why can't we have the same success Aaron and his brethren had when teaching The King of the Lamanites? As we have that faith and determination that the Lord will guide us to those whom he has prepared to hear the word, we will have that same success. Not exactly thousands but you never know how the Lord works.
Elder Sommer is from Rexburg, Idaho and he is a farmer/country man. He is an amazing person and he never talks bad about any missionary at all. Everything he talks about is kind and funny. I have a lot to learn from him and that's what I am going to try and do this companionship.
This week we are going to rock Hyderabad! We are making sure we reach all our Key Indicators and even more. Those less actives better be prepared for us cause were coming!
Since this last week was the final week of Festivals we could do a little bit of missionary work towards the end of the week. We were able to teach 5 recent convert lessons so that is decent I guess. The big surprise though was a package Elder O'Dell received in the mail on Wednesday. It was all his FRO paper work and it pretty much said he was getting transferred to Bangalore, Indira Nagar. He leaves this Wednesday and he is very excited. We did receive a call from the assistants the next day to confirm everything.
My new companion is Elder Somer, he is from Idaho and he is a hard worker, we are going to do great together. These couple days till O'Dell leaves is kind of saying goodbye to the ward and his favorite members. Yesterday we visited Brother Raju and Sister Renuka and they made us the best chicken curry I have ever eaten in my life( Sorry Mom). We took pictures and just talked and had fun. They shirfted(moved) down the road to a new home and some of their neighbors asked if we could say a prayer for their families. Elder O'Dell and I said 2 prayers for two families that had the faith that Heavenly Father would answer them. Brother Kumar was the name of the man we prayed for in the first family and he messed up his foot and ankle pretty bad while working. The next family had a little boy name Nikhil and half his body did not function properly. He was such a sweet and humble boy and he spoke very good English.
Both these families have the desire to learn more about the church, so me and my new companion are going to help them come closer to our heavenly father and partake of the good fruit. Since we have been going to Pizza Hut at least once a week I got to know the whole staff very well because they think I am a funny guy. I gave my card to one of the servers we get every time and he was happy. I will be giving him a call this week to see what we can do. His name is Stanley. If he will except the message we have to share, then some of the other co-workers will as well.
Elder Dhandapani and I went on exchange a couple days ago and we taught a member family about the importance of the Book Of Mormon and we read the introduction page with them and explained it. They were not understanding who wrote the Book of Mormon and who compiled the records so I made it very clear to them and their questions were resolved.
Stake Conference was last weekend and it was so cool because Elder Holland, Elder Hales, Sister Stevens and Elder Evans spoke directly to the whole Asia area and about the work members and missionaries can do together. They even made a video just for the Asia area similar to the Work of Salvation video just ASIAN!
That was pretty much my week so I will talk to you later.
The past week was super slow with not much success and we really needed that motivation and drive to keep the work going. Conference did that for us. I took so much notes that totally applied to me and my situation here in India and I am so glad Conference came when it did.
As a District we set another record at Pizza Hut, We ate 12 med pizzas all together! and I had a dessert! It was heavenly.
The work, like I said, was very slow and we did not have the appointments that we would have liked. A lot of our investigators cancelled last minute or just never showed up to a lesson.
We did eat quite a bit at members homes and that was very nice. Had a lot of good curry and I think I had the hottest Chicken Curry of my life as well! I could not taste anything for a couple hours. Biriyani is getting more and more desiring for me but I am not obsessed with it yet like every other missionary here.
Might be able to ride and Elephant or a Camel today so wish me luck:)
Physical fitness and apartment updates from Elder Dusara:
Exercise in the morning has been so legit the past weeks. I am now able to do about 80 push ups and 40 dips in the morning so my body is looking extra cute:) The thing that stinks a little is that we have a ban right now. No ties, No tags, No visiting new investigators, No OYM( Open your mouth), and No Door knocking (never done it anyway).
Its pretty much a lock down with all the Andhra Pradesh people and the Telengana people fighting over the ownership of Hyderabad. And there is the DASARA festival going on now and everyone at church wishes me a happy birthday because DUSARA sounds like DASARA so thats kinda cool I guess. Soccer is pretty much taking over my life slowly on the sports side of things at least. I love hearing about the premier league and all the teams and players that are there.
The major transfer calls come every 6 weeks. Nov 6th is that next major call but this Thursday my companion might get transferred so we will just have to see. President Berrett visited our apartment and said we might be moving out because there is to much termite infestation and its the oldest apartment in Hyderabad. Everything is falling apart but i really don't care.
This week was a complete turn around compared to 2 weeks ago. Our goal was to find at least 5 new investigators and we ended up finding 6:) The Lord has really shown unto us those people whom he has prepared to hear the Gospel, and through fervent prayer we were able to develop the faith to find them. Brother Vanu was a progressing investigator that was taught by missionaries last year and he came to church and enjoyed the lessons he was taught. We went over to his house later on Sunday and shared the message of the Restoration and shared our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and the power it has to answer any questions that they might have.
His wife was a very strong member of the Hebrewn church and she only excepted the Bible. She kept on saying why we need another bible and 2 Nephi 29 3-10 came into my mind and I never shared the scripture because I felt it was a little to harsh to say. Elder O'dell answered any questions they had and we just told them to read the Book of Mormon and then make any judgement's they want. But they need to read it with a desire to know that it is true. This family has great potential and I pray that we can bring all of them to the true church here on this earth.
The other investigators came from simply talking on the bus to people. Indians here always start asking me or my companion questions because we both have American accents. I talk to people a lot about technology and their jobs and it really opens the conversation to anything. We try to use the spirit as much as possible to help us find these people and it totally works.
Now we finally have people to teach so hopefully this month will be a successful month, unless me or my companion gets transferred. Either way we will work hard!
We have been waking up everyday at 5:30am to play soccer and basketball with members and then come back and do our own workouts. It makes the day go by so much better and you have a little bit more energy as well. I am starting to look like a monster again:) I played volleyball with the YSA's last Saturday and I worked. I was set up to spike every time and we dominated. I blocked so many guys spikes and they started getting mad!
This email is going to be short and to the point. WE HAVE NO
INVESTIGATORS! I didn't think it was possible to not have investigators
in India, but it is. We baptized our best ones and now we are at zero:(
This week we are going to start talking to people on the bus more and on
the street and try to talk with them and be real people. We will start
conversations with them and introduce the gospel wherever we see fit.
But thats the plan, If we have the faith to talk to 10 people a day, the Lord will let us find those people whom he has prepared for our
I gave my first talk on Sunday which was pretty cool.
This mic was not working and we had to speak very loud! I spoke on
prophets and did a little twitch dance in front my ward because I could
not find a good position for my hands.
We attended a Birthday party on Saturday of one of
the members. Her name is Monica and she was turning 16, we had cake and
a lot of curries and rice. She is a very, very strong investigator (not
ours) and she has been attending church the past 3 months. Her brother
Yashwanth was baptized 2 months ago and we hang out with him all the
time. She is waiting from permission from her father and her father
hates the church so we see where that goes.
My training is over thank goodness and neither me or
my companion got transferred which was weird. Elder O'Dell has been
serving in Hyderabad 3rd Ward area for 7 months? That's a crazy long
Pizza Hut has an unlimited Pizza offer going on so
of course I hit it up and I came to find out that they have
PIZZOOKIES!!!!!! Its cheap too.
We are getting
really into soccer over here and I am loving Manchester United to death,
my companion and Elder Bean like Arsenal.
Since this week past week was the last
week of Ganesh we really could do any real missionary work till Friday.
We knew that Gaddam Raju and Gaddam Renuka were planning on being
baptized so we tried our best to meet with them as much as possible
despite the restrictions to go out. We shared with them the last few
commandments, Tithes and Offerings, and Chastity and they were on board
with everything. We went over the baptismal questions with them and they
were totally ready for it. Their testimony has grown so much since the
first time we met them.
On Friday Elder Bean and I went over to their
house and he conducted the interview and they did great. He whispered
into my ear and said that Sister Renuka wanted me to baptize her. I
could not speak because I was so excited and she was on my mind all
night and all day the next day.
On Saturday we held their baptism at 5:30pm, it was suppose to
be 5 but no one was their except for the sister missionaries.
Everything went perfect, Elder O'Dell baptized Raju first and I observed
very closely everything he did so I would do the same. When It was time
for me and Renuka to go I was in the font by myself for like 2 min
dancing around in the water because she got really nervous. When she
walked down the stairs I tried to comfort her as much as possible and
she was ok. I said everything I needed to say and then DUNK! She came
out of the water and was full of joy and happiness.
The rest of the
meeting was so full of the spirit I didn't want to leave the church. We
took plenty of pictures and I will be sending them to you so don't worry.
Such a great experience for me and for them. Our plans for them now are
to meet with them every week and see how their doing and try to prepare
them for the temple as much as possible. I am glad their two
daughters(Madhu Priya and Joshitha) are going to grow up in the church
and be baptized by their father when they turn 8.
On Sunday Brother Babu Ram got baptized by Elder O'Dell along
with 2 others. Elder Bean and Elder Dass preformed the other baptisms.
We had 5 baptisms this last weekend and almost set a record for the
whole zone of Hyderabad! We are suppose to have 28 baptisms here in
Hyderabad this month so lets see:)
Saturday was Elder O'Dells birthday! I got him a Humpback whale tie!
Birthday Rajina! I listened to One Direction the other day and knew all
the words and the other missionaries looked at me weird for 3 minutes!
I did it for you. That's pretty neat...
Dueces Elder Dusara
When Elder Dusara was asked how it felt to baptize someone, this was his response "It was better than any K/D ratio on Halo/Call of Duty! Probably the greatest feeling ever."
This email is going to be very short because last week we
only were able to teach one 2 lessons the whole week! Because of the
lock-downs and the fact we could not OYM people, wear ties, or tags made
it very had to find people to teach. We could not even teach our own
investigators because they all lived next to huge Ganesh statues and we
were not allowed to go near them.
Baburam was supposed to be baptized
yesterday but he was running really late to church and he missed
everything completely. We still had him come to church to at least to
witness another baptism so he will know whats going to be happening to
him next Sunday. After the baptism Elder O'Dell and I gave him a special
present, A Book Of Mormon triple combination, and a Bible. He was super
excited and texted us later asking questions about marking them.
That was pretty much our week as far as missionary work goes.
We spent a lot of time together as a district and enjoyed much sleepovers
and MCDONALDS. Every night there were people driving around a truck and
a huge group of people just dancing in front of the lights to a group
of drummers. Elder Dass and I almost jumped in and joined one of the
dance/raves that was happening right next to us but the spirit told us
it wasn't a good idea. Elder O'Dell got sick on Friday and Saturday so I
looked after him for those days and
we spent both days in the apartment.
This week its looking good for Brother Prem Raj and his wife
Esther. We taught them the plan of salvation on Saturday and they are
ready for their interview this week. This Saturday we are hoping to have
them baptized and Sunday confirmed members. This family has been a huge
blessing to me and my companion and our prayers were definitely
answered. After their baptism we plan on helping them prepare for the
temple and getting sealed for all life and eternity! I might actually
have my very first baptism this week:)
That's all she wrote folks...
In email conversations with Elder Dusara last night, we learned that he is doing a good job cleaning...must have learned from mom, and that he will be moving locations because they have Sister Missionaries that just arrived. See below:
We got sister missionaries last week and we had to move out of our apartment for them and drag all our luggage a mile to our new apt. The Zone Leaders checked our apartment and said it was to old and it was falling apart, he was right! There is termite damage everywhere and one of our bathrooms doesn't have a light or a working door. So we had to drag our stuff back and move in again. I spent like 2-3 hours sweeping up the dust and mopping the floor, is it sad that I enjoy cleaning so much? Sister Singh and Sister Gupta are the new sisters from Delhi and Sister Gupta is 32 years old which is crazy but she can cook amazing food so lets hope and pray she will take care of the elders.... I wash my sheets and towels every other week. I always am washing my
clothes every week and yea. I bought new bath soap yesterday and
hand soap for our bathroom since we never had any. I am actually taking
care of myself thank you very much!
So if any of you read my last email
you were wanting to know how the baptism went a couple days ago with
brother Baburam? Well I'm sorry to say that our amazing bishop told us
that he could not be baptized on Saturday because he was living in
second ward area so he has to be apart of second ward.
This last Sunday
we introduced him to Elder Bean and Elder Dass and they introduced him
to their YSA's and from what I heard he had a good time and met knew
people. He said that he still wants to get baptized this Saturday and he
would enjoy being apart of second ward. So that's good to hear, Brother
Prem Raj and his wife Ester are still super strong and attending church
regularly preparing for their baptism on the 21st of September. This
month is going to be pretty hard for missionary work because all the
holidays are here and we will be restricted on transportation or we will
be locked in.
Today was our ward activity that they have been planning
for a couple months now. Bishop really wanted us to come but its Ganesh festival and we got locked in so it was not possible. We are hoping that our
investigators were able to go but we'll see.
I was able to go on exchange with Elder Dass and we had an
awesome dinner appointment with one of their members. They fed us
Chicken curry and Goat liver so that was interesting. We taught a lesson
about prophets to another investigator before that.
Thank you for the package that I received, all the food is
gone and I love the albums. sorry for the short email this week, we
didn't really get to go out as much as we would have liked but it was
Hope everyone is doing well back at home and I pray for you all!
The title of this email really relates to the actual week we had as
missionaries. We were able to set 4 baptismal dates in the month of
September. Babu Ram is getting baptized this Saturday and he is going to
be my first baptism. Even though I myself am not baptizing him I was
able to teach him everything and bring him to the point he is at now. We
have went over with him Tithing & Fast Offering, Words of Wisdom,
and The Law of Chastity this last week and went over the baptismal
interview questions with him just to make sure he was ready. It was an
amazing blessing to see this guy going from no knowledge of the gospel
at all to having a very strong testimony of the Book Of Mormon and
excepting Jesus Christ as his savior and excepting Joseph Smith as the
prophet who restored the true church on the earth today. We have also
taught brother Yadgiri who is a member and his wife Sister Lakshmi who
is a non member and is very desirous to be baptized.
The last family we
have been teaching is Brother Prem Raj and his wife Ester and their two
little girls. They were actually a referral buy Brother Sandeep who
lives right next door to them and they have shown their desire to know
more about the church and be baptized. Their date is set for September
21st and Sister Lakshmi's date is set for September 28th. This is the
month we were hoping for and we are working our hardest to make sure
these families are ready for baptism.
As all you know, I had my birthday on Thursday the 29th. I
wanted to go to TGI Fridays and enjoy a nice almost american burger and
some nice french fries...and dessert:) Little did I know its tradition
to pay for everyone you invite and I invited 8 lovely people. My bill
came out to 6,000RS which is pretty much almost 100 bucks. After our
meal we headed back to the church because Elder O'Dell told me we had a
teaching appointment with a YSA's friend. He took me to the kitchen and
13 YSA's were there to surprise me with shoving cake in my face one at a
time. I love the YSA's in my ward and I guess they love me too:)
Elder Beans birthday was 2 days after mine and we
ate at this really nice place known for biriyani. I didn't like it at all
but everyone else did. We slept over at their apartment and cut his
cake at 12 at night and ordered some late night McDonalds.
Today we went to Charminar to take pictures and do a
little shopping. We all wanted to look like a Muslim so we purchased
all the necessary accessories required. Prayer mat, top hat thing,
scarf, and shirt and pants. Apparently they didn't have shirt and pants
in my size so I'm the only one who is missing out:(
Sorry I am sending this email later than I usually would. Our district
decided to go to this museum this morning and not return till about
3:30pm. We managed to squeeze 6 elders in one auto all the way from Secunderabad station which is 3 miles away from where we needed to go.
Anyway I am here and thats what matters I guess. This week was kinda on
and off for us. I found a way to get sick again and we stayed in the
apartment for 3 days. We have not been finding much success by finding
and OYM(Open your mouth). We did take the time while I was sick to
totally fix our area book and make it nice and organized and up to date.
We were also able to call all the referrals that were left in the area
book but none of them picked up.
Last Tuesday(before I got sick) we had plans to go meet
with our favorite YSA's Brother Delip and Sister Shraveni. When we
arrived at their home their mother said that both of them were at
church. We were wondering what we should do since we were all the way in
Begumpet so we held the search for Monopoly Deal. We looked at 2 toy
stores and found it in this shopping mall just a couple Km up the road.
We came back to our apartment at 9 and played till 11. Monopoly Deal has
been played everyday since we bought it and it keeps us grounded... a
On Saturday we had plans to meet our golden
investigator Babu Ram. When he arrived at the church around 5pm the
Ysa's just started their activity. We let him go participate and make
friends because for us fellowship from people his age is very good and
will make him want to come to church knowing he has friends besides us.
They played a lot of different games and it lasted 2 hours. After we all
ate biriyani and chicken kababs and Babu Ram was talking to all his new
friends which made us very happy. I found an awesome opportunity to talk
to this complete stranger I had never seen before at this activity. He
said he was Delips best friend and that he was there to support him and
the activity he was putting on. He was not a member but he loved feeling
the spirit during sacrament when he went. I asked him If he would like
to learn more about the church and how he can feel the spirit everyday.
He said that would be great and I got his information. His name is
Naveen and he lives in Filmnagar which is where all the Telugu actors
Yesterday at church a guy name Berrath Kumar showed
up and said he talked to us on the phone. He was one of the referrals we
got in our area book but he just hung up immediately when we told him
we were the Elders. He came for the last part of sacrament and attended
both Gospel Principles class and Elders Quorum. He was previously taught
everything like 4 months ago but his friends told him the church was
not true. He somehow felt an impression to call us back and to come to
church because we really didn't do anything.We are teaching him tonight
so we shall see how that goes.
So yea that was my week in a nut shell. When I was
sick I ordered McDonalds twice and KFC! Yeah I went hard in the paint
for three days! Yea Kevin Lind! You can order Mcdonalds from your house
and they bring it to you:))))))))))) Since one of the workers there is
LDS he gives us two free MccChickens every time we order:)). On the
Indian food side of things I had Dhal Fry today which tasted exactly like
moms Dhal. I also had Chicken Mogulei, Pani Purri, and Curd rice again
which still is nasty! I had this amazing indian sweet that almost tasted
like caramel but I cant remember.
And that was my week! This week I am going to TGI Fridays for my birthday and I am paying for like 5 people so dad watch
my account for me. I also forgot to tell you that 2 weeks ago Elder
Odells grandfather visited him/us and we went to TGI Fridays together.
Grandpa Advani was his name and he was super legit. If you plan on
making a trip down here I know a good/amazing hotel that is close to
where I stay.:) Goodbye friends!