Well.. This week was a pretty good week. The last few weeks have been hectic and busy, but this week was pretty calm and we were able to work hard and achieve the goals that we have set. I can't believe that I have so little time left... With that being said, I think that this might be the last weekly letter that I'll send, seeing as I don't know if I will be able to email next week because of the schedule that we have.
I am eternally grateful for this opportunity that I have had to serve the Lord. Two years ago I had no idea what a mission was or is and how I was supposed to be. To be honest, I don't even think I could say that I had a strong testimony. I just knew it was right and that this is what I needed to do. As I have been on my mission and shared the gospel, I have come to realize one fact and it is this: missions aren't for the people of the place that you serve, missions are meant to sculpt and mold the missionary. Did my investigators see the struggle that I went through preparing so that I could teach them with the Spirit? No. But they felt it. I found that my mission was so much more for me than it was for anyone else. I'm so happy and proud to say that I served in the India Bangalore Mission and that I was able to play a part in a few people's lives, but mostly I'm proud to say that I know that this is the true Church. Heck, it took me two years and 10,000 miles to figure it out, but I know. I praise and thank Heavenly Father for every opportunity, trial, and struggle that I have faced because I know that it has made me stronger.
I'm sad to go. I love India and I love the people. I love the culture and all the weird things about this place. I even love that everything smells like garbage and sometimes it makes me gag. But I love it. All of it.
Thanks for all the love and support. I have really needed it at times. I love you all!
Happy (late) Father's Day Dad and to all the other dad's that I know! It was kind of funny yesterday in sacrament meeting they announced that it was Father's Day and I was like oh yeah.. I guess Father's Day just doesn't mean as much to missionaries as Mother's Day does. Sorry Dad! I still like you though.
This week was a pretty good week. Oh yeah I got that birthday package. Thank you for the dental kit. All of my future girlfriends will also be thanking you. Who knows? Maybe this will be the trick that will actually make girls like me! You are the best parents ever!
The work this week was pretty good I guess.. Our area is kind of struggling right now and we are having a hard time to find new investigators. Our area is mostly the big city and we have the biggest university in Andhra Pradesh in our area so we have a lot of young single adults in our area, but that doesn't really help with the growth or the strength of the Church and so we don't spend too much time on them. We are trying to find families, but you know that can be difficult, but the Lord is helping us!
Monday we were able to go to Rajahmundry and have a mission tour with Elder Gong from the Area Presidency and that was cool. It's funny that even though I live in Utah, I have met more General Authorities outside of Utah than I ever did inside. But they taught us about the Book of Mormon and that was good. Tuesday we had P-Day, Wednesday was normal, Thursday we went on exchange with the missionaries from the Gajuwaka branch (small village 45 minutes from Visak), and then Friday and Saturday were normal days! Things are good.
I'm pretty happy. Things are going well. I'm trying really hard to leave this area stronger than what it was when I came. It's tough, but I really think that things here are starting to change for the better. They just put in a new branch presidency and we are going to meet with them this week and figure out how we can best coordinate our efforts with the branch. Pray for our success!!
This week was a pretty busy week! But first and foremost.. Happy Birthday Grandpa Bruce!! Thanks for being a great example to me!
This week was crazy, almost as crazy as the power cuts here in Visak! For the power cut reason, this will be a short letter and I can tell you more about it in a few weeks.. ;)
We had MLC, Zone Training, travelling all over Visak, church, and we went to Rajahmundry early on Monday morning (3 AM we left) to go to a special Multi-Zone Conference held with Elder Gerritt W. Gong from the Area Presidency. It was pretty cool.
This week we have another crazy week planned, so.. Just staying busy to the end! I have no time so I gotta make this short. Love you all!
Well.. Another week has come and gone! I swear that the weeks just fly by! It's really interesting. The days feel like they take forever, but the weeks just fly by!
Man.. The weather here is SO HOT. I imagine that this is what the prophets talk about when they speak about "fire and brimstone." Haha it is so hot from like 9 AM to 4 PM. That's the reason why the days take so long. I'm pretty sure, now don't quote me on this, but the sun has some mystical powers that enable it to slow down time and make everything go slower. During the hot hours of the day, time seems to stand still.
A funny thing that I've noticed is that the people use this time to sleep and stuff. So we need to be proselyting all the day long right? Do you see the problem here? I know that it is actually a more common thing around the world than it is in the US, but it still makes it pretty hard for missionary work. I wouldn't be TOO excited if a couple of strangers (one Indian and one American) came and knocked on my door when I was trying to take a nap. But I know that God will bless us for our efforts!!
Haha this week was a pretty good week. I went on exchange with Elder Larsen, from Rexburg, Idaho, who is one of the Assistants to the President. It was a pretty good day and then the next day we had a Specialized Zone Training with President Berrett, after which he decided to go on exchange with my companionship.. Man I thought that I would escape and go my whole mission without taking the mission president on exchange, but he finally caught me!
After the exchange with President Berrett, Elder Dhandapani and I had to go on exchange for a few hours with a companionship where one of the missionaries was admitted to the hospital and so we had to have one stay with the Elder who was in the hospital and I took the other one back to his area. Then we had the rest of the week to ourselves. It was hectic, but good!
This week we have MLC and Zone training and then proselyting and stuff, so we should be pretty busy again.. That's a constant thing I guess. Well, I love all of you and I know that the Church is true!
Man, its so weird to think that Zac is home!! I remember meeting him my first day in the MTC.. Was that really two years ago?? Where does the time go? Pretty soon that will be me... :) I promise I'm not trunky though. I can't be. God won't let me. I always feel guilty if I start to get trunky or have trunky thoughts. I think that that is God's way of helping me to stay focused. Either way, it works out.
Even if I wanted to get trunky I can't right now! This week was so busy and hectic! Monday my new companion came and so I now have to lead the area and he is a new Zone Leader so I have to teach him how to be a good Zone Leader. I guess I need to do some research so I can learn to be a good one and then teach him what I learn. But we had an epidemic of sickness here in Visak this week. Every companionship excluding mine had to stay inside at least once this week and each companionship made a visit to the hospital. Me and my companion are in charge of the petty cash and we spent like 30,000 rupees this week for medical bills and what not. So crazy!!
The whole mission is facing these health issues.. It's not just my zone. But everything is going good. We're working hard, having fun, and doing missionary work!! It's the best work in the world!!! Yesterday I taught the Elder's Quorum. Naturally, no one said anything to me until like 5 minutes into the class and after the opening exercises. Anyways, I taught from the talk given by President Monson in November 2013 titled, "I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee." It was kind of a revelation to me this week. We have been struggling a lot for the past transfer here in Visak. We have been having a tough time to motivate the missionaries to go and do the things that we are called to do. This past week I had to take over the "big boss" position here in Visak and so I was stressed all week and on top of that we had every companionship except for mine make a visit to the hospital for one reason or another. Regardless, I ended the week feeling downtrodden and depressed. I had this one question keep coming into my head, like "why?" Why now? I am at the end of my mission, why does it have to get really stressful now? As I was teaching that lesson, I realized that God was trying to teach me a lesson. He knows my capacities and my limits. He knows what I'm capable of -- even if I feel like blowing my head off when I get a call with a problem from some missionaries. haha but God is really trying to stretch me and prepare me for something in the future. I know that God gives us trials for a reason. I know that He blesses us 100x more after the trial when we endure it well.