Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!! 
Well, here in India it is Christmas Eve and the highlight of the day will be writing this letter! 
So, this week was a tough week. Things in my area are regressing a lot and so we are just doing our best to stay afloat. It's okay though. I listened to a talk from Elder Holland called the Inconvenient Messiah. He talks a lot about how life won't be easy. As a missionary, I applied those same principles to missionary work. Obviously, nothing will be easy or even comfortable, but as we continue to work hard and keep pressing forward, then we will be able to succeed (2 Nephi 31:20). 
I'm going to be very frank with you. Christmas here is kind of boring. It's a minor holiday since Christianity is not the major religion, so not too much goes on. It's nice though, since it helps me to remain focused on the work. Being somewhere where I was surrounded by all the Christmas things would make me really homesick, but being here it doesn't too much! It's really nice! Also, I didn't get my package yet, but it doesn't worry me. It doesn't feel like Christmas, so a Christmas package would not make much sense.. ;) 
This week hopefully will be a better week. The branch really really wants the missionaries to do a skit for their Christmas activity tonight, but I REALLY don't want to. We just put on this large fireside like a month ago and they want us to do even more. It's really annoying, but whatevs. We'll do it anyway. 
I hope Christmas is good for everyone. I have really been able to focus on the life and mission of the Savior this Christmas and it has brought more meaning to me. So often, people look at Christmas as a commercial holiday, but it is so much more than that! Christmas time is where we reflect and remember the birth and life of the Savior. I would encourage all of you to remember the  true meaning of Christmas and let that play the largest part in each of your lives over this holiday season. 
Have fun and stay safe! 
Elder Head

Christmas meditation??

Ryan's comp prays while Ryan signals Kyle VanNoy's first touchdown in the BYU bowl game :)

Ryan's comp signals Kyle VanNoy's 2nd touchdown in the bowl game....while Ryan is
overcome with emotion that the BYU defense won the game ;)

Elder Head...Gangnam style??!!

Merry Christmas from INDIA!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's a week before Christmas and all through INDIA....

Hello everyone! 
This week was a pretty good, weird week!
My companion got really sick on Monday, so Tuesday and Wednesday we spent a lot of the time in our apartment, so I got to read the Conference issue of the Liahona. Conference was so good!! But, I still liked listening more than I do reading the talks. Haha!
Anyways, this week was a pretty good week other than that. For the time that he was able to go, we worked HARD. So one of the culture things here is that at Christmas, the Christians will put stars on their houses. Like big stars and they put lights in them. It's like Heavenly Father is telling us as missionaries, "Hit this house! I gave you a sign!" Haha it's really nice and it makes it really easy to go tracting because we just look for stars.. It's almost like cheating. We got 2 new investigators, 12 potentials that we are meeting today and tomorrow, and 6 or 7 more houses we want to knock. Why does Christmas have to end? 
We got to go to Rajahmundry again on Friday for Multi-Zone Conference for the Rajahmundry and Vizak zones. I got to see Elder Cuhna and Elder Aydelott from my MTC batch which was fun! And I met some more Elders, so it was just really fun to be there. We got to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional which was really good. I really like President Uchtdorf's talk on receiving gifts. It's so true! Especially in America. India they do a little different. It's more of a time where they get to get together in their families and visit/ be with one another. Not many gifts, so my companion doesn't expect anything for Christmas so I am going to get him a couple things for Christmas. 
I still haven't gotten my package yet, but I am anxiously awaiting the day that it arrives! I think that pretty soon I will be sending a package home, so I may need some extra money in my account since I don't know how much that costs! I don't think that it will be a big deal since you are raking in the dough, with all the home renovations and what not ;) haha but the basement looks great! I can't wait to see it in 18 months! I'm almost 1/4 of the way done with my mission.. Crazy!
So when would be the best time to call? I'm thinking that I want to call at like 8 in the morning on Christmas Day here, which would be like 7:30-8:00 PM on Christmas Eve there.. Would that be okay?
Anyways.. I love you all! Do some service back there! Give presents and a Christmas dinner to a family in need or something! It would be really good for all of you! :) 
Elder Head

Monday, December 10, 2012

Kind of a boring week in India :)

Hello everyone! 
First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MITCH!! How old are you now? 17? YOu can go see rated R movies legally now! Haha just kidding! Don't do that. It's not worth it. 
This week was a pretty good week. We worked hard, but still the area that we are in is still struggling a little bit. Luckily, we found new investigators this week! It's been so hard trying to work with no investigators, so it is really relieving to finally have found people! One 13 year old girl told us that she wants to be baptized, so things are looking up a bit :) 
Man, nothing really cool happened this week. It was kind of a boring week. I mean, as boring as India can get.. As a missionary that can be really boring because the fun things we are limited to can only be done on a Monday.. Haha well church was really good this week! It was the primary program here and the little kids are so adorable! It is so different, but I loved it even more than the ones in the home ward! (Sorry primary presidency) :)  The little kids here are so adorable and their faith is off the charts! They truly love the gospel. A lot of them are part-member families where only the children are members or the parents are inactive. It's really fun to serve here and be a part of this branch. 
I would love to see some pictures of home! You can't demand pictures from me and then not send any in return! It's not fair! :) haha well, I guess that's it for this week. Sorry it's lame! 
Elder Head

Liquid refreshment - a nice cold DEW
Elder Head LOVES watches & he finally has one
that has his favorite saying when referring to himself,
"I'm kind of a BIG DEAL" :)

Elder Head - "the dog whisperer?"

Elder Head & Elder Vaiphei before transfers

Elders Taylor, Head and Newbill all from Utah

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ay Carumba!!! When cardboard solicitation signs don't work...try using cobras???

Hello everyone!!
This week, I'll start my letter off with a terrifying story! So it was actually today, December 3, and for our district activity we were going to go to a town called Yanam, like 30 km's away. So before we got on the bus to go, we went to an ATM to get some cash so I can pay for stuff. As we are waiting for the people in the ATM office to finish, this beggar lady comes up to me with this odd looking box.... And she opens the lid and I hear this hissing noise and then this FREAKING COBRA sticks its head out of the box. I have never been so scared. And the lady keeps saying, "Annaia" (meaning brother) and asking me for money while she sticks this cobra in my face. I yelled at her and ran away. I was so scared. Luckily, they take the teeth out of those cobras so they aren't dangerous, but they are still disgusting and I hate them. 
This week was a rough week and the work was really slow. We weren't able to really find anyone this week and the investigators that we have are not progressing. SOOOO basically we are literally at rock bottom in Kakinada West. It's really frustrating, but one thing I've learned from my companion is to not let it get me down. If I let it get to me, will I be able to have the Spirit? No. So we decided that we would make the best of it while continuing to work hard and be obedient. As we continue to do everything that we can and leave the rest to the Lord, then the work will progress, just in the Lord's time. I honestly kind of feel like this is a test for me, to see if I can overcome trials and I hope I pass! 
We may be moving apartments soon and I'm kind of excited! I love Elder Newbill and Elder Taylor, but three Americans in an apartment is just a bad idea. I get distracted and waste time. If I wanted to waste my time, I'd rather waste it in America! But that's not why I'm here! So I hope that we move before Christmas and all will be well! 
Last Monday, I weighed myself and I officially have broken out of the 200 pound club. I weigh a measly 198 pounds.. The least since I was 17! It's been crazy and we work super hard and it gets really hot but I love India so much. Best place in the world aside from home! Haha one funny thing is that Elder Taylor gets really homesick and so I play "I'll Be Home For Christmas" for him to help him get over it :) I'm the worst! Haha but it is really funny so I continue to do it! 
Well, I guess I'm out of things to say. We went on exchange this week and I took Elder Newbill to my area and we were riding in an auto and we got hit by another auto. It wasn't scary at all and neither of us were hurt, but it was a little bit sketchy! Haha well, I love you all and thanks for the support! 
Elder Head