Monday, February 25, 2013

Oh Hyderabad, Oh Hyderabad!!!

Last Thursday we received an email from Ryan's mission president, here's what the email said:

Dear Parents of Elders serving in Hyderabad, 
As you may know there were bomb blasts in Hyderabad today.  All of our missionaries are safe and have returned to their apartments this evening.  
We are grateful for your prayers on behalf of those affected.
Warm regards,
President Funk

As you can imagine I, Ryan's mom, was rather freaked out by this!!  Jeff was out of town working in Idaho and so I quickly called and informed him of the email.  He, of course, reassured me that the church would do everything they could to keep the missionaries safe. This made me feel better for a second as my sister Krista and I then searched the internet for news about the bomb blasts in Hyderabad.  Sure enough we were able to find what we were looking for and found that 2 motorcycles, packed with explosives, had been detonated in a busy marketplace in downtown Hyderabad.  15-20 innocent people had been killed and some 80 more terribly injured!  

I was so concerned and even though his mission president had assured us that the missionaries had all be been accounted for and safe I was still worried about him.  I prayed for his safety and also prayed that he/we would be calmed and comforted too. Jeff said that he woke up in the middle of the night early Friday worried about Ryan and funny thing was I had done the same thing. We looked forward to Sunday night when we knew we would receive his email for the week and we would be able to text/email back and forth for awhile so we could be reassured by Ryan himself that he was ok :)  So at 10:30pm when that email came through Jeff, Mitch and I were so happy!  

Hello everyone!
So I'm sure that you heard that there were bomb blasts in Hyderabad last week, but I just wanted to let everyone know that I am okay and safe! It was really cool to see the explosion though ;) just kidding mom! It was on the other side of the city, like 40 minutes away from where I was so all the missionaries and church members are fine! However, it did "blow up" the work here.. Haha! We were stuck inside on Wednesday and Thursday for a political strike going on and then Thursday night we were able to go outside and teach some investigators at church. On our way back to the apartment, the Zone Leaders called us and told us to get back as soon as possible and to go straight to the apartment because some terrorists set off some bombs in Hyderabad. It was really sketchy, and so they kept us in the apartment on Friday and Saturday. Cool right? 
Then, on Sunday, Elder Nepali got pick-pocketed on the bus by some punk kids and they stole our phone. The phone is really really important and so we needed to get it back. Our District Leader called them and told them we would pay them money for the phone and they told us to go to one railway station and to pay them 1500 rupees and we could have our phone back. So we called our WML and some members who work in the police station and we went to get our phone. The cops got them and we got our phone back and we didn't even pay them one rupee! It was an awesome experience. It was like a stake out or a sting operation! 
Well, our investigator is getting interviewed by President Funk today so pray that he passes! This week was a boring week so that's my letter. Thanks for all the love and support! 
I love you all!
Elder Head

It was good to hear that he was safe and 40 minutes away from the blast BUT then the pick pocket  and the "recover our cellphone" sting operation......wowzers :)  A new "green" american companion arrived this last week who lives in the apartment with Ryan and Elder Nepali! Ryan is doing this best to help him become accustomed to his new life in India.  Ryan said that "he is so American :)"  I said "why, is it because he doesn't like spicy food and likes toilet paper?" in India!!   

Monday, February 18, 2013

February 18, 2013

Hello everyone! 
Congratulations to Lindsay on the new baby girl! That is so exciting! But isn't the name Vivian sound oddly like Ian? I don't know. Haha love you! 
This week was a good week and a bad week at the same time. It was good because we had some fun and I was able to work pretty hard and stuff, but it was bad because my companion is not getting transferred. Mission president thinks I can still help him so I am sticking with him for another transfer. That's okay though. This is a growing time for me. We are going to go back to the basics and really focus on our planning, studying, and teaching. Not many of our investigators are progressing, but I know when we go back to the start and work hard on doing the simple things, that God will bless us and help us to succeed. 
I am really glad to hear that things at home are going well! It makes it easier for me to be halfway around the world and serve the Lord knowing that He is blessing my family. One sad news is that Elder Barker (from Layton, Utah) is transferring but the good news is that there is some American coming to replace him! Being with Indians is good and all, but sometimes I just enjoy getting to talk to a normal American person. I'm excited to meet him. He is going to be trained by Elder Raja, from Bangalore. It will be fun and I'm excited to see a brand-new greeny elder from America! It will be like when I first came. 
Well, I don't have too much else to say.. It was a boring week. Thanks for all the love and support!
Elder Head
PS: I got my card on Wednesday? (I think) so you can activate it! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hyderabad 2-10-13

Hello everyone! 
Last weeks letter was really long, so this weeks letter will be a little shorter! 
This week was a pretty good week! We had been really struggling to find people to teach but this week a lot of things came out of the woodworks and we were able to find a lot of new investigators! I felt a lot like Dan Jones because one day, we were teaching a lesson to this family and by the end of the lesson, we had 12 additional people listening to our lesson. It was really cool and I felt like I should have found a soap box and then I could have stood on it and cried repentance. The only thing they had near was a plastic bucket and I know that that won't hold me weight so I decided that maybe it wasn't such a good idea.. But really it was a really good week in that sense! 
However, my companion and I have been having a few struggles. He likes to test my patience, but what he doesn't know is that I don't have too much patience and so it usually just ends up where he does something or says something stupid and I get angry at him.. I know I am not supposed to, but President Funk told me that I am here to help him, but how can I help him if he won't listen to me?! It's okay. Transfers are coming up soon and I think he will be leaving, but I'm not sure. 
I have been happy lately though. Things here are going well! Naturally, I still have trials (sometimes personal study is so hard and it is so early!) but I feel like the Lord is blessing me. As I strive to be obedient, the Lord rewards the effort that we give. That is one blessing that each of us can learn and see. As we follow the commandments and are continually striving to improve, the Lord will bless us. 
I'm very grateful that I get to serve in India! It's a wonderful place to serve and I am so blessed to serve a mission here! 
Elder Head

Out and about in Hyderabad
No more instead!
Comfortably transports 3
A view from back window of the auto

Busy streets!

Aww!! A little taste of home?!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hyderabad 2-3-13

Hello everyone! 
This week was a pretty boring week.. 
Monday and Tuesday we were in all day long because of the political bunds (strikes) that were going on here, but everything was just fine. There was a little bit of tension but nothing that affected us too much. It was just really super boring. They have a Church History in the Fullness of Times book in our apartment. I think that it is from BYU but I'm not sure.. Anyways, I read that in two days :) it's like 649 pages long.. I was that bored! But really it was super interesting. The early missionaries of the church are really an inspiration. Most places that they went the missionaries were beat or scolded all the time. I have never been beaten on my mission so far and I have only been scolded a few times.. So I guess that my experience is a tad bit easier than theirs, but it is also similar! The church here is so young and small that it feels like a different world, but its all good! 
We had one brother we were supposed to baptize this week, but he has to meet with President Funk for some personal problems so we weren't able to baptize him this week.. Each day he has called me and asked when his interview will be and when he will be able to be baptized. He is super. I hope President Funk comes soon. 
Things are going well here! We think that transfer calls are going to come soon, but we don't know for sure. This week was a good week for members and us. Previous to this week, we had only been fed by the Bishop's family, but with some careful finagling on my part, I was able to score us two dinner appointments and a lunch appointment for us this week. I'm the man! :) Haha but I feel like things here are going well. The ward is gaining more trust in us and is really starting to help us in missionary work. I hope that that drive continues and that people continue to help the missionary work here grow. 
I love being a missionary! I'm almost at 8 months on my mission.. Crazy! It only feels like yesterday that I was packing all my stuff to enter the MTC. Anyways, there is one scripture I read today that I really liked and I figured that I would share it with you all. It's Matthew 13:44 and it says, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field." This is something I have especially found so far on my mission. People are waiting for the treasure of the gospel, and when we meet and teach them, they are overjoyed and leave all bad habits or their past behind and fully live the gospel standards. I love being here in India and the chance that I have to share the gospel. Thanks for all the love and support! 
Especially a shout-out to Holden! I'm pretty sure that this week is his birthday! Happy Birthday Holden! Thanks for all the letters! 
Elder Head