Monday, March 25, 2013

Hyderabad - 9 month mark :)

Hello everyone! 
Most importantly...... HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA CHERYL!! Your still 64, right? haha! 
Well, this week was a really busy week. We didn't do a whole lot, but it was busy nonetheless and it went by super fast! I can't believe that it is P-Day again already! It's a really nice feeling because I love P-Day! 
It's nice to hear about the family, however, I'm really sad about Grandma Alice.. :( I love her! I hope that she will live until I get back from my mission, but I know that its in God's hands. Really the gospel has changed my perspective on a lot of things. Before my mission, this would have made me so sad, but now my knowledge and testimony of the Plan of Salvation has grown so much and I know exactly what will happen to us. This knowledge really comforts me and blesses me with peace and joy, knowing that our Heavenly Father has created this wonderful plan for us and especially about the Atonement. This past week we had a lot of opportunities to learn about the Atonement and last week, Elder Gong from the First Quorom of the Seventy came and taught us about the Atonement. It was very powerful. I'm so grateful for the Savior who was willing to pay for my sins, die for me, and was resurrected so that I may live again. What a wonderful gospel this is. 
Our area has improved a lot. When I came into the ward, the average sacrament attendance was about 42 and last week had 89 people at sacrament! It was awesome! The Bishop thanked us for our hard work and the ward is really starting to improve and progress. We were able to find new investigators through members and former investigators this week and we are working with one part member family so things are really good! Next week we should have a baptism and so that makes me happy! 
I hope everything in America is going well. I love being in India. Elder Raja told me last week that I truly am an Indian now because I prefer white rice and curry to American food. I have changed! :) 
Thanks for all the love and support! I'm grateful for the Savior and the Atonement. As we lead up to this Easter Sunday, reflect on His Atonement. Remember that Someone greater than you and I suffered everything that we go through. 
Elder Head

Ryan sent these pictures last night of these adorable little kids!!  He thought they were adorable because they came up to him and asked him for his of the things that we miss about Ryan is the fact that he often would tell us, "Hey guys... I'm kind of a big deal!" Well it appears that he tells people in India that same thing as he is now being asked to sign autographs :)  Ryan would be happy to know that his brother Mitch has taken to the same saying!  Elder Head had a busy p-day today.  He said it is so incredibly hot there now and has to pack lots of water with him. I asked him how he was handling the hot temperatures and he said he's handling it just fine :)  He loves India!  We love Sunday night as we anxiously await his emails and then get to email back and forth with him for a while! The missionary program is awesome! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

I will go, I will do....

Hello everyone!
So this week was a really good week. Our numbers weren't the best and there are still all of the restrictions, but the Lord blessed me a lot in the past week. 
Early last week, I was very down and depressed. I didn't enjoy my companion and it was becoming very hard to even have the desire to go outside. I didn't want to go out and teach because I felt that either I should teach the entire lesson, of every lesson or just let him teach and I would sit there and say nothing. This went on for a day or so. Then my district leader chastised me. It was exactly what I needed. He told me that I was being like Laman and Lemuel. Then he told me that President Funk is expecting things from me and basically my district leader told me that he was here to train me on how to be a leader. So he then challenged me to be like Nephi. 
That really rocked my world! I didn't want to be like Laman and Lemuel always complaining about hard things. He invited me to read 1 Nephi 17 and I did that and it really changed my perspective on a lot of things. I really turned to the Lord to ask for forgiveness and to help me change. I realized that I was the one at fault, not my companion. I was expecting him to be some master teacher, but really he does his best and works hard and has this unquenchable desire for the work. It was really a good learning experience for me to pray about being humble, patient, and charitable. But really as I tried to emulate those Christlike attributes that the Savior exhibited, the work became considerably easier. I was happier and the work progressed more. It was an awesome experience .
Nothing too much is happening here. There are still a lot of restrictions, but we are continuing to work hard. Things will turn around soon. I think transfers are coming up soon and my district leader said that he thinks that I will become the new district leader here and that Elder Nepali will leave, but I don't know. We'll see. 
I'm really grateful to serve the Lord and to be able to have this wonderful opportunity to live in India! It's an amazing place! Love you! 
Elder Head

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hyderabad 3-11-13

Hello everyone!
The most important thing though....... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!! I LOVE AND MISS YOU! DON'T LET DAD TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE OLD. (you can still take him) 
This week was a rough week but I'm happy still! It was a rough week because of the bomb blasts, things here in Hyderabad are on high alert. The police are outside in full force checking all bags, lunch boxes, and cars and bikes. It's crazy! They are targeting foreigners and so President Funk has advised us all to not wear our bags this week.. Haha so I'm carrying only a Book of Mormon. I kind of feel like an old missionary back in the early days of the church, crying repentance using only the Book of Mormon. It's cool. 
Because of all the restrictions, we are still not allowed to do personal finding and I decided this week that we would have to drop some investigators and so our teaching pool is very less. We don't have a ton of people to teach and so right now we are focusing on helping our less-actives and inactives come back to church. Its good! One of the members we have been working with has been coming to church lately and yesterday he spoke in sacrament so hopefully he will continue to stay active! That's about all there is. We are just walking around Hyderabad going lost sheep finding which is harder than finding new investigators. It's okay though. 
Yesterday was a Hindu festival so we had to stay inside.. It is so frustrating! But like I said, I'm happy. It's weird. Even though it is so frustrating and stressful, and our numbers suck, yet I know that I'm doing all I can. That's what brings peace to me because I know and God knows that I'm working hard and giving everything. We all need to serve him with everything that we have. See Romans 12:1 and cross-reference Mosiah 2:34 and Mosiah 4:11. That's what I did in my personal study today. Well, I love and thank all of you for the support that you give me. Continue on in the faith! 
Elder Head

More of Ryan's recent photography :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hyderabad 3-3-13

Hello everyone! 
Well after the things that went down last week, this week was a much quieter week! However, that did not make the work any easier.. 
With the bomb blast and the political strikes, we have a lot of restrictions on what we can do. We are not allowed to door knock or to talk with people on the street or the bus. We are only allowed to teach our investigators that we have and then members or referrals. This week our district leader decided to change the boundaries of our area and he took the two best finding areas in the 1st Ward and 70% percent of the members.. It was really dumb and I was really upset, but I'm over it now.
So with the changes and the restrictions added to the fact that we have less investigators in our new area, we were stuck with walking all day long with a member list, trying to find members homes. Hyderabad is a huge city and it is a really hard thing to do because addresses in India are stupid and basically don't exist so it is really hard. And it is starting to get really hot so basically it is the worst thing ever right now. But I know that the Lord has something in store for us so I just keep going! I don't want to be like Jonah and have a hard task given me and run away. I am going to conquer the West Marredpally First Ward! 
Yesterday, we had a baptism!! It was a really good service and Abhishek (the investigator) is really good and I love him! I'm so happy that he was finally able to be baptized and he is so excited to be a part of this gospel! This is the joy of missionary work.
I'm grateful for all the love and support that I get. Thanks for everything that you do!
Elder Head

PS Happy Birthday to Sophie! I love you & can’t believe you’re going to be 14:)

Yoga time!

1st baptism in Hyderabad!