Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from India!!

Hello everyone! 
Greetings from the glorious land of India!! :) Merry Christmas!!! Remember the true meaning of Christmas.. :) I arrived here safely on Wednesday night, spent Thursday in Bangalore, and then Friday morning I flew out to my new area in......VISAKHAPTNAM 1st Branch! 

My companion's name is Elder Sharma. He is an OCI from Utah. He has been on his mission for about 4 months now and he is still pretty new. He is a good guy. He really likes movies and video games. He is way big. He's like 6'3". He is a big teddy bear. He is pretty cool, just new. 

The area that I am in is a good area. Lots of missionaries that serve here get lots of baptisms, but when I get here it is in a down time where they have no investigators and they just split the branch and so all of our leadership is new and the missionaries that were serving here were also pretty new still so they didn't really know how to handle the situation.. But it's all good! I'm just happy to be here! :) 

I'm sorry to say mom, but I did NOT receive my Christmas package. So.. Yeah haha we just missed each other I guess! 

Other than that.. I don't really have much to say. We are pretty busy trying to learn the area. It isn't a whitewash, but Elder Sharma and his last companion didn't do very much and so we don't have too much to do, but we are just working to get this area back up to it's former glory...

I love India and I'm so happy to be back serving here for the remainder of my mission. Thanks for all the love and support! 


Elder Head

Elder Head is once again on the east coast of India approximately 100 miles north of Kakinada.  While the distance appears relatively close if you were to travel by car from Kakinada to Visak (pronounced Vice-ak), you would enjoy a two and a half hour drive. Visak is a larger city but reminds him of Kakinada. The beach is in his area and there was some sort of festival there today that they were going to go see. He was also making a trip to a fabric store to buy some material so he can get a new suit made because his other one is so dang big now. We hope that his choice in a tailor is a good one!  As far as the christmas package did indeed show up after Elder Head left the Philippines :)  We are now in contact with the mission home there and are making arrangements to have it forwarded on to India. The christmas package debacle will continue to be a slightly funny/expensive story this holiday season :) The week before thanksgiving we emailed the mission president in India to see if he thought the elders would be back in India for Christmas. He emailed us back and said that they would most likely still be in the Philippines. So we put the package together. The christmas package is only 3 pounds 9 ounces.  

Michelle:  "I know it's expensive but lets send the package via DHL or Fed Ex as it will   arrive to him in three days. So if by some Christmas miracle he gets his visa....he can easily transport it back with him to India."  

So on Wednesday, December 4th, Jeff goes to the various mailing facilities and finds out that expedited shipping is costly (we knew this to be the case as we had to send Ryan his new debit card earlier this year but it arrived safe and sound in 3 days)  Send it via Fed Ex or DHL Express the cost would be $154 !! Crazy!!  The USPostalService international priority (supposed delivery date 6-10 business days) $70. Ryan's cute dad decided to send it that is after all less expensive :)  So as instructed by Ryan, Jeff put religious (Jesus) stickers on the package and sent it off into the wild, blue yonder....halfway around the world! 

Jeff:  "Ok....the Christmas package is on its way to the Philippines! You know what  is going to happen now.....Ryan's visa will get renewed!"  

Of course that is exactly what happened! Ryan seemed to think that his dad was some sort of psychic!! Oh brother!!

So now we are paying to forward the package to India.....most likely another $70 plus (hopefully that's all)  Now I get to tease Jeff about the shipping decision.....

DHL or Fed EX  $154.00  (3 days)

Priority International $70.00 (6-10 days)  PLUS  forward package to India $70 plus and so maybe Ryan will get his package in 3-4 more weeks.......haha PRICELESS :)  Sometimes I think I may psychic too!

Ryan said that Christmas isn't about getting presents....haha..hopefully he thinks that way in a couple of days.


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