Friday, December 5, 2014

Welcome Home Elder Head!!!

Home again!!!!!!

We love you Ryan!

Misc. mission pics :)

Living it up before mission is complete!

Happy Birthday Elder Head! 21!

Fabric shopping for a new suit

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Last weekly email! "I'm sad to go. I love India and I love the people"

Hello everyone!

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! 

Elder Head

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Elder Head! 16 days :)

Hello everyone!

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!!

Love you!

Elder Head 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pretty busy week.....lots of power outages! 22 more days :)

Hello everyone!
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!

Elder Head

Monday, June 2, 2014

Another week come and gone! 30 days left :)

Hello everyone! 

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! 

Elder Head

Monday, May 26, 2014

Even if I wanted to get trunky I can't right now! A mom side note.......T-minus 37 days :)

Hello everyone!

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. 

Thanks for all the support! Love you! 

Elder Head

Monday, May 19, 2014

Elder Head is getting his last companion :) 44 days

Hello everyone! 

Well.. I was wrong. I thought that Elder George was going to be my last companion. I guess I was half right and half wrong. Visak 2nd Branch is my last area, but Elder George is not going to be my last companion. We got a call this week from President Berrett to transfer my companion from Visak to Hyderabad West Marredpally 1st Ward as the Zone Leader there. I already served in that ward so I'm pretty excited that he gets to go there, but I'm sad that he is leaving! We got along well and we worked well together. Oh well! The Lord has different plans I guess. My new companion's name is Elder Dhandapani, from Chennai. He has been out for a few months more than a year I guess.. It's good. I'll be the Senior Zone Leader and show him the ropes and then get the heck out of here! 

This week was pretty good other than that. Actually, it was a pretty rough week. We faced a lot of trials and problems with our investigators. We had a disaster baptism service this week.... We've been teaching this brother for about 4 weeks and he has a very good understanding of the gospel, he's just kind of..... weird. Haha he has a lot of pride. He's not from here, he's from Vijayawada. Anyways, so he was supposed to be baptized on Saturday, but my companion and I both felt that it wasn't right, that we needed to wait. Then he offended some of the members and left the church. Sounds like a spiritual experience right? Then I got scolded by the branch for that and then to put some icing on the cake, they asked me to speak about forgiveness in Sacrament meeting the next day. So I got my revenge. 

Haha just kidding. I did speak about forgiveness though and I really was able to feel the Spirit as I shared impromptu about forgiveness. The Savior was such a perfect example of faith, hope, and charity as He freely forgave others and wants us to do the same. I really appreciate the Savior's Atonement and His power -- and willingness -- to forgive weak people like me. 

So.. This is it. Six more of these letters. Enjoy them while they last!


Elder Head

Monday, May 5, 2014

Kneel, Pray, Get Up and Work - Visak

Hello everyone!! 

This week was a good week. The mission has really put a focus on finding new investigators and so that was what Elder George and I tried to focus on. We were able to have some success and so that makes things a lot better. 

I'm pretty happy with how things are going. I really like Elder George and we have a cool zone so that makes it pretty easy to work. Our area isn't exactly in tip-top shape right now, but we are working to fix that. We are spending some time each day dong some finding activities and the Lord blessed us to find new investigators almost every day this week. That was something that we have been praying for and it is amazing how quickly the Lord responded. That was something that I learned this week. We need to get down on our knees and pray and then get on our feet and get to work. Then the Lord blesses us and provides a way for us to accomplish the things. 

Other than that nothing too big happened.. We are expecting for two baptisms this week and so hopefully those will work out. Things are good there. I'm pretty happy. I don't really have too much to write this week. But congrats to Mitch on his mission call! I'm so happy for him!! Missionary work is the best work that there is in the whole world!! You will enjoy. 

Love! Elder Head

Monday, April 28, 2014

Visakhapatnam 4/27/14

Hello everyone!
I hope that you all had a good week this week! Our week was... Pretty busy I guess.. Haha I feel like we are always busy doing so many different things that I can't even keep all of them straight!
I don't have a lot to report this week..Tuesday through Friday were just like normal proselyting days. One thing that we struggled with this week was that all of our appointments fell through. It is pretty annoying when that happens. We did a lot of walking and trying to find new investigators, but it seemed like everything was against us. We worked hard, but we were not able to find any new people to teach. Sunday was a blessing day for us. A potential investigator called us on Saturday night and asked us to come over on Sunday morning to teach his family. One annoying thing is that he was kind of looking for a hand-out from the Church. We'll see if he will progress. We taught him and his wife.

The second blessing was that we were able to meet and teach another potential investigator on Sunday and he is really good. His name is Kishore and he is 19 years old studying Polytechnic (don't ask me what that is, I have no idea haha). He came and we taught him from the Restoration and it was a really good lesson. I'm really happy because the Spirit was strong and he felt it. He commited to being baptized on May 18 so hopefully we can have a few baptisms in May.
I am so grateful for missions. I love to hear that Mitch is preparing to get his call soon. I know that I have changed because of my mission and I'm much happier now than I was before. I think that I really gained a testimony on my mission. I couldn't be happier for that than anything else.
I love you!

Elder Head

Monday, April 21, 2014

Another busy week in Visakhapatnam!

Hello everyone! 

Happy Easter! This week was a pretty good week! We were pretty busy again. It seems like we are always busy doing something for someone and we never have any time to proselyte!! Haha 

This week we had our P-Day which was kind of normal. Then on Tuesday we had interviews with President Berrett. He came to Visak from Bangalore because we had Zone Conference on Wednesday. It was a pretty short interview. He didn't have a lot to ask me and so it was pretty brief which was nice. Then on Wednesday we had the Zone Conference and I conducted and my companion and I had to give a training on recognizing the Spirit and helping our investigators to recognize and act on the promptings that they receive. It was pretty good. We taught from 1 Samuel 3:6-11. The rest of that day was an exchange that we had with the AP's and I got to hang out with my boy Elder Alosias, my companion from Bangalore. It was fun.

Thursday and Friday were pretty normal days and so that wasn't too special.. ;) Haha and then Saturday we spent the whole day shifting the old Sister's apartment. We took all of their stuff and then stuffed it into our apartment, so we now have two apartments stuff into one apartment so things are pretty cramped. 

Sunday was a pretty good day. We had a baptism on Sunday for one brother named Shankar. He is from North India, but is working here in Visak. He is a good brother and has a desire to continue to learn and to grow. It was a pretty good service and we were happy. After that we had a dinner appointment with one family and they fed us so much food. Indian food is pretty heavy and so a lot of food isn't good for the stomach and my companion had a "reaction." Haha he threw up when we got home. It was pretty funny. 

I'm grateful for this time that we have to reflect on the Atonement and most importantly the victory that the Savior attained over death. It gives me hope and strength to continue to endure to the end. Stay true to the faith! 

Elder Head

Monday, April 14, 2014

Things are great in India....even though his Mom is counting down the days left :)

Hello everyone! 

Well, this was like one of the busiest weeks that I've had in a long time! 

Monday like I said we were pretty busy with travelling and dropping and picking up missionaries from the airport. Tuesday we went out for proselyting and it was really nice. We worked hard and were able to set one brother named Uday with a date forApril 20. Wednesday we had some things that we had to do with the old Sister's apartment, as they just moved into our old apartment in 1st Branch. That took a little while and then we went out for proselyting. Thursday we were busy with our weekly planning and then we had to prepare for our Zone Training that we would give the next day. Friday we had Zone Training and that took the morning and then we had our lunch with the Zone and went out for proselyting. Saturday and Sunday we spent the days in the church because we got to watch General Conference!

General Conference was really good. I really am grateful that I had this opportunity to watch Conference just a little bit before I go home. I feel like every speaker was talking to me about how I can keep the Spirit with me after my mission. The biggest impressions that I had were the importance of having real prayers with real intent. Especially President Uchtdorf's talk about gratitude. I really felt like that applied to me. That was the first thing. The second thing that I learned was the importance of scripture study. Personal scripture study helps give us a protection against Satan and his temptations. Lastly, was the importance of having Family Home Evening. I feel like these principles will really bless me as I approach the future.. Whoa that's really weird. 

Mom I don't like that you are keeping track and that you are telling me. I don't want to leave the mission. I really feel so blessed and grateful for the opportunity that I have to wear this black nametag with the Savior's name on it. I'm scared for the future! The mission is so simple. Just go teach the gospel! But the future has so many.. Curves and twists. So I think that I'm going to stay on mission forever! 

Love you! Have a great week!

Elder Head 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Transfers - Busy week 4-7-14

Hello everyone!! 

I'm sorry Mom and Dad that I haven't been able to email very early the last few weeks... We have been CRAZY busy. 

Today was the transfer day and so I went from my apartment in 1st branch and made the LONG trek on over to the 2nd Branch apartment. Haha it was like a 15 minute cab ride and then right after dropping our stuff at the apartment, we went and immediately started taking missionaries to the airport for their transfers. At 7:30 we took one missionary and then came back and picked up two more at 11:30, then we picked up 3 sisters at 12:45 and then we have to go back to the airport at 7 to pick up the last sister... It really has been a crazy day! I'm like super tired now... 

Other than that, the week was really long. Monday and Tuesday we were in Bangalore (Elder George and I) for MLC. It was really refreshing to be able to be with President Berrett and the other Zone Leaders to discuss the affairs of the mission and what not... I really felt the Spirit. We had a really cool experience too. We were deciding on what the training plan would be for the month of April and we discussed some things and then together we knelt down in the room and said a prayer to receive the revelation that we needed to proceed with the plan. After the prayer, President Berrett asked each of us what we thought it should be and each of us said prayer. Sometimes we had a small variation between the two, but prayer was always the main theme for all 30 of us. It was really cool.

Wednesday through Sunday we were preparing and getting ready for the transfer because we have to clean our apartment really well because the Sister missionaries are coming and living in our apartment... It was crazy. We spent collective 16 hours. It looks AMAZING though! Other than that, not too much happened. It was a really boring week.

I'm happy to hear about Mitch getting his stuff ready for his mission! I'm stoked for him. Good boy.

I love you all!! 

Have a great week!

Elder Head

Monday, March 31, 2014

Transferred to Visak 2nd Branch......only 2 more Fast Sundays....#92daysleft :)

Hello everyone!! 

This week was a pretty eventful week I guess. It was good, but for some reason it felt really long!! 

Well, first off, we had a baptism. It was really unexpected for us and for the person who got baptized.. Haha so we have been teaching this girl named Harika for the entire time that I have been here and by the missionaries serving in this branch for the last 4 years.. Her father will not give permission for her to be baptized. Harika was fed up with it because she wants to be baptized and she turned 18 a few months back, so technically she could sign for herself, but we still wanted to try to at least get the father to say yes. 
  After trying and trying for the last three months, we decided that WE would talk to her father with her. And so we went. We filled out her paperwork and were going to ask for permission for her to be baptized in three weeks. We asked him and he just told us that he doesn't care what she does, but he won't sign anything... So she signed for herself and asked if she could get baptized this week! It was really good because we have been bothering President Berrett about this for the last few months and he gave us permission so it was all good! 

Another eventful thing that happened this week was that we got transfer calls! I got transferred to Visak 2nd Branch and will be a Zone Leader. Elder Sharma is getting transferred and he is going to a small branch in Rajahmundry called Dowleswaram. Elder Aydelott is following me to the same apartment, but will be serving in Visak 3rd Branch, and Elder Pehrson is getting transferred to Whitefield Branch in Bangalore, living with the AP's.
  Our branch has been struggling and there definitely needed to be some changes made and President went hard on the transfers! He took all four of us and replaced us with Sister missionaries. Naturally they are going to have a lot of success and President is going to think that we are junk, lazy missionaries, but I think that the change of scenery will be good for the branch. 

I'm going to Bangalore today at 3 for MLC. We are flying and then coming back tomorrow night. Zone training is on Friday. It's kind of bittersweet to transfer though, because this will probably be my last area and my new companion just transferred there last transfer and so I think that he will be my last companion. His name is Elder Vijo George. I have known him for a while and he is a cool guy. I'm really excited because he is Indian and I love native companions!! 

That's all for this week. Yes Mother, I got that package like a month back but I always forget to tell you. Thanks for all the love and support!! 

Love you! 

Elder Head

Monday, March 24, 2014

No A/C and its stifling hot :) Good week in India!

Hello everyone!! 

This week was a better week than the last two have been. Things got rolling pretty well. I really hope that that makes everything else to go forward and that things FINALLY start to move forward and that we are able to have some success in this branch.

I really like the branch and the district that we serve in. Obviously it isn't perfect, but the people here truly have a lot of faith and that is something that I really appreciate. We had District Conference this week and President and Sister Berrett spoke to us. The focused on marriage and family, especially about matching the Indian culture and the gospel culture because there are a lot of differences between the two. It was really good. I think that President knew that I would be going home soon, so that's why he chose to speak on that subject.. ;) 

Our work this week was better. We are just mainly visiting our members and recent converts and less-actives. We FINALLY got some referrals this week. We got two from two different families and I hope that it works out and that we are able to meet them and teach them. We contacted one of the families, but the other we still need to contact. It's amazing how much easier it is to teach and plan for people when they are referred to us by members as opposed to finding them on our own. I don't have to find fellowshippers for referrals because the people that referred them will be their fellowshippers! 

Other than that... The week was pretty normal. The AC in our apartment doesn't work and so we have been trying to get that fixed. It is summer here and so it is pretty hot and so not having the AC can make it pretty stifling. But we continue on in the faith! 

Thanks so much for everything that you do! I love and miss you! 

Elder Head

ps.  Happy Birthday Grandma Cheryl!! Love you!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Rough week for missionary work - 3/17/14

Hello everyone!! 

Congrats Mom on turning 50! You can now consider yourself wise! I always have considered you wise though. I was thinking the other day about how ANYTIME I lost anything you always knew where it was or where to look. It's like you have an all-seeing eye and can see everything that I can't -- even if its in plain sight. 

Well, this week was a pretty rough week for missionary work. Our branch is good. We have a branch council who is young, but is willing to learn and to grow and has a strong desire to achieve the goals that they set, but they don't really know how to go about it. We have a large hand in a lot of the things that go on here because we are more experienced and also we don't have a branch mission leader so we have to attend all the meetings that he would attend. So that makes that pretty interesting. At Sacrament we had 37 people this week... It has been pretty rough lately. 

From missionary work side, it is really hard for us here. Our area does not have any strength outside of those members who live in our area who are on the branch council. We have mostly less-active women who don't speak English so it's hard to for us to A) get a brother to work with us and B) teach a lesson to them without the help of a translator. So working through the members is pretty tough. We have tried to find less-active members but they all have shifted their homes in different places here in Visak so they no longer live in our area and so there is nothing that we can do for them... Haha and so all that is left is to tract. Our area is on the beach and so its all the rich people that live in tall apartment buildings with big gates and security guards. That makes it difficult for us to reach them. And the poor areas no one speaks English.. All that aside, I'm still happy. I love being a missionary. Yeah it's hard sometimes... That's life. But I can feel confident when I say that I have given everything that I can and am still giving my best. I know that the Lord will bless us in His time, so we'll continue to patiently work and do all we can. 

I'm glad that everyone misses me. I'm getting excited to see everyone! Obviously I still have some time still left on my mission, but it still makes me get a little excited to see everyone! Love you! 

Elder Head

It's Holi week in India :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Exercise faith 3/9/14

Hello everyone! 

First things first..... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!! You are going to be the best looking 50 year old in the whole world! I can't believe that you are turning 50. 40 means over the hill so I guess 50 is starting to put one leg in the grave. Haha just kidding. Love you mom! 

This week was a pretty rough week. All of our investigators we have were found through tracting... And so the people that are found through tracting usually don't end up being as strong or solid of investigators and so basically we had to end up dropping a lot of investigators because they weren't progressing. It is really hard to help people to make those really big moments in their life: like praying about the Book of Mormon, coming to church, and exercising their faith to accept a baptismal date. I can't force those people to accept or keep commitments and it breaks my heart when people can't see the blessings that the gospel will bring them.

I read an interesting Q&A from President Packer from way back when and he talked about how he had a problem and he just could not find a solution to his problem so he went and spoke with one of the members of the First Presidency and (I think it was the Prophet, I can't remember) and he gave Elder Packer his advice and Elder Packer just did not think it was possible to follow the course of action as advised. So he went and spoke with another member of the Quorum of the Twelve and he told Elder Packer something like this, "Your problem is that you want to see everything clearly, when in reality, the Lord only lets us see a few feet ahead of us and then requires us to exercise our faith and walk into the dark and wait for Him to light the way." 

I love that thought! Really that is where we are in life. I can never see what is going to happen in my life. I have where I come from, I know where I want to go at the end of my life, but that in between stage is pretty dark. I think that applies to our investigators as well. If they would just exercise their faith, the Lord would bless them with greater light and knowledge to take them a few steps closer to His kingdom. 

Needless to say, we spent a significant amount of time finding (more tracting..) haha and that turned out to be not so successful. I know the Lord will bless us in His time, but sometimes it is hard to wait.. Haha I just want it to all happen now! We have to tract because the members don't give referrals. I say that because they literally will not give us anything. So that's why we waste our time tracting. 

But I love being a missionary. It's pretty good. I had a dream that Mitch got his mission call and he was going to Washington state. So fingers crossed Mom! 

Love you!

Elder Head

Ps. Happy late Birthday wish to Sophie :)

Mission Conference with Elders Holland, Funk and Hallstrom

Elder Head has worn out several pairs of shoes :)
The apartment has bunk beds now! The mattresses look so comfy :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Good week in India :) ***a mom side note.....only 3 more Fast Sundays :)***

Hello everyone!!

I'm pretty sad to hear about not getting into BYU..... But I'm over it.

How are things at home? Sorry for emailing so late today. This whole emailing at the church thing is good because it helps us to stay safe, but it takes FOREVER.

This week was a pretty good week. We had P-Day on Monday and we didn't really do anything special. I'm learning how to make Indian food from one of my Zone Leaders, but he does it so fast that I don't even see anything when he does it! So when I try, it is going to be a disaster! Then Tuesday we had a normal day for proselyting. Same with Wednesday. Not too much to report. We are working with a lot of people but they aren't really progressing so far.. We still have a lot of work to do with them to help them progress to baptism.

Thursday was the day that we left to go to Bangalore. Our flight left at like 5:30 PM to Bangalore and we arrived at about 8ish and then drove to the Bangalore Zone Leaders apartment in Indiranagar and they live close to McDonald's, so we were able to have that for dinner! We slept at their apartment -- 16 missionaries -- and there were only 7 mattresses. So we all got pretty close as we cuddled. Haha it was like one of the most uncomfortable nights that I have spent here, but it was fun.

Friday was pretty great. I got to see all my close missionary buddies and that was pretty fun. I saw Elder Newbill and Elder Britton and Elder Taylor after like a year. It was really fun to see them and hang out with them. The Mission Conference was really good. We were able to shake hands with Elder Holland and the rest of the General Authorities that came. We were able to see Elder and Sister Funk after a long time and that made me so happy! They were so happy to be back in India. I was really happy to see them as well. We heard first from the Funk's, then we listened to Elder and Sister Hallstrom speak to us about establishing ourselves in the gospel in these two years and obedience, respectively. Then Sister Holland spoke about humility and Elder Holland addressed us. They all looked like WAY tired because they had just flown in from Singapore. Anyways, Elder Holland taught us about teaching to the understanding to the investigator and helping them to raise up to our understanding. It was really good. He talked from John 3 and John 4 about Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman at the well, and the disciples with the meat. I really felt the Spirit as he spoke. I'm so happy that we had this opportunity to meet with an Apostle of the Lord. We are so blessed to belong to a Church that is guided by a living prophet and apostles.

We had a good week at church this week. We had 5 investigators at church and on Saturday, we found 5 investigators. Coincidence? I think not. I'm sure that the Lord blessed India because Elder Holland was there. Either way, it was a good day. We have a bunch of Family Home Evenings to go to this week so we should be pretty busy! Thanks for all the love and support!

Love you!

Elder Head

Traveling attire for missionaries in ties or name tags allowed.

Flying to Bangalore
So sleepy ;)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Kind of a boring week in Visak 2-23-14

Hello everyone! 

This week was a pretty boring week for us here in Visak. The big news was that there has been a bill going on for the past few years about splitting Andhra Pradesh (one state) into another one that includes the city of Hyderabad (the capital of Andhra Pradesh). So after a long time, they finally decided to split it and the people living in Andhra Pradesh were unhappy because they were going to lose all the money that they make from tourism and business from Hyderabad. Because of the decision, some of the people held a strike and so all the colleges and schools were cancelled for two days and there were protests and all that nonsense. So for two days this week we didn't go outside, we just simply sat in our apartment playing Indian versions of Life and Monopoly. It was still pretty fun. 

The week for missionary work was not so good. All of the investigators that we have are really not progressing. We had two at church, but neither of them are in a good position to be baptized. We are working on finding new investigators….again….I don’t like tracting. Haha.. we got a referral yesterday from one family, but the family they invited us to teach is some pure Hindu family that literally knows nothing about Jesus Christ. I don't know how many of you know people that know nothing about Jesus Christ, but it can be difficult to know WHAT to share with them that they will understand. I hoped and prayed that they could at least feel the Spirit and the mother told us that she will be coming to church this week! :) 

Other than that, not too much is going on. We are just continuing to work hard and do our best to find those people who are being prepared to receive the restored gospel. I'm happy. It's hard work, but I know that I'm happier as we work hard and do our best to be obedient. We have the mission conference this week so we're pretty excited about that! 

Love you!

Elder Head

Here's a couple of more photos Ryan sent last night from the Borra Caves Zone activity.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Yeah!! We heard from Elder Head after all :)

Hello everyone! 
Sorry for the late email Mom.. I know that you probably had a heart attack. Or you probably didn't even notice that I didn't email. Either way, sorry for being late. 

This week was a pretty good week I guess. We had our P-Day on Monday, as well as our interviews with President Berrett. President really didn't have too much to say. He seemed pretty tired --  I was the last one to be interviewed after all. He looked really sleepy and drained. It must be hard to be the mission president! Then Tuesday we had our Zone Conference and that was really good. It was a lot about finding new investigators, so hopefully we can apply the principles that he taught. He did leak the General Authority who would be coming to our Mission Conference on the 28th..... Elder Jeffrey R. Holland from the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Donald H. Hallstrom from the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Funk from the Asia Area Presidency, and Bishop Stevenson from the Presiding Bishopric. Looks like we have quite the lineup for the conference. It should be really good. 

Wednesday we worked and had a pretty good day, but Thursday and Friday there were strikes in our city over some political hullabuloo and so because of that we were stuck inside all day. We played cards and laid around and slept. It was pretty boring. Saturday we went out and worked pretty hard. All in all, it was a pretty good week. Sunday we had 3 investigators at church and they all stayed for three hours. We were really happy about that. They are looking okay. Hopefully we can get some baptisms in March. 

P-Day was really cool. We finally went and did something cool on a P-Day. We went to this tourist place a couple hours outside of Visak called Aruku. It is a cool place that has a big waterfall and some really big caves. It was really cool, but the caves smelled very strongly of bat poop. It was pretty nasty. It was kind of cool I guess. Just a really big hole in some rocks. But it was really fun to go out in casuals for the first time in a long time and hang out with the other missionaries in the zone. 

Thanks for all your help and support. I love you!! :) 

Elder Head

Yikes! Either Ryan has been watching The Walking Dead while
on his mission or they're reenacting Abraham and Isaac from the Bible :)

Aruku Falls

No email last night....I don't like when that happens!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Things are going pretty well!

Hello everyone! 

How are you? I'm pretty good. Things are going pretty well up in here! 

We had a pretty good week this week. Something that we have really been struggling with lately has been finding new investigators, but last week we found 8 new investigators and this week the Lord really blessed us again by helping us to find 10 NEW INVESTIGATORS. It was such a good blessing. I think that it was one of the first times in my mission that I actually found my own investigators. I think everyone in our teaching pool right now is someone that we have found since I came. I have such a strong testimony on the power of prayer and fasting. That was what I fasted for this past fast Sunday and it really has brought so many blessings to us. Now the important thing is for us to find those members who will be the best fellowshipper and then teach them the doctrine clearly and then.. WHAM! Baptism! :) 

We had a Branch Missionary Fireside this week for our branch and basically I was in charge because the other two Elder's don't know so much, so I had to do everything and I was SO stressed. But it turned out pretty good. We had something like 50 people attend, about half of which were investigators or potential investigators. 

Haha other than that, the week was pretty normal. We did get a pretty good referral from a sister living in a town outside of Visak called Gajuwaka. She is pretty good. I called her and invited her to our Branch Missionary Fireside and she came! She is new to town and she is looking for friends, however, she still has not shifted into our area. Hopefully this week or next week she will shift. Also another self-referral is shifting into our area and so hopefully she will shift this week and then we will snag her! 

Things are looking up. I'm finding that the Lord truly blesses us as we strive to do EVERYTHING that we can. He wants us to succeed in His work and when we diligently work with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, then the Lord labors with you. (Jacob 5:70-75) I'm so grateful for all the Lord's blessings, especially missionary work! 

President Berrett is coming this week and I have an interview with him today at 2:45! Hopefully things go okay.. :) 


Elder Head

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jam-packed week of missionary work!!

Hello everyone! 
This was a pretty good week! It was definitely challenging and frustrating all rolled up into one jam-packed week of missionary action! Haha really though it was a pretty good week.

The Zone Leaders here in Visakhapatnam zone received some revelation as to how they can help our zone to progress and become more effective and also have more work. They called their idea Finding Week. The whole focus of the week was to hit our key indicator for finding new investigators. Our key indicator is 8 new investigators. That is a pretty high goal, but I really felt like we could achieve it. It was something that we definitely needed because we were desperately in need of finding new investigators. 

The week started off pretty rough. Our members were all busy with stuff this week and things were looking pretty bleak, but we found two new investigators on Tuesday through a part-member family and her friend. Then we didn't find any new investigators until Saturday night, where we contacted an investigator referral. We were up to 3 and Sunday wasn't looking too hot. 

However, Saturday during the day I was able to knock on a few doors (and drag my companion along with me) and we set two appointments for Sunday. So after church I took a member and my companion took a member to meet all the appointments we had set. I visited those two families, one asked us to come tomorrow and the other one I was able to teach. Count it: 3 new investigators. Then I went and taught another investigator and she referred me to her cousin. We taught her a lesson and chalk another new investigator up for Elder Head! All I needed was my companion to meet this one part-member and we would hit our goal..... 

He did it! 

We hit our goal and I was so happy that everything worked out. I know that the Lord blesses us as we exercise our faith and trust in Him and those that He calls as leaders. I know that the Lord blessed us and will continue to bless us as we exercise our faith. 

From the pictures that you sent mom, it looked like Dad was a big purple marshmallow ;) haha and Greg looked like he stuffed some acorns in his cheeks. Maybe you two can be gym buddies? :) 

Happy birthday Holden! Congrats on turning 12 and becoming a big boy! Now that you are about to become a deacon, you need to stop wearing your baby diapers and playing with your barbie dolls okay? :)

Love you! 

Have a great week!

Elder Head