Monday, January 27, 2014

Headache free ;) 1/26/14

Hello everyone!! 

Sorry that you didn't get a chance to hear another one of my fascinating letters this week, but.... I had a large headache last week and I DO put a lot of thought into these letters, so I didn't want to aggravate my large brain too much by writing a letter.. 

The last two weeks have been pretty good. We are just working hard and doing our best to find new investigators, teach them, and baptize them! Then help them to stay active. Haha. It's been pretty good. We are kind of focusing right now on activation. Our branch has a ton of women who show up to church, but maybe only 10-15 priesthood holders. We are working with some people to help them to be active and receive the priesthood, but we need more help from the branch. 

Our branch president hinted at having a branch family home evening, but in India that's really hard. The distance is too far and the cost too much for many people to come. So he asked us to figure out a way to make it work. Well we got to thinking, and I had an idea for group family home evenings according to location and what not. So we went and I made up a plan for this idea and then we presented the plan to the Branch Council yesterday and they loved it! 

In our plan, we have divided the branch into 6 groups according to location. In each group there will be a group leader who will be in charge of inviting ALL members in the area -- active and less-active. Then they are in charge for all the stuff that would go into a Family Home Evening. To start, it will only be once a month, but hopefully it can transform the branch and unify them. We were pretty pleased with the response and we have high hopes that this will bless the branch in many ways. 

Other than that, we don't have too much news. We had an investigator named Ravi come to church on Sunday. He is really good. We found him while tracting and he had a good experience at church. We are hoping that he can be baptized on February 9. We'll see. 

One cool thing is that this month (February) we will have a MISSION CONFERENCE. Everyone from the whole mission will be going to Bangalore and listen to an Apostle, Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Funk (he's coming back!), one of the Presiding Bishopric, and an Area Seventy. I'm pretty excited to meet an Apostle and hear them all speak. And I'm a little excited to see all my mission friends. :) 

I hope that everything at home is going well. Know that I love you all and think of you often. You are in my prayers! 


Elder Head

Elder Head and Elder Sharma w/Mother Teresa

Visakhaptnam District searching for investigators 

This photo is evidence that Ryan FINALLY received his Christmas package!!!
It only took 55 days to arrive! We sent him this tie to represent the "short tie-m" he had
left on his mission! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

No official letter this week

No official letter this week as Ryan had a migraine....poor little guy!  He was reserving all of his energy to compose a couple of essays in order to complete his application for BYU. Other than that he said they had a good week. The mission is also waiting for a new batch of American missionaries that had been called but have been waiting several months for the Indian government to grant the issuance of their visas. Ryan is excited to possibly have the opportunity to help train these new missionaries.  We found of couple of pictures of Elder Head on his companion's facebook page (Elder Sharma from UT).  Have a great week!

Elder Head and his apartment companions....everyone
in his apartment are all from America!

Elder Head maybe looking to get a "tan" at the beach?? 

Monday, January 13, 2014

A pretty good week in Visak - 1/12/14

Hello everyone!! 
This week was a pretty good week! There were transfers this week, but no one in our house was transferred so it is just me and Elder Sharma and Elder Aydelott and Elder Willis. Four Americans in one house. It's pretty good I guess. In other news, my trainer, Elder Vaiphei, finished his mission this week and is returning home to Delhi. He is the only Church member from where he is from, so he is looking to baptize his family and get the Church started and established in his home tow. Pretty cool stuff! 

This week was a pretty good week. I heard from some of the members in my last area in the Philippines that four of the investigators that we taught got baptized! So that is pretty exciting news! They were all really good and so that makes me really happy. Two of them are about mission age and both are hoping that a year from now they can also serve missions. It is so cool to see the Lord's hand in the work that goes on here. 

Other than that, we have a few investigators that are progressing. One of them, his name is Ravi. He is 16 and he is studying in what would be in the U.S. his junior year of high school. He is really really smart. He speaks almost perfect English. His father passed away while he was a kid and so he studies everyday, goes to school, and then he goes to work from 5 to 11. Then Saturday and Sunday he also works from 11 to 11. He is the busiest kid I have ever met. He makes only 2400 rupees per month. In the U.S. at the rate he is getting paid, would be making 40 times more for the hours that he works than he does here. It's amazing. He has incredible faith and I'm honored to teach him. Oh and we tracted into him which is like the 4th investigator I have ever found tracting. 

Things here are good. Slow, but good. We continue to work in all diligence. That is the key. Working through trials may be one of the hardest things that we have to do, but that is when real growth comes. As we come to understand the Lord, His purposes and works, the Plan of Salvation, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, working through the trials means everything. I'm grateful for all I've learned on my mission and will continue to learn. 


Elder Head

Monday, January 6, 2014

Visakhaptnam 1-5-14

Hello everyone! 
Happy New Year? 
I can't believe that it is already 2014! 2013 went by way too fast! I was thinking about how this time last year I was in Hyderabad with Elder Nepali.. This year for New Year's was a little bit more fun because I like all the guys that I live with. Not that I didn't like my housemates last year, but there are 4 Americans living in one apartment and so it was pretty fun to just hang out. We were disobedient and stayed up until midnight... But it was my last New Year's in India and we wanted to celebrate in style! We ordered two pizza's from Pizza Hut and drank something called Appy Fizz. It's like Sparkling Cider, but not as fancy. So it was a pretty normal New Year's I guess! 

How was everyone else's? Did you do anything exciting or fun? I bet it might have been a little bit more interesting than mine, but it was still good! 

This week was a pretty standard week. We worked really hard and we have been trying to find some new investigators. We visited all the members, try to find those less-active or inactive members, tract, and do all kinds of different things to find new investigators.... And nothing works. Haha we did find a few potentials and we met one of them this week, but they don't really seem super interested, but we will keep working and try to help them. We also found this REALLY good potential family. They are Hindu, but like Jesus Christ and have been praying to Him and want to be baptized, so we set an appointment and then we went there on Sunday, but they said they wouldn't meet with us because they were painting..... :( 

It was really frustrating. Haha I was so stoked to finally find some investigators and they would progress and the members would see that we are serious and working hard then they would give us referrals and things would start to move along. However, it just wasn't that day. I love how sometimes the Lord humbles us. It is hard to take and sometimes I want to ask "why?" But I know that it is the Lord's plan. It is His work. He is in charge. I'm just along for the ride. I hope and pray that I might be able to continue on in the work, through the good and the bad. I'm grateful for the Atonement. It puts everything into perspective that Jesus Christ knows EXACTLY what I'm going through right now. He knows all of the ups and all the downs. That is comforting to me. 

The work continues here in Vizag 1st Branch. Slowly, but surely it progresses. 

Love you! 

Elder Head