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 ;)