August 10, 2011
The baptisms did not happen. They've been rescheduled for the end of this month. The reason: we had District Conference on Sunday. District Conference is like Stake Conference, but with branches instead of wards.
On Sunday we attended the District Conference. Elder Varada and I went to Mehrauli to pick up two families. We visited the Chauhans first. They weren’t entirely ready yet, so we told them to hurry and get ready and we would come back for them. We went a little ways off to wait for another investigator. The investigator that we were waiting for was about 14; her mother was also an investigator (a referral) but she was busy and was unable to attend the Conference. She was, however, able to drop off her daughter, Shivani, into our care. We went with Shivani the short way to the Chauhans’ home. Elder Varada went inside to help motivate them into going while I stayed outside with Shivani. Eventually Brother Chauhan, his niece (Chaya) and two of his daughters came out. Chaya and Shivani met and started talking to each other in Hindi. I couldn’t understand them, but they both seemed excited to meet eachother. We got on a bus with another family, who were also on their way to the church to rendezvous with the branch.
There, we met several of our other investigators; Nirjar and his wife had driven there on motorcycles, and Rhudra had been brought by his cousin. I left the Chauhan family alone to mingle with the rest of the branch and met with each of the investigators, along with the rest of the members of the branch.
I spent most of my remaining time with Rhudra, helping him feel comfortable there. After the Conference, he had the opportunity to meet Elder Adhikari, and they got along very well; they’re both from Nepal. I took a picture of the two of them with Elder Adhikari’s camera. So, from what I learned, having the right member (or missionary!) at the right time can be essential to fellowshipping! Shivani and Chaya will continue to strengthen each other as they progress to the waters of baptism. We’ll still invite other members to meet with the Chauhan family and ensure their return to the fold!
Jenkin leaves soon. So, goodbye Jenkin! Have fun in Guatemala! Two years fly by. Trust me. I'm already three months in! Time on His mission goes by WAY too quickly, in my opinion.
I'd say that the most difficult part about life in India is not getting lost. From what I've observed, New Delhi is made up of several small village-like communities. So I stay in Malviyah Nagar. I go on a bus and travel to Mehrauli. I go by auto to Munirka. All of it is still in New Delhi. And because, for me, that is a new experience, I have trouble figuring out where I am, most of the time. I've looked at maps. They don't help much. I've tried to find my bearings using the sun. But I go out about noon and stay inside most of the time until sundown, so using the sun is very difficult. I'll try that whistle with the compass that you gave me. I may look stupid at first, staring at it in a bus, but it's important for me to find my bearings, which I have no experience in doing.
BRADEN IS GOING TO BE SO JEALOUS! Yesterday, we, and all of the other 52,000+ missionaries in the entire world, received a free DVD Player! That's 26,000 DVD Players sent throughout the world - one for each companionship. We have already used ours to great effectiveness. Yesterday we watched "Together Forever" with a young couple named Amit and Anundini. They're engaged to be married. Today we used it to watch "On the Lord's Errand" in Companionship Study. Truly inspirational story. Especially about the children in Samoa. The DVD Player can also play USB Thumb Drives (like the one that Dad gave to me) and CDs. I had forgotten about the pictures on there! it is truly an inspirational tool if we remember to use and treat it properly. It comes with a carrying case, so that we can carry it with us to investigators' and members' homes.
My favorite scripture is Doctrine and Covenants 123:17. "Dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power, that we may stand still with the utmost assurance, and see the salvation of God, and for His arm to be revealed." I'm paraphrasing slightly, but it's the general idea. Basically, whenever we have work for us to do, we need to do our best. That's it. If we do our best, if we earn the 99 rupees needed to buy a chocolate bar (a REALLY expensive chocolate bar), but don't have quite the 100th rupee that we need, God will fill in for us. He'll supply the last rupee.
From what I have learned in the MTC, Faith=hope+action. DC 130: 18-19 states, "There is a law, (some word that I can't spell) decreed in heaven, before the foundation of the world, upon which all blessings are predicated. And when we receive any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law, upon which it is predicated." I memorized that scripture when I was 14. I had no idea what it meant. Now, 5 years later, I do. God will not bless us for free. The windows of heaven will not be opened unless WE OPEN THEM. We need to do our part to push them open. If we push hard enough, God will pull them apart from the other side. But we need to knock. We need to open the door to let the Savior in. God wants to give us these blessings, but He knows that doing so (without our efforts) will harm us spiritually. And God most certainly doesn't want that.
That's why commitments are so important. They urge the investigator to try out the doctrine for themselves. If they're unwilling to put forth effort, then we have no choice but to drop them; if they can't help themselves, then we can't help them. And that's how we maintain teaching rivers, not teaching pools. Our investigators are always traveling down the river to the waters of baptism. Not sitting in a pool. If they want to sit there, we leave them be, and then help the next group reach the teaching river. And then, ideally, we always have more investigators ready and willing to make the trip. That's what President Jackson wants for us.
The India New Delhi Mission is truly a great blessing for me. I would not be called anywhere else. We are few in number against multitudes of children of God waiting to hear our message, but with revolutionary ideas and technology, we can become better - more efficient - missionaries. A change is coming in the mission field, one that will prepare us for the 21st century: I was one of the first guinea pigs in June in the Provo MTC. Elder Masson just barely missed it; He was probably a final-stage prototype. Elder Williams will receive the real deal; the fully functional MTC-thingy. I don't know what it's called. I don't know much about it. But it looks amazing. I'm excited for him!
Love you all!