August 17, 2011
Life is good here in the Old World!
Today, we had planned to go to the Tughlakabad Fort. That idea got dropped. Then we decided to go and visit some members in Dwarka. That also dropped. So we went around the local mart to find some stuff to buy. Found nothing. Now we have another three hours to spend in the Munirka apartment. Most likely the residents will be out and we'll have to saunter back to Malviyah Nagar.It's not that there's nothing to do - we just can't ever make up our minds. I think that it's funny,
My favorite food... that is difficult... There's so much. But I'd have to say Chicken curry and rice. It's like: garam masala mixed with water, tomatoes, onion, and mirch. Add raw chicken and set it to boil. Steam the rice and then eat. (instructions vary. I was not present when it was made; one of my flatmates cooked it up). It was so good!
Elder Avans also made some delicious barbecue chicken curry last night. Take one kilogram of raw chicken (to feed two people).Cut some slices into it. Take a pint of dhara (it's like sour cream). drain out all of the water until it becomes like play-doh. Add that to the chicken. Add salt and garam masala (cover the chicken with both excessively). Add a few drops of ginger garlic paste. Mix well in a plate or bowl. Add mirch. Mix more. It should be covered in a thick pink paste. marinate overnight. In the morning, you make an oven by placing clean rocks on the bottom of a pot. Wash off the rocks first. Place the rocks on the bottom. Place a smaller pot over the rocks to catch grease and paste droppings. Take a rack and put half of the chicken pieces on it. Cook in the oven for about thirty minutes. Take out the pieces and add the other half (they won't all fit). While it's cooking, dice up an onion or two and fry them in a pan. Add rice enough for two people. Add a few drops of barbecue sauce to it. Elder Avans got his at the Malviyah Nagar Mall last week. When it's all said and done, sit down on the floor in your bedroom and enjoy. Best. Meal. In India. Ever.
President Jackson doesn't want us teaching in Hindi; it splits apart the branches. Creates cliques. So my interest in Hindi hasn't lessened, but it is no longer a high priority. Right now my aim is the alphabet. The local buses only write in Hindi, so I need to be able to read them to know where they are going. I also need to eventually need to learn to speak to shopkeepers and auto drivers. The American elders from a year left behind some Hindi learning books. So I've been reading those in my spare time. Very difficult. Very different from English.
I see Elder Bradley and the other American Elders all of the time. We see each other for Transfer meetings. Elder Bradley and I both go to Lajpat Nagar for P-Days. Elder Hornberger and I are in the same Zone. I see Elder Green occasionally. Not as much as the other two, though. Transfers were three weeks ago. I and all of the other American Elders are in the same areas with the same companions.
My camera has died 3 times already. Battery life is so short. I have about 250 pictures. Most of them good pictures. I am going to buy a battery recharger hopefully. They're popular around here.
I don't need a better compass, hahaha. I still haven't used my current one. I never get "lost" per se. I just can't find members' homes as easily. Addresses here are a mess. Even the Indian Elders struggle with it. hahaha.
We have a cell phone. It works perfectly. and I can write piano songs on it! It's very difficult to use and very limited, but I managed to make it play "Called to Serve" and "River Flows in You." Next up: He's a Pirate. ;D
I still think a lot, but am not caught up emotionally on Grandpa Montgomery. I was expecting it, and it did catch me by surprise. I'm okay and I want you to know that I don't come to the computer fearing that someone else has died. It doesn't affect my teaching. I don't dwell on it. He's in a better place now. And I know that he wants me to keep my mind focused. He now knows that this work is true. He probably spends the majority of his time switching between watching me (bring others unto Christ) and watching the rest of the family (growing families and all). It's a long distance between here and America! I am happy that Grandma Montgomery is taking it well. I pray that they will reunite in the Spirit World and there rejoice together.
Such is the blessing of the gospel. That is why I am here. To help others understand that this life is but a moment in our eternal experience. I have studied the Plan of Salvation since my Seminary years and only now is it truly making sense to me. Everything about it makes sense like nothing else in this life. I am truly blessed to have this knowledge, and thankful for the privilege of sharing it with others. I know that it is true. We are here to gain experiences that will prepare us for eternal salvation.
I am reminded of a thought that I read in the Liahona. Paraphrasing: "Every time that we face hardships, it is actually God telling us that we're ready to grow some more. Not every trial comes because of sin or iniquity. Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect and sinless life, suffered more than any mortal shall ever experience while in mortality.These trials come for our benefit." DC 122 is an excellent example of this. It's where God comforts Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail. I face trials here in India through culture and communication issues.
What am I to learn from this? That not every missionary experiences the same trials in their time on His mission. We are all where we are supposed to be to gain the amount of experience that God believes that we should receive. Others envy me because I get to go foreign. To India. To a place as mysterious and beautiful and desirable as you can get. I envy others because they go stateside. I've prepared my life to face the trials that I thought that I would face: keeping my faith in the face of adversity. Storing up knowledge so that the Spirit could guide me according to my memory of the scriptures. To say exactly what I need to say when the Spirit wants me to say it because I have prepared myself for that specific moment.
And then God threw me a curve-ball. I had never expected to go to India. I had never expected to go foreign. I had never thought about specifically where God would send me; I just trusted that He would be right. And I think that He is. I feel at home here. Completely and utterly comfortable right where I am.
Which is why God will soon be sending me another curve-ball. He already has. Small ones, to keep me on my toes. But this is my refiner's fire. This is where I will blossom into the servant that God has prepared for me to be since before I was born. Now it's just up to me to face those trials. I knew that it would be difficult. Even before I knew where I was going. I knew that God wouldn't give me an "easy mission." And trust me - there are plenty of "hard missions" that are stateside. I have no doubt about that. And I am thankful that God has decided that I am worthy and capable to have those trials in my life.
Thank you all for being examples to me. Thank you for placing me on the path that leads to eternal life. Now I can spend my time helping others come into this path until we will all eventually go down together.
Love you all!
P.S. One of the cables on a monitor on the opposite side of the room just caught fire. Spontaneously. They fixed it and I was able to finish my email. I love India! =D