July 13, 2011
Answering your questions... It's not just rice. We never eat "just rice." There are always vegetables and sometimes meat in them. And then we get to mix it with gravy. And then eat it with our hands. Very fun!
Next package? Well, we have oreos, pringles, deodorant, and toothpaste here. I appreciate the things that you sent - I rarely have the opportunity to get them. But other things like Reeses and Skittles are nonexistant. So I'd prefer those. And yes, the Skittles were most welcome here. Thank you for the package!
My apartment is the smallest apartment of them all. it has 4 rooms; 2 bedrooms, a family room, and a kitchen. Other elders basically have houses. One apartment, Munirka, has 2 floors! And the other elders are telling me that an evil spirit lives up there. Which makes perfect sense. 4 elders can't cast out an evil spirit from their own home. Very likely.
Elder Varada and I visited Sister Renu on Monday. She had just recently moved to a new home. elder Varada had been teaching her for months, but due to opposition, she was never interested in progressing. So Elder Varada put his attention of her daughter, Meenakshi and her family. Meenakshi was baptized the Sunday before I arrived. After teaching Sister Renu a small lesson, we committed her to baptism, along with her other two daughters. We still need to help the husband, Francis. We値l be patient in bringing this family to the fold of God. Their baptism date is August 7.
Elder Varada is Zone Leader, so whenever any other elder has a baptism date, he needs to go over and interview them. I go on exchanges or splits about twice a week. Which is good. I now have experience in some part of almost every branch now.
Hard to imagine that I've been in India for exactly 1 month. Feels like yesterday that I just came here. And now Braden's going back home. That is so weird! Feels like a week ago he just left. I am sending this letter to Braden's account also.I think that he can just read the one I'm sending to you, mom. Keep it simple. That's always best.
We have 7 baptism dates set for Ausust 7. 3 Different families. We're hopeful about them, but we've had dates postponed and other dates postponed indefinitely. We're working as best we can.
We went to the zoo today! Very exciting. We saw lions and tigers and no bears. So close! I'm taking lots of pictures; I have almost 250. But I need to delete some of those becuase they're blurry. Or I missed. Or something. Still it's 250 pictures. Almost 100 are of the zoo. Everything else is of India. India is soooo beautiful. I love being here. I have almost completely transitioned to living an Indian lifestyle. If that makes sense. It's not as difficult as I had thought it would be. Food is still spicy, but I'm getting better at that.
They just came out a new flavor of chip a couple of weeks ago: "American Style Cream and Onion." I can safely say that God has truly prepared India for me.
Indian food is so good. Today I ate Pao Bhaji and drank a mango shake. I don't even know what Pao Bhaji is. But I liked it. I visited President Winter, first counselor in the Branch Presidency. He showed us some Inian sweets. Ladoos, which are refigerated round balls. Joojoops, which is basically jelly candy. And Bolesugar, which I think is caramel. It's a very hard cylinder, like a sucker without a stick. It was sticky, anyway.
It's 4:05 PM right now here. For you, mom, it's probably about 3:30 in the morning. I can only type from cyber cafes. The power goes out every couple of hours. and when someone gets off, another person gets on.I only have one hour, maximum.
In the latest newsletter, there's a picture of us eating pizza (my third time. We like pizza). The person whose shoulder my hand is apparently on is my companion, Elder Varada. Elder Chelladurai and Elder Gollepelli leave at the end of this transfer; in just two weeks!
I'm loving the work! If it's not difficult, I'm not doing it right! (You can write that down). We have our hard times (we at one point dropped three invesitgators who were no longer progressing). Other times are joyful (Committing Sister Renu and her family to baptism). Now is a happy time! We go in cycles, and this cycle will bring forth great fruit!
Alma 34:32. Now is the time for men to perform their labors! Now is the time for men to prepare to meet God! it is by our works that we shall be judged. And my works will grant me eternal life at the last day. They will also give my brothers and sisters that same oppportunity; what could be more joyful?
Love you all!