September 8, 2011
I can't remember if the Fireside that we just had was last Saturday or
the Saturday before. I think that it was last Saturday. Anyway, we had
an amazing Fireside on Saturday. The other Elders (Varada and Bunga)
and I helped put up a skit. Elder Bunga's Companion, Balwant, is a
Stripling Warrior on a mini-mission. He helped with the projector and
the food; he had no interest in acting. We had several members join in
our skit, which included a crazy scientist taking a bunch of other
crazy people on a crazy "Journey to the Moon." We loved it. I played a
Tourist, a farmer from America. I wore a cool Indian hat and wore my
India Flag T-Shirt. I looked ridiculous. hahaha. The crowd burst out
laughing when they saw my costume. It was so much fun.
We also asked several of the members to do a Karaoke show before the
Skit. They did really well, and we'll be following-up with that with
another, similar show. Maybe with a movie or something. It's going to
We’ve been working really well with two of our members, Brother Obinna
and Brother Steven. They have been very missionary-minded as of late.
They have brought in several of their neighbors and friends. Two of
these neighbors in particular are George and Michael (reminds me of a
certain Arrested Development). They have been coming to church
consecutively for the last 3 weeks. After every church service is
over, we make very careful efforts to pull them aside and explain
things in detail.
For example, I was asked to give a lesson in Elder’s Quorum Meeting
this last Sunday. I was given about 5 minutes to prepare a lesson. I
decided on Lesson 2: “The Plan of Salvation” from the Preach My
Gospel. So, I gave a discussion on it for my lesson. It went very
well. Many of the members participated in the discussion. I listened
to their comments and shifted my lesson to meet their feedback. As a
result of my lesson, George had several questions about the Nature of
the Godhead, as we have not had the opportunity to teach him that
lesson yet. Elder Bunga volunteered to inform him that we could meet
with him after the meeting to meet his direct needs, as the lesson
that I had prepared was given in a much more general sense. He agreed,
and I sat down with him afterwards with a member, Brother Mark, to
answer his questions. He seemed satisfied with the answers that we
I felt the Spirit guide me on Sunday. Listening to it had two rewards;
I was able meet the needs of the members, giving a lesson that became
more than a one-sided lecture. I also had the opportunity to meet the
needs of my investigator; I found a concern that I probably would not
have found (for quite some time) otherwise. Brother George and
Michael are due to be baptized on the 18th. I am looking forward to
Also on Sunday, we had a visit from the General Sunday School
Presidency, President Ozgulthorpe! Wow! What an experience!
Accompanying him was President Perkins, President of the Area
Presidency. They met with the missionaries at 3:30, after all of the
Sacrament Meetings. Then they met with the District at about 6.
President Ozgulthorpe gave a wonderful discussion! He invited some of
the members up to answer questions. He called me up and asked me,
"What is the best way that you can bring the Spirit in a lesson?"
Nerve-racking experience. I gave a weak answer. "Well, we, um, start
and end with prayer." And then the Spirit was like: "Bad answer.
Here's a better answer: Listening. Listening gives the Spirit!" And
then I remembered our Training that we had had just a week prior.
President Jackson had taught about how listening to the investigator
opens the door to the Spirit. It shows that we are willing to put the
Spirit before our own personal opinion. So that's what I said.
President Ozgulthorpe agreed and let me go.
It turns out that listening to the Spirit was an important part of his
talk. A quote by either Elder Bednar or Elder Scott showed the value
of listening to the Spirit. It was an amazing experience for me! And
an ironic one. Either way, I am thankful that I had been paying
I recognized Braden's handwriting on the package. Thanks Braden! We
have been enjoying the Skittles and Reeses most graciously so far. I'm
not craving anything at the moment. I am satisfied. Thank you so much!
Yeah, peanut butter is regular peanut butter here. Which is excellent.
I don't know about the grape jelly though. I haven't looked for it.
All food items from your first package have long since disappeared.
They served the District very well!
Sorry to hear about the Broncos' loss. I actually saw a Broncos jersey
at a Reebok store (We had gone there to visit with an investigator).
If I find a Broncos jersey that says "Made in India" on the tag, I
know that at least somebody will be receiving a jersey! Or a t-shirt.
Or whatever it may be.
Today was Transfers. Rumors are closed, here are the facts: We will be
receiving 3 new Elders from South India tomorrow night [tonight now].
Elder Varada (my former companion), Varsala, and Bommaji will be
training them. In two weeks, two American Elders will be arriving.
Word is that their names are Elders Hess and Chambers. The
Companionship in Noida, Elders Paul and Penumuru, will stay together
until that time. Then they will split and both become Trainers. Okay.
Confused yet? Moving on. Next Transfer, we will be sending 8 to
Bangalore Mission. October 22. On October 21 or 20, this Transfer will
end. We will receive 5 more Elders from South India.
We have a new Training program that just released across the world: A
new manual for Missionary Trainers. Every Trainer will now train,
without exception, for two Transfers straight. Elder Varada already
knows where he will be next Transfer. He will still be in Malviyah
Nagar Training his new companion. He will inevitably leave in December
to another part of Delhi. He's been in Malviyah Nagar since about
February. Or something. District Leaders should also be receiving some
kind of manual. But I'm confused. Because I haven't received mine yet.
Which leads me to my jaw dropping announcement: I am District Leader
of the Malviyah Nagar District!
This is, according to President Jackson, unprecedented. He said, "you
are the youngest District Leader in Delhi. Ever." That can be applied
two ways, as I see it. One, I am District Leader in my 3rd Transfer.
There've been a few that have become District Leader in their 4th
Transfer, but never 3rd. And two, I am fairly certain that I am the
youngest missionary in Delhi right now. Soon, though, we will be
receiving more missionaries from the South. So that might not be true
after some time. But for now, no other missionary is 19 that has a
birthday after early May. So yeah. I am the youngest District Leader
to ever serve in Delhi. Yeah. Wow. um... yeah. Shocking.
There are two companionships in our District. Elder Varada will be
with his new companion. They are in my old room with my old
investigators. He is Zone Leader. I am District Leader. My new
companion is Elder Sade. He leaves the field in January. He was Elder
Green's Trainer. I have inherited all of Elder Bunga's old
investigators. He moved to Munirka. Elder Varada's new companion will
be arriving tonight.
That's it! I want to cut this short so that you can actually receive
my email this time. I only had to write this previous paragraph. I was
given this opportunity to write to you with permission from the
Assistants, but I am using valuable proselyting time. But this is too
exciting for me to wait a whole other week to emaiI you.
I am very excited for this privilege of becoming District Leader! It's
so amazing! Everyone in the Mission is excited for me! I'm nervous,
but excited at the same time! Wonderful time to be in Delhi right now!
Love you all!