August 30, 2011
Package received! THANK YOU! I was told that the package was received on about Monday and that it was very big and very heavy. With your previous comment that it only contained Skittles and Reeses and Grandpa's tie, I was confused. I opened it this morning and realized what it meant! It WAS big and it WAS heavy! And I enjoyed it very much. We still have about 30 packs of Reeses Cups sitting in the fridge right now. The Skittles are sitting in the box on my desk. These things may last me... a day? Maybe two? Nah. I'll be enjoying these for a couple of weeks, at least. I only wish that my camera was working - the batteries have been dead for almost two weeks now. And I have already run out of spare batteries. No big deal. Batteries are popular and cheap. I might as well get a battery charger here. I just need to find an electronics shop; they're very popular around here. The only thing stopping me is laziness.
This is my second attempt at writing to you. I was cut off last time by a power outage. We also lost power at our apartment this morning - the longest one I've seen so far. We wanted to go teach a quick lesson, but we can't iron our clothes! So we had to drop the lesson. They understood. Not a big deal. I'm just worried about another power outage here (finger is on the "Save Now" button). hahaha.
Recipes are difficult to come by. Everything is done by sight, and we only eat home-cooked food rarely. Mostly we just eat "daal + rice" or "some kind of curry + rice." We've been fed every night by one family that just moved in from Lajpat Nagar. Very nice people. Their names are Rahul and Deepa. They are a wonderful family!
This Sunday I had my first baptism! His name is Rudra. He’s a great guy and he loves the church! His family is very strong; the same family that has fed us every night for almost two weeks now. It makes teaching Rudra very easy and convenient. He was baptized alongside another sister that Elder Bunga has been teaching. I conducted the actual baptism for Rudra; it was quite an experience! We planned everything very carefully. Although we had a few hiccups, everything went smoothly. We watched “Finding Faith in Christ” in Hindi to bring the Spirit, and it persisted through the rest of the service.
Beforehand, we had made two loaves’ worth of peanut butter and mango jam sandwiches. We cut them in half and distributed them after the service was completed. Somehow some of the children had found the sandwiches and were seen eating them during the service. Not sure how that happened. I feared the worst (a child uprising for the sake of snacks). But nothing came of it. We gave the children sandwiches at their request and pressed forward with the service. The turnout was very well; we had enough sandwiches for those that came. None went home hungry. But other than the children finding our stash, it went off without a hitch. I am very thankful for the opportunity for Rudra’s choice in coming closer to Christ. I am looking forward to his being confirmed this Sunday.
I don't remember writing anything about exact obedience, but I could be mistaken. Generally those letters are a few weeks old, and I may have forgotten what that I wrote it. "Teaching River" is a common term in the New Delhi Mission now. In an address by President Jackson in a Specialized Training, he explained that we should have "Teaching Rivers" and not "Teaching Pools." In the ideal missionary service, missionaries teach and they baptize. That's it. Members supply the investigators and provide support when needed. So, those investigators that are ready to hear the Word go down the River to the waters of Baptism. Those that aren't ready stay where they are in the Pool. When one group finishes, the members (or hopefully, the Recent Converts) bring in the next group. We drop those that want to stay in the Pool and move on to this new group; we discover their hearts and repeat the process. That is why it is so essential for Missionaries to fellowship with the members. And we've been working at that.
That's the ideal missionary service. We're not at that level yet, but we are VERY close. I am coming to India at a wonderful time. if the rumors are true, we will be receiving 5 new missionaries from the Bangalore Mission next week. We are sending out 8 in October to the same place (members becoming missionaries). So we're essentially trading missionaries! Then, also in October, we will be receiving either 2 or 4 more missionaries! AMERICAN missionaries! This means that the number of Missionaries in Delhi will increase from about 24 to at least 30! And, if more missionaries come, we can easily double in size in less than six months! We have one elder leaving in the middle of September, two weeks after transfers. But then we're not losing anyone else until January! We can easily reach 40 missionaries at that time, depending on what rumors are true and which ones aren't. Very exciting times in the India New Delhi Mission!
We had a Missionary Fireside two Fridays ago (totally forgot about it in my last letter). It was a blast. The other Elders in Malviyah Nagar and I put up a skit for the Branch. It was about two missionaries who are discouraged. They eventually decide to visit a place by randomly pointing at it on a map. When they go tracting, they run into several crazy people, one after another. I, the greenie missionary, am obsessed with helping everyone (including a drunken guy and a guy that forgets everything in 15 minutes). The latter's name is Gajini. He's apparently famous in India. So, after a day of tracting, we go home fruitless and frustrated. The next day, we go with one of our members to go teach someone, and we get a baptismal commitment in less than 30 seconds. Although we don't point that out to the members of the branch. We just get the baptismal commitment and are happy.
We're holding another one this Saturday. This skit is about a "Journey to the Moon." Not sure much about it. We've just started planning. I will play a farmer, but we're going to improvise a lot of it. It's fun! Much of it is in Hindi this time; the other elders received complaints from members of the branch concerning lack of Hindi last time, so we'll be sure to include more this time. We're learning through experience and getting the most out of it that we can. It's a very exciting time for the Malviyah Nagar branch!
That picture was my first P-Day, I believe. We had gone to visit the zoo. It was very fun! And yes, India is beautiful. Elder Varada was confused about why I think so. I showed him the picture of Jesus Christ's Second Coming. He's surrounded by angels with trumpets. Beneath the clouds is a desert. So I showed him the desert and said, "This is what Yuma looks like." He understands now. India truly is beautiful. hahaha.
Hindi is coming very slowly. I'm more focused on understanding it and reading it. Those are my two main goals. I've picked up a few words and phrases, but nothing extravagent. "Coy Badinay" means "No Problem." "Paca" is "True." "Tikay" is "Okay." "Tera Dimak Karab Hai" is "Your brain is broken." That was my only line in Hindi during the Fireside. I told it to an auto driver. Best line in the play! (TEH-raw Dee-MAWK kah-RAWB hey)
Next week is transfers. I hope that I stay here. I probably will. I don't know about Elder Varada though. With the 5 new missionaries coming in, we may face really big changes, or President Jackson may decide to make minimal changes. think that transfers are on Wednesday next week. So we'll see!
GB2! Love you all!