August 24, 2011
Hello from India! This is my first attempted mass email! My brother just gave me the instructions on how to do it. So if it doesn't reach you, then I am truly sorry. If there are any changes in email addresses, feel free to email them to me so that I can add them to my list!
The work is going great in Delhi! We have 7 branches thoughout the city. 12 Companionships needing to teach a total of a couple million people. The odds are in our favor! The church has almost 2000 members in Delhi. My branch is called Malviyah Nagar. We have about 150 members in our branch. The other branches are called Lajpat Nagar, Noida, Dwarka, Pitampura, Munirka, and Visant Vihar. All very good people. My companion's name is Elder Varada. He's a great trainer. Very patient.
Learning Hindi is a slow process for me. My Mission is not a Hindi-speaking mission, so I don't take any official time to learn it. Just in my spare time, which is fine for me. I'm in no hurry to learn it. My main focus is to read and write in Hindi first. Understand it. I have little interest in actually speaking it. Except to auto drivers and shop keepers.
The people here are very humble. Very hospitable. In one case, an investigator had moved from one branch to ours. We had never met him before, but he had been referred to us by the other elders. We picked up the investigator at the metro station and walked a short distance to his house. He insisted on buying us some mango juice from a small shop before starting the lesson! Very nice people.
Pork and beef are rare, but not as rare as I had thought. I have had pork and beef once each during my time here. Vegetables are more commonplace since many Indians are vegetarian. It's not uncommon for hosts to ask me if I cannot eat chicken due to diet restrictions.
The national currency is the rupee. One dollar is worth about 40-45 rupees. That makes the dollar very valuable here. I once received a haircut for 40 rupees, when the same haircut would have cost me the equivalent to 360 rupees in America. That's 1 dollar versus 9. I've noticed that America has very high inflation.
For the last week, we’ve been regularly visiting an investigator named Adithiya. He is from the state of Goa, a stunningly beautiful place, or so he says. His grandparents are American (Indian by descent) and so he is very patriotic and outspoken about America. He has been taught the majority of the lessons in his time in Bangalore by some other elders. So we’ve just been reviewing what he has learned so far and teaching him what he doesn’t know yet. We’ve had some really powerful lessons. He’s explained to us how the he has been guided by the Spirit to safety. He has committed to follow all of the Commandments that we have given him so far. Unfortunately, he was unable to come to church last week and so his baptismal date (this Sunday) will have to be postponed until the 18th. He has some work in Bangalore. We’ll continue to teach him until he leaves and then figure out what to do next when he returns. Most likely he’ll be baptized at that time without an issue.
Because of the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he is facing his life in a much more dignified manner. He has always known that God exists but has never known what God wants from him. Now Adithiya knows the Plan of Salvation. He understands that he must keep his body clean. He has, for example, accepted the Word of Wisdom without restraint. He has no doubt that it is what God wants for him. I am grateful for his faith in Jesus Christ. It’s unflinching in the face of changing his life around for the better. It inspires me.
I am thankful for the opportunity to serve here. I am thankful to be called to serve. It is a great blessing for me and for those that I teach.
For previous emails, since not all of them were mass emails, you can go to "elderjarommontgomery.blogspot.com". My family will continue to update that website throughout my time in India.
Love you all!