Missionary (noun): Someone who leaves their family for a short period of time so that others may be with their families for eternity.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Jarom's Mission in the Church News October 22, 2011

Church News
'Centers of strength' — Church flourishing in India
By Russell T. Osguthorpe

Sunday School general president

Published: Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011
We not only have missions in India, but we also have districts that are preparing to become stakes. The Church is being established in India in a deliberate and impressive way. And although North American members are contributing in important ways to the spread of the gospel in India, the Indian members themselves are the driving force as the truths of the Restoration spread across their land.

As I became acquainted with our Indian Church members, I kept thinking of President Gordon B. Hinckley's words: "The lives of our people must become the most meaningful symbol of our faith" (Ensign, April 2005). The power of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can be found most easily not in the beauty of the buildings we construct but in the lives of individual members. I found such power as I became acquainted with those who have joined the Church in India.

Photo courtesy Russell T. OsguthorpeMissionaries from the India New Dehli Mission gather with Elder Anthony Perkins, left, Asia Area president, and Brother Russell T. Osguthorpe. New Dehli is one of the "centers of strength" in India from which the Church is branching out.

Upon my arrival in New Delhi, India's national capital with a population of approximately 20 million, Aneel drove us from the airport to the hotel. As I asked about his own pathway to conversion, he explained that he had been a member of the Church for several years and that when he decided to be baptized, his family members were not happy with him. He explained, "My brothers were angry with me, and they kept telling me that their [Hindu] gods were angry with me. Shortly after my baptism, I contracted an eye infection. They told me that it was a punishment from their gods and that I would go blind. I told them that if I went blind, that would be all right with me, because I wanted to follow Christ, and I knew that in this Church I was following Christ."

This is typical of the faith of the people. When they join the Church, as is the case with so many in the world, they are turning away from long-held family traditions and religious beliefs. Like so many Indians who join the Church, Aneel's heritage is Hindu, the dominant religion in India. About 15 percent of the population is Muslim and a much smaller percentage Christian.

Following my auxiliary training meeting in New Delhi, a minister from another Christian faith pleaded for the Church to teach in his town. He said, "I'm Christian, but the missionaries have been teaching me about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, and now I can see that our beliefs are not complete. I want your Church to teach in my town." I later learned that his reaction is not uncommon but, as in all countries, the Church moves forward in a carefully planned way as it builds upon "centers of strength."

New Delhi is one of those centers of strength, and most members of the Church outside of India are familiar with this city. The Church is also well established in Bangalore and Hyderabad, other well-known names. But some may not have heard of Vishakhapatnam, another large city where the Church is established. These centers of strength are all located on the southeast side of India. Most have also heard of Mumbai (once called Bombay), a city of over 20 million on the west side of the country. Although there is a branch in this city, the Church has not yet sent missionaries there or to any other city on that side of India.

Elder Anthony Perkins, Asia Area president, and I visited members in each of the three districts in India: Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, and New Delhi. The Church currently has two missions in India, the India Bangalore Mission and the India New Delhi Mission. The Bangalore mission includes the cities of Hyderabad and Vishakhapatnam. A few missionaries from North America are serving in each mission, but the majority of the missionaries are Indian. Typical of these native missionaries is Sham. Sham lives in New Delhi and was called to serve in the Bangalore mission. He just returned from his mission a few months ago. I asked him to tell me about his experience as a missionary. He said, "I get emotional when I talk about my mission. I loved my mission. If I could go back right now and serve another mission, I would do it."

Sham's faith is like that of so many Indian members. You can feel their conviction even as they greet you. Solomon, a 13-year-old young man who is small in stature but large in spirit, looked up at me in the hallway and said, "You are the general Sunday School President." He later told me how he planned to serve a mission when he turned 18. To accommodate the higher education policies in India, young men are allowed to begin serving their missions at the age of 18.

Nora, a 14-year-old young woman bore her testimony in our fast meeting. With genuine excitement in her voice, she said, "I have been a member of the Church for only a year and a half, but already I'm an example for all of my friends. They see that I dress modestly, and they ask me about my beliefs. I don't have to wait until I'm older to serve a mission. I can be a missionary right now to all of my friends."

I asked several young people to tell me what the Church would be like in India 10 years from now. Without pausing for a second, each one said about the same thing: "In 10 years India will have many stakes. And the most important thing: India will have temples." The members in India are forward looking. Their faith in the future is not based upon a casual wish. Their faith is founded on their own actions. They see a growing Church because they themselves are helping it to grow right now. Missionaries told me that most of their converts come from member referrals. And the converts are coming at a very high rate with equally high retention.

India is evidence of the fulfillment of the words that came to the Prophet Joseph in 1842 when he penned the Standard of Truth as part of his letter to John Wentworth. The progress of the Church in India shows that nothing "can stop the work from progressing." Each time a new convert is baptized and each time a member increases his or her understanding of a principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ, "the truth of God [goes] forth boldly, nobly, and independent" as it sweeps across the country of India. Will stakes be formed in India? There is no question that they will. Will temples be built? No doubt that they will. The Standard of Truth has been erected in India and it will continue to spread until it "has sounded in every ear" until the "purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say, 'the work is done.'"

Transferred to Green Park

October 26, 2011

I have been transferred to a new apartment. It's in a place called Green Park (yes, that's an English name). My new companion is named Elder Bathula. He arrived in Delhi on Friday. I am his Trainer.

I am still serving in Malviyah Nagar. This is my second "Transfer." My first Transfer, I changed rooms. My second transfer, I changed apartments. Now I live in Green Park. I am still serving in 4th Branch. I take the Metro every morning to Malviyah Nagar to proselyte. I think that I'm actually in Lajpat Nagar's area. The reason why I live here is because I live with the Assistants. I live right next to the Mission Office. About 10 minutes' walking distance. It's not a big deal. Going on Metro costs 9 rupees one-way. It takes 15 minutes, max. So I don't worry about it much.

I don't know the area around here very well. From what the Assistants have said, it's very expensive area. So we'll probably eat while in our time in Malviyah Nagar. But I still need to check. I saw a Dominoes and a Pizza Hut nearby. I think that I might be enjoying my stay here. ;)

As a Trainer, I take an extra hour for a new training program that the Church starting three months ago during Companionship Study. So now it's one hour of Personal Study and 2 hours of Companionship Study. Non-English Language-Speaking Missions then take another hour for Language Study. It is so advanced! I have no idea what I would be teaching him now without it. We just follow the schedule. He arrived on Friday, a day after missionaries normally arrive, so we've been doing extra practices at night to catch up. It doesn't mix with our proselyting time. The training program lasts 3 months, so he and I will be companions next transfer, as well. So no worries! I'll be in Malviyah Nagar for Christmas!

Yesterday I took him to Kalka Ji. There are several members there that fell away months ago. Of those families, I became well acquainted with two of them; the Sushil Kumar family and Joana Melton. I had spent much time with them with Elder Varada, attempting to bring them back to church. We were, for the most part, unsuccessful. Brother Kumar’s son, Amit, had recently gotten married to a woman named Anundini. She is an investigator to the church, and he a member. So it gave us a good opportunity to try a new attempt at visiting them by introducing them to Elder Bathula. It worked rather well. Anundini discussed how she wasn’t “very religious” but wanted to know more about Jesus Christ. Elder Bathula spoke shortly about Jesus Christ and opened a discussion that led us to 2 Nephi 2. Anundini read from some verses and we explained them to her. She promised to read the rest of the chapter before our next visit.

Elder Bathula did very well in his teaching. He took the initiative, answered her preliminary questions to the best of his ability, and then directed the conversation to a point that we could discuss Plan of Salvation. Unfortunately, we were unable to complete the lesson due to time constraints, but we now have a topic for our next visit. We will be preparing ourselves over the next couple of days before we return to their home to finish the lesson. I feel that it was very instructive for Elder Bathula. I am thankful for the opportunity that I have of training him. I know that he will be a great, PMG missionary in no time!

We now have 6 Elders serving in Malviyah Nagar. Elder Varada is still training Elder Veeraraj. Elder Varada is back-to-back training. He will leave Malviyah Nagar in December (he's been here since March!). Elder Sade is also training one of the new Elders. He's still in Malviyah Nagar apartment. Elder Anthony (his Trainee) inherited my side of the room. We split our investigators on Friday during Weekly Planning. I took all of the English-speaking investigators. They kept the Hindi-speaking investigators. Elder Bathula can speak very good Hindi. But we felt that it was best that I should take the English-speaking investigators. It evened out very well.

The other two Trainers are Elder Podi and Elder Bradley. They're both in Vasant Vihar, 2nd Branch. Elder Green is in Munirka now and Elder Hornberger is in Dwarka. Neither of them are training. Although Elder Green is with a companion that came only 1 Transfer after us. Elder Gubala. Great guy.

The irony that I see is that every Elder in 4th Branch and 2nd Branch is either a Trainer or Trainee. hahaha.

It's difficult to say which recipes that I like best. Cream Cheese bars are by far my favorite - but they're also, I think, the most complicated. I don't think that sending the actual bars will work. They probably won't survive transit. So the recipes will do. I don't own an oven. I have a gas stove. I might be able to make an oven out of a pot. Elder Avans taught me how. But I don't know if I have a pot big enough. This is such a new apartment. This is the first transfer that any Elder is living in it. So, we're missing many basic resources (copies of the Book of Mormon, for instance). So we're still renovating it. I like the Reese Bars. No-Bake cookies would be excellent. Never liked lemon bars. You can send them to me anyway. 7-layer bars are okay. (I think that it's sad that I can list more Christmas goodies than members in the Quorum of the Twelve). just kidding! Um... I can't recall anything else. You'd be surprised at how Americanized India is. I can pretty much find anything. I just need to find it. There are some American stores. But they're more expensive for a missionary budget. It's a weird feeling that I left Yuma exactly 5 months ago. Of course, everyone will be celebrating it by celebrating Diwali. There'll be enough fireworks tonight to make 4th of July look like a match compared to a flamethrower. I will not be sleeping tonight. Hahaha.

I received your package! Thank you! The list of what I received: Halloween Candy, Skittles, Disneyland Popcorn, Pringles, Toothfloss, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Peanut Butter, and ... um...I think that that's it. I'm splitting up the Halloween candy between 8. I'm giving some to the Assistants (I'm such a nice guy), and the rest I'm sharing with the District. I'm still District Leader. So, next District Meeting, I'll wrap up some candy for each Elder and share it with them. Halloween status. I sent Elder Varada his Reeses. He greatly appreciates it! Thank you! I'm saving the Disneyland Popcorn. It's more than sacred to me at the moment. I'll eat it sometime next week. Thank you! I was not expecting it. So it was a great shock for me (and totally amazing!) Thank you!

Also thank you for the peanut butter. We've been in a sandwich-making mood for the last couple of days. So we'll be really making good use of it really really soon! We just need to finish our current peanut butter. Then we'll eat mine. Yay!

Happiest email ever!

Love you all,
Elder Montgomery

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Being a productive missionary is so much better than being a busy missionary."

Transfers are next week. I'll find out tomorrow night. We're getting 4 new Elders from the South and they're coming in tomorrow night. Transfer meeting will be on Friday.

Baby tortoise? o.0

I celebrated Keaton's birthday by being invited to a BBQ of my own! It was from Sister Rita S. and her family (who have been such great missionaries for us). Brother Sunny invited Elder Sade and me over for a nice barbaque because it was his last night in that home. They're moving to Moti Bagh tonight. No idea where that is, but it's in Delhi. They know that I have a problem with spicy food, so they set aside some food for me. That food turned out to be beef! We all ate beef, mine was simple plain beef while theirs was mixed with some spices. It was delicious! They made shish kababs (as you would call it) also known as sheikh kababs (as they would call it). No idea what the difference is. But they stuck a piece of raw beef on a metal stick and held it over some burning coals. They also made chicken mixed with spices. I tried a few pieces of the chicken. So good! And not spicy at all! It was like heaven. hahaha. By the time that I was finished, I was as full as I've ever been in India. Then they gave us some Halva. Halva is basically crushed carrot mixed with some sugar sauce and other spices. A very nice delicacy in India! I'd have to say that that dinner was the best dinner in Delhi yet. Happy birthday Keaton!

I received a letter from Brother and Sister Christensen from your new Ward. They said that they are very excited that I am representing their Ward and that I am very blessed to be serving here. I agree with them! It was in a nice Hallmark card with a puppy on it. Very touching! Thank you!

When leaving a Cyber CafĂ© after doing emails, I was approached by a Nigerian man who introduced himself as Bellary. He told me that a friend of his had served a mission from Nigeria. I was pleased to hear this, and asked if he knew much about our church. He answered that his friend had taught him a little, but that was over 10 years ago. He had since forgotten. I asked for his number and offered to teach him more about our beliefs. He accepted and we scheduled an appointment on Saturday. We met on Saturday and taught him the Restoration. He seemed concerned since it was so new and different. He came from a Protestant family and was very comfortable where he was. We offered to clear up his questions in our next appointment. On Monday, we brought along with us Brother Obinna, a very strong Branch Missionary from Nigeria. He testified of how much the Book of Mormon and the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ had changed his life. We gave Bellary a copy of the Book of Mormon after clearing up some of his concerns; we also watched “The Restoration” with him to help him understand more about Joseph Smith. I am very thankful for the Missionary tools that are just waiting to be used. I know and appreciate that using these tools effectively is the key to becoming a PMG missionary. These tools bring the Spirit in such ways that I never could alone.

Being a productive missionary is so much better than being a busy missionary. Any missionary can be busy; whether it's street-contacting or going door to door, there's always work to do (and enough people to do it on!). But a productive missionary uses his/her tools. Pamphlets, Media, and members are essential to becoming 100% PMG Missionaries. That much is Paka. I am thankful for the focus on using tools that we have from President Jackson. Members truly carry the work beyond what missionaries can do alone.

I haven't received the package yet. I hadn't expected to. I'm guessing that it will arrive next week.

I received the pictures of the Bazua kids! They're growing up so fast (especially their hair!). I like how Austin is learning to play football. He'll make a great Bronco someday! ;)

I'll find some stuffed elephants or monkeys for the children. That'll be my main priority. I need 8, right? I'm sure that I can find some somewhere. Probably Select City Mall. It'll be no problem! I'll probably go shopping next P-Day. We'll see what my new companion thinks of that.

That's it for this week. Love you all!
Elder Montgomery

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"I am thankful for our Father’s plan that brings the hearts of the children to the fathers...."

October 12, 2011

Hello! (best Conference introduction ever)
General Conference was amazing! I loved every minute of it! Definitely my favorite speaker was Elder Ted R. Callister. "In the words of my grandfather, either this book is of the Devil or it's of God." So powerful! It reminds me of Elder Holland's talk a few years ago: "No wicked man COULD write a book such as this, and no righteous man WOULD write this book, unless he were so commanded by God." I love talks that testify of the Book of Mormon. Every missionary in the world gets fuzzy feelings whenever a talk like this comes up. (I hope that my investigator is paying attention!)

It was interesting watching General Conference in the chapel all 5 times. I still went out to eat an ice cream cone after priesthood session (1 down, 3 to go!). Only a few members came for the Saturday sessions. Priesthood session was popular. Sunday morning session was filled to the max. And then it died down again for the afternoon session. I'm excited for the Liahona to come out with the talks in them! I've heard that the October Liahona should be centered on the Book of Mormon. We should be receiving it soon. I'm so excited for these magazines! They are such powerful missionary tools!

Between the two sessions of Conference, we had two baptisms! Elder Sade baptized a woman named Uma, sister-in-law to Sister Rita, Brother Sunny's wife. Elder Varada baptized a sister named Santoshi. They will both be confirmed this Sunday.

On Saturday, Elder Sade and I went to visit a part-member family. The son, Jackson, has been a member for some time, but the rest of his family have not joined the church. They’ve taken the lessons on and off again, but they have not been truly interested in what the church teaches. We still feel that it is important to visit with them to strengthen the family and help Jackson become stronger in the church. We went to visit them and a friend of Jackson’s father was present. We introduced ourselves and he did the same. He said that his name is Naresh. His 18-year old daughter had recently died of Lupus, less than 2 months before. He was there grieving with his friend, Jackson’s father. We offered our condolences and offered to come to his home and share how his family could be together forever. He accepted and we visited them two days later. Present at his home was his wife, son, and two daughters.

We watched a small segment of “Together Forever” with them. We watched the segment where the husband and wife discuss the death of their 6-year old. It was a very touching, very powerful piece. They shared, in the movie, of how they both prayed to know if what the missionaries had taught them was the truth. They bore their testimony of a warm, calm, comforting feeling. We discussed this with Naresh and his family. We offered the same assurance to them of knowing that they can be with their family together forever. It was a very solemn, spiritual meeting for us. I am sorry that an experience such as losing a daughter would move brother Naresh and his family to learn more about the gospel, but at the same time, I cannot but think of what the deceased daughter feels now, knowing that her death led her family to the restored gospel, about which she is also learning in the spirit world. I am thankful for our Father’s plan that brings the hearts of the children to the fathers, especially when the children have moved on and the fathers remain. I want to help this family. I want them to feel at peace again.

I'm beginning to understand "Forget yourself and get to work." I've heard that phrase almost my entire life, but for me it has always just been a phrase. Now it truly applies to me! I am thankful for the opportunity to serve others. Being a missionary is amazing. For the majority of the time, like when I'm out on the street, or sitting on a rug in an investigator's home, I feel as if I'm in a dream. India is truly a magical place. The people are amazing. They're willing to give up on beliefs that they've held for a lifetime for their testimony of Jesus Christ. Many members and investigators are Hindu. I could not imagine giving up on my belief in Jesus Christ, yet these wonderful people are fully willing to hearken to the truth, even at the cost of their traditions that they've held for their entire lives. Some of the strongest members in Malviyah Nagar are older in age, but are converts from only a year or two ago. They were of Hindu belief. But now they have accepted the restored gospel and fully embraced it. Truly inspiring.

So, this last Thursday was Desshera. A Hindu holiday celebrating the victory of...um... Ramos over... somebody else. I forgot! All that I know is that everybody has been playing with firecrackers for the last week. Some guy tried to light me on fire with a cigarette lighter as I was walking through Mehrauli. Apparently, he wasn't mentally stable. But this is nothing in compared with Diwali! Diwali will happen on the 26th. It commemorates Ramos' return to his home. In the words of some members, "it sounds like World War 2." Apparently missionaries have to return to the apartment early on that day. Everybody who is anybody (except missionaries) will be throwing firecrackers and tiny bomb-things everywhere. It'll make the 4th of July look like a joke. Apparently. I'm excited! But I have no intention of touching a firecracker. I like my limbs just fine, thank you very much...

That's about it for this week. Next week is transfers. But I won't know where I'll be going until next Wednesday night. So you won't know until the Wednesday after that. Sorry! hahaha.

Love you all!

Elder Montgomery

"We found two new investigators..."

October 5, 2011

Keeping the Ice Cream tradition was one of my most important goals. Unfortunately, we don't have Dairy Queens here. Instead, we have what are called "Mother Dairy's".
hahaha. It's the same concept as a Dairy Queen, just with less choices.

I am in Munirka right now, getting some photos developed. I went to a birthday party for 4-year old Eddy. Amazing kid. I told the parents that I would develop the photos that I took of the party.

This week has been a fun week! Brother Sunny and his family has been amazing! Brother Douglas just gave us two new investigators who are interested in learning more about the gospel (they want to know which of all of the churches are true). We found two new investigators through our own efforts. We were looking for the Anthony P. family, who live near our apartment. They’re lost sheep. We went to the address on our Teaching Record but we didn’t know which floor on which they lived. So we knocked on all of the doors on our way up. Eventually we met with a man named Sudheev. He informed us that the Anthony family had moved to another house nearby a couple of months earlier. We got to talking and he seemed interested in our message. He invited us inside. We shared with him more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He’s Hindu, and so his knowledge of Jesus Christ is limited. We gave him a pamphlet and asked him to read it before the next time that we would come back. It was a very powerful lesson! I’m looking forward to continuing working with him to help him better understand the purpose of life. It just goes to show that even lost sheep can be used as tools to help find the elect!

I finally found one of my stories that I gave to President Jackson! I haven't been too careful in looking before, but you asked if you spotted on of my stories a couple of weeks ago. So it was on my mind to look this time. It concerns the Family Home Evening with the 4 families. There's even a picture there in the picture section! Just thought that I might throw that out there.

It's great to hear that the family is doing well! You're all in my prayers. I'll find some magnets for you all.

Oh, by the way, Aunt Diane's advice about Indians looking at me like I'm a ghost proved prophetic. I was at a member's house a couple of weeks ago, and the 4 year old daughter was talking to my companion in Hindi. Suddenly he started laughing. He explained that she had just called me a "Bhoot" with means "ghost." She then called my companion something else, which means "monster." I forgot the word, though. So yeah. I am apparently a ghost. Now I know what my Halloween costume is going to be!
I hope the Elder-to-be will do well! I think that he's going to Bangalore. We just got two new Americans. So I'm not so sure if he's coming here. Still, it'd be nice!

I can't wait for General Conference! I plan on staying awake this Conference. I always enjoy them.

That's it for this week. Love you all!
Elder Montgomery

Questions and Answers about the water

October 5, 2011

Are you only using bottled water?
As much as possible. I have no control over what kind of water members give to me. But apparently there's a taste difference. In the apartment, only bottled water.

Would an infiltration bottle be helpful for you on your mission?
All of our apartments have filters. I have been inside 3 apartments in Delhi. All of those have filters

Have you gotten sick from the water?
I am 100% certain that some members/investigators have given me tap water. And from that tap water, I am 100% that I have gotten sick. Sometimes I'll carry my own water around with me. But I don't want to offend them either. So I switch off every so often.

Do you ever drink the water or do you only drink bottled water? Bottled water, 99% of the time. Again, I can't control what members give to me. I use tap water for showers though.

How do you wash your fruit and vegetables when you prepare a meal?
Bottled water. With rice, we wash it out first with tap water. Then we empty out that water into the sink and fill it with clean, filtered water. We use that water for steaming the rice.

Do you brush your teeth with bottled water?

Are you taking the antibiotic pill every day?
No. The water in Delhi is too dirty for Malaria to exist. Ironic, right?

"It is truly families like these that make my time in India well worth it!"

September 28, 2011

The internet cafe ran out of computers on which I could type, so I am typing this on a laptop. Feels so good!

I will stay District Leader until the end of the Transfer (October 20-something). Then it's up in the air. I could be District Leader again. But personally I think that I'm going to get transferred out of Malviyah Nagar. Elder Varada will be transferred out in December (That is paka [Hindi:true]). Elder Sade will finish His mission here in January, so he'll be here in the long run as well. Elder Veeraraj will probably stay here until February to help the Elders that will replace my companions. Two of the other American Elders have already left their home branch. each of them were replaced by even newer South Indian elders.

Which reminds me, we have two new American Elders! Yay. Their names are Elders Hess and Chambers. Both from Utah. Just briefly met them at a Specialized Training (held monthly) on Friday. They seem nice enough. Right now they're serving in Lajpat Nagar. In two weeks we're going to lose Elder Parisutham; His mission is over. He's currently serving there. Not sure what is going to happen to his companion, Elder Avans. He'll probably finish out the transfer with a Stripling Warrior. We shall soon see!

On Thursday, we went over to teach the Vijay M. family. There, we met with Neelu and his wife, Kusum. Neelu is Sister Rita’s brother, and an investigator of the church. He had previously attended our 4-family Family Home Evening. So, we sat down, and we had to improvise the lesson that we would teach them. We were going to teach the M. family about temples, but that didn’t seem appropriate with such new investigators in the room. So, we changed our plan to teach them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This gave us a great opportunity to reteach the M. family (who were set to be confirmed the next Sunday) on Faith and Repentance, and what it means for them post-baptism. It also gave us a good excuse to further elaborate on the covenants of baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost – all while we had investigators in the room! Of course, the investigators were our main focus in the lesson; we tried to balance each time that we took teaching everything, from giving the definition of faith to explaining on how we can better remember our Savior in our everyday lives. All in all, it helped both families tremendously!

The M. family was confirmed this previous Sunday, and Neelu and his wife are set to be baptized on the 9th of October! I have never met such investigators as these, where I can teach members, recent converts, and investigators (who also just happen to be part-member family) at the same time! I couldn’t ask for better lessons – and everything outside of the lessons is amazing too. The children, Sam and Karen, have fun trying to teach me Hindi. Elder Sade gets along with everyone greatly. They’ve had us over for dinner a few times. And we have the best games together! I think that this will be one of my fondest memories in His mission – my time in watching these families grow!

It is truly families like these that make my time in India well worth it! I couldn't ask for better lessons!

My Hindi is getting better. In my spare time, I am regularly reading some old "Teach Yourself Hindi" books that the previous American Elders had left behind. Very helpful! I can read several words; there are only a few letters that I don't know yet. After I master the writing of it, I'll work on vocabulary and sentence structure! Right now I'm kind of combining them all. It's fun. I'll be fluent in no time!

We just celebrated a birthday of a member there. We all got to choose a dessert for a special at TGIFridays that they had. I got the Peanut Butter Brownie Ice Cream Bowl. Wow. Talk about sugar overdose! It was good, though. I greatly enjoyed it!
Unfortunately, I have to wait a week for General Conference. You will all see it on the first weekend of October. We won't. We'll need to wait until the Sunday after that (October 9, I believe) before we will receive the DVD's from Salt Lake City. So we'll wait a week. I don't know how that will affect our baptisms. But I'm not worried. Elder Sade's done this before. I'll follow his lead.

The weather is never hot here. Ever. It's always cool. Everyone thinks that I'm crazy when I say that, but they've never been to Yuma. They're never experienced REAL heat. It's supposed to be the rainy season right now. I haven't seen it rain in almost a week. I think that we might be in drought, actually. It's hot and dry. A rare combination in India. Don't quite know how to explain it. I'm not complaining though! For me, this is picture perfect weather!
That's it for this week.
Love you all!
Elder Montgomery