Monday, July 8, 2013

People with lives outside of missionary work...

Hello family!

Wow... that stinks that my last letter didn't send! I just tried to find it, but couldn't seem to locate it... hmmm... I'll search again after sending this letter.

I always enjoy hearing about your guy's activities, because it reminds me that people still have lives (besides the missionary life!) It's weird to think that I would be doing the exact same things right now if I wasn't over here in India. But, I'm glad this is my new life now!

Thanks for that story about exact obedience, it's really good! Being obedient is definitely an interesting concept when you are a missionary... it's always a constant struggle to determine when to follow the letter of the law, versus when to follow the Spirit of the law.

For example, we commonly have the problem of not having a male 18 years or older in the home we are teaching. And if there is no adult male there, we aren't allowed to be there (by the letter of the law). This is to make sure we never in an inappropriate situation with a woman or girl. However, many times the people will say, "Oh that's okay, don't come inside, we will just come outside onto the front lawn and you can teach there." So then we would be out in the open, with possibly an old woman and her two grandsons (or some situation similar to that). Then, would that be following the Spirit of the law? Would we then be keeping ourselves in a situation that would keep us safe from ever being tempted to compromise our standards? I don't know.

That was just kind of a random tangent right there, but ya, being obedient is definitely something that we are constantly thinking about.

Another random something right here. Turns out, I probably won't be having a thick Indian accent when I come home... sad day! That's because, as I'm seeing more and more, missionaries here have a switch that they turn on and off for when they need to use an accent. For example, if we think someone has pretty good English, we will talk to them pretty much how we would talk to anyone back in the USA. However, if they start appearing confused, we can turn the switch on (use very simple sentences, simpler words, speaking slower, and maybe start using a slight Indian accent). It's weird how all day I am constantly changing the way that I speak. I don't think I've ever been so careful with my speech as I am right now! Every single word counts, so I make sure I choose words extremely carefully.

So, I was thinking the other day that I would like to tell you all about one investigator in each of my weekly letters. One every single week, because I love my investigators so much, but ONLY one week, because I could easily fill a whole letter with just talking about investigators! haha.

For now, I want to tell you about one family that we are teaching. The dad and mom are named Sudheer and Sujetta, and the two daughters are Diana and Queeny (no idea if that's how you spell their names, but that's how they sound). They are one of our best families! All of them want to be baptized at the end of this month, and they all tell us how happy they are when we come over and when they come to such. The dad, Sudheer, has a drinking problem that we are trying to help him overcome. So far, he has gone from a whole bottle a day to just a quarter of a bottle a day. Hopefully he can be totally clean in a week or two! The daughters are really amazing too (they are 13 and 11 years old). They are always really excited whenever they see us, and they race to open the scriptures whenever we tell them what verse we are going to read. They are both really shy about praying though, so they always try to pick on the other person to say the closing prayer! haha, very funny.

Well, have a great week family! And yes, definitely follow the counsel in the missionary broadcast, because that was AMAZING! If all the members do their part, the work of gathering God's children will definitely hasten.

Love you all lots,
Elder Anderson

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