Sunday, August 4, 2013

Can You Understand Me Now? (Language problems)

Hi family!

Oh wow! Sounds like you all have so many fun summer activities going on! I wish I could come along for a 100 mile bike riding high adventure, especially after getting nice strong legs from biking 5-10 miles ever single day. haha lots of fun. I love biking! And it's interesting hearing about you getting to do 3 endowment sessions just like it's nothing, because here in India, getting your endowment out is a BIG deal! We have a grand total of 6 people in our entire branch that have been endowed. Many people are preparing to go to the Hong Kong temple next month, but an India Temple would definitely be appreciated by the members here. Someday it will come though! haha and sounds like Noah is still up to all of his old shenanigans. I can totally see him getting stuck on the roof! Definitely livin' life to its fullest! 

Well, here are some answers to your questions!

How many investigators we have is an interesting question, because it depends on what you mean by that. How many PROGRESSING investigators we have, how many investigators we have that we have ever taught, or how many people we are currently working with (investigators and less actives (working with less active members is a pretty significant focus of ours)). I'll just say though that we usually work with about 15 different people each week, all kinds of investigators and less actives. And we usually teach about 20 lessons per week. Hopefully we can get that a lot higher though. We just need to get these people to be home when they say they will be home! haha. :)

As for learning the language of Telugu... wow, I could write a whole letter on how deeply language effects the Bangalore mission. I know ever mission in the world wants to say that their mission is "unique", but really and truly we have QUITE a unique situation here! Not only are we not taught the language of the people here in India, but we are encouraged NOT to learn the language! Which means, we can only teach people that "know English". And even with those people, we often need to use a member that has pretty good English to help translate for us. Also, we are not supposed to baptize people that don't know English, unless they have been coming to church for at least 2-3 months. And that is quite a problem right there, because it's hard to get people to come to a church that speaks in English, when they can't understand English... meh. Really, I could say so much more about the effects of having this as an English speaking mission, but suffice it so say that the day this mission becomes a native speaking mission, baptism are going to SKYROCKET! That probably won't happen in my mission, but I still look forward to the day that it does happen. 

Yes, we still have not gone and knocked on any doors. If we were to do that though, we would try to aim for Christian neighborhoods, not so much the Hindus. haha and yes, it's very easy to tell what the Christian/Hindu temples are, because people will have stickers and symbols all around their house identifying their religion. We still can teach Hindus, but's tougher for them because even if THEY know this is true, their family might not. And family has a VERY strong influence here in India. 

Here's something pretty cool! As I was writing my letter right now, some guy called me and asked if he could meet with us this week to learn more about our "teachings and literature", and that he would love to read anything we have to offer him. Wow, how great is that! God is definitely pushing this week forward! 

Oh, and one more miracle this week! So, we were eating out at a restaurant one day for lunch, and at this place they have all sorts of food, like Indian food, Chinese, pizza, burgers, pretty much anything. And guess what Elder Anderson felt like having? Mushroom masala curry! WOW! A few weeks ago I dreaded eating Indian food, because it would make me feel so sick, and I thought meal appointments with members were the worst part of the mission. But now I am willingly eating this food, and it tastes great to me! :D

If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is! 

Have another awesome week of summer!

Elder Anderson 

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