Monday, August 5, 2013

Lock Down in India

Hello family!

Hooray! I'm so excited that you get to be the seminary teacher Mom! Best calling ever! And I like the changes that they made. It sounds like it will make seminary an even more enjoyable experience for the students. 

As for me in India, WOW, this has been a CRAZY week! You see, the state in India that I am currently living in was split into two different states this week! As you can imagine, this has created QUITE a bit of excitement and tension for people! I've been hearing bits and pieces of what's going on, but pretty much the biggest problem is that the new state is taking control of Hyderabad, the capital city. So, that means all the people in the state I'm living in are going to lose out on an extremely valuable city, in the which there are thousands of jobs, and in which business men have made millions of dollars in investments. As you might expect, some people aren't very happy about this.

SO, the fun part for missionaries is that we got to have a Lock Down this week! For two days we stayed inside, to avoid the rallies and what not that are going on. Then for another two days we could only go outside if we had a 18+ member with us 24/7. Haha I felt like a 15 year old again, needing to call people to come pick us up, just so that we could go back home... But for reals, Lock Down are a ton of fun! I'll send you a couple pictures of us partying it up! :)

Some missionaries get stressed during Lock Downs, because they have to miss all of their appointments, and some missionaries get bored because they aren't allowed to leave the apartment, but as for me, I just thought "Hey, we are required to stay inside, there is nothing we can do about it, so we might as well enjoy it!" But, coming outside again has been great too. I started to forget how much I love the Indian people! :)

Oh! And thanks for the birthday package! That was definitely fun to receive! I'm saving my card until my actual birthday, just so I'll have something to open up then too. 

So, to answer your questions, here is a little info about Indian families! Yes, many people are vegetarian, but definitely not everyone. All foods are marked as Veg or Non-Veg, because ya, there is a significant vegetarian population. For meat, people eat a lot of chicken, goat, and seafood. No cows, of course, except for in bigger cities like Bangalore (because they have more of a western culture). 

In all honesty, I have no clue what an "average" income is here, because they standard of living among the people varies SO much. However, if I were to guess, I would say a typical family that is living pretty reasonably makes around 10,000-15,000 Rupees a month. That's about $200 a month. Ya, pretty crazy, huh? 

But, keep in mind when I say living reasonably, I mean on an Indian standard. From an American standard, ya, they are dirt poor. Haha my mission is helping me realize that living on a teacher's salary will be nooo problem whatsoever when I get back home, as long as I can remember what it's like to REALLY live frugally. 

Just like in the America, there are many stay at home moms, but also many women that work as well. And, the number if kids is about 2-4. depending on the family. 

Here's some sad news right here... so, we were going to baptize one family this month (Sujatta, Diana, and Queeny), but after thinking about it, we decided that we should push their baptismal date back another month. This is because the mom, Sujatta, does not speak English. And we can only baptize non-English speakers of if they have been coming to church for months, rather than weeks. So even though the kids speak English, we knew we need to wait longer because of the mom, and because we want them to all be baptized together. It just breaks my heart though, because they are all reading The Book of Mormon, know this is God's church, and have been taught pretty much everything they need to know. Sigh... well, I guess it will just make their baptism that much more special when it finally does come! :)

Also, I need your guy's help! So, in 2 weeks the missionaries are throwing a little fireside on, and the theme is "once you are converted, strengthen thy brethren". You have any fun lesson/activity thing we could do for a theme like that? Any great idea for EFY or girl's camp?? 

Well, that's all for now! Have a wondrous week!

Elder Anderson 

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