Monday, August 26, 2013

Mopeds, Dating, and a Drowning

'Ello family!

Good to hear from you! I can't help but be a little bit jealous of all the fun you guys 
are having though! :) I'm especially jealous of you guys getting to ride mopeds! All day 
I see people riding around on their motorcycles and mopeds, and I always want to ride on 
them so badly!! Too bad it's against missionary rules... sigh... maybe someday! 

Hmmm... I'd say one of my biggest cultural changes is the relationship between boys and 
girls here in India. I'm used to back home, where you see teenage couples everywhere, 
young single adults all working towards finding their eternal companion, and other such 
lovey dovey stuff. But that is not the case over here! It's quite frowned upon for 
teenagers to be flirting with each other, and it's even illegal to date before 18! 
wowzers! And then by the time they become young adults, most of them have no experience 
dating, so they rarely do it! But, I think things will be changing very soon. The rising 
generation is VERY much wanting western culture, so I think 50 years from now India will 
be much like the USA (as far as dating goes anyways). 

Usually, we teach Christians. We sometimes teach Hindus also, but teaching Hindus can 
cause major family tension (e.g. disowning their child), so more of our investigators 
come from Christian backgrounds. As far as Muslims, we CAN teach them, but only if they 
are interviewed by the mission president first (yes, interviewed by him before we even 
begin TEACHING them!) Because, well, I guess the church wants to be careful, and not 
upset any Muslim groups that could potentially attack us and what not... haha. The 
mission president checks though to make sure their families wouldn't go bazerk on us if 
we taught/converted them. As of now, we aren't teaching any Muslims. 

Well, guess what happened this week? Elder Anderson became the leading companion for all 
of Kakinada! You see, there is what's called "The 12 Week Training Program For New 
Missionaries", and it's intent is to get a new missionary 100% trained within their 
first 12 weeks. Trained so well, that they could fulfill any assignment in the mission, 
including training a new missionary. As part of the 12 week training program, the new 
missionary (me) takes the lead for the last 2 weeks. And my trainer has definitely 
allowed me to take the lead! In fact, he won't do anything unless I tell him to. So, that 
forces me to lead in, quite literally, EVERYTHING! Wow, it is HARD! I guess that's what 
it would be like though if I had to train a new missionary; they really would not how to 
do anything, and I would have to make every single little decision. Elder Watts loves 
when he gets to say "Oh look! A situation just came up! What should we do??" 
Uhhhh... oh man, forcing me to think! haha :P 
But, my skills and confidence as a missionary have definitely skyrocketed this week. Who 
knew you could push yourself to grow so much in one week?

And even more exciting news! We had more baptisms this week! woo woo! :D Sujatha, Diana, 
and Queeny were all baptized this week! :)
It was so fun leading up to their baptism day. Every time I would ask them "You 
remember what's happening this Sunday??" they would say "Yes! Our baptism! The 

Yes, yes it is! The happiest day! :)
I baptized Queeny and Sujatha, and Elder Watts baptized Diana. Haha it was funny 
baptizing Queeny, because when I leaned her back to submerge her in the water, she did 
NOT want to put her head under the water! haha I had to shove her down to get her head 
under! I felt like I was drowning a small child! ha! But other than that, everything went 
great, and I was so happy to see them so happy, and I was even happier when I saw tons of 
members come to their baptism and gives them hugs and what not afterwards. :) Truly a 
great experience! 

I hope you have another awesome possum week!

Elder Anderson 

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