Monday, September 9, 2013

Exact Obedience and Good-bye Elder Watts

Hello family!

Well, as you can see, we are NOT locked in today! woo woo! BUT, to try and keep us safe, 
we were told that we had to wear regular clothes as we traveled around today. So instead 
of being in a shirt in tie like usual, I'm emailing you this letter while in shorts, flip 
flops, and my "Trix Are For Kids Shirt". haha I think it's tons of fun! 

What are you doing Noah, now that you have the whole house to yourself for a couple of 
weeks?? Throwing tons of parties?? ;)

Oh, and regarding pictures, I will not be sending you anymore for the rest of my 
mission... sorry! :( I tried sending some more 2 weeks back, but the computer I used had 
viruses on it, so all of my pictures got deleted... now I'm too scared to try sending any 
more pictures, because apparently the problem I had is not uncommon. So, you will need to 
wait another 20 months before seeing any more of my photos! :)

Hmmm... I think the most important trait for a successful missionary is definitely 
obedience. Yes, I'm well aware that's a cliche answer, but it really is true. Even this 
past week, I re-evaluated my own level of obedience, and I realized that I definitely 
have a lot of fine tuning to do before I can claim that I am being "exactly 
obedient". If a missionary is being obedient, everything else falls into place. Even 
for small things, like the fact that they will keep the apartment clean, because that's a 
rule you are expected to follow as a missionary! haha :)

This week I said goodbye to Elder Watts. After 3 months of training me, he is now gone. 
He's off to a city called Quimbature, and I will stay in Kakinada. My new companion 
arrives on Thursday, and until then I am in a trio with some other elders in my zone. And 
although I'll miss Elder Watts, I've gotten a lot better at saying goodbyes over the 
course of this last year or two, so it wasn't all that bad. And plus, I'm excited to work 
with a brand new companion! All sorts of new fun we can have and thins we can learn! :)

And this week, since all of the members knew that Elder Watts was leaving, we had TONS of 
meal appointments! Haha I've never eaten so much curry in one week! 

I don't think I've ever told you how meal appointments work though, have I? Pretty much, 
a meal appointment in India is nothing like a meal appointment in America. Instead of 
everyone sitting down together at a table to eat the meal together, the family will just 
bring food out for you, and then watch you as you eat it. They will also ask you every 
couple of minutes, "Do you want more curry? More rice? Any more water? Anything else 
I can get you?" It's like eating at a fancy restaurant! :)

Oh, and no matter how little a family has, they ALWAYS want the missionaries to eat a 
TON! Even after you are full, they will keep scooping more food onto your plate for you 
to eat. And even when you say you are too full to eat anymore, they will find sneaky ways 
of getting more food onto your plate (e.g. when you ask for a little more rice, they will 
give you a lot more rice. Then you are forced to get some more curry to go with your 
rice, because everyone knows you can't just be eating rice by itself!) haha the mission 
life, it's a fun one for sure. :)

These past couple of week, we've really been trying to work with less active members in 
our branch. It's kind of like us trying to be super home teachers! :) It's amazing (and 
sad) though to see how the vast majority of them have stopped coming to church for the 
exact same reason: someone, or some organization in the church, offended them. Sigh... :( 

Fortunately, some people are starting to come back to church! One family in particular 
has 2 daughters named Maggie and Priuh, and their mom Satya, have been great to work 
with. Whenever we visit their home, I can tell that it re-sparks their love for the 
Gospel (as well as for missionaries, haha). It was great seeing the mom come to church 
yesterday! :) The kids came the week before, but they had to go to school this week... 
Next week they can hopefully come also! :)

Oh, and guess what?! I bought myself my first ever Indian donut today! :D It was QUITE 
delicious! I forgot how much I love those sugary little puppies. :)

Have a great week, and be sure to treat yourselves to some donuts! You won't regret it!

Elder Anderson 

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