I received some big news this week! This last week I got a call from one of our Assistants, and he told me "Elder Anderson, we have chosen you, well, GOD has chosen you, to be the next District Leader for the Convent Road District." Woooow, big stuff! I start today as the new District Leader!
I'm fairly intimidated by this though, knowing that out of the 6 elders in our district (including me), 3 of them have quite a bit of seniority on me. In fact, 2 of them are our zone leaders, and another one just finished being a zone leader, but then came here to train another elder in our district. Wish me luck, giving training to people that have been around the missionary block a lot more than I have! ^_^
On a different note, here is an observation I had this week: There is a very strong correlation (maybe even a causation?) of how Westernized a part of the city is, and how much freedom you lose. For example, in some areas of Bangalore you are living in the slums. Not at all like what you see in America. BUT, you can do pretty much whatever you want (e.g. you can go pee just on the side of the road, throw trash anywhere you please, etc.) However, there are other areas that look VERY nice (even nice by USA standards), but in those areas there are very strict rules (e.g. you need to be careful where you sit down, otherwise you might sit "in the wrong spot"!) I thought about how America is much like the latter situation. Everything is very nice, beautiful, and orderly, but there are rules rules and more rules.
You can do this, but you can't do that. You can sit there, but not for too long or you will be loitering. You can say this, but if you say that it's not "politically correct". Etc. etc.
Interesting trade off.
On a different note, here is a more spiritual observation I had this week, one that I may have shared with you before, but I will share it again: people that are babies in the Gospel share it 10,000 times better that people that are veterans in the Gospel.
Here's a quick story regarding this.
So, there is one sister missionary in our mission named Sister Ravi. When she first started her mission, her mom (Vijaya) was not a member. Many elders had tried to teach her mom, but she was a devout Hindu and refused to listen to them. But, after Sister Ravi left for her mission, her mom started to listen to the elders, and within a couple of months she was baptized (she was actually baptized a week or two before I came to Bangalore).
Since she has been baptized, she has been sharing the Gospel with TONS of her friends, telling everyone how amazing Jesus Christ's church is, and how much happiness it has brought her. Some of our best investigators have come from Vijaya, including Vidya Sri (actually, Vijaya referred Vidya's mom, Manjula, but they came together as an amazing package deal of golden investigators!)
Now, since we have begun teaching the Gospel to Vidya Sri, she has introduced it to a couple of her friends, and it appears that they may also turn into very progressive investigators.
Keerthi Sagar, baptized 2 months ago, also shows us at least one new friend a week.
Contrast that by the fact that I don't think I've ever received a referral from a member of the branch presidency, the Elder's Quorum president, the Relief Society President, etc.
I blows me away that these people that are still just laying the foundation of their testimonies are a bajillion times better at sharing the Gospel than people with "solid" testimonies.
I've thought of a few possible hypothesis as to why this is, but really, I can't fully explain it. It still baffles me. It baffles me at how amazing these new people in the Gospel are, and it baffles me how weak the veteran in the Gospel are.
May we all be children in the Gospel. :)