Monday, February 3, 2014

Lessons in Leadership

For many people here in India, going to the temple is a once in a life time opportunity. And for many other church members, it's a blessing not be enjoyed until the next life. Our closest temple is the Hong Kong temple, and it is an enormous financial burden for a family from India to go there. Hopefully India will have its own temple within the next 10 years! :)

Hong Kong Temple

Well, crazy news for this week. I got transferred! 

I just got here! 

But, I'm not moving too far away. I'm transferring to a different part of Bangalore (right now I am in the Convent Road branch, and I will be going to the Indiranagar Branch). 

It was really weird saying goodbye to everyone at church yesterday. It really is amazing how attached you can become to people in just a few short weeks! And definitely the hardest goodbye was to Manjula, Vidya Sri, and Dinakaran. I love that family so much!! 

I told them on Friday that I was leaving on Monday (this evening). It was interesting that the three mentioned above definitely looked sad when I said this, but the dad (Raman) was just in utter disbelief! He's only been there for 2 of the lessons, so I didn't have that solid of a connection with him, but he expressed how sad he was I was leaving, because he knew how sad his family would be. 

He told me "You know my family is in love with, right? You need to make sure you come back and visit our family a lot. At least once every 15 days, but preferably once every 10 days. If you want I can come pick you up on my motorcycle, or I can just give you some money so that you can travel over here yourself. And this Sunday, I INSIST that you come over to my family's home! We want to prepare you a big going away feast."

And, he held true to his word. Last night I had one of the best dinner appointments of my entire mission. Vegetable biryani, fish fry, chick ka-bobs, beef curry, soda, and vanilla ice cream for dessert! I felt extra special that they had taken note a couple of weeks ago that I said beef curry was my favorite, so they made sure to prepare that specifically for me (beef curry is not something typical for Indians to eat). 

We also had one last great lesson with them on the importance of reading the scriptures, and faith. I hope very soon the father will start coming for more lessons, and he too will join his family in the Gospel. 

Truly though, it was a great way to finish my time in Convent Road. :) 

Saying goodbye to the Ramen Family

I also have some more exciting news about my transfer. So, last week our zone had interviews with President Berrett, and during my interview, we had a conversation that went something like this.

First, he told me that he was disappointed in me for the way I handled a situation 2 weeks ago. I had told him in my weekly letter 2 weeks back that one of the elders in our apartment was so stressed over missionary work that he wanted to go home. So, me and the other elders in the apartment took him out for a day of fun and enjoyment to help him calm down. 

President Berrett told me he saw my line of reasoning, but that I hadn't used the best judgement. 

Obviously, I was feeling pretty bad right about then, hearing him say he was disappointed in the way I acted. :(  But then he said this.

"But Elder Anderson, I don't want you to be thinking that I only think only bad things about you, because the truth is, I don't. I'm actually very pleased with the work you have been doing, and I think very highly of you. Which is why I would like to call you as one of the new zone leaders for the Bangalore zone, starting next week."


I haven't even mastered being a little district leader yet! :P 

On the way home from the interview, all I could think of was a paragraph from my favorite talk (Becoming a Consecrated Missionary). Essentially it says that God won't let us be content with our weaknesses. He will rip us out of our comfort zone again and again until we become strong. I guess God sees my weakness as a leader, so He wants to rip me out of my comfort zone once again! :P

Wish me luck!

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