Monday, March 10, 2014

1 in 10 Billion

This week was a BLAST! Lots of awesome leadership stuff that I got to be a part of (in fact, I'd say this week was the first week that it really sunk into me that I'm a leader right now!)

To kick off the week I got to attend Mission Leadership Council. They've started something new in our mission in regards to MLC. They used to have all the zone leaders fly into Bangalore each month for MLC, but they decided that was too expensive/time consuming, so now they only do that every other month. On the other month, we all hold a council on Skype together. So, this Tuesday I got to be part of a virtual conference! 

It's really cool getting to learn such a variety of things on a mission. Such as, one thing I never expected I would learn about, the pros and cons of a virtual conference vs. an in-person conference. Yes, Skype is definitely much cheaper and easier, buuuut.... haha maybe not quite as effective. Think about Noah. When he is on Skype, how does he act? Pretty crazy. Now, realize that elders are only slightly more mature than a 17 year old... haha ya, it was pretty great. 

Me and my companion bought a whole bunch of American food that you can ONLY get in Banaglore, and made sure everyone else could see what we were eating.... Only place in the mission you can get root beer! Try not to be TOO jealous, all you other zones! :P 
Yummy American Food

But, I still did feel the Spirit, and some good things were discussed, so it was still definitely a worth while adventure. 

Also, this week I got to go on exchange with one our district leaders and his companion. It was interesting, because although this district leader has been out the exact same amount as time as I have (actually, maybe even a week or two more), he still clearly saw me as someone that could lead him. Kind of a weird experience, having someone look to you for guidance and expertise, when really you have no idea what's going on either! haha. I see my missionary efforts in a similar way that Woody saw Buzz Light Year's flying: "That's not flying... it's falling! Falling with style." Yup. Pretty much sums up my skills as a missionary! :) This week was actually the first time it's hit me that I really have been out on my mission for a while, and I still feel like I fall quite short of where I need to be... I gotta ramp it up even more! 

On the exchange, I learned how careful I need to be with what I say/suggest, because as soon as the big 'ole zone leader says he thinks something is a good idea, all of a sudden it becomes THE only idea to be used. "Whoa whoa whoa! That was just my opinion!" haha I'm sure you have the same problem, Bishop Anderson.

Okay, and now I gotta share with you guys one complete and total miracle that happened to us this week. Again, like most miracles, this could be explained away as a "coincidence", but the chance of it happening on it's own is about 1 in a 10 billion chance. Hopefully I can adequately explain it to you so that you understand how amazing this is.

To start, you need to remember Bangalore is a BIG BIG BIIIIIIIIG city. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe its size smokes all American "big cities". Next, you need to know that people use Autos a lot here in Bangalore (the Indian form of a Taxi). Now, you need to understand that Auto drivers are NOT honest people (on the whole). They are notorious for scamming people. Just an example, the other day we took an auto, and it cost 90 Rupees, and I handed the guy a 100 rupee bill, but instead of giving me my change back he just sped away as fast as he could. Ya. Pretty much sums up Auto drivers. 


So, two weeks ago we took a video projector from the mission office to use for one of our training meetings. After we got the projector, we took an Auto back to our apartment. Unfortunately........ we left the projector in the back of the auto. Just totally forgot about it. And by the time we remembered, the auto driver was gone.

Projectors are expensive, even in dollars, but in Rupees... they are worth a fortune. We knew that driver could sell that projector for more money than he makes in a month, so we kissed that bad boy goodbye. We submitted a "lost or stolen church property" form to the mission office, and they said it was alright, they would pay for a new one (we felt so bad about it though...)

BUT, just 2 days ago, we had our miracle. The projector was returned. While we were waiting for a member to show up that was gonna come with us for exchange, an auto driver pulled over on the side of the road and beckoned us over. We weren't really sure what he wanted, but we decided to go over to him. After using his broken English to confirm we were the right people, he told us that he was the auto driver that we had used when we lost the projector!! He said he tried to find us as soon as he saw we had left the projector in the back of his auto, but it was too late, he couldn't track us down. So, he took the projector to his home for safe keeping. Then, by some amazing "coincidence" he saw us waiting on the side of the road, and recognized who we were.

He then drove us to his home, gave us back the projector, introduced us to his family, and bought us each a mango juice drink to celebrate. Amazing. Simply amazing. 

The chances of this happening really are 1 in 10 billion. The fact that he just happened to be driving in the same place we were standing. The fact that he even noticed us. The fact that he recognized us. And most amazingly, the fact that we left the projector in THE one only honest taxi drivers in all of Bangalore! 

I'm still in awe. 

And to top it off, the guy is Muslim. On my mission, I have gained a great respect for Muslims, and this guy just confirmed my respect for this people even more. 

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