Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hickory, Dickory, Dock

Hey, I have some exciting news for you! In the late evening of May 19 I will begin my journey to the Philippines! And they told me this week that I have been assigned to labor in the Quezon City North mission. Rumor has it that I might even get to go to the temple! Huzzaw! And yes, now you all can go Google my mission and see more about it than I can. haha. 

Oh Noah. guess what? One of my new companions, Elder Eames, apparently played some Runescape back in the day. Haha he was telling me all of these things about RS, and it was obvious he had played a decent amount, but not up with the times at all. He was saying how he made this great discovery that on your computer there is a program that lets you auto program your mouse, and then you can use that to click on ore over and over. Haha little does he know that even the way more high tech bots have been obliterated by Jagex... LOL.

Also, I have one request for you, oh family with the lovely power of Google. Could you send me a sheet with Children's nursery rhymes on it? One of our members really wants some English rhymes, and I told her I would get her some, but I need your guy's help to fulfill my promise... :) 

Funny story from this week. We were teaching two young men during one fine afternoon, and we were all sitting just outside their house during the lesson. Well, lo and behold, right as I start to testify of the Savior.... a bird poops on me. Satan is the master of distractions, and he definitely has a variety of methods in his arsenal! ha! 

This week Shashi called us and wanted us to come visit her again. I don't fully understand what is going on in her family, but I guess she thought it was good for us to come back over this week. Wow, I hadn't realized how much I missed that woman until we went and saw her again! Her faith is just astounding. We had a brief Plan of Salvation lesson, and she was very much touched by the fact that she will have the opportunity one day to be baptized, even if she is unable to do so now (due to her family restraining her). The true Gospel really is the Good News! :)

Also, it was nice to go back into the neighborhood where Shashi lives (Andhra Colony). All of the little kids there LOVE us, and after not seeing us for 2 weeks... they were literally screaming and dancing in the streets as they saw us again! Makes you feel pretty good, that's for sure. :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

General Conference

We got to watch Conference this weekend and it was AMAZING!! General conference goes by about 100X times faster on your mission than it does as a regular church member. I definitely learned a lot of things that I needed to hear. A couple things I wanted to mention about it though. One, as you said, Hyderabad India was mentioned in conference! India has been mentioned in like the last 4 conferences I believe. Cool stuff. Second, was Scott Wood in the BYU-I choir?! I saw a guy that looked just like him!! Third, I noticed that quite a few talked mentioned about the internet. It's definitely a great tool, but we need to make sure we aren't wasting away our time on it. They also mentioned a lot about how we need to go against what is popular sometimes, because sometimes what is popular or politically correct is NOT correct at all! 

And fourth, and most importantly, Elder Ballard talked about every member reading Preach My Gospel and using it to help them in their missionary work. And THEN to tell their missionary what they are learning in PMG. Next week I expect you all to tell me some of your insights from God's guide to missionary work! ;)

This week we had another elder join us, Elder Eames. He has been out about 18 months, and is from Salem Oregon. He's a great guy, and I always enjoy being part of a trio! 

So, whenever an American has an Indian companion, we will do English language study. Thus, I've done some English language studies with Elder Pydimalla. Two observations about this. One, English is HARD! Wow, it's so hard. I don't know how non-native speakers EVER learn to speak this language correctly. Second observation. Elder Pydimalla has studied English his whole life. In 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5h, etc grade he has studied English. He has also been a member of the church for quite a few years, so he has gained a lot of English experience from that. And yet... I can still kick his cannie when it comes to English. I'm not saying that to be boastful, because he is 10 bajillion times better than me at Telugu, Hindi, AND Tamil, but it's just the fact that my English is way way better than his. It just makes me think... I wonder how well missionaries in foreign speaking missions ACTUALLY speak the language. I know they can communicate to people, just as Elder Pydimalla can, but I wonder how they fare compared to a native speaker. Maybe I'll find out first hand when I go to the Philippines!

As far as teaching people... we don't have many investigators. We have about 2 or 3 families we are working with, and that's it. We have one fairly new family we've started working with though, and they show some promise! Hopefully they will continue to do well!  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Serious or Joking?

So, I've had it pointed out to me that I don't change my voice when I am being sarcastic vs. when I am being serious. And after paying attention to that, I've realized that's true. I'm not monotone, but I don't have a clear "joking voice". And, the more I've paid attention to that fact, I've realized that I secretly joke with people without them knowing... haha not in like some horrible way, but I'll say things that are inside jokes with myself, but the person thinks I'm being serious. Example, sometimes I'll tell people that I'll pray for them. "Oh yes brother, I'll definitely pray for you!" It sounds like a serious thing, but I say it jokingly because EVERYONE in this country asks us to pray for them! Why are our prayers better than their own prayers? I don't know. It's probably my most broken promise, telling people I'll pray for them in their exams... Well, that was all very random. Maybe I should work on breaking that habit of secretly joking with people when they don't realize it, but I always seem to crack myself up while doing so! I guess I'm just a sinner. 

Oh, and here's a little funny/awkward story from the week! So, on Saturday afternoon we started our fast. But, that afternoon as we were visiting a member named Albert, I noticed that one of the sisters in the house had gone outside and bought a drink for all of us. There are two rooms in this person's house. The living room, and the kitchen/bedroom. We were in the living room with Albert, and I saw that Mercy (the sister with the drink) had gone into the kitchen/bedroom to pour all of us the delicious Mango drink. So, TRYING to be a good missionary I stood up and went into the kitchen/bedroom to tell her not to give us any drinks because we were fasting. Well, what are the odds, but as I walked in their it just so happened to be the exact time that Mercy's sister Gracie was changing her pants.... As soon as she saw that I had popped my heard around the corner she pulled down her shirt and yelled "Elder!!" Haha oh man, I quickly got back into the living room.... Then she came and sat in the lesson with us. Haha hopefully she wasn't too embarrassed... Don't worry, I didn't see anything! But it was pretty awk....  

Well, I have bad news about Shashi... James, her husband, has been increasingly beating her more and more. His increase in physical abuse has come from the fact that he doesn't like the fact that Shashi wants to join a different church from the one he goes to. This week Shashi asked us to stop coming over for a while, because she can't even sleep at night, James beats her so much... And on this Sunday, she was baptized into James' church. Sigh.... if not in this life, I know for sure Shashi will be baptized in the next life. The woman secretly reads the Book of Mormon when James isn't looking so that she can read the word of God without being attacked! She is awesome. One of the strongest women I know. But, I guess now isn't the time for her to join Jesus Christ's church. 

On my mission, I've gotten to meet a lot of different families. One thing that I think is interesting is the fact that I see tons and tons of GREAT mom's and dad's. I also see tons of junk mom's and dad's... But, I have NEVER seen any case in which the husband was great, and the wife was junk, only case after case of junk husbands with amazing wives. Why is it that men can't pull their weight?!? Gee wiz... being on my mission has definitely motivated me even more to be the best father/husband I can possible be someday. 

Elder Peck left today. Now it is just me and Elder Pydimalla. Elder Peck was probably my most favorite companion thus far, but it looks like me and Elder Pydimalla have many more great times ahead of us!