July 6, 2014
Well, I am officially back in India! And it is still just as crazy as ever! I've been surprised at how much I forgot about India, even in just 6 weeks... I've been relearning how to eat spicy food, how to speak Indian English, and relearning the culture (e.g. only use your right hand, no one ever has change at stores, etc.) It's kind of weird relearning everything again, but fortunately this time I am learning at a highly accelerated rate. Instead of taking weeks to master some aspect of India, it only takes me one time to hear about it again, and then I've got it down again. Fun stuff!
This last week has also been absolutely insane this week because of my new assignment... For the first time on my mission, I get to be a trainer!! woo woo! And to make life even more spicy, we are white washing (i.e. two existing missionaries leave and two new missionaries take their place) in the Hyderabad West Marredpally 3rd Ward! Let me tell you, these last couple of days have not been easy. Training is difficult, and white washing is difficult, but when you put the two together... wow. It's been making me stretch.
I'm very grateful though that we are taking a sister missionary's old apartment! On the first day I was feeling pretty stressed out, so it was nice to walk into a clean apartment (good 'ole sisters, actually cleaning the place before they leave!), AND the apartment having nice things (like COUCHES!) They like to give good stuff to sisters, so it was nice getting to inherit their stuff. :)
Although, the apartment did have some hick ups in it... we spent our first day trying to get everything working properly! The A/C was broken, as well as the washing machine (two critical things!) But, we have the A/C fixed now, and a brand new washing machine! Huzzaw! I really appreciate a good washing machine after having to hand wash my clothes in the Philippines... :P
My companion is Elder Bandi. He is from Vizak (a city in our mission). So yes, he is full Indian! That has been good and bad. Good because he can help navigate India some (even though he isn't from Hyderabad), but also difficult because his English is... mas o menos. He's a great guy though, with lots of good desire to learn and improve!
And, there have been quite a few things I've been trying to teach him. Along with the ins and outs of missionary work, I am also teaching him how to live on his own. From what he tells me, it sounds like he is a rich kid, and his parents did everything for him. So I've been teaching him things like how to tie a tie, how to cook top ramen, how to wash your clothes, what to buy when you go shopping, how to clean the apartment, etc. Sometimes I think he is asking questions that should have pretty obvious answers, but then I think about my training... I asked pretty random questions as well. They say your trainee is your son, and now I finally understand. I really do feel like I'm raising a little boy! ^_^
One difficult thing is we don't know where anyone lives... the first day we were shown one house by a sister missionary that used to serve here (one of her converts), and that was the only person's house we knew! So the next day we went to go visit Sister Anna Radha, just to say hi because we didn't have a brother so we couldn't go inside to teach, but Anna Radha gave us a very pleasant surprise! We she realized we couldn't come in without a brother, she went across the street, found an old man just sitting in his house, and asked him to come over to her house for a few minutes. When I asked her if she knew him, she said no! haha she just grabbed some random guy so that we could teach her! She was just baptized a few weeks ago, and she was a Hindu before. Her faith is incredible! I hope to get to work with her a lot. :)
Life is fun and difficult right now, but I think after another week or so the difficulty will calm down a little bit, and the fun will roll on!