This week the Ganesh festival starts!!!!!! :D I've been looking forward to this bad boy all year! We all got an email from the assistants today though, that says we won't be having any lock downs this year; just be careful. Should be interesting, considering I am in Hyderabad, where the Ganesh festival is the biggest in all of our mission! It's gonna rock!!!
Two funny stories from this week:
So one night as we were sitting outside a couple little girls came up to talk to us (like 6-10 years old). I believe all three of them identified themselves as Muslim. We talked to them for a minute, and then they left. Well, 30 seconds later they came back. The oldest one asked us "you give blessings to people, right?" "Ya, we do", I replied. She then asked if we would give her a blessing! She told us she was having a really bad head ache, and her nose was bleeding on and off. For a second I thought "Are we allowed to give Muslims blessings...?" But, then I thought about it. This girl has faith. She believes God can help her. And the believe our blessing will help her get God's strength. Even if she is only 10 years old and a Muslim, God can bless her just as much as he can bless anyone else! So, we gave her a blessing. :-) They said thank you and then walked away again.
Well, 30 seconds later they came back again! This time one of the younger girls asked for a blessing as well! Apparently, she was having a stomach ache... haha I think just felt left out and wanted to get a blessing, BUT, we felt like if she really wanted a blessing, we'll give it to her.
Story #2. So, we were walking down a pretty main city street. Cars and motorcycles going by us, people walking everywhere, and businesses all around us. Well, we saw a cow walking by. Fairly common. We then saw the cow start to go pee. Again, pretty common. BUT, what was special was seeing an old man, as soon as he saw the cow start to pee, halt in his tracks and reach out his hand to get some of the urine as the cow is peeing! He then proceeded to fling this pee around in the air! I guess this gives him blessings or something? But what was even funnier was the fact that he was right next to a coconut stand, and when he started to wave the cow pee around he got some pee on the coconuts. The coconut man got pretty mad and shewed the old guy away! hahaha simply awesome.
Oh India. So random.
A more serious story from this week. So, we have one of missionary leaders in Hyderabad that is... not the most Christ-like leader. In fact, he has exercised quite a bit of unrighteous dominion on me and my companion, especially this last week. Naturally, this made my companion and I pretty upset with him. At first, I thought I wanted to take a Christ like approach and help give this leader a correction. Murmuring and complaining only makes the problem worse, but if I gave him some constructive criticism, maybe he could become a better leader.
But as I thought about it some more... I thought of a better option. I decided I would apologize to this leader for any way that I had been disrespecting his authority. I was inspired by a Liahona (church magazine) article where a dad goes to apologize to his son, rather than getting angry at him, even though it was likely the son's fault that the problem had arisen. When I told Elder Bandi that I was going to do this he said "Why! You didn't even do anything wrong!" Yes, I know it was mostly the leader's fault, but I was part to blame for not being more humble. So, that evening I called this leader, and gave him a sincere apology.
Our relationship is now much better.
More and more on my mission, I have seen the power of apologizing. It really can solve just about any conflict.