Interestingly enough, I almost forgot about Thanksgiving, but it was all of my Indian roommates who remembered it and were pumped for celebrating! haha ironic. So, on Thanksgiving we had an American style lunch feast! Spaghetti, veg meatballs (Gobi Manchurian, delicious by the way), fruit salad, bacon, and grilled chicken! Yum yum!
Have you seen the new Christmas.mormon.org?? It is AWESOME! I hope you all share that with people! I know that's what I'm gonna be doing for the next month! We even had a special mission wide training on how to use it effectively. Now if only the "He is the Gift" cards could get through Indian customs, then we could start handing them out to people... haha.
So, normally for exchanges are purpose is all of the things you mentioned. Inspire and uplift, train, help those who may be struggling, and also (I think this is a big one) to gain information. It's amazing how much you learn about the zone/companionship when you are on exchange... I definitely know all the mission gossip by this point. :P Normally, we only go on exchanges with zone leaders, but sometimes we go on half a day exchanges with others (like the district leaders, or a companionship that is struggling). We take all the time and expense to fly out to a different city, so we figure we might as well spend a little more time there, rather than just be in and out in 24 hours.
Hey, I'll attach in this email our schedule for the Christmas devotional/zone conference schedule we are doing in December... wow, it is gonna be a craaaazy 2 weeks!
This last week we had mission leader conference, and we discussed some good changes we are going to have in our mission. I've realized one skill as a leader I've been able to develop is not necessarily coming up with great ideas, but being able to effectively use the ideas of others. I just get other people to suggest what changes they think need to happen, and then move their ideas forward! Makes my job pretty easy, and makes them feel good as well. :-)
I don't know if you remember, but in Hyderabad we taught a semi-crazy investigator named Divya. Well, guess who showed up to church yesterday? Divya! Right in the middle of Gospel Principles class she walks in through the door! Oh wow, I had to keep myself from busting out laughing! A totally unexpected, yet strangely enough not too surprising, event during church. Also, she brought her cousin to church, and he is pretty interested in church, so that's great! Good times on the mission!
It's always disappointing when investigators you expected to come to church don't come... but in the converse it is very exciting when people you didn't know would come to church do come!
This week we committed Trishual to pray sincerely about the Book of Mormon. We did our best, now we NEED God to do the rest.
Lakshmi is improving her English skills, as well as her gospel knowledge. Her life is changing in many ways for the better.
Last night, we went had a little time before going back to the apartment, so we decided to stop by a member's home and say hello. When we got there she told us she was sick and wanted us to give her a blessing. She told us that she got really sick after church finished, and was going to go to the doctor the following morning, but she told God "I don't want to go to the doctor. just send me someone that will give me a blessing, and that's good enough for me." We gave her a blessing, and she was crying by the end. It was amazing to see her faith, and to see how the Spirit was able to answer her prayer by guiding our path.
I am very grateful to be serving my mission now. Have a great start to December!