Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Settling into Hyderabad (H-town)

Dear Family,

Hi you all, how are things going back home in the USA? It sounds as if Thanksgiving went very well -- that was good to hear. This week was incredible actually. As far as my safety is concerned, I feel very safe. Mumbai is not that close and after the first day or so we could resume normal activity.

On Sunday we had a great experience. We were out finding in an area called new vasavi colony. We were not having very much success. The whole week in general had been fairly disappointing. But it was the end of the day, and we were both pretty tired. We started walking down this street and my companion stopped in front of this house. I recognized it because we had been there before. It was actually the first house I ever got into. On my first day we stopped there because he was a christian. His name is Vishnu and he was actually born a christian but his english is not very good. In fact I’m not sure how much he understood, but he said he would come to church back then, but he didn’t. But on sunday we stopped by and he let us in right away. His sister was there and also her husband whose name is Mallu Singh. Their family recently moved here from bangalore and he is a very smart individual. His english is good so we were able to communicate well. We actually started by teaching the second lesson, he really enjoyed it and he wanted to meet the next day. So, on monday we met him at the church and taught him the lesson. Man, was it sweet. The lesson was very good, the spirit was definitely there. One cool thing that happened...we were teaching the apostasy and how the power of God had been taken from the earth. My companion turned the time to me for teaching. I made an analogy about how the current(power) goes out constantly in India. And if you turn the switch without the current there the light won’t turn on. I was talking and I said that apostasy meant spiritual "darkness" as soon as that word came out of my mouth, the power went out. It was so crazy. We all sat there for a second and were like whoa. It came back on and even did it again when I was talking about the apostasy so it happened twice. My companion was talking about the restoration when it was still dark in the room and as soon as he mentioned a restoration of truth the lights came back on. then brother singh was like, wow you must be teaching the truth. It was amazing guys. But he was prepared i think because he really did accept our teaching and he committed to be baptized on Dec 21 so please pray from him and his family that they might be able to come to church and be baptized. I really hope so much it will happen. Sorry that might have been long winded but it was so cool. We are meeting with him tonight as well so I will give you an update next week. We also met another guy nameed naveen. He was sitting on the road on sunday night and I started talking to him. He has been a christian for a year. We taught him on monday and challenged him for baptism. He is committed to another church so we need to teach him some more so he can understand authority and power. Pray for him as well. Sister bagayamarry didn’t come to church but she is always willing to meet so we will see her this week and hopefully get her to church. This week has been good.

We are searching for an apartment. We found a few but last night we found a sick one. It is 20 thousand rupees a month though so we gotta talk the owner down to 10. But our agent is a boss so he should be able to get things done. Some of the apartments out here are bunk. mom, they really save space out here, huh. The bathrooms are so condensed -- like the shower head is right next to the sink and the toilet is right next to the shower head. So when you shower everything in the bathroom gets wet. It’s wonderful, and we hardly ever have hot water so I’m getting used to waking up with cold showers in the morning. The food is delicious you guys. Hyderabad is famous for its biryani and we always get it. It’s money with a little curd. I chow on that for lunch like it’s my job.

My companion is sweet actually. We are getting work done together and it is improving our unity so much. The people here are so cool. The other day I’m getting in an auto and i whacked my head on the cover. i looked outside the auto and there is this hardcore looking indian wearing the all black get up and the huge red/yellow bindi just laughing so hard at me. It was pretty funny to see. Indians are so curious -- like if you stand outside and just look up in the air, honestly like twenty people will just stop by you and stare up looking to see what you see… i love it. India is great. I’m feeling good about being a missionary.

(below are excerpts from letters to individual family members)

We can talk to anyone. We just have to watch for BJP and RSS. Tonight there are going to be rallies in H-town because of the bombings up in mumbai, but we just have to be careful and avoid bad situations. Everything will be fine. Don’t even worry. Me and my companion fair well because he is Indian and I look pretty Indian, so we don’t get stared at too much. When we’re out with the white kids in our district people will seriously stop in their tracks and stare at them like they are a celebrity or something. It’s so funny. OK, normal day is this. we wake up and exercise for thirty minutes. From 7 to 8 we eat and shower. Then we do personal study till 9 and then companion study till ten. Then we go out. We usually find in the mornings and try to set up appointments for later. We’ll eat lunch around two. Then we go back out and find or meet with investigators. We skip dinner here cause its so good for finding. The evenings are usually good for appointments. Then we get back in by nine or nine thirty if were doing a lesson. I love telling people here my mom is from Chennai. It usually surprises them.

Our companionship is doing way good this week. We became friends now and the work is moving along nicely. He is a great guy and I respect him a lot. He is from visak. His mother is not a member because she can’t speak english and his father is dead. He was hindu all his life but then converted to pentecostal for a month or so, then found the church. his experience is so valuable when he shares it with investigators. He is way funny too. It took a while for me to adjust to him i guess but i truly value all he is teaching me. He is good for me so i can become educated in the indian ways. We are growing closer and being able to talk to each other helps a lot. I hope that we can continue to grow closer together. I feel like having success together builds bonds better than anything else out here. Our district is great We all get along so well. We played football last week and dominated. We easily have the most athletic district in hyderabad.

Work out here is so good. Being a missionary is so amazing. There is so much to learn and people are so easy to love when you serve them. I find myself just thinking like the next thing i can do to try and help someone. I have to get better at serving but i am making progress.

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