Wednesday, January 28, 2009

...early growth

Good Morning Family,

It's interesting how I am basically starting my day on wednesday while all of you are just winding down on tuesday evening. As you already knew this week was zone conference. They really are such a wonderful experience. President Nichols is truly an inspired man. I had the chance to have an interview with him on monday morning. Usually he lets the missionaries just ask questions and stuff. But my interview was him just talking mostly. It was exactly what I needed to hear. During zone conference we spent a lot of time discussing the concept of goals and then he gave our mission goals for the year. The goal is to achieve 500 baptisms this year. But, we have a lot less missionaries than we had before and we are a lot younger and we are going to lose the only old missionaries left in the next 3 months. With all these factors considered, the goal for baptisms is still much higher than it has been in the past.

This past week was wonderful; we are continuing to teach Alex and his wife. They came to church and really enjoyed it. Alex has so much potential to contribute to the church. We taught him the Plan of Salvation on Monday and it went very well. At the end he said, so you’re telling me I can live my whole family forever? And we said, yes that’s the whole point, he said, ok well whatever it is I have to do, let’s do it. He is so cool, but as a missionary I have learned a lot about patience. People need to completely understand and accept the gospel before they make the sacred covenant of baptism. We will continue to teach his family. His wife is also progressing; it would be a cool experience to help a muslim prepare for baptism.

We met a brother named Jacob last night; he had approached us this past saturday. Apparently he met the missionaries in Germany where he was doing his studies. He has a very colorful story, and a very difficult and trying life. He does have a strong belief in god and desire to follow his commandments. He has been to a number or christian denominations including the Jehovah's Witnesses. It was in Germany, but you would be surprised to know that there are many Jehovah’s Witnesses in India.

As a companionship we learned a lot this week, especially about teaching by the spirit. I have been consumed with my desire to teach all the principles and cover all the material. But, I am beginning to realize that if I slow down I can pay attention to the thoughts that come into my mind. When I share my thoughts with the people I teach, they can sense the love I have for them. It is much easier to relate information in simple sustained means. The spirit tells us which questions to ask, how to respond and everything else we need to do during a lesson.

We have been teaching a wonderful brother named Noel who works as a chemistry professor in the Maldives. Also his son who works on ships down there. They are such a cool family; they are very musically talented too. The other day he brought out a guitar and started playing american songs! Ha we were singing along and I felt like I was at uncle Phil's house! It was really fun. Anyway, his son brought out this book he had, it was about celestial marriage. One of his friends gave it to him, this girl that is in the first branch. So we have hardly taught him the first lesson and he began inquiring about the temple and eternal marriage. It was definitely not the next lesson on the teaching record but it went very well. They came to church and I have a good feeling about their family. This week was another incredible week in India, I continue to see the Lord's hand in the work here and it continues to amaze me.

Elder Tuscano

(below are excerpts from letters to individual family members)

Thank you for your compliments in your past email. I am so happy to be out here and even though it is hard at times, I wouldn’t trade anything for these growing experiences. Not even a pair of william rast jeans.

We have to be so careful, even if someone falls on the street or something we have to be careful of how much we help them. You never know how far a member of the BJP or RSS is. They could make crazy accusations or something against us.

Indians are motivated strongly by reward and incentive aren’t they? I am trying my best to become better at analyzing people so I can discern their needs and teach to meet them.

How are uncle phil and aunt muthu? I would love to hear from them and any of our family. Aunt sita and uncle curtis? and make sure to let your brother and sisters know that I am doing well and thinking about them. Especially uncle frank, how is he doing anyway? I would love to hear from him!

Thank you for your uplifting and encouraging statements and tips each week they help me a lot. I try to be obedient and work hard. I have this feeling inside that is always telling me I need to work harder. I have never had something like that before. I constantly have a voice in my head and my heart that tells me I need to do better. I hope I can keep it through my whole mission and always want to work harder no matter what.

It is crazy to think you will be out of primary so soon. I feel like I just graduated from primary yesterday! Before you know it you will be out here on your mission like me. It will come fast buddy so make sure to enjoy the time you have right now.

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