Wednesday, January 14, 2009

...learning to adapt

Dear Family,

This past week was very difficult. I would consider it to be one of the most trying times I've experienced. But, I definitely learned a lot. The quote I keep on my wall, "more weight," has grown to mean so much more to me. Brother Singh will be baptized in early February, it has been somewhat of a confusing situation but I learned one very important thing about baptism.

Since I got to the MTC all I heard about was the importance of baptism and I just wanted to get one so badly. I didn’t really realize what baptism actually was. I might have tried to rush this baptism a little bit, partly because I was so excited for it and because I knew that’s what I'm here to do. But from this experience I learned that I am not out here in India to just get people baptized. I am here to help people get to the celestial kingdom. In order to do that I will make sure that every one of my investigators has a rock solid testimony before getting in the water.

There were many forces opposing our companionship and our district this week, but we stood our ground. I know that God is trying me right now, but I am working my very hardest to respond how he wants me to.

We met a new investigator just yesterday, his name is Alex. We were introduced to him by one of Elder Toleafoa's converts from over a year ago, his name is Noel. Probably one of the best members I have ever met, he always gives us the best referrals. So Elder Toleafoa went on exchange and this guy Alex took us to lunch at paradise. He is so funny, and way smart. He is the VP of a huge company; I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little intimidated talking with him. But I think I did ok. He said that he had met the missionaries a few years back, but he wasn’t quite as mature. Now he is very prepared and ready to hear this message, we will meet with him very soon.

We met another brother named Shastra and he was probably one of the most knowledgeable guys I have ever talked with. He is a hindu by tradition, but he follows christ. He has read the bible, the bhagavad gita, and the Quran. He already knew that celestial kingdom is where god lives and everything. We brought to the appointment a member in our branch who just got back from the Dehli mission a little while back. All of us were so taken back by this guy’s knowledge. But he was very open and he was willing to pray, I think when he gets a book of mormon he will really tear it apart.

We are doing very well finding new investigators, but helping new investigators turn into progressing ones is the difficult task. We really are making a concerted effort to build relationship with the branch. We have been visiting members a lot; they are so good to us. Also we have been working on finding less active members and helping them come back. We met these two girls in our branch that haven’t come to church in years. We visited with them and shared a powerful message about the atonement. They said they would come back to church. We are going to really try to get them back. This week was trying but very rewarding.

Love You,
Elder Tuscano

(below are excerpts from individual family letters)

I got your envelope last night! I bet you will be very excited to see that. You addressed it to my apartment so that is good and I am glad that it got here. Even the jerky made it, usually customs will confiscate any meat, but they let it through so that is nice.

…the slums of mumbai probably look very similar to a lot of
neighborhoods in my area. There are a lot of slums; it is just so interesting to witness the blatant contrast that India presents. So much wealth in little areas and so much poverty that is wide spread. I don’t think I will ever be able to get used to it. We got to ride in Alex's car and it was so cool, I don’t get to ride in cars much.

The power goes out at least once a day here. But we never get to go home early from “work.” No problem though cause this work is especially captivating.

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