Wednesday, January 7, 2009

...a new year begins

Dear Family,

Hi everyone, it was wonderful to hear from all of you this week. Everyone seems to be doing excellent and starting the new year off quite smoothly. New year’s celebration for us Elders here in India was quite the extravaganza. Ha, well actually the branch threw a big party and it was a huge success. That was a relief, we had a few investigators there and they really seemed to enjoy themselves. As for us, we were off to the apartment and inside by nine fifteen. We did receive permission to stay up till twelve. But, I only made it till around eleven and I was off to bed. Next day means up at six thirty still, so I didn’t see the benefit. The holidays will pass here, without much notice on my part. It’s kind of a blur, mostly we are just focused on the work and our investigators. All christmas and new years for us were opportunities to get our investigators fellowshipped. It’s weird but that’s how I think now.

This week was a great week, we had a lot of success and I am continuing to learn so much from different missionaries and the people here too. Brother Singh is preparing for his baptism this sunday. I am so excited for it, but not as excited as he is I think. Last night we were at his house doing some of the paperwork with him, when we left he was saying the prayer and I finally began to realize what I have helped him to do-understand his true relationship with his father in heaven, I was feeling so much joy sitting there listening to him say a prayer. His baptism will be the first in our branch since early november and the first of this year. Our branch presidency made a goal for 192 baptisms this year, and Singh is so excited to be the first.

We have been teaching another brother his name is Mahender. He is so excellent, we have been teaching him for quite some time but his only problem was that he worked on sundays all day. We told him to pray and ask Heavenly Father to prepare a way for him to attend church; we told him we would pray for him as well. Wednesday night he called and was so excited, he said God answered his prayer because his shift timing changed and he was coming to church every week from then on. He came on sunday and we met him at his house that night. We taught a wonderful lesson and challenged him for baptism, he accepted and he will be baptized the first week of february, pray for our progress with him to continue, he is such a great guy.

Progress with Sister Bagyamarry and her daughter Rosie is still underway, we weren’t able to meet for awhile but we met yesterday and they are so funny. Probably my favorite investigators to be around, they just crack jokes the whole time. They gave us MANGOS! I heard they are going to come to H-town soon, and when they do I am gonna eat nothing else. They struggle with coming to church but we're really trying to stress the importance of it, any suggestions for them?

Yesterday I went on exchange with a Zone Leader here in Hyderabad, his name is Elder Sookhoo and he is a great missionary. We went together in my area to a new place have never even been before. It was called Alway, such a good place. We found at least 5 new families! I learned so much from this guy, he really knew how to deal with the Indian people and work efficiently. I am excited to try out some things I learned from him in my own finding. The people are so willing to help, all you have to do is ask them. There are so many crazy things that happen here, I will always think to myself that I need to remember that for my e-mail and then I forget what it was. Ha I think I will start to write them down now. Anyway that does it for the general epistle this week.

Elder Tuscano

(below are excerpts from individual family letters)

My health is excellent. I adjusted fairly quickly and I drink the water at investigators and members homes all the time. It doesn’t give me any problems, and I hope it stays that way.

I really am trying my hardest to keep the weight off my belly. I'm doing a good job, but it’s really difficult. It is because I am used to eating a lot, cause I did at home, but I was exercising like crazy. Out here I only get a half hour and I don’t think that’s enough. So basically, I think I either have to stop eating so much or I will get fat. So, I will have to eat less, because getting fat is not an option.

I decided that I really want to learn canada, the language they speak in Bangalore. Everyone says that if you know that language all the other Indian languages will be easy for you to learn and understand.

There is just a lot of gossip and a ton of politics out here. Although the caste system is "done away," there are still fat traces of it. It affects a lot of things out here. All we want is a happy branch, we are putting a lot of effort towards the members this transfer.

Actually mom, I have had so much curry out here. I don’t know if it is just H-town style but yours and grandma’s are still my favorite. They taste a lot different than the kind people make here.

The work is moving along. I am realizing that I really have to depend on the lord. I have found that my success as a missionary is directly dependent on my faith and my obedience. I am being blessed so much.

I was very surprised to hear about the sugar bowl score. We all were quite taken back.

It is so cool for me to know that I have friends all over the world doing the same thing I am right now.

Is the ward running smoothly? We have to work hard to keep this one going well. I am not used to a branch not running smoothly and definitely not used to spending a lot of time making sure that it does. I am learning a lot.

I don’t know if I mentioned how young this mission is, but I think I did. My "follow-up" trainer is only three months out longer than me. He is a good kid, ha we are both learning a lot. I am trying my hardest to pick up everything quickly. I know that with time everything will come, and patience is probably the most important thing to remember in my situation.

Hey bro, I really appreciate what you shared with me about that song. It is such a good one and I am so glad that you thought about me while they were singing it in sacrament meeting. Hymns are so good and they really bring the spirit into a room so much.

It is never cold here, it was a little windy this morning and it has been the coldest i have seen here. Which is probably like 70 degrees in the morning.

Keep reading the book of mormon. i love that book so much… that’s the key to our work out here so make it the key to your life back there.

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