Wednesday, March 4, 2009

summer begins in hyderabad

Dear Family,

It was wonderful to meet up with Lata this past saturday. We spent a couple hours together and had a great time. Seeing a great family friend from home made me feel so comfortable. We took her to the church after lunch and showed her around. We sang a couple hymns for her in the relief society room and the spirit was there.

This week was another great week and a learning experience as well. We are working hard, but man is it hot out here. March is the beginning of summer out here and the only difference between the summer here and in St. George is about 20 degrees and humidity. It is pretty hot walking around during the middle of the day, but I am sure that eventually I'll just get used to it. I'm thinking about buying a cowboy hat to keep the sun out of my eyes...I heard they were mission approved.

Today was a zone activity which is why I am writing this at such a late time. We went all around Hyderabad looking at some famous sites, I am planning to attach some pictures and I hope that you enjoy them. I learned more about Hyderabad. There is this huge fort called Golcunda here, it was built hundreds of years ago by the muslim royalty. We climbed to the top of it! Ha but it was quite random because once we passed the first couple mosques on the ascent, out of nowhere this Hindu temple appeared. I was so thrown off. It’s like a huge muslim fort and there is some random Hindu temple right in the middle of it. The diversity here is so apparent. We even rode a boat to a Buddha statue.

We are working with a brother named Rajesh who lives near to our church. Actually his wife owns a girls’ hostel. He has us over for lunch on sundays after church. This sunday I tried something quite peculiar. I remember how mom and dad always warned me that I better not be a picky eater at home because I'd have no control over what I eat on my mission. Until this past sunday I've been quite content with my cuisine consumed over here in India. Rajesh decided to change that when he put fish head curry on my plate. yum...Ha he told me the brain was the best part. Wow I somehow put it down. But i'll be making sure to ask for fish without the head next time. He is doing well. He said to me this past week that he wanted to take baptism in the USA. I asked him why and he didn’t really have a reason. I explained to him that baptism here in India and the USA are the same, and once he realized that, he was ok with getting baptized here. Mahender will be baptized this sunday if all goes smoothly and I will be very excited about that. It is my first baptism and I can’t wait to see my friend make this special covenant. I know he will be a great member of the church.

I watched a goat get killed and dressed right in front of a member’s house yesterday. I never liked the goat meat much before, but now I'm pretty much determined to avoid it. Sorry to end the end the letter so bleakly but I didn’t know where to throw that in.

Love you guys.

(below are excerpts from individual letters)

It is crazy to see that grandma is now a great grandmother. She seems so young to me for some reason. I've noticed that about Indian people though. They have the fountain of youth. I always seem to underestimate people’s age out here.

Temples are such a wonderful blessing. I must admit that even though I tried to take my temple attendance seriously while I was at home I didn’t quite understand the importance. Now that I see all these member families that have not had a chance to be sealed in the temple I understand a little better the necessity for a temple. I want to do all I can to bring these people a temple. Hong Kong is just too far.

Anyway thanks for the tips and everything else you do for me. I am trying my best to roll with the punches. The mission is not easy. I am trying my best to stay positive and motivated. I try not to think too much. Just allowing myself to become adjusted and learn as quickly as I can. Teaching is fun though. Finding in the hot sun is difficult, but I can see the blessings when we meet sweet families. There are the ups and downs. But I must say that I've never grown this much in any other circumstance. Thank you for encouraging and helping me find my way on a mission.

I played ping pong with our investigator Rajesh at the church this week. He was the champion in all of andra pradesh 20 years ago. He smoked me.

I am still in my first area and with my second companion. There are about four different languages we deal with each day...English is the only one I understand.


Brét Zach Iyrlend Gates said...

Hello Tuscano Family! I ran across this wonderful blog from Jeff's facebook account. I'm so glad I did. I was thinking of Josh just the other day and was wondering how he was doing. Sounds like he's doing great. This is such a neat way to share his mission with everyone. I loved reading all his letters. Thanks for sharing and please tell Josh hello for me and that he's doing a great job!
Bret (voran) Gates

the Tuscano family said...

Thank you Bret. We passed along your comments to Josh.