Wednesday, May 27, 2009

chennai is hot...

Dear Family,

As always it has been a pleasure to hear from you all. The wednesday e-mail session gives the week a boost for me. I am sorry I may have been confusing in my explanation of my visit with our family last week. I was in a hurry as usual, and sadly I did not take my camera that night. I plan on seeing them sometime this next week, probably tuesday. At that time, I will surely bring my camera and hold a photo shoot.

This past week was great. Chennai is not getting much cooler, but the work is about as hot as the weather. We have been blessed, like I was in Hyderabad, with many people to teach. The Lord has truly been mindful of us and led us to different families who have been "prepared" to receive the message of the gospel. The hard part of missionary work is helping them SEE that they have been prepared for this.

Yesterday we met a guy named Prakash. He was contacted a few months back by the elders here. He has a big problem with drinking. He is married and has a son. When we went yesterday, he was a little past tipsy. We sat down for a while and he started telling us how bad his life was and how much he disliked his wife. I felt bad because his wife was sitting right next to him. She doesn’t speak english, but I'm sure she could get a feel for the conversation. He was going off saying tons of ridiculous stuff. I was just looking around and didn’t know what to think. I kind of wanted to leave, feeling as though I should not be there. But then I remembered when Christ said the healthy have no need of a physician, but it is the sick that he visits. Yeah, that was perfectly applicable in this situation. The whole time he was going off, my companion was trying to read from 3 Nephi 14 about how they can fix their marital problems. But it didn’t go too far. I was just waiting. Then all of a sudden the spirit took over. I was led to say a ton of stuff. It was all way good and none of it came from me. The spirit helped us take control of the situation and help him understand that his marriage was failing because of him, not his wife. I feel bad for his wife. Anyway, we set a return appointment on sunday and he is really excited for it. He has a desire to change, but we will see how sincere it really is over time. I hope everything turns out well for this guy, mostly because I feel sorry for his wife and the future of his son.

We are teaching Jeremiah and he is getting closer to his baptism. He is doing so well. He comes to church early and even takes notes in gospel essentials class. I love seeing people who have a real desire to learn and change. These are the kind of people who are elect.

I have been spending some time studying the parable in Jacob 5 about the house of Israel. Actually, I have nothing profound or spiritual to share about it this week. But it is interesting and there is a lot to it. If any of you know a lot about this parable I would love for you to shed some light on it. I am nervous because I have to sing a duet with another missionary at sacrament on sunday. I never sang at home. But I am spending a lot of time singing out here. I am growing to love it, but still pretty nervous to do it in front of people.

Anyway, by and large this week was a success. Chennai is the place to be in the mission right now (no political problems). It’s all good.

Love ya'll,
Elder Tuscano

(below are excerpts from individual letters to family)

Tamil is coming along; it is actually really difficult compared to Telegu. The sounds you have to make while speaking are difficult and there are a lot of characters in the alphabet. I will try. Most of our investigators are actually from Kerala. I don’t know why that is. They are christians and that is who we find. But, I will try harder to learn this language as I go. Most of the men we talk with speak English. I do feel badly for not being able to converse in Tamil with the women because most of the indian women we talk with do not speak English.

So it sounds like the memorial day block party was a success. I remember going to that thing, it was always fun and the neighborhood had a good time. I was just thinking about what the outcome of a neighborhood block party in India would be. I honestly don’t think it would be pretty – the muslims on the corner would probably be avoiding the hindus up the street, who would be busy try to insult the christians next door, but I am glad that in shadow mountain everyone is CHILL.

I am glad for scouting and young men’s activities. While I might have been less than excited to participate during the time, I am happy to have the memories now. It seems that way with a lot of things in my life.

It is cool to hear that the St. George visitor center is starting the "Why I Believe” firesides like the ones at the DC visitor center. I always loved them. I planned to do it in Hyderabad, but I got transferred before the date. I plan to start them here in chennai. Nearly everyone in India is a convert and the have some pretty incredible stories. I want to get it started because I feel it will strengthen the members, and also provide our investigators with inspiration.

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