Monday, July 20, 2009

tender mercy coincidence

Below is a post from a blog written by Abbey (a friend of Anjuli's who is visiting India with the Rising Star Outreach organization). The branch of our church that she attends in Chennai is the same branch where Josh currently serves!

Well first of all, here is a post for Anj! For those of you who don't know, my friend Anjuli's brother, Josh, is serving a mission here in Chennai. I have never met him but we have been planning this meeting since the day we discovered I was coming to India a month ago. Anj and her mom put together a package for me to take to him at church today. Here is the experience:

I walked in to church with my large "package" for Elder Tuscano and I instantly spotted him scanning for me from the stand. His smile looks identical to Anjuli's so it could not be missed. For some reason I became extremely emotional! Probably because when I said goodbye to Anj she cried and said, "Tell my brother I love him." It was so sweet and it was surreal to see him. Anyway, he waved at me from the stand and I had to wait the entire meeting to talk to him. By the way, the meeting was awesome. This branch has 2 missionaries going out in the next few weeks so they both spoke. It was honestly amazing. Conveniently they speak English in this branch so we understood nearly every word.

I found Josh after the meeting and got to talk to him for a while. He introduced me to some members and I gave him his package which was so nice to get off my hands because I was stressing about it! He was super excited, especially about the homemade cookies :) As we were talking another elder came up and asked if Josh would teach a lesson. he invited Chelsea and I to join his class while the rest of our group went to a young single adult class. The class was fitting for me, all about service. It was so fun to hear Josh teach. A few notes from the lesson that you might enjoy:
- Love is more than a feeling. When we love others, we want to serve them.
-Love doesn't fear, love does what needs to be done
- A list of "small and simple acts of kindness we can do":
1. give good advice
2. don't make problems
3. pick up garbage
4. pray and love the weak
5. have a helping mind

I only add this list because it was hilarious and Josh was literally pulling teeth to get them to suggest things. Everything they said was hard for even him to understand and interpret enough to write something on the board. It was hilarious.

Also, Anj, he talked a lot about your parents and their perfect service to him as their child. He talked about your dad and said that whenever he was having a bad day, your dad would encourage him to serve others and he would therefore feel better.

-Through service we increase our ability to love. When we serve, we grow close to the Lord.

It was a wonderful lesson and made me excited to finally get to the colony where I will be serving the people. In our meetings today we also talked about trying to see the people the way the Lord sees them. I have thought about that a lot coming into this experience and it is something I am trying hard to focus on. Though I have not encountered it yet, I am hoping I can see beyond the bodies and deformities of these people and see them as children of God.

I was so happy to go the church here in India and once again realize that the gospel is the same no matter where you are and that there are incredible members all over the world. Luckily I found out we will be attending that ward again next Sunday. Josh says he has things to send back with me that he didn't have today so that worked out well. It was such a neat experience to meet and talk to Elder Tuscano. He is darling and made me miss my dear friend Anj!

Posted by Abbey on July 19, 2009 9:25 AM

Anjuli said...
what can i say...i cry at everything. i can't even believe how amazing this whole thing is :) i knew you and josh would be instant friends. i am so happy right now and so proud of both of you!! i hope you are getting some sleep!! i love you!!

Posted by Anjuli on July 19, 2009 11:59 AM

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