Saturday, August 14, 2010

10 AUG 10 letter

Dear Family,

Well, another week has come and gone. I can hardly believe I'm writing an e-mail again. I can't seem to keep track of the days anymore, monday becomes friday overnight and everything just seems to blend together. I actually like it that way. So today was a zone leaders council, we got caught up afterwards and now it is quite late and I don't have too much time to write. Sorry about that. We leaving tomorrow morning at about 4:30 to get down to Sri Lanka. Sorry Mom, perhaps I was unclear but we are going there this week. I am super excited about that, it will be my first international trip as a missionary. I hear that it is beautiful, but I don't think we'll get much of a chance to see it. The district president just e-mailed President Funk and noted that Elder Naulu and I will be visiting over 25 families on friday alone. So were pumped, you should look forward to next weeks e-mail. There have been no missionaries in that country for over 2 years now, so I expect some incredible experiences.

Last weekend was in Mumbai! I love going up there, it is always a blast. We stayed with the Branch President this time. His name is John Lee and he is the dean of a film making school up there. Remember that Mumbai is "Bollywood." So he has got the hook up. He and his wife really took care of us. We got to teach and prepare Joseph for baptism. He is an incredible young man with a rock solid testimony. He was never formally taught by elders. Only us, twice. So he developed this strong testimony on his own, with help from the members. Mumbai is a wonderful branch. They are so unified and determined to do missionary work, they take their responsibility seriously. It is mostly due to the fact that they have no missionaries, but I just get this great missionary spirit each time I go up there. That branch is going to flourish. A new American family from northern virginia just moved in to the branch. But the cool thing is they just came from Dubai. Did you know there was a stake there? I just found out last week and I was fascinated by that.

We also met a sweet referral up there. Here name is Betty, she is anglo-indian. That means Indian, with british or irish heritage. Anyway, she lived in the states before. She was married but got a divorce. While living in California she had some LDS neighbors. They really seemed to have a great influence on her, she always had a great desire to learn about the church but her husband never let her investigate. So after the divorce she moved back to Mumbai with her mother. I have no clue where the referral came from, but we got it and went over there with President Lee on satruday afternoon. It was an amazing experience. This sister was so sincere and prepared. I could just tell that she was so eager to learn more about this church that made her neighbors such incredible people. We taught about the Book of Mormon to resolve one of her concerns and the climax of the appointment was this. She asked, if this church is true and good, why is there so many bad things surrounding it? We simple asked, well is what you have heard consistent with the lifestyle your LDS neighbors had? The answer was no. When she realized that I could see a light in her eyes. I feel like she will be baptized, but not because of anything we did. It will be due to the great example set by her neighbors, and its not like they did anything incredible. They just lived the gospel. What a profound impact we can have on others by simply following the commandments and reaching out to serve others in a christlike way.

So...My time is officially run out. I sincerely apologize. I have not even had time to write Mom and Dad individually. But guess what, our mission just changed the Preparation day to Monday. So although I do not have a P-Day it would be best if you could e-mail before every monday from now on. So if you get this soon, please write me again before monday. Sorry! I love you all.

Elder Tuscano

03 AUG 10 letter

Dear Family,

Hello! Before I start I just wanted to thank each one of you. The e-mails this week were the best I've had on my mission. I really appreciated them. Thank you so much for caring about me, It is such a comfort to know that each week my family will write and have good things to say. But this week, there was something different, I'm not sure what it was. I'll just say that they were very powerful, so whatever you all did last week keep it up! I think its working for you.

This past week was full of surprises. More for Elder Naulu than for me though. We knew he was coming in to be my companion, but he had no idea. The transfers were going out on friday, and Elder Singh was done on saturday. So we needed to pull him in, but hadn't told him anything. Mind you, he was serving as a District Leader here in Bangalore 2nd branch. So President pulls him in on Friday morning and extends the calling. I wish you could have seen Elder Naulu's face. He was floored! Ha but it was sweet, he has really impressed me with the way he is handling all of this. I remember when I was trained in the office and there is a ton of stuff to do. He is just soaking it all in and doing a wonderful job. When God calls you, he will qualify you. I have felt that many times on my mission and seen it in Elder Naulu as he steps into this new assignment. So continue to pray for him when you pray for me.

Early Monday morning we sent home 11 of the greats. Elder Singh and his batch are gone and that is hard to believe. I am just learning to be grateful for the time that I have. As I hear about all my boys getting back and about to go home. I realize that my time is going to end soon, but I am so grateful for the time I've had and still have left. Elder Nixon's parents came to pick him up and they went to church with all of us on Sunday. That was a nice experience for them, they were very proud of their son. As they should be, he has done a wonderful job here. It was a riot having all of those elders stay at our place for a few days on their way out. I love listening to the things they have to say. Missions are incredible. I like how Mom put it, they are a University where we learn how to live our lives. I feel lucky that I was admitted.

The work has been busy recently. We are just in the office here in Bangalore, but there are plenty of things to do. We are going to Mumbai on Friday, we have a baptism! So I am pumped for that. Next week, we will be going to Sri Lanka I am so excited for that. Things are going to get pretty crazy here. That's good though, I like it better that way. So I think I will end there. Have a great week!

27 JUL 10 letter

Dear Family,

A warm hello to everyone back on the home front. I am happy because it is thursday and I actually have some time to e-mail you. What a great thing. Again, I apologize for my inconsistency and will try to improve. I hope that everyone is doing alright and its not too hot down there in the STG. It has cooled down a lot here at least in Bangalore, the monsoon is pouring on us this year.

We spent the last week in Hyderabad. It was a wonderful trip, we departed last friday and were able to get a lot of things done. It was good for all the members to meet President and Sister Funk. They are really adjusting so well, and the members love them so much. It is really cool to see that. Indian people really do have an incredible capacity to love, its almost a inherent trait. Their transfer of love from President Nichols to President Funk seems almost instantaneous. I really admire their example in that way.

We were able to conduct a few exchanges while we were in Hyderabad. We went with the Zone Leaders, I went with Elder Talk. For any of you that know my BYU counsellor, Lavay Talk, that is her son. He is an incredible Elder, he went to harvard before his mission. He has just done miracles out here. He was a zone leader in Coimbatore and now in Hyderabad and both of those Zones are on fire. So I was excited to go on exchange with him and stay in their apartment all week. He is a quiet guy, but he reminds me of that phrase "Speak softly and carry a big stick." So while on exchange with him we wanted to work on teaching from the scriptures. We had an appointment with a lady who did not speak much english. We asked her to open her telegu bible and we tried to stop her occasionally and expound the verse while she read in Telegu. It was quite the experience, I wish you could have seen us trying to translate and expound simultaneously. Ha but anyway were having a blast.

Zone conference went really well in Hyderabad. A lot smoother than Bangalore, it was also great for President to finally meet all the Elders. It was tough to do that first transfer when he had not meet any of them. So this morning we finalized the coming transfer and it felt really good, my companion is coming into the office this morning but he still does not know that he is going to be called as the next assistant. So I cannot tell you who it is yet...

Anyway I love you all and hope you have a good week.

21 JUL 10 letter

Dear Family,

So right now I am at the church in Hyderabad. It feels great to be back, it is President's first trip here. He is loving it. Ha I never had the opportunity to train someone in the field, but I now feel like we are training the Mission President. Ha, that's true in a lot of ways but he is still training me on a lot more stuff than I do him. It is a great experience though. The trip to Visak was very successful and it was so cool to see everyone again. Swarna Lata is now the Primary President and I was so excited to see her at church. President and Sister Funk won the love of all the members on saturday evening when they ate dinner at the church. There were some training meetings and afterwards they served some rice and chicken curry and they ate with their hands! They are naturals.

We had Bangalore zone conference this past week and it went very well. Except for some major technical difficulties, we made it through just fine. It was a lot different than Zone Conference with President Nichols, but the elders really enjoyed it. President Funk really knows how to conduct a meeting, they are truly revelatory meetings. You know in the scriptures how it talks about meetings being conducted by the holy ghost? Yeah, President Funk has got that on lock. But that's about all this week, sorry if this e-mail is bland. Next week will be better. Just for an update, Elder Singh goes home this next saturday so I will be getting a new companion. I am excited for him, I think it will be a surprise to him and to all of you as well. But I will tell you next week who it is.

Thanks, love you!