Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chennai, June 10

This week has been a bit crazy. I learned on Saturday night that I would be leaving Chennai and moving to Vishakaputnam (sp?) on Friday. I haven’t packed yet, but we’ve been running around seeing people for the last time.
I’m really going to miss my companion Elder Tuscano. We hit it off when we met at the airport and we’ve really become good friends. And no, you don’t automatically become friends when you spend twenty-four hours a day together; this hasn’t happened to me, but rumor has it that this can be pretty frustrating sometimes :--) Lately I’ve been learning a lot from him about how to interact with people. One big lesson is about how to be, in his terms, ‘chill’ and ‘real’. Elder Tuscano really (and obviously cares about people – he always tries to figure them out. What makes this person tick? The way he puts it is ‘I’m afraid of silence’, but he’s always asking them about themselves and trying to understand them better. He knows how to start conversations. With me, I’ll just let things slip into silence because I don’t know what to say. He’s really taught me a lot about being more interactive, and really it just makes life a lot more fun. It makes every day into an adventure, like, who are we going to meet today? What weird stories are we going to hear? What cool people are we going to meet?
(The coolest story this last week comes from Jeremiah, who Elder Tuscano baptized on Sunday. Apparently, in his home village in Assam, they would hunt zebras with homemade guns, and then it took 8 men to carry the zebra back to the village. Also he’s eaten lion.)
Anyway, because of that aspect of his personality, I’ve had a ton of fun with Elder Tuscano. Hopefully I’ll be able to carry the things I learned with me. I really hope so. My next companion is named Elder Bartlett. I think his father is doing a Ph.D. in business at Stanford, but I might be mistaking him for someone else. He has been in the mission office in Bangalore for about as long as I’ve been in Chennai. Apparently he was born with a computer in his hand. We’ll be doing what’s called a whitewash – when both missionaries serving in an area leave and two new missionaries come into the area. So we’ll definitely get lost a lot and stuff, it should be interesting. I just hope we don’t lose anyone.
We have a lunch appointment to run to, but next week I’ll be sure to tell you what VIzek is like.

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