Sunday, August 09, 2009

Vizag, August 5

We're having two baptisms this weke so we are way excited about that. ALso the people being baptized are way excited. A funny story follows.

One of them, a 19yo brother named Solomon, we met because his friend John introduced us. The previous elders found John Prasad and he was baptized the first week we were in Vizek. Well John got busy and he was there two or three times when we met Solomon but mostly we started developing a friendship and started bringing other branch members to introduce to Solomon and so on. Finally John went out of station for 10 days to his native place. Solomon's cell phone was stolen by a thief on the bus while he was sleeping, and we forgot to tell Solomon what was happening. Also John and Solomon used to stay in the same hostel but then they moved. Meanwhile Solomon is way excited about getting baptized, and everything. But he has no idea where his friend is. So I won't soon forget the plaintive tone in his voice at the end of one lesson when he asked, "Brother, where is my friend John?" Happily John came back and they had a happy reunion Monday night.

I told you a while ago about the two elders who came and stayed with us for a conference, who were telling us about how when they got there nothing was going on (previous elders had accomplished little to nothing) and how with energy enthusiasm and lots of crazy monster stickers they turned things around and also got people way excited.

We were way excited but it's like when anyone tells you their success story - you think "Well how much of that was chance, how much of that is reproducible, even if it is reproducible can *I* do it?"

But on Saturday we held an activity for the branch here we showed people how to teach lessons. Tons of times we will take 18 to 25 year olds with us (here, that's most of the branch) but they won't really know how to teach. It just reinforces the weird semi-priest-like status elders have in India, which isn't good in the first place. But a bunch of people came, and we did a demo and then gosh darn it, they sat down in the chair and we made them practice themselves. It was way good and people really liked it. We did the same thing earlier with a 25yo brother named Sreenu, who'd been with the elders tons of times before but never taught, he just testified (means, said, I know the things the elders said are true, because I've seen it in my life, etc.) And today morning he called us and said, I have vacation, can I come with you? And we had to tell him no, it's preparation day we don't have anything for you to do.


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