Sunday, November 08, 2009

Vizag, November 3

Cold-wise, I’m thankfully better now.

This week was crazy. Today we spent four hours cleaning up my apartment, then we went to Pizza Hut and spent 170 rupees each for lunch. Possibly we are the only people in Vizag to have done both.

The highlight of the week was Sunday. That included: Elder Pritchett and I feeling very confused because we had 10 people we are teaching at church, including one new family, and after church was over we didn’t have anything to do because all of them found friends. In addition, the eight other people that my companions and I taught and baptized were all at church, plus a 15 year old girl church member that we got coming back to church, plus her mother, plus another person who we found who the other elders are teaching. It was a pretty visual demonstration of the fruits of our labour, and it was pretty ridiculous.

It wasn’t ridiculous simply as a “look at me, look at how much I did.” The temptation was there for me to take it that way, of course. But the happiness I felt looking around me, was more of profound gratitude for coming to church as part of a process of slowly, slowly changing into more than we are. The slow process, that I have felt, of feeling God’s love more and more and losing the desire to do wrong, the process of becoming more than just men and women built for today and tomorrow but being built for forever.

Of that slow process; dividing the class we taught in church into groups, each assigned to present one thing that can make families stronger; seeing John Prasad with his curly hair in his normal teacher persona come up, write “Better Communication” on the board, and talk with vigor and power about their group’s idea, mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters listening more to each other so they could understand each other; how it would solve the many things that drove families apart.
Walking down the street in a hurry to an appointment on Thursday, seeing a flock of four church sisters – all short, round, with vibrant laughs, full of love – serving each other by visiting each other’s houses. Exclaiming in butler English our just-invented idea, to have them come to the house of a family we had started teaching, so they could make friends with the wife. Then on Sunday, helping escort two 5 and 7yo children trying to cling in fear to their mother into primary class, and then watch a lonely 26 year old housewife Swapna sit with happiness and wonder between her new friends Varalakshmi and Nagamani.

A crazy rest of Sunday when we started teaching three new families, and two sisters of whom (they aren’t actually sisters, just both female) that we gave Books of Mormon to a few weeks back read through like 100 pages each. Asking one of them, Madhavi, why Jesus Christ was special, and having her spit back more or less verbatim a Book of Mormon verse we highlighted that said that he has felt everything we as individual humans feel, so he understands us. Seeing the look in her face that meant that was really special to her.

So: life was good this week. With happiness and love,

Sam

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