Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vizag, November 10

This week has gone pretty well! I’ll start with some amusing outtakes:

In church on Sunday, in one class we were reading from the manual, and everyone has varying degrees of English. One brother who had a little bit less was struggling through a long paragraph including the phrase “man’s eternal destiny.” The funny part is how the third word came out – ‘density.’ I’m sure as you’re reading this, your mind, as mine did, hearkened to the somewhat less-eternal Marty-George-Sheila-but-before-Biff-enters diner scene in Back to the Future Part I. Cue: “I am your density.”

On the way here (we have a bit of a walk to the bus stop) Elder Pritchett and I were trying a game. One person makes up and then repeats some variation on “She’ll be coming ‘round the mountain when she comes.” The other person has a couple of seconds to think of the middle two lines. Here are the two we came up with:

Elder Pritchett: “She’ll be missing all her luggage when she comes.
She’ll be missing all her luggage when she comes.”
Me: “She will only have her backpack
‘Cause her stuff’s all on the train tracks.”
Elder Pritchett: “She’ll be missing all her luggage when she comes.”

The other one:

Me: “She’ll be waiting at the diner when I come
She’ll be waiting at the diner when I come
Elder Pritchett: “She will think there’s no one finer
After I have wined and dined her.”
Me: “She’ll be waiting at the diner when I come.”

On a more eternally important note, life is kind of crazy. John, the brother who got baptized right when I got here, got fired because of office politics, got a new job, but then the firm with the new job closed down, so he was all depressed on Monday, but then we went over to his hostel on Tuesday to chat and cheered him up. Now his mind is all awhir about how he can get a new job, become a better teacher in church, etc, and that’s great to see. His friend Vasu who was set for baptism is way busy with school and isn’t lifting our calls. (John says he gets way scared and freaks out when we make an appointment and he doesn’t come and we call him, he juggles his phone and exclaims, ‘What should I do, what should I do.’ Alas.)

Raju is about to get evicted again ‘cause he’s behind on rent, but this is way different than the first time. His landlady came over when he were there and started screaming at him. This time he’s telling us, he’s like ‘Well, first wrong is mine, I am not paying,’ he’s not shouting back (last time he was according to Saraswathi “full fighting.”). He realizes he will not get his deposit back, and he has so much more peace about the matter. Worst case, there is a room we know about that belongs to a church member, and he can stay there until he gets his salary (December 24) or a commission which is coming. He’s way more happy than last time, and it’s definitely because he left tea, coffee, gukka, etc. Last time he wasn’t thinking clearly or rationally at all, and this time he’s calmly explaining that we should help him look for a new room just in case (we did), but he probably won’t have any money to move in.

Some other bad stuff happened with someone else that stressed me out a lot, but I can’t really say a lot, and it looks like it will be fine.

We were really and happy excited on Sunday also, because two new people came to church this week, a bachelor named Sammy who we met when we were visiting a recently baptized church member named Balakrishna (they live in the same hostel), and a sister named Madhavi that I think I mentioned last time. We took this wonderful couple from the branch to her house on Saturday – they rode a half an hour on their motorcycle, each way, to come with us, and then they sat with her at church and answered all her questions. It was so wonderful and she was really happy at church so we were also very happy. We’re going over there tonight, her probably-autistic sister wants us to bring American coins but we can’t seem to find any sadly…

It’s pretty cool to watch the other brother, Nageshwar, that we are preparing for baptism. He was scheduled for this Sunday and is super excited. He went to a church activity and was energetically describing how they played “telephone” – I guess it’s called “Chinese whisper” here – with ‘She sells sea shells down by the sea shore’ to illustrate the importance of explaining the scriptures clearly.

He’s having a hard time getting Sundays off so he can come to the right branch and stay for all three hours, so we talked to President Nichols and we will push his baptism back a bit. He will be very sad when we tell him though, but the next step for him (and everyone, and he’s really excited about it) is to serve in the church and that’s only really possible when he comes to the right branch. He wants to go on a mission too, though (somewhat selfishly) counting forward a year from his baptism I don’t think I will get to be his companion because I will come back first :((

So all isn’t perfect this week, but my life and Elder Pritchett’s and those we are teachings are works in progress, and they *are* progressing well.

Love,
Sam

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