Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vizag, November 16

Amusing stories this week were both on Monday.

Over lunch after our planning session, after Elder Pritchett and my conversation about Subash Chandar Bose (sp?) turned into a general conversation about conquering the world.

Me: The general problem with world-conquest schemes seems to be that you can't get all the territories you occupy to support you and become part of your culture.
Elder Pritchett: Hollywood!

In Raju's house, after a really good lesson. He was talking about a Catholic church he visited in Pune. Keep in mind that this in all going on in like 1988, and you know Indian cultural views about male-female relationships, and marrying Saraswathi was probably the best decision Raju ever made.

Raju: I went there with my girlfriend.
(We look at Saraswathi, since when she was his girlfriend they went and shook the Pope's hand.)
Raju: Not her. My firrrst girlfriend.
(We look quizzically at Raju.)
Raju: I would not marry to her. So she became nun.

Things have been crazy during the last week. Raju came up with 2000 rupees from his manager so he won't get kicked out of his house, and then had the strength to turn down his manager's subsequent invitation to come to the bar. He and his wife and son should be getting baptized on Sunday.

Right now, Elder Pritchett and I are kind of exhausted -- constantly worrying about and planning for them has taken a toll on us. And while worrying about them won't be over after their baptism, things are on an upswing. We had some residual concerns about their motives, and on Monday we were just asking them questions about why they were doing all these things -- coming to church, giving up coffee, tea, alcohol, gukka, etc, getting baptized. We were worried about something like 'We think God will help us with our financial problems' or 'Because we like you so much.' But then they started telling how they wanted to follow the commandments, build a stronger family, and live forever with God -- and they clearly meant it.

On Wednesday more elders are coming from Rajahmundry, a nearby city, for a conference, so we will all go on a tour of Vizag together. Then on Friday we will have the conference.


Love,
Sam

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