Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coimbatore, September 5

The last week has been pretty good. I ate the best paneer butter masala I've ever had on Wednesday at a church member's home.

It's interesting how you do the same things, repeat the same patterns, over and over again without realizing it.

Of course, this is frustrating when it's a bad habit you're trying to get rid of, but helpful when it's a good thing. For example, at my insistence Elder Riley and I visited a couple of church members named R. and K.

R. is 50 and Anglo-Indian, she is divorced and lives with her mother and her 18yo son, her son used to come to church but then started smoking and some other stuff. She usually sits alone in church and doesn't have any really good friends.

K. is 39, he went on a mission ten years ago and got married, but his brother doesn't come to church anymore and his wife left him and took their daughter so he lives with his mother. He has troubles expressing himself in complete thoughts and also sits alone in church.

They both seemed nice and I felt bad for them so we visited both of them and just talked to and listened to them. And now they are both becoming noticably more active in church.

I got my release date: December 18. It was actually December 29, but got moved up for some reason. I am slightly sad about that. I made a goal to have 20 baptisms in the rest of my mission when I got transferred here to be with Elder Riley. We've had three so far as companions.

In this area there were some people ready to be baptized but who faced insurmountable obstacles.

A woman named P. whose Hindu husband won't let her and her 8 year old daughter take baptism. These families have been investigating for a year and coming to church regularly but can't be baptized.

But Elder Riley and I worked to help them take the necessary steps to get baptized. (Previous elders kind of gave up on them.)

Our efforts included having the mission president meet both of them (this is extremely rare in our mission because of travel and because the mission president has to manage the districts also). And we were assisted by a semi-miraculous event: P.'s husband finally telling her to do what she wants.

As a result, we had 10 people at church on Sunday, 9 of whom are set with a baptismal date.

I think I'm going to make my goal of 20 - we should have 10 more baptisms before Elder Riley goes home (his last Sunday is October 17). This is somewhat ridiculous -- I've never had more than 6 people with dates before. And I have to make sure that I'm working hard than even to find, teach, and baptize the last 7.
With Love,

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