12.28.2015

Baptisms during Christmas week in Visakhapatnam

Namskara everyone!

Christmas in Visak was awesome.  Aside from getting food poisoning this week, all was well!  I don't have very much time at all to email today because we're going to some tropical place in the mountains with a bunch of waterfalls for P Day!  Should be super rad, I'll be sure to send pictures.  An important side note is that this place is a four hour train ride away haha so our day started extra early today.

Highlights of this week:

I had the privilege of confirming Sister Chilakama yesterday!!!  That was awesome, I'd never done that before, and she was glowing after, so that was seriously so cool.  I also had the privilege of baptizing our nine-year-old investigator, Chandrika!!  That was also a first for me.  Though it was the last Sunday of 2015, it was full of firsts for me haha.  I will send pictures later (hopefully)!!

Also for dinner last night Elder Thambi and I had goat head sambar.  It's exactly what it sounds like haha it was....peculiar.  

Make and stay faithful to your New Years' resolutions!!! Keep the faith!

Elder Tuscano

12.14.2015

Wake-up "calls," Zoo visit and lives changing

when a camera battery dies sometimes you get part of a picture that includes the top of your head (under the letter P)

This week was awesome!!  We had some awesome lessons and were able to do some fun things!  Side note: I think I've failed to mention that waking up on time is no problem in Visak, we wake up at around 6:00AM each morning to the profusely loud yelling of something in Telegu via loud speaker (coming from the Hindu temple right next to us haha).

In our planners, there is a list of awesome finding ideas.  Among these is helping teach English as a second language.  Elder Thambi and I took this to heart and for the past couple weeks, we've been helping a member teach a group of twenty or so kids, ages three to thirteen, learn English!  This past week they had their exams, and they passed!!  To reward their efforts, we took them to the Indira Ghandi Zoo Park!  It was an awesome experience.  I will send the one picture I have (as my camera died just as we were entering the zoo) haha.

For the past few weeks, Elder Thambi and I have been meeting with a less active member, Pavan, and his wife and adorable nine month old son.  Three years ago, Pavan was a super solid member.  He came on exchange with the elders almost every day, looked forward to and actively attended church each week--up until about a year ago.  He got into some financial trouble and turned to alcohol to solve his problems.  Meeting with him this week, he really opened up to us.  He told us that he's tried and tried to quit drinking and he feels that he's not worthy to even come to church.  I was super filled with the Spirit and don't entirely recall what I said, but I expressed to him something along the lines of a General Conference talk Elder Holland (I believe) once gave: that no matter how far he thinks he's traveled, he has not traveled outside the infinite redeeming power of the Atonement.  I also shared with him Matthew 11:28-30.  He wept.  He has not tasted a drop of alcohol and is coming back to church.  He's now doing all that is necessary to become clean.  I'm so grateful for the Spirit and the truths is never ceases to testify of.

Is it cold back home?  It sure isn't here haha.  Everyone have a solid week!  Also please pray for Pavan!!!

Love,
Elder Tuscano

12.07.2015

Christmas Season in Visak, yet not so visibly!


It is officially the Christmas season in Visak haha, but looking around the city you wouldn't be able to tell.  Also, I finally got an SD card reader so I can send some pictures!!!
Our area/branch boundaries right now that we cover is the size of the ENTIRE Idaho Boise Mission haha if not slightly bigger.  Crazy.

Last week for P Day our zone went to a super pretty beach!  Everything here is colorful, even the little boats that just chill on the beach.  I also had the privilege of drinking from my first coconut since being here!  Sippin a coconut on the beach. I've had this opportunity to drink coconut water straight from the coconut (but not on the beach) almost everyday this week haha, it's awesome.  

I've eaten some strange things this week.  There is a little fruit that is shaped exactly like a tomatillo, but is bitter and everyone claims is good for your health.  So I had to eat like three at member homes this week haha.  I also had a strange, brown pancake thing that tasted eerily like chocolate but was definitely made from some sort of dried fruit.  Also ate a strange vegetable that is supposedly a potato in the form of celery.  Like it's yellow celery, but the taste is that of a potato.

The work this week was up and down.  Days of success and setting baptismal dates for the coming weeks alternated with days of appointments falling through, translators not being able to come with us, etc.  But finding was not an issue this week!!  While we were on our way to various appointments, people would just call us over and we were able to teach them and set follow up appointments!  We would just be walking inbetween buildings and people would be like, "Hey!"  Anytime we were in autos we would find people who were eager to be taught so that was awesome.  We are in autos quite frequently, it's a unique experience haha. Our lives our on the line every time we get into one hahaha the traffic is CRAZY here!!  There are definitely driving lanes painted on the road, but I don't think anyone can see them (;

I also met Josh's trainer this week!!!  So that was pretty rad.  

Also, important side note:

The lessons we did have the privilege of teaching this week went super well, especially for me haha.  It's been difficult feeling like I'm not being understood when teaching.  But this week I prayed earnestly for the ability to teach and be understood in some way.  This week, as I bore testimony of the simple, beautiful, truthfulness of the Gospel, my prayers were answered.  Though they didn't understand what exactly I was saying, they undoubtedly understood the Spirit testifying of the truth, I could see it.  It was like turning a light on in a dark room when I looked in their eyes.  It was so cool, one of the coolest feelings.  

The Spirit speaks all languages, I know that.

Everyone have a wonderful week and make the most of the Christmas season!!!  

11.30.2015

Visakhapatnam on the Indian East Coast


Hello and greetings from Visak!!!

Visak (or Visakhapatnam or Vizag) is so rad!!!  I love it here so far, it is beautiful.  Visak is a little port city that is cut off from the rest of India by green mountains covered in jungle, it's pretty awesome.  The city is busy with so many shops, stands, and people.  The surrounding colonies (neighborhoods) are painted with vibrant colors--teals, fuschias, corals, and crimsons.

My companion is Elder Thambi from Bangalore!  He speaks English and Tamil. Before coming out on a mission he signed a contract with a local professional soccer team in Bangalore to play for a few years for them, but then decided to go on a mission so pretended to have a leg injury saying he wouldn't be able to play.  He is awesome and we are doing some serious work out here, this week we found like five new investigators and three new families to teach!

Also, nobody here speaks English haha, everyone speaks Telegu.  Everyone knows, "Hi how are you," and "I'm fine," but that is the extent of it haha. So whenever we go out we have to take a member that knows English well enough to translate what we're trying to say to our investigators.  Even our branch meetings are all in Telegu.  I'm learning slowly though haha.

The coolest experience I had this week was (finally) meeting people who know Josh! On Sunday I had to speak and one of the guys I spoke with was one of Josh's trainees!  His name is Gantyada Raju.  He said Josh had trained him in Chennai and that he was one of the hardest workers he'd seen.  He came up to me after that meeting and told me if there's anything I ever need, just to ask.

We are going sight seeing for zone p day today so I gotta go!  I'll try to attach some pictures!  Everyone keep the faith!!!

Elder Tuscano

11.23.2015

Luggage arrived. Camel curry consumed. Hello India. Let's get started!




Greetings from the Garden City (Bengaluru, India)!  Wow, this week has been one of the most diverse, confusing, interesting, hilarious, awe-inspiring, and spiritually edifying weeks of my life thus far.  I guess I will just start from when we (Elder Magnusson and I) landed.

We touched ground in Bangalore at 2AM on Thursday.  After we got off the plane and after being rigorously interrogated by a fellow just outside immigration (whom wanted to know every detail of our intentions) we discovered that our bags had not come with us for whatever reason, which was an inconvenience for just about a day.  Lufthansa generously compensated us for the mistake.  President Berrett was there to greet us and we finally arrived at the mission home at around 5AM, just in time for the Muslim call to prayer.  Elder Magnusson and I took a short nap then were transported to our temporary areas in Bangalore (we will be receiving our actual assignment tomorrow along with other new missionaries).  My current companion is Elder Doyle from California, he's awesome.

Later that day we ate camel curry for lunch, yes actual camel curry, the meat is tough but not too bad hahaha.  Then we went to my first appointment in India with a recent convert who relapsed into a drinking problem.  He's trying really hard to become sober again and he really liked me for whatever reason so he had me give him a priesthood blessing to have strength to quit, it was awesome. I will send a picture of him.

The next day we had another appointment, though this one was a little unusual.  A member's daughter had (apparently) been having fits in which she was possessed.  He asked us to come cast out the devil.  This was a little daunting as this is the first time any of us (myself and two other elders) had come across this problem.  We prayed fervently to have strength and comfort as we went to fulfill the task.  When we arrived at their home, the daughter was normal but something didn't seem right with her.  The family fed us lunch: some of the best sambar I've had and fresh fish masala.  Apparently it's ok to eat the little fish bones (or so they said) so I did.  I don't reccommend it.  Afterward, we gave the daughter a powerful blessing.  She was so so grateful, though she spoke little English, and has not had any issues since.

On Sunday we went to the newly made Convent Road WARD!!!  Bangalore got a stake last week!  Elder Robert William of the Seventy (I believe the only Indian general authority) was in attendance and the bishopric called me up to bear my testimony.  It was a super cool experience, a good portion of the ward is deaf so there was a little section of the chapel where the hearing impaired sat and watched a translator.  I've never had a translator for anything that I can recall, and of all the languages to be translated to in India--sign language?!  It was awesome.

I'm loving each and every minute I'm here and am more excited and motivated with each day.

Keep the faith!
Elder Tuscano

11.19.2015

Idaho to India! I'm here but my luggage isn't!


Greetings from Bangalore!

Elder Magnusson and I arrived in Bangalore safe and sound at around 2:00 this morning.  We ran into some trouble with our bags, apparently they were not on any of the planes to Bangalore with us, but Lufthansa generously compensated for their error, 4000 rupees.

This morning I go to the Convent Road area until Tuesday where Elder Magnusson and I will receive additional training, along with other new missionaries, then be sent to our assigned areas.

Love you guys, I'm safe and SO happy to be here!!

Elder Tuscano



11.16.2015

On To India...


This week has gone by quite slowly.  I think it's the Lord's way of telling me to slow down and enjoy the comforts of the States before I forget all about them.

This week has been pretty crazy though!  We had an Elder finish his mission, so Elder Smith and I were in a trio with our zone leader for the weekend.  We covered three wards and ourSunday was crazy hectic with all the meetings, leadership meetings, sacrament meetings, and stuff we had to go to. We were straight at the church from 7:30AM to 4:30PM.  It was fun though.  In our ward (Timber Creek) our second counselor randomly called me up from the congregation at the end of sacrament meeting to say the closing prayer, so that was fun haha.  Never done that before.

Also never winterized a garage before until I came here haha.  Winterizing garages takes FOREVER.  We've spent the past three or so Saturdays helping people move things into their respective garages.  But the people are wonderful here, so genuine and appreciative.  I really will miss it, it's bittersweet to leave.

But on to India.  I feel like I know what I'm getting myself into, but in reality I don't think I have a clue.  And I couldn't possibly be more excited.  This will be, honestly, among the most unique experiences one could possibly have: to preach the restored Gospel to the people of India, primarily a pagan nation.  Come sickness, legalities, success or lack thereof, I know the Lord will be with me. I have no inhibitions about sharing what I know is true and what has brought me such joy.

Thursday I will be in an entirely different world.  Come what may, I'll love it.  Keep the faith and stay on the straight and narrow!

Elder Tuscano

11.09.2015

Documents received! On to India next week!


This week was SICK.  Incredibly productive.

We found a new investigator that wants to be baptized!!!  His name is Chris.  He's 34-ish and has four kids.  We hope to get his family on board soon enough!!!  We will be teaching him in a member's home on Wednesday, hopefully that goes well!  It is unfortunate, however, because I think I will be in India if/when he gets baptized :/ When I say "unfortunate," that is really the only context for which it is appropriate because I'm going to India!!  Woohoo!! Finally haha!  I really will miss Idaho though.  It's beautiful here and the people are wonderful, it'll be hard to just jet on out of here.  But India is where the Lord has called me and I'm anxious, excited, and more than willing and ready to go.  

I received my itinerary this week!  I fly from Boise to Denver, Denver to Frankfurt, Germany, then on to Bangalore.  A total of about twenty-one hours in the air. I'll be going with Elder Magnusson though!  Good thing we're cool with each other haha.  

Oh we also committed an investigator to start taking the lessons!  She is awesome, her name is Tina.  She is going through a lot of emotional turmoil in her social and family life and was so grateful for us finding her.  She came to church on Sunday with us and loved it!  My hope and prayer is that she will be baptized.

Speaking of prayer, it is AWESOME.  Thank you to all those at home and abroad who are praying not only for me, but for all the missionaries.  Your prayers are working miracles.  This week I was on an exchange with our district leader.  We went to a recent convert's house whom is struggling with overcoming addiction and was having a really tough time with withdrawls.  He prayed for Heavenly Father to send angels to minister to Him and then we showed up.  Heavenly Father placed us in his life in his very hour of need.  He truly knows and loves each one of us and knows our needs.

Also I got a Boise State shirt!!!  So sick haha.  Everyone have a good week!

Elder Tuscano

11.02.2015

Holla-ween, Habaneros and meetings, meetings, meetings!

Our ward's chili cook off was on Friday.  Elder Smith and I have been trying to reactivate this older couple, and the husband claimed that he can eat five habanero peppers and not blink an eye.  So in an effort to get them to the chili cook-off, Elder Smith and I told him that we would make a chili that would make him cry because it was so spicy.  But he had to go to the cook-off to try it!  He accepted our challenge.  So Elder Smith and I put SIX habanero peppers, THREE serrano peppers, and a jalapeno (for flavor) in this chili that we made.  We also made a warning sign, so as to express that the chili was EXTREMELY hot and not for just any ward members.  We roll up to the ward party, put the chili (and the warning label, mind you) on the table, the couple shows up and we were pumped!!  He downed an entire bowl in like 2 minutes and didn't blink.  Didn't phase him.  What a champ, Elder Smith and I were super impressed.  We were not, however, impressed with the common sense of the ward.  The ward members saw our warning sign as a challenge, not an expression of concern for their health.  Our chili was gone in a matter of minutes just after the party officially started.  Everyone thought it was a joke and we got a few light-hearted complaints haha.  Good thing they love us!

Goodness, this week was rad!  Not super productive as far as numbers go due to a lot of meetings that were super rad and really productive.  They were also super lengthy, but it didn't seem like it!  I was engaged and attentive (somehow, who really knows how) the whole time. The highlight of the week was hands down meeting and being instructed by Elder Martino of the Seventy.  He spoke in conference!  He is super rad.  He is currently touring our mission, which I guess is a thing that general authorities do.  But anyway, on Tuesday, he went out with the zone leaders whom we live with and taught some less actives and investigators with them.  Earlier that evening, Elder Smith and I came home to eat dinner (we turned our leftover fajitas into a southeast Asian cuisine, call me Bobby Flay) and the minute we finished eating we hear a knock on our door.  I opened it and it was Elder Martino and the mission president just chillin'.  I let them in, we introduced ourselves, then Elder Martino asks us, "Why aren't you out working?"  And I didn't know what to say haha.  I mean obviously we'd just finished eating, but at the same time I was like, "Dang, we gotta get to work."  So that little encounter with a Seventy totally sparked and new flame within me and Elder Smith and I are gonna teach lessons like it's nobody's business this week.  Or at least we will try haha.

One of the long meetings was an eight hour training given by Elder Martino.  Yes, I stayed awake the whole time, it was crazy.  He was so engaging!  At the end of it I was so confused, I was like where did time even go?  His main focus was on 2 Corinthian 3:3 which was rad, I wish I could share my notes, but I took like five pages, so I won't.  He talked about how the Gospel should not just be spoken nor preached, but written on "the fleshy tables of the heart," it has to become a literal part of us or we are not true disciples.  He also talked about how to best work with members, but I liked his sermon on 2 Corinthians, it was inspiring.  

I had a follow-up new missionary training on Friday which was also something like eight hours.  Stayed awake for that one too, who knows how haha.  It was really good.  We watched Elder Holland's MTC version of his talk "The First and Great Commandment."  I would encourage everyone to go watch it when they get a chance because we must CONSTANTLY remind ourselves that we love him, and as such we are called to feed his sheep; missionaries and members alike.

Halloween was actually fun!  Our work day ended at 6:30 haha, but the shack was poppin'.  We played Risk, Scrabble and invented THE best game ever: Pictionary, but we used the red cards from the Apples to Apples game. So if you're ever looking for a hilarious activity to kill a TON of time, play that haha.  We did not go trick or treating, but somehow ended up with more candy than all the primary age children in the Boise Stake due to loving friends and family who are dope and sent us TONS of candy, treats, junk food, etc. that we binged on that night.

Remember to keep the faith, feed his sheep, and remember who you serve!!!  

Elder Tuscano

10.26.2015

Elk Tacos?! ...won't find those in India!

What's up y'all?

This week has yet again been awesome.  The work Elder Smith and I are moving along was kinda hindered by a midweek leadership exchange, so I went to a different area and served with Elder Beals for a day.  The area was Meridian South and it was cool getting to see that area and serve with Elder Beals.  While there, we were at a members home, talking about my call to India and this happened:

Lady:  It must be hard to teach in India because they're Buddhist.
Me: ....do you mean Hindu?
Lady:  That too.
Me: ...????

I thought that was really funny.

So Elder Smith and I played that gig on Thursday!!!  The retirement home failed to communicate to us that they just wanted instrumental, jazzish music to be played in the background while the seniors ate lunch.  Oops.  We mostly played hymns, but we sang and played simultaneously (as we thought we were asked) and when we were done playing they said, "Uh, we'll call you back."  We have yet to receive that call hahaha.  

I've eaten some awesome food this week.  Elk tacos, normal tacos that were DELICIOUS made by a member who served his mission in Mexico, and a stuffed, one pound hamburger.  Am I getting fat?  No comment.

The work is moving along slowly but surely, our zone alone found twenty-nine new investigators this week and the mission as a whole found 107!!!  Crazy.

Hopefully I will have more time (and things) to report on next week.  Sorry haha.

Elder Tuscano

[additional note from parents: we added a photo sent by Roger Patterson, who lives in the Boise area and met Jonathan.  Roger served his mission with Jeff in Costa Rica / Panama. Small Small World!]





10.19.2015

Bikes and Gigs!

This week was awesome. I'm seriously loving mission work and getting accustomed to mission life, no prob (I think). 

I think dad will love this. So Elder Smith and I were thinking of new ways to do service in the community! He and I both play piano and guitar (and sing? Well he does, I try). So we went to a retirement home in the community and asked if we could play some songs for them, Elder Smith and I alternating on guitar and piano and singing for them. They said yes! They were so pumped, we're playing a mini gig for them this Wednesday and also playing their Halloween party!

This week Elder Smith and I did close to twenty hours of service. A couple times throughout the week I was thinking that all this service is preventing us from what I thought we were here to do: share the message of the restored gospel. But each time I had the thought, another thought came to me--well a scripture: Mosiah 2:18 that says when he are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God. I was truly comforted by that thought. We did everything from fixing bikes to bucking hay.

Last week I knew very little about bikes, nor their parts nor how to fix them [parent insert: not because we didn't attempt to get him more acquainted with bikes, he just never liked bikes]. Now I'm working on bikes almost entirely by myself. It's crazy what you can learn with a good attitude.

But about the bucking hay part. So I can scarcely recall a time where I've been to a farm let alone "buck hay." On Saturday after helping a lady move for three hours, we went to a farm in a rural, beautiful part of Idaho. We were helping a farmer (whose land our 'shack' is on) deliver six tons of hay to another fellow farmer. Yes. Six tons. Like 12,000lbs. We moved the hay from a trailer to a barn. The bales were heavy and to move them you have to do like a power clean, then move it to wherever. There were five of us and it took us only forty-five minutes to move it all. It was crazy!!! All of us were working nonstop and we deduced that each of us moved roughly one ton ourselves. I wish I would have taken pictures haha I was covered in alfalfa from head to toe and my lungs and nose were stuffed with hay as well, my snot was green for hours after. It was tiring and hard, but SO worth it. Serving others is always worth it.

Elder Smith and I continue to crank out lessons to investigators and less actives alike, please keep praying for us though! Love and miss all!!

Elder Tuscano

10.12.2015

Provo to Boise and first photos sent directly from Jonathan

Wow, my first week in the field has seriously been incredible. It is a challenge and not what I'm used to but I'm seriously learning so much everyday. It's crazy.

My companion is Elder Smith!! He is from Akron, OH and is about done with his mission. He is awesome!  I will send pictures as soon as I'm able haha. He reminds me of a lot of Tom Jensen as far as mannerisms and personality go haha, not looks. He is super intelligent and left Juliard to come on a mission. He sings opera hahaha and he's really good.

I don't have a lot of time as it is Zone P Day today where we engage in activities as a zone, I think we're playing dodgeball or something today.  Also I'm typing this on an iPhone at a law office because all the computers are taken, so I'll try and get to the point and comprise my observations and impressions briefly.

Idaho is confusing. A road will take three or so deliberate right or left turns and still be the same road. There are few sidewalks and they are spaced out unevenly. Everyone drives a Subaru. But it is nonetheless beautiful and the people are fantastic!!! Many people we come across really really like the missionaries, but some are not as big of fans. Some people honk at us and give us thumbs up, others give us another finger and yell profanities at us while we're walking haha. But that's only happened a couple times haha, most people are really kind to us.

I have felt a little overwhelmed a lot of times though, and whenever I begin to feel so, I say a prayer and I receive almost immediate strength and comfort, it's insane. Because a good number of people here are already members (or have achieved "emeritus status" from church), we do a lot of service here. At first I was like "whyyy do we do so much service here?" But then I decided that I'm not getting out of it so I prayed to HF and asked Him to help me be more happy and willing to serve, to do so with a good attitude. It worked! I seriously look forward to serving now. We do all kinds of service, from fixing bikes to yard work to working with the Salvation Army. 

One thing happened that I thought was cool, in accordance with the above paragraph. Earlier in the week when I was feeling super overwhelmed, I began to question why I was here and not in India. I wasn't mad, like I'm really happy to be here and everything, and I love Boise but I was just curious as to why He has me here right now. After I had asked Heavenly Father to help me be happier in serving I received an answer. We were doing yard work for a single woman and her son and all of a sudden something whispered to my mind "this is why you're here." I was like WHOA. And that made me even happier!! The greatest lesson I learned from this week (as a result of this experience) is that when we submit to His will, or rather, find common ground between His will and ours, is when we receive answers to our prayers. The Master will not succor the unwilling servant.

I don't know if any of that made sense and I don't really have time to proofread haha but I love and miss you guys!!! Hope all is going well back home.

Elder Tuscano

MTC companions 

MTC District 47A

Elder Smith and a Boise sunset

He referred to their place as "the shack"

inside the shack

Boise in the Fall

10.09.2015

Our Boy is in Boise

How thrilled Sister Winder and  I were to greet your son and to welcome him as a full-time missionary in the Idaho Boise Mission.  What a blessing it will be to our mission to have him serving here to the assigned field of labor.

After arriving at the mission office and conducting a brief orientation of the mission, I had the opportunity of interviewing your son in an effort to become better acquainted with him and to feel of his spirit.  As a result of this interview, I felt impressed to assign your son, as a companion, to one of the most obedient, most skilled, and hardest working missionary in the mission.  You can be assured that this companion is one of our mission’s very best.

We are confident that your son will have a very positive experience while serving in the Idaho Boise Mission.  We know he will strengthen his skills, increase his knowledge and testimony of the gospel, and establish an increased measure of love for all of our Heavenly Father’s children he will assist in teaching.

We have attached a picture of your missionary with Sister Winder and myself and also a picture of him with his trainer, Elder Smith. The Lord’s choicest blessings be with you as you sustain your son and pray for his continued welfare.

Faithfully yours,
President John Q. Winder
Idaho Boise Mission





10.08.2015

Idaho Boy

Just letting you know I'm here and safe!  My trainer is awesome and we live in a small shack thing, I'll send pictures on Monday.  Missionary work in the actual field is very different from what the MTC made it seem like it might be.  I feel like I'm a little overwhelmed but I will get used to it.  I'm learning new things and figuring new things out everyday especially with Heavenly Father's help, I've been praying a lot and he's definitely listening and answering my prayers.  Idaho is very confusing but really nice too!  I am really really loving the whole experience so far.  But I miss you guys and hope you're doing well!!

Love you,
Elder Tuscano

10.05.2015

Ready to leave the MTC!



Ready to leave the MTC for Boise!

MTC companion Elder Magnusson

Hello,

This week has flown by!!!  The first few days in the MTC were some of the longest in my life, just because they were jam packed with things to do and learn and there was little down time.  Everyone kept saying that after your first Sunday in the MTC it all flies by.  I didn't believe them at first, but turns out they're right!

Tuesday evening, Elder Claudio R.M. Costa (the one who spoke in Conference) came and spoke to us and he was awesome!!!  He was so funny too.   But the main point from his talk was that "You can count how many seeds are in an apple, but you can't count how many apples come from a seed."  I think this will be a great thing to remember during rough times in the field.

Speaking of the field, Elder Magnusson, myself, and part of our district/zone depart for Boise at 3:35AM tomorrow!  That'll be great.  But also Elder Mag and I met with some guy that's over missionary travel in India and explained to us the details of how to get into the country (if and when we get there).  He told us that if they question us as to why we are there, we're supposed to say that we're "volunteers for our church here to share a message with anyone who will hear." And that's exactly what we're doing! Plain and simple, I thought it was cool.  

We've been teaching mock investigators in TRC and the classroom.  Seeing these investigators progress and seeing the light and joy the gospel brings to their lives is incredible.  I feel the Spirit so strongly as we teach them and especially when I testify to them that what we're teaching is true.  Sometimes I get so excited I just want to stand on like a tower or wall or box or something and yell the lessons from there and bring everyone to a knowledge of the truth.  I want to bring thousands back to the fold like Alma and the Sons of Mosiah.

I learned about Thomas the Apostle a bit this week, he has a super cool story (as he was the first missionary in India, how cool is that?!).  After Christ was resurrected, Thomas was called to preach the gospel in India.  At first he was like "Eh...I don't think so."  So Christ appeared to him in a dream and said "There's no need to fear for I'll be with you."  He still was like "Eh..." The Lord's will will always prevail though, so he was put into slavery by some merchant that did business in India.  Upon arriving in India, Thomas was then sold to an Indian king as a slave.  He then converted the king and his brother and was liberated from slavery.  He went on to convert a said 17,000.  How cool is that?!  I wanna do that kind of work, but really I just hope I get there haha.


How did everyone like conference?!  My favorite messages were delivered by Elder Uchtdorf (Saturday Morning), Elder Larry Lawrence (Saturday Morning), Elder Eyring (Priesthood Session, especially the story about his great-grandfather), Elder Durrant (Sunday Afternoon), and Elder Allen D. Haynie (Sunday Afternoon).  I also really loved the testimonies given by the three new apostles!! I know they're men called of God and they'll do wonderful in the Quorum of the Twelve!  I feel that no one can denounce the validity of the Gospel and the truthfulness of the Church after this Conference.  

10.01.2015

Boise?!

Until Jonathan receives his documentation for India, his temporary assignment
will be Boise, Idaho!  He's excited, and we're reminded of this funny scene from
The Singles Ward. "Boise, what do you say to that?" "I say right on."

9.28.2015

First letter from Jonathan in the MTC

Namskara (I think)!

Wow what a crazy experience so far.  I feel like I've been here for a few weeks, but it's only been a few days.  There is a lot going on here and it is all fantastic.  So after I got dropped off on Wednesday, my host that took me to my room was Caleb Heward!!!  It was so good to see him, and frankly pretty weird haha.  But he helped me take my things to my room, I got my tags and whatnot then shortly after I met my companion and my district!!  My companion is from Atlanta, Georgia.  But picture this. He is a skinny Indian kid with a buzzed head and a southern accent.  He was adopted from India when he was two by a family that lives in Georgia!  So he looks straight outta India but he' s definitely a red neck and admits to being such.  He's so funny.  He's an interesting kid.  Sings songs all the time, everything from country to rap.  He's not very good, but he thinks he is, so I get a kick out of it.  Like I said, I feel like I've been here for weeks!  It's been a surprisingly easy transition to the MTC.  Mission schedule isn't alarming or anything.  Amidst the first couple of classes we had as a district and at meetings and whatnot, I realized the gospel is a lot like a present.  As missionaries, we give people the gospel, but it's their choice to open it and partake of its contents!  I've also noticed that the spirit is stronger here than it is almost anywhere else I've been.  At the end of each day I am worn out.  Spiritually exhaustion leading to physical exhaustion!  It's like the exact opposite of anything I've done prior, but I love it.  The second day of being here we met the Branch President and I was made a district leader!  I am district leader of District 47-A and I couldn't be happier.  Our district is comprised of me and my companion, a companionship going to the Australia Sydney South mission, and a trio of sisters going to Logan!  In our classes (our classes are just our districts plus instructors) we've started teaching like right away!!  Me and Elder Magnusson (my companion) have been working really well together and we play off each other really well when teaching.  The spirit is very strong and present when we are teaching, even though right now we're just teaching our teachers.  It's crazy.  This Wednesday is when Elder Mag and I find out where we're going temporarily in the states, so I'll let you know!!!  Sorry I'm kinda all over the place right now.  I'm kinda rushing because I gotta go do laundry and prepare to teach an investigator tonight!  If you need something to really uplift you, go read Enos 1: 3-8.  There is a LOT of power packed in those verses.  Anyway, much love!!  Miss everyone and normal life, but also loving missionary life so far!!

Love,

Elder Tuscano

9.24.2015

Reports to the Provo MTC

Wednesday, September 23
 Reports to the Provo Missionary Training Center

the last lunch (he chose noodles & company)
the siblings
two years of luggage
i think i have everything i need...
one last photo with mom and dad




a hometown friend, caleb heward, just chanced to be his greeting host
off he goes...