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


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!!!

Elder Tuscano


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!!!