Helping people (and refrigerators)!

Hello hello all!!

This week was a long one but a good one.  As I reflect on this week, it seems the week was far more productive than I initially thought.  We found ELEVEN new investigators this week!!!  Crazy!!  The work is seriously going so well here.  The members here are awesome.  They are so excited to share their beliefs with all their friends and any who are willing to listen to them.

There's not any super rad highlights from this week, sad to say, but I will highlight one of the coolest members of our branch that was instrumental in helping us find these eleven new investigators.  There is a teacher age young man in our branch named Ashok.  He is rad.  He is just a skinny little guy haha.  So it's important to know that the district goal for this year is for each member family to bring two souls into the fold.  Awesome goal, right?  That wasn't high enough for Ashok haha.  His goal is to bring each one of his friends to church, isn't he awesome?!  So this week he took us to one of his friend's home and now we're teaching his friend AND his friend's family of five.  How cool is that?
This week we went to a recent convert's home.  We were waiting for her to arrive and we were just conversing with her mother who is not a member.  She understood that we give blessings so she asked if we would give a blessing on the new refrigerator she'd bought just a few days earlier.  We were like WHAT?  But we just said a prayer.  We "blessed" the fridge to work for a long time and to keep food cold and preserved.

Get out there and share the Gospel, guys.  Not only is it just good news, it's the greatest news there has ever been or ever will be.  And keep the faith!!!

Much Love,
Elder Tuscano


It's hot and still no air conditioning yet, but he's having cool experiences!

Greetings from the east coast of India.

This week was good!  Things were "Shaik"en up here in the Visak 3rd branch this week (pun intended because my new companion's name is Elder Shaik).  He is a good guy!  A very...interesting character haha.  He is cool though.  He is 25 years old, I guess he had to wait FOUR YEARS for his passport to be approved haha.  He is a convert from Islam, how cool is that?  Meaning he was Muslim before haha.  I will see if I can coax his conversion story out of him.

We had a really cool experience this week that strengthened my testimony that the Lord truly is preparing people to hear the Gospel.  This week we were in an auto on the way to one of our areas and we sat next to a twenty-two or twenty-three guy named Srinivas.  He asked us who we are and what we were doing, as is common when we take autos places haha.  He informed us that he has a sister and brother-in-law currently living in Mexico who are recent converts to Christianity!  We saw this as an awesome teaching opportunity so we exchanged phone numbers.  We went to his home two days later and as were talking he said that he'd told his sister about his encounter with us.  He then relayed to us that his sister told him to do all he could to have us in his home and to listen to whatever we said.  How awesome is that?  I've never really known what a "golden investigator" is like until now.  But he's not just a golden investigator, he's a golden soul.  A child of our Father in Heaven.

Another cool experience is that we had a Visak district-wide missionary fireside on Saturday!  As part of opening exercises, we had each person who attended stand, say their name, and give a brief explanation of how they found the Church.  Almost every single one said "the missionaries came to my home and taught my family."  I thought about this and how awesome it is the almost the entirety of the Church in India is composed of converts!  Recent converts!  I then thought of how much of a blessing, privilege, and honor, it is to serve among these people who hold some of the sweetest and most powerful testimonies I have yet heard.  I love this work and I love these people.  So much.
As part of my chain of strange foods I've eaten, this week I had chicken liver curry.  Which isn't actually that weird, but still kind of strange.  

Also, in other news, Purushotham was called as the Young Men's secretary for the Visak 3rd branch yesterday!!!!  How awesome is that?!  He is rad.  I will do my best to send some pictures haha I've not sent any in some time now.

I hope everyone has a good week!  And remember: become converted everyday to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder Tuscano


It's hot with no A/C; it's Navy Day (week); he's a new District Leader

(photo not taken by Jonathan; he's having challenges getting photos to send from his location)

Yo yo yo!

This week was a really good one for us, hope it was for everyone else!! I also hope it wasn't as hot as it is here haha.  In Visak, summer starts now and ends in November, I guess.  Also the A/C in our room is currently broken so night time isn't exactly awesome.  But it's an adventure haha.

This week was not the greatest for missionary work due to "Navy Day," here in Visak haha.  It's strange that they call it Navy Day because the celebration is definitely a week long.  Apparently, once a year, the Indian Navy does a review with routines, lights, colors, fireworks, celebrations, you name it.  This time, however, was special because navies from all around the world came to participated!  Unfortunately, the celebration was held outside of our area, so we were not able to attend (which is a bummer because that would have been an awesome finding opportunity).  Though kilometers away, we witnessed the celebration through sounds and sights of fireworks, it was cool.

Last week I believe I mentioned that we found a "Visak pioneer" who had gone less active and had been praying for an opportunity to take his wife to the temple.  His name is Bharath and he is AWESOME.  We taught him and his wife this week and they are both making considerable progress.  This week, for the first time in forever, they came back to church!!  That was so awesome.  I'm quite fond of them.  In other news, Purushotham was ordained to the office of priest yesterday!!!  So so cool.  Seeing what the gospel does for people is incredible to say the least.  It is seriously such a privilege to be engaged in this work.

In other news, Elder Thambi is being transferred to Gajuwaka tomorrow ):  He will still be in the same zone, though I will miss him being my companion.  I don't know much about my new companion, but we will find out tomorrow!

Until next week!  Keep the faith, y'all.
Elder Tuscano


Still waiting for more photos from Visak and raw sugar cane is sweet!

Usha at the Taj Majal in 1986

Hello all!!!  This week was seriously awesome.  For those who still read my blog in spite of a more drab past couple of weeks, I hope you will feel the same.

This week we had zone conference!!  The topic was chapter eight from Preach My Gospel: Using Time Wisely.  President Berrett reminded us of whose time we are on and that as if we consciously understand this we will most assuredly see blessings.  This is exactly what Elder Thambi and I needed to hear as we were transitioning back into the flow of normal missionary work.  We really took the message to heart and have begun to see the blessings of doing so.

As I've expressed previously, we are teaching Purushotham's parents.  This week we were reviewing the message of the Restoration.  Purushotham's father was having some trouble remembering what we had taught (who can blame him, he is like seventy something years old) but then something awesome happened: Purushotham, a recent convert himself of a little over a month, just went off in Telugu and explained the Restoration in immense clarity and in a manner that his father truly understood.  It is incredible to see what the gospel, but especially the Spirit, does for people.  

We had another super cool experience this week.  One evening all of our appointments bailed on us.  We were walking around a part of our area determined to find someone to teach.  We felt impressed to go to one house and we called inside the house to see if anyone was home (that's how you door knock in India haha).  A brother in his thirties or so came out and warmly invited us in.  We soon learned that he was one of the first fifteen converts in Visak and that he had been inactive for sometime and wanted to come back to church.  He told us that his wife wasn't a member and that he had been praying that he would one day be able to take his wife to the temple and be sealed.  He was thrilled we came when we did.  The Lord truly, truly hears and answers prayers.

Also, this week I had sugar cane for the first time haha that was cool.  At Shravani and Purushotham's home, they handed me a sugar cane stalk that was about as long as my forearm.  They instructed me to peel off the black, plastic-like casing on the outside with my teeth haha.  I did so and they had a good laugh while I did it because I was an absolute failure at doing it.  Then you bite off a huge chunk to release the nectar, swallow the nectar, then spit out the fibrous remains.  It was definitely a process, but it was a cool experience.

I hope everyone has a good week!  Remember to always have a prayer in your heart. 
Elder Tuscano