Piano lessons came in handy, and transfer to Hyderabad!

Hello what is uuuup all?  This week was pretty good in Visak, not too happenin', but still really good.  I am pretty sad though, I'm leaving!  Transfer calls were Saturday night and I'm going to Hyderabad!!!  I'll be serving in the West Maredpalli 1st ward, yes ward because Hyderabad has a stake!  I'm super pumped, I've heard nothing but good things about Hyderabad.

It will be really sad leaving these wonderful people of Visak though, I love them a lot.  They are like my family now.  In a sense, they've "raised me," as this has been my first area.

In other news, the zone leaders had a baptism this week at which they asked me to be the pianist haha.  Yes, me.  That was interesting, but fun and actually worked out!  I wasn't quite as rusty as I thought haha.  So I'm thankful to my wonderful mother for having me take piano lessons for all those years.  

Ok, not much time today, I've gotta go pack, I leave tomorrow for Hyderabad!  See y'all, have a great week and stay true to the faith!

Elder Tuscano


Sping is here (and pictures, too)!

Hello hello all!!

This week was a pretty good one here in Visak, really productive.  Nothing super duper awesome happened BUT Purushotham's parents were confirmed yesterday!!!  Man, that was awesome.  They were both beaming/glowing after, it was an AWESOME experience.  Such a happy day and a happy experience.

Another cool thing is that we went a super cool village by the beach to give a blessing to someone.  I will try to send pictures, hopefully they come through this time.

The coolest thing that happened this week though was an experience with being led by the Spirit.  So this week Elder Shaik and I had the strong impression to visit a former investigator.  But neither of us knew how to get to his home.  I had been there once with Elder Thambi when I first came to India and had not the slightest sense of spatial reasoning.  But we knew we had to go.  So I said a prayer in my heart that we'd be able to find his home.  And we started walking.  We walked down streets that were but vaguely familiar, obscure alley ways that proved to be quite useful, and line upon line, we were led to the investigators home.  The thing is, is that I didn't hear a voice in my head.  There was no lighted cloud guiding the way. Yet I knew not where to go.  I asked in faith for guidance and the Spirit led us where we needed to go.  The Spirit is a lot more subtle than one might think.  It's not always this crazy spiritual experience, sometimes it's quiet.  It's humble.  I thought that was way cool.

Anyway, everyone have a rad week this week, and keep the faith!
Elder Tuscano


a partial photo is better than no photo, right?!

at least it's more of a picture than we've seen for a long time :)
What is up, all?

This week was an incredibly good one for the Visak zone, full of good news.  In part, some good news is that I (miraculously) recovered my photos from the past few weeks [parent note: well.. the miracle is yet to be seen as evidenced by the partial photo of only one picture that he sent; but we haven't given up hope and believe that faith precedes the miracle :)]!!  So there will be some coming your way.  We had three baptisms across the zone this week, two of which were from our companionship!!  Purushotham's parents (Mutyalayya and Paidithalli) were both baptized!!!  Man, they are seriously awesome.  This week I will simply elaborate on the baptisms in the Visak zone, they are pretty cool.

So on Sunday morning we got a call from Shravani (Purushotham's wife) explaining that they had had a death in the family.  Our hearts sank.  We were about to explain that we could move the baptism to a different week at their leisure, when she told us that her parents-in-law were asking if they could still be baptized that day!!  Talk about awesome faith, right?  I thought that was awesome.  They are seriously such wonderful people.  I'm so happy for them.

The other baptism in the zone was in the Visak 2nd branch, this one was particularly cool.  So there is an elder currently serving in Hyderabad, from the Visak 2nd branch, who is, or at least was, one of the only members in his family--up until yesterday!  As is the case with many native missionaries who come from part member families, his mother started meeting with the missionaries upon his departure for the mission field, and yesterday she was baptized--BY HER SON!!  The mission president granted him special permission to come to Visak for a day and baptize his mother.  How beautiful is that?  There is nothing more beautiful than the Gospel, I know that without the faintest shadow of a doubt. [parent note: Jonathan mentioned that they had fifteen baptisms across the mission this wee and also had seventeen investigators attend sacrament meeting. He says that they are honestly overwhelmed with work to do]

There is so much to rejoice about.

Elder Tuscano


Ides of March in India?!

Parent Note: This is yet another "filler" photo that was taken before Jonathan left for India. He has a camera but its memory card was infected with a virus at the net shop where he sends his email. He recently let us know that he was concerned about spending money on a new memory card. We've convinced him to buy one so that we can see pictures!

Hello hello all!

This week was a good one but a slow one here in Visak haha.  This week consisted of normal missionary work and some training from President Berrett on how to make our weekly planning sessions more effective!  We also had district conference!  That was cool.  I've never attended a church gathering that was held in a hotel before haha so that was cool.

We did have a pretty cool little trip this week, though, we went to a little village about 60km outside of Visak called Boghapuram.  On Sunday we received a strong member referral from a couple that lives and works in Boghapuram, so obtained permission from our zone leaders, we got on an "express bus" and went!  Boghapuram is a super cool place actually and it's a cool journey to get there.  As mentioned, we took a bus that took us through the Indian "countryside," then dropped us off at hot, dusty bus stop.  From there, Alma (yes his name is Alma, he is the one who gave us the referral), came and picked us up.  We then drove through about 10km through HUGE groves of palm trees accompanied by concourses of banana trees, it was seriously so cool.  Small patches of sunlight broke through the trees, it was awesome.  We then arrived at their apartment complex which is situated in the cool, green scenery of rural India.  I took some pictures but I am currently unable to send them due to the virus which has infected my current memory card.  Thank you ghetto net shops of India.  We're going again on Wednesday, I'll try to take some pictures.  But then we taught this awesome new family and they invited us back for a lunch appointment!  I'm super excited.

That's really it for this week haha.  I hope everyone had a solid week.  I also hope everyone is sufficiently prepared for the Ides of March....................beware beware.  Stay faithful!  God hears and answers prayers.  Ask in faith and ye shall receive.

Elder Tuscano


Leaping into March...

Hello hello all!!!

This week was an awesome one, the work is moving forward with confidence here in Visak.  I will speak of just two solid experiences we had this week that really stuck out to me.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before haha, but we're teaching Chilakama's son, his name is Eshwar (Chilakama is a recent convert that was baptized in December).  He is an auto driver and is having a lot of financial problems, but he loves the gospel so much and has incredible faith in the Savior.  He works a lot and has but limited time to meet with us each week.  He kept bailing on appointments we had set, which was kind of disappointing, but what can you do?  YOU CAN TEACH HIS MOM!!!  So we went to Chilakama's house to just share a short message with her, and as I was offering the opening prayer and praying for Eshwar, he walked in!!!  He said he wasn't planning on coming to his house until later in the evening, but he felt impressed to come home for lunch and we were able to teach him!!!!  He loved the lesson and he is progressing rapidly toward baptism!!

Another cool experience is that some of the investigators we teach struggle to make it to sacrament meeting on time, so we felt like we should make it a point to emphasize that in our respective lessons with them this week.  But each time, before we would begin sharing our message, they expressed how they really needed to make sacrament a priority and come to church on time.  Each of them did so this week.  I seriously think it's awesome how inspired this work truly is and how the Lord truly truly does hear and answer prayers.  How great is He?

Hope everyone has a rad week, keep it fresh.

Elder Tuscano