Bonjour and baptism from Bangalore

Hello hello all what is up!

This week was pretty docile here in Bengaluru.  We had an appointment or two fall through this week.  Ok maybe more than that.  We DID, however, have a baptism!!  That was awesome, I will chat about that today.

Our young investigator, Gowtham (age 13), was baptized yesterday!  It seems that a number of previous missionaries had attempted to teach and baptize Gowtham, though they were not able to because of a common dilemma that often prevents youth and young adults in India from being baptized: his parents did not approve.  As a companionship we decided that we would address the issue head on and just talk to his parents!  So one night we went to his home and explained what our church was all about (it is important to note that Gowtham has been attending church for a good while now).  We talked about what he was learning from our church and how it would help him.  We asked her if she'd noticed any difference in her some since he'd been attending for a while.  She responded in the affirmative and told us that she's observed how helpful he's become and how good of an example he is now to his younger brother.  As soon as she consciously thought of the good the Gospel has done for son, almost immediately she went from being against him taking baptism to wholeheartedly supporting him taking baptism.  The change the Gospel brings into people's lives, regardless of age, is incredible.

That's really it for this week, I thought that was cool haha.  I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the photos (that hopefully come through)!

Keep the faith.  Stay strong.

Elder Tuscano


"Diligence despite circumstances brings blessings." -Jonathan

 The District

Hello one hello all!!

This week was fantastic.  We seriously have the most AWESOME investigators right now.  They make and keep their commitments, they're really engaged and eager to learn more about the Gospel, and their ages range from thirteen to forty-six or so haha.  A good number of them are making confident strides toward baptism and I couldn't be more excited.

In fact, a highlight from this week stems from our efforts to set a baptism date.  I guess monsoon season came a little early to Bangalore this year (or at least a shadow of what is to come) and on Wednesday night it was absolutely pouring.  Honestly, the streets went from being dry to standing water in a matter of minutes.  We had an appointment scheduled for that night in which we were planning to extend a baptism date.  We contemplated the distant cycle ride and the inevitability that we would be sopping wet were we to leave at that time.  But no sooner did we all receive the confirmation: DO IT FOR THE DATE!  Off we went, cycling like lightning through the pouring rain and to our great joy we set a baptism date for our young investigator, Gowtham (I'll be sure to send a picture), for this coming Sunday.  We are pumped.

Diligence despite circumstances brings blessings, that is what I learned this week.

I hope everyone had an awesome week, keep the faith and stay rad!

Elder Tuscano


Bonjour from Bengaluru (photos finally)!

The tie that he's wearing is one that I wore while in college


What is up, y'all?  Comin' straight at ya from the Garden City of Bengaluru and this.  Place.  Is. Nuts. Hahaha it is seriously like nowhere else in India.  It is SUPER urban and INCREDIBLY diverse.  I see literally every race in the world everyday haha.  There is, however, still an incredibly dense population of Indians and, depending on where you go, elements of traditional India are alive and well.  It is SUPER green here; not in the sense that the air is clean (because that is the furthest thing from the truth) but there are trees, plants, and gardens EVERYWHERE, it's rad.  I love Bangalore.  My companion is also a pretty cool guy.  His name is Elder Shanmugam from a little village in Tamil Nadu called Erode.  He speaks....a different kind of English haha but he's good.  He turns 25 this month.  Sadly, however, he is being transferred to Kolar Gold Fields this Wednesday to replace a missionary who, unfortunately, ran away and went back home.  So my new companions are the other elders in our apartment: Elders Wakefield and Sunny, the former from San Jose and the latter from Delhi.  You'll be hearing more about them in the coming weeks.

Primarily, we travel by cycle (which is unfortunate for me).  But cycling in Bangalore isn't like cycling everywhere else, we are LITERALLY a part of the normal flow of traffic, it's nuts.  Plus E. Shanmugam is like Speed Racer and I'm dying haha.  If you wanna know what my life is like right now watch videos of traffic in India.  A small miracle happened this week though, as we were traveling to one appointment. Unfortunately, we were separated at one point because E. Shanmugam is a champion when it comes to cycling the streets of India.  I had no idea where this guy was.  I know how I would find him either because a) we only have one phone and he had it in his possession, and b) I had no idea what our phone number is because it's my first week, right?  How can I know?  So I just said a little prayer and thought to look in my wallet.  Turns out I had a little mission emergency contact card with our assistant's phone numbers on it.  I then felt impressed to go ask a police officer directing traffic nearby if I could borrow his phone (which is risky because the police do NOT like Christians here).  It so happened that he was SUPER kind and helpful and let me borrow his phone to call the assistants, obtain my companion's number, then call him to inquire where he was.  We were reunited within half an hour or so.  Prayer seriously works.  God loves His children and watches over his missionaries especially.

Also it was Bangalore's very first stake conference yesterday!!  Super cool.

Anyway, super exciting week with many more to come.  Keep the faith y'all.

Elder Tuscano


Back in the Garden City!

(quick blog note from Jonathan after the the Mother's Day phone call)

What is up everyone, comin' at ya from the Garden City--round two!  I was here in Bangalore, serving in Convent Road (the very same ward), my first few days after I arrived in India as I was waiting to be assigned to my first real area.  But I am super pumped to be back!

My companion is Elder Shanmugam, he is from a little village in Tamil Nadu called Erode.  I don't know all that much about him yet as we just flew in this morning.  But I am excited to be his companion and I will send pictures as soon as I can, especially from last transfer, I've got some good ones.  Sorry to disappoint, but these computers at the church we're using right now are straight outta the 1980's and have no USB port hahaha.

My last Sunday in Hyderabad was an eventful one.  I was asked to give the opening prayer at sacrament, as well as speak AND teach the elders quorum lesson.  It was a blast.  I will miss Hyderabad, I hope to go back at some point!  That would be sweet, I feel like my work there isn't quite finished!  

Everyone have a good week, I will try to send some pictures ASAP haha.

Elder Tuscano


Bus dodging, Small steps. Hot temps. Hello from Hydrobad (possible humidity and thirst wordplay?)

Jonathan said that they will visit The Seven Tombs in Hyderabad on their day off this week.
In case he doesn't get any photos to us, here's one that we found for reference.

What is up what is up!

This week was pretty plain and simple, nothing too exciting haha.  Unless you think that workin' hard in 113 degree weather is exciting, that would prove my previous statement incorrect.

We did a lot of locating our members this week.  It was a difficult task, as our area is HUGE, but we were able to find a lot of our less actives and simultaneously become acquainted with greater Hyderabad.  We did get lost once though, and I almost got hit by a bus I think almost once a day this week, but I'm alive!  They should feature me on that show "I Shouldn't be Alive," one day.

One cool experience:  Elder Larson and I sometimes think that we're not doing all that much good because so many people are not keeping their commitments despite our diligent efforts.  Yesterday at fast and testimony meeting we were proved wrong.  One sweet couple that we meet with is well into their sixties.  The wife is the relief society president and her husband has been inactive for a long time.  We go to their home a couple times a week and they LOVE having us over haha.  Every time we visit, we invite the brother to come to church with us, read his scriptures, pray, etc.  He always commits, but rarely follows through.  Yesterday, however, the sister (her name is Esther Rani) got up and bore her testimony and thanked us personally for coming to her home because now, after a long time, her husband is reading his scriptures and praying!!  Sometimes our vision becomes a little foggy, we think that getting them to church is the goal and there's no other progress.  That's not true.  Change is often made in small steps, rather than giant leaps.  I gained a firm testimony of that this week.  I love this work.  Our efforts are not wasted, how sweet that is to know.

I hope everyone has an awesome week this week.  Keep fresh, stay rad (and cool).

Keep the faith,
Elder Tuscano