monsoons, missed-call miracle and popcorn shrimp

New companion: Elder Jensen
What is up?

All is good out here in Bangalore.  Monsoon season is in full swing here and we have been pretty wet all week haha.

In other news, my new companion is Elder Jensen from Lindon, Utah.  He is awesome.  Back home he liked dirt biking and playing sports, but out here in the field he is excited and ready to work hard.  He's got a strong testimony and I'm pumped to be his companion.  It's fun to see him adjusting to, well, India really haha.  It is a pretty big change from Lindon, Utah.  He's a lot like how I was when I first came to India: people can be speaking any language to him--Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, even English--it all just sounds the same haha.  He's working hard and adjusting more and more each day.

One cool experience this week: so on Saturday we met with an investigator that lives just outside of Bangalore.  And by that I mean he lives 350 km away from here in some random village.  But anyway, he is a twenty-six year old young man that is a convert to Christianity of just about two years now, he's from Hindu background.  About a month ago, he was looking online for a free Bible and, of course, stumbled upon mormon.org, where he also placed an order for a Book of Mormon and all of the pamphlets.  About a month after that, one of our senior couple missionaries, Elder Little, just so happened to call HIS NUMBER of the BILLIONS of numbers in India by accident. This young man (Ranjith), returned his accidental missed call and somehow they got started talking about the Gospel.  After that, arrangements were made for us to meet with him and he traveled ALL NIGHT by bus just to meet with us and learn about the Gospel.  So on Saturday we met with him and taught him the Restoration, all went really well (despite his limited English) and we are meeting with him again today!  We are stoked and hoping that all goes well.  The faith of this man is admirable, if not exemplary.  I think all of us can take some notes form Ranjith.

Hope Ranjith's experience inspires you guys as much as it did for us.  Everyone keep the faith and have a rad, safe week!

Elder Tuscano

P.S. Attached is a photo of me and my boy Elder Jensen.  Unfortunately he looks like Liam Hemsworth and I look like popcorn shrimp.  Maybe someone rolled me in breadcrumbs and baked me at 350 til I was a nice golden brown color but that doesn't make me not a shrimp hahaha.  But anyway, enjoy!


Cars and Cows! Namaskara from south-central India...

Namskara from southcentral India y'all, what is up?

This week was really cool.  Me and Elder Sunny were just kickin' it out here in Convent Road (which I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but our area covers about 1/3 of Bangalore).  Yesterday was awesome especially because Gregory was confirmed and Sunil (Gowtham's younger brother) was baptized!!!  I had the privilege of performing both ordinances, that was a really cool experience for me.  I'll send pictures, don't worry.
Funny experience this week: we were cycling in our area when we came upon a good deal of traffic blocking a fairly unpopular road so we were confused.  We soon came to  know that three cows standing in the middle of the road were holding up traffic haha how funny is that?

One cool story this week: Earlier in the week we had met and talked with Sunil's father, as we had with their mother, and told him what our church was all about because he was a little apprehensive about Sunil taking baptism.  After speaking with him, he was cool with everything, no questions asked.  Saturday evening rolls around and Sunil passes his baptism interview with flying colors.  That night, as soon as we got back to our apartment for the evening, we got a call from Sunil's aunt saying that his father was no longer giving permission for Sunil to be baptized.  We were heartbroken.  As we opened up our nightly planning with a prayer, we prayed for Sunil's father's heart to be softened and, according to God's will, Sunil might be baptized the following day.  Almost immediately after saying Amen, we got another call from Sunil's aunt who told us that his father said it was okay for Sunil to be baptized!!!  It's little miracles like this that make the mission field just the most happenin' place to be.

Also transfer calls came this week and, turns out, I'll be training a new missionary!!  I'm excited, the trainers' meeting is on Wednesday and I'll find out who I'll be training then (I think)!  I will be staying in Convent Road, as will Elder Sunny.  His new companion comes tomorrow.

Hope all is well back home.  Stay safe, believe in miracles, and keep the faith!!

Elder Tuscano


Camel meat is super chewy (but good with the right spices) and teaching a roommate of an Indian soccer star!

missionaries at the mango market
baptism of Gregory

What is up y'all?  All is cool here in Bangalore, literally though, it's a really nice temperature these days.  Usually.  Sometimes it's pretty humid, but not unbearable or anything.

Nothing super unusual or happenin' really happened this week, but there were quite a few cool small things that happened this week, I figured I'd share 'em:

As far as food goes, this week was pretty exciting.  I had noodles dosai.  I don't know if anyone knows what dosai is, but it's Indian breakfast basically, it's kind of like an Indian pancake, it's just made of rice flour (or batter I guess).  Typically it's served with some mint chutney or ginger garlic pickle, but this week, when I was on exchange in Indirangar, we had noodles dosai.  Honestly they just took chow mein and threw it inside some dosai, it was nuts.  Pretty good though, I can't really explain it that well haha.  Oops.  Also there is a HUGE Muslim festival called Ramadan (pronounced Ramzan here for some reason) going on right now.  Accordingly, we had a couple traditional food items this week.  The first was called chicken haleem.  It's pretty strange, they basically just throw chicken meat (while on the bone) in a grinder, grind it into a paste and eat it.  So I had that this week, it wasn't very good.  I didn't even take a picture because it was pretty gross haha.  Also we had CAMEL this week!  Not my first rodeo, but it was pretty good.  Camel meat is super chewy though.  But it's good when you throw the right spices on it.  It's really expensive, it's like $15 per kilo.  Crazy.

Ok, this was pretty funny.  We went to our first counselor's home for dinner this week.  It's important to note that I have not seen his wife nor his kids at church since I arrived, so I figured maybe they're sick or something and they'll come soon.  I also assumed that they were church members.  In India it is not uncommon to ask the person who is feeding you if they are vegetarian or not.  So we roll up to their house and I was feelin' pretty liberal that day I guess, and one of the first things I ask his wife was "So, sister, do you eat beef?"  SHE WAS HINDU.  I had NO IDEA!!!  After I asked it was as though she'd seen a ghost, she was so shocked haha.  I didn't know any better though, I didn't even see any pictures of Hindu gods or anything around their home!  Haha I thought that was pretty funny, I hope my mom doesn't get offended when reading this.  It was an accident, mom, really.  I apologized and everything.

Well, I hope everyone has a good week.  Oh, side note: E. Wakefield got a surprise transfer call to Visak for his last week on his mission.  We will miss him.  So it's just me and Elder Sunny in Convent Road this week haha.

Stay safe, keep the faith!
Elder Tuscano


What's good in the Indian hood? LARGEST mango market EVER!

photo not sent by Jonathan -he says not to worry, he'll send pics of the mango market

Hello hello all!

This week was a good one here in Bangalore.  Nothing too crazy happened.  Unless you think going to the LARGEST mango market EVER is crazy.  Because it kind of is.  We definitely went to this super huge and cool mango market this week held in a GIANT botanical garden.  There were vendors from all over India and something like fifty or so different types of mangos available.  I will send a picture don't worry.

This week we had a baptism!  His name is Gregory and he is RAD.  He seriously is one of the greatest investigators I've ever met with.  He is so eager and willing to learn about the Gospel, he reads whatever we give him and really knows his stuff.  He is from Catholic background.  He recently started working for a company based out of Salt Lake and you can guess what happened after that (;  just kidding.  But he observed how his colleagues worked, spoke, acted, etc. and wanted to know why they were "different from other Americans" that he's worked with.  His colleagues so happen to be church members, shared with him their beliefs and he was so intrigued that they hooked him up with the missionaries and, well, here we are now!  It is cool to see and hear of those who still do missionary work even after they stop wearing the tag.  This is how awesome he is: we invited him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, but he wanted an answer so quickly that he decided to fast and pray earnestly. He did so and received his answer.  I seriously can't say enough about how great he is, nor how great of a member and leader he will be (even though he is already).  

I hope everyone will strive to be like Gregory this week and feast upon the words of Christ and pray earnestly to know the truth.

Keep the faith, love y'all!
Elder Tuscano