celebrated one-year mark with an ethnic rollercoaster party at chili's indiranagar!

Call it an ethnic rollercoaster party at Chili's Indiranagar!
with our littlest (and by far cutest) investigators: Krithik is on the right and Joshua is on the left

Hello hello everyone, I hope you had as awesome a week as we had!

This week was, I believe, one of the most productive weeks that Indiranagar has had this year.  We found quite a few new solid investigators and identified even more potential investigators, of whom we have made plans to meet with this week.

All is well out here in Indiranagar, and this past week I passed my year mark!  Officially over the hump now, I guess.  Pretty bittersweet.  BUT, to celebrate, where did we have lunch that day?  You guessed it: CHILI'S!!!  Hahaha.  I'm telling you guys, Indian Tex-Mex will be a hit back home soon enough, just wait (;  I will send some pictures to prove it.

One cool experience we had this week was with one of our little investigators, Yuven.  He is nine years old and seriously a genius--and he speaks better English than I do!  This week we were talking to him about the Book of Mormon.  He said that he's had some trouble reading because of how difficult the words are, but he's doing his best to read every single day.  He told us that even though it's been difficult, he's been blessed for his efforts: last week, in school, his class had an English spelling exam.  He said there were a number of difficult words, one of which was the word: transgression.  He said he was SO happy that he'd read the Book of Mormon because he remembered reading it recently--and he spelled it correctly!  He got one of the highest scores in his class and was one of the only students who spelled "transgression" correctly!  I thought that was a neat little experience.

I hope everyone has a solid week this week and enjoy conference weekend!!  They don't broadcast general conference here until the following week because they have to translate the messages into Tamil, Telugu, and other native languages here.  Pretty cool, but no spoilers please! (;

Keep the faith.
Elder Tuscano


Pizza and Prabhu and Transfers

 our trio along with a couple of our members, as well as one of our investigators,
and a new missionary we hosted for just a day that came on exchange with us that day

one of our members "Kevin" in the red shirt with Elder Jensen and
one of our smallest investigators.  I don't know how to spell his name haha.

What's up what's up all?  Hope all is well back in the US of A.

This week was awesome for us, the work is picking up out here in Indiranagar.  We are finding investigators and potential investigators left and right (sort of), it's crazy!  God is good, that's for sure.

This week was transfer week for us and not a whole lot of change, haha.  Elder Shrestha is back from his "vacation" in Lingarajpuram (a different area in Bangalore) and he is with Elder Jensen and I: we're staying in Indiranagar!  I'm excited about that, I really like this area.  But now our once spacioius apartment isn't so spacious haha.  But it'll be good, I'm pumped.

We had a cool experience with Prabhu this week.  A few weeks ago, Prabhu told us that his favorite food was pizza.  We were kinda surprised, but we rolled with it.  It's important to note here that one of our favorite restaurants in Bangalore is California Pizza Kitchen--yup.  The very same chain back home, complete with the BBQ chicken pizza and all.  It's hilarious because there's not just like one branch here, there's like three of four CPK's spread out across Bangalore alone.  It's hilarious. Indians LOVE CPK haha.  And so do we.  But anyway, we set up a dinner appointment with Prabhu at CPK and he LOVED it haha, it was awesome.  He seriously couldn't get enough, he was even talking to the servers about how much better CPK is than Domino's.  Anyway, afterwards we taught Prabhu one of the most powerful lessons I have as yet taught on my mission.  Prabhu has had a kinda of rough year and is earnestly seeking peace in his life.  If there's anything that can bring peace to our lives, it's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  So that's what we taught about!  We shared scriptures like Hebrews 11:1 and passages from Alma 32, and it was like a light switched on behind his eyes.  Prabhu loves swimming, espeically Olympic swimming, so we helped him make a connection between faith and becoming like Michael Phelps (that example was pretty effective haha).  We could readily observe the Spirit working within him and teaching him things that we could only hope to teach.  Near the end of the lesson, we felt inspired to ask him what he felt his next step was.  He paused, then responded with something along the lines of, "I need to pray with faith so that I can find peace in my life."  How rad is that?  It's important to note that up until this point in our meetings with him, Prabhu had been apprehensive about praying in front us and would usually shy away from our requests.  So at the close of our lesson, I offered to say the closing prayer and at first he agreed, then a split second later, he said, "Actually, can I pray?"  We mutually responded, "OF COURSE!"  He then offered one of the most sincere and heartfelt prayers I've ever heard.  It's experiences like these that make it all worth it.

Man, I totally forgot to take a picture of us with Prabhu at CPK, I'm sorry ):  But I hope y'all will enjoy these other pictures!

Have a solid week, and keep the faith!
Elder Tuscano


The Book of Mormon: Plain and Precious

What is up!

This week was solid, though a lot of it was spent inside.  We were on lockdown for three consecutive evenings this week and again for some sort of statewide strike that was happened on Friday.  It was kind of like fall break for our zone haha (;  Just kidding, our zone had one of the most productive weeks thus far this transfer despite all the set backs haha.  But Ganesh festival was crazy!  There were parades, and drums, and all kinds of celebrations (and noise) going on late into the night this past week.  I saw Ganesh statues that were something like fifty feet tall.  I wish I could send pictures, but unfortunately I don't have any as we weren't supposed to take any haha.

One cool experience from this week: one of our investigators is a twelve year old young man named Akash, he is awesome.  He is SUPER inquisitive and eager to learn more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and our relationship with them.  Anyway, we met with Akash a couple times this week and after our first meeting, we challenged him to read 2 Nephi 31 to learn more about the doctrine of Christ, he accepted.  A couple days later, in our follow-up visit, he told us he hadn't read it--we were DEVASTATED (as Elder Holland suggests we should be when investigators fail to read the Book of Mormon)!  He told us he didn't read because he hadn't found time (you'd be surprised to witness how backed up a twelve year old in India can get with all the homework they're assigned).  We then felt prompted to depart from our initial lesson plan and read the chapter with him.  As we read, Akash lit up, we could see the Spirit working within him.  He exclaimed to us something along the lines of, "This is awesome, elder!  I can actually understand!"  He then revealed to us that he had had time to read, but he avoided doing so for fear that he wouldn't understand what he was reading!!  Akash came to know, as do all who read the Book of Mormon, that it is written in plainness and the beauty of the Book of Mormon lies in its simplicity.  The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ in a way that everyone can understand, especially when aided by the power of the Holy Ghost.  This experience was simple yet significant to me.  Cool things happenin' out here in Indiranagar.

Hope everyone has a good week, keep the faith!

Elder Tuscano


Bye Bye Dengue, Hello Ganesh Festival; Basketball and more...

Elder Jensen and I ballin' it up with Prabhu!
 The amazing lady from KGF (and her family) whose baptism interview I had the privilege of conducting! She is awesome and super ready to be baptized.  Fun side note: she only
speaks Kannada so I had to interview her via translator!  Incredible experience
funny photo of our crazy zone from zone training this past week!

HAPPY GANESH CHATURATHI, Y'ALL!  As missionaries, we will be celebrating this huge Hindu holiday by being on lockdown after 6PM for the next three days or so haha.  We aren't allowed to take pictures of all the happenings, unfortunately, but it's NUTS, I have seen some of the BIGGEST Ganesh statues I've ever seen in my life in the past week, and those were just the preparations for this festival.  It's crazy!  But a crazy cool time to be in India right now and I couldn't accurately express my gratitude for this amazing opportunity.

This past week we have been working with one of our SOLID investigators, his name is Prabhu.  Prabhu is something like twenty four years young and fresh out of business school.  He is pretty cool because his grandfather was a pioneer in Bangalore, as in baptized back in the 80's, I believe.  However, Prabhu and his family remained Hindu!  It has been really cool working with him and seeing where he's coming from.  He has a lot of questions that have been answered by the Lord's beautiful Plan of Salvation and he lights up as he learns things, it's awesome.  Something funny is that Prabhu asked Elder Jensen and I to teach him how to play basketball.  Prabhu is pretty tall and once we made a passing comment, and asked if he'd ever played before.  He said no but that he really wanted to learn how!  So we've been teaching him (whilst simultaneously teaching him the gospel)!  I will send a picture, it's pretty funny.

Also this week I had the opportunity to travel to Kolar Gold Fields, or what we call KGF for short, this week for a baptism interview.  KGF is about a three hour bus ride outside of Bangalore so that was quite the experience for me and Elder Jensen.  It was cool to see rural India at its finest.  Funny experience though: the bus we took out to KGF was PACKED, as in I couldn't even move, and I was sitting down!  But in my immobile state, somehow I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I swiveled my head around (to the extent that I could) to see what was up.  A man was trying to ask me something in Tamil.  I responded that I didn't understand (though I certainly tried) and turned my head back around, just minding my own business.  Then, no more than a few seconds later, a young boy (anywhere from five to seven years old) came and sat himself right on my lap, and stayed there!  For an hour!  I guess the man was trying to ask me if it was alright for his young son to sit on my lap!  I thought that was pretty funny, I hope I explained it well enough for you guys to get a laugh out of it as well.

Well, everyone have a happy Ganesh Festival and keep the faith (in Christ of course, not Ganesh.....unless you're Hindu I guess)!

Elder Tuscano