coimbatore trip, tremendous tiffins but no turkey ($9 per pound)!

interesting lawn more 

Sunil Kumar
Sunil Kumar baptism

Coimbatore district leader and wife

Hello everyone!

It was a pretty busy week for us, but a solid one.  We had an awesome week.

Our week started with an exchange to Coimbatore.  Coimbatore is kind of a crazy place right now, the missionaries there were not allowed to proselyte the majority of this past week due to protests against Christians, instigated by a pro-Hindu political party.  What a unique situation, eh?  The exchange went well though, we were able to help the Coimbatore zone leaders make an action plan to help them put the Church's amazing Christmas initivative to good use.  On a tasty note, I had some of the best Indian breakfast (aka "tiffins") I've ever had.  It seems Tamil Nadu is famous for their breakfast and I now see why.

Our Thanksgiving dinner this past week consisted of a tasty beef roast and some chicken (slightly dry though, almost like turkey haha).  Unfortunately, the only turkey we were able to find was something like $15-$20 per kilogram.  We decided to forego the turkey this year haha.  It's interesting, the turkey shop (if you will) we found was in a densely populated Muslim area.  I thought that was funny haha.

The highlight of this week was undoubtedly the baptism of our dear brother, Sunil Kumar Singh.  His baptism service was unique because it was held before sacrament meeting at 8:30 in the morning, while most baptismal services are conducted immediately after church.  He said the water was cold, but afterwards, he felt the warmth and peace that comes from the remission of sins.  Brother Sunil Kumar has great faith, we are so happy for him.  He is already so excited to receive a calling in the Church, I know that he will be a might instrument in the hands of the Lord.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Keep the faith.
Elder Tuscano


plenty of indians but no turkeys or pilgrims for thanksgiving; and more comic quotes from Sunil...

 the very road on which we found that cute family!  Or, rather, they found us
 this is us with Elder Navaneethan and his father at his setting apart
from Sister Cheng who visited us from Taiwan last week

What is up everybody?

This week was a solid one.  Pretty busy, that's for sure.  We had a joint zone conference with the Chennai zone, that was fun.  President Funk, who was in town for stake conference, joined us and gave us some solid training about finding effectively.  He also introduced us to the concept of helping members learn about the Church through social media, which is (somehow) a new idea to our mission--in a country that is rapidly advancing in terms of technology.

Stake conference was also really good, it was centered on strengthening faith in Christ and the blessings and importance of the temple.  It made me miss the temple a lot, that's for sure.

One cool miracle that happened this week.  On Wednesday afternoon, President Mortensen asked us to take Elder Navaneethan, a soon-to-be missionary, on exchange with us for a couple hours before his setting apart later that evening.  We were excited to take him with us, we had an appointment with a cute new family that we'd started teaching earlier in the week.  While traveling to the appointment, we got a call from the family saying that they were going out for the evening and wouldn't be able to meet with us.  We were pretty sad, but Elder Navaneethan suggested that we'd better do something productive in that area as we had traveled a long time to get there.  So we went door-knocking for some time, with little success.  When the time came for us to travel back to the mission office for Elder Navaneethan's setting apart, we felt impressed to keep at it just a few more minutes.  We turned to Elder Navaneethan and asked him what direction he felt we should walk in.  He started walking down the road and we followed.  No more than a minute later, we heard a voice call "Elders!" from across the street.  We looked up and who did we find?  The family we had planned to meet with!  It was awesome.  We talked with them about prayer and Christmas for a few minutes, it was awesome.  The Lord truly is directing this work. He not only works in mysterious ways but in marvelous ways and He's watching over every one of us.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, I hope no one has trouble finding a turkey because we most certainly will haha.  Have a great week!

Keep the faith,

Elder Tuscano

p.s. - more from Sunil Kumar regarding the visit of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith: "Jesus said, 'Don't change your hairstyle.  Don't change your clothes.  Don't change the hat on your head.  Change your heart."


What is up?

I hope everyone's week was considerably less hectic than this past week in India haha.  On Monday evening, the prime minister of India hit the nation with the most random economic surprise.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 500 and 1000 rupee notes are no longer accepted as legal tender.  He referred to them as "worthless pieces of paper" from now on.  Apparently this is in an effort to fight the "black money" market and eradicate fraud.  The Reserve Bank of India is now printing new 500 and 2000 rupee notes.  But it will take some time to get those in regular circulation, so where does that leave the rest of us?  It leaves us standing in line for three or more hours at banks in hopes to get our "old money" exchanged for smaller notes (i.e. fifty and hundred rupee notes) haha.  In short, the country is in economic distress right now haha.

But one cool thing that happened this week: we were teaching an investigator named Sunil, he is from north India.  He speaks just okay English, so it's been kind of a struggle to determine whether or not he is retaining what he's learning.  This week were talking with him about prophets, and as soon as we mentioned the name Joseph Smith, it was like a light turned on and he went on to tell us, basically, the Joseph Smith story.  We were in awe.  It was kind of funny, when he was describing the miraculous event of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appearing to Joseph Smith, he said, "They said to him, 'Joseph.  Hello.  How are you?'" Though it was in broken English, the Spirit was very much present as he rehearsed Joseph's experience to us.  Moral of the story is: people are a lot brighter than we often give them credit for.  Have faith in people, because they really can change.

Keep the faith!
Elder Tuscano

P.S.  Sorry for no pictures this week, I forgot to charge my camera.  All week.  But it's charged now, so I'll take some this week and send 'em!        


pizza, egg drop, grinding rice and opportunities hidden in plain sight!

  Haha this is me making a pizza at a SUPER good Mediterranean/Asian buffet we went to
 this is me at a member's home grinding some rice into powder
 in preparation to make some Indian breakfast
 Here are our boys from the Nagaland!
 Elder Poleboina likes to have fun so he picked me up and put me in a closet in our apartment haha

Namaste from B-town, everybody!

This week was a good one for Elder Poleboina and I.  We had mission leadership council with the zone leaders and sister training leaders.  This MLC was focused on seeing opportunities that are "hidden in plain sight," and being inspired and creative in our proselyting efforts--especially in our effort to find and teach more families.  We also did an "egg drop" activity where we were given miscellaneous items (i.e. cardboard, newspaper, tape) and an egg, and were instructed to create a protective case for the egg using the materials given that could withstand a three story drop from the top of our mission office--in ten minutes.  We were divided into a few groups, and after ten minutes was up, each group dropped their egg and "housing" off the top of the mission office.  Much to our surprise, not one egg broke in anyone's group.  It was crazy haha.  We learned a lot from this activity but one thing I learned was that our spirits are a lot like the egg and the protective casing is our faith.  I would elaborate but I don't have a whole lot of time.  But I would love to hear any insights others may have had from reading about our "egg drop."

We found a cool family this week.  How many members in their family?  NINE.  Haha.  They are all brothers from a state in northeast India called Nagaland.  People from Nagaland kinda throw you for a loop: they sound like they're from Cambodia or Vietnam or China, but really they're from India haha.  But anyway, we found them as we were walking one day when we heard some angelic voices singing along to the playing of a guitar.  We started walking toward the voices and happened upon a small home where these nine guys were jammin' out.  We started talking to them, they told us they were singing "gospel songs."  We were like, "No way!  We LOVE the gospel!"  They invited us in, we shared the message of the plan of salvation and they loved it!  We hope to continue meeting with them this week. Sounds too good to be true, right? I will send some pictures your way if there are any unbelievers haha.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a solid week.  All the best.

Keep the faith!
Elder Tuscano