Happy Republic Day!

Happy Republic Day this past week, everyone!  It was kinda disappointing, Bangalore didn't really do anything crazy for this Republic Day, but it was nice that everyone had a holiday, we were able to find and teach more people that day!

This week was pretty solid for us.  Early on in the week we had a cool little miracle.  On P Day, Elder Barry and I were talking about the growth and progress of the church in India.  We both concurred that India would definitely benefit from an increase in strong priesthood holders who will help establish the church here.  We then resolved to pray that night and the next morning to find and teach more potential priesthood holders.  The next morning, after we'd finished our administrative tasks in the office, Antonett walked in.  Antonett is in his mid-20s or so.  Just by looking at him, we could tell that he'd been going through a lot in his life.  He said that he was just walking along the road, saw the name Jesus Christ on the sign outside our building and felt impressed to come in.  As we met with him, he opened up to us about everything he's been struggling with.  Among these things he told us that his father's leg had been amputated and it was now up to him to provide for his family.  He was desperate for peace and direction and, now more than ever, was searching for God in his life.  We taught him about the nature of God, his relationship with God, and how much the Savior loves him.  It was one of the most peaceful lessons I have as yet been a part of on my mission.  The Spirit was abounding and Antonett was touched.  We look forward to meeting with him again this week and in the coming weeks.  It's cool to see how quickly God hears and answers prayers.

In other news, we set two amazing families with baptism dates this past week and we are STOKED for them.  We have a lot of work to do haha.

We also went to a lunch buffet at this super nice hotel with our good family friend, Brother Loren Krieger, who is here for work.  He is a boss.  It was fun getting to spend time with him.

I do have my camera this week so I will be sending some pictures your way!  Hope you'll enjoy them.  
Keep the faith,
Elder Tuscano

pic 1 - Mom and Dad with Loren Krieger in St. George before his visit to India
pic 1 - me playing the piano at the wedding last week haha

pic 2 - Elder Barry carrying one of the youth in our ward haha

pic 3 - me with a cute little boy in one of the areas we work

pic 4 - a cool view of one of the streets at a local bazaar we were walking through.  Or at least I feel like it's a cool view haha 


Back in Bangalore

Hello everyone!!

This week was pretty normal here in Bangalore, it's good to be back though, I missed these people.

Transfers were this past week and Elder Poleboina and I are training a new missionary!  His name is Elder Barry, he's from London.  He is a boss.  He's been on his mission a little over a month now and he's already a powerful teacher.  He's loving the people (but not quite the food yet haha).  He played rugby and soccer back home which is rad.  And important tidbit is that he's an OCI missionary, meaning that he has a lifetime visa--like me!  His grandfather emigrated to the UK from Kerala (a state on the southwestern coast here in India) a long time ago, that's his connection to the motherland.

Not any super cool experiences this week but just a funny one: on Saturday morning at like 10AM, during companionship study, we got a sudden call from the bishop.  He asked me if I could play the piano for a marriage function at 11:30AM.  I was like "WHAT?  Sure."  So I was the accompanist at a wedding for one of our ward members on Saturday.  Who knew I would be playing the piano this much on my mission, it's awesome!  I had my companions take some pictures so I will send those soon.

I hope everyone has a good week, keep the faith!
Elder Tuscano


Happy Pongal

Happy Pongal/Sankranti/Kite Festival (depending on what locality you're from and what faith you belong to), everyone!  The kite festival was AWESOME here in Hyderabad.  Seriously, thousands of kites were in the sky yesterday and Saturday. Everywhere you went you would hear the victorious shouts of children after they'd cut down a rival kite (kite festival really means kite fighting here, it's pretty cool).  I am so sad to say that I didn't get any pictures as my camera battery was dead all this past week.  We had helped some investigator kids fly a kite on the top of their apartment building--which just happens to be one of the tallest apartment buildings in the area, that was a lot of fun.

This week flew by, I was in a different area/ward nearly every day this past week.  I started in A.S. Rao Nagar then made my way across the city from there.  It was a lot of fun working with these elders and, what more, the Lord led us to at least one new family to teach in each area, how incredible is that?  

I had a cool experience this past week while I was serving in the West Marredpally 2nd ward area.  It is important to know that in the earlier part of last year, I served in the West Marredpally 1st ward area.  I struggled quite a bit in that area because I felt like the work was not progressing very well, despite the hard work my companion and I were putting in.  We talked to hundreds of people, most of which seemed relatively disinterested in our message.  So that brings us to now.  Prior to my arrival in Hyderabad, a certain investigator in the 2nd ward area, Swamy, had been looking for me.  He had been asking all the elders in Hyderabad when Elder Tuscano would be coming.  Naturally, the elders asked Swamy why he wanted to know and he told them that Elder Tuscano was one of the missionaries who introduced him to the church.  When I got to the 2nd ward area, the elders asked me if I knew Swamy.  The name sounded familiar, though I had no recollection of any specific Swamy in Hyderabad that I knew of (you talk to a lot of Swamys in India haha).  Anyway, the elders told me that he'd been dying to meet me and they'd scheduled an appointment to meet with him.  While walking down the alleyway to his apartment, Swamy saw me from the end of the corridor and ran up to me and gave me a huge hug.  As soon as I saw him, I recognized him!!  He was one of the few people I'd spoken with last year that had actually been interested in learning more about the gospel--my companion and I had talked with him while waiting for a bus to come in the 1st ward area.  And now brother Swamy is making rapid strides toward baptism.  It was an amazing reunion.  This experience was a testimony to me that, truly, NO effort is wasted.  Whether planting seeds or gathering the harvest, we are but instruments in His hands.  I will forward some pictures we took with Swamy on his phone haha.

I hope everyone has a week as exciting as this festival was here in Hyderabad.

Keep the faith,

Elder Tuscano    


Hello from our Hyberdaddy trip

Hello from Hyberdaddy, everyone!

It's been a while since I've been in this city, it's good to be back, even if it's for a brief time.  The food is still as good as ever and chaala spicy, might I add ("chaala" means "very" in Telugu).  It's been fun serving in the A.S. Rao Nagar ward with Elder Shuman, from Preston, Idaho, these past few days.

One interesting change, however, is that of the climate: it is SO cold in the mornings and evenings here!  Some of you may be thinking, "Elder Tuscano, you're in the heart of southern India, there is no way it can be that cold."  I beg to differ haha.  We've been going to this park in the mornings to exercise and you can see your breath, I kid you not.  Some of you may refute that thinking, "Elder Tuscano, that may just be the exhalation of the abundance of pollution in the city of Hyderabad, is it not?"  That may be partially true, but I think the main reason is because it's so cold haha.

Elder Shuman and I witnessed a cool miracle this week.  One night we had a fairly busy evening planned; but, lo and behold, all the appointments we had planned for fell through.  So we went to a quiet place and said a prayer together that we would be led to a family looking for the gospel.  After saying Amen, we asked an elderly Hindu man if there were any Christian homes nearby.  He led us right to the home of Prabhudas and his family.  No less than five minutes later, the Lord led us to a wonderful family, prepared by the Lord to receive His gospel.  Prabhudas is the friend of a member who had met with missionaries a few years ago but stopped, and had recently been hoping to meet with missionaries again.  Interestingly enough, Prabhudas is the very same man whom Elder Shuman had been trying to contact by phone for just under a month now but he'd never actually talked to, seen, or met with him.  As we met with Prabhudas, his brother walked in.  Then his mother.  Then his other brother.  It was amazing.  They were all so happy to see missionaries again.  How grateful I am that the day of miracles has not ceased.  God lives and He is a God of miracles.

I hope everyone has a great week and stays nice and warm.  I will do my best to do the same haha.

Keep the faith,
Elder Tuscano 

P.S.  I am so sad because my camera battery died shortly after I arrived in Hyderabad so I was unable to take many pictures ):  But I will send the one I did have enough battery to take haha.  The picture I am sending is with a cute family we taught this past week.


Advance Happy New Year; enter 2017!

 early morning view from bangalore apartment
jackfruit tree
an area where we found a new family to teach

"Advance Happy New Year!" is the phrase you would have heard had you been in India on New Years Eve, I thought that was pretty funny haha.

This week was good here in Bangalore, little slow though.  A lot of people had a lot of things goin' on but, despite all the hustle and bustle, we still found a couple new families to teach!  We are excited about that.

It's crazy to think that 2017 is already here.  Our ward tried to have a New Years' Party at 8:00PM on Saturday but, unfortunately, it didn't start on time haha, we missed out on those festivities.  On New Years' Day, however, we had so many new people walk into church that we weren't able to teach them all!  We did teach quite a few of them though and, along with other people and families we met with this past week, a common resolution for the new year was to have God be a bigger part of their lives, or to follow Jesus Christ a little more closely.  I just think that's awesome, I adopted the resolution!  We can always have a great year or month or week or day when we choose to follow the Savior.  It's been a privilege to serve the Lord full-time for the entire year of 2016 and I look forward to the time I have in 2017 to do the same.  

In other news, I will be in Hyderabad this coming week and possibly next week on special assignment!  I'm excited for that.  Beef biryani, here I come!

Have a great week everyone, and stick to your resolutions until they stick to you!!

Keep the faith.
Elder Tuscano