dejection can become joy in a matter of minutes...

What's up, y'all?

It would seem that the coming month May bring a lot of flowers due to the showers we're getting in April (pun intended: "April showers bring May flowers").  It hasn't been rainy all week, per se, however we have received some pretty heavy, scattered rainfall over the past week.  It's been really nice, a nice break from the summer heat.

Cool experiences this week: on Thursday we had a pretty rough day.  All of our appointments for that day fell through and we were pretty dejected.  As we were walking back to our apartment to end the evening, we heard a voice behind us say, "Hello, elders!"  We turned around to find none other than our investigator, Hari!!  We had set a baptism date for brother Hari the night previous and were planning to meet with him on Sunday because he lives pretty far away.  But he happened to be in the area, eating dinner, and saw us!  We shared a short message with him, following which, Hari offered one of the most heartfelt, sincere prayers I've yet heard him say.  That was just a tender mercy that reassured me of God's goodness and that that day was not for nothing.

Last experience: On Sunday morning, Elder Raju and I were planning to go to church a little earlier than usual, to prepare to partake of the sacrament.  Our plan was to leave at 8:45AM but we ended up leaving at around 9:15AM because my companion was doing a few last minute things.  I was a little flustered, but kept to myself.  As we were walking down the hill to go to church, a man came up to us and expressed that he'd seen us a few times and was curious as to why we were always dressed up--especially on weekends!  He asked us if we were students or something.  His name is Rishebh.  We told him who we are and what we do and invited him to come to church with us that morning.  He said he was busy but he was interested to meet with us during the week sometime.  Fast forward to sacrament meeting: sacrament has just been passed, the doors open, and who walks in?  RISHEBH!  He attended church and loved it!!  He is so eager to learn more and both sides are stoked about that haha.  We will be meeting him tomorrow evening.  After our initial encounter with Rishebh, Elder Raju said to me, "Elder, this is called God's referral."  Hahaha, so true!  

This week I learned that God turns dejection to joy in a matter of minutes because that's who He is and that's what He does--if we but let Him.

Hope everyone has a good week, keep the faith!

Elder Tuscano


Happy Easter! The Jordan River in Bangalore?!

 the baptism of Vishnu's family!
funny picture I took of Elder Raju outside a mechanic shop

Hello hello!!  Happy Easter, everyone, hope you had a good one.  The only egg I encountered this weekend was the one we were fed at lunch yesterday along with our Easter feast.

This week was pretty solid for us.  We had transfers this week so there were a lot of people coming and going.  But guess who's staying in Bengaluru? You guessed it: me!  I'm stoked.  I love Bangalore.

The highlight of this week was definitely the baptisms of Sister Shamala and Vennila.  So the night before their baptismal service, I spent like an hour cleaning the font in hopes that the water would be clean and clear.  We had the security guard fill the font in the morning before the baptisms, and what color was the water?  BROWN.  We were so confused, and I was a sad for a moment, I thought I did an okay job cleaning the font.  We soon came to know that, for whatever reason, the pipes filled the font with recycled water.  Welcome to India.  Unfortunate though the circumstance was, we told the sisters to imagine they were being baptized in the Jordan River and everything went well.

I don't know how much I've mentioned about these two sisters, but here's a brief intro: Sister Shamala is the wife of our mission driver, Vishnu.  Sister Vennila is her sister.  After their marriage, Vishnu and Shamala joined a church and were members of that church for about ten years.  Vishnu found our church through one of his friends and was baptized about five years ago.  At first, his wife had no interest to learn about our church, let alone join.  But over the years, her heart has been softened as she's seen profound changes in her husband: Vishnu reads the scriptures (particularly the Book of Mormon) daily, he is kinder to her and their children, he attends church each week, etc.  Though it's taken a few years, she finally told her husband that she wanted to join our church.  So Vishnu invited us to teach his wife and a few weeks later, she is baptized!  They are one step closer to becoming an eternal family.  It is an immense blessing to assist Heavenly Father in His beautiful work of uniting families.

Also this is hilarious: we were meeting with Mayur, recent convert, about his study of the Book of Mormon, he gave this synopsis, "Nephi and his family got transferred [by God] from the Jerusalem continent to the U.S."

I hope everyone has a good week and keeps the faith!

Elder Tuscano


General Conference in Bangalore and treats from home!

*note from parents: We and the VanGils family were able to send Jonathan hand-delivered packages of goodies thanks to the kindness of Lynn Rhodes who lives in our neighborhood and recently traveled to India!

What's up y'all?  Happy Palm Sunday yesterday!!

This week was good here in the good old BLR.  We had an inspiring mission leadership council (I will send some photos), a zone meeting, but the highlight of this week was undoubtedly general conference.  Oh my goodness. General conference was amazing.  Check this out: I had a PAGE of questions that I thought were pretty significant and needed answers to--but by the end of the Saturday afternoon session, all of my questions were answered.  I was like, "No way."  One might say that our leaders are inspired and I know that they are.  Some questions I had were: What can I do to more closely follow the Savior?  How can I know Him and not just know about Him?  How can I better listen to the Spirit and give heed to impressions I receive?  How can I know the Lord's will?  All of these were answered.  Amazing.

One experience: so, unfortunately, in India, general conference weekend is sometimes misinterpreted as a holiday from church, so attendance was pretty sparse in our ward.  Anyway, as we were watching the broadcast in our chapel, I surveyed who was in attendance, looking to see if any of our investigators were there--unfortunately, I found none (I later came to know that they were watching the Tamil translation of the broadcast in a different room).  For a moment I was sad, dejected even.  Despite our efforts, none of our investigators came!  Then I looked around again and saw all four of our recent converts, Sunil Kumar, Bhargavi, Mayur, and Venkat, all listening with fervor to the words of living prophets and apostles.  My heart was filled with joy.  A thought came to mind mind that this is why I'm here.  Incredible experiences in incredible India abound as the Lord's work rolls forward.

I hope everyone has a great Easter week!  Christ lives and so will we because the tomb is empty.

Keep the faith!

Elder Tuscano


Venkat and Vishnu

 Elder Barnabas and I with Brother Hari Thambi and his sweet family


Hello hello y'all!  I hope everyone had a great week.  We certainly did.

What made this week especially great was Venkat's baptism.  His service, like Mayur's last week, was before church so attendance was not so heavy, HOWEVER, the Spirit filled the room and it was just so peaceful.  President Mortensen baptized Venkat and it was my privilege to introduce Venkat at the service.  Venkat is originally from Hyderabad and is currently staying in Bangalore for a work-related training  His wife and three year old daughter stay in Hyderabad.  His wife has been awesome and so supportive of Venkat and his desire to follow the Savior.  I think the coolest part about Venkat's baptism service was that we were able to Skype his wife and daughter in so that they could watch the service!  We had to get permission from the Area presidency to do so but, since we're all about families, they gave the okay haha.  His family loved it.  Each time someone commented on how faithful and humble Venkat is or encouraged him in some way, his wife lit up and smiled from ear to ear.  It was so great.  An important side note is that Venkat and his wife became Christians about four or five years ago, previously they were Hindus.  It is so cool to see the process of how God leads His children to the truth.  Venkat truly does have the faith of a child and is such a great example to me.

On another note: remember Vishnu the missionary from last week?  His wife and sister-in-law are preparing to be baptized on Easter Sunday!!  AND Vishnu blessed his baby boy in sacrament meeting yesterday.  Please pray for Vishnu's family as they prepare to follow the Savior and make steps toward becoming an eternal family!!

I hope everyone has a great week.

Keep the faith,

Elder Tuscano