visit with an apostle!

  the kind 87-year-old man and his granddaughter
 Mayur sitting with the children
one of my favorite areas in our area

What's up y'all?  How was the week?

Our week was pretty solid.  I think I forgot to include this last week, but we had transfers and I'm staying here in Whitefield!  One addition to our companionship though: Elder Alaguretnam!  Remember him?  He is the one from Sri Lanka/Salt Lake City haha.  Anyways, he is back with us and he may be receiving his Sri Lankan citizenship sometime soon.

The highlight of this week?  Definitely meeting Elder Quentin L. Cook.  It was a little chaotic: THE ENTIRE MISSION came to AND LEFT from Bangalore in a day, but amidst the chaos was the stillness, sweetness, and surety that was present as we were taught by Elder Cook.  One cool part of that day, for me, was shaking hands with Elder Cook.  He looked me in the eye and said, "Thank you for your service."  It is such a cool thing to know that an Apostle is thankful for the service we as missionaries render.  Probably the other coolest thing is that, at the end of his address, Elder Cook said, "I bear sure witness that the Savior lives and is divine."  He made sure to place a special emphasis on the word sure.  As he said those words, I received an overwhelming assurance that the Savior does, indeed live.  As does Heavenly Father.  And because they live, there is a marvelous plan in the works, one of which we're all a part.  Our Savior Jesus Christ makes this marvelous plan possible.

Another cool experience: this one is kinda random haha, but here's the situation: I'm with Mayur on exchange.  We started teaching a new family that lives nearby an investigator family we've been teaching for a couple of weeks.  At the head of this new family is an 87-year-old man who has been through a lot in life.  It just so happened that as we were talking to this man, some neighbor children, whom we have been teaching, came in and sat down.  I introduced them to this kind elderly man and then asked them, "Of all the questions in the world, what would you ask an 87-year-old man?"  They all paused for a few moments and thought, then one of them said, "Do you know about Jesus?"  That was incredible.  What a great response, am I right?  That should be a question that occupies our attention each day.

Ok, we have an appointment we need to go to now, but I hope everyone has a good week and remembers to learn about Jesus.

Keep the faith,

Elder Tuscano


Mother's Day greetings from India!

 driver was wearing a "Live to Ride" shirt.  I died laughing and had to take a picture.
 catching up with my boy Sunil after stake conference!!!
 Sunil and Gowtham.  Bosses
our "funny face" photo haha

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the world!!  There is a saying in India, "Mother is god," which simply means that our mothers mean everything to us.  How true, India.  How true.

This week was good, we did a lot of planning, scheduling, and arranging for our coming visit with Elder Cook.  We received some crazy news this week that SIXTEEN NEW MISSIONARIES are coming to our mission!!!!  That is unheard of!!  And amazing.  That will be a great boost to the hastening of the Lord's work here in south India.  One reason this whole planning thing is crazy is because transfers are at the same time as Elder Cook's visit haha.  So our logistical skills are at their breaking point.  Kidding, but sort of haha.

One cool thing that happened: so the Visakhapatnam zone leaders came on exchange with me this past week and we visited one of our returning members homes, his name is Moses and we've grown pretty close over the course of my time here in Whitefield.  Anyway, we walked into his house and sat down and he said, "Hey I told my friends about you guys, do you 5 or 10 minutes?  He wants to meet with you.  Can you meet with him?"  YES MOSES!  Yes we can, that's what we do haha.  So we met with his friend, Suresh, and had a great experience.  He is from Hindu background so we talked to him about the nature of God and he was so touched.  We also taught him how to pray so he said the closing prayer!  He offered one of the most amazing prayers I've heard, we were all so impressed.  What great, simple faith.  I think one of the most beautiful truths that India has taught me is that it's okay to have simple faith.  The gospel has taught me that it's not just okay to have simple faith, but rather it is essential to spiritual progress.

That's really it for this week haha.  I will send some photos.  I hope everyone has a great Mother's Day!  I feel blessed beyond measure for my mother and it has been an absolute privilege to serve her people.

Keep the faith, have a great week!

Elder Tuscano


Cinco de Taco in India!

 Elder Raju and I with some other elders in our zone and also Sam, a young man who comes on exchange with us every day because he's awesome.
HUGE light fixture of the goddess, Durga during a festival

Feliz Cinco de Mayo, this past week!

Haha we didn't do much to celebrate other than the fact that WE WENT TO TACO BELL.  I am seriously so stoked that they have a Taco Bell so close to us, it's been great.  It tastes really really close to the Taco Bell back home.  Key words: really really close haha, but something is better than nothing.

So unfortunate news this week: a youth age sister that we were teaching was scheduled and set to be baptized this past Sunday, but unfortunately she had to return to her hostel outside of Bangalore in order to commence her final year of college (important info: a "hostel" in India is basically like a dormitory where people stay while they study at the school, college, or institution they're attending).  So that was sad, but she is faithful and loves the gospel and we have no doubt that she will be baptized when she comes back.

Good news: when one door closes, the Lord opens another.  We visited the family of Kartheek, a young man from our ward who is currently serving in the India New Delhi mission.  While visiting his family this past week, we were introduced to his younger sister, Rani.  Rani is staying with her family here in Bangalore because she is on holiday from her school (fun fact: Rani just returned from her hostel.  How were we introduced to Rani?  We walked into their home and Kartheek's other sister, Maheshwari, said to us, "Elders, all are members in our family except my sister [Rani].  She wants to join our church."  We turned to Rani and asked her if that was true to which she responded with a strong, affirmative head-nod.  She is set to be baptized in a couple of weeks here.  She's solid, she reads the Book of Mormon and prays with her family daily.  She speaks limited English but her commitment to follow the Savior speaks volumes.  We are excited for her.

I hope everyone has a great week, keep the faith!

Elder Tuscano


Happy May Day!

in Banglore for a year without transfer
 Bengaluru Zone mission tour

Elder Raju and I took with the elders serving in the village we visited today

What is May Day?  No idea haha.  I think it's a made up holiday they have in India because there's like no other holidays in the month of May, so the first Monday of May is called May Day so everyone is off work for the most part.  For May Day, my companion and I have traveled to this random village in Karnataka to shop at a cool market where you can get things for pretty cheap.  However, the internet usage is also cheap haha so hopefully this email comes through.

Cool experience this week: we started teaching Rishebh this week.  We had kind of a rocky start with teaching him until this past Thursday.  I don't remember how much I shared last week about Rishebh, but he is a chemical engineer for Shell and is super sharp haha, probably the most intellectual person I've as yet taught on my mission.  He thinks in a very practical way and is adjusting to the spiritual things we discuss.  Anyway, we taught him the first couple of lessons and he was just struggling to wrap his head around the concept that God really is our Father.  On Thursday morning, during our weekly planning session, Elder Raju and I discussed what might help Rishbeh and we both felt impressed that we needed to share Joseph Smith's experience with him.  At first we sort of second guessed the thought because he's from Hindu background and we thought he may not exactly identify with Joseph Smith, nevertheless we acted on the prompting--and we're so glad we did.  He told us that he felt that he had been in spiritual darkness from his birth until the time he met us--like how the world was in spiritual darkness from the death of the apostles until the First Vision in 1820.  Since that night he's been progressing considerably faster and really coming to understand and live the gospel.

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

Elder Tuscano