busy busy bangalore

 Raj Kumar's domain where we played cricket #cricketselfie
"Raj Kumar: the Indian Bald Eagle"

HAPPY RAMADAN!!!  Ramadan is a widely celebrated Muslim festival that is basically a forty-day fasting period to show devotion to God.  Today is the last day of Ramadan, it's basically a HUGE party.  And no Muslim party is complete without beef biryani, so we are looking forward to having some beef biryani later today.

This week was crazy over here in Bengaluru haha, so many things happened.  I will just touch on a few of the highlights:

Speaking of Ramadan and Muslims, does anyone remember Zia?  Zia is a Muslim investigator that Elder Jensen and I started teaching about a year ago.  He actually lives in Coorg, a beautiful scenic town about six hours southwest of Bangalore, and meets with us whenever he's in town.  Fun fact, he also owns a large coffee plantation in Coorg.  Zia is one of the kindest and most understanding people I've ever met.  He is very open-minded and loves learning about the gospel.  This week he asked us what the difference between churches and temples is and about the fundamental differences between our church and other Christian churches.  He also gifted me my very own Qu'ran!!!!  Which is sweet.  I just thought that is cool, in light of Ramadan.

So remember Brother Amul Paul from last week?  He is a boss.  He is an incredible member missionary who is not yet a member haha.  He called us on Thursday and said, "Elders do you have time that I can show you some few families to teach?"  YES.  YES of course we do, Brother Amul.  He then took us to the homes of seven new families to teach.  So sweet.  Unfortunately, however, we learned that these families do not live in our area, so we referred them to the Lingarajapuram elders, our neighboring area.

Also this was crazy: we were playing cricket with some young men and less-actives this past week at a dusty lot in our area.  The first crazy thing is that there was a bird that looked exactly like a bald eagle.  By the way, the only difference between an American bald eagle and an Indian bald eagle is that the latter's name is Raj Kumar (; But anyway the other crazy thing is that this same bald eagle kept swooping down trying to snatch something in the same field where we were playing.  We ended the game shortly after we found out that the "something" the Indian bald eagle was trying to snatch were large snakes.  By the way, "snake" in Tamil is "paambu."

We started teaching an investigator yesterday named Praveen.  He is awesome, he is from Hindu background.  We asked him what interests him about the Savior and he said, "I want to be kind, like Jesus Christ."  Same, Praveen.  Same.  More updates to come on Praveen.

Hope everyone has a great week, and HAPPY RAMADAN!!!!  Also shout out to my sister, Anjuli, happy birthday!!!!  Love ya, Anj.

Keep the faith,

Elder Tuscano


Elder Cook, Hari and Diferently Abled...

meeting Elder Quentin Cook
with Hari at the Kerala restaurant 
instead of "disabled" they say "differently abled" in India

Namaskaram, y'all, what's happening?

This week I will just jump right into it haha:

Last Sunday we had a brother in his thirties walk into church.  He stayed for all three meetings which kinda surprised us.  As we talked with him, we learned that he is a chauffeur for the Marriott hotel here in Whitefield.  He passed by our church almost everyday on his way to work and finally decided to come in and see what it's all about.  He is very interested to learn more about the new things we discussed at church.  What also surprised us were the insightful comments he made in both the Sunday school and elders quorum classes.  He invited us to his home this week, so we went!  He lives in very humble circumstances with his cute family of ten (they are sort of a joint family haha, I'm still trying to figure out who is who exactly, but they're not all his immediate family).  We taught them the message of the Restoration and they were all so eager to learn more, it was amazing.  When I say "we taught," I mean that my companions taught them in Tamil and I played with/entertained the two children in the home--both of whom are handicapped/mentally challenged, it was so fun to play with them and show them pictures of Jesus and try to help them understand who God is haha.  I wish I had taken a photo or two but I will be sure to do so this week.

Also, we have an investigator from Kerala (a state on the southwestern coast where we do not have missionaries) named Hari.  HARI IS SO SWEET.  He works for Intel.  I told him that I always wanted to try Kerala food and so he took us to this random restaurant about an hour and a half away (yes, that's how big our area is) and the food was SO good.  THE RICE GRAINS WERE MONSTROUS haha I have never seen rice that big in my life.  It tasted a lot like Thai food because they use a lot of coconut milk and various curry powders (i.e. red curry powder).  Anyway.  Good week this week.

Hope everyone has a good week.

Keep the faith,
Elder Tuscano


when it rains, it pours (monsoons and blessings)

 mission photo we took with Elder Cook
 GIGANTIC Hindu temple we visited in a village (Kolar Gold Fields).
Straight up there's over 1,000 of those little black statues you see around me
 an area we frequently work in

What's up, y'all?

This week was nice and cool (kind of) because monsoon season has arrived early. It's been so nice because it mostly rains at night, after we've returned to our apartments, and in turn, cools the city off for the next day or so.

Not a whole lot going on this week though, but one cool experience: we have been teaching this wonderful elderly sister for the past few months, her name is Devanamma. Devanamma is not so educated, she cannot read, but she has been coming to church faithfully for a few months. She struggles to retain what we teach (we teach her in Telugu), but she is sooo so so faithful. So we have been confused as to whether she can be baptized or not and when that happens you ask President--so we did! He gave us an insightful answer. He said, "I'm going to read something and you tell me the answer." He proceeded to read Doctrine & Covenants 20:37, which reads:

All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

After he read that, the answer was very clear to us that she not only can, but should be baptized as soon as possible. She now has a baptism date for the 18th of this month! Stoked.

In other news, yesterday Mayur bore his testimony in fast and testimony meeting and said some profound things: "Our life becomes beautiful as we follow Jesus Christ." "Grow spiritually and give priority to God."

Also in funny news, I talked to this CRAZY media referral the other day, he refers to himself as Prince Immanuel (he is not a prince). He asked me over the phone how to spell my name, so I did. On Sunday morning, I received the following text: "Want to meet you Today Bro. Cusacano!" I died laughing. Funniest text I've received on my mission thus far.

I hope everyone has a great week and grows spiritually because God is their priority.

Keep the faith,
Elder Tuscano