here is a picture of me on the Fourth, we thought the lighting was cool
the Vijayawada elders. My companion is on the opposite end, he is a cutie pie.
this is the view from our apartment
this is one of the biggest hills in our area, it's near where we live.
There are a lot of Christians that live on and around this hill.
Vijaya-what? VIJAYAWADA (pronounced wi-jay-uh-vada in Indian English haha).
THIS PLACE IS SICK. It is unlike any other place in the mission. Completely untapped and ready to receive the blessing of the Restored gospel. I will explain in more detail later on.
I would first like to explain a bit about my companion because he is awesome. Seriously, one of the sweetest, most understanding, loving, and enthusiastic missionaries I have worked with. He is eager and willing to learn, super teachable, and so humble. His name is Elder Ramishetty, he is from Hyderabad. I will give a glimpse of my companion's character by sharing the experience of him coming to know that I would be his trainer: When new missionaries arrive, we hold a new missionary orientation to introduce them to the mission. This time around we had two sisters and one elder (E. Ramishetty) arrive. There we were--President Mortensen, E. Alaguretnam, myself, and the new missionaries--gathered around the table in President's office. He informed the missionaries that he was going to introduce them to their trainers, starting with E. Ramishetty's because his was really exciting. President proceeded to tell E. Ramishetty that I was going to be his trainer, training him in Vijayawada. E. Ramishetty then stood up with a huge smile on his face, turned to me and said, "I love you, Elder!" We had just met that morning. My companion truly is full of love.
A little bit about Vijayawada: IT IS SO HUMID HERE haha. Walk outside for two minutes and you will be drenched in sweat. It's awesome, this is an experience I've been waiting for haha, I was sheltered in Bangalore by the nice climate. But Vijayawada is absolutely beautiful. It is a relatively clean and green city--clean because there's not as much trash as other places and green because there is vegetation everywhere. There are also many scattered hills here, all of which are covered in greenery, it's amazing. I will send pictures. The food here is amazing (and also really spicy, but that's why it's so good haha), the people are incredibly nice and humble, and the climate for missionary work is ideal. Straight up, E. Ramishetty and I just hop on our cycles and ride around the city looking for "those that will receive us," and people refer us to their friends and family out the wazoo.
How is the work going and what is the Church like here? It's awesome. Check this out: , the other two missionaries here, E. Kommalapati and E. Tahiliani, went to the village/city of Rajahmundry, which is four hours away, to witness the first baptism of the Vijayawada home group (Rajahmundry is where the nearest meetinghouse is to us and consequently the nearest baptism font as well,so that's how we have to conduct baptisms for now until we figure something out haha). But anyway, they were out of town, so E. Ramishetty and I had to conduct the home group service . There were eleven people in attendance, it was awesome. I conducted the service and played the piano, then my companion and I blessed the sacrament and also gave talks. We then had a sister give the school lesson and the service was over. It's only a one hour service, so if you're tired of your three hour services, hop on over here to VJW (; This is an experience unlike any other. It is humbling and I am just excited to get to work here.
Hope everyone has a great week, keep the faith!! Stay dry (;