Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!


Well. Another week gone! This week was probably one that I won't forget for a long time! It was an amazing experience to be in a country where they don't celebrate Christmas as much or in the way that we do. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people were celebrating though. Many stars were hung in front of houses. Its was fun!

So this week Elder Coleman and Larson Finally flew to their new areas on Christmas Eve so that was fun for them. Elder Kumar and I celebrated Christmas Eve with Mac N' Cheese. It was beautiful. Thank you for making that possible! Then we had a Branch activity for Christmas. We stayed only until around 9:30, but it was fun! Different dances and talks and for a while I felt like our Branch President was acting like a pastor but then it was good again! Close call. Anyway. It was solid. Then Christmas Day! Wonderful day filled with the Spirit! That morning I woke up to a phone call from one of the members of the District Presidency asking me to give a talk in a Christmas Devotional that was starting in 2 hours. So that was good. I spoke on why we have Christmas and why Christ was needed in the world. It was good. I don't know if anyone understood but it was solid. anyway. After that we went to our own Branch activity, it was over but a lor of the members were still there and we took some nice snaps with them! After that we were invited for lunch at the Chadalavada Home! The mother there makes such nice chicken curry! They prepared some nice Biryani and we enjoyed. They are an awesome family. Then we went to the Nekannthi home and played some games with them. They gave us a box of Biryani to eat for dinner at the apartment. It was a really fun day. Really fun to be able to spend time with these awesome people. This Christmas was one that I won't forget for a long time!

So. In other news. Its confirmed I am going to the Philippines on January 27th. Pumped. Going to go eat some real Mcdonalds. I had KFC today and it was lovely. Umm. I am in Bangalore right now and it is awesome. Its really cold here. But I like it. Elder Kumar is doing really well also! He says Hi and Thank you for the nice gifts! By The Way!! The Razor/Shaving cream you sent was definitely inspired. Because this week my Electric razor was broken. You basically saved my life. Thank you. Another Testament that the Church is true.

So The rest of the week was really really awesome. We were able to teach a lot of people and help them a lot! Remember the Drunk guy who came and talked to us and then we taught him? yeah so we taught him and his Mom again. She has a baptism date set for Jan 18. Also Brother Vamsi? He is the 11 year old we have been teaching. He will be baptized on the 11th most likely. Also. A brother named Srinivas now has a baptism date set for January 11. Also A sister name Rani has a date for the 25th of Jan. We also taught a new family this week. They are awesome. We almost set a date with them, but they said they "would think about it." The spirit was so strong in that lesson. Probably one of the stongest lessons we have taught. They have been taught before by the missionaries like 4 years back. But They forgot everything and Heavenly Father blew their minds with His spirit. It was awesome. We are planning to set them on date for the 25th of January as well....... So Basically...... God Answers Our Prayers.

This was an awesome week. I hope you all had a wonderful week as well! it was awesome to see the family and I was able to see Benny And Noah! Man I am excited to meet Noah! Such a cute little bounder! It was fun seeing everything though. Ryan looks like a Mountain man. Its cool. Well Love you all! Also. Mom! Happy Birthday this week! I just want you to know how grateful I am for you and for your amazing example in my life! I am sorry for whenever I was a junkfellow! I have always been amazed at your sensitivity to the spirit and your desire to study the scriptures! Thanks for everything you have done and are still doing for me! Love you! Also I love everyone else too no worries. Happy New year

Elder Checketts

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the Holiday season! We are enjoying nicely here in Dowleswarem! We are going to go caroling with the branch probably tomorrow night and I am way excited. Mostly because almost every Indian I have ever met is completely tone deaf and it is awesome. Sacrament hymns are rough to listen to but I am stoked for Caroling! I have a hard time not laughing whenever people start singing here. There is one member who loves the song Let Her Go by Passenger and whenever we come to the church we find him in the Chapel singing falsetto into the microphone on the stage. I wanted to film him but It would have been too obvious. Haha its awesome though. Also. Indians have a hard time pronouncing their P's and their Z's. Whenever I tell them my first name, they say Jack. Haha its ridiculous. Also they sound all P's as F's... So now whenever I talk about pants or something like that I say Fant... I literally cannot speak English. Fretty Sweet.

This week was a little slower. Elder Coleman and Larson are still here because there are some problems with the Foreign Registration Office. All Americans have to register when we come and go from each city. Its a pain. But some paperwork problem is there so they can't able to leave Rajahmundry.  I feel bad for them but they should be able to go by tomorrow. Hopefully. Anyway. Our investigators just tripled because now Elder Kumar and I have re-taken over the branch. Back down to 2 missionaries here. We have a lot of work to do. I am excited though. I want to stay busy. Especially during this time of the year. The weather here is perfect now. All the Indians have coats and beanies now because they are all freezing. Its like 70 degrees. Sometimes it gets kinda cold. But for the most part its nice. 

I think I talked about this story last week but remember the drunk guy that went and talked to Elder Coleman and Larson? And that he has been a member for like 12 years? So we taught him and then he came to church with his whole family yesterday! It was awesome! His Mom isn't a member and wants to learn more about the book of Mormon! So we are definitely going to go and teach them more! 

Well. Life here is swell. I am grateful to be a missionary at this time in my life. I am grateful for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. I know He lives. Love you all! Have a Merry Christmas. Be safe. Eat some Ham for me! 

Elder Checketts

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Back in the Swarem

Hi everyone!

How is everything? So there is finally some snow? Haha I dont really miss that stuff. The weather here now is perfect. It is so nice! All the time! But I am terrified for the next summer. 55 degrees was rough! But its okay! I am excited for the Philippines! I will be staying is Dowleswarem yet again with Elder Kumar but now we are taking over the whole branch again. So that will be fun. The apartment is really quiet with only 2 elders in it though. But its okay. We will have a lot of investigators to work with! Well the past week has been good but slow! We werent able to meet with most of our investigators because they were all busy! but no problem! We found some awesome new investigators. One came from a drunk guy coming up to us and telling us he had been a member for 12 years but he liked to drink so he stopped coming. We met with his family and he wants to change so that is awesome! He spoke better English when he was drunk though. Thats usually how we know they are drunk... If they speak really good English. Also they start doing pooja to us... Pooja is hindu worship. so thats cool. 

In other news i made a pretty cool purchase last Monday. I will have to send a picture but we found a guy on the side of the road that was selling currency and so we looked and he has currency from tons of different countries. So we made sure they were legit.. and they were. so I bought some... from 20 different countries.... Like Iran and Pakistan and north Korea and China and Nigeria... places that I will probably never go. pretty sweet! 

So Christmas is coming up! I think I already told you that I would just wait to come home to bring gifts... but I can send a package if you would like me to. I was thinking about sending some extra stuff I have anyway so maybe I will include some late Christmas gifts.Um I can do skype on Christmas Eve or on the day of. Whatever works. When are all of you free? Would it be better for you to do it at night or in the morning?

Well I love you all and am so grateful for all that you have done for me! I am so grateful for the Savior as well. If you haven't watched the He Is The Gift Video then please watch it today! It is so good. One of my favorite videos now. I am always amazed at His perfect example. I love to study His words and acts. I love to learn about him and I regret not learning more before my mission. I know that he lives. I know that anyone can change and become more like him if they accept and use the gift of His Atoning sacrifice. I know that He is always there to help us. Always try to involve Him in your day! Love you all!

Elder Checketts

Monday, December 8, 2014



How is everyone? Happy Christmas almost! So I need you guys to let me know when the skype call is best to have! Like either Christmas eve or Morning or Christmas night or some random day I dunno. Let me know what the plan is. Please take into account the time difference. We have 40 minutes each. Anywho. Whats goin on? I heard that the LA Galaxy won the MLS cup. Thats lame. Its okay I guess. I have no idea whats happening in the football world. Maybe if I go to Bangalore. No problem. Send me pictures of the house and Christmas and snow and Lights! Well i guess you don't have much snow right now? haha Well we will both get to experience the same type of Christmas! Here, Christmas is just another day. Like people put up stars and lights and have nice Biryani but they have absolutely no idea why they do it. Haha its ridiculous. But thats why the He Is The Gift Initiative is way cool! Unfortunately our mission is not getting pass along cards or anything but we have still been asked to talk about it! Its way awesome though. It is helping us a lot to explain why Christmas is so important!

So this week was good! I went to Hyderabad on Tuesday afternoon and went to a few appointments with the zone leaders there and it was awesome. We got stuffed with chicken biryani and it was amazing. I dont know how to describe it... Look it up. but Its famous in Hyderabad. Anywho. The next morning my appointment was at 10:30. So I got in there and realized I did not have my passport on me and was like crap. So I talked to a very nice sister that spoke amazing English. She helped me out but I still had to go and get my passport. Then I had to pay 110 dollars for the new one. That hurt haha but its okay! I will be reimbursed. But in all honesty I will probably spend it on food. Its expensive to eat healthy! I dont know why but fruit is way expensive. Except for bananas. Those are dirt cheap. We get like 40 bananas for 60 rupees. Thats 40 bananas for 1 dollar. Can't complain. Anywho. The US embassy was a beautifully clean place with with people that spoke really nice English and they used really big words that i couldn't understand. Its was awesome. Then. Oh man. Best part of the day. We went to Hard Rock Cafe.... I ate a hamburger......... My mind was blown. It was 1000 rupees. But it was so worth it. I cried. I also sent a picture. Enjoy. Then. The next morning I had Mcdonalds! They had pancakes and real hash browns! Haha my mouth is watering. It was a glorious couple of days in Hyderabad. But also expensive. I wasn't able to meet my companions family. I guess they live on the opposite side of Hyderabad and you have to understand that Hyderabad is gigantic. It just keeps going and going. Compared to the little village of Rajahmundry it was basically New York City . 
Our week with investigators was good as well. I got back on Thursday and we were able to visit Vamsi and a few less active families. We found some new investigators this week. Both are 11 years old. Haha All 3 of our progressing investigators are 11 or under. Its fine. They are awesome and accept everything we tell them whether they understand or not! I enjoy it! And they all are faithful in coming to church. I think I will focus on teaching children now! Its sweet. Anywho. Solid week. Next week is transfer week. I am definitely staying in Dowleswarem. Philippines bound on January 27. Pumped.  Well love you all. Be happy!... Bye...

Elder Checketts

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving! Did everyone enjoy nicely? We prepared some lovely/spicy chicken curry in our apartment with some very special white rice! Tasted amazing!
I hope it wasn't too stressful for everyone! I think Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Not only because of the beautiful food that is prepared but I love to listen to everyone talk about what they are grateful for. I don't know if you remember, Mom, but you sent me a few pages about Gratitude and a bunch of quotes with it. We read through some of those and now we are going to start writing down something we are grateful for every time we are about to leave the apartment. Pretty cool.

So this week was fun! We went to Bangalore from Monday to Wednesday and had a good time. Ate some really nice food and we had a really good meeting on how to help change the mission for the better! I am really excited!
So after Bangalore we were able to meet with a couple of investigators! Vamsi's baptism is set for the 28th of December because they want it to be the same day as his Birthday soo I guess thats pretty cool. Sister Kanchana is a former investigator that we picked back up and she seems really excited about the Book of Mormon so that is awesome! Other people bunked church so thats not cool but we are working on that one. We are all having a hard time finding people to teach! They have to know English and have some desire to know about Christ so its hard to find here but they are there. We get a lot of people that tell us that we are going to hell or that all churches are the same. Elder Kumar likes to wreck people with doctrine so that is always fun to watch. I know its not very Christ-like but sometimes its nice stress relief. Watching him blow peoples minds on the pure doctrine of Christ is pretty fun! Anywho. Don't worry we invite them to read the BoM afterwards and most people actually accept.. so thats cool. We dont know if they actually do it but its okay haha.

Well I am flying to Hyderabad tomorrow to apply for a second passport to go to the Philippines! I am going to America! The U.S Embassy! That will be fun. I am excited! Elder Kumar is going to have his family get some nice beef biryani for us! I will probably fly back to the Mundry on Thursday depending  on how things go with the passport. 

Well I love you all and am definitely grateful for all that you have done for me. I can't express enough thanks for everyone that I know. Family, Ward members, Friends. I guess you are all pretty cool. Haha thanks for everything. Love ya. Also. Tim! Happy birthday you punk! You are 16! What the heck! I want detailed profiles on each girl that you date. Just kidding that's weird. Also are you driving now? Thats weird. be safe! Happy Birthday! Love ya miss yaaaaa

Elder Checketts

Monday, November 24, 2014

In Bangalore for MLC

What up!
Man how is everyone! It has already been another week! Crazy. So this week was busy but good! The assistants came on exchanges with us on thursday so that was fun. No pressure. Just kidding we found a solid family to teach so we will go see them on Wednesday or Thursday! I am in Bangalore right now so if Bishop Brisko or Darren Wesemann are reading this hit me up.

 I will be here till wednesday morning! MLC is tomorrow so we are preparing for that. Pumped. Everything is alright though. Vamsi is doing well. he doesnt speak much english but luckily my companion speaks Telagu so I just sit during the lessons and smile. Juts kiddin Elder Kumar is good about translating! He is from Hyderabad. He is 22 years old so thats cool. got his degree in mechanical engineering. Way smart guy but also way chill. He is basically American. We have taught him like all slang words and our apartment is a party! Elder Larsen made banana bread one night back and it was amazing so thats awesome. We also make Egg Bhurgii all the time for lunch. Look that one up because I have no Idea how to describe it. Way good though. I like so much.

Our investigators are okay. all but Vamsi bunked church so we are working on that one. Haha why does coming to church have to be the biggest problem? Its okay. We will just tell them they can't go to heaven if they dont come. Just kidding. But seriously. Maybe. We will see. We are going to focus on finding this week. Our teaching pool is a small puddle right now. Soon it will become Lake Powell though. Well yeah cool. I dont think we have many plans for thanksgiving. There is a birthday in our branch so we will go and have nice biryani with them! Birthdays are so awesome. There are always huge parties when there is a birthday. Something I want to bring to America! Also when its someones birthday here no one buys them anything but they always give out treats or buy food for a bunch of friends. Kinda cool. So I stitched a couple of pairs of pants last week. I have 4 pairs and I am leaving to the Philippines soon so I figured I would get some pants cheap. To stitch 2 pairs with pretty nice material was 20 bucks. Awesome. 

So this week first branch has a brother with a baptism set for next week so we went to do the interview. The brother is one of the Elders in our missions dad. Brother Dondapati. Really good guy. I guess he has had a word of wisdom problem for a really long time and now he is ready to be baptized. Elder Kumar did the Interview and it was pretty emotional. I guess he asked if his son could come home and see the baptism but we were planning to have his son do the baptism. he didn't know about that and was shocked but he is very happy. So that will happen next Sunday. I didnt really have anything to do with it but Its awesome so I thought I'd share. So Elder Dondaptai will fly home next week and baptize his father and then come back to Bangalore. Pretty cool. Anywho. Life is good. Send me some nice food. Maybe macaroni and cheese. I dunno. haha the package that I got from the ward was awesome! Thank you all so much! Sorry I opened it... I couldnt wait... I saw the christmas wrapping and got all excited haha but it was awesome. The Jeus pictures are way cool! I want some just like that but of different temples! Its awesome! Anyway thank you all so much! Love you miss you

Elder Checketts

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm a True Missionary

Hello everybody!

How is everyone doing this week?? Hopefully well and sober.... So this week was better! We were able to find a couple of new investigators. Ones name is Meena. She is really interested in the gospel. I think she has been attending some other church down the street from her home. She loved coming to church on Sunday so hopefully all will go smoothly until dunk day. Set for November 30. Tims Birthday! We will see though! Also one of our members has a nephew whose father just gave permission for him to be baptized so we started teaching him and he is 10 years old. His name is Womsi. Solid Kid. Ramu bunked church. Also lost his baptism date so we are going to go and fix that this week. Pumped. The zone of Rajahmundry is doing alright. We are having a hard time finding new investigators. Mostly because no one here speaks English and we aren't supposed to teach in Telagu. Its tough. But they are out there. And the Lord will help us find them.

So yeah. Everything here is good. I am glad its not cold here haha Its still a solid 90 degrees everyday so thats cool. As much as I love having a white Christmas Im not too fond of the snow. Anywho. So remember that package that you sent that had real peanut butter and real honey in it? we can get those things here but they are fake and expensive... I just want you to know I will never ever take a peanut butter and honey sandwich for granted ever again. I sort of have a confession.. Remember when I was in elementary school and every day Mom wold make me a peanut butter and honey sandwich? So I think almost everyday I would eat maybe half of it and than throw everything away cuz I wanted to go outside for Recess..... I just wanted to apologize for that And I want you to know that I will never ever throw away one of those beautiful masterpieces again. I made a sandwich last night and it all hit me how good those things taste. Yeah. Just enjoying the little things. Haha the other chocolates and candy got destroyed because of the humidity.. but still tasted amazing so thank you! By the way. For those of you who will understand (my older Brothers) I am now a true missionary as of last Monday night. It was a lovely experience and im sure it will happen again! Anyways. I hit my 9th month mark a couple weeks back. I think I already told you about it but it was really weird. Never thought that day would come. Still waiting for the year mark to come but thats never gonna happen haha but I dont really want it to happen. I still feel like I havent been gone for that long. Everything is good. I guess it would be cool to receive a letter but they dont make it very often so its your choice... If you wnat to know anything about India or anything thats happening just ask. My memory is lame so I dont remember anything. well love you. Be safe. Eat some Cafe Rio for me!

Elder Checketts

Monday, November 10, 2014


Hello everyone!

So this week was really slow. My companion and I basically just whitewashed this area and so we had to start from scratch. But we found one new investigator, his name is Ramu. He is a really cool guy. I think I told you about him last week. We are going to see him tonight. He asks a lot of really good questions that are about the plan of salvation so thats what we will be teaching him tonight. I am excited. We have a couple of other potentials that we need to go see but they were all really busy this week so we visited a lot of the members on this side of the branch and found some less actives and we were able to re-activate him just from visiting him. If only the branch would do their home teaching now! I realize why that is so important now! 

We had Zone training meeting this week and it was alright. I dont really know what the heck I am doing. My companion had only been out for 6 months and neither of us have ever been a Zone Leader before. Sometimes it can be stressful but I think we are doing alright. We also had interviews this week with President Berrett. He blows my mind with Doctrine and convenents sometimes. Its awesome. That man is destined for apostleship. No doubt. He just has that voice. Also I have almost memorized the Sermon on the Mount. I have Half of chapter 5 and all of chapter 7 in Mathew. Its way good though. My favorite. Anywho. Life here in the Mundry is lovely. the weather has cooled off to like 80 degrees so its really nice now! 

I dunno what else to say. I almost got hit by a bus the other day but thats normal now. Everything that used to be weird is normal now so if you want to know about something you should probably ask... Oh I almost got trampled by a cow. That was crazy. I was cycling to our branch presidents home and all of a sudden a huge bull comes charging past me. It was awesome. Um yeah. I love chicken biryani. My companion made some amazing but really spicy chicken curry last night. It was really good. I need to have him teach me. Mutton is gross. Also fish curry makes me want to die. but sometimes its really good so I cant make up my mind. We still eat like 2KGs of rice everyday. Definitely I am going to get Diabetes. Its fine. Well I love you all. I hope you are all doing well. I didnt see those pics of Noah from Halloween! Send those! Proud to be an American. Also. I am slightly considering marrying an Indian......... Any thoughts? Hahaha just kidding. Well maybe... I can hear Dad saying "Oh brother" right now. Anywho. The church is true. Jesus Christ lives and He is at the head of His Church. I know it with all of my heart. If you dont, I invite you to find out now. God is always listening. He is always watching. And He is waiting for you to knock. I have seen that too many times to count while I have been here. Let me know how your week was! Hope you start to feel better Mom!

 Love ya miss ya!

Elder Checketts

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Still Chillin in the Mundry


How is everyone doing?? I hope all is well. We are doing well here! This last week was crazy! Got quite the story for ya. SO. After emailing you guys last Monday. We were in a big hurry because the flight to Bangalore was leaving in a couple of hours. We cycled back to the apartment and grabbed everything and then I went to the airport with Elder Kumar. When we got there we found out that our flight was delayed. So we were like crap. Then we sat there for another couple of hours and of course it eventually got cancelled. for low visibility. So by that time our the Visak Zone leaders had arrived at the airport so  we called the assistants and they told us to go to a bus stand and try and get a bus that was going to Bangalore. So we went to this bus stand and ate at a really sketchy but awesome place, and then found out that our bus had been filled completely. So we called a cab driver in Rajahmundry and had him drive us to Vijaywada which is about 3 hours away. Then from there the other bus going to Bangalore was full. So we rented another cab to drive us across the country to Bangalore! 13 hour drive. in a mini van! So sick. We basically had a competition to see who could solve the rubix cube the fastest almost the entire time. I almost won... sort of. I was like 10 seconds too slow. My excuse was that I am colorblind and it was dark. I think its valid. Anywho. We got to Bangalore at like noon. MLC had started 2 hours earlier so we all walked in. way late but its fine. Its was awesome. We had KFC for lunch and had a good meeting about getting better numbers. Then I went to like the nicest shopping mall I have ever beheld. Way nicer than City Creek.
 Look up Phoenix Mall in Bangalore. Holy shnikies. Its so nice. Then we woke up at like 4 am and got a flight back to the mundry. Pretty sweet. Not very many elders get to drive across India. Way fun but I dont really want to do that again... 

 Our investigators are doing alright. Prathyusha's mom is not allowing baptism still so we will keep talking to them. Way frustrating. Satish is doing alright but He is still bunking church. We struggle to get him there. Still figuring out what to do there. Sri Lakshmi is awesome and is way solid. I will be switching back into the area I was in when I was companions with Sharma. So that will be fun! I will most likely be in Dowleswarem until I got to the phillipines in January. January 27th is the scheduled day that I leave. So thats cool. I am scared to leave Rajahmundry. This is the only place I know. Ive been here my whole mission haha crazy. but I love it. We found a new investigator the other day named ramu. He is pretty cool and was asking a lot of good questions. He just converted from Hinduism to Christianity and is currently attending a Lutheran church down the street from his home. So I hope to be able to help him out!

Well Yeah! Solid week. It was really fun! I am sad i dont get to stay with Coleman and Larson but We will still be in the same apartment so thats cool. Well send me some more pics of the fam! love ya miss ya!

Elder Checketts

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dunked and Confirmed


Whats up? Man this week was fun! So first I went on exchange to do a baptism interview for the elders there and it was solid. He got baptized yesterday! Also I bought some Kakinada kaja. Man. I cannot find words to describe to beauty of those sweets. They taste so good. Anywho. Sri lakshmi was confirmed yesterday it was awesome! She is way solid and read the BoM everyday and understands everything we tell her which in and of itself is a miracle. 

No one here understands English. I cant able to speak English anymore.... We literally talk like that everyday. So sick. Also. This week was Diwali. A Hindu festival that represents when some devil died and everyone celebrated his death..... yeah. Way fun though. There were bombs going off all night. Sooo loud. There were places where they had like 50 yards of firekrackers tied together and it would go for like 20 minutes. Indians like to party. Its was awesome. 

So big news. I am flying to Bangalore in like 4 hours. I was called to be a new Rajahmundry zone leader.... Please pray that Rajahmundry doesnt burn down. Just kidding. But seriously... I am excited though. I am staying in the dirty swarem yet again and my new companion will be Elder Kumar from Hyderabad. he is currently in 2nd branch in the Mundry so I know him pretty well. He is a way cool guy and I am excited to be his companion! So I am flying to Bangalore for mission leader conference. I have no idea whats going on but I am pumped. So. Yeah I dont know what else is happening. Whats happening in America? Hows the fam? How is Benny? I miss him. 

Well nothing else is really new. Our investigators lost their baptism dates because they decided not to come to church. lame. Also because one sisters mother said no. Dont worry we will go have a chat with her mom this week on Wednesday. I am excited. Should be fun haha. Satish and his family came to church though so thats awesome. good week. Slow week. but fun. Lemme know whats going on there!

Elder Checketts

Monday, October 20, 2014

Busy Busy Busy!


How is everyone? Is America still there? Life here is good! Our investigators are doing well and are progressing nicely! Sri Lakshmi was baptized yesterday! It went really well and she is solid! We had some good appointments this week! We had the district presidency at church yesterday and that was good! Its amazing how smoothly everything goes when they come. Haha kinda ridiculous. But we had some good meetings and they really stressed about helping the missionaries so that will help us a lot. We have one investigator named Prathyusha. She is 14 years old and knows more English than the entirety of Rajahmundry so thats awesome. Last time we went to her home we asked if she remembered the 3 kingdoms of heaven and she said all three of them in their correct order. It was a Celestial moment.

I dont have much time today. We are being rushed all over the place today. We gotta go find a new washing machine and shop and clean and all that fun stuff! Still no photos. Sorry. I will see about getting a new camera. Rajahmundry isnt really the place to get one though so we will see how that works out. Definitely next week I will find a way to get some solid pics to ya. Havent gotten the package yet. I have heard that customs is holding a lot of our packages right now. dont know whats going on. Love ya all be safe. Email me some more pics of the fam. also just any white people that you see. Love yaaaa

Elder Checketts

Monday, October 13, 2014

Chillin in the "Cyclone"

What up!

How is everyone? Life here is going well! We had Sri Laxmis interview over Skype with President Murala. It went well so she will be baptized next week! We are very excited! Also we have a new investigator named Prathyusha, she is set for baptism on the 26th along with Karun Kumar and Ramji. They are all awesome so I am pumped! The trio lives on. We are all doing really well. We laugh a lot and we are working hard! I am really grateful to have Elder Coleman with me as we train this new missionary. It would have been twice as difficult to be the district leader and train by myself. Its awesome though. Elder Larson is a way chill and we are all getting along well! 

So nothing really crazy happened this week. As most of you know India was hit by a cyclone but the majority of it hit Visak. The mission has almost 0 contact with the elders there so we are hoping that they are all safe. Rajahmundry got a little bit of it. I was pretty disappointed. I was hoping I would get to experience something a little more intense. It basically rained for 24 hours straight with a little more intense wind than normal. We still went out and cycled in it. Got soaked. It was good though. 

Man CONFERENCE. Holy. Elder Holland blew my mind. I tried so hard to take good notes this time but I was just stunned the entire time. Elder Bednar's talk was amazing and is something I will definitely use in my missionary work. Also I loved Elder Robbins.. I think that's his name. Saturday morning session. He Gave an amazing talk. Of course Elder Eyring was awesome as well. I could list every single person that spoke. this conference was so good! I loved Uchtdorfs talk that talked about "Lord, Is it I?" way good talk! I could go on and on. Basically my mind exploded on Saturday and Sunday. 

So I had a really cool experience last week. We went to a members house that lived way far away in a small village. He then told us there was a sister in another village about 10 miles away. So we went way the heck out to this tiny village and it was night time so I thought we were going to be eaten by a tiger or something. But We went to the home and she asked me to be the one to give her a blessing. There was a very different spirit about it though. I dont know how to describe it. I dont really remember anything that I said but the spirit was really strong. Later that night when I wrote about it in my journal I had a very distinct impression that I knew her very well in the Premortal existence. It was really cool though. I was really grateful to Heavenly Father for providing that experience. We give a lot of blessings here. I gave I think 4 this week. I love to exercise my priesthood! I invite you all to do the same! Look for opportunities to be able to serve others through it! Its an amazing gift that God has trusted us with. 

Anywho. Life is swell. Send me some sweet pics of life in America. I do miss the weather of Utah. Here its just hot and humid all day everyday! If its less hot then its twice as humid. Ridiculous. Its okay though. Well love ya all. Stay safe. 

Elder Checketts

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dirty Life in the Swarem


So we had a solid week of missionary work here in the swarem! My new companions are awesome and love to work so I am way pumped! We set 3 baptism dates this week! Sri Laxmi for next week but thats not positive. She has some concerns that we will have to take care of this week but she is awesome. She reads the BoM  every day! She is progressing really well. That is seriously the best feeling ever. Seeing someone doing everything that Heavenly Father wants them to do and watching the blessings pour into their lives! Satish bunked church so we will have to see whats up with him. He Postponed his baptism because he got a really bad infection in his knee and wont recover for a couple more weeks. We also set his friend Karun Kumar on date but he bunked church as well. We will scold them nicely this week though! I am really excited. 

The new companions are way fun and we all get along really well. We are laughing all of the time! I cant send a photo yet because my camera is being a jew again. Its okay. I have been thinking about selling it and buying a new one. But we will see. I didnt really have any new crazy experiences this week. The same old stuff. Buses driving on sidewalks. Naked homeless people. Cows, Dogs, and pigs everywhere. I don't know. all of that just seems normal now. Its so weird. So I just got my papers to apply for a second passport to go to the Phillipines. I leave on January 27th. I will be flying to Hyderabad in a month or two to visit the US embassy. Soo pumped. I hear that they have real Mcdonalds there so that will be my first order of business! 

Dont tell me about conference yet! I havent seen it! Here they record it and then show it a week later! I am soo excited! I cant even begin to describe my feelings towards said event.

Well this week was swell. There were a bunch of hindu festivals this week so there were huge crowds of people dancing and playing drums. Its sweet! I wish Americans partied like the Indians do! Except for the alcohol. Holy shnikies its everywhere. I have been in autos when they were completely wasted and they somehow drive like a professional driver. it explains the traffic here though. They are all drunk all the time so  it just works! Anywho. love yaaaa be safe.

Elder Checketts

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Life in the Trio


Whats up! So this past week was pretty insane! It flew by! On Tuesday we went to the Rajahmundry airport only to find out that our flights had all been cancelled. So then we got a cab and drove for 3 hours to visak. We stayed the night at the zone leaders apartment there then woke up early and caught a flight to Bangalore. Oh my heck its like America there. I will send one photo. And that photo will show all you need to know about my experience there, Its was awesome. We had real Pizza. I cried. So my new companions are elders Coleman and Larson! Coleman is from Layton and Ryan has hung out with him. He has been to our house and I had no idea. So weird. Larson is from Preston, Idaho. Way cool guy. He is really quiet. We are all like the same height and the same weight. Its weird. Except for Larson. He has yet to gain the infamous rice belly. Once the meetings were done in Bangalore we woke up early and flew out to Hyderabad. And from there we flew back to Rajahmundry. We arrived back at around 12 on Friday. Crazy. Church was fun. Lots of Telagu but everyone wanted us at there home to meet the new elders. We had a full day. So that was basically what happened this week. It flew by... haha punny. 

Whats new at home? What the heck is everyone up to? I feel like its been a year since I wrote. Also if last weeks letter didnt make any sense at all, I apologize. We were in a rush to get Eames all packed up and everything set. Crazy day. 

Not much is new here. Other than the companions. We have so much fun. I am pumped for this transfer. We set sister sri laxmi on date. for the 12th of October. Hopefully that works out. She has a few concerns but we can take care of that. We also found a family of 4 new investigators yesterday. They are cool. Ramji is a YSA and he asked us to come help he and his family with a drinking problem. I think they were happy we came and seemed interested in the Book of Mormon. Solid. Should be fun! More to come next week. Love ya miss ya!

Elder Checketts

Monday, September 22, 2014

Transfer Calls


Big news! Transfer calls have come. they have definitely come. It feels like Christmas. Us sitting at the top of the stairs and Dad with a video camera telling us that Santa definitely came but he wont let us come and see yet. Anywho. I am staying in the dirty swarem! Big surprise... But. I will be flying to Bangalore with Elder Eames tomorrow to pick up my new companions! yes companionS! I have been put into a trio! I am so excited! Ryan you are not going to believe who one of them is! Elder Coleman! Crazy! He and a new elder will be coming to Dowleswarem with me and Elder Coleman and I will be training together! I was also made the district leader. But I am so excited! Elder Coleman is a way cool guy. I flew from London to Bangalore with him. So that will be fun! 

This week was a slow one. We visited a lot of members this week and we were just at Satishs home. I think we have convinced him to be baptized, receive the priesthood and then be able to baptize his friend (Karun Kumar) Way cool. We have had a few of the less actives coming back to church so that is awesome. I was happy to see that a lot of the members helped fellowship them. We have received a few referrals this week so hopefully we will be able to see them by the end of the week. I will be in Bangalore until thursday so there wont be any elders in our area for a while. I am way excited for the next transfer though. I am hoping that we will be able to get a lot of work done! This area has a lot of potential.

So since it was a slow week I figured I would share somethiing that I found while studying. I was asked to give a small talk in a district meeting on the Christlike attribute of Virtue. So I was led to a scripture in D&C i think its section 25 verse 2.. Not positive on that one... But it talks about walking in the paths of virtue and I was wondering what those paths were which led me to the 2nd book of Peter chapter 1 verses like 4 to 9 or somewhere around there. But it talks about adding to your faith virtue, virtue knowledge,knowledge temperance and so on. Then I realized what the chapter was about and Peter is talking about having your calling and elect made sure... Pretty cool that its starts with faith and virtue! Something we can all work on! Anywho. Life is swell. Lemme know whats going on at home!

Elder Checketts 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Becoming Batman

So I had some pretty wild experiences this week! It was a busy week as well! Satish passed his interview for baptism but decided that he wanted to be baptized next month with his best friend. Problem is that his best friend isnt coming to church or has any interest. Kinda weird. So we talked about it with our BML and he recommended that we have him be baptized and then he can get the priesthood to baptize his friend. We will see if he likes that! I think he will. Satish is an awesome guy. Also Sister Laxmi is doing very well. She doesnt speak very much english but she is progressing all the time. She reads and prays everyday now. She still has a hard time understanding why we do any of this. I think thats the hard part about teaching someone from a hindu backround. They have no idea what any of this is! Kinda crazy. I havent seen the Brommen family for a while. They speak 0 english so its really hard to talk to them. My companion Elder Eames is from Salem Oregon.. He finishes his mission next week sooooo yeah. We are getting transfer calls tonight and I will find out who my new companion is! I will most likely be staying here in the dirty swarem.
So. Story. It was Monday night. We had just finished our P-day and we bought material to stitch ties with. We took it to a members home because she has a sewing machine and its nice. So we were there and I was just talking to the sister while Eames was stitching away. Then all of a sudden a bat few into the room. It started to dive at us every other second so I was like man we gotta get rid of this thing! The sister was like okay I will do it no problem. So sure enough, she turns on the flippin ceiling fan! The bat dodged it like 3 times and then the fan did its unwarranted job and nailed the bat right in my direction. I was sitting on the floor against a wall. And my rice belly has affected my ability to move quickly. So I was looking around and couldnt see it anywhere. And then I saw a giant black mass clingling onto my knee. I am pretty sure all of their neighbors heard my screams. So the Mom came over and grabbed her broom and grabbed the end and squashed it in between the little bristle things. then threw it out. The three sisters and brother in the room made fun of me for the next 10 to 15 minutes. I now have a spiritual bond with Batman. I understand him more fully now and have a greater appreciation for him. I know exactly how he feels. Solid day. Almost got rabies.
Second Story. Satish our investigator invited us to a Ganesh festival party type thing where they do a little dance and then put the Ganesh in a truck and take it to the river. So we were like yeah okay. Upon our arrival we were walking through a small crowd when all of a sudden some drunk hindu came up behind me and covered my face in purple paint. My "companion" abandoned me to this destruction and ran a safe distance away while a fought my way through. Luckily. we decided to wear casual clothing before the event occurred because there was purple paint everywhere! (It came out though dont worry) But my face was a solid shade of purple for the next 2 or 3 days. It was great. Solid week.
Other than that nothing new! The weather is getting much better and the food got a little spicier. Its fine though. I am happy. I am somewhat healthy... My diet is probably really unhealthy but I dont have much of a choice. We eat like 1 kg of rice everyday. maybe more. I dunno. I had bajji this morning so I am happy. I learned how to make chicken curry! Sort of.. Not really. I just watched. But I learned a lot! We will be experiementing this week and I will let you know how that goes. Wish us luck.
Someone here told me there were bombs going on in america? I dunno. People here see the name Obama and think there is a giant bomb going off haha. Sounds like things are pretty crazy over there. How is everyone else doing? I am writing a letter home so let me know if it reaches you!
Love you all

Elder Checketts

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ganesh is Going in the River

Well. Another week gone by. Not too much happened this week. I have been a little sick for the past week and its not going away. Its great. But I have had this happen before while I was in first branch here. It lasts for like 2 weeks and then dies. So hopefully it goes away soon!
This week we visited a lot of members and made a lot of them some Kaja! Some people here dont like it because its not spicy. Ridiculous. Most people like it though. We made like 80 pieces the other day and it took forever! But it was worth it. So Ganesh festival is starting to wind down to its close when everyone takes their 30,000 rupee Ganesh statue to the river and drop it in. and thats the end of it! Kinda weird and a major waste of money! Its insane. The one I sent of picture of was 30,000 rupees which is like 500 dollars. Crazy. We are gonna try and go with them to throw it in the river!
Ganesh Statue is in center and parents are Shiva and Swamy
Investigators are good! Satish is scheduled for baptism on the 14th! So hopefully that works out. So it Sister Laxmi. We will see though. We have just been visiting a lot of members this week so nothing really new happened. Church was awesome we had like 8 investigators come! Crazy! It was awesome. All is well here. I dont really have much else goin on. The usual missionary work. Life is well. Love ya all. Church is true.

Elder Checketts

Monday, September 1, 2014

Life in the Swaram

Whats up?
So pretty solid week. We had a really good Sunday again! We had 6 investigators at church! What the heck! It is truly a miracle! We have one baptism date right now and her name is Sri Laxmi.. I think I talked about her last week... I dont remember. She moved back into her families home from Bangalore and she is from a Hindu backround. She is awesome though and cooks us food everytime we come to her home! I will have to take a photo with them. Its been kind of a weird week. India is celebrating Ganesh festival this week and there are giant 10 foot statues of him everywhere with music blasting! Its kinda sketchy to take pictures of it but I will try to sneak one in this week. Just pray that I dont get caught! Anywho. Life here is swell. We went to Kakinada last P-day and saw the Indian Ocean. We also played some beach volleyball which was fun!
Volleyball on the beach at the Indian Ocean

I stitched a Corta
 I stitched a Corta as well! Its like a very muslim shirt type thing. I dont even know. But its sweet. Not much happened this week. We have been trying to stay away from the areas where there are large Ganesh parties but thats almost impossible because they are everywhere. We wake up to the music playing by them every morning. Its lovely.

The slums in Rajahmundry aren't too bad. I have heard that they are really nice compared to the ones in Bangalore. The temp has definitely cooled down a lot and its sooo nice! Its still way humid but now its only like 70 to 80 degrees. Sometimes I get really cold. Weird. I am definitely not excited to come home to Utah in February. But its rains everyday and we have had some fun lightening storms. The weather is starting to get really nice. I have heard that in the winter in Bangalore, sometimes its cold enough to wear a jacket!
The language is alright. I can understand enough Telagu to know what they are asking me but I have no idea how to speak it back. I think the language barrier is one of the hardest parts of this mission. It takes a way long time to get used to it and its way frustrating to understand what the heck is going on1 I havent heard church in English since I was in Ritzville. Good times. We teach gospel principles class a lot so then I can understand the lesson, but we have to have someone translate. Its hard to deal with but it ends up working out. When I go to the Philippines I will be sent to a Tagalog speaking mission so I will have to learn that language too. Kinda frustrating! So far I have heard people speaking Telagu, Tomil, Hindi, Arabic, and Kanada. Its Intense. There are like 20 languages that are spoken in India. Oh I have also heard people speaking Bengali, and Punjab. Way weird.

 So I heard that Lebron went back to the Cavs. Haha man thats awesome. What else is going on back home? I havent heard like anything that has happened outside of India. Its weird. They just don't care what is happening in the world around them. Except for Robin Williams. We saw that in a newspaper the other day. I was in shock. Crazy!
Sorry Mom

Nothing new happened this week... that I can remember. We had a really good lesson with Sri Laxmi on the Restoration, Showed her the movie and she accepted baptism on the 7th. Hopefully that works out! Satish(Killer Fish) is awesome. They have a way cool family. They all need to be baptized!
The Sword of Truth!

Well yeah. Thats crazy that Leo and Rylee came home! Man that time went by so quickly! I still have a long time though! Which I am grateful for! I read and finished Our Heritage this week and its really good! Its goes over the early history of the church really well! There were a lot of things that I didnt know about! Or maybe just forgot! Either way it was really good! I still love Jesus the Christ more though. If any of you have a copy of it.. READ IT. Just set a dictionary by it and it will be okay. Sooo yeah. Thats about it. Have a good week!

Elder Checketts
Beautiful Sunset in the Swaram