Sunday, April 27, 2014

I'm An Uncle!!

Whatt upp??

Man this week was crazy! Half the time I was thinking of the baby and the other half our investigators! Whats going on over there! How is the baby? Healthy? Happy? Swaggy? What is the babies name??? I am so pumped that I am an uncle! That is so weird to think about! I am really sad that I wont get to see it until its almost 2 years old! Crazy. Whit! How are you doing?? Matt? Are you guys in shock? cuz I am! Hope you guys are getting some sleep! Let me know whats going on and if you guys are okay! 

April 21, 2014

Noah William Checketts, 8 lbs 7 oz

Ryan so you are going to Minnesota soon? That is wild. Good luck with all those sales man. Keep me updated on how everything goes with that! Bridger is going with you right? that should be pretty sweet. Hopefully you can make some solid money! Chris! So you are going to Tennessee?? That is crazy! Man that is so weird. Everyone is leaving Utah! What the heck! How long will you be there? Keep me updated on whats going on there! 
So this week was pretty wild. the first few days were pretty rough. like all of our investigators bailed and we weren't able to contact any of them for like 3 days. then all of the sudden the week took off. So we have 4 scheduled baptisms for this Sunday! Crazy right?!? kinda out of no where! Their names are Mahdri, and Ravi Teja, then a guy named Fedro and his wife but I cant remember her name. I probably wouldn't be able to spell it even if I did. Its so hard getting used to all these Indian names! But yeah they all came to church yesterday but I wasnt able to attend because I had my first case of Indian sickness. It was lovely. Just kidding if I get sick again im going to die. Anywho. I am somewhat okay now. Well yeah thats basically what happened this week. I dont know what else to say. I am probably forgetting something. Its whatever. 

Preach my Gospel is pretty awesome. I definitely regret not studying it more before the mish. I know I know everyone told me I would regret it but Its just something you have to find out for yourself. Tim start reading PMG. Its pretty sweet. 

The power cuts here are terrible. They cut the power more during the summer and May is the hottest month of the year here so thats awesome. They cut the power all the time and I can never finish a washing machine run. Its ridiculous. Cultural experience of the week... I dunno. This happens every week. But I witnessed several men pooping on the side of the road this week. Which is a little more than average. Usually its only like 2 or 3 times but this week I just happened to be in the right spot at the wrong time. Yikes. Cows are all over the place here. I havent taken a picture of one yet I dunno why. Now it just seems normal to me. But We did see a couple of monkeys and I will send some pics of that! 

Let me know whats going on with everyone! I havent heard from Dad for like 3 weeks! How is everything going?? Sounds like Tim is beasting track up! pretty sweet! Well Love you all! 

Elder Checketts

Monday, April 21, 2014


Man what is going on?!? Whitney is having the baby right now?!? That is crazy! I am so excited! We are all praying for her! Man I cant wait another week to see! That is so cool! Sooooo the week here was very slow but very good. Since my companion and I were white-washed into this area we have had a tough time figuring out where to go and what to do and yeah! Its pretty sweet. Miracles happen literally every single day. Its amazing! The people are still amazing! The food is growing on me but is still disgusting. Just kidding It has grown on me a lot! I am starting to enjoy the spice more and more. although my mouth is constantly on fire. Its a beautiful thing. Speaking of beautiful things. There is one thing you all need to know about as we continue throughout my mission... The Sprayer. The sprayer has already saved me many times. For those who dont know, Indians dont have toilet paper. I am pretty sure they have never heard of it. Anywho. The sprayer is this nice little hose that they use to spray themselves off after loose motions (diarrhea). Not gonna lie. I havent even had loose motions yet but I am pumped for the day that it comes. Anyway. the sprayer is awesome. And I want one when I get back.
So we have some awesome investigators! One is Ravi Teja! He is a way good kid I think he is 17 and he was already baptized once but they didnt confirm him a member and give him the holy ghost so we have to redo it. Kind of a pain because his Mom is agaisnt the church and she keeps saying he was already baptized so we are working with that. He is scheduled to be dunked next week. Hope it works! Also We have a new investigator named Mahdri! She is 17 and was introduced to us by a member named Rahuul. He invited us over for Family night and brought her and she is interested! She is scheduled to be dunked on May 4th. Sorry I keep calling it dunked but its way easier to type than baptism and I am terrible at typing. Anywho. Did I tell you guys about Fedro? He is really cool. We were looking for Ravi Teja's house and knocked the wrong door and this guy named Fedro invited us in and we taught him and he is supposed to be baptized on May 11 or something like that. Crazy! My companion is a beast at putting people on date! And there are like 5 other potential investigators but we are having a hard time meeting with them. Oh! Also Ravi Kumar! He is so weird. but he is awesome. He keeps telling us that he doesnt want to sit through the lessons he just wants to go help people. He told us that he is going to go work in Delhi for 5 months then start a orphanage in Rahjamundry to help kids. He has a way good heart. but he also tells us of all these wild dreams he has had about Christ talking to him so we are kinda weirded out but he has come to church for like a month now so once he understands that the only way to get back to heaven is to get dunked then he can start helping others then it would be great!
So Culture. I dont even know what to say. Indians are weird. PDA is very frowned upon but men will walk down the street holding hands all the time. Apparently that means friendship. Im not going to lie, when I first got here I thought we were going to have a huge problem with gay people. hahaha but its not a problem. Its also very awkward when the members that I have become good friends with hold my hand and I feel extremely uncomfortable. Pretty sweet. Um poverty.. yeah. lots of it. I have lots of beggars come and grab me and ask for money  but we arent allowed so we have to walk away. These people live in some rough conditions. I dont know how to describe it. Their houses are like 10 feet by 10 feet. no doors just a big blanket hanging from the top! They usually have us sit on their bed and they pull out a fold up chair or sit on the ground. The water here is filthy but luckily for us we have a filter in our apartment. also bottled water is really cheap its like 15 rupees which is like 25 cents in the U.S. I am definitely going to buy a suit here! They are like 50 buck and its all hand stitched! One guy in our zone has been here for 10 months and he has like 8 suits now. and they are all way sweet! The power goes out here like every 2 hours so we have to use is to our advantage. I wake up in a wonderful pool of sweat every morning.
Rahjamundry is about as native India as I can get. They consider this city a small town but it has around 400,000 people. Soo big change from Ritzville. Also traffic is ridiculous. I feel like im going to die everytime I am on the street but somehow I havent been hit. these people as crazy as theyare, they know what they are doing. sometimes. there are a lot of drunk people. Everyone thats drunk that talks to me tells me that their name is Jack Sparrow. Thats how I know they are drunk its weird.
They have Dominos Here! but its freaking weird. We had it for lunch today and part of me wants to die but then the other part is hungry so I suck it up. Okay its not that bad but its just really different. Their cheese is nasty. But the curry is beautiful. I am learning to cook some Indian things but I have to idea how to spell them so I will let you know later!
Let me know how everything is going there! I want to see pictures! I am an Uncle??! So crazy!! Also! Everyone here asks about family so I need some pictures of everyone! Lemme know!
Love yaa!

Elder Checketts

Monday, April 14, 2014

!st Area: Rajahmundry: "Naan is the most beautiful thing I have ever had."

Zach has been unable to get his camera to upload the photos he wanted to send to the computer.  We are working on that and hope for pictures soon. His Mom

Oh my gosh I dont even know where to start. this place is crazy!! So! Here was my flight plan. I flew to Seattle which took like an hour and then from there to London which was about 9 hours and I didn't get very much sleep on that flight so then I met up with Elder Ward and Elder Cluff at Heathrow airport! So then we began our journey to Bangalore which took another 9 hours but I was able to sleep much more on that flight! Awesome! So from the airport we drove to the mission office and had lunch and orientation. I had no idea what time it was the entire time. I think we got here at 4am on wednesday morning. but yeah. So then we were with the president and his wife for the entirety of that day and he is awesome! I love him! He is way funny and is way nice. So then. we spent the night at the assistants apartment and got up around 2am to fly to Hyderabad then to Rahjamundry which is where I am currently staying!

So Rahjamundry is ridiculously hot and humid. I think they said its the second hottest city in the mission. I am always covered in sweat. Its great. So my area is awesome, although I cant understand a thing that anyone says to me! My area is a very tough one. Elder Gottipati and I were white washed into our area. One important thing.... No one in our area speaks English. They all speak Telagu. Thankfully my companion speaks a little bit! He is from Ogden but his parents are from India and his mom taught him some Telagu! Man sweet and tender mercies of the Lord! Without him we would probably be dead. just kidding mom its very safe here! 

So there are cows everywhere and they are nasty. I understand why no one wants to eat them. I do miss beef. A lot. Send me some beef jerky?? haha I have also seen a few monkeys and a lot of pigs and goats. also chickens are everywhere. Dogs run around everywhere too. We can't touch them though because 90% of them have fleas. Gross. I felt so bad I saw like the cutest puppy the other day and it was starving but we cant do anything. that reminds me. I don't want to to tell you very much about the poverty I have seen. Its very depressing and sometimes disturbing. But the people. I dont even know where to begin about these people. I love them. They are the most humble and loving people I have ever met. I imagine heaven will be like this in a sense. I love the kids here! Oh my gosh they are awesome! We have bikes but whenever we are going down the street tons of kids run our to us and ask "how are you?" I say good and when I ask them how they are they will always say "fine" haha I dont think anyone knows the words good or well. But its awesome! Also! What Bishop Brisko said about the weird side to side head nod he was right! Literally everyone does it and its so weird but I have started doing it too and I've only been here for like 4 days! Lame!

The members here are awesome! They all call me Elder Jackets haha. I have the hardest time remembering anyone's name! So these past few days I have been here I have already seen some really cool things! We were on our way to teach a young boy named Ravi Teja and Elder Gottipati couldnt remember which house it was - they dont have addresses its all done by land marks - so we go and knock on this door/curtain thing and he tells us to come in and we taught him a small lesson and set him with a baptism date and he was way excited! Like what the heck he has never even met missionaries and he wanted to come to church and everything! His name is Fedro! Then we taught Ravi Teja and he is awesome! He was baptized before but wasnt confirmed so we have to do it again. I think the thing I love most is that everyone is willing to listen to you. except for the leaders of the other churches. Everyone is way nice about it and Its awesome! Another cool thing that happened. So we watched conference this weekend! haha again! well for me. I guess they dont have access to the live broadcast so they have to record it and then they show it the week after so I got to watch it again! so sweet! So this guy came to church on sunday and so that night we went to his home to teach and talk to him. He told us(in Telagu) that he had a dream about Christ and that he saw him carrying the cross. then he said that he heard a voice that messengers would come and that he needed to listen to them and then he told us that we were those messengers. We weren't sure if he was drunk or crazy but he is a way nice guy and his name is Ravi Kumar. He is way good! We have taught a lot of people in the last few days! We have 4 new investigators! This mission is different from anything you can imagine. we are in the same apartment with the ZLs and they are awesome. but I guess one of them said that he and his companion went on splits with a couple of members and had 35 member present lessons in a week. thats like unheard of. They have goals to get like 20 baptisms a month!

This place is wild! Man I hope that you are all doing very well! I am slowly learning small Telagu phrases! pretty sweet! 

 Ryan!! There is an elder here in my zone named Elder Larson. He served in Minnesota in Winona for 4 months while he was waiting for his visa! He wanted me to tell you that The Reps family and Volkmans love you! And to talk to Cole Reps about returning to the temple and Angel Vlkman has a baby and that the Neefe fam is doing great! He was there like a month after you came home so he replaced you! He said that everyone there talks about you still haha pretty crazy!

Whats going on with the baby!! Am I an Uncle yet?!?!? haha crazy!! I am so excited! Well I will try and write a little bit more about whats going on next week! I am well and the food is nasty but its growing on me! Except the Naan. Naan is the most beautiful thing I have ever had. I love it. All the food is way spicy and I can barely eat it. My first day here I was on an exchange with Elder Nepali he is a ZL from Nepal and is adorable. He is also stronger than most american body builders. I will take pictures of the workouts he does in the morning. So we were at this investigators house and she said she wanted to feed us so she made rice with a little bit of chicken. It was the spiciest stuff I have ever had. I couldnt finish it and I felt so bad. She asked if I didnt like it and I tried to tell her it was very good but very spicy and Im not used to it. It was awful!!! I felt so bad! I tried to eat as much as I could but my stomach was burning up from the inside out! also I had to eat with my hands and that was rough. haha But it was fun and a good learning experience!

Sorry this letter is way long but there is a lot I could still say but I need to let my companion email his family! I love you all and I hope that everything is going well! I am very happy and I am slowly adjusting!! Love you all!

Elder Checketts

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm in India - Letter from the President

Dear Brother and Sister Checketts,

It  is our pleasure to have your son serving in the India Bangalore Mission.  He will serve as companions with Elder Gottipati from the US.  They are assigned to the city of Rajahmundry which is a great area for missionary work.  There is great support from the members there and the church is growing. Attached are some pictures we took yesterday of your son.

We express our gratitude to you for your help in your son's preparation.  This is an exciting area of the world for missionary work.  We are hoping that with your son''s help we can have some new stakes in India in the next couple of years.

Just a reminder on sending packages, it is best to send them to the mission office.  Sometimes transfers happen without a lot of notice and they could possibly be moved to a new area or even city.  Sometimes there are customs fees imposed on packages, when that happens the office will usually pay the fees and then work it out with the missionary to pay it back.  We can usually get the packages to them fairly quickly.  Some missionaries prefer their parents put money in their personal account for birthdays and other events.  Most things are available here and it saves shipping and customs charges.  We are very happy to assist you in any way we can.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.

President and Sister Berrett
India Bangalore Mission

Monday April 7th: On My Way!!

Holy cow I am freaking out! I am leaving on a plane to India! What the heck! I have never been out of the country what the heck am I doing! I am terrified but so excited at the same time. I am somewhat frustrated because they haven't given me any information. the only thing they told me is to be at the mission office by noon and that my flight leaves at 3:30. So yeah. I will probably be able to call from the airport so stand by. I have no idea what the heck is going on this is crazy. but I am pumped out [of my mind]. My last shower in the US was a short one. we didn't have very much hot water. Also I took my last drink of cow milk. It was beautiful. 

So this week was like the slowest week of my life. I feel like the call when I got my visa was forever ago. Also like nothing happened. We were able to do a lot of service which was awesome. Oh! on Friday we went and helped this older couple who aren't members with their yard. we were there for like 6 hours and I was exhausted. but when we finished the guy gave us a bag filled with pork chops, a huge ham, bacon, and something else I don't even know but I guess they had just killed one of their pigs and it was fresh. we have no idea how to cook up a ham. but we took it anyway. I will let my companion figure that out! He is staying in Ritzville and I guess he knows the elder that is coming so that is good. 

I am somewhat sad that I am leaving Ritzville because we just barely got comfortable there and the members just started to open up to us and they are way awesome so its kind of hard but I am grateful for what I've been able to learn this transfer in the large town of Ritzville. 

Ohhh myyy gosh! Conference was amazing. probably the best couple of days of my entire life. Okay maybe not but it was awesome. So many great talks! I think one of my favorites was Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Seventy during priesthood session! Also Elder Zwick gave an awesome talk during the saturday morning session! Of course I loved all of the apostles talks and President Uchtdorf never ceases to amaze me! It was awesome! I loved it!

Anywho. yeah. The church is true. I did get that package and it was awesome! I needed that! Also the package the Matt and Whit sent was sweet! I am pumped to get on the plane now and have a lot to do! Also! I finished Jesus the Christ the other day and it was awesome. It gives such a great description of the Saviors life! I have learned so much about Christ that I didnt understand before! I love to learn about him! I have also taken Moms advice and I have been reading Moroni chapter 7 everyday! Its amazing how I learn something new every single time! So cool! I love the Book of Mormon! There are so many verses that stick out at different times and even after you think you have understood every single concept in that verse a new one pops up! Awesome!

Well. I love you all and I am so grateful for all of your support! I have definitely felt the effects of your prayers and I am so grateful for them! so thank you! Next time I write it will be from India! Whoa! So crazy to think about! 
Its been real America.

Elder Zach Checketts