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

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