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