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