Monday, January 26, 2015

New Mission!


So. This week was awful in the sense that I had to say goodbye to everyone in Rajahmundry but I am really happy to finally be out of there! it has been almost a year in that Village! Well right now I am in the city of Hyderabad waiting for a cap that will come and pick us up tonight around 11 and take us to the airport. So I have been reassigned to the Angeles,Philippines mission! Probably Tagalog speaking. I have heard that that mission is mostly village so I think I will be in a village for the entirety of my mission. I can't complain though. the people in small villages are a lot more humble! Even though they don't speak English! I am really excited and grateful to be able to serve in the Philippines though. Not very many missionaries get this opportunity and it is an awesome blessing! 

Well like I said before this week was rough because I had to say bye to everyone. That was rough. So many amazing people that I have met but I have all of there information and that jazz. It was fun. Brother Srinivas was baptized this week! It was awesome! the brother that was baptizing him had to do it like 5 times though haha couldn't get him under the water. I don't know why, but it ended up being really good! He is a really good guy. He actually has a pretty cool story. For the past 5 years he has been studying the bible trying to find the true church and he talked to one of our members and came and for a couple of months and decided ours was true! Pretty sweet! Well we just ate at Hard Rock Cafe and This time I only Spent 400 rupees! There was a nice buffet with chicken kabobs and biryani! Sooo good! Also ice cream. So nice. Anyways. I have no time. Next time I will be writing from the Philippines! Love you all!

Elder Checketts

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Missionary Fireside

Hello everyone!

How are you all doing? Everything here is good! 
This last week felt really really long! But it was good! We met with all of our investigators and they are doing well. I am positive that all of them will someday be baptized. So the baptism of Srinivas is postponed until next Sunday because his family wasn't able to come this Sunday. Also we set his wife with a date but we will see. She doesn't speak a word of English. Anyway. They are good. The Mulaparthi family is awesome. They accepted baptism but still won't accept a date. But they are progressing. We just have to get them to church. I guess the father is the one who is stopping the family from coming to our church. So this week we will be focusing more on him. Before we thought it was the mother that was keeping them from doing anything. But yeah. Working on that. Banumathi (Rajesh mom) is solid. She just has to stop drinking tea! Man that is a huge problem here. Everyone and their dog drinks tea and coffee. She stopped taking it yesterday though and so now if she goes this week without and continues she can be baptized. They are an awesome family. 

So we had a missionary fireside this week and it was solid! I was actually surprised at the amount of people that came. We had around 35 or 40 souls! Definitely an improvement from last time there was a fireside which had like 15 there. So we had our Branch Mission Leader organize a message and we got to do the games. It was nice to be able to do that! They gave a really good lesson on faith and talked about the chart in PMG about checking where you are on all of the Christ-like attributes. Way good. Then we had a soccer game  and we split everyone up and some groups and went and played the hand tangle game.. Do you know what I am talking about? like the game where everyone is in a circle and takes a random hand in the circle and you have to untangle yourselves? I dunno. It was fun though and everyone enjoyed it! Also the soccer game was awesome. I wasn't able to play but watching was hilarious. It was a fun activity though. Kind of a nice break from going out every night and walking in on our investigators doing pooja to Joseph Smith. Just kidding. But really that actually happens.... Sooooo yeah.

So this will be my last week in Dowleswarem. I am really sad but really excited at the same time. I have been here for so long! I am now at 7 months! crazy. I am guessing that once I get back form the Philippines they will send me right back to Rajahmundry! No problem though. This place has become my second home and I love it here. The people are amazing and I am really sad to be leaving all the friends that I have made here. But its okay. I will see them again. Someday! Well yeah that basically all thats going on here.... Pretty average week. Well I love you all and I hope you are doing well. 

Elder Checketts

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

11 Month Mark!

Hello everyone!

Well its been a wonderful week! I hit my 11 month mark. It was actually a really good day! Well this week Vamsi was confirmed a member of the church so that was awesome! He now has the amazing gift of having the Holy Ghost as his constant companion. I am really happy for that. So this week we met with most of our investigators and they are all doing well. Srinivas is now set for baptism this Sunday so we will see if that works out though. He is a really good guy. Also Rajesh and his family are way cool. So he is the one that was drunk and went and talked to the missionaries. He has come such a long way in such a short time. It is seriously one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. When he first came and talked to us he was getting drunk everyday, wasn't working much, and was about to give up on life. He hasn't had alcohol since we first started meeting with him and he is so happy now. He studies the Bible and the Book of Mormon everyday. He has so many questions about it all the time and it is way funny because even when he doesn't have a doubt and we come to their home he will sit and search through the book until he finds a question. He started taking a bible study class from some pastor and all the people their are giving him anti-mormon questions so now he is asking us and whatever we teach him he goes and teaches all of these people. Haha he is so awesome. Last night he told us that he wants us to teach everything out of the Bible so that he can prove to all these people that our church is true. Everytime we are teaching him and his mom, if he gets a question he sits and raises his hand like we are in school. Its really funny to watch! Anyway. He has come an amazing distance from where he was in such a short time. So we also are teaching the Mulaparthi family. They are having a hard time remembering to read the Book of Mormon, so last night we went with the intent to ask inspired questions and find out why they weren't reading, but after we did that, I think we wrecked them a little too much on reading it but we were still friends at the end of the lesson. so. Success. Haha They are an awesome family as well though. 

Well. Yeah. This week was good. Had some nice chicken biryani. Also. President Berrett came to Rajahmundry this week to have a specialized training. It was really good. We learned a lot about improving our teaching skills. This Zone is very young so it helped a lot. I think more than half of them have been out for less than 6 months so it was good. We are going to start focusing a lot more on practicing and working with the spirit so that we can be effective in our teaching!  Well. Love ya. I hope all is well there. I got my flight tickets to go to the Philippines. So I will fly out of Rajahmundry to Hyderabad at around noon on the 26th, then I will fly to Bangkok at 1AM to 6am then from Bangkok to Manila at like 8AM so I will arrive there at around 12 pm. Pumped for another ridiculously long series of flights. I will be flying there with my MTC companion Elder Ward and with another elder that we came with named Elder Cluff. Both are wonderful gentlemen. So it will be fun. Still have no idea what mission in the Philippines I am going to. Gotta love surprises! Love you all!

Elder Checketts

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year Baptism!


How is everyone? Has everyone made their new years resolutions? I have made a couple but am still thinking of some more! I want to be able to, memorize more scriptures and to know the bible a little bit better! I still don't know it very well but I will work on that! Also I want to make sure that I don't speak badly about anyone. There is a really big problem with gossip that I think is in a lot of countries. So I want to look at the good in everyone and never focus on the bad, no matter how much I may or may not like them! 

So we had a solid week! We were able to teach some really good lessons to our investigators! Vamsi was baptized! It was a really good service and the spirit was very strong! His uncle Sai was able to do the baptism and it was great! I was happy that our other investigators were able to see and feel what a baptism looks and feels like! I think that is so important! I was grateful for our Branch Mission Leader in making sure it was well organized also! Really good! So we started teaching the cousins of one of our members. The Mulaparthi Family! They are awesome! I mentioned them last week also! We taught them and the spirit was really strong! they told that they would think about being baptized. So last night we taught them again and this time we showed the Restoration DVD! The spirit was really strong again in that lesson! They told us that if they felt like it was right then they would be baptized. They told they would read and pray this week. So when Heavenly Father answers their prayers then we will set a baptism date with them also! Also MLC was this last week in Bangalore! It was really good. Our mission has been struggling as a whole for a while and we discussed ways to bring it back up. In our Zone Training meeting we talked with everyone about what we were doing and how we needed to change. It ended up being really good and everyone committed to change and work harder, teach more effectively, and the be exactly obedient. Our Zone is already seeing the blessings of that commitment! Good Stuff!

So with going to the Philippines, They won't tell me which mission I will be assigned to until I get there so it will just be a big surprise! I do know that it will at least be on the main island of Manila. Or at least I am pretty sure. The only thing I have been told is that I am flying out of India on January 27th... I am pumped for another 10 hour flight.... Just kidding. Those are rough. I am a little excited to get real beef though.. They have beef here and its nasty. Lots of people try to make us beef curry because they think Americans all love beef. Which for me is true.. but not this stuff. Also its sketchy to eat. Lots of elders get sick from beef. Anyway. Life is good. I will home a box in the next couple of weeks with stuff that I can't keep carrying around because it weighs too much. Getting charged out the yin yang for overweight fees on flights. Well love ya! 

Elder Checketts