Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Final Epistle

Hey everyone.

In all honesty I never thought this day would come haha It always seemed like it was a long way away. But here it is. WOO! FINALLY! Just kidding. I am really sad to be leaving. but I am excited to see you all as well no worries. Well this week was a sad one but good at the same time. I was able to say goodbye to all the friends I made here and hopefully someday i will be able to return! This week we had 3 or 4 investigators at church so that was awesome. they are all really cool and I am sure that they will be baptized. 

I really am not sure what I am supposed to include in this letter. i have a lot of mixed feelings right now. But I am super grateful that I was able to return to India at all. That was definitely a miracle. I am sad to be leaving but I hope to be able to come back again someday. Sunday was pretty fun. I have been playing the piano for sacrament meeting for the past few weeks and its really bad but I have gotten a lot better at sight reading. but yesterday they didnt tell me there was an extra hymn we were going to sing and I wasnt paying attention when they announced it and a sister told me it was How Firm a Foundation so started playing that one and everyone was quiet and staring at me and then they told me that was the wrong hymn. So i got a little piano solo in before i gave a talk. super embarrassing but it was funny. Then I spoke about Hope. and how it can be an anchor to the souls of men and I talked about how it should anchor you to the iron rod and it was good. i hope. maybe 5 of the 70 people understood what i was saying hahaha no worries though. It was solid. 

Well I really wish that I could put everything that I have learned in the past 28 months into one letter but thats not physically possible. So I will just tell you what i now know. I know that God is our Father in Heaven. i know that He loves us more than we can comprehend. And that love is evidenced through His Son Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is our savior. I know that he suffered, was crucified, and rose the third day for all of us. I know that both He and our Father in Heaven have perfect immortal bodies. They both love us perfectly. I know that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet of God. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God and with him, I testify that the book of Mormon is most correct of any book on earth. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Elder Checketts

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Busy Week!

Hello everyone!

Well. It has been a really really really ridiculously busy week! Where to start. So. Last preparation day was swell. we taught 2 new investigator sisters and they are super cool. They have awesome questions and we are super excited about them. their names are Dharani and Pavani. Very cool people. We also had some members bring their friends to church and we have appointments scheduled with all of them this week so are are very excited about that. Also We had MLC on wednesday so we flew to bangaluru on Tuesday night. It was really good but also super sad. It was President and Sister Berrett's last. but I guess it was also my last as well. It was really good and we learned a lot. Then on Friday we had Zone Training Meeting and the Little's came and gave self reliance trainings for all the missionaries! So that was awesome. Then on Saturday President Berrett came to Visak and we all had our final interviews with him before they finish on the 29th. And then we had 3 baptism interviews to do for other companionships. So its been a crazy week! Oh and also yesterday after church another elder and I had more self reliance training from the Little's for a couple hours. and also we taught a new family! so we have taught their sons before but we taught the whole family together last week and it was awesome so hopefully we can help them1 only problem is that mom and dad dont speak any English. so thats fun. man I am excited to hear english conversations again. So that was our week! Super busy but really good!

So I am super excited for tonight because Sister Manga (our recent convert) (who makes celestialized chicken curry) is teaching me how to make it tonight!!!! WOO!! Prepare to have your taste buds blown physically, spiritually, and metaphorically when I get home. Umm yeah thats basically everything. do you have my itinerary for my flight home? I still have no idea soo thats awesome. I only know that i will fly to Bangalore on Tuesday morning next week. and yeah. Thats all i got. Love you all the church is true!

Elder Checketts

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Extension request denied

Hi everyone

It was a good but little slow week. It was ridiculously hot this week. it was constantly 41 degrees plus like 35 to 40% humidity so it felt like it was 48. which is like 115 degrees. So its a little warm. Anyway. We had some really good lessons. We had a lot of people bring their friends to church this week so that was awesome. we were able to teach a few of them and we have appointments set with them later this week so we are excited for that. Everything else is going well. We have dropped a lot of our investigators but its a good thing so no worries. We are looking for other people now. We did a lot of street contacting this last week. Haha it didnt work so well.. 95% didnt speak English and the other 5% wasnt interested. Its good though. We probably sweat like 5 liters so its all good.

So this week we are going to Bangaluru again for MLC so we are very excited for that. should be super fun.  annnnd yeah basically it. Haha pretty average week here. Sorry my letters are probably super boring now haha theres just not a whole lot going on. I am going to a members house this week to have her teach me how to make really nice chicken curry so i am stoked for that. Also I need to find someone to teach me biryani. That stuff is celestial food. I am 100% sure that Chicken Dum Biryani is what Heavenly Father eats at least twice a week. I have to learn how to make it before I leave here. Anyway. How is everypne at home? Happy Birthday Dad! I hope its awesome and i hope you creamed everyone else in golf. Just wait til I get home. I will win. 

Well i hope all is well. I guess I will see you all in a couple weeks haha thats weird. Love you all bye

Elder Checketts

Monday, May 23, 2016


Hey hey hey!

So this was a pretty good week! We were able to teach some solid lessons to our investigators but its still difficult because their families are still saying no to the church. Sister Kamala is having a hard time with that as well. I feel really bad but I know that someday she will be baptized. In all of her prayers she begs Heavenly Father to allow her to be baptized. She is super awesome. Tonight we are teaching 2 new investigators and I am really excited. They are both referrals from a less active family so that is super cool. We will teach the restoration tonight and see how it goes! So kinda of a cool experience. Yesterday We were going to an appointment with a less active family and I couldnt remember exactly where it was. As we were walking I felt like we should stop and I was talking to my companion that I Felt it was really close to here. So then he said okay well lets just walk up this street. as we walked up the road i began to remember different places and it ended up being the exact road we needed to get up in order to reach this house. I couldnt believe it! It was really a miracle we didnt get lost. We dont go to this area very often because its far and costs a lot to get to but we were definitely being guided. Super cool. 

So yeah solid week! We went to the beach today and I got absolutely fried. My face literally looks like a tomato. The next few days will be a little painful but it was worth it cuz we played soccer on the beach!! Sooo fun! I am sooo out of shape though! Yikes! My companion and I have started doing some different workouts in the morning cuz we are both fat. Just kidding I still cant gain weight to save my life. 

So you received my itinerary?? what the heck? I havent even received it! I am going to the police station this week on Wednesday so apply for the extension. Sooo pray for that. Haha Hopefully I will be able to stay until August. If not, Its been real. Anyway. I dont know what the actual temperature is here but it feels like death. Its seriously wayyyy too hot here. but i love it anyway. It rained here for four days straight here last week.I guess there was a cyclone that hit somewhere near to us and we got some pretty awesome lightning storms. Anyway. Thats all. Everything here is going well. especially mango season. Hows everything there? Life is good I hope. Love you all!

Elder Checketts

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

New Companion


Well this week was very slow. But. Still good at the same time. Sort of. So Elder Bunga finished his mission. Very sad in a couple different ways. One because I was here when he came into the mission so thats really weird. and also because we became very good friends. Anyway. my new companion is elder Touthang. He is from Bangaluru but he was born in Manipur. so when you see a picture you will think he is from Hong Kong but he is indeed from India. Unfortunately i dont have any pictures yet. next week for sure! 

Well we had some solid lessons this last week. Kamala told us again that she still hasnt talked with her husband and that she isnt ready to be baptized so we are thinking about dropping her for a while. Satyanarayana started going back to Hindu temples so thats a problem. haha lost of fun stuff happening everywhere. but! We taught a new brother and he spoke amazing English! But he is moving back to Bangalore soon but we taught him the restoration and the spirit was so strong. Its lessons like those that give more energy to keep going out everyday! It was super awesome. We are going to focus on some referrals we got this week so we are praying that that will go well. Lots of work to do here in Visak but life is good. 

how is everything at home? I hope everyone is healthy and happy. How is the new baby? I am super stoked to come home and meet him! Send some more pics of him and the rest of the fam! Love you all!

Elder Checketts

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day


I guess i will write a quick email today cuz we skyped and I only have a little bit of time left. This week was really good. Also kind of Sad. Elder Bunga is finishing his mission so we said goodbye for him to a lot of members. We had a decent amount of lessons this week. Wednesday was awesome. we went on splits and taught 11 lessons. we also had a missionary fireside that went really well. So it was all about the restoration. We taught about what Christ did in his earthly ministry and then other members taught about different principles of the restoration. We had some awesome activities so it was really good. I hope. Haha Members here Dont really understand that very well so hopefully we helped. We also had an exchange with the assistants this week and that was fun. We went to The Little's apartment and had a training on self reliance for The 2 missionaries in our zone going home. it was good. and they are awesome. It was a solid week. and on tuesday i will be getting a new companion named Elder Tautang.. I think thats how you spell it. 

Um yeah thats about it for this week. It was awesome to see you all and I will probably be seeing you in person in a few months. stoked. Love you all be safe! and Happy Mothers Day!!

Elder Checketts

Monday, May 2, 2016



What a wonderful week we had. Holy shnikies. it was sooo busy. So. Starting with a 3 hour train ride to Rajahmundry in the early hours of the morning! We were in the A/C section so that was nice. We got to Rajahmundry and I was able to see a couple of members that I served with in Dowleswarem! It was soo weird being back! So many memories came back and I could remember where literally everything was in Rajahmundry. It was awesome. Then we had an awesome Zone conference with Elder Funk of the Seventy. Awesome meeting. I gave a small training on the culture of our mission and how it can improve and then Elder Funk spoke about teaching repentance and how to do it more efficiently. Super awesome. 

Then we stayed the night there in the mundry and woke up early again and took a bus back to Visak for another 3 hours. So we were pretty exhausted. Then Elder Bunga and i got on a flight to Bangaluru for MLC and Elder Funk also conducted that! First time in any Asia mission that a general authority has conducted an MLC so that was cool. It was really awesome though. So many things and ways to help the mission be better. I dont know if I mentioned but before Elder Funks call to the Seventy he was the mission president in this mission.. right before President Berrett came. Pretty awesome. 

So yeah that took up a big chunk of our week. Then we taught some solid lessons on Saturday and Sunday. had some really nice Chicken Biryani and now here I am. Sitting in an internet cafe, watching and listening to the insane traffic and the ruthless bus drivers almost killing people as they fly by. I've told you they dont stop right? Like to get on and get down from the bus you have to jump. Its ridiculous. Anyway. Life is swell. we are gonna start playing Cricket in the mornings now. Stoked. Its getting hotter here everyday so thats great. Our investigators are about the same. They are learning but Family members are stopping them from really progressing. Praying for that. We need to do some solid finding this week though. going to work on more referrals. good stuff.  Annnd yeah thats about it. Happy Birthday Chris and Noah! Sorry I didnt mention that last week! I will be praying for Whit this week. Be strong and of a good courage. Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed. For the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest!

Love you all

Elder Checketts

Monday, April 25, 2016

What uppp

Hello everyone!

Well this week was a little slow but still solid. We were able to teach some awesome lessons and help others to be able to feel the spirit. We are teaching a less active members son who is 10 years old. Its a little difficult because he has a hard time understanding. But he is awesome. His name is Cherry. Really cool kid. We are still teaching that awesome family and they are doing really well. They have soooo many questions though. Which is a good thing because we are answering them all. Sister Kamala is doing well but the whole Hindu in-law thing is preventing her from progressing. We are trying to help her to have courage and to talk to her husband and do what she believes. We were going to share Joshua 1:9 and also the story of esther in the old testament. hopefully we can help her out.

I gave a talk on Sunday about remembering Christ not just on Sunday but everyday. I based it around the talk that Elder Gong gave in General conference. I think it was okay. Haha if only people here actually spoke English. I gave 5 points on how we can better Keep the covenant we make every week during the sacrament. A few people told me that I did a good job so I have confirmation that at least 3 people understood it! Good enough for me. Solid day. We also got lunch from a member with nice Mango Dahl. Sooo nice. 

Well definitely I want you all to know that this is the Lords work. I feel Him guiding us every single day. Appointments, lessons, and all tracting just go too well for there not to be someone on the other side leading it. Too many small things happen that would never work out if God was not in charge. Also. The church puts 20 year olds in charge of who qualifies to be baptized into the church so if it wasnt true the church would have fallen apart years ago. Anyway. I have already found the reason, or at least one of them, why I was sent back to India. The couple that was just baptized had a big part in it. They are awesome. And I also think it was just a merciful act of our Heavenly Father to allow me to have nice Chicken biryani again. Seriously though. I love that family. They are amazing. The Church is True! Love you all and Miss you!

Elder Checketts

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mango Season!

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the super late letter but we just barely got back from a place called Araku. Its like 3 hours away from here and we left at around 5AM and I am starving and have a massive headache so if there are some parts of this letter that dont make any sense or have a lot of typos i am sorry! 

So this week was pretty average... We have this family that we are teaching and they are awesome. Golden investigators. Everytime we teach them they ask awesome questions and just want to learn more and more. We end up teaching for an hour and a half sometimes cuz they dont want us to leave. Its super fun teaching them. All the other investigators are good but are now coming up with more concerns. But I know that all things will work out and someday they will be able to be baptized. This week for we need to go and find some new investigators. We have a member that referrals for us so we are stoked out of our minds for that and also one of our investigators has a family referral so we are even more pumped for that. Umm yeah other than that bascially everything else is the same. Its getting ridiculously hot here and I am sweating like 5 liters daily. In case you were wondering. Also! Big News! GUYS. MANGO SEASON IS STARTING!!!!! YEAAAAASSSSSSS!  I literally cant express in words how excited I am. One thing I can say though. God Loves His children. Mangoes are a witness of that. 

This week I have been thinking a lot about Elder Gongs talk on Remembering Christ and I have read that book Drawing on the Powers of Heaven for like the 10th time and it talks about keeping your thoughts continually directed towards the Savior and other Faith promoting things. I feel like I talked about this in my letter last week. But I dont care cuz its awesome and its something we all should do. So I have been focusing a lot on that and making sure that my thoughts arent just influenced by the insane things I see while riding in an Auto. For instance the other day we saw a naked man running through the streets screaming something in Telagu and it was pretty disturbing. But.... no pun intended.. hahaha Its definitely easier said than done to stay focused at all times! Anyway. yeah. Thats the message for this week. Be happy dont do drugs and focus your thoughts. 

Love you all!

Elder Checketts

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bucket list: Rode a Camel, check


Well this week was still a little slow. but mostly cuz we went to Bangaluru this week for MLC! Super awesome meeting. we learned more about repentance why how to better teach it to people. And also how to have more effective meetings! Both of which I definitely need to work on! We had some awesome lessons this week and found a new family of investigators. they are super cool and have come to church and loved it! Brother Venket and sister Manga who were both baptized 2 weeks ago are still awesome. We are going to work on finding new investigators this week. 

Oh my gosh general conference. SO GOOD. Seriously I loved every single talk. I have already downloaded 10 of them. President uchtdorf's talk in priesthood session was one of my favorites. Also Elder Gong. He came to India 2 years ago for a mission tour and i got to meet him. really awesome guy. He gave a super talk on remembering Christ. Also of course Elder Holland gave a great talk and Elder Oaks and President Nelson and Elder Bednar and basically everyone. Super awesome. 

Also I have big news. I like cricket now! I understand the crazy game now and I am into it. India was in the cricket world cup and lost in the semi finals to the west indies. people here were super depressed when they lost. haha my companion is crazy about that game and loses his mind everytime they play its awesome. 

Anyways. I got to ride on a camel yesterday so basically I am good with coming home now. Just kidding. but seriously it was awesome.

Um nothing else is new. I literally do the same things everyday. Haha but its fun. Life is good. How are you all doing? I hope everything is going well. Love you all and keep your heads up! Also. Chris, Ryan, and Tim... write me an email you slothful bums!

Elder Checketts

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Pray for India

Hey Everyone

This last week was a long one. I was sick one day and then the next my companion would get sick. every other day for the first half of the week was like that. We were still able to teach an okay amount of lessons though. We had 6 member present lessons and 21 lessons to recent converts and less actives. A few of our investigators told us their main concerns and they are tough. Sister Kamala's husband is very Hindu and I guess she is supposed to go and do poojas with him and if she gets baptized it may cause a lot of problems in their family. She doesnt want any contention to come in her marriage and her husband is out of town for another month so she cant talk to him about any of this yet. Then with a few other investigators there are word of wisdom things and yeah. lots of stuff came up this week so it was hard but we found a new young couple to teach that is super cool. They are both doctors and are fully busy everyday but they have sundays off so we are going to try and teach them once a week. they are really nice though. Some members brought their friends to church so we are going to go and teach them also. this week should be really good. We are excited. 

We are flying to Bangaluru on Tuesday night for MLC so that should be good. Its always good to go there and learn from the president what we can do better. Our zone is still doing well. This week was difficult for everyone though. Satan is definitely trying to stop the work from progressing. One thing that my companion and i have noticed is that literally every single time we are about to give a baptism invitation something comes up. Either someone calls them on their phone or a friend shows up at their house at the exact moment we are about to ask. Its super frustrating. Anyway. Haha sorry i am done complaining now. Everything else is going well. We are planning to go to a place called Araku today. Ive heard there are really cool caves there and waterfalls everywhere. But it takes a long time to get there so we might have to reschedule it for next monday. 

How is everyone there? I hope you all enjoyed conference! We will be watching this weekend! I am super excited to hear all the talks! General conference is like a holiday! So many awesome things happen! Well thats basically it for this week. Love you all and hope youre doing well!

Elder Checketts

Sunday, March 27, 2016



We had 2 baptisms on Friday which means I did something good with my life!!! Seriously though. We had like the slowest week of my life here but it was good at the same time. Today is the last day of the transfer but nothing is changing here sooo no worries. Anyway. This week was wild and awesome. So Brother Venket Rao and his wife Manga got baptized on Good friday. Haha it was awesome. Cool story. So Brother Venket Rao is kind of an emotional guy but he is awesome. So when he finished his baptism interview. he came out of the room and he was in tears. he came over and hugged me and said "It's finished. I did it." Haha it was awesome. He was also super emotional at the baptism. He and his wife are super cool and now that family is completed. the two sons are already members. Now they can set goals to be able to attend the temple as a family! Super awesome. Also. His wife cooks like the best chicken curry on the planet. I want to schedule a day with them when they teach me how to do it.

We have several other investigators that are way cool. I dont know if I already told you about sister Kamala? She is awesome. She understands the scriptures better than 90% of people I have ever taught. She was supposed to be baptized yesterday but some concerns came up with family. Bro Satyanarayana is also way cool. He is having a hard time because he is coming from very Hindu background and his mother is very against Christianity. We have a lot of other investigators but those two are progressing the most. We had a solid week here are our Key Indicators. 2 baptized 2 confirmed 2 with a baptism date 4 at sacrament meeting 13 member present lessons taught 0 other lessons taught 4 new investigators and 16 lessons taught to recent converts or less actives.

Well It was an awesome week here and we hope to have another awesome week again. Easter here is interesting. There are huge celebrations on good friday in all the churches and we saw a huge crowd of people walking on the street and someone in front was dressed like Christ while carrying a cross. I'm just happy they dont whip themselves like they do in the Philippines. That was nasty. Anyway. It was a good week and life is good here in Visakhaputnum. Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that He lives and because He lives we will too. Love you all. Have a great week!

Elder Checketts

Monday, March 21, 2016

Work is Progressing!


So this week was pretty awesome. We were able to teach a few new people and help the people we were already teaching to understand the gospel! So we have 2 investigators with their baptism set for this friday so we are really excited for that! They are awesome and I am sure they are ready. Both of their sons are already members so its a really cool thing for them. now their whole family will be members of the church! We had 2 other baptisms set for sunday but some things have come up with their family members being against the church. So pray for that. We are working with them to focus on their testimony and to share it with their families. We have so many investigators coming to church every week but their families are causing a lot of problems with anti mormon things. The people are good though. Our investigators are all very interested and are progressing. This week 15 investigators came for sacrament meeting. I've thought about sharing our weekly key indicators with you so that we will be more accountable. So maybe for a few weeks I will do that.... 0 Baptized 0 confirmed 4 Investigators with a baptismal date 15 who attended Sacrament meeting 17 Member Present lessons 0 other lessons 6 new investigators and 16 lessons taught to recent converts or less actives. So we are teaching a little more than 30 lessons a week. 

Its starting to get hotter here that is for sure. holy shnikies. i think I sweat like 3 liters last thursday. Sometimes i feel bad going to peoples houses cuz I am just drenched and they are like "what the heck happened to you" haha but I am getting used to it! Im just grateful I am no where near any snow! I got sick on Saturday with a small flu but Its all good now. I hope. Visak Zone is doing really well. The Assistants are coming here this week for an exchange so that will be fun.  

This week I was humbled a lot again. I think in almost every single appointment someone cried while telling us about the problems they are experiencing and begged us to pray for them. Its really hard sometimes and I wish there was more that I could do for them. This week was strange like that. Very emotional for a lot of people. I dont know why, but being here a second time I feel like I am a lot more aware of the poverty around me. I think last time I was here I noticed it but I tried really hard to ignore it and put it out of my mind. Now I feel like I notice it more and think about it more. It has been a good reminder for me of how blessed we are and how much we really take for granted. Anyway. The Church is true. The Book of Mormon is true. Jesus is the Christ. He loves us, and is always there for us. Love you all and hope you have a great week.

Elder Checketts

Monday, March 14, 2016

Member Referrals!

Hey Everyone!!

Well this week was fun! So On Monday we went to the beach again and played volleyball and that was way fun. I didnt take many pics cuz it was the same place as the week before. but it was good! The rest of the week was super good! We found 14 new investigators! 8 of which came for church! We are getting a lot of referrals from members and it is so nice! We still have to contact at least 4 more families that have been referred to us and we are so excited about it! My companion finishes his mission in 3 months and so he has set a goal to baptize 25 souls during that time. We are both working towards that goal now! 

I dont really know what else to say. This week went by so fast that I cant remember what happened. I wen on an exchange to an area called Gaduwaka. It was solid we taught some new investigators there and so it was good. as of this last week our zone is leading the mission so we are all super excited about that and it is giving everyone incentive to keep working hard. 

Yesterday was a solid day. We went on splits with a few members and it was really good. I went to teach a less active family with a relief society sister and a ysa. We taught them about the two great commandments in the law. We shared a ton of scriptures with them. We started with Mathew 22 and explained how the Pharisees were trying to trick Christ with the question of which was the greatest commandment and how his answer was perfect. We then connected that to 2 Ne 26:28 and then on to Moroni 7:45-48. And we talked about how Charity is that same commandment, but that in  order to get it we have to "pray with all the energy of heart." We then connected that to Mosiah 2:17 and talked about ways that we can show love is to serve other people. and by serving others we are in the service of our God which basically means that in Serving others we are following both commandments to Love God and love our neighbors. They understood really well and it ended up being an awesome lesson. Hopefully I described that well enough in this email so its not super confusing. haha but yeah everything is awesome. Oh Happy Birthday Ryan! Sorry I forgot to write that a couple weeks ago! Dont worry I remembered! How does it feel to be old now? Haha My companion is older than you so no worries. 

Well Love you all. Hope everything is going well for you!

Elder Checketts

Monday, March 7, 2016

It's already 90 and summer starts in April!


Good afternoon! How are you all doing? Happy? Healthy? Hope so! Well. We had a wonderful week here. Filled with both really good and really bad smells that I can't able to describe. So last monday we went to the beach and its awesome. We are going again today. I will send some pics of last week but it is really pretty. also there are a lot of random men pooping there so you have to watch out. ANYWAY. Its fun there. We are playing volleyball there today so definitely next week solid pics will come. 

So this week we went to Bangalore on Tuesday night, Our flight landed around 10 so we go to the assistants apartment at like 11:30. So then we had MLC all day Wednesday and it was really good. i got to see all of the elders I knew from before. There arent very many left. Its so weird I dont know most of the missionaries here anymore. Everyone I knew has gone home! Kind of depressing but its all good. Anyway. MLC was fantastic and we learned about planning and goal setting. We talked about first setting an inspired vision for the area and then setting goals to achieve that vision and how to plan for those goals. It was really good. Something that the mission definitely needs here. 

So this week the work was awesome. We had 15 investigators at church for our district conference and it was awesome. We need to set most of them with a baptism date but they have a lot of concerns with family members being against the church. So thats where the work has slowed. but we got like 5 referrals from members this week for 5 different families which is super awesome and we are way excited to begin teaching them all this week. Lots of miracles are happening. Like One time we skipped lunch to be able to meet some investigators and then after the lesson we saw a biryani restaurant calling us from across the road. It was a Heavenly manifestation. Anyway. Seriously awesome things happen all the time. When appointments bunk and we have no where to go randomly a member will come up to us and introduce us to his friend. and then we have a new investigator to teach! The work is progressing! 

 My health is good. No worries. Every once in a while i get an upset stomach but Im not sure why because I bought noodles from a street cart the night before. hahaha  But other than that I am doing well. Its starting to get hotter here. Summer starts in April and its already 90 all the time. Annd thats all folks. Dont do drugs. Love you all!

Elder Checketts

Monday, February 29, 2016

Elder Bunga's Birthday and chicken Biryani

Dear everyone!

Hi! How is everyone doing? Life here is great! This week was pretty average. We were able to teach a lot of lessons so that was awesome. But we had a lot of members telling us about the problems in the branch and its super frustrating. Everyone here likes to gossip about each other including the missionaries so its causing a lot of problems for the work to prosgress. We met with the Branch President who is awesome by the way and on Sunday he scolded the branch like anything it was awesome. But he also said some things that might get us in trouble. We were worried about it because Heavenly Father will not bless the Branch with new members if they arent taking care of the ones they already have. Anyway. Other than that everything is going super well. We have 4 investigators with a baptism date and 11 at Sacrament meeting. So the work is definitely moving on and we are hoping to be able to baptize these people in March. Satyanarayana is so awesome. He always wants to learn more and he scolds any pastor that tells him our church isnt true. Thats one big problem here is the members of other churches watch what houses we go to and then send their pastor to talk to our investigators. Its times like those when my Christ-like attributes are tested! 

Funny miracle that happened. So we were having some workers at our apartment to fix the broken a/c and I guess in one of the bedrooms the inside door handle was broken and we went inside and turned on the a/c to test it. so I shut the door and then I realized there was no handle on it so we were trapped there! and the front door was locked so the other elders couldnt get in to save us. So we came to the conclusion to break the door. I dont really know how to describe this but here it goes...So in the bathroom there are two doors.. one to the bedroom and one to the front room. each door is locked from the outside so we went into the bathroom and I basically just kept pulling the handle until it would break... and finally it opened but when we looked at the lock and we got out it was fine.. like it was unlocked from the outside.. so we are pretty sure an Angel is in our apartment to help us when we do stupid things and lock ourselves inside the door. I hope you understood that.. I dont know how to describe it but it was wild. Moral of the story.. The church is true.

This week was Elder Bunga's Birthday so we enjoyed nicely and went to a non-veg buffet which means all the curries are different types of meat. I had chicken biryani and cried cuz it was so good. Ohhhhh its so nice to be back in Andra Pradesh. best food. Our zone is doing really well and they are working hard. Yesterday the sisters had a couple of baptisms so that was awesome. So all transportation is by auto and walking we dont have any cycles or cars. There are Rats and every gross bug known to man running around. I dont see as many cows and dogs as I saw in Rajahmundry. But they are around.Yaaa What else. I dont know. Thats it. Missionary life. Love you all!

Elder Checketts

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Awesome Week!

Hello everyone! What an awesome week we had! I had a lot of humbling experiences this week. We gave a lot of blessings. So the first one was a sister named Ambika. She is awesome. She has a very strong testimony of the book of Mormon and the Gospel. She went less active a few months ago because both of her kidneys have failed and there are no donors or anything to help her. She goes to the hospital 3 times a week to get taken care of. So we gave her a blessing and hopefully she will start to feel better. Second blessing we gave was to a sisters father who had just had his leg amputated and he was really sick, and had several back problems. When we went to the hospital I just felt sick. It was a building that you would find in a horror movie. Rats everywhere, spider webs all over the place, really dark, all the lights were flickering on and off. They showed us to this brothers room where there were like 7 or 8 beds shoved in there but the brother was lying on one of them alone there. they told us not get get too close to the beds cuz they were all covered in bed bugs. When he saw us he had the biggest smile. It humbled me a lot. Especially when I was feeling bad for myself with the whole stomach problem. We have no idea how much we have to be grateful for. I felt bad leaving that brother he wanted us to stay and just talk for as long as possible. i really hope that he gets out of there okay.

Lots of other really good things happened this week. We had 11 investigators at church! Awesome! I need to tell you about Brother Satyanarayna! This guy is so awesome. So remember Kanaka Raju? he introduced us to his brother in law and this guy is so prepared for the gospel. Before he was full Hindu and was going for pooja all the time. but he told us that he knows that those things aren't right and he wants to come and learn about Christ. So we have taught him the restoration and the plan of salvation. Its crazy he remembers and memorizes everything we tell him. When we reviewed the restoration he remembered like everything and asked for a copy of the restoration dvd so he could watch and better understand. Such an awesome guy. He came to church with his daughter but they had to leave after Sunday school because his daughter was super hungry. Next time we will bring snacks for them! Also we had a lot of other part member families come. The parents of two members came and they enjoyed Sacrament meeting a lot. we had a lot of solid lessons. A lot of the less actives we have been teaching also came. it was a really good week. The work in Visak has been really slow for the past few months. Our Zone had the most productive week that we have had in months so things are looking up!

Welllllll yeah thats all thats happening here! Oh! Happy Birthday Whit!! hope its awesome! Im sorry i just missed it! Enjoy like anything! Haha Everything else here is great. The food is awesome. and I have already gained a couple pounds so hopefully by the time I get home I will be fully fat. Annnd thats all folks. Love you all be safe and happy and always remember to smile! oh also. the Happy Earth day Sister Checketts thing on the cake was just a joke. haha indian sense of humor :) Love yaaaaa

Elder Checketts

Monday, February 15, 2016

I'm in Visakhaputnam India! ARRRAAAAYYY!!!!


I am back. Wow. In all honesty I really never thought this day would come. Its super weird. But I am stoked out of my mind to be here. So let me give ya the update on the past few hectic days. Sooo. Got India at around 4AM on Wednesday after a series of exceedingly long flights that sometimes made me contemplate suicide. Just kidding. But seriously. Anyway. I met President Berrett at the Airport and we had a nice conversation aboout what changes had been made in the mish and all the new stuff. Then he gave a me paper which happened to be another flight ticket and sent me right back into the flippin airport and I headed off to Visakhaputnam!!!! just another 2 hour flight so it was good. 

So I was made zone leader here in Visak with Elder Bunga! He is a thug. and He loves Coldplay and John Mayer. Also John Legend. We get along pretty well. he is awesome. We are enjoying nicely!! So then I got to the apartment and unpacked a little bit and then we went straight to work. By the end of that day I was literally about to pass out I don't think I have ever been that exhausted in my entire life. Then We had to Plan for a Zone training meeting the next day and then we planned for a district wide missionary fireside that took place on my birthday so I definitely got slammed with a brick wall and then hit by a train coming through on the other side. Sooooo Busy! But. One good thing. From my disgusting sleeping habits that i formed while in America Like going to sleep at 3AM and waking up at 1PM I think adjusting has been pretty easy. Other than the ridiculously spicy food and the insane heat of course. 

Visak is awesome I will be sending some solid pictures I hope. There are mountains all over the place but other than that its basically the same as Rajahmundry. Absolutely no English anywhere, and people poop in the streets everywhere. Its good to back hahaha. Lets see. So Cool story. The elders here have been teaching this part member family for like 6 months now and then we went to teach the parents again and the father opened up and started crying and told us he has never wanted to be baptized so badly in his entire life. So we were shocked because I guess he has never said anything like that. So he has a date set for Feb 28 I Believe. but he works on Sunday during church. Gotta get him away from that. There's another Brother named Kanaka Raju and he is really cool. Loves the church but wants to be sooo sure that he needs to do it. He told us he will quit his job if necessary to come and be baptized. Super awesome. He also referred his Brother in law to us so we are having family home evening with his family tonight! New Investigators!! Woo! 

I cant think of what else happened . I am so overwhelmed its insane! My birthday was solid. We were at the fireside basically all day. But it was really fun and everyone loved it. We had 4 different workshops for them to do so it went really well. Then at the end they had everyone sing happy birthday to me which was kind of intense. there were like 150 people so I was a little embarrassed but whatever. We went to the apartment after and had cake! sooo good! This place is awesome and we are so happy! We live with two other elders in the apartment Elder Tuscano from St. George and Elder Shaik from Rajahmundry. We have a lot of fun! Stomach is good for the most part! The first few days were rough but its getting much better  now so I am super happy about that. Also Mom you're updating the blog and facebook right? Let everyone know I am a Junkfellow and didn't tell anyone that I left! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH BE SAFE 

Elder Checketts