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

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Going back to India

A note from Elder Checketts' Mom.

Zach left yesterday morning to fly back to India to complete his mission. He came home in June 2015 on a medical release. After many tests, procedures, diet changes, and doctor visits he is well again and has been cleared to return to his mission. We are very grateful for the prayers and faith exercised on his behalf. We are grateful to all the church leaders who have made the miracle of returning to India a reality.

Right now, he is on the last leg of his flight from Abu Dhabi to Bangalore. He will arrive there in about an hour. We hope to receive news soon that he has arrived and information on which area he will be serving in.  More to come soon!