Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week 3 - First Week in Chennai, India - July 7, 2014

India is awesome!!! Chennai is extremely hot!! The humidity kills me but we have air conditioning in our main bedroom and when we go into it after our planning meeting and call it the Celestial Kingdom because it is so awesome.  There are about 100 members in our branch but only half of them coming to church.  We are suppose to only find and teach people that speak English but everyone speaks Tamil and hardly any English and when they do speak English it is very broken and they can't really understand me so my companion translate it into very simple English / Tamil.

We have already had 3 people commit to baptism by the end of the month but they have to come to church 2 Sundays in a row which is the hardest part.  We have a very big area to cover so we either go by shared taxi or bus which is usually about 5-10 ruppees per ride.  

I am going to learn how to play cricket very soon and all the little kids come up to me and shake my hands.  I think there are only like 3 white guys in all of Chennai so everybody stares and it is very different.  There are some very weird smells in Chennai and it is amazing how different it is from the U.S..  There are sometimes lines in the road to separate the left from right but they don't really mean anything because people are driving or riding their bikes everywhere.  We have our own cycles and when I rode in the streets for the first time I was scared for my life because my companion was riding everywhere across the street.  

On Fast Sunday the branch president conducts in English but when people got up to bear their testimony about 74% of them spoke in Tamil and the rest spoke in English and in the other 2 classes the teachers would translate their lesson into Tamil and English.  I don't think anything is worse than sitting in a suit on church very hungry and not being able to understand what anybody is saying but i am still having a great time!! 

I took a number 2 the other day for the first time without toilet paper and it was life changing!! i might not go back when I come back home!! Here you can have all you eat rice and gravies for like a dollar.  They give you a giant leaf as your plate and you use your hand as a spoon.  Some of the very good things about India:  A lot of people want to hear what we have to say but they don't want to come to church or obey the commandments so that makes it hard.  

I have to drink a lot of water here and soon I will save up enough money to buy some new clothes.  I get about $61 american dollars every 2 weeks I think which gets you pretty far here.  Most peoples apartments are about the size of my dorm room with only like 2 chairs.  

Everybody offers me water but I'm not suppose to drink it so I have to tell them no and tons of people are very nice I just have to be able to understand what they are saying.   The members really are some of the best people I have ever met and they want so badly for a temple to be built here so they can live with their families for all eternity.  There will most likely be 2 more stakes in India by the end of the year or within the next year.  

The gospel of Jesus Christ is so important in our lives and how can we not want to share what makes us the happiest with everyone we meet.  I really do love the people and it is starting to grow on me.

Hoorah for Israel!

Elder Wakefield

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