Monday, December 29, 2014
December 25, 2014 - Christmas Day Skype!
We skyped with Elder Ball on Christmas morning, and it was awesome! We loved seeing Ryan's smile, hearing his laugh, and hearing him tell stories of his experiences in India so far. He's been out 5 months this week, and while letters say he's doing great, it was so good to "really" see that he is! Tyler loved seeing Ryan on the computer, squealed and squealed, and before saying goodbye, kissed the computer screen. We took a few pictures and brief video clips for Tyler's IPad, and he squeals again when seeing them. These brothers do miss each other!
A few things Elder Ball shared...
--Received his Christmas packages; was wearing one of his new ties, and made pancakes for breakfast from Trena's package. Liked the Christmas tree, ornaments, and notes from family. Took picture of his presents under his tree taped to the wall.
--He's starting to lose his "English" and finds he says things the way people in India say them. Some of the things Indians say differently: "on it" and "off it" for turning the light switch on/off; "hit you with the left and the right" for getting angry at you; we need to "went" somewhere; and saying "aye" after a statement with a little "head bob" mannerism.
--He wants to learn at least one language from India while there. Has started learning the language of Elder Bunga (called ?), and so far can say what, where, how, when, why, hi/how are you, I'm fine/thanks.
--Since they don't have toilet paper there, he doesn't like it any more...prefers the 'water sprayer' option.:) He takes mostly cold showers.
--Realizes how good he has it at home...homes in India are pretty small. Their apartment is small w/ 4 Elders in one bedroom. He sleeps on a bed that is too short for him, but doesn't really notice his feet hanging off because he crashes so fast, since he's so tired every night.
--Went to play basketball this week and was awful; thought he was losing his game, but played for a couple of hours and seemed to not be quite as bad by the end. Still weighs 10 lbs less than when he left the MTC.
--Singing by Indian members isn't very good; they have a hard time keeping the tune. He plays piano for sacrament meeting, so has a hard time not laughing (at the singing), especially if he catches the eye of Elder Basil.
--Likes to hang out with Elder Basil and with Elder Martizez (from Las Vegas). Likes to speak Australian accent to his Australian housemate, while Elder Basil speaks American accent to him.
--The Seventy want to create a stake in Bangalore by Spring 2015, so mission goal is to get 170 more baptisms (5 per branch) in order to create a stake...pretty aggressive goal, but they are working hard toward it. President Berrett is pushing for it and obedience by the missionaries.
--It's important for all of us to read from the Book of Mormon every day.
--His visa will expire July 15, 2015, which is when he will leave India for the Philippines while waiting for renewed visa. Time there could be few weeks to few months. His MTC batch and the one after got visas timely; batches since then have been delayed or denied. Similar issues with current missionaries waiting in the Philippines for renewal.
--Education in India is advanced...graduate from high school at around 16 yrs old, then go to college. 14-15yr olds have 'full-on' mustaches. Girls/women in India don't shave their legs or armpits.
--Elder Bunga stayed with him all 10days while he was sick; feels better. Misses Elder Bunga. New companion, Elder Bandi, has good intentions and tries hard, so can't really get mad at him .
--No more incidents with the RSS.
--He LOVES Indian food!
--Cedrick helps the Elders a lot and is a great guy. (He skyped from Cedrick's home and IPhone.)
--Cedrick and Elder Bandi stepped in to say hello via skype.