So early this last week i flew here to Rajahmundry and started in my new area. My new companion in Elder Chettimalla and so far he has pretty dang cool. The area is definitely very different from Bangalore. Much much smaller with zero things american except for one dominoes. However, the people here are absolutely incredible. They love missionaries so much. Even the Hindu people. They all know who we are and say hi elders and they love to attempt to talk to us. The only thing is is pretty much nobody except for some members of the church. The kids love to come up to me and give me a handshake and say hi and see my white skin. They think i know magic and stuff haha. And whenever they come up and give a handshake and i shake their hand, they get all excited like they just met some celebrity or something haha. They absolutely love white people. It feels pretty great to be so appreciated. You won't get any of that in Bangalore.
The things about Rajahmundry though are: the leadership is very poor. Pretty much all of the meetings are held in Telugu. So the thing about Telugu is that we have a mission rule: only speak in english. Because this is an English meeting. So we need to follow the english memorandum. The only reason i want to learn telugu is to learn one indian language just for the heck of it, and also to just be able to understand what people are saying and then i can respond in english. We are only supposed to teach in english. Which makes things very hard here. Even though this area is very hard to find english people, we are still only supposed to teach in english. My companion does speak telugu though so it helps that he knows but for me, i pretty much sit there not saying much because i can't understand anything and they can't understand me. Sometimes though i try and teach them in english. There have been a couple lessons so far that we have taught in english. Including one lesson to a sister named Gubbala Bhavani. So we taught her this week and we had our first baptism together also!! My first baptism in Rajahmundry in the first week. It was great so finally i had an indian baptism haha. Anyways so we are trying to get referrals in order to find english speakers to teach so it is very difficult to find appointments here but we are trying really hard. We have one 14 year old girl named Shirley and one 11 year old boy named Joshua that we are teaching. They are actually pretty good and understand and speak a little bit of english. They came to church this week and they love church so we are going to try and focus on them i think and try and progress them towards baptism.
So the place is pronounced how it looks, and i did fly to vijaywada and then drove in a cab for 3 hours here. The apartment we are in is way better than my previous one and it is actually pretty big and nice. My new comp is from Hyderabad and has been serving in rajahmundry his whole 9 months. Also in our apartment are two missionaries who have been out 4 months and they are Elder Braganza from England and Elder Monk from Texas. I am serving in the 1st branch and our area is the hardest/worst because it is the farthest out from the church and farthest away from everything and also pretty much the most village part of the city. We travel by really old crappy cycles haha. In rajahmundry zone there are 16 elders including elder johansson who is from rigby! i met him on friday and his best friend is dwayne brown! haha small world. He is a way cool guy and he says he knows Jason and Jake and Grandpa erickson. He is elder Semadeni's companion (my mtc comp semadeni).
Dad: Cam had 33??? Dang!!! Atta kid!!! ballin! if you see him, tell him coach ball says congrats and keep ballin hard. So as far as batchmates here: Semadeni, and Elder Parks who is from Utah. sounds like Jessie is doing way good. Kentucky will win the ship this year. Sounds like KD is having a rough time this year with his injuries.... not good...Seattle lost!!!!!!????!?? Dang it those stupid Patriots haha.
Well anyways so i am loving the people here and the area, but it is pretty tough right now as far as the language and we are only supposed to speak english according to the rule from the mission president which makes things very hard, but we are doing our best which is what really counts.
So next week i will upload some photos. I will try to this week but if i don't, they will come next week for sure okay? Let me know when Connor gets his call. Love you guys! Thank you so much for you love and support and prayers.Scripture: 2 Nephi 10:23-25
Until next week,
Love, Elder Ball
Responses from emails back/forth while on-line briefly...
--My guess is i will probably be with my current comp for only one transfer because he has been her so long, and then i will train and be with that comp for 3 transfers and then directly go to the philippines after that. Basil is in Erode now. He has a comp that has been out for 3 months and he is from idaho. I talked to elder bandi on the phone yesterday and he said there is a new missionary from meridian also here...last name armstrong i think.
--That must be him (Meridian Elder might be the missionary from Jed/Emily's ward). Bandi is doing well. He says is trying to do everything i taught him and trying to do the things i did with planning and waking up on time and visiting people haha. It was kind of funny talking to him. Claude got confirmed yesterday.. we do teach some english classes sometimes i guess. We see wild pigs all the time and monkeys. Not much else yet haha
--Thank you love you too!! Yes india is amazing. Love this place. In a different way than the US haha but i love it nonetheless. It is fantastic. The foods here aren't that much different than what i have had because bangalore has everything, and also the Pidugu family is from Andhra which is the state we are in so they fed us lots of andhra food in bangalore. The pidugu's also gave me a lungi for a parting gift haha it is way cool:) haha thanks you also have a great week!! Love you guys! Talk to you next week!