The first interesting thing was on P-day last week Elder Dias and I went into a mall near our apartment to get some dinner and while we were in the food court walking to one place to eat, behind us we hear, "Elders!" So we turn around and see a black dude in a bro-tank. We were both looking at him like we had seen him before and he was speaking like an american so we had this puzzled look on our face like, "who is this guy." He asks if we are elders and we say yes. He said he wasn't sure because we weren't wearing our nametags. During this small exchange of words i finally figured out who this guy is. This guy was one of the teachers that taught me and also taught Elder Dias in the MTC.....This guy is touring the world for 5 months before college and he has been to Tokyo and Thailand and other places and had seen missionaries everywhere except India so when he saw us he was stoked!! But it was insane that we saw a guy who taught us in the MTC!!! How crazy is that!!! So we went and sat with him and ate dinner next to him and his white friend who went to BYU and so we spoke to these two american guys for like an hour and half telling them what mission life is like in India and stuff and it was pretty dang cool.
Then the other day, we were just about to leave for an hour bus ride to some less active members' homes so we stopped in McDonald's to get a quick hashbrown before we leave. So we sit down and see two white guys next to us and they ask where we are from. We end up finding out that these guys are american and return missionaries who are working in India so we talked to them for a little bit too. It was so weird. Oh and the same day as meeting the MTC teacher, right before that we talked to some other american guys right outside of that mall. They weren't members but it has just been crazy seeing so many americans here after being in Rajahmundry. Also every week, there are about 3 or 4 white americans that attend our branch. Two of them are regular but every week we see a couple new ones that are here for business. It is pretty wild.
The mission conference with Elder Funk was great. We were the second zone he spoke to, so the tour just finished this week. So yeah Elder Funk was the Pres. right before Pres. Berrett. Elder Funk is from Utah I think. He and Pres. Berrett have been good friends for over 30 years and have basically followed each other around so it is kind of funny story about them.
We are thinking Elder Dias probably won't get his extension which could mean that he could be out of india in like 2 weeks. It is weird and so right now the mission office is looking into sending him, another elder and my batch to states instead of philippines because there is a big possibility we don't return to India.....it is pretty crazy right now so our minds are going insane waiting for our update about that situation.
Answers on pictures: Elder Dias is the one holding the pink baby chick. The other one is Elder D'Vaz. Elder D'Vaz is one of my best friends now so i had to take a pic with him. He is very much like me. He also has a bro with special needs and his dad is adopted and also he loves bball. The person we were saying good-bye to is one of my faves if not my fave member in RJY. His name is Chandra Shekar. I love that guy. and the ones on beds that is when i went to Hyderabad for my new passport.
So about my branch. One of the coolest things. There is a ton of deaf people in our branch so there is sign language translation in sacrament meeting and sign language conducted classes. In fact my new favorite member is a guy named Karthik. He is hilarious. He is deaf and so we communicate by sign language, and i am learning so dang much sign language it is quite awesome. These hearing-impaired members are probably the most faithful members i have ever seen, and they are so fun to be around and so kind and nice. they bring friends to church a lot and sign american sign language is english so it is an approved mission language, so we are trying to get referrals from all these guys and teach their friends because they are absolutely awesome.
So this week we taught many recent converts and less actives. We will be having a baptism this upcoming week which is great. She is a part-member mother named Kanchana. We also have like 3 or 4 members who are waiting for or having mission calls. So the branch is pretty good. I like the branch. The area is okay. It is so much slums though. Which is kind of cool. But i still miss RJY.
So Dad, of course i read your letters!!! Your letters are awesome! You also have awesome quotes or things you learned in the week that are very uplifting and helpful. Seriously. I promise i read them:) your SC updates are ight too;) as for LBJ...if he wins this finals without Kyrie or Love, i think i might have to agree with Lambier...i hate to say it but if he can do that on his own....dang. That quote is true.. Although it is difficult. Especially works for me and my frustrations with my comp right now. But i am working through it and doing my best to stay positive. He is pretty cool sometimes so i try and focus on the positives. I guess that is what a mission is about anyways...focusing on the positives. And i really appreciate the support at home. I really do feel blessed on my mission, and especially being in India has really made me appreciate home-life and the gospel more.
4 weeks to go before i leave this country for a while. Hopefully we can help this branch out in this short time we have here.I will talk to you all next week. Love you!