Elder Hayden L. Williams

December 2018

Week #22 - Kakinada - "urns out, a Bull is NOT a Cow"

I repeat, we as Americans have it all wrong. It is illegal to kill a Cow in India, meaning a female cow because they only worship those. You can kill and eat a bull all you want. You can still only find Muslims selling beef here though and they are rare and usually under the radar because secretly they usually kill cows too. That was a fun tidbit I learned this week. 

So unfortunately Pawans parents did not actually give permission for his baptism so we will be trying to visit them this coming week to see if we can ask them for permission so stay tuned on that. Our members here are really good about bringing new family members to church but they are unfortunately bad at telling the Elders that they are new since I still don't know the whole ward by name I end up passing by some potential investigators since I can't tell if they are a member or not and I am trying to say hello to everyone. A good number of them don't speak English either which makes it fun to try and set an appointment. 

This week has been a lot of cycling around trying to figure out who in this city we haven't talked to. Turns out quite a lot. 

Telugu this week: Turns out the Kaki in Kakinada means Crow. Not sure what nada is but I am assuming city. So essentially this is the City of Crows. 

Elder Williams

Week #21 - Kakinada - "There arose such a ladder company!"

That's one thing I miss this year. It doesn't feel as much like Christmas without the movies but the real spirit of Christmas is in the service and I have never served so much in my life so you could say I am swimming in the spirit!

Pawan passed his baptismal interview this last Saturday so his baptism is scheduled for this Saturday. I am so excited for him because he has been so prepared by the Lord! He was struggling to get permission from his parents when the missionaries first met with him but since Elder Jordan and I met with him he has been able to get permission. I don't remember if I told you but in this country we have to get baptismal candidates to sign two separate papers. One is the standard baptismal form for the records of the Church and the other is a affidavit that we give to the government to prove to them that we didn't pay them or bribe them in any other way to join our church. You could say that Christianity here is unlike any other Christianity I have ever seen. 

Elder Thomas was transferred from Rajahmundry to be with Elder Wheeler and Elder Yogesh just became my companion. I don't remember if I mentioned him when I got to India but Elder Thomas was Assistant to the President when I first got here so it was good to get to see him again and learn a little more about him and his family. It is nice to be with Elder Yogesh because from him I have learned a lot more about India and Hinduism since his family is from a strong Hindu backround. Turns out there are more denominations of Hindu than there are of Christianity which blew my mind a little bit. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas remembering what a miracle it was for the Savior to do what he did for us and remember that it is by small and simple things and humble and small beginnings that great and marvelous things are brought to pass. Even the Savior of the world had to start as nothing more than an infant.
And to all a good night,
Elder Williams

Weed #20 - Kakinada - "TUFAN"

The Indians really seem to believe this is an English word. It pretty much means a big storm which means I think they use that word in place of Typhoon... That is my only explanation of this word. So anyway the reason I am emailing today is because of a Tufan that was off the coast of India the last couple of days. We had a ton of rain yesterday which took out the power in our apartment most of the day and also the internet. My companion also was scheduled to take a bus late in the afternoon to Rajahmundry to catch a flight to Bangalore so we took him early through all the rain.

Now it is just three of us Elders in this city with no word on when I will get a new companion but it will probably be in 2ish weeks when transfers are scheduled to happen. Until then there will just be the three Elders here.

Before Elder Jordan left we managed to review all of the lessons with Pawan and by review I mean that we let Pawan teach US the plan of salvation which he did pretty much perfectly. So all we need to do is make sure his paperwork is good and he gets interviewed this week and he is all set for the 29th of December. He knows more about this Gospel than many many other members I have met here in India and he is fully committed to living by the commandments of God.

Not too much else happened this week because I was out sick for about 4 days coughing quite a bit. I felt bad making Elder Jordan stay inside for some of the last days of his mission but he still finished really strong helping all the people in this area.

Male Kaludham
Elder Williams

Week #19 - Kakinada - "That does not smell like Boost..."

To preface this intro line, Boost is essentially Hot Chocolate in this country but it is not as good. We were at a home of someone we were teaching and had just discovered that they were not interested to learn more so we were about to leave when a lady walked into the room with hot drinks that we assumed was boost since we get offered it a lot here. My companion has developed the ability to not burn his mouth drinking hot drinks so he immediately put it up to his mouth and started sipping it and then froze when he saw me look at him. I had smelled it and I was confused until I realized it was coffee, my companion was about to spit it out but the lady was getting super embarrassed and so to quickly tell her it was alright he ended up swallowing a little bit. He felt super bad about drinking a little bit of it even though I was just dying laughing. 

Yesterday we visited the family of an Elder I served with in Vizag, the Thamma family. They gave us the strangest snack I have ever had, the only way I can describe the taste is, well you know how a campfire smells? Yeah, that is how this snack tastes and yes it is as bizarre as it sounds. It is called a Tagalu and it is very unusual. 

Well, this week we taught Pawan again and he has done a complete 180 after our last meeting, he now wants more than anything to be baptized so we said we have to go through the lessons again with him since it has been a long time since he was taught by the missionaries. We have been going through the lessons and he remembers almost everything he has been taught so most likely he will be baptized before the end of this year which is awesome.

I have been getting used to riding a bike again which has been a pretty fun experience but all around it is a lot better to have one because we get around our area so much faster. My learning of Telugu has slowed down a bit since I got to Kakinada because they speak a lot more English here than in Vizag also my companion doesn't speak much so I haven't been learning too much. 

Other than that we have been doing a lot of finding and a lot of Elder Jordan teaching me the area since he goes home next week. 
Till next week
Elder Williams

How is it going with your companion? Man I love Elder Jordan so much, he is the hardest working missionary I have seen on this mission and I am loving it.

Week #18 - Kakinada "I Want The Holiness That Beats The Other Holiness"

That is a literal quote from an investigator we met this week. His name is Raghu and he is a YSA about 19 with some real questions of the soul. He has been taught by the missionaries before but they haven't met with him in a long time before I got here. We have another YSA that we are teaching that wants to get baptized named Pawan but is having the same hesitation as Manohar from my last area, that is that he thinks that baptismal repentance is the end of forgiveness from the Lord and that after that he has to be perfect. We have been working really hard this last week and the cycling has my body sore but it is a really good feeling. 

Less time this week because these net shop computers are really bad. Can't send pictures either. Will send them next week. 

Highlights: Yesterday had my first double member meal, one for lunch and one for dinner. Never eaten more rice in my life. A lot more people speak English here or because I am not with a native they have to speak more, one of the two. Also I am quite certain I am the only white guy in this city of 1 million. That is pretty exciting, getting even more stares than I did in Vizag. 

Elder Williams