Elder Hayden L. Williams

January 2019

Week #24 - Rama Murthenagar - "I don't remember that in the Bible..."

Well this week was exciting because as Elder Halford and I were walking our area we found a huge church with its own compound. It is St. Anthony's church where they have a bunch of lifelike models of Christ's journey to the Cross and also some about this St. Anthony. I had to take videos of it because honestly I am not sure how to explain it and they made no sense. Half of Christ's journey they were showing I don't remember reading in the Bible. My favorite part of this church was when we sat inside the main hall and realized they had 4 of our church's artworks used in their worship and we are quite certain they did not have permission. They also had a nativity outside where they got cardboard cutouts of Joseph and Mary from our bible video and I honestly couldn't stop laughing. Let us just say that our church has better artwork of the Gospel than any church here.

So one interesting thing in Bangalore is that the buses are segregated by gender. The front half is for ladies and children and the back is for men. I don't have a problem with giving the women the best seating I just thought actual segregation was interesting.

I had beef for the first time in India! A member had a little thing of beef yesterday right after church and gave me a little! I really miss beef, apparently there is a place near our apartment that sells a beef curry so I will be visiting that place real soon.

So in my apartment there is another Elder Williams who is a native and we are serving in the same ward so yesterday we had a fun time trying to figure out who the members were talking to. A few of them started refering to us as the black and white Elder Williams, all I can say is that I did not start that. Elder Williams is from a state called Tamil Nadu which is where they speak Tamil (surprise!) and all of the Indians there are darker than the rest of the country. This might be the most diverse looking people who are all natives of a country. America is diverse but that is because people came from other countries to settle. Here in India you can go to one state and the people will look completely different and still be fully blooded Indians. The north states (near Nepal and China) have Indians that have the facial structure of the Chinese but they are full Indian, it is crazy to see sometimes.

So two of the days this week we had a Bundh. Which is literally where some of the people, especially auto drivers, go on strike and don't use vehicles that use petrol and because of that most stores didn't open. This is because petrol prices are high right now so they appartently do this every couple months for a couple days. Apparently the one a few months ago had a few riots too but this one was tame. It was weird to have relatively empty roads.

They speak so many languages here and honestly I don't think my tongue was made for some of them. I am trying my best to try each of them but they are crazy.
Pretty big week this week!
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Elder Williams

Q&A
  • How often do you get to go to members homes for dinner?
    • In my last area it was maybe once or twice a week for dinner appointments, in this area it's as many as you set with the members. I do wear a tie no problem there everyone just thinks we go to some school
  • How close are you to the mission home?
    • I am about a 25 minute auto ride from the mission home.
  • How many do you have in your teaching pool?
    • Our teaching pool expanded this week, right now it is maybe 6 families and a few ysa's. The problem is finding people that will progress.
  • How many of you are in this apartment?
    • 6 again. 4 americans and 2 natives. the zone leaders are the other 2 americans and their companionship is split with the natives. Elder Tolbert and Elder Lowe are the zone leaders. the natives are Elder Nathaniel and Elder Williams. And Elder Williams and I are in the same ward just opposite areas so it has already got confusing.

Week #23 - Rama Murthenagar - "Just when you start to get an area..."

Well I just started to get to know the ward and area in Kakinada and then I got sent here to Bangalore. I am now in the Rama Murthenagar, I can't really help you on how to say it as I am still trying to get it down. My companion is Elder Halford from Orem, he went to Timpanogos High School and graduated my same year. He actually knows a fair amount of people from my school like Dakota Allphin (Harrison's cousin). Elder Yogesh got transferred to be in Rajahmundry so we went there yesterday and I left from there this morning to head to the airport. It was actually a little cold this morning. All the natives were wearing heavy coats and huddling around little fires and I was cruising down the street in an open auto loving the cold. Well now I am going to have to get used to walking around without a tag on which is going to feel really strange. 

This last week Pawan wasn't answering any of our calls and now Elder Yogesh and I are gone so hopefully the other Elders can go with the Bishop to try and get permission for his baptism. We had a bunch of people start calling us back the day that me and Elder Yogesh were leaving and we were just sitting there wondering where all these people were when we had time. 

I'll probably have to write on next week when I actually know this area a little bit and what's going on. 
Telugu is not the main language here so this is going to be fun. The main one in this state is Kannada which I have heard shares a lot of comparisons to Telugu but they speak almost every Indian language here so it will be pretty exciting trying to keep track of them all. 
Until next time!
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Elder Williams

Q&A
1) Do Indians drink milk? Haha some of them drink milk but most no. The way moms get their kids to drink milk is mixing in the flavor boosters like boost and other things. But the milk alone here tastes not good.

2) Are you adjusting to the heat? Yeah I am fine with the heat and honestly I prefer having a ceiling fan as compared to A/C because I get cold... I get cold now. That is a weird thought.

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. 

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Elder Williams