Elder Hayden L. Williams

November 2018

Week #17 - Kakinada "I Like to Ride My Bicycle..."

Well, biggest news is I got transferred over to Kakinada. My new companion is Elder Jordan who is from Millcreek right below Salt Lake and he goes home in 3 weeks so I have to learn my new area very quickly. I traveled by train from Vizag to Rajahmundry and then took a cab to Kakinada. So Kakinada is a ward that is part of the Rajahmundry Stake and has been switching between having 2 and 4 Elders proselyting in this area so with me and Elder Wheeler coming (His companion is Elder Yogesh) we are once again making it so 4 Elders are in this city. Oh also I now have a bike, hence the song quote. Also they still speak Telugu so I will continue to try and learn as much as I can but apparently more English is spoken here so that will be helpful. 

This week was a pretty exciting one even on top of that. I got to ride a camel yesterday. Some man just had one and was soliciting rides on the beach for 100 rupees so naturally I went for it. Thanksgiving was entertaining, we went to a little bistro that sells pretty American food. I had a chicken pesto pizza and while we ate they played Journey and Kenny Loggins in the background which was pretty surprising that they knew that kind of music.

So Friday night Elder Ramishetty and I were walking the beach road in our area and saw this huge function and we came to learn that it was Fishermans day which was really funny that that is what they have to celebrate in this country. They had some dancers that were doing some really traditional dancing with traditional dress. 

Yesterday Sister Kantha, Mani and Chinna Isaac came to church! It may have been partly that I said I was leaving and they had to come so I could get a picture and say goodbye but I hope they came for more than just that. 

Telugu for the Week: Maley Kaludham-We'll see you again.   

Elder Jordan and I
Elder Williams

Week #16 - Vizag "Thanksgiving with the Indians"

Ha! Thanksgiving among the Indians. That one was pretty clever I have to give you that. Let's just say that if Thanksgiving were a holiday here there would be no relaxing after eating rather an uncomfortable burning sensation in your stomach after eating that much. 

So I got back to my area on Saturday which totaled about 9 days over in the Gajuwaka are with Elder Trainor, which was a really good experience and it helped me to learn about the Elders over in that apartment because we only see them once a week in district meetings. So Elder Trainor and I did our best to meet with the people they were teaching and to find more but that is getting really hard to do because we just had some restrictions put on our finding and contacting because the police had stopped Elder Rather and Elder Hugie about a week ago questioning them on what they were doing passing out the pass along cards we have. Long story short contacting people to teach is hard now. 

But over those 9 days apparently Elder Ramishetty put 3 of our people on date for baptism. First is Anil, the 12 year old whose family really wants him to learn a lot from our church and they also put Sister Kantha and her son Mani on date as well. We went over to see them with no idea what we were going to teach them or talk about because they had already told us that they do truly believe everything we were telling them and they were impressed how we told them it should be between them and the Lord. The only problem is that they aren't keeping our commitments to come to church and instead choose to go to their church early in the morning and then sleep the rest of Sunday. So Elder Ramishetty and I kept our appointment and went over without knowing what we could do to help them and then opportunity literally fell into our lap. Sister Kantha's brother was outside the home completely drunk and that is when Elder Ramishetty felt inspired to share the beginning of the Word of Wisdom with them. I thought that it would be too on the nose but I trusted him and we went in. When we shared what we should not partake of Sister Kantha said that she believed this commandment was built for her family. I was afraid of what she would say because she loves drinking her tea but she immediately acknowledged that she was addicted and it really wasn't a good thing. She wants us to share the full Word of Wisdom next time we meet and she will make sure to have her brother there with them. I was so floored by all of this, always follow promptings even when it feels like it would offend. I had known this since I was a kid but this is the first time this lesson sank in. 

Telugu for the week: Don't confuse Peda and Pedtha (emphasize the "-tha" like a the) Pedthabye means big person and Pedabye means poor person. Accidentally called someone poor this week that was entertaining. 
Welostamo (We'll go and come back)(Bonus word)
Elder Williams

Week #15 - Vizag - "These would not be legal in the US..."

Man, Diwali was insane. There is a reason we have to come in at 4 o'clock let me say that. Everyone and their dog lights off the most insane fireworks that belong in the Stadium of Fire. They are so loud, way louder than in the states so I don't know what they did but they light up that day like it was the 4th of July for Americans. We got on the roof of our flat and ordered pizza and just watched all of the insane fire works explode all around us. They have these crazy firecrackers that are so loud and fire like 200 times and it honestly sounded like guns going off so I was a little worried at the beginning. The smoke was so thick by the end that I couldn't see half the city (our flat is near the top of a hill). 

Well Thursday was pretty exciting too because I learned that I would be going on a week long exchange with Elder Trainor in the Gajuwaka area (a smaller city right next to Vizag). His companion has been in the area for a very long time, almost 8 months or something so he has gone stir crazy. Elder Trainor only just got out of training when I showed up to India so combined we have 6 months of experience in India so it has been really fun. It also let me know that I am doing well learning Telugu because I speak more than he does so that boosted my confidence a little bit. Elder Trainor is from Rigby, Idaho and is about the same age as me but is about 5'6" so actually taller than Elder Ramishetty which is pretty great. So we don't really know when the exchange will end it is whenever the Mission President says that it will end. And before you ask yes, this is highly irregular but that is just how my Mission President rolls here in India. 

So in answer to your questions all hymns are sung in English along with the sacrament prayers. Strangest things I have eaten is between chicken liver and buttermilk. Buttermilk is this horrendous creation of mixing curd with water and it is supposed to cool down your stomach but its taste is sickening. My native companion doesn't even like it and he likes almost anything. 

Telugu for the week: Bagundi is how you say something is good. So undi means "is here" and baga or bag means "good". So you are literally saying "good is here" this is how a lot of the language works here, either something is here or it is not here. Very curious when you learn these rules. 
Elder Williams

Week #14 - Vizag - "Sowing the seeds of love"

Missing the 80's music a little bit but it's ok people play Indian music here on full volume and it is actually pretty good. All of the songs focus on the dancing and a ton of TV here is devoted to playing music videos. A lot of them are less about the singing and more about the dancing and they are crazy good at it. 

Well, a man just walked into the net shop with an absurd amount of burning incense so I can no longer see. One of the other Elders thought there was a fire for a second, that was a little funny. So in the corners of a lot of businesses they will have little shrines to Hinduism and sometimes they do that kind of thing with incense blowing it on them. Speaking of Hinduism there is a huge festival this Wednesday called Diwali where they fire off a ton of fireworks so needless to say we will be spending a lot of that day inside unfortunately. 

So this week we finally met with Manohar and he told us that he wanted to wait till next year to be baptized but we know that if he puts it off it won't happen so we convinced him to really pray about it and give it some more thought. 

We got an amazing referral this week from a Sister Shyamala who just got baptized in the 2nd branch. She and her cousins live in our area but the Sister missionaries were the ones teaching her and they are in 2nd so she is in 2nd. Her cousins are really interested and there is one that has been going to church the last couple of weeks. We visited him and the family and the family really wants him, Anil and his older brother Abishake to be baptized into our church and learn everything about the gospel! That floored me, they even said it would be good for their sons to serve missions like we are. I just about died at that part! Turns out their old church teaches them almost nothing so they want them to come to ours, they even said that after their kids got baptized they would probably start coming to ours. We are going to go by tomorrow to get them started on this road. 

Got a haircut this week and for the first time since I was like 10 I got a buzzcut... One of the young men on Sunday said it was a failed experiment and I can't help but agree with him... On the bright side it makes wiping my head easier. Not that I don't still sweat the same amount. 

Anyway weekly update on Telugu, my brother is a chicken. More specifically a hen. Cody is the word for hen. Just thought that would make his day ;)
Tata is grandpa and grandma is oddly split up into whether it is your moms mom or your dads mom. So dads mom is Nanama and moms mom is Amama. 

So excited to hear that Alyssa is getting out into the field, sounds awesome! 
Pretty crazy but really good week!
Elder Williams