Tuesday, January 5, 2010

December 22, 2009 Week 19

Merry Christmas everyone!

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Markie and Tara a Happy Birthday. I hope everyone has a great holiday season this year. Well from my subject of my email I hope I didn't get you guys too excited. I have not gotten my visa to India yet, but I did get a small taste of what it is going to be like. I will tell you all later in the email.

First I'll start with my usual answering a few questions I got and stuff. Mom how is your foot doing? When do you think you will be able to get out of that dang boot? And yes Ninja Warrior sounds even more intense. I'll have to watch it in ummm... 20 months. Whit, were you able to find a house? And that story about Dad and his belt was hilarious.

Thank you everyone for all of the cards and letters you have sent me, from family, friends, and ward members. You are all Fantastic. Thank you very much.

Hey mom thanks for the package. I'm set on thermals now. I'm probably good on the long sleeves. And as for a wool coat, I can probably last with the one I have now, but if you get reassigned somewhere else or here, hopefully I won’t, I think I would like one. So we will hold off for now. When I do go to India, I will have a lot to send back. And guess what you were right about the Murphy's law. Now that you sent me all that warm stuff, I didn't get my visa to India, but it warmed up to about 55 degrees yesterday. Great, everything does go wrong. But I'm pretty sure this is odd weather and it will cool back down again.

Dad you asked about how I get money. Well we usually have credit cards that they put our monthly allowance on. I used that for a while but church headquarters called the office and took it away from me because I'm a visa waiter. They now put all my money on my companions card and in January they are only going to give me half of my money a month and do that until I leave. I guess that’s a good sign, hopefully. But it’s kinda dumb so I just go to the bank and take all my money off of E. Cashins card and I use cash. And I don't have to pay bills. So you asked about how to feel the true Christmas spirit. You know what I'm not sure how to feel the Christmas spirit, but I feel like I know how to feel Christs spirit. Every sacrament meeting I go through the baptismal interview questions to myself. I ask myself, "Do I believe in God as our Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer of the World? Do I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do I believe President Monson is a prophet of God? What does this mean? Do I feel like I have truly repented? Do i actually promise to take upon myself Christs name, obey His commandments, and always remember Him?" These are the questions I ask myself. Every time I do I give a little testimony in my heart and every time I have felt the Holy Ghost confirm to me that these things are true. That’s how I feel Christs spirit every week. Try it out dad.

So you also asked about our investigators. We are still teaching Adrian, the guy who I gave the Moses explanation thing in my last email. The guy is awesome. I asked him if he would get baptized if he found out this was true and before I could even answer he said he would. I think we are going to set a date for him next time and figure out what we need to do to prepare him. I don't know if I told you too but I kinda put another kid on date. He takes seminary and knows everything. He said that he wants to be baptized. We are teaching his dad too and he wants to be at our lessons from now on. He thinks we are pushing his son into it, but his son wants to do it. So we are getting real close with him too. Vien has again decided to stop taking the lessons. She is getting a lot of pressure from her family and her other church. I think she is getting a lot of misinformation from others. We will still try to keep in contact with her. We taught this family this week. The father tries to think of stupid questions to try and stump us. He said it’s to make us better teachers. He went off on our all the original 12 apostles were Jews so why aren't they now. I explained that God gives his priesthood to any worthy male who he can trust. I said some more too, but the guy was confounded. It was awesome. He couldn't say anything. He sat there for like 10 seconds with his mouth open and then he said, "Oh that was a good response." It was pretty cool.

Okay so for my taste of India. Last week we got picked up by a member lady. She said, "Oh elders I'm so happy I found you. Our neighbor across the street is Hindu and from India and they want a blessing for their wife who is pregnant. She is sick and I think it will be a great missionary opportunity." So we jump on it, especially me, and see them. Well it turns out that the wife is doing pretty good. She is actually Catholic and not Indian, but the husband is Hindu and from India. It was his idea. I said he just wants a blessing and it’s something he wants to do. He wants to invite all his family over to the church so they can see something different than Hinduism. We try to explain to him about Christ, faith, priesthood, and blessings, but he just doesn't get it. He keeps on saying, "ya it’s all exactly the same. The things you guys do, we do to, it’s just with a different name for god." We try to explain that it’s not the same, but he still insists with this same response and he actually starts to get mad. Well he knows the 1st counselor in the Stake Presidency so we call him up and he says he would be glad to do it. When the day comes, they show up probably 40 min late (which is Indian standard time I guess). They bring about 10 of their family members to the church, half of them actually visiting from India and going back in a few days. President Libbert tries to explain these same things to them but they don't listen again. There is a big commotion with President trying to explain and the husband translating into Hindi. It was crazy. So we start the blessing. I start to anoint the wife with oil and they all pull out their cameras and take pictures. We had to stop and explain this is sacred and no pictures, but you can have pictures after. President gives the blessing and they are talking in Hindi the entire time. He finishes and they ask if he will bless their sister’s baby too. He agrees, luckily he was there because we can't do that without permission. So he gives the baby a name and a blessing. Crazy, huh? So that was the crazy thing that happened to me this week. And that is how it’s going to be in India. It is going to be a completely different experience when I go there. Teaching, culture, the people, everything will be so different.

Well I love you guys. I gotta go. We are having our p-day with the Stake President. He is going to take all the missionaries out for lunch and then we are going back to his house. It should be fun. Love you all and have a merry Christmas. I'll talk to some of you soon!

Elder Garrick

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