Hello Family and Everyone:
Another awesome week in the mission field and I'm as happy as ever. I have so much to tell you that most of my experiences have to wait for when I get home, because I can't literally type as much as actually happens here in India.
First, a few matters of business...
Happy Birthday today Mom. You have no idea how much I miss you, and wish I could be there for your day. Don't worry, I'm only going to miss one more of them. I miss being close with you and being able to talk to you every day, 7500 miles is quite the distance between a child and his mommy. I miss watching the Jazz games and our favorite TV shows together and eating your homemade salsa and all the other good food. I miss asking you how your day was at work and giving you the same answer of "it was okay" when you asked about my day. But most of all I miss laughing with you. I was always happy when I was laughing and joking around with you and we truly have a good friendship, I knew if I could make you laugh it would always make us both happy. The stress of everyday life was gone and we could just have a good time together. Thank you for all the sacrifices you have made for me to be here, thank you for your faith and thank you for your love. I love you mom, and I hope you have the very best day possible. Happy Birthday.
Now I want to say HECK YEAH to my Dad and my boys on the greatest football team on Earth. My Eagles whooped some Malad Dragon butt this last weekend and I couldn't be more proud of all of them. They are and always will be my brothers and family. Parker it sounds like you are playing like a stud. Keep it up man, you make me proud. Dad, you amaze me and you are doing everything you said you would do. You always taught me to have Integrity and you truly show how a man has integrity and sticks to his words. The defense sounds like they are playing well and I love that, keep running that ball. If you control the ball, you control the time, if you control the time you control the game. Coach smart, and love the kids as if they're your own family. No matter the result, if you're a family on and off the field you cannot lose. I'm still praying for the team and wearing my Eagle gear every day this season.
Now I hope I can help you to understand something. I am so happy here in India, my life is already changing. Sooo much. But I firmly believe that I'm living in my own personal H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. Seriously everything in the world that I hate is in this giant city. It stinks like nothing else, there is dirt everywhere, there are millions of people everywhere who don't have a personal bubble. There is running sewage in the streets and sometimes dead dogs just lying around. There are just as many cows here as there are in Idaho, and they roam the streets and people treat them better than other people. There are bugs and mosquitoes and crazy things around every corner. And there are many more things I don't like, but can't remember all of them right now. And to top that all off I'm so far away from home, which was always a fear of mine. I love home. I'm positive that if I would have known two years ago I would be in India I would have passed out in fear. I would have never wanted to come. This place is everything I hate, but everything I needed. It's everything I needed in my life to become humble and understanding, to work at patience and charity, and to become a better disciple of Christ. I'm one hundred percent positive that I was called by God himself to be here in India. But not only that, to be called to the Dwarka area for my first area, and not only that, but I also believe one hundred percent that God wanted me to meet the families and people I have met. He didn't send me to India without a plan for me, he sent me with specific people I needed to come into contact with. Whether for their own benefit, or mine, or both, it doesn't matter. But I know that I was supposed to meet them and learn from them and teach them, and bring the spirit into their homes.
I want to tell you about a family that has touched my heart completely. Last week I sent pictures with me in a home for Rahkshabandhan day, the girl in the pictures name is Sowmya. She is awesome and is preparing to serve a mission next year. She has been a completely active member ever since she was baptized and has a strong testimony. Her parents Brother and Sister Mathesu however are a little different story. Yes they were baptized and they had a testimony, but it fell hard when they got caught up in bad habits once again. The Word of Wisdom once again became a struggle, and whether they felt unworthy to go to church, or lost that fire in their hearts to follow the Savior, they fell away. They were one of the first families I met here in Dwarka, and they speak little to no English. Sowmya has been a great translator for us, but I noticed it wasn't the same when a translator was there, conveying my testimony for me, as it was in other lessons with English speakers. The spirit was there, but it wasn't the same. So I have been working hard to learn not only Hindi, but their native language of Tamil. Look it up. It's insane. I want to help them the best I can find that same desire in their hearts, and to share with them how this has changed my life. So I've had to do some work, but it's paying off. After a transfer and a half or working hard, visiting them multiple times a week, bearing testimonies and reading scriptures, bringing the spirit into their home as often as possible, to rekindle that fire that was once there to change them. Sister Mathesu started coming once again a couple weeks ago with Sowmya, and I was so happy to see her there. She calls us her kids and says we are welcome whenever we want to come. We have truly built such a strong relationship with them and it is awesome to have that when I'm so far away from my real family. Then to our surprise, we had both Brother and Sister Mathesu (Their first names are too hard to say, let alone spell) came walking in with Sowmya...as a family. It was awesome. I was so happy to see all the hard work we put into, together as the Mathesu family and as Elders to start building that fire back up. I care for them and would do anything I needed to help this family, and many others that I have met here in Dwarka India. I know I was sent here by God to meet these people, because we needed each other.
I just want to give you all a bit of advice. Don't ever take the temples for granted. Members here, and all of us Elders, all of the presidencies are working so hard to bring a stake to Delhi. And get on the track towards having a temple here. People save for multiple and multiple years to have money to travel to Hong Kong to see and go through the temple. In America the land is spotted with temples. In Utah there are so many and everyone, including you have such a privilege in being able to attend almost whenever it is convenient. In America we save money to go to Disneyland, and that's a sacrifice. Here in India they save so they can attend the temple, just once, in their entire lives. Don't take those blessings that others are dying to have, for granted. The temples are a Holy place, a place we need to attend more often. And always be worthy to attend. It will bless your life.
Thanks for your love and your prayers. I'm still Always Happy.
Go Eagles, I'm praying for you every day.
And happy birthday mommy,
Your son Elder Armstrong