|My new look!|
Hello from Dwarka,
I have lots of news for you today. Starting with Happy Halloween to you all. Here in India it is Happy Diwali, and we just had the biggest night of fireworks ever. Imagine a city with 30 million people and no restrictions on fireworks that cost like a penny each. They started at 9 p.m. and at 3 a.m. they were still going. The entire city is polluted like crazy and you can barely breathe, we have masks on and may not be leaving the apartment much if the festivals don't stop. Last night we had to be in at 5pm and I guess the party just keeps on going the next couple of days. We watched the fireworks from the roof of our apartment and they were going off in the entire city, including all around us..some of the fireworks were blowing up in the air probably 30 yards from us, it was so cool. Like I said, no restrictions and a bunch of crazy people celebrating good over evil, it makes for a good show. The pollution here is ridiculous now..and it will continue to get worse. Today the scale is above 1000 which is as high as it goes, so we broke the pollution scale. All missionaries are wearing masks and may not be able to go out that much the next couple of days depending on pollution and celebrations. Also as part of Diwali everyone puts up lights, and here they call them Diwali lights but we all know they're Christmas Lights. I'm going to miss Christmas lights hanging up until July from all you rednecks, but we've had ours on our tree for about a month now. So the lights reminded me of Christmas time and I'll probably be pretty homesick for Christmas.
In other news this week it was the end of the transfer and I got a new companion. I am training Elder Chidithoti (Chid-ee-toe-tee). He is from Hyderabad, India in the South and is 21 years old. He and his older brother are the only members of the church in his family and he came here with 4 shirts and 3 ties. But a suitcase full of faith and a sense of humor that makes everyone laugh. So we'll have a good time I think. I get to teach him English and help him improve on that, it should be fun. He is already teaching me how to cook lots of Indian food so just wait til I get home, you'll be in for a treat. He is really cool and I'm surprised I am training this early in my mission, it seems like just 6 weeks ago I finished my own training. Elder Huskey went home and I had a good 4 and a half months with him, it was a good time but I'm excited for a new companion and new experiences, however I am in the same area here in Dwarka and that should lock me up here until January. It will be comforting to spend Christmas here in an area I know with people I know. 8 months to start off my mission in the same area is my kind of mission, I've never been one for moving around much and I really do miss "My House". (That was for you Dad;) President Hodges was very complimentary to me and Elder Huskey, and President and the Lord have a great trust in me to train. President Hodges related it to me in a way I had never thought of before. He said "You and I will go home after our missions, but these Indian Elders will stay, we are training the next leaders in India to build the church as strong as it is in America." President Hodges is the man, and I am excited to be training and helping in the Lord's work.
Anyways I hope you all had a good week, I hear my Boys won again so keep that train moving. #CowboysNation #KeepDakPrescott and as far as football in Idaho goes I am putting my bets on South Fremont to win it all for my friends that are still playing there. As long as Shelley and Snake don't win I'm happy.
This week I honestly didn't know what I should share with you or what message you back home needed to hear. And sometimes I get confused with what I have shared before, so I hope I don't repeat myself very often and make you feel bored. So this week I wanted to share with you a story about being happy and how the Atonement makes that possible. I talk a lot I think about the Atonement but it is the single most important event in history, and everything we teach revolves around the Atonement of Christ.
It was about two weeks before I was going off on my mission and I was just about to graduate from High School, so not too long ago. And as I had realized I would be leaving soon I was thinking about my life up until that point. I thought about my friends and family, the Buffalo Wild Wings trips, the Football games I played in, or the college games with my family. I thought about Christmas and Disneyland, my cousins and the fun we had together. I thought about the early morning wrestling practices and the times I thought I would never stop laughing. Most of all I thought about the night I opened my mission call, the night I still to this day will say has been the happiest day of my life. In short, every thought that I can remember coming to my mind for a good hour while I was in my drive way shooting some hoops, was a happy thought. I thought of everything I loved. I honestly didn't remember any of the bad times, the dumb mistakes, the times my dad yelled at me. It's as if they just didn't exist. It's a much smaller scale, but it relates very well to how everything can be washed away through the Atonement of Christ. In Isaiah 1:18 it says "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." No matter what we do in this life that is wrong, it can be washed away and we ourselves can be renewed. It starts with simply choosing to follow the Savior and acting upon that desire in our hearts to be good. It takes times, the result of all of my happy thoughts was due to months of changing my actions and preparing myself for a mission, at the time I felt the Savior's love for me, but it took time to get there. It wasn't always that happy of a moment, and it won't always be in the future. But our sins and hardships, just like those Scarlet red leaves of fall in Idaho, can be as white as the Snow you will have this winter.
Choose to be good. Follow the Savior. It starts with a simple prayer asking for help.
Love you all, Go Cowboys and Go Jazz