This week was such a good week and we got so much work done here in Noida! I am beginning to like serving here and there is a lot of potential for me to work with. The families are amazing and the investigators we have gained this week are great and I have high hopes for them. We have a recent convert named Priska who comes from the most humble of circumstances I have ever seen in all my time in India. It is absolutely amazing that she knows English with very little schooling in her life. Living in the conditions she does, at age 15 she is our most faithful girl in Young Women’s. She always helps point us in the right direction when we are confused with addresses. We have a less active named Mary who lives about an hour outside of Noida. We go on a wild auto ride for 30 cents to see her. She is a home chef for some big shot guy in Delhi working at an embassy and she makes the most amazing food...her favorite is Italian and promised to make us some sometime. She can't come to church due to her husband’s age and ability to get around. Joseph is his name and he speaks no English while Mary speaks multiple languages. He tried accepting the gospel a few years ago, but he couldn’t give up smoking, so I'll be working with him to see how I can help them. Such amazing people.
There aren’t many crazy stories from this week. Life in India is just exactly opposite from the way we live back home. Every day we go to the shop to get the food we need for breakfast and then back again for dinner. There is no bulk shopping or Costco mega deals. I miss Costco muffins. Anyways we do everything and survive day by day, which is a change. Also the days of cooking American food is just about over. Being the only American, I kindly submit to the will of 7 other people who don’t exactly crave pizza, milkshakes, burgers, or taco bell. So it's all rice and veggies for me, but somehow they find a way to make the rice and veggies unhealthy...so much salt, spices, and oil.
This week was full of great experiences including taking some college kids from BYUI on exchanges with us and letting them see how the missionary work is here. They are here for scholarships or something and are having a good time. The coolest moment I think from this week was it rained! First time since August that I have felt rain or anything that wasn’t a sunny day, I miss the weather changes. In Idaho the only thing you can count on is the wind, the rest all changes every day. Here it's the same almost all year around so rain was a nice surprise. But the power went out with the rain and so all of our appointments were cancelled and nobody was outside in the rain, so we couldn't do much finding. It was a rough day and at the end I just wanted it to be over.
That night at the market we ran into a guy who of course wanted to know what the heck I was doing in India. (The Indians call me the show piece that brings others unto Christ with my white skin.) Anyways he wasn't interested at all, but he said something equally complementary and scary. He said "Wow! You paid for your own way to come to India to live for two years and help people learn English and teach about God? Glad to know there are people still like you in this world." That hit me pretty hard because I could feel how frustrated he was with the world and how terrible things have become. I just want to remind you that the world is a big scary place! There is a lot of sin and a lot of really selfish people in the world. It's sad that it's a surprise to find someone trying to do well. These truly are the last days, but we can’t give up. Just like Mother Teresa said when her good works went by with people doubting her effectiveness. She said, "What we do is just a drop in the ocean, but if we didn't do what we do, the ocean would be one drop less."
Don't ever stop striving to be good. Do your best to help the world and those around you. And please with all of my heart; do not let the Patriots get another Super Bowl win.
Also a big shout out to my parents for hitting their 24 year anniversary. Amazing examples and you both mean so much to me. I love you guys and I am excited for the next 24. Also, Happy Birthday to my dad, still the greatest coach in the world! Love you!
Elder Armstrong a.k.a. Paleface a.k.a. White skin a.k.a. Captain America....living with Indians is crazy.