Monday, August 7, 2017

Week Sixty-One



Happy Rhaki! 

This week was one to remember that's for sure! It all started when last Monday after emailing we went to Vasant Vihar and played an intense game of soccer. We found this little dirt park maybe 50 yards long and 30 yards wide that was just abandoned in the middle of nowhere. It started raining about half way through the game, and it was serious rain. I was so wet and muddy that we just stood in the rain longer for the mud to wash away. Then we walked to lunch through the back alleyways of Delhi that had basically turned into rivers. There were points where I was walking in water up to my knees. It had to have been full of human and animal feces, and it smelled pretty bad. But lunch was really good;)

This week something else extremely crazy happened as well. There was an Emergency transfer across the mission and Elder Karkala had to leave to help be one of the Zone Leaders in West Zone, so I got a new companion. His name is Elder Openshaw, my best friend in the mission. I think I've written about most of the things Elder Openshaw and I have done together, but some stories are best saved for after the mission. We just embrace the craziness of Indian life and go out of our way to do as many crazy and fun things as often as possible. We work like you can't believe and it is fun to work because I have someone that I can actually talk football with as we are walking to appointments and inviting people on the streets. He's from Boston so obviously things are tense right now because the Celtics took away Gordon Hayward and the Patriots won the Super Bowl.  We play one chess game every night and so far I'm in the lead. Anyways things are going great.  We are working hard and have a lot of good plans for our zone to improve. 

Siyon was confirmed yesterday and Rabina is doing really well, she got admitted into a school that teaches English so we are so happy for her. She speaks English okay, but now she will have such a bright future. Tonight we will go to Rabina's home and since it is Rhaki she will tie a beaded bracelet on my wrist, and put a bindi on my forehead.  I will eat the special sweet, and then I will be her brother and her protector. I can't believe it's been a year since last Rhaki, time is flying and I love the traditions of this country. 

This week I noticed something that was pretty good for me to notice, and I think maybe it could help some of you as well because we all make this mistake. So every night when we get home we do the usual, shower and clean the junk off of us, send numbers, call district leaders and then play chess. But sometimes, like this week we go to this shop to buy food and see the shop keeper who is our favorite man ever. He is like a 5 or 10 minute walk away and you have to go through this pretty cool dark alley to get there (just like all of Delhi) And on the way, there were so many people sleeping out on cots and on the ground. I realized quickly that they were all auto drivers, and they were homeless. Then I remembered the auto driver who earlier that day I was arguing with over 10 rupees. (10 rupees really isn't that much money). I wanted the correct price but was upset because he was charging more than we thought was correct, and it happens literally every auto ride...the Hindi I know the most is the words that help you bargain and get cheaper prices because I'm so used to "white tax". But now I realize that that's just a little dumb, of course they should be honest and get the money they earn the right way. And of course I should try and get the correct price, but there is no need ever for me to haggle the man and cause him grief and to annoy him, when he could be one of the ones who has no home. I just feel that we never know what people are truly going through in life, I have no idea what that man's life is like, and we often get angry or upset at people, or make judgments about them, and we have no idea who that person really is or what they go home to at night, if they have a home. 

The world needs a lot more love, and maybe an extra 10 rupees could help show that, or maybe patience while I get the correct price, and most importantly, a smile and a thank you, would probably be the best way to show that love. Please think of others, you're actions will change dramatically and so will your happiness.

Elder Armstrong



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